Great Time...: Carnival Freedom Cruise Review by mrsunset

Carnival Freedom 4
Member Since 2010
1 Forum Post

Overall Member Rating

Great Time...

Sail Date: April 2011
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
This was my fourth cruise with Carnival, it seems I keep going back because they're not as stuffy as some of the other cruise lines, and the fellow cruisers are a relatively approachable and sociable bunch. The only downside is because they are accessable a modest clientele, you do run into a few yahoos on every cruise (I could cite examples but I won't :-).

I was travelling with a partner-in-crime this time around, who has a natural talent for meeting folks. I'd go to the bathroom and come back, and she would of met 10 new was all good, because by the third day we had a full social schedule for the rest of the cruise - including all the ports of call (St. Thomas, Antigua, Tortola, Nassau). We spent all of our excursions with another couple, and had the best of times I must say ! The last stop in Nassau, saw many of the boat party types showing up at Senor Frogs (on the pier near the ship) for a final two hour blow out. That place is a bit nuts, in a college spring More break kind of way, but it can be fun for all ages as long as you have an open mind. We had a blast, and our little group of 10 were the last to make it back to the ship :-)

I had no issues with the food at all, other than the dining rooms kitchen closing at 9:30. We did the Sun King Steakhouse one night, and the service was great. Our reservation was at 9:00 PM, and the nights show started at 10:30 PM, and they do like to take their time, so we had to bail on finishing our plates, and skip dessert all together. If you want to do the premium dining (+$30./each) and make the show, it's probably best to be there at 8:30 PM or sooner, but those slots fill up fast. The room only has about 20 tables. You make reservations from your stateroom phone, or in person, after 10:00 AM.

Carnival's prices for excursions tend to be a bit steep as they add on a little something for themselves on top of the tour cost as it would be at the pier. I stopped taking their pre-arranged excursions 2 cruises ago. It is much more cost effective to buy the same thing at the pier, or hire a driver (taxi driver who will be yours for the day, and will take you anywhere you want to go - including a supermarket on the way to the beaches to load up on "supplies" - and waits for you). We had a group of 4 this time, and just hired rides to get us around to the places we wanted to get to. Either a cab ride, or a dedicated driver for the day. You see all the same stuff (or exactly what you want to see), see it at your pace, and can do it for alot less than booking something on-board. For example, in Tortola we heard the cove beach (I think it's called Sugar Cane Beach) was amazing, and that is what we wanted to do. So we shopped in the port town for an hour, then settled on one of the drivers who approached us, and he was ours for the day. $16. each (return) to get to the cove beach on the other side of the island and back again in time for the boat - he stopped at all the best photo-op spots, gave us a narration, and he waited for us. Seems alot of other cruisers had the same idea, as the place was packed with folks from the boats (3 were in port that day). I highly recommend that beach in Tortola - it was the best out of all of them on the trip ! It had great sand, water, amenities, restaurants, and cheap cocktails all over the place. It even has a rum factory one block behind it that hands out cheap samples ! :-)

The Freedom staff were great, and Kudo's goes out to Tyson (entertainment staff) and his girlfriend (entertainment staff). Good fellow Canadians whom we ran into on shore a couple of times as well, and they had no problem sitting down with you at your table to say hi, even on their off-time...

The boat itself is in pretty good shape for its age, although its decor is rather garish. I saw a documentary on one of the in-room TV channels about the architect and the interior design. He was pretty proud of it - "it's not a theme, it's an intellectual idea" :-). Alot of it (and you'll read this in other reviews) was borderline tacky, and over the top. Carnival's designers have no sense of sublime, minimalism, "less is more", or cool...they just throw as much chrome, brass, mirrors, and disparate color combinations at you as possible, against rooms that all have different "intellectual ideas" (no continuity at all). Anyway, you get a bit dizzy from all the crap, but they seem to think it's awesome...

I do recommend the boat and the cruise I was on - we had alot of fun, had an extra night, and 4 ports - so it was a good length cruise to unwind and see some sights/beaches. I'm leaning towards newer and larger ships for the last 2 cruises, so I won't be back on that particulat boat, simply because it's over 10 years old now, and there's alot more interesting and newer options out there now, at similar price points. Less

Published 05/12/11

Cabin review: 4B9121 Interior

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Port and Shore Excursions

Hire a driver...and see the sights at you selection and pace !
Read 1192 Antigua Reviews

Atlantis is fun to check out, but to get to their beach it will cost you $70./each (you buy the passes at the info booth inside the casino)...which just wasn't worth it. Take the water-taxi over for $3. and enjoy the comedy narration (the guide will want a tip as he is not paid by the "captain" of the water taxi), look around the marina village and Atlantis, and then head back to the port town for shopping and drinks...lots to do and see there, and finish at Senor Frogs down at the pier...lots of fun to be had at that place !
Read 5046 Nassau Reviews

Hire a driver...and see the sights at you selection and pace !
Read 4003 St. Thomas Reviews

Hire a driver...and see the sights at you selection and pace ! GO TO THE BEACH COVE (Sugar Cane beach I think it;s called).
Read 1241 Tortola Reviews

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Member Since 2010
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