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Freedom of the Seas Review

2019 Best for Fitness & Recreation
2019 Best for Families
2018 Best Overall
View More

Find a Freedom of the Seas Cruise from $278

Freedom of the Seas
4.0 / 5.0
2404 reviews
Call 866-501-2343 to book
Call 866-501-2339 to book
Call 866-501-2339 to book

Pros
A dizzying number of onboard activities and top-notch entertainment ensure you'll never be bored.
Cons
The ship's central Royal Promenade is a bit like a shopping mall, and sales pitches are at every turn.
Bottom Line
Despite its age, the ship still shines, and there's something for every age group.

About

Passengers
4,500

Crew
1,400

Passenger to Crew
3.21:1

Launched
2006

Shore Excursions
363
Sails To
Southern Caribbean, Eastern Caribbean, Bermuda, Canada & New England
Royal Caribbean Cruise Deals
Ashley Kosciolek
Cruise Critic Contributor

Freedom of the Seas Overview

Freedom of the Seas launched in May 2006 as the world's biggest cruise ship, measuring 155,000 tons, carrying 4,500 passengers and introducing Royal Caribbean's now-widespread FlowRider surf simulator to the cruise industry.

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Although the ship is no longer the biggest in Royal Caribbean's fleet – that title is held by the line's newer Oasis-class ships -- it does not feel outdated. If anything, Royal Caribbean is doing a great job of keeping Freedom of the Seas in tip-top shape.

During a 2015 dry dock, Freedom received new cabins, a new nightclub and two new for-fee restaurants – giving passengers a plethora of dining choices that range from Italian to Mexican. (The ship also had some nagging propulsion issues addressed.)

Although Royal Caribbean's 4,500-passenger Freedom-class ships are the line's third-largest (behind the Oasis and Quantum classes), Freedom of the Seas doesn't feel crowded. That's not to say that the ship feels empty or small. Sometimes there's congestion in Windjammer at peak times, you'll wait in a line (a short line, but a line nonetheless) to disembark at tender ports, and dinnertime can be a bit noisy with hundreds of others chowing down around you. At the same time, it's never hard to find quiet, private nooks. The library, Internet cafe, Cafe Promenade, Vintages wine bar and even the Solarium pool are great for getting-away-from-it-all moments, particularly on port days.

Overall, the traffic flow throughout the ship is smooth, but there are times when it comes to a dead standstill along the Royal Promenade (the ship's mall-like main thoroughfare) -- when there's a sale on duty-free watches, for example. Other areas just seem poorly designed. It can be a harrowing experience to reach the Deck 3 On Air Bar and Studio B from the front of the ship, as there's no direct access straight through. Passengers have to either walk up one flight to Deck 4 (and through the horribly smoky casino) to the aft and then head down or go up two decks to the often crowded Royal Promenade to walk aft before heading down.

In general, service is personal, since there are so many spaces in which you can become a "regular." Baristas at Cafe Promenade, serving Starbucks coffee drinks, remember complicated beverage orders; the bartenders at Boleros, Royal Caribbean's Latin-themed bar, remember names and poisons; and even the wait staff in Windjammer, the casual buffet, treat kids as the highest-order VIPs.


Inclusions

Included with your cruise fare:

  • Meals in three main dining rooms and at the Windjammer Marketplace buffet, Cafe Promenade and Sorrento’s Pizza; snacks from Sprinkles Ice Cream; and continental breakfast room service
  • Main theater entertainment
  • Most activities and events onboard, including use of the ice skating rink
  • Use of the fitness center (but not most fitness classes and personal training)
  • Use of the Sports Court, Freedom Fairways mini-golf, flowrider and rock climbing wall
  • Adventure Ocean Kids Club activities for kids ages 6 months to 17 years until 10 p.m.
  • Gratuities, only if you booked your cruise in Australia and New Zealand in AU and NZ dollars

Not included with your cruise fare:

  • Onboard gratuities ($14.50 per person, per day for Junior Suites and below; $17.50 per person, per day for anyone staying in a Grand Suite or higher)
  • Auto-gratuities of 18 percent applied to salon, spa, beverage purchases and all specialty dining venue reservations
  • Drinks excluding water, tea (including iced tea), coffee and select juices from the Windjammer Marketplace
  • All room service orders ($7.95) except free continental breakfast
  • Most specialty dining
  • Treatments at the spa and salon
  • Most fitness classes
  • Most arts and craft classes
  • Activities like the arcade, bingo, sushi-making classes, shopping events, behind-the-scenes ship tour, bottomless galley brunch and alcohol tastings
  • Casino play
  • Adventure Ocean kids club programming after 10:00 p.m.
  • Shore excursions
  • Internet access and packages
  • Onboard photos and artwork

Top Freedom of the Seas Itineraries

Freedom of the Seas
7 night southern caribbean cruise

San Juan, St. Thomas, St. Kitts (Port Zante), Antigua, St. Lucia, Barbados, San Juan

View All Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas Itineraries (27)

Fellow Passengers

With the FlowRider, H2O Zone and age-specific children's facilities, Freedom of the Seas is an obvious choice for families. The number of children under 17 can range from a few hundred to as many as 1,200 on holiday and summertime sailings. The ship also appeals to active couples, mainly ranging from their 30s to 50s, and plenty of fun-loving seniors. Many Royal Caribbean cruisers are repeat passengers. The majority hail from North America, though many on our cruise came from South America, Europe and Canada.


Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas Dress Code

Daytime:Dress is casual during the day.

Evening: Seven-night cruises typically feature two formal nights and five casual nights. Themed outfits (Caribbean Night, White Night are encouraged but seldom seen. Many men don tuxedos for formal dining, though suits are just fine (and more common). Women opt for cocktail dresses or gowns. No one looks askance if you don't observe a formal night; plenty of families opt for a more casual experience, bypassing the formal nights for laid-back dinners at the Windjammer, Sorrento's or Johnny Rockets.

Not permitted: No tank tops, bathing suits or baseball caps are permitted in the main dining room or specialty restaurants at any time, and footwear is always required. Shorts may not be worn to dinner in any restaurant, except the buffet.

For more information, visit Cruise Line Dress Codes: Royal Caribbean.


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Freedom of the Seas Ratings

CategoryEditorMember
Cabins4.04.3
Dining4.04
Entertainment5.04.2
Public Rooms4.04.4
Fitness Recreation4.04.3
Family5.04
Enrichment3.03.9
Service4.04.4
Value For Money4.03.9

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More about Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas

Where does Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas sail from?

Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas departs from San Juan, Bayonne, Cape Liberty, and Bayonne

Where does Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas sail to?

How much does it cost to go on Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas?

Cruises on Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas start from $278 per person.

Is Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas a good ship to cruise on?

Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas won 28 awards over the years, including Best for Fitness & Recreation and Best for Families in 2019.

Awards and Recognition

Cruise Critic Cruisers’ Choice

  • 2019 Best for Fitness & Recreation
  • 2019 Best for Families
  • 2018 Best Overall
  • 2018 Best for Dining
  • 2018 Best for Entertainment
  • 2018 Best for Entertainment
  • 2018 Best for Fitness & Recreation
  • 2018 Best for Fitness & Recreation
  • 2018 Best for Public Rooms
  • 2018 Best for Families
  • 2018 Best for Families
  • 2017 Best for Embarkation
  • 2017 Best for Entertainment
  • 2017 Best for Fitness & Recreation
  • 2017 Best for First Timers
  • 2016 Best for Fitness & Recreation
  • 2015 Best for Fitness
  • 2014 Best Overall
  • 2014 Best for Dining
  • 2014 Best for Entertainment
  • 2014 Best for Fitness
  • 2014 Best for Public Rooms
  • 2014 Best for Service
  • 2014 Best for Shore Excursions
  • 2013 Best for Entertainment
  • 2013 Best for Fitness
  • 2013 Best for Service
  • 2013 Best for Families
Show More

Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas Member Reviews

Freedom of the Seas
tb32664
Sail Date: Dec 2019
There is plenty to do on the ship on port days plus if you enjoy the pool it is empty on port days! I would highly recommend Royal Caribbean Freedom of the seas.... Read More
Freedom of the Seas
jenngirl
Sail Date: Jul 2019
The VOOM Surf & Stream Package is the internet package on board Freedom of the Seas.... Read More
Freedom of the Seas
mem47
Sail Date: Sep 2019
I think it holds a similar amount of guests to the Breeze and overall felt less crowded. I spent a lot of the cruise comparing the two ships in my head. I think the Freedom of the Seas wins out.... Read More
Freedom of the Seas
Krusty94
Sail Date: Jan 2020
On Sunday, The staff at the hotel got us a taxi right away to go to the Pan American Pier to get on the Freedom of the Seas. we shared a van taxi with others going to the same pier, so it was pretty inexpensive... Read More

Royal Caribbean International Fleet

Enchantment of the Seas
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

1986 reviews

One of Royal Caribbean's smaller ships; highlights include rock climbing, bungee trampoline, three pools, eight bars and a Ben & Jerry's at sea; holds less than 3,000.

Royal Caribbean Enchantment of the Seas Cruises to the Western Caribbean Royal Caribbean Enchantment of the Seas Cruises to the Southern Caribbean View All Royal Caribbean Enchantment of the Seas Cruises
Grandeur of the Seas
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Older ship carrying fewer than 3,000; highlights include rock climbing, two pools, outdoor movie screen and several specialty dining venues including Ben & Jerry's at sea.

Majesty of the Seas
3.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Offers three- and four-night cruises; features a rock climbing wall, Johnny Rockets at sea and smallish aqua park; can carry a bit over 2,500 cruisers.

Rhapsody of the Seas
3.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating


An older ship carrying less than 3,000; features rock climbing, two pools, for-fee nursery, eight bars and lounges and more than half a dozen dining venues.

Vision of the Seas
3.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating


When Vision of the Seas launched in 1998, it was the last in a class of vessels whose design represented the most innovative for Royal Caribbean.

Voyager of the Seas
4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating


In 1999 Royal Caribbean's 3,114-passenger Voyager of the Seas became the largest cruise ship in the world and was heralded as the most revolutionary vessel ever built.

Radiance of the Seas
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Carries less than 3,000 people and features eight restaurants, a rock climbing wall, mini-golf, three pools and 16 bars and lounges; spends half of year Down Under.

Adventure of the Seas
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Bustling atmosphere; features two-slide water park, simulated surfing, rock climbing, ice skating shows, 15 bars and the line's signature Royal Promenade; can carry upward of 4,000.

Brilliance of the Seas
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Brilliance of the Seas' mediumish size -- 2,112 passengers -- allows cruisers to feel they have the best of both worlds: a vessel with ample activities and attentive crew.

Navigator of the Seas
4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Carries some 4,400 passengers and features surf simulators, rock climbing and ice skating, 11 bars and lounges and the lively Royal Promenade.

Mariner of the Seas
5.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Royal Caribbean's 3,114-passenger Mariner of the Seas launched in 2003 and was the first in its class to undergo upgrades designed to create fleet uniformity.

Serenade of the Seas
4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Highlights on this smallish ship include rock climbing, mini-golf, three pools, and 16 bars and lounges including a wine bar and English-style pub; holds some 2,500.

Jewel of the Seas
3.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating


One of Royal Caribbean's smaller ships; attractions include rock climbing and mini-golf, kids' water slide, half a dozen or so dining venues and family-specific cabins.

Oasis of the Seas
4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating


The first megaship to hold more than 6,000 cruisers; features high-energy activities like zip lining, surfing and the high-diving AquaTheater.

Liberty of the Seas
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Carries more than 4,000; features a three-slide water park, surf simulators, rock climbing wall and "Saturday Night Fever: The Musical." 

Independence of the Seas
4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating


A ship of wows including rock climbing, surfing, virtual reality enhanced trampolibe, laser tag, puzzle break and mini-golf, plus "Grease, the Musical" onstage, ice skating shows, kids' water park, 22 bars and 10 eateries.

Allure of the Seas
5.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Mega-ship holding upwards of 6,400 passengers; features zip lining, surf simulators, rock climbing and an open-air Central Park with shops and restaurants.

Quantum of the Seas
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Quantum of the Seas dares its passengers not to have fun. It's a bold ship that screams for your attention via its innovative features.

Harmony of the Seas
4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating


World's largest cruise ship featuring high-energy attractions including zip lining, water slides, surf simulators, rock climbing and 18 dining venues.

Symphony of the Seas
4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Royal Caribbean's newest ship will be one of the largest in the world when it launches in spring 2018; high-energy highlights include zip lining, water slides and surf simulators.

Ovation of the Seas
4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Part of Royal Caribbean's Quantum class, Ovation of the Seas boasts high-tech features such as the RipCord by iFly skydiving simulator, bumper cars and robot bartenders.

Empress of the Seas
3.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Royal Caribbean's Cuba ship with stops in Havana; features the Cuba-inspired Boleros lounge and a free mimosa or bloody mary at the daily "Sunday" brunch.

Spectrum of the Seas

The first Quantum Ultra-Class ship will launch in the spring 2019. The class will be the next evolution of Royal Caribbean's Quantum Class, though the line has not yet said what its size will be.

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