1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Freedom of the Seas
Embarkation was as described. We stayed the night before at Pier 66 and taxied to the port (3 of us were $17.00 total) at around 11:15 or so. We were given a later time in the pre-cruise materials but it seemed many or most were there when we got there around 11:30. We were on the ship at noon electing to carry our bags on so that we could unpack them right away. We waited on Deck 11 (where the pools are etc.) until the announcement that we could get into our rooms at 1:00 P.M. All in all a pretty smooth process considering that there were 4400 passengers. After getting on board, we did stop in at the main dinning room (Decks 3,4, & 5 aft) and took a look at our assigned fixed dinner seating. Our family had asked for a table for 4 but were placed at a six and the staff member present indicated that as the sailing was full that there would be most likely 6 there. They did accommodate our request to move to a different table (of 4 at a different level). Our family found the dinner service to be great. We usually had breakfast and, when not in port, lunch at the windjammer, which could get a little crowded but the food was good. The Entertainment was fine. We particularly liked the ice show and in that the pairs that skated together were definitely World Class. The ports were fine, however the Grand Camen port uses tenders so that there was a very long line getting back (45 minutes or so); they do not have an street or beach vendors trying to sell you items though which is a plus. The disembarkation offered two programs of note. The first is the 'Self-Assist Express Departure" which must be requested on board and requires you to carry all of your luggage off with you. This must/can be done between 6:15 and 7:30 A.M.. I had no idea that we could have gotten off at 6:15 in the trip planning. Had I known, we could have gotten earlier flights. They also offered luggage "valet" service. This costs $25.00 per person, plus any baggage charge you might normally pay the airline to check a bag (Many are exempt from the baggage charge if you use a related credit card or are a reward member) The program does indicate that you will not be required to a pay an overweight charge to your airline which may be an added reason to use the service) Using this option when you leave your bags out by 11:00 P.M. the night before departure, they are checked through to your destination airport so that your luggage tags from your airline and your boarding passes for that airline are delivered to your state room the day prior to departure. I have used this twice now with pleasant results as my disembarkation day I am not lugging around a big suitcase and am not trying to get to an internet terminal to check in for my flight or print out my boarding pass; Its only offered with some airlines (6-8 or so if I recall) and only if you are flying out of FLL or MIA. All in all I and my three adult children had a great time on Freedom.

Holiday Cruise

Freedom of the Seas Cruise Review by dakemann

5 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: December 2016
  • Destination: Caribbean
Embarkation was as described. We stayed the night before at Pier 66 and taxied to the port (3 of us were $17.00 total) at around 11:15 or so. We were given a later time in the pre-cruise materials but it seemed many or most were there when we got there around 11:30. We were on the ship at noon electing to carry our bags on so that we could unpack them right away. We waited on Deck 11 (where the pools are etc.) until the announcement that we could get into our rooms at 1:00 P.M. All in all a pretty smooth process considering that there were 4400 passengers.

After getting on board, we did stop in at the main dinning room (Decks 3,4, & 5 aft) and took a look at our assigned fixed dinner seating. Our family had asked for a table for 4 but were placed at a six and the staff member present indicated that as the sailing was full that there would be most likely 6 there. They did accommodate our request to move to a different table (of 4 at a different level). Our family found the dinner service to be great.

We usually had breakfast and, when not in port, lunch at the windjammer, which could get a little crowded but the food was good.

The Entertainment was fine. We particularly liked the ice show and in that the pairs that skated together were definitely World Class.

The ports were fine, however the Grand Camen port uses tenders so that there was a very long line getting back (45 minutes or so); they do not have an street or beach vendors trying to sell you items though which is a plus.

The disembarkation offered two programs of note. The first is the 'Self-Assist Express Departure" which must be requested on board and requires you to carry all of your luggage off with you. This must/can be done between 6:15 and 7:30 A.M.. I had no idea that we could have gotten off at 6:15 in the trip planning. Had I known, we could have gotten earlier flights. They also offered luggage "valet" service. This costs $25.00 per person, plus any baggage charge you might normally pay the airline to check a bag (Many are exempt from the baggage charge if you use a related credit card or are a reward member) The program does indicate that you will not be required to a pay an overweight charge to your airline which may be an added reason to use the service) Using this option when you leave your bags out by 11:00 P.M. the night before departure, they are checked through to your destination airport so that your luggage tags from your airline and your boarding passes for that airline are delivered to your state room the day prior to departure. I have used this twice now with pleasant results as my disembarkation day I am not lugging around a big suitcase and am not trying to get to an internet terminal to check in for my flight or print out my boarding pass; Its only offered with some airlines (6-8 or so if I recall) and only if you are flying out of FLL or MIA.

All in all I and my three adult children had a great time on Freedom.
dakemann’s Full Rating Summary
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Entertainment
Cabin
Onboard Experience
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email
By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Cabin Review

Cabin 1230
This was the last cabin next to the bridge area and was very quiet. I stayed in this with my adult son each on a twin bed. The beds were harder than I was use to and I had to ask for an extension chord for my CPAP machine to reach the other side of the room as there were no place to plug in anything on the side of the bed with the pillows so if you need that you may want to consider bringing an extension chord with a regular US grounded plug.

The balcony seemed bigger that ones I had experienced on other cruises. A bonus was as my adult daughters were traveling with us in the next room 1232, we asked that the door/barrier between the decks be opened which all of us very much enjoyed because it became a double deck.

Marlon provided excellent service.
  Freedom of the Seas Deck Plans

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Chacchoben Mayan Ruins
    The trip to the ruins and back was about 50 minutes each way from the port compound. It was as expected, I would remember inset repellent. We had an added stop billed as an all inclusive beach stop. This portion was not what I expected as our van pulled into a lot in the village with other vans. The lot seemed in a run down area but we were directed to wood tables with canoipies across from the main beach road. Many locals were there and we were visited by many vendors which all took no politely. It had a much more local feel that your more classic resort all inclusive
    View All 374 Chacchoben Mayan Ruins Reviews
  • Private Resort Day Pass
    Mr Sanchos was about 10 -15 minutes by cab from the international terminal (cost $17.00 total for four of us, plus tip) This was right on the golf and featured anything from the menu or the buffet, as much as you want of food and drink. They have included kayak use as well. You are greeted there by a gentleman who escorts you to your canopy table by the ocean next to your lounge chair on the beach. These fellas often are seen running to get you what you want and appreciate a tip at the end of your day which we felt was well deserved. Beach area was well kept and very pleasant. We enjoyed ourselves very much here for a shorter day. (It opens at 9:00 A.M. and closes I think at 6 or so, however we needed to be back at the ship at 3:30 so we did not get to stay all of the time
    View All 195 Private Resort Day Pass Reviews
  • Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
    Upon disembarkation we taxied to the main beach. There are toilets behind life guard station #2, otherwise you must use a local restaurant. Something to keep in mind if its an issue. It was a little cool and and a little windy when we were there, but we enjoyed lunch at Bubba Gumps on the beach there. Caught a cab to the airport. 9$20.00 with tip for three of us)
    View All 1,963 Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades) Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades) Cruise Port Review
  • Grand Cayman (Georgetown)
    We took a cab to the turtle sanctuary for $8.00 per person. we were crammed into a shuttle bus which utilized pull down seats in the middle (aisle). The santuary itself had two options $11.00 to sea and touch the smaller turtles or $44 for the lagoon and swimming area/water park where you can snorkel and play with the birds there. Check out the web site on this if you are going independent.
    From there we went to the public beach near Calico Jacks and spent the rest of the day. We rented four lay down chairs under two umbrellas for $35 for the day. It was $5 to get back to the port compound. Because this was a tender port the lines were very long (maybe 45 minutes) I hope the cruise industry pushes the construction of a pier to make this stop a lot more pleasant in that regard.
    View All 3,478 Grand Cayman (Georgetown) Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Grand Cayman (Georgetown) Cruise Port Review