Jump to content
cruisewithwife

Thanksgiving Freedom Cruise 2017...Lots of Pics

Recommended Posts

First off sorry its been so long to get around to writing this. We left out of Galveston on the Carnival Freedom for 7 days over the week of Thanksgiving, with stops in Key West, Freeport, and Nassau. Some background information, this was the first cruise taking both of our girls on ages 7 and 4. The oldest had been on a cruise when she was 2 but doesn't remember much of it. This was the wife and I's 4th cruise. We just did this exact same cruise in July for our 10 year anniversary and decided we would take the girls with over Thanksgiving for a family trip. We live in the Houston area so we were driving down to the port the morning of. We had everything packed up on Friday night and anxiously awaiting for Saturday morning to arrive. We got up and I loaded up the car, then took the other car to drop the dogs off at the vet for the week as DW got the kids ready. By the time I got back home they were waiting in the car and off to Galveston we go. It was probably about 8:30 at this time so we knew we would be there in plenty of time. We had FTTF and used it in July as well it is so worth it. We pulled into Galveston around 10 o'clock and then we came over the little bit of a hill and the girls saw the ship. They were so excited now that they could actually see how big it was. I dropped them off and gave a porter a few bucks to take care of our bags....make sure you get the orange tape if you have FTTF. I took the car over to lighthouse parking which we have used and never had any issues with. I parked the car and was on a shuttle bus back to the terminal.

The best part of FTTF came right now when you go to the left and walk by all the people standing in line waiting to go through. From the time we were outside to the time going through security, checking the wine, and sitting in the lobby was literally 5-10 minutes and that was with 2 kids. Well we made it through now we sit, wait, and visit until they let us on the ship. Hope you enjoy the review!!

 

enhance

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Everyone was excited and surprisingly the girls did better than expected waiting. There was no weddings on this cruise so we were hoping that would speed things up a little bit...then they called for Platinum and Diamond members and wow there was a lot. Finally it was our turn FTTF so we headed up the gangway.

 

enhance

 

Those first couple steps on to the ship are always so great as your vacation has officially started and there is no worries.

enhance

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We headed towards our room. This was our first time ever staying in an interior room and we were on deck 2 as well as in the back. DW was a little nervous as this was a lot of changes for a room all at once. We made it to our room and had ordered the girls a little surprise so below is the video of them entering the room.

 

idW8KP-D3-o

 

 

Overall the room wasn't bad with the two pull downs it did feel smaller, but hey we are on vacation and the room is for sleeping and showering. Time to go do some exploring and get some lunch...since we were in the back we jumped on the elevator and headed straight up to go to the pizza place because of course my oldest wanted pizza. I do believe she had pizza almost everyday.

 

enhance

 

DW and Ainsley headed to the BBQ place and we would meet them once our pizza was ready. Since it was so early they were still in process of making them and the fact that I enjoy a custom pizza-quatro and add mushrooms and pepporoni. While we waited had to get a selfie in.

 

enhance

 

Makenna decided she has this cruise stuff down to a pat within the first hour haha

enhance

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We are totally foodies as well so if you don't enjoy food or looking at pictures of food I suggest you stop reading right now....here is that pizza I was talking about.

 

enhance

enhance

 

The little one and DW had some bbq but we all sample off of each others plates. The mac n cheese was amazing today at the bbq place.

 

enhance

enhance

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Of course we had to get a little dessert after that meal. We had to limit the kids cuz they were amazed at all the desserts. For some reason though the buffet desserts look so amazing and many of them don't taste nearly as good as they look.

 

enhance

Ainsley thought the cake pops were amazing.

 

Makenna enjoyed some chocolate cake.

enhance

 

I got some lemon marange pie which wasn't too bad.

enhance

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After our food and dessert we decided to go check out where our table was in the main dining room. We took a tour but they did not have all the table numbers up yet.

enhance

 

We then headed up to Camp Ocean to finalize our registration and let the girls check everything out. They were so excited when they saw the book area.

enhance

enhance

 

They have many Dr. Suess books, toys, and coloring pages all in this area.

enhance

 

I must say I think DW was just as excited as the kids.

enhance

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm really enjoying following along with you. Our first Freedom cruise is booked, but have to wait til spring of 2019.

 

I loved the pic of your family all decked out in pink shirts and am eager to read more.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We did all the pre-registration online and then just had to check everything once getting on board. I highly recommend you do this right when you get on board as very few people do and that way you are not waiting in long lines later on. Ainsley was in the Penquins group which is ages 2-5, with her we received a phone so they could contact us at all times. Here is a little tour of the Penquin area.

enhance

enhance

enhance

enhance

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Makenna was in the Sting Ray group which was ages 6-8. I will say I think she was a little disappointed with her room initially but she had a lot of fun as they did many games and activities.

enhance

 

Next we decided to go outside and check out the playground.

enhance

enhance

Ainsley thought it was great however Makenna got upset when we told her she was a little big to be playing on all that stuff. So what makes you feel better a selfie with mommy.

enhance

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After all that hard work I mean it has been almost 2 hours since we have ate anything so off to Guy's burger.

enhance

Looking out at Galveston as more people board. Had to also get a Miami Vice to make it feel like we really were on vacation.

enhance

enhance

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We headed back to our room and all of our luggage was there so time to get unpacked. The kids checked out their beds while I got everything organized. A few things we bring along that we feel are helpful is a collapsible laundry basket, magnet hooks to hang sail and sign cards by the door. We also bring a shoe organizer to hang on the wall with magnets. If you are looking for some amazing magnets Harbor Freight sells a 50 lb magnet for like $4. I got two of them and there was no way our organizer was coming down...side note getting them back off the wall was quite interesting.

Everything was unpacked and put in its place. Just relaxing and waiting for the muster drill. The horn went off and off we went. We waited for a decent amount of time for all the people to arrive. It was kinda warm but not too bad.

enhance

Guess in this picture you can actually see our matching cruise shirts we had made as well.

enhance

 

Time for sailaway...we enjoy going up to deck 5 and watching from the couches as we sail away rather than the open deck.

enhance

 

We had to wait a little longer as the Valor was in port too and headed out before us.

enhance

The girls saw lots of dolphins as we were leaving and waved to the ferry.

enhance

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Before dinner we headed down to deck 3 and then outside. The girls decided to do a little photo shoot.

enhance

enhance

The weather was a little stormy leaving Galveston and you could feel the waves a little bit but nothing bad.

enhance

Taking some photos on the bench

enhance

enhance

enhance

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With time before dinner still we headed into the Atrium to listen to music. The girls wanted to dance.

enhance

Mom and dad were excited to relax

enhance

For those of you interested in seeing the first day Texas has a different drink menu on Carnival. It is below.

enhance

enhance

enhance

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Time to make our way towards dinner but not without a stop at the Taste Bar.

enhance

It was kinda cool that during this cruise had a few different people come up to me and say hello from reading our cruise review from July. It is always fun to actually get to meet some of the people here on Cruise Critic.

Tonight's serving

enhance

enhance

We passed on the pumpkin bisque. Ainsley enjoyed the rib...she is my little sauce girl and loves to dip.

enhance

Makenna thought it was ok.

enhance

I find these to be very tasty so that meant more for me haha

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We arrived at the dinning room.

enhance

We were upstairs in a booth just the 4 of us which was very nice.

Tonight's menu:

enhance

enhance

enhance

The kids got a menu as well but ended up getting stuff off the adult menu for the most part.

enhance

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ainsley was very excited for her strawberry soup and she ate every last drop of it. She wished they would have had it every night.

enhance

We get a cheese plate as an appetizer to eat with the bread.

enhance

I had the vietnamese rolls which were good.

enhance

I also had the fried calamari and I thought this was very good. Definately something I will get the next time we cruise!

enhance

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The fried shrimp was something most of us got at the table.

enhance

 

I also got the glazed pork loin but don't have a picture of that it was ok. Makenna decided she had to have a hot dog.

enhance

Next up was dessert.

enhance

Ainsley fell in love with her new favorite dessert, chocolate melting cake in which she had pretty much every night.

enhance

I had the strawberry dessert and butter pecan ice cream

enhance

enhance

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Makenna went with 2 different ice creams

enhance

Taryn had the melting cake but she gets peanut butter to go with it

enhance

Both kids thought there dessert was great.

enhance

enhance

DW and I had a hard time getting into dessert. Right before they brought it out there was a kid who got sick and as his dad tried to get him out of the dining room he puked all over the floor a table down from us. That smell kind of ruined the meal. Luckily it did not get on us!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After dinner we went back to the room quick and then off to the welcome aboard show.

enhance

You can see the shoe organizer in this pic and we also like to hang up the Fun times with magnets as well....eliminates the clutter

enhance

We made it to the Theater and we always enjoy sitting up in the balcony part with the couches.

enhance

enhance

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Malcolm is the cruise director and we think he does a fantastic job. He always gets the crowd involved. There was one guy he picked on in the audience who had his hands folded and didn't look like he was enjoying. Malcolm made the comment they don't discriminate if you are a fun hater just stay in your room and order room service haha

enhance

Then he brought up two couples for the VIP contest

enhance

 

Video of the ping pong game

6lVqlKMfuiI

 

Then the singers and dancers came out to give us a little preview of the upcoming shows for the week. The girls really enjoyed watching them

enhance

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After the show we headed to the Red Frog Pub for a little get together.

enhance

We were a little early so we decided to play some shuffleboard

enhance

enhance

We enjoy hanging out at the Red Frog Pub as kids are allowed and they have games and music. The little meet and greet turned out to be very few people but it was nice visiting with some folks on board.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great review so far. Looks like you had a great cruise.

 

Sent from my ONEPLUS A3000 using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the review and pictures!

Malcolm was the CD on our Miracle sailing out of NYC in 2011!

Loved him! Woo Hoo!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,

I read your review earlier this year too. And am enjoying this new review too! I really enjoy viewing all the photos, so thank you! We go at the end of February.....yippie :D

:ship::ship: Bobbi

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi,

I read your review earlier this year too. And am enjoying this new review too! I really enjoy viewing all the photos, so thank you! We go at the end of February.....yippie :D

:ship::ship: Bobbi

 

Thanks again....we did see your son on the cruise but didn't get a photo...we were not in the comedy club nearly as much on this cruise with the kids as we were in July. You are getting close to going now

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Really enjoying your review and the pictures. I saw "strawberry soup" on the menu and wondered what in the world was that then just down a little you had a picture, perfect! Looking forward to the rest of your review, looks like your family had a great time - and isn't that what it is all about!

:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Loving your review! Thank you for posting the kids menu, I hadn't seen one before! Do you know if the kids club was open for drop off on the first night? We are crusing with our kids this coming April and next Dec, and my tentative plan was to get the kids a quick bite at the buffet (they are not big eaters and I don't fight with them about food on vacation), and then drop them at the kids club so hubby and I could go to dinner alone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×