Oceans and Seas » Caribbean » Gulf of Darien
April 12th 2011
Published: April 12th 2011
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Freedom of the Seas (It’s really big)

We arrived at the port at 10:30 and were able to check in right away since Bill and Ann have Emerald status and we were able to tag along. We sat in the elite section for a short time and then proceeded to have our picture taken. Once that was done we boarded and made our way to the Windjammer for lunch. If it wasn’t for Bill and Ann we would still be trying to find our way. We were able to get a table by the window at the stern where the view of the port was great. This buffet venue is very attractive with lots of stations for various food options. We all opted for salads.
We started to explore the ship. It’s really, really big! First stop was the computer station when I signed up for WIFI access. This is basically like a hotel business center. We then headed to the Main Dining Room to check out our table. To our surprise and Bill and Ann’s astonishment we have the best table in the house other than the Captain’s table. It is a four top on a balcony half way between floors. We overlook the Captain’s table and have a great view of the magnificent chandelier.
Next we dropped out carry ons in the cabin. While small, it is very nice with a four foot round window. From that we can see the Disney Dream waiting to sail. The test will come when two women try to unpack.
Back to the tour. I can’t explain how vast the ship is. It holds 4,200 passengers and 1,400 crew to service them. We went up top to view the pools, three, and examine the solarium. This is an adult’s only venue. There is a wonderland pool for the children and another family friendly pool. We checked out the climbing wall, watched folks surf the flow rider, and located the fitness center found the put-put golf course, hurried past the basketball/dodge ball/volleyball court. Then it was up to deck 15 to visit Olive and Twist, a bar with a great view but a smoker’s friendly venue.
The fitness tour complete it was on to food and drink and other vices. Mid ship deck five is the Promenade. There are shops, a great wine bar called Vintage, Ben and Jerry’s, the Cupcake Cupboard, Sorrento’s for pizza or another Italian snacks, The Bull and Bear Pub and ever more shops. Deck four has the Casino with a computerized poker table, the Schooner Bar and Boleros bar with a piano bar.
MaryLu and I tried to find our way back to the cabin and got lost. We can’t go fore to aft on our deck, 2, because of an obstruction, same with Deck 3. We would wonder around and find ourselves on the wrong deck or the wrong side of the ship. So instead we went to the muster drill and got directions from the staff. Our bags were ready to be unpacked and we showered and dressed for dinner.
I had watermelon gazpacho, grilled sea bass and a cherry and cinnamon cobbler. It was very good and our servers are friendly and helpful. The show this evening was an introduction with a variety of acts doing snippets. The Cruise Director is a real character from the UK, a cross between Basil Faulty and Red Skelton. We stopped a Vintage for a nightcap and then off to bed.


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