Overall Rating: Very Good
|Destination:||Caribbean - Eastern|
|Departed From:||Ft. Lauderdale|
|# of Nights:||5-6 Nights|
|Overall Rating:||Very Good|
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.