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Sail on Liberty of the seas. Recommendations?


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hi.

we are about to sail with Liberty of the seas from Barcelona .

any recommendations or special things we should know about?

in addition, since shore excursions are very expensive (and we are family with 6 members) i was wondering which shore excursions are recommended?

we will sail from Barcelona to France, Italy and Back.

is Pompeii recommended?

i would appreciate any help :)

thanks!

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I will recommend to go to port of call and chose Europe, it has both Italy and France, Spain recommendation. I am leaving in August , we board in Rome and return in Rome, we do the same route. I use both tour group and DIY. Since you have large group, sometime it maybe cheaper to do private than ship tour IMO, but you can also go into roll call, there are many members like to share the tour. Good luck the research and I start it since Feb:eek::eek:

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i was wondering which shore excursions are recommended?

we will sail from Barcelona to France, Italy and Back.

is Pompeii recommended?

When are you going? I know a family that went last summer and they really liked Pompeii! Are you doing the Leaning Tower of Pisa? If you need more information you can get a lot of help on Trip Advisor, too.

We are also doing the same itinerary and I'm thinking of doing trips on my own as 5 maybe 6 of us are going. Tours are expensive and most don't even include the admission cost!

I didn't have much luck with roll calls as there are very few people signed up and most of them only needed 2 or 4 people to fill up their group. Most tours I checked with can only take 8!

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We took this cruise in June. If there are six of you, it will come out cheaper than booking with RCCL to call Joe Banana (google it) for a private driver and a guide for Pompeii. There were 5 of us and it worked out perfectly. The driver met our guide at Pompeii. He was very knowledgeable and helped us make the most of our time in Pompeii. From Pompeii, we went to Sorrento and to Positano. He stopped along the way and was very flexible about what we wanted to do and knew how long we would need. He recommended a fabulous place for our lunch that was a highlight of our trip. How many times can you sit on a beach, on the Amalfi coast and have lunch? Sorrento has fabulous hand carved wooden boxes and lemon products in every imaginable form. Positano looks like a set from a movie.

We did Barcelona on our own.We purchased tickets on-line for La Sagrada Familia. Also a time saver. Barcelona very easy to get around. We had a private tour for Pisa who then drove us to Florence. They arranged for our time and reserved our tickets for the Accadamia to see the David which gave us more time to explore Florence.

In Marseille our guide even went to the restaurant and helped us order, since the menu was only in French.

We also used a private guide for Monaco and Monte Carlo. We didn't really need a lot of time in either of these but we did see the church where Princess Grace is entombed and where she was married. We saw the palace but didn't take a tour.

Using the private tours saved us money and we were able to see so much more than if we used the cruise ship's excursion. Enjoy your cruise. It's a fabulous itinerary. We didn't get to spend as much time as we would have liked to enjoy the ship. This is very port intensive. You will be leaving the ship VERY early in order to beat the crowd and to see everything possible. We've been on Freedom a couple of times so we were a bit sad to miss some of the fun on the ship since there was only one sea day. Liberty has a fabulous crew. Enjoy.

You will enjoy every port.

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Hi, Ive put up 2 lots of info from our two trips on Liberty from Barcelona so have a scan thru and see if there's anything there that's helpful or if you want any more info then please get back to me !

 

Ally

 

................................

 

 

Main thing is to enjoy it, you will have a great time. We've done that route twice - brilliant !!

 

First thing you are probably best to do is look at the ports and decide which ones you want to explore. We only did an excursion to Rome this time ( with cruisingexcursion - very good and lots cheaper than RC trip, let me know if you want more info ) and we did a couple of trips off boat to wander round Villenfranche & Naples. We wanted to enjoy the boat this year after doing lots of trips last year.

 

There will be lots of kids there for your two to make friends and the kids clubs are great. If the weathers good, which it should be, then they will enjoy the kids water area with all the jets & sprays & hot tubs - not to mention the free ice cream machine / frozen youghurt just yards away yum!

 

There is so much food to choose from even the pickiest eater will find something they enjoy so don't worry there.

 

Sun cream - plenty of it for the young ones.

 

Oh you can pre-book plane seats together ( who do you fly with? ) now you have your RC reservation number you can do all this beforehand, ensures you are all together on flights.

 

Also print everything off you need in advance, Set Sail passes, documents for the bus transfers to & from the airport to ship etc.

 

You can ask travel agent or RC beforehand, for a fridge in your room. There are minibars ( which wasn't too cold in mines ) but not lots of room to keep drinks etc for kids in room.

 

Pre-book soda packages before you go IF kids drink fizzy juice as it is dearer to do it once you get on the boat.

 

You are allowed to take 2 bottles of wine on per room so if you fancy a wee glass before / afetr dinner then you can now.

 

If there's anything specific you need help with let me know?

 

Ally

 

 

 

 

icon1.gifLiberty - Western Med 23rd June 2012

Just getting back into the swing of work after a wonderful week On Liberty of the Seas around the Western Med 23rd June and i thought i'd write a brief review of our fantastic holiday.

 

It was our first cruise, my wife and i and our two children aged 16 & 13.

 

The ship is beautiful, spotlessly clean and so well organised. The staff are really friendly and work so hard, the weather was hot hot hot ( too hot for a Scotsman but not complaining ) the seas were flat calm and we met some lovely people.

 

Flights / Transfer

Flew with Jet 2 from Glasgow to Barcelona, flights were ok, on time. There is a facility on the Royal Caribbean website "my cruises" section that allows you pre-book seats on the flight even tho RCI and our travel agent said you couldn't ! We were met at El Prat by RCI staff and gathered together. I had forgotten to print off the Transfer Document for getting on the bus but a staff member filled out a slip and we got on bus no problem.

 

We were driven from the front of the airport to the back and asked to get off and complete the ship check-in ? It seemed a bit odd and some people complained but this took about 20 mins in total and saved the queues at the port terminal. Good idea i thought.

 

It took around 20 mins and we could then see the port and the ships and started getting really excited, great to see the ship nearing and getting bigger and bigger.

 

We had all all got our sea passes at the airport except for my son, so we had to go to a holding area at the terminal where another was made up in about 5 mins, not a problem. We then went up escalators and began boarding process.

 

Couldn't stop staring at the ship when next to it, it's massive !!

 

A small queue getting onto the ship as you get your pictures taken and some people were having difficulty standing still for this - but it didn't take too long and we were getting our hands cleaned and onto the ship for the first time around 1:30pm - WOW :eek:

 

Liberty

The ship is absolutely stunning, it's so clean and the lighting is beautiful. We went to see our dining room, the Michaelangelo on Deck 5 - table 205 great position next to a window on the right hand side. Dining room is beautiful.

 

Staff

I found the staff to be really friendly and if you take a little time out to speak to them they really appreciate it. A please and thank you goes a long way. Some of them have very interesting backgrounds and stories and think they like to be asked where they are from and what its like etc. Our stateroom attendant Desmond from Guyana was fantastic and our kids have his Facebook address and we will keep in touch with him. Our waiter Edrie from the Philipinnes was great too, very helpful with lots of advice for us and he dreams of opening a coffee shop one day which i will visit ! Some people treat members of staff like dirt but they work so hard and can't do enough for you. We hadn't pre-paid our gratuities before we went as we thought it was a lot on top of the price of the holiday, especially for kids, but after 2 days i went down to guest relations and sorted that out as it's the least these guys deserve. We left a little extra too.

 

Rooms

We had large staterooms with windows on Deck 6, port / aft, right at the back. Room was fine and big enough. Balcony would have been nice but perfectly ok. My son is diabetic so RCI supplied a sharps box for his used needles and a large fridge for his spare insulin vials. This was very handy for drinks and fruit as well ;). Desmond showed us around one of the Presidential Suites along from us on our last day - oh to have money !!

 

Food

The food in the dining room was good, excellent at times. The food in the Windjammer was also ok. The selection is huge so if you can't find anything then you are too fussy. It does get busy at times in the Windjammer but you just have to deal with it or improvise and use Cafe Promenade or Sorrento's. The coffee and cakes / sandwiches in Cafe Promenade are lovely and the pizza in Sorrentos was good.

 

I took my son to Johnny Rockets one night. Burgers were lovely. One thing tho is soda packages don't apply in here and drinks are on top of the $4.95 supplement so it works out dearer than you may think.

 

Didn't try any of the speciality restaurants but people who did said they were good.

 

Entertainment

There is always something going on around the ship. The digital screens around the ship are very handy to find out whats on and where and how to get there. My son and i had our bearings on the 2nd day but my wife and daughter took a little longer so the screens were great for them.

 

I'm not an expert on shows but the 4 we went to were SUPERB. In the Air was BREATHTAKING, the Ice Show was really well done, Saturday Night Fever was BRILLIANT and the Goucho Show on the last night was really funny and great entertainment, my 13 yr old son laughed all the way through after not wanting to go in the first place.

 

I spent most of my spare ship time up and around the pools on Deck 11 and the Sports Deck 13 as my son loved the Flowrider. He made friends there quickly and spent hours and hours up there. The weather of course helped as it was sunny and one night he was out till 11pm boogie boarding with the Teen Club.

 

My 16 yr old daughter was adamant she wouldn't be going to the Teen Club but she got chatting with some girls on the first night and was off after that, chatting in the hot tubs, ice skating etc

 

Both my kids loved the experience and those with teenagers know this is not always the case with holidays.

 

Drinks

OUCH - i'm not a big drinker but if you are you better be prepared for a large bill at the end of your holiday. I got a Fosters ( pint can ) on the first night which was $8.50 and a bottle of red wine at dinner was $34, both of these were including the 15% gratuity. There are huge selections of drinks at the bars. My wife and kids had soda packages which worked out good value and there are lots of ice cold water machines and juices at the Windjammer and coffees availabel should you not be a big drinker.

 

By the way sorry it's only small pictures - i cant seem to add full size ones for some reason ?

 

Ports / Excursions

As it was our first cruise and it was so hot, we decided to try and do short trips as early as possible so we could get a taste of the areas but also get back in the afternoon to enjoy the ship as well. This worked out well for us as we are not used to the heat so a few hours at most stops was enough.

 

Toulon

We only got off the boat to have a wander around the immediate area. There was a shuttle into the main town whcih people said was nice but as we had trips planned for the rest of the week we were only out for an hour or so and back to explore the ship - although there are still loads of places that i never got to !

 

Villenfranche

Very pretty little town. We followed a family we met on the plane, got the tender over to the town amd walked to the train station. It was about 5 mins walk to the station and got 4 returns to Monaco, around 20 Euro. You emerge from the train station into the stunning harbour area of Monaco and we walked down and along the harbour and the stunning yachts moored there. BEAUTIFUL. We walked up through the tunnel and part of the grand prix circuit, then up to the casino area. My son was enthralled with the fancy cars and we got loads of pics there. The plan was to walk from there to thr Royal Palace but it was so ho we just wandered back down to the harbour, got some ice cream and went back to the station to get the train home. There is a beach just along from the station in Villenfranche and the water is crystal clear. I would have been happy staying there for a while but the kids wanted to get back to the ship. We jumped on the tender and were back early afternoon for late lunch and sunbathing / swimming till dinner, a lovely day.

 

Livorno

We were quoted 200 Euro for a taxi to Florence that stopped at Pisa on the way back. We decided as we were doing a full day at Rome next day, we would just go the Pisa. We got the shuttle bus from in front of the ship into Livorno and a return journey to Pisa for 2 hrs. Both shuttle and return bus to Pisa were around 20 Euro. 2 hrs was perfect as there is not all that much to do around the Leaning Tower and the church. We asked about a trip up the Tower but it was really busy and we didn't have time to wait. We wandered around, got loads of pictures then more ice cream and sauntered back for the bus. There are a lot of very persistent looky looky men with bags / sunglasses around here so be firm but with a smile on your face as they were quite intimidating as they wouldn't take no for an answer ! Again we were back on the ship mid afternoon to relax and enjoy the ship and the weather.

 

Civattevechia

We decided to do the ship trip Tast Of Rome for this one and glad we did. You could do it cheaper yourself but as it was so hot and a full day, we thought the ship trip was the best option. As the kids are charged adult prices if they are over 12, it cost $99 each for a 9.5 hr tour but i thought it was woth the money overall. They took us to Colusseum area, then back on the bus to cross the city and tour St Peters Basilica. Rome is stunning. One thing we hadn't been told however was that women should have shoulders and knees covered when entering churches so my wife and daughter had to by a couple of cheap scarfs to cover up, not a big problem but we weren't told this when booking on the ship. There was a demonstartion in the city centre which slowed the traffic down, this made us lose about an hour of free time after Basilica tour but not RCI's fault and not a major problem. We found a nice restaurant inside vatican walls after Basilica tour and had a bite to eat and a drink. We wandered around until bus collected us and got some pics of the Sistine Chapel from the outside as the queues were huge to get in.

 

One bad point was the headphones they provide you with to hear the guide were rubbish. You could hardly hear him and when you did it was probably because you were standing next to him but as there were 50 in the group this was rare. However it did not spoil the trip as you just marvelled at the sights around you.

 

Anyway back on the nice cool bus and back to ship for around 6pm, Windjammer for dinner that night.

 

Naples

Thought this was 2nd best port next to Villenfranche, loved how the city rose up the hills next to the ship. We tried to book the Pompeii on yor Own trip with ship but this was fully booked. Just as well really cos we got a taxi outside, shared with a couple behind us in the queue and it cost 90 Euro return which we split. You pay the driver when you return to the ship and he will drop you off for 2 hrs before collecting you at an agreed point. Again, due to the heat 2 hrs was fine for us as we got to tour around the main area with a guide with another family of 4 from our flight. It is 11 Euro each for admission to Pompeii but kids 16 and under dont pay if they have ID passport etc. If we went with the ship they were being charged adult fares for bus and entry ! Anyway we agreed a fee of 100 Euro for the tour, we only got about an hour and 20 mins so it was probably a little dear but she told us some interesting stuff so it worked out ok. We walked back to meet the taxi and he turned up on time and it was air conditioning on full blast all the way back to Naples - around 20-25 mins in the taxi. We were back on the ship for around 1pm.

 

Last day at sea we relaxed and enjoyed the ship. We saw a pod of dolphins from our dining table which was great. I then went up to pick my son up from the Flowrider and we spotted a whale in the distance - take some binoculars if you have them.

 

Sailing away from Naples was beautiful with Vesuveus in the background.

 

We have had a wonderful, wonderful experience - i'm sure you can tell !

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If you just want to go to Pompeii, it is easy enough to do on your own. You can take a taxi to the train station (I advise against the local bus: it is cheaper, but a prime area for pickpockets).

 

Take the train to Pompeii and once you get there, there will be guides available for ~ 10eu pp. We found a guide when we got there and he found other people to join our group. Tour was about 2 hours and very hot: we brought water and umbrellas (there is very little shade).

 

If you want to go beyond Pompeii, I would recommend a private tour. Check the Ports of Call boards.

Edited by marci22
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yes you could do a shuttle into Toulon as it was close, there may be a free shuttle bus for this, i can't quite remember?

 

Villenfranche - get the tender ( small ship from boat ) into town, then follow the crowd and get the train into Monaco, beautiful !!

 

Next was Livorno for us 1st year and we did a shuttle to Pisa, free shuttle from boat into town and then a cheap bus out to Pisa itself. However the new port is La Spezia & thats a bit further away so it would be a bit dearer to do it this way. We asked how much a taxi would be from the local port to Florence and it was 500 euro.

 

I would stongly recomend cruisingexcursions.com for this one, going to either Pisa or Florence !

 

we found Pisa to be a half day trip at the most and using the local bus you had to put up with the looky looky men who were VERY persisitent to say the least !!

 

Rome next and again i'd use the firm above, it was much cheaper for the same trip from the boat. We paid extra for Sistine Chapel visit 2nd time but not sure it was worth the money i'm afraid to say, i found the Basillica more moving ( sorry sure lots will disagree but personal choice ) I felt that you were simply herded thru the Sistine Chapel and i'd have preffered to have taken my time but this isn't really an option ! I'm not a religious person but felt quite emotional in the Basillica ?

 

Naples last and you can get shuttles i think but the taxi was reasonably priced - depending where you want to go i suppose? Pompeii was good but REALLY hot - i took an umbrella cos i've got vitiligo and was glad i did as it was baking hot. Herculeneum is meant to be a smaller, better preserved site and spoke to people who preffered that ? Driving down the coast to Sorrento is also beautiful and you can do a quick trip to Capri which is also meant to be nice . It all depends what you want to do ?

 

You will appreciate the last day at sea to relax as it's a busy holiday with so many places to explore.

 

The 2nd trip we enjoyed the boat more - we even found the gym which we hadn't seen 1st time.

 

PLEASE try flowrider as well, lots of fun !!

 

Also don't worry about asking questions - i asked loads before i went as my son is diabetic and with so many cities to explore its important you do your homework and plan it out beforehand.

 

I'm getting flashbacks just talking about it - you will have a great time !!!!

 

Even the shows on the boat are superb and i'm not really into that :)

 

Anyway anything else, please shout !

 

Ally

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you gave me so much info!!!

i think i know what i am going to do :)

basically we already ordered a trip to Rome so we are ok with that :)

regarding other ports - still trying to figure out what to do.

as you said, it's going to be very hot and we are with two little ones in addition to our teenagers so i guess we won't want to walk a lot in the heat.

we did think, like you said, to take a shuttle to cities center, wonder around and come back after 2-3 hours max.

does this sound reasonable to you?

the shuttles are the ship's service? or the port's?

 

thanks again for all the valuable information :)

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you gave me so much info!!!

i think i know what i am going to do :)

basically we already ordered a trip to Rome so we are ok with that :)

regarding other ports - still trying to figure out what to do.

as you said, it's going to be very hot and we are with two little ones in addition to our teenagers so i guess we won't want to walk a lot in the heat.

we did think, like you said, to take a shuttle to cities center, wonder around and come back after 2-3 hours max.

does this sound reasonable to you?

the shuttles are the ship's service? or the port's?

 

thanks again for all the valuable information :)

Check the cruise line excusions, there may be one that is transportation to the city center. I know that they used to have an express train to Rome at one time.

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We tried to get up / organised & off as early as we could so that we could get to Monaco / Pompeii etc for 2-3 hours then get back to the boat early afternoon to relax & enjoy the boat.

 

As you say you don't want to do much walking about in the heat but taking the train up to Monaco was easy, cheap & a beautiful run up the coast. Once you come out of the train station you are faced with the marina with all the big yachts - stunning! We then wandered up the hill to the tunnel where the F1 cars go, then up to the casino up the hill. We were then going to get a taxi to the other side of the bay to see the Princes Palace but taxis won't pick up on the streets in Monaco ! By the time we wandered back down , had an ice cream, we decided to get the train home. Oh also there is a lovely little beach in Villenfranche so if you come back from Monaco early, just outside the train station, take a towel so you can go in the sea to cool off for a paddle OR a swim before going back to the boat!!

 

I'm sure Royal Caribbean run a free shuttle from the ship to the town centre in Toulon & La Spezia. We didn't go to Toulon but seemingly it was ok for a visit? La Spezia isn't up to much, we walked around there but should have really stayed on the boat. We also wish we had visited Florence but that is a 1.5-2hr drive so a whole day. Next time we will do this with cruisingexcursions ( i don't work for them by the way but its an expensive holiday as it is without costly excursions with kids on top of that )

 

That just leaves Naples and as i said i'd recomend taxi going to Pompeii - if there are more than 4 they have bigger taxis or minibus's available too & these are just outside the boat ( you have to walk through a little mall to get there and taxi's all wait outside ). Naples is lovely as well if you want to just walk up there from the boat, it's not far to the town centre if you like shopping. You can get some cheap bags & sunglasses on the way up as well - my wife bought a couple of "designer" bags ;)

 

We did ok doing a couple of hours and then getting back to ship around lunchtime as then we got to enjoy the boat as well and we all loved the flowrider, you can sit for hours and laugh at people falling over :) The kids section at the swimming pool is also great, will keep them amused for hours and the ice cream machine is right next to this as well !!

 

The shows at night are wonderful so try and get to them. Our dinner times were early so we go to the earlier shows. You can pre-book seats online so you get in early but it's not necessary as there were always seats there.

 

Oh just before i forget, Johnny Rockets, the burger joint on the boat - is great - but its a $5 charge per person and you have to pay for drinks in there too, your drinks packages don't apply in there, so it makes it a bit dearer than you thought ! I take it you have soda packages for the kids ?

 

Let me know if anything else..

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...Oh just before i forget, Johnny Rockets, the burger joint on the boat - is great - but its a $5 charge per person and you have to pay for drinks in there too, your drinks packages don't apply in there, so it makes it a bit dearer than you thought ! I take it you have soda packages for the kids ?,,.

The drink packakes don't cover milk shakes in JR's, but they do cover soda.

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