Carnival Reviews - Cruise Ship reviews by Cruisemates Readers
Carnival Cruise Lines

Carnival Freedom
by Chrs R
Western Caribbean
May 3, 2009

Just want to thank you ahead of time for reading my review. I will not talk about the ports because I didn't do any excursions due to the extremely high prices, so this review is all about the ship.

Embarkation

We arrived at the cruise terminal at about 12 and there was already a line. After waiting in line for about 15 minutes since we were earlier then most people, the line had already grown to about 65m long at 5 people wide. Getting onto the boat took about an hour in total and there were weave lines after weave lines, but they did move fairly quickly.

Food

The Main Diningroom had a good choice of food and desserts. The Dining staff were not as friendly as I would have liked, but they weren't rude. Just felt like they didn't want to be there. My recommendation would be to order the baby back ribs on the first and last night of the cruise. They were the best ribs I've ever had and you can cut them with your fork!! Both dining rooms are really nice, but if you do not like rumbling then request the posh dining room in the middle of the ship. Both dining rooms offer the same food.

The buffet food was O.K but there was not a large selection. The layout is confusing as there are 3 buffet lines throughout the cafeteria. In the main lines there was a great salad selection but the hot food selection was limited to 5 items and 1 was a sauce.

THE BEST THING ABOUT THE FOOD IS THE DELI BAR ON THE SIDE OF THE BUFFET. IT OFFERS AMAZING SANDWICHES THAT ARE GRILLED ON A PANINI PRESS. MY FAVOURITE WAS TURKEY ON A COUNTRY ROLL WHICH THEY LOADED WITH ABOUT $5 WORTH OF FRESH TURKEY.

The Ship

The ship has pretty good amenities but the pools in the middle of the lido deck are small and always packed. The waterslide is great and you can really get some speed on it. There are tons of spots to tan, and if you are self-conscious there is a secret tanning spot that you have to go through the basketball court to get to. The basketball court and mini putting are great and not too busy, only problem is you have to walk to the front of the lido deck to sign out a basketball or putters. The show lounge was nice and big, and offered seating for everyone. The main floor had long bench style seating with plenty of walking room and tables. The second and third level offers love seats and single movie theater style chairs.

Entertainment

The entertainment put on by the dancers I found to be really fake. There was one amazing show involving music from the Beatles, can't remember what it was called but it was the best by far. The cruise had two comedians each doing comedy at the show and then adult over 18 comedy the next day in the International Lounge. The lounge might be the worst laid out lounge ever and is always packed for the comedians. You can't walk end to end when everyone is sitting down. One of the nights also featured a great ventriloquist.

Activities

This is where I thought the cruise lacked the most. The activity sheet was full but most of the entries were promoting a bar opening for example. 9:00 am Sports bar opens. Each day only had maybe 10 activities. Battle of the Sexes I was really looking forward to as on RCL it is pool game fun, but on Carnival it is boring trivia on the lido deck. There was no belly flop competition and there probably will never be one with the layout of the pools.

Cabin

We had an inside cabin the first week and an outside cabin the week after. The inside cabin was huge compared to RCL and Princess. It had a good layout, easy to watch t.v and had three closets -- one with shelves for your shorts and stuff. The bathroom was just like every other bathroom, small but usable. Bring a puff for the shower because the liquid soap is so watered down that it rolls right off your hand. The ocean view stateroom was very big. It featured a good size window, two beds, and a full 3 or 4 seater couch. The t.v was a 25 inch flat panel t.v and there too was plenty of storage. The rooms also had comfort beds and great pillows. This is definitely the biggest strength of Carnival.

*** VISIT VINCE IN THE PIANO BAR FOR SOME GREAT FUN AND ENTERTAINMENT****

I hope you enjoyed reading my review and hopefully it helps. I am only 20 years old and pretty picky. Overall I would give the following ratings:

Ship: 8/10
Food: 7/10
Carnival Dancers and Singers: 5/10
Other Entertainment: 9/10
Room: 9/10
Excursions: 6/10 (Pricey and not a lot to choose from)