Great vacation: Carnival Freedom Cruise Review by zumbafan

Carnival Freedom 5
Member Since 2011
173 Forum Posts

Overall Member Rating

Great vacation

Sail Date: July 2011
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
Arrived early in Ft Lauderdale, so had to kill some time in airport until we could take a taxi to the port. Our trip didn't start off well as our non-verbal cab driver dropped us off before the area where the porters were to take the luggage, Since I have not cruised from this port before, I just followed folks with luggage! We wound up going thru check-in with all our luggage & had to keep it with us until we could get into our room at 1:30--however my favorite drink of the day the "Funship", helped once we got on board!

Our cabin steward Adolph greeted us warmly and took great care of our room all week. We upgraded to a balcony the Monday before the cruise and now I'm totally hooked on balconies--it was worth the price!

I had read about the decor from other CC posters and totally agree with them--the decor is dark and very strange--lots of orange/brown/golds mixed in with statue of liberty heads/70's prints/african inspired panels, etc--but I wasn't there for More interior decorating tips!

We chose late seating for dinner and our waiter Oliver was fantastic--remembered all of our names and what we liked. The only night we had slow service was Captain's night when Oliver was not our main server that evening--he saw how slow the service was and stepped in to help out. Food was consistantly great each evening and Oliver was accomodating if we wanted to try additional dishes or wanted a double appetizer,etc. We always enjoy the warm chocolate melting cake!!

The entertainment on the ship was very varied--we did go to the four main shows in the theatre--the first night was ok: the swing/40's show was good but it seemed quite long or we may have been tired; the New Orleans show was really good with multiple costume/scene changes and the Beatles show was absolutely fantastic! We only saw one of the comedians--Eddie Capone twice at the adult show--the comedians were a bit funnier on my last ship, but it was a good time. We heard reggae, guitar music, rock, salsa at multiple venues on board. My daughters and I participated in a 3 day trivia contest where the venues changed each day and came in 2nd place out of over 10 teams! We also went to the art auction twice--very entertaining with Dave the auctioneer and free flowing champagne!I was good and did not gamble this cruise, but the casino was hopping every day and I believe 2 folks hit for large cash payouts.

We went to the Serenity deck each day and it was wonderful--jacuzzi was accessible and we always found chairs--much more comfortable than standard deck chairs. We could even each lunch without going back to Lido deck as they offered 5 selections right at the bar. The waiters were attentive on deck and very nice!

Did not use the spa this trip but did hit the gym--very large jacuzzi inside the gym! Had great time at past guest party and fun farewell party! Brad the cruise director was very funny and had a great staff working with him! Didn't catch outdoor movies since we ate late then would usually hit the shows. Disco and piano bar hopping each evening as well.

Overall we had a great vacation and will be booking again with Carnival. Less

Published 08/01/11

Cabin review: 8A6268 Balcony

Our cabin was just right and the balcony was small but a great place to read and enjoy a glass of wine while watching the sunset. The only negative is that we were near the lobby elevators and could hear the salsa music on our 2nd night--couldn't hear music any other evenings

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Port and Shore Excursions

Grand Cayman was our next stop--when we pulled into port that morning, it was raining. Since we did not book an excursion that day, we waited to get off the ship until the rain stopped. We had planned to take a taxi or bus to the Royal Palms to hit the beach, but just shopped and had lunch instead. Recommend the Breezes restaurant--much less noisy than Margaritaville around the corner with cheaper 23 oz drinks!Shops were quite nice without high pressure from salespeople. Could have easily paid 4 bucks to hop in a van to see the beaches, but my daughter was just there in Feb and gave us the highlights--ie Hell is just a tourist trap and that the turtle farm was fun. Our tablemates did the stingray swim and enjoyed it however they got back as ship ready to sail--no worry as it was a Carnival excursion though!No wait to tender when we left the ship and came back.

We did not book an excursion in Key West--just got off the trolley (we had to dock at Navy Base). Walked to Southern-most point, Hemmingway's House, etc and worked our way up and down Duval St. We had wonderful mojotios and conch fritters and enjoyed the shops. It was a tad bit hot that day, but a cool drink helped.Shopping is plentiful with some wonderful art galleries and tons of restaurants/bars to please almost anyone!

Read 1392 Key West Reviews

Ocho Rios was next--since we booked a local tour with Peat Taylor, we had to be off the ship between 7:30-8:00. This worked to our advantage, as we were the third group to do the Dunns River Falls that morning. Peat and his family took good care of us and we felt safe traveling with them. We booked the falls and island highlights--unfortunately we were supposed to go thru Fern Gully rainforest, but they were doing road construction and we could not go on that road.We were then dropped off near the port for shopping--grabbed some Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee and some rum before stopping at Margaritaville. The vendors all over the island were very aggressive--especially in the "craft village" when you finish the falls and before you return to the ship. We also went on the beach at Margaritaville and were also approached by several vendors to braid our hair, give us "free necklaces", sell us CD's etc. We just kept firmly saying no to everyone--a few vendors would follow you a bit trying to talk you into their service, but did get the message. The falls were a blast but they will pressure you to but the $40 video once you are done--we just used our waterproof camera to remember our trip--your guide will take multiple pix if you want.

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Member Since 2011
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