30 Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas Caribbean - All Cruise Reviews

First I'd like to state that we are Diamond Plus member and this was our 4th sailing on the Freedom of the Seas. We were very disappointed and a very big let down by royal Caribbean cruise line. We have always loved the Freedom and ... Read More
First I'd like to state that we are Diamond Plus member and this was our 4th sailing on the Freedom of the Seas. We were very disappointed and a very big let down by royal Caribbean cruise line. We have always loved the Freedom and have always had great food, great entertainment and great service. This was a New Years sailing and I expected Royal to go above and beyond on this Holiday sailing but they went down and below. We were on the President's cruise on the Allure in September and it was magnificent and we were expecting the same on the Freedom. This was the worst cruise that I have sailed with Royal. The food in the windjammer was repetitive, tasteless and lacking choices. The menu in the dining room was not desirable. Thanks to Kemesh the dining room manager, we were able to get special meals on 3 nights. Giovanni and Sabor were very good, but you shouldn't have to eat in the specialty restaurants to get good food. The headliner show was great. Same theatrically shows that have been on the Freedom for years, didn't bother to see them. Magician was good and a special show with a singer was also good. The Cruise staff was lazy and the Cruise director was barely seen. Activities were boring and never started on time. The piano man was great, he had a big crowd every night. Dj's were horrible and since they turned the night club into Sabor, there is little space up in the crown for dancing. Most of the exercise equipment in the gym needs repair or replacement. The ship is aging and needs to go to dry dock. We will not sail on the Freedom again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Cruise Review Independence of the Seas Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines Port Everglades to Labadee and Falmouth 5 Days This review is written after our family experienced our first cruise. The cruise was a holiday week 5 night ... Read More
Cruise Review Independence of the Seas Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines Port Everglades to Labadee and Falmouth 5 Days This review is written after our family experienced our first cruise. The cruise was a holiday week 5 night cruise departing from Port Everglades Florida with stops in Labadee, Haiti followed by Falmouth, Jamaica with 2 full days at sea. Our family of 5 occupied two cabins one interior with no windows (3) and a balcony cabin for 2. Our cabins were on deck 8 basically across from each other. Two of the kids are college age and the third older. Working down my notes here is a list of the plus and minus and recommendations for those also looking to go on a cruise for the first time. 1. Research the various cruise lines and itinerary offered and try and find a few that fit your family and goals. 2. When you finally call to book your cruise, have an endless list of questions you want to ask the reservation specialist on the other end of the phone. No matter what the ages are of your children, review what the ship has to offer for each or all of your children. 3. We asked a good 15 to 20 and still found a partial disconnect between what we were told over the phone and the reality upon arriving on board the ship. a. Some examples i. Dining times did not match our request at the time of booking. We asked for 6 and were told yes it was confirmed, but upon arriving found out we were listed at 8:30. After a lot of back and forth on board this was eventually fixed. ii. Drink packages both the water and alcohol are of questionable benefit unless your family are planning on having more than 5 drinks a day. iii. The wifi was a huge disappointment with no difference between the lower and higher cost packages in terms of service. Both were slow and intermittent. iv. Excursions are not fully explained so do as much research as possible using non cruise line sources as they are expensive. 4. So a recap from the start a. Boarding was called for between 12:30 and 3:30. We arrived at the terminal at 12:15 and were checked in and on the ship by 1PM. Given the number of people involved checking in we rated this is a terrific outcome and very easy, grade A+. b. Cabins – a split decision here. Our balcony cabin was fine (some bathroom issues later), but the kids cabin smelled as did the passageway both of our rooms were on. After contacting the staff both the cabin and passageway were corrected and remained ok. c. Luggage delivery was quick and by roughly 2:30 we had all of our bags d. Food – i. Our first meal at table 646 was dinner. Portions are small and what you do not realize as a first time cruiser is that you can order as much of the menu as you want. If you want to taste a fish sampler and also a salad before the main course of fish or chicken you simply order both. This runs contrary to normal ordering habits in a traditional restaurant. The staff does not really tell you this upfront. ii. Breakfast on day two came on the heels of our first visit to the fitness center. (More on Fitness later). We headed to breakfast at the Windjammer dining center where bedlam reigns as it is a non stop buffet with an overall scramble for tables especially prime time. What is not really explained is that you can go to breakfast in the Romeo and Juliet dining room and sit down and calmly order breakfast in a far more relaxed atmosphere. My recommendation is to use R&J dining as often as you can during the 5 days including your last morning on the ship. iii. We never had a set lunch as 2 days we were off the ship doing shore excursions and the other days we were doing some of the on board activities iv. One night we had dinner in the up priced Italian restaurant Giovanni's. The food was excellent as was the service. For a special treat pick a night and dine here. Comments from other families indicated that Giovanni's was better Italian than the upscale “steak” restaurant. v. Overall our food score was a solid B+ with Giovanni's a solid A to A+. 5. Excursions a. On Labadee we selected the Jet Ski package and at Falmouth we did the Green Grotto cave exploration coupled with the Dunn River Falls climb. Our family enjoyed both of them but some additional comments i. All excursions need a better explanation of what is going to take place. ii. You are coached to book in advance to secure your space and at times take advantage of discounts. iii. Our suggestion is that once you pre book and pay for the excursion on line you should be sent a small You Tube like video giving you a more in depth look at your excursion. Another is that any forms that need to be completed should be provided online so you can complete and sign and not lose any time filing them out during the trip. Given that you are initialing roughly 6 boxes and signing and dating there is no reason this cannot be done online. Another suggestion would be to offer more combinations of products offered. At $100 a pop paying $100 for jet Ski and $100 for the Zip line x 5 would have been a quick $1000 for roughly 70 minutes of adventure. iv. Getting off the ship early especially at Labadee is our suggestion as you can explore the island and also get to the beach to go into the water. One idea would be Jet Ski at 10 or 11 and then the zip line at 1 or 2 plus some swimming in the beautiful clear water. Again there is no real help to sort all of this out. v. In Jamaica we ran into a huge crowd at the falls and this detracted from the experience. By arriving midday we lost most of the afternoon at the falls and after the 1 hour drive back to the ship did not really have any time to visit the village shops of Falmouth. One thought is to again preset the idea of doing the falls first and by bringing a change of clothes (shorts and top) you could do the Grotto next and then only be 30 minutes from the ship. At the very least there should be both options available. vi. All excursions and enjoyment are impacted by the actual tour guide on your bus, and by the guides at the Grotto and the Falls. Tipping is encouraged at each stop and also with your bus driver and guide so bring some small money along for each. 6. Some other overall notes: a. The daily list of what is going on should be available in the breakfast rooms in a simple one page black and white list as it is a great time to formulate the strategy of the day b. Overall there needs to be a better explanation of the entire ship as not everything is covered in the on board or website video c. While it is great to have the daily planner it would help if we had all 5 days in advance to again make use of the time before arrival to create our own family events. d. For first time cruisers it takes 1 or 2 days to figure out some of the stuff going on and this means you sacrifice 20 to 40% of the trip. e. Fitness center i. Grade B to B+ 1. Not enough classes 2. Not enough Staff 3. You cannot get water there without paying which is a big no no given that you are sweating. f. Not everyone can answer questions correctly so you need to be careful who you actually ask as you can receive multiple answers to the same question. g. Ice breaker activities like Quest should come sooner in the week and not later as by then you have lost all opportunities to make use of breaking the ice. h. Earlier curfew for those under 18. 1 AM is simply too late the start the night i. From our coffee drinking family, more locations than just deck 5 for a cappuccino j. The various passageways on each deck appeared to be cluttered with cards and laundry bags. Hotels manage to do this without the mess. k. With a family moving in multiple directions suggest bringing Walkie talkies. 7. Getting off the ship was a breeze and from our departure at about 8:45 we were in a taxi by 9:10 having collected our luggage and re entered the USA through immigration. I believe our family had a great time. They would have had an even better time if some of the above had been known or had we received a better explanation sooner. Royal C should be able to provide individual ideas once they know the profile of each family at a minimum age wise. Given the massive amounts of data collected each week there must be trends in the data that can be put to use. Our overall score was a B+ with everyone agreeing it would be nice to do it again and possibly for 7 night vs the 5. Happy Cruising Alan Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Embarkation was as described. We stayed the night before at Pier 66 and taxied to the port (3 of us were $17.00 total) at around 11:15 or so. We were given a later time in the pre-cruise materials but it seemed many or most were there when ... Read More
Embarkation was as described. We stayed the night before at Pier 66 and taxied to the port (3 of us were $17.00 total) at around 11:15 or so. We were given a later time in the pre-cruise materials but it seemed many or most were there when we got there around 11:30. We were on the ship at noon electing to carry our bags on so that we could unpack them right away. We waited on Deck 11 (where the pools are etc.) until the announcement that we could get into our rooms at 1:00 P.M. All in all a pretty smooth process considering that there were 4400 passengers. After getting on board, we did stop in at the main dinning room (Decks 3,4, & 5 aft) and took a look at our assigned fixed dinner seating. Our family had asked for a table for 4 but were placed at a six and the staff member present indicated that as the sailing was full that there would be most likely 6 there. They did accommodate our request to move to a different table (of 4 at a different level). Our family found the dinner service to be great. We usually had breakfast and, when not in port, lunch at the windjammer, which could get a little crowded but the food was good. The Entertainment was fine. We particularly liked the ice show and in that the pairs that skated together were definitely World Class. The ports were fine, however the Grand Camen port uses tenders so that there was a very long line getting back (45 minutes or so); they do not have an street or beach vendors trying to sell you items though which is a plus. The disembarkation offered two programs of note. The first is the 'Self-Assist Express Departure" which must be requested on board and requires you to carry all of your luggage off with you. This must/can be done between 6:15 and 7:30 A.M.. I had no idea that we could have gotten off at 6:15 in the trip planning. Had I known, we could have gotten earlier flights. They also offered luggage "valet" service. This costs $25.00 per person, plus any baggage charge you might normally pay the airline to check a bag (Many are exempt from the baggage charge if you use a related credit card or are a reward member) The program does indicate that you will not be required to a pay an overweight charge to your airline which may be an added reason to use the service) Using this option when you leave your bags out by 11:00 P.M. the night before departure, they are checked through to your destination airport so that your luggage tags from your airline and your boarding passes for that airline are delivered to your state room the day prior to departure. I have used this twice now with pleasant results as my disembarkation day I am not lugging around a big suitcase and am not trying to get to an internet terminal to check in for my flight or print out my boarding pass; Its only offered with some airlines (6-8 or so if I recall) and only if you are flying out of FLL or MIA. All in all I and my three adult children had a great time on Freedom. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
The quality of the food was meant for people that has never been in a cruise before. For me as a person has taken many cruises dating back to the 1970s in which one of them was the Royal Viking it is quite a shame. Not only the quality of ... Read More
The quality of the food was meant for people that has never been in a cruise before. For me as a person has taken many cruises dating back to the 1970s in which one of them was the Royal Viking it is quite a shame. Not only the quality of the food is bad compared to that even back in the 1990's. The wait staff does not care whether or not you liked your food. They just take the plate full of food without asking why you did not touch the food, or anything. I was served twice at the main dining room. One time for breakfast, and the Benedict eggs not only were cold but there was only a tiny drop of Hollandaise sauce on them. The waiter never checked on me at all. The second time my daughter was served for lunch chicken sliders, and she hated them, and did not eat them at all. Again no questions asked by the wait staff. The only food that is up to par is the specialty restaurants, there the service is good, and the food is great (except for the Mexican restaurant) There since there is a possibility of extra tip the waiters do try, however, it is only by me paying more that I got the food I expected at a cruise ship. As far as the Mexican restaurant goes, the food is NOT authentic Mexican, it was more of a Indian Mexican fusion, you should really be clear on this. The Windjammer's food is as expected for that kind of restaurant, however, the amount of people there at times is such that it becomes impossible to get anything "made to order" as the lines stretch for more than 20-25 minutes in which by then, you family would be done eating, and you would still be waiting to eat. The excursion that we booked in itself was very good and was a lot of fun. That being said, the exiting off the ship was so disorganized that we had to run from the ship to the end of the pier to make it on time. You still do not have a good app for the compass, someone should check the app reviews in the apple app store to realize it was 1/2 star, Carnival is 4 stars, and even if you did, you would have to spend a ridiculous amount of money for the WiFi just to get it. This seems ridiculous to me as we are in the 21st century and even Carnival has this as part of their package. The sea pass should be replaced by a transponder bracelet, and not have people walking about with lanyards, again, got into the 21st Century. The part that has always attracted me to the Royal Caribbean ships is their beautiful design and spacious atrium. It is a shame that all that becomes somewhat unimportant when you had more modest size ships and better service, and food. What happened to the midnight buffet?, lost in the corporate grid for sure. Hoping for us that cruise in the past to die off so that you can get away to serve mediocre food planned for the lowest denominator. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
I have cruised on NCL (12X ) CARNIVAL ( 2X ) CELEBRITY ( 1X ) CUNARD ( 1X ) I told my wife we need to try Royal Caribbean just once to see why they receive rave reviews and why they charge higher cruise fares than NCL AND CARNIVAL. ... Read More
I have cruised on NCL (12X ) CARNIVAL ( 2X ) CELEBRITY ( 1X ) CUNARD ( 1X ) I told my wife we need to try Royal Caribbean just once to see why they receive rave reviews and why they charge higher cruise fares than NCL AND CARNIVAL. We chose the Freedom of the Seas leaving Fort Lauderdale on November 26 - December 04,2016. Labadee was the only port we have not traveled to.We booked an outside guarantee 6 days before departure. EMBARKATION: Arrived at pier at 12:30 p.m and by 1:15 p.m. we were on the ship. We were given tenth floor cabin #1694 five days before sailing and tagged our luggage to have them brought up to the cabin hallway.After eating lunch,we decide to go to our cabin to see what our cabin looks like and put away our clothes and personal items. Our key card did not open our cabin door.We thought that the maybe the room was not ready.So,we went exploring the ship and tried an hour later.We came up to the cabin an hour later and the card still will not open the stateroom door.We cannot figure out why our cabin will not open and decide to walk down to guest services. After waiting in line for 30 minutes,we finally speak to guest services.He informs that our cabin is on deck 2 and not up on deck 10.I proceed to tell him that we were assigned cabin #1694 four days before sail date.His computer shows that our cabin was changed that morning and our new cabin assignment was #2540.We asked to see his manager to see why the cabin was changed and why we were notified when we checked in at the pier. The manager proceeds to inform that since we booked an outside guarantee they can change the cabin at anytime before sailing.We tell him that is a bad business practice to assign a cabin and take it away the same day so Royal Caribbean can sell it at a higher price.We plan on writing a letter to see why they gave away our cabin hours before sailing time. CABIN: #2540... first cabin in bow of the ship.Waves hitting the side of ship, loud splashing sounds all night long.The cabin was clean with the smallest bathroom ever.You could sit on toilet and wash you face at the same time.Cabin room steward Willy was the best! SHIP: Massive,clean,impressive promenade,large pool area,ice rink,beautiful dining restaurants, two whirlpools that were off on the side of ship....really impressed with the Freedom of the Seas FOOD: Windjammer had very good breakfast and lunch with so much variety.Main dining room was excellent with very good salads, soups,pasta,fish and meat dishes.Only bad meal was a low grade sirloin steak and chicken that was not fully cooked.Desserts were excellent.The dining service from Jose and Deepak table # 133 was outstanding.The best service on any of our cruises. SHOWS: Ice-skating show was excellent.Not to be missed! ...Two comedians were somewhat funny..Magician show was fine..Juggler was excellent and funny...Latin Music was good...Production shows were good if you like Broadway shows with great dancers.. LABADEE: Beautiful beach areas with free outdoor lunch, clean sandy beach with too many activities to name..just a great day for sun and swimming SAN JUAN: Walked to El Murro. Impressive structure with so much history.Walked around old San Juan and really enjoyed the old town section with plenty of shops and restaurants. St. MAARTEN : Took taxi to Mullet Bay.Impressive beach with beautiful white sand and clear water.Walked over to Maho Beach to watch planes land and take off.One of a kind experience! ST. KITTS : Took a taxi to Marriott Hotel.Paid $30 a person for a day pass.Beautiful beach and pool area. We really had a great time on Freedom of the Seas.We would highly recommend Royal Caribbean! Is Royal better than NCL,CARNIVAL,CELEBRITY,PRINCESS,AND DISNEY? This cruise might rank one of the best.To me there is no bad cruise.Just different expectations. After 17 cruises,I will still try all cruise lines for dining,entertainment,activities,ports and shore excursions. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Overall a nice cruise. This was our first time on the Freedom, and our 6th cruise with Royal Caribbean. Typical RC service and amenities which are nice. I only have 2 complaints, 1. Embarkation was a disaster, we were all warehoused ... Read More
Overall a nice cruise. This was our first time on the Freedom, and our 6th cruise with Royal Caribbean. Typical RC service and amenities which are nice. I only have 2 complaints, 1. Embarkation was a disaster, we were all warehoused in the terminal for hours while 4000 plus passengers cleared through only 4 Customs Officers, then ALL of us new passengers were filtered through ONE set of double doors. ( Wheelchairs and all ) 2. On board, Sorrentos Pizza was absolutely the worst. Even as you passed Sorrentos on the Royal Promenade the smell was funky instead of delicious and inviting like when you pass any other Pizzeria. Outside of those 2 minor complaints it was a Beautiful 8 Days in the Caribbean. I recommend Royal Caribbean for your next cruise! The main dining room was delicious as usual. One evening I had a really good NY Strip steak that was seasoned and cooked to perfection. Lobster night was excellent as well. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Just got off a back to back 15 night cruise on freedom of the seas getting on to the ship only took 15 minutes it was amazing, our cabin was nice only thing that let it down was our cabin steward Moaning about having to separate the beds ... Read More
Just got off a back to back 15 night cruise on freedom of the seas getting on to the ship only took 15 minutes it was amazing, our cabin was nice only thing that let it down was our cabin steward Moaning about having to separate the beds in to 2 singles. The ship needs some TLC I feel like Royal Caribbean is only interested in there new ships the second week they had started to change the sun loungers but freedom needs some updating in general. The windjammer food was cold and horrible we skipped the windjammer whenever possible and went to the dining room instead. We had photos taken on the first formal night and went to look for them only to be told they had a problem with the SD card so we had no photos from the first week very disappointed. There was no organisation with the line for the tenders they were telling us to line up the stairs but no one was listening and people were pushing in. The day we went from cruise to cruise was a joke immigration were checking everyone manually which took 2 hours longer then it should this left the poor people waiting to get on the ship having to que outside in the sun and heat, we left port 2 and half hours late after 2 medical emergencies and arrest. The ship needs to be cleaned more the first week many people where ill with a cough and cold, the second week both me and my dad where ill, I spent the last 3 days off my cruise in bed feeling dizzy and sick. Don't get the internet it's the slowest internet at sea wouldn't even load Facebook and not worth the money, also logs you out every time you lock you phone and then won't reconnect for ages. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
As anything not everything goes according to plan or perfectly but when that happened Royal Caribbean went above and beyond. See my mother and I were going to be celebrating our birthdays and I wanted to surprise my mom with the birthday ... Read More
As anything not everything goes according to plan or perfectly but when that happened Royal Caribbean went above and beyond. See my mother and I were going to be celebrating our birthdays and I wanted to surprise my mom with the birthday package to decorate the room. She never would've expected it so I was excited. But a couple of days before the cruise my mom got the receipt for it so she knew what I had done. We contacted Royal Caribbean by phone and Facebook and both had done something to make up for the mistake. The day we got there when my luggage arrived at the room, I noticed the wheel had completely broken off and the stateroom attendant Stephen was very helpful and guided me with the steps to take, long story short they couldn't fix it so I was given a new suitcase. I was very impressed with the service but couldn't get use to being called ma'am all the time. The food was wonderful. The ports I loved and the shore excursions were fun. I just want to warn people who haven't done this before, be prepared to be hounded by the locals to buy their things. My son is 5 and he spent a lot of his time at the Kids Club and had a great time. He enjoyed it more than swimming with turtles in Grand Cayman and riding the Calypso Train in Belize. I am definitely planning to book another cruise with Royal because not only did I enjoy it, my son keeps saying he wants to go back too. The reason I gave it a 4 is because I felt pricing for a 5 year old was a little much and also being charged the 13.50 a day. The drink package options I felt were too much and the embarkation was a little disorganized and long (so its difficult with a child who has not patients and had just come off a 3 hour flight) Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Well, this is my first negative review of Royal Caribbean- I am Emerald status on Royal Caribbean, been on about 18 cruises, including Disney, Norwegian and Celebrity as well as the most being on R/C. R/C has been my longtime favorite for ... Read More
Well, this is my first negative review of Royal Caribbean- I am Emerald status on Royal Caribbean, been on about 18 cruises, including Disney, Norwegian and Celebrity as well as the most being on R/C. R/C has been my longtime favorite for many reasons however some of those reasons are going away quickly. This line has gone down in quality and service even since my last cruise in March 2016 prior to this one on the same ship! First of all, one of the things you look forward to on a cruise is GOOD food. Was not to be had in five days with the exception of the one night we paid to eat steak at CHOPS. It was excellent but $35 p/p is pretty steep when you have already paid for meals. If I had known every night in MDR was going to be awful I would have paid to do Chops and perhaps Giovanni's more than just the one night. It was supposed to be a special cruise, Freedom's last cruise out of Port Canaveral since it has been homed there for over 10 years since she was built! IT was nothing special, as a matter of fact, downright disappointing. It was like they didn't care at all and just wanted to be "DONE" and sail down to Ft. Lauderdale. The menu items at MDR were not desirable. They used to have shrimp cocktail on the appetizers every night, I never saw it this cruise. I think they had it the one night we ate at Chops. NO lobster night!! Really??? Was told only on 7 night cruises, not 5. CABIN: Carpet and bedding very worn as well as the couch. This ship just had an overhaul a few years ago and they didn't bother to change out the furniture on a 10 year old ship? It needs updating badly. My bed was hard as a rock and has been on the past 3 cruises on this ship so I ordered a foam pad prior to sailing and was told it would be on my bed when I arrived...NOT so. When I asked about it, I was told they were sold out and didn't have any. Somehow they managed to take one from someone else's bed and I got one day two. NO more ice buckets? Sign says Ice avail upon request. I requested and was told they were OUT.. No buckets. WOW. What a way to treat your Emerald Status guest who might I mention was paying DOUBLE b/c I was single on this cruise. My parents were in the cabin next door. Their bed had a huge dip in it, you laid in a hole! The pillows were flat as pancakes. I had to use 3 stacked. The blanket they gave me was so worn out I would have used it for covering pipes in the winter or something. Very bad. ENTERTAINMENT: I've seen the production shows so many times, they were the same. Haven't changed in 10 years, sad. Missed the first comedian but saw him on the TV and was not impressed. 2nd comedy night, farewell show, comedian SUCKED. Not good at all. They had one entertainment boy band acapella (sp) group that was pretty good but my parents being in their mid 70's couldn't relate to their songs. Would have been nice if they had done some older Motown to mix it up a bit. Their name was Edge Effect. I don't know about you all but I have to comment on their awful distasteful "Sexy Man Contest" that happens out by the pool on sea day around 1pm. How embarrassing. Vulgar and R almost X rated. Not appropriate at all esp. when children are running around. And of course they had to show it OVER and OVER again on the TV the whole week. They should save that stuff for the "Quest" adult game show that happens at 11pm. Really! I'm just disgusted by that. It appeared as though these men were actually doing you know what to these women, very bad! Cruise Director - Casey - Never cared for him, hope he doesn't go to Oasis. Miss Richard Spacey from the old days!! So many of the little "extra" things I was used to are now gone, mints on pillows at night, the first night we didn't even get a towel animal. Our cabin steward had a bad attitude most of the time too. I tipped him on day 2 after he brought my mattress foam pad and that helped. On last night my parents and I both game him envelope with extra tip and he didn't seem pleased with that! We're already tipping $13.35 per day per person, which I think is plenty for the service you get and they want more? I just don't know what to say anymore, seems like this industry is just going downhill fast from my experience and other reviews I have read lately of this and other cruiselines. Another thing that is stupid crazy is their pool towel system. Only cruise line I have ever been on that you have to check your towels in and out. Wow. Do they think everyone wants to carry home an old used blue beach towel? On Celebrity and Disney they were free for the choosing and seems like that system works fine for them. What a hassle and every day I would to to "turn" mine in, the station on that side of the ship was closed and I would have to go to the other side, stand in line...ugh PORTS: Well, this was my 2nd cruise in a row that we were not able to go to Coco Cay due to weather. They went to Grand cayman instead. Didn't get off ship b/c I was taking care of my parents who have mobility issues and can't do a tender. Cozumel - I always enjoy Cozumel, didn't go past the port shopping area this time as my dad was using his cane and mom stayed on ship due to health reasons. Great little shopping area right there though. I love the big shop on the right, they have great souvieners and nice silver jewelry I think it's called Costa del sol or something like that. I only need two more cruises on R/C to get to Diamond Status. After this disappointing cruise I am debating to keep my Oasis reservation for March or not. I booked it last year when we were on Freedom. I have been on Oasis and Allure total of 3 times and those have truly been great experiences to I guess I will give it one more try. It is so convenient to sail out of port Canaveral for us since we live in Jacksonville. I really don't like driving all the way down to FLL or Miami. I'm excited that Oasis is now at P. Canaveral in Freedom's spot! Let's hope for the best. TV- only about 2 channels, CNN , port shopping channel, Excursion channel and repeat of shows. BORING!! VOOM INTERNET- I purchased VOOM - the streaming package, really all I needed was the basic package, which I will do next time. You can still facetime with the basic one I was told. It's pretty good, fast for Facebook but my emails didn't get sent out until a week later!! My friends just got them. wow. slower than snail mail. It also logs you out after about a minute of downtime so you are constantly having to type your password in again. It was 30% discount b/c I purchased prior to the trip so for 5 night cruise cost me $60. unlimited. Better than the old days for sure. I like to be connected and able to text, keep up w/ facebook etc. BATHROOM: I like their showers with the round doors except they should have installed the little bars at the bottom like OASIS so you can put your foot up there to shave your legs, impossible to shave legs in that shower. Great water pressure and temp however. We had a balcony cabin on deck 8 forward. NOT ENOUGH elevators on this ship!!! impossible to get one at times and my mom in wheelchair this was irritating. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
This was our fifth time on the Freedom, it was at one time our favorite ships, the food quality and selection has suffered horribly in the cut backs. The Casino is unapproachable due to the smoking which is not monitored. The Diamond Club ... Read More
This was our fifth time on the Freedom, it was at one time our favorite ships, the food quality and selection has suffered horribly in the cut backs. The Casino is unapproachable due to the smoking which is not monitored. The Diamond Club on Deck 14 is so over crowed that the trays of food are quickly picked clean and the wait to get a drink not worth it. There is no place to sit and enjoy it anyway. Reservations are no longer available for the Ice Show so unless your ready to rumble with the crowds and fight for a seat the four shows are overfull with people standing everywhere due to over capacity. The main dinning room and Windjammer service was outstanding, along with our Cabin Steward. The Chairs in the dinning room, the outdated TV and channel selection of the four stations. and the overpriced in room movies should be an embarrassment to Royal. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
What an amazing holiday from start to finish Never believed we would swim with stingrays and snorkel with starfish We've truly had a brilliant cruise on the beautiful Freedom of the Seas,what a wonderful ship she is ... Read More
What an amazing holiday from start to finish Never believed we would swim with stingrays and snorkel with starfish We've truly had a brilliant cruise on the beautiful Freedom of the Seas,what a wonderful ship she is We've always said we would never cruise,and yet here we were with some wonderful friends living our dream Loved our balcony room,food was delicious and entertainment was brilliant Will will defiantly be booking again and again,wish we had tried it before. Royal Carribean staff are so friendly and polite,nothing is too much,all done with a huge smile. If we had one regret,it was purchasing a diamond ring from the jewellers on board,as since we've returned home 2 of the diamonds have fallen out,so this has been a disappointment. We were a party of 5 couples all dining in the famous Leonardo restaurant the table was beautifully layed and the waiting staff were second to none,especially Monte who was so polite and gracious and all done with a wonderful smile. Last but not least Captain Tony greeted us each morning with some great music and conversation Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We chose this cruise as part of a 50th birthday celebration,our first Caribbean cruise. Flight from Manchester with Virgin for our b2b cruise. The ship although not one of the newest,was in excellent condition,clean tidy. We had a ... Read More
We chose this cruise as part of a 50th birthday celebration,our first Caribbean cruise. Flight from Manchester with Virgin for our b2b cruise. The ship although not one of the newest,was in excellent condition,clean tidy. We had a balcony on deck6,kept in perfect order by Wayne our stateroom attendant. Dining was my time where we had a table for two.Menu was limited in choice compared to previous cruises but food was excellent and we were looked after superbly on both weeks You were never short of something to do although some of the shows were repeated the second week. Ports of call included,Cocay,St Thomas,St Maarten,Gran Caymen,Roatan,Cozumel,Costa Maya,all new to us and very interesting standouts include Bernard's tour St Maarten(Mailman take a bow),Stingray City,Monkeys on Roatan and save the Turtle experience Cozumel A few words about Embarkation/Disembarkation,We sailed through Embarkation as Emerald members on the ship 20 mins.We had to do immigration as part of our b2b cruise,this involved walking off the ship,through immigration back on the ship 30 mins tops. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Throughly enjoyed this cruise. The check-in experience was flawless as usual on RCCL, From check-in to boarding and lunch, everything moved very quickly. We had lunch and went directly to our cabin. Having cruised on Allure, we were ... Read More
Throughly enjoyed this cruise. The check-in experience was flawless as usual on RCCL, From check-in to boarding and lunch, everything moved very quickly. We had lunch and went directly to our cabin. Having cruised on Allure, we were disappointed in having to go outside in the heat for the muster drill, but we know it must be done, so off we went. The ship looks very good and the food was off and on in the main dinning room. Overall it was good. We had lunch at Johnny Rockets and the service was awesome. We enjoyed the adult jacuzzi and pool, however, the towels on the lounge chairs was over the top, so much so until one of the officers went around and folded the towels to time how long they were there without a person and after about an hour or so, he removed the towels and turned them in along with personal items he took to the lost and found, so beware, do not leave your towels and books and think they will be there when you return, check the lost and found. I will say Ingrid in guest services could use some soft skills training on how to speak to guests, she was very short tempered, maybe having a bad day, however, no matter how bad your day is, the person at your counter didn't cause your day to be bad, maybe put your personal issues away and use a smile and a soft tone. I just walked away when I saw she would be no help, everyone else was ver kind. One thing we did not like were the hard mattresses. I don't know who they purchased these for, but they are the most uncomfortable ever. I slept on my balcony one night, putting two chairs together was more comfortable than the bed, Otherwisse, the cruise was great. We really enjoyed taking advantage of the valet service. It was flawless, we received our boarding passes and bag tags for the airline the day before the last evening, left our bags out, and did not see them until we reached our final destination. It was so nice traveling so lightly, 4 bags checked through and it only cost $20 per person. I would definitely do this again. I wish it were offered at all ports. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Selected this cruise due to time of cruise and special offer. We are seniors and have sailed on more than 20 cruises. From the least expensive such as Carnival to the luxury Seabourn and Silverseas. The ship was dated but clean. The Jr. ... Read More
Selected this cruise due to time of cruise and special offer. We are seniors and have sailed on more than 20 cruises. From the least expensive such as Carnival to the luxury Seabourn and Silverseas. The ship was dated but clean. The Jr. Suite we had (Cabin #9558) was a nice sice han had, without a doubt, the best walk in closet and shelving we have ever had. Our cabin attendant and our waiter (anytime dining) were excellent. The food for room service breakfast was on time and adequate. To eat lunch on the pool deck (#11) you had to walk all the way to the Windjammer Buffet which was a long walk if you were at the quiet Solarium Pool. No food stations that were handy. If you wanted a slice of pizza you had to go from Deck 11 to Deck 5..............not good! The ports at Labardee, Jamaica, Grand Cayman and Cozomel were same ole...same ole.............been to them many times and probably shouls have stayed on the ship. My wife and I just wanted to get out of Florida for a quick week and this fit our schedule. We are taking out kids and grandkids (11 of us) on this same ship in July which we did last year also on another RCI ship. Nice way to get all of the family together and not have to clean up after them! Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
This was our 4th cruise, the last two being with Royal Caribbean (other being Adventure of the Seas in April 2015). This was the first time my wife and I cruised with others, as we convinced two of our friends to take their first ever ... Read More
This was our 4th cruise, the last two being with Royal Caribbean (other being Adventure of the Seas in April 2015). This was the first time my wife and I cruised with others, as we convinced two of our friends to take their first ever cruise with us. Hotel Information: As always in the wintertime we leave one or two days early in case of bad weather. This year we could only leave one day earlier, and flew into Orlando, picked up a rental car and headed to the Wyndham Garden in Lake Buena Vista. The hotel was good, and situated next to Disney Springs (formerly Downtown Disney). Embarkation: The next day we drove to Port Caneveral and left our car at Budget, and headed to the ship for boarding. Boarding was quick (almost too quick, as we had difficulty catching our breath) and within a very short period of time we were on board the Freedom of the Seas. Ship Information: Ship was in tip top shape, and a lot of the ship, although this one was larger, ressembled the Adventure of the Seas, so we were familiar with the layout quite quickly. Service: Service about the ship was top notch, and we have no complaints here. In both the Main Dining room and in Chops Grille and Giovanni's Table we were totalled spoiled rotten. It by far exceeded any of our other cruises (not to say the others were bad, but this trip was really great). Port and Shore Excursions: Labadee -> Unfortunately we were not able to disembark here as the locals were protesting in the bay next to the ship. Several very small boats with people making a lot of noise and holding some signs managed to cripple the ship. There was only one small vessel (call it a small boat) to ensure security on the Haitian side (pretty small effort if you ask me). The captain took the right decision to not dis-embark, and said it was due to the upcoming elections, but I have pictures and it seems more like the local population has a few gripes with Royal Caribbean and the gov't selling their land. I have heard of some people back home in Montreal joining some groups to protest against the gov't selling out the Haitian landscape to foreigners). Anayways, whatever the reason, I will never take a cruise that stops in Labadee again... Falmouth (Jamaica) -> Easy disembarkation, and here we (group of 4) took a private tour to do the Dunn's Falls climb, river tubing and a short visit to Ochos Rios with Jerk Chicken lunch. Having never been to Jamaica, it was only natural for us to do the falls tour... Grand Cayman -> Again, easy disembarkation, we did a tour with the ship to the Turtle Farm which we really enjoyed a lot. My wife and I would have probably prefered the Stingray tour, but our friends were not keen on it, and we compromised so that in the end everyone was happy. Of course the traditional stop over in Hell to buy tourist stuff... and then some shopping before getting back to the ship. Cozumel -> We took another private tour this time (private Jeep tour), and spent a good part of the day driving around the island. A stop over for lunch at a local area on the east coast, and then we decided to spend a bit more time on the beach and ocean, as this was basically our first time in the ocean on this cruise. Cabin -> As always the cabins were clean, spacious, and met our every need. No complaints here, and on our last two cruises we have taken a balcony room, something we love and would never go back to interior rooms again. Main Dining Room -> This being our 4th cruise, I can say that this is the one on top for the quality of food we ate over the week. The two servers in the Main Dining room absolutely spoiled us all week. They met our every request and needs, and one night the lady fried in our group said she was having a hard time deciding waht dessert to take as they all looked good ... so Slama (our server) brought her 6 different dessert plates.. which we all shared afterwards and did not leave a drop as left overs. Chops Grille -> A divine experience where we were pampered from start to finish. Absolutely loved this place, and I opted for a Porterhouse steak, which was probably one of the best I ever had. Giovanni's Table -> Another great experience, although they gave us much too much food to eat (this was the only night we had leftovers, something we try to avoid all the time). One of our friends ask the server if there was lasagna (it was on a picture when we entered the restaurant) and we were told that this was only available on the lunch menu. About 5 minutes later the server came back to the table, and informed us she spoke about it to the chef and that he was willing to prepare us some lasagna if we were willing to wait about 20-25 minutes for it. Wow, this was not an obligation on their part, and again we were spoiled rotten here... food was very good, just too much for us to eat it all. Entertainment -> We only went to see one show all week, and it was very good. it was a tribute to fairy tales, and we really enjoyed it a lot. Went to the disco which is now on deck 14, but did not stay as long (we both preferred the old disco back on deck 4 better). Bars, etc. -> One of our two disappointments of our cruise. On our first cruise with Royal Caribbean we spent a good part of our nights at the Schooner Piano Bar, and never had any problems getting seats. However, this being a bigger ship with more passengers, we were only able to make the shows on one night. It was standing room only each night, and there were a lot of people, so we left most of the time. This kind of wrecked our nightly fun, as we all love to sing loudly with the crowd. Pools -> This was our other disappointment of the week. The pools area is very nice and everything, but there was a definitely a lack of sufficient amount of lawn chairs for everyone, and we had a lot of difficulty in finding four chairs to spend our afternoons. It reminded me of some of the ressorts in the Caribbean... On our previous cruise with Adventure of the Seas and on a Norwegian Ship we never had any issues with chairs on the pool deck. Disembarkation -> Was very smooth and quick. The only issue we had is when we got downstairs to pick up our luggage, one of our suitcases was missing. Fortunately it is fairly easy to spot, and we found it in another section. When we got to the suitcase we found another luggage tag attached to it, which explains how it ended up in the wrong place. I suspect the baggage folks lost the tag, and saw another one on the fllor assuming it was the correct one, and put it on our suitcase. Not a major issue, but something that just made things a bit more complicated. Summary -> The cruise was great, even with some bad weather the last two nights where the ship rocked and rolled like crazy. My wife had a small bout of sea-sickness, but some sleep and a few pills helped her get through it pretty quickly. Food was outstanding, service was great but the reason I gave the overall cruise a 4 out of 5 is the fact we had much difficulty in getting seating at the piano bar and pool deck and the fact we did not come back home with that ta-da feeling like we had last April. The ship had 1000 plus more passengers compared to Adventure of the Seas, and it has a few more glitsy stuff, but the fact remains the bars are the same size on both ships, and thus why it was easier getting our spaces on the smaller ship as compared to Freedom of the Seas. This year it just seemed we came back a bit more tired than usual. Was it the fact we had difficulty getting seats, the frustration of the pool deck (we were after all onboard ship 3 full days instead of 2 because of the Labadee hiccup). If it was up to me, I would sail on the smaller size ship next time... as it met our needs (except it had no Chops Grille.. boo-hoo)... but we had a greater time last year. Was still a great trip, and we really enjoyed it except for a few smaller glitches... Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
This is quite a short review. We went on this cruise after 3 weeks in Orlando and we were just looking to relax for a week. However this wasn't possible. First of all we had the cruise director on the ( very ) loudspeaker every ... Read More
This is quite a short review. We went on this cruise after 3 weeks in Orlando and we were just looking to relax for a week. However this wasn't possible. First of all we had the cruise director on the ( very ) loudspeaker every morning telling us all the things that were happening that day which co-incidentally carried a cost. So much for a quiet lie in. Then we had the various welcome meetings or sales pitches as I like to call them. And RC do you really need to demonise all the local people in the ports who are only trying to make a living ? " Take your excursions with us. You will be nice and safe ( and poorer ). Don't trust those nasty locals" Finally bingo - $69 for a single game ? - Seriously ??...and to make it worse, ten minutes before the game starts, to get rid of any remaining books, they start selling them for $20. How do you think I felt when I had just paid $69 only for the next person to come along and pay $20. I feel ripped off and that my friends is enough to make me look elsewhere Are there any cruise lines left who allow you to quietly enjoy your vacation ? Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
I really didn't know what to expect. We went w two other couples that previously went before. It was a lot of sailing!!! We had to skip the first stop to cococay because of the weather. Then the next two stops were back to back. So ... Read More
I really didn't know what to expect. We went w two other couples that previously went before. It was a lot of sailing!!! We had to skip the first stop to cococay because of the weather. Then the next two stops were back to back. So most of the trip was sailing. The on board activities were so-so and a bit silly. The ice show was the best. The pub place on deck 5 w fausto was great service nightly. Same breakfast everyday in the windjammer. The Mexican Resturant sabor was ok but the pico and guacamole rocks! We stayed in room 6499 and the room attendant was awful. He actually asked to come in our room the last night and told us how we should give him an additional tip after the daily gratuity for him and his family off the ship. We had to ask him for items several times that should have been noticed upon daily service. My advise is to book a room w a deck if you are going on a cruise longer than 3 nights. I would cruise again but do it differently w more stops and less sailing. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
The Freedom was for a quick relaxing getaway. The food and service was very good but there was no music in any of the venues until about 7pm. Most ships you can go in the Schooner or if there is a centrum and just sit and listen to ... Read More
The Freedom was for a quick relaxing getaway. The food and service was very good but there was no music in any of the venues until about 7pm. Most ships you can go in the Schooner or if there is a centrum and just sit and listen to music. The Diamond club was very SMALL and could not accomidate the members. Other ships with RCL open up a larger area so members can mingle. The ice show was excellent as well as the production show. The headliners not so good. The Freedom is definely not my favorite. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
This is not our first cruise on the Freedom, however, it was the first time we took a child. Our daughter and son-in-law invited us to cruise with them and our two year old grandson. After a wonderful time at Disney, we boarded the ... Read More
This is not our first cruise on the Freedom, however, it was the first time we took a child. Our daughter and son-in-law invited us to cruise with them and our two year old grandson. After a wonderful time at Disney, we boarded the Freedom and immediately wondered what we were thinking! Most of this is our fault but Freedom didn't make it easy. The dining room was a challenge, however, our table staff always had grapes, milk, and chicken tenders waiting for us knowing the grandson would need to eat and most likely leave before dinner was over. After a few nights of taking him out before dessert, they finally decided to eat at the buffett and left my husband and I to a quiet dinner. The wait staff was remarkable and we rewarded them for it. The pool was another story. Grandson is being potty trained but not completely there so we put a swimmy diaper on him. The pool staff was there daily asking parents if their children had diapers on. If they did, they were sent to a 4x4 pool with 2 inches of water in it and told that is where they could play. We finally just took the diaper off and kept a close eye on him, as did dozens of other parents. We have never taken a child so we had no idea how the children's pool works. We were disappointed. When unfolding the pack and play that RC provides, a dried piece of poop fell out, confirming that they do not clean in-between children. We had a balcony with a door that was not sealed and we literally heard wind blowing through our sliding door every night as well as a hot room because our AC was cooling down the balcony. We complained but nothing was fixed. We were very warm at night. Mid-way through the cruise, the Internet services offered a special for a low price unlimited internet for remainder of the cruise. A day before we disembarked, the internet service stopped. When questioned, we were told it was a mistake and they meant to say 3 days of unlimited internet. Would not reimburse. Was terribly disappointed in RC on this cruise and this is the first time we were disappointed. We would sale the Freedom again but without children. It just felt different on this trip and seems as if the Freedom has declined. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
We have sailed often on Royal Caribbean and other cruise lines. Royal Caribbean is our favorite but last week's cruise was the best ever! Freedom of the Seas is magnificent. There were over 4200 guests on the cruise but you would ... Read More
We have sailed often on Royal Caribbean and other cruise lines. Royal Caribbean is our favorite but last week's cruise was the best ever! Freedom of the Seas is magnificent. There were over 4200 guests on the cruise but you would never know it. We never waited on line for anything. The staff on the ship were wonderful.You never passed a cruise line employee who didn't say hello and ask how your day was going...this goes for the captain as well who asked if he could do anything to make the trip better. The cabin was taken care of by a woman names Sonia, She couldn't do enough from finding lost luggage to helping us with ourpaper work for departing. Her smile and generous spirit were contagious. Leo and Jose in the dining room treated us like guests in their own homes . The food was excellent.The entertainment was varied and great. A great cruise line, a magnificent ship and an outstanding world to visit thanks to anotherSource.(Also thanks to Ellen Bogen,cruise line representative who worked with us to plan it all.Ext 13153).Thanks, Mary Ryan-Zanotti and Kathleen Peterson New Jersey August 2015 (also thanks to John and Robert for telling us of the wonders of Freedom). Sorry you couldn.t be with us, Meaghan). Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
We are very experienced cruisers but this was our first time on Royal Caribbean. We tried to look for the good and not compare with other lines. Embarkation was absolutely the best ever. We arrived at the port about 10:30 AM and zipped ... Read More
We are very experienced cruisers but this was our first time on Royal Caribbean. We tried to look for the good and not compare with other lines. Embarkation was absolutely the best ever. We arrived at the port about 10:30 AM and zipped though and onto the ship by 11:00. Our stateroom wasn't ready until 1:00 so we found our way up to Windjammers for lunch. The layout was a bit confusing but we found quite a few choices. Food was relatively good. We liked the Thirst Quencher stations so we didn't have to wait for someone to bring us drinks. We also liked the seating area of this restaurant. After lunch we wandered around the ship using the fabulous interactive maps to help us find areas we wanted to see. Elevators were plentiful and so were these interactive maps! No problems here. When we got to go to our stateroom we were met by our Steward Jose. He was friendly. We needed a couple more hangers and ice and he brought them. In fact, he brought us ice twice a day. We found the closet to be a real problem for us. The light in the hallway was not bright enough for us to see into the shelf and safe portion of the closet easily. It was hard to keep the doors open so we could get several things in or out at the same time. The bathroom was teeny. However, the water pressure in the shower was the best we've ever experienced anywhere! Fabulous. Our balcony had 3 chairs and that was great. We had My Time dining and found that it was necessary to make a reservation each time we wanted to eat in the dining room. Service in the dining room was good but the food was mediocre at best. The hot food wasn't very hot and the cold foods were kind of lukewarm. We didn't feel the selections in the dining rooms were as varied and good as on other lines. The only specialty dining we did was at Johnny Rocket's and this was the best meal we had all week! Great service and great food. The $6.95 cover pp was appropriate. Our biggest complaint, other than the food, was the fact that despite the words "Do not save beach chairs" by 9 AM every chair at every pool had a towel on it and there were very few people even on the deck. There was no policing of this ship policy by the Deck Patrol. We asked about this at the towel place and we were told that "people get too mad if we move their towels." Not good. We loved the Sprinkles serve yourself ice cream cone dispenser on the pool deck. Entertainment in the theater was decent but not outstanding. The best show we saw was the ice show. EXCELLENT! Wish we could have seen one every night. We participated in the Champagne Art Auctions and found the Park West team to be great. We had fun with this and found some good prices on some good art. Highly recommend this. We went to the casino a couple of times and it was fun. All in all, the cruise had some very good things, but the mediocre food and nightly entertainment overshadowed a lot of the good. One very big negative for us was the lack of self service laundry rooms. The disembarkation was also the best we've ever had! Kudos, RC! Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
Freedom of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.4
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 5.0 4.2
Public Rooms 4.0 4.5
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.3
Family 5.0 4.3
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.9
Enrichment 3.0 3.9
Service 4.0 4.4
Value For Money 4.0 4.0
Rates 4.0 4.1

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