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Maiden Voyage of Freedom of the Seas
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Thread: Maiden Voyage of Freedom of the Seas

  1. #1
    New Jersey Ambassador Admin & Founder JerseyDevil's Avatar
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    Default Maiden Voyage of Freedom of the Seas

    I'm excited - I get to be on the media preview/maiden voyage of Royal Caribbean's Freedom of the Seas. This is will be the largest cruise ship in the wolrd. I'll be setting sail from the Cape Liberty Cruise Port in Bayonne NJ on May 16th - 18th. I've never been on a cruise before, so this will be a real adventure.

    I'll post photos and my experiences on here. Freedom of the Seas sadly won't be permanently birthed at Bayonne, it's home port will be Miami. I had been at the media event for the unveiling of their onboard surfing - which is one of the newest things Freedom of the Seas offers. I don't think they have wi-fi connetion onboard, so I don't think I'll be able to do a ngihtly post. I'm going to find out - then maybe I do a nightly update thing. That didn't work out too well at the Governor's Conference because internet access from Trump Plaza wasn't the greatest.


    View of Freedom of the Seas Docked at Cape Liberty Cruise Port in Bayonne NJ


    View of Freedom of the Seas Docked at Cape Liberty Cruise Port in Bayonne NJ


    Freedom of the Seas cruising along out at sea
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    Well I just got word form my father that he will be able to go on the cruise with me. he's been working so hard and he needs a break. I'm really looking forward to this. I need a break too. I'm sure there won't be wi-fi access to the internet. I got an e-mail from Roayl carribean aboiut phone service and how basically there is none, other than satelite phone and that costs $7.95/minute. I don't think I will be linking into the web through a satelite phone anytime soon.

    I suppose I'll just have to take notes and pictures and give my thoughts on it when I get back. I'm really looking forward to this, especially since I've never been on a cruise before. I got a personal guided tour of Sovereign of the Seas though when that first moved to Bayonne. I hope they start fixing up the Cape Liberty Cruise Port soon. Not sure where they are on that. I haven't seen it since around September or whenever the unveiling for the onboard surfing was. A lot could have been accomplished.

    OH - one other thing. I really hope it's sunny. I want to be able to go out on deck and not see anythign but water and sunlshine - and the Jersey Shore from the water.
    New Jersey is the only state honored by two resorts at Walt Disney World. The Beach Club Resort, modeled after Historic Cape May and The Boardwalk Resort, after Atlantic City. If the Jersey Shore is good enough for Walt Disney to recreate, isn't the REAL Jersey Shore even better for you and your family?

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  3. #3
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    Wll cancel that. I just got word last nigth that my father can't come out. My cousin may go, if that falls through then I'll be going by myself, which I don't know how much fun it will be then. It's better to share the experience with someone.
    New Jersey is the only state honored by two resorts at Walt Disney World. The Beach Club Resort, modeled after Historic Cape May and The Boardwalk Resort, after Atlantic City. If the Jersey Shore is good enough for Walt Disney to recreate, isn't the REAL Jersey Shore even better for you and your family?

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  4. #4
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    Although the Associated Press seems to try to downplay that Freedom of the Seas is docked in NJ, this is what I will be sailing on May 16th - 18th and that all of this took place at Cape Liberty Cruise Port in Bayonne NJ.

    Largest passenger ship christened in New York Harbor
    Friday, May 12, 2006; Posted: 1:26 p.m. EDT (17:26 GMT)

    BAYONNE, New Jersey (AP) -- Wielding scissors, a woman who helped raise more than 400 foster children over 27 years snipped a ribbon to christen the world's largest cruise ship Friday while it docked near the Statue of Liberty.

    "I name this ship the 'Freedom of the Sea.' May God bless her, Royal Caribbean and all who sail upon her," 56-year-old Katherine Louise Calder said in the ceremony televised live on NBC's "Today."

    She then cut the ribbon to release a giant bottle containing the equivalent of 34 bottles of champagne.

    Viewers of "Today" voted to select her as "godmother" of the Freedom of the Seas, and she is staying on the ship with family members.

    "I feel very honored and just kind of floating around," said Calder, who cares for hundreds of special needs children and works as an adoption advocate in the Portland, Oregon, area. "I don't think my feet have touched the ground since I got onboard."

    The ship is so immense that even its captain hadn't finished exploring it earlier this week.

    "I'm still discovering things," Bill Wright said Thursday as he walked around the bridge of the newly built ship while it was docked in Bayonne.

    Freedom of the Seas, which arrived this week in New York Harbor from Southampton, Britain, is 237 feet tall and 1,112 feet long with 15 passenger decks.

    Standing upright on its bow, it would be taller than the Eiffel Tower. The ship comes in at 160,000 gross registered tons, a standard measurement of carrying capacity that is about 100 cubic feet for each ton.

    Built by Norwegian shipbuilder Aker Yards ASA, the ship cost $800 million and can carry more than 4,000 passengers. The world's previous largest ship, the Queen Mary 2, can carry about 3,000 people and is 151,400 gross registered tons. The Titanic's gross registered tonnage was 46,329.

    If you want to sail on the new ship, it won't be cheap.

    Prices for seven-day voyages range from $1,900 per couple for an interior room during the low season to nearly $2,500 for the same-size cabin with a balcony during high season, said Cindy Dangel, an on-board sales manager.

    A deluxe room that sleeps 14 and costs $22,000 during peak season is booked until 2008, she said.

    A three-level dining room seats 2,140. There are more than 2,000 deck chairs and an ice-skating rink. The fitness center measures 9,700 square feet and includes a boxing ring. The spa provides luxuries from teeth whitening to massages and a 13th-floor deck offers a rock climbing wall and a big wave pool with simulated surfing.

    Royal Caribbean's newest liner will be docked in New York Harbor and Cape Liberty in Bayonne over the next few days before it leaves on May 18 for a trip to Boston.

    The ship's maiden voyage was last month, from Hamburg, Germany, to Oslo, Norway, but it won't have paying passengers until it leaves from Miami for the western Caribbean next month.

    While the ship's New York area arrival is generating a big buzz, its grand scale might not appeal to everyone.

    Bigger isn't always better, and a large ship can be overwhelming and impersonal, said Carolyn Spencer Brown, editor of cruisecritic.com, a Web site devoted to cruise travel information.

    "You're always thinking about what you should be doing next," she said. "Expect lines. Expect congestion."

    She said on a ship of this scale, passengers may be tempted to skip some of the ports.

    "This ship, more than any other ship out there, represents the on-land resort experience. There's so much to do you really don't have to get off," she said.
    BTW - ABC Channel 7 NY (Eyewitness news) just had about the Freedom of the Seas. Wouldn't you know that they stated that it was in NY.
    New Jersey is the only state honored by two resorts at Walt Disney World. The Beach Club Resort, modeled after Historic Cape May and The Boardwalk Resort, after Atlantic City. If the Jersey Shore is good enough for Walt Disney to recreate, isn't the REAL Jersey Shore even better for you and your family?

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    Well the time is coming on quickly now. I'm trying to get all my clothes together, making sure I have everything I need. It's only for 2 nights, I need several changes of clothing even just for one day because of the formal dinner, versus the casualness of the day. The weather is terrible right now, I really hope the sun is shining at some point. This is my first cruise and I really want to spend some time on deck and watch the ocean. I know that's nto what Rotal Caribbean wants to hear, but I will make sure I check out the ship really well too. I'll be gone from the 16th - 18th, but if anyone has any problems or questions, just PM Sister Golden Hair who will be moderating while I'm away.

    One problem about this trip, it's going to go by so fast. I wish it was a 7 day trip to the Caribbean. That's what I REALLY need!
    New Jersey is the only state honored by two resorts at Walt Disney World. The Beach Club Resort, modeled after Historic Cape May and The Boardwalk Resort, after Atlantic City. If the Jersey Shore is good enough for Walt Disney to recreate, isn't the REAL Jersey Shore even better for you and your family?

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  6. #6
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    Default Coming to you right from Freedom of the Seas

    Post from the Freedom of the Seas. This is just an incredible ship. I will try to come back in the evening and post several times. I have only been here about 2 hours and have already taken a roll and a half of film. The room I have is amazing. I was not expecting them to give me such a great room. It's upper deck balconey. I just have to walk up the stairs and I'm outside. This is my first cruise and so this will really be an experience. I will try to have more later.
    New Jersey is the only state honored by two resorts at Walt Disney World. The Beach Club Resort, modeled after Historic Cape May and The Boardwalk Resort, after Atlantic City. If the Jersey Shore is good enough for Walt Disney to recreate, isn't the REAL Jersey Shore even better for you and your family?

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    Okay, so I'm being a major geek by being on the internet while on a cruise, so shoot me. Anyway, this is my nightly update.

    I got up here around 11:15 or so. Pulling into Cape Liberty Cruise Port or The Penisula at Bayonne, which one you wish to call it, I noticed that there have been some improvements since the last time I was here in September or so. The street has been repaved and there seems to have been some trees planted!!! Other than that, I have to say the Bayonne Redevelopment Authority has a lot of work to do yet. Anyway, check in was a breeze and I went onto the ship. It's just gigantic!

    I checked out the ship from top to bottom during between 12:00 and 4:00. As I said, my room is awesome and I wasn't expecting them to give me such a nice room. AboutNewJersey.com's primary focus is New Jersey, not cruising. But hey, I'm not going to complain. I also can't believe it's open bar the entire cruise. I don't drink, but so far I have had two glasses of champagne (one at the champagne bar, the other was handed to me upon entering the theater to see Once of Upon a Time" stage performance). I also had a Mai Tai and then with dinner a glass of white wine. Since I don't drink it's hard to tell if I'm rocking because of the ship or if it's because of the alcohol.

    There is just so much to do on this ship. I ate at serentos which is a pizza place. I actually had three slices already. I'll probably go down for some more since they serve until 3:00am. It was so cool leaving New York Harbor. There was a slight problem with something the captain said when we were undocking - "It's always nice sailing out of New York". Helllloooo - we are sailing out of New JERSEY. Needless to say I had to mention this to the PR person with Royal Caribbean who I ate with tonight. Media people had their own section in the dining room. It was nice and the food was awesome.

    Tomorro I'm going to Abbacadabra - which is a Abba impersonating group or something. I have to see them in honor of my friend Jonathan who is Swedish and lives in Stockholm.

    What can I say about the Royal Promenade - it is incredible. They have an english style pub, the pizza place like I said, I also had Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream.

    What are the things to do. Well almost anything. The ship has Surfing, Ice Skaking, Miniature Golf, Rock Climbing, a huge Karaoke Bar. There are music of all kinds here in different parts of the ship.

    Just so people know, we're heading south. From my balconey I was able to watch the Jersey Shore from the ocean. I really was hoping we were going to head down south for that very reason. You all know - I have a one track mind - New Jersey!

    Anyway - that's it's it for now. Oh yeah - I forgot the huge Casino they have also on the ship. I may have more to say tomorrow about the cruise. We get a guided tour at 10:00am. I've basically explored the ship from Aft to Bow. I even have video from both ends. I'll be putting up photos and hopefully the unedited video. I've already taken about 5 rolls of film.
    New Jersey is the only state honored by two resorts at Walt Disney World. The Beach Club Resort, modeled after Historic Cape May and The Boardwalk Resort, after Atlantic City. If the Jersey Shore is good enough for Walt Disney to recreate, isn't the REAL Jersey Shore even better for you and your family?

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  8. #8
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    Well this is my nightly update, not that it seems anyone is really interested since no one has responded. It's exciting for me anyway.4

    First off, today was a beautiful day, with not a cloud in the sky and it was warm. First we had an intimate meeting with the president of Royal Caribbean in the Vintage which is a pub style bar. It was very informative, at least for me who is pretty ignorant of the cruise industry. I found out that Royal Caribbean is already working on a MUCH larger vessel called Genesis (although not sure if that is the final name or just the "project" name. He also discussed how Bayonne got Cape Liberty and why they moved from Manhattan. I already basically knew that NY tried to dictate dates that didn't fit RC's. Oh well, NY's loss is New Jersey's gain.

    After that - Sarah took me around on a private tour of the ship. I had already seen it basically on my own, but I learned some further interesting bits. I video taped 99% of it, so it's a first person look of the ship and hopefully the sound came out good. Anyway, I'll have more about the ship after I get back. Then after the private tour with Sarah. I got a tour of the bridge. Now that was a life time experience. The captain explained the working of the ship and basically gave a 45 minute tour. It was incredible. Surprisingly the bridge is really spacious and there really isn't a lot equipment like there used to be. Now everything is contained mostly with computer screens. I video taped this whjole thing, again I hope it turned out really good. There was a group from Norway, not sure what company they were with, but they were kind enough to take my picture at the wheel of the ship AND with the captain. You would not believe how small the wheel of the ship is. You know those fischer price little kid dash boards, whre they have the steering wheel, stick shift, blinker control? Well if you imagine that with just the wheel, that's what it looks like. It was amazing.

    After that I FINALLY got to change into shorts for once. It's been all business casual (dockers and bottoned shirt) all this time. I ended up eating at Windjammer - twice in a row for a late lunch. It's the buffet place. It was really good and there is nothing like eating and looking out over the ocean.

    After eating I headed over to check out the FlowRider again, or as I seem to keep saying - Wave Rider - it's the thing that let's people surf on board the ship. Let me just warn you - if you go on the flow rider, make sure your bathing suit is tightly tied, unless of course you want to moon 50 people at once. One fo the flow rider instructors' bathing suit was not tied tighly and he kept mooning the crowd. At first you could tell he was completely embarrassed, but then after the 5th time, I think he just got used to it. Anywaym his fellow workers were teasing him about it, but I think he did end up with several women's phone numbers and cabin numbers.

    After this, I took some more photos - I've basically taken 10 rolls of film and 4 hours of video. Then I headed down to my cabin - which luckily I did. Royal Caribbean decided to change the media's dinner time form the late seating to the early seating. There was a card on my door letting me know. The early seating is 6:00 - with serving at 6:30 and it was already 6:38. Not only that - this was formal night and I had to dress up in my suit. No problems though, when I got down there no one was served and actually the menus hadn't even been given out yet. Dinner was really good, no complaints on the food, other than the fact that it seems currently I have no time to eat endlessly.

    Today I decided to see the ice skating show - Freedom-Ice.com It was really great, I have that all on video. Then I went off to see ABBAcadabra. That again was great. They really did sound and look like ABBA. I havce most of that on video, until my battery died. Right now it's up in the room charging, in preparation for tomorrow.

    Anyway, I finally decided to go back to my cabin and change into more comfortable clothes and out my suit and tie. And now I am here - wasting my time posting. Just kidding.

    One thing I don't like - we have to get out of our rooms at 7:00am and basically start getting off the ship at 8:00. I was hoping to stick around on it until 12:00pm. I think I just won't sleep. I want to see the ship come into New Jersey anyway.

    For my first cruise it was incredible. I'm sure with everything being included helps and being treated the way I was, especially getting to see the bridge. My father had said about going on a cruise this summer and I had told him I really didn't need a cruise. I had just wanted to see him. To tell you the truth, I think I've changed my mind. I'm going to see if it might be possible for us to take the Freedom of the Seas this year, but they said it's booked solid. There may be something they can do for media personnel though. I really would like to experience this ship as just a tourist, instead of a VIP guest. I think I would get a much better feel of what cruising is all about and a much better feel of the ship.

    Sarah asked me what was the one thing that surprised me the most and I told her that it was how easy it was to get around. I was rteally concerned, because I had never been on a cruise ship before and this is the largest in the world and not only that - I only had two days. I seriously thought I was going to spend all my time figuring out where things were and how to get to places. But actually - within an hour or two, I had explored most of the ship and knew where everything was. There are signs everywhere that help out. There were only a couple of places where there are "exit" signs, but then those are clearly for crew. One was The Crypt nightclub - which I have to say - is an awesome motif. Other than that, get around the ship is a breeze.

    So that is my report for today. Sadly - I have to go home tomorrow. Damn I want the seven day caribbean Freedom of the Seas cruise now.
    New Jersey is the only state honored by two resorts at Walt Disney World. The Beach Club Resort, modeled after Historic Cape May and The Boardwalk Resort, after Atlantic City. If the Jersey Shore is good enough for Walt Disney to recreate, isn't the REAL Jersey Shore even better for you and your family?

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  9. #9
    New Jersey Tour Guide Jersey Warren's Avatar
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    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by JerseyDevil
    After that - Sarah took me around on a private tour of the ship. w.
    I took the "virtual tour" on the website and was amazed! The shopping area looked like you were inside a mall. Was Sarah the model for the computer-animated woman who takes you on the virtual tour? First time I ever smiled back at my computer, as if she were a real person!

    This must have been the experience of a lifetime. I'm so glad they used Bayonne as a "home port" for this cruise.

    Have fun!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jersey Warren
    I took the "virtual tour" on the website and was amazed! The shopping area looked like you were inside a mall. Was Sarah the model for the computer-animated woman who takes you on the virtual tour? First time I ever smiled back at my computer, as if she were a real person!

    This must have been the experience of a lifetime. I'm so glad they used Bayonne as a "home port" for this cruise.

    Have fun!
    Thanks JW. I'm back now. I'm tired though, so any updates will have to wait until later. I only got an hour and half sleep. I didn't go to bed until 3:30am and then I got up at 5:00 so I could see us pulling in under the Veranzano's Bridge and then also to dock. We had to be out of our rooms anyway at 7:00am.

    As for Sarah - no she wasn't the model. I did mention to her how incredible their Flash website was and that it must have cost a lot to do that. It is a very impressive site.
    New Jersey is the only state honored by two resorts at Walt Disney World. The Beach Club Resort, modeled after Historic Cape May and The Boardwalk Resort, after Atlantic City. If the Jersey Shore is good enough for Walt Disney to recreate, isn't the REAL Jersey Shore even better for you and your family?

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  11. #11
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    Here are some photos I took during my trip.

    My keycard

    View of Freedom of the Seas Docked at Cape Liberty Cruise Port in Bayonne NJ


    View of Freedom of the Seas Docked at Cape Liberty Cruise Port in Bayonne NJ


    Freedom of the Seas cruising along out at sea

    My room


    The Bridge Controls


    At the Wheel of the Ship


    Me and the Captain


    Surfing on Freedom of the Seas in the middle of the Atlantic

    ]
    ABBACadabra
    New Jersey is the only state honored by two resorts at Walt Disney World. The Beach Club Resort, modeled after Historic Cape May and The Boardwalk Resort, after Atlantic City. If the Jersey Shore is good enough for Walt Disney to recreate, isn't the REAL Jersey Shore even better for you and your family?

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  12. #12
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    More photos -




    Main pool area


    H2O Zone


    The Rock Wall


    Dining Room

    The Promenade


    Sorrento's Pizza


    Bow end of the Promenade


    The Promenade
    It's hard to believe that all of this is but a memory now. I had a great time and talked to my father about either trying to do a Freedom of the Seas cruise in possibly September out of Miami, or Explorer of the Seas out of Bayonne. I would really love to go on Freedom of the Seas again though.
    New Jersey is the only state honored by two resorts at Walt Disney World. The Beach Club Resort, modeled after Historic Cape May and The Boardwalk Resort, after Atlantic City. If the Jersey Shore is good enough for Walt Disney to recreate, isn't the REAL Jersey Shore even better for you and your family?

    Things to do in NJ: Attraction Guide
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  13. #13
    New Jersey Tour Guide Jersey Warren's Avatar
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    Smile Looked Fantastic!

    JD,

    That looked like a great time. I don't blame you for wanting to take a longer cruise on the ship.

    By the way, it was interesting to see your picture. You look a little younger than I pictured you, but then again, these days almost everyone does!

    I posed for a picture pretending to steer a catamaran Martha and I went on during our honeymoon in Catalina Island, off California, ten years ago.

    Great shots of the cruise ship!

    JW

  14. #14
    New Jersey Ambassador Admin & Founder JerseyDevil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jersey Warren
    JD,

    That looked like a great time. I don't blame you for wanting to take a longer cruise on the ship.
    yeah - it was just incredible. I love Walt Disney World and this had that same sort of "leave the world behind" feeling to it. Everything is taken care, you don't have to worry about anything and just relax.
    By the way, it was interesting to see your picture. You look a little younger than I pictured you, but then again, these days almost everyone does!
    I wish I was in better shape and I hate pictures. So the one with me at the wheel, I wish I was smiling. But as small photos, they don't look that bad.
    I posed for a picture pretending to steer a catamaran Martha and I went on during our honeymoon in Catalina Island, off California, ten years ago.
    That's cool. My parents went on a cruise for their 25th wedding anniversary. I think they went to Catalina Island. Being on the bridge was a bit nerve wracking, I was afraid I might hit something. But in reality, where we mostly were, those controls weren't activated because the main controls were what were being used at the time.
    Great shots of the cruise ship!
    Thanks. Like I said - I have ten rolls of film. I chose a selection of photos that I thought would give people an idea of the ship. I will put up all my photos shortly on those a "Freedom of the Seas' page, that way people can look at all of them. I will also include the video I took. That'll be broken down into manageable sections though. I don't really expect peole to wade through 4 hours of video.
    New Jersey is the only state honored by two resorts at Walt Disney World. The Beach Club Resort, modeled after Historic Cape May and The Boardwalk Resort, after Atlantic City. If the Jersey Shore is good enough for Walt Disney to recreate, isn't the REAL Jersey Shore even better for you and your family?

    Things to do in NJ: Attraction Guide
    Where to Stay in NJ: Hotel Guide
    What's Happening in NJ: Event Guide
    NJ Visitor & Vacation Guide Request Form

    AboutNewJersey.com on Facebook
    The Jersey Shore on Facebook


    New Jersey Proud!
    Let's GO RUTGERS and New Jersey Devils!!!
    The Proud to be New Jersey Teams!


  15. #15
    Tourist
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Qld, Australia
    Posts
    9

    Default Wowsers!!!

    I am SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO jealous!!

    Keep it up!!!
    _____________________________________
    Aussie Cousin
    Musician, visionary and all-round nice guy

  16. #16
    Recent Resident
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    13

    Default WOW

    Nice ships

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