15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
This was a family trip. Six siblings on my husband's side and their spouses/significant others cruised together. Most of us were in our 50s and 60s. We all converged on the Holiday Inn West Bank from various places in the USA on ... Read More
This was a family trip. Six siblings on my husband's side and their spouses/significant others cruised together. Most of us were in our 50s and 60s. We all converged on the Holiday Inn West Bank from various places in the USA on Saturday, where we spent the night. We had a "stay and cruise" package - we could park our vehicles in their lot for the length of the cruise for free, one night's lodging, and free breakfast on the morning of departure. It made a lot of financial sense to do it this way rather than pay $16/day per vehicle in the Port of New Orleans parking garage. (By the way, I highly recommend the Holiday Inn - West Bank - but not the attached restaurant - but that's another review for another board). Embarkation on Sunday, Feb. 21st was easy - the longest wait we encountered was standing outside after arriving at the port prior to our assigned boarding time, and that was not Carnival's fault - we were early. Our cabin (balcony cabin on deck 9 - mid ship) was roomier than we expected. There was ample drawer and closet space (3 closets) for us to unpack our week's worth of clothing. The cabin had a couch in it as well as a mini refrigerator. The balcony was small - just large enough for two chairs and a tiny table between them - but it was plenty big for us. The cabin was not quiet by any stretch of the imagination. While we could not hear our neighbors on either side of us, the pool deck was right above us and we heard chairs scooting on the deck almost constantly during the day and up until about 11 p.m. It did not bother me very much, but it did bother my husband. However, the location on deck 9 was perfect for running up one flight of stairs to the "Gathering" on the Lido Deck - coffee and tea (and frozen yogurt and soft serve) were available 24/7. The only complaint I had about the cleanliness of our cabin was the persistent strong smell of urine in the bathroom. Food: Food on the Lido deck was nothing to write home about - and that's putting it kindly. The buffet was on deck 10 (Lido deck). I got fried chicken that was literally not cooked in the middle on one occasion. The crust was brown and crunchy but the middle was raw. The only explanation I can think of was that they cooked it before it completely thawed. This was not an isolated incident. My brother-in-law got similarly undercooked fried chicken on another day at lunchtime. I found the sweet rolls on the breakfast buffet to be stale, the eggs had a strange taste - a little fishy - and they were cold, as were the pancakes and french toast. We ate most breakfasts and all dinners in the dining room. They served the same sweet rolls, but they were fresh, and the food was hot and very tasty. One word of advice -- do NOT order the meatloaf for dinner unless you really enjoyed the meatloaf served in the cafeteria of the Chicago public elementary schools in the '60s. The meatloaf was the only disappointment we had in the dining room. Service was wonderful - Vladimir and Michael were attentive and responsive. There are photographers that take pictures during dinner - every night. Most were polite and friendly. However, one photographer in particular was downright rude and walked away when one of my sisters-in-law kiddingly said "aw, you wanna take my picture again?" By the way, the photographs are something like $14 apiece to purchase. On the last evening, they lower the price to $2.95 so it may behoove you to wait before purchasing a pictures. However, I tried to purchase the embarkation photo on the last night and was charged the full $14+. I did not go back down to question it because of the crowds. They'd sell lots more if they reasonably priced the pictures. They just throw away or recycle everything that was not purchased. Entertainment: I can't really rate this fairly because the only "show" we attended was the country music show on the first night - which was very good. During the day, the activities really did not appeal to us. However, I realize you can't please everyone. The gentle rocking of the ship was incredibly relaxing to us. Don't expect to get an elevator right away at any time anywhere on the ship. There are lots of elevators, but there are 3,500+ people using them. We used the stairs a LOT. The casino reeked of smoke, as did the elevator lobby outside the casino area. Shore Excursions: We did not book any shore excursions. Many of them involved scuba or snorkeling - which we cannot do for health reasons. Others involved cave tubing, ATV riding, or long rides to Mayan ruins. However, I can talk about the tourist areas in the ports. The Ports: Roatan, Honduras: In the gangplank area, Carnival had a table set up with overpriced bottled water for purchase prior to getting off the ship. They probably made a lot of money there. Nice tourist area - no bargains, but the area is Carnival owned and therefore safe and well maintained. Vendors did not push their wares on us. There is a beach (also owned by Carnival) that you can walk to on a paved trail or take the "Magic flying chairs" (really a ski lift). We took the "magic flying chairs". We enjoyed the ride and the scenery on the way over to the beach. The beach was crowded, but not obnoxiously so. A cruise ship containing 3500 people just docked - many of whom did not book shore excursions - of course it would be crowded. There were refreshments (bars) on the beach. Everything was nicely maintained and tasteful in our opinion. We did walk out on the wooden pier where we got a really nice view of our cruise ship. It was hot the day we were on Roatan - and the humidity was 92%. We took the "magic flying chairs" back to the dock and boarded the ship when, in spite of having plenty of bottled water, we got so hot we felt nauseous - (again, not Carnival's fault). Belize: The ship docked miles out from land and we had to take a tender boat to get to shore. Since we had not booked any shore excursions, we waited until later in the morning to get off the ship. The process was well organized - a Carnival employee put a sticker with a number on it on each of our shirts, then we walked down three flights of stairs to deck zero where we boarded the tender. We sat on the top level of the tender and really enjoyed the ride. The boat goes FAST, but the trip takes 20 - 30 minutes from ship to shore. The tourist area in Belize was right outside Belize City. It was fenced and gated - probably because of the high level of crime in Belize City. The shops were the same as in Roatan -- Diamonds International, etc. We did find one small open air shop that sold items made in Belize. These items were very affordable and I picked up a few small souvenirs as gifts. The weather had cooled to almost sweater weather. We spent about 2 hours on shore before boarding the tender once again for our trip back to the ship. Again, lots of fun. Cozumel: Cozumel was probably the nicest port we visited. The water was gorgeous with varying shades of blue and aqua. In the tourist port area, there were quite a few shops. Again, lots of the same-ol, same-ol, but also some truly authentic Mexican shops. The sales people were a bit more aggressive in Cozumel than Roatan or Belize, but not obnoxiously so. The area was not fenced or gated like Belize. In fact, I walked out of the port area and up and down the street a bit. There is a fake beach in the port tourist area - meaning an area that in essence was a large sandbox containing a massage hut, a bar, and lots of lounge chairs. It was not really a beach at all. There was a cement retaining wall right where the land met the water, and then some rocks on the other side of the wall. Then it dropped off into the deep water of the port area. The sand never touched the water -- it was bordered by paths on three sides and the retaining wall on the fourth. That's what I mean by a fake beach. Again, we didn't book any shore excursions - although this time I TRIED to book the photographic sightseeing tour... however, it was cancelled because I was the only one who wanted to go. After getting back on the ship we sat on our balcony. My husband said "I think I just saw a turtle! - but he just went back under." I ran into the cabin and got my camera and his binoculars. About 15 minutes later, the turtle resurfaced. From the 9th deck, it looked like a crumpled up brown paper bag - but the telephoto lens and binoculars proved otherwise. It was a sea turtle. An honest to goodness wild sea turtle. Of course I photographed it. Our last day on board was a sea day. We arrived in New Orleans around 7 a.m. on Sunday, the 28th. Carnival had disembarkation well organized - IN THEORY. In reality, the first delay was caused by customs and homeland security - no clue what happened there... and the bigger delay happened because many of the passengers did not cooperate and would not follow clear instructions. Rather than wait for their deck to be called, many went on down to deck 3 to disembark - effectively delaying the rest of us. I have to say disembarkation was the biggest nightmare of the whole trip due to non-compliant passengers. It took roughly three hours to get through the long lines and off the ship. Customs was a breeze. However we were shocked when a taxi driver charged us $48 to go 3 1/2 miles to the Holiday Inn across the river in Gretna (the hotel was actually visible from the ship). Pros: Embarkation was easy Ship was clean for the most part Service and food in the dining room was very good for the most part The rocking of the ship was incredibly relaxing Loved being at sea Loved walking around and exploring the ship while at sea Loved the tender ride from ship to port in Belize Loved having a balcony Cons: While our cabin bathroom looked clean, the area around the toilet consistently smelled of urine Food on the Lido deck was substandard, cold, stale and fried chicken was very undercooked Would have liked to have seen more variety of activities during the day on sea days Debarkation was a nightmare due to passengers not following clear instructions Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
I hadn't cruised Carnival for 6 years. I think their older ships were hard to navigate, plus kind of neon gaudy. Also, the 7 night and shorter cruises have too many kids and drinking young adults. This time I went with a friend, there ... Read More
I hadn't cruised Carnival for 6 years. I think their older ships were hard to navigate, plus kind of neon gaudy. Also, the 7 night and shorter cruises have too many kids and drinking young adults. This time I went with a friend, there were 4 of us who met for a girls trip. However, I thought probably this longer Journeys cruise, being a one way from San Juan to NOLA, would have older passengers. It did! Kids or drunks weren't an issue at all! The service was very good! We had early dining, and a great wait staff! Our cabin steward was efficient, but not overly friendly. The food. Buffet was mediocre. The eggs were powdered and awful. Until I asked for fresh eggs, or had them use fresh eggs for an omelet. The MDR food was much better. The steaks were very good, chicken was okay. I needed gluten free, and they were very good about making it for me. The pasta, pizza, and sandwich weren't all that good though. Plus, they never had any gluten free desserts in the buffet! I did have soft ice cream or frozen yogurt, which was very good. The gluten free chocolate melting cake they made in the MDR was excellent! We went to an afternoon tea, and I was very surprised they had nothing gluten free for snacks, I had just tea! We didn't book any shore excursions from the ship. The entertainment was good to not so good. I didn't think the comedians we saw were that funny. One show was outstanding, Mark Preston of The Lettermen. Too bad they didn't better describe his show in the daily, as we weren't going to it, until someone told us how good it was. The western show was also good. Plus we really enjoyed the break dancers, they were very good! Embarkation and disembarkation were easy and good. Carnival isn't my first choice, but I would consider them again. BTW, this was my 40+ cruise, so I'm not a newbie! However, these are just my observations and opinion! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
I have been on the Carnival Dream two times. My 3rd time will be December 2017 :) Obviously I enjoy it for me to keep going back. People complain about the food but I like. How many times do you get the chance to have 3 course meals for 7 ... Read More
I have been on the Carnival Dream two times. My 3rd time will be December 2017 :) Obviously I enjoy it for me to keep going back. People complain about the food but I like. How many times do you get the chance to have 3 course meals for 7 straight days? Or unlimited pizza and ice cream at 11pm. We've pretty much did everything on the Ship so this 3rd time we will just relax a lot more and spend less lol My favorite part is walking at night when there is a cool fresh breeze. The adult serenity fills up quick so go early to claim your spot. we only did room service once. I got shrimp and my wife got wings. We weren't really impressed but that didn't ruin my trip. Don't forget the pasta bar which is located on the top section of the buffet. This year we are taking our Yeti Cups to fill them up with lemonade/water since the cups they offer are small. We always get the Cove balcony because it is more private and closer to the water. During some nights, the waves were so strong and high. Sounds scary but it was fun to watch. I do recommend this cruise 100%. I havent had one single bad experience yet (knocks on wood) so I hope this final cruise on the dream goes just as smooth. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
This was our 3rd carnival cruise. Although I consider the 1st 2 overall better experiences, the dream was still a lot of fun and would do it again in a heartbeat. As usual the food was great, the port experiences were great, the activities ... Read More
This was our 3rd carnival cruise. Although I consider the 1st 2 overall better experiences, the dream was still a lot of fun and would do it again in a heartbeat. As usual the food was great, the port experiences were great, the activities and staff were also mostly great. The cruise director Jase was definitely the best weve had. Only have a couple of gripes. The room steward was the worst weve had. We hardly ever saw him or talked to him. In the past the room steward would always go out of their way to talk and always remembered our names which means a lot to me. we only got towel animals a couple times and he just didn't seem to be very thorough with our room. I never realized how much the room steward add to the cruise experience...until we got a crumby one. The dining room staff on the dream don't seem as organized and as good. Every night they would bring out something wrong or forget it all together. And one more gripe on carnival in general....it seemed like every time I wanted to go get a snack from the buffet it was closed. This got really frustrating. Besides these couple of things though we had a wonderful vacation and I feel like we got our moneys worth as I always do. wed go carnival again in the future. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
This was my family's third cruise on CCL. The first two were on the Conquest. I am not a very social person, so I was a little concerned about this ship holding 3600 passengers. I have read many people's reviews that claimed ... Read More
This was my family's third cruise on CCL. The first two were on the Conquest. I am not a very social person, so I was a little concerned about this ship holding 3600 passengers. I have read many people's reviews that claimed there was not enough room on this boat, etc... but I felt like there was plenty of space. Yes, there were times when it is crowded - but nothing more than I would expect on a cruise. Compared to the Conquest, I liked this ship a lot more. The decor was nicer, and the overall layout was more useful. We live in Alabama, so we drove to New Orleans. I am not crazy about the parking deck, because it is usually mass chaos getting into it since there is so much going on at the port - but we survived! CCL has recently begun having you choose check in times (to help with embarkation). The time we chose was 10:30. Once parked, we made our way to check in. It was 10:20 and we were asked to wait until our time - which was only 10 minutes. We then quickly moved through security, etc. By 11:15, we had completed check in, had our sign and sail cards, and was waiting on boarding. I personally do not think that going through security, check in, etc.... for three people, one being a child --- in 45 minutes was that big of a deal at all. We considered purchasing the Faster to the Fun, but decided against it. Maybe if we had an itinerary that included a tender port, we might have - but we did not. Based on our time arriving, etc. - we were in group 2 to be called to board. Once CCL started calling groups, it moved fairly quickly and we were soon on the Lido deck for sail away lunch. Based on what I observed, the Faster to the Fun people got on the ship about 10 minutes before our group 2 did. Entertainment: First off, we do not gamble - so other than telling you the casino (which is on deck 5) ALWAYS smells like cigarette smoke and is loud - my review will not help much. Singers - some were OK, some were boarder-line bad. We did not go to every club or sit in the atrium and listen, but just in moving around the ship to get to hear several genres. I was not impressed. Art auctions/ Bingo/ Misc. trivia contests - this is not our thing. We do not go on cruises for these type activities so I can not review. Shows in the theater: We saw part of one which was OK. Not the best, but not the worst. It was entertaining. We did go to a Towel Animal Theater (since it mentioned it was written by the folks who did Avenue Q)... and if you have young children, I am sure they would enjoy. Parents and children over 7 or 8 - not so much. Comedy club: We saw three different comedians. All three were funny (one being much better than the other two) and were enjoyable. We attended both the family and adult only shows. We loved the Burgundy Lounge where the comedians performed, but was not crazy on how it was run. The shows are only 30 mins each and they alternate comedians. One night, it was crazy ad once one comedian is done, they make you clear the lounge and go get in line at a side door in the piano bar (next to the lounge). I understand somewhat - so everyone can get a chance to see the show, but it was insane. Very crowded with people entering the show, leaving the show, patrons of the piano bar, and the zillion photo booth options. I would highly suggest for CCL to re-evaluate. Maybe move the comedians to the main theater or let people stay seated for each set. Dining: We chose anytime dining and was assigned to the Crimson Dining Room mid ship. Overall food quality did not seem to be as good as the Conquest. We ate in the dining room 5 of the 7 nights. On four of those, we had excellent service and one one - just ok service. There is some decent option for the dining room, some better than others. The other two nights we opted to go elsewhere. Breakfast - not really big for my family. We grabbed a few things on the buffet on the Lido Deck. I know from past experience, having breakfast in the dining rooms are better - but we did not want to waste the time doing that. Food was just OK. It is very crowded and the selection minimally changed (meaning one morning of the 7 days they had ham instead of bacon). The majority was the exact same thing every day. Lunch: We had the BBQ on the Lanai twice. It was OK, but seemed awkwardly handled by the staff. We had burgers or hot dogs off the grill (NOT Guy's like on other boats) and the flow seems a little backwards. Example, you get your plate, then there is a place for kraut, relish, mayo, etc; then an area for fries; then an area with cheese and chili; then hot dogs and hamburgers. If you look at the order, it was hard to put a hot dog or hamburger together without reaching over people or going back in line to add items. Hot dogs never seemed hot enough to me. The Lido buffet - just OK. Some things were OK, some were pretty bad. We did not try the Mongolian Wok or Thai place. The Pasta Bella was just OK. The pizza place was good if you want pepperoni only (not our family) and was heavily used. The deli was OK - I found it depended on the cook (strange since it is only sandwiches). on how they tasted. Highly suggest the burrito bar. Always delicious. Disembarkation was OK. My only issue is once you are out of the terminal, CCL should have some people working to help guests get cabs, get their cars, where to stand, etc. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2016
We got an amazing players club deal out of New Orleans and took off on a 7 day cruise to Key West, Freeport and Nassau. The only real cons of the trip were OBC and the weather (Not a Carnival issue - it's a January issue!). Windy ... Read More
We got an amazing players club deal out of New Orleans and took off on a 7 day cruise to Key West, Freeport and Nassau. The only real cons of the trip were OBC and the weather (Not a Carnival issue - it's a January issue!). Windy and cool on the ship meant little time for any quality sun bathing, but heck, a chilly day on a cruise if better than a good day at work. Best days for sunshine were Nassau and the last day at sea. We found the cruisers in general were a little older. Lines were not too bad after the peak hours and ship was pretty quiet after 10pm. We had a $100 OBC as part of our package deal and on Tuesday we got a notice that appeared to award us another $100 OBC (It came from the Fun Shops). Turns out it is was telling us what we already knew and was not extra. No big deal other than spending an additional $100 on souvenirs we thought were "free"! Pre-Cruise Drove to Biloxi, MS on Saturday and used comps to stay/eat free. About 75 minute drive to NOLA on Sunday No issues with parking Service Embarkation - 1st day of staggered boarding in NOLA. 'nuff said. Had the 1:30 slot. Was in the Room by 2:15pm. Luggage was there by 4:30pm No issues with anyone. Nice crew. Tipped our cabin steward $40 when we met him (IWayan). - Always had extra ice, extra towels and prompt cleaning. We had Anytime dining. Never had the same crew twice, but service was good. Red Frog Rum Bar - Quick and cheerful with a drink. I like the Tervis tumbler. Pre-ordered Rum was there waiting for us in the room. Disembarkation - A breeze (we carried our stuff) In our car by 8:30am. Things we did on the ship: Steakhouse - First night of Cruise (Free/Discount Bottles on 1st Night) Comedy Club - Showed up at the last minute, got good seats. Great shows! Casino - Too smokey and drink service was slow. Had the Drinks on Us card. Pizza Pirate - Pretty darn good for a conveyor pizza Chef's Table - 5 Stars! Great food / service and all the wine one could handle! Fitness Center - Nice Gym and the steam room was great to detox Taste Bar - Nice small plates to snack on Serenity Deck - Nice escape. Cool winds made it chilly Sea Brunch - Fillet and Eggs. Hold the Eggs, 2 extra steaks please! Excursions: Key West - Rented scooters and did a self tour. Freeport - It was raining. We checked out the port and then back to the ship Nassau - Walked to Junkanoo Beach and loved the Tiki Bikini Hut Summary We would do this cruise again - when the weather is a little warmer! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2016
The ship was very nice although the décor was a little outdated - reminded me of the 70's! We stayed in an inside cabin, was adequate. The steward was fantastic as was all the other crew members. We had early dining so that ... Read More
The ship was very nice although the décor was a little outdated - reminded me of the 70's! We stayed in an inside cabin, was adequate. The steward was fantastic as was all the other crew members. We had early dining so that we could catch many of the shows, however, since service was slow, we did miss a few shows since once they start , the doors are locked and you cannot enter late. We did take many of the ship's excursions, however I would advise to stay on the ship at Montego Bay if you do not wish to take the expensive all inclusive day trip. We took the half day shopping and the local 'flea' market - the craft shops and were hounded to death! It was so bad with the craft people wanting us to go see their booths, it was complete harassment! The ship started in San Juan and completed the cruise in New Orleans - wonderful city! Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
I read some of the other reviews and cannot believe we were on the same cruise. While the other reviewers were unhappy, we had a very good experience. We have taken numerous cruises on Royal Carribean, Norwegian, Holland America, and ... Read More
I read some of the other reviews and cannot believe we were on the same cruise. While the other reviewers were unhappy, we had a very good experience. We have taken numerous cruises on Royal Carribean, Norwegian, Holland America, and Carnival. The Jan. 14 cruise on Carnival Dream was very good. We had a balcony stateroom. The attendant, Rommel, was excellent. It would have been helpful to have an outlet for my husband to use his Cpap though he was happy to get a break from it. It is,however, equipment that is medically necessary. Since so many people use Cpaps, cruise lines should provide outlets. I enjoy cooking and am considered by friends to be a good cook. I am critical of food and am more concerned with quality rather than quantity. I found the food, including desserts, to be very good and always had lots of good things to choose. We had lobster tail two nights and I had 2 both nights. (On a Norwegian cruise I remember only getting half of a small lobster tail. That was pathetic.) The warm chocolate cake was so delicious that I had it at least 5 times. There is so much seating in the buffet area that tables were always available. This has always been a frustration on other cruise lines where our food got cold while we searched for a table. We traveled with another couple who also were very pleased. There were lots of areas to sit and relax. Some other reviewers criticized excursions. It is not like European cruises where there is so much to see. Let's be realistic, Island cruisers should only expect to see sun, sand, and water on excursions. There was plenty of that. We had one complaint about a stop on the "hop on/hop off" bus in Montego Bay. This excursion only cost $20. We stopped at a craft village. The sellers were so aggressive that it caused us to get back on the bus within ten minutes. We were not alone in our thinking. Many other travelers felt the same way and also made a quick exit. Carnival has to do something about that or, at a minimum warn travelers. Overall, we had a very wonderful experience at an affordable price. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2016
My wife and I travelled with my brother and his wife on the 11-day out of NOLA. Check in was the most efficient and expedient that I have seen after 8 cruises from NOLA. On the boat and our room was not ready, although we had a Grand ... Read More
My wife and I travelled with my brother and his wife on the 11-day out of NOLA. Check in was the most efficient and expedient that I have seen after 8 cruises from NOLA. On the boat and our room was not ready, although we had a Grand Suite. Over the years, we have seen an erosion of service and amenities with Carnival and were not surprised as our expectations have been adjusted with time. We met our attendant, Camelia, and she took great care of us throughout the cruise. Had a nice lunch at the Wok, explored the boat a bit, had dinner in the forward dining room and spent an otherwise leisurely first day. My wife and I both use CPAP devices and did not realize that the wall outlets by our bed were E 220v and I had no adapter or converter. Someone came and ran an extension cord from the dressing room, along the ceiling and then behind the bed. Unsightly, but it worked. We were in a Grand Suite and could not understand how there is a mix of US 110v and E 220v outlets throughout - made no sense to us. Should be one or the other. Two sea days relaxing with nothing significant to report and then arrived at Grand Turk at 2 pm. Nothing much for us to see there since we are restricted from watersports. Went to Margaritaville and bought a t-shirt from the Turks and Caicos ASPCA - glad to see they are promoting these causes at the ports. Another sea day and then Aruba - took a private tour of the island which was enjoyable. Next stop Bonaire - took another private tour and enjoyed the salt flats and history of the island. If you are there, ask for Simone Wackenhut - very good tour guide. Also, the local crafts market is very good and has quality, local made items. Another sea day and a dinner trip to the Steakhouse. As usual, excellent service and food. Next was St Kitts - we took the bus/railway tour and really enjoyed it and would recommend it to any age group (I posted a review of this on Trip Advisor). that evening, my wife and I experienced the Chefs Table (our second time) and, as expected, had a great evening. Next stop Antigua - private tour of the island and lunch at OJ's (also a review on Trip Advisor). Last stop St Maarten - we were looking forward to plane-spotting at Maho beach, yet we could not stay since Captain Bobo said the seas were too rough to dock safely, although there were 4 other cruise ships docked with no problem. You can justify anything with the claim of "safety is our No. 1 priority". Another fantastic sea day. Landed in San Juan the next day, stayed over and flew out the following day. All in all, we had a good cruise, saw some new islands and enjoyed the company of our fellow travelers. Pros: quick check in, cabin steward (Camelia), dining room waiters (JJ & I Putu), room comfort, my wife being able to see "Young and the Restless" on sea days, most of the friendly staff, the new ports of call and the SeaDay Brunch. Cons: Mostly the continued erosion of service and amenities. Our first of 8 cruises was in 2002, we always have booked the Grand Suite/Cat 12 and now believe we are approaching a "new reality". We are still trying to figure out what the Maitre D' is there for. Our guy rushed around like he was making a Toyota commercial and was on his phone most of the time, but we cannot understand why as all diners are seated, everything is moving okay. It's like this guy was working Commanders Palace. Although we were Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
Once again, Carnival delivered its standard “value for money” cruise. The Dream is a nicely maintained vessel. It is not my favorite Carnival ship however. Although a sister ship to the Breeze, it does not have a Guy's Burger ... Read More
Once again, Carnival delivered its standard “value for money” cruise. The Dream is a nicely maintained vessel. It is not my favorite Carnival ship however. Although a sister ship to the Breeze, it does not have a Guy's Burger Joint nor a Red Frog Pub. It seemed difficult to find a quiet place to have a beer and read a book. The Ocean plaza was always packed with people doing trivia quizzes, crafts or karaoke- fun but loud especially if you’re looking for a quiet place. All of the usual facilities were present and service consistent with Carnivals delivery standards was evident. We found the MDR food to be very good most nights (although the menu was a bit bizarre late in the cruise). Staff were pleasant & helpful- they really do their best to please. This cruise was classified as a journeys cruise as it extended for 11 nights- we enjoyed the extra couple of days. In regard to the Journeys package, we did not see any major changes in entertainment etc. The line did have a speaker program of day time lectures but the result was mixed. This trip there was a series of lectures with titles as diverse as Photography, On-line Social networking, Food and Celestial Navigation. The problem is that they were all given by the same person. It’s hard to find an expert proficient in so many areas. The lecture on celestial navigation contained very little on celestial navigation and digressed into discussion of the characteristics of Pirates and exploits of various sea captains. The presentation was adequate and mildly entertaining but the slides were amateurish. The information provided little more detail than one could have garnered from a short sit down with an old copy of the encyclopedia Britannica. Lectures at Sea are a great idea but money has to be spent on real subject matter specialists and topics selected to stimulate and teach. Good start though. The last port of St Maarten was scrubbed as the ship was unable to dock because of swells. It was a beautiful day and two other ships docked with ease. Most passengers discounted the reasons given- its appeared that Carnival did not order sufficient dock space- if the Dream could not dock on such a calm day, it would probably have trouble on most other days as well. Overall a good trip! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2015
This was our 3rd CCL cruise and the biggest ship we have been on to date. It is very nice with lots of stuff to do for everyone. Service in all facets is great. Kids loved the slides, basketball court and food. They loved getting pizza ... Read More
This was our 3rd CCL cruise and the biggest ship we have been on to date. It is very nice with lots of stuff to do for everyone. Service in all facets is great. Kids loved the slides, basketball court and food. They loved getting pizza and ice cream whenever they wanted. MDR food is decent. I am a fairly picky eater but could find something each night. Some MDR entres were good and some were just ok. We did have a couple snafus with them trying to substitute their chewy flat iron steak in the Chateau Briand instead of beef tenderloin and also serving the flat iron to my wife who ordered the filet. MDR service is good though and the desserts are incredible. The lido buffet is a zoo at times and lines can be really long. The specialty parts of the buffet (Tandori, Mongolian, Pasta, Burrito place) are only open from 12-230 so if you miss that time your only options are the more basic items (deli, grill - burgers, hot dogs, or pizza). The MDR breakfast or sea day brunch is head and shoulders above the breakfast buffet, which should be avoided unless you're the heap lots of food on your plate type. Decent night life on ship. We had a fun time and kids did too. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
This was our 2nd time on the Dream. She has definitely aged in the two years since we last sailed on her, but still a good ship. Had a good time, but overall wasn't our best cruise. PRE-CRUISE: Stayed at the Comfort Suites at the ... Read More
This was our 2nd time on the Dream. She has definitely aged in the two years since we last sailed on her, but still a good ship. Had a good time, but overall wasn't our best cruise. PRE-CRUISE: Stayed at the Comfort Suites at the NOLA Airport. Highly recommend – we plan to use them again. Great room: clean, large and comfortable. Bed was great! Great breakfast and staff. 20 minutes from port. PARKING: Used Fulton Parking Garage. We finally found the entrance after circling the block since our GPS led us to an ally next to the garage. When we arrived it was complete and utter chaos! Since we only had 2 pieces of luggage, we chose to not drop it off for the workers to carry it down for us. However, our other family members did so. When we all arrived in the lobby, no one was giving any kind of instruction as to what to do or where to go. There were shuttles outside, but the guys were unloading/loading and weren’t telling anyone what to do. My husband finally had enough of it and stopped one of them to find out what we were supposed to do. One of them finally stopped long enough to tell those of us who were trying to get to the cruise terminal what to do. Just madness. Once everyone finally had their luggage and was finally on a shuttle, we were off to the terminal. Return shuttle after the cruise went perfectly – shuttle back to Fulton was right outside of the terminal. EMBARKATION: Arrived at terminal around 11:00 AM – we were on board around noon. Very smooth and organized. PROS: Chef’s Art Steakhouse: We’ve eaten here several times, and have always been very pleased. (Only problem this time was the couple at the table next to us who insisted on verbally abusing their son during the entire dinner to the point that he began crying. Our heart was breaking for him! Not CCL’s fault at all – I think their waiter was so glad when they left!) Blackjack Band: This was our 3rd sailing with them – just wonderful! Honestly, if it weren’t for them, we would have been bored during the evenings since we had already seen the production shows on previous cruises. I plan to keep in touch with them via e-mail to see which ship they will be on next year. They don’t know at this time. Crew was very friendly! Cabin steward was great! Love the wider hallways on these newer ships. Buffet food was okay, not great. Dining room food was good – best meal was the chateaubriand: outstanding! Melting Cake and Soufflé were wonderful as always. Dining room service was hit or miss, depending on which waiter we had. We had Anytime Dining. Randy and Nuntha were both very good. CCL bed was comfy as always. We enjoyed having a room with 2 porthole windows – never had those before. Made for a unique cabin. Muster drill station was inside and passengers did NOT have to tote their life vests with them. Yay! Ice cream station – yay! Spent a lot of time here. I wonder how many thousands of cones they went through during this cruise?? CONS: Sewage smell throughout the ship. This was not a problem on the Dream 2 years ago. CCL really needs to fix this. It was everywhere. 1,438 kids on board, most of whom seem to have never been taught manners or discipline: Breaking in lines (of which there were many), running up and down the halls and public areas, and basically taking over the ship, including the adults only areas. Forget finding a hot tub - they were all full of kids day and night. We rarely had pizza because the line was so long, regardless of the time of day. I felt for the crew members trying to keep up with the demand. Cutbacks are becoming more obvious on CCL. Ice is no longer provided in the cabins. No welcome back reception for previous passengers. However, we were provided 2 drink coupons to be used only on the last evening of the cruise. No more sliders at the Ocean Side BBQ – we were VERY disappointed about this since the sliders were always very good. But they did have very good BBQ chicken and grilled sweet potatoes – OMG! Cozumel: Went to the KaoKao Chocolate Factory – absolutely wonderful! It’s a shame so few people know about this. It’s a small shop where chocolate is made from scratch. The staff is just so friendly and genuine! After a brief background about chocolate and the process, you’re taken into a kitchen area where you grind chocolate fresh from the beans. You end up with 2 discs of chocolate to take home that each make 2 cups of hot chocolate. Can’t wait to make mine! This was the highlight of our cruise. Also bought several bottles of Vanilla at Los Cinco Soles before returning to the ship. Do NOT do what my MIL did and buy the first vanilla you see in the cruise terminal. It is NOT the same. Grand Cayman: As usual, the tendering process took a while. Unless you have to be off the ship for an excursion at a specific time, it’s best to wait until about noon when the lines have been drastically reduced. Otherwise you’ll wait a very long time in line for a tender ticket and then a while longer for your group to be called. All of the stingray excursions had been cancelled for the day due to the weather – I felt sorry for passengers who were going to do those for the first time, like my in-laws. It really is a fun activity. We’ve visited GC several times, so we opted to walk around town and shop. We ate at the Paradise Grill which was wonderful. This restaurant is just a short walk from the ship and sits right on the beach. You can also snorkel right there as well. The snorkeling must be pretty good – lots of people in the water there. Jamaica: Since we had been here before, we opted to stay on board for the day. Ship was pretty quiet, so it was a good day for us. DEBARKATION: We used self-assist option and were called around 7:30 AM to leave. However, from the time we got in line to leave the ship until the time we were outside of the terminal it was about 30 minutes. Lines moved slowly, probably because there were only a couple of Customs agents processing people. We will be using self-assist from now on. So much easier. We never had to go to a lounge and wait for our number to be called, and now that we have packing down to a science and only have 2 bags total, so easy! BOTTOM LINE: This was a family Thanksgiving cruise, and we all had a blast, regardless of my “cons” listed above. After all, we are all BLESSED AND THANKFUL to even be on a cruise! We were also able to spend time with family that we don’t see often. However, the odds of us sailing on another holiday cruise is pretty low. Just way too many kids. We heard a lot of other passengers make the same comment. We will, however, sail out of NOLA again. Not too bad of a drive to port for us, and driving really cuts out the stress of packing vs that of packing to fly. The Dream really is a good ship – just needs a little TLC to give her the new sparkle back. I still have a bad case of sea legs today - I swear my office is listing from side to side!! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
My wife and I have been on about a dozen cruises and this was our second on Carnival. The itinerary was why we chose this cruise, desiring to return to Montego Bay, the destination of our first foreign trip 30 years ago. We loved our cove ... Read More
My wife and I have been on about a dozen cruises and this was our second on Carnival. The itinerary was why we chose this cruise, desiring to return to Montego Bay, the destination of our first foreign trip 30 years ago. We loved our cove balcony, the best cabin we have experienced. We prefer a smaller ship but the Dream did allow for quiet at the adult Serenity areas on the open decks. Because we chose October few children were on board, and the passengers were mainly congenial seniors like ourselves. We found our cabin attendant Tri very efficient and friendly as we did our waiter Agapito in the Scarlet dining room. The food was surprisingly good and we enjoyed the afternoon Teatime one day and the seaday brunch a few times. Rafting on the Martha Brae River in Jamaica was as good as we remembered. Our Grand Cayman excursion was the Turtle Farm and Aviary which we thoroughly enjoyed. Holding live sea turtles and swimming with larger ones in their lagoon were a highlight of our trip. My wife enjoyed holding and feeding birds in the aviary. Our Cozumel excursion was to Xcaret, an eco park which blends aquatic fun with nature and Mexican culture, a place we have enjoyed in the past and found even better now. Entertainment was the weakest area for us. We enjoyed the Motown Show and Dancin in the Streets was ok. Otherwise, comedy is not our cup of tea. Also, there were few quiet music venues on this ship, something we really missed. Embarkation was the worst we ever experienced with a 2+ hour wait, much of it outside the terminal in a covered area out of a driving rain. Overall, it was a good cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
Great cruise, nice long stops in Mahogany Bay, Belize and Cozumel. Food was good, service great but had I known I could choose 'your time' to eat we would have. I enjoy having the same servers but did not like getting seated in a ... Read More
Great cruise, nice long stops in Mahogany Bay, Belize and Cozumel. Food was good, service great but had I known I could choose 'your time' to eat we would have. I enjoy having the same servers but did not like getting seated in a booth all week with no window. This was our first time for an inside cabin - it was Ok-nice with plenty of room but I like being able to see out. The entertainment was good but so loud you could not even understand the lyrics (though I knew most) and we left each night before it was over.... This ship is beautiful but so big..... We will avoid the larger ships from now on-we wore ourselves out walking from place to place. The bathroom smell at various point on the ship bothered me though I did not register a complaint-I thought it was pretty bad. We did not get off the ship and through customs until after 10:00 Sunday which made for a long day. That was disappointing. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
We have had some negative experiences with Carnival cruises in the past so we decided to approach this cruise with very low expectations. That seems to have paid off because we were pleasantly surprised by this cruise. The staff was very ... Read More
We have had some negative experiences with Carnival cruises in the past so we decided to approach this cruise with very low expectations. That seems to have paid off because we were pleasantly surprised by this cruise. The staff was very friendly and kept the common areas clean. The shows with the singers and dancers were very good. The food was very good as well. The service in the dining room was very slow but mainly because we had a table of 12 as far away from the galley as you could get. The wait staff tried very hard to get us out more quickly but we were the last table out every night. This caused us to miss some of the entertainment we had wanted to see. We booked a Victor Bodden tour in Roatan after reading positive reviews on Cruise Critic. The Fun-N-Sun tour was excellent. Dahlia was very informative and friendly. I was very impressed with the response to my e-mails prior to the cruise and reserved 6 spots for the tour. During the cruise, the 6 other members of our group decided they wanted to go as well. I emailed Victor and he quickly responded increasing my reservation from 6 to 12. This tour was a terrific value. For only $30 each, we saw lots of the island, held monkeys and parrots at Victor Bodden's Monkey Business as well as enjoyed several hours at a private beach. If I find myself in Roatan again, I will definitely work with Victor Bodden again!! In Cozumel, we booked a day of fun at Mr. Sancho's. Again, this was a great value at $55 per person. We ate lots of good food and drank plenty of margaritas while enjoying their pool and beach. I would highly recommend this for a relaxing day in Cozumel. In Belize, we booked a snorkeling excursion through Carnival. It was titled Snorkeling Wonders of the Barrier Reef. We felt this was overpriced at $80. It was a private island with no showers or amenities. On the boat trip back, they offered water or fruit punch that seemed to be watered down. Although fun, it would have been better at about $50 rather than $80. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2015
This is our 5th cruise. It's number three with Carnival. First Husband and I are a 'roll with it ' kind of couple. We definitely don't sweat the small stuff. We enjoyed the Dream and what it had to offer. She's ... Read More
This is our 5th cruise. It's number three with Carnival. First Husband and I are a 'roll with it ' kind of couple. We definitely don't sweat the small stuff. We enjoyed the Dream and what it had to offer. She's a little lived in and showing some wear but aren't we all. The first night was a little bumpy. We think a lot of folks were starting their contracts. Service was slow in the MDR. By night two everyone was in the groove and smiles were back. These folks work hard and put up with a lot of ugliness and unrealistic expectations. Our dining selection was "My Time". Try to get in Naven's section. Great service and a wicked sense of humor. The food was fine. While not always a home run it was better than what we'd get at home. (I don't cook) We ate at the Steakhouse and Chef's Table. Both were delicious. The food served at the Chef's Table was breathtaking. We dined in the galley! It's worth the up charge and tip. This was our second time at the Chef's table. The first one was on the Triumph. The casino was very smoky. Thankfully we bring a bottle of Frebreez. The slots were tight most nights. Fortunately we play for fun. Sea day activities on any ship are busy! Plan accordingly. Husband and I tried the Serenity area. Most the furniture on the deck has cushions. You need them. They were not very comfortable. The hammocks are a treat. Spent a relaxing couple of hours watching the clouds and listening to music. Cool cruise moments... passing the Carnival Elation on the Mississippi. The first sunrise of the cruise. I pulled Husband out of bed to watch it with me. This is followed by the many dolphin and flying fish sightings. Spa- Got a great hot stone message from Kelly the first day. She was good. You do hear a lot of thumping from the Serenity deck above the treatment rooms. Carnival, you might want to look at sound proofing this area. Ports - Mahogany Bay We did Pirates, Birds, and Monkeys. The a Macaws are beautiful and fly free. The Toucans were caged. The monkeys were fun. The pirates are disappointing. More like a really lame small museum. The port is very nice, full of stores and clean. Belize- Tuna Sandwich (Mayan Ruins) Hands down our favorite excursion. Be warned! You are on the road for almost 5 hours. Our tour guide, Denise, talked for 2 hours straight about Belize. She was very good. Lots of great information and beautiful countryside. We fell in love with with this country and the people we met. The ruins were incredible. When you first walk in to the park it's cool, but when you see the first temple turn to your left. If you're not blown away...well you are hard to impress. It's incredible. You get to climb to the top where the view ... there are no words. We saw a family of Howler monkeys on the way back to the van. The port is older and a little rough around the edges. You tender to the port. Cozumel- no excursion We got of the Dream to stretch our legs and grab lunch. It is one of our least favorite ports. Poncho's was good. The port is a typical cruise port. However the duty free store gauntlet seems to be a lot longer than most ports. All in all we loved our cruise on the Dream. We laughed, enjoyed ourselves, relaxed and met interesting folks from all over the world. If you go expecting perfection then you are going to be disappointed. If you go looking to relax and have a good time, the Dream is a great place to start. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2015
If you hate crowds and long lines, then this might not be the ship (or cruise line) for you. However, here are some tips to avoid the worst parts: - Avoid the buffet area ("The Gathering", "Pasta Bella") altogether. ... Read More
If you hate crowds and long lines, then this might not be the ship (or cruise line) for you. However, here are some tips to avoid the worst parts: - Avoid the buffet area ("The Gathering", "Pasta Bella") altogether. The food there is not worth the wait in line. - For breakfast, go to the sit-down brunch in the Scarlet dining room - For lunch, skip the buffet and grab a burger or pizza in the afternoon after the lunch line has dwindled or try the salad bar or Oceanside BBQ on the Promenade deck. - For dinner, late dining seemed to be best to avoid the worst crowds for the shows. Our positives: - The shows were excellent. - The ship seemed to be well maintained. People on other decks complained about sewer smell in their room, but we didn't have any problem on deck 8. Our one negative: - Our dining room waiter was completely uninterested and uninteresting. He exchanged maybe 20 words with us the entire week, and never smiled. We highly recommend the Pat & Dianes snorkeling excursion in Freeport. It was the best part of the entire cruise! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2015
We just returned from a great cruise on the carnival dream. It was myself my husband our 2 year old daughter, my parents, my two sisters and my 3 year old nephew. We all had balcony rooms on deck 10 and 11. Embarkation was a breeze we got ... Read More
We just returned from a great cruise on the carnival dream. It was myself my husband our 2 year old daughter, my parents, my two sisters and my 3 year old nephew. We all had balcony rooms on deck 10 and 11. Embarkation was a breeze we got there right at 11 and we moved right through I'm glad we didn't buy the FTTF pass because we didn't really need it and our rooms were ready right when we got on board.... It still took about 45 ish minutes from the time we got to the terminal to board but that's not to bad and it saved us 150 bucks....our rooms were great plenty of room for everything we unpacked for the week and even with a toddler everything had a place.... We used under the bed space to store the stroller and luggage. I would say the best part of our cruise was going to dinner every night we ate every night we were on the ship in the main dining room at the 6pm seating. Our head waiter was Indira and she was amazing along with Jonald they made every night so fun and the kids loved them!!!! We keep our daughter on a very restricted diet and carnival went above and beyond to help us with it. Dinner was always great you can usually find something to eat every night that you love. My very favorite thing is the Molten lava cakes this is something carnival always does right :) skip the rest just get that!!!! We did sea day brunch everyday and it was good we all voted that the porkchop and the Mac and cheese and steak and eggs are the best choice for that day.... We ate our fair share of pizza from the lido deck which was good and ate the buffet a few times and sandwhiches too and they were all ok.... We ate at pasta Bella 2 times and it was ok don't order the meat lasagna it's not what you think if you are used to regular meat lasagna!!!! My hubby loves ice cream so he loved the soft serve I'm not sure how many her had..... I would give a bad review to camp carnival my daughter doesn't go to daycare so it was new to her and they wouldn't even let me come in to get her settled and playing... She had to basically walk in say bye and go with a bunch of strangers with no hesitation or tears at all... Really??? Whose kid can do that the first time?? So needless to say she was with us the whole time but that was ok.... We went to one show in the encore lounge and it was HORRIBLE we never went back... We went to a few of the PG comedy shows and they were good...the ship was clean we didn't actually meet our cabin steward until almost the last day but he made our bed and that's about it..... The cruise director "hennie" was just ok kinda annoying our past cruises the director has been fun but still professional.... We had an emergency happen back at home when we were on the boat my grandpa had a heart attack we shut all our phones off so no one could get ahold of us so my cousin called carnival and guest services got ahold of my dad and let him call home and any other calls no charge I was impressed with that service it was very nice of them. My grandpa had surgery but did great. This is one of carnivals biggest ships and it is good size but after being on royal carribeans allure it still felt super small.... I was disappointed in the kids splash area and slides and the pools on this boat was laughable!!!! It was basically an overgrown hot tub!!!! The sernity adult area was nice but we didn't use it much....we didn't visit the casino because of the smoking allowed on there.....the music in the main atrium was good and we loved going down and listening and dancing down there in the evening... The photo people are really not helpful and its a rip off we only purchased a few pictures because you don't get any discount really.... We didn't buy anything from the fun shops at all... My hubby and I did a spa service we had a massage and facial it was good for the price similar to a price we would have got here in the states.... 90 minute massage and facial for 149 plus 15% auto gratuity....no too bad...ok now about ports: Keywest: We didn't really have a plan for keywest we just walked around and looked at stuff.... It was really really hot that day so the kiddos didn't last long... I'm good if I don't visit that port again... Freeport Bahamas: We did a beach day at the grand lucyan resort and it was great.., we took a taxi there about 20 min ride and it was 10 dollars round trip per adult so great price and the day pass was approx 15 dollars kids were free.... The beach was nice my hubby and dad snorkled and my sisters did parasailing that they bought from some locals off the beach... We had an umbrella and chairs and then we went to the pool it was good too... Great family fun beach day... Nassau: Our favorite day!!! We booked a room at the comfort suites so we could go to atlantis for free.. We took a cab to comfort suites 4 dollars per person one way and then checked in and went straight to atlantis checked in there for our day bracelets and we were off!!! The kids were free here also!!! We made our home base in the kids splashers area and then took turns doing all the slides it was soooo fun and we felt like we were the only people there!!! September is their slowest time so we had zero zero lines!!! We did the "lazy" river as a family and it was soooo fun but not lazy at all!! The kids loved the toddler area they had constant spashing parts and great slides!!!! We would go back to atlantis in a heart beat!!! We did the "dig" aquarium included in our pass we all loved it!!! We ended up paying 120 each for our room at comfort suites which is 30 dollars cheaper then buying it straight from atlantis and 60 dollars cheaper then buying it from carnival!!!! We would do it again. Before our cruise we stayed at the country inn and suites in Metairie, LA it was a great place to stay before and they took us to the port on sailing day for free :) and we parked our cars there for a week included in the cruise package. Overall we had a great vacation and carnival is a great deal for the money but I prefer royal carribean and we will be doing that next cruise.... Read Less
Sail Date: August 2015
We just came from our vacation on the Dream sailing to the Western Caribbean. I had spent some time reading the reviews prior to our trip so will provide feedback based on some of what others have been saying. Overall I thought the ... Read More
We just came from our vacation on the Dream sailing to the Western Caribbean. I had spent some time reading the reviews prior to our trip so will provide feedback based on some of what others have been saying. Overall I thought the trip was great ! I do really think a good portion of it is your attitude and what you look forward to experiencing on the ship.I went with my 19yo son and girlfriend and a friend. When we cruise we look forward to not only the locations but the fun of meeting new people, staff and cruisers on board. Embarkation- We had priority and was very smooth ! Room- We had an Ocean Suite 7370 and loved the extra space in the room and larger balcony. The beds were comfortable and the service by our steward Putu was great ! He was very friendly and immediately referenced us by our names and took interest in discussing our daily experiences. Dining- My main area of feedback for Carnival is the menu. We were on the Dream last year and the menu was the same and at times the food was really rich ! The quality also seems to have go down a bit as we ordered steaks off of the menu from the steakhouse but they were tough, good flavor but not what I expected. I will say though we kept coming back because of our wait staff. Luna our lead waiter was wonderful and we miss him already ! His support team Aksan and Saief were great as well and our experiences with them were honestly the main reason we came back to the dining room. Host- Hennie was our Cruise director and we thought he was funny and entertaining and kept folks updated on issues. I did seem some folks interacting with him on the ship and he always seems in character. Activities- There were times where it would of been nice to have more to do that sit in the casino. There were all sorts of sessions like towel making, shopping etc. but if you had the early dinner there seemed to be some gaps in time to do things. Excursions- Montego Bay, Jamaica- We did the Jungle River Tube and that was fun, great shuttle driver who took us and also drove us around a bit after. He took us to the Pork Pit to have great jerk chicken and then a store in town. Outside of that store many of the workers are very aggressive and rude if you don't go into their store or buy something. We like to walk around and experience the culture so that was very disappointing and something they need to change to improve their tourism. Many cruisers commented on that and how they will only go to the private resorts. Grand Cayman- We did StingRay city and the swim with turtles. Both experiences were great, there are some comments about time and it is a bit rushed but really the time was sufficient. I have seen some comments about the swim with turtles and people need to realize if you want to swim with them you are doing so in their environment so it is not going to be crystal clear water. It did feel a little strange at first but we wanted the experience and just showered real well after. The souvenir store does have some really nice items compared to what is at the port so wish I would of left more time to look around it. Cozumel- We went to Passion Island and it was wonderful ! Great food and drinks and spent the day in the water hammock. The only feedback here is they need to stress more the importance of repellent as the mosquitoes are crazy and we forgot ours and the vendors don't have so we had to borrow theirs. It doesn't give much time to shop outside of the port but there is plenty there so if you want a beautiful island and relaxation then don't miss this. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2015
My family just enjoyed an awesome week! This is our 4th cruise with carnival and first time on the dream. Getting on the Dream on embarkation day when very speedy, probably the smoothest we've had. Lunch was waiting and we got into ... Read More
My family just enjoyed an awesome week! This is our 4th cruise with carnival and first time on the dream. Getting on the Dream on embarkation day when very speedy, probably the smoothest we've had. Lunch was waiting and we got into rooms promptly, luggage came shortly after. All the workers we extremely nice and friendly. We toured around the ship, the water works seemed to be in a weird place? Not really any room for lounge chairs around it. We usually hang out there the majority of the time watching the kids slide. Definitely needing some more seating on the top deck. We had the 8:15 dinner, we like the late one. Dinner takes a very long time. Like 1-2 hours! The poor waiters work thier butt off! Not enough help there for sure. But again couldn't be any nicer or entertaining. In Roaton we enjoyed a tour of the island, petted monkey's and birds. Ended up at the west bay beach, we went though a third party and it worked out great. Belize we also went third party and ended up at Goff Cay snorkeling, it was beautiful and in its complete natural habitat. No chairs, electric or water. If your looking for luxury pick another place. We enjoyed it but it's not for everyone. Cozumel we enjoyed paradise island resort, one of our favs. All in all a great ship, needing a few tweeks but would go back. Enjoy!! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2015
My family just enjoyed our very first cruise a few weeks ago. We chose July because we were cruising with a large group of family and friends with children out of school for the summer. I might add our children were teenagers, not the ... Read More
My family just enjoyed our very first cruise a few weeks ago. We chose July because we were cruising with a large group of family and friends with children out of school for the summer. I might add our children were teenagers, not the little ones who can make a vacation turn into a nightmare. We loved the ship! Our cabins were great even though we didn't select them as we'd had no experience on a ship before. We did ask for a cove balcony and it was great. I'm not certain I'd go with any balcony again on a Caribbean cruise though since we enjoy being around other people when the ship departs and our departures were LATE, 11:00 PM so there was no seeing anything interesting from our balcony in the dark. I was a bit disappointed in our cabin steward. It was his first week back after "vacation" and I suspect he just wasn't in the groove yet. We asked for ice in our room and never got it. We asked for the continental breakfast and never got it. Once we tipped him the day before the end of the cruise, he became much more accommodating. Perhaps we should have done that earlier. We were new to all of this and didn't prebook our excursions. Lesson learned there. Most of the things we wanted to do were all booked up and that was disappointing. We went on a trolley ride in Key West with plans to jump off at the beach but honestly the beach was icky looking so we opted to go have some Key Lime Pie on a stick instead. In Freeport, we also just winged it and ended up at Junkanoo beach after a scary interaction with several taxi drivers. We loved Junkanoo beach though. The coconut drinks do flow heavily with no regard to age, so beware of that!! That night I decided to suck it up and book Atlantis (even though the price is ridiculous) just so we'd have no worries about our last excursion day. Atlantis is beyond beautiful. It appears to be lined in gold! The beach was great and the water was so perfect. The native folks selling things on the beach are interesting but annoying. You never know what the price is or will be or if you're getting scammed or not. Still, very interesting despite the aggravation. The ship is gorgeous! We enjoyed all the food, especially in the Crimson Dining Room. If you're lucky enough to get Superman for your server, you'll want for nothing! We opted for late dining. I'm not sure how that compares to other dining times but it did cause us to be late for some of the shows we wanted to see. We played Bingo and WON!! Thank you Carnival Dream :) We are already planning two more cruises for next year. Cannot wait!!! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2015
We are just back from our first cruise on the Carnival Dream. I have to say that overall we really enjoyed ourselves ( husband and 2 boys ages 12 & 14 ) and had a great time. I had no idea of what to expect so here are a few of my ... Read More
We are just back from our first cruise on the Carnival Dream. I have to say that overall we really enjoyed ourselves ( husband and 2 boys ages 12 & 14 ) and had a great time. I had no idea of what to expect so here are a few of my thoughts. I thought the Embarkation went very smooth and was very easy...of course when you arrive at the Port Of New Orleans..it looks like a madhouse however, it is controlled chaos and very well organized. We arrived at the terminal and my husband dropped off me with the luggage. I was able to easily get a Carnival porter, who immediately checked our bags. My husband parked the car in terminal parking and came and met us in under 10 minutes. We purchased FTTF, which I highly recommend..it was definitely worth it and our check in and boarding was very easy. Our bags were delivered very early to our room, and my boys had their suits on and were swimming in the pool within an hour. The food I thought was very good, and we really enjoyed the dining rooms and service. Lido deck food was pretty good, I mean its breakfast/lunch dining. We had lines the first few days but towards the end of the week we never waited. We had the later seating at 8:15 which we liked a lot because we were never rushed to get dressed and get to dinner. We could get back from an excursion and relax and get ready for dinner leisurely...which is nice because you are fairly tired after an all day excursion in the sun. We ate in the steak house 2x, and loved it. Food was fantastic, and what a deal...seriously $35 per person, you cant order an entrée at a steakhouse for that let alone a 4-5 course meal. We loved our room and our cabin steward...he was so wonderful. We stayed in stateroom 7374 , which is the Empress deck. ... it was shockingly quiet...not a peep at night..I would definitely book that room again. There is so much to do on the boat, my husband and I enjoyed the Serenity area..very quiet and spa like .and spent time in the Ocean Plaza bar and loved the live band every night ..my kids enjoyed the pools,water slides, and arcade. We rented a golf cart in Key West... this was probably the most disappointing part of the trip..not a lot to do there...just too hot, humid and the town has changed a lot since I was there 20 years ago ...its like a mini New Orleans to me. We probably should have gone on the jet ski tour. Our next port was Freeport. Town is not great,We booked a day pass at the Lucaya Resort. We purchased the pass before our departure and glad we did. First thing the cab driver said was .. " The Lucaya Resort has been oversold and you cannot get in ...unless you prepaid and bought a pass earlier" the other people in the cab with us had to go the public beach which was not nice AT ALL. Also, make sure and check with your cab driver about pick up times and when we they end because they stop running at 5:30, we were told 6:00 , and almost did not get a ride back. YOU DO NOT WANT TO GET A CAB FROM ANYONE OTHER THAN A REAL TAXI STAND. In Nassau, we purchased the Atlantis Aquaventure...my kids favorite..they loved it. The park is very big. The excursion included lunch which was pretty good ...burger / fries etc.....which was surprisingly a large lunch (burger was huge). I guess if I had to say anything negative about the cruise..it would NOT be about the cruise, crew or boat..my issues were with the passengers. I mean there are some seriously unmannered, redneck and simply RUDE , gross people on board which is hard not to notice because there are so many of them. However, there are normal people interspersed on the boat as well, just not as many. We did meet a really nice couple with very nice children.. and there are people like that on board but its hard not to notice a lot of the "other" types. I thought the boat was very clean and they were constantly cleaning and scrubbing EVERYTHING. There was a bathroom near the Ocean Plaza bar and every time I went in there was an attendant scrubbing and cleaning it...I was very impressed at how conscientious they were about keeping the boat clean, and very germ conscientious as well. The disembarkation was very smooth and because of FTTF, once they called us .. we were off the boat, had our bags and in our car in about 15 minutes. Overall, I really enjoyed cruising, and would definitely go again... I think I would maybe look into a higher end cruise line just because of the people ...but Carnival runs a very nice boat and cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2015
The Carnival Dream was a pleasant surprise. Although more than 8 years old, the ship is well maintained and brightly decorated. Our cove cabin on deck 2, the Main deck, was enjoyable. We liked being near the waves, and as far as ship ... Read More
The Carnival Dream was a pleasant surprise. Although more than 8 years old, the ship is well maintained and brightly decorated. Our cove cabin on deck 2, the Main deck, was enjoyable. We liked being near the waves, and as far as ship cabins go, it was a good size. We were worried that our cabin would be noisy, but cabin # 2273 was not. Our previous cabin was more mid-ship, but over the galley, and so, before the cruise we had Carnival change us to # 2273. The food in the MDR was pretty good, while the Entertainment was excellent. The buffet lines were brutal! Carnival should try to fix that! Also, Carnival should offer more activities to do during the day. At any rate, we really enjoyed our cruise, and believe that Carnival has done a good job of re-establishing itself when it comes to customer service. Most all of the staff was great. Service was good. Oh, BTW, Hennie, the Cruise Director, was a scream ... very friendly and fun! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2015
A group of 7 of us cruised on the beautiful Carnival Dream to Montego Bay, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel. It was wonderful as usual We did not do any excursions, just went to the beach and booked with Captain Marvin's snorkeling and ... Read More
A group of 7 of us cruised on the beautiful Carnival Dream to Montego Bay, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel. It was wonderful as usual We did not do any excursions, just went to the beach and booked with Captain Marvin's snorkeling and stingray adventure in Grand Cayman. I highly recommend this it was very good. Only couple things could have made it better. The Burrito bar had one person fixing the food and the line was long long long. Only gone one once. It would be a great help if there were at least 2 persons preparing them at once. Our bed was hard and the seam in the middle was very pronounced. I have never had this issue before always very comfortable. But all in all it was a great vacation. We had FTTF and it worked very very well. Luggage was there before us and we were out of there and in the car heading home by 7:00 a.m. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2015
This was our sixth cruise on Carnival and must say we had some of the best service ever. Had my wife, 15 yr old daughter and 2 year old son. The Dream is a beautiful ship, but could really use some of the 2.0 upgrades. Overall a tremendous ... Read More
This was our sixth cruise on Carnival and must say we had some of the best service ever. Had my wife, 15 yr old daughter and 2 year old son. The Dream is a beautiful ship, but could really use some of the 2.0 upgrades. Overall a tremendous experience and you will not be disappointed with the big ship. Those of you considering faster to the fun...IT IS WORTH EVERY PENNY! One thing we found interesting is Carnival no longer provides envelopes to put gratuity coupons in/extra cash tips. So the staff never knows who has paid their gratuities. Apparently passengers claimed the envelopes made them uncomfortable. We have always paid our gratuities ahead of time or billed them to the room, in the future we are going to take them off our account and pay them directly to the staff. Embarkation: We drove down the morning of the cruise (2.5 hours). Arrived at the terminal at 11 a.m. Parked in the Erato garage (112.00). Porter took the bags. Zipped through security and check in and went straight onboard. Since we had FTTF we were in our balcony room (9434) at 11:45! Muster drill was a breeze as we staged in Teen Club O2. Cabin: Balcony 9434. Awesome location. right around the corner from the stairs/elevator. Up one deck and you are right at the aft pool, deli, tandoor and buffet. Occasional noise from above (we were right below the deli) but not very noticeable. Room steward (Putu) was awesome. Cabin always spotless, fresh towels all the time, and he always asked if there was anything we needed. Best air conditioning on a ship EVER. Dining: Buffet was a bit boring. Not bad, just boring. Pasta bar upstairs was good. (Don't get the alfredo sauce as it is very soupy) Deli was very good. Pizza, the best we've ever had on a ship. Mongolian Wok, great food LONG WAITS. Dining Room, (Scarlet early) hit and miss. Elegant night menus and last night were excellent. The other nights less than stellar. Great service (Imade, Putu and Alan) Room service, great timing and very fast! Activities: Camp Carnival staff were excellent and our 2 yo had great fun. We also did the Seuss at Sea parade, Cat in the Hat reading and breakfast. Breakfast is 5 bucks and worth it as you get pictures with the Cat, Thing 1, Thing 2, and Sam I am. They serve Filet with eggs! as well as green eggs and ham, waffles, french toast... Minature golf was a blast, casino entertaining but VERY SMOKY. SPA: You must get a day pass. Three story Thalassopy pool, aroma steam room, heated tile loungers. Pools: more than 600 kids under 18 on the ship but the pools were never overly crowded. Ports: ISLA ROATAN-booked privately with Victor Bodden tours (30 pp). EXCELLENT. Had a driver/car that stayed with us all day. Gave us a tour of the island, then went to Bodden estate where we interacted with Capuchin monkeys, Macaws and Toucans. Great stuff as the monkeys jump on your shoulders looking for sunflower seeds. Great photos. Left there and get 2 hours at a beach (we skipped this part as it was pouring rain). Belize- FTTF got us priority tender, a MUST HAVE. 5 mile/20 minute tender ride. booked privately with BUTTS UP, cave tubing/ATV ride. (70 pp) AWESOME. Did an ATV jungle trak ride. (2 year old rode on my lap and loved it!) Then we did a 30 minute walk through the jungle and got in the river. Crystal clear water. Six tubes tied together with head rests. (2 year old again rode in my lap). Guide pulls/pushes you through caves which were amazing. very leisurely trip and tranquil. They surprised us with Belize tamales for lunch before heading back to port. Cozumel-Reserved Mr. Sanchos privately. EXCELLENT. All inclusive (55 pp) Service was OUTSTANDING. Best beach area. We have previously done Nachi and Play Mia and Sanchos was by far the best. Tremendous food and drinks neverending. Two pools with swim-up bars and beach service. Our server actually brought us drinks in the ocean. Cruise Director Hennie from South Africa was great. Debarkation: FTTF a must. Staged in the Crimson Dining room at 7:30 a.m. with Diamond/Platinum where they served pastries and beverages. We were first off the ship after self-assist people about 8:15. Got our bags with a porter, through customs and in the car at 9. Quick exit onto I-10 heading North to Mississippi. New Orleans is without a doubt the best Embark/Debark port. We would definitely sail the Dream again with this itinerary. The Ship would be great with the 2.0 upgrades. (EA Sports, Guys Burger Bar etc...) 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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