By: Naomi Kinloch, CTA & Customer Service Manager
I am what Royal Caribbean refers to as “Loyal to Royal”, which means my preferred cruise line is Royal Caribbean, and I am frequently on their ships. I must say, though, this cruise was my absolute best experience ever with Royal Caribbean! The ports, service, food, and amenities were outstanding, and I am strongly considering re-visiting this same ship and itinerary.
Freedom of the Seas is part of the Freedom class, which isn’t their newest, but the ship’s public spaces, staterooms, and activities are quite modern, comfortable, and fun.
There’s something to do for every cruise style, whether a traveler wishes to relax in quiet areas like the library or spa, or party into the wee hours in the lounges. The ship itself is big and beautiful, and crowds were managed well.
Because the embarkation port was San Juan, Puerto Rico, there were many Spanish-speaking families onboard, and the crew did a very good job of making sure both English and Spanish speakers were taken care of. I traveled with my sister and mom and found there were many other multi-generational families onboard as well. Careful attention was paid to passengers with mobility challenges, and children had activities to fill their days throughout the cruise.
The ports we visited were Oranjestad, Aruba; Willemstad, Curacao; Basseterre, St. Kitts, and Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas.
Interestingly, when we were in Aruba, we were a very short distance from South America, and some time ago, similar itineraries included visits to Margarita Island, Venezuela.
Each island had its own distinctive charm and international influences were clearly felt.
For example, Curacao is owned by the Netherlands, and a local language, Papiamento, is a combination of Dutch, Portuguese, and Spanish. In Aruba, school is taught in Dutch, but because of an influx of South Americans, Spanish is spoken almost as often as English and Dutch.
The tropical climate made for lush, bright plants and trees, which were a fantastic backdrop for the sparkling Caribbean Sea. Gorgeous sunrises and sunsets were standard, with one cloudy morning in the mix. We ascended mountains, viewed historical monuments, tasted local delights and shopped till we dropped! Fine jewelry was best in Aruba, but handmade crafts abounded throughout each island.
This Southern Caribbean with Royal Caribbean cruise was a wonderful vacation that I hope to repeat sometime soon!
By: Naomi Kinloch
CTA & Customer Service Manager
E-mail: [email protected]
Toll Free: 1-800-935-2620 Ext: 113