Freedom of the Seas Cruise Review to Caribbean - Western

Contributor Level: Deck Hand

Reviews
2

Helpful Votes
21

4 out of 5

A break from the cold

Sail Date: February 15, 2009

Reviewed: 6 years ago

Traveled As: Family (older children)

Room Type: Balcony

This is a lovely, clean ship with all the amenities you could want on a vacation. We had a cabin at the back of the ship, with a plus-size balcony, which we really loved -- it was protected by the breeze when we were cruising. There are great amenities on the ship, and lots to do; we attended two of the shows (ice show and magic show) and they were both really fun. The staff was helpful and attentive, though not as enthusiastic as I've had on my two other Royal Caribbean cruises, but certainly they were pleasant enough. Of course there is food 24-hours a day, and a great selection. The pool decks did get crowded on our days at sea, and it was difficult, though not impossible, to find an open deck chair. The workout facility is large and clean, with plenty of equipment, and the spa was also lovely. I can't recommend the kids' club, Adventure Ocean, highly enough: they kept my 10-year-old entertained and happy. My 13-year-old was another story: she would have preferred some of the activities they were offering the 9-11 age group, rather than the less-structured teen (12-17) program. The teens do have their own "hang out" room, and activities designed to appeal to the older set, however, my daughter is young for her age and still loves scavenger hunts and games. Much of what they were offering was an intro to other teens and places to dance and hang out, which probably works for the majority of teens. The food is good, with plenty of variety; the ports were all worthwhile, and the explorations offered were well-organized and not over-priced. Overall, I loved this cruise, and would take another one in a heartbeat.

Pros: The fact that everything is taken care of, from meals to entertainment.

Cons: Smokers on the balconies to either side of us.

Recommends Freedom of the Seas? Yes!

Service and Staff
Staff was all very helpful and pleasant, especially guest relations and the activities people. Dining staff and stateroom attendant were attentive and helpful, though not as enthusiastic as I've had before. Still, not surly, and certainly pleasant enough.
Ship Quality
Everything was beautiful and clean, a real luxury liner.
Food and Dining
The food is solidly good, some of it even excellent. Lots of variety, something for everyone, and the dining rooms are clean and attractive. The choices in the cafe got a bit old by the end of the trip, but I can't really fault them: after seven days at sea, it would be hard to put out fresh options.
Cabin / Stateroom
We loved being at the back of the ship! We had a regular-sized stateroom, nothing fancy, and there was still plenty of storage space for 4 people's clothes (though we pack pretty light). Good storage under beds for suitcases. The balcony really gives the feel of more room to a pretty efficient space. Would have preferred a room with a pull-down bed; as it was, we used two twins and the pull-out sofa (which was extremely comfortable) and my husband and I slept apart so the kids wouldn't have to share a bed.
Entertainment
We saw two shows and really enjoyed them. The shore activities are plentiful, almost too much so -- how to choose?? The ones we did choose were well-run and safe, and lots of fun.
Children's Programs
Absolutely LOVED the kids club for the 9-11 set: my son went enthusiastically every night (he hung out with us during the day, though last cruise he enjoyed the day activities as well), and didn't want to leave. The staff is exceptional: college grads with degrees in recreation, who were enthusiastic beyond belief. I loved this program!
George Town, Grand Cayman
Lovely port, lots of options for activities outside of what the cruise ship offers.Wish we'd booked a different snorkeling trip, since the fish were ok, but not great, while I've heard this is the place to snorkel. Certainly a lovely island with beautiful beaches.
Don't Miss: I've heard Seven MIle Beach is the place to go.
George Town, Grand Cayman
Lovely port, lots of options for activities outside of what the cruise ship offers.Wish we'd booked a different snorkeling trip, since the fish were ok, but not great, while I've heard this is the place to snorkel. Certainly a lovely island with beautiful beaches.
Don't Miss: I've heard Seven MIle Beach is the place to go.
Cozumel, Mexico
Our travel agent gave great advice here: we booked our dolphin swim directly at the site, and saved money. Chankanaab was clean and lovely, and worth seeing, and the kids loved swimming with the dolphins. We rented a car and only wish we had more time to see more of the island. Lots of great shopping right in the port terminal. One aggressive vendor tried to convince us the dolphin swim was sold out at the popular spot and to do his instead, but it was more money and he was lying.
Don't Miss: Chankanaab was worth seeing, and the dolphin swim an experience of a lifetime.
Labadee (Cruiseline Private Island)
This made me think of a Disney location: cute, native-looking sign posts, well organized market, rows of beach chairs. It was certainly clean and safe. We didn't do an activity at this port, just enjoyed the beach and walking around. The vendors were fairly persistent, so you have to be pretty firm if you don't want to buy something. The vendors in the flea market were the most aggressive, while the ones in the Artisan's Market were not at all. The cruise ship puts on a BBQ in the port, so it really feels like an extension of the ship. My husband was sick so missed this port, and it was really ok for him to miss.
Labadee (Cruiseline Private Island)
This made me think of a Disney location: cute, native-looking sign posts, well organized market, rows of beach chairs. It was certainly clean and safe. We didn't do an activity at this port, just enjoyed the beach and walking around. The vendors were fairly persistent, so you have to be pretty firm if you don't want to buy something. The vendors in the flea market were the most aggressive, while the ones in the Artisan's Market were not at all. The cruise ship puts on a BBQ in the port, so it really feels like an extension of the ship. My husband was sick so missed this port, and it was really ok for him to miss.
Ocho Rios, Jamaica
Shopping was the main attraction in the port. Certainly clean and safe enough, though not exciting. Activities are fairly close to the port (Dunn's River Falls, etc.), so you could certainly do other things on your own.
Don't Miss: We didn't do Dunn's River, as we heard it was crowded and touristy. If you like horseback riding, the ride into the ocean was excellent.
Ocho Rios, Jamaica
Shopping was the main attraction in the port. Certainly clean and safe enough, though not exciting. Activities are fairly close to the port (Dunn's River Falls, etc.), so you could certainly do other things on your own.
Don't Miss: We didn't do Dunn's River, as we heard it was crowded and touristy. If you like horseback riding, the ride into the ocean was excellent.
Cozumel, Mexico
Our travel agent gave great advice here: we booked our dolphin swim directly at the site, and saved money. Chankanaab was clean and lovely, and worth seeing, and the kids loved swimming with the dolphins. We rented a car and only wish we had more time to see more of the island. Lots of great shopping right in the port terminal. One aggressive vendor tried to convince us the dolphin swim was sold out at the popular spot and to do his instead, but it was more money and he was lying.
Don't Miss: Chankanaab was worth seeing, and the dolphin swim an experience of a lifetime.


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