Sail Date: December 2012
Just go back from our cruise on the Dream and overall it was thumbs up. The boat was top shelf and we enjoyed the cove aft forward cabin. I would have to agree with other rveiwers that there is a loud banging from time to time from the ... Read More
Just go back from our cruise on the Dream and overall it was thumbs up. The boat was top shelf and we enjoyed the cove aft forward cabin. I would have to agree with other rveiwers that there is a loud banging from time to time from the water hitting the boat so if you're a lite slepper you may want to go elsewher. 2nd deck was a great location however cause it was near the dining and the atrium bar with easy access to the theater too. We did our ususal pre-night stay at the Hampton Inn which was fine as always with transport to the boat easy. Check in was also a breeze even though Carnival sent us an email not to show up until 1, we easuly boarded at 11:30 and could have got on earluer is we disregarded their email. The best thing about this ship, the food! It was fantastic everywhere from the dining room, to the buffets (although lines wer elong) to the great pizza and burgers by the pool. Our wait staff was fantastic with the amazing Gary giving us double portions of everything. A little known gem was the comedy brunch on boht sea days where you could get a fine filet mignon and eggs in the main dining room. Other great things were the serenity deck, what a relaxing place on the front of the boat. The boat could have used a few more pubs though... The worst thing was the entertainmnet. It was truly bad even though they tried their best. This entertainment was just not on the level of our other cruises and many people complained although some of the comics were good. For Cozumel we went to Chankanaab and it was fantastic! For one admission price you got some great reefs to snorkel on, a sea lion and dolphin show, a crocodile zoo, lagoon, ruins and a very festive Tequila shop/musuem. Be sure to get the free tshirt on the way out, the guys in the gift shop were fun and fabulous! For Belize we did the cave tubing and ATVing with cave tubing.com. Skip the ATV's they were boring, muddy and dangerous. The cave tubing was fantastic though, very relaxing. Be warned it's a 45 minute hike through the jungle to get to the beginning of the caves but well worth it. Trasport back and forth to Belize was easy. In Roatan we did the beginners dive with Anemona dive shop through the excelent Isalnd Marketing tours. Josh our driver was outstading at giving us a tour on the way to the dive shop. We did the beginners dive and it was safty first all the way,. We went down 45 fett for 45 minutes at a reef they took us out too. What a blast! In Costa Maya we almost didn't get out of the complex as it was drizzling, but we rented a golf cart and drove down to Corona Cove with the wonderful Sergio as our host. You could snooze, Seaa kayak, get a massage all at the very commrecial but and beautiful beach. Overall a fine journey and we look forward to our next! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2012
We just sailed on the Carnival Dream on 15 Dec 2012 for a 7 day Eastern Caribbean cruise. there were 6 of us in two cabins on the Lido deck, 10232 and 10234. We must say, we had a pretty incredible time on the Dream, she is a beautiful ... Read More
We just sailed on the Carnival Dream on 15 Dec 2012 for a 7 day Eastern Caribbean cruise. there were 6 of us in two cabins on the Lido deck, 10232 and 10234. We must say, we had a pretty incredible time on the Dream, she is a beautiful ship with plenty of things to do at all hours. My kids would spend the entire day in the pool and on the water slides. When they were not doing this, they would either go to camp carnival or do mini golf or the arcade. They always had something to do. The wife and I always had stuff to do as well. Often tho' things we wanted to do would clash...so we would have to miss out on one or the other...not a problem but always tough decisions to make. Talking with a crew member, she stated that ship had 4500+ passengers, 900 which were kids...we were just shy of the coast guard max of 4600 for this ship. I never felt the ship to be crowded. I never waited in a food line for more than 10 minutes and always found a table for my family of 6. Dining room was excellent, food was warm to hot, which was fine with us. Serving crew were very cool and fun. We never smelt the bad smell mentioned in some posts. Our rooms were extremely quiet at night, no problems there. We always found tables or seats at the comedy club or the shows...but we would arrive at a minimum a half hour early. It amazes me that people would show up 5 minutes before showtime and complain loudly they can't find a seat, a pretty unrealistic and ridiculous expectation if you ask me. Faster to the Fun (FTTF): I have to say it was totally worth the $50. The fact we were able to board the boat at 1030am and go straight to our room and have our luggage waiting for us there was most awesome! The ability to use the priority line at guest services was most awesome as well. There were times the line wrapped around by the elevators and nobody in the priority line. Debarkation was cool as well, with FTTF we were zone 2, would have been zone 9 otherwise. We got off the ship right after the self assist passengers...almost no crowd when getting our luggage and going thru customs....very quick process and right to a waiting cab. We had early seating dining so didn't have to use FTTF for priority seating. There was no need to use for the steakhouse either as we received the reservation we asked for and it wasn't crowded. We did not tender at any port so no need to use it there either. I would most definately buy FTTF again if available on a future cruise. We had absolutely zero issues on the Dream. We only watched one show, Dancing in the streets, and that was amazing. We played some Bingo for fun, we played in the Casino and had a blast. Went to two comedy shows and they were hilarious, they even flew in two new comedians when we were in St Martin's. So new shows and jokes for the last two sea days! We also got the couple's spa pass ($250) for the week and really enjoyed using the spa rooms. All in all a great time on a great ship! As they say, a cruise is as good as you want to make it. I saw some lady go off and have a fit because they had set out Caribbean food in the buffet that day. She didn't like Caribbean food and was complaining loudly, stating how awful the service was..etc. All this because she didn't like this style of food. Nevermind the fact, she could've taken a pass on the buffet and eaten at the Wok, the Tandoori, the burger/hot dog grill, the pizza bar, the burrito bar, the Pasta Bar or the Deli during that time. Some people just want to sit there and complain apparently. I would absolutely take my family on the dream again. If you are thinking about sailing on the Dream, I hope you do and I hope you have as much fun on her as me and my family did :) Read Less
Sail Date: December 2012
My wife and I have cruised before on NCL, Princess and Celebrity this because rooms for 5 persons were available and we had 4 grandchildren traveling with the group was the reason we selected Carnival. The room for 5 was an outside cabin ... Read More
My wife and I have cruised before on NCL, Princess and Celebrity this because rooms for 5 persons were available and we had 4 grandchildren traveling with the group was the reason we selected Carnival. The room for 5 was an outside cabin set up wonderfully as was the first cove balcony with room for 3. Our Cabin which was 2435 was also a cove balcony for 3 and was a nightmare when it came to trying to sleep as the noise above the cabin was at times loud and other times unbearable. This cabin is under the galley and should be sold only to those passengers who are either hard of hearing or by the Central Intelligence Agency to be used to garner intelligence from prisoners now that waterboarding is no longer in vogue. The good news is our daughter and son and their respective spouses had a very enjoyable time. My grandchildren ages 8, 6, 5 and 3 loved their first cruise and enjoyed all the facilities including Camp Carnival. Would my wife and I ever choose to sail with Carnival again the answer is a Resounding NO based on our sleepness nights because of our accomodation. For those cruise passengers who enjoy hot food at dinner at least in the Scarlet Restaurant to which we were assisned it was rarely hot but the grandkids seemed to enjoy the many options. My wife and I could not despite reporting the noise above our room to the service desk could not lower the din above us but were reimbursed 20% of what we had paid for the room. Happy and safe cruising to all. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2012
Carnival Dream My husband and I sailed on the Dream the week before Christmas with our two teen boys. Over all we had a complete blast. It was all just wonderful! I will mention some things that annoyed me below just for information, but ... Read More
Carnival Dream My husband and I sailed on the Dream the week before Christmas with our two teen boys. Over all we had a complete blast. It was all just wonderful! I will mention some things that annoyed me below just for information, but please understand that they were just small things, and there were so many more great and pleasing things to overshadow them. Port Canaveral is a good port to leave from. No worries there. It was easy to find the right terminal, drop off our bags with a port porter, park, and get through the boarding process. I think the whole thing took us (no kidding) twenty minutes, tops. We were on the ship eating Mongolian wok stir-fry by eleven o'clock! We were even able to get into our rooms very fast; maybe because we were Platinum level. Actually, as of this cruise, all four of us have cruised ten+ Carnival cruises, even the kids! Our checked luggage arrived hours before we expected it, which was nice. We always carry on a small bag or two with a change of clothes and any medicines and vital toiletries, just in case of luggage delays (which we never have had before.) BTW - Don't pack contraband (travel irons, candles, liquor, hot plates, hacksaws, fireworks, etc.) if you don't want your luggage to be impounded. A list of prohibited items can be found on Carnival's website or ask your travel agent. We had two adjoining "cove balcony" cabins. This was good because it provided two bathrooms to share between the four of us. The cool thing about the cove balconies is that they are only about thirty feet above the water, maybe lower, so if you like to see the waves, flying fish, sea spray and so forth up close, this is for you. Yes, the waves do actually strike the sides of the ship as it passes through the ocean. It is more pronounced near the front of the ship and less noticeable near the back. Actually, it is cool! If you think that the noise of the ocean might bother you while on your sea-cruise, consider an inside cabin (or maybe snow-skiing). The cove balconies are right below the life boats, so they are really private and shaded from the strong sun and the eyes of others - if that is what you like (we do!) The only downside was that the balconies were not con-joining, even though the rooms were. Sort of odd. We had no trouble with noise and never have. A tip: Avoid choosing cabins below the galley. Galley means kitchen, and they start prepping for breakfast mighty early. One neat thing about the Dream was that there were lots of hot tubs all over the ship. Many of them have towel stands nearby so you don't have to worry about bringing your blue cabin towel and then trying to keep an eye on it while you soak. The downside to the hot tubs was that they were tepid at best. If you have never cruised the Caribbean in the wintertime, realize that the sun is warm but the wind is cold. If it is a cloudy day, it will be chilly. A hot "hot tub" is necessary! Sometimes they would do a grill station (burgers, hot dogs etc.) in the area of the Promenade Deck near the hot tubs that they called the Lanai. In the Serenity area the chairs are very nice with cotton padding. On port days, it is not a problem to find a seat, on sea days, it is hard - you know the drill. The sounds of children playing can be heard from some parts of the Serenity area on some occasions, but then I have never really thought that sound to be a terrible one. The spa and gym areas are labyrinthine. You will have to poke around some to find everything. I never did find the locker rooms etc., which brings up an interesting run-in I had with the Spa Manager, Georgina. I went to the gym to do a little exercise and then wanted to sit in the sauna or steam room, both of which have been complimentary on all the other boats I have ever been on (both Carnival and Royal Caribbean). I approached a spa-uniformed lady, one of a few people standing around near a desk just outside of the gym door. I asked her how to get to the steam room, and she told me I needed to have a spa pass. I asked her how much, and she told me that for $150 I could use the spa for the whole cruise. (It was the third day of my seven day cruise, BTW.) I told her that I did not have $150 for the spa pass. She exclaimed loudly, "Well, it is your loss!" I could not believe she said that! She then went on to tell me about all the different rooms: the thalassotherapy room, the steam room, the dry heat room, the this and the that. She basically kept on talking like she was trying to punish me for not having the funds for the spa. I just wanted to leave at that point, but she kept on talking. Finally, she finished and I told her that I was sure the spa was very nice, thanked her, and I left. When I got to my cabin, I called Guest Services and told them what happened. The man was sympathetic, but then he told me that there is indeed a free sauna and steam room in the gym locker area. This news made me shake my head. I then just had to call Georgina and ask her why she did not tell me where the steam room and sauna were when I was standing there asking her where they were. She then admitted that, yes, they do have these things for free in the locker room area, but "they are not very nice." I was (again) floored. I said, "What?" And she told me the free sauna and steam room were not nice and they got a lot of complaints. She said they were like closets and very musty. I said, "What?" and she said that when people would complain about the mustiness, she would call housekeeping and they would spray some sort of freshener, but that it did not really work. She then confided to me that, "Basically, people just go in there and sweat." (Sweat? In the sauna? Whaaa?) Now, I do not know what sort of customer service classes she has been taking, but as a CCL stockholder, I would urge some changes in client relations. I get the fact she was trying to up-sell me into the spa pass, but there was no need for all this craziness! It was the week right before Christmas and the ship was packed with guests, but due to the size and thoughtful design of the ship it never really seemed crowded. Except at the Mongolian wok. Everyone and their aunts all seemed to be there all the time getting the awesome wok food. We estimated that when queuing up, if you count the number of people in line before you and multiply that number by two, that will give a pretty good idea of how many minutes until you get your hot bowl of yummy-ness handed to you. The bad thing about the wok was that as soon as you get anywhere near the place, you will get hit by a big cloud of spicy wok smoke, and then you will cough. Get a beverage to sip before you get in line. Note on the Gathering buffet food: There were plenty of items available for my husband who cannot eat seeds or nuts. Except hamburger buns. You need to find the Pasta Bar ASAP. It is at the back of the ship one floor above and overlooking the eating area called The Gathering. You can get to it with stairs or an elevator. You can carry in other food to eat there, and it is more peaceful than the rest of the Gathering areas. A lot of the ship's officers seem to eat there, or that is what we saw, at least. If you want pasta, just see the hostess stand and fill out the little form telling what pasta, sauce, meats etc you want. You get a big number to place on your table and they bring over the bowl when the food is ready. Very yummy! You could also get Indian food at a special station in the back. It was yummy, as well. Soft-serve ice cream and frozen yogurt 24-7? Yes. Sandwiches most of the time? Yes. Sushi on the Lido? Yes. Late-night Mexican buffet? Yes. Chocolate buffet? Yes. Ice carving? Yes. Mixology contest? Yes. 24-7 pizza? Well.... I must caution you to beware of the Pizza Pirate. Usually, the late night pizza run is a favorite thing to do on our cruises, but not this time. Ok, my husband loved the flavor of the 24-hour pizza "had a good cooked-on-a-pizza-stone flavor," even though it was really cooked on some sort of EZ bake oven that sometimes actually ignited the pizzas as they passed through the oven. I saw a young couple get served a half-black, (no fooling) still-smoking slice. I waited for a slice that was not burned black, and even though it was not charred, I thought it was really not good, personally. Room service took about 30-45 minutes each night, but it was a favorite thing to do to unwind with the kids before bed. Toasted pj&j was fabulous at midnight with a carton of milk! Call for room service or order it from your tv (which is actually easier). Tip the delivering person a dollar or so and sign the check. (There is no charge for most items.) Also, the delivery person will not come in until you specifically invite them to enter. My husband and I did the special steakhouse on the night they were serving turkey in the main dining room. We always heard such good things about the experience. We found that it is worth every penny. I got the steak and lobster tail, and my husband had the nine ounce filet mignon, which had to be at least twenty-five ounces. The only downside for me was that the lobster was grilled and I found I did not like it as well as the broiled tail served downstairs in the dining room on formal night. But my husband loved it! The service was top notch! We were made comfortable and welcomed. And, yes, the desserts were amazing, too! My teens say that the Circle C counselors were "pretty good" (amounting to a rave review from them!) and they seemed to do a good job keeping the older teens out of the younger teens' club. But they did let my older son go in with my younger son (they are better together so they can keep an eye on each other.) My older son was just three months past the cut-off age, so it was OK. The kids club areas were on Deck 4, sort of out of the way of the flow of traffic, so of you are like us and are always looking in to see how your kids are doing, it is sort of out of the natural flow of generally strolling around, but it worked. Actually, we tend to spend some amount of time following our kids, watching what they are doing, seeing if they are with a good group, and just keeping tabs on them from afar. On the Fantasy-class ships it is a breeze to do. On this ship, because there were so many levels for the kids to travel on, it was harder to "stalk" them. At night, there was a security guard or two outside the two teen clubs. The "Dancing in the Streets" show was amazing; it made me want to dance in the streets. The "Get Ready" show made us get up and leave. The whole hospital scene was really whacky and not in a good way. Other parts were also distasteful/creepy. We missed the country music show, but I heard it was super. There is plenty of good live music onboard, and it is performed about all the time. That is another thing we really enjoy about cruising, is all the great live music. The sooner you find the Blackjack Band, the better off you will be. They are lots of fun and very talented. This cruise also covered the last few days of Hanukkah, and we were passing by during the nightly celebration in the atrium. We were one the floor above looking down, and saw that there was a crowd of about twenty or so people trying to participate, and about twice that number of people looking on interestedly. I say that some people were trying to participate, but the festivities were being led by a Carnival employee (entertainment staff) who did not know the songs and was kind of trying to do his best, but you could tell he was sort of clueless. I could not hear all that was going on, but I really wished that the celebration could have been better "run" by a more educated leader. Maybe he was filing in for the person who usually does it; maybe it is usually awesome and was just off that one night, I don't know. I did go down afterwards and try the potato pancakes they served afterwards, and they were delicious! There was a jumbo-tron at the main pool, and it was always on, most of the time showing peaceful nature scenes, but sometimes showing live sports (with and without the sound), movies (Capt. America and Dr No one night), and Good Morning America, stuff like that. Again (especially in the winter) bring a warm sweater to snuggle up in, since the nights on deck can be windy and cold. The Comedy Club was good. I like the "TV-rated" comedy shows, and my husband enjoys the "R-rated" shows. They had several of both. Speaking of comedy, the Comedy Brunch food was wonderful, but not really my style, since I like simple breakfast foods. But I tell you the brunch foods were amazing, just mind-blowing; and most of them had a Latin twist, because it is "brought to you by George Lopez" the comedian. My husband will not be quiet about the filet mignon with choice of eggs and carmel cheese cake for desert he had at the brunch. The kids had gourmet mac and cheese with bacon and steak. I had an omelette and then the fried churros with thick chocolate dipping sauce. But I really just wanted some oatmeal. They had the brunch on all the sea days. Getting off the ship was a breeze. We were driving away from the ship by eight o'clock and we did not even self-assist. Platinum status gave us #1 departure.we could have chosen to disembark later, but we had a long drive home. The Carnival Dream was a nice and big ship and all, but it did not sweep us off our feet. We decided that we like the smaller ships just as well, maybe even better. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2012
I will start by saying that I am one that frowns upon the "negative Nellies" that post about how the color of the carpet ruins a vacation. I am very fortunate I am on vacation in the Caribbean blue water and not at work, enough ... Read More
I will start by saying that I am one that frowns upon the "negative Nellies" that post about how the color of the carpet ruins a vacation. I am very fortunate I am on vacation in the Caribbean blue water and not at work, enough said! That being said, we started our 18 hour drive from Ohio to Orlando on Thursday evening and arrived at La Quinta West on Friday afternoon. We traveled with 8 adults and 1 child (10 years). Our hotel was what we expected. A place to sleep and relax before we boarded the Dream in the morning. We didn't need anything more. We headed to Park and Ride about 9:30 am. Arrived about 10:30ish. Very smooth shuttle service. Reserved online, 6.99/Day. After We arrived at the port, we were on-board in no more than 30 minutes. Carnival has this down to a science, very professional. Ports: Cozumel- We took a taxi to Paradise Beach, a few of the boys paid the $12 for the water toys. The rest of us paid for the chairs and soaked up the sun. Very peaceful afternoon. Taxi's were waiting to take us back to port when we were ready, we shopped and then boarded to get ready for dinner. Belize- Most of us have been here before and we had nothing planned so 4 of us decided to venture to Belize to shop, and the rest stayed and enjoyed the empty ship. There isn't much shopping at the Pier and it is somewhat expensive. Roatan- We booked our excursion through Victor Bodden. We did the Sun and Fun tour. We all loved this adventure and we really liked the tour of Roatan. Very informative. We then went to West Beach and I will say this was the best snorkeling we found on our vacation. This was by far the worst beach I have ever encountered as far the pestering hair braiders, taco sellers, massage ladies, fake Oakley's... etc. Very annoying, but it DID NOT ruin my vacation. A simple "no thank you" every 3 minutes worked well. They had us back to the Pier with more than enough time to shop. Costa Maya- Been here before, And this is my favorite port hands down! WARNING>>>>> when you go to get a taxi they will try and sell you all inclusive packages for $25 a person. They will tell you that you will pay to rent a chair. DONT BUY THEIR SALES PITCH. This is false! We took a taxi to Mahahual. Walked the beach and had fun shopping. We found Sergio at Coco Corona. He took great care of us. Free bucket of beer. A few shots of Tequila (for those brave enough). Lets just say we had probably 5 buckets and a few shots of Tequila and our bill was $45. Much cheaper than the $25/pp they wanted to charge us at the taxi stand. Sergio handed us off to a taxi driver when we were ready to head back. Back at the pier we shopped and realized how much we drank at the beach! So back to the ship.... The ship itself is gorgeous! Our cabins were on the Deck 8, we used the stairs more than the elevators because we were so close to everything. Dinners- We had early dinning. Enjoyed the Crimson dinning room every night. Tried many new foods. We only ate breakfast in the Dinning room one time. To us, it wasn't much different than the buffet. And it took a lot longer. As with any vacation, yes we get a little tired of the same 'ol buffet food. But again, I'm not cooking or cleaning so all is good. Shows- The Dancers were awesome, The marriage show is hilarious. Loved the Adult Comedy Shows. The Slides are so fun! Yes I am in my 40's and I enjoyed all of them! This is the largest ship I have been on, and I loved it. I would definitely do it again! We had 4 in an inside cabin, and it was tolerable. I will definitely try a cove balcony next time. I have never had an inside cabin before and was a bit hesitant. But after this experience, I would do it again. The amount of time We spent in the cabin was NOT worth paying more money for it. I don't regret one MINUTE of this vacation! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2012
12/21/12 - At 05:30 I went to work as usual. Having figured out the solution to the hemorrhoid project the day before, I spent the time updating my team on the details of the plan. Once they understood what to look for, I was sure that ... Read More
12/21/12 - At 05:30 I went to work as usual. Having figured out the solution to the hemorrhoid project the day before, I spent the time updating my team on the details of the plan. Once they understood what to look for, I was sure that my vacation would enable me to sit in comfort! The first flight, from Phoenix Sky Harbor to Houston was a bit like taking a dirt road in a sedan with bad springs while over New Mexico, but otherwise uneventful. The flight from there to Orlando even less eventful. The swelling in my right leg due to knee surgery back on November 16th, had been a bit less before the flights, but has increased a bit now. I took some Naproxen before going to sleep in the hope that it would lessen the pressure. 12/22/12 - I awoke at 05:07 and found the swelling in my right leg had subsided a bit. Susan's wakeup call came in at 06:00. After answering it, she attempted to go back to sleep. About 6:15 she remembered why she had put in the request for the wakeup call and she then called the company she had arranged our transportation to the Carnival Dream to be sure of where and when we were to meet our shuttle. If one can accept their idea of where as being within 800 yards, that turned out to be the only answer she was given correctly. The company that collected our money, never sent the email describing the pickup arrangements prior to our phone call (they did send one about 7 hours after we were dropped off at the cruise terminal in Port Canaveral) and in three phone conversations did not tell us they subcontracted with a different company that did the driving. That information was given to us on the fourth call when we tried to find out why their shuttle had not been seen at the designated pickup spot 5 minutes after we were due to leave. The fifth call directly to the subcontracted company revealed that neither of the probable pickup locations given to us would have been correct, as their spot was midway between the ones we were given. John, our driver was very polite and got us to the ship on time. He even made a quick return to us, when it was discovered that my backpack containing camera equipment and my passport was still in his van. Our future departures from Port Canaveral will be made using his company directly. Carnival Dream - Is a big ship with nice lines. The interior public spaces are equally impressive and inviting. There is festive atmosphere on board (lively but not solely Christmas oriented). I found myself revitalized before we even saw our cabin. When we finally got to our cabin on the Riviera deck (or Riviero as pronounced by the voice in the ship's elevators), I was surprised to find that we not only had the customary shower sink and toilet, we also had a separate bathtub with a shower and a sink. I could have known about this beforehand had I taken time to review the cabin layout, but who really does such a thing when their wife books the cruise? Either way, the bar is set much higher for future cruise expectations! The Dream offered an internet package that differed from most of the ones our other cruises have had. For $29.99 one could buy a daily plan with unlimited "high speed" wireless internet access from any devices you had (one at a time). For $99.99 you could do the same thing for the entire cruise. What a smoking deal. The sad reality, their capacity for internet at any speed is woefully lacking. It was rare to be able to log on at any time, and was slow enough to have most pages time out if one did manage to get on the system. This caused many people to miss out on checking in to their return flights near the end of the cruise and made me glad I had paid an extra $10 for early bird check in when I bought my flight. The only way to handle the amount of traffic created by the use of "smart" devices is to create capacity for each potential device. A ship the size of the Dream needs to be able to handle at least 5,000 devices in order to not be bogged down. After a fantastic supper that included Gazpacho Andalusia, Brisket done to perfection and melting chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream. I did too much walking and standing, as now my right leg is more swollen than it had been on the 21st. Time for more Naproxen. 12/23/12 - We ate breakfast at the Punchliner Comedy Breakfast. This was the first time on a cruise I did not have to season my breakfast in order to enjoy its taste. My burrito was tasty and so were the salsas that came with it! The sea day was spent exploring the ship and hitting the gym to attempt to keep my knee rehab on schedule. I was a bit disappointed in finding out they did not have any ice packs in the spa or gym, which I would need if I were to do a proper work out for my knee. I did the exercises I needed to do, and did the best I could to chill my knee down using wet wash cloths I placed in the freezer section of the mini bar in my room along with ice the cabin steward provided. It was not sufficient to reduce the swelling significantly. Guess I will be using Naproxen the rest of the cruise! Formal night photo and food fun on Carnival Dream was enjoyable, but had the Strawberry Bisque not been fantastic, the Prime Rib was sliced in a manner that suggests their goal was conservation of cattle. Had I figured out a way to enjoy barbecued ribs, a delicious but messy finger food, while wearing a suit and tie, I would have ordered that instead, as the portion for that was much closer to my ideal. Carnival seems to know that in order to run a good comedy club, you have to have the right host. Jeff, the fun dude, is clearly the right host! Both comedians were very entertaining. I chose the late shows for adults only, mostly because PG material is easily seen on television and television puts me to sleep. My sides were a bit sore from laughing by the end of the evening. 12/24/12 - We docked in Cozumel about 9:45. There was the usual mad rush to get off the ship, but it went far easier than expected. Perhaps that was because our room was only 1 level up from the ramps, or we just timed it right! Unfortunately, Dolphin Discovery at Chankanaab National Park was a huge disappointment. They only allow their own photographers to shoot from within an area with the best perspective. They then attempt to sell their images at a highly inflated rate due to the scarcity they created. If you want to go strictly for the experience of swimming in waters filled with dolphin shit, be my guest. If the images they have on display are an indication, they have a tendency to shoot with a formula that ensures that only the dolphin will look its' best. Half open or completely shut eyes are seen in most of their images. This photographer does not think the positive outweighs the negatives, Somebody missed their chance to sell Mayan Calendar themed T-shirts reading "I survived the Mayan Apocalypse"! By the time we left the park, my right knee had gotten too swollen to permit painless movement. I went back to the cabin and used the tub to relax the muscles, rejuvenate my spirit and get ready for supper. Two out of three ain't bad, Naproxen helped with third. I rested for the remainder of the evening. We ate supper in the Crimson Dining Room the food was good, but not memorable. The entertainment by the wait staff was better. Then again, this is a "Fun Ship"! 12/25/12 - I left my room around 04:30 along with my stowaways. As soon as other passengers started stirring, they stealthily made their way back to the cabin. They enjoyed almost 2 hours of freedom. The few workers that saw them were amused and smiled even more than usual. I like giving the crew something out of the ordinary to talk about. After breakfast in the Crimson dining room, we prepared to go onshore in Belize. We booked a Cave Tubing Tour through Cave Tubing Belize with Veronica Cattouse. Regardless of who you book a cave tubing tour through, you will be going to the same cave. The important factors here are will you have a small enough group to maneuver around obstacles without missing the sights and ensure the safety of all. To this end, you should have no more than 12 people on the tour which will necessitate the use of 2 guides. Veronica's husband, Rick, was our second guide. Our group had 9 adults and 3 children, with 1 of the adults being our guide's son. The tour was educational, interesting and fun. There is a fair amount of walking up and down hills, over unpaved rocky terrain, and carrying your tubing equipment, (not advisable for the average person one month out from knee surgery, I am not average) but the trip is well worth the effort. Rick and Veronica are excellent guides. Having worked up a fierce appetite from the day's activities, I made the mistake of trying to eat just enough at the buffet to hold me over until supper. The reason it was a mistake, I found myself too full to enjoy the Christmas dinner. I will try to not do that again. 12/26/12 - Mahogany Bay, Roatan is a place where one cannot go wrong booking a tour with Victor Boden. We booked early enough to get Sam, who by his own claim is the best guide on Roatan. We soon discovered that there may be more truth to his claim than mere boasting. We saw everything we planned on seeing and had loads of fun via Sam's wit, charm, and informative banter. As my wife and I prefer to have a day planned around photographically interesting things, we more than got our money's worth from the tour we planned ourselves. The Iguana Farm we visited had a large number of them, none of them caged. The Botanical Garden was a bit disappointing to us, mostly because we were there at the wrong time of year to see it at its best, and partly because my knee was not in good enough shape to climb up and down the hill to see other things. Monkey Jungle, here was a place where we got to interact with monkeys and birds. Being in the cage with them is better than watching through the bars. Our last stop was at a butterfly garden. Although we were there at the wrong time of the year to see many butterflies, we were able to see and enjoy this place. We shot many images and drained the camera batteries and ourselves. We were quite tired and very happy by the time we made it back to the ship. Maybe Sam under estimates himself! The problem with anytime dining is the food is rarely served at its optimal time. Assigned dining times ensure the food can be at its best. Locking in the time gives one better food, at the expense of freedom to eat a good meal without running the risk of dropping it on the floor or another cruiser. Carnival's food, although not served to me at its best time, is fairly tasty and in good portion sizes for most items (the one exception on this trip being the Prime Rib). One way I get around that issue is to try their cold soups. The other reason I get the cold soups is that there is no way I am likely to make them at home. A good cold soup makes the rest of the meal I get more palatable. I highly recommend the peach soup. The entertainment provided by the wait staff makes the food much more enjoyable. Besides, humor helps you digest food better! Keep in mind that the biggest differences between a 5 star restaurant and a 3 star one are location, price and atmosphere. I really enjoy the atmosphere here on Carnival Dream! 12/27/12 - The stowaway's and I took another early morning stroll. They do not get to enjoy the upper deck very often as they dislike windy environments, but they had a great time. I must remember to get some gaffer's tape before my next trip! Costa Maya, made up for the brief stop by offering the opportunity Cozumel did not. We finally got to photograph dolphins to our satisfaction. Not because of any changes in the attitude of the people running the dolphin pen, but by the proximity of the place we could observe the dolphins. As we had not made any other plans for this stop and got off the ship too late to go outside of the cruise ship village, we lucked out and were able to get out of the rain in short order. I found the science trivia challenge to be fun. For being a team of one (I got there late), I didn't do bad by missing one answer. The winning team had 5 players on it and got all of the answers correct. There was no way I could have effectively played the next trivia challenge as it dealt with music from the late 90's to 2010. My musical taste is a bit older than that. None of the Mayan heritage ports we visited had taken the opportunity to create a T-shirt tribute to their calendar. I hope that was because they wanted the world to know they were smarter than the idiots that misinterpreted their calendar. Most of the trinkets sold in the tourist trap shops were made in China and the few locally made ones were much more costly, just like every other cruise port I have been in. Strawberry Bisque could be a dessert! The evening meal's pork chop was tasty, but a bit tougher than one would expect. As usual, the entertainment provided by the wait staff made the meal a good experience. The late evening's Mexican Buffet was a disappointment. No soft tacos, no sopapillas, no carnitas and the same 3 salsa's that always were served (none of which are more than mild). 12/28/12 - Another sea day, and the last full day of our cruise. It started off with packing up the big suitcase with the dirty laundry followed by a layer of bags from our purchases (not the actual purchases). The bags provided separation between the dirty clothes and the clean but unused clothes. The heavier carryon bags would be packed after breakfast. Breakfast was once again eaten in the Punchliner. This time I had their steak and eggs. I should have asked for salsa, but that is only because I prefer spicier food than most. I still had a bit of my own blend with me, which made the meal to my taste. I gave the majority of my own blend of chiles to the staff members on the ship that both made my cruise enjoyable and would appreciated them (for some it is a taste from their home they rarely get to enjoy). I kept just enough for my supper. We spent a good portion of the day enjoying the amenities the ship offers on the serenity deck. This is an oasis free of children. A Christmas sailing can often have a third of the passengers under the age of 18, which can be annoying. This cruise had about that percentage, but by avoiding the areas the children are, which is actually easier to do than one might think, you can go most of the cruise without realizing how many are there. While wandering around the Promenade Deck, I stumbled in to another trivia game that was just had just commenced (I heard the first question, grabbed a game card and sat down). This game was asking truth or myth questions. It went on for 30 questions and 6 bonus questions that had a combined total of 40 points. I was a bit dismayed to find out I had gotten 32 points, but I ended up winning. The prize was as they called it, a ship on a stick. It looks a bit tacky, but it's a lot better than the pewter medals some people won for other games and is now part of my home office decor. By supper time, I was starving. I had resisted eating buffet meals all day as I wanted to see what the last good meal was going to be. That was a good decision. I had the mango soup and finally got a decent serving of prime rib. This one more than made up for the earlier one. The nights comedians were great once again. I like the idea of having different comedians. On other cruises I have taken, the jokes got stale by the third time you walked past the lounge the comedian was playing. 12/29/12 - I watched as we passed Disney Fantasy on our way to our berth. It garish lighting and the fact they probably had twice as many children on board made me glad I wasn't on her. After the ship docked, we went up to the Lido Buffet for our last meal on board. It's always a confusing feeling at the end of a cruise. You are sad to be leaving the ship, glad to be going home and you can't be sure if the crew members are smiling because they are glad to be rid of you or if they were given Botox injections making it impossible to do anything else. The Dream is a wonderful ship with a great crew and it is a pleasure to cruise on her. We opted for having our big luggage get sent directly to our airline. That enabled us to leave the ship at any time we chose. Had we not done that, based upon the tags we were given, we would be on the ship until the last number called. We opted to leave near the middle of the numbers in order to see if we could get a better flight home. We were able to change our flight, but our luggage did not make our flight. It also didn't arrive on the originally scheduled flight. Instead, it got the chance to stay there until Sunday morning. We picked it up ourselves, and got a reduction voucher for a future flight! What a vacation! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2012
I have to say after reading all the bad reviews of the Dream I was extremely worried that i had made a mistake by leaving RCCL after 14 cruises but i was wrong. We were at the port by 11am and we used Park and Cruise and saved lots of ... Read More
I have to say after reading all the bad reviews of the Dream I was extremely worried that i had made a mistake by leaving RCCL after 14 cruises but i was wrong. We were at the port by 11am and we used Park and Cruise and saved lots of money and it was easy if you dont mind waiting 15 minutes for the bus. We were onboard by 1130 and this included them losing my sail pass and having to issue me a new card. They took care of the problem and we were onboard within 15 minutes. As for those who wonder if they can take coke or gatorade or water the anwer is yes as long as it is unopen and not alcohol they do not give you a hard time at all. Just be aware that you will dragging this stuff with you until 1 when you are allowed in your room. The room was big and clean and the cabin person was excellant. Now for the bad DO NOT BOOK THIS ROOM it is extremely noisy all night long you hear them wheeling around the carts upstairs, I dont mind a little bit of noise but this was all night and not remotely mild, I paid more to change from deck six thinking the deck 5 would be smokey but what a mistake that turned out to be that is the BAD , DO NOT STAY IN ROOM 9396. As for the my time dining , this is not an issue if you go by 530 and get in line and if you get someone you like we had Arvin ask for him every night and they will. I did hear alot of people complain about the bad service but if you dont make changes you will remain unhappy with dining so make changes dont complain. As for the food overall it was good, Lobster great, the food was warm but good never cold. If you do not like it send it back and get something else and although my husand and i like the food by 14 year old tolerated it and my daughter starved. The pizzi is great, Lido buffet was okay, hot food at the china place and sandwichs are alway available as well. Food was in my opinion better the expected. The shows were good and the comedy show was very funny with the exception of one comedian which was awful and needed to pracctice some more.The dancers are very good. Bingo needed an uplift very boring. Overall GOOD entertainment. Casino the machines are very tight although theyy sent me free wind at dinner thank god i won at the Ports because they just suck you money on the ship. THe only good thing is after 1500 points they give you free drinks. The ugly, internet after spending a fortune onboard 1800 tab and thousands in the casino i went to the internet manager to get a refund since it was impossible to use the internet as it was so slow we could not open our email and after fighting with the girl i realize i was just wasting my breath as she did not want to hear it.You know its not about the charge just the principal of not getting something i paid for not to mention she was rude and arogant. I was very pleased with the staff, cleaniness of the ship and her overall trip. Would i make change if i go on her again you bet, room and internet. I think Carnvail has really done alot to change and make crusing a great experience and i hope to use them again very soon. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2012
We were 8 adults and two children occupying 3 rooms on the 1st floor and 1 on the 8th floor. We are blessed to have celebrated Christmas together in this manner when so many in the world are much less fortunate. We had rented a car two ... Read More
We were 8 adults and two children occupying 3 rooms on the 1st floor and 1 on the 8th floor. We are blessed to have celebrated Christmas together in this manner when so many in the world are much less fortunate. We had rented a car two days earlier. Upon returning the car to the rental company, they provided free shuttle to the terminal. Some hotels charge a per-person rate to transport so this is good information to have. Check-in was quite fast compared to the Costa cruise that we had recently taken. We all had inside cabins and there were no complaints from our travelers regarding lack of space. It seems that confiscated items were hit and miss, as others had flat irons and clothes irons taken from their luggage; I had one of each and they weren't removed, had a hairdryer too which would have come in handy when the in-cabin one died but the maintenance crew were so quick to replace it I probably won't bother packing one next time. Never thought of stowing the luggage under the bed; that would definitely free up long garment space in the closet (with 4 drawers, 2 bedside table drawers, two hanging closets and one with multiple shelves there was lots of storage). The cruise was full. If you don't like crowds, you won't like this one much. I chose it on the basis of the younger adults with us (20-40 + kids). There were lots of activities going on at any given time and there's a bar at seemingly every turn. The Punchlines comedy club was good. The nightly Encore theatre productions were great ~ Dancin' in the Streets was my favorite; first night's production was hokey though with their inflated Carnival cruiseship prop. Separately, Cruise director Jamie has lots of spunk and enjoys her job! Her marriage show was a hoot. Fun Force breakdancers were fantastic. The Serenity adult area on Deck 15 provided a peaceful area to get away from all the noise and kids, and we spent lots of time up there on comfy padded loungers. There's even a hammock for two! Used the gym a couple of times ~ Life Fitness equipment was familiar to us. Place was busy at certain times of the day. Waterslides were busy with lots of happy squeals! Scarlet dining room had some decent food but Christmas dinner, so anticipated, was an extreme disappointment of all the meals. I am not a fussy nor big eater, but the ham was 3 cubes 1.5" square. Those of us that ordered turkey dinner were dismayed as well. Everywhere there is so much wastage it is disheartening. I asked to try a piece of walnut cake at the Gathering restaurant and the server started to slice me a piece 4" wide; when I stopped him and said just a sliver he said it would crumble. I told him I didn't care about how it looked, I was all about "just a taste" -- not to waste. My sliver was plenty (and good too). 1 order of Tiramisu in the Scarlet was enough for two people -- I'm sure it measured 3"x5". Vegetarian choices were tasty. The Tandoor, Pizza, Deli, and Mongolian areas on the Lido deck were the most popular. My dh waiting in line for an hour (no lie) at the Mongolian; his food was fresh and hot, but seriously??? I had long finished my yummy Tandoori and figured he'd got lost looking for me... He said, "never again". Every turn on-board had some photographer offering to take your picture; we found this annoying. Ports of call: Cozumel -- make sure you know where you're docking if you're traveling with others and making plans. With Costa, we docked closer to town so by telling everyone (some going ashore earlier than others) we'd meet them at Starbucks I was a bit panicked when we disembarked at a different dock 3 miles away, lol. So many people I talked to expressed the same sentiment: they'd never buy diamonds at these stores. I don't know why all the cruise ships figure that's all everyone is after ~ it's all they keep pushing because they get kickbacks: Diamonds International, Tanzanite, Columbian Emeralds as if there's nothing else out there worth shopping for. We had a very enjoyable walk to town and took a taxi back. Had $1 cold beers and lunch in the town square. Roatan -- On-shore deal: 4 of our crew visited the Monkey park which was fun for the little kids and very reasonable. The rest of us hung out at the Mahogany Bay beach, swimming, sunbathing and having more beer. People we met on the Costa had done an excursion to Tabyana Beach and said it wasn't worth it; that Mahogany Bay was better ~ to this end I cannot verify. Costa Maya -- the rain soaked us but I'd take that warm rain over snow most days. Took a van cab for $16 to town (for 10). Mahahual is quaint; in good weather it would be great to have a seaside lunch there; I would go back. We started out a bit late so had to forego that experience. Garbage all along water's edge, but we found the same in Costa Rica, & Nicaragua on another cruise too so it's not just Mexico. Belize -- two of our crew got a good price on shore for just ziplining as the cave tubing wasn't their interest and they were very pleased they went. A few of us left the "compound" and walked the streets of Belize City. It was mostly deserted as it was Christmas Day, but we never had any problems, had friendly encounters and grabbed some good pictures. It isn't a beautiful area, as I and many others had envisioned. There is poverty, and it was a great eye-opener to the younger ones to show them how seriously lucky they are. In all, the ship is beautiful, and confusing; even by day 6 we had trouble sometimes finding the dining rooms. Haven't been on all the cruise lines but was surprised that the life drill was not held outside like it is on other ships, and you didn't have to bring your life jacket for it either. I wondered what chaos would ensue in a real emergency. I was also surprised that for the first 24-48 hrs. people were not restricted from self-serving food. Other lines do this in their cafeterias to curtail illness spreading, opening food service up once overall evaluation says things are ok. Good idea to carry a small squeeze bottle of hand sanitizer as some dispensers ran out more than once. In closing, I'd go again; I'd save money and book an inside room again ~ it was quiet and no need for black-out curtains, lol, plus the point is to explore not hole up in a room! I'd book excursions on shore to get exactly what I want without filler, and I'd carry on some wine. Sail on! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2012
We are a family of 5 with a 14, 13, and 10 year old. We drove down to Port Canaveral and stayed at the Country Inn Suites near the port. Nice hotel, reasonably priced. We parked at the Radisson Parking deck and shuttled over to the ... Read More
We are a family of 5 with a 14, 13, and 10 year old. We drove down to Port Canaveral and stayed at the Country Inn Suites near the port. Nice hotel, reasonably priced. We parked at the Radisson Parking deck and shuttled over to the ship. We embarked with little trouble. The cabins were clean and every day our cabin attendant was helpful and did a great job. The ship is large and it took us some time to figure out how to get where we needed to go. As with most ships there are some decks you can't get all the way across the ship but this one really made it difficult to figure out even when looking at the map. It is beautifully decorated. I was expecting cheap and tacky decor as many past cruisers of Carnival and told me in comparison to Royal Caribbean and I have to disagree. The pool is small but the kids had the water slides so they weren't too crowded. *Dining - We ate in the Scarlette lower level and served by David who was wonderful. Our food was fantastic. My steak was flavorful and cooked perfectly. Again, I was not expecting it to be this good. The buffet for breakfast was typical and nothing to rave about. The pizza bar makes fantastic brick oven pizza's all the time. The line can be long but at off times it takes just minutes to get served. The pasta bar had a 30 minute wait time which I was surprised but was well worth the wait. If you go there the day of embarking you won't have to wait since most don't realize they are open. *Entertainment - the shows were okay. One night they were fantastic. They had acrobats and hip hop dancers that were very talented. The regular cast and main singers were good enough to entertain but the kids didn't make it through the whole show. There are two comedy club showings the 1st being family friendly was fantastic. I highly recommend this if you have teens. My husband enjoyed the piano bar singer and I enjoyed a night at the Oceanside bar with the band playing. *Activities- well I have to say we played bingo often and my daughter WON A 7 DAY CRUISE FOR 2!!! We are already booked for a another Carnival Cruise on the Valor this summer to the southern region. We played trivia and watched the ice sculpting and hairy chest contests. All hokey but very fun, especially for the kids. My kids didn't go to the clubs. My daughter was approached by another teen with an inappropriate comment (an I am nowhere near a prude, but this was bad) so didn't feel comfortable hanging out in the teen lounge after that. *Cruisers - lots of kids of course during a holiday cruise. I have to say most of them were well behaved (except obviously the one I mentioned above). The only issue we had were with the 20 yr olds who didn't know to hang out either inside their cabin or find a place to talk at 1am. They were laughing and talking loudly outside out cabin door so I had to ask them to leave. After the 3rd group of them I finally called guest services and the problem was handled immediately. *Ports - Cozumel was nice, did the dolphin swim excursion., kids loved it. If you have one person who doesn't want to do it they can take the pictures, otherwise you will pay a fortune. In Belize we kayaked which also was a really nice excursion. In Mahogany Bay we ziplined. You DO NOT need to buy into the expensive all day zip line tours. The Express Zip Line was perfect and leaves enough time to enjoy the port. This port is really nice and you don't have to go far to enjoy the beach. Overall, I highly recommend this ship and this itinerary. Carnival is a great value and I don't see enough of a difference to feel the need to pay more money for Royal Caribbean again for the same cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2012
I was traveling with my sister's family as a group of 7. Travelers were me (late 50's), my sister and her husband in their mid 40's, daughters 4, 17 & 21 and a son 6. We had 2 adjoining cove balcony cabins on deck 2 with ... Read More
I was traveling with my sister's family as a group of 7. Travelers were me (late 50's), my sister and her husband in their mid 40's, daughters 4, 17 & 21 and a son 6. We had 2 adjoining cove balcony cabins on deck 2 with me sharing with the 3 girls. Our embarkation on Jan 5, 2013 was very quick and we were on board enjoying lunch by 11:30 am. Our luggage arrived at our cabins smoothly and we unpacked and were ready to tour our new home. We toured camp carnival for the little ones and the spa for us. A new addition is the "cheers beverage program" which is similar to an all inclusive for liquor. It was $49/person/day including a 15% gratuity and all adults over 21 in the same cabin have to get it if one does. If you average 6 cocktails and 8 beers a day you will be even for the money. They can charge if you go over 15 drinks/day and there is not to be any buying drinks for anyone else. My sister and her husband tried this program. We were on the your time dining and the first night we were issued a beeper and waited about 35 minutes for a table. With the young kids we decided to get ready earlier so we wouldn't have to wait for a table. We had Arvin and team for our waiters and arrived early enough every night to get a table in his area. Some nights we had to take a table for 6 and add an extra chair which worked fine since the kids are small. Our service was excellent and after the first night the wait team knew our preferences and served the kids early. The first stop was Cozumel and it was nice. We didn't participate in shore excursions but enjoyed the shops at the port. The second stop was Belize and I stayed on board with the young kids while the others went cave tubing. The kids loved Camp Carnival and each morning asked when they could go. Our routine was to go after breakfast, I picked them up for lunch and some days did an afternoon nap, then time with other family members followed by dinner and bed. The camp activities involved making t-shirts, face painting, games, puzzles, movies and dancing. They provide a phone for parents so they can contact you if they need to. Luckily mine never rang!! As a side note. my nephew has a disability and just having turned 6 he was with the 4-5 year old group with his sister. The camp staff was great with him and we felt very confident leaving him there Our next port was Mahogany Bay, Roatan, however there was a 35 knot wind across the bow of the ship and we were not able to dock. We headed back to sea and shortly after they announced the weather in Costa Maya was also bad and we would not be able to dock there, however we would have a day in Nassau instead. We now had 2 sea days back to back and our last day would be in Nassau. Many of us were disappointed, I had been to Nassau in September and had not been to Costa Maya. Many passengers were very upset and I felt sorry for the customer service reps since so many were complaining. The piano player, Bob was the best of any cruise I had been on. He kept the crowd engaged and singing with him all night. We had so much fun with him!! The comedy shows were very good along with the shows in the main lounge. Our family also played many of the trivia games and won a few also. The cruise director was very good and they made quick adjustments for each of the sea days that were added. Overall it was one of the most fun cruises I have been on. Our debarkation was as easy as the embarkation. We did self assist with 6 people and 10 bags and were off the ship by 8:10 am. I was at the airport and through security by 9:15 am and on my way home:( Read Less
Sail Date: December 2012
We went on the Carnival Dream Dec. 1-8, 2012 The Good: Beautiful ship, friendly staff, seafood great for the most part, good shows, Punchliner brunch very good, good comedians in the Punchliner Burgundy lounge, embarkation and ... Read More
We went on the Carnival Dream Dec. 1-8, 2012 The Good: Beautiful ship, friendly staff, seafood great for the most part, good shows, Punchliner brunch very good, good comedians in the Punchliner Burgundy lounge, embarkation and debarkation easy if you are Platinum or Diamond level, nice size cabin for verandahs. Nice Tervis Tumbler for Platinum/Diamond level guests. The Bad: Very rough seas for 2 days (50+ mph winds--certainly not Carnival's fault), Captain's party a joke ( you get $1 off drinks instead of free drinks), past guest party also a joke(got very sweet rum punch and only a couple of snacks). Carnival has eliminated the last night "farewell party" where they used to give you free drinks and snacks. Had a really creaky cabin when the ship rocked--had to put in earplugs a couple of nights. Stupid life boat drill--you do not even go to your life boat--rather meet in a lounge for instructions. Way too loud noise/TV on the monster TV by the pool--you needed earplugs; who wants to hear ESPN blasted at you at 9 am? Serenity area not quiet because of the screaming kids getting on the water slide a few yards away. Carnival no longer publishes the daily news flyer like they did in the past--guess it saves them money. The Ugly: Carnival lets people smoke on their verandahs--we could not use the verandah many times because of the heavy smokers upwind from us next door. Carnival should learn a lesson from Celebrity and ban smoking on all verandahs, not just for spa cabins. Until Carnival changes this policy or we can get a spa cabin, we will not be going on Carnival again. Now for specifics: Since we live in Tampa, we drove to Cocoa Beach on Nov. 30th and stayed at LaQuinta Inn. We were able to leave our car there for 7 days, and they took us to the port on Dec. 1st, and picked us up on Dec. 8th. We got to the pier about 9:45 am, and there was very little waiting to go through security. Since we have Platinum level VIP status, we went to the VIP area, and were checked in very quickly. We did have to wait about 20 minutes or so to board since there was a rather large wedding party that got to board before we did. Carnival has started something new--if you are Platinum or Diamond level, your cabin is ready as soon as you board--a really nice feature in our opinion. We put our carry on baggage in the cabin and went to the Lido deck for the buffet lunch. Lots of variety and not crowded when we boarded, but it got to be a real zoo later. Carnival eliminated trays a few years back, so it is a pain to make several trips, but other cruise lines have done the same thing. After lunch we toured the ship to find our way around. The layout is similar to the Freedom that we went on last year. The lifeboat drill was absurd in our opinion. You no longer have to get your life jacket and go to your lifeboat. Instead you go to a lounge where the crew shows you how to put on a life jacket, and they tell you where your life boat is. Then the tell you that in case of an emergency you are supposed to go to your lounge muster station. How stupid can you be? If there is an emergency, I am not going to a lounge--I am going to where the life boat. Carnival is not the only cruise line that does this, and it is hard to believe that the Coast Guard will allow this. We selected anytime dining for dinner, as we have for the past several cruises. Carnival now dedicates the lower level of the Crimson dining room for anytime dining. It is a very popular option because people start lining up at least 30 minutes in advance. On the first night they only had one line and the wait was a real pain. By the 3rd night, Carnival got a little smarter and opened one line on the right and one on the left and things went much quicker. After dinner there was a liquor tasting at the shops--what a zoo--they only had a single line, and you had to wait for at least 30-45 minutes; we declined. Sunday--we arrived at Nassau about 8:30 am and had to be back on board by 2:30 pm. We have been to Nassau many times before and just chose to walk around downtown and go to the straw market. The straw market was destroyed by fire some time ago, but has been rebuilt. Most vendors had the same stuff--a lot of which was made in China. We had lunch at the Lido--best tilapia I have ever had. They have a pasta bar upstairs on deck 11; it was ok but not great. We attended the Cruise Critic Meet and Greet function which was arranged by Len (a passenger); he did a fantastic job, and Carnival furnished one bottle of champagne for 30 people--good luck on getting any! On previous cruises the cruise line furnished tea, coffee, and snacks--not here. It was nice to get to meet fellow passengers. The Captain's party was a major joke like it was on the Freedom last year. You get $1 off drinks--big deal; we declined to go. Sunday was the first formal night--very few ties on guys and no tux. Much more informal than it used to be. Dinner was great--lobster, but no surf and turf like on previous cruises. The show was good, but you have to like country music. The sea was very rough with 40-50 mph winds, and the Captain never warned us about this. Fortunately we do not have a problem with being sea sick, but a lot of others did. The wind was so bad we could not use our verandah for a couple of days. Carnival lets passengers smoke on their verandah (except on spa cabins, as we later learned). Unfortunately the couple next door smoked a lot and the wind blew the smoke on our verandah. This will be the last cruise we ever take on Carnival unless they change this policy or we can book a spa cabin. Wake up Carnival--smoking is bad for your health. Carnival used to have a non-smoking ship, the Paradise, but it is now smoking. Monday: We were at sea and had 50+ mph winds--very rough Breakfast at Lido was a disaster--they ran out of coffee cups. We had a hard time finding the bacon--they serve it to you instead of serving it yourself like the other food. Should have passed on the bacon because it was under cooked and very greasy--ugh. The food never varied at breakfast. The made-to-order omelets were good, and the fresh fruit was good. We had lunch in the Crimson dining room at the Punchliner brunch. They have this on sea days with the same menu each day. A comedian talks for about 5 minutes, and you order from a menu. The salmon was good but the beef was overcooked. There were very few people there, which was a nice change from the zoo at the Lido buffet. After lunch we went to the art auction held by Park West. Overpriced art work--you can do much better online. They have a minimum bid, plus they add 15% to the price, and you have to pay $35 to have it shipped unframed. I bit on this several years ago, but never again. They advertise free champagne, but this auctioneer was very tight and you were lucky if you got one glass. The auction was supposed to start and 1 pm but it had not started at 2 pm, so we left. Tuesday: Docked in St Thomas about 11 am. We had breakfast in the dining room; it was good but took about an hour, which was ok because we did not dock until late. We docked at the pier at Havensight Mall and did a little shopping. The prices, especially liquor, were much higher than they were last year. We could buy most booze cheaper in Tampa than in St Thomas or on the ship. We got back on board about 1 pm and had lunch at Lido; had great fish. We wanted to sit by the pool but the monster TV was so loud--about the same decibel level as a jet plane. We then went up to the serenity area for adults only to get away from the noise by the pool--that lasted about 2 minutes--all we heard was screaming kids getting on the water slide, which is adjacent to the serenity area. We then moved to the front of the ship where we could not hear the screaming kids. There are only a few seats there, but it was no problem on a port day--good luck getting a chair on a sea day. Dinner at the Crimson dining room--the filet was good but the red snapper was way overcooked. This was unusual because most of the time the fish is great and the beef is tough and overcooked. We went to the show, which was good, but it was very loud and crowded. Wednesday: We arrived in St Maarten about 7 am and docked at the new dock (at least for us). Had a great view of the harbor from our port side verandah. We took the water taxi to town ($ 7 round trip). You have to be sure you get on the right one because we thought all of them took you to the middle of town; ours took us to the right edge of town (looking from the ship to town), so we had quite a walk. We did a little shopping and went to a couple of casinos. Last year we played the nickel slots and got free drinks--not so this year. Took the water taxi back to the ship and had lunch at Lido--great fish again. The Indian Tandoor station was good but very hot. Dinner at Crimson was great for the seafood newburg, but horrible for the beef stroganoff--they should have called it beef gristle and noodles; I could not even cut it with a steak knife. Thursday: Had breakfast at Lido--same as always. Lunch at Punchliner brunch in Crimson--very good--lots of choices, but the menu does not vary. If you want the steak, order it medium rare, not medium (which comes well done). At 4:45 pm, we went to the past guest function--what a joke--instead of having a choice of red or white wine, or champagne, or a whiskey sour, like they used to do, they served you a very sweet rum punch, which was horrible. We did find out later that you could request a beer or wine, but you had to tell the waiter you wanted it and then wait 15 minutes to get it. We got 2 small pastry type something--a total disaster compared to previous cruises. Carnival needs to take a lesson from Celebrity or Holland America--they do a much better job. At dinner the basa, tiger shrimp, and steak were all good. We went to the show--high energy, very good dancers, but very loud. Friday: A rather lazy day--very cloudy in the am, but cleared off in the pm. We played putt-putt on the 18 hole course on deck 12--very nice. The seas were much calmer on Friday than they had been all week. At 4:30 we went to the "holiday show", which was very good. Dinner was ok. Although we had anytime dining, we went when the dining room first opened and most of the time we were able to get table 149--excellent waiter and helpers; this is a table for 2, and we always got good service. One night this table was not available and we had to sit on the right side of the room among a bunch of kids--ugh. We went to the Punchliner comedian show at 7:30--was fantastic. Don't know why we did not go before, but had conflicting things going on. Saturday: Time to get off the ship and go home. We had very heavy fog Sat. morning and the ship could not dock on time; not Carnival's fault, but they could have given us a better warning. When we looked out our deck about 5 am, we could see nothing but fog. We wanted some breakfast so we went to the Lido about 5:45 and had a little fruit and coffee. Since we are Platinum level, we could get off the ship first. We were told to be at the lounge level of Crimson dining room about 6:30. We got there about 6:15 and lots of people were lined up. About 7am or so, there was an annoucement that because of the fog, we would be delayed. Carnival should have told us that an hour earlier and we could have had a nice breakfast rather than being rushed. Carnival made no annoucement that we could get off the ship; we noticed the crew opened the door and we rushed over to get off. This was supposed to be for Platinum and Diamond level members only, but there were a lot of people who were not at that level that got off in front of us. You were supposed to put a #1 blue luggage tag on your take off luggage, but a lot of people did not have one, and Carnival made no effort to enforce this. Overall summary: The Dream is a nice ship, but we liked the Freedom better. On the positive side, the crew was extremely friendly, from the cabin steward to the dining staff. They always greeted you with a smile and a friendly hello. We were on deck 8, port side, mid ship; nice cabin--lots of storage--put your luggage under the bed. Typical mini frig which does not keep things real cold, but it is ok. We never buy their overpriced drinks, so we took the drinks out and put our wine in it. The linens were great, towels were plush, and the bed was very comfortable. The verandah was nice with 2 chairs and a little table. Unfortunately, Carnival lets people smoke on their balcony, and the people next door smoked; Carnival needs to change this policy. Also on deck 5, there are two hot tubs on both sides of the ship, and you could hear the loud talking from the people in the hot tubs. Unless you had a cabin below deck 5, or a spa cabin, you would have to put up with this noise, which was very annoying. The toilet tissue and the Kleenex imitation tissue paper were horrible. Surely Carnival can do better. We were amazed at the number of children on board considering it is between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Although we did not count them, our best guess is that there were at least 200 kids on board. Last year we went on a cruise about the same time and there were about 25 kids. I have been on over 20 Carnival cruises (starting with the Mardi Gras in 1975) and Carnival has gone downhill in our opinion. The past guest party was a joke, and their smoking policy needs changing. When we went on the Freedom last year, on the last night of the cruise there was a party where they gave you free drinks and great appetizers--not so this cruise. I know Carnival is trying to save money, but with the price you pay for a cruise, they should not be so cheap. Although we are at Platinum VIP level, unless Carnival changes their smoking policy on verandahs, we will never sail on Carnival again. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2012
We stayed at the Comfort inn and Suites in Cocoa Beach using the Fly, Snooze and Cruise package which was well worth the money. We were emailed instructions for meeting the driver from Travelynx and we were picked up from the airport right ... Read More
We stayed at the Comfort inn and Suites in Cocoa Beach using the Fly, Snooze and Cruise package which was well worth the money. We were emailed instructions for meeting the driver from Travelynx and we were picked up from the airport right on time. We arrived to the hotel at noon and our ocean view room was ready and more than adequate for a one night stay. The rooms are dated but clean and the location was ideal with grocery stores, restaurants, Starbucks and Ron Jon's surf shop all within walking distance. We had time to pick up some last minute supplies, have a nice dinner and even took a long walk on the beach! Faster to the Fun - The program offers early boarding, priority tendering, VIP line at guest services desk, etc. However, the hotel shuttle didn't leave until noon so we didn't board as soon as we would have liked. Once we got to the port, we had VIP check in and were on the ship within 15 minutes with our luggage arriving less than half an hour later. We found the ship to be well laid out and pretty much everything you need is on deck 5 or 10. We prefer the quieter areas of the ship and enjoyed our time on the Serenity deck. Margaritas at the Blue Iguana bar are awesome! We enjoyed this itinerary as we had not been to these ports before. This was an active cruise for us this time with lots of snorkelling, kayaking and zip lining. All private tours and a much better value than the ship tours. Cabin - we had a cove balcony which was fine, we liked being lower on the ship however we were located under the galley and the noise was unbearable. It started at 4am, making it impossible to sleep. We went to guest services (short line!) and requested another cabin. We spoke with a supervisor who offered us a 20% reduction on our cruise cost plus 15% off the next cruise we booked. We felt this was more than fair and it covered the cost of our drinks plus more for the entire cruise. Dining - We tried late dining for the first time and loved it. No rush after getting back from shore excursions. We were in the Scarlet Dining room and sat with 4 couples our age and had a wonderful time. Waiters were fantastic, food was very good except the beef which seems to be the case on every cruise we've been on. Service in the dining was the best we've ever had on a cruise. We heard others complaining of very long waits with the anytime dining option. We went to the Punch liner brunch once which was also very good. People start lining up 15-20 minutes before it opens. The buffet was mediocre at best with lukewarm food, I wish we had eaten breakfast in the dining room more often. I saw people filling up their large coffee thermos with juice, coffee, etc. There is a sign posted that this is not allowed and Carnival needs to enforce this rule. Other guests have to wait in line while you fill your 64oz. container. The pasta bar was okay, at least the food was hot! Turkey wrap at the deli was not so good...mostly tortilla and lettuce. It looks far better than it tastes. Room service - quick!! I ordered some lemons for a drink and they arrived before I could finish making the drink! Entertainment - Dancing in the Streets show was fantastic! As for the other shows...don't waste your time in my opinion. Late night comedian was very good. Imani at the piano bar was very entertaining and it became one of our favourite spots. After the cruise, Travelynx was there to meet us and take us back to the airport. I would highly recommend their Fly, Snooze and Cruise package. In summary, what stood out for us on this cruise was the service. It was top notch despite what I've read in other reviews. Servers always remembered our names, the cabin issue was dealt with fairly and we felt the level of service really added to this trip. The shows and the buffet could be better but all in all we had a wonderful cruise and felt we received good value for our money. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2012
This is our 5th cruise overall and 3rd with Carnival. (2 with RCCL). We booked thru Carnival direct and went with a balcony for the first time ever. I am in my mid 40's my wife is in her late 30's. we also traveled with my ... Read More
This is our 5th cruise overall and 3rd with Carnival. (2 with RCCL). We booked thru Carnival direct and went with a balcony for the first time ever. I am in my mid 40's my wife is in her late 30's. we also traveled with my in-laws who are in their early 70's. They have cruised with us on every cruise. Embarkation-besides the fact we went into the terminal to check in without checking our baggage first all went smooth. After we were fully checked in we dropped the bags off and were allowed a quick passage back thru security. Big thank you there! We were at the terminal around 10:30 and were on the ship at 11:15. Very smooth and no waiting. We were in our room by 1:00 which was earlier than expected. Stateroom-Our initial thought was very nice. We were on the starboard side deck 6. We found after booking the room that we were located over the promenade deck which met no clear view down of water which was not an issue. We also found after booking that we were over the Encore show lounge although loud at times was not a major issue. During the cruise our stateroom became one of our let downs. We had to continually ask for basic supplies. Also didn't get robes until we asked. If we hadn't we would've been charged when they went to check for them at the end of the cruise. Overall the cabin was never clean. We went to the pursers desk and s few things were corrected but it was never right. Our first 3 nights were very rough which caused a lot of spray onto the balcony. It was covered in salt and always soaked. This was out of everyone's control and they wash all balconies mid week. In the future if we book a balcony it would be on a higher deck in hopes to avoid the spray but in this case we got some on deck 11 while tanning so it didn't really matter. The small fridge was nice to keep some of our soda and wine cool. Mini bar prices are HIGH so beware. Food-This was our biggest disappointment. The food in the Gathering (buffet) was always cold unless you happened to hit it when they brought in a new tray. If you eat there be sure to hit the omelette station and pasta bar as they cook to your order. The floor is VERY slippery no matter what we had on for shoes. We all like the ice cream but the machines are down often for refills is my guess. We had the late seating in the Scarlet Dining room. Our servers were ok but on a few occasions got our meals wrong because they seemed to be in such a hurry they weren't listening. The food was usually hot but not every night. We ate in the dining room 5 nights. We went to a brunch in the Crimson dinging room in order to cash in our free drink coupons. This was what salvaged our cruise. Our waiter (Imade) was awesome! Our food was tasty and hot. We went back a few hours later for a lite lunch and to tell him how much his service changed our cruise and to personally tip him. We wish we would've done this earlier in the cruise as opposed to the next to last day. We tried the pizza station only once for a reason. The burger station was good but the fries cool quick. I would recommend the Pasta bar also. We did not try the steakhouse. Ports-We have been to all the ports before Nassau, St.Thomas and St.Maarten. We walked around all the ports and ventured inland to shop. If your in St.Maarten checkout Simpson Bay. This is where the planes land right over your head. Quite an experience. We did not do any excursions. Entertainment-We caught a few shows in the Encore lounge including the Newlywed show which is always funny. We also got an adult comedy show in the comedy lounge, very funny. In all we liked the shows. Gambled very little and left with less than what I started with. Recreation-We played mini golf a few times and had a great time. Had to play the roll of the ship which didn't always work :). We also played ping pong and you never knew where the ball would go because of the wind. That was a good laugh. We went in one of the aft hot tubs which was a little cool but still relaxing. Debarkation-Originally my in-laws had a different group number than us which met different times to leave. We were able to change that so we left together. Our total time from leaving the ship to getting to our car was 30mins. That included carding off the ship, getting our luggage, clearing Customs and walking to the car. That was fast. Overall the cruise could've been better in different areas. The 2 to 3 days off rough seas was nobody's fault. Maybe we were spoiled on our other Carnival cruises but we expected more than what we got. Would I tell anyone not to cruise with Carnival? No I wouldn't, plenty of people clearly enjoyed their cruise as did we in previous ones. We will be going back to Royal for our future cruises. As I have said in other reviews we are pretty easy going and don't need to be waited on hand and foot but this particular cruise just wasn't that enjoyable. On a sad note a passenger passed away due to medical reasons on the promenade deck during our last full day. The crew did there best and were visibly upset over the outcome. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the passengers family and all the crew that helped. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2012
Oh my! How much can a cruise line change in one year? This was our third cruise on the Carnival Dream and our last cruise with Carnival. We have always had both good service and a positive experience but apparently there have been some ... Read More
Oh my! How much can a cruise line change in one year? This was our third cruise on the Carnival Dream and our last cruise with Carnival. We have always had both good service and a positive experience but apparently there have been some changes made to enhance the cruise line's purse. The service in all dining rooms was terrible including no beverages offered during meal, orders not taken for over 15 minutes, orders confused, and maitre de with attitude. Bar staff repeatedly (despite our refusal) asked us for bar orders and finally two bar staff are walking through the main dining room shouting, "Liquor by the shot". Even the roughest club in Miami doesn't "hawk" shots. We do drink, but in moderation and through our own request, not the pushing of aggressively trained wait staff. Carnival had implemented a $40+ a day drink card so people could drink all they wanted for one price. Needless to say people want to get their monies worth, so the "family cruise lines" is actively promoting alcohol consumption. Not unusual to see "well lite" patrons in halls and/or other public areas. Spa continues to be overpriced and staff will try to sell you products whether you ask them not to or not. The sewer smell near some cabin areas is noticeable on all of the Carnival cruises we have taken. We assumed it was a hazard of all cruises but do not know that for a fact. We have avoided that area by asking our booking agent to steer us clear of it by at least ten cabins. She knew the areas we spoke of (so it is not a rare occurrence) and was able to do so. The cabin staff was amazing as usual, calling us by name and keeping everything emaculate. We loved the cove balcony which is not available on many ships. It is private and protected. It was also close to water level allowing us to see the flying fish daily and other sea life as we came into port.   Read Less
Sail Date: November 2012
EMBARKATION- Very easy. We parked off site and took a quick ride over to the ship around 11am. No lines when we got there and we were onboard in no time. NCL comparison- I've never had an issue embarking on any line. I do like that ... Read More
EMBARKATION- Very easy. We parked off site and took a quick ride over to the ship around 11am. No lines when we got there and we were onboard in no time. NCL comparison- I've never had an issue embarking on any line. I do like that NCL creates a 'party feel' when you get on board...music, people welcoming you, ect. We stepped on board the Dream without a welcome. Not a big deal, just an observation. DINING- I realize this is a touchy subject. I honestly wasn't impressed with Carnival's food at all. We were assigned late dining- not what we wanted but early dining and ATD were both full (we booked in June, but being a holiday sailing we understood it'd be busy). We ate in the dining room the first two nights and after that, we were done. We were a table of 6. Not sure why, but we felt ignored. We were last to get our orders taken, last to receive our food, last to get anything really. We finished at 10:30 both nights (the first night we skipped dessert because it was so late). Other tables around us would be ordering their dessert while we were just getting our entree. Getting more water or bread was impossible. Because we didn't want to make dinner a 2+ hour event, we stuck with the buffet the rest of the week....which- again- was just average. Nothing really seemed to be hot. Everything was just sort of lukewarm. NCL Comparison- We prefer NCL as far as dining goes. We heard from a few other people who have been on Carnival many times that the quality has decreased. We also prefer dining at anytime. We did like the options Carnival had at the Gathering- Mongolian Wok, Pasta Bar, Burrito Bar, ect- however, wish that some of these would be open at dinner time. I think it's a mistake not opening the Pasta Bar more often and for longer hours. The variety was very basic. The pizza was just 'ok'- calzones were really good though. Carnival, for being the 'fun' ships, should have something like NCL has- a 24 hour restaurant that serves more than just pizza. We missed going to the 24 hour restaurant and having chicken wings, cheese sticks, sandwiches, ect- instead of the Pizzeria which got tiring after the first few days. CABIN-We liked the layout of the room- beds were comfortable. Small tv but I'm not there to watch tv anyways. We thought the bathroom and balcony were both a little small. NCL comparison- We thought the room on Carnival was larger but the balcony and bathroom smaller. The bathroom on NCL's newer ships (exc EPIC) are much better than on the Dream- wood walls, sliding glass shower doors, ect. The sea green fixtures on the Dream and a moldy shower curtain do not look like something from a ship built just a few years ago. CREW- We felt like the crew was overworked (more than normal...). Cabin steward was very reserved and didn't talk much (which is fine, but abnormal for most). Didn't get to know the waiters much because we didn't go in the dining room except the first two days. The entertainment staff was great, but again- seemed to be stretched thin. Events hardly started on time. And once they were going, the staff would seemed rushed to get it over with so they could move on to their next event. NCL comparison- It's hard to judge a crew because they all work their butt's off, but this crew seemed exhausted. I know it was a full Thanksgiving cruise, but that's generally the week we go and thought that the NCL crew tries to connect more with you. ENTERTAINMENT- Thought the shows were pretty forgettable. A couple nights of motown, couple nights of dancing and singing- meh. I thought there'd be more variety. We did enjoy the late night comedy. The first two comedians were much better than the last two. The Burgandy Lounge is great. Also liked Sam's Piano Bar and the karaoke room (which was always packed- couldn't ever get a seat in there). One complaint I have is smoking in the nightclub Caliente. I've never seen this before on any ship I've been on. I wanted to go in there more often but the smoke was awful. NCL comparison- We were surprised at the lack of activities going on at night. Thinking that a newer CCL ship would really pump up the 'Fun Ship' theme, there wasn't a ton going on. We took part in a lot of the activities- the bean bag tosses, basketball competitions, and 100 games of trivia...but I honestly couldn't tell the difference between Carnival and NCL in this category. They all seem to have similar activities. We did enjoy winning the ships on a stick... SHIP- Heard rumors of smells before leaving and they were hit or miss- smelled some in the halls or right between Ocean Plaza/casino. The ship was beautiful and well laid out. Everything was clean and there was someone always wiping something down. Several of the hot tubs weren't hot at all, but not a big deal. I am shocked how little the 'Seaside Theater' screen was used. Nearly everytime we saw it, it was the spinning Carnival logo- what a waste! Why not show some scenes of a beach or something? Also, no live band by the pool? No Caribbean music? Very surprised. NCL comparison- The ship wasn't as gaudy as some of the older CCL ships I've seen. I think the Dream was beautiful and comparible to the NCL Pearl. One thing I think Carnival can improve on is some live music by the pool (your one man guitarist does not cut it). Deck parties weren't anything near what NCL does, and the BBQ was cancelled twice due to wind on the sea days. Well, it's always pretty windy- and there wasn't a backup plan. Why? Move it somewhere else! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2012
My wife and I chose the Carnival Dream as a way to celebrate our 29th wedding anniversary because we had sailed on the Carnival Dream before and had a wonderful experience. We were lucky to be able to upgrade to an ocean suite which gave ... Read More
My wife and I chose the Carnival Dream as a way to celebrate our 29th wedding anniversary because we had sailed on the Carnival Dream before and had a wonderful experience. We were lucky to be able to upgrade to an ocean suite which gave us more room. Our next door neighbor was loud and I had to bang on the wall a few times to get them to calm down. The room stewards were excellent. Our problem came with the food service folks. On the Lido deck, the bus boys and girls were extremely slow and had a "care less" attitude. On several occassions we waited for more than 30 minutes to get our table cleaned even after asking that it be done. We stopped going to the Lido deck for meals and started going to the Dining Room for lunch, and we used room service for breakfast one morning. Our waiter in the dining room dropped red wine on one of my new shirts that I bought especially for the cruise. I immediately tried to wash it out, then used Shout on it when we returned to the suite, and used spot treatment when we got home, but the shirt is ruined. On our anniversary evening, we had reservations to the Steakhouse. The service was very good, but the food was just so so. The Chef came out to speak to us, and we think the reason was that he knew the food was only ok. The food was not the usual quality that we have had in the past. I was very disappointed in the food service and the quality of the food. My wife and I are Platinum guests and we are usually treated much better when we sail on Carnival. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2012
I was pleasantly surprised by this cruise having always promised myself I never would want to go on one. Topping my list would be the cabin. I've never slept so well in my life. The bed is super comfortable as are the linens. I ... Read More
I was pleasantly surprised by this cruise having always promised myself I never would want to go on one. Topping my list would be the cabin. I've never slept so well in my life. The bed is super comfortable as are the linens. I propped my cabin door open with the deck chair each night to get the sea breeze and sound of the waves, then drew the curtains to keep the room pitch dark and slept like a baby. Shower was great, water pressure great, and you can set the temp separately from the pressure so it is always perfect. Next up was the Spa which came with the room; over indulged in drinking the first night so made my way to the spa; each room better then the next, all with tiled stone benches that retained the heat, views of the ocean. Except of course for the Eucalyptus Steam room which is dark just what you want. Then the shower room with the 10 shower heads and the misting heads and finally the Thalassotherapy sauna. Not only is it very comfortable it is great in rough seas since you get the rocking and the waves. Dry off, throw on the robes and slippers and make your way to the omelet station with your body and mind singing. I'd pay full price just for the room and spa :) To put to rest some of the concerns I had from complaints I read; 1) Chair Hogs. I never had a problem getting a chair. Sure you can't always get one where you want, and the Serenity Deck which has prime seating (and a hammock!) can be problematic if you don't get there early but I never was without and never saw people hogging chairs with towels/etc. They do have a new policy to deal with it but in any even was not an issue. 2) Food. Was it world-class gourmet food? No. It was good enough though and at dinner it is nice to be able to have a couple appetizers when you can't decide or a couple of shrimp cocktails. The variety was pretty good as well and the service was attentive. If you are expecting New York/San Francisco/Paris/etc class dining you will be disappointed, if you want a nice meal after a day of sun in a big comfortable dining room you won't be. Breakfast was fine especially if you make your way to the omelet station(s), never had to wait for more then 2-3 people in front of me. Lunch was probably my favorite since there were so many options; I was pleasantly surprised to find an Indian Buffet (aft starboard aka right rear to you landlubbers), sushi bar and though they don't seem to advertise it if you are enjoying the serenity desk you just have to ask and they have several tasty prepared lunches including a nice shrimp salad sandwich and a chicken Cesar Midnight Pizza was also a hit,though I'd recommend say not getting your own mini anchovy pizza at that time :| 3) Lines. 1/2 a brain will help you figure out not only best times to eat but which stations to eat at. For instance on the Lido Deck outside there is always a long line on the starboard side for burgers/fries/hot dogs. Yet on the port side you can get the same thing, it is just 'hidden' behind the pizza station. 4) Shows. Meh. Wasn't there for shows though. I mean it is nice to have piano bars and night clubs and shows on board and I did my share but I can do that at home (Manhattan) so for me deck side or even better on my balcony was the best time. I had a new kindle with one of those little book lights, so shut the lights in the cabin and on the balcony, brought my bottle of wine and read in my little cocoon of darkness with the sea and sky and waved as company. What show can compete with that (please don't say Lion King)? 5) Pools. Didn't find these taken over by kids or even very busy. If you're looking to do laps it won't happen but if you want to jump in and get cool and not worry about bumping knees or screaming kids it is available to you 6) Excursions. Can't comment, I was going to book but was enjoying not having to be anywhere anytime. Friends loved the zip lines. I went aboard in I believe Roatan since the beach is a 5 min walk from the ship and listened to reggae on the beach. Went ashore in Costa Maya since a 5 min walk from the ship and had some great spicy beer and awesome quesadillas by a really nice pool. BTW this would be the place to do the dolphins I think. No bus or van just walk off the shop and there they dolphins are. 7) Cost of drinks. Maybe the good thing about living in NY is everything seems cheap afterwards. Some people were 'aghast' at the high cost of drinks, for me a $6 beer, $8 margarita or $10 glass of wine are happy hour prices so I gladly paid. Some might say more then gladly :| I'd definitely do cruise again, not sure if it would be Carnival though this is nothing against them they seem to have it done from A-Z. I'd prefer: a) Adults only and preferably singles at that b) Transatlantic (big waves and no sure for 100s of miles) c) a more mixed crowd in terms of nationality. Other notes: Wine: I did the wine package, not bad, though I'd probably choose a higher end one next time, the difference in price would be justified by access to better wine. None of if it was bad Y ... innocuous. Which is not how you want your wine. On the other hand it was great at the piano bar to just hand over a wine stub and sit and listen to live piano with a glass of wine and bottle at hand. Also unlike anywhere else you can just take your bottle with you. Which is kind of funny when the ship is rocking since you end up stumbling side to side while walking around with a bottle in your hand trying to make it clear you are NOT a wino. Pre/Post Accommodations: A friend recommended I get there a day or two early and stay an extra day. Both were great advice. Not worrying about connecting with the ship on the way there and more importantly having a day or two to unwind was critical as I think it allowed me to board the ship relaxed and in 'vacation mode' instead of wasting a day aboard doing so. Ditto on return; instead of having to rush for a plane and deal with security/flying etc the extra day to unwind was perfect. I HIGHLY recommend the Hilton in Cocoa Beach; prices were VERY reasonable ($116 to $150 per night even through the hotel directly). Very nice comfortable rooms. You can ask for Ocean Room or Coastline room IMHO the coastline is fine. It means instead of looking directly out at the ocean you are looking up the coast along the beach, same difference. Ask for high floor towards front of the beach. I was in 704 on the first leg and it was beautiful. For a hotel, the food was both excellent and reasonable; I had an awesome fillet Mignon and glass of cab for less then $50 with tax and tip (many hotels here in NY would server you far worse food for far more money) and also highly recommend the Mahi Tacos, the Hamburger and the Crab Cakes. Chicken wings were Meh. A little boardwalk leads you over the dunes and to a huge stretch of beach in both directions with enough surf to body/boogie board or surf-surf. They rent boogie and surfboards and also give lessons. Of course you can just get a bloody Mary or pina colada and stroll down the beach which you don't even need lessons for. Taxi to Port Canaveral is around $25 though they also have transfer service for $5.50. I think that about covers it if not I shall return. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2012
We chose this Thanksgiving cruise as we had no family coming this holiday and our first cruise years ago on a different line was on Thanksgiving and we really enjoyed it. The Dream is a beautiful ship, kept very clean, and the crew works ... Read More
We chose this Thanksgiving cruise as we had no family coming this holiday and our first cruise years ago on a different line was on Thanksgiving and we really enjoyed it. The Dream is a beautiful ship, kept very clean, and the crew works very hard to please the passengers but at times they are overwhelmed. Some have the patience of Job to put up with the complaining passengers. Embarkation was quick and easy, we had a nice lunch at the Gathering. At every venue for eating, including the MDR, the food was always excellent; hot food hot and cold food cold. Waiters in the MDR were exceptional and both earned an extra tip as did our cabin steward who did a great job. The steak house was out of this world and worth every penny, not to be missed. Went to the Comedy Brunch one morning and was very disappointed in the presentation. Did not use the Spa and went to Serenity only once as it was a long trek to the other end of the ship as we had a aft extended balcony cabin. Also, very noisy. Seems like some Americans completely forget their manners when they go on vacation. The ship was very noisy overall. Chairs scraping above us at all hours, children running up and down the corridors unsupervised and jumping from pool to hot tub and back again, drunks talking loud, families shouting at each other, and the cruise director talking over the PA system incessently in the hallways and not able to understand half of what she was saying. Then there are the passengers with walkers and motorized wheelchairs who will just run over you if you can't jump out of the way fast enough. The shops should have been doubled in size. There should have been a pool and hot tub just for the children. Babies in diapers should not be allowed in the hot tubs. St. Thomas excursion was for shopping and the beach, also the Amber museum and some historical homes. Really enjoyed the Meagans beach. St. Martin was a very nice sightseeing and shopping tour. Did not get off the ship in Nassau. As to the entertainment, the show on Monday was so bad, we left after 20 minutes. We have never seen that many people leave a performance as there was quite a crowd leaving when we did. I heard from another passenger that Tuesday night show was no better. However, Wednesday was great with a fiddler who stole the show. The whole production was very good and much enjoyed. We wanted to try out a bigger ship and we found the experience dishearting. We were docked next to Oasis of the Seas which is REALLY big and decided these Mega ships are not for us. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2012
My husband & I & took this cruise for my birthday. We were accompanied by another couple who were 1st time cruisers. We are all 65+ and this was our first time on Carnival. We are Florida residents so we drove 1 1/2 hrs. to the ... Read More
My husband & I & took this cruise for my birthday. We were accompanied by another couple who were 1st time cruisers. We are all 65+ and this was our first time on Carnival. We are Florida residents so we drove 1 1/2 hrs. to the port. Great experience, no problem at all. We parked off the port about 3 mi. away & we were at the pier in no time. Carnival really knows how to embark their passengers. They have many check-in stations & we were on the ship in 10 minutes--no waiting in line. We were on deck 2 in a cove balcony cabin, which I thought was very good. It was sufficient for 2 people and we would do it again. Deck 2 is convenient because it is only 1 deck down from the dining room & is also near the atrium, the theater, & the gangway. We thought the cabin & the whole ship was very clean, a big + in my book. The entertainment, on the whole, I would rate fair to good. The theater's sound system is way too loud. We went to the adult comedy shows a couple of times & enjoyed it. The atrium also had some good singers & music for dancing. Now for the dining--We had the any time dining, a first for us. We liked it because it was more flexible and we happened to hook up with a great wait staff that we requested whenever we went to the dining room. The food was hit or miss depending on what you ordered. We had some very good meals & some not so good. They can't cook beef to save themselves. It's always overdone. You have to ask for medium rare to be able to chew it. The dining room was very cold, sometimes so much so that it was uncomfortable. We didn't like the ports at all & would never sail this itinerary again. Enough said!! The best thing about Carnival is their personnel. Everyone we came in contact with was wonderful. They couldn't do enough for you & always had a smile on their face. We have sailed other lines and we think that Carnival has the best service & personnel. A big shout-out to Windi & Budi, our terrific wait staff. The disembarking was quick & efficient. All in all, we enjoyed the cruise & would sail with Carnival again for the right price. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2012
Boarded the Dream on Sat with very litttle trouble. Getting on was smooth and easy. after getting on we got to stand in our first line for food on the Lido deck. While the cruise was not fully booked almost alway had to wait in line on ... Read More
Boarded the Dream on Sat with very litttle trouble. Getting on was smooth and easy. after getting on we got to stand in our first line for food on the Lido deck. While the cruise was not fully booked almost alway had to wait in line on the Lido deck. Dream did not have space for the number of people on boarding and on most days eating was a wait in line. The ship was easy to navigate after learning the plan. While the ship is larger than others it seem s that the public space is smaller tha Freedom and Glory. Food on Lido deck was average not as good as other shhips i have been on with Carnival. On shore days the Lido dining hall was not well run. Breakfast was served late and lunch opened at noon and space was limited. Docked at 11 am and luch was not started until noon and closed early so if you went ashore you could not eat buffet had to stand in line at the grill r deli. Dining room food was great as always and getting in was fairly quick even with lines on the Your time sittings.get there early as the crowd picks up and the lines grew longer for early sittings each night. The cruise was one of the most unstable that i have been on, ship rocked most of the time, basically the wind was bad. Short stay in Nassau and then started the cruise St Thomas had good weather and plenty of time to look around or take an excursion. St Marteen was great Cattamaran the Golden Eagle to beach was great swimming and crew were good, snorkling was not very good but still great excursion the crew of Golden eagle was great.The shows were the normal Carnivals shows, country show was horrible as singers definately were not into country. Comedy was big on cruise as punchliner was often full early. Casino was not as good as others, smoking was everywhere and tables were not always open . Fun shops did not seem as big as others Freesom and Glory. Gettin off at Port Caneveral was one of the smoothest i have been through, started letting self deembarakation at 7am and was back at hotel by 745 and on the road. Cruise was great overall even though had some bad weather and bumpy ride. ream might be one of newer ships but freedom and Glory put it to shame. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2012
This was our 3rd Carnival Cruise. The ship is beautiful and laid out fairly well despite it's size, but waiting for any meals and elevators is all too common. The Gathering buffet on Lido Deck is too small for a ship this size. It ... Read More
This was our 3rd Carnival Cruise. The ship is beautiful and laid out fairly well despite it's size, but waiting for any meals and elevators is all too common. The Gathering buffet on Lido Deck is too small for a ship this size. It seems about the same size as on the smaller Carnival Freedom, and not much bigger than on the much smaller Norwegian Jewel class ships. It often took 15 minutes to finally get through for any meal. We did the yourtime dining for dinner and found it to be a very long wait to be seated each time. One night it took nearly 45 minutes. Carnival should take a cue from Norwegian, which does anytime dinning for everyone. They allow you to go to either of the two dinning rooms and the waits are never more than 5-10 minutes. Service once you are seated can also be slow. One night we waited nearly an hour for our main course. I tried the pasta grill one day, and waited nearly an hour for one bowl. I want to say that the wait staff are very competent and friendly. It seems they just don't have enough for a ship this size. Supervisors give you a lot of double talk and excuses that is very insulting. While the lower level staff is quite friendly and accomodating, middle and upper management treat guests like they are all children and don't know better. If Carnival is going to keep building these enormous ships, they need to staff them adequately and make everything bigger to accomodate so many people. We also found the elevators very slow and inadequate. The should be more on a ship this size. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2012
This was our 34th cruise and 6th on Carnival. We were on the Dream a year ago and so below are a few changes. We were with our daughter, son-in-law, and two children. This was during Thanksgiving week and there were about 1400 children ... Read More
This was our 34th cruise and 6th on Carnival. We were on the Dream a year ago and so below are a few changes. We were with our daughter, son-in-law, and two children. This was during Thanksgiving week and there were about 1400 children aboard. With those crowded conditions it was as good as could be expected. Embarkation - During the last two months the Dream is using Terminal 6 and not Terminal 10 that was given to us on our documentation. This is a brand new terminal. There are more security scanners and more check in counters. We did not have to wait for anything - we arrived a little after 11 AM. After getting your sign and sail card, you are directed to the photo area. I thought that it the family group picture, but it is for your sign and sail card. You go up two flights on the escalator and then you walk the length of the ship to enter near the bow. The check-in is good, but prepare to walk a lot. Breakfast/Lunch - On the next day, you can go to the buffet (deck 10) or sit down in the Crimson Dining room (deck 3 mid ship). Lunch is in the same places. For the three sea days, they do not have a standard sit down breakfast or lunch, but a Headliners comedy sit down brunch from 9 to 1:30. On the hour they have a comedian tell a few poor jokes. They have breakfast items and even a fillet steak with two eggs over it and sliced potatoes underneath. They also have a small salmon steak. There are also a few dessert items to choose from. This has only been in operation for two months - an experiment. A few other changes that I had not experienced on Carnival and most other ships. There are no evaluation forms, no real choice to set your departure zone (time). We were zone 17 and were expected to get off between 9:15 and 9:30. Our cabin area all had zone 17. Many used express off loading where you cart your own baggage - we always see people struggle as they use the stairs as the elevators never come when you want. The elevators are slow for such a new ship. The cabin doors are paper thin - not like the Oasis or Allure. Public restrooms are small. Booze - do not put your wine bottle in your suitcase, but carry it with you. We took a 12 pack of coke. They will get your booze in your suitcase, but you can retrieve it at 6:30 AM on the last day. Any unsealed bottles will be discarded and not saved. I thought for such a large ship that the entertainment would be more than 3 productions - those were great, but the other days it was family feud, etc - very cheap. Overall I have no big complaints. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2012
This was the worst experience of my life. I went to help my brother recuperate from a 3 month coma. The room was like an electricians workshop, I requested single beds, the room had a double, I was told to pull them apart, I slep tha ... Read More
This was the worst experience of my life. I went to help my brother recuperate from a 3 month coma. The room was like an electricians workshop, I requested single beds, the room had a double, I was told to pull them apart, I slep tha night with no bed linen. My luggage got lost only to appear after we had left port, as. Was going to get off. Guest services did not want to know any problems and where obstructive. I asked for a room my the lifts, they gave me a room furthest away possible I was screamed at by the matre'd when I asked if I could change from 8pm sitting due to medical reasons. I lived sandwiches, my brother was admitted to the hospital as he did not get appropriate meals It took my brother 20 minutes to get into a lift as other passengers would not let him in with his wheelchair Asked excursion for disabled friendly trips, they haven't got a clue as disabled friendly to them is not taking a wheelchair, walking 3 miles and climbing 200 stairs Prison would have been easier. They got the money and slotted us into a class system, and we where on the poor side as we were on the wrong coloured floor. On return. Have complained, they are not interested a all Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2012
Before taking the cruise, I did some research & read the reviews. I came across alot of "negitive" reviews but decided not to take them to heart & wait to form my own opinion. I'm glad I did, because I had a GREAT ... Read More
Before taking the cruise, I did some research & read the reviews. I came across alot of "negitive" reviews but decided not to take them to heart & wait to form my own opinion. I'm glad I did, because I had a GREAT time! My DH & 2 friends that I also sailed with had a GREAT time too!! I think some people just need to have something to complain about & if you want to have a good time, then you make it a good time! We flew in a day early & spent the rest of Friday in Orlando. On Saturday we boarded our transportation provided by "Mears" which was well organized. Embarkation was a breeze! We arrived approx 10:45am with a nice line forming already, but it moved so smoothly, that we were on the ship having some lunch within 45-50min. We went to our stateroom at 1:30, but I believe it was ready before then! We had a balcony stateroom, which was so AWSOME! Our Steward was great! I saw him the 2nd day & he addressed me by name, which amazed me. He did a WONDERFUL job of keeping our room up, keeping fresh ice & loved the towel animals! We wrote him a "thank you" & added something extra for a job well done! We ate in the Scarlet 1 night, the Steakhouse 1 night & the rest of the time at the Gathering because it was more relaxed. The food was ALWAYS good and what needed to be hot was "hot" & what needed to be cold was "cold" The Steakhouse is truly worth the $35 & the staff makes sure you are enjoying yourself! We enjoyed roomservice several times as you just could not pass it up! We didn't have a problem with long lines because we avoided the "busy times" & with 4,000+ people on board, you can't expect to get everything right when you want it. Nassau, St Thomas & St Maarten were good 1st time experiences. Did some shopping & tour of the Island. We left the excursions for the next cruise. The shows & comedians were saw were good. The "seaside" movies were good and we always found something to do, so there is no reason to be "bored" on the ship. We had a 2 days/nights of "rough" waters which when walking around made you feel like you had been drinking for several days!! But was funny watching each other get around. Dembarkation was a breeze! We did the luggage express that got our bags to the airport, so all we had was our carryons & we could leave at our leisure, so we enjoyed some breakfast and was off the ship within 15min, loading up on our "Mears" bus and on our way to the airport to begin our travels back home! Overall, the Dream was truly a "dream" for our 1st cruise! We are ready to cruise again & would cruise the Dream again in a heartbeat!! THANK YOU CARVIVAL DREAM FOR A WONDERFUL 1ST CRUISE!!!! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2012
My DH and I returned from our Dream cruise last Saturday from Port Canaveral. We are in our 60's, this was our third Carnival cruise also w/Legend & Glory, once with Holland and twice with Royal Caribbean. We flew Airtran from ... Read More
My DH and I returned from our Dream cruise last Saturday from Port Canaveral. We are in our 60's, this was our third Carnival cruise also w/Legend & Glory, once with Holland and twice with Royal Caribbean. We flew Airtran from Indianapolis on Wed. prior to the cruise for an extended stay in Cocoa Beach and rented a car from Budget. Thanks to a review from another cruise critic member who posted a promo code we were able to rent our car at a great savings. (Y937800). We made our hotel reservation thru Priceline (no bidding) at a discounted rate at the Best Western Ocean Beach. It is an established complex and have been doing extensive remodeling. The front desk was extremely friendly and kind enough to let us check in early. She gave us a great upgrade from the courtyard room we originally booked to a two room suite with balcony with an ocean view. We were both thrilled. We had never been upgraded anywhere before. Everyone was very friendly including the breakfast room staff. The continental breakfast was A+. In addition to the traditional offerings they included scrambled eggs, sausages, potatoes, plus mini quiche one day and (biscuits and gravy one morning. There was fresh baked and sliced HOME MADE banana bread that was delicious. The grounds are maintained beautifully and they have 24 hr. security. There were two very nice heated pools and one ocean view building with a short path next to it that leads to the beach. There are many restaurants nearby and a Publix across the street. We would stay here again. I was really skeptical about booking this ship from many negative reviews it has gotten in the past. We were pleasantly surprised and very satisfied. Port Canaveral is a great embarkation port. Carnivals new terminal is excellent with very fast service and pleasant employees. Checking in was fast and no waiting (11:00 am) The only improvement would be at the drive up luggage drop off which was slow and disorganized. We were driven to the port by a Budget van and had to wait at least 20 min. to get out and unload our suitcases. Seemed like they were only doing one vehicle at a time while there were many areas to unload. Take an umbrella as the short walk to the terminal is in the open and you will get wet if its raining. Sat. we returned our car to Budget and were driven to the port around 11:00 am. Check in was fast and easy and not crowded at all. We were able to walk right on to the ship. BEAUTIFUL! It was bright and cheerful not dark like their other ships. The ship is big but it's mainly in the width which make everything more accessible. We were eating lunch at the Gathering by 11:30. Since our cabin was on deck 11 we found some loungers and waited until our room was ready. (1:30) The cabin was on the starboard side down from the forward elevators, panorama deck and most convenient. The cabin was typical of Carnival, spacious and very clean. The refrigerator was not cold only cool. The AC worked perfectly and were able to adjust it for our comfort. The bed was a bit too firm (and I like firm beds), the balcony was also typical of Carnival with two chairs and a small table. We never saw our cabin steward (once) "Noel" but he was excellent. Muster drill for our location was held in the Encore theater. We did sail away on an outside deck forward on deck 7. It was pretty windy but with only a few other people. Our luggage had been delivered so unpacked. Before dinner we visited the Taste Bar. Not impressed! We had about 1 tablespoon of some kind of pulled pork, (ate with our fingers) and a TINY offering of soup. Tasted ok but a waste of time. Never went back again. We ate in the Crimson DR (My Time Dining) about 6:30pm and shared the table with very nice people. Were seated immediately. Our waiter Joseph was friendly, efficient and quick which is sometimes a problem the first night. My food review will come later. Sunday was beautiful and warm with light seas. Had breakfast in the Gathering as we were too early for the brunch and the Scarlet DR was not open. Visited the Fun Shops and purchased two t-shirts and a watch. Lunch was at the BBQ on deck 5. An outside BBQ. It was busy with a long line. We sat in loungers, ate and enjoyed the beautiful view. We then walked up to the serenity area but it was crowded and the only seating available had no view. Returned to deck 5 as it was peaceful and you could nap or read. Tonight was elegant night. Had a table for 8, no waiting. Most people were dressed at least in the Sunday best. 8:30pm at the Encore theater: The theme was Get Ready. I thought the two lead singers were fantastic and the dancers were very professional . Very energetic! It lasted a full hour. Mon. was mostly sunny. Breakfast in the Crimson DR. Food was good and service excellent. Cozumel: Trolley transportation was available for the long pier. We grabbed a cab ($16) and stayed at Mr. Sanchos all inclusive resort. $45@ online with shaded seating and table oceanfront and great service with food (coconut shrimp our favorite) a full menu and a buffet set up in our area. The drinks were delicious. The pool water was chilly. On our return to the ship we were too full to eat in the dining room and frankly the menu wasn't interesting. WE went up to the Gathering for a sandwich and to check out the buffet. The food was ok but not a big selection. It was raining in Belize. We had been there before but unless you do snorkeling or tours to the ruins there is little to do there except the typical shopping; No beaches without a tour. so we relaxed on the ship. Had breakfast in the DR and lunch on the LIdo. (Great chocolate chip cookies.) Had dinner in the Crimson DR at a table for 6, great people, no waiting and again great service. 8:30pm Encore Theater, Dancing in the streets, another very enjoyable show, very well done. Why can't the other Carnival ships be this good? Mon. was Roatan, Mahogany Bay. Had breakfast near the aft pool. Same food, no crowds. We had gone to the beach here last year and really liked it but wanted something different this time. So we walked to the left in the shopping area to the information/taxi area and got a taxi $2@ to take us up the hill to meet with our Victor Bodden tour. We boarded an AC bus with about 12 people for a tour of the island, a stop at a private beach ($10@) (4 lobster taco's $6 , punch $5, coke $3). Our bus then drove thru Coxen Hole and back to the ships dock. Our tour guide was named Annie and is a native. She was outstanding! We also had a very careful bus driver. This was much appreciated. If you have ever been driven on some these ports of call you know how scary it can be. The tour lasted 4 hrs and only cost $25@ plus tips. Had dinner in the Crimson DR . We asked to share and they put us in a booth for 4 but no one else came to sit with us. Food good, good service. There was no entertainment in the theater tonight. Enjoyed some music on deck 3. Thur. was a short day in Costa Maya. We had taken a bus into town on our lst trip and enjoyed bargaining with the locals and relaxing on the beach with a margarita. Since time was short we just stayed at the port and watched people swim with the dolphins, shopped a little (purchased some vanilla) and sat in the sun. We were able to ride the trolley back and forth from the ship which was a blessing as hubbies knees were bothering him. The Crimson DR was open for lunch (surprise because normally they are closed on port days). Then we relaxed on deck 5 for the afternoon. Dinner in the Crimson again, no waiting, shared a table, great service and food. No complaints! The Encore Theater had a Country Western musical show. I don't really like this kind of music but the singing. and dancing were wonderful. Fri.: last day at sea. Our Cruise Director Steve hosted a question and answer gathering at 11am. that was very interesting for almost 1 1/2 hrs in the main lobby area. Lunch at the Gathering with the Chocolate Extravaganza was pretty busy. Toured the Fun shops one last time, went back to our cabin to pack, napped, read on our balcony. The Crimson dining room was the busiest night of the week, but still no waiting (7pm) Service was a little slow tonight but we were seated with a wonderful couple and didn't really mind waiting. Food again was very good. Sat. Breakfast on the Lido deck with fewer options than during the week. We waited for our zone #10 to be called in the Encore theater, about a 1 hour wait.. Walked off the ship by 9:30. Luggage area was well marked and customs was a breeze. There is a little bit of a walk to the bus transportation pick up and had to wait about 1/2 hr for our Budget van as they were servicing another ship also. We picked up our return car to Orland MCO, printed off our boarding pass and headed out, trip is less than an hour. Our plane left at 1:30 pm and after we went thru customs had only an hour wait until we boarded. SUMMERY: The ship is beautiful. service was excellent, we encountered no sewer smell anywhere, the ship didn't rock any more than other ships but you could feel the stabilizers kick in if you paid attention, we had light seas. The pool areas always had loungers available, no chair hogs. The center pool was noisy. The seaside there was a disappointment during the day and in the evening they played a football game first starting a 8 or 8:30 with a movie following, too late for us. Food....For breakfast there were four buffet areas to choose from, the main buffet, one near the front pool and one near the rear pool. I wasn't impressed with dinner in the Gathering but only did it once. The dining room servers were older and more experienced and service was good. Shrimp was abundant on the menu but several times it was the same shrimp with just a different presentation. We enjoyed breakfast both in the Dr and on the Lido. It wasn't gourmet but there were lots of choices. Lunch at the buffet was varied and pretty good, the grill with with hamburgers with grilled mushrooms and onions, cheese, etc., 1/4# hot dogs were very good, the deli had delicious reuben and ham and cheese sandwiches. The Mongolian grill had a bit of a line and was good except the BBQ wasn't as flavorful as I had hoped. But all in all food was good. The club sandwich in the dining room was one of our favorites. Dining room dinner: appetizers...salmon was raw, not to my liking, chicken tenders good, chicken noodle soup and potato was not so good, broccoli soup was ok, stuffed mushroom, I liked...DH didn't. (he's picky). Tai chicken very good,crab cake good, spinach salad very good, Greek farmers salad. Main dishes = same shrimp offered with different presentation. Good. Salmon excellent, fried chicken -dry and overcooked, meatloaf absolutely tasteless, tilapia very good, BBQ ris were very meaty, flavorful but a little tough. Sicilian chicken was tasty but very small thighs, sweet potato,squash & cheese and eggplant Parmesan both excellent. Chateaubriand (sp) excellent. Desserts all very good, chocolate mint cake, ice cream, banana splits, fun ship special, cream brulee (my favorite), chocolate melting cake (another favorite), chocolate chip cookies (lido) delicious, bitter and blanc, amaretto cake (another favorite. (Can you tell I love chocolate?) The lanai barbecue was fun eating on deck 5, Hamburgers, hot dogs, tacos, quesadillas, salad. You could hear music, etc, from the atrium deck 3 all the way up to deck 11 from the open area even with our door shut some evenings.. I could also hear some noise from the pool area only from our balcony near the forward elevators on deck 1l. I would go on this ship or one of her sisters again. 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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