This was our 20th cruise; this time to the Southern Caribbean. Second time for the Freedom. It was very port intensive, but the DH needed down time from work. We stayed the night before in Wyndham Gardens (the memory is going) Boca Raton, and met friends for dinner @ Brewzies. Great location and about an hr. to port. Used Park n Go which was convenient and much cheaper than port parking.
Boarded the ship early, but still had to wait for zones (theme for cruise). Had lunch in Buffet (great Mongolian grill and deli). Saw our room (was nice for an inside) met our room steward (very nice & friendly-can't remember his name, but it was for 8341) and then the drill.
We had wait listed for early dining, but knew large families were getting the early seating. Luckily, we did anytime which worked out great (we are diabetic). Didn't have to wait long, great service, and we met a wonderful couple (Lionel & Rosemary) who we bonded w/ the entire week. I had some gastric problems with meds, but the food was good (not great). Wait staff were wonderful. Gladdie brought me a much needed spaghetti & butter for lunch one day and remembered my name throughout the cruise. Alejandro and others were especially helpful & friendly. Our new friends were vegetarians and watching their diets so wait staff brought whatever was requested. One day, DH saw someone w/ a hotdog from buffet in the elevator, and it was brought down for him by staff. Food was good enough to warrant canceling the Sun King Steakhouse.
The casino was okay. There is a new system by which you register your room card and you add winnings or cash on it. Once I figured it out (no paper or coins), I just saved winnings and cashed them out when done. Very accommodating people (they always gave me singles for my $20 bills). Except for one employee who would not help my husband who hadn't figured out the system and lost his $10 immediately, they were great. Fortunately, after my DH stormed out the casino fuming, I went back to the Casino Mgr, Vesselin Tevetanov to complain. He was very professional, said he would look into the situation and refunded my then $20 bill. I then ran to show my husband in the cigar bar (w/ a wonderful guitar player/singer). Unfortunately, he had only lost $10 so I returned the extra $10 to the Mgr. All was forgiven, and DH reluctantly returned to the casino to lose the rest of his $$$$. Casino was down one day for 4 hrs - computer glitch. By way, as most cruise lines are sending cigar smokers outside to fight the elements, Carnival has a designated room w/ a bar & live music. Made the DH very happy!
Shows were disappointing as I am sure we had seen the same shows years ago on this ship. Ports were Turk & Caicos, Aruba, Curacao & La Romana (Dominican Repub). Very port intensive & a lot of walking. After 19 cruises, very hard to impress. We are all Caribbeaned out! But, at least, I can take these ports off my "bucket list!"
Waited forever to disembark. Got up @ 6am for breakfast & waited from 7:30 - 10:00 to get off. I think it was another computer glitch. It would be better to first go through customs and then pick up luggage. Was explained Carnival has the worst cruise terminal and Oasis the best????
In summarizing, the ship was nice, but needs a reburb! Would have been nice to have a Red beer place, Guy's hamburgers & Lopez' Cantina. Comedy club was good and much larger than other cruise lines.
Staff were wonderful; food was good enough. Great cookies, brownies (OMG) & snacks @ 11:30 @ Sushi Bar each eve. Didn't think there was enough to tour on these ports, but DH loved the cigar factory (the trip was for him!). Ship was small enough to see people we had met at meals to say hello. Passengers were especially friendly on this cruise. Stores were okay. Made two new friends which was wonderful. Carnival should treasure their employees. Also, Carnival still gives you something for your money. It was a good trip.