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7 Night Southern Caribbean Cruise from San Juan

7 Night Southern Caribbean Cruise from San Juan

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Freedom of the Seas
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Itinerary

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  • Day 1
    San Juan
  • Day 2
    St. Thomas
  • Day 3
    St. Kitts (Port Zante)
  • Day 4
    Antigua
  • Day 5
    St. Lucia
  • Day 6
    Barbados
  • Day 7
    Cruising
  • Day 8
    San Juan

Freedom of the Seas

Freedom of the Seas - Royal Caribbean International

Pros

A dizzying number of onboard activities and top-notch entertainment ensure you'll never be bored.

Cons

The ship's central Royal Promenade is a bit like a shopping mall, and sales pitches are at every turn.

Bottom Line

Despite its age, the ship still shines, and there's something for every age group.


Cruise Reviews

I love this itiniery, not a snorkler but really love Bomaire, but about the cruise. Ship was full (to capacity I believe, never the less, service was excellent. Kathleen my room attendant, who I saw in the corridor, slipped in and out ... Read More
I love this itiniery, not a snorkler but really love Bomaire, but about the cruise. Ship was full (to capacity I believe, never the less, service was excellent. Kathleen my room attendant, who I saw in the corridor, slipped in and out while I was out caring for my cabin and seeing that my ice bucket was always full as I had requested. On the first night In the main dining room I discovered I was seated with a lovely family from Germany. I am a solo traveller. Two of this group of 5 spoke english, but not with limited comfort. the others, did not. I don't speak German. Not ideal for me or them. Second night I spoke with the Maitre D who promptly sat me at a table of women, 3 friends traveling together, another solo and a woman traveling with her elderly mother. What a great group and we all enjoyed each others company, Our servers, Michael and Carlo were GREAT. Food was good. though there were a couple of disappointing creme brulee and an slightly overdone chocolate molten lava cake, The Royal Cheese cake was a hit with all at my table and was orderd several times by many. We also decided this was a healthier choice :) . The entrees were quite good, I particularly liked the lamb chops, and a couple of fish dishes (Talapia, salmon) I had earlier in the cruise. At the Windjammer, food was abundant. I was particularly drawn to and enjoyed the stews, perhaps because I don'y make it at home often. Servers at Windjammer were circulating with cold beverages (water, tea, and a very good strawberry-kiwi punch) and coffee. Most at my dinner table seemed to head for the carving station for lunch at the Windjammer. I did also try the dining room on level 3, for one lunch and one dinner. Here you had the option of a smaller, but very nice buffet, or table service from menu. Nice, simpler and more relaxed for lunch I jusd had soup and salad. Breakfast was fine but I think I needed the activity of the Windjammer to wake ne up. Entertainment was great, Lead Female Singer, I believe a recent graduate on New York Academy of Performing Arts, was SPECTACULAR.. All entertainment was good. Unfortunately, scheduling of Ice Show either conflicted with early dining, or Variety show for second performance, and was sold our for first performance, so I missed it. The service deask and tour desk, was extremely helpful arranging change to departure transportation, I had misread description of arrangements (with tour of Old San Juan) I had prebooked and would have arrived at airport too late for my flight. By the way cabin (inside, deck 8, overloooking promenade was great. I was thinking about changing it, but had read a positive review of this type cabin on message board and so stayed where I was assigned. So glad I did. Only problem was embarcation, long lines, outside in heat not acceptable. One more thought, I really liked the solarium pool area. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I could write a novel about my complaints on this cruise, but I will say that all the ports we went to were beautiful and well worth it. That being said, I have never seen customer service this bad in my 20 years of cruising! The food at ... Read More
I could write a novel about my complaints on this cruise, but I will say that all the ports we went to were beautiful and well worth it. That being said, I have never seen customer service this bad in my 20 years of cruising! The food at the Windjammer was inedible, and the dinning room was barely average. After the 3rd night they no longer sat us at our table. We were told to go in to our table, and grab a menu on the way. Our waiter got increasingly slower, and on the last night, we were in the dinning room for an hour and 45 minutes and still waiting on our dessert before we gave up and left because we wanted to make the show. Our room attendant walked in on us without knocking the first day there. Also our sheets had a stain on them when we got there, and they were not changed the entire week. My husband got sick on the 3rd day and when I went to ask the medical staff a question, she very rudely told me that she could not give me any information, and he would have to see the nurse (obviously a nickel and dime tactic so they could charge us a medical fee). We did not see the nurse because he wasn’t that sick. This was the worst accounting I’ve ever seen on a ship. We were double charged for massages, charged for towels we didn't take (why would I want to seal the rags they were passing off as towels?) and when we tried to adjust the gratuity (because of the abysmal service we received) instead of adjusting it down to $140, they added $140 on top of the $203 we were originally paying. Over the course of the week we were charged over $500 in incorrect charges. There were 2 people in front of us in the Guest Relations line that got charged for 75 pool towels which totaled over $3,000. We went to the customer service desk 5 times, 3 of which had to do with gratuity, and were assured that everything was fine and they would adjust the price on the final bill. Of course that didn't happen. I was at the front desk at 6am trying to get it corrected because we had a flight at 8:45am, again I was told that everything was fine. At 7am when we were trying to exit the ship, they wouldn't let us disembark because of account issues! We were livid! We ended up running through the airport barely making the flight. Vacations (cruises especially) are supposed to be stress free, but this was more stressful than being at home. Why in the world is the default tip more than 21% of the TOTAL COST of the cruise when you get this level of crappy service, and you are even charged for room service now? What in the world am I tipping for when I wasn't even given the bare minimum of service? Everyone I dealt with made it clear they could care less about the customers' experience, and see them as a hassle. Based on this experience, and everyone we've talked to since, I will never cruise Royal again. I turned Emerald on this cruise, but you can guarantee I will not be making it to diamond. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Please forgive my review, I write reports at work that have to be very matter of a fact. So years of that has drained my creativity, but I will try to make this not boring. My wife and I have sailed on Carnival several times and we ... Read More
Please forgive my review, I write reports at work that have to be very matter of a fact. So years of that has drained my creativity, but I will try to make this not boring. My wife and I have sailed on Carnival several times and we have always enjoyed the cruises. But we really wanted to try Royal Caribbean to get a feel for the experience. We went with two other couples and sailed from Puerto Rico to the southern Caribbean from September 15th to September 22nd. We went to St. Thomas, St. Kitts, Antigua, St. Lucia and Barbados. My wife and I have sailed on Carnival several times and we have always enjoyed the cruises. But we really wanted to try Royal Caribbean to get a feel for the experience. We went with two other couples and sailed from Puerto Rico to the southern Caribbean from September 15th to September 22nd. Getting on the boat was easy. We arrived pretty early at around 11 and were on within twenty minutes. We checked our big bags but carried our little ones onboard. Rooms weren't ready until 1330. So we had to lug our smaller bags around. Not a big deal but something to keep in mind. Also we did bring a power strip as outlets tend to be very limited on ships. They called us down confiscated that from our big bag. I've never had that happen before and it was a little disappointing. We were in balcony 7646. Overall the stateroom was very nice. The bathroom was a bit smaller than we were used to but I feel like Royal Caribbean has more mirrors in the room itself so it despite the smaller bathroom, I felt like it was easier to get ready in the mornings and night. The TV only had a few channels that weren't Royal Caribbean, I think they had a bunch of Royal Caribbean channels, a couple ESPN channels, some news, BBC and a few others I've never seen before (variety type stuff). I would have liked a movie channel or something (they do have expensive pay per view). We aren't ones to spend a lot of time in our room, but we could never find something to watch we were getting ready, relaxing for a few hours or going to bed. Our stateroom attendant Liliana was just lovely. We aren't too needy so we didn't ask for much but still I feel like she went above and beyond for us. It was the first cruise for one couple we were with. After the first night we didn't get any towel animals. They asked Liliana about it and we were told that Royal Caribbean was discouraging the attendants from doing those every night as people would tend to "collect" them throughout the cruise and they would run out of towels. But Liliana made us a deal, she'd do them but we'd have to let her reuse the towels every day. For the next six nights she made us some awesome creative animals. It was a small detail, but made us happy. Overall I enjoyed the ship. The previous biggest ship we had been on was the Carnival Breeze and the Freedom of the Seas is quite a bit bigger, tonnage wise at least. I think it holds a similar amount of guests to the Breeze and overall felt less crowded. I spent a lot of the cruise comparing the two ships in my head. I think the Freedom of the Seas wins out. The Royal Caribbean ship has a lot more decorations, attention to detail, amenities ect. Plus the less crowding is a definite plus. One thing I will say, the Carnival ships I've been on seem to "flow" better as far as the interior goes. I can't really put my finger out it, the Carnival ships just seem easier to explore. Whereas the Freedom was more set up like a mega resort in Las Vegas or something. Everything is there and beautiful but it's more straight to the point and has it's own place. The ship and facilities were well maintained. Given that the Freedom is 13 years old now, there were a few spots where you could see rust or the carpet was getting worn but nothing major. I believe the ship is set to go in for a refurbishment so I'm sure they are going to do some updating. Pools on the Freedom were much bigger than I'm used to. Even on busy days, they would get crowded but we never had trouble finding somewhere to sit. One thing that bugged me is the adults only area isn't particularly well marked and since it is on the same deck open areas as the pool, a lot of families ended up there. Staff would ask kids to leave the pool, but they seemed to tolerate them if they were with adults in the seating area. That didn't really bother me, but I do like how Carnival ships secludes the adults only area. All the employees were great, we didn't have a bad experience with anyone. The bar staff was fun, activities people did their best to make sure everyone was having a good time and our waitstaff was just phenomenal. The food was… well the food was cruise ship food. We definitely had some good meals but after a week it all kind of starts tasting the same. We ate at the dining room two nights, did two nights of speciality restaurants and did the buffet/pizza the rest of the time. The stand out for us was Chops. It was a fantastic meal for the money. We also tried Giovanni's Italian restaurant. The food there was good. But they do dinner Italian style with long breaks between courses. So budget at least 2 hours. I'm sure they would bring things out faster if you asked. We didn't and by the end we were getting pretty bored and ready to leave. The dining room was about what I've experienced in the past. Maybe a step above Carnival in food quality. We got the drink package. I always consider it money well spent since we had at least a couple drinks everyday (and a lot of drinks a fews days :P) My wife is a fountain diet coke fanatic so she loved the coke free style machines shattered around the ship. They did a good job maintaining the machines, only a couple times did we run across machines that were out of service and later they would be back up and running. Shows were good. My wife and I missed the two comedies. The other couples went to one and said he was really funny. We did go to a hypnotist that was pretty entertaining. We also saw a Broadway type variety show. We weren't Broadway fans so we thought it was just OK. If you are a fan you'd probably get a lot more enjoyment than we did. The standout was the ice skating show, that was just amazing. Arrive early because that filled up fast. The ports weren't my cup of tea. I won't ding them for this because I knew what I was getting into. Personally I prefer large ports in big areas. My wife enjoyed the ports more than me. She loves the smaller islands so this was her dream cruise. Given that these ports were in smaller Caribbean nations there isn't a ton to do unless you leave the port on an excursion or take a taxi to do some sight seeing or something. Every port was similar, a handful of shops, maybe a restaurant or two. Some you could walk into town if you wanted. The best by far was Barbados which was absolutely beautiful with great people. We did not enjoy Antigua, everywhere we went we were hounded by taxi drivers and vendors. It's part of cruising to have people to try and sell you stuff but this was over the top. For example after probably turning down 30 tours in port, we ventured a little bit into town. One point immediately when we stepped out of a store just outside the port, two cab drivers approached us after telling them no, a vendor tried to sell us stuff, then immediately after another cab driver stopped, got out and tried to get us to do a tour. And these people would not accept a simple no thank you, they would follow and hound you with their sales pitch. I've never experienced anything quite like it. Maybe I was missing something culturally but it wasn't enjoyable for me. All and all it was quite enjoyable. We will go on Royal Caribbean again. But next up is Norwegian. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
View All Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas Reviews
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