Welcome to cruisemates!!
I would go ahead and go on the Freedom with the family and plan on having a great time.
We cruised with our son when he was 9 months old. It really was an enjoyable cruise. My son was not walking yet so it was a breeze to cruise with him. We did it all execpt for staying out real late and going to the disco. Took him to 1st seating dinner, hang out by the pool all day, strolled him around in his stroller in the islands, hit the beaches and shopping, and even watched the evening show.
Just keep in mind there will be feeding, caring, changing diapers etc. on the cruise. (things you would be doing at home anyway....I rather be doing them on a ship
Since your inlaws are going maybe they can help out a bit.
The biggest most important thing that worked for us was having my son take that afternoon nap. He would nap by the pool each afternoon for 2 hours and then he was good until 11pm.
Also my older son was 3 1/2 at the time. So it was the 9 month old and a 3 1/2 year old cruising. It was one of my best cruises. Enjoy them while they are little they grow up too fast.
I usually like the middle of the ship. On the Freedom I like decks 5, 6 and 7.
From what I have heard they have something going on for the younger kids under 2 with parents present though not a drop off service. Give Royal a call and find out for sure.
Enjoy your cruise if you do decide to go!!