October 2015 - Carnival Freedom to Caribbean - Western
Let me start by saying this was our first cruise on this ship so there is no way for us to know how much of this is specific to this ship! We have been on Magic and Triumph on all our other cruises......On a positive note the crew on this cruise were generally very nice and friendly, but there seemed to be an inordinate number of trainees. We also enjoyed the group CDJamm, they were very good, as a matter of fact we felt they were the best music group we have ever seen on a cruise, talented, Versatel, engaging. The bad was the food, the offerings in the main dining room were not what we have been accustom to and the quality of the food was subpar as well. The ugly started with the ill conceived new boarding process, we arrived at the time instructed only to find the longest lines we have ever encountered. We were in line in security for over two hours, then in another line for our keys for 45 minutes but that was just the beginning....5 out of 7 nights we had to "take a number" and wait for @30 min for a table in the dining room. We do Your time dining, and it did not seem to matter what time we went down to dinner they had a wait and the waitstaff we're dealing with more tables than they could efficiently cover..The last straw was the disembarking process...We were in a balcony room on deck 7 and are Gold members of the Carnival VIP program but were given zone 8 tags, when we asked why, we were told it was a priority thing, apparrantly gold only gets you a couple bottles of water....if platinum and diamond are 1&2 why can't gold be 3 &4 there were first time cruisers with higher priority than us. To add insult to injury, the disembarking process encountered several delays and interruptions not sure why but they were running so far behind they interrupted the self-assist process to let the Zone 1 & 2 priority passengers leave the ship, further delaying the rest of us. The final straw was being told there were times throughout the process when there was no one in the customs lines while we're stood in those lines for another 30-45 min with nothing to declare. Bottom line we recommend you take a long look at your training and staffing on this ship at the very least.