Sometime in late 2015 or early 2016, we began planning what would become an epic adventure for 2017, epic proportions for us anyway. We had been looking at river cruises. Specifically Viking River cruises. And we were particularly interested in their “Cities of Light” cruise from Prague, Czech Republic to Paris, France. But first we had to get to Prague, so how to do that? Well, plans got changed a couple of times but what we ended up with was —  TransAtlantic cruise from Ft Lauderdale to Barcelona, short stay in Barcelona followed by a flight to Rome, short stay in Rome followed by a flight to Prague, short stay in Prague then picking up the Viking River Cruise to Paris, short stay in Paris and then flight back home! We flew out of Myrtle Beach on the morning of April 22nd  2017 and flew back into Myrtle Beach at almost midnight on May 31st!   Epic adventure indeed and this post is the first of many to document this trip for your reading/viewing pleasure.

We started the trip with a TransAtlantic cruise on Royal Caribbeans Freeedom of the Seas. When Freedom was launched in 2006 it was the world’s largest cruise ship. Although the ship is no longer the biggest in Royal Caribbean’s fleet it did not feel outdated. If anything, Royal Caribbean is doing a great job of keeping Freedom of the Seas in tip-top shape. And even with 4,500 passengers it did not feel crowded other than the times and places you would expect a crowd regardless of ship size.

You may remember, from my Sydney post, our Swedish friends Sven and Sol and they were in Ft Lauderdale the same evening we were. They were doing a TransAtlantic on a Celebrity cruise ship leaving the same day as Freedom and their first stop, as ours, was Lisbon! We met for dinner in Ft Lauderdale, watched each others ships going across the ocean and met for lunch in Lisbon.

Here today are some views from around the Freedom OTS. One day we took a “behind the scenes” tour of the ships galley and there was a display of carved fruits/veggies. I have included a couple of those just because they are fun.

Freedom of the Seas
Our Stateroom
Promanade Bridge
Morgan parked in promanade
Ice Rink
Melon carving
Food carvings
One more food display
Main Dining Rooms
Eastward bound!
This entry was posted in cruising, Freedom, royal caribbean, travel, Uncategorized, viking.


  1. R. Doug Wicker February 23, 2021 at 11:27 am #

    Very nice. What a HUGE cabin.

    • inletbill February 24, 2021 at 8:29 am #

      Doug, we had a regular balcony cabin booked but were unexpectedly upgraded to a Grand Suite. I have to admit it was especially nice with 8 straight sea days going across the pond.