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 0.0
Dining 4.5 0.0
Entertainment 3.5 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 4.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 3.5 0.0
Service 5.0 0.0
Value For Money 5.0 0.0
Rates 3.0 0.0

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