6 Night Western Caribbean (Ft. Lauderdale Roundtrip) Sail Date: May 29, 2011 Ship: Carnival Freedom Cabin Type: Inside Traveled As: Couple Reviewed: 6 years ago
This was our first cruise, and our expectations were set too high based on family and friends who had been on other cruise lines. This was a "fun cruise," with a younger crowd (average age in the 30's) with lots of families, making for a different (louder, more chaotic) experience than other cruises with older guests would be.
Food and Dining
1 out of 5
Meals were OK, but the "24/7" dining was misleading. Different dining areas were open at different times and it took awhile to figure it out. The "chocolate extravaganza" was disappointing - gelatinous "mousse", tasteless cheesecake. Long lines at every eating location (dining rooms, buffets, bars, etc). Many bars weren't open very often. The Steakhouse experience was fantastic - the quality of food and service I expected on the entire cruise.
3 out of 5
The shows were very good. The Phillipino Beatles cover band was strange. Dance lessons were lame. Lots of trivia contests that didn't seem very organized. The photo ops were heavily promoted - finding your picture afterwards was a challenge (we never found one of ours).
Service and Staff
3 out of 5
Most everyone was friendly. We had one less than satisfactory experience at the Customer Service desk regarding a lost library book. Otherwise service was OK. Our waiter was excellent, and our room steward was great, but it wasn't the touchy-feely experience we had heard about.
3 out of 5
Pools were small, hot tub temps were too low. Generally very clean public areas. The Jimbotron TV on the Lido deck was set to gossip TV in the morning - the very thing I wanted to get away from on vacation!
Cabin / Stateroom
3 out of 5
No in-room iron, only 1 iron/ironing board per deck which caused long lines on elegant dining nights. Steward was great, room was tended frequently.
Clean, quiet city. Like a lot of island cities, the shops didn't open until later in the morning so we missed them while on an excursion. Almost no locals pestering us to buy their crap, which was great. Snorkeling wasn't very impressive, but we were spoiled by previous experiences in the Red Sea. Great burger at Margaritaville. Had to take a tender to and from the ship which made for long lines at the end of the day.
Don't Miss: Stingray city was great!
Dirty town, very poor, had to run the gauntlet of locals aggressively selling crap on the side of the road. Seriously, the cruise line should warn their passengers about this when they drop you off right in the heart of it!
Don't Miss: Zip Line at H'evan Scent farm was a thrill ride (but expect to have to climb poles to get to the launch platforms)!
Pros: People were friendly, our requests were generally accomodated.
Cons: The food wasn't that good (except the Steakhouse, which was amazing!)
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