Carnival Freedom Cruise Review by Serggo6: Great Vacation only a few hiccups.
Overall Member Rating
Great Vacation only a few hiccups.
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
We started out by arriving for our first sailing out of Ft. Lauderdale. This was the worst out of the 5 ports we have sailed out of. The lines were ridiculously slow wrapped around the building. When you get inside the building you see why only 3 metal detectors for 3000+ people. Then when you reach the counter there was way less counter people than any other port. Also carnival seems to employ retirees to handle this job, so computers are not their strong point.
Once boarding the ship everything got better. To all the people who say the ship is ugly who cares you are on a cruise. There was nothing wrong with the ship everything was clean and the food was good. We have noticed that the food quality is totally different on the longer cruises. The Sun King Steakhouse was exceptional like all the others we have been to. Wish they would bring back the Porterhouse.
Casino staff led by hosts Gabriella and Jelena were excellent. They knew everyone by named and always More checked to see if you needed anything. The only bad part of the casino was the end of the bar you had to walk through to get to the elevators. It was a complete Smoker Fog every day all day. Worst part of the ship was that 20 sq feet.
The ports were hit and miss. We loved St. Martin, and St. Thomas. Grand Turk is more like a private island. Carnival makes sure vendors can not book tours with cruise ship passengers, so you have to book through the ship. Puerto Rico our times were 11 am to 7. Too late arriving to do anything much.
Bacardi was a great tour but took up all our time.
Debarkation was a total disaster. Even though they are saying it won't affect customs it most certainly does. We have always been able to stay in our cabins until our number is called. However we were an hour late disembarking and were told to go to the lobby. When we got there we were told that was wrong to go to the lounge. Nobody has a clue and there is a serious lack of onshore carnival personnel to help. After getting off the ship there were no porters available, because there is no designated porter line they are all tied up for 45 mins to an hour per customer. Then when you finally drag your bags to customs there was 5 agents for 3000+ people that's 600 cruisers each. He didn't even bother to look at our declarations page or even acknowledge us.
In the end if we could skip the embark and debark this would have been a perfect cruise, but we still had a great time Less
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For an inside cabin it was fine. If you are looking for dark, quiet, cheap, and near the elevators this one is for you.
Port and Shore Excursions
We were scheduled for 8am, but it was canceled for lack of people. We were then put on the 10:30 no lack of people 60 on a boat exactly why we booked the early trip. Unless you book a private tour outside companies are required to send you to your ships site for reservations. This is more like a private cruise line owned island.
Bacardi Rum Distillery
Took a ferry to the island and then a taxi to Bacardi cost $1 a person for ferry and $6 pp for taxi round trip. Tour was excellent and you get 2 free drinks each.
Great crew, Great open bar, Great BBQ, Snorkeling was ok but there was no reef just construction debris.
Drove up to the top of the island for awesome Banana Daiquiris. Got to see all the bays and hot spots of the island. Two hour tour and when you are done you can either be dropped off in town or back at the cruise ship. Definitely worth the $25PP
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I'm ready to go back again!!!