Thursday, July 23, 2015

July 12, 2015 - Freedom of the Seas - Cruising with a Crewcut!

I chuckled to myself and just shook my head as I walked across the gangway to the ship. Never in a million years would I have thought I would be cruising in 2015 with breast implants and a crew cut! lol.
We left our vehicle at the Radisson and caught their 10:15am shuttle to the ship. We were on Royal Caribbean's Freedom of the Seas by 10:30am, registered and were onboard eating in the Windjammer by 11am! We were in the first twenty people to board! 
We sailed right through the boarding process and stopped to make a few silly pictures! We quickly went into the "Issac" dining room to find our assigned dinner table #105. We hit the jackpot! It was the perfect location overlooking the water - prime real estate! Talk about curb appeal! lol. Enough looking, we must start the "eight meals a day" meal plan! lol. 
We quickly finished lunch in the Windjammer and made our way down to deck 5 to the Royal Promenade. This is such a busy and  fun deck! Cafe Promenade is open 24 hours and serves sandwiches, danishes, desserts, coffee, cold water and tea. Starbucks and Sorrento's Pizza is open until 3am. We could always be found at Sorrento's every night at 1am for pizza before going to bed. We were very bad this trip! lol. The girls stopped to make a picture of their feet on the lighted promenade bridge. lol. There's also a pub, a wine bar, a cupcake store and of course ice cream in this area! They also have parades and lots of entertainment here. We really enjoyed this area! It's a great gathering place to eat, shop, meet and mingle, people watch and just relax in one of the many sitting areas.
Lines for the Flowrider are usually the shortest right after boarding. I think a lot of people just didn't realize it was open so Ava and Claire were able to wipe out as much as they wanted to! lol. The girls went back several times during the week and usually waited from 20-25 minutes to boogie board. They weren't quite tall enough to stand up surf. Sounds like an excellent reason to go back! lol. The Flowrider is at the back of the ship and has three large seating sections. It's a lot of fun to sit and watch all ages having so much fun! lol. It's also a great place for sail away!
Our rooms were ready about 2pm so off we go to check them out. We had booked two connecting rooms on deck seven overlooking the Royal Promenade. Ricky and I were so happy to have our own space and our own bathroom while Ava and Claire were jumping up and down with excitement to decorate their own room and door! They had streamers hanging from everywhere! I noticed Ava misspelled awesome on her door sign. She spelled it "alsome." I overheard a couple of passengers say "they may be from Texas spelling it that way." I am still laughing from hearing that comment! lol. It was actually very pretty and they received a lot of nice compliments from other passengers. 
I took this picture sitting on our bed looking into their room. We only had one "room rule" and that was that the connecting door be open when sleeping at night. We booked in February during a BOGO sale and were very diligent in keeping a check on pricing and were able to further reduce our amount paid by $212 by just making a quick and simple phone call! Don't we all love to save and not waste money?!!
What a pleasant surprise to look out our window and see a mermaid! That was a first! lol. We were standing on the Promenade Deck looking up at our rooms in the second picture. They are the two windows side by side in the center. We were able to watch the parades from our room! The rooms worked well for us and we were very pleased with our location on the ship! It was very quiet and we easily averaged sleeping ten hours each night! So enough about our rooms - let's go to dinner!
Well, we can see this is going to be another week of Ricky and myself following along and being good listeners! lol. You can see the spectacular water view behind Ava as she orders her dinner!

The food was absolutely delicious! There was always a large variety and something for everyone's taste! We enjoyed sampling a lot of new dishes this trip. Ava and Claire LOVED the crepes! Ricky said the prime rib was the BEST he had ever eaten. I found myself returning to the tuna spread on crackers and the egg salad on an open faced sesame seed roll! Service was impeccable and the workers were always friendly, helpful and smiling! We enjoyed eating way too much this trip! lol. Enough about food - let's go to showtime!

The shows in the Arcadia Theatre were all wonderful. We only missed one show and unfortunately it was the illusionist show but that's another reason to return! lol. We also watched the 3D movie "Home" in the Arcadia. No show is complete without pizza and a  virgin strawberry daiquiri and a strawberry milkshake! The front row mezzanine seats were best for the movie and the front row center seats for all other shows! Our cruise director, Jaime, was the best in the business! He was soooo funny, talented and always visible around the ship! Ava and Claire laughed so hard at everything he said or did! As the farewell show was ending and the curtain was going down, he followed the curtain down and ended up on his side on the floor with his microphone poking out as he cried saying "I will miss all of you." What a great and funny way to end the show for all of the kids and adults! I was actually laughing as I typed this! We need more good clean humor in our lives!
The ice show was spectacular and the girls could not get there fast enough to secure front row center seats complete with virgin cocktails! lol. The ice skaters were fabulous!
"Friendly Feud" used people from the audience as contestants so of course it was hilarious! The only person missing was Steve Harvey! lol. "Love and Marriage" was a lot of fun too! It's now time for pizza at Sorrento's and then to bed. We have a rock wall to climb in the morning! 
The sports team did a great job with boogie boarding, wall climbing and ice skating but "Jeff" was our favorite, hands down! He was so patient and caring with all of the kids and had the whitest teeth at sea! lol. He always brought a big smile to Ava and Claire's face. I made certain I spoke with Jeff's supervisor and let him know what a valuable asset Jeff is to the Freedom of the Seas sports team! 
We were so glad to see that "safety comes first" on the ship. Helmets were required for both rock climbing and ice skating in addition to elbow and knee pads when in the rink. Horseplay was not tolerated when on the ice. You have to remember it is a long way to the nearest trauma center. Let's get off the ice and into the water!
We loved the pools and were in the water each day! I think our favorite was the one we called the "whirlpool" which had just enough of a current that made going against the flow the perfect place to play water freeze tag! The four of us took turns being "it" and we were having so much fun that another girl named "Molly" joined in with us to make a team of five! 
We only got off the ship once in seven days and that was in St. Thomas. We were satisfied to stay on board and eat and eat and eat!
The ship was beautiful and clean in all areas. The "H2O Zone" was always our meeting point and one of our favorite play areas. The water felt so good spraying on you from every possible direction! There were always as many adults playing here as kids! lol.
This was a great cruise! It was fantastic to see people without electronics in their hands! After we left Cape Canaveral, our first wifi connection was in St. Thomas. People were once again making eye contact when talking to each other. I saw people playing cards and board games. Teenagers were playing basketball, soccer, "Dare" and sitting in circles talking and laughing! People actually had Nikons hanging around their necks! lol. 
We had perfect weather! We kept a constant breeze even when docked in port. We did not have any rain or storms. The seas were calm and smooth as glass! On the day we set sail and as I was getting use to the constant breeze and wind at times, I noticed that I kept trying to push hair out of my face! I guess it was out of habit from previous cruises. That is the hardest I have ever laughed at myself! From that moment on, my crew cut became my best friend on this cruise! lol. 
I highly recommend the Freedom of the Seas. We did not find anything negative about the entire cruise. I am so thankful for these two weeks of vacation. Everything went smoothly as planned. Did we eat too much? Yes. Did we spend too much? Maybe. Did we make too many memories? Absolutely not! My advice is what the sign in the picture above says Get Out There and enjoy life before it's too late. 
I apologize for the blurry and grainy pictures but my phone started being uncooperative on this trip. Could it be because my contract is up???? My only regret was not bringing my Nikon - another reason to return! lol

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