This was our 4th cruise with Royal Caribbean, and the biggest ship so far. Port Canaveral was very nice and the check in process was quick and efficient. Embarking was a little odd as we just simply walked on board. On our previous cruises we were greeted and welcomed aboard. The ship was very clean and nice. Maybe it was because our previous cruises were on smaller ships, but we were unprepared for the lines. It seemed like no matter where you went on Freedom, there was a huge line. We had problems with the no seat saving policy being enforced, or rather the total lack of enforcement. We could never find an empty spot in the solarium which was disappointing , as the only other pool areas were very noisy. On our other cruises we could always find some quiet deck spots, but these seemed to be lacking on Freedom.
The entertainment was great, although the cruise director, Graham Seymour was a little bit too much. Kory Simon at the Schooner Bar was excellent.
Labadee was very much like Coco Cay. The zip line was way overpriced ($98.00/ ride). The shops in the main center were good, but the row of individual shops in the village were rip offs. I purchased a cane, and was very frustrated that security confiscated it upon re-entering the ship. They were very half hazard in the way they did this. A female friend traveling with us, also holding a cane, walked right past security.
We did the early departure (Cary your own luggage off with you). I was skeptical at first when I saw yet another line to get off of the ship, but when they allowed us to depart at 7am, we were off of the ship in 30 seconds. However, we had to go to claims to get my cane. The port workers did not know what they were doing. We were sent back and forth to 3 different doors, carrying our luggage mind you, before we were finally pointed to the right place for claims. Many people use early departure for a reason, and ours was totally defeated because we had to wait for 25 minutes while the security person methodically (and slowly, I might add) alphabetized all of the claim items on a table before she would allow us to walk in and get my cane. SO, at 7:45, I finally had retrieved my cane from Haiti, and were on our way back to the hotel.
Even thought there were some disappointments on this cruise, we plan on going Labor Day, Eastern Caribbean on FOS next year.