Ok I was lucky to be invited onto Liberty of the Seas for the inaugural celebrations. I was excited as I have never been on a Freedom Class ship before. I expected it to be like the Voyager but alot bigger and with loads more facilities.
I boarded the ship at 1:30pm and went to my stateroom. I was lucky to have an E2 Balcony which was lovely and new. The whole ship smelt new and looked pristine. I found my way around very easily as the layout of certain areas is very much like the Voyager.
I decided to drop my bags and take my camera to look at the ship. I started from the top and worked my way down. The Chapel was actually very nice and not OTT which I had thought it would be. The setting would be ideal for a wedding or renewing vows. The Spa was very nice and had all the top of the range equipment as had the gym. The mens sauna and steam area was very well laid out and bright. The boxing ring which is outside the entrance to the changing areas is a novel addition.
The H2O kids pool is a really good idea and such fun. After that I decided to go to the Windjammer for Lunch.
The Windjammer looked great . Its much better than the Voyager and has so much choice. Burgers,Pasta,huge hot buffet with the best roast beef Ive had at sea. Everything sparkled and was such a nice area to have lunch in. All of the staff were in their new uniforms and were all very happy.
I then continued my exploring . The whirlpools that hang over the sides are cool. Although they were not filled with water at the time. They are a nice little feature. The surrounding area has lovely wooden furniture to relax in and the Solarium pool is very inviting. The main pool and whirlpools are very well laid out. There were lots of loungers and the new feature on these is an integrated pillow. They are alot better than the current loungers on many of the ships.
The Flowrider(surf Simulator) is a fun thing to do or watch. The mini golf and rock climbing wall are the same as on other RCI ships. The Ocean Adventure at sea is amazing . So many things for the children to do. Their teens disco looks better than the adult one!! All the latest gaming machines and gadgets will keep the children happy for at least a week.
Studio B is the same as the Voyager and is a nice thing to do at least once and the ice shows are fantastic.
The Royal Promenade is very long and is full of cool places. The Cafe Promenade for Pizza slices and snacks. The Vintages for a nice glass of wine and then theres Ben And Jerrys for a nice afternoon ice cream. Plenty of shops to browse and a mens hairdressers. The pub is a nice meeting place day or night. The Champagne bar is also a nice place to stop for an hour or so.
The Main dining room is very elegant and nothing has really been changed which is nice as I love the dining room in this style. Chops Grill and Portofino are nice and intimate for that special dining experience.
Pharoahs palace is the same as other ships. The Diamond/Diamond plus Concierge lounge is very nice and new. Could be a bit small given the number of D and D+ members these days but still a nice place to visit if you have reached that level.
There was one stateroom of each type available for viewing so I decided to do them all. The Presidential Suite was nice but I preferred the Royal Suite as its more open plan and airy. The Promenade Family stateroom is great for a family on a budget and plenty of space. The normal Promenade is great value for money if you cant stretch to an outside but don't want an inside. The reduced mobility inside is great for clients with special needs and offers all the proper equipment such as adapted showers and hand rails etc...
The outsides are very nice and spacious. The insides are the same layout as the outsides without the window. The E2 balcony was lovely and very spacious and well laid out. I had the E2 and it was ideal. All staterooms have the flat panel TV's which add to the look of the staterooms. The decor is also getting a bit more conservative which I welcome.
I used the Online at sea but even in Southampton port it was crazy slow. I wish they could do something about that as its frustrating. Anyway after my 3 hour tour I headed back to my stateroom and got ready for dinner. On our night it was one open seating at 730pm which was a one off for this launch event. I got a table for two with my colleague. The food was excellent and plenty of choice. The only thing which I could comment on would be the long delay between soup and main course. It could have been a bit quicker.
After that we went to the Viking crown lounge which had a band playing. It is a nice place to meet everyone before hitting the night club.At 945pm we were all invited to watch the fireworks display on the main pool deck. It was amazing and was accompanied by music. It was one of the most impressive I have ever seen and lasted for 8 minutes. At 11pm we went to the night club and it was amazing , very well laid out and plenty of space even though it was packed. I have never seen a nightclub that full on a ship. Maybe it was because of the type of event that it was. The DJ was brilliant and the music was UK and European which was great also. We stayed until 3am.
The next morning I woke up after having the best nights sleep in a long time. The beds were perfect. It was then time to hit the Windjammer for breakfast. Again alot of choice and one thing you cant beat Royal Caribbean on is their American breakfasts. It was really nice and tasty. I was surprised by the lack of queues also.
So all in all I was very impressed with the Liberty and Royal Caribbean seem to be going in the right direction.They are upgrading certain things and raising the standards its the little things that matter.
My photos can be viewed at http://liberty200734.spaces.live.com/