My mom and I have made it a tradition to take 1 or more cruises each year because we love the experience so much. This was my 4th and mom's 3rd cruise, all with Carnival, and was by far our favorite!
We drove from NE Georgia the day before and stayed at the Ramada Inn, near the FLL airport. The next morning, we drove to Port Everglades around 10 a.m. We parked in the parking deck and checked our baggage in with the porters outside. Once inside, we very quickly received our Sail & Sign cards and were asked to have a seat in "Zone 1".
We were advised that it would be awhile, as the ship was running behind in getting cleared out. We waited for close to an hour, and then our Zone was called. We then waited another 30 minutes in a very HOT terminal before we were released to board the ship. I feel like Port Everglades could do a better job with the embarkation process. This was by far the most tedious embarkation process I had experienced.
We were the first group to board the ship which was nice. Not too crowded! We headed up to the Freedom Restaurant to have something cold to drink and something to eat. It was nice to relax a bit before heading to our cabin, which was ready about 1:30.
We had booked an inside cabin for this cruise, wanting to save the extra money to do some really good excursions in our ports of call. We were on the Riviera deck, which was very quiet. We had an awesome room steward, Iwayan, who took very good care of us during our cruise. He kept our little cooler full of ice for mom's diet cokes and my bottled water we brought on with us.
After the muster drill that afternoon, we enjoyed standing our on the deck watching FLL disappear behind us as we headed out to sea. It was a beautiful day to be starting a cruise vacation!
We dined in the Chic Dining Room (midship) for early seating. We had an awesome waiter, Robert, and his assistant waiter (sorry, I cannot remember his name), who were so good to us. They always knew our drink preferences and had them ready for us each evening. We had a booth for 4, and on our 3rd night, we were joined by our table mates, a young couple from Newfoundland whom we enjoyed getting to know during the rest of our cruise.
Food was always good. I was glad to see a few new dishes on the Carnival menu as well.
The ship, to me, was the nicest Carnival ship I had sailed on so far. I especially loved the Promenade and the Main Lobby. We spent a good bit of time in these areas relaxing and people watching, especially on sea days.
All in all, Mom and I both thought this was the best one yet, and cannot wait to go on our next one. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me. I'd love to share any information about the Freedom with you!