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Found 23 results

  1. It's time and I am jazzed! I start this blog on the front sun deck area up front deck 12. It's my second blog and hope to share enough info to help others and just maybe entertain. We embark from San Juan in about 5 hours which has lent itself to be a very relaxed time. We arrived at the port at noon and from handing the bags to the porters to walking on board was ten minutes max. I assume we slid in right after the call of all those that were waiting for the ship to be cleared to board. The windjammer seemed quieter possibly again because there is so much time before the muster drill. No sense of a rush to get food before they close. We are coming back to Freedom from our first trip on an Oasis size ship. Honestly I was surprised that my first impression was that this ship seemed small. I remember how I thought Freedom was gigantic just last year. Well, not to fear, after walking around during the past few hours, it is feeling large again. Plus it helps being next to the Disney Wonder which is a good deal smaller. I will recap the full day later but will leave you with some pre departure thoughts. - San Juan airport was very busy with the taxi line being about a 30 minute wait. No Uber from the airport. - We stayed at a nice boutique hotel, the San Geronimo, but it's more european style than American. It is less than a mile to the port and about a mile and a half to the center of old San Juan. - fortunate enough to have been here for the San Sebastian festival in old San Juan. Good music and fun but very crowded. Hope you enjoy following and feel free to ask questions. I will try to track the answers down!
  2. My husband and I are going on a 7N Freedom of the Seas (FOTS) cruise January 2020. I'd love to hear of all your suggestions for excursions. We LOVE the water/beach but are open to other ideas as well. We have already been to St Maarten and did a RC snuba excursion which we enjoyed. All other ports we have never been to. With so many ports, we'd love to hear your feedback on ports to do an excursion versus no excursion-either staying on the ship or exploring the town. I should also note that one day we'd love to go back and stay at an island for longer than one day so any suggestions on day passes at a resort to explore those would be great too.
  3. This is my first post and my first cruise as the person in charge! My boyfriend and I are on Freedom in late August and both of our birthdays will fall on nights while on board (5th and 7th). What does the MDR do for birthdays and how do I go about alerting them to our double celebration? Once on board? Or can I let dining know when I email RCCL for our MTD table reservation 20-ish days out? I haven't been on a cruise since HAL Oosterdam with my parents in college, and Sovereign waaayyy back in '98 as a 5th grader, so this time I am in charge of booking and scheduling! So excited to be on such a big ship. Well, in comparison to the other two... I will have to work my way up to Oasis class. 🤗
  4. I'm staying in a Spacious Oceanview w/o balcony on Freedom of the Seas. I was thrilled to find photos of what I thought was my room (7400) but they are confusing because obviously the 3rd is totally different from the others. The 4th photo is a different room, but the wall is obviously slanted and the window is much smaller. Now I'm really trying to figure out what our room/view looks like. I was also trying to locate it from outside photos of the ship but that was a huge fail on my part. I know it's a long shot but has anyone stayed in this room?
  5. Anyone else on the Southern Caribbean cruise starting at the end of the month? If so, what excursions are you doing? We haven't booked anything yet, but have some ideas. Not sure about Antigua and St. Lucia - so any recommendations on those are appreciated!
  6. I've been Googling but keep coming up with different lists. I *think* this is the most current, can someone confirm? Deck 3 - On Air Club, Deck 4 - Boleros, Casino Bar, Sabor, Schooner Bar, Deck 5 - Bull and Bear Pub, R Bar, Star Lounge, Vintages, Deck 11 - Pool Bar, The Plaza Bar, Deck 12 - Sky Bar, Deck 14 - Olive or Twist, Viking Crown Lounge Also, if I'm missing any or any of them are listed wrong I'd appreciate any feedback. Have I mentioned I'm a ridiculous planner? We want to be sure to check out the entire ship and having a drink in each bar can't hurt.
  7. Hi! A few friends and I just booked the 7 night Southern Caribbean cruise out of San Juan on 3/17/2019. I am wondering if anyone knows when RCCL will have a promo going on for the drink package? Apparently the price is increasing in 2019 and I don't think I am going to drink $63-$74 per day in alcohol lol. I figured I won't get one or I will wait for a promo. Thank you in advance!
  8. Firstly let me thank all on this site for the knowledge they have shared, being a new cruiser i didnt know what to expect but the information and friendliness shared on this site has made me less worried about things. For me this upcoming cruise has been a long time coming, in fact over 20 years, it's a bucket list item that i thought i would never be able to tick off! I have dragged my wife to some strange cities and countries around the world, be it on vacation or for work but one thing i could never do was get her to go on a cruise due to her dislike ( thats an understatement ) of water. However this year as this trip is for my 50th birthday she had to relent 🙂 hopefully this cruise is the first of many! We fly British Airways (BA)from a very cold and wet North East of Scotland on Thursday, heading to New York via Heathrow with a 7hr layover in JFK before boarding our Delta flight down to Peurto Rico for a 2 day stay before our cruise. I booked both of these flights as soon as i was able to (11 months out) and i have watched prices daily, BA has never dropped, Delta i could have saved a little ($100) if i waited one month. Since then prices have risen so it was a good idea to ignore my wifes advice to wait until 2 or 3 months out. The hotel of choice having read good reports on it was the Sheraton in Old San Juan, right opposite the cruise port or so i thought! Thanks to info on here i found out that RC leave from another terminal, that along with the fact my wife saw a photo of a hotel with a beach with hammocks on it where we could just chill on our first day sipping cocktails after a long flight, i decided a change was needed, booked the Courtyard by Marriot Isla Verde ( yes the one with hammocks) as soon as dates appeared available and since then i was watched the prices rocket, so again good idea to book as soon as you can. The cruise itself was booked through a UK travel agent, i didnt have a clue which one to use but noticed one was giving you a price match, $100 OBC and free drinks package and 6 bottles of red wine if you booked through them, the wine was the deciding factor and i must admit they tasted nice. Room is an oceanview on deck 9, i wanted a balcony but had to compromise as my wife wasn't keen on a balcony on first cruise. For UK cruisers i used trivago to look for best deal on hotel, skyscanner for flights and just searched for best deal on cruise, i then went onto TOP CASHBACK and used that as a link to BA, Booking.com and company for insurance and have ended up with a £200 payback which is extra money to spend on holiday ONBOARD Voom purchased for my wife using OBC so she can keep in touch with family back home As i got drinks package FOC, theres no point adding up bar bill to see if i break even, also the fact as im scottish the batterey would probably run out an calculator from over use😂😂 Schedule Thursday 22nd Aberdeen to Newyork Friday 23rd New York to Peurto Rico : 2 night stay CRUISE ITERNERARY BASSETERRE, ST KITTS & NEVIS ST. JOHNS, ANTIGUA CASTRIES, ST. LUCIA BRIDGETOWN, BARBADOS PHILIPSBURG, ST. MAARTEN Back to San Juan SJU TO JFK As we just like to wing it and decide what we want to do when we wake up or sober up lol, the only things we have planned are Bernards tours in St Maarten and Atlantis Submarine in Barbados ( another bucket list item so i had to bribe my wife for this one) After the cruise we head back to the big apple and heres where the bribery kicks in, a 2 night stay in the Grand Hyatt in NYC taking in the xmas lights etc, ice skating in Bryant Park even though i've never skated in my life( just as well i have idiots abroad travel insurance) some Xmas shopping at Jersey gardens, however my wife wants to visit Tiffany's for her present 😞 and just when i thought everything was done and i could relax without having to spend anymore more money, John Legend announces a tour where his only New York date corresponds with our time there and knowing full well what my wifes reaction would be if we get there and she see's advertisements for his concert, its easier for me to have a quiet life if i just open my wallet and purchase 2 tickets All packed and counting down the days 🙂 Ray
  9. Hello! We booked 4 rooms on Freedom of the Seas MONTHs ago. We were very specific in the place, type, number (not "guaranteed") and other cabin detail when selecting them. Unfortunately, we have a situation where we booked a balcony cabin for 3 people. One is no longer able to attend. We're happy to pay for the room & 3 people. Even so we've been told by both the cruise line and our travel agent that because our room "sleeps 3" that if we drop to two people, we'll be moved to a "sleeps 2" cabin... none of which are balconies. Is this the reality of it? Or am I missing something? And if it is real, what are the best ways to keep our room? Thanks all!
  10. For those who have cruised on FOTS, if you could only go to one of the dining venues which one would you recommend? Not interested in Sabor so it's a straight choice between chops grille and giovannis. Thanks 🙂
  11. By FlowBro Ty Here's some photo of the flowrider on the freedom of the seas. Let Me Know If You Liked It And Comment Thanks FlowBro Ty
  12. Hello Royal Caribbean fans - I recently came into possession of a crystal bowl engraved with " Freedom of the Seas Innaugural Season 2006" and a likeness of a ship. The bowl has a sticker on it from "Burns Crystal, handcrafted in Scotland". I cannot find any info on this piece. I was hoping someone here could tell me more about it? Thank you in advance Matt
  13. First-time cruisers on Freedom of The Seas in March and we are really excited! This site and podcast have been a tremendous help for our planning. I did want to ask if anyone has done the Shore Excursion in San Juan, Puerto Rico called "Give Back to La Perla Community" it sounds like something encouraging to do but wanted to see if anyone knew more about this. Thank you!!
  14. So I'm 290 days out from my Eastern Caribbean cruise on Freedom of the Seas, and I see that the beverage packages are now available for me to buy on the Cruise Planner. Since I just missed the last Sip and Stream offering, and I've got so much time before embarkation day, I'm gong to bide my time and keep an eye out for either a 20-30% off sale or another Sip and Stream offer. Maybe around 4th of July week? This is kind of nuts, I'm still a little over 9 months away from my trip! At the rate things are coming up on the Cruise Planner, I'll have all of our excursions, drink packages, and internet booked and paid off at least six months ahead of time. At that point I'll just be making the monthly cruise fare payments until final payment in December.
  15. So I'm taking my first cruise ever, on Freedom of the Seas (8-night Eastern Caribbean sailing in March/April of 2018). I have some general questions I haven't found answers for after listening to the podcast and searching the blog and these message boards. Apologies if these have actually been asked a million times already. First question is about the main dining room. I'm looking at the deck plans for FOTS, and I see that there are three areas labeled "Dining Room" -- Leonardo Dining Room on Deck 3, Isaac Dining Room on Deck 4, and Galileo Dining Room on Deck 5. Are all three of these combined actually the "Main Dining Room"? Or are they distinct in terms of appearance, menu, any background music, etc.? Related to this: I have the Early Dining assignment (5:30 PM) and my family's cabins (connecting balcony rooms) are on Deck 8. Will we be assigned to just one of these dining rooms for the entire week? Any way to predict which one based on our cabin deck? Do we have to eat in that assigned room for all meals where we choose a dining room option, or can we go to, say, the Galileo room for breakfast even if we're assigned the Leonardo room for dinner? Does it even make a difference if we do? Next question is about stargazing and taking photos of the night sky. I've read here that at least some of Royal Caribbean's ships have at least one planned stargazing event on the helipad. Are passengers allowed on the helipad at night when there is no planned event? Just want to know if I have to make sure to find that announcement in the Cruise Compass and tell my family that I'll be doing that no matter what else they might want; I live too close to bright cities to ever get a good view of the night sky, and being able to actually see the Milky Way and maybe take some long-exposure photos to capture it is something of a bucket list item of mine. Related to that, are passengers allowed to bring a tripod onto the helipad in that situation? Long-exposure shots don't work when holding the camera, so at a minimum I'd want to bring a very small (I'm talking 6") folding mini-tripod I own that I could set up, or something like a Gorillapod that I could wrap around a railing or post. Next question is about the Adventure Ocean program. Both my kids will be with me, and they'll be 14 and 17 at the time. Are they able to just go to the teen lounges without actually signing up for Adventure Ocean, or do they need to be signed up so it shows on their sea pass card that they're allowed in? Besides those teen clubs, does the ship staff typically do anything special for teens during the day on sea days? Or is the expectation that kids that age will just roam the ship on their own and do their own thing with or without their parents? Last question is about what people's experiences have been with the staff when it came to special events. My TA has noted on our reservations that it will not only be our first ever cruise, but our 20th wedding anniversary and our daughter's graduation from high school. When we went to Disney the first time, we got big buttons to wear and the staff went out of their way to be extra helpful and make the stay even more enjoyable than it already was. I've heard / read multiple comparisons of Royal Caribbean to Disney in terms of their effort to "wow" their passengers, so I'm curious if anyone here has traveled under similar circumstances and gotten similar "TLC". That's it for now, at least. Thanks in advance for whatever help you can give! - Joe -
  16. Hi all, This will be our first cruise with RC - we've previously been on Disney twice. I have a 12 year old son who will be with us, and he's looking for friends for the cruise in his age group. Any tips and suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks! Cate
  17. Does boarding Freedom occur on deck five? If so, do you enter the Promenade directly from the open deck?
  18. At the Mystery Dinner Theater at Giovanni's Table, you will likely be sat with other people. It would be nice to have some time to mingle before being assigned seating. That way, YOU can pick your tablemates, not Royal Caribbean, and hopefully ensure the most enjoyable experience. Also, it would be nice to pre-lubricate, so we reduce any shyness. ;) In light of this, we have created a little gathering that we are organizing through Facebook. If you are going to be on the October 18th sailing of the Freedom of the Seas, and you are going to the Mystery Dinner Theater, come join us and let's make the event a night to remember! :D https://www.facebook.com/events/1041769092513856/
  19. Whoever is going on the Freedom of the Seas (or if you're on there right now), you must go to R Bar, ask for Alok Sharma, and ask him to make you the Bombay Smash! It should easily be one the drinks of the day. DELISH!!!!
  20. Hey Matt! Hey everyone! We're just back from our fabulous RC FOS cruise, and, of course, we loved it! Matt, you and I had some previous discussions, and I was to report back to you about a few things (one of which was about the Murder Mystery Dinner Theater). I believe what follows covers it. What I have done is simply copy and paste what I wrote to Royal in their cruise follow up survey. I look forward to all of your thoughts, input, and feedback. *********************************************** First, let me say that we are "Loyal To Royal." We have never sailed with anyone else (with the exception of when I was a small child on a family vacation on NCL, but I did not have a say back then). So when I offer some criticisms, please know that it is with the best of intentions to help improve something I love: Royal Caribbean Cruise Vacations! That said, the Murder Mystery Dinner Theater was not up to the standards I know you have for your company. The whole production, from the start in the Star Lounge to the finale in Gionvanni's Table, was flat and boring. After seeing the rest of the week's performances, I know that the fault does not lie with the performers. However much they may have tried to bring the show to life, they failed. Which was very disappointing, because we were excited to be starting out our cruise vacation with a bang! The show was scheduled for the first night onboard. What a way to kick things off! Or so we thought. Though let me state clearly, in no way do we allow the show's failure to cast a shadow on Giovanni's Table. The food and service met our expectations for quality, even if it did not meet them for style. Somehow Giovanni's Table is far superior on the Oasis of the Seas. Contrary to Giovanni's Table, Sabor ROCKED!!! I had absolutely no intention of going to a Mexican restaurant on a cruise ship (and we skipped it on the Oasis). But, I was cajoled into at least trying the guacamole and margaritas. So in we went. I got turned around 180 degrees! Now I will demand that everyone go to Sabor! It is an absolute Royal Caribbean MUST DO! And we are so fortunate to have Sabor, as well as the other specialty dining options, because the food in the Main Dining Room has declined to the point that we will no longer be going there, but will instead opt for the Windjammer or just about anything else. What the heck happened!? I cannot say that we were ever blown away by the food in the Main Dining Room, but we have never been this disappointed. Out of the few dozen items presented throughout the week, there may have been 2 or 3 that were enjoyable. 2 or 3!? Is that the Royal Caribbean standard? I do not believe it is. I sure hope not anyway, because we love the atmosphere and the service there. The staff is always exemplary, and Edwin Santos and Olivia Chiriac were no exception. Which brings me back to the service we received at R Bar. As I said in the earlier question, Alok, Cookie, and Heidi were fantastic! I wanted to take them everywhere with me as my personal staff. What I really wanted was to take them home with me! The fact is, Royal Caribbean's crew is 99% perfect. There is an oddball here and there, but it is so rare, that I am quite sure it goes unnoticed. But, these three were the crème de la crème! As was Casey Pelter. He is the best cruise director we have had so far. Not much else to say on this point - just wanted to give him some credit. And that takes me to the entertainment. I have already stated that the production crew was top-notch. That cannot, however, be said for all of the headliners. Mark Cordes was fabulous! He had the entire room rolling. And John Caponera should take lessons from him. Mr. Caponera's attempt fell far short of the mark. And it was not just his style of joke telling. He simply was not witty enough to pull it off. The same could be said for Karen Grainger. While her singing ability cannot be denied, her act was in desperate need of professional help. I think that she is on to something, but it just is not fully baked yet. Which is more than can be said for Drew Thomas. His "magic show," if you can call it that, is little more than theatrics mixed with the same old routines that have been around for a century. A magic act is a hard thing to sell, so if you are going to try, the act had better be cutting-edge. It had better WOW the audience. There was very little head-scratching in that room. What was WOWing was the behind-the-scenes crew. That ship, as is every other Royal ship, was immaculate! It is so impressive that something that size, and something that is now 11 years old, could look and work that well. The art was wonderful! We stopped to look at everything. We did notice though that some of the music choices were odd. I am not sure what you are going for in the Promenade. Or, for that matter, in the Bull & Bear pub. What is up with Sam Collins!? Was he put there to help the seniors take naps? I love the British pub on the Oasis, but I only stepped into this pub to get a quick drink, then ran for the door! Which brings to mind one last criticism: why were you out of so many items ship wide? Several times a day, at several locations, this or that would not be in stock. At Boleros, it was the coconut rum. At Bull & Bear, it was the Spaten. At R Bar, it was glassware. At Sabor, it was one of the featured margaritas. At one of the pool bars, it was the strawberry puree for the daiquiris. At the Viking Crown Lounge, it was the sambuca. I could go on and on. I have never experienced anything like this on any other Royal ship. It was very strange. Fortunately, the wonderful crew at the bars did all they could to make up for the failure that was clearly being made way above their heads. The crew bent over backwards to try to please. Is there some officer who is in charge of such things? Where was he? Thank goodness for the crew! All-in-all, taking the bad with the good, the failings with the WOWS, the Freedom of the Seas still amazed. We loved our cruise vacation, and will continue to be "Loyal To Royal." In fact, we are already booked on the Navigator of the Seas for the April 14, 2017 sailing to the Southern Caribbean! We cannot wait! Thank you Royal! We love you!
  21. A glimpse into our fun-filled, relaxing cruise vacation on the Freedom of the Seas​.... https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10206607849229037&type=1&l=891edf958b
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