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We had a great cruise on the Freedom of the Seas sailing from San Juan on September 29. I'm currently sitting in the airport lounge writing this review so that it is all fresh in my head. My wife and I spent two days in San Juan in an Airbnb prior to the cruise. When pricing the cruise, the flights were about the same from PHL to SJU as they were to MIA or FLL. That being said, it seemed like a no brainer to get a few extra "port days" and leave from PR. EMBARKATION We arrived on embarkation day via TAXI at around 1230pm. Bags went with the porter and we got in line. Check in was a breeze. We hit the Duty Free for some libations. Getting on the ship was easy. We hit the Windjammer for lunch. I will say that the upsell to specialty dining on embarkation day is a little rough. We must have been pitched 3 or 4 times during our lunch. It does seem a little insulting since we just sat down after paying several thousand dollars for a cruise and now we're being asked to pay more. Nonetheless, we had a good lunch and the rooms were ready by 1:30pm. THE ROOM We met our cabin attendant De De for balcony room 8216. EXCELLENT room, as it is the forward most balcony on the deck. There was an entire glass "wall" where the divider would be, giving us a tremendous view of the boat moving forward. Only warning about the room... the bed is HARD. Like... REAL hard. Luckily we were so tired every night and just passed out. The shower was A+... great pressure and HOT. THE FOOD Our only other cruise experience was about 5 years ago on Norwegian. Our dining room experience then was mediocre at best. We expected the same on Freedom. BOY were we wrong! We had MyTime dining and ate in the main dining room 5/7 nights (one in the buffet and the other at Chops for our anniversary). I was SUPER impressed with the food. Steaks cooked perfectly, excellent appetizers, etc. The service was phenomenal. We had Makram and Delly as our waiters, and both got to know us personally and would bring our drinks without us asking. Truly made us feel like family. The Windjammer was pretty good. Crowded. Room Service breakfast was good also. We used it 4 times, each time paying the extra $10 for a real breakfast. We ate on our balcony which was awesome. Chops was incredible. So good. THE ENTERTAINMENT We only went to three shows, two comedians and the 'Once Upon a Time' show on the last night. AWESOME. Super impressive. We're 30 going on 80 so we were in bed by 10pm every night, so unfortunately I don't have anything to add for the late night stuff. THE SHIP We loved the ship for its size and family atmosphere. She is a bit worn, though. Carpets have some wear and tear, some chipping of the paint... etc. Don't expect a brand new ship. PORTS St. Thomas was a lot of fun. We rented a scooter. DO NOT DO THIS unless you are an avoid motorcycler. Also keep in mind that the FOTS docks at a port away from the other ships. The main port town was CLOSED on the day that we went since there weren't any other ships. The highlight of this port stop was Magens bay. We try to avoid major tourist spots (lol... like I'm not a tourist), however this was the most beautiful beach. The pelicans are CRAZY... and worth the price of admission to watch them hunt. Curacao was far and away our favorite. We rented a car from ADVANCE car rental. Do it. $75 for a car, GPS and a cell phone, drop off and pick up at the MEGA PIER. We hit a few beaches, including Playa Porta Marie (WILD PIGS), Playa Grandi (swim with TURTLES!) and Playa Knip. All beautiful. We bought our own snorkel gear prior to the trip. Highly recommend as we didn't see a whole lot of rental spots. The town is full of great color. Aruba was OK. Rainy day. We rented a car at the pier and hit a few beaches. St. Martin was kind of a miss. We rented a car here as well (Coastal Car Rental... good experience). The weather was bleh and traffic was bad. My suggestion is to take the $7 water taxi to the main town of Phillipsburg and go to the Lazy Lizard. Great food. $20 for an umbrella, two chairs and 6 beers. Nik the owner is a very nice guy. DEBARKATION We did the express debarkation with self luggage. Easy. Off the ship and through customs in about 20 minutes. We took a taxi to the airport and rented a car from Enterprise for $30. We needed a place to keep our luggage and wanted to explore Old San Juan for another day. FELLOW GUESTS INCREDIBLE. I don't know why I was surprised (ignorance), but I'd estimate 60% of the passengers were Puerto Ricans. SO MUCH FUN. So many large families traveling together. So much laughter and Boricua pride. The PR children were so well behaved and polite. My wife and I mentioned on more than one occasion that we want to cruise out of San Juan more just to have some PR culture in our lives. OVERALL Great cruise. Excellent service. Phenomenal food. Would cruise the FOTS again in a heartbeat.

Great cruise celebrating our second wedding anniversary

Freedom of the Seas Cruise Review by jmarsh2010

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: September 2018
  • Destination: Southern Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Spacious Ocean View Balcony
We had a great cruise on the Freedom of the Seas sailing from San Juan on September 29. I'm currently sitting in the airport lounge writing this review so that it is all fresh in my head.

My wife and I spent two days in San Juan in an Airbnb prior to the cruise. When pricing the cruise, the flights were about the same from PHL to SJU as they were to MIA or FLL. That being said, it seemed like a no brainer to get a few extra "port days" and leave from PR.

EMBARKATION

We arrived on embarkation day via TAXI at around 1230pm. Bags went with the porter and we got in line. Check in was a breeze. We hit the Duty Free for some libations. Getting on the ship was easy. We hit the Windjammer for lunch. I will say that the upsell to specialty dining on embarkation day is a little rough. We must have been pitched 3 or 4 times during our lunch. It does seem a little insulting since we just sat down after paying several thousand dollars for a cruise and now we're being asked to pay more. Nonetheless, we had a good lunch and the rooms were ready by 1:30pm.

THE ROOM

We met our cabin attendant De De for balcony room 8216. EXCELLENT room, as it is the forward most balcony on the deck. There was an entire glass "wall" where the divider would be, giving us a tremendous view of the boat moving forward. Only warning about the room... the bed is HARD. Like... REAL hard. Luckily we were so tired every night and just passed out. The shower was A+... great pressure and HOT.

THE FOOD

Our only other cruise experience was about 5 years ago on Norwegian. Our dining room experience then was mediocre at best. We expected the same on Freedom. BOY were we wrong! We had MyTime dining and ate in the main dining room 5/7 nights (one in the buffet and the other at Chops for our anniversary). I was SUPER impressed with the food. Steaks cooked perfectly, excellent appetizers, etc. The service was phenomenal. We had Makram and Delly as our waiters, and both got to know us personally and would bring our drinks without us asking. Truly made us feel like family.

The Windjammer was pretty good. Crowded.

Room Service breakfast was good also. We used it 4 times, each time paying the extra $10 for a real breakfast. We ate on our balcony which was awesome.

Chops was incredible. So good.

THE ENTERTAINMENT

We only went to three shows, two comedians and the 'Once Upon a Time' show on the last night. AWESOME. Super impressive. We're 30 going on 80 so we were in bed by 10pm every night, so unfortunately I don't have anything to add for the late night stuff.

THE SHIP

We loved the ship for its size and family atmosphere. She is a bit worn, though. Carpets have some wear and tear, some chipping of the paint... etc. Don't expect a brand new ship.

PORTS

St. Thomas was a lot of fun. We rented a scooter. DO NOT DO THIS unless you are an avoid motorcycler. Also keep in mind that the FOTS docks at a port away from the other ships. The main port town was CLOSED on the day that we went since there weren't any other ships. The highlight of this port stop was Magens bay. We try to avoid major tourist spots (lol... like I'm not a tourist), however this was the most beautiful beach. The pelicans are CRAZY... and worth the price of admission to watch them hunt.

Curacao was far and away our favorite. We rented a car from ADVANCE car rental. Do it. $75 for a car, GPS and a cell phone, drop off and pick up at the MEGA PIER. We hit a few beaches, including Playa Porta Marie (WILD PIGS), Playa Grandi (swim with TURTLES!) and Playa Knip. All beautiful. We bought our own snorkel gear prior to the trip. Highly recommend as we didn't see a whole lot of rental spots. The town is full of great color.

Aruba was OK. Rainy day. We rented a car at the pier and hit a few beaches.

St. Martin was kind of a miss. We rented a car here as well (Coastal Car Rental... good experience). The weather was bleh and traffic was bad. My suggestion is to take the $7 water taxi to the main town of Phillipsburg and go to the Lazy Lizard. Great food. $20 for an umbrella, two chairs and 6 beers. Nik the owner is a very nice guy.

DEBARKATION

We did the express debarkation with self luggage. Easy. Off the ship and through customs in about 20 minutes. We took a taxi to the airport and rented a car from Enterprise for $30. We needed a place to keep our luggage and wanted to explore Old San Juan for another day.

FELLOW GUESTS

INCREDIBLE. I don't know why I was surprised (ignorance), but I'd estimate 60% of the passengers were Puerto Ricans. SO MUCH FUN. So many large families traveling together. So much laughter and Boricua pride. The PR children were so well behaved and polite. My wife and I mentioned on more than one occasion that we want to cruise out of San Juan more just to have some PR culture in our lives.

OVERALL

Great cruise. Excellent service. Phenomenal food. Would cruise the FOTS again in a heartbeat.
jmarsh2010’s Full Rating Summary
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Service
Onboard Experience

Cabin Review

Spacious Ocean View Balcony
Cabin 6B 8216
THAT BED IS HARD! Got lucky that our balcony was the most forward on the deck so we had an amazing view both to the starboard side as well as to the front of the ship
Deck 7 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins