First and last Carnival Cruise -where is the "meh" star rating?

Carnival Freedom Cruise Review to Caribbean - Western

Cruises: 2-3 cruises
Reviews: 2
Helpful Votes: 62

Overall rating:

3 out of 5
Carnival Freedom

Western Caribbean

Sail date: March 12, 2016

Ship: Carnival Freedom

Cabin type: Inside

Cabin number: 2334

Traveled as: Family (older children)

Reviewed: 5 years ago

Review summary

This was our 2nd cruise, 1st with Carnival.  It started with, although being asked about our flight arrival time, not being told we would sit at the airport for 2 hrs waiting for the shuttle.  After almost getting into 3 wrecks on our way down from Houston, the boarding process was nothing short of chaotic.  Why do you have set boarding times only to make people sit like cattle for over an hour?!?


Once on board, the ship itself was not very clean, the windows were streaked so badly you could hardly see out and silverware had to be double checked for food stuck to it, repeatedly.


Also, leaving.  We did would rush back from our ports, to make sure we were boarded on time, only to sit and wait for a minimum of 2 hours.  Every port, starting with Galveston.


We also bought the drink package and were not informed that we would not be able to take advantage of it until the 2nd day of the cruise (even for a diet Coke!), nor were we informed Club Ocean wouldn't open until the 2nd day as well.  Knowing that up front would have been nice.


The ports were awesome and overall the staff was pleasant.  The rooms were what you would expect and the food was decent (I never ate at the buffet after the 1st morning due to the poor way it is set up).  


We will not use Carnival to cruise again.  For the money we paid, it was not worth it.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

3 out of 5
The buffet is horribly set up. You shouldn't have to wait, cafeteria style for food for 15 MINUTES. It should be organized so you are able to get to the food you want, without having to walk through the entire line. The Chic was nice, the staff was pleasant and the food was good. Especially the salmon cakes. I also enjoyed the noodle bar and my daughter LOVES the burritos. The burgers were just ok.

Onboard Activities

5 out of 5
Our activities included sitting in lounge chairs watching the water, playing cards and reading. Oh and the occasional nap. It was awesome.


5 out of 5
We didn't do any shows, but the Dive In was a lot of fun.

Children's Programs

3 out of 5
The teen program was great. The program for younger kids(9-11)should take them outside. They shouldn't have to sit inside the entire time when in a tropical location.

Service and Staff

3 out of 5
Not overly friendly, but not rude either. I appreciated they didn't push for tips though.

Ship Quality

1 out of 5
Full ship and felt VERY crowded at all times. It was dusty, Windows were filthy and overall was not clean. Silverware, tables, etc. routinely had food on them

Cabin / Stateroom

3 out of 5
It was a normal interior cabin. Clean, crowded, but nice enough. Bring a power strip or two to plug electronics. We brought a fan - which was nice. Walls are thin, so you can hear everything, it helped to block out some of the noise.

Ship tip

Plan on waiting. For everything on the ship. Food, drinks, boarding, leaving, help... Plan ahead for all!

Ports of call

Galveston, Texas

3 out of 5
If you get the drink package, you can get your drinks unt the 2nd day. The port embarkation process is clunky and not streamlined.

Cozumel, Mexico

5 out of 5
Beautiful! Use Buccanos car/beach service and visit the beach! $21/pp for ride to and from, plus Beach access and tequila tasting. They have a full bar, restaurant and pool as well. It was great! Scuba gear, seating included.

George Town, Grand Cayman

5 out of 5

Montego Bay, Jamaica

5 out of 5
I could have stayed on the beach all day. The water was incredible, the people were amazing and we are planning another plan back to the island again this year.
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