Eastern Caribbean Journals

Cruising on Carnival Freedom

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A May 2012 trip to Eastern Caribbean by two cruisers

Carnival Freedom Photo, Eastern Caribbean, Caribbean More Photos
Quote: This was our third cruise and the first on Carnival. Many highs and lows to the trip. I would suggest some caution in requesting staterooms and in preparations before boarding and debarking. A good place to just relax and get caught up on your reading. The price was right.

Ship Shop

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Story/Tip

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When we were boarding the Carnival Freedom we noticed people struggling to carry on cases of bottled water and canned pop. It was a physically exhausting effort, but those people were smart. Water was our #1 expense in shopping on board. And it is expensive. You could only obtain it if you made a special request with your steward, room service, or go to a bar. The first two are unreliable, so go right to a bar. Each bottle had a 15% tip added to the charge.There are three "Fun Shops" on the Freedom. I will call the first one "All that Glitters". They only sell costly jewelry, watches and expensive desk novelties like marble globes. We didn't buy anything there. Next door is a shop I will ...Read More
The Victoriana Photo, Eastern Caribbean, Caribbean
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The Carnival Freedom had one of the best troupes of singers and dancers I have seen in a resort setting. And double wow for the set designers, costume designers and musicians. I saw three of their productions and wished for encores. One production was about The Big Easy, another was a salute to the Beatles, and the third was Jump Jive and Wail. But wait...that was only three nights out of eight!On some of the other nights there were knock-offs of once popular TV shows. One was Newlywed Game featuring...passengers. Another was a talent show featuring...passengers. Good nights to stay in the stateroom and watch the last half of "the Iron Lady".We were tempted by the casinos. I d...Read More

Good Art:Bad Art

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Story/Tip

Backwall  of one elevator Photo, Eastern Caribbean, Caribbean
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One of the ship's TV channels had a self-promoting feature story about the achitect-designer of the beautiful Carnival Freedom. I was truly surprised they were promoting it, as generally speaking the interior is a mish-mash of overblown designs. Lets start with the wood panelling. It is valued for its rare graining, bands of colors that range from orange to teal. All the other art was keyed off this unusual wood. The main lobby had multi storied panels of this wood between glass walled elevators. That was neat, but then they added panels of garish designs and banks of colored lights that changed colors. It looked like a .....carnival...oh, I get it now!The elevators were a wond...Read More

Cruising without a Tuxedo

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The Lido Deck's Freedom Restaurant Photo, Eastern Caribbean, Caribbean
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Cruise ships have recognized that not all passengers want to suit up in tuxedos and beads & sequins. Not all passengers want to share a table with 6-8 strangers making small talk for endless meals. For those reasons they have developed alternate eating opportunities. We ate most of our meals at the Lido buffet called the Freedom Restaurant. Each day they offered a specialty such as Caribbean, Italian, etc. They also offered enough alternatives to please most people. There are more than one buffet line for lunch and dinner, including a Mongolian grill. Breakfast also has an omlette buffet line. All three meals have a seperate area with cheese, fruit and some pastries or desserts. The d...Read More
Stateroom 8385 Photo, Eastern Caribbean, Caribbean
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The best part of our trip on Carnival's Freedom was our stateroom. Wider that its counterpart on Holland America, it had a good floorplan, too. The bed was dished out on both sides, but the hollows seemed to fit us. The convertible couch served its function and there was enough table space and drawers for our needs. Color scheme was neutral and had a couple of colorful pictures. The TV offered three free movies each day but there was no schedule to know when they started. I watched the end of "The Iron Lady" three times. We used the veranda often and enjoyed it. The bathroom had a walk-in shower, which we value, also had good lighting.Here are the flaws: shaving/make-up mirror was mounted too hi...Read More

One word of advice...Plastics.

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Story/Tip

Port Everglades Fort Lauderdale Photo, Eastern Caribbean, Caribbean
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Just as in the movie "The Graduate", this one word piece of advice is well intended and could save you some troubles. We boarded The Freedom just as the outer edge of Tropical Storm Alberto passed by. The passengers were given protection with covered walkways from the terminal building to the ship. Not so our luggage. The cube shaped luggage trailer-carts were open sided and open topped. They sat on the dock fully exposed to the downpour before boarding. Everyone we talked to had soaked luggage. In ours I had packed books, which are now permanently mishappened. All our clothing had to be dried and some had to be washed prior to drying to get rid of stains from things they were packed next too. We did ...Read More