Players Club Tours answers:
Here’s my review of the Freedom:
We went on voyage # 23 on Nov 5th, 2006 on the Freedom of the Seas. It is a very nice ship, but not one I want to cruise on again. This ship is designed to attract young people and families with kids. It will compete with Carnival and Disney because of its features.
I was somewhat surprised that check-in for a ship holding over 4,000 passengers went so quickly. The check-in could have been even faster if they had more than one person checking Set Sail Passes at the door and opened more stations to take security photos for the Sea Pass. As it was it took less than 45 minutes.
I will not try to list all of the great new and different things on this ship as they are available on the Royal Caribbean web site. Our cabin (8560) was great, as nice as any I have had. It was very roomy and had plenty of space for clothing. The balcony was huge and only needed better chairs for relaxing, like loungers, to make it the best. I give the ship’s Spa a rating of A+ for the quality and diversity of equipment and the fact that it has both a steam and sauna, plus a speed bag and a heavy bag to go with a boxing ring. Each treadmill, elliptical, stepper and bicycle had its own TV screen and you could select the channel you watched (had to use your own headphones for sound). There were plenty of pools and hot tubs, and an abundance of lounge chairs around the pools and on other decks. It was not hard to find a seat.
The formal dining room is a three story room that is elegant. The food was good and so was the wait service for dinner. We didn’t feel the same for breakfast and lunch, but it was acceptable. The major problems I had with food service on ship was accessibility for casual dining. It appears that the intent on the ship is to keep all food consumption in one area of the ship. The primary casual dining place is the Windjammer Café on Deck 11. The Windjammer is too small to handle all of the passengers on ship for casual dining. When we first boarded ship we had to really hunt for a place to sit and found that the same applied any time we went there during peak hours. The option of taking food from the Windjammer to the pool or your cabin is made difficult because you must go back out of the one entrance, through a busy elevator bay, and then through a revolving door in order to get to the pool area and the first pool that you come to is the kids’ H2O zone. In addition, if you want a cup of coffee or tea, or even iced tea or lemonade you have only one place to go, the Windjammer. That’s a long walk from most anywhere, and you have to negotiate the crowds. We found that ordering breakfast room service was much better than trying to get to the Windjammer. The room service was great with food usually delivered in 15 to 20 minutes.
The entertainment was good, except one comedian who stuck, and the last show was really good. Another big plus for this ship is its’ stop at the Royal Caribbean’s private island, Labadee. The island is huge and has a variety of beaches and activities (like Jet Ski and parasailing). There were enough lounge chairs for everyone and plenty of shade trees. They even have a tram to take you from one end to the other and sand wheel chairs for the handicapped. The beach party food was nothing special, standard foods like hot dogs and hamburgers, etc. The one thing that we needed was a map of the island so we would know where things were.
Drinks are expensive and pretty much the same price on all ships.