CruiseMates' Readers Cruise Reviews

Royal Caribbean International Liberty of the Seas by Joni Western Caribbean December 15, 2007

Just got back from my first Royal Caribbean Cruise on the Liberty and it was spectacular including 7 sunny days and calm seas. I had previously been on the Noordam (snoredom) 17 mos. ago. My DH and I are late 50's (look & act younger), and we fit in perfectly with the wonderful mix of people. We arrived at the port about noon, found a terrific parking place in the garage, walked across the street, approached by a baggage handler who immediately took our bags (tipped nicely), walked into the terminal, had a short line of about 15 minutes, and were onboard and in our cabin (balcony deck 9) by 1PM. Cabin has lots of storage and setup nicely. Very comfortable bed and soft linens. Of course the bathroom is tiny, but doable.

I can't say enough good things about the cruise. Let me start with the minor disappointments. Windjammer crowded on port days AM but we found a secret place to relax and have breakfast by midweek. A lot of the music (shows, poolside, in bars) and was labeled 70's but was very disco. 60's and early 70's music would have been better, at least for us.

Food was great. We were seated by the window on 4 at a delightful table for two. The waiter and ass't. were incredible. We ate at Chops one night and they gave us a very romantic table in the back room by the window with a view of the water passing by. The food there was incredible as was the service. Ice Show is a DO NOT MISS event. The comedian was fantastic. We didn't go to the other shows as the timing was strange. We had 8:30 seating so the shows for that seating were at 7PM. I would have preferred a later show (however, they did that with the comedian.)

The ports were a lot of fun though we went on ship "tours" only twice. We find we have more fun doing things on our own. Labadee is a great beach area -- head left to the furthest beach area away for a quieter time. Order a Labadoozie. If your feet are sensitive, buy water shoes before you leave ($19.99 onboard). All the ports have rocky or grainy sand in the water. We are spoiled here in Ft. Lauderdale with silky sand in and out of the water.

In Jamaica we took the beach and a place tour -- don't if you are going in the next few months. The beach was OK, Doctors Cave Beach, but the chair rentals were not included and were the most uncomfortable. Changing area clean and OK. We left the chairs and went walking and found another beach to the right, from an all inclusive hotel, Breezes. They let us use their strap chairs for free. The shopping that they took us to was at least 1/2 hour away in heavy traffic and they gave us 1/2 hour in a high end shopping area which was empty except for the 35 people on our bus. There were no bargains, but a nice t-shirt shop at the end had nice stuff which turned out to be reasonably priced.

Grand Cayman was nice. We took a taxi to the beach by the Marriott. Then went shopping. Again, there was no bargains and everything we priced was 20 to 30% higher than we could get in the states or on the web. I did get a gold sting ray pendant as a momento even though it was over priced. The line back to the tender was incredibly long.

Cozumel was great. We got off the ship and immediately found a company which took us parasailing $60 cash each (ship was $79). It was dry takeoff and landing with a much longer ride than the ship tours. We took a taxi to Paradise Beach which is free if you spend $10pp on food and/or drink. Great beach with great chairs and a little snorkeling. They have jet skis and parasailing available. Decent food served on the beach if you like and the most relaxing huge water-floating mat I have ever seen. Great shopping. We found some good prices at "A Touch of Gold" and bought a few things there.

All in all the Liberty was spectacular with more things going on and things to do than you can imagine. Never felt crowded or rushed. Main Street is such a plus to the cruise experience that I can't imagine a cruise without it. There are restaurants, coffee shops, bars, shops, and a whole wonderful feel. It is also home to the famous parades at night.

We did the express exit, skipped the Windjammer, took our own bags off the ship at 6:30 AM. We had no lines, breezed through customs, got our car and were back home in NW Broward by 7:45 AM.

If you are considering the Liberty, book it, and you will not be disappointed.

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