As I have read from others before I cruised, the time it takes to get on the Freedom and off after the cruise went reasonably well. If you're in a suite or a member of Crown and Anchor you do get the express lane, which makes it faster.
More about the cruise later but first this: Ok I want to dwell here on really my only complaint with this and probably many other cruise lines these days. Communication with the staff. I can assure you there are very few people on the boat that know much more English than their specific task and job description requires. Most staff lack depth with the language especially the wait staff. I found very few staff capable of any conversations past yes no left right. It was very noticeable and a bummer. They just smile and repeat their specific job descriptions mantra. "Did you have a good time today" "What are you doing tomorrow" Past that, I doubt they much know what your answer is. Don't think you are going to have a very deep conversation. Be patient and get your head right before you go on this ship. No american staff that I saw.
With regard to the ports please read my port reviews on this page.
With regard to food- I did have some ok food, some I didn't eat but 95% I will say was "good to very good". Very acceptable. The dining room staff tried to please. With regard to the Windjammer, which is the most popular spot on the ship, the pool patrons dump into this place at lunch and it's nothing less than a fight for food. To many people for me, I'm disappointed in their excessive buffet lunch traffic. It would HAVE to be a disaster in the summer with more children. The ship needs other lunch options than Johnny Rockets, which is an up charge. Is Johnny Rockets good? Can you mess up a burger, rings and fries?
The cruise director "Grem" was perfect for a cruise this size. He had command of his position on the ship, very likable person and he does a "dark adult" show late the night before the last night. F bombs and all, so be aware if that offends you. I thought it was a good show. You HAVE to catch his early morning TV show in your cabin where he talks about the day's activities. Leno or Letterman has never been so funny.
The entertainment was good the ice show great. See as much as you can.
On ship shopping WARNING- the ship promotes a last day sale on watches to be held in the Promenade. They set up a table, rope it off and have all these watches at 20.00, men's ties, woman's necklaces etc that look pretty nice. (They are cheap watches) but great presents for little folks perhaps. Well don't get caught up in the romance of this sale, 2 hours after everyone fights over them they bring out another container load of china's best. There is plenty of each model to go around, just relax. They will be there for the entire night available.
You know a week on the ship is a long time. I live on a beach and personally I don't invest in a cruise to go lay beside a pool in the sun, arm in arm with strangers. I have all this at home. Nor do I go to use a gym, I have one at home. But let me say this- while there are all kinds of activities on the ship many are less than popular events of interest in my opinion. If your going to go on this cruise do yourself a favor; plan to lay by the pool and use the gym! If you don't you will find yourself somewhat bored at times later in the week.
Bingo- the last time I played bingo was on the last of many cruises I have been on. The one issue I have is this, my goodness they pay out a fraction of what they take in. If you have 10 fingers you can easily count and conclude the win/risk /reward is pitiful.
Casino- Nice, roomy not too smoky. I was lucky enough to hit a few slots and other horrible bets to pay for my cruise but I understand and I hope you do that I am the exception to the rule, I was very lucky. The poker is electronic not real Texas hold em with a dealer and cards. PS the Wheel of Fortune Slot Machine never pays off!
Blackjack, roulette and craps are the real deal.
Ship was clean. Room attendant was good and concerned about my thoughts of him.
Tipping- the plan I had was pre paid but really; the head dining room manager .75 a day? You don't get service from him. They take the tip concept to far. Some I actually gave a little more. They tried hard and from the stories have a tough life where they are from.
Beverages- yes you pay for every mixed drink. See the tip is included AND a line for "extra tip"- that's a joke.
Sea Pass card worked great.
Cell Phone Service- Very expensive plus your provider will charge you 3. a minute on average. You can get Wifi and my iPad worked great. Email, browsing. My iPhone didn't work well at all. It is a very WEAK wifi signal at sea. In the room and being patient is where it worked best. On the islands you have a signal but remember to call back to the US, you must insert the country code plus the area code and number. Study up on that plus your cell provider will burn you a new one. Learn how to cut off and on your data roaming. The ship has computers if you need one. (At a cost) in their internet cafe area.