Sail Date: October 2009
My husband and I were on the second sailing of the Carnival Dream in the Mediterranean. We booked one of the new ocean view cabins with two bathrooms and our cabin was located on the Deck 2 (Main). We arrived in Rome the night before ... Read More
My husband and I were on the second sailing of the Carnival Dream in the Mediterranean. We booked one of the new ocean view cabins with two bathrooms and our cabin was located on the Deck 2 (Main). We arrived in Rome the night before the cruise and joined up with another couple for a transfer over to Civitavecchia. The transfer was great and without delay and we arrived at the new embarkation building by 10:45 AM. We were onboard around 11:15 AM as there isn't much process to embarkation at this port. What a time we had! The itinerary was great (Italy, Spain, Croatia) and the new features onboard, while still getting the kinks ironed out, were really special. LASER SHOW - We attended all the laser shows and they were having a lot of difficulty with the smoke staying in place so the lasers would actually appear - the wind kept interfering. At the last show of the cruise (which few attended), we finally had a great show and all the hype Todd (cruise director) had created was dead-on - just make sure you are at the back, centre, facing the screen and you are in for quite a treat. ENCORE THEATRE SHOWS - These were probably the best we've seen on the seas yet (we've only been on three cruises though...) but the 'Dancin' in the Street' show was all that was promised and more - we were so excited after this show - it has something for everyone (the 'glow-in-the-dark' dance segment was spectacular). The 'Extreme Country' show (it's inaugural show during our sailing) was probably great if you like country music. As a non-American cruiser, I have to say that the patriotism was a bit alienating at the end for some of us. COMEDY CLUB - A new feature for Carnival, they had four comedians onboard during our 12-day cruise. Two out of the four were absolutely side-splittingly hilarious with a third being very good as well. The fourth was a disaster (we were not alone in our thoughts on this!) but perhaps his brand of humour just wasn't suited to the crowd. I'm sure these will vary from cruise to cruise. ADULTS-ONLY LOUNGE - This was an extremely popular area on nearly any half-decent-weather day. On sea days, the place was overflowing. They've got some great wicker lounge chairs and its in a great spot up near the spa. We spent quite a bit of time up there but it can be a bit windy if you plan on reading. PUBLIC AREAS - Your typical shops and casino are right in place where they usually are, along with the atrium and kids club areas. The pools were small and not used frequently during this cruise, though it wasn't for lack of heat. FUNHUB - The FunHub computer areas are a great idea but the Funville portal could use a bit of upgrading with user options and the quantity of information shown (it showed the same temperature every day of the cruise, which is not helpful at all when planning what to wear the next day). They usually had the current activities displayed, but these were not always current. FOOD - The food was good - not amazing, but better than how I usually eat at home. We didn't try the supper club and alternated with dining for dinner in the Lido and the restaurant. Our servers in the restaurant were super funny and friendly and I wouldn't have chosen any others. The Lido has the Mongolian grill (which was always swamped with people and had crazy-long lines), Tandoori, Deli, Grill, Pizza, Pasta, and of course, the grand buffet. Sushi is down on the 5th deck - WHY!?!? Also, why do they only serve sushi three or four times during a 12-day cruise? And why only at dinner time? As a sushi-lover, I was disappointed and didn't get to try their sushi even once. Also, as you may already know, the midnight buffets are gone. I was a bit disappointed in this, but I understand if they were just wasting food by running it each day. The "midnight snacks" they advertised everyday was just burgers, fries, cookies, and brownies beside the Seaside Theatre - not the same at all. SPA - After using the spa on my last cruise and getting hideously ripped off by a sales pitch for some Elemis pills, I was very wary on using the spa again. During embarkation day, they offered to give us a tour, which turned into a sales pitch for the thermal suites/thalassotherapy pool/sauna passes they sell (which covers the duration of the cruise - $329 per couple). I was immediately turned off and was yet more so when I saw the price list for the spa and had scribbled out that a single-use pass was $20 - much more reasonable if I wanted to use it only on sea days, but this was no longer an option for some reason. I ended up not going to the spa for fear of a sales pitch, but one of our traveling companions went on the last day of the cruise for $1/minute massage and said it was the best he'd ever had. CABINS - BEWARE IF YOUR CABIN IS ON THE LOWER DECKS! I had never experienced this before on lower decks (that I can remember), but the ship will shudder and bang like it is falling apart when docking in port. Sometimes this hideous awakening will jar you from sleep at 6 AM and will go off and on for about 15-20 minutes. No sleeping in for you if you are in port on a day and you wanted to relax! I liken it to a space shuttle launch. The two bathrooms in our room came in quite handy since my husband and I like to have our own space. They are quite small, but having a bathtub is always nice. Temperature control, TV, etc, were all in great condition and the one time we had maintenance issues, it was resolved very promptly. The Dream is big - 15 decks and 3,600 passengers can leave things a bit frustrating when everyone is in a hurry (like during breakfast in port) or trying to catch an elevator from the bottom to the top when everyone in the middle doesn't want to walk a flight or two up. There were several occasions during the cruise when sarcastic comments were made about people getting into other peoples' way and there was lots of line-cutting at the buffet line (is this common?), but I don't think this is escapable since people will be people no matter where they are. The ship is sadly already showing some wear! There are things like pits in the paneling in the theatre, pen doodles on the walls in the hall, stains on the carpet, etc. It is, however, a lovely ship. We had a great time, loved the boat and the crew and will remember this cruise always. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2009
A little background to get started: We are a family of three (29, 24, and 2) who had been living in Italy for the past 2 1/2 years (my wife is Italian and our daughter - who just turned two for the cruise - was born there) and had ... Read More
A little background to get started: We are a family of three (29, 24, and 2) who had been living in Italy for the past 2 1/2 years (my wife is Italian and our daughter - who just turned two for the cruise - was born there) and had gradually become disenchanted with living there. Italy is a great place to visit and spend a few weeks but actually living there is another story and allows you to appreciate even more being able to live in the USA. Anyway... after going through all of the bureaucratic hula-hoops to get my wife's residency visa, we decided that it would be nice to take a cruise to the US instead of flying - we needed a vacation - and hence settled on the Carnival Dream out of Civitavecchia. The ports of call seemed interesting, it was a new ship, we thought our daughter would be best suited on a Carnival cruise, and Civitavecchia was not that far for us, given that we were coming from Sicily. After renting a car and driving up to Rome the day before, we got up in the morning and headed to Roma Fiumicino as we had to ship some stuff off to the US, and then took a taxi (actually a huge Mercedes van that could have fit 10 people) to Civitavecchia, which is approximately an hour from Rome via car. We were driven right up to the ship and boarding was incredibly simple. It literally took us 10-12 minutes from the time we entered the terminal until the time we were on the ship. We were onboard by 3:30 and took a little time to relax in the stateroom and then head out and meet some CCers at the Sunset bar and grab a bite to eat before getting back to our room (where our luggage had already been delivered), cleaning up, and then it was time for departure. Overall, most of the aspects of the cruise met my expectations, several exceeded, and unfortunately a couple fell short, and now I'll delve into detail about all of that. THE SHIP: The Carnival Dream is obviously a new ship; this was the fourth sailing following three Mediterranean journeys, and is definitely grandiose. On a side note, in Barcelona - the first port - it was docked next to the old Royal Caribbean Sovereign of the Seas, which had once been the largest cruise ship in the world and was actually the ship on which I did my first cruise when I was 11, and just towered over it). The decor was not overwhelming but added an elegant touch, which was nice, given that many people had complained about the last new Carnival ship (Splendor). The exception to that was the Lido buffet area, which didn't really jive well with me. I thought that the ship was designed quite well but there definitely did seem to be a problem with space in several areas, especially outside when the weather was nice and basically all days for breakfast and lunch in the Lido. With this push to continually build larger ships, someone needs to realize that regardless of how many decks you add, your outside space remains extremely limited, and architects can only increase that slightly by adding to the length and width of the ship. Therefore on a ship with 2000 or 3500 or 5500 passengers (i.e. the new Oasis of the Seas), the outside space still remains more or less equivalent to one deck. Many of the guests who had previously sailed with Carnival as well as much of the staff lamented on this very issue. One other consideration is that this was a Transatlantic sailing that generally played to an older crowd... I'm sure the space issues would be compounded in a Caribbean setting with a younger crowd. Overall I was pleased with the ship itself but people need to be wary of that fact that at times they will definitely note the 3600 passengers. STATEROOM: We were in a balcony stateroom (8F) on the Panorama deck and had no complaints whatsoever. The room was spacious enough for the three of us with a large bed, a sofa, sitting area, etc., and it was well designed. No space issues, no storage issues, and I thought the location of the room was perfect for us as it was very close the gym, easy to get outside and head to the Lido deck when we wanted to go enjoy the sunshine or go eat at the buffet, and close to the central elevators to get around the ship. No noise issues either. GYM/SPA: I'm into working out, natural bodybuilding, and personal training, and hence I did head to the gym basically everyday. The equipment that is there is new and definitely high quality, but the gym itself is limited by the space available and again, I feel that it could definitely be an issue with a younger crowd that is more physically active. The first few days it was packed, mostly with people who had no clue what they were doing and several who failed to practice proper gym etiquette (sitting on machines and talking, improper technique, improper gym attire). Furthermore, they need to invest in heavier dumbells and a free weight area would not be a bad idea. I understand that it's a moving ship but as long the heavier weights are utilized by guests who know how to workout, it's not a problem. I never used the spa services but from what I saw, it seemed nice but the products/services are overpriced. SERVICE: For the most part, the best part of our cruise. Maybe we were just fortunate, but I found the service on the Carnival Dream to be wonderful, especially for our 2 year old daughter who was treated so well by the vast majority of the staff and really assisted us in making it a pleasant cruise for us. Our stateroom steward and his staff were always available, took care of every request, and kept our room in immaculate condition, which can be difficult when a certain 2 year old is free inside! The dining staff did a fantastic job as well; we were in the Crimson dining room with "Your Time" dining (hence on the 4th floor) and always had fantastic service, starting with the hostesses and continued by the waiters/waitresses, their assistants, etc. One of the bar waitresses, Usanee, basically babysat our daughter after she was finished eating so that we could enjoy our dinner. Our comment cards were filled with praise for the dining staff. PORTS OF CALL: I will be brief here, as these are ports that will not be visited by the Dream again in the foreseeable future. Basically the ports that we thought were going to be the worst turned out the best and vice versa (with the exception of Bermuda, which we were expecting to be nice and was). Barcelona was okay but it's more of a city to visit for two or three days at a leisurely pace instead of just 10 hours or whatever. Palma de Mallorca was wonderful; very clean and lots to do and not too touristy (it probably is worse in the summer, but great for us). We did not like Malaga (Sunday/holiday and hence nothing was open) or Las Palmas in the Canary Islands (the city seems dirty and the beach was nothing great), and as previously mentioned, enjoyed Bermuda. CAMP CARNIVAL: In one word: AWFUL. The biggest disappointment of the cruise, without a doubt. I was expecting my daughter to have a wonderful time but she absolutely hated it. Yes, she is 2 years old and likes to have her mommy and daddy nearby, but the camp counselors were no good at all and did very little to interact with the younger children and get them involved. Kids who are 5 or 8 or whatever are able to independently play and organize themselves a little bit, but two year olds?!? The room itself seemed wonderful but they basically just sat the kids there and watched TV or had them do whatever, and often didn't follow the planned schedule that was given to us. Perhaps the counselors were so pathetic and lethargic because they were always out during the night getting plastered?!? This includes the Youth Director who I saw out one night and was so inebriated that she couldn't put a sentence together. Disgraceful. Needless to say, we stopped even attempting to bring our daughter to Camp Carnival after a week or so. POOLS/OUTSIDE AREAS/WATER PARK: Never used the pools or hot tubs (again, crowded) but did enjoy the water slides with my daughter, who after discovering them wanted to go basically everyday) but could only do the little ones because... well... she's 2. When my wife was there with us, I had a little liberty to enjoy the twister slides. NIGHTLIFE/SOCIAL AREAS/ENTERTAINMENT: Average, but that's kind of what I expected, given the older crowd on the cruise. I only stayed out after 11 PM or so on three occasions and just for a couple of hours (as my wife went to bed with our daughter), but it seemed that us "youth" always ended up at the Piano Bar. The Caliente disco was nothing great and the music sucked... never really spent much time in the Ocean Plaza. I'm not one for shows and entertainment - I tend to keep myself entertained pretty well - but I did see the hypnotist and then one of the main shows ("Dancing on the Streets", I believe). The hypnotist was amusing; the main show was average for my tastes but others enjoyed it. FOOD: I hope this is the last thing that comes to mind because I'm getting a little tired of typing, but here it goes... Overall, the food met my expectations and I get a little tired of reading complaints from people who are under the impression that every meal on a Carnival cruise should be like a restaurant with 3 Michelin stars or whatever. People need to realize that there are 3600 guests and obviously some of the ingredients are not going to be completely fresh as they have to keep them stored. With that said, the breakfast was fine at the beginning but they could have used a little variation; the only variation that I noted was that one day they had pancakes and then the next french toast. The Lido buffet lunch was not so great; often food was cold and undercooked. Towards the end of the cruise, we avoided it all together and would always go for the pasta bar, the burrito bar, or the grill. The pasta bar was good - yes, it's not Italy, but I thought it was fine for a cruise. The burritos were wonderful; at least for me, the best part of lunch. Room service was fine; nothing special on the menu, but always got there reasonably quick. I was happy with the dinner in the MDR (we went to the buffet the first night but then the MDR every night afterwards with the exception of one night in the Steakhouse). Some people complained about the lack of variation of the menu but it seemed okay to me. There were a couple of nights that dinner was not so great (but still edible); however most of the meals were tasteful, well presented, and of a quality that I was expecting. Overall, it was an enjoyable experience. I'm sure that there are several minor details that I could have covered but I hope that I've hit most of the major points here. It wasn't a perfect cruise but it was definitely good and was certainly a great way to move back to the USA. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2009
We decided to try the new Dream as it was to be the "Pride of the Carnival Fleet" and because it was a trans Atlantic we thought it would have a seasoned, mature passenger group. On the point of the passengers, we were correct. ... Read More
We decided to try the new Dream as it was to be the "Pride of the Carnival Fleet" and because it was a trans Atlantic we thought it would have a seasoned, mature passenger group. On the point of the passengers, we were correct. Many were die-hard Carnival followers but a large group were multi line cruisers and all that we met personally were very nice, interesting and well traveled people. They are what made our cruise enjoyable. What was disappointing was the staffing, activities, and the overall engineering of the ship. Staffing: In order to cut cost Carnival has eliminated the "head/section waiter" in the dining room. This results is overworked, confused and less productive wait staff. There is no guidance and lack of training shows. Not once did I see a pepper mill or the table cleared in the proper manner after dinner and before dessert. Many nights orders for drinks were either never taken or when they were the drinks were not served until the meal was about over or not at all. On the Lido this really causes problems. Tables are left uncleared as waiters stand about talking with each other, in some cases for 30 minutes or more. The "guest services" personnel were easily confused unless asked a very simple question. They apparently were programed to answer only certain questions and if your question was not on their training list they were at a loss. Some tried, but most did not. Our steward did the minimal as did his first assistant. His second (a lovely young lady) however was excellent. When she joined him about day three, suddenly our throw pillows resurfaced and the ashtray on the balcony was cleaned. Until then I had been cleaning this myself. By day 10 there was a shortage of facial tissue for our room yet our table mates had half a dozen boxes each. We did have a large supply of bath tissue so we had a tissue swap. We found the CD Todd and his assistant Jamie to be the worse we have ever had on a cruise. They were much too busy socializing with family and friends to be bother with passengers and activities for them. If we (hundreds of us) had not been self starters we would have jumped ship out of boredom while crossing the Atlantic. And to on a 16 night cruise with only two production shows is unacceptable. They certainly under utilize their entertainment staff, but the staff does take full advantage of all the ship's venues. The ship has many engineering problems among which are the venting and lack of venting in one case. The Piano lounge which showed a designated smoking section in the rear of the lounge turned into an all smoking lounge by night 8 or so. But trust me that even as a smoker this was not enjoyable and I felt very badly for non-smokers. It was so bad I even stopped going in some nights because of the clouds of smoke that hung in the air. There is no venting system in the lounge and in this day of electronic marvels there is no reason for this "oversight". Many ships and airports (in Europe) have fantastic air systems that make it near impossible to see or smell the smoke. The other venting problem is the exhaust from the ship's funnel being sucked back into the cabins (deck 6 port) and the poor air conditioning system which leaves areas of rooms either very cold or hot, no even temperature,. Even the control in our cabin was a challenge. Many have complained about the lack of lounge space for the comedy shows. True, there was a problem, but it could have been easily solved by moving them to the show room and putting the passenger shows in the Burgundy. There was also very little use of the Disco and this was more than likely due to the floor which would be dangerous to dance on because of its slick surface and the DJ who preferred to stick to his programing and not take request from those who did venture into "his" room. We found the dinning room food better than expected but some meals were inconsistent from person to person. Desserts were lacking in imagination and taste; soups when good were very good but when not were cold and tasteless. They did try to pass off watered down tomato juice as they "were running out" -so we were told. Why not just take if off the menu? The poached eggs are made in oil, thus answering the question as to why they were like rubber. The Lido was not worth the battle as the set-up is not for large crowds. The Tandoor food was good but the staff was not customer service trained. Thank goodness for the Deli and its great staff, never a disappointment. I did meet up a few times with the engineers that were trying to fix the venting and hot tub problems and they said the ship was not ready to sail. Makes one wonder why it did. If Carnival plans to make more of this class ship, I strongly suggest they get the bugs in this one ironed out first...and there are bugs whether Carnival wants to admit it to themselves or not. This is not the ship it could be and as it floats today, not one to be proud of. One odd little item. Deck 4 Port side men's room opens the wrong way. Any gentleman standing there is in full view of a passerby when the door is opened. Smile! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2009
My husband and I took the Transatlantic cruise on the Carnival Dream. This was 16 days/15 nights, leaving Rome, stopping in Barcelona, Malaga, Mallorca, the Canary Islands, 5 days across the Atlantic, then 2 days in Bermuda and ended up ... Read More
My husband and I took the Transatlantic cruise on the Carnival Dream. This was 16 days/15 nights, leaving Rome, stopping in Barcelona, Malaga, Mallorca, the Canary Islands, 5 days across the Atlantic, then 2 days in Bermuda and ended up in New York City. We had already planned on a trip to Greece in October and this one-way passage back to the USA ended up being such a good deal we couldn't pass it up. We booked the trip in May thru Carnival on the Early Saver program for the October 2009 cruise. We embarked from Rome at 7:00 PM. We used the very easy train from the Rome Termini train station, which cost about 14 E., I think. Give yourself time though; it's quite a walk in the station from the central station to the gate. Walked a little at the end in Civitavecchia and got the free shuttle to the ship. Virtually no wait to embark. Luggage showed up in about 2 hours. Cabin: I liked our cabin #9470, an inside stateroom. It's aft on the port side- one short walk to the steps up one flight to the Lido deck for breakfast and lunch, out the back door to the sunset deck for the adult pool and hot-tubs. No negatives about the cabin- liked the fluffy robes, shower is bigger than other ships I've sailed on, loved the temperature setting on the shower (you set the temperature on the right and it keeps that for the trip-I want one!), plenty of storage space, really comfortable mattresses. A different towel animal every night. Room was quiet. People who had balconies seemed happy, but we always go with the cheapest cabin. Dining: We choose late dining at 8:15. I go back and forth on this. I hate having to wait till 8:15, but 6:00 is simply too early. The one or two times I opted out and we went to the buffet line, it's just too hectic; my husband likes the table service. One night in Bermuda everyone ate at the anytime dining and that also seems too hectic. Had nice tablemates in the dining room (both main dining rooms look the same) but 15 dinners was too long a time to sit with the same people. They should have a shake-up mid-way thru a long cruise and reassign everyone. Probably 90% of people would welcome a chance to sit with new people and no one's feelings would get hurt. Food: The food in the DR was very good, if not great. Seafood, chicken etc was better than steaks, which were not A+++. Desserts were good and so were appetizers. A really good crab cake, soups very nice. Breads not great; the same rolls and breads every night. The Lido buffet- Like most buffets, it's a bit of a zoo, especially on "port" days when everyone wants off the boat at the same time. Staff tries to keep up with the tables and does a good job. Coffee machines often out. And they put cups and glasses together so the flow around the beverage area is a little congested (grab cup, walk around people getting juice only, get back in to get coffee, etc.) Breakfast at Lido- everything you could ask for. An omelette section where you could also get fried eggs. Really good Danish and nice little cinnamon rolls. Bacon, potatoes, scrambled eggs, cold cuts, ham, lots of fruit, waffles, pancakes, French toast. Lunch on Lido. Lots of hot and cold choices in the buffet lines. In addition, there are 5 separate places to order from on the Lido deck. Pasta bar is inside above the buffet lines, and seating is upstairs. In addition, there are four separate food stations outside next to the pools. There is a 1) Mongolian Wok in the buffet area. 2) Pasta bar (usually about 20 minute wait after you put in your order, but were very good. Seating area there also. Loved the 3) Tandoori Bar outside on the Sunset adult pool area. They actually have a real tandoori oven and make the chicken and breads right on deck. Great tandoori chicken every day, along with another stew-like meat dish, vegetables, chutney, and great breads. A great opportunity to try Indian food. 4) Deli with good Ruebens, corned beef, etc and the 5) Grill with burgers and hot dogs. I really wish they had an option for a smaller burger. There's a lot of waste, because people get the burger and only eat a few bites. They could do a mini-burger or slider option. Dinner on the Lido: Almost always looks good and often served the same entrEe for dinner as in the dining rooms. A good salad selection, good desserts, always a carving station. There is also a little area on 5 deck called the Wasabi. Every afternoon from 5-7 or so it served some finger foods- mostly sushi but sometimes Italian (olives, cheeses, breadsticks), Greek,( feta, tzaziki, olives, etc). Most people never notice it. The Dream The ship was planned well, I think. The "traffic" seemed to flow pretty well, but this cruise was mostly older people, so there was lots of reading, afternoon naps, etc. The atrium are has nice sofas, and I didn't think the decor was too tacky. It's bright, but not gaudy. I do think the main pool will not be big enough with a full ship, including lots of kids. There is no pool for children, no kiddy pool, etc. The water slides were great; 2 tall ones, 2 medium and 2 kiddy size. Maybe the plane is for small kids to putter around in the water slide area. However, with 500 kids on board- Pandemonium! Liked the hot tubs; nice and warm. Nice outdoor screen for movies. They'll give you a blanket but you have to pay for popcorn. That's a little cheap. Never saw the Camp Carnival area, but the few teenagers did seem to enjoying the two areas for teens. Saw them doing a scavenger hunt and one day I peeked in and saw a young teen boy getting his hair braided by three girls-he looked pretty happy! Spa- I did go up to the spa for a massage and facial. This is a very nice area. The treatment rooms run along the outside , so you are on the massage table with a great view of the ocean. The "thermo" pool looked nice, but it's not very big. I assume the "spa"rooms are nice. Loved the mostly smoke-free ship. Sometimes smoky on the covered area just outside the Ocean Plaza in the middle of the ship on 5th deck. Casino- We don't gamble so can't comment. Entertainment; The dancers and singers did the three shows that will be performed on the week long cruises. The final show is great, with break dancers, acrobats, etc. The other two shows were also good, but I kind of miss the old "show tune" format geared to older folks. For our 15 night crossing, Carnival brought in other entertainers who were mostly good; a violinist, not great magician, good juggler, etc. Also some comics and singers. Didn't take any shore excursions. All in all, we thought Carnival was as up-scale as Princess and Royal Caribbean and surpasses the Norwegian cruise we took a year or so ago. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2009
We flew from Spain to Rome, the train from Rome Termini Station to Civitacchia was efficient and cheap, costing about 5 euros each. Just remember to have your ticket punched at one of the machines on the platform before you get on the ... Read More
We flew from Spain to Rome, the train from Rome Termini Station to Civitacchia was efficient and cheap, costing about 5 euros each. Just remember to have your ticket punched at one of the machines on the platform before you get on the train. We then shared a cab with another group to the Port, OK it was more expensive than walking and cost 5 euros per person, but to me it was worth it. Embarkation was one of the quickest and most efficient we have experienced, well done to Carnival. Cabins as usual were perfect, we had a balcony on Upper Deck midship, this was a smart move as we did not experience any ship movement and it was quiet. A couple of people we met were complaining about the noise from decks below them from the theatre and discotheques, so be careful when you choose your cabin location. Now, on to the main event,I have never seen so many clinically obese and wheelchairbound people who moved around at snail pace in all my life, the average age of the passengers must have been about 70. So...why oh why, were we all subjected to 'Jeff the Fun Dude' who was the warm up comedian / compere in the comedy club and was anything but fun. He may have been fun at one of my children's birthday parties where the average age was under double figures but I felt here on The Dream he was my Nightmare, his jokes were the same every night, he was embarrassing to watch and insulted my intelligence by forcing me to listen to such drivel. However, the nightmare was worth it as the main comedians were exceptionally good as were the shows in the theatre. Food on the whole was very good, not exceptional though and not up to the standard we have previously enjoyed on the Liberty. Other than the steak and lamb, everything else was mediocre. My favourite dessert has always been the chocolate melting cake, one night I ordered it and it looked like slop, completely runny, when I mentioned this to the waitress I was simply told 'thats what chocolate melting cake is!' Wrong answer! One tip though for the dining room, if you like butter on your rolls, bring some of the packs from the Lido Buffet. The butter they serve in the main dining rooms has been whipped, my husband accurately described it as being 'like axle grease but with less flavour'. The morning show with Todd and James was dire, aimed at those with low IQ, in fact I would say that the whole entertainment crew was below standard. I went to the Murder Mystery shows which were obviously not rehearsed and very amateurish, a complete non event. The trivia quizes were fine as long as you were American and spent your days watching TV soaps and Football, if you are European like me then you didn't stand a chance! Ports of call were just OK but then I didn't expect much from them anyway, my husband and I live in Spain and had been to most of them before. One tip I would give is to do the Soller Train in Majorca on your own. As you get off the ship there is a bus stop outside, take Bus no 1 to the Placa Espanya cost 1.25 euros (the ship charges you 5 euros to take the shuttle) the Soller train is just off the main square and costs 10 euros to Soller. Fantastic train ride through the mountains and orange groves. From there you can take the tram down to the Port of Soller, this costs 4 euros each. The bus back to Palma costs 2.75 euros and goes from Carre De L'Esglasias just off the Harbour. Do everything early in the day as nothing happens in Siesta time, they all nod off for a few hours after about 2pm!! All in all The Carnival Dream was a bit of a disappointment, a lot more work needs to be done to get this ship right. I expected a much more professional approach, it just didn't happen. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2009
We had the pleasure of sailing on the Dream for it's transatlantic voyage October 2009-November 2009. The new ship was nicely appointed and the staff, for the most part, were very warm and energetic. There was a sense of excitement ... Read More
We had the pleasure of sailing on the Dream for it's transatlantic voyage October 2009-November 2009. The new ship was nicely appointed and the staff, for the most part, were very warm and energetic. There was a sense of excitement throughout the ship's crew, which is to be expected. I'll be brief and sum it up: Food: Regular cruise fare; for great food you must visit the steakhouse,well worth the $30 pp Service: Lots of missed/wrong orders in the dining room, almost like they had not figured out how to get it right just yet. The last night was a very rocky one on the Atlantic so the last night's meal in the dining room lacked a bit. Room service was within 30 minutes most times and the room steward was attentive. Space: Nice decoration throughout the ship, but space was at a premium at the buffet and poolside. It was very difficult to find a table on Lido deck at any given time, a huge drawback from the lager ship models. This theme has repeated for us on every ship over 100,000 gross tons.... Also, I'm sure the pool will be standing room only on the Caribbean voyages. Spa: Shall I say wow?! The spa was very nice with new amenities not on most of CCL's ships. These amenities came at a price, you must buy "membership" to the spa to enjoy it's full potential or stay in a "Spa Room". The spa also had a "Mud Lounge" which was a private experience with a sauna, rain shower, and all the body care needs you could stand, $135 an hour I think. Camp Carnival: There were only a few kids on the ship so they had the run of the place, not sure how it would work at full capacity. Cabin: We were in a suite, nicely appointed, similar to other suites on other CCL ships. Three problems: the sliding closet doors derail easily, the LCD TV was too high, thus you could not see clearly in bed (poor angle), and the whirlpool doors would slide and bang loudly in rough seas. Otherwise, pleasant room. Upon arrival in NY, we were quickly debarked so the party could begin, wish we could have been included in some way, oh well. Overall, this was a great experience and the length afforded us the ability to make life-long friends! We're already booked for the Magic TA! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2009
My wife and I have cruised 12 times before,from Norwegian,Princess,Royal Caribbean,P.O and Carnival twice before.Embarkation was a breeze,on the ship in half an hour,the best ever,debarkation was the same,hats off to Carnival.The first ... Read More
My wife and I have cruised 12 times before,from Norwegian,Princess,Royal Caribbean,P.O and Carnival twice before.Embarkation was a breeze,on the ship in half an hour,the best ever,debarkation was the same,hats off to Carnival.The first thing we noticed was the atrium,it was the smallest and least impressive of any ship we have been on,very dissapointing.Our cabin was fine,larger than expected and spotless,as was the ship.One of the problems with cruising before is that you cant help but compare with other ships you have been on and Carnival fell short in several areas.On the down side was the food,the buffet was very poor,you could not get a hot meal for love nor money except for food cooked to order,ie omelletes or something from the wok.The service was also poor,there was roast beef on one night and it was rare,we asked for a piece off the joint which was well done and the server shrugged her shoulders and said it was all rare.We then asked to see a supervisor and she blanked us and gestured for us to move to move down the line,it was only when several other people complained that a fresh joint was brought in.The dining room was equally poor,the food was warm at best,often cold and the service was dreadful,it was not uncommon to wait 25 minutes to be served.I dont know the reasons for this,perhaps understaffing as the staff seemed to be under alot of pressure.As regards the public lounges and bars they were definitely smaller and less of them than any other ship we had been on,there was no cigar lounge,sports bar or jazz lounge.I got the impression alot of space had been sacrificed to pack more cabins in.With regard to the entertainment,some of it was spectacular,such as the main shows,several of the comedians were also very good.The lounge entertainers,in our opinion,ranged from good to dreadful,apart from Damien the pianist/singer who should be thrown overboard and Papa T who should be renamed Crapper T.One final point on the food should you think Im exagerrating---I was served undercooked cold turkey one night in the dining room,the Maitre D agreed and when I pointed out to her that uncooked poultry was dangerous she said that should I feel ill I would get free medical care-----FACT.All in all a mixed bag,fantastic itinerary,some great entertainment,some very good meals(in the steak house) and lots of nice staff,mainly of oriental background(thais,fillipinos etc). Read Less
Sail Date: October 2009
After a hectic four days in Rome, we get to the port. Now, as far as my experience with embarkation goes, this was absolutely the best ever. We were done in five minutes from arriving at the port to getting on the ship and all that ... Read More
After a hectic four days in Rome, we get to the port. Now, as far as my experience with embarkation goes, this was absolutely the best ever. We were done in five minutes from arriving at the port to getting on the ship and all that entails. Our "little group" met up at the Sunset Bar for sail-away and that is where I met Octavius. This little guy was like my personal waiter for the entire cruise. He took great care of us and new what we drank and was on the spot for our drinks. Maria, the bartender, also did a great job. The deli: What can I say? Every day I had two or three awesome deli sandwiches. All three cooks took great care of us. My wife enjoyed the Tandori Bar several times on the cruise and the food was well presented and very tasty. Our bags arrived at a reasonable time and the "muster" went easier than any I've ever seen. All of the public areas were spotless and everything was clean as could be and people were cleaning all over the ship every day. Now, this is a suggestion: They need someone in each eating area to tell people to use the hand sanitizer. Every other ship I've ever been on this is customary. Without someone to ride herd on people, they don't use the sanitizers. Now, you may think this is petty. However, hundreds of people on the cruise got sick. I'm not talking Noro Virus. I'm talking about colds and flu. A lot of it could have been prevented with the use of the sanitizers. I used them religiously. Now, let's talk restaurants: First would be the buffet on the Lido deck. Okay. I always expect cafeteria level food on a ship. Why? Because they are feeding five thousand people a day three or more meals a day. Hard to have gourmet food at every meal. So now you know the base. Back to the Lido Buffet, the food was well presented and appetizing. The brownies were awesome. The omelette bar was my favorite and the omelette cooks were a pleasure to watch in action. There was a good variety of well presented fresh food at the Lido Buffet. Since I chose anytime dining we were assigned to the Crimson Restaurant. The team, for lack of a better word, made a good effort, but the cohesiveness just wasn't there. I think this is an area that needs some help and I think in time, it will be fine. The food was "no great shakes". It wasn't bad. It was cooked as ordered, but it wasn't anything special. I found this to be somewhat true in the other dining room as well. There is nothing major wrong, just the little things that come in time. Example: People would arrive at one table and ten minutes later a second table comes in. The bad part comes when the people at the second table finish their meal and the first table hasn't received the main portion of their meal yet. It is just a lack of cohesion and a lack of order. The food good have been better, but it was not bad. Pizza Parlor: For a quick slice of pizza comparable to say Domino's, the pizza parlor did it's job. Only downside was the Caesar Salad had been sitting around too long a dressing used way too much anchovy. And I like anchovy. Hamburger and hot dog joint: Hey for a light snack, this was hard to beat. Quick burger, some fries or nachos or chips, it can't be beat. The food is what it is. It was well presented and very efficient. Pasta Bar: Well, it was okay, but that lack of cohesion showed up as people were being served way out of order and the basic concept needs some work. The food was quite good and worth the wait. Chef's Art: Okay. Here's the one where they charge you to eat a fancy meal. The service was as a team. This time, they seemed to work a little better together. The food was cooked to order and was quite good. Was it worth the money? If you are celebrating a birthday, anniversary, or a survival anniversary, then I would say yes. If you wanted to do it one time to try it, sure. Why not? I enjoyed my fillet mignon, but I would have been just as happy with a Reuban Sandwich. It met my expectations. Next would be the public areas. I thought they did a nice job setting these up. There are activities all over the ship for just about anyone. The ship is clean. It really is a beautiful ship. The shops are what they are. They are just about like every other cruise ship you go on. They have a liquor store and gift shop and jewelry (expensive) and then they have the ten dollar watches. Hey, you're on vacation and need a watch, the ten dollar one works as well and looks as good as the three hundred dollar watch. The have some candy and camera parts etc. The room stewards that I had were Jaime and Hazel. They did a great job on our cabin. They kept it clean and well stocked. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2009
This was my wife and I's second cruise. Our first cruise to Europe (as well as being our first time in Europe). Our first cruise was a Caribbean cruise on the Carnival Legend in August of 2007, so that's the only thing we can ... Read More
This was my wife and I's second cruise. Our first cruise to Europe (as well as being our first time in Europe). Our first cruise was a Caribbean cruise on the Carnival Legend in August of 2007, so that's the only thing we can compare with. We had a fantastic time, and while some things were better than the Legend, other's weren't quite up to par yet. Embarkation: This was an amazing process. I remember waiting in line for hours on the Legend and the embarkation area was just crowded and did not seem efficient. In Civitavecchia it was the exact opposite. We arrived at a little after 10:00am, and embarkation was scheduled to start at 10:30am. It started right away, if not a bit early, and we were on the cruise ship within 30-40 minutes minutes of arrival with absolutely no delays or hassle. It was a fantastic experience. Since we were some of the very first people on the ship, we had time to walk around and fully explore the ship without any crowds. We weren't able to schedule anything or buy anything except for a fountain card, as embarkation had just started and the staff were still getting prepared. Guest Services: My wife was not registered as a past guest due to her having her maiden name registered for the first cruise, and so she didn't receive the Gold card like I did. Originally we didn't think much of it (although my wife was a little jealous of my gold card I think!) until we found out that I was invited to a past cruise function and she wasn't. I went down the guest services, and they immediately found her past guest record and printed her a Gold card and gave her an invitation to the past guest function on the spot. Every single time I had to deal with guest services they were incredibly nice, knowledgeable, and efficient. Most people who complain about them were the people I saw with the ridiculous demands or claims. I always made sure I smiled and thanked them, because they really put up with a lot of crazy people on that big of a ship. Staff/Entertainment: The thing that impressed me most about the staff is that they never said "I don't know". They always had an immediate answer for you no matter if your question was regarding where something was located on the ship, or if it was a question regarding a particular port of call or shore excursion. Our room steward was good, and he was great at chatting with us and making jokes, and even waved and said hi when we saw him off the ship as well. My only complaints were that the ice wasn't filled up very often, and since my wife needed to ice her hip and ankle each night that was kind of annoying. Also, it's incredibly hard to find a bag on this ship to hold ice as no one had anything. You'd think that they would have some zip-lock bags or something. We never ordered room service, so we have no comment on that. We only had to contact our room steward once regarding a problem and he was at our door in less than a minute. Our dining experience wasn't nearly as good as it was on the Legend. Our water was alright, but he seemed distant at times and it was obvious that he had bonded more with the table next to us. He tried very hard to please us, but since his English wasn't that great he often didn't seem to understand some of the things we said or if we were trying to make jokes with him. Because of that no one at our table could really have any conversations with him that weren't very short or primarily about the menu. On the Legend we made sure we were early, and NEVER missed a single dining experience as our waiter was amazing. This cruise we skipped the dining room 4 times. He was nice though, and the waits usually weren't too bad. The drinks waiter rarely ever came to our table. I believe he only came to our table 2 or 3 times throughout the entire cruise. I didn't know who the Maitre'd was until the second to last day of the cruise, nor did I even hear him speak until then. On the Legend we heard from him every night, but here he just seemed very distant. Also, the dances at the last dinners weren't that great and very few people participated. Dining was definitely the one thing that was no where near the experience that we had on the Legend. The entertainment staff was fantastic. I barely noticed any of them on the Legend, as well as the cruise director. James and Todd did such a great job on this cruise. I only saw Todd once just roaming around, but he made it a point to say hello to us, and as busy as he obviously was he even chatted with us for a few. That was nice, and I was even able to joke with some of the entertainment staff during some of the events (one of which promised me she would eat her hat if she lost the ship wide red vs. blue game, and it was a pretty humorous event when i confronted her about this when she lost!) and they were always happy to chat and entertain. The country show was alright, but everyone kind of seemed out of sync and all the dance moves were forced. It wasn't all that fluid, and although I'm American the hardcore pro Americanism of the last song(s) were kind of ridiculous considering the fact that this is a European cruise and there were so many non-americans on board. I understand that this is a Caribbean cruise technically and all the shows are geared for that, but it would have been a nice little touch if they could have at least done a few minor changes or special events to turn this into a Carnival European cruise instead of a Carnival Caribbean cruise in Europe. The Dancin in the Street show, however, was amazing. I can't say enough good things about this show and I encourage anyone who sails on the Dream to see this show. You will be absolutely amazed. It was a lot of fun to watch. We didn't see the third show, and we saw one comedian who was pretty funny. His material wasn't anything original, as I had heard most of it on email forwards throughout the years, but his presentation was superb and really that's one of the most important aspects of comedy. There were many things to do and games to play across the ship, but the unfortunate thing was that a lot of it closes at 5pm. Mini Golf, basketball, water slide, ping pong, etc. We started joking around that at Carnival, "The fun stops at 5", because there was really no reason to close it that early as it was still daylight out for most of the cruise. 6 would have been more appropriate. Mini golf was a lot of fun, and the water slide was everything it's hyped to be...except for the fact that i only saw it open once due to winds, but that's nothing they can control. The giant television was great, hardly any glare, but I noticed a few dead squares on it already. The laser show was pretty good the first time we saw it, but the winds made it a little difficult to really see what it was all about. In Monaco we had no wind and they did the laser show again and it was perfect. I was really amazed by just how much fun that was to watch. They did a handful of Pink Floyd songs, and it was a really good time. The FunHub terminals were nice and well placed throughout the ship They were kept updated with sports scores, the goings-on of the ship, and the weather we were expecting. Plus, you could pay (way too much money of course) to get on the internet if you wanted. At first you had to go through their own very inadequate browser to get on the internet, and it usually crashed, but eventually they made it so you could just use a restricted windows desktop (so you could actually have more than 1 browser window open, which is important when you're paying by the minute!) and that alleviated a lot of problems. Obviously there were a huge amount of people that were furious that the system wasn't perfect, but you have to realize that it is a satellite based system, and if the weather isn't cooperating there isn't anything that IT is going to be able to do. The Spa was great, but the staff were quite obnoxious. It's one thing to tell your staff to suggest the Elemis products, but an another thing entirely to try to cram it down our throats at every moment possible. The tour of the spa at the beginning was nice, but it was more of a salespitch than actually showing what it did. Most of the prices are just not worth what you really get, especially considering you're going to have to spend 5 minutes at the end listening to them tell you how these particular Elemis products will change your life. The access you get via the spa staterooms however, was perfect. The staff never intervened, and it was all very relaxing and well worth it. The mineral jacuzzi was a nice way to unwind and relax after a day of walking around, and all the other rooms you have access to are very nice. The spa rooms are worth the price you pay, plus the robe you get is much nicer and more comfortable than the standard carnival robe. The slippers are a one size fits all type of thing, and if they fit, they're comfortable! Stateroom: We had a spa stateroom, and it was fantastic. The paintings on the wall as well as the overall motif were great, and it was great not to smell any cigarette smoke anywhere. For the first week probably we had virtually no water pressure in our sink (shower was fine), at first I thought it was a problem, but then I just assumed that it was to conserve water. I got to thinking that this was really a great idea as you don't need a lot of water pressure and I'm sure this saved water! I was ready to commend Carnival on this until I came into my room one day and I had full water pressure and apparently it was just a problem that I hadn't been negatively effected by obviously! One evening we came into our stateroom and we could smell cigarette smoke. We called our steward and he came by in less than a minute and smelled it and called his supervisor and the supervisor said they could re-freshen the room for us. I agreed, and they did it that evening. Everything was perfect after that and we never had any issues. They assumed it was from the air conditioning. The bed, and especially the pillows, were outstanding. Very comfortable. The online downside to the room was that since it was an interior room, there was absolutely no light once you turned the lights off. Which, I suppose is obvious, but i think I prefer the natural light from a window or balcony suite. Food: I've heard lots of complaints from the food from previous reviews, but I didn't think it was that bad. Most of it was very good! Some things were worse than others on certain days, but there is such an amazing variety of food that you're always going to find something good. The Pasta bar never seemed to be open when we wanted to go to it, and the Pizza place was actually delicious, if you didn't mind waiting 5-10 minutes for your Pizza to come out of the oven as they rarely ever had any ready to go. I heard the steakhouse was great, but since we were in Europe, if we were going to spend $60 on a meal, we would be eating out in one of the ports of call, so we never went there. There were crowds in the buffets, especially during breakfast time, but that isn't really avoidable on a ship of that size. All in all it was a very enjoyable cruise. I don't think we'll go on a cruise ship of this size again, as the crowds were just ridiculous at some points, and 40 person shore excursion groups that were, at times, combined with more than 1 group were unbearable at times. They did a very good job of getting everyone together in one location for the shore excursions, as on the Legend it was just a leave whenever and catch up to your group type of thing and we ended up missing a shore excursion due to not knowing where to go. On the Dream everyone meets in a central location and everyone leaves together, so that was nice. Debarkation was even smoother than embarkation. We just walked right off the ship without seeing anyone else. No lines or anything. That was pretty astonishing. I'm not sure why the Dream only has 2 small pools, yet 10 or so jacuzzis for a primarily Caribbean cruise destination, as everyone we spoke with thought that this was good for our slightly colder European cruise, but they wouldn't enjoy that in a warmer climate. The Carnival Dream is a fantastic cruise ship, but the size (crowds) is really it's main downfall. However, the amenities and just how overall nice the ship is and the gratefulness of the staff for getting to work on such a beautiful ship makes up for that and it is truly a unique experience to be able to cruise on such a magnificent vessel. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2009
We have just returned from the Grand Med cruise on the Carnival Dream- her 3rd cruise out and last in the Med before the transatlantic crossing... We were pleased with the ship- liked the overall layout, and the new muster drill. Sorry ... Read More
We have just returned from the Grand Med cruise on the Carnival Dream- her 3rd cruise out and last in the Med before the transatlantic crossing... We were pleased with the ship- liked the overall layout, and the new muster drill. Sorry for the length but it was a long cruise... The ship: really easy to get around-but it is a very large ship and I dont believe we saw the "whole ship". embarkation and debarkation was a "dream' 15 minutes or less- for each. The furniture is not comfortable -either the backs were too tall and the seat wasnt or the seat was too wide -just not comfortable. the room: I am not a believer of the phrase 'you'll never be in your room' I believe that the room is half of your experience...we had a balcony on the 10th floor middle- our first balcony room-and loved it-except when the smokers next store were out (all the time) Carnival allows smoking in the rooms which is not only dangerous for fire but they just dont seem to have enough ventilation in the hallways to prevent the hallway being smokey. The mattress was too firm- but our friends did not seem to think so- so I guess its all about personal taste. we did not get the new 'family bath' so it was a little tiny shower and sink area. (they could have made it bigger and got rid of the huge orange leather couch and it would have been great). There is hardly any drawer space since they put the hair dryer in the top drawer. The lighting was ok- would liked to have had the close up mirror connected to this section instead of high above the toliet in the bath room. Part of the closet faced towards you instead of right to left- which was difficult to use the hangers. they only have 1 phone in the room with a really long cord so on the days with wake up calls at 5:30 you had to remember to put the phone by the bed to get it- and the nightstands were crammed with stationary light fixtures wich left no room for a glass- also when in port the room smelled liked sewer but was better when we were at sea. the ship had problems with the sewer-we heard that a shower had backed up in a room. Dining- we did the 'your time dining' option - which was great when we dined at 5:45 pretty much daily but liked the option to eat whenever- otherwise there was a line- but they did have pagers if you wanted to wait we had 3 nights switching between 2 tables and decided that we liked our table staff enough to request them for the rest of the cruise- Waninda, Vergel and Andrei were great! I have never tipped additionally from what the cruise ship took before and we did for them- they really went out of their way to provide the best service. Overall you did not miss the perfomances of the lower dining staff- we just danced with ours on the top floor. the food - I thought the food could be alot better - I swore the menu was the same as the Destiny last year- the desserts were boring even on chocolate buffet day- hot chocolate was the best I had ever had but the machines were always being cleaned and out of use- there were times the food came out cold, but they took it back with no problem you just had to wait another 10 minutes for it..The Tandori(sp)area was a fresh idea- the pizza always had a wait because there wasnt any available- the buffet had the same thing- the salad bar was boring and the dressings were never cold- the burrito bar however was excellent -and it had the shortest line. The ice cream was still the best and the addition of big plastic cups for it was good- but no toppings anywhere.. the shows- Dancing in the Streets was the best out of the 3 maybe because it was new and fresh. the others were pretty boring and the comedians were bland as well. Todd and James (cruise directors) Morning show was the best out of all of it- the entertainment staff was friendly and you saw them everywhere which made it very personable (especially on 12 days). I am not a smoker and found the ship to be full of smoke- 5th floor was a smokers heaven from the Casino though all the bars and dance areas- the Piano bar (the guy was horrible and took himself way tooo seriously- my friend complained to the cruise director Todd but he claimed that he was an entertainer-but really the root word there is entertain not put too sleep) surrounding areas were non smoking but again with the ventilation- this was the Dreams 3rd cruise and when the 5th floor was vacant it smelled like a old casino- the lido deck was split for smoking/ non smoking- outside- but when the doors opened into the buffet inside section it was blown into the inside section- it could be all contained with proper VENTILATION. Carnival is a good buy for the buck-but they definitely nickle and dime you once on board.. 1.50 for popcorn for the movie- they also charged extra for the better desserts and coffee- the pictures are outrageous- 2 8 x10 and 1 smaller for 53.00! Celebrity was cheaper and had specials- Shopping- this was a letdown for the girls in our group who were looking for the good cruise buys in the past- the 10.00 items were boring- too much high priced jewelry space and not enough fun stuff to purchase- the liquor section was way small and never ran specials- and the makeup section was little, the perfume section wasnt spectacular and had poor selections. I was looking for a journal because I forgot to bring one and not one could be found unless I wanted to buy the planet earth line with oatmeal construction paper -for 35.00. all in all we will plan another cruise with Carnival and the Dream was a beauty- Read Less
Sail Date: October 2009
We are two retired Canadians ages 68years, This was our 8th Carnival Cruise. We flew into Rome from Toronto direct flight two days prior to embarkation and this flight set the beginning of a wonderful cruise. Stayed near to the Airport ... Read More
We are two retired Canadians ages 68years, This was our 8th Carnival Cruise. We flew into Rome from Toronto direct flight two days prior to embarkation and this flight set the beginning of a wonderful cruise. Stayed near to the Airport probably not the best idea but worked for us. Took a Cab to the Hotel. Slept and went for something to eat. Next day up early and got a limo to Rome where we had another great experience. One of the ladies from our CCroll call had organized a tour with Romecabs and it was brilliant. Thanks again Sharon. At this point I would like to thank the whole roll call from CC for their friendship, and fun. It made the cruise amazing. On embarkation day we caught a limo to the Airport and picked up our first of many "super" excursions with Carnival. Although hectic at the Airport everyone was in a great humour.and we boarded our bus for a tour to the Popes summer residence and a restaurant in the countryside. This way we got to meet people before we even got on the ship. We arrived at the ship at 5.30p.m. Straight on and in our cabin by 6p.m. Sail away was 7p.m. so it was a little hurried. Our cabin was surreal. Never been in one like it. Huge balcony. We spent many hours on it when crossing the Atlantic which was like a mill pond. We thoroughly enjoyed our dining experiences in the Scarlett Dining Room late seating. Food was good and a different menu the whole of the sixteen days. Our talented Maitre d' Ken sang every night and sang once to us as we were on our 47th Wedding Anniversary. The waiters and waitresses sang and danced every night and we love the "Fun for All" and "All for Fun" We spent one night in The Steakhouse but much preferred the Supper Club on the Pride. However the food was excellent and well presented. Missed the dancing and music of the Supper Club. We ate in the MDR for breakfast. We like the ambience and meeting different people at breakfast but prefer just the two of us at dinner. All of the Port Excursions were booked through Carnival as too was the transfer from the Port of New York. We booked ahead and had paid before the cruise which helps with the Sail and Sign account. Each and everyone of the excursions were excellent. The buses in Europe are good and comfortable. The Carnival Dream is a "Dream" We loved the ship. Pristeen, easy to manage. The promenade Deck 5 is ideal for walking the ship outside and Deck 4 is a great addition and quiet.We never found the ship crowded, having said that we were not on the Lido for breakfast or lunch. Never won in the Casino or at Bingo but enjoyed playing both. There is plenty of activities and you can get involved in all or nothing whatever. Halloween was amazing on this ship. Got to thinking that some people had got half their luggage allowances in costumes. This was a great night and one of many. Cruise Director Todd and ASD James were visable for most of the cruise. The shows in the Encore lounge were all good. Carnivals entertainment is going up market. A beautiful soprano,violinist and tenor. Plus the shows. The comedy shows in the Burgundy lounge were well received. Our final thrill was to have John Heald on board from Bermuda to New York. He is certainly a wonderful ambassador for Carnival. We had tea time with him on our last sea day and he appears very genuine. The docking and transfers in New York were easy. This was a wonderful cruise and we cannot wait for the Carnival Magic hopefully to do it all over again.Bring it on. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2009
We sailed on the Dream October 12-28th. We travelled with three adults and one 19 month old baby. The ship is..nice, but borderline tacky (sorry if I offend some). Very Las Vegas style. Many lights and colours. The common areas ... Read More
We sailed on the Dream October 12-28th. We travelled with three adults and one 19 month old baby. The ship is..nice, but borderline tacky (sorry if I offend some). Very Las Vegas style. Many lights and colours. The common areas are well kept, as some have previously mentioned I saw some of the wear and tear already as well. The Encore theatre is nice, but there are quite a few posts, so if you are not there early before a show starts, you will end up with a seat with an obstructed view of the stage. Rooms: The staterooms were nice, at least the one we had. We were on deck 7 and have no complaints of noise. The room was a decent size, but when you are 4 in the same cabin, it will always be tight! Our room stewards were fantastic. We were well taken care of. We did however hear a lot of complaints from others about floor 9. People heard the chairs being moved around on Lido deck. Also on floor 8 (i think), many smelt food being cooked all day long. Food: The food was decent. Nothing that blew my mind...okay, except the melting cake :)..but the meals in the dining hall were good. We did note that the chefs never use garlic. Food was a little bland at times. On the Lido deck there is the buffet (very average, we also thought there should be more salad bar choices), the burger grill (never went), pizza (pretty good), deli (never went but it looked good), tandoori (the best! we loved the food and ate lunch there every sea day) and the Mongolian grill (pretty good, but always long line ups). Room service was prompt, but we always seemed to be missing something or received way too much of another. We would ask for a pot of coffee for three and some half anf half and would get 6, yes 6, little pots of cream! What a waste. But the service was very efficient and friendly. Service: Room stewards were fantastic (Arnold & Serin). The dining hall seemed, let's say, very chaotic. Service was slow, our waiter was very nice, but always seemed lost. As well, one night our table was missing, it had been removed from the dining hall! We were also put in a side room, off of the main dining hall. This was okay for us as we had a baby, but I can imagine for other couples this could be a let down as you were secluded from all of the action. One family beside us complained (as they had probably the worst table in the house, beside the entrance and telephone!) and nothing was done to move them... Laundry: What a disaster! I expected the waits to be long as it was a 12 day cruise and many people may have stayed in Rome a few days prior to the cruise, but what I couldnt have imagined was that the water pressure was so low that we had to fill the machines with water ourselves! People were taking water bottles and filling the machines or else it would take about an hour to do a wash. Waits were the norm as there were not very many machines on board for 3600 people! Shows: We went to the country show (we stayed through half as baby was ready to leave) it was okay. The dancing in the street show was great! Camp Carnival: I never left the baby, but did go with her to play. Facilities and staff were great. Lots of toys for the kids to play with. Disembarkation: Very confusing. People everywhere and no staff to help direct people to the right place. People were cutting the lines and the wait to get on the free shuttle to the port entry was quite long. All in all we had a great cruise. I think there are some 'kinks' that need to be worked out as service was a little inconsistent at times. The lesson we learned is that these big ships are not for us. Traveling with so many passengers is at times quite trying. The pushing and shoving for coffee each morning and the cutting lines left us feeling like we had to constantly be on guard. Not Carnival;s fault, but a lesson learned for us! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2009
Our initial thoughts on our Inaugural cruise on Carnival Dream - this was our 12th cruise with Carnival and 22nd overall. We had a great time on our trip. Pre-cruise. We stayed in Rome for 2 nights prior. We took the Airport shuttle ... Read More
Our initial thoughts on our Inaugural cruise on Carnival Dream - this was our 12th cruise with Carnival and 22nd overall. We had a great time on our trip. Pre-cruise. We stayed in Rome for 2 nights prior. We took the Airport shuttle train into the city. Our hotel was close to the Rome Termini train station. It was OK for a 3-star hotel, but the location made it easy to get to on arrival and when left for the ship. We did a Rome tour by night - thanks Lisa. We took the train to Civitavecchia on the morning of embarkation. We took an Intercity train, which was shorter - only 1 stop in Rome before going direct to Civitavecchia - the train continued north after that. For an extra 3 Euros each we went first class and had assigned seats. It is about a 10 minute walk from the train station to the port entrance. Easy enough if you have wheels on your luggage, but you can take a taxi if you wish. From the port entrance there is a free shuttle bus to each of the different ships. The embarkation process was very easy and we were aboard the ship by 11am. Positives: Spa facilities - similar to Splendor with some added treatment rooms. If you wish to pay for 12 day access to the Spa facilities - Steam and Sauna rooms, Thalossotherapy pool etc you can purchase them onboard. We forget what the daily rate is, but at the start of the cruise you can purchase a pass for the entire cruise for $329 - which will admit two people. This rate is cheaper on Caribbean cruises. Massages and treatments are extra. Bear in mind that you may be challenged to get the full enjoyment of the spa each day if you are off the ship visiting all the ports in Europe, but that is an individual choice. For those that don't get the spa passes, they still have excellent steam rooms in the regular Men's and Women's change rooms, and a co-ed sauna with a window on the side for a view. Slides. With few children aboard, many adults tried out the slides. They have two long tube/covered slides. One is a typical twisting slide, and the other is called the Drainpipe - it is a shorter slide but has a steep bit to launch you out into a round bowl where you slide around until you come to a stop and then get out at the bottom centre. They were both a lot of fun. You get a great view of the ship - and sea or port - from the top of the slides. Adult-only areas. The Serenity deck area is on Deck 14 at the front, and the pool at the aft of the ship on Deck 10 is adult only. (more on this later). We didn't use the Serenity areas on Deck 14 but they looked very relaxing and are probably very popular on warm sea days. Ship Layout. The Deck 5 Lanai (exterior deck area) is a noticeable change from Splendor and earlier Carnival ships. This was a popular area to walk around the ship, however this could change when the ship gets to the Caribbean as we understand Deck 5 is going to be full of deck chairs to provide additional places for passengers to lie out and relax. The jogging track is on Deck 12 at the aft of the ship although there weren't many joggers out, and most of the walkers were on Deck 5. The Spa staff suggested it was 4 laps of the jogging track for 1 mile, but it is more like 6 laps. For those who were looking for a quieter method to move from bow to aft or vice versa - try Deck 4 rather than Deck 5. Deck 5 has more activities and therefore more passengers, but Deck 4 is usually much less crowded. Food. We enjoyed the food. Many of the popular items from past Carnival menus were included on the dinner menus. We understand food is a very subjective topic, but we found the food to be just as good as recent Carnival and RCI cruises. We ate all of our meals in assigned dining - 1st sitting Crimson Dining Room and didn't go to the Supper Club. Welcome Aboard party. There are separate activities for 1st and 2nd sitting. With so many passengers, the reception was split across all the lounges at the back of Deck 5 and the Welcome Aboard by the Captain was done later that night at the Production Show. We found the bar service to be very prompt and they provided a good selection of bar drinks. Everyone was well dressed on both formal nights. Dancing in the Street Production Show. Terrific. Lots of different entertainment included in this show that had something for everyone. Just about everyone we spoke to said this was one of the best (if not the best) show on a ship they had seen in a long time. Try to sit somewhere in the centre of the theatre (upper or lower) to see everything that is presented. Fun Hubs. The ship has around 34 computer stations. Most people go to the main facility in the middle of Deck 5, so it is a bit more crowded there, so find some of the other ones scattered across the ship and you can use those without a line. Those who bring their own laptops can log in from anywhere on the ship. You can get an account for free to access basic news, ship layout, and an electronic version of the Carnival Capers. You can do this from any FunHub or personal laptop. If you want to access the internet, you will pay for that. Packages range from 45min $29 (.64/min), 120 min $59 (.49/min), 240 min $89 (.37/min) and 480 min $159 (.33/min). They have a small number of promotions for extra/discounted minutes based on when you log in on certain days. We found the FunHub staff to be very helpful and most times we walked by they were helping someone with questions. Libary. A modest collection of books to start, however they were all hardback and brand new. By the end of the cruise passengers had dropped off a number of paperbacks for future cruisers to read. They have quite a few games in the library as well. We don't know if the Children's activities have a separate section for board games. Cabins. We had a problem with the thermostat in the room, but when we called maintenance, someone showed up within minutes to look at it. Overall the rooms were great, they have flat screen TVs and the beds were very good. The bed frame seemed a bit higher than previous ships, which means that most luggage should be able to fit under the bed. We had a Cat 9A corner cabin with a larger balcony at the aft, however the room layout meant that there was no small sofa in the cabin. There were small armchairs however. Other than the sound from toilets flushing, the sound insulation between rooms was very good - we never heard our neighbours. Seaside Theatre Outside Screen over the Main Pool. Very good visibility. Note that movies, concerts and relaxing spa-like shows are shown. No news is shown on the big screen, apparently as a result of previous passenger comments. Several news channels are available in the cabins including CNN International, BBC World, Euro News, German, Italian, French news, etc., Itinerary. Very good. Many people we spoke with would have been happy to spend extra time in Barcelona, Monaco, etc., however doing so would have meant a longer cruise, or skipping a port. We had been to several of the ports before but took the time to visit Barcelona and Monaco. In Barcelona we visited Las Ramblas, Parc Guell and La Sagrada Familial. Time flew by in Barcelona and many of the people we spoke with at the end of the day while waiting to get the shuttle back to the ship (5 Euros rtn per person) said the same thing. It may be worthwhile trying to do a few things well rather than try to see many things briefly. In Barcelona we used the public bus, taxi and subway in addition to the shuttle downtown. In Monaco we did a private tour with Revelation tours - Frank was our driver - he gave us a great tour and we visited some scenic lookouts larger buses didn`t visit. We visited Monte Carlo / Monaco, Eze, Nice and St Paul de Vence. We stopped to walk around Eze, Nice, St Paul and Monte Carlo. We recommend them highly - www.revelation-tours.com Fellow Cruisers. We met lots of great people from all over the world on this cruise. Everyone had a different experience and it was fun to share stories. It was great touring with others (all our CC friends) and meeting others aboard (Lynette and Ian among others). The CC Meet and Greet started off beside a Trivia contest and we moved to an empty lounge. Disembarkation. In Civitavecchia this starts early. People were leaving by 6am. We left around 7:20am and the ship would have been cleared probably by 8:30am at the latest. It seemed that people were able to get the disembarkation time they wanted, and the process of retrieving luggage in the terminal area was organized and simple enough when we went through. If you wish you can do self-assist and take all of your luggage with you. We took a private shuttle to Rome airport along with some other CC passengers - thanks Joanne! Points to Impove. We'll try to keep this brief (we did have a good time after all...) Entertainment. We found this OK, however there were only 2 production shows on a 12 day cruise. The 1st one was extremely good, however the production of the 2nd show (Get Ready) was just an average production of Motown and R&B song and dance. Apparently there was a 3rd show - Extreme Country - but if so, we missed it. Pools. We were told that the Main Pool was among the smallest in the fleet. There are extra Whirlpools on this ship (Deck 5) however no doubt the pools will be crowded on Sea Days in the Caribbean. Unlike Splendor, the Main Pool does not have a retractable roof, which means that on cool or rainy days, the Main Pool area will not be as useful. Inaugural Cruise. As head office is recognizing the New York cruise for the naming ceremony and inaugural activities there wasn't much additional benefit to being on the first passenger cruise. We did get a gift of a standard black Carnival photo folder (holds two 8 x 10s) and were told repeatedly that we were the first to cruise on Dream, so we would always have that. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2009
I knew the ship was going to be beautiful from the pictures I had seen on the internet, but I was so surprised to see how much more beautiful it was in person. It had a very luxurious feel to it but it still had the fun atmosphere of a ... Read More
I knew the ship was going to be beautiful from the pictures I had seen on the internet, but I was so surprised to see how much more beautiful it was in person. It had a very luxurious feel to it but it still had the fun atmosphere of a Carnival ship. I will keep my review very short but I could write on forever about this gorgeous ship. This was my 11th cruise with Carnival and quite possibly the best. I (age 33) was traveling with my mother (age 60). We had a balcony room. Embarkation: Civitavecchia remains one of the most efficient cruise ports I have ever been to. Did not have to wait long to board the ship. Food: The food was excellent. The menu consisted of several of my favorite dishes that I had on other Carnival cruises and many new ones. The dining room staff was outstanding and it was nice to see Ken the Maitre 'd again and to hear his singing. The lido food and service were also excellent and I really enjoyed the new pasta bar on this ship. I just wish it operated during dinner and not just lunch. We ordered room service just about every morning and some days for lunch. and it arrived promptly and what was supposed to be hot would be hot and what was cold was cold. Ship & Public Areas: The ship was spotlessly clean and all throughout the cruise you would see many people painting and scrubbing something although it was a new ship. I really liked the fact that you could walk around the whole ship outside on the Deck 5 Lanai. There was lots of space around the ship to sit and have a quiet drink or to socialize with other passengers. Plenty of places to check email or to use the Fun Hub too on Deck 5 and even a "hidden away" area on Deck 4 with computers. Crew: The crew was simply amazing. You could tell that everyone from the officers to the crew really enjoyed their job and were proud of their new ship. Especially the captain. Room Stewards: The room stewards always kept our room neat and clean. There was never a shortage of clean towels, personal items or ice in the room. I would encourage everyone to sail on this great ship! We are actually booked on it again for a Caribbean cruise in early 2010 and are curious to see the difference in the feel of the ship in the Caribbean than in Europe. I hope Carnival returns to Europe regularly soon. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2009
Having sailed with Carnival a number of times in the Caribbean and in 2007 sailing this same itinerary on the Freedom, we were quite relaxed about taking the same cruise again. What we didn't realise until reading threads on Cruise ... Read More
Having sailed with Carnival a number of times in the Caribbean and in 2007 sailing this same itinerary on the Freedom, we were quite relaxed about taking the same cruise again. What we didn't realise until reading threads on Cruise Critic is how much excitement is generated when its an inaugural cruise. We had initially booked on The Liberty before being bumped off when the summer sailings were pulled owing to the financial markets. We had talked our friends into sailing with us, they were cruise virgins, and apart from a change of date, they had no idea that we had changed ships. We stayed overnight in Civitavecchia as we have done previously, I can recommend this to anyone who doesn't particularly want to "do" Rome. Check-in was smooth and we were on the ship by 11.30. Although we were told cabins wouldn't be ready until after 1.00pm we were able to dump our carry onus in the stateroom. This was the first chance we had had to see the Lanai and the new promenade deck on deck 5. We were in a port side balcony on deck 6 Upper and we were desperate to see what our view would be like from the balcony. Fortunately although we couldn't look straight down to the water as the promenade was beneath us we had no hot tubs or sitting areas directly underneath us. Although there was a sitting area 3 cabins along to our left , the nearest hot tub was way down towards the front of the ship. The cabins themselves were pretty much Carnival standard so nothing much to write about there. One thing to note is we were just below the disco so there was some noise but the effects of the G&T's usually got me off to sleep without any problem. Throughout the cruise the cabin steward and his team were always busy working away and typically kept the ice bucket full, (always a good sign). As you would expect on an inaugural cruise the ship was bright and clean, although I would say the lighting was too red for my liking !! We spent the first afternoon exploring the ship and getting our bearings, mind you my DW and my friends DW never did get the hang of it !! The first negative was the new format for the Muster Drill which had everyone gather in various public rooms rather than at the lifeboats. After what seemed an age and announcements in a number of languages I still didn't know how to get to my lifeboat. This caused a problem in that as it over run the dining room wasn't ready for first seating dinner, which also made our late sitting even later. We got into the dining room at 8.30 and it still wasn't ready, the staff were at sixes and sevens and our wait staff weren't ready to take our order until almost 9.00pm. We finally left the dining room some time after 10.30pm. It was complete chaos. We didn't blame the staff and told our apologetic waiters that. I think they didn't expect to see us back after that performance. We did dine every night in the Main Dining Room apart form the two night where we went to the Steak House or Supper Club what ever you want to call it. I was a little disappointed with some of the dishes served up but our waiter spotting my not being impressed always manage to rustle up something else for me. The entertainment on the ship was excellent especially in the lounges, although I was surprised that the piano bar seemed almost empty most nights. The karaoke host had a nightmare trip as most of the song catalogue had not been loaded onto the fancy swanky new computer system which meant she struggled to get people to stay with her. By the end of the trip I think she was shunted into a lounge at the rear of the ship and she seemed to be on her own. The Spa treatment area was huge but some of the prices seemed a little expensive for our tastes. There is still a free sauna off the gym area if you don't want to pay through the nose for some fancy treatment. The Serenity Deck area was where we hung out for most of the time when we were taking in the suns rays and I can recommend it to everyone (well the adults anyway). My wife and I had a problem with our S&S cards as her details were on mine and mine on hers. So when I bought beer she had to sign for it, and when she bought perfume and Spa treatments I had to sign for it. When we got it changed at the Pursers desk they didn't re take the photos , so for the first 3 port days I had trouble getting on and off the ship. The itinerary , as I have said, we had done before, and we were lucky with the weather in every port the sun shone, although Barcelona was cloudy first thing with a spot of rain. All in all another great trip, of course there were problems with it being a brand new ship, one in particular being the Internet connection which was hit and miss all cruise. Also some of the staff seemed a little unsure of themselves. Strange dining times with the Burrito bar and the Indian closing in mid afternoon, but I am sure these will be resolved. I still have a slight concern for some of those staterooms which over look the lanai port side. Not only do they have hot tubs but its also where the smokers hang out. I am sure Carnival will have to put some restrictions on usage when she moves to the Caribbean especially during Spring Break Read Less
Sail Date: September 2009
We were led to believe that we were booking an inaugural and were very excited about it. I was bent on being on the very first of the European cruises as we had loved all the special things that were done for Carnival Legend on ... Read More
We were led to believe that we were booking an inaugural and were very excited about it. I was bent on being on the very first of the European cruises as we had loved all the special things that were done for Carnival Legend on Carnival's first time in Europe. However, we learned that ours was not the REAL inaugural. That was going to be in NYC. Unfortunately, we were not alone in our disappointment. No bands or entertainers to see us off in Rome, nor at any port but Dubrovnik. No special shows or performers. In fact, the Country show was not ready so we had only 9 show nights and only 2 big shows. We really felt cheated. We thought that Carnival should have given us all some sort of perk - money off on a future cruise at least - for being the ones helping them find all the quirks, etc. DH's night light was inoperative and it took 4 days to get it fixed. Maintenance evidently had no one who spoke English, for one thing. Also, they were busy with more important issues on the ship. Turned out the light was miswired. We actually were the ones who figured out what was wrong. Voice mail for Customer Service did not work. The employees continually put you on hold or hung up on you. So many problems they could not handle them all. It got better toward the end. This was a huge problem for only 3 cabins on board - ours and 1222 and 1221. The Spa Deck's rooms all start with 1220, 1221 or 1222. If you dialed the room number, as you were instructed for every other floor, you got Riviera Decks 1220, 1221 or 1222 as the last digit was dropped. You were supposed to dial 4 first. However, no one knew that, even by the last night. We had calls to our room (1220) at all hours. The last night, when we needed to go to bed early as debarkation was starting at 6 am, we had our last call at midnight. Given the attitude of the maintenance dept, I would say that these are rooms to be avoided. I am betting the phone situation is not fixed. This is a new problem for Carnival as they never had a 12th floor before. But Magic will have the same issue so they need to figure it out. Food was better than NCL or RCI but not as good as Legend or Glory. I liked the tandoori place on Lido and, of course, the melting chocolate cake. I would have liked the mongolian barbecue but did not have the patience to stand in line forever. Sushi could have been at a better time and more often. They did have lobster which some companies are dropping. Also baked Alaska. We had Ken the singing Maitre d' on Legend and enjoyed him again. Our wait staff was terrific. Got me some of that Norrbrod (rye with seeds)from breakfast for my dinner every night. Otherwise, the breads were not exceptional. Tipped the waiters extra. We were not impressed with Todd as cruise director and had hoped for John Heald. Todd did very little for Cruise Critic folk of which there were many. Giving us a black fake leather frame with a picture of the ship did not make up for the lack of inaugural perks. Plus, now that we are home, the adhesive has given out. Made in China, no doubt. We did take the Back of the Ship tour and enjoyed it despite the high price. We had not been in the engine control room nor the wheelhouse ever despite many years of cruising. The computer Fun stations were a disaster on our cruise. They had an awful time making them work and I was truly ticked at having to leave 20 min behind as service stopped the last night prematurely. Europe had very few internet cafes so we were at the mercy of the Fun Hubs. The Street show was certainly unusual and we enjoyed it but perhaps not as much as most. Just not into break dancing. Over all, the shows were a very weak spot for Dream. Our cabin location was perfect and our cabin stewards were great. Room was always clean as a whistle. We were just one deck from the ramp to depart at almost all the ports. I particularly chose Riviera because it is sandwiched between two floors of cabins so is a lot quieter than many other decks - no rolling trash cans or music overhead. We were ones who thought the bed was too hard. I am getting used to the nice deluxe beds at Westin, Sheraton, Marriott, etc so this took some getting used to. That said, we slept like babies. Sadly, some people did draw stuff on the very art deco figures in the hallways so we did not leave the ship as pristine as we found it. It is easily removed by a steward so speak up if you find the graffiti. We did like that part of the decor. The atrium was very tall but not big around so it was strange looking. Legend was all done in brown and gray and was blah. This, at least, was colorful, mostly reds and oranges. We were blessed with perfect weather. I even got down a water slide! Embarkation was a breeze. We were on the 3rd bus to arrive - decided that since we flew in the day of the cruise from California we would not be in a mood to drag luggage in and out of a train station so bought the transfer. We enjoyed exploring the new ship and staff was still unloading boxes! Debarkation was equally well organized and we took a shuttle with some other cruise critic folk and saved half over the ship's cost. Took us right to the Sheraton Roma. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2009
This was our second time on the Carnival Dream. Some of the issues that we saw that were minor problem have been rectified. Long Lines: Carnival has addressed this issue by having other areas available during peak times for food. ... Read More
This was our second time on the Carnival Dream. Some of the issues that we saw that were minor problem have been rectified. Long Lines: Carnival has addressed this issue by having other areas available during peak times for food. Offering four comedy shows each night. Staff: The staff is still overworked and seemed a little frazzled but I think it is because they have a lot of new trainees. And..... if they forget something they have to travel to mid ship to the galley to get it. We had wonderful servers as always....but you could tell some of the servers were under a lot of stress. Dancing in the streets: absolutely the best show EVER we have seen on any cruise ship. I have been on 15 cruises and this was the BEST. The acrobatic dancers were fantastic. Food: Plenty to pick from. Good quality. Pasta bar our favorite. Unruly Children: Its too bad people go on vacation to get away from their kids because we ran into plenty of those kids running wild throughout the ship. The one question we kept asking is WHERE WERE THEIR PARENTS? We had a wrap around balcony that was unbelievable. Private..... huge and the best we ever had. Embarking: Fantastic, quick and easy Debarking: Best ever at any port. We used Luggage express..... where the cruise line takes your luggage from the hallway and the next time you see it is on the baggage claim at home. Definitely worth it. No CHECKING IN.... they do it for you. Go straight to the airport..... through security and your done. CARNIVAL GOOD JOB!!! SMELL: On our first trip on the Dream.......there was an occasional sewer type smell near the mid ship pool. This time.... it was still there but hardly worth mentioning. Sometimes you wonder how people can be on the same cruise and have experiences. My husband did not smell the sewer smell at all.... while I did! So.... it leads to believe that the smell only bothers sensitive noses like mine. LET ME BE VERY CLEAR...... this was so MILD...... it will NOT affect the quality of your cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2009
My husband and I travel quite often.He is great at planning trips. This is only our 8th cruise, but we love to see different parts of the world and I really wanted to go on this particular ship.We live only 38 miles from Port Canaveral, so ... Read More
My husband and I travel quite often.He is great at planning trips. This is only our 8th cruise, but we love to see different parts of the world and I really wanted to go on this particular ship.We live only 38 miles from Port Canaveral, so it was an easy drive. We were joined by good friends we have known for a long time, who are great traveling companions.We arrived at the port at 10:30. Once on board we headed up to the Lido deck. My husband quickly found the Pasta Bar and the Prime Rib, so he was happy. My friend & I did a quick tour of the Spa and Serenity decks. When we returned, we all headed down to check out our cove balconies (don't tell anyone, but these are a great value!). We met our room steward, Jhonny, who kept our rooms immaculate all week. He always had a smile on his face. My husband & I then went up to the Lido for a meet n' greet with some fellow cruise critic passengers. Then it was down to the Crimson Restaurant for the new & improved Muster drill. We walked back to the Scarlet Restaurant to check on our table assignment for dinner. There we met a couple who were apparently from our home town (he was wearing a Pitt hat). After a few minutes I realized that his wife & I graduated from the same college the same year. Big ship, small world! At dinner that evening, we quickly surmised that our table on the upper level was in a rather high traffic area and knew that we would be requesting to move. Plus the unsupervised toddler at the next table had several near misses with the waiters. An accident waiting to happen! We explored the ship more after dinner. Found the Page Turner Library, with a good supply of books & games, then just wandered around checking out all the places I had read about online. The ship is absolutely beautiful! The layout is similar to the Carnival Freedom and Splendor, but much more subdued and elegant in decor. We finally went to the Encore Theatre for the Welcome Aboard Show with our favorite cruise director, John Heald. This is our third cruise with John. His British accent, wicked sense of humor and uncanny ability to find people with the most "memorable" names, makes for an evening you will never forget.Funny, funny man! The Encore is also very elegant. Beautiful gray-beige granite on the walls around the stage. The mini tables in front of the leather sofas were a pale green granite. It all comes together quite nicely. So far, A+ on decor, cove balcony, room steward, muster drill and cruise director! now for the Food- BREAKFAST--Most mornings we ate in the Scarlet dining room. My favorite is the Eggs Benedict, which you can also get at Brunch, and there it is served on Cranberry Brioche bread..yum! My husband usually opted for an omelet, which you can also get at the Gathering on Lido deck.We always got the fresh fruit. At the Gathering Buffet I ate the French Toast, Banana bread and spinach baked in filo. Their orange juice is quite good also, and we squeeze our juice from our own orange trees at home. LUNCH--so many choices! I love the Deli, great Reuben or smoked salmon on bagels.The Fresh Pasta Bar has the best meat lasagna I have ever eaten (including Italy)Our friends loved the sliders at the BBQ on deck 5. DINNER--We requested a table change and am happy to report that we were moved to the lower level, in the rear by the windows to a table for 10 with the best waiters in the world!I Made and Inyoman from Indonesia were our waiters. Efficient,charming and great dancers. Practically everything we ate was good, especially the warm chocolate melting cake. We also ate at the Chef's Art Supper club. We always do this. I think the Supper Clubs are a great value. I actually thought the decor here was a bit understated(imagine saying that about a Carnival ship!). I actually preferred the opulence of the Carnival Splendor or Freedom. Also there was no live music on the night we were there. The food was fantastic though, from the jumbo Tiger Shrimp to the chocolate sampler, all wonderful. We only ate here once,however, because our table at the Scarlet restaurant was so perfect. ENTERTAINMENT-- When you read every one's reviews and they tell you not to miss the "Dancing in the Streets" Show...Believe them! It is a Broadway quality show. Lawrence Neals is an outstanding singer and the Carnival Dancers are superb. A great show. Get there early. If you do not enjoy this show, please check your pulse to see if you are alive... A+ on the food and entertainment! PORTS OF CALL COZUMEL-We rented a car from Alamo. We stopped at Paradise Beach, then drove to the other side of the island to Playa Bonita and had some Killer Margaritas! Fortunately my dear husband was driving and he did not have any tequila!! We also drove to San Gervasio to see the ruins. Later we found the Megastore, a cleaner version of Walmart. A delightful day! ISLA ROATAN- We could not dock here because of the high winds. I had booked a private tour for four with Victor Bodden because of all the rave reviews I read on Cruise Critic. We were going to go zip lining and visit the monkeys, so I felt really bad about missing this port. BELIZE- We booked a Carnival Excursion to Altun Ha and River Wallace.Big mistake! We were herded into a big line, waited awhile, then told to turn around and get onto a small boat for the River Cruise. For 90 minutes, we inhaled exhaust fumes from the rear of the boat where we sat. It was nauseating, and that was just the beginning of the tour.Then we had to take a bus to Altun Ha. I couldn't wait to get back on our beautiful ship! COSTA MAYA-We booked a tour with Native Choice which I read about on Cruise Critic. Wonderful tour! We went to Chacchoben in an air-conditioned van with seven other passengers. Our tour guide was Jose. He was great.I loved these ruins. So much more pleasant than the day before. I highly recommend this excursion. All in all I really enjoyed this cruise. It is a beautiful ship, impeccably clean, great wait staff, unlimited entertainment, endless amounts of good food, hilarious cruise director, and I went with the man of my dreams! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2009
My Wife and I booked this cruise to celebrate our 20th anniversary.Our problems started when we arrived at Pearson International Airport in Toronto.WE made it through US Customs in 10 minutes .We had time to get a meal before our plane ... Read More
My Wife and I booked this cruise to celebrate our 20th anniversary.Our problems started when we arrived at Pearson International Airport in Toronto.WE made it through US Customs in 10 minutes .We had time to get a meal before our plane left at 10:30am .We arrived at the gate for our plane well before it would be boarding.At 945am we saw airport security set up a table at the walkway to the plane and proceed to bodily inspect each and every passenger including young infants.The plane finally left the gate and departed for Orlando at 1230pm,2 hours late.I called the Carnival hotline to let them know this was happening.They said they would let the ship know we would be late arriving.They also said trasportation to the ship would be available upon our arrival.We arrived at Orlando Airport at 310pm saturday December 26 2009.We saw no one from Carnival there so I called the hotline again.They put me on hold as they checked the status of the ship.When they came back they said we could not get on the ship and they would arrange for us to stay in Orlando and meet the ship in Cozumel on Monday.We had to pay for the Hotel and our meals and would be given an onboard credit when we arrived on the ship.We spent 2 cold nights in Orlando instead of enjoying our cruise.On Monday dec 28 2009 we left Orlando at 9am for Houston the after a 2 hour stop over we boarded another plane for Cozumel MX.We arrived in Cozumel at 2pm.We paid for a shuttle to the ship.We walked past the stores near the dock to the security gate.No carnival rep was there as promised so we had to wait while the security personal filled out a form for us.We then walked our 4 suitcases down the dock to the ship and waited for 20 minutes while security on the ship made arrangements for us to board.At 4pm we walked on board and got our cards at the pursers desk for our room.No one helped us with our bags to the room.We had a quick shower then looked around the ship before going for dinner.Our table reserved for us had been given away so they sat us next to the kitchen entrance.Next day we got a crd under the door that said we had our booked table back.Wrong,they goofed! They put us at another table again!We found that the door between the balconys moved a lot during the night so i jammed the rubber door stop in it.The people in the room next to ours smoked a lot.We are none smokers.The galley of the ship is above the room we were in so yes we heard a lot of noise all night.I have sent a letter to Carnival asking for a refund of our cruise that we did not enjoy at all.We have sailed with Carnival 8 times in the past and this is the first time they let us down. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2009
I recently took a Eastern Caribbean cruise aboard the Carnival Dream. I traveled with my girlfriend and we are both 22 and have both been on 1 cruise prior (me on Carnival and her on Royal Caribbean). The embarkation process was fairly ... Read More
I recently took a Eastern Caribbean cruise aboard the Carnival Dream. I traveled with my girlfriend and we are both 22 and have both been on 1 cruise prior (me on Carnival and her on Royal Caribbean). The embarkation process was fairly easy and smooth and the staff was very friendly and helpful. I was already pretty familiar with the layout and the design of the ship prior to boarding so no surprises once I stepped aboard. The atrium is beautiful but also small compared to the atrium on my last cruise (carnival glory). We were pleasantly surprised upon entering our room as it was bigger than expected and our room was right in the front of the ship so we had a great view looking out the window. Our room steward was excellent, very friendly and very helpful. For the most part the entire staff on the ship was friendly and helpful although I eventually started to get annoyed with somebody always stopping us to take our picture, no big deal though. The layout of the ship is well laid out, everything was easy to find for the most part. There were many times when you felt overwhelmed by the amount of people on board especially when trying to find a lounge chair on the deck or going back to the buffet for seconds and having to wait in another long line. But I expected those things and did not let it ruin my cruise like others do. Activities were fun such as mini golf, water slides, comedy club, different games and various shows. I felt the pools were way to small and to only have 2 is kind of ridiculous in my opinion. There were also times when me and my girlfriend were bored, we got tired of the same ol' stuff everyday. Not enough things to do around the ship in my opinion. Overall we enjoyed our experience but were disappointed at some things. I think our next cruise will be on the Oasis of the Seas or possibly Norwegian Epic this coming summer. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2009
I had read several comments regarding their cruise experience on the Carnival Ship Dream, and some of the reviews were not favorable. This gave me some concern when I booked my Eastern Caribbean cruise on this ship. After completing the ... Read More
I had read several comments regarding their cruise experience on the Carnival Ship Dream, and some of the reviews were not favorable. This gave me some concern when I booked my Eastern Caribbean cruise on this ship. After completing the cruise I found myself in disagreement with most of the negative reviews. I found the food to be great, the crew to be very friendly and accommodating, good entertainment, clean environment, and comfortable balcony cabin. Boarding the ship was a bit of an ordeal requiring about 1 hour. The ports of call were underwhelming. Nassau was a little lame, St Thomas seemed in need of significant refurbishing, St Martin/St marten was superb. The departure weather was unusually cold extending all the way to Nassau and St Thomas. St Martin finally produced 85 degree weather suitable for water activities. I did notice a slight waft of Methane the first day at sea, but it was not repeated during the balance of the cruise. I would take the Carnival Ship Dream again, but I returning to Nassau or St Thomas in the immediate future is not likely for me. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2009
My wife and I are in our mid 40's and have been cruising each year for the last 10 years. Our anniversary is Dec 31st so we always try to do a cruise near that time. We have been on about 9 cruises before (all with Celebrity) and ... Read More
My wife and I are in our mid 40's and have been cruising each year for the last 10 years. Our anniversary is Dec 31st so we always try to do a cruise near that time. We have been on about 9 cruises before (all with Celebrity) and LOVED every one of them. We decided to try out Carnival and the Dream because it was a brand new ship and we liked the fact that it went out of Port Canaveral. After booking our trip, I researched and reviewed the Carnival Dream. There weren't too many reviews being that it was so new, however the majority of reviews were negative and we were quite skeptical as we drove to our cruise. Thats why I HAD TO write this review. the reviews made me nervous and not really looking forward to our anniversary trip. I have to tell you that it was fantastic. Parking at Port Canaveral could not have been easier. I actually could start my car when we got back this morning from our room!!! Thats how close we were to the pier. It was 35 degrees and raining when we got back. Embarkation was as fast as we had ever been witness to. My wife and I asked each other, "that was it?" We were on the boat and in our room in about 10 minutes....no kidding!! The food, service, cleanliness,activities, accommodations, and the overall atmosphere was above our expectations! People like to complain. As far as the smell on the ship....maybe once or twice we had a vague smell that didn't ruin our trip. The smokers were limited in where they could smoke. I personally can't stand the smell of cigarettes. There were 2 places we noticed most of the smoking...the piano bar (indoors) and the back of the boat, which are both designated smoking areas....we just kept clear of those 2 spots. The dinners were by far the best part. We had a girl named Tanya as our waitress and she kept us entertained and well fed each night....she was terrific!! The breakfast was okay too. People kept talking about how long the lines were.....we didn't wait for more than 10 minutes on any line (definitely try the deli on the back of the boat....the grilled pastrami was out of this world). The pizza was also very tasty and not more than a 5 min wait. i think most negative cruisers wanted things yesterday and can't wait to complain! Trying to find a chair was never a problem. Overall I would rate this as one of the top 3 cruises we had been on. The only negative I have to say about the ship is the BUMPINESS OF THE BOAT!!! The seas were not even that bad but the boat makes a terrible creaking noise in the rooms....sounds like a rocking chair in the room net to you. One night I didn't get much sleep with all the bumping and creaking. I just don't think the boat was made correctly or something...or the stabilizers don't work properly because the ship made the same noise each night in the room. Oh ya, you also hear doors slamming shut all the time, mostly from the wind slamming the balcony door shut. Most cruises we have been on the door slides and therefore doesn't lend itself to the slamming shut, but prepare yourself for it. It didn't ruin our cruise and it shouldn't run yours. We enjoyed the shows on the cruise. dancing in the streets was the best. Comedians were good except for Jeff "the FUN DUDE" was very annoying!! Todd the cruise director and his assistant James does a great job. Enjoyed their humor. Sorry so long but I was pleasantly surprised how good a cruise it was after reading all the negative reviews. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2009
My husband and I just returned home today from our cruise on the Carnival Dream. Overall, the cruise was nice but with the boat being so new there are many things which still require the cruise company to correct in order for all cruisers ... Read More
My husband and I just returned home today from our cruise on the Carnival Dream. Overall, the cruise was nice but with the boat being so new there are many things which still require the cruise company to correct in order for all cruisers to have a wonderful experience in the future. The boarding was very efficient and fast. We were not allowed to go directly to our rooms due to the cleaning by housekeeping which did not complete until around 1:30 p.m. This was not a big deal since the buffet lines were open and we could grab a bite to eat. The buffet was OK but lines were very long on all occasions which we used the area. I think the cruise line could have arranged the food a little more efficently to speed up the lines but my biggest complaint was not the line it was the lack of seating. It looks like the boat was designed to seat about 500 people less than necessary. We had to clean tables in order to find one we could use in the buffet. By the time you got your food, then went to get a beverage and then found a place to sit your food was cold or you did not have something you needed. We tried to do as many shows as possible and have a great time as this was my birthday cruise. Upon arrival one of our friends had purchased a birthday decoration for our room and I was nicely surprised by the colorful decorations. The room was an interior and this was the first time we had booked an inside room. I was impressed with the overall size and amount of storage space. The room was equipted with a hair dryer which had not been on some of the carnival boats we have enjoyed in the past. Our friends had a balcony and that room was great, it had a couch, and more storage than our room. The balcony was small but overall a good room. They did complain of the noise from other cruisers who let their balcony doors slam and that their door whistled from the wind. Several times on the cruise we got a whiff of the sewer like smell that others have commented on but not to the point of breathing it all the time. I think this is really diesel or something lacking in the air handling system. I also smelled the same smell up on one of the decks later in the week. The smell was recognized by several passengers we spoke with on the boat and on our floor. The dining room was nice and menus were just like any other carnival ship we have been on. I had really expected a change in food choices but all were basically the same menu. All of the furniture was very uncomfortable! All areas of the ships must have been designed with Danish furniture because they were not made for normal Americans! I found no where in a bar, on deck, in the Atrium etc. that had comfortable seating. We ate at the Chef's Art steakhouse and all except me loved the meal. I ordered my steak medium (pink) and it bleed all over my plate. The waitress never came back to ask if our food was prepared well. The other three in my group raved about how great their food was. The deserts were good but I did notice that the drinks were more expensive in this dining room that other dining areas. The shows were good but crowded. The comedy club was a good idea but with a boat this size it is way too small! We tried to go to four different shows and could not get in. We finally went an hour early for a early show and got in. Excursions were OK. Took the butterfly farm visit in St. Thomas, Paradise Island in Nassau and Island tour and beach stop in St. Martin. All except the butterfly farm were worth the money. Read Less
Carnival Dream Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.5 4.3
Dining 4.5 3.9
Entertainment 3.5 3.9
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 4.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.9
Enrichment 3.5 3.6
Service 5.0 4.2
Value For Money 5.0 4.0
Rates 3.0 4.1

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