This was an anniversary cruise for my husband and me. My review of the Carnival Freedom, by category:
Embarkation: Not bad. They have designated parking lots for each ship at the port, which was a plus. Inside the line seemed long but moved quickly. The embarkation was staggered and a time slot was given to you in the days before. The agent was friendly and pleasant.
Accommodations: We had a balcony stateroom, Upper Deck (6th), midship, starboard. I was surprised at the roominess of it. When we arrived the had 2 twin beds - we'd asked for a king- but a simple call to guest services and voila! the twins became a king. The room was pleasantly decorated with plenty of closet/drawer space, a couch, and an expected size bathroom. Everything was clean and well laid out. The freebie basket was a bit skimpy but the shower had liquid shampoo and soap. Plenty of towels and two nice terry robes pleasantly completed the bath. Our balcony was roomy and we really enjoyed it. The plus of a balcony room is you get the large glass door for an expansive view of the ocean and ports.
Dining: Main: We had a window side table in the "Posh" dining room for dinner, starboard side, early seating. We shared the table with 6 nice ladies, 3 pairs, from different areas of the South. Our waiter, Pradono, kept us happy and entertained. Each night they had a little dance number the wait staff did and Pradono had the moves, plus a few magic acts, down well. Our assistant, Vadym, was also charming and efficient. We were impressed when after the first night, he spotted us at breakfast on the Lido and greeted us by name! Each night 's food was, for me, a bit better than expected. Among the dishes I had that I really enjoyed: Chateaubriand, polenta with mushrooms, a cinnamon-pumpkin-squash-cheese and something else pie (sounds wierd, tasted great). I am a fan of the cold soups and was not disappointed with the gazpacho, cucumber dill, and mango this time. My husband mostly enjoyed his dishes as well. For breakfast and lunch, we mostly went to the Lido deck for plenty of choices for every meal, 24/7 pizza and ice cream or frozen yogurt. On sea days, the dining rooms had a sit down menu brunch, really nice menu and service. Here's a tip: don't waste your money on a soda card. You can get lemonade or iced tea all day/night free on the Lido deck.
The Ship itself: I know everyone has different tastes but to be blunt I found the decor spectacularly hideous. It was also a bit crowded in some areas and deserted in others. They may have done better with the layout. I like that they have 2 official quiet areas- the Serenity deck and the Adult pool/hot tub, as well as the walkways with loungers off the lobby on 3.
Staff: Overall, extremely pleasant and helpful. I've mentioned my servers, and everyone I passed stopped what they were doing to give you a pleasant greeting. Shout out to Emily and Laura who hosted the games, below.
Entertainment: I don't need much since I 'm a reader/ relaxer, but here's what I did do: Trivia/Pictionary/scattergory games (lots of them) great fun & good way to interact w/ others. Comedy shows that I really enjoyed, and one main show, Beatles themed, which was so-so.
Debarkation: We had the option of getting off early with our luggage which we did. There was a long line for customs, but not terrible, considering it was the end of a great 8 day cruise!