2,465 Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas Cruise Reviews

We joined our close friends (group of 13) on this Birthday celebration cruise. 3 in our party were celebrating birthdays. We flew in to San Juan a few days early and stayed at the Sheraton in Old San Juan. It was an amazing hotel. A little ... Read More
We joined our close friends (group of 13) on this Birthday celebration cruise. 3 in our party were celebrating birthdays. We flew in to San Juan a few days early and stayed at the Sheraton in Old San Juan. It was an amazing hotel. A little pricey, but the location was well worth it. The bar in the hotel has great food and drinks. You will likely have to wait to check in as rooms are not available until after 4pm, but they will take your bags so you can spend some time in the bar. they have great wraps in the bar. On Sunday, The staff at the hotel got us a taxi right away to go to the Pan American Pier to get on the Freedom of the Seas. we shared a van taxi with others going to the same pier, so it was pretty inexpensive. We arrived at the port at 1130 and there was absolutely NO LINE! You have to drop your bags off with porters on one side and walk over to the check in area. Not a big deal because there was hardly anyone there. We were checked in and on the ship within 15 minutes! crazy fast! Once on board, they were trying to direct everyone to the Windjammer buffet for lunch, we instead when to Deck 5 (Promenade) and got pizza at Sorrento's and our first drinks at the Bull and Bear Bar. Huge shoutout to Simona in the bar.. she really gave us excellent service. During the first day, dining room staff are making rounds convincing people to sign up for specialty restaurant dining. We signed up for Chops and Giovannis. I liked Giovannis better as we are not big Steak eaters. Both were good, but it was $134 to do both, plus gratuity. Beware if you order the whole lobster... it comes in the shell but the lobster meat was removed, chopped up and mixed with some kind of sauce. not what I was expecting for another $21 on top of everything. We got the beverage package and it was worth every penny. The bar staff and dining room staff are very attentive and bring you drinks constantly. We tipped cash often ($5, $10 here and there) and it payed off in excellent service. The ship has the self serve soda machines and you get a cup as part of your package that has some kind of sensor in it. when you put it up to the machine, it allows you to choose from soooo many drinks, plus water, sparking water, etc. I can only drink clear diet soda so it worked great. Another tip, ask for water with your drinks, you will never run short of bottled water. There are always team members offering water when you exit the ship for excursions as well. Our dining room staff was amazing, especially Inengha ( I am sure I messed up the spelling), but he was so very attentive and did an outstanding job! The food in the dining room was good, I would say definitely better than Carnival or Princess. The food was hot and there were so many choices. The food in the Windjammer was good as well, not the typical buffet fair. They actually had fried eggs available without having to order them special. I typically do not like buffets but there was always something to eat. We ate breakfast in the main dining room two times and it was fabulous each time. They even had a bartender in the dining room and at the Windjammer making drinks (excellent mimosas!) Between the buffet, the dining room, and the pizza, if you go hungry, it is your own fault. Our room steward Froi was OUTSTANDING!!! He fulfilled our every request... I have found if you tip throughout the week, you get really good service. He is very skilled at towel animals too. I liked the room being serviced 2x a day. on Carnival, you have to pick either morning or evening service. We did the Bottomless Mimosas Galley tour and brunch on our sea day. it was awesome... the food was great... the tour was a lot of walking and standing, and you will get hot in the 3 kitchens you tour. but we were rewarded with a great brunch, and more mimosas than I could count! You have to make time to go to Vintages wine bar. Royal has done a great job of staffing the wine bar with true sommeliers... these three gentleman really know their stuff. We did two wine tastings and they were very informative and the wine was excellent! We did excursions in St Maarteen, Barbados, and St. Kitts. every port we were docked so it was great to get on and off. The Barbados pier is very large and the walk is far but they have transportation to get people to and from. We didn't go to most shows, but I heard they were excellent. we did do the "Crazy Quest"... an adult scavenger hunt... it was pretty raunchy and hilarious. definitely adults only. There were a lot of activities on the Promenade, but beware if you have a room that has a widow out to the promenade...you will hear the loud music and parties. 3 in our party had these rooms, the rooms were very nice, and large, but you will hear the noise from the promenade... and don't forget to close your curtains. I have read many reviews that complain about the locals from Puerto Rico on this cruise, but I have to say, I found everyone to be extremely friendly and pleasant. Every announcement was in English and again in Spanish. There were not many children on this cruise that I saw. Overall it was a fantastic time! At the end we chose to do self debarkation with all of our luggage due to an early flight. it was so very easy and fast. We were off the ship by 0730 and on our way to the airport. a taxi ride from the pier to the airport is about $30 plus a tip. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We choose Freedom because of the sail ports and dates. A group of 18 people got together to take the cruise and celebrate New Years Eve! The New Years eve parties were awesome. Food was very good and you never went hungry. We were in ... Read More
We choose Freedom because of the sail ports and dates. A group of 18 people got together to take the cruise and celebrate New Years Eve! The New Years eve parties were awesome. Food was very good and you never went hungry. We were in a balcony cabin which was very nice and had plenty of room to move around and store our clothes. The entertainment was awesome - the cruise staff went above and beyond to make all the entertainment fun and exciting. The pool area was awesome and had 4 bars very near so you never went thirsty! The waiters were constantly circling the pool area and offering bar service - even brought the drinks right to the pool edge if you didn't want to get out! I highly recommend the beverage package - it is truly unlimited so it is worth the extra money. We didn't book excursions because I didn't want to be scheduled to do anything - this was a true vacation. The phone was turned off when I got on the ship and not turned back on until the end of the cruise. There is plenty to do on the ship on port days plus if you enjoy the pool it is empty on port days! I would highly recommend Royal Caribbean Freedom of the seas. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We chose the cruise for a family vacation. The cruise staff was good, attentive. The headliners were good; great stand up comedy. But, the ship is extremely dated, dirty and in visible need of repairs. We were told that the ship will be ... Read More
We chose the cruise for a family vacation. The cruise staff was good, attentive. The headliners were good; great stand up comedy. But, the ship is extremely dated, dirty and in visible need of repairs. We were told that the ship will be remodeled. So RC is probably very aware of the deplorable condition of the ship and just doesn’t care. Lately and in my experience with RC is that it’s all about the company’s winnings and not about the traveler’s experience. The whole experience felt like a tourist trap. The food was mediocre and cold. It seemed that the only way to get warm food was by paying extra at the specialty restaurants. So much for an all inclusive. The shore excursions, we found them lacking and over priced. At one island we did the $169 per person tour, sponsored by RC, for $95 per couple. I truly would not travel with RC again. It is extremely saddening to plan a family vacation for a whole year and be left wondering why you spent so much money; wasted money. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We chose this cruise to celebrate my birthday. The food in the Main restaurant was delicious. Our waiters (table 557) , Eduardo and Jostan were fantastic. Christopher the maître d’, was always willing to please us. Junior, The Diamond ... Read More
We chose this cruise to celebrate my birthday. The food in the Main restaurant was delicious. Our waiters (table 557) , Eduardo and Jostan were fantastic. Christopher the maître d’, was always willing to please us. Junior, The Diamond Plus Lounge host was very Kind and funny. Víctor our room steward prepared the cabin quickly and efficiently. Our cabin 1828 was very comfortable and the closets were super spacious. The shows were awesome! The embarkation was fast and easy. We don’t know what happened at the Chop Grill but the food and service was not the best as we are used to. My husband was the one who visited the differents ports on foot, he went to museums. In general, the ship is in good condition. The disembarkation was a mess. We don’t understand why there is so much traffic Problems to leave the Port. We had to wait an hour and a half in a traffic jam. Was horrible! We recommend this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This was my first time going a cruise with my family. We went for my Mums 70th and I must say we were not disappointed. The check in was smooth, food was great with lots to choose from, from main dining to the buffet Wind Jamma which had a ... Read More
This was my first time going a cruise with my family. We went for my Mums 70th and I must say we were not disappointed. The check in was smooth, food was great with lots to choose from, from main dining to the buffet Wind Jamma which had a very wide selection of foods for every taste and many more restaurants to choose from.. Service from staff was secound to none. They were very friendly made time to talk to you and would go that extra mile to meet your needs. It was lovely that I was able to talk to the captain and crew, I mentioned how I looked forward to him coming on the tannoy speaker as he was funny and found to be the same in person. It was also lovely when I had stated it was my first time on a cruise and the reason why, and be for I knew there was a bottle of champagne and chocolate covered strawberries sent to my Mums cabin without her knowledge from one of the co-captins. Big thankyou to him, for making her day. The ship it self is amazing so much to do and see for all ages. The cabin me and my sister shared was just right and was cosy and clean. Room attended couldn't do enough for us, big thankyou to Elmer and Sunny who was my Mum and Dad room attended he was very intentive and was a great help to my Dad who was in a wheelchair. I could go on for ever, but want to leave it up to you weather you choose this cruise line. Because of my experience I'm most certainly going to do another cruise in year 2020 and will most definitely be picking this cruise line and hope to get the same ship agan as I would love to see her after she's been amplified. Thankyou agan Royal- Caribbean (Freedom of the seas) for our lovely V K. Hope to see you in 2020 Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
This is my tenth cruise and my wife’s ninth. We celebrated our 20th anniversary on this cruise. We wanted to go somewhere warm that my wife hasn’t been to. We flew into Puerto Rico 2 days early to explore the island. Had a fantastic ... Read More
This is my tenth cruise and my wife’s ninth. We celebrated our 20th anniversary on this cruise. We wanted to go somewhere warm that my wife hasn’t been to. We flew into Puerto Rico 2 days early to explore the island. Had a fantastic time. Uber makes getting around a breeze now. Check in was a breeze. We were in the ship in about 20 minutes. We chose my time dining and really enjoyed our table they kept sitting us at. The waiter was great! The floor 5 cafe had great white chocolate mochas. I think I got my money’s worth on the drink package just from that. Anna and Claudio from The activities staff really made the trivia fun and the comedians were funny. Only complaints would be the hard mattress and the constant up selling of specialty restaurants, which was really bad the first day. Had 10 different workers ask us while sitting down at lunch. Overall it was a great cruise. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
I have not had a cruise in four years and was so ready to have a great time. I had a good time but not too much on the ship. I had a lot of firsts on this cruise. We were in room 7566......DO NOT STAY IN THIS ROOM IF YOU ARE ALLERGIC ... Read More
I have not had a cruise in four years and was so ready to have a great time. I had a good time but not too much on the ship. I had a lot of firsts on this cruise. We were in room 7566......DO NOT STAY IN THIS ROOM IF YOU ARE ALLERGIC TO MOLD!!! As soon as we walked in the room my nose started to burn. After investigating, when you walk out the cabin door you can look to the right and see water stains on the carpet going down the hall. There is about 50 feet of it. So my stay in the room was not good, but the rest of the ship was fine and the nose did not burn. As I found out, all rooms were booked so we would not have been able to go to another room. The guy that cleaned our room was fantastic and accommodated us well!! He was mostly looking tired, but always very nice. The ship itself is beautiful inside but you can see the wear and tear. It's going into refurb next year,so yay!!! I read the reviews on firm beds and I was not phased as I like a firm bed. These were not firm, they were HARD AS ROCK BEDS. I could not tell you the amount of complaints. I made a make shift bed on the floor that was way more comfortable than the bed. So that was the second of my FIRSTS...LOL! The third of my firsts was very rude neighbors on one side. They would come in at 12:30M and literally stomp around for an hour and then go to bed. The one night they bounce a couple times off the walls!!! The food used to be outstanding on RCCL, but now, (I hate to say this), but I have to rate it with Carnival. The hubby and I did get food poisoning, so our only day at sea was spent in the moldy cabin running to the bathroom and sleeping all day. We did two shows. One was an amazing singer and the other a great comedian. We did a couple trivia games on deck 5 in the piano bar area....(seemed to be a big hangout). We listened to some Karaoke a couple nights. Loved the place on Deck five to get cookies and coffee and water. They were always so friendly there. The Anytime dining turned into a same time dining and they stuck us in this corner with a horrible waiter. ......so slow!!! The people we sat around were great though. Played a little putt putt and table tennis one day while in port. The putt putt area needs redone.....horrible, but we had a fun competition going. The captain pulled into two ports late. The first time we didn't care, but the second time we lost a spot on an excursion that we had booked. Oh, wow, that was a 4th first....lol. It was not a ship excursion so that's on us. The Viator company did refund us for the place that we could not go, so that was nice. So all in all, great Itineraries but the ship was old and the food was not great and HORRIBLE BEDS!!! No more RCCL for me!!!! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Been on about 10 cruises. Picked this one for a reasonably priced short getaway. Used Southwest for air out of Baltimore to San Juan. Flights filled fast and prices went up accordingly. Two couples traveling together. Flight was ... Read More
Been on about 10 cruises. Picked this one for a reasonably priced short getaway. Used Southwest for air out of Baltimore to San Juan. Flights filled fast and prices went up accordingly. Two couples traveling together. Flight was without incident. No need to take transfers from airport to ship (Pan American Terminal). Many cabs available for 15-20 min. ride. Exit air terminal and queue up at cab stand where you get a piece of paper for the price and are ushered to a waiting cab. Party of 4 was $28 plus tip for cabby. Did not wait for "appointed time" for embarkation which went smoothly. Inside terminal on the left is a wine and liquor store. Two 750 ml bottles of wine allowed to be carried on per person. Frankly, the liquor store bag was not checked by anyone. Note: San Juan is U.S. Territory. Passports are not required. Cell phone service is standard service so no international plan needed. FOS used to be the largest ship in RC fleet. It's been in service a long time with a lot of passengers and crew, ergo a need for amplification. RC treats amplification as an addition of activities and onboard experiences and a refurbishment of facilities, such as cabins. We were an interior cabin, Deck 8, that overlooked the "Royal Promenade". There was a door to our friends' adjoining cabin. The price was right. I was afraid the sound from the RP would be terrible but the cabin kept it out well and any music or other loud entertainment stopped no later than midnight. Our cabin steward was a nice older gentleman from St. Vincent who was okay. The cabin could have been cleaner and it seriously needed refurbishment. The wake up call function of the phone system only played French. A WU call could only be placed with Guest Services and on disembarkation day the wake up call came in late with an apology. The ship's engineers really obsessed over the toilets with constant reminders not to flush anything down them other than tp and waste. Note: As with most cruise ships electrical outlets are few so bring a multi outlet to plug in and if you are coming from Europe bring a converter. My Time Dining is still a joke. You have to make a reservation and you may be "steered" to the same table at the same time over and over. We only ate at our Dining Room, Leonardo, for dinner, save for one night at the Windjammer buffet. Breakfast was always at the Windjammer. Food was good, albeit under seasoned. Service was good. There were two formal nights. We don't do "formal", only "smart casual". BUT people came to Leonardo in all kinds of dress: jeans, tee shirts, shorts, midriffs, short shorts. It seemed the only thing enforced was the wearing of shoes, no cut offs and no torn clothing. Around the pool, you could not get anything to eat. You had to go to Windjammer before 4:30 to get food and then bring it back to the pool area. But there were plenty of bars. Note: Don't sign up for a drink package until you get on board. The price never goes up and they never run out of them. In our case our friends' went DOWN and they were denied a credit on their bill. In essence they were punished for booking in advance. Eating in the Royal Promenade was a non-starter. Sorrento's was often overcrowded (particularly with youngsters) as was the Espresso Cafe. We avoided that area. The pool needed work and was on the small side. It was the first cruise we were on that had lifeguards on duty. The entertainment was good. Liked the ice skating extravaganza (Freedom), the comedy shows (which always seem good), the Marquee Dancers and Once Upon a Time. Activities seemed average but we weren't on the ship much. Service could only be described as "nonchalant". The crew seemed as tired as the ship was. It wasn't bad, it just wasn't enthusiastic. We couldn't single out anyone who provided "above and beyond" service. Loved Olive or Twist Bar, deck 14, for fab view, uncrowded and late night dancing. Ports and Excursions: SAN JUAN. Embarkation port. Landed. Checked in. Got on board. Situated. Went to pool. ST MARTIN (Maarten) Phillipsburg (Dutch side). No excursion. Walked "Boardwalk". Rented chairs and umbrellas on beach. Two chairs with umbrella for $20. Walked all the way to end of boardwalk and lunched at Oranje Cafe with good food, cheap beer and good service. Explored town. Nice beach, clear water, lots of sun. ST KITTS. Private excursion with Myislands Tours by Javin. Terrific experience with this young man. Well organized. Business savvy and great customer service. 12 on our trip (some half day) in Air Conditioned bus. Can take 25 in open air bus. Great tour of the island. Stops at Cotton Mill (to be historical site), Rain Forest (hike, somewhat strenuous), Lava Rocks (wonderful "al fresco" lunch) and snorkel/beach time. Some of the party snorkeled and those who did not were taken to beautiful Cockleshell Beach. Cannot say enough positive things about this tour and its guide, including continuous entertainment by pet monkeys Peaches and Moses. ANTIGUA. Ship excursion Catamaran Cruise with Lobster Lunch. Probably our fav island. Great cruise and lunch. Open bar. No organized snorkeling. Water not too clear at two beaches visited. But we had a fun, wonderful time. Well worth the cost. CASTRIES, ST LUCIA. Ship excursion Segway Safari and Beach Fun. Segway segment was great. Brief instruction. Rode abandoned military trail with partial shade. Segway stop at beach bar. Great views. 25 participants in two groups. One group toured on a bus while other Segwayed. Not much fun on the bus. A lot of lecturing about flora and fauna. Beach fun at the end of excursion was encouragement to eat/drink at nice bar on beach. Should have allowed more time to sit and swim. Beach very crowded. BARBADOS (Bridgetown). Ship Excursion Mount Gay Distillery. Driver was very informative about Bridgetown. Saw a lot of it. Mount Gay was just a visitor center. Distillery itself is well north of Bridgetown. However, if you like rum and how it's made you will like this excursion. SAN JUAN. Ship Excursion Bacardi Rum Distillery with Airport Drop Off. Better than Mount Gay tour. Great way to pass the time before mid afternoon flight. Informative tour and at the airport in plenty of time. We probably won't take this cruise again. Too many other things to see. Some of the above won't apply, probably, after the amplification next year. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
This was my second cruise with Royal Caribbean, and we've been on several other cruises with other companies. We had such a great experience on our previous cruise with Royal that we were disappointed by how much more we spent on ... Read More
This was my second cruise with Royal Caribbean, and we've been on several other cruises with other companies. We had such a great experience on our previous cruise with Royal that we were disappointed by how much more we spent on this cruise yet how crowded this ship was (which made us feel like sardines at times). One of the staff members told us that the next renovations for the ship was going to include increasing the number of cabins for people to sleep in so that it would be even more crowded! We were disappointed that there was no cabin steward despite our paying for a junior suite (we prev had paid for a balcony), and that other than a kiddie pool, there was almost nothing for toddlers. The bigger pools and basketball court were often taken over by various groups. The formal dining room food and dining room staff were excellent. The breakfast was the exact same in the formal restaurant as you can get at the cafeteria, and yet we never wanted to eat at the main cafeteria because it was so crowded that it was very hard to move through the crowds to actually get food much less a table to sit and actually enjoy breakfast. The ice cream dispenser by the swimming pool was convenient but the quality of the ice cream was pretty poor. The babysitting staff were nice and our toddler enjoyed her time with them. The casino was hit or miss depending on which staff was working at your table. There were few excursions that actually allowed for toddlers, so we did a lot of tours, which actually was not ideal for a toddler. Overall, if you have a toddler and are looking for a quality cruise, this is probably not the ship for you. If you have kids 6 years and older, there are more activities for that age and you will probably enjoy the ship more. By the sheer number of groups, we got the impression that this ship probably offers some great group discounts, so this may be a good cruise for groups, but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who has an aversion for crowded spaces. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. We had never been to the ABC islands and sailing out of San Juan was a plus! Embarkation and disembarkation were super easy. We have never walked off before, we were at the airport so ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. We had never been to the ABC islands and sailing out of San Juan was a plus! Embarkation and disembarkation were super easy. We have never walked off before, we were at the airport so early, we couldn't check our bags for our flight! Ship notes: The service on the Freedom was amazing, except for one snafu on our cabin (discussed below). We especially found the servers and our room steward to be gracious, warm and anticipating our every need. The Freedom was clean, although felt old in a couple of places. She's obviously due the freshening that she's getting early next year, but there wasn't anything that was worrisome or ugly. Dining: We absolutely loved Sabor's Guacamole class. It was so much more interesting than the version on the Liberty. We actually got to make our own Guacamole this time! We enjoyed the experience so much, we booked dinner at Sabor on a later evening. The Main Dining room was lovely and our servers were wonderful. Unfortunately, diners at nearby tables made the atmosphere less-than-enjoyable. (side note: I don't believe it is ever appropriate in the main dining room to live stream the evening football game and provide play-by-play to the next table or to enter with a loud "whoop-whoop" and synchronized handshakes with the waiters). We did find it frustrating on port days to find food at later than standard lunch-times. When Sorrento's is closed, it would be nice if they had a sign out front telling you when it was open. The Gorgonzola gnocchi at Giovanni's is absolutely to die for! Entertainment and Activities We did not attend any shows in the main theater. We had late dining and after dinner, were done. It would be nice if one of the shows could be earlier in the evening. The ice skating show was a lot of fun! Don't think to hard - just enjoy the lovely athleticism of the skaters! Anna on the Cruise Activities team is Amazing! Ports/Shore Excursions: Bonaire - we walked up to a taxi tour offered at the port area. it was $25/person for 90 minutes and drove around the south side of the island. I would do this again, but maybe take the northside tour. Aruba - we booked a hotel room at the Renaissance Aruba for access to Renaissance Island. This was one of the highlights of the cruise! The Island is absolutely lovely, service top notch, and it was nice to be able to stop at a hotel room and have a real shower before returning to the ship. Curacao - we wandered the city on our own. St. Martin - after the lovely cleanness and friendly locals of the ABC islands, I'm afraid wandering through the Phillipsburg was a bust. The streets were not clean, the locals were extremely pushy and we only stayed ashore about an hour. We would absolutely take this cruise again on this ship! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I picked this cruise for the date and the itinerary. The price was great. We spent the day before looking around San Juan and loved Old San Juan. This was a special trip with my 2 teenage daughters. Last year I took my younger daughter on ... Read More
I picked this cruise for the date and the itinerary. The price was great. We spent the day before looking around San Juan and loved Old San Juan. This was a special trip with my 2 teenage daughters. Last year I took my younger daughter on our first cruise. Getting my other girl to go with us was a joy. After hearing all about our cruise she was excited to join us this time. Freedom didn't disappoint. Our first site of that huge ship was awesome. Our arrival at the port could not have gone quicker. We were on board by 1 pm and started looking around all the decks. Lunch in Windjammer and drinks by the pool. Our room was a 6th deck balcony and was ready by 3 pm. It was great. Things might be worn but it was all good. We thought it was the room of our dreams. Our room attendant was Winsome from Jamaica? And she was a daily gift. I could not have asked for more. Dining in the main dining room was a fun, elegant time for us. We had great diner mates from Dallas and Columbus. The only meal we did not love was the lasagna. The staff all seemed to enjoy helping us have fun. We booked all our tours thru Royal because as a single mom of teenage girls I was a bit timid and needed the assurance that Royal would be there for me. Buying for 3 I picked general island tours that gave us a good look at the whole area for a good price. We enjoyed them all. Best was Barbados tour with the caves. We did so much during the day that we were too tired to take in any shows. Maybe next time. We did the tour of Old San Juan with airport dfop off at the end of our trip and it was a great way to end our trip. Thank you Royal for giving this mom a trip of a lifetime with her girls. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We decided to book back-to-back 7 day cruises (14 days starting 9-15-19) with our adult sons everyone with their own cabin. The first 7 day cruise, San Juan to Barbados and back to SJ, went as planned and expected and we have had fun on ... Read More
We decided to book back-to-back 7 day cruises (14 days starting 9-15-19) with our adult sons everyone with their own cabin. The first 7 day cruise, San Juan to Barbados and back to SJ, went as planned and expected and we have had fun on previous Royal cruises. We plan our own scuba diving shore excursions and they went well. Cabins small but workable. We don't stay in our cabins much anyway. Dining for the first cruise was just as good or better as we have experienced before and we were excited to share all of our fun with the boys. Shows and entertainment was good. Casino is a joke...nobody has a good time on cruise casinos...nothing like shore casinos...no life or fun at all and nobody wins except the ship! Anyway, not there to gamble. Dining is indulgent and the waitstaff is super! My adult boys really love the on-board wave board activity. The real problems started with the second 7 day cruise (starting 9-22-19) which ran consecutively with the first. This cruise went from SJ to Aruba, Curacao, Bonaire and St Maarten and back to SJ. This cruise had an entirely different flavor and chemistry. So many young children..it was like being in a floating daycare facility! Entirely different experience from the previous 7 days. Oh well, I have nothing against kids just not expecting so many on my Royal cruise vacation. Then my wife came down with her cold 2 days into the cruise and couldn't dive. Probably the worst was four days into the cruise I came down with E Coli sickness. Worst intestinal illness I have ever experienced!! Didn't dare go to far away from the cabin if you know what I mean. Now we are very, very careful to wash our hands but many are not and the alcohol handwash they dispense on-board WILL NOT kill E Coli or a bunch of other organisms. So there went the rest of my vacation...down the drain. If you've had an E Coli infection, you'll never want another. Took several more weeks to fully recover. We didn't eat ashore anywhere we went so it was likely to be from on-board that I caught it but from where I don't know and never will. We plan to cancel our upcoming Spain to Miami cruise on Royal. 14 days is far too long to be cooped up on a ship with thousands of other kids and adults and Royal has not returned my calls about our experiences and will not get my business again anytime soon. I was a fan of Royal Caribbean but not anymore. . Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I love this itiniery, not a snorkler but really love Bomaire, but about the cruise. Ship was full (to capacity I believe, never the less, service was excellent. Kathleen my room attendant, who I saw in the corridor, slipped in and out ... Read More
I love this itiniery, not a snorkler but really love Bomaire, but about the cruise. Ship was full (to capacity I believe, never the less, service was excellent. Kathleen my room attendant, who I saw in the corridor, slipped in and out while I was out caring for my cabin and seeing that my ice bucket was always full as I had requested. On the first night In the main dining room I discovered I was seated with a lovely family from Germany. I am a solo traveller. Two of this group of 5 spoke english, but not with limited comfort. the others, did not. I don't speak German. Not ideal for me or them. Second night I spoke with the Maitre D who promptly sat me at a table of women, 3 friends traveling together, another solo and a woman traveling with her elderly mother. What a great group and we all enjoyed each others company, Our servers, Michael and Carlo were GREAT. Food was good. though there were a couple of disappointing creme brulee and an slightly overdone chocolate molten lava cake, The Royal Cheese cake was a hit with all at my table and was orderd several times by many. We also decided this was a healthier choice :) . The entrees were quite good, I particularly liked the lamb chops, and a couple of fish dishes (Talapia, salmon) I had earlier in the cruise. At the Windjammer, food was abundant. I was particularly drawn to and enjoyed the stews, perhaps because I don'y make it at home often. Servers at Windjammer were circulating with cold beverages (water, tea, and a very good strawberry-kiwi punch) and coffee. Most at my dinner table seemed to head for the carving station for lunch at the Windjammer. I did also try the dining room on level 3, for one lunch and one dinner. Here you had the option of a smaller, but very nice buffet, or table service from menu. Nice, simpler and more relaxed for lunch I jusd had soup and salad. Breakfast was fine but I think I needed the activity of the Windjammer to wake ne up. Entertainment was great, Lead Female Singer, I believe a recent graduate on New York Academy of Performing Arts, was SPECTACULAR.. All entertainment was good. Unfortunately, scheduling of Ice Show either conflicted with early dining, or Variety show for second performance, and was sold our for first performance, so I missed it. The service deask and tour desk, was extremely helpful arranging change to departure transportation, I had misread description of arrangements (with tour of Old San Juan) I had prebooked and would have arrived at airport too late for my flight. By the way cabin (inside, deck 8, overloooking promenade was great. I was thinking about changing it, but had read a positive review of this type cabin on message board and so stayed where I was assigned. So glad I did. Only problem was embarcation, long lines, outside in heat not acceptable. One more thought, I really liked the solarium pool area. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I could write a novel about my complaints on this cruise, but I will say that all the ports we went to were beautiful and well worth it. That being said, I have never seen customer service this bad in my 20 years of cruising! The food at ... Read More
I could write a novel about my complaints on this cruise, but I will say that all the ports we went to were beautiful and well worth it. That being said, I have never seen customer service this bad in my 20 years of cruising! The food at the Windjammer was inedible, and the dinning room was barely average. After the 3rd night they no longer sat us at our table. We were told to go in to our table, and grab a menu on the way. Our waiter got increasingly slower, and on the last night, we were in the dinning room for an hour and 45 minutes and still waiting on our dessert before we gave up and left because we wanted to make the show. Our room attendant walked in on us without knocking the first day there. Also our sheets had a stain on them when we got there, and they were not changed the entire week. My husband got sick on the 3rd day and when I went to ask the medical staff a question, she very rudely told me that she could not give me any information, and he would have to see the nurse (obviously a nickel and dime tactic so they could charge us a medical fee). We did not see the nurse because he wasn’t that sick. This was the worst accounting I’ve ever seen on a ship. We were double charged for massages, charged for towels we didn't take (why would I want to seal the rags they were passing off as towels?) and when we tried to adjust the gratuity (because of the abysmal service we received) instead of adjusting it down to $140, they added $140 on top of the $203 we were originally paying. Over the course of the week we were charged over $500 in incorrect charges. There were 2 people in front of us in the Guest Relations line that got charged for 75 pool towels which totaled over $3,000. We went to the customer service desk 5 times, 3 of which had to do with gratuity, and were assured that everything was fine and they would adjust the price on the final bill. Of course that didn't happen. I was at the front desk at 6am trying to get it corrected because we had a flight at 8:45am, again I was told that everything was fine. At 7am when we were trying to exit the ship, they wouldn't let us disembark because of account issues! We were livid! We ended up running through the airport barely making the flight. Vacations (cruises especially) are supposed to be stress free, but this was more stressful than being at home. Why in the world is the default tip more than 21% of the TOTAL COST of the cruise when you get this level of crappy service, and you are even charged for room service now? What in the world am I tipping for when I wasn't even given the bare minimum of service? Everyone I dealt with made it clear they could care less about the customers' experience, and see them as a hassle. Based on this experience, and everyone we've talked to since, I will never cruise Royal again. I turned Emerald on this cruise, but you can guarantee I will not be making it to diamond. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Please forgive my review, I write reports at work that have to be very matter of a fact. So years of that has drained my creativity, but I will try to make this not boring. My wife and I have sailed on Carnival several times and we ... Read More
Please forgive my review, I write reports at work that have to be very matter of a fact. So years of that has drained my creativity, but I will try to make this not boring. My wife and I have sailed on Carnival several times and we have always enjoyed the cruises. But we really wanted to try Royal Caribbean to get a feel for the experience. We went with two other couples and sailed from Puerto Rico to the southern Caribbean from September 15th to September 22nd. We went to St. Thomas, St. Kitts, Antigua, St. Lucia and Barbados. My wife and I have sailed on Carnival several times and we have always enjoyed the cruises. But we really wanted to try Royal Caribbean to get a feel for the experience. We went with two other couples and sailed from Puerto Rico to the southern Caribbean from September 15th to September 22nd. Getting on the boat was easy. We arrived pretty early at around 11 and were on within twenty minutes. We checked our big bags but carried our little ones onboard. Rooms weren't ready until 1330. So we had to lug our smaller bags around. Not a big deal but something to keep in mind. Also we did bring a power strip as outlets tend to be very limited on ships. They called us down confiscated that from our big bag. I've never had that happen before and it was a little disappointing. We were in balcony 7646. Overall the stateroom was very nice. The bathroom was a bit smaller than we were used to but I feel like Royal Caribbean has more mirrors in the room itself so it despite the smaller bathroom, I felt like it was easier to get ready in the mornings and night. The TV only had a few channels that weren't Royal Caribbean, I think they had a bunch of Royal Caribbean channels, a couple ESPN channels, some news, BBC and a few others I've never seen before (variety type stuff). I would have liked a movie channel or something (they do have expensive pay per view). We aren't ones to spend a lot of time in our room, but we could never find something to watch we were getting ready, relaxing for a few hours or going to bed. Our stateroom attendant Liliana was just lovely. We aren't too needy so we didn't ask for much but still I feel like she went above and beyond for us. It was the first cruise for one couple we were with. After the first night we didn't get any towel animals. They asked Liliana about it and we were told that Royal Caribbean was discouraging the attendants from doing those every night as people would tend to "collect" them throughout the cruise and they would run out of towels. But Liliana made us a deal, she'd do them but we'd have to let her reuse the towels every day. For the next six nights she made us some awesome creative animals. It was a small detail, but made us happy. Overall I enjoyed the ship. The previous biggest ship we had been on was the Carnival Breeze and the Freedom of the Seas is quite a bit bigger, tonnage wise at least. I think it holds a similar amount of guests to the Breeze and overall felt less crowded. I spent a lot of the cruise comparing the two ships in my head. I think the Freedom of the Seas wins out. The Royal Caribbean ship has a lot more decorations, attention to detail, amenities ect. Plus the less crowding is a definite plus. One thing I will say, the Carnival ships I've been on seem to "flow" better as far as the interior goes. I can't really put my finger out it, the Carnival ships just seem easier to explore. Whereas the Freedom was more set up like a mega resort in Las Vegas or something. Everything is there and beautiful but it's more straight to the point and has it's own place. The ship and facilities were well maintained. Given that the Freedom is 13 years old now, there were a few spots where you could see rust or the carpet was getting worn but nothing major. I believe the ship is set to go in for a refurbishment so I'm sure they are going to do some updating. Pools on the Freedom were much bigger than I'm used to. Even on busy days, they would get crowded but we never had trouble finding somewhere to sit. One thing that bugged me is the adults only area isn't particularly well marked and since it is on the same deck open areas as the pool, a lot of families ended up there. Staff would ask kids to leave the pool, but they seemed to tolerate them if they were with adults in the seating area. That didn't really bother me, but I do like how Carnival ships secludes the adults only area. All the employees were great, we didn't have a bad experience with anyone. The bar staff was fun, activities people did their best to make sure everyone was having a good time and our waitstaff was just phenomenal. The food was… well the food was cruise ship food. We definitely had some good meals but after a week it all kind of starts tasting the same. We ate at the dining room two nights, did two nights of speciality restaurants and did the buffet/pizza the rest of the time. The stand out for us was Chops. It was a fantastic meal for the money. We also tried Giovanni's Italian restaurant. The food there was good. But they do dinner Italian style with long breaks between courses. So budget at least 2 hours. I'm sure they would bring things out faster if you asked. We didn't and by the end we were getting pretty bored and ready to leave. The dining room was about what I've experienced in the past. Maybe a step above Carnival in food quality. We got the drink package. I always consider it money well spent since we had at least a couple drinks everyday (and a lot of drinks a fews days :P) My wife is a fountain diet coke fanatic so she loved the coke free style machines shattered around the ship. They did a good job maintaining the machines, only a couple times did we run across machines that were out of service and later they would be back up and running. Shows were good. My wife and I missed the two comedies. The other couples went to one and said he was really funny. We did go to a hypnotist that was pretty entertaining. We also saw a Broadway type variety show. We weren't Broadway fans so we thought it was just OK. If you are a fan you'd probably get a lot more enjoyment than we did. The standout was the ice skating show, that was just amazing. Arrive early because that filled up fast. The ports weren't my cup of tea. I won't ding them for this because I knew what I was getting into. Personally I prefer large ports in big areas. My wife enjoyed the ports more than me. She loves the smaller islands so this was her dream cruise. Given that these ports were in smaller Caribbean nations there isn't a ton to do unless you leave the port on an excursion or take a taxi to do some sight seeing or something. Every port was similar, a handful of shops, maybe a restaurant or two. Some you could walk into town if you wanted. The best by far was Barbados which was absolutely beautiful with great people. We did not enjoy Antigua, everywhere we went we were hounded by taxi drivers and vendors. It's part of cruising to have people to try and sell you stuff but this was over the top. For example after probably turning down 30 tours in port, we ventured a little bit into town. One point immediately when we stepped out of a store just outside the port, two cab drivers approached us after telling them no, a vendor tried to sell us stuff, then immediately after another cab driver stopped, got out and tried to get us to do a tour. And these people would not accept a simple no thank you, they would follow and hound you with their sales pitch. I've never experienced anything quite like it. Maybe I was missing something culturally but it wasn't enjoyable for me. All and all it was quite enjoyable. We will go on Royal Caribbean again. But next up is Norwegian. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose to go on this cruise due to the ports. It was harder to get to than a Florida cruise flying to San Juan. The ship is beautiful. I love the 5th floor promenade floor The whole ship was very clean. the public washrooms ... Read More
We chose to go on this cruise due to the ports. It was harder to get to than a Florida cruise flying to San Juan. The ship is beautiful. I love the 5th floor promenade floor The whole ship was very clean. the public washrooms were so clean someone must just stay there and clean all day. Our cabin was amazing. We had a 12th floor panoramic ocean view. With only 30 feet to the outside deck we did not even is the balcony and the view we had was second to none. The main dining room food and service was excellent. Louis was our waiter and really made the dining experience excellent. The ports were amazing and since we have cruises so many times it was nice to go somewhere new. Now for the negative- I was not thrilled at all with the entertainment. I did not like the big productions, the skating show was OK, the comedians where good but overall did not like the shows. (compared to MSC Seaside and others) The activities where OK but very focused on the Spanish clientele. it was really the other guests that made this cruise only a 3 out of 5. I estimate that more than 70-80% of the cruise was from Puerto Rico. More Spanish than English. We have done cruises with MSC where announcements are made in 6 languages and I did not find that as annoying as the "loud" shouting Spanish constantly announced. The buffet was OK but being on any kind of restrictive diet really limited what you can eat. My biggest pet peave. saving chairs. There are signs up saying you can't save chairs but no one polices it. Prime chairs had a towel and flip flop on the chair for over 6 hours (that we were watching) and no one every came to sit there. On Celebrity you don't sign out chairs but you also lose your chair if you are not sitting on it (with your towel) there is staff picking up towels all the time. There is really no saving chairs. I wish all cruise lines would adopt this. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Ok, so this was my third time on Freedom with my family (hubby and teenager). These are my opinions and not meant to offend or influence but simply share. We went the week of August 25-Sept. 1 and left from Puerto Rico. Embarkation: ... Read More
Ok, so this was my third time on Freedom with my family (hubby and teenager). These are my opinions and not meant to offend or influence but simply share. We went the week of August 25-Sept. 1 and left from Puerto Rico. Embarkation: pretty easy and not much waiting luckily. Room: had a large balcony which was clean and what we expected since we'd been on her before. There are obvious signs of aging and as my husband said, "she's gettin' old" and needs the refurb booked next year. Our room attendant was Sue (short for Sulfina I think....forgive me because I can't recall) and she was wonderful. Not overbearing and waited patiently while we were late leaving some mornings. Dining room: excellent staff looked after us. Alifton and Iputu were attentive and amazing with our teenager. Alifton remembered our favourites and was really nice and friendly. Food was ok/good although I'm not a foodie and ate pretty much the same things. Hubby loves food and he was very happy. The first evening was less than great though we figured turnaround day is challenging and gave it another chance. Windjammer: not my fav but great coffee and service to clear tables/bring drinks etc. It's busy and sometimes people act like animals by using their hands or eating while perusing the buffet. It's what you'd expect from a typical buffet I suppose. Sorrento's: happily surprised by the new pizza that is a thin crust since we last sailed. It was always hot since it was constantly being made. Specialty food: only ate one at Galianos because we got a gift from our TA to go. The service was outstanding! I feel awful because I can't remember his name. He's a tall, has light colored hair and a Ukrainian accent. We left him a nice trip because he made the evening lovely and paced out our meal as the hubby asked. Intimate and delicious but not sure if many would spend the extra money. Solarium pool: busy but nice to soak and have some drinks. I hesitate because you definitely notice those who drink and never seem to get out for hours. Hmmmm....washroom? Hahaha..only can assume. Drinks: had the package and it is 100% worth it for us. Water bottles included made it easy to stay hydrated. Also new system of not signing printout sheets and feeling awkward about tips is great! Apparently the staff get a percentage or something for each drink they serve so you give your card and that's it. Islands: went to Bonaire, st Martin, Curacao and Aruba. Wonderful weather and easy to get off and on each port. Hubby went scuba diving and loved it. We went to the beach only once and walked around on our own but didn't spend too much time. I personally love the ship and sea days so the ports aren't the draw for me but more for the hubby. Tone of passengers: this is not meant to offend nor am I BY ANY MEANS or any type of person who would be racist. I've grown up in a diverse area and have many different ethnicities in my own family. The tone was very much catered to the crowd in terms of music and dancing. Typically we sailed and found most of the music to have more of a carribean vibe and a good variety. This cruise was 95+% comprised of Latin music in the clubs/pool deck music. It became a lot because of the tempo FOR ME. I love dancing and love that type of music but sometimes I felt I needed a little music that had more of a "relaxed tempo"....Bob Marley and such if that makes sense. Leaving from Puerto Rico obviously meant that the majority of the crowd were Spanish speaking which was interesting since I was able to brush up on my Spanish :) Kids: I love them and for those that feel they can overrun the ship, we didn't find that at all. In fact, it was some of the adults that were obnoxious and SOOOO LOUD sometimes. It's a fun ship and people have fun but walking in the halls at 2 or 3 and shouting isn't really acceptable. Also found that people who hang around the pool can talk at a volume that is unreal. I certainly heard things that I maybe didn't really need to know. But again, maybe that won't bother most. Entertainment: great shows as always. Didn't see the ice show because I feel once you've seen it, you've seen them all. Quest game: always a good time and the video playback was new and made it really fun. Katie: cruise director who was pleasant and really ran the activities well. Not overly excitable but friendly and seemed to be well liked. Leaving: the absolute worst we have ever experienced in our 5 cruises with rccl. We waited over an hour outside in the heat of Puerto Rico and then for about 20 inside for customs. Can't really lay blame because rccl seemed to be trying. We exited when our group was called but the bottleneck of people was brutal! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
The entertainment was good, especially Eileen, the black female singer; the Once Upon A Time show; and the murder mystery dinner in Giovanni’s. We found the timing of some shows inconvenient e.g. ice shows are at 5 or 7pm, which is ... Read More
The entertainment was good, especially Eileen, the black female singer; the Once Upon A Time show; and the murder mystery dinner in Giovanni’s. We found the timing of some shows inconvenient e.g. ice shows are at 5 or 7pm, which is impossible when you have a 6pm dining time. Bingo was fun and much easier now they have electronic tablets instead of paper sheets. Trivia really depended on who was running it - some staff were hard to understand with heavy accents, or went too fast. Others, like Bern running the 80s music trivia on the last night, were amazing. Best food in the main dining room was the Vidalia onion tart, beef tenderloin and rack of lamb, and molten chocolate cake and apple pie. The Tutti salad bar at lunchtime in the main dining room on sea days is really good and a hidden gem. Each day in Windjammer and the cafe, they have a different flavor of pound cake. The caramel toffee bread pudding in Windjammer on day 5 was amazing. Cruise tips. Bring two swimsuits because the first one will not be dry enough overnight to wear again the next day, and putting on wet swimwear feels gross. A highlighter is very useful for marking items of interest in the Compass. So is a travel mug, to allow you to carry coffee around the ship. My white noise machine was invaluable to block out Promenade and hallway noise. Save your trivia answer sheets all week, as they get you extra boards in Bingo. Only a few negatives: 1) Most of the excursions we had booked before the trip were canceled, and one of those cancelations was not communicated, resulting in an unnecessary early wake-up. They canceled the butterfly garden trip in Aruba, the mangrove EcoBoat in Bonaire, the afternoon Segway in Bonaire, and the Adventure Race in St. Maarten. Although in each case we were offered a discount on an alternative activity and ended up having fun, it was still frustrating to get very few of our first choice activities. 2) The early 8am meeting time for many excursions made you not want to stay out late and party or drink much the night before. 3) My only bad food was the duck a l’orange in the main dining room on day 2 or 3; there was barely any meat and it was very fatty. 4) My teenager disliked that very few of the scheduled teen activities happened as planned. The teen staff did not seem interested in enforcing the schedule and just let the teens do whatever they wanted. All in all, we had a fantastic trip. The weather was glorious, the seas were calm, all 4 ports were very interesting to visit, our tour guides were all exceptional, service on board was overwhelmingly good, food options were delicious and varied, and there was plenty to do for all ages. If you go on this trip, you will have a blast! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Chose this cruise for the many islands offered and size of ship - just under 3,000 passengers so not too large and many amenities offered. The food unfortunately I would rate 3 out of 5. Same menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner if dining ... Read More
Chose this cruise for the many islands offered and size of ship - just under 3,000 passengers so not too large and many amenities offered. The food unfortunately I would rate 3 out of 5. Same menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner if dining the in the Windjammer. We dined in the evening often in the Dining Room and found that food to be very nice, so recommend this to anyone to use the Dining Room as much as you can. I recommend everyone to book their dinner reservations for specific time for the Dining Room in advance and not do the "my time" dining as you could be waiting awhile. Even with the specific time reservations, we found the line ups very long at times, so be sure to arrive a good 15-20 min in advance of your reservation. The service was always excellent as all the wait staff in the Dining Room and Windjammer Cafe are always exceptionally attentive. The food in the Windjammer cafe was a little boring after being offered the same menu 7 days straight. They even had a "Caribbean Night" which they highlighted so we went their for dinner that night which was nothing special and little variety from the usual being offered. First day of arriving we had an with our room. The line for customer service was ridiculously long with only 4 people behind the customer service desk. I commented on this and I was given an explanation which in my opinion was inadequate. If you have 2,500-3,000 passengers on board and only 10% of them have issues (which is a safe assumption with the number of people in this long line), it makes sense to have more people available at customer service the very first day of arriving. We were in line for over 45 minutes - very irritating and more people definitely needed for customer service (just for the first day people are getting on board) You have to pay for absolutely everything "extra" on this cruise so be prepared for that. We did not purchase the beverage package for ourselves but got the refreshment package for the kids. For us to get a simply water, lemonade which is free was not easily obtained when we were on the deck as we were told only offered in the dining rooms. So basically you get nothing offered to drink (free drinks) while you are out on the deck sunning or swimming (they only offer you the alcoholic drinks, pops or mocktails. That we found was unfortunate, inconvenient and a little annoying. Would give the cruise 3 out of 5 overall. Some of the excursions offered I would re-think as they do not showcase the islands but that is a personal preference. Ports unfortunately really focus on nabbing you for shopping and the piers are built up for tourists - you will have to get a taxi or an excursion to really see the beauty of the islands. Not a problem just a comment for anyone booking excursions to consider. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
18 of my family and friends sailed on 8/4/19 to 5 different islands to celebrate my mother’s and 2 of my Aunts 60th birthday. 14 people were first time cruisers. The entertainments, the food and the staff were amazing. We were all ... Read More
18 of my family and friends sailed on 8/4/19 to 5 different islands to celebrate my mother’s and 2 of my Aunts 60th birthday. 14 people were first time cruisers. The entertainments, the food and the staff were amazing. We were all pleasantly satisfied with everything and looking forward to future cruise with Royal Caribbean. We missed our tour in San Juan, I contacted the executive office after Customer relations tried to give me a hard time for my refund. The office responded immediately and set up my refund. Excellent customer service on and off the ship. After the kids were in bed, we went out passed midnight almost every night enjoying the night life. The pizza restaurant was delicious, myself and kids enjoyed every slice. Our Waiter Florentina and her assistant went out of their way to take care of us. She found us sits in the crowded Windjammer for breakfast. I would recommend more varieties on the menu in the main dinning room. Also, more entertainment for the kids, we attended the kids disco on the 14th floor which started at 7:15 during dinner time. By the time we finished dinner and went up, it was almost over. The lady on the first day was interactive with the kids however, the guy on the other day just played music with couple of hula hoops and ballon laying on the floor. Both ended at 8:00 pm and 7:45 respectively. I will recommend this cruise line and ship to anyone looking for a great vacation. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Ship was in fairly good condition. Enjoyed most of the shows, some were excellent, others were mediocre. The ship was full since it was summer and kids were not back in school. The bars were the most part good with the exception of the ... Read More
Ship was in fairly good condition. Enjoyed most of the shows, some were excellent, others were mediocre. The ship was full since it was summer and kids were not back in school. The bars were the most part good with the exception of the bar in the Viking Crown lounge, I think its called Olive or twist. On the other hand, the Bull and Bear Pub was excellent. This was a port intensive itinerary that stopped at 5 ports of call with only one day at sea so I tried to do everything during the week after we got back onboard the ship since I knew the last day at sea all the venues would be packed. The flow rider was a blast, although the waiting lines long. Food was decent, not great. There was no tuna fish or egg salad in the Windjammer. The food in the dining room was either good or poor. By the end of the cruise we mostly ate all of our meals in the Windjammer since there is so much more selection than in the dining room. Disappointed that our dining table was messed up. First night we got to dinner and we requested to be seated at a large table. We were placed at a table with six seats but seven people showed up with the same table number, we were two and they were a family of five, so, they walked away. The next night we showed up to dinner and we had been moved to a table for two, exactly what I did not want. Also disappointed that I celebrated my birthday on the cruise and Royal Caribbean did nothing, no note in the cabin, no birthday cake, nothing. I've been on many cruises and always on Norwegian, Costa, Carnival, MSC, even Princess the cruise line does something to acknowledge a passengers birthday. Staff in the Regalia shop were not attentive, I wanted to buy a TAG watch and waited 10 minutes in the watch area, nobody approached me as the staff were congregating by themselves and chatting, ignoring customers. I bought the TAG watch in St. Martin, could not tell you if I got a good deal or not since I never went back to the Regalia shop to compare prices. Also cashier in the Casino was rude to everybody, kind of shocking. On the other hand, the gift shop is very nice, has a great selection of merchandise and staff there was EXCELLENT! The staff in the Windjammer were FANTASTIC, always welcoming, friendly, and they work so hard. Did not see much of the cruise director - Katie, only saw her at the shows at night. I work out a lot so I went to the gym almost every day. This is an area that needs attention. Most of the treadmills were old, worn, and the TVs do not work. A lot of the workout machines had torn seats, etc. We were told the ship is going tp dry dock in January 2020. The all Access Tour was great and the guide - Ivan was great. It was a fun cruise with a few things that I did not like but we had fun. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
So we chose this cruise to celebrate 20 years of marriage. We went all out and booked the owner suite. We were contacted by the concierge prior an asked if we were celebrating anything I said 20 year anniversary and we turn diamond ... Read More
So we chose this cruise to celebrate 20 years of marriage. We went all out and booked the owner suite. We were contacted by the concierge prior an asked if we were celebrating anything I said 20 year anniversary and we turn diamond plus this cruise, neither thing was acknowledged. We did enjoy the perks of the concierge floor although basically the same as diamond lounge with free drinks and snacks. Of all the cruises we have been on we thought this was the worst food. Sabor the Mexican and Chops were just ok, Giovanni's was awful. The windjammer was the same food every day! We reported Giovanni's and were called on the last night about it but nothing was done. The casino was awful with rude cashier and host who did not care about anyone, to busy personal messaging.The comps program is not even worth it anymore! We did like the ports, Bonaire was my favorite, if you love animals visit the donkey sanctuary. Although we just turned diamond plus we are thinking of jumping ship after this cruise Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We chose this cruise because we needed specific dates in July and also because the itinerary was new for us and the ship was a good size and attractive. PORT - We flew in to San Juan Puerto Rico the day before and stayed in the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we needed specific dates in July and also because the itinerary was new for us and the ship was a good size and attractive. PORT - We flew in to San Juan Puerto Rico the day before and stayed in the Sheraton near the cruise port. We got up before sunrise and took an Uber to the Fort to watch the sunrise then walked around Old San Juan. It was our first time with an 8:30pm set sail time but was nice because we headed right over to the ship when we had to check out from our hotel at noon and then we didn't feel like we were rushing to get on. Our rooms weren't available until 1:30 sharp so that gave us some time to head straight to Guest Services to do switch who was in which rooms together which was no problem. Once our rooms were ready we unpacked everything so we were ready to enjoy the week. CABIN/SHIP - Our cabin - panoramic ocean view - was GORGEOUS! It is on deck 12 and is an area that was refurbished in 2015 and is very attractive. We could hear some talking in the next cabin when sitting right next to the wall, but otherwise no noise, only some wind noise when it was very windy out because we were on the 12th deck. The public spaces on the ship were very attractive and did not look like cheesy Vegas decor as some ships do. The dining room was especially beautiful without being stuffy or too ornate. We mostly ate in the Windjammer for the buffet. The food was ample but the way it flows does seem to create more congestion than I've experienced on other ships. FOOD - The food was pretty tasty, although he desserts looked much better than they tasted. We all agreed we liked Carnival's food better, but it still wasn't bad. ENTERTAINMENT - The timing of the main show in the theater each night was different, not consistent start times and not consistent theme so it seemed disjointed, whereas on our previous cruises it seemed there were set times for the main shows and there tended to be a theme. We felt that overall the entertainment was lacking. But we didn't come on the cruise for the shows, we came to experience being on a ship and exploring exotic ports in the Caribbean. PORTS OF CALL - St. Thomas, St, Kitts, Antigua, St. Lucia, Barbados. We had pre-planned excursions in all ports (which I organized on my own, not through RCI). St. Lucia as our absolute favorite (it's so green, lush, mountainous, gorgeous water/best snorkeling of all stops) and Barbados was our least favorite, but glad we got to all of them. When stopped in St. Thomas we took the water ferry to nearby Water Island (it's close enough you can still see the ship in port) and spent the day on Honeymoon Beach - so beautiful - swimming, snorkeling, rented jet skis, and enjoyed food and drinks at the bar. OVERALL - we would go on Freedom of the Seas again because it was a large ship without being too big, it was attractive and we loved our cabin! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We chose cruise due to itinerary, great experience on Cuba cruise and large screen movies. First main dining room servers were exceptional. Stateroom above average not great. All customer service people on ship really nice and ... Read More
We chose cruise due to itinerary, great experience on Cuba cruise and large screen movies. First main dining room servers were exceptional. Stateroom above average not great. All customer service people on ship really nice and friendly. Itinerary was fun. Activities, like golf, ice skating and many more fun. Now letdowns. Jade is not Sushi anymore. One night only and awful. just plain rolls, no fish, except smoke Salmon and 90 percent rice. We had a few pieces and just said no more. TV in room still advertises nightly sushi but a lie. They have a sushi express for a fee. Now we know why they have played games with Jade. No real Caribbean food. Weak attempt for jerk chicken / pork. Just some off attempt on outside of pork / Chicken, no real Jamaican type. Sorrento's on Cuba had many self serve type Pizza's with tons of cheese. The ship had three same options with one different one daily, hardly any cheese. We went once and never again. It seems goal is to avoid people getting free food. Cafe another letdown. Cuba has Cuban sandwiches throughout day. Makes sense since Cuba cruise. Evenings soup, guacamole etc, wonderful. This ship lousy wraps, grocery store nonsense. Once again ruining experience for bottom line. Disgusting, we never went to cafe, mission accomplished for them. Big screen movie. My 11 year old son and i travel alone. Such a great father / son time on Cuba trip for us to sit in hot tub chit chat and watch movie. This ship my son wanted to watch from pool due to location. After half hour of movie they close pool, maybe 10:30pm. We move to hot tub. At 11 we are told that too is now closed. We leave to stateroom, no more movies rest of trip. Big waste. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
My wife and I cruised on this ship during our honeymoon 7 years ago and were excited to be back on board! We did Carnival cruises the last two years, so it was interesting to go back to RCCL for comparison sake. We flew to San Juan a ... Read More
My wife and I cruised on this ship during our honeymoon 7 years ago and were excited to be back on board! We did Carnival cruises the last two years, so it was interesting to go back to RCCL for comparison sake. We flew to San Juan a few days early and stayed at a cool boutique hotel on Isla Verde Beach. We toured the forts and old city and got to eat some great food. We were blown away how hospitable everyone we encountered acted. From taxi drivers, police, shop owners, local beach-goers...they all were so kind and take a lot of pride in their island, especially in the wake of a couple of really difficult years. To the cruise. Embarkation was very fast and organized. It was interesting boarding around 12:30, but not leaving port until 8:30. Turned out to be cool. It was like a sea day and gave us time to get reacclimatized with the ship without feeling like we were missing anything. First day at sea was fun by the pool. Lots of music and dancing! There was an instance during the afternoon where it had started raining, but quite a few people stayed in and around the pools. Out of nowhere, a squall hit and had violent winds complete with flying deck chairs. It was very scary. To the staff’s credit, they immediately cleared everyone in as orderly manner as possible despite the chaos caused by Mother Nature. They are to be commended. Ports were all good, with Curacao and St. Martin being our faves. We chose a poor excursion in Bonaire which we regret because it ended up wasting our day. If you are able bodied, definitely get in the water at all of these islands Ship was in good shape for its age, food was good in buffet (also in Chops and Giovanni’s), service was good overall. Entertainment was good. They had an Adele impersonator singer her songs one night in the main theater - extremely good and nice break from the musical numbers they usually put together. My only gripes: Hard bed - difficult to sleep as a result. Casino was hot!!! We spend lots of time on slots and it was very uncomfortable. Smoking areas were weird. As a smoker, it was odd that non-smokers had to walk through smoke. We felt guilty. Other ships have this figured out better. That’s it though. Otherwise, things were at or above expectations. Finally, I’d like to touch on some of the other reviews I read on here prior to our trip relating to ‘too many Puerto Ricans’ or complaining about announcements in Spanish. This was hands down the best group of fellow passengers we have encountered so far. People were overall very respectful of each other, pleasant, and fun. We witnessed two encounters of inter-family squabbling. Both were not Hispanic. If you are expecting anything other than a Hispanic or Caribbean feel, this is not the trip for you. Maybe consider a riverboat cruise up the Mississippi or something? We choose to embrace being out of our normal confines and seeing and learning how other people live. Isn’t that kind of the point of traveling??? Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
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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