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They were right...I was WOW'D!!-Freedom of the Seas

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First Night of our Cruise...

Before dinner we went to the welcome aboard show. There is only one show time for all guests, which is 7pm. This was the first of many times throughout the cruise that I was glad that we had late seating for dinner. I know that those that were at dinner at 6pm probably didn't get a chance to make it to this show.



To many frequent cruisers this is a show that they don't mind missing, but for Ken and I we always try to make it a point to make the welcome aboard show. This is your first formal introduction to the singers and dancers of the ship as well as your cruise director and let me tell you that by the end of this show we knew we had one of the best cruise directors that we have ever had, Richard Spacey! (more about him later)


For our welcome aboard show we had some comedy from the comedian Louis Johnson who was pretty funny (he will perform a full adult comedy show a separate night). We also had some beautiful areial artistry from a couple. (Sorry the photo quality isn't so good on this shot. Still trying to learn my camera workings).



I highly recommend that you do not miss the welcome aboard show!


Then once that was over we quickly made our way to the Isaac Dining room for our first dinner of the cruise!


Doesn't Ken look like a happy man?






Coming up next...Food Porn~

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What did we have for dinner on Night One?

Let me start off by saying that since this was my first Royal Caribbean cruise and only Ken's second (his first was several years ago, pre-me) I can't really compare the new menu's with the previous ones. I know there have been many threads about that over the past several months since they rolled them out, but I can tell you that everything we had in the MDR was very good and we ate in the dining room every night but one!


Our wait staff was Wesley and Neville both from Jamaica! They were not very talkative unless we opened up conversations with them, but they were both very good at what they do! We were pleased with them all week! (I have a picture of them somewhere, I will make sure to add it before this review is done).


Night one dinner theme is Mojo!


Ken and I both started out with Ceasar salad and actually had that every night! It was very good. Greens were fresh and the dressing had a very good flavor. Of course, it is just ceasar salad with some crutons and nothing really to write home about, but it was good. I didn't take a picture of the salad, sorry.


I chose to have the Prime Rib and it was very good. I love prime rib, and although I know that my recipe that I make is probably better than this, I was very impressed with the flavor and the presentation!



Ken decided on the Strip Steak, which is available every night on the menu along with the chicken (I will have that later in the week) and the Salmon as well. He graciously let me have a taste, for the sake of this review of course! :DIt was good, with a very good flavor and the baked potato was cooked to perfection, which can sometimes be a rarity when preparing for such a large crowd.




For dessert we both opted for what would end up being our favorite dessert for the entire week, even though we only got it this one night....the Blueberry Peach Crumble! Trust me folks, you will absolutely love this dessert. Nice and warm and such good flavors combined.




Looking back I should have ordered two of those instead of the butter almond ice cream that we ordered to go along with the crumble. Come to think of it, I better write this down on my "do not miss" list for our February cruise!





After dinner we checked out Karaoke in the On Air lounge but it seems like most of the people our age had already been worn out and were not out and about this late. There were some young guys singing karaoke obnoxiously so we decided to retire to our cabin for the night around 10:30.


Tomorrow is Coco Cay, which means a day on the ship to ourselves, for the most part!

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Day Two-CocoCay Bahamas

In all the times we have been to Cococay on a cruise, I think we might have gotten off the ship once! To us, it is just a beach day so we take advantage of a partially empty cruise ship and spend the say relaxing or in the pool or hot tub or even maybe the spa.

This particular cruise we must have been a little tired because we slept in past 8am! Once we showered and dressed it was too late to have breakfast in the MDR, so we made our way up to the Windjammer to see what the morning offerings were. We were pleasantly surprised and feasted on eggs, bacon and sausage. I tried the french toast but I think I chose a piece that had been out for a while because it wasn't so good, but all in all everything was very good.

Note: I didn't take any photos of meals in the windjammer because I didn't carry my camera...sorry, epic fail!






After breakfast we made our way to the Solarium hot tub for some relaxation. It was so nice because we were the only ones there. This will be one of only two times the rest of the cruise that we were alone in the hot tub, but there was never a crowd issue when there were others in there with us. With 10 hot tubs throughout the ship, there was plenty of places to go!


Around 10:30 we headed back to our cabin to get the camera and my tablet before heading back out on deck. I was actually kind of surprised when we got back to the room that our room had not been touched by our steward yet. Normally by this point they have already been back to your room and had it made up...but this was not a disappointment, just an observation! We actually had not even met our steward at this point. That's right, we never met him that first day which was also kind of weird.


We decided to try lunch at Johnny Rockets today. I remember reading a thread before our cruise where people had discussed if it was worth the $4.95 cover charge for just a hamburger and fries and my opinion then is the same as it is now after doing it. YES! I mean seriously, for $5 you can get a great burger and it is all you can eat of course I don't know who could eat more than one burger and the fries and onion rings they bring out!



The Johnny Rockets Menu



You can eat inside or outside, we chose outside of course!



I had the Smokehouse burger. This picture does not do it justice. This is a HUGE burger and I couldn't finish it all, even though I tried hard.



They always bring you fries and onion rings with ketchup and ranch dressing...and they will keep bringing them too! They were very good!

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Gotta say.... I love your piece mail review. Kudos on your great pictures! :)

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Day 2-Cococay Bahamas Continued...

Side note:Although this was my first time cruise cruising Royal, DH had sailed with them once before and was a Gold member. Because of this, he had some coupons electronically added to his sea pass card that are available to use throughout the week instead of the coupon books that they previously used in years past. You will have a print out in your stateroom of the coupons or "perks" that are preloaded on your card however whenever you want to use one of them, you have to state that at the time of redemption or else they won't be used. This was the only thing that I thought needed some rethinking. Personally, if it is on your card it should link to the item whenever your card is swiped, but right now that is not how it is done. Some have stated that they didn't know how to check to see what they had used up during their cruise, but if you go to the cashier in the Casino, they can pull up your account and print out what you have used and what you still have available at any point of your trip. Of course guest services can do this too, but we all know how there can often be a line at that desk!


Anyway, after having our lunch at Johnny Rockets we decided to use our buy one get one Johnny Rockets milkshake.



They were good, but I can tell you that we wouldn't have paid for them if we had to pay for both. $5 is a little high for a milkshake of this size.


At this point we were completely stuffed, so we found ourselves a nice shady spot on deck and relaxed for a bit.




As we started to notice the crowd getting heavier, after all it was about time for all aboard, we made our way back to the cabin and actually took a little nap. Tonight was formal night and we expected to have a late night so we wanted to rest up for the festivities!


This cruise we pre-purchased a photo package (10 digital photos) so we made our way down toward the promenade deck to take some photos before dinner.



The captains cocktail party started about 7pm so we made our way to the center of the promenade for the festivities. They had the orchestra out playing big band type music..




This stage dropped from the ceiling with a couple of the Freedom singers to entertain the crowd...



The champagne was flowing and people were dancing. It was really a great captains party! We unfortunately didn't stay to see the Captain or get our photo taken with him as many others did, but wandered down to the On Air bar for Ken to get himself the buy1 get1 margaritas!


Before we knew it, it was time for dinner!

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[B][I][FONT=Palatino Linotype][SIZE=5][COLOR=Blue]So what's for dinner tonight?[/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT][/I][/B]
[COLOR=Purple][SIZE=3]Tonight's dinner theme was Saffron.

[SIZE=3][SIZE=3]Both of us started out with the ce[SIZE=3]asar salad, but I also ordered the [SIZE=3]Bay Scallops, which were YUM~


[/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/COLOR][SIZE=3][COLOR=Purple]Sadly I wasn't brave enough to try some of the chef special[/COLOR][SIZE=3][COLOR=Purple]ties on the menu this night so I simply opted for the chicken brea[SIZE=3]st which is offered every night.

[/SIZE][/COLOR] [URL="http://www.flickr.com/photos/93753671@N03/8885353604/"][IMG]http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2823/8885353604_f25f491fdd_c.jpg[/IMG][/URL]

[SIZE=3][COLOR=Purple]It was very juicy and full of flavor. The mashed pot[/COLOR][SIZE=3][COLOR=Purple]atoes were very good too[/COLOR][SIZE=3][COLOR=Purple]. They definitely didn't tas[/COLOR][SIZE=3][COLOR=Purple]te like instant potat[/COLOR][SIZE=3][COLOR=Purple]oes which is what you some[/COLOR][SIZE=3][COLOR=Purple]times find on a cruise.

[/COLOR][SIZE=3][COLOR=Purple]Ken ordered the Beef Tenderloin and [/COLOR][SIZE=3][COLOR=Purple]it sure was tender. You could cut it with a fork and it had really good flavor as well.[/COLOR]


[SIZE=3][COLOR=Purple]Th[/COLOR][SIZE=3][COLOR=Purple]is particular dish normally comes with a mushroom gravy, but since Ken doesn't eat mushrooms he asked for it without.

[/COLOR][SIZE=3][COLOR=Purple]We both [/COLOR][SIZE=3][COLOR=Purple]ordered the double strawberry cheesecake. We are big cheesecake fans, and although this was good...it wasn't like a real cheesecake [/COLOR][SIZE=3][COLOR=Purple]by any mea[/COLOR][SIZE=3][COLOR=Purple]ns.[/COLOR]

[/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][COLOR=Purple][SIZE=3]After dinner we wandered the ship a little bit and then made our way to the Arcadia T[SIZE=3]heater for the first production show of our cruise...Marquee


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[COLOR=Blue][SIZE=5][I][B][FONT=Palatino Linotype]Production Show-Marquee...
[/FONT][/B][/I][FONT=Palatino Linotype][COLOR=Purple][SIZE=3][FONT=Verdana]Let me [SIZE=3]start off by saying that Ken and I make it a point to see every production show [SIZE=3]a[SIZE=3]s we[SIZE=3]ll as headline entertainment on every cruise we do. It is part of the cruise experience, something that you pay for, so why not take it all in, right? We have seen[SIZE=3] some shows in the past that were good, some that were about on par with high school drama performances and then there were th[SIZE=3]e shows we saw on the Freedom! They are [SIZE=3]definitely in a class [SIZE=3]all their own! The best performances we have every seen on a cruise from the orchestra to the dance[SIZE=3]rs to the featured singers right down to the sets! TH[SIZE=3]ESE [SIZE=3]ARE DEFINITELY NOT TO MISS!

[SIZE=3][SIZE=3]They synopsis of Marquee is that it is [SIZE=3]a [SIZE=3]production show highlighting some of the great Broadway shows that have ever been...Joseph and the Amazing Technicolo[SIZE=3]r Dreamcoat, P[SIZE=3]hantom of the Opera, Caber[SIZE=3]et, etc.

[SIZE=3]Before e[SIZE=3]ach perfor[SIZE=3]ma[SIZE=3]n[SIZE=3]ce in the theater, a couple of the cruise director staff come out and get the audi[SIZE=3]ence pumped. Every night they play the same song..[SIZE=3]and I can still hear it when I close my eyes. It's one of those songs that gets in your head and you can't get it out.
[/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/FONT][/SIZE][/COLOR][/FONT][/SIZE][/COLOR][CENTER][I][COLOR=Blue][SIZE=5][FONT=Palatino Linotype][COLOR=Purple][SIZE=3][FONT=Verdana][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3]"[/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/FONT][/SIZE][/COLOR][/FONT][/SIZE][/COLOR][COLOR=Blue][SIZE=5][FONT=Palatino Linotype][COLOR=Purple][SIZE=3][FONT=Verdana][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3]I say hey, I'll be gone today[SIZE=3] [SIZE=3]b[/SIZE][/SIZE]ut I'll be back all around the way. It seems like everywhere I go[SIZE=3] t[/SIZE]he more I see, the less I know. But I know one thing[SIZE=3] [SIZE=3]t[/SIZE][/SIZE]hat I love you. I love you, I love you, I love you"



[/SIZE][/SIZE][/FONT][/SIZE][/COLOR][/I][COLOR=Purple][SIZE=3][FONT=Verdana][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3][SIZE=3]After the production show[SIZE=3] there was an adult comedy show featuring the c[SIZE=3]omedian from the welcome aboard show the night before[SIZE=3], Louis John[SIZE=3]son.

[SIZE=3][SIZE=3]We made our way back through the promenade[SIZE=3] to [SIZE=3]our cabin to turn in for the night. The promenade is so pretty a[SIZE=3]ll lit up.


[SIZE=3][SIZE=3]...and this was waiting for us when we got to our ca[SIZE=3]bin...


[SIZE=3]It made me think of my little [SIZE=3]fur babies that were at home!

[SIZE=3]Tomorrow is day 3, and [SIZE=3]our first Sea Day! What will we do?[/SIZE][/SIZE]

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The song is Say Hey by Michael Franti, If this is your first RCCL cruise and hubby's second, how have you been to Cococay so many times? Love Ken's widow's peak!

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[quote name='maureencruiser']The song is Say Hey by Michael Franti, If this is your first RCCL cruise and hubby's second, how have you been to Cococay so many times? Love Ken's widow's peak![/quote]

Ken has been there when sailing Celebrity in past years and I have been to other private islands quite similar on other cruises as well.

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[quote name='RCI Cruisers 004']Can't blame him, we are also sick of Cozumel . Been there to many times, so now we do a room service breakfast on the balcony and watch everyone scramble off the ship, then leisurely make our way to the hot tub and solarium before heading off the ship for an adult beverage at Señor Frogs, do a little shopping then right back onboard to an almost empty ship. It seems the vendors are way to pushy so we do our own thing .[/QUOTE]

But Cozumel has La Choza, which is really, really tasty. I'd schlepp over Cozumel just for the ceviche....

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[COLOR=Blue][SIZE=5][I][B][FONT=Palatino Linotype]Our Fir[SIZE=5]st Sea Day ([SIZE=5]Cruise Day[SIZE=5] 3)...
[/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/FONT][/B][/I][FONT=Palatino Linotype][SIZE=5][SIZE=5][SIZE=5][COLOR=Purple][SIZE=3][FONT=Verdana][SIZE=3]Once again we slept it late[SIZE=3]...too late to have breakfast in the MDR[SIZE=3]. The morning was our scheduled Me[SIZE=3]et & Mingle so w[SIZE=3]e didn't have much time to grab breakfast before that was suppose to start. This was my first Meet & Mingle on Royal Caribbean and it is nice that [SIZE=3]RCCL goes a[SIZE=3] little above what other lines do for the cruise critic crowd but I don't think that we would participate i[SIZE=3]n this again. H[SIZE=3]onestly I felt that our time would have been better served doing one of the other activities on board or even just relaxing by the pool. They do a silly give away and some people "mingle" but I think the informal meet n greets set up by the roll calls are much better...[SIZE=3]of course just my opinion.

[SIZE=3]Straight from the M&M we went to the Crown [SIZE=3]& Anchor party (again because Ken [SIZE=3]is a C&A mem[SIZE=3]ber) with a brief stop at the shore excursion desk to book our tour for St. [SIZE=3]Thomas[SIZE=3] (more on the tour later).

[SIZE=3]I will say that the C&A party was better than any other past passenger party, even Pri[SIZE=3]ncess' which was my favorite one before this. I[SIZE=3] did th[SIZE=3]ink it a little o[SIZE=3]dd that it was in the [SIZE=3]middle of the day, but I quickly vanished that thought when I realized how much was going on in t[SIZE=3]he evening that would [SIZE=3]make us have to choose activities[SIZE=3] should the party be later.
[SIZE=3]For those who like any opportunity to get free or discount[SIZE=3] "adult" beverages, this is one stop you want to make if you are a C[SIZE=3]&A member...the drinks [SIZE=3]were flowin[SIZE=3]g. I recall having ha[SIZE=3]lf a drink in my hand [SIZE=3]and the [SIZE=3]bar staff telling me to take another one for when th[SIZE=3]at one was done! The entertainment for our party was the Rockport Ban[SIZE=3]d and they were a[SIZE=3]wesome. After this party we tried to make sure to catch them at any venue they were playing...they were t[SIZE=3]hat good! [/SIZE][/SIZE](thought I had a p[SIZE=3]icture but I don't)

[SIZE=3]We then grabbed a bit[SIZE=3]e in the MDR for lunch. This was our first and only lunch in the dining room. I had asked to be seated at a[SIZE=3] table [SIZE=3]for two so that we could discuss our afternoon and evening [SIZE=3]plans without being rude to tab[SIZE=3]le [SIZE=3]mates [SIZE=3]but they must have misunderstood me somehow b[SIZE=3]ecause we were seated at a 4 topper with another couple. They were ple[SIZE=3]asant to visit with and we enjoy[SIZE=3]ed our lunch companions, but we missed out on the one on one time[SIZE=3].

[SIZE=3]I did see the large salad buffet in the center of the dining room, but from where we were seated it was so hard to maneuver [SIZE=3]around to get to it, so we chose something from the menu. Ken had chicken sliders which [SIZE=3]he said were [SIZE=3]just "ok" and I had a chicken [SIZE=3]ceasar salad which was very good!

[I][B][COLOR=Blue][SIZE=5][FONT=Palatino Linotype]Freedom-Ice.com (i[SIZE=5]ce[SIZE=5] skating show)...
[/SIZE][/SIZE][/FONT][/SIZE][/COLOR][/B][/I][COLOR=Blue][SIZE=5][FONT=Palatino Linotype][SIZE=5][SIZE=5][COLOR=Purple][SIZE=3][FONT=Verdana][SIZE=3]After reading several reviews and tips on CC prior to our cruise, I [SIZE=3]took everyone's advise and made reservations for the Ice [SIZE=3]Skating show for 2:30 [SIZE=3]on our first sea day. We got there at a good time (before the doors opened) and [SIZE=3]were able to get awesome seats for this show.






[SIZE=3][SIZE=3]I echo the statements of all those [SIZE=3]others...if you don't see any other show the week you are on Freedom, make sure you see the ice show! It absolutely [SIZE=3]amazes me the things they do on a moving ship. It is important though to make reservations either online before you sail or once on board.

[I][B][COLOR=Blue][SIZE=5][FONT=Palatino Linotype][SIZE=5]Closing out the Evening[SIZE=5]...
[/SIZE][/SIZE][/FONT][/SIZE][/COLOR][/B][/I][COLOR=Blue][SIZE=5][FONT=Palatino Linotype][SIZE=5][SIZE=5][COLOR=Purple][SIZE=3][FONT=Verdana]The rest of our afternoon we spent doing various things [SIZE=3]around the ship[SIZE=3] along with some down time[SIZE=3] up on deck of course[SIZE=3], but tonight's headliner show was one we knew we were not going to miss. M[SIZE=3]O5IAC, which is a vocal group that we knew from America's Got Talent was performing tonight in the Arcadia theater. For those w[SIZE=3]ho have not heard of this group of guys, make sure you head over to youtube and check out some of their videos. These guys are simply incredible. [SIZE=3]You can't really call them a band or a boy group or anything of the so[SIZE=3]rt. No, these guys are [SIZE=3]in a group with very [SIZE=3]f[SIZE=3]ew others out there. They sing, ye[SIZE=3]s...but they make all the [SIZE=3]instru[SIZE=3]mental sounds with their voices.


[SIZE=3]We were so glad that we were lucky enough to have them on our cruise.

[SIZE=3][I][B][COLOR=Blue][SIZE=5][FONT=Palatino Linotype]Our [SIZE=5]Dinner...
[/SIZE][/FONT][/SIZE][/COLOR][/B][/I][COLOR=Blue][SIZE=5][FONT=Palatino Linotype][SIZE=5][COLOR=Purple][SIZE=3][FONT=Verdana][SIZE=3]Tonight was the one and only night that we did not eat [SIZE=3]in the dining room. The menu just was not very appealing to our appetites. ([SIZE=3]For those curious, the theme this night was ****[SIZE=3]AKE)[SIZE=3]
[SIZE=3]We d[SIZE=3]ecided to take a chance at the Windjammer and we were very pleased with[SIZE=3] th[SIZE=3]e dinner selection and since it was after 8pm, the dinner rush had already cleared out. Ken and I both had P[SIZE=3]rime Rib this night. That's right, I said PRIME RIB[SIZE=3]...in the Windjammer[SIZE=3] for dinner! (Again, no pictures...sorry. I just didn't take the camera to the buffet)

[SIZE=3]Once our dinner was over we made our way back down to the Studio B for the 50s[SIZE=3] & 60s [SIZE=3]Dance Party followed by the Battle of the Sexes. One word folks, HILARIOUS! We la[SIZE=3]ughed so hard during th[SIZE=3]is game show that I almost[SIZE=3] thought I needed to make a beeline to the ladies room. I was good though, I promise!

[SIZE=3]Quickly after [SIZE=3]the game show ended we made our way up to the deck (I'm starting to feel like I am climbing a lot of stairs today) for Dancing Under the Stars[SIZE=3] and surprisingly there was a pretty good crowd up there wit[SIZE=3]h many people ending up in the pool at one point or another. We had a drink or t[SIZE=3]wo, [SIZE=3]and then made our way to our cabin. [SIZE=3]We were both pretty wiped out.


[SIZE=3]This little guy[SIZE=3] was waiting for us [SIZE=3]when we walked in!

[I][B][COLOR=Blue][SIZE=3][FONT=Palatino Linotype][SIZE=5]Tomorrow is St. Thomas (Cruise Day 4) and a bunch of pictures![/SIZE][/FONT][/SIZE][/COLOR][/B][/I]

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[quote name='maureencruiser']The song is Say Hey by Michael Franti, If this is your first RCCL cruise and hubby's second, how have you been to Cococay so many times? Love Ken's widow's peak![/QUOTE]

The song on Freedom on our cruise was Mika's "Love Today".

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Sorry to those who might still be holding on (looks like I have lost a lot of people). My husband had a car accident this past Thursday which kind of threw a loop in my routine and this review/trip report has kind of been put on the back burner. Then last night I attempted to come on and post more and my computer was giving me fits.

I hope to get on tonight if my computer will allow it!

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Hope your husband is alright, first things first. Will watch for you continued review, love the Freedom.

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[quote name='MrsKC08']Sorry to those who might still be holding on (looks like I have lost a lot of people). My husband had a car accident this past Thursday which kind of threw a loop in my routine and this review/trip report has kind of been put on the back burner. Then last night I attempted to come on and post more and my computer was giving me fits.

I hope to get on tonight if my computer will allow it![/QUOTE]

Hope your husband was not hurt, at least not too badly.

I had sent my sister the link for your review and she had just asked me 2 days ago why there wasn't any more. Glad to hear you'll be back. We'll be waiting patiently.

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I'm loving your review! Just found it last night and am looking forward to reading the rest :) Anxiously awaiting my next trip on the FOS in September!

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[FONT=Palatino Linotype][SIZE=5][COLOR=Blue][I][B]Cruise Day 4 - St. Thomas[/B][/I][/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]
[COLOR=Purple][SIZE=3][FONT=Verdana]Today we are visiting one of our favorite ports of call. From the first time I ever cruised to St. Thomas I fell in love with this beautiful island. I can't really explain why, I just always loved coming back here. Part of it could be because of the beautiful jewelry you find there (more on this later).

We didn't really arrive into port until around noon, so we were able to wake up at "our time" and just kind of take the morning easy with no big rush to do anything. We decided to skip breakfast this day and just have an early lunch in the Windjammer before we left the ship to meet with our excursion group.

After lunch we found a little table by an open window in the Solarium to watch the island get bigger and bigger as we slowly approached.

Approaching St. Thomas

Panorama shot of St. Thomas

As I was sitting there, I decided to play around with some of the settings on my camera. If you remember from the beginning of my review, I had just purchased this right before our cruise and had really not had much chance to use it for landscape photos or in the "outdoors". I wanted to make sure that I could get the best use out of my camera that I could so I gave myself a quickie crash course.

These are some of the photos I took during that "play time".

Packed and ready for St. Thomas

Just playing with the camera settings!

Ken watching as we get closer and closer...
[COLOR=Blue][B][I][FONT=Palatino Linotype]
Interesting Fact:[/FONT][/I][/B][/COLOR]
In all the cruises I have done, I never realized that the Captain does not bring the ship into port and to the pier. Instead, a "Pilot" from that port comes out and boards the ship and they bring us in and "park" us. I just thought I would share that because this is something that I didn't know.


Ok guys, it seems like I am still having computer issues. It took me over an hour to do this one post and because I don't want to risk losing anything I am going to close this post and try to do some of this from my laptop (thankfully most of my photos are on a flash drive).

Sorry...this is just utterly frustrating!


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Thanks for posting your review. Getting more excited about our upcoming cruise in January. Thanks for the M&M vs C&A gathering tips.

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loving your review!

will be on FOS for Eastern route August 11th so I am on baited breath ~ can you confirm that the first dinner seating is at 5:30 or 6:00? We signed up for what they claim as "5:30" but 6pm seems so much better for us (it is me, 2 boys ages 13 & 15) and my 77 year old mother). Did you go to St John or did you by any chance do the Ice Bar in St. Thomas??

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[quote name='suizas']loving your review!

will be on FOS for Eastern route August 11th so I am on baited breath ~ can you confirm that the first dinner seating is at 5:30 or 6:00? We signed up for what they claim as "5:30" but 6pm seems so much better for us (it is me, 2 boys ages 13 & 15) and my 77 year old mother). Did you go to St John or did you by any chance do the Ice Bar in St. Thomas??[/quote]

Thanks for joining my review. Sorry it has been delayed a little...these computer issues really put a kink in things. I can't remember what it was like before them though. :)

I can confirm that the early seating dinner is at 5:30. Their 8:30 late seating is actually 8pm. But I think that if you set your pace right you will find that you would be good with that time. We actually did the late seating, but prefer it that way...just our personal preference.

This time we did not go to St. John, but I am hoping to be able to do that with our February cruise. We also did not do the Ice Bar in St. Thomas, but did an island tour that took up most of the first part of our day (review and photos of that coming soon) and then some shopping at our favorite jeweler.

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[SIZE=5][COLOR=Blue][FONT=Palatino Linotype][I][B]St. Thomas Continued...
[/B][/I][COLOR=Purple][SIZE=2][FONT=Verdana]After the Pilot boarded the ship it was interesting watching him maneuver us into port and parallel park us...THAT'S RIGHT, PARALLEL park us between a Disney and Carnival ship.

Watching as we pulled into Port.

We are going between those two ships? Really?


I can't believe he is going to put us between those two ships!

[I][B][COLOR=Blue][SIZE=5][FONT=Palatino Linotype]Our plans for the island...
[/FONT][/SIZE][/COLOR][/B][/I][COLOR=Blue][SIZE=5][FONT=Palatino Linotype][COLOR=Purple][SIZE=2][FONT=Verdana]Ken and I decided to do the St. Thomas Island tour through Royal Caribbean. It was just ok. We did get to see some spots of St. Thomas that we had not see before, but I don't think that I would do this tour again or recommend it. Looking back I wish we would have gone with one of the St. John island tours. I think that I will try to do one of those in February.
Side note is that the way the islanders drive in St. Thomas just about gave me a headache. Our tour guide backed into a concrete wall, parked in very tight quarters at places and the other drivers were not any better from what we saw. I think that being in an open air vehicle through all of this only made it a little worse.

Our Tour guide in St. Thomas pointing out the "door bell" buttons we can push to get his attention.


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[COLOR=Blue][SIZE=5][I][B][FONT=Palatino Linotype]And More of St. Thomas...[/FONT][/B][/I][/SIZE][/COLOR]
That is our boat..in the middle.


Our tour guide was nice enough to take a photo of us. One of just a few of us together during this trip.

Just beautiful!

Another downside was that we didn't get much time to do shopping, but we did get to spend some time at our favorite jeweler. My husband has been a customer of Imperial Jewelers in St. Thomas for over 10 years and it is quite interesting and so welcoming that they remember us by name. For example, we were just walking down the main street in St. Thomas when right as we got to the opening of the store the owner noticed us and came out on the street to greet us and usher us inside. He extended an offer for a drink, we took him up on the offer and it wasn't long before we had a Pina Colada in our hand.

And this is what I purchased...My first birthstone ring.
My new bling

Our Jewelers...almost like family!

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