My wife and I just returned from an 8 night stay aboard the Freedom. In short let me say that this ship is great and the food was as well.
I was a bit concerned about taking this trip based on a few of the reviews. Let me just say, we have cruised many times and find it to be a great vacation value. We however, have never sailed Carnival before this past weekend. I would compare Carnival with NCL and RCCL, it is not Princess or Celebrity by any means. We have read many reviews about the food being bad or the cruise director not being up to par??? My wife and I cruise to be together and get away from life.... if the cruise director is going to make or break your trip- you might want to rethink your priorities! Review: Ship- Beautiful and very large. You will find it difficult to eat at every venue on board. It is as they say cut up and at times, overcrowded! We had difficulty getting away from the throngs of humanity. The serenity area was great however. We did meet some great people from Italy and Sweden ( Allen and Carla you both Rock) as well as a lot of nice folks from the USA.
Room- 9204: inside room with a handicap bathroom. This was great to shower, my wife and I both fit at the same time!! On a cruise ship that is rare. However, there was little room in the storage area:(
Gym- we worked out each day and I would say here some improvement is needed. The space is very limited and on sea days very crowded! There is no sign up for the treadmill so catch as you can. Overall it is adequate but not great.
Spa- Expensive and average at best. We each had a service or two done and I would not go back.
Food- Good always and at times great. We did not have one bad meal, at dinner or lunch! Problem- we requested "my time" and where wait listed when we booked? When we arrived on board we waited to speak with the head Waiter- No help. We wanted to eat by ourselves due to it being our anniversary. There was a table for two provide but it was at 6:00pm:(( We were not happy at all. We have never had a request like this denied before- on any ship. In the end, Carnival did not over extend themselves in anyway. We were told that they were full and that we had to eat at 6:00. We didn't let this ruin our trip and made some changes in our daily activities. My advice is to book early and secure a table and time that you want prior to departing. I understand that this is at the discretion of the head waiter but please, it was just the two of us, something could have been worked out. If we had a six guests I would completely understand.
Movies under the stars- cool and worth a visit
Sun King steak House- Good but not great
Ports: San Juan- cool shopping and El Morro is a must St. Thomas- much to do and little time- Paradise point is cool, Megan's bay for beach and Coki Beach for snorkeling, great shopping as well Antigua- Beautiful! Rented scooters and went all around- make sure you see Shirlys Heights! Tortola- Virgin Gorda is a must however, take a ferry on your own and head to Spring Bay Nassau- Beautiful, rented scooters again and went around the island.
Closing points: I think that Carnival does a good job and provides a solid vacation value and experience. The dinning arrangements could be better taken care of and if everyone would like"My time"- make the entire ship My time!! Don't expect Carnival to go overboard with service and pampering. If that is what you cruise for, pick another line. If you want to get away and like the idea of an 8 day Caribbean trip, this is for you.
Have a Great time- Life is what we make it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!