My hubs and I typically cruise with RCI but, because we have exhausted all of the Royal Caribbean itineraries out of Galveston, we chose this cruise to the Bahamas on Carnival. We had only cruised with Carnival once before on a quick 4-night trip so we did not know exactly what to expect.
We had heard that the Freedom was scheduled for dry dock shortly after our return so we expected a ship that was a bit outdated and worse for the wear -- not so at all! We really enjoyed our Ocean Suite and will probably never go back to a regular balcony room. The extra space, storage room including a second closet, and tub/shower combo are well worth the extra money.
The food was fantastic, although at times the buffet can be unbearably crowded, and our cruise director, Emma, is amazing. However, all of the shows in the theater are of the sing-along type -- good dancing and singing but no storyline. Also, disembarkation was a hot mess from beginning to end. Security at the port were horrible -- angry, screaming at passengers including my 70-year-old parents. I realize the port staff are not Carnival employees but it is worth mentioning because they are atrocious.
buses are very crowded -- you will not necessarily get a seat on each bus that stops
Embarkation was a delight -- disembarkation was a mess, however, and the security staff that are posted just past the customs area are absolutely ATROCIOUS. One older, red-headed female officer screamed at my 70-year-old parents who had briefly paused to put away their passports. A second, angry male security guard came over and yelled at them as well. As soon as we exited the building we were all screamed at again by two more security personnel.. The area is very poorly marked and obviously staffed by unhappy, impatient individuals -- horrible experience.