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We booked the cruise to celebrate our 29th Anniversary and 30 wonderful years of being a couple. We chose the dream because the port was easy to get to and we enjoy visiting New Orleans. We also have not been on a Dream Class ship. Embarkation in New Orleans was the easiest we have ever had. We arrived at the port about 10:30AM and was on the ship before noon. The personnel at the port were friendly, and very helpful. Our embarkation process was easier with Faster to the Fun. We did not have any long lines to stand in while checking in. The only line we were in was boarding the ship. Hennie, the Cruise Director, made the safety briefing hilarious with his different voices. The safety briefing is a standard fare speech. His characters made the speech funny and kept your interest. The fire on the Liberty a few weeks later showed how important the briefing is. The ship was very clean. The crew went out of their way to make your vacation better. I noticed several times that someone was wiping down handrails, and other places where people may have put their hands. All facilities were spotless. Charles, our Cabin Steward, knew us by name when we met. I asked for a couple extra Fun Times each day so I can have one for the scrapbook, and one each for Carol and myself. He delivered every night. He was very friendly and wanted to know if everything is good. The other Cabin Stewards were helpful if we asked for anything. If our steward was not present, the other stewards either took care of the request, or passed the request to Charles. Nancy at the Atrium Bar and Muriel at the Piano Bar were fantastic. They were attentive and checked up on us in case we needed something. We had very good service with the bar staff in all areas of the ship. It never seemed like we had to find a waiter in any area of the ship. The staff in the Chef Art’s Steakhouse were top notch. The chefs made us a great meal, and the waitresses treated us like we were old friends. They went out of their way to make our Anniversary celebration great. The wait staff in the Crimson Dining Room figured out by the second night what each of us. Jose and Iryna work extremely hard running downstairs to the galley and bringing at least a dozen dishes back to the station. They were always smiling and dancing around. Whenever a glass was low, they were there to refill it. Wayan always asked how our cruise is going and what we did during the day. The live music and shows were great. We saw Get Ready and Dancin’ in the Streets. The production shows were spot on. The show band did a great job for the shows. They even performed in the Ocean Plaza and sounded great. We also saw Love and Marriage Show. There are many people griping about using the audience as the show. I disagree. The show was fantastic. It was the ad-lib part that made the show. Music Unlimited was fantastic. The keyboardist could sing everything from Soprano to Bass. At times, they would come on to the dance floor to play with the crowd. They covered Disco, Pop, Soul, Classic Rock, Kenny G, and Motown. We did not travel around Jamaica, except to and from Secrets. Secrets was a fantastic resort. We felt safe there. I would recommend that excursion. Stingray City at Grand Cayman was also great. We spent plenty of time interacting with a misunderstood creature in its natural environment. I learned a lot about sting rays from the guides’ knowledge. The excursion gets a thumbs up. In Cozumel, we did not take a tour. We walked around San Miguel and ate lunch a couple blocks away from the tourist area. We never felt intimidated away from the tourist area. A hawker for a restaurant was not pushy when we told him which one we were looking for. He gave us directions to the place we were going to with a smile. The only complaints I have about the ship are: • I am not sure why they don’t have Cucina Del Capitano restaurant on the ship. It does not seem like it would be hard to implement. • The hash browns are McDonald’s like. Shredded potatoes would be a great improvement. • They did not have the Sea Day Brunch on the last sea day. I was looking forward to it. Debarkation was delayed due to sand bars at the port. The captain had to do some extreme measures to get into the port without dragging the bottom. The Port of New Orleans had to dredge the port after the ship left that evening. Overall, this was one of the most relaxing vacations we have taken in a while. Except having to get up early in Grand Cayman, we never rushed to get somewhere. We are looking forward to our next cruise.

Our Unplugged Dream Cruise

Carnival Dream Cruise Review by NWACruiser

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Trip Details
We booked the cruise to celebrate our 29th Anniversary and 30 wonderful years of being a couple. We chose the dream because the port was easy to get to and we enjoy visiting New Orleans. We also have not been on a Dream Class ship.

Embarkation in New Orleans was the easiest we have ever had. We arrived at the port about 10:30AM and was on the ship before noon. The personnel at the port were friendly, and very helpful.

Our embarkation process was easier with Faster to the Fun. We did not have any long lines to stand in while checking in. The only line we were in was boarding the ship.

Hennie, the Cruise Director, made the safety briefing hilarious with his different voices. The safety briefing is a standard fare speech. His characters made the speech funny and kept your interest. The fire on the Liberty a few weeks later showed how important the briefing is.

The ship was very clean. The crew went out of their way to make your vacation better. I noticed several times that someone was wiping down handrails, and other places where people may have put their hands. All facilities were spotless.

Charles, our Cabin Steward, knew us by name when we met. I asked for a couple extra Fun Times each day so I can have one for the scrapbook, and one each for Carol and myself. He delivered every night. He was very friendly and wanted to know if everything is good. The other Cabin Stewards were helpful if we asked for anything. If our steward was not present, the other stewards either took care of the request, or passed the request to Charles.

Nancy at the Atrium Bar and Muriel at the Piano Bar were fantastic. They were attentive and checked up on us in case we needed something. We had very good service with the bar staff in all areas of the ship. It never seemed like we had to find a waiter in any area of the ship.

The staff in the Chef Art’s Steakhouse were top notch. The chefs made us a great meal, and the waitresses treated us like we were old friends. They went out of their way to make our Anniversary celebration great.

The wait staff in the Crimson Dining Room figured out by the second night what each of us. Jose and Iryna work extremely hard running downstairs to the galley and bringing at least a dozen dishes back to the station. They were always smiling and dancing around. Whenever a glass was low, they were there to refill it. Wayan always asked how our cruise is going and what we did during the day.

The live music and shows were great. We saw Get Ready and Dancin’ in the Streets. The production shows were spot on. The show band did a great job for the shows. They even performed in the Ocean Plaza and sounded great. We also saw Love and Marriage Show. There are many people griping about using the audience as the show. I disagree. The show was fantastic. It was the ad-lib part that made the show.

Music Unlimited was fantastic. The keyboardist could sing everything from Soprano to Bass. At times, they would come on to the dance floor to play with the crowd. They covered Disco, Pop, Soul, Classic Rock, Kenny G, and Motown.

We did not travel around Jamaica, except to and from Secrets. Secrets was a fantastic resort. We felt safe there. I would recommend that excursion.

Stingray City at Grand Cayman was also great. We spent plenty of time interacting with a misunderstood creature in its natural environment. I learned a lot about sting rays from the guides’ knowledge. The excursion gets a thumbs up.

In Cozumel, we did not take a tour. We walked around San Miguel and ate lunch a couple blocks away from the tourist area. We never felt intimidated away from the tourist area. A hawker for a restaurant was not pushy when we told him which one we were looking for. He gave us directions to the place we were going to with a smile.

The only complaints I have about the ship are:

• I am not sure why they don’t have Cucina Del Capitano restaurant on the ship. It does not seem like it would be hard to implement.

• The hash browns are McDonald’s like. Shredded potatoes would be a great improvement.

• They did not have the Sea Day Brunch on the last sea day. I was looking forward to it.

Debarkation was delayed due to sand bars at the port. The captain had to do some extreme measures to get into the port without dragging the bottom. The Port of New Orleans had to dredge the port after the ship left that evening.

Overall, this was one of the most relaxing vacations we have taken in a while. Except having to get up early in Grand Cayman, we never rushed to get somewhere.

We are looking forward to our next cruise.
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Cabin Review

Balcony
Cabin 8E 8296
We were in cabin 8296. It is located about two thirds forward on the Verandah deck port side. The cabin was quiet and large enough for two people. There are complaints on the cruise boards about smokers on the Lanai causing the balcony to smell. I never had an issue with this, and I do not like being around second-hand smoke.
Lido Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Self-Guided Walkabout
    Originally, we planned to do the Great Cozumel Race. Because it was summer and it could be hot, we dropped the expedition. Instead, we planned to explore San Miguel on our own.
    We debarked from the ship into the port. We went through the duty-free stores at the port. They had free tastings of various spirits. We chatted with the salesman for a bit. We got a recommendation for some authentic Cozumel food.
    We grabbed a taxi ($8.00 USD) to San Miguel. While walking around, we went into a jewelry store. While looking around, the owner offered us some tequila shots. DW found a set of earrings. We dickered the price down and purchased the earrings. We also purchased a matching ring at a different store. The salesman also gave us free shots.
    A little note about bartering. The price will drop the longer you wait. If you head out the door, the price may drop some more.
    We decided to head to lunch, since we had several shots already this morning. The first salesman recommended La Choza. It is located away from the tourist area in an area that looks a little sketchy.
    Since it was hot, I had a Pina Colada and DW had a beer. La piña colada era muy grande! We had Shrimp and Chicken Fajitas. They were excellent! Fue una muy buena elección. (It was a very good choice!)
    We were not sure about the time and it was hot, so we headed back to the ship. We did some shopping at the port before getting back on ship. We purchased some rum, tequila, and Crown Royal to bring home.
    View All 12,044 Self-Guided Walkabout Reviews
  • Stingray Swim
    We boarded the Cayman Explorer and off we went to Stingray City. Stingray City is a sandbar located in a bay on Grand Cayman. The water is about three feet deep. There is a good natural supply of food for stingrays. Therefore it became a good way to teach visitors about stingrays in their natural environment.
    We spent nearly an hour with the stingrays. We snorkeled some, took a few underwater photos and video. Then the fun started. We petted, held, and even kissed a stingray. Afterwards, we made a fist. A piece of squid was placed in our fist so we could feed the rays. One thing to remember, keep your thumb down. Stingrays are bottom feeders and feed by sucking their food out of the sand. If your thumb is sticking up, they will think its food and suck your thumb.
    Once we got back to the port, we walked around George Town for a bit. Our guide on the Stingray City tour told us about a Rum Cake store that has free samples. We had to hit there.
    View All 704 Stingray Swim Reviews
  • Secrets All Inclusive Resort
    We booked an excursion to Secrets Resort. Secrets is an all-inclusive resort for adults only. They have resorts in several locations in the Caribbean. The resort in Jamaica has two phases.
    After breakfast on the Lido deck, we headed off the ship to the port. The port funnels you through a shopping area before you get to the transportation area. Once we were on our shuttle, we headed to the resort. The resort was only five minutes from the port.
    At the resort, we snorkeled, ocean kayaked and caught a lot of rays. We had several “Bob Marley’s” while at the beach.
    Our guide told us to try the Jerk Chicken while there. The chef has a grill on wheels. Once there he serves and grills to keep the flow going. Our guide also told us the sauce is very hot. Well it packed some heat, but wasn’t unbearable. It did add a lot of flavor to the meat.
    We finally went to the pool and swim-up bar where we had Pina Coladas. The resort director led a Guess the 80’s Song contest. I did earn one chip, but it was not nearly enough to win.
    View All 12,044 Secrets All Inclusive Resort Reviews
  • New Orleans
    We stayed at the Wyndham Hotel on Royal Street between Iberville and Canal Streets. We checked into room 1601. We thought this was an omen. It was the house number Carol was living at when we met. It became our first home together.
    After relaxing for a while, we took a stroll down the Riverfront Park area. I was not sure if the Carnival Elation was in port and was getting ready to sail. Well it was not in port that day.
    We did see several tankers, barges, and a couple riverboat cruisers. While there, four ladies came up to us. They were on a scavenger hunt and needed to take a photo of someone taking a photo. I volunteered to do the task.
    Afterwards we walked to Jackson Square. It was very warm out and we headed back to the hotel to clean up for dinner.
    We had dinner at Deanie’s Seafood on the corner of Iberville and Dauphine Streets. We had to wait two hours to be seated, but the food is worth it.
    We stopped in Spirit’s to see the place. (We first heard of it on the TV show Bar Rescue.) They added a barber chair to give shots. The victim has to go through a miserable task to get the shot!
    We finished the night at the Piano Bar at Pat O’Brien’s. It was late and we had to get up early to get to the ship!
    View All 611 New Orleans Cruise Port Reviews
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