We wind up our Freedom of the Seas journey with a photo potpourri

I hope you’ve enjoyed cruising along with my dear wife Karen and I from Port Canaveral and back.

I the last two weeks, I’ve attempted to bring you the best of Freedom of the Seas, inside and out, including our stops at Coco Cay and St. Thomas and St. Maarten/St. Martin.

We watched with wide eyes from our balcony.

Our seven-night journey with our almost two-dozen friends from Syracuse was quite full, of dancing and eating and Arcadia Theater shows and ice rink follies.

Phew. Quite the vacation. We are thankful.

Yet before I get back full-time to our adventures here with Ellie B in the Little Bitty in the Syracuse city neighborhood of Eastwood, I have one final post of photos to share, pictures too good to languish forever merely in my copy roll. Or so I think. You can tell me your opinions at the end of this last potpourri.

Emergency procedure.

Emergency procedure.

Before the ship even departs, everybody must show up under their designated rescue boat for the muster drill. A crew member seriously tells you what to do if the bad things happen. You can see our resume boat up over us. Your sea pass is scanned to make sure you are present for the drill. Everybody stands in a tight line and waits as the final few stubborn passengers’ names are called out over the PA until they get to their designated emergency area.

FYI, by this time, I’ve had a Pina Colada and a wine at the pool deck bar, and am cracking wise with my new friends that will be on the same rescue boat as us! My dear wife Karen pretends maybe she does not know me.

A guy at the bar did this.

A guy at the bar did this.

This scene played out at the pool deck bar the very first afternoon. The man sitting to the right of us engaged my dear wife Karen and I in a very serious conversation about why he was on the cruise by himself. Work was so tense! He was a tele-poll manager, and the industry was dying. He had set this scene up in front of him. I did not bring it up in the conversation.

That's our friend Jim.

That’s our friend Jim.

What’s a cruise without a good, new-fashioned photo bomb. This one is courtesy of one of our cruise buddies, at least. Thanks, Jim!

The Sports Bar held a several-night Karaoke contest.

The Sports Bar held a several-night Karaoke contest.

This ship broke its karaoke up into a several-night contest. I did not choose to participate this time around. I did think that the sports-bar setting looked cool as we watched the singers the night we waited to get into the adjacent ice rink.

Versatile pool deck band.

Versatile pool deck band.

This band that played just about very afternoon on pool deck 11 interested me. One set they’d lay out soothing island rhythms. The next they’d crank out solid hard rock like Led Zeppelin. A third would be classic Top 40 rock and folks would be singing along to Journey. I made sure to catch their eye on a set break and offer my compliments. I also found it interesting the afternoon when they stopped on a dime mid-song when an emergency code went out over the PA. A minute later the medical crew wheeled by an old gent who may have passed out whom they’d hooked up to some oxygen. He was trailed by an anxious female traveling partner. Once he was past the stage, the band picked up the song.

The things people will do for a key chain.

‘The things people will do for a key chain.’

The Quest played out in the ice rink. Sections battled each other. The ice was covered. Cruise director Cuddy barked out odd and somewhat suggestive orders and participants sprung to action in this Royal Caribbean International tradition. Cuddy got a great kick out of judging, and watching, and commenting on his microphone. He liked to seem surprised at what they’d do. But he knew. Oh, we all knew.

 The last morning.


The last morning.

\

On the last morning, we ate a final breakfast in the Windjammer Cafe and watched porters pull luggage out of the ship.

Veterans of the departure process, we had not set ours out of our rooms the night before, all deciding from experience it easier to pull them behind us than hunt for them in the massive piles down below.

The Port, the Cape, quite calm.

The Port, the Cape, quite calm.

Back to where we had started, I thought.

Little did I know at that moment that Hurricane Matthew would bellow through this very part of our land less than two weeks later.

Which part of the cruise series was your favorite, and why? Which potpourri photo was your favorite, and why? Which series photo was your favorite, and why?

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22 thoughts on “We wind up our Freedom of the Seas journey with a photo potpourri

  1. this sounds like it was an amazing trip. i especially like the part when you meet/chat up strangers and become friends with them. you’ve made me want to go on a cruise )

    Like

  2. Mark, I’ve got a vacation from Lenscrafters from the 6th to the. 14th, but we haven’t planned anything. I just “binge read” your recent cruise diary entries. Would you recommend that cruise? Have you done others? I see a four day cruise listed as a low price last minute offering coinciding with my available schedule.

    (Yes, we already dispersed with the distasteful obligation by absentee ballots.)

    I had thought dining on such ships was mostly by unlimited buffet. Was this not the case with yours?

    WOULD YOU RECOMMEND THIS CRUISE LINE?

    You make it sound like fun.

    Thanks.

    Mark

    Mark R Sukoenig, OD

    >

    Like

    • Hey doc Mark! Yes, I do recommend Royal Caribbean, first off. I’ve been on eight cruises on their line now and have been quite comfortable on all. I was on one cruise on Norwegian, around Hawaii. It also was great, but singular and incomparable because of the “vacation-of-a-lifetime” location for Karen and I.
      On RCI, the dinner is offered in a formal seating, same table and guests at the same time each night, with wait staff. The buffet is also open for those who opt for the less formal atmosphere. They also have “upscale, added-value” restaurants. You can make reservations and pay extra for dinner at those.
      For first-time cruisers, I would recommend a four-nighter to see if you like it. Or you could dive right in for the seven-nighter if it’s a good bargain.
      If you are prone to motion sickness, get a prescription for the behind-the-ear patch. I use it, and don’t get seasick.
      Let me know what you decide!

      Like

  3. Mark,
    I’ve got a vacation from Lenscrafters from the 6th to the. 14th, but we haven’t planned anything. I just “binge read” your recent cruise diary entries. Would you recommend that cruise? Have you done others? I see a four day cruise listed as a low price last minute offering coinciding with my available schedule.

    (Yes, we already dispersed with the distasteful obligation by absentee ballots.)

    I had thought dining on such ships was mostly by unlimited buffet. Was this not the case with yours?

    WOULD YOU RECOMMEND THIS CRUISE LINE?

    You make it sound like fun.

    Thanks.

    Mark

    Mark R Sukoenig, OD

    Like

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