Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
Sign in to follow this  
SeeingTheWorldBySea

Freedom of the Seas Review 1/6-1/13,2019

Recommended Posts

I can't help it i'm long winded. You've been warned. 

 

I thought I would write a review of our recent cruise on Freedom of the Seas. I hope some find it helpful. I tried to include things that I wondered about before going, and also some info on what we tipped because I have seen that question a lot on CC. Tipping can be confusing and can make people feel like they gave too little or too much. Anything is appreciated when it comes to tipping. I don't think there is a right amount, it's what you feel comfortable giving.  I included some pictures and reviews of the excursions we did.

 

We sailed Jan 6-13, 2019 out of San Juan to St.Kitts, Antigua, St. Lucia, Barbados, and St. Marteen. Our traveling group consisted on myself, my husband, our 2 children ages 16 months and 3.5 years, my parents, and 2 of my aunts. We had 2 grand suites and one with a connected balcony stateroom on the 10th floor.  Originally I had a 2 bedroom aft suite with a connecting balcony on deck 9, but when my aunts wanted to come we moved up a deck so we could be all in a row. It worked out well.

 

Our adventure began as it seems most do with us...with a problem. Some of you may have read my review from the Allure in March 2018 where we had to drive 27 hours to Ft. Lauderdale because a Nor'easter grounded all flights. This time it was not a Nor'easter, but still soaking rains.  Since we had 8 people and at least 12 suitcases I thought it best to hire a van to pick us up at 4am to get us to the airport for our 7:40a flight. 4am comes and I see the lights of the van at the end of my driveway. Awesome- we are right on time! But wait... why is the van not moving from the end of my driveway? Send husband and father out to investigate. They come back in 10 minutes later soaking wet from the rain to tell us the Sprinter van is stuck in the grass. The driver missed the driveway and was now spinning tires stuck on my lawn, tearing it to shreds. Now I am getting nervous. We are on a tight time frame since we still had to get my aunts in another town and get to the airport an hour away. Finally at 4:20 I went out to call the shots because sometimes let's face it, men need the push of a woman to get things moving. The final verdict was to use my husband’s truck to push the van, and thankfully that worked. A little behind schedule, soaking wet from the rain, and shoes covered in mud we were off to the next stop. Thankfully this was the one and only hiccup we had. I'll take it. I was too perturbed to say the least and forgot to take pictures of the debacle. The cost of the van was $287 and we gave him $350.

 

We arrived at the airport and passed through the ticket counter and security with no problems. Our JetBlue flight was on time. We utilized family board so we could install the car seats without holding too many other passengers up in the aisles. Our kids have flown about 4 times now and we always bring their car seats. It can be a pain, but it’s the safest way to go. We have a system where we put the car seats in the seat part of the umbrella stroller and use a bungee cord to secure them. This makes it easy to move around the airport and down to the plane since you only have push the stroller. We had a great flight crew and they were very sociable and funny. This made time pass quickly. The kids slept for almost the whole flight, which was about 3 hours and 45 mins. Safe landing in San Juan and off we went to find our driver to the hotel. I used Go Puerto Rico Shuttles and our driver Idelisse was waiting at baggage claim with my name on a sign. She was very nice and waited as we got a porter to help with all 12 suitcases. We were headed to the Courtyard Marriott Isle Verde which was close by. The cost was $45 and I tipped her $30. She promised to be back the next morning at 10:30a for our ride to the pier. I tipped the airport porter $25.

 

We had 3 partial ocean view rooms booked at the Courtyard. The property is very nice but the rooms could use some updating. The rooms were clean and the beds were comfortable, but there was a slight smell of mold in the hallways and the rooms could use a paint job. The property next door leaves much to be desired and our room was really the only one of the 3 that had a decent ocean view. The other 2 looked into the rundown building next door.  In fact we took a quick walk along the front of the hotels and my 3 year old said he was little scared. Regardless, we enjoyed our stay here and we felt safe. Our first stop was to find food. We ate outside on the patio. Service was good but slow. I swear we were there for 3 hours just eating lunch. The room came with 2 pina coladas each and some bets at the casino. I got the virgin pina colada and my 16 month old loved it. We had everything from nachos to pizza, steak, grilled chicken, and blts. The food was good and I'm sorry I don't recall what the bill was. I don't remember it being overpriced though. From there we took the kids down to the beach and the pool while some went to the casino. Because it is a public beach, if you go up to the pool attendant they will give you towels and wrist band allowing access to the pool. My kids loved loved loved the beach. The sand is forever embedded in their bathing suits. I read about sand fleas ahead of going and was given advice on CC to get Cactus juice spray. I did and sprayed us all down before going out on the beach. No one got bite and I don't know if it was too early in the afternoon/evening or the spray worked but either way, no bites here.  We had a good night sleep and enjoyed the buffet breakfast the next morning before Idelisse came for us. Breakfast was standard fare with an omelet station and this amazing cornmeal porridge made with coconut milk and sugar. I also wanted to mention that we were able to get a crib from housekeeping for our 16 month old. It was like one of those metal institution cribs, and she only slept in it for 2 hours before waking. 4 people in a king size bed… sounds like my every night at home.  The room rate came to $365 with all the taxes and fees but I was able to save $40 by using my AXEM blue card that had an offer for Marriott stays.

 

20190105_133831.thumb.jpg.422ed3e4a13b731dd06aa66c69c38e41.jpg

view from our room

 

20190105_154642.thumb.jpg.5d4918fc2d09e1c67faf6c9eaadbe963.jpg

steak so tender you could cut it with a spoon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • SAIL-AWAY GIVEAWAY - Enter Now for a Chance to Win a 7-day Cruise for Two
      • Q&A with InsureMyTrip
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...