Freedom of the Seas Cruise Review by firelife98: Holiday Cruise 2013 aboard the Freedom of the Seas
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Holiday Cruise 2013 aboard the Freedom of the Seas
As has become the tradition in our family, we take a holiday cruise in December to not only celebrate the holidays, but also our twin boys birthdays. Our previous experiences have been on smaller ships, but decided this year we should take the Freedom Class. In truth, I am glad we did. At first arrival, it is clear that this is a very large ship and holds a great deal of passengers (4,100+ on this trip per the Cruise Director). The sheer size of the boat can immediately give cause for concern that it might be crowded, but that is clearly not the case. The boarding proces was somewhat of a hassle due to the volume of people, but being that we were in a JS and have status, this could have been worse. Once we boarded the ship we made our way to our room, and were surprised on the overall size and condition. (On previous ships, the JS have been smaller and noticable older.) After settling in, we did the normal "ship tour" to become familiar with our new home for the next (8) days. More
During tour, the additional ammenities and facilities were amazing, when comparing to the Voyager Class. From the H2) zone to the Flowrider. Also, the Royal Promenade was clearly larger and had more to offer.
After our tour, we took the time to sit on our balcony and watch our travel down the canal, prior to dinner, as the vacation began.
At 5:30 p.m. (Early time for dinner - other ships are 6:00 p.m. for first seating), we made our way to the dining room and were plesantly surprised with the location of our table. We were fortunate to have a window. As is normal, this is when you meet the waitstaff for the week, and overall was impressed with the service and food. (Ashley Ferrandes and "Taffy" were our team and they were excellent) To made things even more enjoyable, the bar service on this trip was perfect. Every evening they were "ontop" of the drinks when we arrived. (Rene Cassell was fantastic) For the entire week the team was great and the food for the most part was good.
Once dinner was completed, we had different options each evening to keep us busy. On this trip, we made every effort to see all the shows, and are happy that we made the majority of them. Overall they were excellent from the comedy and music to the magician.
As with any trip that you are enjoying, it goes by very fast. The experience on the Freedom of the Seas was excellent and look forward to our next trip on Royal Carribean next holiday. Less
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Cabin review: 9626
Overall, the room was excellent. In comparison to the other class of ships we have been on, this was by far the best Junior Suite that we have been in. To make things even better, our Stateroom Attendant (Lovern Jaundoo) was a pleasure and always took the extra effort to make the room special.
Port and Shore Excursions
Though it rained for portions of the trip, we still have a great time. One negative (Not explained in description) was that we had to walk to the start of the tour, which was (10) minutes or so away from the International Cruise port. But once we started, it was fun from then on. We stopped at a ruin replica of an old lighthouse and was give some history of the construction and use. We then proceeded along the main road to the Blue beach. We had time to relax, snorkle and swim. It was beautiful. We then proceeded along the main road into the "jungle" where we had some fun in the mud and on the pathways. We finished the trip at another beach and relaxing area, where the rain unfortunately started. Overall a great experience and the guides were very knowledgable.
Dunn's River Falls
Being that my son's had not seen Dunns River Falls, this was an essential tour. However, it was "rough" getting to the falls from the port due to the fact that it is over 1-hour away. To compound the situation, when we arrived, the crowds were overwhelming to say the least. When we were making our way up the falls (In a line hand to hand), we had no room to move due to the amount of people that were here. With the crowds, it made our climbing very difficult and a few people fell when being pushed by others.
I am glad that we did complete this as a family, but wish that we did not have the 1-hour+ ride or the major crowds.
After the Dunn's River falls adventure, we then made our way to the White River for tubing. Our expectations were high based on the description, but ultimately were disapointed. After making our way down to the river, we started down some minor rapids, which turned out to be the only rapids. From this point we floated around with the guides standing in the water to make sure we continued flowing down river.
Finally we made it to the end and left the water at a beach, which was unfortunate to say the least. From this point, we were to have lunch at a resort, which turned out to be "awful". Not only was the facilities disgusting, but the food was even worse.
After an hour at this "resort" we made the 1-hour+ trip back to the ship.
Being the first stop on the cruise and also the first time that we have been at this port, our hopes were low. However, after taking the time to walk around, it was clear that this was going to be a great day. On one side, the beach is "open" to the ocean and the other side it is clearly protected and calm. We found our place for the day and immediately went in to the water. We also took the time to try the water slide and overall, it was disappointing. From the description, we expected something more with the slide, but it was slow and not worth waiting in line for. (I hope that this is improved and possible another slide added before our next visit)
Other exciting options on this island are the Zip-line (Could not try due to the weight restrictions thta my son's did not meet), roller coaster and "water park". The water park consists of different floating items that you can play on.
Overall, this was a beautiful stop and look forward to our next visit to hopefully try the zip-line, roller coaster, and possibly a new water slide.