My wife and I booked an oceanview with two twin beds on the Freedom directly with Carnival. When we arrived onboard the cabin was an oceanview with one twin bed and a pullout sofa bed. This was not the cabin that was described by the Carnival salesman. We were told by the Purser's desk they would not know if there was another cabin available until we were 2 1/2 hours out to sea. If we got off the ship before it departed we would not have our money refunded. We could also disembark at our first port of call, Panama, two days later, and pay our own way home. After the ship departed the only cabin available was an interior room across the hall. Since neither my wife or I could physically sleep on a pullout bed without having back problems, we took the claustrophobic cabin with two twins pushed together. Bottom line we paid for an oceanview and wound up with an interior cabin. Carnival has yet to respond to the letter that we sent two weeks ago detailing these problems. Buyer beware. Needless to say our experience was colored by this blatant ripoff but I'll try to be as objective as possible about the cruise itself.
The Freedom is a huge ship. When we sailed there were over 900 kids on board but they were rarely seen and never heard. This may have been a function of us staying by the adult pool for the most part. If you are a cigar smoker the cigar bar is a wonderful oasis. The drinks are relatively expensive (a 16 oz Bud is $5.46 including the gratutity). The bucket of beer (4) is less expensive. I always enjoy the food on board and this was no different. Over the years, with the gratuties being charged upfront, the service is perfunctory rather than personable. The shore excursions seemed to be given mixed reviews by our tablemates. The shore excursion that we went on in Costa Rica was cut short by either the President landing in town or the workers at a bananna plantation throwing rocks at tourist buses like ours in protest of working conditions. Our tour guide gave us both versions and then said he wasn't really sure why we couldn't complete the tour . In Belize we hired a cab (despite the dire warnings of the shore excursion personnel) to take us to a man made beach in an area called Old Belize The driver dropped us off, said what time do you want me to pick you up, and came back just as promised. I believe the shore excursions are more expensive if booked onboard rather than online. Again, due to the lack of customer service in responding to our problem, I would caution you in spending your hard earned money on a Carnival vacation.