Liberty of the Seas Cruise Review by Cruise Referee
- Sail Date: April 2019
- Destination: Western Caribbean
- Cabin Type: Junior Suite
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!
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews
Cave-TubingLong ride (about 90 minutes each way) and not very organized when we got there. Too much standing around and waiting. Nature walk was nice, cave tube ride was fun (good to see, but not sure we'd do it again), and lunch was good. But then more standing around and waiting for our return trip to the ship. About 1:40 of activity (plus lunch) over an 8 hour day. But our bus tour guide, "Captain" Kirk Loyd, was FANTASTIC!! He talked non-stop for our bus ride both ways.View All 334 Cave-Tubing Reviews
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BeachNice beach and good snorkeling. But miscommunication from our on-site person was not good. Plus if you were headed to the beach at the beginning (we snorkeled first) there were no more beach chairs.View All 389 Beach Reviews
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