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Royal Caribbean Blog Group Cruise New Year's 2020 onboard Freedom of the Seas


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Hi All,

I am sure others will blog about this one, but I thought I would join along.  My track record tells me that it probably won't be quite live, but I will capture my experiences and catch up on the plane ride home from San Juan if nothing else!

I have had this cruise booked for more than 2 years now after the RCL blog cruise was first announced.  Despite this being our 30th cruise or so, this is our first time on Freedom Class.  We initially booked a balcony cabin, and then I downgraded to an inside cabin to save money.  We are the type of cruisers who enjoy a balcony, but it depends on the price difference in the cost.  We are perfectly happy in an inside cabin, even in Alaska which is one of our favorite itineraries.  I ended up doing royal up and getting upgraded back to an aft corner balcony a few months ago and we are thrilled with that!!!  I also went back and forth on the drink package with this being a group cruise, but after weighing the pros and cons and decided to forgo the package and just depend on diamond drinks, my two bottles of wine,  drinking in port on this very port intensive itinerary, and we are going to do Chef's table on new year's eve.   

We are typically my time dining people, but because we are with the group and in port late many days, we switched he second seating to sit with the group.   That said, we also have a 3 night dining package so will likely only be eating in the main dining room 2 or 3 nights this cruise which is unusual for us.   

Here are the plans so far:

We fly from Cincinnati/Norther KY airport very early saturday morning and arrive in San Juan in mid afternoon.  We will be staying at the Hyatt house ( using hyatt points).   After checking into the hotel, we will venture into old San Juan have some food and drinks and then meed up with the group.  

Embarkation is later than normal on Sunday.  We will eat breakfast at the hotel, and then we are are heading to Bacardi for the Mixology tour.  Our status with Hyatt house gives us a late 2pm check out, so we will head back mid afternoon and then head towards Freedom.   The welcome aboard party is at 4:30, muster at 7pm, and then we have a 8pm seating with our 3 night dining package. 

Here is the proposed itinerary for the rest of the week journey. 





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It is now day 2 of the cruise and we are docked in saint Maartend today!  We did a good tour through the ship that was great.   The French side is closed to tourists today because of some protesting so we stayed on the Dutch side.  There were only 8’on the tour which made the tour very comfortable with plenty of room on the bus.  The first stop was the cheese stop near the port where we got to try 4 different cheeses and then they prepared homemade macaroni and cheese and we got to try 3 different versions with the various cheeses and cava.  I bought some of the new Amsterdam cheese.  The second stop was the fish market where we had a Johnny cake, ribs, salad, and plantains.  It was a nice setting along the water.   We were ahead of schedule so the driver took us for a drive around the airport, and then we went to the Carousel for our last stop for homemade gelato.  

We are now back on board and I am going to hit the gym for an afternoon workout before hitting the diamond lounge at 5.   Dinner is at chops tonight for our first night with our 3 night dining package. 

I will also post some pictures from the mixology class at casa Bacardi yesterday in San Juan that we did prior to boarding the ship.  












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1 hour ago, twangster said:

Without any context this seems a little stalkerish.  ?

CookingYo did a hot tub scope, and it was filled with group cruisers.  He went around the tub, asked everyone to introduce themselves, and tell us what they did in port today.  I believe @iluvwineandtravel was one of those on the scope.  


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12 hours ago, KathyC said:

CookingYo did a hot tub scope, and it was filled with group cruisers.  He went around the tub, asked everyone to introduce themselves, and tell us what they did in port today.  I believe @iluvwineandtravel was one of those on the scope.  


No.  We did not go to the hot tiub meet up.  I walked by it on the way to the gym.   It must have been Christine.   She was the other group cruiser with us on the tour ?

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