Freedom of the Seas Cruise Review by gamecock411
- Sail Date: April 2019
- Destination: Southern Caribbean
- Cabin Type: Grand Suite - 1 Bedroom
We flew in the day before and did a nighttime kayak tour LED tour right down the street from our hotel. Lorenzo, JP and Robert were excellent guides and we saw lots of star fish, lobster and fish.
We were picked up at the airport by Puerto Rico Go Green transportation (Edgar) and it was great. He stopped by the Fire Dept as my husband is a firefighter and he got to meet some of the guys.
We enjoyed the hotel as it was in a great location. Still some damage from the hurricane but we really liked it.
We took a cab the next day to the terminal (we could see our ship come in from our balcony at the hotel). It was easy to get to the port. We had priority board due to a grand suite.
This was our first experience with a grand suite and I have to tell you I don't know if I can go back to balcony! I loved the benefits associated with this and it was definitely worth every penny for us!! We don't drink so we use the money for a suite. We do spend a lot of time on our balcony so it was worth it for us. I have to say the port in San Juan is not nearly as nice as Port Canaveral but everyone was friendly. I appreciate RCCL checking the custody papers on our granddaughter to make sure it was OK for us to take her.
We did take advantage of free breakfast each day in Chops Grille. It was a nice perk. I also enjoyed the reserved seating at the pool. However, people did climb over the rope and sit there. I did see RCCL staff come around a few times and check passes and they would ask people to leave.
We also took advantage of the reserved seating at the shows. People got a bit miffed because they couldn't sit there but my feeling is you could have it too if you want to pay for it. When I fly, I don't expect to be treated the same as first class because I'm in steerage!!
We did get a free VIP kitchen tour and a suite guest cocktail party when we sailed away from St. Kitts. This was done on the helipad which my husband enjoyed. My granddaughter and I were getting our hair done for formal night.
Here are the things I did NOT like: 2/4 ports were closed. To me, this is unacceptable. Apparently May 1 is a national holiday in Aruba EVERY YEAR! RCCL should have known this. There was hardly anything open. We did rent a Jeep from Amigo and went to the lighthouse and a few beaches. We had to return the Jeep after the lighthouse because the tire was worn down to the canvas. I was not happy about this and when we returned it, they would not issue any credit (I did not want a refund) for the inconvenience. I was told, "You were lucky they changed the tire." Excuse me!! It's your car, you SHOULD change it. I did e-mal customer service once we returned and received a $25 credit.
I did not appreciate the sexy man contest at the pool. The MC was a man and he actually licked the nipple of another man. Really? With kids at the pool? I took my granddaughter and we left.
In St. Kitts we did the volcano hike through Thenford Gray. I would recommend this tour but not necessarily this operator. We had a guide named Hilton and he went so fast. I was unable to complete the hike (I stopped after about an hour) due to some recent lung issues. We passed one tour group and he said to our guide that he needed to slow down. Hilton told him no way, he was on military time. The other guide commented that he didn't like it when Hilton led a group because he didn't pay attention to his clients. On the way down, he was on his phone the whole time (per my husband) and didn't pay attention. If you want to do this hike, know that it is extremely strenuous and I would recommend hiking shoes. Our guide did have walking sticks for our group which the others did not.
In Curacao we rented a car thru Celestia and he was awesome! He gave us a GPS with points of interest already loaded, gave us a great recommendation for authentic restaurant, and where to snorkel for sea turtles. He was spot on.
We found out the night before that St. Thomas was basically closed due to Carnivale. Our concierge Fabio was kind enough to cancel our rental car since there was no point. We just walked around the port.
We did enjoy the Concierge Lounge, we had great stateroom attendant (Junior) and wonderful wait staff (Turkessa and Charmine). We also did unlimited digital photos although there were a lot not included and we had to take them off the wall so they could be put in our package. Got some pictures of other people (not sure who they were) in our package.
All in all, we enjoyed it very much. I do think RCCL should have known better than to take us to four ports and 2 were closed. Curacao and Aruba could have been switched around.
The gym was good too. We did use it several times. Refrigerator in room not very cold, our granddaughter enjoyed the kids' club. There was a little bit of a language issue because of leaving from PR but she enjoyed it.
My husband commented one night that he liked fried plantains; we got them every night after that.
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews
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