Jump to content
DarthGrady

A Carnival guy on Freedom OTS, The WOW factor: A pictorial review

Recommended Posts

Introduction:

This was my second cruise with Royal Caribbean (RCI), and my wife’s third. We had previously been on Monarch of the Seas together, and she had since cruised on Monarch again with some of her girl friends. I have also cruised twelve times with Carnival, and once with the now defunct Premier Cruises. After posting my review of the Monarch cruise last year on Cruise Critic, many folks said that I should try one of Royal Caribbean’s larger ships to truly get a feel for what they are about.

We had originally been booked on Navigator of the Seas, but had to switch to Freedom due to a schedule conflict with my wife’s job. Freedom ended up being a better fit for us since it’s a shorter drive from our house to Port Canaveral, and she is a newer, larger ship. This cruise left from Port Canaveral on 10/18/09 for seven days to Coco Cay, St. Thomas and St. Maarten.

Pre Cruise:

We drove to Port Canaveral on Saturday, the day before the cruise, and we stayed at the Country Inn and Suites, which is right near the port. We could actually see the Carnival Glory and the two Disney ships in port when we arrived. We chose this hotel because we got a free room with my wife’s credit card points. They also allow you to leave your vehicle parked there during the cruise (for a $20 fee), and provide a shuttle service to the pier. This saved us money versus driving down the day of the cruise and paying the pier’s parking rates.

After checking in we headed to Grills Seafood and Tiki Bar which sits right on the waterway that the cruise ships traverse. We had an unofficial pre cruise meet and greet with some of the folks from our Cruise Critic roll call. Despite the cool temperatures and winds, everybody seemed to have a nice time. I was able to get some pictures of the Carnival Glory and Disney Magic as they left port.

 

Here comes the Glory

232323232%7Ffp43359%3Enu%3D323%3B%3E8%3B7%3E682%3EWSNRCG%3D32973%3A6844326nu0mrj

 

232323232%7Ffp4334%3B%3Enu%3D323%3B%3E8%3B7%3E682%3EWSNRCG%3D32973%3A6854326nu0mrj

 

232323232%7Ffp43346%3Enu%3D323%3B%3E8%3B7%3E682%3EWSNRCG%3D32973%3A6%3A67326nu0mrj

 

...and Disney Magic

232323232%7Ffp4334%3B%3Enu%3D323%3B%3E8%3B7%3E682%3EWSNRCG%3D32973%3A6867326nu0mrj

 

232323232%7Ffp43373%3Enu%3D323%3B%3E8%3B7%3E682%3EWSNRCG%3D32973%3A686%3A326nu0mrj

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Embarkation:

After a decent breakfast at the hotel, we were shuttled over to the cruise terminal. I was impressed with Freedom of the Seas when I first saw her while I was on the Carnival Inspiration back in 2006. Standing next to her at the pier was even more impressive. The size of the Freedom Class ships is just unbelievable. We got to the pier at around 10:45, and went through security relatively quickly. There were no lines at the check in counters, and were all done with the process by 11:05. We thought we would be able to board the ship, but were redirected to a sitting area. The embarkation staff told us that a US Coast Guard inspection was holding up passenger loading. After about 15 minutes they started letting folks on, but stopped again shortly thereafter. We sat around for a long while, they then made an announcement that the check in machines had gone down. We eventually did make it on board at around 12:15, one of the longest embarkation processes I have been through.

 

Arriving at the pier

232323232%7Ffp43367%3Enu%3D323%3B%3E8%3B7%3E682%3EWSNRCG%3D32973%3A6%3A%3A8326nu0mrj

 

232323232%7Ffp4335%3B%3Enu%3D323%3B%3E8%3B7%3E682%3EWSNRCG%3D32973%3A6878326nu0mrj

 

The Terminal

232323232%7Ffp43366%3Enu%3D323%3B%3E8%3B7%3E682%3EWSNRCG%3D32973%3A6%3A%3B7326nu0mrj

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You cant tell me your tired and done for the night???:eek:

 

No, I will try to get as much up as I can. But I have TONS of ship pics to post so its gonna take a while to get everything up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Day 1: Exploring the largest cruise ship in the world

After we boarded the ship, we went up to the Royal Promenade; there was an immediate “wow” factor to seeing this for the first time. It is nothing short of amazing that such a large and elaborate area is built into a moving machine. I liked how all the shops, bars and dining areas are all right on the promenade. The barber shop, gift shops, general store, café, champagne bar, pizzeria, ice cream shop, clothing stores and wine bar are all right there along the “main street”. I especially enjoyed the Sorrento’s pizzeria, which had a wide variety of pizzas, Italian dishes, desserts and salads. It gets much less crowded than the Windjammer buffet, so we had lunch there instead. We did visit the Windjammer to make our Chops Grill reservations (more on that later), but we didn’t stay and eat since it was packed full of people.

 

My first time on a Royal Promenade

232323232%7Ffp43348%3Enu%3D323%3B%3E8%3B7%3E682%3EWSNRCG%3D32973%3A6894326nu0mrj

 

232323232%7Ffp43354%3Enu%3D323%3B%3E8%3B7%3E682%3EWSNRCG%3D32973%3A6884326nu0mrj

 

What would become my favorite eatery, Sorrentos!

232323232%7Ffp43354%3Enu%3D323%3B%3E8%3B7%3E682%3EWSNRCG%3D32973%3A6%3A%3C9326nu0mrj

 

232323232%7Ffp43368%3Enu%3D323%3B%3E8%3B7%3E682%3EWSNRCG%3D32973%3B8656326nu0mrj

 

232323232%7Ffp43358%3Enu%3D323%3B%3E8%3B7%3E682%3EWSNRCG%3D3297483283326nu0mrj

 

 

 

232323232%7Ffp43348%3Enu%3D323%3B%3E8%3B7%3E682%3EWSNRCG%3D3297426588326nu0mrj

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Bull and Bear pub

232323232%7Ffp43367%3Enu%3D323%3B%3E8%3B7%3E682%3EWSNRCG%3D32973%3A953%3A326nu0mrj

 

232323232%7Ffp43359%3Enu%3D323%3B%3E8%3B7%3E682%3EWSNRCG%3D32973%3A6899326nu0mrj

 

yes, those are skulls

232323232%7Ffp43366%3Enu%3D323%3B%3E8%3B7%3E682%3EWSNRCG%3D329745%3A%3A35326nu0mrj

 

The detail was remarkable, the pub looked 100 years old

232323232%7Ffp43346%3Enu%3D323%3B%3E8%3B7%3E682%3EWSNRCG%3D329745%3A%3A39326nu0mrj

 

232323232%7Ffp43356%3Enu%3D323%3B%3E8%3B7%3E682%3EWSNRCG%3D32974593%3A%3B326nu0mrj

 

there was a dart alley, but I never saw it being used

232323232%7Ffp4334%3A%3Enu%3D323%3B%3E8%3B7%3E682%3EWSNRCG%3D32974593%3B8326nu0mrj

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

WOw Im so glad you are posting this. I have read your wonderful reviews before on the Carnival boards. Im defecting out for the oasis and thinking about another RCI cruise as well. Im looking forward to more pics and the rest of the review. Also any tips for a normal Carnival cruiser would be great

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
WOw Im so glad you are posting this. I have read your wonderful reviews before on the Carnival boards. Im defecting out for the oasis and thinking about another RCI cruise as well. Im looking forward to more pics and the rest of the review. Also any tips for a normal Carnival cruiser would be great

 

Thanks!

 

It never hurts to try other lines, I think its fun to explore a new ship and not know what is around every corner. Cruising RCI after doing Carnival is easy, most of the main things are very similar: food, service, rooms (on RCIs newer ships) and activities.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

More Promenade:

 

Guest Relations and Shore Tours desk

232323232%7Ffp43357%3Enu%3D323%3B%3E8%3B7%3E682%3EWSNRCG%3D32973%3A9598326nu0mrj

 

These cool deck plan sculptures are on every deck

232323232%7Ffp43349%3Enu%3D323%3B%3E8%3B7%3E682%3EWSNRCG%3D32973%3A%3A944326nu0mrj

 

The glass bridge over the Boleros Lounge, at night it changed colors

232323232%7Ffp43374%3Enu%3D323%3B%3E8%3B7%3E682%3EWSNRCG%3D32973%3A959%3B326nu0mrj

 

232323232%7Ffp43349%3Enu%3D323%3B%3E8%3B7%3E682%3EWSNRCG%3D32973%3B5379326nu0mrj

 

 

Looking up into the Aft Atrium

232323232%7Ffp43357%3Enu%3D323%3B%3E8%3B7%3E682%3EWSNRCG%3D32973%3A%3A958326nu0mrj

 

232323232%7Ffp43369%3Enu%3D323%3B%3E8%3B7%3E682%3EWSNRCG%3D32973%3A%3A967326nu0mrj

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Stairwells

232323232%7Ffp43373%3Enu%3D323%3B%3E8%3B7%3E682%3EWSNRCG%3D32973%3A95%3A7326nu0mrj

 

Each side has either red or blue carpet

232323232%7Ffp43367%3Enu%3D323%3B%3E8%3B7%3E682%3EWSNRCG%3D32973%3B5363326nu0mrj

 

 

232323232%7Ffp43369%3Enu%3D323%3B%3E8%3B7%3E682%3EWSNRCG%3D32973%3A%3A978326nu0mrj

 

Elevator lobbies

232323232%7Ffp43347%3Enu%3D323%3B%3E8%3B7%3E682%3EWSNRCG%3D32973%3A95%3A9326nu0mrj

 

Glass deck directories in the elevator lobbies

232323232%7Ffp43356%3Enu%3D323%3B%3E8%3B7%3E682%3EWSNRCG%3D32973%3B49%3B3326nu0mrj

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So different from Farcas. Im soon going to see the purple grapes for the 2nd time in my life :) Looks great. Seems like the food choices are more spread out than on CCL too. Keep up the awesome job.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
So different from Farcas. Im soon going to see the purple grapes for the 2nd time in my life :) Looks great. Seems like the food choices are more spread out than on CCL too. Keep up the awesome job.

 

Yes, they are. I liked it though, I only ate in the buffet twice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Once the cabins opened up, we went to our room to drop off the carry on luggage. We were both surprised and happy to see that our checked bags were there waiting on us. We had room 9399, an interior cabin at the very back of the ship. While I was glad to see that the room was bigger than the one we had on Monarch; it was still smaller than the interior cabins that we have had on Carnival. Once I slid the bed against one wall, and put the coffee table in the closet the room was much easier to move around in.

There are two things that they really did right in the rooms: the little sofa to sit on while watching TV, and the sliding doors on the shower. It was very nice not getting molested by the dreaded “attack shower curtain”. The water pressure in the shower was very strong. I also liked that they made the switch to flat screen LCD televisions in the rooms. They take up less space, and are mounted on a nice swivel bracket for aiming in different directions.

 

Our cabin (pre-mod)

232323232%7Ffp43372%3Enu%3D323%3B%3E8%3B7%3E682%3EWSNRCG%3D32973%3B%3A248326nu0mrj

 

...and post-mod

232323232%7Ffp43369%3Enu%3D323%3B%3E8%3B7%3E682%3EWSNRCG%3D32973%3B%3A%3B35326nu0mrj

 

232323232%7Ffp43363%3Enu%3D323%3B%3E8%3B7%3E682%3EWSNRCG%3D32973%3B49%3B%3A326nu0mrj

 

232323232%7Ffp43348%3Enu%3D323%3B%3E8%3B7%3E682%3EWSNRCG%3D32973%3B%3A255326nu0mrj

 

232323232%7Ffp43359%3Enu%3D323%3B%3E8%3B7%3E682%3EWSNRCG%3D32973%3B49%3C5326nu0mrj

 

232323232%7Ffp43367%3Enu%3D323%3B%3E8%3B7%3E682%3EWSNRCG%3D32973%3B%3A268326nu0mrj

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Look at all those hook ups! I coulda' brought my XBOX! (I don't know that it would have worked, but for those with kids it might be worth the try)

232323232%7Ffp43359%3Enu%3D323%3B%3E8%3B7%3E682%3EWSNRCG%3D32973%3B49%3C%3A326nu0mrj

 

232323232%7Ffp43358%3Enu%3D323%3B%3E8%3B7%3E682%3EWSNRCG%3D32973%3B%3A278326nu0mrj

 

232323232%7Ffp43359%3Enu%3D323%3B%3E8%3B7%3E682%3EWSNRCG%3D32973%3B%3A289326nu0mrj

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
OK, thats it for today. I will be back on tomorrow with more. :cool:

 

 

Thank you for the beautiful pictures. can't wait to see more. We're leaving for the Freedom in about 2 1/2 months.YAY!

 

Looking forward to the rest!

 

Thanks again

 

Liz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was on the week before you and I'm jealous. I wish I would have taken more time to take photographs. I think you have everything covered. Good job. I didn't get that many of the Promenade and everything you took.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

what a great review, so far... That ship is so big, I would need a b2b just to get through it all. ;)

 

When I was on the navigator I felt like I never made it "outside".... I wonder if this class has more outdoor spaces then the navigator did???:confused:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Grady, the photos are great and I am enjoying your review. Can't wait till tomorrow to see and read the rest.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I was on the week before you and I'm jealous. I wish I would have taken more time to take photographs. I think you have everything covered. Good job. I didn't get that many of the Promenade and everything you took.

Just right click on the ones you like and save them to your computer by selecting Save As, rename them if you wish and browse for a file location to save them to. This could be a already existing folder or a new one created for these shots. They are fairly low resolution (50 to 70 KB) shots for displaying on a monitor but if you have Vista premium or photo software on your computer there is an edit option when viewing pictures that can resize the shot so a quite good 4 X 6 print (usually 100KB minimum file size needed) can be made. Actually I have printed 4 X 6 pictures from file sizes in this range with pretty fair results but equipment for downloading your files at a commercial picture processing location may give you a warning message. Just select ignore or continue.

I sure Glady won't mind if you save his shots for future enjoyment.

Edited by robtulipe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Great pics! BTW--what kind of power strip is that? Looks nice and compact.

 

It's a Belkin and any big store will have them. The nice thing is the two USB connections on the end to charge devices.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Grady! I tried to change our Monarch b-to-b to a week on the Freedom but I was too late, penalty phase....Anyway, these pics are so great I almost feel like I was there with you guys!! Can't wait to sit in one of those cantilevered hot tubs.

Lynda

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great pictures Grady. We've been on all 3 Freedom class ship, now I remember why I miss them. I guess it's time to book another one.

 

Rollie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Explore the Night. Sweepstakes - Enter now for a chance to win win a free cruise for two with Azamara Club Cruises!
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Community Contests
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×