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Old February 6th, 2009, 03:58 PM
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Default Cruising Carnival Freedom on March 8th

Cruising on Carnival's Freedom in March. Anybody here been on this ship? I searched this forum for possible info but haven't found comments on this ship. I've cruise on Carnival before but not on this ship.
Also, would like to hear from someone about the time it took to get off the ship at the end of the cruise. I have a 10:00 a.m. flight out of FLL and not sure if I've allowed enough time.
Anybody else here cruising March 8th?

shirl
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Old February 6th, 2009, 04:35 PM
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Hi Shirl
I am new here as well. We will actually be getting off the ship the day you get on. I will try to leave some fun for you.

There is a thread about the airport in Fort Lauderdale and I posted my question about having enough time to make an 11:00 flight on there. Everyone agreed that 11 was doable, but nobody mentioned a 10:00 flight. You might want to check that thread out.

Have fun on your cruise. What itinerary is it sailing? We are very excited as this will be the biggest ship any of us have sailed on.
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Old February 6th, 2009, 04:46 PM
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Your going to be pushing it on the time. you need to make sure when you board that you let them know you have an early flight. they will try to get you off the ship as early as they can but it depends on when they clear customs. The earliest I've heard is 8:30am but do not count on that time.

I usually fly back a day after my cruise gets in. Its just more relaxing.
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Old February 6th, 2009, 04:48 PM
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six day cruise. Key West, Ocho Rios, Grand Cayman ports. Traveling with my older bro and sis-in-law who will celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary during the cruise.
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Old February 6th, 2009, 04:51 PM
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thx Dina.
This will be my sixth cruise but I've always allowed more time on the flight out. In the past, we always arrived at the airport too early and had to wait and sometimes were able to get on an earlier flight. Hope I haven't cut it too short this time.
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Old February 6th, 2009, 06:33 PM
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We sailed on the Freedom in December. It's a really great ship! The decor is not quite as over the top as some of the Carnival ships and it is really laid out well. Our cabin steward was the 2nd best we ever had but all the stewards in our area were greeting us by name and very friendly.

The ship still has the “New” feel to it. Everything is clean and shiny and new, except for the big dent in the tail end from backing into a dock on its first cruise. 

The big screen tv on the Lido deck seems to work pretty well except in direct sun light. They mostly played music and concerts on it during the day. In the evenings there were sports or movies as well as concerts on the screen. The flat screen tvs in the rooms have good reception and several decent channels. Network broadcasts, however, are from “local” Denver stations so it’s a little odd to be watching snow forecasts in your swimsuit.

The food was better than the last couple of cruises but the serving times for lunch seemed really short. The dining room was open for lunch from 12:00 to 1:30 and the buffet 11:30 to 3:00. We were accustom to the buffet being open until almost 5:00.

Be sure to try out the fish and chip station on the second level of the Lido deck and the Mongolian Bar B Que (Both open during lunch and dinner buffet times). The Pizzeria, deli, and ice Cream are available all day. The room server (included at no charge) also has hot sandwiches as well as the cold selection found on most Carnival ships.

Our waiter was very efficient and fast but was not as accommodating as most in the past. He was fine if you ordered one or two extras up front but was a bit grumpy if you added or changed something later. That wasn’t an issue with us but our table mates were on their first cruise and having a wonderful time.

Key West is a very nice stop and has a lot to see. Make sure to try out the Key Lime Pie. The Conch train tour can give you a pretty good overview of everything. We did the glass bottom boat our first time here but it takes up a good chunk of time so the second time we took the Conch tour then shopped. The aquarium was a nice stop and the sculptures outside of the art museum are fun.

Grand Cayman is a tender port so allow a little extra time to travel to and from the pier. Sting Ray City is the primary tour here. There is a lot of high end shopping available but no real bargains to be had. Many of the jewelry stores do have $20 sterling silver sting ray necklaces that make great gifts. The rock formations in “Hell” and the turtle farm are interesting too. You can taxi to 7-mile beach pretty quick but traffic on the ride back gets pretty heavy. Allow about 45 minutes to taxi back and catch your tender before time to leave.

You can’t do everything in one trip to Ocho Rios but we tried! There are many great tours to choose from. The Zip Line and jungle Roller Coaster were highly recommended by people on our cruise. We were not interested in climbing Dunns River Falls but we wanted to see it so went out looking for a taxi to take us there. One of the tour operators tried to sell us packed tours but we finally ended up with a motor coach, driver, and tour guide for $65 including tip and got a tour of the city, about 40 minutes at the falls and dropped of in the prime shopping area with an introduction to the owner of one of the largest jewelry stores there. There was a separate entrance fee to the Dunns River park but the views are well worth it. Watch Dr No (the James Bond movie) before you go. There are several places including the port, a bauxite plant, and the Falls that are in the movie. The shopping at the pier is primitive but a short walk from the gate takes you to a great mall with a lot of local flavor. Overall shopping is not as expensive as the other stops by not quite the bargain as many of the ports. The sellers, even in the high end shops, are fairly pushy too.
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Old February 6th, 2009, 09:24 PM
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thanks for all the info, Bob.
I've been to all ports except Ocho Rios. Are the submarine dives still offered at G Cayman? It's been a couple of years since we've been there.
My biggest concern right now is the sleeping arrangements. I'm traveling with my bro and sis-in-law. We're booked in a Cat 11, Suite which offers king bed and convertible sofa. We were told the sofa opens out to a comfortable bed but from what I'm reading on here that may not be right. I'd really rather not spend six nights sleeping on a sofa.
We chose this ship because it is relatively new. . I believe built in 2007, right?
thanks again
shirl
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Old February 6th, 2009, 11:32 PM
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Bon oyage!!!!!....to Me!!!!! I am sailing on the Freedom Sunday, we are leaving tomorrow morning, I will let you know when I get back....
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Old February 7th, 2009, 09:14 AM
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Have a GREAT time! Anxious to hear all about it when you return. I think I'm a little more excited about our upcoming cruise than past cruises, probably because I need the rest, recuperation and pampering more than usual.

shirl
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Old February 8th, 2009, 10:28 AM
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Good notes! How is the Pool area? We spend much time during days at sea and it appears as though it's very small with little accomodations.


Quote:
Originally Posted by BobMiller
We sailed on the Freedom in December. It's a really great ship! The decor is not quite as over the top as some of the Carnival ships and it is really laid out well. Our cabin steward was the 2nd best we ever had but all the stewards in our area were greeting us by name and very friendly.

The ship still has the “New” feel to it. Everything is clean and shiny and new, except for the big dent in the tail end from backing into a dock on its first cruise. 

The big screen tv on the Lido deck seems to work pretty well except in direct sun light. They mostly played music and concerts on it during the day. In the evenings there were sports or movies as well as concerts on the screen. The flat screen tvs in the rooms have good reception and several decent channels. Network broadcasts, however, are from “local” Denver stations so it’s a little odd to be watching snow forecasts in your swimsuit.

The food was better than the last couple of cruises but the serving times for lunch seemed really short. The dining room was open for lunch from 12:00 to 1:30 and the buffet 11:30 to 3:00. We were accustom to the buffet being open until almost 5:00.

Be sure to try out the fish and chip station on the second level of the Lido deck and the Mongolian Bar B Que (Both open during lunch and dinner buffet times). The Pizzeria, deli, and ice Cream are available all day. The room server (included at no charge) also has hot sandwiches as well as the cold selection found on most Carnival ships.

Our waiter was very efficient and fast but was not as accommodating as most in the past. He was fine if you ordered one or two extras up front but was a bit grumpy if you added or changed something later. That wasn’t an issue with us but our table mates were on their first cruise and having a wonderful time.

Key West is a very nice stop and has a lot to see. Make sure to try out the Key Lime Pie. The Conch train tour can give you a pretty good overview of everything. We did the glass bottom boat our first time here but it takes up a good chunk of time so the second time we took the Conch tour then shopped. The aquarium was a nice stop and the sculptures outside of the art museum are fun.

Grand Cayman is a tender port so allow a little extra time to travel to and from the pier. Sting Ray City is the primary tour here. There is a lot of high end shopping available but no real bargains to be had. Many of the jewelry stores do have $20 sterling silver sting ray necklaces that make great gifts. The rock formations in “Hell” and the turtle farm are interesting too. You can taxi to 7-mile beach pretty quick but traffic on the ride back gets pretty heavy. Allow about 45 minutes to taxi back and catch your tender before time to leave.

You can’t do everything in one trip to Ocho Rios but we tried! There are many great tours to choose from. The Zip Line and jungle Roller Coaster were highly recommended by people on our cruise. We were not interested in climbing Dunns River Falls but we wanted to see it so went out looking for a taxi to take us there. One of the tour operators tried to sell us packed tours but we finally ended up with a motor coach, driver, and tour guide for $65 including tip and got a tour of the city, about 40 minutes at the falls and dropped of in the prime shopping area with an introduction to the owner of one of the largest jewelry stores there. There was a separate entrance fee to the Dunns River park but the views are well worth it. Watch Dr No (the James Bond movie) before you go. There are several places including the port, a bauxite plant, and the Falls that are in the movie. The shopping at the pier is primitive but a short walk from the gate takes you to a great mall with a lot of local flavor. Overall shopping is not as expensive as the other stops by not quite the bargain as many of the ports. The sellers, even in the high end shops, are fairly pushy too.
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Old February 11th, 2009, 11:44 PM
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I leave on the Freedom in 9 days! I will give feedback when I get back.
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Old February 12th, 2009, 09:12 AM
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Tracey, We were almost on that sailing but decided to wait 'til March 8th.

What cabin did you book?
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Old February 12th, 2009, 10:47 AM
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We are sailing the Freedom on the 28th. It is going to be a VERY long 16 days!!!!!

We have sailed on the Fantasy and the Holiday (call me crazy, but I love that little ship) and are so excited about sailing on this size ship.
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