Just a little background info- I was on the 8/3-8/10 sailing, 28 year old female traveling with husband. This is my 8th RCCL cruise, and 4th time with this itinerary, although my first time on a Freedom Class ship. We've been on older ships in the fleet, was well as newer (Oasis).
Pre-Cruise: Flew into Orlando and stayed at the Fairfield Inn on International Drive in Orlando. That was fine. We rented a car from Budget and dropped it off in Cape Canaveral, then took the shuttle to the port. This process was pretty quick.
Embarkation: I think we ended up getting to the port around 10:30. Checking in was pretty quick, and we only had to wait about 20 minutes before they started letting people on the ship (We were sitting in the Platinum waiting area). We went to to the Windjammer for lunch, then hung out at the solarium pool til our stateroom was ready. It was really nice having so few people on the ship.
Activities: We don't do too many of the organized activities. We went to the Q and A with the ships officers which was interesting. We also went to the art auction for the first time on the first day at sea. It was interesting hearing about the history of each piece, but 3 hours of my life I will never get back :). We did attend 2 Crown and Anchor events which were really nice (free drinks before dinner). They offer a variety of activities though- we meant to make it to trivia quite a few times but got distracted.
Service: Our waiter Ronald was great and so was our stateroom attendant Brian. Most people were really nice, with a few exceptions. Guest services was usually helpful except when our refund for the internet package didn't show up on our account. The woman working basically called us liars until we had her bring out the original woman who told us we would get a refund. It wasn't a great experience, but in the end it was solved. Just a note- the wifi is really slow and several people complained (including us) of our minutes disappearing. It would take me 20 minutes at times to log onto gmail.
Ports: We just rented some floating mats at Labadee. We ended up getting there at around 11:30 due to trying to navigate around Bertha. Everyone rushed off the ship at once to get on the island, but it was quick and the crew handled it well. Really long lines for the bbq, which I haven't experienced before. In Falmouth, we went to Margaritaville which is inside the port. They have a great pool. In Grand Cayman, we independently bought tickets to the Turtle Farm and used the public bus to travel around the island ($2.50 anywhere you want to go.). In Cozumel, we independently booked Mr. Sanchos all-inclusive which was a great day of fun.
Cabin: We were put in a accessible balcony stateroom. It was a lot bigger than any other staterooms I have stayed in which was great, although like a lot of places on this ship, it did show a little wear. . Stateroom attendant Brian was nice. No complaints here.
Dining: I think the food in the mdr has gotten better since they changed the menus (last cruise was in 2012). Still had my favorite desserts (warm chocolate cake, flourless chocolate cake). We ordered multiple apps, main entrees, and desserts each night and our waiter was very accommodating. Windjammer was really crowded sometimes, and I feel like they don't change up the menus each day like the used to (maybe it's just me though). Pizza at Sorrentos was good, and so were the little sandwiches at Cafe Promendade. We did not try any specialty restaurants, as we are pretty easy to please food-wise.
Entertainment: We went to several shows, but left early at a few of them. The first late night comedian was great, but the the comedian on the last night was not funny and we left. We liked the the impressionist, and the Love and Marriage Game Show. The show about the fairy tales, Once Upon a Time was not our thing, so we left after a while. The performers were really talented though.
Disembarkation: We chose to carry off our luggage and were on the pier waiting for our shuttle to MCO by 8:30. The process was pretty quick and easy. MCO on a Sunday morning was another story though- prepare for long lines!
All in all, a great cruise and was very similar to our other cruises. We had a great time, and were happy with the vacation. I will say though, I feel like prices on drinks have gone up and there is no alcoholic drink below $6 (and then they automatically add gratuity). This probably has something to do with the new drink packages. We used to pay a lot less for a beer and were really disappointed that gratuity is automatically added to a can of soda. Nevertheless, we will probably be back for another cruise next year on RCCL, probably another Freedom class ship!