Bigger is not always better.....: Freedom of the Seas Cruise Review by sheilb4

Freedom of the Seas 3
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Bigger is not always better.....

Sail Date: October 2009
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Embarkation: Port Canaveral (Orlando)
I meant to write this a few weeks ago as I love to read other reviews before I cruise.... It was my 50th birthday celebration so along with my Mother, we set off for Port Canaveral, just 3 hrs away. Stayed at the Radisson the night before so we could take advantage of the free parking as well as relax the night before in Cocoa Beach.

Embarkation: Have to say this was the worst ever. We had a Grand Suite so were VIP guests and supposed to embark in a different area, having the pleasure of "special attention" took longer to go thru the process and lines than regular guests, and then there was a line to get your sign and sail card pic and board that took approx 2 hrs!! They have to improve on this, thank goodness my mother is a sprightly 73 yr old to have to stand in line all that time!

Ok...onboard finally... Beautiful ship, definately impressed with decor etc. Wasn't impressed with the staff 'welcome"...but thought it may just be a one off.....more on that More later.. Went for a walk around and then to the Windjammer for the mad, crazy cattle market or would think folks hadn't eaten in weeks....which was the same daily...plates piled so high, incredible sights....but hey, you're on vacation, go for it....:) It took forever to find a seat for us both, and when we finally found a space for 2 and asked the trio sitting there at a large table if they minded us sitting down...hmmm... they obviously wanted the entire table for themselves and were not happy....made it very was awkward, but never the less we sat and ate our "cold" food now....

Suite "perks" : - fabulous!!! well worth it! We had the pleasure of eating in Portofinos every day, reserved for suite guests at breakfast and lunch...this was a fabulous benefit, no searching for tables... All we really wanted to do at sea was lie out in the sun, of which we were really blessed with such great weather, except for one day that was very windy so we were unable to go to Coco Cay. Another great perk was the reserved pool seating....we took advantage of this every day, it was great....unfortunately it did get crowded with other cruisers that were not suite guests, but security never checked....(I knew this as they would use their card for drinks and it was never a "gold" card.....) We were fortunate to have a GS...very nice, and plenty of room for us both, lovely bathroom and large balcony with 2 loungers.

Concierge Lounge: ok, but very quiet, not the usual fun and friendly atmosphere from Mariner.. Wilfredo and bar staff were quiet and not much of a personality...

Pool area bar staff, other staff/crew : There was an overall sense of "misery" they were not happy, grumpy, and seemed nervous...not the wonderful and friendly atmosphere I had experienced on the Mariner....even our cabin stewardess was not the friendliest..I guess she was busy, different from the Mariner staff. Overall the atmosphere was definately less friendly and warm than Mariner...

Dining: We had a table for 2 which was great, and what we wanted....our servers were average and again, not very some of you may be thinking that maybe My mother and I were just miserable ...not at all....we are very friendly and happy, and tried many times to "engage" staff, but again their response was somewhat "strained" Food was "bad" sorry...but the choices were minimal and if you didn't like garlic you were out of luck most nights.......after perusing the menus we ended up only eating there twice...Windjammer and Jade were our nightly events, the food has really really deteriorated. Is this just Freedom I wonder? as Mariner was delightful. Chops - we went there for my birthday night.... the food was very good, choices limited again, but service was poor... the wait staff were not as attentive as I have experienced several times on Mariner....

Entertainment: A thumbs up for this..the shows I thought were very good and some surprises, The ice show as usual was very good and again with the reserved seating for us it was wonderful to be able to walk in and get a seat in the upper front row of the theater and front row of the ice show... fabulous. The band in the Olive or Twist played s range of music and was popular with the ballroom dancers...My mother loved this....I didn't get an opportunity to check out the nightclub as I know my mother would not have wanted to go and I felt bad to leave her... The huge plus they do have is their Cruise Director...Richard Spacey....he really was the best CD I have seen in a long time...very talented!

Disembarkation: very swift...much different to getting on.....

Overall we had a lovely time, relaxed and did what we was great, entertainment good. Food bad and staff/crew unhappy.....kinda wish the Mariner was back over having experienced my largest ship to date....bigger, definately is NOT better.... Less

Published 11/29/09

Cabin review: GS1582 Grand Suite

GS 1582On starboard side...great balcony but unfortunate if you dislike smoke and your neighbors smoke....unable to appreciate as much....Sofa also opened out to a queen size so 2 adults could sleep in 2 queen size beds...mattresses/bed line super comfy.....Great view. We were more mid-ship so it was a long walk to the concierge lounge and dining area .Quiet enough location tho. We were happy.

Read All Grand Suite (GS) Reviews >>

Port and Shore Excursions

St Maarten .... a lot of construction going on to build a new pier...took the water taxi over to town...walked around, shopped and relaxed on the beach nearby.....have been to both these ports many times, so nothing new....Did get my beautiful birthday present ring and bracelet there.....some great "deals" to be had.



St Thomas.....took a private tour with Sonny Liston tours(am I allowed to mention?)...excellent and very funny, really enjoyed it. Some crazy, hair-raising driving tho!!!



Read 3995 St. Thomas Reviews

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