Welcome to Cruisemates Charlotte!
Okay, so let me break this down for you by ship, then by ports of call.
The ship - Carnival Freedom
110,000 GRT (relatively normal sized by today's standard)
The dress code is usually depends on time of day and where on the ship you are/are going.
The Main Dining Rooms
The restaurants (the main dining rooms) required a minimum shirt, shorts, and shoes for lunch. The main dining rooms tend to be more upscale. Dinner time is business/smart casual and up. Means no miniskirts, nothing excessively revealing. Sun dresses are fine. Dinner times are Early and Late seating. Either or is fine to make Club O2 activities.
The Lido Deck restaurant (I forget the name), is usually beach wear friendly... flip flops, shirt and shorts are fine. Serves breakfast (from 6 till 11 I believe), lunch (from 12 - 3 or 4), and dinner (starts at 5...never stuck around to check when it ends)
Sushi Bar (on Promenade deck, just a little bit more aft from O2)
Usually serves good sushi. Good pre-dinner appetizer, but don't get too carried away.
Behind the Lido Deck restaurant. Good late night snack post club session or just for lunch if its your thing.
Pool, minigolf/putt-putt/whatever name you give it, gym (believe you need to be 16 to use it), running track (outdoors), basketball
Located midship on Promenade deck, Club O2 is probably the best place to meet people and new friends. Be there on the first night... people usually wander in around 8pm. Remember, just be outgoing... its gonna be awkward for everyone however much you try to make it less.
The Club becomes a full nightclub at 10 and continues on to whenever the director feels like ending usually, they are there till at least 1am. After closing people might pair off, but there are usually a nice large group still around to grab a bite, chat, etc...
Plan your days wisely. There are a lot of activities onboard, sponsored both Club O2 and the ship. Usually, the age limit for activities is posted on the daily flyer. Club O2 activities are usually on the back, or posted on the door of the club.
The Ports of Call (POC for brevity)
Key West is the southern most point in the continental US (in other words, the lower 48 states). Its also the southernmost point in Florida. Make sure to check out Mile 0 on US highway 1 (its a pretty popular spot). There is also shopping and historical sights in the "downtown" area.
If I recall, Jamaica is the second POC in the itinerary. Be VERY careful once you leave the port. If you wander alone (or even with parents) you will get haggled, and not just for small trinkets, for drugs as well. I HIGHLY recommend visiting Dunn's River Falls and making the climb up the waterfall. It's a once in a lifetime experience. Shopping and such is also located in downtown. Personally, between Montego Bay and Ocho Rios (the two possible POCs in Jamaica) I liked Ocho Rios by far.
Early heads up, it is expensive. The Cayman Dollar tends to trend above the US Dollar making things slightly pricier. I recommend doing Stingray City, and/or 5 mile beach. Chances are you will only have time for one or the other - go for Stingray City if you have the chance. Grand Cayman is a shallow port, so you will be tendering (you'll be docked in the other ports). The tenders drop you off literally in front of downtown - feel free to wander beyond the tender stop, and don't let the touristy offers up front discourage you. Feel free to try to bargain for Stingray City, or book through the ship. Booking through the ship ensures you won't be left behind should the tour be late.
Day to day dress code:
- Wear comfortable clothing during the day; remember, temperatures will be well into the 90 degree mark (Mid 30s in Celsius), and probably around 70 degrees (20 - 25 Celsius) at night. The ship is air conditioned, so a small sweater (nothing heavy) is also recommended if you get cold easily.
- There are two formal nights (yes that means formal [tuxes/suits for guys, dresses for girls] dress)
- The Club O2 is usually club wear from 8/9pm - onwards. Some people opt to keep the formalwear on during the formal nights.
- The front of the ship (decks 6 - 8) is a popular hookup spot for its exclusivity.
- Ensure your watches match ship time and not local time.
- Don't take large amounts of cash onto the islands.
- Grand Cayman and Key West are probably the safest to wander alone - Jamaica I wouldn't wander alone in.
- Be friendly - people travel to meet other people. The more friendly you are, the more people you'll meet
- Cruise hookups can be fun, but be safe about them
- Don't do anything you'll regret, but also remember that you are there to have fun
- If the Club O2 activities aren't fun, grab your friends and plan your own. I've done a Toga Party in O2 before that was completely my friends and I.
I think that covers most of it... let me know if you have any lingering questions and I'll be glad to help you out. Once again, welcome to Cruisemates!