Carnival Freedom Cruise Review by Peg_S: It was a good week.
Overall Member Rating
It was a good week.
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
Ship: Very nice. I know many people think the decor is too wild, but come on - it's fun! I wouldn't want most of that wall paper in my home, but it's a cruise ship - so why not? I kept imagining the designer(s) fun in picking out all the pieces for each area. Not often you'd get a free rein like that!
We saw crew cleaning and fixing something every day. No stains, tears, messes anywhere. I know it just came out of dry dock, but I was still very amazed how nice everything looked.
Staff: I was really amazed how warm and friendly all the staff and crew were. We received warm greetings from every crew member we passed by, whether they were restocking the buffet or polishing the ceiling (really!).
Cabin: Our cabin was 7446, an aft balcony. The room size is fine for two people. Plenty of space and plenty of storage. The balcony is wonderful - plenty of room to stretch out. Just what I wanted.It also was in a great location. We could run up two flights in the More morning for breakfast buffet. Easy.
Food: I was very happy with the food. We figured we'd eat in the steak house if the dining room got "boring", but it didn't. We ate in the dining room every night but one, when we decided to "buffet-hop" just to see what was offered there. The menus were varied and there was something interesting to order each night.
We tried the Anytime Dining option. It was only the second week this was offered on the Freedom. We loved it. We ended up eating around 7 or 7:30 most nights. Being ready by 6 or waiting to 8 would have been a pain. We usually got seated immediately. Twice we were given a beeper and asked to wait...we had our glass of wine and went down the stairs and sat in the lobby listening to the band and people watched. No big deal.
We ate breakfast in the dining room on the first day (Key West). Decided to do buffet the rest of the time because it was quicker and not that much difference in food.
Aft balcony: I picked it because of the larger balcony...and we loved it. We had two regular chairs, a table and a lounge chair. I was happy with the extra room to stretch out. And the view is great. We really enjoyed spending time there. Less
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Cabin review: 8M7446 Aft-View Extended Balcony
Great spot for sailaway. Nice size balcony - actually has room to stretch out!Read All Aft-View Extended Balcony (8M) Reviews >>
Port and Shore Excursions
Our excursion company was waiting for us when we got on land, and informed us that our excursion had to be cancelled due to the weather/sea conditions. They gave us options for the day, some were other tours with them (Turtle Farm, Rum factory, etc.) and others were advice on 7 mile beach locations. We decided to take a cab to Sea Grape beach to hang out for a while. We paid around $7 each to get a ride to the beach, paid $8 for two lounge chairs and sat for awhile. It was on 77 degrees…kinda cold to be in the ocean, though a few people were. We sat a while and decided to return the chairs and go walking. We walked to Reef Grill and had a nice lunch on the beach. We went up to the road and got a cab into Georgetown ($4 each) to find some souvenirs. Then took another cab back to the ship ($5 each). An easy, relaxing day.
DH and I have been to Key West a few times, but this was our first "day hours only" visit, so it was different for us to be on Duval Street in the daylight! We walked up and down and did some shopping, stopped for lunch, and went thru the Shipwreck Museum. Then is was time to return to the ship. a nice day.
The Falls were really fun. I booked it because DH thought is sounded interesting. I thought it was just some tourist trap place. But I’m really glad we went. They were a lot longer/taller than I expected! But it was really fun to climb and experience it! I’m now officially one of those who says “I really recommend it!”
After the Falls, we were shown all around the Ocho Rios area. We learned about the native plants (stopping to show us a banana tree, and many other native species), the education system, housing difficulties, we talked about local customs, favorite foods, and many other topics. We stopped at a scenic overlook, drove thru Fern Gully, and many other places.
We went to a local jerk place for lunch. We had jerk chicken, jerk pork, and “festival”, a fried bread. It was really good, and fun to try. After lunch, we went to the pier area for more souvenir shopping. We had a Margarita at Margaritaville. It looks like a fun place. It probably is packed on hot days.
We really enjoyed driving around and seeing Ocho Rios. Our guide told us in the beginning that she wanted us to love Jamaica like she did. She succeeded. It is a beautiful place.
Wouldn't do Carnival again.
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