We made our reservations ten months in advance with a travel agency that gave us OBC. We had two balcony cabins on deck 7 that were adjoining, 7618 and 7616. This was especially nice because the room steward also unlocked the balcony divider. I felt like the balcony was larger than the Voyager class and also the glass made it feel big. E2 adjoining rooms have a chair instead of loveseat. We liked this feature because it added floor space to the room. We kept the adjoining door closed but it was unlocked. The location was great, midship, not a very long walk from the aft elevators or stairs.
We flew into Ft. Lauderdale the day before and stayed one night at the Ft. Lauderdale Beach Hilton. This property is only a couple of years old and is right across the street from the beach. We did not rent a car, SAS Transportation picked us up at the airport and took us to the hotel. Saturday morning Larry's Limos showed up with a white stretch and we headed off to the Port of Miami. We arrived at the pier around 12:00 and check in was a breeze. Walked right onto the ship and were in the Windjammer having lunch by 12:30. The Liberty of the Seas is the largest ship we have sailed on. You can definitely tell it is wider and longer than the Voyager class but still very manageable.
We ate breakfast in the Windjammer or used room service. The first day at sea the Windjammer was a crazy place. People literally bumping into each other. The next time I went to the Windjammer for breakfast was Thursday and it was very quiet and calm. The other days I filled out the room service menu and hung it on the door the night before. Room service was always accurate and delivered on time.
We ate all our lunches in the Windjammer and the selection was fine. I mostly went for the salads and fruit. They have really good fries. The pizza is definitely better at Sorentos. A really nice feature on this ship, they have a host/hostess in the Windjammer to help you find seating. We were happy with the service in the Windjammer. They bring coffee/tea, water, etc. right to your table or you can pick it up yourself from the beverage area. All the crew we met had a smile on their face and were always very pleasant.
We also used room service for snacks. The chizoro/chili dip is yummy, chicken wings, burgers and chips.
On the promenade my son ate pizza all hours of the night. He even got a whole pizza at 3:00AM and took it back to the room. We really liked having Sorrentos at one end of the promenade and the cafe at the other. There was never a long line at either place.
We had early seating for dinner (6:00) and had a table for eight on deck 5, Botticeli dining room. We ate all of our dinners in the main dining room. We felt like there was always something we liked and the food was good. This is so much better than we eat at home. Also there is a chocolate brownie with ice cream and fudge sauce on the children's menu!! My favorite dessert was the last night, a wonderful banana nut crunch parfait. Don't bother ordering any cheesecake, they are not really cheesecakes at all. Our waiter was very good and he took his job seriously. He really wanted to make sure we were satisfied with his service and our food.
We went to all the shows. They had three production shows (we've always had two in the past). It was the first night they performed "In the Air" and it will probably be smoother as they perform it more. The scenery and costumes are top notch otherwise it is your typical cruise ship production. The ice show was very good. If you are going to the 9:00PM show, get there early. We arrived about 8:20 and the place filled up fast!! Quest was as funny as ever. Steve Savage in the Schooner bar was great. He will be on the ship for the next four months. My kids did more of the late night - they turned the solarium into a lounge one night and had a party from 12:00-2:00AM. They said it was great, with a DJ on the bridge over the pool, lights, decorations, etc. There was always something to do.
The children's area is the best I have ever seen. This would definitely be a great ship if you have small children. My son did the boogie board on the FlowRider, he had a great time. We found ourselves back there several times during the cruise just watching the surfing. We sat on deck 12 when outside, never had any trouble finding chairs. I did not like that they had roped off chairs for suite guests and made sure I put that on my comments at the end of the cruise. Most of the time these seats were empty. I feel they should give the suite guests perks that do not take away from all the other cruisers.
Our ports were Labadee, Ocho Rios, Grand Cayman, and Coco Cay (Instead of Cozumel - swine flu). I had read all sorts of comments about the Labadee marketplace but the people couldn't have been any nicer. Not what I had expected from reading the boards. We sat on the beach that looks onto the zip line, you definitely want to bring your water shoes. A lot of coral, people were struggling getting in and out of the water. Also there was construction for the new ride they are putting in and this took away from the beach.
Our other private island stop was Coco Cay, Bahamas. We went to Wanderer's beach and walked around. Secluded, quiet, beautiful. The only downside, high tide was not until 5:00PM so there really wasn't any water. We walked out to the sandbar. After lunch we settled in at the beach closest to the Wacky Seagull Bar. Lots of people were heading back to the ship so we snagged some seats on the front row. We found the bartenders to be very generous with the alcohol (if that is what you wanted). Our Coco Locos made us Loco for sure!
I would cruise on the Liberty of the Seas again in a minute. Or any of the other Freedom class ships. Royal Caribbean gave us great service and I feel like you know what you are going to get for your cruise dollar.