2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Really a nice ship. Staff was excellent: room steward Josephine, wait staff Sunny, Ikatuk & Kadek In Crimson, bartenders Airine (sp? pronounced Irene) and Dwi at Ocean Plaza Bar (next to Alchemy), Tomislav and Harta at the casino, ... Read More
Really a nice ship. Staff was excellent: room steward Josephine, wait staff Sunny, Ikatuk & Kadek In Crimson, bartenders Airine (sp? pronounced Irene) and Dwi at Ocean Plaza Bar (next to Alchemy), Tomislav and Harta at the casino, Nana at the Lobby Bar and Dipak at level 10 aft bar. All were EXCELLENT and recognized me by name after first day. Rock band was Excellent, brass jazz/soul band was Excellent too! (Together they were PHENOMENAL!) Steel drum lady was good as well. All other bands were “meh”. Biggest Dissapointment: 1st Caribbean cruise I’ve been on without a Latín band. No salsa, no merengue, no cha cha cha, in other words no spice. The disco was really bad too, not a soul in there probably because the music was terrible, undanceable. Food was very good to excellent. For breakfast go to the lido deck and do the omelette station. Pizza was very good too, open 24 hours. Guy’s Burgers were pretty good but Guy’s BBQ (“Pig & Anchor”) was HIGHLY over-rated. Did not do any shore excursions. Overall, good cruise. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
This was for my birthday, we had the best cruise ever. This was our 17th cruise. Great dining staff, wonderful food. The excursions were very fun. We had no been to these three ports before, Key West, Freeport and Nassau in the Bahamas. ... Read More
This was for my birthday, we had the best cruise ever. This was our 17th cruise. Great dining staff, wonderful food. The excursions were very fun. We had no been to these three ports before, Key West, Freeport and Nassau in the Bahamas. All of the crew were super nice. The cruise director Gary was very funny. Enjoyed his morning show every morning. The shows in the evening was great. The crew in the Fun Shops were very nice. The personal shoppers Vanya and Izzy were very informative and helpful in the shops in the ports of call. When it was time to get off the ship it was so easy and pretty fast. If you are thinking of taking a cruise, I would definitely encourage you to take a Carnival Cruise. You would won't be disappointed. Try a 5 day first then you'll do what my next cruise will be, a back to back cruise. 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
Sail Date: June 2018
Being my first cruise - I learned as the journey continued. Note: My United seat was too small and chairs too close to my knees for me to get out. I would have enjoyed my cruise more if I had "thought" about there being a ... Read More
Being my first cruise - I learned as the journey continued. Note: My United seat was too small and chairs too close to my knees for me to get out. I would have enjoyed my cruise more if I had "thought" about there being a doctor on the cruise. Because of the hurt sacrum and arthritis, I needed to stop more often. Therefore, I would have LOVED having somewhere to sit on each floor. Even if it was near the elevator. There were very, very few places to sit along the passageways. This would be helpful especially to us older or partially handicapped people. Some people just "loved" the cruise director. Since this was my first cruise, I did not have a previous director to compare him to. As for me, I found his English accent very annoying to my ears and you heard it all over the ship - everywhere all the time. Some people loved him. So I am sure he was very good. Even if you are not ready for a wheelchair (like me) you might consider getting a partially handicapped room if you stumble over things or trip a lot. The reason I say that is the first cabin I was in (like 1202) the restroom floor was raised up about six inches. I had to put the lime green cups in the doorway so I would remember to step up the extra height each time I went into the restroom of my cabin. I went to play bingo - one time. It was very expensive. Also - if you were not the only person who won that game, you had to split the pot with whoever won also. I SURE WISH I HAD BEEN TOLD there was a free shuttle that would take me from the ship into Nassau. It was not a really long trip but it was stifling hot. Also, once you entered into the building to get to town, you could not turn back. You had to go through the building and enter the other side and stand in line to wait for the shuttle back to ship or I guess to walk out and walk back to ship. Not sure how I should have handled having my baggage taken to the bus I was to get on to go from pier to airport --- but I am sure going to find out on my next cruise in December 2018. I went down early and took them myself. Little knowing I would have to stop and start and stop and start for a very, very long ways from ship back and forth through corridors to get to the bus for airport. Surely I could have paid to have my bags put on the bus and me just walk it. I will figure this out at beginning of my next cruise. I was on this first cruise by myself. I am very friendly and so were others but I made sure that I have someone with me for my next cruise and it seemed too long by being alone. I began in cabin 11202 but woke up in wee hours with rocking of ship. Went to guest services and they graciously moved me to another room the next morning. Mucho better. Thank you. Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
Liked the deportation city of New Orleans, 3 hours from our home, with family where we could spend the night before, and no need for a flight. However, very few people on the trip were from Louisiana. The ship was huge, with over 3000 ... Read More
Liked the deportation city of New Orleans, 3 hours from our home, with family where we could spend the night before, and no need for a flight. However, very few people on the trip were from Louisiana. The ship was huge, with over 3000 passengers. Surprisingly, even though the ship was fully booked, I never noticed the mobs of people I expected to see. The weather was cooler than expected, so the pools were not crowded. DH likes the buffet, and even though we selected early dining, we only went to eat there one night. The dining and buffet have some of the same entrees, although the dining has more selections. If you want to drink with your meal, don't mind waiting a few minutes for your food and want more elegant decor, then go with the dining. With the buffet, the food is ready and you can go back for more of something right away (if you have room). The lines never got very long. The one drawback I noticed was the food wasn't as warm as I would have liked at the buffet. I like buttered toast in the morning, and the toast was room temperature. We were told that we could ask for an attendant to toast some for us, but when my husband asked, the food attendant simply pointed at the toast- the food service employees are as friendly as you could ask for, but many are not very English proficient. The coffee was very good and always piping hot! Failsafe ways to get hot food- Mongolian Wok, Guys Hamburger, Guys Barbeque, omelet station. Big plus for the buffet was the large selection of fruits and vegetables. You could easily fill up just on this. Thanks for not having many fried foods guys! We never tried the pizza but it was open 24 hours, as was the self serve soft ice cream. Drinks available for no cost at the buffet are iced tea, coffee, lemonade, apple juice, and sometimes a mango mix drink, and water. Tip: The food tends to be not highly seasoned, so if you like it this way then you might want to bring your own favorite seasoning. All that is available on the table is salt and pepper. There are some sauces available, such as soy, ketchup, etc. We saw one show on board, the Motor City, and it was very well performed with singing and dancing. Also one comedy show, Just June, very funny. 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
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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2013
My DH and I started cruising in 1999 - he did not want to go and bought a laptop computer to do lesson plans - needless to say he did not do lesson plans and three months later we took 3 of our grown kids and spouses on a Christmas cruise. ... Read More
My DH and I started cruising in 1999 - he did not want to go and bought a laptop computer to do lesson plans - needless to say he did not do lesson plans and three months later we took 3 of our grown kids and spouses on a Christmas cruise. We enjoy the time together and on one cruise renewed our wedding vows. Cruises are totally relaxing and we even did a cameo appearance on Carnival's VIFP video. We live in Augusta, Georgia and the trip to Port Canaveral is about 7 hours long. We usually stop in St. Augustine for a short break (me shopping and my husband eats and takes a nap) and continue on our journey to Port Canaveral. We stay at the Radisson in Port Canaveral (cruise and park). They have a Tiki Bar and we usually eat at Fish Lips, on the pier (you can see the ships) and reasonable priced. In the morning we get ready for our cruise - it is a short drive to the boat and the hotel has a free shuttle service. We sign up for the first shuttle and arrive about 10:45. We are Diamond so we have no problems getting to the VIP room and shortly after we check in we are allowed to go on the boat after the wedding party. I do wish they would board us after the handicap but we follow directions. Port Canaveral has their "ducks in a row" - other ports could learn from them.The Dream holds 4500 passengers and about 3000 crew members. A large ship but easy to get around. Elevators are crowed at certain times (after a show, embarkation and luggage) but we learn to adjust. Sometimes it is better to get on one that is going down and then go up. You learn the tricks. One ding means up - two dings means down. Serenity deck is awesome - it gets crowded but we do not hear loud music or kids. Nice area to nap, read a book or talk. The Steakhouse was great - don't eat lunch - the cheesecake was 3.5" tall and melted in your mouth. The food was just great. The MDR food was OK - but we did not go hungry. We have seen a decline in the quality of food since our first cruise - but the food is OK. The CD (Jamie) arranged for a cocktail party for the Diamond members with the Captain - that was great. A total of 17 Diamond members and we sat and talked to the chief staff members of the cruise. A great touch. This ship went to Nassau, St. Thomas and St. Maarten. Nassau we got off and walked to the beach. We were there about two hours and left and went back to the boat and sat on Serenity deck. In St. Thomas we took a can to Saphaire Beach and enjoyed that area for about 4 hours. Did a little shopping and went back to the boat. In St. Maarten we went on an island tour - great tour - we went to the Igawana farm, Orient Beach, Maho (sp) Beach (airport beach) and back to the shopping area. Great tour - lasted 5 hours and was $40.00 per person. Found this tour on the internet. Our stateroom was large - we were on Riveria Deck (2) and had a tub, 4 closets, window and for our first time a couch. Nice room - we thought we might not like a room that far down but we were surprised and satisfied. Entertainment was so - so. We enjoyed the shows but the bands lack some entertainment. The CD and Assistant were great - she did an English version of the Captain's message when he did the morning message concerning speed, location and weather. It was great. The casino staff did an excellent job and were very professional. Debarkation was quick and easy. We placed our luggage outside our stateroom the night before and was off the ship by 8:15 with no problems at all. Found our luggage and went through customs quickly. We were on the road by 9:00 am.In summary our cruise was what a cruise was supposed to be - enjoyable, relaxing, entertaining and good food. We are cruising again in September, October, January and April. 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
Sail Date: September 2012
Drove to Cocoa Beach from Virginia. Spent the first night in Savannah, GA. Got a great deal at Comfort Inn in Cocoa Beach for stay and cruise. Really nice staff there. Embarkation was painless. LOVED our oceanview cabin--1308. Had 2 ... Read More
Drove to Cocoa Beach from Virginia. Spent the first night in Savannah, GA. Got a great deal at Comfort Inn in Cocoa Beach for stay and cruise. Really nice staff there. Embarkation was painless. LOVED our oceanview cabin--1308. Had 2 bathrooms, one with toilet, sink, and shower and the other with deep tub and shower and sink. LOVED THIS! We chose your time dining because early dining was not available.....what a NIGHTMARE. The entire first floor of the Crimson restaurant is devoted to your time dining. Even when there were empty tables, the host would give you a beeper and you would stand and wait 10-30 minutes for a table. Very inexperienced staff the first night. It took 2 hours and 40 minutes to complete meal! I asked not to be put in that area again, so other nights the service was better. Food was very good. I especially liked the punchliner brunchs on sea days. The food was excellent. The adult comedy shows were very intertaining but very crowded and booked in the lounge. Could Carnival maybe move these to the theater? Loved the casino but slots are very tight. I spent so much money that the casino sent me a bottle of wine at dinner, gave me free drinks while playing and will give me $500 casino cash on my next cruise. I am such a sucker for FREE stuff. LOL. The pools are nice and even warm. I even ventured down the twister waterslide. (at age 65) Lots of fun. My favorite port was St. Maarten. Beautiful water and shopping. Our cabin steward, John was great and kept the cooler filled with ice as requested. All in all we enjoyed the cruise. Next time I will request early dining, assigned seating, but it was nice meeting new people on the ship. I have cruised on carnival, royal caribbean, and norwegian. While RCCL excels at entertainment, Carnival is still the most economical, and bang for your buck. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2012
On April 28th we set sail on my 7th cruise, Nan's 10th. We were sailing to the Caribbean on the Carnival Dream. It took two years for me to get the price I needed in order to take this cruise. We usually cruise on Carnival Lines and ... Read More
On April 28th we set sail on my 7th cruise, Nan's 10th. We were sailing to the Caribbean on the Carnival Dream. It took two years for me to get the price I needed in order to take this cruise. We usually cruise on Carnival Lines and try to leave from Port Canaveral since it's only minutes from our home. We also have a very good deal getting to the port. The Econologe on US 1 in Cocoa has a very special deal, you can park your car for free and take the shuttle bus for $10 round trip to your ship at the Port. Truly, a deal you can't beat. Usually, embarking is a breeze on a Carnival ship, but this time when we arrived about 12:30 p.m., there were a few thousand people waiting on very long lines to board the ship. I usually order a wheelchair for my sister when we travel, but this time I simply forgot and there we were waiting on the longest line i ever saw. I left Nan standing on line and went up front to see if I could get a wheelchair. The red shirt woman I spoke with said that I would have to wait on the line, go thru the security check and when i got upstairs I could get a wheelchair and then come back down for Nancy. If I did all that, once I got upstairs, why would I want to come back down again. I wandered around until i saw a blue shirt man and he was certainly more friendly. it took him a few minutes, but he got a wheelchair and we got Nan into it and he took us immediately through the waiting people and right through security , then he brought us upstairs to get our cabin keys. a very lovely man who went out of his way to be helpful. Again, he had passed the crowds and took us directly up to the sign in desk. the gentlemen there also went out of his way. He got our paperwork done, got our keys and actually took us directly onto the ship. This was positively the largest ship we had ever been on and it was beautiful. We always take an inside cabin for several reasons: one the cost is usually so low that we can afford to take 2 or 3 cruises a year, the food served us in the dining room is the same as the higher priced cabins, the shows the same, the room service the same, the cabin service the same. and the cabins are the same size as most of the potholed cabins. This ship holds 4,300 people and on this cruise it was full, but because of the size of the ship you really didn't notice that many people. he Dream is absolutely my idea of what a ship should look like, Art Deco style. Our cabin was certainly large enough, with two single beds, two closets, a desk, and a small refrigerator. The bathroom was just fine. There was plenty of room to get around comfortably. Frankly, we do not spend that much time in the cabin anyway. This sailing was a little different for me. as soon as we stepped on the ship, i felt it swaying. Nancy thought I was nuts, as she said we were in port not on the ocean so how could it be rocking, but never the less it was and I felt it. By 6 p.m. that same evening I was so dizzy from the rocking that I could barely walk. I went down the corridors holding on to the walls and looking like a drunken sailor. the dizziness got worse when we were out at sea. I could barely do anything. Finally, I couldn't stand it anymore and decided to call the nurse. I thought she'd think I was nuts, but the way I felt was ruining my trip, so called. I mentioned that I could feel the ship rocking and it was making me very, very dizzy. She told me that I had a form of seasickness. There were two types of seasickness, one made you nauseous and sick to your stomach and the other manifested itself in dizziness. She suggested that I call room service and ask for the pills. They cost about $4 for 6 pills. I called, they delivered, I took and soon felt much better. I did meet a few other people with the same problem, they too could feel this ship's movement. I have never had this on any of my other cruises. We usually do not get off at the ports because we've been to most of them several times before, but this time we not only got off, but took a tour in Belize. It was advertised as: City and Althune Ha Ruins Tour. We were very disappointed. The "City" part of the tour consisted of driving through some streets on the way to the ruins and pointing out some houses. No shopping, no stopping, no nothing. When we got to the ruins we could not actually get to them because of the distance from the bus to the pyramids over rough ground, so Nancy and I and one other woman sat on a bench while the others did the climbing. So for a grand total of $70 each we got a bottle of warm water. I do not recommend this tour for anyone up in age, or with walking problems or heat problems, even though it's listed as moderate. The other item I did not like was the change in the food service. The portions were smaller which was perfectly okay since you can order as much of anything as you desire, anyway. There were also several things I usually look forward to that were sorely missing from the menu. On the formal dress evenings there has always been escargot and duck, both were blatantly missing from the menu. Instead of the escargot they offered stuffed mushrooms not a worthy substitute as far as iI was concerned. And now on the left hand side of the menu they listed "Comfort Food" that being meatloaf and fried chicken. I don't know about you but I DO NOT cruise to eat meatloaf and fried chicken. Also the soup selection was a big disappointment. There use to be several different soups available, from cold to fruit. Now there were two and they were nothing special. One night they did offer a Thai soup that was delicious and upon asking if they still had any left the second night, they did not. Obviously, with the economy the way it is, the food service is where they have chosen to cut corners and for people who are not frequent cruises on this line, I'm sure they were delighted with what was offered, but for those of us who do this frequently, it was a disappointment, big time. The service is exceptional, the waiters, head waiters, maitre d, people who clean your room and leave little towel animals and chocolates on your bed, those at the information desk, tour desk and just everywhere at great. They are pleasant and go out of their way to be helpful. The ship is absolutely spotlessly clean and they are at cleaning it day and night. we didn't get to many of the shows because i really didn't feel well enough during this cruise. But usually the shows are good and worth seeing. There was one little kind of funny thing, we couldn't seem to get the lay of the ship. it seemed that where ever we thought we were going, we wound up the entire length of the ship from where we wanted to be. Usually within a day or two we have the ships layout under control, this ship is so big we just couldn't get it together. All in all we had an excellent cruise, as I mentioned I just loved the decor, this is by far my favorite ship as far as looks go, and the service was great. We were called to disembark about 10am. We had breakfast in the dining room and called for a wheelchair. it arrived and we moved swiftly off the ship and through customs without a hitch. We did find out while we were on an elevator, when we arrived, with some men from Coast Guard that the reason there was such a hold up with getting people on board timely was a problem the Coast Guard had and they wouldn't let anybody board until it was settled. Really we had never had this kind of problem before, usually embarking goes very smoothly and within a short time your on the ship and in your cabin. Would I take another cruise on this ship, you bet your bippy I would. First of all I do not believe in making a final decision on something unless I try it at least twice. Good or bad, the first time you try something could just be a fluke. Besides, on these cruises they always offer the purchase of a certificate for a future cruise. The cost is $100, that $100 is used towards the price of the next cruise and a $100 credit is also given to be used on your Sign and Sale card. We use it toward the gratuities, so we will be returning.   Read Less
Sail Date: February 2012
A wonderful experience sums it up! Let me say that we are active seniors -- ages 83 and 76 -- and that this was my first cruise and his 2nd. I was doubtful after reading so many negative reviews, but we were very pleased. Boarding at ... Read More
A wonderful experience sums it up! Let me say that we are active seniors -- ages 83 and 76 -- and that this was my first cruise and his 2nd. I was doubtful after reading so many negative reviews, but we were very pleased. Boarding at 10:30am was a breeze- we were eating lunch at 11:15am. (It's that early-bird Senior thing). I signed up for the "wine package" and that worked well after the first night's mix-up which was straightened out by Andre the Maitre'd who sent us a complimentary bottle of wine the next night. A touch of class! Our balcony room was right above the SMOKING section of Deck 5 which we didn't know that on one side of Deck 5 - the outside chairs & tables is smoking - and on the odd numbered cabin side is non-smoking. Be aware if you are on deck 6! Our Balcony room was very comfortable with plenty of closet space, closet shelves, drawers and counter space. We had a convertible couch, a coffee table and a foot rest/stool. There was a mini fridge with stocked mini bar and a small safe. I brought extra wire hangers; a pop-up laundry basket & a 3-way electric plug as suggested in Cruise Critic. The bathroom had good counter space and shelves for our "stuff". The shower had plenty of hot water and a pull-out line for hanging wet clothes/bathing suits. The bedroom & bath were cleaned and restocked twice a day. Two white terry cloth bathrobes and two huge beach towels were provided for our use. Also provided: a hair dryer, Kleenex, shampoo & body wash in the shower. Our King size bed had 4 pillows and a downy comforter that was very cozy! The balcony had 2 chairs and a table. Our Steward was Harry, who made us a different towel animal every evening and made us feel like "family". We tipped him extra. We usually ate in the Scarlett Dining room as we like the formality and service. Our waiter, Kusumajaya (from Indonesia) was the consummate professional. His humor entertained us, he made us feel special and provided excellent service. We tipped him extra. We usually found several delicious items on the dinner menu. We ate on the Lido deck a few times and enjoyed the varied choices and fun atmosphere. We found the food to be very acceptable. Islands -- Nassau -- not much to do but take a taxi to The Atlantis Hotel. The lines to see the aquarium were too long, so we fed the slot machines. St. Thomas - The best souvenir shopping is at Al Cohen (as told in Cruise Critic) and it's located in the shopping area near the dock. Just ask! Nice T-shirts, island dresses & tote bags @ very reasonable prices. Downtown is good if you're into serious jewelry shopping. St. Martin -- our favorite island. We took a private guided tour of the whole island, spending time at Orient Beach and Sunset Beach. We saw the grand hotels and wealthy homes; and the very poor areas where the goats were in the road. This island is truly beautiful! We had 8 -10 ft. swells and a 55 mph wind on the way down, but smooth sailing all the way back. We had a mid-section cabin so all went well. We plan on doing the Western Caribbean cruise next. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2011
After looking forward to our 9/24/11 cruise on the Dream to celebrate my mom's 90th (NOT a typo) birthday with my husband, 2 sisters and 1 brother-in-law, I started reading reviews and wondered if we had made a big mistake in booking ... Read More
After looking forward to our 9/24/11 cruise on the Dream to celebrate my mom's 90th (NOT a typo) birthday with my husband, 2 sisters and 1 brother-in-law, I started reading reviews and wondered if we had made a big mistake in booking on the Dream. This is an account of our experience. We found a $4.99 per day special on off-site parking that was ideal (Just look for the yellow submarine floating in the air near the terminal(sorry I can't remember the name of the lot. We had to reserve our spot before the cruise to get that deal. Went through embarkation in mere minutes...so easy! Then to the Lido deck for lunch. Big crowd,but short waits in lines. Food was good. then on to our cabins. Very clean as usual, and our steward, Kahil, was perfect!! He produced a needle & thread when we lost a button just before dinner, took down the dividers between the 3 balconies, so we had one long balcony. One deck below us on deck 5, there was a nice hot tub, which was almost never used, with lots of empty chairs around to enjoy the sun or shade. Our balconies overlooked the hot tub, so we could be in it and talk to my mom, who LOVES the balcony!! Tropical storm Ophelia was nearby, but didn't pose much of a problem. I did notice the boat moving a lot the first 2 days, then as we went further south toward St. Thomas, the sea was calmer. We saw a water spout that got a lot of attention (my first), and the most beautiful rainbow ever over the ocean. The food in the Scarlett dining room was very good. Lobster night was a big hit, and was cooked to perfection..Our 2 waiters, Sonny & I.Gusti, were absolutely awesome!! We didn't just leave waiters behind, we left friends. As for the rest of the employees, none of us EVER saw or heard anything but kind remarks, helpful directions, etc.Everyone spoke if they passed you in the hallways or anywhere else on the ship. I honestly can say that the Carnival staff was about the best I have encountered. This was the 6th cruise for my husband and I, and we hope to go again soon, on Carnival, because we can count on good food, great service, and super good times. If you go on the Dream and you don't have a good time, it isn't because of anything they do or fail to do. It is because you are looking for something to gripe about. Maybe that makes you a 'savvy traveler'. Oh,and every passenger I saw was sober, nicely mannered and having a great time. The entertainment was good. I have seen better, but again, no real complaints. The machines in the casino were tight,and I never did see anyone winning anything. The ironing rooms were very nicely equipped, as were the public restrooms we used. The pool area got crowded, but we used the hot tub more. The 'returning guests' party was very nice, with free drinks galore. Children weren't a problem (I think most were back in school), & parents seemed to have a handle on discipline, except for one boy who threw food on his mother's head out near the pool. Debarkation was simple and over in a matter of minutes. How did a whole week fly by so fast? Wait on us Carnival......we're coming back. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2011
This was our 2nd cruise aboard the Carnival Dream. We boarded her out of Port Canaveral which is very convenient for us living here in Central Florida. Our first cruise was December, 2009, when Carnival had a one-time 9-day itinerary and ... Read More
This was our 2nd cruise aboard the Carnival Dream. We boarded her out of Port Canaveral which is very convenient for us living here in Central Florida. Our first cruise was December, 2009, when Carnival had a one-time 9-day itinerary and this cruise was a 7-day with a few of the ports. The only complaint back in 2009 and in September, 2011, is that the ship's food court on the Lido Deck is not large enough to accommodate a ship with so many passengers. The staff can't (or don't) get the tables cleared fast enough to eliminate the confusion of passengers standing around waiting for tables. We are Milestone Rewards Carnival cruises so we get VIP service. This was the first time we tried the "Your Time Dining" and it was wonderful. Our first night we gave the dining room hostess our stateroom number, requesting a 2T (table for two) and we were taken to a lovely little alcove where there were four tables for two - it overlooked the first floor of the formal dining room. Our servers were excellent. The food? Well, we have trouble ordering food we can't pronounce but we did find the 'comfort' food selection was very good for the nights we didn't want to order from the menu of the night. We did not make it to Nassau as the hurricane was too close so the captain took us further south toward Cuba and we went on to St. Thomas. In 2009 we stayed in a suite which was nice. This time we booked a regular balcony which was more than adequate. My husband is a smoker and never smokes in the stateroom so the balcony is perfect for him. Most all the cruiselines are prohibiting smoking in staterooms without the passengers having to pay upwards of $250 cleaning fee. The cleaning fee in most cases would be cheaper than upgrading to a balcony but we do prefer the luxury of sitting outside as we cruise - particularly at night. We would recommend this ship to families and it would be great for reunions, as well. I don't know that we will board her again any time soon even though the port is so convenient and, we have been on so many cruises, east/west doesn't matter...we are beginning to take longer cruises to far away places. We'll see how that pans out. Read Less
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: 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
Sail Date: May 2010
We were on the Carnival Dream May 22-29 to the Eastern Car. This was our 13th cruise and definately not the "Fun" Ship/trip/experience that we have grown to love. Where has the "fun" gone? The Dream was beautiful, but ... Read More
We were on the Carnival Dream May 22-29 to the Eastern Car. This was our 13th cruise and definately not the "Fun" Ship/trip/experience that we have grown to love. Where has the "fun" gone? The Dream was beautiful, but it seems the Carnival Marketing people have forgotten about the age of the people who are paying for the trips. The laid back, steel drums, Jimmy Buffett, Bob Marley mood is GONE. It has been replaced by flashing lazer lights and extremely loud, rap influenced music. Maybe that is why we had to stop two times to have "sick" people evacuated from the ship (we thought about jumping into the rescue boat ourselves!). Also, a passenger was missing for a period of time which was a little un-nerving. Thinking what we would have a table for two, we tried the "Your time" dining. It is very uncomfortable because you are taken to a table of 4, 6 or 8 who are at all different stages of their meals. Some may be ordering appetizers while others are having desserts. People are constantly coming and going and the wait staff seems to be very preoccupied and not very customer friendly.(This wasn't their fault and they were doing their best to do their jobs). During the week we talked to several couples in our age bracket who were also experienced cruisers who shared our feelings that the changes in music had drastically affected the "Mood" of the trip. We have already booked our next cruise, but it will be on Norweign. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2010
A SWEET DREAM... We sailed the E. Caribbean Route on the Dream from May 8 - May 15, , and loved every minute of it. We had read the poor reviews and were worried as many have said they were too. So, quickly, I will report what we ... Read More
A SWEET DREAM... We sailed the E. Caribbean Route on the Dream from May 8 - May 15, , and loved every minute of it. We had read the poor reviews and were worried as many have said they were too. So, quickly, I will report what we experienced. And thanks to those who did write reviews for Cruise Critics.. I poured over them for months. EMBARKTATION....Easy. People living close to the Port, and driving in were apparently called by Carnival, and told to arrive early. We did. We were told to be there by 10:30 and we were. We waited a few moments after doing our registration, then we were boarded. We were sitting on the Lido Deck, eating pizza by a little after 11:00 am. I kid you not. CABIN....The Cabins were open by 1:30pm. We had a balcony on the Panorama Deck. Everything worked. The Cabin was cleaned a little late each day, but the young woman who cleaned it was working across the hall, and when she did see to the cabin, ..it was spotless. We had occasion to request two small services, and she immediately saw that they were done. We tipped her extra as we thought she did a fine job. The only problem we had was navigating from the Panorama Deck to the Dining Areas on the Lido Deck and on Deck Three. We would go down to Deck Five..walk across and then take the Elevator down to three. I am sure there is an easier way, but we did not discover it. Other than that, the Cabin was about as nice as it gets. SHIP SAFETY DRILL....We met in the Theater. We did not bring life jackets. We saw a demonstration of how to use the jacket, then saw a film on the correct use, how to board a tender and such. EXCELLENT. MUCH BETTER THAN THE OLD WAY. DINING—We had fixed seating, Early dining on Deck Three, Scarlet Restaurant. Our Table was 505. We sat with a lovely couple from Missouri, and we enjoyed catching up with them each night and hearing of their adventures. The Wait Staff was pleasant, competent...We tipped them extra too, for their above and beyond the call of duty excellent service. The Food was from OK..to good..to very good. The Biggest Surprise was the Grilled Porkchop EntrEe. . It was huge, cooked to perfection and delicious. We thought the food portions were larger than in the past. We liked that. We did not order any double entrees ( except DH on Lobster night), I left full each evening, we did not do any late night snacks and controlled our weight pretty well, while eating what we wanted too at mealtimes. I thought the Cappuccino Pie was delicious. The Pork Ribs are very good. No One seemed unhappy with their meals and I cannot remember a night when my entrEe turned out to be a stinker. The Rolls were good. I missed the dried tomato rolls they had on The Freedom, but I still managed to knock back a roll or two at dinner. We also ate breakfast in the same MDR. The grits were done to perfection,. not too thick, not too runny. My DH had three eggs fried each day. The coffee was great. I wish I had that to wake up to every morning. I HIGHLY recommend the MDR for breakfast. LIDO. THE GATHERING, THE PASTA BAR, THE LANAI BBQ. -The BBQ on deck Five was bad. We thought the food was bad, the sliders tasted like they had mystery meat in them, the chips had dips that I never heard of., and .I may be a yokel but some salsa,.some bean dip, would have been better than runny green chili sauces or thick orange ones. There was no desert there and I did not see any salads. NEEDS FIXING, . The Pasta Bar. Again, I did not like the food, except for the Garlic Bread. I could make a meal on that heavenly bread. The Gathering was pretty good. I usually had Pizza for me(.Rustica which is divine)..and DH had a hamburger and hotdog from the grill., We both loved them. I had the fried chicken from the Buffet on day for lunch and it was very good. I also did the Salad bar several times and the selection of veggies and fruits was good. The Blue Cheese Dressing was very good. The Chocolate Chip Cookes on the dessert bar in the Gathering melted in our mouths. YOU HAVE TO TRY ONE.. We went up every day..and ate them, and the ice cream. The Ice Cream Machine is inside, an attendant monitors it for cleanness, and I saw a lot more adults walking around with cones. We certainly indulged. for the first time ever on a Carnival Ship. I think most reasonable people would be very satisfied with the Food on the Dream. SHOW PRODUCTIONS...We saw all three musical numbers. "Get ReadY' was the MoTown Show and we thought it good. "Dancing in the Streets" has some acrobatic dancers that truly give that show a new dimension. It was very good. Our Favorite was the country music show. The :"Fiddler" who did some special numbers in the Country Show was very good. I thought the Dance and Singing Troupes did a very good job. The crowds were good each night. I did not see any of the conflicts reported on getting a seat. For the Country and Western Show, My DH and I went to the second row where we saw some seats. When we asked if they were "saved", the answer was NO. So we had a great seat. We arrived about 20 minutes early for each Show. We always sat in a good seat on Deck 3. I always saw some empty seats up on the Upper Decks, even to when the Shows opened. I saw great crowds.,.but no mass mobbing,..nothing like that. We did not see any of the comedy acts nor did we visit the Comedy Club. But passengers we talked too raved about the Comedy Club. It was very popular. SHIP ACTIVITIES: ..There were so many activities, it would be impossible to do them all. Miniature Golf, a basketball court, two pools, an Adults only area, pool games and trvia, pingpong tournament, cooking demonstrations, art auctions, shopping, the casino, etc. The Casino is big, modern and the slots are very tight. Very tight. We played a lot of Trivia with Mark, James and Megan. A lot of other people showed up to play too..and the turnout made it more competitive and fun. Some of the Trivia was ordinary stuff, but Super Trivia, which was played on Sea Days was different. It involved tough questions, a huge dice ball thing and it drew such big crowds that we had trouble finding a seat. MARK--..JAMES---..MEGAN.—A.SHOUT OUT TO YOU FOR MAKING OUR CRUISE SO MUCH FUN,..AND FOR THE NICE PEOPLE WE MET AT YOUR ACTIVITIES. They just were superb. We will cruise with them again... POOL AND CHAIR HOGS...We did not use the pool. We live in Florida and avoid the direct sun. But, I noted that the chairs around the main pool were popular, but there could always be seen empty chairs. The areas on the Panaroma Deck had a lot of empty loungers. My DH checked out Serenity and he said it was full. The Weather was perfect the days we were in Port, and I think the people who visited Beaches in the Bahamas, St. Martin, St. Thomas or St. Johns had an excellent time. A lot of sunburned folks were running around that night. Take Sun Screen. BIG SCREEN MOVIE...Avatar was shown one night. It was also shown in the rooms and I did see some of it. The Selection of movies seemed good to me. They had the GI Joe Movie on for the kids one night. I liked the balance they in Movies., .some for the family, other a little more mature. PROBLEMS... I did smell the "smell", which is a sewer smell, but not any more than on any other ship. It was not often, it was fleeting, and it just was not a problem. Elevators were a problem. Give yourself extra time at dinner time, show time and excursion time to get an elevator. They were crowded at peak times. If you can walk the stairs, do that. It will control your weight too. Everything else seemed better than expectations. We had a wonderful time. We really did. DISEMBARKTATION....We were given zones the night before. We were told the night before where to go and wait after breakfast. We got up, ate on the Lido Deck, went to the 3rd. Floor to the Theater, which was our assigned place, and within fifteen minutes we were called. We were off the ship, driving home by 8:30am. I kid you not. Carnival has this down pat. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2010
After reading so many negative comments about the Dream, I want to say we throughly enjoyed the experience. There was only "the smell" at Port Canaveral as we were disembarking. There were PLENTY of chairs anytime night or day - ... Read More
After reading so many negative comments about the Dream, I want to say we throughly enjoyed the experience. There was only "the smell" at Port Canaveral as we were disembarking. There were PLENTY of chairs anytime night or day - the first few rows by the pool were occupied, but many were open all over the ship. The food lines were not a problem with so many choices - main dining room, Lido buffet, outside BBQ, Tandori Grill, Pasta Bar, Deli, the salad bar in in Ocean Plaza, sushi bar, Mongolian Wok, plus all the poolside hamburgers, chicken and hotdogs. These were all open for lunch. If it was crowded, just go somewhere else. The longest wait was at the Pasta bar, but they take your order and you sit at your table until they deliver it to you. The captain kept great communication with the passengers - especially both times they had to come to a stop in the middle of the ocean to let a passenger off for medical reasons. We were made aware of the situation and assured of no disturbance of port times as soon as the situation was under control. I had my Carnival hair dryer to spark and pop in my stateroom - within 5 minutes, maintenance was there to correct it. I was impressed. We enjoyed the balcony. I was concerned that the Lanai would be annoying and loud below us, but we had no problems at all. We actually enjoyed watching the chess games 2 stories down from our balcony. The spa tubs were closed at 8PM, so that was not a problem. The Lanai was wonderful for wheelchair bound passengers as they could completely encompass the ship and had much freedom to do so. We had Caesar and Emillio serve us in the main dining room. They were excellent, bringing us new dishes to "try" every meal. There was even a situation at the table next to us where a couple was fighting and throwing silverware - Caesar handled the situation quickly and efficiently before anyone was hurt. He seemed to actually enjoy serving us each night. We did not attend most of the shows, since we prefer music instead of breakdancing and singers screaming out notes. We did see Julie and Julia on the big screen. There was plenty of room, and the volume was such that all could hear, but not overwhelming. Port Canaveral is by far the most efficient port in handling so many passengers in a short amount of time. We did certainly enjoy our cruise to celebrate our 40th Wedding Anniversary! 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 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
Sail Date: December 2009
KEEP ON DREAMING... Nice to cruise on a fairly new ship, the largest in Carnival's fleet. Liked some of the innovations such as a Promenade deck that you can actually walk around, miniature golf, a toned down and somewhat ... Read More
KEEP ON DREAMING... Nice to cruise on a fairly new ship, the largest in Carnival's fleet. Liked some of the innovations such as a Promenade deck that you can actually walk around, miniature golf, a toned down and somewhat pleasant color scheme in the atrium and around the ship. There are a few gripes however, and they include: · The atrium has the most slippery and uncomfortable bar stools I've ever had the displeasure to sit on. · Four whirlpools are placed on the Promenade deck of all places. It was interesting seeing all the folks in their robes and swimsuits and towels taking the elevator to the fifth deck then walking thru the shopping area and casino in order to get to the whirlpools. · Look up when sitting in the whirlpool and you will most likely see folks on their balconies on the 6th, 7th,8th, and 9th decks looking down on you. Smile and wave. · The least expensive balcony cabins on this ship are located on the deck below the lifeboats that overhang the side of the ship. These balconies have a cave-like appearance. Innovative design...perhaps, good design...I think not. · There are two swimming pools on the Lido deck, one mid-ship and one aft. Both are postage stamp size. Was the formula the Dream ship designers used "more passengers = smaller pools"? · The Lido deck dinner buffet was very minimal and had such a small variety of food and dessert, it made a KFC restaurant buffet back home look good. · Lunch on the Lido deck, however, was a much different experience. Passengers hurrying everywhere, and then waiting in the food line, drink line, or for a vacant table. Service personnel bumping into to you while trying to negotiate the passengers and obstacles in an ill-designed area. · The Lido breakfast was ok, but in no way exceptional. Note to food manager: why do you insist on having someone dishing out the bacon? Bacon is NOT gold. It would speed up the line if people could serve themselves bacon as they do on other items. · Speaking of obstacles...the positioning of the drink stations on the Lido deck is terrible. Their positions cause horrendous passenger bottlenecks that could be avoidable if their location was better designed. Additionally, at these drink stations, why place the coffee mugs in between the ice machine and the cold drink machine? Passengers are very frustrated having to endure multiple lines at these stations just to get something to drink. Surely the ship's food management officers have observed this crazy situation but what has been done to remedy it? Duh... · Room service is 24 hours but consists of a very limited menu. When we did place an order, the service was prompt but often there was something missing...such as condiments. · Supper Club was definitely a disappointment. The service was BAD. They did not refill the water or ice tea. Although only about 50% of the tables were occupied, there was not enough wait staff for proper service. The food presentation was good but the quality and taste were not. Save your money, don't eat here. · Note to Todd Wittmer, Cruise Director: Don't quit your day job. 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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