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-   -   FANTASTIC FREEDOM OF THE SEAS & UNIVERSAL January 2014 (http://www.cruisemates.com/forum/royal-caribbean-international/400662-fantastic-freedom-seas-universal-january-2014-a.html)

thecruisequeen January 17th, 2014 05:54 PM

FANTASTIC FREEDOM OF THE SEAS & UNIVERSAL January 2014
 
Another long over the top CQ review...This one the Fantastic Freedom of the Seas combined with a four night stay at Universal prior to the cruise.

I know this is a cruise site however will include Universal in my review since the Cruise, Universal hotel, Park tickets and all transfers was booked thru Royal as a package deal. I only booked airfare on my own.

I highly recommend this package to all those interested in adding a few nights stay at Universal prior or post cruise.

Royal offers a hotel stay of 3 or 4 nights and either the Freedom (7nights) or enchantment (3 or 4 nights). Not sure if any other ships outside of Port Canaveral is offered in the package however transfers may be an issue.

Wanted to stay at Hard Rock hotel never stayed there before however Royal only had it available on a 3 night stay but we wanted 4 nights. I called the hotel and they had 4 nights available however Royal is only given certain number of hotel rooms for either 3 or 4 nights. So we decided on the Royal Pacific we stayed there before and it is an awesome hotel. Once we checked in forgot all about the fact that we wanted to stay at the Hard rock. Had a great stay at RP.

January 1st (Happy New Year) Jetblue to Orlando.

After we got our luggage there was a driver waiting for us. I paid the $20 fee for a grocery stop. stopped at Publix and got some snacks, fruit, water, ice tea. well worth it as the hotel and parks are way over priced.

Settled into our room then it was off to the parks... Went over to guest services to pick up our 4 day hopper passes however they had us nowhere on the manifest for the tickets....after 30 minutes of back and forth looking and checking they issued us the tickets and would further look into it the following day. Since it was New Years Day they could not get a hold of Royal Caribbean rep who handles the packages. Universal Guest Services did say they were sorry for the long wait and confusion so they gave us a fast pass one time use on Harry Pottier ride which still does not allow fast pass entrance with the hotel room key.

So off we go right to Harry Potter and use the tickets and got on in 5 minutes. the wait for potter was always 60 to 90 minutes.

The Minon ride always had a long wait of 120 minutes. :shock:

The new ride Transformers was not bad of a wait only 20 minutes with the fast pass room key. This is an awesome ride.

Ride wait was anywhere from 5 minutes to 25 minutes With the fast pass.

Favorite rides.....Potter Forbidden Journey, The Hulk coaster, Spider man, the Mummy, and Transformers.

I found out that the first week of January is still the busy season and part of the holiday season. Second week of January is when the parks are very quiet. The christmas decorations were still up in the parks and where just beautiful. The hotel had many christmas trees around the property even one poolside.

Had two nice weather days and two colder weather days. Had to buy a sweatshirt in the park because I was freezing....50 dollars later I got a Homer Simpson hoodie. Mini Me already had a sweatshirt from home so did not have to buy one for him.

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Pool area
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Walkway from Hotel to Parks
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Downstairs lobby Christmas tree
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Croisants, Bagel and OJ $15.00!!!! Can't wait to get onboard...no prices!!
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Hotel morning buffet setup
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Main lobby christmas tree.....Beautiful!!
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Nice clean quiet room!
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Christmas tree in the Hotel restaurant
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Keurig coffee machine in the room....Love it!! I which cruiseships had
a Keurig in the cabin!!
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I was arrested...
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Some Park entertainment
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Chicken dance anyone?
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My new friends...
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I love lucy....
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Let's move on to Freedom of the Seas!!

thecruisequeen January 17th, 2014 06:29 PM

Sunday morning January 5th.....
Wake up sleepyhead it's cruise time!!!
Since Mini Me rather take pictures then be in them I will have to take pictures when he is not expecting it! :twisted:
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welcome Freedom of the Seas....
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So happy to see Po again!! LOL
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The Crypt nightclub
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The Grandeur
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Disney Dream
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Let the poolside dancing begin! Pool band..Men of Culture
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1st meal onboard lunch....not to many calories I don't think....wish they had fat free dressing....only regular and low fat italian is offered
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Drill before sailaway with a view of Disney
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sailaway party is about to begin
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Here they come what good is a sailaway without this couple
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Salmon...it was delish
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1st drink of the cruise......grasshopper
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XOXO
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Aerogirl January 17th, 2014 06:51 PM

Looking forward to the rest your great review .

thecruisequeen January 17th, 2014 07:05 PM

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LABADEE - Mini Me did Jet ski then we both did the dragon bobsled. It was just ok....I would not do it again.
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My home in Labadee while I wait for Mini Me to finish jet ski
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the group is on it's way to the jet ski loading area
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My view
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Labadee music...
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Back on the ship...it's formal night...
Mini me did not want to do the whole formalwear thing....it's ok I did not want to force him to.
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The morning routine....Starbucks and review the daily compass
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Drew thomas was the headliner...he was on america's got talent and is very good....
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FALMOUTH, JAMAICA - I booked the Zipline on Rosehall for myself Mini Me is not fond of zipping. He was not feeling well in the morning so I did not want to be gone for hours. so the morning of zipline tour I went down to the shore excursions desk to cancel....I was thinking I won't get a refund or a small amout back at best. Well it was not a problem to cancel and they credited my sea pass card the whole amount.....2 hours before the start of the tour. Another excellent reason to book excursions thru Royal.

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Got off the ship for about 45 minutes to do alittle shopping
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And once again found my friend Delroy...Bought a few items from him.
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this guy played great music....enjoyed his music, took his picture and put some money in his tip jar.
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More entertainment
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View of Falmouth from the Windjammer...
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Back on the ship...
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thecruisequeen January 17th, 2014 07:48 PM

GRAND CAYMAN - Mini Me was still congested, coughing and sneezing (could be from the major temps change...15 degrees to 85) I had booked horseback riding for myself once again Mini Me was not interested in doing this. It was first thing in the morning and just under 2 hours so I would be back before noon. I booked this right with the stable 2 weeks prior. Royal did not offer this as an excursion.

The tour guide was Paul and he was awesome!!! It was my first time riding so he made me ride right behind him while the others in group were experienced with horses. My horse was Sinbad and he was soooo well behaved he knew exactly what the route was so I did not have to do anything. I highly recommend Spirit Stable in Grand Cayman.

I miss my Sinbad!!

Freedom from the Tender....
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Carnial magic in grand cayman
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Church in Grand Cayman
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Holland america in Grand Cayman
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Freedom's Big Booty...
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Tonight was "Dancing with the Officers" held in boleros I know Celebrity does Dancing with the stripes which is a competition. I got to dance with Luis who dances salsa VERY well....I kept up with him....I may have stepped on his foot once though..

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Dancing under the stars
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The Temperature Band....they were excellent
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Went to the general store and bought a bottle of Nyquil for Mini Me. OMG $18.00 on the ship for a bottle of nyquil. Really Royal caribbean Really??

COZUMEL - We had booked thru Royal an atv excursion. Mini Me felt good and back to normal.

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Let's do this.....
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Our Assistant Waiter Robert
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What the heck is that little thing on the right?
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Back on the Ship 2nd formal night...Mini Me decided to skip formal wear again.
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New friend Celeste from New York
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thecruisequeen January 17th, 2014 08:16 PM

70's night and last day of cruise....

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Poolside line dancing class
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Assistant Cruise Director
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Officers versus cruisers game
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Elise from Explorer with the world's sexiest man competition contestants
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Contestants, lady judges and winner in the middle with shades on.
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Freedom of the Seas Dance Queen and the officers
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DJ Ron
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Men Of culture....the best ever music poolside!!!!
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Poolside with Shrek
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Kirk and Robert both from Jamaica....excellent Mytime dining service!
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Last night at boleros....Salsa queens and a Salsa king
6 from Columbia, 1 from New York, 1 from Jersey

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Another awesome wonderful Cruise!! Weather was perfect and freedom crew are top notch....

SHOUT OUTS!!!

Kirk and Robert - Dining room

Ralph - Room attendent

Men Of Cuture - Pool band

felix - crypt bartender

Jason - Diamond lounge bartender

Cruise director's staff - Belle, Luis, Martin, elise

DJ Ron - Spins my favorite song

Paul - Spirit Stables grand cayman

Universal Studios

royal Pacific Hotel

Po :rolleyes:

Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines!!!!!


All good things come to an end....back to work and school :-|

Donna January 17th, 2014 08:16 PM

Looks like another great cruise....love the pics...

Aerogirl January 17th, 2014 08:58 PM

Royal looks like so much fun, now I'm determined to do it.

Manuel January 17th, 2014 10:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Aerogirl (Post 1493313)
Royal looks like so much fun, now I'm determined to do it.


Royal is a lot of fun for sure.


You can see it in the pictures that Cruisequeen posted. But I have enjoyed my six Royal cruises as well.


TM.

Aerogirl January 17th, 2014 10:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Manuel (Post 1493324)
Royal is a lot of fun for sure.


You can see it in the pictures that Cruisequeen posted. But I have enjoyed my six Royal cruises as well.


TM.

Come on now we should all sail together in 2015!:D

Matelot January 18th, 2014 11:27 AM

Great review! Did you or Minime get on the Flowrider?

Manuel January 18th, 2014 01:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Aerogirl (Post 1493329)
Come on now we should all sail together in 2015!:D


I would like that. :)


My DW lets me plan and book all the cruises, as long as I pick a Royal or Celebrity ship. LOL


TM

Aerogirl January 18th, 2014 01:43 PM

I'm on board or hope to beLOL
Hey CQ whats 2015 looking like for you?

thecruisequeen January 18th, 2014 03:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Donna (Post 1493311)
Looks like another great cruise....love the pics...

Thanks Donna!!

thecruisequeen January 18th, 2014 03:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Matelot (Post 1493351)
Great review! Did you or Minime get on the Flowrider?

Since there were only 2 sea days on this cruise we only went over to the flowrider twice however the line was way to long so no we did not get to do the flow rider.

:idea:Royal ships should perhaps have a separate time slot twice during the week for Diamond and above members for riding the flow rider. I would love that perk.

thecruisequeen January 18th, 2014 03:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Aerogirl (Post 1493364)
I'm on board or hope to beLOL
Hey CQ whats 2015 looking like for you?

I'm always ready to cruise...don't have to twist my arm. LOL:twisted:
we should plan something later on this year for 2015. 8-)

Manuel January 19th, 2014 05:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thecruisequeen (Post 1493371)
I'm always ready to cruise...don't have to twist my arm. LOL:twisted:
we should plan something later on this year for 2015. 8-)


Yes we should! :)

TM

Aerogirl January 19th, 2014 10:40 PM

Being very serious , I can do a cruise anytime after late January 2015. I'm good with any and all 7 day or less cruise. This year we already have Las Vegas and Disney for Christmas / New Years .
If you guys think its something you really are intrested in doing throw some ideas out there, I'm chomping on the bit to cruise Royal and the two of you knw the line better than most! :-P

Manuel January 20th, 2014 05:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Aerogirl (Post 1493460)
Being very serious , I can do a cruise anytime after late January 2015. I'm good with any and all 7 day or less cruise. This year we already have Las Vegas and Disney for Christmas / New Years .
If you guys think its something you really are intrested in doing throw some ideas out there, I'm chomping on the bit to cruise Royal and the two of you know the line better than most! :-P


Sounds do-able to me. We have time to come up with a plan. :)


TM

thecruisequeen January 20th, 2014 06:40 PM

Late January is great.....some good rates to be found, escape the cold weather and school is in session less kiddos onboard. :D:p:cool:

Aerogirl January 20th, 2014 09:08 PM

I see a couple that look nice, any preference to eastern or western?

Manuel January 20th, 2014 10:25 PM

I prefer the Western, but I can be flexible.

TM

Aerogirl January 20th, 2014 10:55 PM

Sounds good to me TM.
I didn't realize that Royal didn't charge double rate for single cruisers...I may go solo and even if not I may just book my own cabin:D

I know Indy has a six night western , don't know if six night is good for you guys. I'm pretty much up for anything....I'm getting excited!

thecruisequeen January 21st, 2014 07:59 AM

Any itinerary is fine. 7 nights or less is fine.

Where did you see that Royal is not charging double for a solo??
I'm paying double in the spring on Indy...:-|:-?

However I found Liberty 5 nights western not charging double for the spring......total with tax for $795. for a solo.....not bad.
They are out there gotta look.

Aerogirl January 21st, 2014 10:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thecruisequeen (Post 1493532)


Where did you see that Royal is not charging double for a solo??
I'm paying double in the spring on Indy...:-|:-?


Sorry CQ I was wrong, I'm not sure what I was looking at, when I did a mock booking the price was around $600.00 more than I first thought.
I got all excited for nothing.

Like I said I'm good with any ship as I have only sailed Majesty back in 2000 .

Manuel February 12th, 2014 06:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Aerogirl (Post 1493329)
Come on now we should all sail together in 2015!:D


Still sounds like a good idea.

TM

Manuel March 16th, 2014 08:27 AM

This was such a nice review with awesome pics, so I had to check it out again.
Now we decided to visit Universal next month ( April 2014 ). :)

TM

thecruisequeen March 16th, 2014 05:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Manuel (Post 1496723)
This was such a nice review with awesome pics, so I had to check it out again.
Now we decided to visit Universal next month ( April 2014 ). :)

TM

Thank you TM!! Will you guys be staying in Universal this time or your usual Disney World area??

Just an FYI Month of April is super crazy busy at Universal due to Spring break and Easter consider buying a fast pass. :-P Or stay at one of the 3 Universal properties and the fast pass is included in the room rate.:cool:

Manuel March 16th, 2014 05:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thecruisequeen (Post 1496767)


Just an FYI Month of April is super crazy busy at Universal due to Spring break and Easter consider buying a fast pass. :-P Or stay at one of the 3 Universal properties and the fast pass is included in the room rate.:cool:


Thanks for the info. We will get the fast pass.

TM

thecruisequeen March 16th, 2014 06:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Manuel (Post 1496771)
Thanks for the info. We will get the fast pass.

TM

Awesome....Enjoy!!:-P:mrgreen:8-):cool:


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