• Write a Review
  • Boards
  • Log In
  • Find a Cruise
  • Deals
  • Excursions
  • More

Carnival Freedom Review

2017 Best for Shore Excursions
2016 Best for Shore Excursions
2016 Best for Value
View More

Find a Carnival Freedom Cruise from £299

Carnival Freedom
4.5 / 5.0
1329 reviews

Pros
Free dining options and age-appropriate activities, including Seuss-themed events
Cons
Layout forces passengers to climb stairs to access other main areas of the ship on the same deck
Bottom Line
Carnival Freedom Updates + Tips & Deals

About

Passengers
2,974

Crew
1,160

Passenger to Crew
2.56:1

Launched
2007

Shore Excursions
641
Sails To
Western Caribbean, Eastern Caribbean, Panama Canal & Central America, Alaska, Southern Caribbean
Carnival Cruise Deals
Brittany Chrusciel
Cruise Critic Contributor

Carnival Freedom Overview

Carnival Freedom is a major step on a trajectory that is quickly hurtling Carnival Cruise Lines into the atmosphere for family-friendly, multigenerational cruising. The line has always offered value, but within the past decade or so, it has set its focus on families. That's not to say Freedom doesn't offer adults the chance to live it up. Freedom underwent a major refurbishment in spring 2014, bringing with it the line's Fun Ship 2.0 upgrades. The RedFrog Rum Bar and BlueIguana Tequila Bar on the Lido Deck offer more tropical tipples than ever before, and spaces like Alchemy Bar add a hint of sophistication to the ol' cruise watering holes. Most of the changes, though, cater to families and the kid in all of us.

Free Price Drop Alerts
Get tomorrow's price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email
By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Freedom is the first ship with Camp Ocean, replacing Camp Carnival as the onboard children's program, and the first ship with Bookville, a reading room and play space that anchors the Seuss at Sea experience onboard. It's also the first ship with four full PlayList Productions shows at just 30 minutes each, which rotate throughout the cruise. While Camp Ocean has upgraded the kids' space, an arts and crafts room is included to encourage participation from parents in their children's daily activities. Seuss at Sea welcomes kids of all ages (meaning adults, as well) to march and let loose in a parade, become reacquainted with "The Cat in the Hat" and test their taste buds with culinary creations ripped from the pages of Dr. Seuss' books. Getting everyone involved in the action is part of the plan and also part of the charm.

A number of other branded experiences enhance life onboard. Once the plain Sports Bar, now EA Sports Bar, action is on every wall with sports games, video games of sports games, and sports memorabilia that comes to life. "Hasbro, the Game Show" takes the board games everyone knows and loves and plays them out on the stage with members of the audience chosen through sheer enthusiasm and answers to trivia questions. Apart from the bizarre (and loud) "commercial breaks" showcasing old Hasbro advertisements, the action is infectious.

Onboard dining -- something trending toward specialty, for-fee options industry-wide -- has remained largely free of charge on Carnival Freedom, and we never felt like we were deprived of choice. Apart from the buffet and the main dining room, there are burgers and burritos with enough toppings to have a different experience every day of your cruise. Even within the buffet, themed counters (Mongolian, Fish & Chips, the Deli) are like stepping foot inside tiny, specialized eateries. The quality does not suffer, in spite of its being free.

With all the changes brought by the retrofit, some spaces still need work. A few lounges lack true identities, the library is gorgeous but out of place, Spa Carnival needs a "wow" factor to keep up, and there's a giant skylight dome overtaking valuable court space on the sports deck. That's when we remember that Freedom isn't a new ship; it's a ship with fresh and exciting concepts that are well executed. It's an appetizing taste of what's to come for the line, and it challenges you not to have a good time onboard.


Top Carnival Freedom Itineraries

Carnival Freedom
8 day exotic eastern caribbean

Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades), St. Maarten, St. Kitts (Port Zante), San Juan, Amber Cove (Puerto Plata), Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)

View All Carnival Freedom Itineraries (22)

Fellow Passengers

Freedom attracts all ages, and groups containing up to four generations can be found among the young couples, retired couples and smaller families onboard. The passenger mix varies, but North Americans (including a solid number of Floridians) dominate the onboard demographic. Passengers 41 to 50 years old tend to compose the largest percentage of passengers.


Carnival Freedom Dress Code

Freedom sails Caribbean itineraries, and the daytime dress onboard reflects that with a casual, poolside atmosphere. Cover-ups, shirts and flip-flops are required for the indoor Freedom Restaurant on the Lido Deck, but the rule doesn't seem to be strictly enforced. The main dining room requires that men wear shirts with sleeves, and at night, wardrobes are typically turned up a notch to include khakis and collared or button-down shirts for men, and blouses or sundresses for women. Depending on the length of the itinerary, the ship hosts one to two formal or "cruise elegant" nights per sailing. Fashion runs the spectrum from cocktail dresses and pressed slacks to full evening gowns and tuxedos; pack according to your comfort level, but be aware it does get dressy.


Free Price Drop Alerts
Get tomorrow's price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email
By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Find a Cruise

Carnival Freedom Ratings

CategoryEditorMember
Cabins4.04.3
Dining4.03.9
Entertainment4.03.8
Public Rooms4.04.2
Fitness Recreation3.04
Family5.04.1
Enrichment2.03.5
Service4.04.3
Value For Money5.04.1

Already Booked?

Get to know who you'll be sailing with

More about Carnival Freedom

Where does Carnival Freedom sail from?

Carnival Freedom departs from Galveston, Seattle, Fort Lauderdale, Port Everglades and Miami

How much does it cost to go on Carnival Freedom?

Cruises on Carnival Freedom start from £299 per person.

Is Carnival Freedom a good ship to cruise on?

Carnival Freedom won 7 awards over the years.

Awards and Recognition

Cruise Critic Cruisers’ Choice

  • 2017 Best for Shore Excursions
  • 2016 Best for Shore Excursions
  • 2016 Best for Value
  • 2015 Best for Shore Excursions
  • 2015 Best for Value
  • 2014 Best for Shore Excursions
  • 2014 Best for Value
Show More

Carnival Freedom Member Reviews

Carnival Freedom
Jeannieann
Sail Date: Nov 2019
Nothing better to me than Carnival and Freedom is my all time favorite,. I've sailed 4 times this last year.... Read More
Carnival Freedom
Jbjbsndsnd
Sail Date: Aug 2019
We have cruised on the Carnival Vista 4 times this year as well, the Freedom we find is a much better ship, there are a few things we wish the Freedom had that the Vista has, but overall would choose... Read More
Carnival Freedom
coastalpleasures
Sail Date: Dec 2019
Well done to the entire Carnival Freedom crew.... Read More
Carnival Freedom
ceedoubleyou
Sail Date: Dec 2018
So needless to say this one was like my first cruise all over again I went on the Carnival Freedom with a big group of about 20 people of different age groups.... Read More

Carnival Cruise Line Fleet

Carnival Ecstasy
3.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating

1118 reviews

Fun and friendly with a laid-back vibe; highlights include waterslides, a singalong piano bar, nightly Punchliner Comedy Club and mini-golf; carries some 2,500.

Carnival Ecstasy Cruises to the Bahamas View All Carnival Ecstasy Cruises
Carnival Elation
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Elation is the seventh of Carnival's eight Fantasy-class vessels (debuting in 1998), and went through a significant upgrade in 2009.

Carnival Fantasy
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

Carnival Fantasy may be the oldest vessel in the Carnival fleet, but it certainly has style, and a warm and friendly atmosphere.

Carnival Fascination
3.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating

The 2,052-passenger Carnival Fascination debuted in 1994 and went through a significant upgrade to public areas, top-deck spaces and cabins in 2010.

Carnival Imagination
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

Fun and friendly with plenty to do from sunup to sundown including high-energy pool deck fun and stage shows, plus waterslides, mini-golf and more.

Carnival Inspiration
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

A smaller ship packed with energetic fun all day long; highlights include nightly comedy, enthusiastic karaoke, waterslides, mini-golf and 10 bars and lounges.

Carnival Paradise
3.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Smaller ship with a fun and family-friendly atmosphere: highlights include short warm-weather itineraries, a waterslide and mini-golf; carries about 2,500 people.

Carnival Sensation
3.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Fun, friendly vibe with a packed lineup of daily activities, nightly comedy, energetic stage shows, silly pool deck fun, and a multi-slide waterpark.

Carnival Victory
3.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating

Fewer attractions than other Carnival ships but only offers short sailings; highlights are the comedy club, four pools and water slide; about 3,000 passengers.

Carnival Spirit
4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating


One of Australians' favourite cruise ships -- like a true Aussie, it's laid-back, fun and friendly -- from crew, to passengers and the atmosphere.

Carnival Pride
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Lively and fun with a dizzying art-through-the-centuries decor, nightly standup comedy, two waterslides, four pools, and lots of bars and lounges; can carry about 2,500.

Carnival Legend
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Fun and friendly with lots of pool-centric fun, a multi-slide waterpark, nightly comedy, and 16 lounges and bars; spends much of year in Australia.

Carnival Conquest
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Unpretentious vibe with pool-centric fun and water slide, plus Hairy Chest and Mr. and Mrs. Conquest contests; also 11 bars and 9 eateries; carries about 3,500.

Carnival Glory
4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Lively entertainment and activities include nightly stand-up comedy, high-energy Playlist Production stage shows, twister water slide, and a nonstop schedule of daily activities.

Carnival Miracle
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Fun, family-friendly ship focused on Carnival signatures like the high-energy Playlist Production shows, nightly comedy, RedFrog Pub and line dancing deck parties.

Carnival Valor
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Silly poolside games, piano bar sing-alongs and PG- and R-rated stand-up comedy give this smallish mega-ship its fun vibe; also features the RedFrog Pub.

Carnival Liberty
4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Fun, friendly vibe focusing on Carnival signatures like the Punchliner Comedy Club, gut-busting Guy's Burger Joint and cocktail-focused Alchemy Bar; holds about 3,500.

Carnival Freedom
4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Fun, laid-back and friendly; highlights include nightly comedy, high-energy stage shows, twister water slide and the popular RedFrog Pub; holds about 3,500.

Carnival Splendor
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Can hold upward of 4,000 passengers; features indoor/outdoor pool with retractable dome, Twister water slide, mini-golf and just one extra-fee restaurant.

Carnival Dream
4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Fun, friendly vibe; features Guy Fieri's Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse, family-friendly and adult stand-up comedy, nightly karaoke, water park and mini-golf.

Carnival Magic
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Holds about 4,000; highlights include water slides, the RedFrog Pub, two-bathroom family cabins that hold up to five, a ropes course and Carnival's signature fun.

Carnival Breeze
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Nonstop activities and attractions include top deck water park and ropes course, 4D Thrill Theater and nightly standup comedy; can hold up to 4,700 cruisers.

Carnival Sunshine
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Fun and friendly with nightly stand-up comedy and short, energetic stage shows, plus a calorie-packed burger joint from celeb chef Guy Fieri; holds about 3,500.

Carnival Vista
4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Holds a bit more than 4,000 passengers; offers a waterpark, suspended-in-midair recumbent bike thrill ride, ropes course and the first IMAX cinema at sea.

Carnival Horizon
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Carnival's newest megaship, holding some 4,000 passengers, launches April 2018; highlights include new barbeque/brewery and Teppanyaki restaurants, an IMAX movie theater, waterpark, beer brewery and ropes course.

Carnival Sunrise
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


A completely reimagined ship, Carnival Sunrise is Carnival Triumph transformed with new venues, entertainment options, and a whole new Fun Ship look.

Want to cruise smarter?
Get expert advice, insider tips and more.
By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.
Cookie Consent