Sail Date: November 2018
Husband booked cruise as a birthday gift. It was him, our son and I that went. Our first cruise and we loved it. Was a little disappointed that the pictures it showed for what our boat would look like wasn’t exactly what was in ... Read More
Husband booked cruise as a birthday gift. It was him, our son and I that went. Our first cruise and we loved it. Was a little disappointed that the pictures it showed for what our boat would look like wasn’t exactly what was in pictures. Was told we were on one of the older boats but we still had a great time! It was a little confusing on the whole gratiuity thing that you prepay before and what you get charged on the boat but I guess that’s part of being a newbie. Lol. The staff was always really nice, helpful and worked really hard to keep decks and chairs dry. Housekeeping was great. As soon as we would come out of our room they made sure we knew exactly what was going on that day that we might enjoy and where it was at. Even though they tell you all the activities so many different ways. They made sure you didn’t miss anything. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
We chose the November 24-Dec 1 (Sat to Sat) 7 day cruise for the lower cost and less busy time with most kids in school. We took our 14 and 16 year old daughters out of school and are glad we chose this date, as it was less busy and there ... Read More
We chose the November 24-Dec 1 (Sat to Sat) 7 day cruise for the lower cost and less busy time with most kids in school. We took our 14 and 16 year old daughters out of school and are glad we chose this date, as it was less busy and there were not a lot of small children aboard. We could drive to Galveston, so it saved on money. We booked a balcony, as I was not sure how the 4 of us would fit in an interior stateroom. We loved the balcony and the extra closet, however for approximately $600 more, next time we will book an interior room and use that money on excursions. The embarkation was kind of hectic, as we arrived around 12:30, and the cabins were not available yet so everyone was around the buffet and lido deck and we couldn't find a table. After being on the ship for a week, I think there were more tables and chairs further away in less obvious areas that we didn't know about at the time. We were booked for the late 8:15 pm seating and had asked for the early 6:00pm seating prior to the cruise, and were told there was no availability. We didn't care to eat that late, but it was a good time to visit with our in-laws, so we made do. The late dining time did interfere with watching some shows (or had to attend the late 10:15 shows). Next time, I will be more persistent with asking to switch or choose the "Your time dining." Of course, you could go to the buffet on the lido deck for dinner, but we enjoyed being waited on. We enjoyed eating breakfast in the main dining room (also being waited on) vs the buffet, however there is a different menu on port days vs sea days (brunch) and the port menu was more extensive. and the times are different. As far as the shows and activities, it never seemed overly crowded - we were able to find seats easily even when arriving at show time. "Hacks" - the sign and sail cards are pre-punched, so all you have to do is bring your lanyard. The walls are magnetic - magnetic clips were helpful to hold up the paper information. We brought suction hooks also for the mirrors to hang stuff on. A portable fan was NOT needed, as our cabin had good A/C. Long pants and a jacket is helpful as most indoor areas were cool. (maybe the time of year). We did not need an extension cord, but a 3 prong extender would have been nice. We did bring a plug for 4 phones. We brought a portable battery operated alarm clock to keep on ship time, but really didn't need it as I had a watch with an alarm and tend to wake up early anyway. The Carnival Hub app was very helpful - it had all the activities listed, restaurant information, your credit card balance. For $5 per phone for the entire week, the "chat" texting feature was great to stay in touch with your family's whereabouts. We turned 3 of our phones on "airplane mode" and turned off the cellular data to avoid extra charges and just used the Hub app, which was free on Carnival's wireless. My husband purchased the text and phone call service for cruises from AT&T for $50, as he needed to be available for business. Otherwise, we didn't purchase any of the Carnival's Wifi services. Outdoor activities, such as mini golf, volleyball, ping pong: it was too windy on sea days to enjoy them, so a better time is do these when the ship is still. The waterslide was slow and the pools were fairly small, so we didn't use them much. Regrets - we packed too much clothing. The last day I paid $40 for 9 cards of bingo because there was a $5000 prize, however was not told that this amount of money is only given out if there is a bingo in 49 "calls." So, next time I will spend that money on something else. Ports: We didn't purchase any excursions, but will next time because it was imiting and stressful with transportation, making sure that we were back on the boat in time. So we didn't get to see as we could have. But that is ok, the cruise price was decent this time of the year, so we can always do it again another year. Cozumel: We brought water bottles and snacks and then ate a late lunch back on board. We did some shopping and looked at our "time share" in Cozumel that we haven't used yet but plan to in the next year. We walked to the planetarium, but found it was closed on Mondays. There are no bussed, only taxi's in Cozumel. Roatan: we paid a taxi driver to take us to Daniel Johnson's Monkey and Sloth Hangout, as well as Sherman Arch's Iguana Farm. The taxi was $20 per person round trip. The 2 places were fairly close together. Each place was $10 per person, but my daughters were thrilled to hold a sloth (go early if you want to hold a sloth because they rest later in the day), have monkeys jump on their shoulders and head, and hold a macaw at the "Hangout" and see the HUGE number of iguanas a the farm. Both places provided you with a tour guide, which we did tip $5 each, as well as the van driver(s). After this, we shopped a bit, went back to the ship for lunch, and then went to Mahogany Bay (which is owned by Carnival) for swimming. I wish we had brought our snorkel gear because there was snorkeling also. Grand Cayman. Our ship was re-routed from the regular port to another one 10 km away, so it took up about an hour of our time to get to Georgetown and back. There is a bus route around the entire island, which is cheaper than taxis. It was easy to catch a bus to Georgetown (where we should have landed) and it was only $2.50 one way per person. We wanted to snorkel at some recommended areas at and close to Georgetown, but the latter was too choppy. We went to the Grand Cayman museum, which was easily found and was $8 per person. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
We needed it to meet our 4 cruises a year objective. Of course, we would do more but our Golden Retriever would highly object. We look for a lot of trivia (not many this time). The Fun Squad seemed to spread to thin or just not in the mood ... Read More
We needed it to meet our 4 cruises a year objective. Of course, we would do more but our Golden Retriever would highly object. We look for a lot of trivia (not many this time). The Fun Squad seemed to spread to thin or just not in the mood to activties we've experienced on other Carnival Ships. The Alchemy Bar was a hit, great bar tenders. As far meals, we did eat in the Posh MDR, our food was good and the service was excellant. We ate at the steak house twice. I had the lamb and the wife had the surf and turf each time. Need I say that it meet our expectations. We did not paticipate in any Carnival excursion. We did go to Nachi Cocom on our own. I highly reccommend it.(private beach south of the port and has a 130 occupant limit.) Casino tight, no shows attended. I now have 155 words so I've meet my 150 minimum. Any other questions pm or email. Ship does go into dry dock in February. She really needs it. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
Family cruise.... even though this was my first time on a cruise I feel as though it was over rated my bed was uncomfortable the room was hot and paying more for a balcony was not necessary.you are nickled and dined for EVERYTHING. Even ... Read More
Family cruise.... even though this was my first time on a cruise I feel as though it was over rated my bed was uncomfortable the room was hot and paying more for a balcony was not necessary.you are nickled and dined for EVERYTHING. Even though the food is free you don't have much to choose from when you have food allergies we went out our way to dress up for captains dinner and never even got a chance to look at the guy... but we did see a photo...I did enjoy getting off the boat to shop for souvenirs...I just expected a lot more other than the casino and some of the waiters had attitudes as if you were getting on there nerve.. like your not paying for the drinks you ordered they were full of juice and again some servers had attitudes especially in the casino and there was a young lady asking ppl around if they needed anything and assisted them but she deliberately ignored me.. she noticed I noticed that so I asked her where I can I get a napkin just to see her response sure enough she only pointed out to me when the towels were right next to her in other words I didn't get the same assistance as The other ppl did? Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
This was our first cruise and sadly it will probably be our last. The steward and wait staff we had were wonderful but the photo shop employees were horrible; each one of them were rude. The food was the worst part of the cruise though, ... Read More
This was our first cruise and sadly it will probably be our last. The steward and wait staff we had were wonderful but the photo shop employees were horrible; each one of them were rude. The food was the worst part of the cruise though, both in the restaurant and the buffet. The pizza place was great and the only meal we enjoyed was the Green eggs and ham breakfast which was better than all the other meals. The dress code in the restaurant was not enforced at all. The embarkation went smoothly but the debarkation was horrible and long. There's not much to do that is family oriented. However, if you like to drink, smoke and gamble, this one is for you. We ended up spending most of the time in our room which had a balcony and the view was stunning. The ship had a horrible smell the last 3 days, I think something backed up. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
We chose this cruise mainly because of the price and the fact that we were going to be in South Texas around that time. Embarkation for us was a very long drawn out affair. My wife cannot make that long walk up the ramps to get on the ... Read More
We chose this cruise mainly because of the price and the fact that we were going to be in South Texas around that time. Embarkation for us was a very long drawn out affair. My wife cannot make that long walk up the ramps to get on the ship so needs wheelchair assistance. We must have waited for two hours before it was finally "our turn" to get help. From what it looked like Carnival only had about six wheelchairs that were in use at any one time. Not sure what embarkation was like for the rest of the cruisers but it looked like it was not an easy process. We had decided that dinners in the Lido Buffet were iffy at best on a previous Carnival so we decided we would eat most of our dinners in the dining room. This was a good idea although our food quality only rose from one to three stars. The biggest difference was with the desserts which were much better in the dining room. Food still too salty. Overall, the entertainment gets four stars with the lounge entertainment bringing up the average and the production shows (which need to turn the volume WAY down) dragging the average down. Because of my wife's limited mobility we tend more toward excursions that are listed as Easy. But an excursion is not easy when it starts out with a 300 yard plus walk to the transportation. Carnival needs to spend some time cleaning the outside of the ship. One of the big reasons people cruise is for the continual ocean view whether one is inside or outside on deck. The windows on decks 5 and 9 look as if they had not been cleaned for weeks, for sure they were not cleaned during our week on the ship. Our cabin was the typical small functional type found on cruise ships but was neat and clean and the steward was very responsive to our needs. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
This cruise was so great in many ways, but a few bad things made it rough here and there. Personnel: I've never really cared one way or another about Cruise Directors, but Ms. Emma Nixon was spectacular. I wish I could have her on ... Read More
This cruise was so great in many ways, but a few bad things made it rough here and there. Personnel: I've never really cared one way or another about Cruise Directors, but Ms. Emma Nixon was spectacular. I wish I could have her on every cruise! She was everywhere at once, and I'm not kidding. We would talk to her one minute and then go somewhere else and she would have beat us there, always smiling and laughing. The rest of the crew aboard the ship were good too, no complaints. Boarding was a breeze. We got there at our appointed time, the line moved smoothly, no trouble. We are Gold VIFP and had no trouble, but because the ship had soooo many Platinum and Diamond guests we were told that NO rooms would be available until 1:30. We heard a lot of griping about that but it didn't bother us. Entertainment was mostly good. There is one singer in the group who hurts my ears, but maybe not her fault. We stayed pretty well entertained. And the activities were great fun and mostly well organized. Food...ugh. So disappointing this time. I don't think there was a tender piece of meat anywhere on the ship. Oh wait, my husbands lobster was a mushy, gooey blob and the shrimp was always good. But pork, beef and chicken, we could hardly cut them. I did ask to exchange for other dishes, but I shouldn't have had to at so many meals. And if I didn't have trouble someone else at our table did. Ports...great! I loved every one of them. No tenders on this itinerary and every single stop made us happy. We went to Jamaica, Aruba, Curacao, Cartagena, Panama Canal partial transit, Costa Rica and Cozumel. Excursions: We took ship's excursions in Cartagena and Cozumel. In Curaco we got a van tour from one of the port vendors and enjoyed it. The Party Bus in Cartagena gave us rum/coke and beer and drove us around to see the city. It was nice. The Mayan Indian Ball game, lunch and dancing was a a lot of fun entertainment. The ride to the Mayan village was only 15 minutes or so. In Aruba we went on a private Tour with Sunny Binn. He was really good. Debarkation: The worst we've ever had. Starting from the way they gave out luggage tags this time clear until we got out of the terminal it was all a disorganized mess. One old guy started feeling faint in the terminal and was told there were no wheelchairs left so he'd have to just stand there. I thought he'd hit the floor. And who's idea was it to hand out luggage tags to a pushy mob of people in a public area. That was a huge mistake. People were actually shoving each other and calling each other names while they clawed for the lower numbers. We heard that self assist went well though. But in spite of the bad food and terrible debarkation I loved this cruise. I won't do it again though....too chaotic, but I'm glad we went this time. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
Panama Canal cruise was awesome. Emma Nixon was the best cruise director ever. she is a bundle of energy. Awesome energy. Anoma and her wait crew were awesome in anytime dining. Room steward was awesome also. Food was very hot and good. ... Read More
Panama Canal cruise was awesome. Emma Nixon was the best cruise director ever. she is a bundle of energy. Awesome energy. Anoma and her wait crew were awesome in anytime dining. Room steward was awesome also. Food was very hot and good. Chefs table was a very interesting experience. Panama Canal was very interesting to watch. Carnival was awesome as always. The Freedom is one of our favorite ships. Galveston does need some new ports for us all. we were a group of 5 and always found something to eat. Food . Dora the Explorer in Cartegena was an awesome tour guide. We recommend her to anyone wanting to go to Cartegena Columbia. Rickys tours in Costa Rica was awesome also. Erie tours in Curacao was also a good tour. Do not use Octopus in Aruba. He cancelled our sunset sail and booked a private tour with only two people on his ship. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
Embarkation was extremely smooth, probably due to the fact that we had purchased "Faster to the Fun". Our cabin was ready when we boarded around noon and the luggage arrived shortly there after as promised in the FTTF. This ... Read More
Embarkation was extremely smooth, probably due to the fact that we had purchased "Faster to the Fun". Our cabin was ready when we boarded around noon and the luggage arrived shortly there after as promised in the FTTF. This was the first time we have gotten a premium balcony cabin and we were not disappointed. Its size was immense; essentially a suite for the price of a balcony. Huge balcony and lots of room to move around in. The ship was clean but after having taken a tour around it was clear that it was in need of a dry dock visit. During the entire cruise was alot of movement felt that was not caused by the sea state. At most we may have had 1-2 foot seas for the entire cruise. The movement was being caused by vibrations coming from who knows where. Even when the ship was in port and tied to the pier we could still feel these vibrations in our cabin. The pixel studio needs a massive upgrade. We cruised on the Conquest last year and we could view photos on a computer terminal. On the Freedom we had to "hunt and peck" through literally thousands of pictures to find ours. I'm sure that some passengers probably gave up and that surely cost Carnival photo sales. Dining options are standard and can be found on all Carnival ships. I would guess that what you think about them depends on the service that you get on any given cruise. For myself I was a bit taken back when diners were allowed in the Steakhouse with baseball caps on. There are notices everywhere detailing what not to wear in the dining rooms but these seem to be taken as mere suggestions by a great number of the passengers. Surely you can get presentable for one meal a day. Debarkation was haphazard at best. For those of you thinking about taking a cruise out of Galveston, be prepared to pay a duty on any liquor that you purchase on the ship or in any of your port of call. It was $3.75 per qt duty and there also was a duty on tobacco products. Trying to find a porter to help with luggage was a test of patience. My wife and I finally decided to hoof it with out four pieces of luggase and other hand held pieces rather than wait for someone we would have to tip. Many of the passengers were strong enough to do this by themselves and were forced to wait. For the most part we had a great time on the cruise. All of the crew we came in contact with were always ready to go "above and beyound" to meet our needs. The Alchemy Bar was fantastic and we spent every night in the Punchliner comedy club. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
We chose the cruise knowing it was hurricane season,we went under the hurricane to get to our ports.We had to skip one because of the hurricane (I would have loved if he would have replaced it with Yucatán, which was a clear ... Read More
We chose the cruise knowing it was hurricane season,we went under the hurricane to get to our ports.We had to skip one because of the hurricane (I would have loved if he would have replaced it with Yucatán, which was a clear port...but I am no captain, and he did keep us safe).Our only excursion was Roatan, so we were refunded our excursion costs.Cozumel (we had another port, so some excursions were cancelled here as well). Our favorite was walking into Belize City. We had an amazing time. The locals were great. We had wonderful food & fresh watermelon juice.The day we planned on relaxing on the ship, there was poop in the pools (all the pumps are connected). We were bummed out the last day. No one from carnival has offered any extra discounts or incentives due to any of this happening...That would have been nice.refunded port expenses $15 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 4.0
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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