Finally made our return to Royal Caribbean and brought my son for his first cruise-and definitely not his last, God willing! This was a family vacation for my mother , me and my son. Mom is now a platinum member, I'm still gold and my son just joined the club. I'd like to share some notes for anyone looking to review the RC western Caribbean cruise and, share some tips that I took away from my own cruise.
First, the Freedom of the Seas is an AWESOME ship! The staff was tremendous and extremely friendly and helpful! The ship was spotless and well cared for. The activities were great--music for everyone, evening shows that were Broadway caliber, an ice skating show that was amazing, karaoke, surfing, rock climbing, teen club, arcade, jazz, salsa, contests, casino--you name it, there was something for everyone! If you go, make certain that you attend the evening shows in the Arcadia Theater, because it's like going to a mini Broadway show every night. The lead singer was first rate AMAZING! Catch the ice skating show, too. It is great! We also enjoyed eating in the dining room every night as our wait staff was so attentive and friendly. On this cruise, we did not use the My-Time dining option because it was PACKED every night and tough to get a reservation. We also did not get a chance to try the private restaurants. I figured, "why?" when we enjoyed such good food in the main dining hall, which is beautiful!
Regarding the ports of call: we enjoyed all of them!
The ship days were great-lots to do on the ship or just lay out and relax in the sun and get your tan on! Some things I will do differently next time:
1. Pack my walkie talkies to stay in touch with everyone in our arty when we separate!! No cell phones means no communication so we will definitely be bringing those next time!
2. Pack a shawl or sweater. Duh! I didn't pack one because I though it would be warm in the Caribbean. It was but the ship was nice and cool so I needed something in the evenings for the shows, etc. luckily, mom had some warm stuff!
3. Pack LESS! I packed shorts and tees for each day plus a different comfy dress for dinner plus workout stuff. Please! I didn't work out once! We had to be up so ally four our excursions that I just didn't have time. I wore my bathing suits every day with a suit cover and water shoes! I will only bring a few comfy stretchy dresses next time and rotate them.
4. Don't forget to pack a big Sam's shopping bag or a Marshall's reusable bag to carry your towels/etc from the ship!! Ours came in incredibly handy and folds down into nothing.
We had an excellent trip and smooth sailing on the Freedom and are already planning our next cruise for next year! Hope this helps anyone looking for info on the western Caribbean cruise! Happy sailing!