2014 Freedom of the Seas Cruise Recap Part #1

We’ve been back from our vacation since Sunday, but I had to wait a few days before writing a recap. Since our 7 day cruise on the Freedom of the Seas, I had a lot of work to catch up on at my real girl job, as well as things to do around the house. The Freedom of the Seas is an amazing ship, and I’m looking forward to writing a review, sharing pictures, and re-living my vacation. 

Clay and I left for Florida on April 19, as our cruise left on April 20 (Easter Sunday). We drove six hours from Charleston to Port Canaveral and checked into our hotel that evening. We stayed at the Comfort Inn and Suites, Cocoa Beach, which was super close to the beach. I got up early on Easter Sunday and ran 4.5 miles on the beach, running past 3 sunrises services.


We always book a “Park and Cruise” special at a hotel, which is the way to go to save money. For a flat rate price (not much more than a hotel room ordinarily costs), you get the hotel room for the night, parking for the duration of the cruise, 2 breakfasts, and 2 shuttle tickets to and from the port. It’s definitely a better deal than driving down the day of the cruise, because you get to relax the morning of the cruise and port parking is usually about $12-15 per day. For a 7-day cruise, you can do the math and easily see that park and cruise is a better deal.

We hit a local Cocoa Beach restaurant, Dumpling Nerds, for dinner that night. We had kimchi fried rice and various pierogie-style dumplings (mine had sweet potato noodles, mushrooms, onions, and carrots). The kimchi fried rice was so good that Clay made his own version of it Monday night, which was also delicious.


Dumpling Nerds is kind of divey, but those are the restaurants we love. We’re not fans of big chains, and food doesn’t have to be super fancy to taste good. We actually found the restaurant on Yelp and it was a great find- if you travel a lot, I highly recommend Yelp for finding tasty restaurants and also hotels. 


Bellies full, we headed back to the hotel room for the night. Of course, our morning started early with my beach run and Clay’s last-minute Walmart run. After our hotel breakfast (hotel waffles are the best), shuttle ride, and waiting, we boarded the Freedom of the Seas and headed to the Windjammer Buffet for lunch.


Since we were some of the first to board, it wasn’t packed- and Royal Caribbean even did a special Easter display with hollow chocolate eggs for us.

After lunch, we went to our room, unpacked, and spent the rest of the afternoon hanging around the ship before dinner. We went on the Freedom of the Seas for our honeymoon in 2011, so it was fun being back on the ship. It’s just like we remembered it!


We headed to dinner at 8 that night, where we met our super fun dinner mates and our waiter, Kumar. Our table had 9 people, and they were one of the coolest dinner table crowds we’ve had on a cruise. The people at our table became some of our best friends for the week, and we hung out at times besides dinner (I’ll write more about this later).

I had the salmon dish that night and it was delicious- one of the best salmon dishes I’ve ever had. Granted, I didn’t start eating seafood until 2010 or so, and maybe I’m not the best judge… but the seafood in the dining room was great all week long.


That’s it for now. I’m running the May Day Half Marathon tomorrow morning, then the Race the Landing 5K that evening, so I need to get dinner and charge all my electronics. Be back later with more review.

This entry was posted in Cruising, Freedom of the Seas, Royal Caribbean, Traveling and Trips, Yelp and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to 2014 Freedom of the Seas Cruise Recap Part #1

  1. I really enjoy cruises and Royal Carribean has never disapointed me. I am thinking Tim and I will choose one for our honeymoon.

    • Amy Lauren says:

      I definitely recommend RC 100% over Carnival. Also I don’t know how far you guys plan to travel for the honeymoon, but I learned that RC has ships that are based in NJ. I thought that was really cool.

  2. Amy says:

    Ooooooh! So excited to hear more about your trip. I have never been on a cruise, but the park and cruise deal sounds perfect. And I love divey restaurants, too. Especially when they have dumplings!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Cruises are amazing :). I have way more info and pics to share so keep reading. It’ll probably take me until my next cruise to finish reviewing this one though, with how much I want to say and how many races I’m also doing (and will want to review).

  3. Pam says:

    Oh what a fun week. You looked so pretty at dinner and it will be fun to hear all about your cruise. Hope your run went well this morning!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Thanks! My run went okay. I finished in 1:51:33 according to my watch (it’s a guerilla run, so I’m not even sure if there will be an official time). Of course, my watch didn’t account for aid stations where I completely stopped.

      I had some stomach issues. I think it was all that ice cream I ate on this cruise!

  4. Looks like a blast! RC is a great cruise line 🙂

  5. carmyy says:

    Sounded like you had a lot of fun and had delicious food! I hate getting back to reality after vacations 😦 Hope your May Day race went well!!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Yeah, I had so many emails when I got home. It was crazy. My race today was okay. Not my best race, but I finished and I’m not injured so ultimately that goal was met.

      • carmyy says:

        Congratulations 🙂 my goodness, I don’t want to be your inbox at the moment haha

      • Amy Lauren says:

        Well, I cleared out my personal email on Sunday night and also looked at anything time-pressing for work. I got the work inbox cleared out Monday morning. It really wasn’t too bad, mostly junk!

  6. Sounds like a great start to the trip! I have loved seafood all of my life, so I feel I am a good critic and I agree that cruise seafood is surprisingly delicious! Love that they did an easter treat for you guys that Sunday! sweetjeana

  7. harveylisam says:

    What a nice, relaxing vacation! I use Yelp to find restaurants and stuff when I travel, too. I love it 🙂

  8. I’ve never been on a cruise but I have heard great things about some. I am glad you had a wonderful vacation and can’t wait to read more about it!

  9. I love your cruise posts & look forward to them every year you go! 🙂 Can’t wait to hear more about your adventures 🙂


  10. allieksmith says:

    Park and Cruise seems like such a good idea! When I cruise, we usually leave from Baltimore, so I will have to see if any hotels offer that… I really want to go on another cruise soon. They’re just SO much fun! How cool that you were on the same ship as your honeymoon, too!!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      You definitely should check, you can just google “Park and Cruise Baltimore” and probably find a list of them. I also check yelp and trip advisor for hotel ratings too.

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