I just got back from a 7-night Western Caribbean cruise aboard the Royal Caribbean Liberty of the Seas and wanted to share my experience from this wonderful vacation!
My boyfriend Anthony and I planned this cruise together to celebrate my 23rd birthday – which worked out perfectly since my birthday was on Sunday, October 16, the same day the cruise departed from Galveston, Texas. I was excited our cruise departed from here as I had never been to Texas before and wanted to see what the Lone Star State was all about! We flew into Houston and then drove to the Royal Caribbean port in Galveston, which is right on the Gulf of Mexico. Although we only spent one night in Galveston before boarding the cruise so I didn’t get to see much of Texas…I’m thinking I need to plan another trip back to see Austin and Dallas next time. 🙂
So that night we walked along the boardwalk in Galveston and got a few drinks and apps at a local restaurant before we woke up the next morning to board the cruise. I was just so excited to see Anthony at this point (he lives in California and I live in Indiana) that I kept forgetting we were even going on a cruise in the first place! I also didn’t get any pictures of Galveston because we spent most of the night talking and catching up.
We got on the cruise around Noon the next day and went straight to the Windjammer for lunch because I was starting to get hangry. The Windjammer is a huge buffet that’s open pretty much all day long and conveniently located on the same floor as the pool deck.
The pool deck also has a free soft-serve ice cream machine, which perfectly complemented all the strawberry daiquiris I had to drink while lounging by the pool for the rest of the day. 🙂
After a day at sea, we arrived at the first port in Cozumel, Mexico. We didn’t have an excursion planned here, but we got off the ship and went to Senor Frogs for some drinks (and free WiFi). I had never been to Senor Frogs before, but I quickly learned it’s kinda crazy. The waiters kept trying to take pictures of us, pressure us into taking shots of tequila (at 11am), and then a clown came around to our table and forced us to wear balloon animal hats. But we were good sports about the whole thing and had some laughs along with the other fellow cruisers.
One of the things I absolutely LOVE about cruises is the food. Every night I always looked forward to dinner that was held in the Liberty of the Sea’s dining room. You can choose to have an early or late dinner time – we chose the early option (5:30pm) in order to have time after dinner to see some of the shows and entertainment.
The next day we arrived at the second port in George Town, Grand Cayman. This port was interesting because it wasn’t big enough for cruise passengers to walk off directly onto land, so we had to get on a smaller boat from our cruise ship that sailed us over to where we could get off at the port (which I learned is called a tender).
After we tendered to the port, we walked around and found our excursion group. We planned a snorkeling excursion on 7 Mile Beach. I was a little hesitant about this excursion at first – I had never been snorkeling before and I could just picture my swimming abilities completely failing me, ending with me getting eaten by a shark. But after getting in the water and swimming around for a little bit, I became less scared and started to actually enjoy snorkeling!
The snorkeling spot was really unique – we snorkeled directly above a shipwrecked submarine. There were also some really interesting fish and sea life to look at. Right before we got back on the ship that took us out snorkeling, I saw two huge barracuda fish swimming directly under me. I freaked out because I thought they were sharks – and I later learned that they are even more vicious than sharks! Really glad I didn’t know that at the time…
We worked up a huge appetite snorkeling so naturally we made our way over to Margaritaville to devour some nachos before we went back to the ship for dinner. At first we thought the nachos cost $23 because Margaritaville, but soon realized it was due to the fact that they could feed an entire family of four (notice the beer bottle for size reference :)). I was still insanely full by the time we got to dinner that night but you can bet I ate my entire dinner AND dessert because that’s just what you do on a cruise.
Our third and final port was in Falmouth, Jamaica. We had planned an excursion to visit Dunn’s River Falls and Bamboo Beach Club. Dunn’s River Falls is a beautiful waterfall that you can easily hike along with your excursion group.
I unfortunately didn’t get any pictures at Dunn’s River Falls because you get completely drenched along the hike and didn’t have a waterproof case for my phone or camera. 🙁 I was really tempted to buy a waterproof phone case from one of the local street vendors, but Anthony said it looked sketchy and I trust his judgement.
After our hike, our excursion tour guides drove our group over to the Bamboo Beach Club, which was a lot of fun! They served us a really yummy lunch of Jamaican jerk chicken, friend bread, and banana buffs which was delish. 🙂
I wanted to mention that we booked both of our excursions through Royal Caribbean’s website, which was really convenient and well-organized. They had a lot of different excursion options, and the tickets were delivered directly to our room at the start of the trip. It was easy to locate our excursion group after getting off the ship while in port, and both excursions left and arrived back to the port on time. Our excursion guides were also very friendly and accommodating. Here‘s where you can book an excursion through Royal Caribbean online if you’re interested. Also have to give a shout out to my boyfriend’s parents because they gave me an excursion as a birthday present which was super generous and sweet of them. 🙂
The next two days were at sea traveling back to Galveston. Although going on excursions off the ship are so much fun, I enjoyed our days at sea just as much. Royal Caribbean provides wonderful entertainment and activities all throughout the day and night, and there is truly something for everyone. Every night after dinner, we went to the Schooner Bar and played music trivia, then headed over to one of the many bars to get a drink, and then went to see a show or activity.
We went to the Love and Marriage Game Show (hilarious!), a comedy show, and a variety show put on by Royal Caribbean Productions. The final night we attended the musical Saturday Night Fever which was AMAZING! We also went to the arcade, listened to karaoke, walked around the casino, watched two movies (Me Before You and Nerve) playing on the big screen by the pool deck, and had a few pictures professionally taken, much to Anthony’s protest. The funny thing is we didn’t even end up ordering any pictures!
Royal Caribbean also has three different pool areas: a kid’s pool, an adults only pool (called The Solarium) and what I like to call the party pool, which anyone is allowed to hang out in. They had really fun events and entertainment going on all day long at the party pool: the World’s Sexiest Man Competition, Men’s International Belly-Flop Competition and Cruise Staff vs. Cruisers Volleyball Competition to name a few.
Royal Caribbean also had some other fun spots – like the Cupcake Cupboard (which offered a cupcake decorating class), a Johnny Rocket’s outside on the top deck, a tequila and taco bar, two huge water slides and water slide half-pipe, a wave-rider, basketball courts, ping pong tables, and a mini-golf course.
I also enjoyed the pool animals they create out of towels and leave as a surprise on your bed when you come back to the room after being gone all day. This little guy stole my sunnies. 🙂
After two nights back at sea, we arrived in Galveston on Sunday a week later and made our separate ways back to Indy and California. Reflecting back on this trip a few days after returning home to Indiana, I am so happy we planned this Royal Caribbean cruise vacation. I feel so lucky to be able to experience such a fun and relaxing cruise vacation with my boyfriend, and can’t wait to plan another cruise with Royal Caribbean in the future. 🙂