This is our 9th cruise and was just as exciting as our first!!!
This was our first time going out of Port Everglades (Ft Lauderdale). Embarkation seemed to be a little bit slow, but I think it was because Carnival knew we were not going to be able to sail away on time due to the number of ships in port. We did get an email telling us to come a little later, but of course I didn't listen so I have no one to blame but myself... Lol. As long as I'm on that ship, sipping a DOD (drink of the day) I don't care what time the ship actually sails!!! Lol
There was one lady, a staff at the port that was a hoot!!! She had us singing songs, she would sing songs...got us in the cruising mood for sure. The time went by fast. We were able to board about 12:30. Once we got moving it didn't take us hardly anytime, maybe 15 minutes, to actually be on the Lido deck of the ship!!!
The Freedom is a beautiful ship. Of course the name kinda gives you a hint of the decor...Statue of Liberty in the buffet area on the Lido is awesome. Of course the freedom has the seaside theater, and the deck is like stadium seating, in levels. More on the decor later...food is more important!!
Of course the buffet is open and has some good stuff on it....BUT from reading other reviews I knew about the "Fish n Chips" bar on the 10th level. So, if you go up one level, take the stairs right there by the desserts, you will find it!! You can get fish n chips, seafood fritters, fried oysters, and sushi. This little area seemed to be the best kept secret throughout the cruise until someone asks "Oh! Where did you get that?" We had late dining, so when we would come back from a port, I'd head for the fish n chips for lunch about 2... Perfect timing for dinner at 8:15!!!
But now on sea days...please experience eating in the dining room for lunch. They usually have a wonderful menu...and remember, the dining room is only open for lunch on sea days.
On the television in your room is an interactive menu. You can select several things like looking at your sail n sign account, and of course the menu for the day. It was nice to see what the choices were going to be for the evening meal. To me the meals in the dining room are way better than the buffet...they're hot, you are served, the selection is wonderful...it's just a much nicer atmosphere.
We had all of our dinners in the dining room except for the last night....because.....I wanted to watch the show twice!!!!!! Lol. "Ticket To Ride" - tribute to the Beatles ...was absolutely wonderful!!!!
The shows on the Freedom were fantastic!!! The dancers put their whole hearts into these dances and they were amazing!!! The singers were fabulous!!! The theater, the Victoriana, was decorated beautiful. The chandelier was very unique as well as the renditions of the painting on the walls. If you tune into one of the channels on the TV, can't remember which one, the designer of the ship explains his designs for each major room on the ship. It's very interesting.
This was the 6 day cruise, and we had 2 elegant nights. It's always fun to take pictures!! I suggest you go to several of the picture stations, then pick the ones you like best. Each one of me will do different poses and of course have different backdrops. You can buy some of the pictures, all of the pictures, or NONE of the pictures. So just try it.
Tea Time- this is probably the most relaxing, wonderful time to spend an hour on a sea day afternoon at 3:00 pm and the attendance is so low!!! There is usually light music, the tables are set like a tea (yep!!! Lol) they come around with a wooden box, you pick your tea, they pour your water. Then they come around with a cart and all the scrumptious desserts!!! You can sit and have conversation with your friends, watch that big blue beautiful ocean going by...as you just relax for 45 min or so!!! I only discovered this about 3 cruises ago, now I won't miss it and I really don't even like tea!!!! Rofl...it's just so dang relaxing and isn't something I would ever get to do here at home...well I could if I wanted to serve myself, make my own desserts, and maybe put the lawn sprinklers on for the water...just not the same!!!! :)
The casino...well we've come to the conclusion we are not among the "lucky" people!!! The slot machines seemed very very tight. We cruised this time with a couple that are avid gamblers...and I mean they go all over the US looking for casinos....well they even stopped gambling .... Or "feeding the machines" as they called it!! You just couldn't win even enough to play on for a little while.
Scott's Piano Bar had something going quire often and there was a good time to be had in there!!! The piano player was great and really engaged the audience in the songs....and when you walked in he would stop the so g for a second and say "there they are" and everyone would clap as you came in the piano bar...he was great.
Before dinner every night, which our dining room was the Posh Dining room, we would go into the Habana Bar and there would be this 4 piece band playing music. They were so good. People would be clapping, dancing, singing along....fun...just fun!!!!
Then there's the deck party one night along with the Mexican buffet....ice carving is on display, water melon carvings, great Mexican food and dancing, dancing, dancing!!! More fun!!
Then before you know it it's debarkation day :(. Pack up the night before, put your luggage outside your door by 11:30 pm. The next morning, if you're not platinum, go to breakfast about 7:30, I prefer the dining room, take your time, have a second cup of coffee, make your way to the theater. Read a book, watch whatever they have going on the screen, then when they call your zone, head on down. Then they will pop hour card in that machine for a final time and then you walk on off the ship...and the whole time you are thinking....gosh I can't wait till our next cruise!!!!
If you want to save yourself a lot of hassle .. I would strongly suggest you use Park N Go!!! This company is wonderful. If you make your reservation ahead of time and on-line, your rate is $9 day. They drop you off at the baggage area at the port and pick you up at the pick-up point. When you get to their lot, your car is waiting for you, (the driver calls in your ticket number so they know you are coming). Since you paid for it on-line, you hand them your paper from when you checked in and they hand you an ice cold bottle of water and you're on your way out their gate!! Within no time you are on your way home. Very smooth operation!!!!
As you can tell we had a wonderful cruise...first time cruisers, keep in mind a cruise is what YOU make it to be!!! Don't let the small things bother you...if you're in a long line talk to the people around you, if the elevator is slow you may want to take the stairs.... Don't let things get to you!!!