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


Irieman
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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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Well, not to pull latitude on you but I started my trip in Augusta Maine which was zero last night. I have gained 82 degrees on this voyage. ?

The sun continues to shine today on board. Too hot for a full day of sun so we took a relaxed lunch crawl  from pizza and sandwiches on the royal promonade to dessert at the Windjammer. Next we took in the ice show which is the most action packed of the few I have seen on other ships. Always amazed at the talent level! Now back behind the flowrider on a lounger watching the expanse of the ocean behind us. 

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20 hours ago, Boston Babe said:

LOL!  If only!  21F!!!  Yesterday was 12 for a high! and I live near that Mason Dixon Line

I'm also near that same line (15 minutes north) and the Potomac River (15 minutes south)  --- It was Zero when I woke up this morning --- you know, as Bob Turk says on Channel 13, for all those north & west of the city ..... THAT'S US .....WAY WEST!!!!

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7 hours ago, Boston Babe said:

LOL!  If only!  21F!!!  Yesterday was 12 for a high! and I live near that Mason Dixon Line

5 hours ago, coneyraven said:

I'm also near that same line (15 minutes north) and the Potomac River (15 minutes south)  --- It was Zero when I woke up this morning --- you know, as Bob Turk says on Channel, for all those north & west of the city ..... THAT'S US .....WAY WEST!!!!

And in NJ it was down in the single digits all day yesterday, and all of mid- to upper-20s today. Freaking JUNO and REYKJAVIK were warmer than us!! ?

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The sea day continued with dinner in the MDR, a late sunset promonade walk, a bit of music at Boleros, followed by our first ever top tier event and ending with the headliner show. For us, a busy evening!

Here are my thoughts...

As part of My Time dining we asked for a window seat for two. For us it is well worth it not just for the view but adds to the privacy. Most tables for two have other tables for two lined up so tight you feel like your tables run together. 

Our first top tier event was enjoyable with a Captains welcome and Q and A session. For the Platinum level, non alcoholic drinks and musical entertainment was followed by the speaches and awards. Very nice indeed. 

I am super excited for the next three ports. I have wanted to do the ABC Islands forever. My chance starts tomorrow!

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The sea day continued with dinner in the MDR, a late sunset promonade walk, a bit of music at Boleros, followed by our first ever top tier event and ending with the headliner show. For us, a busy evening!

Here are my thoughts...

As part of My Time dining we asked for a window seat for two. For us it is well worth it not just for the view but adds to the privacy. Most tables for two have other tables for two lined up so tight you feel like your tables run together. 

Our first top tier event was enjoyable with a Captains welcome and Q and A session. For the Platinum level, non alcoholic drinks and musical entertainment was followed by the speaches and awards. Very nice indeed. 

I am super excited for the next three ports. I have wanted to do the ABC Islands forever. My chance starts tomorrow!

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Hi. 

Following along all the way from Denmark. My family and I are going on a cruise from San Juan in October (4 kids aged 1-10) and 8 adults. If you have the time, could you please take a couple of pictures of the baby splash area and the kids area. 

Have a great cruise, can’t wait for our trip  

 

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