Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
Ptroxx

Input on Freedom on the Sea out of San Juan PR

Recommended Posts

Looks like we’re Planning on taking the Freedom of the Sea out of San Juan PR.  
looking for hotel suggestions in San Juan.  
Looking for suggestion on things to do in these ports.  
Also cabin suggestions. OV Balcony.   Location and best deck for a quiet nights sleep.  

 

 

E119A27C-2C2C-4348-9F18-599EE10AEF77.jpeg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have sailed Freedom several times but out of Ft. Lauderdale. Our sailings out of San Juan have be on on Adventure and Serenade.

 

Freedom is a great ship. I have never encountered noise issues but maybe avoid cabins on deck 10 just to be safe as the pool deck and Windjammer are above. On deck 6 there will be various venues below you. You might want to avoid being over the pub as the music is sometimes a bit loud.

 

What to do in the ports is dependent on what types of activities you enjoy. Are you looking for beaches, exploring, etc.?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Random thoughts:

* Freedom is currently in Cadiz, Spain for it's amplification.

* We sailed the Freedom for 6 weeks, B6B, and visited those port.

* At each port, you will essentially have two choices: "Around the Island" tour or a taxi to the beach.

* Uber is now available FROM the Luis Munoz International Airport.  We found Uber to be better, safer, faster, cheaper, more convenient than local taxis.

* Where do you want to stay...near Old San Juan or near one of the beaches.  We stayed at Embassy Suites, only a few blocks from Isla Verde beach.

* Your embarkation will be at the Pan American Pier...across the bay from Old San Juan.

* If you've never visited any of the ports, please take the time to visit the Caribbean ports of call for more detailed information.  For example: In Bridgetown, Barbados, the Freedom was docked farthest from the cruise terminal.  You can walk, about half a mile, or take one of free buses or shuttles.  The cruise terminal had many shops and numerous vendors outside the door selling tours and taxis.  We took the bus/van to town (cost $2pperson), walked around town, then across the bridge, to Pirates Cove beach...plenty of space to lay down our towel and enjoy the beautiful beach. 

* Our opinion and observation only...one thing truly unique about the Freedom sailing out of San Juan, Puerto Rico is this: We enjoyed watching, at each sailing, many young girls celebrating their Quinceaneras (sp), dressed in beautiful long gowns.  During one sailing alone, we saw 36 young girls getting their formal pictures taken along with all their families...all dressed to the 10's...nice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
54 minutes ago, bonsai3s said:

Random thoughts:

* Freedom is currently in Cadiz, Spain for it's amplification.

* We sailed the Freedom for 6 weeks, B6B, and visited those port.

* At each port, you will essentially have two choices: "Around the Island" tour or a taxi to the beach.

* Uber is now available FROM the Luis Munoz International Airport.  We found Uber to be better, safer, faster, cheaper, more convenient than local taxis.

* Where do you want to stay...near Old San Juan or near one of the beaches.  We stayed at Embassy Suites, only a few blocks from Isla Verde beach.

* Your embarkation will be at the Pan American Pier...across the bay from Old San Juan.

* If you've never visited any of the ports, please take the time to visit the Caribbean ports of call for more detailed information.  For example: In Bridgetown, Barbados, the Freedom was docked farthest from the cruise terminal.  You can walk, about half a mile, or take one of free buses or shuttles.  The cruise terminal had many shops and numerous vendors outside the door selling tours and taxis.  We took the bus/van to town (cost $2pperson), walked around town, then across the bridge, to Pirates Cove beach...plenty of space to lay down our towel and enjoy the beautiful beach. 

* Our opinion and observation only...one thing truly unique about the Freedom sailing out of San Juan, Puerto Rico is this: We enjoyed watching, at each sailing, many young girls celebrating their Quinceaneras (sp), dressed in beautiful long gowns.  During one sailing alone, we saw 36 young girls getting their formal pictures taken along with all their families...all dressed to the 10's...nice.

Great tips.
Don’t want to do any shopping at all.  
would more be interested in beach tours like we did in San Marteen with Capt Bob. 
and also historic sights like we did in San Juan walking around old San Juan and Touring the Fort. 
As for hotels. Would like to stay close to port.  The plan is to arrive the day before.  
 

Thanks again for the great info.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In December we stayed at an Airbnb across the street from the Mariott hotel.  It was beautiful.  Spent most days at the beach (we are beach people) as had previously been to the Rain Forest, Forts and Old San Juan.  At night enjoyed the local restaurants and an outdoor marketplace with music in the streets.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I plan to be there in November.  Was looking at ab&b but didn't see many options.  Last trip we did the big satellite dish, and forts.  This trip I want to visit the pork highway, maybe do the rain forest or the bioluminescent bay.  We are not beach people.  We will do city tours maybe zipline.  Or something else, we haven't seen excursion options yet.  But I expect fun times.  I'm in a hump cabin seemed like something to try this is our first RC cruise and first in a long while too.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We will be on the Freedom for a b2b starting March 8th and this will be our first visit so will stay in Old San Juan. While we like to spend some time at the beach, we will do more land tours with some beach time. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have cruised out of San Juan many times. We have stayed at many hotels prior to our cruises. When staying in Old San Juan we prefer the Sheraton Old San Juan. We like the Isla Verde or Condado areas because of the beach access. Our favorite hotel to stay in is the Intercontinental.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I second the Sheraton Old San Juan - very close to port and lots of places nearby to eat, drink and buy your wine to take onboard. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We did this cruise in December of '18.  The two things I would change is to stay in or near Old San Juan as we really enjoy that part of the city.  Secondly, I would brush up on my Spanish. 

 

If you are an American then you probably are used to having the world cater to your preferred language of English.  You will be greatly outnumbered on board by the native cruisers from PR so the ship will rightly balance out the messaging for both languages.  Some in our party seemed to be very put off by this as well as the very extroverted behavior of the PR folks (generalizing, I know).  I found myself in that camp at first and realized that I am just a spoiled American.  Maybe this is why the world calls us arrogant.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, Bradison said:

We did this cruise in December of '18.  The two things I would change is to stay in or near Old San Juan as we really enjoy that part of the city.  Secondly, I would brush up on my Spanish. 

 

If you are an American then you probably are used to having the world cater to your preferred language of English.  You will be greatly outnumbered on board by the native cruisers from PR so the ship will rightly balance out the messaging for both languages.  Some in our party seemed to be very put off by this as well as the very extroverted behavior of the PR folks (generalizing, I know).  I found myself in that camp at first and realized that I am just a spoiled American.  Maybe this is why the world calls us arrogant.

 

Not to pick nits, but Puerto Ricans are Americans 😉

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We did a scenic railway tour on St. Kitts, it was excellent. We booked it on the ship, if it's still available, I would suggest that if you would like to see all over the island.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi! I sailed on Freedom over the summer! I did almost the same itinerary except we visited St. Maarten instead of St. Thomas, which is a favorite of mine. I wrote a full blog post here about all there is to do on Freedom and a review.

 

 https://thehappiesttravels.com/2019/07/16/freedom-of-the-seas-cruise-review/

 

In terms of ports, we only did a shore excursion in Barbados, which was Barbados Highlights. For more info about each port, my Cruise Critic review link is here and outlines each port of call in detail:  https://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=661382&et_cid=3214772&et_rid=240825226&et_referrer=Boards%20-%20CC-US

 

Feel free to let me know if you have other questions! I also have a blog post up about menus, etc. on Freedom! Thanks and Hope you have the best time on your cruise. 

 

Edited by jenngirl
font change

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Desert Cruizers said:

We will be on the Freedom for a b2b starting March 8th and this will be our first visit so will stay in Old San Juan. While we like to spend some time at the beach, we will do more land tours with some beach time. 

I loved Freedom! It was awesome and you will have a great time. If you want to see some of my recommendations in PR and on Freedom, check out my blog post here. There is also another post with dining reviews. https://thehappiesttravels.com/2019/07/16/freedom-of-the-seas-cruise-review/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@jenngirl Thanks for the review. We will be on that itinerary in October. Looking forward to being on Freedom!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, jenngirl said:

I loved Freedom! It was awesome and you will have a great time. If you want to see some of my recommendations in PR and on Freedom, check out my blog post here. There is also another post with dining reviews. https://thehappiesttravels.com/2019/07/16/freedom-of-the-seas-cruise-review/

Jenn, thank you, I have been on the Liberty and love this size, but this will be a first for my daughter and know she will enjoy the Freedom. She has been on the Radiance Class but the Freedom class offers so much more. Will check out your blog.:classic_smile:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Bradison said:

We did this cruise in December of '18.  The two things I would change is to stay in or near Old San Juan as we really enjoy that part of the city.  Secondly, I would brush up on my Spanish. 

 

If you are an American then you probably are used to having the world cater to your preferred language of English.  You will be greatly outnumbered on board by the native cruisers from PR so the ship will rightly balance out the messaging for both languages.  Some in our party seemed to be very put off by this as well as the very extroverted behavior of the PR folks (generalizing, I know).  I found myself in that camp at first and realized that I am just a spoiled American.  Maybe this is why the world calls us arrogant.

OMG...another lib apologizing for being an American!!!!:(:(:(  FYI: The world right now respects us more than ever:)

I have found the people from Puerto Rico and many other countries as very kind and very entertaining. I've been on many cruises out of PR and have not found any language problem.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Zach1213 said:

 

Not to pick nits, but Puerto Ricans are Americans 😉

Yes and even speak English:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll chime in on the room decisions. 

With such a port I extensive cruise I would not pay the extra for a balcony.

JMHO.

Sailed this trip 3xs and really enjoy the islands.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After seeing people stuck in the ship's with no balcony I will pass on that.  Besides I don't like looking at all those people on deck fighting for chairs and sun.  

Edited by trey420

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

San Juan is a great place to sail out of.  Note that airlines tend to arrive late and you can't check bags in earlier than 4 hours before your flight.  You will also need to put all your bags through the agricultural xray machines near the door before attempting to check the bags in.  

 

We prefer Isla Verde (also called Carolina near the airport).  Better beach and reef and convenient large grocery store.  There are no hotels "near" the pier - ship will sail from the middle of an old airport across the bay from Old Town.  Cab fees are by regions, and a dispatcher will write up a ticket for you based on where you are going and how many bags.  If you want to visit the forts take your National Park pass.  If you want to explore San Juan you really need to fly in two days early.

Edited by LeeW
more

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Colorado Babe said:

We love Embassy Suites and Casino.  They have a nice happy hour and full breakfast in the morning!

That is where we are staying in April for our ABC island cruise.  It looks nice, close to airport, walking distance to beach, and a good price.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We did a similar cruise on the Freedom and had an outstanding time. Only difference is we hit St. Maarten  instead of St. Thomas.

 

San Juan is really a lot of fun with good restaurants to check out and historic sites. A big plus is you can take uber which is a lot cheaper than cabs. We did a food tour which was pretty cool. The food was not very adventurous but we had a good time. We did not hit a beach in San Juan, but will make that a must do if we ever get back.

 

Highlight excursion was on St. Lucia - catamaran down to Sourfries to do the mud baths along with a few other things. I'm not sure if RC is currently doing that excursion because there is a volcano there? We booked through a 3rd party and I'm sure that is still doable. The mud baths are something to experience for sure and sailing through the pitons is gorgeous.

 

Also had a great time on Barbados where we simply took a cab to Carlyle Bay and spent the day relaxing. You can swim out to okayish snorkeling from the beach if you are a good swimmer. Boats drop snorkelers off all day long here for snorkeling. Overall an amazing beach. We got lunch from a lady who was cooking on a few tables setup in a parking lot. A fish and some conch fritters If I remember correctly. Delicious.

 

15 hours ago, bonsai3s said:

* We sailed the Freedom for 6 weeks, B6B, and visited those port.

 

Wow. I'm jealous.

Edited by robIsCruising

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, sheezsmith said:

We did a scenic railway tour on St. Kitts, it was excellent. We booked it on the ship, if it's still available, I would suggest that if you would like to see all over the island.

We loved the scenic railway tour on St Kitts. One of our favorite tours!

 

We have been on the Freedom many times and it's one of our favorite ships. Love the solarium. We have not sailed the Freedom out of San Juan but have sailed out of there several times on other ships.

 

In San Juan, we have stayed at the Caribe Hilton. Not a long taxi or Uber to the ship. Keep in mind that as someone else pointed out, the Freedom is not docked at the pier by Old Town. They dock at the Pan American pier. There really isn't anything close to the Pan American pier so a short taxi or Uber will be required from any hotel. Regarding taxis, we found that there were fixed rates from the airport to various hotels etc so there are no worries using a taxi vs Uber. Prices were not bad. As I recall it was about about $20 - $25 from Airport to hotel and about the same from hotel to ship. Uber would most likely be less.

 

San Juan itineraries are port intensive which we like a lot! We try to do B2B cruises due to having to fly.

 

T

Edited by 2chiefs

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

  • 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...