This may have been our tenth cruise (for our tenth wedding anniversary) but it was our first cruise with Royal Caribbean. Previously, we have sailed with Carnival, Norwegian, and Princess. Most of those sailings have been with Carnival. We have liked different things about each cruise line and we were definitely excited to give Royal Caribbean a try!
This cruise was going to be on Royal Caribbean’s Liberty of the Seas out of Galveston, TX. If you have sailed much, you know that cruise lines divide their ships into “classes.” The Liberty of the Seas is part of the Freedom class and has been sailing since May 2007. She has 15 decks and can carry 3,634 passengers and 1,360 crew. In 2007, the Liberty of the Seas and her sister ship the Freedom of the Seas were the largest cruise ships ever built. They are like floating cities.
The first time I ever saw a cruise ship up close, I was amazed. It still baffles me how they can even float! Our first ever cruise was on the Carnival Ecstasy. I was completely blown away by the size of that ship but it is actually one of the smallest ships in the fleet! It is also one of the oldest. (It launched in 1991) In fact, Royal Caribbean’s Liberty of the Seas can carry exactly 1,000 more passengers and 440 additional crew members than the Carnival Ecstasy. (*Side note: Carnival also has very large ships too.)
After our awesome stay in Galveston, our VRBO host took us to the cruise ship terminal to board.
*You can read about our AWESOME VRBO stay at the Kwik Kabana and our fun on Galveston Island here:
We were told that upon entering the cruise ship terminal we were going to have to wait a few hours before we would be allowed to board the ship. The Man
who was hangry and quite impatient at the time decided to try to find something decent to eat from the vending machine even though I told him he should just wait. After much deliberation, he decided to buy a little package of cookies. As soon as he got the cookies out of the machine, they called our number to board. I told him so. There he was, boarding an all-you-can-eat cruise ship with his little package of over-priced cookies!
On the outside, the Liberty of the Seas reminded us of the other ships we have been on. For the most part, they are all very similar. However, the inside was VERY different. We LOVED how the promenade deck was an open three stories down the center of the ship. It reminded me of what it might be like to stroll down a cozy street in a cute European town.
Isn’t this beautiful?
True to tradition, the first thing we did when we got on board was eat. After all, you almost always board around lunch time! As soon as you board, the buffet is always open and waiting for you. The buffet is on the aft of the Liberty of the Seas and it’s completely surrounded by floor to ceiling windows. It’s absolutely gorgeous. Barbecue chicken, roasted vegetables, mac and cheese with a view of Galveston Island? That makes for a perfect start to an awesome trip.
After we had lunch, it was time for muster station drills. Now, there’s just something fun about muster station drills. In case you don’t know, this is the time that they explain to you what to do in an emergency. Like where to meet, how to board the life boats, and where to pick up your children if you leave them in child care. These instructions must be taken seriously and I always make sure I pay attention. But the fun part to me is that it’s a reminder that we are about to embark on an adventure!
Just a quick FYI here: Some people wear their swim suits under their clothes on boarding day so they will be ready to jump in the pool as soon as they get on the ship. If you do that, please don’t wear your wet swim suit to your muster station drill. You will be asked to go put your clothes back on.
I won’t roll my eyes or mention that this was done by unsupervised teenagers.
We had it planned that if we went straight for the pizza place after muster station drills then we could beat the rush. You’ve never seen two adults and a baby get to a pizza place faster! And we were right. We beat the rush. Victory!
The pizza place on the Liberty of the Seas is amazing. Now, the pizza was just as wonderful as the pizza we’ve had on all the other cruise lines, but the difference was in the atmosphere. Royal Caribbean knows how to design an awesome pizza place!
I felt like I was sitting in a little, local pizza joint.
One of my favorite things about cruising are the people we meet. Well, while we were eating our pizza, we were sitting beside several tables of people with the same colored shirts on. As it turned out, it was a group of 30 family members all traveling together from Mexico! They ran a funeral home in central Mexico (which explains why the back of the grandfather’s shirt said, “I see dead people.”😂)
Before we knew it, our stateroom was ready and we were headed over there to settle in. Previously, the Liberty of the Seas had a jogging track on one of the upper decks that went the full length of the ship. However, they enclosed the part of the track that went around the spa area and made it into brand new cabins. Our cabin was one of those and it was gorgeous! We loved how we could walk just a few feet out of our cabin and be outside on an upper deck.
We spent the rest of the afternoon exploring the ship. Then, before we knew it, it was time for dinner in the dining room…
…and an Eagles game on the big screen by the pool.
To end the afternoon, we watched the Welcome Aboard Parade on the Promenade deck.
Around 8 p.m. each evening, I would change the baby and get her dressed for bed. Then, I would wear her in my front pack baby carrier while she slept.
My carrier is like this one:
When we cruise, The Man and I like to stay up late. I knew before we left that I was going to need a game plan so the baby could sleep while we stayed up until midnight each night. At that time, she was only 12 months old and she liked to go to bed around 8 p.m. There was no way I was going to go to bed at 8 p.m. each evening so I thought wearing her in the baby carrier would work out great… and I was right!
Tiny LOVED being carried for hours each evening. And I loved being able to hold her close and still enjoy the ship.
Wow! After typing this all out, I feel like we did so much and this was just boarding day!
In case you missed the first two stories of this trip, you can catch up here: