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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
    Cruising
  • Day 3
    Aruba
  • Day 4
    Curacao
  • Day 5
    Bonaire
  • Day 6
    Cruising
  • Day 7
    St. Maarten
  • 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

1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
We had traveled with Royal Caribbean years ago when our kids were small. We were taking our whole family, two adult children and their spouses along with five grandchildren ages 5-12. We thought Royal Caribbean was a good choice for kids ... Read More
We had traveled with Royal Caribbean years ago when our kids were small. We were taking our whole family, two adult children and their spouses along with five grandchildren ages 5-12. We thought Royal Caribbean was a good choice for kids activities. We did have a wonderful time being with our family and watching the kids enjoy being together and the activities on the ship. However, we will go back to Holland America or Princess when it is just the two of us. Check in at San Juan was a breeze. We were on the ship by noon. We were able to enjoy that entire day at the pool. We had two family cabins with large windows and one balcony room.The family cabins were very roomy and made the trip with five in a room much less hectic. The balcony room was larger than most we have had. Our porters were great. One even decorated our daughter and son-in-law's cabin for their anniversary. The only real problem with the cabins were the beds. They are literally hard as a rock, and they had no egg crates or other cushion to put on them. My husband had bursitis for the first time in his life, I woke up several times during each night to horrible hip pain, and my daughter had hip and back pain. Whoever invested in these mattresses made a huge mistake. The waiters were excellent . We had five children, and they were amazing with them. They knew all our names the first night. We food was fine. It was not exceptional however. The food on both Holland America and Princess are far superior. We had one night in the Chops Grille. It was good and service was good, however other lines were superior here too. The Windjammer was mediocre and the lack of staff was noticed. Sorrentos had outstanding pizza we enjoyed often. The coffee bar was also great. We were able to get coffee whenever we wanted and relax. We were disappointed in the shows. The singers and dancers were good but not great. The comedians, magicians were just OK. The pool area is great for kids. It has a splash park and whirlpool plus a pool and many hot tubs. It also has an adult only pool that was always jammed. The kids loved the ice cream on the deck!!! We booked three port excursions through the ship. We went to the Adventure Race on St. Marten. It was fun but hard for the little kids. I would recommend this for adults and older teens. On St, Kitts we did catamaran and snorkeling. It was a lovely day for all. In Antigua some of us did swimming with the stingrays and others did zip line. We enjoyed both. In Barbados we did a private tour where we went to Harrison's cave. It was Ok, but we were somewhat disappointed after visiting other caves in the world. While most of the staff was friendly, we did have one encounter with a shore excursions staff member. She was beyond curt, condescending, and rude. My husband and I were taken back at her attitude because cruise ship staffs are always so helpful. This was our 16th cruise and have never had that happen before. We complained to customer service, and they were very apologetic and sent a bottle of wine to our room. The ship is nice but very big, and you tend to walk yourself to death. This ship is definitely for families and young people who like to party. We had fun, but back to Holland America next time. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We sailed on the Freedom of the Seas on a Caribbean cruise out of Puerto Rico to Aruba, Curacao, Bonaire and St. Maarten. We had a great time on this ship! The staff were all super friendly and helpful starting from check in / ... Read More
We sailed on the Freedom of the Seas on a Caribbean cruise out of Puerto Rico to Aruba, Curacao, Bonaire and St. Maarten. We had a great time on this ship! The staff were all super friendly and helpful starting from check in / embarkation. We had the key, which I highly recommend if you plan on purchasing an internet package. Despite it saying boarding started at 12:30pm, we got there about an hour before that and got on the ship very quickly. With the key we got lunch at Chops and it was a very good way to start the cruise! Dining: Our main dining room staff of Warren and Lester (Waiter and Assistant Waiter) were excellent! They gave great recommendations each night, were very friendly and prompt with anything we needed. The head waiter for our section, Dennis, was quite frankly the best cruise employee we've ever encountered. He made it a point to remember everyone in his sections names, and shake their hand every time he saw them and ask detailed questions about how their cruise and day were going. He also was actively helping out all of his waiters. I've rarely seen better leadership anywhere. Dennis should be running his own department on a ship soon, he was that good! Ports: The ports of call were great on this cruise! We scheduled excursions through the ship for all of them. For Aruba we did snorkeling and it was so fun! We got to snorkel over a reef and see tons of cool fish. We also snorkeled over a WWII German freighter that was shipwrecked off the island. So cool! For Curacao we did a caves / city tour and a bar crawl. The cave tour was really cool! I would not recommend the bar crawl though as the drinks were just mediocre and 1 of the bars was very divey. The other two bars were good though. In Bonaire we did a bicycle tour and it was very fun! You do need to be in shape though! Lastly, in St. Maarten, we did the SeaTrek which was very unique! We got to both snorkel as well as do the SeaTrek, which is walking on the ocean floor with their special helmet on. It was a bit pricier compared to our other excursions but was definitely a cool experience. Debarkation: Debarkation was a bit of a mess. It was very busy and backed up in the terminal and at customs. We had a bit of a wait to get off the ship but since we were the key, we had a priority customs lane which is lucky because the normal customs line was huge. Like, Disneyland in July huge. Just another positive mark for the key! A lot of reviews cite the fact that there are a lot of Puerto Ricans on this cruise as a negative, I am not sure why. Yes, there were a lot of a Puerto Ricans but they are all very friendly and made for a fun atmosphere on the ship! All shows, games and programs were in English, but they do make Spanish announcements. So I guess if you don't want to hear any Spanish or encounter any awesome Puerto Rican people, maybe don't go on a cruise out of San Juan? Cons: While not many, to be balanced here are a few negatives/cons we ran into. Bar service could be a bit slow at times depending on the bar you were in. The buffet could be a madhouse depending on the time you went and didn't have a ton of variety. Drink prices are a bit high, so if you plan to drink a lot, the beverage package makes the most sense for you. They do try and up sell you a lot. Debarkation was a bit crazy, and if we didn't have the key would have been an absolutely insane wait to clear customs. The gym could get very busy at times as well. Overall we would highly recommend if you want a fun Southern Caribbean cruise! Also since it leaves out of San Juan, we would highly recommend spending some time there as well either before or after. We spent 2.5 days in old San Juan before and it was great! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose Freedom of the Seas for the outstanding itinerary; the Southern Caribbean route was the one of the few available for the week we could travel (late May). I had read some horrible reviews of this ship and the Royal Caribbean ... Read More
We chose Freedom of the Seas for the outstanding itinerary; the Southern Caribbean route was the one of the few available for the week we could travel (late May). I had read some horrible reviews of this ship and the Royal Caribbean passengers, but we found the ship to be in great condition (needs new carpet in guest hallways, some new furniture in public areas...but what older ships don't?), and our fellow passengers friendly and respectful! I would absolutely jump on an opportunity to sail on this ship and itinerary again any day. We were in cabin #7408, which is a corner aft balcony cabin on the starboard side. It is for 3 people, as it has a pull-down berth for the third passenger. We thought the room was a bit small for 3, and the pull-down was uncomfortable according to my adult son. The balcony was huge, and we spent most of our time outside. It is mostly covered by the superstructure of the ship, which offered shade from the blazing sun and shelter from the pouring rain (both of which we had a lot during our week). We dined in all 3 available specialty venues, Chops, Sabor and Giovanni's Table. Food and service in these restaurants was just wonderful, and we found them all well worth the price of the 3 night package we purchased on sale through the cruise planner prior to the sailing. The main dining room exceeded our expectations. Though we were assigned Traditional Dining which was not to our liking, the Maitre D', Rama, worked with us to see that we found suitable accommodations each of the 4 nights we dined there. Service on those 4 nights ranged from acceptable to great, and my perception of the just acceptable service was that is was due to us barging in on the setting and placing an additional burden on the servers. Windjammer was OK, we are generally not buffet fans, but we always managed to find something we enjoyed and we never left hungry. We also really liked the pizza at Sorrento's and the ice cream at Sprinkles (self-serve by the pool). The bar service was outstanding, we never had to wait long at any bar or pool for service, always with a smile. Entertainment was good. We went to most of the headliners and one ice show and were impressed with everything we saw. There was live music going on in the pools and lounges virtually all day, and we often had to choose what we wanted to do because there were many options. The ports speak for themselves! We were in St. Thomas, St. Kitts, Antigua, St. Lucia and Barbados. We did excursions independently in 3 ports and loved them all! Can't wait to go back! We can highly recommend My Island Tours by Javin (with his monkey Peaches) on St. Kitts, Joy's Adventure Cruises in St. Lucia and Silver Moon catamaran cruise with lunch in Barbados. Please do not hesitate to book a cruise on Freedom of the Seas! Read Less
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