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  Cruise Ship Reviews : Carnival Cruise Lines Reviews

Carnival Freedom reviews


Carnival Freedom reviews

Average customer rating:
    3.35 / 5

Average Rating based on 12 Reviews:
Value For MoneyValue For Money = 3.423.42
Cabin DesignCabin Design = 4.174.17
EntertainmentEntertainment = 2.832.83
Fitness CenterFitness Center = 3.173.17
Food QualityFood Quality = 3.003.00
Ship MaintenanceShip Maintenance = 4.084.08
SpaSpa = 3.003.00
Specialty RestaurantSpecialty Restaurant = 2.002.00
Staff and ServiceStaff and Service = 3.003.00




Carnival Freedom itineraries and information



OMGReally saw things this way:
Value For MoneyValue For Money = 11
Cabin DesignCabin Design = 55
EntertainmentEntertainment = 11
Food QualityFood Quality = 11
Ship MaintenanceShip Maintenance = 22
SpaSpa = 11
Specialty RestaurantSpecialty Restaurant = 11
Staff and ServiceStaff and Service = 11
OMG Really... Are You Kidding Me?, October 4, 2016
Reviewer: OMGReally

Pros: See Review

Cons: See Review

Departure port: Galveston Texas

Region visited: Caribbean - Western

Cabin category: Suite

Cabin number: 7288

Short Version
Like a herd of African animals of your choice, if you enjoy following 2,500 of your best new friends, with no deviations, no customer service and no method of dealing with trip challenges or exceptions, you will love this cruise ship and cruise line.

If by chance you want to deviate from the factory conveyor belt offerings like eating a nice meal in your room with your wife / husband / significant other; or you desire not to spend a good chunk of your trip standing in some customer service line waiting for something or someone; or you do not want to waste half of your trip attempting to get someone on the ship to actually answer their telephone; this cruise ship and cruise line is not for you.

We attempted to request and then purchase a nice romantic meal in our room because we brought some high-end champagne onboard and just could not get it done. We were actually willing to pay someone a tip of $100 to make it happen and the crew of this ship and Carnival Cruise Line are just not set up to provide anything but the bare basics of customer requests or customer service.

Customer service is just something they talk about onboard or over the telephone; not something they can actually do. To add injury to insult; the cruise line is so separated from their customer base and their needs and so into making sure they keep any and all profits that when something goes very wrong on your cruise -- like a bus breaking down on an excursion and three buses of people now have to fit into two physical buses and you get to sit in the stairwell of your bus for 1.75 hrs on a moon-cratered single lane dirt road -- Carnival Ccruise Line will not support you in any way shape or form. In fact, they will come right out and tell you that they have provided the service and will not refund any amount of the original cost. Buyer be very aware when dealing with this ship and cruise line.

Long Version
Embarkation was perfect. Twenty minutes from the car into the ship although we may have had an advantage because we purchased a Grand Suite and therefore had faster access than some standing in long lines. There were in fact very long lines in Galveston; we are not sure how long it took people in those lines to get onto the ship and into their cabins.

Getting into Room
Getting into our room was also perfect. We were onboard at 12:30 p.m., eating a small lunch and were into our room by 1:45p.m.

Bags
Getting our two bags was also perfect; one bag showing up before we arrived in out room at 1:45p.m. and the other about two hours after. They did remove a bottle of saline solution from my bag which was needed for medical purposes. They gave no notice as to why this was done and no card that the item was even removed from my bag. I very much needed this saline solution for important medical reasons. This turned out to be a huge waste of my vacation time going forward attempting to get Carnival to right this wrong. Getting them to replace this bottle of saline solution tuned into a 5+ hr ordeal and a waste of my vacation time. FYI, they charge $12.50 onboard for a miniature bottle of saline that would cost $3 at a Walgreens or CVS.

Food
Food was average to better than average. The food at the buffets and restaurants we went to was always hot and mostly flavorful. The cake is all the same no matter what flavor you think it is. They must add some small flavoring at the end of the prep or baking cycle to make a cake chocolate cake or an orange cake but in the end, they all taste like sugar.

Maintenance
Maintenance on this ship is just awful. Our Grand Suite Cabin 7288 had various challenges including a small refrigerator that was not working. Since we brought some high end champagne with us on the cruise, we needed to get this fixed ASAP to chill the champagne. This turned into another 5-10+ hr ordeal as the staff on this ship and their management are just not set up to handle hiccups of any type and I do mean ANY type.

Calling for help or Support while on the ship
Getting help or support over the telephone was just downright embarrassing for Carnival Cruise Lines. It was so bad that I actually thought that it was a master design so that the staff did not have to actually deal with any problems their customers might have while on their cruise. Here is how the design works. You need to ask a question or get supported in some way. You pick up the telephone and call any number on the telephone and no one answers. You wait 10 mins; 20 mins; 30 mins; 40 mins and finally at 60 mins (No Joke) you just give up and go down stairs to try to find a human being to help you.

When you do find someone, they either won’t help you or just can’t help you. They point you to the Customer Service desk and tell you to speak to someone at the customer service desk. You arrive at the customer service desk to find two to three Carnival staff members working at the desk and a line of 20-30+ customers waiting to speak to someone. This happens each and every day of your cruise. I must say I am very embarrassed for Carnival Cruise Lines and the Carnival Freedom staff that any of their customers, not to mention the ones who pay $3,200 for a Grand Suite, have to spend so many hours standing in a line just to ask a question or get something fixed. Just awful customer service. Walmart customer service is several steps above Carnival if you can believe that.

Water
We purchased mineral water direct from Carnival Cruise before we left on our trip. The water was in our room when we arrived at 1:45 p.m on day-1. The first night we wanted to open up a bottle and have a drink. Searching high and low, everywhere in the cabin, we were unable to locate a bottle opener. Once again on the phone for one hour plus and then downstairs again yet for another hour attempting to find out how we should open up our water. We were actually told by the Carnival staff… Wait for it…. Wait for it…  that they do not include bottle openers in their cabins and that if we wanted to open our water we could call housekeeping or room service and they would send someone up to the cabin to open the water. I asked them how that would happen since no one ever answers their telephone.

I also asked them why they sell water on their website that none of their customer would be able to open. I got a perplexed puzzled look from a group of Carnival staff members but no answers. When this occurred I then knew the type of company I was cruising with and just gave up. Imagine purchasing water from the cruise line and then not being able to open it up once onboard. I ended up paying a bar tender $25 for his opener for the remainder of the cruise. Carnival staff did absolutely nothing to correct the problem.

Excursions
We purchased the Croydon Plantation excursion directly from Carnival. The Croydon Plantation staff must have messed up on the total count of people who elected to take this trip because there was a mad rush to hire a third bus on the fly to accommodate all of the people. As lady luck would have it, we ended up on the third bus. The trip started 1.25 hrs later than the scheduled time because they just could not transport all of the people they had without another bus. Keep this in mind when reading the rest of the story. After the plantation, which was actually fun, we started back to the ship and no less than 4 minutes after departing the plantation, that third bus -- the one we were on -- overheated and broke down in the middle of a small stream that crosses over the single lane road, which has moon-like craters every 10 - 15 feet. After about 30 minutes, we got the privilege of walking into the stream to help push the bus out of the water and into someone’s driveway which was up a muddy dirt hill. Heavy bus up a muddy dirt hill - Nice. Remember that as you read forward. Now we have a mass of people from three buses trying to fit into two physical buses. No attempt to request another bus or additional transportation. I got the hard floor of the stairwell of the bus and believe you me, this road is 1.45+ hrs back to the ship with potholes the size of small VW beetles. This was a back-breaking trip to be sure as we were sitting on the hard floor of the stairwell with no AC because the bus was so overloaded they did not want this bus to overheat.

Not wanting to stand in yet another 2-3 hr long line at cruise ship customer service desk when we did get back to the ship, I elected to wait to contact Carnival Cruise Line to request some type of refund for this excursion. When I was back home, I contacted Carnival and they researched the event and came back to me about four hours later and stated that they felt they had provided the excursion as described on their website and that they would not be offering any type of refund; not even a 10% discount for the trauma on our backs.

This should tell you about the company you are dealing with. They simply want your money; they charge you for breathing air on the ship and when they or their excursion partners cannot perform what they should be doing and what you have paid for; they won’t even make a gesture to refund some portion of your money. Take this excursion at your own risk. You may not make it back to the ship on time!

Special Requests
The Freedom crew and Carnival Cruise Line… not sure which in the case, are simply unable to accommodate any type of basic request or special request that goes against their conveyor belt type customer service mentality. My wife and I wanted to enjoy a nice meal in our room with our high end champagne that we brought onboard. At each point we were told they could not do it. Then we started offering to pay an extra $100 tip to get it done. Nope, no can do. Then we were told by the steak restaurant who charge an extra $35 a plate that we could come into their restaurant and eat our salad and vegetables then they could send the steaks with us back to our cabin. I ask them if they were serious and if this was a candid camera type moment and the cruise director, who was very funny, was going to show us on the big screen the next day. Nope… They were dead serious.

Benefits for purchasing a Suite
None. Nada. Nothing. Zero. Bupkiss. Zippo.
Unless you actually want a suite, which we did, don’t waste your money on a suite thinking you are going to get some better treatment or customer service. You’re not. Not even if you attempt to pay extra for it.

Since our cruise has completed we have had several e-mails regarding discounts for our next cruise with Carnival. Um….It is our opinion that Carnival Cruise is not actually a refined cruise line but rather an expensive floating public bus service. Do yourself a big favor. Save your vacation; save your money; mitigate vacation challenges and just fly to your destination or take a more refined cruise line.

Many of you have read my balanced reviews of various hotels in the Mexican Riviera and I believe I am pretty neutral and open minded in my positions. That said, I have many other things I could share with you about our experience on our cruise to you “the readers” however it is just far easier for me to just say; “Carnival Cruise Lines is nothing short of a joke. Purchase tickets on their ships at your own risk, not for the money or value you might or might not receive but rather for the wasted vacation time you just lost. Vacation days are just too hard to come by to gamble them away with Carnival Cruise Lines or the Carnival Freedom.”


Beverly6553 saw things this way:
Value For MoneyValue For Money = 44
Cabin DesignCabin Design = 44
EntertainmentEntertainment = 11
Fitness CenterFitness Center = 33
Food QualityFood Quality = 33
Ship MaintenanceShip Maintenance = 55
Staff and ServiceStaff and Service = 44
Very disappointed, May 26, 2016
Reviewer: Beverly6553

Pros: Staff was great

Cons: Entertainment

Departure port: Galveston

Region visited: Caribbean - Western

Cabin category: Balcony

I have been on three other carnival cruises, and this was by far the most disappointing. We are not drinkers or gamblers, so there was not very much for us to do! The entertainment shows were geared for late teens or early twenties. I fell asleep during the two that we went to. The comics on board at the beginning of the cruise were great, but the ones at the end...well, not so much!

The food was definitely lacking in variety. The buffet on the lido deck seemed to have much of the same food daily. Of course, there's Guy's Burgers (yum), burrito bar, and the Mongolian wok, but these are only available for lunch. There's always pizza :) The food selections in the main dining room were not very interesting - of course, you have to have the chocolate melting cake! I guess it is what it is!

Our cabin was nice and the balcony was well worth our money. Overall, we had a good time, just disappointed in the entertainment and food. We will book our next cruise on another ship.


reford saw things this way:
Value For MoneyValue For Money = 55
Cabin DesignCabin Design = 55
EntertainmentEntertainment = 55
Food QualityFood Quality = 44
Ship MaintenanceShip Maintenance = 55
Staff and ServiceStaff and Service = 55
Ignore the haters, a cruise is what you make of it...and this one rocked!, April 16, 2015
Reviewer: reford

Pros: Fun, friendly staff, great performers, clean ship, near home, beautiful ports

Cons: Food was average for a cruise, service in main dining room a little slow

Date of cruise: April 4, 2015

Departure port: Galveston

Region visited: Mexico

Cabin category: Balcony

Cabin number: 7371

Good for children: Yes

Good for teenagers: Yes

I'm a seasoned cruiser of 20 years, with 10+ Carnival cruises, 4 RCLs and a NCL under my belt. Knew what I was getting into when booking this cruise out of Galveston around spring break: lots of families and lots of college kids. Booked a balcony to be sure I'd always have a chair with a quiet view of the ocean. Ironically, I spent less time out on the balcony than I anticipated, due to there being SO many things to do on the ship!

We arrived later than we usually do to embark in Galveston (around 12:30), and the lines were long and the Galveston port staff seemed a bit mystified about how to set up additional lines to speed up the process, but they finally figured it out. We were onboard around 1:45. Next time I will get a FTTF (Faster to the Fun) pass before they sell out!

We had enough time to drop off our carry-on items in our room, which was ready and waiting, and to get a quick bite to eat at the buffet before muster station drill. It's outside but they had some fans blowing air downward so although it was mid 70s-approaching 80 degrees, we weren't overly hot. It was cramped as usual, and there was about 45 minutes of standing around before the drill started, and it only lasted maybe 10 minutes, tops. Then as per the usual, it took forever to get back to our room to watch our sailaway from the balcony.

Our group had Your Time Dining which was awesome! We would get there early and be put on a list, and right at 5:45 we'd immediately be seated at a table for just us. I'm socially awkward and my hearing isn't great, so this was much more comfortable than being seated with strangers at a huge table. After the first night, we requested to be seated in our original waiter's area and they were happy to accommodate. We found him (Fernando) very charming and hospitable but service was slow.

On subsequent nights we tried two different areas but found the wait time between courses a bit slow everywhere. Two of the nights we ate in the MDR, the wait staff performed a song and dance for us, and you'd think they'd hate that after a while, but everyone seemed to get into it and it was fun for us to see THEM having fun!

The food in the MDR -- I understand they recently switched over to an "Americanized menu" and it was just okay for me. I missed the wider variety of soups they used to offer, and a few nights there just wasn't an entree that looked appealing, but that was okay: it got me to request the first of two amazing nights of ordering steak from the steakhouse for the $20 upcharge. So. Worth it. Two of the best steaks I've ever eaten, and I'm from Louisiana -- we know food -- this is no exaggeration, they were amazing, both the NY strip and the filet mingon. My friend had the Surf 'n' Turf and said it was equally amazing. Of course, you have to do the chocolate melting cake at least once. I tried two other desserts and they were just so-so.

Before leaving the subject of food: As usual, the breakfasts on Lido were my favorite meal of the day. Be sure you get your eggs cooked freshly at one of the omelette stations (whether you want an omelet or fried eggs -- it sure beats the powdery-tasting scrambled eggs on the buffet). Ask for grits on the main buffet line -- you can't serve yourself anymore. The breakfast pastries were always stale, but that didn't stop my 14-year-old from enjoying them daily. ;)

We did Guy's Burger Joint a couple of times for lunch -- fantastic burgers and fries! Lunches in the Lido buffet were average cafeteria food and, honestly, I'd rate their suppers there about the same. Desserts at the Lido buffet weren't anywhere as good as they've been in the past, but 24-hour soft-serve ice cream more than makes up for it!

Not a pizza person but my companions said the pizza was great, it was a thinner crust and they said it was delicious. Sometimes they had to wait for them to make it, but it didn't take that long and of course the plus side is the pizza is fresh!

We also enjoyed turkey sandwiches from the deli window (very good) and room service (love those BLTs!). Didn't get a chance to try fish 'n' chips or the stir-fry.

Okay, so...besides eating...

We did the Roatan, Belize, and Cozumel itinerary, so we started off with two full sea days, followed by those three ports, and then one last sea day. Mixed feelings on back-to-back-to-back port days -- it was tiring. But whether you were at sea or in port, there was always something to do on the ship.

Our cruise director was Jen, and she is a fiery red-head with questionable fashion sense but a huge personality! She was EVERYWHERE on the ship seemingly at the same time! Not sure how she does it, but let's just say we saw her at the coffee bar more than once. ;) She is very positive, bubbly, and approachable, and her passion for getting every last bit of fun out of your trip totally set the tone of the vacation for us. She made us want to do everything onboard and we gave it our best!

There was always some kind of trivia going on (like 80s songs, and Disney songs), there was the usual hairy chest contest and the Love & Marriage game show, there was tea time in the dining room on sea days (my friend who has done tea at several places in her home state said this wasn't any comparison to a real tea, but it gave us the chance to try some different teas and desserts and to chat with different people). Of course, there was bingo but they didn't do it before every single show in the theater like in past cruises.

We about broke even on the penny slots at the casino for the week (not bad), and there were PG and R rated comedians at night -- get there early for good seats! They had a couple of sessions of karaoke and the guest talent show on the last night was a lot of fun...two great singers capped off the night (one, we were told afterward, was a professional singer and actor).

So, for the performers onboard, first, the bad: The singer in the main lobby bar was pretty awful. Bless her heart, she had a heavy accent (maybe Russian?) but was one step shy of being tone-deaf, and it seemed like she was in there singing every time we went in there. Because it's an open-air atrium, the caterwauling was "enjoyed" by three floors' worth of people. Yikes.

Then there was the one and only comedian we saw, who went off on a couple who were translating his performance with sign language before he realized what they were doing (he thought they were messing with him) and this resulted in a *very* uncomfortable show.

Now, the good about the onboard performers: EVERYTHING ELSE. No, seriously, everything else was fantastic! The band who played outside the casino was great (there's a young guitarist who's phenomenal), the piano bar guy (Jeremy Ray Borders) in the words of my BFF, "ought to be playing in Carnegie Hall, he's so good," and the Playlist Productions singers and dancers were SUPERB. Their choreography was tight, the video screens added to the ambience rather than distracting from it, the props guys who would come in and lay out treadmills and platforms and pianos and bars were fast and virtually unnoticeable, the section of the stage that would sink down or come up (whatever the professional name for this is) always surprised us, the techno effects were fun, and all four of the shows were just the right length (if not a little too short!) and just really performed well. 80s Pop to the Max and 88 Keys were hands-down my group's favorites, while Heart of Soul and Getaway Island were still very good.

I have to give a huge shout-out to Aaron, who was the "featured performer" in 88 Keys, and who also totally rocked 80s Pop to the Max -- this guy is not only a fantastic singer but is hawt. I'm just saying. ;) Wish he had a FB page or something, because he made total fangirls of me and my BFF.

On to the areas of the ship: Our cabin was pretty much the standard size for Carnival balconies, plenty of storage space, the fridge comes locked but we had the room steward unlock it for us, and we asked for an ice bucket and gave our steward $20 on the first day to make sure it was kept full of ice -- which he did! Be sure you bring a multiplug outlet because there's only ONE outlet in the room. Hair dryer's provided. We were glad we brought a desk-size fan because the room could get a little warm, probably due to the balcony glass window.

We had a good deal of frustration in navigating from bow to stern because some of the decks don't "cut through" -- you have to go up a floor, walk a way, then catch the next elevator down. Have heard this is because the galley is mid-ship. Trying to remember which elevator to take to avoid getting stuck was a challenge, but I'm middle-aged, it's probably just me.

The casino was smoky no matter if you were in a non-smoking area or not, and the smoke would extend way past the casino, throughout much of that deck. Didn't bother me terribly, but my friend, who's pretty sensitive to the smoke, hated it and would try to avoid that whole area of the ship.

The 70s disco was a fun place to people-watch. Some people really can't hold their liquor, lol! Next door was the piano bar, and this was my first cruise to really go in one of those, and as I mentioned before, there was a top-notch pianist on our cruise so we really enjoyed this area. The International Lounge was next to the piano bar and it was used for karaoke and the comedians. It had a lot of seating with a view of the stage, versus the last ship I sailed on (the Sunshine).

We enjoyed the kid-free Serenity areas, and the round wicker "beds" were a great place to hang out and talk at night, and enjoy the fresh air in QUIET.

They had movies on the big screen by the pool every night, with popcorn provided, but we were too busy with inside entertainment!

Deck chair hogs were in full effect. If you schedule an excursion later in the day, you can sleep in and still get a chair by the pool!

There were spa specials on port days (along the lines of, choose 5 or 7 from a select list of services for $99 or $129). Their spa also is free to use the steam room, sauna, whirlpool, and bigger showers than in your cabin.

My daughter is in the Club O2 age group at 14, and mostly the kids used it as a meeting place to get together before going somewhere else as a group. I noticed they have the smallish outdoor play equipment for young kids, and they did a character breakfast with Cat in the Hat and Thing One and Thing Two.

I won't go into detail here, as requested, on the ports of call.

Freedom had a $5/day social media internet access package that we couldn't pass up. I had mixed feelings on signing up for it, because I work online and was looking forward to being completely off the 'net for a week...but I have some family members with health issues, and I left a teenager at home with the grandparents, so I felt staying in touch for $5/day was well worth it.

Psst, don't tell Carnival this, but... in hindsight, I'd pay 4 times that, because I was able to text via iMessage (iPhones only), get on Facebook, and use FB Messenger. Unlike the old "internet cafe" system, I was able to share pics with friends and family in real time as long as I was on the ship. Internet access was everywhere onboard, although sending pics was slow -- plain text was very quick.

Debarkation was either a breeze or a nightmare depending on whether you did the self-assist and then drove, or if you had them take your luggage the night before and then you had to get on a bus.

Here's what you want to do: Self-debark, get up early, and haul your stuff to the lower floor (deck 3) of the Victoriana theater. (It doesn't matter on what floor your cabin's located.) Deck 3 is where the gangway is, and they won't let you hang out in the lobby, but the Victoriana is fair game until it's full, then they'll come across the PA system and tell people to STOP going to deck 3. So, get there early. The Victoriana people are let off the ship first! Once they let us go, we were off the ship, through customs, and out of the terminal within 20 minutes or so.

There are others who were on our sailing who've stayed in touch by social media and there were horror stories of being 3 hours to get off the ship, get luggage, go through customs, and onto a bus to get to the airport!

To sum up: We had a GREAT time on this cruise and would not only recommend it to others, but would get on it again tomorrow if we could afford to! As a veteran cruiser, please heed this advice: ANY cruise is only going to be as fun as you LET it be! If you are a nitpicky person with demanding needs and exacting standards, if you don't like over-the-top decor, a party atmosphere, and a lot of kids, you just don't need to be on a Carnival cruise. There are people who can find ANYTHING to gripe about, and these are just going to be miserable people no matter what kind of vacation they take.

Go into your Carnival cruise with the attitude that you're going to relax and have fun and not sweat the small stuff, and you will have a BLAST!


fooster saw things this way:
Value For MoneyValue For Money = 11
Cabin DesignCabin Design = 44
EntertainmentEntertainment = 11
Food QualityFood Quality = 11
Ship MaintenanceShip Maintenance = 44
Staff and ServiceStaff and Service = 22
Very disappointed, February 27, 2015
Reviewer: fooster

Pros: Room service excellent

Cons: Most of the food and service in main dining room

Date of cruise: March 2, 2015

Departure port: Ft Lauderdale

Cabin category: Balcony

Cabin number: 1111

Good for children: Yes

Good for teenagers: Yes

Done many cruises on Carnival and I'm not sure I'll go back. Food was terrible in dining room and buffets. Service in main dining room very poor, and long time in between courses. Was on the ship for 12 days and ended up eating baked potatoes many nights as the rest of the food was not good.

Rooms were clean and ship was clean. Entertainment except for the guitar players was horrible. I could find high school students that could do a better dance program. Bad food, bad entertainment and 12 days on a ship.


theblond00 saw things this way:
Value For MoneyValue For Money = 55
Cabin DesignCabin Design = 55
EntertainmentEntertainment = 22
Fitness CenterFitness Center = 33
Food QualityFood Quality = 44
Ship MaintenanceShip Maintenance = 55
Staff and ServiceStaff and Service = 44
Excellent cruise for the price!, February 21, 2014
Reviewer: theblond00

Pros: Clean ship, excellent staff, great price. Something for everyone.

Cons: Ship's layout is awful and confusing. Dinner staff overworked (28 per waiter)

Date of cruise: February 8, 2014

Departure port: Fort Lauderdale

Region visited: Caribbean - Eastern

Cabin category: Inside

Cabin number: 7292

Good for children: Yes

Good for teenagers: Yes

With 20 cruises under my belt I feel experienced in what a good cruise should be. Over the past years we have sailed on CCL, Princess, Holland, Celebrity, NCL and MSC. First off, NEVER sail on MSC. Great prices, horrible food and entertainment. Holland was great, but we were too young at the time to enjoy the experience. So, for the most part CCL and Princess are the choice lines for us.

We just got off the Freedom on Sunday. For the price we had a wonderful cruise BUT I do feel that little things are being cut for economic reasons.

Arriving at Fort Lauderdale around noon, there was little wait to get on the ship. Very smooth. Getting off at the end, also no problem. Earliest off around 7:30 a.m. Customs was also easy and finding your luggage was very well organized. (BTW , Air and Sea parking, a discount off site property was fabulous).

The layout of this ship is terrible. The galley is in the middle so you have to go up to go down, etc. The shops aren't great either. IF you decide to buy liquor on the ship, check the prices and take a photo of the prices offered on land. They will match the price ONLY with proof...otherwise be aware.

The waitstaff in the dining room had 28 folks to serve. Far too many to enjoy the same "pampered" experience of years ago. The buffet on the Lido deck served the same choices at all four stations when on past CCL cruises each station offered different ethnic choices which changed daily. You still have the pizza, deli and grill as choices so there is something for everyone.

A daily newsletter with world news used to come to the cabin, then only at reception, now none. The explanation is they are cutting back on paper waste. If that were true, then why so many daily flyers reminding passengers of "sales" and spa treatments and liquor/jewelry items offered for a price on the ship. Also, no longer do they "waste paper" on evaluation of the week's cruise which should aid CCL in determining what went right and wrong during the week so they could try to fix it.

The entertainment is great for those who went on CCL knowing it as a party ship. That it is. Drinking is everywhere. Hairy chest contest, etc., are not for everyone. As a retired more mature passenger, things are quite limited. The showroom entertainment really has gone downhill over the years. Now two nights are devoted to talent shows..one for staff and one for passengers. The XXX comedy show was good, but be prepared to go 45 minutes prior to get a seat.

They used to offer tours of the galley and bridge. Now, nothing. It was a huge part of the experience knowing how things ran and seeing for yourself how the kitchen works serving 4,000 people. What a shame.

The tv in the cabin had 28 channels, 14 of which were CCL related. They had the national ABC/NCC/CBS/CNN, a few cartoon channels, one or two Spanish and three movie channels (which showed Alvin and the Chipmunks DAILY).

I did take an excursion purchased on the ship called Captain Nautica's Ultimate Snorkel Expedition in St. Thomas. It was wonderful. Two locations, one hour each for snorkling. I saw at least 20 green turtles. (Remember to bring $$ for tips.) All other excursions we took on the pier. Local tours are much cheaper. The ONLY reason to take with the ship is that there is a guarantee that IF you are late, i.e. flat tire, the ship will wait for you OR if you are in an area that is known to not be safe.

We will sail CCL again knowing all that we do because we love the cheap getaways and pretty much do our own entertainment. One day we'll try RCL and see why they have such loyal customers. Until then, for the money, we will continue to have a good time.


marymarie saw things this way:
Value For MoneyValue For Money = 44
Cabin DesignCabin Design = 55
EntertainmentEntertainment = 55
Fitness CenterFitness Center = 33
Food QualityFood Quality = 44
Ship MaintenanceShip Maintenance = 44
SpaSpa = 33
Specialty RestaurantSpecialty Restaurant = 33
Staff and ServiceStaff and Service = 44
Great experience, food, fun and entertainment for the money., September 26, 2013
Reviewer: marymarie

Pros: Good food and entertainment.

Cons: Ship floor plan and layout -- difficult to navigate from one end to the other.

Date of cruise: September 15, 2013

Departure port: Ft. Lauderdale

Region visited: Caribbean - Western

Cabin category: Balcony

Cabin number: 7414

Good for children: Yes

Good for teenagers: Yes

Good value. As ship song and dance groups go this one was very good. Themes were good as well. Comedy club was always packed and hard to get in if you didn't arrive 20 minutes early to get a seat.

This floor plan is difficult. Tiered deck area around main pool. Most decks you can't go from one end to the other without going up a deck or two and then back down.

Photo area is terrible, noisy lounge below, pillars in the center of the walkway, stores with tables out front and then crowds trying to find and view their photos. No tables to lay photos out to compare. Lots of good backgrounds for photos on formal nights. $21.99/photo is ridiculous. Drop it to $10 and I'd buy 2x as many, put the Carnival Logo on it and it will be displayed in homes and offices equaling happy cruisers, good marketing of the cruise line and less wasted photos and Carnival still makes a profit. A no-brainer.

Best lounge group was a quartet that played most evenings in the Lobby, deck 3 forward. EXCELLENT - FUN and packed. Great to listen and great for dancing. Drinks are a bit pricey.

Good value on ponchos for ports when it is raining. Very clean ship with good service. Would cruise them again. We had adjoining rooms and decks which was great for our group.


BenBo saw things this way:
Value For MoneyValue For Money = 44
Cabin DesignCabin Design = 44
EntertainmentEntertainment = 44
Food QualityFood Quality = 55
Ship MaintenanceShip Maintenance = 44
Staff and ServiceStaff and Service = 55
Would love to do it again!!, April 18, 2012
Reviewer: BenBo

Pros: Staff was excellent. Fun was the theme of the cruise. Dining Room food was great

Cons: I spent more than I should have.

Date of cruise: April 1, 2012

Departure port: Port Everglades

Region visited: Caribbean - Western

Cabin category: Outside

Cabin number: 2308

Good for children: Yes

Good for teenagers: Yes

We set sail for our first family cruise on the Carnival Freedom on 04/01/12.

Boarding was efficient even if one got the feeling of being a part of an old west cattle call. The attendants were friendly and helpful getting us onto the boat in a very short time.

Our room was an outside cabin with a window and was definitely worth the upgrade. It had plenty of storage and was roomy enough for the four of us. If we had hung out in the room as a group it might have seemed crowded but for sleeping and getting ready for the day it was plenty big enough.

Our housekeeping staff was efficient, friendly and unobtrusive. Our room was cleaned pretty much every time we left it for any length of time. Eduardo and his team were great!

Dining for us was a pleasant experience each time we used the dining room. We had anytime seating and learned quickly to not eat at the normal times in order to cut down on the wait in line. We had different servers every night and were pleased with all.

The food in the dining room was excellent. The buffet I would rate as very good but not excellent. Breakfast was a little bit ordinary but the opportunity to have an omelet made to order redeemed it from getting a neutral rating from me. The pastries were all very good. We had no trouble finding seats and almost every time were able to get a table near a window.

The kids’ activities were great for us. My 10 year old loved Camp Carnival and made tons of new friends during the week
My 12 year old had a blast attending Circle C events and just hanging out with new friends. Both of my kids are extroverts (especially the 12 year old) and make friends pretty easily. If this isn't your child they may prefer to hang out with family and wear out the water slide and pool. Either way i have a hard time imagining pre-teens not having a good time on this cruise.

My wife and I caught 3 shows at the theater and really enjoyed each of them, especially the Beatles tribute. I'm not the kind of guy who would normally go to see a musical (unless it's a school play my kids are in) but I did enjoy each show that we went to.

We loved the two musicians who played the lobby on a regular basis. We never sat down to listen for any extended time but walking through and waiting in line for pictures or dining was enough for us to appreciate their talents. Also the big band guys that played in the Theatrical shows were absolutely great musicians. Charlie.... and the...... I can't remember his name or the name of the band but they were very good.

We spent almost no time in the Casino but if there was a negative for me it would be this. I'm not a gambler and have never been to Vegas or Atlantic City so maybe this is the norm but it appeared to me the slots are programmed to keep you there by teasing you with wins. Maybe it's just that way for small timers like me who knew I wasn't going to donate more than $50 bucks to the casino but every time except one that I would get close to using up the money I had put into the machine magically I'd get a win big enough to get most of my money back. In reality that's a good thing for me as we only donated $35 or so to them but i think it's designed to keep most people there a little bit longer putting more money in waiting on the big payoff. Not a big deal but didn't like feeling I was being manipulated.

Overall was a great Spring Break Vacation and would recommend to anyone with kids. If you're an old dry codger and have trouble dealing with anyone under the age of 25, I would think this might not be a good cruise for you. However if you're young or young at heart this cruise should be perfect.


pfantauzzi saw things this way:
Value For MoneyValue For Money = 44
Cabin DesignCabin Design = 33
EntertainmentEntertainment = 44
Fitness CenterFitness Center = 44
Food QualityFood Quality = 33
Ship MaintenanceShip Maintenance = 44
SpaSpa = 44
Staff and ServiceStaff and Service = 11
The service in our cabin was terrible and continued throughout the cruise, October 8, 2011
Reviewer: pfantauzzi

Pros: Food and shows were great

Cons: Cabin service was terrible

Date of cruise: September 24, 2011

Departure port: Ft lauderdale Fl

Region visited: Caribbean - Western

Cabin category: Balcony

Cabin number: 6362

Good for children: Yes

Good for teenagers: Yes

We had too many issues with the cabin service to list and this is the first time we have had this problem on a cruise. We did complain but they never got it right even though we were there for eight days. Carnival did make a file on the complaint but we have not heard from them upon our return home.


geneva63 saw things this way:
Value For MoneyValue For Money = 44
Cabin DesignCabin Design = 55
EntertainmentEntertainment = 22
Food QualityFood Quality = 22
Ship MaintenanceShip Maintenance = 55
Staff and ServiceStaff and Service = 22
Nice ship but needs better service in main dinng room for evening meals, August 19, 2011
Reviewer: geneva63

Pros: Very smooth sailing, hardly knew you were on a ship at sea

Cons: Very poor service in the main dining room, long waits between food courses

Date of cruise: August 7, 2011

Departure port: FLL

Region visited: Caribbean - Western

Cabin category: Suite

Cabin number: 7072

Good for children: Yes

Good for teenagers: Yes

Excellent room steward, very clean ship, casino staff friendly.
Every evening was disappointing in the upper Chic dining room due to poor service which made dinner irritating instead of pleasant. Food quality varied from good to mediocre. Breads, soups, desserts and pastas were tasty.

Cabin was spacious with lots of storage and closets. The suite had a jetted tub and two sinks on the vanity. Pools are small and children were in the adult pool daily as well as slipping in and out of the casino.

We enjoyed the bands around the ship. Shows were pretty standard and we did not stay to see the entire show any night.
Embarkation and debarkation were a breeze.


maddie0322 saw things this way:
Value For MoneyValue For Money = 44
Cabin DesignCabin Design = 44
EntertainmentEntertainment = 44
Fitness CenterFitness Center = 44
Food QualityFood Quality = 33
Ship MaintenanceShip Maintenance = 44
SpaSpa = 44
Staff and ServiceStaff and Service = 33
Good cruise for the price paid, September 17, 2010
Reviewer: maddie0322

Pros: Value andadults' areas throughout

Cons: Food buffet was okay, main dining room nothing too special.

Date of cruise: May 9, 2010

Departure port: Ft. Lauderdale

Region visited: Caribbean - Western

Cabin category: Balcony

Easy and quick on and off of the ship. The smoothest I've encountered. Lots to do at night!


Dave saw things this way:
Value For MoneyValue For Money = 44
Cabin DesignCabin Design = 33
EntertainmentEntertainment = 44
Food QualityFood Quality = 33
Ship MaintenanceShip Maintenance = 44
Staff and ServiceStaff and Service = 44
Great cruise, confusing ship, July 13, 2010
Reviewer: Dave

Pros: Panama

Cons: Ship decor

Date of cruise: October 4, 2010

Departure port: Ft. Lauderdale

Region visited: Caribbean - Western

Cabin category: Balcony

Cabin number: 7434

We flew in a day early and stayed at a La Quinta that provided breakfast and transportation to the ship. The check in went well as Carnival seems to finally figured it out.

This was our fifth Carnival cruise. Our last cruise was on the Liberty which is a sister ship of the Freedom. This decor was very distracting and even though we were just on a similar ship it took most of the cruise to get our bearings. I usually accomplish this in a day or two.

The food was OK but not as good as their old menu. We dined as you please. The first night our wait staff was good. We tried to get them every night. We did not eat at any specialty restaurants. The buffet was better than usual but finding a table was very difficult.

We did use the coffee shop but my wife (a coffeeholic) didn't like the European style coffee. They did have many large portions of pastries and cakes at a very reasonable price.

The shows are your usual cruise ship fare.

My wife spent a lot of time out on the balcony and I usually read. We don't do the pools, etc., as we cruise to rest.

We stopped in Cozumel and all we did was walk around and shop some as we have been there many times.

It was our first time in Costa Rica and we took the coffee tour. It was all right but I had trouble with the very political tour guide. He went on and on about the benefits of socialism. He also praised the government-run health system and was proud some of their cities even had hospitals. Also he praise Che Guevera and Fidel Castro. Other than his long political rant the tour was educational about coffee. The plantation had a store which sold coffee at a fair price considering we were tourists.

In Panama (also our first time) we took the canal tour that went through the canal. The temperature was in the 90s at 5 a.m. We went on a smaller boat that held about 300 people. It was expensive but we got to see the canal up close and really see all aspects of it's operation. We were on the boat about six hours and they fed us a rather nice buffet for lunch. We saw areas where they were building the new larger canal. It was a little slow but to me it was a once in a lifetime opportunity.
We never had a chance to go around in either Costa Rica or Panama.

We had to wait in a crowded area for debarkation but that went smmoothly as well. The cruise was enjoyable overall and we have booked another Carnival cruise for next May.


epiros33 saw things this way:
Value For MoneyValue For Money = 11
Cabin DesignCabin Design = 33
EntertainmentEntertainment = 11
Fitness CenterFitness Center = 22
Food QualityFood Quality = 33
Ship MaintenanceShip Maintenance = 33
Staff and ServiceStaff and Service = 11
It was the most disappointing cruise i have EVER been on, a waste of money, July 2, 2010
Reviewer: epiros33

Pros: Being OFF the boat. the itinerary was nice.

Cons: Service, decor, entertainment. etc..

Date of cruise: June 19, 2010

Departure port: Ft Lauderdale

Region visited: Caribbean - Western

Cabin category: Balcony

Cabin number: 1050

Good for children: No

Good for teenagers: No

This was an absolute waste of A LOT of money! We went on a Carnival cruise a year ago on a ship called Carnival Pride and had the greatest time in the world.

I was extremely surprised and disappointed with this trip. The first day on the boat my mother accidently put antifungal drops in her eyes mistaking them for eye drops. We went to the boat's medical office. The office was closed at the time, so to open it for her it cost her $80. When we got there, nobody else was in there for medical attention, however, my mother had to wait for 1/2 hr with her eye burning while the Dr. typed at her desk. Then because we were in there waiting for so long we were 45 min. late to our dinner. When I sat down, my waitress did not say hello instead she told me you will not be able to order an appetizers! Then again later on during the dinner she snapped at me. She overheard my mother say she wanted to move to another table because of how rude she was and she was nice for the rest of our cruise.

My boyfriend is a vegan so he has a special diet. Even though the head waitress and him would create his menu the night before for dinner on the next evening, a couple of times he was still waiting for his food after we had already received our appetizers, main course and started ordering our dessert. The room service was horrible, the entertainment was so boring. There were just so many disappointments. Y suggest anybody considering going on Carnival Freedom, don't waste your money.

 
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