Carnival Freedom Cruise Review by meckart33: Good time on Freedom 3/27--4/4
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Good time on Freedom 3/27--4/4
Pros: --great food at late seating in Chic dining room (beef short ribs were incredible and presentation of all courses was impressive) --incredible waitress Ulla who was informative, very friendly, prompt, and was always willing to go the extra mile answer questions and take care of us --less intrusive all-ship announcements than previous cruise (speakers seemed to be off in rooms and not TOO loud in hallways --ample storage space, even for pretty low-level room (interior, lower level) --steward service consistent and excellent --24 hour pizza and ice cream were both good and never waited longer than a few minutes for pizza --on and off ship process at ports was pretty fast --shows and comedians were pretty good (Beatles show was the best) --decor was loud and bold but this is about the last thing I'd care about as long as it's clean --good, detailed, user-friendly TV menus and daily "newspaper" (FunTimes) that allowed you to plan your day --rather quiet environment up on the More
Serenity deck (no one under 18 allowed) --quick bar (pop AND alcohol) service all but one time --decent music (acoustic guitar player Danny; Latin with Sabor Latino; etc.) --small children must've been kept VERY busy with Camp Carnival, as they were rarely seen outside of dining hours --You'll NEVER hear your neighbors on either side but any hall noise travels RIGHT through the doors
Cons: --fitting Bingo in up until the last possible second before all shows --crowded areas before dinner with music performers and/or photo opportunities --Carnival-sponsored shore excursion for Virgin Gorda was WAY too big and resulted in a late return to the ship after a long wait on the ferry (see port review) --slow lines in Lido dining rooms because lines moved toward each other and backed up at centrally located omelette or meat stations --food at Lido dining rooms could've been hotter for breakfast and lunch --unlimited pop/soda card was advertised at a cheaper cost than what we ended up paying (~$40?) --expensive (but probably on par with other cruiselines) drinks. Beer was at least $5, well drinks at least $8 or $9. Less
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Cabin review: Carnival Freedom Oceanview Riviera
Noisy hallways if children running by. NO noise from room to room. Lots of storage in this interior, lower-deck room.
Port and Shore Excursions
Go to St. John!! Heard a few cruisers mention that Meagan's Bay (the popular beach on St. Thomas) is VERY crowded.
--Get to the Baths in Virgin Gorda but if possible, book privately before you cruise and DO NOT use Carnival's shore excursion as your means to get there!!! You've been warned! The ferry brings hundreds to Virgin Gorda where many passages through the incredible rock formations allow one person to pass through at a time (while crouching, climbing, ducking, etc.). Going through them with such a large group takes away from the experience. Allow time for the beach AFTER you go through the Baths, as it is bigger and nicer than the beach on the entrance-side. To avoid the crowds from the ship-sponsored excursions, maybe getting there later or earlier in the day would help. I tried to book through Patouche Charters or White Squall but they were booked over a month in advance so I'd recommend booking as early as possible to avoid being stuck with the Carnival tour (which will book by the second day of the cruise as this is an incredibly popular excursion). With the large numbers they took, it was inevitable that a few cruisers apparently didn't pay attention to time and kept our ferry in Virgin Gorda an extra forty minutes and got us back almost an hour later than scheduled. Two Carnival employees for these hundred or more cruisers seemed unable to keep track of everyone and thus, we all suffered for the irresponsibility of either them or the two or three cruisers themselves. Either way, this would seemingly have been avoided with a smaller excursion. --a group raved about a locally-found, generic-sounding "island tour" for $20 offered by locals at the end of the dock.
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