Liberty of the Seas Cruise Review by Forever Young Family
- Sail Date: May 2019
- Destination: Western Caribbean
- Cabin Type: Spacious Ocean View Balcony
Embarkation was easy. Our rooms weren't ready yet so we went to Windjammer to eat. Staff did a good job of cleaning tables and the manager made the announcement for you to move on if you were finished so others could have a table. Our cabin, 7248, and our sons' cabin 7253 were clean and ready at 1 p.m. as promised. Luggage was late arriving so we had to go to dinner in very casual attire.
One of our favorite things about RC is that their ships are so easy to navigate. There is a direct path down the center of the ship from forward to aft (as long as you remember to go to that deck). They have great signage and interactive wall maps that help too. The ship was beautiful and well-maintained. The freedom class-size ships are perfect. Just big enough to have extra amenities but not too many people. The cabins could use a little update but you're not there much so that's okay. We got the oversized balcony cabin and agree that it was totally worth the price. Our sons had a promenade-view stateroom and it was nice but small. The window seat helps!
The food was usually excellent but sometimes just OK. Our dinner at Chops was amazing. In the main dining room, we felt that some nights it was hard to choose because everything sounded good. On other nights, we were wishing we had gone somewhere else because nothing sounded good. Also, there were some VERY strange combinations: chicken cordon bleu with FRENCH FRIES? chicken parm (that was really rubbery) with MASHED POTATOES?
Lunch in the main dining room was good but again...sometimes we wanted every dish and others we had trouble choosing because nothing sounded good. We loved the Tutti salad bar in the main dining room at lunch (wish that was an option at dinner too).
The Windjammer food was consistently good but the hot food bars are laid out so everyone just keeps running into each other. It's not fun to eat there and the only reason we did was because it was convenient and quick. Our sons LOVED the pizza at Sorrento's and apparently everyone else did too because there was always a line waiting for a slice. The Cupcake Cupboard was just okay and Ben & Jerry's needed more flavor choices (I think they had 8-10).
For entertainment, we wished they had more movie choices and more movie showings (especially on sea days). The band "The Long Run" was not good but the ice skating show was amazing. The ship's musicians were great. We felt like some of the game "callers" (entertainment staff) didn't know the rules of the game they were running OR they didn't know how to have fun with the people playing the games. And the BINGO guy (1st sea day) made waaaay too many jokes about sex. The NEXT Cruise staff made me NOT want to go on an Alaskan cruise-tour after attending her Alaska cruise-tour session....
We all agreed that the Fun Fair on the Promenade on sea day 3 was a super idea and very well executed. It was awesome to see some of the officers interacting with guests. The games were cute and creative. Cruise Director Brian was just okay otherwise but on this event he knocked it out of the park.
We had 2 main "issues": having to get tickets for the tenders at Grand Cayman because we were on another companies' excursion; RC-booked excursion guests were first off the ship. Then the ticketed guests (booked on other companies' excursions) were running late so people NOT on RC excursions were missing their excursions because the tenders were so far behind. Finally, they re-positioned the ship so they could run more tenders. Our group of about 50 people was led around the ship (literally, we made a complete circle around deck 3, even going through the ice rink and through all the cabin hallways) because guests trying to get on tenders were so backed up. By the time our group got back to the gangway the next 2 groups had been called so those people boarded a tender before us. Very frustrating.
Issue #2: need for more staff training. We're gold members so there are a few perks that we wanted to use but several workers didn't know how to give us the discount/perk. Photo staff was impatient---The new photo kiosks are great in theory but who wants to stand and go through thousands of photos when the computer can't pull up your photos? Two photo staff members were so disrespectful/condescending when we asked for help that we logged out and left. (Also, the cigarette smoke from the casino was very overwhelming when we were going through the photo ordeal. YUCKY!) Several times we asked questions of retail staff and they couldn't help us. The NEXTCruise staff member was out of breath, rushing around to get her presentation ready and then she really didn't tell us anything special about RC's Alaska cruises (as I said before, it made us NOT want to go on an RC Alaska trip).
Ports/shore excursions: we do not like Cozumel---it's too touristy, dirty, and very hard to find your way through the maze of shops at the pier. Somebody needs to find a new port to visit so Cozumel can re-think, clean up and make themselves a little less "touristy". We LOVED the stop at Falmouth - the courtyard/square area is so quaint and 1,000 times better than Cozumel's port area. Very well organized and super easy to get to the excursion stations, super clean, and while there were vendors trying to sell things, they weren't yelling out at you and practically salivating when you walked in their store (like the people in Cozumel). Grand Cayman is also quaint and beautiful. Wish there were more excursions there.
We are already trying to decide on our next cruise. We've been to all parts of the Caribbean so it may be time to branch out. Our family continues to be impressed and pleased with Royal Caribbean so I'm hoping we can find an RC itinerary and ship that works for our schedule and budget. I am convinced that cruising is THE best way to travel and this vacation didn't disappoint!
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