December 2014 - Liberty of the Seas to Caribbean - Western
I'd love to be able to give RCL a good review, but in this case, we were wildly disappointed in the entire experience. We booked a junior suite, which was HUGE and that was the end of nice surprises. The bed was rock solid, much the same as sleeping on the floor, neither husband nor I got one nights sleep. The food was horrible. I am not a foodie and if it's edible, I'm there. Hubby however, is a big time foodie...all I have to tell you is that I couldn't eat what was served - that lets you figure out where the food left my 'foodie' husband. Even the speciality restaurants were bad. Service was a nightmare, since they've included the tips in the price of your cabin, no one cares anymore or at least that is the way it seems on Liberty. The stateroom attendant had to be reminded to put paper products in our bathroom and then they were dumped on the counter. Nearly every bartender was surly and gruff, with perhaps one or two if you caught them at the right time. We had problems with our bill, problems with reservations, problems with checking off the boat...it was just endless and NO ONE CARED!! If you want to cruise and it's a big deal to you, spend a few more dollars and get on a Celebrity ship. RCL has turned into what we in South Florida call a banger. Slam people on, slam 'em through and slam 'em off....and pick their pockets in between. We purchased the "most inclusive" liquor package, which at $55 per day per person was supposed to include "nearly everything RCL serves" according to the postcard advertising. We found out quickly that is just not true, perhaps 70% of what they serve is included...leaving a hefty 30% NOT covered - a total rip off if ever there was one.
So, all in all, avoid this trip at all costs. If you don't care about food, service or comfort - then book RCL for a quick getaway. If any of those things matter to you, avoid it. Spend a little more and revel in the attention given to detail on another line that actually still cares about customers. It isn't RCL, for certain.
We've had good experiences in NCL (years ago) Celebrity and Princess. Disney is also very attentive to detail but VERY expensive....it's more true now than ever, you really get what you pay for.
Also, there were TONS of kids, yelling, banging, screaming, running wild all over the ship 24/7 just about. Maybe it was the holidays or maybe it was the design of that ship (although we were never given the heads up that this is a family or child focused cruise) but that more or less added to the aggravation level. We were THRILLED to get off and go home...after looking forward to this quick getaway before the holiday rush....
We will never cruise on this line again, and we go every other year for between 8 and 14 days.....
Celebrity is wildly attentive to details as well as the 'big stuff'. The rooms are beautifully turned down, with chocolates and biscuits every night. The beds are almost MORE comfortable than our own, the food is incredible in the main dining hall as well as the speciality restaurants. The liquor package, when purchased, covers nearly 95% of what is offered. If a drink is $14 and your package covers up to $12 per drink, you pay the difference (ie $2). On RCL you pay the ENTIRE price, even if you have a package (another rip off measure).
On Liberty, you can ring the customer service desk and the person answering either can't speak English or will transfer you endlessly until you give up. On Celebrity, your call is answered on the second ring and service is dispatched within ten minutes.
On Liberty, we ordered room service three times, twice it never even showed up at all and repeated phone calls were never answered, either to the room service office or to the main desk.
On Celebrity, we were given certain privileges with the cabin class (ie percentage off in the spa, free wine with dinner, special treats at afternoon tea, etc). On Liberty, there were NO privileges at all even though we had the second to the highest price cabin on the ship. (again with a horrendous bed and smelly pillows).
Oh well, lesson learned. Keep looking is my advice......