The youngest in the Conquest class, Carnival Freedom started out sailing glamorous Mediterranean ports, but in 2008, Carnival repositioned her across the Atlantic, into the welcoming embrace of the American cruisers. She received Fun Ship 2.0 upgrades to her restaurant and bar concepts in 2014, though she could not get a waterpark or certain other features due to deck space constraints.
Carnival Freedom takes her design cue from periods of history, so the names of bars, lounges and dining venues are as fun and evocative as their whimsical decor. For instance, the Victorian show lounge was inspired by Queen Victoria and features ornate embellishments, gold leaf and lots of marble.
This ship has more than 500 balcony cabins—some only large enough to fit two deck chairs and a tiny table, but still. If you always wanted a balcony but weren’t ready to splurge on one, Freedom might offer you a bargain on your own little front porch over the sea.
The 2014 updates gave Carnival Freedom everyone’s favorite no-fee new dining concepts: Guy’s Burger Joint for the juiciest most decadent burgers; BlueIguana Cantina for tacos and breakfast burritos; an improved 24-hour pizza counter called Pizza Pirate; and the hidden gem of the buffet, Fish & Chips (literally hidden—up a flight of stairs).
These complement the Freedom Restaurant buffet that already has many specialty stations—from stir-fry to order at Mongolian Wok (healthy option) to Comfort Kitchen down-home fare to Carnival Deli for sandwiches. At breakfast, this buffet has an omelet bar, and 24 hours a day, the self-serve ice cream stations just outside serve creamy ice cone treats.
The main restaurants onboard Carnival Freedom are Posh and Chic. Posh is aft; Chic is mid-ship. Both are spread across two decks. Cruisers who don’t want a pre-assigned dinner seating with table assignments can opt for YourTime Dining. Breakfast in Posh is also open seating.
The two venues that have a surcharge are Sun King, the steakhouse, and Viennese Café, the coffee shop/patisserie.
Bars & Lounges
Carnival Freedom has both RedFrog concepts—the pub and the Lido Deck rum bar. Across from the rum bar is BlueIguana Tequila Bar. Rounding out the Fun Ship 2.0 bar additions is Alchemy Bar, the craft cocktail bar on Deck 5.
Among the drinking venues that predated 2.0, SKYBOX Sports Bar is where to go for televised games with wings and beer. Havana Bar has a sultry Latin theme, and Millennium Bar in the lobby is the convenient watering hole/people-watching spot on the first floor of the atrium.
The Victoriana Show Lounge presents genre-themed Las Vegas-style revenues by Playlist Productions. A small but dynamic cast brings bravado belting and high-energy dancing to 30-minute shows like Heart of Soul and The Brits! Instead of a few dozen people on stage, the state-of-the-art LED display provides visual backing.
Other evening entertainment favorites include movie nights under the stars on Lido Deck and Punchliner Comedy Club in the International Lounge--featuring earlier family-friendly sets that segue into late-night adult humor.
Scott’s Piano Bar is the place for singalong fun, though karaoke isn’t here—it’s in the International Lounge on select nights. There’s often a cover band performing on the stage near the casino bar. The casino itself is called Babylon, and is a busy and bright, blingy space (though people do notice the cigarette smoke).
The 70s Night Club has a throwback disco theme and a playlist that —much like everyone’s favorite radio stations—spans the 70s, 80s and today.
Daytime festivities aboard this ship run the Carnival gamut from family-friendly (towel-folding demos and trivia) to all-ages festive (Caribbean parties on the Lido) to adult-oriented (bingo games and mixology competitions).
The main activity pool on Carnival Freedom is called Timeless, and it’s where you can expect to see non-stop contests and all-ages daytime dance parties. The Stressless pool is one deck up. The adults-only pool is called Endless, and it features that retractable glass ceiling that is on most Conquest-class ships and is oh-so-convenient during sudden showers.
This ship does have a Twister water slide, though deck space limitations prevent the addition of a full-scale aqua park. The Serenity adults-only area spans two decks and. It has a dedicated bar.
Whirlpools are spread around—there are two at every pool, plus two in the Serenity area.
The Sports Deck with volleyball and basketball courts is deck 11, and putt-putt golf is one level up on 12. The ship also has a spa, arcade, and a fitness center with pool.
The children’s programming here features a Carnival first-in-fleet: Camp Ocean was introduced on Carnival Freedom. The ship also has the full Seuss at Sea branded program, including its very own Dr. Seuss Bookville themed activity/reading room. The only other ship to have this space is Vista.
Many complaints about the secondhand smoke traveling from the casino can be uncomfortable for some guests.
Choosing Your Time Dining may incur a wait on some nights, especially if you don’t arrive early.
The gradual replacement of live music talent with DJs and light effects detracts somewhat from the experience—especially for events on the Lido deck.