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Carnival Freedom 6 Day Review with Pictures 01/22/2012

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Good evening! Just returned from our cruise on the Carnival Freedom yesterday and thought I would start the review while everything is fresh in my mind.

 

A little background information:

 

This cruise was to celebrate mine and my husband's 2 year anniversary. I'm 25 and my DH is 28. We're from Tallahassee, FL. This was our 4 cruise on Carnival. We have previously sailed on the Celebration, Dream, and Inspiration. The only port on this cruise that we previously visited was Grand Cayman.

 

 

This is going to be a pretty long and detailed review with tons of pictures (we took over 1000 this trip). I also have plenty of food porn to share. I kept all the Fun Times, so please let me know if you have any questions. I will try to upload them at the end of the review. Please be patient with me as these reviews can take a while. Feel free to ask any questions you may have and I will answer them as best as I can. Enjoy!

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I know some people don't like to read long reviews, so before I start, I'll post my general thoughts and cliff notes.

 

Overall Cruise: Great! There were some issues, but nothing that we let ruin our cruise.

 

Overall Thoughts on the Ship: The layout took a little while to get used to as it was different than any other class we have ever sailed on, but once we got the hang of it, we loved it!

 

The decor was very muted compared to most Carnival ships and I'd have to say it wasn't one of my favorites. I don't cruise for decor though, so this wasn't a big deal.

 

Loved the addition of Fish and Chips to the Conquest class and it's nice to have additional seating area for the buffet. We ate up there whenever we had a meal on the Lido deck.

 

Overall Thoughts on Food and Dining: I'm not such a fan of the new menues. All the food that I ate was delicious, but there were some nights when I had trouble finding something I liked on the menu to order. It seems like they've moved all of my favorite foods onto the same nights.

 

Most days we didn't like the offerings on the main buffet in the lido so we ate at one of the individual stations. There are so many choices though that you can always find something on lido to eat.

 

Overall Thoughts on Entertainment: Both of the shows we went to were great! Ticket to Ride was by far the best show I've ever seen on a Carnival ship.

 

The entertainment staff had a lot of activities to participate in and we always had something fun to do. Brad, the cruise director, was very funny.

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Saturday, January 21, 2012

 

Since we live in Florida, we always drive to our ports. Normally we book cruises that leave on Saturday, so we have to leave immediately after work on Friday to drive to our hotel.

 

This time though, the cruise left on a Sunday, so we had all day Saturday to get to our destination. Made it so much less stressful.

 

We finished packing the night before and put some of the suitcases in the car so we didn't have to worry about them in the morning. We got up at 6am and grabbed breakfast from McDonalds. We finished packing up the car, grabbed the dog, and headed for the boarders. We dropped the dog off and headed on our way.

 

Since we had the entire day to travel, we decided to head down to the Orlando area for a visit with my parents. We stayed there for a couple hours before heading the rest of the way.

 

We were staying with my grandparents in Stuart, FL instead of worrying about a hotel. We drove an hour and a half from my parents to my grandparents and arrived in Stuart around 6:30pm.

 

After dinner, a quick stop at Walmart for some batteries, and a shower, we were in bed, ready to head to the cruise port in the morning.

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Sunday, January 22, 2012

 

I woke up at 6am ready to go, but everyone else was still sleeping. I hate sleeping the night before a cruise because I'm always so antsy.

 

Finally, everyone woke up at 7am and we got breakfast from this delicious bagel restaurant down the street. The name of it was Bagel Break. They had the most delicious cinnamon sugar bagel though.

 

My grandparents were driving us to the port so that we didn't have to pay for parking. It's an hour and a half drive from Stuart to Ft. Lauderdale. We printed off directions from Map Quest and headed on our way.

 

While driving down I-95, I glanced over and got my first glimpse of the cruise port.

 

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Yelling about a whale tail in a car with two non-cruisers gets you some really strange looks...

 

While looking for our exit, we passed the exit that said Port Everglades. That wasn't the exit Map Quest told us to get off on, so we just kept going. Finally, we got to our exit. The Map Quest directions were great until they told us to turn right onto Cordova Rd. We turned right where Cordova Rd. should have been and it drove us right into a Publix shopping center. I ran into Publix and asked for directions and the told us to keep driving down 17th and turn right right before the bridge at a Walgreens and we would drive right into the port. So, be weary if you're using Map Quest directions because they're not accurate.

 

When we arrived at the port, security asked to see identification for every passenger in the car. Security directed us to terminal 19 and we were on our way.

 

Then I saw our home for the next 6 days!

 

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We made the turn towards terminal 19, but it was clearly marked so we had to keep stopping and asking for directions. Finally, we found where we were to get dropped off at. It was around 10:30am. We said goodbye to my grandparents and went on a search for the porters. Got the normal tip talk from the porters, gave them a couple dollars, and headed to security.

 

There was no line to get into the terminal. The security guy asked for our passport and boarding pass. He said that they don't normally start boarding until about 11:30am, so we'd be waiting for a little while. We didn't mind.

 

We went through the security scanners and then headed to a line to check in. There were only about 5 people in front of us. We checked in and were handed zone 5. We did not have to do a health questionnaire. They asked if we had had any flu symptoms within the past 2 days and that was it.

 

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We took a seat and waited for them to finish debarking the previous passengers. There was a lady in the terminal entertaining everyone while they waited. She did some Carnival trivia and then started singing and dancing. A passenger who was waiting pulled out an accordion and started playing along with her.

 

Finally, around 11:30am, they called our zone number. We took our pictures and then headed onboard!

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First thing we did when we boarded was head up to the Lido deck for lunch. Since we were one of the first groups on the ship, it wasn't crowded at all. We went up to the Fish and Chips area and grabbed a table. I sat with the luggage while DH went to get his lunch.

 

DH ended up getting Mongolian (this was a trend on the Inspiration as well as our Freedom cruise) and I decided to try the Fish and Chips. Both were very good. The fish was a little too greasy for my liking, but still yummy.

 

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We then grabbed a few desserts to share. We got some Dulce de Leche cheesecake, Banana gateau, and Apple Crumble.

 

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After lunch, we walked around the ship and took pictures until rooms were ready.

 

Since you can only do 6 pictures per post, the next few posts will all be pictures of the ship.

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Trophy Case -- This is located outside the Victoriana Theatre

 

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Viennese Cafe

 

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Club O2

 

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Sushi Bar

 

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Arcade

 

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70's Disco

 

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Bar Neouvea

 

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Scott's Piano Bar

 

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Some other lounge that I never saw anything held in

 

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Internet Cafe -- Located in the Habana Lounge

 

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Chic Dining Room

 

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Awesome review so far! I skimmed through some of your pictures on Facebook but didn't get through them all since I had to leave for work. Gotta go leave some more comments on those. Looking forward to reading more! I'm reminiscing on my Freedom cruise from 2 years ago....... ;)

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We headed down to deck 2 around 1:25pm to go to our rooms. The doors were still shut. Two older ladies came down and walked straight through the doors like they owned the place. I hate when people don't think the rules apply to them. The doors opened up at 1:30pm and we headed to our room.

 

I did my research before the cruise and noticed that room 2470 was a lot larger than a normal oceanview. We walked in and it was huge! It was probably close to the size of a suite, plus it had two windows.

 

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Continued in the next post...

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The room was in the very aft of the ship, so we expected to feel vibration and movement. You could definitely feel the thrusters when entering and leaving port. We had a couple nights where the seas were a little rough and you could definitely feel it more in our room than anywhere else on the ship.

 

Even though there was a lot of noise and movement, I would book the room again. It was a huge and we loved the extra space.

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Thank you so much for your review so far. We are on the Freedom in less than three weeks. I am getting so excited reading and looking at your photos.

 

Did you happen to snap copies of the daily menus? Finding menus for the 6 day cruise is next to impossible.

 

Your room sure was good sized.

 

Looking forward to reading more as you post.

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I know some people don't like to read long reviews, so before I start, I'll post my general thoughts and cliff notes.

 

Overall Thoughts on Entertainment: Both of the shows we went to were great! Ticket to Ride was by far the best show I've ever seen on a Carnival ship.

 

On the same cruise and I thought Ticket to ride was the worst show I had ever seen, that girl could not sing.

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Thank you so much for your review so far. We are on the Freedom in less than three weeks. I am getting so excited reading and looking at your photos.

 

Did you happen to snap copies of the daily menus? Finding menus for the 6 day cruise is next to impossible.

 

Your room sure was good sized.

 

Looking forward to reading more as you post.

 

I didn't snap pictures, but I'll look on Zydeco Cruiser's website and see if I can find which ones we had every day. I'll post them with the pictures from dinner every night. Hope that helps!

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Hi Navybaby 1113;

 

First, are you by chance a Navy Brat (sorry, I know Navy kids are called something different, but can't remember what!). I ask cause I'm an AF Brat, and proud of it, although certainly a whole generation older than you!

 

But on to my real question - is there someplace other than here in roll calls I can access all your photos of the Freedom? I ask because in celebration of my husband's 70th birthday, we're taking our three grown children, our daughter-in-law and our three grandchildren on the Freedom. We're unfortunately not doing the same itinerary you were on, so I can't ask for help about the ports. We'll be stopping in Grand Turk, La Romano in the Dominican Republic, Caracao and Aruba.

 

But my grndkids are 10, 13 and 15, and I'd like to share your ship photos with them. Neither they nor their parents have ever cruised before, and I think seeing photos of the ship might be of interest to all of them.

 

I know the kids are big into Facebook. I have an account too, but seldom go to it. However, I certainly could go to see your photos, and maybe could direct the kids there to see them too. Although I guess we have to be 'friends' to do this.

 

At any rate, since I'm only on the roll call for the 3/10/12 sailing of the Freedom, would you email me at my regular email? It's kathitourist@hotmail.com

 

Thanks, Kathi

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Excited to read your review. I will be sailing this cruise in June with my husband for our 20th Anniversary.

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Hi Navybaby 1113;

 

First, are you by chance a Navy Brat (sorry, I know Navy kids are called something different, but can't remember what!). I ask cause I'm an AF Brat, and proud of it, although certainly a whole generation older than you!

 

But on to my real question - is there someplace other than here in roll calls I can access all your photos of the Freedom? I ask because in celebration of my husband's 70th birthday, we're taking our three grown children, our daughter-in-law and our three grandchildren on the Freedom. We're unfortunately not doing the same itinerary you were on, so I can't ask for help about the ports. We'll be stopping in Grand Turk, La Romano in the Dominican Republic, Caracao and Aruba.

 

But my grndkids are 10, 13 and 15, and I'd like to share your ship photos with them. Neither they nor their parents have ever cruised before, and I think seeing photos of the ship might be of interest to all of them.

 

I know the kids are big into Facebook. I have an account too, but seldom go to it. However, I certainly could go to see your photos, and maybe could direct the kids there to see them too. Although I guess we have to be 'friends' to do this.

 

At any rate, since I'm only on the roll call for the 3/10/12 sailing of the Freedom, would you email me at my regular email? It's kathitourist@hotmail.com

 

Thanks, Kathi

 

Kathi,

I was actually an Army brat. Both my mom and dad were Army. I've had this screen name since I was in high school and was planning on enlisting in the Navy. That never happened and now the screen name has just kind of stuck. My husband is Air Force though (as you will see in the later pictures). Thank you to your parents for their service.

 

I will send you an email later this evening about the pictures.

 

Thanks!

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After we settled into our room, we turned on some football to watch until muster drill. One of our suitcases arrived around 2pm and the other around 3pm. We unpacked while watching the game. Our room steward came around shortly before muster drill and introduced himself. His name was Jose. He explained where different things were located in the room and also let us know that all the samples in the goodie basket in the bathroom were ours to use.

 

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Muster drill was scheduled for 3:30pm, but they didn't start making announcement until about 4pm. The call to come to your muster station was at 4:15pm. We were able to use the crew staircase located right next to our room to go up to our muster station. We did not have to take our life jackets with us. All of the muster stations on the Freedom were located at the lifeboats. We were lined up in the area like sardines. They did a demonstration on how to put on a life jacket, but because of the way we were standing, there was no way I could see it. People talked throughout the entire drill and didn't seem to take it seriously. I was very disappointed in the way passengers acted about the drill after such a horrible tragedy on the Concordia.

 

After the muster drill, we watched a couple of the other ships sail out of Ft. Lauderdale.

 

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Finally, it was our turn to start sailing out. We went up to the secret deck on the lido deck. There were only about 15 other people up there.

 

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While sailing out of the port area, a couple on a seadoo were right in front of our ship. The Coast Guard was yelling at them to move, but they were staying there. Finally, the Coast Guard caught up to them and told them that if they didn't move that they would shoot. Finally, they moved out of the area. I don't understand being stupid enough to drive something that tiny in front of such a huge ship.

 

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Edited by navybaby1113

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Our 1st cruise was on the Freedom so that ship will always be special to us.

 

Love your review so far-- brings back great memories. :D

 

P.S.--I'm also a huge FSU fan--love Tallahassee!

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Hello,

 

I'm so enjoying reading & looking at your pictures! I was suppose to be on the 1/28/12 sailing along with my family, however I ended up in the hospital last week for 6 days. :( Have to reschedule for March 10th!

 

Can you tell me if the cabins have mini refrigerators?

 

Thanks,

Sue

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Hello,

 

I'm so enjoying reading & looking at your pictures! I was suppose to be on the 1/28/12 sailing along with my family, however I ended up in the hospital last week for 6 days. :( Have to reschedule for March 10th!

 

Can you tell me if the cabins have mini refrigerators?

 

Thanks,

Sue

 

I hope you're feeling better! The cabins do have mini fridges.

 

 

 

Our 1st cruise was on the Freedom so that ship will always be special to us.

 

Love your review so far-- brings back great memories. :D

 

P.S.--I'm also a huge FSU fan--love Tallahassee!

 

Thank you! And go Noles!

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HAHAH!!! We saw those jetskiers and the boat go after them. What idiots!! Have not seen me in any of your pictures but still looking!!

 

Excellent review so far.

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Omg your review is the bomb! It feels like I'm actually living through your eyes! Awesome pictures keep the review going

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Thank you. We are considering the Freedom this summer - 8 day itinerary. Looking forward to more.

 

Thank you for your comments. We're actually looking at the 8 day itinerary for our next cruise as well. I think you'll love the ship.

 

 

Thanks for the review. Hubby and I are on the Freedom on April 29th.

 

You're welcome! I hope you have a great time.

 

 

HAHAH!!! We saw those jetskiers and the boat go after them. What idiots!! Have not seen me in any of your pictures but still looking!!

 

Excellent review so far.

 

Thank you for your kind comments. Maybe you'll see yourself in a future picture. I have a lot of pictures with other people on the ship in them.

 

 

Omg your review is the bomb! It feels like I'm actually living through your eyes! Awesome pictures keep the review going

 

 

Thank you!

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Went back to the room after sailaway so DH could finish watching the game and I could take a nap.

 

We decided on anytime dining again this cruise. We had it on the Inspiration and really enjoyed being able to eat whenever we wanted. Tonight we headed to dinner around 6:30pm. Anytime dining is held on the bottom floor of the Chic dining room.

 

We were shocked by how disorganized anytime dining was on the Freedom. They had a very long line of people waiting to check in and then they would tell them to stand on the side of the podium and wait for their table. There was always a huge group of people standing around the hostess stand waiting to be seated.

 

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We were seated in Noel's section tonight. This was the worst service we had all cruise. We waited about 20 minutes before we even got drinks or bread. Then, food was delivered to the people next to use first, even though they got seated a good bit after us. We also ordered coffee and tea with dessert and received it after we were finished eating and getting ready to leave. Not sure whether it was because it was the first night or what, but we were glad not to be seated in this section again.

 

Someone earlier requested to see the menues, so I borrowed these from Zydeco Cruiser. If you haven't already, I highly recommend you check out his website for some delicious food pictures.

 

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For appetizers, we both ordered the tequila marinated fruit. It was good, but it didn't really taste much different than the fruit cocktail we ordered later in the week.

 

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For our entrees, DH got the Linguini with Italian sausage. Be aware that there are mushrooms in this dish, just in case you don't like them. DH picked a good bit out of his.

 

Nothing on the menu looked good to me, so I ordered the mac n cheese off of the children's menu. The sauce was good as always, but the pasta they used was different. It was a very thick, dense pasta and just wasn't very appetizing.

 

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For desserts, DH ordered the black forest gateau. He really liked it. He mentioned it got better after it sat on his plate for a couple minutes to warm up.

 

I ordered the creme brulee and it was not fully cooked. It was very liquidy and the top wasn't as caramelized as it should have been.

 

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