Freedom Fantastic!: Carnival Freedom Cruise Review by Sailorgirl222

Carnival Freedom 5
Member Since 2007
11 Forum Posts

Overall Member Rating

Freedom Fantastic!

Sail Date: June 2009
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
This was my 4th cruise with Carnival and I was excited that I was going to be on a new ship. We (my mother and I) flew into Ft. Lauderdale that morning and took a taxi to Port Everglades. A taxi is much cheaper than the Carnival transportation ($12 for a taxi vs. $15 per person for Carnival transportation). When we arrived at the port, there was a very long line outside of the building. Like I said, this was my 4th cruise and this was the longest and most disorganized embarkation that I have ever experienced. There were people everywhere and it was very chaotic. We waited in line about 1 ½ hours to get on the ship.

Once on the ship, we headed to the Lido restaurant for some lunch. We also explored the ship, while we waited to be let into our cabin. They won't let you into the cabins until 1:30 and we were on board by 12:00. When we were finally let into the cabin, we were pleased that the cabin was large (by cruise standards) and clean. Our room steward greeted us almost More immediately and was wonderful. When we realized that our cabin fridge wasn't working, he replaced it quickly. We had a balcony room which is well worth the extra money. It is so relaxing to sit on your private balcony where it is quiet. Great place to nap! It is also a good place to dry wet bathing suits.

While on board, we spent most of our time in the "adults only" pool area. It was nice to have a quieter area where there weren't screaming children and loud music. We tried to lay out by the main pool, but it was very loud and impossible to relax. This is the first ship that I have ever been on that had a giant movie screen out by the pool. Every night, they showed one or two movies and it was nice to sit outside with the nice sea breeze to watch them.

We had dinner in the posh restaurant every night and the food was great, although they do need more than one vegetarian entrEe each night. The only disappointment was that we were seated at a table for eight and we only had two other people that sat with us. The table was half empty! I always enjoy meeting new people and it would have been nice to have a full table. The breakfast served in the Lido restaurant was sub-par at best. There aren't many breakfast options for vegetarians. I was hoping that they would at least have pancakes or waffles everyday. Not so. They had pancakes one morning out of six and they had waffles one morning, but they were cold and very dry. Lines were always very long in the lido restaurant. We almost missed our excursion in Key West because we had to wait so long for breakfast. Lesson learned: do room service on port days if you have an excursion.

We saw both of the shows, though the New Orleans show was much better than the Beatles show. I guess if you grew up in that era you might have enjoyed it more than I did. The New Orleans themed show was fabulous! It appealed to a wider audience than the Beatles show. We also thoroughly enjoyed the piano bar. The singer was great and knew a lot of songs.

Debarkation was much better than embarkation. The day before, the room steward left numbered luggage tags in our room. You were assigned a number between 1-36 and that is the order you got off the ship, unless you do self assist which leaves the ship first. We were given the number 9 and we were off the ship by 8:45. This was a great cruise and I would highly recommend it to anyone. Less

Published 06/24/09

Cabin review: 7359

Great location! Not close to elevators or stairs so it was very quiet. Great views!

Port and Shore Excursions

Grand Cayman was beautiful! I wish they had a pier because the tenders are a hassle. There was a long line to get off the boat and an even longer line to get back on. The line to get a tender to get back on the boat was not only long but it was in the sun. We waited about 1 hour in this line. In Grand Cayman, we did the shore snorkel. The snorkel facility was within walking distance from where the tenders dock and had lockers you could rent to store your things. They give you all of the equipment there, although I am not sure how sanitary the mouth pieces were. They were in a bucket of what looked like soapy water. I took mine into the bathroom and washed it just to be sure. The snorkeling here was great! Just a few steps and we were in the water. There were many colorful fish to see and once you got away from the shore, it wasn't very crowded. The snorkel facility had a restaurant so we didn't have to go far for lunch. The food was good but the service was slow. After snorkeling, we went shopping. There are a lot of shops and restaurants nearby, including Hard Rock Cafe and Jimmy Buffet's place.

In Key West, we did the Hemingway House walking tour. The tour was about 2 1/2 hours long and it was very hot and humid. Needless to say, by the end of the tour I was exhausted! Our tour guide, while knowledgable, was long-winded. I have never met anyone who has a story about everything and I mean every house and tree and animal etc. I really enjoyed visiting the Hemingway House and seeing Truman's Little White House. This isn't an excursion for anyone that has trouble walking or who can't take the heat. Wear comfortable shoes! Shopping here is great with plenty of shops within walking distance of the pier. Great bargins too! I am not a big drinker, but the bars seem to be plentiful here.

Read 1393 Key West Reviews

In Ocho Rios, we did the Dunn's River Falls and Bamboo Beach Club excursion. Thankfully, there is a pier so no tenders are necessary. It is quite a long walk from the ship to the end of the pier, but it is better than tendering. Dunn's River Falls is beautiful and a "must see" attraction in Ocho Rios. We went up the falls and boy was it a trek! Don't attempt this unless you are pretty physically fit. There were about four people in our group that didn't make it all the way up. If you do make it, buy the DVD. It is a little expensive but worth it to show people back home. After the falls, we went to the Bamboo Beach Club. The beach club has been described as an "exclusive resort." It is neither. It is nothing more than a public beach. It was very crowded and we did not get a lounge chair or towel that was promised in the excursion description. We received white plastic chairs that were very uncomfortable. They had constant very loud music blasting from speakers so forget relaxing here. They also promise good food. Trust me: it was horrible!!! Nothing I received was even remotely edible. The lesson learned here: do the falls but DON'T go to the beach club. You will regret it! I was not impressed with Ocho Rios.

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Member Since 2007
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