Freedom of the Seas Cruise Review by Let'sCruise27: Freedom with 2 kids ages 12 and 14
Overall Member Rating
Freedom with 2 kids ages 12 and 14
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Port Canaveral (Orlando)
Short background: I was in the travel industry for 17 years from 1982-1999. In that time I took several cruises- the Caribbean, Hawaii, Costa Rica and the Galapagos. The ships now are completely different but the cruising experience remains essentially the same. My husband and I are in our early 50's with a 14 year old daughter and 12 year old son.
I booked Freedom of the Seas based on a number of factors of convenience, but ultimately because of it's positive reviews and for our kids. I thought I'd be overwhelmed by the sheer size of the ship and passengers and was pleasantly surprised. This is an exquisitely designed ship...so much to do yet the experience can be whatever you want it to be. Like Disney World it was always spotless yet you never saw the cleaning that went into keeping it that way.
My kids were in the same age group for activities (12-14) and they met kids the first day, did a lot of the activities and had a blast. If kids are 12 and over they can More come and go as they please and this was perfect for them. These are well-traveled kids that have done many things and the combination of being at sea, meeting kids, going ashore to different places and the experience in general completely wowed them. The Freedom has so much to offer this 12-14 age group. My husband and I were able to spend time with our kids and yet have 'date nights' and that was awesome.
Completely impressed with the shows, including the ice production. The cruise director Graham was hard working, hilarious and just top-notch.
We ate at the Main seating for five of the nights. The food is fine, not gourmet by any means, but always ask your waiter what they recommend because they know the good from the not so good.
My husband and I ate at Chops Grille one night- lovely setting and upgraded food but still not the level of what we were hoping. But intimate dining during a sunset and a nice treat.
The Windjammer is the buffet restaurant which is usually busy but so many offerings and was pleased with the fresh fruit, salad, bread etc. If you like casual and unfussy this is a great alternative.
The cruise really can be whatever you want it to be...a super-social and partying experience or a quiet, romantic one. There are endless ways to spend more money than you intended to on 'extras', so be prepared for that. That being said what's not to like about a beautiful ship sailing in the Caribbean for a week? We loved it! Less
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Cabin review: D11534 Superior Oceanview Stateroom with Balcony
We were on Deck 10 in 2 adjoining cabins-1534 and 1536. My husband and I had the Superior with balcony which had a connecting room to our kids that had a slightly smaller (and cheaper) deluxe room with balcony. We had the door open most of the time between the rooms and could had the divider open between the balconies for one large, long, deluxe balcony experience. We were a few cabins up the hall from the stairs and elevators- less walking and more private feeling. We figured out the total square footage exceeded that of a Grand Suite, with two bathrooms to boot. If you're going with kids book 2 adjoining rooms the difference is $ is not as much as you'd think and makes for a total upgrade in many ways.Also many less cabins in the 'high rent district' that is Deck 10. Highly recommend Deck 10 whether you're in a suite or an inside cabin.Read All Superior Oceanview Stateroom with Balcony (D1) Reviews >>
Port and Shore Excursions
We took the Catamaran trip to snorkel which afterwards took us to the Playa Mia beach area. Can't say enough good things about this excursion- professional, fun, a great deal. Great instruction, took care of us snorkeling, a nice lunch (not just a snack as stated) and beach break, and fun drinks and dancing on the way back. Highly recommended!
This is a new port with a contained shopping area, which was fine and pleasant. My husband jogged in Falmouth, he said it was sad but glad he went out and about. The Haiti/Jamaica ports back to back really have some of the poorer and struggling cultures of the Caribbean on display. The problem with Falmouth is the majority of the excursions require a long ride. As I'd been before we stayed on the ship which was great, uncrowded and relaxing, and got off to see the shopping are after lunch.
We did the String Ray and reef swim. It was fine but could have been better. There could have been better snorkel gear and explanation of how to snorkel. The reef they took us to after the Rays was nearby and was beautiful snorkeling. Pricey for what you got.
Labadee is easy-breezy. A beautiful beach setting with things to do if you want. As always, options to spend money are everywhere. My husband and kids loved the zip line though very pricey. The Aqua park is a relatively good deal, my husband went with my 12 year old and had a blast. We did stay away from the 'selling area' after hearing about the pushiness, though you feel bad as clearly these people desperately need to sell. My daughter played volleyball and loved it.
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