Disappointed by out of control teens & unhappy staff
Carnival Freedom Cruise Review to Caribbean - Eastern
Sail Date: June 15, 2013
Ship: Carnival Freedom
Cabin Type: Balcony
Cabin Number: 8457
Traveled As: Couple
Reviewed: 4 years ago
My boyfriend and I went on this cruise hoping to have a calm and relaxing experience. Both in our thirties and no kids, we knew that Carnival was the "Fun Ship" so we did expect families and sunbathers but we didn't expect the other vacationers to be so disrespectful and rude. The last cruise we were on, you would never know there were kids on board but this one, there wasn't a place you could go to get away from them! Even the adults only areas! Parents allowed their kids to drink and run around the ship at all hours, knocking on stateroom doors and running away, yelling, screaming. I'm not uptight by any stretch of the imagination but their attitudes and disrespect really made me upset. Some of the staff would attempt to keep them out of certain areas or tell them to dress properly in dining areas but they would completely blow off their direction.
The staff, though most attempted to be polite and smile, were overworked and seemed generally unhappy. I learned that the crew is subject to the labor laws where the ship is registered, not US laws, meaning that some typically work 70 hour weeks (no wonder they had to work to smile!). When I took a survey for Carnival, they asked a lot of what the staff was held to (remembering first names of guests, addressing guests, etc) and it's no wonder to me that they would be stressed or spread thin.
The ports of call were okay -- unless you planned excursions, what's walkable are the shops next to the port which are similar to ones you'd find at each stop. St. Thomas was by far our favorite and we were disappointed that there was a US travel advisory against getting off at Nassau (Bahamas).
Sea days were our favorite by far for relaxing. We didn't go to the pool areas much because they were so very crowded and opted to use the hot tub at night when it was less busy our our balcony for sunning.
The food in the main dining room was mostly pretty good and the buffets were usually decent. We did wish they had longer hours of operation for lunch and more variety for lunch or snacks after dinner time.
The ship was very clean even though the decor was dated (looked a bit like it was from the eighties). I heard from one of the staff that the Freedom was going into dry dock in the next year for maintenance so maybe they'll do some other updates to the interior.
Overall, it was a vacation so we can't really complain but the teens really made what probably could have been a great time just okay. We learned our lesson and will not be taking another Carnival Cruise -- even if or when we have kids because we would not want our kids interacting with the kind of kids running rampant on Carnival.
Food and Dining
Service and Staff
Cabin / Stateroom
Try to get a balcony room on the back of the ship. We had 8457 and it was a great view and one deck up was the adults only Lido pool and bar as well as close to the buffet. When going to dinner, make sure you walk all the way forward to get the elevator because the galley blocks entrance.