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My family sailed on the holiday cruise, Dec. 27 to Jan 3. We have been on about 10-11 cruises, 3 on Disney, 3 on Celebrity, and the rest on HAL. We had two cabins, one with myself and my father-in-law, and one with my wife Sarah and my sep-daughter. In addition, there were a total of 28 of us in the group, very close family friends, ranging in age from 4 to over 80. Never having sailed on RCL before I was wondering what to expect. This was the biggest ship we have ever been on, and with the highest mix of children. Embarkation could not have been better. We were steered to a special line as my father-in-law uses a cain. One theme we noticed was the tremendous service to the members of our group who needed some assistance. It just couldn't have been better, and we were all very pleased! Dining exceeded my expectations. The table staff were excellent, some of the best that I have ever experienced. Jon-Jon was our main water. He was assisted by a gentleman from Serbia, whose name I don't recall. This guy was also awesome, very funny, interacted with the children and all of us. Jon-Jon was outstanding, just made you happy to have him around. He new and understood what we liked, was always suggesting excellent dishes. The staff at Sabor were also excellent. Our waitress as from South Africa and was excellent. Sabor is kind of a hidden treasure I think. I never got a chance to try the other restaurants, maybe next time. The shore excursion at St. Thomas was a bit disorganized. It was very crowded and somewhat hot. We were told conflicting information about where the excursion would be. Some of it is my fault, as I didn't nail down *exactly* where we were supposed to be. Unfortunately, I made our group walk unnecessarily. In the end my wife, father-in-law, and I weren't able to make the excursion, but the rest of our group did and enjoyed it. In St. Martin we did the Ultimate Island tour, which we have done before and have really enjoyed both times. But I think you could about watch paint dry on St. Martin and it would be nice! It is just such a nice place. We had one interaction with someone from Guest Services, when we had a slightly complicated problem. Totally outstanding service. I believe the issue took about an hour to resolve completely, not because she was slow, but because it was a difficult issue. She resolved the issue to our total satisfaction, and was fair to both us and RC. I believe her name was Gabriella. Our cabins were very nice, and well maintained. Steward was very nice. Internet service was inexpensive and very very good. I didn't go to as much of the entertainment as I usually do. I saw one show in the main theater and it was very good. But the ice skating show had me sanding and cheering at the end. Never thought I would like that, but I did! We saw the captain hanging around a few times, and that was very nice. He really seemed to like getting out there and meeting people. I do not have many complaints or suggestions. Some things are not really addressable by RCL. We are used to smaller ships, and ships with less children (I believe there were over 1300 kids on this cruise). This was designed as a family cruise and the ship is a family friendly ship. But we would probably prefer one of RCL's smaller ships or the smaller HAL and Celebrity ships. It is just easier to get around. My only complaint is not something that RC can really address. The ship and the cruise (especially a holiday cruise) are really really geared to children and families. We like to cruise with Celebrity and HAL, which are more laid back. However, we would definitely consider RC if the price and itinerary were right, especially a cruise that was longer and had less children. I didn't care too much for the Royal Promenade. On the one hand there sure are lots of places to buy things; on the other hand, there sure are lots of places to buy things. Sometimes I thought, this is a mini mall at sea. I imagine many people enjoy that, but I prefer to get away from malls when I am on a cruise. Just not my cup of tea.

A Very Good Cruise!

Freedom of the Seas Cruise Review by Kansas Jayhawk Cruiser

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
My family sailed on the holiday cruise, Dec. 27 to Jan 3. We have been on about 10-11 cruises, 3 on Disney, 3 on Celebrity, and the rest on HAL. We had two cabins, one with myself and my father-in-law, and one with my wife Sarah and my sep-daughter.

In addition, there were a total of 28 of us in the group, very close family friends, ranging in age from 4 to over 80.

Never having sailed on RCL before I was wondering what to expect. This was the biggest ship we have ever been on, and with the highest mix of children.

Embarkation could not have been better. We were steered to a special line as my father-in-law uses a cain. One theme we noticed was the tremendous service to the members of our group who needed some assistance. It just couldn't have been better, and we were all very pleased!

Dining exceeded my expectations.

The table staff were excellent, some of the best that I have ever experienced. Jon-Jon was our main water. He was assisted by a gentleman from Serbia, whose name I don't recall. This guy was also awesome, very funny, interacted with the children and all of us. Jon-Jon was outstanding, just made you happy to have him around. He new and understood what we liked, was always suggesting excellent dishes.

The staff at Sabor were also excellent. Our waitress as from South Africa and was excellent. Sabor is kind of a hidden treasure I think. I never got a chance to try the other restaurants, maybe next time.

The shore excursion at St. Thomas was a bit disorganized. It was very crowded and somewhat hot. We were told conflicting information about where the excursion would be. Some of it is my fault, as I didn't nail down *exactly* where we were supposed to be. Unfortunately, I made our group walk unnecessarily. In the end my wife, father-in-law, and I weren't able to make the excursion, but the rest of our group did and enjoyed it.

In St. Martin we did the Ultimate Island tour, which we have done before and have really enjoyed both times. But I think you could about watch paint dry on St. Martin and it would be nice! It is just such a nice place.

We had one interaction with someone from Guest Services, when we had a slightly complicated problem. Totally outstanding service. I believe the issue took about an hour to resolve completely, not because she was slow, but because it was a difficult issue. She resolved the issue to our total satisfaction, and was fair to both us and RC. I believe her name was Gabriella.

Our cabins were very nice, and well maintained. Steward was very nice.

Internet service was inexpensive and very very good.

I didn't go to as much of the entertainment as I usually do. I saw one show in the main theater and it was very good. But the ice skating show had me sanding and cheering at the end. Never thought I would like that, but I did!

We saw the captain hanging around a few times, and that was very nice. He really seemed to like getting out there and meeting people.

I do not have many complaints or suggestions. Some things are not really addressable by RCL. We are used to smaller ships, and ships with less children (I believe there were over 1300 kids on this cruise). This was designed as a family cruise and the ship is a family friendly ship. But we would probably prefer one of RCL's smaller ships or the smaller HAL and Celebrity ships. It is just easier to get around.

My only complaint is not something that RC can really address. The ship and the cruise (especially a holiday cruise) are really really geared to children and families. We like to cruise with Celebrity and HAL, which are more laid back. However, we would definitely consider RC if the price and itinerary were right, especially a cruise that was longer and had less children.

I didn't care too much for the Royal Promenade. On the one hand there sure are lots of places to buy things; on the other hand, there sure are lots of places to buy things. Sometimes I thought, this is a mini mall at sea. I imagine many people enjoy that, but I prefer to get away from malls when I am on a cruise. Just not my cup of tea.
Kansas Jayhawk Cruiser’s Full Rating Summary
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Ages 3 to 6
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