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Our Fabulous Vacation: My Liberty of the Seas Photo Review

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Hello all! Now that I’ve had some time to rest and recuperate from our vacation, I’m so excited to share our trip with you here on Cruise Critic. We sailed the Liberty of the Seas on March 8th out of Fort Lauderdale. This particular sailing had two sea days, with a stop at Cozumel in the middle.

We spent one night pre-cruise, and then spent the day of disembarkation in town until about 6 PM, since we had late night flights. Every second was fabulous- we barely slept so I have lots of details and photos to post.

This trip was to celebrate our 30th birthdays. We’ve been friends for several years and have been through a lot together. Originally, we wanted to go to Barbados, however the cost of flights shot up quickly. I figured it would be awesome to cruise on a Freedom-class ship, and we all agreed that cruising would be an incredible value. None of us had ever been to Cozumel, so we quickly booked our cruise and flights and anxiously awaited our turn to sail. Two of us have birthdays in April, and one had her birthday in January, so we kind of met in the middle ;)

The cast:

Chrystal (me): I LOVE cruising. My friends call me the “momma hen,” the voice of reason, the one they come to for a listening ear. I love travel and want to just live well and enjoy every second of life. I try to see the beauty in everything. I arranged the entire trip and wanted the girls to have a relaxing and fun time.

th_Chrystal.jpg

Rae: I am blessed to have three best friends, but she’s the closest friend I have. I believe it’s because our lives have paralleled in so many ways. We were in each other’s weddings (one month apart!), live around the corner from one another, our husbands are close friends, and I’m their son’s godmother. She’s bright, funny, and very stylish. One of the sweetest people I’ve ever known. And she has an incredible singing voice!

th_Sherrae.jpg

 

Crystal (yes, two Crystals on one trip- note that I have an “h” in my name): Strong, generous, hilarious, fun, soulful, just a beautiful person to know. I met her a few years ago and we quickly became friends. You’ll see she has a larger than life personality and becomes the life of the party wherever she goes. She’s a mother figure to a lot of people. One second she’s whooping it up, then next she’s giving you incredibly wise and insightful advice. Love her!

th_Crystal.jpg

So, for those of you who are familiar with my reviews (you can see them in my signature below), this will take me a while to get through. I like to chronicle our trip by the hour, with lots of photos. I actually purchased my first Canon camera before the cruise, since I wanted to take great pictures. I have the compasses as well.

Feel free to ask questions, I love helping to plan travel whenever I can. Hopefully this will help those of you preparing to cruise, and if you don’t have one booked yet, may this serve as a virtual vacation!

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Ok, so I’ll start at the beginning. Crystal lives in Texas, so she flew into Fort Lauderdale from Dallas on Spirit Air. She was pretty happy with her flights. Since her flight departed at about 6 AM CT, she slept most of the time. No bad news to report about Spirit Air. Since she got to Fort Lauderdale around 10 AM, she decided to rent a car so she could explore a bit on her own.

 

Rae and I live around the corner from one another, so we flew from Newark on Jetblue. Our original plan was to take the NJT train from Princeton Junction into the airport, but my husband decided he wanted to drop us off and pick us up. Such a sweet man. A pic of us coming off the NJ Turnpike:

 

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Our flights departed at 9:40 AM. EWR was nice and quiet when we got there at 7. This was our first time on Jetblue, and I have to say I was impressed by their service and efficiency. And I loved that our checked bags flew for free.

We went through security quickly and easily, and sat for about 45 minutes before boarding. Our flight was smooth and uneventful. The leather seats were comfy and we had lots of leg room. The TV's in the seats were a nice touch. They had stations like Bravo, CNN, MTV, and ESPN for viewing. I had my Kindle Fire loaded with a couple movies so I used that instead.

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I liked the free snacks they offered on Jetblue. The Terra Blue potato chips were yummy, not too salty:

 

 

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Upon landing, Rae and I took a taxi to the Gallery One Doubletree Hotel by Hilton. The taxi cost $22 plus tip, and the ride took about 20 minutes or so down Route 1. Crystal was having a blast visiting a museum in the area so we agreed to meet her there. There were a couple factors for me choosing this hotel. First, we wanted to have dinner at a restaurant and go dancing afterward, and the Gallery One was a block away from where we wanted to go. It was only for one night, so being right on the beach wasn’t necessary. Plus, we could get a suite with two queen beds and one pullout couch, so we didn’t have to share beds. And finally, the price was better than what I could find by bidding on Priceline, so I could save money as well as earn some Hilton Hhonors points :). The price of the room dropped twice before the trip, so I was a very happy camper.

 

 

 

 

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It was pretty cool and drizzling when we arrived. I was actually glad we didn’t have a beachfront hotel since we wouldn’t have been able to enjoy any time on the beach anyway. Here are a couple pics of the hotel lobby. Lots of natural light, a bright, airy space.

 

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Checkin was great! Jonathan, the front desk clerk, saw that I noted in our reservation that we were all celebrating our birthdays together. He said, “I have some bad news- your room’s not ready yet. But it’s your lucky day since you’re celebrating your birthday- we’re going to upgrade you to a two-bedroom suite with two bathrooms for free, so you can have a nice start to your vacation.” Yay! I was so excited, since I had seen that room configuration but decided it was more than what I wanted to pay.

One thing I love about the Doubletree- they give you fresh, warm chocolate chip cookies when you check in. And I don’t mean a thin little cookie with hardly any chips…you get a nice, substantial cookie loaded with melted chocolate chips. So good! Rae and I each had one, and when Crystal arrived a few minutes later they gave us a couple more :cool:

 

 

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love this!

Excited to hear more about your trip :) Esp. because my first RCI cruise in 2 months is on the Liberty!

 

Hello all! Now that I’ve had some time to rest and recuperate from our vacation, I’m so excited to share our trip with you here on Cruise Critic. We sailed the Liberty of the Seas on March 8th out of Fort Lauderdale. This particular sailing had two sea days, with a stop at Cozumel in the middle.

 

We spent one night pre-cruise, and then spent the day of disembarkation in town until about 6 PM, since we had late night flights. Every second was fabulous- we barely slept so I have lots of details and photos to post.

 

This trip was to celebrate our 30th birthdays. We’ve been friends for several years and have been through a lot together. Originally, we wanted to go to Barbados, however the cost of flights shot up quickly. I figured it would be awesome to cruise on a Freedom-class ship, and we all agreed that cruising would be an incredible value. None of us had ever been to Cozumel, so we quickly booked our cruise and flights and anxiously awaited our turn to sail. Two of us have birthdays in April, and one had her birthday in January, so we kind of met in the middle ;)

The cast:

 

Chrystal (me): I LOVE cruising. My friends call me the “momma hen,” the voice of reason, the one they come to for a listening ear. I love travel and want to just live well and enjoy every second of life. I try to see the beauty in everything. I arranged the entire trip and wanted the girls to have a relaxing and fun time.

 

th_Chrystal.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

Rae: I am blessed to have three best friends, but she’s the closest friend I have. I believe it’s because our lives have paralleled in so many ways. We were in each other’s weddings (one month apart!), live around the corner from one another, our husbands are close friends, and I’m their son’s godmother. She’s bright, funny, and very stylish. One of the sweetest people I’ve ever known. And she has an incredible singing voice!

 

th_Sherrae.jpg

 

 

 

 

Crystal (yes, two Crystals on one trip- note that I have an “h” in my name): Strong, generous, hilarious, fun, soulful, just a beautiful person to know. I met her a few years ago and we quickly became friends. You’ll see she has a larger than life personality and becomes the life of the party wherever she goes. She’s a mother figure to a lot of people. One second she’s whooping it up, then next she’s giving you incredibly wise and insightful advice. Love her!

 

 

th_Crystal.jpg

 

 

 

So, for those of you who are familiar with my reviews (you can see them in my signature below), this will take me a while to get through. I like to chronicle our trip by the hour, with lots of photos. I actually purchased my first Canon camera before the cruise, since I wanted to take great pictures. I have the compasses as well.

 

Feel free to ask questions, I love helping to plan travel whenever I can. Hopefully this will help those of you preparing to cruise, and if you don’t have one booked yet, may this serve as a virtual vacation!

Edited by shareen3

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love this!

Excited to hear more about your trip :) Esp. because my first RCI cruise in 2 months is on the Liberty!

 

Thank you Shareen, and welcome to Cruise Critic! You're going to have a wonderful time on the Liberty. This was Rae's first RCI cruise and she's in love with the cruise line :). Have fun!

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I put cash down for our incidentals (sort of a way for me to hold my excursion money securely), and we made a mad dash for our room. We were on the 10th floor, and our room had a nice view of the Intracoastal Waterway.

 

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Rae and Crystal’s Room had the balcony:

 

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My room had a King bed.

 

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Both rooms had marble baths. Rae got very excited when she saw how nice the bathroom and overall room was. She was doing a little dance in the bathroom, LOL:

 

 

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View from the balcony. You can see the oceanfront hotels and the Atlantic in the distance.

 

 

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I'll tag along for the ride. ;)

 

Haha! Enjoy :)

 

Love your reviews. Can't wait to read more.

 

Thank you Vicki!

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Waiting anxiously to see your pictures and read your review. I love the Liberty. Been on her a couple times. She is a great ship! Also love the Dreamworks characters! What a great way to celebrate your birthdays together!

Edited by debshomespun

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Looking great so far! I love great reviews, especially with pictures. :) Better yet, when I'm getting ready to sail on the ship that's being reviewed! Looking forward to the rest.

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Waiting anxiously to see your pictures and read your review. I love the Liberty. Been on her a couple times. She is a great ship! Also love the Dreamworks characters! What a great way to celebrate your birthdays together!

 

Yes we had a wonderful time! We'll definitely sail her again. I felt kind of guilty since it was my first time on the Freedom class, and poor Wes stayed home. He was fine until I started texting him some photos of the ship, LOL! Well, to make it up to him, we're sailing the Allure sometime this year so he'll be fine! :D

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I love reviews with lots of description and pictures, thanks for doing this for all of us. Since I'll be on two Freedom Class ships this year, your review is of particular interest to me.

 

Again, thank you.

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Living vicariously via Faith's review ...

 

Michael

 

Hey Michael! I hope you enjoy it :)

 

Looking great so far! I love great reviews, especially with pictures. :) Better yet, when I'm getting ready to sail on the ship that's being reviewed! Looking forward to the rest.

 

Hi Michele!! I love your reviews, I've read every one. Your Allure review actually helped DH and I decide to rent a cabana when we sail her this year.

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We were pretty hungry, so we decided to take a drive around time and find a place for lunch. It was a pretty cool and breezy day. We drove along the Beach Blvd for a while. B Ocean hotel is right on the corner, down the street from the Gallery One.

 

 

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I heard about Coconuts from Tripadvisor.com and here on the Florida Departures board, so we decided to find it with our GPS. What a great restaurant! They had free valet parking.

 

 

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I love reviews with lots of description and pictures, thanks for doing this for all of us. Since I'll be on two Freedom Class ships this year, your review is of particular interest to me.

 

Again, thank you.

 

My pleasure! These reviews help me relive every moment. I hope it's helpful, and Happy Anniversary! What a great way to celebrate :)

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You always have the most fantastic reviews!!! Thank you very much! I can't wait for more!:D:D:D

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Coconuts was right on a marina, so we had a nice view. Just a wonderful, laid-back atmosphere. It was pretty busy when we arrived. I think it was about 1 PM.

We settled in and looked at the menu. We had a hard time choosing what to order! Everything sounded great.

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The waiter came by and let us know about the specials of the day. One thing stuck out for Rae; they had a bratwurst burger with caramelized onions. She grew up in Germany and always talks about how she missed having a good brat, so this was right up her alley. We all decided to order a sandwich/entrée, and split each one into threes so we could try everything.

Crystal tried the Maine blueberry soda. She wasn’t sure at first….

 

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…but then decided it was really good. She loved it and quickly poured the rest into her glass!

 

 

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I'm not on this ship, but I'm reading lots of reviews lately and yours looks like it's going to be great! You 3 sound like fun, lovely ladies - can't wait to see what all y'all do!:D

 

Thank you so much and welcome to Cruise Critic! Yeah I like to think we know how to have fun wherever we go. Stay tuned! :)

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You always have the most fantastic reviews!!! Thank you very much! I can't wait for more!:D:D:D

 

Thank you anaivali! I'm typing away as fast as I can! :):):)

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