4 Port Canaveral (Orlando) Expedition Cruise Reviews

There is plenty to do on this ship for the whole family. I cruised with my boyfriend only. Though it was just the two of us, I was very impressed with the way this ship accommodates groups of all ages, including families. T here are ... Read More
There is plenty to do on this ship for the whole family. I cruised with my boyfriend only. Though it was just the two of us, I was very impressed with the way this ship accommodates groups of all ages, including families. T here are TV's scattered around the hallways that you can touch activate to check venues and activities happening around the ship by each half hour. Multiple rock climbing walls, a surf simulator, ice skating rink and mini golf course are all on board. There are two formal nights and many professional photograph options available to you with no obligation to buy. (Lobster night was delicious!) The staff is very helpful and gracious. We had nothing to worry about for a week because everything is taken care of. This is my third cruise and I recommend Freedom of the Seas to everyone, it is a great value. Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
Oct. 7 Left home for a relaxing vacation on the Carnival Dream. We drove to Port Canaveral with the Radisson at Port Canaveral as our destination. We arrived as the torrential rains began. We had purchased the Park and Sail package in ... Read More
Oct. 7 Left home for a relaxing vacation on the Carnival Dream. We drove to Port Canaveral with the Radisson at Port Canaveral as our destination. We arrived as the torrential rains began. We had purchased the Park and Sail package in advance. Rooms were adequate for an overnight stay prior to our cruise. Oct. 8 We were assigned a 12 noon shuttle departure for the next morning and told to be in the main lobby at 11:45. We we arrived in the lobby, it was total chaos! Hundreds of people and 1000's of bags filled the lobby and the front portico. I asked the hotel clerk at check-out how I would hear our name being called and she told me that I would be able to hear but of course the 1 person who was attempting to get everyone on the shuttles was outside calling names, and noone in the lobby was remotely able to hear him. Again they had only 1 person attempting to get everyone on the three or four shuttle buses. Of course, the staff blamed the weather for the chaos...they also claimed that the draw bridge had malfunctioned, which we later learned was a total lie...according to the taxi drivers and shuttle drivers. We finally were loaded onto a shuttle to the port at 1:45. I realize that weather played a part, but the staff also used the excuse that there were 3 cruise ships in port which made it obvious that they can only handle 1 cruise ship at a time. They were totally unorganized, and only had 3 shuttle buses making the round trips to the ports. Many people gave up and called taxi's to take them to the port. More later about the return trip...just as chaotic! The package cost $133 plus taxes...total $155...NOT WORTH the HASSLE...fellow passenger staying at the Country Inn and Suites, and other area hotels had none of the same issues...and the weather was the same! Embarkation: After getting to the port, getting on the ship was a breeze...the port staff was very efficient. Since we arrive so late, our cabins were cleaned and ready for us. Our luggage arrived very soon after leaving port. Muster drill was so easy, no standing in rows and rows on the deck. We simply went to the Encor Theater for the safety demonstration! The sail out was quite interesting as we experiences 16ft swells and 65+ winds...even with the Dream's size the ship did alot of pitching and rolling. Many stayed in their cabins sick. Thankfully, I wasn't bothered by the rough seas, and enjoyed a nice dinner in a sparsely attended late seating dinner. Oct. 9 Arrived in to Nassau to beautiful weather and had a nice day visiting the straw market and Atlantis. Oct. 10 Sea Day 1...Fantastic weather. Plenty of sunshine and deck space for all Oct. 11 St. Thomas U.S.V.I. Continued beautiful weather and had a fun day shopping. We loved the port and hope to return sooner rather than later. Oct. 12 St. Maarten...Booked a tour with Benard Tours. The cost was $40 per person. I checked my e-mails and was confident that we were to meet the tour at 9:30am...we were given the wrong time by the company that handled the booking, but Bernard and John jump into action and loaded us into a van and took us to meet the tour already in progress. Super nice people!!! Gizmo was our driver for the day and he was very knowledgeable about the island, both Dutch and French side. He took us to Orient Beach...there was alot to see there...actually more than most people want to see! Part of the beach is a clothing optional beach. We arrived at Maho Beach in time to see 3 large aircraft land...awesome experience...then it was on to a little power shopping before being returned to the port. The entire tour was about 6 hours long, and the bus was supplied with Rum Punch, Beer, Sodas and Bottled water. Everyone really seemed to be having a great time! Oct 13 and 14 Sea Days...again awesome weather and plenty of deck space to enjoy the sun! Debarkation: We did zone debarkation...and we were off the ship by 9:40. We arrived at the pick-up point for the Radisson. There were 50 or 60 people waiting with luggage, some had been waiting for almost an hour. We left and within 15 min. was in a taxi back to the Radisson. Again the 1 attendant at the port was telling passengers that "he was trying to get someone over here to pick everyone up". FYI...the weather was sunny and beautiful. When we arrived at the Radisson, there was much of the same mass confusion in the lobby area as more victims awaited departure to the port. Not sure what their excuse was on that day either. On a positive note, I spoke to a clerk and told them what happened at the port, she gave me the $20 that I spent on the taxi. Again...don't put yourself and family through the hassle that the Radisson puts its customers through...there are better ways to start and end your vacation! Food: No complaints whatsoever! I've been on 6 cruise previous to this one and never tried the specialty steak house. We did it this time...It was Fantastic!! Very much worth the $30 per person! The pasta bar was very good...I wasn't crazy about the Lasagna though. The Buffet seemed a bit limited in its selection, but we only ate in there a couple of times. Breakfast buffet didn't offer pancakes everyday either...bummer... and yes, the bacon police was in full force. Also, grits and oatmeal were served by the staff...we found it 2 days into the cruise. One complaint...on sea days the users of the Serenity deck are force to leave their personal belonging to fetch food at the rear of the ship...one must traverse elevators, steps and the crowds to get food and take it back to the Serenity decks. I don't know why there is no grill or small buffet area in the Serenity area...frustrating! Entertainment: Slots were stingy...Cruise director Butch...Great. For me, the shows left alot to be desired...wife enjoyed them. The shows to me didn't make much sense..the songs didn't fit with the choreography...just confusing...singers generally ok...but some of the music was totally out of their range. Went to one comedy show...it was good. Ship...Loved it! Overall...Great Trip...we loved the Dream and would definitely sail her and Carnival again! Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
This was a disappointing cruise in many ways. However, to be fair, I will mention the good points first. Embarkation was easy and uneventful. The cabin we booked was a mid-ship balcony and it was very nice and I thought spacious. The ... Read More
This was a disappointing cruise in many ways. However, to be fair, I will mention the good points first. Embarkation was easy and uneventful. The cabin we booked was a mid-ship balcony and it was very nice and I thought spacious. The steward we had assigned to our room was very professional and went out his way to help his guests. This young man was head and shoulders above any of his coworkers in regards to making the customers feel comfortable and happy. The Mandarin Spa was very nice and the masseuse was very professional. The spa experience was my first and I was quite pleased with the service. The food staff was just the opposite of the steward. They were not very pleasant to their customers and seemed to be unhappy as a whole. They were not attentive at all. If you wanted a glass refilled you had to call them over almost every time. I was served orange juice in an obviously broken glass. The waiter acted as if it was no big deal. The food was mediocre in all the regular price included restaurants. The menus didn't vary much between the two included restaurants either. We did try the Italian restaurant and it was pretty good. The buffet was very disappointing. The food was bland and there was not much variety. The presentation of the food there reminded me of a high school lunch room. The service from the information desk was almost non-existent. We tried to call down to get the menus from the restaurants to decide where to eat and got transferred to another number 4 times and never got an answer on the menus. Another time we needed an address to try to have an emergency credit card mailed to the ship's next port and the person at the desk said we'd have to walk down to the desk to get the address. I still can't imagine how hard it is to read an address to someone over the phone. We were also supposed to port in Grand Cayman. We pulled in to port under windy conditions. The Carnival Victory was tendering her passengers to port when we got there. We were told that we would not be able to port because it wasn't safe. I was disappointed but tried to understand taking the Captain at his word. The only problem there was we were only offered a rum punch for not getting to port and the was only offered for a one hour time period that night. Two days later we were due to port at Great Stirrup Cay. NCL's privately owned island. The winds were much stronger but yet we were able to tender ashore here. I expect the fact that NCL was not charged a port fee here and all profit goes into their pocket had some bearing on safety in this port. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
Background information: This was our 9th cruise - all on Royal Caribbean. We have always tried to be objective when we cruise and we understand that on a large ship like Freedom that you will have people that don't like anything. ... Read More
Background information: This was our 9th cruise - all on Royal Caribbean. We have always tried to be objective when we cruise and we understand that on a large ship like Freedom that you will have people that don't like anything. Our group of eight adults flew into Orlando on Friday from Ohio and Maryland - we immediately headed to the Hampton Inn in Cocoa Beach for 2 days of pre-cruise relaxation on the beach. We have all cruised before (4-9 cruises each couple) We had beautiful weather in Cocoa Beach (sunny & low 90's) and had nice dinners both nights on the water at Mulligan's Reef (overlooking Port Canaveral) and at the Lobster Shanty. Arrived at Port Canaveral around 11 AM on Sunday after dropping off our 2 rental cars at Budget rental on Astronaut Blvd ($73 each with Entertainment coupon) - free shuttle by Budget to the port. The wait was short at the port- maybe 20 minutes before the line started moving. They need a better method of lining up the arriving people as even the port and RCCL workers were in disagreement with each other as to who had priority entry (wedding parties, Crown and Anchor folks, etc.) and where to snake the line - very disorganized. We entered the terminal around 11:20, and were eating lunch at the Windjammer by 11:45 AM. Our set sail passes streamlined the process - it took maybe 5-7 minutes at the counter. Don't forget to ask for the priority check-in if you are Platinum or above in Crown and Anchor. Labadee, Haiti - our first stop. This island was a pleasant surprise - very nice island with lots of activities, lots of shade, and lots of options to enjoy. We did the Dragon's Breath Zipline - what a blast! Expensive ($85) but definitely a fun time. Buffet lunch was good - especially for an outdoor venue serving over 3,000 people. Weather was great - around 94 degrees and sunny all day. One of our group had sprained her ankle the day before in the Schooner Bar (no she did not have any drinks) stepping off the raised floor - a Royal Caribbean person wheeled her around in Labadee for over 2 1/2 hours in a sand wheelchair - and he even waited while we had lunch - very classy and well appreciated by all. Ochos Rios, Jamaica - Traveled to Dunn's River Falls by Taxi (actually large buses - cost $20 round trip each). Had a blast climbing the falls ($15 per person). Purchased the video ($20) - they wanted $30- - easy to negotiate price down to a reasonable sum. Avoid the marketplace and other sellers upon your exit - very pushy sellers - I don't know why they allow these sellers to spoil the experience for so many people. It doesn't bother us - we have been there before, but for first timers it can be intimidating. Georgetown, Grand Cayman - Did the Catamaran and Snorkel tour. This excursion through RCCL was with Red Sail Sports - a dependable and classy outfit. We had 89 people which is the limit but the Catamaran did not seem too crowded. Excursion stopped at 2 places to snorkel but the amount of fish and sea life we saw was very limited. They had said something about a beach break in the excursion description, but they didn't explain that it involved paying your own way to get back to the ship if you did not take the bus back. So we went back on the bus and went to the pool instead. Cozumel, Mexico - Another pleasant surprise with Cozumel being better than our prior visits. Did not do any excursions but spent some time in Diamonds International for Sapphire and Ruby purchases for my wife and another lady in our party (ouch). PS - You can negotiate with them on the price - also free Margaritas and Cold Beer if you ask! The food on the ship this time was very good. Although our waiters were somewhat slow - all of my meals were excellent except the cod, which was tough. One other thing: Our table was by the window (I requested a window seating) and was the furthest from the kitchen - so the distance to the kitchen could partially explain the slow service. Entertainment was outstanding as usual. Drew Thomas (from America's Got Talent Show) was excellent and put on a great show. Did not see the comedian, but the highlights on the Cruise in Review confirmed that we didn't miss anything. The Ice Show was also great, as was the 2 main parades through the Royal Promenade. Also the Freedom Fest that they had on Saturday was nice with lots of foods to sample and mementos for sale such as specialty glasses (shot glasses and fancy glasses). I had read so much about Richard Spacey - the Cruise Director. And, everything is TRUE! He is the epitome of a great cruise director - funny - accessible - entertaining - etc etc etc. He moves to the Oasis in November - and I can see why. We booked 2 more cruises during the recent RCCL WOW sale - and one of them is on Oasis - can't wait to see Richard again. Debarkation was easy - we were off the ship by 7:30 AM, and the RCCL bus ($36 per person!) was convenient. We used the Luggage Valet Service ($20 person) which provided our boarding passes and luggage handling. This was very nice, as once we left our bags outside the night before - we didn't see them again until our arrival is Ohio - very nice! Here are my negatives: No Crown and Anchor gifts anymore - what a bummer. Slot tournament in casino - $25 person - and they didn't tell us until we got there that the tournament was a 2 day event - which meant that if you placed high up - you had to come back on Saturday (sea day) to complete the tournament. They didn't tell us beforehand this and we were not happy campers. Alcohol & Photos continue to be expensive - especially the specialty drinks (with tip $8 - $10). They did have some photo specials if you were willing to spend over $120 on pictures - and they also had some 2 for 1 drink specials on the last day - probably because people were so bummed out on the first 6 days of sky high prices. Expensive bus ride back to the airport - should not cost more than $15-20 per person - ride is only 45 miles and takes less than an hour. Overall another great cruise on Royal Caribbean - feel free to contact me if you have questions! Ramjet1997@yahoo.com Read Less
Sail Date October 2009

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