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Freedom Review - GT, La Romana, Aruba & Curacao

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Review of our amazing cruise on the Freedom. We had 8 fun filled days. It's hard being home & not having someone cleaning, cooking, pampering me!

 

On this cruise, it's myself, my husband, my 3yr son, & we were accompanied by my DH's BFF & his girlfriend. We flew from O'hare to FLL the day before the cruise & stayed at the Hyatt Place North 17th St. Convention Center. We arrive in FLL around noon and ...

 

The Hotel -

 

Hyatt Place North - 17th St. Convention Center

Chose this hotel because of it's proximity to the Harbor Shops. The convenience of walking to dinner vs. having to catch a cab & head out somewhere convinced us. (Plus, there was an optometrist convention in town & the Embassy Suite rates were ridiculous)

 

Pros

- Complimentary breakfast was good. Bagels/toast/English muffins, cereals, fruit, oatmeal, biscuits/gravy, and tea/coffee.

- Nice pool area although it's due for a scrubbing.

- Employees are extremely helpful.

Proximity to the Harbor Shops.

Free shuttle anywhere within a 5 mile radius if the hotel shuttle is not in use.

- Big, comfortable rooms. A sectional sofa & desk area allow for a nice visiting area.

- Airport Shuttle included.

 

Cons

- All rooms STINK. There is a wet carpet smell in every room.

- Carpets in rooms and hallways are dirty/stained.

- AC units are old & moldy. While switching the knobs around, dirt/dust/mold flew out from the unit in our room. BLECH.

- Showers don't drain.

 

We changed rooms until we found one where the smell didn't overwhelm us.

Head over to the Harbor Shops for lunch & decide on the Lauderdale Grill.

Second mistake. If you're in the area, head over to Joe's Cafe. Better food, better service, and better prices.

Our traveling companions join us around 8pm & we all head out to dinner.

 

Couple of pictures from our 1st day:

 

My son is plane/train obsessed. He's carefully studying the emergency evacuation guide.

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We've arrived in sunny Florida!

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Enjoying the pool at the hotel.

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Next up: Embarkation!

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Embarkation:

 

We take the hotel shuttle to Port Everglades ($7pp).

Watch out, a hotel employee told us the shuttle would drop us off & pick us up for the $7 fee pp. Not true, you will have to pay an additional $7 on the return trip.

If there are more than 2 people in your group, just take a cab if you're in the surrounding area. It's about $10 + tip.

 

We reach the cruise port around 10:30am. We get through the lines quickly, and are ushered upstairs to a waiting area. The terminal employees are great! They sing, dance, come around & joke with you to help pass the time. We waited about 1hr maybe a bit more & then are on our way to Freedom!

 

We're on board & our first stop is Fish & Chips!

 

Freedom Restaurant - Lido

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Yum!

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Fish & Chips area. If you're looking for it, head to the Statue of Liberty in the buffet area & climb the stairs.

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Hi Magda and Gabe!!!

 

 

Hi, Lori!!!

Gabe asks if you guys can play with Patrick again? :)

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We explore for a bit.

 

The only time the Promenade is empty! Where are all the photographers?

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Club 02 - Isn't it purty?

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Port Everglades

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Chic Restaurant

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Lobby

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My big spender

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Edited by Latinhunny33

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Hardly anyone in the pool/hot tubs.

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Slide looks empty, too.

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Getting hot! Ice cream break!

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My little super star!

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Muster starts just before we sail. Everyone head down to Deck 4.

 

What Gabe thinks of muster.

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After muster, we're starting to pull out so we head up to the top deck to check out the sights.

 

What Gabe thinks of Sail Away

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Ft Lauderdale Beach as we sail away.

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Edited by Latinhunny33

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Nice Review! Looking forward to reading more!:)

 

Great pics - looking forward to more!

 

Thanks! More to come. :)

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Your son is TOOO CUTE !!!:D:D

 

Thanks, I happen to agree with you. :D

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After sail away, we head to Dinner since we have Early Seating.

 

We sit with our friends & are assigned our amazing waiters, Manny & Franciscus.

Ready for dinner!

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Dinner tonight is:

 

Pan Seared Tilapia

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This deliciousness - Chocolate Cake with bing cherries. I'm horrible remembering names.

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Our friend is Vegan so she had the Grilled Tofu Steak. She approves!

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Edited by Latinhunny33

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The magician stops by during dinner & Gabe absolutely loved him!

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After dinner, we stop by the Disco for the kids Party.

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Then we stop by camp & stuff our own Funship Freddy.

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Here's Gabe with his new buddy enjoying Movies Under the Stars.

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We see the Welcome Aboard show & head off to bed.

Next: Sea Day #1 & Grand Turk

 

I'll pick this back up tomorrow.

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Yay! We're doing this itinerary on the Freedom next month. Can't wait to read more.

 

Your little guy is adorable!

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LOVING your review!!! Thank you so much. Your son is precious!! Doing this same cruise in August.

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Love your review so far! Keep it coming!:)

 

 

We are doing the same cruise in January so keep it coming. On a side note we have stayed at the Hyatt North the last 2 years and loved it, no problems at all. Last January they were under new ownership, are they not keeping things up? We are planning on staying there this January also but now am wondering if we should try ES.

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Your son is SO cute! I love his super star look with the sunglasses!

 

We doing this same trip in July. Looking forward to your review and tips.

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Embarkation:

 

We reach the cruise port around 10:30am. We get through the lines quickly, and are ushered upstairs to a waiting area. The terminal employees are great! They sing, dance, come around & joke with you to help pass the time. We waited about 1hr maybe a bit more & then are on our way to Freedom!

 

We're on board & our first stop is Fish & Chips! If you're looking for it, head to the Statue of Liberty in the buffet area & climb the stairs.

 

Do you know if other food can be taken up to the Fish & Chips area? When we were on the Dream in December we went to the pasta bar (same general area as Fish & Chips on Freedom) for our lunch - it was a nice place to stay out of the crowds. Only two of our five people eat fish/seafood, I would like to sit up in that area on our June 2nd cruise, but three of us would have to get other food and bring it up there (on the Dream it wasn't allowed).

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Do you know if other food can be taken up to the Fish & Chips area? When we were on the Dream in December we went to the pasta bar (same general area as Fish & Chips on Freedom) for our lunch - it was a nice place to stay out of the crowds. . .

 

Yes, we took our food up there a few times as there were plenty of seats open.

 

Magda: love the photos. Sweet memories! last week at this time I was napping! ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh If you guys come on the Sept 3 Glory cruise, please tell Gabe we can look for whales!!

Edited by mizlorinj

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Yes, we took our food up there a few times as there were plenty of seats open.

 

Thank you for your quick response - it'll be nice to sit up there out of the way of the rest of the mad crowd letting the two people in our party try the Fish & Chips food, and the other three of us getting something from the buffet and bringing it up to sit out of the madness. :D

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LOVING your review!!! Thank you so much. Your son is precious!! Doing this same cruise in August.

 

Thanks!

 

Love your review so far! Keep it coming!:)

 

Thanks!

 

We are doing the same cruise in January so keep it coming. On a side note we have stayed at the Hyatt North the last 2 years and loved it, no problems at all. Last January they were under new ownership, are they not keeping things up? We are planning on staying there this January also but now am wondering if we should try ES.

 

They were remodeling/updating when we checked out. Hauling in new furniture & removing the old, I don't know if they're planning on doing more beyond that but the hotel needs it. You can tell it's been recently painted outside but the carpets & AC units need to go.

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Do you know if other food can be taken up to the Fish & Chips area? When we were on the Dream in December we went to the pasta bar (same general area as Fish & Chips on Freedom) for our lunch - it was a nice place to stay out of the crowds. Only two of our five people eat fish/seafood, I would like to sit up in that area on our June 2nd cruise, but three of us would have to get other food and bring it up there (on the Dream it wasn't allowed).

 

Yes!! It's quiet & empty compared to the main buffet area. Definitely head upstairs!

 

Yes, we took our food up there a few times as there were plenty of seats open.

 

Magda: love the photos. Sweet memories! last week at this time I was napping! ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh If you guys come on the Sept 3 Glory cruise, please tell Gabe we can look for whales!!

 

Aww, would love to! We're actually looking at the Dream next year. We'll see. I have pictures of you & Gabe at the sandbar, very cute!

 

Enjoying your review, please keep it coming!

 

Coming right up!

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Don't want to be a debbie downer on ur awesome review but did you see any signs of that nasty Noro that I've been reading so much about?

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Yes, some people from our Roll Call caught it as well as my hubby & our friend.

We didn't realize it was Noro. My DH thought it was symptoms from an ailment he suffers & our friend thought it was something he ate on an island.

 

We didn't find out until we got back home that it was Noro from members of our Roll Call.

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So sorry to hear that, glad that you still had an amazing cruise, some people get on here and complain about how bad the cruise was "in general" because they or someone in there party got sick. I am cruising in September and am excited jus hope they have it all cleaned up by then!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Sea Day 1

 

We had an interior room on Deck 10 & if you've ever had an inside you know they are like CAVES! I wake up & thinking it's 3am am prepared to go back to sleep but check the time just in case - it's 9:30!!! Eeek! I don't want to miss out on my vacation!

 

FYI - Breakfast is served until eleven or noon for Late Risers on the Lido Deck.

 

I do have to say that this room seemed to be the smallest out of the ones we've had. There's only the bed, there was a drop down bed for Gabe. There's a small dresser with 3 1/2 drawers, vanity area & three closet spaces. 2 small bedside tables & that's it. Small & not even drawer space.

 

Today, we are lazy (as you've already inferred) & we lounge. Explore the ship, have our Meet & Greet, and prepare for Elegant Night.

 

The Wake

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We spot Funship Freddy outside of Camp.

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We had a Meet & Greet with our Roll Call at 2pm today. What an awesome group of people. Had a blast meeting them & then running into them on the ship throughout the week. I felt like a celebrity!

 

Here's our group photo

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Tonight is Elegant Night, so we spiff up.

Here is my little guy with Freddy

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Elegant Night Pic

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This year I tried the Pasta Carbonara App & it was delicious!

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Edited by Latinhunny33

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Of course, we had the lobster (won’t bore you with another lobster pic) and the Banana Cake on the Spa Menu for dessert. Mind you, not for dietary purposes, it was the only thing that sounded good.

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After dinner, we head to the Victoriana Lounge to catch the show The Big Easy, which was good. I was surprised by how much Gabe enjoyed the shows! He was entranced by the singing, dancing, lights, props, etc.

Enjoying the show

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After the show, we change & drop off the little guy at camp for a bit so we can sit in on the Adult Comedy Show. Tonight, we see John Rathbone (very funny) but the International Lounge is packed. Carnival really needs to find a bigger venue for these shows. Every night seats are taken before showtime & many people have to stand along the walls to enjoy the show.

Shows over, we pick up Gabe from camp & head outside. Tonight’s MUTS is Lord of the Rings.

 

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So sorry to hear that, glad that you still had an amazing cruise, some people get on here and complain about how bad the cruise was "in general" because they or someone in there party got sick. I am cruising in September and am excited just hope they have it all cleaned up by then!

 

We had a great cruise apart from DH & friend being sick. We washed our hands constantly & used the sanitizers throughout the ship. Don't worry & have a great cruise!

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Today we arrive in BEAUTIFUL Grand Turk!

 

Tried to get up early enough to catch the sunrise over GT but I slept in. Oops!

We're up early enough to catch a quick breakfast & get chairs in the shade right in front of the ship since we have nothing planned for this day.

 

Views of GT from Deck 10.

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Front Row Seats - Yeah!

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Gabe is settling in for a sand filled day.

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Floating the day away

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As you can see, we loved Grand Turk!

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Perfect Day!

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After spending the majority of the day in front of the ship, we decide to explore Margaritaville & the surrounding areas.

 

Margaritaville Pool area & Flow Rider

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Swings right outside the bar area

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OMG!! THERE'S NO SHELL!

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Loving your review so far! I will be aboard the Freedom for 8 days in December for my first solo cruise and can't wait!

 

Moraima

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We head over to the other side of the island & see the big whale.

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Splashdown!

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New Screen Saver!

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Whale butt!

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GT

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