Freedom of the Seas Cruise Review to Caribbean - Western

Contributor Level: Second Mate

7+ cruises


Helpful Votes

2 out of 5

Stick to the Basic Cruise & Avoid Extras - You Will Be Much Happier and Save Money!

Sail Date: September 29, 2013

Reviewed: 3 years ago

Traveled As: Couple

Room Type: Suite

As former travel agency owners, we have sailed on just about every cruise line available. This was our 3rd cruise on the Freedom, in the last 2 years.  Overall general expereince was acceptable.  However, we were seriously disappointed in specific areas of add-on tours and speciality services:

1) From past experience we ignored the line's recommended boarding time of 1:30 pm, and boarded as early as possible to avoid waiting in line for 2 - 3 hours in the hot 95 degree FL sunshine.  We arrived at 10:45 am and boarded the ship in less than 20 minutes; enjoyed the buffet on Deck 11, and then went to the jr suite at 1pm when cabins opened.

2) Our Bon Voyage package was NOT waiting as preordered, more than 2 months previously.  The almost $50 pkg of wine, fruit, crackers and cheese FINALLY arrived AFTER 5:30 pm.  More than 1 hour AFTER departure and 15 minutes before dinner, and ONLY because a half dozen phone calls were made.  We ended up brigning the wine home with us because we had already purchased a wine pkg for dinner.

2) The $49 pp + gratuity on-board, "Mystery Dinner Theater" is the biggest over charge of money, rip-off, and time waster we have ever experienced in the 13 years we have been cruising!  DO NOT bother!!!  Passengers are crammed into the specialty Portofino restaurant - which we have eaten in before and thorougly enjoyed -  where you will be bored to tears with amaturish acting, and crammed into the small intimate restaurant beyond capacity.  Tables are set up in long rows, where you squeeze into the chairs jammed in together, like an over attended church pot luck special!  The tables were so crammed together in long aisles, so much so, that the server could not fit in between the passengers to serve them, without hitting them in the back of their head with her ample hips.  Normal cost is $20 pp.  This is seriosly NOT WORTH the money and experience.  Save your money for something else. Also, the food was not Italiian.

3) The Tequilla Tasting Tour, in MX, was NOT worth the money and there is NO TIME to enjoy the water park.  The tour should have been free, like a wine tasting, because the entire point of the tour is for the "tour guide" to sell the expensive $150 per bottle Tequilla at the end of the demonstration.

4) The 4 hour kayak white water rafting tour in Jamaica, is not only not a real kayak experience, there is less than 20 minutes actually spent on the water.  The remaining 3 hours and 40 minutes is spent driving around the area in a van, stopping at trinkets shops the tour guide probably gets a cut on.

5) promised a free meal at the Johnny Rockets speciality restaurant.  Royal Caribbean would not honor this free meal.  The couple we traveled with was allowed to use their free meal certificate; but, Royal Carib would not honor ours.  Also, FYI ... there is a $4.95 per person service fee + gratutity, on the so-called FREE meal, if it is honored.

6)Overall expereince, discounting the extras, was typically enjoyable, on Freedom of the Seas.  Ship is clean and well maintianed.  Fewer activities. Shows were the same.  Food was wonderful and dining room service was exceptional.  We were able to reaquaint with staffers we've met on previous cruises. Below is a photo taken from our balcony, leaving Mexico.


Cruise Photos

Ship Quality
always clean and well maintained
Food and Dining
exceptionl choices and service
Cabin / Stateroom
More than met out expectations. The closet is larger than my home closet.
Service and Staff
Very Good
Entertainment Same shows as in previous cruises on this ship
Children's Programs n/a but they looked like fun
Onboard Activities
Need more activites for seniors other than Bingo
Destinations and Excursions
The tour expereinces were overpriced and we will NOT buy them again
Port Canaveral, Florida
Easy Access and plenty of parking
Labadee (Cruiseline Private Island)
Best Private Cruise Destination Ever!
Falmouth, Jamaica
Best Reproduction Port in the Carib
George Town, Grand Cayman
Rent a jeep and drive the entire island yourself
Cozumel, Mexico Not the best port, and should hgave stayed on board


Board the ship as early as possible. Room service for breakfast is the BEST way to start your day. The hot tubs are totally empty on port days. Make sure to make reservations for the Ice Show early. For the Magic Show, sit right next to the sound board. You will be amazed at the ending!!!!!!

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