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Carnival Freedom Cruise Review by Mom_to_2_NC: Halloween Cruise heaven


Mom_to_2_NC
1 Review
Member Since 2011
56 Posts

Member Rating

Cabin 5.0
Dining 5.0
Embarkation 2.0
Enrichment Activities 5.0
Entertainment 5.0
Family & Children Not Rated
Fitness & Recreation 1.0
Public Rooms 5.0
Rates 4.0
Service 5.0
Shore Excursions 5.0
Value for Money 5.0

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Halloween Cruise heaven

Sail Date: October 2011
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)

Overall, our cruise was a 5 out of 5. The few things I'd like to share are mistakes we made, that maybe you can avoid. No matter how many times you read it, and no matter how many people tell you, try to only have 1 bag to carry on and make sure it has wheels. Get to the pier early, by 10-1030 for a 4pm departure is my suggestion. The process of getting to the pier, and waiting in the winding lines, with people pushing up in your space, and squeezing in where it wasn't necessary was very frustrating. Here we waited until the main doors were opened. Everyone was rushed through the doors into more lines. These lines were to check your ID, passport, and boarding documents, you will need these very handy from here on out. Then you went through another set of lines. This line was upstairs and involved escalators, or elevators if you're weary of escalators. Once upstairs you again wait in a winding line until an agent is available to again confirm all your info, then issue the Sign More and Sail Card. This is the time, BEFORE she sets up your account to let her know if you'll be doing cash or credit. Once through this line, there is yet one more line. Being called by sections, to board the boat. The incline from this point to the boarding point is extremely long and steep. Be prepared to carry your bags while getting bumped and rushed up this steep incline. Once on the boat, for us it didn't get much better at first. In hindsight the best thing to do is not take tons of pictures at this time, and try to find this or that, but simply to find the open dining room, put your bags down, sit yourself down, grab a bit to eat, and regroup. As soon as your room is ready, do make your way there, if for nothing else, then to empty your arms of all your carry on items.

Another thing that is not necessary is the carrying on of water and soda. There are water and ice dispensers everywhere. Bring an empty travel cup and use that to fill up with ice. There are lemonade, water, and sweet tea, for free.

If you tend to be hot natured, I suggest you request, before you get on board, a fan, they go fast and was really needed for us, an inside cabin.

Don't be afraid to talk to others, ask to sit at their table while on the Lido deck, or other public areas.

If you aren't happy with your dinner table accomodations, ask to be moved. We were assigned a table of 4, the other 2 people only showed up the first night. Had we known of the ability to be reassigned, we would have done so and enjoyed our dinners with the presence of others.

My reviews of our excursions are listed below. Besides the embarkation process, and the Dunns River Falls excursion, this would have been a perfect vacation. Less


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Cabin review: Carnival Freedom Interior Verandah 8321

Convenient to elevators, slight noise from above (assuming its the stacking of the pool chairs) plenty of closet space (3) and the bathroom was surprisingly bigger than expected. Nice little desk/nook area too.

Port and Shore Excursions

(5)
This was a great excursion. We had the ability to hop on and off the trolley as much as we wanted and to spend as much time at each stop as we wanted. It wasn't rush rush and each of the trolley drivers gave cute, personalized information and were very friendly.
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(5)
We did some shopping then found individuals offering tours of the island. It was extremely hot, and we opted to take a bus tour vs walking. We were able to visit Hell, a dolphin & turtle farm, and Tortuga Rum Store. All the stops were 20-25 min but although rushed, were plenty to get in and get out. We drove by 7-mile Island, we could have gotten off there and found our own transportation back, but opted not to.
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(5)
The bus ride there was a bit scary, seems there is no speed limit and no regard to other vehicles. Once to the Mystic Mountain sky-lift, it was absolutely breathtaking! The short walk to the lift was lined with beautiful plants and trees. One in my party was a bit nervous, so the operator of the lift, literally slowed the ride to an almost complete stop so she could get on without feeling rushed and worried. The way up to the top was awesome. You could see the beautiful tree tops, and way beyond to the ocean. At the top, behind the souvenir building is an awesome endless pool that overlooks the ocean and although we didn't get in due to being worried about the time to get back, but later found out we could have grabbed one of many buses waiting at the bottom.
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(2)
This was the worst part of our trip. The bus ride there was scary. There are apparently no speed limits and the drivers are extremely rude to anyone asking questions of their island. The guides at the beginning of the excursion were helpful, but once inside the gates, confusion and chaos ensued. The guides seemed to be in more of rush to get us in and out, then to answer pertinent questions. There are changing rooms in multiple areas, but they choose to have those who wanted/needed to change do so in the restroom, right outside the exit. Then once inside, stopped for shoe rentals, then stopped again for others to change, then stopped again for locker rentals, then stopped again to take those who wanted to climb the stairs up vs climbing the falls, then finally we all headed down the long stairwell to the bottom of the falls, just to climb back up. My party opted to stay at the bottom and swim in the ocean, and made our way back up the stairs to meet up with the others. En route to the top we were harassed many times by people trying to sell us narcotics and giving us goods, 'for free' with just a suggested donation. While trying to exit the falls to the bus, there were multiple vendors who constantly called us and walked near us, veering us towards their stuff, and in the hot heat and frustration, it was a total bust.
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