We flew into Fort Lauderdale the day before the cruise from Denver leaving two feet of snow, blizzard conditions, delayed and cancelled flights. Stayed at the Cambria Suites which were wonderful. Actual suites at low rates in a very quiet location with their own lake. Only drawback with the Cambria being they are a fair walk from any shopping or other restaurants, but the suites and service made up for that and a walk in beautiful Florida weather is rather pleasant. Hotel shuttle provided from the airport and to the port. Even though they were doing their best to transport people to the ship, there were a lot of people waiting for the shuttle so we used our own shuttle with South Florida Shuttle both to the ship and to the airport on our return. They were prompt and the drivers great.
The Freedom was wonderful. The boarding process was painless. Everyone was very pleasant and helpful. From drop off to on the ship in less than 10 minutes. Same with departure. We More
used the self-serve option and was off the ship, through customs, and on the shuttle in less than 15 minutes. Wonderful.
The stateroom was large with ample closet space and storage in the bathroom as well. We had two staterooms - one for my nephew and his wife and the other three of us shared - so opened the balcony between and had a huge, double balcony to share. It was wonderful having coffe in the morning in the nice warm climate.
Service absolutely could not be beaten anywhere. The room steward Tanto was wonderful and very attentive. We usually had three people waiting on us at dinner - Nurano, Irina, and Francis - who were absolutely awesome. We wanted for nothing. The Matre'd was the best we've ever had. Jogi was very personable and helpful. Everyone remembered our five names and even the young lady at the coffee bar waved and said our names as we walked by. I did not begrudge any of the gratuities on this cruise and didn't hesitate to give them all some extra.
The entertainment was for the most part very good. The music throughout the ship was very good. Although a couple nights in the theater may have been lacking, it was still entertaining. Rarely saw the "entertainment staff" which isn't uncommon as we don't care for extremely loud music, hairy chest contests, bingo, etc. There was plenty of other things to do and even relaxing and reading was very pleasant. After all, we're all adults and didn't need to be entertained 24/7.
The excursions we took part in were very nice. Kayaked in Key West with a very knowledgeable and pleasant guide. Had lunch at the Hogbreath Saloon which was very good and reasonable. In the Cayman Islands took a tour of the city, visited the turtle farm, sent postcards from Hell, and had a good time. The guide was also very nice and helpful. In Jamaica, did the chair lift, bobsled, and zip line. What fun!! And lunch was again very good.
This was probably one of the best cruises we've ever been on. Less
Probably the smoothest boarding and disembarking process we've ever experienced. Everyone was very pleasant and helpful and the baggage handled very promptly. Wouldn't hesitate to go through Fort Lauderdale again.