When you spend a fair amount of your leisure time watching Extreme Engineering on Discovery Big Stuff, it is a particular treat to be able to spend a couple of weeks inside a very large and impressive piece of engineering. Sure, there’s food, entertainment and relaxation but that’s not really the cool bit is it? Big engineering is great, big ships are great and the Royal Caribbean Freedom Class ship are definitely big and definitely great. I don’t really have wide open mouth moments much these days, but I did when I first walked onto this thing.
As a result, I’ve broken my own rule about how many images to have in a single post, apologies if this took a while to load. Hopefully it was worth it.
Here is the whole thing. Docked at Toulon. Big innit?
As much as the ship looks colossal from the outside, it manages to be even more impressive and give a bigger sense of scale inside. You get quite a lot of “is this really on a ship” moments.
Somewhere up here is Deck 12. The glass lift seen on the right is quite a fun ride.
Running along the ship between lifts on Deck 5 is the Royal Promenade. Here you’ll find pubs, bars, shops, ice cream parlours, cafes and a very weird feeling that you’re not actually on a ship.
The 1400 seat Alhambra Theatre. I watched the Wimbledon final in here. Really very surreal.
Parts of Deck 4 extend out beyond the hull so you can get this intrepid view looking forward.
Sunbathing on Deck 12 you’re fairly safe from onlookers from land as you’re above most of the buildings. In this case, the good people of Ajaccio.
In fact, you can spy on the good people of Ajaccio from the jacuzzi on deck 11 that sits out above the waves.
The pool facilities for the young ‘uns are excellent and sun-shy parents can sit happily in the shade under deck 12 reading very interesting books about entropy.
There are plenty of pools to swim in. Obviously, not where you’d go if your book was just getting interesting.
This is the roof of the deck 11 jacuzzi you can see above illuminated by a Mediterranean sunset.
We didn’t spend much time on deck at night, something I missed from our previous cruise. But it does light up nice.
I Can See The Ship From Here
Being as big as it is, you can be reassured you’re not lost by spotting the ship as you wander round the various ports of call.
In Vigo, the ship proves conclusively that it is indeed bigger than a shopping centre.
And remains visible when you’re in the shopping centre.
When you’re a fan of the odd abstract compression, you really can’t resist.
Still in Cadiz, you can see how easily a ship of this size fits into an urban landscape.
But being that size, passing under the 25 de Abril bridge in Lisbon is quite tight.
And finally, a view of Cadiz from our Cabin ( no, I’m not calling them staterooms ).