Freedom of the Seas - Western Caribbean (Aug 3 - 10): Freedom of the Seas Cruise Review by Fastlikethat
Overall Member Rating
Freedom of the Seas - Western Caribbean (Aug 3 - 10)
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Port Canaveral (Orlando)
As a priority guest, embarkation went very smoothly and we were on the ship within 20 minutes of getting to the pier.
Cabin: Junior Suite - 10th floor - #1378; Large cabin, spacious layout, large bathroom (w/ a tub/shower - great for kids) and plenty of storage - including a walk-in closet. Slightly outdated, but it did have a brand new television.
Dining: With the exception of Chops Grille and Portofino, our dining experience was disappointing. For some reason, RCCL has kept the same menus for the majority of their ships for 10+ years. While I understand the need to mass produce meals at dinner, the cruise line does need to start adding some variety. I understand that Oasis and Allure offer more options, but w/ Freeedom class and smaller, the menus have never changed. (I am sick of chilled peach soup, shrimp cocktail, etc.) In More addition, we chose the early dining seating as we had two small children w/ us. Our dinner service was extremely slow (nearing 2 hours each night), and this was after we asked them to expedite our service. On two of the nights, the wait staff forgot to bring certain items altogether.
1) Labadee, Haiti: We rented a cabana throuhg RCCL as had a large onboard ship credit to use. The cabana is not necessary as lounge chairs are free. Our children enjoyed playing on the beach and in the ocean, and the bbq lunch was pretty good.
2) Falmouth, Jamaica: Opted to get a taxi on our own and tour part of the island, including the Green Grotto Caves ($50 for 4 people). The caves were excellent and our 5 year old said it was one of her favorite parts of the trip.
3) Grand Cayman: Opted to get taxi on our own and go to Surf Side Beach. The cost of the roundtrip taxi + 4 lounge chairs was only $60. Had we done the RCCL excursion to Tiki Beach (which is literally next door to Surf Side beach) + 4 lounge chairs would have been $180. We ended up renting a jet ski and the total cost was still less than the RCCL excursion. We actually liked the beach better as we were closer to the water and the sand was much better than Labadee.
4) Cozumel, Mexio: Did the Dolphin Encounter excursion through RCCL ($79.95/person). This was the only dolphin excursion our 2 year old could participate in. The excursion was excellent as we were able to touch/play w/ the dolphins. We had lunch onsite (which was very good and a nice change from the ship) and then attended the sea lion show.
5) Entertainment on the ship: My wife and I found the nighttime entertainment very lacking. One of the two comedians was good and the Broadway show was good. Other than that, it seems as though RCCL does not care about the quality of entertainers.
6) Kids activities: Our 5 yeard daughter enjoyed the Explorers program and the Barbie experience. We put her in the 6-9 year old group, rather than the 3-5 year old, and it was a much better experience for her. She participated in both a talent show and a runway show, which were held in the lounge outside of the ice rink. There is no program for 2 year olds, though we did drop her off in the babysitting room once.
Overall a good cruise for our family. Less
Cabin review: 1378
We were in a junior suite (10th Floor - 1378). The cabin was slightly outdated (same decor for over 10 years), though it did have a brand new flat screen tv. We had a king-size bed + a pull-out sofa bed, which worked perfectly for 2 adults & 2 small children. The cabin has a walk-in closet, and together with the addtional cabinets/drawers, there was more than enough room for our stuff. The bathroom is larger than the typical cruise ship bathroom as it has more square footage and a tub/shower combo.
Carnival; never again
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