Carnival Dream Cruise Review by Mammasquirrel
- Sail Date: April 2015
- Destination: Eastern Caribbean
- Cabin Type: Balcony
We read blogs and reviews about parking, and chose Fulton garage (parking 8.00 per day). The shuttle delivered us and our luggage to the ship without a hitch. We waited in line for about 30-40 minutes before boarding, which was not too bad considering the ship was full. (Good tip is to purchase "Faster to the fun card", lots of perks including boarding and disembarking early and straight to the front of the line)
Key West was "ok", the beaches were rocky and we rented a golf cart and "putted" around the city a little, it was fun and we enjoyed ourselves, but it is difficult to find parking spaces for the carts, so keep that in mind.
Freeport was absolutely fabulous, and our favorite stop on this trip. DO NOT, go to the Grand Lucayan!! All of the reviews I read said that they have a day pass and it was great, blah, blah, blah. We listened to the blogs, as well as previous cruisers. We took a cab to Grand Lucayan and they were "sold out" on day passes. Even people that pre-paid for day passes were not allowed on their beach, but... we went next door to "Memories All-Inclusive Resort" and paid 80.00 per adult and 40.00 per kids, and boy am I glad we did. Everything was fabulous, gorgeous beach, gorgeous pool, friendly staff, several restaurants, pool bars, activities, etc. All the food and alcohol you cold drink was included and I guarantee we ate and drank more than what we paid. I would definitely recommend the memories resort!!
Now for the bad and the ugly... Nassau was overwhelming, it was like a used car lot on steroids, the locals would not leave you alone, I got offered hair braiding, souvenirs, taxi ride, horse and buggy ride, and was even asked if I was interested in a prostitute and dope over and over and over again. The big market was even worse, and I thought two shop owners were going to fight each other over a 20.00 bag. YIKES!! we went to Balmoral Island for the beach day and stingray excursions that Carnival offered. Not a good deal for your money. It cost us 200.00, and is not as described. You walk for 20 minutes through the locals pandering you the whole way, then take a 30 minute boat ride to Balmoral Island (there goes 1 hour) When you get to the island it is beautiful, however the guide then informs you that you have 1 hour to use the beach and then need to meet back for the stingray excursion. After rushing to enjoy the beach for 1 hour, you sit under a hut for another 30 minutes waiting in line to sign a waiver before swimming with the stingrays. Once you get to where the stingrays are you get about 30-40- minutes in the water with them, just enough time for them to take photos, and try to sell you 10 photos for 80.00. (Good tip, DO NOT by the photos from the tour guides, Carnival has then cheaper on the boat and you can only pay for the ones you want) The beach was beautiful there but wish we had more time!
The time on the cruise ship (at sea days) were mediocre, the buffets and small restaurants were good, but closed way too early after lunchtime. The amount of children on this ship was overwhelming (Good Tip, don't go during spring break if you want a relaxing cruise, lesson learned) The kids ran wild, there were no rules enforced by their parents or by Carnival. Children as young as 6 years old ran all over the ship unsupervised at all different time of the day. 10 year old were running down the hallways at 1:30 AM banging on cabin doors and causing all sorts of chaos! The parents of these children didnt seem to care, but Carnival needs to make a rule that children between ages 5-10 need parental supervision at all times or need to go to Camp Carnival until a parent signes them out.
So my final review for this cruise was average. Some good and some bad! Good luck on your next cruise!!
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