Freedom of the Seas is a great ship with an excellent crew and passengers you might want to keep in touch with. Not much to be concerned about so here are a few basic tips:
Remember to reserve your Ice Skating Show attendance in advance. No assigned seats, but headcount is managed. You will still have to get to the door, or into the line going up to the ice rink door, at least 20 minutes early. There is a sports bar/art show area where this line forms so you can just hang out there, with a beverage of your choice, until the line begins to form. This show is worth the wait! As with any big ship, the shows in other locations also do fill up, so for good seats arriving 15 to 20 minutes before the show is required.
The grand promenade shows, parades and 'zombie' sales events, were well attended and so crowded that we watched some from afar, although we joined the sales feeding frenzy on more than one occasion:-) Still enjoyable, but again, if you want to get close, you have to do a little planning. If you like a little sing-along with adult humor, find the piano bar early and see how good the loyal audience members become as the cruise goes on:-) We alternated between this bar when we wanted the roaring fun and the Champagne bar when we wanted quiet relaxation. As on any modern large cruise ship, do read the schedule the night before; you can then choose to do or not do without missing something you might have wanted to attend.
Food: The Windjammer closes for a short while at late afternoon and the main dining room breakfast schedule changes based on ports. They are both fine places to eat with great service. If you have a balcony, treat yourself to a room service breakfast on the balcony, it is nice in any room, but eating breakfast over looking beautiful water with the sun breaking low clouds on the horizon is indescribable. Finally, treat your self to the steakhouse on one night, this is truly where you can approach a 4 or 5 star restaurant experience at half the price of a land based restaurant. Since we have been on many excursions, this dinner event is priced like a low cost excursion but it is a first class couples experience with great atmosphere.
Finally, if this is your first time in some of the ports, then by all means do see the sights and enjoy the water, the sun and beaches:-). You can spend more time enjoying the ship or its sister ships in the future as there are many similarities between the ships of the same cruise line and between ships of the same design class (e.g. RCL Freedom Class Ships: Freedom, Independence and Liberty have much in common although there are small differences from build time and scheduled updates). We do tend to stick with the cruise-line's excursions so I cant comment on the 3rd party excursions except to say do a lot of research and use well known independent travel review sites to try to get some insight on the 3rd party excursions. You can save some money, but at some risk.
Bon Voyage and Bon Appetit!