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MDSue

MdSue's: Live from CARNIVAL FREEDOM, March 23-31, 2013, Review, Pictures, and more!!!

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Hi All,

 

Come join me for my second live review. This year, my sister and I are spending 8 days on the Freedom visiting Freeport, La Romana, DR, Curacao, and Aruba. Originally, we were supposed to go to Grand Turk, but they suspended stops there for awhile due to an increase in gastro-illnesses after stopping at Grand Turk. It seems as if there is a concern about the water safety on the island.

 

So first things first- I need help with ideas for Freeport! I am a compulsive planner and by the time we are ready to sail, I've explored all the options and have a plan in place. I've never been to Freeport and have no idea what to do. We were really looking forward to a beach/snorkel day. Any ideas are greatly appreciated:)

 

I love taking and sharing pictures, so I'll have tons to share. If you have any requests for ship pictures or information, just ask and I'll try post pics or answers for you.

 

I already have lots of pics from our day in Ft. Lauderdale that I'll post soon.

 

Now, I'm off to research ideas for Freeport

 

Since the Internet is pricy and the speed is slow, slow, slow, I'll post as many as I can over the next week and then when I get home, I'll do a more detailed review.

 

See you soon!

 

Susan

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Looking forward to it!! We are sailing this itinerery next so this is right on time. Getting popcorn ready!:D

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Can't wait to meet you on Monday... Looking forward to our adventure!

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Looking forward to it!! We are sailing this itinerery next so this is right on time. Getting popcorn ready!:D

 

Thanks, I'm looking forward to sharing our trip! Any questions, just ask- I'll do my best to find out.

 

So far, our plans are winging it in Freeport, but looking to see if we can get to the Blue Lagoon island for a sea lion encounter or maybe some beach/snorkel time. Second option is a taxi to Lucaya.

 

In La Romana, a bunch of us from our roll call (thanks, Dawn) are booked on a tour with Seavis to Saona Island. We are arriving 2 hours late because of the itinerary change, but I'm really looking forward to this tour. We were told they will accommodate the change, so I'm hoping we'll get a great tour in.

 

Curacao is another "wing it" day. I'm really looking forward to some great photo ops from this island, so we will probaly hang out in the port area to get pics (and shop, of course), and then maybe grab a few hour island tour from a local vendor.

 

I've been to Aruba twice, and love the Palm Beach area. We are going to grab the bus or a taxi and head over there for the day. I spent a week there in January at the Radisson resort. I can't wait to head back. They have some beautiful parrots that live on the resort and my sister is dying to meet them.

 

We are more island people than ship people, so I don't do too many ship activities, but we have a few sea days, so we might check out a few shows and such. Looking for ideas!

 

Susan

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Can't wait to meet you on Monday... Looking forward to our adventure!

 

We are going to have a great time!

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Curacao is another "wing it" day. I'm really looking forward to some great photo ops from this island, so we will probaly hang out in the port area to get pics (and shop, of course), and then maybe grab a few hour island tour from a local vendor.

 

In Curacao you can walk from where the ship docks to the Pontoon Bridge. There are shops and restaurants along the way to the bridge. There is also a casino along the route. The Pontoon Bridge is truly amazing. It is a pedestrian-only bridge. Very picturesque and full of history. If you walk across the bridge, there are more shops and sidewalk cafe's on the other side. At night, the cafe's along the water near the bridge are lit up with bright colorful lights. We took some great night shots there. We are going to Curacao again in November of this year. Can't wait.

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We arrived yesterday and after a few glitches, we made it to our hotel- the Bahia Mar. We stayed here a few years ago and really liked the location so we decided to come back here again. The beach is right across the street and the marina is next to us- lots of really nice yachts are docked here.

 

The glitches- my plane was delayed an hour or so, so my sister had to wait a bit for me. Once we gathered out luggage, we headed out to grab a cab. The line went slow as molasses and we waited about 20 minutes to finally get a cab. They put is in a van with another customer going in the opposite direction as us. Once we were seated in the taxi and ready to head off- we see our luggage in the back of another taxi! Thank-god, the dispatcher noticed the error and quickly retrieved our bags from the other cab and put in it our cab. I have nightmares of seeing all of our belongings headed off in a strange cab for places unknown, and us having nothing but the shirts on our backs for the next 10 days!

 

Once we headed out in the cab, we realized that the other customer and the driver could not understand each other and the cab driver had no idea where the customer was going. He was driving and searching the GPS on his phone at the same time. A few times, the drive stopped in the middle of the road trying to look at his map, while cars were honking behind us. After driving a few miles in the wrong direction, the customer gave up and made the taxi driver let him off. Luckily, the driver knew where our hotel was and after a hair-raising ride, we got there in one piece.

 

Our hotel:

 

IMG_7126_zpsa574246a.jpg

 

There is a walkway that goes across the highway to the beach:

 

IMG_7125_zpsb25bb3ab.jpg

 

View of the marina from our balcony:

 

IMG_7149_zps9f6eae75.jpg

 

View of the beach from our room:

 

IMG_7143_zps64ac2a77.jpg

Edited by MDSue

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In Curacao you can walk from where the ship docks to the Pontoon Bridge. There are shops and restaurants along the way to the bridge. There is also a casino along the route. The Pontoon Bridge is truly amazing. It is a pedestrian-only bridge. Very picturesque and full of history. If you walk across the bridge, there are more shops and sidewalk cafe's on the other side. At night, the cafe's along the water near the bridge are lit up with bright colorful lights. We took some great night shots there. We are going to Curacao again in November of this year. Can't wait.

 

The main reason I booked this itinerary was to visit Curacao. I am realy hoping to get some great sunset shots of the colorful buildings, and the pontoon bridge. I can't wait to see the area! Thanks for the tips.

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The main reason I booked this itinerary was to visit Curacao. I am realy hoping to get some great sunset shots of the colorful buildings, and the pontoon bridge. I can't wait to see the area! Thanks for the tips.

 

I'm really looking forward to Curaçao too! We will have a full moon that night -rising around 7:15 p.m. I always love taking pics of the moon rising over the ocean :)

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Friday is our only full day in Ft. Lauderdale. Originally, we just planned to spend the day on the beach and hang out by the hotel, but it wasn't quite warm enough for the beach so we asked the concierge for other ideas. I had seen a water taxi going back and forth from a dock nearby and wondered where it went. I've read alot about the Riverwalk area and shopping, so we thought that misght be something to check out.

 

The lady at the concierge desk told us all about the water taxi and where it went. It costs $20 p/p for an all day pass. It makes numerous stops to many locations, but we decided to head to Olas Blvd. for some shopping/sightseeing. The captains for the water taxis doubled as tour guides and pointed out the houses and yachts of the rich and famous along our way:

 

The water taxi:

 

IMG_7136_zpsb5c1a9f2.jpg

 

Steven Spielburg's yacht:

 

DSC07297_zps854561db.jpg

 

saw lots of nice homes, but can't remember whose was whose:

 

DSC07290_zps60f3bee9.jpg

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I'm really looking forward to Curaçao too! We will have a full moon that night -rising around 7:15 p.m. I always love taking pics of the moon rising over the ocean :)

 

Thanks for the time info. I'll make sure we are in a good spot for pics then. I have a good camera, but haven't really mastered night shots yet. I's love to buy a tripod, but it hasn't been in my budget yet.

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Thank you for posting. My sister and I are looking to take a cruise next Jan to celebrate her birthday and the fact that all our kids are now grown and we can leave them behind.So I am looking forward to your review. We have cruised together a lot and are so tempted to get tshirts that say hey jack she is my sister. Enjoy your cruise.

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So, evidently, Olas Blvd. is known as the Rodeo Drive of Ft. Lauderdale. Well, I'm not exactly Rodeo Drive material, but I do love to shop! We weren't there for five minutes before I found my new favorite shop. I'm not sure I ever heard of Troll beads and necklaces before, but I know now. A big chunk of my jewelry budget went for a starter troll bead necklace- two glass beads and 3 silver beads on a black leather necklace just set me back a few hundred bucks:eek:. I couldn't even wait until I got on the cruise to spend my cruise dollars. In fairness to me, I rarely shop at home and only buy jewelry on my cruises.

 

This is where I bought my necklace. They have some beautiful needlepoint there, too.

 

 

DSC07276_zps97890d51.jpg

 

After I spent too much money there, we went here for lunch:

 

DSC07279_zps07ccf48b.jpg

 

And ate the best darn crepe ever:

 

DSC07272_zpsd2c63904.jpg

 

Yes, it was as good as it looked!

Edited by MDSue

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That crepe looks great.

 

It was! We split a ham, spinach, and cheese crepe first and then split the peach melba crepe for dessert.

 

Another view to make your mouth water:

 

DSC07273_zps1672eea4.jpg

Edited by MDSue

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Thank you for posting. My sister and I are looking to take a cruise next Jan to celebrate her birthday and the fact that all our kids are now grown and we can leave them behind.So I am looking forward to your review. We have cruised together a lot and are so tempted to get tshirts that say hey jack she is my sister. Enjoy your cruise.

 

Thanks! My sister and I took our first cruise together 6 years ago and had so much fun, we made a pact to do one every year sans our hubbys. Neither of our DH's like to cruise, so it gives us some sister time together. We live on opposite ends of the country, so this is our time to spend together.

 

We haven't had a bad cruise yet- We don't know how not to have fun!

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Great job so far! Looking forward to the rest...Hope you have a great time!

 

Thanks!

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LOVE your pics so far! I am excited to see what you think of Curacao. It's a great place to capture some neat pics.

 

have a blast! Thanks for taking the time to post.

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My shopping didn't end with a necklace purchase. I've bought many inexpensive Caribbean-themed paintings and prints over the years that fill an entire roon- my Caribbean room. Now, I'm searching for some original artwork that aren't Caribbean themed.

 

I found this painting at a gallery on Olas Blvd. and decided it would look perfect above my sofa. Unfortunately, I've now blown my entire shopping budget in one day.

 

DSC07281_zpsd5f84d8f.jpg

 

Luckily, they will re-frame it for a small fee and ship it to a local gallery near my house for free.

 

It might be time to re-adjust my shopping budget;) Thank-god, my husband never checks our Visa bill- or else he just tolerates my momentary shopping lapses. I promise, I really am good the rest of the year!

 

See you all tomorrow!

Edited by MDSue

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Good morning to all, I can't believe today is it- departure day!

 

I woke up this morning to a beautiful sunrise. Looks like it's going to be sunny and warm today. Took my camera out to the beach for some sunrise pictures- going to upload them next.

 

Originally, we were going to head to the ship around 11 am, but my sister has a friend coming to meet us for lunch. Now, we'll probably go around 1:30 which I figure will be pretty insane, but that's fine- We are going on vacation!!!!

 

Pictures to follow shortly.

Edited by MDSue

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We will be on the Freedom in August and am looking forward to all you have to say about the Freedom. Our itinerary isn't the same as yours. As far as Freeport goes we were there a few years ago and really didn't think it was all that great.

Last year when we were in Aruba we went horseback riding. One of the best memories I have of all our years of cruising. Riding along the beach and then in the water was fabulous!! Can't wait to do it again.

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We will be on the Freedom in August and am looking forward to all you have to say about the Freedom. Our itinerary isn't the same as yours. As far as Freeport goes we were there a few years ago and really didn't think it was all that great.

Last year when we were in Aruba we went horseback riding. One of the best memories I have of all our years of cruising. Riding along the beach and then in the water was fabulous!! Can't wait to do it again.

 

Good morning, We haven't heard a lot of great things about Freeport, but we will make the best of it. Aruba is one of my favorite ports- I just love it there; easy and cheap to get around, and lots of fun stuff to do. I'd kind of like to go somewhere new on the island this time, but my sister loved all the pics I posted of our land vacation there a few months ago, she want to go to the same beach. I have to admit I love the Palm Beach area and by not doing an excursion, we can save some money.

Horseback riding on the beach sounds wonderful:)

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I'm not much of a morning person, but decided to walk across the street to the beach and grab a few sunrise pictures:

 

CarnivalFreedomMar23-312013505_zpsab931afe.jpg

 

IMG_7210_zps63c591b8.jpg

 

CarnivalFreedomMar23-312013515_zpscccff79c.jpg

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Thanks for posting! Can't wait to read your review..We are looking at this cruise for next year just can't decide Feb-Mar-Apr...I am curious to know how it is as far as spring break.. We prefer not to travel during peak seasons.. Enjoy your cruise!!!

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That crepe is reason enough to sail out of Fort Lauderdale for us ;)

 

Have a great cruise!

 

Yes, it is! We took the water taxi to Olas Blvd. and found the restaurant there. We had a ham, spinach, and cheese crepe first. Both were delicious!

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Thanks for posting! Can't wait to read your review..We are looking at this cruise for next year just can't decide Feb-Mar-Apr...I am curious to know how it is as far as spring break.. We prefer not to travel during peak seasons.. Enjoy your cruise!!!

 

I have no doubt there will be a ton of kids! Usually, they are busy doing there own thing and we don't have any problems. There are not too many young children at the late dining.

 

We've sailed Princess the past few years, and there are barely any on the 10 day cruises. I really wnated this itinerary and since I work for the school system, I have to travel this week.

 

I love kids, but I have to admit- a child-free cruise is more to my liking (especially, since I work with kids every day). We'll be fine, though!

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Hi All,

 

Come join me for my second live review. This year, my sister and I are spending 8 days on the Freedom visiting Freeport, La Romana, DR, Curacao, and Aruba. Originally, we were supposed to go to Grand Turk, but they suspended stops there for awhile due to an increase in gastro-illnesses after stopping at Grand Turk. It seems as if there is a concern about the water safety on the island.

 

So first things first- I need help with ideas for Freeport! I am a compulsive planner and by the time we are ready to sail, I've explored all the options and have a plan in place. I've never been to Freeport and have no idea what to do. We were really looking forward to a beach/snorkel day. Any ideas are greatly appreciated:)

 

I love taking and sharing pictures, so I'll have tons to share. If you have any requests for ship pictures or information, just ask and I'll try post pics or answers for you.

 

I already have lots of pics from our day in Ft. Lauderdale that I'll post soon.

 

Now, I'm off to research ideas for Freeport

 

Since the Internet is pricy and the speed is slow, slow, slow, I'll post as many as I can over the next week and then when I get home, I'll do a more detailed review.

 

See you soon!

 

Susan

 

 

I did the safari snorkel on the Fantasia in Freeport and had an awesome time!!!

It leaves from Lucaya.

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I did the safari snorkel on the Fantasia in Freeport and had an awesome time!!!

It leaves from Lucaya.

 

Thanks, Was it easy to find to find in Lucaya? Did you book at the last minute?

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A few more shots from yesterday:

 

The view from our balcony:

 

DSC07214_zpsd47153df.jpg

 

A "pirate excursion", I'm guessing

 

 

DSC07240_zpsbef21fec.jpg

 

 

This realistic looking guy was hanging out in front of one of the waterfront mansions:

 

IMG_7172_zpsd15688a4.jpg

 

Close-up of waterfront home:

 

IMG_7170_zps6a8cc04d.jpg

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Hi All,

 

 

So first things first- I need help with ideas for Freeport! I am a compulsive planner and by the time we are ready to sail, I've explored all the options and have a plan in place. I've never been to Freeport and have no idea what to do. We were really looking forward to a beach/snorkel day. Any ideas are greatly appreciated:)

 

 

 

Susan

 

We will be in Freeport in a couple weeks on the Pride. I just booked Paradise Cove. www.deadmansreef.com Never been there, but all the trip advisor reviews sound great.

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We were on the Freedom a few weeks ago and the internet is slowwwww. At times you cannot even connect. Even booking future cruise the staff was having problems with it. Other than that The Ship was great!!! Have fun!!!

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Since we will be on the Freedom in August I'll be waiting for your reviews

We'll be watching the Port Everglades web cam as you sail tonight!!

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