Sail Date: November 2011
I am a long time cruiser and i am only 17 at this time, i have been on 16 cruises and will be going on my 17Th cruise in upcoming February so i know what i'm talking about when i say WOW. We started out by breezing past check-in ... Read More
I am a long time cruiser and i am only 17 at this time, i have been on 16 cruises and will be going on my 17Th cruise in upcoming February so i know what i'm talking about when i say WOW. We started out by breezing past check-in when we got to the cruise terminal....i was surprised by how fast it went with there being so many people. We breezed onto the ship and to our room but it really sucked because the elevators were packed so we walked from deck 3 up to deck 10 where our room was. I give the room a 3 out of 5 because of the view from where it was located...most ships i have been on like carnival triumph and Holland America have a flattish back of the ship but this had an angled back so you could not see out the sides...only the back and only parshall. The amount of room in the cabin was alright considering there were 4 people and room service on the 4Th day was good also because it was there around the time that we woke up. Food was alright on the ship but like i read in reviews that are true, the windjammer cafe had the same repetitive food everyday but the dining room was excellent and the waiter doted over us every night and by the 3rd night had memorized the drinks that we like. We did take advantage of the Chops grill on the 5Th of November for my birthday and also took advantage of the Johnny Rockets on board ship outside of the Kids Center and got to buy this very cute girl from Scotland a milkshake...her fist milk shake. The ports were very very awesome and i had never been to San Juan, Puerto Rico so it was an experience and i recommend that anyone that goes to San Juan must go to both of the ports because they are the height of the attractions. Before we headed back we went to the time honored traditions of Senor Frogs which from what i have been told was very different from what it is now. i heard it used to be a huge party spot with it being open air and now it is enclosed by glass but the party is still going on, we went to St. Marten but i don't have much to say about there and we were also supposed to go to labadee but hurricane Thomas came through so we went to Nassau instead. Overall the cruise was very very exciting and i had tons of fun and am going on the same exact ship this coming February Read Less
Sail Date: March 2011
HUGE LINE AT EMBARKATION ---- SO PAINFULalso, eat lunch in the dining roomI have cruised on the Liberty before, but Royal Caribbean as a cruise line is starting to make me look towards other lines. I am Emerald in the Crown and Anchor ... Read More
HUGE LINE AT EMBARKATION ---- SO PAINFULalso, eat lunch in the dining roomI have cruised on the Liberty before, but Royal Caribbean as a cruise line is starting to make me look towards other lines. I am Emerald in the Crown and Anchor society (because they crooked me out of getting credit for a 14 night cruise, I am not Diamond, but thats another story) and I am getting the coupons but there are not enough perks to gather all of these cruises to finally aspire to Diamond. Anyway, the ship was great, as I remembered it. I loved the 'Hoof and Claw' bar in the promenade, but the singer was so awful, he played the same songs every night and seemed like a drunk. The bartender in the crown lounge bar 'Olive or Twist' was great, his name was Daniel. He was a real guy that gave my friend and i many life lessons to ponder. Dining staff was acceptable instead of exceptional, as it should be. Some bar staff was a pain in the ass, but some of the bar staff was great! VERY HIT OR MISS SERVICE, thats all there is to say.The food has gone downhill like an eighteen wheeler with no brakes.EAT LUNCH IN THE DINING ROOMThere were no chocolates on our pillows, so I asked the cabin steward about it and he went out to port and bought us chocolates to put on our pillows, I was impressed, but this was not the overall feeling of the service. Most important to having a great cruise, will be to eat lunch in the dining room. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2011
My husband and I recently got back from our first cruise: Royal Caribbean - Liberty of the Seas Eastern Caribbean on March 19, 2011 (8 days). We purchased the cruise through Costco Travel and received a nice onboard credit. We had 4 stops ... Read More
My husband and I recently got back from our first cruise: Royal Caribbean - Liberty of the Seas Eastern Caribbean on March 19, 2011 (8 days). We purchased the cruise through Costco Travel and received a nice onboard credit. We had 4 stops in St. Thomas, Puerto Rico, St. Maarten, and Labadee, Haiti (RC private port in Haiti). Since this was a first cruise for us both, we really didn't know what to expect. Our first day we got to the port early and waited in line to board, the process was simple and pretty quick after waiting in the long line. The bags took some time to get to the room( so if you want to go for a swim as soon as you get on the ship, either carry your swim suit on with you or wear it because you may be waiting a while!) Our room was an outside cabin with a large window. The size was fine for us two with a lot of storage space to unpack and not be cramped. The bed was comfortable; the sheets were soft and clean. We loved having the window to look out in the moring and see land or on sea days to be able to see the ocean and have some light, when we got to San Juan we even saw a dolphin swimming right outside our window! Anyway, after we checked out the room we went to the dining room to make sure our seating request of a table for 2 was noted. They had us set for a 4-top, but after we asked for a 2 were able to accommodate us with no problem. We then made our way around the ship, just getting lost and seeing where everything was. The Windjammer Cafe (the buffet) was not the best, they had pre made burger patties and turkey patties with buns and condiments, they had hot bars with items like mashed potatoes, pasta, rice, meat, etc., desserts, salad, pizza, sandwiches. The night of the midnight buffet (which started at 11pm!) it was supposed to be outside but it drizzled so they moved it into the buffet, there were 2 ice sculptures we saw and there were fruit animals that were nice. But again the food was so so. The main dining room food was also a little dissapointing; the salmon for instance was fishy and dry. The chicken and steak were good, but the prime rib was like ham. Our main server and assistant server were THE BEST though, Sigrid and Channel. I really don't know how they remember everyone's name, but like the commercials say, they do just after one interaction. At the end of the trip, they were like family to us. We also got really close to the family sitting next to us, which got me to change my mind about sitting alone. I would try sitting with other passengers next time around. It was nice to sit next to different people and hear what they did during the day. Plus it's nice to get tips from people who have cruised many times before. There was a huge pool area on Liberty, a kid's area with water coming spouting out so the kids could run around, a lazy river and some Jacuzzis and a pool with a waterfall. The main pool area was roomy too, but of course the chairs fill up FAST. There was a TV screen near the main pool where they featured movies as well. There were a few more jacuzzis totalling what I tought to be 6 or 8! Then there was a more quiet pool towards the back which was a bit smaller. The captain said there was a storm on our route the first 2 days we were at sea, which caused 40 mph winds and it was chilly, so we didn't use the pool until the 3rd day, and then everyday after that! They had an ice cream machine near the pool too everyday. The ship itself was very large, clean, and beautiful! The staff really made it for us though, our Cruise Director Gordon was great, very funny. There was a 70's dance party, a white nights party (the night of the midnight buffet), the shows were really great also. Being from Vegas, they actually had shows from Vegas, The Scintas and Earl Turner! Earl Turner was so entertaining I would see his show again if he is still in Vegas!!! We eventaully got into a routine, Breakfast was best in the main dining room, then pool or off to port in the day (or both), a little nap if we had time, a show in the evening, dinner later, and then walking around or listening to karaoke... it was our home on the sea. I heard the Eastern Caribbean is better then the Western which is why I chose it. St. Thomas was our first stop; we bought an excursion 2 days before on the ship, St. Thomas Snuba (ST07). I would NOT recommend this to anyone; it was the worst part of the trip. We drove in a truck to the other side of the island on a non-scenic route. The instructor was not friendly and she was giving us instructions in the open air truck on the way to the beach, so if you were sitting in the back and couldn't hear her, which I couldn't, then too bad I guess. We got to a small beach with seaweed all over the place. She told us to put our stuff by a tree on the sand, and her assistant would watch it. The assistant was also selling water for $1 and pushing T Shirts for $10. The instructor got us into our gear, did a little "practice" when we first got into the water, like put your head under water for 100 seconds to see if your equipment works and that's it. The description said we would go 20 feet below, swim with fish and see them up close, see coral formations etc... we saw BROWN grass, 3 BROWN fish, and a sunken "Ship" - a tiny dingy boat. And we were in the water a total of 10 minutes because she had 3 other groups to get too. Then they gave us (old) snorkel equipment to snorkel with while we waited. $68 per person down the drain!!! After we were dropped off back at the ship, we changed and walked around. The shops that are near the port are not the same as downtown (Snuba Sally old us they would be). If you have comfy shoes and are used to walking, you can walk downtown, but a taxi is cheap, quick and easy to pick up. We ate at a great little place called Gloria's. Gloria was singing behind the counter to Frank Sinatra and it was friendly and clean with homemade hot sauces for purchase. San Juan was probably our favorite stop; it was very hot and humid so we decided to take a last minute bus tour. A lot of other passengers were lined up for the tours provided by the cruise line (which were around $39 per person). But there were quite a few locals trying to push passengers without a tour booked to go with them. We eventually agreed and it was $20, I am glad we did this because we had an air conditioned bus and our guide was a local, from Puerto Rico. He was very informative and made many stops for us to take photos. We learned about history and also tips on places not good for us to go! He also stopped for about 45 minutes at one of the forts so we could tour that then dropped us off in Old San Juan and it was about a 7 minute walk to the pier. We ate in a Spanish restaurant The Parrot Club. Very good food, clean and friendly! St. Maarten had the best beaches from all the places we were. We took a water taxi to Great Bay Beach (a couple of minutes away). It was early and pretty empty in the town and on the beach so we took 2 beach chairs and an umbrella. The ship told us the chairs, umbrella and 2 beers would be $10, but when we got to the beach they were selling for $20 with 5 beers. We bargained and got them for $10 in the end. We stayed on that beach for 5 hours, it was so relaxing and the water was beautiful. We got a ton of seashells! The town wasn't much; we just got burgers to eat on the beach. Next time I would take a tour to Orient Bay or maybe go to the French Side for Crepes! Labadee was our final stop, which is Royal Caribbean's private part of Haiti. Usually when you get off the ship, they are inside selling you bottles of water for $3.95, but there were always locals selling the water for $1. However in Labadee, since this was an extension of the ship, those prices were the same. There was a BBQ provided by the ship on the beach (complimentary) which was better than the buffet on the ship. Ribs, hot dogs, corn, salads and a lot of other things. You can go to the sitting area and get cups of water for free. There are a few different beaches; one was sun bathing only as the water was full of rocks, this was the first beach you come across. They had lounge chairs and hammocks. The next beach we saw was the one we stopped at, we thought this was the one they recommended for swimming. There were no rocks, but grass and fish and coral. (More to see under this water than that excursion in St Thomas!) We rented rafts for the day for $12 per raft. The beach chairs and covers are complimentary and you have to bring towels from the ship. We had goggles (they also rent or sell snorkel gear but its expensive) so we used our goggles to look at the fish in the water as we lay on our rafts. After all day on that beach we walked to the market and bought souvenirs and we found the swimming beach, it was beautiful with more rafts, and a water park in the water!! We got towel animals with our sunglasses on them almost every night for turndown! All in all our entire trip was very good. I would be Royal Caribbean again next time and I can't wait to book my cruise for next year!! The Eastern Caribbean was beautiful! Hope this helps! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2011
The Liberty of the Seas is the largest ship we have cruised on. The ship is beautiful, clean and never felt too crowded. We arrived in Miami the night before and stayed at the Marriott Airport hotel, a convenient stay. A good dinner in the ... Read More
The Liberty of the Seas is the largest ship we have cruised on. The ship is beautiful, clean and never felt too crowded. We arrived in Miami the night before and stayed at the Marriott Airport hotel, a convenient stay. A good dinner in the sports bar at the adjacent property right next door. The next morning we took a $24 cab to the port, arriving about 10:45. Still tons of people milling about from the prior cruise so not a good sign. We were able to swiftly get through security and get checked in but not able to board until noon, after customs had cleared the ship. Breakfasts and lunches were always taken up in the Windjammer and we found it to be very good, plenty of food choices and seating not that difficult to find. We had second seating in the dining room and went 7 out of the 8 nights. We were assigned to a large table of 12, which really is too large as we could not talk very easily with the others at the opposite end. Also, with the large table, we were always served last by our waiter. The waiter was efficient but did not have much personality; the assistant waiter was very nice and remembered each of our names from the first night on. The food was generally good to very good. The first night the prime rib was one of the best I have ever tasted anywhere. The ship also serves very good shrimp on many of the nights, either in appetizers or as main courses. One night we did go to Chops, the specialty restaurant. We are glad we went as we have never tried a specialty restaurant before but probably wouldn't go back. It is a very pretty dining room and the service is very good. The food was good but probably not worth the surcharge. Entertainment was hit & miss, depends on what one likes. The Promenade was wonderful, with so many places to grab a drink, get a snack, stroll and shop. There was plenty of outdoor space and you could find a lounge chair easily if you were up by 11:00 a.m. Leaving the ship took a bit longer than we are used to. We were called by 8:10 and made it to the gangway within a couple of minutes. But they were backed up in the luggage/customs area so we were held at the gangway for about 20 minutes. After that, we were off within another 20 minutes. Would cruise again on the Liberty without hesitation. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2011
We are both in our mid-50s; it was my 18th cruise & my wife's 10th. We flew into Ft. Lauderdale from Detroit one day prior to our cruise due to unpredictable Michigan winters.We stayed at the Airport Hilton. The hotel was pretty ... Read More
We are both in our mid-50s; it was my 18th cruise & my wife's 10th. We flew into Ft. Lauderdale from Detroit one day prior to our cruise due to unpredictable Michigan winters.We stayed at the Airport Hilton. The hotel was pretty nice. We had dinner at Bubba Gumps and walked around Ft. Lauderdale a bit. We took a van shuttle service to the Miami port.EmbarkationWe arrived about 11:15am at the port, dropped our luggage off with the porters and proceeded inside. When we got close to the security scanners we had to wait about 45 minutes before they would let us proceed. I had my camcorder on in that area and security told me I couldn't use it until I was through security. Anyway after we got through security we got checked in and proceeded directly to the Windjammer. We headed to the very back to avoid the crowds. By the time we finished, our cabin was available. We receive our luggage very quickly at approximately 2:30. We had a pretty active Cruise Critic group and we all wore Mardi Gras beads so we could spot each other. We had a party at sail-away.We had early seating in the dining room on the 5th deck on what they call the balcony. We had a table of 8 but only had 6 seats occupied. The food was good and the servers were good but service was a little slow at times. We ate one evening in Chops. The ambiance was nice but the food was nothing special. We both felt the steaks were a bit tough.Labadee Haiti - Since we had been there several times, we elected to stay on the ship and get a massage. While they were a bit pricey, they were enjoyable. I forgot to tell them up front I didn't want any extra products so they tried to push them on me. The therapist seemed a little miffed that I didn't want to buy anything.Entertainment-We saw all of the evening shows.Gordon Whatman was the Cruise director. At first I didn't think I was going to like him, but he started to grow on me. He has an excellent singing voice. The shows were all very good. They had a violinist that was billed as a comedian one night. He was really good but if they would have said he was a violinist ahead of time I think the theatre would be empty. The comedians were pretty good. We did not see the Ice Show this time. We just couldn't fit it into our schedule.Medical Staff-My wife fell on the deck near the pool and had to go to the ship hospital. Luckily she only sprained her ankle and was skinned up a little bit. The medical staff was very professional.Cruise Critic party- We had a pretty good sized group that met in the Olive or Twist lounge. We had a gift exchange for those who wanted to participate. we were to bring something from our home state to exchange. After that we had a cabin crawl. We had most categories covered from an inside cabin to the Ben & Jerry's suite all the way up to an Owners Suite. This was a lot of fun. Overall ImpressionThe ship was really nice especially after the recent dry-dock with the improvements of the big screen on the pool deck and the interactive screens near the elevators. The food was good and service was adequate. The weather except for being windy when we left port,couldn't have been better.Debarkation-It was slow getting off the ship do to Customs. We were in a line that went through the casino and took about 30 minutes to get to the customs inspectors. We opted for the service to have our luggage taken directly the airport. That worked fine and was just slightly more expensive than taking them ourselves after you account for the tips you would have to give to all along the way. It was definitely less hassle which was worth the little extra it cost.We have friends in Ft. Lauderdale that picked us up at the port and drove us back to Ft. Lauderdale. We had lunch at a restaurant with a beach view were we sat in swings kind of like porch swings. Good food & we had our last drinks in Florida. Traffic was heavy in Ft. Lauderdale since it was just the beginning of spring break. We made our flight in plenty of time. Unfortunately when we got back to Detroit we had to put our coats back on.We definitely would sail Liberty again.We booked a cruise on Adventure while we were on this cruise. This will be our first time in a Jr. Suite Read Less
Sail Date: February 2011
We stayed overnight in Miami at the Hampton which met our needs just fine and seemed a fair price. We had flown in from Detroit the day following the big blizzard and were delighted to get there! Embarkation the next day went ... Read More
We stayed overnight in Miami at the Hampton which met our needs just fine and seemed a fair price. We had flown in from Detroit the day following the big blizzard and were delighted to get there! Embarkation the next day went smooth - RCCL seems to have it down to a science. Liberty is a huge ship and certainly had many activities to keep us as busy as we wanted to be for the first two days at sea. They now offer some cooking classes, have a big outdoor movie screen by the pool, and have a little cupcake shop on the inside mall - along with parades with characters for the kids. Our room was an inside cabin, but overlooked the promanade. One complaint would be the pool chairs. They post a sign saying no reserving of chairs and items will be removed after 30 minutes, but there was definately NO enforcement of this! We opted for My Time Dining, which we have done before twice and liked. It still met our needs, but it seemed a bit more crowded and the waiters seemed more rushed and hurried. Food was fine, not exceptional, but always a good selection. Desserts didn't impress us, but that was just as well bc we did enjoy the cookies in the coffee shop on the promanade! Service was very good in all areas, including stateroom and room service. We were on board for the Super Bowl and they transformed the ice arena into a football stadium complete with balloons and Super Bowl munchies (nachos, chicken, hotdogs) We thoroughly enjoyed the event with many fellow cruisers! Ports: First stop was St Thomas. We headed over to St John by ferry- very easy to do on your own by catching a cab at the port's shopping area to Red Hook, then ferrying over to Cruz Bay. There's shopping there also, but we headed over to Trunk Bay. The nice thing about going on your own is that you can stay longer than going with a ship's excursion. We enjoy hitting Woody's Bar for their great happy hour or Uncle Joe's BBQ near the dock for lunch depending on the time. St John Spice near the dock is also a don't miss! St Maarten - It was a bit overcast, but we headed over to Orient Beach to catch some sun and surf. We rented beach chairs with an umbrella. Rain did come, but passed quickly. We took refuge in Kontiki Bar and waited it out. Cabs are easy to catch on the port and behind the beach bars on the beach. We didn't venture to the nude beach, but there were many who were enjoying the sun topless! San Juan- My husband is a Bacardi fan, so we took the ferry over from Dock2 (we were right next door) for 50cents to Catano. We caught a cab there for $3/pp to Bacardi. They offer free tours and include a couple drinks. I would tell people to just do this on your own - time saver and much less expensive! We stocked up on some glassware in their gift shop and returned the same way back to the ship before heading out for shopping in Old Town - just a few blocks from the dock. There is a Coach factory outlet that had great sales! Labadee - I'm sure it is quite a nice adventure for kids as they now have a zip line and a great water park area, but I really found it to be quite busy and not that relaxing. We wanted to support some of the Haitian crafts folks, but once you enter the shopping market, it felt like running a gauntlet! We quickly purchased a couple things and escaped. My husband went in to try snorkeling, but came back unimpressed, so I never went in the water. Instead, we headed back to the ship and finally found some empty pool chairs! The entertainment was very good. Singers and dancers put on a very delightful show, very acrobatic! The ice show was also exceptional. We enjoyed both comics we saw. Overall, we were very pleased with our escape from Michigan Winter and would recommend the Liberty to friends! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2011
We flew with Canjet from Toronto to Fort Lauderdale the day before the cruise and stayed at a friend's hotel-condo in Sunny Isles Beach. Being there overnight, we had rented a car which we dropped off at the Miami airport prior to ... Read More
We flew with Canjet from Toronto to Fort Lauderdale the day before the cruise and stayed at a friend's hotel-condo in Sunny Isles Beach. Being there overnight, we had rented a car which we dropped off at the Miami airport prior to arriving at the Port of Miami via the rental car shuttle. Embarkation: After reading some horror stories of delayed/slow embarkation for the Liberty's Eastern Caribbean itinerary due to slow disembarkation from the previous Western Caribbean cruises to Belize, we decided to arrive at the port a bit later than usual to try to miss the line ups. We arrived at around 12:45pm to see a significant amount of luggage lining the curb, but no line-ups to get into the terminal. We tipped the porter for our luggage, and headed inside. Once inside, there was a crowd of people in the small lower floor lobby waiting to go upstairs to security. They had temporarily closed access to the upper level due to the number of people waiting to go through security. We waited here for about 15-20 minutes, and were then allowed upstairs to the security line. This line moved quite fast, however upon reaching the front, we were told that due to crowds inside the check-in area, they were holding the line. Another 20 minutes later, we were allowed through security. The check-in line moved relatively quickly and we were soon on our way onto the ship, seapasses in hand around 2:30pm. The process wasn't as fast as for previous cruises out of Port Everglades and Bayonne, NJ, however it wasn't as bad as we expected. The Ship: The ship is beautiful. Having just come out of dry-dock a week prior to our cruise, everything was very clean and in good repair. It was evident that the mini-golf course had recently been fixed up, various carpets replaced, light fixtures cleaned, etc. The layout of the ship was remarkably similar to the Explorer which I had been on previously, making it very easy for me to navigate. The ship's Royal Promenade is very impressive and a great spot to hang out at night between events, or during the day when the weather isn't cooperating. The pools and sports deck were the places to be during the day for everyone from the young, to the old. There's something for everyone. While chairs were hard to come by near the pools after about 8:30am, they seemed to clear out around lunch time when the crowds shifted to the Windjammer buffet, so it's best to either arrive at the pool very early, or wait until the early to mid-afternoon. The thing that impressed me the most was the H20 Zone kid's pool area. It was amazing with a variety of pools, spraying water, and more. The children onboard really seemed to enjoy it. Stateroom: Our group consisted of 3 adults, and we stayed in room 6374, a category D1 stateroom - a superior oceanview room with balcony. This room featured a large futon style sofa-bed which could easily sleep 2, as well as a king-size bed which could be split into 2 twin beds. The bed was near the balcony which provided a lot of space upon entering the room, making the room feel larger. Of note however, the bed faced backwards, although this was not noticible unless looking outside while the ship was moving and did not bother us. We were pleasantly surprised by the size of the room in comparison to a previous E1 cabin on the Radiance of the Seas, and a Promenade room on the Explorer of the Seas. There was an abundance of storage space - we are not light packers, and we still had some unused drawers and cupbboards. The balcony was spacious, and contained 2 chairs and a small round coffee-table. There was plenty of room for additional chairs, however we were told by our stateroom attendant that she is not allowed to provide us with an extra chair, but we were welcome to take the chair from the desk outside on the balcony. The washroom was like that of a typical cruise-ship, complete with time-capsule style shower, although it was sufficient for our needs. Our stateroom attendant was great at keeping the room clean and providing us with a new towel friend every evening. Dining: There is no shortage of food onboard the Liberty of the Seas, and there are always various places to dine. The Windjammer Buffet and Jade - Located on deck 11 aft, the Windjammer is the main hub for breakfast and lunch onboard. It consists of 2 sides buffets, and some stations at the back. The 2 sides towards the entrance are called "Jade", and they feature some Asian-style dishes, while the stations towards the back contain a variety of foods. We ate most of our breakfasts in the Windjammer, and the variety of food was remarkable, and everything was hot and fresh. I can't think of anything else that they could possibly add for breakfast. Service at breakfast varied depending on the section we sat in, but was generally adequate with frequent offers for drinks and quick clearing of plates. Lunch in the Windjammer consisted of a salad bar, carving station, burgers and fries, pastas, pizza, some ethnic dishes, sandwiches, etc, and a large dessert area. From 3:30-5:00 daily, they featured afternoon snacks, which was basically a condensed version of the lunch buffet, along with a nacho and taco station, waffles, and hot bread-pudding with vanilla sauce. Dinner is served nightly in the Windjammer and features different selections each night. We had dinner there once, and the food was average. There is a create-your-own pasta station at night, as well as Asian food at Jade (sushi, tempura, etc), a carving station, and various other dishes, in addition to a dessert station featuring a sundae bar. Dinner in the Windjammer is a nice change of pace for those needing a break from the Main Dining Room. The service at dinner was somewhat slow, with nobody providing beverage service and delayed clearing of plates, but it did not diminish our experience too much. The Main Dining Room - Serving breakfast and dinner daily, and lunch on sea-days, the 3-level Main Dining Room was a place frequently visited on our cruise. We ate breakfast here once, which featured a small buffet area with hot selections in addition to a granola station, as well as a served menu with all of the basics and daily specials like eggs benedict. We ate lunch here once as well, with an extensive salad bar and a menu with various things. The service at lunch was a bit slow with the waiters visibly overworked, although it was still enjoyable as we were not in a rush. We also ate dinner here on 6 out of the 8 nights, often ordering a few appetizers and desserts, and sometimes even an extra main course or two to share. The appetizers were generally above average, while the main courses ranged from slightly below average to excellent, and the desserts were average to above average. Overall I think the food in the Main Dining Room could use a bit of work, but we still enjoyed it and never went hungry. Be sure to try the Moroccan chicken salad and vidalia onion tart appetizers, the Fisherman's plate and filet of beef main courses, and the caramel pecan tart dessert. Our waiter was Joel, with assistant waiter Michael, and while they started out a bit slow for the first few nights, they picked up towards the end. You could tell they were trying very hard and were maybe somewhat overworked. Cafe Promenade - Located on deck 5 towards the aft of the Royal Promenade, Cafe Promenade is open 24 hours a day and features a self-serve coffee/tea/hot chocolate station, along with various sandwiches, pastries, and cookies, all included in your cruise fare. They also have specialty coffees for an additional charge. A must-visit for early morning, afternoon, or late-night snacks, or even for a light lunch. Make sure to try the brownies - they're delicious, and addictive! Sorrento's Pizza - Located on deck 5 in the Royal Promenade near the forward elevators, Sorrento's is open from lunch time until around 2am. They have a variety of pizzas which change daily, in addition to roasted red peppers, grilled vegetables, artichokes, olives, etc, and even some small dessert cups. Everything here was incredible, and I wish I would have visited more often. The barbecue chicken pizza was incredible. Room Service - Room service is available 24/7, however there is a charge of $3.95 which includes the tip for orders between midnight and 5am. We ordered breakfast on an early port day to save some time. We put the menu with our order outside the door the night before, requesting a delivery time of 7-7:30am. The phone rang at 6:09am, stating that they were on their way with our order. Not realizing what time it was, we said okay. I then checked the clock and noticed they were an hour early, so I called back and asked to have our order held for another half hour or so. The lady stated that the man that called had likely already left, but she'd try to find him. In the end, the food arrived at 6:55 which worked out okay, however the early wake-up call was somewhat unappreciated. I likely wouldn't order room service for breakfast again as they forgot some items and there was nowhere to spread it out to eat (especially not on the tiny balcony table), but it wasn't terrible. We also ordered room service for lunch on a sea-day as we were craving honey stung chicken which is only available on the first day in the Windjammer, or through room-service. We ordered a variety of different things including caesar salad, spinach and artichoke dip, a hot turkey and swiss sandwich, honey stung chicken with sweet potato fries, and some dessert. It took a long time to arrive (about 50 minutes) but everything was delicious and of better quality than the Windjammer lunch. We would order lunch or dinner again, although once again, it was difficult to eat with only the small balcony table and the small and low coffee table in the room. Johnny Rockets - With a cover charge of $4.95 a person, Johnny Rockets, located on deck 12, was worth every penny. They start you off with fries and onion rings with their special dip and a ketchup smiley-face, and you're free to order as much as you want, from their signature burgers, to chili-dogs, to club sandwiches, and desserts like apple pie a-la-mode. Their beverages cost extra, however the milkshakes are delicious, and you can simply walk up and buy them without having to pay the cover charge. The waiters do their choreographed dances every so often, and while some of them appeared to not know the dance, it was still a lot of fun to watch. This is also the only restaurant which features an outdoor eating area - great for watching sailaways, particularly from San Juan, Puerto Rico as you sail by El Morro Fort! Chops - Chops has a cover-charge of $25 per person. We were skeptical about dining here, however we took the plunge and were glad we did. The fee includes an appetizer (yes, you can order more than one), a main course, and dessert. Everything I ordered was delicious, from the onion soup to the shrimp cocktail, to the petite filet mignon, however the NY steak that one member of my family ordered was extremely tough, although the staff tried to fix that by offering her a different entree. There are various delicious side dishes that are served family-style so that you can try a bit of everything. The mud-pie here is a must have for dessert. The service was good with very attentive servers, and the ambience was a nice quiet reprieve from the hustle and bustle of the Main Dining Room. Portofino's - This Italian restaurant has a $20 per person charge, although we did not eat there so I cannot comment. Onboard Activities: There were a variety of activities going on at all times, and there seemed to be something for everyone, from health and beauty seminars, to athletic activities, to towel-folding classes and cooking demonstrations, to 3D movies in the platinum theatre and karaoke in "On Air". In fact, there was so much going on that we felt we were missing out as we didn't have time to do it all! Mike, the cruise director, his staff, and the activities staff were all wonderful and kept everyone engaged and entertained. Mike did a "Behind the Scenes" show one morning which was full of interesting facts about the Liberty, pictures of crew areas, and a question and answer period. This was the first time I have seen this done on a cruise, and everyone seemed to enjoy it. The new big screen by the main pool was wonderful, although we felt it could have been better utilized. There was usually trivia which repeated many times throughout the day, along with the odd sports game in the daytime, and it was used for movies under the stars on 1 occasion, and a late-night concert once. They probably could have made better use of it by showing more sporting events, movies, and concerts throughout the cruise, in the day and evening. Entertainment: The cruise featured 3 headliner shows, a few production shows, an ice show, and some game shows. The headliners were average, although Abbacadabra, the Abba tribute band was excellent. The production shows were okay. Up in the Air was the best one in my opinion, and featured some neat aerial acts. The ice show, Encore is a must see. While I found the plot somewhat cheesy, the skill of the skaters was pretty good despite a few falls. There were no tickets available for the ice shows, and seating was on a first-come basis. This worked out well as you didn't need to plan your whole day around the time of your tickets, although there were line ups before the doors opened. In terms of night-time entertainment, there were some bands and musicians scattered around the ship, including the promenade, the Hoof and Claw bar in the Royal Promenade, the Olive or Twist bar on deck 14, and the Schooner Bar on deck 4. My personal favorite was Suave, the band that played in Olive or Twist (The Viking Crown Lounge). Of course the casino was open late as well, and was hopping throughout our entire cruise. Ports: Our cruise featured 2 sea days, followed by 4 port days, and an additional sea day. St. Thomas, USVI - We booked a tour online with Godfrey Tours. He took us shopping downtown for about 2 hours, followed by some sightseeing, a visit to the Mountain-Top store/bar/lookout point (where there was a 20 minute downpour), a 2.5 hour stop at Magens Bay Beach ($4 entrance) where we had lunch and went for a swim, a little bit more sightseeing, and back to the ship. He included cold non-alcoholic drinks as well. Unfortunately it rained a few more times throughout the day, but it didn't interfere much with our fun. Phillipsburg, St. Maarten - We once again booked a tour with Bernard's Tours as we did a year and a half ago, and this time, our tour was quite different, but the different stops were very much appreciated. Our driver was the "Mail Man" as he calls himself and was great! We started out at a farm to feed the iguanas, followed by a trip to a neat lookout point and the "sea urchin man", a 2 hour stop at Orient Beach for lunch and swimming, a 30 minute stop in Marigot for pastries, 30 minutes at Maho Beach to see the planes come in, and a little more touring. We had a wonderful day and for $35 per person plus tip, it was a great deal. He dropped us back at the ship at 3:15pm, with an option of dropping us off in downtown Phillipsburg for some shopping, which we declined. We had a wonderful time and wouldn't hesitate to book with Bernard yet again! San Juan, Puerto Rico - Given our short visit here from 7am-2pm, we decided to take it easy and walk around on our own. We walked around Old San Juan from around 10am-2pm and did some shopping and sightseeing. We were going to take the free trolley but after waiting for 20 minutes and having one that was already full show up, we gave up and walked. It was probably faster to walk anyway as the streets are narrow and there's a lot of traffic for cars. Labadee, Haiti - This was our first time visiting Labadee and it was our absolute favorite port. We took the free shuttle boat to Columbus Cove, although we soon realized that we could have walked there just as quickly. We decided to find a spot to sit on the beach just beside Columbus Cove - I'm not sure if it had a name, but it was great - smooth sand, (a couple small rocks but not as bad as expected based on what I read here - I did not need water shoes!), beautiful calm water, no sea creatures around, close bathrooms, a bar, and it was only a 2 minute walk from "Cafe Labadee", one of the 3 buffet areas on Labadee. The chairs at the beach were all stacked at the back, but there were people around to help you move them, bring a blue canopy for shade, etc. RCI discourages tipping them in the cruise compass, but we did see people giving them as much as $1 per chair. After a nice swim and a walk around to explore the area, we had lunch at the buffet, which had a large covered seating area with picnic tables. They had all different kinds of food... various salads, burgers, turkey burgers, ribs, chicken, corn, baked potatoes, etc, as well as cookies, cake, and fruit for dessert. There was also an area with iced tea, lemonade, and water. The food was good - better than in the Windjammer. There were a few shows put on by locals, bands scattered around the island, and a nice kids area with a pirate ship and all kinds of fun activities run by Adventure Ocean. We did not do any paid activities here but they had everything from parasailing, jet-skiing, and kayaking, to zip-lining and the 2-person rollercoaster. Everything looked like a lot of fun! There's a tram that runs around the area frequently, however we found it very fast and easy to walk as the paths are all concrete and smooth to walk on, and there's a lot of shade thanks to the trees. The walk from the beach we were at (the second furthest away) back to the ship was only 5-10 minutes at a very slow pace. As a side note about the beaches, I'd recommend the beaches on the right side of the paths versus those on the left which were much rockier, rougher, had more seaweed, and had warning signs for various sea-creatures like jellyfish, sharks, etc. The beaches on the right beside barefoot beach, the gold seapass only beach (including Columbus Cove) were much more calm and clean. Disembarkation: Due to an early flight from FLL back to Toronto, we opted to do Express Disembarkation, and carry our luggage off on our own. They began this around 6:15am, and it was a fast and easy process. The hardest part was getting an elevator, however after going up, then back down with our luggage, the problem was solved. The gangway was located on deck 4 forward for U.S. citizens, and aft for non-U.S. citizens, and while I can't speak for the other line, the customs line for international citizens was very fast and painless. Within about 10 minutes, we were off the ship. We pre-booked a ride back to FLL online with SAS, and they were there waiting for us when we disembarked. We arrived at FLL within 25-30 minutes, before 8:00, and with plenty of time to check in for our 11:30 flight home. Overall Impression: All-in-all, we had a wonderful cruise. While there were a couple things that were not 100%, nothing was enough to ruin our vacation. We would definitely recommend Royal Caribbean to others, and will excitedly sail with them again, hopefully in the near future! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2011
We arrived in Ft. Lauderdale and took SAS Transportation to Miami. SAS was great. They were there to pick us up within 5 minutes of us calling. We stayed at the Epic Hotel for two nights pre-cruise. It was an amazing hotel. We had ... Read More
We arrived in Ft. Lauderdale and took SAS Transportation to Miami. SAS was great. They were there to pick us up within 5 minutes of us calling. We stayed at the Epic Hotel for two nights pre-cruise. It was an amazing hotel. We had a great time. The morning of the cruise, I walked to Bayside Park to see the ship. I was ready to board and begin our cruise. We arrived at the port at about noon and saw the biggest line of people I have ever seen. We waited about a half an hour and were greatful that we weren't still in cold Michigan and it wasn't raining. After about a half an hour, they opened the back doors and we started the boarding process. Once on board, we took Cruise Critic member's advice and headed to Sorrento's for pizza rather than going to the Windjammer with the masses. The pizza and salad were great and this became my one of my kids' favorite spots. We went to the sail a way with the Dreamworks characters and then dinner. We were sitted by ourselves, which at first, was a bit disappointing but ended up working out great. Our waiter, Marion and assistant Norris were great. Marion even made sure to bring out grapes for my kids so they would have an appetizer that they would eat. We also enjoyed the opening night show. We went to the Dreamworks breakfast the first day (thanks to Cruise critic, I knew to book at dinner). We really enjoyed it. They could have moved the characters out faster, we along with a lot of others waited for the last character to come out so we could get pictures and then leave. They should probably do two breakfasts so that they can accommodate more people. The first two days, I spent by the pool. My 12 year old enjoyed playing basketball and took flowrider lessons the second night. He ended up doing tricks by the end of the cruise. It was well worth the money. We missed the first formal night because of the flowrider, so we ate in Johnny Rockets. The hamburger and chili were good, didn't really like the hot dog. We also ate in Chops and we were pretty disappointed. I asked for roasted potatoes without the proscuitto and was told that they were pre-made, really, in the fine dining restaurant? I can understand in the main dining room, but Chops is supposed to be on the level of a fine dining restaurant. I believe that they could have catered a little bit more. (On Disney, at Palo, the chef said he would do anything we wanted). My steak was good as was the crabcake but I don't think it was any better than the main dining room. We just didn't think it was worth the extra cost. We went to most of the shows. We liked Ever After. Even though the acrobatics were amazing, none of us cared for the In the Air show. We all fell asleep, in fact. Maybe we were all just too tired. We laughed until we cried with El Gaucho. The ice show was amazing. We also enjoyed a juggler the last night. Gordon, the cruise director, also sang incredibly well. He was a great addition to the shows. On the negative side, I wish there were more family movies during the day or at least earlier in the evening. We went to Grease but it started at 10:30 so only lasted an hour. We also went to one of the 3-D movies, but it was horrible so we left before the end. (But that isn't Royal Caribbean's fault). The kids' club (Voyager) for my 9 year old for the most part was good. He loved the late nights there including trash the room and the pizza/movie night. He also loved the cupcake cupboard. We even made a hamburger and fries the last day. That was a lot of fun. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2011
Boarded the ship in Miami at 1:00pm Smooth and flawless. Departed the ship eight days later at 7:00am, again flawless. Having read only the neagitve reviews, I'll tell you that most of them are personal issues, and many are ... Read More
Boarded the ship in Miami at 1:00pm Smooth and flawless. Departed the ship eight days later at 7:00am, again flawless. Having read only the neagitve reviews, I'll tell you that most of them are personal issues, and many are warrentless. By sheer numbers, the liklihood of someone finding SOMETHING to complain about will happen. Under normal circumstances (like if your OCD or a chronic whiner to begin with) you will be blown away by this ship and her crew. I read reviews about cold pools....yup, they start cool (probably 78F but warm up...about 82F fast. She's clean and new, fresh and friendly. The promenade dances and party's are exciting and colorful. The DreamWorks experience is in the shows and themes. They do not push cartoon characters down your throat everytime you turn a corner. This is a kid friendly cruise, but not a kids cruise per say. With a FULL SHIP, lines are minimal (less than a minute for a drink...anywhere, anytime)and there is no problem with deck chairs. Yes they get hogged, but there's plenty more. Remember, full ship, and the Flowrider never had more than a five minute wait. The crew are awesome. If your a decent passenger to begin with, and find yourself having a great time and smiling, the crew will enhance all of that. They are very fast to make friends...from the dining rooms to the room attendants. Our servers (Remzie and Yingt, both from Turkey) were a well balanced mix of gentlemen, professionals, comedians, magicians and did an outstanding job of treating us like family. They even hugged us on sight. These guys will be successful at everything they do after their time on cruise ships. Kudos to Royal for oustanding hiring practices. Food quality is also great. Portions can seem a little small at times, but if you ask for more, more you shall have, and with a smile. The WindJammer has everything you need or want, and seating is like all Royal ships, there's lots but you have to look. As a note, I have no idea what coffee they use in the WJ, but it's awesome. Bold, fresh and hot. If your a TIM's or Starbuck fan, you'll like the coffee. Entertainment was also top notch and produced (sound and lighting) with passion for the arts. Abracadabra (tribute to Abba) was awesome, as was the ice show with medalists and international competitors. The staterooms are also exactly what you expect (typical of most ships). No problems with water, AC or heat and attended to with flair. Yes they do the folded animal towels but remember, this is not an expectation of the company, it's a little extra from attendants that know how to do it. The stop in Labadee Haiti was great, with the exception of the BBQ. The food was good, but it was managed poorly as they did not fill empty pans quickly and lines grew fast. This is probably the only small flaw that I found on this cruise...but I can let that go in a second. We cruised with two kids, 18 and 16 and they had a blast. We also met with a load of people from the CC board and our vacation was even better because of it. Our meet and mingle had a good turnout...100 out of 120 I think. Overall, I would rate the entire experience a 10 out of 10. I'll continue to read the nagatives, because I want to know what people are saying, but do what I do...take it with a grain of salt and think common sense. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2011
Pre-cruise: Flew into Ft. Lauderdale the day before and stayed at the Hyatt Summerfield Suites. Very nice hotel!!!! I took SAS Transportation to the Port of Miami and they were excellent. I was a little nervous because one of the vans ... Read More
Pre-cruise: Flew into Ft. Lauderdale the day before and stayed at the Hyatt Summerfield Suites. Very nice hotel!!!! I took SAS Transportation to the Port of Miami and they were excellent. I was a little nervous because one of the vans drove past but that was for Port Everglades. Embarkation: I arrived at the port around noon. There was a LONG line formed going into the terminal. From my understanding, customs does a special inspection when the prior cruise goes to Belize. I was able to get onto the ship around 1:15 - 1:30. Ship: This is my first time on a Freedom class ship so I cannot compare but I believe the biggest changes that were made during drydock were the outdoor screen on the pool deck, touch-screen monitors installed on each deck by the stairwells and the Dreamworks experience. I think these changes were great! The outdoor screen is not as big as some on other ships but large enough to enjoy the Super Bowl outside in a t-shirt and swimsuit! :) I really like the touch-screens because they have the daily activities as well as directions to all the venues at your fingertips. There was a concern about the DreamWorks experience from some Royal Caribbean guests. I think they did a wonderful job with this. The characters were present during the initial sail away as well as certain events. The characters were available at certain times for photo ops and one of the parades starred the characters but other than that, you did not see them at all. The ship is simply beautiful!!! Entertainment: The ice skating show was great! The show is called "Encore!" and takes you to various entertainment places in the world. The show "In The Air" was very cool. It reminds you of a Cirque du Soleil show. The show "After All" takes snippets from fairy tails and combines them into one show. The one comedian was very funny but there was another comedian and a magician that were so-so. Dining: I tried out "My Time Dining" for the first time. I was not too crazy about it. I am not sure what it was but the wait staff seemed like they needed to work really hard. I was able to get the same table each time and the same wait staff each time though. Tidbits: This was the last cruise in the cruise director's current contract (I seem to be a magnet to these). He did a few things that I really enjoyed. First, he made a slide presentation of places that you are not allowed or no longer allowed to go into (bridge, galley, crew quarters, etc). I thought this was REALLY cool! Second, he had his own twist on the Quest which was cool. There was also a group of 12 motorcycle riders that brought their bikes on the cruise and was able to ride them through all the ports (except Labadee). That was extremely cool and would be neat! I added information about the ports in a separate section but could not find Labadee. It is RCI's private stop and was nice. There was a lot to do but it was really hot that day. A lot of people were drained from the heat but it was still nice. I became one with a nice hammock in the shade and it was so nice! Disembarkation: Really easy. I was off the ship by 8:15am and on my way back to FLL via SAS Transportation. Again, no problems! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2011
As First time cruisers, we were very happy with our vacation on the Liberty. My wife and I have been to many resorts and vacation spots across Mexico and the Caribbean, a few with our young children in tow and didn't know what to ... Read More
As First time cruisers, we were very happy with our vacation on the Liberty. My wife and I have been to many resorts and vacation spots across Mexico and the Caribbean, a few with our young children in tow and didn't know what to expect from the cruise. Got to Miami on Friday noon and stayed at the Four Points on Collins ave. I had used points for the hotel and had a free day rental from National so we took the car from the airport to the hotel for the overnight. National has an office directly across from the hotel so we dropped the car there the next day. They do offer a shuttle to the Port but it doesn't run regularly (depends on what ships are in/out and what customers they have to transport). We planned on taking the free shuttle but the timing wasn't good so we cabbed it from the hotel ($28). We got to the terminal about 1:10, gave the bags to the porter and went inside right away. Boat was set to sail at 4:00 ( or maybe 4:30?) We had to wait a bit to go through security, then another 20 minutes to get your sail pass etc, but we were on the ship within an hour. I have to give full credit to Royal Caribbean and the crew of the Liberty of the Seas because we had a fantastic time. My son is 7 and daughter 4 and our biggest concern was keeping them busy so that my wife and I could feel like we were on vacation too. There was so much to do on the ship and we barely scratched the surface. My kids are not what you would call low maintenance but my son took to the adventure ocean activities right away. My daughter needed a little more coaxing, but she ended up going on the 3 "sailing days." We left my son at Adventure Ocean on the 3 sailing days and on the Puerto Rico stop as we figured he would prefer that to walking around San Juan. Service on the ship was excellent from start to finish. Always a smile and eager to help with anything. Our Stateroom attendant was efficient and fast and all the staff in general were super polite and quick to engage the children ( they all referred to my daughter as princess - a common practice it seems - but she liked it). It took us a little bit of time to figure out the My Time Dining, as we didn't really know when we wanted to eat. Once we settled into a routine, it was easier. I have to say Lonel and the other host (can't remember her name - she was from Mexico city) were super helpful. As I mentioned, we barely did anything as my kids go to bed fairly early ( and wake early!). I think all the sea air and running around knocked them out. We didn't go to any shows, but we played mini golf, video games and air hockey in the arcade and just ran around in the H2O zone in general. We went to the Dreamworks breakfast once (they do them on all the "at sea" days). You have to reserve and the space is limited so do it as soon as you can. They basically have 2 or 3 characters come out and take pictures with everyone. Don't miss the Dreamworks parade. 5:30 and 11:15 pm. It was pretty neat! (can't remember the day) The staff in the dining room were always happy to see you and the kids always got something to colour and some pens or crayons to keep them occupied. Overall, the onboard experience was really good. A bit crowded on sea days around the adult pools (it was really windy the first 2 days at sea and the adult pools seemed to have less wind - but seats were always taken). *** disembarkation note for Canadians*** I don't know if this is just what happened to us, but here is how the process went. On advice from many postings and even my travel agent, we were advised not to book a flight home from MIA before 2pm. On the morning of departure you are given a Tag number and a time frame (30 min) during which you will be called to leave the ship. Our ship docked at 6am. Our tag was 8:00- 8:30. We were called at 8:06 am. We got up and slowly started to disembark. We took our time as our flight was not until 3:35 pm. There were 11:45, 12:45 flights to Toronto but we were advised not to book so early just in case. Being leisurely and taking our time, we got through US customs (about 20 seconds once we had our bags) and found ourselves getting into a cab at 8:45am. Most of the time was spent waiting for our bags and doing a little repacking before the airport. No word of a lie, we were standing at the Air Canada check in at 9:01am. We couldn't rebook on an earlier flight as I had used points to fly and it would have cost an arm and a leg. My advice, and again, this is just our experience of returning on a Sunday morning... book yourself an earlier flight - we had to sit in the airport for 6 and a half hours. We couldn't even check our bags until close to noon. So if you don't want to drag your kids and all your luggage around the airport, check on your ships arrival back in port and plan accordingly. If you are a U.S. citizen, I think the customs clearing part is much longer - there was a very long line. I think non- U.S. citizens basically get a free pass (unless you have goods that are remaining in the U.S.) I hope this info is useful for anyone planning their first cruise or needing more specifics on the ship and/or this particular itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2011
PRE CRUISE: We flew in late Friday night (into FLL), and spent the night at the Spring hill suites in Dania. We have stayed there many times before and as usual we were very happy with our stay. The hotel is clean and the staff is always ... Read More
PRE CRUISE: We flew in late Friday night (into FLL), and spent the night at the Spring hill suites in Dania. We have stayed there many times before and as usual we were very happy with our stay. The hotel is clean and the staff is always wonderful. We were picked up by Quality Limo promptly at 9am. We had to drop a large family at the Miami airport first and I was impressed that the driver asked us to make sure all our bags were there before he continued on to the port of Miami. We were dropped at the port by 10:15. EMBARK: We were greeted right away by a porter who took our bags and told us that we would have to wait until 1pm to go into the check in area and pointed to an area where we should wait. We thanked him and went straight to where you get in to go on the ship. Glad we didn't take his advice, since we were able to get in and were right by the front and got in to check in with the first group (we are Diamond, but stayed with our friends in the regular group for check in). We were on the ship by 11:45! We did see a packed terminal when we went to get on the ship. We went to make our spa appointments and then ate lunch at the Windjammer. Easiest muster ever that day too! STATEROOM: We had a wonderful, clean cabin with plenty of storage space and we had our room attendant open the balcony divider. Fitzroy was a great attendant, and even looked for us one afternoon to make sure we were happy since he never saw us (we were always on the go). DINING: We ate in the MDR (MTD), the Windjammer, and on the promenade. We were very happy with the food. Not perfect, but we just wanted a place to eat that was good. We also ate at Portofino and Chops and had very good meals at both. My DH and his friend liked to sit in Sorrento's and people watch. His friend's better half and I liked going to the new cupcake store (the staff there were very nice and also very interesting to chat with) The food is a good value for what you paid for! The staff was great in all venues! BARS: The bars seemed a little short staffed at the pools, there was usually a wait to get drinks. I felt bad for the bartender in the Solarium, who worked his tail off! The drinks were never watered down! I was glad to see everyone around was patient about the wait. POOLS: The pools were very crowded on sea days, with lots of empty chairs with towels on them. We went to the pool(solarium) around 8am and would bring our breakfast to eat by the pool. We would usually leave for the day by 1pm, and some of the loungers around us would remain unused the entire time we were there. The second sea day, my DH and another gentleman next to him started pointing out chairs to people that had been unused for more than two hours, so they could have the pool patrol move the towels. PORTS: St. Thomas is very familiar to us, since we have stayed there multiple times, so we just did our own thing. We love it there, so we had a blast. Went to Morningstar beach and shopped and went to the Greenhouse for lunch and Wikked for drinks on our way back to the ship. The long day in port was WONDERFUL! We were met at the pier in St. Marten by Lloyd, the owner of Twin Island Excursions. We had a private tour, and it was worth every penny! we saw the butterflys, the urchin man and lots of beautiful places. We asked to spend most of the day at Orient Beach and he made all the arrangements for our chairs and umbrellas and picked us up when we were done. He then dropped us in town for an hour of shopping and then took us back to the ship. He was also very interesting and we learned alot about the islands history. I will use him again next year! We did the walking tour thru the ship in San Juan. It was very good and we got a ton of exercise! Labadee was amazing! We were lucky enough to score a cabana (s-1) and it was worth the cost. We were the last to leave the beach at the end of the day. The vendors market was a aggressive as everyone has warned! We bought a few things, but had to leave because the pressure to buy was so bad. ENTERTAINMENT AND CASINO: We didn't go to one show, just too beat every night! We did go to the casino two nights and played Roulette. The smoke was a real turn off, so we only spent an hour there each of the nights. The staff was very patient with us at the Roulette wheel and I even won enough money to pay off my spa bill! We also went to a movie one late afternoon. Wish they had earlier movies on the other nights. SPA: The staff was very good and professional. Not one person tried to sell us stuff, we were very impressed with this. The spa is very expensive. FITNESS CENTER: Clean and easy to get on equiptment DISEMBARK: We got off the ship at 8am, and were sitting in our shuttle (Quality Limo again), by 8:30. We got to the FLL airport by 9:30. No hold ups at all. This was the best cruise we have been on to date. We loved the 8 night with the ports offered and the extra sea days. The staff was wonderful and very helpful the whole trip. The Diamond lounge was also very nice, even though i only went there for coffee (love the machine ) and to use the Internet. Only complaint was that the WI FI is just terrible, they need to fix the lack of IP addresses! Wonderful ship, only wish they would keep the 6/8 cruises! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2011
We flew into Miami a few days before the cruise since we had never been there before. We stayed at the Sagamore, which was fine, but after spending the day at the Raleigh's famous pool we would stay there next time without hesitation. ... Read More
We flew into Miami a few days before the cruise since we had never been there before. We stayed at the Sagamore, which was fine, but after spending the day at the Raleigh's famous pool we would stay there next time without hesitation. It was $25 for a day pass but worth it! Both the hotel and pool are beautiful. We took 2 tours with Miami Culinary Tours and both were a good way to see the sights, get familiar with the area, and eat some great food. We did the South Beach dinner and Little Havana lunch. The rest of the time we spent on the beach. Embarkation was smooth and our cabin was nice, if average. The plus was that it was on the hump so the view was slightly above average. #8638 I believe. Room service breakfast was always on time and correct. Dinner was always fine and we had a great staff. For lunch we were generally off the ship, or just grabbed a snack in the cafe. The best part of the cruise was the ports. Our particular favorite was St Thomas, as it always is, not because we like the island but because we always use Island Wilson Excursions. Captain Wilson always provides a great day away from the crowds and takes us around the VI's on his comfy boat. Disembarking was also smooth and we took a taxi to the airport. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2011
this was our first family cruise. we traveled with our 4 and 5 year old daughters. we had connecting inside state rooms (as our youngest is not a good sleeper and we dicided this was the best cabin choice for our family). we ... Read More
this was our first family cruise. we traveled with our 4 and 5 year old daughters. we had connecting inside state rooms (as our youngest is not a good sleeper and we dicided this was the best cabin choice for our family). we embarked quite quickly: we were in and on in less than an hour! this was the second week of the dreamworks extravaganza. we attended TWO character breakfasts (NO FEE). each breakfast had 3 characters come out individually and each child was able to have a photo with them. we danced, the food was great. pictures were taken by us parents--not the cruise personnel. the dreamworks parade was awesome. the walkways fill quickly. it's on the 5th floor. i believe it was the 2nd night of cruising. 530p and 1130p (not sure why such a late show). the show was about 30 mins in length. loads of fun, music and dancing. you quickly recognize faces from the workers on the ship. our meals were average, what i expected. you certainly were able to order what and how much you wanted. our waitstaff was friendly and even though we did "my time dining", we had our two waiters the entire trip (which we requested). suad, the lead hostess on deck 5 MDR, was FANTASTIC. exceptionally personable. we met her upon boarding the ship (at the "my time dining" table). that's where she suggested signing up for the character breakfast the following morning. that night at dinner suad greeted the four of us by name and cabin # before we could even say hello! QUITE impressive! she has an infectious smile. my only "gripe" with the dining room (all areas of eating as a matter of fact), was the fact that i felt there was always dishes in need of being picked up at the table. far too crowded, and with my 2 little ones i like things to be cleared quickly so as not to break anything. besides, who wants to look at dirty dishes anyway? we spent a lot of time at the sports deck. the staff were great (except the one worker from the Grenadines (??i think that's where she is from)--she wasn't all that friendly or helpful--the ONLY crew member that i encountered this with. lucy at the sports deck was AWESOME! a joy and a great smile! too bad the liberty is losing her this week as she is getting transferred to the oasis (or was it the allure)....lucky THEM! with lucy's help, I GOT TO THE TOP OF THE ROCK WALL--first time trying. my husband did the flowrider several times, i skipped this hilarious not to be missed event! :-) i had read many reviews on the pool being too cold. i did not find this. it by no means is warm, but it is comfortable. and i don't like cold water! the pool itself was never overcrowded, but i found the "saving" of lounge chairs to be beyond annoying. towels left on the chairs for hours (in prime locations too)before anyone showed up to sit in them. then, once on a lounge chair, you felt like you were in a sardine can. there just isn't a lot of room to move around. we used the gym and enjoyed our experience there. we saw a few shows which we enjoyed. the ice show was fantastic! we ate at both speciality restaurants of which i would go back to chops again. the food is out of this world! sorrento's and cafe promenade were great. we loved their new menus everyday. i had read many comments about the windjammer and people being annoyed with the same food. there are A TON of options. ie; breakfast options include: hot/cold cereal, bagels, toast, muffins, pancakes, waffles, eggs, hard boiled eggs, bacon, sausage, salad, TONS of fruit, omelets etc.... not exactly sure what those that are not happy with are looking for. i find it rather odd that one gets charged for ice cream and cupcakes on deck 5, but not pizza or the cafe promenade. and johnny rockets with a $5/pp cover. C'MON!, really?! not to mention the upcharge for the specialty restaurants. how cheap is soda?! very!--so you have to pay a ton to drink it? Read Less
Sail Date: January 2011
Me and my husband sailed on Liberty of the Seas for our honeymoon! Overall it was a great vacation. Let me tell you about me, so you can decide if my advice would apply to you. I'm 31 and my husband is 27. He has never cruised and I ... Read More
Me and my husband sailed on Liberty of the Seas for our honeymoon! Overall it was a great vacation. Let me tell you about me, so you can decide if my advice would apply to you. I'm 31 and my husband is 27. He has never cruised and I have cruised twice before. Both were smaller class boats with Carnival Cruises (the fantasy in 1993 & holiday 2009). Our experience: The boat was beautiful and huge! I was worried about 8 days being too long of a cruise, but it gave us plenty of time to get familiar with the boat. The room (standard inside room on deck ten) was normal for your inside rooms, I found it a little bit nicer than the carnival ships I had cruised on. Ours had a love seat. The person that cleaned it daily was really wonderful! The casino- nice & the dealers were really nice. The food- Now this was the only disappointment of the trip, and maybe it was because my expectations were too high. I will start off by telling you that my husband and I are really casual in our eating taste. Chicken, Pizza, Steak. That about sums it up. We like the 5 star dining as long as it doesn't get too fancy. On my previous Carnival Cruises, the main dining room was perfect for our style of eating- Steak and lobster choices each night. I was told by many people that Royal Caribbean's Food would be much better. I couldn't fathom that. What we noticed was that Royal Caribbean has gone so diverse with their menu that they rarely offered just a fillet or lobster in the main dining room. So this was the drill for my husband and I. Each day around 3 we would go look at the menu in the dining room to see if there was anything we wanted to eat. Usually it was too fancy selections with the same steak option. So we just ate at the buffet 6 out of the 7 nights we were there. Because the main dining room was more "fru fru" in their selections, I guess the windjammer stepped it up a notch to offer sushi, carving stations..etc. While the windjammer's food was mediocre, we still preferred that over the dining room options. Disappointing to say the least. **** I do want to say that if you are a breakfast lover (which we are) the windjammer had AWESOME french toast!!!!! I ate it every morning of the cruise! Room service breakfast was really gross. All the food was cold and the toast was really tough. We did get a pizza at night from room service once or twice and it wasn't bad. We went to Chops restaurant one night and we had a pretty good fillet and strip steak. We paid extra to eat at a place that the steaks were "pretty good". Again, SO disappointed with the food! The Ports- St. Maarten was awesome! We did the best of St. Maarten excursion and it was great! It was perfect for people who had never been to get familiar with the Dutch & French sides. We ate at Sarafina's(the best pastry shop on the island)and shopped in Marigot on the French side (which was great because my husband is fluent in french so we were able to get some great deals)and then went to the Westin Resort (dawn beach resort) on the dutch side. It was wonderful, free lunch, free drinks & beautiful beach. Take shoes-it is rocky. San Juan- Hated it. If you are looking for diamonds, this is your place. But we were not. We got off the boat & looked for a restaurant that we were referred to called the Parrot Club. We looked at the menu, and opted for the Hard Rock! Just to give us something to do, we went to the fort and looked around. It was a decent time killer. The buildings are pretty, but the city is dirty and the two best things we found there were a CVS store and the Hard Rock. Haiti- Beautiful & Amazing!! If you miss this, you have missed the vacation! It was crowded, but we were able to find a beach chair and relax just fine. There was a Caribbean band playing on the beach and the weather was perfect. Loved it. The lunch on the beach was average, but free and good! We took the advice on this website and walked over to Columbus Cove. It is a bit of a walk, but well worth it! We also did the Dragon's Breath Zip Line and it rocked!!! TOTALLY WORTH THE MONEY!!! As far as shows, we never saw any- the times were always in conflict with our schedules. We did enjoy a guitarist who played at the hoof & claw most nights. He was great and fun with the crowd! We loved the Flowrider, though it took us a little bit to figure out the sign up process. We loved the rock wall. That process was easy! One tip for you ladies who do the flowrider- a simple tank top will not do the job, if you are going to do the flowrider and you don't want to flash anyone, get a very tight fitting shirt to cover your swimsuit! I underestimated the power of the water, and almost flashed people despite my tank top being on!!! My husband played basketball once or twice, but he said the winds made it too hard to really be able to play. Departure- We had an early flight to catch, so we did the express check out and were in line to get off the boat at the earliest time listed for express check out (5:15 maybe or 6:15) and leaving the ship 7 port took 20 minutes once things got going, but we had to wait in line until disembarkation. It was totally worth getting up early, so we didn't have to deal with the headache of disembarkation. So overall a good cruise...the flowrider and rock wall make this boat. I am not sure Royal Caribbean is the best for food though. I hope that this helps in your planning. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2011
Royal Caribbean's Liberty of the Seas Review January 9-16, 2011 OK, let's get started. As mentioned in previous posts/threads, this cruise was booked with one of the online bidding sites during the RCCL WOW sale ... Read More
Royal Caribbean's Liberty of the Seas Review January 9-16, 2011 OK, let's get started. As mentioned in previous posts/threads, this cruise was booked with one of the online bidding sites during the RCCL WOW sale the last week in September. Most of the bonuses offered by booking with them came directly from Royal, except for the free hotel night stay. I was pleased with every aspect of booking with that agency, except the agency waits until three weeks before the cruise to issue the hotel vouchers, which was kind of last minute for me. I was trying to get a Downtown Miami location, but settled for the airport, which was no big deal (more on that in a minute). Air was booked directly with SW from PHL to FLL, which we changed to fly into Orlando to visit family (more on that in a minute). We left the house at a little after 4:00am on Saturday, to pick up our ride who was taking us to the airport, and would have the car for the week to avoid the charges of parking at or around PHL. Airport check-in in flawless, and we were soon in the terminal having breakfast waiting for our flight to depart. We started boarding at 7:35am, and, it started snowing, so we were delayed by the de-icing process departing until around 9:30am. We arrived in Orlando, grabbed our bags and headed to the Hertz counter where the wait was around 1 hour to pick up the car (why stress over waiting, you're on vacation, and we had several little ones to keep us entertained). We arrived at our family's house, and decided to hang out, eat and shop a little before driving to Miami. Bad decision!!! We were so tired, we stayed in Orlando until Sunday morning. A free hotel night was wasted, but it was free. The three-plus hour drive from Orlando to Miami, although was very scenic, was also very tiring (maybe jetlag!!! lol). I'll never do that again unless someone else is driving. When we arrived in Miami, traffic on I-95 was at a standstill due to an accident, but quickly cleared, and we were soon in the downtown area. The downtown area, along with Bayside seemed to be bustling with activity, which made me even more upset I didn't stay downtown. The drop-off to Hertz was quick, and we were on our way to the port in 15 minutes. Pulling into the port, we had several drop-offs before getting to the Liberty. The Norwegian Pearl and (Sun?), Carnival Glory, and Carnival Valor were all in port. As we approached the drop-off area, we could see the line!! As stated in earlier posts, we had been forewarned, but we waiting from 1:45pm, until a little after 4:00pm to board the ship. Yes, we were a few of the last stragglers to arrive. We went right to our room, the center Hump on deck 8 which a typical balcony in size, but the center view was great. This cruise we didn't use the balcony as much as our previous cruises, and upon looking at a Family Promenade down the hall from us, we'll probably opt for that room/location our next cruise. The muster drill was next, and was shorter than we remember. After the muster drill, we went up to the top decks for the sail-away party, DOD's, photo and video shots (will post pictures and video later). The ship was huge, clean and gorgeous. It was like a bigger Explorer of the Seas. After a tour of the ship, we went to Guest Services to check our onboard credits, but they wouldn't show until the next afternoon. No problem, we were off to Chops make reservations for the next night. Day 1 was spent hanging out, finding our way around the ship, and scanning the Compass for the day's activities, hanging out at Sorrento's and Cafe Promenade for snacks, conversation and people watching. We ate all of our meals in WJ, except for the night we ate in Chops. I can see at the rate I'm going, this is going to be at least five pages, so I'm going to condense it down a little. Day 2 (at sea) - Breakfast in the WJ, the Port and Shopping Show (I swear I'll never go to this again! All they were doing were telling you all the deals on jewelry you could get at a discount below the price of the U.S. Oh, really!! I didn't find any real deals (on black diamond's or men's watches)!! Once they pull out that calculator, you know you're in trouble! The show as always is a sales marketing ploy, but this time they didn't really go over any other things to do in port. They were also hocking a "portorganizer/portfolio with discount coupons, etc. for $35.00)), hanging out in the hot tubs (what a view), watching the Ice Show "Encore" which was great, Snacks/Lunch in Sorrento's, still figuring our way around the ship. Dinner was at Chops. The food here was awesome, the filet mignon, and rack of lamb were both thumbs up!!! The broccolini, the asparagus, and the whipped potatoes are served family style, and you'll be stuffed!!! Why-oh-why did I have to order the baked potato? They must pump those things with steroids!! It's too much for one person to eat. We finished off with the cheesecake for desert. We chose a red wine to go with dinner. I have to say that the night we were in Chops, the place was empty, and it seemed only 25% of the tables were occupied. The rest of the evening going from the casino ?, or to Catacombs with DJ Scott and DJ Digits. Day 3 (at sea) - Much of the same as Day 2, but the Dancing in the Street, 70's Style Dance Party on the Promenade was great. Mike S. (CD), and his crew, along with DJ Scott were the Village People, and Austin Powers as the M.C. Great interaction by the crew, and especially the C.D. I think day 3 was the production show "In the Air" which was a Cirque like production with acrobats, flips and flying through the air on stage, and a little over the audience. Great show for a cruise line to incorporate!!!! Great cast and the singers can compete with any Grammy winner!!! The rest of the evening spent going from the casino ?, or to Catacombs to hang with DJ Scott and DJ Digits. Day 4 (St. Martin) - breakfast in WJ, then off the ship to "find all the deals." We took the water taxi over to the Downtown/Shopping District wandered in and out of stores. Some things caught our eye, but not the price, and sometimes not the quality (why would you put black diamond's on display that looked as if I stabbed them with a screwdriver?!), we ate lunch at a little place off the main street. Nothing fancy, just something to tide us over til we got back to the ship. We walked along the beach, hit a few more stores then back to the port area to look, wander around, get some souvenirs and take some pictures. Dinner in WJ, then back to the casino and Catacombs (I'm starting to see a pattern here). Day 5 (San Juan) - rooms service at 6:30am (sausage, fruit, cereal, eggs, bagels, juice, coffee), we took a lot of picture pulling into port, then opted to get a tour bus right at the end of the pier. For $10 bucks it wasn't bad, we went to several areas to take scenic photographs, then to the P.R. Congress/Senate Bldg., and off to the Castillo San Cristobal (the Fort) for a tour. If you're into history or battles, or not, this place is very interesting, and the views of the city and ocean are great. We walked down the hill to the shopping areas and did some damage, and picked up lunch at the street fair, which was the ending of the Christmas, New Years and Three Kings Celebrations. More shopping, then heading back to the ship as it's getting very dark, from the clouds. Waiting in line to enter the port, it pours down raining, so I guess there were several hundred or so of us that got soaked. Next time we visit San Juan, we'll skip the tour, and walk from the ship to all the downtown historic and shopping areas (San Juan rookie error). Dinner again was in WJ, then off to the production show "A Tribute to the Temptations." Another great show with all the dance moves/steps, the right songs, perfect harmony and crowd interaction!!! Back to the casino and Catacombs. Day 6 (Labadee) - breakfast in the WJ, then pictures from the balcony, then off the ship to get a good spot and chair (don't forget to tip the porters who carry your chair to your spot. Also they know all the good spots whether you're looking for a tree to sit under or fully bake). We found a nice spot along Adrenaline Beach where we could see the zip-liners flying by, and was close to Cafe Labadee. The BBQ lunch is the same as Coco Cay. BBQ is great when you're not the one slaving over a hot grill all day!!! After lunch, and a few more hours in the sun, we headed to the Artisan Village. If you're just looking, and not really looking to buy anything, stay in the middle of the path, and give them a firm answer if you're not interested. We walked over to Columbus Cove, then pass Barefoot beach Club before heading back to the ship. Why is the Barefoot Beach Club reserved for Suite Guests or Gold Card Holders again?! OK, we missed "The Quest" but we caught it on the television. Dinner in WJ, then back to the casino and Catacombs. Day 7 (at sea) - We packed our backs first thing in the morning, as to have the rest of the day to relax and enjoy our last day onboard. Nothing special on this day except, hanging around the ship, enjoying conversations with other passengers in the Library, Promenade, and RC Online. Breakfast in WJ, light snacks on the Promenade for lunch, and dinner in WJ. The production show this evening was "Ever After." It was based on Nursery Rhymes/Fairy Tales/Children's Stories with a twist. It was ok, but if you don't remember the stories, it'll loose you (lol), singing was great as usually. Can we say it all together "back to the casino and Catacombs." Debarkation (Miami) - We had tag #6 for debarkation at 7:30-8:00 (?). Our meeting place was the Platinum Theater, Deck 3. Last breakfast in WJ, then back to the room to get our carry-on bags. Is the announcement system broke? I don't hear them calling any numbers. Another passenger informs us they're on tag #10-#12 now!!!! I guess we can just walk off. Lol No real problems with waiting for the luggage, or the lines to get through customs (they just looked at the form and passport, and waived us on). Ten minute wait for SAS, and then double back to the terminal to pick up some Norwegian passengers. Quick 35 minute trip to FLL, where we see 5-6 ships in port. The Southwest Airline line was around 30 minutes long to check-in with the Skycaps, then another 30-40, minutes long to get through the TSA (this is why I drive, or don't travel during the holidays). So we had a four (4) hour wait in the terminal waiting for our flight to leave, arriving in PHL 35 minutes early, and having to wait on the tarmac for 20 minutes waiting for a gate to open. All in all this was another great Royal Caribbean cruise. There are no complaints that are really valid, even though I wish they'd stop all that sales marketing for jewelry. The ship, service, food, staff/crew, production shows (also first comedian) and ports were all great, and I can't wait to cruise again. I wish I tried the Flowrider and rock climbing wall, but it was too chilly or windy every time I went up there. I can't say enough about the Cruise Director Mike Szwajkowski. He and his staff, and their interaction with the passengers, and their ability to know how to have a good time, no matter what demographic is to be commended. Thanks also to Captain Kjetil Gjerstad and his staff for our safe journey. Hopefully, I can get a good deal for a cruise the beginning or ending of the summer. Happy sailing!!!! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2011
These notes are payback to other CC cruisers who contributed to our cruise experience with their writings in the past: ARRIVING IN FORT LAUDERDALE We arrived VERY EARLY at Fort Lauderdale Airport on Sunday at 5am (the morning our ... Read More
These notes are payback to other CC cruisers who contributed to our cruise experience with their writings in the past: ARRIVING IN FORT LAUDERDALE We arrived VERY EARLY at Fort Lauderdale Airport on Sunday at 5am (the morning our cruise departed). We talked with a group in the baggage claim area that were headed to a Princess ship in Miami for their cruise. We both arrived so early that we had to wait for the Port of Miami to open up before our shuttles/taxis would would be granted entrance so we had to go sit somewhere till at least 10:30AM. OPTION ONE-The group headed to the Princess ship were headed to the food service area at FLL airport that were open around 6AM. As of this post there is a Dunkin Donuts as well as a Chili's along with several other food services. The most important observation is that you can leave security, pick up your baggage and still walk right in to the food service area. We are not used to this in all of our travels as the food services are usually behind the security checkin walls. OPTION TWO-SAS Shuttle picked us up at the airport and then dropped us off at the Intercontinental Hotel in downtown Miami. We chose the IC because it is a five minute ride to the Port from the hotel plus you can see the ships at the port from the front of the hotel. We checked our bags in with the hotel for $1 per bag and enjoyed the spacious lobby of the IC. There is a Starbucks in the hotel lobby area that opens at 7am plus there is also a first-class Sunday breakfast buffet (appr $30). We chose Starbucks. We took a taxi from the IC Hotel at 11am directly to the Liberty Cruise terminal and proceeded to the check in area. Our registration process went smooth and in less than 30 minutes we were ready to board. We had booked a Jr. Suite and we were processed quicker than the line of Platinum and Diamond members. Actually, we were embarrassed that we were given such priority over the others. We were ready to board around 11:30 but the ship had not been released by Customs to begin boarding. We were provided priority seating that was supervised by cruise staff. We finally began boarding at 1:30 and we were on the boat and in our cabin before 2PM. A wedding party was in line in front of us where the ceremony was scheduled to begin at 1:30 onboard but I do not think that they were allowed on until 1:45PM. The staff said this delayed embarkation for us was due to the large number of international travelers that were on board the cruise before us. Note to self: expect more of this boarding after noon as the percentage of international cruisers globally is increasing. ON BOARD LIBERTY ON DAY ONE OF CRUISE (SUNDAY) In the past our first action on board was renting DECT phones for our group from the Guest Services desk on Deck 5. The $25 fee per phone we had paid was the best expense we had incurred on a cruise but this cruise we were told the phones were not available for rent by families any longer on any Royal ships (I would encourage anyone to ask upon boarding and not take my statement as final). It is public knowledge that Oasis is using modified iPhones for inter-ship communication and I was told by one Liberty rep that LOS may come out of dry dock in the next few weeks with that same capability. DAY TWO-AT SEA (MONDAY) Liberty is headed to dry dock in two weeks for some great upgrades. Wish we had them now like the cupcake store and big screen up on pool deck and a few more things they are adding. One other thing that is happening now and scheduled to be completed in drydock is the addition of internet capacity. The cables were being installed as we were on ship. As for "wifi" internet service while onboard, log in to "royal wifi" not "liberty" because the liberty connection is for staff only. Once you choose the "royal" connection a log-in page should come up on your browser. Wait up to five minutes before refreshing and starting the process again because there are not enough IP connections for all the electronic devices right now until the upgrade is complete (this was according to the installers on board the ship doing the work). If you have any further questions then go to the Guest Services Desk and ask for the Internet Connection brochure. This printed brochure will help resolve any further questions that may not be explained to you. Perhaps these brochures should be made available at the Internet Cafe. When you use the Internet Cafe computers there list options to tour the Royal Caribbean website for free since you are shopping for cruise information. The sad part is that it did not work all week. None of the free information sites that were offered ever worked throughout the cruise. A good idea became very negative because the only way to consider cruise information on your own was to log on to your internet account and pay .65 per minute (or slightly cheaper if you had purchased a package). DAY THREE-AT SEA (TUESDAY) DAY FOUR-PHILIPSBURG, ST. MARTEEN (WEDNESDAY) Karen Taylor was our shopping guide onboard the ship. She is the best we have ever met. After all her meetings she stayed around and answered questions one at a time. We toured the Butterfly Farm on the French side. Worth it. We also shopped in Marigot for part of the afternoon. If you are looking for a place to get a snack or pizza or a quiche or a sandwich or ice cream then go to Sarafina's in the central area of Marigot. Everything is fresh and fair priced. You go thru the line quickly and can sit in the shade or sun or leave. DAY FIVE--SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO (THURSDAY) We got off the ship as soon as it docked and proceeded to LaBombonera for breakfast. It has been around more than 100 years. Highly recommended by other CC cruisers. Breakfast for two was less than $20 including beverages. Karen Taylor announced the times she would be present at the various stores in port. She did the same thing in Philipsburg, yesterday. We met her at one store and she spent five minutes with us helping us evaluate the jewelry we were considering a purchase of. Thanks, Karen. DAY SIX-LABADEE (FRIDAY) Labadee was "far better" than I thought it would be. I underestimated it. There is something for everybody. We travelled with some people with special needs and Royal had anticipated the situations ahead of time. If you take the boat to Columbus Cove be aware that there is an extended walking path and stairs you must traverse before things level out. There is a tram that travels between this farthest area away from the ship that runs every fifteen minutes but it does not start for an hour or so after arrival. The zip line over the ocean and dragon tail ride were unique for a cruise ship recreational area. Food was brought onshore from the ship then cooked and was good. Our group of 19 is coming back here in 2012 on a future cruise and everyone is already looking forward to the day at Labadee. DAY SEVEN-DAY AT SEA (SATURDAY) FYI-Saturday afternoon a cruise rep came to our cabin and checked the contents of the in-cabin frig. Be ready for this visit. This is not done by the Cabin Steward. The food was quite good in the Windjammer and in the main dining room all week. Snack places like Sorrento's for pizza and cookies, etc. were also good. We sat at a table for six for dinners and the other two couples that we sat with have quite a few cruises on other cruise lines. Their comments were that overall Royal is at least equal to or better than other cruise lines in their category until you move up the ladder and go on a premium cruise line. We paid for the Royal Suitcase Valet program which took our luggage from the hallway on the final night of the cruise and delivered it to the airline for us. They gave us a receipt and our check in paperwork. We boarded the flight home from this. Well worth the $20 per suitcase we paid because we had six hours of free time before we were due at the airport. NOTE: This service is active for Miami and Fort Lauderdale airports and is also limited to certain airlines. Highly recommended. Was this ship crowded? This cruise was SOLD OUT and we never felt there were large crowds. I always found a lounge chair on deck, always found a place to sit when eating pizza at Sorrento's, always found a slot to play, never waited more than two minutes to get a specialty coffee, never waited more than three minutes for an elevator and always found seating for the evening programs. SUNDAY- THE END I sent SAS shuttle an email while on the cruise asking them pick us up and shuttle us to FLL after the cruise. They returned an email confirming that they would pick us up and get us to FLL airport. They gave me a phone number to call once we had gone thru Customs. I can not say anything more than USE SAS. They are great and reliable. Cost is $15 per person plus tip. While on the shuttle headed to FLL we exchanged notes with a group of adults (singles and couples all in their 20s) who had just completed a cruise on the Carnival Glory. They all enjoy eating at 6pm scheduled dinner and not the mytime schedule. I heard the same thing from the various people I interacted with on the Liberty. Perhaps this new fade of mytime dining is leveling out even with the younger group. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2011
Seven day cruise with wife, three single daughters + one friend of one daughter, and one married daughter with her husband and their two boys (2 and 4). Wife and I had an aft cabin (1400) and was the biggest cabin and balcony we have ... Read More
Seven day cruise with wife, three single daughters + one friend of one daughter, and one married daughter with her husband and their two boys (2 and 4). Wife and I had an aft cabin (1400) and was the biggest cabin and balcony we have enjoyed. Two daughters were next to us in the same category (D1) cabin but was smaller. Third unmarried daughter was in an inside with her friend. Married daughter with her husband and two children had a family promenade cabin - that was terrific - two bay windows onto the promenade, bunk beds in a small room, pull out sofa, and bathroom with a tub. The rooms were clean and the stateroom attendants were efficient and invisible. Service was great. We heeded the warning and did not arrive to the port until about 2:00. Embarkation was not quite as long as described on other reviews but we were standing in lines for more than one-hour. Ice show was good but the regular shows were generally only OK. The comedic juggler and the tribute to the Temptations were both quite good. Ship is going into drydock to undergo some upgrades. RCCL is intending on putting on very different shows - a pretty good idea in IMHO. Activities were numerous and I was pleased to see no more "Art" Auctions. That said, there was certainly more room for variety in activities. One of my grandsons was in the explorer program and enjoyed that, the younger attended some of the Fisher Price programs but there was too much TV watching in the explorer program. Dining room staff was as good as we have experienced. We had breakfast and dinner, generally all ten of us, in the dining room. RCCL has dropped the ball with the food. Breakfast No more waffles, breakfast crepes, or eggs benedict every day. Now, there is a single special each day. One may certainly order omelets of their choosing and the food came out hot but with choices so limited it did not feel the same. I was pretty bored after just a couple of days. Indeed, in the dining room, a buffet was offered as an alternative to ordering off the menu - not sure why RCCL made that choice. Lunch Typical but it certainly felt like fewer choices. The Windjammer no longer served hard ice cream. Lunch seemed less downgraded than either breakfast or dinner. Dinner The service in the dining room, we had a table for 10 in the 5th floor dining room (Botticelli's). Our waiter and assistant waiter were first rate. Our waiter, Ivan, in particular was as good as they come - pleasant, patient, good with the kids, always trying to satisfy us. We aren't all that picky but he did make every request seem like it was his pleasure and no problem at all. The food on the other hand... Appetizers were generally good - indeed, the highlight of virtually every dinner. As always, the onion tarte was terrific and the chilled soups rarely disappointed. Entres were hits, near misses, or misses. With ten of us selecting there was a variety for us to sample. First the worst. The prime rib was a poor piece of meat. The lobster tail was not sweet and also a little tough - not much of it anyway. The steak on the last night was also a less desirable cut - the menu claimed it as a NY strip but perhaps it was cut so thin that the meat was neither tender nor particularly flavorful. Near misses to hits. The lamb chops and most of the fish dishes were close to fine. My wife enjoyed the lamb chops but really preferred other meals. The lamb shank was very good as was the turkey, lasagna and the vegeterian Indian alternatives. The fish dishes were a mixed bag - the best being the panko encrusted mahi-mahi. The cilantro-panko "catch of the day" met mixed reviews. One of our party's takers did not like the taste at all and sent it back. The furthest from fine was the sea bass. The dinner accompaniments were generally OK but the vegetables were sometimes overcooked and of course sometimes undercooked. Desserts were a little disappointing the quality was lower than we had experienced and the choices seemed more limited. The cheesecake options on two or three of the nights was reliable. But other than that, no dessert was truly memorable. Disembarkation was a breeze. We will certainly try RCCL again but wait a couple of years to see if the food improves. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2011
Sorry that it took so long to write this review. We're planning our next cruise and as I'm reading reviews, I realized that I never did make my contribution to the data base from our last cruise. Summary We've cruised ... Read More
Sorry that it took so long to write this review. We're planning our next cruise and as I'm reading reviews, I realized that I never did make my contribution to the data base from our last cruise. Summary We've cruised before but this was our favorite for a number of reasons. (1) We spent extra nights in Miami. (2) Back-to-back meant that we never had to worry about missing something on the ship because we could see it the next week. (3) Loved the ship layout, especially the Promenade and the Connoisseur Club. (4) My Time Dining was perfect for us: flexible enough as to time but still our choice of tables, dinner companions, and waiter. (5) Cruise Director Mike was really funny and brought something extra to the cruise. (6) We met a couple who will now be our life-long friends. Since we (and probably you) have cruised before, I'll focus on what made this particular cruise special for us. About Us Retired married couple in our mid-sixties -â€" aged but not mature. We've cruised before on Norwegian (1x), Carnival (3x), and Celebrity (3x). We really liked Celebrity but decided to try Royal Caribbean instead because they had a dedicated lounge for cigar smokers, because we thought that we would enjoy the layout with the Promenade, and because it looked more family-friendly (checking it out for future family cruises). Pre-Cruise and Post-Cruise in Miami We were able to stay at the Intercontinental Miami for 3 nights before and 1 night after using Priority Club points. Our room was facing the water with a fantastic view of the cruise ships at dock (and leaving every afternoon). We were able to walk through Bayfront Park to the Bayfront Shopping Center where we ate most of our meals. Using the Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus from there, we were able to explore lots of Miami in two days. Our favorite stops were Vizcaya and South Beach. On our last day we took the Boat Tour which was well-worth-it. Customer Service at the hotel was excellent but we thought that the meals were very expensive so usually ate at Bayfront. Guest Services What I expect from Guest Services is that they get me on and off the ship as efficiently as possible and that if I have a problem that they fix it. There was a delay boarding so we had to stand in line for several hours. While the delay was exceptional and not their fault, we would have appreciated a little more information on our status. Also, we only found out after the fact that we qualified for a VIP line which would have made our wait much shorter. The turnaround for our B2B was excellent and the debarkation the second week was fine. The staff onboard was extremely helpful when we had minor issues: cancelled tours, credit for unused internet service, demagnetized room keys, and not knowing how to tie an old-fashioned bow tie. The Ship I've been intrigued by the Voyager- (and now Freedom-) Class layout with the Promenade. Finally having experienced it, it exceeded my expectations. It was so open, especially when compared to most ships where you have to walk through the casino and down a narrow aisle to get from one end of the ship to the other. The snacking/drinking opportunities along the way were fine for a quick bite/sip. I really appreciated not having to go up to the buffet when all I wanted was a snack. It did get crowded during peak times (Parades, Captain's Parties, etc.) but still didn't feel claustrophobic. The Advantages of a B2B This was our first post-retirement cruise, so we decided to take advantage of all of our free time and do a back-to-back. This was great and probably the only way that we will cruise from now on. Once you're done the packing, arranged the pet sitters, paid for the air fare, etc., the additional cost for an extra week is well worth it. They are billed separately, so there is no savings there. The value is in how much more relaxing the cruise becomes. If we wanted to miss a show or a particular meal, we could pick it up the next week. The turnaround day was great as well. We had a bag of laundry washed and folded at a very reasonable price so we were set for clothes for the second week. We kept the same room so no packing was required. We just had a leisurely breakfast in the main dining room and then went to a lounge to wait for everyone else to get off the ship. B2Bers are the last passengers off and the first passengers on. We just had to go down one gangplank and up another -â€" we never actually went into the terminal. Off-and-On took just a few minutes and then we had the whole ship to ourselves until the new people started boarding. We were treated to a special lunch in the Main Dining Room that was not available for the new passengers. My Time Dining This was also our first time doing My Time Dining and it was perfect for us. We usually ate around the same time and very often with the same people. By the third night, we had found our favorite waiter and was able to get one of his tables most of the remaining nights. We were still able to make friends with our tablemates and eat together when it was convenient for all of us. We thought that the food in both the Main Dining Room and the Buffet was good but not great. We tried to eat our breakfasts and lunches in the MDR because we enjoy being seated with new people. The daytime service is a combination of waiter-served and an optional buffet. Meals were repeated exactly the second week so we could order our favorites and avoid our disappointments. Specialty Dining We never did eat in Chops, but we did eat twice in Portofino's. Both times were special meals, rather than their regular menu. We did the Murder Mystery Dinner one night and it was fantastic! I felt like I was in an Agatha Christie novel. The cast was great and it was a lot of fun sitting together at our table for 12 with great food, wine included, and lots of clues to discuss. There were at least 50 participants all together. On another night, we did the Wine Tasting Dinner which was a disappointment for us. There were five couples sitting at tables for two. Four of the tables were together, so they could interact. Our table was behind a partition so everything was explained to us separately and our food always arrived late. I blame the Maitre' D for the bad planning. Our Vices We both drink wine and purchased a wine package which we were able to use over the two weeks, saving a substantial amount. My husband likes to smoke cigars and the ship had an excellent cigar lounge, the Connoisseur Club. The couches were comfortable, it had a good exhaust system, drinks were available right there from a dedicated server and the conversation was great. Best of all, he was able to indulge himself in comfort without bothering anyone else (or being bothered). Finally, I love playing poker and they had an electronic Texas Holdem table in the casino. Besides a tournament, it was also available for a cash game every night that usually started after the second dinner seating. The Shows Our favorites were the Ice Show and The Quest. The rest of the shows were worth the time except for a "Fairy Tale" show which is no longer being done. Mike (the Cruise Director) did a slide show during one of the sea days which covered a lot of behind the scenes stuff. The Activities We found plenty to do on our sea days. In particular, I really enjoyed the Jewelry Making Class. We never got around to doing the Rock Climbing or Miniature Golf. Surfing was never going to be an option. They had a variety of Cooking Classes which we will certainly do on our next cruise. The Ports Our first week was Eastern Caribbean: St. Maarten, private island on Haiti, and San Juan. It was our first time on St. Maarten so we did an organized tour that included the Butterfly Farm. Since we're not beach people, there didn't seem to be much else to do. The income inequality was depressingly obvious but the market was fine. On the private island, my husband did the zipline and then we just wandered. There is an indoor market in about the middle which was okay but farther along are market stalls that we did not like at all. The vendors were very aggressive (the worst of the entire two weeks) and this is on RCI private property! In San Juan, we docked right in Old San Juan so we were able to walk on our own to some of our favorite places. (We've stayed in San Juan so we have our own favorites -â€" especially the Tapas Bar at El Convento.) The second week was more port-intensive and our first cruise to the Western Caribbean: Costa Maya, Belize, Cozumel, Grand Cayman. Since we are still not beach people, we booked excursions through the ship. In Costa Maya, we did two different mayan sites which was interesting if you like archeology. It took the entire day but there didn't seem to be much else to do there. In Belize, we did the Cave Tubing which was fantastic and included a great lunch with semi-authentic local food. Our guide in Costa Maya suggested that we skip the Mayan ruins in Cozumel. (Why see one pyramid when you've just seen at least a dozen?) So, we got the last two spots in the Mexican Cuisine and it was our favorite excursion ever. We were bussed to an all-inclusive beach resort and escorted to a special building with 4-person cooking stations on the first floor. Over the course of the next two hours, we did hands-on Mexican cooking from Luis, an excellent chef who has been to a famous culinary school. Then we went upstairs to eat the meals we had prepared ourselves. Then to the white sand beach with more unlimited drinks and shops where the vendors were eager to help but certainly not overly-aggressive as they had been in Haiti. In Grand Cayman, we did the excursion to Historical Sites with a Sound and Light Show. For us, this was not a very interesting port. The Passengers I must say that the people we met on this cruise were, for the most part, extremely pleasant. I've been on cruises before where people were rude, disrespectful, overbearing, and/or over-served. Not on this cruise. People just didn't seem to have much to complain about, which is, I think, due to the fact that the ship was generally very well-run. Another plus for us was that there was a range of ages and nationalities on board. There were several hundred extremely well-behaved children on up to active seniors. There were a lot of Canadians doing a B2B, escaping their January weather. With something for everybody, nothing seemed too crowded (except the unavoidable waits for the tenders). Conclusion We will certainly cruise on Royal Caribbean again, especially on this class of ship. We are now addicted to back-to-back and will do it from now on, even if the ports do not change. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2010
Here is a recap on the trip overall and some things that went really poorly. As you were aware we had booked the Liberty with RC and at the Sandals at the same time back in February. I think based on the following we ... Read More
Here is a recap on the trip overall and some things that went really poorly. As you were aware we had booked the Liberty with RC and at the Sandals at the same time back in February. I think based on the following we may have made a mistake on the Liberty. The ship is beautiful and our room (Family) was very nice but the following was a little disturbing from a major cruise line like Royal Caribbean. We ended up getting to the liberty at 12.15 on the 12th of December, figuring that after a short processing and identification check we would be spending that afternoon enjoying our holiday on board. The processing and getting from one line to another ended up taking 3 hours of our life away, right at the beginning of our trip. As an adult we understand things happen as a three year old they don't so much The reason or explanation was that the ship had a problem with the previous passengers and getting everybody off in time to allow our cruise to begin. The other issue they said was there was only one working gang plank to safely allow the 3500 passengers to get on. I think that another major problem that they had was the fact that so many seniors needed assistant and therefore double the time for boarding due to the extra 150 wheelchairs that we required, based on the conversations we ended up hearing. Anyway we finally got on board the kids like always went straight to the pool and swam for about 1 minute- the pool was freezing, we just left south beach that morning were myself and the kids had been in the ocean, which was a lot warmer than their small pool. This is a 5 star resort on water , they have hot tubs but seemed like they couldn't care about heating up the pool, well with the 2000 seniors they had on board( apparently a bridge club tournament ) that took over the ship they might not of focused on the younger crowd. Just getting comfortable in our chairs and maybe a drink or two, actually a bucket of beer, but by 4 o'clock and we are rounded up for the mandatory evacuation procedures. Sorry they said, can't allow you to go to your room so you can put the beer in it, not enough time. I was able to leave the beer at the closest bar for us to return after. Sorry I now this is not R/C thing but part of every cruise line. 4.15 in line on the proper deck and having our 3 children stand in line again until 4.45 before this was finished. I think that the 150 to 200 people in the wheel chairs ended up taking more time to get into place prior to the cruise line being able to offer the proper instruction to the crowd. Just another 30 mins of the day you want back!!!! So we are getting ready for dinner, and my card indicates that the five of us are signed up for 8.30 dinner. Definitely not what we chose, most 3 year olds are well into a sleeping stage at this point and definitely not what we agreed to when we booked in FEBRUARY. SORRY nothing we can do about this, at this stage, tonight the 630 seating was full and tomorrow we can talk to someone about switching. Self serve dinner was our only option for the kids that night. So we prepared to get ready for that option so we can get the kids some food but my 9 years son's luggage as not yet arrived to our room, other that his swimming clothing, he has nothing else to wear. Understand that baggage can take up to 8 oclock before we get it but all of our luggage except his was received in our room. Got a call that my 9yr old son luggage is being reviewed by security, and I have to go to the 1st floor for a discovery about his bag. Ten to 12 people ahead of me , one by one they get to the front of the line and proceed to have there bags checked, and surely most people in front of us had brought some alcohol on board and they had it taken away and recorded the room number for return at the end of the cruise. 25 = 30 minutes goes by before my turn. They ask me my room number and grad my sons bag. Processed it through the scanner and it reveals --------- NOTHING ------------ They apoglized and I asked when will they have it to my room- within the hour---not satisfied since I have wasted another 30 mins, I had no clothes for him and proceeded to carry his suitcase to my room myself since again the kids are tired and hungry needed to focus on this and not allowing RC staff to hold us up any more at this point So at this point to recap 3 hrs to get on the ship , freezing cold pool, another 30 mins for mandatory procedures , had on 630 dinner reservation taken from us, had to get my sons bag without an explanation why it was there to begin with, and have really no choice on our diner option on our first day Speaking on Monday morning regarding our dinner options, once again the dinner room 630 is completely full, the response was that they seems to be a large number to together passagengers ( the bridge club seniors that insisted on a 630 dinner stop), basically bumping my children out of our experience for a family setting meal on board our dream vacation. R/C did not care about the 12 - 9 and 3 yrs dinner but the fact that the majority of the people ( the seniors ) were looked after. This was repeated over and over as we stood in line to hear this explanation toward the 4 or 5 other parents in this same line up again taking our time to fix our problem that R/C created. R/C suggestion was to go to another deck and speak with a dinning room manager regarding my time dining, same response 7.30 was available and later but not much other that that, unless we can accommodate them- Here is how 1- Everybody that was to sit at the table must sign the following sheet- ok 2- If you can be out by 7.30 every night they could accommodate us based on kicking us out before the 7.30 table wanted to come in. No problem were do I sign. At least the children would be looked after for food and normally that would be fine to be in and out within the hour and a bit for dinner. When they asked us to sign up for the my-time dinning, they did not mention the mandatory tips for all seated guest at the table. Therefore all five of us ended paying full tips for all staff, so my 3 yr old paid roughly 70 in tips. I never argue this cost at and adult level, fully expected to pay for the good service from an adult but not mandatory from my 9 and 3 yr old children. Our trip I believe was 3100 we paid 350 in tips doesn't seem right, never mind the bar bill mandatory 15% added. We never took advantage of the breakfast and the lunch sit down served meals; we served ourselves at the buffet, mostly for timing to get in and out and back to the cold pool seemed to be our theme. My wife and I also purchased the wine and dine package, we like to enjoy a glass of wine before dinner and thought on Monday we could have one at the bar prior to dinner. We pre purchased the 10 bottles of wine and asked if we could have a glass of our already paid for or just the bottle and we take into dinner with us. Sorry the wine package was only available in the main restaurants, not even in the buffet the main bar could not redeem our bottle and provide to us so we could have a glass of our prepaid wine, no, they could only sell us another glass of bottle of coarse and much higher prices. We continued to have our time together and enjoy the ship and the togetherness that we sought out for from a family vacation. There is a smoking side of the ship and a non smoking side, plus smoking allowed around the pool bar, you know the pool where the children are in most of the time. Twice we had to tell people that were smoking that it wasn't allowed where they/we sitting, R/C staff wouldn't get involved so we had to continue the movement of educating the rude other cruisers. Why rude? caused they wouldn't listen, 5 minutes later start another smoke...disrespectful of people... The morning of departure, you know the moment that they want you off, we had a flight out of Miami at 1.11 we ended up getting the luggage tag number 14. I asked if this would be an issue getting to the airport in time to catch my flight back home. I was informed that I should have told R/c our flight was prior to 1.30 and we would have been off much before. It seemed that this was my fault, feeling again a little let down I inform R/C they asked us of these requirements when we preregistered. You know when they want your credit card as well they asked how we are arriving and with what airline and when and how are we departing, all was filled in and indicated to them when I pre registered.... I think they stop caring the moment the credit card was confirmed. When you plane comes in or goes out, if they did not participate in these bookings your on your own. If you are not aware we really enjoy traveling, countless trips to Florida and Jamaica as well as Cuba in the past 2 years, prior to this was Princess Cruise lines and they really treated us right time and time again. I really took our Travel agency recommendations and her continued service, unfortunately Royal Caribbean has let her and us down based on her recommendation that we have always felt in the past was the right decision. This trip really has turned me off -- top quality payment and the lack of service from Royal Caribbean. The lack of fair treatment, remember we booked in February, and was told we got bumped- 3, 9 and 12 year old children don't pay enough to take priority it seems from R/C Read Less
Sail Date: December 2010
Perhaps this is true of all cruises nowadays that house over 4000 people, but the reality is that cruising has become a trip in a floating vegas hotel with too many lines and not enough to do. Particularly if the weather isn't ... Read More
Perhaps this is true of all cruises nowadays that house over 4000 people, but the reality is that cruising has become a trip in a floating vegas hotel with too many lines and not enough to do. Particularly if the weather isn't stellar. Lines for beach towels, dining, excursions. They are really not capable of accomodating so many people in a a leisurely way. The food was not much better than my dining hall days in college. They charge for soft drinks which is just bad form and just one example of endless nickel and diming. When we boarded there was a 2 hour delay due to some debarkation issues with the previous cruise from Belize. Not a soul from Royal Caribbean showed their face to explain the delay or apologize even though technically it wasn't their fault. They then made a lame "not our fault" announcement during the security procedures which made it worse...perhaps a free cocktail for all would have been a nice touch. In order to get towels to go to their private island, people had to go to the pool deck and line up...maybe having it set up on each floor would have made more sense. On the bright side, rooms were very clean and the staff in the dining rooms were wonderful. A few very nice bars and a nice New Year's Eve band in the Olive or Twist bar. Great time to spend with family but all in all, we won't be cruising with RC any time soon. All in all, for the money we spent I would have preferred to be home in New York looking at the snow. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2010
We took the 12-26-10 cruise to St Maarten, Puerto Rico and Labadee. We had an inside cabin on deck 6. Great choice since it was aft, same as the dining rooms and just one deck above. Think about where you want to be located when you pick ... Read More
We took the 12-26-10 cruise to St Maarten, Puerto Rico and Labadee. We had an inside cabin on deck 6. Great choice since it was aft, same as the dining rooms and just one deck above. Think about where you want to be located when you pick your cabin. Our cabin steward, Alvarro was wonderful. I had read about the embarkation problems and hoped we'd have a quicker experience. That wasn't the case, but at least we were prepared. We decided to get to the port early anyway, and we arrived at 11. When we were checked in the RC agent said we probably wouldn't board until about 1 or 2. We settled down for a wait, hoping he was wrong. At least we were in the priority section since we are Diamond members. We finally boarded at about 1:30pm. I understand that the problem is not at all with RC, but with customs and the number of non-US residents that had to be checked through customs. The ship had arrived directly from Belize and customs is meticulous about checking everyone out, plus there always seem to me many non-US residents on this cruise, so that is what takes longer. It seems RC could figure out a way to at least advise people of this problem, but really, I think they are doing the best they can. It's just a mess to try to board 4000 people when the previous passengers aren't off the ship until 1pm (no fault of RC's). If you don't make it to the area where the early check-in people are, it just seems like mass chaos. If you're taking this cruise, just realize that boarding will probably not begin until at least 1pm. I was still glad we got there early; it looked like it sure beat waiting in the lines that formed later. This is the first time I've ever boarded the ship when the cabins were already open, but we still went to the Windjammer first because we were starving. We made sure we got our MyTime dining time (brilliant idea—this is the first time we tried MyTime and we got a great time: 6:45pm because we reserved our time as soon as we got on the ship). We felt all the food on the Liberty was wonderful! I've read complaints, but to me they are unjustified. We mostly ate at the Windjammer for breakfast (I've read complaints that it's the same selections every day—um, yes it is, but there are omelets cooked your way, scrambled eggs, boiled eggs, waffles, pancakes, a couple different kinds of potatoes, bacon, sausage, ham, muffins, donuts, sweet rolls, cereals (hot and cold), juice, yogurt, fresh fruit and lots of other stuff. What more do you want? You could easily have something different every day if you want. We had lunch in the dining room when we were at sea and the menu was terrific, but I always get the salad bar. If you like salads, try the salad bar; it's great. We enjoyed the dining room 5 nights, as well as the 2 nights we went to Chops and Portofinos. I prefer Chops (I just like the menu better) while Don preferred Portofinos. Portofinos is a little bit more elegant, but food and service was outstanding at both. Dining room service was the best we've ever had with Erijesse & Mark. We enjoyed the special New Year's Eve menu, and the hats and noisemakers at our table, the New Years Day brunch, and the New Years Eve events--something for everyone. It was a great way to see the New Year in. I thought the shows were so-so. I thought it was strange that the headliner show wasn't highlighted in the Cruise Compass like I am used to seeing, so we never really knew much about the show beforehand. We never got to go to karaoke which we usually enjoy, because one night it got pushed back because of a football game - we checked back a few times, but the game was still on. I'm not sure if they cancelled karaoke. The other nights it just seemed to be scheduled too late or at odd times for us. There did seem to be a few errors between what was written in the Cruise Compass and when (or where) things were actually supposed to happen. The brunch on New Year's Day time was wrong, disembarkment info was different in a couple places, and events seemed to be cancelled or moved without notice. The ice skating show was cancelled one night because the seas were far too rough for skaters to perform; we did get notice about that. The Quest was hilarious as usual. I think our team (Team 5) was robbed, though!! Richard was cheering us on—he's the best. We really enjoyed Richard and the Cruise Director, Mike on this ship. They were very friendly and helpful. Mike does some things a little differently on this ship and they work well. We especially liked the presentation about the workings of the ship and the question and answer period with the Captain and other top staff. We thought Darren Button, the hotel manager, does an amazing job on this ship. The staff is so courteous, friendly and helpful and things seem to run very smoothly. We were impressed. We loved meeting people in the Diamond Lounge every night before dinner. Since we had a table for two at dinner, this was our time to talk to other cruisers, which we really enjoy. Tatyana was wonderful and helped us with a few requests as was Anthea who served us with a smile and had our drinks ready as soon as we walked in every night. We took advantage of a couple of the spa specials and enjoyed the pampering. I've often read that people didn't get the cabin they thought they booked, or the time they thought they had requested. Check your cabin assignment and dining time; if you don't want to do that, make sure you book with a good travel agent and have them do it. All in all we had a great trip, though the weather wasn't the best and the seas were a bit rough for the first half of the cruise. We enjoyed a wonderful day in one of the cabanas on Labadee. Top notch service and a wonderful place to relax in a more private setting. We can't say enough good things about this ship. Beautiful ship, and one of the best crew out there. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2010
We got to the Port of Miami at 11:45 am and got on the ship at 2:15pm. There was a problem with the prior cruise which held up the line for 2 hours. The only negative was that RCCL never led on why we were standing there so long. ... Read More
We got to the Port of Miami at 11:45 am and got on the ship at 2:15pm. There was a problem with the prior cruise which held up the line for 2 hours. The only negative was that RCCL never led on why we were standing there so long. The Liberty is a very nice ship like the other Freedom class ships. I had the same cabin as last year. Comfortable balcony with a nice bed. Great cabin service all 7 nights. The ship is always clean and kept clean despite 1500 kids on board. Once we got our dining room table straighten out, we ended having the greatest time as we were with a group of 22 people and 3 tables. Each night we ate with different parts of the group. Service was excellent by both the waiter and assistant waiter. Food in the dining room was as expected. Menu has not changed in the last 5 years and I order the same meals year after year on RCCL. Food does come out hot. Windjammer food is edible. I suggested better deli meats to make sandwiches. Adventure Ocean is always good for my kids. But I did suggest more activities for the 18-20 year old age group. The shows were good as was the Quest and the ice show. Diamond Lounge the best thing on the cruise. Free drinks and food from 5 to 8:30pm every night and no kids allowed! RCCL ships are superior to any other ship on the market and offer many things to do. Spa was very nice and the fitness center was very nice. Busy only on the first day. I worked out everyday there. Typical cruise line casino. Always amazes me that the ship is never that crowded even though there were 4500 passengers on the Liberty. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2010
We arrived at Miami the night before so to allow time for delays from Madrid . When we arrived at the cruise terminal it soon became apparent that they had problems . 1 gang plank was closed due to damage so all 3000 odd passengers had ... Read More
We arrived at Miami the night before so to allow time for delays from Madrid . When we arrived at the cruise terminal it soon became apparent that they had problems . 1 gang plank was closed due to damage so all 3000 odd passengers had to board on one. Whilst this was very frustrating and we were not advised what was causing the problem, we also are understanding that these things happen. After several hours and lots of moaning irrate people we n Boarded. The ship was fab and we soon headed for some food in the whnjammer which was not too packed. Then to the pool and a walk round. The cabin was lovely with a fab view. The food was excellent. We did not feel the need to set in speciality restaurants as we were impressed with the MDR. We did have a very large number of senior guests. This was unusually high, but we made the most of it and met some very interesting people. Ours is not to moan but to embrace what you have and make the best out of it. Being from london we were very popular with the American elderly guests, who thought we may know Kate and William personally!!! we had lunches and breakfasts with a different group each day and all were interesting people. Entertainment was great. Comedian was good on 2 night and we had a acapello group who were outstanding. All went well throughoutvthe cruise and we will be cruising again. Next tine celebrity only do to waiting a longer cruise as coming from Spain but would reccomenf RC . Read Less
Sail Date: December 2010
When we arrived at the Port of Miami for embarkation, it was lines, lines, lines. It took us 3 hours to get on board. We later learned that one of the two gangways were damaged and we all had to be processed through a single gangway. I ... Read More
When we arrived at the Port of Miami for embarkation, it was lines, lines, lines. It took us 3 hours to get on board. We later learned that one of the two gangways were damaged and we all had to be processed through a single gangway. I know that stuff happens and I can't blame anyone for accidents but there was no crowd control provided by RCI or the Port of Miami and people (many handicapped) were herded, pushed along and and waited (often in the hot sun) with no information on what was happening. In contrast, when we disembarked, it only took 30 Minutes from when we left our stateroom till we sat in the limo to leave for home. We were recommended to book the Promenade stateroom by our Travel Agent. We questioned the agent about privacy and noise and was reassured that we would have no problem. WRONG. When we first entered the stateroom, and looked out over the Promenade we was people directly across from us looking at us. So much for privacy. Keep the drapes closed. The first night there was a parade and music on the promenade that did not end until about midnight. Unfortunately for us there were other events planned for the Promenade that included music well into the night (11PM). So much for NOISE. On the plus side the staff in all areas of the ship were very pleasant and the ship was always very clean. We booked this cruise because of a major Bridge Regional event. Most of the Bridge activities (3 times a day) were held in the Conference Center on Deck 2. The Ice Ring is on Deck 3 & 4 so that if you are forward and have to get to the Conference Center than you have to go up, walk across the length of the ship and then go down to Deck 2. This is also true if you want to go to the Windjammer for meals. A lot of walking. We ate at the Chop Grille on night and it was excellent. The service was tops and the food was excellent, however I think the additional charge of $25 per person was out of line. I think that $ 35 per couple makes more sense. We thought that the dinning room and Windjammer food was mediocre. The shrimp cocktail when available were very small shrimp. If you had a good appetite and wanted two of the main dishes there was a $10 charge. The baked goods were not very creative and all the danish used the same filo dough. 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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