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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

Insider Take

Overview

Features Scott's Piano Bar, 70's dance Club, Adult-only Serenity Retreat, Waterslides, Nouveau Bar.

Best For People Who Want

Exciting and ritzy nightlife; numerous singles; alternative dining venues; one of the largest ships in the Carnival fleet; spacious cabins for three and four passengers; cabins with balconies; excellent fitness and spa facilities; high-energy atmosphere with varied daytime activities, including abundant children's programs.

Should Be Avoided By People Who Prefer

An elegant, quiet and relaxing cruise; private areas away from the public, especially children.

Onboard Experience

Carnival Freedom, as well as Carnival Conquest, Carnival Glory, Carnival Valor, and Carnival Liberty are the big sisters of Carnival's Destiny class. Freedom weighs over 110,000 tons. Expanded children's facilities, comprising a separate children's pool, a mini-movie theatre, and an indoor playground, account for some of the extra footage on the ship, as does the trendy supper club "The Point", serving gourmet cuisine, and the best U.S.D.A. prime beef.

There are 22 bars and lounges throughout the 13 passenger decks. Other amenities include an Internet cafe, four swimming pools, and a 15,000-square-foot health club. The ship has no lack of entertainment of all varieties, featuring the Cinn-A-Bar sing-along piano bar and White Heat disco, along with gorgeous production shows and side-splitting comics in the main theater called Amber Palace.

Decor

Carnival's ship designer, the renowned Joe Farcus, chose "Decades through the Centuries" as the theme for Freedom. Each of the rooms is dedicated to a period of history, especially "decades" that have gained renown, such as the "Roaring 20's". The atrium is the 2010 with hard angles, and geometric figures of neon-like paint and constantly changing lights.

Public Rooms

As the Millennium Lobby atrium has elongated figures that have been described as "giant worms". In the center is a small stage for non-imposing background music; behind the musicians glass elevators rise to the top deck.These elevators are the best way to view the digital light effects. The "Promenade" on Deck 5 includes the Bar Nouveau (wine bar), a kid's area called Action Alley Video Game Room, The Babylon Casino, Scott's sing-along piano bar, The Swingtime Jazz Bar for combo music and the 70's Dance Club disco. The Habana Cigar Bar is like being in a cigar box, wrap a label around yourself and lie down. There are labels from real cigar boxes reproduced as posters on the walls, and table bases and stools in the shape of cigars complete with cigar bands. It features jazz music and dancing before dinner.

On the opposite end of Freedom is the three-deck high Victoriana Show Lounge inspired by 1880's London West End theaters ; aim for the lower balcony seats, a little off-center, for the best view. For sports fanatics, there is a Sports Bar with satellite ESPN on seven large-screen televisions, in addition to video poker machines built into the bar.

Other diversions include the small Black & White Library open for several hours each day and various boutiques selling a wide range of duty-free jewelry, perfume, and alcohol along with the usual cruise items.

Cuisine

Freedom offers attractive breakfast and lunch buffets ,including an excellent salad bar and made-to-order dishes. For those with a sophisticated palate, the new menus feature chateaubriand, rack of lamb, and lobster, along with chocolate desserts. On the other end of the scale, delicious pizza and Caesar salad are available 24 hours a day. Delightful specialties can be found near the Prometheus Lido including the Sur Mer seafood station and an Asian food station that regularly rotates its dishes. There's a complimentary sushi bar on the Promenade Deck in the evenings, and vegetarian and low-salt items on every menu and at all stations.

Entertainment

The main theater, the Victoriana Show Lounge, presents outstanding production shows featuring beautiful costumes and Vegas-quality light shows, but even the smaller venues have great acts and music, particularly the sing-along Scott's piano bar. There is a Caribbean band on the pool deck. More interactive activities include numerous bingo games, ballroom dancing, karaoke, and "game show mania".

Fitness/Spa

The gym's 15,000 sq. feet is full of treadmills, stationary bikes, stairmasters, rowing and hydraulic weight machines, and of course free weights. The strategically placed equipment allows you to enjoy the lovely panoramic views offered by the floor-to-ceiling windows. For runners, a lap on the jogging deck, which surrounds the smokestack, is equivalent to 1/11 of a mile.

Attire

Casual wear is standard during the day. For the two formal nights, men can rent a tuxedo, though most men opt for dark suits. The ship has men's and women's accessories available to rent for these formal nights. No jeans in the dining room ever, no shorts after dark.

Restaurants

Carnival's Total Choice Dining provides for four seating times for a table in the main dining rooms at 5:45 or 6:15 pm and 8 or 8:30 pm. Of the two main dining rooms, the Posh, located aft, is framed by three walls of windows so it boasts better views. The Chic Restaurant is located mid-ships with windows only on two sides. The best tables are on the balcony, the middle lower section being a bit noisy. The friendly atmosphere is encouraged by the tables seating between four and six people, although there are quite a few tables for only two diners.

The sunny and spacious Grand Buffet restaurant, which features amazing views of the sea, offers breakfast and lunch buffets. Alternatively, you can enjoy a meal served alfresco poolside in the Freedom Lido area just behind the Grand Buffet. For those who prefer to dine when the mood strikes them, this poolside Lido restaurants offer buffet dinner between 6:00 and 9:00 pm without reservations. Breakfast is also available in the Chic dining room. For those looking for a quick snack, the hamburger and hot dog stand, located in the Azure Lido near the stern pool, serves food throughout the afternoon. There are self-serve frozen yogurt and ice cream machines, and multiple lemonade, coffee, and iced tea stations. The Freedom's pizzeria has a great variety of pizza types on offer in addition to Caesar salad, both served 24 hours a day. There is also a deli for lighter lunch choices and new to Freedom is the Tandoori Grill. The room service menu features sandwiches, desserts and breakfast fare.

There is a Coffe Cafe; on the Promenade Deck serving delectable sweets and a range of coffees. The Sushi Bar, adjacent to the coffe bar is open evenings only and serves sushi.

For a cover charge of $30, guests can sample fine wines and dine on the excellent menu choices at Sun King Supper Club. There is a small combo playing behind a tiny dance floor, which proves to be ample for those couples obviously celebrating a special date together.

Service

The staff on Freedom is prompt, well-organized, and prone to showing off, as when balancing trays on their heads while serving dessert. The maitre'd makes a point of learning the names of all couples celebrating an anniversary.

Tipping

All Carnival cruises have a $10.00 per person per day (excluding children under two years of age) gratuity comprising $5.50 for the Dining Room service, $3.60 for the stateroom steward, and $.90 for the alternative dining rooms. This charge can be either automatically added to the Sail & Sign card or it can be prepaid (prepayment is mandatory on the Cruises-to-Nowhere). The purser's desk can decrease or increase this amount throughout the cruise. Tip room service, the maitre d', casino, spa, or other staff as you deem fit. The bar and beverage tabs all include a 15 percent gratuity to the bill.

Cabins

While the decor in the cabins is somewhat reserved, they are some of the largest available on any cruise ship, and many are fitted with lovely private balconies. The suites and ocean view staterooms come with complimentary bathrobes and a mini bar. The cabins located on the outside are 220 sq. feet and include a coffee table and plush leather sofa. The inside cabins are 195 sq. feet in area and are great for families or large groups of singles due to their pull-down berths that provide extra sleeping space. Families might prefer the 230 sq. feet cabins located next to the children's center. All the large bathrooms include a shower (the suites are the only cabins with tubs), basket of toiletries, and hair dryer. The cabins come standard with a color TV that includes ESPN, CNN, and movies. There is plentiful storage space, with three closets and a several drawers. Cabins for those of special needs are available.




Ship Overview

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—and one of the most widely recognized—originated its "Fun Ship" concept in 1972 and has been launching party-packed superliners with signature red funnels ever since. The line's ever-growing fleet features entertainment and activities designed for passengers of all ages, from game shows and lip sync competitions to twisting waterslides and mini golf. These ships are a reliable choice for families as well as young singles and couples who want a vacation that won’t break the bank.

Nearly all onboard dining options are included in the fare, as are comedy and production shows, children’s programs, and use of state-of-the-art fitness centers. With some of the most comfortable accommodations at sea, large new ships are continuously added to the fleet and rarely deviate from a successful pattern, while older vessels are updated with popular features, such as the poolside BlueIguana Tequila Bar with an adjacent burrito cantina, the Red Frog Rum Bar that also serves Carnival’s own brand of Thirsty Frog Red beer, and Guy’s Burger Joint, created with Food Network star Guy Fieri.

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

By Bud_CR

  • New

Jul 19, 2015

Carribean

I will start with a glaring issue....room service. This has changed, dont expect this service. I tried calling at different times, and only ONCE got them to answer the phone without holding for 10 minutes---thats right, I said 10 mins, thats when I finally gave up the other 5 or 6 times. The food was very good, the service (except for room service) was great, and the staff very friendly. If you like diversity, you hit the jackpot.....In

my estimation, the breakdown was about 40% white, 40% non black-non white, 20% black........if you like a FAMILY cruise, again Jackpot! Lots of kids, mostly 4-15 years old--kids had to have made up 30-35% of the ship. If you have never been on a cruise, prepare to be a little confused for the first 24-48, your like a mouse in a maze....its not simple to get around....AFT and Forward...you will see what I mean! The drinks are great, but the price is HIGH....ave about 8.50 to 12. Excursions.....3.....over $300 for 2 people. The pools were nice, but small and loaded with kids....there is a small adult pool. Ave adult age on this cruise had to be 50, and sadly most of these have let their self go! very good very small, but I didnt pay for a balcony.....no sitting area. Your either in bed, standing up, or in the cramp bathroom! Just ok They were ok....you can save some money by NOT going through Carnival, but you risk not getting back to the ship on time---not worth the risk for me. Galveston to Western Carribean 7 days

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  • New

Feb 15, 2015

Eastern

Fun and sun on the Carnival Freedom!! The food that my wife and I had on the ship, we thought it was very good overall during the cruise. Stayed in cabin 1051 on the panorama deck. The balcony view was great for relaxing and taking pictures as we came into the ports. Plenty of space in the closet and under the bed for 3 full suitcases. The room along with the bathroom was plenty big enough for us. The comedy shows were very funny,

and the deck parties that we attended we joined right in and had a blast!! For people in our age bracket, we would suggest the St, Kitts Scenic Railroad tour, Great time!! Wife and I flew out of Louisville Ky. for this 8 night cruise out of Port Everglades. FREEDOM was a great name for this cruise, because getting away from the snow and cold of Kentucky was how we felt. This was our 7th cruise with Carnival since 1999. We cruised on the Conquest last year and having the Serenity adult only retreat available on this cruise was a added bonus. We took a taxi tour of St. Marten. St. Kitts we did the scenic railroad tour. San Juan we were here last year and we walked downtown to the shops for a while, then stopped in the Sheraton for some casino time. Last but not least Grand Turk was our last stop. We took a very informative taxi tour of this tiny island, then we went to the beach bar and shared a plate full of jerked pork prepared just outside of the bar. GREAT MEAL!! As on past cruises Dw and I met and hung out with several of our fellow cruisers. Bruno and Brenda we really had a great time with you guys. We had so much fun on this cruise , Thanks CARNIVAL for another great vacation.

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  • New

Jun 3, 2014

Southern

Second time on Freedom. Again the ports were lousy as before with Costa Rico and Panama. Changes were made to upgrade the ship. Serenity was so loud from the music on lido, we had to leave. Liked staying on the balcony and getting away from crowds. The staff was great, but the food was mostly ordinary. Great staff, nice balcony. Pretty much standard cabin. On and off the ship everybody is trying to sell you something. After

so many cruises, it's same old stuff. La Romana was plain scary. Beaches were best bet for most ports. Too few easy activities. All the ports are same malls/stores, so boring. Guess it's great for jewelry buyers, but so pushy.

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  • New

Dec 17, 2013

Caribbean

This cruise was about my 15 cruise I have been on. I have cruised with Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, and Carnival. This is the 3rd Carnival Cruise that I have taken. From this experience I will never cruise with Carnival ever again. Upon arriving at the Cruise Terminal we were separated into certain Number groups for check in. The women would checked my information sent me into the wrong line. The line I was sent into was much longer than

other and the person who had to get us our Boarding Passes told us that we were in the wrong line, which was why we had to wait so long for our Cards. Then when we go onto the ship to get to our Room, I was disappointed again. Purchased a Balcony Room. The room was DIRTY. I am talking that it looked like it hadn't been dusted for weeks. I slide my finger across and it was dust. Both in the room and the bathroom is hadn't been dusted. As far as my room stewart... who???? I never saw him. The most he did in the room was change the sheets and even that wasn't done on a daily bases. Then in the always just about every day I vacuum was left next to my door. Also, when they decided to vacuum and shampoo the rugs in the hallway...it was a day while we were out to sea, rather than in port. The bed in the room was HARD as a rock, couldn't sleep the entire trip. I slept for almost an entire 24 hrs once i came home.Then lets move onto the service, worst ever! No one was friendly at all. People were rude. There were more works on the ship talking to each other in there own language that people doing work. From the moment I got on the ship to when I left it wasn't a friendly atmosphere at all. Then lets move on to the food. I have had better food from my Elementary school cafeteria than the food that was provided on this ship. Thank goodness for salad bar because that I pretty much what I ate that whole trip. Only thing I an say was a plus for food was the steakhouse that you had to pay additional for. Dessert... EWWW!! gross worst ever. Room Service food was terrible as well. As for room service breakfast - No Eggs, bacon, sausage or anything really hot for that matter if you wanted to eat something quick in the morning in your room. Spa service - Do Not Go unless you want to walk out in Pain. I had a swedish massage and the women was terrible. This ship was extremely disappointing. I couldn't wait to go back home. They didn't even have a survey for you to take at the end of the cruise, which doesn't surprise me at all. Don't Cruise with Carnival. Worst Terrible What Activities none other and the person who had to get us our Boarding Passes told us that we were in the wrong line, which was why we had to wait so long for our Cards. Then when we go onto the ship to get to our Room, I was disappointed again. Purchased a Balcony Room. The room was DIRTY. I am talking that it looked like it hadn't been dusted for weeks. I slide my finger across and it was dust. Both in the room and the bathroom is hadn't been dusted. As far as my room stewart... who???? I never saw him. The most he did in the room was change the sheets and even that wasn't done on a daily bases. Then in the always just about every day I vacuum was left next to my door. Also, when they decided to vacuum and shampoo the rugs in the hallway...it was a day while we were out to sea, rather than in port. The bed in the room was HARD as a rock, couldn't sleep the entire trip. I slept for almost an entire 24 hrs once i came home.Then lets move onto the service, worst ever! No one was friendly at all. People were rude. There were more works on the ship talking to each other in there own language that people doing work. From the moment I got on the ship to when I left it wasn't a friendly atmosphere at all. Then lets move on to the food. I have had better food from my Elementary school cafeteria than the food that was provided on this ship. Thank goodness for salad bar because that I pretty much what I ate that whole trip. Only thing I an say was a plus for food was the steakhouse that you had to pay additional for. Dessert... EWWW!! gross worst ever. Room Service food was terrible as well. As for room service breakfast - No Eggs, bacon, sausage or anything really hot for that matter if you wanted to eat something quick in the morning in your room. Spa service - Do Not Go unless you want to walk out in Pain. I had a swedish massage and the women was terrible. This ship was extremely disappointing. I couldn't wait to go back home. They didn't even have a survey for you to take at the end of the cruise, which doesn't surprise me at all. Don't Cruise with Carnival.

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  • New

Nov 13, 2013

jazz cruise

Ship was very nice. Cabins were big, as well as the balcony. Was nice traveling with the talent who performed on the ship. I would say we had a great time, minus the dining experience and noisy nights sleep. The food was the worst part of the ship. It was tasteless. The deserts looked good, but once you bite into one, you'll want to spit it back out. Everything tasted the same, even their peanut butter had no taste. The omelettes were poured

from a carton, not fresh eggs. The pizza on the Lido deck was the best food on the ship. Very roomy and cozy cabin. Also, very noisy from various parts vibrating due to the ship's engine. Deck above us (cabin 8430) was very noisy with the sound of chairs moving constantly. Fun, lots of variety to choose from with the activities on board the ship. Stay away from cabin 8430, below Lido deck with 24 hour pizza place. Islands were beautiful, Aruba being our favorite.

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