This was my 4th cruise and my first cruise with Carnival. This was my husband's first cruise ever. We set this vacation up with friends of ours. In total, there were 8 of us.
We had some issues when we first checked in but we were very pleased once we got on the ship. The staff was excellent to say the least. The food was good (not fantastic as with other cruises I've been on) but it was decent. The ship was spotless and there were plenty of things to do while onboard. We were on the Empress Deck 7. The cabin we had was clean. There was
enough room for the two of us and it had plenty of storage (I tend to
way overpack!). Our cabin steward was on top of everything and did an
excellent job. Our friends who were with us also had clean cabins. We
were all in a row so we had the same steward service. Every staff
member we encountered on this deck was friendly and professional. There
is a laundry room down the hall in case you need to do some wash or
ironing. We didn't use it but others did and found it convenient. I found that other passengers were very friendly and outgoing. I really enjoyed this part as well since the others cruises I've been on were a bit "stuffy".
Things to check out: The adult pool/hot tub area, mini golf and volleyball court were a blast! The 70's Disco, Scott's Piano Bar (be prepared for lots of smoke though) and all the fun trivia games, game shows and live Mmusic entertainment. Wee Jimmy is hillarious! Don't miss one of his shows! The gym and spa were decent as well. The staff was quite friendly.
Some of the cons: The ports of call sort of stunk! Cozumel was great. Puerto Limon Costa Rica and Colon Panama were dirty places. They have a long way to go before I would ever go back there again! The ship decor was a bit strange. It almost seemed that Carnival used whatever they had left over from other ships and sort of lobbed it all together. I didn't care for some of the staff hanging out at the bars or the nightclub. I understand that they are on the ship for long periods of time and they need to "let loose". However, I felt like it was intrusive and unprofessional. It seemed like they were getting served before the paying guests and many of them dominated the dance floor in the club and walked around like they were hot stuff. It took away from the fun in my opinion. Luckilly this only happened twice.
Other than that we had a blast and we will surely be back on another Carnival cruise. The only problem is that we can't do it soon enough!! Thanks again to Rudy, Julio, Carlos, Rubina and all the rest of the wonderful staff onboard The Freedom. This ship has something for everyone.