Does the decor of this ship make ANY sense? Nope. Does the layout sometimes stink? Yep. But, the service was amazing from everyone and we had a fantastic time.
I should point out that I am not an experienced cruiser, having only gone on two cruises and both have been with Carnival. This trip was taken with my mom and my sister and we stayed in an interior room on deck 1. I am 26, in grad school, and I work in the social work field, so I have little money for cruising and I am not used to , nor do I really expect, extreme extravagance when I travel. That being said, my review of the Freedom:
It seriously doesn't fit together across the board. From the dark snakeskin prints on the walls in the restaurants, to the squiggly colored lines on the ceiling and glass panels in the stairwells and the random paintings of animals in the stairwells, I have no idea what they were really thinking. I felt like each room had a theme that was decent, but there was definitely nothing holding the decor of the whole ship together. That being said, I kind of like the "vegas" styling of Carnival ships, so it didn't really bother me.
By the third day, we had it figured out to which deck we needed to walk on and what elevator to take to get places. For example, we were on Deck 1 and the Chic Dining Room was on deck 3 and 4, BUT you need to get forward of the dining room to get to the desk (if you come up from the aft area of the ship, you have to walk through the entire dining room to get to the front desk). So, from deck 1, you have to walk all the way forward, go up to deck 3, and cross back through the lobby to get to the dining room. Heaven forbid you are on deck 4 and trying to get to the dining room because then you either go down to deck 2 and walk forward, go up to deck 3 then back through the lobby, or you have to go up to deck 6, walk forward, then down to deck 3 and back through the lobby. Was this the end of the world? No, it just takes some getting used to. My husband and I sailed on Carnival Legend last year which does NOT have this same issue.
I love kids, but I don't have any yet for a reason and I don't personally want to listen to other people's kids all the time. So, serenity is a great escape from children with wonderfully padded lounge chairs, couches, hammocks, and whirlpools.
I was concerned this was going to be too noisy and just annoying, but it turned out to mainly be a waist of space. Most of the time, they just show a looped video of different ports that this ship sails to. Sometimes they played concerts like Sheryl Crow or Journey. The only time I found the screen useful was for watching Sunday and Monday night football. Does it really get better than watching football from a hot tub in the middle of the Caribbean? I don't think so.
I thought the food was great. The Wok at Lido was delicious, but expect a line as they cook all food to order. Fish and chips at the Lido was also very tasty and the pizza at the pizza grill was delicious (except the goat cheese one which my mom tried and wasn't a huge fan of). We did anytime dining and felt that the food in the main dining room was delicious every night. We also went to the steakhouse, which was a fun treat and definitely worth the $30 per person charge. The only thing that needs improvement is breakfast. There is a really wide variety of food to choose from and the fresh fruit was really good, but oftentimes the french toast or eggs aren't that hot and are more so just warm. If that offends you, you can go to the main dining room for breakfast and all will be served piping hot.
We had phenomenal service this cruise. Everyone is so helpful and they are always willing to do whatever it takes to help make you happy. Our waiters would bring you whatever you asked for, even when you request three starters and two main courses, without batting an eye. The individuals who cleaned our room were great too. We got towel animals every night, which just make me smile. One night after having gone to the towel folding demonstration, we were in the hallway and had mentioned that we wanted to see a monkey. Sure enough, that night the steward had made a monkey hanging from the ceiling for us.
The comedians were hilarious. I can't speak to the family friendly shows as we didn't go to those, but we went to all the adult shows and they were really great. The shows in the main show lounge are not my thing. I did showchoir back in high school (synchronized signing and intense dancing) and I always feel like I am at a high school showchoir competition at those shows. However, my husband loved them on Legend, so we watched them. On Freedom, my mom and sister (who also did showchoir) felt the same way as I did. Don't get me wrong, they are very talented dancers and singers and the music is great, but it's just not my thing.
Don't ask why, but I love to work out, even on vacation. The gym here is really nice overall. There are free weights, plenty of elipticals and treadmills, and some stationary weight machines. My big issue was that there are no straight bars for doing things like squats or lunges, nor is there a Smith machine. So I had to come up with new ways to do those with free weights.
As stated, we were in an interior. It was pretty spacious, all things considered. My only complaint was that the mattress in the upper (the third bed that comes down from the ceiling) was not very comfortable. Otherwise, it was fine. We had a balcony room last time and I missed having a couch in the interior room. All the interior room has is a chair, but oh well. You don't spend much time in the room anyhow.
Overall, we had a fantastic time. Our service was wonderful, the food was tasty, and we had a lot of fun. I would recommend Carnival to anyone.