Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas -- Eastern Caribbean ( Coco Cay, St Thomas, St. Maarten) May 6th -13th 2012.
This is coming from a first time cruiser! I had a wonderful experience aboard the Freedom of the Seas. The food was fantastic and the variety was terrific. We had the second sitting for dinner. I had one beef dish that was presented rare when I asked for medium well. I brought this to the attention of the Head Waiter and very quickly I had it whisked away and replaced by a medium well plate. It was very good, not overly done, but moist and juicy. The entire wait staff was friendly and attentive. I never had a bad meal all week.
On the first night aboard ship we ate at the Windjammer cafe buffet. Again it was well presented and had quite the variety. On the second formal night I had a dinner reservation at the Chops Grille. We both had the Prime Rib and I will tell you that it melted in our mouths.
The entertainment aboard the ship was great. There was the Broadway show Marquee and the magic show Now You See It. Both were well done productions. I did not get to see the ice show (you just can't get to do everything they have to offer). Note: If you want to get into a show or other entertainment (Adult Comedy, Quest, Love and Marriage Game) get their early of you might get shutout. The cruise director was Graham Seymour and he is certifiably nuts, off his rocker! If he was on dry land they would lock him up. His daily TV show highlighting the days activities is a can't miss!
The ports were OK. Coco Cay we never made it to! Not because of any weather issue, but because we were just too exhausted and decided to do nothing on day 2. We slept in, had a leisurely breakfast, explored the ship, played music trivia and made it to the Solarium for a whirlpool and some sunbathing. Because everyone was on Coco Cay, the pool deck was nearly deserted.
If you are at all inclined to take another trip on Royal Caribbean, sign up for your next cruise and get up to $200 (dependent on how long a trip you take) in on board credit. We did and the date we wanted may have to change but we have until Sept 1st to make the change at no charge.
I would be remiss if I didn't talk about the Cruise Critic get together on board ship. Each person attending received a gift from Royal Caribbean as well as a raffle for other prizes. It was great to meet some of the posters on the message board. As a first time cruiser, I found the tips and advice on Cruise Critic invaluable. It was good to hear what the more experienced cruisers had to say. Also later on we saw some of them at the schooner bar and were invited to join them.
All in all this was a great 1st cruise and perhaps the bar has been set high. We have already scheduled our next cruise and look forward to taking another trip on Royal Caribbean's Freedom of the Seas.