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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
Ok, so this was my third time on Freedom with my family (hubby and teenager). These are my opinions and not meant to offend or influence but simply share. We went the week of August 25-Sept. 1 and left from Puerto Rico. Embarkation: ... Read More
Ok, so this was my third time on Freedom with my family (hubby and teenager). These are my opinions and not meant to offend or influence but simply share. We went the week of August 25-Sept. 1 and left from Puerto Rico. Embarkation: pretty easy and not much waiting luckily. Room: had a large balcony which was clean and what we expected since we'd been on her before. There are obvious signs of aging and as my husband said, "she's gettin' old" and needs the refurb booked next year. Our room attendant was Sue (short for Sulfina I think....forgive me because I can't recall) and she was wonderful. Not overbearing and waited patiently while we were late leaving some mornings. Dining room: excellent staff looked after us. Alifton and Iputu were attentive and amazing with our teenager. Alifton remembered our favourites and was really nice and friendly. Food was ok/good although I'm not a foodie and ate pretty much the same things. Hubby loves food and he was very happy. The first evening was less than great though we figured turnaround day is challenging and gave it another chance. Windjammer: not my fav but great coffee and service to clear tables/bring drinks etc. It's busy and sometimes people act like animals by using their hands or eating while perusing the buffet. It's what you'd expect from a typical buffet I suppose. Sorrento's: happily surprised by the new pizza that is a thin crust since we last sailed. It was always hot since it was constantly being made. Specialty food: only ate one at Galianos because we got a gift from our TA to go. The service was outstanding! I feel awful because I can't remember his name. He's a tall, has light colored hair and a Ukrainian accent. We left him a nice trip because he made the evening lovely and paced out our meal as the hubby asked. Intimate and delicious but not sure if many would spend the extra money. Solarium pool: busy but nice to soak and have some drinks. I hesitate because you definitely notice those who drink and never seem to get out for hours. Hmmmm....washroom? Hahaha..only can assume. Drinks: had the package and it is 100% worth it for us. Water bottles included made it easy to stay hydrated. Also new system of not signing printout sheets and feeling awkward about tips is great! Apparently the staff get a percentage or something for each drink they serve so you give your card and that's it. Islands: went to Bonaire, st Martin, Curacao and Aruba. Wonderful weather and easy to get off and on each port. Hubby went scuba diving and loved it. We went to the beach only once and walked around on our own but didn't spend too much time. I personally love the ship and sea days so the ports aren't the draw for me but more for the hubby. Tone of passengers: this is not meant to offend nor am I BY ANY MEANS or any type of person who would be racist. I've grown up in a diverse area and have many different ethnicities in my own family. The tone was very much catered to the crowd in terms of music and dancing. Typically we sailed and found most of the music to have more of a carribean vibe and a good variety. This cruise was 95+% comprised of Latin music in the clubs/pool deck music. It became a lot because of the tempo FOR ME. I love dancing and love that type of music but sometimes I felt I needed a little music that had more of a "relaxed tempo"....Bob Marley and such if that makes sense. Leaving from Puerto Rico obviously meant that the majority of the crowd were Spanish speaking which was interesting since I was able to brush up on my Spanish :) Kids: I love them and for those that feel they can overrun the ship, we didn't find that at all. In fact, it was some of the adults that were obnoxious and SOOOO LOUD sometimes. It's a fun ship and people have fun but walking in the halls at 2 or 3 and shouting isn't really acceptable. Also found that people who hang around the pool can talk at a volume that is unreal. I certainly heard things that I maybe didn't really need to know. But again, maybe that won't bother most. Entertainment: great shows as always. Didn't see the ice show because I feel once you've seen it, you've seen them all. Quest game: always a good time and the video playback was new and made it really fun. Katie: cruise director who was pleasant and really ran the activities well. Not overly excitable but friendly and seemed to be well liked. Leaving: the absolute worst we have ever experienced in our 5 cruises with rccl. We waited over an hour outside in the heat of Puerto Rico and then for about 20 inside for customs. Can't really lay blame because rccl seemed to be trying. We exited when our group was called but the bottleneck of people was brutal! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
The entertainment was good, especially Eileen, the black female singer; the Once Upon A Time show; and the murder mystery dinner in Giovanni’s. We found the timing of some shows inconvenient e.g. ice shows are at 5 or 7pm, which is ... Read More
The entertainment was good, especially Eileen, the black female singer; the Once Upon A Time show; and the murder mystery dinner in Giovanni’s. We found the timing of some shows inconvenient e.g. ice shows are at 5 or 7pm, which is impossible when you have a 6pm dining time. Bingo was fun and much easier now they have electronic tablets instead of paper sheets. Trivia really depended on who was running it - some staff were hard to understand with heavy accents, or went too fast. Others, like Bern running the 80s music trivia on the last night, were amazing. Best food in the main dining room was the Vidalia onion tart, beef tenderloin and rack of lamb, and molten chocolate cake and apple pie. The Tutti salad bar at lunchtime in the main dining room on sea days is really good and a hidden gem. Each day in Windjammer and the cafe, they have a different flavor of pound cake. The caramel toffee bread pudding in Windjammer on day 5 was amazing. Cruise tips. Bring two swimsuits because the first one will not be dry enough overnight to wear again the next day, and putting on wet swimwear feels gross. A highlighter is very useful for marking items of interest in the Compass. So is a travel mug, to allow you to carry coffee around the ship. My white noise machine was invaluable to block out Promenade and hallway noise. Save your trivia answer sheets all week, as they get you extra boards in Bingo. Only a few negatives: 1) Most of the excursions we had booked before the trip were canceled, and one of those cancelations was not communicated, resulting in an unnecessary early wake-up. They canceled the butterfly garden trip in Aruba, the mangrove EcoBoat in Bonaire, the afternoon Segway in Bonaire, and the Adventure Race in St. Maarten. Although in each case we were offered a discount on an alternative activity and ended up having fun, it was still frustrating to get very few of our first choice activities. 2) The early 8am meeting time for many excursions made you not want to stay out late and party or drink much the night before. 3) My only bad food was the duck a l’orange in the main dining room on day 2 or 3; there was barely any meat and it was very fatty. 4) My teenager disliked that very few of the scheduled teen activities happened as planned. The teen staff did not seem interested in enforcing the schedule and just let the teens do whatever they wanted. All in all, we had a fantastic trip. The weather was glorious, the seas were calm, all 4 ports were very interesting to visit, our tour guides were all exceptional, service on board was overwhelmingly good, food options were delicious and varied, and there was plenty to do for all ages. If you go on this trip, you will have a blast! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
Chose this cruise for the many islands offered and size of ship - just under 3,000 passengers so not too large and many amenities offered. The food unfortunately I would rate 3 out of 5. Same menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner if dining ... Read More
Chose this cruise for the many islands offered and size of ship - just under 3,000 passengers so not too large and many amenities offered. The food unfortunately I would rate 3 out of 5. Same menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner if dining the in the Windjammer. We dined in the evening often in the Dining Room and found that food to be very nice, so recommend this to anyone to use the Dining Room as much as you can. I recommend everyone to book their dinner reservations for specific time for the Dining Room in advance and not do the "my time" dining as you could be waiting awhile. Even with the specific time reservations, we found the line ups very long at times, so be sure to arrive a good 15-20 min in advance of your reservation. The service was always excellent as all the wait staff in the Dining Room and Windjammer Cafe are always exceptionally attentive. The food in the Windjammer cafe was a little boring after being offered the same menu 7 days straight. They even had a "Caribbean Night" which they highlighted so we went their for dinner that night which was nothing special and little variety from the usual being offered. First day of arriving we had an with our room. The line for customer service was ridiculously long with only 4 people behind the customer service desk. I commented on this and I was given an explanation which in my opinion was inadequate. If you have 2,500-3,000 passengers on board and only 10% of them have issues (which is a safe assumption with the number of people in this long line), it makes sense to have more people available at customer service the very first day of arriving. We were in line for over 45 minutes - very irritating and more people definitely needed for customer service (just for the first day people are getting on board) You have to pay for absolutely everything "extra" on this cruise so be prepared for that. We did not purchase the beverage package for ourselves but got the refreshment package for the kids. For us to get a simply water, lemonade which is free was not easily obtained when we were on the deck as we were told only offered in the dining rooms. So basically you get nothing offered to drink (free drinks) while you are out on the deck sunning or swimming (they only offer you the alcoholic drinks, pops or mocktails. That we found was unfortunate, inconvenient and a little annoying. Would give the cruise 3 out of 5 overall. Some of the excursions offered I would re-think as they do not showcase the islands but that is a personal preference. Ports unfortunately really focus on nabbing you for shopping and the piers are built up for tourists - you will have to get a taxi or an excursion to really see the beauty of the islands. Not a problem just a comment for anyone booking excursions to consider. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
Ship was in fairly good condition. Enjoyed most of the shows, some were excellent, others were mediocre. The ship was full since it was summer and kids were not back in school. The bars were the most part good with the exception of the ... Read More
Ship was in fairly good condition. Enjoyed most of the shows, some were excellent, others were mediocre. The ship was full since it was summer and kids were not back in school. The bars were the most part good with the exception of the bar in the Viking Crown lounge, I think its called Olive or twist. On the other hand, the Bull and Bear Pub was excellent. This was a port intensive itinerary that stopped at 5 ports of call with only one day at sea so I tried to do everything during the week after we got back onboard the ship since I knew the last day at sea all the venues would be packed. The flow rider was a blast, although the waiting lines long. Food was decent, not great. There was no tuna fish or egg salad in the Windjammer. The food in the dining room was either good or poor. By the end of the cruise we mostly ate all of our meals in the Windjammer since there is so much more selection than in the dining room. Disappointed that our dining table was messed up. First night we got to dinner and we requested to be seated at a large table. We were placed at a table with six seats but seven people showed up with the same table number, we were two and they were a family of five, so, they walked away. The next night we showed up to dinner and we had been moved to a table for two, exactly what I did not want. Also disappointed that I celebrated my birthday on the cruise and Royal Caribbean did nothing, no note in the cabin, no birthday cake, nothing. I've been on many cruises and always on Norwegian, Costa, Carnival, MSC, even Princess the cruise line does something to acknowledge a passengers birthday. Staff in the Regalia shop were not attentive, I wanted to buy a TAG watch and waited 10 minutes in the watch area, nobody approached me as the staff were congregating by themselves and chatting, ignoring customers. I bought the TAG watch in St. Martin, could not tell you if I got a good deal or not since I never went back to the Regalia shop to compare prices. Also cashier in the Casino was rude to everybody, kind of shocking. On the other hand, the gift shop is very nice, has a great selection of merchandise and staff there was EXCELLENT! The staff in the Windjammer were FANTASTIC, always welcoming, friendly, and they work so hard. Did not see much of the cruise director - Katie, only saw her at the shows at night. I work out a lot so I went to the gym almost every day. This is an area that needs attention. Most of the treadmills were old, worn, and the TVs do not work. A lot of the workout machines had torn seats, etc. We were told the ship is going tp dry dock in January 2020. The all Access Tour was great and the guide - Ivan was great. It was a fun cruise with a few things that I did not like but we had fun. Read Less
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
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
So we chose this cruise to celebrate 20 years of marriage. We went all out and booked the owner suite. We were contacted by the concierge prior an asked if we were celebrating anything I said 20 year anniversary and we turn diamond ... Read More
So we chose this cruise to celebrate 20 years of marriage. We went all out and booked the owner suite. We were contacted by the concierge prior an asked if we were celebrating anything I said 20 year anniversary and we turn diamond plus this cruise, neither thing was acknowledged. We did enjoy the perks of the concierge floor although basically the same as diamond lounge with free drinks and snacks. Of all the cruises we have been on we thought this was the worst food. Sabor the Mexican and Chops were just ok, Giovanni's was awful. The windjammer was the same food every day! We reported Giovanni's and were called on the last night about it but nothing was done. The casino was awful with rude cashier and host who did not care about anyone, to busy personal messaging.The comps program is not even worth it anymore! We did like the ports, Bonaire was my favorite, if you love animals visit the donkey sanctuary. Although we just turned diamond plus we are thinking of jumping ship after this cruise Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose this cruise because we needed specific dates in July and also because the itinerary was new for us and the ship was a good size and attractive. PORT - We flew in to San Juan Puerto Rico the day before and stayed in the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we needed specific dates in July and also because the itinerary was new for us and the ship was a good size and attractive. 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! 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
We picked this cruise for the itinerary - ABC islands and St. Marten. It was my first time sailing with Royal Caribbean. We flew into San Juan a few days early as we have never been to San Juan either. We stayed in Old San Juan at a VRBO ... Read More
We picked this cruise for the itinerary - ABC islands and St. Marten. It was my first time sailing with Royal Caribbean. We flew into San Juan a few days early as we have never been to San Juan either. We stayed in Old San Juan at a VRBO and loved it. We did a Spoon Food tour the first morning and really enjoyed it. Then we looked around and did a little shopping and had dinner. On Saturday we took a taxi to Charlie's Car Rental in Isle Verde (did not want to drive in Old San Juan as streets are narrow and people parallel park on one side and you can barely squeeze by- the uber and taxi drivers here are very skilled). We drove to Fajardo and did 2 tours with Kayaking Puerto Rico - the mini boat tour and the bio bay kayaking. The mini boat conditions were rough (rough seas and got caught in a squall) - I would only recommend doing this on a calm clear day. The weather was better for the evening kayak tour and we really enjoyed it. Got back to our VRBO at 10pm. Made our way to ship on Sunday and checked in quickly around 11:30am. We stayed on the second floor in an ultra spacious ocean view (cabin 2568) - it had lots of space and can theoretically sleep up to 6 - but it would be tight with only one bathroom. For 3 ladies it was perfect. With two large portholes I didn't miss the balcony and it was very quite with minimal to no motion. Our room steward, Willy, was awesome and helped us with anything we needed and serviced the room both morning and night. We ate dinner in the main dining room every night and didn't try any specialty restaurants. The food was mostly excellent. Only found the fish we ordered to be over seasoned and a little salty. Not a big deal with good appetizer and dessert - we didn't feel the need to order another meal - though they always asked if you would like something else. The waiter also gave his recommendations each night and the few things I didn't care for wasn't one of his recommendations. Both our waiter and asst waiter were great - Putu and Placid at table 314 - we had anytime dining but usually ate at 6pm and sat at the same table. Even though you prepay tips - these people go out of their way to be friendly, helpful, and give you great service. I think Freedom has some of the best service I have received. We ate breakfast twice in the main dining room and lunch twice in the main dining room and I preferred this over the Windjammer which was always so crowded and hard to find a seat. We did like the Cafe for an alternative to breakfast (free coffee there seemed better as well). We also grabbed pizza at the Promenade restaurant for a late lunch after port day and found it to be very good. We went to most of the shows except the last night as we were tired and busy packing. I liked the first night show with the acrobats and comedian. I really liked the ice show and El Gaucho. I also enjoyed the second comedian and repeated acrobat performance. My least favorite was the Marque show and the singer - not that they were bad - just not for me. I also didn't care for the Love and Marriage show - I think things like this should be alternative entertainment and not take up the "main show" for a night. Port and Excursion Reviews: Aruba - this was my favorite port and excursion. We did a third party excursion with Dennis at Aruba Surf School - a private stand up paddle board excursion. It was just me and my teen daughter and we had never done this before. Dennis was an awesome instructor and had us paddling with ease in no time. He picked us up right outside the port and took us to the paddle location. The tour lasted about 2.5 hours and we ended up paddling about 3 miles along the coast line. He had drinks and water and then dropped us back at the pier. We grabbed lunch on the boat and then ventured back out - taking a bus to the butterfly farm and then bus back to pier/town where we shopped a little. Curacao - we did the Discover Curacao tour through Royal Caribbean. This included a stop at a small museum, the Hato Caves, and then the Blue Curacao Distillery with a liquor tasting. Each stop on the tour was somewhat average, but what made the tour for me was the tour guide on the bus. She was so informative with lots of history and how things are in Curacao and surrounding islands. I learned so much. Bonaire - we did a private third party tour with Brenda from H2O Visions. We did the 5 hour tour that included lots of sites on the south side of the island and two great shore snorkel stops. We saw the flamingos, salts fields, slave huts, etc - we stopped for photos and Brenda taught us all about the history of the island and the salt production. The two snorkel stops were awesome and she snorkeled with us and pointed out things we might not have seen without her - like a hawksbill turtle, two spotted eels, an octopus mating, etc. There were lots of fish and the snorkeling was fun. She provided all the gear and had drinks and snacks for us as well. St. Marten - we did the Americas Cup Sailing Regatta that we booked through Royal Caribbean. This was really fun. There are two sail boats and they split the group up between the two - you get to stay with your traveling companions. The captain assigns you a job and they teach you how to do it. You practice a little, then the count down begins and your off on your mini race. It was exciting and fun and for us a very close finish. They have non alcohol drinks on board and then when you're done they drop you at their shop for rum punch and you an purchase pictures on a flash drive for $20. However, they also offer to take pictures while you are one the boat with your camera - and they took a lot. I would highly recommend this excursion. San Juan - on disembarkation day we had a late flight and didn't want to sit at the airport as the boat docks at 6am. So we opted for a Royal Caribbean excursion so they would take our luggage to the airport. The one we opted for was San Juan on your own, but there were a few problems with this. You have to put your luggage out the night before and the excursion desk wasn't very informed on how the carryon luggage that you kept in your room (change of clothes, toiletries, etc) would be handled - how are your supposed to explore if you have to lug around a backpack or carryon. They led us to believe we could leave it on the bus - but that wasn't the case. We were told we had to take it with us. Now, you do meet up with your checked luggage as you take it through customs and you could but your carryon with your checked luggage to be transported to the airport before your get on the tour bus - it will be waiting for you at the airport when they drop you off and there is a rep there watching it the whole time. However, none of this was explained to us and we were mislead. And if there is anything you want to keep with you - you had to take it with you. They also led us to believe there would be two pick up times with the latest being 1pm. For us, there was no earlier time - only the one at 1pm. The tour operator told us it depends on how many people pick to do the excursion. So maybe, sometimes you can leave stuff on the bus, but this time we couldn't. You just can't count on it. We were stuck with our back packs to hoofed it to Barrachina restaurant where we stored them so we could walk around. It retrospect we would have been better off just taking a taxi from the pier straight to Barrachina and storing both our checked bags and carryons and then taking a taxi from there to the airport. Our tour picked us up at 1pm and dropped us at airport 20 min later. It wasn't crowed and we were through security and at our gate at 2pm for our 3:25pm flight - plenty of time. San Juan was hot and nothing was opened early in the morning. Finally, more shops and restaurants opened. Maybe the Bacardi tour would have been better - at least it was air conditioned and inside. Royal Caribbean puts their excursions on sale as you approach your sail date - I would say the closer you get the lower the price goes - we got ours for 30% off, I didn't see them lower and I checked frequently. All in all it was a great cruise. I would sail out of San Juan again, and I would sail with Royal Caribbean again. 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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
My family of five, two older daughters and a younger daughter of 12, sailed Freedom of the Seas to the Southern Caribean this past July. Unfortunately our cruise began with a death of a fellow passenger on the boat within just a few hours ... Read More
My family of five, two older daughters and a younger daughter of 12, sailed Freedom of the Seas to the Southern Caribean this past July. Unfortunately our cruise began with a death of a fellow passenger on the boat within just a few hours of arriving on the ship. This very much tainted the feelings around our entire vacation. This was our first cruise with Royal Caribean and to the Caribean. We had cruised to Alaska before with Princess and Holland America. Cabins: 5 Great cabins, we had adjoining rooms theough the balconies. We had no issues with our rooms. Dining: 2 The only food we really enjoyed was food in the main dining room. We found the buffet crowded all the time with very poor quality food. The food at the buffet seemed to stay the same from day to day with the same low quality. The restaurants that cost extra were good, but it seemed like they were trying to gorge you witth so much food. Embarkation: 3 Despite the death at the beginning of the cruise, the captain did his best to get the cruise to leave as timely as possible. I respect how well this cruise staff dealt with this tragedy and how this must have affected schedules/vacations/ect. Enrichment Activities: 1 It seemed like the only activities planned were trivia or things that cost money dealing with different shops on the boat. Entertainment: 1 The entertainment was awful. The shows were terrible, the ice show was terrible, the acts they brought on the boat such as an acapella group were also terrible. So disappointing! Service: 5 Our favorite part of this cruise were the different employees and how kind and helpful they were. We liked to hear their stories and where they were from. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose this cruise for the ports. We flew to Puerto Rico the day before and walked around site seeing on our own. Lots of places to shop and explore. We stayed at the Sheraton Old San Juan which is great for Carnival cruises but Royal ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the ports. We flew to Puerto Rico the day before and walked around site seeing on our own. Lots of places to shop and explore. We stayed at the Sheraton Old San Juan which is great for Carnival cruises but Royal Caribbean docks about 10 mins away and you’ll need to get a taxi, unfortunately. Embarkation was quick and we were onboard in no time! Shockingly, one of our suitcases made it to the cabin before we did and the other was delivered shortly after. Our cabin was ok. Nothing special. The balcony was a good size and the chairs were comfortable. This ship is older and needs the update it will soon be getting. Other areas of the ship weren’t that bad but the staterooms did make me cringe a little. It’s just dated and a little dirty. Our AC didn’t work well and it was hot and humid. We ate at Windjammer for breakfast and had no issues. Good food, huge variety. Lunches we were off the ship except for the one sea day and we ate at Sabor! It was amazing! Loved the guacamole. Unfortunately, I read this restaurant will be going away with the upcoming remodel. For dinner we would go to the dining room during the my time. It was always busy and they take reservations so plan to make them or you will be waiting for a table but one seated, service was top notch and food was typical. One evening we had dinner at Chops. It was the best steak I’ve had in a long time! Service was great as well. There wasn’t much in the evenings. We always seemed to miss stuff. However, we did see the ice show which was great and also another production show which was ok. I loved that they served popcorn and candy ($2.50 extra). It’s worth the little extra! We were late arriving to St Maarten and had a diving excursion booked through RC. They should have cancelled the dive. We were only under water for 8 mins and then back up and loaded back in the boat. Very disappointed. St Kitts we found a tour guide once off the ship and went to a beach. Wasn’t impressed with where he took us at all. I should have done more research. Antigua was great! We did the lobster and catamaran cruise through RC. It was amazing! The first beach they took us too was the most perfect place. The second beach wasn’t as nice and there were jelly fish swimming around in the water. Food was great and drinks were strong! St Lucia was the prettiest place I’ve ever been. Picture perfect and breathtaking. We booked an excursion on our own using JJ Speedboat Tours. It was perfect! Highly recommend this company! Barbados we did the Jolly Rogers Pirate Adventure booked through RC. It was a blast. You can walk the plank and swing from a rope swing. They serve lunch (additional) and also a short snorkeling excursion. Staff were friendly and drinks were strong (and included). The one sea day didn’t have much going on. We got a massage and then napped. Disembarkation was quick. Definitely use a porter and you will skip the line! Maybe one day we will do it again to do the ABC islands but it’s just too busy and I’m tried. I need more sea days on my cruises. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
Our family of 10 cruised out of San Juan for my parents' 50th wedding anniversary and had a great time. Embarkation - We arrived at 10:45am to check-in and it was a breeze. People were there, but there was only 1 family waiting in ... Read More
Our family of 10 cruised out of San Juan for my parents' 50th wedding anniversary and had a great time. Embarkation - We arrived at 10:45am to check-in and it was a breeze. People were there, but there was only 1 family waiting in front of us. We waited around for 15 minutes and they let us in. We spent the afternoon exploring the ship, eating lunch, and it was nice to not be rushing, rushing, rushing in crowds... just taking our time and getting to know where everything was. Room - We had our first balcony and it was nice to have extra room, but I wouldn't pay for it next time. We hardly spent any time out there or in our room. I slept like a baby all week between the beds being very comfortable and the ship rocking me to sleep. I wish the shower was a bit bigger though. Also, the ship is going in for a rehab and it's time for an upgrade. Food & Beverage - The buffet was a typical buffet. I never found anything that ever bit me and said - WOW, I am fabulous. We had dinner in the formal dining room every night and two mornings of breakfast. Our servers were very attentive and everything I chose was outstanding. I thought the variety was a little lax because 5 years ago when we cruised, there was more fish, cold soups, fresher fruit, and things were overall a bit tastier and more appetizing. Maybe the head chef changed? Everyone at our table got an extra lobster tail that night, and sometimes extra deserts. OH, do NOT forget to try the warm dark chocolate chip cookie. Best desert of the week. Not a cookie, but complete heaven. Their beef stroganoff was not stroganoff, so be careful what you think your dinner will be. The pizza shop on the promenade was part of the package (not a specialty shop), but it tasted like frozen pizza so you can skip it. Some bar staff make tasty drinks, others water it down so good luck finding the right person. Activities - Several of us tried the wave runner and rock climbing wall. Those were fun and now I can saw I did those. We played shuffle board, basketball, the pool, several games in the clubs (family and adult). Most times the pool wasn't overly packed, except don't go to the pool on the ocean day - it was packed and just not enjoyable. Teen Club - Be Careful! Our teens enjoyed themselves overall because they met kids their own age. The older child made lots of friends and although I didn't feel comfortable, had free reign to walk around wherever he wanted. I would have preferred adult supervision. The younger child got into a confrontation and started getting bullied and there was no adult around for support, including when it got physical. Fortunately, his brother was around at the time. We got no phone call, just a report from my kids that one was hurt. It's nice to have something like this if it is run right and adults are around to run the activities, not just let them run around. Staff - Everyone we met was very courteous and helpful. We had a special request to have our balcony doors locked so the kids couldn't go out on the balcony while we were sleeping and that was helpful. When one person got sick for 24 hours, the doctor's office was helpful and they took good care of that family member. We always came back to a clean, made-up room and that was nice. Excursions - It was HOT! We sweat all week. Going to a beach? You have to pay $22+ for a beach chair and umbrella or risk getting third degree burns even with suntan lotion on. If you take a van/car somewhere for your excursion, it's the Caribbean and they were all a bit run down, so don't expect too much air conditioning, which can lead to car sickness (1/2 of the 12 on our bus were ready to pass out). Some islands are not as wealthy as others, so don't expect all touristy, rich looking, colorful buildings. It's safer booking excursions than hopping on a taxi where you could get mugged or left somewhere with no help. Many have driving on the left side of the road, so just expect it. Be safe! Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
I recently disembarked a 7 night sailing from Puerto Rico on Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas. During this cruise, we visited St. Maarten, St. Kitts, Antigua, St. Lucia and Barbados. Just for reference, I’ve been on almost 20 ... Read More
I recently disembarked a 7 night sailing from Puerto Rico on Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas. During this cruise, we visited St. Maarten, St. Kitts, Antigua, St. Lucia and Barbados. Just for reference, I’ve been on almost 20 cruises with various different cruise lines and this was my second time sailing with Royal Caribbean. I traveled with a group of 17 people. Embarkation: This was my first time sailing from the Panamerican cruise port in San Juan, Puerto Rico. We picked up a taxi from our hotel that was across the street (Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel & Casino) and arrived at the pier by 11:15am. Once you get to the port, you need to drop off your luggage in the area designated for the deck your cabin is on. After that, you can head inside, go through security, straight on line for check-in and SetSail Pass pick up, take your welcome aboard picture and head straight onto the ship. It literally went exactly that way. There was no stopping in between or anything. Like I mentioned, we were dropped off at 11:15am and were onboard the ship at 11:30am. The process was easy and so smooth. Dining: During our cruise, we selected the traditional early seating dining (6:00pm) and were assigned Galileo’s Dining Room on Deck 5. We ate here every night of the cruise and I thought the food tasted very good. Sometimes it was a bit fancy, but I would order things plain or without certain things and the staff was only too happy to meet my request. Our wait staff, Danisha and Pavlo, were awesome! They were always one step ahead getting our drinks and bread. Pavlo was actually in Windjammer in the morning and was amazing there as well. Whenever he would see us, he would start getting the drinks he knew we wanted or helped us find seats. Speaking of the Windjammer, this is where we had both breakfast and lunch everyday. The food here was good. They had some items that were the same everyday with a few newer items mixed in, but the food always tasted good. Some other places we visited during the cruise were Sorrento’s, Promenade Cafe and Ben & Jerry’s. The pizza at Sorrento’s was fine. I am a bad judge since I am a New Yorker and slightly bias. Promenade Cafe had great specialty coffees and it was the only place onboard where I could find chocolate chip cookies! Ben & Jerry’s required a slight up charge but had a multitude of options such as cups, waffle cones and sugar cones. For a minimal fee, I think it was totally worth it to say I had Ben & Jerry’s on a cruise ship! Packages Offered: I purchased 3 packages for our cruise prior to sailing. The packages were the Deluxe Beverage Package, the VOOM Surf & Stream Package and the All Digital Photo Package. The Deluxe Beverage Package includes alcoholic beverages such as mixed drinks, glasses of wine and beers plus specialty coffee and bottled water. I personally highly recommend purchasing it prior to your cruise as the Cruise Planner sometimes has some great deals on it and you won’t have to pay full price. Given all the package offers, I believe it is definitely worth it and makes your cruise easier. If you have the package, there is no need to sign every time and keep track of receipts. The VOOM Surf & Stream Package is the internet package on board Freedom of the Seas. During my last sailing on Anthem of the Seas, I purchased the same package as well and thought it was quicker on that ship. I still believe it’s worth it and that you should get it, but keep in mind if you've been on newer ships, it might be slower on Freedom. The All Digital Photo Package allows you to receive all of your pictures from the cruise digitally. On Freedom of the Seas, you have to make sure all of your photos are linked to your account and 4-7 days after the cruise you will receive a link with the photos for download. Given the price of each picture is around $20, if you take 10 photos you’ve made the package worth it. Keep in mind this package is a good $50-$100 more on board the ship than on the Cruise Planner so if you are considering purchasing it, then do it prior to your cruise. Entertainment & Activities: As always Royal Caribbean delivers in the entertainment department. The two main stage shows, Marquee and Once Upon a Time, featured amazing singers and actors. Another treat on this ship is the ice show, Freedom-Ice.com, which was an ice skating show. It was excellent and the fact that these people can ice skate on a moving ship while doing different tricks seriously amazes me. Entertainment on other nights included a magician, a comedian and an acapella group, MO5AIC, which was awesome. In terms of other events, there was RED, which is described as a high performance nightclub experience, a silent disco, a 70’s party and a caribbean party. Spearheading these parties and events was our super energetic cruise director, Katie. Whether she was leading off The Crazy Quest, a hilarious and fun adult game show, or was dressed as a Police Officer from the Village People, she was always around. Like most ships, there were always tons of bars and lounges to hang out. While I didn’t utilize these facilities, Freedom of the Seas also has a FlowRider and Rock Climbing Wall as well as an opportunity to ice skate at the rink, Studio B. Ports of Call: Philipsburg, St. Maarten Our first stop was Philipsburg, St. Maarten. Since I was there a few years ago, we kind of relaxed for the day and spent it at the area in front of the cruise port. St. Maarten has some great places to shop and pick up souvenirs so if you aren’t into touring or doing anything crazy, the port is a great area to hang out. Basse-terre, St. Kitts & Nevis Next up was Basse-terre, St. Kitts and Nevis. Once again, we didn’t want to do anything too crazy here so we kind of kept the day casual and walked around the cruise port. Now, I do want to mention, St. Kitts can get kind of crazy when you get off the ship with people trying to sell you tours. Once you get into the area of the stores, you should be ok, but the walk from the welcome building to the stores consists of lots of people shouting and pestering you to take their tour. St. John, Antigua To add a bit of variety into our week, we decided to visit a beach in Antigua. After doing some research onboard, we decided to visit Dickenson Bay in Antigua. It was relatively easy and cheap to pick up a cab once we disembarked the ship. The cab ride was also pretty quick, maybe a 15 minute drive. The beach is beautiful and located right next to Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa (which looks beautiful). While there are some people on the beach selling items, if you tell them you aren’t interested they don’t persist. You are able to purchase chairs and umbrellas here, which was good. The water was absolutely beautiful and I really enjoyed spending the day at this beach. Castries, St. Lucia: St. Lucia impressed from the minute I opened my balcony. The scenery was just beautiful. Even though we only spent the day in the shopping area by the ship, I think it would be a great island to explore. It offered some beautiful scenery and was clean. Bridgetown, Barbados: For our final port of call, we decided to do an Island Tour through Royal Caribbean. The tour was called Barbados Highlights and we stopped at 3 main areas: Gun Hill Signal Station, Bathsheba Beach and Farley Hill National Park. Our tour guide was great and was very knowledgeable about every location we went to. Cabin: Our cabin this year was a Junior Suite located on deck 9. The room was a great size for 3 adults for a week. The sofa pulled out into a full size bed which was a nice size. The highlight of our stateroom was our Room Steward, Randy Cato. If you have Randy as your room steward, you are one lucky person. He is the best. Aside from the fact that he kept the room immaculate, he was always waiting to greet us in the hall, whether it was morning or night and always there with a smile. You knew when Randy was around because you could hear him in the hallway saying hello to everyone he could. I can’t say enough good things about him. Final Thoughts: As always, Royal Caribbean provided a wonderful vacation onboard Freedom of the Seas for my family and me. The ports were wonderful, the crew was amazing as was the entertainment and the ship, which made the experience awesome! If I had the chance again, I would definitely sail from San Juan on a Royal Caribbean cruise. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
I chose this cruise for the ports and excursions. For me, the ship is often just a means of getting to excursions. I plan my excursion so that they are all different and hopefully unique, with a mix of active and less active tours. That ... Read More
I chose this cruise for the ports and excursions. For me, the ship is often just a means of getting to excursions. I plan my excursion so that they are all different and hopefully unique, with a mix of active and less active tours. That was difficult to do on this trip, as two of our five excursions were cancelled at the last minute, forcing us to scramble for others. The entertainment was so-so, with most of the comedians the worst of all. Technical difficulties tripped up the RC singers and dancers. The promenade was unbelievably crowded and loud; even young people were complaining about the volume. Making our way through the crowds was treacherous, and we could see several small children with their parents almost get run over by the crowds. Activities on the ship were mainly geared toward spending money in the shops, casino, spa, and restaurants. We always enjoyed dance classes and games on other ships. They were very scarce (only 1 dance class at an awkward time) on this cruise. Plumbing on Freedom was sketchy at best. At times we would flush the toilet and it would actually flush 3-5 minutes later. We spent WAY too much time at the service desk. Our worst experience was finding a mysterious bottle of champagne and 3 bottles of water in our cabin labelled "Complements of Crown and Anchor Society" for which the ship wanted to charge us! We were eventually able to argue them out of it. Please form your own opinion but, for us, we plan never to sail on Freedom again. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We wanted to try a new cruise line. Previously have cruised with Carnival. Love the ports of call for this cruise. Embarkation and disembarkion were extremely smooth and quick. The ship is beautiful. I have read reviews that adult pool ... Read More
We wanted to try a new cruise line. Previously have cruised with Carnival. Love the ports of call for this cruise. Embarkation and disembarkion were extremely smooth and quick. The ship is beautiful. I have read reviews that adult pool area was overcrowded, but I only found this to be true a couple times. The hot tubs were hot which was nice. Food in main dining and the Wind Jammer was average and not on par with Carnival Dream or Conquest. Bar staff was slow in most places. Though I did not attend, my travel companions said the ice skating show was very good. We participated in a table tennis and a volleyball tournament. Neither were run very well. Almost like staff had never done it before. The last day of the cruise I got sick. I am not a needy or complaining type of traveler and do not ever ask for extra assistance of any kind. So, when I went to the infirmary it was because I knew I was extremely sick with something. The door was locked and had a list of times that it was open. What the heck! Be aware you can only be sick from 8 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. and then not again until after 4 p.m. I asked a passing staff member for help as I really felt like I might pass out. He opened the door and let me in. He spent a couple minutes talking with infirmary staff but I could not hear. There was a mom and little boy ahead of me. I sat there shaking uncontrollably and terribly ill. The boy was called in and after I was sitting there for over 30 minutes with no one saying a word to me, a staff member (nurse?) came out and looked at me and said “You have to leave.” “You came in after 11, you need to leave and come back at 4.” Now I wish I had given her a few choice words, but I was speechless and on the verge of tears. I sat there shaking and she said “Is this an emergency?”. I told her I had multiple bouts of diarrhea and she reluctantly agreed to look at me. She barely spoke to me and with no real explanation told me I would be quarantined to my room. She gave me Imodium and an anti nausea medication and told me to go. I personally thought hooking me up to some saline was warranted but what the heck do I know. Got multiple calls to make sure I stayed in my room. I was so sick that all I could do is stay in bed anyway, so the quarantine was not a problem and luckily it was the last day anyway. So I will not cruise with Royal again because of the awful way I was treated when I was obviously sick and in great distress. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
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
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
I choose this cruise because the port of call. It was our 4th cruise 2 with royal Caribbean. The highlight of our trip was dining at main dining room wilfred from india and Jose from the Dominican republic made this cruise 4 stars. Food ... Read More
I choose this cruise because the port of call. It was our 4th cruise 2 with royal Caribbean. The highlight of our trip was dining at main dining room wilfred from india and Jose from the Dominican republic made this cruise 4 stars. Food was surprisingly good and Wilfred was always so helpful with recommendations. We ate there everyday, the kindness and superb service was the best we ever had in a cruise. Bottom line freedom of the seas is an old ship but doable. Food at the buffet breakfast was limited and the same menu for the entire cruise. Shows were just ok, ice show and the comedian kilby was the only one good. I know people complain about announcement about activities but here was super lacking we never knew what was taking place if didn't check the paper. After cruising with Norwegian, royal Caribbean felt flat. Norwegian cruise made me feel like a queen they where always in party mode and Im a middle age lady. Every time we returned to the Norwegian ship from excursion it was a party waiting to greet us they reallyseen happy i was back. Sorry royal Caribbean must of the staff dont look happy. The entertainment for teens were lacking activities, my daughter went one night and found a small group of teenagers kissing and without supervision. As a result my 13year old daughter spent all cruise qith my husband and I. I also want to send a shout out to the singing chef that performed by the pool, your rendition of shine bright like a diamond was amazing sorry Rianna. Lol Read Less
9 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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
Sure excursions were great, except for mini speedboat experience as our boat was not working properly. My husband loved all the food, however as I am gluten-free I felt the options were limited and flavor lacking. The ship was ... Read More
Sure excursions were great, except for mini speedboat experience as our boat was not working properly. My husband loved all the food, however as I am gluten-free I felt the options were limited and flavor lacking. The ship was well-maintained and never felt too crowded. Entertainment was very good, Especially rock show and comedian. Did not like having to walk through the casino to get to the theater on one of the floors. Our cabin was fine, interior and felt spacious enough for us. Over all the servers in the buffet, While nice enough we’re not very knowledgeable about gluten-free, or ingredients in any of the food. The dining Aimed to please, and they did take my gluten-free need seriously, however the chefs need to have a better understanding of what gluten-free is to know that I can have seasoned food instead of the bland food I was served. Also very limited vegetables both in the buffet in the dining room unless you ask for them. Read Less
6 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
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
My friend & I chose this cruise specifically for the ABC Islands and St Maarten itinerary. We both prefer Carnival, but the dates and prices were right on for this one. Overall it was a great time! ** See my port reviews ** We flew ... Read More
My friend & I chose this cruise specifically for the ABC Islands and St Maarten itinerary. We both prefer Carnival, but the dates and prices were right on for this one. Overall it was a great time! ** See my port reviews ** We flew in the day of the cruise from Ft Lauderdale. Took a cab to the port. NO lines anywhere, since ship departs at 8pm. Dropped off our bags around 3pm, and found the room. Then got another cab to head to downtown Old San Juan. Went to the street with the umbrellas to take some pics. Walked from there down the cobblestone roads. Made it back to the ship around 6:15 pm. ** We missed the safety briefing!! ** (not on purpose, but it was an added BONUS!) We were invited to a "private" safety briefing in a nice comfortable air-conditioned conference room with about 25 other late-comers. So much better! Had the early seating (6pm) for dinner. I wish we had chosen the late; we always seemed to be rushing to get ready, then would be full and tired by 8:30pm and want to sleep by about 9:30pm (!) HA! But the service at the Main Dining Room was superb!! Food was what you expect for cruising. My favorite is always the pork chop. Didn't care for any of the desserts - ended up ordering chocolate ice cream and choc chip cookies like I saw kids getting! We signed up in advance for the Guacamole Class at SABOR, the Mexican Restaurant, for one of our sea days, which turned out to be a pleasant surprise. For the cost to just eat there (around $30 pp) we got the "class", making our own big bowl of guacamole. They also showed how to make three different types of margaritas. Then everyone was offered any of those margaritas - as many as you like. We got appetizers, main course, and dessert. I loved their mini churros with dark chocolate dipping sauce! Glad we did it. Entertainment was pretty good. At the Welcome Aboard Show, the comedian was great -- Monique Marvez. There was an aerial act also -- Jimmy and Anna -- they were awesome! The band out by the pool was wonderful -- One Love -- played Caribbean music. Loved the ice skating show!! Just show up at least 15 minutes early by the doors so you get a seat when they open. There was a funny activity going on when we waited one night, "If You Know It, Sing It". Hilarious to watch! I was bummed that there was no water slide, but oh well. I tried to go up and walk/jog every morning on the track, but there is one section that is like a wind tunnel - crazy! The exercise equipment looked pretty good, but I'm not a gym person. The ship is easy to learn your way around. Not enough outdoor space or windows for me though. I do like that you can walk out from Deck 4 or 5 forward to the bow where the Helipad is. Many people don't know how to get there. Debarkation was relatively organized. Only stood in lines for about 20 - 30 minutes total. I would take this cruise again, just for the itinerary. Port are great! Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
My wife and I chose this cruise because of the itinerary and we like RC and the ships.We sailed on Oasis of the Seas 2 years ago and loved it.We were also looking forward to going to Puerto Rico.We flew down the day before and got a great ... Read More
My wife and I chose this cruise because of the itinerary and we like RC and the ships.We sailed on Oasis of the Seas 2 years ago and loved it.We were also looking forward to going to Puerto Rico.We flew down the day before and got a great recommendation from the Hotel staff on places to eat where we could get authentic PR food.The food and service were outstanding.The people we met were very friendly and welcoming.Embarkation was smooth and we were on the ship within 20 minutes.The ship is overall good.We found the staff to be friendly and helpful.We went to the majority of the shows and found them to be good.We did not spend a lot of time at the pools because of the crowds and we had excursions planned for most days.This cruise went to Aruba,Curaçao,Bonaire and St.Maarten.We liked Aruba the best because of the beautiful beaches.St.Maarten has some work to do as it is still in bad shape in some places.The biggest issue we had and people we talked to said the same thing and that was the quality of the food.Windjammer had the same food every day and the crowds were rude and that’s putting it mildly.We ate in the main dining room every night and although there were different options each night,it was always room temperature at best. I understand feeding 4000 people isn’t easy but we didn’t have a single meal that was memorable.That wasn’t the case on Oasis.The last night I ordered the Chops filet with an up charge of $17 and even it was cold.The other major issue we had was the constant up selling to buy a specialty restaurant package the staff does.They even interrupt you while you’re trying to eat.Cruising is still a great option and at some point we might try it again but we will have to decide if we want to try another cruise line or if we just chalk it up to being this particular ship. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
My friend and I chose this repositioning cruise because of the great itinerary and even better price. Embarkation was relatively quick and straightforward; complicated only by unprofessional and unpleasant power-mad ground staff in the ... Read More
My friend and I chose this repositioning cruise because of the great itinerary and even better price. Embarkation was relatively quick and straightforward; complicated only by unprofessional and unpleasant power-mad ground staff in the holding area. Once onboard, we soon had a drink in hand and were exploring the ship (second time on this ship for me). The ship is elegant, clean and well set out. It is easy to get around - we chose a cabin at the back of the ship for ease in getting to the Windjammer, MDR and Diamond club. While slightly tucked away, interior cabin 9477 was comfortable, clean and so quiet! My bed was on its last legs and needed to be replaced but I still slept well. We struggled a little for storage and only had 6 coat hangers between 2 of us. We asked for more but received only plastic hangers for trousers which were no use to 2 females, so get in early with your hanger requests if you are short. The pool and sun decks were great, but good luck in trying to get a Solarium sunbed in the sun after 7am... I was pleased that Royal has turned down the volume on the outdoor pool screen - so much more peaceful than with that noise blasting out. The bar staff all over the ship were friendly and quick. The shows in the theatre were a bit hit and miss with some of the singers being better than others. There were also a number of one-off shows which clashed with second seating dinner, which was annoying. I was disappointed that there was only 1 ice show on a 12 night cruise and I question what is the point in having an ice rink and skaters if not to perform? Some of the comedians were funny, others less so. I guess that comes down to personal taste. The piano singer in the Schooner bar was great and we enjoyed the various parties on the Promenade. The food on this ship was outstanding. The food and service in the MDR was fantastic and the quality and choice in the Windjammer was impressive. We also enjoyed the snacks on the Promenade for lighter bites. In my view, there is no need to pay for speciality dining on this ship, the food is so good. We attended the Murder Mystery evening at Giovanni’s Table and had a great time with unlimited wine and great fun. Save for the filet mignon which is charged extra in the MDR, the food was no better than in the MDR, so if I’d just paid for standard speciality dining, I would have been pretty peeved. The Murder Mystery is a lot of fun so I would recommend it, if it’s your kind of thing. Aruba, Curacao and St Thomas were beautiful islands. Jolly Beach in Antigua was simply amazing. In Bonaire, we rented a golf buggy (Bonaire Cruisers) and explored the island at our leisure. This was a really fun way to explore the island and I would highly recommend it. It would just have been nice to have more time on all of the islands. The port days seemed to be pretty short. I love this size of ship as I find cruising to be more relaxing when there is no schedule to keep to, with shows etc booked months in advance due to the number of people onboard. I also noted throughout the cruise that the crew were happy in their roles and nothing was too much trouble for them, which created a really pleasant and relaxed atmosphere onboard. I’m not sure that is always the case on the Oasis class ships. Overall we had a fantastic cruise with wonderful food and drink, beautiful ports of call and good entertainment. I would happily cruise on the Adventure again. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
This was a 12 day southern repositioning cruise that I really didn’t have high expectations for because I knew it was a smaller and older ship. But let me tell you Royal Caribbean really makes sure to keep the old looking new. The food ... Read More
This was a 12 day southern repositioning cruise that I really didn’t have high expectations for because I knew it was a smaller and older ship. But let me tell you Royal Caribbean really makes sure to keep the old looking new. The food was great and the buffet had a different theme of food every night, so there was always food for everyone’s taste. The staff was the best I have encountered on all of my cruises, and the room was very spacious and was extremely comfortable. The shows were okay. That’s probably the biggest complaint I have is the fact that most the shows were just musicals and not really what my family and I enjoyed. Except the hypnosis show which was probably one of the best I've seen on any ship. They had plenty of activities throughout the day and night, and the itinerary was great. Overall, this was one of the best cruises my family and I took and we can’t wait to get on the adventure again! Read Less
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