Carnival Freedom Cruise Review by lidoplease: Let Freedom Ring!
Overall Member Rating
Let Freedom Ring!
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
We sailed on the Carnival Freedom March 28th on an eight night cruise to the Eastern Caribbean and what a wonderful time we had! This was our first platinum cruise so embarkation was a snap. We were having lunch and our first DOD by noon. We stayed on the Lido deck until our room was ready at 1:30 and then we unpacked our carry ons. Our luggage came right before the muster drill so we had time to get everything put up before sail away. Our room steward, Delia, was perfection personified. She was always joking with us and kept everything so nice. In fourteen cruises, we have never had such a wonderful steward or wait staff.
We had late dinner in the chic dining room and our head waiter was Tito and his assistant was Wayan. Everything was so perfect I could never say enough about these two guys. The food was divine, from the chateaubriand to the prime rib, it was all perfect. The soups were hot, the bread was plentiful and the coffee was right on time every night. The More maitre de, Boris, was a hoot. He seemed so proud of his staff and he has a right to be. We did try the supper club one night. The filet was excellent. And though the staff there was very attentive and it was very elegant...I missed Tito and Wayan!
Sunday was a sea day and we went to the spa for a sauna and to relax in the whirlpool. We also went to afternoon tea which was yummy. And we played some cards and slots...not much luck there but we had fun. Christian was one of the dealers I remember the most for being nice and making our cruise memorable. In San Juan, we had time to visit the old Fort on the harbor before our excursion. It is an easy walk from the ship. Our excursion was kayaking to see the bioluminescent algae and although I am glad we saw it, I wish we had been better prepared. It was night of course and very, very dark and even though it was hot during the day, it was quite cool by nightfall. We got soaked from the waist down and had not brought extra clothes or towels. We have been kayaking and canoeing before and never got soaked. So the ride back to the ship was a little bit freezing! We had a very large group and that wasn't a problem so much as all the other groups coming back along the same narrow strip of water in the dark. Everyone was crashing into everyone else. It's about 30 minutes in the water to the bay through the mangroves and the stars were incredible because it was so dark, and the algae glowing when you paddled was cool, but a couple of times I could not see anyone in front or behind us and it was a bit frightening. I would not recommend this trip to novice kayakers or the faint of heart.
The next day was St Thomas and we have been here many times before. Our friends had never been to the Mountaintop though, so we got a taxi, (our driver was Sam), and he took us up the mountain and stopped along the way so we could take pictures. We had to have the world famous banana daiquiri and then we went back to town and stopped for nachos and drinks at a little bar off the main street. We shopped for a while and headed back to the ship. The weather could not have been any more perfect, as it was for our whole cruise. Wednesday we were in Antigua and we did a little shopping right on the pier before going on our Pirate snorkeling excursion. Some of the folks went to the beach and some of us snorkeled over a hundred year old wreck. Wasn't the best snorkeling I have ever done, but that was in our future on Tortola the next day. After a little shopping near the dock, we went with Captain Wayne on the Carnival sponsored excursion and it was awesome. These folks really knew what they were doing. Everything was well organized, clean and we had 2 full hours to snorkel. We went to Norman Island and I will remember this as long as I live and hope to go back one day. There were all kinds of beautiful coral, hordes of colorful fish, huge crabs, trumpet fish (they looked like squid with huge eyes) and we went in 2 caves. One was completely lined with pink quartz...it was gorgeous.
Thankfully we had another sea day to rest and relax before Nassau, where we went shopping and just enjoyed the sunshine. Thanks to platinum, our debarkation was a breeze and we were on the road by 8:30 am. This was a wonderful vacation. Every staff member on
the Freedom was cheerful and greeted us everywhere we went. The piano guy, Vince, was a riot. We really enjoyed him. We went to two shows, The Big Easy and The Beatles. Both were Broadway type shows...very enjoyable. And we went to the Captain's party and the welcome back party, where the drinks are free and Carnival is not stingy with them! I would highly recommend the Freedom to anyone who needs to get away and be completely and thoroughly spoiled for a week. Less
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