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  #1  
Old February 25th, 2009, 11:10 AM
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LizaMM LizaMM is offline
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Default FREEDOM REVIEW - 8 Day Western

Carnival Freedom
Feb 14 – Feb 22, 2009

8 Day Western Caribbean
Cozumel – Costa Rica – Panama

First – a little background. I (Liza) am a 41 y.o. single mom with 4 kids. I have cruised as the single adult with kids, with a BF and also solo. The Freedom was my 6th Carnival cruise. This particular cruise was a vacation for myself and my 2 oldest daughters – Rachel,19 and Emma, 16. This was my oldest daughters 3rd cruise and the 16 year olds 4th.

All in all this was a fantastic cruise! We had a wonderful time and I know that this experience with my daughters was priceless!! I am fortunate enough to have gone with my 2 older girls on the Freedom and will be sailing on the Liberty in April with my 2 younger children and my mother.

Pre-Cruise

We arrived in FLL at around 7:00PM on Friday. I had made reservations at the Hyatt Place. I got this as a bid on Priceline after doing some research on CC and better bidding. I was very happy and would definitely recommend this hotel as well as stay there again pre-cruise.

The hotel had a shuttle from the airport as well as one to the pier for no fee. Continental breakfast was also included.

The hotel was very nice. All of the staff we encountered were friendly and helpful. The hotel was full and there were many, many cruisers there for the night. The room was great for the 3 of us with a suite set-up having a king size bed and pull out couch. It was also located very well. We settled in and then went for a walk around which ended in a liquor store to purchase a couple of bottles for the cruise. We ate a late dinner at Outback and walked back to the hotel to settle in.

The hotel offers a free shuttle to the pier which is nice. However, had 2 issues which I thought would be a problem for us. One, they said that the shuttle did not even begin running until 11AM and two, the hotel was full of people inquiring about the shuttle service and talking about what time they would be down for it. We decided that it would be best to get a cab to the port at around 10:15 before the hoards of people congregated in the lobby.

We went down at around 9:45 with our bags for a 2nd cup of coffee. I should mention that there is a continental breakfast included as well. None of us were hungry so I can’t comment on what was offered but we did enjoy the coffee which was Starbucks and they even offered a choice of strong or mild blend in the carafes. Anyway, I went outside to have a cigarette and the shuttle driver was there. He asked if we wanted to go to the port and said if we hopped on now he would take us before it got crazy. So of course we took him up on that! There was 1 other couple on the bus which were dropped off at a Celebrity ship before us.

When we made it over to where the Freedom was docked the luggage carts were just being moved over and set up for drop offs….it was very early! The shuttle driver was fantastic. He had to stop across the way since there were still several Carnival transport busses loading up with people who had just disembarked so he walked over and got us porter and made sure we were good to go.

Embarkation

Incredibly quick and not just painless but FUN!! We were there at just a few minutes after 10 so I was not sure we would be able to get inside but We were able to go right into the terminal. I think there were only about 10 people already there…No lines for us to check in at all and we were handed Zone 1 boarding card. We sat in the waiting area and chatted with fellow cruisers, which is always fun! Many people arrived as we waited. A few of the people we would continue to see throughout the trip and talk with. The Carnival staff was also very friendly and helpful.

Boarding started at 11:15 and off we went! Through the larger check in area and then quick embarkation photo, Sign & Sail photo and then up the very steep gangway. It really is steep! (There was someone in a wheelchair next to us and two people were working on pushing it up.) We were so excited! There is really nothing like those first glimpses of the ship! We were handed a Capers and a map as we entered on Deck 3.

We took a quick glance around. We all thought the ship was beautiful! Very antsy to get up to the Lido Deck so we decided we would head there and explore the ship more later.

Since we were among the first people to board the Lido Deck had plenty of lounge chairs…..we grabbed three near the pool and settled in to chat, laugh, and enjoy. By 11:35 I had my first Fun Ship Special and was in full cruise mode!



More to come!!! I came home to sick kids so stick with me...this might take a bit of time to complete!!

Feel free to ask any questions in the meantime.....
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  #2  
Old February 25th, 2009, 11:23 AM
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A great Start, I am on the Freedom in 39 days and can't wait. Hope the kids get better....
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  #3  
Old February 25th, 2009, 11:54 AM
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Hi Lisa, looking forward to more of your review. We'll be on the Freedom March 14!
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Carnival Conquest 3/15 - Western Caribbean
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Carnival Freedom 3/09 - Exotic W. Caribbean
Carnival Miracle 4/08 - Exotic S. Caribbean
Carnival Valor 3/7 - Eastern Caribbean
RC Majesty of the Seas - 4/05 - Bahamas
Carnival Sensation 3/04 - Cozumel

Last edited by logbook; February 25th, 2009 at 11:55 AM.
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  #4  
Old February 25th, 2009, 12:18 PM
pamlof pamlof is offline
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Can't wait to hear more - we are cruising on April 11th. Do you have copies of the Capers - We are traveling with a large group and we are all curious about the activities for this cruise.
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  #5  
Old February 25th, 2009, 12:27 PM
teach21566 teach21566 is offline
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Please more, we are leaving in April on a 6 day western. Will be waiting for more to come
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  #6  
Old February 25th, 2009, 12:35 PM
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We just booked on the June 28th, I would also love to see the capers. We'll have kids 11, 13, 14 and 15 with us.
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  #7  
Old February 25th, 2009, 02:28 PM
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Yay! I've been waiting for another review of this itinerary - I'm booked in May. Looking forward to the rest of your review.
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February 2013 - Carnival Liberty
March 2011 - Carnival Miracle
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  #8  
Old February 25th, 2009, 02:55 PM
thinkpink thinkpink is offline
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more more more!!!

ahha 24 days til freedom for MEEEEEEEEE
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  #9  
Old February 25th, 2009, 02:58 PM
300EXPRESS 300EXPRESS is offline
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Lisa -
Hope your kids are feeling better! Did they pick up sickness from the cruise?
I'm sailing on April 5th for 6 days - CANNOT WAIT!!!
I have two daughters 15 & 12. Please tell me everything you can about the ship and camps for the kids. My oldest insists she is NOT doing it. But...from what I've read on these board, I will check it out with her on the first night and hopefully she'll want to participate in something. Any and all info will help.
Can't wait to hear more!
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  #10  
Old February 25th, 2009, 03:01 PM
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I am sorry to say that I do not have all the Capers. I had intended to save them and post them but at some point mid-cruise a bunch of them got thrown away (not by me but I think the Cabin Steward during cleaning). I have a couple but not sure what days.....I have yet to unpack!!!

There was someone from the Jan 8 Day Western who had posted them. I will find the link for that and post it here later. I can take a look and let you know what was different/same between Jan and Feb also.
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  #11  
Old February 25th, 2009, 03:13 PM
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OK....I just found it. Here is a link to the post with the Capers thanks to CruinBuddy:

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showp...4&postcount=10

This is the direct link to webshots:

http://community.webshots.com/album/569871707BFlbbn

I'll take a look at them and let you know what I notice as far as differences after I continue my review some!
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01/13 - Carnival BREEZE
05/12 - Carnival MIRACLE
05/11 - Carnival VALOR
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04/09 - Carnival LIBERTY
02/09 - Carnival FREEDOM
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  #12  
Old February 25th, 2009, 03:17 PM
JPNROB JPNROB is offline
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Sailing Eastern Caribbean March 28 which is not soon enough. Not many reviews on the Freedom so we need more of yours to fulfill our fix. You can get more Freedom info, including pics and capers here: http://www.beyondships.com/CarnivalFreedom-Profile.html

There are some great pics.
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  #13  
Old February 25th, 2009, 04:02 PM
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Thanks for the links!!!
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  #14  
Old February 25th, 2009, 04:19 PM
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Default Great start

Looking forward to more of you review!!
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Freedom of the Seas ~ 09-11-2011
Carnival Dream ~ 09-04-2010
Carnival Freedom ~ 04-11-2009
Liberty of the Seas ~05-10-2008
Sovereign of the Seas ~01/2007
Mariner of the Seas ~10/2005
Sovereign of the Seas ~01/2005
Carnival Glory ~07/2004 (Honeymoon! )
Sovereign of the Seas ~01/2004
Carnival Conquest ~03/2003
Carnival Imagination ~10/2001
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  #15  
Old February 25th, 2009, 04:19 PM
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Hi, we sail on May 23rd!!! I can't stand the wait I was wondering why there is so little info on the Freedom. Thanks for the link and info, we can't wait to read the rest of the review even thought we are on the exotic eastern any little bit of info is exciting to us.

AnitaMarie
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Past Cruises......
Emerald Princess......06/10
http://community.webshots.com/album/...host=community
Carnival Freedom.......05/09
http://travel.webshots.com/album/572...k?vhost=travel
Celebrity Solstice Pre Inaugural.......11/08
http://travel.webshots.com/album/568...C?vhost=travel
Ruby Princess Inaugural and Naming......11/08
http://travel.webshots.com/album/568...avel&start=132
Carnival Valor 05/08.......Our first cruise together! Nothing Matters B4 That!
http://travel.webshots.com/album/571...P?vhost=travel
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  #16  
Old February 25th, 2009, 04:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LizaMM View Post
OK....I just found it. Here is a link to the post with the Capers thanks to CruinBuddy:

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showp...4&postcount=10

This is the direct link to webshots:

http://community.webshots.com/album/569871707BFlbbn

I'll take a look at them and let you know what I notice as far as differences after I continue my review some!
That's Cruisinbuddy, LOL. I hope you had as much fun as we did, except for missing Costa Rica.
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  #17  
Old February 25th, 2009, 05:06 PM
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LizaMM LizaMM is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cruisinbuddy View Post
That's Cruisinbuddy, LOL. I hope you had as much fun as we did, except for missing Costa Rica.
Sorry about that! I always try to give credit to the OP when I add a link to something......guess I was rushing when I typed it!!!!

We did have a fantastic cruise!
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  #18  
Old February 25th, 2009, 08:25 PM
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I have EIGHT LONG MONTHS before we cruise this itinerary. Please just tell us now that you made all your ports! I was so excited to read crusinbuddy's review, and then they missed Costa Rica! Hope your kids are feeling better, if only so you can write your review faster!
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___________________________________________
First Cruise: Carnival Triumph (Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Ocho Rios) November 2008
Second Cruise : Carnival Freedom (Cozumel, Costa Rica, Panama) October 2009
Third Cruise : Carnival Miracle (Grand Turk, HMC, Nassau) May 2010, done solo!
Fourth Cruise : Carnival Miracle (Grand Turk, Aruba, Curacao, Dominican Republic) October 2010

Damn cancer and a divorce for messing with my cruise plans. No cruise in 2011
Fifth Cruise: Carnival Glory (Saint John, NB and Halifax, NS) July 2012 took along my 8 year old nephew for his first cruise!
Sixth Cruise: Carnival Liberty (Cozumel, Belize, Roatan, Grand Cayman) October 2012, BEST CRUISE EVER!!! Congrats Lis & Andy on 25 years of marriage!!
Seventh Cruise: Carnival Imagination (Key West, Cozumel) Pre-cruise cruise, October 2013
Eighth Cruise: Carnival Breeze ( ST. Thomas, Antigua, Tortola and Nassau) October 2013]

BOOOO!!!! No cruise in 2014. Guess I'll have to book 2 for 2015.
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  #19  
Old February 25th, 2009, 08:57 PM
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rosebud1g rosebud1g is offline
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Thanks Lisa for the info so far. We are going on the same cruise
in August. Cant wait!!!!!!! 5 ports is awesome.
Did you do any excursions with the ship and on your own?
If so which ones can you recommend?? thanks in advance for your input.
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  #20  
Old February 26th, 2009, 09:14 AM
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Lisa, I can't wait to read about what you did at each port. Also, safety seems to be a concern in Costa Rica and Panama. Can't wait to hear any info you have on that - and if you walked around any of the shopping areas without FEAR! Thanks!
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Carnival Miracle 3/11 - Southern Caribbean
Carnival Freedom 3/09 - Exotic W. Caribbean
Carnival Miracle 4/08 - Exotic S. Caribbean
Carnival Valor 3/7 - Eastern Caribbean
RC Majesty of the Seas - 4/05 - Bahamas
Carnival Sensation 3/04 - Cozumel
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