Overall Rating: Excellent
|Destination:||Caribbean - Western|
|Departed From:||Galveston TX|
|# of Nights:||7 Nights|
|Cabin Type:||Ocean View|
DISCLAIMER: My spelling is phonetic in some places
We picked Galveston as the departure port because Texas is so much closer to Arizona than Florida. Little did we realize the round about way the airlines work. Oh well. It was still worth it.
The taxi ride from Hobby to Galveston is a flat $100, so splitting this between the 6 of us was much cheaper than hiring a driver, getting a rental car or using the Carnival transportation.
We spent the night at the La Quinta which included a full breakfast in the morning. Nice clean, relatively inexpensive place to sleep.
The hotel was about a mile from the cruise port so that taxi fare was almost nothing. Galveston is a very easy port to get in and out of. As VIP Platinum travellers, we were ushered in immediately. The other 4 that traveled with us received a notice from Carnival on their time to check in so we just worked around that 2 hour window.
Our room wasn't ready until 1:30 and we were on the ship by noon. So it was off to get food at the Lido deck. This was the third time on the Freedom for us, but boy did they make a lot of changes. New bars, restaurants, lounges, updated pool and jacuzzies, common seating areas and lounge chairs. All for the best!
This time we had 3 rooms at the very front of the ship on deck 6 (only 5 or 6 rooms at that end anyway). We picked this for the proximity of the outside door so that Jerry could smoke. We paid inside cabin rate for an obstructed outside window. Absolutely no complaints about the room (except for when we hit the hurricane winds and you could really feel the rocking and rolling). Most of the time it was just 5 of us on the outside watching the world sail by.
The rooms were great in typical Carnival style. The room steward and his assistant were wonderful.
Most of the time you didn't feel any movement on the ship. The night of the "super" moon really put a lot of motion in the ocean as well as hitting the winds as we returned towards the states. There was a medical emergency the first full day at sea and we had to travel back 2 hours towards New Orleans so that the coast guard could airlift the passenger off. Because we were 2 days at sea, the captain was able to make up the lost 4 hours and we arrived in Roatan on Tuesday as scheduled.
Our ports of call were Tuesday - Wednesday - Thursday: Roatan, Belize City, and Cozumel. Island, island, island isn't my favorite, but it was do-able. We walked around Mohagany Bay. Marcy & James took the zip line excursion and loved it. Belize is where Jerry and I volunteered with the Red Cross and the Primary School. We are so glad that we did that. Marcy & James went kayaking and loved that as well. We went back to Chankannab Park in Cozumel. We love it there. Marcy & James did a catamaran/snorkel excursion. The other 2 ladies that travelld with us love archeology so they went to as many ruins as they could and loved each and every one.
My overall impression of the food was too much fried and too much red meat. With that being said, the chef did an excellent job of preparing dinners for me each night that adhered to what I could eat. I was able to eat the stir fry for most lunches and also had extra made to eat for breakfast. Jerry loved everything that he tried and had no problems finding varieties. He said the pizza was delicious as well as the Guy Fierrie hamburger. He also agreed that there were too many red meat options but thought that maybe that is what those "texans" requested.
We did not go to any of the shows. Most of the time it was a timing matter or we were just too darn tired.
Jerry did WIN the blackjack tournament and got himself a seat in the Carnival tournament on the Magic in April. His seat is up for sale if you or anyone is interested. (PM me!) The grand prize is $50,000 with other amounts of money to the other players. You would need to purchase the cruise but you would be automatically in the tournament.
Getting off the ship was easy. We elected to take our own bags which was not a hassle at all. You just have to be prepared to stand in line for the customs man. Our biggest hurdle was the taxi ride back to Hobby. For some odd reason they shut a portion of the freeway down and the 60 min ride took closer to 2 hours. Good thing our return flight was 4pm!
Recommend the ship - ABSOLUTELY.
Recommend the itinerary - ABSOLUTELY.
Great value for what you paid - CAN'T BEAT IT! We met Oasis of the Seas at 2 of the ports and "compared" pricing. No comparison.
Really glad we weren't in the Atlantic and hope that everyone in the Bahamas is safe or found safety.