My Freedom Review - Kinda "Live" but not really with lots of pics

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#1
Stratford, Ontario, Canada
1,213 Posts
Joined Dec 2008
Let me start off by welcoming you to yet another (ok I have only ever written one prior but just the same) semi-live review of our journey on Carnival's Freedom.

Of course this review isn't really live but I say semi-live because I kept very good track of what we were doing during our 8 day trip to the sunny and most importantly warm Caribbean. I say warm because well... you know that Polar Vortex thing... or should I say this never ending winter we seem to be having in most of the north.

I (we) hail from Canada. Southwestern Ontario actually, in a quant little city known as Stratford. So by this point, I am sure you are starting to understand the need for us to get out of dodge and into the sunshine and warmth.

As a little bit of background, my wife Vanda (who you shall meet during this review) and I have cruised quite a bit over the last few years. The majority of those cruises have been with Carnival but we have also sailed with Celebrity and Holland America. In 2013, we spent 34 days aboard the Celebrity Solstice as we cruised around Australia , the South Pacific and Hawaii. That review is still to come, albeit extremely late!

We are both 49 years of age, have professional occupations and although we usually cruise with family or friends and sometimes both, this time we decided to go it alone. The cruise itself was a last minute decision and we managed to find a great deal.

We don't spend a lot of time in our room (because you just have to enjoy every second possible) so although we have had balcony's in the past we often book an inside room and use the savings on other things such as .... well.... drinks of the day! Thus, on this trip we booked an inside room, aft location and on the seventh floor of Freedom known as the Empress Deck. Our room was #7407.

As for the pace of this review, bare with me. Sometimes life gets in the way and I need to well, actually work so I can get to my next cruise . I will try to get to it everyday until she is done however you know the drill.

A few points, the opinions and what is expressed during the review are mine and although I can respect others may have a different view of things and I don't mind hearing what others may say I will not engage those negative type of posts....after all this is my vacation and well... you get to share it with me!

I also do not have any "food porn" pics... sorry about that but the food was great and I was busy eating it and never got around to taking a picture of it. I do however, have lots of shots of many of the shenanigans we got into during this trip and some tasty drink shots as well. You will not find any complaints from me during this review either. Like I said before, I was on vacation and complaining only creates negative energy. Now that's not to say we never ran into any issues cause life always throws ya a curve ball, but I try to simply catch that ball and move on!

So on that note...lets get on with the review...

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Celebrity Solstice - Australia and New Zealand February 2018
Royal Caribbean - Voyager of the Seas South Pacific- January 2018
Royal Caribbean - Navigator of the Seas - 2017
NCL Sky - Bahamas - 2016
Celebrity Millennium Asia - 19 days - Back to Back - 2016
Carnival Valor - Eastern Caribbean-2015
Ruby Princess- England, Norway, Scotland and Iceland
Carnival Freedom Review - http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1992087
Carnival Freedom -Eastern Caribbean -2014
Celebrity Solstice - South Pacific/Hawaii -2013
Celebrity Solstice -Australia -2013
Carnival Valor - Southern Caribbean - 2012
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#2
Stratford, Ontario, Canada
1,213 Posts
Joined Dec 2008
Ok... so here we go.

One of the reasons I wanted to do this review was because prior to our departure I couldn't find that many Freedom Reviews. Although, we had sailed eight times with Carnival in the past this was our first time on Freedom. The ship would be new for us but the set up was very familiar as our previous cruises were on the Valor, Liberty and Spirit. So two of the three we had been on were the same class. It's always nice to read what others have to say about the ship you are about to embark on.

First, a little about the cruise itinerary. This was an eight (8) day cruise that would offer us four (4) ports of call. We would also enjoy three (3) sea day's that in my opinion were placed very nicely. Our first day would be at sea and then we would visit Grand Turk, San Juan, St. Marteen and St. Thomas. This would then be followed by two sea days to close things out. The cruise was from January 25 - February 2.

Our journey began with a 1.5 hr drive from where we live to the Toronto airport. We would be staying overnight at the Toronto Delta West Airport hotel where they offered a shuttle to the airport and a pick up to get your car. We were able to use our Delta points for the overnight and parking for 9 days and thus my costs were the taxes only. All in all, our first night and parking cost about $21.

We flew on Canjet nonstop to Ft. Lauderdale on January 24th. The flight was uneventful (thus my ability to be here and write this) and before we knew it we were making our way around noon to our hotel in Ft. Lauderdale. interesting note, the person sitting beside Vanda on the plane happened to be going on the same cruise! their room was actually just around the corner from ours... what are the chances!

I had booked the Cambria Suites at Dania Beach. I managed to get a very good rate and they offered a shuttle both from the airport and to the port the following day. When we arrived at the hotel our rooms were not yet ready so we had to wait around for about an hour and half but that was not really that bad because the hotel has a very large sitting area in the hotel lobby area (actually a restaurant) and they also offered free wifi so that allowed us to get caught up on things with friends and family back home.

After our wait, we were called to the front desk and off to our room, which was a suite located on the second floor with a view of the pool. While Vanda rested up a bit and dug into one of her books, I decided to head down to the fitness room and have a short workout.

There is not much around the hotel but a short 10-15 minute walk takes you to an area where there is lots of shopping, a Kmart and a few restaurant choices. Overall, the area is nice, the hotel very clean and they also offered a buffet breakfast for a small fee. I thought it was worth it.

Here are a few shots of our room:











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NCL Sky - Bahamas - 2016
Celebrity Millennium Asia - 19 days - Back to Back - 2016
Carnival Valor - Eastern Caribbean-2015
Ruby Princess- England, Norway, Scotland and Iceland
Carnival Freedom Review - http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1992087
Carnival Freedom -Eastern Caribbean -2014
Celebrity Solstice - South Pacific/Hawaii -2013
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#3
360 Posts
Joined Jun 2010
Looking forward to the rest of your review. We sailed on the Freedom a few years ago and are booked to sail her again in a couple of months. We can't wait (especially after this horrid winter)!
#4
Stratford, Ontario, Canada
1,213 Posts
Joined Dec 2008
After a restful night after a day of travel it was time to get ready for embarkation. I had scheduled our shuttle from the hotel for 11 am. The hotel was fully booked and all the guest seemed to be using the shuttle it seemed. We packed our bags up, attached our ship tags and made our way down to the lobby.

Vanda was ready to go with her fun hat already on!





We arrived in the hotel lobby around 10:45 and the a shuttle was just leaving but was full. The weather was great so we decided to move outside and enjoy the warmth while we waited for the next shuttle to arrive. Within around 20 minutes the next shuttle was there and packed up and we were on our way to the port.

Now I had heard a lot about the FTTF pass everyone has been talking about and I wondered whether it was really worth it. In our case, from the time we left the hotel we were at the port, through security, signed for our room keys and on the ship within an hour. We encountered no lines at the port and moved right on through. Just after noon we were walking the Lido deck and sipping on our very first drink of the day!



Here you can see the Oasis in the background:



To be continued folks.....
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Royal Caribbean - Navigator of the Seas - 2017
NCL Sky - Bahamas - 2016
Celebrity Millennium Asia - 19 days - Back to Back - 2016
Carnival Valor - Eastern Caribbean-2015
Ruby Princess- England, Norway, Scotland and Iceland
Carnival Freedom Review - http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1992087
Carnival Freedom -Eastern Caribbean -2014
Celebrity Solstice - South Pacific/Hawaii -2013
Celebrity Solstice -Australia -2013
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#5
Somewhere near Jax, FL
318 Posts
Joined Jul 2007
Great review, can't wait to read more! Like the photo of the drinks on the railing!
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Carnival Celebration 4 Day 4/14/05
#6
Stratford, Ontario, Canada
1,213 Posts
Joined Dec 2008
The first day is always so exciting... and of course this was a 'fun ship' so we started to enjoy the fun right away...The couple behind Vanda, although we didn't know them at the time would soon become a large part of our cruise!



Of all our cruises, we have only ever left from Ft. Lauderdale once so I had only heard about the magnitude of the Oasis. I was looking forward to seeing this ship alongside the Freedom. My Son and Daughter had sailed her just last year and they loved the ship. I have heard it's a ship you either love or hate... I was very impressed by how big it truly is....



Holland America was moored on the other side of us.



A little panorama shot as well...

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Celebrity Millennium Asia - 19 days - Back to Back - 2016
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Carnival Freedom Review - http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1992087
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#8
Brookhaven, GA.
5,523 Posts
Joined Nov 2004
Thanks for sharing.
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GOTTA LOVE CRUISING
I am not in a hurry, I am on VACATION!!

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#9
Stratford, Ontario, Canada
1,213 Posts
Joined Dec 2008
Originally posted by MzMelissa26
That must be a really nice camera... love the last shot! Anyone ever tell your wife she looks like a young Barbara Streisand?
Thanks... I will let her know that.... I use a Nikon DSLR and then stitch the shots together and I use a Fugi camera for my underwater and panorama shots.
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#10
Gosford Australia
456 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
Enjoying the review and the lovely photos , thanks for sharing
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#11
Stratford, Ontario, Canada
1,213 Posts
Joined Dec 2008
So after walking around the ship for about another hour or so we decided to see if our room was ready yet and sure enough it was ready and waiting. We had been on the ship for just over an hour and we were in our room not long after 1 pm. I am glad I didn't waste the money on the FTTF pass... although I am sure it was just fine for those who did...I mean after all we were still waiting for our luggage to arrive





More than enough space for the two of us... I think I did mention this but in case you forgot this was an inside room on the Empress Deck, #7407. The room was located right at the corner to the hallway leading to the elevators. This was a category 4F.

The room itself was spacious and had ample storage and our suitcases fit perfectly under the bed and out of the way. The bathroom was the standard... all of them look the same so I didn't take any pictures of it.

As I mentioned above, the room was located around the corner from the staircase and elevators. However, noise was minimal. Occasionally we would hear folks running or chatting in the hallway but no bother really. It was perfect for us to get around the ship whether we were heading to the Lido or to the dining room. We avoided the elevators as much as possible.
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Celebrity Solstice - Australia and New Zealand February 2018
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NCL Sky - Bahamas - 2016
Celebrity Millennium Asia - 19 days - Back to Back - 2016
Carnival Valor - Eastern Caribbean-2015
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Carnival Freedom Review - http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1992087
Carnival Freedom -Eastern Caribbean -2014
Celebrity Solstice - South Pacific/Hawaii -2013
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#13
Stratford, Ontario, Canada
1,213 Posts
Joined Dec 2008
After dropping off our bags we decided to head back up to the Lido and grab a bite to eat. We had a big breakfast back at the hotel so we were not that hungry but hey we were on a cruise! So we headed up to grab some salad!



then back out for another Drink of the day....





With a full belly and feeling all refreshed from our drink of the day we decided it was time to explore this beautiful ship known as Freedom..

We made our way to the dining room first to scout out our dinner table location. We like to meet people when on vacation so we always ask for a large table. This time we had a table for 10. We were in the Posh dining room, table #441. We always ask for the late seating so on Freedom this was at 8:15pm



The Posh Dining room viewed from our table location.



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Celebrity Solstice - Australia and New Zealand February 2018
Royal Caribbean - Voyager of the Seas South Pacific- January 2018
Royal Caribbean - Navigator of the Seas - 2017
NCL Sky - Bahamas - 2016
Celebrity Millennium Asia - 19 days - Back to Back - 2016
Carnival Valor - Eastern Caribbean-2015
Ruby Princess- England, Norway, Scotland and Iceland
Carnival Freedom Review - http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1992087
Carnival Freedom -Eastern Caribbean -2014
Celebrity Solstice - South Pacific/Hawaii -2013
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Semi-Live on Celebrity Infinity review: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showt...9973&highlight=
Celebrity Infinity - Panama Canal -2010
Carnival Spirit - Hawaii - 2010
Carnival Valor - Western Caribbean - 2010
Carnival Spirit - Alaska 2009
Carnival Liberty - Western Caribbean - 2009
Carnival Liberty - Eastern Caribbean - 2008
HA Rotterdam - Mediterranean - 2007
#14
Stratford, Ontario, Canada
1,213 Posts
Joined Dec 2008
After our visit in the Dining room we were headed back up to the Promenade deck to check out the sites. We made our first stop into Scott's Piano Bar. This is always a popular spot on a Carnival cruise but for some reason we never seem to make it to the Piano bar at night.... The décor in this bar was pretty cool..



Loved the ceiling...





We then headed into the night club...





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Celebrity Solstice - Australia and New Zealand February 2018
Royal Caribbean - Voyager of the Seas South Pacific- January 2018
Royal Caribbean - Navigator of the Seas - 2017
NCL Sky - Bahamas - 2016
Celebrity Millennium Asia - 19 days - Back to Back - 2016
Carnival Valor - Eastern Caribbean-2015
Ruby Princess- England, Norway, Scotland and Iceland
Carnival Freedom Review - http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1992087
Carnival Freedom -Eastern Caribbean -2014
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#15
Stratford, Ontario, Canada
1,213 Posts
Joined Dec 2008
Our next stop was Club O2







The Viennese Café



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Celebrity Solstice - Australia and New Zealand February 2018
Royal Caribbean - Voyager of the Seas South Pacific- January 2018
Royal Caribbean - Navigator of the Seas - 2017
NCL Sky - Bahamas - 2016
Celebrity Millennium Asia - 19 days - Back to Back - 2016
Carnival Valor - Eastern Caribbean-2015
Ruby Princess- England, Norway, Scotland and Iceland
Carnival Freedom Review - http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1992087
Carnival Freedom -Eastern Caribbean -2014
Celebrity Solstice - South Pacific/Hawaii -2013
Celebrity Solstice -Australia -2013
Carnival Valor - Southern Caribbean - 2012
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Semi-Live on Celebrity Infinity review: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showt...9973&highlight=
Celebrity Infinity - Panama Canal -2010
Carnival Spirit - Hawaii - 2010
Carnival Valor - Western Caribbean - 2010
Carnival Spirit - Alaska 2009
Carnival Liberty - Western Caribbean - 2009
Carnival Liberty - Eastern Caribbean - 2008
HA Rotterdam - Mediterranean - 2007
#16
Stratford, Ontario, Canada
1,213 Posts
Joined Dec 2008
The Babylon Casino would be a frequent stop of ours over the next 8 days....









We then headed into the Players Sports Bar



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Celebrity Solstice - Australia and New Zealand February 2018
Royal Caribbean - Voyager of the Seas South Pacific- January 2018
Royal Caribbean - Navigator of the Seas - 2017
NCL Sky - Bahamas - 2016
Celebrity Millennium Asia - 19 days - Back to Back - 2016
Carnival Valor - Eastern Caribbean-2015
Ruby Princess- England, Norway, Scotland and Iceland
Carnival Freedom Review - http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1992087
Carnival Freedom -Eastern Caribbean -2014
Celebrity Solstice - South Pacific/Hawaii -2013
Celebrity Solstice -Australia -2013
Carnival Valor - Southern Caribbean - 2012
Carnival Liberty - Eastern Caribbean - 2011
Semi-Live on Celebrity Infinity review: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showt...9973&highlight=
Celebrity Infinity - Panama Canal -2010
Carnival Spirit - Hawaii - 2010
Carnival Valor - Western Caribbean - 2010
Carnival Spirit - Alaska 2009
Carnival Liberty - Western Caribbean - 2009
Carnival Liberty - Eastern Caribbean - 2008
HA Rotterdam - Mediterranean - 2007
#17
Stratford, Ontario, Canada
1,213 Posts
Joined Dec 2008
More from the Players Sports Bar



We then stepped into the Victoriana Main Theatre



and then it was getting close to the time when we had to head for the Muster Drill. Vanda headed back to the room to see if any of our luggage had arrived and one suitcase had so she decided to start unpacking and I decided I needed to get back up to the Lido .... well you know why!



After the Muster it would be time for sailaway.... but for now I need to take a break! I'll be back tomorrow for the sailaway!
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Celebrity Solstice - Australia and New Zealand February 2018
Royal Caribbean - Voyager of the Seas South Pacific- January 2018
Royal Caribbean - Navigator of the Seas - 2017
NCL Sky - Bahamas - 2016
Celebrity Millennium Asia - 19 days - Back to Back - 2016
Carnival Valor - Eastern Caribbean-2015
Ruby Princess- England, Norway, Scotland and Iceland
Carnival Freedom Review - http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1992087
Carnival Freedom -Eastern Caribbean -2014
Celebrity Solstice - South Pacific/Hawaii -2013
Celebrity Solstice -Australia -2013
Carnival Valor - Southern Caribbean - 2012
Carnival Liberty - Eastern Caribbean - 2011
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Celebrity Infinity - Panama Canal -2010
Carnival Spirit - Hawaii - 2010
Carnival Valor - Western Caribbean - 2010
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Carnival Liberty - Western Caribbean - 2009
Carnival Liberty - Eastern Caribbean - 2008
HA Rotterdam - Mediterranean - 2007
#18
Stratford, Ontario, Canada
1,213 Posts
Joined Dec 2008
Originally posted by TDCRose
We were on this cruise as well-love the Freedom-we did a B2B and di the 6 day on 2-2-14. Looking forward to the rest of you review
Perhaps we ran into each other.... big ship but small world!
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Celebrity Solstice - Australia and New Zealand February 2018
Royal Caribbean - Voyager of the Seas South Pacific- January 2018
Royal Caribbean - Navigator of the Seas - 2017
NCL Sky - Bahamas - 2016
Celebrity Millennium Asia - 19 days - Back to Back - 2016
Carnival Valor - Eastern Caribbean-2015
Ruby Princess- England, Norway, Scotland and Iceland
Carnival Freedom Review - http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1992087
Carnival Freedom -Eastern Caribbean -2014
Celebrity Solstice - South Pacific/Hawaii -2013
Celebrity Solstice -Australia -2013
Carnival Valor - Southern Caribbean - 2012
Carnival Liberty - Eastern Caribbean - 2011
Semi-Live on Celebrity Infinity review: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showt...9973&highlight=
Celebrity Infinity - Panama Canal -2010
Carnival Spirit - Hawaii - 2010
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Carnival Spirit - Alaska 2009
Carnival Liberty - Western Caribbean - 2009
Carnival Liberty - Eastern Caribbean - 2008
HA Rotterdam - Mediterranean - 2007
#19
218 Posts
Joined Feb 2013
Thanks for the review. We will be on her next February on an eight day.
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Carnival Glory Feb 2018 Eastern Caribbean
Carnival Conquest Feb 2017 Western Caribbean B2B
Carnival Conquest Feb 2017 Southern Caribbean B2B
Carnival Dream Feb 2016 Western Caribbean
Carnival Conquest Feb 2015 Eastern Caribbean
Norwegian Dawn Jan 2014 Western Caribbean
Carnival Valor Jan 2013 Western Caribbean
#20
Sunny Georgia
1,559 Posts
Joined Sep 2009
Great review so far...thank you! We can't wait to go back on the Freedom this fall!
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Traci
Oct 2009 ~ Carnival Freedom
Oct 2010 ~ Carnival Dream
May 2011 ~ Carnival Elation
Oct 2011 ~ Disney Dream
June 2012 ~ Carnival Fascination
Sept 2012 ~ Carnival Dream
May 2013 ~ Carnival Fantasy
Sept 2013 ~ Carnival Dream
May 2014 ~ Carnival Glory
Sept 2014 ~ Carnival Freedom
May 2015 ~ Carnival Breeze
Sept 2015 ~ Carnival Breeze
Feb 2016 ~ Carnival Glory
Oct 2016 ~ Norwegian Escape
Jan 2017 ~ Carnival Magic
Sept 2017 ~ Norwegian Escape
Jan 2018 ~ Norwegian Escape
June 2018 ~ Norwegian Sky to Cuba

*Upcoming:
Sept 2018 ~ Norwegian Getaway
Feb 2019 ~ Norwegian Bliss