Jump to content

Freedom of the Seas - July 24 - 29th, 2022 - The Post Cruise Blog 😉


Recommended Posts

This blog should ensure that I never get called out by @Matt 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: 

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

b) @GregD 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.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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 it 😉:

 

D55B6629-C22D-4464-A081-1C4DDC8C5F3C.jpeg

721AD50F-A02D-4774-8DEC-65807EE428C7.jpeg

A82AF6BC-C6D5-4100-B9EA-DC97F16B44CE.jpeg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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. 

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.

09D425ED-1CE4-4F8A-8CE9-D69767565CE0.thumb.jpeg.3c28a5caaee120e865a1ec12dd95b441.jpeg

All went well. The flight was on time, no luggage was lost. 🙂

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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.  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!

 

5186EC10-5A47-47A1-B73E-EB61C0CE3E74.jpeg

E991ED82-C879-41B9-BA53-6D2697134167.jpeg

3D472599-4388-4EDC-9560-9EFDB6B2A6C5.jpeg

752B8CB5-EB17-4481-853B-5540036FDAAB.jpeg

60F7C78E-E1EC-4A52-9EBB-DA26254C94A1.jpeg

3F70D27E-90E1-4F09-ABA1-FA8179F70CC0.jpeg

6E5DCD6F-08CE-45BA-A2B3-8B4A83D74FBC.jpeg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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:

612B79FF-8D40-4D7A-9B0D-666CF312D415.thumb.jpeg.a1040401d1bbaa2f5df2134bfca90942.jpeg

Main entry way inside the suite:

D86B644F-3AF2-420B-B490-CA85596CDEE7.jpeg

56FFE99F-275A-4C39-B44D-67A8B2CB92FE.jpeg

C897F57F-F089-47FC-9575-E91A125F78E2.jpeg.

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.

1FB075DE-E60A-43B9-8DA8-A027E2053DBD.jpeg

C701FEBB-AE46-4E45-89F5-48C654AC6EAB.jpeg

F2280BB9-502A-4BCE-9344-9891EC50F90F.jpeg

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.

70166281-805D-4D5B-A396-3E1E3D04DD27.jpeg

FCC96C3A-BC20-4BBC-9507-D95BBA716E25.jpeg

CF6B68B7-8C45-4023-8728-9D0914EB6689.jpeg

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. 

F0E63421-02B9-4164-B5C3-AD515FDA878A.jpeg

3D8D2F55-23D8-44E4-9786-D81194C5BE92.jpeg

733EC95C-94B6-4977-8007-EB0AEFDAAFD3.jpeg

Bedroom Area:

B22A99A9-0D83-4BE8-89DC-02BADCF2E1D0.jpeg

0DC258E2-E6B5-4FBD-AAE8-FEA3604C5EDE.jpeg

FC988DBF-5200-49A6-AFA2-3AF06A13EA84.jpeg

Master Bathroom in the Bedroom:

DBBB3924-29FF-4435-BA4C-392573E6F3FB.jpeg

4B9A8D2E-B607-48DD-8AE6-7F0CA7671A0A.jpeg

ED27F2D0-25B9-4871-AD3F-2C716BD5A516.jpeg

183A539E-E091-4392-A6CF-5A0032AAC779.jpeg

D7DC59C4-EAC8-4B59-AC73-CAC2B638ED7E.jpeg

03623706-38E1-4145-81EC-D161EACE408D.jpeg

Closet and Storage:

7EF76E8F-A2D7-49AB-B3F5-335E7BFDDD1F.jpeg

2F072CE2-0162-4386-913F-0E19C69F9144.jpeg

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.

6ECB65ED-6919-4C59-AC4C-DC11C0D91C53.jpeg

E8FC5E81-814F-4FA3-8533-40CFEEF92125.jpeg

D74BF342-A0AB-466C-B3F9-3D63BCFB0AE7.jpeg

E0BD1AF4-9A1B-4048-A1A0-BD4653808D1E.jpeg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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. 

- 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.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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." 🤣

Link to comment
Share on other sites

44 minutes ago, Neesa said:

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

Thanks! 


To tell you the truth, I really wasn’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, “How can you not blog?” In the end, I decided to enjoy the sailing with Hubby, soak in the moments, and then blog afterwards. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Happy anniversary!!  Good for you not doing a live blog during your celebration!  

I've always been curious about that room too, so thanks for the blog on it!  I'm kind of a larger ship snob, so I have a hard time thinking about a cruise on one of the smaller / older ships - even though some have been incredibly amplified.  One of the issues we've had on the smaller ships is the odor in the bathrooms.  Our last small Royal ship was Majesty (super old), and our cabin attendant tried very hard to deodorize the bathroom for us but the smell of the tanks just permeated our space.  I'm sure they've fixed this issue with the other smaller ships that are newer (which is every other ship out there now), but that memory always makes me want to book larger ships.  Have you (or others) had any issues on the smaller ships?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, CravingaCruise said:

Happy anniversary!!

Thanks!

3 hours ago, CravingaCruise said:

I'm kind of a larger ship snob,

That makes two of us. This is why I made the one comment about it being ok since it was a short cruise. A longer cruise, on a smaller ship, that is not port intensive, I think I would struggle with as well. We did miss a lot of things about OA/QN class. The shows for one was just "meh" compared to the bigger ships. The suite lounge is not even a close comparison to OA class. There is no bar in the suite lounge on smaller ships so you cannot pop in between 11am-11pm to get drinks/water. They only have happy hour. And the other thing I missed is that Chops for breakfast (while still better than the craziness of WJ) is not really a replacement for CK.

So I get it. You have to go into the smaller ships with the right expectations, then you will be fine.

3 hours ago, CravingaCruise said:

One of the issues we've had on the smaller ships is the odor in the bathrooms.

 

3 hours ago, CravingaCruise said:

Have you (or others) had any issues on the smaller ships?

I will be totally honest here. I don't think this is just a "smaller ship" issue. Even in a few star class rooms (more recently the GL 1758 on Allure and the GLS 10724 on Anthem) we had a bad smell in the bathroom that we had to bring to the attention of the loft attendant. Both times, they said it was a smell coming from the drain the the bathroom.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, Lovetocruise2002 said:

The suite lounge is not even a close comparison to OA class. There is no bar in the suite lounge on smaller ships so you cannot pop in between 11am-11pm to get drinks/water. They only have happy hour.

Bummer!  It seems there isn't a lot of return on your investment in the non OA/QN ships.  Are there other things that help make up for it?  I mean, besides the amazing suite and deck? 🙂 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

19 minutes ago, CravingaCruise said:

Bummer!  It seems there isn't a lot of return on your investment in the non OA/QN ships.  Are there other things that help make up for it?  I mean, besides the amazing suite and deck? 🙂 

Not really. That is why you have to go in with the right expectations. Also, as @twangsterhas stated more than once, that is why these ships run a bit cheaper too. But don’t get me wrong, we totally enjoyed our week on board Freedom. We knew it wasn’t going to be like the big ships and after Europe, a “do nothing” cruise was exactly what we needed. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Happy Anniversary.......I was going to say 20 years???...... you must have been a child bride, but your husband looks young too.

That room is too much, I can barely play piano, but I feel like because it would be there, I would be fiddling with it constantly. You are right Freedom is a fun, little basic ship if you are doing short sailings but there isn't much to do besides trivia and drinks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 minutes ago, Ampurp85 said:

Happy Anniversary.......I was going to say 20 years???...... you must have been a child bride, but your husband looks young too.

haha...not that young anymore. Hubby still loves Lego, Star Wars, and his Toronto Maple Leafs so he is forever young 😄

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Yesiamthere6 said:

Happy anniversary!  Sounds like you two had a wonderful quick trip.  Don’t you have a cruise soon with your parents?

Yes! I cannot wait. We have the Villa on Harmony with them this coming March (2023). It was supposed to be December 2020 but we lost that and moved it. Fingers crossed everything goes smoothly and we are able to take them finally.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ha ha!  I'm laughing because this is a huge difference from the spacious balcony I had on Freedom.  Congrats on your 20/20!!

Freedom 5 day sailing was my first time with Royal back in May of this year, and my 2nd will be this November on Harmony.  It was a good intro to Royal Caribbean and can only imagine what my next experience is going to be like.  Not only am I excited about the ship, but the 8 day Labadee, Aruba, Curacao itinerary with 4 days at sea!  My girlfriend and I LOVE our sea days!  Plus this will be our first time at those ports.  101 days to go!!  

Did you two leave the ship?  Probably not, I know I wouldn't.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 hours ago, Aron_Ross said:

Congrats on your 20/20!!

Thank you!

13 hours ago, Aron_Ross said:

It was a good intro to Royal Caribbean and can only imagine what my next experience is going to be like. 

For sure. I have been of the mindset (for quite long time now) that Voyager and Freedom class ships (especially the amped ones) are a great starting point for first time cruisers. While my heart always belongs to Oasis class, it can be overwhelming for a first time cruiser. You will love Harmony!

13 hours ago, Aron_Ross said:

Did you two leave the ship?  Probably not, I know I wouldn't.

haha! I told Hubby I would be perfectly content to not leave the ship. We did get off at Coco Cay though, just long enough grab a Snack Shack Chicken Sandwich and a Funnel Cake. 😋

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Lovetocruise2002 said:

Thank you!

For sure. I have been of the mindset (for quite long time now) that Voyager and Freedom class ships (especially the amped ones) are a great starting point for first time cruisers. While my heart always belongs to Oasis class, it can be overwhelming for a first time cruiser. You will love Harmony!

haha! I told Hubby I would be perfectly content to not leave the ship. We did get off at Coco Cay though, just long enough grab a Snack Shack Chicken Sandwich and a Funnel Cake. 😋

We have sailed a few times with Carnival and Princess on our side, the Los Angeles side. In 2017 we did a Caribbean cruise for the first time out of New Orleans with Carnival, and the Caribbean was a total game changer.  We fell in love with it.  Yes the Mexican Riviera is beautiful, but we feel it does not compare to the Caribbean.

With all that said, I was pushing to try something new and heard so much about Royal Caribbean it was time to give it a try.  My other half loves Carnival and she is always getting on me about being Mr. fancy in wanting to try Royal and Celebrity.  On this Freedom sailing, I learned about being a diamond plus member from a fellow passenger.  Receiving four or five drinks a day when you reach that level sounds like a huge incentive to me, especially since there is no way we can do an unlimited drinks package.  

Glad you got off on Coco Cay it’s such a great destination, even if you’ve been there several times. That was our first time and I’m sure it will never get old. I’m not a big funnel cake person but the one there was delicious!  Giovanni’s was the only specialty dining we did and it was SO GOOD!  I regret not going to Playmaker’s since it will not be on Harmony.  I wish I had known that while we were on Freedom. It was our first time in Nassau so naturally we had to get off, but I can see why people stay on the ship.  We did have fun with the locals though.

Next year we are together 10 years.  We can’t decide on either celebrating on Matt’s group cruise out of our city, which would be convenient and loads of fun, or Alaska.  I’m sure most would say Alaska. It does look and sound spectacular!

Well let me stop here because I can go on forever about cruising. I guess that’s why we are all here right? 
 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Aron_Ross said:

We have sailed a few times with Carnival and Princess

No comment. 😜

1 hour ago, Aron_Ross said:

always getting on me about being Mr. fancy in wanting to try Royal and Celebrity.

You sound like a smart guy lol

1 hour ago, Aron_Ross said:

I learned about being a diamond plus member from a fellow passenger.

There are huge benefits being a D+ member! I personally think the 5 drinks per day is the best one out of all the D+ benefits. I know that some will disagree with me, but I actually hope that Royal never changes back. I love having the freedom to use those drink vouchers at any point during the day. Way better than being restricted to the happy hour in the Diamond lounge. The other D+ benefit that I see as good value is the BOGO specialty dining. We didn't use that this cruise since we had the Unlimited Dining Package but on future sailings (without the UDP), Hubby and I will use it for sure.

1 hour ago, Aron_Ross said:

I regret not going to Playmaker’s since it will not be on Harmony.

What can I say? YOLO Book another cruise? You are from the West Coast, I think Navigator has a Playmakers 😉

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, Lovetocruise2002 said:

What can I say? YOLO Book another cruise? You are from the West Coast, I think Navigator has a Playmakers 😉

Oh yes. For sure Navigator is on our radar, even if it's for a cheap 3 day cruise.  One reason to do that 3 day is for a seafood stand at a flea market in Ensenada Mexico.  If you like seafood, they sell these giant clams grilled in their shell topped with shrimp, cheese and pico de gallo.  Had that when we took a 3 day Carnival back in 2015 and I STILL dream about those clams.  Both the shrimp and clams were amazingly fresh.  Easily, top 5 most delicious things I've ever eaten in my life!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

19 hours ago, Aron_Ross said:

Oh yes. For sure Navigator is on our radar, even if it's for a cheap 3 day cruise.  One reason to do that 3 day is for a seafood stand at a flea market in Ensenada Mexico.  If you like seafood, they sell these giant clams grilled in their shell topped with shrimp, cheese and pico de gallo.  Had that when we took a 3 day Carnival back in 2015 and I STILL dream about those clams.  Both the shrimp and clams were amazingly fresh.  Easily, top 5 most delicious things I've ever eaten in my life!

I definitely want to sail Navigator. I've had 3 cancelled sailings on that ship over covid and now it moved out west (harder for me to fly to). But one of these days....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...