This was our second Carnival Cruise. The last one was 6 1/2 years ago on the Paradise. After booking I came to the cruise critic Carnival board to learn about the Freedom and became a little worried because some of the posters. To anyone leaning toward the Freedom do not let the habitual mean spirited or sometimes offensive posters color your decision. Focus on the posters who actually want to give you help and information. It was a wonderful vacation and I'd do it again in a heartbeat. We did not see any rowdiness or wild kids and there was a wide range of ages on board from toddlers to elderly.
We flew in the night before and stayed at the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort and the hotel was wonderful. We had an ocean view and it was spotless. We had supper at the Casablanca Cafe and it was very good.
The next morning we took a cab to the cruise terminal for about $14.00. We arrived about 11:00 and we breezed right through the check in process. We had a short wait and were on board by noon. We went straight to the purser's desk to put cash on the sign and sail cards and were on our way to the lido deck for lunch.
Our cabin was midship on the upper deck, cabin 6292. We never heard any noise. The beds were comfortable and the room was kept very clean. We had an upper and a sofabed for the kids and they took turns between the two. They both said that they didn't mind either bed and both were comfortable.
We ate lunch daily at the lido and there were lines, but they moved.
Our waitstaff was Francisco, Imade, and Frank. They were outstanding! Friendly and genuine. Service was impeccable. The food was surprisingly good. To be honest, I didn't have high expectations, but it was good each night. We did not visit the steakhouse so I can't give you any information there.
We really didn't participate in any organized activities, but the ones who did looked like they were having fun. We preferred to just sit by the pool and read while the kids played on the slide and in the pool.
We planned on doing self assist on disembarkation day. We woke early around 5am, showered went up to the lido for breakfast (we had eaten breakfast on all the other days in the MDR). The lido opened that day at 6am and the MDR opened at 6:30 and self assist started at 6:30 so off to the lido it was. We were at the airport by 7:15.