Escape From Home Life to 4th of July on the High Seas - A July 2019 Cruise Trip Report (Updated 2/12)

cstorm65

DDC #699
Joined
Feb 6, 2011
I can't wait to read more! Your kids are adorable!!!!!
Update coming up now! Thanks!!

That is late.... My girls are up at 6:00 AM every day!!!! Well, except Disney were we break them to exhaustion.
Hahahaha...I know that! DW and I always say our kids better know how to stay up late and get up early if we are going to Disney!

Well, at least he wakes up happy. I will say my girls are not that happy waking up for school this year. sigh....
We have one child that does. DS7 on the other hand...oh my. He's not a morning person!


Just getting back on the Dis after a short hiatus! We went to Disney in September and I just couldn’t bring myself to come back due to the Disney Blues. Decided to look at the Royal Caribbean section tonight because we have a cruise booked in April on Liberty of the Seas and I just happened to see your trip report! Your boys are getting so big! I can’t wait to hear how y’all liked the boat! Hope to get lots of good tips!
We loved Liberty! Such a great ship. We have done a Disney Cruise before, so certainly different, but not in a bad way. I would definitely recommend Royal Caribbean, especially if you are here in the central part of the country. Anyways, hopefully our report helps you!
 

cstorm65

DDC #699
Joined
Feb 6, 2011
Day 2 - Part 2 - “Dad, Can I Have More Ice Cream?”

We arrived at the cruise parking spot at 10:40 and by 10:55 we had parked and were onboard a shuttle headed back to the ship. DW and the boys were ready!





It was only about a five minute drive to the terminal, but it took the driver a bit to load everyone’s bags. We of course only had our carry on’s, so it was easy for us, but the other people on the shuttle still had all of their bags. We arrived here a few minutes later:



We got into the security line at 11:10 and it took us about 30 minutes to get from the start of this line, through security and then through check in. By 11:40 we were upstairs and I told April, this lack of crowd must have meant boarding was well underway!



We did stop to register the kids in the terminal for the kids club as that saves quite a bit of time over waiting until we get onboard. It also took our friends that we were traveling with another 5-10 minutes after us to check in. I think they said they were training a new person at check in, so things went smoothly, they were just walking this person through everything. We also had to let a few people take a bathroom break in the terminal, but it still wasn’t very crowded upstairs in the terminal. Once everyone was ready, at about 12:00, we made our way on the ship and it was super quick and easy! Before long we had our first view of the Royal Promenade:



Most people head straight to the buffet upon boarding and it is always super crowded. Our plan was to head straight to the pool deck and swim and play for 90 minutes or so while everyone else fought the crowds in the Windjammer. It turned out to be a great plan. The kids had this splash pad area all to themselves for about 20 minutes and then it never really got that crowded.



Of course we had to get some sunscreen on first! Look at all those empty deck chairs! Of course we positioned ours in the shade!



DS3 loved this area!



We also did some swimming in the main pools, which the boys loved, especially DS7.



While we did some swimming we heard people talking about this:



So naturally I had to go in and get a picture. Unfortunately they weren’t serving it yet, but still pretty cool. Of course, the hit of this time was the boys and the soft serve ice cream machine.





DS3 in particular would play in the water for about 10 minute and then come over and say, “Dad, can I have more ice cream?” Of course as any good Dad would do on vacation, I said, “yes” every time he asked! The rooms were ready at about 1:15 and so we headed down. We were going to get out of our wet clothes and then head to eat at Sorrento’s, which was a great choice with how crowded the Windjammer is on boarding day. The only weird thing was they had salad out at Sorrentos, which DW wanted, but when we asked there was no salad dressing. They said it had not been delivered up to them yet. At this point our bags had arrived and so we went back to get settled and we put DS3 for a quick nap in one of our rooms.

Yes, we had adjoining rooms, which was the best decision we made. We could let him sleep in one and still get stuff unpacked in the other one. We had promenade view interior rooms, which I’m sure I’ll talk more about as we go. At 3:30 we had muster, but as you can see DS3 was still sleepy!



Muster was pretty quick and uneventful and by 3:50 we were done and heading up on deck to watch us sail away!

Up Next: Sail Away
 

cstorm65

DDC #699
Joined
Feb 6, 2011
Day 2 - Part 3 - Sail Away

We got up to the top deck at about 4:00 and we started sailing way not too long after that! The boys were busy looking out and searching for dolphins!







Goodbye Galveston! See you in a week:





I’ve always been intrigued by how many ships are waiting outside of the harbour here in Galveston to get cleared to head up towards Houston.



After watching some sail away, DW, DMiL, and DS3 went down to get ready for dinner. DS7 and I went up to the arcade, not to play, but to get the $100 of credit we had pre purchased loaded onto his card. If you or your kids are going to play in the arcade at all it pays to pre-purchase some credits. We bought DS7 $100 of credit and only paid $80 for it, so it definitely pays off. It was quite an ordeal to get it put on his card though. It took us a good 20-30 minutes waiting for the one person working the arcade to help us as there were a lot of people trying to do this at the same time!

We made it back to the room at about 5:10 which was just 20 minutes short of when we had to check in for dinner. We cleaned up quickly and got everyone headed out to the dining room by 5:30. We waited just a few minutes for them to show us where our table for the week would be.



We were seated quickly and introduced to our servers Made and Mark. I’m sure I’ll talk more about them as we go, but they were awesome!



I was ready for dinner!



DS3 found his favorite item on the menu and tore it up:





Now, you know how the first cruise day goes. Everything is happening quickly and you are trying to get settled, so I didn’t get many pictures taken, so sorry, but it will get better!. DMiL and I got calamari as an appetizer and it was very good, especially a spicy sauce that was with it. I got the prime rib as an entree and it was awesome, just melted in my mouth! April got the NY Strip and she said it was good, but not the best steak she’d ever had. DMiL loved the salmon she got as her entree. DS7 also got spaghetti and both he and DS3 loved it!

Everyone was ready for dessert though:





DS3 just got some ice cream...he’s not very adventurous!



I got the Chocolate Hazelnut Cake. I loved it and would get it again, but DW didn’t like it too much. It had almost a bread pudding like texture which DW doesn’t love.



DW and DMiL enjoyed some vanilla ice cream as well. Overall it was a great first night here in the dining room!



Next, it was time to find some nighttime entertainment on the ship!

Up Next: What a Sunset!
 

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  • cstorm65

    DDC #699
    Joined
    Feb 6, 2011
    Day 2 - Part 4 - What a Sunset!

    We finished dinner at about 7:00 and headed out to what would become one of our favorite locations on the ship on the outside deck of deck 4. DS3 was certainly enjoying himself!



    We also spotted a Carnival ship in the distance:



    We took a little while to walk around that deck and even up to the helipad on the front of the ship. What an awesome view up there and so cool you can get right up to the front. DS7 loved this area!



    It was very windy though so we didn’t stay long. At this point we took DS3 back to the room as it was time for him to go to bed. DW’s mom was ready to go to bed as well so those two stayed behind. We then took DS7 and his friends up to the kids club as they wanted to go because Gaga ball was on the schedule tonight which they love to play! We walked by the closed adults pool on our way back down the see what was happening elsewhere on the ship.



    We basically just sat and hung out with our friends in the lounge listening to the house band, who were very good.



    We then moved over the to Schooner Bar and sat for a bit, listening to the piano player who was awesome! Of course I wasn’t having a great picture taking day so no pics of the Schooner Bar, but it was fun.

    Before long it was 10:00 and we were heading back up to get the kids. I love the look down onto the Royal Promenade!



    We picked up DS7, who loved the kids club this time and headed to take him to bed. DW was ready for bed as well, but I had one more thing I wanted to do. I was heading back to the promenade.





    I walked for a bit on the outside of deck 4 before heading to my destination and saw we were making up some serious ground on the Carnival ship.





    I was headed here:



    Sorrentos’s!!! I wanted a little late night pizza, but of course you may remember I was terrible at taking pictures today. It does get better though, I promise! Anyways, I took my pizza outside of deck 4 to eat and by now we were passing the Carnival Ship.





    Overall, a great first day and I was back up and in bed by 11:30. A fun-filled sea day is to come tomorrow!

    Up Next: “I See Dolphins!”
     

    cstorm65

    DDC #699
    Joined
    Feb 6, 2011
    Day 3 - Part 1 - “I See Dolphins!”

    I was up bright and early at 6:30. I just couldn’t sleep any longer on our first sea day. I headed out to explore the Royal Promenade a little and of course to grab some coffee. I don’t think I’ve mentioned it, but DW and I had the Royal Refreshment package for this cruise. A few months before the cruise it came available on the cruise planner for 35% off, which was like $19 per person, per day as compared to normally $30. It got us basically unlimited drinks on the ship that didn’t have alcohol. This included the specialty coffees from Cafe Promenade! I headed down here:



    After picking up a vanilla latte I went down one floor to deck four to sit on the outside deck for a few minutes. I passed through an empty Boleros on the way.





    Then finally out onto the deck. How beautiful is this in the morning?





    After sitting for about 30 minutes and reading I walked around deck four. This is looking towards the front of the ship:



    And towards the aft:





    At about 7:15 I headed back in and picked up a latte for DW and also got me something else, probably a Frappuccino, which is basically an excuse to drink a shake in the morning!

    I got back to the room a few minutes later and only DS3 was awake. Well, he was trying to wake up DW and DMiL. I gave DW her coffee and got DS3 dressed. I was going to take him up to Windjammer to get a doughnut or something while they all slept a bit more. I mean this was vacation, right? If they want to sleep I’ll let them sleep, which happens to be a completely different strategy than Disney World! Haha

    Anyways, by 7:45 I had DS3 dressed and we headed up to the Windjammer. I told him to smile in the elevator and this was what he did:



    Then he decided to smile:



    We made it upstairs and found this great table!



    I got him a doughnut, which he loved as you can tell from the pictures below. Now, about three times during the meal he was looking out the window and every time he saw a little whitecap on the ocean he would yell, “I See Dolphins!” Thankfully everyone up here was already awake, he is a loud human being! Back to the doughnuts:







    Up Next: Some Cruising Classics...Trivia and Shuffleboard
     

    cstorm65

    DDC #699
    Joined
    Feb 6, 2011
    Day 3 - Part 2 - Some Cruising Classics...Trivia and Shuffleboard

    We headed back down to the room at about 8:15 and everyone was up and around. At about 8:30 we headed down to the main dining room for breakfast. (Side note: DS3 and I didn’t tell anyone we had already had doughnuts!)

    We were given a great table this morning by a big window that the kiddos loved!





    We had a nice breakfast that was served quickly. I had the Eggs Benedict that was excellent and DW loved just the regular scrambled eggs she got as well. DS3 actually had an order of pancakes and ate a bunch of them. So, I guess we’ll call this second breakfast!

    We were done by 9:20 and headed up to let the boys play basketball as they had been begging to do this. Well, DS7 played...DS3 just hopped around thinking he was doing something against the big boys!





    While they were playing a bit I walked back and took a few pics of the slides at the back of the sports court area.



    And I found a big golf ball...haha



    After this the big boys wanted to go to the arcade for a bit so I took DS3 down and we did a little trivia. I don’t recall what it was and we obviously didn’t win, but it was a fun, classic cruising activity. DS3 found a window too somewhere along the way!



    The next bit was a whirlwind that I don’t have any pictures for. I went to the port shopping talk, which is pretty good just to get to know the ports, even if you don’t really want to make any major purchases. Then at 12:30 we headed up to the Windjammer to have lunch. It was super crowded on a sea day and finding a table for nine people, us and our friends, was tough, but after about 10 minutes we did it. I wrote down the ribs they had on the buffet were very good on this day and that the boys were loving the all you can eat hot dogs!

    After lunch I took DS3 to take a nap, while DW took DS7 to see how the lines for the slides were. They ended up just swimming a little before coming back and DW switched with me so she could take a little nap. DS7 and I were going to play bingo, but it was really expensive. I mean $50 was the cheapest way to play. I mean we kind of just wanted to do it for fun, not as a serious deal, so I wish there would have been a way to do that. Instead of that though we headed out on deck four and played another classic cruise game that is free...shuffleboard. DS7 was getting really into it. So, let’s just say we would be back to play again!

    At about 3:15 DS7 wanted to go up to the front of the ship again. He had a lot of fun being on the helipad!







    We then came back to the promenade for a few cookies before returning so everyone could rest up a little before dinner.





    Up Next: Ice Cream, Ice Cream, & More Ice Cream
     
  • cstorm65

    DDC #699
    Joined
    Feb 6, 2011
    Day 3 - Part 3 - Ice Cream, Ice Cream, and More Ice Cream

    After a little rest time we headed to dinner at 5:30. DS3 talked his way into a piggy back ride to the dining room!



    On the way to the dining room we stopped to take some pictures above the Royal Promenade, so enjoy:













    We eventually made it to the dining and it’s a good thing we did because we had some good stuff at dinner tonight. They had lobster bisque, which I didn’t get a picture of, but it was excellent! I also had this shrimp pastry type appetizer, which was really good as well!



    For my entree I had the Beef Tenderloin as did DW and we both loved it. It was cooked really well!



    And of course the kids had some ice cream for dessert, and it was about the fourth time today that they had ice cream including all of the teams we walked by the pool ice cream machine. While the boys were having this dessert DW and I discussed the theme of this trip may just be ice cream and more ice cream and more ice cream!





    DS3 said this was his cold face after all that ice cream!



    My dessert was the carrot cake special for the night. It was good, but I also got a creme brulee and it was really good as always!



    DW and DS3 as they were finishing dinner!



    We headed back to the room at 7:00 to pick up a few things before the boys went to the kids club. They had to check out the towel animal picture though!



    DW and DS# also found the band performing on the promenade while we were in the room.







    We took the kids up to the club at 7:15 and they both stayed, even DS3, which was a little shocking. He’s pretty shy and doesn’t do well getting dropped off with babysitters or at the nursery at church unless he knows the person really well. So, we’ll see how it goes!

    DW and I met up with our friends and headed to check out the sunset from the back of the ship before the show.





    We then spent just a little time on deck 4 waiting for the show to start.



    We headed into the show at 8:45. It was an entertainer named Finis Henderson who was a motown singer and comedian. He was really good at impersonations and we enjoyed him. He went from genre to genre and could impersonate almost anyone!



    The show was over at 9:45 and it was a little difficult to find an elevator all the way up to the kids club to pick them up before they start charging you at 10 PM. But, we made it! DS7 wanted a picture on this thing before we went to the room...what are you doing son?



    We got DW and DS3 to the room for bed and DS7 and I went down to grab a snack of pizza before we went to sleep. We did that quickly and then headed to bed. It is going to be an early morning in Cozumel tomorrow!

    Up Next: How Awesome Was That Breakfast?
     

    cstorm65

    DDC #699
    Joined
    Feb 6, 2011
    Day 4 - Part 1 - How Awesome Was That Breakfast?

    I was up early as is normally the case for me and went up to the Windjammer to get some coffee, have a littele breakfast, and watch the sun come up. Much to my surprise I was able to see the Disney Fantasy pulling into Cozumel just behind us! How awesome of a breakfast is this!!





    Before too long I could see land!



    I headed down to get DW some coffee from Cafe Promenade before heading back to the room. Another morning on the promenade!



    We didn’t have an excursion today. We wanted at least one port day where we didn’t have plans so that we could enjoy the ship with a lot of the people gone. So our plan was to just get off and shop for a bit in the port area before coming back to enjoy the almost empty ship.

    We decided to get room service breakfast and put the slip out the night before so that was quick and super convenient for us. DS3 was ready to go for our time in Cozumel...bucket hat and all!



    We headed ashore at about 8:15 this morning and got some great pics walking towards the port area.











    There was a Carnival ship at the pier next to ours, but that goes to a different port area.



    DS7 was excited to see our ship from the outside!











    Finally we got into the port area and DS7 was enamored with the shark on the sign at this restaurant!



    And of course our obligatory picture of the boys in the big chair!



    The plan was just to shop for a bit and then get back on and enjoy a less crowded ship...we’ll see how that works!


    Up Next: Souvenirs for All
     
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  • cstorm65

    DDC #699
    Joined
    Feb 6, 2011
    Day 4 - Part 2 - Souvenirs for All

    After getting into the port area we just planned on shopping a bit, but DW and I did plan on going to the Del Sol store and looking at some sunglasses. DS7 was definitely on the lookout for a toy as he is obsessed with toys and stuffed animals. Not sure what he was looking for here!



    We found Del Sol after looking through a few other shops and DW and I both found some sunglasses we liked. We got a pretty good deal on them, and unfortunately I forgot to take a picture, but it was less than we planned on paying and of course you can replace them at any point if anything happens. Here’s what the boys did while we looked at sunglasses and DW’s mom watched them:



    We also went through a few shops and found DS7 a toy he wanted. You’ll see him playing with it back on the ship down the update a little bit. We also found some vanilla in one of the stores, which was one other small thing we were looking for.

    We headed back towards the ship at about 10:00, but not before stopping here to get a few pictures!





    It was time to head back...





    ...but not before DS7 tried on some new shoes!





    We got back onboard at about 10:15 and we all got our swimsuits on and were ready to take advantage of the pool without many people in them. DS7 played with his new stuffed animal while we all got ready! He loved this thing!





    I also am doing a terrible job as a trip reporter because I have these pictures of Sorrentos at some point today, but we had lunch in the Windjammer according to my notes, so I’m just going to throw these in here and sorry, but there is no story to go with them!







    Up Next: The Best Pool Day
     
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    cstorm65

    DDC #699
    Joined
    Feb 6, 2011
    Day 4 - Part 3 - The Best Pool Day

    We headed up to the pool at 10:45 and I’m sorry to say I didn’t even take the phone or camera because we were so excited to have the pool all to ourselves and that couldn’t have been more true. There was no one in the pool. We got a great chair location and the only bad thing was the splash pad didn’t open until noon, so the boys were a little bummed about that, but we swam in the pool all the way until 12:00 when we went inside the Windjammer for a little lunch.

    For lunch the boys enjoyed hot dogs again. I had a hamburger, because that just seemed like the right thing to do on a pool day, and it was pretty good. DW and DMiL had salads which they enjoyed. I also tried the Thai Chicken from the Jade area and it was awesome!

    Anyways, we headed back to the pool by 12:30 and spent another hour and a half or so swimming and playing on the splash pad area. It still wasn’t very crowded. DW and I also put away a bunch of virgin pina coladas and strawberry daiquiris as we were getting our money’s worth out of the refreshment package!

    At 2:00 we packed up and headed to the room for DS3 to have a nap. I took DS7 and we were going to go down and take our turn at a little trivia, but first look at how uncrowded the Promenade was:





    We went down and settled into a spot in the Schooner Bar on Deck 4 for trivia at 3:00.



    DS7 had to bring his new “friend” with him to trivia!



    After trivia we headed up to the top deck to watch us sail away from Cozumel. We were about 45 minutes departing because a late tour from Chichen Itza was coming back. Thank goodness those people were on a ship tour! I took a few pictures while we waited:









    We finally pulled out at about 4:45 and got some nice shots of the Disney Fantasy that was still docked.









    Up Next: Umm...Can I Have Another One of Those?
     
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