MIAMI, May 18 — With a dramatic smash of the champagne bottle against its brand new hull, Royal Caribbean International’s 21st cruise ship, Liberty of the Seas, was officially named by travel agent godmother Donnalea Madeley today at the Port of Miami. The naming ceremony included performances by the Miami Children’s Chorus, blessings by Rabbi Terry Bookman and Pastor Sverre Tofte, as well as remarks and a tribute by Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Chairman and CEO, Richard Fain. Performing the prestigious role often reserved for dignitaries and celebrities, Donnalea Madeley is the first travel agent to be the godmother of a Royal Caribbean ship. Ms. Madeley, of Ontario-based Marlin Travel, was selected from among nearly 2,500 nominations of exemplary women travel agents who have demonstrated dedication to philanthropy and service in their communities.
Holding the dual-title of world’s largest cruise ship along with sister ship, Freedom of the Seas, Liberty is the first Royal Caribbean ship to showcase the line’s enhanced onboard programming in the wellness, family and teen, and weddings arenas–implemented to give all guests more onboard options and activities.
“We have listened to guest feedback and with the launch of Liberty of the Seas, we are proud to introduce new and enhanced onboard programs to give vacationers even more choices when cruising on our ships,” said Adam Goldstein, president, Royal Caribbean International. “Our new programming will be rolled out fleet-wide this year, giving people even more reasons to book a Royal Caribbean cruise vacation.”
Liberty features cruise industry innovations such as the FlowRiderÃ‚Â® surf simulator, the Powerbox boxing ring, the H2O Zone water park and the Royal Promenade entertainment boulevard, as well as the new programming, which includes Explorer Weddings, for couples looking to tie the knot in extreme style; the Vitality wellness program, promoting a healthier vacation with new, well-balanced fitness, spa, shore excursions and culinary choices; and new family programming, for children and teens.
At 160,000 gross registered tons, and a capacity of 3,634 guests (double- occupancy), Liberty of the Seas was built by Aker Yards, Finland, over the course of two years. Having just completed preview sailings from Southampton, England, Cape Liberty Cruise Port in Bayonne, New Jersey, and the Port of Miami, she sets sail on her maiden Caribbean voyage tomorrow from Miami, and will continue to depart on Saturdays, with her sister ship, Freedom of the Seas, departing on Sundays. The two sister ships 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.
The two Freedom-class ships will be joined by a third, Independence of the Seas, when she debuts in Europe in May 2008. She will sail from the United Kingdom during her premier season and will be the largest ship home-ported in Europe. For additional information or to make reservations, call your travel agent, visit www.royalcaribbean.com or call (800) 327-6700.