Next Freedom-Class Ship -- Liberty of the Seas

April 10, 2006
This weekend, we asked the question on many cruisers' minds: Has Royal Caribbean named the second 158,000-ton, 3,643-passenger Freedom-class ship? Indeed, just as we reported, it has -- though the company fooled a lot of people, including Cruise Critic (members and editors we should add), when it opted not to go with the anticipated moniker of Endeavor of the Seas. Get used to this one instead: Liberty of the Seas.

The announcement was made today at cruise3sixty, a three-day event in Ft. Lauderdale geared to travel agents. Later, Royal Caribbean chief Richard Fain told Cruise Critic's Carolyn Spencer Brown that there were "other frontrunners" in the name game (though he declined to confirm -- or deny -- whether Endeavor was one of them). "Like Freedom of the Seas, Liberty of the Seas [the winning name of the second ship] was a late entry into the process."

One logical question is this: As cruise lines continue to use names that are often more similar than not (Norwegian Jewel and Royal Caribbean's Jewel of the Seas, Carnival Legend and Royal Caribbean's Legend of the Seas, as examples), will the name Liberty of the Seas confuse travelers who may have already heard of Carnival's relatively new Carnival Liberty?

Nah, says Fain. "I wish the names would always be very unique but we have been very successful with the 'of the Seas' designation." It has, he added, become strongly identified with the line.

Stay tuned for more announcements from CLIA's cruise3sixty.