Freedom of the Seas 2011: Freedom of the Seas Cruise Review by cruisegma

Freedom of the Seas 5
Member Since 2011

Overall Member Rating

Freedom of the Seas 2011

Sail Date: January 2011
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Embarkation: Port Canaveral (Orlando)
I sailed with my husband and son and his family on Jan. 16, 2011. We had 2 children in our group, six and nine. My husband and I have sailed before, our last two cruises being on another line. I was very anxious to return to Royal Caribbean! To start at the beginning-the staff at the port were wonderful. Everyone was happy and helpful. Boarding was handled well and we were on quickly. The Freedom is a great ship. It is very clean and well maintained. Our cabins were in an excellent location and the size was very good. We had adjacent cabins. This worked out very well for a family with young children and the need to babysit once or twice. The beds were excellent - comfortable and roomy (my son is 6'7"). The pillows were also very good. Our cabin attendant did a very good job with keeping things shipshape. She could use some better training in towel folding as her designs were a little lame! We were looking forward to a set dining time rather than freestyle. This is where we noticed the More biggest difference. Our main dining waiter, Tyrone, was excellent, as was his assistant,Ann. The staff in the other areas (breakfast, lunch, and the Windjammer) left quite a bit to be desired. My husband feels they need better training.I feel they just don't care. Most of the staff we interacted with never listened to what you said. Every request needed repeating or clarification. Small requests like no ice or lemon with your water were usually ignored. Very little personalization was noted. One waitress in the Schooner Lounge actually argued with my daughter-in-law about a wine selection and a switch that had been made. A breakfast hostess in the dining room on level three was not very pleasant. She was curt and never smiled. She made little effort to made the customer happy.

The pools and hot tubs were superb. This is the first cruise we've been on where the pools and hot tubs were always open. This is a great feature. And these pools and tubs were very clean. The water was crystal clear with minimal smell of chlorine. The hot tubs were actually hot. Another plus is the adults only pool and tubs. The only negative to the pool area were the revolving doors onto the deck. I realize they stop the wind but half the time they didn't work and the other half of the time they just got jammed up with people not understanding the mechanism. A very poor design.

The cruise director, Graham Seymour, is a great asset. He is funny, talented and approachable. The shows were wonderful. The entertainment in the lounges was so-so. On the plus side was the piano man in the Schooner Lounge. Mike McCabe was very entertaining. Although his singing left a little to be desired, his piano playing was wonderful and he was very comical. A large crowd every night attested to this.

We had a great time on the Freedom of the Seas. I was very happy to return to a Royal Caribbean ship. I like set dining and individual tipping. Less

Published 02/03/11

Cabin review: H3334 Oceanview Stateroom

Our cabin was fine. The location was perfect. The beds were wonderful. Linens were good. The porthole was large so the view was good.

Read All Oceanview Stateroom (H) Reviews >>

Port and Shore Excursions

We really enjoyed St. Maarten. The new port is very nice. It was a nice experience for the kids to take a water taxi. The beach is beautiful. Again, we didn't shop but enjoyed the sand, sun and water. The only negative aspect is the constant interruptions from local women selling various things, from hair-braiding to sundresses to jewelry. It gets very annoying after the first 10 minutes. And one block off the beach, you can find the very same merchandise for up to half the price! Wear a lot of sunscreen and a hat. The sun is very hot here.

Before we docked here, we stopped at Coco Cay. This was a wasted day! The island is owned by the cruise line and is used in lieu of another port. It is small and very rocky. Everything except the lunch barbecue is extra. Even the hammocks that are so extensively advertised have a charge. There are water sports and a small waterpark for kids. The beach is not soft and sandy. The water was chilly and there was limited access to deeper water to swim. Veering off the cut out path results in long, slimmy weeds. The area we first chose was very smelly, almost like sewer. If this island is an option on a future cruise, I will definitely stay on board! Our stop in St. Thomas was nice but for a few issues. We've been there several times and did not want to shop. My son had been here with FEMA about 15 years ago and wanted to visit some of his old haunts. Many of them were gone. He had stayed at Sapphire Beach Resort so we rented a car and took the family there. Although it had deteriorated somewhat, it was still very beautiful. We spent a few hours there with the kids trying snorkeling and enjoying the beautiful blue water. Then we continued on to Meagan's Bay. This was not a good experience. The car rental agent had given us passes for the beach. The attendant was very rude and refused to take them. We had to pay $24.00. We were not told that the facilities were closing in less than an hour. While eating some overpriced food, we were told that it was an hour later than we thought. No one on board or at the rental agency had mentioned or reminded us about island time vs. ship time! We now had less than 1/2 hour to return the rental car. I would advise other cruisers to verify the time difference before leaving the ship. I also advise against going to Meagan's Bay to swim. It's much more beautiful from above, as you drive along the road overlooking the beach. Once down there, the beauty is not as breath-taking and it's very expensive.

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Member Since 2011
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