Freedom of the Seas Cruise Review by sawpgw: Good Time
Overall Member Rating
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Embarkation: Port Canaveral (Orlando)
My wife and I flew into the Orlando airport on the morning of departure with the air travel booked through Royal Caribbean and the price was comparable to booking through the airline. Our flight arrived around 1100 and we took the Royal Caribbean shuttle (it would be nice if they had their own buses like one of the other cruise lines that commonly use the Orlando Airport). We arrived at the port about an hour and a half later (after waiting for the shuttle and the drive to the port). We are Emerald Crown and Anchor members so we had expedited boarding and were on within 30 minutes, dropped our stuff and on to the Windjammer.
We ate all meals on board in either the Windjammer or Johnny Rockets. The Windjammer food was quite good. The sushi in the Jade areas was very good and they had the typical condiments. The food was generally very good and moved quickly in general and so did not become stale. Their curry dishes were excellent. Desserts were good to excellent and my More favorite was the Royal Chocolate Cake. Hats off for the new Coke machines. I normally don't order a beverage package, but with the ability to get diet, caffeine free soda and light, flavored lemonade. Ben and Jerry's, Starbucks (yeah and made excellent Americano's), Cupcake Cupboard (charge per cupcake and my wife enjoyed the decorating class). The Bear and Bull also had a great selection of beers. The Royal Promenade was a multi use area. The Britannia show was a lot of fun and covered several of the British Invasion.
Our cabin was a balcony cabin, typically sized. The balcony is an excellent place to hang out while in the warm Caribbean. The weather in the Northern US was just getting cold so the weather was welcome. The shower is a tube.
Our cabin steward, Benjamin, was excellent. He took care of all that we asked (which is minimal). The cabin was clean throughout the cruise. There was less than usual of the moving of our personal items, which we appreciate. With the shelves in the closet and the drawers there is adequate storage space in the cabin for a weeks worth of clothes.
There is a safe in the cabin which is not big enough for a laptop, but kept cash and credit cards in there.
There is a minibar/fridge which we used to store a few items.
The shows on this ship were excellent. Graham, the Cruise Director, did an adults comedy show that was excellent. The ice show was very good and the production shows were excellent. There is music trivia each evening in the Schooner Bar which is always a fun time and the Schooner and Sky Bars were our favorite drink spots on the ship.
The pool and sports areas were excellent. One afternoon things were quite rocky and the kids were having a blast with the waves until the pools were closed for safety. The Flow Rider is great fun. I tried it once and that was enough, but it was great fun to watch some of the others that were quite good. The rock wall is a great time.
The running track takes 4.5 laps per mile and this is relatively accurate. I generally run about 9 miles a day and so on the days I was able to run outside (5 out of the 7) I did about 41 laps. Still a lot better than running in the cold up home. The treadmills in the exercise area were quite nice with built in TV's.
It was a lot of fun to just run around the ship and explore. We did not see the inside of the elevators and had no idea that each night at midnight there was a day of the week panel which changed.
The movie screen on the deck is very nice to kick back and watch a movie and we did this several times.
Customer Service on the occasions I used them were helpful and quick.
The electronic guideboards were very helpful to find your way around the ship.
CoCo Cay offers a very nice grilled meal on the island. Sometimes a little tough to get a tender, but this is to be expected. I enjoyed snorkeling around the beach area with the planes, cannon, and ship.
Docked at St. Thomas, USVI. We walked from the port to downtown. Did not find a whole lot to do there, but the walking around was nice. We did not find a beach to hang out on.
Docked in Sint Maarten we grabbed a cab to the airport at Maho beach. What a blast the planes land about 50 feet above your head and standing near the beach when they take off is an interesting experience. We then headed back to the Boardwalk area and there is a public beach and several restaurants. Had a nice lunch and then to the public beach for a few hours. Great port.
Sea days were fun and relaxing. Saturday was a little windy and sitting on deck was tough, but we managed.
Disembarkation was incredibly smooth and on time (allowing for a run and a nice last breakfast before departing). We waited in the dining room and were called quickly. It took maybe 20 minutes from the time we sat down in the Dining Room to get off the boat, through Customs and on the return bus. Smooth transfer to the airport and flight home.
There was a little rain each day, but it generally avoided the times of day on shore or at the beach.
This was a great and enjoyable cruise. Royal Caribbean has treated us well on each cruise we have taken with them. I will sail Royal Caribbean as many times in the future as I possibly can. They are great. Less
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