Exploring the Newly-Revitalized Carnival Freedom
Monday, February 16, 2015
It’s a blustery day here in the Gulf of Mexico aboard Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Freedom as we spend a Fun Day at Sea en-route to our first port of call of Costa Maya, Mexico. Spending a day at sea is my favorite thing to do. I love ports and destinations – don’t get me wrong – but a day at sea allows me to do one thing: talk about the ship.
Carnival Freedom was built in 2007 at Italy’s Fincantieri shipyards near Venice. At 952 feet in length, she carries 2,974 guests at double occupancy, with up to 3,700 possible if all third and fourth berths are filled – which can happen. They’re served by roughly 1,160 crewmembers, all of whom do a fantastic job at making guests feel at home. My stateroom steward has my name memorized, as do the two ladies at the Viennese Café Coffee Bar on Deck 5. Everyone else says hello, good evening, and how are you?
The last of Carnival’s Conquest-class ships, her interiors were designed by Carnival’s longtime interior designer, Joe Farcus – a man not known for subtlety in his work. To that extent, Carnival Freedom is a very busy ship with lots of contrasting textures, shapes and colours. Browns and coppers are utilised throughout, punctuated by the burgundy “space ship” accents that run along the ceilings and that form the majority of the soaring atrium known as “The Millennium.”
Personally, I prefer the cool, subtly Caribbean décor of the Carnival Breeze to the dark and busy patterns of the Carnival Freedom – but that’s just my personal taste. And while I may not be in love with the décor scheme, there are some really beautiful rooms onboard that I tend to gravitate to.
Take, for example, the Habana Bar on Deck 4, with its great lighting, faux shutters, and cigar-based tables that recall a tropical Cuba. Or the Swingtime Bar, with its leather chairs, large dance floor, and old-world stylings. Even the Freedom Restaurant – the equivalent of the Lido Buffet – on Deck 9 is surprisingly attractive.
One of my absolute favorite places onboard is The Centuries Promenade, a window-lined seating area that runs for the better part of the length of the starboard side of Deck 5, terminating near the bow of the ship at the upper level of the Millennium Atrium. Here, you can kick back and relax with a coffee, drink or a book (or both!), watch