The cruise was leaving from the Port of Miami, and The Freedom of The Seas was docked looking as majestic as any cruise ship in the world could. Getting on to her was a walk in the park,as they did a great job boarding 3,800 passengers and a crew of 1,400 effortlessly. The ship was spotless, and the crew did a great job all cruise long constantly cleaning everything everywhere through out the ship. Impressive Our cabin was immaculate, and the linens and towels were of good quality I give the captain high marks for keeping the ship looking brand new. The entertainment was wonderful, and made even better by the spectacular Ice Show that The Freedom could offer its customers. Also high marks for the employees everywhere on the ship always willing to help you enjoy your vacation aboard her. Plenty to do on board, and many places to relax if you wanted too. The ship was much friendlier to the young and middle aged families. Although we enjoy seeing the younger set having loads of fun. Eighty three sets of Honeymooners on board brought a lot of joy seen throughout the cruise. It seemed the ship wasn't as big as it was because there were so many things to do along the way. Or maybe have a cup of coffee at the restaurant hanging out on Main St and people watch. That is where my wife and I read the home news while cruising. They even had two parades down Main St in the center of the ship which was a great touch, and something different you can do on the 160,000 ton ship like The Freedom of The Seas. They had the crew dressed as if a circus hit town. Much hoopla, and plenty of picture taking. This is all the positive things I had to say about the ship. The food and the Windjammer was another story. Although the dinning room menu was about the same as it has been for sometime. We enjoyed it and the service was excellent.
My wife and I cruise with Royal, Celebrity. and the Holland cruise lines. Just about a dozen cruises for the last twenty years. Slowly, we have seen changes that cruises use to have that aren't there anymore. Even small things like serving diner rolls as if they were works of art rather then have assortments of rolls in a basket on the table. Then you had to bother the assistant waiter for another roll which was annoying. Baked Alaska on the last night of the cruise has been omitted. Just as the nights with the midnight buffet which I agree was a waste of food and never joined the late eating crowd anyway. But the choice wasn't there to choose from. Instead, they have two places to grab a snack on Main Street in the center of the ship. Or order from room service which was limited. The pizza was frozen just as you would buy at a food market. Not tasty even with the extras added to the top of the pie to make it appear freshly made. The sandwiches were small and one of the crew even boasted that the next night the sandwiches were going to have roast beef for the meat. One night only of the cruise, while the rest of the nights was ham-cheese of some other non appetizing sandwich. Gone were tours of at least one part of their kitchen. They usually have the crew on that tour making the ice displays. The biggest thing was The Chocolate Extravaganza which I know takes 1,200 man hours to prepare was also cut from the cruise. Very disappointing as we always look forward to that special night. Drinks of The Day, that usually cost half the price of regular drinks doubled the price to $10.00 including the tip to the server. Pictures taken though out the cruise were really out of control.I was surprised they didn't station the camera person outside your cabin door. The picture studio was crammed with so many pictures they they were overflowing. Although we did purchase an 8x10 for the twenty dollar charge.
The Windjammer restaurant was still crowed for breakfast,and lunch. Always a problem to get a table to eat. We ate on the stools one day which the ships planners must have come up with for added space in a much to small Windjammer for the amount of people on board. Adding the stools facing the people walking through the lines getting their food in the Windjammer. The problem was that everyone passing by or waiting on line made you feel like you were part of a lunch choice. I had people ask me if what I was eating was tasted good. So much for the stool seats. Big mistake. The servers that seat you never really helped anyone get seated although one morning an attempt was made during the cruise. Had to wait to get that second cup of coffee unless you got up and helped yourself. I didn't understand the kind of bacon they used for breakfast-. No one gave me an answer except one head waiter that didn't know what it was either.He really was confused and had no answer on his return when he went somewhere to find out. The lunches were, in plain English not worth the effort. Even the hamburgers were so well done, and not appetizing at all. I couldn't believe that some people put them on their tray. The hot dogs were made from some kind of beef that didn't taste good at all. Just awful I could still remember when the juice from biting into a frank would burst in your mouth. Their franks didn't do anything but leave a bad taste. The lunch in the main dinning room was much better if you enjoyed a great salad bar and some tasty side dishes. Much better place to have lunch although the dinning room wasn't opened for lunch everyday.They do find ways of cutting out things. The better pastry was great, and they changed the better choices everyday but kept the same regular pastry through the cruise. All in all we were happy to experience the larger cruise ship but think we will stick to the 90,000 ton and under ships for our future sailing.