Jump to content
CGTNORMANDIE

Just Off The Freedom Of The Seas!!!

Recommended Posts

I have seen the future of cruising and it is named FREEDOM OF THE SEAS. WOW she is really BIG!!! We were invited onboard for a short cruise from Boston and my head is still spinning. We watched the 38,000 ton NCL Majesty of the Seas pull out along side of us as she departed for Bermuda and she looked like a tender...her stack barely made it up to the pool deck on the FOS.

 

The FOS is also a beautiful ship...she is very well designed and decorated. RCI knows how to put a ship together and each newbuild is an improvement and refinement from the last one. If you love the Explorer, Voyager, Adventure and Navigator...then you will really love the FREEDOM OF THE SEAS. She is an expanded version of the Explorer Class. It was not possible to see everything onboard this collosus in a 24 hour period...you need time to explore and I will bet there will be passengers who still do not get to see everything in 7 days.

 

Despite the size of FOS...she had a wonderful passenger flow and you will not feel crowded. Her size and range of activities will really appeal to families and extended families. RCI has a high energy level on their ships but the FOS will top them all. The quality of the food and service were excellent. The choices are many...with The Cafe, Chops, Portofino's, Johnny Rocket's, Sorrento Pizzaria, Bull and Bear Pub, Seattle's Best, Ben and Jerry's and more. There is also a big bar in the Cafe which was a pleasant surprise. There are an incredible 21 bars in all.

 

The design of the ship is a wonderful blend of old and new. The Promenade is huge and the jogging track resembles an olympic sized track. The view from the top deck bar...OLIVE OR tWIST??...reminded me of looking off the bridge of an aircraft carrier. When you see the view you will know what I am talking about...the ship just goes on forever.

 

You will just have to experience the FREEDOM OF THE SEAS for yourselves...it is awesome and overwhelming...but all in a fantastic way...a thing of beauty to behold...mind boggling and a work of art all rolled into one ship...SIMPLY FANTASTIC!!!

 

ROSS

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ross, we were on her for two nights and were hard-pressed just to see everything, much less take advantage of her many features.:) The ice show and the two production shows that we saw were excellent, and we enjoyed Matt Yee in the Schooner Bar. I still prefer the size and some of the features of the Radiance Class ships, but I know that when we take our kids and grandkids on Freedom in October, everyone will have a wonderful time.

Did you get a chance to see the Diamond Club which will be the private lounge for Diamond and Diamond Plus members? It is, IMHO, much nicer than the interior room set aside as the Concierge Lounge for suite passengers. The views will be a spectacular venue for cocktails at sunset.:)

Did you see Renie Raider during your time onboard?

 

Puna! Puna! Puna!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Glad to hear from you. I did not see Renie...no time...too much to take in...lol.

 

I did not get to see the Diamond Club either...sounds really great and it is nice to see that RCI is doing such a nice job taking care of its loyal followers...unlike other cruiseXlines we know of...LOL!!!

 

You will definitely have a blast in October...FOS is a blast!!!

 

PUNA PUNA!!!

 

ROSS

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

CGTNormandie, I am so glad you mentioned that the flow of passengers goes very well. That is my biggest worry about the ship, getting in "traffic jams" of passengers trying to avail themselves of attractions. It is a comfort to know that passengers don't get bunched up in long lines. I hope that goes for boarding and leaving the ship too.

 

Thanks for your enthusiastic review.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

HI HEAVY SURF!!! There did not seem to be any problem with lines anywhere we went. Getting on and getting off were a breeze but we were in Boston and not Miami. I do believe that RCI has their system down to a fine finish...after all...this is the future of cruising.

 

ROSS

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ross - THANKS so much for posting your thoughts on Freedom! I'm not sailing until March 18, 2007 but I'm slowly counting down the days!

 

I know that I'm annoyingly excited about it and have been tracking and reading about the ship since it's 'birth'.

 

Did you take a bunch of pictures??

 

:) mary

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
HI HEAVY SURF!!! There did not seem to be any problem with lines anywhere we went. Getting on and getting off were a breeze but we were in Boston and not Miami. I do believe that RCI has their system down to a fine finish...after all...this is the future of cruising.

 

ROSS

 

This was most definitely NOT my experience on the same cruise.

 

Embarkation took 90 minutes but I know that is because there were computer issues and temps in Boston.

 

We could rarely get an elevator and I would be concerned for my clients that were seniors.

 

The dining room tables were too close together. The public rooms were smoky. And the ship felt crowded.

 

Yes, she is beautiful with some great art work aboard, well appointed cabins, etc. But my impression was that of a very large convention hotel, crowds and all.

 

I think the problems would have been even more obvious had the weather been good. The main pool is inadequate for the # of pax as is the Solarium. This is going to be an issue.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really think that if you sign up for the Freedom, a ship of that size, the intention and expectation would be lots of people and what comes with that. I loved the Celebrity line, the Constellation especially, but want something a little more, for this trip. Lively, action, people...but I did book a room aft so I have some kind of quiet at night.

Getting up early and planning your time and agenda for the ship most likely will get people what they want and need for the MOST part.

I am going to think abou this trip as almost being at a large, very large, Las Vegas hotel on the ocean. Crowds, action, sun and FUN!!!

I may need another vacation upon my return though!

Love this thread and the feedback.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I really think that if you sign up for the Freedom, a ship of that size, the intention and expectation would be lots of people and what comes with that. I loved the Celebrity line, the Constellation especially, but want something a little more, for this trip. Lively, action, people...but I did book a room aft so I have some kind of quiet at night.

Getting up early and planning your time and agenda for the ship most likely will get people what they want and need for the MOST part.

I am going to think abou this trip as almost being at a large, very large, Las Vegas hotel on the ocean. Crowds, action, sun and FUN!!!

I may need another vacation upon my return though!

Love this thread and the feedback.

 

Based on your expecations, I think you will be delighted! And the aft cabins are my personal favorite. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi there - thanks so much.

 

Can you tell me anything about the Balcony rooms - we have booked 8624 for 10/14/07 and wondering about size, storage etc.

 

We had a Mini-Suite on Princess but thought the Balcony size room on the Freedom was fine - not that much smaller.

 

Also - on the balcony's - what furniture is out there and are they covered?

 

Thanks, Peggy Norwood, MA

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi there - thanks so much.

 

Can you tell me anything about the Balcony rooms - we have booked 8624 for 10/14/07 and wondering about size, storage etc.

 

We had a Mini-Suite on Princess but thought the Balcony size room on the Freedom was fine - not that much smaller.

 

Also - on the balcony's - what furniture is out there and are they covered?

 

Thanks, Peggy Norwood, MA

 

We were in 8334, a balcony cabin near the internet cafe.

 

It was typical RCI, meaning they really know how to utilize space.

 

There was a sofa and table next to the bathroom (small but again with ample storage).

 

Each night stand had a drawer and a shelf.

 

Decent closet space with a safe and mulitple shelves.

 

It felt much the same as the Radiance class balcony cabins to me although the new - and wonderful :D - bedding takes up more space. They actually showed us photos of the new and old bedding side by side and it was a hoot!

 

There was a frig under the dressing table and storage on both sides, mirrored cabins as well as drawers.

 

Suitcases slid under the beds.

 

Yes, they are covered balconies, two chairs and a small table, standard RCI furnitiure. Good privacy.

 

Altogether a comfortable cabin for a week.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

HI CAVIAR,

 

SORRY TO HEAR that your experience was less than mine. We walked right on around 1:30 PM with no waiting. I suppose if you were there earlier you might have had a problem with a line.

 

The ship handled beautifully in choppy seas. I did not notice any crowding at any of the bars I was at. I thought the dining room was RCI and the tables were no differently spaced than the Explorer Class or the Radiance Class. We felt very comfortable and had a great meal.

 

I did not experience any elevator congestion out of the ordinairy...if you are going to the Cafe on deck 11 you might have a bit of a wait at lunch or breakfast but certainly nothing out of the ordinairy. I would not recommend this ship for elderly people.

 

This is a ship that is geared for families and pax who are seeking a high activity level. I do not think that the pool situation is a huge deal breaker. The layout is divided into 3 different venues plus the giant Jacuzzis on the wings. There is a staged area with multi levels of deck chairs, about midship. There are so many things going on in different places that I do not believe that the pool crowding will be any worse than on the other RCI ships.

 

HI PXGRANT,

 

The D1 cabin is very nice and similar to the Mini Suite on Princess...but you have to admit...the Mini Suite on Princess is a great cabin with more space and ammenities than anything in the RCI catagories...only comparable to a Junior Suite on RCI. The balcony on the D1 is similar in size to the Mini on Princess and it is covered...which I also prefer.

 

ROSS

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
HI CAVIAR,

 

SORRY TO HEAR that your experience was less than mine. We walked right on around 1:30 PM with no waiting. I suppose if you were there earlier you might have had a problem with a line.

 

The ship handled beautifully in choppy seas. I did not notice any crowding at any of the bars I was at. I thought the dining room was RCI and the tables were no differently spaced than the Explorer Class or the Radiance Class. We felt very comfortable and had a great meal.

 

I did not experience any elevator congestion out of the ordinairy...if you are going to the Cafe on deck 11 you might have a bit of a wait at lunch or breakfast but certainly nothing out of the ordinairy. I would not recommend this ship for elderly people.

 

This is a ship that is geared for families and pax who are seeking a high activity level. I do not think that the pool situation is a huge deal breaker. The layout is divided into 3 different venues plus the giant Jacuzzis on the wings. There is a staged area with multi levels of deck chairs, about midship. There are so many things going on in different places that I do not believe that the pool crowding will be any worse than on the other RCI ships.

 

HI PXGRANT,

 

The D1 cabin is very nice and similar to the Mini Suite on Princess...but you have to admit...the Mini Suite on Princess is a great cabin with more space and ammenities than anything in the RCI catagories...only comparable to a Junior Suite on RCI. The balcony on the D1 is similar in size to the Mini on Princess and it is covered...which I also prefer.

 

ROSS

 

Ross, I am sure this ship will be a big hit with families and my experience was pretty much as I expected. Not being a fan of Voyager class - for my personal travel that is - I expected a bigger version and feel that the ship is pretty much just that, with a few more bells and whistles.

 

I loved the Murano glass wall murals on the 4th floor :) and found the ship to be lovely.

 

The gym is amazing and should satisfy those among us that stay active on vacation.

 

I think the Promenade design contributes overall to a more crowded feel and also to the smoke problem. I am a Centrum fan personally.

 

On Serenade, the one and only bar I ever had a smoke issue with was Schooner. It was noticeable to me and also to my friend, who had gone to the pub for a black and tan and some music and was back soon after because of the smoke. Perhaps we are both just smoke averse.

 

The Leonardo dining room was beautiful but I did get tired of constantly having to move my chair to let pax and servers by. I have never noticed this on any other RCI ship. And the tables for two are squeezed in and not very private. The server had to reach over me several times to serve the people across from me on the last night. Granted, they were not skinny but neither were they obese and they commented on the seating issues over dinner, being Diamond Plus and on their 51st RCI cruise.

 

I am one that dines more often than not in the specialty restaurants for a more intimate experience and these were both lovely. I also found the addition of the bar in Windjammer a nice touch as well as the counter seating space. I only dined there once - not caring for buffets - but found it quite nice.

 

I wish RCI the best of luck with this ship and am sure it will sell extremely well. I will recommend it to clients with kids and certain others but not to those looking for an ocean liner feel and more personal experience.

 

I am off to Sovereign on Friday - I was aboard her 17 years ago during her first year of service - and am looking forward to cruising on one of my all time favorite RCI ships.

 

Happy cruising :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

HI CAVIAR,

 

Funny but we found our table for 4 in Galilaeo to be fine...and no problem getting around. I guess they squeeze the tables for 2 into tight places.

 

I would actually consider cruising on the FOS. I liked it for a lot of reasons...and I did not expect that I would...because I am a real traditionalist when it comes to ocean liners. I am an ocean liner historian with a lot of experience on the old ships but I can see the future and FOS is going to be the rule rather than the exception.

 

Enjoy the SOVERIGN!!!

 

ROSS

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ross, I agree with you about the amount of space between tables on both Deck 3 and Deck 5. In fact we commented on it to our waiter on Saturday night and he agreed that he had a much easier time in these dining rooms because he didn't have to squeeze between adjoining tables in order to serve his passengers. I also thought the tables for two were nicely placed especially after having been on the Sapphire Princess which arranges its tables for two in a style that can only remind one of eating at MacDonald's with one a long bench for seating at one end of four tables for two with individual chairs for the second person in the party at the other end of each table. You can reach out and touch the other folks seated at the tables for two and any opportunity for a private or intimate dining experience is totally impossible. Not only that, but in the traditional dining room there are no tables for two in any sort of configuration. I have been in dining rooms, even on Radiance class ships where I thought the seating was too close but that was definitely not our experience on Freedom. Like you, I was prepared to find reasons not to like such a big ship, but I was won over and while I still prefer the Radiance Class ships, I would not object to sailing again on Freedom (good thing since we are taking our kids and grandkids on her next October just two weeks before the Jewel repositioning.LOL)

Rita and I had an opportunity to lobby Adam Goldstein, while we were onboard, on the idea of building more Radiance class ships, but he responded that the economies of scale are just so much better for the company when it builds ships of Voyager or Freedom class, that it is highly unlikely we will see any more Radiance ships in the foreseeable future. Oh well, as long as they do a good job of maintaining the ones they have and keep them on interesting itineraries, I guess we will be well served.:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Ross, Bill

 

Glad to hear that you enjoyed your time on the Freedom. Most of the Royal Jewels were able to see you off at castle island. Tara and I were not able to be there since we had to baby sit our nephew at the last minute. But at the time of sail away we did a puna toast to you and Bill. We are off on the Explorer in ten days and booked the Granduer for Sept 1st. We will be sure to raise a glass and think of all or our friends from the Jewel.

 

Ryan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

HI RYAN AND TARA!!!

 

Great to hear from you folks. The RJ's want to put something together for a 2007 cruise. Sounds great!!! PUNA PUNA!!!

 

HI BILL!!!

 

GREAT MINDS THINK ALIKE!!! Funny how we both love the Radiance Class ships...especially the JEWEL. I think they are beautiful...especially the JEWEL...and they really have a touch of class. I also noticed that the table spacing was better on Deck 5 on the FREEDOM.

 

I think Adam Goldstein is confirming my suspicions...FREEEDOM OF THE SEAS is now the future of cruising.

 

You are going to have a blasts with your family onboard the FOS!!! Say HI to Rita for me.

 

ROSS

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For those of you that were on the inaugurals, was there a chance you could book future cruises onboard the ship? Which usually includes shipboard credit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
For those of you that were on the inaugurals, was there a chance you could book future cruises onboard the ship? Which usually includes shipboard credit.

 

Yes, the Loyalty Amb was available for future bookings.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When we were invited for a preview cruise in April (for end of May) - we were thrilled and still are. However. I called back to the Diamond + desk to see of there would be a Loyalty Ambassador - as we were comtemplating booking a cruise for late August. We were told know - so went ahead an booked directly with RCCL without any shipboard credit. Hopefully I can work this out when we get on board TOMORROW!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

GET IT IN WRITING. From what I could see the Loyalty Ambassador was not taking reservations but that could change wuickly

 

ROSS

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Explore the Night. Sweepstakes - Enter now for a chance to win win a free cruise for two with Azamara Club Cruises!
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Community Contests
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×