This was the inaugural sailing of the Carnival Freedom and we had an absolutely wonderful time from embarkation to debarkation! We traveled to the pier via bus, the transfer was uneventful. Upon arrival at the pier we noticed it was quite a distance from where the bus let us off to where we actually entered the terminal building and then to get to the ship they shuttled us on a bus along the pier.
Prior to our arrival in Venice we completed our Fun Pass and being this was our 17th Carnival cruise we were able to check-in through the VIP line! We were on board the ship in no time at all! We booked a mid ship balcony cabin which was nicely furnished. The new "comfort bed" is a treat. Everything was so clean and new. Our cabin steward, Rickardo, was fantastic; the best we have ever had in the 37 cruises we have taken. He was very attentive, called us by name and always had a great big smile and cheerful greeting when he saw us.
The layout of the ship was familiar since we sailed on the Carnival Liberty last spring, this made getting around very easy. I like the public areas being centrally located on decks 4 & 5.
The public rooms are nicely decorated though my personal favorite is the Carnival Victory as it relates to decor. Dining was terrific; we had early dinner in the Chic Dining Room, Carolina was an exceptional waitress, very attentive and personable. The food was very good. We had Room Service deliver breakfast each morning, the limited menu works well for us. They were always on time and only on one occasion, nearing the end of the cruise, they did not have bananas we had ordered. We regularly ate lunch in the Lido; I love the salad bar and the sliced turkey from the deli on my salad. The variety was good! Funny thing I noticed, they did not receive their stock of ice cream cones, so you had to have a dish of ice cream instead. Not a big deal really. We even splurged for dinner in the Supper Club one evening, worth every bit of the $30 per person charge!
This was a port intensive cruise, only one sea day out of 10 so we did not participate in many on board activities; we chose to see the ports of call instead. The shows were great especially the Elton John one. The only glitch we came across was with the internet cafe, the ship was missing a part so wireless connectivity in the cabin did not work for the first 3 days. Other than that, no problems!
Disembarkation begins early in Civitavecchia but is very organized. The crew made a request for used magazines and books to be left behind for the crew to enjoy. We had a wonderful time!