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 dining areas are dark and the flooring used looks dirty all the time, even though they clean it often.
Up a flight of stairs, sorry no elevator, from the Freedom Restaurant is Fish n Chips. We had read in a guidebook to not miss this one. We went early and often. Very good food and it is less crowded than the main dining room. They also serve sushi here.
As for fast foods there are three choices. I ate once at the Pizzeria: and found they had interesting selections. The location, unfortunately is beside the pool bar. It is very loud and rowdy. We ate a few times at The Grille: Hot dogs and hamburgers with sides like fries, potato salads and slaw. The Deli: this grossly understaffed eating opportunity provided excellant grilled reuben, grilled ham & cheese and cold sandwhiches, too. I noticed as we neared the end or our trip, the lines at this window were very long. Word got around!
One comment about the buffet set-up. For some reason they put the condiments before the entree. For instance you put catsup and pickles on you plate than pick up your cheeseburger; or you spoon au jus on a plate than put the roast beef on top. There are no small serving plates,bowls or condiment cups. If you want a cup of soup with your meal, you either pour it over the rest or put a splash at the bottom of a huge bowl.
What makes the Carnival Freedom a standout for us was the availability 24/7 of coffee, tea and soft serve ice cream and frozen yogurt.
We tried using room service one morning. They never delivered our order. All we got was an apology when I called, no offer to bring the order.
If you do love your tuxedo and beaded & sequined clothing, there are two fancy restaurants on board: Posh and Chic. In addition the steakhouse encourages upscale apparel. The cruise we were on had a large tuxedo crowd, and they all want the ships photographer to capture that sparkling moment.