At the beginning of the month we went on a nice long seven night Caribbean cruise aboard the Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas ship. It was the first time we've been on one of those humungous ships with close to 4000 passengers. And it was just as I thought it would be. Cruises are great fun, but there are also moments of frustration when you feel like an ant among the throngs of people and your expectations are just not being met.
I have to say the ship was very pretty. But I also have to say I didn't care for some of the changes to accommodate more people in the same amount of space. The Windjammer dining area is completely enclosed ending the back of the ship open outdoor seating that we always preferred. We like to eat breakfast out on the patio deck but alas it is not possible on this ship unless you want to hike a half a block to get outside to the pool with your hands full of plates, bowls, beverages, silverware and napkins. I also didn't like the Solarium being open roofed. It took away the quiet, humid ambiance the area usually has. It was loud, crowded and breezy. We didn't even sit in the Solarium once this cruise and usually it was somewhere we would hang to read or relax and have a snack or drink a beer. And of course use the hot tub. This ship did have the hot tub that hangs over the edge of the ship, but is sounds more dramatic than it actually was, but the tubs were not hot enough, probably only about 100F.
|RCCL Freedom Of The Seas|
We did really enjoy the first destination Coco Cay which is a private island owned by RCCL. We rode the tender boat across the bay and got the great photo of the ship. Once we arrived at the island we wandered around the nature hike, and did a lap of the island. There are beautiful beaches, loungers, hammocks and chairs everywhere. The ship also off loaded a full BBQ lunch for everyone, and cases and cases of beer too. We bought the beverage packages where you can drink all you want and this included the beer served on the island too. So it was a great place to listen to some island music, eat lunch with the chickens and roosters wandering around, and drink a cold Corona.
|Marie on the beach at Coco Cay|
|A very large lizard at Coco Cay|
|Sunset on the Atlantic Coast|
|Dressed up for first Formal Dinner night|
|Flowrider wave pool|
|Snorkeling Gear fits kind of|
|Kayak excursion in St Thomas|
|Caribbean Bay on St Thomas|
The ships entertainment was very good. There were lots of shows, magic, comedians, dancers and music. They even had a rock concert in the theatre, Led Zepagain a tribute band to Led Zepplin.
|Led Zepagain concert|
|Capt Scotty at the helm of Canada II after our victory in the sailing yacht race in Saint Maarten|
|Candy the racing yacht|
During our days at sea we did lots of the activities like sudoko puzzles, workout room, trivia contests, scavenger hunts and line dancing.
|Line dancing on a sea day|
This cruise, we had a balcony room on the hump in mid ship. It was nice to have a private area outdoors since the ship is so crowded. The promenade deck 5 is not too bad and you can walk laps around the ship without congestion. We pretty much used the stairs for getting around in our efforts to get 10,000 steps each day (which we did!). We only used elevators if we had to climb more than 6 flights. It was 4 flights each morning from deck 7 to 11 for breakfast, and then again for lunch, and four flights of stairs for dinner from deck 7 to deck 3 to the main dining room.
|Dressed for dinner, final formal night|
|Broadway entertainment for the Farewell show of singers and dancers|
|The ariel artists in the farewell show|
See all the photos here