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MARKYEVANS

freedom sneak preview

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hi - I spent one night onboard in Southampton for a sneak preview, and was very impressed having sailed on Voyager last June.

 

The colour scheme is more understated and the children's area is much bigger, but my favourite new feature is the boxing ring inside a gym area that's much larger than before.

 

The pizza parlour is good - and it's right opposite a barber's where you can get an onboard shave in the lengthened Royal Promenade.

 

If you've any questions, post a reply.

 

Mark, Dublin

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Hi - I'll post up some shots over the weekend. Sorry, I didn't get to see the Presidential Suite but I went just about everywhere else. Our stateroom was #7690 on the starboard side. The adjoining rooms were empty, so we were able to slide the interconnecting deck doors and walk along most of that side of the ship.

 

The FlowRider looked good - but even the Freedom fitness staff were having trouble staying upright! Many things are similar to Voyager, but the decor is more "European" - the Voyager class sports bar has been replaced by a New England-type dark wood bar with vintages of wine on the walls. Next door is the Ben & Jerrys parlour. There's a bookstore on the Royal Promenade too, right beside the Seattles Best coffee franchise.

 

If you have children, the Adventure Ocean section is much bigger - with a bank of computers that looked ready for online gaming. The dining rooms are similar in layout to Voyager's, but the colours are more muted. The crypt nightclub is quite large, and the casino has been extended too.

 

As I was due back to work in the newspaper here in Dublin, I only got a rushed tour. Having said that, the stateroom beds are much comfier and the flat screen TVs didn't break down, as has been the case in the past with older models. Ship-wise, if you've travelled on Voyager-class you'll have no trouble finding your way around as it's quite similar but elongated.

 

If I can help with other questions, drop a request.

 

Regards, Mark

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Did they have the specialty restaurants open for sampling? If so, which one do you recommend trying? And did they give you any (pre) inaugural momentos of the ship?

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Hi, Never got to Portofino, but the cookies and desserts in the Seattles Best franchise are good. The pizza parlour pies are similar to the free ones you get on other Voyager-class ships.

 

The media got nice momentos - a limted edition (100 in all) print.

 

The main dining room is slightly different - the lowest level is in shades of claret, while the remaining too are the standard magnolia shade.

 

Forgot to mention that the lower level music stage and bar are quite different. The carpet's in orange-print shades and is straight out of the Brady Bunch school of interior design

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"Forgot to mention that the lower level music stage and bar are quite different. The carpet's in orange-print shades and is straight out of the Brady Bunch school of interior design"

 

I love actual opinions on the decor. Your phrase and description enabled me to envision it perfectly LOL

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ive been on the explorer, adventure, navigator, and mariner...just wanted to know if i'd notice a difference (for the most part) and if you rate it higher than the voyager class ships or not? how much bigger would u say it feels? thanks.

-Jordan

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Were Sorrento's and Johnny Rockets open?

Did you get any other souvenirs?

Were all the stores open? Could you actually shop?

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sorry, very little was open - they were still painting the h20 and solarium areas when we were onboard it's very similar in layout to Voyager, but stretched. The Royal Promenade is definitely nicer. My wife's only complaint was that the bars were very smokey - as the preview day

was full of Europeans. As with Voyager, you can puff away inside the bars, but not outside. Just like Voyager, there's a nice vintage car parked outside the main bar. Champagne bar is the same size, but the gym area is much bigger as are the children's facilities.

 

The boxing ring is a must-see though. The main guy there hails from Ireland too, and said couples can do a sparring workout for an extra fee (but not against each other!)

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Thanks for your reply. I was so wrapped up in awaiting her arrival and Christening in NY (on TV), I forgot I asked a question here a couple of days back...lol. I am hoping she will be in the best "ready" shape (and maybe more things will be open) by the time I get to preview her, as they will be only a few days away from the paying client sailings. Maybe I will be able to post something more, when I return at the end of May.....

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Ya know, it seems like with 16 bars they could make the ones on the Promenade non-smoking! Smokers totally ruin the experience of the wine bar. You can't fully appreciate the delicate nuances of wine when there's smoke in a room. Though I didn't enjoy my Princess cruise as much as RCCL, they are MUCH better about smoke. None is allowed in areas where the public must pass through. That means, a smokefree atrium, piano bar, etc. SO mush nicer.With entire countries going smoke free, you would think RCCL would make the family friendly Promenade a healthy, smokefree environment. I have written to them about it, I suggest others do the same.

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