MIAMI, Aug. 21, 2019 – A bolder and reimagined Freedom of the Seas will redefine island hopping in the Southern Caribbean, following a $116 million amplification. Royal Caribbean International has announced the high-energy features and guest favorites that will come aboard, including The Perfect Storm duo of waterslides, a redesigned Caribbean poolscape, a new take on a signature venue with Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen and completely transformed kids and teens spaces. Starting March 2020, the newly amplified Freedom will set sail from San Juan, Puerto Rico on 7-night Southern Caribbean cruises to idyllic destinations, from Saint Lucia and Antigua to the ABC islands – Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao.
All-day Thrills on Deck
Vacationers can up the ante with more ways to play joining fan favorites like the FlowRider surf simulator, mini-golf and the rock-climbing wall.
The Perfect Storm, the heart-pumping duo of racer waterslides, is three stories of adventure that will take excitement off the charts. On Cyclone and Typhoon, guests are in for the ultimate race as they go head to head through twists and turns for bragging rights
A reimagined poolscape comes to life with all-day Caribbean vibes, a larger variety of seating and shade with casitas, daybeds and hammocks, and the Splashaway Bay aquapark for the youngest travelers. For downtime, guests can escape to the renewed, adults-only Solarium
The Lime & Coconut, Royal Caribbean’s new, poolside signature bar, is at the center of it all. The three-level spot serves up live music, a lineup of cocktails and a rooftop deck for a bird’s eye view of the action
Next-level Culinary Delights
Freedom’s amplification will also introduce more dining venues, spanning Italian, Asian and Mexican cuisine, tantalizing guests’ taste buds more than ever.
Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen is a fresh, new twist on a guest favorite. Vacationers can have their pick from authentic Italian dishes with a contemporary flair, including made-to-order pizzas hand tossed front and center, and baked in the new, in-house pizza oven. With a wide selection of wines and limoncellos on the reimagined menu, it’s “Sunday supper” Royal Caribbean style
Izumi Hibachi & Sushi, the Asian-inspired restaurant with teppanyaki tables and a sushi bar, features a variety of hot and cold appetizers, entrees, desserts and more
Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade, where everybody wins. Guests can catch their home team on more than 80 TV screens, hit “play” on any one of the arcade games, and refuel with a menu of classic bar bites and ice-cold brews on tap
El Loco Fresh will sit poolside and offer fresh grab-and-go Mexican fare, from tacos and burritos, to quesadillas, along with an array of salsas for an extra kick. For the first time, the venue will include a full-service bar with a selection of tequilas on offer
Adding to the roster of activities on board, Royal Caribbean will offer glow-in-the-dark laser tag adventure Clash for the Crystal City, and the debut of a floor-to-ceiling redesign of Freedom’s dedicated teens spaces and award-winning Adventure Ocean.
Adventure Ocean takes on a whole new look after a makeover that will touch every inch of the spaces specially designed for babies and kids. The imaginative layout encourages young vacationers to venture into a world of interactive experiences, from thought-provoking exploration at Play Place to art, science and tech activities at Workshop, and friendly challenges at Arena. Kicking back is just as fun with gaming consoles and places to chill at Hangout. Babies and 3- to 5-year-olds will each have personalized areas with AO Babies and AO Junior
Teens will rejoice at their exclusive hangout, entirely transformed to feature the latest in movies, gaming and music, plus a new, private outdoor deck
Beginning March 8, 2020, the reimagined Freedom will sail 7-night, roundtrip Southern Caribbean cruises from San Juan. The year-round itineraries are set to visit tropical locales in the region, including Oranjestad, Aruba; Willemstad, Curacao; Castries, Saint Lucia; Bridgetown, Barbados; Saint Johns, Antigua; and Kralendijk, Bonaire. For more details on the new, bold Freedom of the Seas, visit www.royalcaribbean.com.
Freedom joins her sister, Independence of the Seas, as part of the Royal Amplified fleet modernization effort. An investment of more than $1 billion across 10 ships in four years, Royal Caribbean’s program touches every facet of the guest experience and introduces a wide range of new adventures spanning one-of-a-kind attractions and experiential dining and nightlife.
(Gerry Barker is a freelance travel writer who has covered the cruise industry for 10 years, formerly with The Palm Beach Post. He and his wife Pam maintain a Cruise Blog on NorthPalmBeachLife.com)