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Gypsea

Had my TA two nighter on Freedom

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On Tuesday I was fortunate enough to sail Freedom for a sneak peek. Usually I'm not a fan of the massive ships but this one is pretty special. There is so much to see that I didn't get everywhere. I did spend quite awhile watching people on the Flowboard and that looks really fun. It's not for the faint of heart but everyone seemed to survive in one piece. Lightweights seem to get thrown around a bit and very heavy folks may want to avoid it for the opposite reason. Still it will provide hours of fun on each trip.

 

There is a massive arcade for the kids and adult kids. The H20zone is another huge kid diversion. The Living Room for 15-17 yo's is a private place for that age. The little 3-5's have a nice area with a bank of computers and various age appropriate diversions. Of course, the ages in between have two other areas so everyone is hanging with kids their own age. The staff for this area looked like a nice bunch and they were adding the finishing touches when I toured with my video camera.

 

The Solarium with the cantilevered hot tubs is just beautiful. There are so many areas for the adults to bathe, soak, swim, workout and relax that luxury is the key word. The gym is expansive with 20 treadmills, almost as many elipticals, bikes and weight machines. Nevermind the boxing ring, power plate and aerobic room. I did Salsa Aerobics on Wed. morning.

 

We had great food in the dining room. Skip buffet breakfast if you have the time for the dining room. Keep in mind that I only had two days to determine this. It seemed the buffet was not as good as some cruise lines but it is huuuuuuge. In fact it seemed too big to me and you saw the same fare pretty much all around.

 

As for cabins: I had an oceanview on deck 2 and it was beautiful, really lovely. The closets and drawers are a bit limiting but it didn't bother me for my short stay. I think there will be comments on this, though. Even though I was aft and way down I did not think my location was horrible. On the Century in March I was all the way forward and that was much worse. On this ship with my interests (solarium, casino, gym, foooood)aft worked well for me.

 

Questions???

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Hi Gypsea,

 

Sounds like you had a good time. I am cruising Freedom on June 18th and have a few questions. Its funny, almost a coincidence that you were on deck 2. We have guarantee rooms reserved with an oceanview and I just found out that we have 2 cabins on the aft of deck 2...I hope you can tell me a bit more...since you were on the same floor and have the same room type. How was the bathroom? Spacious enough? Shower curtain or a door? And if you tried the hairdryer, was it powerful enough or not? Also, another thing that bothered me was that deck 2 is so low. Did it feel weird looking out the window and seeing the water so close up to you? I know the good thing is that the motion won't be as bad here as it gets on the higher decks.

We also have cabin 9671 which is an interior one which sleeps 3 so I think me, my sister and little cousin may take this cabin. We'll let the moms and dads take the lower cabins (deck 2) I think. Overall, how was the cabin? Also, I have been hearing about the ice skating rink, are we allowed to skate too? Or do they just show the performances on ice? And how was the Royal Promenade? I am sure that the shops carry RCCL souvenirs...I would love to buy some stuff as this will be my first cruise with RCCL. I don't think I have any other questions for now. Thanks for any help that you can provide!

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The bathroom is small but appealing with tile accents around the sink and a sliding shower door that is curved to form a round stall. It's very nice with the drain at the side of the stall so your aren't stepping on it. The towels are so luxurious, soft and thick you'll want some of your own.

 

The cabin is really not suitable for three (just so small)though I thought the couch probably did open since there were curtains to divide the cabin at this point. The bedding and pillows really dress the place up with pretty green accent pillows and a white on white satin stripe duvet. I slept very well but never long as I was too busy.

 

The water level did not seem strange or close but I don't spend much time in my cabin on any cruise and I was really only on this ship for 44 hours. Sad isn't it?

 

Regarding the hairdryer, it is housed in a top drawer in the vanity of the main cabin. It has a switch which has to be depressed or it will not stay on. It was fine for me but I didn't have to dry my whole head. If you have lots of hair bring your own.

 

On other ships the ice rink is used for passenger fun but I am sorry I cannot answer for certain on Freedom. I doubt people were using it on our trip though there was a show one night. Assume you will have the opportunity because I am sure they will want revenue from this expensive amenity.

 

The Royal Promenade was nice and there are many shops both there and on another deck (where was I?) where you can purchase all the Freedom and RC gear you can stand. Many were sporting t-shirts etc. There was also a sports shop for gear in the Flowboard area. Lots of retail all around going on.

 

As I said before there is nothing like brand new so I doubt you will have any trouble having the time of your life on this ship. I envy you a whole week onboard. When you are on this I will be sailing the Crown Inaugural and that one I do sail for a full nine days!! Yippee...

 

Did I forget anything?

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When you are on this I will be sailing the Crown Inaugural and that one I do sail for a full nine days!! Yippee...

 

I hear the Crown is going to be a real gem! Lucky you! Would you do a favor? Write something when you come back, comparing the two ships? I know it won't be totally fair, as 44 hours on FR will hardly compare to nine full days on Crown, but I'd be interested to read it.

 

Thanks, and have a fabulous time!!

Tracy

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When is the Crown inagural and is this going to be Freedom class ship as well, or a different class. Have not heard of Crown, myself...so wanting info.

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When is the Crown inagural and is this going to be Freedom class ship as well, or a different class. Have not heard of Crown, myself...so wanting info.

 

The Crown belongs to Princess; Freedom in a RCI ship.

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Sounds like you had a great time! I am glad it sounds like they have made the buffet and public areas bigger to accomodate the additional passengers, instead of just adding stateroom space and no public areas like Princess did with the grand to caribbean class vessels.

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Sounds like you had a great time! I am glad it sounds like they have made the buffet and public areas bigger to accomodate the additional passengers, instead of just adding stateroom space and no public areas like Princess did with the grand to caribbean class vessels.

 

Sorry, but the Windjammer on FOS is only slightly larger than on Voyager class ships (if it all), and I think it will struggle to accommodate the additional passengers at breakfast and lunch.

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Sorry, but the Windjammer on FOS is only slightly larger than on Voyager class ships (if it all), and I think it will struggle to accommodate the additional passengers at breakfast and lunch.

I have had a feeling that this was going to be the case with a lot of areas of the ship. A thousand more people competing for the Windjammer, rock wall, Johnny Rocket's, the golf course, and not to mention tendering which she will be doing at two of her four ports of call.

 

I'm am waiting for some reviews to come in before I start planning to book this ship.

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on the last morning which WAS the only time I went but it seemed plenty big enough for all. If you wanted dining room breakfast you were supposed to be in by 8 and I was so close I didn't go. I suggest planning better than I did and getting one last good meal.

 

Of course, I not sure if the ship was full. Maybe it wasn't and that is why space was never a real problem. I remember the show on the first night being well attended and it was the late one.

 

Another place that gathers a crowd is Bolero's. The aft side bar near of the casino. There is a bartender there that is pretty entertaining and draws quite a crowd. His name is Adrienne and he makes a mean Mohito. He was quite popular with the TA crowd and had the attention of about 75 -100 people at one point. I suggest taking a moment to make his acquaintance. He'll be well known on that ship before long.

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Do come back and tell us about the Crown too...maybe even a comparison. I won't be on that one until she repositions in October to San Juan but she too looks like a great one.

 

I'm doing one of those intro sailings right after our QM2 sailing next week. With the limited time on board, what's "not to miss"?

 

Thanks!

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CruiseFever:

 

Which one in Oct. Crown or FOS? Is it a one night? I've never done a one nighter but after the Freedom I think one night would be too much of a tease so I am glad I have the long version on Crown. Of course, I could have taken the free night and made it ten but there are others involved. The thing is the whole Martha Stewart christening is happening the 14th and I imagine I'll be on the road instead of the ship when that happens. Had I known I may have done things differently. Have you ever witnessed a christening of a ship? Anyone?

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We'll be on a 9 day on the Crown in October and a two nighter (I guess like you were on but from Miami) on 5/31.

 

We've done a couple one nighters on NCL and a three night on Celebrity. The trick (I think) to having a good time is to NOT try to do everything. There are people aboard trying to cram a weeks worth of cruise into 18 hours and it just doesn't work very well.

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Cruise Fever - I too will be on the May 31st on the FOS. Have you received written confirmation as of yet? I have not and am getting a little worried.

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You are right. I didn't attempt to see everything, price everything etc. but I did walk through many areas with my video running so I could show clients. Besides, I was too busy meeting other agents and chatting with other outsides from my host company. I have never sailed on a cruise with 90% or more TA's. I found it a lot of fun. Those who work in big offices probably don't feel that way.

 

I am just thankful for the full day of sun (spent it in the solarium and later on Bolero's) I had off the Virginia Beach area since I am back in the NH rain once more. This is getting old. all it has done here is rain for weeks now. Counting the days till 6/14.

 

Lauraapp

 

Most of us never did get any type of confirmation but just arrived in Bayonne with our passport. So, don't fret if you never get any paperwork. It's an inside problem.

 

Rita

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Cruise Fever - I too will be on the May 31st on the FOS. Have you received written confirmation as of yet? I have not and am getting a little worried.

 

No I've not....but I'm not real worried about it either (lie); they have a lot going on in the Special Events dept there. If I don't get an email I plan on showing up at the pier! Our flight from the UK gets in the night before and we'll have about a 3 hour drive to Miami so we're cutting it close anyway....but one way or another I've gotta see that ship!...shouldn't be hard to miss if we get in the general area huh?

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Cruise Fever - I too will be on the May 31st on the FOS. Have you received written confirmation as of yet? I have not and am getting a little worried.

 

No I've not....but I'm not real worried about it either (lie); they have a lot going on in the Special Events dept there. If I don't get an email I plan on showing up at the pier! Our flight from the UK gets in the night before and we'll have about a 3 hour drive to Miami so we're cutting it close anyway....but one way or another I've gotta see that ship!...shouldn't be hard to miss if we get in the general area huh?

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Saw the presidential family suite, that was awesome. Doesn't seem like a bad deal if you could split it 12 ways. Of course, all my kids wouldn't fork over the $, so I'd still be paying the majority.

I thought the ship was great- Promenade, larger size is def. an asset. Wasn't too keen on the circus theme, but..., Loved the Vintages wine bar, loved Bolero's. Even the Windjammer was nicer, more elegant. New bedding is excellent.

Had a Promenade cabin. Seemed pretty small. Not a lot of space between foot of the bed and the wall. Only 4 small drawers and 1 drawer in each night stand, so it would be tough for a 7 night. Would have liked to see the triple balconies. With three people, hope there are some drawers.

Liked it so much, I booked Liberty for 2007.

I would love to switch my Mariner Aug booking for the Freedom, but with the $99 3/4 the Freedom is like 3x cost for a balcony.

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Thanks for the information

 

One question I have is how was the dress code on the ship during the day, was it shorts or business casual? How about the evenings?

 

We are sailing Monday May 31 for our two nighter.

 

Thanks

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During the day it was jeans and workout-ish wear. Was a little cold for shorts. First night was biz casual and Sat nite was black tie.

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During the day it was jeans and workout-ish wear. Was a little cold for shorts. First night was biz casual and Sat nite was black tie.

 

Thanks

 

We are sailing from Miami so I guess it will be warm enough for shorts there

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Did you see the Presidential Suite and can you tell me your thoughts if you did?

I was somewhat disappointed with the Presidential Family Suite and thought it was a bit more compact than I had expected (especially the dining and living room arrangement). The balcony does not extend all the way out to the back of the ship leaving a large section of metal decking painted pale green, beyond the balcony railing to the edge of the deck. Had they moved the balcony closer to the end of the deck, they could have enlarged the living room area and perhaps the interior bedrooms as well. The idea of fourteen people occupying that space for any length of time is a bit daunting.

Other than that, however, the rest of the ship is wonderful and our stateroom on Deck 9, that I thought was a D1, turns out to have been an E1. Have to wonder how much bigger could a D1 be?

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This ship is quite spectacular and certainly moving the industry more toward ships that "ARE" the destination!

 

Our Embarkation/Disembarkation will not mirror the Miami process. As with most short, two/three night inaugurals, luggage service is not offered and is self assist on and off.

 

I enjoyed an Atrium cabin, Category PR on deck seven. I was surprised to find it not as noise resistant as the same category I had on the Navigator of the Seas Inaugural. During announcements for the winners of the Great Race, I could clearly hear names and winning times for each of the winners. The bass could be felt and heard during the parade. Given the parade is held around midnight of the first and last nights on a typical cruise, I hope those in Promenade cabins are made aware of this.

 

Atrium cabins are among the smallest in square footage on the ship at 149 sf. With the bed made up into twins, pretty tight to get around. Extremely limited storage with only four small drawers. It did remind me why I personally prefer balconies or mini suites. The flat panel TV's are a nice addition.

 

A couple of subtle observations. Greatly improved dressing table lighting. For the first time on a Royal Caribbean ship, I could easily see what I was doing...that's scary!! :rolleyes: Also, "TWO" 110 power outlets at the dressing table. At last!! The beds are heavenly. Better mattresses plus a three inch pillowtop with lovely duvets all in white with kelly green accent pillows and a throw at the end of the bed.

 

The biggest Atrium Cabin draw is number 6305 which has been dubbed, the Ben and Jerry's Sweet. The cabin is directly above Ben & Jerry's on the Royal Promenade and the two cow's "rear ends" happen to be standing right in front of the window to that cabin. In exchange for bonding with the Ben & Jerry's cows for a week, the occupant will receive unlimited free Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream for the week.

 

I enjoyed both the Windjammer and main dining room. I believe with full occupancy at over 4000, the Windjammer will be crowded. In fact, spring break may take your breath away. The food in both locations was the same caliber and typical to Royal Caribbean. The Portofino and Chops specialty restaurants are a little larger and will still have the best food on board. Johnny Rockets is identical to voyager class.

 

The Adventure Ocean and teen areas are larger and very nice. The spa/gym now has a boxing ring for sparring in addition to every piece of equipment imaginable. More square footage dedicated to this area.

 

The H20 zone is really lots of "cute stuff" for kids at the outdoor pool. The Flowrider is way up on the same deck as the rock climbing wall. It is smaller than I imagined it would be. Interesting that it can be filled in under 6 minutes. Rock climbing wall is larger. Still full court basketball and miniature golf but the in line skating track has been eliminated.

 

The Family Presidential Suite very, very nice at over 1200 sf that includes four bedrooms, four baths, a living/dining room and huge 800+ sf deck with full table and chairs, lounges, a bar and large hot tub. I preferred the Royal Suite, personally.

 

The Promenade shops are joined by a "Get Out There" logo shop! Ben and Jerry's ice cream at additional charge, Seattle's Best coffee and specialty drinks at additional cost. An old fashioned barber shop with the pole where you guys can have your hair cut for only $32. More square footage in shops!

 

Entertainment spectacular. Saw both stage production shows that I would say are some of the best I've ever enjoyed on board. Not able to do those and the ice show. Richard Fain, CEO of Royal Caribbean during a Q&A, gave an interesting factoid.........The first Royal ship was the Song of Norway at a cost of $13 million. The sound and lighting equipment on board the Freedom exceeded that cost!

 

Overall, the easiest description of this ship is a "supersized" voyager class. Many public areas you will have difficulty identifying where or if they are larger or not. The casino is definitely larger but not more forgiving!! :mad: I saw suspicious evidence of things that will cost more on board.

 

The next "freedom" class is scheduled to debut in May of next year. At that time, both ships will alternate between Eastern and Western Itineraries. With the beginning of full revenue sailings, Royal Caribbean booked the first sailings with the standard "voyager" class compliment of passengers. Each week, Fain states, they will increase by approximately 80 passengers. This will allow the staff and port crews the ability to "ramp" up the effect of 1000 more bodies and the luggage that goes with them.

 

Deployments were announced for next year. The Voyager of the Seas will come to Galveston, the Legend will begin Exotic itineraries including Australia that it used to do many years ago, a "voyager" class doing four/five nights and sailing from Bayonne year round!

 

Here are my contribution of photos taken of suites and public areas. http://photos.yahoo.com/bonniel0789

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BBuchanan

 

Great Review and enjoyed the slide show...8 more days for my 2 niter...:o

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This ship is quite spectacular and certainly moving the industry more toward ships that "ARE" the destination!

 

Our Embarkation/Disembarkation will not mirror the Miami process. As with most short, two/three night inaugurals, luggage service is not offered and is self assist on and off.

 

I enjoyed an Atrium cabin, Category PR on deck seven. I was surprised to find it not as noise resistant as the same category I had on the Navigator of the Seas Inaugural. During announcements for the winners of the Great Race, I could clearly hear names and winning times for each of the winners. The bass could be felt and heard during the parade. Given the parade is held around midnight of the first and last nights on a typical cruise, I hope those in Promenade cabins are made aware of this.

 

Atrium cabins are among the smallest in square footage on the ship at 149 sf. With the bed made up into twins, pretty tight to get around. Extremely limited storage with only four small drawers. It did remind me why I personally prefer balconies or mini suites. The flat panel TV's are a nice addition.

 

A couple of subtle observations. Greatly improved dressing table lighting. For the first time on a Royal Caribbean ship, I could easily see what I was doing...that's scary!! :rolleyes: Also, "TWO" 110 power outlets at the dressing table. At last!! The beds are heavenly. Better mattresses plus a three inch pillowtop with lovely duvets all in white with kelly green accent pillows and a throw at the end of the bed.

 

The biggest Atrium Cabin draw is number 6305 which has been dubbed, the Ben and Jerry's Sweet. The cabin is directly above Ben & Jerry's on the Royal Promenade and the two cow's "rear ends" happen to be standing right in front of the window to that cabin. In exchange for bonding with the Ben & Jerry's cows for a week, the occupant will receive unlimited free Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream for the week.

 

I enjoyed both the Windjammer and main dining room. I believe with full occupancy at over 4000, the Windjammer will be crowded. In fact, spring break may take your breath away. The food in both locations was the same caliber and typical to Royal Caribbean. The Portofino and Chops specialty restaurants are a little larger and will still have the best food on board. Johnny Rockets is identical to voyager class.

 

The Adventure Ocean and teen areas are larger and very nice. The spa/gym now has a boxing ring for sparring in addition to every piece of equipment imaginable. More square footage dedicated to this area.

 

The H20 zone is really lots of "cute stuff" for kids at the outdoor pool. The Flowrider is way up on the same deck as the rock climbing wall. It is smaller than I imagined it would be. Interesting that it can be filled in under 6 minutes. Rock climbing wall is larger. Still full court basketball and miniature golf but the in line skating track has been eliminated.

 

The Family Presidential Suite very, very nice at over 1200 sf that includes four bedrooms, four baths, a living/dining room and huge 800+ sf deck with full table and chairs, lounges, a bar and large hot tub. I preferred the Royal Suite, personally.

 

The Promenade shops are joined by a "Get Out There" logo shop! Ben and Jerry's ice cream at additional charge, Seattle's Best coffee and specialty drinks at additional cost. An old fashioned barber shop with the pole where you guys can have your hair cut for only $32. More square footage in shops!

 

Entertainment spectacular. Saw both stage production shows that I would say are some of the best I've ever enjoyed on board. Not able to do those and the ice show. Richard Fain, CEO of Royal Caribbean during a Q&A, gave an interesting factoid.........The first Royal ship was the Song of Norway at a cost of $13 million. The sound and lighting equipment on board the Freedom exceeded that cost!

 

Overall, the easiest description of this ship is a "supersized" voyager class. Many public areas you will have difficulty identifying where or if they are larger or not. The casino is definitely larger but not more forgiving!! :mad: I saw suspicious evidence of things that will cost more on board.

 

The next "freedom" class is scheduled to debut in May of next year. At that time, both ships will alternate between Eastern and Western Itineraries. With the beginning of full revenue sailings, Royal Caribbean booked the first sailings with the standard "voyager" class compliment of passengers. Each week, Fain states, they will increase by approximately 80 passengers. This will allow the staff and port crews the ability to "ramp" up the effect of 1000 more bodies and the luggage that goes with them.

 

Deployments were announced for next year. The Voyager of the Seas will come to Galveston, the Legend will begin Exotic itineraries including Australia that it used to do many years ago, a "voyager" class doing four/five nights and sailing from Bayonne year round!

 

Here are my contribution of photos taken of suites and public areas.

 

Wow, this is new to me. So the first few revenue sailings will have the same amount of passengers a Voyager class?

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The bathroom is small but appealing with tile accents around the sink and a sliding shower door that is curved to form a round stall. It's very nice with the drain at the side of the stall so your aren't stepping on it. The towels are so luxurious, soft and thick you'll want some of your own.

 

The cabin is really not suitable for three (just so small)though I thought the couch probably did open since there were curtains to divide the cabin at this point. The bedding and pillows really dress the place up with pretty green accent pillows and a white on white satin stripe duvet. I slept very well but never long as I was too busy.

 

The water level did not seem strange or close but I don't spend much time in my cabin on any cruise and I was really only on this ship for 44 hours. Sad isn't it?

 

Regarding the hairdryer, it is housed in a top drawer in the vanity of the main cabin. It has a switch which has to be depressed or it will not stay on. It was fine for me but I didn't have to dry my whole head. If you have lots of hair bring your own.

 

On other ships the ice rink is used for passenger fun but I am sorry I cannot answer for certain on Freedom. I doubt people were using it on our trip though there was a show one night. Assume you will have the opportunity because I am sure they will want revenue from this expensive amenity.

 

The Royal Promenade was nice and there are many shops both there and on another deck (where was I?) where you can purchase all the Freedom and RC gear you can stand. Many were sporting t-shirts etc. There was also a sports shop for gear in the Flowboard area. Lots of retail all around going on.

 

As I said before there is nothing like brand new so I doubt you will have any trouble having the time of your life on this ship. I envy you a whole week onboard. When you are on this I will be sailing the Crown Inaugural and that one I do sail for a full nine days!! Yippee...

 

Did I forget anything?

 

Nope you didn't miss a thing. You know a funny thing? I was narrowing down my cruise to either Freedom or Crown Pr. I guess the thing was that the overall first choice of everyone in my family (7 of us) was Freedom and I preferred Crown Pr. but majority rules. But I know I will have a great time, just as you described. Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions and have a great sailing aboard an Inaugural. And please do post a review because I would love to read it.

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