When we were looking for a ship to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary, we knew we wanted a Royal Caribbean ship. We had sailed on the Oasis for our 25th and decided to downsize to check it out. We loved the Freedom of the Seas. It is similar to the Oasis but with less people. Yes it was crowded at times, like when shows ended, returning from ports, etc... This did not bother us though as we expected it. The service was fabulous from everyone who worked on the ship. I never saw one unhappy worker. They were pleasant even if they were not specifically taking care of you. We did experience very slow service in Chops when we ate there. Really didn't see a reason for it.
Embarkation and disembarkation was smooth. Being a C & A member, we got our sea pass card and walked right onto the ship at 11-1130 am, as our number had been called. Our cabin wasn't ready until 1 pm, so we sat by the pool and enjoyed a cool refreshment from the pool bar while we waited.
Now the weather was the only problem we had, and there was nothing that could be done about it. It rained 5 out of 8 days. And not just a sprinkle! The mornings were very overcast and the skies opened in the afternoons. Still there was plenty to do, and it was a warm rain so we didn't care. The last day was the worst and they had to close off one side of the ship because of the wind. We laughed watching the pool splash back and forth emptying itself.
This was a very nice cabin, starboard aft position. There was plenty of storage for 2 people. In fact we had empty spaces. The AC worked perfectly. Minimal noise from other staterooms (which can vary of course depending on who is in them,) Felt a bit of vibration the first day when we left the port, but can't recall much after. Or we were just used to it. It is not a far walk from the elevators and stairs. Only 2 flights up to the Windjammer and pools. We thought it was a great.