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Carnival Cruise Lines: Carnival Freedom

  • Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Carnival Cruise Lines

Carnival Freedom Review

The final ship to be built in the Conquest-class, Carnival Freedom entered service in 2007 and will be the last vessel in its class to receive Carnival’s "Fun Ship 2.0" upgrades with new casual dining options and poolside bars when it is scheduled for refurbishment

in 2014. From her departure port in Fort Lauderdale, Carnival Freedom sails eight-night cruises to the Southern Caribbean.

Taking Fun Ships to new lengths and widths, Conquest-class ships are among the largest in the Carnival fleet. They're basically larger and more feature-filled versions of earlier Destiny-class vessels. More space translates into additional decks, an upscale steak house, and even more bars and lounges; however, well-proportioned public areas belie the ships' massive size. You'll hardly notice that there's slightly less space per passenger after you take a thrilling trip down the spiral waterslide.

Public rooms flow forward and aft from stunning central atriums. Just off each ship's main boulevard is an array of specialty bars, dance lounges, discos, piano bars, and show lounges, plus seating areas along the indoor promenades. The promenade can get crowded between dinner seatings and show-lounge performances, but with so many different places to spend time, you're sure to find one with plenty of room and an atmosphere to suit your taste.

The world's largest cruise line originated the Fun Ship concept in 1972 with the relaunch of an aging ocean liner, which got stuck on a sandbar during its maiden voyage. In true entrepreneurial spirit, founder Ted Arison shrugged off an inauspicious beginning to introduce superliners a decade later. Sporting red-white-and-blue flared funnels, which are easily recognized from afar, new ships are continuously added to the fleet and rarely deviate from a successful pattern. If you find something you like on one vessel, you're likely to find something similar on another.

Each vessel features themed public rooms, ranging from ancient Egypt to futuristic motifs, although many of those elements are being replaced with a more tropical decor as older ships are upgraded. Carnival is also introducing features either branded by the line itself, such as the poolside Blue Iguana Tequila Bar with an adjacent burrito cantina and the Red Frog Rum Bar that also serves Carnival’s own brand of Thirsty Frog Red beer, or in partnership with well known brands, such as EA SPORTS to create EA SPORTS Bars at sea and Guy’s Burger Joint, in partnership with Food Network star Guy Fieri. Implementation of the new features is scheduled for completion in 2015.

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What You Should Know

Pros

  • The lounge chairs on the deck above the aft Lido pool are almost always quiet
  • Steak houses on these ships are some of the best restaurants—and dining bargains—at sea
  • The ships have been retrofitted with Carnival’s Seaside Theatres—the jumbo-size poolside LED screens

Cons

  • Cabins and balconies on deck 8 from mid-ship to aft are beneath the Lido and suffer from pool-deck noise overhead
  • Seating at the casino bar can be noisy with sound from the slot machines dueling with nearby musicians
  • Likewise, sound from the Seaside Theatre can be annoyingly loud
Ship Stats
  • Crew Members 1,160
  • Entered Service 2007
  • Gross Tons 110,000
  • Length 952 feet
  • Number of Cabins 1,487
  • Passenger Capacity 2,974 (3,700 max)
  • Width 116 feet

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