Review of Freedom Of The Seas deck 13 (Sports-FlowRider-Waterslides-Golf)
The fore-located Freedom Dunes and Sun Deck (sunbathing area with padded sun loungers) are accessible only via stairs from Spa Deck 12 (below). Freedom Dunes (fka Freedom Fairways) is a 9-hole Mini-Golf Course (complimentary, 24-hour, equipment provided) with an indoor golf simulator (virtual golfing at surcharge per hour).
Rock-Climbing Wall (height 44 ft / 13 m, 11 routes) is complimentary (first come first served basis) and used in 30 min sessions. Equipment is provided (shoes, helmets, harnesses). Daily are organized climbing competitions and also ropes-free sessions. The min age limit is 6 yo (waivers must be signed by a parent/legal guardian). Children 6-12 yo must be supervised by an adult at all times.
Sports Court (a full-size Basketball Court) is complimentary, open 24 hours and also used for volleyball, tennis, football/soccer, scheduled daily group game competitions and tournaments. There are also Sports Deck (outdoor games area with shuffleboard) and a covered area with tennis tables (ping pong).
During drydock 2020, here was installed “The Perfect Storm” (waterslides complex) in the area of Freedom Fairways (which was relocated forward and renamed "Freedom Dunes"). It is complimentary (cruise fare inclusive) and includes the RCI’s newest super-fun attraction “Tidal Wave” (aka Boomerango) plus 2 racer slides (“Cyclone” and “Typhoon”). Both spiraling slides are positioned portside and go around the Flowrider. Starboard is positioned the “Tidal Wave” (aka Boomerango) raft slide. It provides the Freedom cruise ship passengers with the unique opportunity to ride in rafts plummeting down a very steep drop. Then the rafts shot up a nearly vertical wall into the air for experiencing the sensation of weightlessness and free fall. Then follows a swift return below. The slides builder is the global company WhiteWater. WhiteWater specializes in designing and manufacturing of water park products and family-fun attractions for major clients around the world. The company also owns the FlowRider patent (acquired from WaveLoc).
The aft-located FlowRider is the Royal Caribbean’s signature surf simulator. Pumps project high-speed water (20-30 mph / 30-50 kph) across a small area creating sheet waves (stationary waves) to simulate ocean surfing. FlowRiders were first created as land-based facilities and were implemented by Royal Caribbean for guests to enjoy traditional surfing and skimboarding on cruise ships. The Royal Caribbean FlowRider is a complimentary (cruise fare inclusive) facility and reservations are not required. Equipment (bodyboards, flowboards) is provided. Private surfing lessons are available for booking at additional cost per person. Groups are 6 to 8 guests. The FlowRider’s restrictions include min-height (52″/132 cm to use bodyboard, 58″/147 cm to use flowboard). Not allowed are footwear, goggles, go-pro cams. Guests can surf at the simulator until they fall off the board. The facility is supervised by sports staff (safety, assistance, advice).
(Freedom OTS Deck 13 changes after drydock 2020)
WipeOut Bar (20 seats) is a complimentary burger bar (also for FlowRider bookings).
On Sports Deck were installed RCI’s signature waterslides “Cyclone” and “Typhoon” (The Perfect Storm aqua park) next to the FlowRider (surfing simulator, also new facility).