A member of Royal Caribbean's Freedom class of ships, Liberty of the Seas is a large ship that can feel crowded but is ideal for families and offers peace and quiet if you know where to find it. The ship's heart is in the central Royal Promenade. With glass staircases and bridges that cross from port to starboard lit in cool purple and blue tones, this area, which soars four decks high, comes alive with daily deal seekers and character parades. You’ll also find several bars here, perfect if you like lingering over a pre-dinner aperitif while people watching.
Despite being 10 years old, Liberty of the Seas feels new and contemporary throughout most of the public areas (though the rooms are a bit worn). Cruisers on Liberty of the Seas can dine in style in a rich mahogany three-story dining room, each level named in honor of an Italian Renaissance painter, with sparkling chandeliers and romantic sunset views. And there are optional specialty restaurants, as well, making for an easy date night.
And when it comes to outdoor fun, Liberty's got it all with three distinct pool spaces plus an area for thrill-seekers who can't help but scream on the gut-grinding water attraction, Tidal Wave.
There are no two ways about it though: This is a large ship that regularly hauls 4,000 passengers, and it can sometimes feel crowded, particularly when you're waiting for an elevator or trying to angle for a slice of pizza in the Windjammer buffet. But while some areas of the ship feel cramped, others do not and once you get a feel for the flow of traffic and part ways with your at-home stress levels, you'll find the quieter, less traveled areas -- if that's what you want.
Liberty of the Seas is an ideal cruise for families, especially given the quality of the onboard programming for kids, and the cruise line's partnership with DreamWorks, which provides opportunities to visit with characters like Po from "Kung Fu Panda" and Shrek. You won't find a ton of bells and whistles, technologically speaking, in Adventure Ocean (the kids' club) or the nursery, but children always have a full slate of age-appropriate programming, and without fail, ours asked every day to go back. That leaves plenty of time for parents to relax at the adults-only Solarium pool, in the casino or at the spa.
Liberty of the Seas Gratuity
Recommended tips are $13.50 per person, per day, and are shared by the dining staff, stateroom attendants and others. Passengers in suites pay a $16.50 gratuity each day. All can be automatically added to your stateroom account or pre-paid before the cruise. You can alternatively choose to pay in cash, and envelopes are provided for additional tips, if you wish. Any drinks you order, as well as spa and salon services, and even group fitness classes, will also include an automatic 18 percent gratuity, which is reflected on the receipt you will sign after providing your SeaPass card.