Royal Caribbean has announced that the next ship to receive renovations as part of its Royal Amplified fleet modernization program, the Freedom of the Seas, will offer a series of island-hopping itineraries in the southern Caribbean starting in March 2020. The ship will homeport in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and sail seven-night southern Caribbean cruises with calls including Saint Lucia, Antigua, Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao.
The $116 million renovation project will add a number of new features to the ship, including the Perfect Storm duo of racing waterslides and a reimagined pool area with a larger variety of seating and more shade with casitas, daybeds and hammocks, as well as a Splashaway Bay aqua park for kids and a refreshed adults-only Solarium. There will also be a new The Lime & Coconut poolside bar spanning three levels, including a rooftop deck, and serving up live music and cocktails.
The project will also introduce a number of new dining venues. Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen will serve classic Italian dishes, including made-to-order pizza and a wide selection of wines and limoncellos, while Izumi Hibachi & Sushi will be an Asian-inspired restaurant with teppanyaki tables and a sushi bar. Playmakers Sports Bar & Arcade will serve a menu of classic bar food and beer in a space with more than 80 TV screens and a number of arcade games, and El Loco Fresh will sit poolside and offer fresh grab-and-go Mexican fare, from tacos and burritos, to quesadillas, along with an array of salsas. Additionally, for the first time, El Loco Fresh will include a full-service bar with a selection of tequilas on offer.
For families, the ship will receive the line’s glow-in-the-dark laser tag adventure, Clash for the Crystal City, while the dedicated teens spaces and Adventure Ocean area will receive a redesign. In Adventure Ocean, a new layout will encourage kids to explore a variety of interactive experiences, from exploration at Play Place to art, science and tech activities at Workshop and friendly challenges at Arena. Gaming consoles and places to relax will be available in the Hangout, while babies and three- to five-year-olds will each have personalized areas with AO Babies and AO Junior. The refreshed, exclusive teen area will have the latest in movies, gaming and music, plus a new, private outdoor deck.
The Freedom of the Seas will join its sibling ship, the Independence of the Seas, as part of Royal Caribbean’s Royal Amplified fleet modernization effort, which represents an investment of more than $1 billion across 10 ships in four years.