Carnival Freedom Cruise Review to Caribbean - Southern

Contributor Level: Purser

Experience
4-6 cruises

Review
1

Helpful Votes
5

3 out of 5

Excellent Port Stops But Shipboard Experience Is Geared To Forty Year Old Demographic

Sail Date: September 14, 2014

Reviewed: 2 years ago

Traveled As: Family (older children)

Room Type: Inside

Grand Turk Island, the Dominican Republic, Curacao, and Aruba were excellent destinations, with a good range of shore excursions. Each stop included enough time to do a shore excursion and get a feel for the country. The Grand Turk kayaking expedition and the Dominican Republic Taino cave expeditions are highly recommended.

On board did not have as many amenities as past cruises. Dining hours were more restricted, so that late lunches involved a choice between room service, burgers, or pizza. The meals in the main dining room were excellent but only available at set times. There were multiple "raffles" that later turned out to be irredeemable "vouchers," with the raffles taking over the facility until complete. (We gave up on the gym due to a spa raffle one evening.) Some of the gym equipment did not work properly.

My general impression however was that there were simply too many people on board. This is my fifth cruise, but this one felt overcrowded. Pools were overfilled with people.

We traveled with a 22 year old, who found little to do on board ship, and very few people in his age range. On the other hand, there were also few activities suitable for those over 50. Both groups spent a lot of time in the gym.

The on board shows each evening were smaller scale than usual, not up to the "Vegas" style of Holland America, similar to community theater musical reviews. Each performance was like the lats. The comedy shows were good, but so crowded that seats were not available unless you arrived 40 minutes before the event.  The selection of movies shown at sea was good, with a good variety of movies.

Overall, I was glad I took this cruise, but all three of us decided that we would pay the extra fee to cruise Holland America or Princess Lines next time.

 

Ship Quality
Food and Dining
Excellent in main dining hall, but limited hours. The Lido buffet was limited.
Cabin / Stateroom
Service and Staff
Great room steward. Two good waiters, one highly irritating waiter. Some good spa staff, and some irritating spa staff. Good bar staff.
Entertainment
The comedy shows were too crowded to get seats. The overall review shows were poor compilations of 70s, 80s, 90s music with similar sounds and dance moves each night.
Children's Programs
As we did not have a child, we don't know.
Onboard Activities
Just not enough activities suitable for adults who are not completely drunk.
Destinations and Excursions
We selected this based on the islands visited, and were not disappointed at all.
Ft. Lauderdale (Port Everglades), Florida
We didn't do anything here.
Grand Turk Island
The kayaking excursion was excellent. The city tour was okay, but they didn't stop the bus to actually see things.
La Romana, Dominican Republic
The Taino cave paintings were incredible. The downtown market area is overwhelming, but if you venture away, there are nice internet bars not too far away.
Willemstad, Curacao
We did a cave, museum, and Curacao tour, which was excellent. The downtown is accessible by foot and is also excellent.
Oranjestad, Aruba
We did a snorkeling tour here, which was okay, but not better than any others. The coral was dead. We did not actually see very much of the rest of the country.

Tip

The spa offers "sample" massages if you are waiting for others outside the gym. Try the Serenity Deck for quieter, more romantic space.



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