Background - We are a family of four. DH and I are in our early 30's, DD is 5 and DS turned 2 during the cruise. We took our first cruise 8 years ago with Carnival for our honeymoon. Since then we have done one Disney cruise and one other Carnival cruise. This was our first Royal Caribbean cruise.
Pre-cruise - We flew into Orlando the evening before the cruise. We rented a car from Thrifty and drove to the Hampton Inn in Cocoa Beach. The Hampton in was very comfortable with a nice hot breakfast for the day of embarkation. We returned our rental car at the Cocoa Beach location only to stand in a long line for the cruise port shuttle in the hot sun. It was so bad that we decided to share a taxi with two men who had already dropped their families off at the port.
Embarkation - We did not feel the need to get to the ship as soon as they started boarding so we didn't get to the terminal until about 1pm. After the taxi dropped us off there was barely a line to get into the building. Since we had my son in a stroller we were put into the Diamond line (which was actually no line at all). We were on the boat about 15 minutes after being dropped off by the taxi.
Stateroom - Since it was after 1pm we were able to go straight to our cabin. We had a Promenade Family Room which was more than enough room for our family of four. We were two decks above the Ben and Jerry's with two windows with window seats. We had a queen-sized bed (two beds pushed together), a full sofa bed and a small room with bunk beds. There was a very nice sized walk in closet with an additional full closet in the main room with a half-sized closet in the room with the bunk beds. Our bathroom was nice with a tub and shower combo instead of just a shower which was great for the kids. We loved looking down onto the Promenade. It was more interesting than just looking out of the window at water.
The ship - The Freedom of the Seas is a beautifully decorated ship and very easy to navigate. I loved all of the little deck plans that let you know where you are and how to get where you want to go. The ship is very open and airy.
Dining - Well, the food was O.K. My husband loves cruises specifically for the food. I have to say that there was definitely a lot of variety in the Main Dining Room. I am a seafood / pasta eater while my husband is a meat and chocolate eater. Our kids are like most kids and did fine with the spaghetti, hamburgers and fries. Since I am a picky eater with fairly simple taste there were many things on the menu that did not interest me. Even some of the shrimp and pasta dishes that I thought I would like ended up not being anything that I would ever want to eat again. My husband was very disappointed with the desserts because he loves chocolate and there wasn't much of it on the dessert menu. The windjammer was very organized and had pretty good hamburgers since we think that our past cruises had dry hamburgers at the buffet.
Activities - There was a lot to do on the ship. My husband and daughter did the H2O Zone once but that was it, since my daughter does not like all of the water spraying around or people splashing at her. We did mini golf, ice skating and the rock climbing wall. My daughter did not want to do any kids club activities so she didn't. I did one Aqua tots crayola play activity but it was boring so we didn't do another.
Service - Our waiter, Erika and assistant waiter, Joseph were the absolute best. It was the first time that I bothered to learn my waiters names because they were just that great. Even the head waiter was noticeable in dining room doing his part. Our stateroom attendant did a good job with the room. I was under the assumption that we could get the mini fridge/cooler cleared out but our attendant wouldn't do it, oh well.
Entertainment - My kids loved the entertainment. They like anything with singing and dancing. We saw every show. They had a new show called "I Can Do That" which was really funny.
Shore Excursions - We didn't do any ship organized excursions since most of them are snorkeling, swimming with dolphins, etc because we don't like those types of things.
Disembarkation - There was a longer line to get off of the ship than to get on.
Overall - We loved the ship and enjoyed our cruise.