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MITSUGIRLYS FREEDOM OF THE SEAS REVIEW & PICTORIAL

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On our way back to the ship.

 

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We could see her off in the distance.

 

 

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I always laugh when I see fast food at places in the Caribbean...I don't know why.

 

 

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We made it back around so it was definitely a short ride since we were packing up to leave the beach AT 3pm, which means we left after that time.   It now gives me an idea of how close that string of beaches is and next time I might just hit up Jolly Beach. 

 

We had a lovely day of seeing several different beaches and some of Antigua along the way. It would definitely be a place I'd like to head back to but next time, I think I will just pick a beach and stay there. All this running around beach hoping is nice to see the various beaches and sites, but you just don't feel like you've got your "fair share" of being at a beach. This place is definitely a place I need to come and STAY on the island to explore those 365 beaches. LOL

 

I would recommend Lawrence of Antigua tours. For $50 taking you all over the island...well you can't beat that. Mr NotLawrence was nice (despite the misunderstanding at the beginning about "staying 10 minutes"). He provided drinks during our rides and let us stay where we wanted for the amount of time we wanted with no issues. Lawrence himself was nice, although we didn't get to talk much at the beach because we were on limited time there and wanted to experience the place. I'm not sure if he had a group of his own. I do believe that I saw 2 Lawrence of Antigua buses in the parking lot because I remember walking out and was like...wait, which is ours?

 

I don't know how much a taxi to the furthest area (Long Bay Beach) is, but if you have a large group, need a van, and wanted to go that far, it might even be worth it to just hire Lawrence to get you all there together (like a private tour) even if you was to stay there all day. But anyhow...very nice company.

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I am living for this review!!!  thank you again for doing it for us future Freedom cruisers.  Do you happen to remember what nights were formal?  Trying to book some reservations on the ship and that info would be helpful.  I believe it's Monday and Friday nights.  But want to be sure. 

 

Thank you!!!

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1 hour ago, Palmetto Pilot said:

Awesome review. Freedom is my favorite Royal ship. I can't wait to see what she looks like after her drydock.

 

 

Thanks and drydock? 😮 I can't seriously imagine what she would need done to her to make her better. She's beautiful and in such good shape.

 

 

54 minutes ago, miamimere said:

I always look forward to your reviews, and they have been super helpful on previous trips!  We did the Freedom in 2018 and loved the ship, the Freedom class is my absolute favorite of the Royal ships. 

 

We started booking more Carnival and MSC cruises because our family outgrew the royal rooms and my kids no longer willingly shared the double sofa bed.  I was so excited to see your pics of the ultra spacious room.  I showed my husband last night.  Good to know that we have some options!!!  Thanks so much for the info 🙂

 

Aww thanks and glad I can help. I would say it's my favorite as well and will look for this class (and Oasis) in the future.

 

This room was AMAZING!

 

3 minutes ago, BNL1213 said:

I am living for this review!!!  thank you again for doing it for us future Freedom cruisers.  Do you happen to remember what nights were formal?  Trying to book some reservations on the ship and that info would be helpful.  I believe it's Monday and Friday nights.  But want to be sure. 

 

Thank you!!!

 

 

Aww thanks for the kind comments.

 

You are correct. Formal nights were monday and friday. 🙂

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Back at the port, we did a little shopping and then headed to the ship around 4pm.

 

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We started hearing a battle of the horns and knew someone was pulling out...

 

 

 

 

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The other RC ship was pulling out and it revealed.....X was with us too. (I knew this but the rest of the family didn't realize there was another ship there with us. 

 

 

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Back to the room to shower and we had this magnificent view from our overly sized room. 

 

 

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I always find the hours the buffet is open on port days. Like why can't they adjust these so that those coming back on the ship, after a long day in port, have someplace to eat, other than the 24/7 venues? I just don't get it!

 

So, pizza it is.

 

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After eating and relaxing for a bit, Sakari was getting the itch for water again. This child would live in water if she could.

 

She changed into a bathing suit, morphed into a mermaid, then back to the pool we went.

 

As we were relaxing and watching a bit of the movie Homes & Watson, I heard this flapping of a tail and here she came to us (mermaid tail still on).

 

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She informed us that the lifeguards told her that she couldn't wear her mermaid tail in the pool and that it was "too dangerous". Say what? Dangerous for who? Those around her? Because there were maybe 3 people in the pool. Dangerous for her? Seriously...it's a monofin and she can swim better with it on than without. They didn't have any problem with it the night before and she has not had one issue with any other cruise or ship. She was a little upset but took it off as instructed. She swam for a little bit and then decided she'd rather go back to the room and draw on her ipad. 

 

We headed to the casino for a bit and I did "ok" and was still playing with the same $20 I started out with from the first time I went.

 

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They were having an 80's party tonight and I knew I wanted to see a bit of it. Up to deck 5 to check it out. My favorite era is the 80's and I just love the music and dancing.

 

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We didn't stay the whole time and knew that I still needed to get back to the room and pack for our day in St Lucia tomorrow.

 

 

 

This was our towel animal for the night. I thought i looked like a big but Sakari insisted that it was Dumbo (we had just went to the movies and watch Dumbo prior to the cruise and she said it was tiny like Dumbo and he was trying to flap his ears). I'm thinking Angry Bird myself. 

 

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I haven't been on Freedom for quite a while.  Are all the pools fresh water or do they have a mix between fresh and salt water?

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18 minutes ago, mchin said:

I haven't been on Freedom for quite a while.  Are all the pools fresh water or do they have a mix between fresh and salt water?

 

All freshwater on Freedom.

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Enjoying the review! I've been on Freedom twice when it was in FLL, we really enjoyed the ship but I am kind of hoping she gets the Indy treatment and they add some water slides 🙂

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Posted (edited)

 

When she goes into dry dock I understand she will be "Amped" as they did with Indy and the other Freedom class ships.

Edited by WisconsinFan

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Kim.....so happy to see another review.  Sad to hear of Billy’s family.  Congrats on graduation.

 

I think I’ve been following your cruising and college journeys for years.

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Thanks for your review- very informative and entertaining☺ I love your daughters name. I was wondering if there is a meaning or an origin of the name Sakari?

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3 hours ago, mitsugirly said:

 

 

Thanks and drydock? 😮 I can't seriously imagine what she would need done to her to make her better. She's beautiful and in such good shape.

She’s scheduled for drydock from January 19 to March 1, 2020. 

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Enjoying your review as always! Great pictures of the beaches.

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Great review as always.  My family and I will be on this same ship and same itinerary next April.  

What was your favorite beach out of the beaches you got to see in Antigua? 

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3 hours ago, mitsugirly said:

I always find the hours the buffet is open on port days. Like why can't they adjust these so that those coming back on the ship, after a long day in port, have someplace to eat, other than the 24/7 venues? I just don't get it!

I wholeheartedly agree. The buffet was always closed on the Allure by the time we got back from the beach and took showers. Thankfully, the Allure had a Central Park cafe we were very fond of... Hot paninis, salads, desserts, soups.

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4 hours ago, Reginaldvanpelt said:

Love your review! We board Freedom in a week and are really looking forward to it!

 

Thanks and awesome! I hope you have smooth sailing and a wonderful cruise. 

 

 

3 hours ago, mchin said:

I haven't been on Freedom for quite a while.  Are all the pools fresh water or do they have a mix between fresh and salt water?

 

 

Fresh

 

 

2 hours ago, MamatoJack said:

Enjoying the review! I've been on Freedom twice when it was in FLL, we really enjoyed the ship but I am kind of hoping she gets the Indy treatment and they add some water slides 🙂

 

Oooooo, what's the Indy treatment? I kept saying the one thing that was missing on the ship was water slides (which prior to going I thought I seen a picture of some on it but you know how the internet is...they'll say the name of the ship and give a picture and it will be something totally different) and a ropes course would be cool. 

 

2 hours ago, WisconsinFan said:

 

When she goes into dry dock I understand she will be "Amped" as they did with Indy and the other Freedom class ships.

 

Sounds like it will be fabulous. 

 

1 hour ago, graphicguy said:

Kim.....so happy to see another review.  Sad to hear of Billy’s family.  Congrats on graduation.

 

I think I’ve been following your cruising and college journeys for years.

 

Thanks so much for all the comments. Glad you are here and enjoying. The years sure do go by fast. 

 

1 hour ago, blueridgemama said:

Thanks for your review- very informative and entertaining☺ I love your daughters name. I was wondering if there is a meaning or an origin of the name Sakari?

 

Thanks and awww, thank you for the comment about Sakari's name. Everyone always ask me how to say it and it's just like it's spelled SA-KAR-I. The meaning is sweet like sugar. It's a funny (but long story) how I came up with it. Short version is back in the Myspace days, you could post a poll. I picked 10 "odd" names and told people to vote on which name they would pick for our daughter. Then I took the 3 LEAST picked names and did the poll one last time. The ONLY name that didn't get one vote was Sakari...and that's the name I went with. I wanted unique and I had found it. 

 

The only other time we've heard of a Sakari is we were in Belize once and a guy at West Bay (that worked there) said his SON was named Sakari (and the son was living in the US with the mom in California I think he said). 

 

The other time this name was ever mentioned...we had a baby polar bear born at the Columbus Zoo (everyone knows Jack Hanna right?) and they did a poll to name the baby polar bear and Sakari was one of them. It wasn't picked...but I voted every day. hehe

 

1 hour ago, Palmetto Pilot said:

She’s scheduled for drydock from January 19 to March 1, 2020. 

 

Awesome. 

 

1 hour ago, MzShae said:

Enjoying your review as always! Great pictures of the beaches.

 

 

Thanks so much. Glad you are enjoying them. 

 

1 hour ago, KelSny1011 said:

Great review as always.  My family and I will be on this same ship and same itinerary next April.  

What was your favorite beach out of the beaches you got to see in Antigua? 

Nice. It looks like you'll be on it right after dry dock then. 

 

I would have to say I would go with Long Bay Beach. Absolutely gorgeous and snorkeling. 

 

1 hour ago, Itchy&Scratchy said:

I wholeheartedly agree. The buffet was always closed on the Allure by the time we got back from the beach and took showers. Thankfully, the Allure had a Central Park cafe we were very fond of... Hot paninis, salads, desserts, soups.

 

I just don't understand why they do this. It's all ships and cruise lines too. It creates such long lines and congestion at the free venues during these hours and of course added stress on the employees too I'm sure. 

 

 

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Independence of the Seas is the sister ship to Freedom and when it was refurbished, it got water slides, a skypad (though that may be closed? I haven't been keeping up) which is a trampoline type thing. Part of their "amplified" updates. I think they added laser tag as well? So far Indy, Mariner and Navigator have been updated. I assume Freedom will be as well, and maybe Oasis. 

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Posted (edited)
18 minutes ago, mitsugirly said:

Thanks and awww, thank you for the comment about Sakari's name. Everyone always ask me how to say it and it's just like it's spelled SA-KAR-I. The meaning is sweet like sugar. It's a funny (but long story) how I came up with it. Short version is back in the Myspace days, you could post a poll. I picked 10 "odd" names and told people to vote on which name they would pick for our daughter. Then I took the 3 LEAST picked names and did the poll one last time. The ONLY name that didn't get one vote was Sakari...and that's the name I went with. I wanted unique and I had found it. 

my maiden name is the derivative of sugar (in its more old-time spelling like sakhar, zahari, zuker)

Edited by Itchy&Scratchy

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19 minutes ago, mitsugirly said:

I just don't understand why they do this. It's all ships and cruise lines too. It creates such long lines and congestion at the free venues during these hours and of course added stress on the employees too I'm sure. 

The Regal Princess buffet is the only one that is still open when we come back from the beach. Limited selections, but really good ones - guacamole, chicken and egg salads, nice sandwiches, salad bar, etc. I loaded up on guacamole every day, like it was going out of style.

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As always, just loving your Freedom OTS review. Have had the pleasure of cruising on her a few times. 

 

FYI, just in case you do, in the future, consider a Promenade View Inside, just know that the one drawback to them is that you can see directly across and into the rooms on the other side, and they into yours, so many people dislike that they have to keeps the drapery closed a lot of the time. Likewise aboard Oasis class ships when booking a Central Park or Boardwalk “neighborhood” balcony. 

 

Thank you you so much for your precious time and taking us along with you aboard Freedom! 😁😁

 

p.s. CONGRATS on finishing your degree. No more cruise ship studying and taking online tests for you 👏👏👏

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Ok, so only one other thing that happened this day that I want to bring up. This is my b*tch session so sorry in advance. 

 

We had went to the photography studio to take a look at our pictures taken so far. I know from past experiences that collecting your pictures during the week and putting them together never seems to end good for us. People will spread them out, take them-never to be seen again and so on. So, we have started gathering them nightly and taking them to the desk and having them hold on to them until the end of the cruise and then we'll pick what we want. (They have folders and cabinets they will put them in with your room number on them). 

 

Well, after gathering the pictures, we went up to the counter, and a guy helped us out.

 

Then our conversation went like this....

 

Him:  "Are you interested in our special? Tonight's the last night for it and it's only $69.95 for the package". 

He continued to tell me "For $69.95 you can have ALL of your pictures taken throughout the week...all of them!". 

Me: "Wait, what? ALL of them for $69.95?"

Him: "Yes, only if you do it tonight"

Me: "So there's got to be a catch to this. Is it only the port pictures?"

Him: "Nope, it's everything. Everything the photographers take of you during the cruise for only $69.95. But only tonight."

Me: "So what about the photographers that set up around the ship with props? Are those included in the $69.95 price?"

Him: "Yep...EVERYTHING! Even the pictures taken around the ship like in the MDR or by the pool and even embarkation"

Me: "So if it's only $69.95, why wouldn't EVERYONE on the ship do that then? That makes no sense."

Him: "I'm not sure. It's a great deal."

Me: "So when we see the photographers set up around the ship with a back drop, we can go to each one of them with no limit every night?"

Him: "Yes"

Me: "So there's no limit?"

Him: "No. You can go to each set up every single night of the cruise. The only "limit" is you can only do 6 pictures at each setup. How many are in your cabin?"

~me now thinking~ "Well, there are 4 booked in our cabin but 1 of those people belong to my older daughters fiance in another cabin and since she's his relative, she's in most of the pictures with them."

Him: "Well, since she's booked in your cabin, any pictures that include her are free with the package as well, even if you are not in them."

~Um ok. That meant that most of Kendra's pictures were going to be free too because Shawna was in most of them. The weird thing was, he never once asked me to prove she was in my cabin or anything. He just asked me to show him a picture of her in all the other pictures and they'd be included.  

Him: "So would you like to do the package for $69.95?"

Me: "Absolutely! Here's my card and I'm going over to get the other pictures as well" 

 

Then I ran off to grab Kendra's pictures with Shawna in them. 

 

When I returned, he gave me the slip to sign and ..... it said $269.95. "WAIT WHAT? You said $69.95 and you just charged me $269.95!!!" He started back tracking...well it's $269.95. I said over and over...NO! "You said $69.95 four times and I repeated it back to you several times and you assured me on the price." His reply was "Well, it was the $299.95 and now it's $269.95 and I was just saying the $69.95 is the changed part" WHAT THE HELL-O ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT????? You don't just "cut off" the first two hundred dollars of the price and quote the $69.95? At this point I'm pissed and I don't get pissed...like seriously, pissed often. My husband said..."ahhhh, the bait and switch program at it's finest!" I was livid. 

 

He said "No problem mam, I can remove it". 

Me: "Ok, remove it and charge me the $69.95 you quoted me!"

Him: "No, I can remove the charge all together and we won't do the package"

 

After going back and forth a bit...he knew I was pissed, the hubby and I talked it over and decided that we usually pay about $150 in pictures each cruise just buying them individually and Kendra usually spends about the same (or has been known to do the professional pictures and dress up and spend over $500). So, I said "I'll just go ahead and take it but this is BS that you did this to us!" I figured I could split the cost with Kendra and still pay less than I normally do.

 

I remembered that there were a few pictures of us that I wasn't going to originally buy and went back over to grab them as well and when I returned and handed them to him, he handed me yet another receipt.

 

I said "What's this?"

He said "I credited your account and took it off". I'm totally confused now.

Me: "What do you mean you took it off? We are still getting the package right?"

Him: "No, I removed the package and charges"

Me: "OH MY GOSH!!! ARE YOU SERIOUS? After I just told you we would take it. What type of salesman are you? I can't deal anymore...get me someone else. I'm done with you!"

 

He went over and grabbed a lady...I explained the entire situation to her and all she had to say was "Do you want the package or not?" Like no sympathy, no getting the supervisor, no discount, no nothing! She just charged my card and then told me that they still had to take my pictures from me and they would not release them until the last day of the cruise. 

 

This whole situation put the worse taste in my mouth and I'm totally convinced they hired incompetent people in the photography studio. We had been there for well over an hour and I was so done with the situation and had it not been so late, I would have insisted on a manager or someone else to speak to. 

 

Or course, I would continue the week taking as many pictures as I could get our bodies in whether or not we were dressed up. It didn't matter. 

 

But, I wanted to let everyone out there know what kind of crap they pulled on me. It was NOT a misunderstanding. I did NOT hear him wrong because it was repeated, by him and myself, over and over during the long conversation. This is some BS!!!!
 

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Posted (edited)
42 minutes ago, MamatoJack said:

Independence of the Seas is the sister ship to Freedom and when it was refurbished, it got water slides, a skypad (though that may be closed? I haven't been keeping up) which is a trampoline type thing. Part of their "amplified" updates. I think they added laser tag as well? So far Indy, Mariner and Navigator have been updated. I assume Freedom will be as well, and maybe Oasis. 

 

Oh gosh. I remember watching the video online of the guy on the skypad and it snapped and he came crashing down and broke several bones. Yikes! But I guess that's the chance you take anywhere you go when you do things like this (including while in port on zipling and so on. I always think about these things. I'm a worry-wart). 

 

34 minutes ago, Itchy&Scratchy said:

my maiden name is the derivative of sugar (in its more old-time spelling like sakhar, zahari, zuker)

 

Maybe that's why a lot of the drew pronounce her name wrong. I just thought they couldn't say it. LOL  She has been Zahari, Zachariah and even Shakira before. She has learned to answer to anything. She takes on a new name and runs with it. The cruise that they called her Shakira, on the next cruise she took after that, she told the kids staff "My name is Sakari but people call me Shakira" LOL!!!!   This will probably be the FIRST cruise that the staff actually got her name right 100% of the time. 

 

 

31 minutes ago, Itchy&Scratchy said:

The Regal Princess buffet is the only one that is still open when we come back from the beach. Limited selections, but really good ones - guacamole, chicken and egg salads, nice sandwiches, salad bar, etc. I loaded up on guacamole every day, like it was going out of style.

 

That sounds amazing! I would be loading up on it as well...and the egg salad sandwiches too.

 

28 minutes ago, dreamer976 said:

As always, just loving your Freedom OTS review. Have had the pleasure of cruising on her a few times. 

 

FYI, just in case you do, in the future, consider a Promenade View Inside, just know that the one drawback to them is that you can see directly across and into the rooms on the other side, and they into yours, so many people dislike that they have to keeps the drapery closed a lot of the time. Likewise aboard Oasis class ships when booking a Central Park or Boardwalk “neighborhood” balcony. 

 

Thank you you so much for your precious time and taking us along with you aboard Freedom! 😁😁

 

p.s. CONGRATS on finishing your degree. No more cruise ship studying and taking online tests for you 👏👏👏

 

 

thanks so much! I'm glad you like it. 

 

I did notice that you could see in everyone's windows. I really didn't like that part. We would stand at the end on one of the floors and you'd see people in their rooms. I don't think I would like that. It would be much better if they would make those a balcony. That would be cool to go out on it and see everything going on when they were having parties and stuff...or to just people watch. 😄

 

Thanks for the congrats! I kept saying, on this cruise, "It feels so good to not have to worry about doing homework or writing papers...or even taking test". It was (is) awesome now!

18 minutes ago, Nick2000 said:

Fantastic review, I will be on FOS on 26 May. 

 

Thanks and have a wonderful cruise. 

Edited by mitsugirly

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Kim, the beaches in Antigua are beautiful! I think, though, that you would have to move to Antigua for a year to be able to spend time on each of them! 😀🏖

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12 hours ago, perfect match said:

Kim, the beaches in Antigua are beautiful! I think, though, that you would have to move to Antigua for a year to be able to spend time on each of them! 😀🏖

 

I would have no problem with that. 😁

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