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Anything you didnt like about Freedom?

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So now that the first group of Freedom cruisers are home I would like to know is there anything you "didn't" like about Freedom? We love the RCCL Voyager and Radiance class of ships and will be doing Freedom in October. We hope we will like it just as much but worried about the amount of people it holds vs the solarium size, pool crowds, etc.:)

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Did the 3 night pre inug cruise from Miami and the June 4th inug cruise:

 

The pre inug. cruise was the best ever:

Free everything!!

Lobster on the beach in CoCo Cay

Live theme bands

Fireworks

Gifts - crystal platter

The best ever!!!

 

June 4th inug. cruise:

No welcome letter

No theme bands

If I had paid all that $'s for a "so to be" special inug. cruise I would

be

xxQQ##!

 

Great points:

Great - GREAT!! new beds

Chops and Portafinios was 5 stars

Pool area for kids works! few kids in any other pools and they had a

blast at their play area

Flat screen tv in room was very clear and cool yet you loose some

closet space

 

Areas that need improvement:

REVOLVING DOORS TO DECK 11 FROM WINDJAMER

Enginer design error I think:

Doors broke a lot

Handicap people had a tough time with them

Located at elevator area off Windjamer - Now it is a jamed up

area!

Just a bad idea all around

 

All in All One ALSOME SHIP

 

 

Daddy Bang

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From my cruise on the inaugural for sure i could do without those darn revolving doors used to get from the deck 11 elevatrors out to the pool deck on the h20 zone side.....they kept getting stuck and eiether went super fast or went super slow...Those doors were for the advanced jus to get them to work properly u have to be right in the middle if ur to close to the front glass it moves to fast if ur to close to the back glass it gets stuck mid swing; its most definetly not for the claustrophobic!....At one point i wuz stuck in there for about 4 minutes..NOT FUN!.....I kind of miss those glass automatic doors that u ahve to press about 4 timez jus yo get them to work....Revolving doors = neat idea but jus not functional at all!

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A review is in the works, but I can think of a couple....

 

- Ditto on those revolving doors. I just don't *get* them at all. The crazy part is the middle converts to doors that swing open. When the revolver was broken once, they used the middle swinging part, and it worked famously.

 

- The design of the E2 hump cabins. Rather than give the extra space to the balcony, as they have in past iterations, they gave it to the room. Sounds good, right?

 

Well, it is an odd left-over shaped space, and the curtains for the balcony doors are where they would be if that space didn't exist. It leaves a completely useless chunk of extra space between the curtains and the door.

 

The cabin was VERY hard to navigate with the beds separated into twins. There was almost ZERO room between the foot of the bed and the end of the wall console where the TV is. My roomate and I considered turning the beds totally around, so as to create a walkway directly to the balcony, but realized all of the pillows would just fall off the beds if we tried it that way.

 

We had to push the first bed in towards the second a bit to make room to squeeze through sideways. Since I was in the bed next to the balcony and had to perform this maneuver most, I literally came home with bruises on my legs from the console (although I do bruise easily). On the other side (the balcony side near my bed), we were always getting tangled up between the balcony curtain and the foot of the bed. They need to put a tie-back on it or something. It was a total nuisance.

 

- Dining room staff just didn't feel *right*. I talked to several people about this, and they felt similarly. Here's the thing....there was absolutely NOTHING concrete to complain about. The service was friendly, speedy, and plentiful. BUT...you know how you leave a cruise wanting to take your waitstaff home, feeling like you couldn't possibly live one more day without them? Well, I didn't feel that way at all. It was just "service". Seriously, I do not know how to quantify this...it just *was*.

 

Those were ship-specific things, and on a list of *everything* that happens on a cruise, I'd say that's a pretty damned small list. I do think there are more comments to be made about disappointment in the actual PAYING inaugural voyage of the largest cruise ship in the world, but I don't think that is what the OP was asking, and it won't really have much impact on future Freedom voyages.

 

Tracy

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Tracy, I seem to follow you alot. Had to put my two cents in.

 

We had a wonderful time. We also had a hump cabin, did not have the problems Tracy did because DH and I kept the beds shoved together but, there could have been more room between the botttom of the bed and the wall...there was just enough room to move the suitcase through. And the new beds and linens are heaven.

 

Dining staff was great, the food was wonderful but there was nothing that jumped out and said I'm a special cruise. The shows were top notch and the ice show shouldn't be missed.

 

BUT.......

 

To wait for 15 months and then have this let down feeling to say the least I'm very disappointed in RCCL, I think they could have done better, I know they did with all of the freebie cruises. I did not expect to take home a lot of free stuff but I did expect this cruise to be different and really it wasn't.

 

Then again.....

 

The best part was meeting all of the people that I messaged over the months on the M&M board, they are the ones that really made this cruise special.

 

d

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- Dining room staff just didn't feel *right*. I talked to several people about this, and they felt similarly. Here's the thing....there was absolutely NOTHING concrete to complain about. The service was friendly, speedy, and plentiful. BUT...you know how you leave a cruise wanting to take your waitstaff home, feeling like you couldn't possibly live one more day without them? Well, I didn't feel that way at all. It was just "service". Seriously, I do not know how to quantify this...it just *was*.

 

Tracy

 

I totally agree with this. I think that super service comes with a staff that works well as a team and that only comes with time. The FOS staff are obviously all new to the ship and are not in any kind of a routine with all of the pre-inaugurals. I'm sure that will improve with time. I'm very grateful that they worked hard to avoid a negative experience.

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The best part was meeting all of the people that I messaged over the months on the M&M board, they are the ones that really made this cruise special.

 

Diane,

 

I couldn't agree more! It was definitely the enthusiasm of the guests....in particular, those I had "met" online before hand....which made the cruise special. We did it ourselves, pretty much.

 

I must add that most of the crew brought another level of enthusiasm, and appreciation to have us there, which added to the ambiance as well.

 

Tracy

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To wait for 15 months and then have this let down feeling to say the least I'm very disappointed in RCCL, I think they could have done better, I know they did with all of the freebie cruises. I did not expect to take home a lot of free stuff but I did expect this cruise to be different and really it wasn't.

 

d

 

So Diane, I'm curious - what would you suggest that RCI do on its next inaugural to distinguish the experience?

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famously.

 

- The design of the E2 hump cabins. Rather than give the extra space to the balcony, as they have in past iterations, they gave it to the room. Sounds good, right?

 

Well, it is an odd left-over shaped space, and the curtains for the balcony doors are where they would be if that space didn't exist. It leaves a completely useless chunk of extra space between the curtains and the door.

 

The cabin was VERY hard to navigate with the beds separated into twins. There was almost ZERO room between the foot of the bed and the end of the wall console where the TV is. My roomate and I considered turning the beds totally around, so as to create a walkway directly to the balcony, but realized all of the pillows would just fall off the beds if we tried it that way.

 

We had to push the first bed in towards the second a bit to make room to squeeze through sideways. Since I was in the bed next to the balcony and had to perform this maneuver most, I literally came home with bruises on my legs from the console (although I do bruise easily). On the other side (the balcony side near my bed), we were always getting tangled up between the balcony curtain and the foot of the bed. They need to put a tie-back on it or something. It was a total nuisance.

 

 

Thanks for the info on the E2 hump cabin. We are on the next sailing...June 18. Knowing in advance what to expect will lessen any disappointments I may feel. Were you in a center hump, or off to one side or the other? We are in the dead center hump cabin so I wonder if its shaped the same as you are describing.

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From my cruise on the inaugural for sure i could do without those darn revolving doors used to get from the deck 11 elevatrors out to the pool deck on the h20 zone side.....they kept getting stuck and eiether went super fast or went super slow... its most definetly not for the claustrophobic!....At one point i wuz stuck in there for about 4 minutes..NOT FUN

Oh great! I am sooo claustrophobic. Please tell me that there is another way to get out to the pool deck without having to go through those doors!

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We are booked on Freedom in August. I am not really excited about 4000+ people, but have never been on a megaship so I figured I would try one. From what I have read here, it sounds like ship is already crowded with 3600 passengers, nothing special about food or entertainment - just another cruise on another big ship. Very disappointing.

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Were you in a center hump, or off to one side or the other? We are in the dead center hump cabin so I wonder if its shaped the same as you are describing.

 

Forward starboard hump #6332. Next time, I would book 6330 (or similar). It is actually the first on the hump (although it doesn't look that way on the deck plans). I peeked around after I had seen them leave, and it looked bigger. Need to consult the deck plans, but this may be a D1.

 

Tracy

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From what I have read here, it sounds like ship is already crowded with 3600 passengers, nothing special about food or entertainment - just another cruise on another big ship. Very disappointing.

 

The ship was NOT crowded. I was surprised at how UNcrowded it was. The food was very good, and the show I saw "Once Upon a Time", I would probably pay to see if not on a ship. It was fabulous.

 

People solicited questions about what we didn't like, so some of us answered. I tell you, this was a fantastic, incredibly enjoyable cruise, which went off virtually without a hitch.

 

Tracy

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Thanks for all the info and I wish it been more memorable for some of you. We were once told by a waiter not to do the first cruise for just the reasons some of you described. The staff has to work together for a few months to get their act together and that there is usually nothing special about the first cruise. However I agree with you that RCCL should have done something special since it was such a big ship sailing for the first time. I am sure by Oct we should have a great time, maybe they will even get the door issue fixed! I am glad to hear most of you didn't feel like it was crowded, that was one of our fears. It also sounds like they are being good about keeping an eye on the the adult pool areas. Keep the info coming.....this way we won't be going with high expectations and maybe we will be pleasently surprised!:)

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There are photos of Freedom hump cabin 7334 on the CruiseClues site:

 

http://community.webshots.com/album/549906967tfBwtW

 

The balcony looks like it has a nice depth. We have never booked a hump cabin but, based on the praises they receive on the board, booked one on the Freedom of the Seas. In doing so we wondered why it had such a low designation (E2) when those nearby were higher. We have been spoiled by the Caribe deck balconies on the Princess grand class ships and were looking forward to a balcony deeper than those we have had on previous RCCL cruises. Maybe others will post pictures.

 

Thanks for the information you posted.

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So Diane, I'm curious - what would you suggest that RCI do on its next inaugural to distinguish the experience?

 

Well, I really expected more of an electric send off. We first started out in the Diamond lounge but there was absolutely nothing going on there so we moved down to one of the lower decks. I think the PBSers had a better plan and gave a good sail away. I also half expected a name entertainer one night, didn't you? Also, didn't you find it curious that the CEO waited until Thursday to give his speech, I felt that should have happened on one of the earlier nights like maybe Sunday or Monday.

 

Just an observation. I still had a great time, it's just not what I expected.

 

d

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Well, I really expected more of an electric send off. We first started out in the Diamond lounge but there was absolutely nothing going on there so we moved down to one of the lower decks. I think the PBSers had a better plan and gave a good sail away. I also half expected a name entertainer one night, didn't you? Also, didn't you find it curious that the CEO waited until Thursday to give his speech, I felt that should have happened on one of the earlier nights like maybe Sunday or Monday.

 

Just an observation. I still had a great time, it's just not what I expected.

 

d

 

Hi - I think those are all fair expectations. Personally, I also expected some kind of name entertainment (like Charo, who was great on a previous RCI cruise). I didn't expect anything at sailaway given the time of day (too early for fireworks), and I'm just not sure how much you can get away with in a busy harbor like Miami. Plus, in my experience, RCI is just cheap with that kind of stuff (proof being that stupid lunch bag :) ).

 

I missed the CEO speech. What was that?

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Hi - I think those are all fair expectations. Personally, I also expected some kind of name entertainment (like Charo, who was great on a previous RCI cruise). I didn't expect anything at sailaway given the time of day (too early for fireworks), and I'm just not sure how much you can get away with in a busy harbor like Miami. Plus, in my experience, RCI is just cheap with that kind of stuff (proof being that stupid lunch bag :) ).

 

I missed the CEO speech. What was that?

 

We did Empress this past December and they had Marty Allen and his wife and they were fabulous. I think Charo would have been a hoot, I've also seen John Davidson on a RCL cruise. The entertainment was great don't get me wrong, I'm with Tracy, I would have paid to see Once Upon a Time, and the Broadway Show was first class.

 

The CEO was on Thursday night before the impressionist. Glad you're here YADA YADA YADA you mean a lot to us YADA YADA YADA isn't this a great ship etc isn't Ken Rush the best ditto.....

 

Well, someone already has the lunch bag on sale out on ebay.

 

We've always wanted to do a first cruise and now I can check that off my list. After we do Rhapsody for my daughters 21st birthday and Alaska for our 30th Wedding anniversary I think I'd like to do a C&A cruise. Anyway, that's my 2 cents.

 

d

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I forgot about John Davidson; I've seen him too! lol :D

 

Charo was great. I didn't realize she was so truly talented.

 

I skipped the impressionist guy (Don Record or something?) b/c I've seen him before. One of the perils of frequent cruising. And I wanted to watch the NBA Finals.

 

Adam Goldstein's comments would have made me barf anyway. :D He talks but says nothing. I much prefer Richard Fain. And I know people love Ken Rush, and I acknowledge he's good at what he does, but he is just not my cup of tea.

 

Alaska is next on my list to do as well.

 

Thanks for your elaboration. I appreciate your point of view.

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I skipped the impressionist guy (Don Record or something?) b/c I've seen him before. One of the perils of frequent cruising.

 

Funny story about this.....

 

I was at the casino bar, waiting for a friend, and a nice man introduced himself. We chatted a bit, and he put down his cigarette. Said he'd be right back, as he wanted to go tell two men he seemed familiar with some jokes. I quipped "what are you, a comedian or something?", to which he responded, "apparently, you didn't see tonight's show!" ROFL

 

Tracy

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Hi - I think those are all fair expectations. Personally, I also expected some kind of name entertainment (like Charo, who was great on a previous RCI cruise). I didn't expect anything at sailaway given the time of day (too early for fireworks), and I'm just not sure how much you can get away with in a busy harbor like Miami. Plus, in my experience, RCI is just cheap with that kind of stuff (proof being that stupid lunch bag :) ).

 

I missed the CEO speech. What was that?

 

 

I am in agreement , during the day I do not think they would do fireworks, plus, I think the port is really more in charge of that, not the ship and they already did it when the ship first arrived earlier that week. Just look at what they did in Jamaica. And as for Charo, you could not pay ME to see her, she is awful.

 

As for the dining room, on level 5 it was spectacular ( I loved the colors on that level) and our staff was the best we have had on any cruise anywhere.

 

The only enterainment I did not like was the last comedian, the rest were great

 

Crown and Anchor gave us picture frames and collectors pins. I liked the lunch bags:rolleyes: Sure came in handy in Tulum where it was as hot as H**L:eek:

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:( I can't fathom why individuals dwell on the negative on such a beautiful ship. Every brand new ship or vehicle of any kind has to get the "kinks" out and it takes a while to do that. I am sure that the Staff are all very nervous wanting to please, and you know that if we as individuals are anxious or nervous it shows in our body language etc.

 

Give this a chance - I'm sure by the fall they will be much improved and by the time my hubby and I go in 10/07 we'll be wined and dined wonderfully.

 

Happy Cruising.:)

 

Peggy, Norwood MA

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:( I can't fathom why individuals dwell on the negative on such a beautiful ship. Every brand new ship or vehicle of any kind has to get the "kinks" out and it takes a while to do that. I am sure that the Staff are all very nervous wanting to please, and you know that if we as individuals are anxious or nervous it shows in our body language etc.

 

Give this a chance - I'm sure by the fall they will be much improved and by the time my hubby and I go in 10/07 we'll be wined and dined wonderfully.

 

Happy Cruising.:)

 

Peggy, Norwood MA

 

I don't think anyone is dwelling on the negative. We are offering constructive criticism, which is what fuels this site. We were all paying guests and feedback is legitimate. "Kinks" in the process are understandable; they happen, expecially on a new ship. I haven't see too many posts critical of these types of things, nor did we experience many of them. I do think it's reasonable to comment on what RCI could have done as a company to make the maiden voyage more memorable.

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I'm not harping at all. Someone asked, so I answered. Frankly, if one reads the posts of those of us who have just returned, you have to search for negatives. It seems like some readers are hyper-focusing on those points. Believe me, we had a fantastic week, on a wonderful ship, with a fantastic crew! I'm thinking of going back before the year is out. :)

 

Tracy

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That's the spirit Tracy.

 

When you find a ship that you love and activities that you love - you have to return to the place of the glory.

 

Happy Cruising.

 

PS - Human beings read in between the lines of constructive criticism and make a big deal out of it and decide on the negatives to forego the experience, which is a shame. I myself dwell on positives and just go with the flow with things that aren't to my liking. That's all - no biggie.

 

Peggy:)

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I pretty much LOVED everything but ....

 

The one major negative (which I also wrote on the comment card) was the lack of elevators. Normally I try not to take them, but this time my cabin was down on Deck 2 so there was no way I was going to walk up 12 flights of stairs or even more to the Viking Crown. The waits were ridiculous and when an elevator did arrive, it was loaded with people and very hot onboard. It became a major source of frustration and it's disappointing that RCI did not added more elevators to an otherwise superbly designed vessel. People tried to make the most of it, but I became very grumpy when it took 10 minutes or more to get from Deck 2 to Deck 14 because you stop on EVERY deck and the air becomes more and more stuffy and hot. Not a fun way to start off the night dressed in a tux.

 

One other minor tidbit ....

CD Ken Rush. Not impressed. Everyone thinks he

is so great. I don't. I saw a different side to him when he was off duty

and this was not a charming man.

 

 

Ernie

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I am in agreement , during the day I do not think they would do fireworks, plus, I think the port is really more in charge of that, not the ship and they already did it when the ship first arrived earlier that week. Just look at what they did in Jamaica. And as for Charo, you could not pay ME to see her, she is awful.

 

As for the dining room, on level 5 it was spectacular ( I loved the colors on that level) and our staff was the best we have had on any cruise anywhere.

 

The only enterainment I did not like was the last comedian, the rest were great

 

Crown and Anchor gave us picture frames and collectors pins. I liked the lunch bags:rolleyes: Sure came in handy in Tulum where it was as hot as H**L:eek:

 

There were no fireworks to send us off at sailaway but Mother Nature did her own thing by providing a beautiful rainbow :) in the Miami sky after that torrential downpour... we had a great view of that good omen from the helipad area as we sailed off.

 

barbara I also noticed the decor and colour scheme of the 5th level dining in t he early pictures of Freedom I saw on line and when I saw it in person I totally agree with how soothing and relaxing it was up there even though that was not my dining room...

 

Ditto for revolving doors being a problem... slowness of internet but all of the little problems in no way distracted from the cruise.. I actually had read so much negativity about maiden voyages I was all set for some real big problems and I did not see any big ones.

 

I will be sailing in October on a Crown & Anchor cruise so that one should be a good comparison..stay tuned...:)

 

Thanks to all my CC friends for making this one truly wonderful.

 

Emmy

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The ship was NOT crowded. I was surprised at how UNcrowded it was. The food was very good, and the show I saw "Once Upon a Time", I would probably pay to see if not on a ship. It was fabulous.

 

People solicited questions about what we didn't like, so some of us answered. I tell you, this was a fantastic, incredibly enjoyable cruise, which went off virtually without a hitch.

 

Tracy

 

Well said Tracy!!!!!!!! You are always right on the mark!

 

We had a marvelous time. I certainly would not say in anyway we were disappointed. We had never done an inaugural and don’t know that we would do another one. We didn’t really know what to expect. We mainly did it for the ship. I do think that a lot was “taken away” from the “inaugural”, “maiden voyage”, “first revenue sailing” by them doing so many pre-inaugural cruises. I understand them wanting to market it out there. I understand if it was ready early they either needed to do something like this or book revenue sailings. If they had moved the first revenue sailing up there would have been people originally booked that couldn’t change their schedules so I am glad they didn’t do that. I have no problem with them doing the pre-inaugurals but feel that they should have done the same things….free drinks, crystal platters, etc. for the “first paying guests” that they did for the “freebies”.

.

We too have seen Charo, John Davidson, Marty Allen and his wife and agree that are all very good. At least they would have been names that most everyone recognizes even if it wasn’t their “cup of tea”. Even though we have seen them on “normal” cruises, someone along those lines would have helped make it “special” since they aren’t on all “normal” cruises.

 

I missed Adam’s speech as I didn’t make it to the show that night. Don’t remember where I was or what I was doing. I missed the band in Jamaica playing the anthem. (Didn’t even know it had happened until reading the boards this week.) We knew we missed the Shaggy concert because we weren’t back from a shore ex yet. Never made it to the gym to even look at the boxing ring. We usually love the solarium but never once stopped in there long enough to even look at it much less sit down and relax and enjoy it. Mr. Ski loved the flowrider so we spent a lot of time there. We were typically at the casino or the flowrider. LOL The casino took all of our money. LOL We did not expect to come away with any of their money but I was hoping I could win enough to be entertained before I gave it all back. Unfortunately they wouldn’t even let me win enough to be entertained. LOL

 

We had the same dining staff as Tracy. (We were at the next table.) I have a little bit of a different “opinion” than Tracy on this but do not disagree with her comments! We were thrilled with the dining staff. They provided excellent service. Now granted, they did not have “bubbly” personalities like we have had with a few prior folks but they were both very sweet and granted every request we had. The service was prompt and accurate! Now…on the other hand….we never even met the headwaiter! Didn’t need him but have never done a cruise that we went the whole trip without meeting him. Needless to say….he bypassed our table on tip night too! The folks that prepaid could not get their tips back that had been paid for him. Just another reason we don’t ever prepay our gratuities.

 

The Diamond Lounge can’t book shore ex and they didn’t give out priority tender tickets. (This is usually done on other ships so we missed those perks.)

 

As far as the CD, we had never had Ken Rush before and I think he did a good job. We still prefer Gordon though!

 

We didn’t have any problems with the revolving door (but didn’t use it much) and did not have any real troubles with the elevators. Of course, if it was up one or two floors we would take the stairs but 3 or more floors took the elevator. If it was down 3 or less, we took the stairs. Down 4 or more we took the elevators. (Going up hurts my heart, going down hurts my knee!)There were a few times we had to wait but really did not notice any more (or longer) waits than are typical on Radiance or Voyager class ships.

 

Thanks Em for reminding me of the slow internet. That was our only one real "complaint" was that the $100 unlimited cyber-cabin is not available. We had to buy a package of wifi and the cheapest was 33 cents a minute and it was very slow.

 

Granted we would have liked more “paparazzi” “more bling bling’ etc. to make it look like RCCL thought it was a special cruise rather than just an ordinary cruise. But it turned out to be special for us simply because it was our first time on a “maiden voyage” and it happened to be on a spectacular ship with wonderful folks! Our PBS CC group made it a special cruise for us! Other passengers we met along the way made it special for us!

 

Gmoney asked what could RC do to make the next inaugural special. I think to that I would have to say “hindsight is 20/20” and I don’t know that they can use this as an example for the “next” inaugural. When Liberty and the 3rd “Freedom class” debut it won’t be the same thing since this was the “first” of this class. I could be wrong but I doubt they do all of the “pre” “freebies” (but maybe they will.) I would hope that when they do the inaugural on Genesis class in ’09 that they make it seem like it is special to them and that the “first revenue” pax are as special to them as the TA’s that they wined and dined on the “pre” cruises.

 

Again, as Tracy and Gmoney (and others) have said here…..this is not meant as “negative”. We left the ship with fabulous memories and only positive thoughts. We are always very honest in filling out the comment card and always give “kudos” where deserved and “constructive criticism” for areas that we think need improvement. I would never have thought to post anything “negative” because this was a fantastic trip. But when “asked” I will “answer”.

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I saw a different side to him when he was off duty

and this was not a charming man.

 

Yeah, I don't "get" the magic of Ken. We saw some sights indeed, didn't we, Ernie! Where's the darned video camera when you NEED it? ;)

 

Tracy

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Yeah, I don't "get" the magic of Ken. We saw some sights indeed, didn't we, Ernie! Where's the darned video camera when you NEED it? ;)

 

Tracy

 

Man....just another event I missed! LOL! I keep learning more events I missed! Was I on the ship???? LOL!

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Ernie, ditto on Ken Rush. Steve and I witnessed something in the solarium which was very disturbing to me.

 

Also, don't think he was the best we've ever had. We much prefer Kirk Detweiller. Ken Rush is into Ken Rush.

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Ernie, ditto on Ken Rush. Steve and I witnessed something in the solarium which was very disturbing to me.

 

Also, don't think he was the best we've ever had. We much prefer Kirk Detweiller. Ken Rush is into Ken Rush.

 

Thank-you Mary. I thought it was just me. He is very into himself isn't he.

 

d

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Was I on the ship???? LOL!

 

Ski,

 

I sure hope so, considering the debauchery usually occured around 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning! LOL

 

Tracy

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He is very into himself isn't he.

 

d

 

 

That's it exactly! Ken Rush is very much into Ken Rush. I think his 15 minutes of fame are over but someone needs to remind him! ;)

 

Ernie

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I've never really paid much attention to CD's but now you've gotten me curious. I'm going to be watching and paying more attention to how Ken Rush is. (Sailing this Sunday..Yeaaa!)

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Hi:

 

We're Diamond members with RCL, and we've had the Freedom booked since last November for this years New Years Eve cruise. I was just wondering if they will be doing anything spectacular for New Years Eve. Does anyone have any idea? We love RCL, but we strayed this past New Years to cruise on a Princess ship and I was truly bored. I've been on several New Years Eve cruises; with Princess, Carnival and RCL, and so far, RCL has been the best. Do you think they will have a big celebration, party, for New Years? Regardless of whether they do or not, I am just very excited to be going on the Freedom. My husband and I, we've tried smaller ships and we have the most fun on the larger ones. We've been on the Adventure and Voyager and have the Navigator booked for next year. We really enjoy all there is to do on this bigger ships. My husband, as an ex-boxer, is looking forward to seeing the boxing ring. I told him it isn't free and he'll have to pay for the experience, but he doesn't seem to mind. Also, he wanted to try their barber shop. I hear it is also somewhat expensive. Do you know of anyone who tried the boxing ring or barber shop so I can tell my husband about it?

 

I have six months to wait and I want to start packing....way too early; but not too early to update my lists....

 

Thanks.

 

Happy Cruising.....Sparkle 10;)

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The question on this post is "Anything you didn't like about Freedom". That says it all--people giving their "opinions" about what "they" didn't like about Freedom. Most people liked 99% of what they saw, so I think that overall they did like the Freedom. I found their "negatives" to be just things "they" didn't care for, and I took it as that. No one was badmouthing the ship in anyway. I've learned a lot from these boards, and it reinforced my going in July and thoroughly enjoying myself, as I thought I would!

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Let me chime in and concur with what Tracy and the others have said. Super cruise, great ship, great crew! I'd do it again in a heartbeat, and was so impressed I booked the Liberty for next June. Now on to the nits, none of which are showstoppers:

 

Revolving Doors: I understand what they are trying to do with those revolving doors - keep the cool air inside and improve the efficiency of the ship's air conditioning plants - but they were very quirky and it seemed if anyone merely touched any part of the door it would stop rotating. Sometimes they would just suddenly stop even when no one was near them. I saw one guy who was stuck for a couple minutes. Not a good feeling.

 

Dining Room: Food was the best I have had on RCCL, and the service was overall very good. Our dining room team was very cordial and likeable, but we also had a sense that they were teetering on total chaos. At least once a night they forgot to serve something to someone at our table. My salad, the wife's soup, my son's pizza, etc. The headwaiter seemed to spend a lot of time in our vicinity helping out. But I didn't bash our team on the comment card since I knew this was their first full-length cruise on the ship. A rhythm between the galley and the dining room still needs some fine tuning. I'll be interested to see how things go on the subsequent cruises.

 

Aft elevators can be overcrowded. The forward elevator bank was much less so and we would usually walk forward to those elevators since it ended up being faster. It is too late to do anything about this now, but an extra couple of elevators at the back would have been a good idea.

 

Gift Shop: lack of unique souvenirs for the maiden voyage. I find this one incredibly inept.

 

Maiden Voyage "special treatment": there essentially wasn't any. I liked the certificate and photo that finally showed up at the end of the cruise, but still felt there should have been something more - especially considering the higher than normal fares everyone paid for this cruise. Ken Rush and Captain Bill admitted as much at their q&a session on Saturday. "Lessons Learned" is what Ken Rush called it. Frankly this lack of exclusivity will tend to put me off of booking another inaugural voyage with RCCL - unless things change.

 

Despite the above things, it was still the best cruise I have ever taken and I was impressed with the (mostly) seemless operation of the ship. Best crew too.

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Do you know of anyone who tried the boxing ring or barber shop so I can tell my husband about it?

 

Our tablemate, salt-of-the-earth type of guy, was the last person one might expect to pay $43 for a shave. He RAVED about it on the second night, and said he definitely planned to go back for another before the end of the week. Evidently, it is much more like a facial than a simple shave.

 

Tracy

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