My family and I were aboard the Freedom for 7 days very recently. Our vacation was jusk ok. I read all the negative reviews regarding this ship and have to admit I was very nervous before boarding. It was not as bad as the past reviews stated but not great either.
Let me start with the pools. I laughed at the salt water reviews because every cruise I have been on except Princess and Disney has had salt water and I really can't believe someone would blame Carnival or any cruise line for having too much salt water. That being said, yes the pools had salt water but they were very enjoyable. My kids loved the water slide and went down it time and time again!!
The service was not up to par. This is something Carnival could control and in my opinion they are lackng in customer service. Carnival employees are probably the least friendly of any line. Carnival needs to make improvements here because I won't book Carnival again on this point alone. This happens to be an important factor to me and I give the crew a C- atbest.
The dining room (Chic) was beautiful but again the service was not good. We always seem to get the waiter that's not into the cruise and that was no different this time. I won't name names because the service was not better one place or the other so in my opinion the Freedom itself needs an overhaul in customer service. The food was very good in the dining room some nights and not so good others. I liked the selections but they need to be served hot and not barely warm.
The Lido deck was ok. Always consistant which when it comes to variety can be a little boring.
The Freedom Restaurant is very pretty and welcoming until you try and find a table. They need to pick up better after guests. I feel sorry that some people can be complete slobs but it is the job of the staff to keep it clean and they do not do that very well. It was gross (I really don't like that word and I'm always telling my 10 year olds not to say that) but it was gross looking at all the dirty tables. I know that every cruiser sees things differently, but I'm sure very few people did not notice that. I give the food a C but the food service a D at best.
We had a balcony room on the Upper Deck which we all loved. We always do balcony rooms (spoiled I know) but it's not a cruise without one to us. Sitting out on the balcony was very relaxing and wonderful. I give the balcony and room itself an A.
We liked the shows. I thought they were very entertaining and I enjoyed most of them. I give the shows a B.
We loved the big screen on the Lido!! It was fantastic!! I did not think it was loud or annoying in any way. I wish they served pop corn like Princess though. I give the big screen a B becuase of the no popcorn factor.
The ports were great. The shopping in St. Thomas was wonderful and cheap!! St. Martin, wow just beautiful. We did a snorkeling adventure which was worth every penny!! An A.
I would say that overall the vacation was good because we were on a cruise. Would I sail Carnival or the Freedom again? No!! I think Carnival is for people on an extreme budget or who care more about getting drunk then anything else. For us, early forties with ten year old twins who enjoy good customer service, nice meals, clean atmosphere (too much smoke) and people (other guests) with better manners that this was not the ship for us. We found Carnival to have less standards than other lines and I'm sorry to say this, is for the "Wal Mart" cruiser or twenty somethings. If you're established and think there is more to life than getting drunk and being out of control then this is probably not the cruise ship or line for you. However, if you are on a budget, not traveling with children and can ignore the bad stuff then you will enjoy Carnival.
This was our 8th cruise and third on Carnival. I can compare this cruise to RCC and Disney. We previously sailed Carnival so we knew what to expect, however we had high hopes since this was Carnival's newest ship and it is supposed to cater to the more sophisticated cruiser. Let me just say that we were not surprisingly let down.
We read various reviews, some good and some bad, and we will have to agree with the negative reviews for this ship.
Ship Let's start with something positive. We liked the decor and found it different in a very good way. I thought it made the ship feel grand.
Cleanliness It's too bad with such a beautiful ship that it is kept such a mess. Everytime we walked into the Freedom Restuarant we noticed dirty tables that sat and sat. We actually watched crew members walk by and step over mess after mess time and time again. That is just simply lazy. The dining room had a smell that we could never place our finger on, but it was not a clean small. The rooms, however were always neat and clean.A lot of people smoking, I think more then any ship I have ever been on.
Dining This is important to every cruiser. We are average people who watch our diets except when we are on a cruise. Sadly, we never gained a pound on this cruise!!
Breakfast: The worse breakfast buffet I have ever seen on any ship. The choices were very limited and what was there was nothing good at all. The eggs were always runny, bacon under cooked, sausage greasy, and that's just about all that was offered.
Lunch: Better because you had more choices, but the buffet was again very limited. They also have too many seafood choices and not enough other things. I thought some of the meat on the trays looked old, almost as if it was reused daily! I was careful of what we ate becuase I thought some of the items may have been spoiled or getting very close.
Dinner: This was much better than breakfast and lunch but you may need to season the food yourself. I wonder who this great new chef is and if he actually runs the kitchen. I'm sure he would not approve of the breakfast and lunch and I'm sure he agrees that the kitchen staff needs a lesson in food preparation. The ice cream was very good, but the mess on the ice cream counter turned our stomachs most days!
Crew Here is where the Carnival Freedom needs the most help. I have to agree with every review I read regarding the crew being rude. They are. Other then the room staff, almost everyone we met was rude and unfriendly. I rarely saw a crew member smile and they never had anything nice to say. Truly, I have never felt more unwelcome on a cruise. Carnival needs to teach the crew to have respect for the customers and treat us with kindness and dignity. Carnival gets a 0 for customer service!
Pools My children loved the slide, but hated the salty water. Disney does fresh water and RCCL also has salt, but it is filtered in some way. I felt so nasty after every swim and after I saw one too many little ones with diapers on swimming, I decided that was enough for our family and the pool. That really should not be allowed.
One thing I could not understand is why Carnival does not offer sanitizers. I read this before we left, but I thought for sure it was a mistake. It was not!!!
Shows Better than I thought.
Overall I would never cruise the Freedom or any other Carnival ship again. Once you have cruised with RCCL or Disney you can never be happy with Carnival because you know what you are missing -- class, respect, people with morals and most importantly a good vacation that is stress-free!!
We will never cruise with Carnival again! The Freedeom is new, but still Carnival with Carnival's poor standards.
The ship itself was beautiful but that is where the good things end!! I liked the decor but alot of people did not.
I also agree that the Freedom was a mess. I too have never seen such a mess everywhere we went. I asked several different people to clean the tables and after I asked they did. However, that is something that should be done without a guest having to ask!! I have to wonder how long the dirty tables would have sat if I would not have complained.
Carnival's crew were untrained in hospitality. They never spoke or smiled. It was almost scary. We felt very uncomfortable most of the trip and because the crew were so negative we never left the kids in camp carnival. Quite honestly, I did not trust them to take care of our children. I say that because if the crew's hospitality skills were so lacking out in the open, what would they be like with our children when we were not looking? If I hada nanny cam I mught have left them, but I very seriously doubt it!!
The dining experience was the worse on the Freedom. This was our sixth cruise and we have always enjoyed the food until this time. The food was lacking so much I would not even know where to begin, but I will try. All the buffets were very limited with very strange things to choose from. Alot of seafood choices, perhaps too many seafood choices. Alot of fruit and salads, but the lettuce was often brown and the fruit never tasted like it was in season. The honey dew looked pretty, but was very hard and they ran out of bananas!! What cruise line runs out of bananas or anything for that matter? I personally think they probably went through what Carnival allows and then just did not replenish. That is Carnival for you. You get what you pay for!! The dinners were ok but again, alot of seafood. Salads in the dining room also consisted of brown lettuce and the ranch dressing smelled spoiled. Carnival has a long way to catch up with Royal Carribean!
The mini golf course was wonderful! My kids really enjoyed that. The pools not so much! Very small pools to accommodate 3000 people and the water was much more salty than Royal Carribean. I read that somewhere else and have to agree. Alot of people save chairs, sometimes for hours before even getting to the pool! Of course, and no surprise, Carnival did nothing.
I would never cruise the Carnival Freedom again, nor any other Carnival ship. The difference in price is not worth what you lose in comparison to Royal Caribbean.
Our family has been on over a dozen cruises and the Freedom ranks as one of the best.
The food was very good and the variety was outstanding. If you didn't want any of the 4 main entrees, they had alternative selections that were on the menu every night.
The service was great. Our waiter gave us everything we asked for. We were a party of 9 people: My family of 4, kids 14 and 9, cousin's family, kids 14 and 10, and my father in law.
We loved the shows and the movies under the stars. The kids loved this ship.
The cabin was spotless and that wasn't easy with all of our stuff.
We played minature golf, went on the slides, and played ping pong. The kids loved the kids program and made new friends.
Everyone on the Carnival staff was friendly and helpful.
I can't believe I was on the same cruise as some of the other reviewers. I'm sorry that they had a bad experience, but for us the ship was a+ and we will be back next year!!!
Do not choose the Carnival Freedom. I was not going to write a review but after so many mixed reviews I decided to give readers another one to consider. I have to agree with the negative reviews on this ship.
Ship I liked the decor, however the ship is very messy and dirty. Crew members do not clean up after people. The crew memebers just walk by tables dirty with dishes and cups until YOU clean it up. I think Carnival just wants to get you on the ship but once you are on, it's a free for all!! I have never had clean up after other people before, but on this ship if you want to sit you must clean and wipe your own table!!
Food Very poor quality!! Always luke warm and the worst breakfast buffet I have ever seen!!
Crew VERY RUDE PEOPLE!! I have never felt so unwelcome on any cruise!! They are not friendly and actually go out of the way to be rude!! I can't even imagine how an entire ship of crew members, 1000 I think, can be so unhappy and so rude!!
Pools Ialso noticed that the pools are very salty!! RCCL is also salt water, but not to the point where you cannot swim! The children with diapers swimming in the pool should not be allowed!! This is just wrong on so many levels!!
WHERE ARE THE SANATIZERS?????? CARNIVAL DOES NOT CARE ABOUT OUR HEALTH ON BOARD, THIS IS OBVIOUS!
The cabins are the only plus to this ship.
CHOOSE ANOTHER LINE AND SHIP. DO NOT WASTE YOUR VACATION ON CARNIVAL. THE WEB SITE LOOKS SO NICE, BUT ONCE YOU ARE ON BOARD ITS A DIFFERENT WORLD! THEY ARE RUDE INCONSIDERATE PEOPLE WHO DO NOT CARE ABOUT YOU OR YOUR VACATION. CARNIVAL DOES NOT COMPARE TO RCCL OR PRINCESS!!
We were booked on the Freedom March 22, 2008, Eastern Carribean. Unfortunately, Carnival is still Carnival and in our opinion needs great improvement. This was our sixth cruise and second on Carnival. We have cruised Disney, Royal Carribean and Carnival.
First, Miami had a storm that came through around 12:00 and it kept on raining right through the sailaway. Not Carnival's fault, however all the very wet luggage was Carnival's fault!! We looked with amazement from our balcony room as all the luggage sat out in the open, with nothing covering it, for hours while it rained and rained. The result, very wet luggage. This is just one of the many signs that Carnival needs great help with customer service.
Cabin Our cabin steward, Oliver, was the worse we have ever had. On past cruises the room attendant usually seeks you out and eagerly introduces him/herself and actually seems genuine that they are happy you are here. Not Oliver. We had to actually look and ask for him and when we finally did meet Oliver he was less than excited to see us or our children. He rarely smiled and never engagedus in conversation, not once. We also had to ask for beach towels, more than once and when he did finally bring them he brought two and there were four of us. As for the room, not as well kept as other cruises we have been on.
Dining We do not cruise for the buffets or the food in general, but the Carnival Freedom had such bad food I felt it was worth the review. The Posh dining room had many choices, which was nice, however I got the same thing from the alternative menu almost every night because it was the only thing that I liked even a little. It was grilled chicken. My kids ate pizza and macaroni and cheese and my husband also had the chicken most nights. The Lido's Freedom restaurant was really bad. They offer many choices, but most are honestly not very good. One day they had chicken tenders, but it was fried and I mean fried batter and then what meat was in there was dark meat. At breakfast I like just some fruit and a banana, but the most unusual thing happened, they ran out of bananas! Does Carnival not know how many bananas it takes for a seven day cruise with 3000 paasengers? I guess not becuase they ran out on Thursday morning. The only thing I enjoed on the Lido was the melon and a sandwich, both of which I could have anytime anywhere.
Nothing great, new or exciting to eat on Carnival.
Pool Area/Mini Golf My children loved the warer slide and mini golf, however Carnival needs to improve both. The water slide is only open from 10:00 to 6:00 and actually opened at 11:00 and closed by 4:30 most days. The mini golf was a nice addition to Carnival, however you have to sign your life away to play. First, the equipment is under a little hut near the pool (not close to the mini golf coursre) where you have to show your room key and sign to play. This causes a line and frustrated people. When you return it, you have to go through the same process and again another line just to return the equipment. The worse thing is that you can only play from 10:00 to 6:00. Why? Other lines do this much, much better. We have played 24 hours a day and the equipment is where it should be, next to the course and no signing to play or return. Carnival needs to simplify, we are on vacation and want to relax and even mini golf was a hassle on Carnival.
Ship Not grand at all. I did like the decor, but again, the ship itself was nothing special. It also had a very bad smell at the midship pool. It was a sewage smell and many of us noticed it.
Crew This is where Carnival really needs the most help. They have no customer service. I could write for days on Carnival's lack of customer service, but many of you know this already. If you go on a cruise and want people to smile at you, speak to you in a respectful manner and make you feel welcome then the Carnival Freedom is not the ship for you. Not once did anyone say, Can I help you, thank you, you're welcome or even smile at you. The behavior of the crew is really inexcusable and Carnival should be putting more time and effort into improving customer service.
I would never take another Carnival cruise again. We have experience with two other lines that far surpass Carnival in every area, but especially in customer service. Carnival is for the budget cruiser and personally I think it is so worth the extra money to have a wonderful week instead of a week that was just ok. I have had four cruises that were like a dream come true and two (both Carnival) that were a huge letdown. Our most recent cruise before the Freedom was in July 2007 (7 months ago) and the cruises were like night and day. On the Mariner in July we felt like we got three weeks of a cruise in seven days and enjoyed every minute, not so on the Freedom. We have learned our lesson.
This ship needs much improvement!! The food is awful, the ship dirty and the crew very rude!!
All I can say is book with a different line!!
If you're looking for class, this is not the line or the ship for you!
I was reading the other reviews and decided to suggest some things. The cruise ship was beautiful and I felt like I was on a big beautiful ship! I have cruised RCCL and NCL in the past, so I do have a few things to comapare.
Food: Good, but they need more variety on the breakfast buffet. Why not offer pancakes, waffles and french toast everyday instead of switching them out? I think that would be a much better. They also need to cook the bacon better. Dinners in the dining room were wondeful and very good. I do not like the cups Carnival uses to drink from and they need to offer paper cups for coffee or tea when you want to take it to your room or just walk around with it. I heard people complaining about that every day and I was one of them!! Is it going to take someone being seriously burned from an open cup with very hot coffee to get Carnival to provide paper cups?? I hope not!!
Rooms: Wonderful. Very clean and very spacious. Better than RCCL and NCL.
Staff: Dinner staff were wonderful!!Overall the staff needs help in learning to treat customers with respect!! They need to smile more often and be more helpful!! That really makes a cruise and if you're treated rudely you remember that!!
Overall this cruise was an okay experience, but not great. However, if the Freedom made just a few changes, they could be competitive with other lines.
Thank you to whoever wrote the review regarding the cups that Carnival uses. I did not like them either and yes I agree they need to offer paper cups with lids for those of us who would like a FREE cup of coffee!! They are more than happy to give you a paper cup if you PAY for it!! I mean really! I have never experienced that on any cruise before and this is our 6th cruise!!
After reading several of the newest reviews on the Freedom, I am glad to find out that I am not crazy!! I truly thought it couldn't have just been me that had a bad experince on the Freedom, but it's nice to hear it from others!!
We are loyal RCCL cruisers and it seems like several people ventured out to try Carnival since they had a new ship, but I think we all learned the same lesson the hard way! RCCL is much better and I think I would try NCL and Princess too after several people compared them.
Trust me and avoid the Freedom. Read the reviews and stick to the better lines!!
After reading several reviews I decided I would try and help cruisers by rating this ship. My wife and I read many reviews on this ship both good and bad, but decided to give Carnival a chance since the Freedom was a new ship. However, this was a mistake and if I could do it all over again I would have chosen RCCL or NCL. We have previously cruised on both and had a much better cruise with no comparison on those other lines.
My advice is if you have cruised before and have experienced the better lines, go elsewhere because you will definitly feel what you are missing, which is A LOT!!
Ship: I thought it was a nice ship but dark. It was much less clean then RCCL and NCL. They did not offer sanitizers in any of the dining rooms which should tell you something about Carnival. When you have 3000 people onboard, everyone should be sanatizing before meals. EVERYONE, ESPECIALLY CHILDREN. My wife carries wipes and sanitizers when we vacation, but most people that have cruised other lines complained about not having sanitizers and got the same ruderesponse we did, a blank look!!
Food: I have had so, so much better!! The breakfast buffet was a laugh. If you have been on RCCL or NCL you are laughing with me!! I have never seen so much cereal and danish in my life!! Why can't they offer more variety. Why should you have to hope it's french toast instead of them just offering it everyday!! My children, like many 10 and 11 year olds, each prefer something different. One wanted waffles, one wanted french toast and one wanted bacon that was actually cooked! Of course, once again a rude and very blank look when I asked if they could offer both french toast and waffles at the buffet!! I have never seen such a cheap buffet on any cruise and we have been on 6!! Any line that has to swap french toast, waffles and pancakes daily is either hurting for money or just cheap!! The breakfast in the dining room will offer you more choices, but you have to allow an hour or more!! Lunch -- a better variety if you don't mind pizza and hot dogs for lunch. Once again the buffet is sad with way too many seafood choices and odd dishes. Again, a sign of Carnival's cheap fare!! Dinner -- ok but nothing great!
Crew: Very, very rude people!! Carnival needs to teach the crew manners and class!! If they actually want customers with class they need much improvement!!
If you truly want your money's worth, spend a little more with a different line and get a fantastic vacation instead of a stress-filled one!!
WE WILL NEVER CRUISE CARNIVAL AGAIN!!!!!!!!