My family and I cruised the "Freedom" from August 22 - August 28, 2010. We had such a fun filled time. This cruise was my first and it will not be my last. In my opinion the ship is beautiful, I've read some reviews where some people thought the ship was too "gaudy", however,I found it to be colorful in a good way. Embarkment was quick and disembarkment was quicker, although the lines were long but they moved very quickly (that was a plus).
We visited 3 ports and they were Key West, Grand Cayman and Jamaica. My favorites were Key West and Grand Cayman. Jamaica was beautiful but the natives there were a bit pushy. Key West was beautiful, me and my sister strolled down Duvall Street where we ran into some shops and one of them being coach..needless to say I went bananas and purchased a beautiful bag. Then we ran into the 9 West store where my sister purchased a pair of sandals...the sales were great in Key West. We finally got on a pedicab and rode down to Mile Zero...what a beautiful attraction it is, we took pictures at the famous buoy and headed back down Duvall Street, took more pictures and headed back to the ship.
Grand Cayman is beautiful as well, we tendered to the island. I was a bit skeptical about tendering but it was a piece of cake for a first time cruiser. While in Cayman me and my cousin shopped at the local shopping area and explored the beautiful island, took pictures and stopped at Margarita ville. We had a great time there.
Jamaica is a beautiful Island, but like I stated before the natives are a bit pushy, it was such a turn off for me. Me and my cousin and his son shopped at the local mall and walked until the sweat was streaming down our backs LOL, LOL. The Islands are hot! We did a lot of walking in Jamaica but we didn't stray to far from the port.
Now back to the ship....There was so much to do on it, my favorites were the Casino, the Adult Serenity deck, Comedy and Karaoke. I wanted to take in a show but like I said I was exhausted. I enjoyed shopping at the "Fun Shop" and just exploring was was on board. The food for the formal dining was excellent, I enjoyed having Breakfast and Dinner in a formal setting. The food on the Lido deck was just "OK". My preference was to order from room service. One thing I would suggest to Carnival is to provide bubble wrap for alcohol purchases. I purchased four bottles of alcohol to take home, although it was boxed, however, the bottles rattled and that didn't sit right with me. I purchased some bubble wrap and tape when I was in Miami visiting my brother-in-law family, i wanted to make sure the bottles didn't break in my luggage since the alcohol had to be checked.
Overall, the "Freedom" is a great ship! I enjoyed spending time with my family. we had such a good time. We are going to do it again next year on the "Liberty"...I can't wait!! :-)