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JasonL

My Liberty of the Seas REVIEW

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My Review of Liberty of the Seas

Quick background info. This is my 6th or 7th Cruise, all but 1 was with Royal. The other was with Norwegian. We live in Washington state and my whole family loves cruising and usually love most things about Royal.

Gonna hit a few of the details that I think would be useful to someone traveling with kids, if ya don't mind.

Ok so we picked this cruise because we were looking to spend a little less this time around. Airfare is a large portion of our cost so flying to a closer location brought this number down on airfare. That was the reasoning, but it didn't really work out that well. There is a much longer distance to travel from the airport to the cruise port so the money we saved on airfare we spend on ground transportation.  Getting a shuttle or other ground transport was similar to the price to rent a car for a week, so we opted for the convenience of a car rental. We have a young family and we needed 2 carseats, but didn't want to carry more junk on the plane so we just bought a new booster and booster with back from walmart(4 miles from houston airport). We had to drive a few miles without the proper seats for the kids but it only cost about $52 for the 2 carseats and the car rental company would have charged about $250. All said and done it ended up being a wash, but atleast the flight was a couple hours shorter which is nice especially when traveling with small children.

The other cost we thought about was the Cruise itself, which is cheaper to sail on a little older ship to the western caribbean out of Texas. The ship looked pretty good and we were very happy with the pool, kids waterplay area & waterslides. I did not feel like it was a ship in need of an amplification on the pool deck, although i'm very interested to see it's upcoming changes. The Galveston cruise terminal on the other hand could use some upgrades(yes I know they are coming). Embarkation was really easy, but we arrived at the cruise terminal by 9:30(yea that's super early). It looked like the design of the transportation drop off and porter set up was not ideal and had we shown up during peek time I bet it would be a madhouse. Disembarkation was slow and the ground transportation a mess.

MDR service was FANTASTIC as it usually is, and the Windjammer was a chaotic disaster as usual. After the first couple days we avoided the windjammer like the plague. I think the Windjammer food is usually decent, it is just so stressful to eat there. Although this time I thought it lacked a variety of edible food. Day 2 it seemed like everything in the entire buffet was cooked in Fish oil. Wasn't impressed all around. DISCLAIMER - a lot of this feeling comes from eating there with 3 small children, it isn't nearly as bad when it's just the Wife and i. 

The main thing Liberty should get in an amplification is food venues. If you miss the dining room hours for breakfast and lunch there is only the EVIL Windjammer or Sorrento's pizza. I thought the pizza was very good, but it's basically the only thing we ate if we missed the main dining room. No I didn't forget about the Promenade Cafe, they don't have food that anyone actually eats. Just a couple of doughnuts and a salmon bagel sandwhich for breakfast.

In general the customer service was very good on the Liberty, but Adventure Ocean staff this time around wasn't very good. Usually we love Adventure Ocean, but this particular staff just didn't seem as good. The kids didn't want to spend much time there as they usually do either. That brings me to the 2nd most important thing Liberty should get in dry dock... Adventure Ocean remodel.

Ice show was good, but it fell short after seeing the FANTASTICALLY AMAZING show on Mariner last year.

Singers and Dancers were not very good on this sailing. The comedian was the worst I've ever seen.

The comedian juggler was great and we Loved the Piano Lounge Singer in the Schooner Bar.

Cruise director Cory was decent and we enjoyed to trivia and games.

Casino was a casino. I gambled for a few hours on a few nights and ended up ahead $100.   Smoke drifted quite a ways, a better ventilation(or no more smoking) could definitely be nice. Also, I'm so over smoking on the pool deck. Sorry to all you smokers out there, but they should restrict smoking to an area far away from the crowds. On sea days a lot of time the only seats open were on the smoking side.

Post cruise we had time to kill so we took the kids to Pleasure Pier for a few hours. This is a small amusement park on a pier over the ocean, It was small but it was mighty. I thought it was gonna be like a parking lot carnival with sketchy rides, but I was really impressed at the quality of the rides.They are built in quality rides, not the tractor trailer death trap style. There isn't a lot of rides but it's a great way to kill a few hours. Best part is my 8 and 12 yr olds could go on every ride and they had 6 or 7 little kiddie rides as well that my 3 year old enjoyed.

I honestly wasn't that excited about the Western Caribbean itinerary(probably because of rumors) but we ended up really enjoying all 3 ports (cozumel, grand cayman, falmouth). 

Overall we had a great time, and anytime I'm on a cruise it's better than when I'm at home working. I did feel like the Liberty had the crappy leftovers as far as shows and performers go. It was interesting to see Texas and Galveston and I'm glad we sailed from this port once. I think once is enough though, we'll keep our Caribbean sailing out of Florida from now on.

We have Oasis OTS  scheduled for next Thanksgiving(this sailing is priced very reasonably!) I would have liked to do the Group cruise on Harmony that same week, but the price was just so much higher. Hopefully the wife and I can leave the kids behind and sneak off just the 2 of us to an Alaskan cruise between now and our Oasis cruise. I hope this is useful to someone. Happy cruising!

~J~

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We have done a family cruise on the Liberty of the Seas 2 times. I have to agree with you on getting the the cruise port is fairly expensive. We have group of 16 between our 3 kids, their spouses and the 8 grand kids.We rented 3 minivans and parked them by the cruise port way cheaper than the Royal Caribbean transfer. My son says we should avoid Galveston for future trips. Everyone likes the ship and there was enough activities to keep everyone busy. For us the bad part is getting to the ship once there all is great.

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We're on this itinerary in November, and my kids are close to your kids in age. Did you all get off the ship in Jamaica? That's the only port I'm struggling to decide if we will stay on board or if I should look at excursions. 

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7 minutes ago, melmar02 said:

We're on this itinerary in November, and my kids are close to your kids in age. Did you all get off the ship in Jamaica? That's the only port I'm struggling to decide if we will stay on board or if I should look at excursions. 

We're on the same trip! I was actually thinking about using Private Journeys for Jamaica, since there are 8 of us.

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1 hour ago, melmar02 said:

We're on this itinerary in November, and my kids are close to your kids in age. Did you all get off the ship in Jamaica? That's the only port I'm struggling to decide if we will stay on board or if I should look at excursions. 

We took our 8 and 12 year olds on excursion to Dunn river falls. Super fun, highly recommend for everyone over the age of 6. Under 6 and it can be hard to navigate the falls. We left our 3 year old on the ship at adventure ocean and it went great. Sounds horrible at first but it’s the way to go!

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2 hours ago, KristiZ said:

We're on the same trip! I was actually thinking about using Private Journeys for Jamaica, since there are 8 of us.

8 wow! We just sailed with 5 and it was like herding cats at times!

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