Written by Kirsten Cornell | Photography by Andy Newman/CCL
Snorkeling among the coral reefs, lounging at the Blue Iguana, hiking through the Mayan Ruins, or attending Broadway-style productions are just a few of the activities patrons aboard the Carnival Freedom excitedly participate in. With voyages averaging as little as $79 a day, families can enjoy five-star vacations at affordable rates. The newest ship in Carnival’s fleet to begin sailing from Galveston, the Freedom recently underwent millions of dollars in renovations and boasts more amenities than ever before. “Carnival Freedom is the most significant Fun Ship 2.0 upgrade project we’ve undertaken outside of Carnival Sunshine,” says Jennifer de la Cruz, vice president of public relations. “Carnival Freedom is one of the premier ships in our fleet.”
Kids on Board
With a specific emphasis on entertainment and youth programming, kids and teens will find unlimited activities aboard the Freedom. Their newest revamp of the onboard program, Camp Ocean, divides children ages 2 through 11 into age-appropriate groups and fills their days with tailored activities including crafts, dance parties, scavenger hunts, relays, and more. Teens ages 15 to 17 can oen be found in Club O2, a hangout specifically designed with their age group in mind. “We were noticing a huge drop off in this age group from Camp Carnival, and received feedback that they felt like the program was geared toward the younger passengers,” says Vance Gulliksen, public relations manager. “So we developed Club O2 just for teens.” Club O2 participants watch movies, listen to music, play sports and video games, join karaoke jam sessions, and attend a pool party or two. Carnival also sets up teen-only shore excursions so they can enjoy the sights at port with their new friends.
Suess at Sea
Carnival’s newest partnership is with the Cat in the Hat himself. Watch your child’s favorite book characters come to life during activities such as the Green Eggs and Ham breakfast with the Cat in the Hat and friends, Seuss-a-Palooza story time, Seuss-a-Palooza parade, and Dr. Seuss Bookville, which is exclusive to the Carnival Freedom and Vista. Take your kiddo to Bookville and sit among Horton, the Lorax, and Sam I Am on Whoville-worthy furniture as you read from Dr. Seuss classics. Make it a point to attend the Green Eggs and Ham breakfast and see the dining room clothed in striped hats, red table cloths, and Seussical décor. A special menu is prepared including Truffula tree pancakes, Horton’s French toast, Fox in Socks steak and eggs, and of course, green eggs and ham. Cat in the Hat and friends also make appearances and take photos with guests. Those who are young at heart will enjoy this colorful and fun-filled event.
One thing cruisers often rave about is the food, and Carnival Freedom is no exception. In addition to their dining rooms and lido buffets, the ship is equipped with multiple dining options. Food Network personality Guy Fieri teams up to bring passengers the best grilled burgers on the high seas. Piled high with toppings and grilled poolside with tantalizing seasonings, Guy’s Burger Joint is a must-try.
The Taste Bar is a unique station found along the promenade deck. Pick up a complimentary appetizer before dinner for a taste of something different with a rotating theme each day. Make a reservation at least one evening of your cruise to dine at the Sun King Steakhouse. At only $35 a person, the culinary creations brought to you by gourmet chefs will tickle your taste buds. Choose from buttery lobster bisque, flaky crab cakes, tender filet mignon, or flavor-filled lobster ravioli. The possibilities and combinations are endless.
The Freedom offers six- and seven-day voyages throughout the Caribbean. Add stamps to your passport from exotic locations such as Belize, Costa Maya, Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Honduras, and Jamaica.
Take the guesswork out of choosing port entertainment by utilizing Carnival to book your shore excursions. Filter by experiences, age, activity, duration, and price to pick the best option for your family. Explore secret rivers, catamaran to coral reefs for snorkeling tours of the crystal clear waters, grab a hammock on the white sand beaches, hike through Mayan Ruins, or fly across zip lines with breathtaking views. No matter where your interests lie, there’s something for everyone aboard the Carnival Freedom. KM
KIRSTEN CORNELL and her husband thoroughly enjoyed Carnival Freedom’s maiden Galveston voyage and visited every possible dining option at least once.
For more cruising ideas, visit carnival.com.