The last day of our 7-day cruise on the Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas was a sea day. After starting out the day with a workout and breakfast, I went to the backstage tour in the Arcadia Theatre. One of the lighting guys and another member of the entertainment staff led the backstage tour, first answering any questions we had about life on the ship, performing, getting a job as an entertainer, etc, before actually showing us the theatre.
The performers come onboard as a group and complete the contract together. At the end of each contract, the cast signs an area backstage to leave their mark on the ship. It was neat seeing the autographs of all the casts.
After the tour, I watched a little of the Employee vs. Guest volleyball game in the pool. They had all kinds of neat little competitions throughout the week and lots of pool entertainment.
I went back to the room and got Clay and we went to lunch in the dining room with our dinner table friend, Steven, and the guys decided to play in a volleyball tournament that afternoon. Their team won the game so they got fun little medals.
The guys also played ping pong after the tournament. I don’t think ESPN could have covered all the sports Clay and Steven played on the last sea day. I took pictures and read a lot because I’m lazy like that.
That evening, we headed to the karaoke bar because Clay wanted to sing karaoke. He’s never done this before but why not- you’re on a cruise ship and probably won’t ever see any of those other guests again. You may as well embarrass yourself, right?
Clay sang Weird Al’s “Amish Paradise”, which is a parody of Gangster Paradise (yep, the ship’s karaoke has Weird Al). I thought it was pretty awesome that he got up there, especially since that’s such a difficult song. Some of the other guests didn’t “get” the song, but a lot of people came up to him afterwards and told him it was pretty cool, and another guy sang a Weird Al parody song after Clay.
Since it was the last night of our cruise, it was our last time at dinner with our dinner table crew and our awesome servers, Kumar and John. Kumar and John waited on us all week, even providing special meals and extra desserts a few nights.
Each night at dinner, John (the assistant waiter who poured our water/drinks), was fascinated by Clay’s Mio water enhancer. Clay’s a huge Mio fan, and it’s better for you than soda and easy to pack, and John had never seen Mio before. On the last night, Clay had an extra container of Mio and gave it to him to try.
Even though we’re from all over the US and different walks of life, we had a great time sharing dinner together each night of the cruise.
After dinner and sleeping, we woke up the next day in Port Canaveral, where we (unfortunately) had to get off the ship. This was not a happy morning for us…
As far as negatives of the cruise go, I can only think of one, and that’s the lack of quality vegetarian options in the main dining room at dinner. I eat seafood, and I always found something to eat, but up until a few years ago, I didn’t eat seafood (lacto-ovo vegetarian). I still eat vegetarian much of the time, but many of those options onboard were soy-based or “fake meat”. This wasn’t a big deal- I loved eating seafood almost every single night.
With the reviews, I know you guys can tell we enjoyed our cruise on the Freedom of the Seas. In November 2012, we went on a Carnival cruise and didn’t enjoy it. Clay and I debated a different vacation option, like going to Disney, an all-inclusive resort, a road trip, or a train trip to DC. While we’d love to do all of those in the future, we’re glad we gave cruising another shot.