Perfect Midsize Ship Experience

Carnival Freedom Cruise Review

Cruises: 7+ cruises
Reviews: 2
Helpful Votes: 19

Overall rating:

4.1 out of 5
Carnival Freedom

8 Night Southern Caribbean (Miami Roundtrip)

Sail date: October 23, 2021

Ship: Carnival Freedom

Cabin type: Inside

Cabin number: 2211

Traveled as: Singles/Friends

Reviewed: 2 months ago

Review summary

Very long and crowded embarkation that was not particularly pleasant but excellent service once we boarded. The crew made me feel special at every venue I frequented and my cabin steward was extremely attentive as well and even brought a towel animal and filled my ice bucket every night. The pool and slides were excellent options on such a small midsize ship too and the amenities were plentiful for a ship of this size as well. Although the decor is a little outdated, it did not bother me at all and the ship was well maintained inside but could use some exterior updates like some of her sister ships. The food was excellent overall as well in the MDR as well as the buffet. Unfortunately, they changed the Guys Burgers a little and they are not as good as they used to be in my opinion, which is unfortunate, but Blue Iguana remains decent and the Deli was good enough to make up for the shortcomings of Guys Burgers a little. The upcharge bonsai sushi was also tasty but not worth the upcharge in my humble opinion. The steakhouse was OK but the sides were not as good as I remember although the bread wa much better and while the chocolate sphere was good, the cheescake was very disappointing. Id just order the upcharge steak in the mdr if I was in the mood again. I also tried it twice but would not bother with it if I had any future cruises on this ship, especially with all the good or decent food elsewhere. My stateroom was very comfortable and spacious, especially in comparison to royal caribbean, but some of the rooms need more USB port updates and charging uodates, etc. Activities were plentiful for a smaller midsize ship at half capacity and I was very impressed with them trying to keep us busy and not miss a beat even at half capacity. The club even operated despite covid restrictions and every single bartender was friendly and got to know your preferences as well, especially at the Alchemy Bar. The upcharge coffee shop was also worthwhile and very efficient too. Pictures by Pixels were not as good as usual though so I did not purchase any. The comedians were above average and very entertaining with the exception of one comedian that always showed up completely wasted. Punchliner was basically the main attraction or show every night even though I enjoyed the singing and dancing shows I attended every time. The piano bar is outstanding as well and Stevie D will have you singing along all night long and lose yourself in his talent. The third floor lobby and deck view was a great way to unwind in the afternoon if not listening to the beautiful Caribbean music in the red frog or on the lido deck. In other words, the entertainment met or exceeded my expectations on every level despite one comedian. The casino was well laid out and everything was what I would expect or better, especially for an older ship.

Embarkation

2 out of 5
Embarkation experience was slow and annoying compared to my embarkation experience a month ago previously in Port Canaveral and not very covid friendly either. A large group of us waited all together for over a hour after our arrival times and it was very slow getting on the ship once we reached the line although security itself was fast.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

4 out of 5
The food was excellent overall, especially in the MDR as well as the buffet at every meal. I also especially enjoyed the BBQ place above the buffet at lunch, which was the best lunch option in my opinion. Unfortunately, they changed the Guys Burgers a little and they are not as good as they used to be in my opinion, which is unfortunate, but Blue Iguana remains decent and the Deli was good enough to make up for the shortcomings of Guys Burgers a little. The upcharge bonsai sushi was also tasty but not worth the upcharge in my humble opinion. The steakhouse was OK but the sides were not as good as I remember although the bread wa much better and while the chocolate sphere was good, the cheescake was very disappointing. Id just order the upcharge steak in the mdr if I was in the mood.

Onboard Activities

4 out of 5
Well maintained pools and hot tubs as well as entertainment venues in general. The atrium lobby was perfect for morning and afternoon trivia or evening music from fantastic singers or musicians. The bean bag toss was good for the unwinding in the red frog pub in the late afternoon. Evenings in the piano bar with Stevie D were the perfect ending to evenings, especially when not in the mood for the comedy club. However, the comedy punchliner club was also above average this week and filled up quickly as a result. The stage shows managed to keep me entertained too and seating was plentiful as always. Good shows every single day. I was never bored, even though its a relatively small ship these days.

Entertainment

5 out of 5
Evenings in the piano bar with Stevie D were the perfect ending to evenings, especially when not in the mood for the comedy club. However, the comedy punchliner club was also above average this week and filled up quickly as a result. The stage shows managed to keep me entertained too but were not my favorite party of the day and seating was plentiful as always. Overall, however, the entertainment was five stars for the size of the ship. I was actually impressed most of the time.

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
This is the best part of the cruise as usual. I never had bad service although my MDR waiters were not particularly memorable. My cabin steward was very attentive and was extremely personable as well. The bar staff got to know me and my prefecture too as soon as I dropped by more than once. Staff in all other areas were quick and efficient. I have nothing bad to say about anything.

Ship Quality

4 out of 5
The ship has the perfect layout for a midsize ship apart from the galley position, which can complicate navigation of the ship from the forward to the aft or vice versa but walking deck five regularly helps solve this problem. Bars and eating facilities were plentiful and not hard to find either. The lido deck packed a lot of punch with amenities and activities too. The atrium was elegant and provided a perfect gathering spot.

Cabin / Stateroom

4 out of 5
Excellent cabin for the solo traveler. Very comfortable twin bed and spacious sitting area and vanity with a view for about the same price as an interior at the double occupancy price you have to pay. I've stayed in full ocean view cabins with the same space or less. There were even usb ports next to the bed that I haven't had in a full oceanview room. Unfortunately the sound from the waves and engine and anchor at the front of the ship was so annoying that it affected my sleep quality enormously and kept this room from being perfect. Water temperature and pressure was very consistent in this room as well. Plenty of space in the bathroom. Service from my cabin steward Gusti was also outstanding.

Ship tip

Go to the Alchemy Bar for the best and strongest drinks. Go to the Red Frog Pub at happy hour and stock up if you don't have the drink package. The steakhouse wasnt worth it overall, just order the upcharge items to the MDR if you want a better steak or something.

Ports of call

Oranjestad, Aruba

4 out of 5
Perfect port for a beach day or city tour at your pace without having to book an excursion. I highly recommend a cheap city tour you can get right off the ship or taking a cab to Palm Beach

Willemstad, Curacao

4 out of 5
My absolute favorite port with a very lovely historical downtown area near the port surrounding the famous floating Bridge. The people are also extremely friendly and the beaches are breathtaking as well, especially for snorkelers. I I did a private beach tour this time that took me to the other side of the island to see the west side beaches and was very impressed with the west side beaches like Playa Porto Marie and Playa Forti. This part of the island resembled a quaint Croatian village. I could spend a week here with the many beautiful adventures this place offers on the shore and inside the gorgeous city of Willemstad.

Amber Cove (Puerto Plata), Dominican Republic

4 out of 5
Beautiful port area with a great pool as well with a seperate restaurant and bar that serves delicious strong drinks that are a bit pricy though (did not try the food but it was there). I did not try the bar on the hillside though. Great, fast water slides as well and a cute trail. I also did an excursion to the waterfalls that was absolutely worth it and one of the best experiences of my life despite the hour hike to get there after a slightly long bus ride.

La Romana, Dominican Republic

4 out of 5
Not a great port area itself and feels kind of unsafe for exploring on your own as well. However, the taxi stand was well organized and very efficient and I thoroughly enjoyed a private excursion to Saona Island even though it was a long cab ride and boat ride to get there. Great with a well organized excursion, not so great without one. Do an excursion or stay onboard unless you're adventurous enough to brave nearby Bahayibe Beach with aggressive sales people.

Miami, Florida

4 out of 5
Busy port with a weird layout and very expensive parking. Miami itself is great however for a nice pre-vacation but it's very expensive and the hotels are overpriced when multiple ships are in port. Weather varies.

Disembarkation

4 out of 5
I did a back-to-back, smooth process getting back on to the ship... Debarking the following week was also quick although a little hasty due to an upcoming charter cruise the week after.

Traveler Photos

Waiting inside the terminal for about a hour Carnival Freedom Porthole Cabin Carnival Freedom Porthole Couch Carnival freedom porthole cabin bathroom Great Cocktails poolside
Was this review helpful? 7

6 Comments

Leave a comment

Remember: Be polite and respectful. Our diverse community is home to members with different opinions and a broad range of cruise experiences.

Other reviews of this sailing