Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Passengers Find Coca-Cola Freestyle Aboard Royal Caribbean Is a Gas

A little more than a year ago we told CND readers about the Coke machine of the future coming aboard a couple Royal Caribbean ships for a test beginning last summer. Coca-Cola Freestyle survived the first limited test and expanded onto six RCI ships (Allure, Oasis, Majesty, Explorer, Enchantment and Freedom of the Seas), and is being evaluated for expansion fleetwide. (Yes, it's an unfortunate choice of names from Royal Caribbean's perspective, but the machines were already in a number of restaurants.)

What Freestyle allows passengers to do is create their own custom soft drinks, most of which they'll never find on their grocer's shelves. They choose a first-level Coke product from Coke, Diet Coke, Coke Zero, Caffeine-Free Diet Coke, Sprite, Sprite Zero, Fanta, Fanta Zero, Minute Maid Lemonade, Minute Maid Light, Dasani, Dasani Sensations, Powerade, Powerade Zero, Hi-C, Barq's, Diet Barq's and Seagram's Lemon Lime Seltzer. Then there are various permutations of flavoring options, such as with lemon, cherry, lime, vanilla, etc. Of course there's more going on behind the scenes because the machine mixes the ingredients perfectly before dispensing it.

Use of the machine is included in the line's Unlimited Fountain Soda Package, so you can try out all 100+ beverages until you find your favorite. (The Freestyle machine thus makes Royal Caribbean's soda package unique, because no other cruise line has the Freestyle machines.) Just don't get addicted to Peach Sprite, because you can't get it from any other consumer channel than a Coke Freestyle machine.