Just got back from the Carnival Freedom Cruise Sept 5, 2010. This was our first cruise and had nothing to judge it by. We don't think that we'll be going on any cruises in the near future...
We had VIP boarding, which went smoothly. Our Stateroom Suite was 7-274. Very nice room. The ship was nice and clean...and remained nice and clean throughout the cruise. I commend the crew on cleanliness.
Have to say that the crew seemed extremely unhappy most of the time. There were a "FEW" crew members who were smiling and nice, helpful..but..most...were not too friendly and definately NOT helpful.
Most acted like I was bothering them, if I had a question.
Had 2 different room stewarts. 1st one a girl from Indonesia. Had her from day 1 - 3. She acted really nice the first day. 2nd day made me a puppy out of towels. I told her how cute it was and thanked her. She brought me a book on how to make towel animals. I asked her how much it was and she told me that I could have it for free. I thanked her and thought in my head that I would include the price of the book in my tip, at the end of the cruise. OKAY, well, the next day after she gave me the book, She saw me entering my cabin and said that she "borrowed" my book because another guest wanted to see it and that she would bring it by my cabin later that evening. Well, Later never came. For some reason, the next day we had a new cabin stewart, a nice guy. Never did understand that. She also totally ignored us, as we could tell, was on purpose. All I could figure is that, she never returned the book, BIG DEAL..NOT.., and she knew that she had lied to me about returning it. Other than that, I don't know if it was something I said or did, maybe in her culture that offended her...I honestly don't know, but..the guy we had was very attentive and we did tip him personally at the end of the cruise. As a matter of fact, HE WAS ALMOST THE ONLY PERSON ON THE CRUISE THAT CONSTANTLY SMILED AND ALWAYS ASKED IF HE COULD GET US ANYTHING OR HELP US!!! KUDOS TO HIM!! Okay, Dinner. We had early seating in the lower (Deck 3, POSH DINING ROOM). I was not too impressed with the seating. Seemed like we were in a dungeon. Couldn't see anything on the main floor (They had small shows, etc). Never saw who the Matri'd (Sp?) was UNTIL the last nite of the cruise...OF COURSE, you had an envelope for his TIP that you were supposed to give him when leaving dinner. THAT DIDN'T HAPPEN!! ...We had a very disgruntled waitress. She acted like it was total trouble to take our orders and serve us. I forgot to order iced tea the first night..and almost went through the entire dinner without, because she never came back to the table once the main course was served. Oh, I did ask for the iced tea when she served our appetizer, but, received it during the dessert part of the meal??? Go figure!! The food was really good in the dining room and also in the buffet, but the service was NOT SO GOOD.
Thought it was just us...NO, We asked other cruisers about the service. All said the same thing, that the crew had an attitude, was not helpful or friendly at all. Once guy said that he'd been on numerous Carnival Cruises and that the Freedom was one of the best for cleanliness and Food, BUT, one of the worst he'd been on for SERVICE and Crew Friendliness.
Our Friends were with us and are seasoned cruisers on Carnival, RC and Celebrity. They go on cruises every six months. They were so disappointed for us, as they were telling us, it was not like this and that they could not understand why the service was so bad. We thought at first that they were just complaining, but, Nope, we asked SEVERAL OTHERS and they said the same thing.
We were really surprised that the dinner dress code was not enforced. We understood the first night, but, most nights was the same. I MADE my husband wear his pants and dress shirt to dinner on casual nights, As I understood that this was the preferred dress code for men, however, it seemed that cut offs, t-shirts, baseball hats on casual nights WERE THE NORM. We did the formal night, which was interesting. We dressed semi-formal, husband suit and tie, me, semi long evening dress, nothing over the top. We WERE dressed up. Get my drift?? This was in the POSH dining room, early dining.
Overall, I think we expected more. Both my husband and I really don't care if we go on another cruise, but, if we do, we will book on RC, Celebrity or Princess to see if there is a difference. Our friends said we would DEFINATELY see a difference. We'll perhaps see.
I guess we expected more for our $2,000 stateroom costs. Ended up spending alittle over $5,000 with excursions and ship purchases (Watches, Jewerly and Perfume). No sour grapes there. WE OVERALL HAD A GREAT TIME. The ships crew...NOT SO MUCH.
As the Jamicans told us....We have SITUATIONS....NO PROBLEM...MAN.