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By talking before our cruise we were able to set up a bunch of activities that everyone enjoyed. Having never met, we decided to try and organize some activities we could enjoy as a group that we may not have been able to accomplish without planning prior to sailing. On the day of departure we all met at the Sky Bar before and during castoff, had a few drinks and discussed our plans for the week. We had made arrangements through RCCL for 16 of us to dine together. Every night we talked and shared our experiences from the day and grew the knowledge of each other we had from talking on the Cruise Critic site. The first day at sea, after the Meet & Mingle sponsored by RCCL, 30 of us met for a slot pull. It was a blast, especially since we nearly doubled our money. After the slot pull we did a cabin crawl. Eleven people were kind enough to allow 25 of us to see their cabins. Everything from an interior cabin up to a grand suite. On our stop at Falmouth, 14 of us took a self guided tour of the town. None of us would have been comfortable walking around the town alone but we felt much more secure sightseeing and shopping with a group. Also on our stop at Cozumel 6 of us took the Cozumel Bar Hop excursion which we had all booked earlier since it is not offered through the cruise line. Again it was great. The food, drinks, beaches and company were outstanding. We also met our new friends all over the ship, whether in the Schooner Bar for a trivia challenge or while getting a seat for a show or just bumping into a friend at a lounge in the evening, there always seemed to be someone you knew around to talk to. Without the opportunity Cruise Critic to meet our new friends and discuss our plans, none of this would have taken place. As far as the cruise itself, it was great. Now if you are looking for a 5 diamond resort with a 4 star restaurant, don't book this cruise. The rooms are clean and you cannot beat the view but the rooms and bathrooms are cramped and there is limited storage space unless you have a suite. The food is prepared to feed over 6000 people at least 3 times a day so do not expect it to look and taste like Mom's home cooking. The buffet has an amazing assortment of foods to eat but they cannot have everything. The crew are amazing when you consider what is expected of them. They work 8 to 10 hours a day, 7 days a week for 4 to 8 months at a time. They are human like anyone else and have their good and bad days. But they are expected to be upbeat at all times, we found them to be gracious and helpful but no one can be excited to see you every time you walk by. A tip for getting on and off of the ship weather upon embarkation and debarkation, be early. We arrived around 10:00, dropped our bags, parked our car, went through security, checked in and were on the ship by 11:00. On debarkation, we got up late, ate breakfast and got off the ship at 9:30 but we then had to go through customs. It took us nearly and hour after picking up our bags until we got to our car. For some reason Customs feels they only need 6 Customs Officers to process over 4400 passengers. In summary, I suggest you get on your roll call, make some friends and make some plans. After you get on the ship kick back and relax. Nothing will happen on the ship that will ruin your vacation unless you let it. P.S. The ships propulsion has been completely repaired. I spoke with the Captain and he said I could quote him on it. There is some vibration on the ship but nothing unusual for a cruise ship.

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Freedom of the Seas Cruise Review by Redgem

Trip Details
By talking before our cruise we were able to set up a bunch of activities that everyone enjoyed. Having never met, we decided to try and organize some activities we could enjoy as a group that we may not have been able to accomplish without planning prior to sailing.

On the day of departure we all met at the Sky Bar before and during castoff, had a few drinks and discussed our plans for the week.

We had made arrangements through RCCL for 16 of us to dine together. Every night we talked and shared our experiences from the day and grew the knowledge of each other we had from talking on the Cruise Critic site.

The first day at sea, after the Meet & Mingle sponsored by RCCL, 30 of us met for a slot pull. It was a blast, especially since we nearly doubled our money.

After the slot pull we did a cabin crawl. Eleven people were kind enough to allow 25 of us to see their cabins. Everything from an interior cabin up to a grand suite.

On our stop at Falmouth, 14 of us took a self guided tour of the town. None of us would have been comfortable walking around the town alone but we felt much more secure sightseeing and shopping with a group.

Also on our stop at Cozumel 6 of us took the Cozumel Bar Hop excursion which we had all booked earlier since it is not offered through the cruise line. Again it was great. The food, drinks, beaches and company were outstanding.

We also met our new friends all over the ship, whether in the Schooner Bar for a trivia challenge or while getting a seat for a show or just bumping into a friend at a lounge in the evening, there always seemed to be someone you knew around to talk to.

Without the opportunity Cruise Critic to meet our new friends and discuss our plans, none of this would have taken place.

As far as the cruise itself, it was great. Now if you are looking for a 5 diamond resort with a 4 star restaurant, don't book this cruise. The rooms are clean and you cannot beat the view but the rooms and bathrooms are cramped and there is limited storage space unless you have a suite. The food is prepared to feed over 6000 people at least 3 times a day so do not expect it to look and taste like Mom's home cooking. The buffet has an amazing assortment of foods to eat but they cannot have everything.

The crew are amazing when you consider what is expected of them. They work 8 to 10 hours a day, 7 days a week for 4 to 8 months at a time. They are human like anyone else and have their good and bad days. But they are expected to be upbeat at all times, we found them to be gracious and helpful but no one can be excited to see you every time you walk by.

A tip for getting on and off of the ship weather upon embarkation and debarkation, be early. We arrived around 10:00, dropped our bags, parked our car, went through security, checked in and were on the ship by 11:00. On debarkation, we got up late, ate breakfast and got off the ship at 9:30 but we then had to go through customs. It took us nearly and hour after picking up our bags until we got to our car. For some reason Customs feels they only need 6 Customs Officers to process over 4400 passengers.

In summary, I suggest you get on your roll call, make some friends and make some plans. After you get on the ship kick back and relax. Nothing will happen on the ship that will ruin your vacation unless you let it.

P.S. The ships propulsion has been completely repaired. I spoke with the Captain and he said I could quote him on it. There is some vibration on the ship but nothing unusual for a cruise ship.
Redgem’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Cabin 9639
Typical interior room. Cramped but since we were rarely in the room, it didn't matter. This room was exceptionally quiet. We did not hear any noises at night an rarely heard anything during the day
  Freedom of the Seas Deck Plans

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Cozumel Bar Hop
    The name of this tour is somewhat misleading. It is true that we stopped at 4 "bars" but they were more like restaurants. We met our tour guides at Senor Frogs downtown and boarded our bus. The guides were competent and friendly explaining some of the history of the island and its peoples. The best part of this excursion was location of the bars where we stopped. The west side of the island, where the cruise ships dock, is mainly sandy beaches. But this tour went to the east side of the island. The bars we stopped at were on the coast. They were rustic, to say the least. The views were great. There were beaches but also outcroppings of coral. With the waves crashing and the drinks flowing, it was paradise. If you plan on eating, I would recommend the 3rd restaurant, Playa ?????. The drinks were strong and the food was delicious.
    View All 13,608 Cozumel Bar Hop Reviews
  • Falmouth
    The town of Falmouth is a bit scary after leaving the compound so we organized a group to do a self guided walking tour. If you do go into the town, stop by Spicey Nice on Water Square. The pastries are great and the price is exceptionally reasonable.
    View All 1,354 Falmouth Cruise Port Reviews
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  • Labadee
    A great beach day just hanging out in the sun. Adrenaline Beach, under the zip line is a little rocky. The price of the Labadozzee is ridiculous. $28 for 2 drinks.
    View All 1,818 Labadee Cruise Port Reviews
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  • Port Canaveral (Orlando)
    Arrival was great. we were on the ship within an hour of arrival at the port. Departure was a pain. Only 6 Customs Officers to process over 4400 passengers. Getting off the ship took 15 min. Getting through Customs took over an hour.
    View All 2,177 Port Canaveral (Orlando) Cruise Port Reviews
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