Sail Date: December 2009
First let me say we stayed in a hotel overnight on Cocoa Beach which is very convenient. I am 25 years old and this was my 30th cruise, 26th with Carnival so I am a Platinum Milestone Guest. Embarkation was a easy process that lasted less ... Read More
First let me say we stayed in a hotel overnight on Cocoa Beach which is very convenient. I am 25 years old and this was my 30th cruise, 26th with Carnival so I am a Platinum Milestone Guest. Embarkation was a easy process that lasted less than 30 minutes. Cabin- We were booked in a balcony cabin on the 11th floor. The cabin was really nice and roomy for a ship of this size. Our steward name Pedro was nice, but didnt see him much. Ship- I was very excited about going on the new ship. I generally prefer the larger ships. The ship was full to capacity. At first I didnt like the Promenade deck because I thought that it was kinda designed crazy, and I didnt like the casino at first. I grew to like the promenade deck, and I grew to enjoy how the casino was seperated on both sides of the Promenade deck. And I really enjoy the smokeless areas in the casino. Now to the other parts of the ship. I hated the elevators, they were very small and you could never hear when they were on your floor. I thought that even though the ship was large, it felt that everything was very compact. The Encore lounge was very pretty and nice. Most views in the lounge were nice. The Lido deck open area was well suited and I thought sophisticated. Shows- OMG "Dancin in the Streets" was the best show that I have ever seen. It was draw dropping good. I didnt enjoy the other shows as much. I didnt even attend the Country show because I am not into that type of music. The late night comedy show was great, and the Carnival Legends is always a hit. But the only thing that I am tired of with the Legends show is that everytime I go on a cruise why do the Cruise Director have to be Dolly Parton- kinda boring now. Food- The food on the ship was okay but not that great. I had breakfast every morning in the dining room and it was good. I had lunch on the Lido deck and it was either hit or miss. But the Red Velvet cupcakes on the lido deck were OMG great. I never tried the Mangolia area because the line was always very long, someone I know waited an hour. I did enjoy the made to order Pasta Bar very much, I ate it most days. The dining room was average, I didnt eat much there, but I went everynight. Our server was awful. I waited one night for an hour and I am not kidding for a refill on the nasty tea. Ports- I really didnt enjoy any of the ports that we visited. I have been to them all except for Isla Roatan. I was excited about going to Isla, but I was very disappointed. Cozumel,Mexico was okay but always hot so I only stayed off for an hour. Belize was nice, but we didnt do much there because it rained very hard. I wanted to walk in the city, but as we were, my family decided to turn around because it is very poor and looked to be not very safe. And I hated Costa Maya, Mexico. There is nothing to do there but shop, I thought it was a waste of time. I wouldnt have enjoyed an extra fun day at sea instead of visting ports 4 days in a row. But anyways, I enjoyed the cruise very much, but I didnt like the way that Carnival is changing up somethings. I didnt like the fact that you cant pay cash for things such as Bingo anymore, and how they got rid of the free drinks for the captains ball. And another thing I wish the Dream had more activities during the day. It can become very boring a lot during the day with no activities. And what was up with Bingo on the Lido deck, it was too hot for that. Didnt like that at all, because I love bingo even though I dont win. I do recommend this cruise for anyone because I love to cruise and I do like Carnival, but I do think that Carnival needs to make some changes. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2009
Being our 7th cruise, we had great expectations for our Dream vacation upon Carnival's newest baby. She looked spectacular upon embarkation (which went off without a hitch) and was tastefully decorated on the inside. SIZE: One fault ... Read More
Being our 7th cruise, we had great expectations for our Dream vacation upon Carnival's newest baby. She looked spectacular upon embarkation (which went off without a hitch) and was tastefully decorated on the inside. SIZE: One fault with the massive size of the ship was that the size didn't actually benefit any additional amenities that I assumed it would...it just increased the amount of space to accommodate sleeping arrangements for the masses. This was a Christmas break/New Year's cruise so of course if was packed (including 1400 children who weren't much a nuisance until the last sea day in the hot tubs---parents should monitor their own children for sure:) FOOD: Excellent variety and flavour (did anyone pass up the melting chocolate cake at the nightly meal?---shame on you!) The venues were plentiful: Wasabi sushi bar, sandwich station, Mongolian Wok, Omelette station, Hamburger grill, pizzeria, unlimited frozen yogurt/ice cream (soft serve). However, the Chocolate Extravaganza on the last sea day was spectacular:) CABIN: we were in cabin 2330 which was the new type of cove balcony. Perfect for a family on a budget to have a balcony space, close to the ocean with enough room for two and coffee (we took our cabin coffee table onto the deck to rest our feet as there was no deck table). Our family of four slept comfortably in this set up of a room. 6A category. ONBOARD ACTIVITIES: the waterworks looked like fun but we never made it that far; loved the Serenity area for adults (wish some conditions of what constituted an adult were posted---like age); Gym was adequately equipped with ellipticals, treadmills, and weight machines...everyone packed it out the first 3 days and then it wasn't so hard to find a space; pools---for our family, we found them small. We are used to the larger ones on Princess that you can have a good game of water volleyball...they were just fine for dipping in but swimming wasn't actually an option. We also would have liked to see some organized pingpong tourneys as they had two great tables set up. However, we really enjoyed the mini golf course. ENTERTAINMENT: Loved the juggler (EDGE) and his style of bringing us all to laughter. Due to the lack of modesty for some of the dancers outfits, we chose not to take our daughters to the nightly entertainment. The talent was obviously there, but the discernment in clothing choices was too revealing for our family. The children's Camp Carnival brochure warned of this and they were right. Thx Carnival for the warning as this hasn't been the case on some other questionable entertainment nights on other lines. OVERALL: Loved this cruise, the people we meet and the service we received. We will definitely be utilizing Carnival in the future. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2009
I was excited for months- I booked this cruise last January. I am so glad I did! I am new at reviews-so I will try not to ramble. Embarkation: My husband is platinum, so there was no wait for us. The process was easy as they whisked us ... Read More
I was excited for months- I booked this cruise last January. I am so glad I did! I am new at reviews-so I will try not to ramble. Embarkation: My husband is platinum, so there was no wait for us. The process was easy as they whisked us into the office to sit and check us in. The lady was very sweet and gave my kids activity books with crayons, pencils and candy canes. The trip could have stopped in this office and my kids would have been happy. There was a bit of a hold up with the photos getting on the ship. I have never understood why they set these pictures up at the entrance to the ship. It creates congestion. This ship had 2 photo opportunities-one just before getting aboard, and one just after with an "astronaut". Seems to me these could be set up off to the side so the people could go back after getting settled-but I suppose it is a money thing. Get them while they can't go anywhere. The ship is gorgeous! It has the nicest decor of the 4 ships I have sailed with Carnival. Sure there were layout/ design flaws I would have hoped not to encounter on a new ship, but it was still pretty. The Lido: was very busy. Fortunately, I do not spend a lot of time there. I did wait in long lines on the lido on the first day when there was nothing else to do anyway. When boarding the ship, you will either snap up a pool chair, explore a bit, or eat. Nothing else is open. So I chose to brave the hour long wait at the Mongolian station I had read so much about on here. I knew I would wait a while, and this was the only day I was willing to do it. It was food. It wasn't spectacular, but I do not like eating at the regular buffet lines. I only like to eat at stations they fix it for you right there and dump it on your plate (think the Mongolian, omelette, deck 5 bbq-yum). This leads back to a food poisoning case I swear is from every person on the ship having germs and dirty hands, etc. then going to the buffet, using the tongs and then throwing them back in the food. That is against health code here, but I guess Carnival doesn't concern themselves with it. Anyway, I digress. Scarlett Dining: Just about all my meals, including breakfast, brunch on some mornings, and dinner were in the Scarlet dining room. It was lovely. Our family of 5 sat with another family of 5. Our table mates, who have cruised much more than us, were very nice and shared with us some of their wisdom about different ships, ports, etc. Sadly, my children did not eat with us most of the time. My teenager just about always ate at the lido deck after the first night. My boys wanted to eat with their friends at Camp Carnival. My husband and I agreed to let them go. How often do we have a "dinner date"? I cannot recall my table number now, but we were on the first floor of the dining room, center of the room, and Lucy was our waiter after the first night. What about the first night? I barely remember that guy-I don't know what happened to him. Lucy did a great job! She remembered our names, was always very friendly. She tried to get me to dance with her, but I do not really like that kind of thing. The food was amazing! As for people who have complained about it, I don't know what those people are used to eating, but the food was better than any gourmet food I have had before at home! I used to go out to restaurants quite a bit, and had my own kitchenware and gourmet food business. I can not complain about the food! Especially when someone has to prepare it, bring it to me, and clean the dishes. Note about the brunch- My husband and I did this 2 days. The first day was great! There were flowing mimosas (free), our waiter (not Lucy) did an amazing job getting to us quickly, not making us wait to long. We also had a nice family sit with us at brunch. We later saw the family several times and we were happy to see them, hear about their day, etc. When I ordered the chicken mozzarella on french toast, it sounded yummy. When I got it, it wasn't. My fault though. I guess I did not think about a tomato sauce on my french toast. My waiter graciously removed it and brought me a different entree in a snap. I got the eggs benedict-couldn't go wrong with that. Oh my, it was delicious! The second day- was terrible. It was my husband and me again. They sat us at a table for 2 (we usually prefer to sit with someone else for the conversation). With our table in the middle of the row, by the serving station, and every table for two along the window open, we asked to be moved. The waiter said I would have to go back and ask the hostess, which I did. We were seated at the window, our lady waitress came, poured our mimosas, gave us our menus. She came back a couple minutes later and took our order. She then disappeared for over 30 minutes. We had to keep troubling the waiter of the table near us for drinks, bread etc. Finally, we decided to walk out. By this time, I wasn't even hungry anymore. This was a disappointment. We were told by the other waiter-very sorry. Brunch is new for them and they are still working out all the kinks. I am not sure why there are kinks, do they not serve breakfast? Deck 5 Aft BBQ: We discovered this on the first day at sea(how lucky!) We both enjoyed the food, did not have to wait in a live at any time with more than 5 people in front of us. The food was fresh, delicious and the chefs were very friendly. The even posed for pictures for me an a few other guests. Bad news- I had an allergic reaction to something I ate there. I had the hamburger slider and a quesadilla. Within minutes, I had hives up and down my arms! I quietly went to the chef on the end for a list of ingredients. He pointed me over to one of those important looking people in the white uniforms. He was very nice and helpful. He asked if I needed medical attention, which I chose not to get. This isn't the first time it has happened to me, so I knew they would go away. I think I narrowed it down to chili peppers. I didn't really itch, and the food was so delicious, I still went back the next day we were at sea. Wasabi Sushi bar: i love sushi, but this was ridiculous. I was only able to get sushi on 2 of the nights. The other members are right about this. The line is very long, they only give you three pieces (though I just asked for more than one plate) and they do not let you choose. I suppose it did force me into trying new sushi I had never had before (which I did not like). It was okay. The second night I went, I looked at the offering first. I didn't think I could stomach any of it, so I skipped it. I wish they would do a California roll each night just to please the sushi beginners. I just recently started eating the shrimp and it is cooked. I do not care for raw sushi. Not to mention, the night I did wait in line, I waited over 30 minutes. As soon as I neared the front of the line, an employee came around and informed us of a second line opening up. Ugh. Very frustrating. The Steak house: Very disappointing. Had to do it once though. With a half empty restaurant, they sat us in the back between a restroom and an exit. The service was less than stellar. A meal thought was supposed to take about 2 1/2 hours took over three. We asked for our steaks well done, no pink, and both were about raw and bloody. And it took the waitress forever to come back and check on us. The lobster was delicious, the desserts (cheesecake for hubby, chocolate sampler for me) were amazing. My husbands biggest complaint: the dirty table next to us with food and paper on the table and floor. We mentioned this to the manager, her response was is that it is their policy to not remove linens in front of guests. My husband told her he would prefer to sit next to the marble table (under the linens) than next to a dirty table all night. She said she would forward that to Carnival and that for future guests sake they would consider this. Overall, the food (especially the steaks) were not any better than the dining room food, we had better service in the dining room. Missed the Captains cocktail party, but made it for the past guest party and the farewell party. Those bartenders took it in stride! They were great! I told them what i wanted, then asked can i have 2 at a time? They said of course! That way, I did not have to wait on them for another as they helped other guests. My husband did this as well. We saw other people order 3 at a time. It was nice to not have to pay $7 for a beer for the the hour! The comedy shows were funny enough: We didn't wait in any lines, so that must have been our luck. We strolled in after the first show started, and sat at the bar. Then for the second show, we did not have to leave because my husband is a platinum member. We go to stay, move up and improve our seats and enjoyed the next show. That guy was really funny. He was an equal opportunity comedian. he didn't care about race or nationality. He picked on everyone. I laughed, so I considered him good. The piano bar: Vince, Vince, Vince. We loved the piano bar- that is usually our thing! We were a bit disappointed after the first couple nights with Vince,. He repeatedly told the same jokes/toasts to the same crowd each night, played the same songs, and often said" I don't know that one" but took your money anyway. Perhaps he could come up with some sort of rotating schedule for his comments, or Carnival could by him a joke/toast book? Really disappointing was when he used his same tip lines and humor at the caroling party many on the ship brought their kids to. In the 20 minutes I was there with my children, Vince made several comments I found rude about tips (a la piano bar) and sounds of disgust and saying something to the effect of "another one???" over having to be awake at 12:30 in the day and playing Christmas carols. I don't know if Vince does not celebrate Christmas, or just had too much to drink the night before, but his attitude should have been better for this one 30 minute segment that many of the children looked forward to. Casino: I have met friendlier dealers in Vegas. All I ask is that if you are going to take my money, and I know you will 99 out of 100 times, do it with a friendly smile and act like you are glad I sat at your table. Shows: I fell asleep and missed the Dancing in the street show everyone has raved about! I wish they did this show on a night you had been at sea all day. I was so worn out from the day in port, I couldn't stay awake and had to take a nap after dinner! Then I did not wake up in time for the show. My husband saw it and said it was great! We both went to the country show, I thought the song selection could have been more modern. They did a lot of old stuff. And the black man and Italian woman who were the stars looked extremely labored when it came to this kind of music. This definitely was not their genre of music. They did a spectacular show for the holiday show, and her voice really shined! Also, all the children had been working on different numbers throughout the week, were called up on stage and were part of the show. It was nice to have them do that, and it felt really special for my boys. An added bonus was the stage was set up for "Christmas" and i got some amazing snapshots of the boys with the decor and the dancers and singers in a great light. The pictures came out great! They were all very friendly and acted really appreciative when the boys gave them the candy canes they brought on the ship to hand out on Christmas. Water Slides were awesome, but the stairs seemed to shake in the wind. It scared me to let my 50 lb. boys walk up them and wait on their own. So i either rode just after them or just waited in line, then walked back down he stairs. That drainpipe was the scarier one for me! It went very fast! Laser show: too much wind to make it really visible the first night. But my family still enjoyed it. We sat on the lido deck, with provided fresh, warm blankets and cocoa. It really felt like winter/ Christmas time! A couple nights later: Awesome! It worked perfectly to the tunes of -oh I can not remember! It was fabulous, though. Camp Carnival: Can't say enough about these fabulous ladies! They seem to truly enjoy their jobs! They work very hard, with many children at a time. They never once seemed to lose their patience, raise their voice, etc. I don't know how they do it day in and day out. The playrooms also rocked! They had everything! They were the biggest I have ever seen on a Carnival ship. Here are some things that we missed that i would book again just to make sure I get to do/see: the Pasta bar: Saw it once when it was closed, then forgot about it until it was too late The Indian food station: the best time to try something new is when it is free! Never saw it, or it was closed when I did and i did not realize what it was the Serenity deck: with kids this would have been nice to escape to. Unfortunately, my son was sea sick the last day and a half so unable to go to Camp Carnival. Bingo, shows with Todd (who rocks by the way!)galley tour, ice carving, towel/napkin folding, cooking demo, drink mixology contest, etc. Seems like I have a bit of negatives here, but i assure you, no vacation is perfect and we , overall, had a great time and would sail on this ship again. Any day we are doing something other than working, cooking and cleaning ourselves is great and better than being home! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2009
Hi Everyone, Well after being home for a week, I'm finally ready to share my family's experience on the Carnival Dream for its first New Year's Cruise. We (family of 4) have traveled on all major cruise lines (Carnival, ... Read More
Hi Everyone, Well after being home for a week, I'm finally ready to share my family's experience on the Carnival Dream for its first New Year's Cruise. We (family of 4) have traveled on all major cruise lines (Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Princess, Norwegian, Costa, Disney), and this was our third cruise on Carnival. Our two favorite cruise lines are Carnival and Royal Caribbean. I will try to make the review as accurate as possible, as I have the capers in front of me. Please feel free to ask any questions. This is a long and detailed review, and I have highlighted and summarized the outstanding aspects of our cruise in addition to the areas for improvement at the bottom. Fortunately, none of the major complaints about the Dream were true. We had a really very good week aboard the Dream, and I will give an overview of our very good week; I will also share some suggestions for Carnival from our family and from other cruisers both for the Dream and Carnival's other ships to help improve Carnival go from very good to great. We arrived at the pier at 11:30. Boarding was extremely well-managed and easy. We had filled out all of our paperwork online, so we went through a short security line and walked up to the desk to receive our sail and sign cards. The whole process took about 20-25 minutes until we were on the ship. We walked into the lobby which was gorgeous. In addition to the ocean plaza, the lobby is a great place to sit down, people watch, and listen to Cool Breeze play, a fantastic duo. The rest of the day, we toured the ship, tried the Pasta Bar and Pizza for lunch (great choices in addition to everything else on lido), and just hung out around the ship. The entertainment throughout the week was amazing at times, while ok at others. The live music throughout the ship was A+ (except for the Calypso Duo). Voo Doo, the band that played in the Ocean Plaza and on the lido for New Years was exceptional. We, in addition to many others, often sat down with sushi and a drink while listening to them play. They took requests and played our favorites. Great job. Cool Breeze was a GREAT duo, and their quieter music perfectly fit the atmosphere of the atrium. Lastly, Vince in the Piano bar was AMAZING. He had the place PACKED from start to finish. He had everyone engaged and singing all night long every single night of the cruise - especially after New Years. He took requests and really knows how to interact and work the crowd. We have never seen a piano bar so energized and into it. Great job Vince! Unfortunately, the piano bar was really smoky at times. We would sometimes have to walk out, and we often witnessed others walking out, especially with their kids. As for ship activities, there is definitely room for improvement. Dividing the ship into the red and blue is really old and corny. Aren't there other pool games and contests that we can have besides the "hairy chest contest?" Master Mixology is a step in the right direction; it's something new and entertaining. New activities, especially for repeat cruisers would be great. Maybe Carnival can consider some new games and competitions in the pool. Bingo was boring, and we miss when bingo callers would make jokes to make bingo fun and entertaining. There were many announcements, yet there was not an announcement for the marriage game show, so many people did not attend this which was disappointing. The Calypso duo could have played a little longer. Not only this, but they were dull, they did not energize and engage the crowd, and did not play songs that we like and have heard of. The music was mostly pre-recorded / synchronized. PLEASE BRING BACK THE CALYPSO BANDS (4 band members) WHO PERFORM LIVE, ENERGIZE AND INTERACT WITH THE CROWD AT TIMES, AND PLAY SONGS WE KNOW AND LIKE. This is our (and many cruisers) favorite thing about cruising (laying out, having a drink, and listening to the live calypso band), and it was our biggest disappointment. The comedy club is a GREAT concept, and while all 4 comedians were good and entertaining, Al Ernst was our favorite. The ventriloquist Jerry Goodspeed provided for a great variety of entertainment and was very funny. Great job. The juggler Edge was good as well. Dancing in the Streets was one of, if not the BEST show we have seen at sea. What everyone has said about it is true - do not miss it. Get Ready was ok, nothing special, and we didn't even bother seeing the Xtreme Country show... but we heard those who went mostly didn't like it. The singers, dancers, and show band are ALL VERY TALENTED. Entertainment as a whole: A- Staff: EVERY SINGLE crew member works and tries extremely hard. They are all so friendly and both try and do their best, and I wish I could name and recognize all 1,400 crew members. Every single crew member went above and beyond. Our waiter Mario and assistant waiter Anselmo were the best out of all of our cruises. They truly went above and beyond. One bar waiter Octavious remembered our name after buying one drink, and he is such a nice person. We felt bad for the man at the pizza bar - some passengers have the nerve to have an attitude after waiting for a minute or two and to speak up to him. He was often the only one there during the day and worked extremely hard and does not deserve anything but praise. Very nice person who works extremely hard and should also be recognized - great job. Again, this is a very special group of crewmembers who all deserve to be recognized and rewarded for working so hard and going out of their way. The new maitre'd in the dining room who took over for Ken (Ante or Andre?) who has worked for Carnival for 14 or 15 years made appearances at tables and was very visible. We had made a recommendation to him about serving bacon in the same line as the omelet station to avoid waiting on line twice. The next morning, there was bacon at the omelet stations. Wow, what great attentiveness and customer service. A++ Rooms: We were in a balcony and inside stateroom on deck 9. Great location with the lido deck right above us. The robes are a great amenity, and the new beds are very comfortable. We got the main abc, nbc, fox, and cnn channels on the tv. A+ Lido: This is where we spent most of our time during the day. As I said, the staff all work extremely hard. This goes for all of the bar waiters, waiters working the lido, in addition to the deck attendants. They were ALWAYS cleaning and walking around. They were very polite. While we enjoyed our time on the lido deck, there is definitely some room for improvement here. As I said, Carnival really needs to go back to the full calypso bands (not duos). This is a main aspect of cruising for us and many others. It affects so many people out on the lido all day, every day. I remember when bands used to take requests, play our favorite Bob Marley and Caribbean songs, and sometimes at sailaways, even encourage guests to do the limbo or have fun and dance to their music. Carnival needs to go back to bigger, real calypso bands and longer hours. More, varied activities need to be done on the lido, and THE BIG SCREEN NEEDS TO BE USED MUCH less during the day. It is ok to have a football game on IN THE BACKGROUND WITHOUT SOUND, but we should not be forced to watch and listen to this and movies for our entire sea day. Not having the band play outside by the pool (and for some reason putting them inside in the ocean plaza on our sea day) and not having one single activity by the pool on the last sea day was a big scheduling mistake. There should be bands and activities many days, especially sea days. In addition to getting actual calypso bands like Carnival used to have, it would be interesting to on occasion see some of the other bands and duos on deck. In addition to this, the concerts played on the big screen should be more varied (Bruce, Dave Matthews, Billy Joel, Elton John, Tina Turner...) and they should ONLY be played on occasion during the day. Other than the occasional concerts and the morning show, the big screen on ALL Carnival ships should NOT be used during the day (unless muted). We had to wake up early to save a chair on sea days as if we didn't, we wouldn't have gotten chairs in the main lido area. Maybe Carnival can expand this area a little on the Magic. It's not that big of a problem though. The screen is cool to have and use at night, and the laser shows are also a great addition. Movies under the stars is also cool; the daytime use of the screen is the only problem. The slides and water park are fun for all ages, and the adults only area is nice and secluded for adults. Food: Very good! From pizza, to the pasta bar, to the main lido buffet, to the deli, to the Tandori, (didn't try the Mongolian Wok but heard it was great), to the burgers, to the burrito bar, to the sushi, to the main dining room food, everything was VERY GOOD. This is the first ship where the sushi was actually good, and we LOVED going for a pre-dinner sushi snack. VERY GOOD job to the sushi chef. The lanai bbq was also a very creative and tasty idea. A+ Observations: The front desk and customer service staff were very helpful and nice. We made one recommendation to add a chef to the deli during peak hours to help reduce long lines. They not only added a chef to the deli, but we received a call to follow-up with us and they notified the maite'd. A+ customer service. Security was very visible throughout our voyage. This definitely makes us feel comfortable knowing they are always out and keeping the ship safe. The ocean plaza is a GREAT addition, and it is a perfect area to enjoy the sushi, listen to the great band Voo Doo, enjoy a drink, etc. There were 2700 past guests onboard. One night before dinner, the back of the ship (Piano Bar, back lounge...) was open for past guests, and the drinks and appetizers were plentiful. The show band played and many people were dancing. Great job in making this hour very enjoyable. A+ for the past guest party. Also, A+ for New Years Eve. This was our first New Years onboard, and being at sea bringing in the new year with several thousand guests and crew was an amazing experience. Voo Doo played on the lido, and it was fantastic how the big screen switched between the Lido deck and Times Square. Champagne and New Years hats were plentiful, and everyone seemed to be out and having a great night. What a way to start off the new year. Thank you for making this one of the best New Years ever. *Carnival should definitely fix their tipping system. On other cruise lines with automatic tipping, we hand our cabin steward, waiter, and assistant waiter an envelope with a slip that says we prepaid our gratuity for them. We hand it to them so we know it goes directly to them. Also this method ensures that more people tip (just knowing that you have something to hand the crew members who have helped you). Also, Carnival should announce the importance of tipping and the importance of filling out the surveys and acknowledging crewmembers who have gone out of their way for you and should be recognized. I did not hear it once; while it may have been announced at the debarkation talk, it should be announced and/or typed in a place where everyone can see and/or hear it (at one of the main shows and/or in one or two of the capers). In summary: The Positive Things: -The small things like having a magician walk around the ship (at dinner and through the promenade) to perform tricks. -The sushi. Having really good sushi (first time we had good sushi on a ship) as a pre-dinner snack was really good for a change. Great addition, good sushi and choices each night, and excellent sushi chef. -The bands - Cool Breeze, Voo Doo, and Vince in the Piano Bar stood all stood out as exceptional. Cool Breeze was a perfect band to have at night in the atrium or in the Ocean Plaza and are very talented. We could listen to and dance to Voo Doo all day and night whether it be in the Ocean Plaza or on the lido. Vince had the piano bar packed and singing all night long. The show band is also a great group of talented musicians. -Dancing in the Street (and some of the other entertainment) - This is a fantastic show that is not to be missed. The variety entertainment, especially the ventriloquist, was also very good. -The food - the new additions such as the burrito bar, pasta bar, tandori, and lanai bbq are very good... in addition to the deli, pizza, sushi, and dining room food (try the lobster and cold soups, they're great!). -The comedy club - having four comedians perform both family and adult comedy is a good addition. They all did a good job, especially Al Ernst. This is a cool venue and a great addition to Carnival's entertainment. -The water park provides fun for anyone, any age. -The staff (every single staff member) - We LOVED our waiter Mario and Assistant Anselmo (Scarlett, Late, table 517). Octavious was a great bar tender who remembered our names after ordering one drink. The man at the pizza bar should be recognized for working alone and so hard. Our room steward Ian kept the room spotless, and I wish I could acknowledge every staff member from the deck attendants to the front desk staff. -Past guest party with all the drinks, music, and appetizers. Room For improvement: -Piano bar - the piano bar was VERY smoky at times. Although it was always packed, maybe Carnival could have and enforce non-smoking hours on a couple of days or a non-smoking piano bar night. -Sea day - there was no entertainment on the lido deck for the entire last day at sea. The calypso duo played in the Ocean Plaza for some reason, and there weren't any pool games or lido entertainment for the entire day at sea. We should have a few new types of lido games (other than the hairy chest contest)... maybe games and competitions in the pool. *In addition to bringing back the full calypso bands, it might be interesting to on occasion see some of the other bands and duos perform on the lido deck. The seaside theater had football on the entire sea day afternoon. This is unacceptable. If used at all during the day, this should only be used (other than the morning show) on mute (and for occasional concerts). -Seaside theater - OVERUSED! It is used properly at night with the laser shows and movies under the stars. During the day, it should ONLY be used for the morning show or if muted (or occasional concerts)... not for movies during the day (with exceptions where it should be used for major events such as the super bowl). We do not want to be entertained by a tv during the day while on vacation. We can watch movies at night or at home. Please limit the use of this during the day. Varied concerts (Dave Matthews, Billy Joel, Elton John, Bruce Springsteen) would be good to have ON OCCASION during the day. Other than the occasional concerts (without repeating them), please do not use the tv during the day and bring back the full calypso band to play throughout the days and the fun varied lido games. -Band - PLEASE BRING BACK THE REGULAR CALYPSO BANDS. This is a favorite aspect of cruising for many people, and the calypso duos just don't do it. The hours were ok (minus the last sea day where they played in the ocean plaza instead of on the lido deck... not their fault), but they were not entertaining or engaging and did not play much recognizable music. Much of it was pre-recorded and synchronized. Please bring back the full (4 person) calypso bands. Having real live calypso music is what cruising is about. There's nothing like having a drink, laying out, while listening to the live band. It also helps when the band is engaging. This sets the tone for the cruise, and it could also help bring back a Caribbean night and a fun deck party. -Sailaway - the duo played a little, but no one from the entertainment staff was out getting the passengers going. What happened to the calypso band playing "feeling hot hot hot," with some of the entertainment staff doing the line dances, and getting the crowd going? There should be a sail away party like we experienced in the past to get the cruise started with a strong, positive vibe. -More chefs at peak hours - To reduce lines during peak hours and to make it easier on the chefs who work so hard, please have more chefs at the deli and pizzeria during peak hours (either lunch on sea days or during sailaway on port days). -Bingo - More games should be played when possible for the $10 or $20, and more importantly, bingo should be fun. Cruising bingo jokes (both regular jokes and for the different numbers) that we have seen on other lines make bingo a fun cruising event. -Pictures - By now, we would have thought Carnival would have gotten this right. First, so many pictures go to waste. There should be a digital system where cards are swiped before photos are taken. Then we can digitally view what we choose to and print only what we buy. This would not only get rid of the waste problem, but it would also allow us to save time by being able to easily locate our pictures. This would also drastically reduce costs. Pictures cost WAY too much money. We would buy more if they were cheaper. Picture packages and just cheaper pictures would result in many guests spending more while being able to buy more pictures and take home more memories from their cruise. *Overall, we would definitely sail the Dream and sail Carnival again. Job well done with the Carnival Dream. Thank you to the entire Carnival Dream staff. Everyone works so hard and is very talented and dedicated. We had a great New Years, and a great week on vacation. We hope to see some of our suggestions taken into consideration and implemented. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2009
I was on the 12/03 cruise and there were a few glitches.As for the slow service in the dining room,early seating was maxed out and service was slow ,we did not leave until almost 8PM which was when the next seating was to start,but by the ... Read More
I was on the 12/03 cruise and there were a few glitches.As for the slow service in the dining room,early seating was maxed out and service was slow ,we did not leave until almost 8PM which was when the next seating was to start,but by the end of the trip things were way better and we were done by 715-730 either way it was no big thing to us,this is what made the seating at the shows more crowded everyone was going to the shows at the same time.We never smelled the sewage anywhere so I don't know what they are talking about.The ship was noisy a lot of creaking at night in the rooms I don't know if this is because it's a new ship and things have to settle,just like a new home.Movement?What movement? Never felt a thing,again I have no idea what the heck these people are talking about,I would not say rude employees,just stressed out,they have to get their routines refined.Food was fine,although things were crowded at times,seems everyone wanted to eat at noon,like they had not eaten in weeks,we never had a long wait if you come at off peak times,hey don't forget there are 4000 people on board and if everyone goes at the same time there will be lines.Pools are small but I never saw many people in them it was never a problem,plenty of whirlpools around and never was unable to hop right in when we wanted to.We did have a power outage for an hour and it was no big deal unless you were stuck in the elevators.It is a new ship and things happen. So was it a perfect trip,no but it was still great and don't worry you will enjoy it,we are not concerned about going on her again,in fact we are in May. ENJOY Read Less
Sail Date: November 2009
This was my 11th cruise on 5 various cruise lines. Have done Carnival twice before. Love the value, the exterior lines of the ships, but not the interiors so much. Have also done 3 CTNs over the years with NCL. Traveling with me were ... Read More
This was my 11th cruise on 5 various cruise lines. Have done Carnival twice before. Love the value, the exterior lines of the ships, but not the interiors so much. Have also done 3 CTNs over the years with NCL. Traveling with me were my wife, 21 year old son, 16 year old son, and 28 year old son and daughter in law. It was her introduction to cruising. Four of us had a balcony cabin while my oldest and his wife had an inside. EMBARKATION: B We left our home in Jersey City at 10:10 A.M. and traveled to the ship via NY Waterway Ferry each with one carry on bag. Arrived at the terminal at about 11 A.M., Quickly checked in and were given a group 7 card. The check in clerk welcomed us aboard the "Inaugural Cruise". That would be the one and only time we would hear the word inaugural for the whole weekend. The ship started boarding at about 11:30 and our number was called just after noon. Getting on was different since you had to go downstairs through the customs area to board on deck "0" due to the fact that the extended gangways would not fit this new design. They told us it was due to the size of the ship but since I boarded the QM2 there several years ago before she went to Brooklyn, it could not have ben the size. It had to be the design with the lifeboats hanging below the extended promenade. Slowing down the boarding was the picture taking for the sail and sign card that was done as you entered the ship. Other cruise lines do this at sign in which makes getting on board much simpler. Still, we were on board by 12:30. Once on board the elevators at the entrance were packed. We chose to walk up two flights where a crew member directed us to the glass elevators which were completely unoccupied. this helped us get to the lido buffet without waiting. BUFFET: B Once on board we immediately headed to the buffet. There were two main sections. One had a general buffet and a Mongolian bar, the other had a burrito bar and general buffet. There was also a pasta bar upstairs overlooking the dessert bar where you could order pasta dishes prepared to your liking and they were brought to your table. In addition there was a pizza place, grill for burgers, etc. and a deli. And of course soft ice cream was available. The food at all these places was excellent. The fried pork was especially good as was the seafood scampi. The chocolate chip cookies looked small and store bought but were in reality delicious and tasted home baked. The reason I rate this buffet a "B" is because of the layout which causes long lines. Carnival needs to open a dining room for lunch like NCL does which helps disperse the crowd. One thing I notice on Carnival that I do not see on the other lines: the food is too plentiful and too good. I see more obese people on Carnival than any other cruise line. Talk about gross tonnage! CABINS: A Our balcony was on Deck 6 overlooking the promenade at the Lanai with a hot tub just below our room. I'd expect this to be a real problem with noise and smoke when the weather is nice. Our cabin was roomy and tastefully done. Plenty of storage and room for four of us. The balcony seemed cramped. The bathroom is basic but with a shell shaped bowl filled with sample toiletries. The shower has dispensers for body wash and shampoo as well as a retractible drying line. The TV has the basic broadcast stations from Denver ( something to do with the height of the Rockies for broadcasting the signal) a couple of cable channels and many Carnival channels. The ship's information channel is a joke compared to other cruise lines. You never get wave heights and all other info is in metrics. There was also a free movie channel and two pay per view channels. It was easy to see this was a new ship. I had to remove the plastic from the TV's remote control. Walls in the rooms on this ship seem paper thin and you can hear a lot of what is going on in the rooms next to you. Artwork is tasteful but hung at headboard height which is annoying if you want to sit up in bed and read. The safe has a numeric keypad unlike other Carnival ships where you operate the safe with your credit card. The mini fridge is in a cabinet that you can ask the steward to lock. My son and daughter in law's inside cabin also had good space and similar amenities. Friday night it was hard getting to sleep because of the ship's rocking and the banging noise of the waves hitting the ship. I've been on cruises with 27 foot waves , but never as noisy as this. But once asleep, I slept well on the very firm new bed. I heard that some on decks higher up had things falling off shelves and people hanging on to their beds. On the second night the fog horn was blowing every two minutes but that did not disrupt my sleep. THE SHIP: C The design of this ship is flawed in a number of ways. The promenade is uncovered so you have more places to sit on nice days, but if you like a covered promenade to sit on in wet weather or want to get out of the sun, forget about it. The promenade also has two hot tubs on each side of the ship that are just below balcony cabins, as is the Lanai on each side of the Ocean Plaza. This is a "What were they thinking?!" design. To get to any of the hot tubs on the promenade people need to walk through the ship in robes. Not exactly a good plan. The promenade did have a couple of nice seating areas with wicker furniture and pleather cushions. The waterworks slides look awesome, but we could not use them or the pool because of the weather. I wish Carnival had put a sliding dome over one of the pools as they've done on some of their other ships. Also the pools are way too small for the amount of people traveling on this ship. The pool area also hosts a large movie screen They did run Two movies, "Paul Blart, Mall Cop" and "Star Trek" but it was just too nasty to sit out and enjoy. They also run nightly laser shows here which are an interesting novelty but nothing really special. On the night we went to the laser show it was punctuated every two minutes by the ship's fog horn. Lasers need fog to show up properly so in the midst of dense foggy weather the show is done adding more fog with fog machines. While still in port we decided to play the 18 hole mini golf just below the funnel. It was windy but fun and we knew we'd be unable to play once the ship left port. You need to check out the clubs and balls at a table onthe pool deck, leaving your ail and sign card for security. Had to hunt down the person running the place. She was surprised anyone would want to play in the wind. Since we chose to play mini golf we missed our cruise critic meet and greet, but you can only do so much on a 2 day CTN and this was to be a family weekend. Once we started , others started to play too. We found no shuffle board on the ship but there were extra large chess boards on the promenade. The sports deck looked nice but was not open. MUSTER: F Muster drill was an hour late because the ship was having trouble getting everyone on board. There was no communication and people were confused, some waiting in their cabins. Once the drill began there was total chaos. With the new "safety drill" you do not need to bring your life jacket. A number of people did not get the message. Communication on this ship was non existent. Once at your station, no attendance ia taken. A brief demonstration is given, The crew member giving the demonstration at our station didn't know what he was doing. Then they show a brief video, once they figure ot how to lower the screen from the ceiling and get the DVD player working. In some muster stations they never did figure it out and told people to watch it in thier cabin. It would have been comical except that there would have been a disaster in the case of a real emergency. I had absolutely no confidence that this crew would be of any help should an emergency arise. SAIL AWAY: A Sail away was late but beautiful. I'd never done a sail away at night before and the lights were gorgeous. We went to the front of deck 5 on the promenade and had very little wind and a very smooth sail down river. There are stairs at the very front of the ship that allow you to move from decl to deck. DINING ROOM: B Both the Crimson and Scarlet dining rooms are similarly decorated. We had anytime dining which was on the top level of the Crimson. We went at about 7:15 after sail away and our group of 6 was seated immediately. Once at sea the rocking became more pronounced (70mph winds will do that). A tray of silverware fell as did numerous dishes. Still, we were served well and the food was delicious. I had cream of broccoli soup, a wonderful shimp cocktail and beef tenderloin;. Others tried items such as flatiron steak, grilled chicken, vegetarian pot pie. there was not a bad meal n the bunch. The chocolate melting cake was liquidy the first night but perfect the second. During dinner about 9 loud and not so kind announcements were made to the crew as they got ready for second seating downstairs which would start on time in spite of the late first seating caused by the delayed muster drill. Before the advent of anytime dining passengers would not be subject to these announcements because the dining rooms would be closed for preparations, but with any time dining in the same room these announcements were both annoying and crude. On the Crown princess, anytime dining has its own dining room so this is not a problem. Again, this is a design flaw that could have been handled in the planning of this ship. The second night they offered lobster tail and grilled shrimp, prime rib, and duck. I am allergic to lobster, but it looked wonderful and my wife said it was excellent. The prime rib was perfect, served with potatoes and onion rings, but the duck was dense and tasted more like steak than duck. Breakfast in the dining room was pitiful. The OJ tasted as if it were mixed with Tang and the waffles tasted like sponges. My son couldn't eat his pancakes. The omelets were OK. Very disappointing Room service was fast (10 minutes) and efficient, but with limited selection. SHIP ACTIVITIES: B Normally a two day CTN goes south to North Carolina so people can enjoy some outdoor time in slightly warmer temperatures, but since we were sailing in the worst nor'easter of the decade and the storm was around us in every direction we did figure eights off Long Island just far enough out for them to open the shops and casino. The casino always seemed busy, which is not surprising, especially with everyone indoors. We never felt as if there was nothing to do. There was the marriage show, numerous music venues, trivia contests and more. One Saturday afternoon the wind had died down and I was actually able to read on my balcony for an hour. i even took a walk of 3 laps around the promenade as did a number of people. Before dinner on Saturday all six of us went down to the rather small library and checked out the game "Clue" and had a grand time playing together. A ships videographer spent some time videoing us as we played. Not sure what they'll do with that since they were't making a DVD of this trip. We also spent some time having some family portraits taken, the photographers did a terrific job. Our pictures make me smile because not only do they show how much fun we had as a family, but we are all standing slanted in them because of the movement of the ship. My 16 year old did get sick once Saturday morning but was fine the rest of the time. My daughter in law, on her first cruise, did well with ginger pills and seasick wrist bands. The rest of us had no problems. Saturday afternoon, my wife and I went to high tea which held in the scarlet dining room and was delightful. You could choose from a variety of teas and enjoy with finger sandwiches and pastries. My 16 year old also spent a lot of time at Club 02, the teen center. He actually won a 24 carat plastic ship trophy in a dance competition Saturday night. There were 95 teens on board so many skipped school on Friday. I was somewhat surprised that there was no Bingo on this ship and no art auction even though the art facility was larger than on most ships. The gym and spa looked well equipped. but we did not use them. Entertainment was top notch. The show the Friday night was a Mowtown show with Marcus Anthony who sang well and was terrific at getting the audience involved. On Saturday night the production of "Dancing in the Streets" was amazing but not as enjoyable as the night before. The Encore theater is similar to those on other Carnival ships. Shops on board were typical, but smaller than I expected. CREW: B Other than the muster drill the crew seemed to work well and were courteous, but not overly friendly. On boarding many wore shirts that said "JUST ASK". We did and were always properly directed. The dining room staff was efficient and pleasant although there were no dancing and singing waiters. We did have a Carnival crew member come to our dinner table and do a magic card trick that was fairly entertaining. Have never had that happen on any other cruise. Our steward did a great job and the towel animals were adorable. Gratuities were paid at booking for this CTN. You never saw any officers, probably because the conditions were so bad. we heard that the captain actually stayed on the bridge all night Friday. COMMUNICATION: F Communication was non existent. We were not told why we were leaving late. We were never updated on the weather. On the last night there were no disembarking information provided other than non needed custom forms left on our bed. The next morning after docking at 7A.M. they told us that they would call each deck to leave and immediately called deck one. It didn't take long before all decks were called, but very few had left. Many were still sleeping and most were in long lines at breakfast in the buffet. Announcements were not heard in the cabins. We were told that we needed to be off the ship by 9:15. We ate and left at about 8:30, took the ferry to Weehawken and were home by 9:45A.M. OVERALL: B In spite of the rough weather, we had a wonderful time as a family. I have sailed Carnival before and will sail Carnival again. Currently looking at p the Fantasy out of Charlseton this summer. They offer a solid product at a reasonable price. I will not cruise on the Dream again unless it is at a ridiculously low price. The ship's design just did not work for me. Pictures at http://web.me.com/pekrause/Krause_Family_Pictures/Carnival_Dream.html Read Less
Sail Date: November 2009
Just returned from our 7th cruise, on the Carnival Dream, the largest in the Carnival fleet, sailing out of New York. Don't expect the Dream to return to New York anytime soon, as it appears it's doing most of its sailing out of ... Read More
Just returned from our 7th cruise, on the Carnival Dream, the largest in the Carnival fleet, sailing out of New York. Don't expect the Dream to return to New York anytime soon, as it appears it's doing most of its sailing out of Port Canaveral. Embarkation went very well. The wife & I arrived at the docks around 2pm, and within half an hour we were on the ship, which was a pleasant surprise. The Dream is huge !! Over 1000 feet long !! Everything was nice and clean, as it should be, as its less than a month old at this point. We made our way to our inside cabin, which is fine for two, but no more. Three large closets, but only two electrical outlets. Our room steward Elio was nowhere to be found, but the room was perfect, so we didn't really need him. We went off to explore the ship... Most of the action takes place on Deck 10, Lido deck, including the main dining hall. It's big, but not as big as I thought it was going to be; it doesn't appear that they could seat everyone on board if they wanted to. The weather for the first couple of days was bad, but the Dream seemed to take it in stride. We're not big gamblers, so we didn't care for the casino, which again was not as big as I expected it to be. I lost my $20 allowance pretty quickly, so I didn't really spend too much time there. The shops are good, but nothing special, just standard Carnival fare. Plenty of Bingo, if that's your thing, but we didn't care for it. We arrived @ Port Canaveral on Thanksgiving Day, and all went well. The wife & I stayed on-board, since we didn't care to go to Orlando or the beach at this point. They offered Disney for about $180 per person, including the bus trip, which seemed steep to me. Can you imagine going with the wife and kids ?? Bring your wallet !! The second day brought Nassau in the Bahamas, which is interesting, but... we've been there so many times, and it's NOT getting better with age. A lot of the local shops have closed down, probably due to the economy, so there are more vacant shops than occupied ones. We did get a good deal on Bacardi rum at only $5 per bottle !! The Paradise is located here, but we've already been. Beyond that, I've read some articles about the recent crimes that have taken place here, so we never ventured too far. We always felt safe, the police are everywhere, and the locals seemed friendly, so do as you will. Our last port was Freeport in the Bahamas, which again is interesting, but... The port is located in a shipyard, so you have to take a taxi or shuttle to see anything. We didn't care for any of the excursions being offered, especially at the prices, so we just wandered on our own for a while before returning to the ship. Back to the Dream... The food ? Good, but not great, as is typical with Carnival. I enjoyed the Mongolian Grill (45 minute wait...) Pasta Bar (30 minute wait...) Indian Grill (No wait !!) and more. We were always able to find a seat, but sometimes you have to look for it. We didn't try the extra-cost Steakhouse, especially since we heard from others that it's nothing special. The shows ? Dancin' In The Streets was excellent, Get Ready was good, but then there was Hee Haw night.... The performers were fine for the most part, but not as good as some others we've seen, especially on the Miracle or Valor. Other shows were fine, but nothing we haven't seen before. Literally. I think we saw the same Juggler and Ventriloquist, with the same acts, years ago. The comedians were very good, too, as long as you don't mind the colorful language, which we don't. Some other things that come to mind... Where did all the children come from ? Aren't they supposed to be in school in November ? Also, while we met some nice people, we also met some not so nice people. Do you really need to leave your dirty dishes in the elevator ? Do you really need to slam the door to your cabin ? Can you wait in the food lines like the rest of us ? And finally, one of the best things Carnival has ever come up with is Serenity, the "adults only" area. No kids, better seats, and finally, some peace and quiet. If Carnival is listening, I would love to have an entire "Adults Only" cruise ! Perhaps once a year, couldn't each ship in the Carnival fleet have such a cruise ? Overall, we enjoyed ourselves, and would love to sail on the Dream again. Carnival met our expectations as usual, and we look forward to our next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2009
Hello Everyone, My DH and I recently returned from a romantic get-a-way (no children) on the Dream CTN. Overall we had a great time and will definitely return with the rest of the family when it homeport's in Florida. Embarkation: ... Read More
Hello Everyone, My DH and I recently returned from a romantic get-a-way (no children) on the Dream CTN. Overall we had a great time and will definitely return with the rest of the family when it homeport's in Florida. Embarkation: The Manhattan Terminal has vastly improved since the last time we sailed from there. It now has a fresh, modern, open look and feel to it. We arrived at about 10am, check-in procedures started by 11am but actual boarding of the ship was closer to noon. There were vending machines and complimentary coffee in the waiting area. For those who complain about the amount of time it takes to board please remember that earlier passengers have to disembark and the ship has to "ready" itself for you. Cabins: We had a balcony cabin on Deck 6. Please note cabin#6208 is an accessible cabin even though not designated as such. the Pursers desk was not aware of this as this was the first full sailing. Fortunately after sail-a-way we were moved to a cabin 4 doors down. Our balcony cabin was similar to other cabins in the Carnival fleet including layout and color scheme. There were 2 large, plush bathrobes for our use and many sample products in the bathroom. The bathroom had ample counter and shelve space. There was also a lot of closet space and counter space and lighting in the bedroom area. The Cove balcony area was not as closed in as you would think. It had more reinforced steel at the seams than the regular balcony. As a parent it felt a lot safer than the other balconies. The forward O/V cabins seemed a bit small. The deluxe O/V cabins with the double bathrooms are perfect if travelling non-solo. I wish I had one. If you have been on Disney, this concept takes it to a different level. The second bathroom has a sink and a half bath with shower. The spa cabins are heavenly. The layout is the same, however the decor gives it an upscale, modern and calming feel and this effect is carried out through to the hallways. There was a Suite on the 12th floor, all the way forward on the port side. Not sure what category or what the cabin# was, it is not shown on the deck plans. My DH disagrees with me, but I felt our Cat 12 on the Triumph was larger and was a better design. Muster Drill: We did not have to wear or carry our life jackets. You meet in a designated lounge area and receive a safety briefing with demonstration, not unlike the Airlines. Quite painless. Food: The welcoming buffet was not crowded at noon, so we were able to wander around for the best selections. Food choices were plenty and varied and tasted like typical buffet food, "adequate" my DH would say. Lemonade, fruit-punch and a selection of teas and coffee were available and my DH's favorite a 24hr ice-cream dispenser. The outside grills serving pizza and hamburgers etc always seemed to have long lines, however everything was being made and served fresh and the lines moved fairly quickly especially if you strike up a conversation with others in line with you. The Steakhouse was excellent. Food was plentiful and of good quality. Like any great steakhouse the raw meats were displayed to you. The restaurant has an open kitchen which unfortunately is not visible from all angles of the room. There is also a dance floor in the center which had tables set up on it during our dining time. Pictures do not do this room justice. It was well worth the expense. My DH had breakfast in the buffet area on Saturday morning, he reported a very dismal experience. Lunch in the Main dining room was a more than pleasant affair. My DH was a little apprehensive about dining with a large table, but soon had a change of heart. Our table mates included a female movie and commercial star and a popular Online Travel Magazine Writer from Nebraska. Conversation was active and jovial. The food except for the burger was good, better than the buffet. Tea Time was also served in one of the Main Dining rooms. It was no QM2, but it was pleasant and a nice change of pace. We had Pre Dinner at the buffet. There were not many people when we went. The Food was ok. We then had "As you Wish" dining at about 8:45pm. We were able to get a table for 2 without waiting. Some of the same food items from the buffet were being served. It was a lot better in the dining room. The chocolate cake was hot and delicious. Debarkation morning we had breakfast in the main dining room. My DH was again apprehensive, but this time he was worried we would not finish in time to get our shuttle home ( We live in Upstate NY) Again we had great tablemates including Carnival Sales Personnel (not PVP's). Food came out fast and hot. The serving sizes were rather small, however I think that is in response to our need to order more than one entree. On our table at least 7 persons ordered at least 2 entrees or an additional fruit dish or other side item. You can always ask for extra of something. Entertainment: Carnival never disappoints in this area. Two days is not nearly enough time to sample it all. We were able to make it to the main shows on both nights. The Motown evening was fantastic, I am still amazed that he was able to get that many people up on the stage especially with the boat rocking like crazy. The new show started to grow on me as it progressed, but I still miss the "Vegas Style" girls in the skimpy outfits. Although I did notice a change in the main shows on the Liberty a year and a half ago. The shows were a lot less "RisquE" the too. The late night comedians were good. I had seen Mr. Cruise before albeit the family friendly version, but some of the jokes had not changed!!. There were a lot of smaller venues scattered about the ship and they all seemed to be well received. The Piano and Caliente clubs were hopping whenever we passed by. The atrium had a Piano player and or other entertainment.There was plenty of seating and viewing areas that appeared to be the perfect place to sit and listen, or to watch passengers frantically search for their pictures in the photo gallery. The Casino: The Casino did not appear smoky. There was a guitarist entertaining and someone walking around handing out "beef patties". It took a good 20 minutes to lose $20 at the slot machines. There are many comfy chairs along deck 4 and 5 corridors along the windows although they are facing inwards and along the restaurant windows facing out. Internet and Fun Hub: There were quite a few laptops to be found. We did not use the fun hubs but I heard Carnival is hoping to take this concept fleet-wide. Unfortunately because of the weather (which we were quite prepared for) we were unable to partake in the outdoor activities. We would have loved to have seen the laser show although the main show did have some. We did hear rumors that some brave souls were seen in the suspended hot tubs. My DH was hoping it would stop raining long enough to see Star Trek on the Giant Screen, but oh well he has already seen it a half dozen times. Complimentary first run movies were also shown on the cabin TV's. Attire: Before I forget let me mention that casual attire on the second evening was the minority on this sailing. Most ladies had cocktail dresses or pants suits on, and quite a number of men including my DH wore jackets. Spa: We did not take a tour of the facility, but we did have the "Couples Mud Lounge" treatment. Of all the spa treatment we have had this was not only the best but also the best value. The name is misleading. This treatment is given in a private "Couples" lounge. There are five areas. There is the foyer type area when you enter, which has a warm bench, a cabinet with towels and a rolling table filled with different products for your body and face. Surrounding this area is a room with a regular shower, and another room with a rain shower. There is a steam room with "3" heated chairs with a waterfall shower over each one, controlled by the touch of a button on the arm rest. And yet another room where you apply treatments. A spa technician explains the different products and rooms, sets the timer by the door for an hour, locks it and leaves you to your own devices. All this for the special price of $95 unbelievable!!. The Carnival Dream felt familiar, not much different from the Liberty. It had some very nice extra touches. Or it could because like most of you I had researched the ship to death, read the blogs and seen all the pictures, that by the time we finally make it on the ship we really have seen it all. My DH said it was if the ship was designed and decorated by the "JOkEr". I told him it was (smile!!) Nonetheless, Carnival promises a fun ship with good food and great entertainment at an affordable cost, and again it did not disappoint. So people lighten up, loosen up, relax and have some fun. BTW We passed Mr. John Heald on the stairs when we were disembarking, he invited us to stay for the next sailing (in the lifeboat) Ha Ha Ha !! Samantha. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2009
The Dream is a wonderful boat. We had a great time on it. However, with 20% of or more passengers, it does get a bit crowded. There were always lines for the buffets. The theater and lounge areas were always very crowded. You often ... Read More
The Dream is a wonderful boat. We had a great time on it. However, with 20% of or more passengers, it does get a bit crowded. There were always lines for the buffets. The theater and lounge areas were always very crowded. You often couldn't get to a comic show unless you showed up very early for it. There were a few extra hot tubs on board compared to their other ships, but again, with an extra 700 or so people on board, very crowded. The ship also seemed to be more affected by waves/weather/etc then the Conquest class. We had a much more 'bouncy' ride in it then we expected in fairly calm waters.Personally I think I much prefer their Conquest class ships to their new Dream class. That seems to be a great balance between public areas and passengers. I rated embarkation on this cruise low, but not too low as the issue was specific to this boat being in NY and having issues with the pier. I believe the current home port is perfectly fine. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2009
My wife and I have been sailing since our marriage. We have been on about 20 Carnival cruises and almost all of their ships. Our honeymoon was on the Carnivale. The Dream is a beauty, but there was nothing special about this ship, except ... Read More
My wife and I have been sailing since our marriage. We have been on about 20 Carnival cruises and almost all of their ships. Our honeymoon was on the Carnivale. The Dream is a beauty, but there was nothing special about this ship, except perhaps the numerous water slides. Sailing out of New York in the middle of November required no swimsuit, however out of Florida you may have your suit but wonder where all the pools are at. Don't look too hard as the center of ship only has one small pool and one aft. This is it! For over 4,000 passengers? Yes this is largest ship Carnival has ever launched, but the ship was very crowded likely because the extra tonnage went to personal cabins. Don't get me wrong, it is nice and new, but nothing special. In other words, if you can't book this ship in Carnival's fleet don't worry about it. The cabins are identical to any other cabin in Carnival's fleet and they use essentially the same color scheme. We had a cove balcony, but it was not big deal. I would rather have booked a regular balcony. Because of the number of passengers all of the shops were loaded to capacity and all public areas were so busy it was difficult to walk around. Carvival introduced a Comedy Club on this ship and having been to many in NYC, this is the real deal and the comedians were simply some of the best I have seen anywhere. Additionally, the Dream had the best production show I have seen on any ship and on any cruise line! I was really surprised. Believe me my daughter lives in NYC and has danced on Broadway and these dancers were simply that good! The Spa is large, large, large. If this is your thing then check out the Dream. Other than what I have written, there was nothing that really stood out on this ship where I said, "Wow now that is different, unique, or special." If you are going--you will have fun. But if you havn't booked yet don't worry cause all of Carnival's ships are well maintained and well managed. Sail on!! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2009
It was a dark and dreary day in New York City. We were very disappointed with the weather. As we arrived at the pier, we couldn't help but marvel at the size of the Dream. Could this really be our ship for the next 8 days? George and ... Read More
It was a dark and dreary day in New York City. We were very disappointed with the weather. As we arrived at the pier, we couldn't help but marvel at the size of the Dream. Could this really be our ship for the next 8 days? George and I dropped our luggage off with the porters, and then went inside to the cruise terminal. As usual, embarkation was a breeze. We were on the ship no later than 12:45 P.M. As we waited on Deck 0 for the elevator, we couldn't help but notice how brightly lit the area was. We were very impressed with the way they presented the ship right from the start. However, we were not pleased with the amount of time we had to wait for an elevator. With over 4,000 passengers, you'd think there'd be enough elevators for everyone. It wasn't so in that case. When we finally were able to grab one, one of the crew members was taking us up to the 10th floor for the Lido Deck. When we stepped off the elevator, again, we were impressed with the way the ship looked. We ended up running into Michelle, one of the members of cruise critic, who we had met on our previous cruise, on board CCL's Triumph in June, 2009. She was with her friends, Jessica and Joe, with whom she worked with at West Point. Justin, Michelle's fiance, wasn't with them at that point. George was somewhat disappointed that he wasn't there. We went to find out what line was the shortest, as we scoped out the food situation. Justin had gone to see a man about a horse, and was heading back as we ran into him. George and Justin bonded on our last cruise, and it was great to see Justin once again. We finally found a place to stand in line. George got food at the Taste of Nations, while I sat and held our seat. We weren't too impressed with the lay out of the Lido dining area. It wasn't as spread out as we'd hoped. At times, it was too crowded. We could barely move. Once we both had our lunch in front of us, we discussed what our game plan was for the day. We had been assigned the late dinner seating, and wanted to go and talk to the Matre'D about changing to the early dinner seating. When we got to the Crimson Dining Room, we met with some guy who wasn't the Matre'D. The Matre'D came in as we were standing there, trying to get our request accepted. He wasn't even working. He wasn't dressed as the Matre'D, and we were not at all impressed with his persona. We were told that we'd get our response in our stateroom the next night. After we had our first disappointment, we ended up going up to our room. We got in contact with Justin and Michelle later on that day. It turned out, againb, we were seated at the same dinner table. George and I were pleased to know who we were sitting with. Jessica, Joe, and Joe's two boys were also sitting with us. It was great to know that we were eating with people we could get along with. The shops on board the ship carried the best of everything at rock bottom prices. We bought some souvenirs and ended up spending quite a lot on them. However, we didn't care because we were on vacation. They had cartons of cigarettes and bottles of liqour for sale, and they beat the prices we have in Connecticut. We had this African-American sales representative who was very friendly, and quite a gentleman. He made our shopping experience comfortable asw we purchased away. The shows were fantastic! We saw "Dancing in the Streets" which will make it big in the theaters some day. It was by far the best show we have seen on the high seas. The costumes, dancing and music really captured our attention. The lead singer had an awesome voice, as she sang her heart out. However, there were some down sides to our trip. We went in to see the Matre'D on the first Fun Day at Sea. It was formal night, and we had gone into the dining room in our regular clothes, just to see if we could change our seating. Claudio, the Matre'D, insulted George. He said that it was formal night, and he wasn't allowed to wear shorts in the dining room. George got really offended, because we weren't there to eat, just to plead our case for the early dinner seating. That set George off on a bad note. There were plenty of things he wanted to say to him, but instead, we turned the other cheek, and walked out of the dining room. However, George was fuming! He shouldn't have been treated like that. Our waitresses were Tatiyana and Romona. They were a lot of fun, and met our every request. Even though we didn't have the early dinner seating, we still enjoyed our company. Justin and Michelle are the two coolest people we've met on our past cruise. At one point, I found out that we were arriving into New York earlier than expected. Our friend Pete was going to pick us up around 8:30 AM, however, we found out we'd be arriving around 6:30 AM. I found a quiet place on the Lido Deck to call Pete, but these people, who sat down after I was talking on the phone, asked me to move. I responded with "I was here first." If they didn't want me talking on the phone, they should have found another place to sit. So of course, they were making rude comments behind my back. I turned the other cheek, and left when I couldn't make any progress with my phone call. However, we enjoyed the ship, and most of the people we met on board. We went to the Cruise Critic meet and greet, and met Justin and Michelle there. Everyone ignored us, so we just left and went elsewhere. I was disappointed. Thanksgiving dinner was great. They had the traditional turkey dinner, but we all opted for something different. There was shrimp and steak. Of course we decided on that food instead of a turkey dinner. They really made our time worthwhile, and we were glad to be with friends we enjoy spending time with. All in all, the ship was a great experience. 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Sail Date: November 2009
About Us : My husband and I are 60 & 58 respectively but are "young" for our age. We're growing older but not up as the Jimmy Buffett song goes! This was our 5th cruise with Carnival and our 44th cruise overall. Living ... Read More
About Us : My husband and I are 60 & 58 respectively but are "young" for our age. We're growing older but not up as the Jimmy Buffett song goes! This was our 5th cruise with Carnival and our 44th cruise overall. Living in New Jersey, we've been sailing only out of the NY area for the past few years since it's so convenient and we don't have to put up with all the headaches of flying. We chose this cruise not only for the NYC embarkation but also for the ship itself. We like big and new. Not many ships are bigger than the Dream and you couldn't get much newer. And our last couple of Carnival cruises on the Legend and Valor were great. Embarkation: We had car service pick us up at out house at 10:00AM and we were at the pier in by 10:55AM. Can't do that when we have to go the Florida or elsewhere to pick up a cruise. Check-in was quick, but the boarding process was incredibly slow. They began boarding at about 11:20AM. We were in group #10 for boarding and didn't get on until about 1:30PM. We were told that the problem was that the gangways could not reach deck 3 as they could not handle ships this big. I sailed on the slightly larger QM2 from the same pier and the gangways worked fine. You had to enter the ship on deck 0 which is the crew deck rather than in the main atrium, so we didn't experience the initial "wow" factor that you usually get when first boarding a ship. By the time we boarded, our staterooms were ready, so we headed there, dropped off our carry-ons and headed to the Lido for lunch. Stateroom: We had a Spa Balcony Stateroom on Deck 12. There was plenty of room in the cabin with a minibar/fridge, a big desk, couch, small table and lots of storage space. Bathroom was a nice size with just a shower. Balcony had 2 chairs and a small table. It was a bit small but served its purpose well. Our Cabin attendant, Chanita and her assistant were wonderful. Our rooms were always cleaned when we returned from breakfast. As well as being very efficient, Chanita had a wonderful sense of humor and was always kidding around with us and the other passengers as well. Warning: Balconies for Spa staterooms on deck 12 are not covered. Although there is a small slanted overhang that affords some privacy from people hanging out on the open deck above, there is no protection from the sun. This was not too much of a problem on this cruise as we only went to Florida and the Bahamas and the sun is not too strong this time of year. But be careful in the Caribbean where the sun is much more intense all year long. Or choose a cabin on Deck 11 which has a fully covered balcony. Spa accommodations include spa branded robes and slippers. Robes were heavy terrycloth not the usual lightweight waffle weave. We also had small bottles of Elemis bath products (same as HAL provides), however, they were not replenished during the cruise. Showers did have shampoo and shower gel dispensers. Both had a nice fruity smell, which I frankly liked better than the Elemis stuff. We also had unlimited use of the spa facilities (more on that later) and 2 free fitness classes per person for which there is normally a $12 charge (yoga, tai chi, spinning & pilates). Unfortunately, the classes were usually at 8:00AM and that was too early for us. There is no smoking allowed in Spa accommodations either inside the staterooms or on the balconies. Unfortunately, there was a smoker 2 decks down who liked to hang their cigarette over the balcony railing so smoke drifted up. Thankfully, we were on starboard side. Smoking is only permitted on portside on the open decks. This was pretty much observed by smoking passengers. The Ship: The Dream is beautiful and well designed for the most part. Some people have commented on the confusing layout, but I don't agree. Although I'm a veteran cruiser, I'm still amazed by the number of people who get totally lost on any ship and still don't know where they're going even on the last day. Most of the public areas are on deck 5 with the 2 main dining rooms on decks 3&4. Pools and casual dining venues are on deck 10. Not too tough in my opinion. The dEcor is somewhat muted by Carnival standards. Joe Farcus must have taken his meds when he designed it. The colors are easier on the eyes than other Carnival ships and there's not as much glitz and glitter. I did think that the 2 pools were too small for a ship that size. There were also no Jacuzzis in the main pool area. Those could be found only in the aft pool, adults only Serenity or the on Promenade deck 5 midship. We only went to Serenity since kids usually took up the other hot tubs. Posted signs stated that children were allowed in the hot tubs unless they're wearing diapers so you can't complain about it. Food - We had an assigned table for 2 for late dinner in the Crimson Dining Room lower level on deck 3. Our servers, Somchai and Kitiya (Miss Kitty) were okay but very friendly. We've had better service on other ships, but we've had worse too. The food was also hit or miss. Both my husband and I like our red meat medium rare. There were 4 meals where our entrees had to be sent back because they were well done with not even a hint of pink. I can understand once or twice but 4 times is inexcusable. While I never expect 5 star cuisine on any cruise ship, there are usually a couple of meals that are outstanding or at least memorable. But I can't say that about the Dream. The food was good but nothing special. We did not go to the Chefs Art Steakhouse which carries a $30 per person surcharge. The venue didn't appeal to us. It was tucked away all the way up on deck 12 aft and not terrible impressive. With that kind of fee, the restaurant should have been more spectacular. We ate in the steakhouses on the Legend and Valor and thought both venues were far better. We ate breakfast and lunch everyday in the Lido, or the Gathering as it's called. This area has gotten the most negative comments that I've read so far, and most with good reason. So here's the good, the bad and the ugly as I see it. The Good: There was a wide variety to choose from. There were 2 traditional buffet lines, one was the Taste of Nations which featured a different cuisine everyday and the other had more generic offerings. There was also a Mongolian Wok (stir fry), Pasta Bar, burrito bar, Tandoor offering delicious Indian cuisine and a sandwich bar. We tried all stations during our eight days and I thought the food was pretty good everywhere. A grill with the usual burgers, dogs and fire as well as the 24 hour pizza were located outside by the pool. Breakfast offerings were the usual with omelet stations in both the front and rear sections of the Lido. Lines moved quickly at the omelet stations, often more quickly than the lines for other food. The Bad: While there seemed to be enough tables, the staff was not very attentive about clearing them. We often saw vacant tables with dirty dishes. People sat down and just pushed them to side while they ate. My husband and I are grazers at a buffet. We prefer to take several small plates with tastes rather than pile everything onto one plate. As a result, we often had a stack of dirty dishes on the table. The staff was just too busy chatting among themselves and often paid very little attention to what they were supposed to be doing. The Ugly: Lines, lines, lines. The entire area was very poorly designed and cannot handle 3,500 passengers. The salad bars are at the start of the hot buffet lines. If you want to skip the salad and go right to the hot food it was nearly impossible to do so. So you have to wait while all the people ahead of you pick through each leaf of lettuce or search for the perfect tomato when all you want is a piece of fish with some rice and veggies. There should be a separate salad bar like there are most other ships. While the wait was never as long as some people have said (up to 45 minutes), 10-15 minutes was not uncommon during very busy times. By far the worst line was at the Mongolian Wok station. The food was delicious but we only partook of it twice because the lines were long and very slow moving. At least 15-20 minutes was not uncommon. It's cooked to order, so naturally it's going to take a while. I think the concept is great but it just doesn't work on a ship this size. The lines for the Tandoor were virtually non-existent. I'm guessing it's because this offered food that many people would consider exotic and they just didn't want to try it. But I thought it was delicious. I wound up eating there most often because of the shorter lines but I also loved the food. Entertainment: Not great, but good. There were 3 "production" shows. "Get Ready" was based on Motown and Classic R&B music. I love the genre and knew every song, but the show just didn't click for me. "Extreme Country" was my least favorite. While I'm not a country aficionado, I'm familiar enough with the bigger hits. The only song I recognized was Shania Twain's "Feel Like A Woman". With all the popular country songs out there, they could have done a better job of song selection which would appeal to wider audience rather than just die-hard country fans. "Dancing in the Streets" was by far my favorite. It was packed with energy and showcased some really good break dancers and amazing acrobats. If I had to tell you not to miss one show, this would be it. My only complaint about the entertainers was that the lead female singer screamed every song. There were times that I couldn't even understand the words of the songs she was singing. There was a comedy club featuring 4 different stand up comics during the cruise. They offered one "G" rated show and 2 "adult" shows each night. If you are easily offended by four letter words or adult subject matter, do yourself a favor and DO NOT attend the adult shows. Needless to say, the late shows are no place for children either. Stick to the earlier ones for the families. They also had the usual jugglers, magicians, hypnotists, etc, but we didn't attend those shows. The casino wasn't as large as I thought it would be for a ship this size. I love the penny slots and but they are popular so it was tough getting a machine at night or in the afternoons on sea days. Smoking is confined to a small section and it is strictly enforced. The ventilation system is also good making the air pretty breathable. Onboard entertainment during the day was also rather sparse. We sat out by the main lido pool a few days and it seemed like the only thing offered was trivia. Other cruises have several activities, especially on sea days, but the only thing the Dream had a rather tacky hairy chest contest. Movies were also only shown in the outdoor Seaside Theater. We had two cool sea days, not unexpected when sailing from NYC, when indoor movies, perhaps in one of the lounges, would have been nice. Cloud 9 Spa: A well equipped spa is always one of our favorite areas on a ship and the Dream did not disappoint us. In fact we booked the Spa Stateroom because it came with unlimited spa access for both of us which would have come with a $249 price tag for the cruise per couple. There was a large Thalassotheraphy pool, 2 steam rooms and 2 rooms with those wonderful heated tile loungers. One of the steam rooms was supposed to be "aromatic" but it never had any particular fragrance after the first day. We never found the spa to be crowded and we did go every afternoon or early evening. I did note that the areas were not looked after very well. Here too, spa attendants seemed to slack off. Unfortunately, some people just leave their towels lying about when they're through rather than placing them in one of the numerous baskets throughout the spa. Attendants rarely picked them up. Dirty glasses were also scattered around. We didn't partake of any treatments, but there were some good specials toward the end of the cruise, even on sea days. I just always found something else I'd rather do than spend an hour in the morning or midafternoon in the spa. The gym was very large and well equipped. I didn't go in the mornings as I prefer walking on the promenade deck as the sun is coming up, but I never found a wait for a treadmill in the late afternoon. Ports: We did not take this cruise for the ports. Port Canaveral, Nassau and Freeport are not high on our list of favorite stops. We did not take shore excursions although many were offered in all ports. Having been to Disney World and the Kennedy Space Center, we didn't even disembark in Port Canaveral. Instead we spent a relaxing, quiet day on board. we saw the new "Star Trek" movie at the Seaside Theater in the afternoon. We didn't arrive in Nassau until noon, so we never made it to the beach. We choose to browse the shops along Bay Street and go to the Straw Market. Freeport was the only new port for us and we were quite pleasantly surprised. The cruise ships dock in the industrial port area, so it's not very scenic and there's nothing to do there. We took a van shuttle over to Port Lucaya, which is the main resort area on the island, at the cost of $5 per person each way. There's a nice, clean beach. Lounge chairs cost $10 each but there are no umbrellas. We spent a very nice few hours soaking up the sun and swimming in the clear, calm waters. In the Lucaya area, there are also several shops, restaurants and a casino. Shuttles back to the ship were plentiful. Disembarkation: Definitely better than embarkation. We were scheduled to arrive at 9:00AM but we were hours ahead of schedule. We had arranged for a wake up call at 7:00AM but were awakened by an in-cabin announcement at 6:50 which stated that self assist disembarkation was starting. We choose to have our luggage taken off for us and our disembarkation group number was 10. We were off the ship by about 8:45AM and home by 10:15AM. Overall Experience: We knew that this was one of the first cruises or the ship and there are always glitches that need to be ironed out especially when the ship is very different from any others in the fleet. Service especially needs improvement in most areas. I'm not sure what if anything can be done to improve the Lido. Although this wasn't among our best cruises, we had an enjoyable time nonetheless. And the price was very right. We felt we received very good value for the price we paid. We are pretty easy going and not very demanding. We try not to let the negatives get in the way of the positives because the pluses always outweigh the minuses. Our favorite saying is "There's no such thing as a bad cruise" and that's why we've enjoyed every one of the 44 we've taken including this one. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2009
We came down to the piers for our ninth Carnival cruise on this new ship. We were doing a B2B so we had luggage. I found someone to assist me with our luggage on the elevator and he found a porter for me. I gave him my checked luggage. We ... Read More
We came down to the piers for our ninth Carnival cruise on this new ship. We were doing a B2B so we had luggage. I found someone to assist me with our luggage on the elevator and he found a porter for me. I gave him my checked luggage. We got on board pretty quick in spite of the fact that the NY port couldn't use the regular means for boarding the ship and had to bring us in on Deck zero. My wife uses a walker and it took me and four other passengers to get my wife and walker safely up the slippery ramp. It was raining and no one from Carnival assisted. We got on board and the rooms would not be ready until 1:30 which was more than an hour and one-half away. We got something to drink as the food stations were not open as yet. We tried several stations including the famed Mongolian Wok. Even the mild sauce was too hot for my wife. The mild sauce I thought was okay. Certainly the Mongolian Grille at Sam's Town in Las Vegas, Nev is much better. This food station leaves a lot to be desired. Other food stations were better. The Carnival chef's really did a good job on the buffett. Although, I will say that the pizza station was not quite ready. Whenever I went there it was a five to seven minute wait. Go back and another five to seven minute wait. It failed to meet the Carnival standard. This did not happen when I sailed on the Triumph a month ago. The Safety Drill- was another disaster. They pack you into the area without life vests then show you a film about safety aboard the ship. We got the sound, but, no visual. Dining Rooms never actually opened on time. They might have problems preparing for this amount of people. The food for the most part met the Carnival standard. It was very good. The shows I guess weren't bad. Although I find it hard to believe how the dancers could stay up on the stage with all the motion during the weekend. The Stateroom was a nice stateroom. However, they use the same design as do the Spirit Class ships. My wife could not enter or exit the stateroom with walker. I had to fold it and bring it in or out. Same as on Spirit Class ships. On the Triumph last month my wife could walk into the stateroom with walker fully opened. The Casino was by far the worst I've ever played in. The dealers are all young kids. I've been playing Craps for more than twenty years which is longer since most of the dealers were in years on the planet. The Box Men they had weren't much better and exercised little control except to get into arguing over silly matters. We had bad weather and the ship didn't seem to be able to handle it. We were on the Triumph last month and we were in bad weather too. The ship was more stable. On Triumph Class ships they could enclose the aft pool area. Can't be done on the Dream because of an open deck on the aft of the Lido Deck. It is an okay ship, but, one would have thought with all the ballyhoo about this ship Carnival could have done better. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2009
We are on our tenth Carnival Cruise and we were doing a B2B. Someone from the ship came for our luggage to bring it to our stateroom for the eight day cruise. Then we went down to the lobby. We met fellow Cruise Critic members Jack and ... Read More
We are on our tenth Carnival Cruise and we were doing a B2B. Someone from the ship came for our luggage to bring it to our stateroom for the eight day cruise. Then we went down to the lobby. We met fellow Cruise Critic members Jack and Geri at the lobby. We got our room keys and someone told us our Sail&Sign information would be transferred from our last sailing, the one we just completed. Boy did we get a surprise, when we wanted to play BINGO I found out they could not do the transaction. We went to the Purser's Desk. When I informed the person I was talking to that someone else said the information was taken from the first part of the B2B and I even pointed out the person who told me she told me it was incorrect. They were informed by me before giving out information they should make sure it is correct information. That led to an argument. What was nice was the Hotel Manager sent us a basket of fruit and cheese with crackers. We could not go to our stateroom until after 1:30 so we went to the Lido Deck. The food was still good. At the sail away I went to our Balcony and lo and behold I met one of my neighbors Boogirl1 and her husband. Nice folks. At the dining rooms on the first few nights they opened late. Later in the cruise they opened on time. The food met the Carnival standard most of the time. Some of us Cruise Critic people met to go to what turned out to be the brunch. This was toward the end of the cruise. The service was far below the Carnival standard. The food fell well below the the Carnival standard. Two people ordered chicken which was not cooked all the way through. The desserts were not that good. With the shoddy service it took almost two hours to complete. Back to cooking school for the cook. The Casino was still not a good experience. I play at the Craps Table. The dealers that worked there were very obnoxious. They don't want players to really play. One player was tapping the dice against the table, dealer said,"don't tap the dice." Why? Will it cause the table to go through the floor? Will the ship sink if you tap the dice? They certainly didn't like my methodical deliberate way of playing and constantly were trying to hurry me. I got hit on my hands while choosing dice by the stickman several times. Didn't have a good time playing in the Casino. Casino employees need to be properly trained. They have no idea of how to work in the hospitality industry. Craps table closed relatively early every night. No wonder, players don't like to be bullied while they play. Last month we went on the Triumph. They had to run us off the table most nights. I've played Craps for roughly twenty years. I've never seen a Casino run as shoddy as that one. Entertainment- The comedy shows in the Burgundy lounge were pretty good. The shows in the theater were either a hit or miss. Edge was a bit strange, but, he put on a good show. Dancin in the Streets my wife liked. I thought it was just okay. Extreme Country was a disaster. The Fiddle player was very good. If he stood at center stage and played like he was Bob Wills it would have been a much better show. The ship vibrates a lot. It shakes, rattles, and rolls pulling into ports. In the dining room the waiters tried to hold tables steady. There was also a lot of banging and other noises that could be heard throughout the ship. I have never experienced such motion on other Carnival ships even in bad weather. We had a bad storm coming out of Halifax last month on the Triumph with higher waves. Smoother ride. On Triumph Class ships the aft section of the Lido Deck was closed at least every time I was on board. On the Dream it is open which also limits use of aft pool and hot tubs besides offering more seating possibilities in inclement weather. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2009
The Carnival Dream was a beautiful ship! Embarkation: I don't remember every detail (saying it was a long time ago) but we live in New Jersey and took the hour/ hour and a half drive to New York instead of flying to Florida. It ... Read More
The Carnival Dream was a beautiful ship! Embarkation: I don't remember every detail (saying it was a long time ago) but we live in New Jersey and took the hour/ hour and a half drive to New York instead of flying to Florida. It was smooth, and then we got in line, and then parked our car. Next, we took a big elevator down, and then it was perfect through security and onto the ship we went!! We went to our cabin first although you are not technically supposed to but we went to the cabin and dropped off our bags. The line at the Lido Buffet was long... but what do you expect? We had to get a table upstairs at the Steakhouse but we didn't care. Cabin: Not very pleased. It was me (11 at the time), my two sisters (8, 12) and my mom and dad in a "Deluxe OceanView" cabin. This was the first ship to offer a ocean view to hold five people, and that's why my parents booked it. I don't understand it because that cabin was the same size as any oceanview cabin (besides the two bathrooms) but they just set up another bed on the couch. WAY to tight for five people trying to get ready for a dinner at night or get ready in the morning. If you can, get two cabins, connecting cabins, or a suite. It would be much more worth it. The ship: Beautiful! Everything about it was just so nice. Only issue was that we had a lot of routy New Yorkers, and teenagers so through out the week there were broken TVs, broken lamps, drunk people, and just a few cabins down from us... and totally destroyed room. The good thing is you were never bored on the ship! Dining: Loved the Crimson dining! Loved our waiter too! We were at a table with a couple and their little girl which was fine, and they weren't even there like 3 times that week. Warm chocolate melting cake was my favorite... obviously! And on Thanksgiving, I did have turkey, and a pumpkin soup as well as watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day on the big screen by the pool (and on the TV in our cabin)! I think being on a cruise ship for Thanksgiving was amazing (and being in the warm sun in November)! Circle 'C': My older sister and I decided to try out Circle 'C'. The first day at sea, I really wanted to do a photo scavenger hunt, so I went although my sister didn't want to(and I am not very good with meeting new people). Half way there I almost turned around, but I just sucked it up and went. I didn't really know what group to join, so I just asked a group because they all seemed nice and they said yes. We all got medals because we won! It really turned out to be a lot of fun running around the ship taking pictures and it was well ran! Arcade: I loveddddd the arcade! I had never really found it until like half way into the week. It was on the fourth floor... I think... totally out of the way. It was simple. You just stuck in your cabin card thing, and put in how many coins you wanted, and out came the coins! Only issue? 1. My parents hated me spending all that money in there. 2. That was where I lost my card. I had left it in the machine and forgot to take it out, so my little sister and I walked out. I realized it was gone, ran back, but it wasn't there. I quickly ran to the desk in the lobby to help, and it was the quickest thing EVER! I was so frantic because I was scared my parents would be mad at me. The lady was very nice, and thankfully the line wasn't that long like it had been a couple of times. She took my name, and my cabin number I think, she found my card, disabled it (in case the person who took it tried to use it to charge money to my parents account) and printed me a new one! Awesome service! :) Camp Carnival: My little sister only went later in the week and a few times. The only bad part about it, was a lot of activities you had to pay for or have a parent. And, all the activities my sister wanted to do, ALWAYS ran over the time we had dinner (6:00-8:00). But, sometimes it was great for her to go and do her thing, meet new people, and have fun with kids her age! Well, she's soooo weird so I would ask if she made any new friends and she would say, " I don't know." or, " I don't remember their names!". I personally think she made friends with some little boys and was embarrassed! ;) Steward: I didn't really meet, MEET the steward but I guess he was good. My parents talked to him, so I guess that's good! :) Except, the first night was pretty bad. I was pretty nauseous, mostly at dinner, because of the rocking of the ship. It was November in New York. I just never had been in rough waters like that, and I have never gotten nauseous on a ship before. It was almost impossible to walk around the ship without holding onto anything because it would jerk you over. It was funny sometimes though! :) We sat down in a little stage area (I don't remember the name) and this poor women had to sing in front of like 8 people! Anyway, my stomach was annoying me from dinner, and I really had to go to the bathroom (ya no!) so I just sat down outside our cabin because it still was not made yet. And yes we had checked in like an hour before and it was not touched. We understood that the stewards were probably going crazy because it was the first night! Well, they were a few cabins down from us, so we just decided to wait. I don't remember the exact time, but I would say 9:30 PM and we got into the cabin. I truthfully don't know if that's early or late for the room to be done, and I am not trying to sound mean or disrespectful, but I was tired and dizzy. If you are feeling dizzy or the rocking of the ship is making you feel sick, I would recommend to go back to your cabin as soon as possible, and just lie down. I had to lie down to feel better, and I didn't feel the rocking of the ship as much. It was sort of calming rocking to sleep, though! :) [ We had a deck 1 cabin like always, because my mom says it's cheaper, like mid-ship?] Water slides: The line was long sometimes, mostly for Twister. It got very cold all the way up there sometimes! I tried The Drainpipe two times, and I was good. I got scared when I started going REALLY fast, and I was like partially sitting up, partially sitting on my back. Not a good idea to sit up. To gain momentum, you have to lie on your back, which no one told me! I couldn't really see, but all of a sudden I dropped out, and banged my head pretty hard! The second time I bruised my knee. If you figure out how to do it, have fun! Not for me though!! The Twister on the other hand, was worth the wait! It was long, and so much fun. After I learned to lie on my back, I went so fast! The BEST part, was seeing my dad splash at the end! ;) The racing slides were fun too. They were just simple, and me and my sister would race all the time! Awesome for all ages. :) Pool: Barely went in! Most of the time it was too cold, or raining but I don't know why all of a sudden it started to gross me out on this ship that it was salt water. On all of the other ships I had been on, it never really bothered me. I felt like I was in the ocean (which I don't swim in) and fish were going to bite my feet, or jellyfish were going to sting me! I don't know why! I also hated that no one really went in the lido pool, but tons of people were around it, watching TV, or suntanning. I felt weird going in and it felt like everyone was watching me! Whirlpools: Me and my sisters went in twice. My mom hates them because they are bad for kids skins, but they were perfect on a chilly day. The first time, my and both my sisters went in one in the back of the ship out of the way, so we were alone. Then a dad and his daughter joined which was fine! The second time, just me and my little sister went in on one that hung over the ship (which was pretty cool). We were alone, and then like ten people piled in. There was older people, kids, a bigger person, and just SOOO many people! I couldn't even really put my feet down without touching someone else's! Ugh! :P It was fine though, because they all deserved to be in the hot tub too, so my sister and I got out. Shows: Only saw one show, and it was a ventriloquist! I love ventriloquists, and he was VERY funny! :) But, some things were a little inappropriate for me and my sister (my little sister wasn't there) so it was like... awkward? Other then that, great! :) Staff: Truthfully, some of the staff we rolled upon were not very nice. One was at the gift shops, doing the bracelets I believe? She just didn't seem too happy. The other one was in the Atrium at the bar. My sisters and I had a drink card, so I went there almost every time to get sodas. She would give me an attitude saying that kids couldn't sit there, or I needed my room card out. She just didn't seem to like kids that much, but what can you do! Room Service: OY! Only ordered room service once while my parents were out one night at the casino. We got 2 hot chocolates (yes we wanted hot chocolates!) fruit and something else. We had also bought 'UP' on our TV to watch that night. We all fell asleep after 30-45 minutes after we order room service. Knock knock knock! " Beccaaaaaaa... goooo... getttttt....itttt..." I was sleeping on the couch, so I opened the door and the steward was VERY nice and brought it in placed it down for us, and I gave him his tip. Wonderful service! But, I never checked the time (does anyone else feel that you lose track of time on a ship?) so I don't know how long we all slept. I can tell you no doubt that it took no less then an hour. I did not think room service took that long! It was just upsetting because we were all so tired after that, we barely finished anything! I don't think it was worth it, but maybe the mornings are better? This December I think we will try that! :) ICE-CREAM: The best thing that God ever invented? FREE ICE-CREAM ALL WEEK, EVERYDAY, 24 HOURS!!!! For kids, its like a dream come true! I have heard different things, but I think that nothing beats cruise ship ice-cream, and I don't know why! It's so sweet, and creamy... OMG! I want it right now!! :) I think that Royal Caribbean's is a little bit better, but that's okay! I'm happy either way! :D Well... I think that's it! Thank you for anyone who sat through this and read through my review! If you can leave questions that would be awesome! :) I hope this helps you if you are planing a Carnival Dream cruise! :) -77cruiselover77 (Becca) Read Less
Sail Date: November 2009
took the two day out of new york. My honey and I wanted time away from the kids, went other fun people and had a blast for two days. The weather was rough, service was poor but my expectations were to have fun, spend time together and we ... Read More
took the two day out of new york. My honey and I wanted time away from the kids, went other fun people and had a blast for two days. The weather was rough, service was poor but my expectations were to have fun, spend time together and we did. The ship overall was clean, the food although not 5 star was good, the buffet was crowded but aren't they all??? The service in the dining room was way too slow, they forgot courses, but it is a new ship and they are still learning. Guys GO TO THE PIANO BAR Vin was the best EVER! Cabins were spacious, we had an aft balcony, a little rocky though. We have been on 8 cruises Royal mostly and I would do Carnival again although Royal is my favorite. And go to the art auction (I've never been before) they give away free things but stay till the end. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2009
A little background to get started: We are a family of three (29, 24, and 2) who had been living in Italy for the past 2 1/2 years (my wife is Italian and our daughter - who just turned two for the cruise - was born there) and had ... Read More
A little background to get started: We are a family of three (29, 24, and 2) who had been living in Italy for the past 2 1/2 years (my wife is Italian and our daughter - who just turned two for the cruise - was born there) and had gradually become disenchanted with living there. Italy is a great place to visit and spend a few weeks but actually living there is another story and allows you to appreciate even more being able to live in the USA. Anyway... after going through all of the bureaucratic hula-hoops to get my wife's residency visa, we decided that it would be nice to take a cruise to the US instead of flying - we needed a vacation - and hence settled on the Carnival Dream out of Civitavecchia. The ports of call seemed interesting, it was a new ship, we thought our daughter would be best suited on a Carnival cruise, and Civitavecchia was not that far for us, given that we were coming from Sicily. After renting a car and driving up to Rome the day before, we got up in the morning and headed to Roma Fiumicino as we had to ship some stuff off to the US, and then took a taxi (actually a huge Mercedes van that could have fit 10 people) to Civitavecchia, which is approximately an hour from Rome via car. We were driven right up to the ship and boarding was incredibly simple. It literally took us 10-12 minutes from the time we entered the terminal until the time we were on the ship. We were onboard by 3:30 and took a little time to relax in the stateroom and then head out and meet some CCers at the Sunset bar and grab a bite to eat before getting back to our room (where our luggage had already been delivered), cleaning up, and then it was time for departure. Overall, most of the aspects of the cruise met my expectations, several exceeded, and unfortunately a couple fell short, and now I'll delve into detail about all of that. THE SHIP: The Carnival Dream is obviously a new ship; this was the fourth sailing following three Mediterranean journeys, and is definitely grandiose. On a side note, in Barcelona - the first port - it was docked next to the old Royal Caribbean Sovereign of the Seas, which had once been the largest cruise ship in the world and was actually the ship on which I did my first cruise when I was 11, and just towered over it). The decor was not overwhelming but added an elegant touch, which was nice, given that many people had complained about the last new Carnival ship (Splendor). The exception to that was the Lido buffet area, which didn't really jive well with me. I thought that the ship was designed quite well but there definitely did seem to be a problem with space in several areas, especially outside when the weather was nice and basically all days for breakfast and lunch in the Lido. With this push to continually build larger ships, someone needs to realize that regardless of how many decks you add, your outside space remains extremely limited, and architects can only increase that slightly by adding to the length and width of the ship. Therefore on a ship with 2000 or 3500 or 5500 passengers (i.e. the new Oasis of the Seas), the outside space still remains more or less equivalent to one deck. Many of the guests who had previously sailed with Carnival as well as much of the staff lamented on this very issue. One other consideration is that this was a Transatlantic sailing that generally played to an older crowd... I'm sure the space issues would be compounded in a Caribbean setting with a younger crowd. Overall I was pleased with the ship itself but people need to be wary of that fact that at times they will definitely note the 3600 passengers. STATEROOM: We were in a balcony stateroom (8F) on the Panorama deck and had no complaints whatsoever. The room was spacious enough for the three of us with a large bed, a sofa, sitting area, etc., and it was well designed. No space issues, no storage issues, and I thought the location of the room was perfect for us as it was very close the gym, easy to get outside and head to the Lido deck when we wanted to go enjoy the sunshine or go eat at the buffet, and close to the central elevators to get around the ship. No noise issues either. GYM/SPA: I'm into working out, natural bodybuilding, and personal training, and hence I did head to the gym basically everyday. The equipment that is there is new and definitely high quality, but the gym itself is limited by the space available and again, I feel that it could definitely be an issue with a younger crowd that is more physically active. The first few days it was packed, mostly with people who had no clue what they were doing and several who failed to practice proper gym etiquette (sitting on machines and talking, improper technique, improper gym attire). Furthermore, they need to invest in heavier dumbells and a free weight area would not be a bad idea. I understand that it's a moving ship but as long the heavier weights are utilized by guests who know how to workout, it's not a problem. I never used the spa services but from what I saw, it seemed nice but the products/services are overpriced. SERVICE: For the most part, the best part of our cruise. Maybe we were just fortunate, but I found the service on the Carnival Dream to be wonderful, especially for our 2 year old daughter who was treated so well by the vast majority of the staff and really assisted us in making it a pleasant cruise for us. Our stateroom steward and his staff were always available, took care of every request, and kept our room in immaculate condition, which can be difficult when a certain 2 year old is free inside! The dining staff did a fantastic job as well; we were in the Crimson dining room with "Your Time" dining (hence on the 4th floor) and always had fantastic service, starting with the hostesses and continued by the waiters/waitresses, their assistants, etc. One of the bar waitresses, Usanee, basically babysat our daughter after she was finished eating so that we could enjoy our dinner. Our comment cards were filled with praise for the dining staff. PORTS OF CALL: I will be brief here, as these are ports that will not be visited by the Dream again in the foreseeable future. Basically the ports that we thought were going to be the worst turned out the best and vice versa (with the exception of Bermuda, which we were expecting to be nice and was). Barcelona was okay but it's more of a city to visit for two or three days at a leisurely pace instead of just 10 hours or whatever. Palma de Mallorca was wonderful; very clean and lots to do and not too touristy (it probably is worse in the summer, but great for us). We did not like Malaga (Sunday/holiday and hence nothing was open) or Las Palmas in the Canary Islands (the city seems dirty and the beach was nothing great), and as previously mentioned, enjoyed Bermuda. CAMP CARNIVAL: In one word: AWFUL. The biggest disappointment of the cruise, without a doubt. I was expecting my daughter to have a wonderful time but she absolutely hated it. Yes, she is 2 years old and likes to have her mommy and daddy nearby, but the camp counselors were no good at all and did very little to interact with the younger children and get them involved. Kids who are 5 or 8 or whatever are able to independently play and organize themselves a little bit, but two year olds?!? The room itself seemed wonderful but they basically just sat the kids there and watched TV or had them do whatever, and often didn't follow the planned schedule that was given to us. Perhaps the counselors were so pathetic and lethargic because they were always out during the night getting plastered?!? This includes the Youth Director who I saw out one night and was so inebriated that she couldn't put a sentence together. Disgraceful. Needless to say, we stopped even attempting to bring our daughter to Camp Carnival after a week or so. POOLS/OUTSIDE AREAS/WATER PARK: Never used the pools or hot tubs (again, crowded) but did enjoy the water slides with my daughter, who after discovering them wanted to go basically everyday) but could only do the little ones because... well... she's 2. When my wife was there with us, I had a little liberty to enjoy the twister slides. NIGHTLIFE/SOCIAL AREAS/ENTERTAINMENT: Average, but that's kind of what I expected, given the older crowd on the cruise. I only stayed out after 11 PM or so on three occasions and just for a couple of hours (as my wife went to bed with our daughter), but it seemed that us "youth" always ended up at the Piano Bar. The Caliente disco was nothing great and the music sucked... never really spent much time in the Ocean Plaza. I'm not one for shows and entertainment - I tend to keep myself entertained pretty well - but I did see the hypnotist and then one of the main shows ("Dancing on the Streets", I believe). The hypnotist was amusing; the main show was average for my tastes but others enjoyed it. FOOD: I hope this is the last thing that comes to mind because I'm getting a little tired of typing, but here it goes... Overall, the food met my expectations and I get a little tired of reading complaints from people who are under the impression that every meal on a Carnival cruise should be like a restaurant with 3 Michelin stars or whatever. People need to realize that there are 3600 guests and obviously some of the ingredients are not going to be completely fresh as they have to keep them stored. With that said, the breakfast was fine at the beginning but they could have used a little variation; the only variation that I noted was that one day they had pancakes and then the next french toast. The Lido buffet lunch was not so great; often food was cold and undercooked. Towards the end of the cruise, we avoided it all together and would always go for the pasta bar, the burrito bar, or the grill. The pasta bar was good - yes, it's not Italy, but I thought it was fine for a cruise. The burritos were wonderful; at least for me, the best part of lunch. Room service was fine; nothing special on the menu, but always got there reasonably quick. I was happy with the dinner in the MDR (we went to the buffet the first night but then the MDR every night afterwards with the exception of one night in the Steakhouse). Some people complained about the lack of variation of the menu but it seemed okay to me. There were a couple of nights that dinner was not so great (but still edible); however most of the meals were tasteful, well presented, and of a quality that I was expecting. Overall, it was an enjoyable experience. I'm sure that there are several minor details that I could have covered but I hope that I've hit most of the major points here. It wasn't a perfect cruise but it was definitely good and was certainly a great way to move back to the USA. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2009
We have just returned from the Grand Med cruise on the Carnival Dream- her 3rd cruise out and last in the Med before the transatlantic crossing... We were pleased with the ship- liked the overall layout, and the new muster drill. Sorry ... Read More
We have just returned from the Grand Med cruise on the Carnival Dream- her 3rd cruise out and last in the Med before the transatlantic crossing... We were pleased with the ship- liked the overall layout, and the new muster drill. Sorry for the length but it was a long cruise... The ship: really easy to get around-but it is a very large ship and I dont believe we saw the "whole ship". embarkation and debarkation was a "dream' 15 minutes or less- for each. The furniture is not comfortable -either the backs were too tall and the seat wasnt or the seat was too wide -just not comfortable. the room: I am not a believer of the phrase 'you'll never be in your room' I believe that the room is half of your experience...we had a balcony on the 10th floor middle- our first balcony room-and loved it-except when the smokers next store were out (all the time) Carnival allows smoking in the rooms which is not only dangerous for fire but they just dont seem to have enough ventilation in the hallways to prevent the hallway being smokey. The mattress was too firm- but our friends did not seem to think so- so I guess its all about personal taste. we did not get the new 'family bath' so it was a little tiny shower and sink area. (they could have made it bigger and got rid of the huge orange leather couch and it would have been great). There is hardly any drawer space since they put the hair dryer in the top drawer. The lighting was ok- would liked to have had the close up mirror connected to this section instead of high above the toliet in the bath room. Part of the closet faced towards you instead of right to left- which was difficult to use the hangers. they only have 1 phone in the room with a really long cord so on the days with wake up calls at 5:30 you had to remember to put the phone by the bed to get it- and the nightstands were crammed with stationary light fixtures wich left no room for a glass- also when in port the room smelled liked sewer but was better when we were at sea. the ship had problems with the sewer-we heard that a shower had backed up in a room. Dining- we did the 'your time dining' option - which was great when we dined at 5:45 pretty much daily but liked the option to eat whenever- otherwise there was a line- but they did have pagers if you wanted to wait we had 3 nights switching between 2 tables and decided that we liked our table staff enough to request them for the rest of the cruise- Waninda, Vergel and Andrei were great! I have never tipped additionally from what the cruise ship took before and we did for them- they really went out of their way to provide the best service. Overall you did not miss the perfomances of the lower dining staff- we just danced with ours on the top floor. the food - I thought the food could be alot better - I swore the menu was the same as the Destiny last year- the desserts were boring even on chocolate buffet day- hot chocolate was the best I had ever had but the machines were always being cleaned and out of use- there were times the food came out cold, but they took it back with no problem you just had to wait another 10 minutes for it..The Tandori(sp)area was a fresh idea- the pizza always had a wait because there wasnt any available- the buffet had the same thing- the salad bar was boring and the dressings were never cold- the burrito bar however was excellent -and it had the shortest line. The ice cream was still the best and the addition of big plastic cups for it was good- but no toppings anywhere.. the shows- Dancing in the Streets was the best out of the 3 maybe because it was new and fresh. the others were pretty boring and the comedians were bland as well. Todd and James (cruise directors) Morning show was the best out of all of it- the entertainment staff was friendly and you saw them everywhere which made it very personable (especially on 12 days). I am not a smoker and found the ship to be full of smoke- 5th floor was a smokers heaven from the Casino though all the bars and dance areas- the Piano bar (the guy was horrible and took himself way tooo seriously- my friend complained to the cruise director Todd but he claimed that he was an entertainer-but really the root word there is entertain not put too sleep) surrounding areas were non smoking but again with the ventilation- this was the Dreams 3rd cruise and when the 5th floor was vacant it smelled like a old casino- the lido deck was split for smoking/ non smoking- outside- but when the doors opened into the buffet inside section it was blown into the inside section- it could be all contained with proper VENTILATION. Carnival is a good buy for the buck-but they definitely nickle and dime you once on board.. 1.50 for popcorn for the movie- they also charged extra for the better desserts and coffee- the pictures are outrageous- 2 8 x10 and 1 smaller for 53.00! Celebrity was cheaper and had specials- Shopping- this was a letdown for the girls in our group who were looking for the good cruise buys in the past- the 10.00 items were boring- too much high priced jewelry space and not enough fun stuff to purchase- the liquor section was way small and never ran specials- and the makeup section was little, the perfume section wasnt spectacular and had poor selections. I was looking for a journal because I forgot to bring one and not one could be found unless I wanted to buy the planet earth line with oatmeal construction paper -for 35.00. all in all we will plan another cruise with Carnival and the Dream was a beauty- Read Less
Sail Date: October 2009
We sailed on the Dream October 12-28th. We travelled with three adults and one 19 month old baby. The ship is..nice, but borderline tacky (sorry if I offend some). Very Las Vegas style. Many lights and colours. The common areas ... Read More
We sailed on the Dream October 12-28th. We travelled with three adults and one 19 month old baby. The ship is..nice, but borderline tacky (sorry if I offend some). Very Las Vegas style. Many lights and colours. The common areas are well kept, as some have previously mentioned I saw some of the wear and tear already as well. The Encore theatre is nice, but there are quite a few posts, so if you are not there early before a show starts, you will end up with a seat with an obstructed view of the stage. Rooms: The staterooms were nice, at least the one we had. We were on deck 7 and have no complaints of noise. The room was a decent size, but when you are 4 in the same cabin, it will always be tight! Our room stewards were fantastic. We were well taken care of. We did however hear a lot of complaints from others about floor 9. People heard the chairs being moved around on Lido deck. Also on floor 8 (i think), many smelt food being cooked all day long. Food: The food was decent. Nothing that blew my mind...okay, except the melting cake :)..but the meals in the dining hall were good. We did note that the chefs never use garlic. Food was a little bland at times. On the Lido deck there is the buffet (very average, we also thought there should be more salad bar choices), the burger grill (never went), pizza (pretty good), deli (never went but it looked good), tandoori (the best! we loved the food and ate lunch there every sea day) and the Mongolian grill (pretty good, but always long line ups). Room service was prompt, but we always seemed to be missing something or received way too much of another. We would ask for a pot of coffee for three and some half anf half and would get 6, yes 6, little pots of cream! What a waste. But the service was very efficient and friendly. Service: Room stewards were fantastic (Arnold & Serin). The dining hall seemed, let's say, very chaotic. Service was slow, our waiter was very nice, but always seemed lost. As well, one night our table was missing, it had been removed from the dining hall! We were also put in a side room, off of the main dining hall. This was okay for us as we had a baby, but I can imagine for other couples this could be a let down as you were secluded from all of the action. One family beside us complained (as they had probably the worst table in the house, beside the entrance and telephone!) and nothing was done to move them... Laundry: What a disaster! I expected the waits to be long as it was a 12 day cruise and many people may have stayed in Rome a few days prior to the cruise, but what I couldnt have imagined was that the water pressure was so low that we had to fill the machines with water ourselves! People were taking water bottles and filling the machines or else it would take about an hour to do a wash. Waits were the norm as there were not very many machines on board for 3600 people! Shows: We went to the country show (we stayed through half as baby was ready to leave) it was okay. The dancing in the street show was great! Camp Carnival: I never left the baby, but did go with her to play. Facilities and staff were great. Lots of toys for the kids to play with. Disembarkation: Very confusing. People everywhere and no staff to help direct people to the right place. People were cutting the lines and the wait to get on the free shuttle to the port entry was quite long. All in all we had a great cruise. I think there are some 'kinks' that need to be worked out as service was a little inconsistent at times. The lesson we learned is that these big ships are not for us. Traveling with so many passengers is at times quite trying. The pushing and shoving for coffee each morning and the cutting lines left us feeling like we had to constantly be on guard. Not Carnival;s fault, but a lesson learned for us! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2009
We were led to believe that we were booking an inaugural and were very excited about it. I was bent on being on the very first of the European cruises as we had loved all the special things that were done for Carnival Legend on ... Read More
We were led to believe that we were booking an inaugural and were very excited about it. I was bent on being on the very first of the European cruises as we had loved all the special things that were done for Carnival Legend on Carnival's first time in Europe. However, we learned that ours was not the REAL inaugural. That was going to be in NYC. Unfortunately, we were not alone in our disappointment. No bands or entertainers to see us off in Rome, nor at any port but Dubrovnik. No special shows or performers. In fact, the Country show was not ready so we had only 9 show nights and only 2 big shows. We really felt cheated. We thought that Carnival should have given us all some sort of perk - money off on a future cruise at least - for being the ones helping them find all the quirks, etc. DH's night light was inoperative and it took 4 days to get it fixed. Maintenance evidently had no one who spoke English, for one thing. Also, they were busy with more important issues on the ship. Turned out the light was miswired. We actually were the ones who figured out what was wrong. Voice mail for Customer Service did not work. The employees continually put you on hold or hung up on you. So many problems they could not handle them all. It got better toward the end. This was a huge problem for only 3 cabins on board - ours and 1222 and 1221. The Spa Deck's rooms all start with 1220, 1221 or 1222. If you dialed the room number, as you were instructed for every other floor, you got Riviera Decks 1220, 1221 or 1222 as the last digit was dropped. You were supposed to dial 4 first. However, no one knew that, even by the last night. We had calls to our room (1220) at all hours. The last night, when we needed to go to bed early as debarkation was starting at 6 am, we had our last call at midnight. Given the attitude of the maintenance dept, I would say that these are rooms to be avoided. I am betting the phone situation is not fixed. This is a new problem for Carnival as they never had a 12th floor before. But Magic will have the same issue so they need to figure it out. Food was better than NCL or RCI but not as good as Legend or Glory. I liked the tandoori place on Lido and, of course, the melting chocolate cake. I would have liked the mongolian barbecue but did not have the patience to stand in line forever. Sushi could have been at a better time and more often. They did have lobster which some companies are dropping. Also baked Alaska. We had Ken the singing Maitre d' on Legend and enjoyed him again. Our wait staff was terrific. Got me some of that Norrbrod (rye with seeds)from breakfast for my dinner every night. Otherwise, the breads were not exceptional. Tipped the waiters extra. We were not impressed with Todd as cruise director and had hoped for John Heald. Todd did very little for Cruise Critic folk of which there were many. Giving us a black fake leather frame with a picture of the ship did not make up for the lack of inaugural perks. Plus, now that we are home, the adhesive has given out. Made in China, no doubt. We did take the Back of the Ship tour and enjoyed it despite the high price. We had not been in the engine control room nor the wheelhouse ever despite many years of cruising. The computer Fun stations were a disaster on our cruise. They had an awful time making them work and I was truly ticked at having to leave 20 min behind as service stopped the last night prematurely. Europe had very few internet cafes so we were at the mercy of the Fun Hubs. The Street show was certainly unusual and we enjoyed it but perhaps not as much as most. Just not into break dancing. Over all, the shows were a very weak spot for Dream. Our cabin location was perfect and our cabin stewards were great. Room was always clean as a whistle. We were just one deck from the ramp to depart at almost all the ports. I particularly chose Riviera because it is sandwiched between two floors of cabins so is a lot quieter than many other decks - no rolling trash cans or music overhead. We were ones who thought the bed was too hard. I am getting used to the nice deluxe beds at Westin, Sheraton, Marriott, etc so this took some getting used to. That said, we slept like babies. Sadly, some people did draw stuff on the very art deco figures in the hallways so we did not leave the ship as pristine as we found it. It is easily removed by a steward so speak up if you find the graffiti. We did like that part of the decor. The atrium was very tall but not big around so it was strange looking. Legend was all done in brown and gray and was blah. This, at least, was colorful, mostly reds and oranges. We were blessed with perfect weather. I even got down a water slide! Embarkation was a breeze. We were on the 3rd bus to arrive - decided that since we flew in the day of the cruise from California we would not be in a mood to drag luggage in and out of a train station so bought the transfer. We enjoyed exploring the new ship and staff was still unloading boxes! Debarkation was equally well organized and we took a shuttle with some other cruise critic folk and saved half over the ship's cost. Took us right to the Sheraton Roma. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2009
I recently took a Eastern Caribbean cruise aboard the Carnival Dream. I traveled with my girlfriend and we are both 22 and have both been on 1 cruise prior (me on Carnival and her on Royal Caribbean). The embarkation process was fairly ... Read More
I recently took a Eastern Caribbean cruise aboard the Carnival Dream. I traveled with my girlfriend and we are both 22 and have both been on 1 cruise prior (me on Carnival and her on Royal Caribbean). The embarkation process was fairly easy and smooth and the staff was very friendly and helpful. I was already pretty familiar with the layout and the design of the ship prior to boarding so no surprises once I stepped aboard. The atrium is beautiful but also small compared to the atrium on my last cruise (carnival glory). We were pleasantly surprised upon entering our room as it was bigger than expected and our room was right in the front of the ship so we had a great view looking out the window. Our room steward was excellent, very friendly and very helpful. For the most part the entire staff on the ship was friendly and helpful although I eventually started to get annoyed with somebody always stopping us to take our picture, no big deal though. The layout of the ship is well laid out, everything was easy to find for the most part. There were many times when you felt overwhelmed by the amount of people on board especially when trying to find a lounge chair on the deck or going back to the buffet for seconds and having to wait in another long line. But I expected those things and did not let it ruin my cruise like others do. Activities were fun such as mini golf, water slides, comedy club, different games and various shows. I felt the pools were way to small and to only have 2 is kind of ridiculous in my opinion. There were also times when me and my girlfriend were bored, we got tired of the same ol' stuff everyday. Not enough things to do around the ship in my opinion. Overall we enjoyed our experience but were disappointed at some things. I think our next cruise will be on the Oasis of the Seas or possibly Norwegian Epic this coming summer. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2009
I had read several comments regarding their cruise experience on the Carnival Ship Dream, and some of the reviews were not favorable. This gave me some concern when I booked my Eastern Caribbean cruise on this ship. After completing the ... Read More
I had read several comments regarding their cruise experience on the Carnival Ship Dream, and some of the reviews were not favorable. This gave me some concern when I booked my Eastern Caribbean cruise on this ship. After completing the cruise I found myself in disagreement with most of the negative reviews. I found the food to be great, the crew to be very friendly and accommodating, good entertainment, clean environment, and comfortable balcony cabin. Boarding the ship was a bit of an ordeal requiring about 1 hour. The ports of call were underwhelming. Nassau was a little lame, St Thomas seemed in need of significant refurbishing, St Martin/St marten was superb. The departure weather was unusually cold extending all the way to Nassau and St Thomas. St Martin finally produced 85 degree weather suitable for water activities. I did notice a slight waft of Methane the first day at sea, but it was not repeated during the balance of the cruise. I would take the Carnival Ship Dream again, but I returning to Nassau or St Thomas in the immediate future is not likely for me. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2009
My husband and I just returned home today from our cruise on the Carnival Dream. Overall, the cruise was nice but with the boat being so new there are many things which still require the cruise company to correct in order for all cruisers ... Read More
My husband and I just returned home today from our cruise on the Carnival Dream. Overall, the cruise was nice but with the boat being so new there are many things which still require the cruise company to correct in order for all cruisers to have a wonderful experience in the future. The boarding was very efficient and fast. We were not allowed to go directly to our rooms due to the cleaning by housekeeping which did not complete until around 1:30 p.m. This was not a big deal since the buffet lines were open and we could grab a bite to eat. The buffet was OK but lines were very long on all occasions which we used the area. I think the cruise line could have arranged the food a little more efficently to speed up the lines but my biggest complaint was not the line it was the lack of seating. It looks like the boat was designed to seat about 500 people less than necessary. We had to clean tables in order to find one we could use in the buffet. By the time you got your food, then went to get a beverage and then found a place to sit your food was cold or you did not have something you needed. We tried to do as many shows as possible and have a great time as this was my birthday cruise. Upon arrival one of our friends had purchased a birthday decoration for our room and I was nicely surprised by the colorful decorations. The room was an interior and this was the first time we had booked an inside room. I was impressed with the overall size and amount of storage space. The room was equipted with a hair dryer which had not been on some of the carnival boats we have enjoyed in the past. Our friends had a balcony and that room was great, it had a couch, and more storage than our room. The balcony was small but overall a good room. They did complain of the noise from other cruisers who let their balcony doors slam and that their door whistled from the wind. Several times on the cruise we got a whiff of the sewer like smell that others have commented on but not to the point of breathing it all the time. I think this is really diesel or something lacking in the air handling system. I also smelled the same smell up on one of the decks later in the week. The smell was recognized by several passengers we spoke with on the boat and on our floor. The dining room was nice and menus were just like any other carnival ship we have been on. I had really expected a change in food choices but all were basically the same menu. All of the furniture was very uncomfortable! All areas of the ships must have been designed with Danish furniture because they were not made for normal Americans! I found no where in a bar, on deck, in the Atrium etc. that had comfortable seating. We ate at the Chef's Art steakhouse and all except me loved the meal. I ordered my steak medium (pink) and it bleed all over my plate. The waitress never came back to ask if our food was prepared well. The other three in my group raved about how great their food was. The deserts were good but I did notice that the drinks were more expensive in this dining room that other dining areas. The shows were good but crowded. The comedy club was a good idea but with a boat this size it is way too small! We tried to go to four different shows and could not get in. We finally went an hour early for a early show and got in. Excursions were OK. Took the butterfly farm visit in St. Thomas, Paradise Island in Nassau and Island tour and beach stop in St. Martin. All except the butterfly farm were worth the money. 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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