Fair value for the $$$: Carnival Freedom Cruise Review by groupy1

Carnival Freedom 4
Member Since 2011

Overall Member Rating

Fair value for the $$$

Sail Date: August 2011
Destination: Panama Canal & Central America
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
While I have enjoyed all of my cruises, some have been better than others.

This was not one of those.

Everyone can find things to dislike about almost any situation. I try not to be a nit-picker and find the good rather than the bad.

We arrived in Ft Lauderdale the day before the cruise. Staying at one of the cruise and park hotels which we have utilized a number of time in the past. Can't say enough good about this option. The hotels contract van delivered us to the port nice and early and the temporary check-in area delivered the service fairly well for "VIP" customers. The terminal is undergoing renovation so some of the amenities are lacking. After a fairly short wait, we were invited to board and headed toward the buffet.

To our distinct pleasure, Carnival has solved the problem of no trays by using an elongated and quite light main plate. I had always been frustrated by the

lack of trays since cruise lines started abandoning that More idea. The plates worked very well and were very convenient.

The food was tasty and, since we were early boarders, seating was easy to find.

As the ship filled, the buffet lines became overfilled as they always do on departure day. Her comes one of my pet peeves. I noticed that some of the early boarders took ownership of tables for other than eating purposes.

Commandeering more chairs for a table so they could store their carry-ons and remaining at tables reading or computing long after the last smidgen of food was consumed while other guests searched in vain for a place to sit and enjoy their food.

Anyway, when permitted access to our suite, we were greeted by a harried steward named Edsel. What a great guy. Always had your name on the tip of his tongue and could not do enough for you. The cabin TV was inoperable and he made 3 calls to get it fixed after Guest Services didn't respond to my plight.

The suite was a standard small suite which is quite comfortable with plenty of storage. The only difficulty there is that there are too many hiding places that must be checked out before disembarkation.

The furniture and bedding was quite comfortable except for the balcony seating which could have used some padding.

The ship is the modern glitz. Plenty of chrome and polished panelling.

We had a smooth sail.

Dinner service in the Posh dining room was somewhat ragged. Noted that some folks were arriving up to 45 minutes late for supper. I gave the wait staff credit for allowing minimal disruption to their duties. The service could and should have been a bit better. When your party is the first to arrive and served last there is a bit of a question raised. Also when food sits on the prep area in plain sight of the diners for many minutes while the waiter jokes with other guests, there is something wrong.

The ports of Cozumel, Limon and Colon all have their own distinct charm or lack thereof.

Of course, they are all out for the tourist $$$ and justifiably so. Just be careful.

Several times, the ship was delayed in departing because of late tours. We were even an hour late in departing Ft Lauderdale because of late arriving flights. This somewhat justifies booking land and air arrangements through the cruise line.

As has been mentioned so many time by so many reviewers, the cost of shore excursions can be considered very high. They do come with the guarantee that the ship will not leave you behind.

All in all, this cruise was not the best but was well worth what we paid. Less

Published 09/09/11

Cabin review: OS7275 Ocean Suite

A bit noisy because of proximity to elevators and atrium. Plenty of storage and sizable bathroom. Balcony chairs uncomfortable. Not restful.

Read All Ocean Suite (OS) Reviews >>

Port and Shore Excursions

Viewing the workings and the history of the Panama Canal is well worth this stop

From past stops there I learned that it can be a great deal of fun just to count the number of times that merchants almost drag you into stores to look at the offerings.

Read 5470 Cozumel Reviews

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Member Since 2011
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