Great birthday celebration: Carnival Freedom Cruise Review by bttravel

Carnival Freedom 5
Member Since 2010
21 Forum Posts

Overall Member Rating

Great birthday celebration

Sail Date: January 2010
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
I gave a cruise to my son and his wife for his 30th birthday. We had gone on a cruise last year for my daughter in law's 30th. I let him pick the cruise within reason. Since he picked Carnival I was able to afford a balcony room for him and my sister and I had one across the hall.

We arrived in Fort Lauderdale the day before and stayed at the Courtyard by Marriott beach property. We both had rooms with a direct ocean view (son had a corner room with both city and ocean). The hotel was gorgeous, floor to ceiling windows. It right across from the beach and in the middle of everything.We went to Gump's Shrimp Co restaurant next door and had a great time. The service was especially good. We walked the beach area. There were tons of places to eat and drink within a block or two. We ordered pizza delivery for supper and went bed early since we had been up since 4am. My son and daughter in law went out for breakfast down the block and were not too impressed with the food or the More pricing.

We got a taxi to take us to the port. It is only about a 5 minute drive. The hotel did not offer a shuttle. Were in line about 10:45. The door opened at 11am. We quickly got through the line and were sitting eating on the lido deck about 11:45. This is the best part of my cruise...sitting in the warm air, listing to the music, eating a hot dog with ice cream for dessert, knowing I have 8 days ahead of me.

We went to our room at 1:30 and our luggage arrived about 4pm. We had the first seating at dinner. Our last cruise had a terrible wait staff so we were kind of nervous about what this cruise would bring. We shouldn't have given it a thought. We had "Mirro" as our waiter(sorry for the spelling of the name) He was an absolute doll. He was so cute I wanted to take him home! He gave the best service...friendly, funny and efficient. He also had great dance moves! His assistant (Ruey)was also good although he needs more dance lessens. They both made an effort to speak to us when they saw us on the lido deck for lunch/ breakfast. They made our trip so much more enjoyable.

There has been allot written about Wee Jimmie so I didn't know how I would like him. I thought he was funny and handled the audiences well. His assistants did an ok job. My sister, daughter in law and I participated in the digital camera scavenger hunt.It was the most fun we had. We lost but created lots to laugh about. I also played, Win, Lose or Draw and had fun. Again, my team lost.

We did go to most of the shows. The productions with the dancers were ok but too long and too much of the same. we didn't go to the Beatles one because the others we attended were boring.

We did enjoy the two comedians we saw. The best show was the "Newly Wed" type game hosted by Wee Jimmie. They were better than the paid performers. We also all went to the karaoke one night and had a a good time.

My sister had her teeth whiten and was satisfied with the service. I had an acupuncture done for a hip pain problem when the price was reduce toward the end of the cruise. It did relieve some of the discomfort.

Debarkation was very efficient and not stressful at all. Since our plane did not leave until 3:30, we took advantage of an everglades tour. Once we picked up our luggage, we got on the bus and proceeded to the Everglades. We had about an hour tour on an air boat(very, very loud)and saw some birds and a couple of alligators. They then took us back to the airport. It was worth the $50.

It was a great cruise. The ship was clean and new. Our only major complaint was the lido deck filled up and sometimes there were no lounge chairs available and I don't think the ship was totally full. The theater also was too small when only one show was on for the night.Decor was fine with us. Food was better than we had on a previous Carnival Cruise. Lobster tail one night, prime rib two nights, strip steak once. They could use some better desserts but have to say the tiramisu was the best ever. Will definitely go Carnival again but would like to try either Princess or Holland America. I also think we may like the smaller ships a little better (2000 people size) Definitely would recommend this ship. Less

Published 02/01/10

Cabin review: 8252

Our cabin was wonderful! Very spacious with plenty of room to move around. We were kind of near the elevator but the room was very quiet. Now I can't live without a couch in the room. We sat there every morning for most breakfasts, had the table in front for our food with the TV right in front of us. No sitting with balancing plates on our laps. When my son and daughter in law visited, there was plenty of places to sit and/or move around. The only thing that bothered me was the choice of TV channels. I do like to keep up with what is going on at home. Why only Denver ,CO. stations? A west coast and east coast station would be a better choice along with regular CNN and TNT programing. Small point but it was irritating.This was our first balcony room. We did enjoy it but the chairs were not the most comfortable. It was really great to have when the lido deck was full.

Port and Shore Excursions

Forget this port altogether unless you want to be accosted at every turn. We decided not to take any excursions because they were quite expensive, very long, and really didn't interest us too much. We got off the ship and had to pass along a corridor which brought us out to the shopping area. Men approached us at every turn to let them take us to the shopping mall or site seeing."No" didn't seem to deter them. I can honestly say we were approached at least 30 -40 times. The few stores that were available had the worst junk available. There was a grocery store that had prices in US dollars so I brought souvenirs there for real cheap (a string of goats milk lollipops for only and dollar,some tea for 90 cents and a bag of pasta for my husband for only 60 cents) It was fun there because no one bothered you . May be due to the fact that an armed guard with flack jacket and a big gun was at the door. We only could stand it about an hour here and were very anxious to get back on the ship

We all had been to this port before so knew what to expect. We like to shop so enjoyed the clean and festive atmosphere. I bought my vanilla, a couple of things for the grand kids. My sister bought her scotch and we all headed for the restaurant on the coast. The ladies had the Margaritas and my son wanted the Mexican beer. We spent about an hour enjoying the view with appetizers. There was a guy dressed up as a clown making balloon hats for people. I for one am not into balloon hats so was very annoyed when he put one on my head. He made a quick exit when I handed it back to him along with a message to leave me alone.It was a great day anyway and my family are still laughing at the clown experience..

Read 5492 Cozumel Reviews

My sister and I decided to go on the Coffee Plantation tour even though the bus ride was 2 hours each way. We were glad we did. We not only got to see the banana plantation on the way but were able to see the mountains up close and personal. Away from the city, you can see how people really live. The tour guide was very friendly and informative. She was very proud to be a Costa Rican.The tour itself was again informative. The coffee plantation employee took us out in the field so wee could see how the coffee is actually grown and then we went into the barns to see the processing procedure. All the beans are picked by hand. I'm surprised that coffee is as cheap as it is once I saw how much goes into producing a pound. We then proceeded to the area where they roast the beans and then were able to taste the finished product. Their store was very nice and they dealt with US currency. I bought a pound ($7) for regular coffee and a pound of their special blend($10). I tried the special blend when I got home and it was delicious. After the tour we were driven to a very beautiful hotel but they called it a Bed and Breakfast type establishment. When we arrived we went to the patio/ pool area. They had plates of fruit along with some sweet pastry offerings already made up. We just grabbed and plate and drink and sat by the pool. The food was refreshing(Pineapple juice never tasted this good at home). It wasn't enough to fill me up but was a nice break. My son and daughter in law went on the boat tour which was only 4 hours. They enjoyed the banana plantation tour and also remarked that the pineapple that was served was the best they ever had. The did see monkeys on the tour and some birds. They were satisfied.

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