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Liberty or Mariner? Can't Decide!


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Hi Everyone,

 

I need help with a decision on which cruise to take (I know - there are worse decisions to have to make!)

 

About us:

We are a couple in our lower 30's with no kids. We live in Las Vegas, so we can drive to the LA Port, but have to fly to Miami. We used to live in Florida for MANY years, so we are definitely Beach people! We go on cruises to relax, enjoy good food, good company, and get as much sun as possible - with many fruity, frozen drinks! :)

 

So - here are the options:

 

Mariner of the Seas:

Departs from LA - Mexican Riviera - Grand Suite! (GS is basically the same price as the JS on Liberty)

 

Liberty of the Seas:

Departs from Miami. 7 Nt Eastern Caribbean. Junior Suite. (Because of airfare, $800 more than the Mariner trip!)

 

I have a long list of pros/cons - but my biggest questions are:

 

1) Is the Liberty worth it? Seems like a lot of money, just for a bigger ship.

 

2) Are the Mexican ports safe enough (I have been reading the other threads, but still unsure)

 

3) Will we enjoy the beaches in Mexico as much as we do in the Caribbean?

 

I really appreciate any thoughts or opinions that you have on this! Thanks!!!!!!

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Can't help with the beach info but I would say to go with Mariner in the GS if the prices are the same. With Liberty you get the flowrider, a few extra bars and a bigger promenade. Other than that they are very similar. Unless you are dying to try to flowrider I would make the decision by price and the ports you want to see.

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I would pick Liberty for 2 reasons:

 

WOW factor. Beautiful ship, so much to see/do and enjoy. We have been on Voyager/Explorer and they were wonderful also, and I am sure Mariner is too, but Liberty was fantastic. We had a great time on her.

 

BUT - for me I would take Liberty for the Caribbean beaches. Like you we are totally beach people, thus the reason we cruise the Caribbean all the time!!

 

I am sure either will be fantastic, but we love those Caribbean beaches!!

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I have an upcoming Liberty-Eastern cruise in May. Haven't been to Eastern Caribbean in 30 years, but have been to Western and Mexico over and over. From what I read on the boards, the Eastern Caribbean is spectacular and much, much better than Pacific coast beaches.

 

From a practical standpoint, however, and the least hassle way of traveling, along with the GS on the Mariner, I'd go for the Mariner. She's a beautiful ship. The ports are always secondary for me; I'm along for the ride!

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Hi Everyone,

 

I need help with a decision on which cruise to take (I know - there are worse decisions to have to make!)

 

About us:

We are a couple in our lower 30's with no kids. We live in Las Vegas, so we can drive to the LA Port, but have to fly to Miami. We used to live in Florida for MANY years, so we are definitely Beach people! We go on cruises to relax, enjoy good food, good company, and get as much sun as possible - with many fruity, frozen drinks! :)

 

So - here are the options:

 

Mariner of the Seas:

Departs from LA - Mexican Riviera - Grand Suite! (GS is basically the same price as the JS on Liberty)

 

Liberty of the Seas:

Departs from Miami. 7 Nt Eastern Caribbean. Junior Suite. (Because of airfare, $800 more than the Mariner trip!)

 

I have a long list of pros/cons - but my biggest questions are:

 

1) Is the Liberty worth it? Seems like a lot of money, just for a bigger ship.

 

2) Are the Mexican ports safe enough (I have been reading the other threads, but still unsure)

 

3) Will we enjoy the beaches in Mexico as much as we do in the Caribbean?

 

I really appreciate any thoughts or opinions that you have on this! Thanks!!!!!!

 

Liberty NOW, Mariner LATER.

 

:)

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Okay, my take:

 

First, I have been on BOTH the Liberty AND on the Mariner...(I was just on the MAriner for the West Coast Pre-Inaugural)...and I have the Mariner booked for JAnuary...

 

BOTH are beautiful ships--and actually quite similar...The Liberty, obviously, has a few things that the Mariner doesn't--like the FloRider pool,...they also have a "Diamond Lounge"--which I love...and, I know the Mariner has the Concierge Lounge--which I didn't get a chance to visit (and, on the Pre-Inaugural, drinks were free everywhere, so, it didn't matter)...but it doesn't look as well placed as the Liberty Diamond Lounge...

 

But, for the most part, BOTH ships really give you a lot of the same--a beautiful Royal Promenade, the ice rink and ice shows and so on...you really can't go wrong with either ship...

 

I agree that the beaches tend to be nicer in the Caribbean and the water warmer...BUT there are some nice beaches to be found in the Mexcan Riviera as well...Lovers' Beach in Cabo may be the most visually spectacular beach in the world...and, if you cruise in the summer months, the water is plenty warm enough (I was pleasantly surprised ocean kayaking and swimming at Deer Island in Mazatlan during a July cruise--warm water, isolated, pristine beach...You just hacve to puick your beaches carefully--do some research--you don't want to go to the main public beaches off downtown Puerto Vallarta--you want to head off to Yelapa or Mismaloya or elsewhere...

 

I, personally, love the Mexican Riviera route...Of course, being "locals", it's an easy cruise for us--We live only about an hour and a quarter from the pier ...a little shorter drive than you, but I wouldn't have much of a problem driving the 4 and a half hours from Las Vegas either...It's much easier than dealing with airports, security lines, waits, schedule delays and luggage retrieval.

 

Especially if you've never done this itinerary, it will be something new for you...

 

For me, I keep on cruising...So, I know I'll hit all of the itineraries...and likely more than once--I've done the Western Caribbean, the Southern Caribean, the Eastern Caribbean, Panama, Bahamas, Alaska and several Europeans including Baltic, Norwegian Fjords/British Isles, Grand Mediterranean, Greek Islands/Eastern Med...

 

But I've done the Mexican Riviera (and also the shorter Bajas) several times--largely because, for us, it is so easy and so economical...I get a nice Balcony cabin and save all that money on airfare...just drive to the pier, hop on the ship and go...And, for the very first time, we now have the added advantage of being able to do it in a truly grand Voyager class ship...

 

PS. I wouldn't be all that concerned about the current violence with the drug cartels in Mexico...most of that is actually in the border cities of Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez--the gangs are looking to control the turf where their product moves in and out of the US--or in the large urban Mexico City...The tourist resorts , including the ones visited by this cruise, are all fairly safe...I wouldn't go off looking for trouble--like trying to buy drugs, for example...but sticking to tourist activities, you will be safe...and welcomed...

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I'm with Merion Mom,

 

I loved the Mariner, but Liberty was incredible.

 

What keeps cruisers going back to the Mariner is the staff, by far the best on the water.

 

But since you have sailed her before, go for the Liberty you won't regret it. ;)

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We were like you couldn't decide between one of the freedom class ships or the Mexican Riviera. We have also been on the Mariner but haven't been on a freedom class ship. But we have been all over the Caribbean and have never been to the Mexican Riviera. What made us decide to go with the Mariner was 1. we have never been to the Mexican Riviera and 2. getting a grand suite(which we have never been in) for the about same price as a balcony. Which getting a grand suite is pretty cool:D I will feel like Jed Clampett in Beverly Hills.

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Just wanted to let everyone know how much I appreciate you taking the time to reply with your thoughts and opinions! I can't believe this is such a hard decision to make - LOL.

 

Since we both travel all the time for work, we are leaning toward the Mariner because there will be no airports involved. And - the previous posts have made me feel better about the beaches and the Mex. Riviera already.

 

I will let you know what we decide! Should be able to book on Monday as soon as we have the vacation date approval from our companies :p

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NV cruiser, you didn't mention when you were going, but for warmth and beaches I would still lean toward the Caribbean. We were planning on the Mariner out of LA for June 2009, but then airfare went skyward and it was going to cost over 2 K just to fly 4 of us from GA to CA. We changed to the LOS out of Miami so we could drive down from Atlanta.

 

We also did a land vacation at Nuevo Vallarta at the Grand Mayan last June. In a word, the beaches were terrible! Lots of foam coming up on the beaches, and very few beach walkers. Even noticed this when we went to the Malecon in PV and further north in Bucerias. They said it's not that way in the winter months, something about the extra plankton the whales usually feed on causing all the beach dirt. I cancelled a snorkeling trip on advice of the locals. I would not return to the Mexican Riveria again until I could vacation in our winter months and whale watch!

 

Don't know if you were planning an Eastern or Western route, but I prefer the Grand Cayman and Cozumel beaches for being most like those in FLA!! St Thomas and St Martin's also has great beaches.

 

On either ship, try to get an Deck 10 aft! According to Bonnie Voyager, these get the most sun and have room for more private sunbathing!

 

Of course, just Choosing to Cruise will make it a great vacation anyway!

 

Jacquelyn :D

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3) Will we enjoy the beaches in Mexico as much as we do in the Caribbean?
No, at least we didn't. We have been to the Caribbean a bunch , but last year did the Mex. Riv. Cabo is fun, but Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta are soso. We did a private sail in PV....had a great time.....but the water was pretty sketchy...cloudy, muddy, floating schmutz.

 

As for the ships, for me it would not be about bigger / smaller, but rather newer / older. Although RCI does a pretty amazing job of upkeep on their ships, we have found a "newer is better" policy works pretty well for us.

 

Good Luck! :)

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