An enjoyable cruise - but pricey
Freedom of the Seas Cruise Review to Caribbean - Western
Ship: Freedom of the Seas
Cabin Type: Balcony
Traveled As: Couple
Reviewed: 8 years ago
My partner and I were on the maiden voyage of Freedom of the Seas this past June, along with a couple of friends. It was our 5th cruise, all of which have been with Royal Caribbean. While it was an enjoyable trip, we were expecting a little more fanfare for having been a maiden voyage. Since we're not into surfboard pools and what-not, we really didn't see or experience a whole lot that was different or better than one of RCCL's Voyager-class ships (we have been on Navigator and Adventure).
The outdoor pool area was expansive and pristine, as were the indoor bars. The nightclub's gothic decor, however, was a little cheesy. Our balcony stateroom was spacious and new, but the sliding glass door let out a blood-curdling squeal any time it was opened or closed. It took the staff 3 days to correct this after we complained With a few exceptions, the on-board staff had indifferent attitudes. I would have expected RC to put the best of the best to staff their flagship, but apparently they haven't.
My only other complaint is the itinerary, which RCCL puts so many ships on, because it is getting a bit tedious. The exception is Montego Bay, as Ochos Rios is usually the Jamaican port of call. Montego Bay literally rolled out the red carpet for us, and the shore excursions there were really very special. It was obvious that they were happy to have Freedom in port, and it made us want to come back. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly - despite the huge number of passengers - and the ship really didn't feel crowded except when there was an event on the Royal Promenade (which, BTW, was superb).
For the money that we spent, I think that I much rather would have paid for a junior suite on a Voyager-class ship on a different itinerary. But if you've not gotten tired of Voyager-class amenities or the Western Caribbean ports of Labadee, Grand Cayman and Cozumel, then you might find that Freedom is exactly what you wished and hoped for.
Pros: Cantilevered jacuzzis, impressive Grand Promenade, didn't feel crowded (despite a full ship)
Cons: So-so attitude of staff and an over-done itinerary