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

First and Last Carnival Cruise

Carnival Freedom Cruise Review by phillip0604

7 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Mar 2020
  • Destination: the Western Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Balcony

This was my first cruise and probably the last one. To start with when we arrived we were not told that the bags could be checked in and taken to the rooms when it was ready later. The room was not available until 2 pm. We had a check in time of 1130-1200. The service form the start was terrible. We were not informed of any of the events that were planned for the cruise. We missed the clue game, that ran for the entirety of the cruise.

I am a disabled veteran and I was trying to get the priority boarding. I was not able to get this and even when I was there and talking to the Carnival representatives, the only answer is that we can get a wheel chair. This is not the issue. What i needed was time to be able to get on and off, not in the crush of people. A sign we should have recognized as the beginning of the worst vacation customer service we have ever had. The first 2 days the trip was miserable as you could not walk around without wobbling because the ship was so turbulent. There never was any announcement or mention as to what was going on, or saying that we apologize for the roughness and let us do something to make it better.

The room was small and run down. The bed was supposed to be a king but would not pass for a queen. The remote would not work. The ship as a whole looked tire and rundown and in need of maintenance.

The food was mediocre at best. The hot food was not hot and the cold food was not cold. The plates and silverware was often dirty. The tables were constantly dirty and we had to move the dishes and things so we could sit down. The tables when cleaned was with a cloth, no sanitation spray was used. The serves were touching their face with the gloves and not changing them before serving food. Even the Posh Restaurant was simply OK. All of the steak was choice steak not prime rib or otherwise stated.

To find clean silverware you had to check at least 4 sets. Overall not memorable food, even Guy's Burger Bar was not that good or up to my food standards. The best meal of the trip ended up being the BBQ place. Even that was simply OK.

The pool was very small and always packed with kids. The kids were in the hot tub constantly and getting them dirty with orbees and other items just thrown in the hot tubs. When this was brought to the stewards attention, there was nothing done about it. There were teenagers running around throughout the ship at all hours of the day.

The shore excursions was another aspect of disappointment. The one had a snorkeling session. The session was less than 45 minutes and then they were worried about getting us back to the shops. The focus seemed to be about shopping and not the excursion and some shopping on the side. It seemed to be that the on-board shopper was getting some money back for getting us into the stores as that was the primary focus for 2 of the 3 excursions. That is truly not what we were vacationing for.

Once back on the ship we talked to guest services. The excursion manager was quite rude and explained that all of the excursions with water activities was 15-45 minutes. This was not in the magazine description whatsoever.

Cleanliness was also a disappointment. My children went to Camp Ocean once and only once. There was over 1500 kids there. There was 2 attendants for over 70 children 6-8 years old. There were several that threw up due to sea sickness. The way they cleaned it up was by placing a towel over the spots. There was limited activities, no drinks or snacks. It took us almost 2 hours in line to pick them up afterwards.

Smoke was also an issue. There was smoking on level 5 of the ship. You could still smell it several decks above. All of the music and entertainment, pictures and so on was on this level. This was extremely disappointing as we like to play games and listen to music. Something you could not do without putting up with second hand smoke the entire time.

We were also conned by the on-board shopper. The man could pass for a modern day snake oil salesman. All of the savings that he supposedly had lined up were lies. We never received them even with the coupons. Also after the shore excursions were completed he conveniently disappeared for the remainder of the cruise home. When addressed with guest services we were told that we would have to speak to corporate. They simply passed the buck and did not care.

The final insult to this disappointing trip was the debarkation process. We were all kicked out or our rooms at 830 am. We were then told to stay on the 5th floor or the 9th floor. They also did not limit the smoking for this process. so the smokers were puffing away. I am sensitive to this and it causes my sinuses to become swollen and painful.

I would not use carnival if you value your health, happiness, money, or time. They do not care and are only looking to make money and your need and desires comes dead last.

phillip0604's Full Rating Summary
Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review


small, dirty, none of the amenities promised in the description.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Altun Ha

this was the best of the excursions. The guide was awesome and the ruins were amazing. The river cruise was also well done and worth while. This was the bright spot if the vacation.

View All 187 Altun Ha Reviews

not enough time to swim.

View All 389 Beach Reviews
Chacchoben Mayan Ruins

The guide was good and the ruins were interesting.

View All 418 Chacchoben Mayan Ruins Reviews

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