Just returned today from our cruise on Liberty, had a nice time. We went to Belize and Cozumel. Our group had 9 kids all under the age of 10. Here are a few things you'll want to know if you are also bringing young kids.
The kids club daycare/camps are not always open, but rather take a break from 12-2 and 5-7pm. They also don't take the kids out during the day like to the pool, so dropping your child off is a tough choice. It's their vacation too and staying cooped up inside didn't seem fair during the nice weather. What we usually did were short stints during the day but usually didn't take our kids there at all. After dinner, our youngest (4 yrs) was excited to go there (thrilled actually) and we would drop her off and pick up at 10 (really pushing her bedtime, she is usually in bed by 8pm when we are at home).
They were also very rigid about the age cut offs, 5-8 and 9-11. We had two boys in our group who wanted to hang out, but one was 8 and the other 9. There was no flexibility with the staff and I gave up arguing my case.
The pool and splash park were nice but you'll want a life jacket if your kids are not comfortable swimmers. The pool toward the back of the splash park was ~5ft deep so we felt better letting our youngest run around with the life jacket on her. There is soft serve ice cream at the pool side which was a big crowd and usually a decently long line. Watch the rude kids trying to butt in line.
Food is very good, chop's steakhouse was the best for adults (it costs extra), windjammer was also very good for easy buffet style dining. Windjammer was our favorite especially for breakfast. We ate at our dinner seating in the main dining room and it was always pretty good with great waitstaff (thanks Krisna our waiter who did magic tricks --good ones!-- for our group's kids).
Vintages the wine bar was ok but pricey for what you got. We drank moderately throughout the cruise including a bottle of wine every night with dinner and were so happy that we cancelled the alcohol and drink package at the last minute. I would rather pay as I go especially to get some higher priced things which wouldn't be covered. So to me, we came out ahead. If you drink lots of Coors Light, Corona, and soda, maybe it's a good deal for you.
We booked adjoining cabins on deck 10 which was great with our two kids to have their separate beds and some space for us. Made the cabins seem not so cramped to have the walk through between.
Definitely do the Up in the Air show, great stuff. Very much like circ de solleil. The ice show started off cheesy with a few falls but got better toward the end. For both of those shows get there at least 20 minutes early to get seats.
There is a nice little lounge on deck 14 that not many know about where the kids camp staff put down some mats and toys and there is a piano for anyone to use. We enjoyed playing cards up there, letting the kids play on the piano and with toys, and having a close-by bar where we could get drinks.
Fitness center was very nice but packed. Climbing wall was ok but got too hot to use sometimes from early morning sun baking the rock face. The wave surfing pool was always mobbed it seemed, as was the basketball court whichever was filled with surly teenage b-ballers with attitudes and aggressive play. If you want your young kids to get exercise, the pool is a better choice.
Don't miss the 80's trivia at schooners, great fun.
The disembarkation process was extremely painful at Belize. 1.5hr wait to get off boat, then a 25 minute boat ride.
The bow elevators seem to get less use than the stern ones which were always full and slow.
The cupcake shop was cool which the kids liked, and the pizza place was something we should have utilized more. And the English pub. There was a parade one night on the promenade that the kids club went to, the only time they took the kids on a field trip to my knowledge.
We had a very nice time and will be back, a little better prepared for some child care options and flexibility. Probably on the Liberty again.