Let's continue our journey. After getting enough sleep, we went to Port Canaveral. We reached the airport by taxi. We bought a transfer from a local company in advance. It turned out to be quite easy. We arrived at the port on a minibus, quickly and comfortably (in about an hour).
Some info about our itinerary. We chose Royal Caribbean, an excellent company. I've already sailed with this company (it was my 3rd cruise with RCI), and I was completely satisfied. Our itinerary was as follows: Port Canaveral - Haiti - Jamaica - Cayman Islands - Cozumel - Port Canaveral.
You can read the first part of this review here.
Map of the cruise.
We sailed on a beautiful cruise liner, Freedom of the Seas. Some info about the ship:
Here she is, our beauty.
Freedom of the Seas is one of the world's largest cruise ships in terms of tonnage, height, and a number of passengers.
Tonnage: 154,407 tons
Length: 339 m
Width: 56 m
Height: 63.7 meters (total height above water level)
Draft: 8,5 m
Engines: Six V12 Diesel Wärtsilä 12 MW each (~ 17000 hp)
Speed: 21.6 knots ≈ (40 km/h)
Crew: 1360 people
Passenger capacity: 4370 people (information from Wikipedia)
Guinness Record for the largest passenger liner (as of 2006).
Embarkation passed fast. We arrived at the port around 11 am, and at 12 pm, we were already on board. The registration is similar to the registration at the airport. You fill in the data at the desks, get the keys, deposit money on them, and that's all. Your suitcases remain in the port, and the stewards deliver them directly to your cabin. Everything is clear and fast. When we found ourselves on the ship at 12 pm, we did not know what to do. The cabins are open at 2 pm, but your suitcases are brought at 2 pm, or even later.
We should note that most cafes, restaurants, entertainment, and swimming pools are open at this time. Therefore, I sincerely recommend you to take your bathing suits with you in advance, so as not to wait for the suitcase. :)
Some info about the ship. There are a lot of restaurants, food is included in 90% of them, but there are exceptions. There are several large restaurants where everything is included (food). You'll get information about them when buying a cruise. The cuisine is chic, and the choice is wide. There were lobsters (1 time), snails (constantly), shrimps, steaks, etc.
As for the water. Drinking water is free. In the cafe, there's either either cold tea, or water, or the juices for free. The situation is the same throughout the ship.
Immediately after the registration, they offer you to buy a coupon for the soft drinks. It's expensive. We did not buy it. Free drinks were enough for us. Besides, you are served Coca Cola, water, Sprite for free when you order alcohol at the bar (if I'm not mistaken). Anyway, we made friends with the bartenders at several bars, left the first tips there, found out where they came from. As a result, we were served a little more alcohol than the standards allow, and we didn't pay anything for the soft drinks. :)
You can read more about the ship here: Royal Caribbean International.
Let's return to the cruise. :) After settling, we went for a snack. :)
It is the cafe on deck 11 with panorama windows! It's amazing. It's a buffet. We had breakfast and lunch there. It was convenient and fast.
There was a Disney Cruise Line's liner next to ours.
A muster drill. By the way, it is obligatory. It's fun. All info is extremely clear. It's a very useful thing.
We are sailing along the canal. Two liners departed with us. As I understand, they keep each other in sight. Probably, it's for safety. :) Lots of small boats were floating in the bay, people on the shore in the cafes were waving, and our ship was answering with horns. :) It was so cool. We felt like we were sailing on the Titanic. :) We occupied the best places, right at the front of the ship.
The Florida's coastline is amazing!
We sailed away from the shore.
Here are pictures of our cabin.
We spent the first night walking around the ship. We had dinner, then went to the casino. Unfortunately, there's only one Texas hold 'em table, and there was a queue to it. One woman won a jackpot on the slot machine. It was announced in the hall, and everyone was happy. :)
The second day of the cruise was a day at sea. We took some pictures. Then we swam. Then we visited the show and the captain's dinner. As for the show. Every day you'll be brought the magazine called "Cruise Compass" in your cabin. You'll find there a schedule of the shows.
It has the information about all parties, shows, and events. It's impossible to describe each of them here. They are lots of various shows, and we'll tell you about those we visited. :)
Here are pictures of the 2nd day at sea.
Upper deck. We are walking.
Upper deck. Sky Bar is in front of us. Pools are below.
Upper deck. Ocean.
Here's the view around us. It's exciting, especially when you realize that it is the height of the 12th floor. :)
We got on the World Poker Tour. Unfortunately, we didn't manage to participate. Registeration in advance was necessary. And it was expensive. We met several players in the casino. They play poker great :)
Show on the ice. It is amazing to realize that the cruise liner sailing in the Caribbean has an ice skating rink :)
Captain's dinner. :) We are walking along the Promenade. Champagne was for free :)
It's the captain's speech. He's a great man. He joked a lot. :)
It's the staircase between the decks. Everything is beautiful.
It's the main restaurant. Everything is chic.
It's the spiral staircase between the decks. It's breathtaking.
This bridge has an amazing illumination.
We found this guy on our bed. We found something new each day.
After walking and drinking a little, we went to bed to get ready to Haiti. By the way, as for the prices for alcohol: a glass of good whiskey cost about 7-9 dollars at that time (Macallan cost a bit more than 7 dollars). "Jack Daniel's" - 6 dollars 30 cents.
As for smokers. You can smoke on the ship in particular places: on the balconies of the cabins and on the right side of the open decks (If I'm not mistaken :)). The right side smokes, the left one doesn't smoke :) There are ashtrays and no inconveniences. Everything is fine :)