15 Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas Holiday 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
I don't consider us as experienced cruisers since this is our our 3rd cruise only. Please take this into consideration. We have previously cruised on Disney Dream and the Norwegian Epic. We were a group of 26 people in 7 staterooms ... Read More
I don't consider us as experienced cruisers since this is our our 3rd cruise only. Please take this into consideration. We have previously cruised on Disney Dream and the Norwegian Epic. We were a group of 26 people in 7 staterooms (all ocean view) . Ages are from 5 to 78. Few days before sailing, we received an email regarding a change in the itinerary due to problems with the ship. The ports stayed the same but the hours at each port were reduced. We decided to accept the fact rather than get upset about it and ruin the vacation. The Ship: is BEAUTIFUL! Much better looking than the Epic and more beautiful than Disney Dream. The interiors and the decorations were amazing. Deck 5 is where the cafes are and it is amazing. The ship never felt over crowded even though there were more than four thousand people on-board. Casino is nice. The gym is nice but small for the size of the ship. As you might see from the other reviews, there are problems with the plumbing on this ship. Out of the 7 staterooms we had, 4 of them experienced flooding. Rating: Freedom-Dream-Epic Food: Is not that good and very repetitive. The buffet was almost the same for breakfast, lunch and dinner all 7 days with very minor changes to it. The Main dinning room food was OK to Good at best. The food at the Epic was much much much better. The food on the Dream was also better. Rating: Epic-------------------Dream--Freedom Activities: are endless. There is something to do most of the time. from Broadway shows to family game shows, to competitions. We were impressed with the shows on the Epic but this ship had way more. The family game were also awesome. We really enjoyed the Battle of the sexes (10/10), the Quest (10/10), and the Love and Marriage (9/10). There were also mini games like Sudoku Challenges, Name This Song, Sports Trivia...etc. Rating: Freedom-Epic-Disney Ports: Labadee, Puerto Rico, and St Maarten are nice. Our favorite is St. Maarten but unfortunately we only managed to stay there for 4 hours.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
We sailed out of Port Canaveral on 12/7/14 for a 7 day Western Caribbean vacation. Getting on the ship was no problem. Once on the ship we went to the buffet for lunch. I had a hamburger and some fries....so far so good. No utensils to eat ... Read More
We sailed out of Port Canaveral on 12/7/14 for a 7 day Western Caribbean vacation. Getting on the ship was no problem. Once on the ship we went to the buffet for lunch. I had a hamburger and some fries....so far so good. No utensils to eat with though so it was good I had food I could eat with my hands and not soup or salad! There were also announcements telling us to basically hurry up and eat and leave as they had many people to feed. SERIOUSLY! Hurry up and get out! Yes. I was getting a bad feeling about this one! On to the cabin. The cabin was pretty small for a large ship . We had two adults in the cabin and we couldn't move without kicking the coffee table and wastebasket . I ended up putting the coffee table in the closet and the trash can by the bed. The bed could not be accessed from the side, to get to the end tables, one would have to step or slide over the corner of the bed. This was obviously ridiculous and made the area on the side of the bed useless and wasting the already very limited square footage in the room. I gave up trying to shower with the door closed. I just left the door open and let the water fly everywhere, then put towels on the floor. Otherwise the room was clean and comfortable with the couch in front of the TV. The entertainment on board was pretty good. The Ice show was excellent and the Stage Shows were very good. They also had a comedian/juggler guy that was entertaining albeit somewhat racist. The Acrobat's were fun to watch and the overall entertainment in the theater was very good. The musical venues could have been better. I would have enjoyed more string music and a lot less breaks. Musicians do not need a break every 15 minutes! OH...and the ship was hot. Especially in the elevators. HOT.HOT.HOT! The cabin temp was fine as long as it was set to the coldest setting. The buffet dining was a disappointment with the same food basically...day after day. Pizza was awful. I just ate hamburgers for lunch. I would recommend going to the sit down dining room for breakfast and lunch. Dinner in the dining room was usually pretty good. The food was overall OK with mostly a selection for every taste. I would have preferred it to be hotter but it was never cold. Our wait staff of Sharline and Dennis were courteous and provided friendly professional service. The Maître de visited our table every night to ask about things. I was very impressed by this as I rarely have been visited by them in the past. Service in the lounges was slow because of a lack of staff. With the cruise line pushing the drink plans there is very little effort put into providing drink service. I would have to leave our table and go to the bar and wait for service for 10 or 15 minutes because there was only one bartender. Many of the Drink of the Day specials did NOT provide the souvenir glass that was promised. There was never any explanation as to why. I didn't ask. I had bigger fish to fry! ABOUT THE SHORTENED PORTS...we were notified 24 hours ahead of boarding that the port times were shortened. The ship was limping along a 3/4 speed and needed more sailing times between ports. This made our stops at the private Island in Haiti and the Jamaican and Grand Cayman very short. We felt very rushed to get back on board in time and really detracted from the cruise port experience. We did not make Cozumel at all because an infant had a medical issue and needed to return to Grand Cayman for treatment. Our understanding is that she was flown to Miami and is doing well. Everyone on the ship understood the priority of getting the child treatment. BUT, most were also in agreement that had the ship not been limping along, that we still would have been in Grand Cayman when the emergency occurred AND that even had we needed to return to Grand Cayman we would have been able to make up time in a ship that was functioning correctly. Royal Caribbean hid the fact that The Freedom of the Seas was damaged for weeks prior to our cruise and by doing so provided an inferior cruise experience to the passengers who paid big money for a top notch cruise vacation. Royal made no real apologies for not allowing us to know of the situation beforehand and provided no compensation that I'm aware of to any of the passengers other than the $15 tax on the missed stop of Cozumel. They did not even return the port charges from Cozumel. Maybe RCCL didn't get reimbursed from Cozumel for missing the port. I don't know. I just know that I and practically everyone else felt screwed by Royal Caribbean for their lack of communication and lack of compassion for peoples vacations being compromised . I'm planning on filing a claim with the BBB in an effort to receive some compensation for this cruise. I was told by other cruisers that attempting to get any response from RCCL was nearly impossible. It's also my understanding that some onboard credit and future cruise certificates were given to passengers on previous and prior cruises on the Freedom. I don't know why they felt the need to cheat us on the December 7-14th sailing. Needless to say, it will likely be a long time before I cruise RCCL again...if ever. The cost of the cruise and all associated expenses were approximately $2500 for the two of us and it was not money well spent. One final complaint. OK...two. Disembarkation was a total nightmare with at least a two hour delay getting off. Again, RCCL provided no information about the delay because if they had we could have gone somewhere and just relaxed instead of waiting in limbo for hours in line. I don't know if this delay was RCCL's fault or if it was a port issue that was unavoidable and not RCCL's fault. Now lastly. The day after leaving the ship (Monday) our credit card was charged for the approximate amount of $500 that we spent onboard including tips. That was fine...BUT they also had two $450+ holds on our account for a total of $900+ of money on hold and unavailable to us over and above the valid charge of $500. This money was not released until late in the week and was the cause of concern and worry in the week proceeding Christmas. Normally, when the account is charged for the actual onboard charges the money on hold is released immediately. Why they had two holds totaling $900+ in ADDITION to the actual charge of $500 is beyond me. My girlfriend thinks they are trying to make interest on the money. I think that RCCL is just incompetent! Anyway, that caused unneeded stress for almost a full week after we left the ship. So, If you are looking for a relaxing....refreshing vacation getaway on a cruise I would suggest a different cruise line. It seems to me that Royal Caribbean's glory days are over. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
We had a great cruise this December on Freedom. A child's life was saved and we made it home safely, with a loss of propulsion power. The ship was in great order otherwise. The staff were exceptional, and cruisers were friendly and ... Read More
We had a great cruise this December on Freedom. A child's life was saved and we made it home safely, with a loss of propulsion power. The ship was in great order otherwise. The staff were exceptional, and cruisers were friendly and polite. There were a lot of experienced cruises, as in diamond plus and above. Most experienced cruises did not mind missing Cozumel, while some were disappointed because the were looking forward to something there. Either way the captain makes the decisions and I am happy as long as all are safe. There was some excessive vibration in the aft, but usually only noticed this for a few minutes. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
We cruised for the fourth time the week of Christmas on Freedom of the Seas. We have cruised other lines as well as other RC ships. Honestly, if this had been my first cruise it would have probably been my one and only. This was not the ... Read More
We cruised for the fourth time the week of Christmas on Freedom of the Seas. We have cruised other lines as well as other RC ships. Honestly, if this had been my first cruise it would have probably been my one and only. This was not the same Freedom of the Seas we have cruised 3 other times. We were made aware of the propulsion issue and change to itinerary when we checked in at boarding. A little late to decline the cruise at that point. We did receive room credit for any inconvenience. It was a decent amount but quite honestly not enough to compensate in my opinion. We were late arriving at San Juan due to even slower ship speed from rough currents. Therefore our already shorted day was even shorter. RC would have been smarter to have deleted Labadee stop hence allowing enough time to arrive at San Juan and St. Marteen. Additionally, being Christmas Eve and Christmas day in San Juan and St. Marteen respectively there was little to do in port anyway. We were okay with that since we have been to both ports previously. We respect the businesses for closing. Just something to think about before booking the week of Christmas. The propulsion issues also created a heavy vibration felt all over the ship. We noticed it most in the MDR and in the Olive & Twist lounge. We actually stayed in the same balcony cabin we had cruised in before. The cabin still (a year later) had all of the maintenance issues we experienced in it before. The balcony door vibrated loud enough to keep you awake at night and even worse with the propulsion issues. The showerhead was still not spraying properly. Our room attendant was fabulous as always. The MDR seemed to have confusion every evening. We were moved to three different tables one night before they figured out where they wanted us and yes, we had a reservation. There seemed to be a language barrier with the wait staff that I have never noted before. The demographic was very different as well on the cruise. Perhaps because of the week of Christmas?? Mostly families with unsupervised rude children running amuck. I do not mind children I have 2 of my own (young adults now) but I do find rude children and their parents offensive. This is not in RC's control I understand just a cruise downer. Karaoke most nights was preteenagers trying their hand at Taylor Swift. The usual adult only safe zones were riddled with children of all ages. Obtaining a chair on sea days was horrendous probably due to the mounds of broken chairs not able to be used. We have cruised on FOS with a full ship before and did not encounter this problem. Also, the saving of seats is not monitored as FOS posts in the Cruise Compass that it is. There were chairs that were empty for hours with only a towel. It would have been nice to have been notified of our toilet was not working and also that the public restrooms in specific areas were not affected. We woke to discover that issue. Yes, I had visions of the Carnival stories in my head until I found out it was not ship wide. Apparently, someone flushed something forbidden and the problem was resolved. All in all it was a wonderful trip with my family. We didn't allow these hiccups to ruin our family vacation however we all left saying, "that wasn't the cruise experience we are used to" We have booked our next RC cruise (not on Freedom however) so we are not soured with RC. They do have some work to do to redeem themselves.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
Booked this cruise 18 months in advance and we were so looking forward to it.  We booked a back to back cruise from the UK.  1st week the weather was not so good and the ship was not steady at all so spent most of the time indoors due to ... Read More
Booked this cruise 18 months in advance and we were so looking forward to it.  We booked a back to back cruise from the UK.  1st week the weather was not so good and the ship was not steady at all so spent most of the time indoors due to the strong winds on top deck and the overcrowded areas around the ship as it was thanksgiving week. We were supposed to stop at Grand Cayman but this got cancelled due to the high seas and winds.  We were informed on the last day of our first week that there was a problem with the ship which would explain the unsteadiness and that the itinerary for the second week had been changed. We were due to go to St Thomas-St Martean and Coco Cays but instead we had to spend the day and overnight in Nassau then to Cozumel( where we visited the previous week) and Coco Cays. We were given some onboard spend compensation but we had done our shopping the fierrst week, We were also offered a voucher for 25% off the cost of our second week cruise for another against another cruise taken within a year which was not worth the paper it was written on as we could get 25% off the total of another holiday to book whenever we wanted if we paid $100 each onboard as a deposit sso they were giving us nothing really and we would not sail with Royal Caribbean again as very dissapointed. The ship is due to go into dry dock in January and it needs it due to the ongoing problems but the ship inside is beautiful and the staff keep it very clean. The entertainment was not great but the Ice show was amazing. The staff were exceptional except for the guest service staff who were quite rude and really looked like they couldn't be bothered to talk to you. We booked to visit 7 islands and ended up visiting 5 in 2 weeks and to be honest found it a bit boring . All in all for me this cruise was not worth the money and we have been on better. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
We booked a Grand Suite and were new to the concierge experience on cruises. We received an email about one week before the Dec 29, 2013 sail date from the concierge to ask if we needed anything booked (specifically cabanas, which turned ... Read More
We booked a Grand Suite and were new to the concierge experience on cruises. We received an email about one week before the Dec 29, 2013 sail date from the concierge to ask if we needed anything booked (specifically cabanas, which turned out to be a great thing). Even though the timing of this email wound up being on Christmas Day, which was one week before our cruise, I took the time to reply to the concierge welcome email. I did not book spa services in advance because I thought the concierge could help with that and he did. I said I wanted a manicure/pedicure for my daughter (11yr) and I some time in the morning or early afternoon of New Year's Eve. If it couldn't be arranged I could do this before the cruise but I thought it might be a fun to do on the cruise. Rahul (who is awesome) emailed back that he would book it and we got a note saying there was a mani/pedi booked at 11am. It didn't mention if it was for just me or my daughter as well so I went down the first day to ask him. He was overwhelmed that first day with other guests and we left after waiting over 30min without talking to him. I went to the spa to just confirm that it was an appointment for two. The (australian?) lady at the desk was very rude and unhelpful. She said the note was wrong and that all she had was two manicures in the system. After a few go rounds the other lady at the desk tried to help. She also said the note was not in the system and tried to get me other times but they were either at 8:30pm (for just pedicures) or other ridiculous times. At this point I had promised my daughter a fun spa trip and almost took the 8:30pm slot. I wanted to check if my daughter really wanted it (bad enough to miss a show/evening activities) but was told I would really need to do it then and that if I booked I couldn't back out. I luckily didn't book it and spoke with the concierge the next morning. He said we absolutely DID have a reservation for two and it was through the spa manager so it might have not been in the system but not to worry. When I showed up at 11am for the appointment, the same lady, Mitzy, was the person doing my manicure. She asked if my being there meant I chose to only do the manicure. I said I was going to do both. I could tell she was very irritated. Apparently this affected her lunch time and she was not happy. It was a miserable spa experience. Silent hostility, cold water for the pedicure that was suddenly TOO, TOO HOT when I mentioned it. Miserable. As the rest of the spa cleared out (completely empty except my daughter and I at 11:30) the Jamaican background music progressed into very explicit rap music.  Luckily my 11yr old daughter was busily reading her book. Mitzy noticed my horrified face and did get up and change the music...but why was it even on in the first place? When she smugly handed me the bill to sign I saw that the tip for each $110 service had an 'Auto Gratuity' added on top for $19.60. It's more than the 15% I later saw on a price sheet and was apparently indisputable. I had to tip for that experience??!! The sad thing is that I'm a sucker for someone being forced to work their lunch time by their manager (especially on New Year's Eve) and I probably would have left a decent tip despite the hostile experience (My experience was hostile, but the lady who did my daughter's nails was very pleasant.) I spent about $260 for a miserable experience. I will tell everyone that will listen to do their nails before the cruise and never on it. Even if we didn't have such a horrible experience you only have 2 reds and 2 pinks to choose from for polish. I didn't pay $13,000 for a suite to be treated like this. Extras - Nickel and diming We're reasonably well off financially and paying for a cruise isn't that big of an issue for us. That said, I felt gouged paying over $13K for a grand suite and than being nickel and dimed with a $30 charge if I wanted lobster in the main dining room. Luckily the regular partial lobster dishes were excellently prepared (nothing chewy about it!). Waiting in line to get and return towels was also ridiculous at this fare. Kids Club This was shockingly awesome. My kids couldn't get enough of their councilors (named Lasange, Juice Box, Tiara...so fun!) It was also great that they have sessions/breaks so that the kids HAVE to come out for meals. Otherwise I might not have been able to pry them out. We also loved the Family night disco at the Crypt. Sea Trek Excursion The description said 'if you can walk and breathe' you can do this. That wasn't true. Of the 5 of us that paid $99/person to do this, only one of us went through with it. My 74 yr old father didn't go but didn't call in time to cancel (our fault), but I'm so glad he didn't go because my husband said it would have been too much for him. My 11yr old daughter started to go down the ladder with my husband but she said the pressure in her ears was too much. She did all the 'hold your nose and blow' techniques and it didn't help.They should mention the pressure equalizing in the description. My 9 yr old was so freaked out by her negative reaction that he didn't want to go. I was stuck out with both kids. The people working the tour were very nice and helpful and I think this is a great excursion for some. I just wish the description helped us make a better choice as it was a waste of our time and money. Also, I didn't appreciate the form they gave me to waive my right to a refund. Concierge I was very upset the first day because I had high expectations. I realized I was just one of many, many suite guests and I was going to have to wait for the ONE person assigned to ALL of us. It just fell below my expectations. After the first day, it wasn't an issue...BUT on the first day, he should probably have some help. Information before the Cruise Coco Cay - It would have been nice to know all the options on cabanas. We didn't know about the $50 cabanas on Barefoot beach until we walked by them. We luckily had one of the wooden cabanas which (despite the moldy cushions on the sofa) were very nice. ...but I still would like to have know there was a different option else where. Also, why not give a better map beforehand? New Year's Eve - planning for this frankly stressed me out. I'm a planner. I want to know what my options are. Is my 5:30 dinner time a good idea or not? We wound up doing that and not planning dinner at Chops at 9pm but simple info that they'll have a balloon drop in the main mall area would be great to know beforehand. Allergies Our main dining room waiter, Greggie, and assistant Lin were awesome. The lady/dining room manager meant well, but wound up being more annoying than effective. My daughter is allergic to all nuts and sesame seeds. This lady would come up, interrupt dinner and go on and on--presumably to show her concern--and say things like 'be careful'. What? Do you really think I want a lecture about being careful? I want information. I don't want my dinner interrupted with lots of silly generalities to 'be careful' of the buns on Coco Cay. Do they have sesame seeds or not? Can she have the turkey dinner or not? Luckily Greggie was much more pragmatic and Lin brought separate plain rolls up for her every night. Overall Overall, we had a great cruise and would recommend RCI to others. Most of the staff--with the exception of the spa folks-- were cheerful and friendly. I was happy to know that a lot of the staff had fun on New Year's too and that they genuinely enjoyed their fellow crew. We didn't speak with our cabin stewart much but his cleaning and timing were impeccable. Rahul did a great job as concierge once I leveled my expectations.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
This was our second New Years cruise on Freedom of the Seas (did it last year). We are 2 couples in our late 50's early 60's. My wife and I drove from Atlanta, Ga. to Port Canaveral going half way on Friday and the rest of the ... Read More
This was our second New Years cruise on Freedom of the Seas (did it last year). We are 2 couples in our late 50's early 60's. My wife and I drove from Atlanta, Ga. to Port Canaveral going half way on Friday and the rest of the way on Saturday (cruise left Sunday). Went to the port about 12:15 and were on the ship by 12:45 (had to wait for our friends). Boarding is so simple. As Diamond members with priority boarding you get a priority security line and priority check in. But even the other line was not too bad. Our cabin 9638 was on the hump. Normal size balcony but a great location. Near the elevators and 2 decks below the Windjammer. Junior Suites are great size. Walk in closet, sofa, chair, large balcony with 2 chairs, table and another chair with attached footstool. We gathered frequently in our cabin or on our balcony. Our friends had a balcony cabin on deck 8 and it sure seemed small compared to the JS. We sure are getting spoiled. Our cabin attendant, Simeon, was great. Was very "stealthy" in that he was rarely seen, but always available. Took excellent care of us. We had a bottle of wine and a bottle of champagne and he kept them iced down as well as kept a full ice bucket for us. On the last Formal Night we returned to our cabin and he had placed rose petals on the bed. A very nice touch. Second seating in the MDR was fine. Our waiter was efficient but not all that personable. But there is a lot to be said for efficiency. Our Assistant Waiter was very good. Kept the wine poured, water glasses filled, rolls on the bread plates. We drink decaf at desert and as soon as we finished he would appear with the coffee. Food was good to very good. I like the new menu. Had salmon and halibut. Both were outstanding, as was the Duck. Chicken Marsala on last night..ok. Fried fish plate was also ok. But great appetizers. They list escargots every night, but tend to run out. So get them early in the cruise. Had a special menu on New Year Eve. It was quite good. Did breakfast in the MDR as well as lunch most days. All very good. New Years Eve was fantastic. Got a table in the Bull and Bear Pub about 9:30 and the entertainment was great. The singer is a lot of fun. The New Years party on the Promenade was great. Lots of excitement at midnight. Later went to the Schooner Lounge and the piano player is great fun. Spent many after hours in those two bars. Didn't go into Coco Cay as the winds were high and the tenders kept getting shut down. Did the "duty" ride into St. Thomas and went to our favorite place for Mudslides, the Big Kahuna. Shopped a bit then back to the ship. Cabbed to Orient Beach in St. Maarten and got lounges outside the Biking Bar. Laid on the beach, swam and drank Guavaberry Coladas. A nice time. Lots of kids on this cruise. Heard there were 1200 of them. Tended to "herd" and run around the ship. Only real gripe for me was when a group of about 15 teenagers tried racing from the top deck to the bottom deck down the stairs. As they rounded the landing nearly took out more than one passenger (including me). Some kids would play in the halls, and groups would ride the elevators up and down. Oh well, kids will be kids. One nice thing was how people dressed on New Years Eve and the second Formal Night. Lots of great looking, classy dressed men and women of all ages. Debarkation was very smooth. Had a 7:30 "off" time. Went to breakfast about 6:30 in MDR, was back in the room at 7:15, grabbed our stuff at 7:30 and was in the car at 8:15. I will say that we tip the porters well. When we checked in the porter was so excited at our tip that he gave me his cell number. I called him at 7:30 and he met us at the bottom of the escalator. I never lifted a bag. He got all our bags and took them all the way to the car (I was up the first ramp just undercover) and loaded them for me. You do get what you pay for. Bottom line, we did Freedom for New Years in 2011, now in 2012, and are going to book for New Years 2013 when we go on Allure in March. The only way to celebrate New Years Eve is on a cruise! Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
This is my first review so stick with me...... Ok me and the wife were married in April 2011 and wanted to go on a cruise for our honeymoon. We wanted the Caribbean but also wanted a 10 night one. This was proving hard work unless we ... Read More
This is my first review so stick with me...... Ok me and the wife were married in April 2011 and wanted to go on a cruise for our honeymoon. We wanted the Caribbean but also wanted a 10 night one. This was proving hard work unless we did a back to back one. Then it was clicking up to 14 nights along with two nine hour flights from and to the UK, going to use far to much of our holiday allowance at our jobs. Well we couldn't find anything for the Caribbean until November time. Then we came across the New Years 9 night eastern cruise. This was perfect as the length was great. Ship was one of our first choices, and a awesome way to see in the new year. We booked direct with RCCL inc flights and transfers in the May and as the year went on kept adding things like wine packages and tours, along with prepaid tips and my time dining times. We flew the night before from Gatwick UK on British Airways. Great flight however they had book us on two different seat six rows apart! Great way to start the honeymoon. The check in staff managed to sort out two seats together for us. The transfer from airport to our over night hotel was a complete joke!! We were booked in at the crown plaza, situated around 2 miles from the airport. The driver did a lap of the airport then returned to where we got onboard. He did this 3 times then set off for the wrong hotel. It took 90 mins before we got to our hotel. Not a great start.. Next morning we were picked up, however again the transfer team were not organised. There was now room on the bus for us. Along with around another 20 folks. An 30 minute wait before another bus was sorted... Eventually we got there. Check in at the terminal at the port was very quick. Within 20 mins we were onboard. The ship was huge!!!!!!!!! We headed to the windjammer for some food which was busy but to be expected. We tried to see if our room was ready at 3pm, it was. We met our room attendant , she was fab ( Pamela Lee). So we went back up top and watched the sail away of the Disney ship and Monarc of the seas. Then ourselfs. We went for a drink , attended the Muster drill, then headed back to our cabin. Our luggage arrived so we unpacked, wash and changed and we headed to dinner which was perfect every night. Our waiter Alisha was funny and faultless and gave a genuine opinion on what's good and not as good. Early night was needed due to body clock being all over the place. Shows on board were very enteratining. The love and marrage game show hosted by Alan was hilairous. Alan the cruise director was so so funny. Captain Ron's humour and info is great. Once quoting we were 56 miles 5 feet and 3 inches away from San Juan. He always kept us up to date. The things to do onboard were endless. From bingo to bellyflopping competitions. There was something always to do. Day 2 Nassau: We picked the " Rainbow Reef snorkelling tour" this was fab and gave me a chance to use my underwater camera. I would not go as far as saying "rainbow reef" but it was a nice reef with plenty of fish. We headed back to the port and grabbed a nice lunch at a local resterant while basking in the sun. Did a little shopping and walked back to the ship. This was our first formal night along with seeing the new years in. The champagne flowed into the early hours. Day 3 at sea: plenty onboard activitys and a nice day to chill out with hangovers from night before. Day 4 Labadee, Haiti We did the coastal boat tour. This was ok but we didn't see a lot to be honest. Once back ashore we had a look around the local market. This was very intimidating. And we did not enjoy it. The beach was very nice and could watch the people on the zip line. Day 5 San Juan: We headed to the old town and to one of the forts. Unfortunatly it started raining, we stuck with it but took refuge in Senoir Frogs. Opposite the port. Day 6 St Thomas: We booked the " lovely island tour " which was a bit of a let down. Mainly due to the weather but also the stops were not the best. Last stop was Megan's Bay. Which I visited when I was younger. Bit dissapointed as they have built a lot there. Plus it chucked it down with rain again! which didn't help. Day 7 St Martin: This was by far the nicest island on the cruise. We did the " made in paridise " tour. Which was all about Rum, purfume and local food. All on the French side. Deffo a must! Day 8 and 9 at sea: last few days of catching some sun. Again plenty to do onboard. Day 10 Port Canaveral: disembark was very quick due to booking the Kennedy Space Centre tour. Which was also our transfer onto the airport. Overall a fantastic cruise and while we were onboard booked our next cruise for the Med in May on the slightly smaller Adventure of the seas. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
We boarded Freedom of the Sas on our first cruise. The ship was full as it was the Christmas sailing but the ship definitely didn't feel crowded at any time. Embarkation was relatively quick and easy took just over 30 minutes to ... Read More
We boarded Freedom of the Sas on our first cruise. The ship was full as it was the Christmas sailing but the ship definitely didn't feel crowded at any time. Embarkation was relatively quick and easy took just over 30 minutes to get onboard. The ship was well maintained, cabins were cleaned regularly and staff were very friendly and welcoming. Quite a number of staff made a real effort to learn your name and the cruise director, Allan was always entertaining. We opted for an interior stateroom and enjoyed turning the tv on first thing in the morning to watch the ships webcam (on the front of the ship) to enjoy the view of the port before we disembarked - just like looking through a window. The captain, Tor, was always very bubbly in his addresses each day always quoting "Bing Bong" which made me laugh. The food all round no matter where you at was tremendous. I have never eaten and drank as much in my life. The weather was kind to us and there was one night at sea when it was a bit rough but nothing major. The ports we visited were great, and we booked some ship excursions in Grand Cayman and Cozumel. Labadee was lovely asthisisaprivate part of Haiti. It was obvious from the market place which is located in the area that the sellers we desperate to sell you something and although they're very nice they were really, really pushy. Falmouth was interesting as we had been on Honeymoon in Jamaica so had done all of the tours then and loved them and the people. I found Falmouth to be my least favourite port. A lot of money has been spent improving the port and the initial area is nice to walk around. Once you pass the gates of the port though we found it an uneasy shopping experience and it didn't take us long to return to the ship. It is obvious that this is a very deprived area of Jamaica in comparison to Ocho Rios and we felt quite vulnerable which I have only ever felt in Delhi, India. If you decide you want to do something in Jamaica - Dunns River Falls and Dolphin Cove are fantastic and the majority of people in Jamaica are lovely, just not enamoured with Falmouth. Grand Cayman was brilliant and we had no issue with boarding the tender. We went on the Turtle Farm and swim package booked through the ship- id give it a miss and go to see the Stingray's instead. Although it was ok. Cozumel was another favourite of ours. We did the Island Highlights and Shopping and loved it! The people we met were fantastic and it was the best port for shopping. About 3 miles(turn left out of the port) away is the central shopping district and I would have loved even more time to shop in the area- the port area had lots of cheap gifts too. The days art sea were good too as there was so much to do and we loved sitting in the cantilever jacuzzi looking out over the ocean. Shopping on board wasn't bad and a few bargains were to be found but most of the items we more expensive than you would buy at home despite being duty free etc etc. They constantly plug Diamonds International which became a standing joke between my husband and I. Out of curiousty he had looked at a watch which was the "Cheapest price he would find" - I googled it and found it $500 saigh away, lol. Don't fall into this trap! Dress code surprised me a little as they didn't really enforce this - on formal night we seen people in the dining room in shorts? The drink prices are what you would expect c$6 for a beer and $9 for a cocktail. Water is always a question- you can get cups / glasses of water in numerous places on the ship but if you want a 1L bottle of Evian it's 4.50 from your minibar. On the whole we had an amazing time and cannot wait to cruise with Royal Caribbean again. On a seperate note - if anyone is thinking of booking with Virgin Holidays Cruises, don't bother. Their Rockstar service is RockBottom! We had a huge amount of mistakes despite having a correct itinerary - Ie they gave the hotel the wrong dates and the hotel cancelled our room as a no show! And we never got any of the RockStar perks. Book with Royal Caribbean directly! Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
Hi, WE had a 3 nights stay in Florida before the Cruise and a four nights stay afterwards which was very good. The Cruise itself- you can't help but be impressed by the size of the Freedom of the Seas - very majestic and to coin an ... Read More
Hi, WE had a 3 nights stay in Florida before the Cruise and a four nights stay afterwards which was very good. The Cruise itself- you can't help but be impressed by the size of the Freedom of the Seas - very majestic and to coin an Americanism- "Awesome" in appearance. The embarkation experience was very good with only a short wait in line before actually getting onto the ship. We went up to the Windjammer top dining area where food and drinks were available and gave you a "taster" (pardon the pun) of what was to come. We later got access to our cabin which had it's own balcony and we were impressed with the standard of it and also the quality and space available. We then had a bit of a tour of the ship and was impressed by it's size and it's cleanliness - a great first impression. As the days went on we discovered more and more and all in all it is very impressive. We had booked to see all the shows on the first day (do this when you first get on it will save you hassle later) and the shows we saw were very very good indeed especially the ice show. The dining experience in the main dining room was excellent with top class food and top class service ( that was our experience of it) The only thing that grated slightly was the 2 formal evenings where ok you dress up smart but then afterwards you have nowhere to go if you catch my drift. If we have another cruise i think we may pass on the formal evening and go up to the Windjammer dining area in our "mufti" far more comfortable!. The Casino was good fun and the sunbathing and all the other Holiday aspects were excellent. The Ports of Call were ok - Labedee!! all that happened was the entire Ship was taken onto a lovely Caribbean Island and the idyllic beach became a camp site of bright blue "cabanas! that were erected right in front of you spoiling the views - what's that all about??? Falmouth Jamaica - never again! it was hell on earth with the locals assuming that you had money coming out of your every pore and tried to relieve you of it at every opportunity. It gave a bad impression of what probably is a nice place. Grand Cayman - beautiful and the people were in a different league to the Jamaicans - we would certainly have no fears going back there. Cozumel - we both enjoyed it and had a tour of the Island in a local Taxi and went to some Mayan ruins which looked remarkably like some i have seen on Cyprus?? I did get bitten with mossies there and the bites flared up again when i got back to the UK after a couple of weeks - dunno about that but you have been warned!!. Then back to Port Canaveral and disembarkation was not just as smooth as getting on the ship and the outside area where we awaited our Taxi was a little disorganised and cattle markettish. All in all can't fault the value for money or the experience the only downside- in our opinion-is that you only get a slight taster of the places you dock at due to the time restraints and you don't see a lot when you are physically sailing from A to B compared to land trips we have done -obviously!!! We may go again in the future but after a good tour of the USA or down to OZ and Zoo Nealand. Regards, Terry And Jean Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
Background: We traveled the day after Christmas as a family: parents, myself and two brothers (26, 22, 20), my sister (28) and her husband. We had two balcony cabins and one inside cabin. We have all cruised before on a variety of lines ... Read More
Background: We traveled the day after Christmas as a family: parents, myself and two brothers (26, 22, 20), my sister (28) and her husband. We had two balcony cabins and one inside cabin. We have all cruised before on a variety of lines (Carnival, NCL), but this was all of our first time on RCL. Embarkation: Very quick and easy. We never encountered the lines that other people have complained of, which make me think it's hit or miss. We basically walked onto the ship and I would say the whole check in process took about 20 minutes. DEcor: The ship is gorgeous and by far the nicest ship that any of us had been on. No gaudy dEcor (or at least it was quite minimal). The pool decks were nice, and we spent the majority of our poolside time in the adult's only area. There were no problems with kids being there and the hot tubs were fantastic! Quite large and the overhanging feature was pretty cool and made for a nice view. Plenty of seats, which seemed to eliminate the feeling of being over-crowded on sea days. Only problem with the pool decks was that there were no water stations except for in the Windjammer, which closed from about 4 to 6pm. So if you were sitting at the pool during those times and felt like a drink you either needed to buy something at the bar or go to the 5th floor, which was a little annoying. Staterooms: Much more spacious than what I've had on other cruises (and we had three people inside our cabin!). The room had a sofa, coffee table, desk/dresser, two twin beds and a bunk bed (which was put away during the daytime). Bathroom was the usual, but no lotion/conditioner etc was provided. So remember to bring your own! One complaint was that this is the only ship any of us had ever been on that did not have a laundry room for guests to use. This posed a problem for some dresses and shirts had become wrinkled while being packed. On every other ship we would just make a quick stop at the laundry room and iron; however we had to pay for these services here. To get three dress shirts pressed cost $10, which was irritating. To their credit, the service was very quick and done well. As you can't bring your own iron onboard, I guess this is just a cost you might get stuck with. Beds were comfortable, the rooms had individual temperature controls and our room steward was very good. Other common areas: The theaters were large enough so that we never had any problems finding seats, however there are some obstructed views in the top level. The Promenade was fantastic! It was hard to believe we were on a cruise ship while there. Good duty free shops in the promenade (the cosmetics and alcohol were particularly good deals). The sports deck was great! I tried the rock climbing and had a good time, all of my siblings tried the flowrider (prepare for some bruises and ladies, hold onto your bathing suits!), and we also tried the mini putt and went ice skating. The gym was large and well equipped and most of us made it there most days. The first day at sea the gym was packed and I had to wait for a treadmill, however it seemed as though many people just wanted to "try it out" and were off within minutes so the wait was quick. All cardio equipment at the gym had their own TVs, however towels ran out quickly. The internet cafe had lots of computers that were temperamental at best and it would definitely have been nice to have an RCL employee there to help out and answer any questions. Food: The food in the dining room ranged from good to excellent, with plenty of options. I'll agree that the desserts may not have been the best I've ever had on a cruise, but many of the main courses were so it evens out. Plenty of choices were available, including lobster on one night, surf and turf, steaks and vegetarian dishes. Our waiter and assistant waiter were excellent but we had a few problems with the head waiter. There was a little confusion as there had clearly been a mistake and too many people were seated at our table starting mid-way through the cruise. We're a family of seven and had requested a table for 8 and that we preferred to be alone (family time, didn't really want an extra individual). On the Wednesday, for whatever reason, a couple was seated at our table. Although they were very nice, the table designed for 8 people now had nine and it was a little uncomfortable due to the lack of space and due to the fact that my family dominated the table. We spoke to the head waiter about the issue after dinner and although he said that he'd seat the couple elsewhere, the next evening he hadn't done that. Eventually it was all sorted out, but his lack of service was disappointing. We ate in the dining room each morning for breakfast and didn't miss the hustle of the buffet. The Windjammer was okay, nothing special. We missed having a deli (a real one - they have an area called "deli" but it's just a bunch of unlabeled cold cuts on a plate), but aside from that the food was acceptable. We never went hungry and could always find things to eat (I'm a rather picky eater and was fine). Sorrento's pizza was okay, nothing amazing and we rarely ate at the coffee shop/sandwich shop due to lack of selection. We never ate at any of the specialty restaurants - Ben and Jerry's (although it smelled great!), Chops, Johnny Rockets etc. We also never ordered room service. Entertainment: This is really where the ship sets itself apart from others that we had been on. The nightly shows ranged from average to great - the opening night show was the usual song and dance, we missed the Once Upon a Time show because it started so late (10:45!) and the Broadway Medley had amazing costumes and was quite fun to watch. There were a few comedians that were okay, and some aerialists which were fun because it's not something we'd seen on a cruise ship before. We went to the circus parade which was pretty strange (just the cruise workers in costumes walking back and forth down the promenade). The ice show was amazing! We had pretty low expectations for the ice show (none of us are particularly big figure skating fans) but we were all just blown away! I would recommend. We all enjoyed the piano player Kory Simon - again, we had pretty low expectations for a cruise ship pianist but he was fantastic! Very talented (if you know anything about playing the piano I would recommend getting a seat close to where you can watch his hands. I sat right next to him and was just blown away) and very charismatic (I'm pretty sure every woman in the room had a little crush on the man!). He's interactive and a lot of fun to watch. He was standing room only every night though, so get there at least a little bit early. We also all went to trivia a few times and had a blast - obviously this would be cruise specific but we had a really good crowd that we would see at trivia each time. It was a lot of fun, even if we weren't the ultimate winners. Dress code: On past cruises there has been a mix of casual, semi-formal and formal nights. This ship had two formal nights and the rest were all casual. Lots of jeans and polos in the dining room, which was unexpected. Formal nights saw a range of dress, from tuxedos to suits and ties to khakis, cocktail dresses and ball gowns. Overall, it was a pretty casual ship. Disembarkation: We went for breakfast in the dining room that morning to enjoy one last cruise meal and then walked off the ship. Our luggage was waiting and our cruise was (sadly) over! Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
My girlfriend and I had limited time over the Thanksgiving holiday, so we opted to take a cruise. The travel agent I spoke with strongly recommended the Freedom of the Seas, and since it leaving from Port Canaveral, which was a very ... Read More
My girlfriend and I had limited time over the Thanksgiving holiday, so we opted to take a cruise. The travel agent I spoke with strongly recommended the Freedom of the Seas, and since it leaving from Port Canaveral, which was a very short drive for us, we decided to do it. We spent $4,000 on a Junior Suite. And this is why I will focus this review for Suite purchasers. I understand that there are many value-conscious consumers out there who either can't, or aren't interested in, spending a lot of money on a vacation. Royal Caribbean is perfect for people like this. However, if you do have disposable income and you don't mind spending on your vacations, PLEASE read below, I will save you from making one of the worst decisions of your life. Freedom of the Seas had a few bright spots: The ice show is very well done, the fitness center is unbelievable and the cruise director was tolerable, which is saying a lot for the lower tier cruise lines. But that is about all this cruise ship had to offer. If a couple is spending thousands of dollars in a suite, this is absolutely NOT the cruise to take. For starters, this is some of the worst food I have ever eaten, or tried to eat. I never would expect much from a cruise ship buffet, but even the "specialty" restaurants, Chops and Portofino, are mediocre at best. Our "suite" was nothing more than a slightly larger version of a standard room. It felt like we were staying at a Holiday Inn. And if you are a non-smoker, forget about using the balcony. We were surrounded by chain smokers who did nothing but sit on their balcony and puff away.... from early in the morning until late at night. But what was most aggravating was the way Royal Caribbean shamelessly and forcibly attempted to sell virtually every kind of service imaginable while on board. The extra space on Freedom of the Seas was crammed full of potential revenue opportunities for the ship. The Royal Promenade was "entertainment" thinly veiled as multiple sales opportunities. If you can believe it, they even had a $100 shaving experience! On a cruise ship! That rocks back and forth... Fortunately, they only used Bic razors! So who on earth would want to pay to use the same razor I have sitting in my shower? But the most shameless sales pitch of all came from the Windjammer every morning... The guy literally yelling at people to buy fresh squeezed orange juice! At that point, I looked over at my equally disgusted girlfriend and we both knew that this was not the place for us. In June, took a cruise on the Regent Mariner. Wow! For a couple of thousand dollars more, we had a once-in-a-lifetime experience of unparalleled luxury. After we finished our cruise on the Freedom of the Seas, it made us even more appreciative of the attention to detail, quality of food and overall 1,000 times better experience we had on Regent. Read Less
Sail Date November 2009
This was our 15th cruise, 5th on RCCL. Because of prices, we had recently done several Carnival cruises, but really wanted to do a RCCL this time. Freedom is now the 2nd largest ship. I really like the larger ships for their amenities, but ... Read More
This was our 15th cruise, 5th on RCCL. Because of prices, we had recently done several Carnival cruises, but really wanted to do a RCCL this time. Freedom is now the 2nd largest ship. I really like the larger ships for their amenities, but I think it is too large when dealing with holiday cruisers. Embarkation was okay; It went relatively fast on line. As a note, RCCL people at the port were very nice and smiled! We avoided the photographers, got into our room quite fast and our luggage was already there. Before doing anything, went to see if we could change our dinner seating. For future reference, we were there @ 1pm. (See below). Went up to the buffet and immediately saw changes in the selections. Carnival has so much more to choose from and RCCL did not have much. It didn't change in 7 days. Room was nice; nice to have a sofa to sit on, but had to climb over beds when put together. We are 61 and not skinny, so it became a chore. TV had little on it when in the cabin and they showed the same movies over and over. I look forward to seeing newer movies on cruises, but not on this one. We had booked late so we got late dining. With so many families on board (Thanksgiving), everyone wanted 6pm. We tried to change and were put on a waiting list. We then went to see about Anytime Dining, but it is anything but! The daily newspaper suggested checking each day for reservations, but they were made before boarding and subsequently couldn't get it. They kept telling us we should have checked earlier even though it was early. RCCL's attempting to have the same amenities as other lines, but failing dismally. Luckily, two days later we were put in a 2 person table. A word about the food. We always looked forward to the food, especially in the dining room, on RCCL. One evening, they served my husband and I filet: 2 slices of beef, 2 asparagus and about a 1/4 cup mashed potatoes. My husband had asked the wait staff her opinion and she suggested the beef. A word to staff: base your opinion on whom you are recommending food portions to. The best part of the cruise were the service personnel. All friendly and helpful. Entertainment was mostly good. Carnival has them beat on production shows & their commedy shows, but the singers at these shows were phenomenal. The jazz show at the Olive & Twist (the last evening) was great showing off the singers' range. The ice shows were good and they were accomodating when we had to change days because of the change of dining time. I must admit, having cruised a lot, we have a lot to compare experiences to. What I liked was the accessibility of the library and that it was truly a quiet place to read. We loved the Promenade and the Coffee shop with it's endless Seattle coffee and snacks. Sorrento's was okay but the pizza is "nothing to write home about!" They did have great little desserts though. The seventh day, they had what could be described as a street party with food samples and some "how to's." What you felt very conscious of was the large numbers of people onboard. I know people are raving about the Oasis, but if the Freedom had too many onboard, I can only imagine how it will be on Oasis. When is big too big. You had to get to most shows a half hour early to get a seat. The Casino was great-bigger than usual and the slots were a bit looser! Cage personnel were very nice as were many of the kiosk personnel. Husband was very disappointed as Saturday am, they ran out of Lox (smoked salmon). This is what he looks forward to on cruises (lox and bagels). Very surprised at this. Sorry to be long winded. Would we do RCCL again? Not unless we could get a better price (we booked after it went down $200, but later found someone got it for almost $200 less through a travel agent. I think next time Carnival. Unfortunately, we are seeing cuts to save $ industry wide. Read Less
Sail Date November 2009
This was our 4th New Year's cruise with RCCL. It was our first time on Freedom, which has surpassed the Voyager as our new favorite ship. Our party consisted of myself,husband, daughter(15), son(17), son(5), and friend(17) We ... Read More
This was our 4th New Year's cruise with RCCL. It was our first time on Freedom, which has surpassed the Voyager as our new favorite ship. Our party consisted of myself,husband, daughter(15), son(17), son(5), and friend(17) We flew from Massachusetts to Fort Lauderdale on Dec. 27th. We used GO Airport Shuttle. This company offers both shared and private service, no reservations needed. They have a desk right outside of baggage claim. We opted for the private van, no wait and held all the luggage! Approx cost was $135+tip. We were at the Holiday Inn Port of Miami within 30 min. Our rooms were not ready,so we checked our luggage and headed out for a walk. We went to Gloria Estefan's Bongo's for lunch. Do not go! It was overpriced and terrible, both food and service. We then walked to Bayside Market- easy place to spend an entire day and a variety of restaurants. The hotel was OK. The rooms were clean and comfortable. We had a view of the port and could see the Freedom when we woke up. Plenty of cabs available for the very short ride to the pier. Day 1,Dec 28th- arrived at the pier around 11. Check in for Platinum/Diamond had no wait. We had our seapass cards and directed to the next waiting area in under 15 min. We were then told boarding was to be delayed until 2pm!. We were also told they did not have a C&A lounge for Platinum/Diamond, as there were "too many people". This was disappointing, but the next announcement changed and boarding started around 12:15. We explored a little, found our diningroom table, then grabbed lunch in the Windjammer. The food was fine. Standard cruise buffet: Assorted salads, fruits, sandwiches, soups, hamburgers, hotdogs, a few hot dishes(always at least 1 vegetarian) and a dessert table. Staterooms: We had adjoining rooms deck 2 outside. This was our first time this low in the ship and it was fine. Porthole provides a good view, and the room was very quiet at night. The bedding was great!Not the Ritz, but better than any ship we've been on. Staff/Services: We had first seating in the Leonardo's dining room. Mustapha and Katey were outstanding. My husband couldn't decide between pasta and another dish on the first night. Mustapha served his dinner and each night brought a dish of the pasta for the table to sample. The cruise director Richard is in a class of his own. RCL should find a way to clone him! We have seen all of the usual shows, Quest, Love & Marriage. They are always entertaining, but Richard made them hysterical! Only minor criticism would be the cost of pictures. Maybe they could keep the price for individual pictures the same, but they should offer some type of package deal to those of us who like to buy a lot of pictures. Day 2-Our first day (almost 2) was at sea. I will say that the deck patrol were definitely visible and tracking the "chair hogs". This was a very welcome change from prior cruises. I watched numerous "hogs" return to find their towels or other items removed and someone else occupying "their" chair. We stayed primarily at the H2O zone and the flow rider. Both are amazing and entertaining. Day 3: Arrive in San Juan around 5pm. We walked around Old SanJuan, then took a short horse and carriage ride. Should we ever have this arrival time again, I would stay on the ship. There were 6 ships in port, way too crowded! San Juan has a few very interesting sites, but not in the dark! The ship does not offer any excursions either. Day 4: St.Thomas- We took a cab, which is actually an open sided safari type truck, to Magen Beach. Charge for cab was $8.00 per person. The beach was crowded, but beautiful. We stayed about 3 1/2 hours then made a quick walk through some of the stores at the pier. New years eve was great. The promenade was wall to wall people for the record setting 10,000 balloon drop at midnight. There was also a foam party on the pool deck. Day 5: St. Maarten- Again we picked up a cab at the end of the pier to Orient beach. Cost was $7.00 per person. For families afraid of the nudity warning, I wouldn't worry. While there is some, it is not overwhelming. Our 5 year old didn't notice and the teens were not mortified. Although it was a holiday, the stores at the pier were all open.Days 6&7 were sea days. We did everything from Bingo, Casino, and shows. Never got into the fitness center, but it looked nice. Intended to check out some of the boxing activities, but ran out of time. You really can't do everything! Food/Drink: We did not do the soda or water package. Our kids like the virgin pina coladas. We did the gold level wine package and liked each wine we tried. Did not try Chops or Portofino's' as we like eating dinner with the kids. Johnny Rockets, Sorrento's,and Promenade cafe were good and staff attentive. No complaints over any meal in the dining room or Windjammer. Used room service for breakfast wake-up call. They always call first, then deliver your order. Coffee is always nice and hot. Adventure Ocean: Our 5 year old loved it. He requested to attend all or nearly all of every session. He loved the science experiments and the art activities. The teens spent every night at Fuel/Living room usually back by 1:30- 2am. There is a 1am curfew, but frequently their "parties" would run later.Disembarkation: We had booked an excursion with RCL to the everglades with a drop off at Fort Lauderdale airport as our return flight was not until 6:50 pm. We were assigned a meeting time in Pharaoh's Lounge at 6:30am and we were off the ship by 7:30am and through customs and on the bus by 8:15. Unfortunately we were done with the entire excursion and at the airport before 2pm. Would not hesitate to recommend this ship to anyone. While we've never had a bad cruise, this one was fantastic!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2008
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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