My first cruise and defiantly won't be my last.

Liberty of the Seas Cruise Review to Caribbean - Western

Cruises: 1 cruise (first)
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 41

Overall rating:

5 out of 5
Liberty of the Seas

7 Night Western Caribbean (Galveston Roundtrip)

Sail date: August 20, 2017

Ship: Liberty of the Seas

Cabin type: Inside

Cabin number: 7223

Traveled as: Couple

Reviewed: 4 years ago

Review summary

I was not going to write this but people were asking… Life on a Cruise Ship with Harvey… This has not been like any of the cruises that I have experienced. The ship, The Liberty of the Seas is like any other cruise ship with all the “things” that you would expect from Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines with all the service and fineries that you would expect from being on a cruise. When Mary and I departed from Galveston, we heard of a tropical depression in the Gulf of Mexico. The captain of the ship stated concerns while we departed but said he could sail around it. It first it was just a storm to dodge on what was suppose to be a week long vacation. A vacation that was needed from the work we did remodeling a property for sale. Neither Mary or I or the 4500 other people would know what would follow in the coming days. Life on this cruise ship was suppose to be better than normal life. People waiting on your every need and desire 24/7 and the crew preformed all their duties to the best of abilities. I can’t express how grateful I am for that part of the cruising experience. Their work and dedication to the passengers were outstanding. The ship is not a small ship. It measures 1112ft. by 185ft. with 18 decks that holds a maximum of 4960 souls onboard. The ship has all the modern luxuries you would expect from a modern cruise liner with so many improvements from the first cruise I’ve been on. All the creature comforts from home and then some. Wi-Fi (at 3 Meg a second consistently mind you), Satellite TV, and all the modern luxuries that we have all come to expect from the electric world. Live shows, casinos, first class dining rooms, and pool deck entertainment that is a dream…and yes…Bingo… This would be the good life under normal circumstances but with all the connection to the outside world came news reports of Harvey. How this tropical depression was suppose to land in Texas as a Category 4 hurricane. It was surreal to watch this giant wet buzz saw on CNN with all the other passengers on the ship. There was looks of shock and horror in a lot of the faces. After all that I have seen and my past experience with hurricanes, I knew that Harvey was up to no good. That the coast of Texas, my home, was in for a world of hurt and devastation and there was nothing I could do about it. Powerless of what was about to unfold. OK, Facebook Friends, This is starting to sound like a cheap horror novel. I’m not a novelist. I don’t write books. In all honesty, the cruise was good. The first seven days went off as planned. We were at sea for two days and we pasted Harvey, which was a fierce tropical depression at the time on our way to Roatán. We docked and Mary was very impressed by the clear water at the dock seeing the bottom and all. Roatán was great, Mary and I went snorkeling and it was her first time. She was like a kid in the proverbial candy store. We had so many fish and the guide showed eels, rays, and so many other wild swimming things. I’ve been diving for thirty years but it is always a joy to see someone that has never experienced the life of the reefs before. It was more than a good thing, Mary seems hooked now. The next day we went to Costa Maya and had a beach day. We booked all the day trips way in advance and this one seemed like it would be fun and it was. We were taken to a little beach in Mahahual were we just sat and enjoyed the gin clear water and let the fish bite on our toes. Nothing serious, the fish do that to all the tourist. We had beach fajitas, Wi-Fi, and Mary got a beach massage. I found the cheap cuban cigars and it was also a spot to absorb cheap souvenir trinkets. And Yes, you never pay what is being ask for anything in Mexico. If you can’t get it for half, walk and they will run to make the sale. I know, cheesy, but it works every time. We made it back to the boat and had dinner and a show. The next day was Cozumel. We were back to snorkeling again. Wasn’t as nice as Roatán but we did see more underwater wildlife and Mary was a real trooper. She wasn’t feeling the best but made the best of the day. The whole day was nice with the ship being home at the end of the day. The whole cruise was still being overshadowed by Harvey. All the TVs in the comping areas were tuned to CNN and we got the cable news network of the carnage. All the time, we saw all the places of loved ones having their lives flooded. That Harvey was a 4000 year storm. We were cruising back to Galveston and the talk all over the boat was how people were going to get back to their homes and lives. We also wanted to get back home to Hope the Dog. She was being watched by a Evelyn, a dog sitter we found on rover.com. We missed big furry 80 lbs. pup. We cruised back to Galveston and the weather finally got bad. We got out about seven miles from the Port of Galveston and was hoping for a special clearance from the port but was refused. We sat in the Gulf of Mexico under dynamic positioning and waited for the verdict. The damage to the port was enough of a concern that we had to go someplace else. The captain announced that we were instructed by Royal Caribbean to divert to Miami. Mind you that this is the sixth largest cruise ship and the the only port big enough to handle it was Miami. I was shocked and relived to to hear this. From all the news that was absorbed and from what we knew, there was no way to get back to Conroe and Galveston was not open. We sat on dynamic positioning for about three hours and the captain finally announced that we had three medical emergencies that had to be handled before we headed to Miami. It was probably three people with heart conditions that we were not getting off the ship. Stressful to say the least. We started cruising on a two day trip to on our way to Florida. This is where things get a little more interesting on the ship. The crew was not ready to extend the trip and we got a lot of conflicting information. It was easy to see that they were doing what they were told by their supervisors. It wasn’t till later that night that there was a 50% price reduction on every ship service on the ship. Wi-Fi, shops, drink charges, Everything! There was a lot of people gripping about it but I saw it as a free extension of a cruise that had a 1/2 off sale. Of all the cruises that I have been on, that is the first time that this has ever happened. It was the best that Royal Caribbean could do at the time. It was also announced that people that had to get home could get off in Miami to catch a flight from there. We cruised for two days to Miami and all there was to do is wait. However we did do a lot of waiting out by one of the pools. So much that Mary got a sever sunburn and kinda put a damper on the sunbathing. Also, she had a case of swimmers ear. She wasn’t enjoying the cruise that much at that time. We went down to medical and was tying to get somebody to see about it but came to the harsh realization that medical on a cruise ship was not free. It was $140 just to see somebody about the ear. Mary opted not to spend the money and we acquired some olive oil from the pizza stand and some alcohol swabs from medical and used warm oil to ease the pain for a little while. Using a teaspoon and a lighter to warm up the oil shook me up just a little. Looked like something from a past life but it worked for the ear. We arrived in Miami around noon ship time. That was also another thing. We were always on ship time no matter what time zone we were in. It made things easier for the ship disembarking and re-boarding. We were suppose to get off the ship for shore leave but first the whole ship had to be approved by US customs to enter back into the States. This was a long fiasco that took 5 hours to complete. In my opinion, it could have been handled better. Customs was counting on all passengers to get in line but the people that didn’t want shore leave didn’t think they needed to attend and delayed the ones that wanted to go ashore getting off the ship. The ones that were getting off in Miami had first priority and then the people that were cruising back were next. Mary wanted to get some things for her ailments and almost went ballistic on some of the crew. All we wanted to do is go to CVS and pick up some simple over the counter stuff to fix the problems. It’s amazing the things you take for granted sometimes. We get off at 6:30pm and had to be back before 11:00pm when the ship was suppose to leave. The cruise ship had busses that took a group of people to CVS. We were not the only ones that needed to go. A lot of people on the cruise only had medicines for seven days and needed called in prescriptions filled. After we got out of CVS, Mary and I opted out to escape the crazy of the busses for a little while. We walked away from the herd, found a Taxi, and went to a little spot on Miami beach. Big Pink was the name. It had the right name to at least give it a look. It was amazing. It had nothing to do with the pink stuff but it had the best unique beach food. I got a bacon cheese burger with a crab patty on it. It was one of the most amazing things I wrapped my lips around in a while. Mary wasn’t quite as adventurous and just had fish & chips. The Big Pink did the trick. We got to escape and enjoy for a short time just us in Miami. It felt good for a little while. We got back to the ship and boarded for the trip back to what we thought was a disaster in the continuing aftermath of Harvey. The next two days was cruising back to Galveston. The Liberty of the Seas turned into a supply vessel for Royal Caribbean for the Galveston operations carrying extra supplies for upcoming cruises. With half the passengers disembarked in Miami, it was an eerie ghost ship. Where there was a bustle of passengers, there was empty decks. It was a spooky unnerving environment, this floating city with no passengers. What it really turned out to be was a cruise ship with the other half of the passengers being waited on hand and foot just that much more! I got the best service those last days of any of the other cruises I have ever been on. Better than Celebrity Cruise Lines or Oceania Cruise Lines. I was very impressed by the crew and how they handled themselves in an adverse situation. We cruised up to the Galveston ship channel on Day 13 of journey. It was sunny and bright. The water turned from a deep azure blue to a thick soupy brown in color. There was debris floating from the floods floating all around. Mary and I were surveying the bay when we saw dolphins swimming in the bay. Passing ships had these grey dare devils swimming on the bow wave. It was a small glimmer of hope as we watched the dark murky water around us. We arrived at the dock but it would be hours before they would be ready for us to disembark. We went to the dining room and had lunch for the last time. The safe place we dined and didn’t have to worry about the world outside. That was about to be over and have to face the real world once again. It was like we were living in an alternate reality for 13 days, watching a horrendous CNN production 24/7. But it was real. We left the place that was home for 13 days to get back on the land from which we started. As we were leaving, they ask us to turn over our sea cards. The sea card is your identity and passport while you are on the cruise. Handing the card over kinda added a little finality to the end of the voyage. Mary and I headed into the port toward customs and concern hit once again. Usually you have to declare what you bought on an customs inventory but when we walked up to the booth, the customs inspector wished us both a nice day and he was glad we were home. We got our bags to the curb and I went to get the SUV for the trip back to the RV in Conroe. I arrived at the cruise parking and ask the attendant if my SUV got flooded? He stated that to the best of his knowledge that it didn’t. I opened the door and water came out of the side of the door but examined the carpet and it was dry. I didn’t know what to think. I knew I just wanted to go home to whatever home was at the time. The SUV started with a full tank of gas and I headed over to pick up an impatient Mary and picked up out belongings on the curb. Baggage that had clothes, snorkel gear, dirty clothes bag, and trinkets bought for loved ones. Again it was surreal to pack it all in and head back to our regular life. It was the start of a new adventure. We travel back to Conroe and drove past all the devastation that Harvey left. Neighborhoods that had all the earthly passions of the home owners dragged out of their residence and was placed on to the curb. Flood water garbage that was prized possessions of peoples lives just a short time ago. It was a true picture of tragedy. We were in wonder of all the things we will find at your home. The journey ended at the RV where we live. It was no worse for ware. We checked our investment property and it was fine. We truly felt the grace of God on the sights of our possessions. A lot luckier than some. It was a sigh of relief. That was the end of this saga. It was thirteen days of my life that changed my perspective for days to come. So many tales of the sea have been wrote but I got to experience it for myself. I saw tragedy and triumph. Life in turmoil and survival. A lot of people lost things in this storm and all I could do is watch. Some might even be resentful that Mary and I rode out the storm on a cruise ship. I did find out more of this woman named Mary. She is the most astonishing person that I have ever met. She is smart, stubborn, beautiful, sexy, and old school. A woman that I want in my life for as long as we can. I purposed on the bow of the ship to the woman I love. She brought back a trinket, A band of gold with a diamond on it. I love this woman and going to spend some time with her. She wanted to bring back the bench I purposed at but ships crew said that it had to stay on the bow of the boat. We had leave the bench and just take the memory. But I did try to do something. I was moved in the moment that FB suggested to set up a fund to help victims of Harvey. I did set up a little post for the friends that I was needing help and it went out to all my friends with a lofty goal of $200,000. I had $40 donated from some friends but the heart breaker was when one of my friends didn’t have anything to give, that they lost everything. I would like to see the fund go to Jeri McCulloch Austin and her family no matter how big or small the amount is. The donation post is on my page. Please help her… Everybody has a story, especially when life turns extreme…respect all stories told and all lives lived…

Embarkation

5 out of 5

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

5 out of 5

Onboard Activities

5 out of 5

Entertainment

5 out of 5

Service and Staff

5 out of 5

Ship Quality

5 out of 5

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5

Ship tip

Make sure that you enjoy Chops

Disembarkation

5 out of 5

Traveler Photos

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