Carnival Freedom Cruise Review to Caribbean - Western

Contributor Level: Purser

7+ cruises


Helpful Votes

3 out of 5

Carnival has started cutting back on several things.

Sail Date: April 09, 2016

Reviewed: 1 year ago

Traveled As: Large Group

Room Type: Balcony

You know how when you go to McDonalds and your Egg McMuffin looks smaller than it used to? Well Carnival appears to be following suit, they are cutting back or eliminating several things that they used to have. Here is a short list of my complaints.

---No more chocolates on your pillow at night.

---No more Carnival Legends show (where the passengers perform).

---No more Welcome Back Captain's party. (Only Diamond & Platinum now)

---The service in the dining room is slow, especially on Formal nights.

        (Also, I wish they would enforce the formal dining room dress code! It ticks me off when my group dresses in suits and tuxedos and formal dresses and we see people with jeans on formal night.)

---Most shows are amateurish and not near as good as they used to be.

In my opinion the only thing that Carnival has that most ships don't is the big movie screen on the top deck. If most other cruise lines had the big screen I probably wouldn't sail on Carnival much anymore. Carnival is the "trailer park" of the industry and you even notice that by looking around at the passengers with all the tattoos and body piercings and bad behavior. Cruising used to be a special kind of thing but it's really not on Carnival anymore. It's like comparing a business class flight to a trip on a greyhound bus. I give them 3 stars because a mediocre cruise beats being at home any day!  I have been on NCL, Royal Caribbean, and Holland America and I am going to start cruising with them again. This was my 6th Carnival Cruise and my 13th cruise overall.

Cabin / Stateroom
Needs little things like a digital clock in the room. We had to turn the TV on and tune to a certain channel to see what time it was. The map channel on the TV did not work at all during our cruise. I like to see exactly where we are during the cruise. No more chocolates on the pillows at night, really? How much money is Carnival saving by cutting out the chocolates? :)
Embarkation and Disembarkation
It went as smooth as possible with 4,000 on a ship.
Ship Quality
Destinations and Excursions
The western Caribbean is limited on destinations. Belize was our favorite port.
Onboard Activities
The deck party was fun but too short (less than an hour). Malcolm is a good cruise director.
Most shows seemed not as good as they used to be. My high school's musicals were just as good.
Service and Staff
Took 2 hours for dinner in Posh dining room on most nights. We were late to shows because of slow service and we had 6pm dining! 15 minutes faster makes a BIG difference!
Food and Dining
It was good to sometimes average. Feeding 4,000 people is tough. All cruises leaving from Texas or the Gulf coast should offer BISCUITS & GRAVY for breakfast!
Galveston, Texas
Cozumel, Mexico
Cozumel is becoming too crowded, auto traffic on the main street leading to downtown is a nightmare, might as well be in L.A.
Belize City, Belize
Prettiest, clearest water I have EVER seen. Even better than Hawaii !
Mahogany Bay, Roatan, Bay Islands, Honduras
Like many Caribbean island ports, the port area is a nice clean tourist shopping area but if you venture into town it is pretty poor and rough.


Any cruise is better than staying at home but Carnival is not as good as they used to be. If you get a REALLY good deal on a Carnival cruise, take it but if the money is close to the same, I prefer Royal Caribbean, NCL or Holland America. (I haven't tried Princess or Disney yet but I plan to soon).

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