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This was our 8th cruise and 4th on Carnival Cruise Lines. Embarkation is well run by the Galveston port authorities. Even with a 3.5 hour delay in arrival of the Freedom due to fog the embarkation process went smooth and we got underway 3 hours late (7 pm v 4 pm). While the Freedom is not the newest ship in the Carnival fleet it offers numerous amenities we find to be value add. The aft - adult only pool area, Guy's Burgers, and the Alchemy bar are some of our favorites and well executed. We ate dinner in the Posh dinning area and our service was very good. We also ate in the Steakhouse one night (outstanding - great value) and enjoyed the Chef's table one night also. While the $75/person cost of the Chef's table may seem high the bottomless glass of red and/or white wine, 10 courses, and insiders tour of the kitchen proved to make the night enjoyable and worth every penny. The cost also included a group photo, printed personalized menu from the evening, and a special recipe card of the infamous Carnival Molten Chocolate Cake. Our cabin was a forward, interior, wheelchair accessible room (9204). While we did not need the accessibility feature of the room we did appreciate all the extra room in the bathroom. Service in general aboard the Carnival ships we have sailed has been very good if not outstanding. We've found a little friendly engagement brings out the best in the staff especially when you thank them for some of the regular service they provide. Without fail, we've found that over the course of the week planting those little seeds of appreciation pays hug dividends in terms of strong drinks and attentive service. I dove in Roatan and Cozumel through the ship. I typically book an independant third party for diving and will continue the practice to maximize the diving experience in the ports of call. While the ship based excursions provide piece of mind on logistics and risk mitigation against missing ships movement they just don't deliver in terms of group size and choice dive locations. Tender service in Belize was not outstanding and the wait for a tender into Belize took roughly 45 minutes due to a mechanical breakdown. Plan accordingly. We will (and have already) book with Carnival again. I would recommend Carnival to anyone with a group, children or looking for a cruise on the affordable end of the cruising spectrum. They do make every effort to make their platform a "Fun Ship". Please note my dining rating includes the Steakhouse and Chef's table.

Western Caribbean Christmas Cruise - Carnival Freedom - 9204

Carnival Freedom Cruise Review by HazeGreyAndUnderway

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Trip Details
This was our 8th cruise and 4th on Carnival Cruise Lines. Embarkation is well run by the Galveston port authorities. Even with a 3.5 hour delay in arrival of the Freedom due to fog the embarkation process went smooth and we got underway 3 hours late (7 pm v 4 pm).

While the Freedom is not the newest ship in the Carnival fleet it offers numerous amenities we find to be value add. The aft - adult only pool area, Guy's Burgers, and the Alchemy bar are some of our favorites and well executed.

We ate dinner in the Posh dinning area and our service was very good. We also ate in the Steakhouse one night (outstanding - great value) and enjoyed the Chef's table one night also. While the $75/person cost of the Chef's table may seem high the bottomless glass of red and/or white wine, 10 courses, and insiders tour of the kitchen proved to make the night enjoyable and worth every penny. The cost also included a group photo, printed personalized menu from the evening, and a special recipe card of the infamous Carnival Molten Chocolate Cake.

Our cabin was a forward, interior, wheelchair accessible room (9204). While we did not need the accessibility feature of the room we did appreciate all the extra room in the bathroom.

Service in general aboard the Carnival ships we have sailed has been very good if not outstanding. We've found a little friendly engagement brings out the best in the staff especially when you thank them for some of the regular service they provide. Without fail, we've found that over the course of the week planting those little seeds of appreciation pays hug dividends in terms of strong drinks and attentive service.

I dove in Roatan and Cozumel through the ship. I typically book an independant third party for diving and will continue the practice to maximize the diving experience in the ports of call. While the ship based excursions provide piece of mind on logistics and risk mitigation against missing ships movement they just don't deliver in terms of group size and choice dive locations.

Tender service in Belize was not outstanding and the wait for a tender into Belize took roughly 45 minutes due to a mechanical breakdown. Plan accordingly.

We will (and have already) book with Carnival again. I would recommend Carnival to anyone with a group, children or looking for a cruise on the affordable end of the cruising spectrum. They do make every effort to make their platform a "Fun Ship".

Please note my dining rating includes the Steakhouse and Chef's table.
HazeGreyAndUnderway’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Interior
Cabin 4G 9204
Our cabin was a forward, interior, wheelchair accessible room (9204). While we did not need the accessibility feature of the room we did appreciate all the extra room in the bathroom.

In a demonstration of good service we found our room a bit warm. Unfortunately, the fan we brought aboard was confiscated (return upon disembarkation)... Guest services provided an "approved" fan (ironically it was older and in a poorer state of repair compared to the new fan we purchased for the trip). They also had maintenance check the room temp (they found it above the Carnival acceptable range of 72-74F) and corrected the issue the next morning.

Ample storage. Comfortable bed. We don't hang out in the room so a window or balcony doesn't deliver the value for the extra $.
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews