2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2014
We surprised our grand daughters (whom we are raising) with this as their Christmas present! Emma, age 16 and MC age 8 were ecstatic! We were on our 25th cruise, but only the third with Carnival. Years ago, we went on two short cruises on ... Read More
We surprised our grand daughters (whom we are raising) with this as their Christmas present! Emma, age 16 and MC age 8 were ecstatic! We were on our 25th cruise, but only the third with Carnival. Years ago, we went on two short cruises on Carnival's older, smaller ships, and were not impressed by comparison to the Royal Caribbean and Princess cruises we had previously gone on. BUT, since the four of us could drive, thus savings $$$ in airfare, and because the Dream was so much larger and newer, we thought we'd give it a try. We had a great time, the girls loved their various activities, MC wanted to go to Camp Carnival every day. Emma was shy about going to Club O2 by herself the first night, but then met a few kids, and they ran around together in a pack all week. We had a very good cabin steward, he was in there at least twice daily, keeping the ice bucket filled, bringing us fresh beach towels, robes, and anything else we requested. Our main dining room servers were super friendly, remembering us by name each night. The food was typical cruise ship quality, mostly very good with a few exceptions each night. We were surpised to see that Carnival still serves lobster and escargot, and some other "fancy" foods that some of the lines had cut out. We dined one night at the Chef's Table steakhouse, and it was superb. Emma ordered lobster and it came with not one, but three tails! The desserts were to die for. We thought the production shows were good, but not over the top. The dancers were talented, the male singer was quite good, female just OK. And, yes, "family friendly" is a matter of opinion...a lot of sexy dancing in very skimpy costumes. The entertainment around the ship was sub-par, the singers in the atrium were pretty terrible and they were LOUD. We didn't care for the comedian either. I don't understand why, what with all the fantastic talent out there, the cruise line would hire such marginal acts. We did Faster to the Fun, and would do it again...for 50.00 for the whole group it makes embarkation a whole lot easier, and, on the last night, we went down to guest services and there were about 30 people in line but the FTTF line had only two ahead of us. There was a lot of smoking on this ship, the whole deck five around the casino area reeked of it. The kids loved the water slides, the mini golf, and we all watched a "Dive'In" movie, that was pretty special! All in all, a good cruise for our family, but if it was just the two of us, Carnival would not be my pick. This ship was VERY crowded and we like a more elegant atmosphere. (They actually announced in the dining room, that, on "elegant" night, men were not allowed to wear flip flops and wife-beaters, and no ball caps!) One other tip: If you are driving to the port, park at the Fulton Street garage, it was less than half of the price of the one at the port! It is only two blocks away, and they have a shuttle bus with porters to help with your luggage.   Read Less
Sail Date: October 2013
Had a great time, Carnival never disappoints. Drove to the port and parked in the port parking lot. Arrived around 1100 am we went platinum this year but did not have room to set in the special waiting area too many Faster to the fun ... Read More
Had a great time, Carnival never disappoints. Drove to the port and parked in the port parking lot. Arrived around 1100 am we went platinum this year but did not have room to set in the special waiting area too many Faster to the fun people there already. When they started boarding they went into the special waiting room first so good thing we we're watching or they might have skipped over us. When we got on the ship our room was ready so we dropped off the bags and began to explore the ship. Ate at the Tandor station in the buffet loved it food was great. Indian food in MDR was awful, didn't work out for me. Loved the BBQ on the Lani little burgers were the best. Went to the Pasta station above the Buffet was told it was a 40 min wait but I looked around and set down anyway. Got our food in less than 8 min but it was bland and too much water. Ate in the Steak House one evening and it was wonderful. We did not watch all the shows as the singers and dancers are boring, we did however enjoy Gumbie the assist cruise director, be sure to ask him to show you how he got his nickname. We enjoyed the ventriloquist show something out of the ordinary. Do not miss the Comedy shows Carnival scores perfect with this bunch. The MDR staff was the best and the brunch sea days were my favorite. Don't miss the Eggs Ranchiro, yum. The pool areas had too many people for me good thing we had the Spa rooms to relax in. Liked the Movie at sea on the big screen, Carnival is still a fun ships but now I think I want a more relaxing and elegant cruise and for a few dollars more I can have that. I don't think that Carnival has changed that much but I have. The water works slides were wild.. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2013
Carnival has really lowered their standards and the Carnival Dream is no exception to that. The cut backs are really noticeable and I really believe it has become all about the money and it's no longer all about the customer. From ... Read More
Carnival has really lowered their standards and the Carnival Dream is no exception to that. The cut backs are really noticeable and I really believe it has become all about the money and it's no longer all about the customer. From start to finish, our cruise seemed out of whack. It was as if the ship and crew were not prepared for our cruise. We left late, ran out of certain foods, suffered through long lines, ate cold food, and had to deal with unfriendly staff. There were over 4,000 passengers on that ship and allegedly 1,100 crew members but it seemed as if they were lacking in all areas. You had to practically bump into a crew member for them to say anything to you and it when they did say something, they lacked the normal happiness I'm accustomed to on Carnival ships. The long lines were another problem. You would think that a ship that can hold 4,000 people would be ready to accommodate 4,000 people, but no. We waited in line for everything! Not to mention having to wait 2 hours, 2 different times to get a seat in the dining room. And once you're in the dining room, their are so many people that trying to place and order and get your waiters attention is almost impossible. And unfortunately eating in the dining room is the best place to get food because the buffet food wasn't very good and a trip to Applebee's would have been better. And if you were not early to the entertainment shows then you were just out of luck as everything was full 15 minutes before any show. Another problem was the lack of quality control. I went through countless utensils and dishes that had all kinds of crap stuck to them. It really made me wonder how they cleaned things. The cruise wasn't completely horrible but too many things went wrong for it to be completely enjoyable, but this was easily the worst cruise I've ever been on and can guarantee that we will not go on the Carnival Dream again. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2013
Background: My husband and I are both 30. We were looking for an inexpensive week in the Caribbean over the summer of 2013. Only a few cruise lines stick around in the summer and run Caribbean cruises. We booked only 6 weeks in advance. ... Read More
Background: My husband and I are both 30. We were looking for an inexpensive week in the Caribbean over the summer of 2013. Only a few cruise lines stick around in the summer and run Caribbean cruises. We booked only 6 weeks in advance. and Carnival had the ports we were most interested at a price we could easily afford. We also live 30 minutes from Port Canaveral, so the Carnival Dream was the perfect fit for a last minute cruise choice. Our first cruise in 2006 was with Carnival. We have also done NCL in 2010 and Disney in 2012 and 2013. We did not purchase faster to the fun and we chose Your Time Dining. Embarkation: The Dream was late getting into PC the day we were set to leave,. We weren't able to enter the terminal until around 1pm vs the 'normal' 11am. Despite the delays, we happily arrived at 1:30pm, checked in VERY quickly and they started the boarding process around 1:50 pm with the special groups and faster to the fun. They started general group boarding around 2pm, we had group 14 and we were called to board at 2:15. Anytime I arrive at the terminal and start "walking on the ship" within 1 hour, is a great experience. Dining: Meh. This is where I really feel we got what we paid for. Main dining room food was mediocre and its not that we go out for fancy dinners all the time, we eat out at Moe's, Chipotle, Panera, Chilis, Carrabbas, etc. Sometimes it was underseasoned, or over sauced. One night my tiramisu was frozen in the middle! Which led me to wonder how old anything was that we were eating, if it was frozen. I would rate dining lower except the Deli, Mongolian Wok, and Tandoor were EXCELLENT! We didn't get a chance to try the pasta bar, because we were out in port during lunch on most days. In fact, that was our biggest complaint. The deli is open most of the day, so it's always a good option, but the rest of the GOOD stuff is only open a few hours at lunch time. Public Areas: This is a big ship and our sailing was sold out. So we and our new 4500 friends got to share all the public spaces. The ship was very nice and the layout was pretty decent. Most of what you do is on decks 5, in the main theater, or on the pool/outdoor decks up top. I was worried that such a large ship would take a few days to figure out, but we had a good handle on the orientation by day 2. The only times we found 'crowds' were during the nightly entertainment and during some meals (on lobster night everyone goes to the dining room). The buffet specialty areas got backed up a few times too. Other than that the number of people wasn't very noticeable. The ship is decorated nicely. I thought it had a very modern yet glitzy feel to it. On our first Carnival cruise, I felt like we were stuck in old school neon Las Vegas at sea. This ship is a definite improvement over our first experience. The only time the layout got us was when we tried to use the middle bank of elevators, unless your stateroom is near that elevator bank and you need to get to the promenade deck, or pool/buffet area, don't use them! One other complaint are all those poles in the main theater and main lounge!! They create too much obstructed viewing. Entertainment: As far as the headlining acts go, we only went to ONE show in the main theater. It was dubbed the best in the fleet, "Dancing in the Streets". It was pretty decent and the break dancing team made the show for us. The singers were way too loud and the sound engineers didn't exist to fix the levels... I don't think i ever saw someone sitting in the booth!! Two of the nights were dedicated to country music, not our thing, and that's OK. Like I mentioned, the break dance team "Fun Force" was really good and we tried to attend each of their events going on after we realized they existed. I had seen "Fun Force Dancers" listed in the fun times earlier in the week, but had no clue what it referred to. They do a show in the Atrium that is GREAT. The comedians that we got to see where pretty good! But, the lounge they perform in is way too small and its the second largest venue after the main theater. This makes us think Carnival needs to switch this up. Some nights the comedians were the 'only thing' going on, so why not have them in the main theater instead? That way a lot more people can see EVERY set. When one set would finish, you had to exit the lounge and either get back in line and try to get a seat, or just leave like we did and try to find something else to do that probably isn't as good. There were too many occasions on this cruise where we had to arrive way to early to get good seats and were stuck sitting around staring at the walls for 30 minutes before EVERY show/comedian. Service: The service people on this ship were fantastic!! Our room steward was so nice and very attentive. We saw her every day but the first. She was always smiling and asking us how we were doing and what we did during the day. All the servers were quick, very nice, and had a happy demeanor. Dinner service is slow at times, but that is expected on a cruise with this many people on it. Everyone we encountered spoke good English. Activities/Enrichment: Every day there were large blocks of time that didn't have anything going on that we wanted to take part in. But, there was plenty going on during some parts of the day that it balanced out well enough. We took part in a lot of trivia! We also liked attending the 'game shows'. We did one that was "18+", I say that in quotes because children were in fact present. It was a battle of the sexes trivia war. Men vs Women and the questions were things the opposite sex would know. It was interactive and fun. We attended another game show, twice, that was music trivia related.... lots of music trivia on this ship! We tried something new on this cruise... the champagne art auctions. This is my new favorite thing to do on a cruise! It is incredibly fun to experience a real auction and I got to learn about newer artists. I wish we had attended one of these sooner in the cruise! We got to experience the final 2 on the ship. Each time we went you got an art print to take home. We watched a couple games of Bingo and they were horribly boring! Disney's bingo on board is amazingly fun and exciting... Carnival needs to take some lessons on how to spruce up a mindless game like Bingo. Other activities involved deck parties and hairy chests... no thanks! We aren't in college any more. Fitness/Recreation: We had access to the spa facilities on this cruise and it was a lot of fun. We had never been to a sauna or steam room before. We also did a spa tour, in which I learned that I really want a full body hot stone massage, just not at their prices! I also visited the gym and the equipment was very nice and there was plenty to go around and had a nice view of the ocean. Out on deck we didn't take part in the pools. We did visit 1 hot tub in the Serenity deck (adults only). It was quite hot. Not sure if that was because not many people were using or because the sun was shining openly on the tub. The serenity area was a nice, quiet area to escape to outdoors. I wish we had more time to sit outside and enjoy it. We did 3 or 4 games of mini golf on this cruise. They have a full 18 holes and it was a lot of fun. Only a few wear and tear issues in some areas. Otherwise it was one of the better kept courses we've visited lately! Prices/Rates: We booked late, so we didn't get to take part in the early saver rate that would have earned us quite a bit of OBC. No ones fault, just bad timing. Other wise Carnival is the lowest prices around, even last minute on a cruise ship that is about to sell out. Cabin: We had cabin 11-207, a handicap assessable interior Cloud 9 Spa cabin. We were able to book this cabin because it was the last one in this category. The room was spacious but it was lacking in storage space. Other cruises we have been on, there is always a place to stick all of our things. This category came with a 'free' week long spa pass for the two of us. Booking this cabin got us a $50 discount off buying a week pass and got us a cabin all the way up on deck 11. I was worried about the cabin being all the way forward on a high deck, but the movement was not bad at all! The placement of the cabin is right next to the door that leads to the back entrance of the gym/spa. The location was extremely convenient for the spa, not to far to the Atrium elevators, and a brisk walk across the ship from the buffet areas. One inconvenience we had was on port days. Most mornings we lugged our daily excursion bag with us to breakfast, so we could go straight down to get off the ship and not backtrack to the cabin (we had early days & tenders). Otherwise, I felt like the location was good enough for getting around day to day. Value: I would rate the value of this cruise as good. It is what it is, a cheap vacation that includes all you can eat food, transportation, and entertainment. We picked this cruise because of the ports we visited and because we were limited in who was sailing during the summer. In the future, if we have a choice between Carnival and spending a little more, we will spend a little more. Other Observances: The 'rules' on this ship were a mere suggestion in most cases. Children attending 18+ activities, and I don't mean high school kids that are probably OK with the content, I'm saying it was middle school and younger. Weird! Dress code really didn't mean a thing in the main dining rooms. We saw a guy in t-shirt and shorts on lobster night. It didn't ruin my experience, but why create a dress code if you aren't going to enforce it. I feel like Carnival is 'copying' NCL freestyle cruising without outright changing the 'code' and admitting it. It's not bad, just misleading?   Read Less
Sail Date: June 2013
This was our fifth cruise with Carnival. We took this trip very early in the 2013 Hurricane season with no storms during the trip. We used the shuttle service from the Orlando international Airport. we did not stay in a Hotel because we ... Read More
This was our fifth cruise with Carnival. We took this trip very early in the 2013 Hurricane season with no storms during the trip. We used the shuttle service from the Orlando international Airport. we did not stay in a Hotel because we stayed with friends the night before the cruise. We had a Cloud 9 Spa Balcony on this trip. Our Stateroom was on deck 12 Right hand (Starboard) Side. There were only two things that we could have wished for. The balcony on deck 12 do not have a roof over the balcony. So there was no protection from the sun or rain. but, it was nice to have at night. The second was there was no Smoking on the Spa balcony's. (I do not smoke, but my wife does). Also passengers on deck 14 ( there is not a deck 13) could look down ,Spill drinks, drop things on to your balcony. We were in the Scarlet Dining Room for meals. We had a very great service staff for meals. There was something for everyone on the menu. The food was very good. As far as the shows, We thought the show (Dancing in the streets) on this was not as good as past shows.  we thought it was too loud. We did not stay for the whole show. The Punch liner comedy show was not too bad. The ports of call on this trip was Nassau, Bahamas', St. Thomas, and St. Martin. It was our Third Trip to Nassau so we did not do any Excursions in this port. In St Thomas, I did the Two Tank scuba diving Excursion, My wife went into town and did some Shopping. In St. Martian we took a shuttle into town, and ended up getting a tour and got to see the whole island. I do not have any information on the Children's Clubs because we did not travel with any children. As far as the disembarkation, it went very smooth. We were off the ship in under an hour. The only Problem we had was a broken bottle on Liquor on one on our suitcases. But over all a Very Good Trip. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2013
The first day went poorly. Though we had booked premium rooms, our luggage tags failed to include the word "priority", and therefore it wasn't until about four hours after we boarded that our luggage arrived at our room. ... Read More
The first day went poorly. Though we had booked premium rooms, our luggage tags failed to include the word "priority", and therefore it wasn't until about four hours after we boarded that our luggage arrived at our room. This was especially disappointing since I had called Carnival and pointed out this error, only to be told not to worry and that our luggage would be waiting outside our room upon our arrival. When we entered our room, I observed a growing wet spot on the carpet outside the bathroom door of our suite. It was recommended that we vacate our room while service staff used a wet vac and did whatever else was necessary to address the source of the water. When we returned to our room later, there was a big fan blowing across the wet area of the carpet. I find it more than a bit unfortunate that Carnival chooses not to open the childrens Camp Carnival program the night of embarkation, at least not until hourly rates begin at ten o'clock. There is only so much one can do with a tiring four year old along with mom and dad, so we turned in the bed at nine o'clock. Day one down and no fun. Upon our arrival in Nassau on the second day of the cruise, we elected to stay onboard the ship. We were not too impressed with this destination on our previous cruise, so we decided to take advantage of the spa package which came with our suite. Entering the Thallasotherapy pool, the dark sea water and spa jets made me fail to notice how narrow the entry steps were, and I took a graceless tumble into the pool. The pulled muscle in my back, pulled thigh muscle, sprained ankle, and cuts I recieved from this accident negatively impacted the remainer of my cruise. I am still recovering more than three weeks later. I was seen by an onboard doctor, given meds, antiboitics, bandages, and a tetanus shot - not exactly my idea of cruising fun! Due to my injuries, day two also ended in bed at nine o'clock while everyone else on board was just beginning to have fun. I managed to limp and hobble around sufficiently to participate in low intensity activities for the remainder of the cruise, however many onboard activities such as the pools, waterslide, dancing, etc. were now beyond my threshold of pain to enjoy. Perhaps most disturbing is that Carnival seems not to care about my negative experience. My two post-cruise communications to Carnival have gone without response. We were able to take in both of our planned onshore excursions, in St Thomas and St Marteen. I wasn't hugely impressed with Megans Bay, however Orient Beach in St Marteen was beautiful, except for the local islanders constantly bothering my family while trying to sell their wares. For those looking forward to the onboard dining on the Dream, or Carnival ships in general, I advise that you keep your expectations low. The variety and quality of most foods offered are below that of your local economy-priced all-you-can-eat buffet. I overheard one fellow cruiser state that "they serve better food at the local homeless shelter". The main dining was somewhat better, though not spectacular, while the service in the Crimson dining was exceptional! My wait staff was very attentive to all of our needs. Kudos also to our room stewards, who were friendly and provided unbeatable service. Our bottles of wine were kept constantly on ice, and the head steward even bought a gift for my daughter. The room itself was comfortable, and after the wet carpet upon arrival we experienced no other problems. Be advised that the children's Camp Carnival is closed for two-three hours on a daily basis and at varied times, for "cleaning", "training" etc. which makes it difficult for adults to plan and participate in adult events. Although the tone of this review is somewhat negative, in fairness both myself and my family had an enjoyable time during this cruise. The BillyBeachBum family shall cruise again in the near future! BBB Read Less
Sail Date: March 2013
Although it was a bit more of an adventure than we were expecting, it was truly a wonderful experience! I went in with fairly low expectations as my last cruise was on Oasis of the Seas and I knew that a cruise half the price could not ... Read More
Although it was a bit more of an adventure than we were expecting, it was truly a wonderful experience! I went in with fairly low expectations as my last cruise was on Oasis of the Seas and I knew that a cruise half the price could not compare. However, I was pleasantly surprised with how wonderful the Dream really was. (No, its no Oasis, but it was great for what it was!) Embarkation was super easy--we had Faster to the Fun and definitely loved it. Not sure it helped us get on the ship any faster...we got there at 11 and people were already boarding. But it was so nice to be able to drop our bags off in the room and change into our bathing suits as we pleased. We went and explored and when we got back about an hour or 2 later, our luggage was already at our room. Definitely will do FTTF again if I can on our next cruise! Also the special line for guest services definitely saved us hours with the situation on this cruise and guest services lines always being ridiculously long! We had a spa inside cabin because a couple weeks before the cruise I was looking and was able to upgrade for only $20 from a lido inside! It was awesome!! The room was nothing special but the spa was amazing. The thalaso pool was wonderful after a long day in the sun and the thermal suite was great (although we mostly went in one room there). The tile chairs that look like they would definitely not be comfortable made my back feel unbelievably great. I highly recommend the spa on the dream. We went to the steak house the first night because we wanted to do it and on the first night you get a free bottle of wine. It was quite possibly the best meal I have ever eaten. Truly worth the $35. We knew we wanted to do the Cheers program but opted to start it on the second day since we brought on 2 bottles of wine and had the free wine with dinner. Of course we had some funship specials but less than the $50 a person so it was worth it to wait until day 2. Overall, Cheers was great. It was really nice to be able to try drinks and not feel guilty if we didn't want to finish them. We created a spreadsheet to see how much we saved overall and we saved over $200 and that's with us not drinking as much once the issues started on thursday. Carnival actually ended up refunding us $150 of Cheers in the end also so we truly saved even more but we didn't include that since that isn't normal but was definitely a nice surprise! Seas were really rocky the first couple days--the worst that I'd experience on any of my 6 cruises! But we didn't get sea sickness or anything so it didn't affect us! Other pros: -CREW: the crew was amazing. Our cabin stewards, the spa workers, a few specific bartenders, guest services...just amazing. For a couple days our cabin steward told us he only had 2 hours of sleep but was still working his butt off and trying to make us happy. When the elevators werent working he told us he was having to climb 12 floors of stairs to bring us beach towels!! We obviously told him we didnt need new ones until the elevators started working again. He really went above and beyond and I felt bad for him because he was worried about losing out on tips for the canceled cruise so we left him some of our money that we were going to get refunded because he definitely needed it more than i did! -Comedy club: We saw 3 of the comedians and we laughed the entire time! We did have issues getting drinks while there and once a waiter completely forgot about us so we didn't get a drink the entire show which was a little annoying but nothing to get super upset about. Just wish i had ordered from someone else if I had known our waiter was going to forget about us. -Serentiy area: We chose to hang out in the serenity area because the furniture was more comfortable there and it was easy to get to from our cabin. We got to know the bartenders and servers there and had an awesome time. Didn't get to go in the hammock because it was full but never had a hard time finding a clam shell or loungers--even always got one in the shade and one in the sun which is what we needed! -Comedy Brunch: only had it once because of the issues but the food was DELICIOUS and I enjoyed the short comedy pieces. Was sad we didn't have the other two sea days to have the brunch again! -Pizza was delicious...had it every day. Had some issues with the guy serving it but after the 3rd issue with him, we went to guest services and explained (while also praising the wonderful service we were getting from everyone else) and next time we went back he was making the pizzas not serving them so the rest of the week, the pizza place was awesome. -Deli and Mongolian were great although long lines at both...didn't stop us though! -Pasta place was awesome. Went twice and definitely enjoyed both. It was never crowded like I expected either! -Steakhouse: like I said, awesome. Definitely worth it. -St. Thomas--we went to the Best Western at Emerald Beach which was perfect. Kind of a long taxi ride bc they dropped people off at other stops on the way but totally worth it. Beautiful beach, not crowded even though there were 5 ships in port! Just wonderful!! -4 days in St Maarten--uh yeah don't need to say anything more about how beautiful our view was from where we were stuck in st maarten. It was amazing and it was the best place ever to be stuck Cons: -Buffet: especially at breakfast it was really bad. Ate there twice and never went back for breakfast. Usually I dont love the breakfast buffet but I dont hate it. This I absolutely hated. Bacon was undercooked and eggs were cold even after they brought out a brand new serving of them. -Food in the main dining room: Before we got stuck, the food was just alright. It was often just lukewarm and nothing special. I couldnt even eat the lobster on formal night because it smelled disgusting. The steak I had was never cooked correctly and was just bland. HOWEVER, once we got stuck and they were doing everything to make us happy, they got a special menu and clearly got better food and the last two nights dinners were significantly better! Wish it had been that way every night but the food didn't ruin my trip at all. Might just not eat at the dining room every night next time. -Lack of information: They really did not keep us informed at all the first couple days. The toilets/A/C/elevators were only off for about 6 hours total and it was split up a bit. It was annoying at night because Jamie came on the announcements and said elevators would be shut off for 15 minutes (this was around 9-9:30). Well we left the show we were at around 30-40 minutes later to go to the bathroom and there was a sign saying the bathroom was closed. We stopped at guest services and asked and they said some toilets weren't working but it wasn't all of them. So we werent deterred--our cabin was up 6 decks and on the opposite end so we assumed it would be working. None of the elevators were working nor were the toilets. About an hour or so after that they said there wouldn't be anymore updates until the next day. We started to get a bit concerned but just walked around for a bit to see what was going on. Much to our surprise they still had the mexican buffet going on and people were still chowing down even though the toilets weren't working!! We got a good laugh out of that one. We continued to mull around and talk to a few other people since we couldn't sleep. Everyone joked about how we all assumed there was NO way carnival would let anything like this happen after triumph! Oh well. We went to bed around 12:30 and as we were laying in bed we felt the a/c kick back on and my bf checked and the toilet flushed! We went to sleep assuming we'd wake up at sea the next day. Didn't get updated again until about 10 the next day. By this point i had a bunch of missed calls of my family freaking out because CNN was saying things were horrible. They told us we'd be flying out so that eased some of my concerns since I was just anxious about the situation but since toilets and elevators and everything was working, I was okay. They told us we had to turn in our flight info and we'd get our new flight info by that night and we could be leaving as early as 6 the next morning. Well we continued to check and check and never got any. Needless to say we had a pretty rough nights sleep waiting to find out if we were flying out at 6 am the next morning plus the announcements started REALLY early that morning getting people out. Finally around 6:30 on Friday they announced not to be worried if we hadn't received flight info so I felt better. Just wish they had done that the night before. We live in Florida and had a ride to the port so we weren't too concerned about that since we just were going to get a direct flight to Orlando and figured they would be fitting us in when they could. Finally around noon on Friday we went to guest services and they gave us our info that we'd be flying out Saturday night. We then relaxed and enjoyed the next day and a half in st maarten. Overall, Carnival handled everything wonderfully. Yes, we had a day of frustration and anxiety but they refunded us 3 days so we couldn't complain! And we got an extra day of the cruise. Before the issues, we had pretty much decided we wouldn't cruise carnival again for a while since the experience on Royal Caribbean is truly better for not much more money. However, since we are getting pretty much a free cruise with the refund and 50% of discounts and the wonderful way we were treated, we are going to try this again probably. We are looking at re-booking the dream with our refund and 50% off future cruise mainly because of the spa rooms and the wonderful crew! We'll judge that one and decide if we are going to pay full price again but it really was a great experience AND the way Carnival handled it was great. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2012
We sailed for the 2nd time on the Carnival Dream on May 19th. Living in Tampa, FL is only took us a couple hours to drive over to Port Canaveral. We used the Park & Cruise facility which was such a great convenience! We have sailed out ... Read More
We sailed for the 2nd time on the Carnival Dream on May 19th. Living in Tampa, FL is only took us a couple hours to drive over to Port Canaveral. We used the Park & Cruise facility which was such a great convenience! We have sailed out of Port Canaveral a few times and never really had any trouble with check-in and boarding but this was the easiest ever. We arrived about 2 and by 2:30 we were aboard - too late to attend the M & G, but still pretty good. We had a cove balcony stateroom which is our favorite room. Very private and the best place to have breakfast from room service. Our room steward was Ron and he was the greatest. We've had good stewards before but he was the most congenial and helpful We were on the port side of the ship and didn't have any issues with our room, unlike the starboard side. Nassau was okay. We have been there before and it isn't our favorite. My husband had never been to Atlantis so we did the Discover Atlantis excursion. Getting off and on the ship in Nassau requires that you walk through this huge building full of little shops everywhere. This building is not air conditioned and the walkways are very narrow. I truly hate that building. Coming back on to the ship I had a panic attack and nearly passed out due to the lack of AC and too many people crowded to close together. I was so glad to get back on the ship! When we got back on board our Carnival back pack got mixed up with another Carnival back pack. Ours had 2 cameras, my cell phone, and my glasses. The back pack we got had a couple tubes of lotion and a sweater. My husband was upset but we took the other back pack to Guest Services and told them what happened. For a couple hours I had to wear my sunglasses everywhere, but finally they called to say someone had turned in our back pack. When we picked it up, everything was there, so it turned out okay. St. Thomas was next. We have been there before and enjoyed it. We did the helmet dive and had a blast. You walk down a ladder and they place a 75 lb helmet on your head that has an air hose attached to it. The water only comes up to your chin and we were even able to keep our glasses on! We have done a lot of snorkeling, but walking around the coral reef with fish all around was amazing! I would recommend this excursion to anyone who enjoys the undersea world. Dinner every night was great - head waiter wasn't over the top wonderful, but the assistants were really great. The food, as always was very good. We ate in the dining room for breakfast, lunch and dinner at different times throughout the cruise and each time we enjoyed it. Eating in The Gathering was very nice, also. The variety of choices was huge and it was always a dilemma. Chocolate was always the order of the day, however. There can never be enough chocolate! St. Maarten was the star of the cruise! This was our first trip to this island and we were very excited to visit it. What a fabulous place! We absolutely loved it. We did some shopping downtown early since we had a very limited amount of time there. After shopping we took the water taxi back to the dock for our excursion - Scenic Coastal Hike. This is a must-do for anyone physically fit enough to do it. I used a walking stick and it really helped get up and down some of the tough spots. This is a hike up and down the undeveloped "hills" of St. Maarten along a goat trail - really, a goat trail! The goats and sheep were grazing on the hillside. The views of the Caribbean were breathtaking and worth the effort. I have never experienced anything like this hike and, while we have always had pretty good guides on our excursions, Juan and Leigh were so passionate about their tour! They answered every question, gave us plenty of rest breaks to enjoy the views, walked us down onto a rocky beach to enjoy the "singing pebbles", explained the ecological importance of the area, supplied cold drinks at the end of the hike and were all around fantastic guides. I wouldn't mind doing this excursion again the next time we go to St. Maarten and I recommend it to everyone! We enjoyed this cruise so much that we have booked another for November and the Legend out of Dover in September 2013. Happy cruising everyone! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2012
I lucked out back in January and won the 50/50 at an NHL game and I decded that since we liked cruising so much last year, my boyfriend and I would try another one. Just to put things in perspective our first cruise (and only other cruise) ... Read More
I lucked out back in January and won the 50/50 at an NHL game and I decded that since we liked cruising so much last year, my boyfriend and I would try another one. Just to put things in perspective our first cruise (and only other cruise) was with Royal Caribbean's Majesty of the Seas. So we went from the smallest ship on RCI's fleet, to the largest ship in Carnival's fleet. Embarkation: This, as everyone else says, is very very easy. Carnival has this down to a science. Even though we got there at peek times and the line looked huge, it moved very quickly. Word of advice people: When sneaking on alcohol, don't try to put it in your carry-on in water bottles. They will find it and confiscate it. First Day At Sea: This is the first time I've ever experienced a day at seas on a cruise and I have to admit it that I liked it. Since it was the first full we we could take our time waking up and we could explore the ship. I got a facial and the boyfriend got a massage. We hit the gym then sat in the sun. I must say that even though there are 4000 other people on board and during high noon it was a little difficult to find chairs on deck, we still found them and we never felt over-crowded by the mass amounts of people. We, unfortunately, had to make a pit stop in Key West due to a medical emergency on board. But luckily we were told he would be fine and within 5 minutes of dropping anchor we off again. I find that the Carnival crew does a VERY good job at trying to keep everyone entertained on the days at sea. Hairy Chest contest: too funny. Cozumel: We booked an excursion through the ship: Everybody Loves Rays. We had a fantastic time on this excursion. It is relatively cheap for anyone on a budget. Once we were off the ship we saw our group with a big "Everybody Loves Rays" sign so they weren't difficult to find at all. A 5 minute cab ride took us to StingRay Beach where we were given instructions on how to use the snorkel gear (obviously for the beginners) and instructions on how to touch the sting rays and how NOT to touch the sting rays. These people at this company were extremely knowledgeable, very funny and friendly, and made the excursion fantastic. Belize: We went Zip Lining and Cave Tubing. ALRIGHT, sooo with the ship it was going to cost us about $250 a person for this excrusion, we booked through Island Marketing and it was half the cost. I was a little sketchy about booking independently and not through the ship, however once we met up with our guide and several other fellow passengers I was put at ease right away. Our tour guide was extremely knowledgeable and knew the area very well. It was about an hour bus ride to the zip lining and cave tubing place. Being up in the trees and looking arond at legit jungle that surrounds you was absolutely breath taking. This has t be said about one of the other people on the tour. She seemed so dense and couldn't do anything for herself. I'd say she was late 30's, early 40's and she was there with her husband and two sons. When you go zip lining the instructor hooks you in every time and in order for him to do that he needs yuo to jump up so he can snap you onto the line. Easy right? well I thought so too until this chick tried jumping with straight legs. Every stop I was saying "bend your knees, bend your knees" but she couldn't seem to grasp the concept. Thank God these guys are good at their job because they some how managed to snap her in after about the 7th "jump up" on her part. Other than that, Zip lining, soooo much fun. The cave tubing I found to be a little irritating. There was about a 30 minute trek, which was fine, however, the same lady from before couldn't carry her tube. Um excuse me? It says right in the overview of the excursion that you must be able to carry your inner tube for 30 minutes. Our guide carried her tube for her. How's that fair? I have a sprained wrist, yet I still managed to maneuver my tube with it. This was something that just really bothered me. Once we got to the cave it was beautiful. All the rock formations were fantastic. However once you're in the cave, to me, once you've seen one rock in there you've seen them all. The watefall at the end was really nice though. One thing about Belize was that it was very very poor. I liked that we went with Island Marketing rather than Carnival because I knew that the majority of the money was going to the local operators and tour guides, rather than the multi-billion dollar company. Roatan Honduras: By far my most favourite stop. Although the weather sucked at this port (clouds, some sunny breaks, and then down pour, the country itself was beautiful and the locals were extremely friendly. We booked again with Island Marketing here. We decided to go scuba diving. In our confirmation that we received from the company it states the Belize is 2 hours behind ship time so they pre warn you and tell you to make sure you get off the boat as soon as its docked. We docked early and had no problem with this. It seemed a little sketchy because you had to go past a guarded check point, go arund a corner and down a HUGE hill, but once you get to the bottom ALL the independent tour operators were there. Very safe. So we checked in and waited, and waited, and waited. Our fellow ship makes I guess felt they didn't need to get off the ship on time and waste all of our time. So the Boss of island marketing of Roatan (Diane) was there and she took us to the dive shop, told us all about Roatan (she was born and raised there)and the area. 20 minutes later we wered at West Bay and at the dive shop. Well since everyone else took so long getting off the boat we got a private scuba tour. Just me, my boyfriend, and our master diver, who was fantastic. A lot of one on one time and I loved it. We got back to the dive shop and everyone else was arriving. We lucked out. It started raining when we got back so their visibility wasn't the greatest when they got down there. Well guys, this is what happens when you waste time and don't listen to instructions. Costa Maya: Beautiful port. We did the Mayan Ruins and Beach break tour through Carnival. About a 45 minute bus ride to the ruins while our guide gave us all this information about the Mayan culture. One thing that bothered me a little was in the overview for the Chacchohben ruins (spelling?) it specifically says that you can climb the ruins. This is why we chose that one. We get on the bus and the tour guide tells us we can't. NOT IMPRESSED. That automatically put a damper on my mood and I was going to have a few words with guest services about getting a credit back or something. We get there and we're taking pictures and then we're told that we can climb these giants steps up to the other part of the ruins. Well well Carnival, aren't you smart. The steps, although not the pyramids, are still part of the ruins, so technically you're climbing the ruins. So that stopped me from going to guest services because I knew I would be turned away. We get back on the bus to go to the beach and it starts raining, again just puts me in a bad mood. Miraculously it stops when we get there, the skies are blue and the sun in shining and it's nice and hot out. Heck yes!!! All I wanted was to lay in the suna nd get my tan on, but no the boyfriend wanted to get open bar. $10 a person. So he handed the guy a $20 and the boyfriend kept feeding me drinks. Don't surcumb to peer pressure ladies and gentlemen, LOL. And "Mexican car drivers", althugh the drink is delicious (peach schnapps, tequila, orange juice, pineapple juice, and blue curacau) they were dangerous because you could't taste the alcohol. Yes I was that loud drunk person on the bus, but I had everyone laughing, especially after I realized how loud I was so I turned around and told the entire bus "I'm a drunk Canadian, I'm really sorry everyone" so I don't think anyone was too annoyed with me. LOL. Get back to the port and low and behold the alcohol took its toll. Garbage can!!! So if anyone that was there that saw that and is reading this review right now, I'm extra sorry you had to see that. HaHa. Thank God I have a wonderful boyfriend and he took care of me. Last Day At Sea: Pretty much the same as the first day at sea. Went to the gym, did some yoga (not my cup of tea), and then went and found a spot in the sun. Disembarkation: This was a breeze as well. It went very smoothly. Would have been even better if I hadn't had a blonde moment and read the bottom of my transfer voucher. We were in zone 28 and weren't going to be called until 9:20-9:40. We had to be out of our room by 8:30. This was great we'd wake up at 7:30 shower, get dressed, and then at 8:30 go get breakfast and then head to the Encore lounge to wait for our zone to be called. Well low and behold, we're eating breakfast and I decide to look over the voucher. Yeah we had to be off the ship at 7:30 to meet our transfer. It was 9:10 when I noticed that. Wow smooth move on my part eh? Haha. Oh Well. We shelled out $70 and hopped onto another transfer. Food: Nothing wrong with the food. The buffet got a little boring, but oh well, the food was still good (except the scrambled eggs). Food in the dining room was 9 times out of 10 fantastic. Presentation obviously means a lot on board and the food always looked fantastic and tasted great. Warm chocolate melting cake... if you don't mind 5,000 grams of fat then by all means eat this. Delicious. My only glitch with dinner is that my boyfriend and I (I'm 25 and he's 27) were sat with 2 other couples but they were both in their 60's. Come on Carnival, how does that make sense. Well after the first day both other couples moved their dining time so we were sitting at a table for 8 for 2. If that makes sense at all? Oh well, romantic dinners for us. Entertainment: Comedy club was great, Tommy Drake, you're my hero, absolutely hilarious. The Cruise Director Steve Knisely. was awesome. Fun guy Skylar, well let's just say you're a cutie and I have a crush on you now. LOL! As a dancer I had a hard time watching the shows and not critiquing the other dancers. They do put on a good show but I found the choreography to be bogus. The singers, Monquez Pippins and Adriane Hall. Both good singers but I found that Adriane butchered a lot of the songs. She has a great voice just not for the songs that she had to sing. Performer to performer: You have power sweetheart, just remember the difference between power and yelling. Stateroom: We were on deck 9 in balcony stateroom 9279. We lucked out, right by the elevators. So didn't have far to walk. Our room was beautiful and was kept immaculate by our room steward Surphin (spelling?). We met a group of people from Maine and ended up forming friendships with them and chilled with them for most of the cruise. On the last night we were all in our room having a few drinks when they told us that one of their cousins (who was also on the ship with his family) he's 12 years old and ended up getting beat up by a 14 and 17 year old who were drunk. The poor kid was hurt so badly his eye was swollen and he needed stitches. When they complained to the ship and had the kids (who were apparently there with their aunt and uncle) confronted the Aunt and uncle kept saying "They wouldn't do that." Really? Well hmmm, I wonder how they got the alcohol? Everyone's different when they've been drinking. Thank God the boy had a friend with him when it happened so at least he had a witness and someone to try to help him. But according to Carival because it happened in International waters they can't do much about it. So you're telling me that all 6 of us who are over 18 can go and beat up these 2 miners and no one can do anything about it because we're in International waters? I just don't think it was handled very well at all. I told the friends we were with to take pictures of the kids eye and publicly post it on the internet and make sure the story is known so maybe something can be done about it. Overall: There was absolutely nothing wrong with this cruise (except the kid who got beat up). Every corner you took it was constantly being cleaned and someone was always there to help you or to offer a friendly hello. The ship itself is beautiful. I just think it was definetly a younger crowd and way too many children with parents that can't control them for my liking. We'll be sailing with Royal Caribbean next time. Sorry guys I know this was long winded. And if you have any questions please feel free to email me at stephanie.grabiec@gmail.com. Whether you need more information or an opinion. If you're thinking about booking the ship or if you already have. I check my emails constantly so I will get back to you. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2012
The review may sound like I am a spa snob but I am not. The thorn in my side is what is standard on one ship is not on another ship within the Carnival line, and the free steam room is made to be a selection one would not want, so they ... Read More
The review may sound like I am a spa snob but I am not. The thorn in my side is what is standard on one ship is not on another ship within the Carnival line, and the free steam room is made to be a selection one would not want, so they steer one to the paid services. The free steam room has no eucalyptus, has no windows, dark, feels like a dungeon, and smells musty. Upon first glance it is small and in thinking 4,000 people may be using it, you assume you wont be able to get a space in the free steam room. However, once you smell it and see how dark and dismal it is you realize no one uses it. In fact I saw no one in there the three times I stopped by. The paid services include: a steam room with eucalyptus, thalassotherapy pool, and two rooms with heated seats/chaise lounges, and a room with tea and cool water with a view to relax in. The fee for using these services is $150 for one person or $250 for two people for the week or $40 for a day pass. My husband and I paid for the week and utilized the steam room daily. I can say that two different visits found the tea/water room with no water for drinking (4 separate containers) and no hot water for tea. One afternoon I told the spa technician at the front desk and he said "I will ensure there is some in there tonight for guests". Well I was trying to imply that you needed some NOW for the current guests wanting water. The fact remains if Carnival advertises these services as something they offer, they need to ensure they are available. Plus, I just cant get over the fact they make the free services so dismal no one would want to use them. There were few exciting selections on the dinning room menu. I noticed in September and on this cruise that it seems Carnival is trying to save money by offering few food choices on the dinning menu and offering cheaper food selections. Charge a little more and I will pay it to have better food selections. Again, it seems if you want good food you need to go to the steakhouse and pay $30 per person. I don't mind paying to eat in the Steakhouse once or twice during the week, but don't make the dinning room selection so poor you push me in the direction of eating in the steak house. Dinning in the steak house was not as good this cruise as on the Freedom. I found the lobster to be not as sweet, the amount of mushrooms they offered to be minimal, and the cheesecake was room temperature. I asked the server and she told me the chief could not refrigerate it. Yet a guest the next night told me his was cold, right out of the refrigerator that same night we ate there. I just believe you go on a bigger ship and the staff are not as friendly, attentive, and services are lacking. I wont go on the Dream again. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2012
Let's start off with a ground rule; vacation is what you make of it. My wife and I traveled on the M.S. Carnival Dream from February 18 to February 25. Our ports of call were as followed: Orlando, Cozumel, Belize, Roatan. We had ... Read More
Let's start off with a ground rule; vacation is what you make of it. My wife and I traveled on the M.S. Carnival Dream from February 18 to February 25. Our ports of call were as followed: Orlando, Cozumel, Belize, Roatan. We had bookend days at sea. Embarkation: As most of the reviews have mentioned, Carnival has this down to a science and it was very easy. Everyone was friendly and the lines moved along. Life Onboard: Many people have complained about the lines on this ship but being from NYC and riding a subway to and from work gives me a different perspective on overcrowding. We rarely found lines unbearable and in the few cases we did, we opted not to get on the line (for example guest services on the last night of the cruise) and try again later (great success!). We stayed in room 11225, a Cloud 9 Balcony Spa room. This was my first time with a balcony and I loved it. We were on the starboard side, which meant in port we had privacy. We took a yoga class on the first day that was suitable for a variety of abilities. They offer the following classes: yoga, Pilates and spinning. You get two (per room, not person) classes for free. If you are a runner, go to deck 5 and run the ship (2.5 times around is a mile). You need to go early (before 10 am) to really have the deck to yourself. It was a lot of fun lapping the ship while it was moving. I used the gym once but we noticed that it was often busy. We used the Theralosso pool and spa facilities almost every day. It was very relaxing and gave us a nice break from the sun (our weather was great). This upgrade was well worth it. I had debated between an extended balcony and the spa cabin and both my wife and I are happy I went with the spa cabin. Does the ship move? You are at sea so of course it is going to move. We had great weather and could feel the ship move often (especially on deck 11 where we stayed). The movement was slight and nothing bad. We never felt sea sick and with the amount of drinking that occurs onboard, I doubt how others can really know if the boat is rocking or if they just are. I did see a lot of people wearing sea sick patches. While sitting at the pool and Serenity felt impossible on sea days, the sun deck always had chairs and few/if any children. It took us less than 10 minutes to find a chair. We did chill on Serenity one afternoon while many people were still in port and it is cool. Deck 5 also appeared to have tons of chairs. During the day, by the main pool they have a DJ. The main pool is small and cold. I did enjoy the waterworks slide. People complain a lot about elevators. I think we only took an elevator once or twice. We hiked up and down the stairs and considered it our cardio for the day. When we did take elevators it was late at night as we were tired. The elevators never took long to come but we could see how during the day they were busy. Night life- this will depend on the people on your cruise. We went to the dance club twice and had fun but it does get smoky. We didn't drink much but I did find the drink prices high. We commented it was like going out in NYC every night but no drink specials. Go to the main bar and get a Thirsty Frog. The beer was good and the price was perfect. I also wish they would offer more of the beers that are from the islands you visit. I would rather have a Banks, Belikin, or a Port Royal than something I can get at home. The comedy shows were funny. We went twice and both time got a seat quickly but we did notice that place filled up and people were standing. The piano bar was always busy but we didn't bother with it. There is a lot of music that was enjoying being played on the board. The food was not good. I was not expecting to go to a Daniel Boulud restaurant every night but I did expect a higher quality of food. We usually ordered room service for breakfast and ate on our balcony. We did go to the buffet for breakfast twice and it was fine. One morning we went to the MDR for breakfast. The service was slow and we were sitting with people that were not a good match for us. My wife and I just kicked each other under the table as the older gentleman next to me talked about all that is wrong with the world. We went to the buffet a few times for lunch, which was also fine and had variety. We found towards the back of the boat it was easier to get a seat at any time in the buffet. We also had the Tandoor, which was good. I had a burger one day, which was ok and my wife got a deli sandwich which she enjoyed. One night we stayed in and I went to get pizza for us. The MDR's food was not good. It did not taste like good quality of meat. It is the one thing about the cruise that we were disappointed. We weren't expecting amazing but we were hoping for better. We have been on Carnival before and didn't remember the food being as bad across the board. Ports: Cozumel- we were part of The Amazing Cozumel Race and it was a blast. If, you have mobility issues, this is not for you. You walk about 4 miles through the city. We really enjoyed this excursion. At the end there is a party where you get two drinks and can buy food. The food was good. Belize was un-Belizable. We went on the Raiders of the Mayan Cave. It was an hour plus ride but our guide Elvis was great. The caves were cool but tight in spots. You get to zipline a little. There were also bats flying around the cave. Afterwards lunch was provided and you got to do a wine tasting. Roatan -- we went on the Canopy Tour & Tabyana Beach. The ziplining here was fun. There were seven different platforms that you go off of. We really enjoyed this. They bring you to the beach afterwards and it was amazing. They have lockers there (for rent), chairs (free), a bar, restaurant, music and water sports. It was hot and we enjoyed the water then we took a break at the bar and had a drink. While I enjoyed all of our ports, this was my favorite. The day was just fun. We did book our excursions via Carnival and I've read that Roatan can be missed due to weather (wind specifically), so I might recommend going through Carnival incase you don't get into port. Costa Maya -- The day started early in Costa Maya. We went ATV riding in the jungle followed by about 40 minutes at the beach. The ATV riding was fun but the beach wasn't anything special. I would have taken another 40 minutes on the ATV's but my wife and I played one-on-one volleyball and it was fun. It could have been worse; I could have been at work. The port at Costa Maya had some shops where my wife bought some jewelry and I bought some coffee flavored Tequila. Having the first day at sea allowed us to take it easy and relax on the first day while having the last day at sea was nice as we slowly packed up and enjoyed a slow day. The main reason we went on the Dream was the itinerary and the cost. We had a great time but the next time I cruise I might try Royal Caribbean just to have something to compare. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2011
Carnival Dream - Eastern Caribbean Cruise August 13-20 2011 We had gone on two previous Carnival Cruises with our kids and liked them very much because of the number of youth activities that they had. Once the kids left the house we ... Read More
Carnival Dream - Eastern Caribbean Cruise August 13-20 2011 We had gone on two previous Carnival Cruises with our kids and liked them very much because of the number of youth activities that they had. Once the kids left the house we tried other cruise lines (NCL it was OK, and Princess loved it) to have a more relaxing experience. Our normal life has all the excitement we can handle so we don't need to be on sensory overload when we go on vacation. As we were going to be in Florida to take care of some family business and as we were curious about the spa cabins as well as the serenity (adults only) deck we decided to give Carnival another shot, and we are glad that we did. While the main pool area with all the noises, wall to wall humanity and the Justin Bieber documentary on the big screen is what I view hell to be like if you get take advantage of the other areas on the ship you can have a relaxing experience. Outside of the main pool area you would never know you were on a ship with 4000 or so other folks. The folks that designed this ship (with one exception noted below) knew what they were doing. We enjoyed the Spa cabin privileges every day we were on the cruise (special whirlpool, steam room, heated tile chairs, and a relaxation room. My wife also enjoyed the two yoga classes she took as part of our spa cabin privileges. We also found the Serenity deck to be quite relaxing. Instead of using the treadmill we also enjoyed several laps around the Lanai deck every day. We thought the food, especially the soup, was wonderful. The service in the main dining room was excellent. We signed up for any time dining and because we were willing to share never had to wait. We had dinner alone on three nights and shared a table with some very nice folks the other three nights. We thought buying one of the 5 wine packages a good value. We also enjoyed the sushi and salad bar. We signed up for the chefs table. It costs $75pp. They set up a table for 12 in the kitchen and served a gourmet meal with wine, they show you how to make a melting chocolate cake, and the head chef goes into some detail on each of the courses and the operation of the kitchen. You also get a picture of the entire group signed by the head chef. We had breakfast in the buffet just about every day and enjoyed the omelets. We had 2 lunches in the MDR, both very nice. Had pizza for lunch one day, it was OK. Went to the pasta bar one day, it was great. Also tried the buffet and it was good enough. . We saw all 4 of the comedians thought two of them were hilarious, one had his moments, and one was talentless and disgusting. I enjoyed playing craps in what must be one of the best casinos on a cruise ship. We thought the cruise director Butch was engaged but not to the point of being overbearing. Our room was clean, it was quiet at night and the bed was comfortable. The shower was big enough. We had a problem with the shower first day and we were amazed that they had it fixed within 10 minutes of us calling in. Getting on and off the ship was a easy as you could expect. Our wait staff and room stewards could not have been nicer. Did come across any rude staff member all week. We just did beaches when we were in each of the ports. We got a day pass for the British Colonel Hilton in Nassau. We paid $50 each for beach privileges and $30 in food/drink credits. We took it out in drink credits because the kitchen had lost power. It was a very nice facility and we enjoyed our time there but as we had to be back on the ship at 1:30. Given the length of time I'm not sure we would do this again. In Saint Thomas we took a cab to Sapphire Beach and we very much enjoyed our day there. In St. Maartin we took a cab to our Orient beach and enjoyed are day there. We did not get up enough nerve to walk over to the nude side of the beach sad to say. We only had a couple of minor complaints. The regular coffee is horrible. We went to the extra charge coffee bar thinking they would make a good cup of coffee but all they do is poor hot water over a shot or two of espresso. It was not very good. Next time we will bring some Starbucks Via packets. I wish they had a cigar bar. There is nothing I like more then enjoying a nice cigar with a glass of scotch. Understanding that this is not a universal pleasure some ships have a ventilated cigar bar that is segregated from anyone that does not want to be exposed to cigar smoke. This seems like a good compromise. On the dream you are forced to smoke your cigar out on a deck in the heat and humidity which does not lead to a very pleasurable experience. Most of the lounges seemed under utilized so surely on a ship this big they could have carved out some space. So to sum it all up all up we really enjoyed our week on The Dream and would do it again in a heartbeat. Well done Carnival. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2011
First off, ignore most of the bad reviews. If you can't have a great time on vacation, then something is wrong. For 7 days you don't have to cook, clean, make a bed, figure out what to do or where to eat, go to work etc etc. The ... Read More
First off, ignore most of the bad reviews. If you can't have a great time on vacation, then something is wrong. For 7 days you don't have to cook, clean, make a bed, figure out what to do or where to eat, go to work etc etc. The Carnival Dream is a great ship and an excellent value. If you go in thinking that you are going to have 5-star meals every night and white glove service everywhere you go, then you picked the wrong line. Carnival finds ways to keep its prices down while still providing an excellent vacation.Second, a little background. This is my wife and I's (we are in our mid 20s) second Carnival cruise. This is my 18th cruise and her 3rd. I have been on nearly every major line and believe that this was the best value ship I have been on. I will write a longer review that will be available on the forums.The GREAT:Marriott Courtyard --We did the snooze and cruise package through the Courtyard which provided us with a room and all our transfers (airport-hotel, hotel-ship, ship-airport). Everything went very smoothly and the hotel was very nice and right on the beach.Embarkation/Disembarkation --We arrived at the port early (~1015) and quickly went through check-in. They started boarding around 1045 and we were at the pool by 11. Getting off the ship we did self-assist. If you don't have any huge bags, this is the way to go! We were able to get off the boat in the first group at 645, through customs and on our way to the airport at 7. We were worried because we had a 1030am flight, but ended up being the first people at the gate at 8am! Best process of any line. Well done Carnival.Spa --We were not in a spa room, but because we were on the 11th deck, we thought it might be nice to sign up for the VIP spa package ($150 for 1, $250 for couple). This was a GREAT idea. The spa is wonderful, especially the heavy steam room and the thalassotherapy pool. My wife and I loved spending quality time in the spa after a day on deck or at port. I highly recommend signing up. Only around 60 passengers not in spa cabins can register, so do it early! This was the first thing we did when we got on board.Gym --The gym is very large for a ship. Because the Dream is new, the equipment is all brand-new and top of the line. There is plenty of cardio equipment and all the weight equipment you have at a gym.Comedy Club --This is a great addition. Usually comedians are 1-2 nights at the main show. The Dream however has a separate club with 5 shows on 4 nights. The first two shows are family friendly (we didn't go to these) and the 945, 11, and 12 shows are for adults. The 945 show is very crowded (early seating people go right from their main show) so get there early. We ended up going to both the 945 and the 11 shows.Cleanliness --The ship was extremely clean. Glasses/food/etc were always quickly removed from public areas and the bathrooms were always spotless. Our cabin was always very clean. We did notice "the smell" while we were docked in Nassau while sitting by the pool. I have to admit, it was awful, but I don't know if it was the Dream or the other ships that were docked there (Oasis/Monarch). Once the ship got moving, we didn't smell it for the rest of the trip.Entertainment Staff --Having experienced many cruise directors, I thought that the Dream's CD, Butch, was the best. He was funny, energetic, quirky, and very involved without being too much. The Morning Show on sea days is really funny. His staff was great and ran some fun activities. My wife was Brendan's (a.k.a. Buttercup) BFF for the week and he went out of his way to make sure we had a great time.The GOOD:Food -- I never expect cruise food to be the best I have ever had, but I still have decent expectations. I am not a breakfast person, but I thought it was alright. The eggs were very watery, but the pastries were quite good, as was the sausage. Lunch was my favorite meal of the day. I actually never ate at the traditional buffet because I didn't think the food looked that great. Both my wife and I LOVED the grill. The burgers were always right off the grill with tons of fix-ins and the nachos/cheese fries were great. The grill also had the longest hours (12-6), was located right next to the lido pool, and never had a line. The pasta bar was very good, the deli was pretty good. The burrito bar took forever and wasn't worth the wait. My wife really liked the tandori station that had Indian and Greek food. Though the pizza wasn't the greatest, 24 hours is awesome! Nothing better than pizza 2am! Dinners were hit or miss. Some meals were very other good, others were terrible. I am a meat person, and thought that the meats were generally really bad. They were very chewy, and not tender at all. We did not eat at the Chef's Art Steakhouse.Cabin --We were in a 1A cabin, 11275. We never spend time in the room, so we book the cheapest room and spend our money on other things. Because it was a handicap room, the bathroom was enormous. We also had a great location, right outside of the lido pool. Unfortunately, we had bunk-beds (something we didn't know when we booked). Though this was an inconvenience, it made our room feel much bigger.Pool --The pool area was great and had a lot of chairs. I agree that the pools could be bigger, but only a couple of times were they crowded. The water slides were a lot of fun, but I think I would have preferred a bigger pool area. Didn't use the hot-tubs because we had the spa. The seaside theater is a nice plus, but I wish it showed more movies/TV in the afternoon.Serenity --Serenity is a very nice touch. We spent our first sea day there in one of the big chairs (had to get there before 730am to get one). They should probably make this area bigger as it was a big hit and all the chairs were gone pretty early in the morning. Biggest negative is that it is a real pain to get to. It is on the top deck all the way in the front of the ship. If you want to get food, you have to walk a ways to get it, and by the time you come back with it, someone has taken your chair. Main Theater Entertainment --We didn't go to all the shows because we wanted to see the comedy show at 9:45 (we were late seating). The welcome aboard show was pretty good, the first main dance show was kinda boring. Dancing in the streets was really good, especially the break-dancing group. After that show, we just stuck to the comedy club.Nightclub --We went to Caliente on a couple of occasions. The first time there was no one dancing so we left. The second time was a lot of fun and had a great time until the late hours of the night. Really nice bartenders there.Not So Good --Smoking --My wife and I are not smokers, and unfortunately could not enjoy some areas of the ship because of the smoking. I will say this, most smokers were very courteous, but the smoking "hang-outs" pretty much were off-limits to non-smokers. Sam's piano bar had a cloud in it, so we were unable to go here though it looked like fun. The aft pool was also another hang-out, so we never went back there except for the deli. The casino was rather smokey, but much better than on other ships. I'm surprised cruise-lines have not introduced non-smoking ships yet.Ports --Nassau is pretty dumpy, and with such a short amount of time there, it is almost a useless stop. St. Thomas is kinda a pain because the ship doesn't dock in the city. The cab situation is a mess, and rather expensive. In St. Maarten we did a tour, so can't really comment on the island. The port is new, but also not really near the town center. They offer water taxis at the pier to take you to a beach and the town. Other than that, there really isn't anything bad I can say. We had a great time.Additional Information:1. Drinks are on the higher end, but not too bad. Buy beer in buckets as you save $2 ($23 for 4-16oz beers). They no longer have free drinks at the Captain's cocktail party. They offer $1 off drinks at select bars from 5-8pm. The return cruiser party is on Thursday and has free drinks for 45 minutes. Also, on the last day, Friday, there is a farewell party that has free drinks. Very few people knew about it, and it was not publicized very well. Don't miss it!2. Book your tours early before you leave. Most tours were already booked before the ship left port. If you want to do Magen's Bay, you are better to do it through a tour. Cabs back and forth, along with admission, is about the same in price as the tour.3. Go in with a positive attitude. If you go into your vacation trying to find the negatives, don't even bother going. Save your money. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2011
Day 1: Embarkation. Arrived at the port at around 11:00 am. The process was very smooth. We did not have to wait very long. They started boarding us at 11:30. They called our zone number and we were aboard the ship by 12, Awesome! We went ... Read More
Day 1: Embarkation. Arrived at the port at around 11:00 am. The process was very smooth. We did not have to wait very long. They started boarding us at 11:30. They called our zone number and we were aboard the ship by 12, Awesome! We went straight to the pursuer's desk and opened a second cash account. This also went smooth. The customer service was excellent.  By around 1:00, we decided to check on our room. We went up 2 floors and ran to the door, It was ready!The Room: We chose a SPA cabin because we were going to spend a lot of time in the SPA. The Room was beautiful. The only differences between our room and a balcony is interior colors. We also get a nice robe with cloud 9 SPA imprinted on them, and those fabulous slippers. (by the way you get to keep the slippers), and you get unlimited access to the SPA. The The bathroom was what we expected from a balcony room. The closet space was nice, 3 closets, one with shelves. very nice. The Ship: The ship was massive. The interior design of the ship was typical of Carnival Cruise line. The atrium was a lot smaller than I had expected it to be. I thought they should have opened it up a little bit more than then they did. But all in all the ship was beautiful. The lido deck is smaller than the other ships, this was because the lido was actually 3 floors high! pool deck, chairs on the 2nd deck, and gigantic twisting slide with some sort of drain slide attached to it on the 3rd. Wow!Dining: We sat at a table of 4, We had requested to be seated with our coworkers. There was no problem with this either. The maitride was very happy to accommodate us. The food was excellent. Our waiter had gone above and beyond to keep us happy. Elegant night, I love lobster, the food was excellent.Chefs' Table: Well worth the price. Please go there hungry! I am not sure how many courses, 9-10? The food was exquisite. There are some pleasant surprises, that's all I will say about that. The Spa: The Thalasso pool is wonderful, It's great after a long day at port. Wasn't ever too crowded. The steam rooms were awesome. I felt like this was my own Zen room. It was never crowded.The Serenity Deck: Way too crowded, spent zero time there. That's why we chose to have a SPA Cabin. To use all of the private rooms. We used our balcony when we wanted to lay out in the sun. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2011
We recently cruised on the Carnival Dream and had a great time but it wasn't entirely smooth sailing. First of all I booked a Guaranteed Stateroom for the cruise. I have always picked my own cabin and location with the exception ... Read More
We recently cruised on the Carnival Dream and had a great time but it wasn't entirely smooth sailing. First of all I booked a Guaranteed Stateroom for the cruise. I have always picked my own cabin and location with the exception of last year when Princess was doing a promotional less than 30 days to sailing and they picked my cabin. Since we were prior Princess guests they took that into consideration and upgraded us 6 categories. I was given the impression when I booked with Carnival that since this was my 5th Carnival cruise that I would be likely upgraded. Unfortunately that was not the case and I got exactly what I paid for, a cabin on the lowest deck and in the back of the ship. We did not even receive our cabin assignment until less than 48 hours to sailing. Luckily someone from Carnival called and offered us an upgrade at a fee. $50 for an inside stateroom upgrade the entire week. $100 if you wanted an ocean view stateroom and $300 for a balcony stateroom. We chose to upgrade to an inside cabin because it was the best location available. We were on the 8th deck mid ship which was centrally located. Boarding the ship ran smoothly but I do recommend you leave your bags curbside and allow them to be delivered to your stateroom. Rooms were not available until 1:30 PM and this was strictly enforced so hauling bags around until your room was ready would be a nuisance. I will say the food in the dining rooms was some of the best food I have had on a cruise. The lobster tail with grilled shrimp was delicious as well as the Panko crusted shrimp. Carnival's signature desert is the Chocolate Melting Cake and it is to die for. The food in the regular buffet was good at best but there were many other choices like the pasta bar, Tandori bar, the burrito bar, Mongolian bar, the deli and grill which were very good. Our service in the dining room was outstanding but our stateroom steward was okay. The room was always clean but we kept asking for some wine glasses which he only delivered once. One day we had no glasses of any kind in our room and no beach towels. We made due and just got towels up on the Lido deck and glasses from the lobby bar. There are lots and lots of things to do on the Carnival Dream especially in the evening hours. I do think the entertainment is kind of geared to the 20-35 year old range. They have a wonderful big screen on the Lido deck but most of the time during the day they are playing concerts on it and at night doing Laser light shows to the music of Pink Floyd and Rush. I thought it would have been nice to watch an occasional movie on the big screen. The comedians were great as well as the big production shows. I will warn you during one of the shows, I believe it was called Dancing in the Streets, some of the dances were inappropriate for small children. Which seemed kind of ironic since that was the show they brought a bunch of kids from Camp Carnival to. The female dancers were dressed in skimpy costumes doing pole dancing and paying a male dancer dressed as a pimp all to the tune of Donna Summer's Bad Girls. I enjoyed the show but not sure I would say it was totally family friendly. During our cruise we were supposed to visit the ports of Belize, Costa Maya, Cozumel and Roatan. We went to Cozumel which was great. We rented a scooter across the street from the port. We easily drove all around the island and stopped at various beaches. In Belize we booked our own excursions through a private company. We did zip lines and ATVs. Unfortunately when we got to Roatan due to high winds and narrow channel to the port we were not able to dock. The ship made several attempts but could not dock so we had another "Fun Day at Sea". We learned that the bigger the ship isn't always better because some of the smaller cruise ships were able to navigate in to the port. Later in the day we learned that the port to Costa Maya had been completely shut down because of the strong winds and the only viable port was to go back to Cozumel instead of another "Fun Day at Sea". Thankfully we did go back to Cozumel or we would have had 3 straight days at sea. The weather did not cooperate on the second trip to Cozumel because it was cool and rainy. Several establishments offered 50% off food and drinks to Carnival Dream guests so many of us spent the afternoon at Fat Tuesdays in Cozumel dancing and having a good time. We learned that you cannot control the weather so just make the best of the situation and that is what many Carnival Dream guests did in Cozumel. Carnival has offered a 20% off discount on a future booking due to the cancelling of ports and changes to the itinerary and I appreciate Carnival's efforts. I was disappointed we missed both Roatan and Costa Maya since we had never been to either of these ports but overall we did have a great time. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2010
Two couples travelling together, one on deck 10 and we were on 2 with a Cove Balcony. Loved the room! Lots of closet space, nice private balcony. Don't waste your time going to the Spa for the $500 give away. It was mostly ... Read More
Two couples travelling together, one on deck 10 and we were on 2 with a Cove Balcony. Loved the room! Lots of closet space, nice private balcony. Don't waste your time going to the Spa for the $500 give away. It was mostly coupons for 30% off specific services. The services they did give away were nothing you would book and pay for individually, such as a scalp massage, a foot massage, etc. Nassau - The crew was doing a safety drill and they were announcing and ringing bells all morning. The guys tried to sleep in but they didn't get any rest. The ladies went shopping. We sailed at 2 so not much time. We had a couples massage, if you book it while still in Port Canaveral for a port day (before sailing) you get the bathing ritual for free. That's a private jacuzzi bubble bath for two for 30 minutes prior to the massage. Very nice. Followed up with a very nice pedicure that I'm still enjoying. I went back at the end of the week for an Oxygen Facial that was quite nice, although the sales pitch in the end was a little too high pressure. We enjoyed the Chef's Table on the first day at sea but they were not able to have a second one due to lack of interest. On Princess the Chef's Table concludes in the main dining room and everyone asks what you're doing and wants to join in. The Dream has a talented Chef, very clean kitchen, top of the line equipment and professional galley staff. St Thomas - One of my favorite islands, very beautiful and pretty friendly. We went up the gondola to the restaurant and took a taxi back. The taxi was too expensive, $10 per person, and we made the mistake of not negotiating in advance. The gondola was higher than it looks from the ground and quite frightening to people like me who are afraid of heights. The Bushwackers are DELICIOUS liquid courage. St Maarten - We took a local taxi for a long island tour. They started at $40 per person but we found a driver with a nice, newer minivan who took us around the entire island for $20 each plus tip. Ask for Big Willie towards the back of the shops after the water taxi. Unfortunately, we had two bad experiences onboard and will not cruise with Carnival again. The first involved an intoxicated couple enjoying a sexual encounter by the aft pool at the bar. This was pretty early in the evening, about 7-8ish. The staff refused to step in, in fact I asked a waitress to send security and she stopped by later and said they would have yelled at her if she intervened. Eventually their respective spouses caught them and it was quite a Jerry Springer moment. I understand that it can happen anywhere, but there were children on board and the deli counter was a few feet away. The lack of response from the bartenders and staff is the issue. The final straw and the deal breaker is the quality of the food. Everything looked beautiful, but they mostly presented public school quality food made to look good with talented hands. The cheesecakes all tasted like a powdered mix, the cakes were dry. Breakfast potatos at the buffet were always cold and hard. I don't understand why the Tandori Grill or the Pasta Bar aren't open for dinner, even on alternating nights. Both are inexpensive to produce and very good. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2010
The Carnival Dream is enormous and for that reason it has it's many good points and a few challenges. Let's get the "challenges" out of the way~because of the capacity of people it carries buffet lines are often long ... Read More
The Carnival Dream is enormous and for that reason it has it's many good points and a few challenges. Let's get the "challenges" out of the way~because of the capacity of people it carries buffet lines are often long and a quite the wait. Dinner time is slower as well (or maybe they just needed more staff because I saw our waitress/server still working in another area after midnight and we were 6p.m. early diners and I know she didn't just get there). Anyway, room service as well was always late except two times, once on Wednesday morning it was on time and the last day of the cruise they came extra early waking us up. In fact we very rushed out the last day and the line at the help desk for check-out was over an hour long wait. The majority of the staff was cheerful, wonderful, helpful but there were several that were not in fact I literally asked one young woman at the help desk "you look like you hate your job?" She replied, "no mam, I am just very tired and have not had my coffee." I do believe these employees are overworked. With that being said, the rest of the cruise was amazing! The Cloud 9 Spa was the best part of the cruise (for me). We were in a Spa Balcony and it was worth every penny being able to get up in the morning and walk out my door right around the corner to the spa! You can look up the Spa online to see all of the amenities but one honorable mention is the room where there are tiled heated stone lounge chairs, they do not sound comfortable but many people fall asleep on them by the soft music under the atrium sunlight as you will realize by some of the snores lol! Another is the "Bamboo Massage", omgosh! It was incredible! Know in advance the Spa offers everything (and then some) that any upscale Spa Resort on land would offer so bring $$$ you can literally get something similar to Botox, Acupuncture, various types of massage, hair, nails, exercise, and so much more. The excursions were Cozumel, Belize, Isle Roatan & Costa Maya and we believe more time (a full 8 hours) should be spent at Costa Maya, just as the day is getting good it was time to back to the ship:( The Chocolate Melting Cake is so very delicious! As is most all meals on the ship! Carnival has done an exceptional job of catering to all global taste buds:) The shows were good, not exceptional but very good. Our rooms were kept immaculate as was the ship as a whole. There were so many FUN things and activities to do and the kids clubs are phenomenal! The Adults Only Serenity deck is simply amazing! Loved the jacuzzi over looking the ocean! Can't wait until our next trip!!!! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2010
Just back from the Dream 2/13-2/20...gorgeous boat...love the decor throughout very modern We stayed in room 12217...spa floor...worth every extra penny...decor of the hallway is upscale and the room decor is upscale...best part only 10 ... Read More
Just back from the Dream 2/13-2/20...gorgeous boat...love the decor throughout very modern We stayed in room 12217...spa floor...worth every extra penny...decor of the hallway is upscale and the room decor is upscale...best part only 10 cabins in our hallway....so nice and quiet all the time. Only bad part...no cover over balcony and adult serenity is right above taking away the privacy. The adult serenity area and the spa are beautiful. The food in the dining room and in the Chef's art steakhouse was so good. We never ate a bad meal. The casino was fun. Enjoyed the funhubs for the Internet throughout the ship. Okay....so here is how our trip started....landed in Atlanta at midnight....all planes grounded....no hotels no rental cars....stuck until Tuesday (it is Friday night). We finally convinced Budget to rent us a car one way for 400 dollars...yup a subcompact for 10 hours for 400 dollars...what are you going to do? We then had no luggage. With little but our passports we drove from 1am to the Orlando airport and returned the car...we stopped for about 20 minutes to grab a few toiletries and shorts and t-shirts. We took a shuttle to the port and made the cruise. We had been up 42 hours straight by the time we fell asleep. Within a day I was in the infirmary with strep throat......never totally recovered.....oh well....we were on a cruise. Caliente...the night club.....crazy wild fun fun fun Nassau...walked around...senor frogs for some drinks St. Thomas....Secret Harbour......GO.....what a nice cove....good eats and drinks and nice beach. St. Marteen....French Beach Break.....don't book this.....the service is very poor...very poor....I can assure you that the other 80 people on the excursion felt the same way. Go to town rent 2 chairs, umbrella, and bucket of beer for 15 bucks! Regardless enjoy. Okay so some things that could be improved on the Dream.... 1. common areas are too small for the amount of people on the boat. 2. More drink servers 3. Buffet area was crowded and hours limited (didn't eat here much) 4. Other than that....all good Read Less
Sail Date: January 2010
Carnival Dream This was our first Back to back cruise experience. The week of January 23 was Western Caribbean and the week of January 30 was Eastern Caribbean. We do not fly. Since it was January and we live in the Snow Belt we left ... Read More
Carnival Dream This was our first Back to back cruise experience. The week of January 23 was Western Caribbean and the week of January 30 was Eastern Caribbean. We do not fly. Since it was January and we live in the Snow Belt we left Ohio on Wednesday and headed south. The trip is very familiar to us and after researching hotels at the beach, we chose to spend 2 nights at Disney. On the morning of the cruise we drove from Disney to the port. Port Canaveral has the embarkation process down to a tee. We stopped to drop off luggage and my husband parked the car in the garage. (You do not pay for parking until you disembark, so be sure to put your ticket on your dash) We were in the terminal, checked in and on the ship in less than 30 minutes, about 11:30. (The online check in really does speed up the process.) The lido was open for lunch and as usual the cabins were not available until 1:30. The lido was already extremely crowded, but we found a table, ate lunch, and explored the ship, until we could get in our cabin. We had a spa cabin on deck 12. The cabin was the same size as other balcony cabins on all Carnival ships, the colors were more pleasing than the usual (dark reds and tans). We were the second cabin forward on the port side. It was a very convenient location to the spa and the elevators. We did encounter noise on the days the slides were open, lots of running above us. The amenities of the cabin included access to thalssotheraphy pool, the thermal suite, tea room, a private locker room and 2 free fitness classes. The Spa was wonderful. We used the thalssotheraphy pool at least once a day. My husband usually went twice a day. The water was very warm, sometimes too warm to my liking. The thermal suite includes 2 steam rooms, 2 relaxation rooms with heated tile loungers, 2 rain showers and the tea room. One of the steam rooms has eucalyptus steam and the other aroma I not sure of. The tile loungers are the greatest relaxer I have encountered in a long time. The tea room had fresh fruit, ice waters (lemon and cucumber), and several tea choices. The entire area was very quiet and relaxing. We never encountered any crowding in any of the areas. We usually went in the mornings around 9 and early evenings. I enjoyed the showers in the locker room, instead of the cabin's tight quarters. Dining- We had anytime dining. Most nights there was no wait. We always asked for a table for 2. One evening we had to wait for 40 minutes for a table. We were aware that we had "timed" it that several diners were just being seated and we relaxed in the library. The wait was no longer or unpleasant than being at Olive Garden or many other land restaurants. Later that evening room service arrived at our cabin with a plate of sweets with a card from the maitre'd and hostesses apologizing for our long wait. The meals were all good. We had filet mignon, prime rib, lobster, the chatebriand, pork, and all were very good. I tried several of the soups and appetizers, and love the chilled fruit soups. My husband is not into any "fancy" dishes, and it was no problem for him to get a plain salad every evening and any other "special" requests. The lido buffet at breakfast and lunch had many choices, not so much at dinner time. The pasta bar is great, and don't forget the grill, pizza and deli areas. We used room service several times and it was always quick and warm. Shows - The main theater is too small in my humble opinion. Some show nights there were no seats left 20 minutes before the show started. Seat saving caused some problems. The shows were good and you don't want to miss the "Dancing in the Streets" show. The comedy shows were OK. The shows were pretty much the same old routines. We didn't go to the other lounges. The Ocean plaza area is very nice and doesn't seem to be used as much as I would have thought it would. Ports - We've been to all the ports before, so we tended to take advantage of the empty ship on port days. I got off at Isla Roatan to check out the new cruise center. Mahogany Bay and the beach area are beautiful. We couldn't dock at Costa Maya because of high winds and rough seas. In St. Thomas we did the Paradise Point Skyway. The views were pretty but as usually the price was a little too high. All in all we think the Dream is a winner and would book it again. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2009
I like to do a start to finish on our recent trip Dec 12th to the 19th to the western Caribbean (7 days). Before we cruised, I did a lot of research to find the best spots and selected our cabin on this ship and watched via Internet how ... Read More
I like to do a start to finish on our recent trip Dec 12th to the 19th to the western Caribbean (7 days). Before we cruised, I did a lot of research to find the best spots and selected our cabin on this ship and watched via Internet how they built this ship over the past months. I am impressed overall the construction and size, and watched closely the ships track to the US and the cruises prior to ours. I read the reviews on Cruise Critic and wanted to see how things were going as well with passengers. I did find some mixed reviews, and some off the issues that the cruisers had were Very True as we found out on our cruise. Going into the cruise, I understood the fact that its a new ship and its Carnival's first contending big ship to finally rival RCC's Ships, so there were adjustments needed to fix the issues. (growing Pains) so hopefully they will be resolved soon so it wont hurt CCL in the future reputation with its Guests. December 12, 2009 Our big day, the day we waited for! Our first vacation since our last cruise on the Fantasy! Embarkation: 12pm Saturday :We got to Port Canaveral, it was crowded, but we were able to find the lines to check in first with security. They were long. We noticed (but weren't sure) people in the VIP entrance were getting right on board.. .. We waited over 40 minutes to get past the first security check in.... finally we get past all that and we get to the Carnival check in. We got to the lady who was checking us in and she asked for our credentials (which I thoroughly checked with our Carnival cruise agent over and over about our Birth Certs and drivers license) The lady looked at mine, and told me to our faces that she would NOT let us board because my Birth Cert was not valid! WHAT!!!? My wife and I darn near fainted when she said that!!! I spent alot of money and we got this far not to sail? I told the lady (Handling us at CCL's checkin counter at the port) I have sailed before on closed loop tours and THIS has never been an issue! So...after 10 minutes of getting with her manager, she finally came back and gave me a speech over getting a passport and said she "didn't have to let me on", but they are going to do us a favor and process us anyway! Bah...My wife and I were Pissed and freaked out. This ruined us! I should have gotten her name but my wife and I were blown away that we almost lost that much money on something we set our hopes on! Next, She (CCL assistant) then finally looks at our itinerary, and says, we are in the wrong line! I said what do you mean? She said you guys are VIP!!! So.... we waited all this time to check in and to find the line we should have been in was over at the other side of the building were other VIPs were drinking coffee and having snacks before checkin??! Well we waited Another 15 minutes and finally after all the mess,.... we get our sail and sign cards. Geesh! 1:10 Pm We boarded the Carnival Dream. We entered The Atrium, it was beautiful! (Smaller than normal but Beautiful) First thing we did (or tried to) was go to our room using the elevators. "Good Luck" getting there!!, everyone had the same idea of using the elevators. they were jambed and crowded almost the whole cruise!! We didn't have a chance, so we took our four heavy bags and climbed all the stairs from the atrium floor level. Yes...Our Cabin was at the top deck twelfth floor! So we climbed all the stairs with full bags in both our hands stopping intermittently to catch our breath, finally getting to the twelfth deck to port side room 12206, the spa deck! We got to the Spa deck and we were wore out from climbing stairs! Our Spa room 12206: The room was beautiful, and the ship and the port was amazing to see from our view point from our balcony. The bathroom was a little small, but the shower water was always hot, and that's good enough for us! The interactive flat screen TV in the room was a great addition, and you can see live time the lido deck and the ships position and course. That we liked the movies that they shown as well. very good room and a relaxing feeling. The room safe and fridge were nice to have too! Our cabin Steward was tops!! Simply the best, she attended our every need and left us towel animals with candy every night! Our room was kept very clean!! Now the drawbacks, found a couple issues with the cabin we were in. ---The bathroom door wouldn't latch, (not a big deal, But the balcony door didn't either!! so when we sailed on the seas the wind whistled loud from the door that wouldn't seal up! I ended up putting a straw from my drink into the sliding lock to take up the slack so it wouldn't whistle so bad. I called maintenance about the issue, they showed up while we were still there, but never returned afterwards. If you held the door shut, it was fine, but again it wouldn't latched closed. The balcony was nice, but there was a lot of standing water, I saw the drain in the next cabin down but it wasn't made lower to drain for some reason, so we had standing water on our balcony almost all the time. ----- The serenity deck overlooked ours, and the other spa cabins... so there was NO privacy from people above us and god forbid they spilled a drink on us while we were on our balcony below! I didn't like that! Maybe they can extend the over hang on the spa cabins for some privacy? It would be a big help! ---Next was the big issue that's been "prevalent on this ship" since it was made. The ventilation system needs careful review so they don't make this mistake on the new ship the Magic! On other reviews of the Dream, there was a sewage smell on the ship! I found from our cabin the ventilation fans were mounted forward of the Spa Cabins so you could smell second hand smoke and a sewage smell from them almost constantly. Thankfully for my wife and I, the wind was in our favor for "some parts" of the trip so we could sit together on our balcony, otherwise we wouldn't have been able to enjoy it at all! I have asthma, so it was important I picked a room that was Non-smoking. When we went down to deck five (using the stairs most of the cruise from the crowded elevators) the second hand smoke was very bad down there, and wreaked terribly. ---- Last 2 of the room issues, and these were the same exact as other cruisers reviews... In our room during the day, you can hear the kids running up and down for the water slides above. It was very noticeable and Everyone in the Spa Cabins heard this on port side, and I really felt bad for the cruisers at the end of the hall, they had to deal with the door to the 12 deck out side slamming all the time as well. Thank god they shut off the slides at 6 PM, it would been a disaster to relax! Last, the walls on this ship seem thinner than the others, you can hear other cruisers in the cabin next door and all the Balcony doors slam too hard on the poor ship! We closed ours carefully, hoping the glass would not break! --- The Good - The lido deck , We Loved the laser show and the music!!! Even though mother nature pounded this poor ship on our cruise with the winds and waves, it didn't stop the fun, the huge TV screen was awesome and the movies were great! We were spoiled!! -----The bad---The crowded 20 plus minute food lines were terrible and the seating in the eating areas was not much better. We were able to eat, just needed a little more patience and it was bearable. The food was excellent, what I would expect, and the service was excellent. (My thoughts of the ship at this point, there's approx 500 too many guests "on the ratio" the ship can handle for ease of its crew and passengers. I feel they sacrificed the Atrium space for more cabins, and other people felt the cramping as well on the lido. There's no easy fix for this and the only fix is dry dock to remove some guest cabins for shopping, because shopping was too small on this ship compared to other cruise ships in the fleet!) --- The Spa. Awesome! Spoiled us rotten, We paid extra for it because of our room and never will forget it. The spa whirlpool was very nice, warm and relaxing. On our cruise it was never crowded, and the workout rooms were plentiful! Upstairs from the spa the salon was great and very professional! We got our hair cut as well and well worth it. The whole Spa experience to us was everything. This is the one thing that's going to be hard to top for our next cruise. ---- The Chefs Art Steakhouse, Deck 12 aft. One word... Phenomenal! The food was the best we had on any cruise, and service was very good. They worked us in on a reschedule from our original online reservations. I recommend it highly to anyone to take part. 30 bucks a person, heck I can spend that easily at Carrabbas and not get a good enough portion that we got at the Chefs art steakhouse. Excellent! ----The Shows. Very good and Professional. Good talented hardworking people! Good choice to go see them on your cruise. -----The Sushi bar. I didn't understand why other cruisers gave it bad reviews, it was very good, and the portions for sample or snack were just right! Very good on our part! -----Cappuccino Bar. Very good! the sweets and the specialty teas, and coffees were excellent. Simply enjoyable, even though we had to swipe our card, heck it was worth it! -----Late dining experience. Very Memorable. Excellent service and food. What I expected! We had VIP status, so we were in private dinning in the Crimson Room late 8:15pm, and loved it!!! We could take our time and the portions were just right for us. the Major D was funny and the servers were like family! The other guests in our dining room were funny and adorable to be around, just a great time! -----Other places on the ship. we explored a lot of places and it was a lot of fun and the food was never ending, the pizza and the ice cream were very good and free flowing all night. The specialty drinks of the day we loved as well, just a good time. -----Serenity deck. Peaceful and enjoyable. We had no problems with other guests, very quiet and private place to relax. We loved it! great views of the sea and land from this point as well! ----- The ports of call and on shore excursions. We selected Only the ones by Carnival. They were very well picked and they were enjoyable. The tour guides watched the time very close! so be ready to be on your mark on these tours, they are held responsible for your safety and being back on time! Being prompt off the ship to get to your tour was nerve racking for us, we prepaid for them and didn't want to miss them, it was worth it though. Carnival Picked very good tours and the guides were very good at giving you all the info to all the sites. -------Behind the Scenes tour. I have to say this: Do it! spend the 90 bucks and get a reservation early. There's only 32 guests per cruise that get the chance, and I recommend it highly. You will learn very quickly what it takes to satisfy 4000 plus guests on a ship for a consist ant 8 months on their contracts. These people work their tales off and don't get much of a chance to even get off the ship to ports of call. The "coined phrase" on the Dream by staff - The "I-95 corridor" (below the water line above zero was busting) the and gangways are spotless and always on the go. We saw the engine room and the bridge, as well as places you never see when your on a cruise. The living quarters of the crew, their cafeteria and offices. The Galley was spotless and the chefs were amazing! You can get fat real fast working down there, the smells of the cooking food was divine, and we were able to sample a portion. Very clean and CCL has a good reputation for it. There are hand sanitizers every where good ship practices! The recycling are made me understand why they don't have waste baskets on the ship to throw food out! I never knew they sorted the leftovers from unused portions from guests and recycled everything from aluminum cans to glass bottles down to your razor blades your throw out in your cabin. They are very strict now where everything has its place. They incinerate the stuff like cardboard and other things, and they chum the leftovers of food for sea life. Works very well and efficient! Everyone eats. ------The Question to ask-----The whole cruise with 700 plus kids and 3600 plus adults from every walk of life on the Dream, would I sail again on her? Yes,.... but ....I will not sail in peak times with higher booking rates, and next time I will book starboard side forward on the Spa, just to get away from the kids running above or cabin room on the slides and the other passengers looking out above us with no privacy. I like my privacy and quiet time, its important for a good get away. and I wish for some Parents to watch or reprimand their kids closer on the ship. I saw many running up and down the halls and actually saw one child was spit over the side of the ship from our balcony view. Carnival did do a great job with taking care of the kids throughout the cruise minding them, we actually didn't have any direct issue at all, just the pitter patter of running feet on the deck above our cabin. I was happy to see them enjoying themselves, thats what its all about! ----Debarkation. some reviews were great about this. Ours was not so great! We felt we were rushed off the ship an hour early... and we were! We wanted to spend one last time on the Dream and have breakfast, it didn't happen. It felt like mad house on debarkation and again the elevators were jambed and people were riding them up and down full. Todd the Cruise director was calling the debarkation process too quick, and there was No chance to get the elevators, so we took our bags all the way down the stairs again. To the crowded Atrium and out the door we went. Bye bye Dream =( My wife and I Really Love this ship!... Even with the growing pains, and the same reviews other people are giving her... I hope Carnival can get time and dry dock the Dream and get them fixed. She is a Grand Ship, and she has us hooked! We did have a great time for the money spent. Thank you! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2009
Our initial thoughts on our Inaugural cruise on Carnival Dream - this was our 12th cruise with Carnival and 22nd overall. We had a great time on our trip. Pre-cruise. We stayed in Rome for 2 nights prior. We took the Airport shuttle ... Read More
Our initial thoughts on our Inaugural cruise on Carnival Dream - this was our 12th cruise with Carnival and 22nd overall. We had a great time on our trip. Pre-cruise. We stayed in Rome for 2 nights prior. We took the Airport shuttle train into the city. Our hotel was close to the Rome Termini train station. It was OK for a 3-star hotel, but the location made it easy to get to on arrival and when left for the ship. We did a Rome tour by night - thanks Lisa. We took the train to Civitavecchia on the morning of embarkation. We took an Intercity train, which was shorter - only 1 stop in Rome before going direct to Civitavecchia - the train continued north after that. For an extra 3 Euros each we went first class and had assigned seats. It is about a 10 minute walk from the train station to the port entrance. Easy enough if you have wheels on your luggage, but you can take a taxi if you wish. From the port entrance there is a free shuttle bus to each of the different ships. The embarkation process was very easy and we were aboard the ship by 11am. Positives: Spa facilities - similar to Splendor with some added treatment rooms. If you wish to pay for 12 day access to the Spa facilities - Steam and Sauna rooms, Thalossotherapy pool etc you can purchase them onboard. We forget what the daily rate is, but at the start of the cruise you can purchase a pass for the entire cruise for $329 - which will admit two people. This rate is cheaper on Caribbean cruises. Massages and treatments are extra. Bear in mind that you may be challenged to get the full enjoyment of the spa each day if you are off the ship visiting all the ports in Europe, but that is an individual choice. For those that don't get the spa passes, they still have excellent steam rooms in the regular Men's and Women's change rooms, and a co-ed sauna with a window on the side for a view. Slides. With few children aboard, many adults tried out the slides. They have two long tube/covered slides. One is a typical twisting slide, and the other is called the Drainpipe - it is a shorter slide but has a steep bit to launch you out into a round bowl where you slide around until you come to a stop and then get out at the bottom centre. They were both a lot of fun. You get a great view of the ship - and sea or port - from the top of the slides. Adult-only areas. The Serenity deck area is on Deck 14 at the front, and the pool at the aft of the ship on Deck 10 is adult only. (more on this later). We didn't use the Serenity areas on Deck 14 but they looked very relaxing and are probably very popular on warm sea days. Ship Layout. The Deck 5 Lanai (exterior deck area) is a noticeable change from Splendor and earlier Carnival ships. This was a popular area to walk around the ship, however this could change when the ship gets to the Caribbean as we understand Deck 5 is going to be full of deck chairs to provide additional places for passengers to lie out and relax. The jogging track is on Deck 12 at the aft of the ship although there weren't many joggers out, and most of the walkers were on Deck 5. The Spa staff suggested it was 4 laps of the jogging track for 1 mile, but it is more like 6 laps. For those who were looking for a quieter method to move from bow to aft or vice versa - try Deck 4 rather than Deck 5. Deck 5 has more activities and therefore more passengers, but Deck 4 is usually much less crowded. Food. We enjoyed the food. Many of the popular items from past Carnival menus were included on the dinner menus. We understand food is a very subjective topic, but we found the food to be just as good as recent Carnival and RCI cruises. We ate all of our meals in assigned dining - 1st sitting Crimson Dining Room and didn't go to the Supper Club. Welcome Aboard party. There are separate activities for 1st and 2nd sitting. With so many passengers, the reception was split across all the lounges at the back of Deck 5 and the Welcome Aboard by the Captain was done later that night at the Production Show. We found the bar service to be very prompt and they provided a good selection of bar drinks. Everyone was well dressed on both formal nights. Dancing in the Street Production Show. Terrific. Lots of different entertainment included in this show that had something for everyone. Just about everyone we spoke to said this was one of the best (if not the best) show on a ship they had seen in a long time. Try to sit somewhere in the centre of the theatre (upper or lower) to see everything that is presented. Fun Hubs. The ship has around 34 computer stations. Most people go to the main facility in the middle of Deck 5, so it is a bit more crowded there, so find some of the other ones scattered across the ship and you can use those without a line. Those who bring their own laptops can log in from anywhere on the ship. You can get an account for free to access basic news, ship layout, and an electronic version of the Carnival Capers. You can do this from any FunHub or personal laptop. If you want to access the internet, you will pay for that. Packages range from 45min $29 (.64/min), 120 min $59 (.49/min), 240 min $89 (.37/min) and 480 min $159 (.33/min). They have a small number of promotions for extra/discounted minutes based on when you log in on certain days. We found the FunHub staff to be very helpful and most times we walked by they were helping someone with questions. Libary. A modest collection of books to start, however they were all hardback and brand new. By the end of the cruise passengers had dropped off a number of paperbacks for future cruisers to read. They have quite a few games in the library as well. We don't know if the Children's activities have a separate section for board games. Cabins. We had a problem with the thermostat in the room, but when we called maintenance, someone showed up within minutes to look at it. Overall the rooms were great, they have flat screen TVs and the beds were very good. The bed frame seemed a bit higher than previous ships, which means that most luggage should be able to fit under the bed. We had a Cat 9A corner cabin with a larger balcony at the aft, however the room layout meant that there was no small sofa in the cabin. There were small armchairs however. Other than the sound from toilets flushing, the sound insulation between rooms was very good - we never heard our neighbours. Seaside Theatre Outside Screen over the Main Pool. Very good visibility. Note that movies, concerts and relaxing spa-like shows are shown. No news is shown on the big screen, apparently as a result of previous passenger comments. Several news channels are available in the cabins including CNN International, BBC World, Euro News, German, Italian, French news, etc., Itinerary. Very good. Many people we spoke with would have been happy to spend extra time in Barcelona, Monaco, etc., however doing so would have meant a longer cruise, or skipping a port. We had been to several of the ports before but took the time to visit Barcelona and Monaco. In Barcelona we visited Las Ramblas, Parc Guell and La Sagrada Familial. Time flew by in Barcelona and many of the people we spoke with at the end of the day while waiting to get the shuttle back to the ship (5 Euros rtn per person) said the same thing. It may be worthwhile trying to do a few things well rather than try to see many things briefly. In Barcelona we used the public bus, taxi and subway in addition to the shuttle downtown. In Monaco we did a private tour with Revelation tours - Frank was our driver - he gave us a great tour and we visited some scenic lookouts larger buses didn`t visit. We visited Monte Carlo / Monaco, Eze, Nice and St Paul de Vence. We stopped to walk around Eze, Nice, St Paul and Monte Carlo. We recommend them highly - www.revelation-tours.com Fellow Cruisers. We met lots of great people from all over the world on this cruise. Everyone had a different experience and it was fun to share stories. It was great touring with others (all our CC friends) and meeting others aboard (Lynette and Ian among others). The CC Meet and Greet started off beside a Trivia contest and we moved to an empty lounge. Disembarkation. In Civitavecchia this starts early. People were leaving by 6am. We left around 7:20am and the ship would have been cleared probably by 8:30am at the latest. It seemed that people were able to get the disembarkation time they wanted, and the process of retrieving luggage in the terminal area was organized and simple enough when we went through. If you wish you can do self-assist and take all of your luggage with you. We took a private shuttle to Rome airport along with some other CC passengers - thanks Joanne! Points to Impove. We'll try to keep this brief (we did have a good time after all...) Entertainment. We found this OK, however there were only 2 production shows on a 12 day cruise. The 1st one was extremely good, however the production of the 2nd show (Get Ready) was just an average production of Motown and R&B song and dance. Apparently there was a 3rd show - Extreme Country - but if so, we missed it. Pools. We were told that the Main Pool was among the smallest in the fleet. There are extra Whirlpools on this ship (Deck 5) however no doubt the pools will be crowded on Sea Days in the Caribbean. Unlike Splendor, the Main Pool does not have a retractable roof, which means that on cool or rainy days, the Main Pool area will not be as useful. Inaugural Cruise. As head office is recognizing the New York cruise for the naming ceremony and inaugural activities there wasn't much additional benefit to being on the first passenger cruise. We did get a gift of a standard black Carnival photo folder (holds two 8 x 10s) and were told repeatedly that we were the first to cruise on Dream, so we would always have that. Read Less
Carnival Dream Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.5 0.0
Dining 4.5 0.0
Entertainment 3.5 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 4.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 3.5 0.0
Service 5.0 0.0
Value For Money 5.0 0.0
Rates 3.0 0.0

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