Having just returned from our second cruise on Freedom, on which all of us except my husband were at least somewhat reluctant to go, the two of us who were least excited are now probably the most excited to go again. Speaking for myself, though I would rate most everything outstanding, the dinner experience was probably my favorite part.The food was not only beautiful in its presentation but delectable in both taste and texture, and there was so much variety. Wow! It can really spoil you! And once again as on our first cruise,the service was outstanding across the board.Bravo to all you crew members, you work so tirelessly, all with a smile on your face, to make sure we have a great time.
My only disappointment was that the violin-piano duo team that played during dinner on our previous cruise was no longer there, and the only live music [besides the waiters'occasional song-dance routines] was a solo guitar one night, which greatly paled in comparison to the very outstanding former violinist and pianist. Being a professional violinist and pianist myself, this was probably the thing I was looking forward to most, as this team was really fine- please get them back!
Now, as for the most reluctant cruiser in our family, our 13-year-old daughter,who repeatedly said she'd rather stay with her 99-year-old grandma than go on a cruise, we tried to get her to go to the Adventure Zone as soon as we got there, but to no avail. However, after bemoaning her fate for three days, she finally decided to try it. Well, guess what? From that day on, she couldn't wait to get back to her new friends, and was very sad to leave today.
Next, I'd like to comment on the design of the ship itself. First of all, it's very beautiful, and so thoughtfully laid out in many ways. Though there were more tha 4300 people on board, we never felt overly crowded, except maybe the one sea day when every table at the pool [and every chair] was taken. But on the at-port days, we literally had the whole pool area to ourselves. After having experienced most of the ports already on previous cruises, we have little desire to go off the ship on those days. The most beautiful part of the ship is the entire middle, the mall itself. It is a feast for the eyes! But one of the most thoughtfully crafted aspects of the ship is the rooms themselves. Such wise use of limited space! For example, the bathroom, while quite compact, for me actually worked so well because everything was strategically placed. Especially the shower, which, though it was probably too small for some of the more rotund cruisers, was so perfect in my opinion because everything was right at your fingertips, and the water pressure and temperature stayed consistent. My only complaint was the water pressure in the sink was so weak and took so much longer to heat up, why I don't know, as the shower was just the opposite.But there were plenty of well-placed mirrors, the lighting was excellent, and though there weren't many outlets, we managed just fine.
All in all, Royal Caribbean has given us a great cruise experience both times.And though we only went to one show this time, and even though it didn't seem quite as good as before, the shows on our last Freedom cruise were really excellent. We have also been on three Disney cruises,and Royal is our favorite!We're already booked for next year on the Oasis, and I can't wait!