MS Freedom of the Seas is a cruise ship owned and operated by Royal Caribbean International. It is the namesake of Royal Caribbean’s Freedom Class of cruise ships, and can put up 3,634 passengers and 1,300 crew on fifteen passenger decks. Freedom of the Seas was the largest passenger ship in the world.
The Freedom of the Seas was build at the Aker Yards drydock in Turku, Finland, which also is building the other ships of the Freedom Class. Upon its completion, it became the largest passenger ship ever built, taking that honor from Cunard’s RMS Queen Mary 2.
Freedom of the Seas is 2.4 meters (7 ft 10 in) narrower than QM2 at the waterline, 6 meters (20 ft) shorter, has 1.5 meters (4 ft 11 in) less draft, is 8.3 meters (27 ft) less tall and 10 miles per hour (16 km/h) slower. Freedom however is the larger ship in terms of gross tonnage. While its gross tonnage was estimated to range from 154,000 GT to 160,000 GT, its official rating by Det Norske Veritas, a Norwegian marine classification society, is 154,407 GT, compared with QM2’s 148,528 GT. Freedom of the Seas had the highest gross tonnage of any passenger ship yet built, until the 2009 completion of the MS Oasis of the Seas.
The ship has three swimming areas: an interactive water park, a dedicated adult pool and the main pool. There are two adults-only whirlpools cantilevered out from the ship’s sides, the Royal Promenade sports, a coffee shop, Sorrento’s Pizzeria, a Ben and Jerry’s ice-cream shop, Vintage’s winery, the Bull and Bear Irish pub, and many Duty-free shops. The 13th deck has a sports area with a rock climbing wall, the Flow Rider (an onboard wave generator for surfing), a miniature golf course and a full size basketball court. Other items include an ice skating rink, a casino, a Johnny Rockets restaurant, Wi-Fi capabilities throughout the ship, flat panel televisions in all staterooms, and cell phone connectivity.