I am just back from my first cruise, myself and my girlfriend sailed on the Freedom of the Seas out of Port Canaveral on the 1st of September. We sailed the Western Carribean itinerary. We are early to mid twenties and we are from Ireland.
Boarding the Freedom was relatively easy, the lines were not long when we boarded at 11.30. In all it took between 30-45 minutes which was perfectly acceptable to use.
The ship itself was magnificent. Spotlessly maintained as evidence by the number of times we saw maintenance crews painting the ship during our week on Board.
I have broken the rest of the review into sections, food, entertainment etc etc
When we first Boarded we headed to Sorrentos for a slice of pizza. I had read in the reviews that the pizza here was excellent. It was okay at best, in fact the only time we ate here again was after we had had a few drinks and were retiring for the night. Nothing special at all but perfectly acceptable for pizza.
We had lunch and breakfast at the windjammer almost everyday with the odd exception. The buffet food again was acceptable but nothing to write home about. I had pasta some days, burgers others, tried there gravy and turkey and roast beef etc. Everything was okay and not up to the standard that I cook myself, but for lunch and breakfast it is fine.
I ordered room service on one day, this was a steak sandwich, the quality of the room service food was better than anything I had in the Windjammer, if I had of known this earlier in the week and the menu was more extensive I would not have eaten in the windjammer for lunch.
The promenade cafe was acceptable for a cup of tea and a snack. Their croissant are poor, they are not as light as they should be at all, I was disappointed with these as I had read good things.
Now the main dining room. The food here was delightful, I had starters, main and desert every evening. Once or twice I had two starters or 2 desserts. All food served in the main dining room was above average and some was quiet excellent. The MDR food was a definite winner for me.
Was fantastic, I spent the entire week running room one activity to another. Quizes, game shows, scavenger hunts, there is always something to do.
The Ice Show was particularly good, Tony Tillman played one night and was excellent. The shows put on Once Upon a Time and I cant remember the name of the other were very good.
All in all I was thoroughly entertained, however, I was disappointed that a lot of the advertised sports events did not take place, I am extremely sporty and this left me playing shuffle board for m sports fix (if you can call that a sport), I did however win the sports quiz :D
What to say about the staff..... I don't understand the fuss people make about the room stewarts. Mine was Irwin and he was a nice guy and we said hello when we saw him (which was rarely) and that was fine by me. This was no different to having a maid in a hotel.
The wait staff were excellent, we were on My Time Dining but had the same wait staff for 5 of the nights. They were excellent and always said hello when I saw them around the ship. Very pleased with the service they provided.
The cruise director staff are amazing. All I will say is that they make the cruise.... special mention to cruise director Luke who was excellent, I would have to have a fair few drinks to do some of the things he did.
Two negatives were in the casino, we were chatting to a couple from Texas one night who were in the armed services, Nato came up and the barman decided to give his opinion and started to argue with the lady from the couple we were chatting to. This was none of his business.
Secondly, one of the dealers at the tables was extremely rude to me everytime I sat at hgis table, eventually I stopped playing at his tables, think he had a problem with me being a smoker....
We purchased the premium drinks package and for us it was totally worth it. I dread to think what the bill would have been. I will be purchasing the package again on our next cruise. No problems getting any drink we order. When settling our account there were two drinks on it, 2 cans of red bull and a cocktail. These were removed from the account by guest services.
We took the river rafting at the Martha Brae in Jamacia, was an excellent excursion, had so much fun on it.
All of the other Ports, Labadee, Grand Cayman and Cozumel were okay, nothing special although we didn't book any excursions.
All in all, excellent holiday and cant wait to do it again.