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B2B On the Freedom ~ August 18th & 25th: My Diary

maxs mom

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Greetings Cruise Critic Family!!

For those of you that do not know us......we are Jane and John from North Carolina. We are Diamond Plus Crown and Anchor members. We are 60 somethings and this cruise was to celebrate my retirement. I retired in June after teaching for 40 years. We stayed home all summer until we found these two weeks on the Freedom for a great price. It was a perfect time to do a back to back.......the first week was when teachers went back to school, and the second week was when the students returned. Yay!!!

We used about 4 cameras and my iPhone on this trip and were trying out a brand new camera. I was pleased with the new camera. But somehow or another during the course of the trip.....the lens got a couple of spots on it and I didn't realize it, so I apologize for that. It's always something with my cameras!!

We left home on August 16th and drove to Brunswick, Georgia.......then drove the rest of the way on the 17th. We stayed at the Hampton Inn on Cocoa Beach and were quite pleased with this hotel. It is an older HI, but quite nice. It had a great pool area and there was a short walk to the absolutely gorgeous beach. They provided a decent breakfast as long as you didn't want bacon and eggs!

Here is the pool and the beach at the Hampton Inn:




That night we went to Grills for dinner. I called ahead for call ahead seating since they don't take reservations on the day that you're eating. That worked out well. We didn't have to wait too long. We snapped this picture while we were waitingFreedomoftheSeasAugust2013039_zps5ae979e5.jpgI had the coconut shrimp and it was delicious!

Sunday ~ August 18th ~ Embarkation

We made reservations at Park and Cruise on line for parking our car for the two weeks. They are on Merritt island and very close to the port. We got to P&C about 10:30, got our car parked, luggage on the shuttle, and to the ship by 11:00 AM. We never had to touch or lift our luggage, which is a good thing, because since we didn't fly.....we brought everything...including the kitchen sink.

Only one problem. John left his sunglasses in the car.....so he had to ride the shuttle back to get those. I waited for him at the drop off point for about 30 minutes so he could retrieve those. It was here that I got the first good look at our ride:


After he got back, we were in the security line in no time. Security wasn't bad at all.....no searches this time. We went up the escalator and straight to the desk for check-in......no waiting. The Welcome Aboard picture was made....and we were on the ship!!

Yay!! Love the Freedom Class ships, although our very favorite ships are the Radiance Class.

We went to the Champagne Bar to hang out until our cabin was ready at 1:00. I went up to make reservations at Chops, Portofino, and My Time Dining. We didn't have to wait in the CB for too long.

Ready for a great two weeks of fun and relaxation on the Freedom of the Seas!


Edited by max'smom
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Soon we went to our cabin on deck 6......an E-1, mid ship....small, but OK....just forward of the hump. We will have to change cabins at the end of the week.....one problem for booking late. The cabin number was 6316, Starboard.


This was our balcony:


After dumping our stuff, we went to the Windjammer for lunch.....not my favorite....but on this ship....not much choice. We can usually find something good, though. I usually stick with a salad with a slice of whatever the carving of the day is. You can't go wrong with that. I grabbed a coconut ranger cookie, then we noticed people walking around with ice cream cones! Yay!! The ice cream machine was opened today. We made a bee-line to Sprinkles on the pool deck to get our cone......a favorite and a must every day!!



Back at the cabin, we began the unpacking process. As soon as we had the carry-ons done, the big suitcases arrived at the door. Perfect.

Muster was at 4:00. It was hot and our station was outside, but things moved along fairly speedy.



Edited by max'smom
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After muster, I went up to the Sky Bar to get my traditional sail away mojito!! I looked all around for other CC members, but never saw anyone. I took a few pictures of the sail away party. It was really nice with the DreamWorks characters.













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Thanks for the nice comments already. I hope I can speed up. As usual.....I am having a few issues with Photobucket, but I hope to iron that out!

Tyler.....stay tuned. One of the best beaches ever on the Eastern leg! I don't know if I want to tell anybody about it because it might get crowded!!

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For some reason, we were not sailing away! So I went back to the cabin. John said he thought he heard an ambulance. I saw some people getting off around 5 o'clock, then they hurried to cast off and we were on our way. Found out later that there was a medical emergency.

The view from our cabin:


And we're off:


We had beautiful weather for this sail away. We passed by Fishlips.....where the webcam is......


Then Grills....where we had dinner last night:


Lots of people were waving goodbye:



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Very nice start.

Freedom has a special place in our cruise history.

Congrats on retirement!

How lucky you are on doing the B2B.

Cannot wait to read more.

Very very nice start

Thank You

Sea Ya


Same from me! (Another Jane). Freedom does not as yet hold a special place in our cruise history. But, believe me I'm working on him! I mean it! Yeah it!! ;)

Edited by evelyn51
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Got ready for the evening and went up to Deck 10 to the Concierge Lounge at around 6:30.


The CL closes at 8:00 on this ship, so we had to go a little earlier than we normally would. There were a lot of things that were different on this ship than any other and it got to be a little annoying. Nothing major, and it didn't ruin our cruise, but still some things that were disappointing. I'll mention those as we go along.

Christopher was the bartender in the CL this week and he was one of the best ever!!


As soon as we walked in....we met Willie, The Concierge. We had Willie back in 2005 on the Radiance in Alaska. He is also a special friend to one of our cruise buddies and she let him know that we were coming. Willie immediately grabbed my camera and set up a time delay picture so we could send it to our friend.



Our drinks of choice!


The ambiance in this Concierge Lounge is very nice. Low lighting, pillows in the chairs and couches.....all very cozy.

We went to Chops this evening and took advantage of our two for one coupon... the coupons are on your sea pass card now, and for the most part...I like that. You just tell them what coupon you are using and they swipe the card and it's all done. No more lugging around those booklets and filling the coupons out. It works well.

We had a wonderful dinner. I had the Chops salad, a petit filet, and.....of course......Mud Pie. I've said it before and I'll say it again......this is the reason I cruise!!


When our waitress took our sea pass card, she offered to take our other sea pass card over to Portofino and charge our dinner there tonight so we could get two for one there, too......even though we weren't eating there until Thursday night. We didn't ask her to do that......she told us that she would do that. Great! That was nice of her.

We were pooped, so we went back to our cabin after dinner and in bed by 10:00!! We are such party animals!!

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great start on your review. I can hardly wait for the review for the sailing on the Aug. 25th cruise since Phyllis and I were with you and John.


We had a blast.


Al......you were quick to find this!!! Yes.....I have some good pictures form the next leg!! I'll get there as soon as I can! Love you guys!

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Jane, nice review!!! Waiting for more!!! I think that yours are the best reviews!!! Thanks for the special pics!!!

Leaving for Mass in the morning!! Can't wait to get there!!!

I'll be reading your review in the car, while 'our driver' will drive!!! :)

Do you know if Willie's going home this week?

Have a great Friday!





Sent from my iPhone using Cruise Critic Forums mobile app

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Thank you so much for doing another picture review......they are awesome :). I hope you enjoy your retirement too! I am looking forward in seeing which beaches you went to on the Eastern route as we will be going soon on the Freedom in October......so excited!

Edited by fish6
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Thanks everyone!! For some reason, I could not get on to CC last night. I'll try to get a little more done this morning.

Gerry.....I'm impressed! You're all the way up to 3 posts now! And yes.....it was a great two weeks. So glad to have met and hung out with you and Sandy. We'll definitely do it again!

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Monday ~ August 19th ~ Sea Day

Gotta love those sea days!!

Woke up early and went up to the Concierge Lounge for coffee, some quiet time, and journal writing. Met some lovely people here in the mornings. The morning people are mostly different from the evening people. I enjoy meeting and chatting with lots of folks.

This is the CL in the morning and the wonderful coffee machine. You can get all kinds of great coffee here, but I always get plain decaf coffee. It's all mighty good!




Soon we were off to the Main Dining Room for breakfast. No Windjammer any more for this girl!! Don't like fighting people for a piece of toast. Now here is where we ran into our next disappointment with this ship. There is no D/D+/P area in the MDR for breakfast. Next to the Concierge Lounge.....this is my favorite perk of being loyal to Royal. Something else for the comment card. I guess there are just so many D/D+/P folks that sail on this ship that they can't do it. I just hate to have to explain all our quirks to a different waiter every morning. Oh well.......we ended up having breakfast this morning with two other couples and they were very nice. Breakfast was excellent.

The Meet and Mingle was scheduled this morning at 10:15 in the Olive or Twist Lounge on Deck 14. There was a very good turn out. I am always amazed at the number of people that show up that never posted!! That's not the point of this thing, but whatever.......

Katie, the Activities Manager, was there to run the show and she was delightful. She had us all introduce ourselves and she was looking for the most unusual screen name and she would give that person a bottle of wine. Actually I think there were two bottles. I think MaiTaiQueen won one of them, but I forgot who won the other one. Then she raffled off some other prizes. Some were crappy and others were not bad.

This is Katie. She had the best personality and really made me laugh.


Other shots from the M&M:



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