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Found 234 results

  1. Time for a new review: Spring Break 2019!!! We cruise the Freedom of the Seas out of Old San Juan this time (I just love cruising from here). Our ports would be: Leaving San Juan: April 21 8:30pm Basseterre, St Kitts: April 22 9-6pm St Johns, Antigua: April 23 8-5pm Castries, St Lucia: April 24 9-6pm Bridgetown, Barbados: April 25 8-7pm Sea Day: April 26 All fricken day long Philipsburg, St Maarten: April 27 8-6pm San Juan Arrival: April 28 6am This time around it would be myself, hubby and Sakari the Mermaid and Kendra's family (Billy, Brayden, Kambriah) and Billy's niece Shawna. My last cruise in December is when I decided to "resurface" on the web with a new review of our cruise on Carnival's Horizon. So many things had happened in my family since that summer and things were very hectic in life. Well....I have managed to FINALLY complete my bachelors degree (after dragging it out for years...we all know I plan school and "life" around my cruising lol) and I would consider this my "Graduation cruise". (Hey, any excuse used for a cruise is a good excuse right?). I was going out with a bang! Since all of the "changes in life" before my last cruise (new grandbabies, youngest son buying a new house and moving out, schooling, selling one of our businesses, and some home remodeling) there have been a few more changes thrown our way. Our Christmas cruise...we (meaning my family and Kendra's) were set to cruise and Kendra's fiance got word that they didn't think his dad would make it to Christmas. The day we were to fly out, Billy pulled out of going on the cruise. His father did make it, but unfortunately, he passed away February 15th this year. Billy has not taken it well (his dad raised him and all of his siblings so they were very close). To make matters worse, Billy's best friend (along with another good friend and an acquaintance) were also killed in a vehicle accident the SAME DAY! It was a crazy day and he has been dealing with a lot. With all that behind him, he really needed this cruise. But wait...there's MORE! Like how can there possibly be more that can be put on this mans shoulders? Two weeks before the cruise, his Uncle passed away. Then his baby sister passed away the Friday before the cruise. 😞 Less than 2 months from his fathers and best friends death he was once again burying another family member. He was not only dealing with all the loss in his family, but also trying to arrange a funeral prior to leaving. I just feel so bad for him and we were also VERY close to his dad and best friend. It's been a living nightmare for all of us. We really needed this cruise and a break away from life in general. I decided to pick a cruise that would have at least one new port we had never been to before. We absolutely loved cruising with Royal Caribbean last time and figured it was time to come back again for this cruise. Antigua is one port that I had never been to...so we booked. Now originally we were going to go with an interior, especially since this is another port intensive cruise and we aren't the type to spend much time in our rooms anyhow. But we found the ocean views to be a great deal...then for some reason I took a look at an ULTRA SPACIOUS OCEAN VIEW, which happened to be located at the very front of the ship with 2 windows. Hmmm, it's my graduation celebration cruise right? Heck, why not? I was super excited and knew that any room bigger than any previous interior or balcony had to be awesome right? I booked and was super excited!!! Kendra played it cheap and booked an interior for their group. Spring Break cruises are always a lot more expensive than other times and she didn't want the added expense...or at least that's what she thought at the time. lol But before the review begins...just a few non-legal formalities heh heh heh.....
  2. I understand these 2 BR grand suites located in the aft of the ship were previously one larger suite (Presidential maybe)? My question is because these suites are essentially one very large suite split into two large suites, is there an advantage of one side vs the other? From what I can tell on Youtube, aside from the differences in the layout (for example, where the master is located), the two cabins on each aft seem similar. The only exception is looking at the balconies for 6416 and 6716 where the port side cabin has a bar, and the starboard side cabin has a hottub left over from the one huge balcony for when the two were one large cabin.
  3. Good day, We're interested in the Southern Caribbean itinerary this July, and we have a few questions. First, would this trip be suitable for an adult couple or would it be geared toward families? Also, what food on the ship is available after the Windjammer closes at 9:30 p.m.? I know that there's room service, and I see a general reference to snacks at Cafe Promenade.
  4. We are taking Mom on her very first cruise in August to celebrate her 90th birthday. My husband and I have done the Mystery thing a long time ago and did enjoy it-I cannot remember what ship. Questions : How is the meal? Is the "mystery" fun ? We want this to be a great week for Mom and she is quite a mystery buff. There are 6 of us and its a bit pricey, but I dont want to waste the time and dollars if it is "meh". THANK YOU!!
  5. I can't help it i'm long winded. You've been warned. I thought I would write a review of our recent cruise on Freedom of the Seas. I hope some find it helpful. I tried to include things that I wondered about before going, and also some info on what we tipped because I have seen that question a lot on CC. Tipping can be confusing and can make people feel like they gave too little or too much. Anything is appreciated when it comes to tipping. I don't think there is a right amount, it's what you feel comfortable giving. I included some pictures and reviews of the excursions we did. We sailed Jan 6-13, 2019 out of San Juan to St.Kitts, Antigua, St. Lucia, Barbados, and St. Marteen. Our traveling group consisted on myself, my husband, our 2 children ages 16 months and 3.5 years, my parents, and 2 of my aunts. We had 2 grand suites and one with a connected balcony stateroom on the 10th floor. Originally I had a 2 bedroom aft suite with a connecting balcony on deck 9, but when my aunts wanted to come we moved up a deck so we could be all in a row. It worked out well. Our adventure began as it seems most do with us...with a problem. Some of you may have read my review from the Allure in March 2018 where we had to drive 27 hours to Ft. Lauderdale because a Nor'easter grounded all flights. This time it was not a Nor'easter, but still soaking rains. Since we had 8 people and at least 12 suitcases I thought it best to hire a van to pick us up at 4am to get us to the airport for our 7:40a flight. 4am comes and I see the lights of the van at the end of my driveway. Awesome- we are right on time! But wait... why is the van not moving from the end of my driveway? Send husband and father out to investigate. They come back in 10 minutes later soaking wet from the rain to tell us the Sprinter van is stuck in the grass. The driver missed the driveway and was now spinning tires stuck on my lawn, tearing it to shreds. Now I am getting nervous. We are on a tight time frame since we still had to get my aunts in another town and get to the airport an hour away. Finally at 4:20 I went out to call the shots because sometimes let's face it, men need the push of a woman to get things moving. The final verdict was to use my husband’s truck to push the van, and thankfully that worked. A little behind schedule, soaking wet from the rain, and shoes covered in mud we were off to the next stop. Thankfully this was the one and only hiccup we had. I'll take it. I was too perturbed to say the least and forgot to take pictures of the debacle. The cost of the van was $287 and we gave him $350. We arrived at the airport and passed through the ticket counter and security with no problems. Our JetBlue flight was on time. We utilized family board so we could install the car seats without holding too many other passengers up in the aisles. Our kids have flown about 4 times now and we always bring their car seats. It can be a pain, but it’s the safest way to go. We have a system where we put the car seats in the seat part of the umbrella stroller and use a bungee cord to secure them. This makes it easy to move around the airport and down to the plane since you only have push the stroller. We had a great flight crew and they were very sociable and funny. This made time pass quickly. The kids slept for almost the whole flight, which was about 3 hours and 45 mins. Safe landing in San Juan and off we went to find our driver to the hotel. I used Go Puerto Rico Shuttles and our driver Idelisse was waiting at baggage claim with my name on a sign. She was very nice and waited as we got a porter to help with all 12 suitcases. We were headed to the Courtyard Marriott Isle Verde which was close by. The cost was $45 and I tipped her $30. She promised to be back the next morning at 10:30a for our ride to the pier. I tipped the airport porter $25. We had 3 partial ocean view rooms booked at the Courtyard. The property is very nice but the rooms could use some updating. The rooms were clean and the beds were comfortable, but there was a slight smell of mold in the hallways and the rooms could use a paint job. The property next door leaves much to be desired and our room was really the only one of the 3 that had a decent ocean view. The other 2 looked into the rundown building next door. In fact we took a quick walk along the front of the hotels and my 3 year old said he was little scared. Regardless, we enjoyed our stay here and we felt safe. Our first stop was to find food. We ate outside on the patio. Service was good but slow. I swear we were there for 3 hours just eating lunch. The room came with 2 pina coladas each and some bets at the casino. I got the virgin pina colada and my 16 month old loved it. We had everything from nachos to pizza, steak, grilled chicken, and blts. The food was good and I'm sorry I don't recall what the bill was. I don't remember it being overpriced though. From there we took the kids down to the beach and the pool while some went to the casino. Because it is a public beach, if you go up to the pool attendant they will give you towels and wrist band allowing access to the pool. My kids loved loved loved the beach. The sand is forever embedded in their bathing suits. I read about sand fleas ahead of going and was given advice on CC to get Cactus juice spray. I did and sprayed us all down before going out on the beach. No one got bite and I don't know if it was too early in the afternoon/evening or the spray worked but either way, no bites here. We had a good night sleep and enjoyed the buffet breakfast the next morning before Idelisse came for us. Breakfast was standard fare with an omelet station and this amazing cornmeal porridge made with coconut milk and sugar. I also wanted to mention that we were able to get a crib from housekeeping for our 16 month old. It was like one of those metal institution cribs, and she only slept in it for 2 hours before waking. 4 people in a king size bed… sounds like my every night at home. The room rate came to $365 with all the taxes and fees but I was able to save $40 by using my AXEM blue card that had an offer for Marriott stays. view from our room steak so tender you could cut it with a spoon
  6. Freedom ex San Juan ....how early can we board on departure day?
  7. Good evening, fellow cruise critics! We leave tonight for San Juan! This is us: Left to right is my 24-year-old daughter (Emma), myself (Dina), my hubby Peter (not making this trip sadly, kinda long story short, he can't miss work) and my 22-year-old son (Joey). This photo was taken last week at the Gateway National Park at the top of the famous arch. Joey and I are doing a pretty good job masking our horror and terror caused by the incredibly rickety tram ride to the top. We were in St. Louis because Joey just finished up earning his undergraduate degree out there, so we went to the commencement festivities. Of course every great graduate deserves a phenomenal present, and Joey earned this cruise! (See how I rationalized that😜?!)
  8. Hi all! We sailed on the Freedom of the Seas, May 26-June 2, 2019 sailing. I'm slowly updating my complete report, but in the meantime, enjoy the Compasses! CC Day 1 0526001 (1).pdf CC Day 2 0527.pdf CC Day 3 0528.pdf CC Day 4 0529.pdf CC Day 5 0530.pdf CC Day 6 0531.pdf CC Day 7 0601.pdf
  9. So we are going on the Freedom of the Seas this coming week and we are wondering if this cruise has an official cruise critic meet and mingle event sponsored by Royal Caribbean Freedom of the seas staff? If so when was it scheduled for as the ship is in port for 5 consecutive days beginning the morning of Day 2 (So no Sea day at the beginning of the cruise)? Thanks for the help and info.
  10. I am sure these questions have been asked but I cannot figure out how to search the boards. I bought photo package all prints. We leave in 14 days and I am thinking about switching to digital. The last time I cruised they didn't have unlimited photo package. We had to look for printed photos every day in a hallway on the ship and then we would purchase what we wanted and they had set prices. Cruise line decided the size of the photos (4x6, 8x10, etc). Now, do you view the photos electronically on the ship and decide what size you want? Or are they preprinted? Do they print as many pictures in whatever size you want? If digital, do they download the photos to your account every day - similar to Disney? If someone can walk me through the details of these photo packages I would appreciate it. I can't remember if RCI stores your empty luggage bags for you outside your cabin and then return the last night of cruise. Or do you store the empty luggage under the bed? Thanks in advance! I know these questions are answered somewhere on these boards - just no idea where!
  11. Sailing Freedom in August out of San Juan. It doesn’t depart until 8:30pm. I’ve only done cruises that sail around 4 or 5pm. Does the later departure time mean a later check-in and embarkation time as well? Anyone have any feedback on this experience in San Juan? Just trying to plan our day.
  12. Just came back from B2B on the Freedom of the Seas, in Junior Suite We stayed many times in JS on Oasis class and always received upgraded Bathroom Amenities But on Freedom after asking for it from Guest Services and Room attendant Supervisor we were told because the price for the Cruise on Freedom is cheaper than on Oasis Class We don't get the Upgraded Bathroom Amenities. is any body had the same experience? that is not consistent with the published policy
  13. My husband and I are sailing Freedom of the Seas in a little over a month! Just wondering are the good shows we won’t want to miss on Freedom of the Seas?
  14. DH and I just returned from our Freedom of the Seas out of San Juan. We stayed overnight pre-cruise at the Sheraton near the Pan Am Pier, had The Key and Unlimited Dining package. We did Sapphire Beach in St. Thomas through the ship, Marriott St. Kitts, Beach Limerz in Antigua, Coastal Pitons tour in St. Lucia through the ship and Silver Moon cruises in Barbados (best thing ever!!!!) We walked Old San Juan when we returned and stayed at the Doubletree Hilton before we flew out. DH and I don't "do" a lot on the ship so I don't have a ton of things to review like the dining rooms or pools/activities/kid stuff but if you have any general questions about the ship or the things I mentioned above, I am happy to offer insight and answer questions if I can. Short story is we loved the ship and the cruise and are looking forward to doing it again to visit the islands we missed.
  15. Does anyone know if the balcony rooms on the Freedom of the Seas have coffee pots in the room? We were hoping to make our own coffee in the mornings.
  16. Hi everyone, Anyone have experience or photos for Freedom class Aft balcony 7710? I have had deck 10 aft rooms before but there are 3 of us sailing and RCCL now holds deck 10 rooms for groups of 4...so my only Aft rooms available were 7710 or 8412...I booked 7710. Was just looking for info on balcony and superstructure...also is the room any larger than side balconys? Thx for the info.
  17. Does anyone know if the Freedom of the Seas have obstructed view balcony cabins? If so are there a lot of them? If you sign up for a guarantee balcony category Is there a good chance of being assigned one or purhaps even getting one if you bid on an ocean view balcony with the Royalupgrade program offer?
  18. I just learned that our next cruise on Freedom departs on the same day as the final episode of the final season of Game of Thrones (May 19). We can record it and watch when we get home, but I'm afraid that we won't be able to go a week without hearing someone reveal something from the final episode. A couple of questions specific to Freedom: 1. Does Stream work well enough to truly stream video? We can either watch it live on HBO Go or watch it on the Spectrum app from our DVR, assuming that it doesn't drive is crazy by buffering every few seconds. 2. Can we plug into an HDMI input on our stateroom TV (using an iPad with the appropriate converter/cable)? I've read a few threads about this but haven't paid close enough attention to which ships can do this. I'm assuming, even though this will be an extremely popular show, that it won't be shown anywhere on the ship since it's not very family friendly. Yeah, I know...we're on a cruise. If you feel the need to judge others for what they do on their vacation, please keep it to yourself.
  19. Hi all! I'm in the midst of planning my honeymoon and I originally was looking at Carnival but I found a ship/port on RC I really like. Can anyone give me feedback on the below ship and the ports it stops at? Freedom of the Seas (7 day Cruise- November 2020) Leaves San Juan St. Thomas St. Kitts Antigua St. Lucia (Which is my dream to visit) Barbados Thanks in advance!
  20. It's been a couple of years since I have sailed a Freedom class ship and RCL has made a lot of changes and charges. Are the steam rooms free on this ship?
  21. I've searched and searched, both here and on the interwebs and I cannot find anyone that's taken any recent pics of the wines available on the Freedom of the Seas. I guess I'll have to just ask. Does anyone have a list of all wines on the Freedom of the Seas? Even a link to pics. I thought the last time we were on her, I found a list somewhere. Thanks
  22. We will be sailing on the Freedom in December, and our return flight to Toronto is not until 4:00pm - was thinking of doing the Old and New San Juan City Tour with Airport drop off. Has anyone had any experience with this tour thru Royal. Comments would be greatly appreciated. Thank you
  23. Freedom is going into dry dock in January and February 2020. Deck plans for my March and April B2B are showing no different than pre dry dock. Crown and Anchor has no details. Anyone here have any insight? Is this going to now be the Amped Up Freedom of the Seas?
  24. Hello fellow cruisers. Quick question. I’ve been watching the pricing for Freedom OTS for 10/4/20 for the last few weeks as I’m planning on booking it while onboard the Anthem in 10 days. I went on the website today and saw the price more than doubled for next October. Mock booking last week was $1800 total for my wife and I in a balcony and now it’s at $4400. Is this normal? Or is it possibly an error on their website? I can’t justify spending this much $$$ on this cruise. More importantly, do you think it will drop back down? I don’t have to book it onboard, but wanted to for the OBC.
  25. We are booked for FOS this Sunday! Two of us flying in that morning from Connecticut. We want to go to a drug store to buy full size mouthwash, sunscreen, etc. Do we taxi to CVS in Old Town, shop, and then take another taxi to the Pan American pier? Thanks!
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