Let me start out by saying that I have traveled on Carnival three other times. Once on the Legend and once on the Dream. Both ships were nice but the freedom exceeded my expectations.
Embarkation: Our flight was delayed in Philadelphia and we nearly missed the boat. Literally made it on the ship with 30 minutes to spare. Besides the rushing we were boarded within 15 minutes. On a side note do not buy Carnival shuttle service from the airport. Saved $170 by taking a taxi from FFL to Port Everglades. Overall very smooth embarkation
Cabin: Cabin was balcony room 8297 on the starboard side. Same dimensions as the other ships. Roomy and spacious especially with storage space. Our cabin steward Natan was very nice and helped us recover some lost items that unexpectedly were thrown into a dirty towel pile. Book a balcony room they are amazing and you not regret it. I found the air conditioning was lacking in this cabin however and had to notify guest services before it was fixed.
Food: By far the food was the highlight of our trip. I traveled with a relative who needed special dietary needs so we ate in the dining room for breakfast, and dinner. Elena was my relatives special needs stewardess and was so warm and outgoing and went out of her way to ensure everything was perfect for my family member. However, the best part of our dining experience was our waiters Jordan, Lenny, and Rowin. Best waiters on any ship I have been on. Talked to us every night and ensured all of our food was perfect. They even went out of their way and ordered us a cake from the bakery for my birthday. They will always be remembered and I recommend you request them if you are traveling on the freedom within the coming months. As for the food there is so much it is hard not to gain weight. Chocolate melting cake, Huevos Rancheros, and Prime rib were my favorites. I did not eat in the lido everyday but when I did I usually ate from the Mongolian wok and the Tandoor which were both very tasty.
Entertainment: Brad the Cruise Director was nice and we met his wife on the ship as well she is a dancer and librarian and she was so sweet and very friendly. Bobby Borgia graced us with his presence to do a magic show which was outstanding. However, the best show was the big easy which was a new Orleans themed show. Between the beads, streamers, and confetti I felt like I was at Mardi Gras.
Ports- We did the Trunk Bay Beach and Snorkel in USVI and it is the most beautiful beach you will ever see. Crystal clear water, awesome reef, and fine white sand. Highly Recommend. Antigua is a bit less appealing. If you don't talk a Carnival run excursion please do not venture out on your own rundown and suppressed. Tortola is beautiful however there is little shopping and a far walk is required just to get to town. Take an excursion or don't get off the ship. In Nassau we did Balmoral Beach, the beach is located on a small island; the water is beautiful however the sand and bottom is loaded with sharp shells, and coral. water shoes are recommended. Also visit the straw market to find great deals on handmade souvenirs.
Ship- The Freedom is starting to show her age. Dry dock is needed but overall the ship was still in good condition. I like the layout of the Legend better but found the elevators on the Freedom to be always available.
Debarkation: Customs had a few issues with passengers but overall the transfer was smooth.
Overall the cruise was great and I highly recommend this ship and this specific itinerary.