This was our 2nd cruise on FOS. We enjoyed it so much the first time we managed to convice 3 other couples to join us. Two of the couples were aged 30-32 and the other couple was our age: 59-61. All of our "guests" were equally impressed with FOS and RCI.
HOTEL: (Good)Country Inn and Suites
We stayed at the Country Inn & Suites in Port Canaveral, located approx 1.5 miles from the ship. We found the hotel to have excellent service and the rooms to be ok..The staff were friendly and helpful. We elected to purchase the cruise package, which allowed us to park our vehicle ($30 per) at the hotel while we cruised. The hotel provided transportation to and from the ship. Overall: we would stay at this hotel again, though the hotel could use alittle sprucing up.
As they say in Jamaica: No problem man.. If you are a crown and anchor member, be sure to go the center of the terminal and you will find there are new procedures for you to get on board. The hotel van will drop you off on the West end of the terminal. (not a long walk at all..and of course you can check your bag right there where the van parks..Total time for us to get onboard approx 20 minutes..
We ate 2 times in the Windjammer and all our dinner meals in the main dining room. The only other eatery we tried was Johnny Rockets, which we enjoyed.
The first evening we were celebrating a birthday and RCI went out of there way to ensure all our decorations were on the table prior to our seating. The Birthday cake which we had arranged for, was outstanding.. One of our younger couples were going to do Chops on one night, however, they were so impressed with the dining experience at the normal dining rooms they elected not to go to Chops. Food was delicious, hot and I heard no complaints from our guests. One of our younger couples did room service at least 4 times and they stated the food was outstanding, as was the service. We elected to do sit down breakfast and lunch in the one dining room opened for these times rather than the buffet style in the Windjammer. However, the two times we ate at Windjammers we experienced excellent food. The only issue was that if you eat at Windjammers on a daily basis the selection may continue to be the same.
Highly recommend the sit down lunch and do the salad bar.. Outstanding.
We attended each show and found them to be outstanding, enjoyable and fun.
Since our last cruise on FOS, we found that during our booking procedures, RCI now wants you to book your shows. Do so even if you are not going to attend. (NO ADDITIONAL COSTS)
What this allows is for those passengers who booked to enter the theater approx 30-35 mins prior to the show. There will be attendants tagging your sailpassport to ensure you had reserved. You do not have an assigned seat. It just lets you in earlier.
Ship Condition: Excellent, Outstanding..
This ship continues to impress me. Never saw trash or empty glasses stay anywhere longer than about 2 mins. Ship condition was excellent, and clean.
Room: We had an inside Promenade Room, which we also had on our first cruise.
We really enjoy these rooms as they overlook the Royal Promenade. Size was excellent, plenty of storage and bath had excellent size. The first time I took a shower we spotted a small leak. I called maintenance and they were there within 10 mins. Fix was accomplished while we went to breakfast. We also experienced some issues with our closet safe, however, once reported maintenance was there within 10 mins. We will book these rooms again.
Staff: Friendly, Professioanl and Fun
Each staff member, whether it be an officer of the ship, casino operator, room attendant, waiters etc..were all exceptional. You could tell they enjoyed their work and went out of their way to make you feel home. We hated to leave and I noticed some small tears in our guests eyes as we said goodbye to our dining waiters etc the final night.. We felt we were leaving family behind. I cannot say enough about this ships staff and especially the Cruise Director..He really worked his tail off and be sure to join him on the promenade for the British Rock night.. alot of fun..
Shore Excursions: Excellent.. We had been to Co CoCay before so my wife and I returned to the ship after about 1 hour of shopping, however, our guests stayed quite awhile and they said they enjoyed it. ST Thomas: We did the Turtle Cove sail and Snorkel.. We have been twice with this outfit and both times it has been fun..Once again our guests went and really enjoyed it. Swam with the turtles etc.. Be sure to look for ships with the name Lady Silent or Doubloom. If you partake in rum you will enjoy the sail back. Of course non alcoholic drinks are also provided. All the drinks are included in your price.
St Maarteen: 6 of us elected to go over to the airport to watch the airplanes land. (watch youtube and you will see why..just type in St Marteen airport).
At any rate you can get a cab (large chevy van) and he will drive you and stay for about $8 each way.. Definetly the way to go. The bar which sits right by the approach of the runway was outstanding and the food was good. We had the driver drop us off in the shopping district upon our return. If you took the cab over you will need to take the water taxi back over to the ship. Just walk out on the pier, and board the water taxi. You will pay once you get off on the other end. ($4)
SPA: Outstanding..Had a swedish massage the 5th day out and really enjoyed it.
Also used the steam room on a regular basis. Entry to the steam room is where the work out facility is, however, if you want a locker, use the stairs right in the work out facility and turn in your seapass for a locker key. Towels are in the steam room changing room area. Steam Room has wonderful size.
Disembarkation: Excellent..and well organized.
We had to wait alittle longer than normal, because Customs did not provide enough agents..not RCI's fault. If you take the hotel van go again to where you were dropped off.
Overall: Outstanding Outstanding Outstanding.. We simply have never been disappointed by this ship nor RCI. We are thinking about Allure next April but you can bet Freedom is still on our minds. All of us are still talking about the cruise.
Thank you RCI for a wonderful vacation experience.
CON: I am once again in CRUISE DEPRESSION..