Sail Date: December 2012
This is a Long winded rant, so i will try to keep it at a Minimum. To start the cruise off.. I am a Platinum member, and as we entered the port terminal, we were PHYSICALLY directed into the regular Check in line. we went through the ... Read More
This is a Long winded rant, so i will try to keep it at a Minimum. To start the cruise off.. I am a Platinum member, and as we entered the port terminal, we were PHYSICALLY directed into the regular Check in line. we went through the line, waited, while the others in my party, were through already. by the time i got to the agent, she looked at me like I purposely entered the wrong line, and stated, "WHAT ARE YOU DOING IN THIS LINE, YOU SHOULD HAVE GONE THROUGH VIP... ((Really ?? you think ?? )) She then, had to temporarily close the line I was in, and walk to the other side of the terminal to get my Room keys from VIP, and walk back. After that ordeal, We ran the Gauntlet, of Photographers, and boarded. we had a quick lunch, attended the fire drill as usual. then went back to wait for our luggage, we waited till 7:30 pm.. Missed dinner, and still NO LUGGAGE. Out cabin steward stopped by to introduce himself, ( Great guy ) He went with me to look for it out in the halls, and then finally to cust. service, Where it was behind the counter. Now here is why i was a bit angry about my luggage being held, and NO WORD AT ALL, till I.. had to go look for it.. I have a bad gall Bladder, that requires medication, when I do have an attack. it is horribly painful, and persistent. Apparently my wife had packed a small travel iron ( I agree, She should NOT have, and she KNEW BETTER ) BUT.. To hold my luggage, and meds. and keep me in PAIN for over an Hour.. is Uncalled for. I had to stand there an additional HOUR.. waiting for a member of security to come up, and get my cabin steward back, SO they could go through EVERYTHING in my luggage in front of 4 other people, strewing everything out on the floor. after all is said an done, the confiscate the iron. ( No big deal ) they shoved everything back in the bags,and I was given a completely insincere "I'm sorry" for the inconvenience and I am THEN.. 2.5 hours later.. able to take my meds. We have now. Missed dinner, and had to go up to the lido for LOUSY pizza. ((WELCOME ABOARD RIGHT ??)) AFter a Lack luster dinner meal, We hit the Soft serve Frozen yogurt, and back to the cabin for an early bed time. Then the NOISE.. We were on Deck 2 all the way to the front. ((OMG)) There was such an incredible POUNDING reverberating through the room it was near impossible to sleep, I called guest services, to complain about the " work crew banging below deck, and was told, it was the waves, hitting the side of the ship, and again.. was given an Epic fail, of an Apology, ((which sounded like the 100th one issued that night.)) The sleep we did get, was Out of pure exhaustion. ((This was EVERY NIGHT.. of our cruise)) No follow ups, NOTHING was done to even try to help.. This is how they treat thier Platinum members??? {The service was VERY GOOD all around,} With the exception of the LOUSY MANAGEMENT staff. The entertainment on this cruise.. was some of the WORST i have seen and heard.. They could learn a lot from ROYAL CARIBBEAN, and DISNEY ... The CARNIVAL DREAM was a NIGHTMARE for my group of 5.. and JUST from the treatment on this cruise and all the other little things.. I will be hard pressed to EVER sail with Carnival Again.. The over all Quality has Gone WAY DOWN, as has the Customer service aspect of this particular cruise line. WE enjoyed all the Ports.. The food for the most part was Good enough, The dream for its size, is SO HEAVILY jammed with things to generate money they take away from the passengers comfort. the dream is one of the LEAST favorite and unmemorable ships I have ever sailed. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2012
Just back from a trip on the Carnival Dream, Dec 2012. The highlights of entertainment was Imani in the piano bar and an Asian couple that were very good. The boat was nice, but we were disappointed with the SPA/Gym and Entertainment. ... Read More
Just back from a trip on the Carnival Dream, Dec 2012. The highlights of entertainment was Imani in the piano bar and an Asian couple that were very good. The boat was nice, but we were disappointed with the SPA/Gym and Entertainment. The most frustrating was with aerobics section in the SPA. Regardless of how many people were taking a class (only 1) the entire section was closed off. They wanted to cram us all together in front of the ellipticals, no room. This was the only time I've been denied space. Waste of space and resources. The staffs excuse was "they paid for the class." So did they also pay for the only large area available for aerobics and stretching? I don't need help with Detox or to be shown how to do a sit-up. Just give me space. I also paid to be there. Too much limitation, without a reason. Would not open it up to "regular" passengers. Had to pay extra for a class. NOWAY The Carnival Dream were also very quick to close down the buffet in the afternoon when we were getting back from excursions. Where's the dance floor? When they had dance gatherings on the 10th deck by the pool, the staff did not make any room. Trying to do line dancing in the little space between the deck chairs. No wonder they had very little participation. The Groove for St Jude was only 3 songs. Really, was it too much of a imposition? We want to Dance! The Caliente club was always empty, because of the music. Give us something to dance to! Very often in the evenings, could not find anything good for entertainment. We went to two shows, but they were exactly the same as on the Carnival Glory, even the jokes. The Carnival Glory is much better even though it's a little older. Continuous, high quality entertainment. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2012
This is our 5th cruise overall and 3rd with Carnival. (2 with RCCL). We booked thru Carnival direct and went with a balcony for the first time ever. I am in my mid 40's my wife is in her late 30's. we also traveled with my ... Read More
This is our 5th cruise overall and 3rd with Carnival. (2 with RCCL). We booked thru Carnival direct and went with a balcony for the first time ever. I am in my mid 40's my wife is in her late 30's. we also traveled with my in-laws who are in their early 70's. They have cruised with us on every cruise. Embarkation-besides the fact we went into the terminal to check in without checking our baggage first all went smooth. After we were fully checked in we dropped the bags off and were allowed a quick passage back thru security. Big thank you there! We were at the terminal around 10:30 and were on the ship at 11:15. Very smooth and no waiting. We were in our room by 1:00 which was earlier than expected. Stateroom-Our initial thought was very nice. We were on the starboard side deck 6. We found after booking the room that we were located over the promenade deck which met no clear view down of water which was not an issue. We also found after booking that we were over the Encore show lounge although loud at times was not a major issue. During the cruise our stateroom became one of our let downs. We had to continually ask for basic supplies. Also didn't get robes until we asked. If we hadn't we would've been charged when they went to check for them at the end of the cruise. Overall the cabin was never clean. We went to the pursers desk and s few things were corrected but it was never right. Our first 3 nights were very rough which caused a lot of spray onto the balcony. It was covered in salt and always soaked. This was out of everyone's control and they wash all balconies mid week. In the future if we book a balcony it would be on a higher deck in hopes to avoid the spray but in this case we got some on deck 11 while tanning so it didn't really matter. The small fridge was nice to keep some of our soda and wine cool. Mini bar prices are HIGH so beware. Food-This was our biggest disappointment. The food in the Gathering (buffet) was always cold unless you happened to hit it when they brought in a new tray. If you eat there be sure to hit the omelette station and pasta bar as they cook to your order. The floor is VERY slippery no matter what we had on for shoes. We all like the ice cream but the machines are down often for refills is my guess. We had the late seating in the Scarlet Dining room. Our servers were ok but on a few occasions got our meals wrong because they seemed to be in such a hurry they weren't listening. The food was usually hot but not every night. We ate in the dining room 5 nights. We went to a brunch in the Crimson dinging room in order to cash in our free drink coupons. This was what salvaged our cruise. Our waiter (Imade) was awesome! Our food was tasty and hot. We went back a few hours later for a lite lunch and to tell him how much his service changed our cruise and to personally tip him. We wish we would've done this earlier in the cruise as opposed to the next to last day. We tried the pizza station only once for a reason. The burger station was good but the fries cool quick. I would recommend the Pasta bar also. We did not try the steakhouse. Ports-We have been to all the ports before Nassau, St.Thomas and St.Maarten. We walked around all the ports and ventured inland to shop. If your in St.Maarten checkout Simpson Bay. This is where the planes land right over your head. Quite an experience. We did not do any excursions. Entertainment-We caught a few shows in the Encore lounge including the Newlywed show which is always funny. We also got an adult comedy show in the comedy lounge, very funny. In all we liked the shows. Gambled very little and left with less than what I started with. Recreation-We played mini golf a few times and had a great time. Had to play the roll of the ship which didn't always work :). We also played ping pong and you never knew where the ball would go because of the wind. That was a good laugh. We went in one of the aft hot tubs which was a little cool but still relaxing. Debarkation-Originally my in-laws had a different group number than us which met different times to leave. We were able to change that so we left together. Our total time from leaving the ship to getting to our car was 30mins. That included carding off the ship, getting our luggage, clearing Customs and walking to the car. That was fast. Overall the cruise could've been better in different areas. The 2 to 3 days off rough seas was nobody's fault. Maybe we were spoiled on our other Carnival cruises but we expected more than what we got. Would I tell anyone not to cruise with Carnival? No I wouldn't, plenty of people clearly enjoyed their cruise as did we in previous ones. We will be going back to Royal for our future cruises. As I have said in other reviews we are pretty easy going and don't need to be waited on hand and foot but this particular cruise just wasn't that enjoyable. On a sad note a passenger passed away due to medical reasons on the promenade deck during our last full day. The crew did there best and were visibly upset over the outcome. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the passengers family and all the crew that helped. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2012
The Carnival Dream experience is mediocre at best. The sailing to the Easter Caribbean, October 20-28, was affected by Hurricane Sandy, which was not pleasant. However, this review does not reflect any of the experiences and flaws that ... Read More
The Carnival Dream experience is mediocre at best. The sailing to the Easter Caribbean, October 20-28, was affected by Hurricane Sandy, which was not pleasant. However, this review does not reflect any of the experiences and flaws that were caused by weather -- Carnival has absolutely no control over Mother Nature! In fact, I was very pleased that the experienced crew of the Dream navigated the storm as best as could be expected. I believe this ship may provide a fine vacation for the first-time cruiser, or for those who enjoy chain-restaurant cuisine (and there's nothing wrong with that!). However, the experienced cruiser and/or the traveler with a taste for gourmet dining experiences (which are expected on other ships) and a sophisticated cruise atmosphere will be sorely disappointed. Let me first say that the staff on the Dream is comprised of absolutely WONDERFUL people. The members of the waitstaff in the Scarlet Dinning Room were simply marvelous, always friendly, and always smiling. They provided exemplary service, and made us feel very special. The bartenders and cocktail waiters were also wonderful, and they remembered me (and my drink preferences) even when they were working in different locations throughout the ship. These people work VERY hard, and they deserve a LOT of praise (and TIPS). The cabin stewards are the best in the industry; they keep cabins tidy, inviting and supremely clean without interfering with personal property/belongings. Bravo to the staff! ---Dining--- The outstanding down-fall of the Carnival Dream (and maybe Carnival in general these days) is the cuisine. The buffet on Lido deck provides little more than fatty, heavy cafeteria-style selections and sub-par boxed/frozen desserts. Breakfast on Lido deck consists of cereal, mushy fruit, and (ALWAYS) cold toast, bagels and breads, along with cold potatoes, swimming in grease. Lunch offered greasy fish drowning in cream sauce, cold pastas and a sad salad bar (iceberg lettuce and virtually no fresh vegetables). The grill on Lido offered hot and fresh burgers and hotdogs, however the fries were always hard and/or cold. A Tandoor (Indian) food station located at the aft Lido deck was the star of the buffet-style offerings. The food here was authentically spiced, well-prepared, and often hot. The 24hr pizza station was good -- mostly because the pizza is hot and always fresh. Dinner in the dining room was a the biggest disappointment of the entire experience. Cruise ships are famed for their outstanding culinary creations, and exemplary dining is an expected luxury on a cruise vacation. Every meal we had at our assigned dinner seating was sub-par, cold, and/or tasteless. I noticed that the "chef-crafted" menus offered on the Dream were actually the same dishes that were featured on the menus for a Carnival cruise to Canada/New England that I took two years ago -- only the food quality was diminished, and the dishes were cold. Every meal was comparable to dishes served at a poorly-catered business convention, or a chain restaurant. ---Entertainment--- The entertainment provided is, I'm happy to say, the very BEST at sea! The shows were outstanding, and the Carnival Dream absolutely wins the prize for best musical/theater productions on any cruise I've ever taken. The comedy shows offered at the Punchliner comedy club are lewd and unimaginative, but I understand that some people do enjoy this kind of comedy. If you prefer more intelligent/better written comedy (i.e. Wanda Sykes, Aziz Ansari), you'll certainly find these comedians offensive and novice (most "jokes" are about the comedian's wife's butt or the comedian's desire to eat and drink with their fellow "fat" passengers). ---General Atmosphere, Cabins and Passengers--- Like all Carnival ships, the Dream has a relaxed, care-free, FUN atmosphere. The ship's interior is loud and vibrant, and the passengers like to have a good time. There's always something to do, and there's often music (really good singers and bands!) or sports telecasting (which can be good and bad) on the Lido deck and throughout the ship. Passengers ranged from small children to elderly adults. The median age seemed to be 30s/40s, and there were plenty of families, couples and large groups on board. I noticed that many passengers were from the Southern US, and even more were from Florida. Most of the fellow passengers were laid-back, friendly and down-to-earth kind of people, which is pleasant. I was happy to find that most people were well-mannered -- no one was cutting in line at the buffet, people would hold elevators for one another, etc. Our balcony stateroom on Deck 10 was wonderful. It provided ample space, comfortable bedding, plenty of storage and a wonderful balcony with two chairs and a table. My only complaint is Carnival's policy on cigar smoking on the balconies. It's truly disgusting when you're trying to enjoy the balcony you paid for and you have to retreat to your cabin because your neighbor is puffing on a stinking cigar. Second-hand smoke not only smells horrible, but it is also a health-hazard -- Carnival really needs to change this policy. I know this last comment will upset some people, but I must include it. Some of the passengers on this ship were somewhat ignorant. It was almost unbelievable that fellow passengers were whispering and pointing at my partner and myself as we walked by, or, worse yet, glaring at us with contempt. I understand that some people have never encountered fellow Americans from large cities, who are somewhat eccentric, but their lack of tact was embarrassing! We had no issues with their "I'm a Redneck" t-shirts, and we expected that they'd be just as indifferent to us. In my opinion, the Red Hat Ladies, in their sparkling hats and feather boas, provided more of a show than we did! :) ---> Bottom line: a cruise on the Carnival Dream could quite possibly be a fantastic vacation for a first-time cruiser, family, or anyone who wants a lot of "bang for the buck." Experienced cruisers, those looking for classic cruise cuisine, or those who want a more sophisticated cruise vacation should choose another cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2012
Let me say the Dream is a lovely ship it has some cool features! However The staff attitude and the food was awful!! To be such a nice ship it was sad that the staff as a whole were short, fake and just tired!!! The cruise director ... Read More
Let me say the Dream is a lovely ship it has some cool features! However The staff attitude and the food was awful!! To be such a nice ship it was sad that the staff as a whole were short, fake and just tired!!! The cruise director was so busy flirting with wives he didnt take the time to make it much fun he was rarely seen unless it was in Caliente late night humping someones wife not one but many what a dick! For us being experience cruisers we know what to look for and I will be short... The Steakhouse was Awesome! The food SUCKED all over the ship except for the steakhouse which was 70 per nt for my wife and I Breakfast food was cold LONG lines, terrible coffee and tea, lemonade ok and orange aide ok when available to drink Avoid the buffet at all costs! Pizza was good when available they state 24 hours however on most nights you could not get a slice no one working! Wassabi only served sushi at 5pm right before dinner it was tolerable The burgers were burnt and the hot dogs tasted like crap The terrible attitude by the guest services staff specificly the guy from United Kingdom and his habit of saying go on now when he had finally acknowledged your presence and given you some service... He was so rude and shitty to us and other customers... what an Asshole! The ship itself was gorgeous and our room steward and assistant were GREAT! The waiters were great The Maitre D and staff at seating were not very friendly nor attentive! We chose to eat in the steakhouse 3 of 7 nights! We had Aft balcony 7460 it was a nice room great views We have cruised 9 times and let me tell you the staff on the dream make you feel that your at the Motel 6 not on a cruise, I can tell you I will never Cruise with Carnival again! I will pay a little extra up front for Royal or go with freestyle on Norwegian... Carnival Dream it was no Dream period bad overall experience for my wife and I the food service and attitude were bad! The bright spots Room steward and assistant Steakhouse Balcony views Our head waiter in Crimson Casino was fun and large good sports bar in it as well Advice Pay the extra $ go with Royal Caribbean Read Less
Sail Date: August 2012
Food on this ship was terrible. Never hot, no flavor, poor quality everything when it came to meals in the main dining room and the Gathering cafeteria. Everything was bland, overcooked, dry, and disappointing. The shows in the main ... Read More
Food on this ship was terrible. Never hot, no flavor, poor quality everything when it came to meals in the main dining room and the Gathering cafeteria. Everything was bland, overcooked, dry, and disappointing. The shows in the main theatre, comedy club, and live music were great...but entertainment throughout the day around the ship arranged by the cruise director and his staff was really amateurish...might find this kind of entertainment at a college fraternity funny. The ports of call were terrible...they re-routed due to a storm and substituted ports that were no where near equivalent to the original ports. They took us to Progresso Mexico which was a very poor slum, dirty, and had nothing to do there...every corner of the port there were police with fully automatic military style weapons..why bring guests to this kind of port? The other two ports were Nassau and Freeport which you can fly to for a weekend for much less and not have to put up with boredom and bad food getting there. They have plenty of smoking areas around the ship including in the Casino...so if you like to smoke..this is the ship for you...if you are a non-smoker...get ready to smell smoke throughout the ship. We read this ship had problems with sewage smells in prior reviews...we discounted that...but guess what...on two days, we smelled sewage in the halls and in different parts of the ship...disgusting. Entertainment for kids is non-existent...their idea of entertainment for kids was to have them watch a movie...we can do that at home. Our kids did not want to do the Carnival Camp for kids so we opted out of that. Overall....this ship was terrible...you might save some money to cruise Carnival..but next time I will spend a bit more and go with a nicer cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2012
We booked on the Carnival Dream. We read some of the bad reviews about the Dream, but thought maybe they were just real critical people. We cruised once before on the Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas.. that was an unbelievable ship. ... Read More
We booked on the Carnival Dream. We read some of the bad reviews about the Dream, but thought maybe they were just real critical people. We cruised once before on the Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas.. that was an unbelievable ship. So on the Dream, we were rerouted because of the hurricane, so we were going to do the trip backwards. 2 days at sea then the islands, changing one of the islands to Grand Turk, no problem. But they shut down all the pools and slides because it was windy, except for one in the rear that was real small and had 50 people trying to jam into it. So there was nothing to do for the boys which were 10 and 12. They did have mini golf on the upper deck, but was so windy, was very hard to play. Even after the winds from the hurricane, it was very windy to walk around the ship because of the way the ship was made. I went to the front desk they said they can play bean bag toss... yikes.. I went to the "kids" club they had board games for them to play, and my 10 year old was could have gone to story time, which he said noooo way to. So I went to front desk and they said there was a class they can go to.. mixology,, so I guess I can send my 10 and 12 year old boys to a class to make martinis. Most of the activities were for much older people. joint pain,, etc. I went to the desk again. he said well it's because of the weather, but I said,, you are on the ocean in the Caribbean, you can have bad weather anytime. don't you have other plans for kids to do. another family that had 5 kids with them were ticked too because there was nothing to do.. the kids were riding up and down the elevators to have fun and watching TV. The first day was horrible to get in and on the boat, waited an hour in the car just to get through the parking lot to drop the suit cases, then another 1 1/2 hours to get through the sign in, and the first meal... almost 2 hours to get food and a table to eat. you should have seen the lines at the elevators.. was very disappointed. We would go for meals they didn't have plates, or utensils, or waited in line for everything, good luck getting a soft drink, what a pain. Food was fair, evening meals were slightly better. We were fed up, the first day we went to the desk and said we want to get off. so we had to be on the boat 2 days because we were out to sea. The first island we went to, we got off made arrangements to stay there for the rest of our vacation, we had stayed previously and were familiar with the island. The ship did credit us the rest of the last 3 days of the trip and paid for a flight back to Orlando our original port. We were very disappointed with carnival's biggest and "best ship" the Dream. It was also hard to get around on the ship, you needed to carry a map with you at all times. also, no deck went completely through the ship. To get to the lobby, you would walk across the whole ship, then have to go up a level, around a hallway then back down to get to the lobby, or you would have to walk through the restaurants to get through the lobby. they had a few stores on the ship, not much, and only one "special" restaurant other than the buffet or sit down dinner. Also the room was pretty roomy for a boat, beds were nice, but walls were thin. We heard kids running up and down the halls, and conversations in the rooms next to us. When we would stop to ask someone a question, no one knew anything. I don't know if they didn't know, or didn't understand. Maybe if we were traveling without our kids, and wanted to eat and gamble,it would have been a better trip. On a better note, the comedians were very good, they had "clean" shows in the evening for the kids to watch. When we had the final complaint with the customer service Mike Lee, Aden, and Jarmila did everything to help us get off the ship, and even booked and paid for the flights back to the original port,and credited us the last half of the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2012
First off, I want to state that for years we have preferred Carnival to other cruise lines. I also want to add that this is our second time on the Dream. Our previous sailing was August of 2011. After this cruise though, I have to ... Read More
First off, I want to state that for years we have preferred Carnival to other cruise lines. I also want to add that this is our second time on the Dream. Our previous sailing was August of 2011. After this cruise though, I have to honestly say that we will not be sailing on Carnival again. As we were boarding, we knew Hurricane Ernesto was bearing down on us. We were confident that we would soon hear an announcement that the Dream would be rerouted to the east, especially since the Disney ship in port had already been rerouted. We were all getting excited for the new itinerary without threat of a hurricane. Unfortunately, we waited, and waited....... and waited. No announcement. Our first night in the dining room, our waiter was very rude to our party of 7. We have ALWAYS requested more than one appetizer or entree to share, especially if something is being offered and we just can't make up our minds! This has NEVER been an issue in years past! Well, don't you know our waiter wouldn't bring two of anything? His excuse??? He couldn't carry everything at one time!! WHAT?!?! Then he would sneer at members of our party when he thought that person wasn't looking. Hello? We're at a round table, someone is always facing you! It just went downhill after that for the week. For the very first time, we only ate in the dining room 4 times. I do have to say that that gave us incentive to try out the Chef Art's Steakhouse which was absolutely the BEST experience of the cruise. So that's the highlight of this review. But back to the regular dining room. In addition to dealing with a surly waiter, the service was extremely slow, the food was cold and I have to say the quality has really gone down. I was also very disappointed to learn that Carnival is now also charging for expressos and cappuccinos after dinner! O.K.... so the next day is Cozumel. I enjoy Cozumel, so that was fine. We booked an independent excursion and enjoyed our day. THEN back on the ship we find out that yes, we are being rerouted, but the ports we ended up going to were absolutely horrible. I understand that the reason we ended up at these places was because the other cruise ships had already made their decisions to reroute and so the Dream was stuck sailing into ports that had room. Ugh.... Progreso? Seriously??? What a dirty, run down place that is. HUGE disappointment. Next stop Freeport. Gee.... another place you wouldn't go to unless someone actually paid you to go there. What a waste. Next up was Nassau. O.K. That could have been o.k. except we were swamped with rainstorms. Yes, I know, no one has control over the weather, but geeze, we couldn't help feeling bitter that if Carnival had made the decision earlier to reroute, that we would have had some interesting FUN ports to visit. Another thing we noticed was that they seemed to have cut back staff in the buffet area!!! Many times we had to go try to find someone to clear dirty dishes off of tables. We have NEVER had that happen before! In the past, you had to GUARD your plates because employees were so quick to want to remove them! The big production shows were exactly the same as last year, so we just skipped those. We did enjoy the comedians that we saw. All in all, a huge disappointment to us. Maybe we'll just go to Hawaii next year! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2012
If you wish to go cheap then the Carnival Dream is for you. The reason for the excellent prices is that this ship is a real cattle boat. Here are the good things: 1. Had some of the best stage shows that I have seen on a cruise ship ... Read More
If you wish to go cheap then the Carnival Dream is for you. The reason for the excellent prices is that this ship is a real cattle boat. Here are the good things: 1. Had some of the best stage shows that I have seen on a cruise ship since the early days of the Sovereign of the Seas production of Cats. Cruise ships as a rule do not have top of the line entertainment as it is expensive to put on a top notch show every night. Outstanding. 2. Stopped at four ports that if you took the tours were good. 3. Stateroom clean and quiet. 4. Food in the dining room a bit above average. Here are the not so good things: 1. Dining room service. Servers could not get the order right for most of the cruise. Very slow service, wrong order and don't order anything special if you expect to get your food. 2. Two pools and people were packed in them like sardines. Main pool unusable as the number of children was like a carpet of kids. Kids took to diving into the various Jacuzzis as they were not thrilled with the main pool either. 3. Drinks - small and over priced. 4. Some strange reason, the cleaning personnel insisted on cleaning when there was the most traffic in the hallways. Like an obstacle course to get dinner. 5. Extremely crowded. Can recommend for cheap cruise and you will get what you pay for. Want a nicer ship for the Western Caribbean then book the Legend. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2012
Just returned home from our cruise on the Carnival Dream. I have to admit, I am a little disappointed. Food: First off, the food was not good. Food in the Gathering was bland and often cold. I didn't come expecting Gourmet ... Read More
Just returned home from our cruise on the Carnival Dream. I have to admit, I am a little disappointed. Food: First off, the food was not good. Food in the Gathering was bland and often cold. I didn't come expecting Gourmet dishes, but it could have been much better. Dinners in the main dining room were also terrible. With the exception of the first formal night (Lobster, Prime Rib), I found myself eating the bread and Caesar salad for dinner. One of the members of our party got the cheesecake one night that tasted like dirt and felt like plastic. On second thought, the pizza was very good and the sandwich bar in the back of the boat was good also. Service: I always hate to criticize the employees, especially the hard working ones, but the service was very bad on this trip. We only met our steward two or three times all week, our server in the main dining room was so overwhelmed, that we once watched our food wait on a table for 15 minutes. We finally complained that our food was served cold and that dishes we ordered often were not delivered, then things changed a little. It seems as though employees in the Gathering don't speak. You would tell the young man making an omelette what you want, and he would instantly turn away. He would continue cooking, but you weren't sure if he understood your order or knew exactly what you wanted. I would also try to be friendly and say hello to the stuff, but for the most part, I never received anything back. I rarely write reviews, but I just felt that I should forewarn some of you if you are looking to book a cruise ship. I feel that there were too many people to accommodate for on this ship. Either Carnival needs to add more employees or decrease the number of passengers. I never once got the feeling that I received the personalized service I paid for. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2012
I will put something positive at the end of this review but there is tooooo much negative comments to not put those first. The food was AWFUL and the buffet was often closed. The food was luke warm at best and the variety was terrible. On ... Read More
I will put something positive at the end of this review but there is tooooo much negative comments to not put those first. The food was AWFUL and the buffet was often closed. The food was luke warm at best and the variety was terrible. On top of that, the rules of the dining areas were not followed or administered. Guest would refill their personal mugs placing them in the rim of the dispensing nozzles sharing any germs with the rest of the guests. This was a direct violation of the rule posted on top of every beverage machine. Another rule posted at the entrance of the dining room was to dry off and that you must wear shirt and shoes. Guests did not obey this rule either and it was not administered by staff. One man came in shirtless and shoeless, dripping wet, dug in his back side, then jumped in line and grabbed the tongs for the salad and made a plate. NEED I SAY MORE?................... The omelets were under cooked because the staff could not accommodate the size of the guests on board. I had to ask that my omelet be cooked well done. (DOES NOT MAKE SENSE) The bacon was the same way, almost clear it was so uncooked. I would have rather they put a kitchen somewhere for guests to use so we could cook our own food. The ship was overall dirty. No matter where you went on the ship you would see dishes, cups, and bowls lying around somewhere. Even on the elevator there would be dishes stacked in the corner. While the blame falls on the guests for placing these things in wrong locations, the staff would leave them there for hours before picking it up. The ship was EXTREMELY difficult to navigate through. You had to go down so many floors and then across and back up to the original floor to get where you needed to be. It was a pain to go anywhere on the ship. It was very poorly designed. Another broken rule was that of reserving deck chairs for hours without using them. AGAIN, WHO IS ADMINISTERING THE RULES??????????? Juice was offered complementary on the ship. It had so much sugar in it that I had to get a ' glass of water and just add a little lemonade or apple juice. There is absolutely no control of the children. (THIS IS IN FULL THE PARENTS RESPONSIBILITY) However it is in part the staff's responsibility as well. At 1 point we came across a 6 year old boy hanging over the railing of the 11th floor looking down to deck 3. When asked where his parents were, he said upstairs playing hide and seek. It's as if parents feel that the kids can't get off the boat so just let them run free.......... Our room never got cold the entire week. It was bearable but could have been a lot better. We had it cranked up as high as it would go and we came back hot every time. We complained and asked that it be looked at. We were told nothing was wrong with it, that it was functioning properly. (I GUESS IM JUST STUPID THEN)....... The activities were boring and did not get the audience involved enough. The director Cory tried hard but just wasn't funny. The women entertainers looked very manly, I felt like every day was BINGO day. The specialty restaurants were always closed when you wanted something. They had designated hours which conflicted with you getting off the boat to enjoy an island. They had an adult deck which would have been nice but everything was ALWAYS reserved. They had two hammocks on this deck (NOT SURE WHY ONLY TWO) but they were always reserved. The first 4 days of the cruise it seemed like we were moving too fast. Every 20 minutes or so it would be a loud bang and we would rock real bad. It seemed as if we were running something over like a smaller boat. I have never been on a boat that swayed so much. It was so bad when we got off on the islands, both my wife and I felt as though we were still swaying. On a positive note, I have never gone on a cruise that got you onto the ship as fast as this one. Within 30 minutes of us arriving at the terminal, we went through security, received our room keys, and were on the Lido deck in line for food. (COLD FOOD BUT FOOD) Very fast and efficient. Lastly my room steward Juan was the absolute best. I couldn't have asked for better service. He was on top of everything. Fun to be around and great service!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2012
I was hesitant to posts a review, because there were some good parts of our cruise; however, the bad parts were disappointing and I wanted to share! It is glaringly obvious that Carnival has taken major cost cutting measures and it ... Read More
I was hesitant to posts a review, because there were some good parts of our cruise; however, the bad parts were disappointing and I wanted to share! It is glaringly obvious that Carnival has taken major cost cutting measures and it definitely shows! Through Cruise Critic Roll Call we met and sailed with a group of 60+ fun, amazing people who I will not soon forget! If it wasn't for them, I think this cruise may have been our last. So, here it goes... Embarkation was a breeze. We arrived at the Port Canaveral terminal at 11:30 and we were on board by 11:45. Like everyone else, we headed to the Lido deck for lunch - I went to the Grill, my son to the Pasta Bar and my DH to the Mongolian Wok. All were good, not great...just good. I bought an unlimited soda/juice card only to find that since our last Carnival cruise when you order a soda you no longer get the can...now they just fill your glass with ice and then put as much soda in as the glass will hold. I ordered my soda with no ice and got ice from the buffet drink stand. The Pizza, Hamburger/Hot Dog Stands, Tandoori, and Grille stand offer a nice variety however only the Pizza bar is only open 24 hrs. The others have limited hours outside of normal dining times. (another cost saving measure I guess?) Buffet food - what you'd expect, typical salads (same stuff every day) then hot items. If you like to eat Pork Loin, Ham and Turkey you'll love the buffet for lunch and dinner (cheaper alternatives.) However, if you do not eat pork products you'll have to settle for one of the chicken or fish dishes floating in cream or oily sauces. My husband waited all week for the carved roast beef but it never showed up at the buffet. On the last night it was on the dining room menu but the slices were paper thin and my DH ordered 3 sliced to get a "normal" portion. While we're talking about the Dining room...we selected the anytime dining option. We figured without 6 yo son we would have the flexibility to feed him around Camp Carnival activities. The Dining Room opens at 5:45. People start lining up at the door at 5:15! No joke! We would go around 6:15 and were disgusted to find that Carnival allowed large family groups to select Anytime Dining as an option - I'm talking groups of 36, 42, 23, etc. AND, when they arrived at the Dining Room the Maitre D sat them all at once splitting them into smaller groups and filling every table. Shame on Carnival and the Maitre D for not stopping this after the first night when everyone else had to wait over 1 hour to be seated! We only got to eat in the Dining room twice due to this (both times no earlier than 8 pm) and found the wait staff tired, over worked and the food lukewarm at best. To say "sorry" they sent a small plate of tiny pastries to our stateroom. We did (by default) eat at the optional Steakhouse 3 times! IT IS AWESOME and worth every penny of the up charge! Next time we'll be selecting a specific dining time so we don't get locked out. The ship...she is beautiful and big. Holds lots of people! More people than other Carnival ships. No, the pool areas were not expanded to accommodate the additional numbers of people so on sea days you still have to hunt for a chair, or wake at 7:30 to "hog" a chair or chairs! Serenity deck...more comfortable chairs and adults have to monitor that kids don't plant themselves in that area. Water slides are great...both kids and adults alike used them from the time they opened till closing! The Lanai area on Deck 5 is a good place to hang outside and meet up with friends throughout the night. It's convenient to the casino, Punchline, piano bar and Encore Lounge. As for the shows...a must see is the the show featuring the Fun Force Dancers. They are an amazing group of break dancers and gymnasts who entertain!! Two of the four comedians were funny; the Legends show...not so much. But..no matter which show you're going to...get there early (like 30 minutes before) if you want a seat! (again...more people, same size public spaces.) Deck parties...packed. Laser shows...started at 8pm when it was still light out. This was the fist time we ever saw or interacted with a Cruise Director. Corey Rodgers was great! He and his assistant Brittnay, were all over the ship giving face time to everyone and making sure that everyone had whatever they needed. Great Job guys! Our Stateroom - we had an Ocean Suite, deck 7, mid-ship and loved it. Gave the 3 of us room to spread out and our son loved the jacuzzi tub and balcony! The walls are thin and you will hear everything (yes everything!) that goes on in the adjoining room. Our room steward was a living doll! She worked so hard and deserves the highest accolades! Shopping on the ship - one word - DON'T!!! I have never bought any jewelry on a ship before. Usually I purchase items on shore; but, this time I saw a ring I loved and bought it. It had to be sized to my hand and (when I got home I found out that) the store worker LIED TO US!! He said that he gives me a 'certificate of authenticity' and I take the ring that does not fit. When I arrive home I call their corporate office, tell them my ring size and an exchange for the correct size ring would be made. He also said the ring is Tax and Duty free. Both lies! Apparently anyone who buys jewelry over $800 on board is reported to Customs Agents by Carnival. On arrival we were pulled aside and had to pay duty on the ring. Wouldn't have been an issue if he told us the truth! Also, when I called their Corporate Office they said they would cut and size the existing ring rather than replace the ring with the correct size. Another lie. Today I took the ring to be appraised and it didn't even appraise for 3/4 of what we paid. So...the ring is being returned!!! Bottom line...I will continue to buy jewelry on shore ports but not on a Carnival ship! Camp Carnival (6-8 year olds) My son loved it but came home asking me what "douche-bag" means, and using the words "fuck-in" and "dam it" which he said he learned from kids at camp. Where were the Counselors??? I know they can't be everywhere at all times but really????? Ports and Excursions - Cozumel was the only place we booked an excursion through Carnival. We did the Dolphin Push, Pull and Swim at Chankanaab Park. On our own we stayed and did the Manatee Swim as well (awesome.) Beautiful park and a place you can go on your own by taxi and sign up for any/all of the encounters at your leisure (probably a cheaper option.) Belize - we booked cave tubing through charlies cave tubing. Carnival wouldn't allow children under 8 - so we booked on our own. So glad we did. Charlie gave us a great rain forest tour and got us out on the river before the masses! Carnival booked 300+ people to cave tube - thank goodness we got out before them!! Roatan - again we booked our own guide through Victor Bodden tours. Anna was great! She took us to the Iguana farm where we fed over 1000+ protected iguanas; played with the monkeys, and zip-lined through the jungle (my son flipped upside down and had a blast!) she also gave us a great tour of Roatan, took us for a great lunch and made sure we had a great day! Costa Maya - all I can say is Maya Chan Beach Resort!! Great drinks, food, beach, kayaks, snorkel, palapas with beach beds, massages on the beach, etc.!! Too bad Carnival cut the day short and we had to back on board by 1:30...don"t know why...?! Owned by Americans and managed by their son. Not your usual beach escape. Disembarking...Carnival couldn't wake us up and get us off early enough. We were supposed to be called at 7:456 but were called at 7:15! We then waited 30 minuted for our luggage. All in all it was an ok trip. We made some good family and friend memories; but, it will be a long time before we consider Carnival again. Overall, we found a big difference in the service, food and quality of this Carnival cruise compared to others in the past. I can live with the 'hairy chest contest' buckets of beer, tattoos in places that I'd rather not see, and Luby's Cafeteria caliber food for great people and quality service. All our vacation "bests" were not made because of Carnival....they were made on non-Carnival excursions, and with friends we met before boarding the ship. Unfortunately, we will be looking at either RCCL, Disney or other child-friendly lines in the future. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2012
Twenty three of us were booked on this cruise to celebrate five young men's high school graduation. Ages in our group ranged from 4 1/2 to 69 yo. Despite our experience with the ship, we had a wonderful time because we were together ... Read More
Twenty three of us were booked on this cruise to celebrate five young men's high school graduation. Ages in our group ranged from 4 1/2 to 69 yo. Despite our experience with the ship, we had a wonderful time because we were together with our most favorite people in the world! That being said, here is my honest opinion as a middle-aged, educated woman who has cruised many times to many different parts of the world in comparison to other lines I've been on: FOOD: Buffet lines on Lido were long and crowded for the poor quality food that was mostly cold. From tasteless scrambled eggs, limp bacon and limited choices, we were not big fans. Your best bet is the fresh omlets for breakfast, hot dogs, hamburgers or sandwiches for lunch OR BETTER YET, take the time to go to their dining rooms for less crowded, hot food for these times of day. As for dinner, I believe our horrible experience probably lends itself to the fact that we were a large party - 2 tables of 12. We were stuck in these side rooms (not the big dining rooms) as if we were troublemakers and only had 1 main server and 2 incompetent assistants (1 for bar service and the other for regular drinks or bread). Our poor server, Coco, was way to overloaded with our party of 24 much less to additional tables of 4 and 6. Every night, our food arrived cold...not even lukewarm. To ask for a replacement was a nightmare as he was overloaded already. There were a couple nights when I didn't even get some of the courses I ordered. It was a nightmare. We did complain after the 3rd night so the last couple nights, we were finally getting hot food but again, not enough attention for this large of a party. I want to add that we are not that demanding of a group and Coco did his best under the circumstances. I believe this was more of a kitchen problem and not enough servers for our party. His helpers were a joke. So, it left a bitter taste in my mouth on the last night when one of them came around being all nicey nice in hopes of an additional tip. He did not get one from us but it was a rather uncomfortable moment. CRUISE DIRECTOR: Was very annoying. He just didn't come across genuine and was constantly giving a sales pitch about something. I didn't find him funny or entertaining at all. And I felt that there was so much room for improvement for fixing several issues: Deck Chairs - seems they are a premium on days at sea for this large ship. Despite the fact that it specifically says in the Fun bulletin not to save deck chairs, that is all that people did. They got up early in the morning before breakfast, placed a towel and a book or tote on some chairs and didn't come back until after lunch. People were trolling all over the ship looking for loungers. My husband and I, who follow the rules, could not find a spot around 11 am because of this issue. After waiting about 25 minutes in one area, we actually moved two towels off a couple chairs and laid out. The people who "reserved" those chairs, finally came around at 12:30 pm asking about them and we just pleaded stupid. It was so annoying since it clearly says not to do it in the rules and that staff would come around and "remove the towels". That never happened on the ship. This lack of reinforcement really ticked us off. Why post rules if you're not going to solve the problem? One couple actually asked if any additional loungers could be brought out and were rudely told that there weren't any. Even the threat of charging $22 per towel if you "lost" a towel didn't seem to deter anyone. Putt-Putt - There was no supervision here at all and no system. Again, this place was chaos during the last day at sea. Seems there wasn't enough golf balls on the ship! One teenager noted that he had observed young kids throwing golf balls off the side of the ship late a night one night resulting in the shortage. There were plenty of clubs but a wait resulted because there weren't enough golf balls. How STUPID! Walkie Talkie Natzis - We rented six walkie talkies for three families who were all talking on the same channel. We would joke around and some off-color rated PG-13 remarks were made one day with my sister ending the conversation saying "I'm almost in my room". Immediately entering her room, the phone rings with a warning about keeping things "down" with the walkie talkies and that they had several complaints. Flipping censhorship -- we didn't even curse. Bull malarkey! Tip Add On ruined a nights sleep - The 2nd day on the cruise after a fun and tiring day, my husband decides to check our account on the TV around 1 am write before we went to sleep. Much to our shock--between to bar charges in 2 different bars on the ship (legitimate charges) was an $80 charge for each of us. We thought we'd had someone hijack our accounts or something. Since it was too late to call, my husband worried and tossed and turned until 3 am until we finally figured out it was the ADD ON TIPS that they charge for the staff...charged on the 2ND DAY ALREADY! What the heck! On other cruiselines that is done on the last or 2nd to the last day. WHAT A MESS--be forwarned about this early charge on your account! TV - don't expect to watch any. Movies are EXTRA (on NCL they rotate different ones FREE every day and they are current run movies) The only thing on there is ship activities. No ESPN, nothing. My husband was going crazy. It was hockey and basket ball finals. They did show the basketball finals on the big screen on the lido deck but get this. One minute left in the game, one team was coming back and the screen goes blank and starts showing a movie. After loud boos and jeers, they finally switched it back to see that the game was alrleady over. I guess at least they got to see the final score. IDIOTS!! EXCESS CHARGES - They were nickeling and diming us to death. Extra charges for the coffee bar. Decadent desserts were available but were $4 to $6 a pop. But yet, you could get some delicious sushi bites for dinner at no charge...go figure! And beware of the bar wait staff sneaking in extra charges for top shelf liquor instead of regular. We had part of our party ordering Cosmos with Grey Goose (extra $) and I wanted one with regular vodka. The first one I ordered, automatically came that way without me being asked. The big rub was that the server asked me the 2nd time I ordered a cosmo about 1/2 hr later if I wanted it with Grey Goose like the other party and I said "NO". Later when my husband looked at the bill, it was charged as such anyway. Disembarkation - The staff were extremely rude! We opted for Self-Serve which meant we toted our own luggage off the ship really early in the morning and were one of the first to disembark at 6:30 am. Since you have to show paperwork at customs, my husband paused just 20 feet outside but close to the wall to put our p assports away. Staff started yelling at us to keep walking, keep walking and we told her that we just needed to put something away and she was still rude. The customs guy was surly, too. Maybe they didn't get their coffee that early? So, some highlights to end on a positive note: The Sushi was excellent. I just discovered it too late on the trip. Definitely take advantage if you can. Our room Steward was awesome. We had told him 2 requests at the beginning of our trip--Fresh Towels and Ice twice a day. We always had that provided right when we needed it, our room was promptly cleaned when we left for breakfast and the guy was always friendly, welcoming and helpful when we needed him. We had one of those 2nd floor Cove balcony rooms and did love that. It was roomy and very cool to seat out their and enjoy the sea. Highly recommend that if you do decide to go on the Dream Comedy Shows were a BLAST!! Great comics, lots of different show times and not a bad seat in the house. That made our evening entertainment. So there you are...my take on the Carnival Dream. To sum up--I say skip these larger ships and go on some of the newer mid-range sizes..we absolutely love the NCL Pearl--perfect size, great food, entertainment, easy to get around, not too crowded, affordable, great ports of call. NEVER AGAIN ON A CARNIVAL CRUISE LINE! We'd had an awesome experience 18 years ago and were very bummed to see how much they had changed. We're sticking with NCL! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2012
Just returned from a 7-day cruise to Western Caribbean. The Dream is a beautiful ship. We sailed from Canaveral on the waves of Tropical Storm Debbie. The ship was large enough (or either we were in low enough quarters) to avoid the ... Read More
Just returned from a 7-day cruise to Western Caribbean. The Dream is a beautiful ship. We sailed from Canaveral on the waves of Tropical Storm Debbie. The ship was large enough (or either we were in low enough quarters) to avoid the motion usually associated with a storm. It was our first time in an inside cabin, but really didn't notice. We stayed in the cabin only for sleep. We were very disappointed with the dining room. Our first night, we sat for 2 hours and 45 minutes for inferior, luke-warm food. We ate on the Lido deck the rest of the cruise. This may be the first cruise ever where I lost weight. The buffet food was not hot or appetizing. The steward for our cabin was lazy and performed his duties with an uncaring attitude and with little effort. We overheard his being scolded by a superior because of his lack of effort, but apparently it did no good. He even walked into our room twice while we were in there. Loved the room service, though. It was prompt and tasty, especially the cookies! We will probably look to sail with another ship next time. This ship was too large and too impersonal. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2012
My husband and I have been planning this vacation since Jan 2012. He is applying for dental school and spent the winter months furiously preparing for the Dental Admission Test. We planned to take our vacation after he completed the exam ... Read More
My husband and I have been planning this vacation since Jan 2012. He is applying for dental school and spent the winter months furiously preparing for the Dental Admission Test. We planned to take our vacation after he completed the exam because we knew we would need some time to relax and reconnect. I'd sailed Carnival three times before and was confident we would have a great time. Boy, was I completely wrong. Since we were leaving out of Florida, we decided to spend to spend a couple of days in Orlando and go to Disney World. It was much more humid than I am used being from the Southwestern part of the country, but I enjoyed the parks! Can't wait to take our kiddos there someday. We hired Orlando Limo to take us to our hotel and then to the cruise. The van was full, but we arrived on time and the driver was very friendly. It was much cheaper than Carnival's option. Embarkation--Getting on the boat took a long time standing in line in the heat and humidity. Finally we got on the boat after waiting for about an hour and a half. The Ship--The first thing I noticed were incredibly long lines waiting for the elevators. I mean we literally waited for a half hour to get one. When we finally did, the AC did not work inside the elevator. And then we stopped at every. single. floor. This problem continued throughout the cruise. Elevator wait times were ridiculous, so we took the stairs when possible. Though the ship holds more passengers than other Carnival ships, the common areas, like the Lido deck and Sun deck are not large enough to accommodate the number of guests. Buffet lines were long during peak times and moved very slowly. At breakfast, items were not promptly restocked and guests would wait for 5-10 minutes for someone to come replenish the item they were waiting for. The Stateroom--Though I wanted to spend a little more for a better room, my husband insisted that we would not be in our room at all and it was not worth the money. Wrong!! Our interior cabin was so small and cramped! Also, our room was as far aft as you could possibly be. Aaaallllll the way in the back and around the corner. We were on the bottom floor and could smell odd smells from time to time. I think our room steward forgot about us because our room was not refreshed a few times after we left in the morning. Probably due to our location- out of sight, out of mind. NOW FOR THE WORST PART!!!! The water in our room was too hot to use for five days out of our 7 day cruise. We reported the issue on the second day when it first started. It was not fully resolved until the 6th day. We could use the water for about three minutes before it would become scalding hot. I mean my poor skin was red and blotchy!! We could barely wash ourselves in the allotted time, let alone shave or wash hair. When we reviewed our problem with customer service on the last day, at first all they said, "sorry about that." It wasn't until I forced the issue that they finally gave us an $80 credit. They did not care at all. For this reason I will not cruise Carnival again. Food-- The food was mediocre. Temperature was the biggest issue in the main dining room. Food came out cold that should have been hot. Salad came out lukewarm. And the ice cream with our desserts was melted, every night, even after we mentioned it to our waiter. The steak house, however, was exceptional. It is $30 extra per person, but well worth the money in my opinion. The service was delightful, and the food was perfectly prepared and presented beautifully. Even my husband who does not want to spend extra money on ANYTHING agreed it was worth it. Miscellaneous- Our cruise diverted the course for an injured passenger to be transferred to the hospital. I hope that poor person is ok and healing. Our ship got back four hours late, and many people were completely screwed. Carnival did very little to help, unless you booked travel through them. Something to note if you plan to sail with Carnival. Overall, I would not recommend Carnival and will not be cruising with them in the future. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2012
Just returned from our Carnival Dream Eastern Caribbean family cruise, May 5th-12th. This was the worst vacation we have ever had. I normally don't do reviews, but I don't want anyone else to go through what happened to us. ... Read More
Just returned from our Carnival Dream Eastern Caribbean family cruise, May 5th-12th. This was the worst vacation we have ever had. I normally don't do reviews, but I don't want anyone else to go through what happened to us. My DH and 2 year old and 7 year old sons were with me on this trip, booked in cabin 2396, a cove balcony room. DO NOT BOOK THIS ROOM. The entire week they were doing maintenance above our room from the hours of 11 PM-5 AM. It sounded like sledgehammers hitting our ceiling. We called Guest Services every night since we got no sleep all week. They basically told us "Sorry". They told us they knew there was maintenance going on and it would continue all week. We asked to be moved because our children were up all night. They told us there were no other rooms, sorry. So we got NO SLEEP all week. The cove balconies are very nice, but if you book a room make sure you are nowhere under the galley. We booked Carnival Cruise Line because they would accept 2 year olds in Camp Carnival, and Royal Caribbean won't take them until they are 3 and potty trained. BIG MISTAKE. We would drop off our sons, and within 10 minutes they called us and told us to come get our two year old. We tried several times throughout the cruise, just so we could get a little bit of a break since we got no sleep, but the counselors at camp didn't want to deal with a 2 year old. They were wonderful with the older kids but they did not want the toddlers. The worst part of the trip was while boarding the boat in Nassau I was holding my 2 year old in my arms, and while walking up the gangway I fell on the walkway. I cut my leg about 4-5" long, from my ankle to my calf and they could have cared less. Someone finally called my room 24 hours after I fell and told us to call if we needed something. Thank god my 2 year old didn't get hurt in the fall. I repeatedly went to the Guest Services Desk and called them and they just told us sorry, we can't do anything. This boat either had a full week of maintenance scheduled or something because everywhere we went the maintenance crew was fixing lights, painting, fixing broken fixtures, etc. Our room steward was very nice, and our waiter was nice, but the rest of the servers/assistants on the boat did not want to be bothered and acted like they hated their jobs and didn't want to to be there. The sewer smell is very extensive on the lower floors of the boat, so prepare yourself. The food was edible, not great. I think having been on Royal Caribbean ruined us because the two cruise lines don't compare. The best comparison I can give you is test driving a Mercedes for a week, then test driving a 1985 Dodge Caravan that has 300,000 miles on it and needs fixing and smells funny. So when we finally returned home after the week of no sleep, a cut leg, and servers who don't want to be there, I called Carnival's Corporate Office. Again, they did nothing. They told me sorry, but please cruise with us again. I have cruised on Royal Caribbean and they blow Carnival out of the water with their service, food, entertainment, and memories. Several of the cruisers I talked to were very upset with the service and quality of the food on this boat. Pay the few extra dollars and go on Royal Caribbean. We saved for a year to have the vacation of the lifetime. We had the worst vacation ever, and Carnival could have cared less. Royal Caribbean at least cares about their passengers. On Carnival you are just a number. I can give you honest reviews on the Ports. At Nassau we did the Blue Lagoon Shore Excursion because I had been there years ago and knew there were no waves in the lagoon so my children could play in the water with no worries. Again, gorgeous trip, hardly anyone there, we had full run of the beach and could walk over and stand right above the dolphins and see everything. Well worth the money. At St. Thomas we did the Beach/Shopping Tour and it was ok. Very Busy. Magen's Bay was packed. You couldn't walk without stepping on someone. Our kids started building a sandcastle and the lifeguards told us they had to fill in the holes so no one would fall. Not fun. Then they took us shopping on the main drag. Shopping was ok. Next time I will go to Saphire Beach. Magen's Bay is pretty in pictures from afar, don't go. Way too busy and they don't rake the beach so it seems dirty. St. Maarten we just took the water taxi, $6 round trip per person. Awesome day. It takes you right to the main shopping area. We spent a couple hours shopping, then got two beach chairs/umbrella for $5 for the rest of the day. Wonderful day. But definitely go to Maho Beach to watch the airplanes land and take off if you don't have little kids. Hope this review helps someone. Just imagine you take your family on the trip of a lifetime and due to the cruise line you get NO SLEEP ALL WEEK. How would you feel when you get off the boat? Cruises should be the most relaxing trip of your life. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2012
Let me begin by saying, that I am a relatively low key person -- easy to please for the most part. I am also a loyal consumer -- when I find something I like I stick with it! Our cruise on the Carnival Dream was from May 26 through ... Read More
Let me begin by saying, that I am a relatively low key person -- easy to please for the most part. I am also a loyal consumer -- when I find something I like I stick with it! Our cruise on the Carnival Dream was from May 26 through June 2, 2012. We stopped in Cozumel, Belize, Isla Roatan and Costa Maya. The trip did not start off on a positive note and I think it was a foreshadowing of what was to come. When we arrived at ground transportation to take the Carnival transfer to the port from the Orlando airport we were told that the ship had not arrived back in Port Canaveral as they had to deviate the course due to a medical emergency. This was not too much of an inconvenience as they did send all the arriving guests to the ballroom at the airport hotel to await the transfers. Carnival did supply beverages and played a movie on a large screen. We were also told that each guest would receive a $15 credit to their sail and sign card to cover the purchase of lunch. We did receive the credit on the account without any issues -- and also a fuel rebate of $8 per person. I had to say, knowing that the ship would change course for a passenger's well-being, actually gave me a great source of comfort! Carnival did call my house, and emailed me, to let me know that there had been a change to the embarkation time, but I had already left the house for the airport long before they called with the message. It is my own fault that I did not use my cell phone number for the contact info on my profile. Something to note. The Carnival Dream may be one of the largest ships in the fleet, but it is surely not the prettiest. For it being as new as it is, the carpet in many areas is worn and dirty. The team members in charge of cleaning always appeared to be busy and there were a lot of them! My cabin was basically the same as all of the ships that I have sailed on, but one thing I did note was that the lighting in the vanity area was brighter than on other ships. Our cabin steward, Jose, was wonderful! Our cabin was always made up early and the bed turned down after we had left for dinner. I have no complaints whatsoever regarding these accommodations. Also, it was not easy to navigate around the inside of the ship. Lots of dead ends! A few times I felt like a mouse caught in a maze. My chief complaint was with the food. Last year when we sailed on the Carnival Miracle the food was mediocre at best. On the Dream it was downright awful! The first evening I ordered the Indian vegetarian dish from the everyday menu---it was tasty, though barely warm from a temperature standpoint. The others that I travelled with all said that their food was barely warm. The choices on the menu were minimal and all of us had a difficult time making a dinner choice. The bread was often stale. The only food that I had served that was of the correct temperature was the soup. The last evening on the ship I ordered the prime rib -- it was if someone had taken it right out of the refrigerator and put it on the plate. I typically am not overly concerned with food temperature -- as long as it is warm I don't usually complain. The second to last night I ordered the Indian vegetarian dish again, as I knew that it was sure to be a success! Wrong! Other than the potatoes, not one of the items was the same as the first time I ordered it. The second time it was inedible. We always arrived early to the dining room, but were often the last to leave. On more than one occasion guests that arrived after us, left before us. Our head waiter, Som, was very sweet and he appeared to be distressed when the plates were not coming out quickly though he never expressed this to us. He also never asked if we were happy with our meal, or why most of my meals were picked up untouched. The food quality was not just poor in the dining room, but was often cold in the buffet as well. The choices for fruit were limited -- pretty sick of honey dew and cantaloupe by the end of the week. We participated in the "Chef's Table" -- a private seven course dinner for 12 that also included a tour of the galley. This was perfect in every way. No complaints at all, though it is a bit pricey at $180 per couple (we gave a $30 tip) The entertainment was absolutely sophomoric! I've seen high school productions that were better than the shows on the ship. One thing that can be said about the female dancers -- all but two were very tall and long legged -- would have made great Rockettes -- if they had any rhythm at all! I was embarrassed for them! Something else to note, if you order a wine package -- Carnival tacks on gratuity to that as well. For the $130 package, we paid an additional $30 in gratuity. (In my opinion -- that is just plain wrong!) As I said at the beginning of this review, I am a loyal consumer, but I am also of the "two strike" mindset. Last year's cruise was fair, this time it was just awful. Sadly, I think I'm through with Carnival. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2012
One of our biggest fears about cruising on a mega-ship, namely long lines and long waits, was dispelled right away at Port Canaveral. While there were long lines, they moved quickly and efficiently, and the boarding operation was very ... Read More
One of our biggest fears about cruising on a mega-ship, namely long lines and long waits, was dispelled right away at Port Canaveral. While there were long lines, they moved quickly and efficiently, and the boarding operation was very smooth. Kudos to Carnival for something done right! Overall, we enjoyed our cruise, but we learned something important, which is that we will never choose to cruise with Carnival again. The Carnival Dream is one of their largest ships, and she carried over 4500 souls on this cruise. Carnival advertises its "Fun Ships," and we learned that their idea of "fun" is LOUD. The Dream is loud both visually and aurally. She was decorated with all hard, reflective surfaces: steel, glass, mirrors, tiles, shiny plastics, gleaming metals and polished stone, with plenty of neon lights. All PA announcements were too loud. All the dance music was too loud. The stage shows were so loud that, even if we wore our ear plugs, it was still uncomfortably noisy. Nobody cared about requests to back off a little on the volume. Apparently "fun" equals "loud," and if we didn't like it, we could go to our stateroom (which we often did). All the hard surfaces reflected sound as well as light. The assault on the senses was exacerbated by the numbers of people, including many children who were often not under any sort of parental control. We really found ourselves wishing for the relative quiet of the Holland-America ships. (In fairness, I must mention the "Serenity Deck," high in the Dream's superstructure near the HVAC units. This area is for adults only, and it features some comfortable lounge furniture as well as an absence of loud music. Unfortunately, it is also quite windy, and the noisy fans and HVAC equipment detracted somewhat from the serenity.) We were pleasantly surprised with our stateroom, a modestly-priced "ocean view" room on the lowest deck, close to the aft elevators. We had TWO bathrooms!! I've never seen anything like it on a ship! One tiny bath had a tub/shower and a sink, the other, larger, had a shower stall, toilet and sink. The bed was good, lighting was good, service was good. The only downside is that, instead of little travel-sized containers of shampoo, lotion, conditioner etc., the showers were equipped with dispensers for gel and shampoo -- both cheap -- and there was no lotion at all! (When we called Guest Services, we were told that Carnival no longer supplies lotion and that we could buy some at the onboard shops.) The artwork on the cabin wall was monumentally ugly, and the chocolate mints left on the bed at turndown were stale. The schedule of shipboard activities was uninspired. Movies were shown on a giant screen outside on the Lido pool deck, not a good venue if you actually want to enjoy the film. The daily program listed several "seminars" and "information sessions," but in reality all these programs were sales pitches, either for shops in the next port that were owned by the cruise line or for vastly overpriced onboard services and products. There were no genuinely informative lectures about the upcoming ports of call (or anything else), and we found that disappointing. Frequently, several activities were scheduled at the same time, or very nearly so, and we had to choose among several attractive-sounding options at X o'clock, but found nothing interesting for the two hours preceding or following that time. The ship's library was a quiet room, but it was kept very chilly, and the bookshelves were firmly locked. Once, the schedule said that bridge players should meet there to play cards, but nobody besides us showed up, and there were no cards available! The ubiquitous casino was noisy, nearly impossible to avoid, and often smoky. The Lido pool deck was hot, humid, overcrowded with obese bodies, overrun with children and it smelled of chlorine, cigarette smoke and fried foods. Not inviting at all. The food aboard ship was pretty good, as it usually is on cruise ships, but we had a few problems in that department, also. For example, the (powdered, I think) scrambled eggs on the Dream are worse than what we used to get at summer camp, and the bacon tasted as if it had been cooked in months-old grease. (After the first day, I ate boiled eggs.) The omelets were excellent, but we needed to be patient while waiting in line. Juices were prepared from concentrate and not mixed very thoroughly, so when I helped myself from the dispenser, I never knew whether I would get colored water, normal dilution, or super-concentrated orange juice. Hot foods on the buffet were rarely as hot as we would like. I was excited to see lasagna offered for lunch one day, but it was lukewarm and tasteless -- very disappointing. Salads and fruits were a highlight -- fresh and delicious. Most of the desserts looked much better than they tasted. The food in the dining rooms was very good, but the service was extremely slow, at least at our table. On a few evenings, we arrived at the appointed time and then sat at our table with only water and bread for over an hour before receiving our dinner. By the time dessert arrived, they were already trying to clear the room to set up for the late seating. A (loud) PA announcement told us we needed to be out in five minutes, and this happened before anybody at our table even had their after-dinner coffee! And, for reasons we never understood, dinner was interrupted at least once almost every night by bursts of(very loud) music and waiters dancing on serving tables. (I think this was supposed to be fun.) On the "up" side, the itinerary of this cruise was outstanding, and there was something attractive or interesting about each of the ports. Somehow, they squeezed four different ports of call into a seven-day cruise -- amazing! The water in the Caribbean is clear, clean and turquoise blue, and the snorkeling venues are truly lovely. I'll never remember the names of the many dozens of fishes we saw, but I will certainly remember their abundance, colors, variety and beauty. We snorkeled at both Cozumel (an island off the coast of Mexico) and Roatan (also an island, off Honduras), and enjoyed both excursions. Roatan has a public beach within sight -- and an easy walk -- of the ship's pier. No need to pay for a shore excursion there (I wish we'd known that ahead of time). A chairlift to the beach was available (for a price) which would spare us about 300 yards of level walking. We found that highly amusing, but declined the ride. Belize is a very poor country, and Belize City is unattractive. We chose a shore excursion that took us inland to some caves and it required a long, uncomfortable school-bus ride on really lousy roads. As we rode along, our guide explained to us that the Belizian government gives each adult citizen a piece of land, and then the citizen is on his/her own to build whatever dwelling s/he is able to afford. The result is a ramshackle collection of huts, hovels, modest houses and crummy buildings that need more maintenance than they receive. After we left the city behind, we rode through flat, mostly featureless countryside on a lumpy, two-lane "highway." After an hour, we turned off toward the caves, and the final 30 minutes of the drive was along a broken road with potholes the size of swimming pools. On arrival at the caves, we were each issued a PFD, a helmet, a helmet light and an inflated tube the size of a truck tire inner tube. We walked along a short trail and down some steps into the cave to the edge of an underground river. There, we plopped ourselves into the tubes and began the tour. These caves are fantastic! Fascinating rock formations were everywhere, with stalagmites and stalactites of every possible description and many other shapes with serrated edges and unusual folds. Many of the formations were covered with silica crystals that glittered in the beams of light from our helmets. It was beautiful! At one point, we were invited to turn off our helmet lights andexperience the total absence of light within the depths of the cave -- that was eerie. After paddling along for a while, we climbed out of the tubes and walked along a trail to see some other formations and remnants from the Mayan religious rites that were performed down there. (The Mayan name for these caves is Xibalba, meaning "hell" or "underworld.") After the short foot tour, we climbed onto our tubes again and paddled our way back to the entrance. There, we were permitted to swim in the underground lagoon near the entrance -- very nice! We loved the cave excursion! One final note on Belize: Belize has an offshore barrier reef second in size only to the Great Barrier Reef off Australia. For this reason, our ship needed to anchor WAY offshore, and we were ferried into Belize City on locally-based tenders -- about a 30-minute ride. The barrier reef is a nationally protected park and a world-famous attraction for scuba divers. The final port on our itinerary was Costa Maya, which consists mostly of the collection of shops that characterizes all cruise ship ports. But Costa Maya made it more interesting by planning the shops around a free-form, amoeba-shaped salt water swimming pool open for use by natives and ship people alike. That was kind of fun! Also, since this shopping area was right on the ocean's shore, they had a beach with lounge chairs and thatch umbrellas. One part of the beach had dolphin pools, where folks who had signed up to swim with the dolphins enjoyed their excursion. We all got to watch the dolphins go through their paces, "dancing" and "talking" and kissing people on command and giving tourists rides on their backs or their tummies. It is probably not healthy for the dolphins, but it was entertaining to watch and probably a thrill for the folks participating. A day and a half after leaving Costa Maya, we were back at Port Canaveral, the disembarkation process was handled as efficiently as the embarkation had, and the long trip back home began. Orlando's airport is attractive, but five hours was too long to have to wait for the first of the two flights that would bring us to Seattle. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2012
First, let me introduce myself: 46 year old male from Michigan, traveling with wife and two boys (13 and 9). In a nutshell, this cruise was, well... OK. The crew tried very hard, in most cases. Aside from one minor concern, there ... Read More
First, let me introduce myself: 46 year old male from Michigan, traveling with wife and two boys (13 and 9). In a nutshell, this cruise was, well... OK. The crew tried very hard, in most cases. Aside from one minor concern, there was nothing to really complain about. The food was just good, but the selection and hours were limited. The housekeeping crew did a nice job, and, while it is a very large ship, for the most part it was automated enough to handle things efficiently. However, efficient was not exactly what we were looking for! Dining room staff: Great effort from most. Our dining staff was very good, but limited by the size and structure of the ship. One example: My wife ordered Prime Rib one evening. It was just OK -- Probably slightly less than Outback quality. With her meal, they served a baked potato. The waiter came by quickly to offer her sour cream for her potato, but she declined because the sour cream that they served has chives (green onions) mixed in. She asked for plain sour cream, and was told that they couldn't do that. Mind you, later someone else came by and got some, but it demonstrates that when you are on a very large ship the size of the Dream, EVERYTHING is automated. Any variations from the "norm" are typically met with resistance. This seems to work in some areas (embarkation and debarkation, for example), but not too well in dining. In itself not a big deal AT ALL. But simply an example of the entire experience. On the other hand, the staff was extremely friendly and personable. The shortcomings didn't seem to be their fault, but rather dictated to them by their corporate staff on land. In fact, the Maitre D' was very kind to us in arranging a very nice table in the Dining room for our family. Again, the effort and ability is there, they just seem to need the tools to help them succeed... Housekeeping staff: These folks did a nice job on the cabin. Nothing unusual or special, but nice. On the other side, the ship was kept VERY, VERY clean at all times. Food: Quality, as most will tell you, has declined. Not to the point where the food is inedible, but certainly to a level that is mediocre at best. In addition, the timing of dining choices is quite limited. No midnight buffet of any sort on any night, and most of the "interesting" choices are available for only a few hours during the mid-day hours (eg. the pasta bar is open from about 12-3:30 PM ONLY). Lots of choices during the afternoon, but in the evening / late night, you are limited mostly to pizza and the room service menu (sandwiches). The deli closes at 11PM, and the grill is open for an hour or two starting at 11, so some (pretty bad) hamburgers are available. One recent suggestion on John Heald's FB was to add bar food or munchies as a late night option. Even that would be welcome. Hopefully they start doing it! Cruise Director / Entertainment: Again, good but certainly not great. No real complaints, but there were no moments that made us stand up and scream "WOW" either... They got the job done, but it seemed like a bit of a tired routine. Only newer option seemed to be the Fun Force, that is a group of younger, acrobatic dancers that did several routines. While not my style, my kids liked it, and it felt a bit more fresh than the rest of the entertainment. In an odd entertainment twist, I heard a good amount of fairly benign pop or rock music on the ship (typically around the pool), but almost no caribbean music (think Jimmy Buffet style or Steel Drum band). Very disappointed in that. Actually heard MUCH more country music than "island" music. AAARRRGGGHHH! The Ship: Very clean, well maintained and efficient. Can be crowded due to the number of folks around you, but if you plan well, you can avoid most of it. As I stated earlier, embarkation and debarkation were very, very well done -- quick, professional, and efficient. Only thing that I think they should do better is monitor for the constant flow of chair hogs... We saw many, many groups reserving chairs for up to 15-20 people, while only using 4 or 5 of them at ANY given time. Staff makes announcements that they will enforce the 30 minute rule, but I didn't see it done even once. Ports: We were on the Western itinerary, and it was nice, but not great. I really think that they need to get rid of Belize as a port stop -- All reviews warn you that the ONLY real option is to set up a private or Carnival excursion, but that means either an extra tender ride to the excursion (in addition to the long ride to shore) or a special tender from the ship that can take up to an hour to reach the excursion itself. No, thank you... Costa Maya and Cozumel still seem pretty safe, but with the way Mexico is heading, who knows... Roatan was, in our opinion, the best of the four. Ship features: Nice, but again, not really utilized as well as they could be. Kids loved the water slide. Pools, like most ships' pools, were small and crowded. Spa was nice, but we didn't really use it much. Casino staff was nice enough, but for the length of time and dollar amounts that I played, there was no offer at all of drinks, or any concessions whatsoever. Now, mind you, I don't drink, so I wouldn't have taken advantage of the offer, anyway. However, it seemed to be a recurring theme from others that were also playing that the Casino Hosts simply never watched the tables to get an idea as to who was playing what, when, and for how much in terms of $$. Didn't bother me, because I wouldn't have utilized it, but I know that others were NOT happy with the feeling of being a bit ignored, even though they were playing pretty good $$. Other: I know that Carnival is trying to shake it's "party ship" reputation and move towards families. However, in my only real concern about our cruise, it seems that not everyone has gotten the memo on that one... One one day, after a stop in port, I was with my 9 year old getting him a slice of pizza. Behind us in line was a VERY intoxicated pair of men, about 30 years old. They still had their souvenir glasses from one of the bars in port with them, and were still going strong -- They had obviously refilled them on board (most probably in their cabin). They began to unleash a stream of obscenities at the poor worker behind the counter, who couldn't handle the customer load alone -- He clearly needed assistance from another worker. Now, I'm certainly no prude, but I didn't appreciate my 9 year old hearing "Ef this" and "Ef that" ad infinitum. And when the worker served my son his slice, they started to direct the venom to the other customers in line. I certainly understand that there is only so much that Carnival can do about this person. He is responsible for his actions. But I immediately went to another staff member and pointed out that the worker and passengers were getting attacked by this joker, and it took about 15 minutes to get security there. By this time, he was sitting at a table about 50 feet away, eating his pizza, and still swearing up a storm. When I explained it to them, their only concern was whether it had gotten physical. I replied that it had not, but that they really need to intervene before it does, either with a crew member or another passenger who may not be as willing to sit as quietly as I was. They asked that, apparently for our safety, we move to the other side of the ship, which I did gladly. They then did nothing. Didn't approach him, or even cut him off (I saw him order a drink from the bar staff 5 minutes later). I REALLY hate to think of the family who's vacation probably got ruined by this guy's idiocy, or even the liability that the ship took on by continuing to serve him. In short, I get that they can't control how drunk he got off of the ship... But to let him assault staff and passengers, and then keep on drinking. Again, No thank you... All in all, I'd sum it up in one word. Meh. Would I cruise Carnival again? Perhaps, but not likely. Would I cruise the Dream again? Probably not. While Carnival is still the slightly cheaper option, it is still a lot of money, and when I choose to spend that much, I expect more in return. Just my $.02! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2012
We are first time cruisers traveling with a group of 15 including kids from 11-18.Getting on the ship was fast and easy. Everything was well organized. No lines or long waits. Until we got on the ship. Cramming all the passengers into the ... Read More
We are first time cruisers traveling with a group of 15 including kids from 11-18.Getting on the ship was fast and easy. Everything was well organized. No lines or long waits. Until we got on the ship. Cramming all the passengers into the pool and buffet areas was annoying. Not nearly enough space for the number of people! We found our rooms easily, and most of our luggage was delivered within an hour. One of the bags arrived about two hours later. Our room was sooooo clean. What a delight! Except that overall the decorating of the Dream is downright ugly. Especially the lobby.... First night in the dining room was a bit slow. We had the late seating. The food was just Ok. Nothing special. The staff was friendly and attentive. They took good care of me with my Gluten free diet needs. The days at sea were a nightmare! Just awful! Two inadequately sized pools were overfilled with people.Deck chairs were hard to obtain. I showered twice in my room to cool off, and ended up spending the rest of the day on my deck. it was a nice place to hang out! Our room steward was a total dream!!! Fan took really good care of us. Our rooms were spotless at all times with fresh towels and ice. They all work so hard and it shows!! We had dinner at the steakhouse for an upcharge of $30 per person. The staff was pretty stuffy and snotty. The meal was by far the best on the cruise ship, but certainly not close to the best food ever. The buffet was clean and well organized, but predictable. Kind of like Sizzler or Ryan's. Lots of food, nothing bad, but nothing to write home about either! Our port visits were ok. Was in Cozumel 22 years ago, so sad to see it is nothing like it used to be. We went snorkeling and took the kids jet skiing. Spent a lot of $$ on not much. Roatan was the most beautiful port. I understand now why the ships cannot get into port in heavy winds!!! The ships must back into the port!! the crew did an amazing job! Belize was another story. We ran aground. Nothing fatal except that the ship had bad shaking after that. Tendering was ok. We were disappointed because our only carnival excursion was cancelled at the last minute. Therefore, we just walked around the port area and had lunch at an upstairs restaurant. Costa Maya was the real deal of Mexico. We planned a scuba diving trip with Maya Palms resort. It was nice except we had to rush back to the ship for a 3:00 departure. Oh, yea, what's with the lack of clocks???? Bring a watch!!!!!The only clock is in the elevator area!!! Overall, the kids were bored. Too many kids wanted to play basketball. How many times can you play miniature golf? The pools were extremely small and overcrowded. They couldn't wait to get off the ship. Neither could I. All that money....for what??? I have never wanted to go home after vacation..until this one!!! Will we cruise again??? I don't know. Probably not anytime soon. If we do cruise again you can be sure it won't be on Carnival! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2012
First and foremost, the ship was beautiful. It was very clean at all times, our room was spacious and relaxing. Our steward, and all other staff for that matter, was very attentive and polite. Every port we visited we had no trouble ... Read More
First and foremost, the ship was beautiful. It was very clean at all times, our room was spacious and relaxing. Our steward, and all other staff for that matter, was very attentive and polite. Every port we visited we had no trouble getting on or off the ship. Now, having cruised 6 other times (only 2 with Carnival on the Freedom and the Conquest) I thought I knew what to expect as far as dining and things to do on the ship. I was very unhappily surprised. The ship is entirely too big. There is not nearly enough common area for everyone to freely move around on days at sea and in the evenings. The seating was impossible at the comedy shows, standing room only 1 night, and barely got seats the other. Who can enjoy a show like that? We really tried getting 2 lounge chairs on the serenity deck on days at sea, but no such luck. In fact, our first day at sea, we couldn't find a lounge chair on ANY deck. As early as 8 am, all deck chairs on serenity were occupied or saved. Dining in the buffet area on the lido deck was always very chaotic due to lack of sufficient number of buffet lines, drink stations, and so many tables being crammed in. When we could actually find a table, it was very difficult to maneuver between tables and people. The only thing harder than finding a table or a lounge chair was trying to get an elevator. The main elevator bank in the middle has only 6 elevators (with smaller banks of 4 located at the bow and aft of the ship) and there are only 4 glass elevators in the lobby area. 2 of the the glass elevators were out of service for the entire duration of our trip. 1-2 of the 6 elevators in the main bank were out of service daily as well. we usually ended up taking the stairs everywhere..from the 8th floor. Finally, my biggest and angriest complaint; the terrible quality of food! I don't even know where to begin...the breakfast buffet is everything one would expect from low budget public school cafeterias and by far the worst of all 3 meals. The eggs were always wet, cold, and spongy. I don't think in saw an entire strip of bacon the entire trip, just greasy crumpled up bacon bits. The day we waited in line 15-20 minutes to have an omlet made, it was greasy and burnt. The breakfast potatoes were greasy (see the theme here?), black peppered to death, and cold. We ate breakfast in the dining room a few times when they were open, but it was only slightly better. So unless you want soggy toast or cereal and milk, be prepared to start the day hungry. The lunch buffet was bland and repetitive. Basically, just be prepared for sandwiches, salads, and French fries. We ate lunch at every port to avoid dining on the ship. Sadly, we ate better at taco stands and make shift bbq's on land than on the Dream. Dinner was the biggest disappointment. Shrimp cocktail was only on the menu one night, and they were tiny and only 4 shrimp to a plate. Lobster was also only on the menu one night. The prime rib was sliced very thin, and in fact all portions were quite small. The sides served looked more like garnishes. The food was never hot, always luke warm at best but mostly cold. When we ordered oysters Rockefeller, they only came 2 to a plate and I only got one full oyster and one empty shell! I got ungodly sick from eating the seafood Newburgh and was up all night. On ALL of my previous cruises, we got shrimp cocktail everyday, and usually had a seafood buffet at least 1 night of the cruise. NOT ON THE DREAM. All of my previous cruises also always had midnight buffets. Again, not on the Dream. The room service? A total joke. Bland sandwiches only, a small fruit or veggie plate, or an overdressed salty caesar salad. Several other passengers complained to us all week, many return cruisers. We all wondered, how did the quality of food get so bad so quickly!? We did not pay good, hard earned money to have sandwiches, French fries, hot dogs and hamburgers shoved in our faces all week. The boat being too crowded? That I can overlook and can easily be corrected by booking on another ship. The food being absolutely TERRIBLE? That is what will completely prevent me from booking a Carnival Cruise ever again. From here on out, it will be Royal Caribbean, Princess, or Celebrity. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2012
First I will start by saying I am not a complainer and love tjhe have fun. Thought the Dream was less then I exprected, my family and I still enjoyed the islands and some nice staff we encountered. As our first cruise I learned alot from ... Read More
First I will start by saying I am not a complainer and love tjhe have fun. Thought the Dream was less then I exprected, my family and I still enjoyed the islands and some nice staff we encountered. As our first cruise I learned alot from talking with other seasoned cruisers aboard the ship. Many telling us not to judge cruising by this cruise. They felt the food(buffet)) was cold and lineups too long at peak points in the day. This is not the case apparently when aboard other lines. I heard great things about Royal Carribean's Oasis and allure ships. So our experience- right off the bat it was evident our rooms were a nightmare, we were right below the lido deck under the smoking section. There was no smoke smell but we listed to loud scraping chairs 24-7, we slept maybe 4 hrs a night.I was very clear with my travel agent, knowing we were below the lido deck I wanted to ensure we would not hear above noise- she checked and was told no we would not! Well we sure did- It was the equlivalant of nails on a chalkboard. They did give us a $400 credit but truthfully you could not have given me that room for free. We were with family and they had the two rooms beside me- they were in the same boat as us. The ship was full and they could not change us. The maddening thing is how deceitful Carnival is on these rooms. They are well aware of the problem and deal with it each week but do nothing to inform the travel agents and others that these are "noisy rooms" I guess they need a certain amount of complaints for this, what 3000? To me we have been back 3 weeks and since then 2 sets of suckers like ourselves had had to deal with this. Apparently they have tried many solutions to no avail and they will not close off that area due to the 24hr pizza area above us. How about some tennis balls then- no too unsightly. Oh and lets talk about the ride-on-cleaner they do the floors with as early as 5:30pm and as late as 1am, it's like a jetliner above your head. Good times! I guess if you are drunk and passed out, no issues! That was not us. The bartenders on the Lido deck very stern and unfriendly to all, never have any eye contact- I have never met such unfriendly bartenders in all my life. Now the staff waiting on lounge cvhairs were great, very friendly and fun, not sure what the heck happens when you get behind the bar- they were mainly russian while the lido wait staff were Philipino and Thai- really enjoyed them! Also a shout out to our room Stewar Jenny- what a sweety, we brought her a gift from home and tipped at the end, she sure desrved it. As well our restaurant waitress was supberb my daughter loved her, she greated us every night with a smile and hug, she even cut my 9 yr old daughter meet- we miss you Wanpen! The buffet food could be cold and the lineups a pain at peak times, however you discover less lines as you leave the lido deck- try deck 5. Thats my two cents, someday I will cruise again but never Carnival, I will look to Royal Carribean- I heard nothing but great things from the seasoned cruisers. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2012
So happy to be back! Never a good thing to say after vacation. This will be our last ever Carnival cruise. Bigger is not better, in fact the total opposite on this ship. I will break down our experience for those interested, though it is ... Read More
So happy to be back! Never a good thing to say after vacation. This will be our last ever Carnival cruise. Bigger is not better, in fact the total opposite on this ship. I will break down our experience for those interested, though it is similar to other posters stating a less favorable review. Balcony Cabin, Starboard, 11267, 11th floor. Slight noise issue from pool area due to proximity to Lido Deck. This was never a problem for us. The room decor was orange and brown, three door closet system and VERY minimal drawer space. Tiny balcony with two chairs and small table. New policy is noted to all cruisers on the first day that ANY appliances like irons, curling irons, etc. will be confiscated and returned upon debarkation. I kept my flat iron well hidden :-) We sailed Princess last year and thought their room was better. small shower only bathroom. Cabin Steward was wonderful as usual!! Entertainment may have been good, not sure- Our 7 year old daughter hated Camp Carnival soo much we never made it to any shows. We took in most movies under the stars while she swam, so that was fun. A typical stuff seemed to go on and the cruise director was nice. We did buy a lot of nice pictures for keepsakes! Ports Visited were interesting and a first for us. Costa Maya was our favorite despite the fact that it was a half day stop. We rented a golf cart just outside the port for $40- and drove to the beach for massages and shopping. Cozumel was nice for snorkeling, Belize for cave tubing and ATVing and Roatan for an island tour. Will give more detail under specific port of call reviews. Dining. This is why we would NEVER cruise carnival again. As a party of three we had first seating at 6pm in the Crimson, first assigned to table 167 which was a table for 2, next to the revolving doors, bus station and order input screen...can you say high traffic area? We kindly asked for a larger table with better location and were moved a few tables away to another table for two with the WORST server we have ever encountered in 11 cruises. I will not rant about it but suffice to say the food was terrible too. Husband liked the lobster and short ribs. The huge buffet areas were soo crowded at breakfast and sea days that we usually ended up in the dining room or went without with a side of soft serve... We thought MSC was bad, now I think Carnival is competing with them. I appreciate the little things like nice breads at breakfast and dinner and real cheese, this was all missing. Low quality, mass produced food is Carnivals stance on dining. One odd note is the terrible stench in the lower seating area-it smelled like dirty dish water with a twist of sewage EVERY time we walked to our table. So gross. Camp Carnival. Bad. camp counselors were not interactive and did a poor job of entertaining the children with more "free time" to self entertain than that actually creating activities. we tried 2x and after seeing with our own eyes what our daughter reported back decided not to take her again. Shame on them, as they had a reported 675 kids sailing this voyage. Disney still rocks this department!! All in all, we do not feel we paid a "discount" over other cruises in the end and would have GLADLY paid a little more for much better service/time. I will say there were a lot of happy cruisers on this ship, but even they said they would prefer the smaller carnival ships. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2012
The ship was very very rocky. From the time the ship left the port to the time it ports, the ship was constantly rocking. Everyone in our group of 40+ people were not impressed with the ship, several of us got sea sick. Even when the ... Read More
The ship was very very rocky. From the time the ship left the port to the time it ports, the ship was constantly rocking. Everyone in our group of 40+ people were not impressed with the ship, several of us got sea sick. Even when the water was calm, the ship was rocking. Seems like it had no stabilizers or it was relying on its shear mass to stabilize itself. We've been on other ships in the past and in much rougher weather conditions and we never felt a thing, however this ship was really bad. Waiters at the Lido deck was terrible. On many occasions the tables were very dirty. Several occasions where the staff see the tables were dirty and just stood around while I'm cleaning the table up because seating space was limited. As well, seeing us with a child they did not offer to bring a booster chair until we ask. Even after asking for it several times, we were ignored on several occasions until we got fed up and complained to the manager before the chair was brought to us. Been on Carnival before and found the food was much better in the past. Did not like the food in the main dining room. Find the food to be either to bland or too salty, no flavour. The prime ribs and steaks were poor quality of meat. Only positive about the food is the pasta bar above the Lido deck in the back of the ship. Pasta was made to order, very flavour full and tasty. Entertainment and ship amenities was fairly good. The water slides on this ship was exceptional. Pools and hot tubs were a little small with way too many kids in them. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2012
Best thing about this cruise: "Cheers" program - prepaid beverage plan for those of us over 21. Made it more like an all-inclusive vacation. Just wish it had been offered during booking. Needs to be an option on all cruises. ... Read More
Best thing about this cruise: "Cheers" program - prepaid beverage plan for those of us over 21. Made it more like an all-inclusive vacation. Just wish it had been offered during booking. Needs to be an option on all cruises. Don't know what was going on with this crew, but this was the worst experience on a cruise ship I have had. There was not the level of customer service that we have experienced on Carnival cruises in the past. Our room steward, while keeping our room fairly clean, never made a point of introducing himself as had been done in the past. Having cruised with Carnival in Dec. 2011 and loving the "Your Time Dining"; this cruise (12/15-22/2012) changed that. The dining room seemed very disorganized with the concept of "your time dining". We ended up waiting almost every night. One night it was an hour with a beeper, and were only seated then when my husband went to inquire as to how much longer it would be. After we were seated it was another hour and 20 minutes before our main course arrived. Complaints to the staff were met with excuses. The dining room wait staff seemed to be overworked. There was not the usual 2-3 people waiting on a table; the head table waiter refilled out drink glasses, took our orders and served our food. It seemed the only thing he didn't do was run the food from the galley. And the "dress code" for the dining room was not enforced; really irritated me that we had brought business casual and formal clothing to dress for dinner when shorts, etc were allowed because "people don't bring dress clothing". I could have saved bring an entire suitcase with that excuse.Itinerary: Nassau, day at sea, St Thomas, St Maarten, 2 days at sea. We were talked into going on this cruise by another couple; because we really didn't like the itinerary. We passed several islands that could have made this a more desirable cruise. Not sure we will cruise with Carnival again in the near future. Read Less
Carnival Dream Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.5 0.0
Dining 4.5 0.0
Entertainment 3.5 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 4.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 3.5 0.0
Service 5.0 0.0
Value For Money 5.0 0.0
Rates 3.0 0.0

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