Friday, July 25, 2014

Royal Caribbean - Freedom Of the Seas 2012 - Introduction

Introduction / Comparison / Summary

As I didn't take this cruise planning to blog about it, this isn't going to be a full review, but more like a recap. Nevertheless, I want to give a couple of thoughts, from what I can remember at least, about this cruise ship. Firstly, this was my second cruise ever and it is one that I took with my mum after saving up my pocket money in my teen years. Wasn't I just the best kid? That's what my mum always said... I know deep down I'm her favorite. Secondly, I definitely preferred this ship and Royal Caribbean tbh over Carnival. Don't get me wrong, I think Carnival is a great cruise line, especially if it is your first, but Royal Caribbean just offers SO much more in terms of things to do. I NEVER found myself twiddling my thumbs with nothing to do, whereas on Carnival Dream, I sometimes did. To start of with, not only does Freedom of the seas have an ice skating rink, they also have a rock climbing wall, a surf machine, and FOUR swimming pools. The only thing that stood out on Carnival Dream was that they have a water slide, which in all honesty, can only last a couple of times down, right? Granted, they also have like a hundred jet pools, which I particularly enjoyed simply relaxing in and talking to other cruisers. But there's only so many hours one can talk to people they don't know. Despite this, I did actually enjoy the food more on Carnival. I felt like the service, and the food in the main dining halls actually exceeded that over the service and food of the main dining halls in Freedom of the Seas. Overall though, I enjoyed Royal Caribbean.

My Itinerary was Haiti, Jamaica, Cayman Islands, and Mexico. Now, I know a lot of frequent cruisers recommend against this, but I actually book all of my island excursions through the cruise line. This is partially due to a nightmare situation on St. Martin one time, when my mum, my sister, and I rented a jeep to travel around on the island. If you didn't know, Petrol/Gas is $@%^£"! expensive, and well, we didn't know. After putting in like forty dollars of gas into the car, we thought we were good. Turns out we weren't. Also, the clock on the car didn't work and we had no idea if we were an hour ahead or behind. Needless to say, we obviously ran out of gas, and we had no idea what to do. Our phones were telling us it was 2PM, and the cruise departed at 3:30PM. Yeah, it was pretty dire, and we were panicking the £"$@ out of ourselves. We didn't want to be this guy:

Luckily, another car came by. After we waved them down like a psychopath was chasing us, we found out they were french. Luckily, they spoke English, and they were helpful enough to get us an emergency gallon for our car from the gas station. Later, we found out they were actually from France, but they had moved to St. Martin on the french side. At least they were willing to help three British people.

Anyways, that's pretty much why I book all of my excursions through the cruiselines, because even if something like this does happen, the cruise is forced to wait for us as a part of their safety guarantee. You're basically paying extra for the reassurance and worry-freeness of it all. Which, I am now more than willing to pay. So, we planned all of our excursions before departure. In Labadee, we just rented two chairs and sat on the beach in the sun. In Jamaica, we planned a snorkeling adventure with a climb up the Dunns River falls. In George Town, we rented a car to travel around the island, and in Mexico, we planned an excursion to the mainland to visit the Coba Mayan Ruins. My favorite was definitely the Coba Ruins, and I would recommend that to anyone visiting anywhere near the Yucatan. In my next post, I'll talk about the ship and its amenities, dining rooms, and staterooms. 

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