Freedom Makes A Splash

Freedom of the Seas will take poolside fun to a new level

By: Ana Figueroa

Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas will take poolside fun to a new level when the ship debuts in May 2006. An innovative “aqua-environment” on the ship’s top deck will include features unlike anything else at sea. Namely, three different pool areas, holding a Family Water Park, Cantilevered Whirlpools, and a dedicated Sports Pool, among other attractions.

At the far aft of the ship, the H2O Zone will feature large, brightly colored fountain “sculptures.” Guests can spray water on each other by turning wheels and setting off sensors throughout a central wading area surrounded by spray cannons, water jets and ground gusher. The H20 Zone will also feature a circular pool with a current of water that forms a river around a central island. Guests can cool off by floating around the island as they are sprayed by the fountain sculptures. Near the circular pool, a shallow pool will serve as a wading area for young children. At night, the water park will turn into an illuminated sculpture garden.

An adults-only relaxation area in the front of the ship will feature a jungle-themed Solarium. Two large hot tubs cantilevered out 12 feet from the sides of the ship will offer panoramic views, as guests sit suspended 112 feet above the ocean. The Solarium also will feature tropical foliage, mosaics and murals, sculpted metal palm trees, hammocks and music piped in underwater.

Additionally, one of the ship’s two central pools will be designated as a sports pool. Guests can participate in a number of water sports, ranging from pool volleyball and basketball to floating golf and pole jousting. At night, the main pool area will become an open-air nightclub, with a large dance floor situated between the two pools.

The 158,000-ton, 3,600-passenger Freedom of the Seas will be the largest ship in the world, and the first of Royal Caribbean’s Freedom class vessels when she debuts next year. Freedom of the Seas will sail seven-night Western Caribbean itineraries from Miami.