Royal Caribbean’s Freedom and Liberty Get Oasis-Class Upgrades

It’s one thing to say, “if things go well, we’ll put these features in other ships,” when the Oasis of the Seas debuted not too long ago. It’s another to pull two ships into the dry-dock to make the changes ASAP, which is exactly what Royal Caribbean did with its Freedom and Liberty ships.

In addition to adding some on-ship amenities, the dry-dock allows RCL to check out the belly of the beast. The size of the stabilizers located on the hull is amazing- with several men standing inside at once. To be expected, I suppose – but not something you see everyday.

Check out the video below to see all the details of the updates of Freedom and Liberty.

Royal Caribbean Already Updating Oasis, Allure of the Seas with 3D


Even though Royal Caribbean only debuted its Oasis Class Ships in the last couple years, it’s still keeping current with the latest technology by introducing 3D theaters on board several of its ships, including Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the seas.

There were several considerations that make adding a 3d theater on a ship more complicated – including the close quarters, proximity to other venues, and that maintenance would need to be performed by on-board staff.

“We called upon FUNA and their team to come up with creative technical design solutions in a number of areas including physical placement, additional cooling and power and integration with the existing audio system, and the result is a 3D movie experience as good as or better than any land-based theater” said Christopher Vlassopulos, Entertainment Technology and Technical Direction for Royal Caribbean International.

The first ship to get the 3D upgrade is RCL’s newest ship, Allure of the seas, followed by Oasis of the Seas, Freedom of the Seas and Liberty of the Seas.

Will Norwegian Epic Entertainment Model Go Industry Wide?

BlueManGroupNCLEpicNorwegian Cruise Line describes their newest entertainment lineup as “revolutionary,” a surprisingly true statement. We’re surprised that it’s taken anyone in the industry this long to ask themselves “could our entertainment stack up against acts in New York City and Vegas?” NCL asked that question, and booked headlining act Blue Man Group not just for one or two theme cruises or the inaugural run, but for their headlining entertainment this season aboard their newest ship, Epic.

If anyone has come close to doing something similar, it would be Royal Caribbean. RCL’s Oasis of the Seas has a running production of Hairspray that casted in London, Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York City. While I can appreciate a good musical, if I was cruising with my entire family and the two venues were put to a vote, it would likely come to a 5-1 majority favoring Blue Man Group on Epic.

RCL’s Allure of the Seas debuting later this year, inked a deal with DreamWorks to bring characters like Shrek on board, and even though you can make the case that the movies and characters can have appeal to an older audience, there are lots of folks who may prefer to have breakfast without the possibility of being approached by an 8 foot tall green ogre.

Some cruise lines like Carnival are still running musical revue shows with OK dancers with one or two featured performers. Sure it beats sitting in your room, but acts like this would never stand on their own if they were on land and in a city with hundreds of other options.

Acts like Blue Man Group do come at a higher cost to the cruise lines, though. Carnival would probably contend that for an extra few hundred bucks per passenger, they could book expensive entertainment as well – but providing an affordable experience for families is a higher priority.

As more mega-ships roll out, expect to see more recognizable names and acts on board for more than just a few inaugural sailings. Booking based on the on-board entertainment as it relates to your party, rather than just how big/new/shiny the ship is, will help guarantee everyone a good time.

Oasis of the Seas becomes Most Expensive Cruise Ship in the World

With a staggering $1.4 billion price tag and set to debut this December, Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas is the most expensive cruise ship in the world. With that title, some may argue it’s also one of the biggest gambles in the world.

Oasis of the Seas isn’t only the most expensive cruise liner, it’s also the tallest and largest – stretching 1,184 feet from stem to stern. The 18-deck cruise ship will have a crew of roughly 2160, and will accommodate 5,400 passengers.

“It’s in the DNA of our company, about every 10 years, to take more or less a fresh sheet of paper and create the greatest cruise ship in the world,” Adam Goldstein, the CEO of Royal Caribbean International told Forbes.

Ticket prices are also higher for the Oasis of the Seas; the average ticket price is $1000 per person for seven nights, which is over double the line’s overall average of $490.

Building a ship of this magnitude is a huge gamble in this slumping economy, though it’s hard to remember a ship that has garnered this much attention and admiration in the travel media. While that will undoubtedly provide an initial boost to ship’s bookings, it could be challenging to keep 5400 people booked every week at $1000 each.