Carnival Freedom Cruise Review by SunFun&HappyPlaces: Freedom-Again and ready for #3
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Freedom-Again and ready for #3
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 More 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! Less
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Cabin review: Carnival Freedom Balcony Empress 7380
Quiet location, close to elevators and dining, smooth riding!
Port and Shore Excursions
Grand Cayman is a shoppers paradise to be sure. This was our second visit to this port and we enjoyed it so much this time. Please be sure to visit the National Heritage Museum of Cayman Islands. This is a beautiful, well presented, well kept presentation of the history of the Islands, the People and way of life. A must see and well worth the admission. The shops are nice, but a lot are "run of the mill" port stores. However, there is a "locals" market down near the public restrooms and there you can find the real people from the island and their wares to peruse. Bring a nice sized shopping bag, there are some really good buys and nice things for home and gifts there.
We wandered this port, and we look forward to exploring more in the future. There was a large string of thunderstorms going over the entire stay, so we just pulled out the umbrellas and looked around. The shops were clean, dried out as best as could be, the stops and gardens were fresh and rain washed to perfection. Just relax, look, and enjoy!
If you like Bob Marley and his music, you'll loose your mind with this trip. If you love Nature and want to see the interior of the island, you'll lose your mind with this trip. If you want to know more about either Mr. Marley and his life and ideals, or if you want to visit the interior of the island, the rain forests, the farming lands, or see how the real people of the island life, you'll enjoy this very, very, very much. You will go to the Bob Marley birthplace, where he and Rita started their life together, and visit Mr. Marley's mausoleum along with his mother's mausoleum. It is beautiful. A side note: You will also come to learn a bit more about the ideals and tenants of the Rastafarian. If you can accept people as they are and set aside your culture, you will enjoy learning about this terribly misunderstood religion. Our guides and driver, Oleen and Barry (#1 Driver yes indeed!) gave us a very good understanding of the Marley and the Wailers history, Bob Marley's life, a brief understanding of how the Rasta practices are different, island history, and the break and lunch stops were outstanding! I love me some patties!