Carnival Cutbacks go too far: Carnival Freedom Cruise Review by tpatraveller

Carnival Freedom 3
Member Since 2014

Overall Member Rating

Carnival Cutbacks go too far

Sail Date: March 2014
Destination: Southern Caribbean
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
Disappointing to say the least. We have cruised every year for the past 21 years, mostly on Carnival. I realize the cruise fare is fairly low, but we did not get a bargain basement price. The itinerary was great! Onboard, though, a different story. We ate mostly in the main dining room (lunch was never available in the dining room). Service was very very slow, waiting 45 minutes one day just to place our order ( overall the food just wasn't as good as on other ships)! The poor wait staff was overworked due to insufficient staffing. They were nice but clearly frustrated and frazzled. We, and our tablemates, never got an order correct (Kitchen overwhelmed), but no sense in waiting longer to fix it. Order bacon, get hash; order onions, get mushrooms, One day a waiter tossed a basket of 12 popovers on our table of three. We asked if he wanted them back, and he said no before rushing away. It was hard to see the poor wait staff so overwhelmed. The air conditioning never worked properly, More either blasting cold air or very hot air, depending on where you were. First time ever to run out of hot water while showering! Many crew members were extremely nice and professional, especially camp carnival, pool attendants, and bar tenders. The entertainment and comedians were outstanding, all very well done, and nice variety of acts.

A lot of little niceties went missing, like no Carnival pens (in cabins or in use by staff), no postcards, one small bar of soap, one toothpaste sample ( not a basket of samples like in the past) poor quality shampoo/body wash. water not soft, very hard to lather and rinse, some coffee machines out of service the entire week, buffets limited (fewer choices, less hours), pizza always burned, taste bar not open 3 days, pool towel attendant missing, staff unavailable at random times, fewer activities...Finally our cabin steward hardly ever spoke to us, and we saw him very rarely. He knew we had late seating, still knocked on our cabin door every morning at 7 am! We said good morning, generally met with a blank stare. Steward walked in on my handicapped wife one morning and said "Oh, Are you still here" very meanly! Cabin was not vacuumed for three days, I know because of stuffed animal extra bit of stuffing on the floor). Sticky ring on countertop left for 4 days, no funtimes delivered two nights, cabin seriously dusty, all symptoms of being rushed. I assume the steward had too many cabins to take care of. This was our first cruise ever where we felt no staff really cared, just going through the motions.

Disembarkation talk did not explain or even mention blue customs form (first timers need that) Cruise director Brad really a dud, very lackadaisical. Assistant Taylor was so much better, she should be promoted. Many crew talked about getting off the ship. Worst thing was seeing photographers rush to try to get dinner, and turned away by fellow crew, saying buffet is closed. It had just closed (earlier than posted time) and the food was sitting there. They threw it out rather than let them have any. One sympathetic waiter brought them 3 small boxes of cereal. Really? You treat your own crew that way?? I felt so bad for them. I think a shake-up in management of this ship is overdue. We heard many say this was their last time on Carnival, so sad, especially for first timers, because cruising can be a lot better. We, too, are considering crossing Carnival off our list. Less

Published 03/19/14

Cabin review: 2319

Quiet, under the art gallery. Convenient, especially to the comedy shows, main lobby, and casino. Close to 2 sets of elevators. Roomy cabin, well laid out. Great storage space (3 closets), sofa (turns into bed) king size bed , mini fridge, hair dryer. Typical Carnival burnt orange, light wood furnishings. Mattresses due to be replaced, drawers hard to open, lamps nightstands curtains worn out.... needs a refurbishment.

Port and Shore Excursions

downtown okay but keep walking over the bridge to Wilhemena park...nice shopping area, casino, beach/walking area and rocky point to see sunset

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Dune Buggy

La Romana, Casa de Campo, you must do an excursion or stay on the ship. Nothing to do or see nearby. Pro excursions great! Dune buggies were the best trip ever! Or take a speedboat to the beach Sanoa

Lovely beach/snorkeling right off ship. Margaritaville and huge pool. Walk other way, beach more secluded, watch for whales in springtime. See the NASA exhibit.

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