Nice Cruise, but not what we've come to expect from Royal Caribbean

Freedom of the Seas Cruise Review to Caribbean - Southern

Cruises: 7+ cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 7

Overall rating:

3.8 out of 5
Freedom of the Seas

7 Night Southern Caribbean (San Juan Roundtrip)

Sail date: May 19, 2018

Ship: Freedom of the Seas

Cabin type: Balcony

Cabin number: 1402

Traveled as: Family (older children)

Reviewed: 2 years ago

Review summary

Disembarkation was AWFUL - they lost two of our suitcases and it took them almost an hour in the terminal to help my wife find them. They made me disembark down on the pier due to my scooter, though I was able to board on the gangway just fine. We never got our 3 way plug back.

Embarkation

4 out of 5
No lines, as we arrived early, but security hassled us and confiscated a three way plug for some reason, but the multiple power strips, extension cords, and six way plug were just fine.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

3 out of 5
The food quality was lower than we've had on Royal in the past, and the specialty restaurant wasn't worth the money, and two of our three meals there were complimentary from our travel agent. There was no midnight Gala Buffet, no caviar, no ice sculptures, even at the private Crown and Anchor event, very disappointed.

Schooner Bar

4 out of 5

The decor is one of my favorites across the RCCL fleet. The piano player they had in the evenings was tremendous. Only four stars instead of five due to the location - too many people passing through on their way to somewhere else.

Olive or Twist

5 out of 5

This is the quietest, best view on the ship as far as public spaces.

Chop's Grille

3 out of 5

The steak was delicious, the service ok, but not worth the upcharge - even though we only paid for one, the other two were compliments of our travel agent. They only allow one appetizer and dessert, where in the main dining room you can get multiples. You can get the same steak in the main dining room for a much smaller upcharge - we could have all three got the Chops filet in the main dining room, not to mention more appetizers, desserts, and service, for less than the single upcharge we paid. Lesson learned.

Onboard Activities

4 out of 5
The Flowrider was a lot of fun for my daughter, and the shows were great.

Photo Gallery and Shop

3 out of 5

The photographers did a great job, but photos were hard to find, and we paid for the package, but the CD they delivered to our stateroom just before disembarking (they didn't have them ready the night before as promised) had only a third of our pictures, and included pictures of other people as well. They failed to print a number of our pictures as well. Two weeks later we finally got a Dropbox link to download our missing photos. Not what we expected when we bought the full photo package.

Casino Royale

1 out of 5

Just passing through here the stench of smoke was disgusting, the cashier was VERY rude.

Entertainment

4 out of 5

Service and Staff

3 out of 5
Our assistant waiter was great, our waiter was very professional, but the dining room seemed understaffed and he was stretched too thin. We only had three towel animals in the cabin over the seven nights and no mints on the pillow - disappointing.

Ship Quality

4 out of 5
The ship was very clean and well maintained - but overall the ship is just too big.

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5

Ship tip

The good walking shoes, the ship is LOOONNNNGGGGGGG.

Ports of call

San Juan, Puerto Rico

4 out of 5

Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas

3 out of 5
This is on too many itineraries, over done, and the worst port we visited - they would not allow me to park my mobility scooter anywhere off the ship. The excursion we did was a sail and snorkel, the staff was VERY aggressive in demanding tips at the end.

Willemstad, Curacao

5 out of 5
This was the high point of the trip - the Sea Lion excursion was hands down the best experience of our trip.

Oranjestad, Aruba

4 out of 5
This is the only port where we did a shore excursion not organized through the ship - we booked through an external site as Royal didn't offer a reasonable drive yourself Jeep tour. The tour we did was awesome - the bus driver and tour guide both accommodated my mobility scooter, this was the only tour we could take it on and I enjoyed it more for that reason. We saw a lot of the the island away from the port and downtown - beautiful!

Basseterre, St. Kitts

4 out of 5
This was a beautiful island, and we did the dolphin push, pull and swim - the experience was great but the photos were GROSSLY overpriced - $170 for a CD, and it took them forever to prepare it. The sea lion encounter in Curacao charged a very reasonable $50 for the photos and gave them to us on a wooden USB drive in a wooden box, both carved with the aquarium name on them - a much better deal.

Disembarkation

1 out of 5
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