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  #1  
Old April 4th, 2011, 10:23 PM
thormx64 thormx64 is offline
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Default March 26- April 3, 2011 Carnival Freedom 8 Night Eastern Caribbean Review!

My name is Jimmy (23) and I am a newbie to Cruise Critic. I recently sailed with my girlfriend Courtney (22) on thisCarnival 8 night itinerary after booking an interior cabin on deck 8 only 2 months prior. I had sailed Carnival 6 times before this cruise so I went in having a decent idea of what to expect. However, I found this site just weeks before our departure from New York, and spent many an hour hibernating from this brutal winter reading up on the boards and reviews alike. Needless to say, I felt it important to return the favor. So, coming in the next few days will be my lengthy pictorial review of our trip... Here is a quick peek ahead at what it looked like while travelling southbound via 2005 Saturn Ion LOL...

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Last edited by thormx64; April 4th, 2011 at 10:25 PM.
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  #2  
Old April 4th, 2011, 10:29 PM
belkin belkin is offline
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Hi Jimmy, we will be on the Freedom in November and are looking forward to reading your review. I am in Michigan and have also spent a lot of time this winter researching on these boards.
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  #3  
Old April 4th, 2011, 10:39 PM
thormx64 thormx64 is offline
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We left our apartment in Clifton Park (15 miles north of Albany) early March 23rd and were immediately met with crappy weather. The picture from above was in New Jersey and it carried through to Virginia where it finally took a turn for the better. We drove to Rocky Mount, North Carolina that night and stopped for some Z's. We woke early on the 24th began where we left off the night before. Around 5pm we arrived in Tampa, Florida where we'd be seeing a New York Yankees spring training game the following night. Here's a couple of pics for my fellow Yankees fans out there:





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  #4  
Old April 4th, 2011, 10:44 PM
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Yeah! I am excited for your review!! It looks like there will be lots of pictures- I am excited- so keep them coming!!
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  #5  
Old April 4th, 2011, 10:50 PM
thormx64 thormx64 is offline
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After the game on Friday night (which the Yankees won BTW) we took off for Ft. Lauderdale where the Freedom would would be meeting us the next morning. Fortunately, my grandmother owns a condo in the Ft. Lauderdale area and was expecting us around 2am. We were able to get a relatively good nights sleep and were provided a complimentary ride to the port Nice being able to save the $15/day that it would have cost to park our car for the week!! Around 12:30 we arrived at Port Everglades and first met our ship,



The embarkation for this cruise went as smoothly as any I have ever experienced. In all, I'd say we waited no more than 30 minutes and we arrived at quite a busy time. Once on board, we went to Guest Services to open our onboard "cash" account, our preferred way of handling our Sail & Sign Account... Shortly thereafter, it was 1:30 and our interior cabin #8431 was ready and we went to drop off the few carry-ons that we had. (sorry no pics of the room, although I can assure you it looks identical to each and every interior you have probably ever seen.) We then proceeded to Lido where we got lunch at the delicious Mongolian Wok and grabbed a couple DOD's on the way



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Last edited by thormx64; April 4th, 2011 at 10:51 PM.
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  #6  
Old April 4th, 2011, 10:53 PM
thormx64 thormx64 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by belkin View Post
Hi Jimmy, we will be on the Freedom in November and are looking forward to reading your review. I am in Michigan and have also spent a lot of time this winter researching on these boards.
Thanks for reading. You will surely love your trip. I will probably be adding to this little by little each day so be sure to stay tuned
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  #7  
Old April 4th, 2011, 10:54 PM
thormx64 thormx64 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cruisinJenF View Post
Yeah! I am excited for your review!! It looks like there will be lots of pictures- I am excited- so keep them coming!!
Thank you, I am excited to write this review as it will help me recount one hell of a week. Stay tuned!
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  #8  
Old April 4th, 2011, 11:13 PM
thormx64 thormx64 is offline
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After eating lunch, we took our DOD's with us as we took a self-made tour of the Freedom. Now, we had sailed her sister ship, Valor in September of 2009 and were familiar with the layout from the beginning. Some of the sites that we saw on along our tour

Aft (Endless) Pool


Atrium


Casino (Players) Bar


RCCL Navigator of the Seas from across the way
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Last edited by thormx64; April 4th, 2011 at 11:31 PM.
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  #9  
Old April 4th, 2011, 11:22 PM
thormx64 thormx64 is offline
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After our walk around the ship, we were greeted by our CD Ryan Fitzgerald over the P.A. system letting us know the mandatory muster drill was about to begin in a few minutes. We opted to not "dodge" the drill as I had done on several cruises in the past as a youngster as it really just does not make any sense to skip. It was painless and was over with within 20 minutes. Sail away was upon us, so I turned my cell phone off and prepared for 8 days of tranquility. Here are some pics of the top deck where we watched our departure from Port Everglades.






Courtney


Myself

I
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  #10  
Old April 4th, 2011, 11:30 PM
thormx64 thormx64 is offline
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Port Everglades is a nice port and provides an enjoyable sail away. I don't find it quite as picturesque as the port of Miami, however it was pleasant never the less. After a few minutes of picture taking and such, we headed back to our room to check for luggage without expecting to see anything. How wrong we were!!! It was about 4:30 pm and ALL 3 of our bags were waiting at our door, rum runner included We then left for the the Posh dining room upper level on deck 4 and took our seat at table 549 for two. I will go further into detail on the MDR along the way, but let me just start by saying this was BY FAR the best dining experience either of us have ever had on a cruise ship. This was some in part due to the wonderful food. It was largely due, however, to our incredible staff of Marlon (Headwaiter, Philippines) Cris (Asst. Waiter, Peru) and Alfred (Asst. Waiter, Philippines)

Our table


Alfred, Marlon & Cris
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  #11  
Old April 5th, 2011, 09:12 AM
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navybaby1113 navybaby1113 is offline
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Great review so far. Looking forward to the rest.
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  #12  
Old April 5th, 2011, 10:02 AM
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Kissyfur19 Kissyfur19 is offline
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Looking forward to your review as we are doing this sailing a year from now!!

Love the pics of Steinbrenner Field! I live in Tampa (originally from NY/NJ area)...hope you had a good time visiting our city!
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Old April 5th, 2011, 10:33 AM
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Great review! We're in Glenville NY, and just got off the Glory last week. We're planning on going on the Freedom next May. Can't wait to read the rest of your review!!
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  #14  
Old April 5th, 2011, 10:40 AM
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Thank you for sharing !! I am also taking this cruise in one year from now !! Seems like forever ... maybe because it is !
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Last edited by Sunnyday2010; April 5th, 2011 at 10:50 AM.
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  #15  
Old April 5th, 2011, 01:07 PM
thormx64 thormx64 is offline
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Glad to see all the interest from everyone!! I will be continuing a little bit later on today
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  #16  
Old April 5th, 2011, 01:09 PM
thormx64 thormx64 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tlcs View Post
Great review! We're in Glenville NY, and just got off the Glory last week. We're planning on going on the Freedom next May. Can't wait to read the rest of your review!!
TLCS, funny how close we are!! Courtney actually graduated from Scotia/Glenville High School.. While on board, we met a woman who lives in Albany, and while in St. Thomas, we met a sales associate at Diamonds International who was originally from Saratoga Springs!! Small world or what?!?!
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Old April 5th, 2011, 01:17 PM
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Great review and pics......I'll anxiously await for more!!!! We sail on the Freedom in 17 days!!!!!!
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  #18  
Old April 5th, 2011, 01:27 PM
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Jimmy, I was wondering if you remember how the time worked when you were on the islands? I am most interested in Tortola as the ship is only listed as being there from 7am until 3:30pm. Do you remember if island time and ship time were the same? I am planning an excursion and dont want to cut it too close and be one of those people you see running for the ship
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  #19  
Old April 5th, 2011, 02:36 PM
thormx64 thormx64 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by belkin View Post
Jimmy, I was wondering if you remember how the time worked when you were on the islands? I am most interested in Tortola as the ship is only listed as being there from 7am until 3:30pm. Do you remember if island time and ship time were the same? I am planning an excursion and dont want to cut it too close and be one of those people you see running for the ship
Belkin, yes Tortola is the shortest stay of any of the ports, however all of our ports of call operated on ships time. Not to worry! Just FYI, we did the dolphin swim in Tortola at 9:30 AM and were done and back onboard by noon. This was without a doubt our favorite island AND excursion, but I will surely go further into detail as the review progresses and I reach the Tortola section.
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Old April 5th, 2011, 02:44 PM
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Our first night we both ordered the Flat Iron Steak from the Carnival Classics part of the menu and finished with the ever famous Chocolate Melting Cake, which is a must have if you have not yet tried! After dinner we spent our evening playing a little blackjack in the casino which surprisingly went our way and attended the Welcome Aboard Show which was entertaining. The Freedom definitely has quality talent among their entertainment staff from top to bottom. This includes but is not limited to the CD Ryan, ACD Dan & all of the singers and dancers onboard.. Not many pictures to share from this first night, but Sundays sea day/elegant evening is full of pics and only 1 post away!
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