Sail Date: August 2011
DH and I wanted to do something special for our Anniversary as well as trying a Cove Balcony so we chose this cruise. We are experienced cruisers but for our style cruising we made a few mistakes. Mistake number one - We got the ... Read More
DH and I wanted to do something special for our Anniversary as well as trying a Cove Balcony so we chose this cruise. We are experienced cruisers but for our style cruising we made a few mistakes. Mistake number one - We got the last Cove Balcony and it was under the galley. The noise was incredible all day and most of the night. The Cove Balconies themselves are an echo chamber conducting sound down the whole side of the ship. We liked the position of the Cove Balcony close to the water but don't plan on getting any sleep unless you have ear plugs. The galley above us was so noisy we couldn't tell if some noise came from next door cabins. We could hear the screaming kid across the hall for a week as well as kids wandering the hall at all hours. Mistake number two - Was taking a cruise when the kids were still out of school. We were told there were over 1500 kids on board and over 1000 of them were under age 14. During the safety briefing, the ship announced curfews for kids and the need for parental supervision. I never saw anything enforced. For a week we dodged running kids wielding ice cream cones. We watched kids get food on the buffet and put it back. We watched boxes of cereal fall to the floor and be put back for use by crew as well as passengers. Big hint, if you eat boxed cereal on board any ship don't carry it to your table in your cereal bowl! One evening at 10:45 pm I decided to go to the Lido for a snack. When the elevator came down three children age 6 and under were on the elevator alone. Two of the boys were trying to pull the third one off the elevator while he was having a tantrum. No parents in sight. As I arrived on the Lido, young children were roaming all over. Unsupervised children were in the aft pool. I saw one boy with this mouth on the cream machine feeding himself directly sans bowl or cone! Gangs of teenagers were everywhere. DH and I were horrified to see a teenaged boy licking a pudding dessert out of the bowl, who needs a spoon! DH and I were exhausted after a week of hiding in our stateroom from screaming and unruly kids! Mistake Number 3 - We were wait listed for anytime dining but got stuck with Late Fixed seating. For health reasons we can't eat a heavy meal that late at night so all our dinners except for one were on the Lido. For the most part the food was as good as you would get in most hospitals! We had sandwiches and pizza a couple of nights. During lunch the Pasta Bar was good, the Burrito Bar was OK, the BBQ on the Lanai was OK, the Wok was OK, and the grill was OK. Pizza and sandwiches were good. Chef Art's ($30 up charge) was excellent. Breakfast was awful. We ate cold cereal and noticed many people doing likewise. Reminder, don't put the boxes of cereal or cartons of milk inside your bowl to carry them to the table. We reported seeing the dining room staff replacing milk and cereal that had been on tables or the floor to the supervisor and he said they should know better and would remind them not to do it but days later they still were doing it. The shows were good. We went to two song and dance shows and one comedy show and enjoyed all of them. Overall, we found that Carnival Dream was too big with too many people and way too many kids for our taste. We did not see one case where Carnival enforced any of their own rules. There were some responsible parents and some well mannered children but overall it was a chaotic cruise with parents turning their little monsters loose on everyone else. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2009
We booked the Dream's "Inaugural" Caribbean Cruise well in advance, and in all fairness to Carnival, we received an excellent upgrade, ending up on Deck 9. The stateroom was in a most convenient location with easy access to ... Read More
We booked the Dream's "Inaugural" Caribbean Cruise well in advance, and in all fairness to Carnival, we received an excellent upgrade, ending up on Deck 9. The stateroom was in a most convenient location with easy access to the Lido (Gathering) restaurant. The Cruise Director and staff totally succeeded in making the touted Inaugural Cruise a non-event. A great opportunity was lost here. It should be understood anyone who reads this review that my mate and I are veteran cruisers, having cruised on HAL, MSC, RCI and others. Also the reader should know that this was our 18th cruise on Carnival ships out of a total of 42 cruises. We were told when we arrived at the Canaveral guest waiting area that there were over 600 "Platinum" guests to board. Boarding the ship went smoothly and was surprisingly early, considering the ship's capacity. As usual, we found no fault with the staff and the service was up to par with one exception, a deck hand who was permanently in a snit and encountering something like this is extremely rare. The berths were comfortable as would be expected on a new ship. Okay, that's the good part . . . now we'll proceed to "tell it like it was." As the ship was built on a Conquest Class platform, most inner spaces, theater, shops, bars, etc were about the same as the Carnival Glory. However the weather decks were another story, with many innovative features which we had not seen on other ships. Some of these were good, and some were abominations. Lets take the Serenity deck . . . a very big disappointment for us, as the seats, lounges etc. appeared to be designed by the Marquis de Sade, not very subtle instruments of torture for those who were seeking quiet and comfort. The on deck experience. The fluorescent rail deck lighting was arranged as to blind anyone who came on deck, destroying any possibility of any viewing of a night sky or other ships around. These lights could have been adjusted (three set screws) so they shone on the deck and not up into guests eyes. The jogging track was plain linoleum deck covering with no cushioning, and the "teak" decking was printed on the deck covering as well as the jogging trck. Traditional teak decking was very rare. The deck lounges were generally comfortable. There was a power failure and there were people trapped in elevators, air conditioning was down, and this seemed to last just short of an hour. Fortunately we were taking a siesta in our stateroom, and were only inconvenienced by "Todd's" many announcements (piped directly into thestateroom speakers) reassuring those trapped in elevators that they would be out soon. Of course, the biggest fiasco was the cancellation of the San Juan port of call. The Captain decided that the ship could not be docked without damaging the lifeboats, and the ship just held position a couple of hundred yards off the piers while final decisions were made. Note that the ship's design is very "hippy" with the lifeboats and Deck Five extending out from the sides of the ship. Pretty dumb design if you ask me. I did look at San Juan on Google Earth and noted that in the image that a Carnival Conquest-class ship was docked in a space that was unoccupied while we waiting around. This was an inexcusable fiasco. The food was so-so, most of it was supplied by Syco's, and monotinous. The deserts were not unlike plastic food, and getting hot food was just about impossible except for the Pasta Bar as we did get one hot meal there. The Welcome Aboard and Repeaters parties were a total failure. Offing a dollar off on drinks is a total insult. The changes instituted in these two events are totally negative, it's getting to the point there either event is not worth the time it takes to attend. Summing up, we would never cruise on the Dream again, and we'll be cruising on HAL and RCI for a while. Carnival ain't what it once was! 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
Sail Date: July 2016
i chose this cruise as the timing was perfect. My wife just finished her chemo treatments for breast cancer, she had her surgery three weeks before we cruised and it was a celebration cruise for her overcoming the cancer. We both are ... Read More
i chose this cruise as the timing was perfect. My wife just finished her chemo treatments for breast cancer, she had her surgery three weeks before we cruised and it was a celebration cruise for her overcoming the cancer. We both are Platinum members. We have been cruising with carnival since 1985. This was the first cruise we have ever been on where we did not feel like platinum members. We we treated as ordinary at the concierge counter. Tell me what is the benefit of being Platinum or Diamond (which we are trying to attain) if there is no respect or better treatment. We have friends who are members of Roayal Carribean and we have on many occasions turn down going on a RCI cruise because we felt commited to Carnival. The debarkation was rediculous. it took two hours for platinum members who checked luggage to get off. Welll i was certainly concerned as we had a flight to catch back to dallas texas. we made it just in time to board the plane. It gets worst. when we entered our balcony room ( the only way we cruise) it was shameful the amount of dust we saw around the A/C outlet and the trim around the room. I said nothing to the room stewart as i did not know if he was responsible. So i took a washcloth and wet it and cleaned the dust of the ceiling and the above trim around the room. The first day it rained. We when it rains you expect once the day drys out no standing water will be on your balcony. not only on my balcony but the adjoing balconies to either side of my room, I dont know how not to be disgusted. I called the service desk and asked to have it removed. for the next two days as it rained i had to asked the room stewart to deal with the water. A bit concerned with the sika virus and standing water on my balcony. Yes we felt very comfortable under these conditions, Bad air, standing water , mis treatment. Why should i continue cruising Carnival? Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
I was Sooooooooo excited to go on my first cruise:) And left disappointed and confused why this is all this rave about cruises. The food was so terrible, that I was on Pep-to Bismol night 2. For the breakfast buffet, they pulled ham out of ... Read More
I was Sooooooooo excited to go on my first cruise:) And left disappointed and confused why this is all this rave about cruises. The food was so terrible, that I was on Pep-to Bismol night 2. For the breakfast buffet, they pulled ham out of a water bucket...UGH! The best food I had was an omelet, hot dog, and the Steakhouse (which the Steakhouse was incredibly SLOW even with a reservation)! Night three I felt like I had a rock in my stomach and couldn't eat anything for the next 2 days. Then I though I would try the deli, thinking maybe that would be ok...I couldn't eat it. The Deli gave a a slab of cheese that you could pick up and it wobbled with warm bread (I took one bight and about upchucked. The servers were rude, which shocked me...I was always told the service was great! I love stand-up comedy, so we went to a couple of shows. However, we walked out not even 10 minutes in because they were horrible. I didn't even get a good laugh out. Except for one, who was an amazing funny Hispanic guy. The ship only has 2 pools which are SMALL...and I mean SMALL!!! I went to have a beer and relax in the pool, a bunch of kids start splashing around (no problem), but I want to relax so I go to the other side of the boat "thinking that it must be the side with just adults"...NOPE! So, there is NO adult only pool area! So, I was in a pool for 20 minutes on they entire cruise. If you wanted adult only area, you had to go to a small upper deck with nothing but chairs. The Ports were NICE! Really enjoyed they Excursions, but every time on the way back in all I could think is "Oh god, I have to get back on that ship". There are hidden fees as well, which no one tells you from the Casino to Drinks! I spent a grand in the casino (made not a DIME)...the casino sent me COOKIES! Really, Cookies? WTH! After spending a crap ton for the cruise and getting charged a crap ton while on it...I cannot believe that was my vacation! I don't feel relaxed, I feel jipped! All my co-workers are telling me to try Royal or Norwegian before I say NO to cruises, supposedly they are suppose to be way better...I think I am to scorned though. The one night I just really wanted to get away, I did go up to the Serenity deck to sit in the Hot-tub and stair at the stars. There was a 17 year old kid in there drunk with a bucket of beers behind his heading blabbing about how this was his 12th cruise with mommy and daddy! I thought it was adults ONLY...and how in the hell does a 17 year old get a bucket of beers? So, needless to say after having to listen to annoying crap...I got out 10 minutes later! Pros: Cabin was nice (and so was our cabin attendant), and the shows (in the main room) pretty good! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2009
I think the other reviewers hit the biggest issues that plagued this cruise so I won't continue to drive those nails into the Dream coffin. And I realize that some of the issues are quite subjective such as the average patron age ... Read More
I think the other reviewers hit the biggest issues that plagued this cruise so I won't continue to drive those nails into the Dream coffin. And I realize that some of the issues are quite subjective such as the average patron age (70+) and the extreme rudeness of a significant portion of them. However, on a technical/objective front, the Dream staff really must have had their work cut out for them since there was mass confusion right from embarkation (everybody stood around the Atrium clogging the way to the elevators and no signs or staff telling people where to go/what to do) Later we found out there were a couple of young staff with 'help' shirts on but I didn't see them and if I did, would I have known why there were there? The design of the Lido buffet restaurant was atrocious. We already heard how patrons got their hot and cold drinks but what wasn't mentioned is that their placement is such that it caused huge choke points in the main aisle ways and around the dinner lines. To further add congestion and confustion were the millieu of staff with push carts trying to navigate these choke points at peak times, and being very frustrated with people in their way. The designer should get a D- minus for not only the layout of this desk but all the public areas. We're in our early 40s so the entertainment was so so. Sure the R rated sessions were a little raunchy but if you were offended, why didn't you just go to the PG rated shows? And FunDude?! You were an odd curiousity the first time with your squeakyness, but seriously, stay off the stage. The singing was fine but the dancing was hohum. Several dancers not completing their movements and most of the time were out of sync. I've seen better at our local country theatres. The food was alright, but the restaurant food was less than the stellar meals we were lead to belive they'd be. And the portions were puny! At first we were kind of shocked that people were ordering several appetizers and entrees but now we know why! And the fresh fruit? Sour oranges (from a Florida port no less) no bananas halfway through the cruise, seemed like the end of the cruise was filled with fruit puree at the buffet. The dinner rolls served on the last 3 days were definitely several days old but the cinnamon and croisant rolls at breakfast were fresh daily. Debarkation was like being a guest on a hideaway bed and the owner shook and tilted the bed, telling us to get out. It was THAT FAST! Felt the love, not. And, don't even get me started on San Juan. One would think that in today's age, those pier artifacts could've/should've been added to the port simulator for docking trials. Here's an objective situation for you. We signed up for the Kennedy Space Center debarkation tour with airport transfer on the 2nd day at sea. We looked up what it would cost to do such a tour and a shuttle separately and felt that the onboard price was very very compelling so we asked once by phone then once again at the shore excursion desk if the price was correct? Yes it is we were told both times so we signed up. 2 days later we got a call saying our tickets were being refunded because the price was wrong in their published guide and on the TV and that there's nothing anyone can do, not even give a discount for our inconvenience, nothing. 2 days later we still want to go so we sign up and the morning of the debarkation we were informed that they would honour a 50% discount to everyone who signed up. (which brings us back to the original purchased price) So several days of frustration with the same end result.... Overall, unless you were a Gators fan (pre-empted the big screen movies) or just wanted everyone to leave you alone and sun out on the deck and didn't care for the subtle pamperings that 99% of our friends told us we'd experience on a Carnival cruise, you'd rate most likely had a good time. We did not. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
We chose the Dream because we enjoyed sailing on her out of New Orleans and got a casino offer at a pretty good rate out of Galveston which is where we live. Embarkation was simple and quick. It was really nice that the muster was ... Read More
We chose the Dream because we enjoyed sailing on her out of New Orleans and got a casino offer at a pretty good rate out of Galveston which is where we live. Embarkation was simple and quick. It was really nice that the muster was indoors since it was mid August. Our stateroom was on Lido forward. This meant a lot of walking (I had a knee injury and had to use a cane), but we chose this stateroom so that's on us. The room was clean and tidy, but we didn't see much of our steward. Room was cleaned once per day during dinner hour. This is a far cry from the service Carnival provided in the past, though it's no fault of the steward. He did his best. Smoking areas on 5 and 11 received no bar service. They were very small areas with no access to pool nor whirlpools. Smokers were confined to the very small areas and not allowed to use sun loungers. Deck 5 smoking area was blocked off about half the cruise. Deck 11 smoking was right behind the stack and black oil spots were all over our clothes. Casino area was of course full of smokers. Where else could they go? Carnival makes a good bit of money off of smokers. STOP TREATING THEM LIKE TRASH!! One other thing about the casino...there was a drawing held one night and we were to receive an entry for every 100 points we had. We each had around 1300 points. We realized as we watched the names roll around on the screen that neither of our names were there. That didn't give us a very good feeling. Steakhouse. What happened here? This used to be a very nice experience with yummy food and beautiful composed plates. Now you get a piece of meat and roasted tomato dropped on your plate. Why this change??? Terrible. Raise the price if you need to, but don't just ruin it by destroying the ambience! Main dining Food mediocre as usual, but the service was impeccable. Yaco and his assistants were awesome. Yaco served drinks at the back pool on shore days and was the only server to come up to no man's land (smoking area). Thanks Yaco! Crew They were as awesome as they could be. They are overworked and treated like crap by many cruisers. We always treat them well, enjoy talking with them and tip extra. They are the only really enjoyable part of this cruise. Entertainment Violinists were good. Otherwise really lacking. I know you can get better entertainment. Finally We've all seen the carnival experience go downhill over the years. I understand keeping costs down to allow more people the opportunity to cruise. I've never cuised another line so have nothing to compare it to. I've always loved the cruising experience til now. It was the first time I've wanted to go home from a cruise. If you smoke, be warned you'll be treated by the cruise line as a lower class citizen. I won't say that I'll never cruise again, but right now I sure don't want to. Sad. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
We were really excited for this cruise. I usually go with Carnival, because the food is great, service is impeccable, and good bang for the buck. Good points first: Embarkation was wonderful! Quick, no long lines, and on the ship ... Read More
We were really excited for this cruise. I usually go with Carnival, because the food is great, service is impeccable, and good bang for the buck. Good points first: Embarkation was wonderful! Quick, no long lines, and on the ship in a jiffy. Some of the staff were very friendly. A couple of the salads at the salad bar were really good. A trio of violinists called the Sunny Trio were the high point for us. Very talented and unexpected! Now for the bad: Food quality: Many of the desserts had a gelatinous texture. Chicken served to me at Guy's Pig and Anchor (I think that's the name) was 1/2 skin and fat, and I had to throw most of it away. Pulled pork had some dried out bites that no amount of the delicious bbq sauce would cover up. Dinners were hit and miss. Some were pretty good while others I would rather forget. Service: The worst! I'm a gold member so I've taken my share of Carnival cruises. Never have I had poor service until now. Some of the waiters were downright grumpy! Night 2: Elegant night - Late dining. Our table was given 1 small roll each and the basket was taken away. We waited 1 hour before receiving appetizers, and my son didn't get his! He waited another 15 minutes before bringing it to server's attention. That and the fact that he ordered 2 bottles of wine which had not been served. By this time, we were VERY HUNGRY! My son finally got his appetizer after we were completely finished with ours - sauce dried on the plate presumably from sitting somewhere for a very long time. Bottles of wine came after waiting 90 minutes or more from the time we ordered! This was NOT an isolated incident. We breakfasted with another couple the we just met in the dining room. The wife never received her omelet. When the husband brought it to the waiter's attention (after we were completely finished with our food) I could see the waiter around the corner picking up entree lids until he found the errant omelet and served it to her. It probably had been sitting there 30 minutes. Our last dinner aboard ship, we experienced the same thing. Sitting, sitting, waiting for food...any food. We were just getting our desserts after most of the dining room had left. There were several tables that had this incredible poor service. I had to step aside for wait staff several times a day. Normally they let you pass. The pools: Standing room only! It was ridiculous. I heard several people complaining that the spas were cold to lukewarm. I have to wonder if Carnival has severely cut staff to cut costs. Grumpy waiters, low quality food, & poor service = save $ for Carnival? Carnival, you just lost a long time customer. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
This is my last cruise on Carnival. The entertainment was average. The bartenders were not friendly at all. Everywhere you went there were lines. I bought a drink card and even the cokes had to be opened at the bar before they would ... Read More
This is my last cruise on Carnival. The entertainment was average. The bartenders were not friendly at all. Everywhere you went there were lines. I bought a drink card and even the cokes had to be opened at the bar before they would allow me to take it to my room. IF you buy the endless bubbles, everyone in your cabin over 21 has to also buy. Your limit is 15 drinks per 24 hour period. The tea, juice and water was horrible. You have to buy the soft drink/juice card or pay high prices for water. I heard that if your liquor gets confiscated you don't get it back. The slots machines pay the first day or two but after that, forget it!!!! They want to sucker you in in the beginning. At least they could have provided a decent glass of tea with our meals. So long Carnival!!! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
Well there is a reason Meds are prescribed and Jace the tour director needs to take as prescribed. Everything out of his mouth was at full speed Charlie Brown teacher talk. A little Ritalin would help the guests perhaps understand what ... Read More
Well there is a reason Meds are prescribed and Jace the tour director needs to take as prescribed. Everything out of his mouth was at full speed Charlie Brown teacher talk. A little Ritalin would help the guests perhaps understand what we need to know. He held the mike too close and speed read the schedule numerous times throughout the day. Very unclear explanation of what to do. BINGO consists of three games which you pay 0 for three cards or 30 or 60 for 9. And the prize $70 until the last one which you pick an envelope for which usually was 100. They almost force you to use their tours by punishing you if you don't. We booked an excellent tour on our own in Belize only to find out the tenders would guarantee the people that booked with them to be in the first tenders off. But wait there was the option to get to some lounge early and try to get a ticket for the first tenders. Luckily, I was given a special escort pass because I had asked for a hairdryer (bring yours) on the first day, then second day asked steward and finally wen down that night to guest services only to be told they were supposed to get a shipment in New Orleans and it didn't com in. when given the special escort pass he didn't explain what that meant and other workers didn't know. Finally figured it out after being told by guest services when I complained about lack of information that it was on back of sheet. See he flipped it over and when I asked where, he had to go find someone to find out.)That will teach you me to book with someone other than carnival the next time. Steward never even introduced herself except via card. We ate a lot of pizza because meal times in buffet were very limited. Getting off boat (jump it is faster). Well that was a circus in itself everything jammed up no workers to work crowd control. Almost had a fight on 4th floor with some swear words being tossed around by two men yelling. Okay so we go down elevator and again no workers to supervise the chaos. A gentlemen tells us he has been waiting a long time and the people on elevators keep showing up and jumping in line. So we go around to back of line. Here comes a Carnival director administrator man telling us this is customs fault. There was no one in line but customs stopped everything so please don't hold it against carnival. Being a teacher and used to managing lines I said to him, "but carnival could do a better job managing the chaos. These people just moved right here in line" Then some rather angry lady started in on me, don't blame us carnival keeps making us move from line to line, so don,t yell at us it isn't,t our fault. Of course I got called a heifer ( which at this point I was feeling rather heiferish being channeled into the slaughter house although she was more heiferish than me.). I told her, " I wasn't yelling at you I was telling carnival they needed to organize the chaos. I cruised on Norweigan and had no problem. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2014
This was our 8th cruise, and our first on Carnival. Mary, my companion has MS and uses a cane. Embarkation was a confusing mess. We were shuffled from one red shirted Carnival employee to another, always with the promise that the next one ... Read More
This was our 8th cruise, and our first on Carnival. Mary, my companion has MS and uses a cane. Embarkation was a confusing mess. We were shuffled from one red shirted Carnival employee to another, always with the promise that the next one would be able to secure a wheel chair. We never saw one, and actually boarded ship sort of moved along by the crowd rather than in any organized fashion. Debarkation was also chaotic. Our cabin, 1407, was excellent, very large by most standards, sleeping up to 5, and normally used for families. It was located on deck one aft, which put us right below our dining room, and should have been convenient to the buffet and other services important to us. Unfortunately, we were to find that elevators rarely stopped on deck one. They would come as close as decks 3 or 2, and then proceed back up. On numerous occasions, Mary had to navigate the stairs, along with several other disabled passengers. On one occasion, a woman in a motorized wheel chair unable to get an elevator or use the stairs, became frightened at being stranded and made quite a scene. I had worked as an advocate for people with disabilities, so I volunteered to go take up the issue with the customer service desk. After pointing out the hazard to people with disabilities, I was assured the problem would be addressed. While it did improve somewhat as the week went on, the elevators remained a sore spot, and in my opinion, a safety hazard. Food aboard ship was a total disappointment to us. The buffet was the worst we had encountered in our 8 cruises. Both quality and variety were inferior in every way to previous cruises. For the first time as cruisers, we found ourselves eating away from the buffet, eating pizza on several occasions. The up side was that the pizza was excellent, and there was good access to ice cream and other alternative foods. The dining room was a shock to our system, resembling a discotheque more than an elegant dining room. We were assigned to a booth that reminded us of something from Denny’s. It was a disappointing departure from the large table and wonderful group dining we were accustomed to. We were extremely fortunate to have a wonderful couple named Les and Tammy assigned with us who proved to be perfect dinner companions, otherwise, we would have fought a battle over the accommodations. Elegant dining is one of our most enjoyable experiences while cruising, and Carnival frankly has missed the boat with that. The dining room food was as inferior as the buffet. We and our companions, found the meat dishes in particular, of very poor quality. Carnival definitely gets failing grades when it comes to food. Service was a bright spot. Our servers in the dining room, as well as our room attendants could not have been finer. Our server, a young woman from Croatia was delightful, and always going above and beyond. The same with our room attendant, who was always around, and always pampering us. If the food had been of the quality of the help, we’d have been in heaven. Entertainment was hit or miss, we did attend a good comedy show, but most of the music on stage was stale, or just too loud for our taste. There were some very entertaining audience participation shows featuring the cruise director, similar to what we had enjoyed on other cruises. Trivia, which is one of our favorite activities on cruises, was also hit or miss depending on who was conducting it. The most frequent conductor was an entertainer at heart who seemed too hung up on himself and his own interests to make it true trivia. Even at that, we enjoyed trivia greatly. All three shore stops, Mahogany Bay, Belize, and Cozumel were awesome, and we enjoyed them famously. Due to our disabilities, we are not bungee jumpers or volcano climbers, but rather traditional tourists out for some good shopping, and sights to see. These three stops are great for that, and I highly recommend them. No complaints about the aesthetics of the ship, it is a beauty, decorated in bright colors that add to the atmosphere of party and good times. The casino is bigger than any other we had experienced on a ship, and busier. In fact, the casino seemed to be one of the central features, and a well done one at that. We enjoyed it greatly. In summation, Carnival is Carnival, and you get what you pay for. If like us, you are in to traditional elegant cruising, Carnival is not a good fit. The dream is a party ship, and sailing out of New Orleans, a lot of the passengers are from Louisiana and Mississippi, and are out for heavy drinking, hooting and hollering, and a large number are smokers. If that is your bag, by all means, go aboard. I’ve always said, that we have never been on a bad cruise. We still haven’t, we just enjoy others more than we did Carnival.   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2012
This is a Long winded rant, so i will try to keep it at a Minimum. To start the cruise off.. I am a Platinum member, and as we entered the port terminal, we were PHYSICALLY directed into the regular Check in line. we went through the ... Read More
This is a Long winded rant, so i will try to keep it at a Minimum. To start the cruise off.. I am a Platinum member, and as we entered the port terminal, we were PHYSICALLY directed into the regular Check in line. we went through the line, waited, while the others in my party, were through already. by the time i got to the agent, she looked at me like I purposely entered the wrong line, and stated, "WHAT ARE YOU DOING IN THIS LINE, YOU SHOULD HAVE GONE THROUGH VIP... ((Really ?? you think ?? )) She then, had to temporarily close the line I was in, and walk to the other side of the terminal to get my Room keys from VIP, and walk back. After that ordeal, We ran the Gauntlet, of Photographers, and boarded. we had a quick lunch, attended the fire drill as usual. then went back to wait for our luggage, we waited till 7:30 pm.. Missed dinner, and still NO LUGGAGE. Out cabin steward stopped by to introduce himself, ( Great guy ) He went with me to look for it out in the halls, and then finally to cust. service, Where it was behind the counter. Now here is why i was a bit angry about my luggage being held, and NO WORD AT ALL, till I.. had to go look for it.. I have a bad gall Bladder, that requires medication, when I do have an attack. it is horribly painful, and persistent. Apparently my wife had packed a small travel iron ( I agree, She should NOT have, and she KNEW BETTER ) BUT.. To hold my luggage, and meds. and keep me in PAIN for over an Hour.. is Uncalled for. I had to stand there an additional HOUR.. waiting for a member of security to come up, and get my cabin steward back, SO they could go through EVERYTHING in my luggage in front of 4 other people, strewing everything out on the floor. after all is said an done, the confiscate the iron. ( No big deal ) they shoved everything back in the bags,and I was given a completely insincere "I'm sorry" for the inconvenience and I am THEN.. 2.5 hours later.. able to take my meds. We have now. Missed dinner, and had to go up to the lido for LOUSY pizza. ((WELCOME ABOARD RIGHT ??)) AFter a Lack luster dinner meal, We hit the Soft serve Frozen yogurt, and back to the cabin for an early bed time. Then the NOISE.. We were on Deck 2 all the way to the front. ((OMG)) There was such an incredible POUNDING reverberating through the room it was near impossible to sleep, I called guest services, to complain about the " work crew banging below deck, and was told, it was the waves, hitting the side of the ship, and again.. was given an Epic fail, of an Apology, ((which sounded like the 100th one issued that night.)) The sleep we did get, was Out of pure exhaustion. ((This was EVERY NIGHT.. of our cruise)) No follow ups, NOTHING was done to even try to help.. This is how they treat thier Platinum members??? {The service was VERY GOOD all around,} With the exception of the LOUSY MANAGEMENT staff. The entertainment on this cruise.. was some of the WORST i have seen and heard.. They could learn a lot from ROYAL CARIBBEAN, and DISNEY ... The CARNIVAL DREAM was a NIGHTMARE for my group of 5.. and JUST from the treatment on this cruise and all the other little things.. I will be hard pressed to EVER sail with Carnival Again.. The over all Quality has Gone WAY DOWN, as has the Customer service aspect of this particular cruise line. WE enjoyed all the Ports.. The food for the most part was Good enough, The dream for its size, is SO HEAVILY jammed with things to generate money they take away from the passengers comfort. the dream is one of the LEAST favorite and unmemorable ships I have ever sailed. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2011
this was and will be our only cruise with this company firstly let me start by saying the crew and staff were fantastic very helpful and polite the room stewardess was very good and the rooms very always clean the bar staff were ... Read More
this was and will be our only cruise with this company firstly let me start by saying the crew and staff were fantastic very helpful and polite the room stewardess was very good and the rooms very always clean the bar staff were also very polite and always seemed to be busy either serving or wiping down bar tops shelves etc we mostly used the Laani bar on deck 5 this cruise was absolutely full and boy did it show whenever you went for a buffet meal it seemed every passenger was wanting to eat at the same time as us (we often changed times to go to the buffet) but the queues were long the only place you could get tea/coffee was deck 10 we were on deck 2 so quite a trek for a drink the breakfast buffet served the same  everyday with little or no variation we had dinner 4 times in the scarlett lower lounge and the menu was limited but was OK the meals were not overly big but you could order another meal if you wanted again wait staff were very good we thought the entertainment was not very good unless you wanted to be drinking and running around like a lunatic we saw 2 shows in the encore theatre Dancing in the street which was very good and a country show which was very mediocre what spoiled the second show was towards the end the act as part of a song told the audience to stand up and be proud to be american while lots of them did lots kept sitting down and felt as if we shouldn't have been there uncomfortable moments (we then left) from there we went straight aft to the Burgundy lounge to see a so called comedian  he started by having a go at the Pakistanis then started on the Brits following up by bawling how great the yanks are again we walked out shore tours we had been to Cozumel in the past we saw a cruise liner moored near Senor Frogs so assumed wrongly this is where the Nightmare would tie up instead it was a taxi ride into town 7 dollars each way on the way off the boat you have to pass through duty free shops and 20 jewellery shops all recommended by Carnival also a bar Isla Rotan we got off the boat went through duty free shops and 20 jewellery shops and a bar recommended by carnival we asked about a taxi ride to the parrot park 10 dollars we said 4 of us 40 dollars we were told then 8 dollars each to enter park then 40 dollars back we went and did an independent tour for 100 dollars plus a tip for the guide you hire them to take you round the island take as long as you want (stand is just across the car park ) we passed the Parrot the monkey and i think it was flora and fauna parks after about 20 minutes these are 3 separate parks and cost 8 dollars each Belize we got off the boat passed 20 jewellery shops a bar and duty free shops all recommended by carnival we went to go outside the compound/jail and some of the locals were reaching in trying to get us through the bars wanting us to go on trips with them, back to the boat costa maya carnival recommended that we went to 20 jewellery shops a bar then through duty free this was the more amazing for the whole tour how they get away with it DOH we the victims are really taken for suckers 10 minutes ashore back to boat space Kennedy we booked this trip for the debarkation day because we didn't want to sit in the airport and remember our lovely holiday this we did as recommended by carnival on day 1 of the cruise as places would fill up very quickly. 1630 on the Friday note posted through cabin door trip cancelled through lack of interest we went to complain at customer service absolutely no interest from them didn't have time to book another trip so spent 8 hours sat in airport (really exciting) overall we think if you were not spending money to line the pockets of carnival they are not interested in you if they paid the staff real wages then you wouldn't have to pay tips Read Less
Sail Date: April 2011
Embarkcation process went smoothly as everyone stated. The family came in 1 day early and stayed at Country Inn and Suites in Cape Canaveral and the stay was very pleasant.OK now our dream beginsWhen boarding the ship there was no one ... Read More
Embarkcation process went smoothly as everyone stated. The family came in 1 day early and stayed at Country Inn and Suites in Cape Canaveral and the stay was very pleasant.OK now our dream beginsWhen boarding the ship there was no one greeting the guests, you were left to figure out where to go next, I feel that would be tough on first time cruisers, which we had 4 with our group.We headed to Deck 10 (Lido deck)to the Gathering for lunch that was overwhelming, long lines, DH had to sit at empty table while we were in line for food, food was OK nothing to brag about.Room was ready by 1:30 received luggage in a reasonable about of time. Never meet the room steward but he did an excellent job on keeping our room clean and staffed with clean towels.After changing into our swimwear we headed off to the pool, another challenge no seats and small pool for a ship of 4,000 people. Oh. now the sail away party what a BIG disappointment, possibly the worse one ever.We ate in the main dining room 6 out or 7 nights, we had 14 people at our table now Anthony was our headwaiter and did a fine job, but his assistant sucked, the head matrid never once came to our table, until I asked for him to complain about the amount of time it took to serve us. A minimum of 2 hours for dinner, food was only warm and getting a drink was almost impossible, we were on the upper level of the Scarlet Dining Room and the kitchen is on the 3rd level and the food had to be bought up from the 3rd level on the escalator along with anything you wanted to drink, it took forever, We enjoyed the shows and the comedy shows we had no complaints, the only problem is the saving of seats, at the pool and at the Encore theater, the activities need some help, the fun days at sea where not fun, very little to dounless you like playing Bingo all the time at $20 a game. Oh yeah the serenity deck I think you needed to be there in the middle of the night to get a clam shell or a hammock because there NEVER was one available, also there is no pool for the adults, which there should be.Disembarking was done by zones and it was very very slow took us until 10:30amto get off the ship.Overall not a great cruise, too many people, to large of a ship. For the sizeof the ship they don't have alot to offer, but we had a great time with ourfamily, we will never cruise the Carnival Dream as a couple, Forgot one thing the Lani Deck (deck 5) was very nice had 4 hot tubs and plenty of tables and chairs in the shade and plenty of chaise lounges in the sun and a complete walk around deck 2.5 times is 1 mile, that's where they hadthe BBQ on sea days and it was pretty good. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
This ship was selected for us by the travel agent booking our cruise. We were assigned a cabin in the aft with a wraparound balcony. The cabin was small, no seating area. The balcony was very narrow and not very enticing to use. The ... Read More
This ship was selected for us by the travel agent booking our cruise. We were assigned a cabin in the aft with a wraparound balcony. The cabin was small, no seating area. The balcony was very narrow and not very enticing to use. The day of our on-boarding everything went smooth. The elevator attendant complained about having to work the elevator for 3-hours without a break. He said, "I'd kill for a Coke." I just happened to have a mini-Coke in my carry on bag. I gave it to him. He was so happy to get it, he told me his name and said he worked in the casino and for me to look him up - he'd make sure I would win a game. (Hummm! sounds like a winner to me.) On our second day of Port of Call in Progreso, a Carnival employee came through the Lido Breakfast Buffet area with a big cart of bottled water in an over-the-shoulder carrier barking, "Last chance, last chance!" My husband inquired as to the price and the employee quoted $10.00. My husband gave him a $10.00 dollar bill and we got the water. WRONG! Our mistake - you never pay cash on board the ship; your room key is the vehicle for purchasing things. The charges are put on your cabin account number that's attached to the credit card you chose when making your reservations. Oh snap! The employee pocketed $10.00. On our last day at sea another ship's employee (casino auditor) stood beside us at the coffee cafe. We shared our stories and he was apologetic for the unacceptable shenanigans of the staff members. He indicated that there would be some staff meetings and training done to prevent any repeats. Then, he treated us to a cup of coffee. Our cabin was small and it only had (1) one electrical outlet for recharging our phones and plugging in my hair-curler. Our steward brought us a power chord mid-way through the trip. There wasn't a seating area inside the cabin; it was completely filled with bedding. The balcony had rough handrails and rust on the underneath side of the balcony area above us. Several days maintenance crew accessed our cabin to work on balcony refurbishing. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
My wife and I had this cruise scheduled and a hurricane named Harvey changed our itinerary for us. This was also the only cruise on the Dream we had not sailed as anyone that has looked at our profile of cruises will see and our 5th on the ... Read More
My wife and I had this cruise scheduled and a hurricane named Harvey changed our itinerary for us. This was also the only cruise on the Dream we had not sailed as anyone that has looked at our profile of cruises will see and our 5th on the Dream. Liked Carnivals new embarkation board with boarding pass, sail and sign card in mail box by cabin door and we love the Cove Balconies on deck 2. The Glory nor the Valor have cove balconies so that will be missed. The entertainment had the best vocals of any of our Carnival cruises since Chris Williams moved on. One of the dancers, Josh looked a lot like Shelton Cooper (Big Bang Theory) The service was fantastic with the exception of the Dream Steakhouse.(read below) Ports and excursions we do not do, mobility problems and to far from soft-serve machine. Son and his wife and their two boys going with us in November all riding the City of New Orleans. First of all this is not a rant against Carnival more of an observation in general and particular this one cruise that I hope will be just a one of. We have two more cruises scheduled on the Dream in November 2018 and Feb. 2019 then sadly the Dream moves to Galveston in May 2019. Now the rest of the story! My reasoning for the claim of (Profit Gouging). 1. Onboard credit has changed from per person to just cabin in other words we would get 25.00 for my wife and 25.00 for me onboard credit booking a 7 day cruise, now just 25.00 for the cabin booked. 2. Gratuity on top of gratuity, I know that a lot of people don't tip any extras and some shame on them do not tip at all. Carnival does charge gratuities either on the front of the cruise or the back of the cruise now another gratuity is added to every sail and sign purchase. My wife and I tip in cash (room service, bar etc.). 3. It could just be me, but appeared to be less staff causing longer wait time and confusion, this also could be for profit over comfort. Now for my one and only big complaint and the end of steak house dinning. We always eat at the Dream Steakhouse our first night and loved it until this cruise. Arrived at Steakhouse at 6:00 PM table for 4 seated and ordered our drinks, all four ordered steak baked potatoes and salad and that's exactly what we got. At 6:45 our steaks arrived, I was about full from all the bread and butter eaten while I was waiting. Halfway through the steak about 7:00 our baked potatoes arrived and at the end of our steak you guess it our salads arrived and my wife's salad wasn't what she ordered. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
This was our first Christmas cruise, and maybe our last. It just wasnt Christmas for us. We spent Christmas Day evening in the Speciality Steakhouse. and I can say I was really underwhelmed and it was definately not worth the extra ... Read More
This was our first Christmas cruise, and maybe our last. It just wasnt Christmas for us. We spent Christmas Day evening in the Speciality Steakhouse. and I can say I was really underwhelmed and it was definately not worth the extra money. I had the surf and turf and my lobster tail and steak were barely lukewarm when It was served. The melted butter for the lobster was warmer than the food. They offered to replace the dinner, but by the time they asked how the meal was, my husband was finished with his meal, and who wants to wait for another meal to be fixed and eat alone? Don't waste your money. We ate every other night in the formal dining, and the food was very good. We had a set time (6:00 p.m) and we loved having the same waiters and table mates each night that we could visit with. I loved being able to try new things each day. We tried the Mongolian Wok, good but very spicey, just be forwarned. Pig and Anchor was just ok. Guy's burger joint had very good hamburgers. The buffet was just ok. The chocolate special was not good at all. I saw a lot of food not eaten on people's plates. We had omlets a couple of mornings, and they were very good. The sea day brunch was good. Don't expect to take a swim, the pools are small and overcrowded. The Whirlpools are cold, not even warm. The cruise director was not the best we have had, and was very self-serving, not extremely funny. We took a Scenic Wildlife River Cruise (Carnival excursion) and it was really underwhelming. Just a boat that went up the river 10 miles and back. It had a roadway running alongside the river, so not really scenic. The wildlife consisted of 1 monkey, 2 iguanas, one small alligator. Certainly not worth the money. We would not take this cruise again. Overall, not my best cruise, but ok. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2017
Were it not for the relentless noise I would really like this ship. Clean, bright, modern, great cabin, good food. Two problem areas: terrible entertainment and noise, noise, noise. 3,500 people cheering, chanting, arguing, laughing and ... Read More
Were it not for the relentless noise I would really like this ship. Clean, bright, modern, great cabin, good food. Two problem areas: terrible entertainment and noise, noise, noise. 3,500 people cheering, chanting, arguing, laughing and talking is noisy enough but add amped up music, announcements about sales and the general din of engines and fans and you have no tranquility at sea. Perhaps the musicians and crew are deaf ... I nearly am after 7 days. The theatre shows (mimed singing) and trotting about a stage are amped to distortion level so you can't understand anyone who actually sings. Even the classical musicians who play in the worst possible place - the atrium - blast through microphones and huge speakers. Should I add that the lame comedians barely elicit a grin? I didn't attend their "adult" shows because I figured if you aren't funny in a regular show then you won't be funny with swearing and toilet talk. In the outdoor theatre they showed the same film twice. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2017
Seemed like a nice time to take a cruise, boy was I clueless. Too too many kids taking up pools, hot tubs, running into people, screaming and running down hallways until 3am nightly. Party mommas do you know where in the hell your kids are ... Read More
Seemed like a nice time to take a cruise, boy was I clueless. Too too many kids taking up pools, hot tubs, running into people, screaming and running down hallways until 3am nightly. Party mommas do you know where in the hell your kids are at 12-3am. Several very rude kids, all but run u down. Had to ask for ice everyday. These people working on the ship worked non stop. They were so worn out, they didn't even greet cruise guest, The cruise director is definitely awesome and the glue to keep this ship going. Food was not very appetizing in MDR. We did dine in steakhouse last cruise night, it was the best food I had all week. Not enough activities for adults. The adult aft pool had more kids then adults most days. Belize was ok, enjoyed cavetubing, Mahogany Bay was ok. I would not care to return to these ports anytime soon, I do not plan to cruise with Carnival @ New Year, Mardi Gras, Easter, June July, August, Sept. Thanksgiving week or Christmas week. I can not deal with unsupervised children runnning wild all day & night until 3am. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
This cruise was an add on to our holiday in New Orleans. There was an issue with my not having my ESTA at hand on embarkation, I felt that I would not be allowed to board the ship without proof that I actually possessed one. Although I ... Read More
This cruise was an add on to our holiday in New Orleans. There was an issue with my not having my ESTA at hand on embarkation, I felt that I would not be allowed to board the ship without proof that I actually possessed one. Although I would not have got passed immigration at the airport without it. Once on board thing improved somewhat. The cabin was clean and comfortable, our cabin maid Rhamei was friendly always smiling and kept the cabin spotless. The entertainment is as every cruise, good all round entertainment, take your pick of what suits you, there is a letter put in the cabin every night with details for the next day so you have no excuse if you miss out on something. I have to commend Jace the cruise director, boundless energy, approachable, funny, exhausting just to watch. We dined in the formal dining room some nights,the food is nothing especially special, the table settings, flat wear etc are nice and without our server Romar it would have been just ok, she was sparkly, took time to converse and listen to us. Also our wine waitress( sorry didn't get your name) served in the piano bar as well, remembered our preference in drink. The cafeteria is named The Gathering. The food was edible that's about all I can say about it. One thing I don't under stand, there are places other than the Gathering That serve Indian, Italian, Chinese(Tibetan Wok)food but these are only open for lunch!!!! Ports and excursions, There is something for everyone, most of the ports have private contractors doing the same trips that you can purchase from the cruise line for much the same price. If you want 100% guarantee though stick with the cruise excursions. Ask at the customer service desk if you are unsure or have any concerns about anything, our favourite go to was Oana, Knowledgeable or if she doesn't know the answer will go out of her way to find out. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2015
We took our 16-year-old grandson on the Dream, our first Carnival cruise, which sailed out of New Orleans on June 21. We drove down from Memphis the day before and stayed the night at the Holiday Inn Metairie Airport. Rooms are large and ... Read More
We took our 16-year-old grandson on the Dream, our first Carnival cruise, which sailed out of New Orleans on June 21. We drove down from Memphis the day before and stayed the night at the Holiday Inn Metairie Airport. Rooms are large and nice. Received a coupon for two drinks and two breakfasts with the package which included parking. Had dinner at Acme Seafood, which is close to the hotel and has a high rating on TripAdvisor. The hotel van driver was very personable and helpful with our luggage. The hotel package included two transportation vouchers, so we purchased another one for $20. Check in for the cruise was smooth. Our spa cabin with balcony was nice, and our stewards were excellent. Our bed was comfortable as was our grandson’s. Other than the shower draining very slowly, the room was more than satisfactory. However, I would advise anyone that they should NOT book any of the spa rooms on the port side of the ship. I was awakened at 6:30 every morning by the pounding of the treadmills overhead which lasted until 10:00 at night, unless the employees of the ship were using them. Then it went on until whenever. I finally went to customer service and told them I was exhausted, that I couldn't even take a nap, and they apologized and gave me some cruise credit. However, the best advice I can give is not to book any of the spa cabins on the port side. The spa which was included with our room was nice, but not something we’d pay for again. We are not into HOT steam rooms rooms and HOT pools, so going there was not a high point of our cruise. The small “Relaxation Room” in the spa was my favorite, with chairs that look out into the water and flavored waters and teas available. However, on the last day we had to share the room with an employee who was giving her sales spiel for $199 shoe inserts. I was trying to relax and read a book but couldn’t because of her loud voice as she attempted to convince the ship guests, who were taking up three of the five seats in the room, to purchase her product. If we go on another Carnival Cruise we will make use of the complimentary Serenity Deck and hot tub for adults, which was directly above the spa. Just be sure to arrive early to get a spot. It’s a very popular place. The only excursion we took was the Salsa Salsa and Margaritas. It would have been more of a fun experience, but it was very hot. Because of that we didn't have much to drink, but the salsa making was fun. We didn't stay for the dancing. Instead we went down to the beach so our grandson could rent some snorkeling equipment and use the pretty private manmade beach. It might be worth taking the walkway under the road over to the hotel and using the very large pool. Also, there's free wifi at the hotel, and the signal was good there. An option we were given was to stay there and take a cab on our own back to the ship. We didn't do that this time, but next time I would. We enjoyed the food choices at dinner. The waiters were very attentive and personable. The chocolate melting cake is to die for. I had it every single night for dessert. At lunch there is an Italian restaurant up the stairs from the Lido. It’s kind of hidden, so ask someone to point you there. I understand that although it’s free at lunch they charge extra at dinner. At the reception desk at lunch you fill out a menu with your choices, sit down and your meal is delivered to your table. The two pools on the Dream are very small considering the number of children on the ship. We were disappointed in the room service menu. There were no appetizer choices. Unlike the Holland America cruises we have been on, there were no happy hours that we knew of. Maybe we missed those. The one Comedy Club performance we attended was beyond raw, so we didn’t go back. There are PG shows, but we didn’t attend those. We walked to the beach on Roatan instead of taking the sky ride for $12 a person. The walk is absolutely beautiful with benches and hammocks along the way. The beach is VERY crowded. The beach chairs are lined up with hardly an inch between them. On a future cruise I would look into taking an excursion and not pay for a chair at that crowded beach. At the Roatan port and the beach you can buy an hour of Internet for $5 or all day for $10 that works both places. The connection for our grandson was better near the port. We are used to the extensive library on Holland America, and the library on Carnival is very limited and open for checkout of books only one hour a day. I can understand this, as the people who cruise Carnival aren’t so into quiet pursuits like the older Holland America guests are. It’s a party boat, and I understand that. Our grandson seemed to enjoy the O2 teen club, and we rarely saw him during the day. He had dinner with us in the dining room and left again for the next teen activity. On the morning of disembarkation we went to the Lido for breakfast. Our number was announced earlier than we expected. Our Holiday Inn shuttle came soon after we called, and we arrived back at the Holiday Inn with the same friendly driver. After rereading this critique I realize that I may sound like a curmudgeon. I suppose it comes down to the fact we are the older Holland America types (ages 73 and 72), but that Carnival was our best choice with a teenager. The most important thing to us was that our grandson have a fun time, and even though it wouldn’t have been our first choice for the two of us, I feel the Carnival Dream was the right choice for taking our grandson. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2013
We're a couple of senior citizens that love to cruise. This was our 8th cruise and our 3rd time on the Carnival Dream in 3 years. She looks worn and in need of a makeover. This 2008 beauty has lost her sparkle. The plastic covered ... Read More
We're a couple of senior citizens that love to cruise. This was our 8th cruise and our 3rd time on the Carnival Dream in 3 years. She looks worn and in need of a makeover. This 2008 beauty has lost her sparkle. The plastic covered furniture in the main lobby on deck 3 is embarrassing and uncomfortable. Carnival says that they "refurbish” each ship every 3 years, but Dream is way overdo. Our Balcony: We were on the 9th deck, midship and couldn’t enjoy our balcony because of our neighbors smoking. Formal Night: is more casual  not really formal. The Food: I found the food to be very, very good. We usually ate in the dining room. The prepared salads were excellent especially the Greek Farmer Salad. The flat iron steak was always a good choice as was the salmon. We enjoyed the fresh, thin pizza at lunch. Breakfast or Brunch (on sea days) was good, especially the Eggs Benedict with extra sauce. We did not order any room service. I called for a cheese and cracker plate and they only had sandwiches. We did buy the wine package and that worked well. The attention provided by our Steward Utama and our Any-time-dining waiter Rufino were much appreciated. We only went ashore at St. Thomas to do a little shopping at Al Cohens. The weather was very hot and humid and we preferred the air conditioning on the ship. We only saw one show and it was the same one we saw last year. No update there either. We attended the Cruise Critic Meet and Greet which was a huge success. Thank you Brian! We parked our car at Park and Cruise in Port Canaveral. Getting to the ship was just fine getting back was horrible. They have no system to board the shuttle for the return to their parking lot. It was a mad dash every man for himself crush. I don’t think we’ll use them again. Do your feet and ankles only swell when on a cruise? I have found that not drinking the ship’s water is the answer. This includes water served at meals, tap water, ice cubes, coffee, orange juice (or anything reconstituted) including soda. Anything that comes in a can or bottle is ok. In total, this cruise was a great bargain.   Read Less
Sail Date: September 2013
Cruise to the Western Caribbean the first week of September 2013. Dream is a big ship but sorely lacking in some important areas. For the most part, the food in the dining rooms was good, not great but OK for a cruise. On the Dream there ... Read More
Cruise to the Western Caribbean the first week of September 2013. Dream is a big ship but sorely lacking in some important areas. For the most part, the food in the dining rooms was good, not great but OK for a cruise. On the Dream there is no place to get a quick snack in the late afternoon. The only option is to go to the Gathering buffet and they do not have any chips, salsa, nacho's or anything simple. They do have 24 hour pizza but that is about it. The food in the Gathering buffet was ok but at lunch time you could not get near the Asian Wok where they stir fried without waiting in line for a long time and I tried several different times. There were just too many people for the limited dining options. If you wanted just the buffet, then you were ok but if you wanted the Wok, Burrito bar, or any of the other dining options you really had to wait. The Taste bar which they advertized as a quick option was never open and the offerings were just awful, how can you advertize "Taste of NY" and then give the customer a barbecued piece of pork fried in breadcrumbs. PLEASE! The pool area was not suited for anyone older than 12, very crowded with screaming kids. The Serenity Deck is a nice option for those like us who wanted a little peace and quiet to sunbathe but they had no pool. The adult shows started at 9:45 and there was no way that you could attend if you have an 8:15 dinner reservation so I would either go with a flexible time or you will have to wait until 11:00 for a show. The ship was lacking in venues to handle the crowds and if you did not get to a show 30 minutes before you would not get a seat. The shows close the door at the start time and you can't get in. On a positive note, the Crew on the Dream was exceptional. Our cabin attendant Usa and our waiter Pituck were just fantastic. We did attend the Chefs Dinner which was also exceptional and I would recommend this option for anyone who likes fine dining. Simple additions like a Pub Bar and an adult swim pool would be great. Overall the cruise was good but I would be a little leery of going on another Carnival cruise.   Read Less
Sail Date: March 2013
We had decided to pay the extra money to upgrade to a balcony for the first time. We thought that a cabin on the 10th deck would be perfect for accessing the most important entertain sites. The first night was certainly a rock and roll ... Read More
We had decided to pay the extra money to upgrade to a balcony for the first time. We thought that a cabin on the 10th deck would be perfect for accessing the most important entertain sites. The first night was certainly a rock and roll affair because of the weather. By morning, the stateroom was quite cold and the touch around the frame of the balcony door and window was bitter cold. We contacted room service without satisfaction although they had promised a response. I ended up after a reasonable wait of several hours, going to Guest Services and making a complaint. We did receive blankets but my bigger complaint was why there was not a better solution for the very cold room. I could be wrong but I believe it was the location of the stateroom with a balcony that was poorly insulated, the room was not properly heated or a combination of both. By noon on Sunday off the Florida Keys it was 55 degrees and wind gusts out of the North at 18mph. Carnival certainly cannot be blamed for the weather but I do fault their inability to keep staterooms for their passengers comfortable. Because of the weather out bound on Saturday and Sunday as well as the return trip on Friday and docking on Saturday, March 9th, the use of the balcony was somewhat restricted. In fact, during the cruise on Wednesday, March 6th, they actually notified passengers that the balconies would be closed for cleaning from 8am to 12:30pm. There was no opt-out option. Do I feel like the extra money paid to upgrade to a Balcony Stateroom was worth it? CERTAINLY NOT! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2012
We went on the Carnival Dream Dec. 1-8, 2012 The Good: Beautiful ship, friendly staff, seafood great for the most part, good shows, Punchliner brunch very good, good comedians in the Punchliner Burgundy lounge, embarkation and ... Read More
We went on the Carnival Dream Dec. 1-8, 2012 The Good: Beautiful ship, friendly staff, seafood great for the most part, good shows, Punchliner brunch very good, good comedians in the Punchliner Burgundy lounge, embarkation and debarkation easy if you are Platinum or Diamond level, nice size cabin for verandahs. Nice Tervis Tumbler for Platinum/Diamond level guests. The Bad: Very rough seas for 2 days (50+ mph winds--certainly not Carnival's fault), Captain's party a joke ( you get $1 off drinks instead of free drinks), past guest party also a joke(got very sweet rum punch and only a couple of snacks). Carnival has eliminated the last night "farewell party" where they used to give you free drinks and snacks. Had a really creaky cabin when the ship rocked--had to put in earplugs a couple of nights. Stupid life boat drill--you do not even go to your life boat--rather meet in a lounge for instructions. Way too loud noise/TV on the monster TV by the pool--you needed earplugs; who wants to hear ESPN blasted at you at 9 am? Serenity area not quiet because of the screaming kids getting on the water slide a few yards away. Carnival no longer publishes the daily news flyer like they did in the past--guess it saves them money. The Ugly: Carnival lets people smoke on their verandahs--we could not use the verandah many times because of the heavy smokers upwind from us next door. Carnival should learn a lesson from Celebrity and ban smoking on all verandahs, not just for spa cabins. Until Carnival changes this policy or we can get a spa cabin, we will not be going on Carnival again. Now for specifics: Since we live in Tampa, we drove to Cocoa Beach on Nov. 30th and stayed at LaQuinta Inn. We were able to leave our car there for 7 days, and they took us to the port on Dec. 1st, and picked us up on Dec. 8th. We got to the pier about 9:45 am, and there was very little waiting to go through security. Since we have Platinum level VIP status, we went to the VIP area, and were checked in very quickly. We did have to wait about 20 minutes or so to board since there was a rather large wedding party that got to board before we did. Carnival has started something new--if you are Platinum or Diamond level, your cabin is ready as soon as you board--a really nice feature in our opinion. We put our carry on baggage in the cabin and went to the Lido deck for the buffet lunch. Lots of variety and not crowded when we boarded, but it got to be a real zoo later. Carnival eliminated trays a few years back, so it is a pain to make several trips, but other cruise lines have done the same thing. After lunch we toured the ship to find our way around. The layout is similar to the Freedom that we went on last year. The lifeboat drill was absurd in our opinion. You no longer have to get your life jacket and go to your lifeboat. Instead you go to a lounge where the crew shows you how to put on a life jacket, and they tell you where your life boat is. Then the tell you that in case of an emergency you are supposed to go to your lounge muster station. How stupid can you be? If there is an emergency, I am not going to a lounge--I am going to where the life boat. Carnival is not the only cruise line that does this, and it is hard to believe that the Coast Guard will allow this. We selected anytime dining for dinner, as we have for the past several cruises. Carnival now dedicates the lower level of the Crimson dining room for anytime dining. It is a very popular option because people start lining up at least 30 minutes in advance. On the first night they only had one line and the wait was a real pain. By the 3rd night, Carnival got a little smarter and opened one line on the right and one on the left and things went much quicker. After dinner there was a liquor tasting at the shops--what a zoo--they only had a single line, and you had to wait for at least 30-45 minutes; we declined. Sunday--we arrived at Nassau about 8:30 am and had to be back on board by 2:30 pm. We have been to Nassau many times before and just chose to walk around downtown and go to the straw market. The straw market was destroyed by fire some time ago, but has been rebuilt. Most vendors had the same stuff--a lot of which was made in China. We had lunch at the Lido--best tilapia I have ever had. They have a pasta bar upstairs on deck 11; it was ok but not great. We attended the Cruise Critic Meet and Greet function which was arranged by Len (a passenger); he did a fantastic job, and Carnival furnished one bottle of champagne for 30 people--good luck on getting any! On previous cruises the cruise line furnished tea, coffee, and snacks--not here. It was nice to get to meet fellow passengers. The Captain's party was a major joke like it was on the Freedom last year. You get $1 off drinks--big deal; we declined to go. Sunday was the first formal night--very few ties on guys and no tux. Much more informal than it used to be. Dinner was great--lobster, but no surf and turf like on previous cruises. The show was good, but you have to like country music. The sea was very rough with 40-50 mph winds, and the Captain never warned us about this. Fortunately we do not have a problem with being sea sick, but a lot of others did. The wind was so bad we could not use our verandah for a couple of days. Carnival lets passengers smoke on their verandah (except on spa cabins, as we later learned). Unfortunately the couple next door smoked a lot and the wind blew the smoke on our verandah. This will be the last cruise we ever take on Carnival unless they change this policy or we can book a spa cabin. Wake up Carnival--smoking is bad for your health. Carnival used to have a non-smoking ship, the Paradise, but it is now smoking. Monday: We were at sea and had 50+ mph winds--very rough Breakfast at Lido was a disaster--they ran out of coffee cups. We had a hard time finding the bacon--they serve it to you instead of serving it yourself like the other food. Should have passed on the bacon because it was under cooked and very greasy--ugh. The food never varied at breakfast. The made-to-order omelets were good, and the fresh fruit was good. We had lunch in the Crimson dining room at the Punchliner brunch. They have this on sea days with the same menu each day. A comedian talks for about 5 minutes, and you order from a menu. The salmon was good but the beef was overcooked. There were very few people there, which was a nice change from the zoo at the Lido buffet. After lunch we went to the art auction held by Park West. Overpriced art work--you can do much better online. They have a minimum bid, plus they add 15% to the price, and you have to pay $35 to have it shipped unframed. I bit on this several years ago, but never again. They advertise free champagne, but this auctioneer was very tight and you were lucky if you got one glass. The auction was supposed to start and 1 pm but it had not started at 2 pm, so we left. Tuesday: Docked in St Thomas about 11 am. We had breakfast in the dining room; it was good but took about an hour, which was ok because we did not dock until late. We docked at the pier at Havensight Mall and did a little shopping. The prices, especially liquor, were much higher than they were last year. We could buy most booze cheaper in Tampa than in St Thomas or on the ship. We got back on board about 1 pm and had lunch at Lido; had great fish. We wanted to sit by the pool but the monster TV was so loud--about the same decibel level as a jet plane. We then went up to the serenity area for adults only to get away from the noise by the pool--that lasted about 2 minutes--all we heard was screaming kids getting on the water slide, which is adjacent to the serenity area. We then moved to the front of the ship where we could not hear the screaming kids. There are only a few seats there, but it was no problem on a port day--good luck getting a chair on a sea day. Dinner at the Crimson dining room--the filet was good but the red snapper was way overcooked. This was unusual because most of the time the fish is great and the beef is tough and overcooked. We went to the show, which was good, but it was very loud and crowded. Wednesday: We arrived in St Maarten about 7 am and docked at the new dock (at least for us). Had a great view of the harbor from our port side verandah. We took the water taxi to town ($ 7 round trip). You have to be sure you get on the right one because we thought all of them took you to the middle of town; ours took us to the right edge of town (looking from the ship to town), so we had quite a walk. We did a little shopping and went to a couple of casinos. Last year we played the nickel slots and got free drinks--not so this year. Took the water taxi back to the ship and had lunch at Lido--great fish again. The Indian Tandoor station was good but very hot. Dinner at Crimson was great for the seafood newburg, but horrible for the beef stroganoff--they should have called it beef gristle and noodles; I could not even cut it with a steak knife. Thursday: Had breakfast at Lido--same as always. Lunch at Punchliner brunch in Crimson--very good--lots of choices, but the menu does not vary. If you want the steak, order it medium rare, not medium (which comes well done). At 4:45 pm, we went to the past guest function--what a joke--instead of having a choice of red or white wine, or champagne, or a whiskey sour, like they used to do, they served you a very sweet rum punch, which was horrible. We did find out later that you could request a beer or wine, but you had to tell the waiter you wanted it and then wait 15 minutes to get it. We got 2 small pastry type something--a total disaster compared to previous cruises. Carnival needs to take a lesson from Celebrity or Holland America--they do a much better job. At dinner the basa, tiger shrimp, and steak were all good. We went to the show--high energy, very good dancers, but very loud. Friday: A rather lazy day--very cloudy in the am, but cleared off in the pm. We played putt-putt on the 18 hole course on deck 12--very nice. The seas were much calmer on Friday than they had been all week. At 4:30 we went to the "holiday show", which was very good. Dinner was ok. Although we had anytime dining, we went when the dining room first opened and most of the time we were able to get table 149--excellent waiter and helpers; this is a table for 2, and we always got good service. One night this table was not available and we had to sit on the right side of the room among a bunch of kids--ugh. We went to the Punchliner comedian show at 7:30--was fantastic. Don't know why we did not go before, but had conflicting things going on. Saturday: Time to get off the ship and go home. We had very heavy fog Sat. morning and the ship could not dock on time; not Carnival's fault, but they could have given us a better warning. When we looked out our deck about 5 am, we could see nothing but fog. We wanted some breakfast so we went to the Lido about 5:45 and had a little fruit and coffee. Since we are Platinum level, we could get off the ship first. We were told to be at the lounge level of Crimson dining room about 6:30. We got there about 6:15 and lots of people were lined up. About 7am or so, there was an annoucement that because of the fog, we would be delayed. Carnival should have told us that an hour earlier and we could have had a nice breakfast rather than being rushed. Carnival made no annoucement that we could get off the ship; we noticed the crew opened the door and we rushed over to get off. This was supposed to be for Platinum and Diamond level members only, but there were a lot of people who were not at that level that got off in front of us. You were supposed to put a #1 blue luggage tag on your take off luggage, but a lot of people did not have one, and Carnival made no effort to enforce this. Overall summary: The Dream is a nice ship, but we liked the Freedom better. On the positive side, the crew was extremely friendly, from the cabin steward to the dining staff. They always greeted you with a smile and a friendly hello. We were on deck 8, port side, mid ship; nice cabin--lots of storage--put your luggage under the bed. Typical mini frig which does not keep things real cold, but it is ok. We never buy their overpriced drinks, so we took the drinks out and put our wine in it. The linens were great, towels were plush, and the bed was very comfortable. The verandah was nice with 2 chairs and a little table. Unfortunately, Carnival lets people smoke on their balcony, and the people next door smoked; Carnival needs to change this policy. Also on deck 5, there are two hot tubs on both sides of the ship, and you could hear the loud talking from the people in the hot tubs. Unless you had a cabin below deck 5, or a spa cabin, you would have to put up with this noise, which was very annoying. The toilet tissue and the Kleenex imitation tissue paper were horrible. Surely Carnival can do better. We were amazed at the number of children on board considering it is between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Although we did not count them, our best guess is that there were at least 200 kids on board. Last year we went on a cruise about the same time and there were about 25 kids. I have been on over 20 Carnival cruises (starting with the Mardi Gras in 1975) and Carnival has gone downhill in our opinion. The past guest party was a joke, and their smoking policy needs changing. When we went on the Freedom last year, on the last night of the cruise there was a party where they gave you free drinks and great appetizers--not so this cruise. I know Carnival is trying to save money, but with the price you pay for a cruise, they should not be so cheap. Although we are at Platinum VIP level, unless Carnival changes their smoking policy on verandahs, we will never sail on Carnival again. 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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