This was our second cruise with Carnival and we cruised with 2 other couples. We all said it was the most enjoyable vacation we have ever taken and we are already planning the next one!
Embarkation was painless...the lines are long, but they move you through quite quickly.
The ship itself is incredible. I was nervous about the decor because of some reviews I read, but everyone in our group loved it! Every room was unique and fun. Every bathroom we entered was extremely clean as was the ship itself. There were stewards everywhere waiting on us hand and foot...we were never in need of a thing!
Our staterooms were very roomy and fabulous. The bathrooms were nicer than the other ship we had been on. Our cabin steward was wonderful and cleaned our room twice a day. The beds and sheets were wonderful-we slept great.
The food was incredible. We ate on the lido deck for breakfast and lunch because there were so many choices. There were so many good choices that I know we didn't get to them all. Some in my group loved the fish and chips above the Freedom Restaurant. We met up there every day for lunch and breakfast...it was quieter than the rest of the restaurant and you had a great view. The stir-fry is wonderful, as is the pizza, but we really loved all the food. Rafaela was our dining room waitress and she was the best. We enjoyed her a great deal. The food was out of this world delicious. We had numerous appetizers each night, as well as entrees and no one every had a complaint. The bread pudding was the most fabulous dessert...I wish it was offered every night. The filet mignon was wonderful as was the chateaubriand (spelling?)...we loved everything we ate and were incredibly full each night.
The shows were fabulous. John Heald was an excellent cruise director. We are planning our next cruise based on what ship he will be on. He is hilarious and made each night wonderful. The dance/broadway type shows are incredible-do not miss them. We didn't go to the comedians.
They offered many activities which looked really fun, but we mostly enjoyed relaxing in the sun.
We went to Paradise Beach in Cozumel and had a very fun time. The beach itself is free and you pay $10 for a wristband to use the water equipment. They have nice facilities for changing/rinsing off etc. We really enjoyed our afternoon there. We ate at Pancho's Backyard in Cozumel which was recommended by John-so worth it! The guacamole was wonderful.
We went to the public beach in Grand Cayman. We rented snorkel equipment and snorkeled...it was great. The beach there was the best I have ever seen. We had to rent a beach chair for around $10, but it was worth it. Another couple with us went on the stingray city, turtle farm, visit to hell tour and they enjoyed it a lot.
In Jamaica we did an excursion to Dunn's River Falls and Dolphin Cove. We had a wonderful time at the Falls, but they really rush you through it. We did a little shopping there as well. You definitely should go through the tour in Jamaica as it looked a little scary in places.
The shopping was very different in each port, so if you see something you want buy it there. We enjoyed the different things at each port. Go to John's talk on the shore excursions because they are well worth it. He gives lots of good information! If you miss it, you can catch it on the Carnival TV channel later in the day.
Overall, we loved this cruise and can't wait to do it again. The Freedom is a wonderful ship-we couldn't have asked for anything more.