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Irieman

Freedom of the Seas Jan 20th. - 7 day Southern Carribean

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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!

 

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Hello again! Sorry for the delay as my room did not work with the access code given. Had a day in St. Marrten and just met the internet guru so armed with the new code I am live again!

I will use this pre dinner post to just catch you up on last night.  As I mentioned, with a late embarkation, everything seemed more laid back. My time dining the first night is usually the most hectic and it was actually one of the smoothest nights ever in the MDR. I will have to see if it continues in which case I will give extra kudos to the wait staff. 

The sail away out of San Juan and past El Muro was beautiful at night. We will take the advice of fellow bloggers to enjoy the time at night in the various ports cause it is rather unique. 

The Patriot game was on the pool screen and was well attended with a good deal of passionate fans. 😀

The rest of my evening was low key and went to bed rather early. 

Just to paint a better picture of where we are coming from cruise wise, we are in a panoramic room on the 12th deck with no drink package. We may get a drink a day so it doesn't pay. We prefer to search out the more intimate parts of the ship but love all the headline shows. No gambling or art but lots of sun andr relaxation 

Later tonight I will share our rental car day in St. Maarten. 😀

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Day 2 - On Our Own!

This was our second time to St. Maarten so we figured, let's try it on our own.  I was empowered by all the helpful hints from this blog so we rented a car from coastal. For those thinking about it, they range from $60 to $150 depending on the make with Jeep's on the high end. We paid in advance so after a few signatures we we're shuttled up a back road to our car. Off we went! Driving was easy but beware off, motorcycles who pass at a whim, some poor roads and very few road signs.  With that in mind, driving was not that difficult.  Thanks to @Matt our morning tour ended up at Merigot for some french pasteries and coffee.  It was nice to walk around a bit and the vibe was nicer than Phillipsburg. 

Then we headed out for the great beach search. No signs had us passing by beaches I had researched until finally Orient Beach.  A quick left off the main road had us drive down to the beach. There appeared to be a public parking lot with no amenities but in the distance we saw a beach club.  Kontiki opened less than a month ago and is a gem. We walked in and for $30 we had two super comfortable chairs and an umbrella beach side with up class bar, restaurant and facilities.  I highly recommend it as an alacarte beach destination.

Back on the ship we had a relaxing evening in the main dinning room and a production show Marque. We turned Platinum this trip so for fun, we sported out bathrobes to the hot tub for a romantic late night soak. 

Some random thoughts - renting a car was fun but next time we will try the taxi back to Kontiki - seating front row center isn't for everyone but we love it. Freedom allows us regular folks a chance for those seats - I absolutely love the location of the panoramic rooms on deck 12. So easy to the deck chairs, gym and even a quick shot back to the windjammer. 

Sea day tomorrow to the abc islands. 

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Looks beautiful!! I hate driving so I would taxi lol.  I may not get off the ship in St Maarten because I've been before but my husband and daughter might and I could see them driving!  Thanks so much for blogging!!! Jane

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10 hours ago, Irieman said:

Thanks to @Matt our morning tour ended up at Merigot for some french pasteries and coffee.  It was nice to walk around a bit and the vibe was nicer than Phillipsburg. 

Marigot is terrific!

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