• The Fun Shops

  • Photo Store

  • Fitness Center

  • Putteriffic Mini-Golf

  • Sports Deck

  • Shuffle Board

  • Ping Pong

  • Jogging Track

  • Chess

  • Venue Overview

  • Spa Overview

  • Venue Overview

  • Venue Overview

  • In-Room Dining Overview

  • Drinks Overview

  • Pools & Decks

  • Promenade

  • Casino Overview

  • Cabin Amenities

  • Overview

  • Venue Overview

  • General Safety

  • Venue Overview

  • Overview

  • Venue Overview

  • Cabin Layout

  • Venue Overview

  • Venue Overview

  • Overview

  • Venue Overview

  • Venue Overview

  • Staff

  • Venue Overview

  • Venue Overview

  • Services & Staff

  • Venue Overview

  • Movie Theater


The Fun Shops

The Fun Shops sell a variety of goods including jewelery, watches, tobacco products, alcoholic beverages, perfume, accessories, clothing, knickknacks, and other souvenirs. When you reach international waters, all items become duty free. Look for frequent jewelery and watch sales (up to 40% off).

Photo Store

Like other mass-market ships, the Carnival Freedom is awash in photographers who roam the vessel taking pictures of passengers. The thousands of photos they take during each voyage are posted along the walls of the Photo Store, and you can purchase them for a fee. It can be hard at times to pick out the photos in which you appear, given the large numbers posted here, but you also can search for your photos on the computers located in this area.
A fitness center and many sports areas will keep you active while at sea.


Fitness Center

The Carnival Freedom's fitness center is rather compact for a ship of its size, but it comes well equipped with treadmills, free weights and other circuit machines. A handful of basic classes focused on such things as an abdominal workout and stretching are free for anyone. More advanced instructional classes in yoga and Pilates can be attended for $12 per person. There also is a three-class "boot camp" available for $120 per person, personal training sessions for $85, and a nutritional consultant available as well.

Putteriffic Mini-Golf

Outside on deck 12, right at mid ship, you will find a nine-hole miniature golf course titled Putterific Mini-Golf that circles the ship’s funnel. The grass may be fake, but the view is spectacular. Pick up your putter and your colorful ball at the first hole, accessible through the sports deck on deck 11.

Sports Deck

The Sports Deck on deck 11 has a half-size basketball court and a volleyball net.

Shuffle Board

Shuffleboard courts are located on both sides of deck 3, and on deck 12 behind the funnel.

Ping Pong

Forward on deck 12, just before Camp Carnival, is one of America’s and China’s favorite pastimes: Ping Pong.

Jogging Track

Running around the Sports Deck on deck 11 is the jogging track. It’s a bit like a hamster wheel, but passengers seem to have fun with it.

Chess

Not far from the Stressless pool is an oversized chess board.
The ship boasts three separate grill stations and a 24-hour pizza bar for the always-hungry.


Venue Overview

Just outside either side of the Freedom Restaurant are several grill stations, and there also is a pizza bar that operates all day and night, similar to a college campus all-night grill. Also, by the Timeless pool, there is a grill serving burgers, hot dogs and fries, as well as a Indian tandoor station with tandoor oven-cooked dishes and other Indian specialties. On the other side of the area, by the Endless pool, lies the pizza bar and another grill station.
Like other Carnival ships, the Carnival Freedom is a big, bustling vessel that will appeal to a spirited, fun-loving crowd — particularly those on a budget. A luxury ship, it isn't, but the fifth of Carnival's Conquest Class series offers a lot of value for the money, with most activities, shows and meals included in the basic fare.

We found the food to be good but not great, although for a few extra greenbacks the ship's signature, extra-charge Steakhouse proved to be a winner.

Among our biggest complaints about the Freedom was that it felt a bit too crowded at times. The ship's pools, in particular, were uncomfortably crowded on both sea and port days during our voyage. No one wants to cram into a constantly splashing body of water; there is nothing relaxing about that. In addition, while the ship's staff was friendly, they sometimes appeared overworked, and we found the service from our room steward and dinner attendants slow at times.

That said, there was a lot to like about the Carnival Freedom. One thing that really grabbed our attention was how spacious the rooms were for a mass-market cruise ship. Usually we expect to be rolled into a sardine can-like space when aboard a ship, but there was space to breathe in the Freedom's cabins. Even the inside cabins exceeded our expectations.

The Carnival Freedom can be really fun and lively. It's a great ship for solo travelers, even though there are — surprisingly to us — not many singles events. The bar culture and layout make the situation optimal for meeting other adventure seeking voyagers.

The Freedom also is an ideal ship for families. Kid clubs such as Camp Carnival and Club O2, and activities such as the grand water slide, will keep children of all ages happy, while the adult-only Serenity deck will give their parents a chance to actually relax while on vacation.

All together, we enjoyed our stay aboard the Freedom with a few caveats. The rooms were well worth the price, the bar culture was hopping, but the food was not as gourmet as Carnival claims, and you may be fighting for space at some of the topside activities.
We’ve not yet stayed in this cabin, but here’s what the cruise line has to say:

"Two twin beds (convert to king) and one upper. Sofa and coffee table. Full bathroom with shower. Three closets. Private aft-facing extended balcony with patio chairs and table." –Carnival Cruise Lines

The Carnival Freedom’s spa is small but offers a large number of treatment options.


Spa Overview

Spa Carnival on the Freedom is not very big as compared to the spas on some other mass-market ships. That said, there are several different types of treatment rooms, from an inside (windowless) treatment room to one with an ocean view and one for couples. All spa rooms are swathed in relaxing, muted colors, and some rooms have showers used in certain treatments. There is a small salon accessible from the main entrance, and a spa pool connected to the complimentary locker rooms.
Located on Promenade deck five, the Meji Sushi Bar is open for only a few hours a day.


Venue Overview

As part of the Promenade deck 5, right behind the casino, the Meji Sushi Bar isn't a real restaurant. There are no dedicated tables, but there is a small seating area. Sushi is displayed behind glass, the decoration is sparse with some bamboo and a few fake flowers.
We enjoyed this once-per voyage event, with seven courses and three servings of amuse bouche.


Venue Overview

Carnival has hosted what it calls the Chef's Table experience on a number of its ships for about two years. Available for an extra charge, it's an elaborate, gourmet meal accompanied by a thorough galley tour that only is offered once per voyage for up to 14 people. During the experience, Freedom's executive chef guides participants through the galley where they meet the pastry chef, who puts on a demonstration on how to make the Carnival's signature dessert, the melting chocolate cake. During the tour, appetizers are served, and shortly thereafter the group is escorted to the Card Room just off the Chic Restaurant. All seven courses are put together in the card room for the guest's viewing pleasure. Unfortunately, this is not a demonstration, where explanations are of ingredients and preparation methods, merely a visual feast to accompany the meal.
The Carnival Freedom has 24-hour room service, but the menu is mostly cold food.


In-Room Dining Overview

Room service takes between 30 and 45 minutes to be delivered to your room. The menu is brief, featuring a short list of cold sandwiches (tuna, ham and cheese, BLT, shrimp salad, roasted NY strip loin and cheddar) and a few hot items as well (grilled cheese, hot Ruben, chicken fajita, hot pastrami). Supplementing the sandwiches, there are two salads and a crudité plate of veggie sticks and blue cheese for dipping. For your sweeter side, there is a dessert menu with two cakes and fruit.
There are drink packages for wine and soda; spirits must be purchased at list price.


Drinks Overview

Though you can find a number of different beers and mixed drinks on menus, there are no drink packages for beer and spirits. Each drink must be purchased at the listed bar prices.

Wine, however, can be bought in bulk several bottles at a time at a 25% discount, to be drunken over the course of your cruise.
The Freedom has plenty of open spots to soak up the sun and places to dip your feet in the pool with a cool drink.
A lot of places to enjoy the sun, or sit in the pool with a cool drink


Pools & Decks

The two pools located at the middle of the ship, the Endless pool and the Timeless pool, both have access to the Freedom Restaurant. The Timeless pool has a terrace with sun lounges that reach up to deck 10, where yet another pool, the Stressless Pool, resides along with the end of the water slide. Around the other side of the ship is the Sports Deck with a larger lounge area, right above the big screen. Serenity, the adults-only sun deck with whirlpool tubs, is on decks 12 and 14. There is a bar there and it is generally very quiet, although not always. It can be very crowded on sea days. Deck 10 circles the entire ship and is littered with sun chairs. You should be able to find your own little piece of the Freedom on this deck. We've not yet stayed in this cabin, but here's what the cruise line has to say: _"Two twin beds (convert to king) and single sofa bed. Sofa, armchair, and coffee table. Full bathroom with shower/whirlpool tub/double sinks. 2 large closets. Walk in dressing area with vanity table and chair. Private large balcony with patio chairs and table."_ –Carnival Cruise Lines We loved the coffee bar on the Deck 5! *** ## Lounge & Cafés The Freedom's interior lounges were entertaining, helping to fill out the bar and pool experience on the vessel. The Carnival Freedom offers a number of activity lounges, a small spa and a fitness area. *** ## Overview
Much of the activity on the ship occurs around the ship's pool areas (by day) and at its bars and show lounges (by night). In addition to the ship's main stage, there are quite a number of other places to kick back and enjoy some alternative fun, from the ship's coffee bar to a secondary stage that is home to comedy shows and live music. The show venues can get crowded, though, especially during sea days, as can the ship's relatively tight fitness center and spa. The Freedom has three pools that, alas, can get extremely crowded on sea days. *** ## Timeless Pool The Timeless pool is the main pool on the Carnival Freedom, and it's part of a deck area that also includes two whirlpools and a smattering of sun chairs all around. A statue of a woman in a bathing suit sits at one end. The Timeless pool is not very long, but it is deep enough (4'9'') to do a few laps if you can make the space for yourself. There is a shallow area to the pool as well for wading and sipping specialty cocktails from one of the two bars flanking each side. There also is a smoking area on the port side of the pool, where there are plenty of tables and chairs. The Timeless pool area is where you will find the ship's massive 12- by 22-foot screen where Carnival shows feature films in the afternoon and night. It is hard to see the screen through the glare of the sun in the afternoon, but at night it can be quite enjoyable to sit out and watch a show. Other entertainment you may see at the Timeless pool area includes live bands and the occasional hairy chest contest. ## Endless Pool On Deck 9 aft of the Freedom is the Endless pool, which features a statue that is a counterpart to the lady in bathing suit found at the Timeless pool. There also is a bar here with sitting areas where you can eat food from the Freedom Restaurant. Between the bar on one end of this area, a beverage station at the other end of the area, and its pizza station, grills and two whirlpool tubs, you could spend the whole day at the Endless pool. On rainy days, the Carnival crew will retract the glass ceiling and the fun continues rain or shine. ## Stressless Pool The Stressless pool is located on deck 10, which is connected to other decks and the Timeless pool by a series of terraces. There is a single whirlpool at the Stressless pool from which you will find the best view of the ship and the gargantuan screen by the Timeless pool. ## Twister Waterslide The water slide entrance is on deck 14 and the ride will spiral you three floors down to deck 10, where you will emerge at the Stressless pool. The Epic is newer and offers more name brand entertainment. *** ## Overview The Norwegian Epic is newer than the Carnival Freedom by several years, and it's also a bigger ship, but the most notable difference between the two vessels is in their entertainment offerings. While the Carnival Freedom offers a dedicated comedy club with regular performances as well as a main theater that's home to multiple acts, the Norwegian Epic offers a more diverse array of big brand name shows including performances by the Blue Man Group and Legends in Concert, two mainstays of Las Vegas. The Norwegian Epic also offers a far more diverse array of eateries, a hallmark of the line. If you're the kind of person who wants a lot of options when it comes to dinner time, the Norwegian Epic is likely the better bet. Both ships offer a fairly glitzy, Las Vegas-style ambiance with lots of bars, lounges and nightspots. Both also are chock full of family-friendly amenities including extensive children's areas, pools and water slides. If you're looking for a family getaway, your choice between these two vessels may come down to itinerary, as the two vessels both travel to the Caribbean out of Southern Florida but visit somewhat different sets of ports. Price also could be a factor. As Norwegian Cruise Line's newest and most amenity-filled ship, the Norwegian Epic has been commanding somewhat of a premium in price over other Norwegian ships as well as many Carnival vessels. This Conquest class ship is large, with enough venues and activities to satisfy the whole family. *** ## Ship Tour Overview

There is ample space around the ship’s top decks for sun bathing.


Promenade

While it doesn't circumnavigate the entire ship, deck 3 serves the purpose of a promenade and also features sun lounges, shuffle board and a port side smoking area.
The Babylon is a full service casino.


Casino Overview

The Babylon Casino offers all of the table games and slot machine offerings you would expect from a fairly large size casino. Smoking is allowed in the casino but only if you are playing a game or at the one half of the bar where it is allowed; otherwise lighting up is forbidden. The bar at the Babylon Casino often has a live guitarist playing Country tunes.
We’ve not yet stayed in this cabin, but here’s what the cruise line has to say:

"Two twin beds (convert to king) and single sofa bed. Sofa, armchair, and coffee table. Full bathroom with shower/whirlpool tub/double sinks. 2 large closets. Walk in dressing area with vanity table and chair. Private large balcony with patio chairs and table." –Carnival Cruise Lines

The Carnival Freedom offers fairly large cabins for a mass-market cruise ship.


The Carnival Freedom offers relatively large standard cabins for a mass-market ship. Inside cabins (those without windows) measure 195 square feet, which is several dozen square feet more than the inside cabins on the ships of some competing lines, and ocean view and balcony cabins also are relatively large.

The Freedom also offers several classes of suites, although in general there are fewer suites on the vessel than on the ships of such competing lines as Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean. The typical suite is 350 square feet (including a 65-square-foot balcony), and there also is one 430-square-foot penthouse suite.

The ship also offers 18 "family staterooms" that have floor-to-ceiling windows but no balcony and measures 230 square feet.

Skilled piano artists serenade passengers every night of the cruise at this nightspot. *** ## Venue Overview Stuck right in the middle of the room is a large piano, operated by a series of talented piano men and women. Decorations for this bar are in line with the theme, piano keys are all over the walls and the ceiling here. Standard cabins feature lots of storage, mini bars, wireless Internet and more. ***

Cabin Amenities

Every room comes with a television, wireless internet access, a mini bar, soft carpeting, indirect lighting, air conditioning and plenty of closet space. Carnival also provides a safe in every room to lock up your valuables. Each cabin bathroom has a hair dryer built into the wall, and each bedroom has air conditioning that you can control.

In the bathroom on the first day of the cruise you will find a small amenity package that includes complimentary shower get, two disposable razors, hand soap, toothpaste, and shampoo.

In the Mini Bar, you will find soda, water, beer, and spirits, but they come at a cost: $5.50-$7 for spirits; $4.94 per beer; and $1.95 for a soda. A big bottle of water will lighten your wallet by $3.95.

The televisions in standard cabins are relatively small at 18 inches and, as is common on cruise ships, only get a handful of channels. There are three channels that play movies (alas, we couldn't find any information on the television or in the room as to which movies would play and when) and 10 other channels such as CNN that come in over a satellite and as a result don't always work. You als can order movies through the television on a pay-per-view basis for $8.99.

Wireless internet runs throughout the ship. You can purchase minutes according to the following payment plans:

Longer Cruises (6 days and longer)

• 250 minutes for $100.00
• 100 minutes for $55.00
• Pay As You Go: $0.75/min

Shorter Cruises (5 days and shorter)
• 60 minutes for $24.00
• 30 minutes for $16.50
• Pay As You Go: $0.75/min

The internet connects via satellite, which is very different than on shore high-speed connections, and is not guaranteed at all times since satellite connections are very sensitive to weather.

Printing is available in the Internet Café at $0.50/page

You can make and receive calls and text messages on your cell phone too. Be aware though, international roaming rates apply and will be billed by your home carrier.

The phone in your room can be used for international calls too at $6.99 per minute to the US, Canada, Puerto Rico, and the Caribbean islands, it is $9.99 for international calls.
Newer and glitzier, the Carnival Magic has an edge over the Carnival Freedom.


Overview

As the newest ship in the Carnival fleet, the Carnival Magic naturally has a bit of an edge over its slightly older sister, the Carnival Freedom. While the two ships have much in common — from an unpretentious, "fun ship" focus to similar menus in restaurants — the larger Magic features a number of amenities not found on the Freedom, including the first ropes course at sea and one of the most elaborate water slide areas of any ship.

Both ships offer a lot of value for their price points, and both are great options for families on a budget. While Carnival cuisine isn't gourmet, both of the vessels certainly satisfy at mealtimes, although the Carnival Magic offers a few more dining options than the Carnival Freedom, including the line's first Italian eatery and first pub.
There is a bar in the lobby as well.


Venue Overview

Even the lobby has a bar on the Carnival Freedom, and not just a bar but a dance floor.

General Safety

Like any good ship, the Carnival Freedom has all sorts of safety equipment, from easily accessible life boats to fire extinguishers. There is a mandatory safety drill for all passengers on the first day of each cruise, and the crew also holds occassional drills on other days.
This is the bar for the Endless pool area.


Venue Overview

Located nearby the ship's outdoor pizzeria and grill, adjacent to the Endless pool, this is a small bar where you can grab all sorts of cocktails and specialty drinks starting in the late morning.
There are two main dining rooms, a large buffet, two all-night grills and one specialty restaurant


Overview

There are two main dining rooms on the Freedom: the Posh Restaurant, where passengers can dine for early seating at 6 pm and late seating at 8:15 pm, and the Chic Restaurant, where dinner is done on "My Time Dining" and guests can eat any time between 5:45 pm and 9:30 pm. The menus at both of the main dining rooms include items that change daily as well as some standard items that appear every day.

On the Lido deck, between the ship's two pools, you also will find the Freedom Restaurant, where an extensive buffet is served all day in the most casual of settings (i.e. you won't be out of place if you show up in your bathing suit). Food ranging from Indian, Mongolian Grill, Seafood, and Sushi is offered here, but also other international cuisine, like Italian, Jamaican, English, and of course American. There is also a deli station, where guests can put together their own hot or cold sandwiches.

Outside the Freedom Restaurant, on the Lido deck, are two grill stations with burgers and hot dogs, as well as the Tandoor station and a 24-hour pizza bar. On the upper level of the Freedom Restaurant Carnival offers everything seafood: Fish & Chips, Nigiri, Bouillabaisse, and different seafood salads.

The Carnival Freedom has one extra-charge specialty restaurant, the Sun King Steakhouse. Reservations for the Sun King are necessary and a cover charge of $20 applies. The dress code is smart casual. The extensive menu includes some French and Italian dishes, and as one would expect for a steakhouse a number of different cuts of beef, pork, and lamb.

Note: In June 2012, Carnival increased the surcharge on all its steakhouses, to $35 per person.

_**Editor's Note**: In April 2014 Freedom was taken into dry dock for an extensive overhaul to add a number of new features as part of Carnival's Fun Ship 2.0 upgrade program. Among them, Guy's Burger Joint, BlueIguana Cantina, RedFrog Rum Bar, RedFrog Pub, EA Sports Bar, Alchemy Bar, Playlist Productions, The Warehouse and Hasbro, The Game Show. Freedom will also be Carnival's first ship to debut Bookville, the new Dr. Seuss-inspired kids program that will be rolling out to the fleet, one ship at a time. We'll take a look at Bookville in a future ship review, but you can preview Freedom's other additions in our review of Carnival Sunshine [here](https://cruises.reviewed.com/content/carnival-cruise-line-carnival-sunshine-review-2)._ Unveiled in 2007, the Carnival Freedom is one of "fun ship" line Carnival's newest ships. Currently based year-round in Fort Lauderdale, the 2,974-passenger vessel was the last of the line's five Conquest Class ships, and it sails a variety of six-, seven- and eight-night itineraries to the Caribbean, including some Southern Caribbean itineraries that include stops in Curacao and Aruba. The Freedom was the first Carnival ship with an adults-only Serenity deck-top area, something still only available on a handful of Carnival ships. Designed as a quiet zone away from children, the adult-only area, alas, is located very close to the ship's Camp Carnival children's area, so it is not quite as quiet as you may hope. Freedom also is home to three pools, which would seem to provide enough watery fun for everyone on board to get a comfortable share, although they do get crowded on sea days. One of the pools at the back of the ship, the Endless pool, has a retractable dome that lets passengers enjoy a swim even when the weather is less than ideal. The Freedom offers two main restaurants, one that provides traditional fixed seatings at two times (early and late) and one that operates on Carnival's more flexible "My Time Dining" system. There also is a buffet eatery situated between the two main pools that is open much of the day, with two sets of grills on either side that run all day and night. For a little extra money and a reservation, you also have the option of dining in the ship's signature restaurant, the Sun King Steakhouse. In addition to pools, the top areas of the Carnival Freedom feature a Sports Deck with a basketball court and a miniature golf course as well as bars galore. There also are extensive children's programs on this ship, with several areas and activities broken down by age group. ## Gene Sloan's Opinion on the Carnival Freedom

Like other Carnival ships, the Carnival Freedom is a big, bustling vessel that will appeal to spirited, fun-loving vacationers — particularly those on a budget. A luxury ship, it isn’t, but the fifth of Carnival’s Conquest Class series offers a lot of value for the money, with most activities, shows and meals included in the basic fare.

While the Freedom’s cabins may be relatively plain (though completely functional), and its cuisine is far from gourmet, this is a ship that is hard not to enjoy — at least if you’re the kind of person who doesn’t mind a little deck-top silliness, offbeat humor and flashy interior decor. Would you get up on stage to sing karaoke or at least have fun watching your friends do it? This is the ship for you. Horrified by the idea? Maybe it’s time to look elsewhere.

Keep in mind, the Carnival Freedom is a relatively low-cost product. You won’t be pampered at every moment, like you would expect on the luxury vessels of Crystal Cruises or Seabourn, and it’s pool areas and spa aren’t as posh. But that doesn’t mean the ship isn’t packed with all sorts of fun stuff, from lively nightclubs to an outdoor screen to watch movies under the stars. Chock full of children’s zones and home to one of Carnival’s signature water slides, it’s also a great ship for families with children both young and old. That said, adults without kids aren’t forgotten. The adults-only Serenity area atop the ship offers a reprieve from the younger set (and unlike on some ships with similar areas, is open at no extra charge, to boot).

Gene Sloan writes about cruising for USA TODAY, the nation’s top-selling newspaper, and oversees USA TODAY’s online cruise site, The Cruise Log. Sloan’s stories also are distributed by the Gannett News Service to more than 80 other U.S. newspapers with a combined circulation of more than five million, including the Cincinnati Enquirer, The Detroit Free Press, and The Arizona Republic.
The Timeless pool is flanked by two similar bars, one for smokers and one for non-smokers.


Venue Overview

On either side of the Timeless pool, there is a bar. The starboard bar is non-smoking, the port side is a smoking venue, and never the twain shall meet. Both sections of the bar are adjacent to the Tandoor and Grill. These bars open in the morning to ensure you fill your quota of holiday day drinking.
For an Ocean View cabin on a cruise ship, this stateroom is spacious.


Cabin Layout

The entrance hallway has three closets off to the right, and a door on the left opens to the bathroom. Just down the hall is the bedroom, a small living area, and the view through a sizable porthole.
A classic sports bar chock full of TV screens showing live sporting events.


Venue Overview

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Just off the Casino, the Players Sports Bar is packed with TV screens showing all sorts of live sporting events.
This restaurant is one of two main dining rooms on the Freedom. Guests are invited to sit at two designated times.


Venue Overview

The Posh Restaurant occupies two deck levels with a large staircase connecting them. Large round tables for big parties, and smaller ones for a more private dinner for two, are covered in white table cloths to give this restaurant a classic style done in a gold and black color theme, accented with dark stained wood. Given these dark hues and low lighting at dinner, it can be hard to see at times. Breakfast and dinner are served daily, while lunch is only available on sea days.

Menu items come from all over the globe, to the point of being schizophrenic. The lunch menu includes everything from Japanese sushi and a Caribbean pepper pot to Mongolian steak salad, French baguette with marinated shrimp and crab meat, Italian spaghetti with meat balls, Mexican vegetable fajitas and American burgers.

Dinner is served nightly with two parts to the menu: One that remains the same every night so you know what you are getting into, and one that changes every day so you don't get bored eating the same thing for a week or more. The static menu is simple and features a hamburger, onion soup, and a Caesar salad. The daily changing menu is much more colorful and can serve any of the following:

Appetizers: Tropical fruits, fried chicken tenders with marinated cucumbers, lettuce and a honey mustard sauce, cured salmon and candied tomato with dill cream, stewed apples and grapes in lemon dressing, prosciutto with sweet melons, smoked chicken quesadilla, black bean soup, different chilled soups like cucumber, asparagus and potato, mango, or strawberry, minestrone, spicy alligator fritters, caprese salad, oysters Rockefeller, caked eggplant and mozzarella, green bean and roma tomatoes.

Entrees: Pan seared tilapia filet, chicken à la grecque, linguini with italian sausage, tofu steak, braised beef brisket, penne with seafood, jerked pork loin, short ribs, meatloaf, broiled Maine lobster tail and jumbo black tiger shrimp, spare ribs, spaghetti carbonara, lasagne, roasted turkey, cinnamon pumpkin squash yam and cheddar cheese pie, red snapper on gazpacho juice, Chateaubriand with sauce Bearnaise, roasted half chicken with gravy, broiled salmon filet, zucchini and eggplant parmigiana, and bacon mac n' cheese.

And if that's not enough, the wait staff performs a song and dance every night. That is, they literally sing and dance, not just work really hard to serve a meal for thousands of people, something they also do every night.
The Summit is a smaller, quieter ship than the Freedom.


Overview

The Carnival Freedom is significantly larger than the Celebrity Summit and definitely more bustling. It offers more deck-top pool and activity areas and more interior bars and lounges, and in general is a livelier vessel that also draws a more spirited and somewhat younger crowd (including lots of families).

With a classier decor and a focus on quality of food, enrichment programs, spa services and relaxation, the Summit may be the better bet for vacationers looking for a quieter, more upscale experience. Sailing regularly out of New York to Bermuda during warmer months, the Summit is ideal for the metropolitan go-getter that need a reprieve from the bustle of the city. The flipside: Kids likely will be bored on the Summit in comparision to on the Carnival Freedom, which has a far more diverse array of children's programs and kid-friendly amenities such as a water slide and soft serve ice cream stations.

Larger and livelier than the Summit, the Carnival Freedom is likely the better choice for vacationers looking for a more active, casual and fun-focused getaway.
This is the bar in the Casino.


Venue Overview

The Centuries Bar is the bar at the ship's Casino. Smoking is allowed at one half of it.
This is the second of the Freedom’s two main dining rooms, which lets passengers come to dinner at their leisure.


Venue Overview

The Chic Restaurant is a sister restaurant to the Posh Restaurant, and it sports the same interior design and menu. The only difference between the two is that the Chic Restaurant offers "My Time Dining" where passengers can arrive for dinner at their leisure, any time between the hours of 5:45 pm and 9:30 pm.

For more information about the food and interior, see our review of The Posh Restaurant.
A friendly and attentive staff will take care of your needs on the Freedom.


Staff

The staff aboard the Freedom were extremely friendly. That said, we found the room stewards could be a little inflexible at times. They require your room service to be left outside the room for pickup, and they needed repeated encouragement to remove the towel animals they left in the room.

The service in the main dining room left us wanting more. There were two sets of silverware, but when we ordered two appetizers no replacement was offered for the third course. When we changed our minds about a dish because it was just not to our liking, the staff did not appreciate the confusion. If you order an appetizer, you might see it with the rest of the entrees.
Get your 1970s groove on in this hub for disco dancing.


Venue Overview

As the name suggests, 70s is a dance club that focuses in on the Disco era of the 1970s. The 1970s-themed decor brings passengers back to the days of disco using a palate heavy in bright reds and blues.
This extra-fee restaurant offers great steaks in a polished environment.


Venue Overview

The Sun King Steakhouse is a Manhattan-chic steakhouse that is decorated with pictures of its namesake, the French King Louis XIV, and a whole lot of gold. It offers round tables for parties of four or more as well as smaller, two-person square tables that are perfect for an intimate dinner. White table cloths and imitation candles top the tables. Each patron will have to pay an extra $20 for the privilege of dining at the Sun King, but it is well worth the price.

The menu focuses on gourmet steaks and seafood. The Sun King is great for those looking for a romantic night out, and also for those who are red meat lovers. Expect some of these meal choices to grace the menu at the Sun King:

Appetizers: Escargot Bourguignonne in garlic herb butter, grilled portobello mushroom with olive oil and aged balsamic vinegar, beef carpaccio with mache lettuce and shaved Parmesan, ahi tuna tartar, jumbo shrimp cocktail, New England crab cake on roasted pepper remoulade, lobster bisque with vintage cognac, baked onion soup, as well as different salads such as Caesar's, baby spinach and mushrooms, heart of iceberg with red and yellow grape tomatoes, sliced beef steak tomatoes with Gorgonzola crumbles.

Entrees: 14 oz Broiled New York strip loin steak, 18 oz grilled prime rib chop, 24 oz classic porterhouse steak, 9 oz filet Mignon, surf & turf with Maine lobster tail and filet Mignon, broiled lobster tail, 2 grilled lamb chops, Maine lobster ravioli with scampi, grilled filet of Chilean sea bass on young spinach salad;

Sides: Baked potatoes with trimming, sauteed medley of mushrooms, mash potatoes with wasabe, creamed spinach with garlic, steamed broccoli; Sauces: Three peppercorn, wild mushroom, Bearnaise, which are dribbled over the meat upon serving.

Note: In June 2012, Carnival increased the surcharge on all its steakhouses, to $35 per person.
A friendly and attentive staff will take care of your needs on the Freedom.


Services & Staff

The Carnival Staff are generally very friendly, although we did feel like service was a little slow in the ship's main restaurants, which is perhaps understandable given the sheer number of guests. Though we never saw our room steward, the room was always magically clean and neat. Our only complaint with the service we received at our cabin was the high amounts we were charged for laundry service, which obviously isn't the room steward's fault (and note that there are laundry specials during the voyage as well as a coin operated launderette on some decks. One nice service touch on the Carnival Freedom is the availability of Luggage Express, a program that allows passengers to check into their flights in advance from the ship and have their luggage sent directly to their airline (you don't have to worry about the luggage again until you land at your final destination). You must be flying on one of the following airlines to participate in Luggage Express: Delta, JetBlue, Continental, Southwest, American Airlines, AirTran, or US Airways. A great place to congregate with a vintage wine in hand, the Nouveau Wine Bar is friendly and welcoming to all. *** ## Venue Overview You will find a huge selection of wines at the Nouveau Wine Bar. One side opens to the deck 5 Promenade. Freedom’s buffet provides a grand selection of food. *** ## Venue Overview Located on the Lido deck, between the two main pools, the Freedom Restaurant is the ship's casual buffet option. Like many buffets on large, mass-market cruise ships, this restaurant is cavernous and feels like a canteen. There are four buffet areas: Two at the front and two in the back. The two in the back are a little larger due to the layout of the room, though the food selections are the same at all four. The food offered here is international with a heavy focus on Italian and American cuisine. There also is an extensive salad bar, a Mongolian grill where you select your food to be stir-fried by the staff, as well as a deli station. Drink stations with juices, coffee, water and tea are located all over the restaurant. Victoriana, the ship’s main theater, is home to nightly shows. *** ## Shows & Performances The main stage on the Freedom is the Victoriana Lounge, featuring a revolving orchestra pit and a recessed speaker system. All shows are produced by Carnival Cruise Lines. Most of the shows are musicals, but there are also comedians. Other events include featured movie showings and a Bingo night. The theater itself is enormous, filling up more than two deck levels. The secondary stage is the [International Lounge](http://stage.vacationcruisesinfo.com/content/Carnival-Freedom-Cruise-Review/Lounges-and-Public-Spaces.htm). You can smoke at Swingtime, and no one will bother you. *** ## Venue Overview Swingtime is a small bar located next to the International lounge. It is one of the few areas on the interior of the Carnival Freedom that allows smoking and, as a result, has become somewhat of a haven for smokers (and fairly smoky; if you're not a smoker, you may want to stay away). There is a small stage and dance floor at Swingtime where music keeps the evening lively. There also are benches scattered throughout this club where you can ensconce for a view of the action on stage. Located a deck above the Freedom Restaurant, this is a seafood buffet for lunch and dinner. *** ## Venue Overview Offering only seafood, Fish & Chips is part of the Freedom Restaurant and is quite good. Just upstairs from the main buffet areas of the Freedom Restaurant, it's a separated area that is smaller and more specialized and has less of a buffet style, since the food is given out right from a separate, small galley. We've not yet stayed in this cabin, but here's what the cruise line has to say: _"Two twin beds (convert to king). Chair and coffee table. Full bathroom with shower. Three closets."_ –Carnival Cruise Lines

Despite its name, this isn’t a cigar bar, though it took us some time to figure this out.


Venue Overview

The Havana Bar's name and appearance confused us into thinking it was a place to buy and smoke cigars, but oddly enough, it is not. Leather couches and chairs are set around tables with legs designed to look like the nipped ends of a cigar, and there are lots of pictures of Cuban cigar brands. The bar area itself is expansive, with stools that also look like cigars (you can understand our confusion by this point). There also is a dance floor in the center of the Havana Bar, and they play rock music here (a bit incongruously, we think, given that the Cuban-themed decor would seem to call for a more Latin vibe). This place is fun, but in our opinion suffers from a bit of an identity crisis.
The ship offers a wide range of bars and nightspots — 10 in all.


The Carnival Freedom offers no shortage of places to go for a drink at night — 10 in all, by our count, including lcoations where you'll find live music, comedy shows, fine wines, frozen drinks and specialty cocktails. Note that only one of the indoor bar areas allows smoking.

We've not yet stayed in this cabin, but here's what the cruise line has to say: _"Two twin beds (convert to king) and one upper. Sofa and coffee table. Full bathroom with shower. Three closets. Private balcony with patio chairs and table."_ –Carnival Cruise Lines

There is a small arcade inside the ship and, on a top deck, a gigantic movie screen.


Movie Theater

While there is no formal movie theater on board the Carnival Freedom, the giant 12' x 22' exterior LED screen near the Timeless pool serves as a show place for the broadcast of movies, videotaped concerts, news programs and live sporting events. The picture is clear from all around the Timeless pool deck, and the 70,000-watt speakers make it pretty easy to hear. You can also catch first-run feature films at the Victoriana Theater according to schedule.

At the pizza bar, you will find slices of regular cheese, peperoni, vegetarian and Margerita pizzas. There is a little bell you can ring and a staff member will come out to serve you a slice or two of your choice. For buffet pizza, it's really not bad.

At the grill, the burgers and dogs are made to order, which is a nice touch (they are not laying around all day in the sun, and taste really great for what they are).

The Tandoor is the most exciting and delicious venue here, in our opinion, even though the selection is not capacious. You can grab a curry, a few rice dishes and several sauces to go with it all. We say yum.
There is a medical clinic on deck 0, open a few hours in the morning and the afternoon. There are charges for medical attention.
Carnival automatically adds a gratuity to your bill at the end of the trip, and at the time we traveled the fee was $10 per person per day. Any drink you order also has an additional 15% gratuity added to the base charge.

The Babylon Casino offers hundreds of slot machines that start at a nickel per play.
Scott's Piano Bar offers several specialty martinis including a pomtini, appletini, blue moon martini and tiramisu martini, all for $8.95. Also available here is Carnival's signature cocktail, "The Fun Ship," which comes with a souvenir glass and is made from mixing amaretto, rum, vodka, apricot brandy, and some juice (if you keep the glass, each refill is only $6.75). Standard cocktails available at the bar range between $5.50 and $7.50.

Note that the Freedom also has some interesting frozen drinks that are available at the Scott's Piano Bar and elsewhere. The list includes such unusual names as the Kiss on the Lips, Mocha Chocolate Getaway, and Hurricane Waves. You'll also find more standard daiquiris, all for $7.25. Each of these drinks can be done without the alcohol for $4.75.

Champagne, wine, port, Cognac and brandy by the glass will set you back $5.25; drinks straight up or on the rocks range from $4.95 to $7.50 depending on the liquor with which it's made.
The Millennium Lobby Bar offers several specialty martinis including a pomtini, appletini, blue moon martini and tiramisu martini, all for $8.95. Also available here is Carnival's signature cocktail, "The Fun Ship," which comes with a souvenir glass and is made from mixing amaretto, rum, vodka, apricot brandy, and some juice (if you keep the glass, each refill is only $6.75). Standard cocktails available at the bar range between $5.50 and $7.50.

Note that the Freedom also has some interesting frozen drinks that are available at the Millennium Lobby Bar and elsewhere. The list includes such unusual names as the Kiss on the Lips, Mocha Chocolate Getaway, and Hurricane Waves. You'll also find more standard daiquiris, all for $7.25. Each of these drinks can be done without the alcohol for $4.75.

Champagne, wine, port, Cognac and brandy by the glass will set you back $5.25; drinks straight up or on the rocks range from $4.95 to $7.50 depending on the liquor with which it's made.
The drinks menu is mostly the same as at other bars on the ship, though some specialty drinks are only available poolside. At the pools you can grabe a Mango Swirl, a Shadeade, or a Twilight Zone for $7.25. On some sea days you can get a drink made in a plastic coconut or an actual fresh pineapple for $12.95.
The drinks menu is nearly the same here as at other bars on the ship, although some specialty drinks are only available poolside. At the pools you can grab a Mango Swirl, a Shadeade, or a Twilight Zone for $7.25. On some sea days you can get a drink made in a plastic coconut or an actual fresh pineapple for $12.95.
The Players Sports Bar offers several specialty martinis including a pomtini, appletini, blue moon martini and tiramisu martini, all for $8.95. Also available here is Carnival's signature cocktail, "The Fun Ship," which comes with a souvenir glass and is made from mixing amaretto, rum, vodka, apricot brandy, and some juice (if you keep the glass, each refill is only $6.75). Standard cocktails available at the bar range between $5.50 and $7.50.

Note that the Freedom also has some interesting frozen drinks that are available at the Players Sports Bar and elsewhere. The list includes such unusual names as the Kiss on the Lips, Mocha Chocolate Getaway, and Hurricane Waves. You'll also find more standard daiquiris, all for $7.25. Each of these drinks can be done without the alcohol for $4.75.

Champagne, wine, port, Cognac and brandy by the glass will set you back $5.25; drinks straight up or on the rocks range from $4.95 to $7.50 depending on the liquor with which it's made.
Centuries offers a few drink specials that make it unique. Flavored margaritas, Bellinis and flavored martinis can be had for a special price.

The bar will serve you what you like, but if you want some options they have a few specialty martinis, like the pomtini, appletini, bluemoon and tiramisu martinis for $8.95. The Carnival signature cocktail is "The Fun Ship" that comes with a souvenir glass made from mixing amaretto, rum, vodka, apricot brandy, and some juice. If you keep the glass, each refill is only $6.75. Standard cocktails range between $5.50 and $7.50.

The Freedom has some interesting frozen drinks synonymous with warm weather vacationing. The list includes great names like Kiss on the Lips, Mocha Chocolate Getaway, and Hurricane Waves, but also the standard set of daiquiris all for $7.25. Each of these drinks can be done without the alcohol for $4.75.

Champagne, wine, port, cognac and brandy by the glass will set you back $5.25, drinks straight up or on the rocks range from $4.95 to $7.50 depending on what which liquor you call.
The 70s bar serves several specialty martinis including a pomtini, appletini, blue moon martini and tiramisu martini, all for $8.95. Also available here is Carnival's signature cocktail, "The Fun Ship," which comes with a souvenir glass and is made from mixing amaretto, rum, vodka, apricot brandy, and some juice (if you keep the glass, each refill is only $6.75). Standard cocktails available at the bar range between $5.50 and $7.50.

Note that the Freedom also has some interesting frozen drinks that are available at 70s and elsewhere. The list includes such unusual names as the Kiss on the Lips, Mocha Chocolate Getaway, and Hurricane Waves. You'll also find more standard daiquiris, all for $7.25. Each of these drinks can be done without the alcohol for $4.75.

Champagne, wine, port, Cognac and brandy by the glass will set you back $5.25; drinks straight up or on the rocks range from $4.95 to $7.50 depending on the liquor with which it's made.
Nouveau offers a large list of wines and champagnes from all over the world. Cocktails and beer that are available on the rest of the ship also are offered at this bar.

Like other bars on the ship, Swingtime offers several specialty martinis including a pomtini, appletini, blue moon martini and tiramisu martini, all for $8.95. Also available here is Carnival's signature cocktail, "The Fun Ship," which comes with a souvenir glass and is made from mixing amaretto, rum, vodka, apricot brandy, and some juice (if you keep the glass, each refill is only $6.75). Standard cocktails available at the bar range between $5.50 and $7.50.

Note that the Freedom also has some interesting frozen drinks that are available at Swingtime and elsewhere. The list includes such unusual names as the Kiss on the Lips, Mocha Chocolate Getaway, and Hurricane Waves. You'll also find more standard daiquiris, all for $7.25. Each of these drinks can be done without the alcohol for $4.75.

Champagne, wine, port, Cognac and brandy by the glass will set you back $5.25; drinks straight up or on the rocks range from $4.95 to $7.50 depending on the liquor with which it's made.
The Havana Bar offers several specialty martinis including a pomtini, appletini, blue moon martini and tiramisu martini, all for $8.95. Also available here is Carnival's signature cocktail, "The Fun Ship," which comes with a souvenir glass and is made from mixing amaretto, rum, vodka, apricot brandy, and some juice (if you keep the glass, each refill is only $6.75). Standard cocktails available at the bar range between $5.50 and $7.50.

Note that the Freedom also has some interesting frozen drinks that are available at the Havana Bar and elsewhere. The list includes such unusual names as the Kiss on the Lips, Mocha Chocolate Getaway, and Hurricane Waves. You'll also find more standard daiquiris, all for $7.25. Each of these drinks can be done without the alcohol for $4.75.

Champagne, wine, port, Cognac and brandy by the glass will set you back $5.25; drinks straight up or on the rocks range from $4.95 to $7.50 depending on the liquor with which it's made.

The arcade is relatively small. You can buy tokens for the various games with your sign and sail card.

Several types of facial and massage treatments are available, at varying lengths and prices. Among the facial treatment choices is a Hydralift facial for $107, an Oxydermi facial for $152, a Collagen facial for $131, and a Skin Specific facial for $107. Massage treatments include a 75 minute Herbal Poultice massage ($176), an Aroma Stone Therapy massage ($135 for 55 minutes and $176 for 75 minutes), an Aroma Stone Therapy massage, ($135 and $175), a Bamboo massage ($143 and $179), as well as the standard Deep Tissue, Swedish, and Reflexology massages, available in single or couples massages for $107 and $242 respectively.

The Viennese Café offers great tasting coffee drinks such as lattés, capuccinos, espresso, and americanos, available in large and small sizes. You will find it on the deck 5 Promenade where you can accompany your caffeine intake with cakes and pastries. It opens by 7 am and closes at 1 am. On port days, the Viennese is closed between the hours of 10 am and 3 pm.

The Freedom's decor is a bit darker than on some other Carnival ships on which we've sailed, including the Carnival Magic, employing more reds and browns in contrast to the blue and green swatch used by the Magic. The Millennium Atrium is stunning, spanning three deck floors and worked over down to the finest detail.

The restaurants have a certain class as they are made to look matured, like a fine wine. The bars and lounges on the other hand have a newer feel, dipping into sleek futuristic design. The Freedom uses the best of the old and the new.
The Carnival Freedom was the first Carnival ship to have an adults-only Serenity Deck, where cushioned sun chairs, beach chairs, hammocks and whirlpools await passengers who want to get away from children. It is definitely more quiet here, though a bit crowded on sea days. Be aware that the lower front part of this deck is right next to Camp Carnival, where the thing you are trying to avoid most, the grating noise of children’s laughter, wafts from the depths below.

The wine lists in the various restaurants on the Carnival Freedom pull from all over the world, featuring Champagne, Burgundy, and Beaujolais from France; Prosecco, Chianti, and Pinot Grigio from Italy; and Korbel, Chardonnay, and Merlot from California. Most of the wines are sold by the bottle rather than the glass. There are a number of fairly pricey wines on the wine lists, including a Chateauneuf-Du-Pape from the Rhone region in France for $110, or a Grand Cru from St. Emilion in France for $115. The Sun King Steakhouse offers a few additional reserve wines, like a Cabernet Sauvignon for $180 or an Opus One for $225, both from the Napa Valley.

At bars across the ship, there is Champagne, various wines, Port, cognac, and brandy by the glass starting at $5.25. You also can find domestic beers like Blue Moon and Budweiser as well as some imported selections.

Breakfast items on the room service menu are limited to cereals, yogurt, breads, pastries, and hot and cold beverages. Do not get your hopes up for more robust options such as eggs, meats and cheeses, or you will be disappointed. You can get breakfast until 11 am, and order it in advance by 5 am or by phone the same day.

The meal itself was entertaining and the food was good, but not mind-blowing.

A basket of breads with olive brioche, focaccia, and baguettes came with salted butter and pumpkin butter to start us off. There then were three small tastings before the main course, starting with an ahi tuna tartare with a wasabi crisp in a bite-sized amuse bouche that was sweet, savory, and tangy all at the same time (very satisfying). Next came a duck pot sticker, made of roasted duck in a flaky dough with a slight dusting of something sugary. This was followed by a steak taco that was just okay and not very special.

When we had finished with this barrage of light tastes, we were blitzed by no fewer than six main courses. We started with a Norwegian salmon tartar with avocado mousse and salmon caviar that we found delectable. Next was a fire roasted tomato and poblano chilli bisque, with grilled corn and a cilantro drizzle, the overall best of the warm appetizers. Rock shrimps and apple beignets with a tapioca crunch and garlic lemon aioli came next. The tapioca chip pulled this course together, combining the sweetness of the apple and the flavor of the seafood miraculously. Afterwards, we were served a Mediterranean salad with shaved pumpkin and crumbled feta cheese, basically a Greek salad with a twist that we found less than inventive. One of the entrees was a Filet of Chilean Sea bass with wine stewed shallots and chive vinaigrette, leeks emulsion, over peas risotto. The fish was cooked to perfection, the vinaigrette was delicious along with the leeks. Finishing off dinner was a filet mignon, with onion streusel and homemade three pepper mustard that was fantastic. The meat was a perfect medium rare, and the bell pepper seed mustard was an interesting and welcomed addition. A side of steamed broccoli seemed a little tacked on to us, there could have been a bit more of a surprise with the final side.

We found the sushi here to be not as good as what we found during a recent visit to Carnival's newest ship, the Carnival Magic. The rolls are a little too thick. The Freedom specializes in California and vegetable rolls, but they do not get into anything too challenging like eel.

As one would hope for a place called Fish & Chips, the fish and chips on the menu here are great, coming out both crispy and tasty. You will find vinegar to accompany the fish and chips on the table. Other menu options here include a bouillabaisse, fish soup, octopus salad, shrimp salad and other seafood salads.

For breakfast the Freedom Restaurant dishes out pancakes, waffles, french toast, there's an egg station for made-to-order omelets, also bread, various breakfast meats, cheeses and pastries. There is a cereal bar next to fresh fruits for the healthy on board. The scrambled eggs and bacon were often made an hour or so before you get there and can be less than appetizing. The omelets and pastries were our go to for breakfast, they will not disappoint.

The culinary experience starts immediately at the Sun King Steakhouse as shortly after seating a waiter brings a piece of focaccia with salted butter, eggplant tapenade and tomato confit that borders on the divine. As you finish this pre-appetizer, the waiter brings an amuse bouche, one of the chef creations of the night. We received a miniature tomato soup with croutons and Parmesan that was excellent.

For the rest of the meal, we highly recommend the thinly cut beef carpaccio. The mache lettuce and drizzle of olive oil complements it very well. It is a perfect appetizer as it is light, piquant and the beef just melts in your mouth. The beef tomatoes with Gorgonzola crumbles is superb as well, both fruity and savory at the same time.

The main feature, the steaks, are cooked precisely to your order. The lamb was our favorite dish here. Two lamb chops are served with three small pieces of lamb tenderloin, accompanied by mashed potatoes and mushrooms on the side. The lamb came medium rare, the chops almost fell off the bone and had the taste to match the perfect texture. The potatoes were a little too fatty for our taste, employing a little too much garlic, but the mushrooms were exquisite.

They keep breakfast concise at the Posh Restaurant, with a small menu of eggs prepared in different ways, french toast and pancakes with a few fillings. You can't beat this: Banana pancakes with fried banana; one of the best meals we had on board.

One sits inside a relatively large bedroom for an Ocean View cabin, which is equipped with a king sized bed, that can be converted to two twin beds. Besides the bed, there is a small sofa that is more than suitable as an extra bed. There is enough space in this one room for the sofa, a coffee table, and one extra chair making a reasonable living area in a budget room.

Desserts were especially rich at the Sun King. The menu included cheesecake with a hazelnut biscuit, caramelized Washington apples in a puff pastry dome, a chocolate sampler, home made ice creams and sherberts, as well as fresh fruit. The desserts sampler was our favorite choice, with tastes of bittersweet chocolate cake, banana pannacotta, tiramisu, and chocolate marquise with raspberry and mint. Of these, the marquise stood out the most because of its flavor and, after a large steak dinner, it was the lightest of all the dessert samples.
When visiting the main dining room and the ship's interior bars, Carnival asks that you observe a "smart casual" dress code — i.e. no bathing suits or flip flops. The Sun King Steakhouse is a more formal affair, with men asked to wear jackets to dinner. The buffet, by contrast, is very casual; you can slip in and out of there with whatever you threw on to go to the pool. There is one Captain's Night where formal attire is recommended for dinner.
The occasional wine and martini tastings are hosted by trained Carnival staff. This also is the bar where "Friends of Dorothy" gay and lesbian passenger meet-ups are held, and singles congregate here for a fine wine and welcoming camaraderie.
There are regular Disco nights at 70s as well as dance competitions, and it's not exclusively for adults. There also is an evening for "teen disco" where you'll see youngsters born long after the Disco era taking to the floor to give it a try.
There is generally some live music to dance to, but the real excitement is the beginning of a ship-wide scavenger hunt that begins at the Millennium Lobby bar.
We were, of course, served a melting chocolate cake that we saw the pastry chef prepare. But there was a second surprise dessert of a white cake with cream filling, berry sherbet, and a coconut gelatine strip which was a wonderful cap to a flavor packed evening.

The Posh Restaurant only serves lunch on days when the ship is at sea. The menu is extremely diverse with dishes from around the globe. Alas, perhaps because they're trying to do so much, the result is spotty. The California sushi roll is not high quality; it contains too much rice and not enough vinegar. The spaghetti with meatballs was decent, but needed more seasoning. You will be happy with the avocado soup however, which was well prepared.

Dinner was tasty, but it is not the gourmet food that Carnival claims to serve. Often, dishes were bland, though we do understand that the chefs must accommodate for a many people's tastes with a single menu. Still, the jerked pork had no kick to it at all, taking away all that makes it jerked.

Some items on the dinner menu stood out as spectacular however. The alligator fritters, though too few in number, were delicious. The prime rib was not only cooked perfectly, but savory to the last bite, accompanied by a baked potato and some onion rings. For appetizers, we were more than satisfied with the mango cream and the frogs legs in herb butter. As a main dish, our favorite was the salmon with artichokes, sun ripened tomatoes, and kernel corn medley, perfectly made and oh so tasty.

A standard selection of casino table games are available here including black jack and several varieties of poker, including Texas Hold 'em.
There's usually a solo guitarist playing at night in the Centuries Bar. On our cruise, the guitarist who performed regularly in the space seemed to focus on Country tunes, and he was pretty darn good.
Every now and again there are live bands at this pool and, this being a Carnival ship, a "Hairy Chest Contest."

Deck 10 overlooks both of the main pools and offers a great view of the ship’s monstrous LED screen and the ocean. This deck can be a bit overpopulated on sea days, likely due to its good location.

Of the sandwiches, the BLT is one of the better choices we found though it does not have that much B compared to L and T. The chicken fajita was the most satisfying with lots of chicken and guacamole in a tasty jalapeño and tomato wrap. The salads -- a Caesar and a mixed greens — were underwhelming.
Bar trivia is one of a handful of events held each cruise at Scott's Piano Bar. There also are sing-a-long events, including some designed for singles to meet up.

Though relatively small, the salon is full service, offering mani-pedis, waxing, hair cuts and do-styling, coloring and highlights. Men as well as women are welcome, and there are pampering and grooming services for men that include facial cleansing, shaves, beard trims and men's hair styling. Prices for men start at $15 for a trim and up to $116 for a facial cleanse.

The International Lounge features the secondary stage on the Freedom and is home to regular comedy acts, karaoke, live music, and art auctions. The stage is small, making for an intimate setting where you can see and hear performances from anywhere you sit.

The bathroom is large for what you expect on a cruise ship. Though two people can be using the mirror at the same time, some of this extra space encroaches on the shower which is a little cramped. Plenty of counter space will hold all the toiletries you can bring with you.
The Havana Bar is often alive with music. Both DJs and live piano players perform here into the night. There are also event nights including family and adults-only karaoke nights as well as an adults-only "Grown up Game Night," which at times can get a little saucy.

As compared to newer Carnival ships such as the Carnival Magic the signage and navigation on the Carnival Freedom is not quite as good. There are overviews of each deck's layout by elevators, but they are not all that thorough. Since the ship is not quite as big as the latest Carnival vessels, it is a little easier to get around, but it still takes one or two days.

Emergency exits are well signposted, as are the routes to emergency assembly points and the ship's life boats (the routes, in some cases, lead through crew areas). There is a mandatory muster drill held for all passengers on embarkation day.

Fire extinguishers and hoses are located in all public areas.

The salad bar seems to stretch on forever with tasty options aplenty. The Mongolian grill lets you choose a selection of vegetables, meats, noodles, and sauces for the chef on hand to stir-fry it all together for you. We appreciated how healthy and satisfying this could be.

The buffet itself changes regularly according to the "Taste of the Nations", implying recipes from Italian, French, American, and Caribbean influences. The buffet usually includes a carving station where you can find roast beef or other large slabs of well cooked animal. If you stroll up the stairs, you will find the Fish & Chips station, where in addition to this British classic you can find other seafood delicacies like octopus salad, or nigiri sushi and a bouilabaise.

Freedom Restaurant has an extensive salad bar with already prepared salads as well as different condiments and vegetables to create your own salad. Mongolian grill where you choose between different vegetables, rice noodles and meats (pork, chicken, beef) and sauces (black bean, sezchuan) and the chef stir fries it right there for you - is very good and healthy.

Changing buffet with "taste of the nations" - Italian, French, American, and Caribbean. Different meat and vegetarian dishes, carving station with roastbeef. Upstairs is the Fish&Chips station, which also offers other fish dishes like octopus salad, or nigiri sushi and a bouillabaise.
There are a few designated smoking areas on the open-air decks of the ship as well as two places on the interior ship where smoking is allowed: The Swingline bar and at one side of the Casino Bar. There is no smoking allowed in cabins, but you can smoke on a cabin balcony if you have one. Those who are caught smoking in their cabins will incur a $250 cleaning and refreshing fee on their Sail & Sign card account.

There is live music almost every night at Swingtime, but no other events are hosted here.

The bars will serve you pretty much any mixed drink you can think of, including a number of specialty martinis such as a pomtini, appletini, bluemoon and tiramisu martinis for $8.95. The Carnival signature cocktail is "The Fun Ship" that comes with a souvenir glass and is made from mixing amaretto, rum, vodka, apricot brandy, and some juice. If you keep the glass, each refill is only $6.75. Standard cocktails range between $5.50 and $7.50.

The Carnival Freedom also offers a number of unusually-named frozen drinks designed to tap into that sunny cruise vacation vibe. The list includes the Kiss on the Lips, Mocha Chocolate Getaway, and Hurricane Waves. The ship's bars also serve up more standard frozen daiquiris, all for $7.25. Each of these drinks can be done without the alcohol for $4.75.

Champagne, wine, Port, cognac and brandy by the glass will set you back $5.25. Drinks straight up or on the rocks range from $4.95 to $7.50 depending on which specific brand of liquor you want to be included.

The drink menus are basically the same throughout the ship with a few variations found at the bars by the pools, and there also are drink specials that change daily.

A good selection of desserts are offered at every meal, including Carnival's signature melting chocolate cake with ice cream, a heavy dish that is the gold standard of mouthwatering.

Located on Deck 4 behind the Habana bar you will find the small Web Internet Café, where you can access the Internet (for a charge).

Dessert is a standard list of cheesecake, chocolate cake, cookies, fruit, and one odd outlier: strawberry yogurt.
The chef chose wines to pair with each of the courses, one Sauvignon Blanc and a Shiraz to go with the filet.
Don't you hate it when you go on vacation, you have brought a few nice outfits, but when you get to your room there are not enough hangers and you have to double up your clothes and they get all bunched and wrinkly? Well Carnival has anticipated this traveling woe and supplied you with three closets and plenty of hangers. Also, there are some shelving units to the left of the closets for extra storage. The desk in the room is another storage area, with five drawers to keep all the little knick-knacks organized.

The Spa pool is a complimentary edition to Spa Carnival and you are free to use it whenever you would like. It overlooks the fitness studio which can be a little strange for people on both sides of the glass.

Don't forget the dessert station! Different desserts every day en masse line this buffet, some highlights being a hazelnut chocolate cake, cheesecakes, tarts and fruits.
The wine list at the Sun King is certainly extensive, including white, red, sparkling, and reserve wines from all over the world. You can have a glass poured for as little as $7, or a whole bottle of Opus One Reserve for $225, and anything in between.

There are two roulette tables and two craps tables to set the gaming foundation at the Freedom Casino.
After your first Carnival cruise, you are added to the loyalty program. After 10 cruises with Carnival, you become a Silver Member with some decent rewards and priority boarding.

Deck 11 is the sporty deck, connecting the jogging track and the sports area. It even has some shuffle board, if you count that as a sport. One drawback to this area is it can be loud as it is located right next to one of the ship’s noisy funnel towers. As a result, it seems that many people avoid this area, making it a place where you can find some privacy in one of the sun loungers.

Liquor cannot be purchased in bulk for a discount (we know, it's vacation, how dare they?), but wine can be clustered into a package to get 25% off the regular list price. There is also the Bottomless Bubbles soda card that allows for endless soda throughout your stay on the Carnival Freedom. Kids pay $4.50 per day for such a card; adults $6 per day.

You will find a nine-hole miniature golf course on deck 12 and a small sun deck with loungers. You can get here only by going through the sports deck.
You can order juices, coffee, tea and milk for free any time you like. At regular bar prices, the staff will deliver soda and beer as well.

The Carnival Freedom offers three different areas for children broken down by age group, making it a great choice for families.

Club O2 is for teenagers 15-17 with parties, video games, movies and other clean cruising fun on deck 5.

Circle "C" on deck 4 is for the tweens in your family (ages 12-14) with appropriate video games, dances, karaoke and late night movies to make them think they are being mischievous.

Camp Carnival is for the young ones, with activities designed for ages 2-11 on deck 14. Activities are supervised and separated into three groups for more age appropriate fun.
Through its bar, the Babylon Casino offers several specialty martinis including a pomtini, appletini, blue moon martini and tiramisu martini, all for $8.95. Also available here is Carnival's signature cocktail, "The Fun Ship," which comes with a souvenir glass and is made from mixing amaretto, rum, vodka, apricot brandy, and some juice (if you keep the glass, each refill is only $6.75). Standard cocktails available at the bar range between $5.50 and $7.50.

Note that the Freedom also has some interesting frozen drinks that are available at the Casino and elsewhere. The list includes such unusual names as the Kiss on the Lips, Mocha Chocolate Getaway, and Hurricane Waves. You'll also find more standard daiquiris, all for $7.25. Each of these drinks can be done without the alcohol for $4.75.

Champagne, wine, port, Cognac and brandy by the glass will set you back $5.25; drinks straight up or on the rocks range from $4.95 to $7.50 depending on the liquor with which it's made.

There is no food served at the casino.

Soda, juices and smoothies are all offered on board at most bars. In addition, all frozen alcoholic drinks also can be made in a non-alcoholic version.
The wine list includes wines from all over the world, starting at $6 a glass.
Instead of continuously plugging machines with coins, you can sign up for the Player's Club and use the Sail & Sign card to work the slots. With this card you earn points, 1000 points equivalent to $10 cash back. If you earn 1500 points on slots with your card, your drinks are free!

For more information on the Players Club Sail & Sign Card, and the rewards programs, visit the Carnival Website.

The Dynasty Conference room on deck 4 can be reserved for all your business needs. The room is 1,310 square feet and can be divided into two smaller rooms, each with a 8' screen and projector, with an overall maximum capacity of 125 people.

On deck 5 are arm chairs, massage chairs and tables, and it connects venues like the casino, the sushi bar, the 70’s disco, and the wine bar.

The ship's library, dubbed the Monticello after Thomas Jefferson's Virginia home, is quite small. There are just three book shelves and a few sets of board games. You will find it right next to the photo gallery.

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