We sailed the Carnival Freedom Thanksgiving week 2009. The ship itself was beautiful and the Cruise Director Wee Jimmy was absolutely the best. But other than that, here is why NOT to cruise Carnival again.
First day at sea, go to breakfast at the Freedom Rest. and it was total bedlam. Food cold and the set up was late. Same old food every morning with them running out of Banana's and other fruit before the cruise was over. The selections were lackluster. But the kicker was the Chic Dining room. Our service was awful the first three nights; wrong food, cold food; slow service. It all hit the wall when one evening while every other table around us was getting their en tree's we had not even gotten our starters. Then the worst was the Head Maitre D was rude and got an attitude with my wife. Ramesh came around telling tables if they had any questions, concerns or complaints to please tell him, so my wife called him over; first questioning the "black tiger shrimp" on the menu, that they were not tiger shrimp and I being a chef and every one at our table knowing the difference; Ramesh told my wife, you just buy your shrimp somewhere that sells something they call their own tiger shrimp; then she complained about our awful service. He got an attitude with her speaking down to her and everyone at our table was in shock. The food choices were something out of a roadside dive diner with lot of the same things on the menu every night; the food lacked any taste and it was not what we are used to on a cruise. We even had past carnival cruisers at our table and they too were shocked at the food. And then not to have more choices of food available throughout the night. Only thing you could get was pizza; no cookies or sweets; nothing open all night long to serve you; and no midnight grand buffet where they show off their ice sculptures, carved fruits and food. All in all, the food was not what you would expect on a cruise and it was to the point of not eating and filling up on pizza late at night.
Their inside cabins were smaller than those on Royal Caribbean, yes more closet space, but no little love seat or extra chairs to sit in. All in all, it was a waste of time to take this cruise because the dinners are something you look forward to because you are "supposed" to be getting food you normally would not have at home and the tastes you are not used to. Well carnival, this cruiser will not be back; Be careful when booking; pictures and the cruise lines descriptions are not what you get!