First time on Royal Caribbean in a few years. The shows are amazing, the ship is beautiful, the food at lunch and dinner leaves much to be desired. No map of the ship upon arrival, common areas are small and very crowded, anytime dining can only make reservations at 5:15, 5:30 or 5:45, No CNBC on TV, No descent movies on tv or in the shows, no movies on the big screen during the day around the pool and this checking out and checking in towels around the pool was nuts. Last day everyone was complaining because they were charged $25.00 for those tread bare towels (they obviously left them on the chase lounges and did not get credit for them, their bad).
Despite the rough waters the first couple of days, my husband and I had the greatest time ever. It was the first time we were able to truly escape reality and be able to relax and unwind. The staff was wonderful and very friendly. Freedom of the sea is just the perfect size to allow people to be as involved in activities as they want or to just relax and do nothing. For us we were somewhere in the middle, a lot of relaxation and still involved in many activities. I even checked off by bucket list by climbing on the rock wall. Now that may not seem like a great accomplishment, but believe me it was tough… Our dinner experience in the main dining was outstanding. Our waiter was Livingston and I missed him on our first day home. He made the experience even more wonderful and entertaining.
Babies and toddlers are confined to two small areas.. a very small splash pool (not the larger H2O splash zone which we thought was allowed for babies before booking), and a small room they put a mat and a few toys in during the day before kicking you out promptly at 5 PM to make way for teenagers. They frequently forgot sanitizing wipes in that room, and sure enough our son caught hand foot mouth disease. Another mom on board said her baby caught 5th disease. Another pain point was dinner at night. They didn't sit families together, and we felt strong UNWELCOME vibes from those around us without kids who didn't appreciate the disturbance. All that said, we did like our balcony room and stateroom attendant. She cleaned the diapers from the trash multiple times per day. It was nice to enjoy the extra space for our son to play in the room and opportunity to sit on the balcony while he slept.
The trip started late by several hours then skipped one of the three stops. We were told it was weather related but I've never seen a calmer sea myself. The food was good but when you use room service it's hit and miss what you get and if you don't have that wallet out every time don't count on getting it. If you get hurt on the ship don't go to there doctor. In my case I had my toe run over in the elevator by one of the guest on a scooter. The doctor gave me some stuff that the local pharmacy gives away free and told me no charge for Anything. Days after I get off they add a doctors charge to an already signed bill. Like I would sue them for some like that. Just a big company making sure a little guy gets dumped on.
My favorite part of the cruise was being back on the ocean again.
This was our forth cruise on the Freedom from Port Canaveral, FL. It was a bit sad to see the ship in such poor condition. Most of the carpeting, furniture and bedding are in need of replacement. The cigarette smoke was throughout the ship. Nightclubs have turned into specialty resturants. There is little you can do on the ship that won't cost you extra money. The food quality was severly below par for Royal Caribbean. Plus, services are more limited as they have reduced staff.
We enjoyed this cruise very much! Most of our trip was very positive. The service was good, ship was beautifully decorated. The food was excellent. The ports were good choices. We enjoyed our excursion. The only complaints we would add are as follows: We would like a few more meat choices in the buffet dining area such as chicken tenders, ham, roast beef. Asparagus and brussel sprouts would be good as well, and macaroni and cheese. We were disappointed that we did not have free access to an iron for our clothes. We were not expecting to have to pay to have our clothes ironed. We were disappointed in a couple of the shows. One of the comedians was a disappointment (Max _______)...We would love to see more good family comedy like Alfred and Seymore. They were the best ever! And Drew Thomas was fantastic, too! We would like to have had more dance parties around the pool in the evenings. And we missed not having a luau or nighttime buffet/party out side.
was great in helping me establish a relationship with Royal Car. Since it was my first booking. The overall experience was delightful! I Plan on using in the near future for my next booking! The production such as the Marquee show was disappointing. I was quite surprised in the lack of diversity with show and cast. Royal has a Global appeal. The approach to its customers, crew and team was lackluster. It would have been nice to refrain from a "White Wash" approach and appeal to other cultures
The pizza on the Promenade was pretty good as we're some of the sandwiches from the coffee shop. The food in the Windjammer was nearly as good as what was in the dining room and if you prefer to dress more casually then that is the place to be....not as stuffy. There was always a good selection.
Pizza was free at the Pizza place on the promenade. The drinks aren't free, but if you have one of the drink packages it pays off. Tips are included in the purchase of the package. They had a cupcake shop and I bought one of the cupcakes for a little over 2 dollars. It was delicious!
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