585 Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas Cruise Reviews

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
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
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
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 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
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
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
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
Our family of 10 cruised out of San Juan for my parents' 50th wedding anniversary and had a great time. Embarkation - We arrived at 10:45am to check-in and it was a breeze. People were there, but there was only 1 family waiting in ... Read More
Our family of 10 cruised out of San Juan for my parents' 50th wedding anniversary and had a great time. Embarkation - We arrived at 10:45am to check-in and it was a breeze. People were there, but there was only 1 family waiting in front of us. We waited around for 15 minutes and they let us in. We spent the afternoon exploring the ship, eating lunch, and it was nice to not be rushing, rushing, rushing in crowds... just taking our time and getting to know where everything was. Room - We had our first balcony and it was nice to have extra room, but I wouldn't pay for it next time. We hardly spent any time out there or in our room. I slept like a baby all week between the beds being very comfortable and the ship rocking me to sleep. I wish the shower was a bit bigger though. Also, the ship is going in for a rehab and it's time for an upgrade. Food & Beverage - The buffet was a typical buffet. I never found anything that ever bit me and said - WOW, I am fabulous. We had dinner in the formal dining room every night and two mornings of breakfast. Our servers were very attentive and everything I chose was outstanding. I thought the variety was a little lax because 5 years ago when we cruised, there was more fish, cold soups, fresher fruit, and things were overall a bit tastier and more appetizing. Maybe the head chef changed? Everyone at our table got an extra lobster tail that night, and sometimes extra deserts. OH, do NOT forget to try the warm dark chocolate chip cookie. Best desert of the week. Not a cookie, but complete heaven. Their beef stroganoff was not stroganoff, so be careful what you think your dinner will be. The pizza shop on the promenade was part of the package (not a specialty shop), but it tasted like frozen pizza so you can skip it. Some bar staff make tasty drinks, others water it down so good luck finding the right person. Activities - Several of us tried the wave runner and rock climbing wall. Those were fun and now I can saw I did those. We played shuffle board, basketball, the pool, several games in the clubs (family and adult). Most times the pool wasn't overly packed, except don't go to the pool on the ocean day - it was packed and just not enjoyable. Teen Club - Be Careful! Our teens enjoyed themselves overall because they met kids their own age. The older child made lots of friends and although I didn't feel comfortable, had free reign to walk around wherever he wanted. I would have preferred adult supervision. The younger child got into a confrontation and started getting bullied and there was no adult around for support, including when it got physical. Fortunately, his brother was around at the time. We got no phone call, just a report from my kids that one was hurt. It's nice to have something like this if it is run right and adults are around to run the activities, not just let them run around. Staff - Everyone we met was very courteous and helpful. We had a special request to have our balcony doors locked so the kids couldn't go out on the balcony while we were sleeping and that was helpful. When one person got sick for 24 hours, the doctor's office was helpful and they took good care of that family member. We always came back to a clean, made-up room and that was nice. Excursions - It was HOT! We sweat all week. Going to a beach? You have to pay $22+ for a beach chair and umbrella or risk getting third degree burns even with suntan lotion on. If you take a van/car somewhere for your excursion, it's the Caribbean and they were all a bit run down, so don't expect too much air conditioning, which can lead to car sickness (1/2 of the 12 on our bus were ready to pass out). Some islands are not as wealthy as others, so don't expect all touristy, rich looking, colorful buildings. It's safer booking excursions than hopping on a taxi where you could get mugged or left somewhere with no help. Many have driving on the left side of the road, so just expect it. Be safe! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We chose this cruise for the ports. We flew to Puerto Rico the day before and walked around site seeing on our own. Lots of places to shop and explore. We stayed at the Sheraton Old San Juan which is great for Carnival cruises but Royal ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the ports. We flew to Puerto Rico the day before and walked around site seeing on our own. Lots of places to shop and explore. We stayed at the Sheraton Old San Juan which is great for Carnival cruises but Royal Caribbean docks about 10 mins away and you’ll need to get a taxi, unfortunately. Embarkation was quick and we were onboard in no time! Shockingly, one of our suitcases made it to the cabin before we did and the other was delivered shortly after. Our cabin was ok. Nothing special. The balcony was a good size and the chairs were comfortable. This ship is older and needs the update it will soon be getting. Other areas of the ship weren’t that bad but the staterooms did make me cringe a little. It’s just dated and a little dirty. Our AC didn’t work well and it was hot and humid. We ate at Windjammer for breakfast and had no issues. Good food, huge variety. Lunches we were off the ship except for the one sea day and we ate at Sabor! It was amazing! Loved the guacamole. Unfortunately, I read this restaurant will be going away with the upcoming remodel. For dinner we would go to the dining room during the my time. It was always busy and they take reservations so plan to make them or you will be waiting for a table but one seated, service was top notch and food was typical. One evening we had dinner at Chops. It was the best steak I’ve had in a long time! Service was great as well. There wasn’t much in the evenings. We always seemed to miss stuff. However, we did see the ice show which was great and also another production show which was ok. I loved that they served popcorn and candy ($2.50 extra). It’s worth the little extra! We were late arriving to St Maarten and had a diving excursion booked through RC. They should have cancelled the dive. We were only under water for 8 mins and then back up and loaded back in the boat. Very disappointed. St Kitts we found a tour guide once off the ship and went to a beach. Wasn’t impressed with where he took us at all. I should have done more research. Antigua was great! We did the lobster and catamaran cruise through RC. It was amazing! The first beach they took us too was the most perfect place. The second beach wasn’t as nice and there were jelly fish swimming around in the water. Food was great and drinks were strong! St Lucia was the prettiest place I’ve ever been. Picture perfect and breathtaking. We booked an excursion on our own using JJ Speedboat Tours. It was perfect! Highly recommend this company! Barbados we did the Jolly Rogers Pirate Adventure booked through RC. It was a blast. You can walk the plank and swing from a rope swing. They serve lunch (additional) and also a short snorkeling excursion. Staff were friendly and drinks were strong (and included). The one sea day didn’t have much going on. We got a massage and then napped. Disembarkation was quick. Definitely use a porter and you will skip the line! Maybe one day we will do it again to do the ABC islands but it’s just too busy and I’m tried. I need more sea days on my cruises. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
I thought the ship was lovely. I know its going into dry dock in January so it will have an overhaul, but I loved it. My room was 7638 (hump balcony) and it was comfortable and the balcony was amazing- such beautiful views. I enjoyed ... Read More
I thought the ship was lovely. I know its going into dry dock in January so it will have an overhaul, but I loved it. My room was 7638 (hump balcony) and it was comfortable and the balcony was amazing- such beautiful views. I enjoyed the pizza from Sorrentos and never had to wait more than a few minutes (if at all). I had an ice blended latte daily from Cafe Promenade (usually when returning from a day in port)- again if there was a wait it was minimal- the coffee drinks were on par with any specialty coffee house, and blended ones were very refreshing. Also, if you like mojitos try their blended version (with or without alcohol very very good). The MDR was good, not exceptional. Chops was exceptional, as was Sabor. I was a little disappointed in the risotto from Giovanni’s but not the tiramisu which was so rich and creamy-almost like ice cream, so delicious. I didn’t see any shows as I had late dining and was pretty tired at the end of the day and up early. We only had 1 sea day and I got pedicure. I read mixed reviews about getting spa services onboard, but this was perhaps the best pedicure of my life and the polish stayed perfect (no chips) for 3 weeks. Chanelle Thompson was the woman who gave me the pedicure- if you can request someone, she’s great. St. Kitts: I booked a tour with Thenford Grey Tours (The Grand Tour of St. Kitts). I loved this tour & recommend it highly if you want a great tour of the island with a beach break at the end. You hit all the highlights of the island and end up at S. Friars Beach with a cute bar that serves food. The beach has chairs, lots of shade, hammocks. It was the perfect day and got you back to port with plenty of time to do a little shopping (if you want) and make it back on the ship in plenty of time. Antigua: (1st Excursion) RC excursion Stingray Swim and Snorkel- I will be honest, I did this bc everyone I knew who had done it said I “had to do it”. I was skeptical and a little scared. I loved this!!!! Initially you take about a 10 minute ride on a small boat (that goes pretty fast) to the reef where the stingray swim around (they are not captive but come to the area for feedings). The boat trip is stunning- the area is really spectacular-so many shades of blue and reefs surrounding you. The stingrays reminded me of cats that like to brush by your legs- weird analogy but they like to brush people’s legs. They are very tame and fun to watch swim around. I also did some snorkeling by the rocks/reef and saw some pretty fish (including a flounder), not much coral. (2nd Excursion) RC Catamaran Sail, Snorkel and Beach Cruise- this left at 1 p.m. and though a RC excursion the catamaran said Wadadli Cats and the crew were wearing t-shirts with the same logo. The catamaran was large with a large shaded area, a nice bar with sodas, alcoholic drinks and snacks. The sail to the snorkel area (paradise reef) was lovely, smooth and relaxing, about 1/2 hour. The snorkel spot was nice, lots of fish and interesting rock formations, not a lot of coral. Some felt the area was a little rough to snorkel, I didn’t think so- but you are in the ocean not in a cove or bay. After about 45 minutes of snorkeling (you could follow the guide or kind of go on your own) back on the catamaran for about a 10 minute sail to a secluded cove where there was a beach break for about 45 minutes. This cove was beautiful, tranquil, with calm turquoise waters. I swam but there wasn’t much to see by way of snorkeling. The sail back was about 1/2 hour to 45 minutes. This was a great excursion, the snorkeling only so so, but the sailing, the atmosphere (the crew was friendly, helpful, fun) and the beach/cove were outstanding. St. Lucia: I booked a day pass with Bay Gardens Beach Resort & Spa (booked with them directly), and through them booked the Snuba Adventure at Pigeon Island (which was the same one RC has, as there were people who’d booked through RC and another cruise line on the same excursion). Bay Gardens Resort- the beach is beautiful, there are chairs, umbrellas, and a beach bar- it has it all and you are free to use it all during the day (9-3:30). The day pass comes with 4 drinks, lunch (the food was excellent!) and a massage (1/2 hour) or use of water sport equipment- I chose the massage. I had the massage after I’d returned from the Snuba and it was very relaxing. The Snuba Adventure- I got picked up at Bay Gardens Resort at about 10:45, short drive to Pigeon Island (inside the National Park, you can walk to the fort after the dive if you want). There was a safety briefing and then we were off. Here there was much more coral and a lot of sea life- eels, crabs, anemone, urchins and plenty of fish. The snuba was about 2 hours, and was great, would definitely do it again. (Side note: they also do the Sea Trek adventure in the same spot and I spoke with some people who did that and they raved about it). I was taken back to Bay Gardens where I had lunch, a massage, sat on the beach for a bit and then at 3:30 we were taken back to the port (20 minute drive) with enough time to wander the craft booths and shops before getting back onto the ship. Barbados: (1st Excursion)- I did the RC Swim with Turtles, Shipwrecks, Snorkel and Beach. This was NOT the Tiami Catamaran. I chose the one that was 3 1/2 hours bc I also wanted to do an afternoon excursion. The crew wore shirts that said Oceano Adventure, this was not a catamaran but more like a big fishing boat/pontoon boat (sorry not a boat girl). The crew was fantastic, plenty of sun or shade on the boat. There was a nice bar and homemade local cakes. The snorkeling with the turtles and shipwreck were all in the same area, maybe a half mile apart. Then when you anchored for the “beach” part it was in the same area- no more than about 20 minutes from the port by boat. Saw a ton of sea turtles- great pictures, very clear water, lots of fish, wonderful! The shipwreck was also very cool, with a ton of fish. Both spots were perfect for snorkeling- very calm and clear with plenty to see. The beach area was also gorgeous- crystal blue water, light surf, easy to walk the beach or swim around. This was another perfect excursion. (2nd excursion)-RC 4 x 4 Adventure and Green Monkey Encounter: Fantastic! Of course I wanted to see the monkeys in their natural habitat (not the sad ones on the leashes) and man were there a ton of them. They are not captive but at the nature reserve they take you to they do daily feedings at 2 pm and all the animals come out to eat. I saw so many monkeys, a mom holding a baby, young ones playing around in the trees...plus a Mara, parrots, peacocks, tortoise aplenty, and some Brocket Deer. Amazing, and the grounds were lush and beautiful. It took about 30-40 minutes to get to the reserve and we were there for about an hour. From there our driver took us to a beach on that side of the island called Bathsheba where you could roam and explore and there was also a restaurant/bar there called De Garage Bar & Grill. This area was stunning, rough, dark, with huge rocks- a stark contrast to the crystal blue sea from the a.m. excursion. Then back to the port with a quick tour of downtown Bridgetown on the way. Another memorable and amazing excursion. We left Barbados at 8 pm so there was plenty of time to roam the port and shop (we were supposed to leave at 5 but it was changed to 8pm which was nice). Puerto Rico: RC Old and New San Juan City Tour- I booked this to get a quick history and overview of San Juan. If you have enough time for a tour its a great way to see a bit of San Juan before you go. There is a guided bus tour with stops, including El Morro Fort, and a 45 minute stop in Old San Juan. I think this is a good tour if you’ve never been and don’t have time to explore on your own. I enjoyed the information and seeing areas outside of Old San Juan-worth the price, but I only need to do it once. I actually stayed in Old San Juan for a few days after the cruise and loved it! If you can stay before or after I would recommend it. The Decanter Hotel was quaint and perfect. The food In San Juan is delicious. Also did a sunset sail on the Amazing Grace sailboat through East Island Excursions- Another A+ excursion- smooth sail, nice crew, food and drinks plentiful, beautiful scenery and spectacular sunset. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
I choose this cruise because the port of call. It was our 4th cruise 2 with royal Caribbean. The highlight of our trip was dining at main dining room wilfred from india and Jose from the Dominican republic made this cruise 4 stars. Food ... Read More
I choose this cruise because the port of call. It was our 4th cruise 2 with royal Caribbean. The highlight of our trip was dining at main dining room wilfred from india and Jose from the Dominican republic made this cruise 4 stars. Food was surprisingly good and Wilfred was always so helpful with recommendations. We ate there everyday, the kindness and superb service was the best we ever had in a cruise. Bottom line freedom of the seas is an old ship but doable. Food at the buffet breakfast was limited and the same menu for the entire cruise. Shows were just ok, ice show and the comedian kilby was the only one good. I know people complain about announcement about activities but here was super lacking we never knew what was taking place if didn't check the paper. After cruising with Norwegian, royal Caribbean felt flat. Norwegian cruise made me feel like a queen they where always in party mode and Im a middle age lady. Every time we returned to the Norwegian ship from excursion it was a party waiting to greet us they reallyseen happy i was back. Sorry royal Caribbean must of the staff dont look happy. The entertainment for teens were lacking activities, my daughter went one night and found a small group of teenagers kissing and without supervision. As a result my 13year old daughter spent all cruise qith my husband and I. I also want to send a shout out to the singing chef that performed by the pool, your rendition of shine bright like a diamond was amazing sorry Rianna. Lol Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We had traveled with Royal Caribbean years ago when our kids were small. We were taking our whole family, two adult children and their spouses along with five grandchildren ages 5-12. We thought Royal Caribbean was a good choice for kids ... Read More
We had traveled with Royal Caribbean years ago when our kids were small. We were taking our whole family, two adult children and their spouses along with five grandchildren ages 5-12. We thought Royal Caribbean was a good choice for kids activities. We did have a wonderful time being with our family and watching the kids enjoy being together and the activities on the ship. However, we will go back to Holland America or Princess when it is just the two of us. Check in at San Juan was a breeze. We were on the ship by noon. We were able to enjoy that entire day at the pool. We had two family cabins with large windows and one balcony room.The family cabins were very roomy and made the trip with five in a room much less hectic. The balcony room was larger than most we have had. Our porters were great. One even decorated our daughter and son-in-law's cabin for their anniversary. The only real problem with the cabins were the beds. They are literally hard as a rock, and they had no egg crates or other cushion to put on them. My husband had bursitis for the first time in his life, I woke up several times during each night to horrible hip pain, and my daughter had hip and back pain. Whoever invested in these mattresses made a huge mistake. The waiters were excellent . We had five children, and they were amazing with them. They knew all our names the first night. We food was fine. It was not exceptional however. The food on both Holland America and Princess are far superior. We had one night in the Chops Grille. It was good and service was good, however other lines were superior here too. The Windjammer was mediocre and the lack of staff was noticed. Sorrentos had outstanding pizza we enjoyed often. The coffee bar was also great. We were able to get coffee whenever we wanted and relax. We were disappointed in the shows. The singers and dancers were good but not great. The comedians, magicians were just OK. The pool area is great for kids. It has a splash park and whirlpool plus a pool and many hot tubs. It also has an adult only pool that was always jammed. The kids loved the ice cream on the deck!!! We booked three port excursions through the ship. We went to the Adventure Race on St. Marten. It was fun but hard for the little kids. I would recommend this for adults and older teens. On St, Kitts we did catamaran and snorkeling. It was a lovely day for all. In Antigua some of us did swimming with the stingrays and others did zip line. We enjoyed both. In Barbados we did a private tour where we went to Harrison's cave. It was Ok, but we were somewhat disappointed after visiting other caves in the world. While most of the staff was friendly, we did have one encounter with a shore excursions staff member. She was beyond curt, condescending, and rude. My husband and I were taken back at her attitude because cruise ship staffs are always so helpful. This was our 16th cruise and have never had that happen before. We complained to customer service, and they were very apologetic and sent a bottle of wine to our room. The ship is nice but very big, and you tend to walk yourself to death. This ship is definitely for families and young people who like to party. We had fun, but back to Holland America next time. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Sure excursions were great, except for mini speedboat experience as our boat was not working properly. My husband loved all the food, however as I am gluten-free I felt the options were limited and flavor lacking. The ship was ... Read More
Sure excursions were great, except for mini speedboat experience as our boat was not working properly. My husband loved all the food, however as I am gluten-free I felt the options were limited and flavor lacking. The ship was well-maintained and never felt too crowded. Entertainment was very good, Especially rock show and comedian. Did not like having to walk through the casino to get to the theater on one of the floors. Our cabin was fine, interior and felt spacious enough for us. Over all the servers in the buffet, While nice enough we’re not very knowledgeable about gluten-free, or ingredients in any of the food. The dining Aimed to please, and they did take my gluten-free need seriously, however the chefs need to have a better understanding of what gluten-free is to know that I can have seasoned food instead of the bland food I was served. Also very limited vegetables both in the buffet in the dining room unless you ask for them. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
My friend & I chose this cruise specifically for the ABC Islands and St Maarten itinerary. We both prefer Carnival, but the dates and prices were right on for this one. Overall it was a great time! ** See my port reviews ** We flew ... Read More
My friend & I chose this cruise specifically for the ABC Islands and St Maarten itinerary. We both prefer Carnival, but the dates and prices were right on for this one. Overall it was a great time! ** See my port reviews ** We flew in the day of the cruise from Ft Lauderdale. Took a cab to the port. NO lines anywhere, since ship departs at 8pm. Dropped off our bags around 3pm, and found the room. Then got another cab to head to downtown Old San Juan. Went to the street with the umbrellas to take some pics. Walked from there down the cobblestone roads. Made it back to the ship around 6:15 pm. ** We missed the safety briefing!! ** (not on purpose, but it was an added BONUS!) We were invited to a "private" safety briefing in a nice comfortable air-conditioned conference room with about 25 other late-comers. So much better! Had the early seating (6pm) for dinner. I wish we had chosen the late; we always seemed to be rushing to get ready, then would be full and tired by 8:30pm and want to sleep by about 9:30pm (!) HA! But the service at the Main Dining Room was superb!! Food was what you expect for cruising. My favorite is always the pork chop. Didn't care for any of the desserts - ended up ordering chocolate ice cream and choc chip cookies like I saw kids getting! We signed up in advance for the Guacamole Class at SABOR, the Mexican Restaurant, for one of our sea days, which turned out to be a pleasant surprise. For the cost to just eat there (around $30 pp) we got the "class", making our own big bowl of guacamole. They also showed how to make three different types of margaritas. Then everyone was offered any of those margaritas - as many as you like. We got appetizers, main course, and dessert. I loved their mini churros with dark chocolate dipping sauce! Glad we did it. Entertainment was pretty good. At the Welcome Aboard Show, the comedian was great -- Monique Marvez. There was an aerial act also -- Jimmy and Anna -- they were awesome! The band out by the pool was wonderful -- One Love -- played Caribbean music. Loved the ice skating show!! Just show up at least 15 minutes early by the doors so you get a seat when they open. There was a funny activity going on when we waited one night, "If You Know It, Sing It". Hilarious to watch! I was bummed that there was no water slide, but oh well. I tried to go up and walk/jog every morning on the track, but there is one section that is like a wind tunnel - crazy! The exercise equipment looked pretty good, but I'm not a gym person. The ship is easy to learn your way around. Not enough outdoor space or windows for me though. I do like that you can walk out from Deck 4 or 5 forward to the bow where the Helipad is. Many people don't know how to get there. Debarkation was relatively organized. Only stood in lines for about 20 - 30 minutes total. I would take this cruise again, just for the itinerary. Port are great! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We chose Freedom of the Seas because we love St Maarten but had not seen the other ports, it was perfect for us. We did not get a chance to stay in Puerto Rico (where it departs from) but we heard so many great reviews from other guests, I ... Read More
We chose Freedom of the Seas because we love St Maarten but had not seen the other ports, it was perfect for us. We did not get a chance to stay in Puerto Rico (where it departs from) but we heard so many great reviews from other guests, I wish we had! We stayed in room 7608. The stateroom attendant was wonderful, I had no issues with the bed and the balcony was great. Port side so there was lots to see on port days. My only issue here was the royal promenade was only 2 floors below us. The late night parties were loud! So after being at port all day, drinking enough to make the drink package worth it, and then going to bed early enough for the next port, we were so disappointed in RC. They do everything so much better than this, the bass was so loud it just thumped until the parties ended. I was sorely disappointed in this. We finally decided to spend that time in the hot tub (open 24 hours) which was empty, because we aren’t parties and had no interest in joining. This was the only way we got through it and I would prefer to not have had to “just get through it”. We did a 3 night specialty dining plan. Then booked The Chefs Table for our actual anniversary which was the Saturday night at the end of the cruise. Choose Grille-my husband loved it! I don’t eat steak. So I ordered fish. There was nothing spectacular about that but he raved on and on about everything. Order the steak and enjoy it! He sure did. Giovanni’s-oh my gosh! So yummy. The food was fantastic, the service even better. We ended up eating here twice (paying for the second outside of our dining package) because it was so good. Sabor- this was typical Mexican food. I wasn’t impressed and would not do it again. It was good but so is the MDR and that is at no extra cost. I can’t give a review on The Chefs Table. We were looking forward to this so much. Our reservation was at 6:30. At 5, they told us they didn’t fill the table and cancelled. Had I known that was a possibility I definitely would not have booked it! Since it was our last night, we now have to fight to get our money back because we didn’t spend 2 hours at guest service the last night on our anniversary. Booking Giovanni’s was difficult and we couldn’t get in until 8:30 because of the short notice. I will never book this pricy meal again knowing that it’s not popular and they won’t do it, if not booked. Disappointing. MDR-it was wonderful. We had no issues getting a table for just the 2 of us during my time dining. They were very willing to accommodate. I was very nervous reading reviews that everything was in Spanish. This is NOT the case. Everything is in English and then repeated in Spanish. Even the game shows were English and later that night Spanish. There was a lot of culture differences coming out of Puerto Rico vs Florida but RC does a great job to accommodate all. I never felt like I was out of place or unwelcome. In fact the opposite. Everyone was unbelievably kind. More so than any other cruise we have ever done. Aruba-we did the kukoo kunuku bus to palm beach. Had a great time and would do this again. We are a restaurant right on the beach and had fresh fish. It was a great experience. You could get a taxi and spend more time there as the bus limited your available beach time. Curacao-we did a beach by boat tour and will definitely do it again. Was wonderful! Bonaire-I think next time in Bonaire I would get off the ship and go snorkeling on my own. We did a 4X4 expedition. It was so informative and beautiful. Since we have done it once I don’t think I’d need to do it again. St Maarten-just get off the ship, jump on the water taxi and get a chair on the beach. Water taxi $7, chair $10 with free WiFi. You will be surrounded by food and shops and my favorite beach! The entertainment was tricky. All of the shows were during dinner time or late at night. We did see the headliner and a few game shows but I was a bit disappointed with how hard it was to try to schedule simply because of timing. We did an anniversary package and our room was decorated so cute! My husband did a shoutout to me on the morning show and afterwards they sent us up a bottle of wine. What an awesome touch. Plus each night they sang to us and gave us cake to celebrate. The crew is simply amazing. I would say overall don’t miss this ship! It is not as outdated as some say. It’s smaller sure than others but the experience was worth it! Order a frozen Mojito when you get on (virgin or with rum) and enjoy your trip! In fact...take me with you?! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
This was our first cruise with Royal Caribbean ( I have been on Carnival and Princess several times) and thought I would see if it was better. As far as fun, fun and more fun I personally prefer Carnival , but overall Freedom of the seas ... Read More
This was our first cruise with Royal Caribbean ( I have been on Carnival and Princess several times) and thought I would see if it was better. As far as fun, fun and more fun I personally prefer Carnival , but overall Freedom of the seas rated a 8 out of 10 for me. The ship is beautiful we booked a interior room which had a sofa and king size bed , it was a bit tight moving around sides of bed but hey its a cruise and I new that interior rooms are not huge. My regret was not booking a balcony room , I sometimes would catch a glimpse of passengers out on the quiet decks relaxing with the private view of the ocean and breeze and I was jealous. Our room attendant Ronnel was the best, he was so polite and always kept our room super clean. Day 1- boarding ship was crazy, it was pouring rain so we went straight to the ship and tried to figure out where to drop off luggage because it is not well organized, But once you drop of luggage inside security area is quick and a simple process. Day 2 - DAY at SEA, little boring at times personally for me . I am not a person that likes to hang out at the pool all day. It was extremely crowed so we just walked around the ship and ate, ate, ate. Also Day 2 was formal night. Day 3- Curacao- Lovely island, we got on a off ship tour on the pier with IRIE Tours with Miguel for $20 he took us on a about a 2 hour tour of the island and then dropped us off at the beach for about 3 hours and then returned to pick us up. The tour included water and beer. Back on the ship I highly recommend Battle of the sexes in the Studio B lounge for ADULTS only in the evening. Day 4- Aruba- It was a holiday so everything was closed, but we loved it we rented 3 JEEPs on the pier from Journey and we toured the whole island with a group of our 16 friends and went to all the historic sites with our map and went to the beaches we wanted and had a great time. Day 5- Day of Sea- not loving it, would prefer that there was only one day at sea . There is only one ice cream machine so there is always a long line , the pool is really crowed below in the shaded areas. Day 6- St. Kitts- This was the only island I booked a Shore excursion with the ship to the Dolphin Experience at Dolphin Discovery. I highly recommend , I loved it . spent about 35 minutes touching and playing with the Dolphins inside the water. BEWARE Dolphin pictures are expensive and you are not allowed to use your cameras. Day 7- St Thomas. - we took a taxi to Coki Beach with some new friends from the ship and loved it, out of all the beaches on this cruise this was my favorite. The cruise experience had little things that I did not like there was never enough seating at the Pizza place and only water was provided instead of ice tea or lemonade. But that was minor issues , the ship is lovely the staff is excellent, Our waiters each evening Crispolo and Anthony greeted us by name with the biggest smiles and laughs, they already had the things we preferred each evening without asking and they are the hardest workers and the staff is the reason this ship was a great experience for me. I am already booked for 2021 Harmony of the Seas. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We chose this cruise because we had never been to the southern Caribbean and 3/4 ports were places we have never visited. We didn’t do ship excursions (we don’t have comments connected with RC). Embarkation- We arrived at the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we had never been to the southern Caribbean and 3/4 ports were places we have never visited. We didn’t do ship excursions (we don’t have comments connected with RC). Embarkation- We arrived at the cruise port around 4. It was not crowded, but still required gentle herding to find the correct baggage drop off for our deck. After that it was extremely easy walk on process. Cabin- Clean, functional, great shower pressure. Room attendant was amazing. The one thing I had read about and would agree with is uncomfortable (hard) mattress. We did hear some noise between rooms. One of our neighbors were not happy with each other and decided to loudly discussing the matter late at night. But not their tv or normal conversation. Dining- We really liked the food. We sat at the early seating for the main dining room. Food was wonderful. The buffet was a buffet, keep trying till to find something you like. We had one meal that we both nonplussed about. The bottomless brunch tour was very interesting, informative, mimosa and guacamole great, however the brunch itself was subpar. Entertainment- We didn’t really give the entertainment a fair shake. We missed the first night entertainment, which from our table mates they didn’t like. We went to the second night show (best of musicals), we ended up leaving midway through. One of the main singers was off pitch and we aren’t musical buffs so it didn’t have enough other to keep us in our seats. We ended up not going back to other shows in the theater. I really liked the ice show. It was super fun. We also randomly did trivia. Other- Great ports, good cruise ship. Would recommend. Overall we enjoyed the cruise and had a good time. It didn’t stand out as an exceptional vacation but was a good, relaxing vacation. I’ve read some comments regarding Royal Caribbean’s food quality going down but we enjoyed almost all of the food. We would recommend this particular cruise and will most likely go on future Royal Caribbean cruises. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Fantastic time, the first night was a little hectic due to getting everyone on board, the muster drill and getting everyone settled but things smoothed out nicely after the second day. excursions went smoothly, getting the groups checked ... Read More
Fantastic time, the first night was a little hectic due to getting everyone on board, the muster drill and getting everyone settled but things smoothed out nicely after the second day. excursions went smoothly, getting the groups checked in in the air-conditioned theater before going outside to the meeting places was a brilliant idea. We did have an issue with the padding / mattress on the sleeper sofa, had to use 3 padding and folded them together to make it thick enough to mimic a mattress. my back was in such pain trying to sleep on the sofabed we were usually too tired to watch any of the shows. but we did catch the ice show and really enjoyed that. In the beginning, we had an issue with the my time dining reservations. we traveled with a group of 8 and wanted to seat at 7pm. but there were not enough large tables to fit us. the early seating was not finished by 7 so we have to wait for them to finish to get a table. a few items I would like to point out. 1) the smoke coming from the casino made most of the 3rd floor inhabitable. even when no one was in the casino I was still gaging. On sea day it was SO crowded, and everyone was saving chairs that you could NOT use the pool area or the upper deck. EVERY chair was taken with a towel and all the pools were full of people you could not get in. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We chose the Southern Caribbean cruise because we enjoy warm weather after a long stint of snow and ice in Ontario, Canada. We sailed a similar cruise on Jewel of the Seas before. Ship - some wear but not noticeable unless someone was ... Read More
We chose the Southern Caribbean cruise because we enjoy warm weather after a long stint of snow and ice in Ontario, Canada. We sailed a similar cruise on Jewel of the Seas before. Ship - some wear but not noticeable unless someone was really looking. Promenade with shops and cafe and pizza was very good. No pushy sales people. The sports area was a bit tucked away though. Plenty of chairs/loungers even on our sea day. Entertainment - good. Same ice show was on 2 days at 2 different times. Good variety. Dining - requested a table for our group of 6. Unfortunately our head waiter had a new assistant waiter and service was slow as molasses. We were usually the last or almost the last to leave the dining room while a couple (also serviced by same waiters) received everything first. Ex: they had dessert before we received our appetizers. Also requested savory bites but was told could not provide :( People - everyone was very friendly. No issues with staff or other guests. Was a bit worried given the many negative reviews, but no issues at all on the cruise. St Thomas - we went to Sapphire Beach and surprisingly there was a water spout to wash off. Bar service and restrooms were available. Our ship docked at Crown Bay so there was an extra cost to go to downtown shopping. Antigua - had a great tour with Gordon Tours. For our group of 6, adults were $40/adult - Jerome was our tour guide. Everyone in our group really enjoyed the tour especially the visit to Nelson's Dockyard. Would suggest more time at the Dockyard as there was a lot to see. Barbados - visited the Boatyard for the first time and it was good. $25/person. As expected given our late docking there were no chairs/umbrella upon arrival. We made due under the pier and very nice people offered theirs when they left. Could not go on the boat to see the turtles even though we signed up right after arriving. Not worth it for us in the future as no guaranteed chairs/shade; not interested in inflatables; turtle boat dicey; last return back to cruise ship with them was 2hrs before all aboard. St Lucia - had a great time doing the Triple Adventure (jeep safari, zip lining and waterfall) with Treetop Adventures. Our guide was Erika/Sunshine. Gave a brief history during the Jeep Safari (tour portion was just ok). Zip lining was fantastic! Safety was huge plus. Groups have 2 guides for the zip lines. One guide goes first to the end of the zip line while the other guide hooks each person and tells you when to go. Way more safe zip lining with them than in Quebec. Afterwards, we had a provided burger and drinks at the waterfall. No "hike", just short walk. St Maarten - we went to Orient Bay and did parasailing and jet ski. We rented 2 chairs & umbrella for $30. Place with red umbrellas even had an outdoor shower. Short walk to other area including Le Macaron (to die for French pastries). There is also a guy who walks around with a wheel barrow selling coconuts. San Juan, PR - we had surf lessons at Pine Grove Surf Club (great instructor) on the Carolina side. Instructor is very patient. $55/person for lesson. Easy to find, just go on the Carolina beach to the right of the Ritz Carleton and there is a tent. We previously had lessons from Wow Surfing but they were rude when we emailed to book again. Kasalta bakery/sandwich place in Parque (close to Condado) - good place for breakfast. Ask for English menu. El Vagon food truck with seating in Miramar - delicious and reasonably priced. Miramar food trucks in Miramar - went there on Sunday around 1PM and there was only 1 food truck open. Went to nearby El Vagon instead. Bebo BBQ near airport - tasty and very cheap. However, salty and no English whatsoever. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We're regular cruisers splitting companies between RCL and Holland America. Ship was in good condition. Embarkation was easy. Cabin was a standard ocean view balcony. We had excellent cabin service from John. We, unfortunately, ... Read More
We're regular cruisers splitting companies between RCL and Holland America. Ship was in good condition. Embarkation was easy. Cabin was a standard ocean view balcony. We had excellent cabin service from John. We, unfortunately, had a mishap in the MDR on the first night when our reserved table for two was given away. Luckily, the dining room staff did their best to make things better for us and we were satisfied with very good service. The Windjammer meals were so-so. The food was good. Staff attentive and easy to talk to. Breakfast service was the same menu every day. A little more variety would have been better. We planned all excursions through RCL and they were worth it. Very well organized and we departed the ship in a timely manner. We disembarked with a airport transfer and Baccardi tour. We had a short wait but went through customs and onto the tour bus quickly. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
I've sailed on the Oasis and Allure in the past which drew me to another RCI cruise. Definitely not the same food, service and feel of the big ships. I was expecting the same overall serivce but was disappointed in the food, service ... Read More
I've sailed on the Oasis and Allure in the past which drew me to another RCI cruise. Definitely not the same food, service and feel of the big ships. I was expecting the same overall serivce but was disappointed in the food, service and overall morale of the staff. The pressure of the diningroom staff to order and speed us through our dinner was disappointing as well. I understand the sittings required but I've never felt so rushed in my past cruises. Windjammer had a great variety but lacked taste and some food was dry. I know if food sits out for a long time, it dries out. Get that! The staff didn't seem to enjoy what they were doing. Glum faces and not very interative. There wasn't enough music playing. It needed to be more up-beat and lively. When we embarked from a port, a neighbouring Carnival cruise line had music playing, were passing out drinks and passengers were greeted by a dancing captain. Not a fan of being nickel and dimed for everything as well. We'll skip our next cruise with RCI and try Carnival. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
The class of the ship plus the itinerary was why we chose this cruise, Freedom is a larger size ship with a Royal Promenade. We like that set up. It does not have all the bells and whistles that the newest ships have but there are ... Read More
The class of the ship plus the itinerary was why we chose this cruise, Freedom is a larger size ship with a Royal Promenade. We like that set up. It does not have all the bells and whistles that the newest ships have but there are certainly enough to keep us happy. The entertainment choices were all good especially the ice show. The main dining food was tasty and the choices we tried were good for the most part. Our cabin steward was excellent and readily met our special requests. Our dining room waiters and assistants were beyond accommodating. One evening we ate in the specialty restaurant Chops for an intimate steak dinner. WOW. We especially love the southern Caribbean itineraries and have done them several times. We love Barbados, Aruba, and St Maartens the most but each island has its own special uniqueness. We were able to meet so many interesting people on this cruise and made some friends.. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
I traveled with a friend who is a cruise travel agent and a group of about 35 other friends who usually do at least one cruise a year. The agent arranges the cruise, independent excursions and travel to and from the ship. This is the ... Read More
I traveled with a friend who is a cruise travel agent and a group of about 35 other friends who usually do at least one cruise a year. The agent arranges the cruise, independent excursions and travel to and from the ship. This is the first cruise I have done on a larger ship. My other cruises have been on Azamara and Paul Gaugin which are small all inclusive ships. I tried this because the price was good, there were friends to travel with and I was glad to get away from the cold. The size of the ship was overwhelming at first. We had one sea day and it was difficult to find a place at a pool. We preferred the quiet pool but did watch the "belly flop" contest at the main pool. We diined together at the late setting. Some of the food was great, most was ok. Several evenings they had some kind of dining staff program that was disruptive since we were directly under a loud speaker and in an alcove. We could not see what was happening and it was difficult to enjoy our dinner with the commotion. The buffet was very busy for breakfast and lunch, most food was ok and there were a lot of choices. We did breakfast in the dining room several days and enjoyed it. We did one shore excursion on St Kitts that was a tour of the island and a visit to Brimstone Hill. Three other island excursions were private and arranged for our group. Entertainment was ok. I attended several programs and liked the ice show the best. They real emphasize shopping. The majority of the tv channels were about shopping and there were new shopping brochures every day. Service on the whole was great. We never got our room service breakfast the first day but it was ok the rest of the time. Our cabin attendant was great as were our dinner staff. They got an extra tip. I enjoyed the cruise and would cruise Royal again if the right opportunity comes up. I still prefer the smaller all inclusive ships especially Azamara. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
I was last on this ship 10 years prior, so I don't remember a lot of the specifics way back then. But do remember enjoying the ship then and I still do. It's in that nice "not too big, not too small" comfort area I ... Read More
I was last on this ship 10 years prior, so I don't remember a lot of the specifics way back then. But do remember enjoying the ship then and I still do. It's in that nice "not too big, not too small" comfort area I like. But it is showing its wear. I mean if that was my first cruise, I probably wouldn't have noticed, but after a bunch you subconsciously become a bit of a cruise snob. But I'm not going to sweat that stuff, so it's not worth listing. But the ship could use a weekend off (of course, it doesn't work like that) to have a few nuts and bolts cleaned up. But it's still super clean, still has the typical RCI staff and crew that always seem to enjoy every day on the job, and go out of their way to make your day. The food was still good, though there seemed to be less variety in the Windjammer as compared to prior cruises. Our kids loved Adventure Ocean as always. Read Less
Sail Date January 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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