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September 16, 2005

Freedom Is... Hanging Ten A Hundred Miles Out To Sea

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Freedom Is... Hanging Ten A Hundred Miles Out To Sea
Royal Caribbean International Introduces First Surf Park At Sea Aboard Freedom Of The Seas

Miami - August 31, 2005 - Active cruisers wondering "what's next?" have their answer. Royal Caribbean International - the cruise line that introduced the first onboard rock-climbing walls, ice skating rinks and in-line skating tracks - now will offer guests the chance to "hang ten" a hundred miles out to sea with the first-ever shipboard surf park aboard Freedom of the Seas.

The company unveiled plans today for the onboard surf park at a special event at Cape Liberty Cruise Port in Bayonne, N.J., which will be the first U.S. stop in Freedom of the Seas' preview schedule when she debuts as the world's largest cruise ship in May 2006.

Created by WaveLoch, Inc. of La Jolla, Calif., the 32-foot-wide by 40-foot-long FlowRider® generates a thin sheet of water that flows over the ride surface, creating a wave-like shape. Similar to swimming against a current in a stationary lap pool, riders surf or body board against a wave like waterflow of 30,000 gallons per minute, carving turns and trying tricks.

"There's no greater feeling of freedom than challenging yourself to expand your limits," said Royal Caribbean International President Adam Goldstein. "In the same way that our rock-climbing walls have inspired cruisers to get out there and try new things, we know the FlowRider® will add to our guests' excitement with an adrenaline-pumping, unforgettable new experience."

Adventurous guests can try their hand (and legs) at stand-up surfing, known as flowboarding, or opt for less-balance-demanding body boarding. The FlowRider's® design features a composite surface similar to a trampoline that provides a cushion to absorb the impact of falls.

Descending from the aft sports court on Deck 13 down to Deck 12, the FlowRider® will be surrounded by plenty of space for spectators to cheer on their friends, family and fellow cruisers. After guests sign up, instructors will walk them through a required safety session with tips for a successful ride. An adjacent sports bar will feature flat-screen TVs with a live feed of the surf park action, while a sports boutique will offer surfing gear and wear. There will not be a charge to ride the FlowRider®.

To give cruisers a preview of the new surf attraction, Royal Caribbean also has created a new TV commercial that shows the hottest trends in surfing through the ages, ending with computer-generated images of what the FlowRider® will look like on Freedom of the Seas. The message is concise: "Long board. Short board. Boogie board. Onboard." The ad begins airing today nationwide.

The new surf park is the fourth outstanding aqua environment to be announced for Freedom of the Seas. The ship also will feature an adults-only Solarium with two cantilevered whirlpools extending 12 feet past the sides of the ship; a main pool area with two pools, including one dedicated to team sports and lap swimming; and the colorful H2O Zone water park, featuring interactive sculpture fountains, ground geysers, a cascading waterfall and a circular pool with current.

Wave Loch, Inc. manufacturers simulated surfing attractions located around the world (see www.waveloch.com). FlowRider® is a trademark of Light Wave Ltd., of Reno, Nevada.

At 160,000 GRT and holding 3,600 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.

Press Release by Royal Caribbean International

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Posted by Denise at September 16, 2005 08:56 AM

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