Good value for the money

Freedom of the Seas Cruise Review to Caribbean - Southern

Cruises: 4-6 cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 22

Overall rating:

3.7 out of 5
Verified Review
Freedom of the Seas

7 Night Southern Caribbean (San Juan Roundtrip)

Sail date: May 26, 2019

Ship: Freedom of the Seas

Cabin type: Balcony

Cabin number: 6604

Traveled as: Family (older children)

Reviewed: 2 years ago

Review summary

Number of ports was amazing. For this reason only it was a good value for the money. If you prefer to spend more time cruising "at sea," this is not the cruise for you, as you only sail at night. I can't quite put my finger on it, but this cruise, overall, was just average.

Embarkation

5 out of 5
I like the "open" embarkation times. We got on the ship within 15 minutes of our arrival.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

4 out of 5
Food was slightly above average. The selection was not changed very much from night to night. No "theme nights" or highlighting of different countries' foods. Alcohol selection was good, but always an up-charge if you wanted that one good glass of wine.

Onboard Activities

3 out of 5
Kids liked the mini golf. Neither of them tried the FlowRider or the Rock Wall because they were too booked up all the time. Ice arena was a nice different experience. Pools were below average. Not a single slide. They closed early, even on nights when movies played. All the hot tubs were crowded always.

Entertainment

4 out of 5
Magic show was amazing. Comedian was pretty funny. Didn't make it to the final night performance, or any ice shows.

Service and Staff

3 out of 5
I am really ambivalent about this rating. There were the occasional folks who remembered our names and were kind and courteous. Others, not so much. It felt like they over-promised, and under-delivered. Our room steward had to always be tracked down, and that was simply to pick up our laundry to wash. We kept our own rooms spotless! The Maitre d' in the main dining hall was horrible. Straight up rude. Condescending. I can't say enough of how poorly he treated us - always with a smile on his face. Bar staff did a good job. Customer Service should win an award because they were always trying to solve the problems created by much of the other staff!

Ship Quality

4 out of 5
For an older ship, it was kept in quite nice condition. There are, however, signs of wear and tear everywhere. Chipped tiles, mildew in bathroom showers, wood veneers worn or chipped off, flooring scuffed, carpets stained - but not any more than a large 20 year old hotel. The staff did a nice job of keeping everything tidy.

Cabin / Stateroom

3 out of 5
The cabin was tidy and there was ample storage, but we just felt cramped. It's the smallest balcony cabin we've had, which is sacrificed to provide huge balconies. The balcony was about 30% bigger than really necessary. I would rather have that room inside. We are accustomed to having a small couch in our stateroom, yet this one had only a single chair. We couldn't sit together to watch TV unless we used the wooden chair from the vanity. Not really impressed by this aspect.

Ship tip

Explore. Try new things. Meet people. Treat the staff with respect because they do work hard. Be open minded!

Ports of call

San Juan, Puerto Rico

3 out of 5
I've been to San Juan several times, and this time just reminded me that it's a big city, too crowded, and the people drive like crazy (which you find in a lot of other countries.).

Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas

4 out of 5
Beautiful island, but the port is rather dull.

Basseterre, St. Kitts

4 out of 5
Lovely island and lovely people. Charming is a word I'd use. Lush and green.

St. John's, Antigua

4 out of 5
We walked around the city and hired a taxi to take us to the other side of the island. For $40 he spent nearly 3 hours with us and we treated him to lunch as well. We really enjoyed meeting this man and he was very proud of his home. The church in the center of the town will amaze you. It's rough on the outside, but wait until you step inside.

Castries, St. Lucia

4 out of 5
Again, lush and green. The people were fun. We took the Spanish Galleon down the coast and stopped in the town of Soufriere. Extremely picturesque. The sulphur mud baths were not what we expected. We were rushed in, slathered with mud, dunked back in the water, and not given time to shower off. Nothing relaxing about it. And our clothes smelled of sulfur and we had a hard time getting the dark "sand/mud" out of our clothes for the next 3 days. Definitely not a "spa-like" mud bath experience. Expect to be driven through like cattle on a drive.

Bridgetown, Barbados

5 out of 5
Favorite place of the entire trip. We did an under-ground and above-ground tour. We saw the amazing Harrison's cave. We then went to Hunte's Gardens. That was literally the most beautiful, relaxing place we have been in some time. Like entering into another world. Then to the Barbados Wildlife Reserve where we experienced feeding time with the green monkeys, the Brocket deer, and all those tortoises! This was a really nice tour.

Disembarkation

3 out of 5
Extremely disorganized. Got off the ship about 30 mins later than planned. No solid communication on where to sit or to collect luggage. It was kind of a "free for all" but it usually is when getting thousands off a ship.
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