Carnival Freedom Cruise Review by CleveCruiser: Carnival Freedom 2.0, upgrades and review of Southern Caribbean
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Carnival Freedom 2.0, upgrades and review of Southern Caribbean
June 21 Travel Drive: Cleve to Jacksonville; stayed at Hampton Inn, Bartram Park; nice.
I had a moment of EXTREME panic when I thought I left the boarding passes and our passports at home. My daughter insisted that she was stepping on them the whole way up (they were in my metal clipboard). Could not breathe properly until my husband went out to the car and brought them in. Cannot tell you how relieved I was!
Day 1: June 22 Embarkation
On the road by 6:30! We arrived at Fort Lauderdale, Port Everglades by 10:30; saw our first glimpse of whale tail!!! Stocked up at Publix w/with pop, sunburn cream, etc.
Back to the main road and we re-arrived at Port Everglades. We followed directions and dropped our luggage off in the appropriate area. Watched as they placed the Faster to the Fun (FTTF) stickers on all pieces. Used port parking. Waited by sister to arrive, about 11:30, we entered the Port.
Was thinking I wasted money on FTTF this time More as there are no tendered ports on this itinerary. There was a separate entrance for Platinum, Diamond (P/D), and FTTF. After our first security check- we split up, sister to P/D Lounge, me to the head of the line. There was a more detailed security check then; these guys were serious. All liquid had to be checked, they busted open plastic wrapped cases of water and shook several of them. The were serious in Fort Lauderdale…no sneaking of alcohol! The FTTF line bypassed the whole maze of winding travelers waiting to get their S&S cards! That right there made it worth it to purchase.
After getting our first GOLD cards we waited there until they announced boarding of P&D at 12:00. They called FTTF at 12:15 and away we went. Bon Voyage photo and then the gangway! DING !!! I went to Excursion desk to purchase Behind the Fun tour (they did two tours on Freedom, 9:00 and 9:30, last sea day).
Heading up to rooms (1061 for us and 1063 for my sister). Fire doors are closed, but there is a laminated notice to come on through if you have FTTF or are P/D. Snapped some pics of room, dropped of carry-ons, and it’s off to the Lido deck. Got lunch on Lido at Blue Iguana; delicious!
2:00 – back at room, some luggage is already here. Called about opening up balconies; we had to have a member from each room call guest services from inside the room. They said they would take care of it. Met our room steward; Andreas, the silent ninja. Rarely saw him, but everything was always amazingly clean. Asked for ice and always had it after that.
3:30 – announced sail away would be moved from 4:00 to 7:00, some preventative maintenance on the rear thrusters was not completed yet. We knew how important rear thruster are, so we just decided to forego sail-away and get ready for dinner. Side note: just recently saw an OLD episode of the Love Boat…they threw about 40 pounds of confetti in the water during sail-away!
4:00 – Muster and then we snapped some photos.
5:45 – dinner in Chic with headwaiter Alex and his team. Salmon was good, service good. Skipped dessert to make it to the early show. Since we had a large group..I snapped a pic of everyone’s food.
7:15 – Victoriana Theater. Welcome Show. Wasn’t really a “welcome” show, just a show; 80’s Pop to the Max, but it was good. The new Playlist shows are a hot topic. In my opinion, I really liked the live band and I miss it. It is a big cut-back and cheapens the experience a bit. They have drastically cut back on the number of dancers also, only eight. That being said, the creative use of the large screens is amazing. They incorporate the technology into the program and it really is something to see. I was really impressed with a couple of the numbers. It is set up so the best view is right in the center of the theater, you can see the gaps in the four screens if you are not center stage, but it is not awful if you are on the side, just a bit noticeable; you can see the stagehands maneuvering equipment around. They use moving sections of the stage and treadmills very creatively to maximize the experience. There was an impressive Michael Jackson tribute that was very enjoyable.
9:00 – Piano Party with Seth Gibson. Very good performer! He is young and talented. He appeals to young, old, men, women, teens! Everyone in our group had a bit of a crush on him! A couple members of our group headed to the “adult balloon games” and won medals in that competition.
10:30-in room. It was hot and humid, I would say about 76-78 degrees, the mirror above the cabinet was freezing (the metal edge was really cold) and fogged over, it was very, very weird. Cranked the controller down to FULL BLUE mode!
11:00 – Pizza snack on lido deck. There was a noticeable problem with the A/C that night on the Lido too, but it was not noticed again during the cruise.
11:30-back in stateroom, temperature is better. Shower and bed.
Day 2: June 23 Sea Day 1
9:00 – Posh Dining room. Brunch.
11:00 – Endless Pool. We had our meet-n-greet from Cruise Critic (CC). We wore blue and green beads and met at the aft pool.
12:00 – Sun King Steakhouse; cooking show. We watched chef Brandon and his crew compete for best sample in the steakhouse. It was enough food that none of us wanted lunch after!
1:00 – Stateroom Balcony. Spent a little time on the balcony with my sister (they finally got the balconies connected, someone heard the wrong stateroom numbers to connect-obviously you cannot connect 1061 and 1065!). We loved having the extra room, it was quite extravagant and now we are spoiled!
3:00 – Posh Dining room; High Tea. Walked around and explored the ship for a bit. Captain Donato was walking the promenade, schmoozing it up with guests, and we got a picture!
5:45 – Chic Dining Room. Dinner was delicious (NOT the American table).
7:45 – Victorian Lounge. They changed the planned show of “88 Keys” to “Getaway Island” due to technical difficulties. It was another good show with good use of the large screens. We left a little early to do some Pub Trivia (which we lost, as the hostess gave points for flirting with her and creative answers (yes, I was a little bitter LOL, I wanted a SOAS!)
9:00 – Stateroom. Packed up our travel bags and snorkel stuff for our first port in the morning…Grand Turk!
9:30 – Lido Deck. pizza.
10:30 – Balcony; chatting up my sister.
11:30 – Bed
Day 3: June 24 Grand Turk
7:00 – Stateroom. Up and docked in Grand Turk
We planned to be off the ship by 8:15, we were walking off the gangway by 8:45; not to bad for 6 females and one guy! We were at Jack’s Shack by 9:10 (some people ask if it is a strenuous walk…no, you can take it leisurely and be there in 15-20 minutes. It is hard to walk on the sand…we had heard that the road ran behind the beach but…never found that.
Topher was in front of Jack’s as usual, digging to China! We had a great time at Jack’s. If you order something, they let you use the beach chairs and umbrellas. We had many drinks and tried the Turks Lager, Jerk Chicken and Conch Fritters. The chicken was very good, spicy on the outside and moist inside.
1:00 – Margaritaville. We swam for a bit then headed back to ship. Bit of a line to get on; cold water was offered by staff.
2:00 – all showered and clean! With four people cleaning up in one cabin, my husband and I go to the Spa to shower. It is so close to our rooms (1061/1063), nice and clean, well-stocked, and the showers are so large! Take your own washcloths, as they have towels, but no washcloths. They have the same soap and shampoo as in the stateroom; so bring conditioner too, if you use it.
2:15 – sailing away! Lunch on Lido. We had Guys burgers, (of Guy Fieri fame!). delicious. And some dessert-okay.
3:45 – Victoriana Theater. Hasbro show; it was okay. It must be a lot of fun for the people who are involved and their families, but as a form of entertainment, I like a real show. Headed back to stateroom to prepare for photo session.
5:00 – Pixels. Met with Ivaylo (‘ee-via-lo’) Dimitrov for graduation photo session. He says “Come-come…you get in picture too mommy”, me, “Ivaylo…I am in grubby shorts and a t-shirt.” “Don't worry. I have photo shop.” It would take a LOT more than photo shop for me to look good in a picture with my eighteen-year-old wearing a prom gown with her hair and make up done! That session took all of an hour.
6:00 – Lido deck, big screen. Dive-in movie: Divergent. Sun setting behind ship is beautiful (makes it kind of hard to see movie…but we press on! If you watch a movie on the Lido deck, 1) bring a hair wrap or towel or something, it is windy…and large strands of hair will make you think you are watching a different kind of movie. 2) they hide the popcorn behind the Blue Iguana cantina. Dive-in movie blankets available at the towel stand.
8:20 – Chic Dining room. YTD. The food was very, very good, but again…no real WOW dishes, a factor is -that I am not really hungry either.
10:00 – Stateroom. No shows for us. Packing for La Romana. Early night.
Day 4: June 25 – Dominican Republic, La Ramona
6:30 – Secret deck is locked due to high winds. Still going 21 knots. Went to Lido deck for breakfast.
7:15 – everyone is up now. Plan- meet group by gangway closest to shore at 9:15 for Seavis tour.
9:15 – on gang way as planned (off of deck “0”). Met with our group (about 25 of us). It is the usual gauntlet of tour sellers and taxi hawkers on the pier. Seavis is very clear about where to go and what to say at the port. They are very good about sending e-mails and giving enough information. We asked people in uniform the way to find the taxi stand, they were very helpful. We were in our taxi by 9:30. We all sighed, secure in our a/c vans. That went pretty smoothly. There were three taxis for our group and they arrived at Bayahibe beach by 10.
10:00 – Seavis is a well-organized tour group. Their staff speaks about six languages! There tour stand at Bayahibe Beach is clean and well organized. They have clean flush-toilet bathrooms available. They have wrist bands prepared so you know which boat you are on and who your tour guide is. Our guide was Robert (who I insisted on calling Roberto for some reason, sounds more exotic I guess!).
By 10:00 we were in boat #2, which could hold 30 guests. The seats are made to seat two and with life jackets on…really are sized to fit one and a half! There is about a 20-30 minute ride to the “rocks of Penon,” caves that were used by the aboriginal Tainos people. We stopped for some photos and some local lore. The speed boat is fast, and fun. It is more of an amusement park ride than a jack hammer of discomfort. Less bouncy in back.
Off to Saona island! Catuano beach is a private beach for Seavis. Beautiful beach. Adirondack chairs, hammocks, loungers, and shade available. The sea water is pretty murky. The sea floor is more clay-like than sandy; it is soft, but once it is stirred up; you cannot see to snorkel. I tried to swim out to the pier and it proved a bit too much of a challenge, and I also had limited time.
11:45 – Lunch. The layout was good, fruit, vegetables, rice and beans, pasta salad, chicken, and pork was good. We all went back for more of the pork and rice & beans. Drinks were flowing freely from the cute “boat bar”. Rum punch, soda, and I think beer. They were small cups, but you could get as much as you wanted.
12:30 – back on boat. Stop at “Piscina Natural”, what they call the natural swimming pool. A sand bar with waist deep water. We were there at the end of June and the water was the perfect temperature. What a great time. Saw lots of Bahama starfish. Roberto educated us on the starfish and their physiology. He taught us not to keep them out of water, just “peek” them out for a quick photo. They offered drinks, cake, juice and pop. Roberto’s family member, an cute young girl helped us find starfish. I would have liked to spend a lot more time here. 1:30 – back on boat. Left sandbar. Raced back to Bayahibe.
2:00 – back at Seavis’ stand. One member of our group had some sort of sting on her thigh..perhaps a jelly fish? Perhaps a disgruntled starfish? The Seavis people had vinegar for her to apply. Suddenly had an urge for french fries. Our taxi (#8) was late. Again, it was nice they had a flush toilet, and running water to rinse your feet off. Many phone calls in foreign languages with angry tones were conducted by the office staff. They stayed with us until our taxi arrived. We amused ourselves by watching the busy beach and listening to the Seavis people berate whoever was responsible for taxi #8! We were back at the port by 2:20.
A word about Seavis. They are a classy operation. So well run. It is a shame that Carnival is building a new port on the North side of DR and Seavis will no longer be an option for Carnival cruisers. Book them while you can!!!
2:20 – Port, easy boarding onto ship. Mad rush to shower and relax for a bit.
4-5:30 – I walked around with my youngest, snapping pics of areas I hand not been to yet. Mini-golf, basketball court, whale tail, camp ocean. The others took it easy or napped.
5:45 – Chic Dining Room; slow and relaxed dinner till 7:30. We totally glutted ourselves on delicious “bitter and blanc” as we heard it may not be on the American Table menu, an awful shame.
7:30 – Balcony; casual time to digest all that dessert! Chatted with my sister and her girls.
9:00 – Scotts Piano Bar; Seth Gibson. After 11:00 his show is adult only and boy….it IS adult only! We had to push the starry-eyed young ones out. Some very funny stuff was sung in that very blue bar.
10:00 – Victoriana. Love and marriage show.
11:00 – Scots Piano Bar
12:15 – in room for night
Day 5: June 26 - Curaçao
8:30 – Up for day at 8:30. Finally sleeping better!
9:00 – Lido deck for breakfast (omelet station).
10:30 – Stateroom balcony. First ever dolphins sighting off of our balcony!!!! Making plans for Curaçao.
12:40 – tied off.
1:00 – Lido deck for lunch.
1:45 – Heading off ship, deck zero. Meet Irie, East Side, tour.
2:00 – Tour Bus. Easy to find Irie tours. They are right at the end of the pier. There were two people waving signs and a few people with Irie shirts on. Waited a bit for some for some stragglers! Our guide was Sylvian or Sylvan(sp?). A genuinely friendly, and nice person; and a knowledgeable guide. He speaks four languages. He spoke English and Spanish for guests, about 27 on this bus. He provided us with drinks as we waited for the rest of the tour bus to fill.
For the price, Irie is an amazing deal. An informative tour of the east side; Sylvan would slow down or pause for photo opportunities (even if cars behind him beeped/honked!). He knew the area very well, I think he knew someone at every street corner and beeped and waved! He went out of his way to ensure we had an enjoyable, informative tour.
I was not to interested in the distillery, but it is informative and I learned some things about the making of Curaçao liqueur and the island’s history. Prices for the Curacao liqueur were cheaper here than anywhere else we saw,
4:15 - The Sea Aquarium Beach was crowded, we were on the late tour. There is a bar about every 10 feet, if you want! The beach was nice with a diving platform in the middle. We did not plan on swimming and caught up on things with the free wi-fi, home, romantic interests, and the world cup, from shaded seating. We never did figure out just where the actual Sea Aquarium was, but there was enough things to do in the time we had. There is a lot of construction going on. If I was going to Curaçao just for a beach, I would not go to this one, too crowded; unless you enjoy the bar/music scene. We are more of a nature loving, gorgeous vista viewing, family.
5:15 - They dropped us off at the Rift Fort area with plenty of time to shop at the pier. (FYI: We found most of the items sold here on Aruba for less money.)
5:30 – Port. Back on ship. Showers (spa again). Requested the towel monkey from Andreas…must have been hard for him because we found the towel folding book left on the bed, so sweet that he did it for us. We gave him an extra tip for that. Walked around for a bit.
6:45 – Chic Dining Room. Dinner. The steak knives ARE magnetic.
9:00 – off ship again for night shots.
9:30 – Pixel gallery. Review/choose pictures w/photographer Ivaylo.
10:00 – Victoriana. Hypnotist show with Peter Gross. Some things he told the “victims” were to only count by saying 1-3-5-6-7-8-9-10; then he asked them to count their fingers and they could not understand why they had 12 fingers. He had them forget their name every time they stood up, but remember it when they sat down. To act like they were in a gunfight and dying a slow death. Very funny stuff.
11:30 – Victoriana lounge. Had a hilarious conversation with one of our party who was hypnotized. Then off to Lido for snack!
12:40 – Stateroom. In bed.
Day 6: June 27- Aruba
8:30 – Docking. Deck 10 with my niece, and then we got a bit of breakfast on the Lido. Omelet station, very good.
9:30 – Everyone is up, and ready to leave.
10:00 – Bus terminal. The Arubus public bus terminal is right at the end of the street that the pier is on. It is very, very easy to use. There is a kiosk right there that will sell you an “Out and Back” pass. For $US 4 they will take you out to the beach and take you back to the terminal. You can pay the driver, but then you have to deal with change and it is $US 2.30 each way. We told the driver when we got on that we wanted Palm beach and he called out “Palm beach”! Was worried about this, but it was so very easy.
We were dropped off across from the Hyatt Regency Aruba (there are two stops for Palm Beach-which is after Eagle beach). We rented 4 chairs at $5 each.
This location is right by Pete’s Pier with a bar, concession stand, and water sports-- including a Water jet pack- very cool. There are some bars here, and Sandra (of Marcells watersports) told us that the Dairy Queen across the street had the best smoothies! She let the girls use any beach toys she had.
The beach is lovely, soft white sand and palm trees. There was a light, steady breeze that kept it cool. Relatively cool-for the Caribbean! The snorkeling is poor as the water is so stirred up. Quite a bit of seaweed grass. It is a crowded area, but not so crowded that you could not enjoy the view and relax.
11/11:30 – Jet ski ride. Arranged by Marcels. I think it was $60 for single and $70 for double jet ski for 30 minutes. Half of the fun was the boat ride to the bay where the jet skis were! An extra thrill for your money. Hubby had a single and I took the two younger girls with me on a double (everyone else just chilled at the beach). I took turns letting the girls drive (scary! But fun). They didn’t seem too happy that I was switching out girls, but they dealt with it.
12:30 – Palm Beach; came back to the others who were sipping on yummy drink made with rum instead of tequila from the “Beach Bar,” happy hour. Headed over there for a one of my own! Called a Caipirinha. And a local beer called “Chill.” Learned that Dushi=sweet, and bon bini=welcome.
1-1:30 – Hyatt pool is very nice. A three-tiered pool with waterfalls and a slide. They had many Palapas and canopies on the beach for their guests. Security was noticeable and polite.
2:20 – Bus. 2:00 we decided to head back, as the buses run every 30 minutes. So easy, again. Used our pass to return (got to keep it as a souvenir).
2:40 – Dock. A whole row of shops at port, next to bus terminal. Mostly all the same items seen elsewhere, but prices were better. Some creative tin art. Cheap embroidered bags. T-shirts and saris. Not pushy people, very pleasant.
3:10 – Gangway. Short line to get back on board.
4:15 – everyone showered/ready for past guest party! This was our first, as this cruise made us Gold level. Many, many yummy drinks. We sat to the right of the stage (conveniently right by the door to the bar). Skip shook the hand of Diamond guests.
5:30 – fun walk to stateroom to get ready for dinner.
5:45 – Chic dining Room
7:15 – Victoriana Theater. Seth opens the show with some talk and requests, they have papers to “vote” on the final song of the show. Another smash Playlist Production show. The stage is spinning, pianos are elevating, backgrounds are flashing; impressive.
8:00 – Stateroom; chatting with family. Everyone is burned out from four port days in a row and activities in Aruba. Cabin 1063 is giddy and ready for bed…I am not.
10:00 – International Lounge for comedians Joe Marloti and Mark Hawkins. Some very funny comedians. Adult humor.
10:50 – Guess where….Scotts Piano bar. Hey, it is just 10 steps away from comedy lounge! All the dancers from the show are in the room. On the nights they do the “88 Keys” show, they come here after the show and continue the fun. It was great, they added a whole new spin to the piano bar. I love this idea. It was very crowded though! This show was supposed to be earlier in the week, and I am sure more people would have been at the piano bar earlier in the cruise, and after this, it was more crowded each evening.
11:30 – stateroom
Day 7: June 29-Sea Day #2
8:00 – up. Great night sleep. Really acclimated to the bed now! 1063 is also up.
Off to Lido for snack and discovered: TOWEL animal day!!! Blue iguana breakfast appetizer.
9:30 – Some of us went to team trivia.
10:00 – Posh Dining Room. Brunch (1063 used their past guest drink coupon).
11:00 – Promenade, relaxing with hubby. People watching.
12-1245 – future cruise talk w/JP. Pretty much just wanted you to get their mastercard. Nothing that I didn’t already know. Easy to win a medal/SOS-he had about five SOS and 10 medals to give out. Know how many Guy Burgers are served on a cruise, and that hot tubs project out over the water on dream class ships.
1-2:00 – Stateroom. Relaxing, organizing and getting ready for family pictures.
A word on the pools: On a sea day the pools are heavily used. I wish I had snapped a picture, but by the end of the day….they are very cloudy. If you want to swim on a sea day…do it EARLY! The adults only endless pool was much better/clearer (catch my drift?).
3:00 – Posh Dining room: High Tea (again…gave hubby a chance to nap!)
4:30 – Took about 55 pictures at six different backgrounds with the family, my 4 and sisters 3. Hope some come out! (spoiler alert…they did!)
6:15 – Chic Dining Room. Elegant Dinner Night w/Alex Rueben (head waiter), Vicente, and ... man, don’t think I ever got the third guys name. It was not on table and he was stealthy. The Maître de makes an appearance (as he did most nights) and attempts to tell a joke…dead silence…you can hear the waiters scratching orders on their pads! He says… “It is a poor joke-just laugh it off!” and everyone does laugh – at that! It was a valiant effort gone wrong.
8:00 – Stateroom; in room to change out of formal wear.
8:45 – Guess….Scotts! Spent the rest of the night relaxing, chatting, and walking around.
12:30 – Lido deck for snack pizza. Same spicy chicken sandwich and ham & cheese sandwiches. Went to stateroom 1063 to have a salsa party w/ sister. They had procured some salsa from the Blue Iguana before they closed and kept it in the room fridge. They don’t serve chips at the Blue Iguana (I guess guests were sticking their hands in them) and they have the best salsa. My sister wanted to bring a bag of tortilla chips on board, she waffled at the last minute…and I talked her into bringing them. Very glad she did! It was a pain, as you can imagine, (getting ships through check-in and security) but delicious.
1:30 – to bed
Day 8: June 30-Sea Day #3
08:00 – Up for Behind the Fun tour.
8:45 – Meeting in the Monticello Library: Rio Nina is our tour guide. She is young and energetic and works in the HR department. Everyone is present and tucked in and ready to go by 9:00. (There is another BTF tour at 9:30.)
I was SO, SO sad we could not take pictures. They were very serious about it. There were two security guys there; you had to sign a form and then they wanded everyone! This lady…after ALL the warnings…had her cell phone in her pocket! She was pulled aside and threatened with walking the plank (okay, that’s what I thought they SHOULD have done!)
Ships bell. Stage. Behind the Stage. Morgue. Bosun. Brig. Laundry. Crew training center.
Mess: three “Mess” areas; Crew (very nice, like a hospital cafeteria), Officer (like a mom and pop restaurant (they get served-which helps new waiters practice), and Captain (like a private swanky dining room- they can be served or serve themselves). Their menu is on a 27 day cycle.
Crew cabins. Crew Internet café. Crew lounge. Marshaling area. Environmental sorting. Storeroom. Engine control room. Galley.
Bridge: The view from the bridge is A-MA-ZING. Over 180 degrees of gorgeous water. The lighting is minimal, the carpet is blue, the furniture is wood, the buttons and dials are many. The steering wheel is small, smaller than a car wheel! There is a place, in that wing that sticks out, where the floor is glass. Very weird to stand on that, overlooking the ocean below. A minimum of 4 officers are always on deck; Quartermaster, first officer, second officer, staff captain. The quartermaster really tells the captain where to go and is always on lookout. He spent 80% of his time with binoculars, looking out the windows. There are infrared cameras along the outside of the ship; they can see if someone jumps. (I don’t know what else they see!) There is a weird high-speed spin window wiper; even in a torrential downpour, you can see out. Captain Candeloro Donato came on deck (no one said “captain on deck” –which was disappointing to me!). He has 34 years in. He was leaving the ship when we did; reported having a bit of vacation coming. He was very cordial, we all had our pictures taken, as a group and individually. He was ready to answer more questions, but we were all tapped out and just stared at him, like he Captained the starship Enterprise! It was kind of funny. Someone asked how close we get to Cuba and he said 3-10 miles, depending on the traffic lanes. Tour ended in SK Steakhouse.
12:30 – Done with tour, off to Lido deck for lunch. Decided to try the Mongolian Wok. Mine was delicious. It was the Chocolate extravaganza; and there was a lot of chocolate to be had. Some were too chocolaty for me! My favorite was a light, fluffy cake.
2:15 – Stateroom, chatting and organizing.
3:00 – Pixel gallery, purchased our family photos.
4:00 – Stateroom; packing :( Left to spend some time on the promenade deck, just people watching. Tried the taste bar’s grilled ham and cheese and tomato soup. Cute bowl and nice sample.
6:00 – Lido deck, family is watching the movie “Frozen.” Back to more packing.
7:30 –Victoriana; comedy and magic show. The magic part was a joke (pun). But he was amusing!
8:15 – Chic Dining room. Last dinner with Alex and his crew. Gave him his extra tip.
9:45 – Victoriana; they re-showed the “80s Pop to the Max” show. It was still good. Left early, after the Michael Jackson part.
11:00 – International Lounge; Comedy show was quite good
12mn – Lido deck. Hot chocolate and ice cream.
12:30 – Stateroom; last time to sleep in 1061. And I just got used to it too.
Day 9: June 30-FLL Port
7:30 – up and showered. Packed and carry-ons, or rather carry-offs, ready.
8:12 – Posh Dining room; ordered breakfast. Took our time disembarking, even though we were zone 1. We were just driving to Tampa and were in no rush.
8:30 – Last breakfast. Very good.
9:15 – Leaving the ship; Last DING. Easy disembarking. Found luggage, porter helped us through the line. Customs agent was brief, but thorough.
9:32 – All checked out.
9:35 – Waiting for hubby to bring the car around.
9:47 – pulling away….see you next year, Carnival.
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Cabin review: 1061
Carnival Freedom Stateroom 1061 is a good room. Was a bit warm on the first evening, but then never again. It is close to Lido deck, atrium elevator, Spa, and 10th floor deck (bow deck, aka secret deck). Across the hall was the stewards galley room door, it opened and closed a bit, but no more so than another cabin being across the hall. If this sounds sketchy to you, try cabin 1063. An this itinerary (southern), we were never toward the dock/pier. If you like that choose a cabin on the other side.We opened the balcony between 1061 and 1063, it was very nice.
Best Cruising experience
Expected more - but still good...