Irieman

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Irieman last won the day on January 27

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  1. Irieman

    Voyager deck 12 cabins

    I love the new rooms added to deck 12 of the Freedom and Voyager class ships. As @twangster said, they are updated and the access to the outside decks are wonderful. I also like the outside breakfast stroll to the Windjammer especially on port days. The only noise I heard on my Freedom cruise last month was the staff draging deck chairs above us at 7 in the morning. It happened twice. Nothing at all from the daily use. Honestly, it sounded like they had stacked them high and then dragged them to store. It was annoying at the moment but I would book the same 12 deck room everytime! Enjoy!
  2. Yes it goes so fast but I am thankful for the opportunity to cruise and visit different parts of the earth. Plus I always spend time making a video of the trip which keeps me in the moment. With that said, walking off the ship is such a terrible feeling. Then I snap out of it cause it's time for the great suitcase hunt!
  3. @Nay, I am just a few weeks off of Freedom and would like to suggest the main dinning room as a nice breakfast option on your last morning. We were in group 2 (shore excursion) and needed to be at our location by 7:45 - easily seated at 7am with a table for two - service was fast and the food was delicious. I believe the menu was limited but my french toast and eggs were far superior than the Windjammer equivalent. Have a wonderful time and let us know about your cruise when you get back!
  4. Irieman

    Entertainment

    I asked the Technical director on Oasis last September and without an official answer, he listed off the licensing agreement for Cats is coming to an end and that at drydock, the sound board is being changed out. All point to a new show. Also stated, big production shows only change in drydock because the sets are so huge. I believe we were told the backdrop space goes up to deck 9 or higher.
  5. The sunset cruise sounds wonderful. As for beaches my one experience was taking a taxi to the furthest beach north of the ship trying to get away from the tourists. What happened is we ran into the local crowd on one of their holidays. I will post photos that include the name of the beach. It was beautiful but as you got away from the crowds there were some rocks to navigate to get into the ocean. A plus was you can walk to the famous light house. A shorter $15 taxi ride will get you to Eagle beach which has low rise hotels fronting it. It's large and sandy and looked great from the road. Just to the north of it is Palm Beach which has the high rise hotels, restaurants and nightlife on the strip. You may also want to post in the shore excursion area cause there is beach after beach in Aruba that all have a slightly different vibe.
  6. Final Thoughts Having been now waiting in the airport for 8 hours, I feel that I have been reflecting enough for my final thoughts through my firsts. 😀 My firsts My first time to the ABC islands and they shined. Caruaco, Bonaire, and Aruba did not disappoint. All beautiful but different: Caruaco more urban, Bonaire small town feel and Aruba tourist and sandy. First time renting a car. Fun but more to think through. First time being Platinum. Yes, we made sure to get the bathrobes and marvel at each other. As noted, wore them to the hot tubs at night. Yes, newbie loyal to Royal move bit who cares! First time using a taxi and flagging down any ride back to the port. So as you see it took 5 or so cruises for us to break free of RC booked shore excursions First time attending an art auction and buying art. Note that my intial post said we are not art auction folk... You just never know until you attend. It wound up being a highlight! First post cruise excursion. Again, not planned and turned into a highlight. Also a good bargin cause of the transfer to the airport. First time booking two cruises at once. Blessed that we can do that. Talking about being blessed You probably noted that I tend to use "we" in my posts. I am blessed with the most amazing cruise partner for me and that makes these adventures that much more special. I know we have just begun to explore all the places we can go via Royal and I will look forward to every one of them! One more This community had really helped us plan out this trip. I know there is so much to track down for our next cruises such as Cuba, all inclusive resorts in Cozumel, etc. I want to thank all who share their knowledge because it makes a difference! Next blog is Cuba in September unless a really good deal shows up 😉 YOLO
  7. @WAAAYTOOO After customs all 4 excursions with airport an transfer had their luggage loaded into a truck. (two San Juan tours, Bacardi factory, and the rain forest). That truck eventually was unpacked in a departure area of the terminal that is no longer used. Two sides of the area was fenced in and there was a woman keeping watch over the bags. I do not know if she was a Royal Caribbean or excusurion employee. I assume that the bags were in the truck until shortly before the four tours arrived at the airport. Honestly, when pulling up to the curb we all had the same reaction of the bags just sitting there until we saw the employee there keeping an eye on them.
  8. Back to San Juan As mentioned, we had a 6pm flight so a day ago we booked the rain Forrest tour with airport transfer. But first, one final meal at the MDR. The food was as good as ever and it was clear how much better breakfast is at the MDR. The French toast was twice as thick, soft and sprinkled with powder sugar. The omelettes were twice as fluffy and the hash browns considably better. After a stroll through the promonade to the star lounge for our wait to disembark. Yes there were some lines but getting the luggage and customs went smoothly. On to the bus for a 5 hour tour of the rain forest. As always, the tour guide makes or breaks the tour and we got a good one! Hector was informative and funny. The rain forest has rebounded well in just two years since it was heavily deforested from the hurricane. Our bags were at the curb as we arrived at the airport. It was a good transition day but no matter how you slice it.... We are no longer on the ship. Once back home I will post some final thoughts. Thanks for following along. It's a pleasure posting and I also find it a nice way to keep a journal.
  9. Last sea day full of surprised! Next Cruise - warm and windy today on deck so we eased into the day with a Windjammer breakfast and a mid morning visit to Next Cruise. We first booked our traditional January cruise on Allure to the Western Caribbean. It will be our second time on an Oasis class ship and our second back to the Western Caribbean. Then a wave of "that's a whole year away" came over us so we booked four nights to Cuba/Key West via Majesty. The ship and Cuba will both be new. Super excited! The Art Auction - Say what? We have never stepped into that realm on the ship but with a newly Platinum award of extra raffle tickets in hand off we went. It was a learning experience but very enjoyable. A glass of champagne, lots of action and also rather informative made it a fun two hours. Most importantly, we learned what art we liked and are coming home with two pieces. Who knew!! He last evening - A final MDR led to some time at Olive and Twist which took us to the last production show, Once Upon A Time. This particular show maybe our favorite non Broadway production on the cruises we have been on. All this led to getting our luggage out with four minutes to spare before the 11pm deadline. We have a flight leaving at 6pm tomorrow so yesterday we booked a debarkation day excursion to the rain forest. It's a rather good deal considering we would have to pay for two Ubers and figure where to store our luggage for 10 hours! Stay tuned for that bounus day recap. In the meantime here are some random thoughts. Leaving from San Juan is a weather treat! It's been between 80 and 82 for the entire 7 days. Lows around 75. - The freestyle coke machines had no lines ever. Maybe the cruisers were a different make up or the price increase to $10 a day has decreased demand. We stopped buying the soda package because of price. - talking soda machines, even without the chip mug, it was a great place to get water and ice fast. - This trip went fast, really fast.
  10. Irieman

    AC in cabin on Freedom

    I know I am on your ship right now so I snapped a photo of my thermostat. This room that was added just a few years ago so your room may look a bit different. Whether a knob or a slider, you can adjust cooler or warmer.
  11. Recap of Bonaire and Aruba. Part 2 With anticipation we pulled into Aruba for a 15 hour port of call. After a room service breakfast we headed out early for a horseback riding adventure. Very efficiently we went from the Acadia theater to a van and was wisked away to a ranch on the Eastern side of the island. After a short but thorough briefing, I mounted Bacardi and 1 we hit the trail. It was a blast going through Aruba's arid land scape with 20 foot high cactus. We eventually made our way to the coast with us riding by the crashing surf as high as 20 feet. Our stop was a beautiful beach before a ride back to the ranch. This was a five star excursion! Back to the ship to eat and change and out we went on our own to find a beach. We took a taxi to Asanti beach which is way North in the hopes to get away from the tourists but even that was crowded. It was an Aruban holiday so that may have brought out a lot of local families. After a few hours in the sun we had to figure a way back to the ship. The taxi there was $29 at holiday rates so we contemplated public transportation but a small tour bus came by offering $5 rides to the cruise port so we hoped on. It was a tour in progress so we spent a relaxing 40 minutes learning about the island and going by all the local and tourist beaches. Of all the Islands on this trip, Aruba is by far the biggest vacation spot. The hotel rooms alone dwarf the other stops by tenfold. That's good and bad depending on your preferred experience you want when you sail. All told it was 11 hours off the ship so we dragged ourselves into the windjammer for dinner. We are definitely MDR folk so we just treated it like that. Bread and starters first, some conversation then the main course, then dessert. It was fun to set it up that way. We finished the evening wearing our bathrobes to the jacuzzi and then reading in the solarium overlooking the lights of Aruba. Honestly, we went to bed before the ship left and never heard or felt anything. Sea day today. Time to book our next cruise!
  12. @Nay those ports are a unique collection of eastern and southern locations. It's a great mix! As for why, not sure but it boils down to demand and making a profit. RC certainly has their set patterns but they do sometimes change it up. I think you choice a perfect itinerary.
  13. Recap of Bonaire and Aruba! Part 1 It's been busy doing so many things I will have to condense the two days into this one post. The day in Bonaire started with us watching Freedom dock on a very small pier. As I mentioned, watching the different ways each port ties up the ship has been facinating. The big Panoramic windows tilt out a good two feet so the view is enhanced in all directions. After a windjammer breakfast we headed out to a snokel and beach break at Coco beach. The snorkeling was good but the beach break was very crowded. It reminded me of some of the places in Phillipsburg St. Maarten. For us, if you have to find your row to get to your beach chair it's to crowded. Again, the fish were colorful and plentiful so it wasn't a total thumbs down. The best part of the day was the afternoon. After lunch on board we went into town. The street fair vendors were true island artisans and we shopped more here than the last 10 ports. The whole center of town hand a real pleasant feel and we lingered a long time. With bath salts, jewelery and gifts in town, we headed back. Back on board we realized that on this trip, day five was formal night. Feeling so good from the day we posed for photos and had a delicious meal in the MDR. The Las Vegas Tenors headlined. They said they did over 50 RC cruises last year. It was our first time seeing the and we along with the crowd enjoyed the performance. Off to sleep to get ready for Aruba. Quick thoughts - Sprinkles is broken. Oh the humanity! - I know the late leaving ports of call effect show times but they just seem to be at very odd times. - Is it me or does the schooner bar and boleros always seem to need about double the seats when they just entertainment - freedom class ships have such an impressive profile when docked with other ships. Proud to be on her!
  14. Will be writing up our great day in Bonaire later but woke up and wanted to share sunrise over Aruba. (It is called a live blog) 😀 Note that a port side room to the ABC islands really is full of activity as you look over the downtowns at each stop.
  15. Hi @Camilla - hope these photos help. Freedom does not yet have the latest updates on the kids swim area but there are lots of things to do. I also appreciate the life guards at all the pools whether for kids or adults. 0124191658.jpg