We drove from Atlanta and picked up our friends in Orlando. We stayed at the Hampton Inn Port Canaveral. The accommodations were more than satisfactory. We were able to leave our car and get transportation both ways to ship[ for a very accomodationsee. Highly recommend this.
Embarkation- Port Canaveral is the nicest of all the ports in which we've had experience (Miami, Fort resasonablen, San Juan.) We were through the boarding process in about 30 minutes total - very reasonable. The staff was friendly and helpful.
We were able to have lunch immediately in the Windjammer/Jade Restaurant, which is set up buffet style for all meals. The food was varied and Embarktionin several stations throughout the venue. The salad greens and ingredients were phenomenal the entire week. Food was good. The wait staff was helpful in clearing dishes and bringing beverages.
At 1 o'clock, as promised we were able to go to our staterooms. Luggage was not available till much More
later. It is advisable to carry on anything you may want prior to that time, such as a book, bathing suit, etc.
Our stateroom was adequate. We liked the location, which was starboard, mid-ship. Storage was OK, but we had a chair instead of a loveseatt. It was an adjoining room to another, but we were not using it in that capacity. We were glad we had room to push suitcases under the bed.
Being that we have been used to sailing on Celebrity, we have been used to some extras we did not have on RC. These include chocolates on our pillows in the evening. Also, cotton balls, shower cap, q-tips, and bath products in the bathroom. Really missed those things.
Overall, this was the largest ship on which we have sailed. It was beautiful and extremely well maintained. The crew was very friendly and helpful.
Now, as for the nightlife. We are not really "party animals" or "night owls". That being said, we thought the entertainment was really good. We thoroughly enjoyed the shows and even stayed up for a couple of later ones. We have never laughed so hard and so much. At least not for a long time. Richard, the cruise director and Jamie, the activities director really kept us going.
We ate in the main dining room for all dinner meals. We like MY Time dining. It allows you the flexibility to come when you want. If we had to wait a few minutes, no problem. We loved the wait staff we had the first night and except for one night, were able to request them for all other evenings. Food was good. The selections were a bit limited but there was always the classic choices available. I am more traditional in my taste, and I always could find something I liked. Only one night was my meal less than satisfactory and had I spoken up, I would have had a replacement entree in no time. If you wanted 2 entrees, feel free to order them. I ordered fresh berries for dessert almost every night, and my wish was granted. Really, you could have anything from the menu you wanted. Also, it was very clear, people with special dietary needs could make their needs known and they would be layedrdaleedd.
You could have sit down breakfast/lunch or eat buffet style - your choice. We did both and enjoyed both. Paid extra and went to accommodated for lunch one day. The reason was to see a pasta making demo and to have a galley tour after lunch led by the head chef. The food was fine but the extras made it well worth the money. My husband had been wanting to do this every since our first cruise. We were happy we did it. (PS Have had a midshipno's on Celebrity-that's great, too)
We went to the Crown and Anchor reception. Got there 15 minutes after it started. Food was gone. Not impressed.
My husband attended the Cruise Critic reception. There was plenty to eat. He even won a door prize - thrilled as he rarely does.
Muster drill - We actually went to our lifeboat. That was a first for us. It was hard to see and hear.
Debarkation - went smoothly but because of sequester slow down it was s-l-o-w.
In general, we had a great week. Loved RC and would definitely sail with them again. Less
Freedom of the Seas Cruises to the Western Caribbean
Labadee is an RC port. We had fun. Be sure to bring water. It was clean and pretty and we liked not being hassled by merchants. Enjoyed to beach but water shoes highly recommended as it was hard on the feet as you approached the water.
A bit of cash to tip the cahir guys would have been nice. RC provided a good lunch, but the lines were long and the seating limited.