Amazing Cruise On the Freedom of the Seas!

Freedom of the Seas Cruise Review to Caribbean - Southern

Cruises: 7+ cruises
Reviews: 5
Helpful Votes: 103

Overall rating:

4.8 out of 5
Freedom of the Seas

7 Night Southern Caribbean (San Juan Roundtrip)

Sail date: May 19, 2019

Ship: Freedom of the Seas

Cabin type: Balcony

Traveled as: Singles/Friends

Reviewed: 2 years ago

Review summary

Overall this was another outstanding cruise with Royal Caribbean. I enjoyed my first time aboard the Freedom of the Seas and found the ship to be in good shape. The staff was friendly, helpful, and engaging. I enjoyed the various activities offered and really enjoyed the ports of call. I had a great time and can't wait until my next cruise in December of 2019.

Embarkation

5 out of 5
Embarkation was great. After we got dropped off at the terminal until the time we boarded was maybe 15-20 minutes. This was probably the 2nd fastest I have ever boarded. This made it a great experience and allowed us to get on the ship sooner. Great job by both the Royal Caribbean and the Customs Teams!

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

5 out of 5
Overall, my experience with the specialty restaurants was excellent. I give it 5 stars. The hosts and servers at Sabor, Giovanni's Table, and Chops Grille were friendly, helpful, and engaging. They made great recommendations and the service was 5-stars! We also did the "Chef's Table" one night, which was a 5-course dinner with wine pairings. I definitely recommend doing a specialty restaurant once during a cruise or purchasing the Ultimate Dining Package if fits into your plans. We definitely enjoyed our time in the specialty restaurants. We did not eat at the Main Dining Room or Windjammer on this cruise, although we have in the past and have had good experiences there as well.

Vintages

5 out of 5

I really enjoyed my time at Vintages Wine Bar. The atmosphere is relaxing and the main bartender Edgar was very knowledgeable, friendly, and helpful. I did not do a wine tasting this time, but really enjoyed my time hanging out. I am not an avid wine drinker, but it was fun trying some new wines recommend by Edgar. Overall a great experience.

Sabor Mexican Restaurant

5 out of 5

We ate at Sabor 3 times and our server Leslie who we had each time was the best. He was attentive, friendly, fast, and made solid recommendations. I enjoy the food and atmosphere at Sabor. The margaritas were excellent as well. I can't wait to go back on my next cruise.

Olive or Twist

5 out of 5

Enjoyed my time hanging out at Olive or Twist nightclub. The DJ played upbeat band fun music and the atmosphere was very lively. We met our friends there in the evening and met some new people as well. Definitely a fun time.

Chop's Grille

5 out of 5

We were able to make reservations and the 2 servers we had for our 2 dining evenings were Christopher and Tania and they were both excellent. They provided great service and offered solid recommendations. My steaks were cooked as requested and the food was delicious.

Onboard Activities

4 out of 5
Overall, I enjoyed the onboard activities. The ship does a nice job offering things like trivia, different types of beverage and dancing classes, shows, karaoke, etc. We did use the Fitness Center and I enjoyed it and the classes they offered and the equipment provided. The pool and sports decks had various activities that were fun to participate in or be a spectator. I would like to see more variety in the trivias they offer, but overall I cannot complain as they have to try and accommodate a vast group of people. There were a lot of activities to choose from. I did not do the Flow Rider or the Rock Climbing Wall, however, I would like to try them in the future.

Entertainment

4 out of 5
I did not attend any of the stage shows or go see the comedian, however, the musicians at Boleros, the Bull & Bear Pub, and the DJ at Olive or Twist were great. All 3 were fun venues to hang out. The DJ at Olive or Twist made it a fun nightclub with upbeat music and a fun environment.

Children's Programs

I do not have kids and am not familiar with the Kids Programs.

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
I want to give the staff aboard Freedom of the Seas a shout out for their outstanding service, attentiveness, friendliness, and helpfulness. Our stateroom room attendant did a great job and was always asking how we were doing and if we needed anything. He did a great job turning down the room as well and making our stay enjoyable. The restaurant hosts and servers we encountered in the specialty restaurants were awesome. They knew the menu, made great recommendations, and provided excellent service. I found the bartenders and servers at the various bars terrific as well. They do not have an easy job, but I found them to be fast, friendly, and they poured a good beverage.

Ship Quality

5 out of 5
Overall I liked the ship's layout. I have been on Liberty of the Seas in the past so I was familiar with the outline of the ship in general. Overall I found it to be clean, and saw evidence of continued upkeep with fresh paint being applied, buffing of the windows to remove salt and dirt, etc. We did have a maintenance issue with a backed up toilet due to a line issue in our deck floor area, however, they had someone come out and take care of it quickly. Overall I thought that the maintenance staff did a great job keeping the ship clean, taking care of any issues, and following up with continued needed maintenance to the ship.

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5
Our balcony room was a standard balcony room on Deck 12 Stateroom #1890. Although we were higher up than normal it was something different and we enjoyed being close to the Vitality and Fitness Center, the Pool Deck, and Solarium. The room was clean, the size was adequate for what we needed, and the balcony provided a relaxing experience to go out to check out a sunrise, sunset, or just to relax. I liked the the decor of the room as well. The storage was different from our past ships which we really liked. Overall we really enjoyed our room.

Ship tip

One piece of advice I would give to someone sailing on Freedom of the Seas would be to enjoy the experience and take advantage of the various onboard activities that are offered. There is so much to do, so pick out new things to do for the experience or things you like to do as I believe it makes for a more positive cruising experience!

Ports of call

San Juan, Puerto Rico

5 out of 5
We went in to San Juan 2 days prior to the cruise. We walked around all over Old San Juan. We at dinner at Barrachina and Greengos along Fortaleza Street on the 2 nights and enjoyed the Mufongo and more authentic Puerto Rican food. We went to several shops and bars and just took in the experience of Old San Juan. We stayed at the Sheraton in Old San Juan. The hotel was in great shape and the staff was friendly and I look forward to staying at the hotel again. We did not do any excursions, however I would like to try one in the future. I am already looking forward to my next visit to San Juan.

Oranjestad, Aruba

5 out of 5
This was my 3rd time to Aruba and this was another amazing visit. The ship was there from 8:00 AM to 10:30 PM and we stayed until around 4:30. We did a snorkel and sailing excursion called the "Jolly Pirate", which I highly recommend. We stopped at 3 different spots to snorkel and swim and got to jump off the ship and do the rope swing. They provided lunch and drinks and the ship turned into a party atmosphere on the way back, it was a great time. We booked this on our own as it's not offered through Royal Caribbean. We then spent a few hours hanging out at Moomba Beach after we got done with the excursion. Overall, a great experience!

Willemstad, Curacao

4 out of 5
Overall a solid port. We have walked around in the past, however this time we did a Resort for the Day at The Santa Barbara Beach & Resort. Again we booked this on our own. It's about a 25-30 minute drive from the port, however you get to see some more of Curacao which was cool. The resort has more of a relaxed atmosphere, however, it was clean and absolutely beautiful! I would definitely recommend this resort to others looking for a relaxed atmosphere, with clean amenities, and beautiful location. The service was great as well.

Kralendijk, Bonaire

5 out of 5
I enjoyed my time in Bonaire. We took a 15-20 minute cab ride to Jibe City at the Sorobon Beach. We spent the entire day here. The water is the most crystal clear I have seen, similar to the water in parts of the Bahamas, Antigua, and Jamaica. We went out close to the breakers and enjoyed the walk out and back. Overall a great time and experience. I would recommend checking out this beach and reviews online to see if it's something you would like to do. I believe there are options to do wind surfing and paddle boarding. We had an awesome time and the weather was incredible!

Philipsburg, St. Maarten

5 out of 5
Another great time at St. Maarten. We got great weather. We walked from the ship to Great Bay Beach in Philipsburg. We rented some chairs and an umbrella and spent a majority of the time relaxing on the beach or in the water. We ate lunch at a place called the Oualichi Bar & Restaurant. Good food and service. We did not make it out to Maho Beach or do an excursion, but are considering it for next time. There is still evidence of the hurricane from 2017 but the area continues to show it's coming back. Always enjoy my time in St. Maarten, one of my favorite islands!

Disembarkation

5 out of 5
Disembarkation was a 5. We carried off our luggage this time as we got off the ship around 7:15 AM. It went very quickly and we got into a taxi and we're at the airport in 15-20 minutes. Overall very pleased with the disembarkation process.

Traveler Photos

View Of Old San Juan - Sheraton Hotel Stateroom 1890 - Deck 12 Umbrella Display on Fortaleza Street - Old San Juan Jibe City at Soboron Beach Jolly Pirate Sail & Snorkel Excursion Main Pool Deck Area Great Bay Beach Santa Barbara Beach & Resort - Pool Santa Barbara Beach & Resort
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