We flew into Orlando and stayed the night for our 19th Anniv then on day of Embarkation we took a shuttle to Port Canaveral. The ride was about 45 mins or so to the port. The line was pretty long to get in to the actual port for drop off. Once inside the port our luggage was unloaded and we got in line to start heading inside the building. The lines were super long but once we got inside, because of our Gold status, we were put right through and checked in at the podium with security, then through the detector machines and then up stairs to get our Seapass cards. This process was very fast for us because of being Gold members. We then found out cabin and dropped off the carry on and headed to the windjammer to eat.
This ship is amazing and we loved it. This was our 2nd cruise, the 1st being on Enchantment of the Seas. There is no comparison! We loved our 1st cruise but we loved this one even better, the only down side was all the kids on this cruise and 215 girls from Brazil running around half naked and under the age of 16 put a bad taste in our mouth! Very rude and crude they were.
The weather the entire cruise was beautiful except for the last night at sea when heading back to port, it was pouring rain but then cleared up later in the evening.
Chops Grille is a must to eat at if your on Freedom, wonderful waiter and food is excellent.Kind of pricey, it cost us $98.00 total which was extra at Chops Grille.
Johnny Rockets was another of our favorites to eat at, $12.00 for two people and all you can eat which included everything on the menu including dessert. Again, the waitress was fabulous.Loved sitting on deck over looking the ocean outside eating as we were sailing and listening to 50's music.
Wind Jammer Food:
We were disappointed with the Wind Jammer food this cruise because every night the food choices were the same for Breakfast Lunch & Dinner, Desserts. There were no carved fruits or ice carvings like on our last cruise. The omelettes were still amazing and made to order so thats what I had every morning. We had the best waiter, It was his very 1st contract working for Royal, his name was Ping and he was amazing. We always sat in his section because of the service we got from him. Very friendly and loved chatting with us while always being professional.
We had a set time to have dinner every night in Leonardo's dining room at 5:30pm. We only ate in the main dining room 3 times,one of which was a formal night. They served Lobster Tail that night. each time we ate in the main dining room the food was great and our waitress was Elizabeth from Peru and she was fabulous! I don't eat seafood so I had steak most of the time when eating in the MDR.
Shows on the ship were excellent as well. We saw the musical shows called Marqee and Once Upon a Time and then the Ice Skating Show. All shows were really good and the performers as well. Loved the adult section pool area and the large jacuzzi's on either side that over looked the ocean. The entire ship is very beautiful with 14 floors. I would recommend this ship. To be as large as it is and with the amount of people it will hold, it was not crowded like I expected it to be in July The only time certain area's were crowded was when a show was letting out or there was a big sale on the promenade deck (5).
Debarkation was very fast since we took our own luggage off the ship.Great trip and can't wait to try out another ship and another area of the world. Will keep cruising with Royal.
This was our 2nd time to this Island and enjoyed it more this cruise because the weather was better this time. The food was ok, the ribs were so tough they were hard to eat so I just ate the fresh fruit while hubby had hamburgers/hot dogs/salad. I was thrilled that we were able to see/feed the Iguana's this trip. Great day relaxing on the beach on CocoCay!
After reading reviews on cruise critic about Bernard's tours on St Maarten we decided to book with them. We had a great time on this excursion and our driver was the "Mailman". Me and hubby were the 1st ones off the ship so we made sure we made our 8:30am tour time. We checked in at the welcome center as advised and a nice man found our name on the list and took our money and gave us a sticker to put on and then we waited until it was time to go.
After everyone arrived for the tour we were on our way, we walked a short distance to our air conditioned van. Our tour guide the "Mailman" was so nice and also funny, he gives a fantastic tour. He was a great driver and narrated everything as he was driving us to the different locations, he even stopped at different area's along the way and asked if anyone would like to get out to take pictures,if so he would let you get off and spend a couple minutes taking pics. If no one wanted to, he would continue on our way.
He had a cooler on the bus that was filled with his famous Rum punch, beer,water,soda all for us to drink free of charge while on the tour.
He drove along the country side going in a circle all over the Islands, both French and Dutch sides. Stopped to shop, went to Orient Beach and Airport Beach as well. Loved both beaches very much, hubby and I walked all the way down to Orient beach to see what it was like with the Nude people there. The tour guide kept telling us that we would probably see a lot of OMG's lol rather then a younger crowd and boy was he right We couldn't believe all the Nude folks on the beach, more then we expected and we couldn't stop lol. If your not opened minded then don't walk to Orient.
Airport Beach was amazing and we were able to see quite a few planes landing and taking off. Loved this.
I would highly recommend Bernard's tours, well worth the money. This was our 1st time and we really enjoyed it and i'm sure you will as well
St Thomas -We had never booked an excursion with Royal before and I doubt we ever will again after this experience.
We didn't have anything planned for St Thomas so we decided to book the 5 Star Island Excursion. Well to start off with after we exited the ship in port we waited in line until the tour guide came and got us, then we walked a short distance to the vehicle that would take us on our tour.While walking another vehicle hit me on my right elbow with there side view mirror, thank goodness I was not hurt. Very careless drivers in this port.
So we board the vehicle and it probably seated about 25-30 people maybe a few less, 5 ppl per row and the front was like the cab of a truck only seating the driver, then the area that we sat in had no windows and was kind of like a safari vehicle. So we started off being dropped off in downtown St Thomas for 2 hours to do some local shopping, after that we headed up to Magens Bay Beach for some beach time, well the ride getting there was very scary as our driver was very reckless. I realize the roads are very curvy and narrow but there was no excuse for the way he drove.Everyone was holding on for dear life. At one point the rear of the vehicle scraped the cement as we went around a curve.The beach we arrived at was beautiful and we spent about 2.5 hours there. After the beach time, we boarded the vehicle again and headed up to Mountain Top 2100 feet above. Again the driver was speeding up the curvy narrow road to get us there. The brakes sounded like they where going to stop working as well as the transmission, he was ramming it in to gear as if it wouldn't go on its own.
Everyone was scared and once we arrived on Mountain top I complained to the driver and told him we were scared and asked if he could please slow down on the way back down. The driver gave me some excuse that he had to drive the way he did in order to get us to the very top.Driving reckless and not caring about the people you are driving is uncalled for not to mention very dangerous. We paid $104.00 for this tour and it was not worth it, there was no info given as he was driving us about the are etc. The ride was dangerous and reckless and we paid for a tour, not to be scared to death.
I complained to the Excursion desk and got a v/mail from the excursion manager telling me that we where the only couple that complained to them and that the driver has a good record, yadda, yadda, yadda. Very unprofessional in my opinion. So after getting this v/mail I went back to guest services and complained again and a nice lady named Barbara working there gave us a $40 refund because of the experience.She was not authorized to even do that but she did. Later that day she put us in touch with the excursion manager's boss and we spoke to him in person and explained what had happened and he did nothing except thank us for telling him what happened. I don't mind paying for excursions or anything else but I feel we should of gotten a full $104 refund after this experience.
I would not recommend the 5 Star excursion to anyone especially if Baum is the driver, not sure how to spell the drivers name. Worst experience I ever had with Royal. Everything else on this cruise was fabulous!!