Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas Review

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Freedom of the Seas has been upgraded in recent years and wins plaudits from many passengers and experts for affordability, entertainment, and family-friendliness.

Freedom of the Seas is one of Royal Caribbean International's most popular ships, and it's easy to see why. According to Royal Caribbean cruise reviews, Freedom of the Seas caters to all ages with a full menu of entertainment, adventure, and food options, plus onshore excursions. The starting price for an eight-night cruise through the eastern Caribbean is $75.

In comments posted on Expedia, Freedom of the Seas passengers rank the ship high for quality of service and overall experience. The staff garners numerous shout-outs from passengers on travel sites such as Avoya Travel and from experts at Cruise Critic, who commend the staff's hard work, attentiveness, and professionalism. Some passengers were less enamored of their experience, however, and on Yelp they write about subpar dining service, crew members who seem perpetually unhappy, and facilities that fail to sparkle.

The Royal Caribbean cruise line overall earns industry awards every year: the 2015 Global Travelers' Leisure Travel Award for best large cruise ship line, for example, and the "best for families" and "best for entertainment" crowns from Cruise Critic. U.S. News & World Report, which gives Freedom of the Seas an overall 4.5 rating, ranks it second among the company's fleet of 25, and fourth most affordable.

Freedom of the Seas belongs in the line's Freedom Class and carries slightly more than 4,500 passengers and a crew of 1,360. The ship was inaugurated in 2006 and for three years held the title of world's largest cruise ship. Five years later Freedom of the Seas underwent a major overhaul that included a renovated onboard nursery and a giant poolside movie screen. In 2015, new cabins and dining options were added, as well as a 1960s-style lounge. Other onboard attractions include a skating rink, climbing wall, mini golf, surf simulator, 3-D theater, and characters from DreamWorks movies.

Freedom of the Seas regularly sails out of Port Canaveral (near Orlando) and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, for five-, six-, seven-, and eight-night cruises through the western and eastern Caribbean with stops in ports such as Grand Cayman, Belize, Nassau, and CocoCay, a private island reserved for Royal Caribbean passengers. Excursions, such as snorkeling and cultural tours on the mainland, can be reserved online in advance of departure.

Overall, sailing with Royal Caribbean's Freedom of the Seas is a relaxing (or not) getaway at a bargain price.

Emily Lugg

Emily Lugg is a freelance writer and writing tutor in the Writing Center at Ohio Wesleyan University. Always looking for the best investment for her family at the cheapest price, Emily uses research and consumer reviews as her sharpest tools for the savviest shopping.

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