MIAMI - Freedom
of the Seas will be the name for Royal Caribbean International's
newest and biggest vessel, which had been known until now as the
Passengers on the
Freedom's sailings, which begin in April 2006, will be able to call
home and brag, as the ship will have connectivity for cell phones.
Plus, there will be a wireless network and flat-screen TVs in all
cabins and public areas.
Royal Caribbean Cruises' CEO, said the Freedom will be
158,000-gross-ton Freedom will be a larger version of the company's
flagship vessels, the Voyager series.
said the ship will have enhanced security, navigational and
environmental systems. Details of other features will be released
as the ship's construction continues at the Kvaerner Masa-Yards in
The company said
two of the most prominent amenities on the Voyager-class ships, the
rock-climbing wall and the ice skating rink, will be addedto the
Freedom of the Seas.
James Deitz, vice
president of BuyCruises.com in Margate, Fla., said his company had
been pushing Royal Caribbean for details on the Ultra Voyager but
hadn't unearthed many facts. There are many rumors, he said, about
what eventually will go on the ship's top deck.
"Some people are
scared away by size," Deitz said of the Freedom. But he doesn't
feel the Voyager-class ships are too large.
"There's no such
thing as too big a ship," he said.
The ship will
sail from Miami on Caribbean cruises.
Voyager-class ships, at 139,000 tons, helped Royal Caribbean
temporarily claim the distinction as the company with the world's
biggest cruise ship. Carnival Corp. won that distinction in 2004
with the Queen Mary 2.
The Freedom will
recapture that title for Royal Caribbean. But it may not hold the
honor for long.
Rival Carnival is
at work with Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri on the "Pinnacle
Project," a ship that could be as
large as 180,000 tons.
reporter Rebecca Tobin, send e-mail to[email protected].