2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Summary. We are a party of 10 cruising – 6 adults, 4 teenage girls. Overall positive experience, found the ship and staterooms to be clean, friendly staff overall. Enjoyed the restaurants over buffet. The crew works very hard and ... Read More
Summary. We are a party of 10 cruising – 6 adults, 4 teenage girls. Overall positive experience, found the ship and staterooms to be clean, friendly staff overall. Enjoyed the restaurants over buffet. The crew works very hard and deserve the gratuities. Many pros/ cons and key recommendations to help plan your trip! First the positives: 1) Download and use the carnival app. It’s a great way to communicate (chat plan) with your party and source for the daily activities, restaurant hours, and ability to monitor your daily portfolio spend. $5pp for entire cruise a bargain! 2) Excellent room upkeep and service! Room steward will quickly know your names on day 1. Offer to clean your room 2x a day or 1x a day, your choice (and you note this on form day 1). 1x in the morning was fine for us. Tip them! 3) Cruise director / Emma is great. “Hello lovelies” will stick with your after this cruise. It’s really funny when she laughs at herself with this unique chuckle and then the audience laughs at that. She is really fantastic. Oh yeah, she is from England. 4) Food in restaurants is pretty good! Dinner and breakfast. Now the negatives: 1) Entertainment for most part sub-par compared to other cruises. They do work hard and try, but seems budget is limited. Limited to comedians, lip-sync, customer engaged event shows, and few production dancing shows. The 80s show was fantastic and a must see! Finally some better comedians came onto the ship last few days. Emma cruise director is doing a fantastic job trying! 2) Very noisy areas in main pool area and much of the ship in general. Loud speakers, kids running, etc. This is more of a kids ship and hard to find quiet areas for adults, but there are some hidden areas. See below. 3) Expect long waits for: Restaurants if you do ‘any time dining’ we waited 45min average given our large party of 10. Expect shorter for 4 or less parties. 4) Long lines at: Pizza Pirate near the adult pool. Expect 30 people plus waiting and 1 worker making pizza. Priority goes to the $5 delivery person so expect a wait for 30-45min to pick-up your slice of pizza. Late night pizza lines given limited food options. To management, can you not add another person making fresh pizzas to cut down this line? Tips & Recommendations 1) Install/ use the Carnival app. A bargain for $5 per person for entire cruise. Have everyone in your party do this and you can chat on the ship for meet-ups and know the hours for restaurants and daily activities for entertainment. 2) Bring your own cups (e.g. YETI) to fill with water, lemonade, tea, etc. at the 9th floor deck. The larger the cups the better. Fill them at breakfast and bring to your room. The little green and yellow cups they provide hold about 6 oz. of liquid. Ice is plentiful. Water refill at buffet area, poolside, or bars. Even keeps your beer colder longer! 3) Bring a 3-prong power socket extender. There is ONLY 1 power outlet in your rooms (well, another behind the TV and used for that). You will need to charge multiple phones etc. Or bring a portable charger for your phones. 4) Bring binoculars if you wish to see passing boats, distance, shore excursions, beach, dolphins, etc. 5) Bring a case of water or buy on day 1. You get 2 large bottles day 1 and that will go quick. 6) Wine/ Wine package. Bring your bottle of wine onto ship day 1 only, why not? Else, cost is $35 bottle average. The wine beverage package (3 bottles for $80 with auto-tax) is worth it comes to $26 bottle for standard wines (given auto gratuity) or higher price for premium wines. 7) Best quiet spot for a book or just snooze in the breeze. 3rd floor outside deck under the life boats. There is also the ‘Serenity deck’ for age 21 and up top floor front of ship. Can be crowded there. 8) For large parties eating together at ‘anytime dining’ send someone down to put your name down and get a pager. Will cut your time down for waiting from 45 minutes to 10 minutes. 9) Alcohol in general. Gratuity of 18% auto added to every adult beverage., expect $10 drinks average. The carnival craft brew was great. Value of getting $18 beer pitchers. 10) Teenagers can visit the sports deck for volleyball, basketball and hanging out with others. 11) Auto applied Gratuities for your team members: Vary by cabin, but example $112 pp in cabin allocated to restaurant staff ($55), room service ($35), and group for all others ($22). Posted 2 days before end of cruise, and you can make adjustments at the front desk +/- and allocation % to your preference. 12) Unless you buy/ plan for roaming leave all phones in Airplane mode. Friend charged $3000 prior trip by AT&T and even though I requested all our family to keep in airplane mode, daughter still activated for a few hours and AT&T sent us email for international data of ~$200 for Bahamas temporary use of her social media. Food options 1) Avoid the daily buffet (there is MUCH better options with the restaurant, else Guys Burgers, B-Que). My view is more of poor food quality and lacking taste at buffet and sanitary conditions. Do you really want to touch the tongs that everyone else on the ship is using to server their food including all the kidos! 2) Use the restaurants, they are excellent for breakfast and dinner. From salmon bagels cream cheese capers to steak (filet mignon) and eggs. Yumm. Brunch menu. Dinner options have extensive menu options. 3) Dinner Formal nights. Lobster on the menu for one night and filet mignon the other. Yes, you can get as many lobsters as you can eat! 4) Lunch: Recommend Bque restaurant on 10th floor. Across from steakhouse. Many don’t know about this place given a bit hidden. 5) Lunch. Recommend Guy’s burgers and pizza take out. Pizza is actually very good. 6) Lunch: The sandwich window, excellent meatball sandwich. All are actually great. 7) Breakfast: Eat at the dining room or order room service. 8) Free drinks stations at the buffet areas. Ice, Water, Lemonade, ice tea, coffee. Found the coffee was surprising good and strong. There is a custom coffee shop for $5 coffee, but my view is standard coffee is fine in dining rooms. You can also get coffee delivered room-service! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
I am a former cancer patient. I entered remission just a few months ago and had my leg amputated. This was my first cruise. I want to start off with the musicians. There was music for everybody’s taste. But I enjoyed ALL of them. Luisa, ... Read More
I am a former cancer patient. I entered remission just a few months ago and had my leg amputated. This was my first cruise. I want to start off with the musicians. There was music for everybody’s taste. But I enjoyed ALL of them. Luisa, Juliana and Juan in the Accidental String Trio were just...the only word to describe it was beautiful. Neil was singing and Jammin’ the reggae hits on the steel drums. And Rob was rocking it on the guitar. DJ JD with the hits. The Brassaholics with the amazing Maroon 5 medley. And the Latin Band covering latin hits. Emma, Layla and Francois brought so much energy throughout the whole ship. Vargus Mason with the jokes! T.A. Williams at the Piano Bar. Diana and other bartenders tending the bar at the Lobby very well, including the bartenders on Lido who also bring their energy to the ship. I tipped what I could. Next I want to say how much I really appreciate how kind, thoughtful, and caring the staff was. They always offered help. I don’t usually accept help but I made some exceptions. I also made some friends on the cruise. The whole experience is one to remember. They always had smiles on their faces, and always greeted as we cross paths. And as you’re reading this to all of the staff, I just want to thank all of you from the bottom of my heart. I hope I get to meet you all again. Cheers "Let your smile change the world, don't let the world change your smile..." - unknown "My cup is full to the brim, I could go on and on, the full has never been told" - Buju Banton Side Note: Im looking for a job also (galvancromeo@gmail.com) all photos are unedited Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This was an experimental cruise for us. We have taken 10 cruises and normally book a Jr Suite, or a balcony. This time we decided to go with an outside cabin with an eye toward saving some money. Right up front, I must admit I really ... Read More
This was an experimental cruise for us. We have taken 10 cruises and normally book a Jr Suite, or a balcony. This time we decided to go with an outside cabin with an eye toward saving some money. Right up front, I must admit I really really enjoyed this cruise. First of all, the boarding in Galveston was fantastic!! We normally have priority boarding because we usually book a Jr Suite, but this cruise was an Outside room, which would have meant long lines and slow processing. I can honestly say we boarded just as quickly on this cruise as any other cruise we have ever taken. We showed up at noon, walked right in and was promptly processed. No lines at all, no Disney World serpentine shuffle!!! The hardest part was just walking up the gang plank! Galveston and Carnival have figured it out!!! As a military veteran, I was overwhelmed by the attention Carnival has given to Armed Forces Veterans. Not only did we have daily teas and gatherings, but there was an awesome Veterans Salute in the Victoriana Theater. It was truly the highlight of our cruise. Every serviceman and woman should experience this. We decided not to take any organized tours of Key West, Freeport or Nassau, but rather, to walk around and shop. No one we talked to really like the hop on-hop off trolley, because of long lines and long wait times. Walking was easy for us, as everything we wanted to see was close at hand. We had no complaints about the food, entertainment or service. We were told we had 3330 passengers on board, but never felt crowded or uncomfortable. I will say that if you are not a smoker, stay clear of the casino, as the smoke is so thick in there, I found it hard to breathe, even as I walked by. We were very pleased with all aspects of the cruise and will do it again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
I have been on two carnival cruises in past eight months/spent around 15k on tickets and onboard services. The service and organization on cruise to Alaska in August outweighed high pressure sales at spa/jewelry store/art gallery. The ... Read More
I have been on two carnival cruises in past eight months/spent around 15k on tickets and onboard services. The service and organization on cruise to Alaska in August outweighed high pressure sales at spa/jewelry store/art gallery. The mediocre service/lack of organization on cruise out of Galveston over spring break, 2019, along with the high pressure sales that bordered on deceptive trade practices make it highly unlikely I’ll cruise with Carnival again. At an appointment at spa for massage I inquired about a facial. They reported an opening at 8:00 a.m. the following day. I said I’d think about it and let them know, and the girl said “We’ll keep it open for you!” When I called later that day to let them know I did not want the facial because my young daughter was seriously sea sick and throwing up, they reported that they would still charge my credit card due to failure to cancel (I never “booked”) w/i 24 hrs. At the art gallery I expressed interest in a piece. They were very insistent that I purchase right then and there. I left saying I’d think about. I got a call two days later asking about the art I “purchased.” When I said I never purchased, they preceded to tell me I had “reserved” the piece and was obligated to buy. Only when I asked them to show me what I had signed indicating I was reserving or buying, did they relent. Also, they were very unaccomofating fir my 80 yr old family member I had with me. They refused to allow me to take the elevator with her when boarding, and it took me an hour to find her after. Upon disembarking, they said she had to wait in the same line with everyone else, which took 45 minutes (she can barely stand with a walker. Carnival, I’m very disappointed and encourage all reading to reconsider cruising with them! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
We have 12 cruises under our belt. Most of them have been with Carnival. This is the first out of Galveston as we like to try different ports. The ship is not as glamorous as the newer ones but it was in good repair and suited our needs. I ... Read More
We have 12 cruises under our belt. Most of them have been with Carnival. This is the first out of Galveston as we like to try different ports. The ship is not as glamorous as the newer ones but it was in good repair and suited our needs. I actually prefer the smaller ones. If you are driving to Galveston the parking garage is literally right across the street from the terminal. I have to start out by saying DEDY our stateroom steward is the best we have ever had. He was always pleasant and very efficient. We do pay our gratuities in advance but bring extra cash for extra service like this. We had early dining. The meals were good. My husband tried several different steak dinners and said they were all perfect. Our service team was not up to par. Nothing horrible but not as attentive as usual. We saw the stage productions and they were entertaining. Cruise director Brad was great. One night we went to the comedy show and he was funny. A couple we met at dinner went to the later show and said it was so vulgar they walked out, So if you don't like that type of humor stick to the early family show. All and all the hubs and I had an enjoyable trip. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
Our first cruise was aboard the Carnival Valor and, as first time cruisers, we weren't sure what to expect. However, the experience made us eagerly look forward to our next cruise. Our second cruise was aboard Carnival Freedom. Both ... Read More
Our first cruise was aboard the Carnival Valor and, as first time cruisers, we weren't sure what to expect. However, the experience made us eagerly look forward to our next cruise. Our second cruise was aboard Carnival Freedom. Both the embarkation and debarkation process went very smoothly. The ship and our stateroom were comfortable and the crew members that we interacted with were friendly, attentive, and professional. So, when the time came to book another cruise, we chose Carnival again for our second cruise, which has made us become confirmed Cruise Addicts. I can't understand some of the negative reviews that Carnival gets from some folks but, I suspect that there's just no pleasing some of these reviewers. It's been my experience that you need to be openminded and flexible when traveling, especially in new or different environments and we've thoroughly enjoyed all of our travels. We've been to Italy, Japan, South Korea, Guam, Honduras, Belize, Mexico, and Hawaii. Each place had something great to offer because we kept an open mind and stayed open to new experiences. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
Embarkation was very smooth at 1:30 pm. However, Carnival needs to let people know that between Jan & Apr. there is a real problem with fog in the harbor. Even though I scheduled a 1:30 plane departure, it is quite possible that I ... Read More
Embarkation was very smooth at 1:30 pm. However, Carnival needs to let people know that between Jan & Apr. there is a real problem with fog in the harbor. Even though I scheduled a 1:30 plane departure, it is quite possible that I could have missed it. We heard lots of horror stories about ships docking after 11:00 and then with an hour plus to the airport, missing their flights! Ship is supposed to dock at 8am. The service in the dining room for Your Time Dining was very slow and uneven. The food was better in the buffet. We are just about done with Carnival. We are not interested in Hairy Chest competitions or numerous trivia contests. The spa seminars are only held in hopes you will purchase spa packages. Jamaica has become worse than ever, the people just want to cheat you all the time. We talked to other passengers who got ripped for taxi rides and even the ship shore excursions took them to places where they were constantly hounded for handouts. One couple negotiated a taxi ride and then the driver made them pay again to get back to the ship. We would really like to start traveling with Holland America,(Less misbehaving children, better food & activities more suited to our likes), but Carnival Corporation does not offer reciprocal benefits between their different brands like RCL does. So we will probably switch to them as we already have points with Celebrity. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
This cruise was Jan 20-27, 2018, on the Carnival Freedom out of Galveston. Decided on this Cruise as a Christmas gift to my husband and myself. We had a balcony cabin on deck 8. Our cabin steward, Sue, was amazing! He greeted us by ... Read More
This cruise was Jan 20-27, 2018, on the Carnival Freedom out of Galveston. Decided on this Cruise as a Christmas gift to my husband and myself. We had a balcony cabin on deck 8. Our cabin steward, Sue, was amazing! He greeted us by name immediately and helped with several details. Went on one excursion; turtle farm at Grand Cayman. It was “ok”; enjoyed our discussion with the keeper in the Aviary. We learned a lot from him. Walked to Margaritaville in Cauzamel. FUN! Stayed on ship at Montego Bay because of the much higher crime rate. Back on ship......we enjoyed several shows in the Victoriana! Our Cruise Director, Malcom WOO HOO, was great! He was very funny and made us feel right at home. The food on board was good. We did not eat at any of the restaurants. We just stayed with the buffet because we never knew when we would be eating. Desserts were awesome. Good job, Chefs!! Looking forward to our next cruise which is Panama Canal next February 2019 on Valor. Hope we have as good a time!! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
We just completed our Carnival Freedom cruise to the Caribbean, which ended 1/13/18. This was our first Carnival cruise in about 15 years, but since that time, we’ve cruised 27 times with all the other mass market lines and some luxury ... Read More
We just completed our Carnival Freedom cruise to the Caribbean, which ended 1/13/18. This was our first Carnival cruise in about 15 years, but since that time, we’ve cruised 27 times with all the other mass market lines and some luxury cruises. But this review will not be a comparison to them. We did not choose FTTF option, as we didn’t feel we needed it. We weren’t in a rush to get into our cabin or off the ship. We scheduled our port arrival with Carnival for 11:30 -12:00 and once we made our way into the terminal, we were whisked through the process in less than 15 minutes. Since we knew we would have our carryon luggage with us until 1:30, we limited it to one bag and had the porters handle the rest. Our first order of business was finding a table in the Lido since we didn’t want to be on deck. That day it was about 45 degrees in Galveston. Since the Lido beverage stations are so spread out, it was easy to find a table for two. We wanted to try Guy’s burgers for our first food choice, but there was a long time. Instead, I tried the Mongolian Stir Fry. Very important note for the Mongolian food station and Guy’s – many times there are lines on both sides of the station. Before standing in line, check to see if the other end is open. That option shortened our wait many times during the cruise. Regarding food on the lido, if you like your food hot (temperature not spicy) stick to the areas where they prepare it hot in front of you. Otherwise, you will probably receive much of your food lukewarm. I’m not a fan of tepid pancakes, waffles, and toast. However, since my tastes for lunch are usually chef’s style salads, the temperature was not an issue there. I made those salads by getting the greens at the salad section, and then taking a clean plate to the deli for pastrami or getting shrimp at the Blue Iguana or the Mongolian spot. A quick note about the pizza… loved the thin crust and the choice of toppings. You are not limited to the four pizza options on their menu. You can mix and match any of the ingredients available because it is made fresh to order and comes hot. At 1:30 we went to our cabin and found one of our large bags was already there. At first glance, it looked like we wouldn’t have enough space for our clothes, but it worked out. Your cabin steward can bring more hangers, which are the type that you click onto a bar so you don’t steal them. We had an interior stateroom and the nightstands were a joke. The tops were no more than 12” square and the door opened to an empty space, no shelves. In that case, it was a disappointment, but we doubled up elsewhere. The bed was not the standard comfy pillow top I’ve come to love at hotels we stay at but it was improved with an egg crate mattress and 3 comforters under the sheet. The room comes standard with 4 comforters. The tiny bathroom made up for its size with a substantial amount of shelving above the counter. Didn’t plan to use the shower much anyway, since we usually shower in the gym’s locker rooms after a workout. Had an issue with the steam and sauna rooms in both men’s and ladies areas. They are supposed to be turned on at 7:00 am. However, when we arrived around 8:00 we had to request they be turned on. Each takes 20 minutes to heat, so check before you use the gym equipment. And here’s another puzzling aspect. There’s a “hot tub” in the middle of the gym, but you can’t get to it in the gym. It can only be accessed through an unmarked door in the locker rooms. However, once we found the secret entrance, we discovered that the tub wasn’t heated. Per the spa manager, it’s supposed to be at body temperature (which I understand to be about 98 degrees) but the water temperature was more like your average drinking fountain. After the quick muster drill with no life jackets needing to be carried about, we headed out to the pool deck. The sail away was fun with the cruise director and his staff getting us up and line dancing to the music. The wait staff was actively pitching their drinks of the day – which average $9.25 for cocktails and about $6.50 for beers. With those prices, I can understand how many buy the Cheers packages. On our first night, we made a reservation for the Steakhouse. While we dined, there were maybe 8 or 9 tables in use with mostly couples only. Still with that small capacity, they couldn’t deliver the food hot. A béarnaise sauce that has a congealed topping is a sure giveaway to that point, but apparently not to the waiters. We did enjoy the crab cake, onion soup, and the steak, but they forgot to bring the side dishes for our entrees. Other nights we dined YTD at the MDR. We had no trouble getting a table for two and stayed at the same station each night because we liked the service of Ricardo, Luis, and Gaipilau (not sure if I spelled that right – sweet young lady who carried a humongous amount of dishes to the serving station). Usually, finished our meal in 60- 75 minutes so it was easy to attend the production shows or music venues. Always enjoyed the options for appetizers and salads and could find at least one entrée I wanted to try. Desserts were disappointing with a seeming lack of needed sugar or butter. However, that meant one less way for me to gain weight! Most of the music we listened to was the pop band who played in the atrium night. It was a pick-up band like other cruise lines do, but you’d never guess they hadn’t been a group for years. Great musicians and great voices. The other locals for bands we didn’t seem to catch right. Either we heard their last song in the set or they were already on break. I appreciated the singers in the production shows but was not impressed with their costuming or choreography. However, I loved the high-tech aspects of the background and the pyrotechnics. We only saw one comedian, but he wasn’t our style, so we skipped the others. Not a fan of dropping the f-bomb every few sentences. Crass and not funny to me if that’s how you show your artistic ability. Did not do any excursions as we’d been to these ports multiple times. Even stayed on the ship in one port to enjoy the emptiness of the gym, pool, and hot tubs on deck. The Dive in movies were pretty popular and a fun idea to watch from a lounge chair at night. Room steward delivered average service. We asked for morning and night service, which we received for 2 nights. Even though we were out early for the gym and breakfast, he usually came only late in the afternoon. However, he greeted us by our names whenever we saw him in the hall. Debarkation is my least favorite part of a cruise. However, we were .eased into with a relaxed and unhurried breakfast in the MDR. Our section for leaving came 15 later than scheduled and included the slow crawl around the deck like Disney Theme Park lines. Customs was a breeze, but a bit confusing for those who bought alcohol and had to do the Texas declaration and pay the fees. We weren’t in that batch, so we easily moved toward our shuttle pick-up point. Overall, the cruise was good. We enjoyed the food for the most part and the overall service. We’d rate it like a two-star hotel with your average casual dining spots and local entertainers. That was fine with us as we didn’t expect a 5-star experience – nor did we pay for one. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
. we picked this cruise because we had shopped around late in the season and wanted to celebrate our anniversary and our kids adoption day. The Cabins were pretty good, the stewards that took care of us were great, they did a great ... Read More
. we picked this cruise because we had shopped around late in the season and wanted to celebrate our anniversary and our kids adoption day. The Cabins were pretty good, the stewards that took care of us were great, they did a great job. dining was mixed, we had a great wait staff, but the food has gone down in taste and value. We have had a lot better. one thing that was not up to par was the leto deck food, was pretty much the same every day, and not a very good selection at that, hit the Mongolian grill almost every lunch time, it was very good. The shows were very lacking. We only had 1 show for the 7 days, unlike other Carnival ships, which have a great show every night, and the show was not that good. seemed like a bunch of High Schoolers were putting on a show. not professionals at all. We chose 2 excursions. both were very good. was very upset and disappointed with way the tendering was handled. Hubby had to use a scooter ( due to severe back disk problems) we waited for over 2 hrs to just board a tender to go ashore. that is way to long, watched 4 tenders for regular people leave before we got a tender for handicapped people. Carnival did nothing about that problem. was not happy about that at all, if we had an excursion scheduled that day, it would have been bad, we were lucky that was just a day of looking around. We probly will be using Carnival again, but will never sail the freedom again. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
The ship was nicely decorated for Christmas. This was our first cruise on the Freedom and we immediately loved the decor and the color scheme. On the way to Galveston Carnival called us and said they had a room upgrade available and ... Read More
The ship was nicely decorated for Christmas. This was our first cruise on the Freedom and we immediately loved the decor and the color scheme. On the way to Galveston Carnival called us and said they had a room upgrade available and would we be interested. We took the upgrade from an ocean suite to a grand suite. The room was plenty big, more storage and closet space than we could use. Nice bathroom with the jacuzzi tub and the two sinks were wonderful. It was nice that the two of us could be in the bathroom and getting ready at the same time. The balcony had a reclining deck lounge, a reclining chair, two other chairs and two tables. We had your time dining and ate in the restaurant every evening. The staff we had and the food was excellent every night. Our room steward, Rodrigo, was wonderful, took good care of us and the room. We did tip him extra. The shows in the theatre were also first class, the performers did a wonderful job and were very entertaining. Wonderful cruise and we loved the Freedom. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
We have always enjoyed Carnival Cruises. We like the relaxed atmosphere and non-pretentious passengers and crew. We also love the "Hairy Chest" contests, "Lip Sync" contests, and Karaoke, as well as the comedians and ... Read More
We have always enjoyed Carnival Cruises. We like the relaxed atmosphere and non-pretentious passengers and crew. We also love the "Hairy Chest" contests, "Lip Sync" contests, and Karaoke, as well as the comedians and shows. BUT. . .this past cruise took a tragic and disturbing turn when one of the passengers had an accident on the Passion Island shore excursion. It happened on a water trampoline. Incredibly, other passengers who witnessed it less than 10 feet away said that the victim broke his neck, but when he was pulled from the water, no neck brace was used, and to make matters worse, no CPR was performed on him. Our deepest condolences to his wife and family. In addition, while we were on Passion Island, they kept running out of meat dishes, which were comprised of only fish or chicken and vegetables. I waited patiently for the chicken dish to be replenished, and after about 15 minutes, it was brought out and served. I noticed it tasted a little underdone and rubbery, but I was hungry and ate it, anyway. BIG MISTAKE! I had the worst case of diarrhea I've ever had in my entire life, and it lasted three days. Future cruisers, be forewarned about Passion Island! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
We chose this cruise because it was so close to home and we didn't have to fly to get to it and to give a different cruise line a try. I wasn't disappointed but I wasn't very impressed either. Boarding the ship wasn't ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was so close to home and we didn't have to fly to get to it and to give a different cruise line a try. I wasn't disappointed but I wasn't very impressed either. Boarding the ship wasn't too bad but when on board our cabin wasn't ready until almost 2:00. When we finally were able to go in, it smelled musty like dirty carpet and we found a dirty tissue under the desk seat. Storage was adequate for two people and the bathroom was good. However, I was very disappointed that we weren't given any amenities like lotion or conditioner or a shower cap. The shampoo and shower gel were in dispensers on the shower wall. Our cabin was 7225 and for the most part it was quiet. But there was someone nearby who loved to slam the doors late at night and early in the morning. When we sat on the balcony we could smell smoke from the smoking area located on deck 5 below us. I found the decor of the ship to be dark in most places and the colors garish especially in The elevators. Signage was not the best and it was difficult to locate restrooms or access the ones at the front of the ship. Seating throughout the ship (show lounge, buffet, along deck 5) was very low and difficult to get up from and not at all comfortable to sit in. The entertainment was quite good. We enjoyed the shows put on in the theater except when the lights from the stage were shining in our eyes. The cruise director, Malcolm, was very good and there were lots of trivia games and other activities every day except the last afternoon when it was just pool games and no show the last night. The food on board was much better than on another line I was on last year. We had dinner every night in the dining room and the service was pretty fast. The food usually came out hot like it should be. But some of the selections were limited and most of the desserts were tasteless. We ate most breakfasts and lunches in the buffet because the food was better there. The Mongolian food was good and the choices were good for the buffet except the desserts were lackluster. The breads in the buffet weren't so great either. The breakfast Danishes were terrible. My main complaint was I couldn't get a decent cup of tea unless you paid for it and even that wasn't anything special. I did like the ice tea though. Selection in the shops was pretty pitiful. The sales weren't that great and jewelry was pricey. So were the watches. Overall the service was good. The Guest Services Desk staff were very nice. Our cabin steward was very efficient in servicing our cabin, and the Fun Staff were enjoyable and seemed to be enjoying what they were doing. One thing I found very difficult was the muster drill. Mother kept us standing on deck for almost 35 minutes with nowhere to sit. It is hard for me to stand in one place for 5 minutes and I felt ready to collapse by the time they let us go. We went to Key West, Nassau and Freeport in the Bahamas. Key Wedt was the most enjoyable port and I wish we had more time there. The other two ports were a big disappointment. We didn't take any tours as there weren't any offered that interested us. We did enjoy the cruise and we may try Carnival again but not any time soon. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
I chose this cruise because I wanted to see new sights and repeat the happy experience I had with my first cruise. Since I cruised on the same ship and stayed on the same deck, I felt familiar with locations and even reconnected with some ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I wanted to see new sights and repeat the happy experience I had with my first cruise. Since I cruised on the same ship and stayed on the same deck, I felt familiar with locations and even reconnected with some staff members. Just like before, the service, food, and activities were top notch. I especially liked the helpfulness and courtesy of our steward, Francis, and our wait staff, Eric, Edson, and their lovely assistant. Naturally, Malcolm made me laugh, and the wonderful young dancers and singers, in their musical productions, prompted me to sing and dance along. My husband and I enjoyed the shore excursions, but we also enjoyed the freedom and security to go on shore and port explorations on our own. This time I visited the spa and enjoyed the pampering and facial treatments I received from Dr. Ines. I loved watching movies under the stars, visiting the piano bar, and listening to the Cajun comedian. We also met a lot of really nice folks on both cruises and have even become Facebook friends with some of them. We didn't travel with children, but it seems like there were a lot of activities for them. Yes, I would love to go on a cruise again in a few months, but I have to wait until I have paid my credit card off first. However, I feel fairly certain that I will take another cruise in 2018. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
Carnival's reputation made us avoid them for 35 years, but heard a positive report recently and gave in so we could drive vs. fly. FOOD: I have always said I'm not particular about my food; that I like almost everything. Give ... Read More
Carnival's reputation made us avoid them for 35 years, but heard a positive report recently and gave in so we could drive vs. fly. FOOD: I have always said I'm not particular about my food; that I like almost everything. Give me a cold piece of fried chicken and I'm happy. I like vegetables crisp or soggy, ditto salad lettuce. I'm the ultimate easy guy to cook for. Carnival's dining room and buffet food failed to reach even my standards. This took a few days to recognize, but in the entire cruise I never saw one piece of beef, pork or chicken that was a recognizable cut, either in the dining room or on the buffet. A supposed 6 oz filet Mignon was no more than 3 oz and had membranes running through it, separating it into sections. A real filet has no such membranes. In a moment of candor, pieces of pork the size of pork chops on the buffet were not labelled pork chops, just pork. They looked like they had been sawn by an untrained new hire. It is as if Carnival buys plastic bags of pieces that are not sent to our grocery stores. Lobster, however was quite good, as were custom cooked omelets in the mornings. Guy's Burger Joint also puts out terrific hamburgers, so I found myself living on hamburgers and omelets. One evening after I was really tired of all this, I rejected everything except a little lettuce and a piece of broccoli. This and vomiting are excellent ways to lose weight and I lost four pounds on the cruise, the first time in 25 cruises I have not gained weight. Dining room service was not equal to that on other cruise lines. There is only one waiter to serve you; no bus boy. As a result, the traditional duties of a bus boy - empty plate clearing, coffee pouring, water refilling, condiment delivery, etc. were all neglected. The waiters are overworked. I am not being picky here. I would never go back to any restaurant with service like we had. It's not like we only go to hoity toity places. Among our places are Outback, barbeque joints, On The Border and no name Mexican restaurants, neighborhood home cooking places, etc. All have better service. FOOD POISONING: The third night, I awoke sick at 3:45 and vomited. I did that three more times by 5:00 am. Once I was empty I felt perfectly fine, strong evidence of unsafe food. SANITATION: Unlike the other cruise lines I have been on in the last several years, Carnival paid no visible attention to guest clean hands. We never saw handrails being sprayed and wiped and there was never anyone who ensured that guests used the hand sanitizer at the entrances to gatherings. The result was about a 10% use rate. Other cruise lines have employees squirting the hands of everyone who enters. ENTERTAINMENT: The band in the atrium was terrific! All the rest were third rate. Never have I heard a professional singer who did not sing better than I. That is faint praise because people have moved away from the pew in front of me in church! Two different lounge singers on this ship could not carry a tune as well as I do. The theater entertainers tried to make up for their lack of talent with high volume. If you ignore my review and give Carnival your hard earned money, take ear plugs. BAGGAGE THEFT: Search Google for "carnival soft drinks in luggage." Read the policy on taking soft drinks on the ship in your luggage. I followed the stated policy carefully and packed 12 cans of diet tonic water, a potion I find eliminates my nocturnal leg cramps. Upon luggage delivery to our room after we departed the port, I found no soft drinks inside my bag, but rather a note that said they had removed my contraband and thrown it away! Despite my complaints, they never returned it, nor did they buy replacements at an enroute port. SHIP DECOR: The Freedom is the darkest ship inside I have ever been on. There is little lighting and what there is is darkly tinted. Paneling is plastic in a pattern of mixed fake wood grain and tiger skin, resulting in orange and black varied wavy lines. I was shocked to find out that this ship received a major refit three years ago. It looked so bad inside that MEN were making jokes about it! All was not bad. The crew did a good job of avoiding rocks, our cabin steward, Ron, was the best we've had in many years, our suite was spacious and had plentiful storage, there were ice cream machines everywhere and employees were uniformly polite. But a cruise is about the food and the ship and Carnival flunks on both counts. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2017
Had a wonderful cruise. All cruise staff from Mohamed who kept my room clean (and folded towels different daily), the bus men/women, guest relations staff, and Vladimir the buffet floor supervisor ( easy to tell all his employees loved ... Read More
Had a wonderful cruise. All cruise staff from Mohamed who kept my room clean (and folded towels different daily), the bus men/women, guest relations staff, and Vladimir the buffet floor supervisor ( easy to tell all his employees loved him) were very helpful and showed that they appreciated you being there. I walked every floor while at sea and everyone of the staff members greeted me with a "Good Morning" and a smile. I have not taken a vacation in years and this one was the better than it could be. Very relaxing sitting on my balcony and simply enjoying the peace and quiet. Carnival Freedom staff took really good care of this guest. Only down side to me cruise was that it was too windy for two of the day excursions, but that isn't Carnival's fault. I was offered a refund for both. Disappointing for me, but I have already booked a cruise on Carnival Freedom for next year. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
Reservation/help desk was very helpful and really cheerfully answered ‘any further questions’. Two seniors sailed on the smaller friendly Carnival Freedom. This review is not for their bigger ship sailing the same day. ... Read More
Reservation/help desk was very helpful and really cheerfully answered ‘any further questions’. Two seniors sailed on the smaller friendly Carnival Freedom. This review is not for their bigger ship sailing the same day. Embarkation - dropped off luggage and parked across street - Galveston traffic took one hour from four streets away to terminal, bikers in town that day. Debarkation smooth with porter carts as we pack heavy for two senior adults. Ship had adult pool and spas in aft, where we had rooms with quick access using elevators that were fast and quick access to dinning both seated and buffet. Exercise, SPA and theater forward that required aft to forward moments using 5th and 9th floors as 3rd and 4th floors had impediments. Outside Ocean View cabin was spacious room. Housekeeping service very good. Comfy king bed. Plenty of drawer/cabinet space filled with hangers. The bathroom/shower was very well laid out with plenty of shelf space. Molded floor drained splashed floor water away quickly. Found the HUB smart phone app great for navigating ships events and locations. Most disappointing was the entertainment quality and availability as compared to other cruises where you had a choice between excellent events. Only one real theater presentation and other theater events were singers setting on stage with no costumes. There were outside movies. The comedy club was very good. Good musicians/singers but locations/times were bad for mass participation and dancing, several only available very late in evening. Being from Texas we expected some country music available for dance on good floor. Most music was aimed at younger crowd but half the ship contained older/retired crowd. Marketing appeared to push entertainment to casino, drinks and shops reducing quality and availability. All food was very good as compared to other cruises. Included frozen custard, water, juices, coffee, tea, hot chocolate 24/7, unlike some other cruise lines. We signed up for ‘wait listed’ “Your Time 5:45 -9:30 “ but they only offered seated dinning at 6 and 8:30, but had buffet and other variety of great options like deli, pizza and great burgers and fries and extra cost food options. Dinning staff was very good and flexible. We signed up for ‘wait listed’ and the reservation also showed 8:30. When we went for dinner the first time they accommodated us by finding a great table at 6. We then went to services desk to get an explanation, who then changed our card to reflect the new arrangement, Big Mistake. This disconnected our credit card from the boarding card so we could not charge anything! But worst it removed our paid HUB ‘chat’ functionality which we relied on to locate each other during the trip. It appeared to send the chat, but none were ever received. The ‘chat’ could not be reinstated. Also card change caused us to be double billed for an excursion, which we are contesting. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
We booked this cruise as a last minute get away. We flew Southwest on embarkation day with no problems, purchased the Carnival transfer & were on the ship within a few minutes of arriving at the port of Galveston. Staggered check in ... Read More
We booked this cruise as a last minute get away. We flew Southwest on embarkation day with no problems, purchased the Carnival transfer & were on the ship within a few minutes of arriving at the port of Galveston. Staggered check in was a breeze. Steak house: we had booked the steak house for our 1st night, while service was very good our steaks were not worth the $35 up charge. We had better steak & lobster in the MDR. Service here was wonderful with one exception. My husband is physically challenged & asked them to cut his lobster off the shell & to cut his steak. This must be something they've never done or are not familiar with because while they took the lobster off the shell, they ignored his steak & left it for me to cut. Main dining room: Since we were late in booking this cruise we were wait listed for anytime dining & confirmed for late set seating. A quick visit with the maitre'd on embarkation day got us confirmed into early set seating. We were in the Posh dining room on deck 4 aft 6PM. Iketut, Ikadek, & Silvia were our wait team- absolutely excellent wait staff. Without ever being asked, Iketut cut my husband's meat, leaving me to enjoy my meal. Service was prompt, hot when it was supposed to be hot, very efficient. We received excellent service throughout the week in the Posh dining room. Menu choices were a bit limited, but we always found something that we liked. I do not eat seafood, my biggest complaint about the menu would be there were limited choices of non seafood items. My husband loves seafood & was very happy ordering multiple entrees or appetizers. Overall food was very good, service was well above excellent. Another shout out to Gabriella, hostess or assistant maitre'd who was always very friendly & accommodating. She would see us on lido & know our names 7 chat with us. She would stop at our table each evening to chat & ask how everything was, ask about our day. I wanted to take Gabriella home with me, she was such a sweetheart. We also dined in the Posh dining room several mornings for brunch or breakfast. Every meal was hot, prompt & good, with excellent service. Cabin: we had booked an Oceanview guarantee. With 2 days of booking we were assigned 1393 on deck 1 aft. Cabin was clean upon arrival. Our steward never asked about once a day service & we received 2x per day service without asking for it. Our room was always cleaned very well. We rarely saw our steward, but he did an excellent job of replenishing our towels, reconfiguring our bed when asked, & keeping the cabin refreshed. Mini bar was empty on arrival, which was good to hold our bottles of water or soda. It was not very cold though. Only negative about cabin service would be that there was no ice bucket or ice service throughout the cruise. We never asked for ice, so I think this is our own fault, I'm not sure how they are handling ice service to the cabins. This was our 1st OV category cabin & we were very happy with our choice. No outside noise to speak of in 1393, everything was in working order. Only one outlet to charge our electronics. Entertainment: we were very disappointed in the entertainment. There were very few choices of things to do in the "FUNTIMES." Comedy club was available, but too crowded to get in every time we tried, so we ended up in the casino. We went to one playlist (I guess) production- it was a bit disappointing, so did not try again. There were very few activities during the day, it seemed that most activities were for a fee or to encourage you to book something like the spa or to purchase wine, buy art etc. Entertainment was extremely lacking IMO. Debarkation was a bit rough, but not horrible. We had the Carnival transfers, it was raining, getting all our bags pretty wet as they sat in the rain. Customs lines were long & slow. Overall it was a great cruise with some minor disappointments. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
We had a family gathering of 12 people and one baby. The food was great. and Denton in the dinning room along with his partners greeted us each night and remembered our names. The excursions was great too. It was the first cruise for ... Read More
We had a family gathering of 12 people and one baby. The food was great. and Denton in the dinning room along with his partners greeted us each night and remembered our names. The excursions was great too. It was the first cruise for some of them and they took advantaged of all the activities on the ship. We flew to Houston the day before and stayed at a hotel and they shuttled us from the airport and back the next morning.. The entertainment could have been better. The singers weren't that good at all but the music was good. The comedy shows was good though. The room service was excellent. Every time we left the room in the evening and came back the bathroom was clean and bed was pulled down. If we needed extra face cloth or towels they were glad to help. The family would go again. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
We had already been twice on the Carnival cruises namely Cozumel only and Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Jamaica.There are only a limited destinations from Galveston. We decided to on Carnival Freedom going to Cozumel, Belize City and Mahogany ... Read More
We had already been twice on the Carnival cruises namely Cozumel only and Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Jamaica.There are only a limited destinations from Galveston. We decided to on Carnival Freedom going to Cozumel, Belize City and Mahogany Bay,Roatan,Honduras. Booking process went smoothly and had no problems. We were apprehensive regarding travelling in a pick harricane season but we had wonderful weather throughout. It is advisable to take thin plastic raincoats one can buy from 99C store. The embarkation procedure was smooth and efficient. It is best to check in bulky luggage.We were allowed 1suitcace ,50lb which was delivered at 6 pm .We boarded at 1330hrs and buffet on Lido deck was available.The food in the dinner room not up to the scratch. The starters and the dessert had limited choice. THE BEST FOOD WAS THE INDIAN DISHES MADE BY THE CHEF EVEN THE VEGETERIAN ONE ON THE MENU.Compliment to the chef.They should provide Indian nonveg curry dishes and starters.The Indian dishes were delicious. The waiting staff namely Wilson and Made were always cheerful and helpful. Thumbsup to them. The inside staterooms were very small but there was enough storage in cupboards.There was free safe available which can be operated with the room key which was also a credit card.The bathroom only had tiny shower cubicle with shower head which had very little water pressure. Conditioner is not provided nor any body lotion so bring your own. The bedside table has a table lamp fixed on it so you can't move it to put a CPAP machine or tissue box.The TV in the room was very small and did not have clear picture . despite my calling them twice to correct it.In my previous cruise experience we had next day weather shown on the TV and near the customer service desk so that we can know the weather at the next port of call.The swimming pools were very small but the whirlpools were of good size. The air conditioning thermostat was on its maximum yet it just about cooled the room.The minifrige in the room took ages to cool .It was never loaded with any beverages. We reccived 1complementary 1lit. drinking water bottle per person for VIFP.. There were always long line at the customer service desk. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2016
I had a wonderful time. i was in cabin 7266 and Brian took really great care of us and saw to any need we had. I had some really great waiters in the Posh Dinning Room,Denzel,Darwin and Sop(sorry I did not write down the names) They were ... Read More
I had a wonderful time. i was in cabin 7266 and Brian took really great care of us and saw to any need we had. I had some really great waiters in the Posh Dinning Room,Denzel,Darwin and Sop(sorry I did not write down the names) They were the best waiters they were john on the spot to help and see to our needs. Everyone was wonderful. I enjoyed the shows and playing bingo.I wish I could just live on the ship. Thanks to everyone who made my trip so much fun I also enjoyed the trips off the ships and learning about other countries. I met some very nice people everyone crew and passages were all so friendly and polite. I made some new friends with the ladies who sat at our table. Yes I would go again. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
I chose this cruise because the dates matched when we could travel. This cruise exceeded my expectations in most areas. Food: The food was exceptional. We did the Chef's Table experience, and it was truly memorable. We enjoyed ... Read More
I chose this cruise because the dates matched when we could travel. This cruise exceeded my expectations in most areas. Food: The food was exceptional. We did the Chef's Table experience, and it was truly memorable. We enjoyed meeting Chef Panda and Sous Chef Rebel. The kitchen tour showed how hard the Carnival staff works to make your dining experience the best possible.The dining room staff was attentive. They put on a great show each evening. Delicious prime rib, desserts, and wine service. The kale salad was perfect. Loved the escargot and steamed mussels. The American Table menu provided some Caribbean dishes such as paella to highlight the countries we visited. My only suggestion would be to bring back the tablecloths at every evening meal, not only the elegant nights. Wine: I purchased the deluxe wine package (5 bottles). Carnival seated us with some other diners who had similar interests and experiences. I shared the wine with them, and they reciprocated by buying a bottle for the table as well. We tried different wines each night. I am glad I did purchase the package because it was a good value and provided a common point for us to discuss. It definitely got the conversation going! Thankfully, they were all wine people. Stateroom: We chose an interior stateroom on deck 10. It was hard to walk around the beds, but it was a very clean and functional cabin. Linens were great. There was a mini-fridge in the room. It was stocked with things you can purchase such as small bottles of liquor and mixers. It was good because you could mix up a drink and then carry it around without paying a gratuity at the bar. Nice-smelling soap and shampoo! The stewards were excellent, creating towel art and keeping our ice bucket filled up. Activities off-Ship: Excursions were well-planned, interesting, and fun. We came back with many pictures. We chose the cheapest, simplest excursions offered by Carnival such as a bus tour and a beach day. Activities on-ship: We frequented the casino, the comedy club, and the Serenity deck hot tubs. We also sunned and swam on the Lido. I went down the water slide one time. It was fun and easy. The Welcome Aboard and other lounge shows were not as glamorous as those on the Carnival Triumph. The casino was very smoky. Carnival needs to stop the smoking in there. However, the casino staff was wonderful. Loved the Serenity Deck and the lounge hammocks/nooks for couples. Itinerary: I recommend this itinerary. The Bahamas are a great place to go, and Key West is a hidden gem of Florida. Do not miss it. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2016
Only problem we had was getting booked for late dining which we didn't do - too late. All other aspects were wonderful. Great excursions, great ports, had a great time. We went into Key West, Freeport and Nassau and did ... Read More
Only problem we had was getting booked for late dining which we didn't do - too late. All other aspects were wonderful. Great excursions, great ports, had a great time. We went into Key West, Freeport and Nassau and did excursions at Freeport and Nassau. In Key West we did a hop and ride which worked out well for us. Visited with Jacques for a haircut in the spa and enjoyed different eating areas then they had on the Magic last year . The Magic was out favorite of the two but since it has moved to Florida. We ended up booking a cruise to Alaska next year while we were on board. Liked the adult patios, the comedy clubs, had had some exceptionally good drinks while on board. The veterans tribute was very nice for my husband. Everyone was very nice, treated well, room well maintained by our Steward. Tracy Adkins came on board for a live concert although we didn't attend we heard it was very good. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
I am in my early 60’s and have cruised so many times I have lost count. My niece is in her mid-20s and this is her second cruise. I am a 50 year veteran of the hospitality industry, an Italian trained chef and a certified sommelier. I ... Read More
I am in my early 60’s and have cruised so many times I have lost count. My niece is in her mid-20s and this is her second cruise. I am a 50 year veteran of the hospitality industry, an Italian trained chef and a certified sommelier. I tell you this so you might better understand my perspective of the cruise. I see and expect more than the average guest. Embarkation We booked a shuttle from Houston Hobby to Galveston thru Carnival and all went as planned. Getting on the ship was much faster than the last time. From the time we got off the shuttle to the time we stepped on the ship was only 45 minutes. Last time it was 3 hours. I asked one of the workers about this and was told that things were better because of the staggered boarding times and this was with about 20% of the check-in stations and luggage scanners not manned. Cabin The cabins were released at 1:30 sharp. My niece went down to take a quick nap and found the cabin a mess. The cabinet door to the mini bar refrigerator was off its hinges, there was hair in the drawer by the hair dryer, scotch tape on the mirror and tons of dust balls in the light fixtures. She called housekeeping and about 45 min later they came down to look at it. So much for a quick nap. Muster Drill We were in station A. We arrived at 4:00 and stood there on a slanted deck for 45 minutes. It was painful on my back. The PA system was so loud that my ears hurt after and because of the accent of the person talking you could barely understand them. The one thing I do not understand is about 40 minutes into this ordeal 2 passengers got into line at our station, were counted and then left. I asked the crew member over seeing our group why those two could complete the muster in only 5 minutes and was told that “they are very important to the ship”. The Steak House As is my custom, I always have dinner the first night in one of the better alternative restaurants. I had made reservation on line a week or so before the cruise. We got there about 45 minutes early and were seated right away. I ordered 2 glasses of rose sparkling wine, one from France and the other from California. I wanted my niece to taste them both to understand the difference. They were out of the $20 French rose. I talked to the manager Buyona, who by the way, was absolutely fabulous, about why the server did not know this when the order was placed. I was told that the bar staff does not keep the food servers informed of inventory levels. We ordered dinner and as usual everything was outstanding. Because of the outstanding experience we did it the second night also. Main Dining Room Our first night in the MDR was less than stellar. Our waiter Marius was busy with another large table so his assistant served the food. I received both my appetizer and salad at the same time and we had no utensils to eat our main course. I mentioned this to the maître d' and all service for the remainder of the cruise was excellent. On past cruises I have found the melon to be tasteless and unripe. On this cruise all of the melon was perfectly ripe and very flavorful. We had breakfast in the MDR every port day. My niece had the French toast and it was great with one slight issue, Carnival does not use tablecloths except for the elegant dinners and tea time. When you go to cut the toast with the knife, the plate moves around the table necessitating the need for a napkin under the plate. When we were coming into port the ship was vibrating due to the thrusters. This caused the dishes on the table to move. Death at Sea We had some remains from a loved one that was requested to be spread into the ocean. I made the arrangements with guest relations the first day and the next day was told the day and time. We were escorted down a few decks by an officer of the ship, a security guard and a guest relations member. We dumped the ashes and we were given a sheet signed by the captain stating the location and time of the event. Debarkation We did the self-assist and it went as smooth as silk. We had breakfast in the MDR waited for them to call our deck and off we went. Afternoon Tea We went to this event twice. There is no charge for it. With this said, I was thinking there at least be a fair selection of tea. There was only Lipton and an herbal. The pastries and salmon were good. The water for the tea is not hot enough to properly steep the tea. The hostess that greeted us the first day was in a miserable mood and a poor representation of hospitality. On the second day Simi was hosting and I cannot say enough about how wonderful she was. Sea Day Brunch We learned about this event on the first cruise and never miss it. It happens on all sea days. I had the Hey Pork chop. It was very good with one drawback- they do not give you a steak knife to cut it. You have to cut it with the dullest dinner knife I have seen, making it very difficult to eat. Guy’s Burgers When we would get back from our shore excursions, we were always starving so we went to Guy’s. The service was fast, the burgers were hot, the fries were crisp and the condiment selection was over whelming. A great place. The Lido Living in Las Vegas, the buffet capital of the world I am not intrigued with the Lido. We normally only go there to grab a bite when we first get on the ship- only because we are desperate for food after traveling. The Spa Pool Most people do not know about the spot. At least every time we went we have the place to ourselves. It is located in the middle of the gym area. There is a very good reason for this. It is near impossible find the entrance without a guide. The Spa Haircut My niece was in need of a haircut and Alex from Serbia delivered an excellent service. He was thoughtful and listened to what was wanted and did not disappoint. He was very social during the haircut and made the experience special and one of a kind. Self-Service Laundry There are a few self-serve laundries on board. The one we used was on deck 2. The cost to wash and dry 1 load with detergent was $7.50. Chef’s Table Being in the business I enjoy doing fine dining. I have done the Chef’s table a number of times and always find it educational. The presentations are unique and the service is excellent. The event was not without a few missteps. They serve both a seafood and a meat course. Both of these were not hot. The senior sous chef did not know what country the wine was from. The highlight of the dinner was a private ½ hour up close magic show put on by Suresh. My niece has a seafood allergy and everywhere we went the staff knew of it. Everything was perfect. Room Service All of the cruises I have been on I have never had an outstanding experience with room service. This trip was no exception. We would call and order a pitcher of iced tea, only to find out they do not serve this. We asked iced tea to be put in a coffee carafe and they still could not offer that. We then asked for hot water, tea bags, and ice to make our own. The “iced tea” they serve out of the machines is nothing more than black over-concentrated water. It is absolutely disgusting. I was rather shocked to see the room service had offerings that you had to pay for. $1.50 for French fries. $5.00 for a pizza, $6.00 for fried shrimp. Casino It is our custom to gamble $100 every night at the craps table. That did not happen this cruise because of the smoke in the casino. It was really bad. Espresso I totally enjoy an espresso after my dinner or in the afternoon. The quality of the espresso after dinner was good but I do not like my afternoon coffee out of a paper cup and was not able to get one from the barista so I brought my own. Be sure to ask for the coffee punch card. When you get 6 beverages the 7th is free. When in the dining room it would be great if a correct size espresso spoon would be served with the coffee. Ship App Carnival is developing an app that allows guests the ability to text each other while on board. The cost is $5.00 per person. The app also gives you a “what’s going on” and the ability to view your shipboard account but that still has bugs to be worked out. This app is going to be excellent when all of the new bugs are worked out. At the time of our cruise, it was only being offered on 5 of Carnival’s ships. Restrooms Some of the restrooms especially near the pool bars were poorly maintained. There was vomit all over the floors and toilets, no paper towel, and the counters are a mess. Finding someone to tell this to was impossible. The signage marking the restrooms made it difficult to locate them. All of the stall locks do not function properly. Shows We only did 2 events. An on deck movie and the magic show with Suresh the Table Magician. At the movie they served free popcorn but there is no popcorn salt offered. I talked to the Chef du Cuisine and was told that the popcorn offering is part of the beverage department. Another opportunity for better departmental communication. Suresh‘s show was great but the private close-up show at the chef’s table was more intriguing. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
Another memorable trip with Carnival. This places us in the "gold" category with thirty-plus days on the water over a period of 25 years , and Carnival still can deliver a terrific experience. The embarkation effort was a bit ... Read More
Another memorable trip with Carnival. This places us in the "gold" category with thirty-plus days on the water over a period of 25 years , and Carnival still can deliver a terrific experience. The embarkation effort was a bit frustrating if you don't follow their instructions, but still that many people trying to get aboard is just a tough thing to accomplish. All in, we sat waiting for maybe 30 minutes, and as the 'zones' were called, we raced on board to our cabin that was ready! We would pick the "faster to the fun" option next time to grant us some earlier boarding priority. Cabin, decks, entertainment, dining room food service all were as expected, and terrific. We chose an inside cabin Lido deck forward, allowing for a quick walk on the same deck we enjoyed activities. Comedy shows were great. There were some big winners around us at the casino, but sadly we gave back all we made early on! Highlights were the Art Gallery, dining room, "dive-in movies," and 'Serenity.' I would encourage participation to the Art showings and auctions, even if you are not a collector/connoisseur. There are some great artworks in the hundred-dollar range as well as several-thousand range. We scored some terrific brand-name art at discount prices and had a great time doing it! Dining room service was five-star, and the choice for 'your-time seating' worked out fine, usually right to table, no more than 15 minutes wait. The adults-only area Serenity was our daily meeting place for sunbathing, reading, sightseeing. The only disappointment was the buffet line restaurant on Lido, it was complicated to follow the pattern of closing down stations at certain times, and following the line to the rear of the deck, allowing for them to change from breakfast to lunch to dinner......lost of walking to and fro. And the usual excellent quality was compromised by inadequate (in my opinion) food temperatures. By the time you retrieved your selections, found seating, and beverage, invariably your plate was no longer hot. The Mongolian Wok and Fieri burger food was the better pick, you got hot delicious food asap. The ports were fine, although we no longer do the shore excursions, opting to stay on board in a mostly-empty ship. A quick walk-off (no tenders this time) to visit the chachky booths and we were back on board, settling in for some cocktails, snacks and the peace & quiet of Serenity! Freedom was recently refurbished and was clean and tidy, though we are looking forward to Vista Class next time. I expect we were all-in for about $1800 not counting extras, but using our Barclays' Carnival Visa for purchases gave us double cash-back points for that next cruise! Bon voyage! Read Less
Carnival Freedom Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.4
Dining 4.0 3.9
Entertainment 4.0 3.8
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 3.0 4.0
Family 5.0 4.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.9
Enrichment 2.0 3.5
Service 4.0 4.3
Value For Money 5.0 4.2
Rates 5.0 4.3

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