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We took our 16-year-old grandson on the Dream, our first Carnival cruise, which sailed out of New Orleans on June 21. We drove down from Memphis the day before and stayed the night at the Holiday Inn Metairie Airport. Rooms are large and nice. Received a coupon for two drinks and two breakfasts with the package which included parking. Had dinner at Acme Seafood, which is close to the hotel and has a high rating on TripAdvisor. The hotel van driver was very personable and helpful with our luggage. The hotel package included two transportation vouchers, so we purchased another one for $20. Check in for the cruise was smooth. Our spa cabin with balcony was nice, and our stewards were excellent. Our bed was comfortable as was our grandson’s. Other than the shower draining very slowly, the room was more than satisfactory. However, I would advise anyone that they should NOT book any of the spa rooms on the port side of the ship. I was awakened at 6:30 every morning by the pounding of the treadmills overhead which lasted until 10:00 at night, unless the employees of the ship were using them. Then it went on until whenever. I finally went to customer service and told them I was exhausted, that I couldn't even take a nap, and they apologized and gave me some cruise credit. However, the best advice I can give is not to book any of the spa cabins on the port side. The spa which was included with our room was nice, but not something we’d pay for again. We are not into HOT steam rooms rooms and HOT pools, so going there was not a high point of our cruise. The small “Relaxation Room” in the spa was my favorite, with chairs that look out into the water and flavored waters and teas available. However, on the last day we had to share the room with an employee who was giving her sales spiel for $199 shoe inserts. I was trying to relax and read a book but couldn’t because of her loud voice as she attempted to convince the ship guests, who were taking up three of the five seats in the room, to purchase her product. If we go on another Carnival Cruise we will make use of the complimentary Serenity Deck and hot tub for adults, which was directly above the spa. Just be sure to arrive early to get a spot. It’s a very popular place. The only excursion we took was the Salsa Salsa and Margaritas. It would have been more of a fun experience, but it was very hot. Because of that we didn't have much to drink, but the salsa making was fun. We didn't stay for the dancing. Instead we went down to the beach so our grandson could rent some snorkeling equipment and use the pretty private manmade beach. It might be worth taking the walkway under the road over to the hotel and using the very large pool. Also, there's free wifi at the hotel, and the signal was good there. An option we were given was to stay there and take a cab on our own back to the ship. We didn't do that this time, but next time I would. We enjoyed the food choices at dinner. The waiters were very attentive and personable. The chocolate melting cake is to die for. I had it every single night for dessert. At lunch there is an Italian restaurant up the stairs from the Lido. It’s kind of hidden, so ask someone to point you there. I understand that although it’s free at lunch they charge extra at dinner. At the reception desk at lunch you fill out a menu with your choices, sit down and your meal is delivered to your table. The two pools on the Dream are very small considering the number of children on the ship. We were disappointed in the room service menu. There were no appetizer choices. Unlike the Holland America cruises we have been on, there were no happy hours that we knew of. Maybe we missed those. The one Comedy Club performance we attended was beyond raw, so we didn’t go back. There are PG shows, but we didn’t attend those. We walked to the beach on Roatan instead of taking the sky ride for $12 a person. The walk is absolutely beautiful with benches and hammocks along the way. The beach is VERY crowded. The beach chairs are lined up with hardly an inch between them. On a future cruise I would look into taking an excursion and not pay for a chair at that crowded beach. At the Roatan port and the beach you can buy an hour of Internet for $5 or all day for $10 that works both places. The connection for our grandson was better near the port. We are used to the extensive library on Holland America, and the library on Carnival is very limited and open for checkout of books only one hour a day. I can understand this, as the people who cruise Carnival aren’t so into quiet pursuits like the older Holland America guests are. It’s a party boat, and I understand that. Our grandson seemed to enjoy the O2 teen club, and we rarely saw him during the day. He had dinner with us in the dining room and left again for the next teen activity. On the morning of disembarkation we went to the Lido for breakfast. Our number was announced earlier than we expected. Our Holiday Inn shuttle came soon after we called, and we arrived back at the Holiday Inn with the same friendly driver. After rereading this critique I realize that I may sound like a curmudgeon. I suppose it comes down to the fact we are the older Holland America types (ages 73 and 72), but that Carnival was our best choice with a teenager. The most important thing to us was that our grandson have a fun time, and even though it wouldn’t have been our first choice for the two of us, I feel the Carnival Dream was the right choice for taking our grandson.

Grandparents on the Carnival Dream

Carnival Dream Cruise Review by Kynana

Trip Details
We took our 16-year-old grandson on the Dream, our first Carnival cruise, which sailed out of New Orleans on June 21. We drove down from Memphis the day before and stayed the night at the Holiday Inn Metairie Airport. Rooms are large and nice. Received a coupon for two drinks and two breakfasts with the package which included parking. Had dinner at Acme Seafood, which is close to the hotel and has a high rating on TripAdvisor. The hotel van driver was very personable and helpful with our luggage. The hotel package included two transportation vouchers, so we purchased another one for $20. Check in for the cruise was smooth.

Our spa cabin with balcony was nice, and our stewards were excellent. Our bed was comfortable as was our grandson’s. Other than the shower draining very slowly, the room was more than satisfactory. However, I would advise anyone that they should NOT book any of the spa rooms on the port side of the ship. I was awakened at 6:30 every morning by the pounding of the treadmills overhead which lasted until 10:00 at night, unless the employees of the ship were using them. Then it went on until whenever. I finally went to customer service and told them I was exhausted, that I couldn't even take a nap, and they apologized and gave me some cruise credit. However, the best advice I can give is not to book any of the spa cabins on the port side.

The spa which was included with our room was nice, but not something we’d pay for again. We are not into HOT steam rooms rooms and HOT pools, so going there was not a high point of our cruise. The small “Relaxation Room” in the spa was my favorite, with chairs that look out into the water and flavored waters and teas available. However, on the last day we had to share the room with an employee who was giving her sales spiel for $199 shoe inserts. I was trying to relax and read a book but couldn’t because of her loud voice as she attempted to convince the ship guests, who were taking up three of the five seats in the room, to purchase her product. If we go on another Carnival Cruise we will make use of the complimentary Serenity Deck and hot tub for adults, which was directly above the spa. Just be sure to arrive early to get a spot. It’s a very popular place.

The only excursion we took was the Salsa Salsa and Margaritas. It would have been more of a fun experience, but it was very hot. Because of that we didn't have much to drink, but the salsa making was fun. We didn't stay for the dancing. Instead we went down to the beach so our grandson could rent some snorkeling equipment and use the pretty private manmade beach. It might be worth taking the walkway under the road over to the hotel and using the very large pool. Also, there's free wifi at the hotel, and the signal was good there. An option we were given was to stay there and take a cab on our own back to the ship. We didn't do that this time, but next time I would.

We enjoyed the food choices at dinner. The waiters were very attentive and personable. The chocolate melting cake is to die for. I had it every single night for dessert.

At lunch there is an Italian restaurant up the stairs from the Lido. It’s kind of hidden, so ask someone to point you there. I understand that although it’s free at lunch they charge extra at dinner. At the reception desk at lunch you fill out a menu with your choices, sit down and your meal is delivered to your table.

The two pools on the Dream are very small considering the number of children on the ship.

We were disappointed in the room service menu. There were no appetizer choices.

Unlike the Holland America cruises we have been on, there were no happy hours that we knew of. Maybe we missed those.

The one Comedy Club performance we attended was beyond raw, so we didn’t go back. There are PG shows, but we didn’t attend those.

We walked to the beach on Roatan instead of taking the sky ride for $12 a person. The walk is absolutely beautiful with benches and hammocks along the way. The beach is VERY crowded. The beach chairs are lined up with hardly an inch between them. On a future cruise I would look into taking an excursion and not pay for a chair at that crowded beach.

At the Roatan port and the beach you can buy an hour of Internet for $5 or all day for $10 that works both places. The connection for our grandson was better near the port.

We are used to the extensive library on Holland America, and the library on Carnival is very limited and open for checkout of books only one hour a day. I can understand this, as the people who cruise Carnival aren’t so into quiet pursuits like the older Holland America guests are. It’s a party boat, and I understand that.

Our grandson seemed to enjoy the O2 teen club, and we rarely saw him during the day. He had dinner with us in the dining room and left again for the next teen activity.

On the morning of disembarkation we went to the Lido for breakfast. Our number was announced earlier than we expected. Our Holiday Inn shuttle came soon after we called, and we arrived back at the Holiday Inn with the same friendly driver.

After rereading this critique I realize that I may sound like a curmudgeon. I suppose it comes down to the fact we are the older Holland America types (ages 73 and 72), but that Carnival was our best choice with a teenager. The most important thing to us was that our grandson have a fun time, and even though it wouldn’t have been our first choice for the two of us, I feel the Carnival Dream was the right choice for taking our grandson.
Kynana’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Ages 16+
Service
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Cabin Review

Spa Balcony
Cabin 8P 11218
Cabins on port side are directly under the treadmills in the Fitness Room. DO NOT choose one of these cabins. The pounding starts at 6:30 and goes until at least 10. Earplugs don't work because most of the time it is more of a vibration than a noise.
Panorama Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins