We arrived in Orlando from Richmond Virginia and utilized RCL’s ground transportation from the airport to Port Canaveral. This was well worth the money as the process runs efficiently. We arrived at the port 50 minutes later and never had to touch our luggage until we got to our stateroom. Embarkation was a breeze (filling out the pre sail documents online really helps) and we were on the ship within 10 minutes.
Freedom of the Seas is a beautiful ship that is well cared for and maintain. This was our fifth cruise and by far the largest ship my wife and I have ever sailed on. The layout of the ship is the best we have ever experienced. Traveling around the vessel was made easy due to the promenade deck running the entire length of the deck 5. The interactive monitors placed around the ship were a big help in find whichever venue we need to find.
Although the Freedom had over 4000 guest on board the only time it really felt crowded was during embarkation day while getting lunch at the Windjammer. The staff was friendly and announcements were made in the Café requesting those who had finished their meals to explore the ship and allow other guest to sit and be allowed to eat.
Our stateroom was a balcony cabin on deck 6 (6248) which was starboard side forward, just down from the forward elevators. I choose this room based on its convenient location near the stairs and elevators and ease of access to the promenade level. The stateroom itself was larger than either of us had expected. There was plenty of storage inside. The bathroom was small but efficient; plenty of hot water and the water pressure were outstanding.
We choose traditional dinning (5:30) in the MDR (level 3 Leonardo’s) and were fortunate enough to have a table for two. Although we enjoyed ourselves, the food on this trip was a little disappointing. The chilled fruit soups were always delicious and a wonderful appetizer. My wife enjoyed her pasta dishes immensely, however being a beef eater I was surprised at the lack of flavor in the beef dishes I ordered. One evening I order a ‘Manhattan strip steak’ which is available every evening. It was by far the WORST piece of meat I have ever been served anywhere. The desserts were another disappointment as a whole.
The food in the Windjammer Café was very good overall. I felt that there was plenty of variety to choose from. Burgers, hotdogs and pizza, salad, fruit were the standards as usual but way to many other items to list here. If you cannot find something to enjoy then you’re just not trying hard enough. I will say my favorite item at the Windjammer Café were the mashed potatoes and sweat and sour chicken….man that was good. I hated the French fries which had a batter like coating on them.
We dined at Chops and really enjoyed the meal. If you have a chance I believe it is worth the $30 PP charge. Would do it again tomorrow if I could.
We tried Johnny Rockets for lunch one day and that was my favorite meal next to Chops. Great burgers and shakes! So happy we decided to them a try.
We had been to Coco Cay, ST.Thomas and ST. Maarten on our honeymoon and were looking forward to seeing how things have changed. Coco Cay was our favorite stop of the trip. We had a beautiful day at the beach and really enjoyed the crystal clear water. It was nice to just lay back in the chairs and enjoy a shady spot under the palm trees. Enjoyed lunch which was provided while on the island.
ST. Thomas was the only location where we booked a shore excursion. It was raining that morning and the ship was delayed into port due to the weather. We booked the Sapphire beach and island drive tour. The weather really ruined this excursion for us. According to the representative at Sapphire beach, the excursion should have been canceled before we left the ship. By the time we arrive at the beach it was raining hard and the staff had pulled a few of the beach chairs underneath an overhang so the guest could sit down. This was scheduled to be a 4 hour trip; however my wife and I hired a taxi to take us back to the ship after the first hour. The rain was not letting up and it was windy and chilly as well. Sometimes the weather just cannot be avoided.
In ST. Maarten we just walked around the shops near the ship and purchased a few shirts. We had planned to use this stop to enjoy the pools and hot tubs onboard while the rest of the passengers were on their excursions.
MY FINAL THOUGHTS…..
The cruise director Richard Spacey was EXCELLENT.
Service staff was EXCELLENT.
The Ice show is not to be missed. BEST entertainment onboard!
The only show we enjoyed was the farewell show on the final night which was outstanding. Do not miss the final show!
The impressionist was funny but his material was really dated.
The comedian on the first night was terrible.
If you come to see the shows please do not talk to everyone in your party throughout the entire damn performance.
Do not try and save multiple seats for people who cannot seem to get to the show early or on time for that matter. One couple tried to save 10+ seats one night while people who could tell time and arrange to get somewhere early were forced to search for a decent spot so sit or were force to stand in the back.
DO NOT LET YOUR CHILDREN PLAY ON THE ELEVATIORS FOR THEIR AMMUSMENT.
Debarkation was a breeze and we soon on our way to the airport in Orlando. Grateful again we choose the ground transport through RCL. We stayed overnight at the Hyatt Regency located inside the airport. That was the best decision I made of the whole trip. If your plane does not leave the day of debarkation I highly recommend this hotel. Loved sleeping in and then a leisure walk to the gate for our flight home.