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Royal Caribbean's Freedom-Class Fleet:
Newer, Bigger, Bolder

by Roy Witman © 2008

With one of the newest fleets afloat, Royal Caribbean is beaming when it comes to their Freedom-Class ships. And with good reason! The namesake, “Freedom,” is currently touring the Caribbean and - if she is any indication - the others in the lineup will cause quite a stir in the cruise industry. Quite frankly, the Freedom class is impressive and offers some truly unique features.

At over 160,000 tons, each of the three ships in the Freedom- Class fleet carries 3,634 passengers at double occupancy. They also have several other things in common.

FlowRider® - The first ever surf park at sea, the FlowRider® is a blast! This exciting surfing ride gives you the feeling that you're hanging ten on a Maui wave without ever leaving the ship. It may be wet and wild, but it's also easy to master, so everyone can participate. Instructors are always on hand to help when needed.

H20 Zone - Kids and their parents get in on the water-filled fun, too, in the H20 Zone. Brilliantly colored hoops, mushrooms and other shapes sprinkle and splash you with water, as you cool off. No other ships have this type of innovative water park.

Solarium - If a little de-stressing is what you need, the Solarium with cantilevered whirlpools is just the ticket. With its rainforest motif, the Solarium extends 12 feet beyond the sides of the ship, so you get a view like no other! What could be more relaxing than feeling as if you're floating across the ocean like a bird?

Rock-Climbing Wall - This massive tower is another Royal Caribbean first. Standing almost four stories high, this rock wall has 12 trails to follow. Guests of every activity level can give it a try! Your reward? Not only will you get some great exercise, but you'll also find a breathtaking view at the top!

Full-Size Everlast® Boxing Ring - Complete with safety gear, this is the first boxing ring at sea. Enjoy sparring sessions with fully qualified instructors, mirror boxing, speed bags, master bags, one-on-one training sessions and more. It's bound to be a hit!

Ice-Skating Rink - Put on a pair of skates and chill out on this full-size ice-skating rink. It's a great way to chill out after spending time in a tropical paradise.

Royal Promenade - Not just a glorified hallway with shops, this is Main Street U.S.A.! Cobblestone walkways, street performers and more make this a fun place to be. Shops, restaurants, bright colors, skylights and bridges are at every turn. You'll find the unique as well as the familiar, like Ben & Jerry's ice cream!

With so much in common, how could you possibly choose between these three ships? Look for their scheduled itineraries. “Freedom of the Seas,” launched in 2006, offers 32 captivating Western, Eastern and Southern Caribbean ports of call, departing from 10 different cities. “Liberty of the Seas” will launch in May 2007 with a limited Caribbean schedule, including the wildly popular ports of Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Montego Bay, St. Maarten and San Juan. And, coming in May 2008, “Independence of the Seas” will sail to classic European destinations.

Even if you've taken a dozen cruises before, sailing on a Freedom- Class ship is a must! With so many “firsts,” it will be a whole new vacation experience for you and your family.

Read more about the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line.