18 of us sailed on this cruise, 10 adults and 8 grandchildren, ages 17 to 1 yr.
Drove to Pt. Carneveral since we live in Florida. Long lines for embarkation, but my husband and I were whisked into the Platinum lane and done in a few seconds. Embarkation was delayed due to a nudist cruise week before which required extra sanitation. The ship is very beautiful! We all had balcony staterooms in a row and had our steward open up the dividers which gave us one huge balcony. The grands stayed in two inside rooms directly across from us. Our rooms had plenty of storage space, some of which we didn't even use. Rooms were spacious. The Windjammer had a very nice selection of food. Some in our party ate breakfast in the dining room and said they also had a buffet set up there. We ate dinner in the dining room at 5:30 pm due to the young children. We really like the later time but compromised. We only ate dinner in the Windjammer one night but really enjoyed it. Since we had such a large party hated to leave all that space empty.
Our dining room service left a lot to be desired. The wait staff just couldn't get it all together. After complaining it seemed to get a little better, but it seemed we were always the last ones to get desert. The grands (7) had very good service next to us. The shows were pretty good. The others in our party participated in most of the activities, flow rider, rock climbing, ice skating, dance classes, bingo, etc. This is a great ship for first time cruisers. Our ports of call included Nassau (which was changed from Cococay), St Thomas and St. Martens. In Nassau most of our party rented mopeds and toured the island, (and had a few mishaps) others took a walking tour, some went to a beach. We just went to the flea market, since we were here about 10 times previously. In St. Thomas we all went to Sapphire Beach. We had lounges which were only $5 and a float. Almost everyone went snorkeling and saw tons of fish, stingrays, and turtles. There was music, food, restrooms, and a gift shop. I would highly recommend this beach for all ages. Lots of shade trees and a nice beach and calm water and reasonable prices. We had a tour booked with Bernard's tours in St. Martens. Had the air conditioned van all to ourselves with Sugar as our driver. Credit cards are accepted and all kinds of drinks were provided, including rum punch,included in price. We went to an iguana farm and the kids got to feed them, to a sea urchin beach and learned about them, then to Marigot market, Orient Beach was spectacular, and of course, the older teen guys had to walk over to the nude part. We all enjoyed the beautiful beach, music and water. Next we were off to Maho to see the airplanes land. The group enjoyed this, but we were kind of disappointed. The beach isn't that great, and the snorkeling wasn't as good as Sapphire. We were told the real big planes only come in on weekends and since this was a Thursday, our Thanksgiving Day, there were only about 2 nice size planes. Music here also and we had a light lunch inside.
Our driver was anxious to get us back to the ship because of all the traffic on this route. However he made good time and stopped at Rima's (like Walmart) for anyone to pick up inexpensive souveniers, By this time everyone was feeling pretty good and had a hilarious time. It was a long day from 8:30 to 3:30 but worthwhile for the price and highly recommended also. We all enjoyed the sea days, which gave us a chance to do some things on the ship. Oh, by the way, the casino is very large, with many slots and tables. Most of our party won and the machines seemed looser than on other ships. Our grandkids enjoyed the room service, pizza parlor, and the Promenade cafe which was open 24 hours. It was a wonderful family cruise which we all enjoyed tremendously. Yes, the Freedom of the Seas, gave us the freedom to do whatever we pleased, and Why Not??