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Old 12-11-2007, 09:37 AM
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Well folks, we are back and still trying to get back into the swing of things. There is lots to tell but in a nutshell, we had a GREAT time! As my wife said many times, Best Vacation Ever!!! We loved the Liberty and it was a gorgeous ship. We had beautiful weather, not a drop of rain the whole week. The first two days however were very windy, around 30 mph and the seas were 10 feet. The ship was very stable but to be honest, it had more motion than I assumed it would have for the size ship that it was. Still, nothing to make anyone sick. I just went ahead and used my patch and went on my way. The wife and daughter never used anything, as I knew would happen.
The one area that I feel that RCI could vastly improve on is the embarkation and disembarking process. We got to the pier around 10:30 and then started through the security a little after 11:00. Everything went fine until we got to the main building or holding pen. Then, they just kept packing folks in and continually hollered at them to be seated! Well dang, there is only so much room for people to sit in the floor once the chairs are full and finally, someone was vocal enough that they stopped letting more people crowd in. We were supposed to start boarding at noon but Customs could not find 2 passengers from the previous cruise!! Just wonderful!! Finally, around 12:45, we started boarding. On this particular cruise, there were 800 back to back guests which I thought was a huge number. Most of them were from England and we found them to be very friendly. We finally made it to our stateroom around 1:15pm. It was simply gorgeous and we had a great time the whole week.
As I said, disembarking was a royal mess. The colored tags worked well right up to the point, about half way through, when they just decided to say, now all colors proceed to the gangway!! It was like they couldn't wait to boot everyone off and around 9 am they called the remaining 6 colors!! It was a stupid mess that was complete chaos and led to long lines and lots of frustrated people. Had they continued calling the colors they way they should have, it would have gone well and the ship would have cleared sooner probably. We were off around 9:45. Anyway, enough of the minor inconveniences.
The cruise director on the Liberty now is James Andrews, I think an Aussie, and he was a hoot the entire cruise!! He was full of energy and if he can't get the crowd going, they might as well call the morgue!! The entertainment was superb and the ice show and productions were first rate. They were the best I have ever seen onboard any ship, although my experience is limited.
Now, the food, what can I say except that it was outstanding!! We switched tables for a window seat and a smaller table after the second night and our waiters were great. They kept our daughter entertained and made her trip very enjoyable. I truly hope to meet Bernard and Feng again someday. They were a delight.
Our stateroom attendant, Evelyn who was from the Philipines, was wonderful as well. Everything was spotless and we had nothing but praise for her. Every night, our daughter would rush back from dinner to see what animal she had to admire from Evelyn!! She was never disappointed.
As far as crowds go, there were a couple of times we felt crowded. One was on the first day when everyone was going to the Windjammer. It was VERY busy and gave us pause to wonder if the whole cruise was going to feel like this. Thankfully, it didn't. The other time was on the final sea day and it felt VERY crowded around the pools. The adult only section seemed a lot less crowded on this particular cruise though.
Another thing to be mindful of is this, pool towels are NOT provided in your room. Maybe for diamond members or above but for us normal folks, you have to check them out on the pool deck and make sure to bring them back. After not returning the 3 that we had until the next day, we received a note stating that we would be charged for them if not returned by 5 pm. Needless to say, we hustled up there and exchanged them for three more. It was a hassle but not something to make or break a trip over.

Well, there is lots more but I will stop here and start again later. Like I said, we had a marvelous time and if anyone has any questions while it is fresh in my mind, ask away.
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1992 MV Royal Majesty
1993 MV Royal Majesty
1996 Sun Princess
2007 Liberty of the Seas
2010 Navigator of the Seas
2010 Radiance of the Seas
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Old 12-11-2007, 10:57 AM
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Welcome back, Bruce!
Glad to here you had a great vacation. There's always a few quirks in any vacation. As you well know now, it really doesn't pay to get to the dock before noon. Even with priority boarding it's a slow process. I wasn't aware that all passengers didn't get beach towels in their staterooms. You would think that if it's a perk for diamond members it would be listed as a perk.

Well, now it's reality time; having to be careful we don't just walk out of a restaurant without paying, making our own beds, and not having towel animals.

Sonny
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Old 12-11-2007, 11:45 AM
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Welcome back to reality Bruce! Glad your family had a great time. I know what you mean about the motion of the ship. We were on Freedom and we all figured it would be so smooth. But some of those days it got kinda rough and you really could feel movement. It didn't bother us either until we got home and it took about a week for the movement feeling to stop. When you get time, you will have to tell us later about your excursions if you did any.
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Old 12-11-2007, 11:46 AM
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Welcome back Bruce sounds like you enjoyed your cruise. Time to start planning the next one, it helps ease the pain of returning to reality. Best wishes and happy holidays!
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Old 12-11-2007, 04:33 PM
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Yes indeed, we had a marvelous time. Sonny, I would still get to the port at the same time again. Those that didn't get there till noon were stuck in a heck of a line and didn't get onboard till after 2 pm!! So, when I go again, I will probably do the same thing and hopefully Customs will be able to find everyone!!! The sheer number of back to back folks congested things also.

Now, for the excursions. We didn't do any through Royal Caribbean. But, we did do a couple of things that I can recommend highly. In Labadee, we just payed for me and my daughter to use the water slide on the beach and the Aqua Water Park. Since she was too young for the rest, this proved sufficient and a lot of fun. Toward the end of the day though, one of the adults on the slide caught their foot in a section of the slide and everyone thought he had broken it. As things turned out, it was just badly sprained. For us, we thoroughly enjoyed Labadee. During the Montego Bay stop, we had already decided to stay onboard and enjoy the ship. Our previous stops in Jamaica had not left a very favorable impression of this stop and we had a great time on the ship.

Now, for the Grand Cayman stop, we were really looking forward to this one. We had arranged ahead of time for an excursion with a company called Native Way Tours. They are outstanding and I highly recommend them. Their name comes from the fact that native Caymanians are used and the owner is a native of Grand Cayman. Sharon, the wife of the owner, is from New York city and she was a hoot to be around. They guarantee you to be back in time and they held true to their promise. The tour we booked was called the Rays, Reef and Rum tour. This included a stop at Stingray City, then a snorkel stop at the reef off of Rum Point, followed by a lunch on the beach at Rum Point. This place is absolutely beautiful. Although the tour provides very short stops at each, it is a good way to figure out the locations that you would like to go back to. This excursion was a highlight of our trip. We made it back to the port by 3 pm.

Maybe the best stop of the trip or tied for first at least, was the stop in Cozumel. Here, we had again prearranged our own thing with the folks at Dolphin Discovery. This is located in Chankanaab park which is a 5 or 10 minute ride by taxi from the port. The taxi fare is $10 per taxi for up to 4 people. The price is NOT per person, so don't get confused. At Dolphin Discovery, me and my daughter did the Royal Swim with the Dolphins. This includes an hour in the water with 2 dolphins and their trainer. These sessions are done in groups of 10 and they are a blast. You get to interact with the dolphins and you get towed around the water by both dolphins while you hold onto their dorsal fins. Next, you get the foot push. This is one dolphin on each foot and they literally balance and push you up and out of the water and at the same time you are going across the surface. It is incredible and I highly recommend it. Our daughter was all smiles from this experience. Next, we enjoyed the way too short time on the beach at Chankanaab, which is absolutely gorgeous.

I could go on and on but I will stop here for the time being. If you have any more questions, just ask away.
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1992 MV Royal Majesty
1993 MV Royal Majesty
1996 Sun Princess
2007 Liberty of the Seas
2010 Navigator of the Seas
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Old 12-12-2007, 08:47 AM
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Well welcome back I am so glad you had a great time there is nothing like cruising, thanks for the review.
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Old 12-13-2007, 07:57 PM
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Do you have any pictures you can share?
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Old 12-14-2007, 02:48 PM
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We are going to be in Cozumel on Wed. How was the weather? It looks like rain. But I wonder if they always say that sinc it is an area that has rain on and off all the time.

We haven't booked excursions yet and really can't decide. We want to go to Tulum but haven't totally decided yet b/c of the travel time/
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Old 12-14-2007, 04:24 PM
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Wesnlyn, we've been swamped since we got back, but we do have a ton of pics - to be honest not that great cause we keep forgeting to change the settings on the camera when we change lighting situations and the Auto doesn't work that great either. The inside pics we took of the ship especially do not do the ship justice. We do have them moved from the memory stick to the computer, though, so will post a link when we get some online.

Shelby, Everyone there (tour guides and drivers) said there is always a chance of rain in the afternoons, so that might be why the forecast always says it. The weather was beautiful - sunny and in the mid to high 80's and the water was warm everywhere we went. Hot in the sun and cool in the shade - wonderful!

Have fun and wish we were going again too!
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1992 MV Royal Majesty
1993 MV Royal Majesty
1996 Sun Princess
2007 Liberty of the Seas
2010 Navigator of the Seas
2010 Radiance of the Seas
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Old 12-17-2007, 08:49 AM
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Welcome back electech. I was curious too about your movement on that monster of ship. I guess we just don't realize that even though these ships are enormous, the sea is much bigger and more powerful. So, I will take some Dramamine II for my cruise on the Adventure and hope I don't need it.
Looking forward to your pics. I have some friends going on the Liberty next month. I will lead her to your pics when you have them ready to post.
Thanks for the info.
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