For the most part, staterooms represent the standard industry move toward a high percentage of outside and/or balcony staterooms; 844 of the 1,817 cabins, or nearly half, have balconies. All cabins are clean and functional, with peach and teal decor, and they're equipped with desks, safes, hair dryers, Wi-Fi Internet access, mini-fridges and flat-screen TV's that feature a range of channels (ESPN, CNN, BBC World, TNT, Cartoon Network, VH1 en Espanol and several RCI ad channels), as well as interactive options (order shore excursions and room service, or check your expenses).
Note: Because the TV's are modern Samsung flat-screens, kids can (and do) bring their PlayStations and Wii consoles for in-room use.
More specifically, potential passengers can choose from four different categories of staterooms: inside, oceanview, balcony and suite. Then, within each are different setups at different price points, including larger configurations for families.
Interior and promenade-view staterooms measure 152 square feet and 149 square feet respectively and feature shower-only bathrooms with sliding doors, as opposed to curtains. A single pump in each shower is preloaded with shower gel/shampoo. Family insides measure 300 square feet, with room for up to six to sleep on two twin beds that convert into a queen, plus a sofa and/or Pullman.
Ranging from 161 to 200 square feet, oceanview cabins offer portholes and slightly more space, an ideal compromise for the semiclaustrophobic cruiser. Family oceanview cabins are 293 square feet and include sitting areas, twin beds that convert into queens and sofas and/or Pullmans.
Liberty offers two balcony choices, the 177-square-foot Deluxe (balcony: 74 square feet) and the 189-square-foot Superior (balcony: 68 square feet). Balcony furniture comprises a small table and two upright plastic-ribbon loungers.
There are a variety of suite choices, including Junior Suites (287 square feet with a tub, walk-in closet and 101-square-foot balcony), Grand Suites (387 square feet with a tub, walk-in closet and 126-square-foot balcony) and Owner's Suites (614 square feet with a tub, walk-in closet, separate sitting area and 209-square-foot balcony) with names taken from musical nomenclature (Harmony, Symphony, etc.). The one Royal Suite (1,406 square feet with a 377-square-foot balcony) also boasts a marble whirlpool-style tub and shower, entertainment center, king-sized bed, baby grand piano and a private hot tub on the balcony. Grand, Owner's and Royal Suite guests have access to the Concierge Club lounge (Deck 10 midship, open 24 hours but not always manned), where guests can enjoy complimentary pre- and post-dinner canapes and cocktails. Suite passengers can also ask the concierge to book shore excursions, dining reservations, spa appointments and more.
For larger family groupings, there are four Royal Family Suites (610 square feet with a 234-square-foot balcony) that hold up to eight and feature living areas with double sofa beds. Each of these suites has two bedrooms with two twin beds that convert to a queen (one also features third and fourth bunks), a verandah and two bathrooms with showers (one with tub).
Making its second showing for RCI is the Presidential Family Suite (1,215 square feet with a balcony that's 810 square feet). The suite sleeps up to 14 of your kin and is made up of two master bedrooms with private baths, as well as two smaller bedrooms, each with two Pullman beds and two twin beds that convert to a queen. Moreover, there are two additional shower-only bathrooms (the same as you'd see in standard accommodations). The 810-square-foot private balcony (more than four times larger than my cabin alone) boasts a hot tub, teak dining set (table and chairs) and padded loungers.
Like Freedom, Liberty also features the B & J room (6305), a promenade-view cabin overlooking the tukases of two cows that stand atop the Ben & Jerry's ice cream parlor (just below). Cruisers who end up in this obstructed-view room receive complimentary ice cream at Ben & Jerry's every day of their cruise.
Note: Passengers can no longer smoke in their staterooms, but balcony smoking is still allowed.