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
Sail Date: February 2012
Let me start off by saying i am in my late 20s traveling with my fiance. We have gone on 7 cruise in past 2 years. 6 of them being carnival. I am truly disappointed in this ship due to having high expectations embarkation was fast as ... Read More
Let me start off by saying i am in my late 20s traveling with my fiance. We have gone on 7 cruise in past 2 years. 6 of them being carnival. I am truly disappointed in this ship due to having high expectations embarkation was fast as carnival always is. Only took about an hour of getting there and we were on ship. As far as the ship and layout it was horrible. Carnival chose to only make this ship slightly bigger than the close before it but chose to add over 1300 people at 4300.there were long lines for everything. The two biggest complaints of this ship was the pool area and the lighting. to have 4300 people on board carnival chose to have 2 very small pools which i figured they would have stepped their game up for this new class of ships but i was wrong. They minimized the main pool area to make it very very small and impossible to have a chair where the action is to have a middle sitting area. This is a very poor design. the conquest class of ships the main deck had a ramp up where you can sit to be closer to action. The second complaint is the lighting. This ship is very very bright using florescent lights instead of the usual dim lights, especially in the main buffet areas and near elevators. It just doesn't give you the cruise feel due to all the bright lights every where. This was a big turn off of me Service was really good as all carnival ships are The shows were not really that good considering i had high expectations due to it being carnivals newest ship. Even left out on a couple of them The gym was really really small and crowded. They extended the actual spa and took away from the work out area.. I couldn't believe how small it was compared to the size of the ship. As i read in previous posts this ship rocks like no other. I thought people were just being dramatic but this ship rocked and swayed the whole time to ST Marteen . Even had to stay in a night or 2 because it rocked so bad. The way back wasn't as bad The food was below way below average. The buffet was horrible at night. No choices what so ever. We only had the choice to sit with other people we didn't know at dinner so we had to try to consume the buffet every night. Once again considering it was carnivals newest ship i thought the buffet would be good at night or a lot of choices.. WRONG. During the day you had a lot of choices which was nice and the breakfast was good but flunked at night Embarkation was really fast and off the ship before 8am To summarize do not have high expectations for this cruise just because its a newer ship. The pool area is laid out poorly, the ship has to much fluorescent lighting, and the food isn't great.Although i'm still a die hard carnival fan i am very very disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2012
HISTORY-I have been on 5 cruises including: Royal Caribbean-Explorer of the Seas (my fave so far), Carnival Pride (not sure why I booked another Carnival cruise after that one) and Norwegian Star and Pearl. We love Royal Caribbean the most ... Read More
HISTORY-I have been on 5 cruises including: Royal Caribbean-Explorer of the Seas (my fave so far), Carnival Pride (not sure why I booked another Carnival cruise after that one) and Norwegian Star and Pearl. We love Royal Caribbean the most because they have the best food but they tend to be more expensive. FOOD-The only reason we booked another Carnival Cruise (given that we know from experience that their food isn't good) is because this ship was going to ports we hadn't been to yet in the Caribbean. I guess we were hoping that since it was a New ship, that the food would be better. We were wrong. The food was so bad that I didn't have to worry about gaining any weight. In fact, I had a hard time eating enough to get full because it was so terrible. The desserts were absolutely disgusting...even the soft serve ice cream wasn't good. The dining room meals were the worst. Most nights we would try to eat in the dining room but didn't like what we ordered so we ended up in the buffet after. It would be comparable to your worst buffet restaurant experience. I get that they're feeding thousands of people but why is it that Royal can provide such delicious food and Carnival can't? Norwegian has pretty bad too...like Carnival. ENTERTAINMENT-One positive is the Comedians they had were great! We loved going to the comedy club almost every night. SHIP- The layout is strange because you have to go to up a few floors then around and then back down to get to the area you want. We've never been on a ship like that. The pools and water slides were fun...plenty to do on-board. Everything felt crowded though maybe because there were so many passengers on this ship. ROOMS-We bought a balcony room for the first time. The room size was fine but we never were out on our balcony since our neighbors were always out there talking on theirs so we felt like it was a waste of money. EXCURSIONS-We took this cruise to see the Mayan Ruins so we spent two of our port days doing nothing but looking at ruins. The tours were amazing and we booked them all through the cruise line so that we wouldn't get left behind if they didn't get us back to the ship in time. OVERALL-If you're not picky about food and all food excites you, then you'll still have a good time on this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2012
First off we have cruised many times including many on Carnival (CCL). CCL is and always has been a discount cruise line. It's the WalMart of cruising. This is not a complaint since the majority of us are WalMart shoppers. That said, ... Read More
First off we have cruised many times including many on Carnival (CCL). CCL is and always has been a discount cruise line. It's the WalMart of cruising. This is not a complaint since the majority of us are WalMart shoppers. That said, CCL always provided a good product at a good price. However, the last 3 cruises we have taken on CCL since 2009, overall have been a disappointment. This last cruise we went because we had a large group of friends going so we joined them. I'll break the cruise down by sections: customer service NON-EXISTENT-we had friends coming in from Canada, who because of weather were delayed. They missed the sailing from Port Canaveral along with 23 others. They booked ALL directly through CCL and had travel insurance. Now the ship was scheduled to sail at 4:00 and did so. Our friends along with 23 others landed in Melbourne at 4:04. Since CCL made all the flights they should have known the status of the flight and that it was en route. CCL agents had left Melbourne 45 minutes earlier. It is only 30 minutes from Melbourne to Port Canaveral. CCL could easily have held the ship. I've seen them do it before many times. Our first day sailing was at sea so the time cound easily be made up. Anyway when our friends called CCL, they were essentially told you're on your own. Get your own hotel, find your own flights to catch the ship, all at their OWN expense. CCL offered NO assistance. ONLY through angry persistence were they able to get CCL to help them with flights, hotel and get them to Cozumel to meet the ship. And they had travel insurance and CCL did all the bookings. The CCL agent that they booked through would not accept their calls even though she was available. Of course nobody can control the weather. That is understandable. But for the things CCL could control it dropped the ball. embarkation/debarkation CCL did a very good job here. It is a monumental task trying to transfer 4000+ people on and off a ship and trying to service the ship as well. Transfers were organized and smooth. Kudos to CCL. ship design This was the worst ship design we have been on. Yes its big, but its fractured. You cannot easily move from one section to another. You must go up or down decks to proceed forward or back because the decks do not go through. Lido deck area was very small. Chairs were cramped into small spaces. Pool looked more like the kiddie pool on other ships. The bathrooms on the Lido deck are right in front of the food lines. Who designed this???? You have to cut through the food lines to enter and leave the bathrooms. Huh? We had a Cove Balcony. Wasn't sure about this at first, but highly recommend it. They are on deck 2 and very close to the water. What a view! Although the ship is very big, the lounges and other areas seemed small. Even when not full they didn't fit well. Adult only section is a great idea but again the design seemed poor. Designed so that people were constantly cutting through to go from one side of the ship to the other. They call the section Serenity. It wasn't. It was very busy. I would think it needed more solitude that it had. Staff Without exception we have never had an issue with staff members on any cruise. Always have found that if you treat them right they will bend over backwards for you. This cruise was no exception. The staff was excellent. My only question is if CCL has reduced its staff size. Reason being, is that things were not getting done. In years past, dirty dishes on a table on the Lido deck were bussed in 60 seconds. Now it was not uncommon for dishes to sit on a table unbussed for 30 minutes or more. We even bussed our own tables. Same was true for the cabin. Joke always had been that if you got up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom your bed was made before you got back. Not any more. Cabin would sit for hours before servicing. And we heard this from many others on the ship so it wasn't our just our cabin steward. So all of this makes me wonder if CCL has cut back on staff. If they haven't then CCL has a serious problem. I have read on other reviews that people speculate that since CCL went to the prepaid gratuities, then the staff does not have the incentive to do more. I hope this is not the case. I want to give the staff the benefit of the doubt. food This is the worst part of my review. The food was very poor. Dining room, Lido deck it didn't matter. My guess is that it was the quality of the food. They served the cheapest of hamburger, cheapest steaks. We did eat in the specialty steak house and that was very good. So that showed that CCL can deliver good food, if they are willing to pay for better quality, Now CCL has never been gourmet. But in years past the food was always good at least and many times very good. Not any more. We found the food VERY poor. shore excursions We learned long ago not to book through the ship. Generally you can book the same or better excursions on your own for half the price. A little research on Cruise Critic can direct you to reputable persons to deal with. entertainment Again CCL has gone down hill. Overall the entertainment was OK. The comedy shows were VERY good. Now some will complain that they were crude or vulgar. That is a personal choice. We found them comparable to any comedy club. The other entertainment was fair at best CCL has the Carnival singers and dancers. OK they provide a variety show and do OK. we are not expecting Barbara Streisand but in years past they had "headliners" - tribute bands, opening acts, more "professional entertainment" not just their own singers and dancers every night. Now they have Carnival Legends which is essentially Karaoke winners perform one night. This is fine if you are on a cruise that has some talented people but if not then this could really suck. This again just seemed a way for CCL to provided something without paying for it. conclusion We have sailed CCL over a dozen times and have found that in recent years they have gone down hill. Yes the economy is tough, but CCL seems more interested in keeping its expenses down and its profit margin up. Cruising is still the best bang for the buck. CCL is a discount cruise line and they say you get what you pay for. This may be somewhat true, but Royal Caribbean (CCL's closest competitor) also offers discount cruising and prices and we have found provides a superior product for about the same price. We may sail CCL again but not for a while. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2011
I defended Carnival after our first cruise with them on the Freedom, but unfortunately we will likely not sail Carnival again after our recent experience on the Dream. I returned home deflated by poor service, lack of enforcement of ... Read More
I defended Carnival after our first cruise with them on the Freedom, but unfortunately we will likely not sail Carnival again after our recent experience on the Dream. I returned home deflated by poor service, lack of enforcement of policies and a deflated bank account. Let's look at each piece, including the redeeming parts of the cruise: 1) The service was nothing compared to our last experience on the Freedom. Since Carnival changed their tipping policy to be automatically billed to the room, the staff do not feel the need to work for it or even smile. I was so dissappointed. At the dine-in breakfast, we sat for 20 minutes before asking for a waiter to help us. It was another 5 before we received anyone, and the rest of the meal was more of the same. The only nice person throughout the cruise was the room stewardess. The rest were just grouchy. 2) The kids clubs were guided by staff with bad attitudes. They greet you with complaints, facial expressions and a disdain for the public. I was extremely unhappy that I chose this cruise on the basis of the esteemed 2-5 year old program only to find that it was a battle to encourage our daughter to go, due to their unpleasant demeanor. There was one nice girl that our daughter clung to and was happy to go to.... the rest were... grouchy. 3) The food was not as good as our last Carnival experience. Some was bland, there was less variety, and some fatty meats were included. Downer. The upside was the pizza station and the salad. 4) The embarkation/debarkation was as expected. No real complaints or praises here. 5) The shore excursions were great... and this was the one redeeming area of this cruise. Although we spent about $900 in shore excursions alone, they were worthwhile experiences packed with rich activities... and they were well-orchestrated. Tip: The Cave Expedition, Off Road 4x4 and River Boat (with an amazing rum punch) excursion in Belize was the best excursion I have had yet. 6) The adult entertainment options were OK. Comedy show= plus. Piano lounge= depends whose there (Dave's Piano Party is a splendid good time.) Bars/ barstaff in general = not too great, except one in particular. Our dining room bartender actually ignored us and had to be repremanded by the head waitress for continously forgetting us. 7) The value was not even that good. We ended up paying in the long run just a little shy of what we would have paid to go on Disney Cruise Line, which we have had two good experiences with. 8) The hotel experience pre-cruise was awful. I do not recommend the Hampton Inn Cocoa Beach. I am a HHonors member, and I will not ever stay there again. The carpet was sticky (I mean all over, in a disgusting way.) And the service was horrible... the night clerk was clueless and took one hour to check us into our room. The shuttle service we book was chaotic and overbooked... they couldn't fit us on the bus and we were asked to get off. Ugg. All in all, I had fun, but I feel it was a wasted experience. I am $6000 poorer and yet I didn't return bragging and raving. Sigh. The Carnival Dream is not so dreamy. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2011
Food is not up to par of other cruise lines. Main dining service and food quality were the biggest disappointments of the entire cruise, and were way below my expectations. I ate much better at other cruises I have taken. The dining menu ... Read More
Food is not up to par of other cruise lines. Main dining service and food quality were the biggest disappointments of the entire cruise, and were way below my expectations. I ate much better at other cruises I have taken. The dining menu is impressive, but the execution is very poor. Does anybody tastes the food before it is served to people? One time I even asked to talk to the chef, but he never showed up. He was probably ashamed for his own creations. On the very first day my pasta was supper al dente. It was basically undercooked. Alligator appetizer had no alligator meat in it, and stuffed mushrooms had very little mushrooms. These are just a few examples. One guest from the neighboring table suggested ordering a few extra dishes from the menu and picking the one that is eatable. It was very good suggestion. Water at the main dining room smelled very funky. Was it done on purpose, so people would order supper expensive bottled water instead? I changed my dining time to anytime dining. I was told that sometimes I have to wait a little and I was ok with it. However, "sometimes" doesn't meen every day, and "a little" doesn't mean 40 minutes to an 1.5 hour. For a few days we ended up eating at the buffet because of that. On Wednesday, the 23rd I complained to the supervisor and he said he would do me a "favor" and give me an immediate seating on the 3rd floor. On the next day he said it was only a favor and I should not ask for it every day. However, I told him that he did his job that day and it was not a favor. Some people don't mind waiting for 1.5 hours and some do. Everybody is different. I have two kids and they could not wait that long. When I complained to guest services, nothing was done. They just said they would look into it. Who's stupid idea was to shut down all elevators for a maintenance check at 10.30AM? Could it be done at 4AM? Why do I have to walk 10 floors up to get a breakfast? Entertainment at main theater was very poor. It looked more like high school performance. I have never seen empty seats and people leaving during a show on other cruses. Another suggestion -â€" please try to avoid to check in your luggage during embarkation. Luggage was delivered to my room at 8.30 PM. I couldn't participate in any activities because of my attire. My kid's medicine was also in my luggage. It endangered my son's health. I complained to the guests services twice and nothing was done. However, they delivered somebody else's luggage to my room at around 7PM!! what a shame! We love cruising, but Carnival "Dream" Permanently erased from our list. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2011
Embarkation: Embarkation was very smooth. We were checked in quickly. Our room was available yet - they close off the rooms until 1:30 pm. So we had a leisurely lunch and then stopped by the room. Debarkation was very smooth as well. ... Read More
Embarkation: Embarkation was very smooth. We were checked in quickly. Our room was available yet - they close off the rooms until 1:30 pm. So we had a leisurely lunch and then stopped by the room. Debarkation was very smooth as well. We chose the traditional method and was still off the ship by 8:30. Dining: Dining was the biggest disappointment of the entire cruise. Where to begin? First night it took over two hours to eat - we didn't get anything for 45 minutes, not even bread. It was bad. The rest of trip the speed picked up, but... one of the waiters could barely speak English - we would point to the menu and he would still get the order wrong. We didn't dare ask for additional food based on the speed of the first night - we'd be eating dinner and breakfast at the same sitting. Once the food did arrive it was mostly bad with okay by exception. I think the cruise ships have reached their size limits - they just cannot serve 4500 people with anything better than dorm food. Outside the dining room, the buffet food was even worse. In contrast, (except for the omelets) food that was prepared specifically for you was very good - that is the pasta bar, pizza, hamburgers. They were consistently the best meals we had. Back to omelets, they would overcook them until dark brown - I know they want to make sure the eggs are cooked but come on. We did not try the steakhouse, based on the quality of the rest of the dining, I didn't dare spend an extra $30 a person. Cabin: Cabin was great. Good size. Even with the twins pushed together there was still room to walk around the bed. Bath was good size with a toilet that could act flush more than one piece of toilet paper at a time. Seventh floor is the place to be - it is next to impossible to get an elevator, so be ready to climb stairs. Being in the middle really helped ease the pain. Minor point but they have just shampoo in the dispenser in the shower - they need have a combo shampoo & conditioner. Service: Besides the challenges of the dining room already mentioned, service was great. The room staff was good and all other encounters with ship's staff was very professional. Fitness & Recreation: Didn't use - Carnival charges extra for everything, so stuck to eating and drinking. Shore Excursions: Did shore excursions in St Thomas and St Martin - both worked out well. Our original choice in St Thomas was cancelled because of weather, we still had a great time going to Megan's Beach. We took a tour of St Martin and jus went to beach by the town - highly recommend. Based on a travel book's recommendation we ate lunch at Antoine's - it's a little further down the boardwalk, but worth the walk - delicious. Enrichment: Skipped the shows. Enjoy the various bands - good variety. Not enough activities for the sea days. Fortunately the weather was good - but could easily get really tough on a bad weather day. Value for Money: Average. Overall: We had a good time since we had good family time - but I would not go on this ship again. I expect more than just okay food for the money we paid. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2011
Why This Cruise? It was a multi-family cruise of veteran cruisers that had not been to the ports of call or on this particular Carnival ship. And it was very cheap...which relates the the last part of the review...The Ugly. The Good - ... Read More
Why This Cruise? It was a multi-family cruise of veteran cruisers that had not been to the ports of call or on this particular Carnival ship. And it was very cheap...which relates the the last part of the review...The Ugly. The Good - Surprisingly the food was way above expectations for Carnival. Admittedly it has been a few years since our last Carnival Cruise but the food has always been average at best. The food was so good that our plans to go to the specialty restaurant were negated. Every style fo food was great...from Tandoor to Sushi to Pizza. And the steaks at dinner were the best I've had on any ship..and that includes Specialty Restaurants. Cabins were fine even on the lower decks. And the staff was very nice. Unfortunately, this is where the good ends. The Bad - The ships design team needs to go back to school. This class of ships is the Boeing 757 of cruise ships...a cattle carrier. The most people in the smallest spaces. Good for the economics of the line but not for the passenger. The common rooms were smaller than on ships half this ones tonnage. And I mean the pools, casino, shops...everything. They crammed the Coffee Bar (not open until 7am), Martini Bar (only open 5-8pm) and the Cigar Bar in the same half moon circle with 6 total seats only found at the Cigar Bar. Another Example: If you were 6'2" and utilized the Treadmills or the Elipticals in the Spa you were bound to hit the ceiling with your head. If you were 5'9 . you had the floor to look at as the windows were below the threshold of the ceiling. The entertainment was below average at best and on several nights there were no shows at all. They have the Big Screen Pool TV but utilize it poorly with few if any afternoon movies and the morning was limited to CNN Headline and then the lame duo of Gumby and Jamie...better known as the cruise director and his sidekick. The common areas were very uncomfortable to be in as a result. The Ugly - Well here is where my nose goes in the air a bit and I apologize in advance for that. But cruising used to be a very special occasion. Marked by people wanting a moving hotel that whisked them away every evening to a new magical location and who would take the opportunity to make the evening meal a special occasion among new and old friends. Like I said...used to be. This cruise actually had a Theme that was unannounced...'Rif et Raf' for the French but here in the US...Riff-Raff. And I'm not referring the songs or bands for those in the music know. I'm referring to those who can't or won't follow any type of dress code, who insist on breaking the rules including smoking in non-smoking areas, who will step over you to get that croissant before you and then use the excuse ... "well that guy did it to me". This didn't happen just once...it was every day and night. So when did 2 wrongs make a right? Apparently on this cruise it did. So in conclusion. No more week before Thanksgiving and under $1000.00 per person cruises for this couple. As tempting as they are we prefer quality to quantity. So Celebrity and Oceania better welcome us back and we are now looking forward to our first Seabourn as well. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2011
Carnival Dream Review Before I went on this cruise I read the reviews and pretty much discounted the negative ones to being written by negative people. But since going on the cruise, I now believe those reviews to be accurate. ... Read More
Carnival Dream Review Before I went on this cruise I read the reviews and pretty much discounted the negative ones to being written by negative people. But since going on the cruise, I now believe those reviews to be accurate. I'm an optimistic, upbeat person, but this cruise really tried me. I wanted to come home after the second day and the longer we were on the ship the more depressed hubby and I got. The last few days of the cruise we spent sleeping between breakfast, lunch and dinner. Didn't want to venture out of our cabin. Perhaps you'll understand after you read about our experience. First, the things we liked -â€" the stateroom, the bed, the cabin steward, the spa, our dinner companions, the desserts, the wait staff, the lobby, the comedian, the Serenity Deck and luggage express. Now for what we didn't like. After we arrived at Orlando Airport, we had a 1 ½ hour wait for the Carnival transfer bus to leave for the ship. When we arrived at the cruise terminal, there were lines a mile long. We were given a notice while we waited in line stating that we would not be going to Nassau because of a weather advisory and would be refunded a little over $1 each for Nassau port charges. Yippee! (Later in the cruise they upped the amount to $20 each.) After we finally went through security, we had to wait in another huge line to check in. Once inside the ship, it was nearly impossible to get an elevator as they were being used for luggage delivery. All I wanted at that point was a drink, but couldn't even find a bar. The next morning we went to the buffet for breakfast and were startled by the long (understatement) line. I have always found Carnival's food to be wonderful, but not on this ship. I would give it a 3 on a 10 point scale. Very limited food offerings and it was the same every day. The coffee wasn't even drinkable -â€" very, very bitter. One morning I found a black hair on my plate. And once my husband even got curdled chocolate milk. Lunch was the same experience. When you read about the dining options on this cruise it looks like a lot, but the various dining venues, i.e. Mongolian Wok, are merely cafeteria lines. Dinner was usually the highlight of the day because we had such nice dinner companions (a couple from Michigan) and the wait staff was excellent. The food choices were OK, but very limited. Very small portions and the meat was tough. The presentation was very nice, though. We went to the shore excursion desk and purchased an excursion in St. Thomas. When we got back to our cabin I noticed they gave us the wrong excursion. I am sure it was a bait and switch because the person who sold it to us knew exactly which excursion we wanted. So we had to go back and were told the one we wanted was sold out. We were disappointed and got a refund. I had been to St. Thomas in 1985 and it was very beautiful then, but it looks nothing like it did -â€" shoddy with nothing but shop after shop. St. Maarten was more of the same. Lots and lots of walking to the boardwalk only to see junky shops. We were not impressed with either port. One of the things I like on cruises is the slots, but not on this ship. Everything is now done with your sail and sign card. There is no actual money involved. I used to like seeing and hearing the coins drop. And now if my balance fell under $10, I had to add another $10 to keep on playing. It wasn't fun -â€" another disappointment -- and I only played a few times. Other things that happened: One evening a cabin steward knocked on our door after we had gone to sleep only to deliver a bottle of water we didn't order and the charge appeared on our statement. The next day we had to go to Guest Services to have it removed. I did a lot of research before choosing our stateroom (including an interactive deck map), but somehow there were treadmills above us and we would hear thump, thump, thump, thump, thump, thump when the fitness center was open 6am-10pm. We complained about it and Carnival did give us a small refund. We had a spa stateroom which was supposed to be a smoke free area (which is why we booked it), however, nearly every time we went out on the balcony we could smell cigarette smoke, but couldn't tell where it was coming from. I told Guest Services, but nothing was done. Also, on three different days someone threw a dirty rag on our balcony. There were over 4,000 people on this ship and it isn't just my opinion, but many were extremely rude and pushy. One woman actually dived to get in front of me. Trying to get from point A to point B without someone ramming into you was impossible. We found it was too much of a hassle to venture outside our stateroom between the busy elevators, rude people and long lines EVERYWHERE. It was a very expensive way to get our sleep (between the thump thump thumps). We both lost weight on this cruise -- and we both returned home with a sore throat/cold. Not surprisingly, we don't plan to take another cruise. You can quote me on that! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2011
From our initial arrival, and even before entering the terminal, we realized that Carnival was operating on such a low budget that they lacked basic personnel to direct travelers. There were no signs directing us as to where to drop off ... Read More
From our initial arrival, and even before entering the terminal, we realized that Carnival was operating on such a low budget that they lacked basic personnel to direct travelers. There were no signs directing us as to where to drop off our luggage, nor were there any cruise personnel watching for this problem. After tracking down someone who 'looked' like they might be a crew member, they pointed us to a location way past two rows of buses where there were some luggage cages. After dropping off our luggage, we entered the terminal where our check-in was quick and uneventful. We had arrived early, so we were directed to sit in the lobby area and wait for announcements. Note that there was only one snack/soda machine available in the lobby, and the crew members that we asked didn't even know that it was there. Finally, we began to hear someone speaking over a microphone, but never did discover where this person was announcing from. As a result, when our 'number' was finally called, we had to track down a crew member again to ask where we were supposed to line up. Once we were in line, we were able to follow everyone else to the right places since there didn't seem to be any crew directing. After having our photos taken at a booth that we weren't sure whether was 'for sale' photos or i.d. photos, we followed the crowd to the gangplank which took us onto an exterior part of the ship where, once again, nobody was directing traffic. Finally, we found our way to the main lobby where there was a cluster of people trying to get around the annoying photographer setups. After having a buffet lunch on deck 10 at 'The Gathering' (which we had to find ourselves), and when the announcement came on that our staterooms were ready, we found our rooms and began to settle in. It took several hours before all of our luggage arrived to our room. Balcony Room Deck 7 Room Pros: Spacious Above average bathroom. Room Cons: Paper-thin walls Nightstands not designed to fit properly Room missing bathrobes (which we would be charged for if not returned) Room missing beach towels (which we would charged for if not returned) Balcony constantly flooded Very few non-cruise propaganda TV channels - and most of those in Spanish Telephone not connected and jack broken Overall Ship Decor: Why does Carnival continue to decorate in Gaudy bling and chrome in the 2000's? Everything on this ship is RED and chrome. The bars, the hallways, the dining rooms, the Encore theatre, etc. How about some classy decor? Eating venues: The Gathering - buffet Food quality - average Food temperature - cold Food selection - average Good dessert selections Warning - the floors in The Gathering are a lawsuit just waiting to happen. They are extremely slippery, and being that The Gathering is right between the 2 swimming pool areas, wet feet and slippery floors = major injury in the works. The Crimson & Scarlet Restaurants Decor - Gaudy red Menu - Identical - you are assigned to only one of these 2 restaurants Food quality - average Food temperature - barely warm Service - average How about a little variety, Carnival? This is the largest ship that we have cruised on so far, but it appears that all of the extra space was just used to add more staterooms. So what we get is more people + same amount of public areas = more crowded venues. Ports of Call The 4 ports of call on this cruise are typical of most cruise lines. However, don't expect to find any Carnival crew members directing anyone to where they should go. Once you are on land, you will never see a crew member. Practically all excursions are run by local companies, which is fine, but when you arrive to shore, you are accosted by so many different locals trying to get you into their cabs that you may end up on a 'tour' that isn't Carnival-approved. All of the signs look generic and very few have the 'Carnival' logo on them. Children: I did not take any children on board this cruise, but I will mention that even though there were not a lot of children on board, there didn't seem to be ANY supervision of them whatsoever. There are separate 'club' rooms for the different age groups, but more often than not, the kids were just running around the hallways and the club rooms were empty. In short, this was the most disorganized cruise of the 5 that I have taken. Carnival seems to be trying to minimize their employee base to only the bare minimum, so don't expect any outstanding assistance from anyone. If you are considering going on a cruise, and want the best experience, I recommend that you stay away from Carnival and pay the extra money for a top of the line cruise such as Disney. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2011
Our first cruise back in 2002 was the real dream. 4 night cruise with Carnival to the Bahamas that left me wanting to go on another cruise right away. The staff on that ship were literally falling over themselves trying to please us and ... Read More
Our first cruise back in 2002 was the real dream. 4 night cruise with Carnival to the Bahamas that left me wanting to go on another cruise right away. The staff on that ship were literally falling over themselves trying to please us and make sure that we had as good a time as possible. Skip to our October 2011 7 night cruise to the western Caribbean aboard the Carnival Dream. Boarding was simple, it took us all of about 10 minutes after we got through the terminal. The crew on this ship seemed to be put out by the fact that we were on "their" ship. The only truly friendly crew member was our room steward who always seemed to be there if needed. Our room was always clean but all of the cleaning carts were left in the hallways continuously and where in the way when two people were walking down the hall. The smells coming from this "new" ship are an assault to the nose. It smelled like skunks were living in the hallways. Trays of food from room service were left out in the hallways for hours (sometimes all day). We had open dining so never had the same waiter but the waiters we did have couldn't even remember our names for one meal. The food was bland, undercooked, and cool by the time we received it. During dinner crew members were interrupting trying to sell shots in souvenir glasses. ($8.97 each plus 15% tip). The gathering (buffet) served the same food everyday and quite often ran out of certain foods without being replaced. Most of the time only one side was open. Adults and kids alike were getting food and eating dressed in nothing more then bathing suits (some still dripping). No shoes, no shirts and yet the crew never said a word to them. The Pasta Restaurant was OK but was only open for lunch and there was a 20-45 minute wait for your food. The layout of this ship was thoughtless as far as accommodating the masses instead of the few. Having to walk through a smokey Two very small pools for a ship that holds 3200 passengers just wasn't using good judgement. On board activities are really lacking unless you just want to gamble and/or drink. Anyway, enough of my ranting, I could go on but I think you get my point. Oh yeah,,,if you have an on board credit, make sure you register it on the FIRST day, if you don't then Carnival WILL NOT honor it. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2011
My husband and I, our two sons (ages 11 & 13), and Grandma, decided to take a cruise. We had cruised on the Disney Magic to the Eastern Caribbean in 2009. To say we enjoyed that cruise would be an understatement, there were actual ... Read More
My husband and I, our two sons (ages 11 & 13), and Grandma, decided to take a cruise. We had cruised on the Disney Magic to the Eastern Caribbean in 2009. To say we enjoyed that cruise would be an understatement, there were actual tears when we had to debark off of that ship...and the kids were crying too! So when we decided to take another cruise in 2011, Disney was our first choice. A Western Caribbean on Disney is about $3000. Ouch! So I checked around, Carnival, who also leaves out of Port Canaveral, and has a Western Caribbean cruise, sells for around $2000. I read the reviews about Carnival, some bad, some good, but in the end it was my pocketbook who won out and I booked the trip through Carnival. Carnival's terminal is nothing to talk about, where as, Disney's is lovely, comfortable, and has cartoons playing in small areas for the kids. Both, take pictures as you board, but Disney's is in a well decorated room, Carnival's is in front of a green screen. The Carnival Dream is huge! We worked our way back to Deck 10 Pasta bar, as the rest of the buffet area was packed. We had a decent lunch. Compared to Disney, the food in both ships buffets is adequate...not much to talk about. Got to our room at 1:30, same layout as Disney's with a large queen bed, a pull-down twin, and a futon twin. The Carnival dream has more closet space, but the decor, was just plain ugly. The large window to look out of looked as if it was bolted a 100 years ago. Disney's Magic decor was rich, warm, and inviting. The Carnival Dream was garish, ugly, and looked like a Las Vegas whore decorated it. It was very confusing, you could not get your bearings. You always are asking someone, "is this the way too...". Disney's Magic deck plans I knew by the 2nd day. You could go on any deck to get from Bow to Stern. On both ships you are nickel and dimed. Both asking you to buy professional photos. On the Carnival its $29/photo, on the Magic you can choose a photo package from, I can't remember exactly but I think its $125/on up. Carnival's photo background looks like something from the Walmart photo center. Disney, you take a lot of photos with the Disney Characters. Both want to sell you water while in ports of call. Both have a restaurant you can pay extra to eat. Disney's Polo is $15/person and the food is 4 stars, Carnivals is $30/person and the food is 4 stars. On the Carnival Dream, smoking is allowed. If you are a non-smoker, it really takes away the fun, having to walk through a cloud of smoke. Carnival's Casino reeks, and I learned to avoid that area all together. The pools are pretty much the same on both ships, but Disney has a Adults only pool. My boys really liked the water-slide on the Carnival Dream. As for the kids programs, on the Disney Magic, my younger son had to be dragged out when I went to checked him out. Disney's kids programs are open till 2am, with no extra charges. Carnival Dream you can only check in the kids till 10 pm, after that it's almost $7/hr, and on some "party" nights it costs anywhere from $11-33.00 for after 10pm. My younger son "got bored" in the Carnival program. As for the ports of call, On the Carnival Dream western caribbean, all four ports had nothing to offer, just places to spend your money, selling the same items at each port. There was no cultural value at any of these. Carnival's private island at Mahogany Bay was beautiful. The shops laid out nicely, but it was a long walk to the beach...especially for our grandmother. You can take the $12 chair lift, it will save you the long walk. There was a place to buy lunch and drinks. At Disney's Castaway Cay, there is a tram to take you to the beach, plenty of lounge chairs, a BBQ buffet, all included in the cruise cost. At the end of the week, I was so bored on the Carnival Dream. I mean if your idea of fun is smoking, gambling, and getting stinking drunk..this is the cruise for you. But if you like good entertainment, to see a new movie, and enjoy a peaceful environment, you should go Disney. To put it plainly, if you like staying at the Days Inn, go Carnival. If you like staying at the Hilton, go Disney. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2011
this was and will be our only cruise with this company firstly let me start by saying the crew and staff were fantastic very helpful and polite the room stewardess was very good and the rooms very always clean the bar staff were ... Read More
this was and will be our only cruise with this company firstly let me start by saying the crew and staff were fantastic very helpful and polite the room stewardess was very good and the rooms very always clean the bar staff were also very polite and always seemed to be busy either serving or wiping down bar tops shelves etc we mostly used the Laani bar on deck 5 this cruise was absolutely full and boy did it show whenever you went for a buffet meal it seemed every passenger was wanting to eat at the same time as us (we often changed times to go to the buffet) but the queues were long the only place you could get tea/coffee was deck 10 we were on deck 2 so quite a trek for a drink the breakfast buffet served the same  everyday with little or no variation we had dinner 4 times in the scarlett lower lounge and the menu was limited but was OK the meals were not overly big but you could order another meal if you wanted again wait staff were very good we thought the entertainment was not very good unless you wanted to be drinking and running around like a lunatic we saw 2 shows in the encore theatre Dancing in the street which was very good and a country show which was very mediocre what spoiled the second show was towards the end the act as part of a song told the audience to stand up and be proud to be american while lots of them did lots kept sitting down and felt as if we shouldn't have been there uncomfortable moments (we then left) from there we went straight aft to the Burgundy lounge to see a so called comedian  he started by having a go at the Pakistanis then started on the Brits following up by bawling how great the yanks are again we walked out shore tours we had been to Cozumel in the past we saw a cruise liner moored near Senor Frogs so assumed wrongly this is where the Nightmare would tie up instead it was a taxi ride into town 7 dollars each way on the way off the boat you have to pass through duty free shops and 20 jewellery shops all recommended by Carnival also a bar Isla Rotan we got off the boat went through duty free shops and 20 jewellery shops and a bar recommended by carnival we asked about a taxi ride to the parrot park 10 dollars we said 4 of us 40 dollars we were told then 8 dollars each to enter park then 40 dollars back we went and did an independent tour for 100 dollars plus a tip for the guide you hire them to take you round the island take as long as you want (stand is just across the car park ) we passed the Parrot the monkey and i think it was flora and fauna parks after about 20 minutes these are 3 separate parks and cost 8 dollars each Belize we got off the boat passed 20 jewellery shops a bar and duty free shops all recommended by carnival we went to go outside the compound/jail and some of the locals were reaching in trying to get us through the bars wanting us to go on trips with them, back to the boat costa maya carnival recommended that we went to 20 jewellery shops a bar then through duty free this was the more amazing for the whole tour how they get away with it DOH we the victims are really taken for suckers 10 minutes ashore back to boat space Kennedy we booked this trip for the debarkation day because we didn't want to sit in the airport and remember our lovely holiday this we did as recommended by carnival on day 1 of the cruise as places would fill up very quickly. 1630 on the Friday note posted through cabin door trip cancelled through lack of interest we went to complain at customer service absolutely no interest from them didn't have time to book another trip so spent 8 hours sat in airport (really exciting) overall we think if you were not spending money to line the pockets of carnival they are not interested in you if they paid the staff real wages then you wouldn't have to pay tips Read Less
Sail Date: September 2011
This ship was a disappointment, it was a good vacation because I was with family but this was my second cruise with carnival and I do not feel that I would cruise on Carnival again. This is one of the new ships and as a customer you would ... Read More
This ship was a disappointment, it was a good vacation because I was with family but this was my second cruise with carnival and I do not feel that I would cruise on Carnival again. This is one of the new ships and as a customer you would not know that by the performances and the maintenance on the boat. WASH YOUR WINDOWS!! I am very disappointed where we are located for formal dinner, we never saw the shows and our servers would switch orders, and my husbands water was always empty. The music from the piano and singing stage on level 4 or 5 was extremely loud. Food from room service would stay outside of rooms way to long. I don't want to see someone's half eaten breakfast as I am returning to my room to get ready for the afternoon. Carnival is known as a family oriented cruise line but from the way Fun Dude would make jokes about children in the Family comedy hour you would not think so. The food was extremely better than the last carnival I went on, but the sushi bar wasn't as good, I want sushi that I choose not what they choose. Your pasta bar needs to be revamped, I shouldn't have to wait 15 minutes to get plain noodles. The woman who was up at the pasta bar (she was often in the formal dining crimson early seating) was extremely rude and should not talk to the guests. When we booked this cruise I made sure we would be able to get high chairs when we needed them, it would take the people in the gathering 15 minutes to find one and was irritated we would ask. The people working in the gathering never came up to our table for help, or offer refills I would see them gathered together and chatting it up. Drinks (the ones that are included with the cruise) should be available ANYTIME of the day, I would have liked to have the guava punch for lunch, why does it only have to be available at breakfast. Big disappointment, I love cruising and I am going to love cruising on other cruise lines from now on. The water slide were nice, and flowed smoothly. The person we had in charge of our room was great. The spa was nice, until they shut down the the Thalasso pool (that they rant and rave about, it was closed the last sea day for inspection). Room was nice, small but nice. Great for a first cruise because you have nothing to compare it to but if you have been on RCCL (Royal Caribbean) Don't waste your time or money, save up a little more and go on RCCL. I have never been on Norwegian but only heard good things (we are going to explore that cruiseline next). Read Less
Sail Date: September 2011
About a year ago I was on the Carnival Spirit & that ship was lovely. (Proof that I'm not anti-Carnival.) This ship was, in my opinion, very ugly & poorly designed. The maitre'd (a very friendly guy) relayed that ... Read More
About a year ago I was on the Carnival Spirit & that ship was lovely. (Proof that I'm not anti-Carnival.) This ship was, in my opinion, very ugly & poorly designed. The maitre'd (a very friendly guy) relayed that several months ago, Carnival changed their menu, corporate-wide, so this is not so much a review of the ship as of the cruise line. Shrimp cocktail is no longer available everyday, but you can get a fruit cocktail. The food on the ship was plentiful, but only fair really. (Quantity over quality.). One thing that's thankfully unchanged is their warm chocolate melting cake. I would probably hurt someone if this went away. Our cabin was disappointing as well. We are not "night people." I'm in bed every night by 10pm. Unfortunately, we could hear a nightclub from our cabin each night until 2am. Also,we were a party of 3 that got booked into a room with a ceiling pull-down bunk instead of a love seat that converts into a bed. Not sure who was supposed to climb up there since my coordination is bad due to a brain tumor, & the other people in my cabin were a 76 yo in a wheel-chair & someone who was right at the weight-limit for the bed. (Really the fault of our booking agent & not with the ship.) In the end, we opted to have the person who was right at the weight limit, sleep in the pull-down bunk. Especially after we were told that we were welcome to get off the ship if our cabin was unacceptable, that the ship was full & there was nothing they could do. Carnival really stepped up here. We got 30% off this cruise, & 20% off any future Carnival cruise.Not sure which unfortunate eventuality this was to make up for (maybe both), but I'll take it. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2011
Hello.. I am going to attempt to give you an honest, fair and balanced review of our experience on the Carnival Dream. First, we are a married couple in our late 50's traveling with friends and our 22 year old son. We love to ... Read More
Hello.. I am going to attempt to give you an honest, fair and balanced review of our experience on the Carnival Dream. First, we are a married couple in our late 50's traveling with friends and our 22 year old son. We love to cruise and have sailed on Carnival many times before as well as Royal Carri bean, Princess, Celebrity and Holland. THE GOOD: Quick and easy embark and debark. Very polite people at the pier. We used Omega Transportation from Orlando Airport to the ship. They were right on time and the driver Mino was very professional. We traveled with a party of six and the van was comfortable. Mino was a very safe driver. Our cabin was a Spa Cloud 9 Balcony on Deck 11 with private access to the spa. The spa area was very nice and the spa staff was very polite and friendly. My son and I used the nice showers in the spa area everyday to give my wife some space in the cabin so she could get ready. Steam/sauna and heated chair rooms were very relaxing and worth the money. The entertainment nightly shows were very good. Food- was pretty good at first and then slowly went downhill as the cruise progressed.The Chocolate Melting Cake was very good. Lobster was good as well as the sweet and sour shrimp. The Pasta Bar was good, The sandwich deli and hamburger grill also were very good. The Omelet maker named Anthony (from India) was very polite, happy and very good at making omelets. Carnival needs more employees like Anthony. THE BAD: The ship layout- what a choppy design. because the ships galley is in the middle, you must go up and back down a deck to get to where you are going. Ship Smells! OMG! It smells like rotten eggs and sulphur in the halls and stairways. Walking into the Gathering ( The Buffet) it smells like urine or a nursing home. This was everyday. I think the cleaning staff uses old dirty water when mopping the floors. Small Pools. There are two small pools for 3,000 plus passengers. Very un-inviting to say the least. It looked like the scene in the movie Titanic, with all the people in the water! Nothing to Do: I guess once you have been on RCCL Freedom Class ships it is very hard to step back. There just wasn't enough to do except drink, gamble and look at disgusting passengers. Very Rude Staff: This was the thing that really ruined our cruise vacation. The staff was very unhappy and rude. Even officers in the white uniforms were rude and unwilling to answer simple questions. Most of the staff had no information when you would ask for help or ask a simple question. Dining Room Staff was overwelmed: The poor waiter had no back-up help at dinner. The food was sometimes cold because he could not get it to our table fast enough. he would forget what we ordered. Get a bread basket was near impossible so we resorted to getting up and finding the basket ourselves. Fellow Passengers: OMG! If you like the WalMart crowd then this is the ship for you. We are not snobs in any way but this crowd ( for the most part) was your basic "trash". The scent of very bad body odors was everywhere. Very Over Crowded- Everywhere! Carnival has built the Dream at 110,000 Tons to accomodate more people. That's it. Very hard to find a quite place and when you did it was very hot because of the lack of shade. For some reason, the way they designed this ship it lacks shade. Ports of Call: Belize and Costa Maya are a waste of time. Cozumel and Roaten are nice. I highly recommend the Money Bar & Beach ( Cozumel) for good drinks and food close to the ship. Tabayana Beach ( Roaten) is awesome! Final Thoughts: You get what you pay for. Carnival has lowered the bar for cruising with this ship. It is a shame. If you are new to cruising then you will probably enjoy it since you have nothing to compare it to. If you have cruised on the other cruise lines, do not like bad odors, rude staff and overly crowded situations, then you may want to re-consider. Feel free to email me if you have any questions. Thanks. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2011
We literally just stepped off the boat. We cruised on the Dream Aug. 20-27th. This is our second cruise, our first was only 6 months ago on the Disney Dream. If you are cruising with children, you may want to read on... Day Before ... Read More
We literally just stepped off the boat. We cruised on the Dream Aug. 20-27th. This is our second cruise, our first was only 6 months ago on the Disney Dream. If you are cruising with children, you may want to read on... Day Before our cruise, stayed at the Radisson Resort at the Port. Accommodations were okay. We had a suite which was fine but our sleep number bed was broken. The shuttle to the port was easy enough. We used a Town Car through Mears to get from Airport to Hotel. Phil was our driver, we highly recommend this service. Phil arranged to pick us up after our cruise at well. He was wonderful and you should ask for him specifically. And, it was also less expensive for us to use his services than the shuttle bus. Save $20-30 and sit in a quiet, comfortable sedan instead of a loud bus! Embarkation: Arrived at the port around 11am. On board within 45 minutes from drop off. Overall pretty effortless. Once on board we ate lunch at the Gathering, Deck 10 Lido deck. It was very crowded up there. There are a couple sections to this, go all the way to the back which is less crowded. This is also where the pasta bar is located. We never tried it, it is only open during lunch hours. Our stateroom: Nice. Our cabin steward was never to be found our entire trip. Unlike our Disney trip, our cabin steward was there right away to introduce himself. No complaints though. Whoever he/she was, knew our schedule and our room was kept up nicely. We had a balcony stateroom which was nice. Our biggest complaints were, smoking and noise. Our neighbors smoked on their veranda's. We're nonsmokers so we didn't appreciate the cloud of cigarette smoke every time we went out. Second, the noise. Our room was across from the stewards equipment room. They seemed to like to go in there at around 4am to get vacuums and such out. And they weren't exactly quiet in doing so. The other part of the noise came from kids running rampant and overly loud neighbors who came back every evening around 2:30am, pretty loaded. It also seemed that everyone loved to slam their stateroom doors. Dining: We ate in the Crimson dining room at table 139. Rollondo from Panama, Oscar from Peru and Samuel from India served us. They were wonderful! Konstantyn (Constantine) was our Maitre D'. He too was wonderful. He loves crooner music and will serenade you most evenings. The food was so so. Pretty bland actually. The portions were plentiful but we compared it to Ol Country Buffet. Disney's food was much better. Their portions were smaller but the quality makes up for that. If our servers weren't as wonderful as they were, we would have skipped the dining room altogether. We were surprised by the number of cruisers who did not dress for dinner each night. Even on formal night we saw tank tops come in, however they were asked to leave immediately. The buffet at the Gathering and the grill foods were so-so. Nothing special. Ports: Getting off the ship was a breeze. We highly recommend excursions. Cozumel has enough to do at the port but most of the others do not. Especially Belize. Tendering can take 1/2 to a full hour so allow for that when planning. Costa Maya has a pool to use but it's at Senor Frogs so keep that in mind if your kids are really young. Fellow cruisers. Carnival has always carried the reputation as a floating frat house, party barge, etc. We had heard that they are trying to be more family friendly. We really tried to give them a fair chance. However, they didn't pull through. The "F-inheimer" was used all over the ship. There was a lot of drinking. Twice the pool was closed due to someone vomiting in it. Food is left all over! We stepped over plates getting on the elevators, tripped over glasses going up stairs, saw vomit all over the front of the ship.. You get the point. One day while walking to our room, we had two foreign gentlemen express their Anti-American sentiments to me and my child. We were just in the wrong place at the wrong time and they saw us and said something I cannot repeat. Carnival will be hearing about this soon, not that there is anything that could be done. Camp Carnival: Kids hated it. They do not offer much for the 8-10 year old group. Pools,slides: Reserving deck chairs was never an issue. They will take your stuff if it's left for longer than 30 minutes. We never had any issues with finding a spot. Port days were nicer. The pool was busiest around 2pm till 6pm. Evenings were usually not bad. Sea days, get there early because it becomes crowded with the party-goers. Buckets of beer and people will fill the pool fast. Also, slides and mini golf close at 6pm so get them in during the afternoon if that's what you want to do. Debarkation: AWFUL. We were out of our room by 7am, ate breakfast at the gathering and were supposed to be off by 8:40am. We were off after 10am. Our driver said he has never seen the Port in such chaos. Not sure what happened but we would say to get express debarkation. Some people like the party crowd. If that's you then this is your ship. If you are traveling with children and looking at what ship to take, try the DISNEY Dream. You may pay more at first but the rest of your cruise will not cost nearly as much as Carnivals (they nickel and dime you for everything!!) and you will have a much better, family orientated time. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2011
I think the first thing to say about the cruise that I just did on Carnival Dream is that the Dream is dead. I have cruised plenty and I think that the Carnival "FunShips" have really brought the idea of cruising down to a very ... Read More
I think the first thing to say about the cruise that I just did on Carnival Dream is that the Dream is dead. I have cruised plenty and I think that the Carnival "FunShips" have really brought the idea of cruising down to a very low level. So much so, that the "FunShips" anymore could almost be classed as the "TrailerTrashShips" or the "GhettoShips". All manner of skanky dress could be seen from the pool to the so called formal nights. The idea of wearing your pants down around your hips with your greasy underwear sticking out going into the main dining room for dinner is just appalling to me. Of course the Maitre d' did nothing to stop it. The food, which I had been told would be quite good, was not. I had taken a cruise on the Carnival Victory last year out of San Juan and that, WAS, the absolute low of cruise experiences for me. Freezer burn on the chocolate pie, bacon and sausages swimming in grease on the breakfast buffet, etc. So, when I went on the Dream, I thought that it being a newer ship, things would be a bit better. Sadly I was mistaken. The Captain's Dinner was a waste of food. The Prime Rib was tough and so unbelievably bland, I had two bites and sent it back. This unfortunately upset our waiter and it had no reflection on him at all. That poor man hustled is butt off every evening and so did the busboy. They had just too many guests to serve at once. Most items appeared at the table warm or cold as they would be brought from the galley right after ordering and then sit, covered, on the wait table for 15 to 20 minutes until served. We did treat ourselves to the "Chef's Table" and that was absolutely terrific. If you do do a Carnival cruise, sign up for it as soon as you get on board because it will be only good meal you get other than the Steak House. For a ship that holds over 3000 people, Carnival has seen fit to only put 2 small pools on board. You can never get in either of them and when you do, it's just a matter of standing up in the water and not being able to move. The 3 big main shows in the theatre were mediocre at best. The female lead singer had no lower register so when she went to the lower notes you couldn't hear her and when she had to hit the higher notes they were basically screamed out. The male lead was just as bad but he insisted on having the microphone so close to his mouth all you heard were the very loud "P" and "D" sounds when he sang. You could also hear him heavy breathing while he was dancing. The dancers were very heavy footed and you could hear them stomping across the stage which seemed to throw off the beat and rhythm of everyone else. The first show was a country and western themed show which was not good. The other two shows were geared to the African American audience, one of which was all Hip Hop and Break Dancing. The third was directed totally to the MoTown sounds. The layout of the Dream is very basic with very few small areas where one can sit and chat comfortably. On Deck 5, if you want to go from the front to the back of the ship you MUST walk through the centre of the Casino regardless of what you do. The sushi bar stank up the whole one side of the ship and was not pleasant to be around at all. All in all, it was not the best cruise I've ever taken however, it will be my last Carnival cruise. Carnival has lowered the bar beyond any chance of bring back the standard of a basic cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2011
Not a good cruise at all. There were a lot of fist fights. Two nights in a row someone had a fist fight outside our door. Every night some drunk made sure we were aware that they were finally going to bed at 0300. Security was non ... Read More
Not a good cruise at all. There were a lot of fist fights. Two nights in a row someone had a fist fight outside our door. Every night some drunk made sure we were aware that they were finally going to bed at 0300. Security was non existent. Some parents would not control there kids. I personally tried to tell some kids to leave the adults only pool. I was accosted and verbally abused by some trash. It was not all bad. The ports were nice and weather was fantastic. Both of which Carnival has no control over. Control over its guests. That is has and was absolutely not enforced. All in all a very bad experience. I will really think twice before cruising again with any cruise line. I will never cruise with Carnival again. We work too hard to earn our money. There are too many places that would ensure I have a good time. No need to waste precious vacation time. Trays of room service food was left in the hallway for hours. Pools were small and even the adults only area had kids in them. (which the ship could care less about) I could go on with the laundry. 4 operating washers and dryers on the whole ship. The others were broken. We used the onboard service and ended up with shrunk shirts and all whites a nice shade of grey. To get to the shows or anyplace forward, you were forced to go through the smoking area. Can't the smokers go on the fantail to indulge. Food was OK. Not even close to 3 stars. Not what you would expect. Oh well, as they say "There is always next year" Tim F and family (52, 50, 18 and 18) Read Less
Sail Date: August 2011
We arrived in Florida three days prior to our cruise vacation to spend time at the theme parks with our children and their friends (ages 17-21) and had a wonderful time. We rented a car for the 3 day time period and booked our shuttle ... Read More
We arrived in Florida three days prior to our cruise vacation to spend time at the theme parks with our children and their friends (ages 17-21) and had a wonderful time. We rented a car for the 3 day time period and booked our shuttle through Around the Clock "ATC" transportation. They provided great service and were half the price of Carnival for the shuttle service between the airport and port. We arrived at the cruise terminal and were on board and eating lunch within 30 minutes. The ship is beautiful, well decorated, and very clean. This was great and set the tone for the remainder of the cruise. I wish that were they case. We arrived at our rooms (3 total) at 1:30 only to find that our Premium Balcony stateroom was a standard balcony and our non smoking room as promised when we booked the cruise was a smoking room. My wife called the desk and we were told that there was an apparent error on our part as that is not how the room was originally booked. It took 3 days, an ozone machine, walls scrubbed twice, and curtains changed before the smell was eliminated. We also booked the rooms and payment was accepted knowing that the room arrangements were for my wife and I in one room, my 21 year old son and 18 year old friend in a room, and my 17 year old daughter and 19 year old nephew in the other remaining room so we could take advantage of the prior passenger discount that was recommended by the agent as our family had sailed with Carnival before. We were told on the ship that someone of age 25 or older was required in each room. The booking agent never said a word about this and had requested each person's age when booking ( I wonder how a couple under age 25 ever take an cruise with Carnival?). Needless to say we had to argue with a "Manager" to rectify the issue as they had booked 3 rooms knowing every one's age. Our cabin steward was incredible and we found him to be the only friendly Carnival employee during our trip. We serviced the room twice each day and went out of his way to correct the smoke smell in our room. The ship was very crowded and there were a lot of children on the ship which is expected but parents allowed them to run the hallways, yell and scream at will, and generally be very disrespectful to all. I was in line one evening for a slice of pizza and watched a teenage deviant and a pack of others loudly cuss out a couple after they told him and several of his friends they could not "cut" in line with other friends. The issue became so heated I had to tell the server that he should call for security. This should never be. What happened to respect and civility? Our dining experiences were the worst. Our waiter barely greeted us and couldn't even keep water glasses filled. We have always experienced waiters that knew your name and what you liked to drink (coffee, tea, milk, etc.), but not this team. Bread/Rolls were offered one time and asking for a 2nd piece seemed quite a task. Our appetizers and meals seldom all came to the table at the same time and we inadvertently had to wait for the remaining meals to be brought so everyone could eat together. Meals were very bland and small in portion size while desserts were good. The buffets were also very bland and had a much smaller variety than we are used too. It was always hard to find a clean table in the buffet area as there was a lack of help all the time. The new Mongolian BBQ and Pasta Bar were great but the lines were long. We chose pizza, hamburgers, and hot dogs over the buffet most of the time and ate in the dining room for breakfast as the buffet breakfast was terrible. Our greatest experience was at Chef's Art Steakhouse. While you pay and additional $30 per person plus gratuity it was well worth the money. The food and service were exceptional. We traveled to three ports. Nassau, Bahamas, St. Thomas, USVI, and St. Marten, NA. We chose to book excursions on St. Thomas and St. Maarten through the Excursion desk on board the ship. We booked a sail and snorkel excursion on St. Martin that was incredible. We also booked a beach excursion on St. Maarten that was very disappointing. We arrived at the beach only to find the shore line covered with seaweed 2 feet thick and 6 feet wide that you had to traverse prior to entering the water that was also full of the same seaweed which made swimming disgusting at best. I would think that Carnival would monitor all excursions that they sponsor and be aware of such concerns and not recommend such excursions but when we arrived back on the ship and questioned the excursion desk representative we were told that they could do nothing to right the situation (Pictures and video were provided). The on board entertainment was good and the comedians were great (the best we have experienced). If you aren't into the crowd type poolside stuff during the day or a gambler there is little else to do on the ship. There are only two small pools on the ship and they are incredibly overcrowded and the water was very cloudy at best. There should be an adults only pool in the Serenity area. So the bottom line is this. Carnival got us on the ship fast, got us off the ship faster, and treated us like they didn't care. We have sailed with Carnival four times and will never be back. We are so shocked and disappointed that we are not sure we will ever take another cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2011
changed us from western to eastern 3 day before we left. BUMMER. TOOOOO many people. pools are soooooo small, they are a joke. personally i don't do public pools so that didn't matter to me. but they should be embarrassed by ... Read More
changed us from western to eastern 3 day before we left. BUMMER. TOOOOO many people. pools are soooooo small, they are a joke. personally i don't do public pools so that didn't matter to me. but they should be embarrassed by them. don't book under the lido deck. we were 9th floor balcony under it and could not sleep one night for the noise of them cleaning the kitchen area. i'm not exaggerating. they actually came to my room at 4:00 am to see what we were hearing. gave all three cabins of us 30% of our fare back. that was nice but didn't make our trip any more enjoyable. buffet food not good. sandwich bar was very good. hot dogs and burgers were good. dining food o.k. servers were GREAT. very poorly designed ship compare to others we have been on. no big promenade deck. R.C. Adventure had a nice one. all three balconies opened to make one big one. NICE! shows just ok. don't book trips off ship. many people just outside ship waiting to take you wherever you want for much much less. or book online yourself. save a lot. staff was very nice but i just wouldn't do that ship again. didn't really enjoy it like the others. room temp NOT very cool but livable. we put cokes in our suitcase instead of carry on and they didn't remove them. DO SELF ASSIST. off ship and out of parking lot by 7:00 am. less than 30 min. don't wait till they call your floor. just go when they call the first floor. we were 9th but went when they called 1st. no lines at elevator or anywhere. oh yea terrible elevators. SLOW. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2011
I took this cruise to celebrate my 50th birthday with my family. I had the chance to take another CArnival cruise on the West Coast and we loved it. At that time we went to Cabo,Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta and the service was outstanding ... Read More
I took this cruise to celebrate my 50th birthday with my family. I had the chance to take another CArnival cruise on the West Coast and we loved it. At that time we went to Cabo,Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta and the service was outstanding so I thought the Dream could offer something at least similar to that. NOT AT ALL!!! The restaurant service was awful,housekeeping kept my kids wondering wah type of animal had they tried to create with the towels, long lines for the buffet which had parts closed all the times increasing the traffic. Even the Waterworks were closed early(around 5:45pm),I guess because they did not have enough people for the restaurants... The only excursion we did not book in advance was in Costa MAya but we went to it when wee arrived. The attendant at the port(from Carnival) was a woman from SOuth Africa who seemed to hate the fact she was there,very unfriendly to say the least, and like most people on the ship just doing the minimum necessary. I already wrote to CArnival about my experience and how I would have to think twice before booking any cruises with them again. I heard great things about the Allure from Royal Caribbean. I think I'll try that next year. Very silly for Carnival. Having a great beautiful ship and a horrible service. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2011
We sailed on the Carnival Dream July 30th- August 6th. Cabin: Our room was a cove balcony, which I really enjoyed. We were close enough to the water to see flying fish every day and we had the added bonus of seeing dolphins on one ... Read More
We sailed on the Carnival Dream July 30th- August 6th. Cabin: Our room was a cove balcony, which I really enjoyed. We were close enough to the water to see flying fish every day and we had the added bonus of seeing dolphins on one day as well! The cabin was roomy enough for the two of us and had plenty of storage. We enjoyed being on deck 2 so that we could walk up one flight of stairs to dinner or down one flight of stairs when in port and not have to wait on the elevators. We did not notice any smells where we were located. Dining room: Service the first night was not good at all. We had the headwaiter and he seemed very displeased. I don't know what was going on, but he was none to happy to take our order. We were on time and dressed for dinner, so it wasn't us. The only words he spoke to us were "What do you want?" Luckily, we were moved to a differnt table the next night (as we had requested a 2 person table and had gotten it) with our waiter now being Soupi. He was wonderful! We could not have asked for a nicer more competent guy. The food was ok, nothing amazing but not bad either. Just average. Chef's Art Steakhouse: Having eaten at the specialty steakhouses on the Carnival Liberty and Royal Caribbean's Enchantmnet of the Seas I was looking forward to Chef's Art. Disappointing is the word I would use to describe this "steakhouse." It is located on deck 12 directly behind the "whale tail" which I assume is what caused our table and seats to vibrate the entire 2 hours of dinner. Also interesting was the fact that the ship's designer thought it would be a good idea to place the jogging track around the steakhouse. Nothing cried upscale dining more than views of sweaty, hairy, shirtless gentlemen in short-shorts bouncing around outside as we ate our lobster bisque. To add to this, the window washer appeared right at sunset and began hosing down the windows. His silhouette was beautiful in the setting sun. I guess it would have been too much to expect they wash the windows at some time other than dinner hours. The food other than the steak was pretty good, but our steaks were both undercooked. Mine was supposed to be medium, but was cold and dark red in the center. When they tried to correct this, they ended up burning the outside of the steak while the inside was medium on one side but still medium rare on the other. Our meal was not worth the $30.00pp upcharge. Pasta Bar: I think this was a good place to eat, we just made a poor choice by ordering the lasagna. DO NOT ORDER THE LASAGNA AT THE PASTA BAR! When it arrived, it looked delicious with cheese melting on top of a generous portion. However, once I cut into it I was disgusted. The meat in the lasagna was the pot roast that was left over from the night before in the dining room. There was also spinach (which was fine with me) and some type of orange overcooked goop which I can only assume was a relative of the squash. The pot roast had not been shredded or incorporated into a sauce, it was just two slabs of pot roast for the layer that should have been meat sauce. I am not a particularly picky eater, but I had to push this aside and just have the salad and bread. That was the most unappetizing dish I have seen. Cruise Director and Team: It is one thing to be fun-loving and spirited, but another to be immature. The cruise team seemed to be more interested in flirting around with one another than bringing the passenegers together. I got the feeling that we passengers were the butt of some great joke that only the team understood. Overall Management: Our cruise was redirected due to Tropical Storm Emily. I appreciate the "safety first" approach, but was surprised by the manner in which everything was handled. First of all, the announcement was made during the middle of the wine tasting we had purchased. The poor sommelier lost control of the room and hurried through the remainder of the tasting just to get finished. After paying $15.00pp for the tasting, I was frustrated that it was ruined. There was no real reason to announce the change of itenerary at that time since there were no shore excursions ready for us to purchase for the new ports. It was hours before these were ready, so what their lack of planning did was ruin a wine tasting for a great number of passengers and frustrate other passengers who now had no shore excursions and were helpless to do anything about it. The folks at the shore excursion desk were quite rude. Naturally, a line formed there as soon as the port changes were announced. It is not hard to do the math that on a ship the size of the Dream where suddenly no one has any excursions or plans for our remaining 2 ports (there were only 3 ports on the whole cruise, the rest were days at sea) that good excursions will go fast. The shore excursion folks wanted us to just go about our business and when they announced that excursions were ready we could book from our TVs in our staterooms. Our concern was that the system would freeze up with so many people on it at once, or that we'd do something wrong having never used it before and wind up with nothing. It was already a difficult pill to swallow that our Nassau, St Thomas, and St Martin cruise had turned into a Nassau, Grand Turk, and Freeport cruise, so a little forethought on how this would be announced and handled would have gone a long way in appeasing passengers. Would it not make more sense to have things lined up and then make the announcement? The funny part was when one of the workers at the Guest Services desk assumed the attitude that passengers should just get over it, after all, SHE had had plans at one of those ports too that were now ruined. Really? Well, maybe she can do what she was going to do next week when she gets the chance to go there again, but for many of us it will be years before we can go on another cruise. There seemed to be a whole disconnect with the idea of customer service. The cruise line did nothing, did not offer a discount on a future cruise, an on-board credit, or even a free drink to show any good faith. The fellow passengers I spoke with agreed that we had paid far too much for basically a 7 night Bahamas cruise. Kids: I expect to see kids running, playing, and squealing on the water slides, at the pools, on the putt putt course, or near Camp Carnival. I don't expect to see wet kids in swim suits running barefoot back and forth 3 times in less than 2 minutes through the dining room while I am having dinner. I don't expect to be woken up by a group of 10 year olds at 3:00 a.m. as they run and talk in the hallways outside my stateroom. This happened on more than one occasion. I also don't expect to see kids, not teens but KIDS, at the adults only events. It was hard to enjoy the adult comedy show, which focused on oral sex, the joys of breasts, and liberal use of the f-word with a 4th grader seated beside me. As I mentioned earlier, I was glad to be on deck 2 so I wouldn't have to wait on the elevators. The kids greatly enjoyed riding up and down on these for the fun of it, pushing every button along the way. If you want to go on vacation and turn your kids loose while you do your own thing, the Carnival Dream is the ship for you. I would not sail on the Dream again. It was not the cruise for me. I did enjoy the cove balcony. If you choose to sail on the Dream, I would say that you should book one of those rooms, but overall I would say you should not to sail on the Carnival Dream. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2011
Embarkcation process went smoothly as everyone stated. The family came in 1 day early and stayed at Country Inn and Suites in Cape Canaveral and the stay was very pleasant.OK now our dream beginsWhen boarding the ship there was no one ... Read More
Embarkcation process went smoothly as everyone stated. The family came in 1 day early and stayed at Country Inn and Suites in Cape Canaveral and the stay was very pleasant.OK now our dream beginsWhen boarding the ship there was no one greeting the guests, you were left to figure out where to go next, I feel that would be tough on first time cruisers, which we had 4 with our group.We headed to Deck 10 (Lido deck)to the Gathering for lunch that was overwhelming, long lines, DH had to sit at empty table while we were in line for food, food was OK nothing to brag about.Room was ready by 1:30 received luggage in a reasonable about of time. Never meet the room steward but he did an excellent job on keeping our room clean and staffed with clean towels.After changing into our swimwear we headed off to the pool, another challenge no seats and small pool for a ship of 4,000 people. Oh. now the sail away party what a BIG disappointment, possibly the worse one ever.We ate in the main dining room 6 out or 7 nights, we had 14 people at our table now Anthony was our headwaiter and did a fine job, but his assistant sucked, the head matrid never once came to our table, until I asked for him to complain about the amount of time it took to serve us. A minimum of 2 hours for dinner, food was only warm and getting a drink was almost impossible, we were on the upper level of the Scarlet Dining Room and the kitchen is on the 3rd level and the food had to be bought up from the 3rd level on the escalator along with anything you wanted to drink, it took forever, We enjoyed the shows and the comedy shows we had no complaints, the only problem is the saving of seats, at the pool and at the Encore theater, the activities need some help, the fun days at sea where not fun, very little to dounless you like playing Bingo all the time at $20 a game. Oh yeah the serenity deck I think you needed to be there in the middle of the night to get a clam shell or a hammock because there NEVER was one available, also there is no pool for the adults, which there should be.Disembarking was done by zones and it was very very slow took us until 10:30amto get off the ship.Overall not a great cruise, too many people, to large of a ship. For the sizeof the ship they don't have alot to offer, but we had a great time with ourfamily, we will never cruise the Carnival Dream as a couple, Forgot one thing the Lani Deck (deck 5) was very nice had 4 hot tubs and plenty of tables and chairs in the shade and plenty of chaise lounges in the sun and a complete walk around deck 2.5 times is 1 mile, that's where they hadthe BBQ on sea days and it was pretty good. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2011
POSITIVES 1) Boarding and unloading process was perfect 2) The shows and activities were great. 3) The crew was friendly but very busy. 4) The ship rides quiet and beautiful. She was smooth in 7 to 10 foot seas. 5) The room ... Read More
POSITIVES 1) Boarding and unloading process was perfect 2) The shows and activities were great. 3) The crew was friendly but very busy. 4) The ship rides quiet and beautiful. She was smooth in 7 to 10 foot seas. 5) The room was huge (6M category) and the extra bathtub was a big help getting ready for dinner. 6) Do not use ship excursions. Dennis Perez in Belize (Explore Belize Caves)is the best excursion for price and experience. No cattle buses here!!!!!! Use Juan Carlos in Roatan (Islandertours.com) for all Roatan excursions. NEGATIVES 1) Had unauthorized employee enter our room when wife was in bathtub. Official written complaint was submitted. Security investigated and employee was disciplined removing him from guest areas for the cruise. 2) Movie, Alvin and the Chipmunks, Chip Wrecked, was being filmed constantly crowding various leisure areas of ship and docking area. Pools were restricted from use during filming with both pool areas being restricted simultaneously. Not as much fun as you might think when you are on vacation with this ship being crowded in the first place. 3) Food service was terrible for early dining, Table 463. Service was worse farther from the kitchen. Food was cold. No waiter on 1st night. Additional service help was needed during the entire cruise. Waiter and staff had no time to be sociable and the overall service suffered with drinks never refilled or wine poured. Did not get wine till main course started because they were very busy. Waitress was chastized for talking with us during dinner service. 4) 3 out 4 melting cakes I ordered were just batter. Everyone disregarded complaint including waiter and assistant Maitre D. It just appeared food and beverage service was lacking due to staffing and poor teamwork skills. 5) Costa Maya was over crowded because the Valor and Legend were diverted from Belize to Cost Maya on the same day we docked. Two mega ships and 1 moderate size were to much for this port tourism and guest comfort. Not so much fun being surrounded by waves of people after being on a crowded ship and a full blown movie set. 6) Picture takers and sets were everywhere on Deck 5 crowding and blocking passage ways every single night. This was ridiculous. I paid for a cruise, not a massive photo set. This combined with the movie set made this cruise very disappointing. Carnival needs to recognize that consistently taking up ship space and gangways for photographers is tacky, unprofessional and downright irritating. The photography experience has become overwelming. 7) Lines for Lanai Bar-B-Que extended from midships to just before the stern with cold hamburgers and hotdogs. 45 minute wait for cold food is unacceptable. 8) I must say again that the food, food service, wait lines, wait staff was simply terrible. Even the Maitre D never stopped by our table. Out waiter worked hard but could never catch up considering he was serving 4 tables with 20 people. Even the other waiters never assisted anyone but their own guests. We cruise for the food and relaxation. Unfortunately we got neither. 9) The smell was there on the Riviera Deck and it was midships. We recommend avoiding Carnival Cruise Lines until they start responding to guest complaints and concerns. They appear to think they are exceeding guest expectations but they are not. Avoid them until they start feeling it in the pocket. There actions towards Belize is proof they are strong arming guests and countries and have idea of how their actions impact on guest relations 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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