Freedom of the Seas - Western Caribbean: Freedom of the Seas Cruise Review by biscofl

Freedom of the Seas 2
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Freedom of the Seas - Western Caribbean

Sail Date: July 2006
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Miami
Embarkation was fine. Royal Caribbean had, as usual, separate lines for Platinum and Diamond Members, which were full as 1/3 of the passengers, including our family, were frequent cruisers with Royal Caribbean logging at least 6 cruises with the line. Our initial reaction was the ship was a disappointment for the dollar paid. As the week went on we never changed our mind. It was similar in almost every way to the Voyager class ships, and not even as shiny as we had thought it would be. The ship has been sailing since April and has already lost a bit of the sparkle. All the main rooms were called the same as they are on the Voyager class ships  for example the Windjammer Cafe. We were hoping for something new and different to live up to the hype, but never saw it.

The front desk staff  guest relations  is most unhelpful. The lines at guest relations are always long 24 hours a day.

Montego Bay was a nightmare. 17 and 18 year old boys waiting to re-embark on the ship More were separated from their families and searched for drugs without their pants in little huts by gun carrying Jamaican female police. Royal Caribbean staff seemed unfazed by this, however many parents were upset by guilty until proven innocent scary treatment. It seemed to put a bad taste in everyones mouth to say the least! After the bad customs experience in Jamaica, Julie, the guest relations manager, told a group of upset parents, including ourselves, that now we know how she felt when she came to the good ol USA. One time she had to wait in line for 3 hours at US customs so she had no pity for any treatment of Americans in foreign customs. Wow! We were pretty surprised by this strong anti-American sentiment, especially by the head of guest relations. We were never able to get a response from the shore excursion desk or anyone else in charge. Other parents never received an apology either.

The cabins were fine. Also similar to the Voyager cabins, but the balconies are bigger, which is nice. Be wary of the Flow Rider, although it is fun, it can be dangerous and people are hurt daily. The suction at the end tends grab you and it is easy to get grate marks and bruises on your arms  trust us  we have them. Other people had hurt ankles and minor aches.

The pools are fresh water which is also nice, but recycle through the week so swim toward the beginning of the week when the water is really clear and fresh.

The employees on the Freedom are truly extra busy. The cabin stewards said they all have more rooms than on the other ships and the dining room employees seem maxed out as well. All the employees seem like they are pushed to the limit.

Our teens attended the first night teen program and although they waited for over an hour none of the scheduled activities took place. The literature states that if not enough teens show up the activities will not occur, but we felt a group of 40 was certainly enough. We were told teens didnt want planned activities!

The food was fine. We recognized the menus from the Voyager ships. Presentation was often better than the taste, although everything did taste good, just not great. Avoid the strip steak. Tough and not tasty.

The entertainment was great. The company pulled its best dancers and singers for this ship.

Shore excursions in Cozumel are limited as the town is still suffering from hurricane damage; however fun opportunities are available in Playa del Carmen. Labadee is fun  the shops are full of good deals, although we were disappointed our kayak tour guide knew little history of the island. Overall, the ship is just an overpriced version of the Voyager Ships with poor guest relations. Less

Published 07/30/06

Cabin review: D19618 Superior Oceanview Stateroom with Balcony

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