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Freedom of the Seas Royal Caribbean Fitness Center Review

Royal Caribbean is renowned among cruise lines for its commitment to health and wellness. This past winter, I sailed on Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas with my family.

Although this was just a 4-day cruise, I wanted to make sure to incorporate fitness into my vacation as much as possible.

Here are some simple tips on maintaining your fitness routine and healthy lifestyle on your Royal Caribbean’s ships. 

This post contains affiliate links. See my disclosure policy for more information.

I should mention that one month later, I had the opportunity to speak at a conference aboard Carnival’s Celebration cruise ship. Between these two cruise ship gyms, Royal Caribbean comes out on top. 

What To Know Before You Cruise

  • Freedom of the Seas’ has a state-of-the-art fitness center with epic ocean views.
  • They offer a variety of wellness programs and fitness classes onboard that cater to all levels of experience and fitness goals.
  • Gym access is free but classes may have an additional fee.
  • There are many ways to stay active on the this Royal Caribbean ship including an outdoor running track and fun fitness options.

Freedom of the Seas Vitality at Sea Fitness Center: First Impressions

The Fitness Center is located on Deck 11 by Royal Caribbean’s Vitality Spa. The first thing you’ll notice upon entering the gym is the sheer size of it. It has almost every piece of equipment you could want, appropriately spaced, and also has room for you to do floor exercises. 

The gym was clean, with a towel station and handy metal sanitary wipe dispensers located conveniently throughout. I saw people cleaning the equipment both before and after their workouts. 

Much of the equipment also faces out to an ocean view, with full-sized windows.

vitality of the seas sign on freedom of the seas royal caribbean ship

Fitness Equipment 

The gym includes both cardio and strength equipment

Cardio Equipment

Some equipment you will find includes:

concept 2 rowing machine aboard freedom of the seas ship and other strength equipment in background

There is an impressive number of elliptical machines and treadmills, and they face out to the open sea with an unobstructed view.

Most of the equipment is the Life Fitness brand and Bluetooth enabled, and many have built-in touchscreens with pre-programmed training options. I was unable to get my Apple Watch to connect as a heart rate monitor.

freedom of the seas gym featuring stair stepper machines

Strength Equipment

If you like Cross Fit or weight-training, you’ll be happy to use: 

  • free weights (dumbbells up to 100 lbs)
  • circuit training machines
  • lat pull machines
  • Smith Machine
  • kettlebells

The video below does a good job of showing you actual footage of the Vitality Fitness Center on Freedom of the Seas.

Other Fitness Accessories

​The gym also has: 

My Experience in the Fitness Center

I went to the fitness center every morning, except one when I walked the track with my mom. I went before breakfast, grabbed my own water bottle from the room, my phone and AirPods. Being on the 12th floor made it extremely easy, as I had to walk down the stairs only one level. 

Cardio Equipment

I listened to a podcast while walking on the treadmill. I tried running but honestly, the movement of the ship made me feel unsettled. I’m sure I would have gotten used to it eventually. (My friend used these Sea Bands on our Carnival cruise and claimed they helped her with motion sickness).

woman using life fitness treadmill on royal caribbean freedom of the seas smiling at camera with airpods in

Strength Training

​These days I try to do more strength training than cardio. The gym had a good selection of dumbbells. I situated myself in front of the large windows and tried to do my routine from memory. 

Peloton App

I’m a big Peloton enthusiast. Unlike my other cruise, I didn’t preload any classes beforehand, nor did I pay for the internet package as this was a fairly short cruise.

Read about my experience using the Peloton App on my Carnival Celebration cruise.

Paid Classes

I didn’t take any of the paid classes, although I wish I had done the morning stretches. 

I heard many of the classes are geared toward beginners. As someone who works out almost daily and is a certified personal trainer, I’m pretty particular on which classes I take and how I spend my money. If they were free, I’d surely have tried them out. Of course, I realize that classes depend upon the ship and the quality of the individual instructor.

If you’re interested in becoming a certified personal trainer, follow my journey, and sign up for ISSA here.

Fitness Center Pros and Cons


There were many great things I loved about the fitness center:

  • full panoramic windows (also on the Ovation of the Seas, while the Allure of the Seas and the Oasis class ships only have large portholes)
  • lots of floor workout space
  • fairly empty even in the mornings
  • convenient hours
  • comfortable exercise mats
  • clean and sanitary
  • full range of equipment to rival major sports clubs
view of the ocean from freedom of the seas treadmills
View of ocean from treadmill


  • spin bikes unavailable except for cycling classes
  • only two rowing machines
  • air conditioning didn’t work well
  • water was warm from the fountain
  • on sea days, the ship movement affected me and the length of my workouts
woman strength training on royal caribbean freedom of the seas facing ocean

Is the Gym Free of Charge?

The fitness center is free and no reservations are needed. 

​Class Fees

Free Classes

Royal Caribbean does offer some free classes such as their morning stretch and sometimes yoga. These classes are typically early morning starting at 6:00 am. 

Paid Classes

Other classes have an additional cost. Sign up for these classes anytime after embarkation day with fitness center staff. These classes may include: 

  • Spin  
  • Pilates
  • Yoga
  • Body Conditioning 
  • Bootcamp
  • Abs class
  • Yoga
  • Personal Trainer Session

You can pay for classes a-la-carte, buy a 3-pack, or purchase the Ultimate Class Pass which gives you unlimited access to fitness classes to fitness classes. However, you must sign up for classes only once you are on the ship by visiting the fitness center. 

Pricing varies per cruise ship and length of the cruise but generally costs about $23 per class. To see the full lineup of workout classes, check out The Cruise Compass pamphlet which has a full schedule of classes and other activities. You can get an idea of past Cruise Compass issues here. 

If you choose to take a spin class, you can bring your own SPD compatible shoes, however, you don’t have to as they provide you with a pair. Tip: get to class early to guarantee that you have time to try on the shoes and get your correct size. 

Running Track

On Deck 12, i.e, the pool deck, you will find a running track. This gets crowded during peak times and you’ll have to avoid obstacles like lounge chairs and children. It’s best to go when it’s less crowded before 9 am. You can also walk the perimeter of the ship on Decks 4 and 5. 

One man chose to run full speed around the track and almost knocked down my daughter and niece. If you’re going to run like this, it’s better to go early so as not to disturb anyone.

red walking path on royal caribbean freedom of hte seas ship with lounge chairs in background

Other Fun Ways to Stay Active on Freedom of the Seas

You’ll find most of the following activities located on the sports deck of the ship for guests of all ages. I didn’t take part in any of these activities, however my kids did: 

Flow Rider surf simulator

The Flow Rider was a hit and was used almost daily. Only my 15-year-old nephew was able to stand up on the board. S

Ice Skating

We tried to go ice skating but all of the reserved times closed out immediately. (Tip: sign up as early as possible).

Rock Climbing Wall

My daughter and 9-year-old niece wanted to do this until they learned you had to wear someone’s previously worn stinky old shoes.

Mini Golf

​The kids found this late into their trip and wished they discovered it sooner. 

Basketball Courts

My teen son and his cousins played basketball a few times. 

view of royal caribbean freedom of the seas on water at port

Other Tips to Stay Active While Cruising

  1. Take the stairs as often as possible.
  2. Walk from the port to your destination rather than jumping on a shuttle or taxi if doable for you.
  3. Explore the ship. I had no problem hitting my 10,000 steps on my Apple Watch simply walking to dinner and shows.
  4. On shore excursion days, get moving and try some water sports or anything to get your blood pumping.

For those seeking relaxation post-workout or looking to indulge in rejuvenating treatments, the Vitality at Sea Fitness Center is also located on Deck 12.

Not only did I have a relaxing escape on my cruise vacation to tropical destinations like the Bahamas and CoCo Cay, but I also was blown away by Royal Caribbean’s fitness facilities. Make sure to sign up for my Substack below. I’ll also be sharing how I chose healthy dining options on both my cruises. 

Check out MyPurseStrings on Substack. Get the newest blog posts, my favorite finds, and read all new and past newsletters there.

Frequently Asked Questions

As a recent cruiser and fitness enthusiast, I’ll answer some common questions about the gym experience aboard Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas.

What are the operating hours for the fitness center aboard Freedom of the Seas?

The operating hours for the fitness center may vary by day and itinerary but are generally from 6:00 am to 10:00 pm. 

How do you book classes and services?

Booking fitness classes or personal training sessions is straightforward and can be managed through the Royal Caribbean Cruise Planner. Reservations are recommended to secure a spot in popular classes like spin classes or yoga, as spaces are limited.

  • Reservation Method: Online via Cruise Planner or onboard
  • Deck for Classes: 11 and 12
  • Recommendation: Book early to ensure availability

At what age are guests allowed to utilize the gym facilities on Royal Caribbean ships?

Guests must be 16 years and over to use the fitness center on Royal Caribbean’s cruise ships, although my 15-year-old son and nephew used the gym too.

Can you exercise in your stateroom?

Rooms are generally small. My double occupancy room was about 150 sq feet, but if you have room to work out, go for it! I recommend this foldable yoga mat.

If you’re planning a trip on Royal Caribbean cruise line’s newest ship, Icon of the Seas, I’d love to hear how their gym facilities compare. Let us know below in the comments.

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