November 17, 2007
This was our second family cruise, while I have been on two others and my husband one other cruise. My M and FIL joined us to celebrate Thanksgiving at sea.
Embarkation was quick and painless. We especially enjoyed all the comments we got on our attire. It was the day of the OSU/Michigan game and we came decked out in our scarlett and grey - got mostly cheers and few jeers, but everyone laughed about it.
The buffet on the lido deck at embarkation was very limited. Didn't have much luck finding much for the kids to eat, especially my extraordinarily picky 10yo. That was fine as it made them really eat a good dinner. We were lucky to have the best service team we've had yet! Both Nancy and Felix were great with our kids, and made us look forward to seeing them each night.
Our cabins were great. We got ocean view this trip as we didn't want to fight with the kids over the balcony. I think they liked sitting in the big windows more than they would have enjoyed the balcony. Plus, I didn't have to lecture them about not throwing things off of them.
OK, here is my opinion of Camp Carnival. Let me begin by saying that our other family cruise was on Disney. Maybe that was a mistake, but I had heard CC was better and tried to go with an open mind. Our kids didn't like CC as much, and we certainly did not. The hours seemed more limited, and having to pay if the kids stayed past 10p.m. was not convenient at all! It was $6 per hour for the first child and $4 for each additional child. That would have been $14 for us (we have 10, 9 & 7yo as well as our 14yo)! A bit too pricey for us. Disney was open till 2 a couple of nights and we never paid a penny extra! The kids also said the activities were not as good. We didn't use CC much at all. Still had a great time, but not much adult only time.
The kids did enjoy the slide and pools, especially the wave pool. I didn't know the center pool had the wave action, and we did have a great time in there! Very nice!
The decor was a bit loud in places, but I didn't spend enough time in those places for it to matter. We were mostly up by the pools, in the theater or in the restaurants. Didn't hit the buffet much, but really enjoyed the whole ship.
Would we go on Freedom again - ABSOLUTELY!! The entire staff was so warm and welcoming, and Todd Witmer and his social staff kept us entertained the whole trip. I wish I could have taken part in more of the late-night activities, but couldn't with tired kids. From what I heard from fellow passengers they were great. Maybe next time.