1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
1) because my brother and his wife have never cruised before. 2) the price 3) where it was going. 4) because my brother and his wife still like to party. Carnival seems more like a party type atmosphere. The staff was wonderful from our ... Read More
1) because my brother and his wife have never cruised before. 2) the price 3) where it was going. 4) because my brother and his wife still like to party. Carnival seems more like a party type atmosphere. The staff was wonderful from our room steward Wayan to our dinner stall Dede, Ignatius, and Polett. to the staff in cloud-9. spent the day in New Orleans before embarkation. Embarkation went very smoothly ( great job) our cabin 7203 is classified interior, but has a window. It is interior with a picture(walkway view).It was our highest level yet. and a good choice. they do sell out fast. we enjoyed most of our dinning I was disappointed in the main buffet, but like the other 3 buffet or was it 4? guy burgers was very good, the pasta bella was not a buffet, but a sit down where you place an order and drop it off at the head of serving line and then go sit down and they deliver it piping hot as you ordered. a don't miss if you travel on the Dream. Main dinning room was very good. the chef's table was an outstanding experience. It di cost extra, but we thought it well worth it. the shows in the encore lounge were to mush like Vegas style and loud. we like more Broadway style performances. disembarkation went very smooth also. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
Our Cabin had to be cleaned before we unpacked (clumps of hair on shower walls, stained carpet, pink splatters on walls and ceiling) Regular food was mediocre but we also had a Vegan with us and their idea of accommodation was to ask ... Read More
Our Cabin had to be cleaned before we unpacked (clumps of hair on shower walls, stained carpet, pink splatters on walls and ceiling) Regular food was mediocre but we also had a Vegan with us and their idea of accommodation was to ask her each night which of the side dishes from the other meals she wanted. The featured vegetarian meal was the same Indian food all 7 nights. Some the lunch restaurants have options such as a taco salad or veggie burger but they are not printed anywhere and you might only know about it until day 5 when you hear someone else in line ask for it. The specialty restaurants such as BBQ, Mexican, Burgers, Indian, Asian, Pasta are only open for lunch. Our group spent over $1,000 in the spa and they were slow, rude and not helpful on at least 5 different visits. You could not even leave the spa without waiting for the one person working the desk to complete a 10 minute sales pitch for someone else since you had to get your room key back from her. They have a cart with signs that let you pick your own ingredients for a self body scrub. When you ask the spa attendant how you use this service (that we paid for) she went in back and brought out a chocolate mint scrub. When we asked about the sign that tells you to pick your own ingredients, she said they don't do that and she went in back again and brought a second scrub option. I was charged for someone elses drinks one evening in the lounge and customer service took it off only to add it back on a day later. Over 60% of the ships daytime activities are based on getting more money out of you. (spa seminars, jewelry events, sales, auctions, photos, casino, yoga classes, ...) The ship's layout blocks sections of the ship on several of the activity and dining decks so you have to change floors, walk to the other section of the ship and then go back to the floor where you wanted to go. I don't know if this is Carnival or just this one ship but we will choose a different cruise line next time. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2017
I used to love Carnival. Not the case anymore. This cruise, to put it politely, SUCKED. The service in the Scarlet Restaurant was non-existent. The service of the waiters and waitresses, non-existent. Trying to get a soft drink on this ... Read More
I used to love Carnival. Not the case anymore. This cruise, to put it politely, SUCKED. The service in the Scarlet Restaurant was non-existent. The service of the waiters and waitresses, non-existent. Trying to get a soft drink on this ship is like pulling teeth. No one pays attention to you unless you are an alcoholic. All the fun things happened while everyone was in Port, and the only thing they had to do at night was Seminars on how to improve your posture, and junk like that. I was not on a cruise to be "evaluated" on how I walked, I wanted to have fun. I had none. This cruise line is terrible to say the least. The food is terrible, the drinks were even more terrible and the only thing that made this cruise even worth the trip was the fact that some of the staff were over friendly, and there were a few places on the ship that are quiet and pretty. But again, for the most part, not worth the $3500 we spent . Never again . Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
Our party of five, ranging in age from 10 to 72, had a wonderful Christmas Cruise on the Carnival Dream. From the time we pulled into the parking garage at the NOLA port until we boarded was under an hour and we felt it was well ... Read More
Our party of five, ranging in age from 10 to 72, had a wonderful Christmas Cruise on the Carnival Dream. From the time we pulled into the parking garage at the NOLA port until we boarded was under an hour and we felt it was well organized. We choose Balcony cabins forward on deck 7 because we like a quiet location. It was perfect and the rooms were ready at 1:30. Our luggage was delivered within a couple hours and our steward met us and had us fill out a form with our preferences for things like extra towels, robes, turn down service etc. The first couple nights their was an issue with several young men being very noisy in the cabin next to my parents. This was a cabin that had an adjoining door and we will be sure never to book a cabin like that again. My parents complained to them directly and also to guest services. Guest services notified the parents of the complaint and that was the end of that. We were very pleased that the issue was addressed and resolved. The ship sailed at capacity and we heard that their were 1300 children on board. We didn't really experience any issues with it being crowded. We did see some lines for certain food venues but it didn't really effect us much. We only ate in the dining room 3 nights. We booked the cruise late and all that was available was the late seating. Starting a 90+ minute meal at 8:15 in the evening was just to late for us. The food on Carnival is good but not great. That certainly did not stop us all from gaining a few pounds. We loved the entertainment. We went to many family friendly comedy shows, a couple big production shows and many events held in the atrium. They had about a half dozen events that were specifically Christmas related and we had a ball. Jase the cruise director was outstanding. He was funny and charismatic without being over the top or annoying. We had no issues with service in any area. We only requested cabin service once a day and our room was kept in tip top shape. There seemed to be plenty of bar service and the buffet area was kept stocked and clean. We had a minor maintenance issue in our cabin and their was someone fixing it within 10 minutes of our call to customer service. Service in the dining room was slow but I think that had more to do with the mass seating than it did with the competence and efficiency of the wait staff. The Dream is about to go to dry dock for a refresher. We would definitely sail on the Dream again. This was my seventh cruise and I've sailed other pricier lines. I think Carnival and the Dream is a good value. My 10 year old had such a good time that she said she was near tears when we were getting off the ship. You can't beat that for a family vacation! Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
The Dream is a large ship and very much understaffed. From the check in process, to the room steward, the dining room staff, bar staff, it was about the worst service I have ever received on a cruise ship. Carnival now asks that you ... Read More
The Dream is a large ship and very much understaffed. From the check in process, to the room steward, the dining room staff, bar staff, it was about the worst service I have ever received on a cruise ship. Carnival now asks that you chose when you would like your cabin serviced, evening or morning. My steward did not even show up the first night on the ship. Always a shortage of towels. Like to pick up the dirty towels and not replace them. Went 5 days with no pool towels. In the dining room, the waiters continually overlooked our table. I had to find the water pitcher and bread baskets/butter several times. Diner arrived cool several times. Had to track down the cocktail waiter many times when he should have know that we were a table of drinkers after the first night. Buffet was full of dirty tables most of the time. They now charge $20 for some items on the regular dining room menu such as a NY steak. We had an opportunity to dine in the pay restaurant. The food was quite good, however the service was also severely lacking and heaven forbid you ask for something out of the norm. There was no deviation from the printed menu selections. Bar staff and many of the staff in general were not the typical happy engaged employees we once saw on most cruise lines. The Serenity spa is a $139 fee for the week. The gal at the coffee bar would not take the time to make a drink when she prematurely cleaned up the bar 20 minutes early. She simply stated all I have available is... Entertainment seems to be primarily made up of ship staff more than than the usual performers that had been brought onboard. Be careful with your purchases in the gift shop. I purchased an Invicta 18165 watch marked at $795 at a discounted guaranteed lowest price of $149.. When I arrived home I see the watch can be purchased almost anywhere for $89 including Walmart. Having cruised many times, I do have Platinum status. Debarkation took longer than ever. Even with Platinum status it was after 9:30 before I could get off the ship. One good thing, we did luck out with the weather. All in all, try another cruiseline. Carnival has cut far too many corners. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2015
This was our 3rd Thanksgiving cruise (all with Carnival). We had 17 people in our party as we planned the trip with our extended family. I am sure others in the party will be pushing for another cruise line for next year. We have ... Read More
This was our 3rd Thanksgiving cruise (all with Carnival). We had 17 people in our party as we planned the trip with our extended family. I am sure others in the party will be pushing for another cruise line for next year. We have been on other Carnival cruises over Thanksgiving and had a wonderful time. I was really disappointed in the Dream. This is the largest ship we have been on and I expected that there would be additional thing to do see. As you would expect on a larger ship there was an additional 1000+ passengers than on other ships. But the amenities remained the same. There were the same number of pool (one of which was out of service for the two sea days), The same number of hot tubs, the same number of restaurants, etc. That means the lines are longer than you would see on other ships. It became very frustrating anytime you would try to get anything. The larger number of passengers also means that getting on and off the ship was a challenge. Getting on and off was even more challenging as the crew was very inefficient. I will step out on a limb and say that responsibility probably lies with the senior level crew. It is a poorly run ship on a number of different levels. A couple of examples: 1) A numbering system was used to qualify you for position on tenders, the priority was not followed. We arrived early to catch the first tender in Grand Cayman but when on the tender for numbers 1-8, we saw people getting on with numbers in the 20s and 30s. Even though we were early we still had to wait on the tender as more passengers were herded to the disembarkation point. Crew needs to figure out a better process and stick to it. 2) Disembarking in Jamaica was held up as people were trying to get back on through the same door. Other ships have had one door to get on and another to get off. At the end of the day, there was a long line to get back on in Jamaica because they shut the second door while there were still a lot of passengers trying to get back on. Even the crew were upset about that one (the fun dude was not so happy)! 3) Two pools on board and they shut one down for the two sea days! Rumor had it that someone pooped in the pool so it was shut down to be cleaned. There was no effort to get the pool up and running until late the second day. I am sure they had running for the next cruise. 4) I could go on but you get the idea... Ending on a good note, the food was excellent and the sit down dining experience was exceptional. Our wait staff was top notch and accommodated our larger group every day. This was definitely the highlight of the trip. All in all, I have been a loyal Carnival cruiser and will cruise Carnival again. I will not cruise on the Dream as it is way over-crowded and is not equipped to manage the larger number of passengers. If my next carnival cruise experience is the same as this one, we will move on to another cruise line and not look back. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2013
Background; 6 guests ranging from 62-29 yrs of age. 3 guests were VIP status with Carnival with over 12 cruises on that line. Average for the group was 10 cruise trips. Embarkation: We arrived via Orlando and rented a car to transfer to ... Read More
Background; 6 guests ranging from 62-29 yrs of age. 3 guests were VIP status with Carnival with over 12 cruises on that line. Average for the group was 10 cruise trips. Embarkation: We arrived via Orlando and rented a car to transfer to Cocoa Beach. My son lives there so he arranged for overnight housing. You are not charged a drop off fee at the port for cars rented at the Orlando airport. So, if more than two people are traveling, it is more economical to rent a vehicle. The morning of the cruise we dropped bags at the terminal then picked up all six members of the party. We dropped the vehicle at the Budget location at the port and took the Budget transfer to the cruise terminal. Total cost of the car was $105. Check in is very smooth at Port Canaveral and takes less than 15 minutes. Room: Two rooms were inside cabins deck level 7, with one outside (window) on deck 2. Rooms were adequate for adult passengers. The outside cabin was somewhat unusual in that it had 2 bathrooms. The room would be excellent if traveling with children. On-board activities: Highly recommend the 7 day spa package. It gives VIP access to a private locker room, whirlpool and sauna area. Well worth the $150 per person. Casino: Worst casino I have seen to date. The area is cramped and has very poor ventilation. Staff were great but the layout left much to be desired. Bars: Wide assortment, did not like the sports bar since it is collocated with the casino. Entertainment: Music/shows were the norm. Hey its not Broadway or Vegas. The highlight is the comedy club. Four comics over the week with both family and adult shows. Food: Lido deck was average, I don't use this facility much but it was as expected. Main dining was good, a little cramped but wait staff were excellent. Overall food was good, best steak and lobster dinner to date. Best part was our waiter (Jeorge). On the last night he arranged for a traditional dinner from his home country that was outstanding. The people at the adjoining tables were envious. We did not use the speciality dining areas but understood they were average. Shore activities: We love to snorkel and scuba dive. So the stops are all good for this activity. Cozumel: Booked scuba through carnival. Good trip but not the best reef quality, shopping in downtown.Best find was a Kosher restaurant called Jerusulam, traditional food and high quality. Belieze: Booked the Seargants Cay snorkel and beach trip. Very good snorkeling with about 2 hours of beach at their private location. Food/drink was available ($10) average. Roatan: Best port of all. Booked a snorkel/scuba trip with Subway Watersports via my travel agent. The service picked us up at the terminal and transported to their private beach/resort area. Resort is the Turquoise Bay resort. The staff was outstanding, and since it was a private part only our family was on this trip. They arranged for all equipment/storage of our belongings and just anything we needed. 2 dive masters and a captain took us to the best locations we have ever seen. Following the diving we had lunch at the resort ($10) with excellent local foods. HIGHLY recommend this trip. Costa Maya: Scuba was average, booked through the ship. Shopping area is limited to the traditional shops located at cruise ports. Traveling into town is highly discouraged by ship security. Should have stayed on ship and spent the day at the spa. Disembarkation: We arranged for baggage transfer to our airline at orlando through the ships baggage service. It is $20 per person for two bags each. We were flying Southwest so there were no additional fees. Highly recommend this service, takes a lot of the hassle out of disembarkation. Two of our part exited at 0900 with the self asset crowd and caught the shuttle to the Budget office. Picked up the van and returned to the port (about 30 minutes total) and picked up the remaining members of the party. Since we had checked bags on board we had plenty of room in the mini van. Cost of the van was $125 no drop off fee at Orlando airport. When you compare this to the $35 per person charge for shuttle service to Orlando there is no comparison. It would have cost us $150 for the shuttle! Plus we were able to make the drive in 45 minutes and have a nice lunch near the airport. Drop off of the van takes less than 15 minutes, Budget is located in the garage at terminal 2. Overall impression: The ship is large, over 3500 guests. Compared to smaller ships I do not see the upside to cruising on a big ship. Therefore, we will be avoiding this size ship and looking for smaller (Holland or Princess) line ships in the future Seas were pretty rough for the last two days. This is a large ship and you can still feel the movement throughout the ship. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2013
Overall we had a great time on the Dream. This was my second time and first for the rest of the group. Travel to port: we live in the Los Angeles area so needed to take a long flight to get to the port. We opted for a red-eye with arrival ... Read More
Overall we had a great time on the Dream. This was my second time and first for the rest of the group. Travel to port: we live in the Los Angeles area so needed to take a long flight to get to the port. We opted for a red-eye with arrival at 5:30 am the day the ship left. This is the third time I’ve done this and each time I swear I am never taking the red-eye again. We didn’t have any issues at all but arriving the day of the cruise doesn’t provide any cushion in case there are issues. And, let’s face it, taking the red-eye is terrible. At best you are only getting a couple hours of sleep. In my opinion if you have the time, travel a day early. Cheapest option to get to the port and provide us some flexibility was to rent a car. We found a coupon code for a great discount on Mousesavers.com for Budget car rental. We picked up the car at the airport and dropped off at Port Canaveral. Process was very easy and for a group of 4 was much cheaper than any shuttle service. Embarkation and FTTF: Even though we all received an email not to arrive before 12:30 we got the port at 10:30 AM. One cabin had Fast to the Fun and the cabin opted not to pay the extra. Check in process for both cabins as the same, easy, fast, no lines. FTTF group was called about 11:00 to go to the second story waiting area. After about 20 minutes we were on our way to our cabin. Our cabin was ready as promised. The cabin that didn’t get FTTF boarded about 15 minutes behind us and although the cabin wasn’t ready they were able to store their luggage. The Ship: I was first on the Dream in July 2010. The ship is 3 years older but I really didn’t notice any wear and tear. The ship is big and some reviews people complain about areas being crowded. I never once felt there was too many people. The one exception is the main pool area on sea days. The lounge seating by the pool is very very limited. The deck above doesn’t offer seating in the sun. You need to go two decks up to get to additional lounge seating if you want the action of the main pool. Other than this there is plenty of seating including the serenity area, Deck 5 promenade, Deck 11 mid ship Jacuzzis, aft pool. Food: we had Any Time Dining because that’s what worked for our group. In total we were a group of 9. Only two nights we needed to wait for a table and the wait was only about 20 minutes. Service was great and good was great, no complaints. Because we were a large group it did take longer to serve the table. On average dinner took 2 to 2.5 hrs. That’s a bit long but we did see smaller tables turn over much quicker. If you are in a large group and plan on going to the shows then you need to plan accordingly or break the group up into two tables for faster service. Food options were good but we did miss out on the Blue Iguana Cantina breakfast and lunch options. I hope that Carnival puts this on all of the ships. Ports: Cozumel: Part of the group chose to take a taxi to the Money Bar and part chose to rent scooters. Those who went to the Money Bar had a great time. There isn’t a sandy beach area but the area is nice, water warm, and drinks some of the best. I also suggest the Guacamole and Ceviche. Those who chose the scooter rental chose unwisely. The scooters were not the best. One seemed to have some steering issues with the end result of someone taking a spill on the road. The scooter ended up with a few more scratches but rider ended up with a badly scratched up leg from the foot to the upper thigh. Word of advice: DON’T RENT SOOTERS IN COZUMEL!!! That little single scooter spill in the road resulting in run from the authorities, scooter rental owner, and a daily (for 4 days) antiseptic wound scrub in addition to several hundred dollars of medical costs and a payoff to the scooter rental company. Belize: We choose to use Cavetubing.bz for Zip Lining. I highly recommend Cavetubing.bz. They took great care of the group, the equipment is new, they provide a wonderful lunch, and they got us back to the port in plenty of time. Roatan: we choose to stay at the free beach area. If you like to snorkel, there is great snorkeling off the small wooden pier at the far end of the beach. The coral area is some of the best I’ve ever seen. Costa Maya: We choose Nohoch Kay all inclusive beach break through Island Marketing. This is the second time I’ve been to this beach. They really know how to take good care of their customers. Again, I highly recommend Nohoch Kay. Debarkation: We didn’t have a flight until 6pm so we were the last group off this ship. No problems no issues. I tried Luggage Express for the first time and will do it every time now. I didn’t have to lug my luggage around the customs area or mess with it until I picked it up at LAX. That was the best $20 I spent on the ship.   Read Less
Sail Date: September 2013
Recently sailed for the first time on the Dream. There was 4 adults together in a Deluxe Ocean View. This was the best room we ever had. We have cruised before with Carnival and always had an interior room. This room had so much room with ... Read More
Recently sailed for the first time on the Dream. There was 4 adults together in a Deluxe Ocean View. This was the best room we ever had. We have cruised before with Carnival and always had an interior room. This room had so much room with the extra shower and sink. I don't know if we can go back to an interior now. The food was great and always hot. Services was great. We only ate once in the main buffet area, there are so many other choices on this ship. We loved the deli, the Indian bar, the pasta bar and the BBQ outside. We ate breakfast in the main dinning room. Loved the water slides, got to act like a kid again. I would sail on the Dream again, Port Canaveral is also a great port, in and out in no time. Of course we did have FTTF. Would get that again also. We were the first in the aft pool. Had it to ourselves for about 90 minutes. Everything was great!! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2013
Carnival has really lowered their standards and the Carnival Dream is no exception to that. The cut backs are really noticeable and I really believe it has become all about the money and it's no longer all about the customer. From ... Read More
Carnival has really lowered their standards and the Carnival Dream is no exception to that. The cut backs are really noticeable and I really believe it has become all about the money and it's no longer all about the customer. From start to finish, our cruise seemed out of whack. It was as if the ship and crew were not prepared for our cruise. We left late, ran out of certain foods, suffered through long lines, ate cold food, and had to deal with unfriendly staff. There were over 4,000 passengers on that ship and allegedly 1,100 crew members but it seemed as if they were lacking in all areas. You had to practically bump into a crew member for them to say anything to you and it when they did say something, they lacked the normal happiness I'm accustomed to on Carnival ships. The long lines were another problem. You would think that a ship that can hold 4,000 people would be ready to accommodate 4,000 people, but no. We waited in line for everything! Not to mention having to wait 2 hours, 2 different times to get a seat in the dining room. And once you're in the dining room, their are so many people that trying to place and order and get your waiters attention is almost impossible. And unfortunately eating in the dining room is the best place to get food because the buffet food wasn't very good and a trip to Applebee's would have been better. And if you were not early to the entertainment shows then you were just out of luck as everything was full 15 minutes before any show. Another problem was the lack of quality control. I went through countless utensils and dishes that had all kinds of crap stuck to them. It really made me wonder how they cleaned things. The cruise wasn't completely horrible but too many things went wrong for it to be completely enjoyable, but this was easily the worst cruise I've ever been on and can guarantee that we will not go on the Carnival Dream again. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2013
Our initial response to the design of the Dream was a let down. The ship does not have the wide open public spaces as in other ships. The promenade is really a wide hallway with a few stores at one end and a few bars, lounges at the ... Read More
Our initial response to the design of the Dream was a let down. The ship does not have the wide open public spaces as in other ships. The promenade is really a wide hallway with a few stores at one end and a few bars, lounges at the opposite end. Even the dining room felt small. The ceilings were low and it felt closed in. I'm not sure if the dining room was indeed small or it just felt small but the long wait each evening (your choice dining) to get seated for dinner tells me they couldn't accommodate everyone. The longest wait time 45 minutes, although if you visit the dining room around 8pm you may not encounter any wait. The food options on the lido deck was great. I really appreciated the variety however the long wait for some of these options - Mongolian Wok were not worth it. There were folks waiting in line at the Mongolian Wok for over 30 minutes! If you really wan Mongolian head to the line after 2pm. You will still have to wait about 15 minutes, but you can't avoid any wait time here. If you are in a hurry head to the Grill or the Pizzeria. Overall we had a great time, but we've had better. It was the first cruise ever where I felt we were cruising with 3,500+ people. For the most part cruise lines do a great job of avoiding the crowded feel. On the Dream we just couldn't get away from it.   Read Less
Sail Date: June 2013
If I had to sum up the best thing about our cruise in a single word, it would be 'Tandoor' - simply awesome. If I had to sum up the worst thing, it would be 'Excursions' (or lack thereof). More later. Travel / ... Read More
If I had to sum up the best thing about our cruise in a single word, it would be 'Tandoor' - simply awesome. If I had to sum up the worst thing, it would be 'Excursions' (or lack thereof). More later. Travel / Embarkation Since we live in central Florida, we can drive to the pier - 45 minutes doorstep to doorstep. The parking garage affiliated with the Dream is pretty convenient, although bordering on ridiculously expensive at $16 / day. The garage is just across the way from the terminal - a 3 to 5 minute walk at most. (As a side note, my brother called me the day before the cruise and asked me what time I was leaving for the port. Huh? He said that he forgot his passport. Thank goodness for FedEx. Our cousin was able to mail his passport to my house next day, Saturday morning delivery. It made it to the house by 9:30am, and we brought it to the pier with us. As soon as my brother and his family pulled into the luggage drop-off area, I was able to hand him his passport - crisis averted.) We dropped off our luggage with the porters before parking. We tried to check a case of water, and the porter informed me that they no longer accept cases of water there. He said we needed to carry it with us on board. Thankfully we took our full size stroller for the baby, so I was able to put the case of water in the basket underneath. While the full size stroller was very convenient to assist in carrying items during both embarkation and debarkation, next time I would definitely bring (check with our luggage) the umbrella style fold up stroller for use on board the ship. The full size is a bit much for maneuvering around a crowded ship. One interesting thing worth mentioning during embarkation was a secondary photograph taken just before we walked on the ship. In addition to the usual photo taken when being issued our ship cards, Carnival took pictures of everyone against a green background, just as they do with actors in any modern movie. The concept is similar - just like computers can place the actors in any scene with varying backgrounds, Carnival can use these images to automatically pick out / track individuals no matter where they are on the ship. Hmm, a bit concerning anyone? After arriving on board by about noon, we were greeted by a man holding a tray of drinks. My wife asked if they were complimentary, and of course the answer was no. It has been many years since I recall getting a complimentary drink as you walked on board. Certainly not on Carnival :-) Lunch We headed up to the Lido deck for lunch. Buffet looked decent, and it wasn't too crowded yet. For lunch, there were several themes that were available every day - Mongolian wok, pasta station, made-to-order sandwiches, pizza, burgers and hotdogs, and of course Indian Tandoor. In addition to those choices, the main buffet area had a rotating theme. This included Caribbean, American, Italian, French, and I'm sure something else I can't remember. The concept was a welcome one - better than the same old dishes at a large buffet. One thing to note - the Indian and sandwich area are all the way in the back of the ship, past the main buffet area. We didn't see it until after we finished our lunch the first day. I won't belabor the point, but seeing that my wife and I are lovers of Indian food, I would like to say that we were pleasantly surprised by the flavors and general enjoy-ability factor of the Tandoor station. If you like spicy food, you won't be disappointed. Try the Tandori fish – it is awesome. I think I ate Indian for lunch every day but one, and a couple of times for dinner in the main dining room. The pizza on this ship was surprisingly good, probably the best I've ever had at sea. That place turns out quite a decent number of pizzas every day. They are open late into the night, which is good for a night time snack. They are about 10" pizzas, cut into 4 slices. Unless you ask otherwise, they put 2 slices on a plate. Don't be surprised if you have to wait 10 - 15 minutes. Cabin and Drill After lunch we went to the room to see if it was ready for us to enter, and as luck would have it, it was. (They told us 1:30, but it was ready by 1. If you've cruised a lot, you know they don't like to open up the rooms until the last minute.) The room was nice, especially the balcony (it's been a few cruises since we've had a balcony). It really adds to the cruise experience. This was the first time that I didn't head up on deck during our departure - we just stayed on our balcony, and my daughter and I watched the dolphins and manta rays swim near the ship as we pulled out of Port Canaveral. Cabin was a bit tight, since we needed a crib for the baby. I would recommend you reserve one in advance before sailing, this way you are sure to have one. The safety drill was not bad at all. We had to assemble in the main theatre as they explained the emergency procedures to us. Best of all, we didn't have to wear our life vests, and we didn't have to stand outside in the sun. As an experienced cruiser who has done that many times in the past, this was a breeze. I noticed that the Disney ship across from us still practiced the traditional out-on-deck life-vest-wearing drill. RCCL also is as relaxed as Carnival, which again I like. Not sure if this translates to an inefficient evacuation in an emergency situation, but hey what are the odds? (No further comment needed, sailing on Carnival after all :-) Ship layout Overall, we liked the layout of the ship. I was pleasantly surprised with the main deck area on Deck 5. A large, long section of the outside portion of the deck extended significantly over the side of the ship. What a great idea! This essentially doubled the width of the outside deck area. Finally someone one-upped Royal Caribbean on ship innovations (although I don't think anything will ever top the Royal Promenade). Also, the Jacuzzi’s on the lower deck were a nice touch. Since we had a baby and stroller in tow, we had to take the elevators quite often, which I despise. Granted, I am a type 'A' person who likes to get places quickly. Having said that, why the heck do people take the elevator to go down just 1 deck? Are you kidding me? Anyway, as with most Carnival ships, the two main dining rooms are separated by the galley, which to you and me means you can't walk through that part of the ship. That means if you are eating in the aft restaurant, you must walk down the stairs / take the elevator to that restaurant. Those elevators, which for whatever reason, were extremely slow. It was so painful, that we found ourselves taking any elevator that would open, even if was going in the wrong direction. Medical Half way through the cruise our normally resilient daughter caught some sort of bug, and the only symptom was a fever. The first time my wife took her down to the infirmary the nurse took her temperature (102) and prescribed an over the counter fever reducer ($5.50). The next day she still felt warm, so we took her back and her temperature was now 103.5. We talked with the nurse for a while, and he suggested that we might want the doctor to have a quick look at her (posted charge of $90). We really didn’t want to spend the money, but it seemed like the prudent thing to do. So, the doctor looked at her very quickly, and basically said the fever needs to run its course, and just keep up the medicine and cool showers. On the bright side, they were kind enough not to charge us for that quick checkup. By the end of the cruise, our daughter was back to normal, and the biggest casualty was the fact that she missed the last 3 days of Camp Carnival. Dining room / Staff In all honesty, a Hooters waitress could have articulated how their wings are prepared, better than our waiter could have about any meal we ordered. And I do feel bad saying that, because I know how hard the wait staff works. Maybe it was the language barrier - I don't think so, however. I am going to assume that it was just our servers, because we have been on many other Carnival cruises, and the knowledge of the staff was just fine. The service was bad enough that my mother said she wouldn't be taking another Carnival cruise for a very long time. The food itself in the dining room was generally good – no complaints. Ports / Excursions The biggest issue we had with this cruise was shore excursions. Since we had a first time cruiser with us (our 6 month old), I specifically called Carnival before booking this vacation to find out the scoop about leaving our child on board while we take excursions. I was told in no uncertain terms that this was not a problem. Now, on the first night of the cruise when you sign up your children for Camp Carnival, I noticed that the papers stated that all infants (6 months - 2 yrs) needed to be picked up by 12pm sharp on port days, no exceptions. Now, considering ALL of the Carnival excursions ended past noon, this was a serious problem. So, I met with the director of Camp Carnival, followed by the shore excursions people, and, no joy. Amazing. So, we had to cancel both our Carnival excursions (full refund). Hate to say this, but we won't be sailing Carnival any time soon, since we essentially missed the ports of call on this trip, due to misinformation. Camp Carnival staff however, was great as always. Cozumel: Since my wife and I had been to Cozumel many times, and since my wife doesn't really like water sports (can't wait for the kids to get older!), we decided to just stay in the port area and shop. Cozumel has a pretty decent shopping area right at the port - almost as good as downtown. So if you are looking for a simple day of shopping, and you've been to Cozumel before, the pier area shopping is pleasant (although be forewarned that some of the local shop people are a bit aggressive in trying to get you to come into their shops). If you've never been to Cozumel before, and you're just in the mood for shopping, I would recommend catching a taxi right at the edge of the pier shopping area to take you to the main downtown shopping district. It is only a 5 - 10 min ride and doesn't cost much at all. Just tell the driver to take you to the main shopping area. Belize was the only tender port on this cruise (thankfully). The tender was about 20 minutes, which seemed like a long time to me, especially since they didn't have any windows open for the trip to the shore. The local pier area shopping in Belize is pretty minimal - again since we couldn't take a cruise excursion, we didn't have much choice but to do local shopping. Everyone I talked to said that Belize was pretty crappy and dangerous, so winging it was not an option. I did end up buying a nice locally carved wooden bowl, made from an indigenous tree. The tender back to the ship was much better, as it was an open air covered ferry. Was very hot that afternoon... Isla Roatan - Mahogany Bay Beach was a nice treat. We planned this to be our beach day, and it didn't disappoint. It is a simple 10 minute walk to the private beach (need to show your Carnival ship card to enter). There was also a nice chair lift that would take you right to the beach if you are into that sort of thing ($13 adult, $7 child). There are plenty of lounge chairs on the beach, although I would recommend going early to get a decent spot. By noon, most of the good lounges and spots were gone. There is a nice open air place on the beach to buy lunch (burgers etc), music and of course drinks. Overall a very nice beach area and pleasant day. This was the first beach day for our new baby boy. Costa Maya - port shopping was a pleasant surprise. Mostly locally made merchandise, not made in China crap like many ports. There was even a large pool for guests to use! This was probably my favorite port for shopping. (It seemed like a long walk from the ship to the shopping area, but maybe because it was a bit hot.) Next time, Mayan ruins when the baby turns 2 so we can leave him on board. Overall, not a bad vacation, for the price. Also, I do want to give a shout out to a wonderful bartender, Duranee, who worked at the Plaza Bar in the heart of the ship on deck 5. She was such a pleasant, cheerful person who always made a great drink. She almost made up for the fact that Carnival screwed us over with misinformation regarding infants and shore excursions. Almost…   Read Less
Sail Date: June 2013
Background: My husband and I are both 30. We were looking for an inexpensive week in the Caribbean over the summer of 2013. Only a few cruise lines stick around in the summer and run Caribbean cruises. We booked only 6 weeks in advance. ... Read More
Background: My husband and I are both 30. We were looking for an inexpensive week in the Caribbean over the summer of 2013. Only a few cruise lines stick around in the summer and run Caribbean cruises. We booked only 6 weeks in advance. and Carnival had the ports we were most interested at a price we could easily afford. We also live 30 minutes from Port Canaveral, so the Carnival Dream was the perfect fit for a last minute cruise choice. Our first cruise in 2006 was with Carnival. We have also done NCL in 2010 and Disney in 2012 and 2013. We did not purchase faster to the fun and we chose Your Time Dining. Embarkation: The Dream was late getting into PC the day we were set to leave,. We weren't able to enter the terminal until around 1pm vs the 'normal' 11am. Despite the delays, we happily arrived at 1:30pm, checked in VERY quickly and they started the boarding process around 1:50 pm with the special groups and faster to the fun. They started general group boarding around 2pm, we had group 14 and we were called to board at 2:15. Anytime I arrive at the terminal and start "walking on the ship" within 1 hour, is a great experience. Dining: Meh. This is where I really feel we got what we paid for. Main dining room food was mediocre and its not that we go out for fancy dinners all the time, we eat out at Moe's, Chipotle, Panera, Chilis, Carrabbas, etc. Sometimes it was underseasoned, or over sauced. One night my tiramisu was frozen in the middle! Which led me to wonder how old anything was that we were eating, if it was frozen. I would rate dining lower except the Deli, Mongolian Wok, and Tandoor were EXCELLENT! We didn't get a chance to try the pasta bar, because we were out in port during lunch on most days. In fact, that was our biggest complaint. The deli is open most of the day, so it's always a good option, but the rest of the GOOD stuff is only open a few hours at lunch time. Public Areas: This is a big ship and our sailing was sold out. So we and our new 4500 friends got to share all the public spaces. The ship was very nice and the layout was pretty decent. Most of what you do is on decks 5, in the main theater, or on the pool/outdoor decks up top. I was worried that such a large ship would take a few days to figure out, but we had a good handle on the orientation by day 2. The only times we found 'crowds' were during the nightly entertainment and during some meals (on lobster night everyone goes to the dining room). The buffet specialty areas got backed up a few times too. Other than that the number of people wasn't very noticeable. The ship is decorated nicely. I thought it had a very modern yet glitzy feel to it. On our first Carnival cruise, I felt like we were stuck in old school neon Las Vegas at sea. This ship is a definite improvement over our first experience. The only time the layout got us was when we tried to use the middle bank of elevators, unless your stateroom is near that elevator bank and you need to get to the promenade deck, or pool/buffet area, don't use them! One other complaint are all those poles in the main theater and main lounge!! They create too much obstructed viewing. Entertainment: As far as the headlining acts go, we only went to ONE show in the main theater. It was dubbed the best in the fleet, "Dancing in the Streets". It was pretty decent and the break dancing team made the show for us. The singers were way too loud and the sound engineers didn't exist to fix the levels... I don't think i ever saw someone sitting in the booth!! Two of the nights were dedicated to country music, not our thing, and that's OK. Like I mentioned, the break dance team "Fun Force" was really good and we tried to attend each of their events going on after we realized they existed. I had seen "Fun Force Dancers" listed in the fun times earlier in the week, but had no clue what it referred to. They do a show in the Atrium that is GREAT. The comedians that we got to see where pretty good! But, the lounge they perform in is way too small and its the second largest venue after the main theater. This makes us think Carnival needs to switch this up. Some nights the comedians were the 'only thing' going on, so why not have them in the main theater instead? That way a lot more people can see EVERY set. When one set would finish, you had to exit the lounge and either get back in line and try to get a seat, or just leave like we did and try to find something else to do that probably isn't as good. There were too many occasions on this cruise where we had to arrive way to early to get good seats and were stuck sitting around staring at the walls for 30 minutes before EVERY show/comedian. Service: The service people on this ship were fantastic!! Our room steward was so nice and very attentive. We saw her every day but the first. She was always smiling and asking us how we were doing and what we did during the day. All the servers were quick, very nice, and had a happy demeanor. Dinner service is slow at times, but that is expected on a cruise with this many people on it. Everyone we encountered spoke good English. Activities/Enrichment: Every day there were large blocks of time that didn't have anything going on that we wanted to take part in. But, there was plenty going on during some parts of the day that it balanced out well enough. We took part in a lot of trivia! We also liked attending the 'game shows'. We did one that was "18+", I say that in quotes because children were in fact present. It was a battle of the sexes trivia war. Men vs Women and the questions were things the opposite sex would know. It was interactive and fun. We attended another game show, twice, that was music trivia related.... lots of music trivia on this ship! We tried something new on this cruise... the champagne art auctions. This is my new favorite thing to do on a cruise! It is incredibly fun to experience a real auction and I got to learn about newer artists. I wish we had attended one of these sooner in the cruise! We got to experience the final 2 on the ship. Each time we went you got an art print to take home. We watched a couple games of Bingo and they were horribly boring! Disney's bingo on board is amazingly fun and exciting... Carnival needs to take some lessons on how to spruce up a mindless game like Bingo. Other activities involved deck parties and hairy chests... no thanks! We aren't in college any more. Fitness/Recreation: We had access to the spa facilities on this cruise and it was a lot of fun. We had never been to a sauna or steam room before. We also did a spa tour, in which I learned that I really want a full body hot stone massage, just not at their prices! I also visited the gym and the equipment was very nice and there was plenty to go around and had a nice view of the ocean. Out on deck we didn't take part in the pools. We did visit 1 hot tub in the Serenity deck (adults only). It was quite hot. Not sure if that was because not many people were using or because the sun was shining openly on the tub. The serenity area was a nice, quiet area to escape to outdoors. I wish we had more time to sit outside and enjoy it. We did 3 or 4 games of mini golf on this cruise. They have a full 18 holes and it was a lot of fun. Only a few wear and tear issues in some areas. Otherwise it was one of the better kept courses we've visited lately! Prices/Rates: We booked late, so we didn't get to take part in the early saver rate that would have earned us quite a bit of OBC. No ones fault, just bad timing. Other wise Carnival is the lowest prices around, even last minute on a cruise ship that is about to sell out. Cabin: We had cabin 11-207, a handicap assessable interior Cloud 9 Spa cabin. We were able to book this cabin because it was the last one in this category. The room was spacious but it was lacking in storage space. Other cruises we have been on, there is always a place to stick all of our things. This category came with a 'free' week long spa pass for the two of us. Booking this cabin got us a $50 discount off buying a week pass and got us a cabin all the way up on deck 11. I was worried about the cabin being all the way forward on a high deck, but the movement was not bad at all! The placement of the cabin is right next to the door that leads to the back entrance of the gym/spa. The location was extremely convenient for the spa, not to far to the Atrium elevators, and a brisk walk across the ship from the buffet areas. One inconvenience we had was on port days. Most mornings we lugged our daily excursion bag with us to breakfast, so we could go straight down to get off the ship and not backtrack to the cabin (we had early days & tenders). Otherwise, I felt like the location was good enough for getting around day to day. Value: I would rate the value of this cruise as good. It is what it is, a cheap vacation that includes all you can eat food, transportation, and entertainment. We picked this cruise because of the ports we visited and because we were limited in who was sailing during the summer. In the future, if we have a choice between Carnival and spending a little more, we will spend a little more. Other Observances: The 'rules' on this ship were a mere suggestion in most cases. Children attending 18+ activities, and I don't mean high school kids that are probably OK with the content, I'm saying it was middle school and younger. Weird! Dress code really didn't mean a thing in the main dining rooms. We saw a guy in t-shirt and shorts on lobster night. It didn't ruin my experience, but why create a dress code if you aren't going to enforce it. I feel like Carnival is 'copying' NCL freestyle cruising without outright changing the 'code' and admitting it. It's not bad, just misleading?   Read Less
Sail Date: February 2013
We stayed the night before in Cocoa at the America's Best Value Inn (was the Econo Lodge)for their park and cruise package. The hotel wasn't great, but for the price considering you get the hotel room, breakfast, transport to ... Read More
We stayed the night before in Cocoa at the America's Best Value Inn (was the Econo Lodge)for their park and cruise package. The hotel wasn't great, but for the price considering you get the hotel room, breakfast, transport to and from the port and free parking for the week, it was a good deal. We took this cruise last year and stayed at the Comfort Inn in Cocoa Beach for their park and cruise. The hotel was much nicer and the transport to the cruise was more organized, but the rate was considerably more. After we got of the van, the embarkation went very smoothly without any lines. At this port, Carnival is very efficient. Activities- The activities were standard cruise fair. We don't participate in many of the activities around the main pool as we prefer to relax and read therefore, we hang out on the Serenity deck or on the aft pool area. Service- This is the where I felt that Carnival had cut back. Our state room was completely skipped on the first night. The public restrooms where not cleaned throughout the day as they had been last year. We never saw our cabin steward, but they did keep the room clean and changed towels every morning and evening (except the 1st). The service in the Lido dining room and the main dining room were excellent. Food- The food was again very good. We ate breakfast and lunch in the Lido and dinner in the main dining room. We enjoy the different selection of foods they offer in the Lido. My husband loves omelets, so he got one every morning. I wanted to eat lunch in the Crimson dining room on one of the sea days, but they only serve brunch, not a true lunch. Entertainment- This year the entertainment was not as enjoyable. The dancers were great, but the female singer was so loud, that one couldn't understand her and you had to wear earplugs or leave with a headache. This was not only myself, but I heard many people complaining about the volume of the singer. We often went out to the atrium after the show and listened to the singers/keyboard player. One couple (younger from Taiwan?)was very good, but the other was not. State room - We had a inside room on the 8th deck. It was ok, no chair or sofa. We had a porthole room last year and it was much more roomy and I think cheaper. Shore excursions- We took a pre-booked shore excursion with Explore Cruise and Travel for St.Thomas and we thought it was a good experience and worth the cost. However, at all of these ports, one can get a local tour when you get off the ship at the port - no need to pay the high cruise shore excursion prices. Disembarkation - The process was well organized, it just that many came down to the waiting area before they need to and wanted to leave before their group was called. The luggage was well organized and easy to find. Going through customs took a fair amount of time. Summary- We enjoyed the cruise, but would prefer one with more ports. Again, we could tell that Carnival is cutting expenses. We were invited to the cocktail party for past Carnival cruisers last year, but this year, one had to have had at least 25 cruise days with Carnival to get an invitation. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2012
We got a great deal on a balcony room, half price purchase after doing some internet research. The price and ports (Cozumel, Belize, Roatan and Costa Maya) sold us. Leaving out of Port Canaveral was very organized and easy. We were in our ... Read More
We got a great deal on a balcony room, half price purchase after doing some internet research. The price and ports (Cozumel, Belize, Roatan and Costa Maya) sold us. Leaving out of Port Canaveral was very organized and easy. We were in our room by 130pm. Briefly regarding the ship, there were all the usual cruise activities available. 2 pools, several jacuzzis, a large double slide, basketball court, giant screen over the main pool, several bars, etc. If you have cruised before then you know the scene. If not, it is a nice ship with the exception of the carpet (red, orange and black stripes that look like cheap candy). The usual shops, casino (smokey and smelly), places to eat (more later on this), kid programs, spa, gym. I give the entertainment a high mark. The Blackjack Band which played nightly on the 5th floor was excellent and we dance there almost every night. The singer and guitar/piano player at the 3rd floor lobby area were also very good. We went to 2 shows that were good as well (no broadway at sea, but energetic and well done). The comedy acts were fair, but I am a tough sell in this area. The art was nice but Park West is on every cruise and after a few, it's all the same- Peter Max and Thomas Kinkade "the master of light". But we love art so we always take a look. My biggest disappointment surprisingly enough was the food. The buffets were very scaled down from my past experiences and close totally at 330p. After that you could get burgers, fries, pizza and sandwiches (stuff I usually never eat). As we did excursions daily we ate breakfast early, got off the ship by 830 am and back on around 5pm.We had nothing else to eat until dinner at 815pm. Breakfast in the buffet - fake eggs or decent omlettes, boxed cereal, plastic containers of yogurt, little choice of fruit, burnt bacon, (one morning hot dogs in place of sausage. No, really, hot dogs!) very low end - better to have a nice dining room breakfast. The lines at all the self serve food stations were very long all the time...you would have thought the end of the world was near (haha). Dinner in the dining room was fair. Overall I was not impressed with the food. I will say that our wait staff at dinner went over the top for us every night and want to compliment and thank I Gusti, Stan and Noel for a great week! The best part of the trip for us were the excursions. We did not go with Carnival for any trips. A great deal of research went into our choices and we were extremely pleased with them all. In Cozumel we did a beginner dive with Eagle Ray Divers - Antonio and Tony THANK YOU SO MUCH! If you have never scuba dived before and want to, definately go with them. They were the most professional and knowledgeable team. You will be complete SAFE. It was a $7 cab from the port which was for 4 people. The dive (2 tanks, 2 reefs was $110 per person) was amazing. They took their time teaching, let you work at your own pace and held your hand (literally) on the way down. It was an amazing experience and I can not speak highly enough about this dive organization. It was a very lucky choice as there are so many qualified organization in Cozumel, but we were totally satisfied with Eagle Ray and will definately be back to dive with them again. In Belize we booked a snorkle and beach break to Goffs Caye. Again, a perfect day. About a 30 minute boat ride after the tender to port followed by a snorkle around a tiny 2 acre island. Afterward, a few cold beers on the beautiful beach under palm trees, swimming and relaxing. Not for those who need to be pampered. No chairs, towels are a must, not much food - grilled chicken, lobster tail (small), or rice and beans, beer to buy. We skipped the food. Again our boat staff were awesome so a big shout out to JOSE' AND LEON(AKA THE MEDIC)for a great afternoon.$38 per person including transport. Next a snorkle and beach break in Roatan at the Fantasy Island Resort. Very laid back divers hotel, nice but not fancy. Beautiful swimming and the most amazing snorkle of the week. A few beers and a beautiful view made the day complete. Again we did not eat here. The only down side this day was the pumping of sand. The rains wash sand into the cove so every 3 months or so they pump it out and the generator was very loud. Thanks to Diana our driver for interesting island information and prompt service. $40 per person including transport.. Last day Costa Maya a $4 cab to Mahahula for shopping and awesome civeche'. Overall a great vacation but next time I would probably go with another cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2012
Just back from a trip on the Carnival Dream, Dec 2012. The highlights of entertainment was Imani in the piano bar and an Asian couple that were very good. The boat was nice, but we were disappointed with the SPA/Gym and Entertainment. ... Read More
Just back from a trip on the Carnival Dream, Dec 2012. The highlights of entertainment was Imani in the piano bar and an Asian couple that were very good. The boat was nice, but we were disappointed with the SPA/Gym and Entertainment. The most frustrating was with aerobics section in the SPA. Regardless of how many people were taking a class (only 1) the entire section was closed off. They wanted to cram us all together in front of the ellipticals, no room. This was the only time I've been denied space. Waste of space and resources. The staffs excuse was "they paid for the class." So did they also pay for the only large area available for aerobics and stretching? I don't need help with Detox or to be shown how to do a sit-up. Just give me space. I also paid to be there. Too much limitation, without a reason. Would not open it up to "regular" passengers. Had to pay extra for a class. NOWAY The Carnival Dream were also very quick to close down the buffet in the afternoon when we were getting back from excursions. Where's the dance floor? When they had dance gatherings on the 10th deck by the pool, the staff did not make any room. Trying to do line dancing in the little space between the deck chairs. No wonder they had very little participation. The Groove for St Jude was only 3 songs. Really, was it too much of a imposition? We want to Dance! The Caliente club was always empty, because of the music. Give us something to dance to! Very often in the evenings, could not find anything good for entertainment. We went to two shows, but they were exactly the same as on the Carnival Glory, even the jokes. The Carnival Glory is much better even though it's a little older. Continuous, high quality entertainment. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2012
Let me just start out by saying that in my opinion most of the negative reviews I read were unfounded. However, if you are going on this cruise to relax and find peace and quiet on this ship then you are probably on the wrong ship and ... Read More
Let me just start out by saying that in my opinion most of the negative reviews I read were unfounded. However, if you are going on this cruise to relax and find peace and quiet on this ship then you are probably on the wrong ship and cruise line for that matter. They aren't lying when they say "fun ships". We started out by going the day before to Cocoa beach and stayed at La Quinta and did their park and cruise package. I did my own research and for the price, Under $100, with a free shuttle to and from the port was a great deal. Just remember to sign up once you check in and leave in plenty of time just in case they are delayed taking you to the port since they are a contract service. Very smooth on the return trip. Just go to the designated area and they will pick you up. Didn't have to wait more than 10 minutes. Embarkation was quick. Under 15 minutes from when we got there. They do a really good job with this. Our room was an inside room on deck 2. Very spacious. No problems. The food was very good. We ate at the dining room every night for dinner and did the buffet for lunch when we were on board and breakfast every morning. Let me just say that if you can't find anything you like then your expectations are not real. Was every meal outstanding, no. The dining room food was very good and the service was outstanding. Couldn't have been better. Very quick and professional. Some people just aren't realistic. If you have a very negative attitude, you probably should have stayed at home. If you are expecting a 5 star meal every night, it's not going to happen. There were a few entries that were o.k. but most were great. Once again, if you eat at the buffet you can always find something good to eat. Go with a positive attitude and an open mind and you won't be disappointed. One of the negatives were that the drinks on board didn't contain much alcohol. So if you are a big drinker then this might be a problem. The shows were excellent. Cruise director was always positive. Everyone said the comedy shows, especially the adults only ones were great. We mostly did the beach thing and stayed closer to the port and did some shopping but had a great time. The cruise line beach in Roatan was very crowded because there were 2 ships there at the same time but it was really nice. Probably would do the Tobyana trip next time. Everyone said it was a great day at the beach. We did the Atlantis Submarine trip in Cozumel and that was outstanding. Would definitely recommend that. Had a trip cancelled by the operator for the beach break in Belize so we just went ashore and found another trip for snorkeling and beach break for $10 cheaper than the ship. All the free rum punch. A very small island but a great day just to relax. Almost like we had a whole island to ourselves. A wonderful day. Debarkation was quick. Just stayed in our room and waited until they called our zone. They were about 30 minutes behind but no bad for trying to get that many people off the ship. All in all we had a great time and would recommend this trip to anyone who wanted to have a good time. Not for those that are expecting a 5 star hotel and restaurant every night and peace and quiet. Might need to go on a different ship. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2012
My Husband and I are Diamond members on RCCL, and since we did 2 RCCL cruises within the past year, we decided to try the Carnival Dream last minute, booking 2 weeks before sail and because of Port Canaveral's proximity to Atlanta. ... Read More
My Husband and I are Diamond members on RCCL, and since we did 2 RCCL cruises within the past year, we decided to try the Carnival Dream last minute, booking 2 weeks before sail and because of Port Canaveral's proximity to Atlanta. We've done this itinerary 3 times before. This was my 13th cruise my Husband's 15th or so, in our early 40's. We've been on Inspiration, right after it's inauguration and the Glory, wasn't thrilled with the Glory...at all. Inspiration, I only was on Costa Allegra, had nothing to compare back in the day. That's different now with all the new ships, so our expectations were low going in. We are not fussy people, I don't expect much, cleanliness and service would be it, vacation is what you make it. The ship is VERY clean and with exception of dining room, service is great, everyone says "hi." No complaints, people cleaning 24/7. Arrived at port at 2pm, no one in line, we were last ones to register, got right on. The ship layout is typical Carnival, we knew it wasn't the promenade on the RCCL ships, so that was fine. Still don't get why Carnival makes there ships so choppy, up one, down one level to get somewhere. Anyway,2 pools one in middle one in back, LOTS of deck space. This I give kudos to Carnival as they have so much deck space on 5, 9,10 it's crazy and nice. The Serenity spa deck is nice, with hammocks and plush lounge chairs,adults only, so it's nice. The water slides, tons of fun, must do. The room, we had inside cabin, fine with us, lots of room, bigger than RCCL. What is nice is Carnival let's each adult bring 1 bottle of wine and 12 ea. bottles of whatever non alcoholic drink you want, we brought a case of water. FYI...They will check for alcohol. The shows...terrible, I think a high school cheerleading squad could do better or glee squad, I don't know we walked out. The movie theater at night by the pool is nice, didn't stay to watch but was nice for kids/families plus popcorn. The casino, I play tons of blackjack and the 8 deck automatic shuffler...let's just say the odds are more against you, Fun 21 blackjack let me win my money back. The comedy club, must do, see...best entertainment on the ship besides people watching. The food...our dining room service....terrible, worst we've ever had. Another passenger at our table had been on 9 Carnival ships and complained and said worse service as well. Not sure what was going on. We booked with any time dining, Maitre d did nothing to oblige us in that dining room, as there are 2. RCCL would have. The Maitre d came by our table every night to see how our food was, cold and late, waited 45 min for an appetizer, worst service ever, after that, still the food came uncooked??? really? Our whole table was complaining...we were "that table!" LOL!!Best food was at Mongolian Station, Pasta Bar, which both have long waits and the Lanai BBQ on deck 5 has best sliders etc...best food on ship. The Gathering...adequate not much variety. Pizza is also good from the piece I had. Indian food in the back of the Gathering was good and the Panini I had in the deli was good. Sushi, adequate. Also used to waiters knowing everyone's name, he didn't know anyone's name. Either did our room attendant introduce himself to us, we are used this kind of service. Gym, not sure why Carnival insists on angled/sloping windows in the gym in front of the treadmills etc...??? why, so we have to look down to see the water while running? really? Gym was very small, Didn't use the spa services. We had 7 days of perfect weather, and port calls. I can't complain. We had a medical emergency on the way home and diverted to Puerto Rico where a US Coast Guard helicopter came out in the middle of the ocean, dropped a Coast Guard guy on board and a basket to haul them off, it was so cool, it was like a movie. That made us coming in late to the port about 12pm. The crew was great and everyone just wanted the person airlifted to be ok. Feel sorry for people that had to change flights. Just doesn't seem to be Carnival's year. Only other complaint is how people dress when coming in to the Gathering in swimsuits while people are getting food and in the evenings, I guess "Formal" means to some people button down and khakis.All in all it was a really great cruise, if they can get the dining room together, it would have been better. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2012
I lucked out back in January and won the 50/50 at an NHL game and I decded that since we liked cruising so much last year, my boyfriend and I would try another one. Just to put things in perspective our first cruise (and only other cruise) ... Read More
I lucked out back in January and won the 50/50 at an NHL game and I decded that since we liked cruising so much last year, my boyfriend and I would try another one. Just to put things in perspective our first cruise (and only other cruise) was with Royal Caribbean's Majesty of the Seas. So we went from the smallest ship on RCI's fleet, to the largest ship in Carnival's fleet. Embarkation: This, as everyone else says, is very very easy. Carnival has this down to a science. Even though we got there at peek times and the line looked huge, it moved very quickly. Word of advice people: When sneaking on alcohol, don't try to put it in your carry-on in water bottles. They will find it and confiscate it. First Day At Sea: This is the first time I've ever experienced a day at seas on a cruise and I have to admit it that I liked it. Since it was the first full we we could take our time waking up and we could explore the ship. I got a facial and the boyfriend got a massage. We hit the gym then sat in the sun. I must say that even though there are 4000 other people on board and during high noon it was a little difficult to find chairs on deck, we still found them and we never felt over-crowded by the mass amounts of people. We, unfortunately, had to make a pit stop in Key West due to a medical emergency on board. But luckily we were told he would be fine and within 5 minutes of dropping anchor we off again. I find that the Carnival crew does a VERY good job at trying to keep everyone entertained on the days at sea. Hairy Chest contest: too funny. Cozumel: We booked an excursion through the ship: Everybody Loves Rays. We had a fantastic time on this excursion. It is relatively cheap for anyone on a budget. Once we were off the ship we saw our group with a big "Everybody Loves Rays" sign so they weren't difficult to find at all. A 5 minute cab ride took us to StingRay Beach where we were given instructions on how to use the snorkel gear (obviously for the beginners) and instructions on how to touch the sting rays and how NOT to touch the sting rays. These people at this company were extremely knowledgeable, very funny and friendly, and made the excursion fantastic. Belize: We went Zip Lining and Cave Tubing. ALRIGHT, sooo with the ship it was going to cost us about $250 a person for this excrusion, we booked through Island Marketing and it was half the cost. I was a little sketchy about booking independently and not through the ship, however once we met up with our guide and several other fellow passengers I was put at ease right away. Our tour guide was extremely knowledgeable and knew the area very well. It was about an hour bus ride to the zip lining and cave tubing place. Being up in the trees and looking arond at legit jungle that surrounds you was absolutely breath taking. This has t be said about one of the other people on the tour. She seemed so dense and couldn't do anything for herself. I'd say she was late 30's, early 40's and she was there with her husband and two sons. When you go zip lining the instructor hooks you in every time and in order for him to do that he needs yuo to jump up so he can snap you onto the line. Easy right? well I thought so too until this chick tried jumping with straight legs. Every stop I was saying "bend your knees, bend your knees" but she couldn't seem to grasp the concept. Thank God these guys are good at their job because they some how managed to snap her in after about the 7th "jump up" on her part. Other than that, Zip lining, soooo much fun. The cave tubing I found to be a little irritating. There was about a 30 minute trek, which was fine, however, the same lady from before couldn't carry her tube. Um excuse me? It says right in the overview of the excursion that you must be able to carry your inner tube for 30 minutes. Our guide carried her tube for her. How's that fair? I have a sprained wrist, yet I still managed to maneuver my tube with it. This was something that just really bothered me. Once we got to the cave it was beautiful. All the rock formations were fantastic. However once you're in the cave, to me, once you've seen one rock in there you've seen them all. The watefall at the end was really nice though. One thing about Belize was that it was very very poor. I liked that we went with Island Marketing rather than Carnival because I knew that the majority of the money was going to the local operators and tour guides, rather than the multi-billion dollar company. Roatan Honduras: By far my most favourite stop. Although the weather sucked at this port (clouds, some sunny breaks, and then down pour, the country itself was beautiful and the locals were extremely friendly. We booked again with Island Marketing here. We decided to go scuba diving. In our confirmation that we received from the company it states the Belize is 2 hours behind ship time so they pre warn you and tell you to make sure you get off the boat as soon as its docked. We docked early and had no problem with this. It seemed a little sketchy because you had to go past a guarded check point, go arund a corner and down a HUGE hill, but once you get to the bottom ALL the independent tour operators were there. Very safe. So we checked in and waited, and waited, and waited. Our fellow ship makes I guess felt they didn't need to get off the ship on time and waste all of our time. So the Boss of island marketing of Roatan (Diane) was there and she took us to the dive shop, told us all about Roatan (she was born and raised there)and the area. 20 minutes later we wered at West Bay and at the dive shop. Well since everyone else took so long getting off the boat we got a private scuba tour. Just me, my boyfriend, and our master diver, who was fantastic. A lot of one on one time and I loved it. We got back to the dive shop and everyone else was arriving. We lucked out. It started raining when we got back so their visibility wasn't the greatest when they got down there. Well guys, this is what happens when you waste time and don't listen to instructions. Costa Maya: Beautiful port. We did the Mayan Ruins and Beach break tour through Carnival. About a 45 minute bus ride to the ruins while our guide gave us all this information about the Mayan culture. One thing that bothered me a little was in the overview for the Chacchohben ruins (spelling?) it specifically says that you can climb the ruins. This is why we chose that one. We get on the bus and the tour guide tells us we can't. NOT IMPRESSED. That automatically put a damper on my mood and I was going to have a few words with guest services about getting a credit back or something. We get there and we're taking pictures and then we're told that we can climb these giants steps up to the other part of the ruins. Well well Carnival, aren't you smart. The steps, although not the pyramids, are still part of the ruins, so technically you're climbing the ruins. So that stopped me from going to guest services because I knew I would be turned away. We get back on the bus to go to the beach and it starts raining, again just puts me in a bad mood. Miraculously it stops when we get there, the skies are blue and the sun in shining and it's nice and hot out. Heck yes!!! All I wanted was to lay in the suna nd get my tan on, but no the boyfriend wanted to get open bar. $10 a person. So he handed the guy a $20 and the boyfriend kept feeding me drinks. Don't surcumb to peer pressure ladies and gentlemen, LOL. And "Mexican car drivers", althugh the drink is delicious (peach schnapps, tequila, orange juice, pineapple juice, and blue curacau) they were dangerous because you could't taste the alcohol. Yes I was that loud drunk person on the bus, but I had everyone laughing, especially after I realized how loud I was so I turned around and told the entire bus "I'm a drunk Canadian, I'm really sorry everyone" so I don't think anyone was too annoyed with me. LOL. Get back to the port and low and behold the alcohol took its toll. Garbage can!!! So if anyone that was there that saw that and is reading this review right now, I'm extra sorry you had to see that. HaHa. Thank God I have a wonderful boyfriend and he took care of me. Last Day At Sea: Pretty much the same as the first day at sea. Went to the gym, did some yoga (not my cup of tea), and then went and found a spot in the sun. Disembarkation: This was a breeze as well. It went very smoothly. Would have been even better if I hadn't had a blonde moment and read the bottom of my transfer voucher. We were in zone 28 and weren't going to be called until 9:20-9:40. We had to be out of our room by 8:30. This was great we'd wake up at 7:30 shower, get dressed, and then at 8:30 go get breakfast and then head to the Encore lounge to wait for our zone to be called. Well low and behold, we're eating breakfast and I decide to look over the voucher. Yeah we had to be off the ship at 7:30 to meet our transfer. It was 9:10 when I noticed that. Wow smooth move on my part eh? Haha. Oh Well. We shelled out $70 and hopped onto another transfer. Food: Nothing wrong with the food. The buffet got a little boring, but oh well, the food was still good (except the scrambled eggs). Food in the dining room was 9 times out of 10 fantastic. Presentation obviously means a lot on board and the food always looked fantastic and tasted great. Warm chocolate melting cake... if you don't mind 5,000 grams of fat then by all means eat this. Delicious. My only glitch with dinner is that my boyfriend and I (I'm 25 and he's 27) were sat with 2 other couples but they were both in their 60's. Come on Carnival, how does that make sense. Well after the first day both other couples moved their dining time so we were sitting at a table for 8 for 2. If that makes sense at all? Oh well, romantic dinners for us. Entertainment: Comedy club was great, Tommy Drake, you're my hero, absolutely hilarious. The Cruise Director Steve Knisely. was awesome. Fun guy Skylar, well let's just say you're a cutie and I have a crush on you now. LOL! As a dancer I had a hard time watching the shows and not critiquing the other dancers. They do put on a good show but I found the choreography to be bogus. The singers, Monquez Pippins and Adriane Hall. Both good singers but I found that Adriane butchered a lot of the songs. She has a great voice just not for the songs that she had to sing. Performer to performer: You have power sweetheart, just remember the difference between power and yelling. Stateroom: We were on deck 9 in balcony stateroom 9279. We lucked out, right by the elevators. So didn't have far to walk. Our room was beautiful and was kept immaculate by our room steward Surphin (spelling?). We met a group of people from Maine and ended up forming friendships with them and chilled with them for most of the cruise. On the last night we were all in our room having a few drinks when they told us that one of their cousins (who was also on the ship with his family) he's 12 years old and ended up getting beat up by a 14 and 17 year old who were drunk. The poor kid was hurt so badly his eye was swollen and he needed stitches. When they complained to the ship and had the kids (who were apparently there with their aunt and uncle) confronted the Aunt and uncle kept saying "They wouldn't do that." Really? Well hmmm, I wonder how they got the alcohol? Everyone's different when they've been drinking. Thank God the boy had a friend with him when it happened so at least he had a witness and someone to try to help him. But according to Carival because it happened in International waters they can't do much about it. So you're telling me that all 6 of us who are over 18 can go and beat up these 2 miners and no one can do anything about it because we're in International waters? I just don't think it was handled very well at all. I told the friends we were with to take pictures of the kids eye and publicly post it on the internet and make sure the story is known so maybe something can be done about it. Overall: There was absolutely nothing wrong with this cruise (except the kid who got beat up). Every corner you took it was constantly being cleaned and someone was always there to help you or to offer a friendly hello. The ship itself is beautiful. I just think it was definetly a younger crowd and way too many children with parents that can't control them for my liking. We'll be sailing with Royal Caribbean next time. Sorry guys I know this was long winded. And if you have any questions please feel free to email me at stephanie.grabiec@gmail.com. Whether you need more information or an opinion. If you're thinking about booking the ship or if you already have. I check my emails constantly so I will get back to you. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2012
One of our biggest fears about cruising on a mega-ship, namely long lines and long waits, was dispelled right away at Port Canaveral. While there were long lines, they moved quickly and efficiently, and the boarding operation was very ... Read More
One of our biggest fears about cruising on a mega-ship, namely long lines and long waits, was dispelled right away at Port Canaveral. While there were long lines, they moved quickly and efficiently, and the boarding operation was very smooth. Kudos to Carnival for something done right! Overall, we enjoyed our cruise, but we learned something important, which is that we will never choose to cruise with Carnival again. The Carnival Dream is one of their largest ships, and she carried over 4500 souls on this cruise. Carnival advertises its "Fun Ships," and we learned that their idea of "fun" is LOUD. The Dream is loud both visually and aurally. She was decorated with all hard, reflective surfaces: steel, glass, mirrors, tiles, shiny plastics, gleaming metals and polished stone, with plenty of neon lights. All PA announcements were too loud. All the dance music was too loud. The stage shows were so loud that, even if we wore our ear plugs, it was still uncomfortably noisy. Nobody cared about requests to back off a little on the volume. Apparently "fun" equals "loud," and if we didn't like it, we could go to our stateroom (which we often did). All the hard surfaces reflected sound as well as light. The assault on the senses was exacerbated by the numbers of people, including many children who were often not under any sort of parental control. We really found ourselves wishing for the relative quiet of the Holland-America ships. (In fairness, I must mention the "Serenity Deck," high in the Dream's superstructure near the HVAC units. This area is for adults only, and it features some comfortable lounge furniture as well as an absence of loud music. Unfortunately, it is also quite windy, and the noisy fans and HVAC equipment detracted somewhat from the serenity.) We were pleasantly surprised with our stateroom, a modestly-priced "ocean view" room on the lowest deck, close to the aft elevators. We had TWO bathrooms!! I've never seen anything like it on a ship! One tiny bath had a tub/shower and a sink, the other, larger, had a shower stall, toilet and sink. The bed was good, lighting was good, service was good. The only downside is that, instead of little travel-sized containers of shampoo, lotion, conditioner etc., the showers were equipped with dispensers for gel and shampoo -- both cheap -- and there was no lotion at all! (When we called Guest Services, we were told that Carnival no longer supplies lotion and that we could buy some at the onboard shops.) The artwork on the cabin wall was monumentally ugly, and the chocolate mints left on the bed at turndown were stale. The schedule of shipboard activities was uninspired. Movies were shown on a giant screen outside on the Lido pool deck, not a good venue if you actually want to enjoy the film. The daily program listed several "seminars" and "information sessions," but in reality all these programs were sales pitches, either for shops in the next port that were owned by the cruise line or for vastly overpriced onboard services and products. There were no genuinely informative lectures about the upcoming ports of call (or anything else), and we found that disappointing. Frequently, several activities were scheduled at the same time, or very nearly so, and we had to choose among several attractive-sounding options at X o'clock, but found nothing interesting for the two hours preceding or following that time. The ship's library was a quiet room, but it was kept very chilly, and the bookshelves were firmly locked. Once, the schedule said that bridge players should meet there to play cards, but nobody besides us showed up, and there were no cards available! The ubiquitous casino was noisy, nearly impossible to avoid, and often smoky. The Lido pool deck was hot, humid, overcrowded with obese bodies, overrun with children and it smelled of chlorine, cigarette smoke and fried foods. Not inviting at all. The food aboard ship was pretty good, as it usually is on cruise ships, but we had a few problems in that department, also. For example, the (powdered, I think) scrambled eggs on the Dream are worse than what we used to get at summer camp, and the bacon tasted as if it had been cooked in months-old grease. (After the first day, I ate boiled eggs.) The omelets were excellent, but we needed to be patient while waiting in line. Juices were prepared from concentrate and not mixed very thoroughly, so when I helped myself from the dispenser, I never knew whether I would get colored water, normal dilution, or super-concentrated orange juice. Hot foods on the buffet were rarely as hot as we would like. I was excited to see lasagna offered for lunch one day, but it was lukewarm and tasteless -- very disappointing. Salads and fruits were a highlight -- fresh and delicious. Most of the desserts looked much better than they tasted. The food in the dining rooms was very good, but the service was extremely slow, at least at our table. On a few evenings, we arrived at the appointed time and then sat at our table with only water and bread for over an hour before receiving our dinner. By the time dessert arrived, they were already trying to clear the room to set up for the late seating. A (loud) PA announcement told us we needed to be out in five minutes, and this happened before anybody at our table even had their after-dinner coffee! And, for reasons we never understood, dinner was interrupted at least once almost every night by bursts of(very loud) music and waiters dancing on serving tables. (I think this was supposed to be fun.) On the "up" side, the itinerary of this cruise was outstanding, and there was something attractive or interesting about each of the ports. Somehow, they squeezed four different ports of call into a seven-day cruise -- amazing! The water in the Caribbean is clear, clean and turquoise blue, and the snorkeling venues are truly lovely. I'll never remember the names of the many dozens of fishes we saw, but I will certainly remember their abundance, colors, variety and beauty. We snorkeled at both Cozumel (an island off the coast of Mexico) and Roatan (also an island, off Honduras), and enjoyed both excursions. Roatan has a public beach within sight -- and an easy walk -- of the ship's pier. No need to pay for a shore excursion there (I wish we'd known that ahead of time). A chairlift to the beach was available (for a price) which would spare us about 300 yards of level walking. We found that highly amusing, but declined the ride. Belize is a very poor country, and Belize City is unattractive. We chose a shore excursion that took us inland to some caves and it required a long, uncomfortable school-bus ride on really lousy roads. As we rode along, our guide explained to us that the Belizian government gives each adult citizen a piece of land, and then the citizen is on his/her own to build whatever dwelling s/he is able to afford. The result is a ramshackle collection of huts, hovels, modest houses and crummy buildings that need more maintenance than they receive. After we left the city behind, we rode through flat, mostly featureless countryside on a lumpy, two-lane "highway." After an hour, we turned off toward the caves, and the final 30 minutes of the drive was along a broken road with potholes the size of swimming pools. On arrival at the caves, we were each issued a PFD, a helmet, a helmet light and an inflated tube the size of a truck tire inner tube. We walked along a short trail and down some steps into the cave to the edge of an underground river. There, we plopped ourselves into the tubes and began the tour. These caves are fantastic! Fascinating rock formations were everywhere, with stalagmites and stalactites of every possible description and many other shapes with serrated edges and unusual folds. Many of the formations were covered with silica crystals that glittered in the beams of light from our helmets. It was beautiful! At one point, we were invited to turn off our helmet lights andexperience the total absence of light within the depths of the cave -- that was eerie. After paddling along for a while, we climbed out of the tubes and walked along a trail to see some other formations and remnants from the Mayan religious rites that were performed down there. (The Mayan name for these caves is Xibalba, meaning "hell" or "underworld.") After the short foot tour, we climbed onto our tubes again and paddled our way back to the entrance. There, we were permitted to swim in the underground lagoon near the entrance -- very nice! We loved the cave excursion! One final note on Belize: Belize has an offshore barrier reef second in size only to the Great Barrier Reef off Australia. For this reason, our ship needed to anchor WAY offshore, and we were ferried into Belize City on locally-based tenders -- about a 30-minute ride. The barrier reef is a nationally protected park and a world-famous attraction for scuba divers. The final port on our itinerary was Costa Maya, which consists mostly of the collection of shops that characterizes all cruise ship ports. But Costa Maya made it more interesting by planning the shops around a free-form, amoeba-shaped salt water swimming pool open for use by natives and ship people alike. That was kind of fun! Also, since this shopping area was right on the ocean's shore, they had a beach with lounge chairs and thatch umbrellas. One part of the beach had dolphin pools, where folks who had signed up to swim with the dolphins enjoyed their excursion. We all got to watch the dolphins go through their paces, "dancing" and "talking" and kissing people on command and giving tourists rides on their backs or their tummies. It is probably not healthy for the dolphins, but it was entertaining to watch and probably a thrill for the folks participating. A day and a half after leaving Costa Maya, we were back at Port Canaveral, the disembarkation process was handled as efficiently as the embarkation had, and the long trip back home began. Orlando's airport is attractive, but five hours was too long to have to wait for the first of the two flights that would bring us to Seattle. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2012
The review may sound like I am a spa snob but I am not. The thorn in my side is what is standard on one ship is not on another ship within the Carnival line, and the free steam room is made to be a selection one would not want, so they ... Read More
The review may sound like I am a spa snob but I am not. The thorn in my side is what is standard on one ship is not on another ship within the Carnival line, and the free steam room is made to be a selection one would not want, so they steer one to the paid services. The free steam room has no eucalyptus, has no windows, dark, feels like a dungeon, and smells musty. Upon first glance it is small and in thinking 4,000 people may be using it, you assume you wont be able to get a space in the free steam room. However, once you smell it and see how dark and dismal it is you realize no one uses it. In fact I saw no one in there the three times I stopped by. The paid services include: a steam room with eucalyptus, thalassotherapy pool, and two rooms with heated seats/chaise lounges, and a room with tea and cool water with a view to relax in. The fee for using these services is $150 for one person or $250 for two people for the week or $40 for a day pass. My husband and I paid for the week and utilized the steam room daily. I can say that two different visits found the tea/water room with no water for drinking (4 separate containers) and no hot water for tea. One afternoon I told the spa technician at the front desk and he said "I will ensure there is some in there tonight for guests". Well I was trying to imply that you needed some NOW for the current guests wanting water. The fact remains if Carnival advertises these services as something they offer, they need to ensure they are available. Plus, I just cant get over the fact they make the free services so dismal no one would want to use them. There were few exciting selections on the dinning room menu. I noticed in September and on this cruise that it seems Carnival is trying to save money by offering few food choices on the dinning menu and offering cheaper food selections. Charge a little more and I will pay it to have better food selections. Again, it seems if you want good food you need to go to the steakhouse and pay $30 per person. I don't mind paying to eat in the Steakhouse once or twice during the week, but don't make the dinning room selection so poor you push me in the direction of eating in the steak house. Dinning in the steak house was not as good this cruise as on the Freedom. I found the lobster to be not as sweet, the amount of mushrooms they offered to be minimal, and the cheesecake was room temperature. I asked the server and she told me the chief could not refrigerate it. Yet a guest the next night told me his was cold, right out of the refrigerator that same night we ate there. I just believe you go on a bigger ship and the staff are not as friendly, attentive, and services are lacking. I wont go on the Dream again. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2012
Let's start off with a ground rule; vacation is what you make of it. My wife and I traveled on the M.S. Carnival Dream from February 18 to February 25. Our ports of call were as followed: Orlando, Cozumel, Belize, Roatan. We had ... Read More
Let's start off with a ground rule; vacation is what you make of it. My wife and I traveled on the M.S. Carnival Dream from February 18 to February 25. Our ports of call were as followed: Orlando, Cozumel, Belize, Roatan. We had bookend days at sea. Embarkation: As most of the reviews have mentioned, Carnival has this down to a science and it was very easy. Everyone was friendly and the lines moved along. Life Onboard: Many people have complained about the lines on this ship but being from NYC and riding a subway to and from work gives me a different perspective on overcrowding. We rarely found lines unbearable and in the few cases we did, we opted not to get on the line (for example guest services on the last night of the cruise) and try again later (great success!). We stayed in room 11225, a Cloud 9 Balcony Spa room. This was my first time with a balcony and I loved it. We were on the starboard side, which meant in port we had privacy. We took a yoga class on the first day that was suitable for a variety of abilities. They offer the following classes: yoga, Pilates and spinning. You get two (per room, not person) classes for free. If you are a runner, go to deck 5 and run the ship (2.5 times around is a mile). You need to go early (before 10 am) to really have the deck to yourself. It was a lot of fun lapping the ship while it was moving. I used the gym once but we noticed that it was often busy. We used the Theralosso pool and spa facilities almost every day. It was very relaxing and gave us a nice break from the sun (our weather was great). This upgrade was well worth it. I had debated between an extended balcony and the spa cabin and both my wife and I are happy I went with the spa cabin. Does the ship move? You are at sea so of course it is going to move. We had great weather and could feel the ship move often (especially on deck 11 where we stayed). The movement was slight and nothing bad. We never felt sea sick and with the amount of drinking that occurs onboard, I doubt how others can really know if the boat is rocking or if they just are. I did see a lot of people wearing sea sick patches. While sitting at the pool and Serenity felt impossible on sea days, the sun deck always had chairs and few/if any children. It took us less than 10 minutes to find a chair. We did chill on Serenity one afternoon while many people were still in port and it is cool. Deck 5 also appeared to have tons of chairs. During the day, by the main pool they have a DJ. The main pool is small and cold. I did enjoy the waterworks slide. People complain a lot about elevators. I think we only took an elevator once or twice. We hiked up and down the stairs and considered it our cardio for the day. When we did take elevators it was late at night as we were tired. The elevators never took long to come but we could see how during the day they were busy. Night life- this will depend on the people on your cruise. We went to the dance club twice and had fun but it does get smoky. We didn't drink much but I did find the drink prices high. We commented it was like going out in NYC every night but no drink specials. Go to the main bar and get a Thirsty Frog. The beer was good and the price was perfect. I also wish they would offer more of the beers that are from the islands you visit. I would rather have a Banks, Belikin, or a Port Royal than something I can get at home. The comedy shows were funny. We went twice and both time got a seat quickly but we did notice that place filled up and people were standing. The piano bar was always busy but we didn't bother with it. There is a lot of music that was enjoying being played on the board. The food was not good. I was not expecting to go to a Daniel Boulud restaurant every night but I did expect a higher quality of food. We usually ordered room service for breakfast and ate on our balcony. We did go to the buffet for breakfast twice and it was fine. One morning we went to the MDR for breakfast. The service was slow and we were sitting with people that were not a good match for us. My wife and I just kicked each other under the table as the older gentleman next to me talked about all that is wrong with the world. We went to the buffet a few times for lunch, which was also fine and had variety. We found towards the back of the boat it was easier to get a seat at any time in the buffet. We also had the Tandoor, which was good. I had a burger one day, which was ok and my wife got a deli sandwich which she enjoyed. One night we stayed in and I went to get pizza for us. The MDR's food was not good. It did not taste like good quality of meat. It is the one thing about the cruise that we were disappointed. We weren't expecting amazing but we were hoping for better. We have been on Carnival before and didn't remember the food being as bad across the board. Ports: Cozumel- we were part of The Amazing Cozumel Race and it was a blast. If, you have mobility issues, this is not for you. You walk about 4 miles through the city. We really enjoyed this excursion. At the end there is a party where you get two drinks and can buy food. The food was good. Belize was un-Belizable. We went on the Raiders of the Mayan Cave. It was an hour plus ride but our guide Elvis was great. The caves were cool but tight in spots. You get to zipline a little. There were also bats flying around the cave. Afterwards lunch was provided and you got to do a wine tasting. Roatan -- we went on the Canopy Tour & Tabyana Beach. The ziplining here was fun. There were seven different platforms that you go off of. We really enjoyed this. They bring you to the beach afterwards and it was amazing. They have lockers there (for rent), chairs (free), a bar, restaurant, music and water sports. It was hot and we enjoyed the water then we took a break at the bar and had a drink. While I enjoyed all of our ports, this was my favorite. The day was just fun. We did book our excursions via Carnival and I've read that Roatan can be missed due to weather (wind specifically), so I might recommend going through Carnival incase you don't get into port. Costa Maya -- The day started early in Costa Maya. We went ATV riding in the jungle followed by about 40 minutes at the beach. The ATV riding was fun but the beach wasn't anything special. I would have taken another 40 minutes on the ATV's but my wife and I played one-on-one volleyball and it was fun. It could have been worse; I could have been at work. The port at Costa Maya had some shops where my wife bought some jewelry and I bought some coffee flavored Tequila. Having the first day at sea allowed us to take it easy and relax on the first day while having the last day at sea was nice as we slowly packed up and enjoyed a slow day. The main reason we went on the Dream was the itinerary and the cost. We had a great time but the next time I cruise I might try Royal Caribbean just to have something to compare. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2011
Why This Cruise? It was a multi-family cruise of veteran cruisers that had not been to the ports of call or on this particular Carnival ship. And it was very cheap...which relates the the last part of the review...The Ugly. The Good - ... Read More
Why This Cruise? It was a multi-family cruise of veteran cruisers that had not been to the ports of call or on this particular Carnival ship. And it was very cheap...which relates the the last part of the review...The Ugly. The Good - Surprisingly the food was way above expectations for Carnival. Admittedly it has been a few years since our last Carnival Cruise but the food has always been average at best. The food was so good that our plans to go to the specialty restaurant were negated. Every style fo food was great...from Tandoor to Sushi to Pizza. And the steaks at dinner were the best I've had on any ship..and that includes Specialty Restaurants. Cabins were fine even on the lower decks. And the staff was very nice. Unfortunately, this is where the good ends. The Bad - The ships design team needs to go back to school. This class of ships is the Boeing 757 of cruise ships...a cattle carrier. The most people in the smallest spaces. Good for the economics of the line but not for the passenger. The common rooms were smaller than on ships half this ones tonnage. And I mean the pools, casino, shops...everything. They crammed the Coffee Bar (not open until 7am), Martini Bar (only open 5-8pm) and the Cigar Bar in the same half moon circle with 6 total seats only found at the Cigar Bar. Another Example: If you were 6'2" and utilized the Treadmills or the Elipticals in the Spa you were bound to hit the ceiling with your head. If you were 5'9 . you had the floor to look at as the windows were below the threshold of the ceiling. The entertainment was below average at best and on several nights there were no shows at all. They have the Big Screen Pool TV but utilize it poorly with few if any afternoon movies and the morning was limited to CNN Headline and then the lame duo of Gumby and Jamie...better known as the cruise director and his sidekick. The common areas were very uncomfortable to be in as a result. The Ugly - Well here is where my nose goes in the air a bit and I apologize in advance for that. But cruising used to be a very special occasion. Marked by people wanting a moving hotel that whisked them away every evening to a new magical location and who would take the opportunity to make the evening meal a special occasion among new and old friends. Like I said...used to be. This cruise actually had a Theme that was unannounced...'Rif et Raf' for the French but here in the US...Riff-Raff. And I'm not referring the songs or bands for those in the music know. I'm referring to those who can't or won't follow any type of dress code, who insist on breaking the rules including smoking in non-smoking areas, who will step over you to get that croissant before you and then use the excuse ... "well that guy did it to me". This didn't happen just once...it was every day and night. So when did 2 wrongs make a right? Apparently on this cruise it did. So in conclusion. No more week before Thanksgiving and under $1000.00 per person cruises for this couple. As tempting as they are we prefer quality to quantity. So Celebrity and Oceania better welcome us back and we are now looking forward to our first Seabourn as well. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2011
Overview We have been on many cruises, 15+, but most recently cruising has become a Thanksgiving vacation for us over the last 4-5 years. Most recently on Carnival Conquest and RCL Freedom of the Seas in 2009 and 2010. So a log of my ... Read More
Overview We have been on many cruises, 15+, but most recently cruising has become a Thanksgiving vacation for us over the last 4-5 years. Most recently on Carnival Conquest and RCL Freedom of the Seas in 2009 and 2010. So a log of my comparisons will be between those two ships given they are the freshest in my head. Cruise Rather than go over each individual day, below is a list of pros and cons of our cruise based on past experiences; Pros Embarkation/Debarkation - Both unbelievably easy. We drove to Port Canaveral the day before, stayed at the residence inn which was a great hotel. We left the hotel around 11am and were on the ship eating lunch at noon. Debarkation was just as easy. Left our room at 8:00 and were in the car driving back around 9. Port Canaveral is now our favorite port. Service was excellent. Most of the service personnel we interacted with remembered our names and were extremely polite. The personnel just seemed happier than the service personnel on our RCL cruise last year. Kids loved the waterslides. We were parked next to the RCL Oasis at most port which looked excellent to my wife and I, however, when we asked the kids if they would like to go on the Oasis next year, the response was no because they didn't have waterslides.... Food seemed overall good. We are by no means food connoisseur, but everything seemed fresh and tasted good. Shows seemed good and the kids seemed to like them. Kids club was much better than we experienced on the Carnival Conquest and comparable to RCL Freedom of the Seas. For whatever reason, the kids didn't seem as packed in as they did on the conquest even through it was over thanksgiving holiday. Cons Ship size/number of people that were on it. We are use to big ships and the crowded Thanksgiving cruises, but ship just seemed overly crowded. The public areas seemed very similar to the Conquest, but it had an additional 1000 people. The pool areas were especially crowded which is normal, but they never seemed to lighten up where on other ships, later in the afternoon or Island days, it was pretty easy to get a seat, where is wasn't on the Dream. The lines in the buffets were very long so we stuck the dining room for most meals. My take was that at 3500 people it would have been great ship, at 4500 people like our cruise, not so great... We have been to all of the islands in the past so we pretty much knew what to expect. We did have one problem in Nassau because our ship was late. As a result, our ship sponsored shore excursion to Blue lagoon island ran long and instead of dropping us off next to the ship where they picked up us, they dropped us off in the middle of town so we could 'shop' well, we had 15 minutes to get back to the ship before it left so im not sure how much shopping they thought we were going to do. We ended up running back to the ship with 2 kids in tow and barely made it. Talk about stress. Not cool, especially for a Carnival sponsored excursion. Salt water pools. We knew they were salt water before going, but still don't like it. The kids barely swam in them. Stayed mostly on the waterslides which were fresh water. Motion of the Ship. Ive been on a lot of ships in rough seas, but this one seemed to rock more than others. The water we rough during the sea days, but for that size ship, it really bounced around. Glasses fell off our nightstand and broke because of the motion which has never happened to us before. Lots of puking in the public areas... Overall We love cruising and have never had a bad one. On a scale from 1-10, I would rate this one about a 4 mainly because it was just too crowded. We didn't feel the public areas were big enough to accommodate that many people. Again, there were definitely some positives, but I don't think we will do that class of ship again. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2011
We are a 38 year old couple who has cruised 5 times on Royal Caribbean, once on Holland America, and now 3 times on Carnival. We were on the Nov. 26-Dec 3 sailing of the Dream. Our last trip on Carnival was last summer on the Freedom, ... Read More
We are a 38 year old couple who has cruised 5 times on Royal Caribbean, once on Holland America, and now 3 times on Carnival. We were on the Nov. 26-Dec 3 sailing of the Dream. Our last trip on Carnival was last summer on the Freedom, and I swore that was the last time for me, mainly due to the fact that we just didn't like the ships (as compared to RC Voyager class) and the horrible buffet food. Well, RC has way outpriced themselves, so we were back to giving the newest class of CCL ships a try. We flew in the same day of the cruise, arriving at MCO at 9:30am. I am a big believer in flying in the day before, but we could not this time due to work schedules, but thankfully the timing worked out alright. We had booked the CCL transfers to the pier. Check in for that was easy, though we did encounter the one and only rude CCL employee here, who barked at me for not having the correct paperwork. She muttered under her breath when I said that this PW was all that I had received, and continued to mutter to her coworker, who then informed her that when transfers are booked online, the PW we had is all that is needed. She retaliated by giving us a later boarding zone #, instead of the bus that left 10 minutes after we arrived (and was not full). We had a long 2 hour wait for the bus to come, but from that point it was an easy and comfortable 45 minute ride to the pier. The driver announced basic information, but then it was a quiet ride. There was no movie/promo material shown, nor any refreshments offered. Very basic, adequate service. We did not have to handle our luggage after we gave it to the driver. It was sent on straight to our cabin. Return service to the airport was fine, with about a 30 minute wait for the bus to fill, then drop off at the terminal, where the driver unloaded the bags for us. I am torn as to if I would book this again. It is more expensive than other shuttles, and the 2 hour wait for the first bus wasted 2 hours I could have been on the ship, but the bus itself was more comfortable than the typical van shuttles. We arrived at the port at 12:30, and were met with long lines outside of the building. However, they went quickly, and we were onboard by 1:00. As recommended, we headed straight up to the pasta bar, away from the mad crowd of the buffet. It was pretty much empty, and we had our freshly made order in about 10 minutes. I had bowties with alfredo, chicken, spinach, broccoli and zucchini, with caesar salad and bread. The portion of salad was very small, and the bread was served cold. The food was good, nothing outstanding, but much better than the buffet itself. Muster was "to be announced" at 3:30, and that was all the info we were given in the FunTimes. At 3:50, an announcement was made to meet at our muster stations. The only way we knew where that was was by looking at our cabin door. Ours was in the Crimson DR, and no life jackets were needed. I found it rather gross that we were sitting at the tables already set that people were going to be eating from in a few hours. I wish they had not had them set already. We saw the Maitre D to request a table for 2 which he granted immediately. Dinner tonight was tomato soup (excellent), chicken tenders (fabulous, I wish they served these for lunch at the buffet), flat iron steak served tonight with red potatoes, carrots, and asparagus (very good) and excellent creme brulee. DH most nights had the fruit cocktail, chips and salsa only, the gourmet burger, and ice cream, all from the everyday menu. He was happy with them all. Service from I Ketut and Sandy was excellent, and they remembered after the first night what we wanted to drink, and were generous with offering bread. DH brought his own Dr. Pepper with him, and they were always ready with a glass of ice. We could tell there have been cutbacks in staffing, as they had no time for small talk or to make any dinner suggestions. There was also no offer of extra dishes or desserts as in the past. No extra lobster! Egads!(sure, we could have asked, but we were too full to eat it anyway). I've always found the DR songs and entertainment cheesy bordering on annoying, but I must say, the Scarlett DR has a singing waiter that is out of this world. Very talented. There was also a roving magician one night. We got in the habit of nightly walks after dinner. Deck 5 is great for this, and very thoughtfully laid out. It was cool and very windy each night. I found out too late that there was a cruise critic meet and greet at 4:00. It was buried in the FunTimes and I missed it. Sunday was a sea day, which we spent on the very nice full court basketball court, and reading in a lounge chair before the rain started, as it did most every day. We had dreary weather all week, which made for not much sunning time. The BBall court and walking track became dangerously slick in the rain. I walked 3 miles on the track in the morning, to the sickening smell of food from The Gathering. Pure grease smell up there. Lunch was pizza, salad fries, and key lime pie, which had to come from 4 different lines. This lunch was good. Thankfully we never had much of an issue with crowds and lines. The ship did not seem full or crowded, including the pools and deck chairs. There are PLENTY of deck chairs on pretty much every outdoor deck. One note about TV in the staterooms, there was a good selections of channels, including the regular local channels, so there was football on Sunday and Monday night, as well as all our favorite shows like Survivor, etc. Nice! Dinner tonight was pumpkins soup(I tried it because of all the positive reviews. I thought it was just okay. Won't order again), alligator fritters (good, very cheesy), shrimp cocktail, lobster and shrimp served with mashed potatoes and yummy crumb topped broccoli, and warm chocolate melting cake (WCMC), all of which were great. DH had the spaghetti carbonara as an entree, which he enjoyed. After dinner we went to 2 comedy shows with "Roman", one family and one adult only show. Very enjoyable. Monday we ported in Cozumel. We've been there many times and just planned on shopping then enjoying the empty ship. We did walk to the other pier in search of liquor for our friends who claim this certain type can only be found at the International Pier. It was an easy walk, but we found the vendors there to be VERY aggressive, and the shops not as nice. When we attempted to buy the liquor, we had to show our ship card, and were told they could not sell to us because we were from "the other ship." Yep, they turned away a $40 sale. We did encounter some nice street vendors on the walk back, and they were happy to sell to us. I'd rather give my money to the locals than the cruise sponsored shops anyway. The weather was rainy again, and had cancelled many excursions. We were back on the ship early and enjoyed the empty hot tubs. Lunch was from the deli (okay) with fries and salad. 3 lines again. Dinner was smoked chicken quesadilla (excellent), field greens (all the dinner salads are so good and fresh tasting), flat iron steak, and diet lemon cake (bland, will not order again.) DH tried the meatloaf, and contrary to other reviews, he really enjoyed it. We saw the "adventure comedian" show, which we enjoyed. We tried to see the Fun Force dancers show, but it was too crowded to really see anything, and it seemed to mostly be audience participation anyway, with very little actual professional dancing. Next time I will skip this in favor of the Dancing in the Streets show, which was phenomonal. Tuesday was Belize, which I had read was a "love it or hate it" port. We ended up loving it. We followed the directions in the Fun Times and got up early to get tender tickets. What the Times do not tell you is that once you enter the theatre to get the ticket, you are not allowed to leave. We rolled out of bed and went straight there, with no breakfast, no morning hygiene routine, and no excursion supplies. We were told everyone must remain in the theatre, as we would be escorted to the tender when it arrived. We ended up making a mad dash one at a time to gather our supplies and grab a quick to-go bite from the lido, then ended up having to make another mad dash back there when they announced a few minutes before the tender arrived that we would need a picture ID as well as our seapass. It ended up being about 45 minutes before the tender arrived, so I'm not sure why we were not allowed to leave. CCL needs to have better communication here. Tenders were lined up waiting, so there really wasn't a need to hurry that much after all. While the tender ride was smooth and easy, I will mention that the tender boat was really rocking up againt the gangway, and was dangerous for elderly and disabled passengers. We all depended on each other for help onto the boat, by forming a "human chain" of hands to get people seated. It was scary to just watch and wait for someone to fall. The drivers did a great job, and thanked us for visiting their country. We had a 9:00 cave tubing tour booked with VIV tours, who were easy to locate in the terminal, and left promptly once the other 3 couples were off the tender with us. I cannot say enough good things about VIV tours. Everything was perfect, and the cave tubing was fantastic. Please book with VIV, as they are the only company whose tubes have headrests and mesh bottoms, and they use links to hook the tubes together, not someone elses muddy shoe in your armpit. They are true professionals and I highly recommend them. We were back in plenty of time to shop. The pier is very nice, and the vendors are not agressive. I must also mention how clean the restrooms were both at the pier and at the tubing park. Impressive. No lunch today, just a delicious bottled Coke, plantain chips and a Snickers bar at the park. Dinner was Thai chicken tenders, spring mix salad, filet mignon with a side of steamed veggies, and WCMC, all excellent. DH tried the lasagna starter, but did not care for it, as he's not a big fan of spinach. Dancing in the Streets show was after dinner, and it was great. Wednesday was Roatan, and we took our time leaving the ship, as it was raining again. We looked in the shops until the rain cleared enough to walk to the beach. The shops here are nothing special. I hate that there's a Diamonds Int'l in every port now. The port is very beautiful, full of flowers, plants, and fountains. Great picture spots. We took the nature trail to the beach. This is a great beach for kids, with a playground, stone animals to climb on, and shallow water. The water was too cool to stay in long, but this really is a beautiful beach, with plenty of shady spots, and picture opportunities. We'd love to have better weather here. Lunch was hotdog/hamburger and tortilla chips and nacho cheese onboard at the grill. They were pretty good, but a few hours later we both had upset stomachs. We narrowed it down to the nacho cheese, as that's the only thing we both had, and in hindsight, it was sitting out, not on ice, for who knows how long. We felt bad all evening, and skipped dinner. We ended up ordering a light sandwich from room service at 9:30. It took nearly an hour to be delivered, but was truly the best non dining room meal on the ship. We ended up having the tuna, turkey, ham & cheese, PB&J, and BLT throughout the week, and they were excellent. We ordered through the TV, and got chips as a side dish, so I'm assuming if you want another side, you'd have to call it in. Also, the chocolate cake is served with mousse, and is the 2nd best dessert on the ship. So good, and well worth the tip. Thursday was Costa Maya. We left the port area and took a $2 bus to the downtown beach. Note that the group behind us was told $3 for the ride, and they got off at the same stop as us. Hmmm. We were going to the Tropicante, but honestly, it is just one long beach, and all the places seemed the same. The beach was beautiful, and the sun did come out long enough for us to enjoy the water for a little while. Service at the Tropicante was excellent, attentive without pressuring. We had diablo shrimp and a steak burrito for lunch, with one Coke and a $3 margarita, totalling $27. The food was good, nothing outstanding, and there were no free chips and salsa like at home. Bummer! We had a massage on the beach, which was the best $25 we spent all week. It was great. We had a few minutes to browse the shops of the malecon, which is right there on the beach, and a few minutes to see the port shops, but we had to be on board by 2:30 which didn't leave nearly enough time in this nice port on our one sunny day. We watched "Something Borrowed" on TV in the cabin. There are 2 family movies, and one adult movie daily, but nothing to tell what time they start, so it was hit or miss to time it right. Dinner was fruit cocktail (watermelon, pineapple, grapes, cantalope, honeydew and either a kiwi wedge, strawberry slice or a raspberry)(excellent) corn chowder(okay, next time I'll try the broccoli cheese soup) Grilled shrimp (excellent)and WCMC. Friday was at sea, and we were rained off of the BBall court and deck chairs again. I went to the future cruise presentation, and purchased the voucher that will give us a $100 shipboard credit on our next cruise. We ordered room service for lunch, and watched "Water for Elephants". We stopped by the farewell party and had a free Coke and a free cocktail. Dinner was fruit cocktail, crab cake (pretty good), panko shrimp (great)and WCMC. DH had the bacon mac & cheese and really liked it. Our sea days and evenings we spent roaming the ship. DH spent a little time in the very nice arcade. I checked out the library, but no one ever had any books to trade in the passenger swap. We never used the pools or slides, but they were never busy. The gym was nicely equipped, and the spa looked nice. Serenity was a beautiful area, but located next to the water slides and live band, so I'm not sure how serene it really was. The golf course looked very nice and in great shape. There were lots of hot tubs and deck chairs. Ocean plaza on deck 5 has a really nice seating area, some with marble tables and chairs, some with wicker padded chairs. A very nice area. We never tried nor saw the lunch buffet here. The sushi bar is the first I've encountered at sea that did not smell terrible as we walked by. They do a nice job here, and lots of people were taking advantage of it. There are lots of nightclubs that we never saw anyone in. Overall, we loved the ship. I had sworn off CCL because their ships were boring, but this class has brought me back. It is very comparable to RC Voyager class, although by the end of the week I still had not figured my way around the ship. Our cabin was an inside, and seemed small at first glance, but it really was fine. I love that CCL provides robes in the cabin. Okay, on to the bad: CCL has the worst buffets I've ever seen. Truly sad. There was very little variety from day to day with breakfast and very little to choose from. The only change we could see each day was the type of potatoes and sausage offered. What food we did get was lukewarm and would be cold by the time we finished the line and got a table, and did not taste good. The variety did not make sense: There was sliced cantalope and honeydew on the main line everyday, and cubed cantalope and honeydew on the pastry line everyday. ??? No watermelon,grapes, pineapple or berries ever at breakfast. Bananas were gone by Wednesday. I will say that the vanilla crown pastry is delicious. We never once ate at the lunch buffet, and that was my goal. There was literally nothing appealing there. Thank goodness for the grill, deli, pizza, burrito bar, and the best choice, room service. Dining room food was excellent, and we had no food temp issues here. Hot was hot and cold was cold as should be. Service everywhere was excellent. In the cabin, the bed was comfortable with nice linens and pillows, and the shower was great, even with the curtain. Now, here's my rant. Most people rant about chair hogs, but that doesn't apply to this cruise. My rant is rude clueless people who must slam their cabin doors. This is the worst ship I've ever been on for this. The cabin doors are very heavy, but thin as far as noise. Actually this is a 2 part rant, to include loud hall talkers. We always make a point of catching the door when we enter or leave the cabin, and closing it softly. On this ship, even doing that makes a pretty loud sound. When the doors were let go to close on their own, it is so loud that it will wake you from a dead sleep, as it did us every night. That combined with people talking, laughing, and downright screaming in the halls left us only a few good hours of sleep each night. We never heard much sound at all through the walls, but we could hear through the door like it wasn't there. (We were cabin 8295) Please, CCL, spread the word to be courteous and speak softly in the halls and close your door gently. I can't stress to you how bad this was! One neighbor would roll in around 2am every morning yelling goodnight at the top of her lungs, then slamming the door. Every night. And forget napping during the day. These issues are even worse because even the courteous people aren't worried about being quiet since it's midday. A funny story about our obnoxious neighbor: on the last night, my husband followed her up our hall, watching her knock on every door she passed, 4 or 5 knocks on every door, then keep walking. When a man answered his door, she burst out laughing, and the woman's friend with her stated "it wasn't me, it was her." And she was around 60 years old, old enough to know better. We also kept getting hang up calls, and "giggle" calls, then would hear the phone in the cabin next to ours ring next. I guess maybe the cheaper out of season fares attract a different type of person than I'm used to cruising with. We really enjoyed this cruise and this ship. I am willing to continue to cruise this class of ship until RC's prices come back down to earth. I am still unhappy with the breakfast and lunch food, and the hall noise was ridiculous, but we were overall very pleased with this ship and the service we received. We will probably not cruise this time of year again, as the weather, while still warmer than home, was cooler and rainier than I am used to on a cruise. I will also probably pay more for a better cabin next time, in hopes that the door slamming and obnoxious neighbor issue is confined to the "pauper" cabins that I like to frequent. As always, many thanks to all you cruise critics who have made my cruise planning so easy over the years. I'd be lost without your information. I hope this review will help someone too. Read Less
Carnival Dream Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.5 0.0
Dining 4.5 0.0
Entertainment 3.5 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 4.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 3.5 0.0
Service 5.0 0.0
Value For Money 5.0 0.0
Rates 3.0 0.0

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