Happy Anniversary to us!: Carnival Freedom Cruise Review by tootsfranner

Carnival Freedom 5
Member Since 2009

Overall Member Rating

Happy Anniversary to us!

Sail Date: January 2009
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
My husband and I flew into Ft. Lauderdale the day before our cruise and stayed away from the port to save money; we stayed at a Best Western on Fed Highway. It was an older hotel but very clean and friendly staff. There were great restaurants nearby; we went to dinner at J. Alexanders which was absolutely the best. It was quite like Houston's that we used to frequent in Phoenix, AZ many years ago so it was a great start to our anniversary trip.

We can't believe how easy embarkation was. We were on the boat before we knew it. My husband had never been on a cruise so it was extra exciting. We started our experience by grabbing lunch on the lido deck and enjoying dining the sun on rocking chairs with handy little tables for eating. We took a brief tour of the boat and got in our room. One of our bags was still not at our door but turned up shortly. The boat was in great condition and very clean. We really enjoyed our 815p dinners in the Posh lounge. It was nice More not to have be getting ready for dinner at 5p and we could continue to enjoy the day. Our food was great; there were plenty of choices. My husband loved all the seafood and steaks. The wait staff was so friendly and funny. They were very accommodating. We met great people at our table from Ft. Lauderdale, Denver and Pennsylvania and we had a ball with them, at dinner and after.

We loved all the shows, too. I didn't think my husband would enjoy going to so many but after dinner it was great to hit a 1030p show. The singing talent was great and we can't believe all the costume changes and great sets. The comedy shows were a blast, too. My husband and I frequent comedy shows and comedy central so that was a hit with us.

We were very impressed with the choices in late night fun...the disco, the piano bar, karaoke in the swing club, the great singer next to the casino. There was always somewhere to go, something to do.

Our room, I think the smallest of them with no window was great, too. It was wonderful to have someone tidy up twice a day. The room was clean and very organized...lots of closet space and shelves. We loved the in-room safe. They think of everything with the luggage mat to place your luggage on when you first get in to unpack, then we put our suitcases under the bed, rolled up the mat and all was out of sight. The room never felt cramped or messy nor did the bathroom. The TV was great getting some feeds throughout the day and always being able to check where we were en route and what the temp was as well as what was going on on the lido deck.

We were very fortunate that week to have awesome weather.

We really enjoyed the buffets, deli, stir-fry and grill. The only food we didn't love was the pizza; we didn't care for the cheese. Other than that we felt like things were prepared well and we had lots of variety throughout the week. We loved the complimentary lemonade and tea in the machines.

The Sail and Sign cards were great and convenient.

The cruise director and all the assistant staff were hilarious. Lenny Haliday was great. He was funny, funny, funny and sang great, too. We brought some good cruise lines home from him. The contests that we saw were something else, too. The Hairy Chest contest might sound unappealing but it was in great taste...more of a dance contest. It was great to see so many people just having fun and relaxing. We loved the poolside music/bands as well.

Again, we just had a ball. Great food, great entertainment, clean and neat ship, great room. We hated to leave. We would go back tomorrow if we could. Less

Published 03/07/09

Cabin review: 7296

Great location. Cabins above and below us so no lounge music. Close to elevators but not too close. Hallway sometimes noisy but that was from people chatting walking by. Not near any crew space.

Port and Shore Excursions

We knew we wanted a beach day so we tendered in, grabbed a cab and hit the public beach by the Marriott where they have chairs and umbrellas for rent, have a restaurant, waitors, bathrooms, etc. We got our chairs and relaxed! There were lots of fun things there to rent, but without the kids we wanted to just hang out. It started to rain on and off a few hours later and then really started pouring so we headed back to town. But, hey rain in your swimming suit at 85 degrees is not a big problem. We went back to the port area, did some shopping at Margaritaville and it was time to head back tothe ship. I would have loved to hang there longer as Margaritaville was a great open bar with a water slide and fun. Disembarkation was a breeze, too. Getting our bags in the terminal was as well. Again, we had so much fun. It was wonderful being waited on hand and foot and being entertained all the time. We felt the $60 tip per person for the week for all the staff wasnt enough for many of the staff for tips so we gave handed them extra and gave them our appreciation of making our time so enjoyable.

My husband had never been so I knew he would appreciate the trolley tour; we had the funniest driver. The weather was about 80 and sunny so we hit a few bars and found a great restaurant (Fogarty's) and ate outside. It was wonderful. We grabbed a few trinkets for the kids and by then needed to be back. I've been to Key West twice and find it quaint and fun. It's five o'clock somewhere!
Read 1392 Key West Reviews

I knew that Jamaica has its issues with pushy "sales" people on the streets so I booked us an excursion through Carnival and found it the same price as booking online. We were picked up at the port and then went kayaking on the ocean to Dunn's Falls. |Everyone should do the falls, it is a very different experience and fun and pretty. I have to say though that the pushy sales people were everywhere....when we got in our kayaks, at the beach where we stopped to rest, at the falls, everywhere. Learn to just keep walking and say No. The Falls was a blast; an adventure. Then we were taken on a lift to the top of a high hill where they have a nice restaurant, pool, shops, etc. By then we were pooped so wanted to head to town, get a souvenir and get back on the boat for some lunch. So, we went up the glider and came right back down. We headed to town (the driving is interestingly scary there) and hit some "nice" shops. The only problem once again was the store staff...following you around, asking why you didn't like something. It doesn't make for fun shopping. Ocho Rios has a Margaritaville on a beach. I'd recommend sticking there to eat/drink; again a very fun atmosphere.

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