This was our 2nd time aboard the Freedom, and we were as pleased as the first time on her decks. The first was 4 years ago on our honeymoon trip, and this was just as wonderful. Of the 3 Carnival ships, we both agree that the Freedom staff proves top notch as friendly, helpful, open, and accessible. We had a stormy trip with rain storms every day, and the decks were squeegeed as soon as humanly possible to keep the walkways safe. The captain wonderfully skirted some large storms, the sail was as smooth as could be because of his skill.
We stopped at Key West, Florida, George Town, Grand Cayman, and Ocho Rios, Jamaica on this cruise. We opted not to take any tours in KW, or the Cayman this time, and wandered instead and had a very lovely time in the shops and visiting with the locals at both stops. We took the Bob Marley Adventure Tour in Ocho Rios, and Oleen and Barry did a magnificent job of both keeping us safe on the mountain roads and entertained the entire trip. Note of caution for this trip: DO NOT go unless you are ok with ranging along narrow mountain roads, adult beverages and extras, or have problems with Reggae music played at reasonably high volumes. DO go if you like to see beautiful scenic vistas, rain forest vegetation, green rolling farms and how the real people of a country live. For all those reasons I would recommend this trip. We booked through Carnival because it is a long destination trip and we didn't want to take the opportunity of missing the departure because of an unforeseen issue. We had none, but the gangways were being pulled when we returned.
Overall the cruise was a success. Understanding that the Freedom is getting ready for a refit and refresh, there was only one issue that slightly clouded the trip: my mattress on the bed. I have a few physical issues. This mattress was ready to be buried at sea-seriously flat and ready for the heave ho! Once I traded bed sides with my husband, I was a happy camper. We enjoyed the balcony room and I would suggest it to anyone that likes a bit of alone, quiet, personal time. I greeted the sun each morning we were away, and watched the skies every night it wasn't clouded over.
I look forward to cruising on the Freedom again. She's a beautiful ship, and I'm anticipating that after the refresh she'll be even better. Thank you once again, Carnival!