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Freedom of the Seas

Top 10 Freedom of the Seas hidden secrets


One of Royal Caribbean's most popular cruise ships is Freedom of the Seas and we have searched all over this ship for the best hidden secrets that you might miss on this impressive ship.

10. Best spot for sailaway

If you want the best spot on Freedom of the Seas to watch as she pulls out of port, then it has to be the helicopter pad at the front of the ship.

Located on the bow, guests can walk to the helicopter pad and enjoy the unobstructed views that you can only get from the helicopter pad.  The perspective from this spot is hard to beat and many guests do not know it is possible to go here.

To access the helicopter pad, go outside on deck 4 and then walk forward, climb up a set of stairs and continue walking forward until you reach the helicopter pad.

9. Hidden door to the helipad

Speaking of the helipad, if you want to avoid the stairs that lead up to the front of the ship, there is a secret door that will get you right there.

Walk all the way forward on Deck 5 and enter the Star Lounge.  In the daytime, it is usually empty.  Enter the lounge and take an immediate right, just past the DJ booth.

There's a set of unmarkes doors that you can simply open up an you will be let out right next to the helipad.  

This is especially helpful if you have a stroller or are in a wheelchair and stairs are a problem.

8. Second best spot for sailaway

A good alternative spot for sailaway that is less windy than the helipad (and has no stairs) are the little observation areas on deck 11 near the Solarium.

Go up to deck 11 and walk all the way forward.  Once in the Solarium, adjacent to the doors that lead to the elevator lobby are glass doors you must open manually.  

Inside is a small "room", with windows that look outwards and even some chairs to sit in.  This can be a great, uncrowded spot to enjoy sailaway.

7. Enjoy the view from Olive or Twist

It is really hard to beat the views of Freedom of the Seas' upper decks from the Olive or Twist Lounge.

Located on deck 14 at the aft of the ship the Olive or Twist lounge offers guests sweeping views of the upper decks and the ocean.  

To get to Olive or Twist, you must use the aft elevators and go up to deck 14.

6. Get a taste of it all at FreedomFest

An event unique to Freedom of the Seas is something called FreedomFest, where the Royal Promenade offers guests a little of everything unique on Freedom of the Seas.

There will be food and drink stations available, as well as towel and napkin folding demonstrations, watermelon carving, photos with the ship's officers, and more.

It is basically like a "best of" from the week's events held in one spot. 

FreedomFest is held on the Royal Promenade and is usually done on one of the last sea days of your cruise.  Check the Cruise Compass for more information.

5. Sun yourself on the St. Tropez deck

If you want to get that perfect tan or just enjoy being outside without all the noise of the pool deck (or the crowds), head up the St. Tropez deck.

Walk up to deck 12 and then walk all the way forward.  You will see a large open area with some deck chairs that you can use to enjoy a mostly uncrowded sun bathing spot.

What is special about the St. Tropez deck is there tends to be not many guests here at all, leaving it rather tranquil.  

4. Best parade spot

The DreamWorks parade on Freedom of the Seas is a terrific opportunity to see and meet the popular stars from hit DreamWorks films.

If you want a good spot to enjoy the parade and ensure your kids have a good chance to be close to the characters, try in front of the Bull and Bear pub.

The pub has tables outside the pub that you can sit at in the time leading up to the parade and since other families do not consider a pub the first spot to bring kids to for a parade, it can remain overlooked.

Once the parade is about to begin, stand up from your seats and you will be up front for all the action.  In addition, the pub is located right in the middle of the parade route.

3. Find the coolest mixed drinks here

These days, Royal Caribbean offers its guests a lot of opportunities to buy alcoholic beverages but the best place to find the most interesting mixed drinks has to be up on the pool deck on the port side.

This one spot near the main pool consistently serves up more than just mixed drinks.  You will find the neatest souvenir mugs as well as interesting choices for drinks that we could never find anywhere else onboard.

On one day, they were making mixed drinks that you could drink out of a hollowed out pineapple, and other days had different light up or color changing mugs.

Look for a stand on deck 11 at the main pool, close to the Solarium.  The choices available change daily, so be sure to ask about what is coming up and when.

2. Ride the FlowRider on embarkation day

Guests cannot seem to get enough of the FlowRider surf simulator on Freedom of the Seas.  It is really fun to try and learn to surf without having to wait for that perfect wave but there always seems to be a line.

To beat the lines, go to the FlowRider on embarkation day.  Bring your swimsuit in your carryon luggage (or wear it to the ship) and then head to the FlowRider in the afternoon.  

Most other guests onboard will not have their swim suits or even be aware the FlowRider is open.  It is the perfect time to get multiple rides in without little or no wait!

1. Book the Ben & Jerry's Suite

Photo by David Fiske

If you want a stateroom with some real character, try the "Ben & Jerry's Sweet" Promenade stateroom.

Stateroom 6305 may not appear different on the deck plans, but it one of the most unusual staterooms available anywhere.

Located directly above the Ben & Jerry's ice cream shop on the Royal Promenade, the sweet has a view of the Royal Promenade blocked by the two cows that make up the ice cream shop's recognizable facade.

Inside the stateroom, you will find a cow motif, with cow-sheets, pillows, cow, cow's picture on the wall and much more.

Booking this stateroom also gets you coupons for free Ben & Jerry's ice cream as well as access to the Concierge Lounge (for passengers over 18 years), which are otherwise only available to passengers reserved for those who booked a suite.

Did we miss any Freedom of the Seas secrets? Share them in our comments!

Fire reported on Royal Caribbean's Freedom of the Seas cruise ship


A fire broke out earlier this morning on Royal Caribbean's Freedom of the Seas and was subsequently contained and extinguished.

The Jamaica Gleaner posted a photo of Freedom of the Seas near Falmouth, Jamaica with black smoke coming from the ship.

11:07am UPDATE:Royal Caribbean has issued a statement that the fire occurred in a mechanical space and has been contained and extinguished. All systems are functioning.

11:30am UPDATE: Royal Caribbean has issued a statement regarding the fire on Freedom of the Seas:

On July 22, 2015, Freedom of the Seas experience a fire in a mechanical space as the ship was pulling into Falmouth, Jamaica. The ship's fire suppression system was immediately activated, which contained and extinguished the fire. In an abundance of caution, the Captain mustered all guests at their assembly stations. The ship is currently alongside in Falmouth and all systems are functioning.

Freedom of the Seas is currently on a seven-night sailing that departed Cape Canaveral, Florida, on Sunday, July 19, and includes port calls to Labadee, Haiti; Falmouth, Jamaica; George Town, Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Mexico.

11:42am UPDATE: Royal Caribbean reports Freedom of the Seas is docked in Falmouth, Jamaica as scheduled and all systems functioning.

11:52am UPDATE: Royal Caribbean reports all guests have been accounted for and no injuries reported.

12:10pm UPDATE: Royal Caribbean reports all crew members have been accounted for, with just one crew member treated for a first-degree burn.

12:29pm UPDATE: The Jamaica Gleaner has a video of smoke coming from Freedom of the Seas.

3:05pm UPDATE: Royal Caribbean announced Freedom of the Seas will continue with her regularly scheduled itinerary for the current sailing.

July 23 update: New photos of the fire damage to the stack

Deck by deck drydock changes to Royal Caribbean's Freedom of the Seas


Royal Caribbean is almost done with Freedom of the Seas refurbishment and that means a lot of changes are coming to the ship.  After receving lots of questions related to how where the changes are onboard the ship, we've compiled a list of the changes coming visually.

Deck 2

No changes

Deck 3

  • New interior staterooms added (Category Q), replacing The Crypt
  • New Ocean View Staterooms added (3640, 3642, 3644, 3646, 3648;  3340, 3342, 3344, 3346, 3348)

Deck 4

  • Sabor restaurant replaces The Crypt
  • Photo Gallery & Shop renamed to Focus

Deck 5

  • Pharaoh's Palace renamed Star Lounge
  • R-Bar replaces Champagne Bar 

Deck 6

  • Added Interior stateroom (6137)
  • Next Cruise replaces Business Services 

Deck 7

  • Added new Interior stateroom (7139)

Deck 8

  • Added new Interior stateroom (8237)

Deck 9

  • Added new Interior stateroom (9237)

Deck 10

No changes

Deck 11

  • Giovanni's Table replaces Portofino

Deck 12

  • Added new balcony, ocean view and interior staterooms at front of the ship

Deck 13

No changes

Deck 14

No changes

Deck 15

No changes

Photos from Freedom of the Seas drydock


Royal Caribbean's Freedom of the Seas is in the middle of a 24-day drydock session in Freeport, Bahamas and we've found some photos of the ship getting some work done.


A photo posted by Anton (@kiggiss) on

A photo posted by Anton (@kiggiss) on

A photo posted by Anton (@kiggiss) on


A photo posted by Anton (@kiggiss) on

Freedom of the Seas #GrandBahamaShipyard

A photo posted by Anton (@kiggiss) on

#another #day #inparadise #drydock #bahamas #freedomoftheseas #rccl

A photo posted by HNieminen (@kinghemu) on


A photo posted by HNieminen (@kinghemu) on

End of evacuation drill... So confused! #FreedomOfTheSeas #DryDock

A photo posted by Dai Mori (@daiamori) on

Empty pool. . #drydock

A photo posted by eka_bokir (@eka_bokir) on

Im coming home...#drydock #freedomoftheseas

A photo posted by eka_bokir (@eka_bokir) on

See our list of the changes coming to Freedom of the Seas as a part of this refurbishment.

Full List of Royal Caribbean's Freedom of the Seas changes


Royal Caribbean has lifted the curtain on the changes coming to Freedom of the Seas as part of its 24-day refurbishment.

Freedom of the Seas will feature new and renovated staterooms throughout the ship.  Existing staterooms will be updated and new staterooms will be added, which is line with what's happened on other Royal Caribbean ship refurbishments recently.

There will be two new restaurants that will be added to the ship:

Freedom of the Seas will also get a new R-Bar lounge, which is meant to be a throwback to the bars of the 1960s that serve classic cocktails with a modern twist.

Freedom of the Seas is beginning her refurbishment today and will emerge for regular cruises again in February 2015.


Royal Caribbean's Freedom of the Seas heads for 24 day drydock


Royal Caribbean's Freedom of the Seas is headed to drydock to begin her 24-day ship-wide refurbishment tomorrow.

The ship is headed to Freeport, Bahamas to have work done on the ship that will consist of cleaning up the entire ship as well as add new facilities and options for guests.

UPDATE: Royal Caribbean has announced a list of changes coming to Freedom of the Seas. Royal Caribbean has been tight lipped on what exactly will change on Freedom of the Seas, but it's safe to say the major propulsion problem that has been plaguing the ship will be fixed.

Some of the work has already begun on the ship even before it left for dry dock.  Carpeting and other areas of the ship were quietly worked on during a quick 2-night cruise that ended today.

A lot of carpeting starting to get ripped up on #FreedomOfTheSeas in preparation for her refurbishment

A photo posted by Royal Caribbean (@royalcaribbeanblog) on

Many Royal Caribbean fans have been speculating on other changes coming based on what other Royal Caribbean ships have had as well as information crew members on Freedom of the Seas have told passengers that they've heard.

Rumors are generally regarding new specialty restaurants coming to Freedom of the Seas, including potentially Giovanni's Table, Izumi and Sabor Modern Mexican.  There's also rumors of a new Diamond Member lounge and Concierge lounge.

Royal Caribbean changes Freedom of the Seas December 28 sailing due to propulsion problem


Royal Caribbean has changed the itinerary it had originally planned for Freedom of the Seas due to a propulsion problem that the ship is suffering from.

As with the last few sailings, Royal Caribbean has changed the itinerary due to a "small restriction on her top speed".  All scheduled ports on the itinerary – CocoCay, Montego Bay, GeorgeTown and Cozumel – will remain, with adjustments made to the time spent in port.

The new itinerary will have Freedom of the Seas

  • December 28: Depart Port Canaveral at 4:30pm
  • December 29: CocoCay from 7:30am to 3:30pm
  • December 30: Sea Day
  • December 31: Montego Bay from 9:00am to 5:00pm
  • January 1: Grand Cayman from 7:00am to 2:30pm
  • January 2: Cozumel from 10:00am to 4:00pm
  • January 3: Sea Day
  • January 4: Return to Port Canaveral at 6:00am

As with other altered cruises due to this propulsion problem, and we've heard Royal Caribbean has given its passengers onboard credit as an apology for the change.  A letter with the credit amount will be delivered to each stateroom.