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Avitable reviews his cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Liberty of the Seas

Before I get into today’s post, don’t forget to enter my pop culture trivia contest, which I’ll keep open through the week, and it’s still not too late to place your order for an Avitable calendar. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll dry-heave, and the money you spend will also go to help some puppies find good homes here in Orlando.

Royal Caribbean's Liberty of the Seas
Royal Caribbean's Liberty of the Seas

From Thursday at around 1 PM to Monday around 8 AM, I was held captive passenger on the “Liberty of the Seas”, a Royal Caribbean cruise liner. I’ve been pondering and mulling and considering and deliberating the best way to recap my vacation, and finally I decided that, ultimately, a list of pros and cons would be in order.

Royal Caribbean Liberty of the Seas cruise
Pulling out of Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale

PRO: No Internet for five days

Actually, this one is bullshit. The Internet is not some evil thing that sucks our brains out if we use it too much. It’s a tool – one that I use to keep in contact with my friends, one that I use for research, and sure, one that I use for ridiculous nonsense, too. People who think the Internet is a bad thing are probably just like those morons in the days when hammers were invented. “You rely on the hammer too much to put nails in wood. You should just use rocks like the rest of us.” It’s called progress, and I won’t apologize for using the Internet to the greatest extent possible.

CON: No Internet for five days

Yes, there was Internet available, for .65/minute at extremely slow, dial-up speeds. But even I have my limits on what I’ll spend. And in Cozumel, I could have used an Internet cafe for much cheaper, but I didn’t have my laptop and was not about to use a public computer in Mexico for a variety of germ- and keylogger- related reasons.

That’s not enough. If the ship can broadcast every football game, live, onto the big screens near the pool for all of those idiots people who can’t handle being away from their television for five days, why can’t they provide Internet at the exact same speed, for free? I call shenanigans. Motherfucking shenanigans!

My Junior Suite on Royal Caribbean's Liberty of the Seas
My suite on the ship - plenty of room and a great balcony!

PRO: Some expenses paid

Do you want four appetizers and four entrees for your dinner, just so you can sample them and discard the rest? Would you like to order room service for breakfast, eat a snack at 10, lunch at 12, have another snack at 2, eat first dinner at 4, second dinner at 8, another snack at 10, and room service at 11? It’s all free.

Whether you want to see a stand-up comedian, a 3D movie, a juggler, ice skating, or a musical, or if you want to play mini-golf, ride a surf simulator, or perform karaoke, it’s all included and available to you.

CON: Only some expenses paid

Anywhere that the cruise liner can squeeze extra money from you, they will. Do you want real orange juice instead of juice made from concentrate? Ka-ching. A soda or bottled water? Ka-ching. Ben & Jerry’s ice cream or a Johnny Rockets burger instead of the generic equivalent? Ka-fucking-ching.

You’ll pay $8-$13 per drink for booze. You can pay a $35.00 cover charge to go to a premium restaurant and enjoy an excellent filet mignon with mediocre sides and desserts, but you can only order one steak and unlimited sides and desserts. You can pay $4.95 as a cover charge to go into Johnny Rockets and eat unlimited food, except for milkshakes, which cost $4.50 each.

I went to the barber twice while I was there for a shave and a deep cleanse facial. Each time, it cost me $100. The massages and other spa treatments were inflated by at least 30% compared to good spas in locations other than Manhattan and Los Angeles.

I would have rather paid an extra $500 for my cruise and had it be actually all-inclusive then be constantly subjected to the petty nickel-and-diming that did nothing but remind me that my vacation was not about me – it was about Royal Caribbean being greedy as fuck.

Adam Avitable on a Royal Caribbean cruise
I want my filet mignon for free!

PRO: Everyone on the crew is approachable

It’s nice to be greeted by everyone with a smile and a friendly attitude. I had a chance to speak with both the activities director and the cruise director, and they were engaging, personable, and actually remembered my name, which in retrospect might not be that difficult when you look like something that would happen if Kevin Smith and a gorilla had a baby.

I had the chance to talk to the comedian on board, Jeff Jena, and he was extremely friendly. Having been in comedy for as long as I’ve been alive, Jena had a lot of experience and insight into the industry, and he took it upon himself to show me around Cozumel, even introducing me to a restaurant off the beaten path (La Choza) that had fantastic, genuine Mexican food.

The barber who took care of me, Leigh, was also wonderful. She was 22, had an adorable Scottish accent, which sounded nothing like Groundskeeper Willie from The Simpsons, and did a fantastic job. We talked about comedy, she mocked me for my love of Ke$ha, and I convinced her to read my blog. I also told her that I’d write her a limerick, since she’s from the UK (and YES, I know that limericks are Irish and English, and not Scottish, but I’m an ignorant ugly American, remember?)

There once was a Scottish barber named Leigh,
Who, I must assume, sits down to pee,
She loves sarcasm, meat, and Malibu Rum,
She sings and laughs and has a nice bum,
But she laughed when I asked her to marry me.

CON: A lot of the crew are really fucking weird.

I’m sure it’s just a cultural issue since most of the crew are not from the US, but when your waiter, hailing from somewhere in North Africa/West Asia, looks at you with a giant creepy smile and says “Hello good evening my very best friends”, it’s a wee bit off-putting. Here is how a typical conversation went with Makram, our waiter:

“Hello good evening my very best friends.”

“Umm, hi.”

“And what can I be getting you tonight for your amazing mouth?”

“I’ll have the pumpkin soup-”

“Yes please”

“And the spinach artichoke dip-”

“Yes please”

“But can I have the-”

“Yes please”


“Yes please”


“Yes please. May you have an orgasm with your face when you enjoy the very foods I will be bringing to you.”

“Please go away now.”

“Yes please”

The accents of the crew also made for some interesting conversations. We (me and my friends James and Carolina) were taking a tour of the spa on the first day, and meeting with each individual station. The trainer only got as far as saying, in a thick Australian accent, “We offer all sort of knee and . . . ” when James blurted out “You offer sodomy?” As it turns out, yes they do, and James still can’t walk right.

Towel art on Royal Caribbean's Liberty of the Seas
I found this hanging in my room one night. Omen? Threat? You decide.

PRO: They make plenty of activities available on board.

From the moment you wake up until you fall asleep, there are at least 2-3 activities going on simultaneously across the ship. From movies showing in the screening room to gambling to dance lessons to trivia contests, there is always something going on somewhere. And, of course, there’s always the pools and the hot tubs.

CON: It feels like forced socialization.

At times, it felt like the vacation version of a senior citizen rest home. Time for shuffleboard! Time to watch a movie! Time for your Jello! Time to change your diaper! Time for bed!

I know that I don’t have to participate in any activity, but at times it felt confining and frustrating. If you’re on vacation in a city, you can get in a cab, rent a car, or just walk and go do anything – there is an entire realm of possibilities available. On a cruise, you have your pick of three or four generally mediocre activities.

Of course, you can always lay by one of the four thousand pools, go swimming, or hang out in one of the ten million hot tubs on board. I realized that I only like to lay by pools when (a) it’s my pool, which means that there aren’t 40-60 other people there, (b) I can play my music as loudly as I’d like, (c) I don’t have to wear a bathing suit. Out of the 92 hours I spent on board, less than 4 were spent by, in, or near the pools/hot tubs.

Looking out from my balcony on Royal Caribbean's Liberty of the Seas
Looking out from my balcony

CON: The guests

I think that there are three types of people who go on cruises:

  1. People who go on cruises frequently because they like them – 20%
  2. People who go on cruises in addition to other, better vacations – 20%
  3. People who can’t afford a real vacation and go on a cruise because they think that’s how millionaires live – 60%

That third category? Makes me weep for humanity. They’re the type who will order every entree and every appetizer possible at every meal just because they can. These hapless denizens of the world will leave messes everywhere because somebody will clean it up. They’re obnoxious, loud, rude, and have zero consideration for anyone.

Then, of course, there was the woman who had clearly been on so many cruises and gotten so tan, both by spray and by sun, that she looked like an orange living version of Jabba the Hutt mixed with that woman from Total Recall who says “Two weeks.”.

A woman on the Royal Caribbean cruise looked like an orange tan version of Jabba the Hutt and the woman from Total Recall
"Gooddé da lodia! Two weeks Solo."

PRO: You can visit a beautiful foreign country.

It was a great experience to walk off the ship and be in Cozumel, Mexico. Alone, I journeyed through the city for an hour or two as it misted warm rain on my quickly balding head. I was approached by the citizens of Cozumel (Cozumelians? Cozumelites? Cozumelbrooks?) offering everything from taxi rides and scooter rentals to cheap jewelry and OTC drugs like Prozac, Vicodin, or Viagra. I enjoyed a delicious meal at an authentic restaurant in the heart of Cozumel and I even drank the water. And it was fantastic.

CON: You could spend a week in that beautiful foreign country for the same cost.

For the $1800 that I spent, I could have flown to Mexico and spent five days on the coast. I might not have gotten free food, but I could have gotten good food for a reasonable price. Plus, I could have loaded up on all that Viagra.

The view from the pier standing between Royal Caribbean's "Liberty of the Seas" and "Jewel of the Seas" in Cozumel
The view from the pier standing between Royal Caribbean's "Liberty of the Seas" and "Jewel of the Seas" in Cozumel

I know that it sounds like I’m being unduly harsh on my week spent at sea, but that’s just the overly cynical part of me speaking. I spent five days away, read three books, napped, relaxed in my room or on my balcony, ate decent food, took Dramamine if the waves got too bad, and hung out with friends. There was plenty of good on my cruise, and there was also plenty to criticize, but that’s just who I am. I criticize everything on Earth. Well, except my exceptional lovemaking. That’s flawless.

Signs in Cozumel, Mexico (after leaving Royal Caribbean's Liberty of the Seas)
Signs in Cozumel

I had fun, and I’m glad I went. I would even go on another cruise, with Royal Caribbean or another cruise line like Norwegian or Disney, under a few circumstances. I think having a larger group of friends would make the forced socialization aspect of it less oppressive, and I’d like to find a cruise where all-inclusive truly means all-inclusive.

My rating of the Royal Caribbean cruise to Cozumel aboard “Liberty of the Seas”:

Food: B-
Atmosphere: A+
Crew: B+
Activities: C
Cleanliness: A

Overall Grade: B

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35 Replies to “Avitable reviews his cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Liberty of the Seas”

      • Mrs. Hall

        @Avitable, muskrat


        I love me some cruises. We went on a cruise for our honeymoon. It was so wonderful and warm and relaxing. Totally time to connect and revel in being called “Mrs. Hall” for the first times.

        Then, I opened my bags and found my birth control pills had been sopping up an open bottle of shampoo.

        Which was awesome 🙂 hee hee hee

        yay cruises!!

  1. Sybil Law

    I don’t like the idea of being trapped on a boat, period. It just makes me feel all antsy thinking about it. Like you said, I’d rather just fly somewhere and then pick and choose what I want to do. Plus, well – I don’t like people, and being around them all the effing time would have me in my room most of the trip.

  2. Poppy

    One day we’re hoping to go on a cruise near Alaska. Preferably before Drill Baby, Drill! takes full effect.

    I have no want, need, or desire to go to Mexico or cruise around it. I am happy for you that you had a B time.

  3. Loukia

    B? Seems too high a grade. I don’t know if I would cruise again, maybe a European cruise… that would be nice. I am way more into beautiful resorts and the ability to sit on the beach whenever I want.

  4. Little Miss Sunshine State

    Our cruise to Cozumel was on Norwegian and also gave it a B.The food was just okay. I won’t go on a Disney cruise until I’m with a grandchild….I prefer my relaxing vacations to be child-free.

    Our last vacation was to Savannah and Amelia Island. We came home tired from all the packing, unpacking, packing, driving, searching for good restaurants. That’s why I like a cruise…park yourself and your shit in one place and you’re all set for a week.

  5. Shash

    Once upon a time, I spent 4 summers being Julie McCoy {port-side} for a large Dutch cruiseship conglomerate. From your description of the other passangers, I’d say you had it good. I worked the Vancouver to Alaska run where very few were not on oxygen or in wheelchairs. One cruise, the morge on board was filled to capacity and that wasn’t even the 3rd day at sea! 🙂

  6. Ren

    In addition to traveling with a larger group of friends, I imagine that a higher number of desirable ports would be a big plus. We’ve been considering a Mediterranean cruise as a convenient way to visit a number of European southern coastal spots.

    Regarding the Internet access compared to TV, satellite TV broadcasts would be much easier to handle than the two-way connections required for Internet.

    • Avitable

      @Ren, I think it might feel more disruptive with more ports, but I don’t know. I’d rather drive down the European coast.

      I know that satellite TV is easier to handle, but if they can do that for free, I want free Internet, too.

  7. Clown

    The different is that you don’t use the hammer to hammer things. You would be using it to bang Morse Code on a wall to let everybody know you ate at Tijuana Flats or to hang the sharp end off your droopy ball sack.

  8. Coal Miner's Granddaughter

    La Choza is my absolute FAVORITE restaurant in Cozumel. Great, now my mouth is watering and it’s all your fault!

    This is why I’ll never cruise in the Caribbean. It’s because I’d rather laze around said island for a week, scuba dive like crazy, and get to know the area and all the cool, out-of-the-way places rather than fight through the cruise crowd to get past the Carlos ‘n Charlies. Ugh.

    Also? I would probably be the idiot who would fall off her balcony or get pushed off and be lost at sea.

    Glad you made it back alive!

  9. Life with Kaishon

    I think we are going to go one one soon with my brother and sister and their family and my parents : ) We thought it would beat our usual luxury summer vacation: the Jersey Shore : ). Great review.

    Laughed out loud about the exceptional lovemaking you can find no fault with! HILARIOUS! : )

  10. Rachel

    Given the fact that we were basically in the same geographic area for the past 5 days, I would have to agree with your assessment. For the most part. Your assessment of the tourists is spot on. I also think the cruise is better with a group of friends or a “purpose”. It was refreshing to be away from email and social media for a few days because I got a real vacation. That probably wouldn’t have happened on land. So good to serendipitously see you on board, even if you never got to meet my imaginary husband.

  11. Nancy [Spinning My Plates]

    Re: “People who think the Internet is a bad thing are probably just like those morons in the days when hammers were invented. “You rely on the hammer too much to put nails in wood. You should just use rocks like the rest of us.” It’s called progress, and I won’t apologize for using the Internet to the greatest extent possible.”

    Sometimes it’s good to put the damn hammer or rock down and not build anything for a few days, too.

    And then, I’m having conniptions because the hospital I’m checking into tomorrow doesn’t have Wifi. Hello, Pot? Meet Kettle.

  12. ADW

    Duuuuuuudddeeee!!!! As I said before. Hells to the no. Not happening. The thought of being surrounded by strangers without an escape plan A and B and C fills me with terror. It’s a terror only superseded by the thought of seeing a clown coming at me in a dark alley without a knife in my boot.

  13. martymankins

    Nice detail by detail of your cruise. I’ve never been, but my wife and I will be going to Alaska in June 2012. Then to Carribean in 2013. Neither are all inclusive. Our travel agent told us those are rare and if offered, a huge extra free to be all inclusive. I might have to be a teetotaler during my time on the ship.

  14. Angela

    I just found your blog. Very enlightening. My family and I are traveling on the Liberty next week. We have the one stop in Cozumel. Any recommendations on the day spend there?

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