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Liberty of the Seas was the second of Royal Caribbean's three Freedom-class ships. This means that she's the sister ship of the Freedom of the Seas and Independence of the Seas. Like her sister ships, Liberty features some of the latest and most innovative onboard amenities at sea, such as a FlowRider (surfing simulator), H20 Zone (children's aqua park) and huge Royal Promenade that's open 24-hours. The Freedom-class ships are the largest, and most feature-filled, cruise ships in the world and are a truly excellent option for your next cruise.
Liberty of the Seas will be featuring cruises in the following regions (subject to change, based on the cruise line's discretion):
2012: Western Caribbean 2013: Western Caribbean, Western Mediterranean
There are a wide array of stateroom types onboard Liberty of the Seas. Rooms range from basic interior staterooms all the way up to 1,600+ square foot suites. All Royal Caribbean staterooms come with a private bathroom, vanity area, hair dryer, flat-screen TV and phone.
Interior Staterooms: Besides the standard features listed above, the interior staterooms onboard Liberty of the Seas have two twin beds (that can convert into one queen-size bed), a shower in their bathrooms and room service that is available 24 hours a day. The least premium interior staterooms are the category Q's. The category Q, N, M, and L rooms (in order of usual price) are all 152 square feet in size, while the category PR (Promenade) staterooms are 169 square feet. Promenade staterooms are interior staterooms that have a window facing the inside of the ship, giving you a view of the Royal Promenade. The PR's are usually more expensive than the Q, N, M and L staterooms, and are quite nice if you'd like a simulated feel of having a city view (rather than the closed off feeling of an interior cabin without a window. The least expensive interior stateroom category that can accommodate over 2 people is the category L. A category FI stateroom is a Family Interior Stateroom, which is a whopping 338 square feet in size.
Ocean View Staterooms: Liberty's ocean view staterooms are larger than her interior staterooms. The most basic ocean views are the category H and I staterooms. These rooms are 183 square feet and feature the same amenities that the interiors do. The category F ocean views are considered Large Ocean Views, as they are 214 square feet. The largest ocean view staterooms onboard Liberty are the category FO (Family Ocean View) rooms. These feature two twin beds (that can convert into a queen-size), a sofa and/or Pullman beds and a sitting area. The FO's are 338 square feet in size.
Balcony Staterooms: The most basic balcony staterooms onboard Liberty of the Seas are the Deluxe Ocean View Staterooms with a balcony. These rooms (category E1 and E2) feature two twin beds (that can convert into a queen-size), a sitting area and (of course) a private balcony. These rooms are 200 square feet and have a 53 square foot balcony. E1 and E2 rooms are exactly the same in size and features - the main difference is their location on the ship (E1's are usually more expensive, as they are usually in a more desirable location). Category D1 and D2 staterooms are more premium than the E1 and E2 rooms. They are called Superior Ocean View Staterooms with a balcony. These rooms are the same as the E1 and E2 in features, but are larger in size - they are 214 square feet, with a 68 square foot balcony.
Suites: The most basic suites onboard Liberty are her Junior Suites (category JS). These rooms have two twin beds (that can convert to a queen-size), a private balcony and a sitting area (some with a sofa bed). The Junior Suites are 317 square feet, with a 101 square foot balcony.
Grand Suites (category GS) are 387 square feet, with a 126 square foot balcony. These suites feature two twin beds (that can convert to a queen-size), a private balcony and a sitting area (some with a soda bed).
The Royal Family Suites (category FS) are very popular and get taken quickly. They are 588 square feet, with a 234 square foot balcony. They have two bedrooms with twin beds that can convert to a queen-size (one of the rooms has third and fourth Pullman beds). There are two bathrooms, a living area with a double sofa bed and a private balcony.
The Owner's Suites (category OS) are 614 square feet, with a 209 square foot balcony. They have a queen-size bed, a private balcony and a separate living area with a queen-size sofa bed.
Liberty of the Seas' Royal Suite (category RS) is a massive 1,633 square feet in size, with a 257 square foot balcony. This suite features a separate bedroom with a king-size bed, a private balcony, a living room with a queen-size sofa bed and a private bathroom.
The Presidential Family Suite with Balcony (category PS) is 1,215 square feet, with a humongous 810 square foot balcony! This suite has four bedrooms, four bathrooms, a private balcony and a living area with a sofa bed. You must have at least eight passengers booked into this amazing suite to be able to reserve it.
Royal Caribbean offers a choice between traditional dining (with assigned seating times) or My Time Dining (an open-dining setup). You'll have the same menu regardless of which dining format you choose. When making your reservation you must let the booking agent know which dining setup one you'd like to request. The one you want may be unavailable or on a waitlist. If that's the case, you'll have to wait it out and see if you get the one you want.
Traditional dining is where you must choose between a specific seating time: the main seating (at 6:15 pm) or second seating (at 8:30 pm). With this format, on each night of your cruise you'll dine at the same table, with the same people and same wait staff. One of the nice things about having assigned dining tables is that you get to build a rapport with your waiter, rather than having a different one each night.
My Time Dining allows you to select when you dine and who you dine with. With this flexible dining setup you can choose to dine in the main dining room at any time between 6:00 pm and 9:30 pm on each night of your cruise. If you choose this setup you must pre-pay your gratuities prior to your cruise. With My Time Dining you'll be able to request a specific waiter (subject to availability). You'll be seated with the party you arrive with, and you can request to be seated alone or with other guests. If you select My Time Dining, reservations are recommended to avoid a delay in seating (reservations can be made once you're onboard the ship).
The elegant main dining room spans three stories and is located towards the rear of the ship. Each level of the dining room has a different name (the area on deck 3 is called Rembrandt, deck 4 is Michelangelo and deck 5 is Botticelli).. There is a five-course menu that changes each day, with cuisine that is slightly above average for the cruising industry. The menus usually have a theme each night (such as French, Italian, Caribbean, etc).
Located on deck 11 is the Windjammer Cafe, Liberty's buffet. This is a very popular dining option, especially for lunch. The food being served changes on a daily basis, and is constantly being refilled throughout the day. During lunch times you'll find items such as sandwiches, burgers, pizza, fries, buffalo wings, salads, wok-dishes, sushi, desserts, and more. You can also go there at dinner time (instead of to one of the restaurants) for a more casual setting, with the same basic menu as the main restaurant.
You can find Cafe Promenade, open 24 hours, in the Royal Promenade (on deck 5). You'll find light menu items there, such as pastries, sandwiches and pizza. The items being served depends on the time of day you go there.
Johnny Rockets® is a 50's-style burger joint (located on deck 12). Besides burgers they also service onion rings, chili fries, and more. There is a $3.95 per person cover charge to eat there, plus a charge for whatever beverages you order (like their amazing shakes!). This place gets pretty busy, as it is very popular. If you go during a peak lunch time you might have to wait in line to get in.
Liberty of the Seas' two specialty restaurants, Portofino and Chops Grille, are both located on deck 11 (a little forward from the Windjammer Cafe). Portofino is an intimate Italian restaurant that features a wonderful seven-course meal. The cover charge is $20 per person. Chops Grille is an upscale steakhouse with a $25 per person cover charge. Reservations are highly recommended for the specialty restaurants, as they can book up quickly. The best idea would be to plan ahead, before your cruise. Then, within the first few hours after boarding the ship make your reservations for the week. Dining reservations cannot be made prior to your cruise. If you'd rather not plan so much, just to be sure make reservations at least the night before you want to dine, to help ensure that the time you want to dine at will be available for you.
Don't forget that 24 hour room service is available for all passengers. There is a basic complimentary menu, but it's an excellent option for a late night snack, or for when you're feeling a little lazy and would rather the food come to you. There are a few items on the menu that you can order at an additional cost, such as bar drinks.A new policy, as of 2009, is that Royal Caribbean will be charging guests $3.95 per room service order placed between 12:00 am and 5:00 am.
Liberty of the Seas features a seemingly endless list of things to do. There's really something for everyone onboard a Liberty-class ship. One of the main draws is the Royal Promenade. This is the ship's "main street" and on it you can find a bunch of stores (featuring duty-free shopping for items such as jewelry, perfume and hard alcohol), a Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream shop, cafes and bars.
The more active cruiser might often be found on deck 14, as that is where you can find the massive rock-climbing wall, the golf simulator, the 9-hole miniature golf course, the sports court and the amazing FlowRider (a surfing simulator). The fitness center (which features a wide range of state-of-the-art equipment and a full-size Everlast boxing ring) is located on deck 11, towards the front of the ship. The jogging track is located on deck 12 and is a nice place to get fit while enjoying the usually spectacular view of Liberty's surroundings. The main pool and sports pool are both located mid-ship on deck 11, in addition to a few whirlpools and a ton of outdoor lounge seating. Additional lounge seating is on deck 12.
There's a ton of things to do for kids and teens onboard Liberty of the Seas. The H20 Zone, located mid-ship on deck 11, is an outdoor children's aqua park that is sure to keep your kids happy and busy during your cruise. There are a bunch of places for kids and teens on deck 12. On this deck is a teen disco (called Fuel), Challenger's Arcade (filled with many fun video games) and Adventure Ocean (the headquarters of the children's program).
The nightlife options onboard Liberty of the Seas is fabulous. There's a huge two-story disco, called The Catacombs, located on decks 3 and 4. There's also the Casino Royale, which offers eight Blackjack tables, a Wheel of Madness, 3 Caribbean Stud Poker tables, 2 Roulette wheels, a Craps table, a Let It Ride table and over 300 Slot Machines. There are even free casino lessons! The main show lounge (Platinum Theatre), located forward on decks 2, 3 and 4 is huge and offers a nightly show. Different types of shows that may take place include Broadway-style production shows, comedians, musicians, singers, acrobats and magicians. Boleros Lounge is an excellent (and usually lively) option for those looking for some Latin-style dancing. Hoof & Claw Pub offers a traditional pub experience, often featuring live music and trivia games. For those looking for a more relaxed evening, there's Vintages (a nice wine bar located in the Royal Promenade), the Champagne Bar (also located in the Royal Promenade) and Olive or Twist (a martini bar that's actually a part of the Viking Crown Lounge).
Worried about losing touch while on vacation? Don't! Royal Caribbean Online, Liberty's internet cafe, is located mid-ship on deck 8. There is also Wi-Fi (wireless internet) available throughout the ship. The art gallery is located on deck 3, while the photo gallery is located on deck 4. Need assistance while on your cruise? You can dial the main desk from your room (or any public phone on the ship), or you can find the Guest Relations desk on deck 5. The Explorations! desk is Liberty of the Seas' shore excursions desk, which is located right next to Guest Relations.
While onboard the ship the following is considered by Royal Caribbean to be typical attire, for indoors or outdoors: shorts, t-shirts, slacks, trousers, casual skirts, blouses, and sundresses. Don't forget to bring bathing suits for the pools and hot tubs. Pretty much, it's casual during the day.
For dinner, there is a certain dress code in place. Depending on the night, there may be a casual, smart casual, or formal dress code recommended. On a Royal Caribbean cruise there will be at least 1 formal night. The number of formal nights on your cruise depends on the length of your cruise. Please be aware that the number of nights are subject to change at the ship's discretion. Formal night clothing is considered to be cocktail dresses for women. For men, suits and ties (or tuxedos) are good. Smart casual is considered dresses or pantsuits for women, and jackets for men.
Here's a general guideline that Royal Caribbean provides for its nightly dining types:
2 or 3
Royal Caribbean offers babysitting in group settings, and on an individual basis in your stateroom (based on the staff's availability). Children must be at least 1 year old for babysitting services. If you want to have in-stateroom babysitting you must reserve that service at least 24 hours in advance (just call the main desk while onboard, as it cannot be arranged for prior to boarding the ship). The current (subject to change) rate is $8 per hour for one or two children of the same family. It is $10 per hour for three children of the same family.
Adventure Ocean® is Royal Caribbean's youth program. Their program is divided into groups, by age: Aquanauts (3-5 Years), Explorers (6-8 Years), Voyagers (9-11 Years), Navigators (12-14 Years), and Guests (15-17 Years). Every member of the Adventure Ocean® staff has a college degree in education, recreation, or related field and has experience working with children ages 3-17. There is a Teen Center that is open from 10:00 pm to 2:00 am.
Royal Caribbean has Fisher-Price programs for younger children as well: Aqua Babies (6-18 months), and Aqua Tots (18-36 months).
There is a ton of kids and teens facilities on deck 12. For example, there is a video arcade, featuring both old and new games. The Teen Disco is also there; it's a great place for teens to meet, dance, and hang out. Adventure Beach is an area with a kids' pool with child-sized furniture.
Royal Caribbean recommends the following gratuity guidelines:
Suite Attendant: $5.75 a day, per guest
Stateroom Attendant: $3.50 a day, per guest
Dining Room Waiter: $3.50 a day, per guest
Assistant Waiter: $2 a day, per guest
Head Waiter: $0.75 a day, per guest
These gratuity rates apply to guests of all ages. Please be aware that a 15% gratuity charge will be automatically added to your bar bills. Gratuities for the room service, casino and spa staff is at your discretion.
You can pay for your gratuities by one of the following ways:
- In cash (at the end of your cruise)
- Having the cruise line add them to your SeaPass (onboard) account
- Pre-paying them (by having your travel or booking agent add them to your reservation)
The official minimum drinking age on all Royal Caribbean cruise ships is 21. However, on cruises departing from European and South American countries, where the legal drinking age is typically under 21, a parent that is sailing with their 18 to 20 year old son(s)/daughter(s) may sign a waiver allowing them to consume alcoholic beverages.
Guests are not allowed to bring alcoholic beverages onboard. Alcoholic beverages that are purchased in ports of call or from the onboard shops will be stored by the ship and delivered to your stateroom on the last day of sailing.
The official minimum gambling age on all Royal Caribbean cruise ships is 18 years old. Guests under 18 are not even allowed to be inside the casino. Proof of age is required. On Alaska cruises you must be at least 21 years of age to gamble. All gaming operations are performed in U.S. currency.