Saturday, July 26, 2014

Royal Caribbean - Freedom of the Seas 2012 - The Ship

The Ship

Okay, so when I say this, I mean it. You will NEVER find yourself with nothing to do on Freedom of the Seas. I would take this ship on an eight night transatlantic cruise any day for the price of any other cruise. It literally has almost everything that cruise ships these days can offer, except for a water slide here or there, or the occasional zip line on some of Royal Caribbean's newest ships. 

Ice Skating Rink

The Ice skating Rink was definitely fun. If I remember correctly, the rink was only open to the public during the afternoon around 2 PM. The reason for this is because there is actually a show that plays every night and I assumed the actors/ice skaters(?) were practicing or rehearsing or whatever it is they do to prepare. Regardless, it worked out because 2PM is actually the times when nothing else really happens. Also, anyone can do it. It is free of charge, and no reservation is needed. As for the shows at night time, they usually only have 2 or 3 shows playing on a 7 night cruise. I booked mine in advance before getting on the ship. The show was actually really good, and it was very interactive. We were sitting at the front, so I was actually given the privilege of throwing a bunch of rings to a guy that was doing flips and flying all around the rink. He also caught every one. :P

Sure Machines

This was probably my favorite thing to do on Freedom of the Seas. Before boarding, I was actually quite nervous about it, as I literally had never surfed before in my life. For some reason, I was expecting professionals to be using it, doing flips and £$@!, but I was definitely pleasantly surprised to find that the whole experience actually has a very laid back atmosphere to it. Despite this, my first time on the machine caused it to be shut down, with everyone screaming, and me literally knocking a five year old boy off it in the process. I have a video of it, but my mum isn't the most tech savvy person out there. She's aged over half a century, so I don't blame her. Being her innocent self, she thought she had to keep clicking the record button to record, so there were 5 second video clips of me ramming through the barrier and knocking the kid over. 

Regardless, this is me being getting on the flowrider:

This is me breaking through the barrier:

And this is me shutting the machine down, whilst the kid gasps for air:

My mum had a much better time as she didn't shut the machine down. I didn't let it deter me, though! As I did it again and I managed to not do any damage! 

For the Flowrider, you don't need to schedule it. You pretty much just sign a waiver and line up. They give you a wristband to wear so they know you can go on. 

Rock Climbing Wall

I found the Rock Climbing wall really fun as well. This is a picture of me halfway to the top. This was open every day except for when the ship was at the ports of call, and on the last day, because we were going through a thunderstorm and it was raining. To get on, you don't need a reservation, you just line up to get your gear and shoes, and then you get dressed and get climbing. Like everything else, it is also free.

Swimming Pools

Now, compared to Carnival Dream, the swimming pools on the Freedom were amazing! Not only was there two more, but I felt like they were a lot cleaner and deeper than those on Carnival. My favorite pool was definitely the solarium pool. It was an adults only pool and it definitely felt like a little get away. For some reason, this was never nearly as crowded as the two main pools. 

These were the two main pools:

Dining Room

This is one point that I give to the Carnival Dream, as I did enjoy their dining room a lot more. I also enjoyed the food and the service on their ship more as well. Our waiter on Freedom of the Seas was from India, and that's about all we got to know about him. He wasn't very personable, and it felt like he was just running through the motions, which I can completely understand, but it doesn't translate to great service when you compare it to our waitress on Carnival Dream, who is from the Philippines. She was working for Carnival because she can earn a lot more money than if she was to work in her home country, so she actually sends money back to her family. Regardless, she was always there for us if we needed anything, whilst our waiter on Freedom of the Seas would come back to get our appetizer order, our main meal and then our desert. That was about the only times we saw him, and he never said goodbye when we left the restaurant. 

Unique Places

One of my favorite places on Freedom of the Seas was of course, the Cupcake Cupboard. I've never really been a fan of cupcakes to be honest, but oh my god, these cupcakes were good! I literally would have at least one a day, if not two! A good thing about the cupcake cupboard as well, is that they have savings cards where for each cupcake you get, they puncture it so you can get a free cupcake. I think it was for ever seven cupcakes you buy, you get the eighth free. And yes, you do have to pay for this, it isn't included, but I definitely think it is worth it, even if you go there just once to try it out. Also, the lady who worked the counter every day was so nice, and she even let me take a picture of her. 
As you can see in the picture, my favorite cupcake was strawberry cheesecake. Just thinking about it makes me want to go on Freedom of the Seas JUST for that cupcake. :P

Another really cool place was the gym! It's unique in that all of the treadmills look out over the water, and you can see directly in front of the ship. I would go to the gym just so I could get this view, which is always an added bonus, because it would actually motivate me to work out! 

Other Info/Conclusion
This ship also comes with a full mini golf course, which I never actually used because I absolutely can't stand mini golf. (It just makes me angry). But, I always saw other people using it! And as they always seemed to be having fun, I assumed it was good. 

Like I said before, I never ran out of things to do on Freedom of the seas, so if you're looking for a ship where you won't be bored on sea days, then I definitely recommend this ship. If you're perhaps looking for a ship where you can relax and meet new people, then I think Carnival Dream is actually quite good because of the numerous Jacuzzi, and the plentiful amount of deck chairs.    

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