My husband & I (early 50's) along with our two grown daughters ages 26 & 24 just returned from a wonderful cruise on the Freedom of the Seas. We sailed on Royal Caribbean 9XS - the last sailing in May of 2005 on Adventure of the Seas. Husband & I were just on the Princess Crown in May 2007 sailing out of NYC.
We had a wonderful time. We flew from Atlantic City NJ to Orlando airport where we will taken by a private van to Pt. Canaveral by Coco Beach Shuttle service. I obtained there name from cruise critic and was happy with there price and service. I did mention Cruise Critic and received the 10% discount.
We arrived on the ship before noon on a Sunday. We had priority check-in since we are all platinum members. Check in went very quick. We were on the ship before 1:00 pm and laying poolside!
Everyone received their luggage except me as I put an iron in my suitcase not knowing you are no longer allowed to carry irons.. After our fantastic cabin stewart checked - husband went down and picked up luggage..
The ship was clean, big & beautiful! All parties on my cruise love the promenade. I do too but miss seeing the water sometimes!
We did not feel much movement and there was a lot times when the ship seemed empty.
We enjoyed all our stops in the Eastern Caribbean. The weather was perfect.
Husband & I felt that RCCL didn't have enough entertainment early enough.. Most music, parties etc started after 10: 00 pm or even close to 11:00 pm. This was too late for us most of the nights. We did manage to enjoy the sing a long in the pub with Shane - and made it to the Caribbean party. When we were on Princess - they always had piano/violin etc music before dining.. we didn't find this on RCCL and missed it. Princess also had several comedians on during prime time on our cruise. RCCL didn't have many that we were able to enjoy at a reasonable time.
The food is my main complain. RCCL was never know for there quality of food but we felt it went down hill since 2005. They are not offerring the variety they used to in the dining room. Too much lamb and fatty beef was served. They are foricing you too go to upscale dining and pay more. We enjoyed Princess food much better and feel Royal needs to work on there menu. Pizza served in Sorrento was never hot enough. A calzone was served in dining room?!... I have to say we never went hungry but was disappointment on quality. We opted for My Time Dining and did enjoy it since we tried on Princess. Royal seems to be still working this option out. Daughter had food allergies and for the most part the head waiter helped her and took her order along with bringing her food. One night though - she ordered apple pie /van. ice cream and after taking two bites noticed almonds scattered around pie. Needless to say she had a reaction. I went down and complained and they apologized and seemed more on top of her orders, etc.
Our cabin was a good location and the cabin attendant was excellent. We had paid gratutities from our travel agent along with $100 Ship board credit. It was a good deal.
We had a wonderful cruise and more familiy memories made... Royal needs to work on menu and quality of food. We didn't try any of the wave-rider/golf, basketball etc. but it looked fun. Daughter & I used gym which was beautiful!
Next cruise on Royal Caribbean will be our 10th and we become Diamond members. I was glad they had the adult only pool. Used sometimes when other pool was to noisey or crowded. We enjoyed the band by the pool along with some of the games.
I thought some of the help at the bars were not up to par... they seemed under-staffed at times.
Husband & I both one in the Casino.. So that was good! :) Daughters enjoy club at night.
It is very hard to come home to work, cooking and cleaning! I want to be back on the Freedom of the Seas!