May I say I still think that Carnival is the most economical cruise travel experience. Over all I have been pleased with a majority of my past ten cruises with Carnival.I picked this cruise ship with carnival again for the date,the port and the length of the cruise.
This was the second time that I cruised on the Carnival Ship Freedom. The first time was with my 87 yr old Grandmother and this time with my 12 yr old nephew so I have two different perspectives of this ship.
This was the first time that I made Platinum status.(ten or more cruises)
We arrived at the port at our designated arrival time and board through the VIP express line.I was very relieved to bypass the 300 people in a very slow moving,hot line. However, when I arrived at the security screen process there was not a designated line for us.We were forced to break in front of very hot and tired people that had been standing in line for a long time. This was uncomfortable and I had to explain to a 12 year old why we were breaking in front of other people. A carnival representative would have been helpful to designated which line could proceed through screening next.When we boarded the ship there was a spoiled,unclean and musty smell to the halls entry ways and mostly throughout the ship.I was not the only one that noticed this.The public rest rooms are the only fresh,clean smelling place on the entire ship.
The overall appearance was dirty and decor of this ship is old and very out dated and tacky. This is advertised as a "NEW" ship. The poolside lounge chairs arm rest were so dirty that I could not clean them with a handy wipe.
I reported ants on the out side 10th deck floor by the water slide. This is the second time I have found ants on a Carnival Cruise. I have anaphylactic reactions to ant bites so this is a serious situation for me. A cruise is the last place that I expect to encounter ants. This is why I enjoy cruising so much. The pool sides should have been cleaned daily with a degreaser/ disinfectant as there was a noticeable ring caked to the top 5 inches around the inside of all the pools.It was never cleaned during the entire cruise as I would be one of the first people in the pool each morning. Again,other people commented on this as well. The steps leading up to the water slide have a no slip black strip that is very,very hot. Several children burned the bottoms of their feet and would cry. This is serious and needs to be altered.Parents, make your kids wear water shoes at all times!! The floor around the adults only pool is made of a slick rubber with no traction once it is wet.Several people slipped.It is a hazard enough for the handicap and elderly to walk around on a rocking ship but to have a wet area with poor design is unacceptable.
The musical entertainment was the worst of all the cruises that I ever been on.The sound system had problems,the same songs were played over again and it was very loud and bad quality music.Others commented on this as well and had to take their kids and leave the pool area.
Overall,I noticed a low morale and discontent with the staff.My nephew and I arrived for the bean bag tournament 10 minutes late. When I asked if we could still play "the entertainment director" snapped "I guess so;people keep showing up" she calmed down when I reminded her that WAS the point of the activity. I wanted to get my 12 year old nephew engaged with other kids but she seemed bothered by her job and offered excuses and complaints to the lack of room and that the equipment was too heavy to drag around the ship?? She should have been supporting the kids and been encouraging their activity.The counselors with the smaller kids would walk by in line going to an activity never singing or cheering as I have seen on past cruises.Everyone looked very miserable and unhappy.In general when I would pass other crew members; very few would make eye contact,say hello,good morning or even smile etc.... I found this very unusual for any cruise and uncomfortable to be around people that do not want to be there.Very few only 3 people addressed me by name; again I have never experienced this on any cruise ship in the past.
The configuration of the buffet needs serious evaluation.It would speed up the food line if the salad bar was in a separate area as it is on some other ships.It was very time consuming to wait behind people building a salad to get to the hot food items. Also,older people, people with handicaps and kids have a difficult time using tongs.Food would spill everywhere...it was a hazard on the floor as I saw several people slip the food that was dropped and it is very wasteful.
The Tandory Station needs to be eliminated especially on all day at sea days. Day after day very few people ate Indian food, there was never a line. While there were 2 hour lines for the buffet,hot dog,pizza and wok stations.On the all day at sea days there should be more attendants not just one person for the pizza station, wok station. Also,the serving hours should be extended. A lot of people were unhappy with the long waits(2hours)for pizza and hot dogs and lack of food options after three. The elderly people tend to get up earlier and depend on food to take medications.I noticed a lot of people sitting around waiting on food service to begin. Breakfast service should start at 6:30am instead of 7:30am again this would reduce the wait times during prime time.
Each time I ordered room service(3 times)I was told the wait would be over an hour and a half for a sandwich and potato chips????
I did enjoy the serenity deck as it was a very large,clean deck space with very comfortable furniture and swinging hammocks.The rocking chairs around the poolside are very comfortable and fun during the movie time on the large outdoor screen.I enjoyed the movies/ concerts on the LTD screen.Not all the ships have this feature.I do think that it is tacky to charge $1.50 for a small box of popcorn during the movies.
Due to my status,I was able to disembark at 6:45am and catch an earlier flight which was very helpful.I had same day free laundry service and an excellent room stewart.
Carnival has some great,fun,clean ships with happy and polite staff and good entertainment for the price.Freedom is not one of them.