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Old April 26th, 2009, 03:41 PM
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Default I'm back from the Freedom April 19-25

Well, I will do a quick review of the cruise.

Embarkation--fast, very fast. I took the 10am shuttle from the hotel and was at the port and waiting. Check in took al of five minutes, once we figured out where we had to go to check in as people were still clearing customs as we were arriving!!!

Cruise itself--very enjoyable, I must say. the food was excellent. The service was great. I had the same cabin steward on the Freedom as I had on the Liberty in September--amazingly enough I recognized her and she recognized me!!!! Wow, amazing isn't it...ok, whatever. The ports of call were great as usual. Key West was wonderful I loved it. I did the old town trolley on my own an got off at Duval Street shopping and Southernmost point. I decided to walk back up to Hemmingway house and that probably wasn't the wisest idea. I got lost trying to find Hemmingway house and then again trying to find the trolley stop!!!! I do wish the streets/avenues would be labelled better there. Alas, I made it back to the trollet stop with five minutes to spare. Grand Cayman was good as usual. I was looking for Richards black coral shop but it looks like they closed up shop and too their goods elsewhere. Oh well, it would have been nice to see the carved black coral lobster again, and to buy someting. I went to Passman instead and bought another bracelet! Naturally, I didn't declare it (and had the receipt mailed home to me instead!). I got to spend three hours of Bosun (Boatswain) Beach. I had fun cuz I wasn't running through in under 10 minutes!!!! Ocho Rios was a welcome sight for sure. I did Jamaica bobsled. I was disappointed that we got one run, so I bought two more funs for $20. I loved it!!!! I filmed it as I went down the first run and then ditched the videocamera for the next two so I could get the sled going faster!!!! What a thrill!!! The ride up was really nice and you get some good views. Alas, I did a stupid thing and FORGOT to check the battery life on my videocameras batteries and realized I had one battery that still had a full charge and one dead and the other near dead. I could have filmed more, oh well. I think one of my batteries is a dud as it won't take a charge....dunno whats up with that.....I left a little early as there isn't much to do on the top and I had an hour or more to kill, so I went down and got an early shuttle back. They dropped us off at Taj Mahal and I wanted to go to Island Village, so I had a short walk past beggars (three) and vendors (two) to get there. I don't know how many times I was asked for a cab or to braid my hair.....

Todd was the CD and he did a good job, but I wouldn't rate him too high. He'd get good marks for good looks and a good singing voice, but I've had better CD's. James, the assistant CD (who was also on the Liberty last year along with Amanda one of the social staff) would make an excellent CD!!!!

We had two elegant nights and two production shows--The Big Easy and Ticket to Ride. I did enjoy both shows, and they are worthy of 4.5 stars out of five, but the two I saw on the Valor (Far From Over and Nightclub Express) were outstanding shows!!!! They had technical glitches on the second show of Big Easy and did an encor show on the last night of the cruise for those on the late seating.

I can't say much about the food in the dining room as I went there the first night and was put off by the four others at the table and how unfriendly they were. One couple looks like they were around late 50's early 60's and two women were travelling together and they were about as friendly as a cardboard box!!!!!!! I asked for a table switch and the best they could do was the table behind the table I had and everyone at that table was more than 10 years older than me. I asked to see if they could find a table with either singles, Canadians or people in their 30's but they only ones they could find were on the late seating. I gave three options and they couldn't find anything....I ate on Lido instead and the food was quite good. I went to the Mongolian twice and YUM!!!!!!

We had rough seas leaving Jamaica and it stayed that way through the sea day as well. Alas, we were moving quite fast and it probably made it feel worse. The activities on the sea days were limited and not as good as I thought they could be, but I was kep busy. They are not giving out ships on a stick, so I do not have one for the Freedom...my streak is broken....I did watch water aerobics with Steve...actually I was watching Steve, damn he is hot!!! Alas, he is married to the female singer in the production show....

I was amazed to see many entertainment staff from other ships I have been on. I am sure three of the five male dancers were from another ship--Conquest or Liberty. It was a welcome sight to see James the ACD as he is funny. I hope they bump him up to permanent CD when Todd leaves to be CD on the Dream!

I had a low tag number (and a 1:45 flight) and was off the ship at 9am. I had a long wait in FLL airport, but not as long as many who had flights after 4pm and had to wait until 1pm to check their bags--I bet they wished they did the Everglades post-cruise tour!!! My flight home was not so good as bad weather in Toronto caused more than a few problems. Needless to say a few minutes before 10pm (two hours late) we took off and I got home and fell into bed at 1:30am only to be up at 6:45am....damn why didn't I get room darkening blinds.......

Anyhow, I am home and not suffering from cruise withdrawals yet. I only have 4ish months until the Splendor!!!!!

Toodles everyone!
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2008 Conquest & Liberty
2009 Valor, Freedom, and Splendor
2010 Glory and Liberty
2011 Glory

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Old April 26th, 2009, 03:51 PM
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Sounds like a GREAT cruise. I love both the production shows you had, and could enjoy them over and over again with no problems. (Especially "Ticket To Ride") I too have noticed that the singers/dancers move around quite a lot, and have seen them on different ships.
See,,,,now you've done it. I don't have another cruise booked until September, but I'll never make it that long. Guess I'll have to look around for one to do SOON!
Welcome home.

Ken
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Old April 27th, 2009, 09:03 PM
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Default Bobsled

Glad to hear you had a great time on the Freedom. Will be going on that same cruise in November. Also happy to hear that Ticket to Ride is still there, as I'm a Beatle nut. Seen it in Dec. '07, can't wait to see it again.
Where did you stay in FLL? I'm looking around and narrowed it down to a few choices, leaning toward the FLL Hilton Marina. Close to the port and convenient. And on embarkation, what time did you actually get aboard?

So, how was the bobsled ride? What is the area like around there? Anything you can add would help as next month myself and 2 kids are doing this tour, along with the Falls.

Thanks for your help!!!!!
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Celebration May '88
Fantasy June '90
Sovereign of the Seas May '93
Windjammer Polynesia June '06
Carnival Triumph May '07
Carnival Freedom Dec.'07
Carnival Imagination Oct.'08
Carnival Destiny Dec.'08
Carnival Liberty May '09
Carnival Freedom Nov.'09
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Old April 27th, 2009, 10:28 PM
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We also we're on this cruise and ditched the dining room not because of tablemates but the service was some of the worst we have ever had. I think the only way I could have got a coffee refill was to wave money in the air to get there attention. We brought the service problem to the attention of management, but on the 2nd night it was worse. I think our waiter got his ass chewed because he never smiled at us or even greeted us. Plus I'm almost positive that when he "accidently" tipped my wife's water glass over onto her evening dress,it was on purpose. So it was the Lido deck for the rest of the cruise.The food was alright but not as good as we have had on other cruises. Wish they had a little more dinner selection for those of us that stayed away from the dining room. The 24hr pizza bar needs to be switched with the burger bar,since the pizza was not edible while you can't screw up a burger. Our other complaint was that they put out only a portion of the deck chairs during the day. Had to locate a stack and manhandle our own chairs up ladders to find a spot. Once we found a stack but it was all strapped down and while undoing it was told by a crewmember that we couldn't use them since there was too many chairs already out on deck. This was towards late afternoon and I think he just didn't want to have to pick up anymore than he had to. The shows we're good and never had a problem with finding a seat. Even right up to showtime. Very seldom was the theater full. As far as that goes,we never saw the shops crowded. Even on there 1 hr only $19.99 watch sale, it wasn't busy. Went back by there several hours later and they we're still trying to unload those watches. First time we have had a aft facing cabin, and last. HOT,no wind,no privacy and every night when they cleaned the stack we woke up to a soot covered balcony and chairs. Got tired of waiting for them to clean it, so it was a morning ritual to fill the trash can with water and wash down our own deck. One nice touch was that the CD didn't come on the ships loudspeakers as much as I have seen in the past. I don't need constant reminder's about something that I can read about myself. Our last complaint was with the spa employees. Unless you we're buying one of there overprised services they didn't want to help you. Twice they forgot to turn on the steamroom until the afternoon and then once while my wife was enjoying a sauna(in the nude) three male maintence workers walked in on her and just gawked as she scrambled for a towel. On complaining to the front desk she was told "oh well" they needed to repair something and it couldn't wait. I guess it was to much work to walk back there and insure it was clear before allowing the guy's back there. Oh that's right they didn't charge for the sauna so they could care less. So all in all it was a OK trip and we cruise agan in July on the Glory. It's already paid for so it's to late to change. If we have the same experience on the Glory then that will be it for Carnival. We sail in late August on the Golden Princess and will probaly stay with Princess from here on out. It take's alot to get me upset so I just dealt with it. My wife on the other hand is a retired police detective with a short fuse and some of those employees are very lucky she didn't have her service weapon. It would have made national news "mass shootings aboard cruise ship"
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Old April 29th, 2009, 09:03 PM
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Dr. Plunger--I stayed at COurtyard Marriott--a adequate hotel for pre cruise. Best to arrive later and leave earlier!!!

I had to opportunity for three drop offs at port 10am, 11am, or 12pm. I choose 10am. I left for port at around 10:20 and we were at port 10-15 minutes later. All of us on the van were for Carnival (they were calling them by ship and it was our turn).

I was checked in and waiting within five minutes. We were let onboard at 11:30pm. I had tag #3, so I had to wait a few minutes! Many people hadn't found their way to Lido when I got on, so UP I went!!!! LUNCH was calling to me!!!!!! I stepped on board at 11:38am!!!!

Jamaica Bobsled--you really should do the tour cuz it includes transfer to and from. TRhe chairlift to the top is a wonderful ride and the view is really amazing!!!! They have a bus that leaves to go back so you can stay up there for two or so hours and then head back down and not have to wait too long for the very quick five minute drive back to the ship or shopping.
I highly recommend the bobsled run--it is awesome!!!!! You control the speed by pushing down on the levers and can go as slow or fast as possible. It is better to go a little faster to get a good thrill. The corners are wicked to go through fast!!!!! I am going to post my video onto You Tube of the run and the tram ride back up!!! There is an age/height restriction for the bobsled run, so as long as there over the age of eight, they should be OK. The bobsleds can be hooked together if you want to go down together, in that case only the lead car controls the speed!

I had fun!
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2007 Victory & Triumph
2008 Conquest & Liberty
2009 Valor, Freedom, and Splendor
2010 Glory and Liberty
2011 Glory

I gotta go where it's warm.....

Over 40 victim of fate.....
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Old April 29th, 2009, 11:35 PM
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Misguidedangel,

Thanks so much for all the info!!!!! It is a big help to me with my planning. I will definitely look into the Courtyard by Marriott. Glad to know there are different times for the shuttle, I'm one that likes to get there early.

Can't wait to do the Bobsled ride now. Sounds like you had a great time on it. Also would love to see your ride on the bobsled when you post it. Tomorrow will be 30 days until we sail, getting more excited by the day. Even with this Swine Flu deal going on, we will play it safe but still have a heck of a good time!!!
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Turn off your mind, relax, and float downstream

Jubilee July '86
Celebration May '88
Fantasy June '90
Sovereign of the Seas May '93
Windjammer Polynesia June '06
Carnival Triumph May '07
Carnival Freedom Dec.'07
Carnival Imagination Oct.'08
Carnival Destiny Dec.'08
Carnival Liberty May '09
Carnival Freedom Nov.'09
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Old April 30th, 2009, 09:27 PM
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Dr. Plunger, I will PM you when I post it. I hope it isn't going to be to long or too big. It really is worth the trip to Mystic Mountain!!!
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2007 Victory & Triumph
2008 Conquest & Liberty
2009 Valor, Freedom, and Splendor
2010 Glory and Liberty
2011 Glory

I gotta go where it's warm.....

Over 40 victim of fate.....
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