Embarkation: We got to the port early as we had priority check in, as we were in a GS category. We waited not long before they started the embarkation process. We get in our "suites and diamond" line and proceed to the counter. We were given a letter stating that the sailing prior had been sick and needed to be cleaned and sanitized, and that we were being delayed boarding until 4pm. Weird. Then we were told that RCCL would be providing an excursion for us to pass the time while the ship was being cleaned. We boarded buses, all travel bags, i.e. carry ons in hand and off we went. We were of the first buses to get to our excursion Parrot Jungle. We were given wrist bands that gave us free access to the park and all amenities. Not a bad thing for us, but awful for those on later buses who were too late for any cold water, and in line forever for food. Not too organized on RCCL's part. Embarkation for real: Easy....picture taken, got onboard.
Cabin: GS is always beautiful. Lots of space, super fantastic beds. We were under the whirlpool and I didn't even mind. The balcony was huge! We loved our cabin, we loved our cabin attendant Cherry. She was always there when you needed her, and always happy, given the circumstances of having to do extra work outside her norm. We did not like the no vacuuming rule. We did not like to see crumbs on our floor from the past guests. We were told that due to health issues, there would be no vacuuming. I highly recommend this category. Although, I did have access to a JS, and found that it was quite large, and had a walk in closet. We had large closets, not walk in. The bathroom was big, with two sinks and plenty of storage. New shower heads, they turn now, no button. I found the button to be easier, this was a pain with soapy hands.
We were traveling with a group of 10 some of the experiences were with, some without.
Ahhh the Concierge: Paul is the best. The man is wonderful. Whatever we asked for, and we did ask, was taken care of instantly and with great care. We can't say enough about him to everyone!
Ship: It would have been beautiful, had it not been covered with sanitizer all week. All you could see was a white haze on everything. All the pretty glass was masked with this mess! I would have liked to see her in her glory, not her sanitizer. There were more shops on the Freedom then the Voyager class, probably due to her size.
Bars: Loved the Bull and Bear, Scott the singer was great every night. Michelle one of the waitresses, made me the best Chocolate Martini in the world! Olive or Twist was great too. Hit the pool bar, love the Mango tango!
Dining: We had dinner in the main dining room 5 out of 7 nights. We ere in the Leonardo dining room, our wait staff was great, the head waiter always had a moment to talk. I found the food ok, nothing to really write home about. Some dishes were too salty for my taste, but nothing bad. The pasta dishes were great though, and my favorite, the onion tart was great the first night.
Chops: Loved it as always, filet mignon, yum! And the desserts...WOW. You must go there, really. They gave you much more time than the dining room staff. We really enjoyed the time and attention they gave.
Excursions: We only did one excursion, the Horseback riding and swim in Jamaica. We loved it! A short ride to Chukka Caribbean Adventures, and we were on our horses and hit the trail! The swim part was the best. After, we looked at our pictures and bought a dvd with our pics as well as some of the locals and area beaches and such.
Ports: We hit the bars :) Carlos and Charlie's in Cozumel, Margaritaville in Grand Cayman.....must do's! We were some of our group members at both bars :)
Spa: We did the couples massage in Grand Cayman, and the stone massage the next day after the horseback riding. We were sad that the Freedom has no rasul....this was disappointing. The treatments were relaxing and painful all at the same time. I had marks on my back days after. Totally worth it!
Hmm..... Other thoughts The staff went out of their way to make things bearable. Of course with the sanitizer in hand.... I was also disappointed at the measly 20% they gave us for our "trouble" so to say, it was not as much as the next cruise and they were given an option to cancel or shorten their trip with a 50% incentive, as well as a future discount... Would like to sail on the Freedom again to actually see her without the haze of white. Missed Johnny Rockets due to the health thing, when it was finally open, it was like day 6.
Anything else I can think of I will be on the boards to mention it!