So glad some of you stuck it out after that first post :). Today, I’m writing about our first day on the Freedom of the Seas! We got up pretty early Sunday morning, like 7:30. We really could’ve slept in a little more, and I wish we would’ve, since I got up early every day of this vacation. Clay went off to the workout room to use the elliptical, and then we ate breakfast at the hotel before waiting on our shuttle.
The breakfast was pretty good for a hotel breakfast- I don’t remember everything they had, but you could make your own waffles so that’s what I had :). I also had some granola cereal and Clay laughed at me because of my old lady cereal eating habits, but he ended up eating the rest of the cereal when I didn’t finish it!
Our shuttle driver’s name was Duane- super funny guy who told us all to eat 2 lobsters on lobster night and dedicate one to him. His jokes were kinda corny but it helped set the mood for the whole trip.
Our shuttle left at 10:30 and got to the port shortly after- it’s about a 5-10 minute drive. Two other ships were in port- the Carnival Sensation and the Disney Dream.
We got to the port and after the porters took our luggage, I turned my camera off since they weren’t allowed. So, no pictures for awhile… but I definitely made up for it once we got on the ship. It didn’t take long to get onto the ship, either- boarding for us started at 11:30. There was a long line waiting after us, though!
After we got on the ship, our first trip was to the Windjammer, which is a giant buffet on the 11th deck. I normally don’t like buffets (eek, scary!) but I actually liked the Windjammer! It was better than the buffets I had on our Carnival cruises, and there are waiters who’ll bring you water and coffee.
The Windjammer was crowded on the first day, because it was the only place on the ship serving lunch, but really, this is the only time I felt crowded on the whole cruise. The ship is designed really well so that you don’t feel like you’re on it with 4218 other people :).
After we left the Windjammer, we explored the ship. Also on the 11th deck, there’s a kids area called the H20 zone, a main pool area, and an adult’s only area called the Solarium. The gym is also up there, along with the ice cream machine, which serves soft serve chocolate, vanilla, and swirled ice cream.
When we left there, we headed to Deck 5- the Promenade. This is where the Sorento’s Pizza and Cafe Promenade are located. The pizza was good, and I loved the little fruit cups and desserts they served. I also loved the Cafe Promenade coffees as well as the Sunflower Seed granola bars. I think I ate one of those granola bars almost every day! Everything in Sorento’s is free and the Cafe Promenade has free coffee, pastries, and sandwiches, but you can also buy specialty coffee there too.
Once the rooms were open, we went to the room and relaxed a little. We watched a little TV- there aren’t many channels, but one plays cartoon movies all day long and we mostly watched it, haha. There is also a channel that plays the events on the cruise ship and one that shows “reality” TV shows about building Royal Caribbean ships, refurbishing ships, etc.
Another cool feature with the TV is that you can check your SeaPass card balance on it :). That way you can see just how much you’ve spent… or how much fun you’ve had :). Unless you’re cheap like me… haha. You can also order room service through the TV which is pretty cool too! But you can still call on the phone if you like that method!
The bathroom was super small too- think: brush your teeth, use the toilet, and shower… without moving your feet. The shower looked like something from outer space, haha.
We also hit up the arcade and Clay played some Guitar Hero. The arcade had an excellent selection of games- you just swipe your SeaPass card to put credits on it, then play. No tokens involved.
We also saw King Julian and took a pic with him! The ship has DreamWorks characters on board, and you can even have breakfast with the characters some mornings.
At 4:30, we went up to the Sky Bar for a Cruise Critic Meet and Mingle and sail away party. Cruise Critic is a website with message boards- you can learn a lot about cruising there, and on the Roll Call threads, you can meet others who are on your cruise :). It’s a great forum, and Clay and I have learned a lot by reading and posting there. If you’re going on a cruise, I strongly recommend joining Cruise Critic and posting there.
Since it was the first night of the cruise, we went to a Welcome Aboard show at 7:00, before dinner. I liked the shows before dinner because we ate dinner at 8:30 each night (late dining), and once I was done with dinner… I was pretty much done (I get up early whether I’m on vacation or not). The cruise director, Graham Seymour, hosted the show, which included comedy and acrobats. It was a really great show, really enjoyed it.
After the show, we headed to the main dining room and ate dinner with Jason and Chrissy from Cruise Critic. Clay and I both had the Vidalia Onion Tart (pretty yummy- ate it before I could take a pic), and I also had a fruit salad for appetizers.
For the main course, I had the Grilled Mediterranean Quesadilla, and Clay had the Pan Fried Pork Medallions. I had the low fat blueberry and peach cobbler for dessert, which came topped with ice cream- so much for low fat, haha. We really enjoyed the food, and we also enjoyed eating with Chrissy and Jason. We had a 4 person table so we were in and out of dinner pretty quickly.
After dinner, we came back to the room and pretty much passed out- I think we watched the cartoon movie channel until we fell asleep, which wasn’t a bad thing because we were up bright and early the next morning and ready for CocoCay!