We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. We had never been to the ABC islands and sailing out of San Juan was a plus!
Embarkation and disembarkation were super easy. We have never walked off before, we were at the airport so early, we couldn't check our bags for our flight!
The service on the Freedom was amazing, except for one snafu on our cabin (discussed below). We especially found the servers and our room steward to be gracious, warm and anticipating our every need. The Freedom was clean, although felt old in a couple of places. She's obviously due the freshening that she's getting early next year, but there wasn't anything that was worrisome or ugly.
We absolutely loved Sabor's Guacamole class. It was so much more interesting than the version on the Liberty. We actually got to make our own Guacamole this time! We enjoyed the experience so much, we booked dinner at Sabor on a later evening.
The Main Dining room was lovely and our servers were wonderful. Unfortunately, diners at nearby tables made the atmosphere less-than-enjoyable. (side note: I don't believe it is ever appropriate in the main dining room to live stream the evening football game and provide play-by-play to the next table or to enter with a loud "whoop-whoop" and synchronized handshakes with the waiters).
We did find it frustrating on port days to find food at later than standard lunch-times. When Sorrento's is closed, it would be nice if they had a sign out front telling you when it was open.
The Gorgonzola gnocchi at Giovanni's is absolutely to die for!
Entertainment and Activities
We did not attend any shows in the main theater. We had late dining and after dinner, were done. It would be nice if one of the shows could be earlier in the evening.
The ice skating show was a lot of fun! Don't think to hard - just enjoy the lovely athleticism of the skaters!
Anna on the Cruise Activities team is Amazing!
Bonaire - we walked up to a taxi tour offered at the port area. it was $25/person for 90 minutes and drove around the south side of the island. I would do this again, but maybe take the northside tour.
Aruba - we booked a hotel room at the Renaissance Aruba for access to Renaissance Island. This was one of the highlights of the cruise! The Island is absolutely lovely, service top notch, and it was nice to be able to stop at a hotel room and have a real shower before returning to the ship.
Curacao - we wandered the city on our own.
St. Martin - after the lovely cleanness and friendly locals of the ABC islands, I'm afraid wandering through the Phillipsburg was a bust. The streets were not clean, the locals were extremely pushy and we only stayed ashore about an hour.
We would absolutely take this cruise again on this ship!
The cabin felt tight (in part because our last two sailings were in a Jr Suite and a spacious Ocean View).
The balcony is AMAZING! It's an aft corner balcony and HUGE!!
First and foremost - this issue was caused by our lack of knowledge. We did not know that we had booked into a 3-person max room. However - I have not been able to figure out how to determine a 3-person vs 4-person max without attempting to book the same room with both counts. On the Freedom, evidently the 3-person max rooms all have drop-down pullman beds for the third occupant, which did not work for us (three "Pooh-sized" ladies, the youngest of which is almost 50. We visited guest services to see if we could change rooms, even pay for an upgrade if needed, but were told the ship was full (and were led to believe this is an on-going issue). However, the guest services representative said she would talk to her supervisor about our situation. We never heard another word from them. However, when we talked to our cabin attendant - he not only found a roll-away bed for us to use, he corralled some coworkers and moved the sofa out of our room so we'd have plenty of room.
We booked a sunset cruise through Viator with Cruise-PR! It was an amazing evening. The catamaran holds less than 10 and we shared the cruise with one other couple.View All undefined undefined Reviews
we took a south island tour; the taxi driver was personable and friendlyView All 107 Island Tour Reviews
We booked a room to have access to Renaissance Island, the hotel's private island. The island is lovely, the food is great and service was amazing!View All undefined undefined Reviews
Very easy port to wander in
After the ABC islands, this one took a bit of a beating, I'm afraid. It was not nearly as clean and the locals were much more pushy.