Sail Date: March 2019
Chose it for the itinerary. This was my first cruise and I could not have been happier! Each and every ship employee I came in contact with went out of their way to make sure I had what I needed. I was impressed with how the crew would ... Read More
Chose it for the itinerary. This was my first cruise and I could not have been happier! Each and every ship employee I came in contact with went out of their way to make sure I had what I needed. I was impressed with how the crew would remember our names. Our cabin attendant (Reynaldo G) was the highlight!! He was always so happy eager to help in any way he could. The ONLY rude people I came in contact with were some of the passengers, never a crew member. I read reviews of people budging in line during the bag drop off but with that in mind our group was willing to "redirect" these people back to the end of the line. The check-in and check-out process was very well organized and went smoothly. The shows were amazing. We attended a comedian show and the ice show. The shore excursions reserved through the ship were very well organized. In two ports we didn't go through the ship and had no problems with the excursions we chose in port. The ship was immaculate but some areas were dated. I did hear that Freedom of the Seas was going into dry dock at the end of the year for an overhaul. The only "complaint" I had was the information meeting for St. Maarten. It was advertised as a 30 minute show to introduce us to things to do in St. Maarten but ended up being a 1 hour "show" talking about jewelry stores on the island. Granted, some of the deals were amazing but nowhere did the advertising mention this and again, it said 30 minutes, not 1 hour. All in all, I would certainly book through Royal Caribbean for my next cruise! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
I've sailed on the Oasis and Allure in the past which drew me to another RCI cruise. Definitely not the same food, service and feel of the big ships. I was expecting the same overall serivce but was disappointed in the food, service ... Read More
I've sailed on the Oasis and Allure in the past which drew me to another RCI cruise. Definitely not the same food, service and feel of the big ships. I was expecting the same overall serivce but was disappointed in the food, service and overall morale of the staff. The pressure of the diningroom staff to order and speed us through our dinner was disappointing as well. I understand the sittings required but I've never felt so rushed in my past cruises. Windjammer had a great variety but lacked taste and some food was dry. I know if food sits out for a long time, it dries out. Get that! The staff didn't seem to enjoy what they were doing. Glum faces and not very interative. There wasn't enough music playing. It needed to be more up-beat and lively. When we embarked from a port, a neighbouring Carnival cruise line had music playing, were passing out drinks and passengers were greeted by a dancing captain. Not a fan of being nickel and dimed for everything as well. We'll skip our next cruise with RCI and try Carnival. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
The class of the ship plus the itinerary was why we chose this cruise, Freedom is a larger size ship with a Royal Promenade. We like that set up. It does not have all the bells and whistles that the newest ships have but there are ... Read More
The class of the ship plus the itinerary was why we chose this cruise, Freedom is a larger size ship with a Royal Promenade. We like that set up. It does not have all the bells and whistles that the newest ships have but there are certainly enough to keep us happy. The entertainment choices were all good especially the ice show. The main dining food was tasty and the choices we tried were good for the most part. Our cabin steward was excellent and readily met our special requests. Our dining room waiters and assistants were beyond accommodating. One evening we ate in the specialty restaurant Chops for an intimate steak dinner. WOW. We especially love the southern Caribbean itineraries and have done them several times. We love Barbados, Aruba, and St Maartens the most but each island has its own special uniqueness. We were able to meet so many interesting people on this cruise and made some friends.. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
This was our first experience on a RCI Ship, and we chose this cruise both to try the cruise line and because of the itinerary. We have previously cruised on Carnival, Princess and Celebrity. My initial impression was less than ... Read More
This was our first experience on a RCI Ship, and we chose this cruise both to try the cruise line and because of the itinerary. We have previously cruised on Carnival, Princess and Celebrity. My initial impression was less than positive. My daughter had bought us a gift certificate as a Christmas gift, and I activated it online. I didn't receive any confirmation so I called the customer service line to follow up. After waiting on hold for some time, I was told to call back in a week. This happened two more times before I was told to inquire at check-in. I did, and was told I had to check in with the guest relations onboard. Upon checking with guest relations onboard, I was told to check back after five the next day. Get the idea? I was finally able to confirm the next day by checking my online account. Sadly, this type of disorganization continued through the cruise. I found the customer facing staff friendly and wanting to help, but simply not prepared to answer questions consistently. Muster was a hot mess with different staff directing passengers with conflicting instructions. When we showed up for our first dinner in the main dining room, we discovered they had placed my husband and I at different tables (on different floors). Fortunately, they remedied this quickly. The positives: The ship was beautiful and well-laid out. Rooms (we were in a balcony) were comfortable and spacious. Although the ship was an older one, it seemed to be well-maintained. We loved the Royal Promenade. I also really liked the way the main dining room felt cozy, despite accommodating so many passengers. Food was OK - about what you would expect. The entertainment was very good. We liked the ice show. We never visited the spa or the casino. I never saw any sign of a cruise director. Fellow passengers were a very diverse group with lots of families. Way more kids than I'd expect on an early February cruise, but they weren't disruptive. Staff was very safety conscious - life guards everywhere! Our room steward was amazing. Go Frank! Did one ship excursion in Aruba - the Helmet Dive at De Palm Island. One of the best excursions I've ever done! Other Negatives: We did feel "nickel and dimed" at every turn. On other cruises, there has been plentiful drinking water (because why would you want your passengers dehydrated?). Not so on this cruise. The few water stations we found would be empty and had to wait in a long bar line for a water (and sometimes had to buy a bottle of water instead). Initially I was encouraged by the many signs advising that "chair saving" would not be permitted; however, it was not enforced. Never was able to find a convenient deck chair after 10 AM. Overall- we had a great time. It was a caribbean cruise after all! But I did find that it lacked when compared to the similarly priced Carnival Cruises, and I will probably return to Carnival for the same price point. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
over all poor rating is due to my not find this ship to be is handicap friendly at all , and is was extremely hazardous . Automated door buttons don’t work , doors don’t open , there was a raised door sill into bathroom what made ... Read More
over all poor rating is due to my not find this ship to be is handicap friendly at all , and is was extremely hazardous . Automated door buttons don’t work , doors don’t open , there was a raised door sill into bathroom what made getting in there on knee scooter difficult , there was no seat in shower despite written request with reservations & request verification before sailing ( service desk said “ yes yes yes “ ) still had to contact housekeeping before one was found & brought to room , large square shower open into room on 2 sides, shower curtain only covers 1 side , so no mater how you work it 1/2 of bathroom drenched. As a right below knee amputee I found the entire ship is a trip hazard, it is covered in multiple floor elevation changes( Lumps Bumps and raised doorways ) with no variation in coloring as warning , my balance & Mobility are decent and yet I stumbled and tripped thought out the ship. people with canes , walkers , wheelchairs required assistants. Boarding the ship at EVERY port was humiliating, the metal hardware in my prosthstitic leg sets off the alarms , I understand the FULL strip & pat down the first couple of times ..... but the same crew , EVERY TIME ? 2 & 3 times a day for all 7 days ? I tried to explain , showed them how it fit , what the parts were ,,,, NO I got more action from the security lady then I did from my husband. Dining room : seating is So Packed & tight there is little room to navigate, constant bump & bang from waitstaff & next table Food so-so , English truffle , advertised as “ sponge cake marinated in sherry” was JELLO , if I wanted jello I would go to buffet. Waitstaff was wonderful, friendly.. to bad food did not love up to the waitstaff THE KEY :CHOPS on embarkation day was wonderful, but that was the only thing about “ THE KEY “ that worked , advanced easy access for boarding was a joke , there was a mass surge of humanity it resembled “ the running of the bulls “ and Handicap, mobility challenged or wheel chair cruisers were trampled , internet sucked , reserved hours for attractions were seldom, only one attraction a day ,always at inconvenient times, who wants to climb rock wall from 9-10 PM. The sit down breakfast was great , disembarkation was a bit smother , with only a couple hundred people standing on the stairs waiting for doors to open at 8am. luggage pick up quick & easy . We did a ships tour after disembarking and we went into San Juan and our luggage went to the airport . Evening movies on big screen were current movies , mission impossible, ant man , crazy Asians .....but they started at 6pm so anyone with early diner reservations only saw the end of them , no blankets, popcorn..... no “ movie under the stars “ Ports were great , did ship excursions in Bonaire & St Martian , (make your reservations online well in advance , most excursions were full at boarding ) there was no consistency with towels for excursions, pick them up on ship , pick them up off ship ...... get yours by the pool and if attendant asks you tell him your going to use them on board 24 hour coffee shop doesn’t start making ( real brewed ) coffee until 6:30 , they did have the strap coffee from buffet available earlier but no special coffees pastries are not made fresh but are frozen , Ice coffee is 2 punches on card , if you have a reusable straw bring it with you as paper ones on board collapse quickly we did not use pools , but there always seemed to be room , always a spot in one of the many hot tubs , children pool was colorful and fun ( very few kids , mostly to young for school ) even watched the scuba diving class one morning in the adult pool. Hubby is a cigar smoker , the smoking area on deck 11 was large , lounge chairs & tables , great ventilation , never smoky or stale , always clean ,covered ash trays emptied often Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
I traveled with a friend who is a cruise travel agent and a group of about 35 other friends who usually do at least one cruise a year. The agent arranges the cruise, independent excursions and travel to and from the ship. This is the ... Read More
I traveled with a friend who is a cruise travel agent and a group of about 35 other friends who usually do at least one cruise a year. The agent arranges the cruise, independent excursions and travel to and from the ship. This is the first cruise I have done on a larger ship. My other cruises have been on Azamara and Paul Gaugin which are small all inclusive ships. I tried this because the price was good, there were friends to travel with and I was glad to get away from the cold. The size of the ship was overwhelming at first. We had one sea day and it was difficult to find a place at a pool. We preferred the quiet pool but did watch the "belly flop" contest at the main pool. We diined together at the late setting. Some of the food was great, most was ok. Several evenings they had some kind of dining staff program that was disruptive since we were directly under a loud speaker and in an alcove. We could not see what was happening and it was difficult to enjoy our dinner with the commotion. The buffet was very busy for breakfast and lunch, most food was ok and there were a lot of choices. We did breakfast in the dining room several days and enjoyed it. We did one shore excursion on St Kitts that was a tour of the island and a visit to Brimstone Hill. Three other island excursions were private and arranged for our group. Entertainment was ok. I attended several programs and liked the ice show the best. They real emphasize shopping. The majority of the tv channels were about shopping and there were new shopping brochures every day. Service on the whole was great. We never got our room service breakfast the first day but it was ok the rest of the time. Our cabin attendant was great as were our dinner staff. They got an extra tip. I enjoyed the cruise and would cruise Royal again if the right opportunity comes up. I still prefer the smaller all inclusive ships especially Azamara. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
I was last on this ship 10 years prior, so I don't remember a lot of the specifics way back then. But do remember enjoying the ship then and I still do. It's in that nice "not too big, not too small" comfort area I ... Read More
I was last on this ship 10 years prior, so I don't remember a lot of the specifics way back then. But do remember enjoying the ship then and I still do. It's in that nice "not too big, not too small" comfort area I like. But it is showing its wear. I mean if that was my first cruise, I probably wouldn't have noticed, but after a bunch you subconsciously become a bit of a cruise snob. But I'm not going to sweat that stuff, so it's not worth listing. But the ship could use a weekend off (of course, it doesn't work like that) to have a few nuts and bolts cleaned up. But it's still super clean, still has the typical RCI staff and crew that always seem to enjoy every day on the job, and go out of their way to make your day. The food was still good, though there seemed to be less variety in the Windjammer as compared to prior cruises. Our kids loved Adventure Ocean as always. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We were in the 4 bedroom presidential suite doing the south Caribbean the past week. As I am sure there will be reviews on here about the passengers on this cruise, I had no issues and will focus on facts about the line, service and value ... Read More
We were in the 4 bedroom presidential suite doing the south Caribbean the past week. As I am sure there will be reviews on here about the passengers on this cruise, I had no issues and will focus on facts about the line, service and value of RCCL. We were 7 comprising of 2 senior ladies, their sons and wives and on grandchild 9 years of age. My wife and I and child cruise every year and have done simple like carnival victory to NCL Haven. This by a long shot was the worse cruise for value for dollars and service. Embarkment was chaos and no support for 2 members with special needs, even after indicating this at time of booking and every email through the 2 years worth of communication. But local Peurtaricans were given all access... I get it locals looking after their own...just realize when they advertise priority for suites...it does not apply until once through security. On board the ship is old but in fair shape on the service. And got to room with no issues. We get suites for the perks to make travelling easier as we have 2 cardiac 2 anxiety disorder a special needs kid and one mobility issue related to back. In this department there are no real perks minus one. We still got free room service. No dedicated staff for the room. Not even a visit by consierge. We had to go to home during his 3 hour window fos issues which was daily. Our room was not clean and our Stewart made no issue informing us we was just a cleaner. Yet underwear and cups from the previous week guess was under beds all week and only on final night we pointed this out while taking pictures for my blog. To be clear, we had issues from the first day with trying to get the hottub filled, only to have our Stewart forced back to our room to show us how to fill and unfill hottub...all week we did this ourself and also cleaned it ourself as he only cleaned it on last night tip night. Spa. Booked services for mother and her friend which they tried charging her and upselling for a cheaper service even though I had already paid. I have always sent my child and wife for s mani or pedi on formal night sea day in every line without issue. I had called and email management consierge and spa onboard over the year leading up and within the weeks before boarding to ensure my child was good. Emails confirmed service and payment made. Day of treatment was told my kid cant go and no refund was going to be issued, so my wife would need to get a lesser treatment or take another adult. After embarrassing the manager with copies of all emails every received and sent.. mix got a teen nail treatment. No apology from spa of note. Mother bought and paid for photo book. Last day they recharged her account and was trying to force her into more charges until I got involved with Dudley the cousiearge guy. 4 hours later charges were reversed. No apology from photo gu, just Dudley, like it was his fault. Only excursion we booked through ship was a joke. Bonaire highlight and chill beach. Bus went zooming by anything of interest and not spotting and they were booked with other groups. So it was a drive around the island learning about how evil "rich people" were and s drop off to a resort, which was nice btw. Finally we suspected issues with the AC as 2 persons had to use emergancy inhalers daily. One member got angania from air quality in room and coughing and only felt better on the deck or of the ship. We all now have been confirmed with bacterial infections on throats since returning.Thanks Royal. The good was the staff in the dining room. In all our cruises, never have I seen the main floor manager/head waiter at our table every night and helping out. Our staff all got to know us and really made sure we were looked after. So of the best staff ever. The ugly...So Royal has found out z new way to increase profit st the cost of its workforce. We were told by a few crew members that at the end of the cruise their would be a survey sent and if the average scores in their areas were below 75% they dont get paid. Any surveys not done count as well. So those graturities that are suppose to be used to pay staff are now finding their way into corporate hands... I for one will not cruise on Royal again and will be open and honest on all my media forms to offer factual information on this cruise company. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
We chose it mainly for the itinerary but also because we have not been on the Freedom Class. You had to look hard to know she was 12-13 years old. Very minor blemishes that I could see. It’s the first time I saw lifeguards and was very ... Read More
We chose it mainly for the itinerary but also because we have not been on the Freedom Class. You had to look hard to know she was 12-13 years old. Very minor blemishes that I could see. It’s the first time I saw lifeguards and was very surprised. All of the food we (4 adults) had was good. Maine lobster tails (no extra cost), what a treat. Windjammer was busy for the most part but we could always find a table. Keep walking as there is plenty of food and seating past the first station. If you sail out of Puerto Rico, be prepared for many from PR. I’m not saying it was bad but they do make announcements in both English and Spanish. We had to balcony cabins, center of hump. Our steward opened the balcony partition on request. Udine was a very sweet and wonderful cabin steward. We have been on the Allure and I did miss deck 8. Next up, Oasis and Symphony, we like mega! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We experienced less staff at dinner than were used to. Dishes were so long after the other. We waited so long for drinks at dinner, I started ordering two drinks at a time. The dining room ran out of my wine too. Breakfast doesn't ... Read More
We experienced less staff at dinner than were used to. Dishes were so long after the other. We waited so long for drinks at dinner, I started ordering two drinks at a time. The dining room ran out of my wine too. Breakfast doesn't start till 7:00 in Windjammer and 8:00 in the formal breakfast area. For us this was too late. I'm up to catch the sunrise every morning when I'm on vacation. I was starving before breakfast actually came. The trick to getting coffee before then is to order it from room service or go to the Promenade and get the free coffee in the espresso place or buy specialty coffee there 24/7. Room attendant was great! Rooms were clean. I told the cruise line i have to eat gluten free. I was not ever told they had gluten free section in the windjammer till second day, because I kept walking around asking if something was gluten free. I got frustrated with the staff not knowing, so they gave me the head waiter to assist me. He then told me about the gf section. There was nice choices there for main cuisine, but hardly any desserts. I mean I didn't just have dental work done, I do not want jello. Oh and bring your own toilet paper from home, there's will tear you up! Read Less
Freedom of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 5.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 5.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 3.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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