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Carnival Freedom with the band


Janos
"Our band's tour was on the Carnival Freedom"

Overall Rating: Very Good

TRIP INFO

Sail Date:07/07/2013
Destination:Caribbean - Eastern
Departed From:Ft. Lauderdale
# of Nights: 5-6 Nights
Cabin Type: Inside
Sailed As: Couple

RATINGS

Food:<p>1</p>
Itinerary:Good
Cabin:Good
Entertainment:Good
Overall Value:Good
Spa/Fitness: Didn't Use
Embarkation: Very Good
Debarkation: Very Good
Staff/Service: Very Good
Overall Rating: Very Good

COMPLETE REVIEW

Our civic band decided for their tour this year to go on a cruise. We went on the Carnival Freedom out of Ft.Lauderdale. As a band, we played in Ft.Lauderdale at our band leader's condominium and we played once on the ship. Since we were there the night before the cruise left, my wife and I stayed at the Comfort Inn, Airport, on Stirling Road. We left the hotel the next morning at 10:50am. It took about 15 minutes to get to the pier and about 20-25 minutes to get on board.

We proceeded to the Lido deck for lunch. It was an Italian theme on the buffet. Our inside cabin was ready at 1:30pm. The luggage arrived around 4pm. We opted for the 6pm seating for dinner. Service was a little slow the first night. We attended the Welcome Aboard show. I ended up on the stage along with 5 other men. We portrayed the story of the 3 bears each of us having a different role to play. The audience enjoyed our performance and the performers each received a gold medal.

We checked out a couple of the lounges for the entertainment. We were disappointed that smoking was allowed in these lounges. My wife has asthma, and could not stay long if there was smoking during our visit.

Even though we were on deck 7, mid ship, there was a low pitched hum heard in the cabin and for the first 3 nights, when sleeping in the bed, I could not sleep on my side as I would hear the noise in my ear as well as a small rumble. I never did find out what was the cause.

Our first stop was Key West. We pre arranged to have lunch with a friend who we knew had moved there. He gave us a lot of the history of the island. We took a short ride on a pedal cab while there. it cost $9.00 for a short ride.

Grand Cayman was the 2nd island visited. One had to take the tenders ashore there. Once ashore, I went on my own to Eden Rock to do some snorkeling. It took about 10 minutes to walk there. I rented a locker and fins for $5.00 each and proceeded down a ladder into the water. There were fish and corral observed.

Overall, the food on the ship was good. I only sent back a pork loin during dinner one night. Service at dinner was better but it did seem to take awhile to begin with the meal. It generally took from 6pm to 8pm to complete the meal. There were generally 5 entree's from which to choose at dinner in the dining room each evening. Lobster and Prime Rib was served one night. Escargot was available one night as an appetizer.

The melting chocolate cake was one of my favorite desserts. Our table at dinner was by the windows and one could feel the rumbling of the ships engines most of the time. It didn't hinder the meal in any way.

On sea days, lunch in the dining room was a treat. The steak and eggs were very good as were the Eggs Benedict.

Depending on the time of day, breakfast on the Lido deck may entail lines and waiting.

We did not eat at the restaurants that required a fee. Pizza and soft serve ice cream was generally available at all times.

There was also a deli, a fish and chips and an Indonesian area which served food as well. Each evening, there was on deck 5 a small area that would serve small "tastes" of foods which varied each night. On the 2nd sea day, in the afternoon, the chocolate extravaganza was served in the buffet restaurant on the Lido deck.

Also on deck 5, there was available specialty coffees and desserts for a fee.

As it was, I gained 6 pounds in one week.

Our room steward was very attentive. I won a bottle of champagne, and he provided appropriate glasses for us to use without me asking.

If one wants an ice bucket with ice, one had to make this request to the room steward as it is not provided automatically. I had ice 2 times a day provided. There was a small refrigerator in the cabin that was pre stocked with soda, and liquor. The room was made up 2 times a day. I stored my suitcases under the bed which then left ample room in the closets.

The pools on the ship were filled with salt water which is most often the case. They were generally crowded, especially on sea days. There was a Solarium for adults only on one end of the ship, which included 2 hot tubs. On the other end of the ship there was an adult pool with 2 hot tubs.

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What a great way for a band to tour! I know many musicians and music teachers - including my husband - who have played in a variety of community bands. I wish I could them all on a cruise ship! By the way, I would have loved to see all you guys performing as the three bears - must have been hysterical!

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I meant to add more to my review above: Our 3rd stop was Ocho Rios Jamaica, but due to a tropical storm, the captain took the ship to Cozumel instead. We were informed of this the day before our arrival. There were many shore excursions to peruse, and finally decided on a deluxe Playa Mia resort and beach excursion.

The ride there from the port was about 10 minutes. This package included the transportation, buffet, and open bar. Once there, I realized I had been there a few years ago. To my wonderful surprise, there was a freshwater pool, rather large in size and I spent the majority of my time there as I enjoy swimming in a pool more than in an ocean. The bar drinks were fairly standard. They didn't have any bourbon, but I managed a margarita, pina colada, brandy alexander, tequila sunrise. The buffet was served under a huge tented area with plenty of seating. The food was kept well stocked. Also noted was an adult pool under construction but not available yet.

ON the last sea day, there was a reception for past members. Appetizers were served, and at 1st, a punch, and an alcoholic drink were served. Then it seemed another different drink was available. My wife ordered an old fashion which was served as well.

Disembarkation: We did not do the self disembarkation. They did want us out of the cabins by around 8:30am. We waited for our number to be called while waiting in the large show area.

We took a cab to the Ft.Lauderdale airport. Cost was $22.00 no including a tip.

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