Freedom at Sea – My Top Ten Favorites List from the Freedom of the Seas
In November, I had the opportunity to travel on Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas as part of a travel agent seminar. Having only traveled on a Disney Cruise in the past, I was very excited to get on board and see how different the ships were.
I loved my time on Royal Caribbean and learned so much! There were so many things I have never experienced on a cruise before, and I wanted to share my top 10 favorite things I saw, experienced, and ate upon the Freedom of the Seas!
- Freedom Dunes
Freedom Dunes is the 9-hole Mini Golf course onboard the ship. Located on deck 13, this outdoor course is available 24 hours a day for anyone to use. Golfers can grab their own putters, balls, pencils, and scorecards inside the barrel at the entrance. Freedom Dunes is so cute! It has a fun beach theme and statues around the course. I love the turtle and the sand castle statues! Since Freedom Dunes is on deck 13, you get terrific views of the water if the ship is at sea or of the port if the boat is docked. As someone who enjoys some friendly competition, I really enjoyed playing a round at Freedom Dunes!
- Outdoor Movies
Throughout our sailing, some nights, there were Outdoor Movies offered on board. The movie screen is located on deck 11 at the main pool, and the movie starts after the sun has set. While we were onboard, they showed Aladdin, and groups of people huddled up around the pool to watch. This particular night was relatively cold out, so everyone gathered in the hot tub as they watched. This is such a nice relaxing activity to enjoy after a busy day of activities onboard or at port.
Playmakers is a sports bar and arcade on the ship. Located on deck 4, Playmakers offers drinks and food for purchase in a super relaxed setting with televisions all over playing sports games. It is a fantastic place to relax, have a drink and a snack. However, what I loved about Playmakers was the arcade inside it! Playmakers has billiards tables, foosball tables, skee ball, and basketball games. Almost constantly, the arcade is filled with people playing games, laughing, and just generally having a good time. This is another great place on the ship to have some friendly competition, and it is so great to feel like a kid again while throwing skee balls before the time runs out!
Every day, the Freedom of the Seas offers activities throughout the ship for all ages! You can find the programming on the Royal Caribbean app for each day, and every activity will be listed along with the ages invited and where on the ship you will need to go. Most of the programming on board was included in the cost of the cruise, but some activities cost extra.
I am a trivia girl, so I loved how much trivia was offered on the ship. From music and movie to general knowledge, there was so much trivia, and I tried to hit as much as I could. Other types of programming included dance classes, rock climbing competitions, game shows, cooking classes, and sports games.
The most popular activity on board was bingo. People all over the ship lined up before bingo started, and once the game began, the room was silent. People were very serious about bingo, and while I didn’t get the chance to play, I loved watching how intense the games were.
The programs on the Freedom of the Seas offered something for everyone, so there was always something to do!
- Theme Nights
Some nights have a dress code theme for the evening on the Freedom of the Seas. During our sailing, there was a formal night and a white clothing night. While these dress codes are by no means mandatory, I love the camaraderie of seeing everyone dressed up. White clothing night was fun, but I loved the formal night. During the day, everyone is dressed in resort casual wear, then as soon as the sun started to set, almost the entire ship was dressed to the nines. People wore tuxedos or floor-length gowns, fancy hair-dos, and formal shoes. It was so incredible to see everyone on the ship dressed up, especially when I don’t get the opportunity to get dressed up in day-to-day life.
- Royal Promenade
On deck 5 of the Freedom of the Seas, guests can visit the Royal Promenade. This is designed to look like a neighborhood and houses multiple bars, luxury stores, and some delicious food options. The Royal Promenade is meant to be the hub of the ship and welcomes everyone with its charming theming, including brick walls, cars, and even a whimsical mermaid statue that looks like she is emerging from the ceiling.
The bars on the Royal Promenade have lots of programming throughout the day, like dance lessons and trivia. The high-end shops welcome everyone in with fun games and raffles, making shopping a more fun experience. The Royal Promenade is home to Sorrento’s, the pizza parlor onboard. This is a very popular place for people to visit and grab a quick bite to eat as they walk through the Promenade, as the appetizers, pizza, and desserts are all included in the price of your cruise! I did make sure to grab a quick slice (or two or three), and the pizza is delicious! Other food options on the Promenade include the Café Promenade, which has baked goods and fruit, and Ben and Jerry’s, which serves ice cream at an extra cost.
The Royal Promenade is the star of the ship for good reason. It is a great place to hang out, shop, and people-watch while enjoying a slice of pizza!
- Teen Club
Now some may argue that this should not be on a list of my favorite things on the ship because (although I live in denial) I am not a teen and am not able to hang out here. However, while on board, I was able to tour the Teen Club twice, and this is by far the coolest place on the ship! The Teen Club is for any sailers between the ages of 13 and 17, and the cruise ship has done the perfect job at creating a relaxing, teen-focused environment that doesn’t feel like it’s pandering to current fads. There are televisions, tabletop video games, and even an outdoor patio for them to hang out on. It is such a fantastic spot for teens to hang out and snap incredible photos because the room is gorgeous. Even the entrance to the Teen Club is awesome. It has a mirrored entranceway that makes you feel intrigued and excited to walk in. It was heartbreaking that I couldn’t hang out here, but I would totally recommend to any teens to stop by on a sailing.
- Main Pool
The Main Pool on the Freedom of the Seas is an amazing place to spend the day! For starters, the decor is so fun, and everything is full of color! There are orange metal palm trees, bright yellow umbrellas, and green water seats in the pool. There’s also a tiki bar on the pool deck with two hanging swings that add to the whimsy.
There is lots of programming that happens at the Main Pool. While on board, we saw Battle of the Sexes, a dance party, and even poolside music trivia! If no programming is going on, music is playing to enjoy while swimming or lounging.
Now I know what you’re thinking, “Too bad I would have to leave the pool to eat lunch.” Well, don’t you fret. On the pool deck, you can find El Loco Fresh, a self-serve Mexican buffet. It has some of the best food on the ship, and there is no better place to enjoy it than in a pool lounger. Now, I was on a trip for work, so there was not a ton of time to sit and relax. However, if I were on a personal trip, spending a whole day sitting by the pool, swimming, and eating tons of tacos would be my absolute perfect day!
- Chops Grille
Chops Grille is a classic American steakhouse onboard the ship. This is one of the specialty restaurants on the Freedom of the Seas, so it is not included in the price of your cruise, but in my opinion, it is worth the extra expense.
The ambiance of the restaurant is lovely. It has a nice upscale feel, and one whole wall of the restaurant is windows, so you get beautiful views of the water while dining.
The food is perfect! Chops Grille is a four-course prix fixe menu, and while they specialize in steaks, there are also seafood and chicken dishes to choose from if you don’t eat beef. All of the food was cooked perfectly, and each course was a pleasure on its own. This restaurant is fantastic, and if I ever had the opportunity to sail on the Freedom of the Seas again, I would return because I had a wonderful meal.
Located on deck 13, you can find the most thrilling adventure aboard the Freedom of the Seas – the Flowrider. This is a 40-foot-long surf simulator that allows guests to try their hand at surfing or boogie boarding in 30,000 gallons of rushing water. Now, I was way too afraid to try this, but even watching it is incredible! They include theatre seating around the simulator so anyone can sit and watch.
Two instructors at the bottom of the Flowrider help teach you how to get on your board and get steady. They also guide you through when to try and stand up and how to steer. Now, this attraction is lined up as soon as it opens, and even just waiting in line, every single person who shows up has the biggest smile on their face. There were some big wipeouts, but everyone I saw on the Flowrider seemed to enjoy their ride, and almost all got in line for a second try. The Flowrider is unlike anything I have ever seen, and it was awesome!
The Freedom of the Seas has something for everyone onboard, and I only scratched the surface of what there is to offer. There is so much to love about this ship, and I cannot wait to experience more boats from the Royal Caribbean fleet in the future! If you’re looking to sail with Royal Caribbean in the future, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our Cruise Specialists to learn more about what Royal Caribbean has to offer!