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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

  • Day 1
    San Juan
  • Day 2
    St. Maarten
  • Day 3
    St. Kitts
  • 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

4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
My wife and I chose this cruise because of the itinerary and we like RC and the ships.We sailed on Oasis of the Seas 2 years ago and loved it.We were also looking forward to going to Puerto Rico.We flew down the day before and got a great ... Read More
My wife and I chose this cruise because of the itinerary and we like RC and the ships.We sailed on Oasis of the Seas 2 years ago and loved it.We were also looking forward to going to Puerto Rico.We flew down the day before and got a great recommendation from the Hotel staff on places to eat where we could get authentic PR food.The food and service were outstanding.The people we met were very friendly and welcoming.Embarkation was smooth and we were on the ship within 20 minutes.The ship is overall good.We found the staff to be friendly and helpful.We went to the majority of the shows and found them to be good.We did not spend a lot of time at the pools because of the crowds and we had excursions planned for most days.This cruise went to Aruba,Curaçao,Bonaire and St.Maarten.We liked Aruba the best because of the beautiful beaches.St.Maarten has some work to do as it is still in bad shape in some places.The biggest issue we had and people we talked to said the same thing and that was the quality of the food.Windjammer had the same food every day and the crowds were rude and that’s putting it mildly.We ate in the main dining room every night and although there were different options each night,it was always room temperature at best. I understand feeding 4000 people isn’t easy but we didn’t have a single meal that was memorable.That wasn’t the case on Oasis.The last night I ordered the Chops filet with an up charge of $17 and even it was cold.The other major issue we had was the constant up selling to buy a specialty restaurant package the staff does.They even interrupt you while you’re trying to eat.Cruising is still a great option and at some point we might try it again but we will have to decide if we want to try another cruise line or if we just chalk it up to being this particular ship. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
We've cruised several times before -- this was our first experience on Royal Caribbean. Let me be upfront... we had a great week. We are not up-tight, difficult-to-please travelers. We loved the ship. We loved the people we were ... Read More
We've cruised several times before -- this was our first experience on Royal Caribbean. Let me be upfront... we had a great week. We are not up-tight, difficult-to-please travelers. We loved the ship. We loved the people we were with. We came home happy, and relaxed, with no regrets, and an extra inch or two around the waist. That being said, chances are that if you are reading this it's because you are looking for some additional information to help you make a decision. So let me just mention a few things to be aware of: 1. Boarding. Fast and easy. We arrived at the Pan American terminal at 10:30 am (based on others' recommendations on Cruise Critic), and we were happy we did. We checked in, got our Cruise Cards, and waited in line for a few minutes for boarding to start. The boarding doors opened at 10:45 am. 2. The ship. Freedom is a wonderful ship. That being said, it is only fair to point out that it is less than a year away from dry-dock (January 2020) and it looks it. Everything is clean, but a bit worn. It never bothered us, and nothing was so worn that it affected the quality of the cruise. But if you are one of those who expect everything to be fresh, polished, and shined all of the time, then this is not the ship for you right now. 3. Food. Acceptable, and plentiful, but nothing that blows your doors off. Most of it would be considered sub-par at your local Applebee's. I heard that the food was one of the real differentiators between Royal and some of the others. We didn't really see that on the Freedom. We took the galley tour on one of the days at sea and the operation is amazing. Just getting the food to the tables is a small miracle. I don't cruise for the quality of the food -- no matter what the cruise ship, there are always better restaurants in every city in America. The food was fine. And there was lots of it. 3.2 IMPORTANT....Food Part II. We were pretty shocked at how few choices the ship offered. Sorrento's (pizza) was not bad, especially considering they were pumping out a pie every 30 seconds all day long. The Promenade Cafe was a few cookies (not bad) and mini-sandwich choices. The Windjammer was plentiful but slam packed (barely room to move) and the food was.... well.... average. Jut trying to help. Reviews make it sound like there is food everywhere. It's just not true. And BTW... the one soft serve ice cream station was a spectacle. Worked about half the time. Overwhelmed by the crowds. It was almost comical to watch. I promise I am not complaining! 4. Staff. Our dining room staff were wonderful. As was the staff in the Windjammer. Wow those people work hard! We loved them. I was not too impressed with many of the others. Bar staff -- unfriendly. Cabin steward -- just not a people person. Other staff -- lots of frowns, not many smiles. Nothing particularly terrible -- just nothing that really jumped out at you. It was fine... not terrible, but certainly not exceptional. 5. Entertainment. The ice show was great. The Whitney Houston show was as well. The production shows were ok... gave us something to do. No complaints. Not as good as some of the other ships we have been on. Lounge acts were OK. 6. Ports. Love the slate of ports. We had been to Aruba and St. Maarten before. And the addition of Curacao and Bonaire were amazing. Great islands to visit. 7. One REAL Complaint. My goodness, I have never seen a cruise ship that attempts to sell more with every breath. There was not one announcement that didn't attempt to sell us something -- sometimes more subtle than others. I am surprised they didn't try to sell us monogrammed life jackets at the muster. It was just overboard (no pun intended). At first it is fine. Then a little exhausting. And by the last two days it was just ridiculous. We'll try Royal Caribbean again. Friends we trust swear by it. I think even they were under-whelmed by this one. In the future, I will pay more attention to the year the ship was built and/or dry-docked. Was it a great week? Yes, absolutely. A week on a cruise ship in the Caribbean is always going to be special. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose Freedom of the Seas because we love St Maarten but had not seen the other ports, it was perfect for us. We did not get a chance to stay in Puerto Rico (where it departs from) but we heard so many great reviews from other guests, I ... Read More
We chose Freedom of the Seas because we love St Maarten but had not seen the other ports, it was perfect for us. We did not get a chance to stay in Puerto Rico (where it departs from) but we heard so many great reviews from other guests, I wish we had! We stayed in room 7608. The stateroom attendant was wonderful, I had no issues with the bed and the balcony was great. Port side so there was lots to see on port days. My only issue here was the royal promenade was only 2 floors below us. The late night parties were loud! So after being at port all day, drinking enough to make the drink package worth it, and then going to bed early enough for the next port, we were so disappointed in RC. They do everything so much better than this, the bass was so loud it just thumped until the parties ended. I was sorely disappointed in this. We finally decided to spend that time in the hot tub (open 24 hours) which was empty, because we aren’t parties and had no interest in joining. This was the only way we got through it and I would prefer to not have had to “just get through it”. We did a 3 night specialty dining plan. Then booked The Chefs Table for our actual anniversary which was the Saturday night at the end of the cruise. Choose Grille-my husband loved it! I don’t eat steak. So I ordered fish. There was nothing spectacular about that but he raved on and on about everything. Order the steak and enjoy it! He sure did. Giovanni’s-oh my gosh! So yummy. The food was fantastic, the service even better. We ended up eating here twice (paying for the second outside of our dining package) because it was so good. Sabor- this was typical Mexican food. I wasn’t impressed and would not do it again. It was good but so is the MDR and that is at no extra cost. I can’t give a review on The Chefs Table. We were looking forward to this so much. Our reservation was at 6:30. At 5, they told us they didn’t fill the table and cancelled. Had I known that was a possibility I definitely would not have booked it! Since it was our last night, we now have to fight to get our money back because we didn’t spend 2 hours at guest service the last night on our anniversary. Booking Giovanni’s was difficult and we couldn’t get in until 8:30 because of the short notice. I will never book this pricy meal again knowing that it’s not popular and they won’t do it, if not booked. Disappointing. MDR-it was wonderful. We had no issues getting a table for just the 2 of us during my time dining. They were very willing to accommodate. I was very nervous reading reviews that everything was in Spanish. This is NOT the case. Everything is in English and then repeated in Spanish. Even the game shows were English and later that night Spanish. There was a lot of culture differences coming out of Puerto Rico vs Florida but RC does a great job to accommodate all. I never felt like I was out of place or unwelcome. In fact the opposite. Everyone was unbelievably kind. More so than any other cruise we have ever done. Aruba-we did the kukoo kunuku bus to palm beach. Had a great time and would do this again. We are a restaurant right on the beach and had fresh fish. It was a great experience. You could get a taxi and spend more time there as the bus limited your available beach time. Curacao-we did a beach by boat tour and will definitely do it again. Was wonderful! Bonaire-I think next time in Bonaire I would get off the ship and go snorkeling on my own. We did a 4X4 expedition. It was so informative and beautiful. Since we have done it once I don’t think I’d need to do it again. St Maarten-just get off the ship, jump on the water taxi and get a chair on the beach. Water taxi $7, chair $10 with free WiFi. You will be surrounded by food and shops and my favorite beach! The entertainment was tricky. All of the shows were during dinner time or late at night. We did see the headliner and a few game shows but I was a bit disappointed with how hard it was to try to schedule simply because of timing. We did an anniversary package and our room was decorated so cute! My husband did a shoutout to me on the morning show and afterwards they sent us up a bottle of wine. What an awesome touch. Plus each night they sang to us and gave us cake to celebrate. The crew is simply amazing. I would say overall don’t miss this ship! It is not as outdated as some say. It’s smaller sure than others but the experience was worth it! Order a frozen Mojito when you get on (virgin or with rum) and enjoy your trip! In fact...take me with you?! Read Less
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