Deck 4 forward has the balcony of the Arcadia Theatre, which has red and gold seats, white sconces, and only six columns; thus, most seats have an excellent view of the stage. Next is the Centrum and the Schooner Bar with its nautical theme: a lovely replica of the Swedish sailing ship the "Kalmar Nyckel" which made round trip crossings of the Atlantic Ocean in the early 1600s, and established a Swedish Colony which was to become Wilmington, Delaware. Next is the entrance to the upper level of the Crypt and midship is the Casino Royale. The Roaring twenties atmosphere is created with larger than life "Silk Stockings and Bootlegged Booze." Next is the Photo Gallery of all pictures taken during the cruise.
Then, there is the Boleros Lounge with "The Tequila Sunrise" collection of art work in glass of exotic colors: green, orange and grenadine. Mixed media of blown glass and hand glazed aluminum by Arts in Architecture (USA). The live music of the wonderful Trio Sol y Arena heightens the whole effect. Finally all the way aft is the Isaac (Newton) Dining Room.
Deck 5 forward is the Pharaoh's Palace Lounge whose entrance is flanked by a series of larger than life Pharaoh statues. The murals on the walls are "Views of the Nile" by Clarissa Parrish. Novidi of France did all of the statues based on museum reproductions. Next is the Connoisseur Club (Cigars and Brandy). The scent of fine tobacco and leather are redolent here. Then there is the forward Centrum from where begins the Royal Promenade, the heart of the Freedom. Sorrento Pizza (Pizzas, sandwiches, salads, and marvelous Italian Cookies) is great any time. Ask John Xavier, he is so kind and helpful. Here are the Fashion Boutiques, Bull & Bear Pub, Perfume Shop, Vintages Wine Shop, Logo Souvenir Shop, Gift and Jewelry Shop, General Store, Ben & Jerry Ice Cream, Cafe` Promenade, "A Clean Shave" barber shop with shoe shine stand, "Get Out There," a sportswear store and Vincent's favorite a beautiful dark blue Morgan Spider. Finally, there is the aft Centrum where the Guest Relations and Tour Desks are located.
A beautiful glass bridge leads to the Galileo Dining Room. Larry Kirkland's designs for the Centrum and Promenade are always unique, and this one is dazzling: He has placed the four elements on lighted columns of varying heights, each one has a gilded angel modeled on the mythic "Vittoria Alata" (Winged Victory), which is part of the Vittorio Emanuele II Monument in Piazza Venezia, Rome, Italy.
Deck 6 has all staterooms and the Business Services.
Deck 7 has all staterooms and the Library.
Deck 8 has all staterooms and RCI On Line Access.
Decks 9 & 10 are all staterooms. But, by the forward elevators are three copies of F-16 and F-18 fighter planes which the artist Antonio Riello has decorated with scenes taken from frescoes found throughout Italy. He "...transforms our ethical perceptions..." of these war planes by seducing us with Tiepolo Frescoes.
Decks 11, 12 and 13 are all public areas.
Deck 11 forward is the Fitness Club. Then there is the Solarium Pool (with perfect temperature) and the two huge whirlpools semicircular in shape cantilevered on both side of the ship. In this area is a huge parrot of ceramic and bronze tiles in hot red and yellow colors and many other exotic birds like South American toucans, etc. Lonngren's "Sun Boat" is a very interesting concept. Midship is the Pool Bar, The Main Pool Zone, whirlpools, Sports Pool and the H2O Zone. Aft is the Jade Restaurant, Windjammer Buffet Cafe, Chops and Portofino's. The latter two are upscale restaurants, by reservation only. Make a reservation early, preferably the first day or you may not get one.
Deck 12 forward is the Day Spa, the Sky Bar and the Jogging Track. Deck 12 aft is for younger cruisers: Challenger Arcade, Adventure Ocean, Fuel Teen Disco, and Johnny Rockets with its succulent hamburgers and milk shakes (a '50s hamburger joint).
Deck 13 has the Sky Light Chapel and the Sports Complex; Rock Climbing Wall, Basket Ball court, Golf Simulator, Freedom Fairways, the FlowRider (the only surfing on the high seas). Deck 14 has the Viking Crown Lounge, The Diamond Club, Olive or Twist Bar, Cloud Nine and Seven Hearts a card room.
This is a very sketchy overview of a very large, beautiful ship which deserves much more. Go see for yourself. It is fascinating and laid out like the rest of the Voyager Class ships, but it is so much roomier and offers many more activities than any other ship on the seas. Yes, it is monumental!
Cabin on the Freedom of the Seas
Cabin #7624 is wheelchair accessible and like all cabins on board a prefab module. It has beige walls of light oak or birch wood cabinetry. Teal, green and gold drapes and sofa. When entering on the left there is a mirrored wall and a triple armoire, the first section is shelves and a personal safe, next there are wooden hangers and more shelves. There is a console TV, a mini refrigerator, and a lighted vanity/desk with several drawers. There are two upholstered chairs, a couch and a coffee table. When entering on the right is the huge bath with safety rails all around. The shower has a fold up seat and is 4 ft. x 6 ft. The corner mirrored medicine cabinet has ample storage space. There is a queen size bed with monogrammed linens, a teal suede head board, two night stands with reading lights. Two pictures of beautiful full Blown white roses (one front view and the other from the back or calyx of the flower). The far wall is all glass with a glass door leading to the large balcony with two chairs, a chaise lounge and a table. Cabin Steward Donald was excellent in every way ****.
The Best Beds at Sea Award goes to RCI for their innovative approach for solving the crater or mountain created when joining two twin beds. They have installed new style bed frames, upgraded mattresses, duvets, towels and linens. Custom designed pillow tops are folded in half when used on twin beds, and opened and placed one on top of the other to create a gap free queen size bed. Excellent! The linens feature the Crown and Anchor Logo and a very heavy puff.
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