Freedom of the Seas Cruise Review by mominva: Fun on Freedom of the Seas
Overall Member Rating
Fun on Freedom of the Seas
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Port Canaveral (Orlando)
Our family includes my husband and me and our 3 teenagers (16, 15 and 13). We chose Freedom of the Seas because it had a lot of activities to offer our children.
Port Canaveral is such an easy port to deal with. We parked at Park N Cruise for $5 a day, and they dropped us off at the terminal 10 minutes away. Royal Caribbean took our bags right there. We then got in a long line. The line actually went pretty fast and soon we were on board.
Cabins- We had 2 interior cabins. On the down side, they were tiny. The shower was small. On the plus side, they were super quiet and completely dark. The beds were comfortable and I slept great. My husband worked out every day and just showered at the gym. Those showers were bigger. Also, since we had so much to do, we weren't in the rooms that much.
Dining- We ate all breakfasts in the MDR. The first morning I learned that they do not seat partial parties. Also, they will seat you with other passengers to fill up tables More and use as few tables as possible. My 2 daughters were coming right behind us and they tried to seat us at a table for 4 with 2 other passengers. We got it worked out, but on future mornings, we waited in the lobby until we were all there. The breakfasts in the MDR were relaxing. My husband ordered off of the menu and went to get more at the buffet. They bring fresh pastries and orange juice and coffee to the table. I requested iced tea and they brought that to me. On the buffet, I always got the fresh fruit, granola, nuts and whipped cream. Very tasty. My daughter did not care for the pancakes or french toast but enjoyed the eggs and bacon. People told us that they ate breakfast in the Windjammer and the MDR and the MDR was a much better experience.
Lunch- We never tried the MDR for lunch because they closed too early. We ate every day in the Windjammer. Here, the problems are finding a table and meeting up with your family. There is an area where you can wait and the waiters will get you a table. I recommend going there the first day and letting them help you. It is too frustrating on your own. It was nice that they kept the Windjammer open longer on port days. Also, they go from lunch to an afternoon tea every day. So, you usually can get food and drink in there. I drank iced tea from there all day!
Dinners- Every night we ate dinner in the MDR. It was a pleasant experience. On many nights, at the end of the meal, the head waiter introduced the bar staff or the waiters or the cooks. They played music and marched around. Everyone waved their white napkins over their heads or clapped. It is very festive and we all enjoyed it.
On Monday, we went to the Meet and Mingle which was held in Olive or Twist lounge. It has an amazing view. The assistant cruise director Jaime was the emcee. He is so funny. They gave away several prizes including 30 minutes of free internet. You should definitely go; you may get lucky!
There are so many activities ranging from origami to Michael Jackson Name that Tune to the 70's dance party. We went to many of them and had a great time. The Quest show is super popular; we had a tough time finding a seat. Get there early. The Love and Marriage show was hilarious. The ice show was great as well the Once Upon a Time musical. On the whole, my husband and I were impressed with the entertainment. The welcome aboard show and the farewell show were just so-so.
My kids had so much fun and met other teens from all over, including girls celebrating their quinceanera. They held dances every night for the teens. They had teen ice-skating time, a teen rock climbing competition, a teen scavenger hunt and teen flow-rider time. My daughter said that the ice skates were bad and the ice was rough, but she still had fun. The teen soccer game never happened for some unexplained reason which disappointed my other daughter. She said that all of the kids showed up, but no teen rep came to set up. Also, there are several activities on the schedule. My 16 year old would show up to participate and the teen rep would ask the kids if they wanted to start the activity (such as Battle of the Sexes). If they said no, it didn't happen. She was frustrated and stopped going to the scheduled activities because she felt like they weren't going to happen. Luckily, she also likes doing the adult crafts such as napkin folding and origami.
The teen boys played basketball. I also saw teens having fun playing volleyball.
This ship kept my kids so busy that it allowed my husband and me to sit and read and nap on the adult side. It was so relaxing. We never heard, "What can I do?" or "I'm bored."
We had sailed on Disney Fantasy last summer and had a ball. We were wondering if this ship could provide just as fun an experience. Yes, it was as fun. We all had a great vacation and created many memories! Less
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Port and Shore Excursions
We took a cab to Mr. Sancho's ($22 for 5 of us one way) and sat on the a la carte side. There is no cover charge to enter the beach club. There were 3 ships in port, and it was not crowded at Mr. Sancho's. My kids played on the water toys (balance beam, climbing icebergs, slides, seesaws) for $12 each. They also snorkeled. The water was clear and there were plenty of chairs. Also, there is a small pool and clean bathrooms. Last year, we went to Paradise Beach; Mr. Sanchos is very comparable. Paddle boards were $25 an hour. Parasailing was $65 for 15 minutes. Massages were $35 for 20 minutes.
We got off the ship and exited the port to the right. We walked on the sidewalk that runs along the shore. After a 10 minute walk, we came upon the Paradise Cafe. We brought our own snorkeling gear and the kids snorkeled. They have huge tarpon fish right there at the entrance to the water. My kids saw a lot of fish here. There is a water trampoline also. If you buy food or drinks, you can use the trampoline for free. We watched the kids from the shaded porch. Wear flippers; there is a current that can tire you out. I had trouble getting back to the shore because I was wearing water shoes only. After a couple of hours, we went back to the ship.
Arawak Aqua Park-$15 for one hour of your choice.
This is very popular for kids, including my 3 teens. You can wait to book this at the beach, but I will warn you. There was a constant line and the employee was constantly getting pulled aside for different things. He could have processed people a lot faster. They require the kids to wear a life vest. My son got rubbed around the neck and armpits. Some kids wore swim shirts which helped prevent the rubbing.
The employees want to help you find a beach chair and will move them for you. I wasn't expecting that and hadn't brought any money with me to tip them.
The barbecue didn't look that great. My family did eat there, but I waited to eat on the ship.
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