First cruise - we loved it!

Freedom of the Seas Cruise Review to Europe - Western Mediterranean

Cruises: 1 cruise (first)
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 27

Overall rating:

4.5 out of 5
Freedom of the Seas

7 Night Western Mediterranean (Barcelona Roundtrip)

Sail date: July 30, 2017

Ship: Freedom of the Seas

Cabin type: Balcony

Cabin number: 7590

Traveled as: Family (older children)

Reviewed: 4 years ago

Review summary

As a family of 4 (two kids aged 12 & 14) we really enjoyed our first cruise and long to do it again one day. I'm glad we chose RC as they seem do it so well and be one of the best cruiselines. We loved that we could visit some many places without unpacking and wondered each day what view would greet us when we awoke. It was also nice after a hot day exploring, to retreat to the cool air-conditioned santuary of the ship. We loved the food, service and entertainment. What we didn't like was the constant pressure to spend even more money. This was a special occasion for us and not something we could do every year (or even 5 years) so it got a little irritating (to say the least) to have to be on our guard about spending more. We were lucky that we had the drinks packages as part of our deal (we booked early) so it was good not to think about that. However, we did enjoy the cruise and wouldn't hesitate to book with RC again in the future.


4 out of 5
Quite long queues but went down quickly and all the information given was clear

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

5 out of 5
No complaints at all. Buffet restaurant had lots of variety and coped well with the large number of passengers. We used the MDR 3 nights out of 7. The food was delicious and the service attentive, but a little overbearing for us at times. Promenade café was nice for coffee and cake, crew were always friendly. Sorrentos was also used on a few late evenings and again the variety and service were good.

Onboard Activities

4 out of 5
We used the pools, mini-golf and sports court. Unfortunately when we chose to use these facilities, it seemed that the rest of the passengers on board wanted to use them too! We should've picked quieter times I guess.


4 out of 5
The shows seemed to be of a very high standard although we only visited a few of them briefly. We loved spending our evenings in the Schooner bar being entertained by the very talented Paul O'Shea on the piano.

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
This was one of the best parts of our cruise. The service is amazing and we must make a special mention of our room steward (Gladia) who looked after us so well and was a genuinely lovely person. Victor the Windjammer manager always made us smile each morning with his antics, music and singing. Basil, the head bartender in the Schooner bar was a great guy who always made time to talk to us, even when the bar was busy. Also, Josh in Boleros bar who made the most amazing cocktails.

Ship Quality

5 out of 5
Although not the newest of ships, it was always clean and I thought the layout was good and logical.

Cabin / Stateroom

4 out of 5
It was a good size, but the bed was quite hard. Bathroom needed an update but the shower pressure was really good. problems with flushing the toilet at times.

Ship tip

Buy the drinks package, especially if you like a drink or three! It's good not to worry about the bill mounting up.

Ports of call

Barcelona, Spain

5 out of 5
Great city. Recommend the open top bus tour, which gives you a taste of the whole city then you can decide where you want to get off and spend more time.

Marseille (Provence), France

4 out of 5
We did our own thing. Used the tourist train to visit Notre dame de la gard , which gives fantastic views over the city. Take the free transfer bus not the ship transfer which is rip off.

Villefranche-Sur-Mer, France

5 out of 5
Our favourite port - very pretty. Get on the train and visit Nice or Monaco. it's easy and cheaper to do your own thing. Don't forget to explore the back streets of Villefranches, it's really beautiful.

La Spezia, Italy

4 out of 5
It's easy to visit the Cinque de Terre by train and boat. Free bus to the port terminal, taxi to the station then take the train. Buy the Cinque de Terre card in the port terminal as this allows unlimted travel on the train and saves time figuring out the confusing ticket machines.

Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy Did not visit port

Naples, Italy

4 out of 5
We visited Pompeii using a local taxi, but wished we'd organised an excursion with a guide. It's hard to do Pompeii on your own when you've only got a few hours. Was very hot there too. Will return one day in a cooler season.


4 out of 5
Very smooth. Found it easy to take our own luggage.
Was this review helpful? 27


Leave a comment

Remember: Be polite and respectful. Our diverse community is home to members with different opinions and a broad range of cruise experiences.