First, we love Royal Caribbean. We have cruised other lines, and keep coming back to them. It is difficult to write about one negative with all of the positive things that RCI has to offer, but if you are thinking of booking the Presidential Family Suite, you should think twice.
For this cruise we traveled as 2 families together plus our nanny. Each family had 2 children, so we had 9 people all together. In the past, each couple has always traveled in either a Grand Suite or Owners Suite (not connecting, but either right next door or very close). We are are very happy with either of those categories. This time while discussing options with our agent, she asked if we had considered the Presidential Family Suite. (We never had before as it has always been booked prior to us making our reservations.) Our choice was either to get two Suites and an interior room (for the nanny) or sleep everyone in the 4 bedroom, 4 bath Presidential Family Suite.
We discussed all of the details with our agent and it did not take long to sell us on an 800 square foot balcony with our own personal hot tub and bar in addition to 4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, and all of the other amenities associated with a "Presidential" room. Seriously. This room is huge! I'll preface the following with this; the room itself, deck included, is fantastic! We could not be happier with the space and amenities provided to us. Unfortunately, and what nobody at RCI will tell you, is that the location of the cabin on the ship is quite possibly the worst cabin location I have ever seen. The cabin is located on the aft of the boat. Normally, that is a good thing. The horrible truth is that on the Freedom class of ships, the engineering design of the boat places an additional deck (roughly 30 feet)immediately on the other side of your balcony railing. What that translates to is an atypical view (i.e. no water) right off your balcony. If you look down over your balcony all you see is more of the exact same floor you are standing on. This probably would have been an overcomable event, except for the ginormous steel superstructure of the ship that nearly completely obstructs 180 degrees of your view off of your 800 square foot deck.
In short, if you want to get a serene view of the ocean, there is no way to do if from your deck. Lastly, the extended deck that goes beyond your railing is actually the roof of the Officer's deck and bar area. There was never an issue with noise, but their exterior lights were on all night, which kept the steel superstructure illuminated for your viewing pleasure all night long.
For RCI engineers, you built a great ship, but got this cabin placement 100% wrong. If having the extra space is high on your list of must-haves, you'll love this room. Just don't expect the dream view you would normally associate with a "Presidential" anything. We will cruise RCI again, but not in that room. Even our concierge agreed that the 2 suite and indoor room (for roughly $1k-$2k less)would have been a much better option... and it would have kept us on the concierge deck.
The rest of the cruise was great. The staff were exceptional with our children. We really enjoyed the new aqua zone pool area for the kids. For the adults, the spa, gym, and bar service was top notch, as always. We didn't spend too many of the nights in the formal dining room, rather we opted to have the dinners in our suite. I could not have been more impressed with the room service staff. We spent 1 week on the boat, and I'm pretty sure we still didn't see everything that there is to see.
Hope this helps. I am happy to send additional detailed photos of the cabin, deck, and superstructure if you would like! Regards, and safe cruising!