First Time Cruiser's Review: Carnival Freedom Cruise Review by atlcruizr

Carnival Freedom 5
Member Since 2012
18 Forum Posts

Overall Member Rating

First Time Cruiser's Review

Sail Date: May 2011
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Other
Carnival Freedom Review

This was my first cruise, so I didn't exactly know what to expect.

This was honestly probably the worst part of the cruise. We arrived at the terminal at about noon. The line to get through security was so long that it ran all the way out the door and down the sidewalk. The line moved very slowly and it took at least an hour to get through security. From the security checkpoint, we went upstairs to the check-in area where they scan your passport and give you your sail and sign card. This line was also long and very slow moving. This process probably took another hour. From the check-in desk, we proceeded to the gangway and waited in line again to get on the ship. Overall the boarding process took close to 2.5 hours from the time we arrived to actually stepping on board. The terminal in ft lauderdale is not well organized and the temperature inside must have been pushing 85 degrees.

Like all Carnival's ships More that I've seen, the decor is not what you'd call classy or elegant. The design of this ship though is over the top to the point of being gaudy. The ship itself was spotless and very well maintained. The layout is a bit confusing though. As far as I could tell, there's no way to go from the lobby to the aft dining room without going up to deck 5 and then back down. Getting on and off the ship in port can be challenging sometimes. We frequently had to wait in long lines to re-board the ship. We waited 45 minutes in the pouring rain to board in Jamaica.

The majority of passengers on this cruise seemed to be families on summer vacation. Most seemed to be from the southeast or midwestern portions of the US. Most passengers were very nice, but of course it always amazes me that some adults don't know how to behave in public.

We had a cheap interior room on deck 2 forward. The interior rooms are definitely small and somewhat cramped, but we didn't spend much time there. The room was also very quiet in spite of being located beneath the theater. The bathroom is the same standard design that most Carnival ships have from what I understand.

Breakfast is your standard buffet food. The quality was generally good, but more variety would definitely be much appreciated. The only thing I didn't care for was the scrambled eggs which tasted like that cholesterol free egg substitute that comes in a carton. Lunch was also very good. We only ate in the buffet on the first day. We always missed the buffet times the other days and usually ended up eating burgers or pizza, which were also very good. Dinner was definitely the best! The quality of the food was very good and the service was amazing.

All of the service on this ship was outstanding. The dining room waiters were so friendly and very funny. They would always address us by name and even got to know what we liked and didn't like. Our room steward introduced himself the first day, and would always address me by name when I saw him in the hall.

We didn't participate in many of the activities, but there seemed to always be a lot going on. We did win a trophy in one of the trivia contests lol.

We we to all of the production shows on board. They definitely have some good talent, but they come across as slightly cheesy. The comedy shows were just ok.

Key West was nice, but similar to every other small florida beach town. We didn't do any excursions but just walked around town and then went to the beach.

Grand Cayman was definitely my favorite port on this cruise. We did one of the snorkeling excursions which was very fun! The reefs there are beautiful. The only downside for us was that is was cloudy and rainy all day.

Jamaica was about what I expected based on things I'd heard. We did a rafting excursion which was just ok. It was a good chance to see the rain forests of Jamaica, but wasn't the most interesting. Overall, I wouldn't do it again.

Debarkation was best described as semi-organized chaos. People were everywhere trying to collect their baggage and find their bus/shuttle/van/taxi to collect their cars. In my opinion this terminal is very poorly designed and does not flow well. Less

Published 06/24/12

Cabin review: 4B2236 Interior

Cabin 2236 is an interior cabin with 2 twins and 2 upper berths. The room has ample closet and storage space. Even the largest suitcases slide under the bed. The room is quiet in spite of being located directly under the theater. You do get some noise when pulling in to port early in the morning from the bow thrusters. The bathroom was small but adequate. This room is not particularly close to the stairs or elevators, but we liked that it was quiet without a lot people passing by.

Read All Interior (4B) Reviews >>

Port and Shore Excursions


Snorkeling was amazing! The tour met us at the pier and led us on a short walk down the beach to the dock where we me the boat which took us to the reefs. Grand Cayman has some of the most beautiful reefs & fish I've ever seen. The only downside for us was that is was overcast, so visibility was not great. They also took us to the site of sunken ship which was also very cool.

We didn't do any excursions here. We took the provided shuttle into town for some shopping, then went to the beach. In my opinion Key West was nice, but nothing special compared to any other small Florida beach town.
Read 1377 Key West Reviews

River Rafting

Jamaica was ok. We booked a rafting excursion which was a nice chance to see some of Jamaica's rain forests. The bus ride to the site was long, and the excursion itself was interesting but just ok.

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