We have cruised 27 times with various lines, including many on Royal Caribbean. We have been on the Freedom's sister ship, the Liberty, and loved it. The Freedom did not disappoint us.
There is hardly a negative thing I can say about this ship. The boarding process was effortless - we walked right up to the desk to check in. Everyone - and I mean everyone - from the time we embarked to the time we disembarked - was so kind, helpful, and friendly. What an incredible staff on this ship.
Our cabin was on deck 8, very far aft because we booked rather late, but we didn't feel a thing. The weather cooperated, and the ship doesn't have odd noises - no creaking. The cabin has was a very good size, with plenty of storage and a nice size shower with doors - no fighting the shower curtain like you do on older ships. The cabin steward couldn't have been nicer. I do wish they'd reconstruct the toilet set up - you have to reach around and move the lid to flush - yuk. It would also be nice to have lounge chairs on the balcony so we could really relax and perhaps snooze out there. The thermostat was a bit wacky - it was either too hot or too cold and we never could find that magic balance. We have noticed that amenities are not provided anymore - we got a tiny bar of soap that broke immediately. There is a dispenser in the shower with what I guess is an all-in-one thing, but the days of lotions, chocolates on your pillow, etc. are gone.
Surprisingly, the in-cabin Wi-Fi worked well on this ship. It's always a hassle getting signed on or off at some point. I lost the signal once and couldn't log off, and of course, the clock was running. Guest Services removed the charge very willingly.
On this particular cruise, we stayed on the ship most of the time - even while in port, because we've been to those ports so many times. It is so relaxing when nearly everyone leaves the ship. The exception was spending some time in Labadee - my husband rode the roller coaster at least 6 times. Labadee is always a bit of paradise.
We are Diamond members and this ship has by FAR the best Diamond Lounge we have been in. It is a private room just off the Viking Crown Lounge, with excellent views, excellent food, and excellent service. We ended up there every morning for hours and every evening for hours.
The food and service in the Windjammer and the Dining Room was superb. Excellent choices, great menus, and stellar service. Whenever a server went by, he or she would greet us with a smile. Even the waiters from other tables in the Galileo Dining Room stopped by to chat and ask how our day went. Unfortunately, one morning as I was getting some oatmeal in the Windjammer, a waiter dropped a bottle of Tabasco sauce and it flew all over me and a brand new outfit. Ugh. The poor waiter was mortified, my skin was on fire, and immediately the head waiter, other waiters, officers, and a chef came running to help. How they got all the stains out in the laundry I'll never know, but they did, and they followed up with phone calls. Once again, the service and friendliness was terrific. The people in the shops, Promenade Cafe, Cupcake Cupboard - and everywhere else on the Freedom, were incredibly service oriented and pleasant.
The Rockport Band, playing in different venues throughout the ship, were nothing short of amazing. They are by far the best band we've ever heard at sea, and previously, we didn't think anyone could outdo the Rosario Strings. Rockport plays every kind of music and they are so good. I'd follow them to another ship just to hear them.
Disembarkation was a snap, as always. We were afraid this would be a letdown after cruising on the Oasis and Allure, which we loved. However, we loved this cruise and will sail on the Freedom again.