1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
This was a last minute choice, because I had business in NOLA the following week, and I’m glad we did. Faster to the Fun is worth the extra cost, if you can get a slot! Embarkation was organized and painless, our rooms were ready when ... Read More
This was a last minute choice, because I had business in NOLA the following week, and I’m glad we did. Faster to the Fun is worth the extra cost, if you can get a slot! Embarkation was organized and painless, our rooms were ready when we boarded, just drop our stuff off and go explore. We make our own fun in the ports, finding taxis and buses to take us to snorkeling spots and beaches...with a little research we spend more time with the locals and fell like we’ve experienced the place. The food and service in the dining rooms, restaurants, and lounges is top notch. We ate at the Steakhouse twice, so good! That said, Carnival, why can’t you do anything about the lines at the Lido buffet? I’ve never seen lines like that on any other cruise line. Breakfast would have been better if I could have gotten to the eggs in less than 20 minutes. We usually book inside rooms, and this one was comfy enough. There was some kind of weird noise some nights, though, like someone was using a hydraulic punch. We couldn’t figure it out, and none of our neighbors we asked noticed it. Staff were very professional and did a great job taking care of us. One last comment for the casino: there are tables and machines marked no-smoking, and that’s a fair enough compromise for smokers and non-smokers to share the space. It’s not a compromise if you don’t try to enforce it; it’s an insult when a member of the staff walks up to a smoker sitting at a non-smoking machine and hands her an ash tray. Don’t pretend to have a policy, if you’re saying it doesn’t matter then just don’t have one. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
This is our fifth year cruising over Spring Break. Our kids are grown so it’s just us, but there are always lots of kids onboard over Spring Break. We park in the Fulton Place Garage and the construction on the Convention Center side ... Read More
This is our fifth year cruising over Spring Break. Our kids are grown so it’s just us, but there are always lots of kids onboard over Spring Break. We park in the Fulton Place Garage and the construction on the Convention Center side caused us a nearly two hour delay in parking! Not sure how long the construction will be going on. Call first if you plan to park here. After finally parking and shuttling to the port, we were late. The good thing about being late is that you move right along. We never sat down. Through check-in, security, and up the ramp onto the ship. Then up the elevator to Deck 11 to our first-ever balcony. I sat down and thought it would be good to take a picture of us on the balcony. That’s when I realized I had left my backpack in the x-ray machine. I grabbed my passport and RAN. It was now after 3:00 and at 4:00 the ship pulls out. The people inside were very nice but also very professional. They asked me to identify it, then describe the contents. Once they were satisfied they directed me to a desk where I signed for it and ran back to the ship! Crisis averted! We sailed on the Dream in 2017 so we recognized a lot of the traffic patterns. We are early risers and head to the Serenity area on the Sky deck and secure chairs with pads on the sea days to sun and read. It’s quiet there. Our cabin was 11273. It was convenient but there was a slamming door somewhere and it would wake us up. It seemed to slam a lot at 3:00 a.m. I sleep with earplugs and one night the vibration of the wall woke me up. I probably should have complained, but I didn’t. The cabin was plenty spacious for two and the couch and sit-under were both nice features. We did not use the balcony much. I would do a balcony again for the sunlight but it wasn’t as much of an upgrade as I imagined. We ate in the dining room maybe four times. It was good. Service was good too. We had 6:00 early dining and next time we may opt for anytime dining. On elegant nights we skipped it and hit the Lido, which was good. One day we stayed ashore until 5:30 so we grabbed a burger and it was remarkably good. The shows were as we remembered. The 80’s show was SO GOOD. As was the Motown show. Skip Flick. We walked out. Many did. Gary the Cruise Director did a good job of keeping you informed but not annoying you. Service everywhere was excellent. Towel animals to the max! Especially on Friday morning. Ports were busy with Spring Break. Montego Bay – we grabbed a taxi (bus) to Doctor’s Cave Beach. Maybe $7 each. Once there it was $6 each to get in $6 each for a chair and $6 for an umbrella = $30. Make sure you take a lot of $1 bills to tip people. No one seems to have any change. We got there early and stayed as long as we could. Lunch right there was very good. Grand Cayman – I don’t remember tendering here but we did this time. There were plenty of water taxis and they moved quickly. We were planning to go to the public beach but the driver persuaded us to try Royal Palms. It was maybe $2 each to get in, but then it started. $15 for an umbrella. $12 each for chairs. And then all the food prices are in Cayman dollars, so add 25%. Lunch was $60 US. The beach was beautiful and water as clear as it gets but this was expensive compared to the free public beach with local guy renting chairs cheap and the liquor store across the road. Next time we will go there again. Finally Cozumel – we couldn’t get off the ship until 10:00. So by the time we taxied to Paradise Beach, it was pretty full. We did find chairs and it’s only $3 each so we LOVE it there. There were seven cruise ships in port and the lunch service was SLOW. But in the afternoon it thinned out and we moved around and enjoyed the pool and the beach. We will be back next year. What can you say? For less than the cost of a condo in Florida for the week, we wake up each day in a different country! I’ve already booked Carnival for Spring Break 2020. We’ve done Norwegian, Royal Caribbean and Carnival and shocked even ourselves that we like Carnival the best. It seems to be the best value. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
I chose this cruise based on its ratings for best first family cruise. We booked a midship balcony room. Had late arrival time so parking lot was full and we had to park in overflow lot C. It took a long time to get there due to traffic ... Read More
I chose this cruise based on its ratings for best first family cruise. We booked a midship balcony room. Had late arrival time so parking lot was full and we had to park in overflow lot C. It took a long time to get there due to traffic and we received little direction on how to get there. Our room was ready when we finally arrived on the ship and luggage arrived quickly. Room was not as clean as I expected. Thick layers of dust/dirt around the perimeter of the room and on the counters. The bathroom and beds were very clean and beds comfortable. Loved the Cruise Director Gary. Great kids clubs and activities. For food, the Steak Restaurant was great, and you receive a free bottle of house wine if you eat on the first night. Guys Burgers and Guys BBQ Pig and Anchor were great. The Cantina with tacos and burritos were also great. The buffet was ok at best as was the evening dining. Lots of options, but food was hit or miss and most of the food was not hot. I know they are feeding tons of people so it has to be prepared ahead. Soup was always hot in the dining room. Salads were good. My son loved the shrimp cocktail. The warm chocolate cake is fantastic. Also, brunch on sea days is good as were the breakfast burritos or huevos rancheros at the cantina. All made fresh and small batch, so hot and delicious. Kids loved having pizza and ice cream 24/7 and ate burgers and fries every day! Great shows, movies, and activities. Service was good. They get to know you and your names. I was surprised smoking was allowed in the casino and in designated areas. I’m not a smoker and am not used to being in places where smoking is allowed indoors, so I didn’t spend much time in the casino. We stopped in Key West and went parasailing with Sebago Watersports. Great excursion! Freeport isn’t a great port since it isn’t walkable. You have to take a taxi or book an excursion to enjoy this stop. We took a taxi to Junkanoo Beach. It was $14 round trip per person. There is a free beach or a beach with ammeneties for $5.75/person. You can pay for food/drinks and rent chairs and an umbrella. Much better deal than paying for the excursion. In Nassau we booked the Carnival VIP Dolphin Swim and Lunch at Blue Lagoon. We waited forever! We got off the ship at 7:30AM for an 8 AM tour. We waited at the port until 9:30 AM with little direction or support before they finally lined us up and pointed toward the dock where we would need to board a ferry to the island. There were two other ships also in port with large groups going to the same place. With no one directing traffic we waited way too long! Once we finally arrived, the dolphin swim was amazing and the beach location was fun. Lunch was good, burgers, chicken, hot dog, rice and beans, corn, etc. Great excursion but poorly organized that morning. I purchased the weekly spa pass. It wasn’t worth it to me as I didn’t utilize it enough. Nice steam rooms and mineral pool and adults only area. I traveled with my two children, so the money would have been better spent on a massage or other treatment. I did purchase the relaxation package on the last day at sea as they offered a discount. I also booked a facial based on another promotion. Both services were fantastic. Days at sea were great. Lots of activities. Brunch with extended hours so no rush to get to breakfast. We were blessed with great weather, so Sun and Fun abounded. We would definitely recommend the Carnival Dream and Cruise Director Gary! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2018
My group leader planned it for a group of 17 and it was our first cruise after 32 years of marriage. I can honestly say we were very happy with cruise, the food and drink, the wonderful shows that Chris and his staff provided every night, ... Read More
My group leader planned it for a group of 17 and it was our first cruise after 32 years of marriage. I can honestly say we were very happy with cruise, the food and drink, the wonderful shows that Chris and his staff provided every night, our delightful room service and talented dinning staff. If you are awarded a chance to have Charlie Brown as your waiter, I promise you will love him. No complaints here, if anything, the teens and tweens on the ship should have been watched closer by parents, they were quite unruly at times. All around the ship provided us with the ultimate and lovely vacation. Look forward to another cruise! shore excursion, we paid Annis $20.00 per person and she took us to all the main points of the Grand Caymans. She will stop for you real quick if their is something you want to see. In Jamaica we did a 35.00 a person excursion that ship recommended and stayed safe. I must say that some women saw I had money in my hand to pay for a hamburger and they were trying to steal from me but I held tight. Coszumel, the Isla Passion, well worth it! Food, drinks, shopping and swimming! and nice boat ride!! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2018
This was what we picked for our honeymoon and we were very disappointed. Numerous factors came in to play that could have made our trip better but as it was, we may never cruise again. This was my husbands first cruise and my second. Which ... Read More
This was what we picked for our honeymoon and we were very disappointed. Numerous factors came in to play that could have made our trip better but as it was, we may never cruise again. This was my husbands first cruise and my second. Which my first cruise was amazing and I have no complaints. Embarkation was very, very quick and smooth. Even with the long line of people I was amazed by how fast they got everyone on the ship. Our Cabin was fine, no complaints besides the horrible television selection. Dinio our steward was wonderful. Always smiling and friendly. Dining...We truly looked forward to dinner every night. That, I think, was our favorite part of the trip. IGusti, Benni, and Ana were a well oiled machine. Dinner service was always very quick and with a smile. We shared every evening how each of our days were and loved getting to know the crew. As for buffets, they were average. Plenty to choose from and some items were wonderful and some not so great. Guys burgers made us sick the first day of the cruise which really set the mood for the rest of the week. Needless to say we didn't try that again. We never got to try the Ancor BBQ, it was only open one day that I know of and the line was awful. Entertainment was okay. The Flying Scottsman was however amazing and did well getting everyone involved and up beat. Another favorite of our was the Love and Marriage show. I could have went to another one of those during the trip. We laughed so much we cried. We missed alot of the shows because of timing. Our dinner was late so alot of times it interfered with shows. We would either have to rush through dinner or we would have to leave early and miss the ending. I did not enjoy the vocalist at all in the lobby. There was one male that was okay but the rest were awful. We loved Passion Island in Cozumel even though they cut our trip short because the water was getting rocky. It was very relaxing and well worth the money. We didnt do any other excursions unfortunately. The very one thing we had our hopes up to do was in Honduras and due to weather conditions, which I understand, they were unable to dock the boat so we had to go back to Cozumel. Other things added in to our horrible trip...due to timing we had to go during spring break which meant there were tons of kids and only one adult only area that I was aware of which was always full. (The casino even had children roaming through and lingering around) Normally that wouldnt bother me so much but young kids were unsupervised all over the ship and were VERY rude. They would make videos in the stairwell and then get mad when you walked down the steps. They would cut you in food lines to catch up to their other siblings. They took up all of the hottubs and pools during the day so you couldnt swim. The pools were supposed to stay open until midnight and the crew would close almost every night by 9pm. The last port we decided to stay on the ship and enjoy the pools since everyone would be off at excursions and low and behold they were closed. I had my last straw after a Pixel crew member was rude to us while playing cards. I went to Guest Services to talk to someone about my complaints and concerns and basically was told to deal with it. There were a few things out of their control which I understand but they should enforce better supervision of children. I would never let my 6 year old roam around a boat that large by himself. I was not the only one complaining about the rude children either. It seemed to be an issue on our cruise. Also I think the pools constantly being closed down with 4000 people on a boat was ridiculous. He gave no explanation just that they have to clean it. They had it closed our whole last day at sea and only started to fill it up at night when we started back up the river toward New Orleans. Im not sure I will cruise with Carnival again. The Guest Services did not feel like there was an issue with any of my complaint so maybe I am just not meant to cruise. DONT CRUISE DURING SPRING BREAK FOR A HONEYMOON! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
We had an amazing time on the Carnival Dream. The staff was amazing. We loved all the bartenders, when you passed staff members they always greeted you with a smile. Our most favorite was our waitress Olivia. She was beyond amazing and we ... Read More
We had an amazing time on the Carnival Dream. The staff was amazing. We loved all the bartenders, when you passed staff members they always greeted you with a smile. Our most favorite was our waitress Olivia. She was beyond amazing and we made sure to ask for her every night. If you are ever on the dream and eat in the cremson dining be sure to ask for her. Food was good some days and not so great other days, but their was always something you could find to eat that you would like. The only problem I had was some peoples children walking around with their foul language mouths and rude, which is not carnivals problem but the parents problem. Loved the comedy shows, they played movies at night on the lido deck, they had an 80s party and a mega deck party. Overall, we had an amazing time and will definitely do it again. The only bummer was we couldn't go to mahogany bay because of the bad weather Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
My love for Crusing takes me to the ports. This is my second Cruise on the Dream loved it even better the second time around! Did a balcony on deck 11.. was nothing short of amazing! Wanted to try a cove balcony was worried about being on ... Read More
My love for Crusing takes me to the ports. This is my second Cruise on the Dream loved it even better the second time around! Did a balcony on deck 11.. was nothing short of amazing! Wanted to try a cove balcony was worried about being on deck 11 was great wentvright out of our room and there every thing was! Lots of choices to eat. Mongolian, Guys burgers are good! But I do like the traditional grill with choices of chicken nuggets French fries, nachos. tried the new pizza wasn’t bad! Alternative dining seems to be going down on choices. Ice cream oh my had it a few times. Brunch was very good steak and eggs! Guys Pig & Anchor was amazing just wasn’t open enough it was open two of the sea days! Even though we missed our port in Roataun it will not stop me from cruising! Ship was clean! I miss a lot of the old perks. Bigger isn’t always better! But you have to roll with the times! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
It was a great cruise due to the great staff. First the Flying Scotsman (Chris Williams) cannot be beat! He did a one hour one man show on the last afternoon that went from Elvis to Italian Opera (an Impossible Dream in between plus many ... Read More
It was a great cruise due to the great staff. First the Flying Scotsman (Chris Williams) cannot be beat! He did a one hour one man show on the last afternoon that went from Elvis to Italian Opera (an Impossible Dream in between plus many others!). Our housekeeping Team, Arry and Lulu, did everything we wanted and needed! Arry made me a new towel animal every day and let me keep them for the whole cruise. My favorite was a bird in a swing with a piece of bubble gum in his mouth! The wait staff was excellent - Putra, Arlianty (Leah) and Hannifi. Leah gave me extra scallops and made me Mickey Mouse chocolate melting cakes (with 2 ice creams). We had a lot of seafood - even extra lobster tails!!! Putra danced with my grandsons which made it special! With all the eating I was shocked that I had lost a pound! But we also did a lot of walking! Maghogany Bay was an excellent beach especially if you get a cabana but book early! They get sold out. The ecopark on Belize was a good tour as you can see a lot of the lay of the land and hear history of the people of Belize. We just shopped in Cozumel since we had been at that port several times before. We did pick up our bambo sheet set from Cariloha that we won on the Love & Marriage show. The CArnival Dream is VERY big - our first cruise was on a ship with 600 guests which cannot be found any more. I do prefer a smaller ship. The disembarkation was the fastest we have ever done!! Embarkation was even not too bad. We were there at noon. At our age, not sure we will go again but will use Carnival if I do - maybe Cuba??? Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2018
The staff is what made this cruise really special. The dining staff was amazing. The guest services staff was amazing. The food was as expected. It wasn't the best thing I've ever tasted in the world, but I really can't ... Read More
The staff is what made this cruise really special. The dining staff was amazing. The guest services staff was amazing. The food was as expected. It wasn't the best thing I've ever tasted in the world, but I really can't complain. They are feeding around 5,000 people several times a day. The shows were really good. You have a lot of chances to win prizes. Everything in the shops is overpriced, even when they say you're getting a good deal. The only really good deal you're getting is with alcohol (when you buy bottles from the shop). I didn't think the alcohol drink package was necessary. We pre-ordered $100 bottle of Malibu room to our room, and we brought a 2 bottles of wine and 2 12 packs of mixers (between the two of us). This lasted us for the entire cruise. We did order around 1-2 drinks a day from the bar while at sea. Excursions: At Cozumel, we did the salsa and margarita making excursion. The hotel and view we had during this excursion was GORGEOUS. This is definitely an excursion for someone who has a low activity level. You get endless margaritas, but they have no sugar in them. We weren't a big fan of the margaritas. You will definitely get drunk very quickly. Learning how to make salsa was fun. The hotel we were at had wifi, which was nice. The bathrooms are pretty small, but the entire place is kept very clean. You are able to stay for an hour after the event and use the hotel's pool and man-made beach, but we elected to go back to the port. At the port we shopped and had a really good time. At Belize, we did not do an excursion, but we should have. In Belize, they do not have a big port that cruise ships can go into. You have to take a smaller boat to get to the island. This was a 2 hour process. There are a few shops and restaurants to explore. I recommend booking an excursion, because otherwise Belize is kind of boring. At Roatan, we booked a beach day at Mahogany Bay which included: beach chairs, umbrella, and pool/ocean floats. This was by far my favorite. I suggest getting out there as soon as possible to find good seats. We were at the front row right in front of the ocean. We took a ski-lift to get to the beach which provided amazing views. I really enjoyed that. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
1) because my brother and his wife have never cruised before. 2) the price 3) where it was going. 4) because my brother and his wife still like to party. Carnival seems more like a party type atmosphere. The staff was wonderful from our ... Read More
1) because my brother and his wife have never cruised before. 2) the price 3) where it was going. 4) because my brother and his wife still like to party. Carnival seems more like a party type atmosphere. The staff was wonderful from our room steward Wayan to our dinner stall Dede, Ignatius, and Polett. to the staff in cloud-9. spent the day in New Orleans before embarkation. Embarkation went very smoothly ( great job) our cabin 7203 is classified interior, but has a window. It is interior with a picture(walkway view).It was our highest level yet. and a good choice. they do sell out fast. we enjoyed most of our dinning I was disappointed in the main buffet, but like the other 3 buffet or was it 4? guy burgers was very good, the pasta bella was not a buffet, but a sit down where you place an order and drop it off at the head of serving line and then go sit down and they deliver it piping hot as you ordered. a don't miss if you travel on the Dream. Main dinning room was very good. the chef's table was an outstanding experience. It di cost extra, but we thought it well worth it. the shows in the encore lounge were to mush like Vegas style and loud. we like more Broadway style performances. disembarkation went very smooth also. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2017
Seemed like a nice time to take a cruise, boy was I clueless. Too too many kids taking up pools, hot tubs, running into people, screaming and running down hallways until 3am nightly. Party mommas do you know where in the hell your kids are ... Read More
Seemed like a nice time to take a cruise, boy was I clueless. Too too many kids taking up pools, hot tubs, running into people, screaming and running down hallways until 3am nightly. Party mommas do you know where in the hell your kids are at 12-3am. Several very rude kids, all but run u down. Had to ask for ice everyday. These people working on the ship worked non stop. They were so worn out, they didn't even greet cruise guest, The cruise director is definitely awesome and the glue to keep this ship going. Food was not very appetizing in MDR. We did dine in steakhouse last cruise night, it was the best food I had all week. Not enough activities for adults. The adult aft pool had more kids then adults most days. Belize was ok, enjoyed cavetubing, Mahogany Bay was ok. I would not care to return to these ports anytime soon, I do not plan to cruise with Carnival @ New Year, Mardi Gras, Easter, June July, August, Sept. Thanksgiving week or Christmas week. I can not deal with unsupervised children runnning wild all day & night until 3am. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
Getting On and Off the Ship: The new staggered embarkation process is a great idea. It certainly doesn't eliminate the lines but they were much shorter and faster moving than the last time we cruised. We were the last group to ... Read More
Getting On and Off the Ship: The new staggered embarkation process is a great idea. It certainly doesn't eliminate the lines but they were much shorter and faster moving than the last time we cruised. We were the last group to disembark and since our flight was later in the day we were in no hurry. Everything went smoothly and we relaxed on the Lido deck and had breakfast at the buffet while waiting for our group to be called. The Ship: The Dream was just updated in January of this year but it was not a complete overhaul. Replacing some obviously worn cushions and carpeting would have made the ship look almost new but these were minor items and overall the ship looks great. We had an interior cabin on deck 9, Vista. No different from every other interior cabin I've been in since my first cruise in the early 90's. Small but adequate; comfortable bed; a place to sleep and clean up which is all I require of a cabin. The public areas are nicely done with plenty of fairly comfortable seating and a variety of entertainment venues. There are two large pools on Lido deck and two jacuzzies by the aft pool. I appreciated the cushioned wicker seating found in several different areas and the cute rocking chairs by the main pool. Service: I have never had bad service from any ship employee and this was no exception. Thank you again Imade for making our room as neat as possible every day considering there was a teenage girl and all of her stuff in residence. He called us by name whenever we saw him and always with a smile. "Harry" the waiter (his name is much longer but he said to call him Harry) was a sweetheart and never impatient with our teenager who could not decide what she wanted or the young boy at our table who wanted 4 helpings of an appetizer and nothing else. These people work hard and are one of the reasons a cruise is such a great vacation. Entertainment: This was the BEST main show entertainment I have ever encountered on a cruise. The singers and dancers are excellent and the production is extremely well done. The cruise director, Chris Williams (The Flying Scotsman), is a wonderful entertainer himself. He can sing, and I mean really sing, and he did a one man show that was awesome. He is a multi-talented bundle of energy that you can't miss if you are on the Dream. There was also a trio of violinists called Sky Breeze that were fantastic. Don't knock it because you are thinking of traditional violin chamber music. These guys rock. I didn't see or hear all the entertainment that was available but these shows were all the greatest. Excursions: We did the ship excursion zip line and river tubing in Jamaica and enjoyed it. Be aware that if you are out of shape physically (like me) you will be huffing and puffing climbing up the hills to the zip lines. But, I made it and had a good time. In Grand Caymen we went with Capt Marvin's, not a ship excursion, to see the stingrays, the turtle farm and Hell. They were recommended by other cruisers and they were great although I was disappointed that the size of our group was greater than stated in their information. Even so, it was still a smaller number than the ship's excursion as well as being cheaper and including a snorkel stop. I didn't take any excursion in Cozumel. Just walked around the pier area awhile and enjoyed the ship without the crowd. Food: As always there is a LOT. If you've cruised before you know about the food. It was no different this time from any other except the Guy's Burger was new and offers a really good burger. I didn't get to try Guys Pig and Anchor (BBQ) as it was only open a couple of hours at lunchtime. My only complaint about food is this: Why are there never any good desserts at the buffet? Seriously. Not just this ship, or this cruise. There are never any desserts worth eating at the buffet. Even the cookies are just stale Chips Ahoy looking things. However, in the dining room, look for the Chocolate Melting Cake. It just about makes up for the lack of sweets elsewhere. Kids: We went during spring break. With a 15 year old and a 12 year old. A Carnival cruise is great for kids. Give them a day to get acclimated and they will own the ship. Carnival has kid's clubs for different age groups so they can get acquainted with others their age and also to provide activities. Mine weren't interested in the clubs and the 15 yo found friends on her own very quickly. The 12 yo is a little shyer but had fun with the other kids at the pool and with his dad at the arcade. I thought they would both love the great big waterslide but I guess grandma (me) didn't realize how much they have grown up. Apparently the slide didn't appeal to them as I don't think either one even tried it. I never saw any but small children in the slide area. Conclusion: Cruising is a fantastic way to vacation and Carnival's Dream is a great ship, especially for families. Just go. Do it. Go ahead, you'll be back for more as soon as you can! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
The Dream was another dream vacation for our family. Our 17 year old son and nine year old daughter thoroughly enjoyed themselves again. We buy "Faster to the Fun" when we cruise and even with the staggered embarkation we are ... Read More
The Dream was another dream vacation for our family. Our 17 year old son and nine year old daughter thoroughly enjoyed themselves again. We buy "Faster to the Fun" when we cruise and even with the staggered embarkation we are still feel it is a great value. We parked and we're on the ship within 20 minutes. No problems. The real value comes in ports and when it is time to go home you are first off the ship. Our dining staff was FANTASTIC! They really make your family feel special. Our daughter really enjoys the towel animals and our cabin was cleaned twice daily. Again, no problems, our cabin steward was great! I don't understand some of the negative reviews. Each and every crew member we came in contact was friendly and helpful. Our family really enjoyed the many entertainment options each night. We saw every production show, the clean comedy shows as a family, and we really enjoyed The Cruise Director, the Flying Scotsman, he is one heck of an entertainer. All in all we loved every minute of our cruise and all the ports we visited. We cannot wait for our next Carnival Cruise. The value that you receive for the money is unmatched by any other vacation. Our kids would rather cruise on Carnival than go to Walt Disney World again, which works for me as Carnival is a better vacation as a family and much more affordable. Read Less
56 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
Let me start by setting the scene for anyone who reads this. This is my first review on this site, but not my first cruise with Carnival. I am a 28 year old man from Alabama, and I sail with my wife, Sara, who is 24. We have only ... Read More
Let me start by setting the scene for anyone who reads this. This is my first review on this site, but not my first cruise with Carnival. I am a 28 year old man from Alabama, and I sail with my wife, Sara, who is 24. We have only sailed with Carnival, and based on our last three cruises with CCL, we will be hard-pressed to try another Cruise Line. We do a cruise every Spring Break, as my wife is a school teacher and lord knows teachers need an escape before the last months of the school year. We sail out of New Orleans because 1) I know the city very well, & 2) we are able to drive and save the expense of having to fly. We initially chose Carnival because of the price. I have had many phone calls with other cruise lines and travel agents, and I have yet to find anyone who can get my wife and I on a boat for near the price of Carnival. Just as a disclaimer: We can afford to sail with any cruise line, but I place a heavy emphasis on value, ie. getting something for my money. I understand that everyone wants something different in their cruise, and I only intend to share whats important to us, and not belittle anyone else's opinion. Now, on to my review of my cruise on the Carnival Dream, 7 days going to Cozumel, Mexico; Belize City, Belize; and Isla Roatan, Honduras; in room 7280 (7th floor balcony, port side, mid-ship). We always use the same Carnival "Vacation Planner" because he's fantastic, and including on board credit (paid in full promotion) we sailed for under $2000.00 My wife and I always make sure to do FASTER TO THE FUN promo with Carnival. It was $59.95 per stateroom and it's always worth every single penny. For those of you who aren't aware of this "excursion" (as Carnival has it categorized as), it allows you to essentially be prioritized like their "Diamond/Platinum" guests, meaning first on and off the ship at all boardings and departures (destinations included). It also grants you a VIP customer helpdesk access and really gets you a ton of other perks while on board. Our favorite part is that it allows us to board the ship first, with our stateroom being prepared by the time we arrive (compared to a wait for other customers) New Orleans Cruise Terminal We parked in the Carnival Terminal at New Orleans Port ($20/day, pay upon arrival). The terminal is full of people, but is well organized and well-staffed so it goes smoother than it looks upon first sight. All of our luggage tags have the big "Faster to the Fun" logo, so we are literally ushered through the lines. We get through check-in and find our section and wait for the OK to board. We probably waited about 30 minutes and they began to call for Diamond, Platinum, Special Assistance Passengers, Faster to the Fun, and then begin loading the rest of the guests by zones. The First Impression The Dream is a massive ship. It holds about 5000 souls on board and has a gross tonnage of 130,000. I have only sailed on smaller Carnival ships in the past, so I was mindblown by how big this ship was. Because the ship had only arrived and unloaded the last cruise hours before, it was impressive to see all the staff working hard to get this ship looking like it was its maiden voyage. The colors/decor are similar to other Carnival ships. I have read many other reviews where other cruisers place a lot of weight on the decor, but it doesnt mean much to us. The decor looks nice enough and does give the impression of elegance, but Ill admit that I do not have a lot to compare it to. Our Stateroom We always do a balcony cabin on the port side, I thank this site for the Port recommendation. Our stateroom, to our disappointment, wasnt quite ready despite us being guaranteed that it would be. The staff was literally in our cabin when we walked in, but they were done in a matter of minutes. Our cabin was organized, spacious, and the view of the Mississippi River was roaring outside our window and balcony. The bathrooms were simple, and well cleaned. The counter space was large enough for my wife to unload her ever expansive bathroom "kit". Carnival provides body wash and shampoo (tangerine lemongrass if anyone wants to know what it is). The most important part of any stateroom to us, is the quality of the bed. We know that our King bed breaks down into 2 twins, so you would initially be concerned with how well the bed would hold together, but you shouldn't be, as its one of the best beds I have found in any ship/hotel. Only real issue we had is that our balcony hadn't been mopped, this issue was quickly remedied. Our cabin had a ton of storage places for clothes, as well as a sizeable safe for us to hold our valuables. Dining My wife and I are food junkies!!! I have been told that Carnival's dining quality is one of the lower ranked items among its competitors, so that alone can make me want to cruise on another liner. But, we have always been happy with Carnival's efforts to allow us to gorge ourselves on delicious food. Other than Guy's Burgers, WHICH IS THE ONLY PLACE YOU NEED TO EAT LUNCH ON BOARD THE DREAM, Ill be mainly focusing on dinner options. On this cruise we dined in the main dining room, the additional cost Steak House (Art's Steakhouse-$35/person) and the Chef's Table ($95/person). We did the Steakhouse on the first night so Ill start there. They offer the party a complimentary bottle of wine (house selection) or 1/2 off any other bottle of your choice if you dine there on the first night of the cruise. I ordered the 18oz Prime Rib-eye, and it was arguably the best I've ever had. In regards to the other courses, we felt disappointed as we didn't see the gap between them and the ones offered at general dining, and when you're paying for food on Carnival, you expect it to knock your socks off. In the end, I didnt see the value in the Steak House, I doubt we will be going again. The Chef's table, in comparison... Was the single highlight of our trip. We did not feel we got our $35 bucks worth at the Steak House, but I would've happily paid double for the show the Chef De Cuisine put on for us and 10 other guests at a dining table placed in the middle of the galley. It was superb, and I only stop my review of it here as I would hate to spoil the experience for anyone else, but I will say this....***If you are a fan of fine dining, love amazing flavors, and well designed dishes with foods and methods of cooking that you only see on Food Network, book your reservation early!!*** Nightly Dining: I have no other cruise lines to compare this to, but we have always loved dinner on our Carnival Cruises. Our waitstaff (3 waiters and a bar waiter) wait on us hand and foot and bring us course after course of food on a changing menu. You can order any quantities that you'd like and if you don't like something, they always allow you to change it immediately. We came to know our waitstaff personally, and we hugged goodbye on the last night. Thank you to I Ketut, Salauddin, and Catalina in the Crimson dining room for amazing service. Service- Fantastic. We never wanted for anything. Our stateroom Steward, "Lucky" was extremely good at managing her 50 cabins and always remembered to keep extra ice and wine glasses in our cabin. We always came back to towel animals and a clean room, no matter what state we left it in before. Finally, I will talk about the shore excursions we did at our 3 stops. In Cozumel, we did Mr. Sanchos (not through Carnival). Its an all inclusive beach club and you pay approximately $55 per person to get in after a $17 cab ride each way. Its ranked #4 on TripAdvisor for a reason, make sure you book it before your cruise as it reaches capacity quickly. Belize wasnt exactly pleasant. We did not book an excursion as my wife just wanted to shop and grab lunch. If you have been to one port souvenir shop you have been to them all, but we did grab some excellent jerk chicken from a daiquiri bar not far from the port. In Roatan, we booked through carnival and did the "relax on the beach" package. It was very nice but the prices of food and beer were really high ($28 USD for a bucket of 6 Honduran beers, as an example) The water was gorgeous and the island as a whole was spotless. Felt very safe and the service was excellent. I do not work for Carnival Cruise lines, nor have any interests that would allow me to be anything other than objective. Carnival has gone 3 for 3 on giving me wonderful vacations. We are booked on the same ship (and same cabin!) for next march. Feed back is appreciated, I hope at least one person will gain something from this review. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
We had an excellent experience! We had an ocean view suite and from the get go it was wonderful. We ate the dining room each night and it was always fantastic. Harry and our wait staff from the Scarlet Dining room went above and beyond! ... Read More
We had an excellent experience! We had an ocean view suite and from the get go it was wonderful. We ate the dining room each night and it was always fantastic. Harry and our wait staff from the Scarlet Dining room went above and beyond! We did an excursion at every port, Cozumel we went to Chankanaab National Park, it was very beautiful, but aside from the sea lion show (which was fantastic!) it was a little boring. In Belize, we went to the Jaguar Paw ATV adventure. Belize was my favorite! We had an AMAZING tour guide, Peter, I feel like I actually was able to see the city (and the food was amazing). In Mahogany Bay, we went to a private beach club and road jet skies and snorkeled. It was a lot of fun! There is always something to do and I was not ready to leave even after being on the boat for 7 days! The only complaint I had would be the shows were just okay, I would skip the shows in the future, and go to the comedy club. Although, the cruise director Chris was phenomenal!!! His show was by far the best! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
I cruise every spring break. I chose this cruise because they dates were right, the price was good, and the debarkation port is awesome (New Orleans). The food in the Scarlet dining lounge was not good, the service was even worse, ... Read More
I cruise every spring break. I chose this cruise because they dates were right, the price was good, and the debarkation port is awesome (New Orleans). The food in the Scarlet dining lounge was not good, the service was even worse, much worse. The shows in the Encore lounge were fantastic. But why the wait? Ship's crew left the doors closed (light and sound checks, presumably) until showtime, causing stampeding after a long, uncomfortable standing wait of 30 minutes or more (for those of us that like to get there early and get a decent seat). The buffets are still set up in a way that forces people to wait in long lines for 90% of food they don't even want. Why not put the food on islands, as RCCL does? The shore excursion in Freeport (All Inclusive Beach Getaway) was terrible: drinks so watered down it was not even possible to get a buzz after 30 drinks. Not enough chairs for all the guests and no chaise lounges even offered. Overall, a disappointing experience. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
We chose this cruise, primarily for two reasons; 1) we wanted to give our graduating high school seniors an end of the year gift and 2) this ship was close to our home in Mississippi. This was our first time to cruise and we went with ... Read More
We chose this cruise, primarily for two reasons; 1) we wanted to give our graduating high school seniors an end of the year gift and 2) this ship was close to our home in Mississippi. This was our first time to cruise and we went with two other families that had cruised before. One couple cruised on the Dream several months earlier. Everyone had a great time. The couple that had recently cruised on the Dream said this time was so much better!. There were plenty of things to do while on board during sea days. We took advantage of every activity we could possibly squeeze in. Finally, on Saturday, our last sea day, we found some great deck chairs at the aft on deck 10 and just crashed. For us newbies, we were amazed at every turn. The entertainment was outstanding each night. The dining room was tons of fun and we probably put on tons of pounds as well. Some nights multiple desserts were ordered by several in our group. I was especially impressed with the friendliness of all staff and crew that we interacted with and with the level of professionalism that each exhibited. We were all made to feel special and important throughout the entire trip. I appreciated how things were organized and how smoothly things seemed to run. if there were problems, we never saw any. Our stateroom (7305) was an interior room. it was comfortable and quiet. We were there to change shower, change clothes and rest. Being close to the center of the boat, it seemed easy to get from our room to just about anywhere on the ship. There were three ports (beside home port) that were all enjoyable. Although the stops in KeyWest and Nassau were good, we loved Freeport the most. We planned a snorkeling excursion. The wind blew and the air was a little cool. However, the water was warm enough for comfort and the fish were abundant. We enjoyed Nassau and visiting the Atlantis and a nearby beach. My wife and I loved each moment and were sad as we had to leave when the cruise ended. Each of our high school seniors had an incredible experience as well.Our other friends loved it too. We all got together, shared pictures, stories and many laughs when we got home. We also started thinking about our next trip - hopefully in the near future. Carnival Dream - did not disappoint! This was a great ship with lots to do and fun places to visit. The newbies and the seasoned travelers all agreed - best vacation ever !! Read Less
30 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
We chose this cruise for multiple reasons. First of all we had to find one during this time frame as our 6 year old Granddaughter who would be traveling with us had her spring break during this week. Flight prices were cheaper for us to ... Read More
We chose this cruise for multiple reasons. First of all we had to find one during this time frame as our 6 year old Granddaughter who would be traveling with us had her spring break during this week. Flight prices were cheaper for us to New Orleans, vs. Florida. We wanted a different ship other than the Conquest Class. We have been on 2 other Carnival Cruises, one on the Freedom and one on the Valor, and enjoyed them, so we were looking to change things up a bit. Knowing the Dream was going to be out of dry dock a month prior to our departure also helped in making this decision I wanted to give Jamaica another shot. (we ported in Ocho Rios) on a previous cruise and did not care for it, this time we would be in Montego Bay the other side of the island. We would also be stopping at Grand Cayman (which we like) and a new port for us, Cozumel. Finally the price was right and we were able to try a Cove Balcony for the first time while still staying within budget. We flew into New Orleans the day before embarkation just to be safe. We travel from the north so one must keep in mind the possible weather delays in the winter. I had found a room in Kenner at the Fairfield Inn. It was an older hotel, but clean. The staff were also very nice and helpful, and I used points for the hotel so that was a plus. It cost the 3 of us $40.00 to taxi to the port on Sunday. (About 25-30 minutes depending on traffic) Our scheduled (staggered) check in was 11:00-11:30 am, so we arrived at 10:45. It was a zoo when we arrived! Come to find out the port gangway was broke so there were still 1400 people on the ship waiting to get off. Even though this was a setback, we got through security, and documentation and to the desks for our cards within 30 minutes, so it went very smooth. Due to the gangway issue we ended up sitting with many, many other passengers in the main room for about 2 hours before being able to get onto the ship. Most people were fine, but some were not very happy about it. Personally it was fine, there is nothing you could do about it and the Carnival staff did a very good job in keeping us informed as to the progress and they had bottled water, and granola bars available. No one likes to wait when you are excited to start your vacation, but if delays occur just take it in stride and don't let it ruin your vacation. Once on ship we of course were greeted by friendly staff with yummy looking cocktails, I passed, but my husband opted for one and we were off to check out our room. I commented on our room in the cabin section so I will not go into detail on that. I will say our Room Steward, Paul was very nice, and our room was clean. We made our way to the buffet to get some lunch and then spent the rest of the time exploring the ship, and managed to play of game of golf before muster. A short trip to the Lido Deck for the Sail Away Party complete with the Cat in the Hat and Thing One and Thing Two :) This was our first encounter with our Cruise Director Chris, "The Flying Scotsman" What an absolute gem! We chose the early dinner as it always seems to work best for us when we have our 6 year Granddaughter with us. Some days seem a bit rushed to get there, but we manage, and would never do the late dinner. We may try my time dining in the future, but this is a good time for us. On this cruise, our meals were good in the main dining room. We had a couple things that didn't seem up to par for the dining room, but it was not terrible. Our service on the other hand seemed a lot slower than our other trips. Most of the time we were out right before the 8:00 guests would arrive. I do not think the waiter was at fault, but it was probably a combination of different staff from dining room to the cooks. We were always greeted with a smile and enjoyed them overall. Our other dining experiences, included the breakfast buffet, not my favorite and the same every day. The omelets were good if you timed it right to not have to wait in line for 30 minutes, the breakfast burritos were my husband’s favorite and the lines were not terrible there at all. We had guy’s burgers, again they were good, but not out of this world. (I liked the toppings bar for them) Burrito place was good I would have ate here more often, but wanted to try other places as well. The pizza was good, liked the thin crust, but we seemed to hit this when they were busy... it was still worth the wait. The pig and anchor was also really good, and I liked the carving station where you could get a great sandwich during off times of the day. Again this line was usually long as well, but worth it. We enjoyed the entertainment, but not as much as the entertainment our Cruise Director provided! What an amazing job he does and has such a fun personality and very talented vocally. My husband and I agree that we could not remember our other CD's, but we are pretty sure that Chris will be one of our favorites and will probably never forget his name. Other entertainment... we hit one of the shows in the Encore Theatre, it was good, not great, we listened to the CD's performance in the Encore, that was awesome! we played bingo (managed to win $300.00!) in and out of the Casino a few times, saw a Comedy Show that was great!, took in a couple movies, attended some of the CD’s entertainment in the evening . Again we were never disappointed in his shenanigans. We also enjoyed activities during sea days on the Lido deck. We spent time in and around the water works area and it was never crowded, it was nice to always find a place to sit to keep an eye on our Granddaughter. Our granddaughter attended Camp Carnival and had a lot of fun. She went there from time to time we went through the activities and she picked when she wanted to go. The last 3 nights it was hard to drag her out by 11:00 pm  I am guessing it has to do with the other kids and activities they offered. Ports for this trip were: Montego Bay, Grand Cayman and Cozumel. I should note that this was the first time we booked excursions through Carnival. I usually do my online research and book through private party, but we booked this out only 3 months prior to sail date, so time was an issue. Our first stop in Montego Bay we booked a Jeep Safari to some of the mountainous areas in Jamaica. It was a good tour…. Learned a lot about the island, vegetation, etc. had some stops with breathtaking views, an old church and a water fall area. (Not much of a waterfall during this time of year, but it was ok) Of course anytime you take these tours there is always, Rum Punch! You can’t go wrong with that. Not sure if it was worth the price, but we enjoyed our little adventure! Another side note, we would have been pier runners if this would not have been booked through Carnival. We got hung up in traffic coming back to port and we were a little late, thank goodness Carnival has to wait for you if you book your excursions through them  something to keep in mind when you look for excursions. Our 2nd port was Grand Cayman. A tendered port and I am always nervous for these if there are high winds, you sometimes are unable to tender into the port. We were fortunate to have our wind on the sea days, so not a problem here. We went to the Encore Lounge early to get off on one of the first tender boats as we had an early excursion booked. We were off to the Cayman Turtle Center. A great place to see all the sea turtles and hold younger ones. This center also had a place to eat, gift shop, bird aviary, pool with water slide and a river to snorkel with some of the turtles. It was worth the price and we have a great time! If you plan to use the pool/waterslide they do not have life jackets and the pool is about 5’6” deep. There is an area that is under 4’ for younger kids though. The area that you can snorkel in, a parent has to be in the water with any kids under 13 and you have to wear a life jacket. (They do provide you with them here) I would suggest having some water shoes for this area. We also booked a submarine adventure, but another take note…. We booked this through a 3rd party, my husband talked to a lady personally to make sure the time would work out and that we would not be overlapping our morning excursion and so that we would be back at the dock in time to catch the last boat to the ship. All and all we thought we were good to go. When we arrived at the submarine place we found out we were 20 minutes late, as our time was slotted for Island time. (Ship time and island time can be different so be aware of that when booking) We didn’t think anything about it, as it was never mentioned and we even told her that we had an excursion that morning and would be back to the port area at 12:00 noon so a 1:30 time slot would be perfect for the 45 minute excursion. Oops, we failed. We will pay more attention next time. We grabbed a bite to eat and did some shopping before heading back to the dock. Our 3rd Port, Cozumel. We booked the Dolphin Swim and encounter. We took a short taxi, included in the cost a short 10 minute drive to the resort area. Our excursion also included buffet lunch and cocktails, water or pop. All you can eat and drink. Also included in the price was paddle boarding and kayaking. This excursion was a bit expensive I thought, especially the pictures (we only got one) but we thought it was worth it. Not to mention you could do other activities as well. It was slotted for 4 hours, but you could probably do more. We went back to the port area and enjoyed some live entertainment and did some shopping. The port area was very clean and a lot of places to eat, shop and relax. My husband and I agree that this port is one of our favorites now. Our last day before arriving in New Orleans was a sea day. Spent some time at the water park and sometime just relaxing. We played another round of miniature golf and enjoyed some fun lido deck activities. I took time to get everything packed in the am, only left out what we needed for clothes and after dinner we were able to set our luggage out for pick up. We ended up with zone 26 for debarkation, so I knew we would not get off the ship before 9:30 – 10:00 am. Debarkation was as expected. Regardless of the port you arrive there will be lines, so be prepared. Where the line backs up depends on the port. (At least this is what I have found) Today our line moved very slowly once they called our zone. It backed up as we got off the elevator, it was slow all the way to where you retrieve your luggage. Once we got our luggage it picked back up, so that was good. Customs was smooth and then it was off to find transportation to get us to our hotel. This is where it became a bit more frustrating. Trying to get a cab was crazy! There was no organization as to where the cabs could pull in and out of for customer pick up, and we were told to go to one area, but cabs were not reaching us as they were stopping way back on that stretch. Note the area of pick up and drop off is a common area, so at this point there were people showing up for embarkation that day as well and the area seemed to get very congested with traffic. We finally got our cab and we managed to get to our hotel at 11:30 am. We dropped our stuff, met up with some family that live near New Orleans and we were off for some lunch. We stayed at the Courtyard Marriot in the French Quarter, an older hotel but very clean and a good central location to walking around the French quarter for our day in New Orleans before heading back to snow. We were hoping to find some of the famous Beignets, but once we got there the lines were very long, and we just did not want to deal with that at this time. We ended up at Bubba Gump’s for lunch, nice and relaxing. My husband is allergic to fish and our Granddaughter has peanut and cinnamon allergies so we needed a menu with turf on it as well. It was good. I personally love seafood and fish, and we passed a lot of places that I would have loved to stop and eat, but again we needed to find burgers for my husband  after our walk around the quarters, we walked back to the hotel. We were amazed to see the lines a block long for some of the Oyster places that had not opened yet. There was still plenty of Mardi gras remnants in retail windows and side walk displays. For dinner we ordered pizza out from our room, I do not remember the place, but it was amazing pizza and priced right. We were all tired and needed to be up at 3:00 am for our early 5:30 am flight. The representative that was working the front desk at our hotel that night was very pleasant and helpful. She arranged for us to have a cab for a 4:00 am pick up. This is where you should go with your gut on what time to be at the airport. She assured us that the airport would not be busy at that hour of the am and by arriving by 4:25 am we would have plenty of time to get checked in. My husband is one of those that wants to arrive early so he of course grilled her, but she was insistent on the 4:00 am pick up would be fine. It cost us 40.00 for the fare and we arrived at 4:25 am. After getting into the airport we soon thought we would be sitting in the airport all day because SW only had 2 kiosks open for checking in baggage and the line was already extended out past the courtesy ropes. Then a college team showed up which they then opened up 2 more kiosks for just them, as the rest of us sat in line wondering how we were going to be scrambling for flights all day. SW finally opened up 1 or 2 more Kiosks, as we got tagged for late luggage we now wondered if any of our suitcases would make it on the flight, guess we will see. It was a mad dash to get to the security area, once cleared we were soon walking on the plane, missing our A boarding number, but at least we could sit back and relax for the short hour flight to Atlanta and then onto MSP, and yes our luggage did make it to MSP with us  Just a few notes that I want to mention for those 1st time cruisers and just in general some thoughts on cruising. This was our 4th cruise, 3rd with CCL. We enjoy cruising and I know that it is not for everyone, but we like it and there is nothing perfect about it. You will encounter lines from time to time, you will eat something that is not your favorite, and you will come across people who you will look at twice and wonder where the heck they came from, but it is your vacation and you just have to go with the flow at times. You are putting yourself at the mercy of the weather, and 4500 other vacationers. The cruise line cannot predict the weather, they cannot be responsible for ports that have malfunctions, and they certainly do not have control over the thousands of people that embark with you on your ship. You can carry on and make it your vacation, you can smile and greet those you pass in the hallways, and you can be thoughtful and respectful to all the crew members who do their best to provide you with all the services you expect on a daily basis 12 hours a day and then some. You can simply remind yourself from time to time that this is something you wanted to try or do again or you wouldn’t be on here. Even when things aren’t perfect you need to keep everything in perspective. If it is your first cruise and you are not liking it that is fine, you don’t have to do it again, but at least make the best of it. There are a lot of things to do every day, do what makes you happy  if this is your 3rd, 7th or 10th cruise and something through a wrench in your cruise, move on. You have been on enough of these to know that you are probably going to go again, and chances are something may be amiss again at some point. Find your happy place and stay there. You are going to come across those who have one upped the Cheers package (a few too many cocktails) or some who push the policy of loungers being saved etc. Do you really want to take on a job of monitoring loungers on your vacation or are you here to have fun. There are hundreds of loungers throughout the ship if the Lido area is full. If you want a Lido front and center lounger get up earlier and park your bum there or go find another deck or area where there are always open loungers. If smoking offends you stay away from the smoking areas, go around the Casino not through it. When you want some time in the Casino go to the side where they can’t smoke. If you go to Casino’s on land you are certain to have the same issues here, don’t expect it to be different. If you are prone to motion sickness do your research and either get a patch from your Dr. or buy over the counter meds. I use Bonnine, I don’t need it all the time, but we have encountered rocky sea days and I feel better knowing I was prepared. My husband never needs anything, but even he had to take something on the 2nd day of this cruise to free him of his queasiness. Bring a jacket or warm sweatshirt. We have encountered cold departing and arriving weather in the states on some of our cruises. Once you get into the Caribbean and Gulf it tends to be fine, but you just never know when those northern cold fronts move down through the southern states. In general I hope if it is your first cruise that you do some research before you go. There are plenty of resources out there to get you familiar with what to expect. If you are addicted to cruising there is no point for me to make, you probably know more than I do at this point. I know my review is a bit lengthy, but I just wanted to share our experiences. Yes, it was not perfect, but we are already booked for a sailing next March on the Magic  I am not counting down the days yet, but give me a few months and I may start looking at those excursions for our ports  Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
This was our ninth cruise, and it was the best one yet. Carnival never disappoints, and their service is second to none. Everyone is always happy, friendly, and ready to have a good time. I will be loyal to Carnival for life, and the ... Read More
This was our ninth cruise, and it was the best one yet. Carnival never disappoints, and their service is second to none. Everyone is always happy, friendly, and ready to have a good time. I will be loyal to Carnival for life, and the reasons are more than I can list. Excursions: We did the Catamaran Sail and Snorkel in Jamaica, and it was breathtaking. The men working the ship were as friendly as could be, and the coral reefs were gorgeous. For any first-timers, wear sunscreen! The Caribbean sun is much more powerful than you would expect. In Grand Cayman, we did the Jeep tour, which was rather interesting. We visitied several spots on the island, and finished at Tiki Beach. Once again, I had a chance to snorkel, and see the coral reefs. I highly recommend these excursions. Dining: I was overall very pleased with the quality of the food on board. The dining room food was excellent, and our waitress was so friendly. She remembered all of our names from day one, and even had my ginger ale waiting every night. The Guy's Burger Joint was top notch as usual, and even the barbecue was good. The late night hot dogs made me very sick, however. Avoiding one food was not that hard, and I was able to enjoy the rest of my cruise with no ill effects. Entertainment: Carnival is known for its comedy shows, and they were second to none. I laughed so hard that I cried, every single night. The comedians were superb. Their routines are definitely not for those who are easily offended, however, and if you sit in the front row, be prepared to be made fun of. Service: Service was outstanding, and every crew member was extremely friendly. The crew knows how to have fun, and it really showed through the cruise director, and other entertainment staff. Even the room stewards were full of energy. Overall: Winter tends to be the rough season for the Caribbean. This proved to be true on our cruise, as winds were high every night, and seas were a bit high. One night, winds were exceeding 100 km/hr. I was enjoying the rocking and rolling, but that much movement made quite a few people seasick (including our room steward). If you can't handle the movement, I would recommend going in the summer, when seas are calmer. This cruise is perfect for anyone looking for a good, fun, and friendly week on the sea. I will be going on the Carnival Dream again for sure. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
I was given a free cruise (inside cabin) from one of the Chicago area casinos. I could choose from any ship in the Carnival line. Since the hubs & I have never been to New Orleans we choose Carnival Dream. We did upgrade to a ... Read More
I was given a free cruise (inside cabin) from one of the Chicago area casinos. I could choose from any ship in the Carnival line. Since the hubs & I have never been to New Orleans we choose Carnival Dream. We did upgrade to a balcony, then the cruise line upgraded us to a balcony on deck 11. Don't know how that was an upgrade but it actually turned out to be more convenient for us as I had bought spa passes for the week and the spa was just above us. Embarkation...we had FTTF . We were give 1030am as an arrival time which was ridiculous since the terminal was so crowded already. On arrival we got in line to check in, we were directed to an open desk and the person there just walked away & left us standing there while others behind us were being taken care of. The gentleman directing everyone wouldn't allow us back to go to another window. Finally, one of the clerks next to our open window said she'd check us in. I asked if our prepaid gratuities showed up on our reservation because they did not show on our cruise documents. All it said was gratuities "as agreed" ...just what the heck does that mean?? She had no idea and said to check with guest services after boarding. Finally, we were sent to an area to sit while we waited for someone with a microphone, which you couldn't hear due to the noise of about 2000 people, directed us to get on board. On boarding, the Dream (deck 3)we walked into the smallest atrium I have ever seen. Yes, it is open all the way to deck 12 but the design, colors and ambiance leave a lot to be desired. Not very welcoming. This is also where guest services is located. Approximately 12 elevators are located on this level in the shape of a T just before the entrance to the Encore Lounge (auditorium). You'd think with all those elevators getting to your room would be easy but 6 of them had a big "X" , meaning they were not working! Ok, so we finally get to our room which was conveniently located to the elevators and it was the smallest room I have ever been in on a cruise with an equally small balcony. But we kind of knew this going in. It was not as clean as it should have been. The bed was made...I hope he used fresh sheets. It looked as if it had be made neater but definitely was not clean. There were circles on the table and desk from cups/glasses which I had to clean with wipes and boy were they dirty when I was done. The floor could have used some vacuuming. When we arrived in our room approx 11:15am the bottle of wine I had ordered for sail away was sitting on the desk. The bottle was cold but it was just sitting there, no bucket, no ice. We looked for our room steward but he was no where to be found. Meanwhile, we checked out the rest of the room and surroundings. The balcony glass and cabin windows were the dirtiest windows I have ever seen on a cruise. It wasn't just our room but also in the spa. UGH! so dirty. This was actually a topic of conversation during the drawing for spa services. Anyway, back to our wine. Finally just as we were getting ready to go to muster, (about 3:30p) our room steward appeared. I told him I had wanted the wine cold for sail away that I needed 2 buckets of ice...one for the wine, one for our drinks. I expected that ice to be there when we returned from muster...WRONG! We waited & waited, went to get something to eat and at 9pm finally I called the room steward and asked where was my ice. He appeared in minutes with both buckets with no apologies, in fact, not even a word was spoken. He actually had written down on a notepad that we wanted the ice so I don't see how he could have forgotten. We never saw him again till the Friday before debarkation. He did bring the ice daily though. Our luggage appeared in a timely fashion with only one suitcase taking it's sweet old time...that arrived about 6. We never went to the dining room for dinner. After walking about the ship and seeing some of the conditions we felt getting dressed for dinner on this ship was like getting dressed to go to McDonald's. We did use room service and the buffet. Most desserts were very good but the food on the whole was not good. I'd be inclined to call ship the fast food ship of the seas. The pasta restaurant though (Pasta Bella?) was the best food venue on the ship. Wish we had eaten there earlier. Also, what I thought were separate restaurants were actually all parts of the buffet, although the Deli and Tandor were stand alone counter service. One day while still parked in Roatan we decided to just get hotdogs for lunch so we walked over to the Grille and all the salads, potato salad, lettuce salad, pasta salad and fries were covered with FLIES!!!! EWWWWW! (I do have pictures) And still people were eating here. We walked away and decided to try the pizzeria and the same thing over there! Flies all over the cutting boards and counters. I just couldn't believe this. I have been on 7 cruises and have never seen a fly on any of them, till now. We went back to the room and used room service. The night the Cubs won...all the tvs were out!!!! They were out about 16 hours. We couldn't even get pay movies or Carnival broadcasts!!! Guest services told us they always have this problem while close to Belize. But not being able to get even Carnival broadcasts makes me think it was something else. It rained during most of our cruise so it was difficult to do any outside activities, but that is not the cruise line's fault. Movies were still shown outdoors during the rain. One day I checked our bill on the TV and gratuities were added on. I was livid since we had prepaid. Went to guest services and we were told not to pay any attention to the TV as that was always wrong! They said they had to show the gratuities but would then subtract them from the bill on Friday. I asked them how they could lock up our funds like that (I had a cash account) and finally they subtracted the grats. Crazy! Never again will I cruise on this ship. There is so much more to tell but not enough space here. When I read the poor reviews, I thought, a cruise is what you make of it but if it wasn't for the spa passes and the casino this cruise would have been a total bust as there was hardly anything to do listed in the FunTimes. In addition, most cruise lines leave an invitation in your room for the meet and mingle ...Carnival apparently lists it the Fun Times. I saw one M&M listed but with a strange name....it didn't say Cruise Critic M&M, it was something totally different. Guess I was wrong...it must have been ours and I totally missed attending. I would give Carnival only one more chance. Maybe the Vista is more to our liking. OH, and one more thing I must mention. Just try to find a public restroom on this ship. Oh my goodness, not even staff knew where they were. One person sent my husband to another floor when the restrooms were only about 20 ft away! There are few signs indicating restroom and when you do find one they are ridiculously small with three sinks, no soap and one hand dryer. Unacceptable. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
Where do I start? Probably the best vacation ever!!! We cruised on the Carnival Dream leaving New Orleans on Sunday, October 9th. It was me, my husband, our daughter and son-in-law, and our three grandkids; ages 14, 10, and 4. We drove ... Read More
Where do I start? Probably the best vacation ever!!! We cruised on the Carnival Dream leaving New Orleans on Sunday, October 9th. It was me, my husband, our daughter and son-in-law, and our three grandkids; ages 14, 10, and 4. We drove to New Orleans on Friday the 7th and stayed at the Prytania Hotel. With a two night stay there they allowed us to leave our cars there during the cruise. This is an old Hotel, but so much fun to stay at. The people at the front desk were very nice and helpful. The rooms were dated, but just added to the character. It was very convenient to restaurants. We could walk to the Blind Pelican and to Tacos & Beer. It was a lot of fun. Since it was the beginning of the baseball playoffs we had to be in a sports bar each evening to watch the Cubs play (my son-in-law's favorite team). GO CUBS!!!! And, yes, they did win the World Series. Talk about celebrating. Easy to find a sports bar with the game on. On Saturday we took the grandkids on the trolley (which the two youngest ones loved - the 14 year old... well he's 14 years old??. We took the two youngest ones to the Aquarium (a must in New Orleans if you have never done it.) And we also took them on the Ferry to Algiers. We ate lunch at the Dry Dock, which in and of itself was a great experience. Food was very good and people watching was very interesting. Now to the cruise... we took an Uber from the Hotel to the port ($5.00). We were to board between 10:30 and 11:00. We boarded right on time with no hassle. My husband and I are Platinum members so we were first onboard with our oldest grandson (he lucked out since he was booked in our cabin). However, the rest of our family was probably no more than ten minutes behind us. Plenty of places to eat lunch. Try not to hit the buffet; rather go to one of the other venues for lunch since they get very crowded during the week as everyone discovers how great they are. We explored the ship. Our luggage arrived on time and we were able to unpack before we had to do the mandatory muster call. We had two cabins with balconies very close to each other. So we never knew which grandkids we would have sleeping with us each night. In fact, they were in and out all day and night. (Just added to the fun.) We were only able to get the Cubs game one night on the T.V. The other games had to be viewed through WiFi. We only got the score and play by play, but that was still a lot of fun. We did a lot of celebrating on the ship. On sea days we spent most of our time at the water slides or PuttPutt as the two youngest grandkids loved that area. I can say that our 14 year old did go down the slides with his brother several times and did play PuttPutt with his little sister several times. He is a good big brother. All three of them must have hit the ice cream machines at least five times a day. I have to admit... I did too. We had any time dining, which worked out great for us. We probably hit the main dining room four times during the week. Always got seated as soon as we got there (even with seven of us). The food... well it was hit or miss. Some nights was great; some nights not so good. The few nights we ate at the buffet for dinner was not very good at all. Was very disappointed in the buffet. Not very many choices and the food was usually cold. However, the buffet was good for breakfast. Of course, with grandkids we used room service every night.. and I do mean every night. We would get a movie on the T.V. and order room service. It was me and the grandkids... the other three adults didn't come back to the cabins until around midnight and the grandkids were asleep by then. Our first Port was Montego Bay. We had previously made arrangements to do the all inclusive at the Sea Garden Resort, which was a great choice. Cab ride there was $7.00 per person. It had its own private beach (no vendors ever bothered us). Drinks were plentiful and the food was great. Jerk chicken was amazing!!! Grandkids had never had this before and they loved it. It is very near the Airport so planes passed right over our heads and we could see them landing. Pretty neat. They had a kayak, which the grandkids loved. We were also able to jump the cliffs (well they weren't really cliffs, but they were pretty far above the water). The scenery at the Sea Garden was unbelievable. The water was so clear and blue and the mountains in the distance were so pretty. Took some great pictures there. Was a little hesitant about getting off the boat in Montego Bay with our grandkids after reading reviews; however, we felt perfectly safe at the Sea Garden and would not hesitate to go again. Highly recommend it. Our second Port was Grand Cayman. Here we rented two Jeeps from Andy's Car Rental. Husband and son-in-law took the bus into town to pick them up and came back to pick us up. Jeeps were really nice (brand new). We drove all over the island. Scenery was breathtaking. We stopped at Rum Point for lunch, which was very good. Well worth the drive to get there. We returned the Jeeps and still had time to shop before boarding the ship. Even though we had to tender in Grand Cayman, it was no problem. In fact, the grandkids loved it. However.... be prepared for a long line to get a tender back. Last Port was Cozumel. Here we did the all-inclusive at Nachi Cocum (which we have done several times before). Well worth the money. Beach was beautiful; food was great; drinks were plentiful. They have a very nice pool if you prefer not to sit at the beach all day. Here we got to jump off the end of the pier. Lots of fun. My husband and the two grandsons also went snorkeling here and saw so many fish. The grandsons said that was the highlight of their cruise. They had never done that before. My granddaughter and I sat on the pier and watched them go out and saw how excited they got when they saw fish. They also saw a lot of stingrays sitting on the bottom. The last day at sea we spent most of the day at the slides again. But that was O.K. We loved seeing our grandkids have so much fun and knowing that we were able to give them this wonderful experience was truly a blessing. We took our own bags off the ship the next morning and were back in our cars by 7:30 and headed home. CAN'T WAIT TO DO IT ALL AGAIN!!! Read Less
29 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
This was the 6th Carnival Cruise I have been on, and might be the last. I've cruised the Mediterranean, and the Caribbean multiple times, and have always been pleased with Carnival. This cruise might have been so awful due to the ... Read More
This was the 6th Carnival Cruise I have been on, and might be the last. I've cruised the Mediterranean, and the Caribbean multiple times, and have always been pleased with Carnival. This cruise might have been so awful due to the spring break crowd; it was rowdy, and to be blunt; trashy. However, the ship is also by far the most in need of updates than I've seen. I'd been on the Magic the last 3 times, so maybe I am just used to the newer of the ships, but I was shocked at how run down this cruise was. The linens on the bed and the pillows, etc. were literally worn out. The decorative pillows on the bed that match the bedspread should be thrown away, they had threads hanging, stains, etc. Also, in general this cruise is just older and in need of updates. The carpets need steam cleaning, and repairs need to be made throughout the ship. Other than the ship looking worn out, the ship was clean. The Carnival employees are always cleaning, and they do an amazing job at that. The problem with Carnival I think, is that it just gets old after cruising with them a few times. It is the same food, the same entertainment, just nothing new. Which is fine you are a first time cruiser, but if they want repeat customers they need to step up the game. Also, the cruisers on this ship were really rough. Visibly drunk, stumbling, dressed inappropriately, cussing; I would have been so disappointed if I had a young child with me. This cruise reminded me of a fast food restaurant or a weird chain buffet restaurant. The thing is, I feel bad complaining about Carnival because they have excellent staff, and so that is NOT the problem. Its the condition of the cruise; it needs updating immediately, and the passengers. Also, it gets pretty gross having to walk though the casino which is soooo smoky. And the rooms used to be cleaned at least twice a day, and now it is just once, at night, and not like it used to be. I cruised Carnival immediately after cruising Disney, when I first cruised, and I was just as impressed with the carnival cruise as the Disney. However, if this cruise had been immediately following the Disney, I would have NEVER cruised carnival again. Unless they up their game, I'll be going with any other cruise line but them in the future. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2016
I chose this cruise for spring break. This was my second time on the dream and it was just as nice as the first time. A group of seven traveled together with three who were first timers. I've taken at least nine cruises that I can ... Read More
I chose this cruise for spring break. This was my second time on the dream and it was just as nice as the first time. A group of seven traveled together with three who were first timers. I've taken at least nine cruises that I can recall. My preferred departure port is the port of New Orleans because of the ease of embarkation and the port is close to home. The staggered time works well and we were on the ship quickly. I had two connecting balcony rooms on the eight floor and the cabin steward was great. We had late dining and the service was slower than normal on this particular cruise, but I had nowhere to go and nothing to do! Enjoyed all three ports. Traveled with three children(16, 15, & 15). They enjoyed their club and they also love to cruise. I will be taking the carnival triumph December 1st to celebrate my mothers birthday and the Dream again for Spring Break 2017. The shows were good. I did not participate in any activities because most of them I've already done on previous cruises. For this cruise I mostly hung out on Lido deck and mingled. We took taxis in both Jamaica and the Cayman Islands to the beach and that was nice. In Cozumel we walked around town so that my daughter could practice her Spanish with the locals. She absolutely loves this so we have to devote a portion of our day for her to mingle, meet with the people of the island. I did not use the spa services, but the temperature in the hot tub's were not warm enough. We had no problems getting off the ship everybody cooperated and follow directions so we were off the ship by 10 AM and headed back home. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
I will start off with the only positive about the Carnival Dream. They have on sea days a late breakfast in the tacky dining room from 8am-1pm. Do not go on this cruise if you do not smoke. Casino and night clubs are full on smoking but ... Read More
I will start off with the only positive about the Carnival Dream. They have on sea days a late breakfast in the tacky dining room from 8am-1pm. Do not go on this cruise if you do not smoke. Casino and night clubs are full on smoking but you can start to smell it 2 floors up from the casino. We had a shower curtain that sat in the sloppy soap scum in our shower because the drain never fully drained. Balcony's are too small. Drinks are really over priced and the drink packages have so many restrictions on them. Boat is overall ugly and tacky looking. You would never know this boat is only around 5 years old, very worn out already. paint chipping off the balcony. Pizza and other garbage laying in the hallways in the mornings after the drunks left it there. Room service menu looks good until you discover that you have to pay for the good stuff, they only offer the sandwiches for free. Buffet is really bad food. We went there the first night because they mixed up our dining time, so we were there around 6ish. And the buffet was closed . They had some cold spaghetti and buns we ate. There is so much more better cruise lines out there. I recommend Celebrity. It's just as cheap and they offer usually free alcohol with it....... Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
Our cabin, 6444, was directly above the Calinte Night Club. The pounding sound from the subwoofer started every night at 10:30 and would continue non-stop until 2 or 3 a.m. the following morning. Don't ask me why they don't ... Read More
Our cabin, 6444, was directly above the Calinte Night Club. The pounding sound from the subwoofer started every night at 10:30 and would continue non-stop until 2 or 3 a.m. the following morning. Don't ask me why they don't have the night club on an upper deck! The food and food selection in the buffet was very poor and the manner/methods used to display it is even worse. For instance, why do you need a person to hand you a piece of bacon? And why would the bacon be half way down the buffet line from the eggs? If the bacon and eggs were side-by-side, how many people would exit the unnecessary line? We took our 14-year old granddaughter on her first cruise over spring break. She LOVED it! Without anything to compare it to, she was ecstatic about the cruise: especially the soft-serve ice cream machine. She thoroughly enjoyed the Club-C program and met many new friends as as result. Since she was so thrilled we were very, very happy - for her. But compared to Princess or even Royal Caribbean, the ship leaves a lot to be desired. The staff gave it a great effort, but you could tell they were exhausted and overworked. The ship decor is severely dated. The ship was clean, but the smoking permitted onboard is such that they might as well allow smoking anywhere on the ship!! The ship and the cruise are most definitely for the very young to young adult. Drinkers and smokers of any age will enjoy it as well. Gamblers won't care where they are or what ship they're on, so age doesn't matter for that crowd. I've never seen so many back-drops for photos!! But there's no package deals!! $21.99 per photo - regardless of the amount purchased. Since the Port of New Orleans is so close to our home in Meridian, Ms., we only wish there were more cruise options available from this port and newer ships to choose from. Read Less
Carnival Dream Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.5 4.3
Dining 4.5 3.9
Entertainment 3.5 3.9
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 4.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.9
Enrichment 3.5 3.6
Service 5.0 4.2
Value For Money 5.0 4.0
Rates 3.0 4.1

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