It is hard to believe we’ve been off the Carnival Freedom for a couple of weeks now, we enjoyed our 7 night cruise immensely. There was so much to do on the ship, not to mention the shore excursions we booked. I wanted to share some of our favorite aspects of the Carnival Freedom, which is changing its home port from Fort Lauderdale, FL to Galveston, TX as I write this.
Many of our favorite activities and dining events on the Carnival Freedom can be found on other Carnival ships – but not all. Each ship is different, and we chose the Carnival Freedom for the dedicated Dr. Seuss Bookville and other Dr. Seuss activites. While we don’t have kids, we do have a largely family audience. Each cruise guest is different – some told us they spent most of their time in the casino, others told us they loved the Punchliner Comedy Club (I can’t believe we never caught one performance there!), and others enjoyed all the themed bars and entertainment offered. There was just something always going on.
Here are our Top 13 reasons to sail the Carnival Freedom. We tried to cut it down to 10, but we could have easily listed 20+!
Seuss at Sea. The Dr. Seuss offerings on the ship were a lot of fun, and the dedicated Dr. Seuss Bookville I mentioned above carries a plethora of Dr. Seuss books in a whimsical setting. Families can enjoy time together here, lounging on chairs and reading together. There are other games and activities, but it is very much feels like a children’s library (and we enjoyed it too!).
Besides Dr. Seuss Bookville, there is also a Dr. Suess Seuss-a-palooza Parade. Led by Cat in the Hat and other characters, kids and their families enjoy making a little noise and waving Dr. Seuss signs. The nice thing about this parade is that everyone who shows up can be involved – there were plenty of noisemakers and signs to go around. The parade marched to Seuss-a-palooza Story Time, which was an interactive telling of a Dr. Seuss story. There are also some activities just for children, but one Seuss at Sea event deserves it’s own place in the top 13.
Dr. Seuss Bookville on the Carnival Freedom
Seating for guest in Bookville
Cruise Director Wee Jimmy reads a Dr. Seuss story with Cat in the Hat
Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast with The Cat in the Hat and Dr. Seuss Friends. We have participated in character meals for much of our lives (mostly at Walt Disney World over the past 30-40 years), but this may be our very favorite character meal ever. From the Cat in the Hat ice sculpture to the smallest detail such as the colors of the table settings, nothing was too insignificant for the Dr. Seuss treatment. Guests who enjoy the SeaDay Brunch (also in our top 13) will recognize some of the food items, but with a Seussian flair. The items we tried overall tasted like their counterparts – like the Truffula Tree Pancakes tasted like regular pancakes, but were so much fun to look at! The price is right for this breakfast, at just $5.00 per guest. The characters come around once, so make the time count with some unique family photos. Check out our full review here.
Jeff with Cat in the Hat, Thing 1 and Thing 2
Green Eggs and Ham
Here is our video of the Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast with The Cat in the Hat and Dr. Seuss Friends.
Camp Ocean. Kids (ages 2-11) love this ocean themed play area, and parents are happy to be able to watch their children on a monitor that is outside in the Camp Ocean lobby.
This is our video tour of Dr. Seuss Bookville; Camp Ocean (ages 2-11) and the Circle C teen area (ages 12 – 14).
SeaDay Brunch. Each day that Carnival ships are out to sea, they offer a SeaDay Brunch – not just on the Carnival Freedom. The food choices are fantastic, including pancakes, steak (filet mignon) and eggs, grilled salmon filet and many other choices. Since we had our own table during dinner, it was nice to meet other cruisers in a relaxed setting. I wouldn’t ever miss it on a sea day! Desserts are offered, though we never had room.
Bacon and eggs, pancakes during SeaDay Brunch
Steak and eggs at SeaDay Brunch
Afternoon Tea. Another sea day offering, guests can enjoy a similarly relaxed pace for this experience as at the SeaDay Brunch. We enjoyed our choice of hot tea, small sandwiches (cucumber and salmon), and desserts including scones and cake slices. This is a lovely way to spend an hour! Desserts are brought around on a cart for guests to peruse and choose.
Desserts from the cart
Counter Service Offerings, Including Guy’s Burger Joint. Continuing our food excursion, there are many wonderful choices for a counter service meal on the Carnival Freedom. Guy’s Burger Joint is a favorite of ours, offering fresh hamburger patties with a choice of toppings. The BlueIguana Cantina offers tacos and burritos (including breakfast burritos). Pizza Pirate was a surprise favorite for ours, with the best pizza we’ve had at sea. And the Fish and Chips counter – which is a little out of the way on deck 10 – features more than just standard fish and chips. Jeff enjoyed octopus salad and fried oysters.
Guy’s burger and handcut fries
Burrito at BlueIguana Cantina
Sun King Steakhouse. Simply one of the finest steaks I’ve ever tasted. The sides didn’t all match the steak, with my potato a little deflated (the potatoes I ordered in the main dining room were better). But most everything we ate here was excellent and worth the visit. It would be nice to see another specialty dining experience added to the ship.
Meats and lobster tail brought to the table before ordering
Filet and Lobster Tail
Sun King Steakhouse
RedFrog Pub. Carnival 2.0 offerings that include the RedFrog Pub have been very popular, and rightfully so. The RedFrog Pub is a laid-back bar inspired by Key West, and even includes it’s own beer – ThirstyFrog Red. RedFrog Pub offers live entertainment in the evenings.
Serenity Deck. We always enjoyed finding a covered seat to relax in each evening in this area that is for 18+ guests only. Guests can sign out thick, high-quality spa towels to dry off with after a dip in the jacuzzi.
Denise taking a few minutes to relax
Taste Bar. During sea days, we enjoyed a sample from restaurants that include the Sun King Restaurant. This is a nice bonus for guests, and doesn’t cost extra.
Wee Jimmy. Wee Jimmy is the best cruise director we’ve ever had. Fun, personable, with a thick Scottish accent and even a kilt at times, he brought the fun to the Carnival Freedom. Wee Jimmy does move around to different ships, we aren’t sure how long he will be with the Carnival Freedom!
Jeff with Wee Jimmy
Towel Zoo. We were told to head out to the pool area on the final morning of our cruise, where upwards of 100 towel animals were taking up chairs. It was a lot of fun to see the different creations! Get there early, as guests arrive to the pool very early in the morning. Later in the day, there was an ice carving demonstration and Chocolate Extravangza, just a few of the activities that were offered on our last day.
Towel Animal Zoo
Towel Animal Zoo
Debarkation. Debarkation was a delight for us, the easiest we’ve had on a ship. While it wasn’t the fastest for us in terms of getting through customs, we chose the relaxed debarkation. Our breakfast wasn’t rushed and we were able to relax on the deck with a coffee while waiting to be called around 10:00 a.m.
I really could go on and on, this was a fantastic cruise for us. There is very little I would change about the cruise, except for Carnival to tighten up the muster and create more theatrical evening shows not just based on musical genres (and add at least one more specialty dining location like Ji Ji Asian Kitchen). But the Carnival employees were overall terrific, our room was nicely appointed, and we liked that we didn’t have to walk through the casino to get anywhere. Our dining room servers were wonderful, and the choices of food surprised me. I enjoyed an Indian vegetarian entree one evening, and Jeff tried frogs legs the last night. And there are activities all day! There really is something for everyone. The ports we stopped at (Grand Turk, San Juan and St. Maarten) were all worthy of writing about, but the Carnival Freedom will have new ports from Galveston, TX. I am so glad we were able to sail on the Carnival Freedom before it left Florida.
Pool at night
Jeff enjoys a breezy day
Our Mousesteps Weekly #133 is all about our 7 night Carnival Freedom cruise.
Disclosure: Carnival covered our cruise fare, Sun King Steakhouse, and Green Eggs & Ham breakfast. We paid for gratuities, parking and shore excursions. All views are ours.