When we booked our cruise on the Freedom, we paid for 5 ports. Later, after all monies were paid they notified us they were dropping the San Jaun port due to "dockage problems". Did we get a refund for that port? Nooooo. We got a "Fun Day At Sea" for the same price.
Tropical Storm Maria threw a scare into Carnival and, as we checked in at Ft. Lauderdale, we were given a letter saying we were now going on a western cruise instead of eastern. All excursions at original ports cancelled ... so we spent the next couple of hours in line at the excursion desk booking new excursions instead of enjoying the ship. That done, we went to our balcony to enjoy our departure ... but ... a message came over the intercom that the OLD itinerary was back on. !!! Back to the excursion desk to stand in line with a lot of familiar faces. With everything re-squared away, we went back to our balcony to see we were already passing into open ocean. So much for enjoying departure.
Finally cruising, we explored the ship. There were more families on board than any other cruise we've been on. Unfortunately, a lot of the parents must have been the "permissive" type as children were running up and down our hall, screaming, at all hours of the evening.
We were really spoiled on the Carnival Fantasy dining rooms with both the decor and food choices. Neither were as good on the Freedom. Every night we would have to settle for same-o same-o. Finally started eating at the Lido restaurant. We did go to the Steakhouse and would give it a solid 5-stars.
The walls on the rooms were thin, allowing us to listen-in to the nightly arguments next door. By the way, I sided with the hubby.
We enjoyed the other Carnival cruises (Fantasy & Glory) and really look at cruising as a means to get to places we haven't seen. Creature comforts on-board ARE important, but secondary. We've pretty well exhausted the ports Carnival offer and are researching Celebrity.