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15 Port Canaveral (Orlando) to Europe - Western Mediterranean Cruise Reviews

The room and wait staff were excellent as always. I was on this ship when it was the latest and greatest. Unfortunately not so much anymore. The balcony was in need of paint....rust showing, carpet worn, cabinets so-so. It is going in for ... Read More
The room and wait staff were excellent as always. I was on this ship when it was the latest and greatest. Unfortunately not so much anymore. The balcony was in need of paint....rust showing, carpet worn, cabinets so-so. It is going in for an update, so RCCL is addressing the situation. The price was great, so no real complaints. Production shows were good, ice show great, Trivia OK when you could understand the host. Food was OK but not like it was years ago. I think they are trying to save some $ as are we all. Did an 18 day Australian cruise in Oct. and could not believe there was NO lobster night. Portofinos was good but doesn't compare to Chops. Got the bill screwed up and had to address that issue several times before it was fixed. Am diamond plus with RCCL so cruise a good bit. I think I am hooked on the Freedom class and up. Lots to do, relatively new, and have no issue with the entertainment. I do think that an automatic tip is not beneficial to the consumer. Can't complain about the service, but probably won't be long before things slide as the crew gets used to having the same tip all the time regardless of service. Kinda like handing over the $ myself to waiter, etc. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
We just got home from 7 beautiful days in the Caribbean . The weather was gorgeous, the ship was beautiful. We had an aft balcony room and would choose that again. The embarkation process in port canaveral was ridiculous! No fault of ... Read More
We just got home from 7 beautiful days in the Caribbean . The weather was gorgeous, the ship was beautiful. We had an aft balcony room and would choose that again. The embarkation process in port canaveral was ridiculous! No fault of carnival, the terminal was jam packed with people, 3 large ships were doing the same thing at the same time, and they could not control the traffic! The best parts of our cruise were the company we went with, the aft pool, because the center pool was very loud and massively crowded. The steak house was some of the best food we have ever eaten, and I highly recommend it! The. Food in the dining room was terrible! 2 nights it was inedible! I was so disappointed! However, our server, Jose, was great! Our room was great, the comedians were hilarious, but something I want to say was something that I had read in other reviews. In the main dining room, people came to dinner, in shorts, tshirts, and bedroom shoes!!! The dress code is not enforced, so no wonder the food was bad! Pool chairs were saved all day for people that never showed up! They really need to work on this! And then the thing that that really was the topper, carnival added 15 " bogus" charges to my Amex card, holding it for 72 hours, making sure my sign and sail purchases were cleared!!! I think I will try another cruise line next time! Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
Good Stuff: Transfer from airport to port: 5 stars Laundry service: 5 stars Getting off the ship:5 stars Watching Willy and Gumby: 5 stars Cabin Steward: very accommodating: 5 stars Bad Stuff: Getting on ship.... Idiotic and ... Read More
Good Stuff: Transfer from airport to port: 5 stars Laundry service: 5 stars Getting off the ship:5 stars Watching Willy and Gumby: 5 stars Cabin Steward: very accommodating: 5 stars Bad Stuff: Getting on ship.... Idiotic and disorganized:1 star Drink prices - sky high!: 1 star Dining room staff was pathetic, slow and did not care at all. tiger shrimp looked like product i'd normally throw away: 1star Buffet food is very low quality... Indian food? Looked like vomit. Wtf? : 1 star Buffet areas also very dirty, and had long lines!! Screw the pizza maker zombies too! Ice cream machines always broke, dirty and cones laying all over the place. Hope you don't like ice in your drinks on sea days. By noon the ice was scarce at the drink dispensers... Maybe on purpose so that you can purchase a 9 dollar frozen drink to cool off and/or drown your sorrows ... Who knows? Wi-fi? Take out a second mortgage, buy 9 dollar drinks because it crawls!!!!: 1 star Like seeking diesel fumes in your cabin? The DREAM is for you!!! That's what happens when the Captain has an extra day to get to Costa Maya and steams at 9 knots. The fumes circle back into the cabins... Very nice touch Massimo!!!! Pools: need serious attitude to fight for deck chairs and a spot in the pool Loved seeing shorts and tank tops in the dining room too! That's the type of clientele on the ship... Wally World junkies with a credit card.... Get me outa here Carnival.. Am I dreaming? Conclusion: save your money, dine at Golden Corral, go to a busy Walmart and pump some diesel fumes into your bedroom! Voila! Carnival Dream Read Less
Sail Date April 2013
Went on cruise 11/24/12 on the Carnival Dream! Ship was very clean and cabin attendant was fantastic. The food on this ship was a step above other carnival ships I have been on, steakhouse was great and if u go on first night u get a free ... Read More
Went on cruise 11/24/12 on the Carnival Dream! Ship was very clean and cabin attendant was fantastic. The food on this ship was a step above other carnival ships I have been on, steakhouse was great and if u go on first night u get a free bottle of wine, I prefer cab but got Merlot not gonna complain about that at least it was a free bottle. The food bars around the ship are just ok, but one was really good he Indian food bar on 10 aft was by far the exception. Pastrami sand bar is always good for an afternoon snack, the hamburger bar was somewhat to be desired all well done. The dining room food was good a step above other carnival cruises I have been on, thus we booked the chef's table and found that the executive chef was by far very well trained and ran the kitchen like a well oiled machine, if you can afford the chef's table go for it, the best service you may ever get on any cruise ship we had 13 people and 6 chefs serving us. The wine flowed freely although it was Merlot and not cab, I didn't complain but should have asked for cab. The table was set up right in the galley so it really was a chefs table. Now to get on with the ports Cozumel Belize, mahogany bay, and Costa Maya, We booked a cooking class in Cozumel through Carnival and had a great time, after the class we went back to the port and shopped the port stores, a little pricey compared to going downtown. You cannot go wrong with anything u do in Cozumel have a great time.The biggest draw back to this cruise was by far Belize, First of all the ship stops about 5 miles off the coast and you get tendered in, these tenders comprise of some nice ones and some not so nice ones, hope u don't get the old fishing boat ones. Once we got to shore we were hounded by people trying to sell tours to the zoo, the city, the ruins, etc. We decided to look around the shops and then take a walk by ourselves, which was a huge mistake, the little and I mean little port is gated in and you can see police with what looked like M-16s, I should have thought twice but I always like to venture out and see the locals. Once I got outside the guarded gate I was bombarded with drug infused people and dirt streets, horse drawn buggy's, they were trying to sell tours out side the guarded gates too. I turned around and went the other way only to be bombarded with more drug infused people and crazies. trying to get money off me for directions street names and pretty much anything they could think of.i hightailed it back to the gated area and spent about an hour walking around and then boarded the tender back to the dream. This was by far the worst place I have ever seen and cannot believe carnival would risk the safety of their passengers. They should warn everyone on board not to go out of the gated area for your own protection, better yet unless u book a scuba dive stay on the ship this is one place just not worth getting off the ship! Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
Great value; we enjoyed every moment of this vacation. All of the personnel aboard the Sun are friendly and professional. This was an excellent value and the trip, crew, food and ease of freestyle cruising and even our fellow cruise ... Read More
Great value; we enjoyed every moment of this vacation. All of the personnel aboard the Sun are friendly and professional. This was an excellent value and the trip, crew, food and ease of freestyle cruising and even our fellow cruise passengers exceeded our expectations. We never had to wait for dining (we do eat on the late side) and appreciated that the hostess greeted us by name. The Sun was very clean and the crew really prevented transmission by continually offering hand sanitizer. The band on deck was outstanding NCL really has freestyle cruising down to a smooth science and everybody is simply happy doing their own thing, I did not feel like I was being herded. Read Less
Sail Date January 2012
We (DH-42, DS -11, and me - 43) sailed on the FOS on the 8/7/11 sailing. This was our 5th cruise, previously having sailed on RCCL, Carnival and Celebrity. We chose the FOS for the itinerary as well as the activity options on the ship. ... Read More
We (DH-42, DS -11, and me - 43) sailed on the FOS on the 8/7/11 sailing. This was our 5th cruise, previously having sailed on RCCL, Carnival and Celebrity. We chose the FOS for the itinerary as well as the activity options on the ship. Prior to embarking we spent alot of time on the CC boards, planning our time, pre-booking our own excursions, and reserving shows and activities on the ship - I felt pretty prepared! We stayed at the Country Inn and Suites the night before - adequate accommodations, and the pool was fine. Our one complaint was the LONG line and lack of tables for the free breakfast on Sunday morning, but that was to be expected. We got what we wanted and then took it back to our suite. Embarkation was a breeze - we got to the port early and were one of the first 100 or so people on the ship. It is gorgeous! We walked around for a few minutes and then went to the Windjammer for lunch - it was still pretty uncrowded. Afterwards, we had time before cabins were opened so we explored - somehow we left our camera bag (1 SLR with extra lens, 1 flip video cam, and 1 point and shoot) in the arcade and when we later went back for it (about 90 minutes later) - of course it had been taken. I went immediately to Guest Services and surprise, it had not been turned in. They told me to check back again later, but I had my doubts we would ever see it again - and we did not, despite checking back numerous times (more on this below). We ended up buying a new camera in the ship's store the next day. We spent the day at sea at the pool (no chairs, so we just parked our stuff and sat in the water). I had pre-booked a Flow Rider lesson for DS before embarking - well worth the $60 charge to avoid the very long lines and limited ride time during the public session. There were 8 people at his hour long time slot, and they each got personal attention to boogie board and surf. Ports: Labadee - we went over to the far beach near the water park thinking it would be less crowded - nope. We should have scoped out the closer beaches first, they seemed empty when we were heading back to the ship. We rented a couple of mats and just lazed around. Having eaten a late breakfast, we skipped lunch and just waited for our 6 p.m. dinner. Falmouth - the port area is really nice. Shops (mainly jewelry shops) are opening in the permanent spaces. It was very easy to get a cab. We like to venture out on our own on port days, so we went to the Iberostar Rose Hall Suites and got a day pass ($75/adult, half price for kids). We encountered no other cruisers there, so it was really enjoyable. The pool and beach are awesome. The lazy river is VERY lazy, so don't go here if that is your main draw. They had all kinds of activities going on, and the food was fine. Try to stick to beer and simple drinks, as they tended to water down the drinks as the day progressed. Grand Cayman - pre-booked with Stingray Sailing - catamaran (did not sail, though, not sure why) to the sandbar and then snorkeling at the reef. They are great. They had a photographer on board who takes pics of you in the water with the rays, $6 each. The boat was perfect and uncrowded compared to some we saw (about 25 on board). They served free fresh fruit and water, and beer and soda were available for purchase. We did not really see a good place to eat that would go over well with DS and not cost a fortune, so we just got back on the ship and got something there. Cozumel - we pre-booked with Nachi Cocum all inclusive resort - good facilities, and GREAT bartenders. (Holy moly, watch those margaritas - they make them strong!). DH, who can handle his liquor much better than I can, was doing shots of tequila with red eye chasers by the end of the day. The food and service were also very good. On the ship - the food in general was sub-par and disappointing, and we are not terribly picky eaters. The Windjammer food was no better than cafeteria food, and heavy on starches (much to DS's delight). The MDR food was pretty tasteless and not well cooked. We ate in both Chops and Portofino - the Chops steaks were a cut above, but were overcooked for "medium" (and we did confirm when ordering that medium should be a pink center - it was grey). The service, however, and the rest of the meal was impeccable. Portofino was very good - note that they have very few traditional Italian American dishes (much to DS's chagrin) - this is definitely a high class Italian place. Save room for dessert. We ate early in both places due to their restrictions on kids, and loved being one of the only ones in the restaurants - window seats, and great service. The pools are really nice, but crowded on sea days. Ice skating was fun. One annoyance was that the ship seemed overrun by unsupervised kids - some really too young to be roaming about on their own. Twice we got on an elevator to find that an enterprising kid (smirking in the corner) had pressed the button for every single floor. When we were doing karaoke in the private booths one afternoon, a couple of very young kids kept opening the door and sticking their heads in. We also saw plenty of young teens hanging about in the Windjammer making messes of food and creating nuisances. Finally - on the camera issue - we checked back about 6 times with Guest Services but it never showed up. On Day 5, DH finally noticed that there are a multitude of cameras in the arcade, and we asked them to run back the tapes to see if they could find out who took the bag. This finally prompted a formal investigation which involved Security. I had to question why Guest Services had never offered the complaint process (I did not even know there was one)or a run-back of the tapes previously, and only did it when we pressed and then re-pressed the issue. They then appeared to undertake an investigation. A day later, they reported back that they ran the tapes back and said that we left the arcade with the bag and had tracked us back to our cabin, and refused to do anything further. We knew that we had left the bag in the arcade, and their description of "tracking us back to our cabin" was incorrect - so I asked them to tell me how many bags we were carrying when we left the arcade (I knew how many we had) or let me see the tapes, or, if they tracked us back to our cabin, to tell me where we had left the bag. They refused and just said they were dropping the investigation. I was very upset that it seemed like they were accusing us of fraud - absolutely ridiculous when we were obviously pressing the issue and requesting physical proof. After we asked again (twice), they finally gave us a copy of the initial security report (on which they wrote "for insurance purposes only"). Very, very badly handled by Guest Services and Security. All in all, the cruise was a good one, but I am not sure that we would cruise the big RCCL ships again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
I took my second cruise with Carnival in March of 2011, visiting four ports total. The Carnival Dream is very similar to the rest of Carnival's fleet, but it doesn't seem to carry its size very well at all. I'd read prior ... Read More
I took my second cruise with Carnival in March of 2011, visiting four ports total. The Carnival Dream is very similar to the rest of Carnival's fleet, but it doesn't seem to carry its size very well at all. I'd read prior reviews about the ship rocking a lot, and at first I just assumed the reviewers were prone to motion sickness. Well, they were right. It wasn't terrible, but I would not recommend this ship for someone who gets seasick easily. The ship was also very, very crowded. In comparison to the last Carnival ship I cruised on (Carnival Triumph), the facilities were similar in size and capacity, so it seems the extra size of the ship was used for more staterooms. Increasing passenger capacity without an accompanying increase in facilities doesn't seem like a recipe for success.The food was pretty good, which I expected, but the entertainment was lacking. The dancing and singing in the Encore Theater was on par with a community college production, and most of the comedians they had were downright terrible. The ship also had a slight sewage smell from time to time, which was very unfortunate. This is the last time I'm going to take a cruise during Spring Break season. I can't blame this on Carnival, but their were way too many kids on board, most of which were disrespectful and undisciplined. Next time I book a cruise it will be when school is in session or with another line that doesn't cater to the under 18 crowd. Read Less
Sail Date March 2011
BACKGROUND: This was our first cruise and we had no idea what to expect for me and my hubby. It was the best vacation ever and we want to go back, we would definitely go on the Royal Caribbean again. HOTEL INFO: We departed from Port ... Read More
BACKGROUND: This was our first cruise and we had no idea what to expect for me and my hubby. It was the best vacation ever and we want to go back, we would definitely go on the Royal Caribbean again. HOTEL INFO: We departed from Port Canaveral, so we spent the night before in Orlando and drove to Port Canaveral on the morning of departure, getting on board the ship by about 1:30pm. We rented a car to go to Port Canaveral, the car rental one way is cheap FROM Orlando and slightly more expensive back TO Orlando, with Hertz - about $40 there but $80 back. Still cheaper and more flexible for two people than taking the shuttle. SHIP INFO: The Freedom is a beautiful ship! The promenade is a lot of fun to walk down and all of the decor is tasteful, elegant, and over the top at the same time. There was never a crowded moment although we were told about 4,100 people were on the ship at that sailing. We didn't have to wait in line at any of the ports except the one with the tenders (and then it was only 20 minutes). We never waited in line for food. The ship has five hot tubs and two (three?) pools - we hot tubbed primarily in early morning/late at night and generally had an entire hot tub to ourselves. We also went to the deck to watch the sunset several times and it was very peaceful. ENTERTAINMENT & ACTIVITIES: We primarily enjoyed the shows and dancing in the evening. The shows were on par with Broadway shows that we have seen, in particular, spectacular sets and the dancers and singers were great. There were a few comedy shows that were also funny and the cruiseline gets "guests" to come do some of the shows, who have been on TV etc. In the evenings after the show they had salsa/swing dancing in a small restaurant called Boleros, as well as live music at a few of the other bars. In addition, they had a dance club, which had a young party crowd so that could be fun. they also held parties in the Promenade area with live music, dancing and entertainment and they were themed (80s night, etc). Many people went to these and we stopped by a few. They had game shows later in the evening which were also funny. In the daytime they had a lot of bingo/casino activities which I did not partake in. Best of all the Cruise Director was very funny and always at every function. He also did shows on the TV. I also tried FlowRider and Rock Climbing, but not Ice Skating since I do enough of that when it gets cold at home. The Rock Climbing worker was not too nice (the only time I encountered that on the whole ship) because he acted unhappy when I asked to come down after being halfway up since I got nervous about the height - he said I should have tried harder. We ended up not going to the gym although we did one of the Tai Chi classes once that was pretty neat. I had been hoping the Yoga/Pilates classes would have been free because I would have gone, but at $15 each this is what I pay at home so I decided to skip it. We also did not utilize the spa although it looked fantastic. There is a nice walking path on the upper deck as well. SERVICE: The service people are very nice and cheerful. We never had any problems, they cater to your every need and there are so many of them. PORT AND SHORE EXCURSIONS: We did not take the ship excursion, every port we went to we got out and found people selling excursions for much cheaper (about 1/2 to 1/3 the price of the ship's) and we enjoyed these, it was also more spontaneous. DINING: The formal dining is fantastic, although as vegetarians there were not many choices for us at dinner, the rest of the dinner crowd seemed to enjoy it. The head chef on the ship currently is Indian, so each meal featured one vegetarian indian course, this worked out well for me. They also had a vegetarian pasta option. Non-vegetarian options included steak, lobster. And you can order more than one entree/dessert! The desserts were spectacular. If you do not like your dining assignment you can go change it after the first day and usually get a choice of table plus description of your probable dinner companions. We changed ours due to being at an intimate table with a non-talkative other couple, and got put at a fun 8 person table. Service at the formal dinner is very quick, the formal dining room is beautiful, and a few of the nights we had live music. There are also two fancy places, Portofino and Chops, which we did not try. There is also Windjammer which has almost any food you could want, and a pizza place and sandwich/cafe place. I would not say the food was to die for, but there was a lot of choice and it was much better than I would have expected. The bars do allow smoking and there were some smokers on the decks in the designated areas. STATEROOM: Our room was great, it was a balcony room with a couch in it, nice TV, bed, and big balcony (to me). People said not to get the rooms overlooking the promenade because it is loud at night with parties. our room was very quiet and we almost never heard any neighbors. We watched the sunrise from our balcony and also got room service and ate on the balcony a few times. DISEMBARKATION: Was extremely quick - we went with the very first non-express option (7:15am). We spent about 1 hour 30 minutes from the time we left our stateroom to the time we got into our car at the rental place, and that included going to the wait area to grab breakfast, checking out of the ship, going through customs, collecting our bags, waiting in line at the Hertz bus stop, taking the Hertz bus, and getting the car rented. I mentioned the car rental because Hertz told us had we come an hour later we would have faced big lines (which is why we chose to go early, although we also didnt know if we would get breakfast the last day). I also was surprised how friendly everyone was on the last day, still serving coffee and breakfast in a few locations onboard. OVERALL: We LOVED it, especially the variety of activities, the evening shows, the ports, the view from the balcony and room in general, and the great attitude of the service people. We are definitely going back and we are definitely taking RCCL again. 5+++++!!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2010
The Dream left a lot to desire for past cruisers. On Saturday July 3rd - we embarked on the ship easily not issues. We walked around to find out that the layout of the ship was very similar to that of all our other cruises (this made it ... Read More
The Dream left a lot to desire for past cruisers. On Saturday July 3rd - we embarked on the ship easily not issues. We walked around to find out that the layout of the ship was very similar to that of all our other cruises (this made it easy to get around) We did notice that the pool areas were SMALLER than previous ships and wondered how that would play out when this ship had about 1000 more people. Casino - Casino slots were good when you could get at them - there were children playing and winning buckets of coins - and no security to remove them from the area. Pools - As we thought the smaller pools were an issue. There just wasn't room. In the family pool area (where kids are allowed). the pools were packed we were like sardines in the pool. I only used it to cool off and get back on my chair.We also discovered that you really could not use the pool in the afternoon - there was stuff floating in it. Kids and Adults would take their drinks to the pool and drinks would spill creating an icky pool - on the last day there was a security person there to remind people not to bring food/drink by the pool. The Adult area pool (supposedly for adults only) was full of kids too. No-one asked the children to leave (other ships had security that would ensure there were no kids in the adult pool.) Dinner - the ship had 3 dining options for the main dinning room. 1) early seating, 2) late seating and 3rd Your time dining. We asked for late dining but were assigned to "Your time Dining", which meant we could go to the upstairs dining room any time we wanted. Not happy with this option. 1- we had different wait staff every night, no great interactions. One night they brought us our drinks at the end of dinner.... On pat cruises dining was fun, because you got to know your wait staff and they got to know you. They also played the SAME CD every night during dinner - you can only take so much Julio Iglesias.. Buffet- small, cramped, same size as smaller ships - LONG lines. (food was basically same every day - only thing that really changed was the main course i.e. roast beef, turkey, lamb each on a different day) Sushi Bar - This was GREAT it was free and very good. Lines were not long, because not everyone knew it was free!!! Midnight Buffet- Did not exist (discontinued to cut costs) Staff- not very helpful - most of them could not answer a question without looking into it. and when they finally got back to you with an answer you didn't care any more - example - Called guest services to find out when midnight buffet was and staff had to put me on hold (5 minutes) to tell me that he was just told that they don't have one. (staff should have know this) Circle C- basically camp carnival for 12-14 year old. - not as expected. They did not have a sign in/sign out policy - kids could come and go as they wanted. This did not help parents that went in looking for their kids. They should have kept a list of when a child walked through the doors and what time they left. This was just make it easy to know if you just missed your kids, or if they have been floating around ship for a very long time. Lido Deck Fun- Did not exist - we were used to having staff at pool and engaging guests in dancing, games, fun events. there was 1 game a day at the pool that lasted 10 minutes. Staff depended on a BIG HUGE screen TV on the deck to entertain us. They played same music video everyday. The only time we got to see the cruise director was at the show in the evening or on TV at the Lido Desk - no real contact. They relied on that TV way too much. Overall - Compared to past cruises this was awful - First time cruisers did not know the difference Read Less
Sail Date July 2010
It's important to start off by saying that we had a WONDERFUL time on this cruise. The previous reviews of the Dream on this site were very accurate but I would like to add some additional information that others may find helpful. ... Read More
It's important to start off by saying that we had a WONDERFUL time on this cruise. The previous reviews of the Dream on this site were very accurate but I would like to add some additional information that others may find helpful. 1.Embarkation: Our experience was EXCELLENT! We arrived at the port at 11:30 and by 12:30 we had been to our stateroom and were sitting on deck. This was the easiest embarkation we have had and we do not have priority status with Carnival as we have mostly sailed on Royal Caribbean ships in the past. 2. Cleanliness: The ship was exceptionally well-maintained and cleaning was an ongoing process. Our stateroom was immaculate and the bed was extra comfortable!!! My only concern was with the availability of hand sanitizers (since H1N1 we have become sanitizing fanatics!) and the lack of presence of staff to encourage their use (Royal Caribbean has greeters to their buffet dining rooms who also had out hand wipes - this significantly reduces the passing of germs from people handling serving utensils.) I carried sanitizer and wipes with me. 3. Friendliness of staff: In general, staff was very friendly, but there was less 'personalized' friendliness. Our room steward knew our name, but some of the wait staff in the dining room where we had dinner every night of the cruise did not. Our waiter was also not always familiar with the dishes being served and offered no dining suggestions even when we asked for assistance with menu items. On previous cruises, we have gotten to know our waiters very well and had come to rely on them for helpful information about the cruise itinerary,tips on different ports, upcoming events on board, and food selections. We also enjoyed learning about the ataff - where they are from, whether or not they have family, etc . The fact that these were all absent may be a consequence of the mandatory tipping that is now inlcuded and charged to the FunPass account. The Guest Services Staff was very friendly and conscientious. When we registered a complaint, they called our room, left a voicemail and then called back to speak with us. 4. Tipping: Of course, the bar tip is included and Carnival now includes a $70.00 per person charge to tip the room steward, waiter and assistant waiter. We had no problem with this and we did add additional tips for each of them at the end of the cruise because we felt they deserved it (especially the room steward who was incredibly efficient!!). The ship makes a point of the fact that the Maitre D' is NOT included in the prepaid tips and they suggest that each passenger present him with a tip on the last night. In theory, I would have no problem with this, but the Maitre D' in the Crimson Dining room was awful -- he provided no personalized service to us whatsoever and did only a perfunctory 'tour' of the dining room once or twice durnig our 7 day cruise. I resented the idea of feeling pressured to tip someone who did not really earn a tip, but we did give him an nominal amount. 5. Cruise Director and Staff & entertainment: Todd Wittmer seems like a truly nice guy -- someone I wouldn't mind having as a neighbor or brother in law , but I do not think he is very good at being a cruise director.There were multiple 'system failures here'. We attended one comedy club act where there was no one from the cruise director's staff to introduce the comic so he had to introduce himself! The much publicized Mardi Gras deck party was seriously mishandled. The band was not appropriate because no one could dance to the music - there was no music variety (a DJ would have been much more cost effective AND more engaging). For 45 minutes of the 'party' people stood around literally begging (screaming and waving their arms) for beads to be thrown to them. About every ten minutes, the cruise director would shout "Are we having fun?" and "Who wants Beads - Make some noise" - really silly - and a waste of opportunity. The passengers on their own started a conga line - but Todd wasn't ready for that yet, so he made them STOP -- regrouped them for another rock song - THEN said they were going to do the conga. There were no line dances (except I think one) which usually gets the most people out to the dance floor - and no slow dances at all for couples to dance to. There were four different comedians during our cruise - the first two -- A woman (last name Harrison) and a man (Esposito) whose only jokes had to do with being fat and being from the South. This is not entertainment - ... The second pair of comics were MUCH better -- and we chose to attend each of their shows twice. The EDGE was VERY good as was Bob Brizendine. The Carnival Dream Dancers and singers are OK - but not outstanding. We saw ONE good show, but the others were poorly choreographed and kind of 'cheesy'. The Todd Radio show that is broadcast on the Jumbo Screen Seaside Theater is AWFUL and a real waste of time. Activities that SHOULD have been done at a different time where more people would have participated were marginalized. For example, the 'love' game show was held in the middle of the afternoon on the last day - the at sea day when most people want to enjoy the Carribbean sun. It was BROADCAST to the people on deck! -- Also, when there should have been fun activities on deck, to highlight the last day - these were held BELOW deck with broadcast to the Seaside TV! We did enjoy the Seaside Theater on deck movies especially the ones held later at night. This was 'cool' - to be outside - gliding across the Caribbean and wathcing TV 'under the stars' -- Although we had seen a couple of the films before, it was relaxing and enjoyable to be able to stretch out on a deck chair and watch a movie. 5. Food quality -- was average at best. There WERE long lines at times (especially the first couple of days), but there was a lack of variety in the main dining room (The Gathering). I am assuming this was because of the different 'specialty stations' that are offered (the pasta station, the deli, burgers and fries, wasabi, Tandoori, Mexican,and the pizza station) - but many of these had long lines that made it unlikely to get food in a reasonable time frame. Breakfast seemed to be handled much better - multiple stations all with very similar offerings. Dining room food at dinner (we did not eat there except for dinner) was OK - small portions - nicely presented but not always the tastiest food. We did like the mulitple stations for juice, ice tea, lemonade and water that was available 24 hours. We also enjoyed the specialy dessert bar. At first, I balked at paying for these desserts, but the fee was rather nomial (about 2-3 dollars) and these desserts were VERY good! (Located on deck 5) 6. The Lanai -- We wre on deck 6 - one floor above the lanai. I did not quite understand this when I booked the room and would reconsider were I to select this ship for another curise because it did serve as a buffer between us and the sea. With a balcony stateroom, we enjoy sitting out and listening to the ocean - this sound can be obstructed by walkers and passersby down below. 5. Casino -- I am not much of a gambler, but I have never seen so many one cent and two cent slot machines before. We typically play quarter machines but they were few and far between and the ones we did find weren't very 'fun'. 6. QUALITY of construction: The ship is VERY easy to get around in. I felt' at home' by the second day and I AM directionally challenged! We were 'navigating' easily by the second day. PLEASE BE AWARE -- the rooms are NOT soundproof AT ALL - on my first night, I had difficulty falling asleep because of the noise of the casino below (Casino is on deck five and there are staterooms directly ABOVE so I heard the 'music ' from the casino most of the night. I also heard our next door neighbors having an 'amorous moment'. We could also hear every conversation that took place in the room next to ours. I kept making my husband turn down the volume on the TV and speak in whispers !!!! The people in cabins below the workout room must have also complained because after the first day, there were signs on several of the treadmills that said they could not be used because of noise to the passengers below! THE SMELL - you have read this on other reviews and I am here to tell you it is REAL and it CAN be a problem. I think the reason that some people experienced it while others did not has to do with their location and with the weather conditions as it is definitely as exhaust problem. The 'raw sewage smell' is present on deck depending on where you stand. To be honest, this did not really bother me that much as the smell mixes with the fresh air. THE problem was that one night (most likely because of how the wind was blowing) the fumes were being sucked into the ventilation system and it woke us up in the middle of the night ! I was going to open our balcony door for fresh air because I was actually feeling that I could not breathe when the smell dissipated. In the morning, my husband called guest services, but they could offer no suggestion beyond calling back when we smelled it again . Fortunately, we did not. 7. WORKOUT facilities: Aside from the first day when EVEYRONE wants to work out, there were always machines available. Even on the first day, I only waited two minutes before someone got off a treadmill. I would have preferred that the aerobics room was on the same floor as the workout room but that is a minor 'flaw'. I really liked that the workout space was very well maintained (someone was always cleaning and replacing towels) and that there were ALWAYS attendants on duty outside the room. Staff was very friendly and personable here also. The person who mentioned the low ceiling issue in the workout room is CORRECT -- I am 5'8' but I noticed a man on one of the elypticals whose head was only inches away from the ceiling. 8. Debarkation: We used 'self assist' and took our own luggage off the ship. we were OFF the ship before 7 a.m.!!!! It was faster than we expected and we actually weren't ready when they called our floor. They had staff at different stations directing traffic which kept things moving very smoothly! 9. OVERALL - in spite of these issues, my husband and I BOTH had a really enjoyable and relaxing experience. We recognize the flaws, but we felt that we could 'compensate' and we would travel on this ship again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2010
For college spring break, we decided to take a family vacation with our young adult sons, ages 23 and 20. Thankfully, Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas is not a ship for a "girls gone wild" spring break vacation. We ... Read More
For college spring break, we decided to take a family vacation with our young adult sons, ages 23 and 20. Thankfully, Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas is not a ship for a "girls gone wild" spring break vacation. We specifically chose a cruise out of Port Canaveral because of its proximity to the Orlando airport and the vast array of flight options offered (we were flying in from three separate cities). We stayed at the Hawthorne Suites Airport Hotel because it was the only suite option with two queen size beds in one room and a king size bed in the other bedroom. We rented a car at the airport from Avis and drove to Port Canaveral because it was considerably cheaper than using any port shuttles. It is an easy one hour drive to Port Canaveral. We dropped off our luggage with the porters at the ship and then drove to the Avis location a few miles south. The Avis shuttle then took us quickly and efficiently back to the ship. We made no attempt to get to the ship early which really worked in our favor because there were absolutely no lines for embarkation. We breezed through the process in about 10 minutes. Our sons may have preferred a cruise ship that caters more to the college crowd, but I personally appreciated the fact that no drunken teenagers were running up and down the halls banging on doors in the night, as experienced by my friend on a Carnival spring break cruise. In fact, our 20 year old received a kiddy ship card (the ones with the holes punched in them). He reported being watched like a hawk when sitting across the table from his brother who was enjoying a drink in one of the late night clubs. The staff on Royal Caribbean definitely do not turn a blind eye to underage drinking, which is great for the rest of us! We loved our time on board Freedom of the Seas - the meals in the main dining room were very good and the service was outstanding. We ate at Portofino's one evening and, while it was good, you really pay the premium for the ambiance and privacy rather than the quality of food. What truly delighted us was the quality of entertainment onboard. The lead female singer (Patti) was an exceptionally talented performer who would silence all those nasty "cruise ship performer" jokes. And the skating show was well worth standing in line the first morning to get tickets. The tickets are only offered once, so you must line up for all the performances held that week. That said, if you show up without a ticket there are rush seats available when ticket holders don't show up. To those of you who complain about poolside chair hogs - just ask the person in the next chair if someone has been in the empty chair in the last half hour. If they say no, move their stuff and sit down! They know the rules as well as you do. I had to use the medical facilities on board so beware that no medical insurance is accepted on board, even if your travel insurance company assures you that they have a pre-existing arrangement with Royal Caribbean. You must pay up front for services and then get reimbursed by your travel insurance company. Apart from that, the staff was very helpful. I was happy to see that when a young man came rushing into the medical office after a day of drinking in Cozumel and threw up all over the place, a veritable swat team descended with a special kit to clean up the mess. I really think the secret to disembarkation is to schedule a late flight, eat a relaxed breakfast in the dining room, and leave late. No lines, no rush. I would not, however, count on a rental car again to return to Orlando. We got the last car at the Avis location, leaving behind numerous passengers, even loyalty club members with reserved cars. This problem is not unique to Avis. The rental car companies count on people arriving from Orlando airport on outgoing cruises to bring the cars to Port Canaveral. Take a taxi or shuttle back to Orlando! Read Less
Sail Date March 2010
My husband and I had a fabulous time on the Glory. I surprised him and booked a suite, instead of the inside cabin that he thought we would have. When we arrived at Port Canaveral, I was very happy that we did upgrade. It was about 12:00 ... Read More
My husband and I had a fabulous time on the Glory. I surprised him and booked a suite, instead of the inside cabin that he thought we would have. When we arrived at Port Canaveral, I was very happy that we did upgrade. It was about 12:00 noon, and the regular line was soooo long. But, we zipped right through the VIP registration line, and we were on the ship in less than 10 minutes. We had to wait awhile for our cabin, so we went to the Red Sail Restaurant for lunch. I tell you people get crazy our buffets, so be careful. You'll probably find all the tables taken in the front of the restaurant, but just keep going back, or better yet go upstairs, hardly anyone was up there. Plus, the seafood restaurant is upstairs, and they have some fantastic fish & chips, calamari/onion fritters, and awesome bouillabaisse. There is a good asian counter, as well on the first floor. Later in the week, I had the chicken and mushroom dish, and the soup (which I added some of the jalepeno vinegar and soy sauce, so it was like a hot sour soup). We purchased a soda card ($46), and my husband and I were able to share it all week. The bartenders never compare your sign & sail card to the soda card. There's also free iced tea and punch, as well as coffee. After about an hour, we went to our cabin. My husband still didn't know that I had upgraded to a suite. The look on his face was priceless when he opened the door. He said, "Oh my God, what have you done!!!" I was smiling from ear to ear. The suite was magnificent. If you can afford it, go for it. It's about twice the size of a regular room. Two huge windows and the door looking out to the balcony. The king size bed is very comfy, and the couch makes out to a bed, if you have a 3d person. Tons of storage space. There's a dressing room, and the bathroom is awesome!! Jacuzzi bathtub, two sinks, and marble everything, so roomy and sooo nice. I had ordered a bottle of champagne, and we sipped champagne out on the balcony, as we set sail, and watched the horizon fade into the distance. That will be a memory that sticks with me forever. The muster drill (which was before we set sail) was uneventful, but wait awhile before you go to your designated area. It is sooo hot, and if you get there early, you'll be stuck in the back with tons of people smashing you against the wall. FOOD: Overall the food was very good. We dined at 8:15 in the Golden Dining Room (table 183) on the main floor. This was a good location, as the waiters do little song and dance shows almost each night, and they're entertaining to watch. Mr. Veeeeee......the Maitre' Deeeeeeeeeeee .... is quite a character too. The chocolate melting cake is wonderful, and I'm not really a chocoholic. Our head waiter was Cesar and his assistant was Louie, both were wonderful. I brought wine on board, and he never charged me a corkage fee. Best yet, we dined at the Emerald Room Supper Club one night, and the steaks were the best we ever had!!! I had the filet mignon and my husband had the prime rib roast. He's a big steak guy, and he said it was the absolutely best steak he'd ever had. Be careful though, with all the appetizers, salads and stuff ... I was full b/f they brought my main course. BTW, you can order as much as you want, several appetizers, salads, soups ... probably entrees too .... but we were so full, we couldn't even finish ours. Don't forget about the free room service. We had pre-breakfast coffee, tea, and croissants on our balcony almost every morning, then we go to the Platinum Dining Room for breakfast. Room service also offered lots of different sandwiches and salads which were wonderful when I returned form scuba diving and was starving to death. The hamburger/hot dog counter provided quick service, and they were very good. The pizza counter was also quick, and the pizzas were very typically Italian in nature - great crust. The de chevre pizza was my favorite (goat cheese and mushrooms). Both hamburger stand and pizza counter are in the back of the ship, Deck 9. LAYOUT - I'd studied the layout before we arrived. I would highly recommend a review of the layout, b/c you can only go from one end of the ship to the other on Deck 5, maybe Deck 2 too. The best way to navigate is use your Deck and just go down to whichever area of the ship you wish to visit. There are 3 sets of elevators, back, middle, and front - so this is the best way to get around. For example, we were in the front of the ship, so I would just walk all the way down the hallway in Deck 7, go up 2 floors, out the door, and there was the pizza, hamburger, and ice cream stations. Plus, that's where the adult pool is, much quieter than the main pool area. BARS/ENTERTAINMENT - My husband and I are not late night people. We only made one show, the Illusionist (don't remember his name, but he was great!!) However, I did attend a wine tasting in the Emerald Supper Club (cost $10) with 5 different wines to sample. Lots of fun, and I learned a lot. Also, I attended an art auction. They give you a couple glasses of free champagne. Very interesting - they actually have paintings by Marc Chagall, Picasso, Rembrandt, and other big names. Someone actually paid $72K for a Picasso - way outside my budget. The lobby bar and entertainment were wonderful. There was a classical music ensemble, and a very talented duo who sang romantic songs in the evening. It was wonderful b/c we were close to the elevators, and the beautiful music wafted up through the atrium to our room. I would just lie in bed w/a glass of wine, and be lulled to sleep by the wonderful music. EXCURSIONS - I'll write a separate review of these; however, I booked all my excursions through Carnival - scuba diving in Cozumel, Belize, and Honduras, and the Jeep Tour Adventure in Freeport, Bahamas. I would highly recommend the diving through Carnival - wonderful vendors. DEBARKATION - very smooth! We were # 7, and we were off the ship by 7:45, on the shuttle bus by 7:55, and off to Orlando by a little after 8. Good luck everyone!! I'm so jealous b/c you're going to have a great!!! time! Christine Read Less
Sail Date June 2008
This was our 7th cruise (5th on Carnival). We took this cruise as a long weekend get away and it was perfect. I will be brief with the details. We flew into Orlando and had prebooked a sedan to take us to the hotel. We got the car through ... Read More
This was our 7th cruise (5th on Carnival). We took this cruise as a long weekend get away and it was perfect. I will be brief with the details. We flew into Orlando and had prebooked a sedan to take us to the hotel. We got the car through Florida Tours and were very pleased with their service. We came in a day early and stayed at the Radisson Resort at the Port (this was our 3rd stay there). I would highly recommend this hotel. The staff is great as are the amenities. You can call them in advance and get set up for the shuttle you want to take to the port. We were on the 10:30 a.m. shuttle and on the ship by noon. This ship underwent updates a few years ago and it looks great. Yes, purple is the predominate color but the ship itself doesn't show it's age. We only ate in the dining room one night but it was very good and the service was great. Only saw one show too - the last night - and I've got to say that the sets and costumes as well as the caliber of talent was excellent. Yes, some of the dancer's outfits expose their buttocks but hey, if I had a butt like that.... well anyway, I was not offended and rather impressed with the show. I had a spa treatment and was pleasantly surprised by the updated spa room. Yes, my technician asked me about purchasing products after my treatment but when I said I wasn't interested, did not push it. On Nassau, we booked direct with Stuart Cove's a snorkel trip for $42 per person. We went to 3 spots, the first at Goulden Caye was an excellent spot - great marine life. The second was basically a sunken plane but the third was outstanding - we snorkeled with reef sharks! They got within a couple of feet of us. It was amazing. Debarkation was smooth - crowded - but that's to be expected. Our car was waiting for us when we got off the ship so other than not wanting it to be over, life was good. I would high recommend this ship and this cruise for first timers to get their feet wet with cruising or anyone just wanting a quick get away! Read Less
Sail Date October 2007
This was my first cruise ever. I am a divorced 49 year old male who went with my girlfriend. First I want to be fair and say, in general, I had a good time. However, I will add the following based on my experience and speaking to fellow ... Read More
This was my first cruise ever. I am a divorced 49 year old male who went with my girlfriend. First I want to be fair and say, in general, I had a good time. However, I will add the following based on my experience and speaking to fellow Carnival passengers with previous Carnival experience. I had no major problems getting onboard with only my drivers license and certified birth certificate. There was a computer glitch on this trip that held other passengers out of their cabins for over four hours. These Carnival employees were helpful and friendly. Once onboard our luggage was to be delivered to our room in approximately four hours. All of it came except for one suitcase. The missing suitcase was reported to my room steward who did nothing to retrieve it or even ask if I found it at all the entire trip. The suitcase showed up 8 hours after departure at the pursers desk by a man dropping the suitcase and disappearing. My girlfriend happened to be there at the time in line. We don't know if he was an employee of Carnival or not. The next morning I found this suitcase to have been opened and gone through as if someone were looking for something. They removed 2 1/2 pairs of socks. I complained to the purser and got a letter of apology. Not horrible, but upsetting. The ship itself was fine. The cabin was clean, although a couple of times we had to ask the room steward for ice and beach towels. The food was okay, nothing spectacular. We went to a couple of shows that were fun. I'm not big on shows so I won't say anything negative here. Our first stop was at Key West. A short but sweet stop. I'll go back again someday. I liked it there. We went on one Carnival excursion at Belize to snorkel. That was a lot of fun. The boat was nice and the crew was very friendly and helpful. Belize City was a tourist trap and I won't go back there ever again. In fact, I'll write elsewhere about that one but here I'll add a warning: "Don't go outside the gates at Belize City!" We didn't use the pools because they were generally crowded with children. I'm not complaining here either, just stating a fact. We didn't use the hot tubs for somewhat the same reason. I'm amazed at adults who bring infants into public hot tubs with diapers on. We went to one formal dinner. Again, not my thing. I'm not about getting dressed up on vacation. However, our waiter, Frederick and his female assistant, no name unfortunately, were outstanding. Everything was served in a highly professional and enjoyable fashion. They were the best employee experience of the whole cruise. The band "Simple Friends" were great. Pictures were taken every night at dinner and daily, as you left the ship at port. We really enjoyed the onboard casino because we won more than we lost. Cozumel was another good stop on this cruise. I really enjoyed this port because of the snorkeling at Chankanaab park. Great place to go. Cozumel was a fun inviting city as well. Progresso was the final port and it was disappointing in that there's really nothing to do. Another tourist trap. I will mention this as well speaking to the cruise ship part. On the outside decks there seemed to be a "who cares" attitude with cleanliness, waiting on you both, at the bars, and even coming around to take an order for anything. The same of the decks around our room, generally dirty, trash left on the floor from the previous night. The crew was either intimidated, being young and predominantly of foreign decent, or out of touch. All in all Carnival was okay. After talking and comparing notes with other passengers, veterans of Carnival say that Carnival has gone downhill and some even indicated this will be their last Carnival cruise. I will try someone else next time. I wasn't impressed enough by either the cruise line or the ports to do this again. I'd go back to Key West and Cozumel again anytime. I hope this will be helpful to anyone going on a cruise for the first time. Read Less
Sail Date April 2005
This was my second cruise. It was fabulous. My husband, brother, and 2 friends went and we had the time of our lives. I'm going to hit on everything, I hope that it is helpful. Arrival: We sailed on Sunday, 10-10-04. We arrived at ... Read More
This was my second cruise. It was fabulous. My husband, brother, and 2 friends went and we had the time of our lives. I'm going to hit on everything, I hope that it is helpful. Arrival: We sailed on Sunday, 10-10-04. We arrived at Orlando international Airport on Saturday 10-9-04. We had a transportation service (I wont tell you the name, they were horrible) to take us to Titusville (Radisson), DON'T DO THAT EITHER! The real fun began the morning of our sail. We arrived at the port about 1:30pm. Embarkation was excellent. We gave our luggage to the gentlemen in the parking (Make sure your tags are on) I would suggest you give him everything that you don't want to carry around, just in case your cabin isn't ready. SHIP: We got on the ship, and luckily were able to go right to our cabin. We had a large oceanview room (no balcony). The room was great. It was large enough for me, and I love space. The bathrooms had space as well. I loved the hand held showers heads. You can set them in place or grab them, that helps. We then went to tour the ship. Oh how lovely. First we went to the dining room because somehow we were not seated together. It was immediately and easily taken care of. Excellent staff. We then toured the casino (our personal favorite place in the world). For gamblers they have: Blackjack, Roulette, 3-card Poker, Caribbean Stud, Craps and of Course Slots galore. I will admit that most of my time was spent in the casino. What I loved though was that I did leave to go to the other events like the Quest (a must do), American Idol Search (Real fun), Bingo (Love Bingo Spice), Love & Marriage (My husband and I participated. We had fun, but he said a few things about my head that almost had him sleeping on the deck, I'll leave it there).  We also did some of the Trivia games, etc. We even got to watch a couple of NFL football games. We never got around to making reservations for the ice show, but I didn't feel short changed. If we would have made it, fine, if not, fine. We are smokers (I know), and got a little nervous when we asked about smoking rooms. No room on a cruise ship is smoking (duh!) What our cabin attendant did was give us an ashtray and requested that we only smoke in the bathroom, so that the entire room did not smell of cigarettes. We were happy, but soon found out that we were rarely in our room anyway. DINING: The Dining experience (outside of the casino) was our favorite time. Our Waiter, Asst. Waiter, and Head Waiter were excellent. The food, despite what you may hear, was excellent, and the service, I just can't say enough. I would suggest that you bring at least 2 dressy outfits. I think we had about 2-3 Formal nights. Don't fret, you can go back to the room and change and head for the rest of your activities. PORTS OF CALL: The 1st Port is Lambadee. This little island was nice. We enjoyed the music, and the beach was nice (I'm not a big water sport person) but I did walk the beach. We then did a little souvenir shopping. Never settle for the price offered, you can get the stuff much cheaper. Keep bargaining. The Haitians can be pushy to get you to purchase their items. That almost made it a pain. But I bought what I wanted and then ran back to the ship. Ochos Rios, Jamaica - We did the Dunn's River Falls Tour. We didn't actually go in the Falls, but we walked right beside it. We also spent some time on the beach. This is truly a lovely place. Conzumel - We did the Mayan Ruins Excursion ($75, I didn't think it was worth it) My girlfriend loved it though. I could have gone on my own, did a little shopping and got back on the ship. To each his own. We didn't go the Caymen's due to the hurricane. The days at sea were my favorite. Well needless to say, the last night has to be one of the most depressing nights of your life. I'm still not quite over leaving. Royal Caribbean and Cruising in general is the best money you'll ever spend. I've already planned for next year. I would truly suggest you get on board. Read Less
Sail Date October 2004

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