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twangster

Liberty 2/25/18 7 Nights

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IT'S CRUISE DAY!!!

I flew into Houston Hobby airport last night and stayed at an airport hotel.   My hotel had renovations underway which has been a theme for me recently.   It wasn't until breakfast when I saw the new lower 3 feet of drywall everywhere on the 1st floor that it dawned on me it was from Hurricane Harvey flood damage.   

I'm in my Lyft ride heading towards Galveston as I write this.  Just over an hour for $50.   ETA 10:10am.   

Light traffic on this Sunday morning and we made the terminal at 10:03am.  Quick drop of luggage and into the terminal to check in.  It looks like they just opened and there aren't many people here.  A group of 15 headed into the Suites/Pinnacle/Diamond Plus queue leaving the Diamond/Emerald/Platinum queue just to me.  I went to next available agent and... the computers went down.  Around 10:30 they came back online one by one.  Unfortunately for me and my neighbor our agent's computers didn't come back so they slid us over to working agents and away we went.  I wasn't too concerned because I knew we had to wait for boarding anyways.  Upstairs into the top tier waiting area it seems they had started boarding when I arrived upstairs but suffering from the same computer outage they had halted boarding. 

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The upstairs area has a vendor area where they sell lanyards.

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I got some water from the dispensers and just sat down they started boarding again.  By 10:50am I was onboard.  Pretty easy boarding process despite the brief computer issue.  This trip is already starting off a lot smoother than my last Galveston departure on some other cruise line a few years ago (before I switched to Royal).

This seven night cruise will complete the Freedom class trilogy for me.  Freedom .  Independence .  Liberty  . 

Leaving from Galveston I have two sea days, Roatán, Costa Maya, Cozumel, a sea day then back to Galveston.  Liberty has two primary itineraries.  This cruise is the more western of these western routes.  A nautical style map was on display in the Promenade.

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The promenade is adorned with a large Texas flag to greet us:

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Café Promenade was open so I had a roast beef plus a turkey sandwich.  Let the food coma commence.

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With some time to kill before cabins are available I decided to check out a few spots.

Main Dining Room

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Helipad (of course)

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It's an overcast day here in Galveston so I'll wait to take more pictures around the ship once we are in nicer weather.

I was pleased to discover O3b based Voom.  With that I can confirm everything Freedom class and newer has O3b Voom.

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With that it's almost time for cabins to be available.

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Muster drill is outside but covered just like other Freedom class ships.  It's muster, what can I say, gotta do it.

The game 'Clue' just popped into my head... "Colonel Muster on deck 4 with a life jacket".

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Despite some low visibility conditions in the bay we departed on time.  Galveston is known for fog this time of year.  Overcast and low hanging clouds at sail away so I went to the spa raffle.  In keeping with tradition, I did not win.  

The diamond lounge was slammed busy.  Liberty has a dedicated suite lounge leaving what was the Diamond overflow on Indy to be the Diamond lounge.  I must have the missed the announcement to give it the old college try - "Let's see how many people we can fit in the Diamond lounge at once".  I tried to order an Amstel Light at a bar but since we were still within Texas waters no Amstel Light (not approved by Texas Alcohol and Beverage Commission).  Doh!  Forgot about that Texas thing - must wait to be in international waters for the standard full bar menu to be available.  

Dinner was in the My Time MDR.  New menu style tonight.  I call it the "all-in-one" menu.  In the past a separate menu was offered after the meal for dessert.  The current menu includes dessert and you order all three courses at the beginning of the meal.  

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I was surprised to see Prime Rib on the first day and so I went with it.  Very good but maybe a little thin.  On the other hand I felt good after dinner, not overly stuffed, so perfect sized portion.  Apparently I was hungry and forgot to take pictures.

Welcome aboard show in the theater tonight.  John Blair is our cruise director.  So far so good.  Some good band music and a taste of the aerialists that will perform tomorrow.  On Liberty they explicitly ban all photography in all shows (not just flash photography) so no photos tonight.  

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2 hours ago, Sabrinaklai said:

Wonder if that "all in one" dinner menu is to speed things along?

That is my thought as well. Menu is for the most part the same as Oasis back in December 2016.

Experiencing it first had in January. I'm still mixed opinion of it. I do like knowing the dessert selection up front. But I don't like that feeling after eating the main course to quickly have a dessert plopped down. 

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33 minutes ago, twangster said:

I was thinking about that.  That and possibly some savings as well by not having to manage and print a separate dessert menu. 

Service was good.  No complains. 

I think it is a good approach, not to have to find the waiter for the dessert menu.

The best would be if they can do two options like in some of the airlines business classes , one traditional menu were you wait between the different plates and one executive menu were you order everything and get most of the things on the same time , it can be good for people that still wants to eat in the MDR but do not have 1.5 - 2 hours (because shows or any other reasons).

Oh  and for sure I am going to follow , was wondering when is the next live blog :-)  

 

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Cabin Tour!

Deck 7 Interior Cabin 7441

This is one of the new cabins added during the last dry dock.  Independence is going in for her dry dock soon and is slated to receive some of these cabin additions as well.  They are consuming public open space and squeezing in a handful more cabins.  For example what used to be a very large C&A loyalty area has been combined with the RC Online computer area freeing up space for more cabins.  On my Freedom and Indy sailings many of these public spaces were lightly used.  

In my case I on deck 7 in an area with four new cabins.  

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There are four outlets at the desk.  Two European power points and two North American outlets.  No USB power outlets.  No outlets by the bed, just a telephone jack.

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The cabin electrical includes an energy saving card slot to activate the lighting and air conditioning.   When I arrived the little cards to indicate 'privacy' or 'make up cabin' that you can stick in your cabin lock were stuffed in the card slot. 

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Looks like a decent (if somewhat narrow) cabin. How is the width / access to the bed compared to other Interior class rooms you've booked? Is the noise level OK, given your right at mid-ship by the elevators?

Good to see the shower has a proper sliding door instead of a Hollywood Special grabby curtain!

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On 2/26/2018 at 7:47 AM, JLMoran said:

Looks like a decent (if somewhat narrow) cabin. How is the width / access to the bed compared to other Interior class rooms you've booked? Is the noise level OK, given your right at mid-ship by the elevators?

Good to see the shower has a proper sliding door instead of a Hollywood Special grabby curtain!

I had interior cabins on both Freedom and Indy that were pretty much mirror images of each other.  This photo from Indy:

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I find my cabin on Liberty easier to get around the bed and to access both sides.  This is largely due to the rounded bed found on many of the newer ships.  On Freedom/Indy access to the right side of the bed is a bit of a pain. 

I noticed some elevator lobby noise on day 1 right after cabins opened up but haven't heard much more.  I crashed early last night and wasn't bother by any.  Any noise I do hear is coming through the door (not through walls) and like any cabin, any where, loud talkers or laughers in the hall can be heard as they walk past your cabin.  

Given a choice I'd take this new cabin on Liberty.  Still has that new cabin smell.

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Hi @twangster! Love your blogs! I'm going on the Freedom next month and we will be in Costa Maya as well! Never been to this port, wondering what to do?!? We have a group of seven and we don't want to pay for an excursion. Maybe a nice beach, drinks, some decent local food, safe! Thoughts!

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6 minutes ago, Deedeelynn said:

Hi @twangster! Love your blogs! I'm going on the Freedom next month and we will be in Costa Maya as well! Never been to this port, wondering what to do?!? We have a group of seven and we don't want to pay for an excursion. Maybe a nice beach, drinks, some decent local food, safe! Thoughts!

The cruise port area in Costa Maya has a free pool.   Also, search for 'Krazy Lobster Mahahual'.  Cheap shuttle ride.  

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If you are stuck on land, you may not like this next post.

It's time for a Windjammer breakfast.

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Windjammer bar:

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Fresh fruit as always:

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Lots of different breakfast choices

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Donuts anyone?

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French toast and waffles covered:

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Several flavors of pancakes, all covered:

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Chocolate overdose available on board:

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Scrambled eggs or scrambled eggs with Jalepeño and Salsa - because some like it hot.

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Lot of different teas.

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