Embarkation was a nightmare for us. Everyone else was getting on very quickly but we were unfortunate and had someone who seemed very incompetent and it took ½ hour just to get our room key. We arrived at the port at 12.45 and boarded at 2. Disembarkation was much better with the new number system.
There were a lot of families and groups on the cruise. We were a group of 12 which included 2 children. I know that some posters have claimed that there was an abundance of children on this cruise. This was indeed the case and they were in the hot tubs unsupervised at times and they did run around like crazy. They were also running up and down the hallways screaming and banging on all the doors which had privacy signs. At night they would turn the privacy sign around to make up the room and we felt very bad for the room steward who knocked and disturbed many people. We went to complain as one of friends fell very ill and was continually being woken up , they were even calling on the phones. We were told by the pursers desk that they would sent a security guard up. They never did. All they did was send a letter to our room saying they were sorry for any trouble. Not very helpful although I completely blame the parents for the way there children behave the ship should have some responsibility for the rest and enjoyment of the guests.
The food on this cruise was some of the best that we have experienced. We had the early dining in the posh dining room. The food was wonderful. We ate there every night except for one. The lido buffets were also fine. The only food that was mediocre at best was the breakfast. The buffet food was generally cold and in the dining room it was not much better.
I have to say the staff of the Freedom was generally pretty good. Our room steward was great and our dining team was wonderful. The only staff I felt were cold rude and unhelpful were the pursers. I have read in other reviews that many people feel that the Freedom staff were not friendly. We did not find this to be the case at all. I have to mention the spa. All of tried some of the items offered and overall all it was very nice. The massages were wonderful. Unfortunately , and I imagine this has to do with the layout of the ship, 2 of my friends did a couples massage at 2.30 in the afternoon. None of us realized that the kids camp is directly over the spa. Well no relaxation for them as the kids jumped and banged for the whole hour, cost them 300.00.
One other cause of noise was the casino. Our rooms were directly over it and we could hear the slot machines and people yelling till it closed sometime around 3 in the morning. Word to the wise check carefully where your room is situated. I fully understand things happen on vacation, but I feel that the pursers deck could have done something for all the noise and irritation we had. I have also complained in writing to guest relations at carnival and have no response to date. I will probably not receive one. We have cruised with carnival 6 times but now are rethinking our next one and will check out other cruise lines. I also will never take a cruise between christmas and new years again. To many loud rude people who have no consideration for anyone but themselves.