We have previously traveled on NCL and really enjoyed ourselves. We have never sailed with RCCL before but, we heard many wonderful things, so we decided to try Freedom Of The Seas. That was the first mistake.
When we embarked at 11AM, we were told our stateroom would be ready by 3 PM, it wasn't ready until 5PM and there was no announcement to let us know our room was ready. It consisted of us going up to our room and checking periodically. Even at 5 PM we still didn't have all our bags. by 6 PM we received our last bag (we had 4 total).
EVERYONE REPORT TO YOUR MUSTER STATION:
Our emergency drill was held outside, in 90* degree heat(F*.)It was delayed because people decided to casually waltz in 30 minutes after it was scheduled. We felt like sardines standing in line waiting for people to arrive. The actual demonstration was short and to the point.
It was spacious, had lots of closet space and the bath/shower are was lovely.
The bed was comfortable, the pillows were not. Our bed sheets had a giant yellow stain right on the front. We asked out attendant to change it out.
The television had maybe 14 channels. 8 of them were in other languages which played recently released movies like Harry Potter part2, Captain America and the Help. These movies were available to the English speaking patrons only at specific times once a day, while the other channels that had these same movies in different languages, played one right after the other.
On the English channels, the movie channel as mentioned above, we also had the option of the E! channel, some guy selling Jewelry, a channel about traveling to Coco Cay (we never made it, the waters were too rough)and renting equipment. The cruise channel which showed what to do on the cruise and the channel which showed where we are on the map. Oh, also the pay per view channel which charged $11 a movie.
The windjammer's food was barely mediocre. My husband and father in law love to eat, but they kept changing out the food, thinking the next plate would be better. We would end up with 2 or 3 plates with unfinished anything due to the bland food. Be careful if you have any food allergies. The people in "chef" hats don't know what's in the food. Find someone with a red coat right away and he/she will guide you to what you can eat.
Now, the Chophouse was delicious hands down. worth the up-charge.
The Main dining room was good. The waitstaff was very attentive. My recommendation is ask for KUMAR. You will not be disappointed. Fine dining at a 4 star restaurant.
The pizza shop, the coffee shop, the ice cream shop were meh. Nothing to writ home about. $$$
HEY BARTENDER! BARTENDER?:
They were severely understaffed when it came to the bars. One guy per 20-30 people. We waited almost 20 minutes to get a drink. Each bar varied the recipes and not one drink was consistent with the other. The didn't have Stoli Vodka on the entire ship even though their recipes at the bar called for them. wish they had a make your own drink station and charge by the oz.
RUN, WALK, WATCH OUT!
The running track on the top deck was a great idea, from 6AM-8AM and then everyone would start walking on it and it made running a run, dodge, walk, stop jog in place, kinda run situation. People weren't mindful of the runners.
Entertainment was disappointing. This ship doesn't have music. They have a jumbotron which played 13 year old children's music on a whispering level, the Caribbean band which came up to play lasted a total of 20 minutes. The Spanish band lasted 20 minutes, the Jazz band lasted 20 minutes, oh did I mention that these were all on separate days? You had to constantly chase the bands so you can catch them playing for the 20 minutes.
The movies that played in the small theater reminded me of watching it on a 1980's big screen TV. Those movies played at the same time as the bands, so you either caught a 20 minute set with the band, or a movie with a bad screen.
If you are 21, going to the Crypt would be ideal. If you are older than that, stay away.
FloRider is great for 10 minutes of watching the staff pull tricks, and then there are the regular people falling.
I would never set foot on the Freedom again, not even if they paid me to go. Giving RCCL one more try with the Oasis in 2013. If this one is as bad as the Freedom, we are washing our hands with this cruise line. We felt bored almost the entire time. You can lay out and tan by the freezing cold pool, or lay out by the running track, or lay out by the hot tub, or lay in your bed. The elevators were slow. by day 5 we couldn't wait to go home and back to work. By day 6 we were frustrated, by day 7 we were happy that this bland experience was finally over!