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BugsyCruiser

Liberty of the Seas, a review of my first time ever on Freedom Class

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Hello everyone!

 

I am currently 40 minutes from landing at Chicago Midway so I thought I would start my review of my Liberty cruise! I will break this down into sections as to not try and cram everything in one post, and I will even include my thoughts on being Galveston and sailing from there for the first time ever.

 

Overall I enjoyed Liberty very much. There are a few minor complaints that I will get to but they didn't even come close to impacting my enjoyment of the cruise. The voom issue is a very sore subject with me.... more on that later.

 

And before anyone asks, I ate at Sabor four times. That pretty much says it all, but I will include a full review of the restaurant :)

 

I will try to start up the first part of the review later this evening or tomorrow for sure. The first part will be Galveston and sailing from there.

 

Stay tuned.... :D

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"And before anyone asks, I ate at Sabor four times. That pretty much says it all, but I will include a full review of the restaurant :)"

 

 

Only four?? 

And that means something on a ship where dining there is not al la carte.

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First up thoughts on Galveston and cruising from there:

 

Galveston is a great city to spend a few days in. Many thanks to Galveston Steve for his informative All Things Galveston thread. It is was because of this thread that I changed the pre cruise dinner location from Bubba Gump Shrimp Company to the Ocean Grille and Beach Bar. The restaurant was great and dining outdoors by the Gulf was a plus. My pre cruise hotel was the Doubletree, also right across from the Gulf with fantastic views from the balconies.

 

I also had the honor of meeting Steve and his wife along with another Facebook friend Friday night for dinner and drinks right at the Hotel's pool bar and grill, Longboard. Steve and his wife are class acts and wonderful people.

 

The Galveston Pleasure Pier was nice to see for the first time ever but it definitely is overrated. Next time I am there I will head for The Strand Downtown. One thing for certain is there is definitely a very friendly vibe in Galveston.

 

Cruising from the port can be a real pain. I do not fault Royal Caribbean for this but I will fault the Port of Galveston. Security was a nightmare. When they let people start going through the scanners before heading up to check in, they closed off 4 lanes and pushed everyone into 2. It was chaos. At 3:30 pm people were still boarding the ship. It also didn't help that at check in they could not take your picture due to their camera system being down but RCL handled that rather well.

 

Coming back today was a madhouse with Liberty and Carnival Breeze both in port plus the annual bike week in Galveston taking place. The Port definitely needs more porters, but at least there seemed to be plenty of customs agents. I think the port employees seem hard pressed to handle two big ships at one time. Again, this is just my opinion.

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First impressions boarding the ship:

 

Royal Promenade is beautiful on Freedom Class. Not as wide as Oasis Class but still very classy looking.

Crew seemed genuinely happy and were very welcoming to cruisers boarding.

Not as many options open for lunch on embarkation day but Sorrento's was fine for me. I tend to avoid the Windjammer as I am not a big buffet person and also on embarkation day everyone seems to head there for lunch.

Cabins were ready at 1 pm and luggage had already arrived at a lot of the cabins(good job by the porters).

Alcohol options are limited due to Texas alcohol regulations. You can still get mixed drinks but it won't be with a lot of the premium liquors till the ship is 12 miles out from port. While in Texas they must use alcohol bottled in the state or with a TX alcohol board stamp of approval on it. This didn't bother me at all but it may bother some who prefer liquors such as Grey Goose, Hendricks, etc

Pool area is beautiful. The Solarium location threw me off as it is open and not at the very front of the ship. Chalk that up to being used to the one on Oasis Class and Quantum.

 

Next up, my first ever aft balcony. Let's just say it won't be my last... :)

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I'm really liking the way you only tease small bits of info.. keeps me coming back, looking for more.. my brother lives in TX, and Galveston has always interested me as far as including my brother on a cruise, as its so much easier for him to travel there.

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I'm really liking the way you only tease small bits of info.. keeps me coming back, looking for more.. my brother lives in TX, and Galveston has always interested me as far as including my brother on a cruise, as its so much easier for him to travel there.

I find that it makes the topic more enjoyable and interactive by doing it this way than trying to cram it all in one post. A looooong post will make me lose interest in a hurry

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Alcohol options are limited due to Texas alcohol regulations. You can still get mixed drinks but it won't be with a lot of the premium liquors till the ship is 12 miles out from port. While in Texas they must use alcohol bottled in the state or with a TX alcohol board stamp of approval on it. This didn't bother me at all but it may bother some who prefer liquors such as Grey Goose, Hendricks, etc

 

Having to wait until your cruise ship is 12 miles out of port before you can get the premium spirit of your choice ... now there's a first world problem!  :D

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Balcony cabin review: 7710, E1 aft balcony

 

I can see why aft balconies are addicting! Loved the wake views from my balcony. Cabin was nice sized and the walk did not bother me. I hardly saw my cabin steward but when I did he was friendly and did his job well. Word of caution, I would avoid booking the aft balconies on deck 6.... the views are not good and worse, people in the balconies above can look right down into those balconies. If you value privacy, do not book this location.

 

Next up, dining review including my new addiction, SABOR ;)

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Review of Dining aboard Liberty:

 

Truth be told I was a little concerned due to the fact that Liberty has nowhere near the options for dining as Oasis and Quantum Class do. I was not disappointed. Once again the specialty venues excelled and I am kicking myself for not buying the dining package considering that I ate at Sabor four times alone. Giovannis and Chops were excellent, superior quality and very professional service. I even ate once at the Windjammer while we were anchored in Belize, which says a lot as I am typically not a buffet person. Only thing is and maybe Matt or someone else can answer this: where was the Izumi Express? I could never find it on Liberty.

 

Sabor is in a class by itself. I can see why Matt and so many others love this place. I like the flat cover charge version better than the ala carte version on Oasis class. Service was excellent, Red Snapper is to die for! And of course the guac, which was freshly prepared tableside each time it was ordered. Kudos to the staff for being able to accommodate extra people one day for lunch when my original reservation for 3 grew to 7 at the last minute. Best drink? The cucumber jalapeno martini hands down!

 

I did not visit the main dining room on this cruise and that was by choice. I find myself going there less and less on each cruise.

 

Next up: pool deck and waterslides! Yes I did them and it was fun

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Pool deck and waterslides:

 

This area was great on Liberty. I found them to be not crowded at all most times during the cruise. The solarium is beautiful although I went right by it on embarkation day not realizing it was an open area. Chalk that up to being used to the one on Oasis and Quantum class. Bar service was exceptional, especially at the Solarium Bar. The pool in the Solarium was almost a perfect temperature.... not the "ice cube" effect that you feel at some pools when you first step in.

 

Watersldies were fun! The green one was definitely the faster of the two, maybe just a bit too fast! I did not try the tidal wave.... just seeing it made feel a little intimidated trying it. Staff in this area were very sociable and helpful.

 

Next up: Bars and entertainment 

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Pool deck and waterslides:

 

This area was great on Liberty. I found them to be not crowded at all most times during the cruise. The solarium is beautiful although I went right by it on embarkation day not realizing it was an open area. Chalk that up to being used to the one on Oasis and Quantum class. Bar service was exceptional, especially at the Solarium Bar. The pool in the Solarium was almost a perfect temperature.... not the "ice cube" effect that you feel at some pools when you first step in.

 

Watersldies were fun! The green one was definitely the faster of the two, maybe just a bit too fast! I did not try the tidal wave.... just seeing it made feel a little intimidated trying it. Staff in this area were very sociable and helpful.

 

Next up: Bars and entertainment 

The slides scare me.

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The slides were great and your right the green one was faster. I did the tidal wave once and came fairly close to the padded barrier at the top which made me a little nervous. It was still fun.

 

 

Eric Reeves

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Good morning. Bars and entertainment:

 

Love the R Bar! Melvin, Raj, and Anna best bartenders on board. The martini and mixology class is a must do... informative, fun, and interactive. Other good bar service was found at the Pool and Solarium Bar. Entertainment was top notch. The 70's disco party was fun and love and marriage is always funny. The comedian was good but very r rated, definitely not for kids. I didn't care for Saturday Night Fever, it was just too "dark" for me. Just my opinion.

 

Final thoughts coming up :)

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Final thoughts:

 

Loved my first ever cruise on Freedom Class, definitely won't be my last. I am also excited to try out my first Radiance Class(Serenade) cruise next November. The voom issue needs to be addressed on Liberty as I find it inexcusable to market it and sell it as voom and then discover the service on this ship is worst than dial up. 

Would I sail Liberty again? More than likely yes. 

 

Hope everyone enjoyed this little review/ Any questions feel free to ask and I will try to answer.

 

Thanks everyone! :)

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Great review Chris!  Nancy and I really enjoyed meeting you!  Regarding Izumi express, on our two Liberty cruises they have those items available in the Windjammer, starboard side, just past the bar.  I completely agree with you about the main dining room... we find ourselves going there less and less as well.  I will say that the Windjammer is still a favorite of ours.  It can be crowded, but I think the food is excellent for a buffet and they had great service on Liberty in the evening. We would rather go there for dinner than endure poor service in the main dining room.

 

Thanks again for the great review!

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