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Old 04-18-2011, 12:24 AM   #1
anewmac
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Post Goodbye Mickey, Hello Freddy a Carnival Cruise Report-Update 4/1 Final Thoughts Pg10


8 Day Carnival Freedom Cruise

Thought I would post this for 2 reasons. 1- Being I get to relive my vacation , and 2- for anyone that may be wanting to jump the Disney ship to try another line.

I will start by saying we LOVED our Disney cruise we took in 2008, see my link below for that trip report. We would love to go back on Disney but cost is a big factor on our decisions. Sure we could have done the Wonder on the west coast where we are from (Ca.) but the ports and water just arent as nice as the Caribbean. Especially since we have to vacation during school breaks as we dont want to have to pull the kids out and miss any days.

So it was about May of 2010 when we started looking into cruising again. We finally locked in an 8day Eastern Caribbean cruise for March 26th-April 3 2011. For the same amount we paid in 2008 on Disney for an inside room on deck 1 and only 7days. We got an 8day cruise with balcony on deck 6. Score 1 for Freddy!

Our ports of call were to be San Juan Puerto Rico (which would later get canceled about a month before cruise, hmm funny a port on our Disney Cruise was canked also maybe were the jinx) St Thomas, Antigua, Tortolla, & Nassau. Our itinerary would lookd like this:

Saturday, March 26 Ft Lauderdale, FL leave at 4:00pm
Sunday, March 27 Fun Day at Sea
Monday, March 28 Fun Day at Sea
Tuesday, March 29 St. Thomas, USVI 7:00am- 6:00pm
Wednesday, March 30 Antigua 7:00am- 6:00pm
Thursday, March 31Tortola, BVI 7:00am- 3:30pm
Friday, April 1 Fun Day at Sea
Saturday, April 2 Nassau, the Bahamas 12:00pm- 7:00pm
Sunday, April 3 Ft Lauderdale, FL 8:00am disembark (boo!)

I guess before I go any further I should introduce my crew.

DH- Elbert (aka E) US Marine, easy going, laid back guy (Who needs Prince Charming when your married to a Marine!)

DS#1- Phoenix (aka P) age 12, Guitar Hero efficianoto, Lego Maniac, the "whatever" kid, protecter of his lil brother (most the time)

DS#2- Justice (aka J) age 8, lover of cars, ... and food (kid after his moms own heart!), the "OK" kid, idolizes his big brother (most the time)

Me- Drea, wife of the Marine, Mom of the 2 boys. Suffers from a case of OCVP (Obsessive Compulsive Vacation Planning, like most on this board)




Quick Links to Chapters
Now I know why they call it a red eye!
5K for a Cause Part 1
5K for a Cause Part 2
G,T,L (Gym, Tan, Lunch)
Our Futures So Bright. We Gotta Wear Shades
Amazing Race
1 iguana, 2iguana, 3 iguana,... watch as mom hits the floor (Part1)
1 iguana, 2iguana, 3 iguana,... watch as mom hits the floor (Part2)
Tarzan, Jane and 2 Georges of the Jungle
Tarzan, Jane and 2 Georges of the Jungle (Part2)
Tarzan, Jane and 2 Georges of the Jungle (Part3)
Vegas Baby
Taking a Bath, before a Walk O'Shame
Taking a Bath, before a Walk O'Shame (Part2)
Taking a Bath, before a Walk O'Shame (Part3)
Last Day...?
Last Day Part 2
Miss Me?
Wait theres more.... told ya I was busy
a DANGEROUS Mission for suncreen and stamps! Part1
a DANGEROUS Mission for suncreen and stamps! Part2
Flying home with our last thoughts about Freddy (the end!)

Next Up: Now I know why they call it a Red Eye
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Last edited by anewmac; 04-01-2012 at 10:26 PM.
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Old 04-18-2011, 02:06 AM   #2
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Post Thursday March 24th 2011

Now I know why they call it a red eye!



I took off around 130pm from work (it was a busy day so it went fast thank god cuz all I had on my mind was WOOHOO VACATION I NEED A DRINK!!!!!!), picked up a few odds and ends at the store and made my way home.

E picked up the boys from school at 3, they went home and showered (you know how stinky boys can get) and we packed up the car and were on the road by 4pm. I felt like I forgot something the whole way to the airport. We are never packed and ready to go on time.. anywhere. I also had us packed in only 3 suitcases and 1 suit bag, with 3 carry on bags which for us is still under packed (yet I know over packed for most LOL)

We missed most of the traffic from Temecula (about 1hr from San Diego) to Long Beach. I found a flight on Jet Blue for $1200 for all 4 of us (still more then Ive paid before but cheapest I found around.) Leaving out of Long Beach was a 1st for all of us. Its a tiny airport but so much easier then LAX or Diego. Plus it was only 30mins to LA where my mom (our driver) was gonna go visit family so no having to leave a car parked anywhere. I had checked us in online and printed our boarding passes so we just had to drop off our luggage. Went through security its a long wait but no body scans or being felt us so another +. Our flight was delayed an hour then a few mins later they said never mind back on for 930pm lol. Finally we boarded, its really cool because you walk out on the tarmack to the plane.





Almost makes you feel like its your own private plane.. if it wasnt for the other 100 people LOL.



Our flight was direct to Ft Lauderdale, it was great being able to fist pump 30,000 miles up with some dudes in front of me.



We landed on time at 530am to Ft Lauderdale, our luggage arrived a few mins later. We called the Hyatt Park North and our suttle was there in a matter of minutes.



Once we were at the hotel they didnt have a room ready for us since we were extra early for check in. All that was available was handicap rooms so we took 1, since we werent about to wait around for 6hours. All the difference was a queen bed and not a king.



The free continental breakfast was starting so we went and filled up on bagels, ceral, danishs, coffee, juice and oatmeal. Then went back to the room to take a nap. Once we got up, we showered to get the airplane ride off us, then walked over to the shopping center across the way. We picked up a bottle of wine (I should have grabbed 2 dont know what I was thinking?) and a bottle of Bacardi limon' (again next time get 2) a small bottle of Kahlua, some sodas, water and little things of coffee flavored creamers.

We dropped it all off at the hotel and since it was 3pm they opened up the shuttle sign up sheet. We got the 1st one out at 1030am I wanted to be there asap. We also found out we could switch rooms if we wanted to as they had a king size ready for us. We hadnt unpacked so we just wheeled our stuff over to the next room one floor up. We then headed out to walk across the street to have dinner at Outback. Nothing like starting your vacation off right!



When we were finished with dinner we got back to the room and I wanted to get our cloths ready for the next day, along with our carry on filled with our wine and sodas. Also needed to fill up our rum runners. (See Disney lets you take on bottles of alcohol, Carnival only allows 1 bottle of wine per adult. So we (HA I) had bought rum runners (google them) to smuggle on the rum and Kahlua (you know I have to add it to my coffee in the mornings, nothing like starting your vacation days off on the right foot!) I read on another cruise board where to get them and hide them so they arent confiscated (inside your shoes at the bottom of the suitcase by the wheels) so you can sneak some libations on. So Score one for Mickey, on this!

But in that process thought is when we realized we had lost the small bag we put the camera charger and E's ipod in.... great it must have fallen out of the bigger bag it was in during the flight when E and the boys were messing with it. I will be honest here I was more upset about not having a camera charger with the extra battery that was in it, then E's ipod. It was late so I knew any stores were closed or soon to be closing. So I got online (free wifi and we had brought our nextbook) and made a route of where the nearest bestbuy, target, walmart, kmart etc were and the times they opened. Then E mentioned what about Radio shack.. ohh ya there was one in the same shopping center as the Publix (grocery store) we just shopped at. I also found an Office Depot too near. I finished getting everything ready and we headed to bed... here I thought I would get to start vacation by sleeping in for once.. nope alarm is set and ready for 630am. Wonder if Im too excited to sleep? Nope I was out like a light! It had been a long day and to add emotional at the end.


Tally
Mickey -1
Freddy -1


Next Up: 5K for a Cause
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Old 04-18-2011, 02:23 AM   #3
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Nice start. Enjoying reading your adventure!! Can't wait for more.
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Old 04-18-2011, 08:23 AM   #4
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Even though you don't say what ship you were on, Carnival is really cracking down on illegal smuggling of alcohol, no matter where it is in your luggage.

For anyone thinking about it, I wouldn't chance it.
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Old 04-18-2011, 08:29 AM   #5
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I'm enjoying your report so far, can't wait to read the rest. We've been on both DCL and Carnival too and I am interested in hearing your impressions of both. We were on the Carnival Liberty last summer and LOVED it! I posted a very long trip report with pictures over on Cruise Critic. We really had a great time!
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Old 04-18-2011, 08:30 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaraJayne View Post
Even though you don't say what ship you were on, Carnival is really cracking down on illegal smuggling of alcohol, no matter where it is in your luggage.

For anyone thinking about it, I wouldn't chance it.
She was on The Freedom. It says right above where she posted her itinerary.
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Old 04-18-2011, 08:43 AM   #7
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Wooo-hooo Drea! Let's get sailin'!

So far so good! Love that picture of you guys up in the intro- did you get that done onboard?

Ya know I totally didn't put 2 and 2 together until now. I knew you were on a redeye. And when I saw on FB you were watching JS, I was thinking WTH are they playing on those airplanes nowadays..sheesh! It never occurred to me that it was actually broadcasting on TV at that time, I was thinking that was just what they were playing onboard like an eternal loop from h-e-double hockey sticks! (LOL J/K fist pump away!)

And now it also makes sense why you only got the queen room at first at the Hyatt. Just can't get the whole story in 140 characters or less. Or maybe I'm just thick in the head.

Did I tell ya the story about my mom smuggling rum runners on her Carny ship? They got called down to the naughty room (PAGED over the loudspeaker while up on the Lido no less!), she was sure it was her booze, but nope..it was a hunting knife my stepfather had packed for fishing!! (presumably for filleting the fish he planned to catch and grill up on his balcony or something?!?!?!)

I've said it before and I'll say it again, pack em in yer bra and ya won't have any trouble! (kidding folks. Do not attempt at home)

Great start!!! Gimme more!
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Old 04-18-2011, 08:45 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Jeafl View Post
She was on The Freedom. It says right above where she posted her itinerary.

D'oh. That will teach me to read the title next time.
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Old 04-18-2011, 09:39 AM   #9
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More, please.

We will be on the Carnival Freedom next January, so I'm enjoying reading all the reviews I can get my eyes on.

We, too, have done Disney cruises (2 Magic, 1 Wonder) and just don't see paying their high prices anymore. We've done a few Royal Caribbean and Carnival, both lines are great in our opinion.

We originally booked the Freedom mostly for the price, and it being an 8-day cruise, plus going to San Juan. A month or so after we booked they cancelled San Juan already. Very disappointing. We were told it's due to "port congrestion." Don't buy it. I think it's more because of fuel prices.

But anyway, still looking forward to the cruise. DH and I are going with my Mom and her friend. The friend has never cruised before so it'll be fun cruising with a newbie. We have two balcony rooms on deck #7.

Can't wait to read more of your review, hurry back please!!
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Old 04-18-2011, 10:00 AM   #10
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YAYYYYYYYY!!!!!! So happy you are writing a trippie!!!! You are so much fun- can't wait for all the kahlua breakfasts!!!
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Old 04-18-2011, 10:03 AM   #11
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Smile

Looking forward to this as well. I've done two Carnival cruises in the last year and am planning a third!
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Old 04-18-2011, 01:36 PM   #12
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Enjoying your trip report, can't wait to read the rest
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Old 04-18-2011, 04:10 PM   #13
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Joining in...
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Old 04-18-2011, 07:23 PM   #14
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I read your last cruise report and loved it!

I am so glad to hear about your Carnival vacation. I suspect we probably won't be cruising with Mickey the first time around because we haven't hit the lottery yet.

I know I know..its not really that bad price wise, but I'm cheap and I would have a hard time justifying Mickey for that much money. I would probably just sneak a trip in to the World before or after!!!

More please.....
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Old 04-19-2011, 12:16 AM   #15
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Talking You Like me.. You really Like me lol

Quote:
Originally Posted by MagicMe View Post
Nice start. Enjoying reading your adventure!! Can't wait for more.
Thanks I am trying to get embark day up looking at tmrw but most likely Weds... since kids are back in school

Quote:
Originally Posted by SaraJayne View Post
Even though you don't say what ship you were on, Carnival is really cracking down on illegal smuggling of alcohol, no matter where it is in your luggage.

For anyone thinking about it, I wouldn't chance it.
Ya my husband was totally against it.. till he saw our bar tab even with smuggling we bought LOTS of drinks and he said next time buy 2 bottles to smuggle LOL worse that happens we get pulled down to the naught room and they throw it away.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeafl View Post
I'm enjoying your report so far, can't wait to read the rest. We've been on both DCL and Carnival too and I am interested in hearing your impressions of both. We were on the Carnival Liberty last summer and LOVED it! I posted a very long trip report with pictures over on Cruise Critic. We really had a great time!
ohh Ill have to go over to cruise critic to check it out.. post a link. I contimplated posting there.. but I like the Dis better

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeafl View Post
She was on The Freedom. It says right above where she posted her itinerary.
thanks I almost thought I didnt put it, thats what I get for finishing up my chapter at midnight LOL

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Originally Posted by nenner1 View Post
Wooo-hooo Drea! Let's get sailin'!

So far so good! Love that picture of you guys up in the intro- did you get that done onboard?
did you think I took sweaters and long sleeve thermals on a caribbean cruise (80degree weather LOL) no we had those done a la picture people a freebie coupon we had LOL

Ya know I totally didn't put 2 and 2 together until now. I knew you were on a redeye. And when I saw on FB you were watching JS, I was thinking WTH are they playing on those airplanes nowadays..sheesh! It never occurred to me that it was actually broadcasting on TV at that time, I was thinking that was just what they were playing onboard like an eternal loop from h-e-double hockey sticks! (LOL J/K fist pump away!)
HA no i have to say Jet Blue is perfect for the boys they watched tv and i got thru majority of my book without being bothered

And now it also makes sense why you only got the queen room at first at the Hyatt. Just can't get the whole story in 140 characters or less. Or maybe I'm just thick in the head.
lmao ya you know I had to give everyone the play by play.. some status updates were while under the influence LOL

Did I tell ya the story about my mom smuggling rum runners on her Carny ship? They got called down to the naughty room (PAGED over the loudspeaker while up on the Lido no less!), she was sure it was her booze, but nope..it was a hunting knife my stepfather had packed for fishing!! (presumably for filleting the fish he planned to catch and grill up on his balcony or something?!?!?!)
that does sound familure.. omg too funny

I've said it before and I'll say it again, pack em in yer bra and ya won't have any trouble! (kidding folks. Do not attempt at home)
ya ive debated getting this... for concerts and games LOL


Great start!!! Gimme more!
im working on it. i swear i wont let it go like my last wdw trippy

Quote:
Originally Posted by MIGrandma View Post
More, please.

We will be on the Carnival Freedom next January, so I'm enjoying reading all the reviews I can get my eyes on.
i promise to get it done by then LOL

We, too, have done Disney cruises (2 Magic, 1 Wonder) and just don't see paying their high prices anymore. We've done a few Royal Caribbean and Carnival, both lines are great in our opinion.
you know what they say any day on a boat is better than a day at work! I agree the mouse is great but he hurts my wallet

We originally booked the Freedom mostly for the price, and it being an 8-day cruise, plus going to San Juan. A month or so after we booked they cancelled San Juan already. Very disappointing. We were told it's due to "port congrestion." Don't buy it. I think it's more because of fuel prices.
ya we were really disapointed about losing that port also. So I just told the hubby darn were gonna just have to book another that goes there or leaves from there LMAO

But anyway, still looking forward to the cruise. DH and I are going with my Mom and her friend. The friend has never cruised before so it'll be fun cruising with a newbie. We have two balcony rooms on deck #7.
cruising with people is so much fun. keeps the conversation going.. after a while hubby and I just sort of looked at eachother and sat in silence until shows started lol

Can't wait to read more of your review, hurry back please!!
Im working on it, thanks for your excitment i cant wait to relieve it. I actually havent looked at any of the pics we took so that it keeps my excietment alive LOL

Quote:
Originally Posted by podsnel View Post
YAYYYYYYYY!!!!!! So happy you are writing a trippie!!!! You are so much fun- can't wait for all the kahlua breakfasts!!!
There are a few danish's thrown in there also LOL well I had to get one going you and Jen's got me pumped.. then your mini trippy LOL

Quote:
Originally Posted by LovableGluttons View Post
Looking forward to this as well. I've done two Carnival cruises in the last year and am planning a third!
Oh which ships have you been on, ports etc, and how did you like them? I love hearing everyones opinions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keli View Post
Enjoying your trip report, can't wait to read the rest
Thanks for joining.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShesAPirate View Post
Joining in...
Welcome!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ciciwoowoo View Post
I read your last cruise report and loved it!
aww, yeah thanks for following along.. please disregard my horrible spelling and gramatical errors again LOL

I am so glad to hear about your Carnival vacation. I suspect we probably won't be cruising with Mickey the first time around because we haven't hit the lottery yet.
It might be better not to do Mickey (LOL) 1st.. he tends to spoil ya and you sort of hold a candle up to him with everything else.. hence my comparison trip report. I admit I did it the whole time while we were cruising lol

I know I know..its not really that bad price wise, but I'm cheap and I would have a hard time justifying Mickey for that much money. I would probably just sneak a trip in to the World before or after!!!
hmm we sound a like, Im frugal also LOL its hard to pay so much when you see other cruise lines for cheaper. If I didnt have to add flight and hotel I could justify Disney more but darn us for loving Cali. Yet Im trying to justify a cruise on the Oasis or Allure next so we shall see how frugal i get then

More please.....
You got it... ask and you shall receive.. soon... Im working on it.. as soon as I get back from tucking the boys into bed.. Im back to single mom duty as Hubby checked into a new duty station and only comes home on the weekends now (since gas prices are over $4 a gallon) so I have to play mom and dad and good cop bad cop.. yet if you ask the boys Im always the bad mean mom LOL whatever you seem to like the bad mean mom when she takes you on vacations HUH.. sorry just a lil mom vent!
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