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Carnival Freedom Cruise Review
4.5 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
1,329 Reviews

Panama Canal 10/27 - 11/10/19

Carnival Freedom Cruise Review by CHATTACRUISER

6 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Oct 2019
  • Destination: the Panama Canal & Central America
  • Cabin Type: Interior

There were so many wrong things about this cruise...where to begin? Let me start with the positive. Our cabin steward, Wejaya and his assistant Anna were great! They kept the room sparkling clean, with fresh ice and a new towel animal every day. Our room was on Lido deck, close to the buffet areas and pools. Anna and Wejaya worked hard from dawn to dark but were always pleasant and greeted us personally. Our cruise was 14 days from Galveston and honestly, it took that long to learn the layout of the ship. A map in the room would have helped, but there were only the maps at the elevators to guide us through the maze. All floors do not connect. For instance, to get to the Posh Dining Room on level 3 or 4, you must cut through another floor such as the casino floor (deck 5) and then take stairs or elevator. After this experience, I will not cruise on another ship with disconnecting floors! Speaking of the casino, the slots were fairly loose the first night. After that, slot hits were few and far between. At the disembarkation talk near the end of our trip, the Cruise Director asked “anyone have a big win in the casino?” Dead silence overtook the room and Not a single hand went up! Also, be sure to check your folio frequently as we had drinks charged to us which we did not purchase!

Food Service: The Lido buffet was always busy. Food choices were so-so. After one breakfast of floppy undercooked bacon and runny scrambled eggs, we usually ate breakfast in the dining room. Breakfast in the MDR is good but service is terribly slow. Some days we waited nearly an hour to receive our food. The BBQ restaurant just above the Lido deck is ver6 good and the line moves quickly. Dinner in the MDR (Posh) was usually a disaster. Even though we had an assigned dining time, the wait staff repeatedly requested our names. Drinks were not usually refilled unless we asked. One evening husband and I both ordered steaks, both medium well. One was cooked correctly but the other was extremely undercooked. We asked the waiter to take it back and that was the last we saw of it! Guess we didn’t make it clear that we wanted it back after it was put back on the grill! Two nights later, husband ordered steak tacos for dinner. Most of the meat was inedible gristle with a bone! Again, we returned it to our waiter who said she would show it to the chef. The maitre’d came to our table with a plate of muffins and an apology. Gee, thanks! My entree on our last night was shrimp with penne pasta. The shrimp was fine but the pasta was severely undercooked, tough, starchy and inedible. If you are lactose sensitive, good luck finding a dessert without a lot of cream. Although the cakes are delicious, all are heavily decorated with whipping cream type frosting. Fruit pies were only offered on the two last cruise dinners! Almost every single dinner ended with the announcement of “It’s Showtime!” at which time the wait staff would sing and dance around the room. Once a cruise is definitely enough entertainment and many of the guests felt the same way we did, bolting for the exit at this announcement!

Carnival, please update your inroom phone system! The shore excursion desk does not answer their phone after 7 pm and the phone system directs you to reserve your excursions through the interactive TV. There is no interactive TV! The phone option to check port times was totally incorrect and had the itinerary for a prior cruise, not the current cruise!

Speaking to our fellow cruisers, many were of the same opinion, and had experienced the same issues as we did. We are not “foodies” and don’t expect 5-star meals, just something

Tasty and edible. On the bright side I did lose 2 pounds on this cruise, thanks to the awful food! We are “Gold” Carnival members, this being our fourth cruise and second “Journey” cruise. Our Cruise Critic Meet and Mingle meeting was not scheduled until Day #12 of this 14 day cruise. Hey, Carnival: The purpose of Meet and Mingle is to get to know your fellow cruisers. We do not plan to cruise with Carnival again. As many of our fellow cruisers stated: “Enough is enough!”

CHATTACRUISER's Full Rating Summary
Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
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Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review


Cabin was what we came to expect for a Carnival interior room. Plenty of closet space. No noise above us. Fairly close to the laundry room and elevator. Very close to the pool deck and buffet.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

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