2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
My partner and I were very excited to travel on one of Carnival’s larger, “newer” ships. Our first cruise was Carnival Conquest in May 2017. This was a disappointment for both of us compared to Conquest. Dream seemed too large for ... Read More
My partner and I were very excited to travel on one of Carnival’s larger, “newer” ships. Our first cruise was Carnival Conquest in May 2017. This was a disappointment for both of us compared to Conquest. Dream seemed too large for its crew to cope with. Service was severely impersonal, though most crew was at least cordial. At embarkation, a person who I assume works for Carnival at the port of New Orleans was on a microphone trying to direct people, demanded to see my boarding pass over her microphone and chastised me for being behind another guest over the microphone to the entire queue of people outside. I was pretty embarrassed by her awful attitude. Then no porters were around to take our luggage that we could find. Microphone lady rushed us inside and we had to carry our suitcases on and wait with them for about 1.5 hours on in both the crowded boarding area and deck 3 before we could get our stateroom. Maintenance in certain areas like decks and pools was handled by one person in any area it appeared, so a lot of time elapsed between cleanings or upkeep. Only the port side Serenity deck whirlpool was “hot” for the entire cruise. The aft starboard whirlpool was temperate, and every other whirlpool was about 90° or lower. In the dining room, we were often left without certain items on the table and had to ask for the wait team to bring them to us, meals were badly cooked (very tough, over cooked prime rib one night), but we did have two really great servers on different teams. Upon returning to the ship at our last port, our cabin door’s lock died and couldn’t read our S&S cards. Guest services had to replace them, and then we returned when that didn’t work, and maintenance had to change batteries and reprogram twice, as first maintenance still had us locked out later when we left the room. Shows were fine. Only the 80’s Pop To the Max was outstanding, though. The cast couldn’t seem to stay on key in the other shows we went to. The comedians were pretty funny in the adult shows most nights, but the Burgundy lounge has many “blind spots,” where you can’t see the stage, so get there 30 minutes early for a decent seat. The laundry facility was alright for washing ($3, drying is free). The ironing boards and irons were a bit confusing and felt cheap/shoddy. Another guest had to give us a tip on how to use the iron as there were no instructions. For good things: air in the cabin worked well. A couple cool nights we had to use the heater for, and warm nights the AC worked fine. The cabin was good sized, and felt about as big as our interior cabin on Conquest, and bathroom was the same. Disembark was so much better than off Conquest in May 2017! Breezed right out through Customs with a quick check of ID’s. Our cruise director Alex was GREAT! Very friendly and fun. Always nice to see him around the ship when we were walking around. We didn’t do the LGBT mixer, but guests and staff we met seemed mostly friendly with us as a gay couple. So I would say it was an LGBT friendly environment. Read Less
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
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
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
Sail Date: August 2013
We sailed on the August 3 sailing of the Carnival Dream to the Western Caribbean. We parked at an off site parking at Port Canaveral and the process went smoothly. It was Park, Cruise and I would recommend them. They were cheap and ... Read More
We sailed on the August 3 sailing of the Carnival Dream to the Western Caribbean. We parked at an off site parking at Port Canaveral and the process went smoothly. It was Park, Cruise and I would recommend them. They were cheap and efficient. WE got to the port and entered quickly and had very little waiting in line to get on the ship. I really don't know what has happened to Carnival. We (my partner and I) went on many of the Carnival ships in the early 2000's and loved them. Over the years we have seen a steady decline of service, food quality and lack of activities on the ship. I read many, many of the reviews of this ship prior to sailing and was even a bit hesitant of taking the cruise, but we already had it booked and were traveling with my in-laws so we just decided to go for it. I did not find the ship "beautiful" as some of the reviews said. I found it to be typical Carnival with lots of over the top glitz and mirrors. The dining rooms (The Crimson and Scarlett) were just about as ugly as they could get. Not the least bit elegant or welcoming. The food was mostly hit and miss, mostly miss in the dining rooms. Some stuff was very good. And a lot was not. As bad as some of the food was in the dining room, it was even WORSE in the buffets on the Lido Deck. The food has just gone down the tubes all around. (WE sailed on the Paradise last year and found the food quality to be really bad then as well) I will say that our servers were just superb. WE had so much fun with them, and they worked very hard to make sure we had an enjoyable dining experience, regardless of the quality of the food. These people work their tails off and deserve every penny in tips they get...and more. WE loved our balcony cabin. We spent a great deal of time on it and really enjoyed watching the ocean as we cut through the waves. Our cabin stewardess was just wonderful. In fact we found most of the staff we ran into to be quiet friendly and helpful regardless of some of the reviews we have read. Now let's talk entertainment. I am IN the industry and feel I have a very good eye for good entertainment. The shows onboard the Dream were just dreadful. The choice of songs for each show was an epic failure. There were two singers both with decent voices if the girl would not have belted every note and the sound engineer would not have had the sound so high it was actually painful to listen to. Just a shame that a company that has presented some really good quality shows in the past has let this part of the cruise slide. Whatever company Carnival contracts with to provide their shows, needs a second look from the higher ups at the cruise line. As for ship board activities. Again this is something they have dropped the ball on. Their used to be napkin folding classes, and ice sculpturing displays, and FREE tours of the kitchen and of the back stage of the theater just to name a few. Now all the cruise line wants u to do is play trivia, which really gets lame after about the 10th time. If one does not spend the day on the Lido deck or in the cabin, there is very little to do onboard. The ports were the same as we have seen the 5 other times we have gone to them. One can only have so many Mexican trinkets. The disembarkation was swift and easy. Carnival has managed to make getting on and off the ship seamless and easy. Overall the cruise was a bit of a disappointment. We just felt that Carnival doesn't try as hard any more and the experience for the guest is not as important. This will probably be our last cruise on Carnival Cruise Lines. We will spend the extra money and go on a line that gives much more quality. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2013
Enjoyed another successful Carnival Cruise, this time on the DREAM. The ocean view cabin was spacious and very nice but I am not used to being on the 2nd DECK and at the very back of the ship! The motors are very loud when entering into or ... Read More
Enjoyed another successful Carnival Cruise, this time on the DREAM. The ocean view cabin was spacious and very nice but I am not used to being on the 2nd DECK and at the very back of the ship! The motors are very loud when entering into or leaving a port! Food was decent,, best side dish, the Potato Salad,, FRESH DAILY. Had a visit to the CHEF'S STEAK HOUSE @ $35 per person,, WORTH EVERY DOLLAR!! The sail away party was fun, but the lack of the island bands and Calypso music from former days made it a lil boring. A couple of days the activity level planned for guest was very limited! Also missing from the buffet were chicken Tenders,,, the rest of the food was good. The disco At night was fun , met some new friends and learned some new line dances. CASINO area was smoky,, they should have designated areas for smokers so all can enjoy and not choke to death! The SPA SAUNA STEAM ROOM are lacking in size it was hard to find them compared to other ships .IMPRESSIVE are the number of hot tubs on board including those that appeared to be hanging over to the sides of the ship. Water slides were ok but one of them was not so thrilling. Staff was great and friendly from day one. Looking forward to next Carnival Cruise NOV 1st on board the Glory. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2012
This was a 7 day Western Caribbean cruise from Port Canaveral to 4 ports - Cozumel, Belize, Roatan, and Costa Maya. For a Carnival ship it was overall a pleasant surprise. Food choices were excellent the entire cruise. For breakfast ... Read More
This was a 7 day Western Caribbean cruise from Port Canaveral to 4 ports - Cozumel, Belize, Roatan, and Costa Maya. For a Carnival ship it was overall a pleasant surprise. Food choices were excellent the entire cruise. For breakfast you could eat in the dining room or on the Lido deck. Lines were not overly long. Plenty of hand sanitizer at all dining locations. Drinks available included lemonade, orange juice, tea, coffee, water. For lunch, On the Lido deck you had a choice of menu's (usually America, Caribbean or Italian on various days). If you did not like those there is always the WOK, Burrito Bar, Deli Sandwiches (hot as well as cold), an Indian chicken/beef selection on the AFT by the pool, as well as a Pasta food bar. Also in the afternoons on Deck 5 was a sushi bar. All included as part of your basic fare. Evening meals in the main dining room were always well presented and very good - plates all delivered in an appropriate temperature setting. There is also a Chef's art steak house that was excellent for a $30.00 surcharge per person. I ate in the MDR all nights except the one we ate in the steakhouse so I can't compare the Lido deck alternative choices although I did not hear of any complaints from passengers. As for the ports, they were pretty good. Cozumel and Costa Maya are always good for shopping and beach time. Belize and Roatan are great if you take one of the excursions. Keep in mind there is a lot of poverty in Belize and Honduras and some of the locals will ask you for money if you get too far out of the tourist areas on your own. The only black eye I will give to Carnival on the Dream is there are only two public laundrettes for 4500 passengers. And you must use your sail and sign card when using the machines or obtaining detergent. Fine, as long as the machines work but Guest Services was very snarky with passengers if the machines had problems. They saw no reason to send someone to fix their machines. I was not impressed with guest services on the Dream at all and is the only reason I dropped their score. Guest services on the Carnival Dream needs to learn what "service" and "customer" means. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2010
We are young cruisers (in our 20s) and went on this cruise for a quick getaway during the holidays. Our cruise was from December 23, 2010 to January 1, 2011, which was nice as it encompassed both Christmas and New Years onboard. Generally ... Read More
We are young cruisers (in our 20s) and went on this cruise for a quick getaway during the holidays. Our cruise was from December 23, 2010 to January 1, 2011, which was nice as it encompassed both Christmas and New Years onboard. Generally there are some aspects of the ship we really enjoyed, but a recurring complaint throughout our cruise was the subpar level of service we received from the staff as well as the incredible crowding of the ship - perhaps the crowding caused the poor service? EMBARKATION: Long lines but they moved fairly quickly. CABIN: We were in a cove balcony (2403). We really enjoyed it - it was spacious and the balcony was really great, close to the waterline. We did not experience the dreaded sewage smell in our cabin but we did smell it closer to the bow of the ship on Deck 2 on occasion (our cabin was towards the aft). I'm amazed that after months of complaints regarding this issue that it is still has not been resolved - perhaps emblematic of Carnival's lack of concern regarding issues of the Dream. Our cabin attendant was friendly and kept our cabin clean but was not especially outgoing. He never really took the time to chat with us or try to develop any kind of rapport, which was a disappointment because we had gone on a 3 day cruise on Majesty of the Seas (RCI) in November and by the end we felt our cabin attendant was practically family. We did like the towel animals but I'm pretty sure these are customary - we never really felt that our cabin attendant went above or beyond in anyway. He just never really stood out one way or another. DINING: We'll talk about The Gathering (buffet on the Lido deck). We found the food to generally be good, with plenty of good options - Mongolian, Indian, Grill, Pizza, Pasta, Grand Buffet, Burrito Bar etc. We were especially fond of the Mongolian Bar and Pasta Bar (the lasagna is amazing). However, the lines were simply HORRENDOUS. Getting any food at pretty much anytime required a 10+ minute wait. The design for the buffet is simply atrocious, because it requires everyone to stand in the same line, e.g. you can't really simply cut in to what you want, so you have to wait behind those who want to try every single salad and other item even if the only thing you wanted was a slice of prime rib. This makes no sense, especially for such a recent ship! In general, we found the crowd control to be extremely poor throughout the ship. We were seated in the Scarlet Dining Room with late seating at 8:15 PM. Our waiter for the first two days was simply terrible, one of the worst we have ever had on either land or sea. He never said hello, he never smiled, he simply asked what we wanted, and came back an hour later (!!!!) with our (then cold) food which he plopped down without saying a word. He never asked us how our meal was, etc. After two days of progressively worse service, we asked to switch tables. The headwaitress at the lobby we spoke to was friendly but not apologetic. If anything, I felt that I had to defend my request. We were switched tables though, and our new waiter was much friendlier, although not once in seven days did he come by to ask us how our meal was going. Again, compared to our short, cheap cruise on Royal Caribbean, the dining room service was simply not up to par. Our previous waiter frequently came by the chat with us, to check on us, etc. Our head waiter would also come by and check to see if we were enjoying our meal. On this cruise, not once in the nine days did a head waiter come by. I'm not sure if this is the standard on Carnival, but the comparison is definitely striking. The food itself in the MDR was hit or miss - terrible on the first night but better on other nights. One disappointment was that there was no "special" meal on Christmas or New Years - it was basically the same menu even though we were expecting something a little extra. After all, the cruise was twice as expensive as a regular (non-holiday) cruise. By the way, NOT ONCE in nine days in the MDR was I asked if we wanted anything "special" to drink, e.g. wines, sodas, etc. On the two occasions where I ordered sodas, I had to flag down the one beverage person who was apparently working the entire dining room, and then wait upwards of twenty minutes for my can of diet coke to be delivered. Just another example of the poor service on the Carnival Dream. The other alternative food option was the Wasabi bar, which generally offered either three pieces of sushi or tapas. The sushi and tapas were not very good but were just "extra," so we were fine with it. We did try the Steakhouse once. The food and service were excellent (I recommend the prime rib, cheesecake and cheese plate). Nevertheless, the cost per person is fairly steep - $30 per person. I believe this is more expensive than comparable specialty restaurants on other cruise lines. Also, surprisingly, you are limited to one entrEe and one dessert, which still allows for plenty of food but surprising given the steep cover charge. PUBLIC AREAS The public areas of the ship were definitely nice, but again we had some complaints. First, the wait for all the elevators was horrendous, so we generally took the stairs - which was actually good for our waistline, but aggravating for the elderly passengers. The lounges were nice, but we simply cannot understand why the one piano bar on the ship would be designated as a smoking area. As a result, we completely avoided the piano bar even though this was one of our favorite areas on Royal Caribbean (the Schooner lounge). We had high hopes for Caliente, the nightclub, but it was consistently empty, even past midnight. We were very disappointed with the pools on the Dream, which are tiny and only three!!! feet deep. The pools on the Majesty, which is about half the size of the Dream and carries half as many passengers, were probably twice as big and certainly twice as deep. Again, this design makes no sense, especially given the size of the ship. As a result, I think we only ever saw young kids using either of the two pools. (There is one additional spa pool, but it is very small and very costly - $35 per person for a day pass). The Jacuzzis were very nice, especially the four on the promenade deck as they are cantilevered over the side of the ship. We generally found there were plenty of Jacuzzis available, 2 in the serenity area, 2 at the aft of the lido deck, 2 on deck 11, and 4 on the promenade, but they did tend to fill up so they were certainly not very "private," except maybe late at night. The Dream does also offer mini-golf, which is a fun diversion; waterworks - the slides are fun for about five minutes, and the rivets are not aligned so I would definitely agree with others that a t-shirt is necessary to avoid significant pain; and two giant outdoor life-sized chess boards on the promenade deck - a nice hidden feature. ENTERTAINMENT This was another low point of the cruise. Given that the Dream is Carnival's flagship, it simply does not even come close to what we've heard about the entertainment on either NCL's (Epic) or RCI's (Allure or Oasis) flagship entertainment. The male lead singer, Desmond Dansby, is good, but the female lead singer, Simone Catallano, is terrible. The dancers were OK but nothing great, except for the "Fun Force" hip hop team which was very good. The Fun Force starred in "Dancing in the Streets" which was by far the best show. The other entertainers included average comics, a not very exciting EDGE juggling show, a decent ventriloquist, and a decent hypnotist. By the way, "Jeff the fun dude," who hosts the comedy shows in the Burgundy Lounge, is NOT funny. We didn't really love the cruise director, Butch, or his assistant, George Roberts AKA Baby Butch. There was just something "off." Most of the passengers seemed to like him though, and he was very peppy. Our opinion might actually be colored by our debarkation, during which he was present but kind of gave us a weird look and did not shake our hands. We thought this was very odd for a cruise director who has a reputation for being upbeat and personable. FUNVILLE@SEA The ship has a wireless intranet known as Funville@Sea, with message boards for passengers to interact. This is an interesting concept but poorly executed as hardly anyone used it. It could be fun if a critical mass of passengers got involved with it, though. OVERALL The Dream is an OK ship - we think it seriously lags behind its competitors' flagships. The service on our cruise, from the dining staff to the entertainment staff to the stateroom staff, was mediocre but perhaps explained by the passenger load. Although the ship might be designed to carry a maximum of 4,500 or so passengers, the public areas and staffing of the ship simply do not support this type of passenger load. I think our experience suffered as a result. GLBT ISSUES We had heard Carnival was generally GLBT friendly. We are both gay, and so we were looking forward to the FOD meetings. Although the meetings appeared on the schedule every day, we only were able to meet one other couple on the third or fourth day. We didn't like them very much and simply stopped bothering to show up. On the first three days, no other GLBT people showed up for the meeting - pretty disappointing given that the ship was carrying around 4,500 passengers. So beware GLBT folks, don't expect to find people at FOD. Read Less
Carnival Dream Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.5 4.3
Dining 4.5 3.9
Entertainment 3.5 3.9
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 4.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.9
Enrichment 3.5 3.6
Service 5.0 4.2
Value For Money 5.0 4.0
Rates 3.0 4.1

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