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Freedom of the Seas - July 24 - 29th, 2022 - The Post Cruise Blog ๐Ÿ˜‰


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This blog should ensure that I never get called out by @Mattย again on an early start for a live blog...because it isn't live!

Hubby and I just got a wonderful 4 night short sailing on Freedom of the Seas. I chose not to live blog this one because:ย 

a) Hubby and I were celebrating our 20th anniversary!ย 

b)ย @GregDย and I had just finished off a live blog on Anthem that spanned two weeks (so that was a lot of blogging already)

c) This was truly a do nothing cruise, which is exactly what we wanted. After having just returned from two weeks in Europe, we were tired and looking forward to just sitting on the balcony and having no commitments whatsoever.

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Our quick getaway started on Saturday, July 23rd. We had an early flight on the 24th so Hubby thought it would be way more relaxing to stay one night at the Westin DTW so that we could squeeze in a few extra hours of sleep and not have to worry about crossing the border at 4am.

The Westin DTW is located directly within McNamara Terminal in DTW. If flying out of this terminal (which we always do because we fly Delta), it really is a no brainer for early flights. This hotel has been renovated since we last stayed here in 2016. It is literally steps away from bag check and if you have no bags to check, they even have their own security check point to go directly into the terminal.

A basic king room for us, pardon the purse on the bed and Hubby's McDonald's takeout, I was not in blog mode and forgot to remove itย ๐Ÿ˜‰:

ย 

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The next morning (Sunday, July 24th) we flew DTW-MIA on Delta. Ever since the March 2022 fiasco, we now try to book the earliest flight out in the morning, and I booked this leg through Air2Sea. The return was direct with Delta because I still have Delta e-credits to use up.ย 

Delta has now brought back full out food service in domestic First Class. We were also able to pre-order our breakfast one week before the flight. This Coconut Chia Pudding I selected was surprisingly good.

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All went well. The flight was on time, no luggage was lost.ย ๐Ÿ™‚

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When in Miami, you know where you will find me...

The Intercontinental Miami!

We booked our usual Club King with Bay Views but when we got there, they said they had an upgrade for us and if we would mind giving them an hour or so to get the room ready.ย  Of course we would not mind! Really, Hubby rolled his eyes, texted the kids, they responded with, "Oh my..."

We relaxed in the Club Lounge for a while with some drinks and made our way to our room, a One Bedroom King Suite with Bay Views. The vacation was off to a great start!

This room was huge! Definitely did not need this space for the two of us but it sure was appreciated!

ย 

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We boarded Freedom on Monday, July 25th.

Because this was our 20th Anniversary, I am a total, unashamed suite snob, and I cannot let a good deal pass, I booked Hubby and I into something that I have always been curious about...

Warning: Massive photo dump ahead. There are videos in my highlights on IG.

The Royal Suite on a non-Oasis/Quantum class ship.

Entrance to the suite from the hallway on Deck 10:

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Main entry way inside the suite:

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Living room area with complete wet bar.

Yes, that piano does play itself or you can play it. Not sure if there are piano nerds out there, but as I long wondered and confirmed, it's a Yamaha piano. This was actually one of the many things I loved about this suite. In the evenings, Hubby and I would sit and have a drink, let the piano play itself (even though we can both play), it was like our very own Schooner Bar lol.

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Being ones that drink a lot of water, and this not being a Star Class sailing, I did ask the concierge ahead of time to have water delivered to the suite. I asked for Evian, they delivered Aqua Panna. Not a big deal. There was no water package available on the cruise planner this sailing so I made the request. The amount of water that you see here is what was delivered. It was more than enough for both of us and it cost just under $80. Because we did not have any beverage package this cruise, and the suite lounge on FR is not like Oasis class (where you can pop in and get bottled water throughout the day), Hubby and I saw this as $80 well spent.

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Not a true hot tub for those who are interested. It is more like the ones on the balconies of the Owner's and Grand Panoramic suites (on Oasis and Allure), more like an outdoor bath tub with jets. This one was also way more shallow than the one we had in the Grand Panoramic (1758) on Allure.ย 

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Bedroom Area:

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Master Bathroom in the Bedroom:

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Closet and Storage:

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This is the second full bathroom just to the side of the entry way. I always thought this suite had a full bath and powder room, but no, this was complete with a second shower.

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Random thoughts from this week:

- Freedom is a great ship for short sailings. Keeping in mind that every cruiser is different and we all have our preferences, I would not want to do a long sailing on Freedom, we would be bored, unless it is port intensive, then it would be ok.

- The ship is in good shape, the crew is friendly.

- This ship has done way with paper cruise compasses. There is QR code in the room and you scan it to get the digital copies. The QR code is also in Guest Services and the suite lounge. Paper copies are only given if requested.

- We have been Diamond Plus for a while now but because have been blessed with a lot of Star Class sailings since the restart, we have not really had to make use of many of the D+ benefits until now, especially the 5 Drink vouchers. Knowing that we had the 5 complimentary drinks (for each of us), we passed on the drink package for this sailing. It was the right choice. 5 drinks is more than enough for us and if I ever wanted more than 5, it would still be cheaper just to pay for the extra one instead of getting the package. I don't see us getting the Deluxe Drink package moving forward.

- This was also our first time purchasing the Unlimited Dining Package. It was way more than enough food for us.

- We loved Giovanni's Kitchen! Chops was not the best on this ship. Both the service and the food quality was just mediocre compared to the other ships we have sailed recently (Allure, Oasis, and Anthem).

- Freedom has been out of ship models for about a month now. I was pretty bummed about this.

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Random thoughts about the Royal Suite on Freedom:

- Suite benefits are consistent with non-OA/QN ships. The only added benefit with the Royal Suite is the escort on the ship (embarkation day), and the escort off the ship (disembarkation).

- I loved this room! While not as modern as some of the newer ships (Hubby prefers the modern decor), I can easily overlook that for the space, and the views in this suite. There is so much living space. Throughout the week, I kept thinking that even if the kids were with us, there would be plenty of space for 4 of us.

- As I mentioned before, the piano in the living room is a nice feature, especially in the evenings. I was just worried it would disturb the neighbours, but Hubby ventured out into the hall on the first night and he said you could not really hear it.

- Our stateroom attendant mentioned on the first day that "ding dong ditch" is quite common in this room. There is a switch to shut off the sound of the door bell so we never heard it if it did happen.

- I also loved the balcony in this suite. It is large with enough space for two loungers, a dining table, the faux hot tub, and more than enough space to move around.

- This suite is on the "hump" so the views are great. When you left/right, you don't really see other balconies, and the RS balcony is deep enough that nobody can really see you if you are out of the balcony, unless you are right up at the rails.

- The only complaint about this room is that it is on Deck 10, but almost all the suites on Freedom class ships are on Deck 10. This is unfortunate as Deck 11 is the pool deck/WJ, etc., very busy, lots of traffic. I have long wondered if this would be a problem. Well, it was, but not in the way that I would have guessed. We did not get any noise from the scraping of deck chairs or running or anything of that sort. What we got was the sound of constant toilet flushing! After the first night, Hubby and I went to investigate and it turns out the men's washroom outside of the Windjammer is directly above this suite. So beware if you book this room lol. It's not as bad in the middle of the night, but you will hear it all throughout the day and evening.ย 

- Would I book this suite again, most definitely! We thoroughly enjoyed our time in this suite and on this ship. It was a perfect way to slow down and decompress after a very busy Norway sailing.

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Apologies that I did not live blog this one. Feel free to ask any other questions if you have them.

And for those who were wondering, it was amusing to watch Hubby adjust to sailing with no Genie and no Star after 3 consecutive Star sailings. As predicted, he was worse than I was even though he makes fun of me all the time. I spent most of Day 1 saying, "No, this is not Star Class."ย ๐Ÿคฃ

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44 minutes ago, Neesa said:

Happy Anniversary! I was so excited when I saw this. YAY!ย  I figured since this was a milestone there wouldn't be a blog. So imagine my surprise!

Thanks!ย 


To tell you the truth, I really wasnโ€™t sure if I was going to blog or not. Pretty tired after coming back from Europe, and then there was whole will we actually be able to go (because of testing, takes the pre-cruise fun out of everything). Hubby took pics of everything because he was like, โ€œHow can you not blog?โ€ In the end, I decided to enjoy the sailing with Hubby, soak in the moments, and then blog afterwards.ย 

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