Long time no talk, friends! I’m back!! 🙂 For the past week, my family and I sailed off to the Western Caribbean on Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas. Oh my goodness, it was so wonderful. I am feeling so refreshed, relaxed and full of happy smiles after this vacation. Cruising is definitely one of my favorite types of vacations, I love the idea of unpacking once and getting to visit multiple places…and the food and entertainment do not disappoint! 🙂
For this cruise itinerary, we departed from Port Canaveral, FL and made stops in Labadee, Haiti, Falmouth, Jamaica, Georgetown, Grand Cayman and Cozumel, Mexico. I have done this route about ten years ago, so I was super excited to see how the destinations have changed throughout the past decade! I LOVE Royal Caribbean, such a fan. Their ships in the fleet are phenomenal, they have great ports of call and they truly care about their passengers and maintaining an excellent level of service! We left Kansas City bright and early en route to Orlando, landing about 9:00 AM. With a whole day of free time before having to head east to the port, it was obvious to us what pit stop had to happen in between….helloooo happiest place on earth- DISNEY WORLD! You’re never too old to visit the Magic Kingdom. Even if we were only there for a short time, I was happier than anything. I loved getting to see the new Fantasyland area for the first time!
After a few solid hours of Disney magic, it was time to head to the port area! I sure was ready for Sunday morning and departure. Here’s a cruise travel tip- get to the port about an hour earlier than the published boarding time. This will get you a great spot in line, and several times I have seen the boarding process get started a bit early. You may not be able to get into your stateroom onboard for a few hours, but you’ll have some extra time to explore the ship and take advantage of many of the onboard attractions before the crowds arrive!
This was my first time on Freedom of the Seas, so it was wonderful to get to explore all the new amenities! Some of the highlights for me were the Solarium (adult pool and lounging area), Deck 12 chair areas along the top levels of the ship that were usually pretty quiet, cupcake shop (Mom and I did a cupcake decorating class), the dining rooms and last but not least….THE SPA. I could’ve moved in there. 🙂 I have many friends who are hesitant about cruising because of ship motion and feeling stuck, but I promise it is not bad at all! Once you get on, especially after the first few hours, you barely notice a thing. This was the first cruise that I have actually gotten a bit woozy on, but that was definitely due to the wind storm that we just happened to pass through…60 MPH winds outside, crazy!
I snapped sooooo many pictures from around the ship throughout the week, here’s a few of my favorites:
Watching the outdoor movies after dinner easily was one of my favorite things to do onboard! There’s such a variety of movies, something to find for everyone. We watched everything from Chicago to Katharine Hepburn to the One Direction movie…yes I watched it…and am happy to report that it was actually really good! 🙂
After a rainy evening, this awesome rainbow appeared that went around the whole ship. I like to think that the ocean is always the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow!
Nothing makes me feel more at peace that watching a sunset with a great book. I was so thankful to get to see this beautiful view!
I’ll leave you all this evening thinking of relaxing sunset views and thoughts! With many awesome ports of call that followed the first day, I look forward to sharing more of my thoughts and travels with you in part two of this post series in the next few days- stay tuned! 🙂 I’d love to hear from you- what has been your experience with cruising? Favorite ship, line or tips?