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fletch1027

Freedom OTS Trip Review - 2/16/14 (Western) - Playing “Clue” in the Caribbean!

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I really enjoy doing trip reviews. They help me organize photos as well as help me remember things from the cruise.

 

This one will be my second one. Both on Freedom... both Western Caribbean... both in the winter. I sense a pattern developing... :)

 

Big difference this time was in addition to Jen and I, we also brought along our 16 yr old DD Hannah. A 16th birthday present was an excellent excuse for a cruise!

 

Having one of the kids along brought with it some new challenges in planning & time management that I will try to remember to being up along the way.

 

I also like to come up with clever (in my mind anyway) titles for my reviews. This one I am calling "Playing 'Clue' in the Caribbean". I called it that for a specific reason based on where our cabin was located, as well as some themes that carried throughout the week. For those who have played Clue before, the answer to this Clue game is:

 

Professor Key Lime did it in the Library with a Silver Medal

 

Doesn't make a lot of sense now, but it will by the time I get to Day 7.

 

Another thing I did differently this time was go armed with a better camera. I found a great deal on a Nikon P510 a couple months ago ($199 on Woot). For comparison, they were selling the P520 on the ship for $599.

 

Anyway, I love to take pictures and this camera delivers with an awesome 42x zoom. Here's a pic below:

 

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I used it at least part of every day with the exception of the Grand Cayman day where I used the same waterproof camera that I bought for the last trip (Nikon Coolpix S31).

 

Well, I hope to update at least daily with a days worth of review. Mostly photos, with some rambling commentary...

 

 

:cool:

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Also, some folks have asked for scans of the weeks worth of Cruise Compass scans. I scanned only the back page of each after labeling the top, and they are all in one 7 page PDF document that I uploaded and shared on Google docs.

 

The link is below for anyone that wants to see them:

 

FOS Western Compass Download

 

 

:cool:

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Yay!!! Can't wait to read more! Doing this ship, this itinerary with a 16 year old in August. Loved your last review so eagerly awaiting more of this one!!

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Really looking forward to your review. We're bringing the family on Freedom in 117 days. One BIG question for you... the cruise compass lists arrival in Cozumel at 10am. Obviously, that's "ship time". But did ship time match "island" time?

 

Thanks

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Really looking forward to your review. We're bringing the family on Freedom in 117 days. One BIG question for you... the cruise compass lists arrival in Cozumel at 10am. Obviously, that's "ship time". But did ship time match "island" time?

 

Thanks

 

 

Always stay on ship time! The captain made announcements to this! You will arrive in Coz at 9 am their time, but 10 am ship time. Keep a watch with you because the ship will leave without you!

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Always stay on ship time! The captain made announcements to this! You will arrive in Coz at 9 am their time, but 10 am ship time. Keep a watch with you because the ship will leave without you!

I *KNOW* that. But when planning 3rd party excursions, you need to know if there's a difference in time. If we arrive in Coz at 9am (local), I'm good. If we arrive in Coz at 10am (local), I need to reschedule. I can't wait until I'm on the ship to do that.

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Really looking forward to your review. We're bringing the family on Freedom in 117 days. One BIG question for you... the cruise compass lists arrival in Cozumel at 10am. Obviously, that's "ship time". But did ship time match "island" time?

 

Thanks

 

We were there last week (pre DST), so Jamaica and GC were the same as ship time, and Coz was 1 hour behind). I know the Capt determines ship time, but both times we were on FOS, ship time was EST.

 

In Coz, we did a private tour that included riding the boat to Playa del Carmen, so we had to be aware of both Coz (CST) and ship time.

 

 

Sent from my HTC One using Tapatalk

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Looking forward to reading this! We are traveling in June on this itinerary with our three girls ages 9, 9, & 11, plus my 16 year old niece. I am interested to hear what your daughter enjoyed. Do you happen to have a printout of the "Teen Club" activities that you can scan? Thanks for scanning the compasses!!

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We were there last week (pre DST), so Jamaica and GC were the same as ship time, and Coz was 1 hour behind). I know the Capt determines ship time, but both times we were on FOS, ship time was EST.

 

In Coz, we did a private tour that included riding the boat to Playa del Carmen, so we had to be aware of both Coz (CST) and ship time.

 

 

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Great! It sounds like my plans will work (10am Coz excursion). Thank you!

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Great! It sounds like my plans will work (10am Coz excursion). Thank you!

 

You should check and see if and when (or if) Mexico starts their DST, because when we cruised there last March it was after DST so we were 2 hours ahead of Coz...

 

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You should check and see if and when (or if) Mexico starts their DST, because when we cruised there last March it was after DST so we were 2 hours ahead of Coz...

 

Sent from my HTC One using Tapatalk

Thanks for the tip. Coz starts DST on April 6, so they will hopefully be 1 hour behind ship time for us (end of June). If they're two hours behind us, even better.

 

Our Dolphin Encounter at Chakanaab is scheduled for 10am. Ship is scheduled to dock at 10am. So if Coz is an hour behind, we have an hour to get off the ship and to Chakanaab. That's easy. If they're on the same time, we can't do it and have to reschedule, which adds other complications. :p

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Day 0 – The Adventure Begins

 

Living in Atlanta has some perks. One is all the ice I could ever need right in my front yard! Another one is proximity to Orlando and her close neighbor Port Canaveral!

 

Apologies for not immediately jumping into the cruise, but our family has traditions and processes that we are required to follow as we build up to the real vacation – the cruise, hence the “Day 0” designation for this day.

 

We are also Disney Vacation Club owners, so for all of the cruises we have done, we have always left around 8-9 am, drove the 6-7 hours down to Disney, spend a night at a DVC condo, then make the quick hour drive to PC the next morning.

 

This time we stayed at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. Since there were three of us this trip, the 1st night in the studio room was good prep for the three of us in a cabin. :D

 

Animal Kingdom with a savannah view was also a good opportunity to play with the new camera! I got a lot better shots this time than last trip (also being a newbie with it I also missed out on some cool shots), but pretty good zoom action from the 5th floor:

 

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Ostrich with a zookeeper

 

 

 

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“Tommie” Gazelles

 

 

 

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Roan Antelope play hard and eat hard (similar to cruisers)

 

 

 

To be continued...

 

 

 

.

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... and to finish up Day 0 (thanks CC for the 6 photo limit per post) :-)

 

 

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Giraffe (duh)

 

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Zebra (on the FOS they sound a lot like Chris Rock)

 

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Disney Unicorn

 

 

After watching the animals for a while, we headed over to Downtown Disney to visit one of our favorite places to eat – Earl Of Sandwich. After dinner, we started to get into cruise “shape” by stopping by Ghirardelli’s for some dessert. :-)

 

We then returned back to the room, watched our last bit of “real” television, and went to sleep, excited for tomorrow’s boarding - but not before indulging in another favorite hobby – spotting “hidden Mickey’s”:

 

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Room carpet

 

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Hallway

 

 

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Pretty sure we met your daughter in the Solarium hot tub one day. She was very nice.

 

If it was her, she better have been on her best behavior!! :)

 

.

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Great pictures! I couldn't get that close to Disney and not go to a park.

 

I felt the same way in the past. This isn't the forum for me to air my Disney greviences, but it does make it easier to skip a park when I see Universal (and even Sea World) spending money on new rides, etc and Disney spends between 1 and 2 billion on wristbands, and what new things they have been or plan to do are out in CA (Star Wars, Cars, etc).

 

Also, last Sunday they raised ticket prices again... :-(

 

 

 

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I'm ready to see more pictures of the cruise! Even though I went on this exact same itinerary in June 2011, I will be boarding with a few of the members above in June for my anniversary!

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Looking forward to reading this! We are traveling in June on this itinerary with our three girls ages 9, 9, & 11, plus my 16 year old niece. I am interested to hear what your daughter enjoyed. Do you happen to have a printout of the "Teen Club" activities that you can scan? Thanks for scanning the compasses!!

 

I'm ready to see more pictures of the cruise! Even though I went on this exact same itinerary in June 2011, I will be boarding with a few of the members above in June for my anniversary!

Wow, it's turning into a Roll Call sub forum. :D

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Were the formal nights Monday and Thursday night? Still have Lobster tails one night?

 

Thanks.

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Were the formal nights Monday and Thursday night? Still have Lobster tails one night?

 

Thanks.

 

Yep, formal nights were Mon & Thurs.

 

Lobster on Thursday

 

Snails available a couple of nights that I know of (because I don't like them) :D

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Sorry for the delay, this turned into a term paper sized post... :-0

 

We awoke early on Sunday morning. Our room at Animal Kingdom Lodge was facing west on the 5th floor, and I caught a pretty cool image of a “moonset” that I don’t see very often. Especially cool when framed with the AK Lodge:

 

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After getting everything together, our plan was to load up the car, eat at the Lodge and be on the road around 9:00. The “quick service” restaurant at AK Lodge is called “The Mara”, and it was my lucky day! Our “home” Vacation Club resort is Saratoga Springs and their quick service place features a flatbread breakfast pizza. For some reason, The Mara had it as a special, so I knew we had picked the right place to stay! It is a flatbread layered with country gravy, scrambled eggs, bacon, and cheese, then baked in a pizza oven. I don’t do a lot of “food porn”, but I had to get a shot of this:

 

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Then of course there were 2-3 things we forgot to bring, so we had to hit the Wal-Mart on the way out of town. Anyway, we got over to Port Canaveral by around 10:30 and pulled into the parking lot.

 

Shameless plug / Tip: I did a lot of back and forth trying to decide where to park. There are two main “offsite” lots: Park N Cruise and the other one by the Radisson. They are both less than half what the Port charges to park, so I knew I was going to use one or the other. We used Park N Cruise last year and I ended up deciding to go there again. I am glad I did. It worked out perfectly for us! I logged into their site and pre-paid the night before. They are located on Merritt Island, the last exit before going over the bridge to PC. We pulled up to the main building and unloaded our bags. I then drove over to the parking area, which was 100-150 feet away. By the time I walked back to the main building, the shuttle was full of people and ready to head to Port. It is a 5-minute drive from Park N Cruise to the port. On top of that, you are dropped off at the bag drop area, and the driver literally unloads everyone’s luggage at the porter’s feet, so all you have to touch is your carry-on’s.

 

Getting there that early has another great benefit – very short lines at check in. From curbside through security to upstairs check-in to Freedom’s gangway was about 30 minutes total, and that was the line for the “regular folks”. We are a cruise away from bumping from Gold to Platinum, so while we have a Gold line upstairs for check-in we are still in the regular line downstairs.

 

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The good-looking members of the family walking the plank into vacationland

 

 

After getting on board, we took a different approach than we did when we cruised on Freedom last March. Last year, after reading some great trip reviews we took their advice and explored the ship from bottom to top while it was still empty and took note of where everything was. That, plus making use of the touch screens all over the ship (touch with my knuckle that is) really makes the Freedom very easy to manage and navigate even as big as she is! This time around we went up to the Windjammer for some quick lunch, then took our daughter around to show her things she would be interested in.

 

We had debated how much “freedom” to let her have on the cruise. We wanted her to be able to meet people and have fun, but at the same time, it is still a family vacation, and I paid to have her come along.

 

What we decided is that when we are off the ship at a port, she is with us 100% of the time. Dinner for us was also “family time”. She ate with us all but the 7th night. Sea days (Freedom Western has 2), she was pretty much on her own except for dinnertime and a couple of shows we did together (welcome aboard show, freedomice.com ice show, and magic show). She then had a curfew – usually midnight. The ship curfew for under 18 is 1am, so we may be mean parents, but that hour made a difference when trying to roust her the next morning for an 8am port.

 

Here is what we discovered. If travelling with teens, the ship becomes even easier to manage, because this is all they will care about when they are allowed to roam free:

 

Deck 5: Sorrento’s

Deck 11: Whirlpools, Pools, Windjammer

Deck 12: Teen Living Room, Fuel Room

Deck 13: Rock wall, Flowrider

Also, the last sea day they all discovered that the helipad was a cool place to hang out and talk it up

 

So, after eating, we showed her the four Freestyle stations around the ship where she could fill up her Coke mug (either side of Windjammer, in front of Sorrentos, in the arcade). We also showed her the places I listed above. When we walked through Fuel with her, there were no staff in there yet, but we noticed that there was a stack of Teen Compass’ laying out so we grabbed one.

 

For those of you with teens don’t look for a daily version; this is the only one for the week. It lists general ideas but no details:

 

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Teen Compass

 

 

However, all is not lost. All of the touch screens will tell you exact activity times each day, and it will let you sort by age group. The teens do some stuff combined, but most of the time they are split into two groups (12-14 & 15-17).

 

We then went up to the sports deck on 13, played a round of mini golf and introduced her to the flowrider.

 

TIP: We knew she would want to get in the water as soon as possible, so we had her pack her suit in her carry on because between boarding and muster drill, the Flowrider is open for business and there is hardly anyone up there. She did it for about an hour and there was about 5-6 people rotating through the line with her. I also did the waivers online so we didn’t have to do paperwork on the ship.

 

While she was boogie boarding, I messed around with the new camera some more and tested the zoom using the Disney Dream parked behind us as a subject:

 

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Dream without zoom (water coaster is between the red smokestacks)

 

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Zoomed in on the water coaster – I think I love this camera!

 

 

 

 

To be continued… the rest of Day 1…

 

 

.

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For those of you with teens don’t look for a daily version; this is the only one for the week. It lists general ideas but no details:

 

12799296364_6c2f3d5f7f_z.jpg

Teen Compass

 

 

.

 

 

Hmm... did you notice that it says "for more information please check your teen daily compass"" ?!?:eek:

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Hmm... did you notice that it says "for more information please check your teen daily compass"" ?!?:eek:

 

 

Yeah, that is pretty funny.

 

I forgot to mention that besides the touch screens by the elevators, my daughter said that there is a whiteboard in the "Living Room" where they write down the days activities...

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Wow, it's turning into a Roll Call sub forum. :D

 

Haha! Fletch1027, I hope you don't mind that I shared the link to your review on my June 22 roll call board. It looks like a few are following along. We are all anxious for our own cruise!!

 

Thanks for posting the teen activities. I'll share it with my niece. Did you daughter have trouble meeting people? My niece is very shy and is actually considering backing out because she is afraid of not making friends, which I don't think is even possible.

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Haha! Fletch1027, I hope you don't mind that I shared the link to your review on my June 22 roll call board. It looks like a few are following along. We are all anxious for our own cruise!!

 

Thanks for posting the teen activities. I'll share it with my niece. Did you daughter have trouble meeting people? My niece is very shy and is actually considering backing out because she is afraid of not making friends, which I don't think is even possible.

I'll have a 16yo DD on the cruise also. She has NO problems making friends that I've found. :D Maybe we should have them trade emails now. :p

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I'll have a 16yo DD on the cruise also. She has NO problems making friends that I've found. :D Maybe we should have them trade emails now. :p

 

I will allude to it more as the review progresses, but she definitely did not have any problems making friends. By the 2nd day, there was a posse of 5-6 of them all roaming the ship & doing the various activities.

 

She should go, she will have a blast!

 

.

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Some photos from DD’s first (of several) assaults on the flowrider during the week:

 

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And of course a wipeout! :-)

 

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After flowriding, it was time to head to our cabin to ditch our carry-on’s. We were on Deck 7 (#7449), in an interior cabin. This was a great cabin for a few reasons. It was interior, but only had one common wall with another cabin. It was also dead center between port / starboard which in theory will minimize movement. There was also another reason that relates to the title of my review that I will explain in the next post.

 

Here is a photo in case anyone wants to see what a cabin with a pulldown looks like:

 

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Walid was our awesome cabin attendant for the week. He did a great job. He said he was the only crew person on the ship from Egypt, so that was interesting. We decided to just have him leave the bunk bed pulled down the whole time so he didn’t have to raise & lower it every day.

 

We were in tight quarters, but made it work. The only time it was an issue was the two times we were all trying to get ready for formal night at the same time. The other times we weren’t in the room enough to feel too cramped. That being said, three people would be the MAX I could tolerate. If we had two kids with us, we would have had to do a second cabin.

 

Although we checked in before noon, we didn't get our luggage until after dinner. My mild OCD had me picturing our luggage on some forgotten cart back at port, but alas it made it. The funny thing was that after dinner, we still didn't see it outside our door and more panic set in. We then opened our door to see that Walid had brought it in for us! Did I mention that he's awesome? :-)

 

Next, it was time for everyone’s favorite, the muster drill. We got through that, then we headed up to the helipad for the sail away.

 

I would have had more pictures, but we met up with another family that had a daughter the same age as ours that we met on the CC roll call board. That way she got a head start on meeting someone she could buddy around with. I did see this guy below that was showing us the way out of port:

 

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Captain then came on the speaker sounding angry to tell us that we were going to be leaving 20-30 minutes late due to a couple people that were late arriving to the port. I think as soon as their feet touched Deck 4, Captain hit the thrusters. :-)

 

Due to us leaving late, the Magic got the jump on us. Is it just me or does that what I am assuming is crew area, look less like the Dream and more like the brig on the Black Pearl?

 

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We had MTD on this cruise, so today we had dinner at 5:30. That worked out well, because we then were able to make the 7:00 welcome aboard show. Comedian was pretty funny. Mike Hunnerump was the CD for our cruise.

 

Teen Alert: If you are travelling with teens, make sure they DO NOT miss the “Teens 411” get together at 9:00pm in the Fuel dance room. That is the place they will meet the Teen Staff, get an intro to all of the events for the week and most importantly they will also get a chance to make some new friends that will cause them to want to spend as little time with their parents as possible. :-)

 

We wandered about for a while, relaxed in deck chairs, and then called it a day…

 

 

.

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I'll have a 16yo DD on the cruise also. She has NO problems making friends that I've found. :D Maybe we should have them trade emails now. :p

 

Yeah, really! I think the biggest part of her fear is that she is spoiled because on her first and only cruise back in December, her best friend got to go with her, so she had an automatic buddy when they got on board. And her friend is very outgoing. I'm sure she will be just fine, but convincing her is another thing. She has until April to make a decision so we don't lose the deposit.

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I do agree about Disney spending too much money on Magic Bands and not enough on rides.

 

Great start to your review and great pictures.

 

 

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Yeah, really! I think the biggest part of her fear is that she is spoiled because on her first and only cruise back in December, her best friend got to go with her, so she had an automatic buddy when they got on board. And her friend is very outgoing. I'm sure she will be just fine, but convincing her is another thing. She has until April to make a decision so we don't lose the deposit.

 

I think if she opens communication with someone else before leaving, she will have a much higher comfort level about going.

 

Our DD ended up meeting people from Canada, Sweeden, west coast, New York, etc that she wouldn't have had the chance to with different modes of vacationing...

 

 

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It’s “so nice” the way the Western Caribbean sailings work out on Freedom. There is a sea day first to get you in the swing of things before sailing and a sea day on the last day as you wind down and start the depressing job of packing.

 

So for our sea day, we slept in a little, then headed to the WJ for breakfast. After breakfast, DD wanted to do the rock wall. After reminding her that she needed socks, we headed up there. She’s a pretty good athlete, so she didn’t have too much trouble Spider-Man’ing up the wall and ringing the bell. I positioned on the other side of the basketball court and got some pictures of her scooting up and ringing the bell at the top:

 

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On the way back I stopped at the Library on Deck 7 and took a look around. I hadn’t spent much time there before, but it is a great place to relax and people watch. There were people reading, kids doing homework (yuck), a big puzzle in process, naps among other things. Looking at the picture below, you will notice a door in the back left corner labeled “Emergency Exit”. I made a mental note as I headed back to my cabin…

 

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Freedom’s Library

 

If you look at a deck layout for Deck 7 below, in the aft area, the interior cabins are triple wide. We were in cabin # 7449. In order to get to our cabin, we go past the library, take a right, go down the hall, take another right, take a third right and our cabin is at the end of the hall on the left. Curiously, I noticed a door at the end of our hall also marked “Emergency Exit”. I tracked down our room steward Walid with a question. I asked him if that door at the end of our hall led into the library?? He said “yes”. I then asked if we were allowed to use it. He said “of course!”. This was an awesome discovery! Not only did our room have only one common wall to share with other cabins and zero foot traffic past our door, we were now only mere steps away from the aft stairs & elevators! I love this cabin!

 

The combination of the library and the “secret passage” / shortcut to our cabin reminded me of the game Clue and what made me title the trip review like I did. I don’t think I went the “long” way the rest of the cruise!! :-)

 

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Deck 7

 

 

Tech Tip: While I am on the topic of cabins, it reminds me to mention that most of them (ours included) have only two power outlets. Between the three of us, we have several things to keep charged. One way I alleviated this was by purchasing this charging station (on the shelf by the mirror). The Amazon link is below. It was $20, and can charge up to five things at once off of one plug. The really cool thing is that at least two of the USB ports, can charge at the faster rate (2.1 amps) for things like tablets and some smartphones. As you can see by the photo, we had several things going at once at any given time.

 

Amazon charger link

 

 

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iPhone 5, HTC One, Blackberry, and Nexus 7 happily charging away

 

 

More of Day 2 to come...

 

:D

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I'm enjoying your review so far! We will be in cabin 7367 in a couple of months; I take it that your cabin was nice and quiet? I also saw that there was a library nearby which I'm hoping makes that an easy choice for noise level.

 

Also, how was it getting to and from your cabin to the various parts of the ship that you most visited? I'm not ashamed to say that I plan to take the elevator to and from the WJ/deck 11 quite often. :)

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I'm enjoying your review so far! We will be in cabin 7367 in a couple of months; I take it that your cabin was nice and quiet? I also saw that there was a library nearby which I'm hoping makes that an easy choice for noise level.

 

Also, how was it getting to and from your cabin to the various parts of the ship that you most visited? I'm not ashamed to say that I plan to take the elevator to and from the WJ/deck 11 quite often. :)

 

 

We did not hear a peep from outside the room the whole 7 days. Probably more so from only having a cabin touching on one side (and a 2 person cabin at that) of ours. If you look at that piece of deck plan I posted, you can see that a lot of interior cabins have three shared walls with other cabins.

 

I think in regards to the library, decks 6, 7, and 8 have common areas in that space. The library is on 7, internet cafe on 8, and the NextCruise office is on 6. They are all pretty quiet for public areas. The library picture I posted doesn't show it, but the library has a hole in the roof that looks into the internet cafe.

 

.

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After my library secret passage discovery, DD went off with her new friends, and we changed and headed up to Deck 12 to stake out some chair real estate. By early morning, all of the chairs near the pool as well as all of the ones that are aligned like stadium seating between the pool bars are all taken. However, it is possible to find chairs up on Deck 12 overlooking either the pool or ocean. I am borrowing this image from my last trip review, but the scene was the same for me that afternoon. :-)

 

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That constituted our afternoon until the three of us met in the cabin to get ready for our 4:30 freedom-ice.com show. Regarding the ice show, there are 4 performances during the week. It was the same times last week as it was last March, so I assume it is pretty consistent. Anyway, on day 2, there is a 2:30 and a 4:30 show. We chose the 4:30 so it wouldn’t disrupt our afternoon. Also with the 4:30 we went right from there to our 5:30 MTD reservation. I did book the 4:30 reservation online the week before. The place was full, but I’m not sure if it was all pre-reserved or if any walk ups got in.

 

Here are some photos from the show. It was the same as last time with the exception of the “headliner” that performs about halfway through. Last March there was a Russian girl that did ice skating with hoops as props and this time there was a magician & assistant that did some stuff like clothing quick changes and the like.

 

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We sat towards the back because we knew we would need to leave 5-10 minutes early to get to our MTD reservation, so we did that. At this point, I would like to take some time to bring up a big negative MTD experience that happened on this cruise:

 

Last March we had MTD on Freedom as well. Both last year and last week we had reservations spanning the dinner hours. (as early as 5:30 - as late as 8:00). I think the MTD staff makes an effort (and I llike this a lot) to keep people in the same general area, because cruisers develop a relationship with the wait staff. Usually by Day 3, they know what you will be drinking, what kind of bread you like, etc. Last year, this process went off without a hitch. Day 1 through Day 7 we had zero issues. This cruise… not so much. It was nothing but problems every night at the MTD check-in. I think it started with the 1st night and that started a chain reaction that screwed up the other nights after that.

 

On the 1st night, we were seated right at 5:30 and introduced to our wait staff. They were good professionals, but not a lot of interaction or personality. About 10 minutes after we were seated, another person from the MTD desk escorted a group of four up near our table. By the looks of their pointing and chatting, it seemed like there was a snafu and our table was double-booked. They seated them somewhere else and we didn’t see them again.

 

Anyway, not on to tonight’s seating. We arrived at 5:30 and they told us something to the effect of “last night we seated you guys at the wrong table. We have fixed it now, so we will take you to your correct table”. Phrases like that seem odd in the concept of MTD, but they must pre-slot folks even though they may have different times each night. We were seated at our “new” table which was only a few tables away from last night, but on the other side of a divider wall. We were then introduced to one of the highlights of the cruise: Rodson and Hemsley. They are both from India and they were awesome! By the time we were through with dinner, the head waiter (Jody) came by and apologized for the mix-up last night, and we said no worries, we are perfectly happy where we are. As I will explain during the review, keeping Rodson & Hemsley was an ongoing battle that lasted the rest of the week. One positive experience from Day 2’s dinner was a request I made. I love Key Lime pie, and I read a few weeks ago on CC where someone had asked for it off menu. I know they have Key Lime, but not until Day 7, and I didn’t want to wait that long. I asked Rodson if I could order it even though it was off menu. He said no, but I could talk to the Head Waiter who handled special requests. Rodson pro-actively told Jody what I was asking for, because she came by about 10 minutes later and asked me if I wanted it tomorrow night. I said yes! And she said she would put in an order for it. If you are wondering how the Head Waiter earns their part of the daily gratuity, that is how... :-)

 

The Key Lime adventure will be another thing that I will update more as the days go by.

 

After dinner, DD went off to the nightly teen activities, and Jen wanted to go poolside to watch Valentines Day, which was about a year old rom-com that she had not seen yet. We headed up to do that, and on the way I was able to track down Puss-n-Boots (my favorite DreamWorks character) for a photo, which was something that I didn’t get around to doing last year:

 

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For good measure, DD and I got a photo the night before with King Julian:

 

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After the movie, we headed down to the cabin, and found the first of many towel animals on the bed. Being a frequenter of Disney the last 20 years, I loved the animals they would leave, so I’m glad it is a tradition on RCI as well. I may have mentioned it before, but Walid was an awesome attendant!

 

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Swans have been known to bite, but not this one…

 

 

Tomorrow… Labadee awaits…

 

 

 

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