Subscribe today
Get Cruise Critic in your inbox
Your Ultimate Cruise Guide

Freedom of the Seas Cruise Review by NHCruise2: Sure, some changes, but this was Best Vacation ever for us


NHCruise2
1 Review
Member Since 2012
0 Posts

Member Rating

Cabin 5.0
Dining 4.0
Embarkation 4.0
Enrichment Activities 4.0
Entertainment 4.0
Family & Children Not Rated
Fitness & Recreation Not Rated
Public Rooms 5.0
Rates 4.0
Service 5.0
Shore Excursions 3.0
Value for Money 4.0

Compare Prices on Freedom of the Seas Western Caribbean Cruises

Sure, some changes, but this was Best Vacation ever for us

Sail Date: September 2012
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Port Canaveral

I will tell you the quality of this ship and crew by beginning with how our cruise started. We were out of port a mere 30 min when our Captain came on and said there was a medical emergency and it was best if we returned to the pier. We pulled up to the first pier,not the departure port and let out an elderly man in a wheelchair.
No idea what his problem was but ship's doctor and him met a fire and ambulance crew that was waiting for them.
This must have cost RCL a lot of money, but obvious that was not any concern, they took the best way out to treat one passenger in need.
We then watched the ship do a full 180 degree turn in the water, an
engineering marvel, and head back out. All that I comment on here, would
I ever want to cruise with another line? not likely.
The ship was spotless everywhere we went. Cabin attendant was so friendly and
wanted to help us with anything anytime.

The pier is fine, a bit of a line to get into the terminal when More we arrived around noon, but after that and walking through a maze of areas, we were quickly checked in and on the boat. Ate in Windjammer buffet and got into our room little after that at 1:30pm. Easy enough. Bags arrived from 5 to 7pm.
I will make notes, pardon if they are a bit random,ask me if you want longer explanations, happy to do that.
This was the most relaxing and fun time I have had on a vacation in a very long time for just wife and myself, this was fantastic. I never came across any crew member on this ship that never said hello, that didn't smile and truly looked like they enjoyed helping others. Many of them are from Jamaica and I swear it must be born into their DNA...We did have perfect weather, yes just 2 weeks after the hurricane that caused others problems. Now, bullets about stuff..

We enjoyed our cabin/balcony so much, plenty big for 2 of us. Yes the bathroom is so small, don't count on showering with your partner..!The balcony had 2 chairs and small table. A great place to get away and also enjoy the quiet.
I have not one clue why any human would subject themselves to an inside stateroom. Stop with the we're never in the room, please.
There is the obvious comment on the romance one feels on a cruise
and being on a balcony overlooking the sea, or sunset all alone. Hint..
People we went with had inside, it consists of a bed, and bathroom only. Lock yourself in a closet, no window, no idea what the day is like or if it is night/day. and no place to sit other than the bed. You really want to have to spend all your time outside with your 3,500 new best friends? Okay, I realize it is a bigger cost but you don't need a balcony, but please at least get yourself a window room at least. The newest ships have almost no dark inside cabins and there is a reason for that...

Okay...food. The Windjammer yes can get busy and crowded and lots of people who look like they have never been to a cafe/buffet before, but be patient there are tables opening up all the time and enjoy the view. The food is so varied, including vegetarian and Asian accent if you look. Taste wise i call it very good. Dinner. We did the my time dinning for dinner and enjoyed it a lot.
You should call in advance to reserve. We always got the same table, next to the window and thus same wait staff. You do think of them as part of the 'family' as the week goes on and they know you. It becomes a very enjoyable part of the cruise. If you don't want an 1 1/2 hour dinner, like where else are you going??...the windjammer is available. This is a cruise, enjoy and relax !! Get pampered which is what they love to do. Ask them what they like to do on the next day's island, they have probably been there many times themselves. Yes they do get leave and in fact sat next to one of our waiters on the tender !
Food. okay no it is not the greatest meal you will ever have.But it is really very very good. In fact the filet was exceptional. Our only disappointment was the desserts actually. Nothing creative or were just weird combinations. And no baked Alaska?
Children..okay this time of year very few on board. Babies..?? really what are you thinking,?? this is not the prime vacation for that. Wait a bit,you will love it later with them.
Doubt you will ever drink that much soda to make there special worth buying.

Excursions, do the research, even You tube has a huge amount of videos on them.
I have asked RCL to vacate Falmouth,Jamaica. it is a beautiful man made port they have, but wow, just outside not the most attractive, But my main bitch is almost all excursions involve an hour+ ride to the Ocho Rios area. We opted for an independent tour guide and could not be happier. only 6 of us and a van that we could stop wherever we wished if requested . Jamaica is beautiful, yes you will go by very very poor areas. Enjoy what you are there for.
Haiti, what a contrast. The beach they built there, is the most beautiful sites I have ever seen. We took a boat trip to a sandbar, okay a booze cruise to a island in the middle of the sea with the most most beautiful beach ever...you are so reserved on the way out.On the way back, music blaring, dancing all over the boat you have met some ship mates and maybe friends for beyond. That is what you will never get with other vacations, that small group you travel with that you talk to and meet from all over the USA and yes world too sometimes.
We did meet up with another couple at other times and just enjoyed sharing life stories and many drinks, and that is what a cruise can offer if you want.

Cozumel. Yes it is safe but do not take the Mayan ruins cruise !! these folks did and for a 7 !! hour trip you spend 40 min there and their guide spoke little English!! Shopping in town, the stores are more forward than Jamaican's hard to believe, thus more annoying. Harmless and friendly but gets tiring everywhere.
And skip the infomercial on the ship about where to buy stuff.. that is like a list of what places should you avoid?! Taxi rates are posted for each destination. We found a beach down the island and for $10 taxi we where alone. But be careful,beaches are known for diving but very very few truly white sand type beaches exist. We sat at this beach club (it had tables and chairs..) with some locals and a few European couples and just chilled. Relaxed....oh did we ever. And bring your own snorkel gear and enjoy that free. Oh you had to buy a beer/drink to be there..Really??!! how awful! Okay we helped them and had more.

The ship had great shows, had some neat fun entertainment on the promenade at night, Beware. i mentioned cabins before,if you select a cabin with promenade view, get the highest floor, otherwise you will be on display 24 hours with your curtain open. !!!
And especially gals..don't worry. Every body shape,size,style, weight is
on board. Dress how you like yourself, don't worry about others, relax.
ENJOY !! Less


Read more Freedom of the Seas cruise reviews >>
Read Cruise Critic's Freedom of the Seas Review >>

Cabin review: Freedom of the Seas Superior Oceanview Stateroom Deck 6

Port and Shore Excursions


Not a lot to say..we rented a car as we stayed in Orlando hotel the night before, and from Avis they had a shuttle right to ship, maybe 10 min line to get into the terminal, so I have no complaints. On way home we had to walk a bit to get to buses to airport, but again that was 5 min and away we went...

Thank You For Signing Up!

Please Note: To ensure delivery of your free e-letters, please add news@cruisecritic.com to your address book.
We're committed to protecting your privacy and will not rent or sell your e-mail address. By proceeding, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.