Carnival Freedom Review

4.5 / 5.0
1,369 reviews

Anarchy on the Freedom

Review for the Eastern Caribbean Cruise on Carnival Freedom
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6-10 Cruises • Age 50s

Rating by category

Value for Money
Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation

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Sail Date: Jul 2012
Cabin: Balcony
Traveled with children

I have never written a review before. I didn't really think I had a whole lot to add. My experiences on Carnival in the past have been largely positive and the things that didn't go right we didn't let bother us a whole lot. We mostly sail with friends and family and rely on ourselves to make the most of our cruising experiences. What happened on the Freedom, however, was so egregious and surreal that I had to speak up. Seriously, if it hadn't happened to me (my family), I would not believe it myself. So here goes...

Embarkation was a breeze. There were 9 of us sailing ages 40's to 7. We got on and got settled an enjoyed our sail away from our balcony. We were a bit disappointed that our balcony configuration did not allow us to open our balcony door between rooms as we had done in the past and was promised when we booked we could do again (safety issue)....but we didn't let it dampen the fun. Our first day at sea was lovely and we enjoyed the pool deck and watching all the seriously intoxicated people compete in the mixology contest. We did notice that this cruise seemed to have a different "vibe". There were a lot more roving packs of rowdy teenagers and angry guests, but we just tried to avoid them and do our own thing. We had two kids DD12 and DDF14 that went to Circle C the first night, but there didn't seem to be any adult supervision and there was no one monitoring the Wii tournament, so they left. The next night they tried to attend the Dodge Ball activity (stayed up until midnight to do it), but when they arrived at the Sports Cage they said there were about 20 kids throwing basketballs and each other and no adult supervision. They decided that was not going to end well and left. That was the last activity they attempted to attend. No biggie. They made their own fun in the arcade, playing ping pong and mini golf. At least for awhile.

Our second night, formal night, is where things went terribly wrong. After dinner and the show our older boys DS22 and DS19 wanted to stay in the lobby and dance and socialize. The rest of us were beat so we went back to the room. About 12:30 we got a phone call from security that our boys had been involved in a situation and we needed to come to the security office. My husband and I went immediately to find our DS22 crying hysterically, and our DS19 shaken and pale. DS22 had his leg propped up on his brother's lap and his knee was shredded and bleeding and his ankle was swollen. DS22 kept telling us that he had been beaten up, but every time he tried to talk the assistant head of security (AHS) yelled at him to "shut up". I was stunned. I asked what had happened. AHS said that the boys had been in a fight and that they had started it and that this was the result. Both boys kept trying to protest what we were being told but were continually told to shut up by security. I knew the event had happened in the lobby and asked to see the video. I was told there was none. I was actually later told by AHS that there are no camera's in the camera domes in the lobby and atrium areas. I'm not certain I believe that, but that is what I was told. My boys are not perfect and if provoked they will fight back so I was just kind of going with what security was telling me although it did seem out of character for them to pick a fight. Security sais they had talked to both parties and made their conclusion that DS22 started the fight. We asked about getting medical attention for DS22 and they took him down to medical with my husband. I remained in the security office with DS19 who continued to deny what we were being told by security. Every time DS19 would try and talk a security officer would start yelling. I tried speaking to AHS and get more details but he kept using pronouns "them" and "they" and I wasn't certain who had or was doing what. As I was trying to clarify he began yelling at me that he could not identify the other guests involved. I wasn't asking that, but I was intimidated and didn't dare ask any more questions. I decided I would like to go down to medical and see what was happening with DS22. As I left the security office with DS19 and made my way down to medical we were approached by a group of about 10 teenagers who immediately began talking to DS19 about how awful it was what had happened to DS22 and asking if they had caught the guys that did it to him. They used words like "sucker punch" and DS22 had never seen it coming. I asked these kids if they had seen what happened and they said they had and that DS22 and DS19 had NOT started the fight and had actually gone up the stairs and been trying to leave the area of the lobby and get away from the harassment of the attackers when DS22 was attacked from behind, his hands held behind his back, struck several times on the head and ribs, kicked and then tossed down a flight of stairs to land in in a heap in front of the library. DS19 had been ahead of him on the stairs and turned around when he heard the commotion but was unable to get to DS23 in time before the attackers fled. I was horrified to hear this because this was NOT AT ALL what security was telling me. I asked these kids if they had reported what they had seen to security. They told me that they tried but that security would not talk to them because they were minors.

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