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7 Night Western Caribbean Cruise from Galveston

7 Night Western Caribbean Cruise from Galveston

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Carnival Freedom
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Itinerary


Carnival Freedom

Cruise Critic Editor Rating:
4.5
1,249 reviews
Why Choose Carnival Freedom?

Pro

Free dining options and age-appropriate activities, including Seuss-themed events

Con

Layout forces passengers to climb stairs to access other main areas of the ship on the same deck

Bottom Line

Tremendous value to passengers and families, with fun-for-all-ages atmosphere


Cruise Reviews

2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We had not been on a cruise since our honeymoon 22 years ago, and with a 20 and 12 year old, we thought it would be a great option to get away and unplug from our busy lives. We parked at EZ Cruise parking very close to the terminal and ... Read More
We had not been on a cruise since our honeymoon 22 years ago, and with a 20 and 12 year old, we thought it would be a great option to get away and unplug from our busy lives. We parked at EZ Cruise parking very close to the terminal and it was simple. Close enough that I could drop the family and baggage off at the terminal, park the car, and walk back. Embarkation was very easy. We paid for Faster to the Fun, and we had zero wait to get through to the ship. Our boarding time was 11:30 which ended up being perfect so we could get on board, tour the ship, grab some lunch and relax. We had heard a lot about Guy's Burger Joint and everyone, particularly our 12 yr old son was excited to try it. It did not disappoint. In fact, we probably ate there at least once every day. Our rooms were very nice. We had two balcony rooms on the Lido deck toward the front of the ship. Away from the noise and busy-ness. Our cabin steward Andy (with help from Aleck) was absolutely awesome. Very friendly, attentive and helpful. We ate dinner most nights in the MDR. We were in Posh lower for dinner, and Houston (with I-Made and Ni Luh Putu) took such great care of us every night. The food was good. Interesting choices, and portions for the appetizers were small and we ordered multiple for each person each night to try different things. We switched up breakfast, eating at the buffet a few times, going to brunch twice, room service once. All were fine. Brunch in the MDR was probably our favorite, and we went early so to get a good table near the window. We tried the sushi restaurant and seafood shack and both were good. The lobster rolls at the seafood place were a little too heavy on the mayo, but otherwise good. Mongolian Wok was decent. Blue Iguana had good tacos and burritos. All in all, we thought the food was really good. Chloe, the cruise director did a great job. We met here on the deck party the first day and she remembered our names and spoke to us throughout the cruise. She even sent some chocolate covered strawberries to our rooms, which was a nice gesture. She's a ton of fun, and did a good job of engaging with the guests and keeping everyone plugged in to what was going on. We spent a ton of time at the pool. Lots of fun activities, including the Dive-In Movies, which we attended 3 times. The bar staff on the Lido deck are super attentive and remembered my wife's name and preferences which was nice. We also played mini-golf a couple of the mornings. Small course obviously, but we had a blast and the view was amazing. I suggest if you want to do this, you do it before 10am as it gets hot and pretty busy after that. Weather was absolutely perfect on this trip. All 3 ports were enjoyable, and the water was so nice. In Jamaica we did the horseback riding with Chukka, which included a run on horseback in the ocean which was fun. Afterward we went to Margaritaville which was fun, but a little commercial for me. We did spend some time swimming and playing in the water there (they have a long waterslide from the upstairs which drops you into the ocean behind the restaurant). We wanted to go to Doctor's Cave Beach, but there just wasn't enough time to do it and make it back to the ship. In Grand Cayman we did the Stingray City trip. We picked the earliest one of the day. Absolutely wonderful time out there. The water was so clear and we all really enjoyed feeding and interacting with the stingrays. I highly advise doing this excursion. We tried to schedule shorter excursions in each port which would give us some time to experience the beaches and it worked out perfectly. In Cozumel we did the Deluxe Catamaran and Private Beach excursion which was really nice as well. At the private beach, my wedding slid off my finger while climbing up the inflatable slide in the ocean. We were short on time to get back on the boat and head back, and I was diving over and over trying to find it. One of the snorkel guides came out and within 2 minutes he had my ring back in my hands. Absolutely saved me! Could not believe he was able to find it. We attended a few of the shows (the Beach Party show, the 80's show and the 88 Keys/Piano shows. All were decent/fun, and they're short enough that it's not a big deal if you don't totally enjoy them. We also went to a few of the comedy shows (we chose the PG ones so our son could join us) and they were all great. The staff on the ship were great across the board. Seriously, we could not have been happier with this cruise. Look forward to the next one! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
Embarkation - Went very smooth. We parked at Lighthouse parking and took the shuttle to the terminal. Easy access (we had Faster To The Fun), so we walked in and went right on the ship. Less than 15 minutes from drop off to ship. Ship - ... Read More
Embarkation - Went very smooth. We parked at Lighthouse parking and took the shuttle to the terminal. Easy access (we had Faster To The Fun), so we walked in and went right on the ship. Less than 15 minutes from drop off to ship. Ship - it is your standard Carnival ship. Too gaudy for us, but we don't go for decorations. Since it was our kids first cruise (five kids from 10-18), we had to orient them to the ship. They decided to stick together for most of the cruise, so none of the younger ones did any kids club activities. We didn't spend much time on the Lido deck and I found we really didn't miss anything. For those who complain about the "Wal-Mart" atmosphere of Carnival, you don't feel it much at all if you stay off of Lido and out of the casino. Dining - did most of our meals in the MDR, which had great service and good food. My teenage son was in heaven. The service from Angela's team was superior and they made sure to make the kids feel welcomed. Chatting up staff is some of the best times on the boat. Bars - I visited several bars, but really liked the bar in the atrium best. I could listen to live music, every evening, and have a drink. Entertainment - the main theater shows were ok. But, the music around the ship otherwise was amazing. We have never had such good music on any other cruise. It was exceptional. The Sonic Monkeys played most days/nights and my family loved them. I would even pay good money on land to go see them and drink some bourbon. The comedians were pretty good too, though we only went to 2 shows. My 18 year-old won $900 one day in Bingo (I hate it so didn't go)...which she was pumped up about. Cabin - we had two cabins - one an Ocean Suite and one a balcony. The stewards (Astica and John) were top-notch. The Suite was very roomy and having a bigger bathroom & more storage is the biggest plus to having the suite. Kids enjoyed the balcony room too. Service - we have no complaints and mostly great things to say. We wouldn't have gotten such a level of service on land in the USA, for the money we spent. So, good job! Jamaica - we kept it simple. Sail and snorkel, with a visit to Margaritaville. It was fun, but way too quick of a stop at Margaritaville. They need to add at least another 30 minutes there. Grand Cayman - Dolphins and Sting Ray city. The dolphin swim was amazing. Much better than the one my wife and I did in Cozumel, previously. Spent a great deal of time interacting with dolphins and had a fun time with the folks, who you could tell, adore the animals. The stingrays are always neat to do. The weather just wasn't great. Cozumel - Went to Nachi Cocom. I love this place. My only complaint is that it rained...but you can't control that, just your attitude about it all. Overall we had a great time. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
We were with a group of 14. When 4 of us got there, we were seated so far away from our group that we couldn't even see them! I guess the lady that did the reservation was told that 4 of us would be seated apart from the 10, but closer ... Read More
We were with a group of 14. When 4 of us got there, we were seated so far away from our group that we couldn't even see them! I guess the lady that did the reservation was told that 4 of us would be seated apart from the 10, but closer than what we experienced. Did I contact the Matre'd? No, we didn't, figured it was too late. Secondly, I am on vacation, why do I need to deal with that kind of inadequacy? Good news! We all lost weight as the food was so bad. The desserts were particularly tasteless! And what is that spice they are now pouring on Guy''s french fries. Make it stop! On our last night, they made public announcements at 4:36 a.m. No idea why, but they did it 3 times! Someone needed to go to the pursers desk for some reason. The last night we planned to go the casino and play our favorite game as a family, Let it Ride". So we all show up about 7:30 p.m. $100 each for 4 people to ante. The pit boss tells us that he has no dealer..so no game for us. What casino does that? Oh well, we took our $400 and went back to the room. Spectacular last night..NOT! The only goodness I can relate was our cabin Steward, Mario. He was sweet and cheerful, meticulous! This Platinum customer will never sail again on the Freedumb . Read Less
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