Royal Caribbean’s Freedom Class Ships Review
Royal Promenade on Freedom of the Seas
Kids who love the whiz-bang of the latest technologies will absolutely adore the Freedom-class ships from Royal Caribbean.
Freedom of the Seas, Independence of the Seas and Liberty of the Seas represent state of the cruising art, sure to impress the kid in all of us with a whole host of amenities and features that run from the now-expected-of-Royal Caribbean rock-climbing walls to an interactive water park and two adults-only hot tubs that are cantilevered 12 feet out from the side of the ship for a hot soak with a dramatic view.
Just For Kids
With programs for five age groups of kids and teens, Royal Caribbean’s Adventure Ocean, for kids 3 years to 17 years, gets consistently high marks for its family friendly approach. Providing fun learning opportunities about local customs, with some cool science experiments too, Adventure Ocean separates kids by age, with dedicated facilities for each group. Royal Caribbean also offers interactive play time for kids 6 – 36 months.
It’s nice for the kids to hang out with their own kind, and age group, but Royal Caribbean recognizes that not all families are looking for separation. Activities for kids and parents include karaoke, talent shows, bingo tournaments and the family disco. And there are family friendly competitions on the famous rock wall or the mini-golf course.
The FlowRider Surf Park is surf simulator, sort of a perpetual wave where you can try to hang ten. Wipeouts aren’t painful, and the less adventurous can use a body board.
Keep’em Happy/No Shuffleboard, Dad!
Extended versions of popular Voyager-class ships, the Freedom-class ships vessels were the most innovative in the Royal Caribbean fleet of megaliners until the Oasis-class vessels came along, and it would take a seriously bad mood to claim that there is nothing to do. And if anyone gets too truculent, ship them off to the full-size boxing ring, where they can get lessons and even do some sparring.
Timing is everything
It’s pretty predictable when the ships will be full of families – just look at the school calendar. The best timing for families has more to do with when you book your cruise than when you go: The early bird definitely gets first crack at the staterooms and sailings that families find most desireable.
Avoid the Crowds
You will be sharing these ships with 4,200 of your best friends, but being twice as large as the biggest ships 10 or 12 years ago, Freedom Class ships provide plenty of elbow room in the vast and plentiful public spaces.
An entirely new addition is the H2O Zone—an expansive area fitted with a kids’ pool, water cannons and abstract colorful sculpture fountains that shoot water in entertaining and unpredictable directions, partially controlled by passengers who want to get soaked or start a water war.
For fun family fare, it’s tough to beat Johnny Rockets for a burger, fries and a shake. If you are having too much fun to leave the pool deck, the Solarium pool has a cafe dispensing pizzas, while the self-serve Sprinkles provides frozen yogurt. If looking for a healthier drink options, there is the Squeeze selling various fruit drinks.
With a generous number of family friendly staterooms, including suites that can sleep up to 14 people, and adrenaline-pumping features, Royal Caribbean’s Freedom-class is perfect for families who really want to abide the cruise line’s slogan to “get out there!”
For updated reviews featuring Royal Caribbean’s Freedom Class Vessels, visit these links: