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funinthesun1964

Freedom Review: 10/28/12 by FunInTheSun1964

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Well I am ready to begin my review. Uploading photos to my laptop now ;)

 

We had a great time! This trip it was just DH (49) and me (48). We sometimes go with friends, but couldn't persuade anyone to join us this trip. This was our sixth cruise, all on Carnival. We are from Northeast Ohio. We did meet lots of nice people on this trip!!! We had a fantastic roll call group, and had an open bar party for one hour in the 70's disco, organized by Mike. (thanks, Mike!!) They also organized a cabin crawl, but we didn't participate in that.

 

We went to Key West, Grand Cayman, and Jamaica. We had days at sea on Tuesday and Friday. This was a six day cruise (Sunday-Saturday). We left home one day early and stayed at an airport hotel for the evening. More details on that later.

 

Hurricane Sandy had been a big worry for us. We were closely monitoring the storm for the week prior. As the time came closer for us to travel to Ft. Lauderdale, we saw that the storm was going to move northward, but it was such a large storm that we still thought our travel would be affected. We did have some windy conditions the day we arrived, but no rain, and thankfully, SUN! Sunday, our embarkation day, turned out to be a beautiful day :)

 

We had Anytime dining. Loved it and glad we are signed up for this on our next cruise. We asked to be seated with other people and this was enjoyable. Service was very good.

 

We love our deck chairs on sea days. On Tuesday, we were out on the deck around 11 or before. We tried Serenity, but I found I do not like the Serenity deck as much on larger ships as I do on Fantasy-class ships. The Serenity area is spread out over two decks and both sides of the ships, as well as the forward section. On Fantasy class ships, it is just one area, and it is the aft of the ship. I like it better, and think it is a better place to meet and mingle. So we left serenity area and ended up near the railing just above the main lido area. It is here we met I Made, a fantastic server as well as a friendly person. One note about the bar servers on the Lido deck: I have never been hounded so much to buy drinks on a cruise. We kept having to say "no thanks"!! One server named Rio, especially was pushy. Said he would bring us our order in ten minutes, and then told us what to buy. I cringed every time I saw him walking our way!

 

We were signed up for zero excursions when we left. We signed up for two on the ship: The plantation tour in Jamaica, and then the Everglades Tour for Fort Lauderdale (as our flight home did not leave until 3pm). We enjoyed both of these.

 

Well, I will start on the review in just a bit. Going to work on finish unpacking and starting laundry also today. Of course, there's also the fun task of heading to the grocery store :rolleyes:

 

Be back soon!

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My husband and I just got back yesterday from our first cruise on The Carnival Freedom. We had a blast! The Halloween Deck Party was fantastic! We brought costumes and we thought that there wouldn't be many people dressing up, but we were so wrong. There were a lot of original costumes.

I loved the Cruise Director Brad. The shows were great

I would recommend Carnival for anyone who wants to cruise. We don't plan on going on another cruise anytime soon. But, when we do, it will be on a Carnival ship.

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My husband and I just got back yesterday from our first cruise on The Carnival Freedom. We had a blast! The Halloween Deck Party was fantastic! We brought costumes and we thought that there wouldn't be many people dressing up, but we were so wrong. There were a lot of original costumes.

I loved the Cruise Director Brad. The shows were great

I would recommend Carnival for anyone who wants to cruise. We don't plan on going on another cruise anytime soon. But, when we do, it will be on a Carnival ship.

 

Yes, I have some photos of some costumes. They were very interesting :eek: We were at the deck party and stayed until they announced the winners. DH and I thought some of the other costumes were better than the "top 25". It was a great time though!

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I am looking forward to your review. I will be doing the same trip in..........34 days...

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I'm thinking of booking this cruise for May 2013 so am looking forward to reading your review! This will be my third cruise and my husbands first (if I can get him there lol).

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Sorry for the delay in getting started but you know, the dreaded laundry. Ugh!! That and of course had to make my own bed and fix my own breakfast :mad: I wish I could have brought our room steward, Jorge, home with me!

 

So we left out of Canton/Akron and we were so glad that we got a deal on Airtran! The airport is only five minutes from our house. We had a flight booked for 11:37am, and had our son drive us (he lives with us). I had printed our boarding passes beforehand, so we just left our house around 10:15 and we had plenty of time!

 

We went through security and I got pulled aside with my carry on :o I had packed a corkscrew because I had planned on buying wine in Ft. Lauderdale. The corkscrew had a tiny little knife tucked inside of it (I truly didnt even think about this). So they asked if I had a corkscrew and I said yes, they opened my luggage, confiscated it and then re-scanned my luggage. They said that it would not be allowed, so I just told them to throw it away.

 

On with the boarding process and we are on our way!!

 

I took this photo while sitting in my window seat. It was a cold, rainy day here and we were glad to leave!

 

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We arrived at the Atlanta airport and were hungry for lunch. We found a Sam Adams and shared a basket of nachos and had a draft beer. That was delish!

 

We arrived in Fort Lauderdale around 5 pm. We had a reservation at the Hampton Inn & Suites - Airport South/Stirling Ave. I called the hotel and asked for a shuttle to come and collect us. We waited about 20 minutes. We were outdoors and it was windy, but it was sunny and we loved the warmer weather. It was about 80 degrees, I think.

 

We arrived at our hotel. If you are considering this hotel, be advised that it is undergoing renovations. We were dropped off at a side door and found a make-shift lobby (looked about the size of a hotel room, I'm sure that is what it originally was). We were checked in efficiently and given our room keys. I had found this room on lastminutetravel.com for a good rate (81+tax). The hotel appeared to me if it could use some extra TLC, parts appeared well-used. I do hope they don't just renovate the lobby and give it a complete overhaul. Our room was clean, though, and the bathroom had a granite countertop and it had a modern look. This must have been renovated in the last couple of years. One unusual note: There was no bathtub, just a large shower. The area was large, as if a bathtub had previously been there. That's how large the shower was. It was all tile. I thought that the color of the tile made it easy to hide dirt (just my opinion). It kind of reminded me of a shower in someone's basement for some reason.

 

Anyhow, here are some pictures of the hotel room:

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See in the above photo there is a sticky note to the side of the headboard? This was another strange thing, it said "sheets and duvet freshly laundered for you" - or something like that. Well, I should hope so!! I really wouldn't want to sleep on the previous guests' sheets! :eek: Odd!

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We walked around the hotel a little, saw the pool area. No one was using the pool area, and I wouldn't have either - it had leaves and debris floating around in it and at the bottom. This may have been from heavy winds and rains the previous few days, I'm not sure. We weren't planning on swimming anyway, we didn't have the time. We were hungry and wanted to get something for dinner.

 

I had read here on CC about a nearby restaurant called Ale house. I viewed menus online. I had also looked up maps to show the general direction so I could find the place. There was a nearby strip mall, with several stores so off we went. We walked all the way to the end, where the Home Depot was, and I was thinking that the restaurant was very near to there. We did not see it, so we asked a passerby. He told us it was right around the corner, the view was just

blocked by trees.

 

It was worth the walk - it was very good. It was also very busy, but we found a spot for the two of us at the bar. DH had a philly steak sandwich and I had a "bistro burger". It was probably one of the best, if not the best, burger I ever had. There was so much, I could not finish it all.

 

We headed back towards the hotel, back down the sidewalk of the strip mall and found a Big Lots that had a sign on the window "we now sell beer and wine". I walked in, found a so-so selection, and picked up two bottles. Barefoot Moscato, and a sweet red (don't remember the name). They had Beringer wine, and I also saw the chocolate wine. I picked up another corkscrew since mine had been confiscated at CAK. We then went back to the hotel.

 

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This was taken shortly after arrival at the hotel, but a Comfort Inn was right next door. As you can see, other restaurants and shops are across the street. There is a Taco Bell and a Mcdonald's nearby to this hotel also.

 

The Comfort Inn next door had an outdoor bar and many people were gathered there. There were tables right there by the bar /pool and we also saw people eating their breakfast outdoors.

 

I had inquired about the shuttle service for the next day, it was $10 per person. The only available time was 12:30, and we decided we just would use a taxi. We thought maybe we could find another couple that would also be going to the port and could split the cost.

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I'm thinking about going on this itinerary, torn between that and the Bahamas on Ecstasy; thanks for posting. Looking forward to more photos.

 

Got some questions, if you're willing to share.

Was your Hampton Inn & Suites hotel in the same general area as Dania Sleep Inn, which is the hotel I'm considering for myself?

How was Jamaica? Was it as unsafe, pushy vendors and all, as Cruise Critic makes it to be?

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The next morning, we were awake early. I thought that we would get a good night's sleep and be refreshed, but neither of us slept well. I'm not sure why. Well, after 4:30 I know why. There was a fight going on across the hall from us. Not kidding, very loud yelling, and we could hear the door slamming. DH finally said around 10 till 6 that he was going to go to the exercise room. He left for a while, I stayed in bed, was too lazy to work out :o.

 

We went down to breakfast when he returned and it was not busy yet. The breakfast was pretty good, there were some hot items. Oh, since the lobby was being renovated, breakfast was in a space which equaled about the space of two hotel rooms. Furniture from lobby was crabbed into the space.

 

We went out for a walk. There was a Kmart and another stores across the street from where we had been the night before. So we went there, we looked at Halloween costumes but did not buy any. We did not bring costumes with us either. I guess we are party poopers. Our luggage was already full!! We did end up buying a six pack of diet pepsi in plastic bottles.

 

We went back to the hotel and to the makeshift lobby for a cup of coffee. We were looking for someone who might need a taxi ride to the port to share the cost with. We did meet another couple, they were very nice. They had already scheduled the shuttle for their cruise on the Ruby Princess. Anyway, they said that they were to leave yesterday, but due to norovirus on the ship, boarding was delayed for another day to thoroughly clean the ship :eek: They were very nice, I hope they enjoyed their cruise. It was their first one and they were celebrating their wedding anniversary.

 

So, we went back to the room, gathered our belongings and DH called for a taxi. We waited at the main entrance of the hotel. DH received a text on his cell phone that taxi was less than 3 miles away. I thought that was cool, we then looked for our ride.

 

DH waiting for the taxi in the front of the hotel

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I'm thinking of booking this cruise for May 2013 so am looking forward to reading your review! This will be my third cruise and my husbands first (if I can get him there lol).

 

Tell your husband that I think you BOTH should go. You will have a good time. I'm sure he will listen to me, haha.

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I'm thinking about going on this itinerary, torn between that and the Bahamas on Ecstasy; thanks for posting. Looking forward to more photos.

 

Got some questions, if you're willing to share.

Was your Hampton Inn & Suites hotel in the same general area as Dania Sleep Inn, which is the hotel I'm considering for myself?

How was Jamaica? Was it as unsafe, pushy vendors and all, as Cruise Critic makes it to be?

 

Hello, I think the hotel was in the same GENERAL area, but not within walking distance. I just used mapquest and it was about 2.5 miles.

 

Jamaica for us was rainy. We booked an excursion through Carnival, we got a bus right outside of the cruise terminal area and didn't walk around on our own, so we didn't have to deal with the pushy vendors. I was approached by one woman on part of the excursion (Dolphin's Cove) who asked if I was interested in having my hair braiding. That was it! I was too afraid to wonder around on my own due to what I've read here on CC, so that's why I booked an excursion through the ship.

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The taxi was there promptly (around 10:00) and we were on our way. The driver was friendly and we enjoyed the conversation on the way there. When DH called on the phone, they said the fare would be $15..but we noticed that there was already $2.40 on the meter when we got in (does anyone know why?). The total cost for the taxi when we arrived at our ship was $18. We tipped him and immediately met up with a porter. Then we tipped him, he took our bags, and were on our way inside. Made our way through the terminal. No lines yet, check in was easy. Made our way to the waiting area. We found out that the passengers from the previous cruise were late due to the storm. As we were waiting we saw passengers still debarking at 11:00.

 

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We went to sit where we had a view of the ship!

 

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Tell your husband that I think you BOTH should go. You will have a good time. I'm sure he will listen to me, haha.

 

Thanks, I'll pass your message on! I know I'd have a great time and so would he as he's very social and enjoys being with other people. My last cruise was with our daughter and I think after we left he was sorry that he hadn't gone instead, but of course would never admit to it - lol. Keep up the good work, your review is excellent!

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We love the Freedom and the 6 day cruise. We've done it 3 times already and ready for a forth!

 

We really liked the cruise too, wish we lived in Florida. Airfare is getting so high and I would love to be able to just drive to the cruise port!

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So it seems we waited forever to get on the ship! It was getting very crowded in the cruise terminal. Some people starting singing, and I remember someone starting row, row, row your boat, and it general people were very excited to board. Finally - they started with a wedding party, followed by the "silver or white" cards. Then - Zones 1 and 2. About ten minutes later - zones 3 and 4. It was time to go!

 

Off we went, could not wait to hear the first "ding" - and we were in! We looked around the atrium. I found Mike, the person who organized our meet and greet, and went over and said hello.

 

Afterwards, we headed up to the Lido for lunch. We boarded sometime around 12:15, because when we were on the Lido eating our lunch it was 12:30.

 

Here is our lunch! We went to Lido, then went upstairs for the fish and chips!!:D

 

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I normally do not take pictures of the food, but I did get a couple on this cruise.

 

DH loved the fish and chips. It was a bit too greasy for me, and I thought it would bother my stomach, so I only had half of my portion. We had iced tea to drink. No DOD's yet.

 

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I see some other people went for the fish and chips right away also.

 

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Another view of the upstairs seating area

 

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We really liked the cruise too, wish we lived in Florida. Airfare is getting so high and I would love to be able to just drive to the cruise port!

That's our problem from Ontario - we used to fly Southwest out of Buffalo N.Y. for around $150 return and now it's at least double that! But still cheaper than flying out of Canada!

Edited by DarB58

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We then went outside to have a look around the deck. Also in port was Allure of the Seas

 

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and Ruby Princess (this was the one delayed departure by one day due to Norovirus and disinfecting the ship)

 

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The deck was still fairly empty. Notice the server in the below picture, this was my favorite server, I Made. I didn't even know I had this picture of him! I hadn't met him yet, in fact not until the next day.

 

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We love the Freedom and the 6 day cruise. We've done it 3 times already and ready for a forth!

 

Wow that encourages me... we haven't booked yet but I'm thinking it won't be long!

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Im enjoying your review! I had an awesome cruise on Freedom two years ago! Looking forward to more of your review, and thanks for sharing!:)

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The must-have photo:

 

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Back inside, promenade deck

 

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As I said before, we had anytime dining in the Chic dining room. So we went to find it and I took these photos:

 

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We were signed up for zero excursions when we left. We signed up for two on the ship: The plantation tour in Jamaica, and then the Everglades Tour for Fort Lauderdale (as our flight home did not leave until 3pm). We enjoyed both of these.

 

 

Did they have other excursions for individuals that have a late return flight home? We did the Everglades tour 3 years ago, and although we had a great time, I'd like to do something different. Our plane doesn't leave until 5pm.

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yay! It was nice meeting you two on the cruise . We had an amazing time! I hope to get my review started sometime this week. :)

 

Kristen and Dave

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Did they have other excursions for individuals that have a late return flight home? We did the Everglades tour 3 years ago, and although we had a great time, I'd like to do something different. Our plane doesn't leave until 5pm.

 

I am sorry, but I don't know for sure. I didn't notice anything else, but the Everglades tour was heavily promoted and we had never done it, so we jumped on it. We wanted to do something, since our flight didn't leave until 3.

 

Over on the departures board, there may be information for you regarding things to do; I've heard that some people go to the beach for the day; one person was checking into getting a hotel for a day rate - you could check into these options.

 

Whatever you choose, have a great time!

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yay! It was nice meeting you two on the cruise . We had an amazing time! I hope to get my review started sometime this week. :)

 

Kristen and Dave

 

Hi Kristen! Tell Dave we said hello! We had a great time too. We enjoyed talking with you at the meet and greet and seeing you other places on the ship. I will anxiously wait for your review!

 

How's charlotte? We came home to 38 degrees :eek:

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By this time, it was 1:30 and time to go check out the cabin! I was really looking forward to this cruise because of the location. I had picked #2470, an aft corner ocean view. On our first cruise, we had met in someone's cabin in the same spot (different ship) for wine and could not believe the size! For the same price as a regular ocean view on the Main Deck, Aft section, we had TWO windows, and a spacious area! We both loved it. I took photos, even though others have already posted some of this room in the past:

 

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DH checking in with family before we set sail

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DH is a chatterbox LOL

 

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Bathroom is the same size as others:

 

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Bathroom door on left, closet door on right. There were two other closets opposite side, one had only shelves, the other had hangars/shelves. The closet shown here had hangars and shelves.

 

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Standing beside the closet and looking towards the door of the cabin

 

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There is some vibration and noises in the morning when docking. You can hear noises when ship is turning, anchoring, etc. We are early morning risers and the noises did not bother us. I will definitely be booking one of these cabins again in the future.

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