Influence of time delay between two laser pulses on the LIBS (laser induced breakdown spectroscopy) signal inside liquids was investigated and the results are compared with data from literature. Plasma was produced by laser ablation (LA) of aluminum inside water and its emission after the second laser pulse was characterized by spectrally and time resolved detection. Light propagation through the vapor bubble formed by the first laser pulse was studied by measurements of beam scattering and transmission. Optical absorption by the evolving bubble is not significant, but its growth is accompanied by lowering of its refraction index nb with respect to surrounding liquid; this effect increases defocusing both of the incident beam and of the out-coming plasma radiation. Collection efficiency of the secondary plasma emission rapidly degrades with the cavity growth, but close to its full expansion the LIBS signal partially recovers through Snell's reflections at the liquid-vapor interface, which produce a bright spot close to the bubble center. Such a light redistribution allows detecting of the emission from external plasma volume, otherwise deflected out of the collection system. Except for strong line transitions from the main sample constituents, self-absorbed inside the high-pressure cavity, we observed the highest LIBS signal when sending the second pulse well before the bubble is fully expanded. Transitions of the pressure wave through the focal volume, formed by the first laser pulse and reflected from the cell's walls and sample back-plane, enhances the LIBS signal importantly. The measured lifetime of the secondary plasma rapidly decreases with the bubble expansion. Here, we also discuss the optimization of the optical collection system and some analytical aspects of double-pulse (DP) LIBS inside liquids. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.