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Michael Vitale

Liberty of the Seas review

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Ok, just got home a few hours ago from Liberty's first sailing post rehab,, here's my take,,,

 

I wish Navigator was still in Galveston,, or, bigger is not necessarily better. I'll say this, she's a lovely ship. The promenade is noticeably bigger. A lot more onboard shopping/offerings. She just isn't run as well as Navigator. There were times while lunching in the Windjamaire when we didn't see ANY floral shirts, removing dishes, cleaning tables, or offering drinks. I don't mean this figuratively, I mean that literally. No one. Service definitely improved as the week progressed. Food in the Windjamaire wasn't up to Navigator standards. The salad bar section was 1/2 of Navigator's. I'm a salad guy, so I noticed. Lobster night was terrific. That was our only meal in the MDR as we are less than wow'ed by the MDR. 3 nights at Chops were amazing. Danesh was our waiter and he was terrific. Giovannis was ok, but not up to Navigator standards as the menu has changed drastically. We originally had planned 2 nights at Giovanni's, but had such a hard time choosing something that appealed to us on the first night that we couldn't imagine a second visit, so we changed a reservation to Sabor. It was ok. I'm not a huge fan.

 

The drink cards ($67) made an appearance on Friday afternoon, so you basically had Friday afternoon/night, and all day/night Saturday to fill up your 10 drink card. I passed. By that late in the week my drinking slows way down. Melvin at the R Bar was very generous and I showed him equally generous appreciation. This was my first ever winter cruise. It's quite different than my usual September cruises. The

usual poolside mayhem on sea days was non existent due to the weather. It was passable at times, but never pool weather. All pools were empty all week. It was often breezy and cloudy/cool. Weather was bad and forced cancellation of the Grand Cayman call. Seemed like the only reasonable choice. Water was very choppy. Tendering would've been very hazardous.

 

All in all it was an ok week. I booked my wife and I on the group cruise for next February in the hope that cruising out of Miami and heading even further south in the Caribbean will provide some better weather. I would never book another winter cruise out of Galveston.

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Don't think so Matt. We saw a couple of employees ride it. Looked awesome but never opened. One weird thing about it (that I can't imagine will stay as is), the entire thing is unpainted stainless steel. It looks like a massive piece of kitchen equipment. I assume they'll paint it. Imagine how hot every surface would be during summer ?? But it's still surprising that it's not made out of plastic of some kind, like the slides, or most other pool equipment. The other slides looked kinda cool. Lines were very long during Grand Opening day but there were NO lines on sea days.

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Don't think so Matt. We saw a couple of employees ride it. Looked awesome but never opened. One weird thing about it (that I can't imagine will stay as is), the entire thing is unpainted stainless steel. It looks like a massive piece of kitchen equipment. I assume they'll paint it. Imagine how hot every surface would be during summer ?? But it's still surprising that it's not made out of plastic of some kind, like the slides, or most other pool equipment. The other slides looked kinda cool. Lines were very long during Grand Opening day but there were NO lines on sea days.

Did they provide any type of compensation for the slides not being open? Perhaps I'm biased because I have a kid, but I would have been upset that something they advertised as a feature of the ship wasn't available. I understand the complications and I'm glad they've made progress, but it was something passengers likely expected to have access to.

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Did they provide any type of compensation for the slides not being open? Perhaps I'm biased because I have a kid, but I would have been upset that something they advertised as a feature of the ship wasn't available. I understand the complications and I'm glad they've made progress, but it was something passengers likely expected to have access to.

To be clear, the racer slides were open, just tidal wave was not.

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I will update on how they're operating etc on the 28th.

 

Interesting observations on the crew, etc.  I was on Liberty for her inagural 9-nite from Galveston and never had any issues, but I would guess there has been a lot of staff rotation since the drydock.

 

That being said, I've always felt that even though all the ships in the fleet operate by the same basic playbook, each one has its own individual "vibe". For example, I sailed 4 ships last year, 3 of them being Freedom Class, and even with those 3 being almost identical, each felt very different.  Not necessarily bad, just different.

 

You will see threads on message boards where people track and obsess over who the Captian is/will be or the Cruise Director.  I personally feel that the person who really sets the "vibe" of the ship, and impacts virtually everything that affects the guests, is the Hotel Director.  He/She is the one who will create a happy crew or a sad crew.  Enough staff in the right locations at the right times?  Thats the HD.  

 

IMHO I think that the company should use Michael Rasmussen (was "A" shift HD for Freedom for years, now moving to Radiance) as the gold standard.  He always seems to have things running in top form with a very happy crew!

 

Can't wait to revisit Liberty in 2 weeks to see how she's changed since November!

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Correct Matt. Slides were open, but not Tidal Wave. Don't know about any recompense.

I had read elsewhere that the slides didn't open until the third or fourth day. Glad to hear this was a false report. I should have known better. :)

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I had read elsewhere that the slides didn't open until the third or fourth day. Glad to hear this was a false report. I should have known better. :)

Let me clarify, the racer slides did not open until I believe last Tuesday, but they were open.  Tidal wave never opened.

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Let me clarify, the racer slides did not open until I believe last Tuesday, but they were open. Tidal wave never opened.

Not ideal, but not unexpected either. Sounds like all in all the dry dock went off without a hitch. I've heard horror stories on other lines.

 

While I feared the dry dock prep on the last sailing, it was barely noticeable and you really had to look for any signs of it.

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