Carnival Freedom Cruise Review by NewEngland900
- Sail Date: March 2013
- Destination: Southern Caribbean
- Cabin Type: Balcony
Our room (7th floor aft with balcony) itself was much nicer than expected. I don't pay too much attention to the color scheme, etc. but it didn't catch my eye in a negative way so must have been ok. The bathroom was very small but adequate (and two oversized fluffy bathrobes!). There were three huge closets, desk area, tv, couch and coffee table. I would have liked a one/two cup coffee maker as I love to have a cup of coffee on the balcony when I first wake up, but just an inconvenience not a big deal. It was nice to be so close to the buffet so that I could just scoot and grab a tray full of coffee and fruit to eat on the balcony without having to get all 'dolled up'. The beds were adequate as well, not like sleeping on a cloud (10) nor in a cave (1) so I would give it a 6.5-7 for comfort and everything in the room was VERY clean.
I was very surprised how loud the room was. I realize the engines are rather loud, but as we are roughly 70 feet above them, I did not expect to have the room vibrate when the thrusters were kicked in (for docking purposes). This was only annoying when we were docking in the early hours waking us up but did last for about 30-40 mins off and on until we were actually docked.
The boat's layout is a bit tricky. Lots of floor changes to get from aft to the front, i.e. the levels with the dining room are located almost midship so you have to either do the stairs or elevator for one/two levels to cross the length of the ship, just annoying not a big deal to avoid once you get used to where you want to go. Some people have posted about the decor; again I don't pay too much attention to that unless it is jaw dropping beautiful or hideous but I will say the lobby area is very beautiful.
Everywhere we ate was excellent and no complaints. We had dining on the Chic dining room and asked for the same table every night as our waiter (Suki) and his wait staff were top notch; remembered our names after the first visit, very accommodating, and always with a smile. The dining room also offered a quick 'song and dance' of the wait staff during dinner which was good for a laugh. Every meal was well portioned, different, and delicious. There is one section called 'didja' (as in didja ever try...?) which offered frog legs, escargot, etc. I thought that was a great idea for a different type of sampling. We did not do the specialty steakhouse and was looking forward to the sushi bar only to find out it is no longer offered but the food in the dining room was so good it didn't make much of a difference to us. Lunch was only two days for us and the Mongolian Wok is worth the wait!!
Daily activities were the typical trivia, bingo, 'fun' contests, etc. but the itinerary of Key West, Grand Cayman, and Jamaica only allows for two days at sea, so we didn't really need too much onboard entertaining. The higher front levels (11+12?) are designated as 'Serenity' levels and you must be over 18. Although I didn't spend more than a 'walk through' to check it out, I thought this was a great idea for those people without children who want to relax. This area also offers cabana type lounge seating and its own bar area. The pools are small in comparison to other ships I have been on. I don't typically swim, but a few strokes and you have reached the end. There has to be, minimum, 10 jacuzzi's on board scattered throughout the few upper sun decks. All the crew we came in contact with were pleasant and could not do enough to make sure you had a great time.
The main things some people complain about, I consider an inconvenience. The one and only complaint I have is the following and please take note!! -- Grand Cayman and Jamaica are not in the Eastern Standard Time!! The ship claims, "ship time is island time" -- this is not true so be sure to check your printed material -- I knew Grand Cayman was an hour behind but wanted to double check and the front desk people assured me we were on the same time/clock schedule only to find out that I woke up and hour early and missed breakfast on the ship to stand on the island and wait for stores to open. The ship should print the time change difference on the daily activities flyer so that everyone is aware.
All-in-all we had a fantastic time and enjoyed all the activities and relaxing time on board and on the islands.
Port & Shore Excursion Reviews
SnorkelingCaptain Marvin is the only way to go! Our huge ship was the only one not stuff full of people. It can easily hold close to 100 people and there was all of 25 of us with other boats going out so it was not a 'sign up' issue, they cater to keeping their customers comfortable and happy. Took lots of pics with the sting ray and the snorkeling portion was in a good area full of colorful fish (not just brain coral as some boats did). Excellent excursion!View All 240 Snorkeling Reviews
Stingray SwimCaptain Marvin is the only way to go! Our huge ship was the only one not stuff full of people. It can easily hold close to 100 people and there was all of 25 of us with other boats going out so it was not a 'sign up' issue, they cater to keeping their customers comfortable and happy. Took lots of pics with the sting ray and the snorkeling portion was in a good area full of colorful fish (not just brain coral as some boats did). Excellent excursion!View All 540 Stingray Swim Reviews
City Trolley / Conch Train TourThis is a great way to go - Old Town Trolley was inexpensive, informative, and always on time. A great way to see the island with plenty of stops and the guide was very funny. Loved it!View All 148 City Trolley / Conch Train Tour Reviews
Dunn's River FallsNot a fan but it may have been because we had a bad guide. I am in shape and typically up for just about anything, but this guide ran us up the waterfalls with little time to enjoy the view and he did not take into consideration the other 20 people in the group. He picked the hardest route up the falls, right up the middle, and we passed other groups along the way! Not too mention, splashing right in the eyes whenever he had the chance trying to get us to 'have fun and laugh' who can laugh when we are all trying to keep from slipping on the rocks? The water was flowing very hard and the current was pushing some people off balance as well. Wear good water shoes and try to get a good guide. Also note; this place has lockers for rent as you do not want to carry anything up the falls, nothing,(one family was not told and paid for everyone to climb while one person got stuck behind watching the valuables and they would not return her money). You will need both hands available to hold onto your partners and you will get soaked along the way.View All 183 Dunn's River Falls Reviews