Sail Date: July 2018
We were looking for a family friendly cruise line for our young family. First and last cruise for young family We took our 5, 3 and 1 year old on the Carnival Freedom 7-day cruise to key west, FLA, Freeport Bahamas and Nassau Bahamas. ... Read More
We were looking for a family friendly cruise line for our young family. First and last cruise for young family We took our 5, 3 and 1 year old on the Carnival Freedom 7-day cruise to key west, FLA, Freeport Bahamas and Nassau Bahamas. We did lots of research on shops and were looking for a vacation that would be conducive for our young family. We chose this ship because the Carnival website advertised good kids programs for kids and especially because of the baby splash pad area they advertised for this specific First I’ll start with a few positives before getting to why overall, my expectations for a family friendly vacation were not met. 1. Excellent food 2. Camp Ocean was very organized and had competent staff . When we arrived we were told that there was no water area for under 2s. Carnival does not allow non-potty trained babies in any water area. In addition to no baby water area or splash pad there was no kid pool or even a designated kid area. The three small pools on the lido deck were always packed with adults who were drinking and engaging in adult behavior, not an environment suitable for kids. Furthermore on the lido deck there is always very loud adult music playing. In the kids area, Camp Ocean, located on the very top deck of the ship, almost impossible to get a stroller to, my one year old was only allowed to play from 8:00-10:00am. Like most one year olds this time was during her morning nap. The kids The schedule The entire cruise ship schedule is not suited to kids or families. There are LGBT mixers and adult comedy shows. In all 7 days there were three “family friendly” activities, a Build a Bear Workshop (which you had to pay extra for) a movie, Peter Rabbit (PG) and the Seuss a Palooza Parade which was run by a staff member who appeared to never have worked with children before. My three and five year old were wildly unimpressed with the “parade” which involved about 100 kids walking from one area of the ship to another waving bells and other noise makers. The Dr Seuss characters, advertised on all promotional materials, were present for about 20 min total. Changing table There was one baby changing station on the entire lido deck. Food The food places were closed from 2:30-6:00 leaving young families like us out of luck For after nap snacks and early dinner times. There were also almost kid friendly options on the buffet. They had a pizza place and a deli open almost always but they were very often so crowded we opted to not stand in more lines with our children going wild. On the buffet they had melon, pineapple, apples and bananas for fruit and almost no other kids food options for picky toddlers. There are a number of adult only sections of the ship, including the very front called the Serenity deck. Being at the very front of the boat, there were many children anxious to see it but they were not permitted to enter. Putt-putt was a good family activity but it closed at 5:00, right before our kids bedtime when our family would have gotten the most use out of it. There was essentially nothing for my one year old to do on Carnival Freedom. We spent our days taking turns walking her around and letting her go up and down the stairs Excursions Our two excursions in the Bahamas were marketed entirely to families. On both of them we had to walk over a mile to get there and wait in lines for over an hour. Once we arrived at the beaches, they were so crowded we had to wAit in more lines to secure a shaded area for the kids. All in all, this did not meet my expectations for a family friendly vacation. I feel as though Carnivals explicit marketing to young families is false advertising. Next time we will pay the extra for a Disney Cruise or opt for a family centered resort. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
Such a let down. Carnival used to be cruiseline if choice...not anymore! Food horrible, nothing to do. Ships entertainment is down to nothing!!! No place to sit and listen or dance to music at all! Other than 1 show each night and comedy ... Read More
Such a let down. Carnival used to be cruiseline if choice...not anymore! Food horrible, nothing to do. Ships entertainment is down to nothing!!! No place to sit and listen or dance to music at all! Other than 1 show each night and comedy club that was so offensive and NOT funny other than Chris, the ship closes down at 9. Literally nothing to do other than casino where they can collect more money!!! Horrible time! The good lines closed at least 30 minutes early leaving hungry people literally in line while they put up the buffet is closed signs in your face!!! The DJ was non existent! He did not say 5 wirds the entire 7 day trip! We ported next to a Royal Carribean ship and could hear the DJ and all the fun they were having!! We wanted to jump ship!!!!!! Carnival cruiseline is no longer the “fun ship”!!!! Bye Carnival and hello Royal Carribean!! Read Less
3 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
Sail Date: June 2018
I was invited on this cruise by friends. The cabin was miserably hot! The buffet dining was less than average. The Posh dinners were amazing. However, the service and staff were impeccable. I have never met nicer, more polite people ... Read More
I was invited on this cruise by friends. The cabin was miserably hot! The buffet dining was less than average. The Posh dinners were amazing. However, the service and staff were impeccable. I have never met nicer, more polite people than those who work for Carnival. Nor have I seen people who work so hard and always have a smile. I was treated with such respect and it was appreciated. I was not super impressed by Cozumel or Belize but Mohogany Bay was absolutely beautiful. Debarkation process was pretty clustered. I even read about the process on the Cruise TV and it was super vague. There needs to be better instructions, we had some staff ordering us all over the place. It was a bit ridiculous and I feel the organization could have been handled much better. On the day we sailed I had a male staff member come in my cabin and open the door to the cabin and then to the bathroom while I was using the restroom!! He knocked on the door and I yelled out that I was in the bathroom, there was absolutely no need for that whatsoever and it really upset me. We paid for the cruise WiFi and it hardly ever worked. There should have been a refund for that. Just a lot of “hidden” things you’re not made aware of that seem a bit shady. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
Overall, everyone had a good time.....except me, Mom. Keep in mind, I had an 18 YO, 17 YO and a 22 Month Old with me, oh and my husband. Carnival is really terrible at options for toddlers. They tout their Club Ocean, but it's not ... Read More
Overall, everyone had a good time.....except me, Mom. Keep in mind, I had an 18 YO, 17 YO and a 22 Month Old with me, oh and my husband. Carnival is really terrible at options for toddlers. They tout their Club Ocean, but it's not for Under 2. Now they do have a play room that is open when they are open, which was great every day to take our Daughter to and play with her, It's the Suessville they advertise. But if you need a babysitter for say, a nice dinner for just you and your husband, you're looking in the wrong place. They have the Night Owls program, on our cruise it was open 3 different nights, but only from 10pm to 1am. Who wants to move their sleeping baby and move them to Club Ocean at 10pm? Not me, and no one is even serving dinner at 10 pm. We were in the Captain's Suite, and I heard a rumor that sometimes you can get in stateroom babysitting, but not on this ship. They really need to get with the program. The other lines offer stateroom babysitting. It would be nice to have that option, instead I had to bribe my teenagers to stay in the room a couple of nights so Daddy and I could go out without the baby. Which brings me to my 2nd biggest complaint: There are only 2 baby changing stations ON. THE. ENTIRE. BOAT! On Deck 3 and on Deck 12, in Club Ocean.....Which isn't even open 24/7. Having a child in diapers on Carnival Cruises is a huge after thought of theirs. The other cruise lines offer diaper and baby needs delivered to your stateroom so you don't have to pack a million items, but not Carnival. It's almost like they really only cater to the kids that are Pre-Teens and Teens. My boys are 18 and 17, and they would not let them hang out in the O2 club. I get it, no one wants an 18 year old hanging out with their 15 year old, but they are brothers....what's the problem. They literally had no place to really hang out with kids their age until they finally started making their own arrangements to do things outside of O2 Club. The food was just average. You would think that they would really knock your socks off with the food, but it's like they don't taste what they are cooking. One night I ordered Clam Chowder, it tasted like baked potato soup, no clams. Next I ordered the Pasta Fagioli, and I swear I was eating a bowl of baked beans... there was no pasta in it. The Steakhouse left so much to be desired. It comes to a point that after the first day on board, you know what the rest of the cruise is going to be like already and you're really impressed or your depressed. The buffet was decent, for buffet food, but with a toddler, sometimes my only choices for food were Blue Iguana or buffet. I swear, her and I lived off Blue Iguana chicken tacos this whole cruise because that's all she would eat. And she's a healthy eater, but we just couldn't find anything on that boat that she would enjoy. Except the FroYo, which you know she loved. Overall, I just don't know if I'll take my kids on another Carnival Cruise. This was our 3rd overall, 2nd with kids, and until they make it a little more kid friendly, I just can't see going. I researched the newer boats, but it seems like Carnival didn't put much thought into the family aspect of those either, putting the Galley right above the Family Harbor Suites. It's so disappointing. Living in Texas, we are a little limited, and maybe spoiled that we have a port so close, but the options of cruising out of Galveston are sparse. We purchased FTTF after I couldn't find any Captain Suite Perks listed anywhere. Honestly the best thing about being in a Suite is Priority boarding, but even with FTTF, our luggage was lost on the boat until around 6 pm, which wasn't very helpful. Guest Services did refund us for the FTTF, and I understand mix ups happen, but everyone's luggage was lost except for me. A total of 6 bags just missing for 7 hours. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
We all know Carnival is the Kmart of cruising, but they have hit new lows. They will now "blue light special" you over the loud speaker at anytime day or night. 10pm 4:52am. If they need you to do something or be somewhere or ... Read More
We all know Carnival is the Kmart of cruising, but they have hit new lows. They will now "blue light special" you over the loud speaker at anytime day or night. 10pm 4:52am. If they need you to do something or be somewhere or if they even suspect you may be asleep or spending downtime in your cabin they will be yelling over the loudspeaker for you to get out and keep spending money. The ship is old. There are lines for everything everywhere. If they could adequately handle demand with two of something plan on there being one. If you plan to drink yourself into a stupper from morning g to night you will be in good company. Plan to smell plenty of vomit. The employees are nice and will share many stories from the back home. This is the one upside. Over all though I would sum it up with this one statement - Sail the Freedom and spend a week in Hell. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
I gave this Cruise to my mom for Mother's day, she hasn't had a vacation in 3 years. Embarkation has gotten so fast in Galveston from parking to getting on the ship was 20 minutes total. We had a Balcony cabin on deck 6 almost aft which ... Read More
I gave this Cruise to my mom for Mother's day, she hasn't had a vacation in 3 years. Embarkation has gotten so fast in Galveston from parking to getting on the ship was 20 minutes total. We had a Balcony cabin on deck 6 almost aft which I had no idea but was very excited because we had a long balcony which fit a table 2 chairs and 1 lounger. We ate in Posh dining room and had a very nice wait staff. Let me start by saying I'm in the industry but not a huge fan of Carnival because I like to be waited on when on vacation. But we had a very nice time, I don't like the way stewards can only clean your cabin once a day and you have to ask for every thing. But you get what you pay for so it's not a bad ship, but I will recommend to bring a fan the cabins are warm overnight. The food is good we even splurged on the Steak House for Mother's Day and they didn't disappoint. We booked 2 excursions with Carnival, adult all-inclusive resort for the day in Montego Bay, Jamaica, Swimming with sting rays in Grand Cayman was crowded but my mom had the best time. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2018
2nd time we've taken Carnival. Both experiences have been great. Some of the people on the cruise are a little rough around the edges and seems to be more of a budget crowd, but in general all the guest are friendly and fun to be around. ... Read More
2nd time we've taken Carnival. Both experiences have been great. Some of the people on the cruise are a little rough around the edges and seems to be more of a budget crowd, but in general all the guest are friendly and fun to be around. The ship is a little older, but plenty of things to do and the pools and hot tubs are great. The casino is way to smoky, but I think that is true of any casino on a ship. As long as they let people smoke indoors, it's going to be bad. The drinks are a bit pricey, but they are vey good. The dinner at night is outstanding. The dinner staff was amazing. They made sure they took care of me and my wife every night. The choices were pretty good variety every night. The melting chocolate cake is worth ordering every night for dessert. I would definitely recommend the Freedom for the value and fun of the ship. 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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