Good time on Freedom 3/27--4/4: Carnival Freedom Cruise Review by meckart33
Overall Member Rating
Good time on Freedom 3/27--4/4
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
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
Cabin review: 6A Ocean View
Noisy hallways if children running by. NO noise from room to room. Lots of storage in this interior, lower-deck room.Read All Ocean View (6A) Reviews >>
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.
Not my first cruise.
3rd Time on the Freedom
Definitely the vacation I need...