Hello from Freedom of the Seas. Seems like just yesterday we were introducing her to the world, but actually it has been four years already. It was a great week to be onboard, because lots of new things were being introduced and rolled out. I know when I share this info. it sounds like I have a great job and get to eat and sample all the great food. The good news is that the gym onboard is the best at sea, so after we sampled all the new offerings, we visited the gym. We are onboard Freedom of the Seas for our Anchored in Excellence visit. The “we” of course is Captain Bill and John McGirl.
This visit featured the Freedom of the Seas launch of the Chocolate Breakfast. This was Adam’s idea that was launched on Oasis and is now being implemented across the fleet. How cool is it to have chocolate waffles with caramel-banana toppings or chocolate pancakes with whipped cream? This went great with the hot chocolate. Needless to say, we had a sugar buzz for the early meetings. The chocolate breakfast is offered once per sailing, and is complimentary. Also, launching for breakfast is a new “build your own” cereal bar. Guests were able to choose from traditional Bircher Muesli or a selection of Granolas.
The highlight of the menu introductions, for me, was the new menu at Portofino. Not to worry, the favorites are still there, like the shrimp risotto appetizer, but there are now a number of new menu additions that have become a huge hit this week. The new menu featured a tuna steak that I overheard a guest refer to as “divine,” a T-bone steak, and lamb chops. Also new, are a number of appetizers that can be shared, like prosciutto salad or fried zucchini.
When we weren’t eating, we got to see the entertainment. The production show “Once Upon a Time” remains my favorite show in the fleet. It is just as good and funny now as it was when we launched, and the singers are fantastic.
We also had a Make-A-Wish family onboard, and they greatly enjoyed the Freedom crew, and it was heart warming to see so many of our guests participate in the Walk for Wishes. There were hundreds of guests that participated and we raised enough money for half a wish in one day! The guests truly enjoy this activity, especially with our Captain, officers and staff leading the way.
We spent time reviewing the plans for Freedom‘s dry-dock in March of next year, as well as participating in many meetings with the crew and Executive Committee. Right as we were leaving, we were handed individual notes on behalf of all the Haitians working onboard. The letter shared how grateful the crew was for the enormous efforts to help the Haitian people during the toughest time in Haitian history and was signed by each of them. They also specifically thanked the HR Manager, Jeff Caswell for his 24/7 efforts to comfort them and assist them and their families. It was such a heartfelt letter that all three of us were really reminded of how incredible our crew is and how it is truly a Royal family.