We sailed on the second cruise after the ship underwent renovations that Carnival calls Fun Ship 2.0. We had sailed on the Freedom 2 years earlier and loved it. The new additions such as Guy's Hamburger and the Blue Iguana were nice. Also the addition of the Red Frog Pub. They have the best house beer, the thirsty frog. The ship also got a brand new big screen on the lido deck. Very nice for watching movies and a big improvement from the last one. This ship now feels like just like the bigger and newer ships Magic, Breeze and Dream with it's amenities. I do have a few complaints though. The ship was not finished. It had been in dry dock for 2 weeks getting renovated. Apparently 2 weeks was not long enough and the reno continued on it's next several cruises. The serenity deck was only half it's normal size due to work being done. There were workers all over the ship constantly working on repairs and reno's. It seems it could have used some extra time in dry dock. We did leave 2 hours late from port, which was unusual, but it did not cause any missed ports. My other complaint is not necessarily just about the Freedom, but the entertainment in general is going in a different direction with Carnival. The production shows of singing and dancing have near vanished. Instead they are having magicians, ventriloquists, hypnotist, jugglers, etc. It seems very low end in my opinion. We walked out on several shows. The punchliner comedy show continues to bring great comedy shows. One other minor and perhaps silly complaint: no chips on board!! There is a brand new Blue Iguana which serves up Mexican fare such as tacos and burritos and has a wonderful salsa bar....except there are no chips to found anywhere on the ship!! I found that to be odd. When I asked, an employee said that they no longer served them. Carnival, you need to re-think that decision.
This was an 8-night cruise and our room was wonderful. Our dining staff was also superb. We enjoyed our dining room experience. I hear that there is a new style of dining coming soon called "American dining" which sounds more like family style dining. Think of Olive Garden where they put the salad bowl and bread sticks on the table to help yourself. A few new items to the menu would be nice for the frequent cruisers who get bored with the same ol' menu.
The ports of call; St. Maarten, St. Thomas, San Juan and Half Moon Cay were beautiful and most enjoyable. Overall, this is a great ship and I think once they get everything finished, it will be a great cruising experience for all.