Bigger is Amazing: Freedom of the Seas Cruise Review by PattyG12

Freedom of the Seas 5
Member Since 2007
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Bigger is Amazing

Sail Date: September 2009
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Port Canaveral (Orlando)
First, a little about me. This was my 4th cruise and it was for my 50th birthday. We had a "hump balcony" room for DH and I and a promenade view room for my son and girlfriend. We are from Northern Virginia and have to fly to FL for Caribbean cruising.

We flew Air Tran Airways. Let me say that cheaper is not always better. I doubt I'd fly them again. They have the WORST customer service ever.

We got to Orlando and rented a car from Budget for the night. It's definitely the way to go. Much cheaper than hiring a cab or a driver and they don't charge more to drop off at another location. We took a leisurely drive to the coast and checked in at the Radisson Resort at the Port. It was a very nice hotel. The only thing I didn't care for is the "sleep number" beds. I'm just not a big fan of sleeping on a fancy air mattress. The beds were small and my husband liked filling the mattress up so I felt like I would roll off. It was also very nice to get up in More the morning and see the ship in the near distance.

We dropped the car off at 10:30 am and were on the shuttle right away and on the way to the port. I believe this is the easiest and best managed port we've been to so far. When we got out of the shuttle, the porters were at the door waiting for our luggage. It was heaven.

We waited about 15 minutes and were starting to board by 11. We made it to the Windjammer by 11:15 and were exploring the ship by 11:45. Our room was ready promptly at 1 so I got to drop off my carry on and look at the view from our first balcony.

The first day at sea was so relaxing. We had a rather large M&M group and it was very nice to meet all of the people I had been talking to. One of our group had created a Facebook page, while another organized a slot pull after the M&M. All in all, it was very nice to meet all of them.

Must see for the Freedom is the Ice Show. It's amazing to see what these performers can do with such a small surface. The comedians were OK, not great. We don't do the production shows any more because they are normally all the same.

Richard Spacey is hysterical!! If you ever get a chance to sail with him, it's definitely worth the time. He has gathered a terrific staff and he seems to be everywhere. I did wonder when the man slept!!

I have one suggestion. I have already submitted this to Royal Caribbean. When we were leaving the ship on deck 4, my foot hit a slick spot and I landed squarely on my knees. I would like to make sure everyone is careful because I would hate to see someone get hurt badly, which could easily happen. Perhaps Royal Caribbean could invest in a waterproof cover of some type to put over the shuffleboard area. Apparently there was a slippery when wet sign that I missed.

Our first port was Labadee, Haiti, Royal Caribbean's private "island". The beaches were nice, but nothing special. I was a little taken aback by armed guards strolling around. We got off the ship for a couple hours to see how construction was coming along. Dragons Breath Point was the "must see" for the area and it was a nice hike to the top. Then we looked at a couple of the little shops but people were so aggressive that I just didn't want to look at them any more so we got on the tender and returned to the ship for lunch. In the past, we've gone to Cococay (the other private island). The lunch served is a barbecue. Less

Published 10/07/09

Cabin review: D19340 Superior Oceanview Stateroom with Balcony

Cabin 9340 (hump balcony). Right off the stairway and elevator. No noise at all. Lots of storage room. Cabin 8329 (promenade view). Second to the last window on the top of the promenade. The windows are slightly tilted and there is a very nice seat. Not quite as much room to walk around as the balcony room but adequate for a week.

Read All Superior Oceanview Stateroom with Balcony (D1) Reviews >>

Port and Shore Excursions

Cozumel is our last stop and is a dock. We had plans to go to Mr. Sanchos so we needed to find a cab. It was very organized and we went to the cab stand where a woman asked us how many and pointed to a van. Mr. Sanchos was absolutely beautiful. We did the all inclusive and it was definitely worth the money. We had a reserved table and our own waiter, Gabriel. He was never very far away and kept the tequila flowing. I truly enjoyed swimming in the Caribbean and there were lots of fish out there so I was bringing chips out to feed them. When we were ready to head back to the ship, there was a cab out front and we just shared with another group to go back to port. We did some shopping and then went back to the ship to get ready for dinner.
Read 5470 Cozumel Reviews

Grand Cayman is a tender port but it went very quickly. We had booked with a company called Native Way Water Sports. Once we got to the dock area, our guide was very easy to spot. He showed us where we would be in 30 minutes and we went off to shop. We got back to our designated spot and were off in a bus to another dock area. Once there, we were split into different groups. there were 12 in our group to get on the boat to see the Stingrays. The "must see" for this island is Stingray City. It's fascinating to see all of these wonderful Rays that actually seem happy to see you. No, they are a different kind of Ray than the one that killed Steve Irwin. They have barbs but not the same. It was amazing to feed them and to give them lots of kisses and rubs. After about 30 minutes, we got back on the ship and went to snorkel with starfish. It was alot of fun. We got back and walked through the (no pressure) gift shop. Back onto the van and to the port. We went over to Margaritaville for a beer and some shopping and then back to the ship.

Ocho Rios is a docked port. It was nice to stroll leisurely off the ship. We had pre-booked from a company called "KnowJamaica dot com". The owner of the company is Marva Shaw. I had done all the research and none of the package tours she offered were exactly what we were looking for. I emailed her and she answered right away to create a special package just for our group. When we got off the ship, Marva was there and took us over to meet Javia, her son. We got a nice air conditioned van and Javia took us all around. The "must see" for this island is Dunns River Falls. If you are sure footed, it's a wonderful hike. You will get soaked but it's worth it for the views. You'll have 2 guides in your group and both of them will expect to be tipped ... take cash. When you come out of the falls, retrace your steps to leave and you can avoid the hard sell of the straw market. Javia then took us through different areas of the island. We went to a wonderful area called "Fern Gully" and met Carl, the Rasta Man, who teaches about Jamaican spices. It was a wonderful experience that I doubt anyone would have gotten from a "mainstream" tour of the area. We then went to a couple of places for good photo shots and then to another small waterfall. The reason I only rated Jamaica a 4 is because the people are VERY aggressive when selling. The women will grab your hair even when you tell them you don't want a braid. I'm definitely put off by the aggressiveness.

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