Swine Flu IS on these ships!: Freedom of the Seas Cruise Review by CeeBeeGee

Freedom of the Seas 5
Member Since 2009

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Swine Flu IS on these ships!

Sail Date: June 2009
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Port Canaveral (Orlando)
My family sailed on Royal Caribbean's Freedom of the Seas Western Caribbean cruise from Port Canaveral June 21-28. The itinerary included stops in Labadee, Haiti; Ocho Rios, Jamaica; Grand Cayman; and Cozumel, Mexico. 3 1/2 days after visiting Cozumel (which was our favorite stop, by the way), my teenaged son developed flu-like symptoms. He was afraid it was the swine flu. I dismissed his fears, telling him he was just tired from the trip and had heard too much on the news over the last several months. After a day and a half of steadily increasing temps (to 103 degrees) and worsening symptoms, I took him to the doctor. I mentioned the trip, and the nurse asked if I wanted him tested for the flu. I said yes...just to quiet his fears. Well, he turned out to really have the H1N1 virus. The whole family was started on Tamiflu. My son is better, but I myself have had some flu symptoms too over the last several days. I emailed RCI, More and have still not heard a thing. Over the past couple of days I have looked all over the internet (message boards, etc.) for any mention of sickness from our particular sailing. The Carnival Conquest was also at Cozumel the day we were. I cannot believe we were the only ones who got sick. I at least feel that the cruiseline should mention it. We are having no complications from this, but someone who has infants/children or elderly individuals planning to cruise soon should take precautions.

I bought Royal Caribbean's $25 port and shopping guide.  Don't do it!  I thought it was a rip-off.  The freebies it gets you are junk, and it appears to just be a gimmick to get you to go into some of the stores.  I felt like I was on a scavenger hunt to make up for the money I spent on the book.  All I really got were some tiny gemstones that I can't really do anything with.

After saying all that I've said...We absolutely loved our cruise!  The ship is incredible, the staff was great, and we enjoyed all of the stops.  Cozumel was our favorite, although that's most likely where we were infected with the swine flu virus.  We intend to cruise with Royal Caribbean again.  It's not their fault we got sick.  I only wish that someone had at least contacted us about the situation. 

Our first port was Labadee, Haiti, RCI's private island. The beach was beautiful, and my teenaged boys loved the water activities available (trampoline, slides, inflatable icebergs, etc.). We didn't have to book any of this until we arrived on the island. Several of us went to the little shopping area...bad move. The vendors hassled us to buy things and even put necklaces, bracelets, etc. on us! We felt we had to either buy the jewelry or give it back. The pushiness unnerved me, so I went back to the beach! Luckily we brought our own small cooler of water and soft drinks to the island. Bottled water was very expensive! Less

Published 07/06/09

Cabin review: L Interior Stateroom

Interior cabins (L) are pretty small. The showers are tiny!  However, the cabin was very quiet.  I slept great.  We were on Deck 10, which was a great location.  We just had to walk up one flight of stairs to the Windjammer, Pool, and Fitness Center.

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Port and Shore Excursions

We loved Cozumel, but I think one of my sons and myself contracted the H1N1 virus there (see above). I bought some silver jewelry for a very reasonable cost. The vendors there are not nearly as pushy as in Jamaica. We had lunch at Carlos and Charlies, and that was GREAT!!! It is a very lively place! I had chicken tacos, and they were really good. My husband and my oldest son got hour-long massages on the island for less than half of what they cost on the ship. We also went to a snorkeling beach by taxi/van. Since I can't speak Spanish, the language issue was a little bit of a problem.

Read 5492 Cozumel Reviews

This island seems pretty Americanized. We weren't hassled to buy or rent anything. We paid to ride on a little bus/van to several highlights of the Caymans (Hell, Turtle Farm, Beach). At the beach, we ordered some of the best chicken wings I've ever had. The only problem was that once the money exchange rate was figured in, that wings and burgers meal cost us over $100! The driver spoke English very well, and she was very good at discussing the various places on the island. They did try to cram as many people as possible onto those vans. We would think that the bus was full, and then they'd let 6 more people on, even putting them in tiny fold-out seats in the aisles. I guess I'd say that the only real negative about this port is that it is expensive.

Jamaica is pretty, and it could be fun if it weren't for the locals bugging us to rent a taxi. I thought the pushiness at Labadee was bad...at Ocho Rios it went to a whole new level!!! Once again the vendors out on the street would just put jewelry on your body. My sons had no money with them to buy, so they just walked away with it! While we were eating at Margaritaville, they found us and gave us all evil looks from the nearby beach. Finally, I went down to them and paid them for the necklaces that they had just put on my sons' necks. One guy on the street asked my oldest son if he wanted to buy any pot!

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