Continuing on the successful track of creating revolutionary onboard offerings and innovative products, Royal Caribbean International took delivery of its newest Freedom-class ship, Liberty of the Seas, from Aker Yards during a ceremony today in Turku, Finland. Just weeks away from making her U.S. debut on May 3, 2007, the ship will be the first in Royal Caribbean's fleet to showcase new and distinctive wellness, family and wedding programming, which will be rolled out fleet-wide. Liberty shares the title of world's largest cruise ship with sister ship, Freedom of the Seas, which launched in May 2006.
From tots to teens to brides and wellness seekers, Royal Caribbean has kept all guests in mind when developing its original and enhanced programming.
For health and wellness enthusiasts, Royal Caribbean presents a completely revamped Vitality wellness program, promoting well-balanced healthy vacations through a variety of diverse fitness, spa, shore excursion and culinary offerings, including Tai Chi, acupuncture, wellness seminars and even a soothing signature scent.
Adventure Theater by Camp Broadway, New York City's famed children's theater group, introduces kids and teens to the theatrical arts by folding folktales, music, dance and cultural elements into the mix. Sure to be a hit among teen cruisers are the Scratch DJ 101 classes, where teens hone their turntable skills in sessions hosted by professionals from New York City's Scratch DJ Academy.
Royal Caribbean launches the Crown & Anchor Society Youth Program, the industry's first loyalty program designed for cruiser under the age of 18. Members will enjoy frequent cruiser rewards such as the Youth Ultimate Value Booklet, which includes puzzles, games, and special onboard offers to Ben & Jerry's, Challenger's Arcade, and Y-spa, the line's teen spa treatment menu.
The Build & Grow with Lowe's program and Chefs on Deck by Fisher-Price bring budding young builders and tomorrow's culinary super-stars together with their families to play, learn and grow while at sea.
Brides and grooms now have more distinctive settings in which to say "I do" with Explorer Weddings, an extreme extension of the line's existing Royal Romance wedding and vow renewal program, allowing thrill-seekers the option of tying the knot on an Alaskan glacier, in a hot-air balloon or on Liberty's FlowRider surf simulator, to name a few.
At 160,000 GRT with a capacity of 3,634 guests double-occupancy, Liberty of the Seas has emerged from Aker Yards in Finland with the popular, industry- first amenities seen on Freedom of the Seas, including the FlowRider, the H2O Zone water park, a full-size boxing ring and a 14-person family suite.
Liberty's 445 foot-long Royal Promenade will keep guests busy at one of the many restaurants, shops and lounges. From an Italian-style pizzeria, Sorrento's, to A Clean Shave men's barbershop and the Hoof & Claw pub -- cruisers have a wide variety of venues to visit and experience while onboard.
The On Air Club, the ship's karaoke venue, and the Art Deco-style Platinum Theatre (1,350 guests), home to dazzling new Broadway-style shows Ever After and Somewhere in Time, provide endless hours of entertainment.
In addition to the popular FlowRider, Royal Caribbean's active onboard amenities include an interactive sculpture garden, located in the H2O Zone water park. Both offer many ways to stay cool in the Caribbean sun. Cantilevered whirlpools suspended 112 feet above the ocean, located in Liberty's serene solarium, are an adults-only oasis flanked by a pool, hammocks and colorful art sculptures. For an indoor chill, the ice-skating rink, Centre Ice at Studio B, is open for lessons and free skating during the day and presents the spectacular original ice show Encore on Ice at night.
At 1,215 square feet, Liberty's Presidential Suite sleeps 14 people and features an 810-square foot outdoor living area with a Jacuzzi and private wet bar. The 588 square-foot Royal Family Suites include two bathrooms, a living area, and best of all, a 234 square-foot balcony to catch a breath a fresh air and enjoy a private meal. In addition, each stateroom onboard Liberty comes equipped with flat-paneled televisions and the line's plush bedding enhancements, an indulgence for all guests.
Sailing the Caribbean
Royal Caribbean's new Freedom-class ships will be joined by a third, Independence of the Seas, in 2008. Liberty will depart on Saturdays and Freedom on Sundays from Miami and will alternate between 7-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries. Both itineraries include a call at Royal Caribbean's private destination Labadee, Haiti. Liberty's Western Caribbean itinerary calls in Cozumel, Mexico; George Town, Cayman Islands; and Montego Bay, Jamaica. 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.