Freedom of the Seas Cruise Review by Adibrown74: First Time and not the last time
Overall Member Rating
First Time and not the last time
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Port Canaveral (Orlando)
This was our first cruise and we decided to go for one of the larger vessels, we weren't particularly interested in the port of calls so we made sure we picked a ship with lots of things to do. I have to say from embarking at Port Canaveral to getting off again 7 days later everything went smooth and we were impressed every step of the way. As a first timer I obviously have nothing to compare this against but if the Freedom is anything to go by then we are hooked on cruising. We are a couple, both in our Mid 30's, from the South East of England and both well travelled (my other half is Long Haul Cabin Crew for British Airways). Difficult to know where to start. Cabin was very nice. It was clean, it was well sized, the bathroom wasn't as pokey as I had imagined it would be. We had a porthole which was pretty big and gave us a nice view of everything. On reflection we would have loved to have paid the bit extra I think and had a balcony stateroom (was jealous when we were coming into More
and out of ports and we could see them sipping a nice chilled white wine on their balconies). During our stay the rooms were very well looked after and we had the little towel animals which were a nice touch. The booklet with daily activities and events for the next day was always there and really informative.
Events and Activities - This is what shocked us the most. From 6am until 2am there was something available for everyone. Whether it was wine tasting, surfing lessons, cabaret, bingo, cinema etc there was something you wanted to do. It is no exageration to say that we were fully occupied throughout the whole trip.
Entertainment - This was fantastic. The shows were top quality, every one of them you would have paid money happily to see them in London. Perhaps the biggest plus point was the Entertainments Manager Alan Brooks, he was fantastic. I have never known anyone so multi talented but he was a real laugh and an amazing character, all the other passengers were raving about him also, certainly deserves to be on TV. Big Fun Event of the cruise was definitely the Belly Flop contest (superbly compered by the hilarious Alan Brooks). Ice Skating show was also worth seeing.
Food - we are both big foodies. I eat anything but the OH is very very fussy. We were both catered for and very impressed. We dined in the main dining room every night - we did the Anytime Dining which even after chatting to everyone and them trying to explain the set dining aset up I couldnt understand why everyone just didnt do Anytime Dining. I couldnt see the benefits of set dining times other than you have the same waiting staff. Anyway food in the main dining room I thought was varied and very high quality (Prime Rib/Lobster Tails/Curries/Stir Frys/Fish). The Windjammer offered great snack food and a good spot to grab a quick breakfast or lunch. Johnny Rockets was really fun and you could have eaten until you exploded but we aren't as accustomed to this as our American Friends who happily tucked into never ending fries etc. Milkshakes were nice and the fact that they play the jukeboxes and dance for you is really fun. Kids absolutely loved this place.
Amenities - Lots of shops, 3 or 4 pools, about 15 bars etc. The only downside which I suppose is the problem with big ships like this is that the sunloungers were at a premium. Being a Carribean Cruise I suppose it was to be expected but every day was a fight to find one. Pizza Place and Coffee shop on the Promenade seemd to be always open and offered god snack food for free.
The Ship - The ship itself was huge, the wave machine, crazy golf etc meant that there was always something to do without fail . The Grand Promenade is very impressive and looks just like some massive Mall.
Ports of Call - These were all a little disappointing because it seemed as though every one of them was specifically built for cruise ships. There was no authenticity, they were just ATM's for the local people to squeeze as much from you as possible. They saw you basically as big walking wallets. Duty free shops surrounded every port, even Cococay was full of market stalls etc. Out of all of them the best one was possibly Cococay simply because it offered a nice beach.
Overall - The Ship was fantastic, I would certainly sail on this ship and RCL again 100%. The actual ports of call were not so good but this didn't affect us too badly as we were there for the experience of cruising and we have absolutely fallen in love with this. I would highly recommend this ship, I could not fault anything. Less
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