My fellow Divas and I came aboard the Carnival Freedom for our fourth annual cruise. After the muster we met up with friends we met on the roll call. This started to be one of our best cruises ever because of the cruisers more than the ship. For the first time my foomate and I had a female steward and she was terrific. She was clever with the towel animals (using our boas for extra decoration)and always kept the room supplied with ice and super clean. I place magnets/clips on our door to help with notes but they disappeared within minutes. Seems there were slippery fingered guests among us. Tacky, tacky behavior. I actually found one or two on guest doors while walking the halls during the cruise(they were distinctive and not bought in the usual office supply stores).
There were three ports: Cozumel Mexico, Limon Costa Rica, and Colon, Panama. With the exception of Cozumel, unless youu booked an excursion, cruisers wasted their port charges on them. Disgusting and dangerous came to mind. Limon was a shithole and so was Colon. What was Carnival thinking pulling into those ports? Why were the ports not built up to welcome tourists so the local economy could benefit from our visit there? When you stepped off the ship in Cozumel you were faced with attractive little shops painted in tropical colors and friendly faces of local shopkeepers. When you stepped off the ship in Colon and Limon you faced drabness, poverty.
Being a repeat cruiser on Carnival I have seen some steady decline in food quality. There used to be more fresh juice available all day, then only in the morning, now only in my dreams. A diabetic, I packed packs of Crystal Light and sugar free Cappuccino. The sugary juice on the Lido deck were undrinkable. The coffee was good. I did like the ceviche at Fish and Chips, but the rest of the food was either greasy or tasteless. The desserts looked good but had no discernible flavor. Not worth the calories. The pizza bar was terrific and had a friendly staff. Room service at times was sooooo fast I accused the waiter of traveling through an air tube like at the bank.
The strength of Carnival is in it's staff. My table's waiter, DeDe and his assistants were so good I don't know where to start. The dining room, Posh, was so much fun. Goran, the Maitre D remembered the Divas from a previous cruise. The cruise director was talented and loaded with personality (something I found lacking in past cruise directors). I like the t.v. show in the morning. Studio C. Nice idea.
The photographers on this cruise were not as talented as in the past. Cropping was sloppy. I heard complaints from other passengers as well. I would have bought more photos but parts of my body were missing or the photo was off center and cut off part of my group.
I heard a rumor that Carnival was thinking of getting rid of live entertainment. BAAAAAD move if it's true. All of the live performers were so talented and cruise ships provide a lot of employment for show people. They really added to the enjoyment and fun I had on the cruise. The shows were wonderful and the singers were the best I've seen in years of cruising. Love ya Dave, the piano man. "Lucille" will never be the same again! Enough said.