Not really a FUN ship.: Carnival Freedom Cruise Review by Torreon1

Carnival Freedom 2
Member Since 2012

Overall Member Rating

Not really a FUN ship.

Sail Date: February 2012
Destination: Panama Canal & Central America
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
This was our 1st time with Carnival. A group of 9 of us who have cruised before went together. We mainly chose Carnival because it went to Costa Rica and Panama. Normally we hit the islands. Overall the cruise was not bad, but here are some highs and some lows.

First off, the food in the dining room at night was the best we have ever had. Combine that with a fantastic wait staff all around from the maitre de to the water boy and it was great. The maitre de was very entertaining and had his own little "ciao for now" expression everyone loved repeating. The deserts were lack luster anywhere on the ship. The buffet had limited selection and was kind of boring by day 3. There is a Sandwich shop though that is excellent. There is also a fish and chip buffet that is very over rated and not good at all. The buffets seemed understaffed and you were usually sitting down to and dirty table.

The Cabin steward, Octavio was great and always went way out of his way to say hello More and check in on us. The cruise director and all his staff didn't really seem to enjoy themselves and it seemed very much like a job for them as opposed to the high spirited upbeat staff we are used to. Even the people who cruised on the ship seemed like W's.

The gym is very small and a little hard to find because you have to go through the shower room to get there. Once there the shades are drawn so you are forced to look at curtains rather than the ocean. We had to stand and wait 20 minutes to be able to use any machine.

There was a Beetles show that was very good and lived up to the hype, but the rest of the "big band" nights got boring. The overall entertainment, including comedy was just OK. So all in all there was not much FUN on the fun ship and it was our running joke. If you would like to take a cruise on a budget, this is for you. If you want to be wined and dined, stick with Royal; that's what we will do from here on out.

Costa Rica was awesome. The rain forest tour at VERAUGUA was great and the people are fantastic. We got an excursion for 9 people from J.J. Tours. Save yourself some money and go with JJ he is professional, honest and funny. JJ took very good care of us and if you like him, buy him a beer and he will be your friend! We had 9 in our party so he gave a friend her excursion for free- he said she was his cousin too, but only said that when he thought someone was attractive.

So we had fun because we were with friends and family, but the Carnival Freedom was sub-par. Drinks were over priced and anything additional was a heavy fee. One other strange thing you will find on this ship is that all the bathrooms are hidden. It takes a day or two to find the few bathrooms on the ship. Less

Published 02/26/12

Cabin review: 4F Interior

One good thing about the Freedom was that the cabins and even the bathrooms seem more spacious. I am not sure that is the best adjective to use since it is still a ship, but there was a noticeable amount of room in the cabin as compared with other cruise lines.

Read All Interior (4F) Reviews >>

Port and Shore Excursions

Panama was our last stop. It was nice, but we went with "myfriendmario" and not the ship. It was just OK. They took us to the rain forest and we did see monkeys, but we went for a little walk and it wasn't until later I found out that the walk for 10 minutes was the rain forest! We went to fort Lorenzo and our guide knew nothing about the place. Then we went to the Panama Canal.... we saw a ship get ready to cross the lock and as the water was draining we had to go. 10 more minutes and we would have seen the whole thing. Our friend (we will call her Debbie) must have had a low at the point because she was some upset and to be honest we all were. All in all it was one of those things you had to do ONCE. We can all cross it off our list.

Cozumel- If you rent a car be sure to do it INSIDE the port area and not outside. We made a mistake trying to get a deal. We ended up being harassed and in the end they kept our ship pass. They were rude, took advantage of our friends and charged more money for "insurance" even though it was clearly marked when I negotiated the price. they even got confrontational and at one point it looked like it would be physical. The name of the CROOKS are- RENTADORA TOVAR SANCHEZ S.A. DE C.V. You can't miss them because they are right there with a booth beside the hotel and across the street from the port. Do yourself a favor and go to Budget or Avis. Upon return we found we should have easily rented a car for 35 USD opposed to the 50USD we paid. The road around the island is about 50 miles and a nice drive. Drive past all the resorts and you will see the free beaches with large surf and little restaurants on the back side of the island. We paid 20 USD for 2 beers, 3 margaritas and nachos on the back side of the island- Can't beat that with a stick...although I'd like to beat Gerardo at the car rental shop!
Read 5489 Cozumel Reviews

Compare Prices on Carnival Freedom Panama Canal & Central America Cruises

Read more Carnival Freedom cruise reviews >>
Read Cruise Critic’s Carnival Freedom Review >>

Compare Prices on Carnival Freedom Panama Canal & Central America Cruises

Member Since 2012
Enrichment Activities
Family & Children
Fitness & Recreation
Onboard Experience
Public Rooms
Shore Excursions
Value for Money
Skip X

See Carnival Freedom deals up to 82% off:

October Deals
Carnival Freedom 77% Loved It

14 Night Carnival Journeys - Panama Can
See all Carnival Freedom Deals >>