The final Conquest-class cruise ship for Carnival Cruise Line, Carnival Freedom, is very slowly nearing its 20th birthday. That said, while this ship is old enough to drink in some areas of the world, it’s hardly lost its luster.
The cruise ship delivers all the brand’s classic amenities for families and similar cruisers looking for a cruise experience that provides lots of fun in the sun and near-endless entertainment.
If you’re planning on taking a Carnival Freedom cruise in the near future (or just considering it), here’s everything you need to know.
In This Article…
- Carnival Freedom Stats
- Construction and Refurbishments
- Free Dining
- Specialty Restaurants
- Bars and Lounges
- Activities and Entertainment
- Kids Venues
- Carnival Freedom Itineraries
- Carnival Freedom FAQ:
Carnival Freedom Stats
Carnival Freedom is not a mega ship, but it’s not a small one, either. You’ll have plenty of room to spread out and play alongside thousands of passengers. The vessel is part of the Conquest class and the sister ship to Carnival Conquest, Carnival Glory, Carnival Liberty, and Carnival Valor. Here are some ship stats:
- Gross Tonnage: 110,000
- Length: 952 feet
- Decks: 13 in total
- Passenger capacity: 2,980
- Maximum passenger capacity: 4,075
- Cabins: 1,490
- Crew: 1,150
Construction and Refurbishments
Originally built in the early 2000s at a cost of $500 million, Carnival Freedom welcomed cruisers for the first time in 2007, with an Eastern Mediterranean maiden voyage. Since then, though, the ship has repositioned a few times and also received a few refurbishments and renovations.
In 2009, just a few years after the ship’s debut, Carnival added a few new features, including the Serenity adults-only retreat that Carnival fans will know well.
The addition of this retreat on Carnival Freedom was the very first time that an adults-only area appeared on a Conquest-class ship. At this time, the ship also received the addition of the Circle C preteens area. Other changes applied to staterooms and dining rooms.
In 2014, more expansive refurbishments took place, taking Carnival Freedom into the cruise line’s Fun 2.0 era. This dry dock saw the addition of quite a few Carnival brand-favorite venues, including:
- RedFrog Rum Bar
- Blue Iguana Tequila Bar
- Alchemy Bar
- EA Sports Bar (which has since changed names)
- Guy’s Burger Joint
- Blue Iguana Cantina
- Cherry on Top
- RedFrog Pub
- Playlist Productions
The 2014 refurbishments also saw the additions of some new suites, and other enhancements were made throughout the ship, giving new life to the pool areas, gym, and children’s areas.
The most recent refurbishments, however, took place in 2019, when even more Carnival classic fun was added to the ship. Bonsai Sushi Express was added to the Lido restaurant, and WaterWorks replaced the ship’s previous water slide. Retail space also expanded.
However, if even refurbishments that took place just a few years ago aren’t new enough for you, there’s good news. If you wait to book your cruise for later in the winter months of 2023 or sometime in 2024, you’ll get to enjoy even more updates, as another dry dock is scheduled to take place over almost the entirety of October 2023.
As mentioned, there are nearly 1,500 staterooms aboard Carnival Freedom, inclusive of suites. The regular, non-suite staterooms, though, can be broken down as follows:
- 523 balcony staterooms
- 330 ocean view staterooms
- 564 interior staterooms
All staterooms, regardless of type, offer the following amenities:
- In-room telephone
- 110 AC power outlet
- Individual climate control
- Carnival Home Signature Bedding Collection
- Hair dryer
- In-room safe
- Non-stocked mini bar
- Flat-screen TV
So how can you expect these staterooms to differ from type to type?
If you book an interior stateroom aboard Carnival Freedom, you can expect to find Carnival’s old-school decor choices. While these rooms are a bit stuck in the past, they’re perfectly comfortable for one or two travelers, with ample floor space and storage space.
There are a few sub-categories of interior staterooms, including interior staterooms with picture windows with views of internal walkways, and interior staterooms with portholes.
Read Also: What Are the Best Rooms on a Cruise Ship?
If you feel like a traditional interior stateroom is a bit boxy and claustrophobic, go with one of the interior staterooms that offer either a picture window or a porthole. You’ll get natural light and a bit of an airier feel, but without the extra cost of an ocean view stateroom.
Speaking of, ocean view staterooms are very similar to the interior staterooms in decor and stylings, but with that added, large, rectangular window along one side of the cabin. When you book, ensure your ocean view stateroom does not feature an obstructed view.
For the best views possible without upgrading to a balcony stateroom, book a scenic ocean view room. These rooms boast large, wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling windows along one entire side of the cabin, for gorgeous, non-stop views at every angle. Plus, the decor is slightly upgraded.
Balcony staterooms are larger than your other options, and not just thanks to the addition of the outdoor space. Expect extra interior floor space and comfortable interior seating areas as well. For the most space possible, and the best views, choose a premium balcony stateroom or an aft-view extended balcony stateroom.
There are several suite types aboard Carnival Freedom, including…
- Junior suites
- Ocean suites
- Grand suites
- Captain’s suites
Suite guests, regardless of suite type, enjoy extra amenities that other travelers do not, such as…
- Priority check-in and boarding
- Priority dining
- Priority debarkation
- In-room water bottles
- Better mattress
- In-room bathrobes
If you book a junior suite, you’ll enjoy more space than you might find in one of the balcony or ocean view staterooms. These suites feature balconies and even walk-in closets.
Do note that, of the suite options, the junior suites do feature more of that outdated decor that you’ll see primarily in the internal staterooms.
Ocean suites put the emphasis on ocean views from every angle, with lots of bright windows and a glass door that leads out onto the large balcony. Grand suites are extra-large, with big balconies, big bedrooms, vanities, and more.
Worth Reading: Incredible Cruise Ships With Family Suites
Finally, the captain’s suite is the best and biggest of the bunch, with two bathrooms, a hot tub, a separate living area, plenty of spaces to sleep (making this suite a great choice for traveling families or groups of friends), and other perks.
Carnival offers a nice variety of free dining options that you can enjoy during your Carnival Freedom cruise at no cost. Free dining options on this ship include:
- Guy’s Burger Joint, for casual bites approved by the Mayor of Flavortown himself
- BlueIguana Cantina, for Mexican eats
- Lido Marketplace, for a classic cruise ship buffet
- Posh and Chic, the ship’s two main dining rooms, for three courses every night (plus breakfast and lunch, too!)
- Pizza Pirate, for pizza at any hour
- Swirls, for convenient soft serve and frozen yogurt
- Sweet Spot, for more options to satisfy your sweet tooth
During a lengthy cruise, though, you may find that you want more than just what you can get at this handful of restaurants. In that instance, you’ll need to check out the additional specialty restaurants aboard the ship.
Specialty restaurants aboard cruise ships provide a la carte menus at a fee — just like a typical restaurant on the mainland. Dining at these restaurants is not included in the price of your cruise.
Specialty restaurants on Carnival Freedom include:
- The Steakhouse, for a classic, upscale steakhouse experience
- The Seafood Shack, for fried seafood in a casual atmosphere
- The Chef’s Table, a specialty dining experience with a set menu and limited guest list
- Room service, for 24 hours of ordering from bed for a minimal fee
- The Coffee Bar, for getting your caffeine fix and a sugary treat
- Bonsai Sushi Express, for quick sushi bites
- RedFrog Pub, for Caribbean eats and drinks
Bars and Lounges
While you can certainly grab a drink at most of the above eateries, you can also find a fair number of watering holes scattered across the ship. When you’re thirsty for an adult beverage, head to…
- Alchemy Bar, for all your favorite mixed drinks and cocktails
- RedFrog Pub, for Caribbean-inspired drinks and beers
- BlueIguana Tequila Bar, for tequila shots or a marg
- RedFrog Rum Bar, for rum-based drinks
- The Piano Bar, for live music and a posh setting
- SkyBox Sports Bar, the latest take on the ship’s original EA-branded sports bar, where you can always find the game on
- The Casino Bar, for a few libations, while you test your luck
Activities and Entertainment
Carnival Cruise Line, in general, specializes in keeping cruisers entertained, and when you cruise on Carnival Freedom, you can expect more of the same. Here are just a few of the ways you can expect to keep yourself busy.
Spending a Day at the Spa
The Carnival Freedom spa is operated by Steiner Leisure and the options for treatments range from your typical spa treatments like massages, body wraps and facials, but also include salon services in case you need a bit of beautification, from hair and nail treatments to teeth whitening.
There are complimentary steam rooms and saunas that you can use if you’re already enjoying a treatment at the spa, and even some treatments are available to teen cruisers, too. It’s the perfect opportunity to enjoy some mom-and-daughter or father-and-son time while getting pampered and relaxing.
Working Up a Sweat in the Gym
Don’t worry about keeping up with your fitness regimen while you’re onboard Carnival Freedom. This cruise ship has you covered. There’s a 15,000-square-foot gym with all kinds of equipment — treadmills, stair masters, rowing machines, weight machines, free weights, and stationary bikes.
The best part, though, is the ocean views that you get no matter where you’re at in the gym. The panoramic floor-to-ceiling windows make sure of it.
If you’d rather go for a run in the open air, you can also do that. There’s a jogging deck surrounding the ship’s smokestack. Do 11 loops to get in your mile for the day.
Catching a Show
Playlist Productions provides Broadway-style performances, but that’s just where the fun begins. Enjoy seeing dancers, musicians and singers in a traditional theater setting every single night. You can also get the adrenaline pumping with 3-D shows that really immerse you in the adventure of your choosing.
At Hasbro, The Game Show, compete against your fellow cruisers for cool prizes, all while playing some of your favorite games from childhood.
Laugh all night long at The Punchliner Comedy Club, where they have comedy shows suitable for kids and adults. Lastly, don’t miss Carnival’s Seaside Theater, which displays open-air flicks by the pool.
Getting Active, Outdoors
At Carnival Waterworks, try out awesome water slides with views of the ocean, race side-by-side slides with your family or just enjoy a dip in one of the multiple pools.
At SportSquare, try the ropes course or challenge your spouse or kids to a game of Ping Pong, foosball or another game. The best part? SportSquare is always open, so you can always have a great time.
Get in Some Retail Therapy
You don’t have to leave your retail addiction at home just because you’re at sea. Carnival Freedom offers lots of shopping opportunities, whether you want to stock up on candy for your sweet tooth at Cherry on Top or indulge in some duty-free items like expensive wines and liquors or designer clothing. Shopping for both yourself and your loved ones back home has never been easier!
Try Your Luck at the Casino
There are plenty of options aboard Carnival Freedom when it comes to trying your luck in the casino. You can play a nice game of poker, whether you prefer Texas Hold ‘Em, three-card or high stakes.
There are even electronic tables if you’d prefer not to have a live dealer. With minimum bets starting at just $5, you can play on any budget. There’s also roulette, a fun experience with fellow cruisers, and more general casino tournaments.
Carnival is known as a very family-friendly cruise line and, as such, you can expect some great children’s programming on this ship.
Camp Ocean welcomes cruisers ages 2 to 11. Kids are broken up into age-appropriate groups and then staff lead them through entertaining (and educational!) activities. Circle C is the pre-teen area of the ship, for those ages 12 to 14. Kids enjoy video games, movies and more.
Club 02 is for the older teens, ages 15 to 17, and allows them to hang out away from both their little siblings and mom and dad, with relative freedom, enjoying some fun with cruisers their age.
Carnival Freedom Itineraries
Does a Carnival Freedom cruise sound like your perfect vacation fit? Then check out Carnival Freedom itineraries today and start planning your next cruise.
Carnival Freedom FAQ:
Originally built in the early 2000s at a cost of $500 million, Carnival Freedom welcomed cruisers for the first time in 2007. However, Carnival Freedom has received expansive refurbishments since its debut, and more upgrades are slated for late 2023.
Carnival Freedom is a Conquest-class cruise ship, the last to debut in the class. The class first debuted in 2002, and other ships include Carnival Conquest, Carnival Glory, Carnival Valor, and Carnival Liberty.
There are four pools aboard Carnival Freedom, including one with a retractable roof, a wading pool, and a waterslide pool.