We were so excited to board the ship. Mom and Aunt Avis packed their bags very early and were ready to go by about 9. We weren’t leaving the hotel until 10, so they went to the buffet downstairs for breakfast. We decided to eat the rest of our things from Publix, and wait until we got to the ship for a larger meal.
Isaac had no idea what all the excitement was all about, lol.
I packed plenty of copies of the paper luggage tags. They’re easy to attach to the luggage. I couldn’t find the roll of tape I thought I packed, so the front desk let us take their tape dispenser up to our room to prepare the tags.
Check out was easy. The front desk called us a shuttle, which was faster than waiting for a taxi. We left the hotel at about 10:15
Our ride to the ship took about 15 minutes. Our first glimpse of the ship:
We had to wait quite a while in traffic at Port Everglades since they were trying to keep a cap on the congestion in the taxi drop-off area. I think we sat there for about 20 minutes. Agony since we were so close to the ship! We paid the taxi driver, gave the porter our bags and a tip, and we were on our way!
Check-in was very quick and efficient. Really cute- we had to hold Isaac up at the counter to take his Seapass picture.
Since I just reached Platinum with the Crown and Anchor Society, we were able to bypass the larger waiting area and head upstairs to the seating area for top tiers and suite guests. I think we waited here for about 45 minutes.
Heading onto the ship….here we go…..
A glimpse of the standing waiting area downstairs…no matter your level with C&A (or if it’s your first cruise with Royal), it pays to get to the pier early so you can at least get a seat while waiting to board the Liberty.
We boarded the ship on Deck 4.
Because we figured the Windjammer would be pretty busy, we decided to go to the Royal Promenade on Deck 5 and eat at Sorrento’s instead. The Royal Promenade as we walked to Sorrento’s:
We got to Sorrento’s at about 1:00, and they were still setting some things up behind the counter. I asked if they were open yet, and they said yes. I was the first person on this sailing to order food at Sorrento’s. Pretty cool.
I enjoy the “create your own” salad feature there. The pizza’s pretty good too.
Lunch is served:
By the time we finished lunch, it was about 2:00, so we decided to head to our cabins. We had two balcony cabins on Deck 7, near the aft of the ship. We walked the length of the Promenade once more to reach the aft elevators and head up to Deck 7.
My Mom and Aunt had cabin 7364, and we had cabin 7376. We were a few doors away from each other. Close enough to see each other often, but far enough away for us to have privacy if we needed it. Our cabin was a normal balcony cabin. His Pack and Play (crib) was already there when we arrived. I do like the balcony space on the Freedom class. Very nice.
“Where are we now, Mommy?”
We took Isaac out of his stroller so he could move around a bit in the cabin. He started having fun around now:
The stroller fit into the closet nicely:
Aaaah! Finally a chance to rest, lol.
Loved the balcony. We took Isaac out there for a bit. He liked watching the birds that swooped by our balcony, and the boats that passed:
We rested until the muster drill. Surprisingly, it went pretty well. We carried Isaac there since we didn’t want to deal with the stroller. When we arrived, the crew let us stand at the front of the line. About 5 minutes before everyone else was dismissed, they let people with small children leave.
During sailaway, we went to the pool deck but not much was going on up there. I guess I was looking for a Dreamworks character or something, but we didn’t see any. We decided to go to the helipad instead.
To get there, go all the way forward on Deck 4, outside. You’ll see a set of stairs at the front of the ship. Take those up, and you’ll walk through a very windy space to get to the helipad. The view from the very front of the ship is awesome. And not many people know about it, so it’s not very crowded. Our favorite sailaway spot on ships that allow it.
Bye, Fort Lauderdale! See you in a few days….
We came back from sailaway to discover that our luggage was at our door. Being type-A, I had to unpack everything before I could finally relax. There was plenty of space for everything; the bag for our car seat and the stroller fit inside the closet, side-by-side.
We headed to the Royal Promenade to catch the Dreamworks Parade before dinner. Before we left, I wrote a note to our stateroom attendant:
We met my Mom and Aunt Avis in the Royal Promenade. I have to say, we got there about 15 minutes before the parade and the Promenade was still pretty empty. Wes kept asking me if I was sure the parade was tonight, lol! Sure enough, they started roping off the parade route and the crowds appeared about 5 minutes before it began. If you want to catch the parade, the first night is perfect.
I’m going to call a couple parts of this review the “Isaac is Not Impressed,” episodes. Throughout the parade, his face didn’t change. In general, he’s not one to squeal with excitenement or smile when he meets someone new or is in a new environment. I’m sure you could see that in my review so far. He takes everything in, observes for a while to size things up, then responds. In this case, either he wasn’t impressed, or he was wondering what in the world his parents have gotten him into. Hilarious!
Gloria came to give Isaac a hug. I don’t think he liked that too much. Hahahaha!
Since we had My Time Dining, we went to dinner right after the parade. MTD was on Deck 5, so we literally walked to the end of the Promenade and into the dining room. Perfect!
We arrived at about 5:30 PM. It was pretty quiet. There were a couple families with children already there. We were given a table by the window- what a beautiful view! The staff gave us a high chair for him, and put our stroller in the corner.
Normally, Isaac is pretty well-behaved when we eat in restaurants. I think there was so much happening the first day, so many new people and experiences that he was totally over it by 6:00. I think he was overstimulated. When he’s tired, he either gets really cranky or really silly. “Silly Isaac” showed up that night (preferable to Cranky Isaac). I apologize because we don’t have that many photos of dinner- we were trying to keep our little guy quiet, and hurry through dinner.
My caprese salad- I got halfway through the appetizer before I realized I hadn’t taken a photo!
Garlic Tiger Shrimp- one of my favorites when sailing Royal.
I’m one of those parents that tries to be mindful of the other guests in regard to Isaac. The first time he makes some noise, we try to quiet him down. The second time, I take him outside to let off some steam. I had to take him out for a little bit.
In my opinion, Royal’s desserts in the main dining room are just “okay.” The desserts in the Specialty Restaurants are fantastic! I apologize for the shakiness of the image- Isaac was a little fidgety around this time:
I had the BBB Creme Brulee….didn’t like it. I’m a huge fan of creme brulee. The texture underneath was so strange since there were bananas mixed into it. I ate the topping and left the rest.
We went back to the room after dinner. I have to say- Collin, our stateroom attendant, was the best we’ve ever had. He went out of his way to make sure our stay was comfortable. By the time we came back from dinner, he had fulfilled every single request we listed on the note we left him.
The Pack and Play had very little padding in the bottom, and the surface was a little too hard for Isaac to be comfortable. I had asked for the extra blankets because I wanted to use one in the crib. I explained that to Collin before we left for dinner. We came back to discover that he remade our beds, and made Isaac’s bed too. He used the soft blanket we brought from home as well. So sweet:
Our fridge was also there. It would take a few hours for it to get cold, but it worked. It was placed under the vanity.
Collin left us an infant-sized life vest too:
There was a Royal Babies and Tots program on the bed:
Isaac was still a little wired, so we hung out with him on the balcony for a bit. I also filled out our room service breakfast order, to place on the door handle before going to bed. Wes and I have a tradition of having breakfast on our balcony when we cruise