This was our second cruise on Freedom - the last being in October 2009. Our entire family and their spouses went to celebrate our dad's 90th birthday. The weather the entire week was outstanding - sunny and blue skies every day and temperature in the low to mid-80's, except the day we returned to Canaveral when it was overcast and drizzle (best day to have rain).
Pre-Cruise - Flew into Orlando the morning before the cruise and rented cars to travel to Cocoa Beach for some beach time. Stayed at the Hampton Inn in Cocoa Beach - service was outstanding. Front desk personnel were very attentive and helpful in all regards - fast check-in and check out. We had 5 rooms on the top (8th) floor overlooking the ocean. Pool was clean and rooms were spotless. Had a nice dinner at Milligan's Reef in Port Canveral.
Departure - Arrived at the port around 10:50 AM, and was on the ship by 11:20 or so - immediately went to the Windjammer for a bite. Dad has a small scooter, and the personnel at the port were very helpful during the registration process.
Food - Excellant dinners, and the food just kept getting better each night. Prime rib was out of this world - of course the lobster was good (had 3), and the last night the Mahi mahi and shrimp was excellent.
Windjammer food was good as usual - and the variety was fine every day - I don't know why people complain so much.
Promenade -(Sorrento's and Cafe Promenade) - had snacks every day/night at these places - service was excellant and the food (pizza, sandwiches, etc) were par for the course. Cookies still suck - way too hard for me.
Entertainment - Osmond Brothers - what can I say? The BEST headliner show we have ever seen - they were very entertaining and they still sound pretty good. Great visual show - they really make the audience feel a part of the show. Ice show was very good as usual, and the street parties in the Promenade were so-so. Cruise director was under the weather, and you could tell it. Apparently this was his first week in filling in for the regular CD - but he tried hard to entertain and keep people involved - "E" for effort!
Ports - Cocoa Cay - greatly improved from our previous visit in 2009 - more activities, and the beach variety (more improved) significantly improved. Was not looking forward to Cocoa Cay - but will be glad to go back some day - great improvement - RCCL!
St. Thomas - Nice visit - this was our 4th time to St Thomas........jewelry was the name of the game for the wife (again).
St. Maarten - our favorite stop. Take the water taxi to town - shop in the morning, then take in the beach in the afternoon. A great port which is easy to get around without spending a lot of time waiting for taxi's, shuttles, etc.
Overall - another fabulous cruise with Royal Caribbean. We have yet to be disappointed and this was our 12th cruise with them. We have 2 more booked, and can't wait for the next one to come!