15 Carnival Freedom Caribbean - All Cruise Reviews

Graduation celebration cruise for the kids - our 2nd cruise and won't be our last. Embarkation in Galveston was fantastic again. Drop off to on deck in under an hour. The Freedom was nice but we all preferred the Valor more (just a ... Read More
Graduation celebration cruise for the kids - our 2nd cruise and won't be our last. Embarkation in Galveston was fantastic again. Drop off to on deck in under an hour. The Freedom was nice but we all preferred the Valor more (just a more beautifully decorated and themed ship despite the same layout). Service, food, and entertainment were all good. Nothing stood out as fantastic or negative, just good overall value. The only real complaints would be occasional foul smells by the elevators on the main deck. (2nd level) and the washers/dryers not working. Booked transportation in advance and went snorkeling at Doctor's Cave Beach in Montego Bay. Great value and looks just like a postcard. Did the Sea Turtle Excursion in Grand Cayman. It was enjoyable but not nearly the experience we were anticipating. Fun but a little let down. Shopping in Cozumel is always good. Absolutely ready for another! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We decided to try a Carnival cruise out of Galveston and picked a back to back 14 day itinerary that included a few ports we hadn't been to before. I knew not to expect too much from a Carnival cruise and as a result I wasn't ... Read More
We decided to try a Carnival cruise out of Galveston and picked a back to back 14 day itinerary that included a few ports we hadn't been to before. I knew not to expect too much from a Carnival cruise and as a result I wasn't disappointed. Embarkation was the best experience we've ever had in all our years of cruising. No waiting at all. Upon arrival at the cruise port around 12:30 pm we dropped off our bags, cleared security, had our ship card photo taken and then proceeded to walk onto the ship. It had been almost a year since our last Carnival cruise and there were some slight changes noted that have likely been done to cut costs. No longer do they offer the tasting bar where you could sample foods. All of the shows in the main lounge are either performed by the Playlist cast or an audience show (Hasbro and LipSync). They don't bring other entertainers on to provide a variety of entertainment. Fortunately they still have the Comedy Club which we quite enjoyed. We ate at the Steakhouse one night and were very disappointed with the quality of the food although we did enjoy the chocolate surprise dessert. Holland America charges the same price to eat dinner at their Pinnacle Grill restaurant and the quality and dining experience is so much better. Carnival's steakhouse is definitely overpriced. The food in the main dining room was moderately good and we were very fortunate to have an awesome dining crew. Food on the lido deck tends to cater to an American diet - lots of deep fried food. And after a week or so, became very boring and repetitious. Guys burgers are good to try once, but we asked for a plain bun otherwise they slather butter on the buns and grease them up on the grill which makes for a very greasy burger! I couldn't help but notice most of the people gulping down the burgers and fries probably shouldn't be eating that food!!! Our cabin stewards did a good job cleaning our cabin. The bed was terrible - I think they need new mattresses. The TV in the room was a very small, old flat screen TV with snowy reception and a poor remote. We requested bath robes which were nice. There was a lot of noise outside our cabin most nights as people tended to stay up late and party, and didn't seem to realize how noisy they were as they shouted to each other in the hallways. On sea days we liked relaxing on the Serenity deck where it tended to be quieter and we could read our books. We enjoyed renting bikes in Key West. We were very disappointed with the cruise port in Freeport where it was next to impossible to rent a taxi. Instead they only seemed to allow mini van taxis to the port and if you wanted to go somewhere they would not leave until the mini van was full. And getting back to the cruise port was uncertain. In the end we gave up and went back to the ship. In Nassau we went on a long walk over to the Atlantis resort area. The day we were in Roatan, Honduras it poured heavy rain most of the day. We did hire a taxi over to West Beach and when we got back to the port we walked around Mahogany Bay which was quite nice. We did a shore excursion in Belize City to the Mayan ruins which was fun. And another shore excursion in Cozumel where we went on a catamaran snorkeling and to a private beach. You definitely get what you pay for on a cruise ship and I think it will be awhile before I go on another Carnival cruise. I'd rather pay a little more and enjoy better food, a better cabin and more variety in entertainment. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Carnival is a nice, budget-friendly cruise. The ship is in good shape, and there are a lot of onboard entertainment options. The Alchemy Bar serves the best drinks, and the comedians, for the most part, are quite funny. Wee Jimmy, the ... Read More
Carnival is a nice, budget-friendly cruise. The ship is in good shape, and there are a lot of onboard entertainment options. The Alchemy Bar serves the best drinks, and the comedians, for the most part, are quite funny. Wee Jimmy, the Cruise Director, is personable and really does a nice job of entertaining. The fitness center Is well equipped and not very crowded. Food quality is average and dining room service is very slow. The vegetarian options are poor. The public areas are well maintained and surprisingly, not very crowded. The evening shows are terrible. The stage is small and the entertainment group is only slightly better than what you would see in a high school auditorium. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
Where to start? With the ease of use of their website for planning? Or their super helpful customer service when calling for questions? Or maybe how well organized they are? I cannot say enough good about our recent experience! Our ... Read More
Where to start? With the ease of use of their website for planning? Or their super helpful customer service when calling for questions? Or maybe how well organized they are? I cannot say enough good about our recent experience! Our family, headed by our 79 year old Mother, down to the youngest great grandchild (2) sailed to Key West, Florida; Freeport and Nassau Bahamas from Galveston. Day one: met our room staff (Bagus & Rosiyanto), super nice bar tenders, Jimmy the Cruise Director, and our amazing wait staff in the Posh Restaurant. There were 28 in our group! Most on the same floor; 3 families on another. The children had a blast, the adults enjoyed delicious beverages by the pool, Dr. Seuss created special memories, we received a preview of the next season's spectacular Welcome Show.... Food was amazing..... I could go on.. A memory for our entire family was made and a love for cruising with Carnival has begun, as most had never sailed before. Thank you Carnival Freedom and your incredible customer service and in particular to our wonderful staff the week of July 18-25! See you again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
There were 18 of us on this cruise. Many of us celebrating different milestones in our lives. We had a birthday (mine), retirement, wedding anniversary, graduation, etc. We all live in the Houston area so getting to the terminal was not ... Read More
There were 18 of us on this cruise. Many of us celebrating different milestones in our lives. We had a birthday (mine), retirement, wedding anniversary, graduation, etc. We all live in the Houston area so getting to the terminal was not an issue. This was my 9th cruise with Carnival and I really enjoyed the ports and this ship. Embarkation was very fast. We were on a Premier cruise from the casino, so we were allowed to use the VIP check-in process. I was very happy with this perk. Casino does several Premier cruises per year for the gamblers and you get pretty hefty discounts upto and including free staterooms if you gamble enough. Free drinks in the casino was another perk that I enjoyed while gambling. Gifts such as beach towels, cookies, chocalate covered strawberries and wine are delivered to you every night of the cruise. The casino hosts send goody bags to your room Stateroom was a balcony cabin on the 10 floor. Temperature was never cold, even though we kept the curtains drawn and had the thermostat on the coldest setting. Heard this same sentiment from many people. Cabin steward was like a ninja. Room was always clean, towels switched out, etc. Really good service. Purchased a case of water and drank it all during the cruise. My only BIG complaint is the safety drill. Texas in July is HOT and steamy. Lined up for 20-30 minutes, four deep, shoulder to shoulder OUTSIDE is just not acceptable. I have cruised on RCL and they do it inside in the dining rooms and lounge areas or in the theatre. If RCL can do it inside, then so can Carnival. Too many elderly and small children needing to sit down or not being able to stand in the heat that long. One little boy passed out cold. Early dining in Posh was great. Lots of choices on the menu or pay the $20 upcharge for a really nice steak and lobster. I did this twice because I really like lobster and think $20 is a reasonable upcharge. Several at our table did the steakhouse and were very complimentary of the food and service. Ports on this cruise included Montego Bay, Grand Cayman and Cozumel. In both Montego Bay and Grand Cayman we did Resort fo the Day and were pleased with both resorts and amenities. Cozumel - always go to Mr. Sanchos and go to the al la carte side. With 18 being in our group, the all inclusive price would have been $990. Doing the al la carte, we enjoyed food, beverages and paid as we went at the same resort. We spent less that $300 Did not attend the shows, but the band in the Casino playing cover tunes was great and the C&W guy that played was outstanding. Everyone loved him and he drew quite the crowd whenever he played. Debarkation was a breeze. Aslo a perk for the premier cruisers was the abilty to get off the ship right after clearance was given by the harbormaster. We docked at 7, were called at 8, off the ship and through customs by 9 and home by 10. Can't beat that. I gambled enough that I qualified for another free cruise. The voucher is for an inside cabin and you can upgrade your stateroom for a fee. They don't give you a large time window to use the voucher. I had to book my next cruise by August 7 and cruise before October 31. We booked the 6 day Freedom for the October 24 sailing. 87 days and counting! Can't wait!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
We sailed out of Galveston on June 27th and our ports were Jamaica, Grand Cayman and Cozumel. Our cruise started off on the wrong foot and sadly, ended that way too. After embarktion, we were corralled to the muster stations which were ... Read More
We sailed out of Galveston on June 27th and our ports were Jamaica, Grand Cayman and Cozumel. Our cruise started off on the wrong foot and sadly, ended that way too. After embarktion, we were corralled to the muster stations which were outside. There were lots of elderly folks standing in the heat, not to mention the handicapped. I understand the need for safety instruction, but forcing folks to stand in single file line in the heat and humidity for a half hour was ridiculous. The Freedom is a nice boat, but there are inherent design problems and it could have been thought out better (IE: The kids club is right above the Spa, so when you are trying to enjoy a massage or acupuncture there are kids jumping around upstairs playing making it all but impossible to relax). Our biggest disappointment with the Freedom was the Camp Ocean kids club for our daughter. We have cruised multiple times with Carnival, and we usually sail on the Magic but wanted to try different ports this time around. The Freedom Camp Ocean staff members put our child in front of a TV screen the majority of the time. It wasn't like that on the Magic. The Magic had much better programming for kids and more engaging staff members who were much more involved with the children. To top it all off, the Freedom's Camp Ocean was closed multiple times on our cruise during key hours (such as 2pm-6pm the final day of sailing and for family bingo that 4 people attended). I was also lied to twice by crew members who were staffing the Camp Ocean about times of service and meals. Parent's who choose to cruise count on the childcare to be available and reliable. Not to sound harsh, we love our daughter and did activities with her every day, but we would have liked to have that little bit of extra time to ourselves before the end of our vacation. We will NOT be sailing on the Freedom again because of these reasons and quite possibly not be sailing with Carnival anymore either. For full disclosure, we aren't picky or hard to please, but cruising the Freedom was NOT a very good experience for us. There were lots of good, hardworking crew members on the Freedom. Keren, the acupuncturist was awesome. If you do sail on the Freedom, I highly recommend going to see her. The Punchliner Comedy club was a lot of fun. We did not care for the host. He was annoying. Another thing, the library was a mess. It was never attended by any crew members that we could see. One positive thing about the Freedom was the gym. The steam room and sauna did not cost extra like it does on the Magic. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
This was our fourth carnival cruise. The ship was nice and clean. Service from all carnival employees was excellent. Our cabin was above the piano bar and we could hear muted music till late at night but this was not a deal breaker. The ... Read More
This was our fourth carnival cruise. The ship was nice and clean. Service from all carnival employees was excellent. Our cabin was above the piano bar and we could hear muted music till late at night but this was not a deal breaker. The main dining room was very good with very good service. Guys Burgers is also a very welcome addition. the entertainment has really went downhill since our last cruise. Getting on and off the ship was normal for Galveston. We only did one excursion in Belize and it was excellent (ruins and river tour) The bad part was that we were way late getting off the ship and way late getting back. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
Canaveral Port is only three hours from home. Its a nice break to travel over there and we love Orlando too. Carnival has, 95% of the time, been a terrific cruise for our 23 cruises with them. The price is right, the food is wonderful, the ... Read More
Canaveral Port is only three hours from home. Its a nice break to travel over there and we love Orlando too. Carnival has, 95% of the time, been a terrific cruise for our 23 cruises with them. The price is right, the food is wonderful, the crew is mostly fantastic, especially the room stewards. Check, , For the best prices sometimes call Carnival themselves for comparison. The Carnival excursions are pricey but there are bargains if you look. If the price of your cruise drops, carnival will drop yours too, but you have to ask. Ships are clean and entertainment is first class. Inside cabins are fine for seasoned cruisers, as you spend little time in your room. Balcony cabins are not needed and are over-priced, unless you smoke. Always get insurance coverage it will pay off someday when you least expect it. They really are the FUN SHIPS !!! Most ports are very cruiser friendly and dress casual in them, with little jewelry showing. There are on board activities for children that are very enjoyable and they will have a fun time. Cabins are clean and decent size and average 165 sq.ft. inside and outside ocean views with balconies are bigger.. We have been on almost all of Carnivals ships and they are fantastic in every respect. They really get you interacting with your fellow cruisers and you will be glad you have chosen Carnival now and into the future for a continued enjoyable and value priced vacation , so go for it ok and enjoy. Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
This was our third cruise and the first time we had a balcony which we really enjoyed. We flew from Portland, OR to Houston and stayed overnight at the Marriott Townplace Suites in Galveston. We used Island Breeze Shuttle for airport ... Read More
This was our third cruise and the first time we had a balcony which we really enjoyed. We flew from Portland, OR to Houston and stayed overnight at the Marriott Townplace Suites in Galveston. We used Island Breeze Shuttle for airport transportation. I was REALLY impressed with them, great communication and service. Our drivers were semi-retired, extremely friendly, and very accommodating. Our driver stopped at the local grocery store so we could pick up a couple 12 packs of sodas and some snacks. We could have picked up wine, too, but we brought that with us. The hotel was recently modeled, extremely clean, quiet and comfortable. It was located next to the Courtyard Marriott where you could get a meal if you wanted. However, we used the Marriott courtesy shuttle and went to a locals-frequented Italian restaurant, Sapori. The didn't serve beer or wine, but you could bring your own - so we did. The food was fantastic and our server warned us that they served huge portions. So my wife and I split an entree. Dessert was fabulous, too! It is a small place, not near anywhere, really. During dessert, we called the Marriott courtesy shuttle and they picked us up. Others at the hotel were going to local bars and other restaurants, and they were willing to take you anywhere on Galveston Island. They do not have airport shuttle service. There is a fee to have them take you to the cruise terminal. We booked early and got a great rate. It is a category 6 hotel in the Marriott system for those who are interested in using Marriott Rewards to stay there. We purchased the Faster-to-the-Fun service. I'm on the fence as to its value, but I appreciated being near the head of the line when boarding, tendering and getting off the ship. The weather was fabulous the day we left, so I headed straight for the pool, and ordered some drinks. It was over an hour before other passengers made their way to the deck. It was sunny and in the 60's - maybe others thought I was crazy for laying out in the sun. Being from Portland, that is just what we do. :-) When we left the ship on the last day, we had a nice breakfast in the main dining room, then went back to our room until we were politely asked to leave and then we headed up to the pool deck and hung out. At the final call to disembark, we headed out of the ship and got through customs relatively quickly. We had a late flight, and our shuttle wasn't going to pick us up until noon (which was fine) and since we were at terminal 1 and the weather was great, we walked over to the boardwalk and had an early light lunch, a local beer (IPA) and had our shuttle meet us there. We splurged for an extended balcony cabin which overlooked the back of the boat. It had 2 chaise lounges and 2 chairs, very large. No negative there, and I would book this again. I loved sitting out there, but there are caveats. The smoking area was 2 decks above us and, occasionally, smoke drifted down to our deck. There isn't much of a breeze on the deck since you are sheltered so when you are in the tropical waters it may not be comfortable for you. You are also in the back of the boat, and you may feel more ship movement than you would in a middle cabin. You are also on the other end of the ship so it is a long walk to the Serenity deck and other activities on the front of the ship including the spa, gym and theater. I liked the walk, so I didn't mind it. The gym was well appointed, nice equipment. I didn't use it enough, but there were lots of machines, free weights, etc. The men's locker room was ok, and I had no problem getting a locker. The comedy clubs seemed to be the most popular. The early (family) shows were, by far, the funniest. Comedians changed mid-cruise, so there was a wide variety throughout the cruise. The production shows on board Freedom were very well done, I was surprised they were not attended by more passengers. They were music based, used a lot of multimedia rather than physical sets, and were well staged. They exceeded my expectations and were much better than on our Carnival Miracle cruise we took last year. The same performers also performed at the various clubs on ship, so it was pretty cool to get to see them up close. By far, our favorite bar was Alchemy. Great tasting cocktails, custom made. I ordered one and it was too sweet, so they adjusted the drink accordingly. Drinks were strong, too, and there was a wide variety of options and always seemed to be a special that worked for the drink I wanted. Cool. It isn't a full service bar, but I noticed the bartender did run to some other bars to accommodate requests when they weren't too busy. Red Frog Pub was our other favorite. Their 'fish-bowl' drinks were 56 ounces and (I think) contained 4 shots. They were on the sweeter side. The beer was pretty good, too. We had dinner at the steakhouse the first night and took advantage of a 50% off wine special they had. The steakhouse was not busy. There was a very fancy and quiet bar at the steakhouse, too, which is open to everyone. I was told the cocktails there were generous pours - but I never tested it. The service was above average, we weren't pressured to eat and run. Our table was by a window that overlooked a smoking area. I thought that was quite strange. The food was indeed better than the main dining room. I think I would do this again for a special occasion, but I don't think it was worth an extra $70 for 2. I noticed some entrées from the steakhouse are available in the main dining room for an extra $20. The next night, we ordered a wine package and our unused wine was corked and delivered the following night. We were also served a cheese plate when we arrived which, I think, was because of the wine package we bought. That was a nice, unexpected, touch. Our servers were attentive. The main dining room was not well attended in general. There were always empty tables each night. That gave us great service. The first cruise elegant night was the busiest and that did tax the service level noticeably, but it was still very good. We had dinner in the main dining room every other night. We sat with 2 other couples, one couple never showed up. We made friends with the other couple who were very, very nice and we looked forward to dining with them every night. They did the fancy chef dinner ($75 each) which was a long evening of a tour of the spotless galley and multi course meal with wine pairings. I think I'd do that on a future cruise. They were impressed with it and the whole experience was just over-the-top. We missed doing the afternoon tea on sea days on this cruise. We enjoyed this on our last Carnival cruise. Since we like the late seating time for dinner, we look for a light snack about this time of the day. We did have some light snacks from the Lido deck but did not really eat a full meal there. Room service options are very limited and some simple things like French fries had a fee associated with them. That was disappointing. On port days, we ordered room service breakfast which was quite adequate. I did have a Guy's burger one day, and I admit, it was very, very good. We didn't do an excursion in Cozumel. The boat arrived very early and left early. We walked off the boat and did some shopping, then went across the street to a local restaurant and had some tacos and beers. That was quite fun. We got back on the boat early. I went up to the serenity deck and had some drinks, read a book in one of the cocoons and ran back and forth to the hot tub. It was pretty quiet up there. I was just going to stay on our deck, but there wasn't a breeze and it was too warm to sit there very long. This is where I wished I had the $5 internet/chat package so I could let my wife know where I was. I told her I'd be on the Serenity deck, but she couldn't find me. We purchased it later in the cruise. I think it is overpriced, but it would have been convenient. In Cayman, we booked a swim with the stingrays tour with an independent operator "Dexter Tours" which we found on trip advisor. Dexter was ill, but his friend operated the catamaran. It was very personal service. He picked us up when we got off the tender port, and we picked up a few local couples on the way to the small pier. We motored out to the site on a catamaran. It did rain that day, and I was actually cold for about 10 minutes (no kidding.) We arrived before the ship's similar excursion offering arrived which was a huge boat. Our tour guide showed us how to hold and pet the stingrays, feed them, helped to take some photos, etc. We then motored away to a snorkeling site. The water was choppy this day, but I enjoyed the snorkeling. He answered a lot of questions - he had been doing this for over 15 years. Cost of our tour, including round trip transportation was $40 each. I would give this independent tour 5 stars! In Jamaica, we booked an excursion through Carnival to a beach club. It was not a pleasant port experience nor excursion. We got off the boat and waited an hour on the pier for our bus to arrive and tour to leave. The bus driver then got lost. Our 5 1/2 hour excursion turned out to be less than 3 hours at the resort. I agree with fellow reviewers that the best thing to do in this port is to stay on the ship. It took about 1 1/2 hours to get to the resort, and over an hour to get back due to traffic. Carnival ended up discounting the excursion for us by 50%. This is such a shame because the people of the Jamaica are so friendly and the water is so beautiful and warm. You should consider Ocho Rios, instead. I haven't been there but I understand there is a nice beach close to the ship and some really nice beach clubs a few miles from the port. I was surprised when we booked another cruise in 2018 when we were on board. The incentive was a $200 cruise credit. I loved Roatan so we decided to go back there. We were very interested in trying one of the panoramic ocean view state rooms on the front of the ship. There was only one left (2 years from now), so we decided to book it. One final tip: since Carnival does not allow people to bring bottled water on board any more, they offered a reasonably priced alternative to purchase bottled water in advance and have it delivered to your stateroom. I did this, I can't recall the price, but it was relatively inexpensive. These were great to have when going on shore, and having around the boat. 24 bottles seemed about right for us. And if you want something besides iced tea and lemonade to drink, bringing those little individual packets of powdered drink mix may be a good option for you. Have your cabin steward empty the refrigerator and you can use it to store your water and canned sodas. Read Less
Sail Date January 2010
Carnival Freedom Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabin 4.0 N/A
Dining 4.0 3.9
Entertainment 4.0 3.8
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness & Recreation 3.0 N/A
Family 5.0 4.0
Shore Excursions 4.0 N/A
Enrichment Activities 2.0 N/A
Service 4.0 4.3
Value for Money 5.0 N/A

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