Cruises are rarely about the destinations traveled to, since much of the experience entails life onboard the ship.
So to that end, it makes sense to look into the various amenities and activities available on the ships when it comes to deciding what cruise to go on next.
In this article, we’ll be directly comparing two Royal Caribbean cruise ships, namely the Liberty of the Seas, and the Freedom of the Seas.
And without further ado, let’s get straight to it.
The Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas is the oldest of these sister ships, having been built in 2006, while the Liberty of the Seas was built a year later. But both of them have, of course, been renovated since.
We’re the first to admit that these two luxury cruise ships have a lot in common, but there are some notable differences between the two that we will break down in the remainder of the article.
Size Of The Ship
The two ships are incredibly similar in both size and layout. And to put it into perspective, it’s fair to say that each cruise ship is approximately the length of 3.1 football fields, and is as tall as a 14-story building.
Occupancy And Space Ratio
The Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas and the Liberty of the Seas can hold about the same number of occupants, coming in at 3,798 for Liberty and 3,934 for Freedom.
Similarly, the two ships have the same length, width, and number of passenger desks. And Freedom has slightly more crew members than does Liberty.
Cruise ships also provide a metric called “space ratio”, which, as the name suggests, describes the amount of space available per passenger.
Basically, the greater this ratio is, the more spacious the ship is likely to feel, and the less crowded it will feel.
The space ratio, which is measured by tons of ships per passenger, comes in at 41 for Liberty and 40 for Freedom. So there is a slight difference there, but again the two ships are very similar in this regard.
It turns out that the two ships are remarkably similar when it comes to on-board activities.
The large majority of the activities available on board are covered by the cost of your cruise, but you should make note that some activities come with an additional charge.
Here’s a quick table of the on-board activities on each ship.
|Activities Available||Freedom of the Seas||Liberty of the Seas|
|Shows||Included in Cost||Included in Cost|
|Water Slides & Splash Park||Included in Cost||Included in Cost|
|Mini Golf||Included in Cost||Included in Cost|
|Basketball||Included in Cost||Included in Cost|
|Ice Skating||Included in Cost||Included in Cost|
|Laser Tag||Included in Cost||Included in Cost|
|Poolside movies||Included in Cost||Included in Cost|
|FlowRider||Included in Cost||Included in Cost|
|Climbing Wall||Included in Cost||Included in Cost|
|Spa||Available at an additional Charge||Available at an additional Charge|
|Casino||Available at an additional Charge||Available at an additional Charge|
|Arcade||Available at an additional Charge||Available at an additional Charge|
|Fitness Center||Included in Cost||Included in Cost|
Restaurants And Cafés
The food is one of the main attractions in any luxury cruise. If you wish, you can attend only prepaid restaurants covered by your cruise tickets. Or alternatively, you can visit other establishments for an additional fee.
These could be for a flat fee or à la carte.
The Freedom of the Seas has the most dining venues, coming in at a total of 18, but Liberty is only two less at 16. But between the two there is an even split of included restaurants and ones with an additional fee.
Overall, it’s safe to say that the Freedom of the Seas has more variety to offer its guests than the Liberty of the Seas.
Here’s a table of the various dining establishments available on the two ships:
|Dining Establishments||Type of Food||Cost||Liberty of the Seas||Freedom of the Seas|
|Café Promenade||Café||Included in Cost||Present||Present|
|Main dining room||Main dining room||Included in Cost||Present||Present|
|Sorrento’s pizza||pizza||Included in Cost||Present||Present|
|Windjammer||buffet||Included in Cost||Present||Present|
|Chef’s Table||Foodie||Flat Fee||Present||Present|
|Chops Grille||Steakhouse||Flat Fee||Present||Present|
|Giovanni’s Table||Italian||Flat Fee||Present||Missing|
|Johnny Rockets||American||Flat Fee||Present||Present|
|Ben and Jerry’s||dessert||A la cart||Present||Present|
|Cupcake Cupboard||dessert||A la cart||Present||Present|
|vintages wine bar||Bar Food||A la cart||Present||Present|
|Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar||Italian||Flat Fee||Missing||Present|
|Izumi Hibachi & Sushi||Asian||A la cart||Missing||Present|
|El Loco Fresh||Mexican||Included in Cost||Missing||Present|
|Playmakers||Bar Food||A la cart||Missing||Present|
Pools And Hot Tubs
The Royal Caribbean Liberty of the Seas has the same number of pools as the Freedom of the Seas, coming in at a total of 3 pools.
On both ships, there are two general access pools, and one pool that’s strictly adults only. Neither ship has an exclusive pool.
Hot tubs are a different story however, whereas the Freedom of the Seas has just 5 hot tubs, the Liberty of the Seas has two more, coming in at 7.
More specifically, the Liberty of the Seas has 5 general access hot tubs, whereas the Freedom of the Seas has just 3 general access hot tubs.
That said, however, both ships have two count adults only hot tubs, and neither has any exclusive hot tubs.
This means that on both ships, you are able to enjoy pools and hot tubs without having to worry about kids splashing you.
Cruise Price Comparison
It’s not generally a case of one of these cruise ships being necessarily more expensive or more affordable than the other.
The cost of a cruise depends on a wide variety of factors, including the time of year, the departure points, the destinations, and more. Plus, the price can change over time.
As a general rule, however, it’s fair to say that both ships can normally cost anywhere between $100 per guest per night, and $350 per person per night.
Costs Once Onboard
Another thing to consider is how much money you’d be likely to spend on board each day.
For instance, on occasion you may wish to try out dining somewhere other than the establishments included in the cost of your cruise, such as the flat fee or à la carte restaurants.
Similarly, you can expect to pay extra for certain activities, such as the arcade or casino.
A standard cabin incurs a daily gratuities fee, which is less than $20 per person. And any tips towards drinks and services are automatically included at a rate of 18%.
You may also be interested in sodas, domestic beers, or one of the available drink packages, which tend to range from about $60 to $100.
There are also internet plans available at different rates per device per day.
It’s also important to note at this point that Royal Caribbean cruise ships operate dynamic pricing, which means that the price of various amenities can and does change during your cruise.
It’s only the 18% tips and the standard cabin daily gratuity fee that will remain the same throughout the cruise, while the price of everything else is subject to change.
The onboard costs are identical for both the Liberty of the Seas and the Freedom of the Seas.
So, to summarize, the two cruise ships have very much in common, including their size, the number of passengers allowed, the range of activities, the number of pools available, the number of adult only pools and hot tubs, the onboard costs, including tips, and many of the same restaurants.
In fact, the two cruise ships have so much in common with one another that it’s actually quite hard to pick out any key differences.
But there are some key differences however, for instance, the Freedom of the Seas has more dining establishments to offer its guests than does the Liberty of the Seas. Similarly, Freedom of the Seas has 2 more hot tubs than the Liberty of the Seas.
And finally, the Liberty of the Seas has more space available per passenger than does the Freedom of the Seas.
So while the two luxury cruise ships are both of excellent quality and have a fantastic array of entertainment and activities on board, it could be argued that the Freedom of the Seas has the edge over the Liberty of the Seas, since it has both more dining establishments and more hot tubs to enjoy.
We hope that this article has helped you towards planning your next cruise.
But whether you decide to go with the Freedom of the Seas or the Liberty of the Seas, rest assured that you’re sure to have an amazing time with a Royal Caribbean cruise.
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