Arrived late night/morning before we left at Fairfield Inn in Ft. Lauderdale. Worked for us but saw where some did not like. They do have a shuttle you pay $8 per person. They bring trailers so luggage is not an issue. We decided to drive with our van, but its a good option. Check with desk on how to sign up.
Embarkation was quick, less then 30 minutes. We arrived at 11 a.m. and no problem with boarding. They are organized and its painless.
Room: We had a balcony on level 7 or empress deck. It's two floors below the buffet. In the back of the ship, which was not bad but could feel the motors shaking at night. Go to the middle if you have a choice. Our room was next to relatives so we asked the room seward the divider on the patio, but this is important you must go through Guest Services on level 3 with a rep from each room at same time for this to happen. Once we did that perfect. Made patio much more enjoyable.
Ports: St. Thomas was first stop. Walked into More
town, do not go to Paradise Peak or tram. Was under renovation with construction equipment all over. Not worth the price of $21 each. What a waste. Don't let the cruise director talk you into it. Better views by taking a taxi for a couple of hours. About $20 per person worth it, but walk through the rush at the dock. There are more cabs available outside.
Antigua: Poor country. We walked through the crowd at the port and found a very nice older driver who liked to take families for a day. Cost was $40/each for us 4. Well worth it. Take taxi's you see more and get more for the money. Great views and beaches.
Tortola: Went over the hill with a fast driver to a beach that we found here. Gosh we have forgotten the name already. Snorkeling for $5, not the greatest of equipment, but got to see some great fish. Water was perfect temp.
Nassau: Not much to do here. Short stay only 5 hours. Very commercial, but they have the dock fixed up to welcome you. Paradise Island is very expensive $40 per person just to walk around. Stay away, not worth it. In my opinion.
Freedom ship: Nightly entertainment was pretty good. Check them all out its worth it. Food was OK, we did enjoy the early dining. Loved the service both at meals and at our room. As others have said the layout of the ship makes it hard to get from deck 5 to deck 3, real hard. You will find that out. Did not think they had the right activities during the ship days. Who wants to know how to lose weight while on a cruise? Bingo not cheap, $25/person, but hey we played and of course did not win, but that was still fun.
Thanks for those who have written prior reviews. It helped so much for us in planning this trip. Less