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Liberty of the Seas – Cruise Blog – Day 2 – Sea Day

It was day 2 of our cruise, and the Liberty of the Seas was making the 650-mile trek to Bermuda. We’d be at sea the whole day, so it’d give us a chance to explore everything to do on board. With the ship sailing at full capacity, I wondered if it would feel as crowded on day two as it did on day 1. Follow along below. 

Liberty of the Seas Bermuda Cruise – Day 2 Overview

Liberty of the Seas Bermuda Cruise – Cruise Compass

liberty of the seas bermuda cruise compass day 2 page 1
liberty of the seas bermuda cruise compass day 2 page 2
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A late start to the first sea day

I slept like a baby the first night, the gentle rock of the ship drifting me off for a perfect slumber. The Promenade-view interior cabin was pitch black. I had no idea what time it was or what was going on. Then, I heard a muffled communication from the hallway. 

It was hard to hear because the speaker systems are awful on the Liberty of the Seas, but the captain announced that it was an hour later because we switched time zones (Bermuda is one hour ahead of Eastern Standard Time Zone). I looked at my phone; it said 8:05, so it was 9:05, a bit later than I wanted to start my day.

Immediately, I was irked. Why was there no notification about this change yesterday? When I was on the Ovation of the Seas last year, they put papers on all our beds the night before letting us know about the change (follow that blog here). On top of that, the entertainment staff the time change clearly in the daily Cruise Compass. On the Liberty of the Seas, there was nothing. 

It would be an ongoing trend on this sailing; communication on this ship was not good. It started with this missing information. Then, later on, I noticed there were no printed versions of daily schedules called the Cruise Compass. Royal Caribbean has been moving to electronic versions, so that’s not surprising, but the stateroom attendant didn’t even ask us which we wanted. I went to Guest Services for a copy, but none were there. The only place to find a QR code to download the PDF of the Cruise Compass was in Guest Services (which is why these blogs will be missing them most days).

It wasn’t just the daily Cruise Compass that I was missing. Royal Caribbean used to put out a rundown of all the entertainment options of the cruise, showing when and where they’d happen. To find that on the Liberty of the Seas, you must go to Guest Services and scan a QR code. Also missing was the page that explains which Loyalty Program Offers I would receive for this sailing. While the app is handy, it is not a full replacement for these printouts. 

Liberty of the Seas shows its age

As I got ready in the morning, I noticed more and more how dated the Liberty of the Seas felt. The fluorescent lights would flicker as you turned them on. Corridors would be oddly hot and humid. In the hallways, you could see where guests would routinely put out luggage; it was a different color than the rest of the carpet.

hallway in liberty of the seas
Liberty of the Seas is due for an update. The carpet is dated and you can see spots where luggage sits before and after cruises on the sides of the hall. That being said, the ship was clean and still provided a great cruise.

I only point this out because I read a lot of feedback on how the ship is dated and needs an upgrade before we sailed, so I wanted to address it. While it does feel like it needs a little polish, you wouldn’t notice most of it unless you’ve been on the newer and bigger ships. It’s been maintained well and was generally very clean. If you like the itinerary or dates of a cruise on the Liberty of the Seas, don’t let it stop you, but also temper your expectations. Also, remember you get what you pay for. A cruise on this ship will generally cost much less than a newer ship. 

Breakfast at Windjammer

We headed up to the Windjammer for breakfast. Like yesterday, it was absolutely packed. The Liberty of the Seas only had two options for breakfast, the Windjammer and the Main Dining Room. With a completely full ship and everyone onboard on a sea day, the place was mobbed. 

windjammer buffet sign

Usually, I avoid the buffet on sea days altogether, but there wasn’t another option. On the newer Royal Caribbean ships, they offer a secondary buffet in the Solarium, and they open Johnny Rockets for free breakfast on the Oasis-class ships. Although Liberty of the Seas had a Johnny Rockets, they didn’t serve breakfast, so I had no choice. (Note: contrary to what you might hear on some videos on YouTube, only Oasis-class ships have a free breakfast at Johnny Rockets). 

Besides the crowd, the breakfast was great. The stations had lots of options. I absolute love their hashbrowns, crisp and crunchy every time. I also love their fresh donuts with dark chocolate frosting. I also loaded up on bacon, french toast, and eggs. You could choose scrambled eggs, a premade omelet, or a custom omelet. The omelet station always had a line but they’d give you a buzzer when to come back, which was a really nice touch.

Windy weather on the pool decks

The sun was out and thankfully, it wasn’t too hot. It was around 85 degrees and not overly humid. It’d be a nice day to be up on deck. After breakfast, we all met up by Splashaway Bay.

splashaway bay park on liberty of the seas
Splashaway Bay was more crowded today than yesterday, but still much less crowded than a waterpark at home.

The pool decks were full, much more crowded than the previous day. The main reason is that the crew had to close the upper levels because it was very windy. That meant everyone was crowded on the main pool level. We were able to find one chair to put all our stuff in so the kids could go play. 

Because most of the kids stayed in Splashaway Bay, the other two large pools on the main deck were pretty empty. The adults-only pool in the Solarium was also relatively empty, but guests had already claimed all the loungers and the hot tubs were at capacity.

liberty of the seas solarium pool
While all the loungers in the Solarium were taken, the pool had plenty of room.

Some people talk negatively about the bigger ships, like the Harmony of the Seas, saying they don’t want to sail with 6,000 other people, but I can tell you, when I sailed on it in November, it felt much less crowded than this ship. 

Liberty of the Seas sports decks

Around 11:30, the wind died down, and the crew started opening the upper levels. People immediately started moving upstairs, and suddenly, it felt so much less crowded.

The kids already had a couple of hours in the splash park, so now that the upper decks were open, we decided to take the older kids to the water slides on the back of the ship before lunch. 

sports area on liberty of the seas
You enter the sports area by taking a small stairwell by the FlowRider (Image courtesy of Royal Caribbean)

The layout of the sports area is a bit confusing. Royal Caribbean added parts of the area after the ship had been sailing for a few years, so they feel a bit tacked on. For example, to get to the water slides, which were added in 2016, you have to walk through the FlowRider area, almost like you’re getting on line. Similarly, one of the exits out of the area was closed off to allow for a Suite Deck. 

The lines for the Perfect Storm water slides were long, much longer than on day one. It took 25 minutes to go down the water slides. Like yesterday, the slides were slow. One guy exclaimed, “That was the slowest slide I’ve ever been on.” when he got off. Another said he stopped moving in the tube and had to scoot his way down. Apparently, what we experienced the previous day was not a fluke. 

Tip: If you want to go to a specific attraction on a cruise ship, go on day 1 when you board. It’ll be the shortest lines you’ll experience. We waited 1 minute the previous day for the slides. If you can’t manage that, go on a port day when people are off the ship for shorter lines.

Lunchtime madness

Lunch at the Windjammer was just as packed as breakfast. The buffet didn’t seem to be designed to handle this number of people. Rather than try to find tables for the kids, we grabbed food and brought it to the pool deck. Frustratingly, the Liberty of the Seas had lots of tables on the pool deck outside the Windjammer but no chairs. We ended up having to eat on the lounger we were using. Food was flying everywhere because of the high winds, but at least we had somewhere to sit. 

Adventure Ocean kids’ club in the afternoon

After lunch, the kids checked out Adventure Ocean, the kids’ club on Royal Caribbean ships. I’ve seen people post very negative things online about using the kids’ club. Comments like, “It’s a family vacation; you shouldn’t pass off your kids to a babysitter.” are everywhere. On this cruise, I saw how out of touch and judgmental those people are. 

The kids tried out Adventure Ocean on the first day and loved it. Each day was like camp for them, with new activities. They were actively asking to go back; the parents weren’t pushing it on them. The one exception was my 12-year-old niece. Unfortunately, the only other kids in her age range who went to the kids’ clubs were boys who just sat around and played video games. She felt out of place and didn’t return during the sailing.

Missed chance at ice skating 

For this cruise, I was excited to try ice skating. I’ve ice skated plenty of times, but something about doing it on a cruise ship excited me. Up until this point, though, I’ve never been able to. Either the ship didn’t offer ice skating sessions during my cruise, or it was scheduled when something else was happening. This time, I was hopeful, though.

people ice skating on a cruise ship
On sea days, you could ice skate in Studio B (if you were able to get a reservation)

This sailing would have open skate sessions on both sea days. Up until two weeks before the cruise, everything I saw said that you go to the sign-up session, and then they tell you when to return. There wasn’t anything that had to be done ahead of time.

Well, that changed for my sailing. I went into the app to see the time and saw that I was supposed to make reservations ahead of time. All the times for day two were taken. For day five, the only available times were during dinner. It was incredibly frustrating because it’s always been that reservations are only needed on Oasis- and Quantum-class ships. The older ships didn’t use a reservation system. Apparently, Royal Caribbean is changing that. It wouldn’t have been a big deal if they had communicated it better, but that was a problem on this cruise. 

Tip: Typically, you don’t need to reserve activities ahead of time on Liberty of the Seas. While Royal Caribbean’s Oasis-class and Quantum-class ships require online reservations for most shows and activities, the older ships have avoided this. But they switched ice skating to needing a reservation in the app for this sailing. Make sure to check the app as soon as you connect to the ship’s wifi on day 1. 

Pre-dinner drinks at R Bar

Before dinner, we decided to get some cocktails at R Bar, a small bar right next to the Deck 5 entrance to the main dining room. The bar was pretty empty during the day, but it’d be pretty busy during dinner time as people had the same idea as us, get a pre- or post-dinner drink. 

The first thing we noticed at R Bar is that Royal Caribbean finally brought back physical drink menus. During COVID, Royal Caribbean got rid of all the physical menus and used the QR code menus that everyone has come to hate. While Royal Caribbean got rid of all their other COVID precautions, for some reason, that one stuck. As recently as a few months prior, I was on a sailing without a single drink menu. It was incredibly frustrating as the app or QR menu is not the same experience. Thankfully, at least some of the venues on Liberty of the Seas had physical menus again.  

r bar on liberty of the seas
R Bar used to be a high-end martini bar. Now they offer the same menu as the rest of the ship.

R Bar used to be a specialty bar with high-end cocktails and martinis. That seems to have gone by the wayside, and now the bar uses the same fleet-wide bar menu as most other Royal Caribbean bars. As someone who enjoys new and interesting drinks, Royal Caribbean’s lack of creativity and menu diversity on their ships is disappointing. I was just on the Carnival Celebration, and almost every bar had a unique menu with creative cocktails (see Carnival’s bar menus). On Liberty of the Seas, most places had the same stuff. 

That being said, there were a few nice options on the menu. I ordered the Cool as a Cucumber, a cocktail made with Bombay Sapphire Gin, St-Germain liquor, lemon juice, simple syrup, and served with muddled cucumber. It was well-balanced and refreshing and a perfect pre-dinner drink. The bartenders here were super efficient and cranking out the drinks at top speed. 

You can see most of the Royal Caribbean bar menus at the link below.

Formal Night in the Main Dining Room

Tonight was Formal Night for dinner in the main dining room. On other Royal Caribbean ships, I’ve seen it referred to as “Elegant Night” or “Dress your Best” night, but it’s pretty much the same thing. In the old days, people wore ball gowns and tuxedos. That tradition has faded over the years, and it’s a much more loose definition now.

Royal Caribbean describes the dress code as “break out your best black-tie look — suits and ties, tuxedos, cocktail dresses or evening gowns. Formal white attire is also appropriate.” I can tell you I did not see a single tuxedo on this cruise. 

Our family debated what level of dress we wanted for the evening dinners. In my experience, shorter cruises have an even more casual feel, so we didn’t go to the trouble of getting very dressy. I wore dress pants and a button-down shirt and didn’t feel under or overdressed. 

Tip: If you’re going on a Royal Caribbean cruise and are unsure what to wear on formal night, don’t stress. People will be in all types of attire, and few will judge you. I strongly suggest avoiding shorts and t-shirts on this night, but otherwise, don’t stress out. If dressing up is not your style, you can also try the Windjammer buffet for dinner instead.

Formal Night used to have elevated cuisine on the menu. Now on shorter sailings like this, there’s no lobster, and the food isn’t much different. The menu this evening was their “French Night” menu (for cruises 7+ days, Formal Night will have the Royal Night menu. You can see all the menus here). 

french night menu on royal caribbean
Because this was a short sailing, we didn’t get the Formal Night menu, and instead got the French Menu.

I started with their French Onion Soup. It used to be a staple that was available every day on their old menu. Now it’s only available a few times, but I always enjoy it. I also tried the buttermilk calamari but found them to be a bit rubbery. For my entree, I got the herb-crusted salmon which was delicious and cooked perfectly. I finished the meal with the warm apple cobbler, one of the best desserts I had on the ship. 

crusted salmon
The herb-crusted salmon was delicious, but the amount of vegetables they give you is a joke.

Overall, dinner took about an hour and a half. The wait service was outstanding again. My family was quickly spoiled by them remembering their favorite drinks and having them ready as we arrived. 

Gambling in Casino Royale

After dinner, we went down to check out Casino Royale. At this point in the cruise, I hadn’t even seen the casino yet. Unlike Carnival, which practically forces you to walk through the casino to get through most of their ships, Royal Caribbean does an excellent job of putting it out of the way but easily accessible.

casino royale promenade entrance
You can easily get to the middle of the casino by using the stairs in the middle of the Royal Promenade.

The easiest way to get to the casino is a dedicated stairwell in the Royal Promenade down to Deck 4. That’ll put you right in the middle of all the action. The casino is well laid out and not too much of a labyrinth. It was easy to get a feel for where things were and how to get in and out. In the middle was a large bar that rarely had a long line, and circulating servers were taking orders as well (don’t expect free drinks in the casino unless you drop a lot of money.)

casino bar on liberty of the seas
The casino bar on Liberty of the Seas was big and rarely had a wait.

On Liberty of the Seas, the casino technically had smoking and non-smoking sections. The circulation wasn’t as good as the newer ships, and the smell of stale cigarettes often hung in the air. The smoking and non-smoking section had no physical barriers and little space between them. At one point, I was on a slot machine in the non-smoking section, and there was someone just a few feet away in the smoking section, her smoke drifting right to me.

It wasn’t the most smokey casino I’ve experienced at sea, but it was far worse than the newer ships. How it feels can also depend on when you go to the casino and how many smokers are on your sailing. 

Movies under the stars

After some time at the casino, we decided to watch a movie on the big screen under the pool deck. For years, this screen was broken on Liberty of the Seas, but thankfully they fixed it a month before our sailing.

While many ships offer outdoor movies, in all my cruises, I’ve never tried one. Either the schedule didn’t work, the weather was bad, or they weren’t showing any good movies. Thankfully, according to the Royal Caribbean app, they were going to show “Jurassic Park (1993).” That’s such a great movie with impressive visuals and a stunning soundtrack that would be perfect outside. I finally had my shot to watch a movie under the stars, and I convinced several others in the group to join me.

jurassic world on cruise ship
The night was perfect for a movie, in this case Jurassic World.

We brought some wine up to the deck and grabbed some loungers facing the screen. People also found seats in one of the pools and two hot tubs under the screen (the other pool was closed for the night.) The air was cool, and the humidity was almost non-existent. A soft sea breeze blew across the deck. Thankfully I brought a pool towel from my room to use as a blanket.

The movie started, and I was immediately disappointed. Instead of being greeted by the Stephen Spielberg masterpiece with a legendary score by John Williams, it was Chris Pratt’s Jurassic World from 2015. While that movie wasn’t horrible, it wasn’t what was in the app. I wouldn’t have gone to that, but we were already there, so we sat through it.

The acoustics and screen were really good, and people seemed to enjoy it from the pool and hot tub. About halfway through, at 10 pm, the lifeguards closed the pool, so people had to move to the hot tubs or chairs. It’s poorly planned to do that in the middle of a movie.

Tip: If you’re watching a movie, bring some snacks. Royal Caribbean doesn’t have any popcorn or any other food available, and the nearest restaurant, the Windjammer Buffet, is usually closed at that point in the night. I went down to Deck 5 to grab some pizza from Sorrento’s and cookies and sandwiches from Cafe Promenade. 

70’s Promenade Party from the room 

By the time the movie ended, I was pretty tired. It’d been a long day with lots of sun, food, and drinks. The entertainment staff was holding the 70’s Disco Inferno Street Party in the Royal Promenade. Since I had a promenade view room, I figured I could see it from there.

promenade view cabin view for 70s disco
The 70’s Disco Promenade Party was well attended, but the view from the interior cabins wasn’t great.

My cabin was on Deck 8, the topmost promenade view room. From my room, the angle was too steep to see much. The Royal Promenade had a good crowd, with the entertainment staff leading the singing and dancing. The Liberty of the Seas has a large walkway/bridge that comes down from the ceiling with the performers on it and acts as a stage. It was impressive and much better than the makeshift stages they set up on the Oasis-class ships.

The party wrapped up, and I was ready for bed. We were arriving in Bermuda first thing in the morning, so I wanted to make sure I was well-rested for the adventures there. 

Follow along on the rest of our Liberty of the Seas cruise

Liberty of the Seas – Cruise Blog - Day 1 – Bayonne

Liberty of the Seas – Cruise Blog - Day 2 – Sea Day

Liberty of the Seas – Cruise Blog - Day 3 – Bermuda

Liberty of the Seas – Cruise Blog - Day 4 – Bermuda Still

Liberty of the Seas – Cruise Blog - Day 5 – Final Sea Day

5 Hits and Misses on Royal Caribbean Liberty of the Seas

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Randy Young

Randy Young is the founder and editor-in-chief at Cruise Spotlight. He has been in marketing for 19 years and has been cruising for just as long. Over the years, he's worked with products like TVs, copiers, light bulbs, and EV chargers, but cruising has always been his passion. There's nothing Randy likes more than the first couple of hours on a ship, exploring every nook and cranny and seeing how it's different from everything else out there. He's known for providing detailed and analytical coverage of cruising to help cruisers get a comprehensive picture of a ship's offerings.