We had the pleasure of cruising on Liberty of the Seas 5 night
itinerary to Belize in Cozumel in mid February. Despite the cold
front that moved across Florida during mid February (whoa...brrrr),
the trip was beautiful and the ship- awe-inspiring! We filmed most
of the ship, and two categories of staterooms, and will post those
videos at the end of this review.
A bit about us- we have been on close to 20 cruises, however
this was our first on one of RCI's large ships. We have cruised
extensively with Princess and Carnival, and several times on
Holland America. We've also been on two NCL cruises. I'm 41, my
husband 51, and we sailed with our 6 year old son and my 74 year
old mother. We were with a large group that occupied about one
third of the ship as part of a corporate incentive trip. We flew
from California to Fort Lauderdale take this cruise, but we
normally stick to West Coast cruises to avoid air travel and save
money. Filming cruise ships is a fun hobby for us, and wow, there
was a LOT of square
footage to cover on this ship!
The Ship-overall impressions:
This was, by far, the largest and most high-tech ship we've ever
experienced. The promenade was beautiful and the shops lining it
were so innovative. I loved how you could grab a snack or drink mid
day while shopping or strolling here- the little sandwiches in the
promenade cafe were a tasty mid afternoon snack for us, especially
on sea days. The selection in the promenade was great, and much
better than any other shopping options we have ever seen on the
We appreciated the touch screen ship maps all over the ship as
we easily got lost. As with every cruise, we were JUST learning our
way around the ship on the last day...then it was time to go
We tried to order room service from our TV once, but it was too
slow and didn't function. We heard this from others as well –
the system is very unreliable, so we gave up on that fast.
Oddly, this ship felt more crowded to us than any we've ever
been on. Likely because people tend to congregate in the same
places, and also, because of the unusually cold weather, people
were forced indoors on the sea days (think flying deck
chairs...very cold and windy).
How we spent our days:
Day 1- Embarkation- boarding at the port of Fort Lauderdale was
smooth and quick. We arrived at the port at around noon, and were
onboard no more than 45 minutes later. As we always do, we used
this day to film the great majority of the ship while most public
rooms were still vacant (everyone heads to the buffet and pool).
After a wonderful buffet lunch at the windjammer, a pain-free
muster and unpacking, we enjoyed our first night of anytime dining
and sat as a family to discuss how big and interesting this ship
Day 2- At Sea- The weather was beautiful and the pool was the
main attraction on this gorgeous day at sea. The belly-flop contest
and poolside fun drew huge crowds, and we had a terrific time
getting to know the ship, soaking up the sun, and tasting my first
Day 3- Belize- We'll share more about our day below when
covering the ports, but in short, after an annoying wait to tender
off the ship, we made it to the pier, located our privately booked
Goff's Caye representative, and headed into the tourist
village/shopping area to wait for our departure. I wouldn't
recommend just “walking around” in Belize- there's
little to do, and you need to leave the area, by boat or on land,
to see Belize's beauty. Plan ahead and spend a little money to get
away from the port.
Day 4- Cozumel- After a leisurely morning, we walked off the
ship and took our taxi to Nachi Cocom- the perfect day...more
details to come. After a lovely day ashore, we splurged at the
steakhouse, Chops and settled in for a relaxing evening. Everything
at Chops was exceptional- from the prawn cocktail to the filet
mignon with bernaise to the dessert and service- top notch.
Day 5- At Sea- since the cold, stormy weather was back in
effect, we took advantage of all the ship has to offer. We got
lucky enough to score tickets to ice skate (yay, they even had tiny
skates for my 6 year old son!). The evening was dedicated to our
company awards ceremony, which was held in studio B, aka the ice
rink. It was interesting to see how well they covered the ice with
a stage, and how high tech this room was, with televisions on all
sides of the arena to view the media presented at our award show.
It rivaled any land resort we've held these events at and somehow
held our very large group with room to spare.
Ah, we loved Belize and Cozumel. Bear in mind, we're from the
West coast, so any port with turquoise blue, warm water is a treat
for us. We are not picky. In Belize, we took an excursion to Goff's
Caye, a tiny island 30 minutes off shore. Picture something you see
in a cartoon- a tiny white strip of beach lined with a few palm
trees plopped in the middle of the ocean. This place was so picture
perfect, we were pinching ourselves all day. The trip was too
short, but can't recommend it enough. Others in our group
snorkeled, but we opted to relax on the beach, swim, and take
photos to maximize the time on the island.
In Cozumel, we pre reserved a day at Nachi Cocom, a private,
quiet beach club. 15 minutes from the port by cab, this place was
relaxing and poured all you could drink, all day, for something
like $55 per person. The food was 4 course, all inclusive too, and
was so delicious. There was no way we could eat all that was given
to us, especially on top of the pina coladas, tequila shots and
margaritas. We swam in the sea, explored the tiny gift shop and
spent hours jumping off the end of the dock and swimming back to
shore. After the cab ride back, we shopped at the pier (great
shopping!) and boarded our ship. We can't wait to return to
We enjoyed a junior suite, a treat we normally wouldn't splurge
on on this sailing. The stateroom was huge, well laid out, had a
bathtub and coffee pot, two things we LOVE while cruising. I've
never seen so much storage space, including a walk in closet, on
My Mom was in an interior stateroom, across the hall from us.
The room was a little bigger than most, and had a privacy curtain
that divided the room- again, something I've never seen in an
inside room. It even had a couch- so cozy.
**Video tours of both rooms are at the end**
We took advantage of my time dining, and were fortunate enough
to get the same servers every night, by request, at a table for 4.
Our severs were so attentive and did a great job of making us feel
like were were in a fixed dining situation, meaning, they
remembered our preferences and welcomed us back each night by
remembering our names. We were rarely offered drinks other than
water, but we spoke up and got what we needed. I think $12 is a
ridiculously high price for a mojito, but then again, a LOT of
people on this ship bought the drink package, so it seems that is
the direction this ship is taking.
We enjoyed the buffet only a few times on this cruise, and it
was well laid out and offered great selection.
Chops, the steakhouse, was awesome. The only funny thing that
happened here is they gave my son my husbands filet mignon, and my
husband the “kids steak”. We didn't figure it out until
they'd eaten half of the steaks, and it ended up being something to
laugh about, and a compliment to the quality of the meat
The Experience overall. . .
What we loved:
Embarkation...so smooth, so friendly. Great job RCL.
The room service options....very nice selection and high quality
food, including eggs at breakfast & fast service. Loved the
turkey panini, mediterranean chicken salad and spinach dip.
Entertainment: the one show we had time to see was excellent- a
cut above other lines- more modern and very high production
Very few ship wide announcements -very nice. You really have to
rely on your Cruise Compass to know what is going on, but the lack
of interruption is peaceful.
The Ship condition: Liberty is well maintained and has so many
cutting edge, clever touches compared to other lines we've
experienced. It's modern in so many ways, but not so huge that you
can't enjoy the magic of being on the high seas (in fact, we felt
quite a bit of motion on the final sea day).
What we'd change:
Okay, I know this is never fun. But, keep in mind, there was a
cold front in Florida folks. We had to stand at the entrance to the
ship, and along a FREEZING cold wind tunnel for about an hour,
underdressed (everyone was- this is Florida, who brings their
parka) before we could get into the building that houses
immigration and the luggage. It was hard to watch SO many miserable
people, many with fussy kids and elderly folks that were having a
hard time standing for so long.
More ice skating times please.
Seriously, it was hard enough just to FIND the ice rink folks.
But, really, they need to offer more times to choose from! The
skate sizes were very inconsistent and when you went back to fix
that, it was too late...no more skates, sorry.- no more skates And
the cranky staff that hands out the skates made us feel like we
were at boot camp. Please, smile, it's an ice rink for goodness
The same lack of open times applied at the flow rider and rock
RCL's beverage policy is stricter than other lines. i.e.- you're
not allowed to bring your own soda and water. This really bothered
me as I really enjoy my own water and a mere 12 pack of diet coke
in my room. I don't get it.
Okay, the soft serve should be available 24/7, somewhere...the
little ice cream machine on the pool deck would just disappear.
This made my son and hubby sad as most lines offer soft serve
pretty much 24/7.
It seems they could easily have a small section of the buffet
area open 24/7, or just between main meal times. The hours seemed
unusually odd to me, for a cruise line. Example: the buffet doesn't
open for dinner until 6:30pm. That is late, and not the norm
compared to other lines we've tried. Thankfully, room service saved
us during some odd afternoon hungry hours after a long tour
ashore.Thanks for reading, and happy cruising.
All in all, we had a lovely trip. Dollar for dollar, I'm not
sure I would choose RCI again, but it all depends on departure
port, price and ports for us. Right now RCI doesn't have much of a
presence in Southern CA, where we tend to depart.
Thanks for reading, and happy cruising!!
Full ship video tour:
Junior Suite: https://youtu.be/u0eXVuPhPg8
Interior Stateroom: https://youtu.be/d1ryWy5-aDU