3 Ships of the Royal Caribbean Freedom Class
The Freedom Class of Royal Caribbean International consists of three cruise ships put in service between 2006 and 2008. All three were built by STX Europe at Aker Yards in Turku, Finland. All are registered in the Bahamas. All have very similar dimensions and capacities. The Freedom of the Seas came first in 2006, followed by the Liberty of the Seas in 2007 and the Independence of the Seas in 2008.
Currently, two of the Freedom Class ships are in Europe, one in the Mediterranean Sea and one in the North Atlantic. By November, 2013, the Freedom, Liberty and Independence will be operating in the Caribbean, with home ports in Florida.
Freedom of the Seas
With a 154,407 gross tonnage and a length of 338.9 metres, or 1,112 feet, the Freedom is identical to her two sister ships. Additionally, each has a total of 18 decks with 15 accessible by passengers. The Freedom of the Seas embarked on her maiden voyage on June 4, 2006, making her the oldest ship in the Freedom Class. The ship has a capacity for 3,634 passengers and 1,360 crew members.
Through the end of December, 2013, the Freedom of the Seas will call Port Canaveral, Florida home. Her sole job will be running seven night cruises, alternating between Eastern Caribbean and Western Caribbean itineraries.
A typical Eastern Caribbean cruise has ports of call in Coco Cay, Bahamas; San Juan, Puerto Rico and Philipsburg, Sint Maarten in the Netherland Antilles. The Western Caribbean cruises stop at Labadee, Haiti; Falmouth, Jamaica; Georgetown, Cayman Islands and Cozumel, Mexico. Royal Caribbean tends to have about one less port of call on a typical Caribbean cruise than Princess Cruise Lines. However, with Royal Caribbean, often the boat has so many features that it becomes the destination.
Liberty of the Seas
The middle child of the Royal Caribbean Freedom Class made her maiden voyage on May 19, 2007. In every way, her dimensions are identical as Freedom of the Seas, except the number of crew members is listed a little lower at 1,300.
Until the end of October, 2013, the Liberty of the Seas will be running Mediterranean cruises, rotating home ports between Naples, Italy; Barcelona, Spain and Toulon, France. On October 27, 2013, the Liberty will depart Barcelona on a 13 night Trans Atlantic voyage, arriving at Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Along the way, she will stop at Philipsburg, Sint Maarten; San Juan, Puerto Rico and Coco Cay, Bahamas. A Royal Caribbean repositioning cruise is an excellent way to experience a Trans Atlantic cruise at a very affordable price. Some of these cruises can be had for as low as $600.
Once in Florida, the remainder of 2013 will be spent alternating four and five night Western Caribbean cruises. There are varying combinations with Cozumel, Mexico; Falmouth, Jamaica; Labadee, Haiti and Belize City, Belize being the main ports of call.
Independence of the Seas
The baby of the Royal Caribbean Freedom Class, the Independence set out on her maiden voyage on May 2, 2008. Nearly identical in dimensions as her older sisters, the Independence of the Seas is configured for 4,370 passengers.
Until the start of November, 2013, the Independence will call Southampton, England her home port. She will run 14 night North Atlantic itineraries until the end of October. On November 2, 2013, the Independence of the Seas will depart Southampton on a 13 night Trans-Atlantic repositioning cruise to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. As with the Liberty of the Seas, the Independence will make port calls at Sint Maarten, Puerto Rico and the Bahamas.
Once in Florida, she will join her sister Freedom in alternating seven night Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises through the end of December. The itineraries will be the same as the Freedom.