1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Freedom of the Seas
We've cruised several times before -- this was our first experience on Royal Caribbean. Let me be upfront... we had a great week. We are not up-tight, difficult-to-please travelers. We loved the ship. We loved the people we were with. We came home happy, and relaxed, with no regrets, and an extra inch or two around the waist. That being said, chances are that if you are reading this it's because you are looking for some additional information to help you make a decision. So let me just mention a few things to be aware of: 1. Boarding. Fast and easy. We arrived at the Pan American terminal at 10:30 am (based on others' recommendations on Cruise Critic), and we were happy we did. We checked in, got our Cruise Cards, and waited in line for a few minutes for boarding to start. The boarding doors opened at 10:45 am. 2. The ship. Freedom is a wonderful ship. That being said, it is only fair to point out that it is less than a year away from dry-dock (January 2020) and it looks it. Everything is clean, but a bit worn. It never bothered us, and nothing was so worn that it affected the quality of the cruise. But if you are one of those who expect everything to be fresh, polished, and shined all of the time, then this is not the ship for you right now. 3. Food. Acceptable, and plentiful, but nothing that blows your doors off. Most of it would be considered sub-par at your local Applebee's. I heard that the food was one of the real differentiators between Royal and some of the others. We didn't really see that on the Freedom. We took the galley tour on one of the days at sea and the operation is amazing. Just getting the food to the tables is a small miracle. I don't cruise for the quality of the food -- no matter what the cruise ship, there are always better restaurants in every city in America. The food was fine. And there was lots of it. 3.2 IMPORTANT....Food Part II. We were pretty shocked at how few choices the ship offered. Sorrento's (pizza) was not bad, especially considering they were pumping out a pie every 30 seconds all day long. The Promenade Cafe was a few cookies (not bad) and mini-sandwich choices. The Windjammer was plentiful but slam packed (barely room to move) and the food was.... well.... average. Jut trying to help. Reviews make it sound like there is food everywhere. It's just not true. And BTW... the one soft serve ice cream station was a spectacle. Worked about half the time. Overwhelmed by the crowds. It was almost comical to watch. I promise I am not complaining! 4. Staff. Our dining room staff were wonderful. As was the staff in the Windjammer. Wow those people work hard! We loved them. I was not too impressed with many of the others. Bar staff -- unfriendly. Cabin steward -- just not a people person. Other staff -- lots of frowns, not many smiles. Nothing particularly terrible -- just nothing that really jumped out at you. It was fine... not terrible, but certainly not exceptional. 5. Entertainment. The ice show was great. The Whitney Houston show was as well. The production shows were ok... gave us something to do. No complaints. Not as good as some of the other ships we have been on. Lounge acts were OK. 6. Ports. Love the slate of ports. We had been to Aruba and St. Maarten before. And the addition of Curacao and Bonaire were amazing. Great islands to visit. 7. One REAL Complaint. My goodness, I have never seen a cruise ship that attempts to sell more with every breath. There was not one announcement that didn't attempt to sell us something -- sometimes more subtle than others. I am surprised they didn't try to sell us monogrammed life jackets at the muster. It was just overboard (no pun intended). At first it is fine. Then a little exhausting. And by the last two days it was just ridiculous. We'll try Royal Caribbean again. Friends we trust swear by it. I think even they were under-whelmed by this one. In the future, I will pay more attention to the year the ship was built and/or dry-docked. Was it a great week? Yes, absolutely. A week on a cruise ship in the Caribbean is always going to be special.

A great week -- But be advised

Freedom of the Seas Cruise Review by ConyersCruiser

5 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: May 2019
  • Destination: Southern Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Spacious Ocean View Balcony
We've cruised several times before -- this was our first experience on Royal Caribbean. Let me be upfront... we had a great week. We are not up-tight, difficult-to-please travelers. We loved the ship. We loved the people we were with. We came home happy, and relaxed, with no regrets, and an extra inch or two around the waist.

That being said, chances are that if you are reading this it's because you are looking for some additional information to help you make a decision. So let me just mention a few things to be aware of:

1. Boarding. Fast and easy. We arrived at the Pan American terminal at 10:30 am (based on others' recommendations on Cruise Critic), and we were happy we did. We checked in, got our Cruise Cards, and waited in line for a few minutes for boarding to start. The boarding doors opened at 10:45 am.

2. The ship. Freedom is a wonderful ship. That being said, it is only fair to point out that it is less than a year away from dry-dock (January 2020) and it looks it. Everything is clean, but a bit worn. It never bothered us, and nothing was so worn that it affected the quality of the cruise. But if you are one of those who expect everything to be fresh, polished, and shined all of the time, then this is not the ship for you right now.

3. Food. Acceptable, and plentiful, but nothing that blows your doors off. Most of it would be considered sub-par at your local Applebee's. I heard that the food was one of the real differentiators between Royal and some of the others. We didn't really see that on the Freedom. We took the galley tour on one of the days at sea and the operation is amazing. Just getting the food to the tables is a small miracle. I don't cruise for the quality of the food -- no matter what the cruise ship, there are always better restaurants in every city in America. The food was fine. And there was lots of it.

3.2 IMPORTANT....Food Part II. We were pretty shocked at how few choices the ship offered. Sorrento's (pizza) was not bad, especially considering they were pumping out a pie every 30 seconds all day long. The Promenade Cafe was a few cookies (not bad) and mini-sandwich choices. The Windjammer was plentiful but slam packed (barely room to move) and the food was.... well.... average. Jut trying to help. Reviews make it sound like there is food everywhere. It's just not true. And BTW... the one soft serve ice cream station was a spectacle. Worked about half the time. Overwhelmed by the crowds. It was almost comical to watch. I promise I am not complaining!

4. Staff. Our dining room staff were wonderful. As was the staff in the Windjammer. Wow those people work hard! We loved them. I was not too impressed with many of the others. Bar staff -- unfriendly. Cabin steward -- just not a people person. Other staff -- lots of frowns, not many smiles. Nothing particularly terrible -- just nothing that really jumped out at you. It was fine... not terrible, but certainly not exceptional.

5. Entertainment. The ice show was great. The Whitney Houston show was as well. The production shows were ok... gave us something to do. No complaints. Not as good as some of the other ships we have been on. Lounge acts were OK.

6. Ports. Love the slate of ports. We had been to Aruba and St. Maarten before. And the addition of Curacao and Bonaire were amazing. Great islands to visit.

7. One REAL Complaint. My goodness, I have never seen a cruise ship that attempts to sell more with every breath. There was not one announcement that didn't attempt to sell us something -- sometimes more subtle than others. I am surprised they didn't try to sell us monogrammed life jackets at the muster. It was just overboard (no pun intended). At first it is fine. Then a little exhausting. And by the last two days it was just ridiculous.

We'll try Royal Caribbean again. Friends we trust swear by it. I think even they were under-whelmed by this one. In the future, I will pay more attention to the year the ship was built and/or dry-docked. Was it a great week? Yes, absolutely. A week on a cruise ship in the Caribbean is always going to be special.
ConyersCruiser’s Full Rating Summary
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
Onboard Experience
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email