Wish I could slow down time: Carnival Freedom Cruise Review by wishIcouldcruiseforever

Carnival Freedom 5
Member Since 2010

Overall Member Rating

Wish I could slow down time

Sail Date: April 2011
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
We flew to Fort Lauderdale the day before our cruise and stayed at the Holiday Inn airport cruiseport because of the free shuttle from the airport and I was told a free shuttle to the port. The shuttle picked us up within a decent amount of time ,took us to the hotel and we were checked in quickly and politely.I found the room to be neat ,clean and beds quite comfortable . We then took a taxi arranged for us by the front desk staff down to Los Olas Blvd and had a wonderful supper at the Cheescake factory .The transportation service gave me the option of paying for one way or a return trip ,so I chose the return trip too.After a wonderful supper we got to walk around a bit and sit down by the canal and admire the beautiful boats going past.The only problem was getting back to the hotel because after I called for a pick up I believe the service forgot me but after a second call we had a van there pronto.We got a good nights sleep and the next morning enjoyed a More free breakfast ,not the greatest but edible and the price (free)was right . The shuttle to the ship was not free as I had been told by my agent but it was not expensive and it got us there quickly.Embarkation was a bit of a mess because there was a shortage of customs agents to check in the disembarked guests ,so the resultant chaos meant going in one line then shifted to another .It was also a bit disheartening to have to wait for all the VIP guests to go through security first. We were checked in then had to wait until our group number was called and I must say there was a shortage of seats in the area .It didn't take overly long to get on the ship and I think the chaos was a result of the shortage of officers to process the disembarked guests.Once on board we went straight to shore tours to book the behind the fun tour -the same one we enjoyed last year on Liberty .It was just a fascinating as last year and I highly recommend it.Our cabin 1035 on the Panorama deck was a balcony cabin and it was the usual configuration with one exception -a super stateroom attendant named Javier from Costa Rica. He came by ,introduced himself and showed us how to call him and he urged us to call him for service . Although we didn't bother him ,I have a feeling he would have given us the moon if we asked. At the end of the cruise we left a special thank you just for him. I hope on future cruises we get stateroom attendants just like Javier.Likewise I highly recommend a balcony cabin ,a luxury I will have whenever possible on future cruises. We dined most of the time at the Lido buffet ,with only one visit to the dining room and one visit to the steakhouse.The dining room was wonderful and the service just as good ,it is just that my daughter and I like to dress casual and dine at our own speed and that is why we didn't go to the dining room more than once.We also indulged in the steakhouse alas only once because of the dress code ,but I had the best steak I have ever had in my life. I did try to talk my daughter into going back to the steakhouse but she is more averse to dressing up than I am .

We went to all the shows in the Victoriana Lounge and enjoyed all of them especially the Beatles tribute which we saw twice .It pays to get there early to get a good seat .

We also went to the adult comedy a few times and keeping in mind it can be pretty raw ,we enjoyed the humor although it is not for everyone.

We did not use the spa services onboard or the casino so I cannot comment on those places. We also participated in several trivia contests and a digital scavenger hunt . Mistee the Assistant cruise director ran the scavenger hunt and it was a blast . We really liked her too.Disembarkation came too fast and due to Naval activity in Fort Lauderdale we were shunted to a smaller terminal . They asked if the able bodied could bring off their own bags and we did that . It was actually nice not to have to put bags out the night before ,take my time packing and enjoy the ship instead .We got the shuttle to the airport and had a looong wait for our flight . We got breakfast at the Chili's ,sat on their concourse patio and killed time playing spot the label (Vuitton,Coach,Gucci,Prada etc ). It was a great trip and an appropriate celebration of my daughter's graduation with her nursing degree. Less

Published 05/22/11

Cabin review: 8E1035 Balcony

Nice cabin , big closets , comfortable beds ,good size bathroom . Loved the balcony ,but only one chair was usable as the reclining chair did not have enough room where the regular chair was better.The TV remote was well worn with no numbers visible on the buttons -made checking my folio on the TV a bit of a guessing game . The TV should be updated. In future I would stay on deck 9 instead of 10 ,more accessible to Lido fun .

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Port and Shore Excursions

We did the shore tour with the power catamaran Excellence around Antigua . The Excellence docks right beside the cruise ship dock so it is not a long walk there .Once on board ,the crew comes by frequently with refreshments and they are quite attentive to the guests.The yacht heads out of the harbor and then goes north and around the island into the Atlantic side.On our tour day,the Atlantic was quite rough with large waves . The crew hustled those of us outside on deck into the shelter of the interior . If you have a fear of big water ,and the waves are big,be aware you could get a bit frightened and perhaps a bit seasick.We did not get seasick,but my daughter was terrified of the waves and do not stay in the front doorway of the boat as you will get soaked.When we got to Green Island ,the Cat is beached and you have a choice of staying on the beach or snorkeling over the reef .We were so glad we went snorkeling and watched the fish being fed . After snorkeling we were fed a delicious lunch of fresh BBQ'd chicken or fish,pasta and rice.I am not sure what they do to chicken but it was superb.After lunch the bar is open and the yacht goes around the south and east side of the island including Nelson's Dockyard with commentary from one of the crew.The open bar did result in a few intoxicated individuals including one young man who was kissing all the female guests on the cheek.I would do this tour again but not with someone who fears big water . The crew were excellent on the Excellence!
Read 1191 Antigua Reviews

We did the See and sea tour in Nassau.It started with a bus tour of Nassau ,commentary by our terrific driver . We went to the water tower and if you wanted to pay and extra couple of dollars ,you could go into the Fort . We didn't do this because you only have a very brief time .The place is lined with open shops selling designer knockoffs . I didn't buy any because I rather have the real thing but others were spend ,spend, spending !The next part of the tour was a boat ride out to a reef where we would rendezvous with a glass bottom boat.The boat ride there was very enjoyable with a very informative commentary by a crew member . The glass bottom boat was also very enjoyable. After the tour we went back to the dock which is right by the cruise dock and the prime shopping area. I enjoyed the tour but could have used more time in Nassau .
Read 5022 Nassau Reviews

At St Thomas we went on the ultimate island tour .It started with a ride in an open safari bus around Charlotte Amalie . The views were amazing ,the driver skilled . I must say those drivers have nerves of steel and they can fit these vehicles in the tightest spots . It you have a fear of heights and steep drops ,take a middle seat so you cannot see down the side of the mountain. Our first stop was at Magen's bay beach a place I would visit again as it is breathtakingly beautiful.Out next stop was Blackbeard's castle for a self guided tour after sampling the rum from their rum factory .I should have had a second sample of the delicious coconut rum and I am not even a rum aficionado.The self guided tour goes through some old well preserved homes and ends close to downtown Charlotte Amalie .We thoroughly enjoyed the shore tour ,however if you have any problems walking ,the self guided portion is a bit of a hike down rather steep hills and steps. This could be challenging for seniors .After walking the main street and getting my jewellery store freebies ,we had to go to the waterfront for the water "bus" back to the West Indies Dock and some shopping .Again it would be a challenging hike for seniors .The tour was one I would take again as there is free time at the end for shopping in a duty free paradise .At the West Indies dock is Grandhaven shopping centre and around the corner Yachthaven for some designer shopping.
Read 3995 St. Thomas Reviews

Due to bad sunburns we had to cancel our Tortola shore tour and stay on the ship for most of the day.We were going to go the Baths on Virgin Gorda and it was lucky for us and a gentleman on the ship that we cancelled .He wanted to go and we couldn't .People who went said the Baths were worth it . We did go to the souvenir shops right outside the cruise dock and picked up things for our friends back home but don't even try to negotiate price as the shopkeepers don't budge and they are not friendly at all. I don't expect friendliness but it is nice to at least smile as you take my money.
Read 1239 Tortola Reviews

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