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Old 06-04-2006, 10:33 AM
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Hi folks!

World record embarkation for me. We arrived at the pier at 11:12 and were aboard the Freedom at 11:27. No crowd at this time of the morning which is unusual in my experience. They were adamant about no one going to their cabins until 1pm however, and I just now got to the room. The Windjammer was somewhat crowded but we found a table. The food was all well-prepared and plentiful. I am stuffed!

We also had 3 our our 4 bags waiting for us when we arrived at the cabin.....another record for us.

So far I am quite impressed with the Freedom. Huge cannot describe it.

We are in cabin 8566 which is on the back part of the "bump" on the port side. This means our balcony is trapezoidal in shape and therefore a little larger than other balconies for this cabin class.

Wireless internet is working fine - and fast so far - from the cabin. I guess the flat rate internet Tom mentioned from his preview cruise was only for the preview cruises. The best I can get is a package of 150 minutes for $50. Still not too bad. I guess a flat rate package would tend to slow down the connection for everyone since this would mean more people staying online all the time. I can live with it.

More later......
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Old 06-04-2006, 10:38 AM
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Your cabin is close to where mine was, and I loved it because it was close to the internet cafe. Even though I had my laptop with me, sometimes I just stopped at the cafe when I got off the aft elevators (watch for the traffic lights and sandcastles when you ride the elevators!) to make a quick (?) check of my email.

I'm impressed with your embarkation and luggage arrival! I hope the ship continues to impress you.

Sandy
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Old 06-04-2006, 04:45 PM
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Hi Dave56, thanks for the updates looking forward to more. We are so excited about going on 11th June cruise that we went out and bought $1100.00 worth of clothes for our 18 daughter and 16 son to get rid of extra energy. When did they start boarding? We had heard you couldn't board until 2:00pm.
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Old 06-05-2006, 05:58 AM
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Daved4,

Signs at the pier said no boarding until 2pm but as I noted we showed up a little after 11am and were whisked aboard in minutes.
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Old 06-05-2006, 05:58 AM
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Threatening skies crackled with lightning amid torrential rains as the Freedom sat at the pier, still boarding passengers for her maiden voyage. But then came the time to get underway and Royal Caribbean couldn’t have scripted it better. The rain and thunder subsided, giving way to sunshine and not one but two rainbows as the Freedom Of The Seas made her way down the channel and to open seas.

The trip down the channel was nothing special, save for a larger than normal number of cars parked along the causeway honking and waving at us. Two police boats chased away those whose private boats got too close, except for two men in a cigarette boat who buzzed the ship at high speed several times, slowing to wave at us mostly. However the ante was soon upped as one of these gentlemen – obviously a man of exceeding talent and wisdom – dropped his bathing suit and gave us all the plumber’s salute to the rousing cheers and whistles of the Freedom’s passengers. And thus began the maiden voyage of Freedom Of The Seas.

So far we have had glassy seas and good weather. One can hardly tell this ship is moving.

Wi-fi is great thus far. I am typing this by the main pool and have a maximum signal on my MacBook Pro’s wireless meter.

We are at table 580 which is in the highest level of the three-deck dining room. A table for ten with a honeymoon couple, a couple with their teenaged daughter, and another couple. Everyone is quite pleasant and engaging. Our wait staff is Alex and Ruel, both from the Phillippines. I was quite impressed when they knew our names when we sat down. Service was simply wonderful and attentive.

The new bedding Royal Caribbean is using rivals anything you will find in a premium hotel. I slept well and woke up at 6:45am ready for my sunrise at sea ritual.

Food so far has been both plentiful and tasty. For dinner last night I had the chicken stuffed with brie and prosciutto. It was moist and delicious. Pizza at Sorrentos is good, although one combination is not typical of American tastes since it has kernels of corn amid the chorizo and onions. Pizza Margherita, primavera (veggie), and pepperoni are more familiar.

The Windjammer breakfast was fine, although some things seem to be skimped on such as the selection and amount of cold cereals available. There was one small display of individual boxes of cereal with very limited choices. I also note that the traffic flow around the main serving stations can be tedious. This is something that is common on all the Voyager-class ships too.

The welcome aboard show was pleasant although mostly the CD – Ken Rush – getting the usual preliminaries out of the way. A comedian did a short stand-up routine. He was very good.

Today is an at-sea day which are my favorite times of a cruise. This is the first formal night too, with the chance to meet Captain Bill Wright at the cocktail reception. Tonight’s show is “Once Upon A Time”, billed as “a fairytale with a fun pop music twist”. I’ve heard it is very good.

So in summary, the first afternoon, night, and morning aboard Freedom Of The Seas has been as pleasant as anyone could ask for.
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Old 06-05-2006, 06:27 AM
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Thanks again Dave, sounds like a wonderful time. Will be there in a week. I am taking my laptop and my daughter is taking hers too. Do you see alot of people with laptops? And the guy that gave you all the plumbers salute, too funny. I guess he wanted to go too but couldnt make it.
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Old 06-05-2006, 06:40 AM
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Hi Dave,
Sounds like you are off on a perfect cruise!!! Great news about the wi-fi access. Looking forward to what you think of the show. Have 2 quick requests while you are onboard: What is the cost to surf at the flo-rider and is there open skate sessions at the ice skating rink?

Enjoy! Enjoy! Enjoy!
Nancy
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Old 06-05-2006, 08:38 AM
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Dave,
Once upon a Time is a fabulous show. Don't blink because you could miss something important in the show. Some of the backdrop and stage props used in the show is amazing.
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Old 06-05-2006, 10:27 AM
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Dave, Great to hear from you. Glad everything is going good, and good to hear the weather changed as you guys sailed away. Have fun, dont work too hard and I as the rest are waiting to hear more updates!! Thanks!
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Old 06-05-2006, 10:37 AM
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cool thanks for sharing everything Dave- glad it's going so well- the ship sounds amazing!!!! We had thought about it but went a little bit cheaper and 'settled' for the mariner instead. I wonder if they have the new bedding there now too (yet)?? Or will in Nov? Hope so- sounds very nice.

lol about the plumber salute.
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