2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Valentines Day and time to pause and relax Embarkation: Kudos to Galveston & RC for upgrading the Facility.no longer do you have to wait outside and subject to the weather. The actual embarkation personal was friendly and the ... Read More
Valentines Day and time to pause and relax Embarkation: Kudos to Galveston & RC for upgrading the Facility.no longer do you have to wait outside and subject to the weather. The actual embarkation personal was friendly and the whole process was quick. Our luggage arrived about 1 hour later and that was appreciated. Service: Service overall was very good in the dining room and cabin as well. But more later on this subject Entertainment Music venues were better than average and some were excellent Special Kudos to:Manoelito and his guitar..outstanding, The Latin Trio had everybody dancing and Wendy's Country Band, one of the Best!, also enjoyed the ships's orchestra. Shows: BLAAAA Dining: Man Dining Room and Windjammer. The food was average and the selection of different offerings are way down. cruised with RC foe about 10 years and whoa, what a difference! You can always find something you can order. but apparently RC is trying to steer you to the Specialty Restaurants to increase profits. Cabin; We had inside Promenade cabin. Clean and enough space Deck 6 Ship: Clean but some signs of wear, Decor pleasing Ports: God selection of ports. No excursion, have been at all of them several times Final comment: RC seems to be interested in increasing profits for their shareholders.Claim to be #1 but here is the kicker. Service personal seem to be overworked and afraid to not offered a contract. Begging for high scores in the RC feedback even for rating the quality and variety of food offerings. Then RC on their feedback form ask if anybody ask for good feedback so they can claim... NUMERO UNO.....Really? The service was very good in the Dining room but the food is lacking and should not reflect on the waiters!!!! So what did I do...give excellent feedback to the poor workers....AND THAT IS SADLY THE TRUTH Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
To start: The embarkation and debarkation has greatly improved since three years ago. Especially the debarkation. It was 2.5 hours before and 45 minutes now. Great way to end the cruise experience. We went to the pay extra restaurants ... Read More
To start: The embarkation and debarkation has greatly improved since three years ago. Especially the debarkation. It was 2.5 hours before and 45 minutes now. Great way to end the cruise experience. We went to the pay extra restaurants named Chops and Sabor. Both had excellent service and food. Johnny Rockets was also very good. The main dinning room had outstanding service and the food was quite good. Did you know that in the main dining room you can double order something if you want? The Windjammer buffet surprised us at the selection and quality with the waiter staff always ready to help deliver omelettes, drinks, etc. It could be called the People's dining room in the evenings. The more regular folks went there and enjoyed good food and as much as they wanted. (We went there twice for dinner, twice for lunch and five times for breakfast. All good.) The Sorrento pizza joint was very popular and had more than just pizza! Five out of five for variety and quality of food and service. All four of us were very satisfied. There were some places we did not try. We ran out of time and hunger! Cabin 8398 - balcony- was nicely furnished, spacious enough and clean. No complaints. The steward was seen by us twice. Since all was good, no complaints to give only compliments for a job well done. The ship is built to entertain in so many ways. The shows were good to great. The music on board was outstanding. I thought the casino was up to date and in great shape. The pools, rock climbing walls, basketball court, miniature golf and rides were all in good condition and had happy folks using them. The decks were neat as a pin. The bars seemed to be fun and nice Sorry, I am not a bar guy so I have little to say on the matter, but when passing I saw people taking dance lessons and enjoying each others' company. We enjoyed a movie under the stars. The ice rink was popular and the show excellent. The drink packages sold were not a temptation because in order to make it worthwhile I would have to drink like a fish. These areas of business didn't bother us. We did not need alcohol to have a good time, nor gambling, shopping, buying art,drinking soda, playing video games or buying contrived photos. But they were there for those in need! never saw or heard a complaint about them. The decor of the ship was tasteful. The construction was well done - in form and function from the Promenade to the elevators, to the spa and gym to the many public rooms. We never had a problem with any of the crew. They were upbeat, courteous and informed. Now for the rest: The flag of Texas.....Well, that was awesome! The dining staff singing the Eyes of Texas are Upon You and America the Beautiful was outstanding. The huge cake at the Windjammer with the Texan and American flags was more than a nice touch. The passengers came from all over to be on the cruise. Many were Asian, Hispanic and African American as well as eastern European. The passengers:There were LGBTs, kids, elderly, singles and marrieds. But most of all there were the Texans, who know how to make the most of a moment and are open hearted. Many :"Thanks you's, your welcomes, pleases, excuse me's, hello's, witticisms and Y'all's", from not just us Texans." A happy and friendly group of passengers makes it just that much more enjoyable for all. The days were sunny and warm. The showers in Cozumel refreshing and added to the adventure. We had smooth seas every day and nice port visits in Grand Cayman, Cozumel and Goalmouth, Jamaica. Our excursions were memorable and fun. So what's to complain about? I have been on seven cruises over thirty years. This was the best ship and tied for the best cruise. Only complaint about this cruise: It ended!!! I recommend this ship and the Cris and Martha at CruiseOne who booked the trip. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
This is our third time on this ship. We live in the surrounding Houston area, so it is a fast, inexpensive port to get to. This 7 day cruise went to Roatan, Honduras;Belize City, Belize and Cozumel, Mexico. We first dopped off luggage ... Read More
This is our third time on this ship. We live in the surrounding Houston area, so it is a fast, inexpensive port to get to. This 7 day cruise went to Roatan, Honduras;Belize City, Belize and Cozumel, Mexico. We first dopped off luggage at porter station by ship, then parked at parking lot B. The parking lot will shuttle you to the ship terminal. Traffic was terrible with everyone trying to get on or get off the port area. Allow at least one hour to manuver around all the people and traffic. Embarkation/checking in was very smooth and fast, maybe 20 minutes.This was around noon. We ate at the Windjammer buffet and wait for room to be ready. Room was ready around 1:30. The bars opened at 10:00 AM, but can only serve local beverages due to Texas Laws, while at port. Ship needs to be updated or renovated, it is starting to show at lot of wear and tear. The Main Dining Room and Promenade Decks were very nicely appointed and luxurious. The cabin needs major renovations and updating. Room 8366 was very spacious. This ship does a great job with drawers, shelves, mirrors and closet space. The shower was very narrow as typical of most ships. Bring your own body lotion and liquid body soap, since these are not provided. Entertainment was great. Loved Phil Anderson, the Piano Guy, at the Schooner Bar and the latin guitarist, Manoelito at Boleros. We went to the main show each night at the Platnium Theatre. I thought they did a great job. Each night was different and very entertaining. We didn't care for the food at the Windjammer. It was just too bland and commercial. The main dining room's food wasn't much better. The service was top notch, but the food really needs to be upscaled, taste modified, or more diverse with healthy alternatives. Cozumel was a great port, the other two stops aren't really that great. Debarkation was terrible. We were suppose to start at ten, but they were running one hour late. The crowds were getting mad from waiting. Very long wait at customs. Very disorganized. Take shuttle and luggage back to car. What a long morning. (3 hours!) My spouse and I had a great time despite the food. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
I chose this cruise because I don't have to fly and can use that money to upgrade the room. The cabin 1804 had the best view I've ever had on a ship. Look at the bridge cam and that's the view this room has! We-both in our ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I don't have to fly and can use that money to upgrade the room. The cabin 1804 had the best view I've ever had on a ship. Look at the bridge cam and that's the view this room has! We-both in our 60's have been on 20+ cruises with various lines so we either go for the ports or the ship. We've been on Liberty before and done all the ports our of Galveston so we go to have an enjoyable week of warm sunny weather and good food. This trip gave us both. The ship is 12 years old, but still looks good and has a smaller feel than the larger ships, but you'll still wait for an elevator. Our cabin was booked as an ocean view panoramic view suite which was later reclassified as a full suite so we were happy to get a gold card and all the suite perks. I had looked at pictures of the room on line to see how big it was and if the view was really worth the money. I was not disappointed in the view, the size of the room or all the closet space-more than we needed. The only disadvantages were it didn't have a tub, instead it had a full bathroom with a shower and a small 1/2 bath; when the ship was moving fast the bed vibrated and the rotating TV box rattled. We put a washcloth between the top axle ceiling mount and the TV box mount to quiet it and it was not close to anything so we walked a lot to get to meals, shows, bars etc. We loved going to the suite lounge- Anis is great and always had useful information. We'd go there after breakfast for better coffee and later after dinner for a drink.Happy hour was 4:30-8 pm, but it never seemed crowded. We went to the suite/pinnacle reception and the top tier reception -all enjoyable. We ate breakfast in the dining room because the Windjammer was too crowded. We ate lunch there also unless it wasn't open on port days. Dinner was in the Rembrandt DR on deck 3 where the food was good, sometimes great. We could always find something on the menu we liked. The first night DH thought he saw some onion rings, but they were calamari. The waiter said we could order onion rings with 24 hours notice so the next night and every night thereafter we had onion rings from Johnny Rockets. The service was always great. We liked the guitar player Manoelito. Since we had been to Roatan, Belize and Cozumel before we didn't do any shore excursions, but shopped instead. We also didn't site see in Galveston, but did drive in the day before and stayed at the Hilton NASA Clearlake which we have stayed at before. Embarkation was smooth. We had parked our car at a nearby parking garage and taken their shuttle to the pier. It took less than 20 minutes to drop off our bags and check in before going aboard. Disembarkation was even quicker since we did self-carry and were suite passengers. We had a great time. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
The ship is starting to show it's age. Furniture, carpets and other things are looking tired, worn and styles and fabrics are very dated, There are glass sculptures on deck 5 that have broken pieces and they have been that way for a ... Read More
The ship is starting to show it's age. Furniture, carpets and other things are looking tired, worn and styles and fabrics are very dated, There are glass sculptures on deck 5 that have broken pieces and they have been that way for a couple years. A few places like the Star Lounge have been redone and it makes a world of difference to compare those spaces to the original decor in other areas. One elevator (one of the only bank that goes up to deck 14) has been out of order forever. We were on this ship in September and it was out of order then. Now it is blocked off and the door walled off! With the increased number of folks with mobility issues, canes, scooters, chairs etc. as swell as physical size limitations makes using the elevator a real pain. On deck 14 you can wait 10 minutes for an elevator. We had a Junior Suite and loved the extra room. Everything in the room was original decor because we booked this in the inaugural year and I have the photos! Our room attendant was excellent and attentive. Same thing with our waiter in the dining room. The food was good and portions were fine. The selection of entrees continues to drop. There is very little variety from nite to nite. The "Classic Menu Offering" has disappeared. A couple of the items are offered every nite but they are listed to look like variety on the menu in terms of the evenings offerings rather than being standard and the menu having about six new items to choose from for that evening. I think this is intentional to push you to the specialty dining. RCCL just cannot get dining requests implemented. We booked this and requested My Time. We were assigned 5:30 dinner. This the fourth cruise in a row from RCCL where they just can't get the information from the booking to the onboard dining room.Folks this is not brain surgery. Then I stood in line twice because the first guy was only authorized to set up a queue to resolve passenger issues. He was difficult and I finally just left and ate when and where I wanted as the evenings progressed!! Oh well..Windjammer has a good variety and they are good at keeping the steam tables supplied. Omelettes in the morning were a challenge as they were prepared individually. Plenty of options for each individual taste. Tables were cleared and cleaned quickly to allow new guests to be seated. We booked Chops Grille one evening. Food was excellent but the menu and options continue to be more and more limited. If you want sea food or surf and turf get your wallet out AGAIN! Now remember that you have already paid for dinner as a part of your cruise fare, plus you paid an upcharge to go to the restaurant and now they want another $29.00 if you want shrimp with that steak. Ridiculous! Johnny Rockets the 50's diner used to be an up charge of $3.98. The charge now is $11.95/pp. Now that is for a hamburger mind you. An take into account you have already paid to have lunch so why do they need to gouge you again? It is just like the drink gratutities going up to 18%. There is no reason a small G & T should hit $15.00 and then if you order in port in Galveston the fine state of Texas tacks on a couple more bucks. Welcome to Texas! We had a couple good entertainers that were great. The other nites they insist on using the Royal Caribbean Dancers. One nite is sufficient. I don't care how many costumes you change or what song you choose - once I have seen that dance I don't care to see it three more times in a different costume with different music. Enough already. Book some entertainers with variety. They continue to do the Quest game show. I view it as raunchy, fraternity type drunken yahoos. It is not the scavenger hunt that is advertised since the repeat cruisers come with supplies and a game plan to get on camera. The other games shows - Love and Marriage, Battle of the Sexes etc. are getting very old. Clearly no effort has been put into developing some new material or new options. It is same old tired stuff with different passengers. The same goes for the daytime activities. Many of the things listed on the Cruise Compass as an "event - or thing to do" for that time slot is nothing more than marketing. A Tagguer Watch sale is not an "activity" it is an invitation to come drop some coin. The same with come to the spa for tips to bust that belly fat - oh seriously! Many times there is nothing going on on the ship and I venture to say they have zero planning for a rainy day or inclement weather. There is no additional entertainment staff offering enrichment lectures, new things to do, tours or activities. Just go entertain yourself or maybe spend some money in the casino. Poor way to treat guest in my view. This daily itinerary hasn't changed much in 10 years. Come on folks - make a little effort! Embarkation was a dream. Easy and efficient. Disembarkation was a nightmare. Took us over two hours to move from dining room to customs. That facility is not meant to handle a ship with that number of passengers -- especially when there is another ship in port. Too few customs stations and agents. Lines snaked back to the ship. Three lines would queue down to one agent. It was stupid. Add to that they did not enforce their own rules about going ashore when your number was called. If they did then numbers 23 and 24 would NOT have been off the ship and in front of us (No. 5) in the customs lanes. Traffic jam in and out of the port just prolonged the agony of getting out of the area. We will not sail out of Galveston again in Jan. Feb. or March. It is just not far enough South. You cannot count on warm weather on day of embarkation, disembarkation or the first day at sea. Takes longer to sail farther south to pool and summer type weather. Lesson learned! The loyalty program of RCCL is second to NO ONE. The Diamond Club social from 4:30 to 8:00 PM every nite is unparalleled. If you choose not to go to the club the perks are added to your card to use elsewhere on the ship. Nobody has as good a program. Add to that the free photo, the reduced internet program and other small niceties and they have a real winner. Photo options are good for the most part. The second formal nite we had at least 20 photos taken but as luck would have it only 2 had our feet on them! Not much point in wearing a gown so they can take your picture from mid knee up! They overdo the running around the ship and interrupting your dinner to get photos. We don't buy them but the prices are reasonable if you do want them. We no longer book he next cruise onboard. RCCL has gone to charging more than $100 per person for any changes you might need to make. It used to be free to change your mind or upgrade your cabin or change the date but not anymore. So we don't book onboard. We had a good time. We are booked for a different ship and different port in March. We will continue to cruise. Each line has it's good and bad. We think it is a good vacation but they really need to consider charging for the cruise and not all the nickel here and dime here once you are onboard. That gives a bad taste. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
Choose to give the Liberty a try and sail out of Galveston for our first time. Ship was as expected from RCCL....our steward was spot on and never a thing out of place, our dining room attendants were impeccable in all of their services ... Read More
Choose to give the Liberty a try and sail out of Galveston for our first time. Ship was as expected from RCCL....our steward was spot on and never a thing out of place, our dining room attendants were impeccable in all of their services and all of the rest of the staff was extraordinary with attentiveness and service. All ready have our next cruise set on her again and can't wait! Shore excursion booked through the ship gave us no time at all at port and was a bit more hectic than the other excursions that I booked myself. Having only 3 ports of call was the BEST...gave us way more time to enjoy the ship and all of the amenities that were offered. Did main dining every night and really enjoyed 5 star 3 course meals....felt very elegant every time. Buffet was awesome too for breakfast and lunch and always a great variety of items. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
This is our second cruise with Royal Caribbean. Both times our family of 14 adults went on the cruise. I was concerned because when I booked this cruise, I went with my travel planners recommendation to get the cheapest booking available ... Read More
This is our second cruise with Royal Caribbean. Both times our family of 14 adults went on the cruise. I was concerned because when I booked this cruise, I went with my travel planners recommendation to get the cheapest booking available by not having an assigned inner cabin. When we were finally assigned a cabin, we were on the 2nd deck below the Karoke bar! I was concerned being on the lowest deck and also the music that may keep me up at night. I was wrong! It was quiet and because we were low and in the middle of the ship, there was hardly any movement. In addition, our stateroom attendant was phenomenal and went out of her way to accommodate us in any way possible. There were so many activities to do on and off the ship at port. We played dodgeball and swam on the ship. We played bingo and enjoyed the casino. We frequented the several bars and enjoyed the diverse music and dancing. We gathered with our family to play cards on several nights and enjoyed some shows and a comedian. Off the ship at port, we snorkeled, enjoyed the beaches,played with monkey's and held a sloth in Honduras. We visited some Mayan Ruins in Belize and went exploring on a scooter in Cozumel. Our Main Dining Attendants were very accommodating for our large crowd every evening. The food was tasty and the atmosphere was enjoyable. Our experience with Royal Caribbean has been so great! I doubt we will ever cruise on another cruise line. Thank you Royal Caribbean! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
We selected this cruise because it was spring break and it fit our schedule. We left out of Galveston and traveled to Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Jamaica. We had a cabin in the middle of the ship on the 7th deck. The following were the ... Read More
We selected this cruise because it was spring break and it fit our schedule. We left out of Galveston and traveled to Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Jamaica. We had a cabin in the middle of the ship on the 7th deck. The following were the good parts of the trip: a. The juggler and comedian were the best entertainment. b. The cabin was great and enjoyed our view of the ocean. c. Staff were very attentive and friendly. d. The food in the MDR was above average but not outstanding. e. We used RCL for excursions in Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Jamaica. Our favorite was the Jewel in Jamaica and enjoyed this resort and water park. The bad parts of the trip: a. The Windjammer was crazy. You were always having to fight for a table and wait in huge lines to get your food. I wish the MDR was open all the time so you could avoid this problem. b. The beds were very hard but I brought a foam topper. They should have better bed options. c. We ate at Sabor's and the food was just average. Not worth the extra money. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
We went on this cruise with a group of about 40 people. This was our first time on RCCL, not our first time cruising as we have over 200 cruise days with other lines. Anyway, we chose an inside cabin, mostly because of the price. RCCL ... Read More
We went on this cruise with a group of about 40 people. This was our first time on RCCL, not our first time cruising as we have over 200 cruise days with other lines. Anyway, we chose an inside cabin, mostly because of the price. RCCL is significantly more expensive than the other cruise lines. Embarkation was an absolute mess. We got to the terminal at about 11:30 am. The lines were not bad at all and we were quickly through that process. When the check in person handed us our keycards, she also handed us a ticket that said "Group 8". We had no idea what this meant, but headed the direction that we needed to in order to board the ship. We were placed in a very large room, with a woman on a megaphone yelling to raise your hand if there is an empty seat near you. We found seats easily, then listened to that woman for the next hour and a half, yelling about every 2-3 minutes. There were no refreshments while we waited, no water, just a vending machine that looked like it wasn't working based on the crowd around it. So, after 1 1/2 hours of listening to that, she finally started to let people board. Keep in mind, we have a ticket that says "Group 8". We saw a lot of other tickets coming into the room that were higher than hour number. She called the elite groups in, which I fully expected. Then, they went by status all of the way down to Gold, which took about a half an hour. Finally, she started calling just the "Group" tickets. I guess these are the first time customers that they are hoping will come back. Another 15 minutes goes by, there are only about 50 of us left in the room, she announces that now everyone can go ahead and board. Not exactly a great first impression. It's now just before 2:00. I am hungry, thirsty and generally not in a great mood. We try to get into the buffet, but the line is so long, we decide to head to our stateroom to drop our stuff first since the announcements came on saying that staterooms would be ready at 2:00. Try to get to our stateroom and the halls are packed with mattresses and plastic. We get yelled at by a room steward that the rooms aren't ready yet. So, we go back to the buffet to try again. We can get into the buffet, but can't find anywhere to sit. Okay...it will get better, right? After just grabbing a glass of water (we are still carrying things...only one hand) we try the room again. We can drop off our bags, but now it is only 1/2 and hour before drill. We decide to wait to eat until dinner and head off to explore. Drill goes fine and we depart Galveston on time. Dinner..;OMG, what a disaster. We have a new steward, he isn't trained, it takes forever to get our meals. My "prime rib" was inedible, so tough I couldn't cut or chew it. Even sending a 1/2 full plate back, no one even asked if my meal was okay. I know that they really can't mess up desert too badly, so I'm hoping to fill up on that and maybe get some more in the buffet after "dinner". We have a 5:30 dinner seating, at 7:30, still no desert and the other stewards are all around us preparing for the next seating. I give up. Leave before desert arrives. So far, not so great. Go to the buffet, grab something to get through the night. Now I am exhausted, angry and really just want off of the ship. I can't wait to get in bed. Get back to the room and the bed is like trying to sleep on a cardboard box. Granted, we are inside cabin, but I expect fairly comfortable beds. From the first day onward, the cruise slowly improved. But frankly, I will probably never sail on RCCL again. It was more expensive than many other cruise lines and didn't offer anything special that makes me say "wow"! The casino was okay, but the technology in the casinos on other lines is much better. Expect to pay either 5% or $6 to get money to play with...they do not let you credit the machines from your key card like everyone else does. The first 3 days the ATM didn't work, so I had to pay the 5% at the cashier's cage. Sorry RCCL, you are not for me. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
This was my family's first time with RCI so we went in with a very open mind. Embarkation could not have been easier. Hubby dropped me and our 16 yr. old daughter off with luggage and went to park the truck at Light House parking. ... Read More
This was my family's first time with RCI so we went in with a very open mind. Embarkation could not have been easier. Hubby dropped me and our 16 yr. old daughter off with luggage and went to park the truck at Light House parking. We were in a suite, so there were no lines for us, we did arrive at port around 10:30 am. There was a delay to board that day due to the previous cruise having a problem locating a couple of people to have a zero count. After that was resolved, we were on board shortly after 12:00. Headed to The Wind Jammer and got a bite to eat. Cabins were delayed until approx. 1:30. No biggie. To my surprise though, our luggage did not arrive until after dinner. Our dinner was at 5:30, and we were dressed properly, it was just annoying having to unpack so late. Our room steward: Darius was fantastic, kept ice in my ice bucket and was always gracious. The suite lounge: was fun, the 2 servers were always in a good mood and Anis the concierge was always on hand to answer questions etc. Now the Chardonnay in the lounge is AWFUL!! Yuck! So if you like Chardonnay, you may look into ordering something else. We met some amazing Pinnacle members who were so friendly, and other Pinnacles' who were not so friendly. Just don't understand THAT mentality. From reading many boards on CC I've heard of this behavior but was truly stunned by it. The ship: in general was in good shape, you could see wear on carpets and upholstery on chairs, but it was always very clean. Dining: We chose to eat in the main dining room and did not do specialty dining. The food was hit or miss. Tuna was awful! Short ribs were amazing. Same thing with desserts. There is always the buffet or pizza if you get hungry later. We did order room service a few times, and found the food to be great. Entertainment: We enjoyed the shows very much. There was a comedian, an a cappella group that were very good. The ice show was good, the in the air show we thought was amazing! Saturday Night Fever was also very good. We also LOVED watching movies at night on deck. Tip: ask your room steward for an extra blanket, and use it to bundle up in while watching movies on deck. Ports: Cozumel: We booked Nachi Cocum. It was ok, I truly expected more. Their beach could use raking, there were sharp twigs and things that made it hard to walk barefoot. The bathrooms NEEDED to be kept up with all day and were not! The lady's got pretty gross and we were only there for roughly 3 hours. The food was good. The drinks were weak, but I wasn't looking to get drunk, it's just my observation. The push to buy extra activities got annoying. If we were back in Cozumel, I'd chose another place. The port is a maze of shops to wind through to finally find your way back to the ship. Did not appreciate how aggressive the men in the jewelry shops were. I enjoy shopping, but didn't appreciate being forced to walk through shops to get back on board. Grand Cayman: FAVORITE! beautiful, breath taking, no pushy sales people. My family stayed a week here before and absolutely love it. We booked the catamaran snorkel and cruise through RCI and LOVED IT. Luckily it was with Red Sail who we had used when we stayed on the island. They are the best! I highly recommend this excursion. Some people complain about having to tender, but for us, it was absolutely no problem. Jamaica: We only shopped inside the fenced in port area. We found the people to be very friendly and not pushy at all. The store to avoid is this big t shirt shop, I wish I could remember the name, the owner is not Jamaican and is very rude!! I hate that we bought a shirt there, but it was the only one my husband liked, so ... Misc: My family did a black and white portrait sitting and absolutely loved the pictures! The photographer did an amazing job, but....they are not cheap! so be forewarned. My husband chose to purchase 3 pictures to my surprise, but if you had paid for a sitting back in the states you'd probably pay the same. Also we were not really fond of any of the pictures the ship photographers had taken, so. Johnny Rockets: In my opinion is not worth the up charge. Service was painfully slow, and the food was ok. There were only 6 other people when my daughter and I went in and it took an hour to get our burgers. Mini Golf: It's cute, go play Slides: Hubby and daughter liked them very much, arch your back to go fast on the racing slides. Fitness Center: I paid for yoga, big mistake, the guy teaching seemed to be making it up as he went, so I can't recommend. They do offer a free abs class, do it! If you work out on a pretty steady bases, this will still kick your butt. The machines were, ok. Some very old and should be replaced. My big disappointment was the lack of water! First ship ever that didn't offer water. I have to say we thoroughly enjoyed the perks that came along with staying in a suite. We found it not necessary to purchase the beverage package because of the daily happy hour, we loved the reserved seating for shows, and at the pool. The private lunches and also the reception we had in the suite where we were treated to hors d' oeuvers and had the opportunity to meet the Captain and officers. Disembarking: Was a breeze. We did self assist and with being in a suite we were the first group off the ship. We breezed through customs, and on out to the waiting Light House vans. BUT! It was POURING rain! So keep this in mind. The vans do not drive up to pick you up, you walk to them. So needless to say we were soaked by the time we got to them. Not their fault, it's just how it is. Overall we enjoyed RCI. The having to check out towels was an annoyance, but won't stop us from cruising with them again. The service was wonderful, always friendly smiling faces, we enjoyed ourselves immensely. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
We did a lot of cruising until about 6 years ago until this one. We noticed a big difference in just about every area. Bigger ships do not equal better cruising in my opinion. Too many details to list, but I think the biggest problem was ... Read More
We did a lot of cruising until about 6 years ago until this one. We noticed a big difference in just about every area. Bigger ships do not equal better cruising in my opinion. Too many details to list, but I think the biggest problem was the lines for elevators, the slow service in the dining room and the mass of people in the promenade. It felt like downtown Fremont street in Las Vegas. Our dining room waiter was brand new and had had no training as to where anything was. He was embarrassed as were we for him. My prime rib seemed as though it had not been cooked at all. It was ruum temperature. The shrimp cocktail had so sauce and we had to ask for it. It came after the fact. It got a little better as the week went on, but the night before we got off, the waiter spent at least 15 minutes apologizing and it seemed he was groveling for a larger tip. I'm sorry, but I think this is the last cruise for us unless we can find a smaller ship. Over 4,000 people is about 2,000 too many. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Liberty of the Seas is a beautiful ship and the staff and crew is some of the friendliest of the many cruises we have done. Food in the dining room is delicious; in the Windjammer the choices are numerous and well prepared. We dined in ... Read More
Liberty of the Seas is a beautiful ship and the staff and crew is some of the friendliest of the many cruises we have done. Food in the dining room is delicious; in the Windjammer the choices are numerous and well prepared. We dined in Sabor one night and would definitely do it again. Excellent Mexican food prepared with fresh ingredients. We were with a group so did not take advantage of all the activities onboard because of group's schedule. The headliner shows with the singers and dancers were super. Other acts were okay, but we have seen more entertaining ones. Our biggest complaint (and it is a major complaint) is allowing smoking in the casino. Even though there is a "non-smoking area", the smoke has permeated the entire casino making it difficult to breathe. Ironically, we saw a person light up a cigarette in front of the no smoking sign. Casino is on deck four, but had to go to deck five to get from one end of the ship to the other and then down to deck four to avoid the haze. On several nights, the smoke smell wafted up to deck five. Beverage package was disappointing. We wanted a glass of wine in the dining room, but it was only sold by the bottle. Later that evening we were in one of the lounges and the same wine was sold by the glass. Ridiculous. We do like the freshly squeezed juices and bottles of water available with the package. Pretty expensive package for what you get. We will definitely think hard before doing another Royal Caribbean until the smoking policy is altered. Appreciate that not everyone is a non smoker, but having areas in the open air is more beneficial for all than in confined areas. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We cruised on the Liberty of the Seas Jan 20-27. We are from Virginia Beach, VA and met our extended family from AZ to spend a week together on the cruise. My DH, 39 and I, 34, are Emerald level with RCI, and we had our 12 yr old son with ... Read More
We cruised on the Liberty of the Seas Jan 20-27. We are from Virginia Beach, VA and met our extended family from AZ to spend a week together on the cruise. My DH, 39 and I, 34, are Emerald level with RCI, and we had our 12 yr old son with us this time. We flew in Friday evening due to the crazy snow heading for our connecting city of Chicago, so we changed our flights from Saturday to Friday - kudos to Southwest for allowing us to change our flights for no cost due to the impeding storm - which ended up cancelling our original flights. We landed Friday night in Houston, and made our way to Galveston Saturday morning. It was freezing cold and very windy on Jan 19. We stayed at the Courtyard Marriott and Town Place Suites on the sea wall the night before our cruise. Our Courtyard room was an ocean front suite with a large balcony. The weather was cold and windy all day. Temps in the 30s and 40s. Not much for walking on the beach weather... The outdoor pool was heated, but it was way too cold and windy to use, plus one of the two pool heaters was broken. The wind was crazy - gusting to 50 mph wind chills in the high 20s..... Not a great introduction to Galveston. Sunday morning we drove to Lighthouse covered parking and parked with no issues. Super friendly and would recommend them, they shuttled all 8 of us to the port . We arrived at the terminal around 1015 am. We checked in vey quickly as we went in the Emerald check-in line. Our extended family are new cruisers and they were checked in within 25 minutes of us. We were so excited and ready to board the ship and hurried upstairs to wait..... and wait.... and wait. What we were told would be ~15-20 minutes before we could board turned into 90 minutes. We were seated in the Emerald/Diamond seating and that filled very quickly and soon the entire holding area was filled with thousands of people. Twice a employee took to the PA to address the crowd - requesting everyone to be seated and that she had no idea of what the delay was. Finally just after noon they began boarding - suites first, then the Key, then by loyalty tier. We were in the Jr. Suite and were allowed to board with the first group. We went to the Windjammer - found a table for 8 and waited for our extended family. They boarded almost an hour later - and were annoyed at the entire process - they have 3 young kids and the excitement was dwindling quickly. This was the worst embarkation we've ever had on our 8 RCI cruises. Again - not a great introduction to Galveston. Weather was terribly cold- highs in the 40s and still incredibly windy. We ate, changed and jumped in the hot tub to get a head start on our vacation. Getting out was painful -due to the chilly weather - we did have the hot tubs all to ourselves and stayed in the Solarium - which is still open to the elements. Our room was Jr Suite 9580, Deck 9, Port side. This was the best Jr. Suite we've ever had. The room was large, had a full tub, tile vanity, huge walk-in closet - again the largest closet we've ever had. The balcony was wonderful - two chairs- one table and two loungers. Very roomy, very nice. Totally recommend this room. Quiet, convenient, and roomy. Our son slept on the sofa bed and it was kept out all week, and there was plenty of room with the bed out. Our room steward was Jackson - very nice, got us ice and robes and kept the room looking lovely - he left us towel animals throughout the week too. We toured the ship with our family to try to get them a layout of things and went to the muster drill. It was freezing - windy and cold, and we were out on Deck four for 30 minutes. Felt kinda bad for a few people just out of the hot tub/pool, and were dripping wet for an extended time. We left the port extremely late - over 90 minutes late.... not sure why - but we left well into our 5:30 dinner seating. Dinner in the dining room, on deck 5, was good. Our waiter, Don, was outstanding. Very personable and passionate and good at what he does. My DH and I noticed some changes to the quality of food and well as number of choices had decreased. Food was okay; a B- overall. Service was great every night - including cutting the steak/chicken nightly for our young cruisers. First day at sea = cold and windy and the boat was rocking and rolling all week. Long pants and windbreaker jackets were common and still not enough for some. The hot tubs in the Solarium were overflowing due to the weather, while the ones completely outside were barren. The kids splash park wasn't open due to the cold weather. The slides were closed due to wind - overall a wash of a day for those looking to enjoy the pools and waterslides. Second day at sea - more of the same. A little warmer; still windy, and still rocking and rolling. The water slides were open, and the splash park was open. The flowrider was open, and we tried everything - but hurried to get our towels because it was so cold. Our son enjoyed the basketball court - but said even there, at the stern of the ship, it was incredibly windy. Formal night - we were dressed up, ate dinner, danced, met the captain, and went to the show. We had an awesome time together. Our son was a little disappointed with the teen program - as he loved the Adventure Ocean program from previous cruises, but the lack of other kids his age, and the lack of 'things to do' for the teens was disheartening to us. He said there was one other kid his age - but never saw him again after the teen open house. He had a good time - hanging out with us and his cousins. One thing that was outstanding on this cruise was the entertainment - we went to 3 different comedians' shows, the ice show, the air show (Cirqu O le style show), and the Edge effect show - and all were great. This was an improvement over the last three or four cruises we've been on. Roatan - enjoyed a warm, sunny, empty ship kinda day. We did the water slides, again and again, had the Flowrider all to ourselves for 40 minutes - kudos to the flowrider instruction staff - they made each of us feel safe, and helped each of us - DH, myself, and our 12 yr old- to achieve near mastery at the Flowrider - it was awesome. The pools and hot tubs were empty and we enjoyed no lines for anything all morning and most of the afternoon. And it was sunny and warm! Hurray! Costa Maya- again - enjoyed the empty ship, and the warmish, cloudy weather. We ice skated, did the water slides and flowrider agan and again and had free run of the ship. I took a multi hour nap in the hammock on our balcony - that was so nice. We enjoyed a movie in the hot tub - but getting out was awful due to the chilly weather. Cozumel - We booked Playa Mia through their website. This was our 3rd time there- probably our last. There were 10 ships in port that day, and even though we were early - arriving at Playa Mia before 9am - the place was mobbed, and continued to get more and more crowded during the day. It was extremely windy - yellow flags flying at the beach front and cloudy and not very warm. DH and our son took a sailboat out on their own (the reason we keep going back to PlayaMia) and they had great wind and were out for a few hours, while I kept the drinks in my hand on the shore. The waterslides were fun, food was mediocre, drinks -watered down, but plentiful. I couldn't believe how more and more and more people kept coming. All the water toys had lines of people waiting. We did the aqua park - fell down the back slide of a slide onto some smaller people, due to the crowding at the top of the waterslide. Due to the black clouds and winds picking up -we decided to head back to the ship around 1:30. The rain came just as we got out of the taxi and came down in buckets. We boarded the ship drenched - but still smiling- and hung out on our dry balcony in the continued downpour. We were parked next to the Oasis of the Seas and had a few conversations with a few cruisers on their balconies. Last sea day - broken record - cold, windy, rainy and rough seas. We were the only ones in the hot tubs before 8 and had them to ourselves through 10. Very cold, the slides were open for a short time and the flowrider was busy even though it was cold. We ice skated again and this time it was very crowded, but still fun. Back to Galveston - we chose self debarkation- had our bags ready to go and at 845 were in the "C" group ready to get off the ship. Everything was going well, until we got into the port building, where the lines stopped. We waited in the narrow hallway line for 45 minutes with out moving. We finally got through with our porter to the Lighthouse parking waiting area at 1030.... Again - not a great reintroduction to Galveston. Overall this cruise was fun - we had a great time with the people we were with. We've been to all these ports multiple times and enjoyed the near empty ship during two port stops. The food quality has decreased- I believe to push more and more specialty restaurants, and the selection has gone down. I particularly missed the chilled fruit soups. The coffee card - purchased before the cruise for $30 was worth it. I used all 15 punches on the card and enjoyed the cappuccinos and mochas and iced coffees. The ship was about average in terms of looks - starting to show age, especially the carpet in public areas and the décor in the stateroom was dated, but she was always being cleaned by the crew anytime we looked around. I've given the cruise a 4 out of 5. I don't think we'll go out of Galveston again, especially in the winter, and the Freedom class ships are just the right size for us. The weather was tough, and the seas were rough - no fault of RCI, but made it a little harder to enjoy ourselves outside. We're booked for next year on the Allure transitioning cruise, and looking forward to that. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
My husband and I enjoyed this cruise. We were dropped off at 11:30 at the port. Embarkation took about 1.5 hours so we arrived at our cabin at 1 pm just as the cabins were open. I give Royal Caribbean very high marks for allowing water and ... Read More
My husband and I enjoyed this cruise. We were dropped off at 11:30 at the port. Embarkation took about 1.5 hours so we arrived at our cabin at 1 pm just as the cabins were open. I give Royal Caribbean very high marks for allowing water and soda to be brought on board. Norwegian doesn't even allow one bottle of water to be carried on. There are merchants who sell stuff before you get on the ship and and in the promenade such as sea pass holders but they leave before the ship sails. So if you want one, get it before the ship leaves port. The Windjammer was packed at 1:30 but we manged to find a table. Food was typical for a buffet and pretty good Breakfast in the main dining room was very slow one day and faster on another day. We arrived before 8 am both days. Dinner in the main dining room was good and by dining at 5:30, we were able to make the 6:45 shows. The water slides were smooth and the Tidal Wave was fun. But it often closed during sea days for safety reasons. Lots of lounge chairs on deck although it was too cold to sit out on sea days. We ate lunch one day at Chops which was very good and about half the price as dinner there. All the ship's staff were friendly. The skating rink is only open a couple of days. At a prescribed time you can get skating tickets (free) for a later session. I went to the last session and the ice was pretty roughed up by then. The skating show was pretty good but if you want to go to the early afternoon show, get there at least 45 minutes early. Like many cruises, Royal Caribbean charges for many extra activities. I paid $20 for a 35 minutes floor exercise class. But you choose what you want to spend extra money on. In Roatan, we went zip lining and on an eco walk through Shore Excursions. It was about a 15 minute walk from the ship to the correct booth. In Costa Maya, we went to Chacchoben through Native Choice (Shore Excursions). It was at least a mile to get to the office and took about 45 minutes to get there, weaving through all the shops. They used a large bus (about 56 seats) and the bus was full. At the site we were divided into 2 groups. There was water on the bus but no pineapple stops. Next time I will book through Royal Caribbean as I only saved a few dollars and it would have been much easier to find the meeting places. In Cozumel, we bought a glass bottom boat with snorkeling tour from a vendor at the port for $35 each. Nine people on our boat and they had good equipment with water and soda. The water is choppy so taking motion sickness medicine beforehand is a good idea. A photographer took underwater photos for an extra fee ($20 for me and $30 for a family). For disembarkation, we were in the C group (carry all luggage off the ship). We left a few minutes before the C group was called. We got into an elevator going up with our luggage so we could be in it to get to the lower floor. It took 2 hours of standing in line to get through customs. The was after the government shutdown had ended. You would think they would have it a better system as they do it every week. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
We chose this cruise because of its size and that it was recently refurbished. The ship was clean and in good shape. This was our second time on Liberty of the Seas. We loved all the speciality restaurants. We have a tie between ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of its size and that it was recently refurbished. The ship was clean and in good shape. This was our second time on Liberty of the Seas. We loved all the speciality restaurants. We have a tie between Giovanni's and Sabor being our favorites! Chops is just ok. (Get the steak from Giovanni's! it's the best!) We are not fans of the Main Dining Room. We ate there twice and were not impressed. We have done Chef's Table multile times and decided to try it on Liberty. We were very disappointed (this is the first Chef's Table we were ever disappointed). The placement of CT was in the MDR. It was VERY loud and you could not hear the chef speak at all. At the end of the meal, we left wishing we saved our money. Overall, Libery is a WONDERFUL ship!! We will sail again! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
Last minute cruise choice, been on Freedom of the Seas, and enjoyed it all. Liberty not as good. Cabin bathroom was dirty upon arrival, many "dirty" areas on ship. Service in dining room, cabin, and entertainment all great. ... Read More
Last minute cruise choice, been on Freedom of the Seas, and enjoyed it all. Liberty not as good. Cabin bathroom was dirty upon arrival, many "dirty" areas on ship. Service in dining room, cabin, and entertainment all great. Cabin, Ocean View on second deck, was fair size, and usually quiet. Ports were excellent, with Cozumel being a little crowded. Excursion to Tabyana Beach on Roatan was excellent. Some of the best snorkeling ever. Disappointments for kids with Dreamworks characters failing to appear for "Meet and Greets" with no notice from crew. Children stood around in anticipation, and were disappointed after a parent called guest services and were told "ALEX the lion, had an accident, and couldn't appear." The Adult entertainment was excellent with the exception of "Saturday Night Fever" which appeared tired and worn. Food was good, with Giovanni's and Chops being outstanding. Embarkation from Galveston was fine, but deembarkation at the end of the cruise was chaotic and disorganized. It took over 2 hours to make it thru customs. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
We went to celebrate my husband's birthday. His brother also went and it was his first cruise,. He said he really enjoyed it so I think he is hooked. We had a great time! We stayed in a inside cabin looking into the promenade, which ... Read More
We went to celebrate my husband's birthday. His brother also went and it was his first cruise,. He said he really enjoyed it so I think he is hooked. We had a great time! We stayed in a inside cabin looking into the promenade, which is my favorite way for inside cabins.The first day at sea was chilly so we found things to do inside. The food was ok, the best meal was lobster night which is on the last formal night. It was to windy in Cozumel for our excursion so we just shopped. Grand Cayman was nice and we enjoyed catamaran with snorkeling. Just remember to bring cash for drinks as it is a cash bar. Jamaica was my favorite , we did Vip falls and beach. Drinks and food is included and the beach area is really nice. I would highly recommend this excursion. Disembarkation was a breeze. We opted to carry off our suitcases. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
Get-a-way winter cruise with similar generation guest onboard. Room service was excellent, room was clean and adequate square footage. Both dining room and Windjammer offered variety of tasty food....real orange juice would taste better ... Read More
Get-a-way winter cruise with similar generation guest onboard. Room service was excellent, room was clean and adequate square footage. Both dining room and Windjammer offered variety of tasty food....real orange juice would taste better than the watered down "frozen", service in dining room was slow (need more help), but very cordial and willing to serve your needs. Evening Entertainment was very good, would prefer more "clean" comedians onboard ship rather than filthy mouth comedians. Grand Cayman Disembarking by tender without onshore ship excursion booking was a two hour wait...not happy with rules for offloading...I paid same price for sailing to Grand Cayman and do not expect to be treated second rate just because I did not book an excursion. Biggest complaint is high price of drinks with added gratuity and high room service gratuity. For seven day cruise, room service gratuity for two is @$200 on top of basic cruise price...not very welcome or value added. All in All, the cruise was very enjoyable. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
Took a cruise out of Galveston with RCCL. Chose RCCL over Carnival expecting better service and food quality for the price. Compared to our experience on comparable Carnival ships wife and I agreed there was little difference. If you ... Read More
Took a cruise out of Galveston with RCCL. Chose RCCL over Carnival expecting better service and food quality for the price. Compared to our experience on comparable Carnival ships wife and I agreed there was little difference. If you are a light sleeper and/or turn in early, do NOT, I repeat do NOT get an interior room overlooking the Promenade. Our mistake. The music runs after midnight each night and it is loud. I had to sleep with earplugs most nights. The bed we slept in was extremely hard. Only a step above sleeping on the floor. We've never had this issue with Carnival. All of the stops were great (Roatan, Belize City, Cozumel). The shore excursions we took at Belize and Cozumel were well-run and fun. The food on Liberty was about the same as comparable ships on Carnival. We did have several entrees come out cold when they should be hot from main dining. The Windjammer selection was good. RCCL did have a better approach for doing omelettes. You place your order and they bring it to you. Free drink selections were great.. Some "sugar free" flavored drink options beyond typical tea/water/juice. Debarkation was probably the worst we have ever experienced. It may be due to RCCL's terminal having fewer customs agents. Longest line we've ever been in getting off the ship. The activities on Liberty were great. Water slides and surf simulator well-run. Rock climbing wall was great. We didn't manage to find time to ice skate. Fitness center was top-notch. I loved the higher ceilings than Carnival ships in the fitness center. The area was HUGE and had a lot of different exercise machines. Shows and games were good. Nothing of note over typical for cruise ships. Overall, for the price difference over Carnival, we didn't find a compelling reason to choose RCCL again. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
This ship looks old. I heard it was redone in 2016 but you wouldn't know it. It looks like it's out of the 80's with the pink walls and 80's decor. Some floors were redone and had white walls, but not all. The main ... Read More
This ship looks old. I heard it was redone in 2016 but you wouldn't know it. It looks like it's out of the 80's with the pink walls and 80's decor. Some floors were redone and had white walls, but not all. The main stairs had rips and tears and seams that showed. And none of the rooms have real fridges. Not sure why RC would waste money on those useless things they call fridges. No reason not to install real fridges. (Oasis class ships we were on had real fridge) Not as many shows as Oasis class ships and the talent wasn't as good as the Oasis class ships I've been on. The positives were we never had to wait in line or make reservations for dinner, shows, kids club, or at the bar like on Oasis class ships. And we were always able to find seats in the Windjammer! Also, our CD Enzo was great!!! Lots of kids activities for all ages. Loved that they kept the Solirium adult only and that the helipad was open for visitors. Food in MDR was as to be expected. Service was great every where. Wish the Windjammer was open earlier for dinner or pre dinner snack. Everyone returnes from port between 3-5pm and that is the time the Windjammer is clos d every day. Put a lot of pressure on Sorrentos Pizza. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
Background DH (51) and I (52) are from Pennsylvania, and we booked this cruise in November of 2017 while we were on a transatlantic on Freedom of the Seas. We are both diamond. This is our second cruise on Liberty (the previous being ... Read More
Background DH (51) and I (52) are from Pennsylvania, and we booked this cruise in November of 2017 while we were on a transatlantic on Freedom of the Seas. We are both diamond. This is our second cruise on Liberty (the previous being in June of 2015) and our third on Freedom class. We were in Cabin 1289, a grand suite, our first suite (and our first gold cards)! Until now, the largest cabin we had stayed in was a junior suite. I must agree that what they say on these boards is true – once you go suite, you’ll never go back! We seriously can’t envision cruising any other way. We received $400 OBC for booking while onboard the Freedom. We each applied a $100 cruise discount earned from slot play on the Freedom. We applied RCCL Visa points for a $650 cruise discount and for $200 OBC. We had prebooked one deluxe beverage package with Voom, one deluxe beverage package, one dinner in Chops, and three RCCL excursions. Roatan was a new port for both of us. Belize was a new port for DH. We had both been to Cozumel on previous occasions. The captain was Anders Ingebrigtsen (“Captain Anders”), and this was his first week serving as captain of the Liberty. The cruise director was Enzo Matijaca. 1-3-19 We drove to Pittsburgh and stayed at the Pittsburgh Airport Marriott and took advantage of their park and fly program, and we had dinner at the hotel. 1-4-19 We took the 9:00 a.m. free hotel shuttle to the airport, used Southwest curbside check-in (we had free roundtrip flights with Southwest Rapid Rewards points), had breakfast at the airport, and flew nonstop to Houston Hobby on an 11:20 a.m. flight. Shortly after landing on time at Hobby, I received a call from Emmanuel, who owns VIP Express. We had prebooked with Emmanuel, and he had called 48 hours pre-flight to confirm our travel plans and for permission to charge our credit card. The agreed-to rate was $120 for round-trip transportation from Hobby to our hotel in Galveston and then from the Galveston port back to Hobby. Emmanuel picked us up at 2:15 p.m. as prearranged and loaded our luggage into the back. The shuttle was very nice and clean and comfortable, and he gave each of us a bottle of water as we boarded. We were the only passengers for this transport, so we had lots of time to chat with him. He also asked us if we wanted to stop at Buc-Ee’s (a convenience store that sells everything you can imagine) to pick up snacks, beer, wine, and we said yes. Emmanuel was very polite, professional and informative, and he even went out of the way to drive us past the seawall and gave us restaurant suggestions. It’s a 45-minute drive from Hobby to our hotel, which was the Harbor House. We had prebooked two nights at the Harbor House at a rate of $269/night plus taxes. We were given room 311, a spacious king, and it was a very big room. Although our room did not face the part of the pier where the ships dock, we did have a water view. We ate dinner at Willie G’s (right beside the hotel) in their bar section. They have Monday through Friday happy hour with drink and food specials (small plates). The prices and the food were great! We then walked around the strand, and it was quite chilly after the sun went down. We walked to Frankie’s to pick up some wine and liquor. We bought yummy (alcoholic) slushies at a place right before we got to Frankie’s. 1-5-19 We awoke way too early. The shade on the hotel window was too narrow and let in a lot of sun. This was very disappointing as we were tired from traveling and had intended to sleep in. The hotel offers a complimentary breakfast from 7:00 to 10:00 a.m. DH walked up at 9:45 a.m. and grabbed a couple pastries. That was all they had left, but that was all we wanted. Carnival Freedom was in port, so we snapped a couple pictures. We took an Uber ($11) to Jimmy’s on the Pier, which is at the seawall. As the name states, this restaurant is right on the water above the pier and has indoor and outdoor dining. We watched dolphins swimming while we ate our tasty lunch. I had shrimp tacos, and DH had a fried seafood platter. The crawfish queso was delicious! It was a breezy sunny day (64 degrees), and we spent the afternoon fishing on the pier. Well, DH fished while I hung out watching everybody. There is a shop at the pier that sells souvenirs, snacks, beer, ice cream (though the ice cream bins were empty, I’m thinking because tourist season was over), and there are nice restrooms as you walk out onto the pier. DH rented a fishing pole for $10, bought bait, and purchased a one-day fishing license online (which I think was $16 plus a $5 fee). We each paid a $12 pier fee. It’s a huge pier. We had a nice, relaxing afternoon. DH didn’t catch any fish. Neither did most of the people fishing, but we did see someone catch a shark and someone catch a big redfish. We took an Uber ($11) back to Harbor House. The friendly Uber driver offered to stop for us to get snacks or alcohol or anything else we wanted to pick up on our way back to the hotel. Our room was made up, and our used towels had been removed by the housekeeping staff, but the towels and washcloths were not replaced and neither were the toiletries, so I took a quick walk down to the front desk and the friendly clerk gave me everything we needed. We walked to Teresa’s Flying Pizza for dinner. It was very crowded, but we were lucky to be seated immediately. We were seated at a very big round table. They told us that, if another small party came in, they would seat them with us, which is what happened. They seated a couple across from us. The table was so big that we didn’t mind. We couldn’t even hear any of their conversation. The service was very good and very fast. The pizza was delicious, and it was fun to watch the pizza guys tossing the dough sky high. We visited the slushy lady again on our way back to the hotel. Emmanuel from VIP called tonight to confirm our Sunday pickup time. 1-6-19 (Day 1) Sail-away day. We packed up and put our cruise tags on our luggage. There were two ships in port this morning, Carnival Magic (which we would see at our ports all week) and Royal’s Liberty of the Seas. Though the cruise port is walkable, the Carnival pier is much closer to the Harbor House than the Royal Caribbean pier. We had four pieces of luggage, so we decided to take the free hotel shuttle, which we had signed up for when we checked in on Friday. The hotel shuttle runs between the Harbor House, the Hotel Galvez, and the port (though not necessarily in that order). We left our luggage at the front desk and walked over to the Starbucks (very crowded with cruise passengers coming and going) and then back to the hotel to catch the shuttle. We had reserved the 9:30 a.m. shuttle, but it was full when it got to us, so we had to wait for the 10:00 a.m. shuttle. The shuttle stopped at Carnival first and then at Royal. We arrived at the Royal pier at 10:15 a.m. There were virtually no lines at security and there was no one in front of us at all at the priority check-in. We were in the priority waiting area (suites and pinnacles) at 10:25 a.m., and we were called to board at 10:30 a.m. We immediately walked onto the ship with no delay and within a couple of minutes had drinks in our hands from the Hoof and Claw pub and were exploring the beautiful ship. Due to Texas law, there is a limited drink menu until Liberty gets 12 nautical miles out to sea. If anyone is interested, I think I have a picture of the limited drink menu. With drinks in hand, we checked out our MDR table location. As requested, we had early dining (5:30 p.m.), and we were assigned to the Botticelli dining room (deck 5) at table 534, a table for two (as had been requested and confirmed via email) which happened to be a private corner window table, a fabulous location! I will note that for at least half of the cruise, this turned out to be a very warm location (sometimes too warm) as the sun had been beating through the windows all day when we would arrive for dinner. As the sun went down though, it became more comfortable. We went to the Windjammer at 11:15 a.m. for lunch. We checked out both the suite lounge and the diamond lounge. Cabins were ready at 1:00 p.m. We entered 1289, which was a grand suite, a beautiful cabin with a huge balcony. There was a binder containing several documents including a letter from Anis (the suite concierge) outlining our suite amenities. The binder also contained MDR breakfast and lunch menus, and also each day we received the MDR dinner menu. On our vanity was a letter from Mangesh (the diamond concierge) outlining our diamond amenities, an envelope containing our excursion tickets, and a letter from Tiela (the loyalty ambassador) outlining our diamond onboard offers that were loaded onto our seapass cards. There was also an invitation to the Cruise Critic meet and mingle which was scheduled for day two at 10:00 a.m. in Olive or Twist and an invitation to the suite/pinnacle reception which was scheduled for day two at 11:30 a.m. in Olive or Twist. We lounged around until the 3:30 p.m. muster. Our luggage was delivered during muster. As permitted, we had taken on two bottles of wine. I had put them in our checked luggage, as I didn’t feel like lugging them around until our room was ready. Everything was delivered – no naughty room this time for us. We unpacked and met Cyril, who turned out to be a fabulous stateroom attendant. We asked him to bring an ice bucket, and he filled that and our regular ice bucket twice daily. He also made us three towel animals throughout the week. Before dinner, we set clothes out on our bed to be pressed for tomorrow’s formal night. We went to dinner and met our waiter, Robin from the Philippines, and our assistant waiter, Alex from India. All week we had great service from them. Each night (except the night we went to Chops), we watched the sun set from our dining room table. Each night there was a basket of various breads on each table, as opposed to the assistant waiters bringing around the larger baskets of bread and repeatedly serving it. Also, we had no problems getting drinks in the dining room. But for this cruise and our Anthem cruise last year, over the past several years we always had issues getting drinks (and refills) in the MDR. We were happy to see the improvement. We went to the welcome aboard show, which featured a few snippets of the entertainment that we would be seeing throughout the week. We played 9:00 p.m. music trivia (classic rock tunes) in the Schooner Bar. We walked around the promenade and the pool deck and popped in and out of the casino. Tonight we received our first nightly voicemail from Anis in which he would outline highlights of the upcoming day and our dining options for each day as suite guests. 1-7-19 (Day 2) A sea day. We slept in, so we did not attend the 10:30 a.m. Cruise Critic meet and mingle. We did attend the 11:30 a.m. suite/pinnacle reception at Olive or Twist. We met Anis, the suite concierge, and Captain Anders and all of the top officers. We were served wonderful appetizers (not the typical appetizers served at the top-tier events or in the diamond lounge) and a nice selection of alcoholic drinks, to include bloody Mary. We went to the free suite lunch in Giovanni’s Table. I had fabulous fettuccini carbonara. A fruit and cheese platter had been delivered to our cabin while we were at lunch. Cy had delivered our pressed formalwear and hung it in our closet. We visited the casino and then enjoyed the world’s sexiest man competition from the reserved suite pool deck area. At 2:30 p.m. we went to the ice show and sat in the suite seating. I always love the ice shows! Tonight was the first formal night. We had some photos taken before having dinner in the MDR. We got a table outside of the pub to watch the captain’s welcome aboard ceremony. We relaxed in the solarium hot tub. DH ordered the room service wings (no charge for suite guests). We did not attend tonight’s show, which was a juggler. Today we used our first free 24-hour internet period. 1-8-19 (Day 3) A sea day. We slept in. We grabbed coffee at the Promenade Café and then had lunch in the MDR. We did the water slides (Cyclone and Typhoon) and the Tidal Wave. The Tidal Wave was so much fun. I was sure we were going to fly over the top and land out on the ocean! The water slides have been added to Liberty since we were on her in 2015. We watched the belly flop contest from the reserved area of the pool deck. The belly flop contests are always great fun, and this one didn’t disappoint. A 380-pound guy was the winner! DH played in the blackjack tournament. A plate of chocolates and other sweets was delivered to our cabin this afternoon. Before dinner, we went to the suite lounge for a few appetizers and drinks. We then briefly popped into the diamond lounge to compare. The appetizers were the same. Neither lounge was crowded. The suite lounge has great outdoor shaded overflow. Tonight we had a 6:00 p.m. dinner reservation at Chops, and our dinner was very good. We saw Saturday Night Fever and then the late-night comedian, Phil Paulisoul, who was hilarious. He was on stage the first night during the welcome aboard show, and we knew we wanted to see him again. For the Saturday Night Fever show, we sat in the reserved suite area, which started in the second row of the balcony. The first row was reserved for guests who paid for the Key program. No one sat in that row, so we moved up when the show started. 1-9-19 (Day 4) Roatan. We had breakfast in the Windjammer and then walked around the very small port area. We each had a drink at a little outdoor bar and then walked to our designated excursion meeting area. We had prebooked the Sol Y Mar adults only beach day with a meeting time of 10:45 a.m., which was the latest time of the three choices we were given when we booked. At 11:00 a.m. we set off on about a 10-to-15-minute ride in an air conditioned bus to Sol Y Mar. Though a short ride, we were taken through very dirty, unappealing areas of the island. There were junked cars everywhere. Our guide was Nicole, and she was very friendly and informative and ended up being a babysitter to some. All in a day’s work, I suppose. I have mixed reviews about this place. When we arrived, Nicole walked us to a section of the beach which was very crowded. There were probably more chairs than loungers on this beach, which I thought was odd, but we found two empty loungers and moved them in such a way that one was under a tree and one was partially in the sun. It was cloudy when we arrived but soon became very sunny… and we got the sunburns to prove it! Our excursion included unlimited drinks and “snacks.” The only snack was nachos, though they ran out of cheese. There was chicken and/or something else set out there as well, but our package didn’t include those food trays (as evidenced by the color of our bracelet), which was fine with us as we purposely had eaten a big breakfast. There were flies all over the food areas and trash areas. The workers kept the food covered until they were serving it. When the woman wasn’t serving food, she was swinging a towel to chase the flies away. The bar was separate from the food area but still very close to our beach area, and the drinks were good and strong (and there were no flies). Bar service was very good. This is a very rocky/shelly beach. I wished I had worn my water shoes (which I had packed for cave tubing in Belize) because it was extremely uncomfortable to walk in bare feet on the sand and in the ocean. On this particular day, the water never was deeper than three feet, no matter how far out you went, and there were no waves whatsoever. In addition to the rocks and shells, there was a lot of nasty seaweed. There were some bar waiters coming around to the loungers, and there were natives just over the dividing line of the beach that were selling bracelets and cutting open coconuts and selling them. There was a guy walking around with a big sloth that you could get pictures with (for a tip) and a guy with a small monkey named Kojak who would sit on people’s heads for pictures (also for a tip). We got a few pictures with the monkey. At first I was very disappointed in this place overall. Then we got in the water to cool off, and I realized the abundance of beautiful shells. We even found a huge, beautiful conch shell. Once I just sat on the ocean floor in a non-seaweedy spot, I found myself really enjoying digging for shells. In fact, I spent too much time, did not reapply sunscreen, and really paid for it the rest of the week. However, I started to have a better opinion of the place. While this section of the beach was supposed to be adults only, there were a few little kids on the beach and in the water, but they were no bother at all. Non-motorized activities were included, but we didn’t use any. Also, probably after we were there an hour, the place really cleared out. At 3:00 p.m. we stumbled back (some more than others) to where the bus had dropped us off. We had to wait a few minutes for some stragglers, and then we were taken back to the pier. Nicole told us that she receives no salary and works for tips only. Thankfully, it seemed that everyone was tipping her as they exited the bus. We went back to our cabin and showered, rested up a little, went to dinner in the MDR, played ‘80s trivia at 7:15 p.m. in the Schooner Bar, hit the casino for a little while, and then went to bed early. No show for us tonight. 1-10-19 (Day 5) Belize City. There were two Carnival ships here today as well. We had room service breakfast (does anybody eat those grilled tomatoes?) and then headed to the Platinum Theatre at our 8:15 a.m. meet time as we had booked the Jaguar Paw Jungle Trek and Cave Tubing. Belize City is a tender port. It was a windy morning, so the water was very choppy, and for that reason the tendering process was delayed. When our group was called to disembark, we were halted in the crowded stairways for quite a while as there were still tendering issues. We finally boarded a very rocking, swaying tender at 9:30 a.m. and arrived at the pier at 10:00 a.m. after a choppy ride. We met our tour group, boarded an air-conditioned school bus at 10:10 a.m., and arrived at Jaguar Paw at 11:35 a.m. We had to exit the school bus and board a shorter school bus for the one-minute ride up the muddy mountain to the main Chukka Jaguar Paw area, which is where lunch is served, where lockers are located (locker prices are $8 for small, $9 for medium, $10 for large), and where you meet for your excursion, whether it’s for ziplining, cave tubing, ATV riding, et cetera. Willie was our Chukka representative, and he was with us from the time we set foot on the bus at the pier until we returned back to the pier. Willie is a bright, energetic, fun guide who provided a lot of history and information on the approximately one-hour bus ride to Jaguar Paw, and he was one of our two cave guides as well. Jaguar Paw was very, very crowded, and we arrived later than planned because of the tendering issues, so Willie told us we would eat first and then go cave tubing. I had been here in 2008 (ziplining and cave tubing), and the lunch is exactly the same as it was then, which is rice, beans, coleslaw, chicken, and fruit punch. You go through a line and are served your food, and then there are many covered picnic tables at which to sit while eating. This was an unappealing meal to me, but DH enjoyed it. They also sold other food (mainly tacos) and had a bar which was rather expensive for the size of the drinks. There is a gift shop as well, two different restroom areas, and changing rooms. After lunch, we were supplied with our life vests, lighted helmets, and innertubes. Water shoes or rubber sandals are a must for this excursion. We walked for a half an hour carrying our tubes on uneven, sometimes muddy, terrain through the jungle, with the guides stopping occasionally to point out various plants, trees, and even termites which they nibbled on. We crossed the river (very cold, rocky and slippery), walked some more, and finally arrived at the put-in spot. There were 16 of us (basically a double group). All of our tubes were tethered together (except the guides floated solo), and we floated through the cave for about 45 minutes while being given some history and while the guides did their best to steer us to interesting spots and to make sure we all got wet under some small waterfalls. It was very relaxing and enjoyable. When we were at the river crossing, there was a Chukka photographer taking photographs. We didn’t take our phones with us because of the risk of getting them wet (although they sell waterproof covers for cell phones at the meeting point). On the ride back to the pier, Willie provided us with the Chukka website where we could view and purchase our photos. The photos stay on the website for 90 days. All aboard was supposed to be at 4:30 p.m. We arrived back at the pier at 4:25 p.m., so there was no time to walk around the pier shops. We immediately got in the tender line, boarded the next to last tender at 4:50 p.m., and arrived back on the ship at 5:20 p.m. Our tender pulled up to a tender that was tied to the ship, so we had to exit our tender, walk through another tender, and then board the ship. I have tendered at other ports, and this is the first time where I had ever experienced the tender boat crew asking for tips, and this happened on the tender over and on the tender back (two different tenders, two different crews). We each took a quick shower and didn’t get to the MDR until nearly 6:30 p.m., so we weren’t sure whether they could accommodate us. We told Robin and Alex that we would be happy to eat at a different venue if we were throwing off their schedule and thus affecting the late dinner seating. They insisted that we stay. We ordered quickly and were served quickly. We set up our second (and last) free 24-hour internet period. We visited the casino. Tonight we attended the Up in the Air show, which was wonderful. We went to bed early. 1-11-19 (Day 6) Cozumel. We enjoyed the complimentary suite breakfast in Giovanni’s Table, along with a couple mimosas. We had prebooked the Mexican Cooking, Tasting & Beach Break at Playa Mia. The tickets that were in our stateroom on setsail day listed the meeting time at the pier as 7:15 a.m. On Wednesday, we received a call from the excursions desk advising that our meeting time was changed to 9:45 a.m., and tickets with that new time were delivered to our stateroom Thursday night. We were grateful to not be meeting at 7:15 a.m. This was the only port where port time was different from ship time, as port time was an hour earlier than ship time. Today’s Compass states, “Cozumel is one hour ahead of ship’s time. Arrival and departure times, as well as Royal Caribbean shore excursion times, are advertised on ship’s time during your cruise vacation.” We attempted to walk off the ship at 9:30 a.m. ship time. However, an MSC ship was docking next to us, and no one was permitted to exit our ship until the MSC ship was properly docked, so we had to wait at least ten minutes. Once off the ship, we found our meeting point (indicated by a sign with the name and tour number of our excursion). It was now exactly 9:45 a.m., but no one was there. Slightly panicked, I went to another representative at a different excursion sign, and the rep told us that the time on the tickets is island time and, therefore, to return in an hour, which would be 10:45 a.m. ship time. We were a little leery, as this information was completely opposite from the Compass information, but we walked around the pier area for about 45 minutes. This was my fourth time to Cozumel, DH’s second time, and this was the most aggressive that we’ve seen the salespeople in the shops. They seemed desperate for sales and didn’t want to take no for an answer, which is not a comfortable shopping atmosphere for us. It was a very hot, sunny day, and we would have stayed on the ship for another hour if we had known of the meeting time mix-up. We returned to our meeting point at about 10:30 a.m. and were happy to see other people waiting there this time. Our rep escorted us to a big covered pavilion (there are several numbered pavilions which are waiting points for various excursions, and each has several benches and free wifi). We then were escorted to an air-conditioned taxi van and had a 15-minute ride to Playa Mia. This was my third trip to Playa Mia, and today was a very crowded day. We were given about 20 minutes of free time to wander around, get drinks (open bar), use the restrooms, check out the beach, et cetera, and were instructed to then meet back at the buffet area. There’s a beautiful family area (with a big pool and slides and waterpark-type play things) that was built since the last time I was here. There were other new buildings as well. Though I had never done the cooking class, in the past I had seen that it was located in a roped-off area under the huge covered area where the buffet is located. The cooking class now takes place in an air-conditioned building and has a large number of cooking stations, though only about half of them were used due to the size of our class. I had read many good reviews about this class, and I was excited to try it, and it did not disappoint! We had a wonderful time with Chef Moises, and his assistant, who were very entertaining. Every guest is provided an apron and a chef hat to wear, and we made caramelized plantains, shrimp sopa, and fish with vegetables. Drinks were flowing the entire time (margaritas, Mexican beer and other choices). They put four people at each cooking station, and we were lucky to have a lovely couple sharing our station. There was a photographer taking lots of photos which we could review and order after we ate. After we were finished cooking, we went to a large dining room upstairs where our food was served to us. (Don’t worry. You get the food that you made, as you write your name on each dish). This excursion was a highlight of our trip, and we highly recommend it! After our meal, we had about 30 minutes on our own, and we each got a drink and spent the time walking the beach which has the softest, most beautiful sand! There is no comparison between this beach and the beach we visited in Roatan. We then boarded our taxi van and were back at the pier at 3:30 p.m. ship time. We returned to a plate of chocolate and other sweets in our stateroom, and we did some relaxing/napping to recover from our drink-filled, food-filled afternoon, fun-filled afternoon. Tonight was a formal night, and lobster was on the menu. This was not the typical fisherman’s platter. These were four-or-five-ounce lobster tails as the main course and were quite tasty, and Alex was delivering extra lobster tails to his various tables. We attended the top-tier event at 7:15 p.m. in the Star Lounge. We then hit the casino and returned to our cabin to find a hanging monkey towel animal. We were too tired to attend the headliner show tonight, which was Finis Henderson, “the ultimate entertainer.” 1-12-19 (Day 7) D.H. grabbed us Danish and coffee in the Promenade Café. We realized our cell phones were still on Cozumel time versus ship time, so we were up early enough to attend a behind-the-scenes tour of the Platinum Theatre at 9:30 a.m. The invitation had been dropped off yesterday in our stateroom. Two female performers from Saturday Night Fever conducted the very informational tour. They took us onstage and behind stage where we were able to see many of the costumes and props. These ladies were really friendly and interesting, and they ended with a fun question-and-answer session which covered many topics. We ordered our two free 8x10 photos this morning, and then we picked them up before dinner. The Liberty now has computers in the Focus Photo Gallery like the Anthem has, and it’s so much easier and less time consuming to have your week’s worth of photos accessible all in one spot on the computer versus wandering around trying to find all of your random photos. We had the suite lunch in Giovanni’s Table (same menu as the previous suite lunch we had had there). We did some exploring around the ship and snapped some photos from the helipad. We visited the casino, and DH played in the blackjack tournament. I had a piece of pizza at Sorrento’s, which I have to do once per cruise! We caught part of the Dreamworks parade on the Promenade. We got to see Shrek riding in the elevator to arrive at the parade. That was a sight! We had our final dinner in the MDR and said our goodbyes to Robin and Alex, and then we went back to the cabin to pack. We did not put our luggage outside of our cabin, as we were (for the first and probably the last time) using self-debarkation since Emmanuel wanted us off of the ship tomorrow by 9:15 a.m. There had been a note in our cabin either last night or this morning reminding us that all pool towels had to be turned in by 9:00 p.m. at the pool deck. At 8:45 p.m. we walked up to return our four towels at the pool deck. The towel attendants told us we had to return the towels to guest services, despite the fact that they had a towel bin there with dirty towels and a towel bin with clean towels, just like they had all week. We dreaded waiting in line at guest services on the last night of the cruise (when everybody else is always in line making last-minute adjustments to seapass accounts and whatever else people are always in line for on the last night). So we waited in line at guest services and finally were helped by an attendant who was behind the excursions desk. There was a big towel bin in front of the excursions desk, and she told us to just toss our towels in there. I handed her my seapass card to scan, and she said that wasn’t necessary. I alluded to the notice left in our cabin that stated we would be charged $25 per towel if we didn’t return them by 9:00 p.m. and told her I would be more comfortable if she scanned my card to reflect that we returned four towels. To appease me, she wrote down my folio number and the number four and told me she would enter it later, as she didn’t have a scanner with her, and told me not to worry. We went to the casino and played slots while waiting for the ticket drawing. I had won a ticket with one of my free spin-to-win spins, and there were other ways to accumulate tickets throughout the week as well. I didn’t win, but they pulled a lot of tickets and gave away several small prizes. You have to be present to win or else they draw another ticket. We did not attend the farewell show. We went to bed a little early, as our cruise was coming to an end and we had to be up bright and early to be in the Platinum Lounge between 8:00 a.m. and 8:20 a.m. for self-assist departure, as we were assigned Group A departure as per the note in our stateroom. In hindsight, as I will explain in tomorrow’s segment, we should have followed Anis’s suite departure information and met in the Schooner Bar at 7:15 a.m., but the departure schedule (and our Group A notice) showed self assist as departing from the Platinum Theatre from 8:00 a.m. to 8:50 a.m. and showed suite/pinnacle (red luggage tags) departing from the Schooner Bar at 8:40 a.m. We had not received luggage tags, as we had filled out a form stating that we planned to do self assist. January 13 (Day 8, Departure Day) We woke up to find our seapass statement under our door. There was no towel charge, and I was relieved that we were fine in that regard. Little did I know… Anyway, I called Emmanuel and told him that we were docked and that we were scheduled to disembark at 8:00 a.m. to 8:20 a.m. At 7:00 a.m. we went to breakfast in the MDR. As we were finishing breakfast, I received an email or a text from Bank of America Visa that a charge was made to my account. This was no big deal, as this was the credit card I had used for our seapass account. Then I looked at the amount, and guess what? It was exactly $100 more than what was reflected on the seapass statement that had been delivered to our stateroom overnight. $25 x 4 towels = $100; right? Ugh! So…we were off to guest services AGAIN, the location everyone wants to avoid on both the last night and the last morning, but yet we found ourselves there. Thankfully the long line moved quickly, and, after more explanation than she probably wanted to hear, Thaires, a senior guest services officer, happily credited the $100 towel charge. We then headed back up to our cabin to retrieve our luggage, which consisted of four suitcases and two carry-ons. The elevators and hallways were horrible. Only one elevator near our cabin seemed to be working, as the others were all shown as being stuck on the first or second floor. I swear that 95 percent of guests (and I’m not trying to exaggerate) were using self assist. And many had way too much luggage to maneuver for self assist, to include us. Even when the elevator finally stopped at deck four, everyone was stuck for a while trying to get off because there was nowhere to go as there were people absolutely everywhere. At 8:00 a.m. as we slowly (and not so surely) were trying to make our way to the Platinum Theatre to meet for Group A departure, Group A was called. We just stayed in the “line” (if you want to call it that, but it was more like a huge herd of cattle that wasn’t even moving) and waited to disembark. The line meandered beside the Schooner Bar (where, in hindsight, we should have gone instead of continuing in the herd), back behind the elevators from where we had just exited, through the back of the Platinum Theatre, and then the line finally came to a standstill while, as we came to realize, the suite people waiting in the Schooner Bar were exiting before us. They were the 7:15 a.m. self-assist suite guests, not the 8:40 a.m. red luggage tag suite guests. When we finally exited the ship and walked into the terminal, we found ourselves schlepping our luggage through winding lines that would make Disney World’s lines look short. It took forever to get through those lines, only to find that the passengers were then divided into like ten more lines to go through customs/immigration. By now, Emmanuel had called us approximately three times wanting to know if we were off the ship yet. Finally, at 9:30 a.m., he called and told us he would have to take his group of people to the airport and would send another car for us. At 9:50 a.m., we stepped outside to cool (48 degrees) and sunny Galveston. Emmanuel picked us up, along with a group of passengers from Carnival, at 10:30 a.m. (which is, ironically, the pickup time that I had originally requested from him when we booked with him way back when, although he said he couldn’t accommodate that time). He offered everybody a bottle of water and was very pleasant on the ride to the airport. I received RCCL’s survey via email shortly after we boarded the VIP shuttle. I completed it a few days after getting home, and I made sure to comment on the pool towel fiasco and how avoidable things occurring at the end of a cruise tend to overshadow an otherwise wonderful trip. We arrived at Hobby at 11:15 a.m., and he unloaded everyone’s luggage. We apologized for our delay at the terminal, and he was very cordial. We used Southwest curbside check-in and were happy to see that there was no line at security. We found our gate, ate some lunch, and had an uneventful 2:35 p.m. flight to Pittsburgh, where we landed around 6:00 p.m. to very cold, snowy weather. After we claimed our luggage, we called for the Marriott shuttle, which arrived about 25 minutes later. The shuttle driver drove us right to our truck in the parking lot, only to find that our truck battery was dead. So much for uneventful. Thankfully we had winter coats in the back seat of the truck. We called for roadside assistance through our auto insurance and were told it would be close to an hour before they got there to jump our battery, so we went into the hotel and ordered some food at the bar while we waited. The truck started up immediately with the jump, and we had no issues during the two-hour drive home. We got home around 10:30 p.m., and I was happy that I had taken off work the next day! Summary We had a wonderful trip, and January is always such a great time to escape our western Pennsylvania wintry weather. We had sunny weather our entire trip! It was chilly in Galveston but hot in the Caribbean. All of the crew went out of their way to make our cruise enjoyable and memorable. Since we both had drink packages, the diamond lounge was not the draw to us that it had been in the past, and the same with the suite lounge. We had drinks one evening in the suite lounge and had no drinks in the diamond lounge. The appetizers don’t appeal to us much either, as we always have the early dinner seating. Also, as there are no freestyle soda machines on Liberty, I never even opened my soda cup. DH used his cup a few times, and we left them in the cabin at the end of the cruise since we already have a kitchen shelf back home full of RCCL cups that we never use. We had downloaded the Royal Caribbean app on our phones about a week before the cruise, and we enjoyed the ability to check out events going on around the ship without having to carry around a Compass. It also was nice to see our excursions and dinner reservations in our planner, but we were surprised that we couldn’t add things to our planner. If, for example, there was a way to add 5:00 p.m. trivia to our planner on a specific day, we couldn’t figure out how to do that. It would have been nice to have that option. I feel like I remember having that option on the Royal IQ app on the Anthem last year (2017) over Christmas. When I checked about ten days after the cruise, our Crown and Anchor points had been credited. We are 23 points away from Diamond Plus. It sounds like a two-week transatlantic in a suite will get us there! Hmm...why didn't we stop at Next Cruise and book it while we were on Liberty? Oh, that's right, because our daughter is getting married this year! Still, now that we're back, I hate not having a cruise booked, and I might go shopping on RCCL.com to see if I can find something. I apologize for the length of this review and also for the fact that it took me nearly a month to finish writing it! If you have any questions, ask away. I have all of the Compasses and possibly some of the menus. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
We liked the idea of galvestion sailing so no plane ride, we hoped the kids would be back in school (wrong). We have been on RC relocation cruises which were terrific. The food seems of lower quality and variety than our past RC cruises. ... Read More
We liked the idea of galvestion sailing so no plane ride, we hoped the kids would be back in school (wrong). We have been on RC relocation cruises which were terrific. The food seems of lower quality and variety than our past RC cruises. Lots of food spills in the buffet area. Ship seems to have been remodeled so there is less adult pool and more children's pool. No outdoor eating area. Entertainment lacked the wow factor of other RC cruises. To us a comedian is not really entertainment. On deck band played with lack of enthusiasm. Lots of emphasis on duty free shopping including a number of robo calls to our room. A large group was booked on the ship and they closed off some sections at times to the rest of the paying guests! It also seems like they have raised the prices of their specialty restaurants a lot from our past experience. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
Was convenient to our home and easy travel day of the cruise. Galveston is an easy port to find parking. We arrived at approximately 1030 and check in was easy and we were on board for lunch by 1110. We explored the LOS to get our ... Read More
Was convenient to our home and easy travel day of the cruise. Galveston is an easy port to find parking. We arrived at approximately 1030 and check in was easy and we were on board for lunch by 1110. We explored the LOS to get our bearings and our stateroom was ready by 100. Our bags were delivered by 300. Stateroom was a little small for three adults, but we figured it out. Bathroom and shower were a little small. The LOS is a good size ship and for our sailing was completely full but we never felt crowded except at a couple of port days in the Windjammer Cafe. Food was ok nothing to write home about except Sabatines(sp) the chopped salad and pizza several to choose from was excellent. One of the main issues we had was the smoking policy, on one side of the ship on the lido deck was smoking and you had to walk through the smoke, the same issue down at the casino smoking was allowed but you had to go thru casino to get to otherside, also there seemed to be an issue with the smoke eaters because you could smell the smoke on either side of the casino. Ports of call were great, Rroatan, Belize, and Cozumel, Belize is a tender port and the best suggestion we can give is book your excursion thru RCL. Overall this was a great family vacation, we had a blast and before we knew it it was over! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
Galveston port is a nice drive from San Antonio, our home. No flying required. Did this same cruise last year and enjoyed it too. We like the size of the ship, not a mega liner. Easy to maneuver and get around. We boarded the ship at ... Read More
Galveston port is a nice drive from San Antonio, our home. No flying required. Did this same cruise last year and enjoyed it too. We like the size of the ship, not a mega liner. Easy to maneuver and get around. We boarded the ship at 1PM, we didn’t want to board before cabins were ready. Enjoyed all speciality restaurants, but especially Giovanni’s where we had the same waiter the three times we ate there, ‘Sexy Melvin.’ Sabor, the Mexican restaurant had friendly staff and good food and very, very good margaritas. Chops was nice, but came in third of the three restaurants. The Saturday Night Fever show was very good in spite of some technical issues. Most fun evening entertainment, with out a doubt, was Quest. Adults only but tons of fun. Disembarkation was slow once off the ship to get through customs, nothing Royal Caribbean could do anything about. Porters were helpful and plentiful. We did private excursions. In Belize we arranged a private tour out to Mayan ruins which was outstanding. We’ve visited Routan 3 times and I think the next time we’ll just stay on the ship and enjoy the open bars and pools without the hectic activity ashore. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Booking - Online - Vacations to go. Boarding – We boarded in Galveston. It was a two mile trip from hotel to Cruise Port. The taxi meter read $9.00 when we turned into the terminal. It was a mob scene. It's hard not to ... Read More
Booking - Online - Vacations to go. Boarding – We boarded in Galveston. It was a two mile trip from hotel to Cruise Port. The taxi meter read $9.00 when we turned into the terminal. It was a mob scene. It's hard not to contrast this to the ease and efficiency I experience at the Cape Liberty (NJ) terminal last September. By the time we inched our way to the drop-off area, the meter read $15.00. Next time I'll go with Lyft. Check-in – Most of the details were done online at home so the process was quick. They X-ray every bag so open bottles must be left behind. What we didn't expect is that they X-ray the large bags you check with the porters. After supper I found a note on my door saying I had to go down to Deck 1 and claim my bag. It seems that the scanner detected the bottles of flavored water my wife packed. As I was leaving with my bag, I asked the security guy “what is the concern, flammables, explosives?” Nope! It's alcohol. Apparently some cruisers try to bring booze along to avoid the inflated on-board prices. It's like a guy at the movie theater checking handbags for a candy bar. Jeeeze! The Ship – Liberty is a large ship housing over 3600 guests. It was built in 2007 and refurbished in 2016. . It is well maintained with only the occasional scratch, ding or scuff marks. The design and structure is gorgeous. The shops (jewelry, perfume, etc.) are on deck five bordering an atrium designed to resemble a busy town square. It extends up 3 decks with interior stateroom windows overlooking the shoppers. There was a pizza shop a deli. For additional charge there was a cupcake bakery and a Ben & Jerry's. A clever way to provide a view to interior cabins. The Lido deck has three pools, an adult pool forward, a common pool and a kids pool with water slides farthest aft. The buffet extends from the kids pool to the stern. It's open about 14 hours. Oddly, there is no food available pool-side. One thing they do have in the pool area is four bars. Some unique features include giant water slides and a surf machine on deck 13. Deck five boasts an ice rink. Stateroom - Our cabin was a standard veranda class; it was about 170 sq.ft. Bed was OK, veranda had two chairs and a small table. At the desk were two 110v and one 220v outlets. The overhead lights were all linked together so you can’t turn on a light to see into the closet w/o lighting up the entire cabin. That’s a bit rough on a spouse who likes to sleep late. The bathroom was adequate but the shower was very cramped. There was no night light or even a place to plug one in which meant stumbling around at night. NOTE: many veranda cabins are adjoined. Since the door must be accessible, the loveseat common to most cabins is replaced by a narrow chair. There is no hassock so if you wish to sit with your leg elevated (my wife has a DVT) you're out of luck. Our cabin steward was pleasant. Dining – The main dining room is beautiful. It occupies the stern of the ship on deck 3 (open seating) decks 4 & 5 (fixed seating). From the lower deck an open area extends upward with a grand staircase at the stern. There's a grand piano on the landing half-way up. It's one of those places where a photographer would want to stage a wedding party. The food was very good. Nice variety and well prepared. Our waiter and busboy were excellent; the best we've had in the last several cruises. Even though we had open seating, we (six of us) were able to make reservations for 5:30 every night at the same table. The daily menu had 8 starters, entrees and deserts. A couple selections repeated every day. The menu also included three premium entrees available for a surcharge. The breakfast menu was a bit thin. I've seen more options on other cruise lines. We had a choice of apple or orange juice. No grapefruit, no tomato, no V-8. What they did have was pretty good. The Lido deck buffet was always very crowded. Dining area was nice, well attended by staff and always clean. The food was OK but the selections were a bit limited. There are 4 specialty restaurants, Chops (steaks) Giovanni's (Italian), Sabor (Mexican) and the less expensive ($11) Johnny Rockets, a 1950's style diner. Entertainment - Disappointing. They employ none of the full time singers/dancers that are common to other cruise lines. There were no lectures or cooking classes. They have a handful of musicians and they did bring a vocalist on for a show on Wednesday evening. One thing they seemed to have plenty of was trivia contests, like three per day. Excursions – Although we didn’t take any of the cruiseline excursions, our traveling party did. Their overall impressions were good. Summary – A good cruise but crowded. There were lots of kids which surprised me as it was the week after Christmas break. Maybe they’re all home schooled? Most were well behaved but it changes the experience if you’re used to a cruise line that caters to an older set. We’re grown accustomed to all those walkers – strollers, not so much. My wife and I have been on a dozen cruises in the last several years. Mostly with Celebrity and HAL. This was our first RCCL cruise since 1991 and it will probably be our last. It wasn't a bad cruise; we just expected better. Below is a list of things we found lacking. 1. The bathroom had a bar of soap and a pump bottle of shampoo. No conditioner, lotion or body-wash. 2. There were no bathrobes in the cabin. People traveled to and from the pool in their wet swimsuits. 3. Every ship we've ever been on had some sort of food available pool-side. Burgers, hot dogs & fries (Celebrity), great little pizzas (Princess) even a taco bar (HAL). Liberty has nothing. People had to come into the buffet. To compound the matter, the hot dogs and burgers which might appeal to the pool patrons were at the extreme stern of the ship. . 4. No mints on the pillows. Really folks, how much would that cost? 5. When we pay $43 each for a meal in a premium venue, I expect everything on the menu to be included. Not so! Several items were extra. 6. Entertainment was virtually non-existent. If you are looking to take your kids on a cruise that’s got plenty of fun things for them, this might be a good choice. If you older and don’t care to hear kids screaming and running around in the buffet, you may want to look elsewhere. Read Less
Liberty of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.4
Dining 3.5 4.0
Entertainment 3.5 4.1
Public Rooms 4.0 4.4
Fitness Recreation 4.5 4.3
Family 4.5 4.3
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.9
Enrichment 3.5 3.7
Service 3.5 4.3
Value For Money 4.0 3.9
Rates 4.0 4.1

Find a Liberty of the Seas Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click
Compare and book excursions for your next cruise