Monday, July 21, 2014

Carnival Freedom Review

If you are looking for a summer getaway trip, why not consider a cruise vacation? What could be better than being on a floating hotel that has endless food, entertainment, activities, and pools among many other highlights? Kick back and relax as you soak up the sun on your way to gorgeous tropical islands.  What are you waiting for? Great fun for families, friends, and couples awaits you.  Book those cruise tickets today!

Carnival Cruise Lines offers deals and packages to the most popular vacation destinations possible.  How does a cruise to the Caribbean, Bahamas, Alaska, or Mexico sound? Carnival sails from many convenient locations including New York, California, Florida, Texas, South Carolina, among others.  Each Carnival ship sails to different areas depending on which vessel you choose. There are 23 different ships to choose from including the Carnival Freedom, Ecstasy, Elation, Dream, Fantasy, Conquest, and many more. Each ship differs from the other in ways, but whichever one you select offers pools, a spa, casino, on-board entertainment, restaurants, nightly shows, and many activities.  There is always fun to be had and much food to be enjoyed!

Are you ready for fun in the sun?

Just this morning I returned from an 8 day cruise to the Caribbean with my husband and parents.  I sailed on the Carnival Freedom and it was my second time traveling on a Carnival ship.  This ship was built in 2007 and was the last ship to be built on the Conquest-class platform. From the minute you step on board after check-in, you're greeted by a sea of excitement and people.  Everyone is attempting to see all that the ship offers at once.  Our first stop was the Lido Deck for some lunch.  There was so many different options of food, you didn't know where to turn to first.  Whether you are craving a hot dog or a grilled sandwich from the deli, comfort food, Italian food, or even hamburgers and fries, the Carnival Freedom has you covered.  Of course there is also a Mongolian wok station, pizza station, and dessert station! Don't forget the unlimited chocolate and vanilla ice cream cones from the ice cream machines around the Lido Deck too.

You are able to eat breakfast, lunch, or dinner on the Lido Deck if you choose, or in the main dining rooms.  The food is completely different on the Lido Deck than it is in the dining rooms and it changes daily.  We ate dinner every night in the main dining room.  I found the food extremely delicious and looked forward to meal times each day.  The service from the waitstaff was impeccable.  Each night your waiter remembered your name, even if he only served you once.  You were greeted with a smile and a friendly hello.  My family requested the same waiter on many occasions since we liked his service so much.  He even brought my mom a Greek salad without her even requesting it nightly as an appetizer, since she mentioned she enjoyed it the first time she had it.  Now talk about outstanding customer service!

Baked eggplant.  Just an example of what you can have aboard. 

Is it legal to marry baked goods? I think so.

As you walk around the many levels of the ship you'll find tons of things to do.  You can try your hand at the slots or tables in the casino, work-out in the gym, have a drink in one of the many pubs or bars, play some games in the arcade, or even watch a show in the lounge.  I enjoyed the main lobby where there was always live music.  The shops offered jewelry, souvenirs, t-shirts, and much more.  There was even a candy store to indulge that sweet tooth of yours.  You can't forget the many pools that are available too.  Sit back and enjoy a frozen drink and soak up the sun.  What I liked most was that there was a section for all individuals, as well as an adults only side if you wanted some peace and quiet away from families.  Camp Ocean is available for children.  This day care service allows you to drop your children off to have fun during the day while you enjoy some free-time.  The caretakers will watch your children, and they even change diapers if needed.  If you're having a late night out, they will take your children to your state room and tuck them into bed for you.  I think that's a wonderful service.

The ship was smooth except for some rough patches provided by rocky waters.  Since I'm now 21 weeks pregnant, I wasn't sure how I would feel during the trip.  I held up pretty well and wasn't too sick.  It's really interesting to look out the window and see nothing but blue ocean surrounding you! Cruise nights brought you comedy shows, karaoke, and sing-alongs at the piano bar.  I also very much enjoyed the towel animals that were left on my bed each night.

Look at me.  I'm cute and I come with chocolates.

We had four stops on our trip; Turks and Caicos, Dominican Republic, Curacao, and Aruba.  I had never been to any of those islands before and was looking forward to a new experience and memories.

Turks and Caicos brought salt mines and beautiful beaches.  I had my camera ready at all times! We took a tour around the island and learned much about the culture.

Next, we visited the Dominican Republic.  This beautiful island offered a wealth of history and gorgeous scenery. We really enjoyed our time there.

When we visited Curacao, I was not prepared for how gorgeous it was.  The crystal blue waters of the beach were just stunning!

Our final port stop was Aruba.  This was a lazy beach day for us and we enjoyed every minute of it! Who wouldn't love relaxing on a lounge chair in the sun all day? 

My family had a wonderful time aboard the Carnival Freedom and highly recommend it to anyone looking for a future cruise vacation.  You will absolutely love it! It's hard to transition back to the real world after an eight day trip.  This leaves me no choice but to book a future Carnival vacation so I have something to look forward to!

*DISCLOSURE* I received discounts and complimentary items in exchange for this review.  All thoughts are my own.  

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