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GMoney

Live from Freedom OTS

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Can't do a long post b/c the internet connection speed is so poor, but Freedom is unbelievable. I was expecting a glorified Voyager, but the ship has really exceeded my expectations. Very impressed with new bedding, gym and Flowrider. Extra width and length of the ship make a big difference. Diamond and D+ folks - you will all love the new Diamond Club. We had fireworks for our Bayonne sailaway. Will post more details on Monday. Back to open bar! Hats off to RCI! :D

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Can't do a long post b/c the internet connection speed is so poor, but Freedom is unbelievable. I was expecting a glorified Voyager, but the ship has really exceeded my expectations. Very impressed with new bedding, gym and Flowrider. Extra width and length of the ship make a big difference. Diamond and D+ folks - you will all love the new Diamond Club. We had fireworks for our Bayonne sailaway. Will post more details on Monday. Back to open bar! Hats off to RCI! :D

 

Hey, the first real complaint about the ship, slow internet connection..:D

Go ahead, rub it in our faces how lucky you are. :rolleyes:

Just kidding, I am totally jealous. :o

Thanks for the post.

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Can't do a long post b/c the internet connection speed is so poor, but Freedom is unbelievable. I was expecting a glorified Voyager, but the ship has really exceeded my expectations. ....

Back to open bar! Hats off to RCI! :D

 

Oh Patrick,

You are a real sport for checking in. Didn't think the anticipation could be any greater, but you have managed to build even more excitement!

 

Have a fantastic time! Bloody Mary's are the best "hair of the dog" in the morning. Be sure to have one, extra spicey...just like me! :)

 

Tracy

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:) PATRICK!!!!!!!!!! We will all be sitting here, glued to our computers, until your next post! :)

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Can't do a long post b/c the internet connection speed is so poor, but Freedom is unbelievable. I was expecting a glorified Voyager, but the ship has really exceeded my expectations. Very impressed with new bedding, gym and Flowrider. Extra width and length of the ship make a big difference. Diamond and D+ folks - you will all love the new Diamond Club. We had fireworks for our Bayonne sailaway. Will post more details on Monday. Back to open bar! Hats off to RCI! :D

 

Glad to hear your comments about Freedom being more than a glorified Voyager class.. to tell the truth from the pictures I have seen those were my thoughts as well having sailed Navigator and Mariner ... but photos can be deceiving ... I was thinking that those who have not experienced Voyager class will get the most WOW out of Freedom,... glad to hear that I will also :)

 

curious about the tendering/docking issue for Coz... any rumours as to what it will be?

 

Thanks for taking the time to post..and ENJOY!

 

Emmy

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Thanks for your post! I am envious. I am sure that the folks over on the Freedom Frenzy board would love to hear from you. Remember to take LOTS of pictures!

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Hey GMoney,

 

We will be on Freedom this Friday out of Boston. We can hardly wait. Tell me what I can expect. Also, tell me about the dress. In my letter we have 2 business casual days and for the evening we have one black tie and one resort casual. What is everyone wearing on resort casual night?

 

thanks

 

Wayne

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Can't do a long post b/c the internet connection speed is so poor, but Freedom is unbelievable. I was expecting a glorified Voyager, but the ship has really exceeded my expectations. Very impressed with new bedding, gym and Flowrider. Extra width and length of the ship make a big difference. Diamond and D+ folks - you will all love the new Diamond Club. We had fireworks for our Bayonne sailaway. Will post more details on Monday. Back to open bar! Hats off to RCI! :D

 

Sounds great! Looking forward to a full review!

 

Nick

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Again, I can only give a quick updated b/c the internet connection is realy bad. We are all here on Deck 8 complaining! :D But that's really the only negative on the ship, and I can't complain too much b/c there's no charge for the internet...

 

Today we sailed down the east coast to about Norfolk before turning back. Weather was great - 65 and sunny. Richard Fain actually rode the Flowrider. Jon Secada was tonight's entertainment; he was very impressive. I posted some other tidbits of info about RCI in general in separate posts to keep the comments sorted out. I was surprised this thread wasn't moved to Freedom Frenzy. :) I will post other general comments from RCI execs about west coast departure ports, possible smoking rules changes (:eek: ), possible third private destination and other items. New parade is circus themed and very good.

 

Muscleman - Our cruise is only 2 nites, resort and business. I wore khakis, jacket and tie for business. Resort casual was basically casual, as we had all just boarded, many after long days of travel. I'm sure whatever you have planned will be fine.

 

I will post more details tomorrow when I get home. Bottom line - the ship is worth it.

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Patrick, if you get a chance, can you ask why RCI doesn't have a ship sailing from Galveston 12/17/07? Voyager doesn't arrive until the next week and the Rhapsody heads to New Orleans for 1st sailing on 12/17. Leaves a big hole!

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Open Bar??? Wish that was a perk that was going to continue! LOL.:D Do you think we need 14 days instead of 7???? I can't wait for the Freedom to rid of her bugs in time for our cruising her in Jan '07

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I can't wait to hear about the smoking changes and the third possible private destination.

 

That has my big pink ears perked up to. I can't wait until he posts that new information. It should make for interesting reading. ;)

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I was surprised this thread wasn't moved to Freedom Frenzy. :)

 

Well, it's here now! LOL I'll be checking in here religiously!

T

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Wow, smoking changes? I wish! The Promenade clubs should be smokefree! About the gym, do they have any arc trainers? How about monitors over the machines, or do they just blast tecno music all the time? (grrr) Are there any changes to the jogging path? Are chairs still allowed there? Does the pool really allow lap swimming and how long are the lanes? I'm more an athlete and dancer than a casino person.

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OK, sorry for the delay with the follow-up post. While on Freedom, I attended a separate meetings that RCI sponsored for TAs (which I'm not) and D+ members (which I am). There were Q&A sessions as a part of each meeting. Below are some of the highlights, which I have paraphrased.

 

+ RCI is really working hard to continue to build their relationship with TAs. They showcased their recent advertising which encourages consumers to use TAs, declared TA appreciation month (back in April, I think) with a big sign on their MIA building, and even ran a plane with a sign saying RCI supports TAs in Florida.

 

+ Richard Fain stated they considered turning the comp pre-inaugural cruises into revenue cruises but chose not to given the goodwill and opportunity they provide.

 

+ This summer, TAs will have enhanced online tools to select dining table sizes and link groups together for dining, but will still not have the ability to select specific tables.

 

+ RCI is also introducing new email / online tools to streamline group bookings, in an effort to get away from the current process of faxing.

 

+ There are no specific plans to stretch another ship (similar to Enchantment), but if there were, Grandeur would be the next logical choice, and that may happen in 2008.

 

+ Adam Goldstein seemed particularly pleased with the # of ships RCI will have in Europe in 2007, the fact that the newly-announced Legend 12 night Med cruises will stop in Alexandria, Egypt, and that the Explorer is now year-round in Bayonne.

 

+ TAs spoke up encouraging departures from Mobile, Charleston and the west coast. There seemed to be a lot of energy for Mobile, but it sounds like that may depend upon rebuilding in the area and overall demand.

 

+ Goldstein stated the company was closely watching the August ballot initiative in Alaska that would introduce siginificant taxes on cruise ships and their passengers, and that the outcome of this initiative would influence how RCI handles future Alaskan itineraries.

 

+ As far as additional west coast departures, Goldstein said that the company was looking at them closely, and that they were strategically important to RCI, but it boiled down to having sufficient ships to cover all of their itineraries.

 

+ Goldstein does not expect changes to the Jones / Passenger Services Act anytime soon, stating that the Act was really meant more to protect cargo interests for cruising, and that shipping interests continue to support that Act.

 

+ Goldstein stated that in general, RCI's philosophy is to add concierge lounges to those ships that do not already have them, but there are no specific plans or timetables for those additions.

 

+ When asked about the possibility of having blocks of rooms on each ship declared non-smoking, Goldstein cited the recent failed Carnival experiment (on the Paradise, I believe) and the fact that it really impaired Carnival's ability to book groups on that ship. He stated the smoking issue was a subject of internal debate and they had not yet reached any kind of consensus on it. The sense I got was that they do not want to do anything that may impact their bottom line and the smoking policy is not likely to change anytime soon.

 

+ Goldstein also stated that a possible third private destination was possible within the next 5 years, and that such a destination would not necessarily be Caribbean-based (citing the newly restored Icy Strait Point in Alaska as an example). He stated that the key to any destination was the need for it to serve as a port of call for multiple ships on a regular basis in order for it to be economically viable.

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Thanks for the update Patrick! Sounds like we'll still have to wait awhile untill there's any news about the West Coast....oh well, someday....

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