Carnival Freedom Cruise Review by gapearl: I had the time of my life on the Freedom!
Overall Member Rating
I had the time of my life on the Freedom!
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
I cruised on the Freedom in September 2009 for 6 days with stops in Key West, Grand Cayman, and Ocho Rios, Jamaica. I honestly have nothing bad at all to say.
Embarkation: Easy! I got to the cruise port around 11:30 am. Embarkation took about an hour due to the long lines, but what easy. Food was available immediately at the buffet and the bars were open. I flew in the night before, but the cruise port is only about 10 minutes from the airport.
Room: It was comfortable. I was in 2208, which had a single twin bed and a sofa bed, and lots of closet space. I cruised solo, so it was plenty of space just for me. This room is close to the front of the ship, and YOU WILL BE AWAKENED in the morning when they are anchoring at the port. It was SO LOUD and actually scared me the first morning when I didn't know what it was.
Food: AMAZING!!! I dressed up every night and had dinner in the main dining room. I was seated at a table with 4 other solo travelers, which I More really appreciated. The service was excellent! The chocolate cake was to die for. I had it every night. Numerous options were available at the many buffets. There were two buffets outside by the pool, one serving Asian inspired food and the other serving chicken fingers, burgers, and fries. The buffet inside the main dining room had everything you could possible want, including a chocolate dessert buffet the last day. Note: if you continue to walk towards the back of the dining room past all the tables, you'll discover another buffet in the back (by the Statue of Liberty) with even more food and a different variety. I didn't discover this one until day 5.
Entertainment: It was pretty good. The Broadway style shows were ok, but I mostly enjoyed the adult comedians. Wee Jimmy, the cruise director, constantly had me laughing. After hours, I was in the 70's disco dancing until the wee hours of the morning. Even though it's called a 70's disco and decorated 70's style, they don't play 70's music, but rather top 40. At night, there was a different music act in every lounge and every corner of the halls. There was something for everyone. Recent movies were played on the movie screen by the pool at night, such as Seven Pounds and the most recent James Bond movie.
Other: On the days at sea, get to the pool early! The lounge chairs fill up fast. Definitely try the water slide- FUNNNN! Trivia was played on the movie screen during the day. The gym was state of the art with new treadmills, elipticals, and weight equipment. I used both the sauna and steam room, but did not pay extra for any of the spa services.
Key West: The island is so small there was no need to book an excursion. I walked through town and decided to take a trolley ride through the city. It was $29 for 2 hours and you could hop on and off at your leisure. Be sure to get off in time to take pictures at the southernmost point of the US.
Grand Cayman: I booked the stingray city/hell/turtle farm excursion. This cost about $75, but was worth every penny. I was on a small van with about 8 other people, much better than a large tour bus. Our first stop was the turtle farm, where we spent a little more than an hour learning about and playing with them. Next was hell for long enough to get some pictures, then we took a 30 minute ferry ride to the sand bar where the stingrays are and spent about an hour there. I would highly recommend this excursion!
Ocho Rios, Jamaica: I paid another $75 to go snorkeling at Dolphin Cove and climbed Dunn's River Falls. Lockers were available at both places, and you will need them. Dolphin Cove has animals such as nurse sharks, birds, iguanas, and snakes that you can interact with. Dunn's River Falls was INCREDIBLE! Be sure to bring water shoes. They're mandatory to make the climb and you'll have to rent a pair if you didn't bring your own. Don;t forget your camera here! Time here was very tight and I didn't have time to do much shopping since you have to be back on board by 3 pm. I would recommend visiting only place. Whatever you do, be sure to find some authentic jerk chicken.
Debarkation: It was just as easy as embarkation. I chose to self assist off the ship as early as possible. The lines were fairly short and I was out within 30 minutes. I would also recommend using a shuttle service instead of a cab to the airport, as they are much cheaper.
Overall, I had a fantastic time on the Freedom. Some other reviews say the ship's layout is difficult, and in some areas it is, but you'll figure out after a day or so. I would love to cruise on this ship again sometime. Less
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