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Hi all!

 

I'm in the midst of planning my honeymoon and I originally was looking at Carnival but I found a ship/port on RC I really like. Can anyone give me feedback on the below ship and the ports it stops at?

 

Freedom of the Seas (7 day Cruise- November 2020)

Leaves San Juan

St. Thomas

St. Kitts

Antigua

St. Lucia (Which is my dream to visit)

Barbados

 

Thanks in advance!

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Posted (edited)
17 minutes ago, soontobemerritt said:

Hi all!

 

I'm in the midst of planning my honeymoon and I originally was looking at Carnival but I found a ship/port on RC I really like. Can anyone give me feedback on the below ship and the ports it stops at?

 

Freedom of the Seas (7 day Cruise- November 2020)

Leaves San Juan

St. Thomas

St. Kitts

Antigua

St. Lucia (Which is my dream to visit)

Barbados

 

Thanks in advance!

Fantastic ship and is getting refurbed next spring.  You will love the ship.  Our favorite itinerary is the Southern Caribbean, you cannot get better, especially Antigua, St Lucia, Barbados.  We have been to all these islands many time and never get sick of them.  San Juan is a wonderful port to sail from.  Old San Juan is amazing, so full of history and just really cool things.  By far our favorite port to sail from  Right now, I have 5 cruises booked on Freedom.

Edited by karena1

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Freedom is one of our favorites, we have sailed her three times, three different home ports and three different itineraries . We did not do this itinerary just a few weeks ago, we did the one that went to St. Kitts, Antiqua, St. Lucia, Barbados and St. Martin.

 

Her staff is always one of the best in the fleet. Wait team, stewards, entertainment and a nice size. She has the flowrider, rock wall, ice rink and the promenade shopping/bar/food.

 

We have been to St. Thomas on a different voyage and really love the island, pretty and lush (before the hurricanes any how). St. Kitts we have done a cat sail to Nevis and went to Cockleshell beach. Our first trip to Antiqua was this time. We were independent on this one went to Nelson's Dockyard by public bus, hope to go back someday to check out some of the beaches. St. Lucia we did a cat sail out to the Pitons- beautiful!! Would love to go back! The photo below is of Marigot Bay where the 1968 Dr. Doolittle with Sir Rex Harrison was filmed, the second of the Pitons.  Barbados was beautiful as well. We went to Harrison's Cave on a ship excursion that took us by bus out and an off-road jeep on the way back. Totally fun! We enjoyed exploring San Juan as well. We flew in day before we sailed and stayed one day and flew home on Monday. So much history in San Juan.

 

You can't go wrong with Freedom! Check out Mitsugirlys Freedom of the Seas Review this was the trip we were on. She has super great photos.

DoctorDoolittle.JPG

Pitons1.JPG

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The Freedom is an excellent ship and with a crew on board that has been recognized by RCL as being the most friendly in the fleet.

 

By starting in the Caribbean and going south you will find the waters and weather better than sailing out of any Florida port.

If you like beaches, snorkeling or scuba every island is wonderful.

 

When at St. Thomas (excellent for jewelry shopping) you can take a ferry to St. John's, which has 130 beaches.

 

St. Kitts (lots of monkeys) is the only island in the Caribbean you can see the Atlantic ocean and the Caribbean sea - with a spit of land in between the two.

 

Antigua has 365 beaches, one for every day of the year - Valley Church is favored by many cruisers.

 

St. Lucia is the only place in the world with a drive thru volcano. If using the mud baths and showering off under the waterfalls, make sure you take an old bathing suit. There are also zip lines thru the jungle topsand great swimming up at Rodney Bay by Pigeon Point.

 

Barbados has a great beach at the Boatyard and if you walk along the shoreline down to the Hilton you can swim out and swim with the turtles without paying an excursion fee. Of course if you want true pampering there is always the spa at Sandy Lane - worldwide renowned.

 

Enjoy your trip - you picked a winner 😊

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There is so many things to do in those islands, depending on what you want to do.  We have explored all of them on cruises, so now we just go to our favorite beaches

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That's my fave ship class of the fleet!  You just can't go wrong with a Freedom class ship, IMO!!!

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@mattpro Thanks for the short-n-quick summary of those ports. We're booked on this itin. as a back-to-back in Jan2021. I spent several hours taking notes from Mitsugirly's review, but short/sweet is good too.

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My wife and I just booked the Freedom of the Seas itinerary out of San Juan for next May 24, 2020.  We are excited to be taking this cruise to the southern Caribbean.  Our last cruise to this part of the Caribbean was on our honeymoon back in 1973, so we are looking forward to it.  Question:  We are traveling from San Antonio, TX to Puerto Rico for this cruise.  Is it advisable to fly in a day early to ensure we are there for boarding the ship on time and does anyone have some recommendations for hotels to stay in if we do fly in a day early?  Thank for the help.  Lee and Shelley

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Most cruisers do sail in a day early - though probably not necessary for you for 2 reasons.

That time of the year the weather should be fin - and - the ship does not sail until 8 p.m.

 

However, if you do fly in early the closest and nicest hotel is Hyatt Place, which is 1.4 miles away. The rooms and prices are very good, as well as their pool area. In walking distance for dinner are 2 restaurants almost across the street from your hotel.

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What about recommendations for Old San Juan? (as in food and lodging, and if there are any must-do/must-see)

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Google the info you want on San Juan...lots of info on the internet!  Hotels, restaurants....add into the "search" what you're looking for!

 

If you are getting there a couple days prior, there will be a lot to keep you busy.  If you're arriving the day prior to the cruise, I'd be looking for a hotel close to the port...and search for what is nearby....you really won't have time to go too far afield.

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5 minutes ago, crystalspin said:

What about recommendations for Old San Juan? (as in food and lodging, and if there are any must-do/must-see)

 

Forts.

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Posted (edited)

El Morro is a great place to visit. Been there a couple of times.

 

image.png.e9f96f8009eb89b94892e1a2a34108e2.png

Edited by mooseman52b

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St Lucia is my absolute favorite island in the Caribbean. We did a whale watch there and saw more than we saw in Alaska.  Can’t wait to go back!

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Thank you all for providing feedback on your cruise experience in the Southern Caribbean while sailing on the Freedom of the Seas.  Looks like we chose a great ship and super itinerary.  Thanks again.

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23 hours ago, leetompkins said:

My wife and I just booked the Freedom of the Seas itinerary out of San Juan for next May 24, 2020.  We are excited to be taking this cruise to the southern Caribbean.  Our last cruise to this part of the Caribbean was on our honeymoon back in 1973, so we are looking forward to it.  Question:  We are traveling from San Antonio, TX to Puerto Rico for this cruise.  Is it advisable to fly in a day early to ensure we are there for boarding the ship on time and does anyone have some recommendations for hotels to stay in if we do fly in a day early?  Thank for the help.  Lee and Shelley

 

We liked the Best Western in Condado. Great location with CVS, Walgreens, Nestle cookie store and several restaurants on the block. San Juan hotels are notoriously expensive, but Best Western was relatively reasonable. Also, since you will be there the night before, consider taking a bioluminescence tour the night before in Fajardo. It made for a great start to the vacation.

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20 hours ago, MightyMike said:

 

We liked the Best Western in Condado. Great location with CVS, Walgreens, Nestle cookie store and several restaurants on the block. San Juan hotels are notoriously expensive, but Best Western was relatively reasonable. Also, since you will be there the night before, consider taking a bioluminescence tour the night before in Fajardo. It made for a great start to the vacation.

I’m still looking for a hotel for our cruise in December and unfortunately, this hotel isn’t available.  Must be sold out already.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, sellwingri said:

I’m still looking for a hotel for our cruise in December and unfortunately, this hotel isn’t available.  Must be sold out already.

Check out Embassy Suites or Hampton Inn. Both are within walking distance of stores (Publix) and restaurants. Both offer a free breakfast and a evening happy hour. Hampton Inns HH is Monday thru Saturday and Embassy Suites HH is nightly. Both have pools. Both are about a 30 minute taxi ride to the Pan Am pier. 

Edited by davekathy

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45 minutes ago, davekathy said:

Check out Embassy Suites or Hampton Inn. Both are within walking distance of stores (Publix) and restaurants. Both offer a free breakfast and a evening happy hour. Hampton Inns HH is Monday thru Saturday and Embassy Suites HH is nightly. Both have pools. Both are about a 30 minute taxi ride to the Pan Am pier. 

Thanks.  I’ve stayed at Embassy Suites in San Juan several times and will probably stay there again on my cruise in Dec and March but was interested in other great places that may be a little cheaper.  Embassy Suites is actually my hotel of choice as I travel.

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We've booked a cruise on the Freedom of the Seas out of San Juan for next May 2020.  Can  someone tell me which terminal the Freedom sails out of in San Juan?  Is it Pier 1, 2, or 3 or Pan American Piers 1 or 2?  Thank you.

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4 minutes ago, leetompkins said:

We've booked a cruise on the Freedom of the Seas out of San Juan for next May 2020.  Can  someone tell me which terminal the Freedom sails out of in San Juan?  Is it Pier 1, 2, or 3 or Pan American Piers 1 or 2?  Thank you.

 

Pan American.  Don't know the pier number, but it will be obvious.

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Freedom is great and these are great stops

intercontinental is my go to hotel in San Juan 

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Thank you for clarification on which pier the Freedom embarks and disembarks.  I was a bit confused thinking it used one of the piers in Old San Juan.  Any suggestions on good hotels in and around the Pan American Piers?  Its been several years since my wife and I were in Puerto Rico.  I know hotels prices are at a premium there.  Thanks again.

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1 minute ago, leetompkins said:

Thank you for clarification on which pier the Freedom embarks and disembarks.  I was a bit confused thinking it used one of the piers in Old San Juan.  Any suggestions on good hotels in and around the Pan American Piers?  Its been several years since my wife and I were in Puerto Rico.  I know hotels prices are at a premium there.  Thanks again.

 

Old San Juan is for cruises that visit Puerto Rico. Pan American is for cruises that start/stop in Puerto Rico.

 

As for hotels, I know several are still repairing from the hurricane, or at least they were when we were there in January. I love the Dreamcatcher and the AC Hotel by Marriott.

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5 minutes ago, leetompkins said:

Thank you for clarification on which pier the Freedom embarks and disembarks.  I was a bit confused thinking it used one of the piers in Old San Juan.  Any suggestions on good hotels in and around the Pan American Piers?  Its been several years since my wife and I were in Puerto Rico.  I know hotels prices are at a premium there.  Thanks again.

 

Best place to ask about hotels is the Puerto Rico forum: https://boards.cruisecritic.com/forum/80-san-juan-pr/

 

I believe the Sheraton Convention Center is one of the closest hotels to the cruise terminal, but there's not much to do around there.

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