Best Cruise Ever: Carnival Freedom Cruise Review by mosaic_mom

Carnival Freedom 5
Member Since 2007
1,478 Forum Posts

Overall Member Rating

Best Cruise Ever

Sail Date: January 2011
Destination: Panama Canal & Central America
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
Background Information:

We took this cruise to celebrate our 10th anniversary. We've always wanted to go to the Panama Canal on a ship, and this cruise with the Panama excursion sounded appealing to us.

Hotel Info:

We live in Florida, but don't choose to push our luck with a 4-hour drive to Ft. Lauderdale, so we booked a night at the Hyatt Place Airport North. We were very impressed. The hotel was very nice, very clean, and personnel quite friendly. There's a continental breakfast buffet too. We would recommend this place for a pre or post cruise stay.

Ship Info:

Carnival Freedom, what can I say but wow. The ship is beautiful. I found the ship easy to navigate and very clean. The crew was outstanding. Very friendly and always eager to help.

I use a rolling walker for ambulation and quite a few of the crew members went out of their way to assist me. I felt the ship was very accessible for me and had no problem navigating the More ship. The only place I could not go was the walking track and basketball courts and miniature golf, none of which I could really use while using a rolling walker anyways.

The serenity deck was amazing and quite comfortable, the shows on board were fabulous (especially the Beatles show), and the food was very good. We were terribly spoiled by our waiters in the dining room.


There were plenty of activities on board the ship. Always something to do. We aren't people who enjoy things by the pool, so we often enjoyed trivia and shows and games and Bingo in the lounge.


The service was superb. Every crew member we saw had a smile on their face and was eager to please. Our waiters were outstanding in the YTD dining room. Our cabin steward did a fantastic job.

Port & Shore Excursions:

We did one private excursion in Costa Rica with Okeydokey tours and one Carnival excursion in Panama. Those were the best excursions we've ever done. The Okeydokey tour was amazing. Got to see a lot of Costa Rica and even hold a sloth. Tour guide was very friendly and tour ran on time. The Panama canal excursion is not to be missed. We took a ferry right into the canal and got to see it from way down inside the locks. It has a long bus ride, but our tour guide made it fun. It's a long day though.


This was our first balcony cabin. It was wonderful to have private time to sit on the balcony and relax. Our cabin steward kept our cabin very neat and tidy and clean and was always a joy to talk with.


We chose Your Time Dining for this cruise and we now know we really like this. Having the flexibility to choose when we want to eat is so nice. Only had one time we had to wait and that was on elegant night when we had a 5-10 minute wait, which was not a problem at all.


The entertainment was superb. The shows were outstanding on this cruise. The crew are so very talented. The Big Easy and the Beatles tribute are not to be missed. There was one very good comedian named Carl and one so-so comedian whose name I can't remember.

Ryan, the cruise director, and Dan, the assistant CD, are just wonderful. Very talented and have great personalities. We really enjoyed being on the ship with them.


The best ever. Since we were taking our luggage off ourselves, we opted to use the Victoriana Lounge to wait until our number was called. That meant getting to the lounge at 6:45 am and relaxing instead of waiting for a crowded elevator with pushy people in it to get down to the disembarkation deck. Getting off the ship and through customs was very fast.


Once again, Carnival gave us a fantastic vacation. We were very pleased with the ship, the crew, and the excursions. We fell in love with having a balcony cabin too. We met some people from our Cruise Critic roll call on the ship and had a great time with them. We highly recommend the Carnival Freedom and we hope to cruise this ship again some day. Less

Published 02/14/11

Cabin review: 8B6390 Balcony

Cabin 6390 - Plenty of closet space, amazing balcony with 2 comfortable chairs and a table, no cabin across the hallway, fantastic and amazing view, on the port side of the ship and perfect to see the ports when the ship docks, plenty of space in cabin for my walker. No noise from inside the ship, but someone on the deck above us had issues with slamming the balcony door quite often.

Read All Balcony (8B) Reviews >>

Port and Shore Excursions

Seeing the Panama Canal was amazing. We took the Carnival sponsored tour that had us take a bus ride to the Pacific side of Panama and board a ferry that took us through 2 sets of locks and through the Gallard Cut before leaving the ferry to board a bus back to the ship. The whole excursion was a little over 9 hours and we really enjoyed it. We got to see the canal up close and find out a lot of the history of Panama and the canal. The areas near the port were not the cleanest place with lots of trash lying around (they said it was a problem with a garbage contractor), but one you got out of that area, it was beautiful. Seeing the canal, the Bridge of the Americas, and the cut, as well as massive ships, was amazing. Unfortunately, this tour left no time to shop, but we have our pictures and videos as lasting memories. This is a tour not to miss.

We've been to Cozumel before and decided not to leave the ship this time. That's not to say we weren't impressed with Cozumel because we really do like Cozumel. We just decided on a relaxing day on the ship.

Read 5489 Cozumel Reviews

We loved this port. Took an Okeydokey excursion and had a wonderful time. Got to see the rain forest, banana plantation, sloths (and got to hold one too), tour the Tortuguero Canal by boat, eat authentic Costa Rican dinner, and see how they live and exist from day to day. It's a beautiful place. Seeing the wildlife native to the country was wonderful and enjoyable.

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Member Since 2007
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