Guest Post: Lisa Shares her Experience Onboard Freedom of the Seas

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Lisa Bauer - Senior VP, Hotel Operations

Lisa Bauer - Senior VP, Hotel Operations

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.

  • Elizabeth Q

    Is the chocolate breakfast in the main dining room? And, how will we know which day it will be served? Looking forward to trying this on Oasis this summer!

    • Adam

      You can find our delicious chocolate breakfast in our main dining room on the last sea day.

  • Krystal

    Nice article, as my family is hoping to book the Freedom in Aug. My child is eligible for Make a wish, so it is SO great to see RCI involved. We are ‘undecided’ if we will use her wish this year, as we wonder if another year or so will help her retain the memories she will hopefully have.

    Thanks for your article!

  • Richard

    Thanks for the information on the Freedom. You mentioned that the Freedom wil be in dry-dock in March of next year. When!!!! Myself and a number of friends and family are currently booked on the Freedom for March of next year. Will some or all of the March 2011 cruises be cancelled?

    • Adam

      Richard, glad to hear that you booked your vacation on Freedom of the Seas for 2011! The dry dock schedule for Freedom has not been finalized yet, but if your sailing is affected you will be contacted by a Royal Caribbean representative or your travel agent.

  • sherri (sharon) zedd

    Great review of our favorite ship. So glad she is in Port Canaveral which is a 4 1/2 hour drive for us. Wonderful crew makes our sailings. We are booked on her two times this year and are looking forward to the Chocolate breakfast and the new Portofino menu.

  • Lillian Fiedel

    LOVED THE FREEDOM!!! Sailed it 17 times and am now sailing OASIS. So far have been on 3 times. Had cabin in Central Park, Boardwalk and Jr. Suite. Booked on ALLURE Dec. 12 2010. As you can see we are very loyal to RCCL and are Diamond Plus members ${40} cruises and 15 on Celebrity. One question however, why on earth did you people eleminate “Show Bands” from the cruises. We first starting enjoying SANTINO BLAKJAX on the Radiance of the Seas and followed him and his group to Freedom/ He has a fan club of approx 20.000 fans who would love to see him on Cruises. Just check out his website www, and see his videos that actually were done on your ships. Trust me when this group performs the bar staff is very happy as the lounges “Pharoahs” and Olive r Twist are packed to capacity
    Now when my husband and I sail and we do at leasr 8 times a year on RCCL we enjoy but its never the same, There is always something missing. Ask your cruise directors they all know him. Rich Spacey worked with him on Voyager and Freedom.

    • Adam

      Lillian, we’re glad to hear that Santino & Blakjax has such loyal fans! We enjoy being able to provide our guests with a variety of entertainment options including our own live bands. We will keep your suggestion in mind for future cruises. We hope that you will continue to be loyal Santino fans, but we also hope that you will enjoy the new bands that will be featured on our ships.

  • Veittywooke


    Really glad to get into this forum
    It’s what I am looking for.
    Hope to know more member here.

  • Pat

    Hi Lisa,
    Great update on the Freedom…..we are sailing on June 20th and have a question regarding the delicious sounding “chocolate breakfast”. Does this breakfast have selection opportunites for passengers who must have gluten free products.
    Thanking you in advance.

  • Edna Taylor

    We are looking forward to booking a B2B on the Freedom next year; however, THIS year, we are sailing on the Oasis and I was wondering why RCCL could not have a Murder Mystery Dinner in Chops or one of the other specialty restaurants on the Oasis as they do at Portofino’s on the Freedom? We REALLY enjoyed that dinner on our first cruise in 2007 and it would make an already awesome cruise even more perfect for September on the Oasis.

    Edna and Frank
    Loyal to Royal

    • Adam

      Edna and Frank, Thank you for your loyalty to Royal Caribbean. Currently, there are no scheduled plans to include the Mystery Dinner Theatre on the Oasis. We like to provide our guests with a variety of entertainment options and will keep your suggestion in mind for future Oasis cruises.

      You can find more information on the assortment of entertainment on the Oasis at

  • Jess

    I sailed on Freedom back in February and absolutely loved it. It was only my second cruise (my previous having been on the Majesty, I’ll only cruise with RC) and I couldn’t believe how big the ship was. I don’t think I ever got over it the entire week.

    Bummer I missed that delicious chocolate breakfast though!

  • Debra

    The chocolate breakfast sounds wonderful! I can’t wait to try it on the Oasis in September! We are also booked on the Allure in Dec so hopefully it will be offered there too! We have been on the Freedom twice and loved every minute of both sailings. For being such a large ship, the crew is very personable and they are still able to make you feel very special. We definitely plan to cruise on the Freedom again and look forward to hearing about any changes that come about in dry dock.
    I have read some of the comments on your other blogs about changes Royal Caribbean has been making and how upset people are about it. Let me just say that I am a diamond member and will continue to be Loyal to Royal! I cherish the time that I get to spend on a Royal Caribbean cruise and am happy with any perks I receive. Most people understand that it is through change that companies move forward and they should go with the flow! So keep up the great work!

  • Laurie

    I have a group of 54 going on the Freedom of The Seas on October 10, 2010. I’m wondering if any of the big changes that have been talked about such as the Royal Babies and Tots Nursery or the Outdoor Entertainment Screens have been done to the ship yet or will all of the enhancements not be done until 2011?

    • Adam

      Laurie, we hope your group has an amazing time on Freedom of the Seas this October. In regards to our new features on Freedom of the Seas unfortunately they won’t be in place until March 2011.


    Great update on the Freedom…..we are sailing on June 20th Eastern Caribbean from Port Cananveral for our 25th Wedding Anniversary, our first time on a cruise and have 2 questions regarding pre-booking the Wine Packages what are the advantages?? also would like info about renewing vows on board please…thanks

  • Duane Wolff

    We are wanting to sail on the Freedom in August…but you keep raising the rate for balcony level…even though we are Diamond, it seems like we cannot get a good value for an off time to sail…will these rates go down any?

    • Adam

      Duane, thank you for your loyalty to Royal Caribbean. If the price of the stateroom drops before the final payment is due, you can rebook with no penalty at the lower rate. For full details you can click here:

  • jody

    Trying to find menu oh freedom. My 13 year old is a diabetic and picky eater.

    • Adam

      Hi Jody, once you’re onboard you can speak with your head waiter and they will be able to provide you with plenty of tasty options for any dietary restriction.