I have worked in travel for over 10 years, in recent selling cruises. A few years ago I had a overnight fam trip on Liberty of the Seas. So I decided when putting our honeymoon together that I would like to go on a RCI ship and the Freedom fitted in nicely with a stay in Orlando. We loved the ship but there are a few things that RCI should consider to change and that guests should be aware of. Firstly I find a ship that says it is family friendly only having two baby changing tables, both on deck 11 one in male and the other in the ladies restrooms. I did see another mum with a smaller baby changing on a normal counter side in a restroom but this isn't possible with a 2 year old, she simply moves too much. All the needs doing is to add a few changing tables in the disabled facilities, it would be an easy solution for RCI. Be aware that when you board you will be asked (a few times)to buy drink packages; wine, soda drinks, water and juice. We were tempted to get the water and juice packages but the water one is a rip off. We did get the juice one so we, but more importantly my daughter and mum could have a drink while we ere getting ready to go for breakfast. I would have been annoyed if we had bought the water package, the price is roughly $70 for 24 x 1 litre bottles. You can get water/ drinks from the windjammer, Sorrento's and Cafe Promenade all day. These is the only negative we have about the ship.
We loved the ship so much that we have decided to go on the sister ship next summer in the Med, the Liberty of the Seas. The shows were fantastic and our daughter who is only just 2 was mesmerised by them. We usually ate in Windjammer at breakfast and lunch, then the main dining room (Leonardo's) in the evening. We never felt a need to pay the supplement for the other restaurants. Also, even though our girl is very well behaved, I didn't think it would be fair to any other guests if she did decide to play up when they had paid extra. The food was always lovely in the main dining room, with nice choices. Our waiter, Christopher, was great and one night he did a magic trick that amazed us all. My husband went on the rock climbing wall and the Flowrider and loved it. That is one of the reasons we are going on the Liberty next year. We also went skating but we were both rubbish, but it's great that we got to have a go.
The cruise ports were Cococay, St Thomas and meant to be St Maarten too, but due to bad weather that was cancelled. We were disappointed with St Thomas as it was all jewellery shops. As I say St Maarten was cancelled, we were meant to dock at 7ish so when we got up at 9 we were surprised to still be sailing. I asked a member of staff that said that when they got to St Maarten the waves were to big to dock and would not be safe. The port taxes were put onto our on board account. Funnily we still heard people complaining to customer services, the staff have more patience than me.
All staff were courteous, helpful and friendly. They really helped make it a memorable trip. I chose this ship to help persuade my husband that cruising trips are the future for us, it certainly did the trick.