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Nice Symphony / Oasis-class features coming to Freedom Class


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I got more than a little excited when I saw the post from @Matt about the Royal Amplified fleet upgrade schedule, which included some new details on what each class of ship was getting as part of its refurb. In particular, I saw that Freedom class is getting all of these features from her bigger Oasis-class siblings, and Symphony in particular:

  • Sky Pad (what I call "the bounce house")
  • The Perfect Storm water slides
  • Playmakers Sports Bar and Arcade
  • Sugar Beach
  • Laser Tag
  • Escape Room
  • Fish & Ships

Emphasis on Playmakers and Escape Room is mine. I'm wondering where Playmakers would go, given that Freedom class doesn't have an outdoor space like the Boardwalk on Oasis. Maybe the space where Johnny Rockets currently sits on deck 11, right next to the existing kids' arcade? It wasn't very busy on any of the days I'd walk by there on my recent Freedom sailing, and Playmakers would clearly replace the burgers-and-fries offering of JR. Plus, by putting it right in the space next to an existing arcade, they can refurbish that arcade space with newer games and maybe increase the size a little. Would be some effective use of the space, and anything on the burger front should be better than JR. Even on land, I'm not a fan of JR burgers.

The escape room -- I wonder if this would be like on Anthem, where it's just the Teen Club space repurposed for part of the day, or if they might do it like Escape the Rubicon and other dedicated rooms that Oasis-class ships get? I'd really prefer the latter, as a purpose-built space for escape rooms is so much better than just slapping some props into an existing room for a couple of hours on one or two days. But what space would they replace if they did this? Apart from JR, I can't say I noticed any other really "dead" spaces on Freedom.

I'm assuming Laser Tag would be done the same way as on Symphony, with walls and other props set up in the Studio B ice rink. Sugar beach -- probably replacing the current cupcake store in the Royal Promenade. Fish & Ships -- NO idea on this one, but I'm surprised (and a little disappointed) they're doing this and not putting in an Izumi like they did on Adventure. There's already the Bull & Bear Pub that could be used as a fish & chips place, keeping the overall theme of British Pub going; why install another restaurant that sort of duplicates a theme already in place? Especially when the marketing material clearly shows the pub is not going anywhere?

 

Overall, this is kind of exciting to see, especially when it's coming in 2020. I really liked sailing on Freedom, and while I'm not a huge sports bar fan, if it improved the beer selection so I could choose something other than Paulaner Salvator or Guinness Draught cans, I'd be very happy to sail her again and try out all the new shiny. Maybe even forego the Europe trip I've been mulling and sail her instead.

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@JLMoran you aren't the only one who is excited.  I've already booked Oasis for spring 2020 because I can't wait to see what she will look like after revitalization.  I haven't gone on her since she first sailed in 2009 because there was always another Oasis class ship to try.  And now, because she doesn't have the slides, that makes it a no-go for my girls.  But yes, really excited to check out the results of these amplified ships.  Those Freedom class ships look like they will be great for those who don't like the Oasis class ships.  Like you said, many similar features.  We might all pay for it in pricing though.  That's why I grabbed the Oasis booking now.

This past weekend, I was looking a possible cruises for a friend and I did notice that the escape room on some of these revitalized ships have an age requirement of 14yrs.  I wonder why that is?

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1 hour ago, jurrjurr said:

If they are following a similar refurbishment as Independence of the Seas, Playmakers should be located on Deck 4

Really? Deck 4 on Freedom was Schooner Bar, Sabor right next to it, and upper entrance to the main theater forward; casino mid-ship; and then the photography display area, Boleros Lounge, and MTD MDR entrance aft. Doesn't seem like any good place to put a sports bar and grill out of those options, unless they were going to replace the Schooner Bar or Boleros with Playmakers (which would be a bad call IMO due to fairly small space in either location).

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11 minutes ago, JLMoran said:

Really? Deck 4 on Freedom was Schooner Bar, Sabor right next to it, and upper entrance to the main theater forward; casino mid-ship; and then the photography display area, Boleros Lounge, and MTD MDR entrance aft. Doesn't seem like any good place to put a sports bar and grill out of those options, unless they were going to replace the Schooner Bar or Boleros with Playmakers (which would be a bad call IMO due to fairly small space in either location).

I believe they will be in where the Photo Gallery space is on Deck 4.  Photo Gallery moving to Deck 3 where On-Air space is now.

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1 minute ago, jurrjurr said:

I believe they will be in where the Photo Gallery space is on Deck 4.  Photo Gallery moving to Deck 3 where On-Air space is now.

Interesting. Photo Gallery space still isn't that big, and there's no connecting path from that space to any existing grill / kitchen area. I guess they could put the bar area on one side of the aisle go through from fore to aft, and the grill / kitchen area on the other side, but that strikes me as an odd layout compared to what they have for Symphony in the Boardwalk area. It was why I was thinking of commandeering the existing JR space -- they already have a grill setup to work with (gas feed lines, fryer, etc.), space is laid out right for a sports bar, and it has that outside exposure like the Boardwalk area would have. But Freedom ≠ Symphony, in practically every way, so I wouldn't be surprised to find out you hit the nail on the head.

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5 minutes ago, jurrjurr said:

I wonder if they will be introducing Izumi and remove Sabor.   

That would definitely be a mixed bag for me. I liked what I had of Sabor (just small plates and guac), and would really like a chance to try it again. But I'd also like a proper Izumi on board and not just the Express variety, with its pre-made from who knows how long ago rolls and nothing else. I know it wouldn't be big enough for the teppanyaki section, but at least make real, fresh sushi an option!

Is it too much to ask to have both on board? 😁

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9 minutes ago, JLMoran said:

That would definitely be a mixed bag for me. I liked what I had of Sabor (just small plates and guac), and would really like a chance to try it again. But I'd also like a proper Izumi on board and not just the Express variety, with its pre-made from who knows how long ago rolls and nothing else. I know it wouldn't be big enough for the teppanyaki section, but at least make real, fresh sushi an option!

Is it too much to ask to have both on board? 😁

The guac and tacos will be easy to incorporate into the Playmaker's menu and is still in-line with their theme.

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Just now, twangster said:

I can see it now.. "OMG, why did I wait so long to cruise on OA class?!?!"

You're going in the wrong direction, @twangster. You have to look at when I end up doing the planned-for Norway / Iceland / Eastern Med cruise... "OMG, why did I wait so long to cruise on RADIANCE class?!?" 😁

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Just now, JLMoran said:

You're going in the wrong direction, @twangster. You have to look at when I end up doing the planned-for Norway / Iceland / Eastern Med cruise... "OMG, why did I wait so long to cruise on RADIANCE class?!?" 😁

You're going the wrong way!  It's bigger and brighter, not smaller and colder lol

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9 minutes ago, Lovetocruise2002 said:

You're going the wrong way!  It's bigger and brighter, not smaller and colder lol

Nope, that cobalt blue of the deep ocean is burned into my memory. I want that view and that connection on every cruise. If I want to wake up to see a Central Park, I'll get a hotel room on E 60th for the night. Or if I want a boardwalk view, I'll drive down to Point Pleasant for the day. For that ocean view, it's got to be a balcony room on deck 7 / 8 / 9 of a smaller ship, doing a nice long itinerary.

Heck, my cabin on Anthem is on deck 7 and I'm totally happy with that now that I know what to expect for the view. No way I'd want deck 9 or higher, I'd be too far up from the water!

And if the ocean was that cobalt in the Caribbean, how much deeper blue might it be in the Scandinavian regions? 🤔

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Just now, tiny260 said:

@Lovetocruise2002, deck 17!

You got that right!!

 

Just now, tiny260 said:

 

Joe, you don't know what your missing...

Thank goodness, some else talk some sense into him! 😉

1 minute ago, tiny260 said:

 

Have not been on a Q class yet so maybe it will be right up there with O class with me (July 4th 2019 Group cruise)...

Been there, done that.  Anthem is great but she's not OA class.

@JLMoran, OA class goes to Costa Maya and Cozumel.  The most beautiful blue I have ever seen there.  And you can still get a balcony on Deck 6/7/8.

And boy, have we gone off topic!

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24 minutes ago, JLMoran said:

Nope, that cobalt blue of the deep ocean is burned into my memory. I want that view and that connection on every cruise. If I want to wake up to see a Central Park, I'll get a hotel room on E 60th for the night. Or if I want a boardwalk view, I'll drive down to Point Pleasant for the day. For that ocean view, it's got to be a balcony room on deck 7 / 8 / 9 of a smaller ship, doing a nice long itinerary.

I'm with you Joe, I have a beach where I live, a Boardwalk 4 miles away and been to Central Park more times than most.  I KNOW @Lovetocruise2002 thinks I would like Oasis Class. And that may be true.  I just feel like I'm a smaller ship kind of gal at this point in my life (and hubby's mobility which hopefully will be rectified soon).  I"m still holding out for May 2020 deployment and am STILL looking at Allure although I have to admit, Freedom seems more like me. Although @twangster I"m sure will be on ANOTHER one after AOS and his pics will make me drool and then I'll say I want a Genie! LOL!! 

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I think I might be a small ship person too.  I've really only got the Allure and the Majesty to compare in recent memory, but there was a lot that I liked better on the Majesty.

I mean, I'm never going to turn my nose up at the Allure--but if the Majesty wasn't relocating, I'd be sailing with her again this coming October.  The smaller ship seemed more cozy and relaxing to me.  The Allure was more like Disney World.  Amazing, but the crowds could be a bit much.

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