The Freedom of the Seas is made by Royal Carribean and is a spacious ship that leaves from Port Canaveral and has been touted as one of the best family friendly ships for cruising. I first went on this ship in September of 2009 and was thoroughly impressed by its size and the friendliness of the crew. This review will cover some of the amenities the ship had to offer as well as some helpful tips on enjoying your stay on the Freedom.
Even though the Freedom of the Seas is able to carry over 3,000 passengers and over 1,300 of the crew, there is more than enough room to walk around, stretch your legs, and enjoy the ship without fear of crowds.
The Hot Tubs
There are 2 enormous hot tubs that hang over the sides of the ship that are cantilevered and each has huge glass panels all around it so you can look right down into the ocean as you soak up the warm, relaxing water. These are not the only hot tubs on the ship, however, as there are a couple more more traditional hot tubs in the center of the ship.
Half of the rooms are balcony rooms and I choose a balcony room in the very back of the ship. These balconies are a lot longer than the ones on the side of the ship and there is more noise privacy as well. There is enough room to completely lie down on a lounge chair on these back balconies and still have room for a table behind you to hold your drink. The deluxe staterooms are very luxurious and spacious, but I found my stateroom to be plenty spacious for 2 people.
With so many places to eat on the Freedom I was basically finding myself eating all the time. One of my favorite little places is called Sorentos which was a pizza place that was open almost 24/7. They always have fresh pizza and it’s right on the Promenade so you will probably walk by it all the time and get tempted to eat there yourself.
Each night you have the option to eat in the main dining room or eat at Windjammers which is more like a buffet. You don’t really have to get dressed up that much to eat in the main dining room, but you can’t wear swim wear. This dining room is 3 stories high with a gorgeous chandelier in the middle of the room. There is also a piano on a set of stairs that is used on a few nights and the entire kitchen staff will sing to you. It really was a great experience.
The waiters and waitresses are friendly and courteous and never got our orders wrong. You can get as many main courses or desserts as you want and the food is MUCH better at the main dining room than the buffet places, but you really can’t get bad food on this boat.
Of course if you felt like paying a little extra you can hit the Johnny Rockets which is near the front of the ship and get an old time burger. The staff does a little Johnny Rocket song and dance for you as you eat too.
There is also a little ice cream soft serve machine that is open all day long and most of the night as well. It is located on the pool deck so it’s nice to get a cold ice cream cone as you try to chill out from the heat.
This is one of the most spectacular parts of the ship and is really the heart and soul of the Freedom. The promenade is basically a 4 story high mall that is full of shops, restaurants, cafes, jewelry stores, a barber shop, and more. There are always things going on in the Promenade and some of the interior rooms actually have windows that face it so you can always see what’s going on. On one day during the cruise there is a parade that is fun for families to attend as the children can participate in it as well.
This is where all of the big shows will take place. The comedian that was on our ship was very funny and he had a great show our first night. The theater seats over 1,300 people and has an upper deck as well. If you get thirsty right before the show — no problem. Several of the staff will be walking around to take your drink orders and each seat has a cup holder, which seems to only be for wine glasses and not for regular cups. Be sure to check the schedule for all of the shows that will be going on in the Arcadia Theater. There is everything from magic shows to comedians to crazy acrobatic shows and musicals. The musical production that I saw was absolutely fantastic and I laughed throughout the entire thing. The entertainment on the Freedom is definitely first class.
The Freedom of the seas had so many activities and fun places to check out that I was constantly hopping around. There is a rock climbing wall, an ice skating rink, a mini golf course, a couple ping pong tables, a basketball court/volleyball court, a virtual golf machine, the flow-rider and more. The flow rider is the first to be on a cruise ship with Freedom of the Seas and is very popular among many of the kids. You will have to wait in line to go on it but it’s a lot of fun. Even if you don’t know how to surf you can ride on the board on your belly until you wipe out.
There are also many games and tournaments you can sign up for throughout the week. You can go to one of the cafes for a trivia challenge, sign up for a ping pong tournament, or do a rock wall-climbing contest. My wife and I both got first place in the rock climbing competition and got a couple Royal Caribbean gold medals for it.
For those that want to hit the spa that is also available.
Oh, and don’t forget about the belly-flop competition, which is always a crowd favorite for Royal Caribbean passengers.
There are pools everywhere on this ship so it’s not hard to find a place to swim and cool off. There is an H2O Zone that is made specifically for kids where they can run through fountains and water sprayers and there is also a main pool. Then behind that there is a pool where no kids are allowed, so there is much less commotion. There are stools in the water so you can sit down and enjoy your drink as you cool off too. On certain days the pools are open past 11pm but the side hot tubs are pretty much open 24/7, so if you want to take a soak at 3am you can.
There is a great gym you can hit that has everything from dumb bells, to treadmills, ellipticals with tv screens, and more. There is even a boxing ring for those who want to do some more serious training while on the boat. There is a boxing instructor that you can pay to show you some of the finer points of self-defense. While you walk on the treadmill or use the elliptical you can look out the boat’s windows toward the sea and truly enjoy the Caribbean and the best way to work out. There are plenty of other work out stations so you should never have to worry about a line or the gym being too crowded.
This Freedom of the Seas review covers some of the basics of the cruise ship, but you really have to go for yourself to get the experience of a lifetime.
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