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Capt.Harry

Freedom of the Seas Maiden Voyage (Disapointment) from Harry

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:mad:

Having just been on the "Freedom of the Seas" so called "MAIDEN VOYAGE"

 

The Ship it self was brilliant, the Staff Excellent, The CAPTAIN also brilliant, in fact he was the best Captain, on all the ships we have been on, he was so free and easy, walking round at breakfast chatting to every one, standing on the Key side in Jamaica mixing with all off us, Great Captain.

 

The PROBLEM, we left Miami, well it could be any other sailing, no noise, no fireworks, no Music, in fact NOTHING?

 

No Gift for us to take away to say that we were on the Maiden Voyage, that is not till later, and I consider an after thought, (along with many other passengers), when on Thursday they gave us in our state rooms, a gift to say that we ? (well no name on the document) were on the "Maiden Voyage" and to make things worse, the Picture of the ship was the one either from Southampton or New York showing the Ship with the Fireworks on, We were not on the Ship at that time, WE did not see any fireworks?.

 

But, having said that, we did have a great Cruise, it is a great ship, and we will still sail again with the "Royal Caribbean International"

 

Harry Hindle

Crown & Anchor

Platinum Member of the Royal Caribbean Cruise lines

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There was a lot of discussion on this on the Freedom Frenzy thread. It's kind of hard to fault RCI for not doing fireworks, as we left Miami while it was still daylight.

 

I agree about the Captain though. Great guy, and really nice seeing him wander through the Jammer at breakfast chatting with folks.

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Right now it is Captain William Wright. He was wonderful!!! More visible around the ship than even the cruise director.

 

My understanding is that he will be relieved by Capt Carlos Pedercini, but when I do not know.

 

T

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Chris,

Absolutely no different than every other sail-away party. Maybe more people on shore waving, but that's about it.

Tracy

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Do they typically give away personalized gifts and have fireworks on the maiden voyages of a cruise ship? What do other lines do to celebrate such an event? Just curious - never had the opportunity to be on a maiden voyage.

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We took a cruise on the Granduer OTS in January of '97. While it was not the inagural sailing it was around the 10th sailing. They gave us a hardbound book that had a lot of ads from the buildling of the Vision and Legend. It was nice to have, but only to a die hard cruise buff. It would be nice if they had a tradition, i.e. a coin would be appropriate.

 

Well anyway you have the memories and your Sea Pass Receipt.

 

Bob

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Right now it is Captain William Wright. He was wonderful!!! More visible around the ship than even the cruise director.

 

My understanding is that he will be relieved by Capt Carlos Pedercini, but when I do not know.

 

T

 

I was told by a captains wife that Capt Erik Tengelsen will take over in July. Capt Carlos will probably relieve Capt Erik.

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Capt.Harry-

 

I am visiting this thread while doing research on options for a family cruise next year. Your remarks concerning your disapointment about how the Maiden Voyage was presented to the passengers sailing on that long-anticipated cruise could have been written by us about our experience on the maiden voyage of the Holland American Noordam IV in February. It was a "non-event" for the passengers.

Separate guests were invited to the dedication and celebration prior to the embarkation of the paying passengers. They enjoyed a wonderful event and mostly disembarked prior to the cruise.

 

We certainly do not plan to pay the extra tariff to do a maiden cruise again. It is better to wait a few cruises until the kinks are worked out and pay a less expensive fare.

 

Like you, we had an excellent cruise, thoroughly enjoyed the crew and staff and thought the ship was beautiful. It was just a major disappointment and an anticlimax to feel totally left out of the "Maiden Voyage Events".

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If the ship had visited the port for the first time, there would be dignitaries to greet the ship, and bands playing and it would have been a much bigger deal than what is described.

We know..............as we were on the Norwegian Wind in '01, doing a transpacific trip to new ports and we met Mayors and council persons at each port. My wife and I were picked to be passenger dignataries in Pusan, Korea and she received 3 dozen roses, while I was given a bell, representing the Buddah tradition of the country.

We just returned from a C&A members cruise. We received goodies every other night. We gave most of what we received away, but there are a couple of items that we are enjoying. One of them is the backpack!

 

Rick

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With all due respect, it is not the Queen Mary. Freedom of the Seas is a mass-market cruise ship designed to make money for RCI; what makes you think that they would put together an extravagant celebration? Whenever I go on "maiden voyages" on cruise ships, most of the passengers are completely unaware of it; passengers are just interested in have a good time on vacation, they are not all cruise fanatics like us. Anyways, the ship was already christened (with fireworks and everything) and sailed on numerous preview voyages and a transatlantic crossing. The days of grand maiden voyages for ocean liners are long gone; welcome to the 21st century of ocean travel. The sad face is a bit dramatic, don't you think? Considering that Freedom of the Seas is arguably the most spectacular vessel RCI has ever constructed (you even testified to this). Anyways, I'll be visiting it in about 11 hours so I shall see for myself.

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With all due respect, it is not the Queen Mary. Freedom of the Seas is a mass-market cruise ship designed to make money for RCI; what makes you think that they would put together an extravagant celebration? Whenever I go on "maiden voyages" on cruise ships, most of the passengers are completely unaware of it; passengers are just interested in have a good time on vacation, they are not all cruise fanatics like us. Anyways, the ship was already christened (with fireworks and everything) and sailed on numerous preview voyages and a transatlantic crossing. The days of grand maiden voyages for ocean liners are long gone; welcome to the 21st century of ocean travel. The sad face is a bit dramatic, don't you think? Considering that Freedom of the Seas is arguably the most spectacular vessel RCI has ever constructed (you even testified to this). Anyways, I'll be visiting it in about 11 hours so I shall see for myself.

 

 

You sound like a fun guy...would love to meet you...lol

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apfa-

I think that probably the advertisements for the "Maiden Voyages" portraying the cruise as a special celebration event mislead some to think that it will be. The fares are usually higher than they are for those cruises following and also the celebratory events, in some cases, are taking place on the ship as the passengers are boarding, so that they are very aware of what they are missing.

You are right, it does not diminish the cruise experience. It is just a disappointment until you learn to not expect to be a part of a "Maiden Voyage" celebration.

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With all due respect, it is not the Queen Mary. Freedom of the Seas is a mass-market cruise ship designed to make money for RCI;

 

Cunard didn't expect the Queen Mary to make money? With all due respect, what was it, a gift to the planet?

T

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If the ship had visited the port for the first time, there would be dignitaries to greet the ship, and bands playing and it would have been a much bigger deal than what is described.

 

Dignitaries did indeed board the ship at every port, and the ship had private receptions for them. The only port who rolled out the carpet (literally), for the passengers, was Jamaica. GREAT day in Jamaica!!! They made us feel very special. MoBay was amazing!!

Tracy

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Dignitaries did indeed board the ship at every port, and the ship had private receptions for them. The only port who rolled out the carpet (literally), for the passengers, was Jamaica. GREAT day in Jamaica!!! They made us feel very special. MoBay was amazing!!

Tracy

Tracy,

I noticed that you will be sailing FOS again on 12/3. I have been reading all of the posts from the 6/4 voyage with great anticipation because I talked my family members (all 21 of them) into doing the 12/3 sailing. I also noticed on a past post that you stayed in cabin 6332 on your first cruise and stated that you peeked into 6330 and noticed it seemed larger. Did you mean the inside of the cabin or the balcony? The reason I ask is that on 12/3 my sister and her DH are in 6332 and my DH and I (along with two DDs) are in 6330. The family as it is are actually booked in the following cabins 6310, 6326, 6328, 6330, 6332, 6630, 6329, and 6331. Did we choose well? If you have any information about these cabins or any pictures of them that you would be willing to share could you please post them or email me at annshep87@msn.com? I'd appreciate very much.

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I too was disapointed at the time I was on the Nameing Ceremony as they are called here. On the Pacific Sun (old Carnival Jubillee) We had to wait an extra few hours to board as they had a Luncheon for the "invited" who on leaving were carrying large magnums of champs and a book.We all had to wait to board and missed out on the buffet lunch which is normally supplied.There was no mention on board of it at all. Some pax who came late never even knew anything had happened

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Hi Everyone - Anyone During The June 4 Or 11th Cruise Get To See The New " Presidential Family Suite " Aft Deck 6 . Waiting To Hear Some Reviews Of This Cabin . Wayne

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Right now it is Captain William Wright. He was wonderful!!! More visible around the ship than even the cruise director.

 

My understanding is that he will be relieved by Capt Carlos Pedercini, but when I do not know.

 

T

 

He is only one for the first 8 revenue sailings. Capt. Pedercini is already aboard.

 

Capt. Wright was a great choice to bring out the ship. We met him on the pre-inaugural.

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Hi Everyone - Anyone During The June 4 Or 11th Cruise Get To See The New " Presidential Family Suite " Aft Deck 6 . Waiting To Hear Some Reviews Of This Cabin . Wayne

 

Wayne,

I met a guy who was travelling in the suite (the one who had booked it), and his brother. Evidently, it was 8 handsome single guys staying in there for the inaugural. :) My luck as it was, it was the LAST day when I discovered this tidbit! LOL

 

I sat down at the blackjack table, and he bought me a mojito, which is how we started chatting. Very nice guy! Says he already has it booked on Liberty as well, but I don't think it is for the inaugural week.

 

He said it was great staying there, with two exceptions:

 

People were constantly peering in/around/knocking on the door to see it. They actually woke up one morning to a stranger in their hottub, who had added bubbles to it, and they went all the way to the ceiling out on their terrace! He said that was an embarassing call to housekeeping! LOL

 

The second problem was soot back there, after the ship blew her stacks.

 

Tracy

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Well actually I think the problem is that the so called Maiden Voyage wasn´t really the maiden Voyage. It was the first regular sailing with paying guests, but nothing more.

 

The maiden Voyage could be either considered the very first sailing ever with passengers onboard and that was Hamburg - Oslo 04/25/06-04/26/06, or the very first sailing after the christening. I think both of them had the fireworks and other celebrations. At least I know that Hamburg had it. Fireworks in the evening before the ship sailed away next morning and a fireboat with water cannons as she left the Harbour for the first passenger sailing.

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Just wanted to pop over and say hello, and that I saw you guys in Cozumel the other day. I was on the itty bitty Grandeur.:) I loved it! I did enjy seeing Freedom out there. What a beauty!

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Well actually I think the problem is that the so called Maiden Voyage wasn´t really the maiden Voyage. It was the first regular sailing with paying guests, but nothing more.

 

The maiden Voyage could be either considered the very first sailing ever with passengers onboard and that was Hamburg - Oslo 04/25/06-04/26/06, or the very first sailing after the christening. I think both of them had the fireworks and other celebrations. At least I know that Hamburg had it. Fireworks in the evening before the ship sailed away next morning and a fireboat with water cannons as she left the Harbour for the first passenger sailing.

 

I'm not sure what the exact definition of "maiden voyage" is, but I don't think the pre-inaugurals qualify. To me, the maiden voyage was the 6/4 cruise with the first revenue passengers.

 

I think there were more celebrations in Hamburg simply b/c it's a rare and special event for a cruise ship - especially one of this size - to pass through though their port / shipyard.

 

There were fireworks on the Bayonne Mother's Day pre-inaugural, and while they were nice, they didn't make a bit of difference in the good time I had. :)

 

I think some of this discontent about the whole maiden voyage thing stems from mislaid expectations. It's not like back in the day when sailing was the primary form of transportation and ships were a big deal. RCI had all of the paying customers they needed booked well in advance, without having to go the extra mile and provide "frills" at additional expense. Bottom line, it's all about the bottom line. :)

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He is only one for the first 8 revenue sailings. Capt. Pedercini is already aboard. Capt. Wright was a great choice to bring out the ship. We met him on the pre-inaugural.

 

At the Q&A session Captain Bill Wright held on the inaugural, he said he was leaving the ship after the second revenue cruise and Pedercini would take over then - which means today (June 18).

 

And he was a great choice - very personable and capable.

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Cunard didn't expect the Queen Mary to make money? With all due respect, what was it, a gift to the planet?

T

 

You're right on that one!

 

Just got off Freedom about an hour ago; it's a beautiful ship indeed, most innovative in the fleet. The Royal Promenade is noticeably longer, but other than that, I really could not notice that much difference between the other ships in the Voyager-class, so I don't see what all the fuss is about.

 

BTW, they've got to fix those revolving doors on deck 11!

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Well actually I think the problem is that the so called Maiden Voyage wasn´t really the maiden Voyage. It was the first regular sailing with paying guests, but nothing more.

 

The maiden Voyage could be either considered the very first sailing ever with passengers onboard and that was Hamburg - Oslo 04/25/06-04/26/06, or the very first sailing after the christening. I think both of them had the fireworks and other celebrations. At least I know that Hamburg had it. Fireworks in the evening before the ship sailed away next morning and a fireboat with water cannons as she left the Harbour for the first passenger sailing.

I think much of the confusion (and possible disappointment) people felt was because Royal Caribbean themselves were also calling the first revenue sailing the "maiden Voyage".

 

One example of RCI's stance that 6/4/06 was the maiden voyage: during the week we all received a certificate along with a picture (taken at one of the previous pre-inaugural celebrations) of the ship at night with fireworks in the sky above it. The certificate stated, in part, " Thank you for joining Royal Caribbean International on the maiden voyage of the newest, largest, and most innovative ship in the world".

 

If they were calling it the maiden voyage, why wouldn't we think it was the maiden voyage. With that kind of a hype people expected there would be lots of drama. We kind of thought that if they did all that stuff for the pre-inaugural sailings there would be even more for the so called maiden voyage.

 

Turns out that part of the confusion was that some of the drama was not put on by RCL after all but, by the places they were visiting. For instance, RCL did not put on the fireworks in New York (I think some of the fireworks were there). New York put them on as part of their hoopala for Freedom's visit to their City.

 

Unfortunately I think most of the people on board did not know that. During the sail away out of Miami you could feel the anticipation in the air as everyone crowded the rails. We were all craning our necks to look for "something" to happen. As the ship was advancing out of the channel people (I know we were) seemed to still be thinking, "okay ......... maybe they are going to have something as soon as we get out a little further". We were like a bunch of kids on Christmas morning looking under the tree and not finding anything.

 

While it did not ruin our cruise (as we still felt it was so cool being on that sailing and the ship is magnificent and all the staff were incredible) I'd be fibbing if I didn't say we were feeling a little let down. At the Captain's question and answer session he did mention that this had been brought to their attention by a number of guests. He said something to the effect of that they now realize that perhaps they should have done a little more to make it special and would take that into consideration for future maiden voyages.

 

In the end the reality probably is that they could have done more, but, we probably shouldn't have just assumed that they would! Live and learn!!!

 

That said, as Zotzer pointed out it was Montego Bay, Jamaica that really rose to the occasion and they really did themselves proud. Bravo, Montego Bay!!!!

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While it did not ruin our cruise (as we still felt it was so cool being on that sailing and the ship is magnificent and all the staff were incredible) I'd be fibbing if I didn't say we were feeling a little let down. At the Captain's question and answer session he did mention that this had been brought to their attention by a number of guests. He said something to the effect of that they now realize that perhaps they should have done a little more to make it special and would take that into consideration for future maiden voyages.

 

In the end the reality probably is that they could have done more, but, we probably shouldn't have just assumed that they would! Live and learn!!!

 

 

IMO, the Captain's comments were all damage control. He's a nice guy and means well, but you can't tell me that after launching twenty some odd ships that RCI hasn't encountered this feedback before. They already had our money and couldn't have cared less.

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IMO, the Captain's comments were all damage control. He's a nice guy and means well, but you can't tell me that after launching twenty some odd ships that RCI hasn't encountered this feedback before. They already had our money and couldn't have cared less.

 

Yeah GMoney, as far as the damage control, I am sure that is likely the case. But I am still hoping they cared ... a little!!!!!!! I know, I know .... you don't have to say it! LOL!!!!

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BTW, they've got to fix those revolving doors on deck 11!

 

I remember reading about them from pre-inaugural cruisers and thinking "how bad can revolving doors be? These people are just nitpicking." But, one has to *experience* them to understand. LOL

 

They aren't just regular revolving doors...but some new menacing piece of engineering altogether! :confused:

 

T

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Yeah GMoney, as far as the damage control, I am sure that is likely the case. But I am still hoping they cared ... a little!!!!!!! I know, I know .... you don't have to say it! LOL!!!!

 

Sorry, I didn't mean to be harsh. :)

I'v just seen a bit of RCI and don't cut them much slack with this kind of stuff.

 

BTW, I thought your comment few posts back on the maiden voyage stuff was very well thought out and expressed.

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I think I found the problem. On the rccl.com home page, it still says;

 

"Our largest, most innovative ship ever has finally arrived. And soon, Freedom of the Seas will be sailing the incredible Caribbean.

And under the Freedom of the Seas page, it still says;

 

Setting sail for the Caribbean in June 2006, our largest ship yet - Freedom of the Seas! Though we're not quite ready to reveal all of the spectacular features, rest assured this Royal Caribbean International masterpiece will come complete with a rock-climbing wall, Royal Promenade and ice-skating rink. We'll also be including extensive WiFi capabilities and connectivity for cell phones as well as flat-screen TVs in every stateroom. What else could we possibly put on a cruise ship? You'll be amazed. More astounding details coming soon! Click here for a sneak preview!

 

Apparently, RCI does not yet know that Freedom has sailed. Maybe someone should call and tell them.:D :D :D

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Dignitaries did indeed board the ship at every port, and the ship had private receptions for them. The only port who rolled out the carpet (literally), for the passengers, was Jamaica. GREAT day in Jamaica!!! They made us feel very special. MoBay was amazing!!

Tracy

 

They would have to do more than "roll out the carpet" to get me to get off the ship at that port. :(

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They would have to do more than "roll out the carpet" to get me to get off the ship at that port. :(

 

I love Jamaica and have been visiting there for 30 years.

 

I would much rather be there than on FOS.:)

 

Different strokes...

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They would have to do more than "roll out the carpet" to get me to get off the ship at that port. :(

 

Well, you will be missing out then.

 

I've yet to hear a single complaint resulting from our stop in Montego Bay. There were nearly 5000 people glowing with joy after our stop there on the inaugural (passengers and crew alike). As I told friends on the ship as we pulled away from MoBay: No more unanswered Jamaica-bashing on MY watch! :)

 

Tracy

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They give a pueter plate to everyone, at least Platiunum members that we are. Your names engraved stating that on that date you sailed as the first passegers onboard Grand Princess, etc.

 

 

Do they typically give away personalized gifts and have fireworks on the maiden voyages of a cruise ship? What do other lines do to celebrate such an event? Just curious - never had the opportunity to be on a maiden voyage.

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I think much of the confusion (and possible disappointment) people felt was because Royal Caribbean themselves were also calling the first revenue sailing the "maiden Voyage".

 

One example of RCI's stance that 6/4/06 was the maiden voyage: during the week we all received a certificate along with a picture (taken at one of the previous pre-inaugural celebrations) of the ship at night with fireworks in the sky above it. The certificate stated, in part, " Thank you for joining Royal Caribbean International on the maiden voyage of the newest, largest, and most innovative ship in the world".

 

If they were calling it the maiden voyage, why wouldn't we think it was the maiden voyage. With that kind of a hype people expected there would be lots of drama. We kind of thought that if they did all that stuff for the pre-inaugural sailings there would be even more for the so called maiden voyage.

 

Turns out that part of the confusion was that some of the drama was not put on by RCL after all but, by the places they were visiting. For instance, RCL did not put on the fireworks in New York (I think some of the fireworks were there). New York put them on as part of their hoopala for Freedom's visit to their City.

 

Unfortunately I think most of the people on board did not know that. During the sail away out of Miami you could feel the anticipation in the air as everyone crowded the rails. We were all craning our necks to look for "something" to happen. As the ship was advancing out of the channel people (I know we were) seemed to still be thinking, "okay ......... maybe they are going to have something as soon as we get out a little further". We were like a bunch of kids on Christmas morning looking under the tree and not finding anything.

 

While it did not ruin our cruise (as we still felt it was so cool being on that sailing and the ship is magnificent and all the staff were incredible) I'd be fibbing if I didn't say we were feeling a little let down. At the Captain's question and answer session he did mention that this had been brought to their attention by a number of guests. He said something to the effect of that they now realize that perhaps they should have done a little more to make it special and would take that into consideration for future maiden voyages.

 

In the end the reality probably is that they could have done more, but, we probably shouldn't have just assumed that they would! Live and learn!!!

 

That said, as Zotzer pointed out it was Montego Bay, Jamaica that really rose to the occasion and they really did themselves proud. Bravo, Montego Bay!!!!

 

Thank-you Nancy! This is what I've been thinking, have been trying to say and just couldn't quite put it into words. I didn't expect lots of "free" stuff I don't need more stuff but some more WOW would have been nice especially as we were leaving the port of Miami.

 

d

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I remember reading about them from pre-inaugural cruisers and thinking "how bad can revolving doors be? These people are just nitpicking." But, one has to *experience* them to understand. LOL

 

They aren't just regular revolving doors...but some new menacing piece of engineering altogether! :confused:

 

T

 

O.K. now you have got me wondering about these revolving doors. Where excactly are they, am I going to encounter them alot and what are they doing?

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Darlin,

They defy explanation. The strange thing is, the middle section can convert to regular swinging doors. When they are used in that set-up, egress is much easier.

 

Unless you want to go up and over, or down and around, you must go through these doors to get from the Windjammer to the pool area (and vice-versa). No practical way of avoiding them.

 

Tracy

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