This was my sixth cruise with Royal Caribbean. I'd been on a Voyager class ship twice before and a Radiance class ship three times before. This was my first time on a Freedom class ship.
Embarkation was very smooth. We arrived at the port at about noon and we were on board 40 minutes later. The majority of that time was spent in line for security. Once through security, there was no line at all for check-in. I used priority check-in, as a platinum Crown & Anchor member, but there didn't appear to be much of a line for regular check-in either.
Once on board, we got our soda package at Boleros Lounge on deck 9 (where we entered) and grabbed a chair while we waited for the 1pm availability of our stateroom.
When we got to our stateroom, our attendant was there to greet us. I selected an inside stateroom on deck 9 close to the forward staircase and elevators. I like being on a high deck, to be as close to the pool as possible. It also makes it easier to be near the staircase and elevators, so you don't have to walk along a long stretch of hallway to get to your stateroom each time.
I was initially concerned about the fact that our stateroom had Pullman beds, even though there were only two of us. I didn't want the Pullman beds to make the stateroom feel even smaller than it already was. As it turned out, on Freedom class ships, the Pullman beds disappear completely into the ceiling. We didn't even know they were there.
I elected to carry my own bags on board so that I could have them immediately. My partner's bags arrived well before we started getting ready for dinner.
With the exception of the Flow Rider and the cantilevered whirlpools, the Liberty of the Seas was much as I remembered the Navigator of the Seas. The public spaces are amazing, especially the Royal Promenade. Sorrento's pizza was a good place to go for a snack; and who could resist a latte at Cafe Promenade or an ice cream at Ben & Jerry's? We also spent a lot of time at Schooner Bar having drinks and listening to the resident piano man, Kory, who was awesome! I really enjoyed watching college football at On Air Club and Olive or Twist was the perfect place to go for pre or post dinner drinks. The night I went there, The Catacombs was still hopping at 3am when I left.
The Platinum Theater was the venue for the three shows: In the Air, Ever After and the name of the third one escapes me. They were all pretty entertaining. The best show by far, however, was the ice show called Encore, performed on the ice rink at Studio B.
My only complaint about the ship itself is that there's almost too much to do; there's little time to relax if you want to experience it all! I didn't have time to do the Flow Rider, the rock climbing wall or the ice skating. You have to fill out a waiver form to do all three, and then you have to wear a wrist band indicating that you've filled out the waiver form. The gym on board was large and more than adequate.
I preferred to lounge in the sun on deck 12 in between the main pool and the solarium. For one, you're close to the Sky Bar; and secondly, this area seems to have more room to spread out. Nothing is worse than laying out two inches away from a stranger.
In the main dining room, the food was usually good and the service was excellent. I could not stand the Windjammer because it was always so crowded, but it was the most convenient place to go for breakfast and lunch because it allowed you to get in and out quickly (hence why it was so popular). I ate at Chops twice and Portofino once. They were both impressive and worth the extra cost. I messed up my reservations, and management was very accommodating in getting it fixed. I ate a Johnny Rockets once for lunch and it was worth it for the milkshakes alone.
We got an excellent deal on this cruise. Then the price went down even further after our final payment, so a credit was applied to our stateroom. Knowing how little we paid for this cruise made me feel even better about all of the fun that we squeezed into it.