This is was my 12th (or was it 15th?) cruise, my first out of Ft. Lauderdale. My main compliant was their dining room service and dining reservations, but more on that later!
Embarkation: Since are VIFP, we got on the ship in 15 minutes, it was a breeze.. Headed straight to the bar to buy the boys (12 and 17 years old) their soda cards and my husband his bar card. The Cheers Program costs about $500 for the 8 days and you get 15 drinks under $10 in a 24 hour period. Yes, we shared, no way once person can drink 15 drinks in a day every day!!! We went to the lido deck where the lines were already ridiculously long, especially with the Mongolian food,. We settled on the deli, and were surprised how small it was, but the selection was great.
Days at Sea: I am a trivia buff and was presently surprised with the wide variety of trivia offered..Every thing from The Beatles, the NHL, Harry Potter, NBA Playoffs..etc. This was a pleasant change from your "What is the capital of More
France?" trivias on other cruises. I was disappointed in the Serenity Deck, it wasnt very "serene", but rather loud, full of groups of people talking loudly and loud music playing. The "adult pool" was an anthropology/sociology lesson in and of it self, full of people in a middle aged singles group grouping each other and getting super drunk..EWWWW.. Tried to take in a show, but they were so cheesey we left after 5 minuts. Watching dancers in Beatles hairstyle wigs, was too uncomfortable..
Ports: Grand Turk has a great beach..We walked to the far end of the beach and settle at Jake's where we ate jerk chicken, conch fritters and beer. Their 4 dogs like to mingle with the tourists and are quite the joy to have around, they have such the life!! In Romana, DR, we caught the shuttle bus for $7 round trip to Altos de Chavon, an old stone town with picturesque views of a river. We settled in at a cafe had "tostones rellenos", beer and smoked a Domican cigar. I was disappointed in Curacao, the architecture i neat, but it looks like it can be seedy at night. We got stuck waiting for the pedestrian bridge to come back up for an hour, which was annoying, but we passed time at this cafe drinking $3 Amstels venting with fellow cruise mates. In Aruba we took a sail and snorkel tour, snorkeled on a reef and to a ship wreck. Then were given drinks on board, had lunch at the Holiday Inn and some beach time. This was the highlight of the trip!!
Dining: Now this is my main complaint!!! Dining room service was horribly slow and their dining room bar service was horrible. My husband had to ask 5 times for a glass of wine he ordered and finally received it at the end of the meal. I dont know if they have cut down on their staff or what, but every night it took an hour and a half from start to finish for dinner. It was the same for breakfast and lunch! At our first breakfast my husband never got the cheesey grits he asked for after waiting an hour at a table where we had to listen to our table mates nasty custody battle while we waited for our food. Also , during a lunch, our bar waitress disappeared and didnt bring our drinks until the end of the meal. That's not all, we made reservations on arrival for the Chef's Table. They usually send an invite with the confirmation the day before, but we got nothing. I called dining services and they said they had no record of us being signed up! Lucikly there was room and they got us on, but when they came to get us for the galley tour, once again our name wasnt on the list! It was finally sorted out and the chef's table experience more than made up for it, but it was very frustrating. Even room service was a disaster, one day they were 45 minutes late and another time they didnt show up at all! The only pleasant experience was at the Supper Club, where the service was excellent!!! Shame all this had to happen because the quality of food every where was very good, even excellent!
Debarkation: Again since we were VIFP, we got off the ship with the greatest of ease. They even provided coffee, tea, juices and danish while we waited.
Finally: It was great cruise, with interesting ports, but Carnival needs to do something about it's food service department and their lack of efficiency! Less
Carnival Freedom Cruises to the Southern Caribbean