Kid friendly! Wonderful experience!!
Freedom of the Seas Cruise Review to Caribbean - Western
Sail Date: December 12, 2010
Ship: Freedom of the Seas
Cabin Type: Balcony
Traveled As: Family (young children)
Reviewed: 7 years ago
This was my first vacation with my wife in three years and since our 2 year old son was born. Since we brought the little guy along on this trip, it was extremely important to me that his needs were met.
The staterooms were remarkably clean and our stateroom attendant personalized the experience. He called my son by his first name each time he saw him and took the time to speak to him. The other stateroom attendants in the hallway all came to know my son in his travels down the long corridor and it was a fun stroll to and from the ends of the ship.
We dined in the formal dining hall only once and found that for a 2 year old, it was not the right setting (or food) for him. So we happily enjoyed the variety of tasty meals in the Windjammer restaurant for the entire trip. What I particularly liked about our dining experience was the same consistent friendly attitude by each of the waiters that tended to our needs.
My 2 year old is in his "me too" stage and so he has to do what big people do. So it was important for us to find him a booster seat at the start of each meal. This was the first thing we did at each meal. My wife and I were relieved and delighted at the speed and interest that each waiter took in locating and delivering a booster seat. They even went so far as to speak to him like any other guest: "Would you like some more fruit punch?". And like a clever little 2 year old, he caught on to this whole waiter-thing. He was tickled to be able to order his own drink.
Docking in ports was always on schedule and the disembarking procedures were simple and expedient. I should note that we almost did not make our cruise!! At the time we arrived at the checkin counter, it was discovered that the U.S. Customs agent forgot to stamp our passports! So it was a relief that Royal Carribean staff were able to see that we flew into the U.S. legitimately and arrived by car rental from the airport legitimately. Anyway, it could have been a nightmare before we even got started but "common sense" prevailed and we were happy once again.
Our trip included stops in Haiti's Labadee, Jamaica's Ocho Rios, the Grand Caymen and Mexico's Cosumel. The destinations were fabulous and after speaking with other travelers on the boat who had traveled on other boats and cruise lines, we knew that for our first cruise vacation, we made the best choice!
Before I took this cruise, I was always a believer that cruises were boring. I couldn't have been more wrong! The pools on the top deck catered to all ages and the endless ice cream machine maker made managing my son's day easier! Sure, he probably put on an extra pound or two, but it was a treat for him to look forward to, nonetheless :)
Bonus points to solid construction of the staterooms. I thought for sure that I would be kept up all night by noisy neighbours and that was certainly not the case. I slept like a baby to the point that my wife kept waking me up because of my snoring. When you work day-in and day-out for months at a time and get about 5 hours of sleep a day, this cruise was heaven! I never thought about work the whole time I was there and I "finally" feel "rested". Good thing too because Christmas is just a week away.
Anyway, I'm not sure what really else I can say except that cruises are for all ages! My wife and I are already planning our next escape to Royal Carribean and next time we will be brining my in-laws. This way they can let us have more time to experience the nightlife on the boat which we craved this time around.
Thanks for a wonderful experience and we will be back!
Food and Dining
Service and Staff
Cabin / Stateroom
Ports of Call
Don't Miss: The beach!
Don't Miss: The zip line!!
Pros: The consistent friendly attitude of the ship's crew
Cons: The disorganization and long delay in leaving the ship at the end of the trip