In this first evaluative piece of the article series, I want to talk about the stateroom and storage space about the Liberty of the Seas, a Royal Caribbean vessel. But first, please watch my following video.
We had a lovely, oceanside room with a wonderful view. For one person, this would be palatial; for two people, it would be immensely comfortable; for two adults and two kids, it was snug. Now, snug isn’t bad. Snug implies a need for efficiency.
Our stateroom was not one of those which contains a formal dining area. So, we had to be mindful of keeping things tidy and packed away. Also, when clothing got dirty, sweaty, or wet, we had to be very mindful about where they were placed due to odors to due to getting other furniture wet or sandy.
Amenities of the Stateroom
In the room, we had two twin beds (which were placed together as a king-sized bed), a fold-out couch, a TV, a wonderful balcony, and a makeup dresser. There was a refrigerator for the mini-bar but it was filled with drinks and such that the steward would replace when used.
There is also a safe in which to place your valuables. The nature of the safe is such that you reset the four-digit passcode each time you lock it and must use that code to open it.
Recommendation #1: I recommend using the same passcode.
The steward is the true amenity. Our steward (and all of the stewards we met) were exceptionally friendly. Our steward maintained our room, was exceptionally polite, and answered his phone (yes!) when we called. He would make and turn down bed (including putting away the folding couch which our kids slept on). He took out trash, cleaned our bathrooms, and he de-smudged the immense panes of glass that separated us from the elements after our children (and sometimes us, too!) would put our hands all over them.
Recommendation #2: Keep your steward in mind for gratuities when the cruise is concluding.
Problems with the Stateroom
There really were no problems, per se, with the stateroom. Perhaps “wishlist” would be more accurate. We needed more outlets and fewer pieces of furniture. Had there only been two of us in the room (or only one!), all of the furniture would have been perfect. With four, there weren’t enough outlets for phones, cameras, and tablets.
Clothing and How to Pack
I’m going to reference clothing in this article because the need to pack appropriately impacts luggage and closet usage.
First thing first, when doing the dining room, “Formal Night” actually means formal. I wore a suit and tie on the two formal dining nights on our cruise and was not the most nicely dressed man in attendance. My suit and tie were perfectly appropriate. However, the most nicely dressed men were in tuxedos. Nice dresses were perfectly appropriate for ladies and the most nicely dressed women were in formal gowns or cocktail dresses. For our children (7 and 9), khaki slacks, button down shirts, and appropriate shoes (not sandals) were spot on and, on one of those nights, our kids both wore ties. They were not out of place. Even on the “smart casual” nights, men and women still wore slacks and shirts that were nicer than a traditional polo.
In general, each day I wore three changes of clothing. The first change was workout clothing because of the excellent gym which I used every day. The second was the attire that I would be wearing to whatever our outing was for the day. (For example: shirt, shorts, socks, and tennis shoes for our day in Cozumel; swimsuit for our day in Jamaica.) My third was for dining attire. Because we chose the dining room (and not the Windjammer–a wonderful buffet-style cafeteria on the ship), there was clothing for dinner.
Remember that you can reuse clothing. For instance, I only took an additional pair of slacks because I could use them in my suit and I could use my suit slacks on non-formal nights. I also wore cargo shorts multiple days in a row.
Recommendation #3: Gents, if like me you’ll hit the gym, then a second pair of sneakers might be useful. I wore a prized pair of running shoes on the entire trip leaving them little time to breathe for the next day. Otherwise, pack some set of shoes for the water and nice dress shoes.
Recommendation #4: Bring a laundry basket and some laundry sheets to calm the smell produced by sweaty and wet clothing.
In the followup article, I’ll be writing about onboard costs of things.