This was my eighth cruise and my fourth with Carnival. I keep going back to Carnival because they are generally the most consistent of the Cruise lines. I always try and book on the newest ships having sailed on Victory in 2001, Valor in 2005, Liberty in 2006 and now Freedom in 2007. The reason I always cruise on the newest flagship of the fleet is because I figure Carnival will be on their A game on the flagship. Unfortunately, on the Freedom that was not the case. The biggest disappointment was the ships crew. NOT my room stewards or the diningroom staff who were very good but basically everyone else. You would think they were working on the barge of the dead just putting in their time before their execution. It was like pulling teeth to get anyone to make eye contact or even acknowledge you. My friend I cruise with actually had the temerity to initiate contact with some simple questions and was quickly rebuffed with several "that's not my area" or "I don't know". This crew was in More
stark contrast to the last crew we encountered on the Norwegian Sun. That crew was the best we've ever experienced for friendliness and service. Much of the rest of the cruise was standard fare with the buffet being pretty decent and the food in the main diningroom being better than I remember on past cruises. This was a big improvement over Norwegian. The big screen TV was awesome and better in clarity than the one on the Liberty. The Football games and movies on the big TV were great! Didn't use the internet cafe' because of the high cost and location behind the smokey Cigar bar. The Cigar bar was one of the biggest and nicest rooms on the ship if you could experience it without any smokers present. It's a shame they dedicated such a nice area to be used as a Cigar Bar. I'm a reformed smoker who smokes about one cigarette a day and I'm in favor of all smoking being outdoors above deck. The shows were performed very well and were entertaining for the most part. There was little as far as enrichment by the way of seminars or anything that wasn't revenue generating for Carnival. AVOID the so called Art Auctions like the plaque..they are the biggest scam at sea. Trust Me! Our stops were in Cozumel, Grand Cayman, and Ocho Rios Jamaica. Best bet is to do organized tours on Cozumel and Ocho Rios because of the aggressiveness of the natives. You can not walk freely in Cozumel or Ocho Rios without being pestered CONSTANTLY by shop owners, taxi and tour operators. My friend and I are both well over 6 feet and close to 300 pounds and we were verbally hounded and I was often touched by the merchants. I didn't feel at all comfortable in Jamaica unless I was near a armed security guard! Grand Cayman was great and you can travel freely without being bothered by anyone. They have more money than we do! If the weather is good just go to the beach for a $2 each way taxi ride. No need to buy an expensive beach excursion on board for $40-$50. Both the cabin and the ship overall were sufficient to our needs and decorated nicely. The Christmas decorations were a nice touch too! Overall, I had a good time because...well...I was on a cruise and I would rate this a 7 out of a 10. Average. Less
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