Freedom of the Seas returns into service this week after completing a week-long drydock at the Grand Bahama Shipyard. As part of the Royal Advantage revitalization and enhancement program, Freedom of the Seas received new dining concepts, entertainment options, children’s programming and technology advancements that were introduced to wide industry acclaim aboard Royal Caribbean’s new Oasis-class ships. The Royal Advantage program comprises approximately $70 million of enhancements aboard five of the world’s most innovative cruise ships in 2011 to expand unparalleled onboard experiences across the cruise line’s fleet. Freedom of the Seas alternates an Eastern and a Western Caribbean seven-night, round-trip itinerary from Port Canaveral on Florida’s Space Coast.
“Royal Caribbean is rooted in providing our guests with incredible vacation experiences across the fleet and around the world,” said Lisa Bauer, senior vice president of Hotel Operations, Royal Caribbean International. “The outdoor video screen installed aboard Liberty of the Seas in January has already been so well received that we have decided to deploy it aboard all the ships scheduled to undergo the Royal Advantage revitalization in 2011. Making the investment on these ships as a way of extending the reach of the Oasis-class innovations to more of our guests is a natural progression for the fleet as a whole and how we are delivering the Royal Advantage to vacationers.”
In drydock, Freedom of the Seas received new technology enhancements, such as enhanced Wi-Fi, interactive televisions, electronic waivers for sports activities, and electronic mustering (as well as ticketing for shows later in the year) that offer greater convenience to Royal Caribbean guests on their cruise vacation. The ship also offers a new BRITTO Gallery, featuring a variety of merchandise designed by pop-art icon Romero Britto.
Other newly acquired Oasis-class signatures aboard Freedom of the Seas include:
• The DreamWorks Experience: The next generation of family programming is now available onboard Liberty of the Seas and Freedom of the Seas, as well as on Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas, with activities and shows including the DreamWorks parade down the Royal Promenade and interactive Character Breakfasts in the Rembrandt (Liberty of the Seas) and Leonardo (Freedom of the Seas) Dining Rooms with the animation movie studio’s “celebrity” characters.
• 3-D Movie Screens: The phenomenon of 3-D technology adds a new dimension to Liberty of the Seas and Freedom of the Seas’ Platinum and Arcadia Theaters respectively, where guests can screen newly released and long-time favorite movies in 3-D, available starting next week.
• Outdoor LED Video Walls:Measuring approximately 18.5 feet, the video screens – similar to those found in the Oasis-class AquaTheater – will overlook the main pool area, featuring movies and entertainment programs throughout the cruise for families, friends and couples to enjoy during the day and for an evening under the stars.
• The Cupcake Cupboard: A runaway hit for sweet treats aboard Oasis of the Seas, the 1940’s-style shop charms guests with a broad assortment of fresh gourmet cupcakes offered daily at a la carte pricing and memorable family experiences including hands-on decorating classes; specialty cupcakes and custom cupcakes cakes also are available. Beyond its tempting and innovative menu, the specialty bakery boutique, takes the place of A Clean Shave on Liberty of the Seas and Freedom of the Seas’ Royal Promenade.
• Vintages: The popular winelounge aboard Freedom of the Seas and Liberty of the Seas features a new trendier décor where patrons can enjoy a wide range of fine wines. A new automatedserving system, which will be stocked with 48 notable wine selections, offers a self-pour option for guests wanting to explore a variety of tastes and varietals.
• Imaginocean! Puppet Show: Conceptualized and produced by Emmy and Tony Award nominee John Tartaglia, exclusively for Royal Caribbean, this family musical geared towards children stars glow-in-the-dark underwater puppet characters will debut next month aboard Freedom of the Seas.
• Royal Babies and Tots Nursery: A huge hit aboard Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas, the nursery care program (starting next week aboard Freedom of the Seas) is expanding across all four ships being revitalized this year. Designed for babies and tots six through 36 months old, it offers parents a safe, fun and interactive vacation environment for their toddler. Royal Caribbean’s trained professionals carefully maintain an optimum staff to child ratio, offering various playgroups and activities developed exclusively for Royal Caribbean with partners Fisher Price and Crayola.
• Digital Wayfinding system: Groundbreaking technology launched on the Oasis-class ships makes it easier than ever to navigate Liberty of the Seas and Freedom of the Seas. Onboard activities, real time updates, customized directions and routing, as well as ship factoids are at guests’ fingertips with new plasma and LCD touch screen signs prominently placed throughout each of the ships.
The ships undergoing revitalizations in 2011 are Libertyof the Seasearlier this year,Freedom of the Seas, Radiance of the Seas inMay, andSplendour of the Seas inOctober. Each ship will come out of service and reemerge outfitted with the most highly guest-rated features introduced on Royal Caribbean’s new Oasis-class ships. Even Oasis of the Seas, the first Oasis-class ship, now boasts new features with the recent addition of the DreamWorks Experience and 3-D movies which first debuted on Allure of the Seas.
Liberty of the Seas was the first to showcase the revitalization enhancement when she arrived to her homeport of Port of Miami on January 30. Liberty of the Seas is sailing six-night Western Caribbean and eight-night Eastern Caribbean itineraries before repositioning to Barcelona for the summer season where she will debut the energetic West End musical “Saturday Night Fever” in the Platinum Theater. Starting April 16, Liberty of the Seas will join sister-ship Independence of the Seas in Europe to offer four- and five-night short Western Mediterranean cruises.