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Our family traveled to New Orleans for a cruise on the Carnival Dream from Dec 26-Jan 3, 2017. It was AMAZING. I had read so many reviews leading up to the cruise that I was a nervous wreck. Embarkation. I was prepared for this to be hell. It was fast and easy. We arrived at the time we had chosen and we were on the boat with a drink in our hand within 45 minutes. Our cabin was ready at about 3:00 and our bags showed up about the same time. The cabin was clean and everything was in order. I quickly put away the giant bottles of water that are $3.75 each and told the kids to drink (not waste) the 12 pack of water I had ordered before sailing. Our cabin Steward was Wahyu, we tipped him $20 on the first day and he kept everything perfect. I asked for and recieved extra hangers (even though the reviews said it was impossible to get extras). Our room was 9393, it was a great location, we only had neighbors on one side of us. My whole family overpacked for this cruise.... I would suggest going to your suitcase and taking out half of what you put in there... beds were comfy (kids said the fold out beds were hard as a rock) pillows were super soft, no bed bugs, no bugs at all... I was also worried about if the kids would like the kids club areas? According to reviews, they sucked and were never open.... our kids 10 and 17 LOVED everything about them. We had no issues with them not being open, the only issue we had was getting out 10 year old to leave. She made so many friends there that she was crying the night before we left... Our 17 year old stayed out till 6am the final night with all the friends he had met in the club as well. We paid extra for our daughter to stay at the Night Owls party until 1 AM twice as well. They kept the kids busy with crafts, games and karaoke. Food was another thing I was stressed about after reading reviews.... once we were on the ship we found our way around and we all had plenty to eat. The formal dining in the Crimson restaurant was great. Our waiter let us order more than one of everything so we could try all the different things, from alligator to frog legs... we tried everything on the menu over 8 days. I am also here to tell you I gained 5 pounds and I am pretty sure it's because of the chocolate melting cake. We used room service for late night cravings (BLT's were amazing!) and we all ate our fair share of pizza. Pizza was another thing the reviews had me worried about.... it was fine, great, good.... nothing wrong with it at all. It's a thin crust pizza, made fast, it's hot and good. If you walk all the way to the front of the boat ( I think it's the front) you will find a sandwich shop... made to order sandwiches... very very good. The only thing we never found that we liked was salad dressing... it was all off a little. Everywhere you look you will see someone with an ice cream cone.... the entire cruise. I tried the Mongolan Wok on the final day at sea.... OMG I didn't read the sauce sign very well.... it was hot as HELL! the flavor was good but there was no way I could eat it. I had made to order eggs for breakfast everyday and the rest of the family had omelets, the line was steady but moved fast. Entertainment reviews said the shows were below average and there wasn't much to do at sea... I disagree with that. We went to the breakdancing show, 4 comedy shows, bingo, triva show, love and marriage show, piano bar, kids show, etc.... and they were all great! There was one comedian (older white lady) who sucked but both the guy comedians were hilarious! Do not sit in the front row unless you are ready to be "part of the show". If you go to the comedy shows, arrive early (like 30 minutes....) to get a good seat. Really I would arrive at least 20 minutes early to all of the shows, to get the seat you want. Take advantage of the Fun Times and plan out your evenings, there is so much to see and do. There were also a few nights that the had "Dive IN" movies... on the deck. Playing current movies. (Bad moms, suicide squad) Our cruise director was Jase. He had more energy than a three year old drinking Mt.Dew. He was always somewhere, doing something to get people involved and having fun. We were on the "fun" ship after all. All of the staff had a great time. I never saw anyone in a bad mood (for 8 days!) There were people from all corners of the world and the most asked question was "where are you from"... which almost always led to a friendship. It makes me wish that we could all treat each other this way everyday, no matter where we are at. The pool.... I know you are all wondering about the pool. So as soon as I got to the boat, I ripped off my dress and jumped in the pool on the main deck. It was cold as hell, but only for about 3 seconds... then my body realized this was the beginning of something great! I had the whole thing to myself for about 20 minutes before a few brave kids decided to join me! Over the 8 days the pool would have it's very crowded moments, and it's empty moments. The deck chairs fill up fast even though people aren't supposed to "save" them for later.... We did take our own beach towels, which our daughter liked because all the other chairs had the blue carnival towels on them, making ours very easy to spot. The Serenity deck (adults only) was always full as well.... I think people slept up there or something... we were never able to find a place to sit there. We booked 2 excursions through Carnival... Mahogany Bay we booked The Big French Key. This was based on reading reviews before the cruise but all the reviews were for the Little French Key (which wasn't an option for an excursion)... the description led us to believe it was the same thing. We were wrong. Very wrong. The Big French Key sucks, but it connects to The Little French Key so you get to sit there all day and watch the people who somehow ended up there having all the fun. Don't make this mistake, you will spend the day regretting it. We were supposed to be there for like 5 hours and ended up only being there maybe 3 hours...The bus ride to and from this place was an adventure, and a true test to my heart.... armed men with GIANT guns stand in front of gas stations and banks here (CRAZY). We also booked an excursion in Belize to swim with sharks and rays. This was a very disorganized beginning. We waited for 30 minutes in a line because a woman and her child were in the rest room... then we waited again because the group ahead of us hadn't left yet.... then we took a 35 minute boat ride to the place we were to snorkel at the big reef.... for me this is where my day went downhill fast.... I had take the seasick patch off my ear the night before due to my vision being so blurred that the whole world looked like a watercolor painting)... I put on my gear plopped into the ocean and began to bob up and down with the waves.... very very quickly I realized this was NOT going to end well for me. After about 10 minutes of trying to tell myself I would be ok, and in the midst of a panic attack I decided I needed to go back to the boat. My husband and kids LOVED this whole trip. I am so upset with myself for taking the patch off the night before... once we finished snorkeling here, everyone got back into the boat and headed to where the sharks and rays were at. This is NOT your amusement park, swim with sharks situation.... this is swim with sharks and rays in the freaking middle of the ocean. I wanted to try so i jumped back out of the boat... I watched as my family swam off in all different directions, my heart began to race.... there were stingrays EVERYWHERE! The excursion people come to this spot day after day and feed the animals so they are "domestic" or used to people. So we are in the water while they are throwing food into the water.... ummmm no. I'm out. I go back to the boat. My family LOVED this!! They will be talking about this day for years to come. After this we went to shore to some little bar where we ate cold food that was ordered while we were on the boat... my advice is to NOT order when they ask you what you want... walk down the island 50 feet and people are cooking all kinds of fish and lobster right there on grills. We stayed on land for about 90 minutes and then back to the boat.... they had a "treat" for us.... those of us who were not sick like me. They began passing rum punch around and told us we would be stopping to feed the Tarpon. For those of you who don't know what Tarpon are.... they are HUGE fish! They gave all the children a cup of "food" and they all had a great time feeding them (I sat with my head down listening as my son told my daughter "I'm gonna see if one of them will bite onto my hand." I was sick enough that I didn't even try to stop him. He now has some amazing footage of 3 giant fish leaping out of the water to "taste" his fist.) My husband told me the Rum Punch would help me feel better, it did not. The 35 minute trip back was terrible, I was sick and now I had to use the restroom because I drank the damn punch! If you are adventurous, and do not get seasick book this excursion. In Costa Maya my husband and son went to Tequila Beach and found someone there to take them fishing for 4 hours, my daughter and I went to the public beach and went snorkeling. It was beautiful clear water. We had a great time. Then we headed to Tequila Beach (even though the cab driver said we couldn't get in, because it was a private beach.... we walked right on in, and started asking around trying to find out where the fishing boat would dock at) we spent about an hour snorkeling here while waiting for the guys to return, and then another hour swimming with them and no one ever said we couldn't be there. I did notice that almost everyone had a red wristband on, but none the less we were never asked for ours. We also decided to "wing it" in Cozumel. We ended up at a place called "Sky Reef" even though we asked the cab driver to take us to Tortiga Beach. We had been told from a guy selling tours that Tortiga beach was a clean and free beach, we will never know. Once arriving at Sky Reef we paid $15 each to get in and snorkel. The price was to include the gear and a free drink for everyone. We never got the drinks.... the place was small and the beach area sucked. No sand, all rocks. It was a great place to snorkel though and we ended up having a good time. I will always wonder where that free beach was though... We headed back to port and shopped till we dropped since this was our last stop we had to spend all the money... LOL. As you can tell we had a great time, it was 8 days of no phones, and I think that was my favorite part. My family connected with each other again. We talked, we laughed, we tried different things. Every night was like "date night" for my husband and I, who rarely get to spend time alone. There is a drink you must try, it's called "Kiss on the Lips". It's mango and strawberry, frozen paradise. Stay away from the casino, you are NOT going to win in there. The watches they sell are very poor quality, my son bought one that broke a day later. But get out there and enjoy all there is to do. Enjoy the people you are with, and get to know some new people! We paid about $800 per person for this cruise($3200), another $200 for gratuity, our sign and sail bill was $1200 and I'm sure we spent $1000 on other crap. It was so worth it! And we live a very modest lifestyle, not the "money is no object" lifestyle. We are already talking about saving to take this same cruise next Christmas. Thank you Carnival for a wonderful 8 days!

Jase was an amazing cruise director! Great time had by all!

Carnival Dream Cruise Review by lezleena

28 people found this helpful
Trip Details
Our family traveled to New Orleans for a cruise on the Carnival Dream from Dec 26-Jan 3, 2017. It was AMAZING. I had read so many reviews leading up to the cruise that I was a nervous wreck.

Embarkation. I was prepared for this to be hell. It was fast and easy. We arrived at the time we had chosen and we were on the boat with a drink in our hand within 45 minutes.

Our cabin was ready at about 3:00 and our bags showed up about the same time. The cabin was clean and everything was in order. I quickly put away the giant bottles of water that are $3.75 each and told the kids to drink (not waste) the 12 pack of water I had ordered before sailing. Our cabin Steward was Wahyu, we tipped him $20 on the first day and he kept everything perfect. I asked for and recieved extra hangers (even though the reviews said it was impossible to get extras). Our room was 9393, it was a great location, we only had neighbors on one side of us. My whole family overpacked for this cruise.... I would suggest going to your suitcase and taking out half of what you put in there... beds were comfy (kids said the fold out beds were hard as a rock) pillows were super soft, no bed bugs, no bugs at all...

I was also worried about if the kids would like the kids club areas? According to reviews, they sucked and were never open.... our kids 10 and 17 LOVED everything about them. We had no issues with them not being open, the only issue we had was getting out 10 year old to leave. She made so many friends there that she was crying the night before we left... Our 17 year old stayed out till 6am the final night with all the friends he had met in the club as well. We paid extra for our daughter to stay at the Night Owls party until 1 AM twice as well. They kept the kids busy with crafts, games and karaoke.

Food was another thing I was stressed about after reading reviews.... once we were on the ship we found our way around and we all had plenty to eat. The formal dining in the Crimson restaurant was great. Our waiter let us order more than one of everything so we could try all the different things, from alligator to frog legs... we tried everything on the menu over 8 days. I am also here to tell you I gained 5 pounds and I am pretty sure it's because of the chocolate melting cake. We used room service for late night cravings (BLT's were amazing!) and we all ate our fair share of pizza. Pizza was another thing the reviews had me worried about.... it was fine, great, good.... nothing wrong with it at all. It's a thin crust pizza, made fast, it's hot and good. If you walk all the way to the front of the boat ( I think it's the front) you will find a sandwich shop... made to order sandwiches... very very good. The only thing we never found that we liked was salad dressing... it was all off a little. Everywhere you look you will see someone with an ice cream cone.... the entire cruise. I tried the Mongolan Wok on the final day at sea.... OMG I didn't read the sauce sign very well.... it was hot as HELL! the flavor was good but there was no way I could eat it. I had made to order eggs for breakfast everyday and the rest of the family had omelets, the line was steady but moved fast.

Entertainment reviews said the shows were below average and there wasn't much to do at sea... I disagree with that. We went to the breakdancing show, 4 comedy shows, bingo, triva show, love and marriage show, piano bar, kids show, etc.... and they were all great! There was one comedian (older white lady) who sucked but both the guy comedians were hilarious! Do not sit in the front row unless you are ready to be "part of the show". If you go to the comedy shows, arrive early (like 30 minutes....) to get a good seat. Really I would arrive at least 20 minutes early to all of the shows, to get the seat you want. Take advantage of the Fun Times and plan out your evenings, there is so much to see and do. There were also a few nights that the had "Dive IN" movies... on the deck. Playing current movies. (Bad moms, suicide squad)

Our cruise director was Jase. He had more energy than a three year old drinking Mt.Dew. He was always somewhere, doing something to get people involved and having fun. We were on the "fun" ship after all. All of the staff had a great time. I never saw anyone in a bad mood (for 8 days!) There were people from all corners of the world and the most asked question was "where are you from"... which almost always led to a friendship. It makes me wish that we could all treat each other this way everyday, no matter where we are at.

The pool.... I know you are all wondering about the pool. So as soon as I got to the boat, I ripped off my dress and jumped in the pool on the main deck. It was cold as hell, but only for about 3 seconds... then my body realized this was the beginning of something great! I had the whole thing to myself for about 20 minutes before a few brave kids decided to join me! Over the 8 days the pool would have it's very crowded moments, and it's empty moments. The deck chairs fill up fast even though people aren't supposed to "save" them for later.... We did take our own beach towels, which our daughter liked because all the other chairs had the blue carnival towels on them, making ours very easy to spot. The Serenity deck (adults only) was always full as well.... I think people slept up there or something... we were never able to find a place to sit there.

We booked 2 excursions through Carnival... Mahogany Bay we booked The Big French Key. This was based on reading reviews before the cruise but all the reviews were for the Little French Key (which wasn't an option for an excursion)... the description led us to believe it was the same thing. We were wrong. Very wrong. The Big French Key sucks, but it connects to The Little French Key so you get to sit there all day and watch the people who somehow ended up there having all the fun. Don't make this mistake, you will spend the day regretting it. We were supposed to be there for like 5 hours and ended up only being there maybe 3 hours...The bus ride to and from this place was an adventure, and a true test to my heart.... armed men with GIANT guns stand in front of gas stations and banks here (CRAZY).

We also booked an excursion in Belize to swim with sharks and rays. This was a very disorganized beginning. We waited for 30 minutes in a line because a woman and her child were in the rest room... then we waited again because the group ahead of us hadn't left yet.... then we took a 35 minute boat ride to the place we were to snorkel at the big reef.... for me this is where my day went downhill fast.... I had take the seasick patch off my ear the night before due to my vision being so blurred that the whole world looked like a watercolor painting)... I put on my gear plopped into the ocean and began to bob up and down with the waves.... very very quickly I realized this was NOT going to end well for me. After about 10 minutes of trying to tell myself I would be ok, and in the midst of a panic attack I decided I needed to go back to the boat. My husband and kids LOVED this whole trip. I am so upset with myself for taking the patch off the night before... once we finished snorkeling here, everyone got back into the boat and headed to where the sharks and rays were at. This is NOT your amusement park, swim with sharks situation.... this is swim with sharks and rays in the freaking middle of the ocean. I wanted to try so i jumped back out of the boat... I watched as my family swam off in all different directions, my heart began to race.... there were stingrays EVERYWHERE! The excursion people come to this spot day after day and feed the animals so they are "domestic" or used to people. So we are in the water while they are throwing food into the water.... ummmm no. I'm out. I go back to the boat. My family LOVED this!! They will be talking about this day for years to come. After this we went to shore to some little bar where we ate cold food that was ordered while we were on the boat... my advice is to NOT order when they ask you what you want... walk down the island 50 feet and people are cooking all kinds of fish and lobster right there on grills.

We stayed on land for about 90 minutes and then back to the boat.... they had a "treat" for us.... those of us who were not sick like me. They began passing rum punch around and told us we would be stopping to feed the Tarpon. For those of you who don't know what Tarpon are.... they are HUGE fish! They gave all the children a cup of "food" and they all had a great time feeding them (I sat with my head down listening as my son told my daughter "I'm gonna see if one of them will bite onto my hand." I was sick enough that I didn't even try to stop him. He now has some amazing footage of 3 giant fish leaping out of the water to "taste" his fist.) My husband told me the Rum Punch would help me feel better, it did not. The 35 minute trip back was terrible, I was sick and now I had to use the restroom because I drank the damn punch! If you are adventurous, and do not get seasick book this excursion.

In Costa Maya my husband and son went to Tequila Beach and found someone there to take them fishing for 4 hours, my daughter and I went to the public beach and went snorkeling. It was beautiful clear water. We had a great time. Then we headed to Tequila Beach (even though the cab driver said we couldn't get in, because it was a private beach.... we walked right on in, and started asking around trying to find out where the fishing boat would dock at) we spent about an hour snorkeling here while waiting for the guys to return, and then another hour swimming with them and no one ever said we couldn't be there. I did notice that almost everyone had a red wristband on, but none the less we were never asked for ours. We also decided to "wing it" in Cozumel. We ended up at a place called "Sky Reef" even though we asked the cab driver to take us to Tortiga Beach. We had been told from a guy selling tours that Tortiga beach was a clean and free beach, we will never know. Once arriving at Sky Reef we paid $15 each to get in and snorkel. The price was to include the gear and a free drink for everyone. We never got the drinks.... the place was small and the beach area sucked. No sand, all rocks. It was a great place to snorkel though and we ended up having a good time. I will always wonder where that free beach was though... We headed back to port and shopped till we dropped since this was our last stop we had to spend all the money... LOL.

As you can tell we had a great time, it was 8 days of no phones, and I think that was my favorite part. My family connected with each other again. We talked, we laughed, we tried different things. Every night was like "date night" for my husband and I, who rarely get to spend time alone. There is a drink you must try, it's called "Kiss on the Lips". It's mango and strawberry, frozen paradise. Stay away from the casino, you are NOT going to win in there. The watches they sell are very poor quality, my son bought one that broke a day later. But get out there and enjoy all there is to do. Enjoy the people you are with, and get to know some new people!

We paid about $800 per person for this cruise($3200), another $200 for gratuity, our sign and sail bill was $1200 and I'm sure we spent $1000 on other crap. It was so worth it! And we live a very modest lifestyle, not the "money is no object" lifestyle. We are already talking about saving to take this same cruise next Christmas. Thank you Carnival for a wonderful 8 days!
lezleena’s Full Rating Summary
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Ages 10 to 12
Ages 16+
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Cabin Review

Interior
Cabin 4H 9393
This was a great room, great location, quiet, and just the right size.
Lido Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins