Sail Date: August 2019
18 of my family and friends sailed on 8/4/19 to 5 different islands to celebrate my mother’s and 2 of my Aunts 60th birthday. 14 people were first time cruisers. The entertainments, the food and the staff were amazing. We were all ... Read More
18 of my family and friends sailed on 8/4/19 to 5 different islands to celebrate my mother’s and 2 of my Aunts 60th birthday. 14 people were first time cruisers. The entertainments, the food and the staff were amazing. We were all pleasantly satisfied with everything and looking forward to future cruise with Royal Caribbean. We missed our tour in San Juan, I contacted the executive office after Customer relations tried to give me a hard time for my refund. The office responded immediately and set up my refund. Excellent customer service on and off the ship. After the kids were in bed, we went out passed midnight almost every night enjoying the night life. The pizza restaurant was delicious, myself and kids enjoyed every slice. Our Waiter Florentina and her assistant went out of their way to take care of us. She found us sits in the crowded Windjammer for breakfast. I would recommend more varieties on the menu in the main dinning room. Also, more entertainment for the kids, we attended the kids disco on the 14th floor which started at 7:15 during dinner time. By the time we finished dinner and went up, it was almost over. The lady on the first day was interactive with the kids however, the guy on the other day just played music with couple of hula hoops and ballon laying on the floor. Both ended at 8:00 pm and 7:45 respectively. I will recommend this cruise line and ship to anyone looking for a great vacation. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose cruise due to itinerary, great experience on Cuba cruise and large screen movies. First main dining room servers were exceptional. Stateroom above average not great. All customer service people on ship really nice and ... Read More
We chose cruise due to itinerary, great experience on Cuba cruise and large screen movies. First main dining room servers were exceptional. Stateroom above average not great. All customer service people on ship really nice and friendly. Itinerary was fun. Activities, like golf, ice skating and many more fun. Now letdowns. Jade is not Sushi anymore. One night only and awful. just plain rolls, no fish, except smoke Salmon and 90 percent rice. We had a few pieces and just said no more. TV in room still advertises nightly sushi but a lie. They have a sushi express for a fee. Now we know why they have played games with Jade. No real Caribbean food. Weak attempt for jerk chicken / pork. Just some off attempt on outside of pork / Chicken, no real Jamaican type. Sorrento's on Cuba had many self serve type Pizza's with tons of cheese. The ship had three same options with one different one daily, hardly any cheese. We went once and never again. It seems goal is to avoid people getting free food. Cafe another letdown. Cuba has Cuban sandwiches throughout day. Makes sense since Cuba cruise. Evenings soup, guacamole etc, wonderful. This ship lousy wraps, grocery store nonsense. Once again ruining experience for bottom line. Disgusting, we never went to cafe, mission accomplished for them. Big screen movie. My 11 year old son and i travel alone. Such a great father / son time on Cuba trip for us to sit in hot tub chit chat and watch movie. This ship my son wanted to watch from pool due to location. After half hour of movie they close pool, maybe 10:30pm. We move to hot tub. At 11 we are told that too is now closed. We leave to stateroom, no more movies rest of trip. Big waste. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
My wife and I cruised on this ship during our honeymoon 7 years ago and were excited to be back on board! We did Carnival cruises the last two years, so it was interesting to go back to RCCL for comparison sake. We flew to San Juan a ... Read More
My wife and I cruised on this ship during our honeymoon 7 years ago and were excited to be back on board! We did Carnival cruises the last two years, so it was interesting to go back to RCCL for comparison sake. We flew to San Juan a few days early and stayed at a cool boutique hotel on Isla Verde Beach. We toured the forts and old city and got to eat some great food. We were blown away how hospitable everyone we encountered acted. From taxi drivers, police, shop owners, local beach-goers...they all were so kind and take a lot of pride in their island, especially in the wake of a couple of really difficult years. To the cruise. Embarkation was very fast and organized. It was interesting boarding around 12:30, but not leaving port until 8:30. Turned out to be cool. It was like a sea day and gave us time to get reacclimatized with the ship without feeling like we were missing anything. First day at sea was fun by the pool. Lots of music and dancing! There was an instance during the afternoon where it had started raining, but quite a few people stayed in and around the pools. Out of nowhere, a squall hit and had violent winds complete with flying deck chairs. It was very scary. To the staff’s credit, they immediately cleared everyone in as orderly manner as possible despite the chaos caused by Mother Nature. They are to be commended. Ports were all good, with Curacao and St. Martin being our faves. We chose a poor excursion in Bonaire which we regret because it ended up wasting our day. If you are able bodied, definitely get in the water at all of these islands Ship was in good shape for its age, food was good in buffet (also in Chops and Giovanni’s), service was good overall. Entertainment was good. They had an Adele impersonator singer her songs one night in the main theater - extremely good and nice break from the musical numbers they usually put together. My only gripes: Hard bed - difficult to sleep as a result. Casino was hot!!! We spend lots of time on slots and it was very uncomfortable. Smoking areas were weird. As a smoker, it was odd that non-smokers had to walk through smoke. We felt guilty. Other ships have this figured out better. That’s it though. Otherwise, things were at or above expectations. Finally, I’d like to touch on some of the other reviews I read on here prior to our trip relating to ‘too many Puerto Ricans’ or complaining about announcements in Spanish. This was hands down the best group of fellow passengers we have encountered so far. People were overall very respectful of each other, pleasant, and fun. We witnessed two encounters of inter-family squabbling. Both were not Hispanic. If you are expecting anything other than a Hispanic or Caribbean feel, this is not the trip for you. Maybe consider a riverboat cruise up the Mississippi or something? We choose to embrace being out of our normal confines and seeing and learning how other people live. Isn’t that kind of the point of traveling??? Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We were on this ship on July 2008, the ship was pretty new since it was built on 2006. At that time it was the largest cruise ship, and had some unique features, like the flow rider. We decided on taking another cruise on the Freedom ... Read More
We were on this ship on July 2008, the ship was pretty new since it was built on 2006. At that time it was the largest cruise ship, and had some unique features, like the flow rider. We decided on taking another cruise on the Freedom because of the ports it was visiting, and didn't expect to find that this time the ship was even better than when it was new. It is very clean and you can't see many signs of aging, even though it is going to be renewed in 2020. The crew was wonderful and made us feel like royalty even more than on other ships. Room service was excellent and very quick. The quality of the food is excellent. There is a greater variety of dishes. This chefs are highly qualified in a grand variety of international cooking. Both the Main restaurant and the Windjammer were excellent. I did miss the Solarium for breakfast and dinner. Our cabin was a junior suite and had more closet and living space than the same cabin category on other ships. Very comfortable cabin and impeccably clean. There were many activities and the entertainment were great. As usual in most cruises the trivias were always full of enthusiasts. Bolero lounge had a trio that kept everyone dancing until late hours. I recommend the Freedom of the Seas for first timers and experienced cruisers, it's worth the experience. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Went with a group, nice price....took us to the airport, then to port. Upon entering my room, aboard ship....my balcony, table an chairs were so dirty, we washed them so we wouldn;t get dirt on our white clothing.....then I spent the ... Read More
Went with a group, nice price....took us to the airport, then to port. Upon entering my room, aboard ship....my balcony, table an chairs were so dirty, we washed them so we wouldn;t get dirt on our white clothing.....then I spent the entire day waiting for luggage...I couldn;t swim...I didn"t get to the main dining room because my suitcase didnt never arrived....so there was day one ruined. Next we found under the bed toms of garbage???? Our sink did not have hot water....a little mold hidden in the shower. I never had a ship that was dirty. I have been on many RC cruises plus other brands. The entertainment was always good as was the food was great.......I am done crusing...what do u do in the middle of the ocean wwwith lousy food...dirty ship??? WASH HANDS OFTEN.....VERY LOUSLY entertainment.....Use to be a crusier NO MORE...This ship has a lousy casino...very old machines...not many slots,,,this is another thing I enjoy, it stunk Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
Chose it for the itinerary. This was my first cruise and I could not have been happier! Each and every ship employee I came in contact with went out of their way to make sure I had what I needed. I was impressed with how the crew would ... Read More
Chose it for the itinerary. This was my first cruise and I could not have been happier! Each and every ship employee I came in contact with went out of their way to make sure I had what I needed. I was impressed with how the crew would remember our names. Our cabin attendant (Reynaldo G) was the highlight!! He was always so happy eager to help in any way he could. The ONLY rude people I came in contact with were some of the passengers, never a crew member. I read reviews of people budging in line during the bag drop off but with that in mind our group was willing to "redirect" these people back to the end of the line. The check-in and check-out process was very well organized and went smoothly. The shows were amazing. We attended a comedian show and the ice show. The shore excursions reserved through the ship were very well organized. In two ports we didn't go through the ship and had no problems with the excursions we chose in port. The ship was immaculate but some areas were dated. I did hear that Freedom of the Seas was going into dry dock at the end of the year for an overhaul. The only "complaint" I had was the information meeting for St. Maarten. It was advertised as a 30 minute show to introduce us to things to do in St. Maarten but ended up being a 1 hour "show" talking about jewelry stores on the island. Granted, some of the deals were amazing but nowhere did the advertising mention this and again, it said 30 minutes, not 1 hour. All in all, I would certainly book through Royal Caribbean for my next cruise! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Third time out of San Juan. Like it because we see new islands. Never been on this ship but have cruised RC 12 other times out of Rome Miami Galveston New Orleans and Fort Lauderdale. Got off to a good start with check in. Room and ... Read More
Third time out of San Juan. Like it because we see new islands. Never been on this ship but have cruised RC 12 other times out of Rome Miami Galveston New Orleans and Fort Lauderdale. Got off to a good start with check in. Room and baggage was timely but diner was a mess. Did My time but seating was disorganize. Many trying to be seated without reservations. New Year’s Eve was worse plus service timing was horribly offand kitchen backed up. It improved as we went thru the week but quality and selection was average at best. Formal night, particularly NYE was laughable. Those of us who chose to dress up found ourselves surrounded by jacket less open collars, some in jeans Entertainment was subpar in most venues. This was a disappointment because we were always told RC went out of their way for high quality shows on New Years cruises What really surprised us with the percentage of Puerto Rican guest, over half. Kinda overwhelmed us. We been out of San Juan many times and other foreign ports but the Freedom did a poor job of balancing the music and activities to everyone. Top desk was a Puerto Rican party with Spanish music most of the time. Cruise director and staff was for the most part mia. Cabin service was good, support staff helpful and rooms well maintained. Saw some great islands but in the end for the cost of a new years cruise and travel it was missing the mark Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
I have been on the Freedom of the Seas many times and was one of my favorites until now. I have always loved cruising the Southern Caribbean, so when I saw my favorite ship and a Southern Caribbean cruise, it was time to book. I guess ... Read More
I have been on the Freedom of the Seas many times and was one of my favorites until now. I have always loved cruising the Southern Caribbean, so when I saw my favorite ship and a Southern Caribbean cruise, it was time to book. I guess the 1st thing I noticed was the lack of service from the porters at the terminal. I was almost wondering if I needed to place my luggage on the rack for them. In Ft Lauderdale, Miami and Port Canaveral all are helpful with bags and answering questions you may have. San Juan obviously doesn't have that work ethic. The checking after I got into the terminal was quick and friendly. There was no issues all the way to the ship. I made my way to the windjammer and to grab a meal for lunch. The lunch was typical food for the windjammer, nothing to write home about. The rooms were ready so I headed to my balcony. My room was very neat and clean. The room attendant was very nice and what I enjoy about most cruises on Royal Caribbean. A friendly conversation and a funny jokes always put a smile on both are faces. The concierge lounge was very nice and not crowded at all. The concierge was always pleasant and helped me with a few request I had. Now Come the things that have turned me sour on this ship. It started as a mior irritation and slowly built up to a point where I was not enjoying my cruise at all. The bulk of the ships passengers were local and I guess no of the children were going to shool because it appeared that 1/3 of the passengers were children.I din't think school was out so either there was a holiday I didn't know about or the parents don't mind yanking their children out of school. at least 1/2 of the children were unruly and running all over the place. I was in the windjammer for breakfast when the ship was dock and the kids were all piled up against the windows disturbing the passengers that were eating next to the window, so there were kids bumping into their table. I could see their disgust from the uncontroled children. Then the same large families holding up the elevators because they wanted to talk to someone for another 30 seconds after part of their group got off. They also held the elevator as their other family member that were somewhere down the hall slowly walked to get on. Sorrentos pizza was a disaster to get something to eat because the same people would take all the pizza. If you don't speak Spanish, I would not put any of the San Juan Cruises on your list, I can already tell that this may be a bad decision for Royal Caribbean. You just have to do a search of Caribbean cruises and San Juan cruises are some of the cheapest. I had already booked another cruise in January before I went on this one. Had I known what many of the the other reviews have echoed, I would not have booked this cruise ship again. Take my advice and select a cruise out of Miami, Ft Lauderdale, or Port Canaveral before considering San Juan. Freedom was a great ship in 2017 but until it leaves San Juan, I will not consider it again Read Less
22 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
There are going to be a lot of spelling and grammar mistakes. I wrote this once and I am not going back to re-read and proof. I did that enough in school and since this is not an email for work, deal with it. Let us get a few things out ... Read More
There are going to be a lot of spelling and grammar mistakes. I wrote this once and I am not going back to re-read and proof. I did that enough in school and since this is not an email for work, deal with it. Let us get a few things out of the way first. I am a 27-year-old who traveled with my 26-year-old girlfriend. This was our second ever cruise (we did one two years ago out of the same port, Puerto Rico, and had the times of our lives). We hardly ever go on vacations, let alone full week ones.. guess we don't follow that pesky millennial stereotype. By reading these reviews I think you can see that many skews towards an older demographic. Not saying that is a bad thing, but I would just like to give a different perspective. I think if you read these reviews as a first-time cruiser, you would do anything other than want to go on a RC cruise. Now I get it, the majority of these people writing these reviews are experienced cruisers. 20, 30, 40+ cruises under their belts. Diamond Club members. I can go on and on. Do I think some of their comments have merit? The nickel and diming, somewhat. The food, possibly. The crowds...ok. You have to keep in mind these people are comparing it to a time when cruising was something completely different. Kind of like taking a plane. You got dressed up, you had a fancy mean...essentially coach was like first class. However, things change. Some for the better and some for the worse. And if this demographic thinks they are for the worse, then so be it, They are entitled to their opinion. But here is mine. While I am sure things have changed, I see nothing wrong, and I encourage everyone and anyone to go on a cruise. Because as someone who was DREADING going on his first cruise two years ago, I think back and realize how much of an idiot I was. ...with the said. the cruise. Itinerary: Puerto Rico, Cruising, Curacao, Aruba, Cruising, St. Kitts, St.Thomas We like going out of Puerto Rico due to a majority of things...better ports, warmer weather, and a smaller ship population. We also go in December because of the price, the idea that parents do not want to take their kids out of school for a week between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and the weather, because why would we want to go on a cruise in the summer when its warm in Maryland where we are from? Now I know there are some negative comments about going out of Puerto Rico. Some about the process of getting on the ship. Some about the port. And other about the locals and having to know Spanish to enjoy the ship. Well here we go... 1. Embarkation - Since this is the only port we have every gone out of I have nothing to really compare. Do I think there could be better processes, sure do. But you also have to remember where you going out of. You cannot compare it to Miami or Ft. Lauderdale. Second time obviously knowing what we were doing, by the time we got to the port, were through all the obstacles and on the promenade having a coffee in about 25 minutes. The key is to be patient (YOU ARE GOING ON VACATION, BE HAPPY!) and tip. Yes, tip. I know it is annoying. I know if you don't and getting smug look back from the guy handling your 60-pound luggage bag is a pain. But guess what, you paid a grand for this cruise, whats two bucks to help a guy out. 2. The port - Easy. We flew in the night before and stayed at an Embassy Suites by the airport (highly recommend). I use to go to PR in college for our swimming training trip and that is where we stayed. Took a 15 minute uber to the port no problem. 3. The locals - OOOOooooooOOOO. Guess what, the ship goes out of PR, there are going to people who live in PR on the cruise. Where there more on this cruise than the last? Yes. Do I think RC had a promotion that sold discounted rates if the ship was going to be empty? Absolutely. Is there anything wrong with that...hell no. Where there some things that may annoy me? Yes. But that is going to happen at any port you go out of. Again, I am here to say that you are going on vacation. You are there to have fun. The ship is meant to hold X amount of people and to accommodate all people without feeling cramped. And yes, they do speak Spanish on the boat...but they go over everything in both English and Spanish...because, and this is just a hunch... when 60% of the ship speaks Spanish, it probably makes sense to make sure you explain to them in their native language the safety rules. The Ship Beautiful. Our first cruise was on the adventure of the seas. Freedom was slightly bigger. We love everything about it from the promenade to the solarium and back to the sports court. Also, so clean. You would see people night and day. The ship makes you feel like royalty. The Room We originally had an interior room. Now we don't do this because we are cheap...but also aren't rich because if we were I would be booking one of those suites. However, we literally only use the room to sleep, change and shower. Quite literally here is a break down of our day(s) - again I know different strokes for different folks but I wanted to provide a different perspective here: - Wake up 7:30 - Breakfast at 8 -Shore excursion 9-1 - Quick snack/lunch windjammer 1-2 - Pool/Solarium/Hottub/Sports court 2-6 -Back in the room to shower change 6-6:30 - Vintages wine bar 630-730 - Dinner 730-9 - Show/casino/karaoke/bar/nightclub/etc 9-1 BUT on this cruise we were able to upgrade to an ocean view balcony for an extra 200. And the best part, this balcony was on the backside (floor 6) of the ship. So we didn't have people staring in on us on the sides. Best room on the entire ship. Highly recommend. Our room steward was AMAZING - I think everyone has come to know this. These are the hardest working guys on the ship. The Entertainment & Activities The shows compared to Adventure were outstanding. And this is not to say Adventure was bad. It just speaks to how great Freedom's entertainers were. Comedians, 2 Broadway acts, a Cirque du Soleil act, a variety show (stealing from their website because it explains it better...The Great DuBois' is a fast-paced, all ages, variety show showcasing incredible feats of juggling, hula hoops, unicycle, aerial, circus stunts, contortion, magic, and audience interaction all wrapped in a blanket of comedy. ), and acapella group and of course all the standard ship shows. Activities, well the flow rider, rock wall, mini-golf, free gambling lessons were all great. We did a free message seminar. Participated in a mini golf and dodgeball tournament. Honestly, even on Freedom, there is never enough time of the day. Food and Beverage ....dom dom dom....It's great. Again I am sure it could have been better years ago. But by reading other reviews you would think they are serving you cereal and toast all day. Is the windjammer crowded in the morning, yes? It is. But can you find a seat? Yes, yes you can. Do you maybe have to wait an extra 30 seconds for a piece of bacon...unfortunately you do. But I think we can all live. Never had an issue with the food being cold or sparse. The crew kills themselves to make sure the stations are are same no matter the time. We ate in the MDR every night for dinner and it is wonderful. Our server was great. The food was fantastic. And we are by no means simpletons. Maybe it was because both me and my girlfriend have worked in the food industry. Maybe it is because we understand how many people are getting served and feed in X amount of time. But trust me, you will survive and you will leave with a full tummy. We ate at Sabor for lunch on our first sea day. We did the guacamole and margarita class. SO WORTH IT. If you are unsure of eating in a specialty restaurant, then do this class. For ~30ish dollars you get lunch (anything you want - and it's unlimited - on the menu. Appetizers, in addition to the guac, tacos, quesadillas, sides (beans, street corn etc, and a dessert platter). Oh did I mention unlimited margaritas...which will make you want nothing else the entire cruise. In addition, we had the pizza and normal affair on the promenade. Sure the pizza line was long...but after an excruciating five-minute wait, you had unlimited pizza at your fingertips. We did the drink package, which is 100% worth it. Coffee was great. Water was cold. And the bar drinks were well made. Nothing watered down. Always great service. And had some of the best wine of my life on the trip. Excursions We did all our excursions through the ship. I think this is one area where having become more familiar with ports, we will probably venture out on own in the future. Don't get me wrong, we didn't have bad experiences, we just want to have better flexibility with time as well as maybe pay a little less. We always get off at the port and try to experience a new country. We really do not do anything extravagant. We just like to go to the beach so those are the excursion we tend to choose. Curacao - Went to blue bay beach. Beautiful. I would say take a cab and avoid the excursions. Location is safe and well worth venturing too. Aruba - Probably our least favorite port, which was a surprise. Maybe because we had such high expectations? While the north shore is completely un-inhabited to keep the natural beauty, we felt it was still commercialized with the various tour groups. We went to Palm Beach and Eagle Beach and these were just very crowded due to the hotels. St. Kitts - Funny. This was the port we were least excited to visit because, on our last cruise, this was our least favorite island (and the only one we were revisiting). So we decided to do a catamaran to Nevis. Completely worth it. Took a catamaran right from the port over to Nevis and had unlimited beverage, our own beach, and a great lunch. The highlight of the trip. St. Thomas - This was my girlfriends favorite part of the trip. We took a catamaran to buck island to snorkel in two spots. Service Not even a question. 10/10. Everyone from our room attendant. bartenders, servers, etc. Were all fantastic. I never fill out survey's but whenever RC sends me it after the cruise I do it immediately because these people work their tails off and definitely make the cruise experience what it is. Con's - They seemed in some areas of the ship to be confused with some reservations we had. I think it has to do with us changing room two days before and not everything in the system updated. But we survived. All we had to do was explain the situation and everything got resolved. - They do try to upsell the dining and drink packages. More so than what I remember on the Adventure. Is it annoying...meh? All you have to do is politely say no thank you and move on with your day. Trust me, you will survive someone asking you to save money on drinks and offering you an opportunity to eat at a fabulous restaurant. So there it is. That's all I got. Hopefully, I provided a different perspective on RC cruises. We have always had a fabulous time. Maybe we, 20-something's who are not on their honeymoon and just on for vacation, are the minority. But everyone we came across seemed to be having a great time. And we for sure did. Can't wait for our next cruise on Oasis of the Seas in Dec. 2019! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We chose the itinerary and the approximate date and this was the shipped that matched. The ship shows its age. Food was good but not great. The personnel were wonderful. We booked our excursions through RCCL. Some were better than ... Read More
We chose the itinerary and the approximate date and this was the shipped that matched. The ship shows its age. Food was good but not great. The personnel were wonderful. We booked our excursions through RCCL. Some were better than others. The last day we went to a beach in St Maarten and it was great. The ladies running the excursion were very helpful. We stayed in a Junior Suite which was nice and roomy although the bathroom was showing its age. Unfortunately the entertainment lineup (with times) was not available before the day of the event. I was unable to get a list even after on-board the ship. It was hard to plan our meals and activities without advance knowledge of the entertainment events and times. Not being able to make reservations for the shows also meant we couldn’t get in one because it was full. Disembarkation with wheelchair assistance went beautifully. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We arrive in San Juan a few days before and stays at my parent's house. The day of departure arrives to the port around 12. The embarkation process was fast and super easy. In less than 20 minutes we were on board. Disembarkation ... Read More
We arrive in San Juan a few days before and stays at my parent's house. The day of departure arrives to the port around 12. The embarkation process was fast and super easy. In less than 20 minutes we were on board. Disembarkation was as tedious as always. Especially because of the way the girl in charge of our group was talking to us. More on that later. After we got out of the ship the line to get through immigration was incredibly long. But if get one of the guys that help with baggage they take you through a shorter line. This was the Average Cruise Vacation. Wake up in the morning breakfast at Windjammer. The Windjammer was always packed. And there was always a line. But the service was great. There was a good amount of waiters, always offering coffee, juice, and water. The same thing repeats at lunch. Our cabin was very nice and comfortable. It was on deck 12. To the front of the ship. This area was remodeled and is completely different from the rest of the ship. The halls and cabins are decorated in beige, white and navy colors. We were on cabin #1858 a Spacious Panoramic Oceanview. It was an amazing Cabin, comfortable and clean. And the location was ideal. The service on the Main Dining Room was great. Our waiters were very nice. They were always on top of things. The food was good. Ok, Entertainment. I think there were trying to entertain. But they are still doing the same activities and playing the same songs from 10 the last 10 years. At the sail away party, they play La Macarena. We went to a TV Theme Trivia and all the TV shows were from the 70s. They did the 70s Disco Party and out came the guys dress as the Village People. There was this girl from the Cruise Director Crew. She was hosting a game, we were in the middle of the game. Somebody came an ask her if she knew were was someplace located. She remembered that she had to be in that same place, picked her things and left. She didn't say anything. We didn't finish the game, we didn't know who won, nothing. From there on every time we saw that she was the hostess of an activity we were left. That was the same girl in charge of our disembarkation area. And she was treating people like garbage. There were only to Highlight on Entertainment of the Week The Search for the Nations Game. They give you a paper at the beginning of the week and you spend the rest of the week looking for the signature of the different employees of the ships depending on the country they are from. My kids came in Second Place and they got a Medal and Royal Caribbean Back Pack The other one was the Spanish Music Trivia. The Guy who hosted the game was great. And we ended up partying with another couple and singing all songs in the trivia. In the end, it was a party. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
Overall, if you are looking for a fun time and lots of activities, I would recommend this ship! Embarkation was fairly quick and easy in San Juan (our embarkation port) the disembarkation was not as organized, and caused some ... Read More
Overall, if you are looking for a fun time and lots of activities, I would recommend this ship! Embarkation was fairly quick and easy in San Juan (our embarkation port) the disembarkation was not as organized, and caused some frustration. Our ship was clean and beautiful! Walking around felt like a treasure hunt, finding something new around every turn. Our interior cabin was nicely sized, much larger than those I had previously experienced on Princess or Carnival. Overall, I was disappointed in the dinning. The food quality was not up to what I have come accustomed to on Princess. The variety in the buffet seemed lacking, I ended up mainly eating sautéed veggies and mashed potatoes each day (I am not adventurous with food) The main dinning at night also left something to be desired. I hardly every finished my meal or dessert. We very much so enjoyed the entertainment! The shows were good and varied. We had two good comedians, but enjoyed their (family friendly) shows best. I also very much enjoyed the ice skating shows as well as free skate! The ice show was the BEST in my opinion! My friend who cruised with me did complain about the ice rink being very rough when we had our turn to skate. I think that was just because we had a late session, but it did bother her. The bar service was the BEST on the ship! Our room attendant and wait staff had difficulty learning our names, but not the bar staff! They were very personable, friendly and made our entire trip wonderful! Bebin at skybar was fantastic! He is not only an excellent bartender, but he also helped up choose entertainment to "not miss" and gave great port excursion suggestions as well. He is such an asset to the Freedom ship! St. Thomas was great, we took a ferry (with RCL) to St. John then took a taxi ($12 roundtrip) to Trunk Bay beach. Hands down the best beach I have been to! Curacao was a bit disappointing, but I did enjoy Dinah's herb garden. The distillery was horrible, I wouldn't return. Aruba. I personally cannot handle the strong sun and do not like the wind, but I know almost everyone else LOVES Aruba. It's just not my favorite thing. But we did take a taxi ($15 each way) to Eagle Beach this time (my 3rd time in Aruba) and it was lovely despite the wind and sun (lol) The beach was quiet, lots of open space and offered a bar and shower area! Our 4th port, St. Maarten, was canceled due to weather. But that was okay. It gave us more time to enjoy onboard activities :) Overall, we had an amazing cruise on the Freedom. The ship never felt too crowed and the bar staff (particularly SkyBar) exceeded all expectations! I would sail on Freedom again, but with lower expectations for food quality. (This is my 7th cruise overall, but 1st with RCL) Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We are seniors and this was our 5th cruise, first on RCCL. I chose the cruise because we were treating our 2 adult daughters and their significant others. They like tropical vacations as well. The price was right. The ship was ... Read More
We are seniors and this was our 5th cruise, first on RCCL. I chose the cruise because we were treating our 2 adult daughters and their significant others. They like tropical vacations as well. The price was right. The ship was beautiful to look at inside and out. I didn't really care for the layout of the ship as the halls aren't always predictable. We went down to a dead end too many times. Studio B has the skating rink which served as a show venue and the disembarkation meeting place. We really struggled with that one. The ship was beautiful to look at inside and out. The shows were not as good as we have seen in the past. The schedule of shows also varied from day to day. One day was the ice show and we couldn't get in to either presentation. That was the only show available that day. We saw it later in the week in the afternoon. I prefer a set time for shows that you can plan your day around, something like 7&9:00 or 8&10:00. The Windjammer was usually crowded and the food was okay. We could always find something to eat but nothing was exceptional. The Galileo Main Dining Room had excellent service. The food was good, not great. The portions there are all you care to eat and some in my party ate a lot. I loved getting 2 appetizers. The pools were small for the size of the population, one for children, one with a smoking are, and one for adults only. Of course every lounger had towels on them and no one used them. Overall the pools were too small. The fitness center had tons of equipment but we didn't use it as we walked so much on the islands. There were great parties at night but starting them at 10:30 was far too late for us. The Dancin' in the Street party was fun and packed with people. Oh to be young again. The casino was smoky and we heard about winners. One fellow won close to $22,000 and that was wired to his bank with any taxes required! The casino was also smoky but since we had a smoker in our group, I saw that smoking spots were limited. The service from stem to stern was excellent every single time and I fell in love with people from the Philippines. They are so hospitable and make the best staff on a ship. We had a galley tour which was interesting. For shore excursions, we took the St Kitts bus/train tour. The bus driver was interesting. The train piece was disappointing. The train was screechy. The tour guide could not be heard from the open air deck because of engine noise and the blenders making your "free" drinks. The service there was ok. We took buses on Aruba with good success. We walked too much in Curacao and then signed up for Caspers tour of the island and the stop for 2 hours at Mambo Beach. The driver did not pick us up at 4:00 however. She sent someone else who took us in their overcrowded van back to the pier. On St. Thomas, we went on the ferry to Trunk Bay because the cabbies recommended it. We were looking for snorkeling but Trunk Bay has little of that, including the dead self guided trail. We should have taken a cab on St. Thomas to Sapphire Beach where we know there is dependable snorkeling and it is 2 minutes from Red Hook Ferry station. Disembarkation was chaos. We were rushed off the ship quickly only to get into a long, long, long line. It is no exaggeration that we waited in the baggage hangar for 90 minutes in order to clear customs. There were largely unmarked serpentine lines that traveled up and down the length of the hangar but people were entering the lines at every turn. Our line was especially slow as we saw people jump into line 45 minutes after us and get out 30 minutes before us. Word to the wise, get into the far left line, just to the right of the porters line. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
This was a round-trip cruise from San Juan, Puerto Rico stopping at a different port each day in the southern (or lesser) Antilles islands down to Barbados. We arrived mid-afternoon and found our Junior Suite to be fairly nice. We loved ... Read More
This was a round-trip cruise from San Juan, Puerto Rico stopping at a different port each day in the southern (or lesser) Antilles islands down to Barbados. We arrived mid-afternoon and found our Junior Suite to be fairly nice. We loved eating breakfast each day and watching as we arrived and docked at a different port. Then each evening, we would eat our dinner watching as we left that port. The one time when we weren't yet seated at dinner when just leaving port, we found out that the ship had left while we were walking around the on-board shops and we were amazed that we couldn't tell the ship was moving. Needless to say, we never took our drama mean. Two of our three shore excursions were great. We really liked the Sea Trek St Maarten and A Taste of Antigua Rum tours. The Sea Trek was a wonderful underwater experience with "sea helmets" allowing us to walk around under water. My wife is a poor swimmer, and she felt safe with the many nearby scuba staff showing us different things. There were young kids and much older folks -- all had fun. The taste of rum tour was not just rum but also a history lesson about Antigua and the other islands. That tour also was wonderful. However, we simply picked the wrong day for A Day Trip to Nevis with Lunch. The day we were there, the island was celebrating a holiday. So, we couldn't see the Alexander Hamilton house and museum and our guide couldn't convey any of that history. The dining experience ranged from great to awful. Not surprisingly, the specialty restaurants had the best chefs and wait staff. These were generally recommendable, but some were better than others for either food quality or service. We did try a regular restaurant for breakfast one day. We were there when the doors opened along with a long line of other passengers. Seating was immediate after the doors opened. However, it took a half hour to get a waiter to take our order and another twenty-five minutes after that to get our breakfast. The Windjammer buffet restaurant worked better for breakfast or lunch. Think smorgasbord, though. There was plenty of food, but unremarkable in its preparation. For example, I would like to have had eggs over easy for breakfast, but the short-order cooks had their stoves too hot. Their eggs were leaping off the sizzling, popping stove so the eggs were scorched on the outside and raw in the middle. The made-to-order omelettes were a better bet -- only one out of three was too burnt to eat. While onboard, we did discuss our dining experiences in the non-specialty restaurants with two other couples. Both volunteered that the Freedom class of ships seemed to get the "second class" help. Independently, they both said that the top talent was on the Oasis class ships. On our last night, we were in a specialty restaurant seated next to a Royal Caribbean employee on vacation. That employee confirmed that he, too, had noticed that trend. So, if you like the RCCL big ships, this is another reason to go that way. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
For the ports of calling, the only complaint of the freedom of the seas i the pools are way too small for the amount of people on board. The wading part of the pool os almost the same size of the pools. The adult pool was way too loud by ... Read More
For the ports of calling, the only complaint of the freedom of the seas i the pools are way too small for the amount of people on board. The wading part of the pool os almost the same size of the pools. The adult pool was way too loud by cruisers over intoxicated and the family pool was crowded so all you could do is stand in a small area. It was better if you got back to the ship when you were at port but thats when you also want to get off ship and see the land. Our ocean view room was very nice. Maria our maid went beyond to make our experience enjoyable. we being first time cruisers were overall pleased with the cruise. just wish cruises wouldnt nickle and dime you for everything. we will probably do resorts again due to this fact of nickle and diming. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
I picked this cruise because I was going on vacation to Puerto Rico and thought it may be a good idea to catch a cruise from this port. Nothing but wrong. Very bad food, restaurants were closed right after boarding time from ports of ... Read More
I picked this cruise because I was going on vacation to Puerto Rico and thought it may be a good idea to catch a cruise from this port. Nothing but wrong. Very bad food, restaurants were closed right after boarding time from ports of destinations. Food is greasy and you end eating tons of pizza because there is nothing else after boarding the ship again after a long day in an island. Lines were the MUST to get anything you wanted (get in a restaurant, have pizza, take a photo session). Definitely do not recommend it at all. I travel with my family, young people and elders. Shows were average. The ship is big and has a great alley simulating a street. This is what a liked the most of it. They have inside cabins with windows to the inside "street" where all the cafes and stores are located. Feel like atmosphere needs improvement also. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
This was my first cruise. I expected long lines to check-in, mediocre buffet meals, overfilled tiny pools, and basically uncomfortable traveling. I loved the idea of the ports of call (St. Thomas, Aruba, Curaçao, & St. Kitts) so off ... Read More
This was my first cruise. I expected long lines to check-in, mediocre buffet meals, overfilled tiny pools, and basically uncomfortable traveling. I loved the idea of the ports of call (St. Thomas, Aruba, Curaçao, & St. Kitts) so off we went. I arrived around 3:30pm and although there was a line to security check & check-in, it ran fast and in less than 15 minutes we were already boarding. We found our stateroom and went around to explore the ship. Around 6pm we all did the safety drill which took around 30 minutes (it was a bit uncomfortable standing still for so long and so close to other people sweating, but it’s necessary in case of emergency). Then we immediately went to eat at the Windjammer. I was amazed with the food quality and variety. Although it is a buffet, there are waiters all around to help you and bring you anything to your table. They clean tables really fast after you’re done, therefore there are no disgusting plates left around. There are thirst quenching spots where you can grab lemonade, iced tea, orange juice, or water. There are always clean tables where to seat with spectacular views. The plates are a nice size and silverware is prepared with fabric napkins for convenience. Overall the ship is distributed nicely. There are areas for babies, children, and adults. I loved the St. Tropez deck where not many people go and you feel private and relaxed for sunbathing. Sometimes I joined the fun at the main pool and sipped a drink while enjoying. At night the shows are awesome! The musicians and professionals there remind me of Broadway. The sound, the visuals, the costume designs were really cool. There is so much to do and strangely you miss something, because the way they make those schedules everything is possible. Our 3 course dinner consisted of a menu which changed daily, but there were things that were always available. The choices were fancy and delicious. There’s something for everyone’s taste. The service is great, we became friends with our table attendant since it was the same for the length of our vacation. Our stateroom was comfortable with one large bed, bathroom, vanity with drawers, and closet with wooden hangers. We had formalwear for several nights so l placed everything neatly in the closet. The water pressure and temperature is great and there’s enough space to fit all my toiletries into shelves. The ports of call were nice. I went off the ship and walked around for a while, but since I was enjoying the ship so much, I returned often to spend time at the empty pools. Basically I loved everything about the ship, service, and experience. I love traveling, but now I see cruises as an amazing treat to unwind and enjoy so many details. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
We visited Sant Thomas, Curacao, Aruba, St. Kitts and San Juan. For us, the best port to visit is Curacao and San Juan, but the port of Curaçao is new and all the areas around the port are easy to travel and plenty of variety to do ... Read More
We visited Sant Thomas, Curacao, Aruba, St. Kitts and San Juan. For us, the best port to visit is Curacao and San Juan, but the port of Curaçao is new and all the areas around the port are easy to travel and plenty of variety to do shopping. The Royal Caribbean has an excellent onboard entertainment service for all ages. The best experience in the Freedom of the Seas, was in the variety of meals, easy walking floor and excellent elevator service for the disabled, recreational sports and activities on board in the theater and another room. The company only needs more activities for Spanish-speaking people or use an exclusive activity room for every night to have Latin music or different Latino activities. All people of different nationalities can come to share and learn about various cultures and dances. Once you have an area assigned for that purpose, everyone will know where to go every day to enjoy the different activities. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
The itinerary was great. Villa was amazing. We ordered room service for breakfast and ate in the large lanai. Room service could not get our orders right during our trip. The first day we tried the kids club, we were told our 4 year old ... Read More
The itinerary was great. Villa was amazing. We ordered room service for breakfast and ate in the large lanai. Room service could not get our orders right during our trip. The first day we tried the kids club, we were told our 4 year old would have to adhere to the rules. Sliding on your bottom down the slide and staying at the table (he lost a game and got frustrated and went to a corner to take breaths) that is not allowed. Got a massages and the therapist rushed through the treatment she talked for most of it about all the products that would be “helpful” for me to purchase. Not once did she stop to check in on the pressure. Food quality in the main dining and windjammer was poor. The only quality foods are the specialty restaurants. Our room attendant Samason and Junior the concierge were the MVPs they provided excellent service. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
This ship cruise was a pleasant experience; very comfortable clean state room with wonderful attendant Ray. The activities were first rate from ice skating to line dancing, rock climbing, nice pools and hot tubs, list goes on!! The ... Read More
This ship cruise was a pleasant experience; very comfortable clean state room with wonderful attendant Ray. The activities were first rate from ice skating to line dancing, rock climbing, nice pools and hot tubs, list goes on!! The restaurants were delicious with varied menus each offering wonderful selections. Our Assistant waiter John and waiter Kunal were fantastic with their service. Staff were all helpful. I would recommend this ship for anyone wanting a top rate cruise experience. This ship is one of the largest sailing and there are multi cultural staff and guest as well. A unique opportunity to experience diversity on a grand scale. The ports of call are great with wonderful shopping in St. Thomas, Great beach and snorkeling in Aruba with Baby beach being one of the most beautiful I have ever encountered. There is a restaurant there with good food and drink, nice cabanas and chairs to rent. A great beach for families with small children. I would do this cruise again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We chose this cruise because it sails out of beautiful Puerto Rico and visits the best Caribbean islands. Our favorite islands were Puerto Rico, Curacao, and St Maarten. The excursions I recommend are: Hacienda Carabali (horses, ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it sails out of beautiful Puerto Rico and visits the best Caribbean islands. Our favorite islands were Puerto Rico, Curacao, and St Maarten. The excursions I recommend are: Hacienda Carabali (horses, ATV'S, and Go-Karts) and Travelers Catamaran and East Island Catamaran in Puerto Rico; The Best of Curacao and Beach in Curacao; and Kim Shah Beach with lunch in St Maarten. We enjoyed the Fast Cat Catamaran Snorkeling tour in St Thomas but we should have been warned that it is a rough ride and you will get wet while on the catamaran. It is really a FAST Catamaran! On the ship, we really enjoyed the spectacular shows, dancing, and the flow rider. We loved gettng side by side massages at the spa. It's a loud and fun ship with a lot to do. The adult area is quiet and relaxing. There were always pool chairs available! The beverage package is worth every penny. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
Loved it, loved it, did I say loved it. From the moment we stepped on we were impress by the sheer size of this thing. It is HUGE!!! Many times during my trip I absolutely forgot that I was on water. I have nothing but good things to ... Read More
Loved it, loved it, did I say loved it. From the moment we stepped on we were impress by the sheer size of this thing. It is HUGE!!! Many times during my trip I absolutely forgot that I was on water. I have nothing but good things to say about this trip. Embarking and disembarking was effortless. One thing that impressed my was how clean the ship was. Our cabin was big and beautiful and we had a balcony which made it even better. Our cabin attendant was attentive and thorough. There was morning and evening service and we always had an abundance of clear towels and the room was always tidied after we left. We loved the dining, so much food.( I only think of so much waste). I did a behind the scene ship tour and it was worth every penny. Great to see first hand the incinerator where the recycling is done. The entertainment could have been stepped up a notch....what the heck was the ice skating show all about? There was always someone to help if you needed and everyone was so friendly. Staff and the Windjammer and Leonardo dining (Kennedy) was a pleasure. Shore excursions are what you paid for. very informative and fun. Planning another trip sooner rather than later. Loved it, Loved it, did I say Loved it!!!!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
19 of us went on the Freedom of the Sea for my daughters 30th Birthday. This cruise could not have been better. We sailed June 23rd to June 30th. 5 islands, minimal sea days (1), planned excursions to perfection (thank you Judy ... Read More
19 of us went on the Freedom of the Sea for my daughters 30th Birthday. This cruise could not have been better. We sailed June 23rd to June 30th. 5 islands, minimal sea days (1), planned excursions to perfection (thank you Judy Collins), the ship is beautiful. The food is excellent, the staff is top notch and accommodating. Our dining room experience created memories for a lifetime - thank you Raluca Gheniou, we miss her already!!!! The shows were just perfect for all ages which we spanned 11 months old to 87 years old. I can’t wait to go on my next Royal Caribbean. The casino are run very well. I had fun playing tables. Slots do not hit that much. Maybe raise that a bit. Parades for the kids were wonderful. They loved them. Need a General Store open for personal needs 24/7 on floor 5. Found that to be a problem. Lounge music was very enjoyable. Went around to all. Danced on top floor with the younger crowd. Had a blast, even got a high five for my dancing skills up there. Loved to have had that club feel for us over 40 clan. Captain Thomas is a true professional and runs a top notch ship in true comfort. Loved his talks to us and appearances in the ship. Gave it a nice personal touch. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
This is our fifth cruise, first on Royal. We've been on Pullmantur (two European), Carnival and Norwegian (both Caribbean) previously. We are two adults - no children. Embarkation was super smooth - out of the taxi and on the ... Read More
This is our fifth cruise, first on Royal. We've been on Pullmantur (two European), Carnival and Norwegian (both Caribbean) previously. We are two adults - no children. Embarkation was super smooth - out of the taxi and on the ship in probably 20 minutes. Muster was painless - we've been on ships that make you stand out on the deck, packed in like sardines for far too long. Muster this time was seated in the dining room while someone went over the safety protocols. I did see some people on deck, but they did not seem uncomfortable. The cruise overall as very good - service from everyone on board was excellent - with one exception, which I'll get to. We got the specialty dining and the beverage package - both excellent. Best bar selection of any ship I've been on. The specialty dining was also very good. Dining - We did two nights at Giovanni's Table and one at Chops and one night at the Chefs Table (not in the dining package which was different than what we heard). Both Giovanni's and Chops were very good - excellent selection and well prepared. We did Giovanni's twice because of the service - Leslie was great! We had a very good time at the Chef's Table (two other couples, one couple no showed). Service was great and wine parings were very good, but I probably would not elect to go again - the food was not great if I'm honest. If I'm paying a couple hundred dollars for a meal I do have a much higher expectation. And this leads to the one exception in service. Since we were at the specialty restaurants, we did miss consecutive nights in main dining. Without letting us know, they gave our table to a different party - so we went down and had a seat, ordered drinks and meals and then were rather rudely asked to move tables. I understand the move but it was handled very poorly and the "manager" was rude to the server (who was excellent) when he offered a different empty table. I let the manager know that the way it was handled was in appropriate and could have been the rudest experience in any restaurant I've been in. They offered a bottle of champagne, which was declined. For the food in the main cabin - breakfast was okay, we do not eat the usual waffles and pancakes - they looked very good but we did not try them. Eggs were probably borderline in the danger zone in terms of temperature breakfast in the Windjammer buffet was better (and I think that's the first time I have EVER said a buffet was better than table service). We did the pizza place a couple of times because they had a gluten free option - the first was very good, they got less 'done' at each visit. In their defense - they are almost always very busy, a line every day. I will say they do move folks in the pizza place and main dining very quickly - but there was a line 90% of the time. They did have really good gluten free options in most places including pasta if you requested. Surprising and very grateful! Cabin - we were in cabin 8642 - spacious balcony. And it was spacious. This was our first balcony room and it was probably twice as big and any other ocean view room we've been in. David, the room steward, was attentive and provided great service. I had read previous reviews that commented on the bed being hard - and they were right, but it was not horrible. Although we did not travel with kids, there did seem to be a good array of activities planned for them. There must have been some kind of contamination in one of the kids pools because they had to rope and net it off about midway through the cruise. We saw someone cleaning on the last day dressed in bio-hazard gear. We missed all the shows so I cannot comment on that, but we did sit and watch karaoke a couple of nights - always entertaining. We also watched the poolside entertainment, did what it was supposed to do - keep you entertained. They had the climbing wall, flow rider, basketball and mini golf to help keep you up and active as well. The gym on this boat is better than most we have on land! Huge, and they had a good array of classes (in addition to the deck side classes - Latin dance, yoga, etc). First stop in St. Thomas, we got off the boat and went shopping – there is a TON of jewelry stores there – and had lunch (Greengos – tacos were very good, they gave you three, I could barely finish two – and a couple of margaritas…) There were some guys offering private tours of the island, so we hopped on one – they spent a couple of hours driving us around showing some of the history and sights before dropping us back at the ship. The charge was $25 per person – and we thought well worth it. In Curacao, we got a taxi to take us to Jan Thiel (I think that’s how you spell it) Beach (drivers recommendation for a ‘very nice’ beach). The driver was very nice told us a little of the history of the island. The beach was not at all what I expected. I was thinking white sand, rolling waves. This is like a sea wall thing – you walk down the stairs into the water. The people were very nice and very quiet and subdued. If you want to lay in a chair and just chill, you’d probably enjoy this. We didn’t and called for a taxi back to the boat earlier than expected. The other thing here is that the taxi is very expensive. And the ‘nice’ beaches are a distance – maybe 30 minutes from the dock to the beach at $40 one way. If we come back to this island, I’ll take an official excursion. We only got one Royal excursion - on Aruba, the air-conditioned tour of the best of Aruba. Bird, the driver was very good, told us about the history and made a few stops from the highest point on the mountain back down Eagle Beach. Which is exactly what I thought a beach should be – white sand, rolling waves, people enjoying themselves . The only downside to the beach is the jet skis and boats - they come right up to the shore in the middle of a crowd of swimmers. Make you wonder how many accidents there are. The jet ski's are rentals, as are the boats. The boats are driven by the folks operating them so more safe - the jet ski's are rentals so I'm betting some of them need more than a couple of feet to safely navigate around people and kids. In St. Maarten, we took the water taxi over to the boardwalk area – for shopping, beach and lunch. They are still in serious recovery mode here. I think I saw more police here than on the other islands combined (minus San Juan). I would probably have spent more time here if there weren’t people constantly asking you to come in the store or buy something – at the same time I understand these guys in need so we did buy a couple of trinket and a painting from one of the local artists. We had drinks at Burger Madness. The owner of the place had disagreement with another party of customer, and it got a bit uncomfortable. I think the disagreement had more to do with misunderstanding/communication between the them. But you do not have to get loud and obnoxious – everyone there is either at work or on vacation. Don’t take yourself so seriously. San Juan, we got off the boat – not painless, but not as bad as some other experiences. The taxi stand was a free for all. Someone said they saw a fistfight earlier between drivers and a passenger (glad I missed that). Issue here was they had one taxi stand for a couple thousand passengers. Not a good scene. But we did manage to get a taxi relatively quickly (just go up to one of the folks with the pad of paper and tell them where you’re going – NICELY – and they will partner you up with others going in the same direction. If you’re not nice, do not expect to get a taxi soon. We stayed a night in San Juan and walked around the forts and old town – very nice. I’d definitely go back – this was probably my favorite stop. I loved the people, the food, the music! Oh – last thing – the Casino – we really enjoy table games - poker varieties and roulette. It is a great way to meet people and be social. No different on this ship. Except no one was winning. The dealers were not the most jovial sorts either – it’s a cruise ship – we want to see everyone having a good time (and we understand that not everyone wins). I am not sure I'd go back on a ship this big - definitely no bigger, the crowds get a bit much to manage. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We will just do this review by lists, as it will give folks a blow-by-blow idea of what we loved and what kind of disgusted us. Before I start, let me say I would possibly consider cruising on this ship again, but with some major ... Read More
We will just do this review by lists, as it will give folks a blow-by-blow idea of what we loved and what kind of disgusted us. Before I start, let me say I would possibly consider cruising on this ship again, but with some major reservations. Things I LOVED!!! 1) Ship is visually stunning! The main promenade is impressive, the public areas very clean, the decks roomy and well cared for, and the cabins very clean. 2) Raymond, our cabin steward was TOP NOTCH. Grace, our primary waitress was TOP NOTCH. Karin, my wife's spa masseuse, was TOP NOTCH! 3) Food in the "added cost" restaurants was amazing! Great filet mignon, lobster, octopus, chocolate souflees' and OHHHH, so much more! 4) Work out room, steam room and sauna are great 5) The big Broadway-style shows and the Ice Show are absolutely fantastic!!! I work in the entertainment industry, and these were the finest executed and produced cruise ship shows I've ever seen. Bravo to the performers, show designers, instrumentalists and choreographers 6) LOTS of activities to do on the ship. If you ever get bored on this ship, it's your own fault. We shopped, dined, swan, laid out, worked out, got a massage, danced, attended comedy shows, miniature golfed, played trivia, went to an art auction, watched movies, took romantic strolls, read, and much more.....ALL on the ship! 7) Ride of the ship is smooth, and the captain and steering crew did a great job. Ports of Curacao (WOW!!!!!) Aruba (beautiful, but over-crowded) St Maarten (great shopping) and St Thomas (Magen's Bay Beach was astounding).....all the ports were very enjoyable and worth it Stuff We Thought Was Average 1) Food in the Windjammer (crowded, but not terrible) and in the main dining room in just a little above average. Truly ok, but nothing special 2) TV stations (would've liked more of a selection) 3) Wi-Fi (over-priced and inconsistent.....keeps kicking you off) WHAT WE ABSOLUTELY HATED!!!! 1) Bar staff circulates constantly EVERYWHERE, and you can't relax by the pool, because every 30-60 seconds (not an exaggeration) another waiter is walking by asking you if you want your 5th cocktail of the day!) 2) There's a constancy of "up-selling" on this ship that borders dangerously on the feeling of a 7-day long TIMESHARE PRESENTATION!!!! "Do you wanna buy these photos?"...."Do you wanna upgrade your supper choice for tomorrow?"...."Do you wanna sign up for more shore excursions?"...."Do you wanna buy a watch...t-shirt....cupcake...water bottle....bottle of cologne....it's exhausting!!!!! 3) THE WORST THING ABOUT THIS SHIP IS THIS........Every day you are required (unless you pay a visit to the general info desk, stand in a line, and are made to feel guilty) to give a mandatory $14.50 tip per person, PER DAY. Well, if that was the extent of it, that would be okay, but it's NOT! In addition, 18% mandatory tip is added to any bar or drink or spa or food purchase you make for the entire cruise, EVEN IF THE SERVICE IS BAD, RUDE, SLOW OR DISMISSIVE.....BUT WAIT FOLKS, THERE'S MORE!!!! On top of everything I've just mentioned, every receipt you are required to sign has a form that has a line for you to leave an "ADDITIONAL TIP".....on top of the $14.50 AND the 18%. Well, at least that's it......WAIT, NO IT ISN'T!!! Finally, the cherry on top of this sundae of greed comes when envelopes are laid on your bed each of the last 3 mights of the cruise for you to stuff MORE MONEY IN and hand out to whoever you think is "deserving". This is guilt-tripping. This is manipulation. This is a timeshare presentation gone haywire. In fact, I want Royal Caribbean to know this little tidbit. There were 4 separate times on the cruise I decided NOT to get one of your $12.95 pina coladas simply because of the money-grab aspect. In conclusion, I want to be clear that my wife and I had a blast with out friends and celebrated a joy-filled holiday. The ship is beautiful, there are stand-outs on your staff, the "pay extra" food was fantastic, and there was so much great stuff to do. However, Royal Carribean has soured my taste for cruising for years to come because of what can only be described by one simple word.......greed. Read Less
Freedom of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.4
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 5.0 4.2
Public Rooms 4.0 4.5
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.3
Family 5.0 4.3
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.9
Enrichment 3.0 3.9
Service 4.0 4.4
Value For Money 4.0 4.0
Rates 4.0 4.1

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