12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
Okay so this was my very first cruise and I'm here to leave an honest review of it. I'm going to give a brief review of every aspect of this fun vacation! Carnival Dream Ship Okay so the ship was huge. I know I don't ... Read More
Okay so this was my very first cruise and I'm here to leave an honest review of it. I'm going to give a brief review of every aspect of this fun vacation! Carnival Dream Ship Okay so the ship was huge. I know I don't have any to compare it to but my friend I travelled with had been on two Royal Carribean cruises and said this ship was much much bigger. There was a nice running track viewing the ocean, a basketball court, clubs, casino, mini golf, and nice slides for the kids. The casino was always full but always had slots available. The clubs were never full and looked boring. I think there were only two small pools and I never even got the chance to dip in them because it was always too crowded. However, I didn't make much of an effort to get in the pool either. The hot tubs were always full so I never made it in any of them either and there quite a few of them so it was disappointing I never made it in. The ship was always kept clean and there was rarely a dull moment. Cabin We were on the very bottom floor with one of the cheapest rooms so our cabin was very small and we could feel the boat rocking a lot. Our beds were not super comfortable. The bathroom was not very nice at all as it looked a little outdated and very small. No complaints though because that's what we paid for. For two college girls on a budget, it was perfect. Dining The food was not spectacular. The buffets served mostly the same things everyday and there were not many options. The 24 hr ice cream was great! The pizza line was pretty good. Guy's Burger joint was very good. The dining at dinner was pretty good but the serving sizes are small and there are not many options to choose from. Service BEST service. I missed my massage by an hour and they still worked me in. The dinner dining staff knew us by name and even remembered our drink orders each night. Guest service was so polite and helped us figure out a wifi problem we had. The service in general was awesome. Nothing but good things to say about these wonderful people. Ports and Shore Excursions We had great experiences with all of our excursions. We had to take two tender boats in Cozumel and Belize. This was an easy transition from land to shore. I did not travel with any children but the kids on the boat looked like they were having a blast. Mat the cruise director had constant fun and games for everybody. I would definitely go again. SO thankful for this ship and this wonderful vacation! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We choose this cruise in order to experience the Western Caribbean. We also took advantage of an extra day in New Orleans before the cruise. We rented a car at the airport ($56+gas for two days). A cab would have been $60 to the cruise ... Read More
We choose this cruise in order to experience the Western Caribbean. We also took advantage of an extra day in New Orleans before the cruise. We rented a car at the airport ($56+gas for two days). A cab would have been $60 to the cruise port. Our teens enjoyed the activities for their age groups (club) and the adults enjoyed the nightly shows and comedians. We choose the Self-Guided Snorkeling on the beach at Routan, Honduras. The reef and fish were very impressive. The excursion included a yummy Honduran lunch. We choose the Cenote hoping with Lunch excursion in Cozumel, the excursion required a boat ride over to Playa Del Carmen (35-minuites) and a bus ride of about an hour. The tour guide was informative and friendly. The excursion was awesome. Beware of the mosquitos. The brochure ask to avoid sunscreen and bug sprays. However, the tour guide highly recommended them, boy was he right. Ship food options were amazing. We ate at Guys Burgers and also tried the bar-b-q, both were outstanding. We also enjoyed pizza the burritos. We had a tough time choosing what to eat. Dinning room service was excellent and each evening offered multiple options (you can choose more than one entree and the desserts were unlimited too :) Make sure you go to the shows and check out the comedians, the PG is age appropriate. However, The Adult 18+ is not for sensitive people. We would definitely Cruise with Carnival again! Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
My husband and I traveled with our two young children (6 and 8). Embarkation was a little long with some unexplained delays but overall not so bad given the sheer volume of people. I do feel as though my suitcases sustained quite a bit ... Read More
My husband and I traveled with our two young children (6 and 8). Embarkation was a little long with some unexplained delays but overall not so bad given the sheer volume of people. I do feel as though my suitcases sustained quite a bit of damage while being brought on the ship and to our cabin. We stayed in a four-person cabin with a window (1411). I was worried about the arrangements but it actually worked out great. My children slept well and thought the bed coming from the ceiling was really fun. They also liked that the window was large enough for them to sit and play in. Our bed was comfortable. This cabin had two bathrooms but I wish there had been two toilets rather than two showers. The ship itself was nice and has recently undergone a facelift. My husband found it to be a little garish. I was not "wowed" by any of the ship's features but everything seemed well-maintained. The dining experience was slightly underwhelming. I did not appreciate only having a choice of MDR or buffet for dinner. We avoided the buffet when we could and only ate one lunch and a few breakfasts there. Service and food in the main dining room was great. We did the Dr. Seuss breakfast and the food was good and my kids had a lot of fun, I'd recommend that to anyone. We also did the Steakhouse one night. It was ok. I have cruised three other times and this was my first time on Carnival so I didn't quite know what to expect. Well, what I got was a domestic assault on my floor one night (man got thrown in the brig for the entire trip), multiple drunk people coming up to me and telling me what a terrible time they were having, and pools full of drunk people behaving stupidly so my children could not swim safely. I think in general the behavior of the other adults was my biggest disappointment. Most of my cruises have had about 5 years in between so maybe I saw this behavior on other lines/ships and just don't recall, but honestly it was such a turnoff that I'd question sailing on Carnival again. And these were people in their 30s and 40s, not college-age kids behaving this way. On the last day the water stopped working on Deck 10 so all of the people waiting to get off the ship couldn't use the restroom. Or they could but nothing would flush. That was unacceptable. My kids loved the trip and sobbed when it became time to leave the ship. Our stop in Roatan made the biggest impression (monkeys and ziplining). I would definitely take them on another cruise. They did not love Camp Ocean but did enjoy one of the late-night parties. They really loved the PG comedian shows. Disembarkation was a mess. We were the last group to get off the ship and waited in line and then waited some more and then some more. My youngest really had to use the restroom to the point where he was crying and we probably had to wait another 30+ minutes before we got to a point where there was a restroom. That was rough. After getting our suitcases we had to walk quite a bit more so I think next time I'd prefer to see myself off with my bags because it really didn't save us much time without them or the hassle of hauling them around. Would I go on Carnival/Dream again? Probably, if I got a good deal. I prefer ports I can drive to because it is very expensive to fly from my city, so that leaves me pretty limited in my future choices. Knowing that, it would be hard to say no to this line/ship, but if a competitor had a ship out of one of my preferred ports I'd be willing to pay a little more to avoid some of the drunken drama I bore witness to. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2017
Love my cruise and staff. Too many unsupervised kids. Parents was letting their kids run around doing any and everything they could do. Throwing ice cream at each other, pressing all the buttons on the elevator, running as if they were on ... Read More
Love my cruise and staff. Too many unsupervised kids. Parents was letting their kids run around doing any and everything they could do. Throwing ice cream at each other, pressing all the buttons on the elevator, running as if they were on a play ground. The next time I take a cruise I pray and hope kids are in school and not on the cruise. I think all kids and teenagers should only be allowed in kid areas not allover the ship. Over all I had a wonderful time, a little disappointed we did no go to Mexico. Glad we made it home after the engine stop and was repaired. The captain and his staff was very helpful during this emergency. Each step in the process of repairing the ship we were well informed. A few other guest were upset with the outcome of not going to Mexico and only given $50.00 per guest. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
This was our 4th cruise and our kids' first ever cruise. We had a wonderful time, celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary. The Carnival Dream is a really nice ship. We were very impressed with its bright colors and cleanliness, as ... Read More
This was our 4th cruise and our kids' first ever cruise. We had a wonderful time, celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary. The Carnival Dream is a really nice ship. We were very impressed with its bright colors and cleanliness, as workers were always tidying up everything. Plenty of activities, and our kids really enjoyed the water slides which were much faster than we expected! There were two pools which were busy at times, but decent. (I think there used to be 3 pools on this ship a while back, so that would have been nice in easing the number of people in the pools.) There is a kids' club with programs for children of all ages (arts & crafts, video games, etc) but our kids opted not to participate in that. They just enjoyed swimming and preferred to being in the sun most of the time with us. In addition to the land excursions, we also did the 'Behind the Fun' ship tour, which was a guided tour through the engine control room, massive kitchen areas, show stage and dressing room, recyclables processing area, and the bridge (which was the most fascinating part getting to talk to the captain and seeing all the navigation computers/controls.) This tour costs $95 a pop, but I highly recommend it if you want to splurge, as it is 3 hours long and worth the investment. Note: Cameras and phones are not allowed on this 'Behind the Fun' for security reasons, which is understandable, but unfortunate. (There is a security guard who accompanies the tour and monitors any use of recording devices.) We went to a couple of the nightly shows (80's music and movie themes) which were quite entertaining, and much better than we expected. A small cast of 8 people, but amazing special effects, lasers, fog, and pyro accompanied all the great singing, music and dancing. Excursions... I highly recommend using Carnival's excursions (versus using independent excursion companies.) I made the mistake of using Shore Excursions Ltd, and it was very difficult reaching their customer service remotely from the ship, and we had to walk a long distance in the hot sun on one particular excursion in Cozumel to reach our transportation. Carnival has a very helpful excursion desk on the ship and reachable by phone if you need to make changes or ask questions. Carnival workers are right there when you get off the ship to guide you to your transportation. All the excursions we did were primarily beach-related, which is what we enjoy. Grand Cayman and Cozumel always have the clearest waters for snorkeling. The embarkation was super smooth. We had a suite, which gave us priority status in getting on the ship quicker ahead of the crowds, and our luggage arrived quicker. I recommend getting the fast access embarkation if you can, and make your boarding time as early as possible to avoid larger crowds and start enjoying the ship a little sooner. There were lots of activities always going on, so there is never a dull moment. Funny contests, Bingo, you name it. Ship has a full-size basketball court, and miniature golf, which was fun. There is an adults-only area at the front of the ship which has big comfy chairs with awnings and is very quiet. It has a large jacuzzi too. Just wish this area had a pool (which I think it originally did at one time). Cons with Carnival: This was our first cruise with Carnival. I knew that it probably wouldn't compare in quality to our experiences on Royal Caribbean or Princess, but the itinerary included Grand Cayman which we really like, the New Orleans port was easier for us to reach by car, and comparatively this cruise was a little cheaper in cost from others.. Our kids had never been on a cruise, so they absolutely loved this cruise (not having been on different ships before.) The food was good both in the dining room and on the buffet in the Lido deck. There is also a delicious hamburger stand, pizza stand, and a Mexican food stand at no extra charge. The waiter service at dinner time in the dining room was so-so, as the food sometimes took a while to arrive. The food was good, but not out of this world. We did not try the steak restaurant or the Italian restaurant (extra fee), but I hear the food is quite delicious in those places. My main complaint is that Carnival allows smoking on their ships, which I knew when I booked the cruise. Though smoking is only allowed on certain areas of the ship, there are times when you are walking around the ship that you smell it. The casino smells the worst, which is unfortunate. None of us tolerate the smell of cigarette smoke well, so we just avoided those areas in general. Our suite was mid-ship on deck 7, and we never smelled smoke there, thankfully. My hope is that Carnival will completely ban smoking in the near future. A minor concern... Many of the blue lounge chairs near the pools have some black residue on them which gets on your clothes, so always lay on a towel and not directly on the chairs. Overall we had a great time, and highly recommend the Carnival Dream if you are looking for an enjoyable cruise ship with a lot of nice amenities and a friendly staff! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
We booked this cruise with extended family and friends (19 in all). Every employee we interacted with was pleasant and seemed to be trying their best to do their job. In that regard, it was very much what we expected. There were also many ... Read More
We booked this cruise with extended family and friends (19 in all). Every employee we interacted with was pleasant and seemed to be trying their best to do their job. In that regard, it was very much what we expected. There were also many pleasant surprises - the Guy's Burgers, Guy's BBQ, and Blue Iguana Cantina food choices (Finally! Good Mexican food on a cruise ship!), while not numerous, were very delicious. Mongolian Wok and Tandoor areas offered good choices, as well. Nighttime entertainment was better than I have experienced on other ships. The dining room was really the weak link in our food experience and that had more to do with the service than the food itself. And, to be fair, the servers were definitely friendly and trying their best to do the right thing, but things kept going wrong. We spent one night waiting 45-50 minutes for our entrees to come out. For a cruise ship, this is pretty unusual. I also had an issue where 2 different beers that I ordered were not available (no biggie, it happens), but I was charged for both of them, then refunded for 1 that I had ordered 2 nights previous. I was then promised a free drink for the next night, which never appeared, despite being told that it was on its way. In the grand scheme of things, this is nit-picky, but notable. We also had a dining room breakfast where the food came out at al different times, with the folks who ordered pancakes just getting their food while the folks who ordered eggs/cereals were long done. We were a group of 12 at that breakfast, so perhaps the sheer size was a bit of surprise to the kitchen. The biggest negative on the ship are the laundry rooms. The card readers didn't work for half the people who tried to use them. We had 2 of the 6 driers on Deck 7 break. To the laundry manager's credit, he offered to take my wet laundry to the central laundry to be dried and delivered to my room. Unfortunately, the laundry was delivered to my room 5 minutes later, still wet. When I told the steward it was supposed to be dried, he said the laundry manager would be by to pick it up. I thought I had given it to a/the laundry manager to begin with, but waited. After 20 minutes, I called Guest services and they sent another steward to my room. The steward said I had to have a coupon from Guest Services for free laundry before he could take it. So, I then had to go to Guest Services to ask for a complimentary laundry coupon (after spending 5 minutes explaining to a very patient guest services rep all of the above). He printed a coupon, I called my regular room steward (who was awesome - Thanks, Calixto!) and he took the bag of wet clothes to be re-washed and dried. They were delivered back to my stateroom that night, folded and everything, but I spent a total of 90 minutes waiting or talking to different people trying to get some clothes dry because the laundry rooms are in disrepair. Launder at your own risk. Other than that, it was a very enjoyable cruise and we noted the improvements to the ship since the last time we were on it in 2012. Embarking was a little chaotic, but nothing we hadn't experienced with other cruise lines, and disembarking was pretty easy, even though my mother-in-law needed wheelchair assistance. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
This Cruise has been a personal dream of mine for a long time. It was included in my bucket list when I retired. The dream was to have our entire family with grandkids go on a cruise together. All different means of transportation was ... Read More
This Cruise has been a personal dream of mine for a long time. It was included in my bucket list when I retired. The dream was to have our entire family with grandkids go on a cruise together. All different means of transportation was used to arrive in New Orleans to make the Dream Cruise, "planes, trains and automobiles". As usual each means of travel has it issues but everyone was present at the pre-cruise meal on the river front in New Orleans the evening before embarkation. Our group consist of 14 Cruisers, 6 first time cruisers, 4 who had 21 days at sea, 2 who had 35 + days at sea and DW and I with over 125+ days. My overall review will include feedback from the family as well as my personal observations. Embarkation: It was nice the way group pictures were taken prior to check in. This allowed us platinum members to board according to our status. The overall process of check in went smooth for all. State Room’s: Our room #7454 Corner balcony was clean and ready for us when we got there. Water and fruit basket was delivered shortly after we arrived. All rooms were ready when we returned around 1:30. Did not hear any complaints about the condition of the five interior state rooms and one balcony room from the troops. All of the rooms were maintained by Adiputra, “D” is what we called him. Speaking for myself “D” rates in the top 3 room Stewards we have ever had. Now that says a lot for “D” he was there when you needed him, always happy and positive and called us by 1st name. Ok, Carnival, what is the advantage of removing the toilet brush from each state room? Think about it, these toilets flush differently and usually some residual “material” is left deposited on the sides after flushing. I for one prefer not having to view this every time I use the equipment. What is the problem with letting me perform a quick clean after use when the Steward only services the room once a day? I ask “D” and he said he would need his supervisors’ approval to provide one so just call him and he would come in and clean it for us. I think that is expecting too much from the Stewards who have 35 other rooms to take care of. Sail away: The group attended the sail away party on Lido deck with lots of fun and laughs. Anytime G-paw and gets on the dance floor the laughter begins. Mat our cruise director and his team did a good job of getting the crowd involved. Dining Room: Our group was linked, we had 6:00 PM seating, Scarlet Lower, so we Room 7454 had black soot or tar spots all over it. We had to take a hand towel and wipe the chairs prior to using or it would get on our clothes. Come on Carnival what is wrong, this ship just came out of dry dock and large particulate emissions from the stacks should be scrubbed. Love the size, location of this balcony but do not recommend because of the soot. should have been assigned the same table. What Carnival did was assigned 10 to a long table #405 and 4 across a busy isle table 463. Most nights we put four of our younger members at 463. With the kids moving back and forth between our two tables, constantly hanging feet in isle and the kitchen entry/exit just around corner, the waiting staff didn’t have any catastrophic disasters at our intersection, “unbelievable”. Dining room staff; THW-Numemano, TW-Elyas, and Asst TW-Putu. “This team was some of the top we have ever had” comments from the Platinum guests. “Numemano is the best waiter on the ship” was the comment from the 11-year-old. Nuemano’s team was mentioned more than any other when I ask the family who made there cruise special. We would like to also mention the personal service Emir from Bosnia and Mariana from Hungary provided at breakfast table #400 on Thursday 7/13. Entertainment on board: Lots to talk about here, younger group all like Circle C dodge ball, miniature golf, and the water slides. The Punchliner Comedy Club was enjoyed by all and more than once by others. One daughter had a very positive experience with Orlando at the red frog rum bar. Apparently, she ordered a special drink that required mint, it was not available at the bar. Orlando ran off to the pantry and found some just to make her drink. She thought this was a prime example of going over and above to provide great service. On sea days, the DW and I love listening to steel drums and we are glad to see it back on Carnival Dream. Movie nights was enjoyed by big part of the group. Most common complaint from our group including all age groups. Smoke on deck 5 in the casino. Carnival join the times, providing a place for smokers is acceptable but not in a common area. Everyone walking down the hall must be bothered by second hand smoke. This was brought to my attention by three of our pre-teen group members. Those nonsmokers who do visit the casino must remove clothes and take a shower afterwards because they reek of smoke. A lot of the smokers set in front of the machines and don’t even play. Ok Carnival, what is it with this previous dry dock. Less than a month ago this ship was in dry dock. On our second sea day, deck 11 was blocked by maintenance crew while they change out light fixtures. This restricted the use of some of the chairs when the musical entertainment was on stage. Bad timing. The Hub: The HUB App is great, most of us paid the $5 so we could communicate via text. The schedule “What’s Happening” didn’t always match what was published on the “Fun Times”. Overall rate this as a great addition and recommend it. Cruise Critic Meet and Mingle: Thanks Carnival for supporting this even tho all the members that sign up don’t show up. We did enjoy the informative carnival staff and refreshments. Fellow Cruise Critic members if we do not show up for these events, Carnivals will not support us much longer. Closing comments: Carnival Dream service staff on this cruise rates up there with the best we have ever had. Mat also rates up there with the top Cruise Directors. Mat is lots of fun, full of energy and he is visible all over the ship. My Dream has come true, hope it had a positive influence on the younger family members and was relaxing for the adults. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Overall the cruise was good to great. A few things could have been better but the whole experience was very enjoyable. The main reason for this review is the SPA and its importance to sanity. People cruise for many reasons. Some want ... Read More
Overall the cruise was good to great. A few things could have been better but the whole experience was very enjoyable. The main reason for this review is the SPA and its importance to sanity. People cruise for many reasons. Some want loud, excited alcohol-fueled fun. Others want to meet people and make connections. Still others want to eat as often and as much as is humanly and even inhumanly possible. The rest of us are looking for the opposite. That is what I found in the SPA and it comes at a very reasonable price. Cloud 9 offers a package for about 100 dollars or $189.00 per couple that allows access to the SPA from 8:00 am to 10:00 pm. This does not include any treatments but the amenities are worth more than any hour long massage or facial. The package gives you access to a fabulous "whirlpool". The technical name is long and pretentious but the experience is amazing. it is really good on sea days when you relax and feel the motion of the ship as the water takes all your stress away. The next area is a steam room that is the best I have ever experienced. The following two rooms are relaxing thermal rooms. They are not specifically a sauna but a welcome quiet warmth that counters the cold A/C of inside and the hot sun outside. Finally, the best room of all is the tea/water room. it is a cool oasis in a sea of over stimulation. The room has fruit infused waters and a variety of teas. The most important feature is the comfortable chairs and ocean view. I thought I would never cruise without a balcony again. Since the week I spent in the SPA, I now know I can do without it. I spent a minimum of three hours each day in the SPA. I would go their after shore excursions to shower is a large beautiful shower and then relax before dinner. I started all my sea days in the spa and ended there as well. The packages are limited which means you can truly have some peace from the crowds. Book early and enjoy the peace and quiet that some of us go on cruises to find. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
We've been on Carnival cruises in the past and they have upped their game! Service was very good. Food has gotten better. Shore excursions were very fun, well organized, very informative and priced appropriately. I found the spa ... Read More
We've been on Carnival cruises in the past and they have upped their game! Service was very good. Food has gotten better. Shore excursions were very fun, well organized, very informative and priced appropriately. I found the spa services a little lacking however. Massage was okay. Certainly not the best I've ever had. The manicure was the worst ever. $50.00 and she fiiled the ridges off across the top of my nails leaving them so thin they broke off within the next 2 days and were a mess. Also whatever services they have ,they try to sell you way overpriced products. The ship was very clean and room was nice with balcony. Our room steward was very good and friendly. He introduced himself right away and asked when we normally like to have our room serviced. He always took care of everything when we wanted and made great towel animals every day. Outdoor movies were okay for viewing but very hard to hear with the kids still in the pool and loud and splashing. We really enjoyed the entertainment every evening. A very talented bunch! Embarkation was smooth and timely as was debarkation. Enjoyed our day in New Orleans where we did Cajun Encounters Swamp Tour. Very fun! Ate at Kenny's Seafood, it's a fish market and restaurant , very good food! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
This was my disabled sons first cruise so we did something with port that was drivable and affordable. He loved it. Our balcony cabin was alright. The crew couldn't have been nicer. Unfortunately, the shows sound was too loud for ... Read More
This was my disabled sons first cruise so we did something with port that was drivable and affordable. He loved it. Our balcony cabin was alright. The crew couldn't have been nicer. Unfortunately, the shows sound was too loud for him we took earphones for him to wear but it was just too much so we didn't do the shows. He enjoyed the casino slot machines, but as a non smoker the smell was just too much for me. Our dining staff was wonderful, they made sure his gluten free diet was met by allowing us to order his meals the night before. The food was just adequate, not great but not awful. The ports were cruise ports, not being big on water activities and just mainly letting our son experience the ship we enjoyed walking around the shopping areas. As for going on another Carnival cruise,maybe but I would check other lines first. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
We were part of an alumni group (Geaux Cajuns) that cruised the Carnival Dream on May 14-21, 2017. We upgraded to a 6th floor balcony room which proved to be a good move. The room and bed were comfortable. The balcony was private as you ... Read More
We were part of an alumni group (Geaux Cajuns) that cruised the Carnival Dream on May 14-21, 2017. We upgraded to a 6th floor balcony room which proved to be a good move. The room and bed were comfortable. The balcony was private as you had to lean out to see below. Just over our balcony were lounge chairs and not far down was a hot tub and other outdoor furniture. Some time during every day we had direct sun and could sunbathe on the balcony. The food varied on this ship. The regular dining room menus change daily but always included fish, pork, beef and vegetarian options. The dinner menu included salads, appetizers, sides and entrees and you can order more than one of anything on the menu. On the seadays, they offered brunch from 8:30 to 1:00. That menu ranged from eggs to salmon and included sides and desserts. Huevos Rancheros was an especially good dish on the brunch menu. Pig and Anchor served very good bbq but was only opened on seadays and then only for 2.5 hours at lunchtime. We mistakenly waited till the last seaday to try this restaurant. The Lido deck food area is open most of the time. It is open from the beginning of your cruise so don't bother eating lunch before boarding. It reminded me of a food court in a mall, looked better than it tasted. The desserts all tasted bland and the same. This quality is the reason I gave the cruise a 4/5. Free drinks found here are coffee, hot chocolate, tea and lemonade. They have shops on board for most anything. Bring any incidentals from home that you can think of; I needed bandaids and it cost $6.50 for a regular box. We enjoyed the BINGO games, casino, and the comedy shows. Though this was my first cruise, I walked away very clear that cruises are about up-sales. They don't make money off of your room but from your drinking, shopping and gambling habits. Though not tacky, they are looking for ways to help you spend more money than you planned. Disembarkation was VERY effecient! We left our stateroom at 8:30 to hang out at Lido deck until our zone was called to disembark. Once called, we were through customs and back to our luggage in 30-40 minutes. We were completely through the process and calling an Uber by 10:00. It was approximately a 30 minute ride to NOLA airport. The staff was friendly, helpful and always working and cleaning. The ship was well cared for- nothing looked dirty or in need of repair. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
Since my boyfriend and I live in New Orleans, it was a no-brainer to take a cruise on the Carnival Dream. We did not bring kids, but there were many on this cruise. It was a real mixture of age ranges and races on the ship, which was ... Read More
Since my boyfriend and I live in New Orleans, it was a no-brainer to take a cruise on the Carnival Dream. We did not bring kids, but there were many on this cruise. It was a real mixture of age ranges and races on the ship, which was nice. We were dropped off at the Port of N.O. at about 1pm, the line was long but embarkation went pretty quickly and smoothly. We noticed that a lot of people in line had boxes of soft drinks with them. The ship only gives you water, lemonade, and iced tea from the machines on the Lido deck. There is a charge for all other drinks, including the bottled water in the cabin! We were able to get into our cabin just after 1:30pm, which was located on the 8th deck. Our steward was Rubi, a very nice man from Indonesia. I would highly recommend him. The cabin was fine. My complaint was that we did not have a sliding glass door to enter the balcony, it was a regular glass door. I like to keep the door open when we are relaxing to hear the ship moving through the water, but that was not possible in this cabin. Our bathroom had soap, shampoo, and body wash, but no hair conditioner. There is a blow dryer in the cabin. Pack a sweater since the air conditioning on the ship is quite chilly. Bring earplugs for the Encore shows, they are at a high decibel level for sure. The food in the Scarlet dining room was really good. Appetizers, entrees, and desserts all 8 or 9 on a 10 scale. At dinner we were seated with 4 other couples and we all got along great. The buffet food on the Lido deck was also quite good, generally 7 or 8 on a 10 scale. Of course everyone loves "Swirls", the soft serve ice cream machine! The decor on the ship is what I would describe as "Tacky 1970s", but after a while we stopped noticing it so much and really began to just enjoy our time there as the week went on. We spent lots of time swimming in the pools, which are salt water, and also we enjoyed the hot tubs. The shows at night were very good. We saw a Motown revue, an 80s music show (my favorite), a tribute to movies called Flick, an American Rock show, and the cruise director (Chris Williams, aka The Flying Scotsman) had his own show as well. He is a terrific singer, funny, and super talented. Chris also hosted "Love and Marriage", which was hilarious. We even went to the "Towel Animal Theater" which was cute. We did not do any excursions on this cruise. If I were to go back to Montego Bay, I would check out the Community Tour through Carnival. I would also check out scuba diving options in Cozumel. We got off the ship in each location and spent a little time at Bayshore Mall in Grand Cayman. We took a cab in Cozumel to get to the main shopping area. ($8 each way) In Montego Bay we hired a local driver named Dave Heavens to take us around the city for an hour. He charged us $35. He is really nice and dependable and I would recommend him. Overall, we had a fun and relaxing time on the Carnival Dream and I would do this cruise again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
Our group of 10 (3 separate families) had a wonderful VACATION on the Carnival Dream! I capitalized the word VACATION because our cruise captured the essence of the word. There was no cooking, no cleaning, no cramped calendar to follow... ... Read More
Our group of 10 (3 separate families) had a wonderful VACATION on the Carnival Dream! I capitalized the word VACATION because our cruise captured the essence of the word. There was no cooking, no cleaning, no cramped calendar to follow... It was fabulous. Each family in our group had different interests, so it was easy to separate and do what we wanted without feeling like we were leaving other family members behind. There is literally something for everyone on board, and it was lovely to reconvene together each evening for dinner. DINNER needs a paragraph of its own. If you don't eat in the dining room each evening (or at least most of them), you are missing out on a key part of the cruise experience on this ship. The food is incredible, the service is impeccable and the staff is so lovable. Our wait staff team (Toviik, Ramone and Jacob) quickly became more than just waiters to us. They were attentive, kind and funny, and they formed relationships with every person in the group, aged 11-70. Go ahead... Try the escargot! Have another lobster tail! Order two desserts! We enjoyed every meal together with our new friends. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
Pros: Friendly attentive service from all crew. Great cruise director, Chris, The Flying Scotsman, who was talented, energetic, and available to anyone who stopped him to talk or take pictures. A bit hard to understand until we got used ... Read More
Pros: Friendly attentive service from all crew. Great cruise director, Chris, The Flying Scotsman, who was talented, energetic, and available to anyone who stopped him to talk or take pictures. A bit hard to understand until we got used to his accest. (Maybe he should use his American accent) The singers, dancers and live music entertainment were all great! No problem finding seating in the theater for any production or event. Liked not having to put on life jackets or go to muster station for the drill. Food in dining room was typical Carnival fare, always much variety and several sides to choose from. Lobster on 2nd night was a surprise and we ordered extras without a problem. Never a problem finding something to our liking. No long waiting for Anytime Dining and beeper system made it great so no standing in long lines. We think it was better than lines to wait for entry for traditional dining hours. Embarkation went easily and debarkation was better than many others we have participated in. Front desk people were helpful and sympathetic about the loss/stolen cell phone that happened to me. They called my provider from the sea to let me cancel the phone service once it was not turned in. Sad to know people will be dishonest. Cannot comment on bar service since we do not drink on the ship. Loved lox and bagel at Deli daily, just wish it was available before 11:30am. Absolutely LOVED using the HUB onboard to keep in touch with our friends also on the ship. Great way to keep track of daily events and and all the info available without a fee! Enjoyed two movies on outdoor screen but the lounge chairs were not comfortable for two hours in length. Wish there were cushions or will use blankets and maybe large towels for next cruise! Cons: Wear and tear on carpets and some furniture showed. Tape on showroom carpet was not great to see. Needs replacement soon. Most of the shows and Chris' own show was geared to the 80's music and genre. We as seniors, found it unfamiliar and loud, but did enjoy the other music options of the duo singer/guitarist and the violin duo, although their sound could have been a bit quieter when playing in the main lobby. Wish the port was Falmouth or Ocho Rios in Jamaica, MoBay is awful! Stayed on ship! Shore excursion to DISCOVER MEXICO in Cozumel was interesting but should have stated in brochure that it was not air conditioned. Suggestion to bring water and a face towel might help. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
I booked this cruise because I wanted to cruise out of New Orleans. I was a bit nervous as I wanted a laid back vacation and our last Carnival Cruise quite a few years ago was just too much loud rap music and heavy drinking. I was ... Read More
I booked this cruise because I wanted to cruise out of New Orleans. I was a bit nervous as I wanted a laid back vacation and our last Carnival Cruise quite a few years ago was just too much loud rap music and heavy drinking. I was happily surprised to find the music selections much better and the crowds less party-hearty. Embarkation went pretty quickly and we didn't wait very long before boarding. I had heard negative comments about the food but found that both my husband and I were satisfied with food in the MDR. It felt to me that there was alot of attention paid to the dining on this ship and we noticed numerous supervisors and ship staff checking on things. I hate those ugly wood breadbaskets, but they are what they are and I'd prefer a full setting of tableware and not just a fork and knife. We did dine in the steakhouse and were not "wowed" at all and found it comparable to what we had in the dining room in taste and quality. The ship was quite congested on Deck 5 and I didn't care for the layout of atrium and main venues on 4 and 5 as it always felt quite congested. The music in the atrium was great but at times too loud. We enjoyed the sea day brunch and rarely ate in the cafeteria, but did grab deli sandwiches mid-afternoon some days for a late lunch. The Indian food, pizza, Blue Iquana and the Pig and Anchor offered plenty of alternatives for lunches. We also found spots away from the crowds all over the ship with comfortable chairs. I liked the layouts of the outer deck areas. We had an aft corner cabin and on almost all lines I love those afts because they are quiet and ours was no exception. Never heard anything from the lounge below or the pounding of kid feet. The downer was that I do enjoy a dip in the pool and in the case of this trip the two pools were over-run with kids. It's a shame they don't make the aft pool adult only. I tried to get in the pool one day but the little darlings were jumping and tossing a ball around. The stops were secondary for us. Cozumel is always an enjoyable stop and one we've been to numerous times. Belize was OK, although none of the excursions wowed me. Roatan was all about hanging out on a beach and we certainly did that. Mahogany Bay is very "disney-esque" so enjoyable for an afternoon and the vistas of Roatan are pretty. Debarkation was the typical madhouse like pretty much any ship, but it did move along quite well. We were off, through customs and on the way to the airport about a half hour earlier than I expected. If I hadn't had an early flight I think we would have had some breakfast and had an even easier time exiting. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
We've cruised on the dream before, just not in a cabin on the front of the ship. Next time I'll be in the middle or aft. The overall cruise was good, but Carnival was a little off this time. This was probably due to the fact that ... Read More
We've cruised on the dream before, just not in a cabin on the front of the ship. Next time I'll be in the middle or aft. The overall cruise was good, but Carnival was a little off this time. This was probably due to the fact that the cruise prior to our cruise was a specialty cruise. Our departure time was 2 hours later than normal. It took longer to get our luggage, around 8 at night, and our fun times and Vifp stuff we normally have waiting in our room was delivered sometime while we were at dinner. (A couple of the vifp things we never received). We also ordered two cases of water for our room which were to be delivered the first day. When it didn't show up by the second day I called guest services, and she said she would check into it. It finally showed up that afternoon. We were excited to try the Pig and Anchor BBQ, but don't bother. It was ok at best. The burgers at Guys were great, as was the pizza. Overall, our cruise was good. Our cabin steward was great, as were our waiters in the dining room. Just a little disappointed in this cruise as Carnival in the past has always exceeded my expectations. 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
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
Liked the deportation city of New Orleans, 3 hours from our home, with family where we could spend the night before, and no need for a flight. However, very few people on the trip were from Louisiana. The ship was huge, with over 3000 ... Read More
Liked the deportation city of New Orleans, 3 hours from our home, with family where we could spend the night before, and no need for a flight. However, very few people on the trip were from Louisiana. The ship was huge, with over 3000 passengers. Surprisingly, even though the ship was fully booked, I never noticed the mobs of people I expected to see. The weather was cooler than expected, so the pools were not crowded. DH likes the buffet, and even though we selected early dining, we only went to eat there one night. The dining and buffet have some of the same entrees, although the dining has more selections. If you want to drink with your meal, don't mind waiting a few minutes for your food and want more elegant decor, then go with the dining. With the buffet, the food is ready and you can go back for more of something right away (if you have room). The lines never got very long. The one drawback I noticed was the food wasn't as warm as I would have liked at the buffet. I like buttered toast in the morning, and the toast was room temperature. We were told that we could ask for an attendant to toast some for us, but when my husband asked, the food attendant simply pointed at the toast- the food service employees are as friendly as you could ask for, but many are not very English proficient. The coffee was very good and always piping hot! Failsafe ways to get hot food- Mongolian Wok, Guys Hamburger, Guys Barbeque, omelet station. Big plus for the buffet was the large selection of fruits and vegetables. You could easily fill up just on this. Thanks for not having many fried foods guys! We never tried the pizza but it was open 24 hours, as was the self serve soft ice cream. Drinks available for no cost at the buffet are iced tea, coffee, lemonade, apple juice, and sometimes a mango mix drink, and water. Tip: The food tends to be not highly seasoned, so if you like it this way then you might want to bring your own favorite seasoning. All that is available on the table is salt and pepper. There are some sauces available, such as soy, ketchup, etc. We saw one show on board, the Motor City, and it was very well performed with singing and dancing. Also one comedy show, Just June, very funny. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
This cruise got off to a rough start because of a difficult embarkation process and then rough seas for the first two days at sea. My wife and I both were ill. Now to the good. The balcony cabin was nice. Plenty of space and a nice ... Read More
This cruise got off to a rough start because of a difficult embarkation process and then rough seas for the first two days at sea. My wife and I both were ill. Now to the good. The balcony cabin was nice. Plenty of space and a nice sized bathroom. Overall the food was good ( especially liked Guy's Burgers). The stage shows were very good, especially impressive was the technical backgrounds and the performer interaction with the projected imagery. The seats in the theater get a bit uncomfortable after a time. The comedy shows were also good as well as various groups playing around the ship.. I particularly liked the violin trio. The public areas of the ship were nice kept very clean to the point that parts of the Lido deck were slippery from excessive mopping. There is too much space being occupied by photographers and photo displays. Everyone has a phone, Let us enjoy the cruise.without constant photo pestering. As far as getting of the ship Jamaica was disappointing, but the Caymans were beautiful and so was Cozumel. The tendering went smoothly in the Caymans and it is fun to glide over the turquoise crystal clear water. Finally the disembarkation featured too much waiting and long lines. Not sure of the problem there. All in all a good cruise. 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
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
We were on the Dream for the Mardi Gras cruise. It was also our first cruise. Overall, I would have to say that we enjoyed the cruise. Embarkation went very smoothly (no FTTF) , we had the 11:00-12:00 boarding time and I was in my ... Read More
We were on the Dream for the Mardi Gras cruise. It was also our first cruise. Overall, I would have to say that we enjoyed the cruise. Embarkation went very smoothly (no FTTF) , we had the 11:00-12:00 boarding time and I was in my lounge chair with drink in hand by Noon. The ship was in great shape. Our cabin stewardess was awesome. Next the food: The buffett was pretty good (especially for breakfast), there was a little lady named Wassana who was always so happy and nice directing traffic..her enthusiasm for the guests was very contagious. We very much liked Guy's Burgers, the Pig and Pull anchor BBQ, Blue Iquana Cantina and Pizza Del Capitano ... all very good. Pasta Bella was mediocre. DW and I have mixed views on the Steakhouse. I liked it...her not so much. The main dining room dinner food was disappointing. (Except for chocolate melting cake...yum!), so much so, that we only ate there twice. We didn't see lot of the shows..we did see two of the late night comedy shows and liked them. Other than that, we really didn't see any of the other shows on board. Loved the bars! Alchemey Bar is very cool. Blue Iquana Bar and Red Frog Rum Bar were also very good..* Blue slightly being my favorite of those two..but it was close. Even the jackpot casino bar made some excellent drinks. I did find that well placed cash tips at the beginning of the cruise =stronger pours for the rest of the trip! :-) Jamaica was ok...we took our own trip to Dr.Cave beach...it was fine,,,it was a beach. Grand Cayman was awesome...we swam with the Stingrays and snorkled...(bought the excursion separately..not through Carnival and saved some $$). Beautiful place! Cozumel also was wonderful! We went on an excursion to Tulum to tour the ruins. Awesome excursion! Again, booked it ourselves and saved $$ and had a small group. This allowed us to get great personalized attention by our guides. Got some great pictures as well! Disembarkation was a HOT MESS! For some reason, they had the deck three gangway closed and it took forever to get downstairs and off the ship..I'm just glad that we had planned to stay in NO Sunday night! I repeat...A HOT MESS! Overall, while there were some things that we did not like, we had a good time and I would have to say that we have definitely caught the cruise bug! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
Overall, we had a wonderful trip! That said, here is the good and the bad... It was Mardi Gras in New Orleans, but we had no problem quickly and easily getting to the port by simply planning to leave the hotel (near the airport) ... Read More
Overall, we had a wonderful trip! That said, here is the good and the bad... It was Mardi Gras in New Orleans, but we had no problem quickly and easily getting to the port by simply planning to leave the hotel (near the airport) early. There are plenty of things nearby to occupy anyone needing to waste a little time. Embarkation went smoothly and quickly. Our cabin, despite being only an interior Deck One cabin, was more than large enough for two of us, and very comfortable. I didn't feel cramped in any way, and we actually had far more storage than we needed. The only precaution is there is a small step with a metal lip going into the bathroom which I tripped over the first night and broke my toe. I wish there was more than ONE outlet in the entire cabin, even a second would make life easier. The ship, the Carnival Dream, is nice enough, but it is very poorly laid out. There is no main deck promenade that you can take across the entire ship (unless you want to walk through the very cigarette smoke-filled casino or through the packs of teenagers blocking the hall near their club). The ship is also very dark, much like a Vegas casino with no clocks anywhere that we could find. The buffet was decent, though they never changed up breakfast (the only mean we took there) so that was boring. The dining room was ok, the good pretty good, and our staff were very good and friendly. Afternoon tea was delightful! We enjoyed most of the shows, and were sad that so few seats were filled. (I felt so bad for the singer on the last night, who was amazing, but there was almost no audience there.) I think the shows were weak compared to other ships I've been on, but they were still entertaining. I chalk some of it up to the guests on board. The Cruise Director was fun, though it was obvious he and this "Fun Crew" were spread far too thin, running everything all day and night long. Our excursion were handled VERY well, even when one was canceled. (The crew at the excursion desk made it easy to find and book an alternative the night before). We enjoyed the Rose Hall excursion, though there was no reason to rush us through the shops (we were literally given 15 minutes only when there were hours before we had to be back to the ship). The sunken ship & reef snorkel in Grand Cayman was excellent. The port in Jamaica was disappointing, after having been in Falmouth, which is a busy, clean port. Grand Cayman and Cozumel ports, however, were excellent. This is nothing Carnival has anything to do with, other than where they allow smoking, but there were SO many smokers on this cruise, it was disgusting...and they were smoking everywhere! The waterslides were fun. The jacuzzis were icy cold, and overrun with so many children, you couldn't get near them anyway, and thus making the only hot ones on Serenity deck packed all the time. Serenity deck was nice, if you could find a free place to sit. The spa facilities seemed wonderful, but way too expensive. Overall, we enjoyed our vacation, but will probably return to RC or NCL for future cruises. I just think it suits our travel style better. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
About us: This was my 9th cruise. Myself, my husband, and our 2 year old. My parents and my cousin went. We celebrated my birthday and hers aboard the ship. The Good: Embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly for the ... Read More
About us: This was my 9th cruise. Myself, my husband, and our 2 year old. My parents and my cousin went. We celebrated my birthday and hers aboard the ship. The Good: Embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly for the most part. My husband accidentally left his wedding band in our safe and the room steward found it and turned it in. This happened while we were disembarking. Dining was delicious as always. It was fun trying different foods. My dad loved the flat iron steak (ended up with it most nights), and I am obsessed with the Carnival Melting Cake, not sure what I will do without it each night. The dining staff was on top of things and always had a smile for us. The waitstaff on lido deck was always very friendly and talked to and played with my son. The food at Pig and Anchor BBQ was yummm!! We were too tired most nights to enjoy the entertainment but what we did see was nice. I liked the different ports offered. Roatan: enjoyed a private tour by Rony's Tours. Our driver, Arnold, was awesome. We were able to visit the monkey/sloth preserve, an orphanage where we brought school supplies to, and had a delicious lunch. We gave our leftovers to some local dogs because they are so skinny. We found out they don't have a spay/neuter program and many dogs just roam looking for food. We would have liked to snorkel but the water had turned up the bottom in West Bay too much. Belize: We really enjoyed the Altun Ha ruins. It was very very hot!! The tour guide said 98. Everyone stayed hydrated with water. I only made it to the top of the tallest and that was enough for me. Beautiful views and great local history. We stopped for a local lunch of chicken, rice, and beans which everyone enjoyed. Cozumel: Went to Playa Mia and enjoyed the day on the beach. The food is pretty good, drinks are good, and there is a great play area for the little ones. There are also two nice pools. We got our hair braided, it was $4 a braid. A little pricey compared to other island but I thought it was cute. They also had paddle boats, a playground, and other things that we didn't get to try. The port itself where we docked was nice with a variety of shops and entertainers. Shops on the ship: We picked up some items which we hope are good buys (have yet to price match). The candy shop is overpriced, as most candy shops are. They had a good T-shirt sale the last night, 2 for 20. I also got some perfume which is always cheaper than on the mainland. People: Most people were great. Many people talked to our soon and made easy conversation. The bad: The people. Towards the middle of the cruise we noticed more people getting a little rude. They would run into you or the stroller and not say anything. Not speak if you talk to them...try to get on the tender when it wasn't their turn. We also noticed some people just let their kids 8 years and up just roam the ship with their buddies. We ran into several kids being rude..... Pig and Anchor BBQ and the hamburger place: There were always super long lines, please figure out a way to make it go faster. Pig and Anchor was only open a limited amount of time and there were no refreshments available nearby.... Birthday celebrations: They gave me a card for a free picture for my birthday (woot woot, super cool), but then on her birthday she didn't get one. We went to ask for one for her as well (different cabin but on the same reservations) and we were told it was a random thing and not everyone got one...not cool Carnival, not cool. The ugly: I had read ahead of time if kids are potty trained they are allowed in the pool. We, along with a bunch of other kids were in the pool all week. The last sea day we were told our son couldn't be in the pool unless he was 5 or older. This was told to us by a Carnival worker. We weren't even in the pool, but sitting on the deck and he was splashing in the water. After that we seen other kids in the water, some clearly in swim diapers. Nothing said to them. When we went up the splash pad with our son the sign says 36" or shorter. Both times we were up there, there were quite a few "big" kids running around and bumping into the little ones. There was a worker supervising the area and not once was anything said. Also, we weren't allowed to take our son on certain excursions through the ship because of his age, but could on a private tour (I'm just talking tours here, nothing physical....) Finally, it was annoying that we paid full price for our son to be limited to the things he can do. Tendering: This was horrible!!! There were so many mad people. We were down there at 8 when they first said we could. They did not get group 2 off of the boat until 9:30. Again, lots of angry people missing private tours and in general just loosing time off ship. Coming back was horrible! The line went from area 1 past area 4. Waited over an hour in the sun to get back on. Again, more angry people. Playa Mia: My cousin stepped on an urchin while in the sectioned off area of the ocean. They called the paramedics who spoke no English. The translator couldn't speak it well either. Her foot was literally turning bright purple and bleeding and he rubbed some ointment on it and offered a 200 mg Advil. They wanted to take her to the hospital for x-rays. I asked repeadily if it could be an urchin, they had no idea what I was talking about. As a paramedic at a beach resort I would think you would be trained on the possible hazards in the water. We rushed back to the ship to be seen by the ship doctors...which leads back to the good. The ships doctors were awesome. They took care of her, calmed her down, and got her the necessary treatment needed. The doctor was super nice. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
Choose this cruise so that my wife and I could spend a week with her sister and brother in law. This was the time that he could take vacation. Embarkation was a mess with no one knowing what was going on. The same with getting off the ... Read More
Choose this cruise so that my wife and I could spend a week with her sister and brother in law. This was the time that he could take vacation. Embarkation was a mess with no one knowing what was going on. The same with getting off the ship. Bussing of tables in the buffet was also very spotty. Waiters would walk by and leave a dirty table. Did not see the number of officers that usually walk ship so this might have been the reason. Roatan and Cozumel were very good stops. But Belize needs to be remove from the list if they ever overbook again and will not supply the tenders for the passengers to get to shore. But overall I enjoyed the cruise, weather was great. And we had a nice family vacation. I just wish the cruise lines would understand that they are keeping a large number of people out of the casino with they do not provide for the non smokers. Would have loved to play some blackjack or poker but I do not smoke and I will not let some blow smoke on me. So all my gambling money left the ship with me. All of the staff were eager to please when asked. But table service around the bars was non-existent. Boo Carnival. Dining staff very good except on show nights when they were asked to preform for the guest. Would have rather been able to get second glass of wine instead of watching my waiter who had no sense of rhythm dance. Boo Carnival. Belize was a total mess. No shore excursion booked so we couldn't get off ship until 12:30 and had to be back onboard at 4. So with the 40 minutes of tender time left very little time to explore the port. Boo Boo Carnival. I really thought something should have been done about this instead of just giving us excuses, This was one of my worse experience ever on a cruise. Again Boo Boo Carnival. Food was little above average. The addition of Guy's Burgers and The Pig and Anchor is what really helped. Entertainment was so so. The Motown show was excellent while the hypnotist and magic act was just one degree above bad. Bands and the Piano Bar were very good. Embarkation must have been designed my squirrels and run by chipmunks It was real cluster****. Still don't know why they gave us a time to check in. They weren't ready for us at that time. Getting off ship was just as squirrelly as never heard any times or group called. We just walked up and off with the first group without knowing if it was our or not. But all thing considered it was still an enjoyable cruise and when we take our next cruise I will check with Carnival and see what they have to offer. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
Went on this cruise for my wife's birthday, our anniversary and my birthday. We loved our balcony cabin on the back corner of the ship. The cruise director Chris the flying Scotsman was outstanding. Only question was why the food ... Read More
Went on this cruise for my wife's birthday, our anniversary and my birthday. We loved our balcony cabin on the back corner of the ship. The cruise director Chris the flying Scotsman was outstanding. Only question was why the food places were closed so early, pizza and sandwiches only thing you could get after about 9:00 pm. BBQ place was open from 12-2:30 on sea days only. We did enjoy the steakhouse on board, we went twice. It is an extra fee but worth it. The shows were entertaining and we enjoyed them a lot. The ports were nice. Roatan beach was great and close to the pier. The zip line and cave tubing in Belize was great. The zip lines were a bit short but ok. We went swimming with the Rays in Cozumel and it was a blast, got to hold them and feed them. Would like to go on more carnival cruises in the future. 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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