Freedom of the Seas Cruise Review by CeeLover
- Sail Date: July 2019
- Destination: Southern Caribbean
- Cabin Type: Spacious Panoramic Ocean View
PORT - We flew in to San Juan Puerto Rico the day before and stayed in the Sheraton near the cruise port. We got up before sunrise and took an Uber to the Fort to watch the sunrise then walked around Old San Juan. It was our first time with an 8:30pm set sail time but was nice because we headed right over to the ship when we had to check out from our hotel at noon and then we didn't feel like we were rushing to get on. Our rooms weren't available until 1:30 sharp so that gave us some time to head straight to Guest Services to do switch who was in which rooms together which was no problem. Once our rooms were ready we unpacked everything so we were ready to enjoy the week.
CABIN/SHIP - Our cabin - panoramic ocean view - was GORGEOUS! It is on deck 12 and is an area that was refurbished in 2015 and is very attractive. We could hear some talking in the next cabin when sitting right next to the wall, but otherwise no noise, only some wind noise when it was very windy out because we were on the 12th deck.
The public spaces on the ship were very attractive and did not look like cheesy Vegas decor as some ships do. The dining room was especially beautiful without being stuffy or too ornate. We mostly ate in the Windjammer for the buffet. The food was ample but the way it flows does seem to create more congestion than I've experienced on other ships. FOOD - The food was pretty tasty, although he desserts looked much better than they tasted. We all agreed we liked Carnival's food better, but it still wasn't bad.
ENTERTAINMENT - The timing of the main show in the theater each night was different, not consistent start times and not consistent theme so it seemed disjointed, whereas on our previous cruises it seemed there were set times for the main shows and there tended to be a theme. We felt that overall the entertainment was lacking. But we didn't come on the cruise for the shows, we came to experience being on a ship and exploring exotic ports in the Caribbean.
PORTS OF CALL - St. Thomas, St, Kitts, Antigua, St. Lucia, Barbados. We had pre-planned excursions in all ports (which I organized on my own, not through RCI). St. Lucia as our absolute favorite (it's so green, lush, mountainous, gorgeous water/best snorkeling of all stops) and Barbados was our least favorite, but glad we got to all of them. When stopped in St. Thomas we took the water ferry to nearby Water Island (it's close enough you can still see the ship in port) and spent the day on Honeymoon Beach - so beautiful - swimming, snorkeling, rented jet skis, and enjoyed food and drinks at the bar.
OVERALL - we would go on Freedom of the Seas again because it was a large ship without being too big, it was attractive and we loved our cabin!
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews
AntiguaWe booked our own activity through Antigua Reef RIders. They picked us up at port and was about 15-20 min drive to Jolly Harbour where we had a tour guide take us on 2-person boats for several miles along the shoreline (which was absolutely gorgeous), passing many beaches that looked inviting, to a stop at Cades Reef to snorkeling. Antigua was beautiful on land and sea, although somewhat poor, but the people were very nice and we would go here again.View All 1,546 Antigua Cruise Port Reviews
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BarbadosAfter our previous port (St. Lucia), Barbados was disappointing. We had booked a private tour on our own through Glory Tours. They took us across a large part of the island to Cherry Tree HIll, Morgan Lewis Windmill, Bathsheba, an old church and then stopped at Copacabana Beach. Our tour guide was informative and friendly and the countryside was pretty. And athough Copacabana Beach is pretty it is very crowded and the charge you for everything! We did the turtle snorkel "cruise" so we could keep our stuff with us while we snorkeled but were very diasppointed. The "tour" was crowded and chaotic, with multiple tour boats of about 50 people each cramming into one area of the water. We could see the shore from where we were and realized we could have swam out to this spot without paying $20 per person!View All 1,520 Barbados Cruise Port Reviews
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San JuanArrived in San Juan the night before our cruise. Spent the morning of our cruise at the Fort watching the sun rise then walked around Old San Juan. Very interesting but too early for shops to be open on a Sunday and many were boarded up because of the protests so didn't get to experience much of this area. Some of the taxi drivers we had were very informative and offered a tour for additional cost, but we did not want to take the time as we were eager to get on the ship as soon as possible.View All 3,767 San Juan Cruise Port Reviews
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St. Kitts (Port Zante)We booked our own excursion separate from the cruise line and becuase there were 6 of us in our party it was affordable to do a private catamaran tour through Pereia Tours and it was awesome! St. Kitts is beautiful and the water was gorgeous, as were the two snorkeling stops and beach stop at Nevis.View All 1,691 St. Kitts (Port Zante) Cruise Port Reviews
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St. LuciaWe booked a private tour through Ride St Lucia and it was awesome! Speedboat tour up the coast passing many, many amazing beaches and homes (I couldn't stop taking pictures or going "oh wow!"). Stopped for photos with the Piton Mountains in the back, then stopped at a harbour to take the land part of our tour, which was doing the mudbaths, waterfall, and authentic lunch; then back on board our speedboat for two snorkeling stops (amazing clear water and colorful fish) and a brief jaunt inside Marigot Bay. We all agreed this was our favorite island of the cruise and we this was one place we wanted to plan a vacation! Absolutely gorgeous, so green and mountainous, kinda like Hawaii.View All 1,387 St. Lucia Cruise Port Reviews
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St. ThomasAfter doing much internet research we planned to take the water ferry (within walking distant of where our ship docked) to nearby Water Island. Was easy to find and cost was $10 per person round trip and Water Island was within view of the ship. Honeymoon beach was a quick shuttle (free) from where the water ferry dropped us off. We were the first ones on the beach and it was awesome!! Beautiful calm water for swimming or snorkeling; also rented wave runners. The guys in our party rented a golf cart for cheap and explored the island too. We enjoyed drinks and lunch from one of two beach bars on the beach. I would go here again!View All 4,646 St. Thomas Cruise Port Reviews
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