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Carnival Freedom Cruise Review by Mainstream_Traveler

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Carnival Freedom
Carnival Freedom
Member Name: Mainstream_Traveler
Cruise Date: August 2012
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
Destination: Western Caribbean
Cabin Category: 8D
Cabin Number: 1015
Booking Method: Internet Agency
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Member Rating   4.0 out of 5+
Dining 4.0
Public Rooms 4.0
Cabins 4.0
Entertainment 4.0
Spa & Fitness 3.0
Family & Children (By Age Group)
        3-6 5+
        7-9 5.0
Shore Excursions 3.0
Embarkation 5.0
Service 5.0
Value-for-Money 5.0
Rates 4.0
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Ship Facts: Carnival Freedom Review (by Cruise Critic!) | Carnival Freedom Deck Plans
Cruising With the 3 Kids for the 1st Time
We have 2 boys, 7 & 6, and 1 girl, 3. Since we booked relatively late, "family" stateroom options were not available, so we booked 2 adjacent balcony cabins - 1015 / 1009, located under the spa.

Since we had never cruised with our kids, we had lots of concerns. Everything from dealing with potential lines, to sleep interruption, to sleep sickness, etc. Most of them ended up being unnecessary. They LOVED the trip, and so did we.

Ship: The kids were instantly amazed by the funky decor & environments on the ship. And that made it fun for us.

Cabins: Having 2 cabins was the way to go. There was not a connecting interior door, and that would have made it perfect, as we could have had kids in one room, us in another (will focus on that next time). Our balconies were connected, and that was nice. And it was fun mixing up who would sleep in which room which night. Rooms were quiet & fun, and we loved the location. Right next to the pool was very handy.

Food: I would say the food & beverage offerings were a great value. For breakfast and lunch, most of the basics were done well. And for dinner, our expectations were exceeded almost every meal. Though they do not use the most expensive ingredients, they create great flavors with what they have.

Camp Carnival: This was a very handy, fun amenity. We only used it 1 day, while in Key West. But most nights, the kids went here for 2 - 4 hours. They loved it. Zero issues. Lots of memories.

Hurricane Season: We did have one very, very rough 12 hour period due to hurricane activity. Even many of the crew succumbed to illness. Thankfully, our kids were fine, even if we were not. But it was a bit scary. I am not sure I will book in August.

Ports: We choose this cruise more for the availability & price vs. the ports. We enjoyed all 3 ports in different ways. But I have to say that I am not 100% comfortable bringing our young kids around Jamaica. I simply find the locals extremely aggressive. They certainly don't accept friendly "no thank-you's" very willingly. And firmer "no thank you's" seem to create tension. Its over the top, and too bad, as its such a beautiful island.

Other: Overall, we enjoyed the pool decks, fitness center, bar service, casino, some of the live music, and the crew pretty much everywhere.

The only real negative we ran into - passing thru US Customs after retrieving our luggage. Daunting, out-of-control lines. But even they went pretty quickly.

Will definitely cruise with the kids again.

Publication Date: 08/12/12
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