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*We tried to submit this letter to RCCL before posting so that they could respond directly, unfortunately we were informed that we would have to try another time. After 3 failed attempts, we decided they could read our review here. Just back from our cruise on Freedom of the Seas which sailed August 31, 2014 from Port Canaveral. Just though I would "highlight" some things that may be of interest to future sailors. We have sailed on many lines and we are Diamond on RCCL. Traveling with us were 3 young adults (24-35) 1 infant 10 months, my husband and self (mid 50's). PARKING: As suggested by many on cruise critic we parked at the Radisson. The line was long and felt disorganized. EMBARKATION: This was fast and easy. Elevators and escalators were all in working order. LUGGAGE: Bags were all labeled and passed on to a porter curbside....with a substantial tip. Most of the bags showed up by the time the muster had ended. However, by 9pm we still did not have my husband's bag. After repeatedly asking at Guest services and being reassured that it would be "OK.," We confronted them again. This time they went in back and rolled out my husbands bag. the 2 desk officials (Giselle and Leyze sp?) then proceeded to lecture us that it should have been tagged with our name. We looked at them in surprise and showed them the tag with our name on it. Why weren't we call? Why did it take numerous inquiries? Instead we were met with indifference ad accusatory comments. Two days later, a bottle wine with a note did show up in our room. FOOD: We were "my Time Dining." For the most part they were able to seat us at our time requested and by the window. Overall the food variety was interesting and varied. Presentation was lovely. Now the WINDJAMMER--Overall the food was repetitive. Lunch options felt limited during this cruise. The dining room was only open twice on sea days.. Therefore upstairs you were faced with swimsuits and towels draped around necks, hot dogs, hamburgers, pasta with white sauce, sliced swiss or yellow cheese, bread pudding and a brown stew. The uniqueness of the vegetarian or ethnic station was gone. The 2 venues on the 5th floor offered the same food everyday. Gone is the surprise of discovering something new to try. VENUES: Our young adults were disappointed with the music and dancing. The designated night club, Crypt, was unavailable during part of the cruise. The night it was available RCCL decided to forgo a DJ and do a "silent disco." We felt robbed of our night out. CASINO: The staff here frowned upon excitement and enthusiasum. The other people were not bothered...just the staff. Language and behavior were not inappropriate. This certainly was not like a Las Vegas experience. They sure squashed the fun out of it. CABIN: We had the Royal Family Suite. The beds were wonderful. We loved the walk-in shower with a door not a curtain. Great privacy even in the shared space. The master bath had a tub which was convenient for a baby. Since our baby was not walking, the suite offered great room for a pack n' play and crawling space. Also, our large balcony had a table with seating for 4 adults and room to add an additional chair. We used this every morning for coffee and dinner when the baby decided to sleep. DOWNSIDE--they decided to do painting above us so the power washed the old paint which ended up on our balcony. These pieces of paint were the size of a 1/2 dollar and needed to be vacuumed up so the baby wouldn't get them. We did feel terrible using the in room towels to wipe off the water every morning from the table. BABY SERVICES: Infants pay full fare--yes you read that right--they are not free. Therefore, when the baby splash pool (the only play area available for us to use) was closed, we were EXTREMLY disappointed. It was a sea day and it was hot. We received no explanation, just servicing. We were told it would reopen at 4pm. There was nothing visable in the pool. They never completely drained it nor did they repair the worn patches. Prior to boarding we were advised by RCCL that baby food was available for purchase as a package for approx. $79. We brought our own on but come to find out another couple was offered pureed food for their baby by the wait staff. This was never offered to us. BAR SERVICE: "We are out of cabernet." "Sorry, we are out of glasses." These are not statements we expected to hear at 7:30pm in the champagne bar or Vintages, but we did on several nights. These are the bars located right outside of the dining room. Furthermore, during this prime time they were clearly understaffed and seemed flustered by the onslaught of orders for drinks. By the end of the week, we found another bar. They served us cheerfully and in the proper red wine glasses. Our son discovered the pub. The staff was attentive and friendly. Kudos for this team. ESPRESSO: Traveling as Diamond or Suite guests does have its perks. One of those is the availability of cappuccinos and steamed milk. Unfortunately the machine was broken on the 14th floor. By the middle of the week, the 10th floor machine had some functions not working. One of the attendants at the 14th floor, Javet (sp?) told me it would be fixed on embarkation for the next sailing. His attitude bordered on confrontational. I was told to use the one on the 10th floor. Not all diamond members stay in the suites. We have never been told to access the suites lounge before. Is this a new policy? I was lucky we were both on this cruise. GENERAL SERVICE: With the exception of our room steward and the concierge lounge staff, we felt the general disposition of the crew and staff was different this cruise. Being long-time cruisers, we are used to being greeted with knowledgeable, smiling, and helpful people. This time, we were often told "I don't know" in surly tones. Many times we felt yelled at. Overall there was a sense of inconsistency on all levels. DEBARKATION: Can we possible check on working status of escalators before we return and unload 3,900 people? While RCCL takes much pride with being able to move 3,900 passengers on the their boats, getting them off seemed quite a task this week. Only 1 elevator was in use and no escalators. The lines were long and frustrating. The staff was GROUCHY. As a family, this is still one of the best ways for us to spend quality time together, have great meals together and explore various parts of the world. But we also hate to see this brand lower itself to become another "carnival" catering to masses of people and compromising the high standards they set when we first began cruising 30 years ago. The McAdam Family  

A Family Cruise

Freedom of the Seas Cruise Review by Floridamarie

Trip Details
*We tried to submit this letter to RCCL before posting so that they could respond directly, unfortunately we were informed that we would have to try another time. After 3 failed attempts, we decided they could read our review here.
Just back from our cruise on Freedom of the Seas which sailed August 31, 2014 from Port Canaveral. Just though I would "highlight" some things that may be of interest to future sailors. We have sailed on many lines and we are Diamond on RCCL. Traveling with us were 3 young adults (24-35) 1 infant 10 months, my husband and self (mid 50's).
PARKING: As suggested by many on cruise critic we parked at the Radisson. The line was long and felt disorganized.
EMBARKATION: This was fast and easy. Elevators and escalators were all in working order.
LUGGAGE: Bags were all labeled and passed on to a porter curbside....with a substantial tip. Most of the bags showed up by the time the muster had ended. However, by 9pm we still did not have my husband's bag. After repeatedly asking at Guest services and being reassured that it would be "OK.," We confronted them again. This time they went in back and rolled out my husbands bag. the 2 desk officials (Giselle and Leyze sp?) then proceeded to lecture us that it should have been tagged with our name. We looked at them in surprise and showed them the tag with our name on it. Why weren't we call? Why did it take numerous inquiries? Instead we were met with indifference ad accusatory comments. Two days later, a bottle wine with a note did show up in our room.
FOOD: We were "my Time Dining." For the most part they were able to seat us at our time requested and by the window. Overall the food variety was interesting and varied. Presentation was lovely. Now the WINDJAMMER--Overall the food was repetitive. Lunch options felt limited during this cruise. The dining room was only open twice on sea days.. Therefore upstairs you were faced with swimsuits and towels draped around necks, hot dogs, hamburgers, pasta with white sauce, sliced swiss or yellow cheese, bread pudding and a brown stew. The uniqueness of the vegetarian or ethnic station was gone. The 2 venues on the 5th floor offered the same food everyday. Gone is the surprise of discovering something new to try.
VENUES: Our young adults were disappointed with the music and dancing. The designated night club, Crypt, was unavailable during part of the cruise. The night it was available RCCL decided to forgo a DJ and do a "silent disco." We felt robbed of our night out.
CASINO: The staff here frowned upon excitement and enthusiasum. The other people were not bothered...just the staff. Language and behavior were not inappropriate. This certainly was not like a Las Vegas experience. They sure squashed the fun out of it.
CABIN: We had the Royal Family Suite. The beds were wonderful. We loved the walk-in shower with a door not a curtain. Great privacy even in the shared space. The master bath had a tub which was convenient for a baby. Since our baby was not walking, the suite offered great room for a pack n' play and crawling space. Also, our large balcony had a table with seating for 4 adults and room to add an additional chair. We used this every morning for coffee and dinner when the baby decided to sleep. DOWNSIDE--they decided to do painting above us so the power washed the old paint which ended up on our balcony. These pieces of paint were the size of a 1/2 dollar and needed to be vacuumed up so the baby wouldn't get them. We did feel terrible using the in room towels to wipe off the water every morning from the table.
BABY SERVICES: Infants pay full fare--yes you read that right--they are not free. Therefore, when the baby splash pool (the only play area available for us to use) was closed, we were EXTREMLY disappointed. It was a sea day and it was hot. We received no explanation, just servicing. We were told it would reopen at 4pm. There was nothing visable in the pool. They never completely drained it nor did they repair the worn patches. Prior to boarding we were advised by RCCL that baby food was available for purchase as a package for approx. $79. We brought our own on but come to find out another couple was offered pureed food for their baby by the wait staff. This was never offered to us.
BAR SERVICE: "We are out of cabernet." "Sorry, we are out of glasses." These are not statements we expected to hear at 7:30pm in the champagne bar or Vintages, but we did on several nights. These are the bars located right outside of the dining room. Furthermore, during this prime time they were clearly understaffed and seemed flustered by the onslaught of orders for drinks. By the end of the week, we found another bar. They served us cheerfully and in the proper red wine glasses. Our son discovered the pub. The staff was attentive and friendly. Kudos for this team.
ESPRESSO: Traveling as Diamond or Suite guests does have its perks. One of those is the availability of cappuccinos and steamed milk. Unfortunately the machine was broken on the 14th floor. By the middle of the week, the 10th floor machine had some functions not working. One of the attendants at the 14th floor, Javet (sp?) told me it would be fixed on embarkation for the next sailing. His attitude bordered on confrontational. I was told to use the one on the 10th floor. Not all diamond members stay in the suites. We have never been told to access the suites lounge before. Is this a new policy? I was lucky we were both on this cruise.
GENERAL SERVICE: With the exception of our room steward and the concierge lounge staff, we felt the general disposition of the crew and staff was different this cruise. Being long-time cruisers, we are used to being greeted with knowledgeable, smiling, and helpful people. This time, we were often told "I don't know" in surly tones. Many times we felt yelled at. Overall there was a sense of inconsistency on all levels.
DEBARKATION: Can we possible check on working status of escalators before we return and unload 3,900 people? While RCCL takes much pride with being able to move 3,900 passengers on the their boats, getting them off seemed quite a task this week. Only 1 elevator was in use and no escalators. The lines were long and frustrating. The staff was GROUCHY.
As a family, this is still one of the best ways for us to spend quality time together, have great meals together and explore various parts of the world. But we also hate to see this brand lower itself to become another "carnival" catering to masses of people and compromising the high standards they set when we first began cruising 30 years ago.
The McAdam Family
 
Floridamarie’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
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Ages Under 3
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Cabin Review

Cabin 8414
We had 5 adults and 1 baby. Lots of room and lots of privacy. The balcony offered an extra room for morning coffee and dinner when we had to eat in with a sleeping baby. Very comfortable beds and loved having a shower door not a curtain.
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