Sail Date: August 2019
A bit of background: DH and I love to cruise. We are 54 and 57--kids are grown and we are pretty low maintenance. We have taken our last few cruises with our granddaughter who loves to cruise, but she started kindergarten this year so ... Read More
A bit of background: DH and I love to cruise. We are 54 and 57--kids are grown and we are pretty low maintenance. We have taken our last few cruises with our granddaughter who loves to cruise, but she started kindergarten this year so couldn't come along--she wasn't happy we left her! Because of our work schedules, this week worked well for us. We have been on many cruises and have sailed Holland America, NCL, RCCL, Costa and Carnival. We have been fairly loyal to Royal and this was our first cruise as Diamond level. We don't particularly care for leaving out of Galveston; as Fort Lauderdale and Miami are much more organized. I thought the service and staff were excellent on this ship. The only downgrade for the cruise was just the cuts they are making across the board to help control costs and feed their bottom line. I appreciate them keeping cruising affordable, but overall I will say that we have had a better impression with NCL the last few years than Royal. That being said, I will go where I can get the most value for my money and what fits in our schedule. We have been to most of the islands so itinerary is not as important to us in the Caribbean. We decided to take a last minute cruise on a comp from the casino. Booked about 6 weeks out. We were in a balcony cabin 7628. Cabin was fine and no complaints. Plenty of room for 2 people. We were on Liberty last November and vowed that we wouldn't sail out of Galveston again since the disembarkation was horrible the last 2 cruises out of there. But, since we live in Kansas we can drive to Galveston and save on airfare so we booked. We originally had thought of going to the Bahamas for a land vacation...glad we didn't as Dorian would have changed our plans! Reminder to everyone to always have insurance just in case! We went to the Diamond Lounge for the first night and never went back. So crowded and not worth the time since you can get drinks at any bar. We ate breakfast every morning in the Windjammer. Food was good, hot and plentiful. We are early risers and so there was never a problem with crowds. We did try and eat 1 dinner in the Windjammer and it really wasn't good at all so we ate all our other dinners in the main dining room. They have really cut back on the menu items over the years! Still plenty of selection and the food was good...not great, but overall good. We had MTD and never waited more than 5 minutes for our table for 2. Bryann and Ryan were our wait staff and they were outstanding! We don't really enjoy the specialty restaurants; we have tried them a few times, but don't really see the value when there are plenty of other options. We went to a couple of the comedy shows which were good. We had already seen the production show and ice show last fall so we didn't repeat them. There were lots of trivia and games available for those who like those activities. We went to the pool a couple of days, but it was pretty crowded. The solarium was not as relaxing as I would have hoped. We hadn't used it before on our last few cruises as we had our GD with us. There were groups and it was rather noisy. I was not a fan of the cruise director, but I don't really care who the cruise director is on board. They don't make or break a cruise for me. We cruise to relax. I enjoy spending time napping and reading. DH likes to wander around and see some of the activities so cruising works well for us! Our only complaint on this cruise was the air conditioning wasn't working well in the casino and even the promenade and theater tended to be on the warm side. I know the casino even went so far as to set up fans to help keep the air circulating. Not pleasant at all! At least it wasn't a problem in our cabin. One of people we went with on an excursion said their air conditioner wasn't working in their cabin very well either. Not good in the Caribbean with all the humidity! Our stops were Cozumel; which we usually love, but decided just to wander around that day and get back on the ship since we had never spent a day on the ship while everyone was in port before. Grand Cayman, where we got off the tender and took a $5 cab ride to 7 mile beach and went to Royal Beach Club. Get there early if you want a chair! Falmouth Jamaica where we booked the walking food tour on found on Trip Adviser. Highly recommend this tour! The last time we waited for an assigned disembarkation time and didn't get off the ship until almost 11am. It was chaos and one of the main reasons we decided we never wanted to sail out of Galveston again. This time we did self assist and were off by 07:45 and in our car by 8:00. So much better! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
We just did the liberty of the seas galveston 7 day cozumel and other islands overall a great trip other reviews said the ship was not clean wrong she was very clean and we could always get a table at the windjammer buffet. the food was ... Read More
We just did the liberty of the seas galveston 7 day cozumel and other islands overall a great trip other reviews said the ship was not clean wrong she was very clean and we could always get a table at the windjammer buffet. the food was good in the MDr no need for expensive restaurants the pools were heated not like Carnival my only complaint was the hard old bed in our balcony 8303 cabin old stained pads under the mattress hard to sleep the blue hole tour was the best with a stop at the lazy river in a inner tube we booked a private tour and worth the slight extra price other tours had 44 people in a big bus and you were always waiting on the other people I have enjoyed 74 cruises and will be back on RCC AND WOULD CONSIDER THE LIBERTYOF THE SEAS AGAIN WE STAYED AT THE HARBOR HOUSE AND HAD DINNER AT SHRIMP AND STUFF A HORRIBLE RESTAURANT DONT DINE THERE Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
This is my first review on Cruise critic, but I have been on 8 cruises in my life. This is our 7th time with Royal Caribbean and second time on Liberty of the Seas. I am going to try to give you the most detailed and honest review I can. ... Read More
This is my first review on Cruise critic, but I have been on 8 cruises in my life. This is our 7th time with Royal Caribbean and second time on Liberty of the Seas. I am going to try to give you the most detailed and honest review I can. A little background... We are almost Emerald Status (will be after our Feb cruise) and are traveling as a family of 4. My wife, 5 year old son, and almost 2 year old daughter. We book 2 adjoining Ocean View Cabins ever since the kids were born. 1. I am terrified of them being on a balcony and 2. We like to have the extra space and extra bathroom. Embarkation: We live about an hour and 20 mins away in NE Houston. We left the house around 10am and got to the cruise port terminal at 11:20. Due to the young children (strollers) we have to wait in line and drop off our bags to a Porter rather than going immediately to park. Not that big of a deal as this day we were early enough that the traffic and line into the terminal only took about 5 mins. After I dropped off the bags, my wife and kids waited for me at the terminal. I went and parked the car solo in Lot B. It is $85 for the week. I then took a bus back over to the terminal and we all got in line to enter the building. This is where I started to get a little ticked off. We have been Platinum status on the past 2 cruises and were able to cut the giant line to go immediately to security. This is a perk of being Platinum or higher or being booked in any of the suites. Apparently this rule changed about 2 months ago. Now due to the nickel and dime “Key” program you now have to wait in the long line. Took an hour to get to security. Imagine how much fun that was for my 5 year old who had to pee and my 2 year old who can only sit still for so long. I was not happy about this change at all and I wonder where is the loyalty RCCL? Apparently you can just pay for status now. After getting on board, my wife and I immediately go to the nursery and kids club. Reason being, you need to fill out paperwork and get signed up for slots. At the nursery they only accept 4 slots for babies and 4 slots for toddlers (which I think was from 20-36 months). Luckily we were able to get all the time slots we needed since we got there early. (That’s insider info and if you are on our Feb cruise you better save us a slot!) :) Rooms were ready around 1pm ish and we went down to drop off backpacks and start getting ready for dinner. Our Room Steward (Ian Lewis) was phenomenal. Best one I’ve had on any cruise. He grabbed all our bags and had them waiting for us by the door so we could start getting ready for our 5:30pm dinner time. Everyday Ian made sure a bucket of ice was there in the morning and evening. (We drink a lot of water). I recommend bringing a hydro flask or 30oz yeti cup to keep filled on your nightstand at all times. Ian was great with the kids and made them towel animals every night. Our room was always spotless. Much appreciated!!! Main Dining Room: Due to the age of our children we typically don’t do any of the specialty restaurants. (You are welcome, haha) Instead, 1 of the nights that nothing really stands out on the menu my wife and I will order a Filet from Chops in the MDR. It costs $20 each, but is well worth it in my opinion. I have celiac disease and as you can imagine it must be a huge pain to stay Gluten Free on the ship. RCCL is actually really good about identifying GF options in the MDR. They usually can have the chef prepare a particular meal you want in a GF version. Including cheesecake for dessert!! That being said, I still will warn you to be very careful in WindJammer (Buffet). I had a few episodes that I can only conclude must have been from cross contamination. On the first night I told our Assistant and Head waiter of my allergy. Took a few days, but by day 4 they had the GF bread waiting for me at the table every night. Much appreciated! My suggestion (which I’ve done in the past), is let the Matre D know about your allergies on the first night. They will make sure everything is perfect. The AW and HW are always over-worked and stressed with the amount of tables they have. It didn’t used to be this way, but clearly another cost saving tactic by RCCL. MDR food has definitely deteriorated over the year’s and esp since last year. Salad was soggy or didn’t have enough dressing. Food over or under-cooked. These are things that you must have patience for as they are trying to feed 3300+ people. That being said, it seemed like every night we were asking for a new steak, or extra dressing. Kind of disappointing. Overall I would rate the food a 7 out of 10 stars. At least they had escargot for my wife, her favorite! Kids Club: 10 out of 10 stars!!! The reason my wife and I love cruising so much is the kids clubs. We spend the day as a family of 4 at the pool or walking the ports or on excursions. Then after dinner we drop the kids off from 8pm-12am (or somewhere in there). That way my wife and I get 7 date nights in a row!!! Unheard of right! The nursery staff was excellent. They loved our daughter and she loved them. We would get her in her PJ’s and take her up at 8pm. She would typically play for an hour or less and then make it quite clear she was ready for bed. They would either rock her to sleep in her stroller or put her in one of the cribs. We would pick her up by midnight and take her back to the room. She never woke up. It was great! Their cost is $6/hr during the day and $8/hr after 6pm. Well worth it! PS tips are appreciated! My son is in Adventure Ocean, which is 3-5 year olds. They have a Max capacity, but I want to say it’s in the high 20’s-30’s depending on the amount of staff they have at that particular time slot. It was never an issue for us and he loved going there! After 10pm they charge $7 an hour. Always keep them busy with crafts, games, coloring etc. My son couldn’t wait to show us what he made that day. He usually would fall asleep on one of the pads or benches around 10pm, then I would carry him back to the room when we picked him up. PS his normal bed time at home is 7pm, but hey, it’s his vacation too! Windjammer: We would go to the windjammer for Breakfast and lunch just about everyday. Food wise I would give it a 7 out of 10. Lots of options. I liked how now you order an omelette and they deliver it to your table via a number vs the old way of standing around in a huge crowd waiting for your number to be called. That being said, some days it took 15-20 mins to get delivered. Lunch I thought was better than Breakfast food wise. Everyday I would ask for GF bread which they keep behind the counter and make a sandwich and a salad. My wife and kids always had something different and liked the options. Pool: The kids splash park area is awesome. 2’ deep pool with a waterfall, 2 kids water slides, bunch of splash pad type fountains. My son loved it and wanted to be there all day. Here is the problem. Our almost 2 year old... They don’t allow children in water diapers into the main splash pad area or pools, which I get, for sanitary reasons. The thing is she didn’t want to be contained in the VERY small diaper area. She wanted to run and play with her brother. The thing I find annoying about this is kids pee in the pool all the time, so what’s the difference if she pees in her diaper? Maybe it’s just me... Multiple days my wife and I had to take shifts and keep them separated, until she threw a fit and then we would have to take her out of the pool area all together. Usually full blown tantrum. On 2 separate occasions we were able to get her into the nursery around her nap time so we could spend tantrum free time with our son. The lifeguards watch like hawks so good luck trying to sneak your diaper kids into the splash park. That’s all I’m going to say about that... The “big” adult pools are fine and always crowded as expected. We never had an issue finding a couple of lounge chairs, but I did see some people circling for a while. Expect 30 min waits for the bigger slides in the back of the ship and I have no clue about flow rider, but I know it had a long wait too. Drink Package: Highly recommend it. My wife and I RARELY drink at home. I’m talking a glass of wine every 2-3 months. That being said, there is something about being on a cruise ship that makes us want to indulge like college kids at our first Frat party! Haha jk, but we do like to try different things and that’s the beauty of the drink package. If you order a drink you don’t like you pour it out and order something else. We would have at least 1 sometimes 4 drinks at the pool during the day, a pre-dinner cocktail, wine at dinner, post drop off the kids at the club (celebration drink), maybe a drink at the show, and a few after that at various bars. When you add that all up you save a ton of money compared to the $12 per drink they charge you. Here’s the kicker, water bottles (huge)!, High end coffee’s, fresh squeezed juice, sodas. (All included) Even though we rarely drink soda unless it’s mixed in our cocktail, it’s highly worth it to get the package. When I did the math I think it was 5.5 drinks a day. We did that in water bottles alone. If you are on the fence, I recommend getting it when they do their 30% off sale emails they send out every other day. Shows: Apparently same shows as the past 5 years. We rarely go to them since we’ve been there done that, but we always enjoy the “Love and Marriage” show. It was pretty good on this cruise too. Ports: Cozumel: We’ve been here half a dozen times. This was the only port we did an excursion. It was the Deluxe Beach Break at Playa Mia. 9 out of 10 stars. The kids loved the water park (guess what? Water diapers are allowed)!!! We loved the bigger water slides, 10X faster and more fun than the ones on the ship. There is a coarse sand beach to lay out on, snorkeling ($13 to rent the gear), an inflatable water park in the ocean for the bigger kids. They all loved it by the way! Lunch was pretty good, my only gripe was that the “well” alcohol gives me a headache so I only had 1. You can buy the higher shelf stuff for $6 a piece, which I didn’t mind at all. We had a great time and will be going back there again in February. Grand Caymen: We took the kids via tender around 1pm to shore to do some shopping. My 5 year old fell asleep in his stroller on the way over and woke up on the way back, so he never got to actually “see” the island haha. We stuck around for about an hour or 2 and came back. Bought some overpriced plastic crap that will break in a week, but hey the kids were happy! PS this is why we always take 2 umbrella strollers. Even at 5 years old you never know when a kid is gonna be wore out from the sun and need a nap. That way the rest of us can press on! You’re welcome! Falmouth: Did the same as above, walked around and dealt with a 2 year old who threw tantrums when Daddy said “No” at almost every store. They each got 1 thing, I’m not that mean of Father... Piece of advice, stay in the main shopping area that is fenced in. If you make the mistake (Like we did) of going outside of the port area you will quickly become hassled for everything from weed, taxi tours, beggars, you name it we saw it. After 5 mins of realizing we made a big mistake we went back into the gated shopping area. Phew... Disembarkation: Wasn’t bad, but a longer wait than we had experienced in the past. I’d guess about an hour from ship to car. Maybe we just had a bad time slot? Who knows. If you have an early flight definitely do the self help. We don’t have that option as 3 suitcases, 2 strollers, a pack and play, and garment bag would be too much to handle. Oh ya and the kids too! Haha So, we are booked on this ship again in February. Since it’s 100X better than Enchantment and the only good option out of Galveston right now. Don’t even look at Vision. I am hoping some improvements will be made, but my wife and I have figured out what works best for us. Hoping round 3 will be just as smooth and more fun! Hope this review helped. Happy Sailing! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
This is our fourth cruise out of Galveston, and the second time on Liberty of the Seas. Overall we had a great time. Some thoughts... Embarkation: The port signing is poorly laid out, and can be confusing. We missed the lane for ... Read More
This is our fourth cruise out of Galveston, and the second time on Liberty of the Seas. Overall we had a great time. Some thoughts... Embarkation: The port signing is poorly laid out, and can be confusing. We missed the lane for dropping off the luggage, so we circled back around a second time. Go early because the traffic gets awful later in the morning. We dropped off the bags, parked over at Lot B, and the shuttle dropped us back at the terminal - about 15 minutes from bag drop to terminal (at 10 am). The line inside the terminal was long but moved along. It was about 45 minutes from walking in to getting past the bag scanner. From there we moved into the check-in room. The line there was much shorter and moved faster (again, early in the day). We moved through, checked in, had our picture taken and headed to the on ramp. Not horrible, but we thought Carnival's embarkation was much smoother. And then we were on the ship! We made our way to the buffet, along with the other 4,000 passengers. As expected, the Windjammer was crowded and busy. Staff were trying to help people find tables, but space was tight and everyone had their carry-on bags. Other than one jerk who thought the world should stop for him, most people were trying to be patient and make their way through. Food was good, we found a table and had lunch and chilled until the room announcement was made. Cabins: We had a balcony and an interior on deck 9. The rooms were clean and ready for us. We unpacked and enjoyed the balcony until muster drill. They really need to have some big fans on deck for muster drill. The deck is so crowded, and the heat was awful and I can see where the older folks might get sick. The cabin steward was in and out every day and kept the towels replaced, the bed made, and the ice bucket full. We had towel animals three nights, which we liked, but we ALWAYS had ice in the bucket which we really really liked. :-) We had pre-ordered one of the Royal Gifts liquor deliveries which arrived promptly on the day after embarkation. The cabins were standard - clean, enough storage, the a/c worked fine, no complaints. MDR: Mixed feelings about the MDR this time. We like to go because it is usually fun to be pampered and waited on. But this time our little family was in the back against the window behind three giant groups of elderly people, probably thirty altogether at three big tables. The sun was blasting through the window and there was some problem that prevented them from lowering the shade so we roasted for the first three nights (once we changed direction we lost the sun and it was better). Our view out the windows was the inflatable lifeboats. A necessary thing to have, but it wasn't like lowering the shades would mess up the view. Because we were jammed back there, it was hard to get to our table, it was hard for the waiters to get in and out to us. We felt bad about squeezing past the old folks, because it was so hard for them to move or let us by. The groups had at least two birthdays every night, and for some reason most of them were named "John." So we sang "Happy Birthday" to John, over and over and over again. It's not RC's fault that these three giant groups of the John club decided to celebrate their birthdays on the cruise, but it would have been a lot better if they had just given them a little more space for their walkers and canes and sat us elsewhere. The waiters were nice, and did their best, but between having to squeeze past the big group and being stretched thin, it was not the level of service we had previously. The head waiter came by and chatted most nights. He was very nice, and I think understood that our location was not optimal. I saw more people really dressed to the nines for formal night than I have ever seen on a Galveston cruise. Usually it's "please don't wear shorts and maybe wear your nice flip flops" and this time there were people in fancy long prom-type dresses and suits, even a couple of tuxedos. We wore suits and church-type clothes and were right in the middle of the pack. MDR Food: Good to very good. Not great, but nothing wrong with it. Typical cruise food - steaks and shrimp and soups and desserts. Some extra vegetarian/vegan options would be nice. The best things we had all week were the crabcakes and calmari appetizers. The fish entrees were consistently good, but very similar - fish with sauce plus starch and veg. The NY strip was consistently good, and one of the best we have had. Nicely seared on the outside and at the right temp every time. Rare was almost purple inside, and med-rare was beautiful and bloody. Delicious. Desserts were good - standouts were the Grand Marnier Souffle and the Creme Brulee. The no-sugar-added desserts were consistently tasty and good. Windjammer: Food good to very good. We really like the layout of the Windjammer as compared to Carnival. There are multiple smaller stations so you don't have to go through the entire line end-to-end to just get one thing. The cookies are always great and we made multiple trips upstairs just for cookies. A nice variety and selection of items, serving trays were kept full and fresh. Plates were cleared quickly and tables kept clean. At peak times staff were pro-active about helping guests find tables - I was approached by one staff member who suggested that I give him my sweater and he would use it to save a table for us. Very much appreciated. Also at peak times - breakfast on port days - they were gently "encouraging" passengers to finish up so that others could eat. When it was full they were holding back a line at the entrance to keep the crowd from being out of hand. The gatekeepers at the door were friendly and cheerful in what has to be a thankless job of "encouraging" / "suggesting" / forcing guests into sanitizing their hands on the way in. Ports: Overall fine, it's the Caribbean - you go for sun and sand and that's what we got. Cozumel - we took a taxi downtown, stopped at Mega for candy and souvenirs and then walked over to the shopping area. (Mega is great for anything you might have forgotten, or cheap snacks or small souvenirs. Flip flops, sunscreen, candy, bottled water, etc. They have a grocery store too if you want to make your own picnic lunch. Prices are in pesos but they will press a button and convert to dollars. The exchange rate they offered was 19/$1, which we though was very good.) Bought some handbags, and the non-shoppers enjoyed a bench in the shade with a book while the shoppers wandered about. Had lunch at a sidewalk place facing the water on Rafael Melgar street and then took a taxi back to the ship. We've gone to Paradise Beach before and loved it, but this time the shoppers won out. :-) We like Cozumel, it's a clean, safe, tourist-friendly stop. Grand Cayman - tendering process was quick. I got in line for tender tickets at 8:30. The line was crazy long but moved really fast. The tendering was not supposed to start until 10:30 so we we not expecting to get off until 11:30 (boat #21) but we were called by 10:40 and were in port by 11. The port area is very chaotic, and outside the fence is worse. The vendors are very aggressive and it was a bit unnerving. We were back inside and agreed to an island tour with one of the companies there. We had a quick trip around to Hell, the rum cake store and the dolphin place (15 minutes at each, plenty of time for the pictures and back on the bus). After that the driver dropped us at Calico Jack's for 1.5 hours and picked us back up. We liked Calico Jack's, had some lunch and drinks and spent time in the pool. One caution - the prices are listed in Cayman Dollars, not US, and the total will include gratuity. So take the menu price times $1.25 and then add 18% to get the total, so that you avoid sticker shock. We got back tot he port about 3:30 and walked straight onto a tender boat and back to the ship. Get there early to avoid the wait. Fallmouth - We took a RC tour - "Green Grotto and Dunn River Falls". Overall, very good. The bus was air conditioned, the hosts were polite but brusque and kept us on the schedule. The guide at the Grotto was terrific! Informative, enthusiastic and very good with the small children in our group. The cave tour was interesting. We would have preferred more history, but he adapted the talk to accommodate the many small children in our group. Dunn River Falls was pretty, but crowded and touristy. The climb up the falls was fun, but there were so many tourists there that it became somewhat of a forced march up in order to keep the line moving. A slower pace with fewer people would have been nice to be able to enjoy the beautiful area more. The port area is new and very nice. Onboard Entertainment: Mixed reviews...The casino is nice, but they really tightened up the slots for the last two sea days. We had a good time and pretty much broke even. The Schooner Bar piano player is nice to listen to but it gets crowded in the evenings. We saw two comedians, both were good. There was also a juggler/comedian which was better than it sounds. We skipped Saturday Night Fever because we saw it last time and didn't really enjoy it. The aerialist show was nice but not great. BUT. The Eagles tribute band was amazing! We really enjoyed it and the crowd was really into it. Daytime entertainment was mostly port shopping talks and port excursion talks. A couple sessions about the history or ecology of the ports would be a nice change. Voom internet worked well and we had good service all over the ship. Ship in general: A pretty ship, clean and well kept. We enjoyed sitting outside the pizza place on the promenade and people-watching. Debarkation - Super smooth and easy. We walked straight through, less than 30 minutes from getting in line in the dining room to walking out of customs. Miles and miles better than Carnival's debarkation nightmare. All in all we had a great time and loved the ship. Definitely will be back. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We’ve sailed four times with Royal Caribbean, but always on older, smaller ships — Grandeur of The Seas, Enchantment of the Seas and Majesty of The Seas — and were itching for a chance to try larger ships. This summer, we opted for a ... Read More
We’ve sailed four times with Royal Caribbean, but always on older, smaller ships — Grandeur of The Seas, Enchantment of the Seas and Majesty of The Seas — and were itching for a chance to try larger ships. This summer, we opted for a cruise on Liberty to celebrate the high school graduation of our son and daughter. Later in the summer, we will be on Anthem of the Seas for a just the two of us cruise, to get the company’s more current take on a similar-sized ship. If you haven’t been on the bigger ships in RCI’s stable, Liberty is, well, big and yet, oddly familiar. Many of the classic styling cues from the last three decades are everywhere on the ship, so it's both familiar and new. One thing that was clearly new — and I’ll have a lot more to say about it down below — is The Key, RCI’s new program to give Suite-like perks to us mere mortal cruisers. One thing not new, based on reading here and elsewhere: Liberty of the Seas has a main dining room management issue, which I’ll also address below. General impressions of the ship: well cared for, but not quite as well as we’ve seen with other RCI “vintage” ships. Obviously, it’s a big ship and it gets hard use, but there are a lot of small details that seem to be overlooked in terms of maintenance — the hallway carpets in the cabin areas were so worn, as an example, to look like they were wet or stained in the high traffic areas. A small detail, to be sure, but one that is telling. As the Freedom-class Liberty has been in service for more than a decade, I won’t belabor the layout and facilities — most of which are excellent — or the elevator placement (just two banks on either side of the ship, which leads to a lot of crowding at certain times). It’s a nice ship with a lot to do — we didn’t even come close to trying everything available on one trip. A couple of general impressions: it feels like you’re either alone or in a very crowded situation onboard, depending on the venue. The Promenade is an interesting, mall-like feature, that can get a bit tight at times, especially when the center of it is filled with promotional sales tables. I find it interesting that in its Quantum-Class ships — similarly sized — RCI went to a totally different layout, with less mass gathering areas and more nooks and crannies. We look forward to be able to compare/contrast that in July. What I will say is that Liberty seems best suited for family trips, with more and better kid-friendly facilities than we’ve seen on other RCI ships. It might not be ideal for a romantic getaway for two, though. One frustration: the ship had multiple meet ups for 18-20 year olds at One Air, the Karaoke bar (which is generally pretty great, but oversubscribed for some of its uses), right as over crowded events were to begin — making it impossible for people to gather and meet and talk. This is poor planning -- an earlier time, like before dinner when things are quiet might work better in this place — or an alternate location should be used. In terms of the staff: all were nice, friendly and very helpful (and some went above and beyond). A few seemed to have suffered for incomplete training — the ability of a bartender to follow a specific order, for example, to use a specific rum (or just use a dark rum versus light) varied wildly from bar to bar. Some of this training issue extends to The Key, RCI’s new upgrade program. In short, you get a embarkation day lunch at a premium venue (and the ability to drop off carryon luggage), premium seats for shows and access to special exclusive times for attractions, special debarkation for ports, breakfast and special debarkation for the final day of the cruise, plus one Voom Surf & Stream for each person in the cabin. We bought this for ourselves and our kids — for both cabins. We would have purchased Voom, anyway, and the price was only incrementally higher (we jumped in early before the price doubled). What worked: Voom, mostly (more on that below). The welcome lunch at Chops was nice, although probably a bit much for a first day lunch. The check-in was OK, but not a massive boost beyond what we normally would have seen as Crown & Anchor Platinum members. What didn’t: the “exclusive” times for Wave Runner was one hour the entire cruise, 9 am the first morning, not ideal for those who stayed up late the first night of the cruise. I’ll note my kids had little trouble getting on, picking strategic times to ride. The ice skating window, again, just one hour for the entire cruise, came on day one, and as it required long pants to skate, virtually no one had their luggage and the ability to change to use this perk. We observed no Key departures on port days. Nada. Nothing. VIP seating was extremely uneven. We were able to use it for the Ice Show — but we had to ask around. For other shows, like the alleged comedian, there seemed to be none, despite the fact that we showed up 30 minutes before show time. The choice debarkation was, in short, a mess. We did get a hot breakfast (a mixed blessing to be sure, based on the issues with the main dining room), but then got cattle called into leaving with one of the normal departure groups (although two different staffers argued about how we should be handled). In short, The Key has both a staff training problem and a value problem. First, staff needs to be fully trained on the program and its perks, to properly assist passengers. Second, there needs to be more in the way of exclusives. With the $600 plus it cost us (for four), there are clearly times it would be smarter to upgrade to a Junior Suite and get most of the perks and a nicer cabin. As a prime perk of The Key, Voom continues to over promise and under deliver, in part at least, due to poor WiFi signal throughout the ship. While better performing than on the smaller, older ships built before the advent of WiFI, Liberty’s wireless net still has issues. Surf and Stream is only half true: you can surf (read the Web or get email), but streaming video is extremely unlikely unless you do so in the middle of the night. RCi needs to focus less on selling ‘Net service to every passenger and more on being able to support those who do buy. Okay, moving on to what was maybe the biggest disappointment: the food in the main dining room. I’ll note this is our fifth RCI cruise — and prior to this one, I’ve generally been pleased to delighted with the main dining room food. I don’t expect Michelin star food, but merely decent, well prepared meals. Unfortunately, I can’t say that for Liberty of the Seas. The food was routinely dried out, seemingly left under heat lights too long — I had one decent meal at dinner time, but the others were not even Applebees’ quality (which is saying something, something not good). Breakfast, too, was a disappointment. The hollandaise sauce for for the Eggs Benedict (an RCI dining room staple) was messed up — and unwanted spinach was added to my meal. Similarly, I was unpleased with poorly cooked (overcooked) omelets and scrambled eggs. The low quality of the dining room was fairly shocking to me, as it has previously been a go-to for food on previous cruises. On the bright side: the ship had the best Windjammer we’ve ever experienced. The food quality was higher (they, unlike the dining room, made a very solid hollandaise sauce and did not over cook the eggs). While a loud, crowded, chaotic atmosphere goes with the food (it’s the nature of cruise ship buffets) this may have been the best we’ve seen on any cruise ship. Additionally, the specially restaurants, Chops, Sabor and Giovanni’s (we used all three when it became evident the main dining room was an issue) were excellent as usual, albeit at a higher cost. The same is true with Johnny Rockets — an upcharge, but the secret place to get exceptional french fries. Lastly, Sorrentos continues its steady improvement, with better pizza crust. The sauce still needs a bit of love, but overall the pizza on this line (once a sort spot, like the still undrinkable coffee) is vastly improved. Moving onto entertainment, there was a great deal of it around the ship, some of which we only caught snippets of — and most was excellent. While we don’t have names — the guitarist in the English Pub was exceptional as was the band that played in the Deck 5 night club — generally speaking all of the music was outstanding. We did not see the Saturday Night Fever show — in part because of schedule, in part due the failure of The Key program — so I can’t comment. We did see an alleged comic. Imagine yourself trapped in a bad version of Grossingers, and your cranky aunt has thrown back a few too many adult beverages and starts riffing obscene Henny Youngman material. That, in a nutshell, is the work of Michele Balan, who appears to be phoning in the same tired routine since the Bush Administration. Starting out with a Donald Trump-like “See how awesome I am self-tribute video” her act goes down hill from there. Avoid at all costs. Excursions: The Jolly Roger Snorkel Trip, Roatan, Honduras: We’ve been on four or five of these type excursions, but this one was by far the best. The crew and ship were great — super friendly and fun. The snorkel equipment was the best we’ve seen on such a trip — it makes a big difference. Additionally, the reef area used was beautiful and the water was very calm and full of wildlife. Additionally, they had great food and drink following the snorkeling — a nice surprise. The ATV Jungle Adventure, Costa Maya, Mexico: The ATV trek through the jungle and beach roads was great — be ready for a 30-minute ride in a troop truck to get there, though. Post ride, we were delivered to a “resort” where we were pestered constantly by local merchants selling trinkets and “Cuban” cigars. After that, we bailed, and returned to port for lunch — and picked The Mojito Bar, much to our regret. While it had a great view of our ship, the food was bad (and completely wrong), the bill was $220 for lunch for four — and they didn’t take credit cards. Avoid at all costs. The Jose Cuervo Tequila Tasting Tour, Cozumel, Mexico: Well done throughout, very informative and entertaining. We learned a lot about tequila, how it is made and how to distinguish various grades and styles. Additionally, there was really good local food provided as well as native arial rain ceremony. In all, well worth the cost. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
This cruise was truly amazing. Easy embarkation. Easy debarkation. Food was fabulous in both Windjammer and main dining room. Only one BIG complaint. At the pool, it was dirty all the time! I know that cruisers are really messy ... Read More
This cruise was truly amazing. Easy embarkation. Easy debarkation. Food was fabulous in both Windjammer and main dining room. Only one BIG complaint. At the pool, it was dirty all the time! I know that cruisers are really messy sometimes, but the pool deck at all times was filthy. Dirty dishes everywhere. Dirty glasses everywhere. Where was the pool deck clean up. ? The drink service would bring many drinks, but not pick up the dirty glasses. With such a wonderful cruise, it kept us from going to the pool area. Not very romantic with orange peels, cherries, limes , dirty glasses strung out everywhere. The entertainment was good. The staff was friendly,and our rooms were always cleaned. We loved breakfast in Windjammer. We had heard mixed reviews, but all the food was extremely good. The bars were quick to serve, and we didn't have any problems. Crown an anchor diamond club was nice, clean, and had service with a smile. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose Liberty because Galveston is within driving distance from our hometown. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. Some of the ship’s decor is quite dated but it was very clean. Everyone who worked on the ship was friendly ... Read More
We chose Liberty because Galveston is within driving distance from our hometown. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. Some of the ship’s decor is quite dated but it was very clean. Everyone who worked on the ship was friendly and provided excellent service. Many passengers were repeat passages from Texas, and probably 1/3 were senior citizens. They seemed to have a wonderful time on Liberty, as well as the other age groups. We had 5:45 p.m. my time dining every evening, and the service was excellent. The food in all venues ranged from average to good, and our head waiter did a great job catering to my husband’s dietary needs. Royal Caribbean has not changed their dining room menus in years; the food was exactly the same as when we sailed on Anthem last year. We did not attend any of the shows, but there was always something to do if we wanted to stay busy. The activities in the Promenade were well attended and it was fun to watch these events from our stateroom window. The pools were extremely crowded on sea days and although we wanted to relax by the pool it was impossible to find a chair during prime time. There were always plenty of empty chairs on the upper deck, however. Water slides were fun! Having been on a newer and larger ship, my teenagers might have found Liberty less exciting but my husband and myself enjoyed the entire cruise. The one downside to Liberty is the amount of smoke on the deck where the casino is located. The smoke is so bad that we could not order pictures in the nearby picture gallery without being engulfed by the smell of smoke. We learned avoid that area on the first day. My husband got a massage and he said it was “okay.” We used the gym daily and I enjoyed the classes that were offered. The gym is well equipped and clean. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
Traveled without children and just spouse. This was a very relaxing cruise. Activities during the day were not as much going on unless you wanted to shop. The cleanliness of the ship was top notch. Every corner was scrubbed clean. The ... Read More
Traveled without children and just spouse. This was a very relaxing cruise. Activities during the day were not as much going on unless you wanted to shop. The cleanliness of the ship was top notch. Every corner was scrubbed clean. The service and attention to customers were also amazing. Cabin was spacious for an indoor room. Had a little sofa which was nice. Shower was a little small. Dining has some ups and downs. Specialty restaurants were 5 stars. Main dining room was bland food. Not impressed at all. Considered more like wedding or cafeteria food. Most items in the main dining room came with "Chef's choice" of vegetables. This was steamed Broccoli and carrots every night. No flavor on them at all. Just plain steamed. The Windjammer buffet was wonderful. The amount of desserts and choices of food can please anyone. My only request was more of a variety of vegetables. Entertainment was ok. Some shows were really good, like Saturday Night Fever, others were good but didn't really wow me. The shows are more geared towards the older crowd. Having more updated shows for the younger and middle generations would have been nice to see. The ports were lots of fun and the excursions we went on were 5 stars. Enjoyed our time on land tremendously. This was a fun and relaxing cruise that I was able to read and just spend time decompressing. This was our first time with Royal Caribbean. Will I cruise this ship again? No. I would however like to try other ships to get my opinion of those ships in the fleet. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
My wife and I cruised on Liberty of the Seas out of Galveston with departure on April 28 and return on May 5. We stayed in a Junior Suite on deck 9. Great room - we love the junior suites as the extra room, closet space and a full tub ... Read More
My wife and I cruised on Liberty of the Seas out of Galveston with departure on April 28 and return on May 5. We stayed in a Junior Suite on deck 9. Great room - we love the junior suites as the extra room, closet space and a full tub with shower are really nice. They do cost more, but at this point in our cruising career (this was our 20th cruise) we tend to go with the junior suites. Embarkation: We arrived at the pier via an Uber from a local hotel at about 11:00. As Diamond Plus members everything went very fast and we never sat down until we were on the ship. We got through security and check-in and happened to arrive in the waiting area as they called Pinnacle and suite guests to board. Perfect timing! The reason for the title of my review is that this is a Galveston-based cruise with lots of people from Texas and surrounding states. Thus, the cruise line has catered to these guests with lots of "country"-themed events. The band in the Star Lounge played country all week. Schooner Bar: One of our favorite things to do between and after shows and events in the evenings is to head for the Schooner Bar. This week the piano guy was a very good piano player, but had an average voice and just about everything he played was country music. When someone asked for Piano Man the first night he played it as a country song. This continued the rest of the week. Needless to say, our time in the Schooner Bar was very limited on this cruise. Galley Tour: One of our Diamond Plus benefits was to select from a galley tour, a theater behind-the-scenes tour or a bridge tour. We chose the galley tour. It lasted about 25 minutes and was fun to see. But I would not pay for it like most cruisers do if they don't have Diamond Plus or Pinnacle status. Shore excursions: In Honduras we went to Sol Y Mar beach for a snorkel tour and beach time. The snorkeling was fun, the water was clear and the reef with fish was worth the time. Especially the second stop when they took us to an area to see starfish. Very cool! The end of the time at the beach was frustrating was our "on-site guide" told us to be back at the bus pick-up spot at one time (a time we all confirmed with her multiple times because the island is NOT on ship time) only to find that she made a mistake and really meant one hour later. In Belize we went to a cave for an inner tube ride through the cave. When planning things keep in mind that the tenders to Belize City take 15 to 20 minutes each way. Plan accordingly! The bus ride from the ship to the cave took about 90 minutes (each way), but we had a fabulous tour guide on the bus - "Captain" Kirk Lord. Excellent is all I can say!! Once we got to the cave park the tour included a nature walk the tube ride and lunch. Our group of 8 had a very nice, but not out-going nature walk and cave tour guide. He had a lot of information, but we had to pull it out of him. Overall it was a good day, but the travel time, standing around time, and waiting time was too much. For a 1:40 minute tour the day was about 8 hours long. Nice to do, but only once! Main Dining Room: We always ask for a table of 8 to 10 as we like to meet people. RCI has always done a great job matching us up with other couples of a similar age and background. This time was no exception. We really enjoyed our dinners every night and had a GREAT waiter in "AP" from India. One of the best we have ever had. The change we saw this time was that dinner rolls are already on the table and you place your order for appetizers, main course and dessert all at the beginning. This saved a lot of time and even though we never felt rushed, it kept things flowing. Nice job RCI! Diamond Lounge: One of our favorite things to do is to meet other loyal RCI cruisers in the Diamond Lounge for drinks and appetizers before dinner. This cruise was no exception as we met some great people and had fun for an hour before dinner every night. But one disappointment was that Ken, the concierge, was basically non-existent. Most of the time the concierge walks around, greets people, gets to know everyone, refills drinks, helps with some requests (the first night I asked for the days and times of the ice show during the week and he never got back to me). When Ken was in the lounge he just sat at his desk and let the two bartenders interact with the people in the lounge. We've had better - way better! Windjammer: We ate breakfast there every morning except the last cruise day (decided to eat that one in the main dining room, which was a mistake - not good service and not as much food to choose from). The Windjammer has good food, lots to choose from and always a table available if you’re willing to meet someone new. Cabin Attendant: Golda - Fantastic! She did a great job, remembered a few things every day, and kept the room in tip-top shape! Ship: Overall the ship is in good shape. It got re-furb'd in 2016, so it should be in good shape. A little wear and tear. But nothing major. The water slides that were added in 2016 were a LOT of fun! The two side-by-side traditional slides were OK, but needed more water running through them. A couple of times both my wife and I, who are average size people, slowed down so much we almost stopped. But the "Tidal Wave" slide was FANTASTIC. We found two times during the week when it wasn't busy and rode it about 7 times in a row without any waiting. Cruise Director - We are cruisers that ALWAYS do the shows after dinner, so we always hope for a great cruise director. Especially when it comes to shows like the Love & Marriage Game Show and The Quest. This was the first RCI cruise for our cruise director. He had been a cruise director on another cruise line (it begins with "Car" and ends with "val"), so he knew the drill. For his first RCI cruise he did OK. Nothing spectacular. Entertainment: We had a great lineup of entertainment. From the comedians to the "silks" performers to the former Olympian (that we've seen before and still enjoyed his show) to the "Saturday Night Live" show by the RCI singers and dancers on the last night, it was great! Well done RCI! The ice show was fantastic, including the "extra" show we saw for the return-cruisers party put on by the ship's staff. Those people do amazing things on a very small sheet of ice. Pool: We did notice more available deck chairs all day long every day. More so than any other cruise we have been on. Nice job RCI as this has always been a "negative" for us in previous cruises. The only other comment about the pool area is that the large video screen at the pool needs to be replaced! It actually got worse during the week with more of the individual screen panels going bad each day. With today's screen technology, some of which we saw on other cruise line's ships next to us in port, this shouldn't be a big deal. Overall a good cruise. But we'll pass on doing future cruises out of Galveston. We just aren't country-western fans. For those of you that are, have at it! Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This cruise was on Royal Caribbean Liberty of the Seas, seven days, starting April 28, 2019. This was our first cruise with Royal Caribbean. We have done three cruises on Carnival Freedom and Carnival Valor (twice), both are smaller ... Read More
This cruise was on Royal Caribbean Liberty of the Seas, seven days, starting April 28, 2019. This was our first cruise with Royal Caribbean. We have done three cruises on Carnival Freedom and Carnival Valor (twice), both are smaller ships than the Liberty of the Seas. This cruise left from Galveston, TX. We drove four hours from our home near Dallas and arrived late on Friday night before the cruise. We spent two nights in Galveston allowing us to spend all day Saturday visiting the sea wall, Pleasure Pier and shopping. We arrived at the cruise port approximately 10:00 AM on Sunday morning for departure. We purchased the Key package for this cruise. This program allows faster embarkation and debarkation right behind the platinum members. Perks of the Key program allowed us to drop our carryon bags at the theater to be delivered to our state room and a free lunch at Chops Grille. The Key also included internet service for one device for each person. We explored the ship and found it easy to get around and well kept. We found the ship layout easy to remember and navigate. There did not seem to be as much congestion at the elevators as we had seen on our previous cruises. There are six elevators near the forward theater and six elevators near the aft dining rooms. The ship was clean, I did not see any areas that needed attention. Some things to help you navigate is that you cannot walk from bow to stern through deck 3 due to the location of Studio B. Deck 14 lounges can only be accessed by the port side elevators at the aft of the ship. All of the food available on the ship was good, and the service was excellent. We had My Time dining reservations for 5:30 every evening in the main dining room. It was very easy to change the time or cancel our reservations as needed both on the app and at the dining room door. On the app you had to cancel your dining first then could schedule a new time. We ate in the main dining room three nights, specialty restaurants three nights and one night at the Windjammer buffet. For breakfast and lunch, we usually went to the Windjammer except for two lunches in specialty restaurants. On previous cruises, we usually eat every evening in the main dining room. This cruise was our first time using the specialty restaurants. We purchased the three dinner package for $79 per person. We ate dinner at Chops Grille (steakhouse), Sabor Modern Mexican, and Giovanni's Table (Italian). We had lunch at Chops as part of the Key package on embarkation day. We also took Sabor’s guacamole and margarita class on the last sea day, this class included a small margarita and lunch for $28 each person. At both Chops and Giovanni’s, we found the service to be excellent and the food good but not worth the price in our opinion. Sabor was by far the best meal we had on board. Both the service and food was incredible, but Mexican food is our personal favorite. We had planned on also enjoying Johnny Rockets but never did make the time to eat there during this cruise. We think the buffet food was slightly better than our previous Carnival cruises. And my wife enjoyed the extra flavor of free drink that changed daily at the buffet on Royal Caribbean. But we think the main dining room has slightly better food on Carnival. Although the food is very good in the specialty dining, we don’t think the specialty restaurants are worth the price if you are trying to stay on a budget. For entertainment we went to all the main shows with the exception of missing two late night shows when we had early mornings scheduled the next day. All of these shows were good as far as production value. Shows included: “In the Air”, “Saturday Night Fever” and “Encore! An Ice Spectacular”. Live music was available around the ship at scheduled times in several areas. We interacted with the shore excursion desk, main desk, and next cruise office while on board and they were all very helpful and responsive where they could be. At the Next Cruise office we wanted to see about upgrading our cabin on our upcoming December sailing, but they were unable to help with our existing booking. While I understand they are there to sell new booking, I wish they could also be able to modify existing bookings. Shopping and spa services seems to be equal in quality and quantity as other cruises. The Liberty of the Seas offered more fun features than our previous cruises such as two water slides, the Tidal Wave raft ride, the climbing wall and the Flowrider wave simulator. My wife fell in love with the Flowrider and that may be the deciding factor for our future cruises. The app available on our phones had some serious drawbacks. It was great for deck plans. The calendar of activities has potential but was inaccurate a lot of the time. Definitely check it against the Cruise Compass delivered to your state room as the app was missing activities and had inaccurate start times on several activities. The movies listed in the app were almost never the correct movie that was going to be showing. The sort feature on activities could only be sorted by one category at a time or “show all” and “recommended”. I would really like to see the ability to choose multiple categories to avoid having to do multiple searches. The “show all” on port days includes pages and pages of shore excursions in the list. Our first port was Roatan Honduras. We did an all-inclusive beach day at Sol y Mar. We think the cost was high for the limited features available. Not a bad location but I would suggest looking over all the levels of packages available and knowing what features are in your package before you arrive. And if you are interested in snorkeling have it included in your package instead of paying extra once you are there. The beach was nice but small. There is no pool. Lockers are not free. Waiters/bar staff are friendly and helpful. One waiter even waded out to waist level to deliver beers to our group. We were not expecting that and all of us rushed out to meet him. Second port was Belize City. We took the Barrier Reef Snorkeling Wonders excursion. It was a four-hour tour which consist of a 45 minute boat ride each way to a SMALL private island, 30 minutes of rushed, crowded snorkeling with not much to see (fire coral way to close for comfort) and then two hours of beach time with no amenities and limited seating available. Beautiful island but very rocky. Make sure you keep your swim shoes with you as you have to give up your fins before coming out of the water. It was very painful to walk back to our bags. Food and drink was available at extra cost. The tour did pick us up from the ship and deliver us back to the ship without the need to tender to get to the tour. Once back on ship we took a tender to the port to do some shopping. Very little to do around the Belize City port and shopping prices were high. Our third port day was at Cozumel, Mexico and was the very best excursion we had. We did the Three Reef Snorkel by Boat. Three and a half hours and we were never out of view of the cruise ship so travel time was very short. Almost the entire excursion time was in the water snorkeling. We joined the excursion at the end of the pier and walked a short distance to the excursion boat. We went out to the first location as the crew distributed snorkeling gear and assisted anyone new to snorkeling with the gear. We had about 45 minutes in the water drifting with the current as the guide showed us the wildlife. Then we grouped up and the boat came to us to pick us up. We moved onto a new location with again about 45 minutes in the water before boarding the boat again and heading to the third location. Each area was a little different and interesting. There was a crew member taking pictures with very reasonable prices on the photos to be sent via e-mail. We had our photos in our e-mail the very next day. Crew members were available to accompany anyone that needed to stop early and head back to the boat. There were bathrooms available on the boat. Water and soda’s distributed halfway through the day. Two fresh water showers at the aft of the boat when we were done for the day. The boat usually holds up to 60 people and only 21 were on our excursion so it might feel more crowded in during busy seasons. This was the best snorkeling excursion we have taken yet. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Liberty is clearly showing age and wear. With that said, I found all areas to be clean, neat and tidy. Crew is putting forth a strong daily effort to keep standards high. We stayed in cabin 8334. Perfect location for exploring any ... Read More
Liberty is clearly showing age and wear. With that said, I found all areas to be clean, neat and tidy. Crew is putting forth a strong daily effort to keep standards high. We stayed in cabin 8334. Perfect location for exploring any section of the ship. If your health allows taking the stairs is quick and easy. Elevators can be stuffed and wait times long. Our cabin attendant was Raul. Could not have been more helpful. Always provided us with information, answered questions, kept cabin perfect. Found the Dining rooms to be above average in food quality and service. Windjammer can be crowded but always found seating by simply wandering. Main dining was "My Time" at 7:15 pm. We were able to walk right in for our table. Time put us after the 5:15 pm rush and prior to the 8:00 pm seating. Each night when we finished there was a considerable line of guests waiting. Would suggest making reservations ahead in Cruise Planner. Enjoyed the nightly music in several areas. Found bar service a little slow, bartenders not as open or friendly as I expected. Might be over reaching here as I was in the restaurant industry for 40 plus years. Only real complaint I would put forth is the Casino smoke. We considered dining in Sabor but from the time you pass by Photo Gallery, smoke is overpowering. Did not feel we could enjoy dinner. Will state I am a non-smoker so this may only apply to me. Enjoyed Galveston, every minute spent on the cruise, and have high praise for the entire staff. This was our 8th cruise with RC. We have Cuba booked next in Oct. Hoping the Government does not cancel. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise because it matched our kids' Spring Break and went out of Texas, which makes flights more affordable from California than Florida cruises. We absolutely loved their buffet, Windjammer Cafe. It almost turned us ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it matched our kids' Spring Break and went out of Texas, which makes flights more affordable from California than Florida cruises. We absolutely loved their buffet, Windjammer Cafe. It almost turned us off on day one when there was no seating, but we learned that if you ask staff there for help, they will find you something. Staff overall (aside from a grumpy lady at the rock wall) were extremely friendly and helpful. Entertainment was good and we looked forward to all of the main shows and smaller, interactive ones throughout the ship. It was worth splurging on the FlowRider extra -- my husband and kids spent a lot of time there. Waterslides were also fun, but we all seemed to have issues getting stuck part-way through the ride and had to push ourselves free (we're all average sized, from kids to adults). Our rooms were small, as anticipated, but always kept very clean. We booked rooms next to each other for us and the kids, since it was a ridiculous extra fee to get a room with a door between the rooms. It worked fine. Instead of knocking on a middle door, we went next door or called. We all slept great. Now, to the issues: 1. Royal Caribbean doesn't seem very big on tweens and teens cruising with them, at least outside their special rooms. Within our first 24 hours on the ship, our almost 13-year-old daughter was kicked out of the hot tub in the kids area by RC staffer, even though my husband was with her. There is nothing in that area saying a minimum age and when I pulled it up on my app, it says kids under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Well, decided to try again next day and the hot tub was completely overtaken by free range (no parents) preschoolers/under 8 set! (This seemed to be common among the travelers from Mexico ... parents in one area, kids off doing their own thing.) It was so bad I got out, not wanting to be responsible for their safety. The remainder of the trip, we observed tons of very little kids in the hot tubs not being hassled by staff. Our 16-year-old son, who is 5'11" and clearly an older teen, went into the 16+ pool with my husband and was asked his age. No big deal, he said he's 16 and my husband confirmed. They didn't believe them! Asked for the room number to confirm. Sheesh. He wasn't doing cannonballs or disrupting anyone. Our athletic daughter tried to use the gym but was told to leave because she's not yet 13 (minus 5 weeks). Rules are rules, but she struggled running on the running track that was overrun with slothy travelers and doing her workouts in her tiny room didn't go well. We went again and asked a staffer if she could at least use the workout floor to do her workouts and they said "maybe," so we let her do that. No one bothered her, although she got a couple stares. 2. SMOKE! Oh, the smoke. We live in California, where smoking hasn't been a thing in maybe 30 years. We had to traverse the ship on the 4th floor to get to our 3rd floor room and that meant going through the stinky casino. Had to plug my nose every time I went through there. And the biggest smoking zone? The kiddie pools! Not kidding, swarmed with parents smoking. It was the most bizarre thing. 3. Lack of RC communication. We received zero information from them pre-cruise about formal nights, Caribbean attire nights, ship processes, etc. Just tons of emails begging us to upgrade and buy extras. We booked directly with RC, so this didn't sit well. 4. Disembarkation. It started with them giving our family with a teen and a 2:30 pm flight a 6 am disembarkation time! We got that moved to 7 am. Thank goodness we still were set early. It took 2 1/2 hours to get off! We went to our meeting spot when they called our letter to find the dining room completely backed up into the hall. We finally got into the dining room and it stalled. We sat there with our luggage for 2 hours with no explanation from (non-existent) staff. Finally got to customs and someone there told us it was due to our newly poor relations with Honduras and that delaying things. We didn't find a delay, though, once we reached the counter. They just wanted to know what we bought in Honduras and we were finally on our way. WAY smoother disembarkation with Norwegian. We also preferred their Freestyle Dining. Overall, none of the issues ruined our cruise, but we did finally understand why people pay a fortune for a Disney cruise, so the under-18 travelers aren't hassled. I wouldn't rule out traveling RC, but definitely prefer Norwegian. It was a more communicative cruise line and was a more positive experience overall. We even had ship envy when Breakaway pulled up next to our ship in port -- their kid zone on top of the ship looked amazing! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We are a family of four with boys ages 7 and 9. We have been on previous cruises, this was our children's first time. I hope this review is helpful and offers some useful tips! Long review ahead: Booking: we booked almost one year ... Read More
We are a family of four with boys ages 7 and 9. We have been on previous cruises, this was our children's first time. I hope this review is helpful and offers some useful tips! Long review ahead: Booking: we booked almost one year in advance and chose the refundable deposit option online. I then watched for more deals, kept checking the cost savings, and ended up saving over a $1000 from when we originally booked. I called RC when I found these new deals advertised and they adjusted our cost without hesitation (I believe I did this twice). So, keep checking often! We rented a car when we arrived in Houston, we used to live here and wanted to do a few things before heading to Galveston. So, no airport shuttle transportation used to port on the way there. Embarkation: We took our included hotel shuttle (Holiday Inn Galveston on the Beach) to the port and arrived at about 10:20 am. We were on the ship within 20 minutes so it was a smooth process. We brought on board 2 wine bottles and 12 bottles of water, all needed to be carried on and not in your luggage so keep this in mind. As expected, the line to get into the Windjammer was very long, hot, and crowded. In hindsight, we would have waited a little longer to board to avoid this chaos (no one can go to their rooms until 1:00, gets crowded as everyone waits to get into the Windjammer for lunch at 11:30- with their carry on items). Tip: may be worth asking if your cruise has any large groups on board before you book. Ours did, they blocked off a HUGE portion of the Windjammer for them which caused limited seating for the rest of us on this day. They also did not have enough reserved signs causing friction between group leaders and other passengers. While we all waited for limited tables to open up, their reserved section had plenty of empty tables as they waited for others in the group to get on board at their leisure. This wasn't the best first impression of the dining experience. The size of the reserved section did shrink on the following days though. Stateroom: We booked a spacious balcony on deck 8 aft. Kind of far from elevators so it was quiet. This was an excellent location: 3 floors down from the Windjammer and splash away bay/pools, 3 floors above the royal promenade so we rarely needed to take the elevators. It's really not big enough for 4 people, keep this in mind. We did fit but it was tight. There is enough storage for 2 people, not for 4. Their family rooms with bunk beds did not come with a balcony (bummer). We did not want to pay for a suite. Balcony over space and storage was our choice. The bed was comfy, pull out couch ok. Pillows great. Decor is dated but fine. Water never gets cold, need ice daily. Fridge is more of a cooler. Travel hair dryer provided in a drawer. Shampoo/conditioner combo in shower, bar soap only. No outlets in the bathroom. If traveling with others, the balcony dividers appear to be able to slide open. So, if you do not have a connecting room, you can open up your balcony divider to make a huge balcony with your neighbor. Double check though, it just appeared this way. Tips: bring extra hangers, a non-surge extension cord because of only 2 outlets (they will confiscate surge protectors, must be cruise approved), and an alarm clock (not provided). Stateroom attendant will provide a corkscrew for your wine if asked so no need to pack one. Ship condition: Clean! The only noticeable areas in need of an update are the hallway carpets (stained/worn), room decor, and peach coloring in the hallways. Other than that she's really a beauty and the staff is always cleaning. Dining: We did not eat at any specialty restaurants. Windjammer had great selections, we really enjoyed all our meals here. The desserts were top notch. Our children will greatly miss the food! You can order omelets at breakfast and they deliver them to your table. It is VERY busy on port mornings so keep this in mind. Chaos, actually, but the staff tries very hard to keep everything stocked. Dining room: food was okay. They do have a children's menu. We only ate here 3 times because our 5:30 time was hard to make most days. They do have my time dining but we did not sign up for this for fear we would have to wait long with the kids. Our kids wanted the Windjammer anyway. We were displeased with the lack of attention other passengers paid to the dress code and lack of enforcement by RC. They do not allow shorts in the dining room...but they do. Whether it's casual night or nicer you will find adults and children looking like they came down from the pool. I guess I just don't understand how parents can teach their children to just ignore a dress code completely and do whatever you want. Please, don't walk into an upscale dining room with your althetic shorts, flip flops, and sweaty tshirt no matter how old you are. It's inappropriate. Your wait staff are in suits! Go to the Windjammer if you do not have decent attire. Pool area: 2 pools, one was heated (crowded), one was not (pretty cold). Multiple hot tubs for adults and for kids. Loungers are taken very early but we were not interested in baking in the sun. Finding a table wasn't that hard, just keep an eye out. Many older people come and go from these tables so we never had an issue swooping in to snag one no matter what time we got there. Splash away bay is great, we always had a hard time getting our youngest to leave! Even older kids (12ish) liked this area! Water slides at back of the boat were consistently busy, go in the morning or late afternoon for shorter lines. Must be 48 in tall and they do measure. They were hit and miss, sometimes fast and sometimes you stopped in the middle of the slide. Kids still loved them though. Tidal wave was very fun, must be 52 in tall and weigh at least 75 lbs. Combined rider weight needs to exceed 200 lbs. They do weigh questionable kids, saw some tears so don't set your kid up to be told no at the entrance. My son and I got a bit airborne on this ride so I can see why they are strick with the weight. Two kids cannot go together if not over 200 lbs. Flow rider was always busy when we were back there, but none of us did it. I do believe you need to sign waivers, saw the long line for this on embarkation day. The staff is constantly trying to keep the areas clean and the deck dry to minimize slippage but did see some little ones slipping. Self serve ice cream machine is outside, lines are long but move quickly. I think the longest wait was 15 min. Towel exchange is easy, they will charge for missing towels though. Need to check out and return with your sea pass card. We did not use the adult solarium, unfortunately. Activities: So much to do and for all interests. Our boys are hockey players so they wanted to ice skate. Look at the cruise compass for the times to get in line for tickets. We got in line 20 min prior and by the time they opened the doors the line was quite long. They then give you a ticket with the block of time to skate desired if still available. We were able to skate right away with the first group, didn't want it to interfere with key swim time! Mini golf was fun but can get busy during peak times of the day, no score cards provided. We did not see any shows. The outdoor movies were nice and they had movies that catered to different age groups on different nights. Arcade is nice with many games, kids went 5 times but it's costly. Air hockey tables got damaged one night, likely by kids leaning on them with their belts to get the puck but they still "worked" though badly scraped. Adventure Ocean: we went to sign our boys up but they did not want to go. I'm sorry RC, but the AO rooms leave little to be desired. They both looked at us and asked, "Do we have to come here?" So, they didn't. Had there been video games they would have been sold. Staff: Very friendly, no complaints. Lots of smiles and overall positive experience. Bars: We did not get a beverage package. However, if you do plan to drink quite a bit, I do think it is worth the price looking at our bar bill at the end of the trip. Drinks are expensive. My husband had quite a few especially on sea days, I had maybe 8 alcohol drinks all cruise (had my wine) and we were somewhat close to their buy one get one half off sale price offered on embarkation day (would have been about 850 for the 2 of us if we purchased on this day, gratuities included). We did get a few email blasts days before the cruise offering really good deals on these packages so I recommend you wait to purchase to just prior. Same for Internet packages. We did not purchase Internet though much to our kids unhappiness. If you do NOT get a drink package, know that a tip is added on your bill under "service charge." There is an additional tip line for EXTRA tip on there. We did not see this until the afternoon of the first sea day, they made quite a bit off of us that first day! Always had speedy service, used the squeeze bar near splash away bay most of the time. Longer lines at the main pool bars so beware. Royal Promenade: If you forgot any clothing item, you will find onboard unless you have a unique size. Some kids items but mostly adult sizes. No need to buy a lanyard in advance if you want one, they have a ton of options that first day. Very limited supply of necessities in the general store so I'm guessing they have more medicine in the infirmary? Just bring anything you could possible need with you especially if you have children. Sunblock is expensive so pack enough. I did not find any of the sale staff to be bothersome or pushy at all. Really enjoyed Sorrento's pizza. The promenade is one of my favorite areas of the ship. Tip: wait until the last sea day to buy any souvenirs, they have more sales. Roatan: View is on Port (Left) side of the boat. Gorgeous views, the prettiest of the trip while in dock. In April, they are an hour behind ship time. We hired Discover Roatan Excursions and Tours to take us to Daniel Johnson's Monkey and Sloth Hangout then to Little French Key. We exited the boat by 8:30, met our private driver right where the instructions said he would be outside the port. New, clean vehicle. He gave us information about the island on our 30 min trip, had us wait in the shade while he waited in the long, hot, sunny line to get tickets at Daniel Johnson's (company had already reserved our tickets). We then waited about 20 min once we got our tickets, then we were able to hold sloths, have monkeys jump on us, and get in the cages with the parrots. Kids had a blast! We were there a total of maybe an hour and a half so either get there first thing or go in the afternoon. It gets VERY crowded due to the popularity. We were then taken to the boat dock of LFK, he got our wristbands, and we agreed on a time to meet in the afternoon. LFK is a short 5/10 min ride via small boat to the island. We loved every minute of it and highly recommend! We did the basic package and that was sufficient. We all loved the jumping platform and spent lots of time here swinging off the platform. Good snorkeling as well but mostly fish, no coral so kids enjoyed this at their leisure. Pizza was really good. So much to do we could have spent all day here, it was tough to leave. Absolutely gorgeous beaches and water, not too crowded because they limit the number of reservations. No issue getting beach loungers even though we got there just before lunch time. No pesky vendors are allowed! We did see monkey handlers walking around, oldest son couldn't resist again. We made the right decision to leave 30 min prior to our meeting time because we spent 15 min waiting in line to get off the key (mostly cruise ship passengers needing to get off at same time). Our driver got us back in plenty of time in a nice, cool vehicle. Because we were his only job for the day, we tipped him generously so if you go this route bring enough cash that has no rips or marks on them (banks there will NOT except US dollars even with small imperfections). Some small souvenir shops are in the port, they also except US dollars but same rule applies. Belize: This is a tender port, also one hour behind ship time this time of year. If you do not have a RC ship excursion booked, you MUST stand in line the morning of to get a tender ticket. We needed the first or second tender due to our non-ship excursion leaving time. I was in line by 6:30 am and there was maybe 15 people already in front of me. By the 7:00 time to hand out tender tickets, there were hundreds in line with some panicking they would miss their excursion times because they didn't get in line early enough. Your whole group does not need to be with you. RC could do a better job with crowd control, a passenger took charge and we all created our own line that snaked through the star lounge. However, this should not be a passenger responsibility. It's a good thing everyone cooperated. We used Belize Exotic Excursions for our snorkel trip to Shark/Ray Alley, Hol Chan Marine Reserve, and then to the island of Caye Caulker. This excursion was about half the cost of the ship's version, they really up charge you on the ship with these excursions. While I'm not sure I would use this company again, we had a nice time and I loved snorkeling with the nurse sharks, sting rays, and seeing the beautiful underwater world of Belize. Our oldest son was in heaven seeing sharks. Keep in mind this trip is an hour by boat each way to the spot but we saw dolphins twice! Our boat was smaller and slower than others we saw, so that was disappointing. But, we only had 17 people on our excursion compared to 40-50 people on others we saw (that's a lot in the water with you when trying to stay with a group). We spent some time having a great lunch on Caye Caulker which is such a cute island, only bikes and golf carts allowed. Appeared that many dive enthusiasts were staying on the island (blue hole isn't far away I believe). We made it back to our port in time and could even shop a bit (more shops here). The last tender is at 4:30 but don't panic if you are in the long line at 4:30, they will not leave you there. We did not leave Belize until 6:00 or so because the tender lines were so long. Captain says this is very common. We were in line at about 3:30 ship time and it took us almost 30 min to get on a tender. Cozumel: View is on Starboard (Right) side of the shop but it's nothing special. Cozumel was on ship time. We took a taxi ($17 for the 4 of us) to Mr. Sanchos All Inclusive Beach Club (must get reservations in advance, do not wait bc they sell out). Absolutely wonderful experience. We were shown to our own table as soon as we got there, did not want loungers in the sun so the table with shade was perfect. Assigned waiter. Beach is beautiful, kids found shark teeth and many shells. Pools were nice, great swim up bar, great food, inflatable water park for kids (extra cost). Other beach clubs had the inflatables but they looked FAR from the beach which doesn't make sense to me. These were close so our youngest had no issues swimming with his life jacket on out to them. Just a great day so all the positive reviews you read are accurate. You can also rent snorkel gear. A good mix of people: partiers, older people, and families. Great atmosphere for all and was not over crowded because they limit the number of reservations. Tip: always confirm the taxi cost before you get in the taxi. No issue leaving the club to get to port, taxis are waiting. Debarkation: We did self carry off the ship (early times). We did not do a RC airport transfer, so we could not utilize luggage pickup because by the time we would be allowed to pickup our luggage in the port our bus would be leaving (early morning leaving times reserved for RC transfers if you want your luggage picked up the night prior). Lesson learned. Elevators were impossible, so hubby carried everything down to the 4th floor where you exit the ship. It was a bit of a nightmare with all the luggage, our kids had to tough it out and roll the big bags but it only took a total of 30 min at about 8:30 am, so pretty smooth. All 4 of us had our passports and the line for this was a bit shorter than those who did not have them. We used Galveston Limosine and Transportation and it worked fine, $120 one way for the 4 of us. They do stop at Hobby Airport first before IAH but the coach bus was clean. I'm surprised at the negative reviews which made me nervous before our trip. They were very easy to find in port, zero complaints. Tips: Bring beach towel clips, it gets windy. We also used these on our balcony to dry our clothes, they never fell off the chairs even with wind on the balcony. Bring drink koosies. Bring ear plugs or a white noise machine/fan in case you have a noisy hallway or neighbors. Bring sticky notes and a pen (not in room) to leave each other notes. Bring watches set to ship time because your phone may switch to local time when in port. Bring extra money, they do have the tip envelopes to go above the gratuities you pay per person every day charged to your sea pass account. We did leave extra tips, it almost appears this is expected. They are left in your rooms and on display at the guest service desk. The last full sea day means long lines at the guest service desk. I went early in the morning with barely a wait so this is your best bet. Also, there is a small library on the ship so if you forget a book or get done with yours early, they have plenty to choose from. It's an honors system. We enjoyed our cruise very much and the kids want to go on another one so I think that says it all! We do dislike all the "extra" costs, but it is what it is. Keep in mind this is a family geared ship given all the kid friendly/fun activities this ship provides. If you are older and want a more adult feel, you will not get it on this ship. We also met a lot of people from Michigan due to the first week of April being our state wide spring break for schools. I imagine passenger makeup fluctuates with varying state and college winter and spring break schedules so keep this in mind when booking. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this cruise because we live in Texas and could drive to Galveston. We stayed overnight in Galveston and ate at Shrimp and Stuff which was very good. We parked a the hotel and they took us to the ship which was cheaper than other ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we live in Texas and could drive to Galveston. We stayed overnight in Galveston and ate at Shrimp and Stuff which was very good. We parked a the hotel and they took us to the ship which was cheaper than other parking options. Below are the good and bad parts of the cruise: Good Parts: a. Two of three RCL excursions were awesome. We really enjoyed the Jewell in Jamaica and Stingray City. b. We enjoyed the juggler and the comedian on two different nights of the cruise. c. Ship staff were friendly and our balcony was great. d. Food in the MDR was above average. e. Able to bring on a case of bottled water and 12 pack of soft drinks without a problem. Bad Parts: a. Always had to fight for a table in Windjammer and lines for food. Avoid this place if possible. b. Jeffrey is not a good cruise director. c. People were hoarding good pool chairs. d. Beds were really hard but I brought a foam pad. Should not have to though. e. Sabor specialty restaurant was barely average. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
Native Houstonians, we had never sailed out of Galveston before. Embarkation (and debarkation) were a breeze. This was our first Royal Caribbean cruise and we had some misgivings about the age of the ship. We had a junior suite which was ... Read More
Native Houstonians, we had never sailed out of Galveston before. Embarkation (and debarkation) were a breeze. This was our first Royal Caribbean cruise and we had some misgivings about the age of the ship. We had a junior suite which was a bit worn, but otherwise just fine. We liked the Promenade concept and overall layout. What we didn't like (and thus the B-) was that the ship vibrated the entire cruise, except in port, of course. Never experienced this on any cruise before. Distracting. Food was on average, well, average - with the exception of the Italian specialty restaurant, Giovanni's, which was fantastic. Not that impressed with Chops or Sabor, but then its hard to impress Texans with steak or Mexican food. Only went to the main dining room on lobster night, which was good, but not great. Johnny Rockets was pretty good. The bright spot was service. Everyone, and I mean everyone, was friendly, attentive, and professional - best we have ever encountered. They made the trip enjoyable! Kudos! My parting comment was nothing to do with the ship. We have always cruised with our son, now 19 and in college. This was just the two of us, though sailing with friends taking a parent on a birthday cruise. Let's just say at 68 years old I was probably in the younger half of the demographic. Very different from screaming kids. Live and learn. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
We were going with a group that had planned the cruise and we live in Houston so no flights were required. Drawback is that RCL port choices out of Galveston are too limited. They switch around going to the same 4 or 5 ports all the time. ... Read More
We were going with a group that had planned the cruise and we live in Houston so no flights were required. Drawback is that RCL port choices out of Galveston are too limited. They switch around going to the same 4 or 5 ports all the time. Ports are OK but it gets old going back to the same places. In Roatan, Big French Key shore excursion recommended.The ship and services were good overall. Our balcony cabin had good storage and size was OK. TV choices limited and amenities poor - very thin toilet paper, no lotion, no pen & pad of paper. Room service breakfast quality was average and order got mixed up once. Cruise director was excellent. Very good entertainment quality and variety. Windjammer food & service good. Main dining room food was good and service mixed - one excellent waiter and other 2 servers just OK. Customer Service desk staff were excellent. Promenade is a nice feature and we enjoyed coffees from Cafe Espresso and pizza from Sorrento's. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
8+ cruise with RCCL and we have cruised on larger and smaller ships but first time on the Liberty Embarkation - was really nice flow and we were on the ship in under 1hr which I consider very good time, leaving the ship we had a long ... Read More
8+ cruise with RCCL and we have cruised on larger and smaller ships but first time on the Liberty Embarkation - was really nice flow and we were on the ship in under 1hr which I consider very good time, leaving the ship we had a long line of over 1hr with US immigration lines. The ship has a ton of things to do and overall everything was pretty good from the shows to bingo and everything in between. Lots of families and empty nesters, many Texans but a mix of others as well, everyone got along well and were super friendly. Good news there was no sewer smell in bathrooms. Stateroom was large and room attendant excellent. Room itself was clean but worn out, everything was badly stained, carpets, sofa, chair, curtains and even the towels.RCCL should be ashamed to allow their standards to drop so low. Overall ship public areas was in better shape and clean and well maintained. Lots bars and open areas. Elevators, only thing I can say is they are a hot mess try to avoid and walk the stairs if possible. Food was above average for sure and everything was served HOT. We dinned at Sabor, Chops & Giovanni's and service and food was excellent. Main dinning room was good for food and excellent for service. Windjammer buffet was OK and finding a table was always and issue. Pizza place was great. Over all service was excellent and everyone we encountered had a smile and was service orientated. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
Myself, Mother and Mother In Law cruised as our Christmas gift to the moms. Guys stayed at home. We really enjoyed the whole experience from day 1. We shared an oversized balcony with the moms in twin beds and myself on the convertible ... Read More
Myself, Mother and Mother In Law cruised as our Christmas gift to the moms. Guys stayed at home. We really enjoyed the whole experience from day 1. We shared an oversized balcony with the moms in twin beds and myself on the convertible couch. The room had plenty of storage and room to move around and we took the desk chair on the balcony when all 3 of us wanted to be outside. As stated before the beds are a little hard but I was very comfortable. We drove down the night before and stayed at 4 points Sheraton which was fine but a little pricey. We parked with cruisepark and had to lug our suitcases a couple of blocks including across train tracks and up stairs but we made it just fine and that is with 2 ladies over 75. Would recommend a lot that drops you off at the terminal if the weather is not great. Embarkation was a piece of cake and we arrived around 10:15am. We were in the gold boarding group and waited about 30 minutes before being allowed to board. We walked around the ship and had a drink by the pool until our room was ready at 1:00. Our luggage was already in the hallway so we changed into swimsuits and went to the pool with our books. We ate in the dining room for most meals to try to avoid the germs and crowds. It is hard to eat together in the windjammer because someone has to hold the table while the others take turns getting food so you have to take turns eating. The food at the buffet was fair to good. All of our meals in the MDR were very good and the salad and pasta bar in the dining room on sea days was great. first excursion in Roatan was little french key. Absolutely breathtaking views and beautiful beaches but they oversold by 300 people and did not have the enough staff to serve food and drinks. Some people never got lunch and it took about an hour to get a drink. A little disappointing but it's hard to be unhappy when you are sitting on the beach! Costa Maya excursion was bacalar fort and 7 colors lagoon. The swimming portion was first. We reached the swimming areas by boat. The water is refreshing and the views are amazing. It was a very windy day so the swimming was a little difficult, but the water was shallow enough to just stand and cool off if you don't swim. The fort was fun but we just had a very short time and did not get to go inside to the pirate museum. Great photo opportunity. Take some cash as the locals were selling hand made bracelets, shirts and candy. On Cozumel we did the Mayan ruins and chocolate tasting. Our guide, Bianca, was awesome! Great tour to learn about the Mayan culture and history and a fun and tasty look at chocolate making through the years. We even had time for a chocolate Margarita. The ship itself is absolutely beautiful and there is plenty to do. The shows were some of the best I've seen on any cruise. I highly recommend LOS with stops in Roatan, Costa Maya and Cozumel. We chose self check out for disembarkation. You have to register even if you are taking your own luggage to get a group number. We left the ship at 8:40 and it took about an hour to get through customs. We were in the parking lot and on the road by 10:00. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
This cruise was chosen for the time of year with children in school for a group of friends, who normally sail repositioning cruises, to take a short vacation from our home port of Galveston. Unfortunately, after all made arrangements, ... Read More
This cruise was chosen for the time of year with children in school for a group of friends, who normally sail repositioning cruises, to take a short vacation from our home port of Galveston. Unfortunately, after all made arrangements, RCCL changed to kids sail free. We are not against children, but as seniors and retired, we were looking forward to some quiet, relaxing pool days. Between kids running up and down halls yelling at the top of their lungs, riding elevators, pushing all the floor buttons and little parent supervision, this was not the best cruise. Fortunately we could utilize the Diamond Lounge for Continental breakfast in the morning and cocktails in the late afternoon before dinner at Chops and Giovanni's. The few times we went to Windjammer, it was a nightmare. We have sailed the Liberty several times including her repo from Quebec City. She's a nice ship, laid out well, but we are bored with the promenade. One of the elevators port side, aft was out of service the first two days then, almost immediately placed back in service, someone on an electric scooter took out the doors on deck 14, so the remaining elevators were always packed. Staff are friendly, helpful, and polite. As we have sailed so much we really don't require much, know the ship and where we want to go. Only drawback in Diamond Lounge in the morning, when wanting some quiet to read and have coffee, a yoga exercise class is taking pace in Viking Crown with the instructor yelling at the top of his lungs. Not the place to have a class. We had a promenade cabin on deck 7. Great location as it was around corner from stairs and elevators. Our cabin steward, Florina, was excellent. This is the second time in a promenade cabin. I must admit I like to see daylight preferring a balcony or Ocean View (on upper decks) so will not book again. Service and food in Chops and Giovanni's was excellent as always though I prefer the food in Giovanni's We all missed not having Izumi on the ship. Ports: We have been to them all so many times that we go ashore to meet friends for lunch. In Roatan we stayed on the ship to enjoy a few hours of quiet time at the pool. The Aviary at Costa Maya is a must see. Beautiful birds and a very nice facility worth the $12 admission. Lunch at Panchos Backyard in Cozumel is also a must. Good food, margarita's and beautiful patio. Good shopping at the attached store Los Cinco Soles. My only serious complaint is the womens restroom on deck 11. It is accessible from inside and pool side. The smell is atrocious! This is the restroom for Windjammer, Chops, Giovanni's and the pool. Something must be done about the odor.I accept the fan to keep the floor dry, but the room stinks. Overall, it was an okay trip. Looking forward to the arrival of the Enchantment in 2019 and Oasis Class in 2020 though my preference is the smaller ships. Read Less
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
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
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
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 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
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
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

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