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We were first time cruisers from Middle America...SO...clearly, we have nothing to compare to, and our criteria for "good beach" is simply that it's got sand and salt water. That being said, I couldn't have imagined a better introduction to cruising than what we had on Liberty of the Seas, and now we are completely HOOKED! We arrived around 10:30ish, and literally "sailed" through the boarding process. Prepaid Galveston Cruise Port parking was so smooth! The shuttle parked literally right in front of my car, helped load our bags and within 5 minutes we'd ridden across the street. Now, I will say, if I have anything negative to say about embarkation it was that we had NO idea where to go first (luggage drop off) and in the midst of 2 ships worth of people debarking (LoS and Carnival Vista) it was kind of hard to figure out. Once we did, though, the line for the metal detectors/baggage checks moved smoothly, and we walked right up to a boarding agent. Embarkation couldn't have taken more than 30 minutes from the time we stepped off the shuttle to the time we stepped on deck. Amazing! Liberty of the Seas is a beautiful ship...maybe not 5-star perfection, as her in-room finishings are pretty worn (curtains, carpet, upholstry), but it's comfortable, and her public areas are bright and fun, while not being overwhelming. We are pretty introverted and were a little nervous about crowds, but I never felt like I had a hard time finding "personal space" whether it was on deck, or a quiet table/chair to sit in a bar or Cafe Promenade. We did shy away from some of the promenade parties...or watched from one of the decks above. Honestly, we came to really just love sea days and lounging by the pool, playing Mini-Golf, ice skating, rock climbing, shows, watching our kids on the Flow Rider, or walking on the track enjoying the sea breeze. (I will say...I'm not reviewing the kids programs below, because my kids ended up being so happy out on the pool or sports decks they didn't try to go very often. One negative - when my 12-year-old DID try to attend a scheduled activity in the Teen group, they were always cancelled...at least the ones that appealed to a pre-teen. As an educator, I think the 12 to 17 age grouping is way too big...there should really be a 12-14 group and a 15-17 group. My 9-year-old finally decided to go on the final night and had a blast, and really wished he'd gone more during the week.) The food may not be the best in the cruise industry, but we found ourselves to be well fed and happy the whole time. I will say, Windjammer is not my favorite. I just found the food to not look very appealing - just very mass produced, and sometimes like it had been sitting out a while (or was maybe just overcooked...there were multiple days of burnt chocolate chip cookies). My kids loved Sorento's Pizza and we LOVED the Main Dining Room. Emilio and Ikadek were our waiter and assistant waiter and in addition to both being delightful people, they took amazing care of my son with nut/coconut allergies ensuring he had his own safely-prepared basket of bread and that his order was taken the previous evening so that it could be prepared away from an other items in the kichen that would be unsafe. This was purely their doing upon hearing of his allergy - we did not specifically ask for any accommodations. My other son is exceedingly picky, and Emilio had amazing descriptions each night of the entrees available, which led "picky child" to feel confident ordering entrees of the main menu every single night - when we'd pretty much assumed we'd just have to ask for a kids menu for him (he's nearly 13). While guest service personnel on board were wonderful (we also loved our state room attendant, Ros), I will say billing from the home office is MESSED UP. They charged us the higher gratuity rate, even though we'd locked in at the lower rate (and I'd gotten assurance from a call to home office after the change that our rate would be the lower rate). This was easily fixed by showing a copy of my confirmation - then we paid extra in cash to our waiters & room attendant who were the three we really had the most contact with. When we returned, we found that the billing to our credit card did not match at all the way the charges were broken down on our final statement on ship. We were able to figure out that 3 of the charges were every charge from a single day, but it took another week to reconcile the other charges. That was not cool, but is an RCCL problem, not a Liberty of the Seas problem. We might do a cash account next time. So...long story short...amazing ship, amazing cruise. I can't wait to be back. :)

An amazing first cruise!

Liberty of the Seas Cruise Review by OTown4

Trip Details
We were first time cruisers from Middle America...SO...clearly, we have nothing to compare to, and our criteria for "good beach" is simply that it's got sand and salt water. That being said, I couldn't have imagined a better introduction to cruising than what we had on Liberty of the Seas, and now we are completely HOOKED!

We arrived around 10:30ish, and literally "sailed" through the boarding process. Prepaid Galveston Cruise Port parking was so smooth! The shuttle parked literally right in front of my car, helped load our bags and within 5 minutes we'd ridden across the street. Now, I will say, if I have anything negative to say about embarkation it was that we had NO idea where to go first (luggage drop off) and in the midst of 2 ships worth of people debarking (LoS and Carnival Vista) it was kind of hard to figure out. Once we did, though, the line for the metal detectors/baggage checks moved smoothly, and we walked right up to a boarding agent. Embarkation couldn't have taken more than 30 minutes from the time we stepped off the shuttle to the time we stepped on deck. Amazing!

Liberty of the Seas is a beautiful ship...maybe not 5-star perfection, as her in-room finishings are pretty worn (curtains, carpet, upholstry), but it's comfortable, and her public areas are bright and fun, while not being overwhelming. We are pretty introverted and were a little nervous about crowds, but I never felt like I had a hard time finding "personal space" whether it was on deck, or a quiet table/chair to sit in a bar or Cafe Promenade. We did shy away from some of the promenade parties...or watched from one of the decks above. Honestly, we came to really just love sea days and lounging by the pool, playing Mini-Golf, ice skating, rock climbing, shows, watching our kids on the Flow Rider, or walking on the track enjoying the sea breeze.

(I will say...I'm not reviewing the kids programs below, because my kids ended up being so happy out on the pool or sports decks they didn't try to go very often. One negative - when my 12-year-old DID try to attend a scheduled activity in the Teen group, they were always cancelled...at least the ones that appealed to a pre-teen. As an educator, I think the 12 to 17 age grouping is way too big...there should really be a 12-14 group and a 15-17 group. My 9-year-old finally decided to go on the final night and had a blast, and really wished he'd gone more during the week.)

The food may not be the best in the cruise industry, but we found ourselves to be well fed and happy the whole time. I will say, Windjammer is not my favorite. I just found the food to not look very appealing - just very mass produced, and sometimes like it had been sitting out a while (or was maybe just overcooked...there were multiple days of burnt chocolate chip cookies). My kids loved Sorento's Pizza and we LOVED the Main Dining Room. Emilio and Ikadek were our waiter and assistant waiter and in addition to both being delightful people, they took amazing care of my son with nut/coconut allergies ensuring he had his own safely-prepared basket of bread and that his order was taken the previous evening so that it could be prepared away from an other items in the kichen that would be unsafe. This was purely their doing upon hearing of his allergy - we did not specifically ask for any accommodations. My other son is exceedingly picky, and Emilio had amazing descriptions each night of the entrees available, which led "picky child" to feel confident ordering entrees of the main menu every single night - when we'd pretty much assumed we'd just have to ask for a kids menu for him (he's nearly 13).

While guest service personnel on board were wonderful (we also loved our state room attendant, Ros), I will say billing from the home office is MESSED UP. They charged us the higher gratuity rate, even though we'd locked in at the lower rate (and I'd gotten assurance from a call to home office after the change that our rate would be the lower rate). This was easily fixed by showing a copy of my confirmation - then we paid extra in cash to our waiters & room attendant who were the three we really had the most contact with. When we returned, we found that the billing to our credit card did not match at all the way the charges were broken down on our final statement on ship. We were able to figure out that 3 of the charges were every charge from a single day, but it took another week to reconcile the other charges. That was not cool, but is an RCCL problem, not a Liberty of the Seas problem. We might do a cash account next time.

So...long story short...amazing ship, amazing cruise. I can't wait to be back. :)
OTown4’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Ages Under 3
Ages 7 to 9
Ages 10 to 12
Ages 13 to 15
Service
Onboard Experience
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Cabin Review

Interior
Cabin 4V 7215
I was pleasantly surprised at how cramped I "didn't" feel in this room with myself, my 6'3" husband, and two 5 ft.+ pre-teens. As stated above, the finishings need refurbishment, and one of our pullman beds had a rail that would not lock in the upright position. However, there is plenty of storage space, and with some creativing moving of the life vest and stashing the glass-top table in the closet, we were able to have a satisfactory amount of space for quick resting/regrouping in our cabin. I do think given that my boys will be quite tall by the next cruise (and one will be full fare), we will probably need a larger cabin or to do 2 by our next family cruise.
Deck 12 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Cozumel
    LOVED IT!!! Meeting with the group and taxi transport were super smooth. I wish they had more than 2 people manning locker rentals and life jackets...that would have been nice. But the dolphin swim was AMAZING (and felt much longer than the 45 minutes it was quoted as), we enjoyed paddleboarding, as well. The open bar was a plus (given that we opted not to do the drink package on board). Food was included, and seemed authentic...so if your a 'tex-mex' fan, you're probably not going to love it.
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  • Irie Blue Hole
    This excursion included a 90 minute ride to the Irie Blue Hole and White River (tubing) on which our Chukka guide, GraceAnn, offered commentary and incredible information the whole way. At one point, on the way home, a man on the street was selling bunches of guinep (spanish lime), and she bought some to share with everyone on the bus so we could try it. She was awesome! It was a great way to feel like we were actually seeing and learning about some of the country beyond just visiting the port and an excursion point. It was a rainy day, but nothing more than light showers. The Blue Hole was pretty adventurous, but the guides were all so supportive and encouraging - yet never pushed you to do something you weren't fully comfortable with. The same was true of tubing on the White River. The jerk chicken & rice lunch with fruit or rum punch (included in the tour) were FAB-U-LOUS!! Probably my favorite meal of the whole week! The only issue we had were that the roads near blue hole & the river are VERY poor, and our bus driver hit one large bump way too fast (purely by accident) and my 12-year-old (who could be knocked over by a stiff breeze) actually lifted out of his seat enough that he hit his head on the luggage rack above. In fairness, he later admitted that he did not buckle his seat belt as we had all been requested by the guide and driver to do...but just be advised that these are very narrow, very bumpy roads, so you might think twice before taking your very young (I think they have to be 6) children on this tour. We had a fantastic time, though, branched out of our comfort zone, and I feel like - in large part to GraceAnn - we had a cultural experience that went well beyond the typical stop in port.
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  • Galveston
    We were amazed at how smoothly exit and entry through the terminal went overall. If I had one criticism, it's that if you're new to cruising (or maybe cruising through Galveston), you don't really know where to start when you arrive. They don't appear to have baggage carousels for getting your luggage after debarkation, so we were pretty glad we didn't have to sort through and find our luggage because we chose to self-debark.
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  • Grand Cayman (Georgetown)
    This might have been my favorite day. Lovely port, lovely community, lovely people. We easily found a private taxi/bus that took us to the Calico Jacks area on Seven Mile Beach for $6/person. We walked about 150 ft. away from Calico Jacks to chair/umbrella vendors ($20 for umbrella & 2 chairs for the day, I think??? I remember it was only about half of what I was looking at on Royal Palms.) on the beach for a little less crowd and found it to be a beautiful beach and a great time. When we needed a snack/refreshments, I walked (among the chickens) back to Calico Jacks to get a couple of beverage and some apps, that they put in to-go containers for me so I could carry them back to our seats. Even with a break-out rain shower in the afternoon, we had a perfect beach day!
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