Freedom Is … Afloat With Possibilities

Royal Caribbean Floats Out Freedom of the Seas, Announces Captain

MIAMI, Aug. 22 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Royal Caribbean International’s Freedom of the Seas is now the largest cruise ship afloat. The ship, under construction at Aker Finnyards in Turku, Finland, reached an important maritime milestone this weekend. With her hull now complete, Freedom of the Seas was “floated out” — moved from dry dock to wet dock for the final months of finishing work leading up to her May 2006 debut.

The line chose this celebrated occasion to announce that Freedom of the Seas will enter service under the command of Captain William S. Wright, a 13-year veteran of Royal Caribbean and one of the few American captains in international cruising. Having spent most of his adult life at sea, Capt. Wright currently serves as the senior vice president of Marine Operations for the company.

In bringing out the 3,634-guest Freedom of the Seas, Capt. Wright will earn the distinction of being the first at the helm of both the largest and the smallest ships in the Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. family. Capt. Wright served as the first master for Celebrity Cruises’ 100-guest, luxury Xpedition ship in the Galapagos Islands when she debuted in June 2004.

“Bill Wright is not only an accomplished seaman and an outstanding captain, he is a true reflection of the Royal Caribbean spirit, with the desire to get out there and explore new places, try new things and make memorable experiences,” said Royal Caribbean President Adam Goldstein.

“I am honored to be the first captain of the most innovative ship at sea,” Wright said. “I am excited about taking guests out to fully experience the freedom of choice this ship has to offer.”

At 158,000 gross registered tons, Freedom of the Seas is the world’s largest cruise ship. Her size allows the line to build upon its history of offering innovative, exciting and unexpected activities and amenities by introducing a multitude of new features, including an unparalleled top-deck aqua environment featuring three massive pool areas: an interactive water park called the H2O Zone, the most dramatic whirlpools at sea and a dedicated sports pool.

Freedom of the Seas also will feature the largest shipboard rock-climbing wall and the line’s longest Royal Promenade to date. At 427 feet long, Freedom of the Seas’ Royal Promenade will include expanded shopping, dining and entertainment options such as a book store and pizzeria.

For accommodations, Freedom’s 1,817 staterooms will include six different family-focused stateroom categories specially designed for larger families and groups of friends. The largest will be the 1,215-square-foot Presidential Suite, which will sleep 14 and will feature four bedrooms, four baths and a 810-square-foot outdoor living area with whirlpool, wet bar and al fresco dining table.

At 158,000 GRT and holding 3,634 guests double-occupancy, Freedom of the Seas will be the largest cruise ship in the world when she debuts in May 2006. The first in Royal Caribbean’s new Freedom class, she will be the most forward-looking and innovative ship the company has built to date. Freedom of the Seas will sail seven-night Western Caribbean itineraries from Miami calling in Cozumel, Mexico; George Town, Grand Cayman; Montego Bay, Jamaica; and Royal Caribbean’s private destination, Labadee, Hispaniola.

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