Freedom of the Seas

Royal Caribbean's Freedom of the Seas heads for 24 day drydock

In:
06Jan2015

Royal Caribbean's Freedom of the Seas is headed to drydock to begin her 24-day ship-wide refurbishment tomorrow.

The ship is headed to Freeport, Bahamas to have work done on the ship that will consist of cleaning up the entire ship as well as add new facilities and options for guests.

UPDATE: Royal Caribbean has announced a list of changes coming to Freedom of the Seas. Royal Caribbean has been tight lipped on what exactly will change on Freedom of the Seas, but it's safe to say the major propulsion problem that has been plaguing the ship will be fixed.

Some of the work has already begun on the ship even before it left for dry dock.  Carpeting and other areas of the ship were quietly worked on during a quick 2-night cruise that ended today.

A lot of carpeting starting to get ripped up on #FreedomOfTheSeas in preparation for her refurbishment

A photo posted by Royal Caribbean Blog.com (@royalcaribbeanblog) on

Many Royal Caribbean fans have been speculating on other changes coming based on what other Royal Caribbean ships have had as well as information crew members on Freedom of the Seas have told passengers that they've heard.

Rumors are generally regarding new specialty restaurants coming to Freedom of the Seas, including potentially Giovanni's Table, Izumi and Sabor Modern Mexican.  There's also rumors of a new Diamond Member lounge and Concierge lounge.

Royal Caribbean changes Freedom of the Seas December 28 sailing due to propulsion problem

In:
24Dec2014

Royal Caribbean has changed the itinerary it had originally planned for Freedom of the Seas due to a propulsion problem that the ship is suffering from.

As with the last few sailings, Royal Caribbean has changed the itinerary due to a "small restriction on her top speed".  All scheduled ports on the itinerary – CocoCay, Montego Bay, GeorgeTown and Cozumel – will remain, with adjustments made to the time spent in port.

The new itinerary will have Freedom of the Seas

  • December 28: Depart Port Canaveral at 4:30pm
  • December 29: CocoCay from 7:30am to 3:30pm
  • December 30: Sea Day
  • December 31: Montego Bay from 9:00am to 5:00pm
  • January 1: Grand Cayman from 7:00am to 2:30pm
  • January 2: Cozumel from 10:00am to 4:00pm
  • January 3: Sea Day
  • January 4: Return to Port Canaveral at 6:00am

As with other altered cruises due to this propulsion problem, and we've heard Royal Caribbean has given its passengers onboard credit as an apology for the change.  A letter with the credit amount will be delivered to each stateroom.

Propulsion problem forces Royal Caribbean to modify Freedom of the Seas December 21 Christmas cruise itinerary

In:
18Dec2014

Royal Caribbean has changed the itinerary it had originally planned for Freedom of the Seas due to a propulsion problem that the ship is suffering from.

The last few Freedom of the Seas itineraries have also been changed and while the ports the ship was planning on visiting remains unchanged, the amount of time in port is being reduced.

The new itinerary will have Freedom of the Seas

  • December 21: Depart Port Canaveral at 4:30pm
  • December 22: Sea Day
  • December 23: Labadee from 10:15am to 4pm
  • December 24: San Juan from 2:30pm to 8pm
  • December 25: St. Maarten from 8am to 1pm
  • December 26: Sea Day
  • December 27: Sea Day
  • December 28: Return to Port Canaveral at 7:15am

As with other altered cruises due to this propulsion problem, Royal Caribbean will give passengers onboard credit as an apology for the change.  A letter with the credit amount will be delivered to each stateroom.

There is no word on what caused the propulsion problems. Royal Caribbean maintains the ship is perfectly safe.  Freedom of the Seas is scheduled for a dry dock session in January 2015.

Royal Caribbean's Freedom of the Seas propulsion problems will slow ship

In:
13Dec2014

Royal Caribbean is informing passengers set to embark on this week's Freedom of the Seas cruise that the ship, "is currently experiencing a small restriction on her top speed."

As a result of the speed reduction, the ship will have to change the Eastern Caribbean itinerary.  The ship will skip a port call at the company's private island of CocoCay and reduce the time the ship will spend in St. Maarten.

Emails and text messages were sent to guests today informing them of the change.  Royal Caribbean assures guests that the ship is fully operational and there is no impact on the maneuverability of the ship or on the safety of our guests and crew.

There is no word on what caused the propulsion problems.  Freedom of the Seas is scheduled for a dry dock session in January 2015.

Royal Caribbean is also giving all passengers an undisclosed amount of onboard credit.  A letter with the credit amount will be delivered to each stateroom.

Passengers tha had shore excursions booked in CocoCay through Royal Caribbean will have their excursions fully refunded in the form of onboard credit, although unused money can be refunded after the cruise back to passengers.

Freedom of the Seas is set to leave Port Canaveral on December 14 as scheduled.

DEC 15 UPDATE: Blog reader Sean shared with us some more details on the problem affecting Freedom of the Seas.  There is a recorded message from Captain Tor Olsen playing in all staterooms explaining the problem.

The center fixipod is having the trouble, which is similar to the problem Allure of the Seas had earlier this year.  Captain Olsen described one of the bearings as being "in very bad shape".

As a result, the main thurst propeller blade has been removed from the center pod and Freedom of the Seas is operating only with the port and starboard azipods. The result is a reduced top speed by 5 knots, with a new max cruising speed of 18 knots.

Royal Caribbean confirms Dynamic Dining is not coming to Freedom of the Seas

In:
16Oct2014

Royal Caribbean released a new Dynamic Dining Q&A document and one bit of news to come out of is the fate of traditional dining on Freedom of the Seas.

The document reads:

As leaders in innovation, Royal Caribbean International is reimagining dining at sea with the launch of Dynamic Dining aboard the Quantum class of ships. This revolutionary program also will be introduced to the Oasis Class, the world’s largest and most innovative class of cruise ships, during their upcoming scheduled dry docks. Dynamic Dining is a strategic initiative for Royal Caribbean and based on the positive response from our guests, it is our intention to implement this program across as many of our ships as possible, as part of our Royal Advantage program — our ongoing commitment to offer the best experience in the industry to our guests. At this time, there are no plans to implement Dynamic Dining on Freedom of the Seas during her upcoming dry dock due to certain limitations including time restrictions. We will continue to communicate any implementation of Dynamic Dining across the rest of the Royal Caribbean fleet as those decisions are made.

Royal Caribbean has scheduled Freedom of the Seas for a drydock refurbishment in January 2015 and there was speculation that perhaps Freedom of the Seas would be getting Dynamic Dining just like Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas.

Freedom of the Seas Photo Report - July 20, 2014

In:
20Jul2014

One of our blog readers, Shawn Wallace, is beginning his cruise this week on Freedom of the Seas and took some time to share photos of areas around the ship. Enjoy!

The Royal Promenade

KIds pool area, H2O Zone

Mini golf

Enjoying a drink to celebrate the beginning of a Royal Caribbean cruise

Adventure Ocean Explorers Room

Little People poster in Nursery

Galileo main dining room

Royal Caribbean's Freedom of the Seas rescues sailors

In:
19Dec2013

Freedom of the Seas rescued two sailors early this morning that were adrift at sea.

Cruise Critic reports the Royal Caribbean cruise ship found the two after the sailors shot a red flare to signal for attention.

Royal Caribbean Director of global corporate communications Cynthia Martinez issued this statement regarding the incident, "the rescue occurred today at approximately 5:30 a.m. as the ship sailed from San Juan to Philipsburg, St. Maarten. After sailing toward the red flare, the ship encountered a small boat with two passengers. Crew lowered a boat into the water and rescued the two men, both from the Dominican Republic."

After being rescued, Cruise Critic indicated that the Royal Caribbean crew gave the sailors food, water and medical treatment until they could be transfered to the United States Coast Guard in St. Maarten.

Freedom-ice.com Ice Skating Show Review

In:
04Sep2013

Perhaps one of the more underrated shows on any Royal Caribbean cruise is the ice skating shows that are performed on the Freedom, Voyager and Oasis class ships.  Ice skating shows don't usually grab people's attentions but the Freedom-ice.com show on Freedom of the Seas is exciting and very entertaining.

The Show

Freedom-ice.com takes place in Studios B and is a mash up of different eras of music set to interpretive ice skating dance.  I know that may not sound like the most riveting thing you could do on your cruise but it is a lot more interesting than you may think.

The cast of performers is an international assortment of ice skaters who have had various degrees of experience performing both on stage and in professional and amateur ice skating competitions.  Depending on which cruise you happen to be on, there will be one or two special guest stars who seem to have more experience than the rest of the cast and perform some of the more demanding tricks.

During each scene, the skaters come out in costumes set to match the music being played and dance along to the tunes.  Some bits will feature one or two performers while others feature nearly the entire cast.  It's the solo and duet acts that really shine because it gives those performing an opportunity to really show the audience their skills as ice skaters.  Often we will see double and triple axles, flips and other difficult tricks.  Not to be out done, the full cast sets astound for having so many people in such a small rink.

In terms of production value, Freedom-ice.com is really impressive with great choreography, beautiful costumes and elaborate sets.  It's astounding to see how many costume changes the cast does in just one show. In terms of the shows that are available to see on Freedom of the Seas, it's arguably the best.

Comments

As someone that wondered how good an ice skating show can be, I was pretty darn impressed by what I saw.  What is really impressive about the show is the presentation of acrobatics, skating and costumes all while on a moving ship.  

Because the ship is moving, it's even more amazing how few falls there are during the performance.  There are times when I would be hard pressed to walk straight because of ship movement but these professionals manage to hit their marks.  While there is a fall here and there, it's rare to witness more than 1 or 2 per show. 

By far the audience relishes the difficult moves, such as the various spins and flips.  I won't pretend to know more than a triple axle is among the most difficult moves, but when it's done properly, it's an amazing sight.  

If you want to see Freedom-ice.com on your cruise, I highly recommend booking your tickets in advance.  Tickets are free but the line for the shows can get very long and quite often Studio B will fill to capacity.  Your best bet is to reserve tickets online before your cruise and be certain to arrive early.  

Freedom-ice.com is available on Royal Caribbean's Freedom of the Seas.  There is no cost to see Freedom-ice.com

In accordance with FTC guidelines, please note that my cruise and food were provided by Royal Caribbean International, of which this Freedom-Ice.com show was a part.  However, my opinions and reviews are my own.

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