This ship owned and operated by the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line is the namesake of the cruise line’s Freedom-class. Capable of carrying over five thousand passengers and crew members the ship mostly travels to ports in the Caribbean and the Bahamas.
What Makes it Family Worthy?
Filled with family-friendly activities this ship is sure to entertain its passengers. Moreover, the vessel boasts quad cabins and connecting rooms that accommodate large families.
This cruise line is incredibly popular with families, but active retirees and couples may also find this ship appealing too.
This vessel like its sister ships is decorated in dark hues of browns, greens, and touches of gold. The main thoroughfare its Royal Promenade boasted plenty of natural light from its skylight ceiling windows.
Despite the ship’s size the ship has a spacious atmosphere even when filled.We enjoyed the bright neon lighting deployed at night time throughout the outdoor decks and promenade that gave the ship an upbeat Times-Square-like vibe.
Our promenade facing cabins were outfitted with tasteful artwork, glass-topped coffee tables, and solid green couches. Light colored wood trims enhanced the bedroom area. Our bathroom floors were done up in colorful blue and green tile, while the rest of the room displayed neutral colors.
With so many activities to choose from at the different times of day, vacationers need to scrutinize their daily planner carefully, so they don’t miss anything! Our son with autism was obsessed with reading the pamphlets the night before so he could schedule his day.
For the outdoor fans, the ship has pools, court .a simulated FlowRider, a skating rink, a mini golf range, a rock climbing wall and a basketball court.Those wishing to exercise indoors can do so in a spacious gym.
Guests who enjoy taking classes can learn to scuba, surf or decorate cupcakes.The classes are somewhat pricey, but our son was so fascinated with them he agreed to pay for them from his allowance.
Apart from the obligatory Kids’ Clubs, the ship features Dreamworks experiences like special shows, Parades, Meet and Greet sessions and even Character Breakfasts. Our kids attended the daily movie screenings in the ship’s newly minted 3D theater.
Adults may instead want to check out the casino. Although admission is free of charge, reservations are encouraged for those that want to attend the highly popular ice show that takes place on a regular basis
When it comes to dining options, the Freedom of Seas offers many options aimed to please passengers of all ages.
Except for the main dining rooms with their singing waiters and Windjammer Buffet the ship has a Johnny Rockets burger joint, a Ben and Jerry ice cream parlor and Chops, a specialty steak house.
In the late afternoon and evening, this ship breams with entertainment options for its guests. From well-choreographed ice skating shows, Broadway reviews to promenade parades there’s never a dull moment onboard.Our kids loved the 70’s disco party that featured the well- loved era hits and dances.
Our connecting cabins
We stayed in the connecting cabins 8279 and 8281 on deck eight.
What was wonderful about it was these cabins provided us with changing views (of the promenade and are safer than balcony cabins when traveling with a kid with autism.
The only minor inconvenience with connecting rooms is the fact the cruise line locks the connecting door on boarding day, and it takes a few hours till the cabin steward arrives with the keys to unlock it.
Both cabins had an extremely large flat screen television sets that sat atop large cabinets. A closet with ample shelving was likewise included in each room which was useful to store our belongings. The desk area contained all the usual accouterments and had several outlets for charging electronic devices.
Our sons were pleasantly surprised when the teen club staff sent welcome gifts up to our cabins and added a personal invitation for both boys to come and check the club out.
The bathroom areas were well laid out and l lit. I particularly liked the shower sliding door because it provided some privacy for those taking a shower. The shower pod also featured some racks to place soap and other bath products.Bright florescent lighting and a wide sink area complemented the décor.
Autism Travel Tips
- The process of boarding the ship was a breeze after I had called Royal Caribbean’s special needs dept and requested accommodations.We were cleared with passports checked and luggage scanned in less than fifteen minutes.The terminal RCCL uses in Port Everglades is large, but it was still quite crowded at 2 pm when we arrived.
- One of the first things we do after boarding is to grab lunch before the muster drill as all food areas close for the muster drill.
- Next, we hurry the activity centers to register for the different activities since the popular ones fill fast.
- Passengers wishing to try out the specialty restaurants onboard should do so on boarding day when it is less crowded, and no one insists on any dress code.
The staff on this ship wowed us. We were warmly greeted by our cabin steward who wanted to ask us what we needed as soon as we arrived. We also found the staff at the various dining , entertainment and activities venues mindful and offering their help throughout the trip. Furthermore we wanted to extend a heart felt thank you to the ship’s captain who took time to chat with our son and sign his ship model and Celine in Guest Relations.