We fly nonstop to Fort Lauderdale on SouthWest arriving on Saturday. We stay at Hyatt Place. They provide pick up at airport. It is located near Harbor Shops with dining places and grocery to pick those last minute things. We ate at Gilberts Grill, known for their hamburgers. The owners are friendly. From our hotel room we think we see a ship. We book a shuttle for 11:00am. It was actually 12 before we got to ship due to the rain. Lines went fast and we are on board for lunch by 1PM. The deli has great corn beef/pastrami sandwiches made to order. Then I find the fish and chips upstairs. They have fried oysters, fish, shrimp and calamari fritters. Well there is always tomorrow. Our cabin is ready. We meet our steward Nolan and get settle in. The balcony is just big enough for 2 chairs and little table. Our port side faces the shore. Luggage arrives by 5PM. There is plenty of closet and drawer space for 2 of us. We tour ship and rest up for diner. Tonight I have mahi mahi. The food is excellent. Many selections. Our table of 7 is friendly. The entertainment : Welcome Show is good.
Monday: Pouring rain in Key West, over 8 inches today. The streets are ankle deep everywhere. Excursions cancelled. So much for parasailing on my bucket list. I hate rain ponchos but here we go. The trolley tour was not much fun with the fogged over windows. Dinner tonight: chicken breast and cheesecake. The entertainment Jump and Jive was good.
Tuesday: Due to the bad weather our ship circles Cuba but Ocho Rios is cancelled. We will go to Montego Bay. Must book new tours. We enjoy cooking demo in steak house complete with samples. This is elegant dress night. We add 2 more tablemates--9 now. Lobster and shrimp and great apple dessert. The show is The Big Easy. Today was also tea time.
Wednesday: Montego Bay-sunny and warm. Room service wakes us. Our tour Highlights and Shopping starts off bad. We wait in hot sun one hour for our bus after the first one was determined to be unsafe. Then sit on bus waiting for guide. It should be called shopping with little highlight but was enjoyable. We visit 3 shopping areas and Margaritaville. Return to ship after 5 hours starving. Dinner was great filet/asparagus soup and hot apple pie. Tonight is game shows.
Thursday: We wait in Cayman Bay for weather to clear--never happened.Port closed. We are headed back to Key West. Another elegant dress night with escargo/bing cherry soup and shrimp. Past guest celebration with free drinks. Entertainment: Ticket To Ride-Tribute to Beetles. Excellent show.
Friday: Key West as promised, beautiful, sunny and 75 degrees. Must clear customs before getting off. The line circles 2 decks and goes 45 minutes. We walk to southernmost point and back, try conch fritters and enjoy the weather. Such a beautiful city. Dinner: Prime Rib/frog legs/crab cake. Sadly pack up.
Saturday: Up at 6 am. Breakfast in Lido. Walk off with bags. Taxi to airport. We are there by 7:45 AM!
Freedom is nice ship but confusing to get around. Many dead ends. Staff very friendly. Menu good, something for everyone. Portions are large and you can order 2 if you want. Traveling during hurricane season is risky. Our Captain did his best to keep us out of bad weather. I would choose Freedom again.