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Freedom is better than Fantasy

SmarterTravel

You can debate the philosophical issues implicit in my blog headline, but I’m talking about [% 11986 | | Carnival %] ships. A while back, I sailed on the Fantasy, one of Carnival’s older ships. Today, I’m on the Carnival Freedom, the newest ship in the fleet, and the improvements are noticeable.

Number one improvement: the food. I’ve twice found satisfying lunches at the pool-deck buffet, which is tough for a vegetarian. The salad bar offered an array of veggies, beans, and pasta salads, and the pizzeria served slices fresh from the oven. My Indian dinner last night tasted like actual Indian food rather than some sad vegetables with spices on them. I also was introduced to Carnival’s famous chocolate melting cake. It very nearly brought this chocoholic to tears, and I understand why the dish is so popular it’s on the menu every single night.

Another improvement is the public areas. Joe Farcus’ decor is often blindingly over the top and a little too theme-like for my taste. However, many of the bars and lounges are downright fun, such as the keyboard themed piano bar and the Monticello library, which looks like it’s been lifted straight out of the White House. The giant LED screen on the pool deck was the perfect place to watch the Patriots beat the Chargers, and this ship’s waterslide looks bigger and better than its predecessors.

As always, Carnival does a nice job with its cabins. My balcony stateroom has more storage space than two gals can fill up, and neither the bathroom nor the shower is claustrophobic. The beds are super-comfortable, which could be considered a negative because I did not want to get up this morning and explore the rest of the ship.

My one complaint so far would be the timing of the activities. All of the games or classes I wanted to attend today took place at the same time in the afternoon or during my dinner seating. I’d like to see Carnival space out the events, with more interesting activities in the pre-lunch hours.

Tomorrow I’ll let you know how Carnival’s shore excursion program holds up.

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