We all loved the ship and crew, and our room steward and our dining room staff were nothing short of superb - we were very pleased! We had been on the Liberty 5 years earlier and we enjoyed the Freedom even more.
We were assigned two different booths in the MDR and requested a large table so we could meet other folks as usual. We ended up at a table for 11 with 3 gentlemen who had 18, 28, and 35 cruises under their belts. Unfortunately none had a sense of humor or could hear very well. So we were disappointed in our luck there, but we had 5 empty seats at our 11 seat table and exceptionally personal service because of that! And we had a couple at the next table who dressed as Elvis and Marilyn Monroe and other celebs and that was fun!
Lines were not bad even though she was full, and the food was typically average. I was disappointed in the prime rib and lobster this trip but other nights were better.
I was looking forward to the Ticket to Ride show (big Beatles fan) and was a bit disappointed with that. Actually I didn't feel the male singer had a good voice at all and the female singer was inconsistent and that was my main disappointment in all of the musicals. But when Music in Motion came in and finished the show it was excellent - That is one great band! They played one evening before the midnight Mexican buffet and we were very impressed with their musical abilities and the female drummer's vocal talent.
Sean the piano player was terrible, the worst we ever experienced. The piano bar has always been our favorite place to relax after dinner but the two times we went in during this cruise we spent just a few minutes and left. Too bad, not sure how he got the job!
Our ports of call were Nassau, La Romana, Aruba, and Curacao. A few notes on each port -
We would prefer another port but our friends enjoyed touring the Dig and other aquariums at Atlantis, and we were able to visit the Graycliff Hotel and other spots we've missed on past visits. There were 6 (yes six!) other ships in port but I was very surprised that we had no difficulty getting around. The bulk of the tourists were concentrated in town around the dock.
La Romana -
Our favorite port of the trip! As we were leaving port many people were complaining about La Romana saying they felt unsafe or were unable to find anything to do in port - hogwash! Although this was our first visit there we knew from extensive research that you need to do an excursion here to really enjoy it, and the cruise director reiterated that several times during the cruise.
We had chosen the Saona Island boat trip with Seavis and we can only echo what everyone before us said - this is an excellent itinerary with an excellent operator. We all had a wonderful day - the beach time on Saona was gorgeous, the lunch was unbelievable good, the chicken, pork, and rice were excellent. The run flowed freely and the beer was also good. Beer is served for free only during lunch, I bought a couple large bottles for $3 each. The stop at the sandbar was another highlight. We all highly recommend this excursion. We're planning a trip back for a week in Dominicus and will take the day-long Seavis tour then.
Aruba is known for great beaches and we enjoyed spending some time on Palm Beach. We're not great fans of Aruba because of the lack of interesting points or options but we did enjoy the evening on PB.
What a beautiful island and wonderfully friendly people! We enjoyed a walking tour of downtown Willenstad and a great lunch. The people were very friendly and open and we look forward to returning in the future for a longer stay as this was our first visit to Caracao.
Excellent itinerary, except for Nassau I would highly recommend this itinerary and this ship!