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7 Night Southern Caribbean Cruise from San Juan

7 Night Southern Caribbean Cruise from San Juan

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Freedom of the Seas
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Itinerary

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  • Day 1
    San Juan
  • Day 2
    St. Maarten
  • Day 3
    St. Kitts (Port Zante)
  • Day 4
    Antigua
  • Day 5
    St. Lucia
  • Day 6
    Barbados
  • Day 7
    Cruising
  • Day 8
    San Juan

Freedom of the Seas

Freedom of the Seas - Royal Caribbean International

Pros

A dizzying number of onboard activities and top-notch entertainment ensure you'll never be bored.

Cons

The ship's central Royal Promenade is a bit like a shopping mall, and sales pitches are at every turn.

Bottom Line

Despite its age, the ship still shines, and there's something for every age group.


Cruise Reviews

2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
Ok, so this was my third time on Freedom with my family (hubby and teenager). These are my opinions and not meant to offend or influence but simply share. We went the week of August 25-Sept. 1 and left from Puerto Rico. Embarkation: ... Read More
Ok, so this was my third time on Freedom with my family (hubby and teenager). These are my opinions and not meant to offend or influence but simply share. We went the week of August 25-Sept. 1 and left from Puerto Rico. Embarkation: pretty easy and not much waiting luckily. Room: had a large balcony which was clean and what we expected since we'd been on her before. There are obvious signs of aging and as my husband said, "she's gettin' old" and needs the refurb booked next year. Our room attendant was Sue (short for Sulfina I think....forgive me because I can't recall) and she was wonderful. Not overbearing and waited patiently while we were late leaving some mornings. Dining room: excellent staff looked after us. Alifton and Iputu were attentive and amazing with our teenager. Alifton remembered our favourites and was really nice and friendly. Food was ok/good although I'm not a foodie and ate pretty much the same things. Hubby loves food and he was very happy. The first evening was less than great though we figured turnaround day is challenging and gave it another chance. Windjammer: not my fav but great coffee and service to clear tables/bring drinks etc. It's busy and sometimes people act like animals by using their hands or eating while perusing the buffet. It's what you'd expect from a typical buffet I suppose. Sorrento's: happily surprised by the new pizza that is a thin crust since we last sailed. It was always hot since it was constantly being made. Specialty food: only ate one at Galianos because we got a gift from our TA to go. The service was outstanding! I feel awful because I can't remember his name. He's a tall, has light colored hair and a Ukrainian accent. We left him a nice trip because he made the evening lovely and paced out our meal as the hubby asked. Intimate and delicious but not sure if many would spend the extra money. Solarium pool: busy but nice to soak and have some drinks. I hesitate because you definitely notice those who drink and never seem to get out for hours. Hmmmm....washroom? Hahaha..only can assume. Drinks: had the package and it is 100% worth it for us. Water bottles included made it easy to stay hydrated. Also new system of not signing printout sheets and feeling awkward about tips is great! Apparently the staff get a percentage or something for each drink they serve so you give your card and that's it. Islands: went to Bonaire, st Martin, Curacao and Aruba. Wonderful weather and easy to get off and on each port. Hubby went scuba diving and loved it. We went to the beach only once and walked around on our own but didn't spend too much time. I personally love the ship and sea days so the ports aren't the draw for me but more for the hubby. Tone of passengers: this is not meant to offend nor am I BY ANY MEANS or any type of person who would be racist. I've grown up in a diverse area and have many different ethnicities in my own family. The tone was very much catered to the crowd in terms of music and dancing. Typically we sailed and found most of the music to have more of a carribean vibe and a good variety. This cruise was 95+% comprised of Latin music in the clubs/pool deck music. It became a lot because of the tempo FOR ME. I love dancing and love that type of music but sometimes I felt I needed a little music that had more of a "relaxed tempo"....Bob Marley and such if that makes sense. Leaving from Puerto Rico obviously meant that the majority of the crowd were Spanish speaking which was interesting since I was able to brush up on my Spanish :) Kids: I love them and for those that feel they can overrun the ship, we didn't find that at all. In fact, it was some of the adults that were obnoxious and SOOOO LOUD sometimes. It's a fun ship and people have fun but walking in the halls at 2 or 3 and shouting isn't really acceptable. Also found that people who hang around the pool can talk at a volume that is unreal. I certainly heard things that I maybe didn't really need to know. But again, maybe that won't bother most. Entertainment: great shows as always. Didn't see the ice show because I feel once you've seen it, you've seen them all. Quest game: always a good time and the video playback was new and made it really fun. Katie: cruise director who was pleasant and really ran the activities well. Not overly excitable but friendly and seemed to be well liked. Leaving: the absolute worst we have ever experienced in our 5 cruises with rccl. We waited over an hour outside in the heat of Puerto Rico and then for about 20 inside for customs. Can't really lay blame because rccl seemed to be trying. We exited when our group was called but the bottleneck of people was brutal! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
The entertainment was good, especially Eileen, the black female singer; the Once Upon A Time show; and the murder mystery dinner in Giovanni’s. We found the timing of some shows inconvenient e.g. ice shows are at 5 or 7pm, which is ... Read More
The entertainment was good, especially Eileen, the black female singer; the Once Upon A Time show; and the murder mystery dinner in Giovanni’s. We found the timing of some shows inconvenient e.g. ice shows are at 5 or 7pm, which is impossible when you have a 6pm dining time. Bingo was fun and much easier now they have electronic tablets instead of paper sheets. Trivia really depended on who was running it - some staff were hard to understand with heavy accents, or went too fast. Others, like Bern running the 80s music trivia on the last night, were amazing. Best food in the main dining room was the Vidalia onion tart, beef tenderloin and rack of lamb, and molten chocolate cake and apple pie. The Tutti salad bar at lunchtime in the main dining room on sea days is really good and a hidden gem. Each day in Windjammer and the cafe, they have a different flavor of pound cake. The caramel toffee bread pudding in Windjammer on day 5 was amazing. Cruise tips. Bring two swimsuits because the first one will not be dry enough overnight to wear again the next day, and putting on wet swimwear feels gross. A highlighter is very useful for marking items of interest in the Compass. So is a travel mug, to allow you to carry coffee around the ship. My white noise machine was invaluable to block out Promenade and hallway noise. Save your trivia answer sheets all week, as they get you extra boards in Bingo. Only a few negatives: 1) Most of the excursions we had booked before the trip were canceled, and one of those cancelations was not communicated, resulting in an unnecessary early wake-up. They canceled the butterfly garden trip in Aruba, the mangrove EcoBoat in Bonaire, the afternoon Segway in Bonaire, and the Adventure Race in St. Maarten. Although in each case we were offered a discount on an alternative activity and ended up having fun, it was still frustrating to get very few of our first choice activities. 2) The early 8am meeting time for many excursions made you not want to stay out late and party or drink much the night before. 3) My only bad food was the duck a l’orange in the main dining room on day 2 or 3; there was barely any meat and it was very fatty. 4) My teenager disliked that very few of the scheduled teen activities happened as planned. The teen staff did not seem interested in enforcing the schedule and just let the teens do whatever they wanted. All in all, we had a fantastic trip. The weather was glorious, the seas were calm, all 4 ports were very interesting to visit, our tour guides were all exceptional, service on board was overwhelmingly good, food options were delicious and varied, and there was plenty to do for all ages. If you go on this trip, you will have a blast! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
Chose this cruise for the many islands offered and size of ship - just under 3,000 passengers so not too large and many amenities offered. The food unfortunately I would rate 3 out of 5. Same menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner if dining ... Read More
Chose this cruise for the many islands offered and size of ship - just under 3,000 passengers so not too large and many amenities offered. The food unfortunately I would rate 3 out of 5. Same menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner if dining the in the Windjammer. We dined in the evening often in the Dining Room and found that food to be very nice, so recommend this to anyone to use the Dining Room as much as you can. I recommend everyone to book their dinner reservations for specific time for the Dining Room in advance and not do the "my time" dining as you could be waiting awhile. Even with the specific time reservations, we found the line ups very long at times, so be sure to arrive a good 15-20 min in advance of your reservation. The service was always excellent as all the wait staff in the Dining Room and Windjammer Cafe are always exceptionally attentive. The food in the Windjammer cafe was a little boring after being offered the same menu 7 days straight. They even had a "Caribbean Night" which they highlighted so we went their for dinner that night which was nothing special and little variety from the usual being offered. First day of arriving we had an with our room. The line for customer service was ridiculously long with only 4 people behind the customer service desk. I commented on this and I was given an explanation which in my opinion was inadequate. If you have 2,500-3,000 passengers on board and only 10% of them have issues (which is a safe assumption with the number of people in this long line), it makes sense to have more people available at customer service the very first day of arriving. We were in line for over 45 minutes - very irritating and more people definitely needed for customer service (just for the first day people are getting on board) You have to pay for absolutely everything "extra" on this cruise so be prepared for that. We did not purchase the beverage package for ourselves but got the refreshment package for the kids. For us to get a simply water, lemonade which is free was not easily obtained when we were on the deck as we were told only offered in the dining rooms. So basically you get nothing offered to drink (free drinks) while you are out on the deck sunning or swimming (they only offer you the alcoholic drinks, pops or mocktails. That we found was unfortunate, inconvenient and a little annoying. Would give the cruise 3 out of 5 overall. Some of the excursions offered I would re-think as they do not showcase the islands but that is a personal preference. Ports unfortunately really focus on nabbing you for shopping and the piers are built up for tourists - you will have to get a taxi or an excursion to really see the beauty of the islands. Not a problem just a comment for anyone booking excursions to consider. Read Less
View All Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas Reviews
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