Wonderful vacation in MANY ways.: Carnival Freedom Cruise Review by Jarnocan

Carnival Freedom 5
Member Since 2012
83 Forum Posts

Overall Member Rating

Wonderful vacation in MANY ways.

Sail Date: March 2013
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
You can enjoy a cruise in so many ways; you can be very active on and off the ship, mostly relax, get pampered, eat VERY healthy or indulge in too much of whatever entices you, and explore several different beautiful places in many ways. Key west, Grand Cayman and Jamaica are very diverse and fun places, easy to get around and find diverse adventures.

Even drinking on a cruise comes with many options. Sometimes at an all inclusive you feel like drinking too much, it is just a little too tempting. There is always something healthy you can drink for free on a cruise, when you don't want to indulge but it is available when you want to party that way. I like that I am not paying for too much drinking for myself or others.

The one criticism I would have- which applies to most cruise lines is the lack of general information on ports, beyond their excursions and shopping. However just do a little research on your own before hand; plenty of great information is available on More here, or via Trip advisor and other travel sites. There are obvious advantages to going with your fellow cruisers on excursions but as long as you are reasonably careful you can get to many of the same places, or have other wonderful adventures, via public transportation or other local guides.

I found the staff to be overall excellent. I did feel the wait staff and other service workers seem to be stretched a bit more, working harder, and finding it harder to find the time to interact socially, but they are still professional, remarkable, brilliant, talented and very nice. They still mostly have a sense of humor, or are good actors, but just not as much time for fun.

The assistant cruise director; Victor was very engaging, great with kids and adults. He was a bundle of positive energy.

All transitions seem to be handled incredibly well. I wasn't expecting so many spring breakers, so early on but that was a only a minor inconvenience and did provide some entertainment and eye candy in exchange. There was a little trouble in the comedy clubs, a couple times with some young adults. I think an assistant should be on hand to encourage those who interrupt too much to party elsewhere.

I am looking forward to cruising Carnival again, including perhaps the Freedom, on their 8 day cruise. I will be looking on here for a great deal of course:) Less

Published 03/11/13

Cabin review: 2371

2371 I like not being too high, for less swaying. I like having a lower window for natural light and a unique view. Our room was very comfortable and quiet, even though it was close to an elevator, which was quite convenient.

Port and Shore Excursions

Here we simply walked into the square and got the $4 ride to 7 mile beach. One thing I would recommend, if it is too crowded walk back a bit towards the Marriot and hang out there, or opt to got to further up to Cemetery beach for $2 more. They have a reef for snorkeling at the Marriot and Cemetery Beach also is better for that. When we arrived it was not at all crowded but did become so, later, but we enjoyed the company so it didn't matter to us. We walked across the street to eat lunch at a little dinner called Cimbaco, which we liked.

We had fun just walking about, once you get beyond the $2 beer guys and $5 for everything stores, although the colorful Bar Harbor Maine sweatshirts were popular for some who were surprised by the cool weather. We would have walked on a beach, but it was quite cool. Mallory Square and Duval St. and MANY pubs, are very close by. The beer at Ricks was more expensive than on he ship, ugh:) It was a short walk up Front St. (get a map) to the historic Harbor walk-and much quieter, There were a couple cute restaurants in that area as well. I think the historic ship wreck museum is worthwhile and climbing the rickety looking tower and taking a couple pictures is fun.
Read 1392 Key West Reviews

Beach Break

This was at the end, just under an hour and due to time we did not go to the wonderful Bamboo beach that Peat Taylor normally takes his guests too but it was fine for a short break. I think it was Mahogany. The host there were very nice, food smelled good and beer was cold. There are a couple small-not so much pressure, shops but do NOT accept the first price, unless you are rich.

Dunn's River Falls

I LOVE that we got there VERY early!!!! This place gets crazy but the workers are quite good at supporting you. Sometimes I felt the hand holding made it a bit more difficult but overall can see why it is necessary to keep people on the right track. A man in our group did injure his ankle and have to exit. It is overall a fun place to see and climb once. If you are not fairly coordinated and have good stamina,don't bother. Also if you are not comfortable with crowds and able to be very cooperative skip it.

Irie Blue Hole

WOW, this is a phenomenal trip but a little off the beaten path, and not for the faint of heart or weak. I think this is an up and coming place to visit and it will be interesting to see what happens in the future. The guides are very talented, informative and friendly. This is a scenic trip and also part show and activity. There is a lovely waterfall which sometimes runs more forcibly; which means sometimes you can jump in from up further and climb further and sometimes it is too dangerous. It is beautiful in any condition. You watch the young men jump and dive in from various heights, even from a tall tree and then you can try and will be encouraged and helped to navigate the currents. Currently I think it is best for very small groups but they are building more walkways and facilities. Thank you Peat Taylor + Co. for taking us to this unique and lovely place and people.

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