Our trip did start off so good we landed in Ft Lauderdale and had a reservation with Hertz to rent a Suv for the drive to Miami, well after standing in line for 1 hour and then being told that they did not have any Suv's available (booked in January)they tried to put us into a small Ford car. It took us over 2 hours to get something that would carry the 4 of us and our luggage. I was not impressed as we lost our time to check out Miami.
Getting onto the Freedom was a breeze with no wait, although the wife and myself argued who's credit card we would use for the onboard charges, the person behind the counter was laughing and said this happens alot.
The size of the ship is rather overwhelming and something to behold when you first board.
We were in our balcony suite by 1:00 on the first day and then it was off to explore the ship.
We had the early sitting for dinner, every thing was great until the food came, I ordered the steak or should I say shoe leather either way it was disgusting. I was tempted to go and show the chef how to cook a good steak. After the first night I did not go back for the rest of the cruise. I just eat at the Windjammer every night. It's funny because we would see the people coming from the dining room to the Windjammer to get real food every night. For the price that I paid for this cruise it would have been nice to have the couch turned down in our room at night as after a long day and 2 tired kids it was a pain to have to do it ourselves. Also we did not have towels as I had to go and grab some off one of the attendants cart most days I mentioned this to the room attendant and she didn't seem to care and just argued with me. I even went to the customer service desk and complained and again they did not seem to care either.
Just a few tips. you can book tours at every port for $20.00 a person and avoid the utter chaos going on excursions thru the ship as we lost over an hour in Grand Cayman waiting for the tour to start. We hired a local in Jamaica and he was great, as he got us to the front of the lines at Dunns River Falls. It only cost $15.00 per person to get in and what does the ship charge???? In Haiti beware of the market as they really bug you to buy their wares, even though it is all the same stuff. I had quite the bidding war going on between the different vendors. While you are sitting have lunch in Labadee you can see the locals begging for food it is really quite sad.
The drinks on board will set you back $8.95 plus tax oh! but you get to keep the glass. You can buy a whole bottle of rum at the duty free for $15.00 The cruise director Cloe was good and seemed to really like the St.Patrik day celebrations. The show's were good, we took a vote and Ronn Lucas was the best show of the week. The ice skating show was good but the performers kept falling when trying to do triple spins. I guess that's why they work on a cruise ship now. On the final day when you need to settle your tips for the help all the ATM's where out of money, I guess they just want you to give the posted rates and charge it to your credit card. Even if they don't deserve it. The Freedom of the Seas was truly an awesome ship. However most of the crew we talked to wants to jump ship to the Oasis maybe this explains the poor service. I don't think that I would spend the money for a vacation for my family on Royal Caribbean again the service was that bad. The Gold Crown service they talk about was really rusty.