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Best ships can have lousy food!
Best ships can have lousy food!
The Liberty of the Seas is a beautiful ship. Although I prefer sailing on smaller size ships, it has all the features that I love.
This includes a wrap around wide promenade deck, a multi-level main show lounge, a spectacular viewing lounge at the top of the ship, multiple pools including an adult only pool, multiple hot tubs, large buffet with plenty of seating, multi-story main dining room, and its own ice skating rink.
During the day, we enjoyed heading to the FlowRider to watch different cruisers take turns trying to surf or boogie board. It was very entertaining and Royal Caribbean surrounded the FlowRider with plenty of seats.
The adult solarium provided a quieter place to relax and take a dip in the pool. The Solarium has its own bar and the restrooms were close by. We were lucky on our cruise-- there were only a few "chair hogs" and we usually found a chair near or around the pool. The port days were the best. While most passengers were busy doing things off the ship, we elected to stay on board and enjoyed the extra space.
We also found the entertainment very good. We enjoyed the two production shows, including an hour and twenty minute performance of "Saturday Night Fever". The singing was accompanied by a live band and the music was outstanding.
We also enjoyed the Ice Show and were left amazed at the talent of the Ice Skaters.
Two of the nights we ate at Chops Grille and Portofino's. The food in both specialty restaurants was very good. I can still taste the Filet Mignon and the mushroom soup.
Although we had a great time there were some issues with the cruise that we should note. The biggest issue was the quality of the food in the buffet and in the main dining room. We did not go hungry, but this is the first ship that we have been on that can't cook hard boiled eggs. The eggs were either overcooked or not fresh to begin with. We saw others also struggle to peel the eggs and finally gave up. But it didn't stop with the eggs, the dining menu was for the most part uninspiring with few appealing choices. The rice came out mushy and tasteless, the salmon came out dry, the steak was thin and buried in sauce (probably to try to give it some flavor), and the lamb shank was very fatty (my wife even sent it back for another option).
There were a few bright spots though. The Lobster tails on the second formal night were good, and some of the appetizers and deserts were also well prepared. Another bright spot was the fresh baked rolls that were served table side. Since we were celebrating our anniversary, we wanted a table for two on this cruise and I was able to email Royal Caribbean ahead of time and request a nice private table for two. We were not disappointed. They assigned us a table on the middle floor of the dining room right next to the large windows looking out over the side of the ship.
The next issue was the drink prices and quality of the mixed drinks. Royal Caribbean seems to be pushing the drink packages, so they have raised the prices of drinks to encourage people to buy packages instead. We ended up buying the drink packages, but noticed that most of the mixed drinks were very weak. Although it was nice not having to keep track of how much I was spending on drinks, in the future I will be very hesitant to buy the drink package and instead limit the amount of alcohol we buy on board. Another option would be just to buy the wine and beer package, since they can't water those drinks down.
The internet on this ship was painfully slow and unless you're a Diamond or Diamond Plus member of Royal Caribbean, the price of the "unlimited" slow connection is outrageous.
On the positive side, we booked a deluxe balcony stateroom and were happy to find the balconies of the deluxe staterooms are actually the same size as the superior staterooms. That is almost 70 square feet. They provide two chairs and a small table on the balcony. I can never understand why they don't put out lounge chairs on these balconies, however.
The cabin itself was very clean, but on boarding day our toilet overflowed and a part needed replacing. Not a fun way to start the cruise. The shower in the bathroom was strong and had a glass door. The closet was very large with plenty of room to hang clothes. It also had shelves on one side along with the room safe. There was a night stand on each side of the bed with small drawers. The room included a small refrigerator that came stocked with bottled water, soda and snacks for a fee. The flat screen TV has a small selection of channels.
If your looking for a cruise ship with lots of features and do not care so much about having the best food, then we recommend the Liberty of the Seas!
Steve Millay, ACC