A member of Royal Caribbean's Freedom class of ships, Liberty of the Seas is a large ship that can feel crowded but is ideal for families and offers peace and quiet if you know where to find it. The ship's heart is in the central Royal Promenade. With glass staircases and bridges that cross from port to starboard lit in cool purple and blue tones, this area, which soars four decks high, comes alive with daily deal seekers and character parades. You’ll also find several bars here, perfect if you like lingering over a pre-dinner aperitif while people watching.
Despite being 10 years old, Liberty of the Seas feels new and contemporary throughout most of the public areas (though the rooms are a bit worn). Cruisers on Liberty of the Seas can dine in style in a rich mahogany three-story dining room, each level named in honor of an Italian Renaissance painter, with sparkling chandeliers and romantic sunset views. And there are optional specialty restaurants, as well, making for an easy date night.
And when it comes to outdoor fun, Liberty's got it all with three distinct pool spaces plus an area for thrill-seekers who can't help but scream on the gut-grinding water attraction, Tidal Wave.
There are no two ways about it though: This is a large ship that regularly hauls 4,000 passengers, and it can sometimes feel crowded, particularly when you're waiting for an elevator or trying to angle for a slice of pizza in the Windjammer buffet. But while some areas of the ship feel cramped, others do not and once you get a feel for the flow of traffic and part ways with your at-home stress levels, you'll find the quieter, less traveled areas -- if that's what you want.
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Liberty of the Seas is an ideal cruise for families, especially given the quality of the onboard programming for kids. You won't find a ton of bells and whistles, technologically speaking, in Adventure Ocean (the kids' club) or the nursery, but children always have a full slate of age-appropriate programming, and without fail, ours asked every day to go back. That leaves plenty of time for parents to relax at the adults-only Solarium pool, in the casino or at the spa.
Liberty of the Seas' population is fairly evenly divided between young families and older empty nesters, which generally makes for a relaxed group of people that mixes well together. The ship's spaces and slate of entertainment reflects that generational divide, too. Liberty's home port is Galveston, Texas, which means it tends to draw a large proportion of Americans, and specifically Texans, so prepare to hear a few "y'alls" sprinkled into the conversation.
Daytime:Casual clothing is the norm during the day.
Evening:The dress code on Liberty of the Seas is relaxed throughout the week, and passengers used to more strictly enforced cruise dress codes might be surprised at the shorts, tank tops and denim that their fellow passengers wear to the dining room -- even on formal nights (though technically these are against RCI's suggested dress code, no one seemed to be turned away). There are two designated formal nights on a seven-night cruise where women bust out their sparkly cocktail dresses and men don suits and ties for the pre-dinner photography (tuxedos are a rare sighting). And anything goes with kids' fashion.
Not permitted: Tank tops and shorts are prohibited in the main dining room and specialty restaurants at dinner. Shoes must be worn in all dining venues at all times.