This week we are traveling on the Carnival Freedom cruise ship on an 8-day southern Caribbean itinerary. We will be visiting Grand Turk, La Romana (Dominican Republic), Curaçao, and Aruba.
Even though today is technically Day 2 on the cruise, I’ve decided to start the journal today on one of our at sea days.
We are avid cruisers but this is our first time on a Carnival cruise and so far we are really enjoying ourselves. Our rooms are the typical small cruise rooms but we do have the added bonus of balconies on both. Since most of the rooms aboard the Freedom have a max capacity of four, we had to have two rooms and luckily scooped up two side by side. If you are traveling with a larger family, try to grab connecting rooms because I can imagine that it would make a big difference. Ours are side by side but not connecting.
Since the kids go to bed earlier than us, I brought a video baby monitor (Summer Infant Baby Touch – which works perfectly!) and had the maintenance guy permanently lock the one balcony door so that we could put the kids to bed in one room while we watched TV in the other. With the monitor I have constant eyes on them, and with the balcony locked, I have extra piece of mind. When it is time for us to go to bed, my husband and I split up into separate rooms. How romantic, right?! Well, when you have kids and take a cruise, you do what you gotta do.
Since everyone was on board today, the pools and waterslide on deck were very crowded. Almost too crowded but we made it work. We ate lunch a little late to avoid the lunch crowd and hit the gym in the afternoon while the kids went to Camp Ocean.
The gym was crowded but I was still able to get on all the machines that I wanted with no problem. I was pleasantly surprised to see updated, state-of-the-art machines with TVs on each. Don’t forget your headphones! I was also surprised that there were no sanitizer wipes like I find at typical US gyms and only sanitizer spray with cloths. I quickly found out the reason was because of waste on the cruise ship. Makes sense. You can’t beat this view though from a gym!
The kids loved their time in the newly redesigned Camp Ocean that now features “Seuss at Sea” with Carnival’s new partnership with Dr. Seuss. I’ll talk more about that later in the week when we really dive into the program.
For dinner, we visited the dining room and enjoyed a family dinner for formal night that was pretty tasty. The lobster and shrimp were great but I think the favorite part for everyone was the banana floats for desserts though.
After dinner, we took the kids to the stage show that involved singing, dancing and 3D glasses. It was a huge hit with the kids.
My Carnival Takeaways today:
– Eat lunch early or late to avoid the lines.
– The pools are very busy during sea days.
– Introduce your kids to Camp Ocean on the first day in hopes that they love it which gives you a little adult time.
– Take the kids to the stage shows. They might just love them as much as mine did. Having a 4 year old sit and watch an entire show without complaining and that is a feat we accomplished.
*Disclosure: We are on the Carnival Freedom as part of a media press trip. They are covering our expenses. As always, all our thoughts, opinions and statements are our own.