Royal Caribbean International’s newly amplified Freedom of the Seas has debuted its $116 million transformation in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The transformed ship unveils new adventures from bow to stern, including The Perfect Storm duo of high-speed waterslides, a vibrant Caribbean poolscape, the cruise line’s first Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen, and new, dedicated spaces for kids and teens. Now sailing, Freedom offers travelers 7-night Southern Caribbean cruises that visit a new island each day from Barbados and Antigua to the ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao).
Thrills on Deck
At three stories high, guests can choose the Cyclone or Typhoon slides to go head to head through winding twists and turns in a heart-pumping faceoff.
Featuring a whole new look, signature poolside bar The Lime & Coconut, live music, and a wider variety of seating and shade with the addition of casitas, in-pool loungers and daybeds, the reimagined pool deck is where pool days become an all-day affair. The youngest of travelers can enjoy the new kids aqua park, Splashaway Bay, and adults looking for soothing downtime can head to the renewed Solarium.
New to Royal Caribbean, Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen serves up a reimagined menu of authentic Italian dishes with a contemporary flair, from fresh pastas to custom pizzas hand-tossed high in the air. The cruise line’s take on “Sunday supper” is complete with limoncello and a wide selection of wines.
Guests can enjoy a poolside fiesta of flavors, including tacos, burritos and quesadillas, at the casual grab-and-go spot. The venue is the first El Loco Fresh that includes a full-service bar with a wide selection of tequilas.
From sushi to sashimi and hibachi, Izumi offers an Asian-inspired dining experience. The menu spans a variety of hot and cold appetizers, entrees and desserts—each made to order with fresh ingredients and impeccable presentation.
At Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade, all ages can have a seat at the table to catch live games on more than 100 TVs, make legendary plays on arcade classics, and refuel on classic bar fare and ice-cold brews.
Adventures for Everyone
Two clans, the Yetis and Snowshifters, collide in a glow-in-the-dark laser tag adventure for control of a mystical frozen city.
The award-winning youth program, Adventure Ocean, reveals a 360-degree transformation. Its new layout encourages kids to choose their own immersive adventures across several rooms: Play Place, the whimsical space with climbable creations; Arena, where there’s friendly competition; and Hangout, a space to chill and call their own. Three- and 5-year-olds, as well as the tiniest of travelers at 6-36 months old each have dedicated spaces with AO Juniors and AO Babies, respectively.
Teens will rejoice in their exclusive hangout—Social033—entirely redesigned to feature the latest in movies, gaming and music, plus a new, private outdoor deck.
The top-to-bottom transformation also adds Freedom to the lineup of ships now available on the Royal Caribbean International mobile app. Guests can check in for their cruise from their personal device and arrange Expedited Arrival, prior to setting sail, for a seamless boarding experience at the port. On board, it is an effortless transition into vacation mode with the app’s easy-to-use features such as the ability to plan activities for each day, view onboard expenses and make reservations for dining, and shore excursions, as well as shows, and the in-app TV remote available for each stateroom.
Extending the adventure to shore, the amplified Freedom Class ship is sailing week-long Southern Caribbean itineraries that are rich in destinations. Guests can set course for the ultimate, island-hopping vacation to discover many idyllic locales, including Oranjestad, Aruba; Willemstad, Curacao; Bridgetown, Barbados; Saint Johns, Antigua; and Kralendijk, Bonaire.