Royal Caribbean Reveals Handful of Liberty Twists

March 7, 2007
Cruise Critic's recent visit to see Liberty of the Seas at a Finnish shipyard made it clear that there would be no precedent-setting (a la surf park, boxing ring, ice skating rink) concepts on RCI's newest ship. But Liberty of the Seas, slated for launch in mid-May, will offer some new twists via programs and amenities.

In an announcement today, Royal Caribbean revealed a handful of options not only new to Liberty of the Seas, but also new to the fleet. In particular, the cruise line is clearly targeting health-conscious and family travelers, as well as honeymooners. Among the new options?

Vitality, a program aimed at health and wellness enthusiasts, will blend a variety of facets, from seminars and fitness offerings (such as Tai Chi and acupuncture) to spa-style cuisine.

In expanding its Adventure Ocean program for kids, Liberty of the Seas will feature a few new twists, such as Adventure Theater by Camp Broadway. The affiliation with Camp Broadway, a well-known children's theater group in New York will expose younger passengers to theater arts -- weaving folktales, music, dance and cultural elements. Teens can explore the theater too, but also can take part in D.J. classes hosted by the Scratch DJ Academy. For younger passengers, the line's Fisher-Price's Chefs on Deck lets them learn to cook. And families can team up together to build their own ship in Build & Grow, a program with Lowe's as an affiliate.

Cruise weddings are increasingly popular, and Royal Caribbean's new Explorer Weddings, again to debut on Liberty of the Seas, adds a twist to its existing Royal Romance packages: Passengers can wed on an Alaskan glacier, in a hot-air balloon, while surfing on Liberty’s FlowRider or scuba diving on the ocean bed. This is available to those renewing vows as well (stay tuned for a news item offering further details).

Liberty of the Seas and sister-ship, Freedom of the Seas, will alternate between seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries, with Liberty departing on Saturdays (from May 19) and Freedom on Sundays from Miami. Both itineraries include stops at Royal Caribbean's private destination Labadee, Haiti, before returning to Miami. Liberty's Western Caribbean itinerary calls in Cozumel, Mexico; George Town, Grand Cayman; and Montego Bay, Jamaica; while the Eastern Caribbean itinerary calls in San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Philipsburg, St. Maarten, allowing for a third day at sea to take advantage of all the ship has to offer.

The two Freedom-class ships will be joined by a third, Independence of the Seas, when it debuts in Europe in May 2008.

For more info on Liberty of the Seas, check out our First Glimpse.

--by Carolyn Spencer Brown, Editor