Five Things to Know About Royal Caribbean International's Freedom of the Seas Cruise Ship
Best for: Adrenaline junkies and families looking for non-stop action
Sails: The Caribbean, the Mediterranean
At a Glance: Before the Oasis- and Quantum-class ships came along, the 3,782-passenger Freedom of the Seas was Royal Caribbean’s biggest, most action-packed vessel. Refurbished in 2015, it’s still one of the line’s most fun.
There’s Room for Everybody
During a refurbishment in 2015, many of the cabins were redone and new ones were put in place. (Ask for a refreshed stateroom when you book.) Cabins range in size from 150 square feet for an interior cabin to 1,358 square feet for a Royal Suite, which comes with a baby piano and a whirlpool on the balcony. For big groups, there’s also the 1,209-square-foot four-bedroom family suite, which also has a sofa bed in the living rom and a balcony with a whirlpool.
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There’s a Long Activities List
Passengers who’d rather spend their vacation moving than lolling in a lounge chair will find plenty to keep them going. Freedom of the Seas was the first Royal Caribbean ship with a FlowRider surf simulator. It also has an ice rink, rock-climbing wall, table tennis, and four pools. There’s also mini golf, a basketball court, a 3D movie theater, and a fitness center where you’ll find a long list of classes (yoga, tai chi) to kick off your day.
Kids Have Plenty To Do
As part of Royal Caribbean’s DreamWorks Experience, characters from Shrek, Madagascar, and more are on hand for parades, character meals, and photo ops. When your children aren’t hanging with Puss in Boots, they’ll be splashing around the H2O Zone waterpark or making new friends at the Adventure Ocean club, which keeps kids busy with everything from science experiments to scavenger hunts. (Teens get their own lounge and disco.) Ready for a treat? Take them to the Cupcake Cupboard, where they can choose among 30 flavors.
There Are Places to Relax
When you need a break from the action, grab a book and head to the adults-only Solarium pool: Some of the best views on the boat can be found from the Solarium’s cantilevered whirlpools, which hover over the ship’s edge. Or book a treatment at Vitality Spa, which offers everything from body wraps and massage to acupuncture and Botox.
The Restaurant Selection Is Vast
If you don’t like to eat at any restaurant more than once during a vacation, you’re in luck: There are more than 10 dining spots on board, including specialty restaurants like Sabor Modern Mexican, where passengers can try dishes like mole short rib and chicken and roasted corn empanadas; Giovanni’s Table, which features traditional Italian fare like veal meatballs and mushroom risotto; and Chops Grille steakhouse, with its crowd-pleasing mix of rib eyes, strip steaks, and veal chops. As for complimentary dining, you can hit the main dining room or grab a roll at Jade Sushi at the Windjammer Café buffet. If you’re looking for something easy and casual, check out Café Promenade for sandwiches and pastries or swing by Sorrento’s for New York-style pizza slices.