Freedom has four main types of cabins -- inside, oceanview, balcony and suite -- but within each are different configurations, including roomier options for families in all categories at different price points. Of the 1,894 staterooms, 880 rooms have private balconies, and 168 cabins have promenade views. All staterooms are equipped with keypad-operated safes, hair dryers, Wi-Fi Internet access, mini-fridges and flat-screen televisions that feature a range of channels (ESPN, CNN, Cartoon Network) and interactive programming (order shore excursions and room service, or check your portfolio).
Cabins include overhead lighting and at the desk/vanity. There are also bedside wall-mounted lamps.
Although Royal Caribbean has done a great job of maintaining the ship, the cabins are where the vessel's age is most apparent. Chipped paint and a color scheme of peach and teal make staterooms look dated. And while they serve their purpose well, they're average in terms of decor and amenities. There's nothing particularly noteworthy or innovative about them. One exception to this is a group of new oversized ocean-view cabins and suites, added during a 2015 dry dock. Located on decks 3 and 12, they boast a more modern palette of white, tan and blue.
Whichever stateroom you choose, you'll sleep tight: All cabins feature Royal Caribbean's stylish, comfortable bedding. There are pillows and shams, and duvets with cotton blend covers. Custom pillow tops are doubled over when placed on twin beds, but when the beds are in the queen configuration they're unfolded across both (already) plush mattresses to eliminate the dreaded gap. Our room was set up with twins, but other passengers we spoke to assured us the queen configuration was comfortable and gap-free.
Two things of note that we discovered about cabin bathrooms: Upgraded toiletries are available to passengers based on their tier within Royal Caribbean's loyalty program, as well as the type of cabin booked. Generally speaking, most cabins come with bar soap and wall-mounted shower dispensers with combination shampoo/conditioner/bodywas. However, all passengers in Grand Suites or higher get Gilchrist & Soames bath amenities, while all those in Junior suites get signature Royal Caribbean bath amenities (better than wall-mounted but not as good as Gilchrist & Soames). But if a Crown and Anchor Society Diamond Plus member books an inside cabin, he or she also receives the Gilchrist & Soames.
Also, in our cabin bathroom's storage mirror, the sharp, triangular-shaped glass shelving wasn't secured and fell out at least twice, nearly stabbing us in the foot.
We also found that, as is the case on most ships, the cabins are far from soundproof; be courteous of those in cabins around you, and be prepared in case the neighbors beside or above you are the noisy type.
Interior: Interior and promenade-view staterooms are on the small side, measuring 152 square feet and 149 square feet, respectively. Bathrooms are shower-only, though we appreciate that Royal Caribbean has stuck with sliding doors as opposed to those pesky curtains that always seem to float inward and invariably lead to flooding. Family interiors are nearly double in size (300 square feet) and sleep up to six with two twin beds that convert into a queen plus a sofa bed and/or Pullman. Closet space is adequate for two people.
Ocean-View: Ocean-view cabins add a porthole and a smidge more space (from 161 to 200 square feet). Most family ocean-view staterooms clock in at 293 square feet, with a sitting area, two twin beds that convert into a queen and a sofa bed and/or Pullman. Closet space for both types is adequate. Notable are the panoramic ocean-view (215 square feet), accessible ocean-view (283 square feet) and family ocean-view (406 square feet) staterooms that were added to Deck 12 during the 2015 refit, where part of the rerouted jogging track used to be. These family ocean-views offer wraparound panoramic windows and room for six (seven if there's an infant) via a king-sized convertible bed, two twin beds set aside in a room about the size of a closet (with a curtain that serves as a door) and a pull-out sofa in the sitting area. There's also plenty of room for a crib, should an infant be part of the group. Closet space is ample, and there's a flat-screen TV with a couple of chairs for lounging, as well as a split bathroom concept -- one room with a toilet and sink, another with a shower and sink.
Balcony: There are two balcony options on Freedom of the Seas: Deluxe at 177 square feet (balcony 74 square feet) and Superior at 189 square feet (balcony 68 square feet). The accessible balcony stateroom has quite a bit more room with 286 square feet (balcony 46 square feet, nearly as big as a junior suite) and wider turning spaces, as well as a fold-down shower bench, which turns out to be useful for a toddler. Closet space is decent for two people, and balcony furniture comprises a small table and two chairs.
Suite: Space and amenities increase as you ascend the suite scale. Some Junior Suites (287 square feet, balcony 101 square feet) and Grand Suites (387 square feet, balcony 126 square feet) have tubs.
The eight Owner's Suites (614 square feet, balcony 209 square feet) each have a private sitting area separate from the bedroom, as well as his and her sinks in the bathroom. The one Royal Suite (1,406 square feet, balcony 377 square feet) features a living room, his and her sinks, marble whirlpool tub and separate shower, entertainment center, king-sized bed, baby grand piano and private hot tub on the balcony.
Four Royal Family Suites (610 square feet, balcony 234 square feet) accommodate up to eight people and feature a living area with a double sofa bed; two bedrooms, each with two twin beds that convert to queens (one also features third and fourth bunks); a balcony with teak furniture and two bathrooms with showers (one with tub).
The Presidential Family Suite (1,209 square feet, balcony 805 square feet) is the granddaddy of family-friendly accommodations onboard. The suite can accommodate up to 14 people and consists of two master bedrooms with full baths and two additional bedrooms, each with two Pullman beds and two twin beds that convert to queens. It also has a sofa bed. There are two additional "standard" shower-only bathrooms. The huge private balcony is outfitted with a hot tub, teak dining set (table and chairs) and padded teak loungers.
Suite passengers have access to a concierge -- who can assist with specialty restaurant reservations, spa treatments and the like -- and the Concierge Club lounge, where pre-dinner canapes and cocktails are complimentary.
One last "special" stateroom is 6305, a promenade-facing cabin with an obstructed view. The window is blocked by the, ahem, behinds of two cows that stand atop the Ben & Jerry's ice cream parlor directly below. The good news, though, is that cruisers who find a pair of derrieres pressed up against their window receive complimentary scoops from Ben & Jerry's every day of their cruise.