|Its all about ships
PROFILE AND REVIEW
Cruise line profile - Royal Caribbean - Freedom class - profile and review
Above: Freedom of the Seas
Above: Liberty of the Seas
Above: Freedom of the Seas.
Below: Liberty of the Seas.
Above: Independence of the Seas.
Above: Freedom of the Seas.
Royal Caribbean's Freedom class consists of three ships: Freedom of the Seas,
Liberty of the Seas and Independence of the Seas.
At approximately 155,000 gross tons, the Freedom class were the largest cruise
ships in the world from 2006 to 2009. Since that time, cruise ships have gotten much
bigger. Consequently, while the Freedom class ships are big ships, they are not as
big as today's largest ships. Still, they can accommodate over 4,300 passengers.
The Freedom class ships offer a casual resort-type cruise experience. The décor
of the public areas is bold.
Consistent with the emphasis Royal was placing on action cruising at the time
when these ships were built, each ship has an array of sports facilities including
pools, a large sports court, a rock-climbing wall and a surfing simulator. Additional
action features have been added over the years including bungee trampolines and
For entertainment, guests can choose between shows in the main theater, ice
shows in the ice arena, large Las Vegas-style casino and outdoor movies on the giant
screen by one of the pools. There are also street parties and parades in the Royal
Promenade - - an indoor mall running down the centerline of the ships Live music
can be heard in several of the bars and lounges.
In addition to a spectacularly grand main dining room, each of the ships offers
several specialty restaurants and alternative casual dining options.
Although each ship has a multi-million dollar contemporary art collection,
cultural enrichment is not emphasized.
The Freedom-class are family-friendly with dedicated children's programs and
Above: Independence of the Seas
Although the three ships are very similar, they are
distinct. For example, Independence has a very
large following in the United Kingdom. Liberty
was long known for having statues of penguins
atop the bridge. (No one we spoke with seemed
to know why they were there). Freedom, the
elder sister, has a reputation for being well-run.
The three Freedom class ships were built in
Turku, Finland. The design is essentially an
elongated version of Royal Caribbean's
Voyager-class design. The additional length gives
the Freedom class ships a more stately silhouette
than the Voyagers. Of course, it also enables the
Freedom class ships to accommodate more
passengers and to offer more features.
The Freedom-class ships are propelled by
three pods suspended from the stern. The center
pod has a fixed position while the other two pods
can turn 360 degrees. This arrangement makes the
ships very maneuverable. Top speed is about 23
knots, which is about average for a modern cruise