2.17.2015

Travel Tuesday: Royal Caribbean Freedom Of the Seas

It's Tuesday and you know what that means! Time for a recap of my weekend cruise to the Bahamas! A week or so before our trip to Hilton Head, Royal Caribbean reached out to me and some other friends for an all-expense paid trip to the Bahamas on their new boat, Freedom of the Seas, for ourselves and a guest. Ummm how do you say no to that?

It was just a cruise for the weekend with only journalists to try out the new ship and see what we think! My family used to go on cruises all the time when I was younger but I hadn't been on a boat since high school. So to say I was excited was an understatement. Plus the weather was looking like more snow in New York so I could't wait to get out! Here we go:

FRIDAY:
I woke up at the butt crack of dawn and hopped in an Uber on the way to pick up Katie. We flew out of LGA and our flight was originally supposed to leave at 9am and get in around 12:30. However, the weather was horrrrrible and we didn’t leave until 1pm, which was rough because we had a bus to catch and a boat to board. Talk about stressful…


Once we landed we ran to catch a bus they sent for us (being late and all the buses stopped running) and drove an hour to the port. We were the very last to board (see picture below) but were so glad to have actually made it! We threw our stuff in the room, made a quick change and were off to find the other girls!


Once we boarded, we were able to grab a quick bite to eat before our safety lesson. After that was over Danielle, Brent, Katie, Sydney, my sister and I changed in to our swimsuits and hit the hot tub with drinks in hand. We were able to catch the welcome aboard dance opening on the main deck and just relax for a bit before getting ready for dinner. 


Getting ready was pretty awesome. We had a balcony in the room so we made sure to just leave that door wide open the whole time. The view was just surreal. My room was also two doors down from Syndey’s so when I wanted to talk to her I would just scream her name and her little head would pop out. It was hilarious. 

(Sydney is wearing a bandeau bikini) 

The group we were with arranged a pre-dinner cocktail party on the top deck of the cruise. The event was filled with wonderful wine and great food. We learned a little bit more about the ship and the Royal Caribbean cruise lines and then we were off to dinner. And by off to dinner I mean spending 30 minutes to be silly and take some pictures.


The dining hall was amazing. It kind of reminded me of the hall from the Titanic (minus the whole sinking thing). It was just so grand and beautiful.. 


Dinner was also amazing (I’ve been blessed with great food recently). I ordered a caesar salad and prime rib (#redmeatlover) and both were very delicious. We also drank some red wine and bubbly so the party was rolling. My sister and I also managed to spilt a creme brûlée because as you know, there is always room for dessert ;)


After dinner the plan was to go back to the room to change but we got lost... haha. I don't know if you’ve ever been on a cruise before, but it is very easy to get turned around. I mean this thing is HUGE and one wrong turn or ride up the opposite elevator and you’re done. Although it made for a good story. 

Sydney, my sister and I were walking for about five minites down the hallway when we realized we were going the wrong way. We decided to make up for lost time by running back the other way to only realize when we got there we were on the wrong side of the boat! We crossed over the library and finally found our room. (Champagne was lost in the making of this story)


Once back in the room we realized we had lost the others and decided it was time for bed. We ended up missing out on a silent disco that night but we did have to be ready to go at 7am the next morning so I wasn’t all that upset. 

SATURDAY:


Rise and shine! Goodness gracious it was an early morning. We woke up docked at the Bahamas and ready to take on the day. Our group had planed to head to the beach at Atlantis but unfortunately the weather wasn't the best and because of the vicious winds, the beach was closed. So instead we found ourselves a little lagoon in the resort where we decided to stay for the day. 


Getting there at 9am had it’s pros and cons. Pro being there was no one else (read: children) there, the con being that nothing was open (read: bar) until 11. We snapped a few pictures (see what I wore here and here) and hung out on the beach. The water wasn’t all that cold so I was able to go in for a bit.


The lagoon was also nice because the water was so still and very clear. Not even a fish in sight! The view wasn’t that bad either ;)


We boarded back on to the boat around 1 and were off for more activities! Our group had reserved a private party on the top deck at the Flow Rider station. I had always seen these on TV in their commercials but never had experienced one in real life. Safe to say it was really cool but also very terrifying. Also safe to say I wasn’t wearing the proper bathing suit. Where’s that one piece when you need it?!


Brent and I were totally game to try it out while Danielle, Katie and my sister were out but were kind enough to record and take lots of pictures. And after a little bit of convincing, Sydney was on board (no pun intended—except if you’re reading this Steve— that pun is for you) and ready to go. 


While I’ll leave out the wonderful videos my sister recorded of my ride, I will show you the better photos of my experience. I only had one lower outfit malfunction and two wipeouts which caused me to stop although my one regret was not doing it more. I mean, when are you going to be able to do that again?! After my ride, we were able to properly say goodbye to the Bahamas!


Not pictured here was the basketball court, the mini golf and the rock wall! All were up on the top deck. It was like a playground for adults! Haha I wish I was able to check out more but the wind was so rough that all I wanted to do after being soaked on the flow rider was to hop in a hot tub!


After the Flow Rider, we decided to go back to the hot tub and order a few drinks. It was great to just sit around and catch up with everyone. There was also a little dance party on the deck that I might have joined from the pool. After a few hours there, we decided to rest up and get ready for dinner and more drinks. 


We had our meet up place on the boat at a nicer bar on the ship. And so before dinner we sat around hanging out and waiting for everyone to be ready. I loved these parts of the trip when we can all just sit around and talk. We get into the WEIRDEST conversations I swear but it's always a good time with a lot of laughs. Around 8, we were finally ready for dinner. Tonight was yummy yummy Mexican!


Once again the food was to die for. The table side guac was of course the best part and as I'm sure you've done before, I filled up on it before the meal. We ordered like one of everything from the menu for us to share and had a great dinner. We went around the table and each of us said what our favorite part of the trip was. It was fun to hear everyone's responses. 


 After dinner it was back to the room for a quick change and then to the bar for some more drinks. Later on in the night we found ourselves at a piano bar! SING US A SONG YOU PIANO MAN! 


He was great but we sadly only caught a couple songs before the night was over. After a few songs, we found a pizza restaurant on the ship where we grabbed a quick bite to eat then we were off to bed.

SUNDAY:

This was just a weekend cruise for journalists to try out and experience the ship so our trip ended early  Sunday morning. I had such an amazing time. I can't wait to go on another cruise! The ship itself was so beautiful and newly redone. The staff were all so friendly and helpful and the food and drinks were ah-mazing. I've only ever been on Princess cruises before, but it's safe to say Royal Caribbean has taken my heart! I wanted to share a few more photos from the cruise ship itself for you as well!

Our room

 The top deck bar

The main area

The main strip of stores and restaurants

The view over the main strip from the library


This boat really had everything! Things that weren't pictured: the ICE SKATING RINK (yes you  read that right), the other restaurants/and buffet, the little shops on board (like Michael Kors), the casino and the little bars and pubs around the ship. Next time I promise to take more photos! 


I wanted to thank Royal Caribbean again for a wonderful weekend for my sister and I! We had a blast :)
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