Please give us some details of your cruise...we're anxious
to board and can only keep sane if you'd throw us future
Freedom cruisers some tidbits about the cruise...i.e. ship, ports,
excursions you particularly liked, etc.
Is the dining room excessively cold? Did it feel like a large
voyager class ship? How early did you board?
We boarded at 11:00 on the dot, and the fantasy began. The ship is absolutely, totally phenominal. Take all of the beauty of the pictures you've seen and multiply by 100. I'm still not sure it would give you a sense of it all.
MoBay was a fantastic, and forever-memorable day. They pulled out all of the stops for us...red carpet, bands, dancing, free booze and local treats at the pier, and a private concert by Shaggy, which was conveniently set up right in front of my hump cabin balcony! You MUST do the Original Canopy Tour, if you are physically able. It was the excursion to top all excursions!
They have really plucked the Best-of-the-Best crew, and it was a week I'll never forget (well, what I can remember of it! ROFL).
I don't remember the dining room being cold at all, but I am one who would rather be cold than hot.
I am still recovering, and pretty tired, but promise to answer any questions which I am able to answer.
I didn't do Chops, but people in our group did. The food was delicious, but service was very very slow. Dinner took almost four hours. The specialty restaurants had not been open on the pre-inaugurals, and it evidently showed.
This is one of those things which will improve over time. Both restaurants had waitlists every night. There were over 1600 repeat cruisers on this sailing....a little less than half of the 3600 onboard.
Every cabin on the ship was occupied, but they kept total occupancy down at standard Voyager numbers. The plan is evidently to ramp up at the rate of 100 or so passengers per week.
I sent scanned compasses to the cruisecal.com guy, and he uploaded them to his new site cruisedaileys.com
that stinks about chops being booked up....i plan to call the moment i get on board because i remember that our dinner at chops on mariner was the best we had on board! is there any way to get a reservation at chops before you board? i don't think there is.....just wondered if anyone knew....
Rather than call (your room won't be ready until at least 1:00), if you get on the ship early, just go straight there. They will be ready and waiting! I imagine you won't have any problem getting a spot if you show up early on day one.
The ship definitely could use one more set of elevators. They are busy. I avoided them unless I had to go up more than four or five decks.
No problem getting Ice Show tickets. In fact, they had announcements just before the last show that anyone could come and didn't need a ticket (wonder if they have scaled back on the scheduled shows at th is point, or left them to accomodate the fuller capacity of the ship)
I skipped from Radiance class to Freedom, so can't speak to exact comparisons. Some people say the ship is not much different.
However, I feel the new attractions go a long long way in making more people happy in areas that fit their demographic. For example, while one might be annoyed by young children in the main pool on a Voyager ship, you probably will never see them there on Freedom. Young kids will be in the H20Zone, and teens will be back on their own sundeck or trying out the Flowrider.
The new attractions add up to more than just the sum of their parts, if that makes any sense.
You said that you boarded at 11:00 correct. I noticed our July 30th shows 2:00... It seems late to me!!!! I hate waiting around the hotel when you can look out and see the ship sitting there...
RCCl Song of Norway 86&87
Sov. of the Seas 91,95 & 96
Disney Magic 2002
Carnival Triumph 2003
Explorer of the Seas 2004
Carnival Glory 6/18 2005
Freedom of the Seas July 2006
We had 4,044 people on our June 25th Freedom cruise, and I
have to say, I didn't wait in any lines...the usual in the Windjammer
the busy times. The elevators were fast once you got on them,
but many times we had to wait a few minutes for one to arrive
on your floor. It was hard to believe there were that many people
on board from our experiences at dinner, in lounges, shows,
pool, etc. Yes, H2O zone was wonderful in it kept the kids there
and the 2 other pools were busy, yes, but overly so. Usually
had no problem finding a lounger.
We got one of the first colors called for debarkation and were
off the ship at 7:15, had just barely finished breakfast. Were
out of the parking lot at 7:30....a breeze. Wonder if those who
were in the middle to end of the pack had to wait long.