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Kayla

Age: 51

Occupation:homemaker

Number of Cruises: 2

Cruise Line: Carnival

Ship: Carnival Freedom

Sailing Date: 2010-08-8

Itinerary: Western Carribean

Will never cruise with Carnival again. We were a group of 10 family members and not a one was impressed with what we got on this cruise. From the moment we walked on board and entered the most gawdy ship I have ever seen to the smoke filled rooms you had to pass through and not to mention the extremely sub-par food, our group sadly was happy when this cruise ended.

The food in the Lido dining area was non-impressive. We searched high and low to find something that really struck us as tasty, but unfortunately, even the grilled hamburgers left much to be desired. Lines were always long and it seemed to take a great deal of time for them to cut the meat, or to serve the taco to you. We felt like our trip always entailed long lines. Once we got our food, it wasn't worth eating. Dinner in the Posh dining room was very eye-appealing, yet it still was sub-par. Overcooked steak, overcooked lobster and the list went on. Almost all the food had a certain "taste" to it. Have no idea what the spice was that they seemed to use in everything, but we all would notice it and comment on it. The ice cream machine was probably the best, but on days when we were at sea, there were lines for that and the machines couldn't keep up with the demands.

The stateroom was as expected. Small. We just had an interior one. Compared to the interior room we had with Royal Caribbean, this one definitely paled. Only one outlet and that was in the room, so couldn't do hair in the bathroom. No way to not disturb someone sleeping. Bathroom shower usually ran out onto the floor (there was a shower curtain that really didn't hold the water in). Nothing spectacular to say about room. If you go with this ship, do NOT get a room on level 1. You will hear so much noise from the bottom of the ship. It wouldn't keep us up at night, but it sure would wake you early in the morning when you were pulling into different ports. Most annoying.

I will say that the rooms and bathroom, hallways were always clean. Throughout the day we would see the employees cleaning. I cannot complain about any dirtiness on the ship. Bathrooms on the different levels (which were not easy to find) also were kept clean.

Depending on your needs and what you like to do, I'm sure you can find an activity to participate in. The "shows" didn't come close to those we saw with Royal Caribbean. I did not like having to walk through smoke filled rooms to conveniently get to other parts of the ship. Our group ended up playing cards and speed scrabble most evenings. We aren't the night life people but if that is your thing, then I'm sure you would enjoy that on this ship.

Key West did nothing for us. Grand Cayman - we went to the beach..water is beautiful. We enjoyed that completely. Very hot I must say. We took a tour guide around the city and stopped at "Hell", dolphin area and he explained alot about the area. The $15 per person was worth it to us. Someone said Grand Cayman is a great place to buy jewelry. They did have a lot of stores with "sales" going on. Ocho Rios is so beautiful too. We climbed Dunns River Falls. Challenging in some parts but guides were awesome and very patient with those that were not in the best of climbing shape. They will take pictures for you with your camera (they never got it wet). We then went to Dolphin Cove. Only signed up for the "viewing" of dolphins (no touching) and then swam at that beach. Others in our group did the Boblsed "roller" coaster. They traveled up the hill via trolley and their view was beyond beautiful. When finished they swam in the infinity pool for hours. The pictures from their location let you see the beauty of that country. I would do that excursion next time. Advise: take your own watershoes for Dunn River. Rent the locker with several people (holds plenty of bags) Ocho Rios is an interesting place to visit. Watch out for the Jamaiicans. They are aggressive with trying to sell you stuff.

Our group enjoyed the places we stopped at. But as I said, Carnival is not a line that any of us will cruise again with. Even if I didn't have Royal Carribean to compare it to, I would not go with them again. The decor alone is enough to make me not want to sail with them. It was a killer to the eyes and seemed to have no rhyme or reason to the patterns that they were using together. Truly disturbing. Then the boat itself was so chopped up and confusing to get around on. We felt disoriented many times. And like I said, you had to walk through smoke filled areas to get where you needed to be. You could go other ways without the smoke filled areas, but it would take you longer and more up and down confusing ways. Our server was great that took care of us at dinner and he probably was the highlight for all of us. We enjoyed conversations with him. Even though gratuities are charged on your account, take extra cash as you might want to give some of your attendants a little extra cash.

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