August 2015 - Carnival Freedom to Caribbean - Eastern
I think the trick to cruising is to start on a smaller ship and work your way up. Having previously been on the Carnival Conquest (sister ship to the Freedom) and then on the Carnival Magic, it was a disappointment being on the Freedom. The Magic is much newer and bigger and more to do on board. The Freedom felt like a step backwards. Part of the cruise excitement is to explore the ship. Once you've been on one class of ship, the other sister ships are basically the same. I was not impressed by the Key West, Freeport, Nassau itinerary on this trip. Key West was nice and clean and we did a snorkel excursion which was nice. There wasn't much else to see beyond the port tourist traps. Freeport Bahamas is a real dump of a port. It is located in a shipping area. The island tour was depressing and we were told constantly about all of the things that were destroyed in past hurricanes but never rebuilt. There was a very nice park called Garden of the Groves that we toured. That was probably the highlight of that excursion. Nassau was a much more lively port than Freeport. There was alot of activity and plenty of shopping options. Having been on 2 previous cruises, the excursions tend to all look the same after awhile so we chose to stay at the Hilton Colonial Resort and enjoy a private beach day. It was a nice property with a food/drink voucher. We walked about 3-4 blocks after we got out of the port area (it felt like much further than that in flip flops). The Freedom was in good shape. We enjoyed the 2.0 upgrades of Guys' Burgers and Blue Iquana. The pool areas were always very crowded and the slides are old and tired compared to the Magic. If you are a first time cruiser, definitely start out on the Freedom and then work your way up from there.