Carnival Freedom Cruise Review by Crusin' Teacher
- Sail Date: March 2008
- Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Terminal: I had previously sailed on a Carnival cruise, and remembered that it took forever to get through the check-in line. This time, however, my group was given a number and the check-in process was quick and smooth. After a short wait, we were able to get on board the ship by 11:30. It was a little chaotic as the called your zone number because there was a massive rush to the escalators. That was the only negative.
Embarkation: The biggest complaint that we had about the embarkation process was the way the luggage was handled. We had five people in our group. By about 6pm, only two of our five suitcases had been delivered. Right before dinner(late seating), two others showed up. All of the bags were wet. I know Carnival cannot control the weather, but they should have something in place that helps to keep luggage dry. Our clothing could have been a lot wetter, as was evident by the long line of people we saw at the purser's desk complaining about ruined/wet clothing. Carnival did launder the wet clothing for people. The last person in our group FINALLY found her suitcase in the lost luggage area close to 11pm!!! All of her luggage tags were gone! We had been there several times before then, so who knows where the missing case had been hiding. I would suggest heavy duty tags, in several different locations!! Our room steward claimed they had tried a new system for the first time, which caused delays/problems.
The Cruise: We really enjoyed the cruise! I have read some of the other reviews, and noticed a lot of people mentioned lack of crew/poor crew attitudes. I have to totally disagree with them!! I loved the crew! Everyone was super nice and helpful. One morning, I had a great conversation with Adi, from Indonesia, while I ate breakfast. Our assistant waiter, Karel, was fun, and always talked to us no matter where we saw him. Even one day in port, he was friendly and took the time to speak to us. Our room steward was also awesome!! Hannah always had our room in perfect order whenever we came in. She was an extremely hard worker! I can't say I loved our cruise director so much. Her name was Noortje, and she said "um" a lot. Her voice was actually a bit annoying. Her assistant, James was equally annoying. There was room for improvement there!
Food: Our party thought the Chic dining room food ranged from fair to excellent. The lobster tails were the favorite entree, and the warm chocolate melting cake was the favorite dessert! One negative here was that the random people assigned to our table like to try pretty much everything on the menu, which slowed down our service. I believe one night, the lady ate 3 or 4 appetizers, followed by 3 entrees. We were routinely the last ones out of the dining room because of her hearty appetite!
Ports: Loved them all-would have like to have gotten to Old San Juan earlier in the day, as it was not so exciting to see in the dark. It was actually kinda creepy because it wasn't so well lit in some areas. Most of the historical sites were closed before we got there. St. Maarten was beautiful!!! LOVED IT.
Debarkation: Went smoothly for the most part. We did self-assist, but would not do that again. It was quite a haul through the terminal and on top of that, Carnival used different terminal than they were supposed to, so we had a looonggg walk to our car. There was a problem of some sort in the one were were supposed to go to.
Overall: My group enjoyed the Freedom!! It is a huge ship with plenty of things to keep everyone busy. I think that Carnival does a good job providing a great vacation at a reasonable price. We liked it enough to book on the Valor for April 09.
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews
San JuanOkay...not much to see once the sun went down. Most of the historical sites seemed to close by 4 or 5. The ship didn't dock until 4pm. Not my favorite port, but would love to go back during daylight hours!View All 3,767 San Juan Cruise Port Reviews
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St. MaartenWow!! This was one of my favorites spots! The water was absolutely gorgeous! The town was clean and had plenty of shops to see. We did a catamaran excursion that was crazy. The captain warned people that they would not be dry if they sat in the front of the boat, and he wasn't lying! They took us to a small island, where we could snorkel, or just sit in the sun. It was beautiful! The sand was pink! The rum punch on the way back was light on the punch and was mainly rum, and was included in the price. They served sandwiches as well. A great time!!View All 4,728 St. Maarten Cruise Port Reviews
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St. ThomasLots of great jewelry shopping here. I think our guide said there were almost 300 jewelry stores in Charlotte Amalie. We went to Sapphire Beach after shopping. It was okay, but not outstanding. The food was expensive, and we heard guests that were staying in the condos on beach complaining about all the cruise ship passengers that were there.View All 4,646 St. Thomas Cruise Port Reviews
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