Life is like sailing. You can use any wind to go in any direction. – Robert Brault
Day six on Freedom of the Seas was a sea day. A sad day because it was our last day on the ship. We started out as usual at the Windjammer for breakfast. Windjammer’s food is really pretty good. We sat in our usual spot. We’ve gotten to know a crew member named Ronnie who is from the Philippines and works in the Windjammer. He came by with his cart of drinks and we talked for a while and I managed to get a picture of him for my scrapbook and then we took one together. He’s a really sweet guy.
Time to get ready to disembark
After that we had to go back to our cabin and start packing things for the trip home. At the end of the day we’ll have to put our luggage outside our door for the porters to pick up.
We got disembarkation luggage tags number 15, but we wanted a lower number so that we could leave earlier in the morning. My husband went down to guest services to see what he could do. We ended up with a number 3, which was practically one of the first numbers to be allowed to disembark the ship. They call the numbers the morning of disembarkation, and you can leave when they call your number. If you want to take your own luggage off the ship, you can leave earlier.
We put all of our dirty clothes in compression bags, and then pressed the air out of them. It saves space in the luggage for souvenirs. We got together everything that we could live without for the evening and the next morning, and got them packed in our large luggage. Everything else would have to fit in our carry on luggage for us to carry off the next morning. I also took down our cabin door decoration.
Our last day to relax
After that it was mostly a day to relax before our long drive home. I wanted to enjoy the balcony some more. It was a rainy day, so there wasn’t much to do outside anyway. I walked around and got some more pictures of the ship, then got one last ice cream cone on the pool deck.
Main Dining Room
We had dinner in the Main Dining Room again. We could have gone to the Windjammer, but I wanted to give our waitresses a little extra tip. Ni and Lina were very good waitresses, and very friendly. Dinner was Coconut Shrimp, just so-so and not enough sauce. My main course was turkey with dressing and mashed potatoes. Not bad. And then dinner was some sort of no sugar cream puffs with vanilla ice cream. I ate the ice cream, didn’t like the cream puff part. So, that was probably my least favorite meal of all the nights in the Main Dining Room.
Windjammer for dessert
We ran to the Windjammer to see if there was some other dessert that I’d like better. They had a sundae bar with different toppings, so I decided on that. While we were there they had a procession of the Chefs. They really do a good job in the Windjammer on Freedom of the Seas. I wasn’t as impressed on Oasis of the Seas. After that we went out to deck 4 to see if there was a sunset. We were on the smoking side, but we found that if we walked further to the back of the ship, it was very quiet and peaceful, and no smoke. So we sat there and relaxed a bit. Not much of a sunset, it was really cloudy.
Once Upon a Time
The production that night was Once Upon a Time. It was supposed to be the first showing of it, but I know that I’ve heard people talk about it before. It’s a comedy musical about different fairy tales. I did enjoy it, but I’m pretty sure that I’ve seen parts of it before. It must have been on Freedom last time we cruised her a couple of years ago. I know that the Pinocchio set was one I’d seen before. It really was a good show though. Lots of good actors in the cast.
Oh no…I packed the passports
Then we ran back to our room to finish up the last little bit of packing and to put our luggage outside our cabin. We had to have it out by 11 pm. And then I realized that our passports had been packed in that luggage, so we had to bring it back in and find them. We’d need them in Customs the next morning. We watched a little TV and then called it a night. There is really not much to watch on a ship’s TV. Sometimes I just want to veg on a ship and watch something, so I wish they’d have a little more variety. I swear that I saw the same exact shows in December on the Oasis.
Early the next morning we got out of bed and quickly dressed. We ran to the Windjammer to grab some breakfast. It was really crowded because everyone had the same idea. We found Ronnie and I got a quick hug from him, then we ran back to the room to finish up. Our number had already been called, so we could throw our toothbrushes in our carry-on’s, go down the steps to the fourth floor, and leave the ship.
There was a line on the deck. We got all the way to the front and had our sea passes scanned, and we were stopped by a crew member with a large VIP group leaving. Finally one of them had pity on us and let us in front of them in line.
Broken luggage strap
We got to the luggage area marked number 3 and looked for our suitcases. We found his quickly. Mine was way in back, and when I got it I realized that they had broken the luggage strap. I’m really lucky that my name tag didn’t fall off before they put it where it belonged or I would have had a really hard time finding it.
Then we got in a long line in the terminal to wait for the Customs agent. They had five agents in front, so the line went fairly quickly. No problem with the Customs agent. He was really nice, looked at our passports, cracked a few jokes, and told us we could leave. Didn’t even ask if we had anything to declare.
Park n’ Go
Outside the terminal we had to look for the spot where Park N’ Go would pick us up. Someone pointed the area out, and there was a Park N’ Go van there, but it was full. It only took a couple of minutes for another one to come. The driver took us right to our car and unloaded the luggage for us. Our key was in the car, and we drove to the check out window.
We had paid ahead of time, so it only took a minute and we were out of there. We had no idea on where to go so we found a small parking lot and pulled in until the GPS found our position. I am not fond of our GPS because it is a moron. It took us south on route 1 instead of north. I wanted to drive north on route 1 to Boca Raton because I hate I-95 in the Fort Lauderdale / Miami area. It’s a horribly crowded road and it’s hard to drive.
And back towards home… after a bad motel
We made it back home without incident. Well, actually, that isn’t true. We went to visit an aunt in Sanford, Florida. While there I booked a room at Rodeway Inn in Kingsland, Georgia, I-95 exit 3, online at Choicehotels.com. It had a 3 rating, had a good price, and I figured it would be okay because it was a name brand. We got there and it didn’t look like the best place but they had already put the charge on our credit card. So, we got the key and went to the room. The walkway to our non-smoking room was littered with coffee cans full of cigarette butts and other trash. The roofing was half off and laying around. The room was really run down. There were questionable people loitering around the area and a guy sleeping in the lobby.
We decided that we didn’t feel safe enough to stay there. We asked for a refund and they would not give us one, or even a better room. And they were rude. So, we left anyway and went to a Super 8 down the street that felt much safer. We are dealing with Choice Hotels and our credit card without much luck so far to try and get a refund, and I’ve posted reviews in hopes that I can save someone else from making the same mistake. If we had stayed we would not have slept a wink worrying about our car and us.
And now it’s time to start thinking about our next cruise!