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This was our 2nd cruise. Our kids are all grown now, so my wife and I have started to plan 1 cruise per year as our vacation. Last year (Nov 2015) we took a Princess cruise to the Caribbean and were very impressed. Some comparisons with this Carnival ship were: 1. Balcony access was better on Princess with a sliding door that could be slightly open at night for the ocean sounds. On the Carnival dream it was a swing door with a difficult to turn handle. The handle was so difficult I was a little fearful of getting trapped on the balcony as the door was either open or closed - no in between unless you propped it open. 2. The thermal tubs on the Carnival dream were not "hot tubs" and the water was really only warm instead of hot. This did have the benefit of allowing you to stay in the water longer without overheating, however, once you became accustomed the water no longer felt very warm. Princess had actual hot tubs next to the pool which were lovely after a dip in the pool. 3. As the Carnival cruise was set up for kids, there were a lot of children running around. We didn't mind this at all as it's nice to see kids having fun. As an escape, the Carnival Dream had the serenity area for adults only (21+). The serenity area was very nice with partially enclosed wicker chairs for 2 and adult only thermal tubs. The downside, however, was there was no adult only pool anywhere on the ship and with the amount of kids using the pools - there was almost no opportunity to use them. On Princess the pools were larger than Carnivals and as I mentioned earlier, conveniently located near "hot tubs". 4. The anytime dining option on the Carnival Dream restricted you to a single restaurant choice, where that option on Princess allowed for different choices of restaurants for anytime dining (which were not the extra pay restaurants). All I all though we had no complaint about the restaurant we were required to use, it would have just been really nice to have multiple options like we did in Princess. 5. I prefer to run on the track rather than the treadmill and The running track on the Carnival Dream was on the top of the boat, which was awesome and made for a great running experience each morning. The running option on Princess was on the main deck where you had to compete with benches and larger crowds of non runners - still enjoyable, but better on Carnival. 6. We like to have house coats in our stateroom for use in the evening and at movies under the stars. On Princess we were able to pre-request them as part of our booking, which was not an option on Carnival. On embarkation day we had to hunt down our stateroom steward to make that request, as apparently that was the only day you could do so. The pre-request option was much appreciated from Princess. Overall we were very happy with our cruise on the Carnival Dream. The ship was clean and well maintained, our balcony stateroom was roomy with a king sized bed and a sofa and the staff / service was excellent. We always choose anytime dining as our option and never had any difficulty getting a table. The food was excellent with an awesome variety of options from buffet to pizza to burgers and hot dogs and a pasta joint. We almost always chose the restaurant for our evening meal, however and it was excellent as well. The entertainment on the Carnival Dream was excellent as well and we always had something we wanted to do each evening. Our one complaint, however, was the adult only rated stand up comedy. The comedians seemed to use the adult only rating as an excuse to use foul language at every turn - even when it didn't quite fit or another word would have made more sense. The PG rated acts were actually quite more enjoyable and funnier. The only caveat to this was the PG comedy act of Sheila Kay. It was clear that she had no PG material pre-planned and attempted to modify her adult show to fit the PG category. It was an abysmal failure, not at all funny and at times inappropriate to the audience.

Good cruise, some things with Princess were better though

Carnival Dream Cruise Review by Gary A K

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
This was our 2nd cruise. Our kids are all grown now, so my wife and I have started to plan 1 cruise per year as our vacation. Last year (Nov 2015) we took a Princess cruise to the Caribbean and were very impressed. Some comparisons with this Carnival ship were:

1. Balcony access was better on Princess with a sliding door that could be slightly open at night for the ocean sounds. On the Carnival dream it was a swing door with a difficult to turn handle. The handle was so difficult I was a little fearful of getting trapped on the balcony as the door was either open or closed - no in between unless you propped it open.

2. The thermal tubs on the Carnival dream were not "hot tubs" and the water was really only warm instead of hot. This did have the benefit of allowing you to stay in the water longer without overheating, however, once you became accustomed the water no longer felt very warm. Princess had actual hot tubs next to the pool which were lovely after a dip in the pool.

3. As the Carnival cruise was set up for kids, there were a lot of children running around. We didn't mind this at all as it's nice to see kids having fun. As an escape, the Carnival Dream had the serenity area for adults only (21+). The serenity area was very nice with partially enclosed wicker chairs for 2 and adult only thermal tubs. The downside, however, was there was no adult only pool anywhere on the ship and with the amount of kids using the pools - there was almost no opportunity to use them. On Princess the pools were larger than Carnivals and as I mentioned earlier, conveniently located near "hot tubs".

4. The anytime dining option on the Carnival Dream restricted you to a single restaurant choice, where that option on Princess allowed for different choices of restaurants for anytime dining (which were not the extra pay restaurants). All I all though we had no complaint about the restaurant we were required to use, it would have just been really nice to have multiple options like we did in Princess.

5. I prefer to run on the track rather than the treadmill and The running track on the Carnival Dream was on the top of the boat, which was awesome and made for a great running experience each morning. The running option on Princess was on the main deck where you had to compete with benches and larger crowds of non runners - still enjoyable, but better on Carnival.

6. We like to have house coats in our stateroom for use in the evening and at movies under the stars. On Princess we were able to pre-request them as part of our booking, which was not an option on Carnival. On embarkation day we had to hunt down our stateroom steward to make that request, as apparently that was the only day you could do so. The pre-request option was much appreciated from Princess.

Overall we were very happy with our cruise on the Carnival Dream. The ship was clean and well maintained, our balcony stateroom was roomy with a king sized bed and a sofa and the staff / service was excellent. We always choose anytime dining as our option and never had any difficulty getting a table. The food was excellent with an awesome variety of options from buffet to pizza to burgers and hot dogs and a pasta joint. We almost always chose the restaurant for our evening meal, however and it was excellent as well.

The entertainment on the Carnival Dream was excellent as well and we always had something we wanted to do each evening. Our one complaint, however, was the adult only rated stand up comedy. The comedians seemed to use the adult only rating as an excuse to use foul language at every turn - even when it didn't quite fit or another word would have made more sense. The PG rated acts were actually quite more enjoyable and funnier. The only caveat to this was the PG comedy act of Sheila Kay. It was clear that she had no PG material pre-planned and attempted to modify her adult show to fit the PG category. It was an abysmal failure, not at all funny and at times inappropriate to the audience.
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