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Quick Freedom of the Seas Review from 10/20- 10/27 (ABC/ St. Maarten)


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Overall I though that the ship showed some age but that the crew and ship were overall quite good, better than the last RC cruise we took.

 

The food was better too in the main dining room and our server, Elmer, was great (assistant server was pretty forgettable, sadly)…. I HIGHLY recommend the lamb shank, it was delicious!

 

The guests were a bit of a strange mix. Generally sailing out of PR it is about 60% Americans, 25% Puerto Ricans (yes, I know they are American but they have a very distinct/different culture) and 15% non-Americans. I would say that the ratio was about like normal but the PR contingent all seemed to know each other or have booked together. I surmise that by the fact that most of them were wearing identical yellow T-shirts the first day and large groups (50-60 people) were hanging out together clearly as an insular group. No real impact except that I felt that such a large group both caused some belligerent behavior (jerks are empowered if they have a group) and didn't allow as much mingling as normal. I know I am spending a lot of time writing about this but it didn't bother me at all, it was just different than what I normally see. Seemed like fewer young families and fewer retired adults than normal.

 

The ABC islands were, for the most part, forgettable. Pretty and touristy with some decent beaches but not particularly special.

-Aruba didn't seem to have much of anything except beaches.

-Bonaire had excellent snorkeling and I also recommend taking a 20$ tour of the island from the locals. You will save $25 a person by jut going off the boat and looking pretty much right in front of you and they are all safe and pretty much the same (Salt Flats were interesting). Definitely try out some of the higher quality cadushy liquor. The "The Cadushy Distillery" is a nice tour and had good product!

-Curacao didn't seem to have much. We did a "caves and city" tour which was fine but not special IMO. The caves were pretty lackluster although the guides tried hard to make it interesting.

-St. Maarten is pretty familiar to most of us and has a bit of everything. We went to the Toppers Ruhm distillery tour which was interesting (and fun to try out crazy flavors that are small batch).

 

Entertainment was pretty decent. Not a lot of choice (one comedian a night but not every night, some limited "game shows") but the production shows were good. The singers/dancers were particularly good and the "Once Upon A Time" music show was excellent. My biggest complaint was that the activities director was... well.. bad. Everytime he came on stage it felt very forced and he took away energy from the room. They also did strange things at night like showing the same movies multiple nights on deck.

 

 

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So after that mish-mosh of a review, anyone have any questions? I did not bring the cruise compasses with me, sorry, didn't think about it.

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I’m on this cruise in December (St Thomas instead of St Maarten).  We’ve sailed out of San Juan several times in the past and will again in March, and there always seems to be a long line to get in the building to check in.  Did you experience this?  

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9 hours ago, sellwingri said:

I’m on this cruise in December (St Thomas instead of St Maarten).  We’ve sailed out of San Juan several times in the past and will again in March, and there always seems to be a long line to get in the building to check in.  Did you experience this?  

 

No, but we were not there first thing in the morning but somewhere closer to 1pm. I have also experienced the long lines in SJ before so I would assume that is normal at this port.

 

 

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