Flew into Fort Lauderdale the day before and spent the night at Courtyard Fort Lauderdale Airport/Cruise Port hotel in Dania Beach, FL. Free shuttle from the airport and to the cruise port. A taxi back to the airport from the cruise port can be arranged at the front desk. The hotel was nice we would stay there again. The only draw back is there is only one restaurant to eat at on the premises. For $125.00 for the night it worked out fine for us.
Took the 10:30 shuttle over to the cruise port. Stood in line for a very short time and we were on board by noon.
Sailed on the Carnival Freedom April 18th thru the 24th. This was our first Carnival cruise. We have sailed on RCCL, NCL and Princess. When i first stepped on board i said this is the ugliest ship i have ever been on. Very over the top weird decor. But after the 2nd day i hardly noticed it.
Cabin: Deck 1 (aft) cabin #1454. The cabin suited our needs and the beds were somewhat comfy. Room steward More
Michael and his partner were very good.
Food: The first day was like a free for all. Tons of people at the buffet but that is to be expected. We had the late seating in the Chic dining room. Our waitress Ulla was great. We gave her an additional $50.00 tip on top of her "regular" tip that is added to your carnival card. Her assistant was okay at best. We never had one bad meal the entire week. *Tip* Carnival does offer any time dining on the second floor in the Chic dining room. We didn't know that until the 3rd day.
Pools: The smallest pools i have ever seen. The water was very cold. The adults only pool/hot tub was a joke since there were always kids in it.
Sun deck: We spent most of our time laying out on deck 10 (??) aft. Of course, on our last day we discovered the serenity deck. Deck 12 forward. Beautiful area with nice lounge chairs, couches and a hot tub. This is truly an adults only area there were no kids anywhere.
Ports: Enjoyed Key West spent the day shopping. Grand Cayman was beautiful and spent the day at Seven Mile beach. The water was chilly!!
Jamaica went shopping at the stores within walking distance of the ship. We were asked multiple times if we needed a ride. Just said no thank you and kept walking. Never felt unsafe.
We chose to carry our own luggage off the ship on the last day. The process took less than 15 minutes and we were at the airport by 8:30 in the morning.
We found the ship to be very, very cold at night. Many people including myself walked around with fleece jackets or sweatshirts on every night.
It was a great cruise (aside from the decor) and if i could get a great deal i would go again. Less