Freedom of the Seas Review and Pictures

January 2016...Wow!  What a ship!

It’s been since 2016 that I’ve been on Freedom of the Seas, but since we’re going to be back on her in April 2018, I thought I’d do some reminiscing.  After we sail on her, I’ll do some updating of this review.

My first thought when I boarded Freedom was “This is what a Cruise ship is supposed to look like!”  Before that, we’d always sailed on Carnival, and while Carnival is good, Freedom of the Seas was WOW!  I especially loved the Promenade, with all its shops and restaurants and glitter.  There was just so much to see, and so much to take in. 

We had a balcony cabin on Freedom of the Seas.  What I remember about that is that it was more spacious than I thought it would be, and that the balcony was bigger than the Carnival ship balconies that I’d been on before.  I also liked that it had sliding glass doors, instead of the door that opened inwards on the Carnival ships. That way you could keep them open if you wanted to. Another thing that we liked on Freedom was that there was sliding door on the shower, instead of a shower curtain.  That made for a lot less water mess spilling out onto the floor.  Also, in the cabin and in the bathroom there are a ton of little cupboards with doors to put things in and there’s plenty of storage space.  The bathroom had mirrors that opened up like medicine cabinets to put toiletries and medications in.  You didn’t have to worry about everything falling off the shelves in rough seas.  Also, this ship was the smoothest riding ship I’ve ever been on.  You barely knew you were on a ship.  The mattress / pillows weren’t quite as comfortable as Carnival, but still they were plenty comfortable.  I was kind of disappointed that we didn't get as many towel animals as usual, but what we got was nice.

The food was good.  We had set our dining time to 5:30 in the main dining room.  The first day that we got there we requested to be sat with others so we could get to know some of the other cruisers.  We always enjoy this.  However, the hostess did not want to do this for some reason.  Luckily, the couple behind us, and the couple behind them, said that we could all sit together.  That turned out to be a very enjoyable group for the rest of the cruise.  The dining room is beautiful.  We weren’t quite as happy with our head waiter.  He was okay, but didn’t make the effort that most waiters would make to get to know us and would disappear.  The other two waiters were good, and made sure that we were taken care of.  On elegant night some of the party had more escargot and lobster tail than they could eat, the waiters kept bringing it out to them.  We were a bit disappointed that the waiters didn’t really do the dancing that Carnival waiters do, but then, Carnival is the Fun Ship, Royal Caribbean is a step up, with a bit more class. 

We enjoyed the Windjammer Café (the Lido Buffet).  We always had breakfast there, and usually lunch.  And then in the evening we started going in after the show for some decaf coffee and dessert, and we met a young waiter who took a shine to us.  His name was Vherr, I don’t remember where he was from but I think that I would have adopted him if I could have.  He was the best Royal Caribbean employee on that ship in my opinion, and we became very fond of him and eventually just went to the Windjammer to see him.  He’d even seek us out at breakfast.  After a couple of days he started looking forward to our visit, and would even have a table ready for us.  I hated saying goodbye to him.  I hope that he’s fulfilled his plan of working two years, and then going home to his family to start a business. 

Sorrento’s was pretty good, it was nice to just stop in and grab a piece of pizza.  And the Promenade Café is a nice place to just people watch.  You can go in and get coffee or tea, and a dessert.  There is also a Starbucks that costs extra.  Didn’t try Johnny Rockets, which is extra, but I hear that breakfast is included in the fare, so we’re going to try that next time.

One thing that surprised me on Freedom was that the Captain was so accessible and friendly.  We got to meet him. He was from Canada, which was surprising, since it seems like most ship Captains are from Italy. This is the first time that we got to meet the Captain of any ship. I wish that I’d had my husband take our picture together.  I’d have loved it for my scrapbook. Next time!

We didn’t spend much time in the Casino, but it would definitely dazzle.  Mostly we just walked through it as little as possible because of the smoke.  I think I need a smoke free cruise.  Even if there is a smoke free part of the Casino, the smoke travels.

The children’s Dreamworks character parade was fun.  We don’t have little children anymore, but I still enjoy watching a good parade.  You can watch from the bridges above if you don’t want to get into the crowd.

We had managed somehow to get $300 in onboard credits for that cruise.  We decided to use most of it on excursions.  What I loved is that on the room TV you can book your excursions.  It’s very handy.  It has a guide that tells you where the excursion goes, and the details.  We ended up going to a Plantation House in Jamaica, which was really nice.  Jamaica outside of Falmouth was beautiful.  Falmouth itself is kind of scary. We did an island tour in Cozumel, including the San Gervaiso Mayan Ruins and the chocolate factory.  We also stopped on RC’s private beach area in Labadee, Haiti.  We didn’t do much there, just went through the shops and market.  It’s a nice area with plenty of beach chairs.  RC also serves food on the beach that is included in your fare.

The shows were definitely a step up from Carnival.  The theater was beautiful, and doubled as a movie theater.  We actually watched "The Martian" in 3D there, which was a lot of fun.  They have an ice skating show that I wanted to see, but there was so much to do that we just never found the time. You will not get bored on Freedom of the Seas.

We didn’t do the rock wall.  I wanted to, but again, just not enough time to do everything.  That is one big ship. The adults only area was a little disappointing.  It was adults only, but kids had to come through the area (well, they didn’t have to, but they did) to get to the buffet or to the kids pool.  We didn’t spend any time there.  There seemed to be plenty of deck chairs. There is actually a Helipad on this ship.  It's great for stargazing because it's up front.  The ship actually had to turn around at one point because there were people in a raft in the middle of the ocean.  We watched from the Helipad area but never did find out exactly what was going on. According to maritime law, a ship has to come to the aid of anyone drifting in the ocean, and rightfully so.  It probably slowed us down for about an hour, then the Coast Guard came and rescued whomever was in the raft, and we were on our way again.

Well, I guess I remembered more than I thought I would.  It’s been fun going down memory lane.


Hover over the pictures below to see descriptions of the pictures.  Click on them to see bigger pictures.

  1. Freedom of the Seas, Royal Caribbean
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    Freedom of the Seas
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    Freedom of the Seas Cabin
  3. Freedom of the Seas, Royal Caribbean, Balcony
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    Freedom of the Seas balcony cabin
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    Freedom of the Seas Balcony
  5. Freedom of the Seas cabin, Royal Caribbean
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    Freedom of the Seas shower
  6. Freedom of the Seas, Royal Caribbean pictures
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    Freedom of the Seas Main Dining Room
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    Freedom of the Seas Main Dining Room
  8. Freedom of the Seas, Main Dining Room pictures
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    Main Dining Room, Freedom of the Seas
  9. Royal Caribbean, Freedom of the Sea pictures
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    Our Main Dining Room Staff
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    One of our waiters
  11. Royal Caribbean Pictures, Freedom of the Seas pictures
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    The WindJammer Buffet
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    The Windjammer
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    Thank you cake in the Windjammer on our last sea day
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    Windjammer, Freedom of the Seas
  15. Windjammer, Freedom of the Seas pictures, Royal Caribbean pictures
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    Fruit and Vegetable Sculpture
  16. Cafe Promenade, Freedom of the Seas pictures, Royal Caribbean pictures
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    Cafe Promenade, Freedom of the Seas
  17. Promenade, Freedom of the Seas pictures, Royal Caribbean pictures
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    Promenade, Freedom of the Seas
  18. Promendade, Royal Caribbean pictures, Freedom of the Sea pictures
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    Promenade car
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    Promenade, Freedom of the Seas
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    One of the pools, Freedom of the Seas
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    Kids pool area, Freedom of the Seas
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    Helecopter landing strip, Freedom of the Seas
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    Finding your way around the ship the high tech way
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    Flow Rider, surfing on a ship
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    Flowrider