Travel Dates: March 2013
Traveling: Mom, Dad, 2 kids (12 and 14 years at time of travel) with 2 cabins
Ship: Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas
Hi Ali – thanks so much for your help in organizing our cruise!
We had an awesome time and would recommend Royal Caribbean Cruises to anyone who asks. We have now been on both the Allure (giant!) and Freedom . . and enjoyed both. Maybe the Freedom a little bit more . . because still had all the amenities of the Allure, but not all the people. Really liked the Entertainment/Shows onboard the Freedom . . there was something every night that was appropriate for the whole family . . even the comedians (which often times have a hard time keeping it “clean” for the kids). Service was outstanding all the way around. My kids don’t do the “kids club stuff” so I can’t speak to those programs, but it did look like a lot of kids participated . . especially at the 10 and under ages. My husband and daughter did the Behind the Scenes tour on the ship (expensive at $150/person) but said it was well worth it!
I’m attaching a couple of video clips from Maho or Airport Beach in St. Maarten. (Click To Watch St Maarten Airport Video 1 St Maarten Airport Video 2) Was a highlight of our trip and I would recommend to anyone traveling to St. Maarten. We rode Segways along the boardwalk/beach right away in the morning (very fun!) . . and then caught a cab/bus ($2-3/person) over to Maho Beach. Planes started coming in around 10:30 and there was a pretty steady stream (not all big jets, but a mix of private and corporate). I was surprised by the number as I didn’t think that many planes would be coming in on a Thursday. The beach itself was great, too. Nice big sandy area . . with big waves for the kids to play in . . which they did for 3 hours! . . the other islands/beaches did not have those kinds of waves . .
Another fun thing we did . . in St. Thomas . . was the Stand-Up Paddle Boarding lesson . . . the brother/sister team that leads it were very nice . . the kids caught on quickly (better balance than us old-timers) . . but I enjoyed the challenge and it was a great workout!
All in all a great vacation . . weather could have been a little better (was cloudy several days and it seemed windy ALL the time). We attributed this to the fact that we were in the Eastern Caribbean and more in the Atlantic Ocean than the actual Caribbean/Gulf. We would think about that if we plan another cruise. . .
Thanks again for your help planning . .