New here and it seems like everyone here likes reviews. I'll be honest, I also posted this elsewhere but thought you might enjoy a newbie's perspective on my first cruise on FOS 06/16/2011, eastern itinerary.
First of all, let me just say I have never been on a ship in my life and had no idea what to expect except to say, that everyone I have ever talked to about cruising has said that they treat you like a king and that the food is plentiful and to die for.
Day 1 on Freedom of the Sea's:
I had visions in my head of checking in at some sort of desk, walking a gangplank straight into the Royal Promenade, being handed a drink with an umbrella in it (free of course), beautiful women welcoming me on the ship, then walking up to the top of the ship and waving goodbye to all the poor suckers stuck on shore as we started to cruise into the open sea and sun! Ahhhh,,,,,,,
You go through much the same as going through airport TSA screening, including the lines and waiting. You better have your documents in order and ready or you go back the the end of the line. As my nephew was getting his picture taken at the registration desk, evidently I was too close in the background and wow, did that old woman let me know! Pretty rude! We then walked onto the ship and I must say, I WAS impressed! The Freedom is a gorgeous ship! We meandered looking for our room and after figuring things out we finally made it to our staterooms. I was impressed with what I thought was going to be a bed in a box. Although I was still pretty irritated at the "old lady" at the registration desk I thought things were looking up. Although everyone in my party seemed to have their luggage waiting for them, mine was late. Then we were called for the emergency "muster". I had seen this in the movie Titanic lol. I had really romanticized this visioning myself on an outer deck with a bunch of people in our float vests laughing with drinks in hand. Well, I was called to my dining area to watch the waiters show us how to don the vests which were in my stateroom. I did see others on the outer open air decks donning their vests and partaking in the emergency drill but my daughter and I were sitting at a table INSIDE the ship in a dining area. I asked one of the staff if that a catastrophy really happened, are we really supposed to come into the dining room and sit here. He said yes. Ummm,,,, ok.
Next, we walked around the ship. It was very confusing until we figured out how to use the "What to do now" monitors near every elevator on the ship. THOSE made things MUCH easier! I was looking forward to the highlight of the night, the thing I heard most about from everyone, DINNER! I will admit, I was still irritated by the woman at registration and the few other things. I got there and we sat down. The first thing that came out of our waiters mouth was "Please bear with me, I'm new". WHAT?! No! I don't want a new guy! I want the best guy! I was talking to my daughter at that time and I missed the drink waiter asking everyone as a group what they wanted to drink. He did not get a response from me because I didn't know he was taking drink orders. Well, I didn't get a drink until after appetizers. Even then it seemed to take foreeeever. Then we were served dinner. OF COURSE, ONLY MY DINNER WAS THE ONE THAT "SOMETHING HAPPENED" TO AND WHILE EVERYONE WAS EATING I WAS WAITING FOR MY DINNER. I must admit, my expectations were dashed and I was a bit pissed. When it finally arrived, I finished half of my meal quickly and excused myself and went to my room (thank God, my luggage finally made it there!). I know it seems picky but a few other things before happened that had nothing to do with the cruise didn't help things. Not a good start! I stayed in my room, drank some beer and went to bed.
Day 2 tomorrow. (It does get much better)