This was my first cruise with Royal Caribbean and Liberty of the Seas. Cruising was my Husband and my two boys ages 7 and 10 years old and and another couple who have 4 kids ages 5,7,10, and 14. So we pretty much can answer most questions about youth activities.
We live only an hour away from Port Everglades so arrival was easy ( we got to the port around 12pm), its right behind Bayside and the Arena. Since we had a Junior Suite, we had a separate line that moved fast at check-in but the rep misplaced our seapass card and we had to wait longer than expected, but it was too long. Getting on the boat was no hassle,so we headed to the famous Windjammer Cafe for lunch. For some reason I thought this place was going to be not so nice from the comments. But I really enjoyed the food, the hamburgers with grilled onions was surprisingly good for a buffet. You really have to read all the information you get in your stateroom before doing anything, because if are signing your kids up for camp you will miss sign up and the line will be super long. The camp doesn't start until day 2 so your kids will be able to explore the ship and the H20 zone all day.
Kids Camp- All the kids thought camp was boring the first day, and none of the kids wanted to go back. But after much coaching, and wanting to actually enjoy the vacation we paid for, we made them try it the next day, and they loved it. They have several WII's the counselors have very good activities for the kids. My boys especially loved the sports activities that were on the basketball court because they weren't confined to just a kiddie room. The 14 year old met kids from all over and they had a separate area and the club was closed to just them some days so she had fun. The camp also hosted several parades in the Promanade area where the kids put on a Pirate show and Circus.
Casino- Let's just say the House always wins, however we did meet lots of people who won 3-5000 dollars on slots. I sat next to a woman who won 300 dollars at 3 of the slots she sat at. Which pissed me off, because I had just left some of the slots. Some people are just lucky. Heres a tip- My sure you insert your seapass card into the slots so you can earn points, but use cash to play- you'll thank me later.
Here's another tip- Make sure you go to the Port and Shopping presentation and get a book. It has lots of coupons mostly 2 for 1 drinks specials, excusions and you can pick up freebees at all the ports.
Port 1- St. Maarten- I did not like this port at all. Lots of jewelry stores and people trying to sell you stuff. Tip 3- Go to DI- they offer complementary internet and drinks.
Port 2- San Juan, Puerto Rico- Since we are from Florida and grew up learning about the St. Augustine Fort and Ponce De Leon, this port was fascinating. The food was excellent, shopping places abundant and cheap and barter for your tour. Tip 4- Visit Don Q- You'll thank me later.
Port 3- Labadee, Haiti- All I can say is book excursions for this port when you book your cruise or the first day. We really wanted to do the zipline but it was totally sold out. So we were able to do the Jetski Tour- Worth the money- and if you buy the port and shopping book, you can get two for 1.
Dining- The food in the main dining rooms were on a scale from 1-10, mostly an 8. One or two days it was a 10 but it was slightly above average on most days, However, the service was really good. Formal nights were nice- Dressing up wasn't to bad, especially when you're in your swimsuit 70% of the time.
What to wear/pack- I packed so wrong and had to wear some the same clothes over again. For everyone, I would suggest 3 swimsuits with coverups or shirts. For kids, tee-shirts and athletic shorts mostly, that won't mind wearing to camp, and getting wet if they decide to go to the pool. Watershoes come in handy on deck and on the islands because the sand is so hot. For dinner, multipurpose interchangeable outfits work the best. I should have listened to my inner diva and brought black pants and changed the shirts.
In conclusion, we had a fabulous time and can't wait to book again.