Review: Liberty of the Seas
Cruise - Ocean Cruise
80th Birthday and Anniversary Cruise
48 people found this review helpful
Leaving the British heat-wave behind, my husband, daughter, son-in-law and I flew from Birmingham to Barcelona to embark on the Liberty of the Seas in Barcelona where we were later joined by our son, daughter-in-law and three grandchildren for this special cruise to celebrate my 80th Birthday and our 57th wedding anniversary.
We were met at Barcelona Airport by Royal Caribbean personnel who arranged transfer of our luggage to the ship.. We had check-in on line to avoid lengthy queuing, but we still had to have our ‘paper sea passes’ processed and for this to happen we were shepherded from the Arrival Terminal, on a five minute walk outside in temperatures of 32 degrees to the Departure Terminal, which was full of people waiting check in for their flights. To get to our check-in desk we had to follow a clip-board waving staff member, single file, through all those passengers – absolute chaos! Then it was back through all the waiting crowds until we eventually boarded our coaches and arrived at the quay side. Oh, what a relief and fabulous sight it was to see all the ships together. Ours was like a huge floating multi storey building. It was 15 decks high and we felt like ants as we walked alongside it. Once on board however, the adventure really began.
Although we did not have a balcony, our stateroom was roomy enough to be more than comfortable even when we were invaded by the grandchildren!. We had a huge king size bed, very comfortable with spotless white cotton bedding. A single armchair and a glass topped coffee table. Plenty of drawer and hanging space A TV, which showed a few mainly American based TV channels and movies. The bathroom was of reasonable size with a good shower, plenty of hot water and a good supply of towels. Every other evening our towels were artistically folded to form a different animal. Our son and his family were in two inter-communicating staterooms and had bunk beds in one of them that dropped down from the ceiling at night. Our steward Kenneth, was amazing. Extremely friendly and courteous He fussed around us like a mother hen and made us feel so important. Nothing was too much trouble.
The Windjammer and Jade restaurant was self service, buffet style, where there was a wide choice of food to suit every taste. Unfortunately, getting around with a plate in your hand could be disastrous with lots of people going back and forth to counters that had no system to them. There were cold drinks available as well as coffee and tea. Well it was called tea, but it was just colourless, tasteless hot water. On our first excursion ashore we bought some English tea bags!!! The look on the faces of the waiters when we used our own was a picture! The Michelangelo Dining room was however a totally different experience. Set in the middle tier of a three tier dining room with a magnificent glass chandelier hanging from the high ceiling, you were immediately transported to a different world. Tables all beautifully laid with full silver service. There was a large selection of starters, main courses and desserts. All the dishes were nicely presented, but a bit tasteless and there was never any custard or cream to add to the desserts. All the dining room staff were courteous, helpful and a pleasure to be served by. The wine list was very comprehensive but pricey! There were also specialised dining experiences where, at a cost, you could have steaks at one, an Italian meal at another and pizza’s at another. For those who wanted something completely different there was a 50’s style diner complete with milkshakes at another. Room Service is also available between 6.30am and 2.30am. We tried this on two occasions and it was served promptly and efficiently and the food was hot. All at no extra charge
We hardly saw the children as they were old enough,(11 and 13 years olds), to explore safely by themselves. They took part in everything, wall climbing, flow riding, ice skating, and all the other water activities, they used the W11, mini golf, basket ball and boxing. The adults also used the water sports and climbed the wall! The gym was a must with my son and the ‘girls’ did the spas. There was plenty of opportunity in the evenings to listen to guitar or piano music, a disco, and other dances. There were dance classes held at the poolside in the afternoon in temperatures of 28 degrees plus if you needed them! and lastly for those who liked a flutter there was the Casino. We went in once (my first and last) and the croupier was not the most enthusiastic of people that I came across-not even a smile! But it was early in the evening I guess and we won the first two games of roulette! There was not a lot for the over 80’s though unless you liked bingo-yuk!. The library was fairly well stocked but had the disadvantage of not having a door and the through traffic of people using the lifts was very frustrating. The Ice show was very good, but it was repeated twice during the week.
The shopping mall was an amazing sight – all glass staircases and glittering shop fronts and even a Red Morgan car parked in the thoroughfare. The prices of the goods in the shops were extortionate, but it was a captive audience! It was overlooked by windows of some of the indoor staterooms and it was strange to see a window cleaner on a mobile platform in the middle of the mall Among the shops were a Ben & Jerry’s Ice-cream outlet, a cup cake shop where you could try your hand at baking and icing –at a price! There was a pub, The Hoof and Claw, where there was entertainment most nights at 10.30.
To sum up, an ideal cruise for a family holiday on a lovely, safe, friendly ship. The ability of being able to let the children have some freedom and do their own thing, while the parents and other adults were able to do theirs and relax too was a plus.
However, if it is conventional old fashioned cruising that you are seeking, this cruise is definitely NOT for you.
48 people found this review helpful
This review is solely based on the opinion of a Silver Travel Advisor member and not of Silver Travel Advisor Ltd.