Freedom of the Seas - Western Caribbean - January 2013: Freedom of the Seas Cruise Review by Cruselover

Freedom of the Seas 4
Member Since 2004
133 Forum Posts

Overall Member Rating

Freedom of the Seas - Western Caribbean - January 2013

Sail Date: January 2013
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Port Canaveral (Orlando)
First let me say that Freedom is a great ship. Great layout and lots to do. We were traveling in a group of 8, all adults. There were 4200 passengers on this sailing on it was just shy of full capacity

Embarkation: We flew to Orlando on the day of embarkation. We used prepaid tranfers to get to Port Canaveral. The RCI agent was standing in plain view in the baggage area at MCO and gave us good direction. We waited about 30 minutes for a bus and then were taken on the 45 minute ride to the Port. It's a great view as you cross the bridge over to Port Canaveral as you could see Freedom waiting for us. Once at the cruise terminal, we waited in line for about 15 minutes and then were directed to the the Platinum and above express line. From this point, we were on the ship in about 20 minutes.

Cabin: See Cabin review below.

Dining: We had the 5:30 seating in the Leonardo Dining Room. Kibwe (from Trinidad) and Petya (from Bulgaria) were our Waiter and More Asst. Waiter. Consider yourself lucky if you happen to score these two as they did a fabulous job and were a lot of fun! The dining room food was fairly good and selection was also good. Considering they are serving 2200 meals in 3 dining rooms per seating, we feel they did a pretty good job overall. We opted to take breakfast each day in the dining room as well as we enjoy this relaxed experience. The Windjammer on Deck 11 was crowded, just as it always is on these ships. You have to alter your meal times to avoid the crowds. Food selection in the Windjammer was good and food quality was good also. We did not eat in Portofino or Chops Grille. We did have lunch in Johnny Rockets and the experience was just like a land based visit, lively and pretty good, though the menu is abbreviated.

Bars, casino, etc: No shortage of bars on this ship and bar selections were numerous. Great selection of top shelf libations and great wine list. The bar service was top notch. Be sure you search out Alba (from Jamaica) for a very special bar experience. There are some great specialty bars on the Promenade, Vintages and The Champagne Bar. Be sure you try these. The casino was well appointed but VERY smoky so we didn't stay there long on any given day.

Shows: We are not big show people, but on this trip we did two. The 'Now You See It' magic show and the '' ice show. Be sure you pre-reserve your seats for any show on this ship as they fill up fast. Both of these shows were very good and very entertaining. The Ice show especially should not be missed.

Ship: Freedom is a very nice ship and absorbs the 4000+ passengers well. There are lots of activities, highlighted by the Flowrider, the rock wall, and the Putt Putt course. We were impressed with the easy navigation of the ship. There are numerous interactive displays in each decks elevator areas that you can use to get directions to any venue on board. After a couple of days, we were pretty comfortable with getting around. The pool areas were crowded, just as they always are on these ships so you have to camp out early. Lots of hot tubs and the sun deck areas away from the pools are numerous. The ship was very clean and very well decorated. Nothing really seemed worn or outdated. Wifi is available, but it is a very steep .75 cents per minute. You can purchase fairly reasonable internet packages for use in the Internet Cafe on Deck 8 (make sure you check you coupons!)

Overall Opinion: We give Freedom a thumbs up. This was a very relaxing and entertaining cruise. Less

Published 01/23/13

Cabin review: E18320 Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom with Balcony

We had cabin 8320 (Cat. E1) on deck 8, Starboard side, midships. Basic balcony cabin with all the standard amenities which includes a refrigerator and an in cabin safe. The cabin was clean. Closet and storage was adequate. Bathroom had a shower stall and one sink. Fairly good storage in here too. Very quiet location and close to the aft elevators.

Read All Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom with Balcony (E1) Reviews >>

Port and Shore Excursions

Helmet Dive

This was an okay excursion. While it's a cool concept, the area where this excursion happens is right off the rocky shore. You descend off of a dock and the small underwater circuit where you walk is dark and has poor visibility. Dead coral and a fair amount of fish. We had done this type of excursion on at another port on a previous cruise and it was much better because we were taken out in a boat where the visibility was much better. Not recommended.

Falmouth, Jamaica is a so-so port unless you do an excursion. Me and one of the other guys opted to play golf at Witch Witch. If you play golf, you do not want to miss this experience. We had a great time and the course and views form the top of the mountain are fantastic. If you don't so an excursion, you are relegated to the shopping plaza which is right off the pier. It is a nice shopping area, but nothing special. it is recommended that you do not venture out of this area unless you have an excursion. Falmouth is a very depressed area until you get out of the downtown area. You dock at this port.
Read 1034 Falmouth Reviews

Dolphin Encounter

This is a must do. We did the 'Dolphin Encounter and Swim' where we were in the water with one dolphin and got to interact 1-on-1 doing several activities. Beautiful and intelligent creatures and a lot of fun. Highly recommend this excursion as it is well organized and at a great facility. The trainers and attendants were great.

Turtle Farm

Great facility where you can view and touch these magnificent creatures.

Labadee is a a beach area very similar to CoCo Cay. Lots of beach area and nice venue. the have a zipline and a small roller coaster. They served a buffet lunch with the normal RCI burgers, dogs, chicken, and ribs. I am never impressed with the beach buffets done by RCI and always feel they could do better. The lounge chairs they provide were in disrepair and need updating. We had a nice day though and just relaxed on the beach and shady ares for a few hours. You do dock at this port so getting off the ship is easy.
Read 1320 Labadee Reviews

Compare Prices on Freedom of the Seas Western Caribbean Cruises

Read more Freedom of the Seas cruise reviews >>
Read Cruise Critic’s Freedom of the Seas Review >>

Compare Prices on Freedom of the Seas Western Caribbean Cruises

Member Since 2004
133 Forum Posts
Enrichment Activities
Family & Children
Fitness & Recreation
Onboard Experience
Public Rooms
Shore Excursions
Value for Money
Skip X

See Freedom of the Seas deals up to 82% off:

October Deals
Freedom of the Seas 80% Loved It

14 Night Transatlantic Cruise
See all Freedom of the Seas Deals >>