Freedom of the Seas Cruise Review by Madeleine Colyn
- Sail Date: September 2017
- Destination: Western Mediterranean
A word of advice - book your excursions on line before you sail (even though it is daunting) as for two days, all excursions were fully booked. This was disappointing. There seemed to be no way that he Shore Excursion crew could offer alternatives on the Sunday when we arrived and found that Rome for instance, (Thursday) had no excursions left.This is a key port of call. But it meant that we could spend a day on the ship at least!
Our My Time dining meant that we could go to the main dining room (Galileo's) when we wished and we were seated at our own table, which we preferred compared to other cruises when we shared our table with other guests.
With regard to ports and shore excursions, our favourite stop was in Villefranche (Nice) where we tendered to the stunning port and where we could easily walk around, shop and eat. My family from London flew in for the day - that was a treat. We also loved the excursion from La Spezia to Rapallo, Sante Margherita and then to the ultimate - Portofino. This was a great day! We also took the Pompeii excursion which was very interesting, but very crowded at the square which took some of the enjoyment away. There was no time to shop there unfortunately.
The shore excursions booked with Royal Caribbean are super and the guides very knowledgeable. And the ship waits for you if the bus is late! The excursions gather early in the morning in the theatre and each excursion/bus is given a number. Each guest has the same corresponding number and the guide keeps a lollipop number at all times, so that one can find them. They are very well organised. Whilst the shore excursions are pretty expensive (depending on your currency conversion), they are really worth it. Print down the 110 page booklet and study this well before deciding what you wish to do. You can do some excursions on your own, but in my opinion, not worth it if you miss the ship leaving port. Nor it is worth the private taxi chaos in Rome according to a guest.
I did not get the shopping information in the daily Compass until Wednesday, so a few days of this information was lost.
I also was not aware that Royal Caribbean Shore Excursions could do a pick up from the airport in Barcelona, do an excursion and get us to the ship in time for embarkation. That is a great idea and we will do that next time. They also have an excursion from Barcelona port on arrival, and do the drop at the airport. We would have taken both of these options instead of doing Barcelona by ourselves.
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews
BarcelonaI was not aware we could take an excursion from airport through Barcelona to the port in time for the ship to sale. We need a day or two extra at some of the ports too.View All 1,814 Barcelona Cruise Port Reviews
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La Spezia (Cinque Terre)The highlight of our trip. Rapallo, Santa Margherita and our favourite, Portofino. Could have spent more time in this area.View All 171 La Spezia (Cinque Terre) Cruise Port Reviews
View Cruise Critic's La Spezia (Cinque Terre) Cruise Port Review
Pompeii Walking TourVery knowledgeable tour guide Rossanna. Trip was a little short of shopping time at Pompeii. It was also very very busy. Next time we will do Blue Grotto which I had forgotten about!View All 358 Pompeii Walking Tour Reviews
ToulonReally didn't have an idea what to do at this stop. Walked around ourselves as it has easy access from the port to the town.View All 221 Toulon Cruise Port Reviews
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VillefrancheWe simply walked around the beautiful port and shopped until our family arrived from London.View All 279 Villefranche Cruise Port Reviews
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