This cruise was a real roller coaster. Due to hurricane Irene many flights were canceled luckily we were the last flight out of JFK New York. We had to leave 2 days in advanced because of the hurricane. We stayed at the Hyatt in the Orlando Airport which was ok but the rooms were very small.
Finally August 28, 2012 we boarded the Freedom of the seas. In port with us was the Carnival Sensation and Disney Dream. When we were boarded the cruise terminal first left us in the olive or twist section but right above that was the Royal Promenade (which is fascinating). Which I found very nice of Royal is that no-one was allowed to enter there stateroom till 3 too make sure the staterooms were clean which I really liked. I hated though is that when you went on the employees are trying to sell you soda bracelets. When we first entered the Royal Family Suite it was a shock because there were no videos on youtube and barley any information about it on cruise critic. The view is spectacular and the whole lay out of the room was amazing. I would defiantly stay in this cabin again. First thing we did when we went on board was go for lunch in which we ate at the Windjammer which was excellent. But just a hint for future travelers I would wait to eat lunch or eat lunch in the promenade since it was very crowded on the first day. There was a very nice Sail Away party with the dreamworks characters also. Then we explored the ship and went to dinner. Our table was in a pretty bad spot on the second floor but our waiter was amazing! He always catered to us and new what we liked instantly. We actually had two waiters on RCCL which I found very nice and the Maitre D was also very nice. Then we called it a night and were excited for our first port CocoCay
When we woke up we noticed that our cruise itinerary was altered from CocoCay to Nassau Bahamas. So we quickly ate breakfast at the windjammer and decided to hit the ports. Nassau was ok. Overall it was my least favorite port due to crime and annoying residents who are always trying to ask you to buy something. The nicest place to go in Nassau is paradise island since the overall Island is dangerous. So we payed a taxi to take us from Nassau over to paradise island for 15.00 for our family of 6 one way. The beach was beautiful and the UV index was very high! We jet skied on this beach and then headed back to the ship in 3 hours because of the warm weather. That night we went to the dining room and got to see a parade in the Royal Promenade. The parade featured all the DreamWorks characters and it was very very nice and organized(I didnt like though that the parade was at 11pm but the parade is done the last night at 4pm). The shows were not that bad and the comedians were very funny. My favorite show was Marquee and it was the best show I ever saw on a cruise ship. The ice show... there is a lot of rave about it but I didnt like it that much but my family did. Finally we went to sleep that night after the 10 pm show.
Day At Sea:
We woke up at around 10 and ate a late breakfast at the windjammer which was very nice. We then went by the pool and loved the fact that the H20 Zone and Main pool were all chlorine. The kids went to the adventure ocean club and loved it but the teens hated the teen program. They said it was "very boring" but the whole cruise kept them very occupied. Solarium is disappointing although its labeled (ADULTS ONLY) its really just another pool with a little less kids since nobody stops kids from entering. Another downside is that their are only two ice cream machines, Since we were suite guest we got many perks that other cruise guest dont. Our favorite was the concierge lounge but there were many old people in that so we did not got that often. For dinner and lunch we ate in the dining room and concluded our night again with a show.
This was the second time of us being in St. Thomas but it always changes. We were originally going to trunks bay in St. John but its way to over priced to get their for our family so we decided to take a taxi to Megans Bay. Megans Bay was a little crowded and not much to do their. It looks very tropical though and its your typical Eastern Caribbean palm tress type of beach. We decided to leave after spending about 2 hours cause it became boring after a while. We then returned to the ship and had lunch in the Sorrentos pizza place (The pizza reminds me of the red barron pizza). Every night in the promenade I would go down to the Cafe and have a coffee and a brownie. The pastries are free and addicting. The windjammer's fries were also very addicting. This night we saw our first comedian on FOS and he was very funny. Also the pit orchestra was amazing better then any cruise line and they always did a little intro before the show which was very cute. Our cruise director was James Andrews a man from Australia who didnt really like. He seemed very nice but a little boring and we never got to see him that much surprisingly.
Our favorite port. When you walk off the ship there is a water taxi that will take you to the beach for only 3 $ PP. The beach is very nice and has a little boardwalk so you can shop when you get tired or bored. The beach has little trampolines in which you can jump on. The beach also has a lot of sellers trying to sell you cute stuffed animal monkeys. This port was beautiful inside and out. Everything left me speechless. Everything was also very low priced here. For instance a beer may cost you 2.00$ the most. The islanders were very nice and helpful too. On the way back we took the water taxi back for 2$ PP. We stayed in this port at least 6 hours.
Heading down the final days the entertainment never stopped. There was one activity called the Belly Flop Contest which was way way too crowded. Its not worth seeing since there are so many people. The freedom also offers 3D movies in which we saw one which was very nice. There was not really a problem with lounge chairs ever onboard and keep in mind that the second level of the pool deck is a smoking area (I did not smell any tobacco from the main pool level). The food seemed to be getting better and better everyday also. The Flo Rider is a must even if you are afraid its worth trying. I would wait any amount of time to ride the Flo Rider it was so much fun! The best times to go though are in the morning or during the main seating in the dinning room. The outdoor movie screen was also very nice too swim and watch Grease at night. There is a parade called Dancing in the streets which is also not appropriate for kids in my opinion but it is located in the royal promenade at 11pm. On the last day it was very sad the sales on-board the shops were great. The Gala Buffet DONT MISS IT! The best buffet of the cruise or event on the cruise. Its amazing! The Goodbye show was great and also very sad. On the last night at around 11 we decided to go to Johnny Rockets to eat a late night snack.
Leaving Freedom :(
This was maybe one of the hardest cruise ships to leave. Due to its size we felt like we never got to accomplish everything we wanted to which was heart wrenching. The staff was amazing and the overall experience was also amazing. I would defiantly travel back on Royal any day its my new favorite cruise line and I will be defiantly be sailing and meeting freedom again in the near future