Carnival Freedom Cruise Review by Ajyacht: Sounds corny but a trip for a lifetime!
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Sounds corny but a trip for a lifetime!
Destination: Europe - Eastern Mediterranean
Embarkation: Rome (Civitavecchia)
Our first day in Rome. We stayed at the Visconti hotel which was close to everything. As long as everything is loads and loads of walking. We visited the Trevi fountain, and other main sites in Rome. Dinner that night was at Alla Rampa restaurant. A great find that my sister recommended and satisfies even the most fastidious tastes. It has been there for more than 40 years. It is situated in the centre of the Old Town of Rome, between the tourist attraction Spanish Steps and Mignanelli Square.
The next day we were picked up at our hotel by Carnival and taken to the ship which is about a 90 minute drive from Rome.
Check in was nice and fast, we were surprised that they took our passports but we all got them back. Our cabin was 9266 which was near the elevator and stairs but none of that ever became a problem. We went to lunch on the same deck (Lido) while waiting for our bags and lunch was just okay. Breakfast and Lunch at the Lido was pretty much the More same meals each day. I would recommend the stir fry but the other food while good wasn't something to write home about. The "Liberty" theme was more like Las Vegas but I didn't go on the trip to be thrilled by the dEcor, we went to be with friends and see Europe!
After lunch we went back to our room. We had a small balcony and loved getting to know the ladies from our group that were near us! Our friend who organized the cruise gave us a nice bottle of bubbly we were able to enjoy later on the cruise. Thanks again Bob and Barbara! Our mini bar was never unlocked for us but we didn't care. The cabin was spacious and comfortable. We had plenty of space to put our clothes and the bathroom was also quite large, with decent shower and all very clean. Razors and deodorant were provided, along with soap bars. The shower cubicle housed shampoo and shower gel dispensers. I missed the normal travel sized soaps and goodies but razors and deodorant is something different.. The muster drill took place just before dinner and was a real 'pain'! This was my 9th cruise and the longest muster I have ever gone through. We opted for late dining, with a large table. We sat with our group which wa a total of 54 folks! We were with old friends and made many new friends! The food was, for the most part very good. The service was usually pretty efficient, but sometimes slow. Elvis was a great maitre'd and the Chic dining room was a great place to meet up with everyone each evening. We were treated one night to dinner at the Sun King Supper Club. We enjoyed the singer there and the food was very good and very rich! Thanks again Bob and Barbara!
We didn't sit through too many shows as they seemed to start late due to Bingo Sessions and our early times we were off the ship in ports for tours. The juggler we had was young but very cute and determined.
If you get the chance, go see Brad's adult show in Scottys lounge. Very funny. Catch him on Youtube first. Brad the Piano man. Don't be surprised if the fish on his piano gets fish napped but I believe that filet of fish enjoys the travel! Ports Review Since this is our first trip to Europe we were concerned with being in new countries and missing the ship (a few folks missed us in a one or two ports) We rarely take ship's excursions, partly because we feel they are very expensive and partly because we prefer the freedom of making our own plans, without being herded around. So in this case we book a few tours. Naples We did the ship tour of Pompeii, Sorrento and Positano and had a great time! Beautiful views and well worth it. Hope to go back again some day. Marmaris We went on the ship tour of the Jeep Adventure, it was a lot of fun and you saw a different side of Turkey. We drove in a convoy of 10 jeeps with 6 guest from the ship in each one. We visited the villages of Icmeler and Osmaniye. My photos turned out great! Izmir An industrial port, used by cruise lines with the one purpose of taking guests to Ephesus. Great tour to Ephesus and the house of the Virgin Mary. Beautiful countryside and again, not what I expected Turkey to be like! Istanbul Here we opted for the Best of Istanbul & Bosphorous Cruise with Lunch tour. The traffic in Istanbul old town was horrendous and we were unable to see as much as we had hoped. As much as I enjoyed the cruise with lunch I would have opted to skip it and stay close to the main things we wanted to see. Traffic caused our time to be very cut short. Athens We docked at Pireas and were part of the ships tour to the Acropolis and all the views that we enjoyed from there. Then on going to Plaka we parted from our tour group and stayed on our own. We ate lunch in Plaka, watched the changing of the guard and even found our own way back to the ship. Next time I wouldn't book a tour but would do this on my own.
Katakolon This is a charming seaside town, with little to do apart from walk or sit on the beach, no boats, sun-loungers or umbrellas, well very few. The port is used to transfer guests to Olympia. We enjoyed our tour of Olympia but I think we enjoyed the port even more before we went back to the ship. Livorno By this point we were done giving Carnival money for tours. This port is the gateway to Pisa and Florence. We were in port on a Monday so many things would be closed in Florence. First thing we did was get rail tickets to travel to Florence. We figured about 3 hours in Florence which was fine since so much wasn't open. We met a nice Italian student on our way there and he warned us about pickpockets, but we didn't meet up with any thank goodness. . After viewing this beautiful city we traveled back by train to Pisa. Walked from the train station to the Tower, took photos and caught a cab back. Made it back to the ship with time to spare! Civitavecchia This is the port for Rome. Again we chose to do this part on our own. The port offers a free shuttle to the port entrance, which is in the middle of town. The rail station is a further 10-15 minute walk, along the seafront. It is best to buy a BIRG ticket (9 Euros) at a newsstand, to avoid the long lines at the station, but don't forget to validate your ticket at the yellow machines, to avoid the risk of a big fine! We caught an express train into town and it took almost no time at all. We had planed to go to the catacombs and found ourselves there at 12:15 PM, it was unfortunate for us as they are closed from 12:00 - 2 PM (12 - 1400 hours) We ate nearby and toured after they reopened. For all of Italy I would recommend Rick Steve's Italy book to help you know what is open, when, cost etc. For our last morning onboard we decided to get up early and eat in the Posh dining room. We didn't put our luggage out the night before until after midnight (the ship tells you to have it out by 11 PM) but it was there waiting for us when we left. We then traveled with about 20 of our group by Eurostar from Rome to Venice where we spent 2 full days before returning home. Less
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