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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 01-02-2007, 04:53 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 21
hi all, getting ready for my first cruise february 3rd on royal carribean's freedom of the seas. We'll start from the dining questions and go from there. It looks like they have a number of restaurants, are we able to go to any of the restaurants any time of the day, order whatever we want and not pay for it? I've heard about formal nights, what are they and what are we required to wear? Any other dining comments or hints appreciated.

thank you in advance for your replys,
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 01-02-2007, 05:17 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Murrieta, California
Posts: 97
The main dining room is open only at meal times. There are set times for dinner seatings of which you will be assigned one. For lunch or breakfast there is usually a couple hours where you can go anytime during that time.

The windjammer cafe is open all day. Usually have diner type food, buffet, burgers, etc.

Often there will be a pizza parlor or sushi stand that is only open certain hours.

All those are free all you can eat.

Some ships have reservation only theme restaurants that you can eat at for an additional fee. Some ships have coffee bars, and Ben and Jerry ice cream for additional costs.

Drinks, besides coffee, ice tea and water are an additional fee. You can buy a soda card for the entire week if you are a soda lush.
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 01-02-2007, 07:12 PM
oeshpdog2's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Joplin, MO
Posts: 50
Go with the flow when it comes to meals. There will always be something to eat somewhere. We really enjoyed the meals with our dinner table mates, but we also enjoyed our special dinner at one of the surcharge venues. The breakfast buffet at the Windjammer has something for everyone. Formal nights are fun and you do not have to wear a tuxedo, a dark suit with a tie will do.

I have never seen so many comments made about those who prefer the soda card. For those who do not drink alcohol, the card was great. It also gets you juice at lunch and dinner which, in most cases is not free. So I guess I am a soda and juice lush. Better that than an alcohol lush I guess. Tap water, coffee and tea are your only options if you do not drink alcohol. If you order a coke at dinner (and do not have the card) they bring you a can and a glass from the bar and there are no refills and that will cost you at least $1.50. The card is $6.00 a day for cokes and juices.

Our first cruise was just over a week ago and we had a great time, even though we were hung over with cokes and juice.

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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 01-03-2007, 06:42 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 21
ok, i am starting to get it. now i did see that the freedom has a portafino italian and a chop house. will those be included ? and what would i have to wear? thanks again to all
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 01-03-2007, 07:21 AM
Dave's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Alabama
Posts: 18,001
Portofino and Chops are the two extra-fee restaurants on Freedom Of The Seas. Reservations required, which need to be made on embarkation day if you wish to avoid the disappointment of not getting to eat in these places. $20 per person, with a $10 cancellation fee if cancelled within 24 hours of the reserved time. Smart casual dress, although many dress up since the dining experience is upscale. Guests also have to be 13 or older. This is not a quick dining experience - allow for at least 2 hours or more.

Windjammer and Jade are the buffet restaurants - although they are essentially combined into one big area with Jade being the first two serving lines one encounters as they enter the area. Jade offers oriental and Indian food as well as normal buffet items. Beyond Jade is the actual Windjammer buffet area where you will see a huge variety of things. Windjammer is also open at night for a casual dinner service that is kicked up a bit from the usual buffet with many items that also are served in the main dining rooms. It is very good, and a nice alternative for those who wish to skip their assigned seating time in the main dining room. Those who want to avoid the formal nights also like the evening meal service at Windjammer. Windjammer and Jade are included in your cruise fare.

Johnny Rockets is extra, but only $3.95 per person which includes most items on the menu and as much as you want. There is an extra charge for some desserts, and of course any beverages you order. Great hamburgers and onion rings.

Moving down into the promenade, you find Sorrento's Pizzeria. The food here is included in your cruise fare . Ben And Jerry's costs extra for everything unless you happen to be in cabin 6305. People in that cabin get all the free Ben And Jerry's they want. Then we come to the Cafe Promenade. This place is open 24 hours and has various snacks and sandwiches which are included in your cruise fare. The cafe also has items which cost extra, but it is quite easy to get a filling snack here without using your cruise card.

The main dining rooms - it is really one dining room but with three differently named levels - have assigned seatings for dinner. Main seating and second seating. You should have been asked your preference when you booked the cruise. Breakfast and lunch are open seating, where one level will be open for a couple of hours during which you can show up anytime and get served. Please don't miss out on having breakfast and lunch in the dining room. It is so much more relaxing than the buffet, and really doesn't take much more time. In fact, breakfast in the dining room can often be quicker than the buffet - especially on port days.

Have you read our reviews on the Freedom Of The Seas?

Here is Tom Ogg's overview of the inaugural cruise to nowhere.

Here is my review of the first revenue cruise for this ship.
  #6 (permalink)  
Old 01-03-2007, 09:14 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 21
thank you dave you have answered it all. joe
  #7 (permalink)  
Old 01-03-2007, 11:36 AM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Murrieta, California
Posts: 97
I am cracking up. Soda and juice hangover.

I call my husband a soda lush because the rest of the family are water only drinkers. We would go broke without his soda card. I have to start asking him about soda hangovers.
  #8 (permalink)  
Old 01-05-2007, 08:01 AM
stacieg1011's Avatar
Junior Member
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 27
My husband would be the soda lush! Getting the soda card is the first thing we do when we get on the ship. He is a big Mountain Dew drinker but the ship has Coke products. But he manages to get by on Coke.

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  #9 (permalink)  
Old 01-05-2007, 11:45 AM
Chef Ken's Avatar  
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Bloomington, MN
Posts: 2,259
Soda Pop - Carbon dioxide, corn syrup, artificial flavor, artificial colors and artificial sweeteners. I don't get it.

Wine tastes like grapes. Beer tastes like hopps and what does coke taste like? Well, like coke I guess.

Is it more of an addiction than an appreciation for taste? I just can't see it but...
íViva la differance!

PS A valuable contribution to the discussion or am I just trying to log my 100th post?
  #10 (permalink)  
Old 01-05-2007, 12:18 PM
f-mattox's Avatar  
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Costa Mesa, California
Posts: 4,740
Congrats on #100!
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