12 Night Grand Mediterranean (Rome Roundtrip) Sail Date: August 02, 2008 Ship: Carnival Freedom Cabin Type: Inside Traveled As: Family (older children) Reviewed: 9 years ago
My overall impression was an ok ship, I can't say I was thrilled. This was my second cruise. It was the Grand Medditeranean and I had visited the Carribean the first time, so I found Europe to be less exotic and not as fun as the first cruise. Also, my first cruise was with Royal Carribean which I found had more options in entertainment and food and the ship was by far more fun. The Freedom is a nice ship, the decoration is a bit too heavy for my tastes and I would have wanted bigger pools because they were small and crowded.
Food and Dining
3 out of 5
The food wasn't that great nor much variety either.
3 out of 5
I would have liked to have more options in entertainment. The shows were ok, nothing spectacular and not much variety.
3 out of 5
My teenage kids were happy with their options and friends they made.
Service and Staff
5 out of 5
I must say, the staff was excellent, very friendly, polite and always smiling and willing to serve you.
3 out of 5
Cabin / Stateroom
3 out of 5
Our interior stateroom was convenient and comfortable, the location was close to the elevators and right under Lido deck so we didn't walk much to get to wherever we were going.
We took the double decker open top buses around the city. It took us to all the famous spots and you can get on an off wherever you like. You can also move around with the Metro, it's cheaper and quicker.
Don't Miss: Sagrada Familia and if you're a man and into soccer, then you must see Camp Nou
We took the bus to Taormina and returned with the train. Taormina was fabulous! The bus takes you up to old city of Taormina were you have some great views of the beach down and the city is full of narrow streets with shops and plenty of gelato. You can swim down at the beach if you like (there is a Funicular) which can take you down (or up). I recommend you use the train because the bus took us there in 2 hours (too much traffic and many stops) whereas the train took us there in an hour. From the train station, you have to take a bus up to the old city.
Don't Miss: The old city itself
The ship docked in Cannes and we took the train to Monte Carlo, it was only 7 Euro both ways and only 1 hour with great scenery along the way. It stops in Eze, Nice, Villefranche, so you can go there also. In Monte Carlo, we walked up to the Palace and had a nice stroll around. We saw the guards change at 12 pm which was interesting, then we took the small tourist train which takes you around the city and we jumped off in front of the Casino (you can't get on and off in this train but we didn't want to go back to the Palace, so we jumped off at a red traffic light), then we walked down to the port and had lunch there while watching the Ferraris zoom past us. You can have a Ferrari drive around a few blocks for 85 Euro. This is located right outside the swimming pool in the port. We caught the train back to Cannes and had plenty of time in the afternoon to do some shopping and strolling in Cannes.
Don't Miss: Monte Carlo of course
We rented a car and drove to Florence. I was told that it would be difficult to park there but Avis gave me maps and it was very easy for me to find parking right in the city (market place) and we walked around and did our shopping and site seeing. Then we drove to Barberino shopping outlet which is about 1/2 an hour drive from Florence and you really need a day there as they have some great outlets of all the brands in cheap prices. We only stayed for an hour and a half and then drove to Lucca, a medieval city in a castle and strolled around there for a while and then drove to Pisa and saw the leaning tower etc. We had a a full day with many activities and we just made it back to the ship about 15 minutes before it left, so I was really stressed out. The port is not located near anything, there is nothing to do in Livorno, so you must go on a tour or get out of there by car as I did. I've been to these places before so i didn't need a guide to explain the history etc.
Don't Miss: Florence and Pisa
This was my fifth time in Venice, so I kew my way around and we got to Piacalle Roma with the ships shuttle and then walked to St Marcus square, which is about an hour but if you don't walk and get lost in Venice's narrow streets, then it's not worth it ! We took a gondola ride at sunset, had some great gelato and ofcourse shopped. The second day, we took a water taxi to Murano (offered for free by one of the Murano factories, they found us) and then we returned back to Venice with a vaporetto.
Don't Miss: Gondola ride
Great place. We walked the city walls and took some great pictures of the city inside. We swam right next to the city walls, the waters are beautiful. I regretted not taking the tour on board "The best of Dubrovnik" because from what I saw, the country side must be great and with this tour you get to see a lot in one day.
Don't Miss: Walking the old city walls
We visited Capri on our own and it was a great place. I loved it. It's a small island but with many options to pass your day. It's a bit crowded but we were there on a Sunday in August, so it was logic. It is very easy to move around on your own and much much cheaper, so before you leave home, do some Internet research on the ports of call. They also give you train and bus itenaries on board the ship if you ask. We caught the hydrofoil which leaves right outside from were the ship docks and then we took the funicular up to Capri town but you can also go by bus.
Don't Miss: Don't miss the Faraglioni rocks best seen from the Augustus gardens.
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