A Great Memorial Day Cruise!: Carnival Freedom Cruise Review by quincymedex

Carnival Freedom 4
Member Since 2009

Overall Member Rating

A Great Memorial Day Cruise!

Sail Date: May 2009
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
Well, our 8 Day cruise with the Carnival Freedom during Memorial Day was fantastic!  We have been on 5 previous cruises, including one with a reputable Cruise Line (that was not so memorable).  We usually cruise with Carnival, because we are younger and enjoy the ports of call and shore excursions.  My wife and I are working towards getting our Platinum Guest status with Carnival as well.  One of the few negative things that I have to say about our cruise, was the port of embarkation, Fort Lauderdale.  The port in Fort Lauderdale is old and needs some renovation.  It had been raining all day and we had to hike (as there were no porters for luggage) from the parking garage to the port terminal.  There was no covered area to walk under while traversing from the garage to port terminal, so we got wet and dirty.  There are numerous potholes in the parking lot around the port terminal, which your luggage becomes a victim to.  Other ports of More embarkation that we have sailed out of have covered walkways, sidewalks, and porters to assist you.  Unfortunately, Fort Lauderdale had none of this and this was a disaster, as our clothes became wet and dirty.  Nevermind, the endless amount of bus and taxi traffic in this small port terminal (Terminal #19). 

On to the positive things about our cruise...  1) We had a great experience with the cleanliness of the ship (being in the Coast Guard, I can appreciate this).  2)  The crew and staff are very friendly and helpful.  3)  The ship is immense (I only saw 70% of the ship) and never felt claustrophobic (even when the ship was booked full).  4)  There were very few lines (with a full capacity ship).  5)  The cabin stewards (Osbel and Putra) were fantastic, as we never lacked for a thing and our room remained clean at all times.  6)  The Team Waitstaff was great (Imade and Imade).  7)  The ports of call were very good (our favorites being St. Thomas and Tortola.  We did not like Antigua as much, as it was very dirty and the island seemed extremely impoverished.  We liked St. Thomas for the friendliness of the locals and Tortola (a beautiful island with friendly people).  We of course enjoyed the casino, sushi, bingo, and the shows (Happy Cole was extremely funny).  The Cruise Director (Todd) was fantastic, as he was a great host and for the brief amount he was on the P.A. system (some cruises have very annoying cruise directors on the P.A. system all the time).  The ship was always slightly early or on time, which was great when you had shore excursions, and being in the military (timeliness and being on schedule is very important). 

Overall, I would give this cruise a 8 out of 10.  It wasn't perfect, but was pretty close.  We had no major hangups, which is a rarity with the cruise line industry.  Debarkation went alot smoother than embarkation, as we did self-assist and were off of the ship and in our car in 45 minutes (but again with no porters to assist with luggage). Less

Published 06/02/09

Cabin review: 6A1417 Ocean View

Cabin was spotlessly clean.  Great location, as it was quiet and near the stairway and gangway for convenience.  Also, a great location, because the dining facilities were directly above (on decks 3,4, and 9).  Only negative, is that we had an oceanview and not a balcony.

Read All Ocean View (6A) Reviews >>

Port and Shore Excursions

A very dirty port and dirty island.  The locals are not very friendly either.  They just want the tourist money.  The one positive about this port, was the shore excursions.  We had two great shore excursions with the Mini Boats and the Horseback riding.  Our guide (Pickle.... yes, that is his real name) with the boats was great and took us to a lovely island (Bird Island) for a beach break.  Bird Island was clean, unspoiled, and had great water clarity.  The horseback riding was very good, but you are saddle sore when you are done.

Read 1192 Antigua Reviews

We have been here numerous times.  Nassau doesn't change.  Unfortunately, as with all of the ports of call, the economy has taken a distinctive downturn (with a reliance on tourism as the basis for your economy).  We did enjoy Aquaventure at Atlantis, but did not enjoy the hour wait to get on the bus at the dock (in the blazing Caribbean sun).  We also enjoyed the "shopping" at the back of the straw market and our alcoholic jaunt to Senor Frogs.  What can we say, we are young and we enjoy our Grog.

Read 5044 Nassau Reviews

We did the Zip Line tour of La Marquesas Canopy in Guaynabo.  This was a great shore excursion with very helpful guides.  The guides were very patient with us and made the tour alot of fun.  I am not a fan of heights, but I did fine with this excursion, as you never really notice how high you are and the guides practice SAFETY first.  The only negatives about San Juan, is that we got there at 1700 or 5:00pm and only stayed until 2300 or 11:00pm.  Also, the majority of the city is dirty with alot of traffic.  Plus, there is alot of graffiti throughout the city, with residences looking like jails (alot of burglar bars).  This did not allow for a sense of security and safety in the city itself.  You would see a nice area and then one block over, an area that was clearly "crime ridden."

Read 2979 San Juan Reviews

This was a great port.  The city for the most part is clean and the locals are friendly.  I really enjoyed the Scuba Diving here and had a fantastic Dive Master (Tobey from Clearwater, FL).  He was very patient with my wife, who was apprehensive diving.  It was a great dive, with good water clarity and lots of fish.  This dive far exceeded the one I had in Belize, which was the worst dive I have ever had.  The best dive is Grand Turk!

Read 4002 St. Thomas Reviews

This was our favorite island / port of call.  We went to the Dolphin swim in the morning, which was a great "once in a lifetime" experience.  We loved it!  Then we went on a three hour island taxi tour.  The driver / guide was awesome and very informative.  It was great to tour this lovely island, that has retained its beauty (in light of the tourism onslaught).  It has a nice clean port and you feel safe at all times on the island.

Read 1240 Tortola Reviews

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