February 2016 - Carnival Freedom to Caribbean - Western
This is our 2nd cruise with Carnival Cruise Line. We have also cruised on other Cruise Lines, but prefer Carnival.
We booked an Ocean View Suite (with a balcony) The room was better than great, it was awesome. Plenty of room to walk around, a King size SUPER COMFORTABLE bed, a sofa and chair, a writing desk, 2 hanging clothes closest, a double sink bathroom with a deep jetted soaking tub and a separate dressing table and chair in-between the main cabin and the bathroom. Everything was clean and our Steward left nothing to chance. We had fresh ice delivered twice a day, Our bed was made in the morning and turned down before we went to bed.
The food was great. We sailed over Valentines day and had a reservation for that special day in the Steak House. It is NOT included in the free food found on the rest of the ship, but OH SO worth it. I had Surf and Turf and my Husband had Lamb chops. Both meals were prepared and served with precision and the chef even came over to talk with us personally. The rest of the cruise we utilizedt numerous Lido deck food sources, Guys burgers, the Pizza (avail 24 hours a day). The deli had excellent Reubins, and more. We had free soft serve and the Comfort food station had all of Mom's favorites like meatloaf, chicken pot pie, etc. Cant forget the Carving board, the breakfast burritos, the Tacos, or the Salad bar. We dined 3 nights of the 7 in the Chico dining room. What a fun ship! In addition the wonderful choices on the menu, the wait staff put on costumes, lighted finger gloves and did a dance for all the guests on top of special platforms found all across the dining room. They did this all while providing top notch service.
Activities on the ship are too numerous to mention, but we loved them all. There were comedy shows, dancing on the Lido deck, Movies on the big screen, fitness classes and a gym, We couldn't possibly mention them all.
Excursions- We chose 3 excursions on our 7 day cruise. In Belize we took a river boat ride and explored some Mayan Ruins. What a fantastic 7 hours that was. Our tour guide kept us informed and laughing all day. Next in Honduras, we did the Boss Underwater Adventure. You ride underwater on a scooter with a diving helmet that is filed with air. Awesome sauce!!!! I would do this again in a microsecond. And finally in Cozumel, we swam, kissed, danced, and had the ride of our life with the Dolphins. The only bad thing is that they don't allow you to take your own waterproof camera for this event and the pictures are very very pricey. This included lunch and al the alcoholic drinks in the price. Loved it.
Shopping- Well all I can say is......we overspent and loved the jewelry, the kiosks, the candy store, the clothing boutique and the in-port shops available. Everything on the ship is charged to your room, so be careful and check your balances on the TV daily. One note no matter what the shops say, each person is allowed only $800 for duty free purchases. Everything you buy must be declared and you will owe custom and tax when you get off the ship. They will flag you if you spend over that limit and you will be sent to the customs to pay IN CASH OR CHECK ONLY whatever you owe <----- we learned this the hard way. Also note NO Cuban cigars can be brought back!
We booked 2 more cruises for next year (one of them on this same ship) We also found out that if you shares of the company (min 100) You earned shipboard credits for your next cruise. We got double credits for signing up and using the carnival credit card (MasterCard) for purchases during the cruise. It has a fairly high interest rate, but if you can pay it off when the bill comes, it is a good deal.
We are not young people. We are retired, but we saw families, young couples, met single cruisers and all kinds of nationalities. I think this cruise has something for everyone.