September 2014 - Freedom of the Seas to Caribbean - Western
This was one of our best cruises ever, even though we were distressed that our traveling companions were not able to come and there were some cruise schedule adjustments because of medical emergencies. We were very impressed with the pristine condition of the Freedom, especially since we knew it was headed for dry dock. It was as beautiful and clean as ever, and the staff was top rate in every area of the ship.
Our Junior Suite was the nicest rooms we ever had, and the special amenities we had ordered were provided perfectly. We ordered room service breakfast most days and it was great, and our cabin steward was one of the best we have ever had in 15 years of cruising. Our balcony view was awesome, and we were able to take in the gorgeous sunrises and sunsets the perfect weather provided us. I think this was the first cruise when we scarcely felt any ship movement for the entire 7 day trip!
As always, the shows were spectacular, and the talent very impressive in every venue. Best ice show ever, by far! The entertainment before midnight was very tasteful and classy, except for Quest, which was touted as "adult".... We wished we hadn't gone,
The dining experience was awesome both in the main dining room, cafés, and specialty restaurants. The food was some of the most consistently excellent we have had cruising, the service was wonderful, and the people at tables around us were lots of fun. Our only disappointment was that evidently some whiners had complained about the parade of dining staff where they sang and performed near the final night, and management canceled it. Definitely a poor decision, as everyone we talked to looked forward to that fun part of the evening, as did the wait staff.
Our excursions were also perfect for us in Cozumel, the Caymans, and Jamaica. Our only negative experience was that our bank slammed down our credit card on a fraud alert because we used it twice in Mexico. We should've notified the bank in advance or taken more cash on the excursion. Mexico is not the place to use credit cards.
I suppose the biggest negatives were the radical increase in parking expense at the pier, the exorbitant cost for slow wireless internet on board the ship, and the automatic charge on our account of the tips. Our only real gripes were missing Labadee and the waiter non-parade.
Overall, we couldn't have been more satisfied, and would definitely recommend RC, the Freedom of the Seas, and for doing a great job at providing an amazing vacation for the money!