My husband and I sailed on the Carnival Freedom in April, 2011. This was my third time cruising with Carnival and my husband's first time cruising. The ship is nice - typical Carnival decor. Everything was very clean and as expected (rooms and public spaces). The waitstaff was excellent each night in the dining room, we were even sad to say goodbye to them the last night. Our head steward was also very pleasant and did an awesome job keeping the room clean...didn't have to worry about anything all week!
However there were some things I was very disappointed with as a returning cruiser. I feel like the quality of food has gone way down (in the regular dining room). We ate in the steakhouse twice, which has higher quality food, but even then, the temperature of the meat was off...All in all, why should we have to pay extra money to eat good food?
Other vacation-downers: The prices at the bar are kind of steep and you are forced to pay a gratuity, even when the bar tenders are not even friendly (sometimes borderline nasty!); The cocktail hour that is held for returning guests was held twice (one for early seating and one for late). The later was more than two hours before our dinner seating, which is way too early so we didn't bother going; communication was very poor this time around - I felt like I didn't know which nights were the dressy nights until I saw what others were wearing. In past cruises the director was more vocal about these things; our excursion in Jamaica (Dunn's River Falls and bamboo beach) was a disappointing. Besides being practically forced into buying souvenirs, the beach water was filthy with garbage. *The falls is a must-see, though!!