In the last ten months we have cruised on Azamara Journey, then Celebrity's Constellation and now Freedom of the Seas. Where will this downmarket slide end? I dread to think.
Almost all the crew were cheerful and eager to please, using my name whenever possible. On such a large ship, there are plenty of activities for all ages. We enjoyed the game shows that RCI do so well: Love & Marriage, Battle of the Sexes and Quest. The ice show was great.
Portofino was excellent. Compared to Tuscan Grill on Constellation, Portofino had a more spacious ambience, better food and more polished service. Background music was subdued and appropriate as opposed to blaring and awful. Celebrity, are you listening?
We ran a family contest. In one day, see how many middle-aged men you can spot with a toothpick sticking out of their mouths. The record was five. It just seems so gauche.
As Diamond members, we poked our nose into the Diamond Lounge. It was very small and very crowded. We left and never went back. On the other hand, as Diamond members, we could eat breakfast and lunch in Chops. No food was served, you got your own from Windjammer but Chops was an oasis of peace and quiet to sit down and eat. We loved that facility.
The ship has touch screen displays located near elevators. We had not seen this feature before but it was useful and had a goldmine of information available.
The library was not impressive, only a small selection of books. Service in the MDR was smooth and cheerful. Food was O.K. Appetizers and soups were very good but mains could be a bit ordinary. Freedom has live music during dinner which was a nice touch. Celebrity had an ear-splitting Star Wars dog fight from a speaker right above us. Terrible! RCI has got it right. Celebrity, are you listening?
Overall, we had a great time and enjoyed the cruise. It all has to do with expectations. It's not Azamara but we didn't expect Azamara. We know what to expect from Royal Caribbean and we got it. We would certainly be happy to come back.