Carnival Freedom Cruise Review by atl9584: Carnival Freedom May 2011
Member Since 2011
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Carnival Freedom May 2011
Embarkation took forever! This was by far the worst part of the cruise. We arrived at the terminal at about 12:45. The first two lines where they check your passport and you go through security were not that bad, the whole process maybe took a little more than 30 minutes. The check-in process where you get your sail and sign card took forever. The line was nearly full and we waited over an hour. Overall the whole embarkation process took over 2 hours.
We had an inside cabin on deck 2 forward. The room was small but very nice. The cabin steward was great, he always kept things clean. He even introduced himself the first night and would always say "Hi" and call us by name when we passed him in the hall.
The ship in general is very nice and super clean. Although, a few of the design choices left us scratching our heads. For example the aft dining room that we were seated in is only accessible from the front by going up to deck 5 or More down to 2. Unless there's some hidden hallway somewhere, it just seemed a strange design. Also some of the decor choices were gaudy. We jokingly referred to the paneling that is found almost everywhere as having a "tiger print" pattern, and saying whoever designed it must have been smoking crack. Some people have also complained about too much smoking. I am not a smoker and I only noticed a strong odor in the cigar bar (which is what it's for) & a slight odor in the casino. we didn't really find smoking to be a problem.
The food on this cruise was great. The food in the lido buffet was good, but the lines could be quite long at peak times. Breakfast was very good, although a little more variety would be greatly appreciated. We only ate lunch in the buffet the first day, but it seemed mostly good.The food from the grill was pretty good but it was also popular and the line was usually long and very slow moving. The pizza was just okay, a little bland, but usually not that crowded.Dinner in the main dining room was great. The food was good and the service was amazing. The waiters even got to know us and learned what we liked. However, don't expect it to be a quick process, the last night dinner took almost 2 hours, but it didn't bother us.
Key West was our first stop. We didn't do any of the shore excursions, just took the provided shuttle into town for some shopping & then to the beach.
Grand Cayman was beautiful we did the reef & shipwreck snorkeling excursion, and it was my favorite port of the whole cruise.
In Jamaica we did the Martha Brae river rafting (think tubing, not whitewater rafting) excursion. It was nice and you get a good look at the interior of Jamaica's tropical forests, however this excursion was too sedate for my tastes and I probably wouldn't recommend it.
On sea days we opted to relax most of the time so I don't know anything about the on-board activities. The pools were nice but small, and the water slide was quite popular with both kids and young adults. I read many reviews where people mention a big problem with chair saving, and it is a problem but not as bad as I expected. There are plenty, if you know where to look.
We went to three of the on-board music/dancing type shows, but none of the comedy shows so I don't know about those. The shows we did go to were good, although slightly cheesy. My favorite show was the swing style show (think 1940's/WWII era music & dance) The tribute to New Orleans & Beatles tribute shows were also pretty good, but weren't my favorites (it's just a matter of personal taste) Also parents should know that some of the costumes in a couple scenes in these 2 shows may be a bit too revealing for younger kids, I saw a few awkward expressions on some parents faces during a couple scenes.
Debarkation was a breeze, it took only about 20 minutes. Less
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