Cruise News Daily

Freedom of the Seas







Royal Caribbean began to reveal the innovations they are making aboard the 158,000-grt Freedom of the Seas in a "splashy" presentation Thursday (May 5) in New York. 

The event had a construction theme because construction of Freedom of the Seas is well underway with delivery just 11.5 months away. All the Royal Caribbean personnel - including the execs - were wearing coveralls typical of what the yard workers wear. At left, Royal Caribbean president Adam Goldstein makes his presentation from atop a lift.

There were artist's renderings, diagrams and architect's models (second photo) around the sides of the cavernous hall, but the space was dominated by a plywood mockup of what will be one of the most innovative features of the pool deck - the H2O Zone. 

The aqua environment was recreated just in rough form with the plywood cutouts and curving walls where the pools will be to give an idea of the scope of the feature. In the third photo you can see one of the actual colorful ceramic animals that will go on the ship and spray water at innocent passers-by.  

One of the three pools on the top deck will be in the adults-only solarium at the forward end of the deck. The pool will feature underwater music and a window that looks down into the forward atrium.
At either side of the solarium there will be large hot tubs that extend twelve feet over the side of the ship. They will afford a magnificent view of the sea more than eleven stories below. 
The main pool area, aft of the solarium, will feature two pools, divided by a central platform that gives the appearance of floating over one large pool. One of the pools will be for swimming, while the other is the sports pool where there will be games and new types of pool activities which Royal Caribbean is developing. These include amateur synchronized swimming and jousting. 
Farther aft is the H2O Zone. The aqua environment includes spurting and spraying water (coming from everywhere including the decks and the large colorful animals, which are pictured above), children's wading pools, and a current pool that will move the floating occupants around as if in a river's current. At the back of the area, you can see the waterfall that feeds the rectangular pool below it and the two wading areas. 
At night, the main pool area becomes one of the ship's largest nighttime entertainment areas with a bandstand, a DJ booth and the central island becoming the dance floor.
Freedom's rock climbing wall is typical of many of the features which are being carried over from the Voyager ships. Everything on the Voyager-class vessels will be aboard Freedom of the Seas, except in a new and improved form. For example, the Royal Promenade will be lengthened to 445 feet, and the ice rink in Studio B will be enlarged. Here, the rock climbing wall was expanded to a 43 by 44 foot structure, now with 11 paths to the top in different levels of difficulty. One of the paths includes the new central spire shown at left. When it is actually built, the spire will be narrower than is depicted in this rendering. 

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