Two of us flew out of Denver. We'd gone to Denver from Cheyenne a day earlier than planned to avoid any bad roads because a huge snow storm was predicted. We stayed Friday in the Microtel motel and watched it snow, and snow, and snow and listened to news reports about the 600 flights that had been cancelled. Saturday morning we went to the airport early and a very, very nice Delta agent moved us to an earlier flight without charge due to the bad weather. The plane then had to be deiced and we finally left at our originally scheduled time. If she hadn't put us on the earlier flight, we would have missed our connection in Atlanta. Five of us made this trip together. Two over 60 and I was treating my nephew, his wife, and their 23-year old son to the cruise. We flew out of Denver with over two feet of snow and was welcomed to beautiful Florida weather. My nephew and his family flew in from Kansas City and snow as well.
We stayed at the Cambria Suites and they were More
fantastic. We had beautiful suites. My great nephew shared with us. There was a separate bedroom with two queen beds and a pull out sofa for my great nephew. The only drawback being they were rather removed from any shopping or restaurants but the suites were awesome and the most reasonable hotel we found in the area. A free shuttle was provided from the airport and by the time we picked up our luggage, the shuttle was ready to go and just the five of us. The next morning they provided a free shuttle to the port. They were moving passengers in the order they registered for the shuttle. We chose to use a private shuttle. We've used South Floria Shuttle in the past and they are great to work with and reasonably priced.
The boarding process was unquestionably the best and fastest we've ever had. We did have VIP passes because we had suites but were treated exceptionally well.
The staterooms were beautiful. Clean, fresh and welcoming. Plenty of closet space for the three of us with plenty of drawers as well. The bathroom was awesome with a jetted tub, shower, and double vanity. Very comfortable.
We were on the Carnival Freedom and were pleasantly surprised. We've been on some other Carnival ships but the Freedom was super. Elevators on other ships have seemed to be remarkably slow and while the Freedom's weren't always johnny on the spot, the wait seemed to be faster than other ships we've been on. The ship was very clean and well taken care of throughout.
I first checked our dining table after boarding and wasn't pleased with its location. The Matre'd, Jogi, kindly relocated us to a nice round table on the main floor which was very nice. The food was always good, hot, and tasty. The service was awesome. The wait staff - Komang, Irina, and Francis - were very friendly and attentive. The Matre'd Jogi was outstanding. Very personable and responsive and I think the best Matre'd we've ever had. The room steward - Tanto - was also very, very good and saw to our every need. Overall, one of the best if not the best cruise we've had.
Activities on board were the typical functions of a ship's entertainment corps, who seem to get younger all the time. They were very friendly and doing their best to keep a lot of people entertained. We took part of some of the activities but we also enjoyed the quiet, alone time we were allowed. The My niece took advantage of the spa and truly enjoyed the experience. I even got my great nephew to have a haircut. The weather was absolutely beautiful weather with smooth seas and time spent on our balcony was truly enjoyable. We had adjoining staterooms so the divided was slid back and we enjoyed a double balcony which was very nice. It was also very easy to go back and forth between staterooms.
The entertainment on the ship was enjoyable. It may not have been the best we've ever seen but it was still pretty good and the price of admission was great. There was a small accident when a member of the audience slipped on the stairs and hit her head. Other passengers rushed to her aid and the medical staff were there very fast to check her over. Everything seemed to be okay as she walked out we're assuming to be checked out more carefully in the dispensary.
In Key West two of our party went kayaking and they reported they had a blast. The other three went on a tour of Key West with a very knowledgeable guide. After which met my widowed sister-in-law in Key West where she spends the winter. We had a leisurely lunch at the Hogs Breath Saloon where I enjoyed a pulled pork sandwich. We then took in the local shops. In Cancun we went on a city tour with a great guide, visited Hell, the rum cake factory, did some more shopping and spent a leisurely day exploring. In Jamaica we had a more exciting time. We were in Ocho Rio and took a very quick bus ride to Mystic Mountain. Recommend it highly. We took the chairlift to the top of the mountain where we had an exciting time doing the zip line. Even us old ones had a great time. It had five stations and a 35-foot vertical drop which really takes your breath away. The guides on the zip line take very good care of you and it is truly exciting. I was apprehensive because I don't do heights but I'd love to do it again. We then did the bobsled which was awesome. My nephew's wife didn't think she could do it but the rest of us had a blast. Another experience to take your breath away. Highly recommend this excursion.
Disembarking was also probably the best. We carried our own luggage off the ship and the line for customs was extremely short. I'd say we were
off and through the system in less than 10 minutes. We had a short wait for the shuttle from South Florida Shuttle but it was there quickly.
On the return however, Delta had changed our itinerary 9 or 10 times
since we had originally booked it. The flight was delayed coming in and delayed even more departing Fort Lauderdale. We had about 15-20 minutes in Atlanta to make connections. We arrived on Concourse A and the next flight left from Concourse E (hate that airport). They were paging us as we raced down the corridor. Getting on the plane they had changed our seats again. One in front of a spoiled, loud little boy and I was next to a precocious little girl - what fun. The flight attendants were very rude and impartial to the passengers. A 3-hour plus flight and we got one glass of drink. Got to Denver a little after 5 pm but the luggage didn't. The luggage was scheduled to come in at 10:30. The baggage claim representative, Mary Jo, was very understanding and saved Delta's reputation. She couldn't get the luggage to Cheyenne until Sunday after noon and we didn't want to make a 2-hour drive and then come back. We said we'd wait for it and she gave us a slip for dinner. We strolled the shops, watched the people, and sat and sat. When we went back down to baggage claim, she came out and gave us a credit voucher for partial
payment towards our next Delta flight. Extremely nice of her as it
definitely wasn't anything she'd done on this end. We decided it was too late
after getting the car and had heard the road to Cheyenne was icey so we
checked into a motel which fortunately had a room and got back
The cruise portion of the trip from boarding to disembarking was wonderful. And some of Delta's personnel saved us as well. I would not hesitate to take the Carnival Freedom again. Less
We made a very short visit to Hell and while not outstanding, it was still interesting. Had some souvenir shops and we were able to purchase drinks, shirts, etc. and postcards that could be mailed from Hell to the people back home.
In Cancun we went on a city tour with a great guide, visited the rum cake factory and had some delicious samples and purchased the wonderful cakes. We did some more shopping in some great stores that had more than the usual souvenir items and spent a leisurely day exploring.
Outstanding visit where we learned about the green sea turtles and the efforts to save them from extinction. Islanders wanting turtle meat must purchase it from the turtle farm. We saw the turtles from when the eggs are incubated to the baby turtles and to the largest and oldest turtles. They also had turtles who were retired and no longer used for breeding.
Three of us on a tour of Key West with a very knowledgeable and friendly guide. We toured the entire island from the downtown shops to the lighthouse, by the only road out of Key West, the closest spot to Cuba, and other interesting sites. After which met my widowed sister-in-law in Key West where she spends the winter. We had a leisurely lunch at the Hogs Breath Saloon where I enjoyed a pulled pork sandwich. We then took in the local shops and helped their local economy.
Two of our party went kayaking and they reported they had a blast. The guide was very knowledgeable, friendly, and helpful. She reached into the water and would bring out examples of sea life to show everyone from jelly fish, to starfish, to sea cucumbers, and pointed out the different pelicans and discussion on the mangroves and how they get started, absorb and purify salt water for their own needs.
The bobsled which was awesome. It was a good thing we booked it early as it sold out. My nephew's wife didn't think she could do it but the rest of us had a blast. Another experience to take your breath away. Highly recommend this excursion.
We were in Ocho Rio and took a very quick bus ride to Mystic Mountain. Recommend it highly. We had an exciting time doing the zip line. Even us old ones had a great time. It had five stations and a 35-foot vertical drop which really takes your breath away. The guides on the zip line take very good care of you and it is truly exciting. I was apprehensive because I don't do heights but I'd love to do it again.