Background: We are a family of four including an 11 year old and 14 year old son. We traveled down to Ft Lauderdale with my Mother in law and Father in law. We were met there by my wife's little brother who was going on his first cruise. The rest of the group had cruised at least three times and at least once with Carnival.
Pre-Cruise: We flew down on Thursday and stayed at the Best Western Oceanside for two days. The Hotel was very clean and the location was great. The beach was close by and it was a short walk to the water taxi. I can not say enough about the water taxi. It was a wonderful way to see Ft. Lauderdale and the guides provided great information on all the beautiful homes. The last evening, we took the water taxi to the Pirate Restaurant and I recommend this place to everyone. It was a great meal with a super atmosphere and great view.
Ship: The Freedom is quite a ship with lots of great spaces. The crew was always cleaning and I did not see anything all week that was left in a dirty condition. The Habana Cigar Bar is a must visit for anyone on this ship. There is no smoking in this lounge and it is used mainly for dancing. The Music Boardwalk Band is wonderful and the lounge is a very comfortable place to sit and listen. The other must see area would be the Serenity Area. This was a nice peaceful area that I was even able to enjoy when it was raining.
Activities & Entertainment: The ship had the usual trivia and pool games that were enjoyable and fun to watch. The nightlife was always hopping on this ship. I touched on the Music Boardwalk Band earlier, but they are wonderful. I am not a Karaoke fan, but I enjoyed this area. The host was absolutely hysterical and this is worth visiting. As for the shows in the main theater, I thought that these were not as good as on past cruises. The one exception to this was the Beatles tribute show. This was the best show I have seen on any of my five cruises.
Kid's program: Our youngest enjoyed Camp Carnival most of the time and really loved the late night party. Our oldest was in Circle C and had the time of his life. He met several friends and they were all over the ship enjoying many activities.
Ports: We visited San Juan, St Thomas, Antigua, Tortola and Nassau. We hit a storm going through St. Thomas, so we stayed on the ship here, but other than that, we enjoyed all the ports.
Summary: We enjoyed our 8 days aboard the Freedom and would recommend this cruise to everyone.