3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
I always read the reviews on Cruise Critic and appreciate the authors who take their time to write them, so I promised myself that I would do the same when I returned from our recent 21 day back to back cruise out of New Orleans on the ... Read More
I always read the reviews on Cruise Critic and appreciate the authors who take their time to write them, so I promised myself that I would do the same when I returned from our recent 21 day back to back cruise out of New Orleans on the Carnival Dream. This is going to be a long one, so if you don’t feel like reading it all, let me start with a summation: Carnival is my least favorite of cruise lines. This was our first time on Carnival (previous cruises were with Norwegian and Celebrity) and was Carnival’s first official “Journeys Cruise.” These are longer itineraries that include some new ports. In the case of this cruise, it included the opportunity to go to Bermuda and some Eastern Caribbean ports, which are rarely offered from New Orleans. We booked a Cove Balcony. What was great about this cruise besides the itinerary? The staff. I never encountered a cranky staff member on this entire cruise. The vast majority were smiling, welcoming and seemed entirely engaged in talking with passengers and ensuring that they had a great time. We also enjoyed the extra activities that were added especially for this “Journeys Cruise.” I was almost never bored on this ship, something I cannot say for other cruise lines. As to the ship itself, hmmmm. It feels older than it is. It has a dark decor and the designer seems to have minimized the view at every opportunity. Never have I seen so many grids, partial walls and columns blocking the view. This ship is designed, as many are, to try to force the client to walk through the casino, which allows smoking in one area. A heavy smoke odor emanates from the casino doors on either side—so much so that we always went up or down a floor rather than walk through. Many daily activities are held in an area called the “Lanai” on deck 5 midship. It includes a small stage area for evening bands, a bar and many seats and tables. On both sides are automatic sliding doors to the outer decks. In this area you will either be too hot or too cold. Air conditioning is turned high in this area to try to counteract the constant intrusion of warm outside air that enters when the doors open, creating a small hurricane when both doors open at the same time. Here again, the view that one would expect is absent—blocked on both sides by large elevated hot tubs. Also, just outside the doors on one side is a smoking area. When the doors open, cigarette smoke wafts in with the warm air. Notably absent is an area I have come to expect (as there was one on every other cruise I have taken) which is an inside viewing room with floor to ceiling windows and lots of comfy sofas and chairs that are used by those who want to enjoy the view without going outside or just want a quiet comfy place to read. The Dream lacks this amenity and we missed it. Much space on this ship is taken up by the adults only “Serenity” area, which is very nice and has all the needed attributes for reading and viewing except that it is an outside area. It was usually relatively empty. Absent on a Carnival Cruise are the “wash-washy” people at the entrances of the buffet/eating areas who welcome you and spray your hands. Carnival does have self-use hand sanitizers, but most clients pass them by and proceed directly to handling the tongs. Some even ignored the tongs and reached directly into a tray to pluck food items. By the end of our cruise, the coughing and sneezing had dramatically increased and I felt like I was living in a petrie dish. Odors are a problem on this ship. On first embarking, we noticed a strong sewage smell in several of the elevators, in stairwells, and in hallways. There were certain areas of the hallways that had a persistent odor of sewage throughout the entire cruise. The elevator and stairwell smells ebbed and waned, were prevalent mostly on port days (perhaps they were pumping out the sewage tanks?) I’ve also never smelled so much smoke as on this cruise. There seemed to be a large number of heavy smokers. Service was excellent in the Scarlet dining room. Our team included Eddy, Rafnedi and Francis and they were terrific. They were fast and efficient and always wanted to make sure you were happy with your meal. We loved them! The food here was very good for the most part and beautifully presented. The lobster was perfectly prepared, tender and succulent. The desserts were consistently excellent everywhere on this ship. Yum! Three dishes to avoid include the “Red Snapper” (not fresh and not Snapper), the meatloaf (which had an odd consistency), and the seafood pasta with the “creamy lobster sauce” which has an unexpectedly tasteless brown-colored sauce. If you don’t like your dish, speak up and they will cheerfully bring you another. We had many enjoyable meals here. Open seating meals in the Scarlet dining room (breakfast and lunch) were hit or miss with service, but we were never in a hurry and so never minded if it took a long time to bring our food. On those mornings we lingered over our coffee and juice and enjoyed chatting with other passengers. I did notice (at breakfast/lunch only) that the tablecloths weren’t always changed between uses. Once at breakfast, our waiter (I don’t remember his name but he was from Jamaica) realized after serving all the plates on our large table, that he had delivered my plate of Eggs Benedict (the one with extra hollandaise) to another passenger. When he realized the mistake, he simply reached over and picked it up from her plate (after she had started eating her food) and plopped it down on my plate. The sea day brunches were excellent (steak and eggs with bearnaise—yum!), but weren’t offered on every sea day, so don’t miss them when they are. The Dr. Seuss brunch was fun to do one time and I am sure kids would love it. We never ate in the Crimson dining room, but it was our muster station and whenever we would walk through it, we noticed a persistent smoky odor. Coupled with the lack of a view—well, I would not have enjoyed eating in there. (This is where they put folks with “Your Time Dining.”) The buffet was good at lunch, but had limited choices in the evening. It was noisy and not sufficiently staffed to keep the tables cleaned. Once a waiter plopped his tray on our small table and proceeded to scrape multiple plates from a nearby table right under our noses. Gross. We never ate at the outdoor bar-b-q, discouraged by the long lines. The Lido buffet is not set up in stations as on so many other ships, also causing long lines. I finally gave up trying to eat at the Mongolian Wok due to the lines there. The pizza was good, the Tandoori grill was great at times. Once I got delicious Tandoori chicken. The next time it was under-seasoned. There never seemed to be enough Naan bread ready. The hamburgers and pizza were tasty. Pasta Bella was good, but often crowded with folks from Lido seeking a clean table. We did not try the Steak House because we were enjoying the food in the MDR. Please note that this ship has not yet switched over to the new menus. Once in the dining room and once in the Lido, my husband's milk carton (for his cereal) was warm to the touch and tasted off. Carnival needs to do better here. The entertainment was very enjoyable, with some great staged shows. The special effects were awesome! Try to sit on the bottom level and in the center area. If you sit too far to the right or left, you won’t be able to see the entire stage area and will have to watch the show on the screens at either side. Also, don’t sit in the balcony. The seats are narrow and the seat backs uncomfortably straight. You will see many people who sit up there move shortly after. We enjoy Trivia and, except for the last two sea days) there were more daily sessions than I have seen on other ships. Carnival also does a good job with prizes, giving the coveted “ship on a stick” trophies, and sometimes bingo cards and for progressive Trivia rounds, bottles of champagne. Some of the staff who handled this activity were very good (we enjoyed Leon), but others either rush through or babble on about nothing until many players get up and leave out of frustration. There was also a lot of blatant cheating, with players googling their answers shamelessly. Carnival does not have the players exchange sheets for checking the answers as on other ships. All you really have to do to win on a Carnival ship, is claim to have won by clapping the longest. That takes the fun out of it. We usually book private excursions in port, but took two Carnival excursions that weren’t available otherwise. One was the Jamaican Jerk Experience in Ocho Rios. This is a highly rated experience on Tripadvisor, but Carnival has expanded the number they take on this tour to the point that it was a tedious experience. The tour is described as a guided garden tour that includes picking and smelling fresh herbs for the meal, and a cooking class with audience participation. The bus they sent had weak air conditioning and was small and crowded. When we arrived, the tour made an unexpected stop at a place where 4 camels were waiting. Most people did not want to ride or touch the camels, but the guide wheedled and coaxed until some got off the bus, a few did ride the camels and others took photos. We later realized that the reason for this stop was that the group in front of us was running way behind. We arrived at the site and were left to stand in the heat outside the house (a tour of the inside is not included). And we stood in the heat and waited, and waited, and the guide apologized saying that the previous group was not finished, and then we waited while they cleaned up and re-set up for us. The tour of the garden never happened. Finally they ushered us around to the ocean side of the house where there was a cool breeze and a pretty view. The cool breeze however was only on one side of the porch. Half of the folks on this tour ended up on the hot side and later said that it was a miserable experience. The work tables seat only 3 people each, so many couples were not able to sit together. The seats were hard backless wooden stools, too high for the work surface. As soon as we arrived, one of the people at each table was handed a list of beverages for purchase. Water and fruit punch were supposed to be included and we were by now all hot and thirsty. Instead of bringing water to everyone at the outset, they waited and took extra-pay drink orders and delivered those, then went around to each person asking if they wanted a bottle of water. Of course everyone did. They did not offer the fruit punch until near the end of the experience, and then only if people asked for it. Many did not know it was included and so did not ask for it. I did get a few sips of mine right before it was time to go and it was fresh tasting and delicious and I was sorry that there was not time to finish it. Participants were given plastic aprons and hair nets to wear. Every step of the way is slow and plodding as each person receives what he needs to prepare that part of the meal. At times they would, for example, ask for 8 volunteers who would proceed to the front only to be handed a bowl and asked to scrape the contents into the pot. We did rub a piece of chicken in some seasoning, mixed several items with water (with some of the folks using water from the water bottles that they had partially drunk). We also chopped some greens. At each step, every participant had to go up to the pot/grill to add their prepared food. It was slow, slow, slow. The jerk chicken (1/4 of a chicken breast or about 4 bites) was delicious, the shrimp in coconut sauce tasty. My fritters were not good, one was too dry, the other, a banana fritter, was missing the sugar. Everything you ate varied depending on the person who made it. That’s right. You do not eat the food you make—you may get food prepared by the person who added personal water to the batter, or who contaminated a plate with raw chicken, or who wasn’t diligent at keeping away the flies, which swarmed everywhere. There were too many of us for the staff to keep up with what was going on. On the way back, the driver got very busy the last 5 minutes or so of the drive talking about how little he is paid and how much tipping is appreciated. The other tour we took through Carnival was on St. Maarten. This was a special tour just for the journeys cruise and we enjoyed it. We were first taken to Marigot market where Chef Dino met us and and allowed us to taste some local fruit and smell some spices often used in Caribbean cooking. Then we went to the home of a local artist whose work is highly prized by the likes of Jackie Onassis. His gallery and the garden were lovely, but there was no seating outside and the gallery doors were open, so it was also hot inside. Then the artist, Sir Roland, gave a lecture, during which most of the participants had to stand as there were only a few seats. He had a tendency to ramble and repeat himself, until finally his wife interrupted him to allow us a short time to look at his paintings. Despite the heat and lack of seating, I enjoyed this and the paintings were beautiful. Then we went on to Chef Dino’s restaurant, which was set up outside on a patio. Here we enjoyed a bit of a sea breeze and a very tasty meal. I had two disappointments however, one was that the main entree was chicken. On an island with an abundance of seafood, I would have preferred some local fish, but that is a matter of taste. Also, they were very slow to prepare the included before dinner drink, so that ours was not served until we were almost finished, and so had less time to enjoy it. Finally the tour headed to its final stop, for a steel drum lesson. We were happy when the guide said that this last stop would be in an air conditioned facility. Wrong. Picture an oversized garage complete with a metal door. We learned to play a passable version of “Feeling hot, hot, hot!” and my husband and I very much enjoyed this. It would have been much more pleasant however if we had not been feeling so hot, hot, hot. This tour cost $260 per couple. For that price, I think they could have provided some water on the bus. Our guide told us that each participant would receive a photo and we did not. Other private tours that we took: Joyce Prince on our second day in St. Maarten. Excellent, wonderful, amazing tour. I will post all about it on Tripadvisor. Long story short, she books up fast. If she is available, book with her, and enjoy the best tour guide and the most personalized service ever! St. Thomas: we shopped one day, and rode the tram another. The tram is a bit disappointing as you do not get a 360 degree view at the top. There is a pretty view of the bay/port, an overpriced fast food outdoor restaurant and a little shopping. Meh. St. Kitts: poor island, lots of trash. Made me sad. Our tour guide, Ashton of Royston Tours, no-showed us. We ended up touring with a guy named Sylvester, whose idea of sharing the history of the island was driving up to a historical plaque, and stopping to read it to us verbatim. It was a hot day and he stopped and got a drink for himself without offering us one or even the opportunity to buy one. Then he drove on to the next plaque. The place he went to get food for us looked so unsavory, that most of us passed on eating. He took us to a beach with a picnic table with wet dirty seats where the few people who got food ate it. It was raining and as soon as it stopped, swarms of small biting insects attacked. Our group literally ran to get back to the van. Grand Turk: great for a pool/beach day. Waves can be surprisingly strong so be careful. Take some dry dog food if you can for the hungry dogs. Nassau: we booked the “Taste of Nassau” tour privately. Well done overall. Murray was our enthusiastic, well-informed and pleasant guide. One thing to know, the food on this tour was been de-spiced to make sure everyone can enjoy it including kids, so… some of it was disappointingly bland. Bermuda: we toured with Heidi of Byways Tours. Enjoyed it. One caveat: don’t ask her if you can take her picture—she will say “no.” We climbed Gibbs lighthouse, saw all the good beaches and overlooks. Had a great meal of fried fish on homemade cinnamon bread with homemade tartar sauce. Just order half a sandwich. You will barely be able to finish it. Sat at some picnic tables with a pretty view. Carnival frequently promises more than they can deliver. They sent a letter indicating we would get VIP re-embarkation in Puerto Rico because we were back to back. Instead we spent 2 hours in endless lines in an airless building. Although it was blamed on Customs, we did not have to go through customs. One lady in line collapsed. After enduring the line to get our sail and sign cards and having our photos made, one of two machines to re-enter the ship was not working and every person in that line had to have their photos re-taken. The maitre-d graciously promised to send me a recipe that I requested, but never did, they promised a Garden Tour that never happened. They promised a nice cool air-conditioned building at the next stop… and instead it was an oven. They promised a free photo is you went on the Journey tour with Chef Dino but never sent it. So my overall impression: Carnival has good intentions, but many logistical problems. Communication is lacking. I and many others asked for information on the additional Journey’s activities before sailing so that we could plan our days in port, and were all told the info would be coming. It never did. After I got home, I had an e-mail apologizing for this. They weren’t able to provide a room for our first leg Cruise Critic group Meet and Greet (“unless every member of the group would buy a drink package”) and so we had to have it on the pool deck—it was noisy and raining, with flooded decks. On the second leg, they offered a room on the last sea day. My experience on other cruise lines was very different and Carnival is missing a great PR opportunity with its dismissive attitude toward folks who are active on Cruise Critic. Bottom line is that of the 3 cruise companies that we have used, Carnival ranks at the bottom. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2015
I been on a number of cruises, with Carnival this one was not so great, they cabins was lacking a number of things broken and not maintained. My biggest issue was the entertainment was lacking typically you have trouble finding time to do ... Read More
I been on a number of cruises, with Carnival this one was not so great, they cabins was lacking a number of things broken and not maintained. My biggest issue was the entertainment was lacking typically you have trouble finding time to do everything this was not the case. The entertainment was so lacking you have nothing much to do, I enjoy the shows provided by Carnival, I'm not a big fan of a cruise director attempting to do standup. I think they should introduce and host a show that try to make it about them. It was a disappointment on the Entertaiment side, The high light was the steak house was outstanding know as the chief table, staff was great food was better chief made sure to talk to each table. They service at the dinning room was not the normal it was lacking very slow not one those memorable evening room dinning. I notice a number of people stopped coming as we also did it simply was not worth the effort. I would love to say I could reccomend the dream but I can't its simply in need a a shot in the arm of revamp. Broken nobs, broken lights broken elevators, broken cabinets, broken state rooms items simply to much to list. I will try another ship in 2016 as this was my first time that things had been ran down so much. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2015
I'm a realist. I think there will be problems anywhere you go if you want to find them. That being said, cabin 9400 had a definite sewer smell off and on during the duration of our trip. We complained, they pretended to care. Yea, ... Read More
I'm a realist. I think there will be problems anywhere you go if you want to find them. That being said, cabin 9400 had a definite sewer smell off and on during the duration of our trip. We complained, they pretended to care. Yea, the smell woke me up in the middle of the night. Our cabin was noisy above due to placement on ship. Some staff were I k, some was terrible. Paid extra for the steakhouse and was surprised to find service that was just so so (dining room was better staff worse food) Been on a couple cruises and I feel this one stuck out as not on par with Carnival overall service. Got the impression that the staff was just putting up with us. That being said, it IS hard to put up with customers similar to what you would find at the Golden Corral. I had many can't blame them moments, but customer service is not about blaming the customer. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2015
This was our second cruise, our first was with Princess. The Good: *Entertainment is amazing and the shows are top notch, best I've seen on and off cruise ships. *Punchliner Comedy Club (18+) was amazing, we never missed the ... Read More
This was our second cruise, our first was with Princess. The Good: *Entertainment is amazing and the shows are top notch, best I've seen on and off cruise ships. *Punchliner Comedy Club (18+) was amazing, we never missed the adult shows and they were all absurdly good. *Cabin was big, shower was hot, no complaints. *Steakhouse was to die for. *Our second restaurant crew was AMAZING (Led by *Embarking/Disembarking was super fast. The Meh: *The food at the buffet and general seating was mediocre. I wouldn't say it was bad because no cruise food is BAD....but it wasn't anything that blew me away. If you are expecting fine dining experience you probably won't be happy but you will at least be full. *The first restaurant staff we had completely forgot about us - they seem to be bogged down by four tables of 16 (we were a table of two stuck in the middle). Our waters weren't refilled once, nobody asked how everything was as it seemed they were constantly being called to other tables. Maybe not their fault, possibly a layout or assignment issue. We requested a table change and had the best staff ever. The Awful: *The people. Some of the arrogant selfishness I saw on this cruise made me almost embarrassed for the human race but there's nothing Carnival can do about this. Example is a couple groups of people plugging their nose and downing shot after shot at a Scotch Tasting event instead of listening to the staff talk about the different types was appalling. *I wasn't sure if it was a joke - the gym was the size of a closet and was pretty silly considering the ship has 4500 people. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2015
Overall my stay on the Carnival dream was excellent. The food was fantastic, we ate in the steak house a number of times and throughly enjoyed it! The staff was always friendly, especially the bartenders at the Lanai bar who kept us ... Read More
Overall my stay on the Carnival dream was excellent. The food was fantastic, we ate in the steak house a number of times and throughly enjoyed it! The staff was always friendly, especially the bartenders at the Lanai bar who kept us laughing throughout the night! The ports were enjoyable (Roatan, Cozumel and Belize) and we did 2 excursions that were alot of fun.However, the tender to get off the boat in Belize was disorganized and we waited on a staircase for 30 minutes before even getting on the tender boat. The cruise ship had to leave at least 1 hour behind schedule as the tenders were not frequent enough to handle the large number of people coming back from excursions. My major complaint was that during the sea days the boat was VERY crowded. I went out at 9am to try and get 2 chairs near the pool for my fiance and I and could not as all the chairs were occupied with beach bags, towels and books (not necessarily people). Everywhere we went had huge lines (buffet, shopping on the main deck, the waterslides) and it seemed that there was not enough space for the number of people aboard. I didn't even attempt to get into the pool as there were always children jumping in and splashing (with no discouragement from the staff or parents...despite children jumping directly on me or throwing a football in my face). I understand that kids need to play, but I would have appreciated a place to go that was quiet...even the hot tubs were packed with kids splashing and diving. The adult only area of the boat had little to attract and did not have a pool. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2015
2nd cruise (1st was on Carnival Conquest out of New Orleans in 9/2013). Noticed the following on this cruise: 1) Liked Lanai deck going around the ship, but did not like that it obstructs balcony view of the water. 2) Did not like ... Read More
2nd cruise (1st was on Carnival Conquest out of New Orleans in 9/2013). Noticed the following on this cruise: 1) Liked Lanai deck going around the ship, but did not like that it obstructs balcony view of the water. 2) Did not like larger crowd. Issues with the behavior of some kids which left my 12 year old twin sons not feeling very comfortable with Circle C. 3) Saw two people removed from Punchliner Comedy Club by security. 4) Food was familiar, but Guy's Burger was no longer on the ship. Pasta bar service was extremely slow. More people meant longer lines at the buffet. 5) Did not participate in any shore excursions. 6) Comedy shows were excellent and the one show in the theater was very good. 7) Crew members were professional and do a fabulous job. 8) Getting on and off the ship in New Orleans was very well organized and better than when I sailed in 9/2013. Overall, while you want to offer consistency of service from one Carnival ship to another, it was this consistency that was a negative for me. On my first cruise, everything was new and exciting. On the second cruise, it was familiar. That combined with the larger crowds that comes with traveling during peak time (versus off peak), made our second cruise less enjoyable when compared to our first cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2015
If you are past guest continue reading. If you are new to Carnival, please stop reading and form your own first opinion. I am a positive person. In fact this is my last review (very positive) I wrote about this same ship for my New ... Read More
If you are past guest continue reading. If you are new to Carnival, please stop reading and form your own first opinion. I am a positive person. In fact this is my last review (very positive) I wrote about this same ship for my New Year's cruise. http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=271398 A three out of five rating is bad coming from me. My rating does not at all mean I didn't have a good time , because I went on vacation to have a good time. I normally go with the flow, do not expect 5 star treatment and have a great time. We had such a great experience over New Years I actually booked three more cruises before leaving the ship. We went on the Carnival Magic over Spring Break and back on the Dream in July. I noticed a decline in service and amenities on both of these. Basically the entertainment staff, which includes the Cruise Director, was totally disengaged. My friend and I comptete to earn the ship on a stick competitions. We went three different events published on the funtimes, and no one was there to facilitate it. No more robes in the staterooms, no more funtimes left for you in the staterooms, no more chocolates. Little things, but gone. Drinkstations broken everywhere, long lines to fill a cup. Past guest party - no more. They did have a party for elite guests, but the time and date on the invitation was wrong. The cutbacks seemed to imact the culture of the staff. If they were not working for your tips (cabin stewards, dining room wait staff) they were not the same. Total bummer. I am going to move on to a different cruise line after my final trip in February 2016 if the service remains the same. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2015
We took our 16-year-old grandson on the Dream, our first Carnival cruise, which sailed out of New Orleans on June 21. We drove down from Memphis the day before and stayed the night at the Holiday Inn Metairie Airport. Rooms are large and ... Read More
We took our 16-year-old grandson on the Dream, our first Carnival cruise, which sailed out of New Orleans on June 21. We drove down from Memphis the day before and stayed the night at the Holiday Inn Metairie Airport. Rooms are large and nice. Received a coupon for two drinks and two breakfasts with the package which included parking. Had dinner at Acme Seafood, which is close to the hotel and has a high rating on TripAdvisor. The hotel van driver was very personable and helpful with our luggage. The hotel package included two transportation vouchers, so we purchased another one for $20. Check in for the cruise was smooth. Our spa cabin with balcony was nice, and our stewards were excellent. Our bed was comfortable as was our grandson’s. Other than the shower draining very slowly, the room was more than satisfactory. However, I would advise anyone that they should NOT book any of the spa rooms on the port side of the ship. I was awakened at 6:30 every morning by the pounding of the treadmills overhead which lasted until 10:00 at night, unless the employees of the ship were using them. Then it went on until whenever. I finally went to customer service and told them I was exhausted, that I couldn't even take a nap, and they apologized and gave me some cruise credit. However, the best advice I can give is not to book any of the spa cabins on the port side. The spa which was included with our room was nice, but not something we’d pay for again. We are not into HOT steam rooms rooms and HOT pools, so going there was not a high point of our cruise. The small “Relaxation Room” in the spa was my favorite, with chairs that look out into the water and flavored waters and teas available. However, on the last day we had to share the room with an employee who was giving her sales spiel for $199 shoe inserts. I was trying to relax and read a book but couldn’t because of her loud voice as she attempted to convince the ship guests, who were taking up three of the five seats in the room, to purchase her product. If we go on another Carnival Cruise we will make use of the complimentary Serenity Deck and hot tub for adults, which was directly above the spa. Just be sure to arrive early to get a spot. It’s a very popular place. The only excursion we took was the Salsa Salsa and Margaritas. It would have been more of a fun experience, but it was very hot. Because of that we didn't have much to drink, but the salsa making was fun. We didn't stay for the dancing. Instead we went down to the beach so our grandson could rent some snorkeling equipment and use the pretty private manmade beach. It might be worth taking the walkway under the road over to the hotel and using the very large pool. Also, there's free wifi at the hotel, and the signal was good there. An option we were given was to stay there and take a cab on our own back to the ship. We didn't do that this time, but next time I would. We enjoyed the food choices at dinner. The waiters were very attentive and personable. The chocolate melting cake is to die for. I had it every single night for dessert. At lunch there is an Italian restaurant up the stairs from the Lido. It’s kind of hidden, so ask someone to point you there. I understand that although it’s free at lunch they charge extra at dinner. At the reception desk at lunch you fill out a menu with your choices, sit down and your meal is delivered to your table. The two pools on the Dream are very small considering the number of children on the ship. We were disappointed in the room service menu. There were no appetizer choices. Unlike the Holland America cruises we have been on, there were no happy hours that we knew of. Maybe we missed those. The one Comedy Club performance we attended was beyond raw, so we didn’t go back. There are PG shows, but we didn’t attend those. We walked to the beach on Roatan instead of taking the sky ride for $12 a person. The walk is absolutely beautiful with benches and hammocks along the way. The beach is VERY crowded. The beach chairs are lined up with hardly an inch between them. On a future cruise I would look into taking an excursion and not pay for a chair at that crowded beach. At the Roatan port and the beach you can buy an hour of Internet for $5 or all day for $10 that works both places. The connection for our grandson was better near the port. We are used to the extensive library on Holland America, and the library on Carnival is very limited and open for checkout of books only one hour a day. I can understand this, as the people who cruise Carnival aren’t so into quiet pursuits like the older Holland America guests are. It’s a party boat, and I understand that. Our grandson seemed to enjoy the O2 teen club, and we rarely saw him during the day. He had dinner with us in the dining room and left again for the next teen activity. On the morning of disembarkation we went to the Lido for breakfast. Our number was announced earlier than we expected. Our Holiday Inn shuttle came soon after we called, and we arrived back at the Holiday Inn with the same friendly driver. After rereading this critique I realize that I may sound like a curmudgeon. I suppose it comes down to the fact we are the older Holland America types (ages 73 and 72), but that Carnival was our best choice with a teenager. The most important thing to us was that our grandson have a fun time, and even though it wouldn’t have been our first choice for the two of us, I feel the Carnival Dream was the right choice for taking our grandson. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2015
Along with my two sisters, and a good friend, I boarded the Carnival Dream for an all girl week. It has been about 10 years since I was on a cruise ship, and I have never cruised the Caribbean before, so I was surprised, and disappointed, ... Read More
Along with my two sisters, and a good friend, I boarded the Carnival Dream for an all girl week. It has been about 10 years since I was on a cruise ship, and I have never cruised the Caribbean before, so I was surprised, and disappointed, that we were on the Carnival "experience". The sales pitches were unrelenting, the entertainment was high school-ish (with the one exception of Marcus Anthony, which was amazing). The food was just ok, but the staff was unerringly attentive and courteous. At the end of the second port stop (Belize) I began to wonder if we were simply sailing in a big circle while the people at the port changed signs. Each port was generically the same, owned by Carnival, and shopping was limited and expensive. We booked two tours. The first, a glass bottom boat experience, with stops at a cameo factory and a rum cake bakery, was not bad. The second, a trip to view the Mayan ruins, was excruciatingly boring. 5 hours on a bus, 1 hour at the site (no educational info, except from a guide that spoke very strongly accented English that was difficult to understand), and twenty minutes for lunch. On the Mayan adventure, we were asked to fill out ratings forms, and hand them back to the guide. No real value in ratings that we know were read, and possibly discarded, by the guide if they were not very complimentary. I left mine mostly blank. No more cruises for me. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
This was our 2nd Cruise & the Dream was to be the best cruise ever! After the safety meeting we went to our Balcony room 6415 that smelled of raw sewage. We immediately requested to be moved which was refused & until I became sick ... Read More
This was our 2nd Cruise & the Dream was to be the best cruise ever! After the safety meeting we went to our Balcony room 6415 that smelled of raw sewage. We immediately requested to be moved which was refused & until I became sick 2 days later did they finally move us. LONG lines everywhere you go. The Wok cooking took 1 hour & 45 minutes where 2 chefs manned 3 woks cooking for endless amounts of people. The Asian staff was friendly & kind but the Russian Staff were curt & rude. Stay away from the Dunn River Falls Excursion as well, the experience was wonderful but the driver repeatidly risked the passengers lives with running of red lights & severe road rage. Carnival's customer care to correct bad experiences is horrible so don't expect them to make it right after they get your money. They gave us 2 $ 50.00 off credit for a $1900 Cruise that I was sick half of due to the sewage fumes. The fumes are prevelant in the back pool area as well. Hope I have better " Dreams" in the future. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2015
If your planning on taking this cruise, you better get used to it! We needed to relax and we did! The cabin was comfortable (6265) and close to everything but the dining room. We navigated our way the first night and it really wasn't ... Read More
If your planning on taking this cruise, you better get used to it! We needed to relax and we did! The cabin was comfortable (6265) and close to everything but the dining room. We navigated our way the first night and it really wasn't a big deal after that. The elevators are ridiculous! People, at some point you just have to wait for the next one! Several times the weight limit light came on and people had to get off. That's just nuts! The Crimson dining room for early seating was nice. We were at a table by ourselves which I have mixed feelings about. We don't have children so we spend a lot of time just the two of us so maybe some company would have been nice. But it was what it was and we enjoyed our meal time together. We didn't enjoy our meals, but our time was nice. Lol...the food is just BAD. Not repulsive or putrid, just not good! The pizza and ice cream helped. Everyone raved about the wok place, so I waited in the LONG line and got some...YUCK! The buffet was ridiculous with weird salads and vegetables smothered in herbs and strange sauces. We did eat lobster and I did get two (which still wasn't enough to feed one person) but I was ok with that! The comedians Eric Schwartz and a black guy from South Carolina who was very funny kept us entertained. The only reason I remember the Schwartz guys name is because it's his show title! Sorry. I won in the casino on the second night and that was it! But I won enough to pay for our trip so I was a happy girl! Drink service, slow everywhere! Pictures weren't as good as in the past, just kinda hurried. Probably because of the four thousand people on board. This one not so great. Just hum drum. Beautiful? Yes. No motion sickness! Yay! I think maybe if we would've brought friends or friendly people with us it may have been better, because they certainly were not easy to come by on this ship! I've never seen this many unhappy people on vacation! I tried to stay positive but at times it was tough. I won't go on this ship again it's just too big, but I think Carnival is way better than NCL in every aspect of cruising so they won't lose me to them. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
Our cruise date was April 19, 2015. Our group consisted of two couples in their early thirties and one in their sixties. Embarkation was okay, primarily because we had purchased "Faster to the Fun" which gave us priority ... Read More
Our cruise date was April 19, 2015. Our group consisted of two couples in their early thirties and one in their sixties. Embarkation was okay, primarily because we had purchased "Faster to the Fun" which gave us priority boarding. Our cabins had adjoining balconies that were very enjoyable after the doors between them were opened or removed. The cabin service was excellent, but I missed having the small coffee pot that Norwegian provides. On Carnival, you have to call room service for morning coffee. That wasn't to much of a burden because room service is also excellent. Our overall cruise experience was okay except for a pushy waiter trying to sell us a more expensive wine than the one I chose. He actually served the more expensive wine without telling us and tried to charge me for it. When I complained , he said that the wine he picked was better! After I complained they actually took away the remainder of the wine including the filled glasses and brought us a bottle of the wine I had originally chosen. After dinner my wife visited guest services and found that I had been charged for not one but three bottles of wine, two of the expensive bottles and one of the cheaper ones. The cost of the wine was $29-$33 per bottle plus gratuities. Guest services did drop the charges for the two bottles of wine and actually gave us a free bottle of the "better" wine. All this for a bottle of Muscato that costs $7-$10 at a grocery store. In addition, the waiter seemed hyper the rest of the cruise, probably because we complained. Other services on the cruise were okay. We enjoyed the Steakhouse, although the meal took almost two hours from the first course to the last. The ladies enjoyed the spa, but it was pretty pricey. The shore excursions were hit or miss, the general food quality at the buffets and the main dining rooms was described by most of our group as senior citizens home quality. Debarkation was and always is a pain, but since we had paid for priority embarkation and debarkation, we got to leave after the self carry luggage people left and just before general debarkation started. My only other comment is that when you're cruising on a huge ship with thousands of people and paying a moderate cost, you can't expect gourmet meals. In conclusion, if you're looking for a pleasant cruising experience without high expectations, Carnival Dream is fine. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
Just stepped off of the Carnival Dream after a 7 day cruise to Key West, and the Bahamas. I gave an "Average" rating because of the ENTIRE cruise experience. There were amazing times and horrible times, I'll start with the ... Read More
Just stepped off of the Carnival Dream after a 7 day cruise to Key West, and the Bahamas. I gave an "Average" rating because of the ENTIRE cruise experience. There were amazing times and horrible times, I'll start with the good... We read blogs and reviews about parking, and chose Fulton garage (parking 8.00 per day). The shuttle delivered us and our luggage to the ship without a hitch. We waited in line for about 30-40 minutes before boarding, which was not too bad considering the ship was full. (Good tip is to purchase "Faster to the fun card", lots of perks including boarding and disembarking early and straight to the front of the line) Key West was "ok", the beaches were rocky and we rented a golf cart and "putted" around the city a little, it was fun and we enjoyed ourselves, but it is difficult to find parking spaces for the carts, so keep that in mind. Freeport was absolutely fabulous, and our favorite stop on this trip. DO NOT, go to the Grand Lucayan!! All of the reviews I read said that they have a day pass and it was great, blah, blah, blah. We listened to the blogs, as well as previous cruisers. We took a cab to Grand Lucayan and they were "sold out" on day passes. Even people that pre-paid for day passes were not allowed on their beach, but... we went next door to "Memories All-Inclusive Resort" and paid 80.00 per adult and 40.00 per kids, and boy am I glad we did. Everything was fabulous, gorgeous beach, gorgeous pool, friendly staff, several restaurants, pool bars, activities, etc. All the food and alcohol you cold drink was included and I guarantee we ate and drank more than what we paid. I would definitely recommend the memories resort!! Now for the bad and the ugly... Nassau was overwhelming, it was like a used car lot on steroids, the locals would not leave you alone, I got offered hair braiding, souvenirs, taxi ride, horse and buggy ride, and was even asked if I was interested in a prostitute and dope over and over and over again. The big market was even worse, and I thought two shop owners were going to fight each other over a 20.00 bag. YIKES!! we went to Balmoral Island for the beach day and stingray excursions that Carnival offered. Not a good deal for your money. It cost us 200.00, and is not as described. You walk for 20 minutes through the locals pandering you the whole way, then take a 30 minute boat ride to Balmoral Island (there goes 1 hour) When you get to the island it is beautiful, however the guide then informs you that you have 1 hour to use the beach and then need to meet back for the stingray excursion. After rushing to enjoy the beach for 1 hour, you sit under a hut for another 30 minutes waiting in line to sign a waiver before swimming with the stingrays. Once you get to where the stingrays are you get about 30-40- minutes in the water with them, just enough time for them to take photos, and try to sell you 10 photos for 80.00. (Good tip, DO NOT by the photos from the tour guides, Carnival has then cheaper on the boat and you can only pay for the ones you want) The beach was beautiful there but wish we had more time! The time on the cruise ship (at sea days) were mediocre, the buffets and small restaurants were good, but closed way too early after lunchtime. The amount of children on this ship was overwhelming (Good Tip, don't go during spring break if you want a relaxing cruise, lesson learned) The kids ran wild, there were no rules enforced by their parents or by Carnival. Children as young as 6 years old ran all over the ship unsupervised at all different time of the day. 10 year old were running down the hallways at 1:30 AM banging on cabin doors and causing all sorts of chaos! The parents of these children didnt seem to care, but Carnival needs to make a rule that children between ages 5-10 need parental supervision at all times or need to go to Camp Carnival until a parent signes them out. So my final review for this cruise was average. Some good and some bad! Good luck on your next cruise!! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
We love cruising and were disappointed with the boat as a whole. Even though this was the largest ship on which we have sailed, it was not the nicest or the prettiest. In my opinion, bigger is not necessarily better. Our cabin steward ... Read More
We love cruising and were disappointed with the boat as a whole. Even though this was the largest ship on which we have sailed, it was not the nicest or the prettiest. In my opinion, bigger is not necessarily better. Our cabin steward was good, and our waiters were wonderful. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2015
We travelled as a party of 4 adults [2 couples]. Problems encountered include: - Although we had booked the holiday as a group we were assigned to different tables in the restaurant. This took the restaurant staff about 30 minutes to ... Read More
We travelled as a party of 4 adults [2 couples]. Problems encountered include: - Although we had booked the holiday as a group we were assigned to different tables in the restaurant. This took the restaurant staff about 30 minutes to resolve. - Service in the restaurant was slow and erratic - we continually had to prompt staff to offer us bread, take our order for wine, offer us coffee. On one occasion we had waited 30 minutes for our main course only to have to send our meals back because the food was stone cold [acceptable if a salad but not for lasagne]. - Service in the bars and on deck was slow. Waiting 20 - 30 minutes for a drink after placing an order with a waiter was not unusual. There seem to be too few waiters for the number of guests. - to traverse Deck 5 it is necessary to walk through the Casino which reeks of tobacco smoke. If you are a non-smoker then using the casino can be an unpleasant experience. Good things : - good shows in the theatre plus good music in the main lounge. - comfortable cabin and good service from the steward, - overall quality of food was good. - service in the cafeteria was good. Overall conclusion is that I would not book with Carnival again, nor would I recommend them to family and friends. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
Embarkation was a mad house in New Orleans. There were so many people and the maze had come to a dead stop when we learned that the ship had a surprise inspection. Once the line started again everything went pretty smooth and fast. We ... Read More
Embarkation was a mad house in New Orleans. There were so many people and the maze had come to a dead stop when we learned that the ship had a surprise inspection. Once the line started again everything went pretty smooth and fast. We stopped in the atrium to sign up for a 5 bottle wine package since we had decided to not do the cheers package - we did all of our drinks a la carte - which actually saved us money in the end. We went to the buffet and had the made to order pasta and lasagna. The food was really good. Our cabins were ready (we were with a big group) and when we walked into the cove balcony we were pleasantly surprised. It was a nice cabin and being so close to the water line was really cool. The bathroom was larger than some other cruises we had been on in the past - especially the shower. I was surprised that there were no shampoo, conditioner or lotion bottles in the bathroom. There was a shampoo and shower gel dispenser in the shower. We unpacked and went to the muster drill - all was well. At dinner the first night our waiter was not so friendly and it was apparent that he wasn't fond of women. The ladies at our table were served after the men. Only towards the end of the week did he get polite to the women. Our meals were tasty, hot and well seasoned. We had escargot one night and lobster another night, my hubs had frog legs one night even. Most nights we would order the seafood dish - they were consistently delicious. Our ports were Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Montego Bay Jamaica. In Cozumel we just wandered the shops. In Grand Cayman we did the sting ray and beach excursion. The sting rays were amazing and the beach was small and not much of a beach to sit out at. There was a restaurant (pretty pricey) - we had Jerk Chicken which was good. In Montego Bay my hubs went zip lining with some of the guys in our group and had a really fun time. The 2 sea days were relaxing for the most part. We sat by the pools and joined in with some of the ship board activities. I found it odd that around the pool there was no service staff taking drink orders - so we would have to go get our own which means you might loose your spot by the pool. This was also true when our group would meet in the atrium every night for cocktails before dinner - there was never any wait staff. It took forever to get a drink at the bar with the long lines. Seems like they could increase there liquor sales with more wait staff. The atrium bartenders were also very rude and never smiled. Any lounge we went into we would have to get our own drinks. At dinners our service problems continued with our waiter. Never would he pour our wine. He would set the bottle down and say "here's your wine." I guess we have gotten spoiled with good service on our past 12 cruises. This was the third time on Carnival and we won't go on Carnival again. Most of the staff was rude and unhelpful. We had a couple of dealings with the customer service desk and those folks were very helpful. Our room steward was superb, friendly and always called us by name. The entertainment on the ship was good and there was a good variety to choose from. Disembarkation was smooth and going thru customs was easy. We took the Carnival transfer from the ship to the airport and it was very efficient. We had fun with our group. Some of our group were on their first cruise and they were not impressed. Sadly they feel like every cruise is like this one. We cruise a lot and now we know that we won't be doing Carnival again. For us the Dream was too big with 4200 passengers and the bad service. We will continue to cruise, just not with Carnival. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
The service, food, and many cruisers were terrible! I took the Dream out of New Orleans and from embark to debark nothing went right. On embark day, the port terminal was crowded with over 2,000 cruisers. Many pushed and shoved their way ... Read More
The service, food, and many cruisers were terrible! I took the Dream out of New Orleans and from embark to debark nothing went right. On embark day, the port terminal was crowded with over 2,000 cruisers. Many pushed and shoved their way through. They also pushed and shoved on the elevators, in the buffet line, and again on debark day. Just rude people! The food was over spiced with garlic on everything Many times the food was served lukewarm or cold in the dining room and found same on the Lido deck. Desserts were attractive but tasteless. Did not find very many friendly workers. The exception was in the dining room. Servers were friendly and excellent in their jobs. Carnival advertises any food delivered to your room 24 hours a day. I ordered specific food for breakfast delivery. When arrived, some was missing and the server said I could go get it from the buffet on Lido deck. Room steward was rarely seen for the entire cruise yet on the last day he was knocking at my door requesting I vacate my room. The announced instructions clearly stated to remain in the room until otherwise instructed! The cruise director even begged people to remain in rooms as many were trying to rush off the ship. Again, just rude people! Room was directly above a night club with loud music late into the night. Bed and walls vibrated from the loud music. I complained on the 4th night and was told things would be taken care of. Loud music back the next night and rest of cruise. Maintenance work going on deck directly below my balcony on a sailing day. This should have been done while in port and people were off the ship. I could not enjoy the extra cost I paid to have privacy! Entertainment was good, especially the comedy routines. The variety shows and are louder than necessary. The musicians are just plain loud. One entertainer in the casino tried to sing like Neil Diamond but mostly yelled out the lyrics instead.   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
Pros: beautiful ship Great comedians Lots to do Serenity deck Camp carnival Steak house Cons: smoking is permitted on the deck that leads into Camp carnival. ... Read More
Pros: beautiful ship Great comedians Lots to do Serenity deck Camp carnival Steak house Cons: smoking is permitted on the deck that leads into Camp carnival. The ping pong table is right by smokers area. cabin was hot, requested fan and guest services was rude a lied to me. Cabin steward found me a fan but she was not as friendly as others have been on other cruises I have been on. She was very short in conversation and never really greeted us unless I talked first. Paid for faster to fun. Suitcases took hours to get to room. My suitcase only made it to my room because my husband went and found it on a cart by itself in the middle of the waiting area of the elevators. When I called and told.guest services once again rude. paid for a balcony and was unable to enjoy. Closed most days because they were cleaning the ship and the other times our neighbors smoked on the balcony. This was to be our family Christmas cruise. Ship was suppose to have already been decorated according to website. It was not! My only other complaint is I emailed my complaints right after I got back from cruise and not one person emailed to address concerns. Being a loyal Carnival cruiser I found that very sad. I still will sail on carnival just not the Dream! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
I love cruising with Carnival, but the overall experience on this ship is lacking. Night and day difference to most other ships in their fleet. Cruise director was annoying and lacked enthusiasm. Cruise director's assistant was the ... Read More
I love cruising with Carnival, but the overall experience on this ship is lacking. Night and day difference to most other ships in their fleet. Cruise director was annoying and lacked enthusiasm. Cruise director's assistant was the same. Hosted events were short and offered a bare minimum of guidance. Servers at the evening dining were rude and rushed. The food tasted rushed and undercooked or cold....every evening. I was even told I couldn't order one of the entrees one night?!! Positives were our cabin steward and room service. Kaityrinna from Belarus was cheery and prompt in delivering room service to my cabin. The comedy and song/dance shows in the evening were great! However, none of them compares to the experiences I've had on other ships within the Carnival fleet. When I've had such better times on other ships....it's difficult to remain pleased with this sub-standard experience. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
After having survived a life threatening event last May, my doctors allowed me to take a vacation in late 2014. We chose to go to New Orleans and celebrate the Christmas Holiday for four days. We then boarded the Carnivel Dream on 12/28/14 ... Read More
After having survived a life threatening event last May, my doctors allowed me to take a vacation in late 2014. We chose to go to New Orleans and celebrate the Christmas Holiday for four days. We then boarded the Carnivel Dream on 12/28/14 for a 7 day cruise to Roatan, Belize & Cozumel. This included New Year's Eve aboard the ship. Having sailed Carnival many times and leaving from NOLA, on the Conquest, we chose, once again, a Lido deck cabin; No. 10256. The location is amazing! You can walk out into the pool area and continue on to the buffet; all on the Lido deck. The ports offered the usual land tours; though most were a bit too strenuous for me at this time. My wife did do the Zip Line Express in Roatan. She was terrified the whole time. But she is not the youngest of passengers these days,. That's all I will say about age!!!! In Belize we chose to go on the tour of Belize City and visit the Myan Ruins. A "WASTE" of a day!!! The tour showed almost nothing and the ruins were a TRAP for beggars and panhandlers!!! The Belize Dock is almost at the water's edge; leaving it extremely congested and making the "Tender Lines" horrible to go back to any of the various ships anchored offshore. The tender trips are about 30 minutes each way, contributing to the many hours we lost while in Belize. We are never choosing Belize as a destination again. We had been to Cozumel before and, I will say, this port area is one of the best laid out I have ever seen. Again, no tours as we knew we had to take it easy for my sake. This port offers some remarkably fun and interesting things to do and see and I'm sorry I could not partake of some of them. As for the Dream! The little woman says she enjoyed New Orleans more than the cruise. We did come back to NOLA on 1/4/15 and stayed at the Hilton Riverside until we flew back home the next day. Her birthday is January 4th and mine is January 5th so we celebrated the birthdays with a wonderful day, evening and dinner in New Orleans. The Carnival Dream did not offer her a motif she was pleased with. However, being a fan of simple and muted decor I found it to be just fine. The food offered by Carnival has gone down hill over the years as was the case aboard the Dream. Dinner selections are no longer up to par with some other cruise lines. The buffet is somewhat the same on most ships. There are some specialty food venues but we did not go to any. Shows were just OK! The entertainers tried their hardest to put on a good performance each night but lacked the skills needed to really be outstanding. The shows themselves were mediocre. Something to do in the evening however! The lead male singer was quite good! Not so, the female lead! They would rate a "C+" as an ensemble group. The Cruise Director was OK as well. He also put a lot of effort into his duties and I give him a "B" for this. The "Punchliner Comedy Club" was quite well done. Both comedians we saw were very good. Children numbered almost 1000 on the ship. Unfortunately for us there were families where the parents stayed in the balcony cabins and allowed the kids to stay across the hall in interior cabins. Unsupervised every evening, they ran up and down the hall; in and out of elevators and back and forth to the pool area. Most nights they would knock on stateroom doors and run away leaving you to answer the door with no one there. This would go on until around midnight. Our steward even commented on this nonsense! Would we cruise again on Carnival. Most likely, since I do like the intineraries they offer. We will, however, choose other lines for the next few years and give them a try. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
Overall, cruise was okay. My 6th cruise with Carnival and my first time wondering if I should consider other cruise lines. Food: buffets were decent; Italian restaurant and pizza not as good as other ships We shouldn't have to ... Read More
Overall, cruise was okay. My 6th cruise with Carnival and my first time wondering if I should consider other cruise lines. Food: buffets were decent; Italian restaurant and pizza not as good as other ships We shouldn't have to dress up for the steakhouse... we were turned away because my husband wore shorts; these were 'dressy' shorts with a nice polo so on a "fun" cruise that should be okay right? We didn't go back. Don't waste $ on the "all inclusive" drink package. We did - and drank a lot (I thought) and yet when we counted up our drink tab, we could have spent $150 less without the Cheers package. Entertainment: This was our 2nd cruise on the Carnival Dream. Our first was 4 years ago, when it sailed out of Port Canaveral (near Orlando, FL). The Florida sailing was so much fun. The staff was more lively and there was a variety of music for ALL people. In addition to the standard pop, country, and hip hop options, there use to be a latin music band playing throughout the week. This was the highlight of our trip. There were people of all ethnicities enjoying the band and learning new dances. Porting our of New Orleans, there was a HUGE shift in entertainment. No more latin band. Just a lot of rap music each night; okay for a little while, but how about other genres to enjoy? The breakdancing team was sad, same moves over and over... no where as authentic or cool as the group out of Florida. On the plus side, the 'broadway' shows improved. Better singers and they even flew in special gymnasts. Comedians were one of the highlights of the trip. Ports: New Orleans is a cool place but I there's more for us to enjoy in Florida. Montego Bay, Jamaica - too far to enjoy the more popular excursions without giving up your full day; we took a taxi to Doctors Cave beach - best snorkeling experience ever and it was only $25 Grand Cayman - we did the Tiki beach excursion which was not the best beach area, very rocky. Cozumel - we planned an ATX (dirt buggy) excursion through ShoreTrips - fun but longer than planned, didn't have time for anything else Ship: Not as polished and clean as it was 4 yrs ago. We had a cove balcony room which we absolutely loved. No amenities this time - Carnival is really cutting back on the freebies (shavers, shave cream, toothpaste, etc.). Misc.: Each day there was a Hanukah service... yet there was no Christian service at all during the whole week. Interesting because this was Christmas week, big let down to not have this option. No Zumba or other free group fitness classes. Your on your own with the equipment or pay for a personal trainer. My 16 yr old son refused to participate in the teen club, calling it lame with everyone just sitting around playing video games.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2014
I have been on several cruises, this was my first and last with Carnival Cruise line! Never have I been so disappointed while on vacation. The only bright spot was our bar guy Allen from Philly. He was awesome! Price was reasonable, ... Read More
I have been on several cruises, this was my first and last with Carnival Cruise line! Never have I been so disappointed while on vacation. The only bright spot was our bar guy Allen from Philly. He was awesome! Price was reasonable, stateroom was clean, balcony was tiny, closet space was ample. Dined at our leisure (My time dining 5:45-9:30), first night in the dining room the wait staff was awful! Very disorganized, took over 2 hours before dessert was served. Second night seated in a differ section of dining room, staff was much better but the prime rib was not good. I have never seen beef with that texture. Lobster & shrimp were good. Third night, different section, staff was good, chateaubriand was a disappointment, baked potato was undercooked. Food from the buffet was not much better, every meal taken there was COLD! The best food I ate the entire trip was from the Mongolian Wok but waited 30-35 min in line. The Tandoori station was very good but what was listed as lentil stew was red beans. I called my room steward 4 times, three of those times the phone was never answered, 4th time the phone was answered with "on break, call room service." Shows were fun. Getting off the ship was a cluster! I have cruised several lines, this being my first with Carnival and I am sure it will be my last! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
Let me preface this by saying my family and I had a great time together. We just enjoy getting away from our daily lives and spending time together on the open seas. It does not take much to please us. Clear skies, open water, and a cold ... Read More
Let me preface this by saying my family and I had a great time together. We just enjoy getting away from our daily lives and spending time together on the open seas. It does not take much to please us. Clear skies, open water, and a cold beverage is about all we need to have a good time for a week. Here ya go: This was my third cruise and second with Carnival. Our other trip was through NCL. Embarkation and disembarkation: This was relatively easy. Lines were moving and seemed pretty organized. We were parked and on the ship within an hour. Disembarkation took about 45 minutes. Staff: Disinterested. I'm used to bartenders, servers, and stewards knowing me by name and greeting me when they walk by. This staff was just there collecting a paycheck and quite a few of them made it known that they hated their job. It took 30 minutes to get pool side service to take an order and each time it seemed like it was killing them to bring me back a beer. The only bright spot was our server, Alexandru, who is technically not staff. He was a very nice guy and treated our family nicely every night. He did a good job with what he had to work with. Just a tremendous guy that you could tell takes pride in his work. Shows/Entertainment: Worst I've seen on a cruise. They performed a different version of the same show every night - same average singers and same horrible dancing every night. I quit going after the third show (where we had to leave during the middle of it). We really enjoyed The Blackjack Band, which played nightly on Deck 5 at mid ship next to the casino. They played mostly country but mixed in whatever you wanted. Food: We did not do premium dinners, so I can't vouch for that. Nightly dinners were about on par with typical cruise food. I would rate it slightly lower than NCL. The buffet, to me, was inedible with the exception of breakfast. The pasta bar was good, but takes 30-45 minutes to get your meal. Food around the pool (burgers, hot dogs, and pizza) was all good. Excursions: This was a bright spot. Easy on/Easy off. Key West- We took a half day snorkeling (Key West Fury). Very well done, staff was great. Freeport- We went to a Wyndham Resort about 30 minutes from the port. Not very crowded. All inclusive. Good food. Good drinks. Relaxing. Good time. Nassau- Went to the Rio next to Atlantis. Again, good food (awesome buffet), good drinks, all inclusive. Only downside is it was a lot more crowded than Wyndham and folks were trying to sell you something every 10 minutes. Again, we still had a great time but this will be our last trip with Carnival. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
I've said NCL 3 times and I'll admit, with all the bad press I was scared to go on Carnival, and I just want to share my verdict on the Carnival Dream: The carnival PARTIES are WAY BETTER than NCL parties ever thought about ... Read More
I've said NCL 3 times and I'll admit, with all the bad press I was scared to go on Carnival, and I just want to share my verdict on the Carnival Dream: The carnival PARTIES are WAY BETTER than NCL parties ever thought about being. The Food was ok, but not as high quality as NCL. Our room steward was WAY better on CCL than on NCL. There were more hot tubs available all week on the Dream, as opposed to NCL. BUT the CROWDS everywhere and the LINES that you had to constantly wait in really put a damper on my mood. I HATED waiting in lines to get into the Dining Venues, on an elevator, into a show, or even to get a dang sandwich. This could be a "big ship" problem OR a CCL problem: I dont really know. I got lost all the time on this ship! Also, a drawback of being on a huge ship is that I didnt feel as "connected" to the sea. Like you are so far up from the ocean, and you almost forget it's there. Another thing I didnt like was one of the shows that claimed to be 'family friendly' featured quite a bit of sex-themed songs and scantily-clad chicks shaking their booties. The biggest problem was the "anytime" dining. My experience in the "anytime" dining room was a TOTAL disappointment! The waiters just did not care. They didnt take a personal interest, they took WAY too long getting our food out to us, when we needed WATER or COFFEE no one could be found to help us, but the bar staff came around CONSTANTLY pushing us to buy alcohol! On NCL the dining is ALWAYS "Freestyle" and the wait staff is AMAZING! Dining feels "luxurious". The ship did NOT feel like "luxury" at all. The comedy was AWESOME, but to get to the comedy venue, you had to walk through the smoke-filled casino! It really irritated my dry-eye. In fact, because of the Casino, the WHOLE 5th floor of the ship smelled like cigarettes and was very harmful to my health. The smoke, the lines and the lack of attention of wait staff, has made me decide never to sail Carnival Cruise Lines ever again. Despite all this, a vacation is what you make of it, and I HAD A BLAST WITH MY FRIENDS!! Loved my vacation, but will sail with NCL next time. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2014
This was our third attempt to take a cruise due to weather and health. We were at the dock and drove about seeking signs which were not available for the ship. Very confusing. We boarded the ship and went to a nice room with balcony. ... Read More
This was our third attempt to take a cruise due to weather and health. We were at the dock and drove about seeking signs which were not available for the ship. Very confusing. We boarded the ship and went to a nice room with balcony. Unfortunately it was directly under the Lido deck and each night we listened to the people above dragging the deck chairs for most of the night. The beds were very comfortable and would have made for a great sleep if not for the constant noise. The Dream is quite a large ship with poor directions. The main elevators in the middle of the ship took you to each level. The other elevators would take to a place where you had to go up or down a flight to reach the next level. You could not get there from here was a common phrase, Also, the ship was so crowded that we often waited a great while to catch an elevator. The food was good and the service was excellent. We took the bus tours in Nassau and Freeport. Unfortunately the bus in Freeport had damaged windows and you could not see through them well enough to view anything. Due to the rain the windows could not be opened. Upon entering the bus the driver even said they needed new windows but could not afford them.. Had we known the condition of the bus we could NOT have paid about a hundred bucks for the two of us to take the tour. I expected the cruise line to ensure the tours they offered to meet a minimum standard. Very disappointing. We will NOT be cruising with Carnival again Read Less
Carnival Dream Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.5 0.0
Dining 4.5 0.0
Entertainment 3.5 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 4.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 3.5 0.0
Service 5.0 0.0
Value For Money 5.0 0.0
Rates 3.0 0.0

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