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Gecole

Age: 46

Occupation:Mediator

Number of Cruises: 7

Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean

Ship: Freedom of the seas

Sailing Date: 2013-07-14

Itinerary: Eastern Caribbean

We enjoyed our cruise! There were challenges with departing, and I feel the instructions for disembarkation were not clear, but we had a great time up to that point.

The food was delicious. I am a vegetarian and I wish the veggie options had more protein, but everything was tasty.

Our stateroom was beautiful. We had a balcony and the state room attendants were EXCELLENT.

My middle aged sister and I enjoyed the activities as did our 70 something parents. My 12 and 14 year old boy cousins were not as thrilled with the program but they could not articulate what they thought was missing so it might have been a "moody" teenage thing as opposed to a fault with the program.

The ship stops at a private island owned by RC. It is a lovely place but some of the activities are a rip off. We paid for a wonderful kayak trip that was worth every penny. But after that excursion, we hoped to slide on the super sized slide and play on some of the stationary water toys. It was $30/person for a limited amount of time. Really!?? I would have paid $30 for unlimited time....or less for a restricted amount of time...but $30 for 20 minutes seemed like an act of pure greed.

First, we had a great time and RC provides a predictable perfectly lovely cruise experience. I would go again but I do want to add comments.

I noticed that about 10%of the employees seemed surly...unhappy...which is contrary to previous experiences with RC. Admittedly, it has been 2 years since my last cruise, but I was sorry to see that some of the employees seemed unhappy. We also noticed ways that RC has cut corners. For example, there was no DJ for Motown night in the night club. The first night, no one turned on the music and there was a 15 minute delay before someone turned on the prerecorded music. That same music in the same order repeated on the second night. There was a gentleman by the equipment but he told us the music was prerecorded and he could not take requests. Meanwhile, he was talking on the phone. Humph!

My mother loved the room service option. The staff were efficient and pleasant and it was such a luxury at no extra cost. Again, some of the dining room staff seemed irritable but others were up to RC's usually high standards so I don't know what was happened.

The shows were generally good. There was a magician whose show was very average but the cruise director compensated with the BEST show I have ever seen on a cruise ship. It was called, I believe, Once Upon a Time. It was truly spectacular.

The staterooms were lovely and clean. The room attendants were EXCEPTIONAL. They were kind, pleasant and kept the room super tidy.

The embarkation process was astonishingly smooth. The disembarkation was ok. Make sure you pay the extra $20/person for the valet service. Your bags will be checked through to your final air destination and you will not have to deal with claiming your bags off of the ship. The form is not clear but register EVERYBODY in your party, whether the person had luggage or not. Valet service also allows the passenger to disembark whenever s/he chooses. If you have people in your party who did not choose that option. everyone had to wait and it is no fun. Also, even if two people share a bag you have to register the second person and pay for the valet , or again, that person will be waiting to get off and hold up the who group.

All things considered, we had a great trip and would choose RC again.

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