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Starting with the Good. . . . The Cabin. We booked a Cloud Nine Spa Balcony Cabin, number 12201. We liked this cabin very much. The location couldn’t be beat, just steps to the spa, and with included access to 1) the Thessalotherapy pool (a fancy indoor hot tub), 2) a nice sauna, 3) the laconium, 4) the tepidarium, and 5) the relaxation room. All very nice, and super calm and quiet. The water in the hot Thessa Pool really could have been hotter, though. Oh, and some previous internet reviews claimed that the Cloud Nine cabin balconies on Deck 12 were subject to noise and debris (cigarette ash) from above. I can say for a fact that at least the first three balconies on the starboard side (12201 thru 12205) are NOT noisy and NOT subject to any debris from above. Entertainment. The ship has a comedy club, and the comedians were all very good. We particularly enjoyed Jeff Jena - this guy’s adult show was the best I have ever heard on our 14 cruise! The production shows were very high energy. As with most cruise shows, the singing was erratic. However, the dancing was good, and the special effects were superb. Poker Tournament. My wife and I participated in the bid poker tournament held on the Dream every August. This event is well organized and a lot of fun. It would be nice if they changed the ship and itinerary every year though. Food. OK, the food actually varied from mediocre to good. On the good side were the Guy Fieri hamburgers and the Tandori (Indian) food. Pizza was also good. On the mediocre side, the huevos rancheros were served cold. Breakfast selections were limited and after a few days quite monotonous. Crew. Room attendants, Bar staff, and Dining Room staff were all friendly and competent. Onboard Laundry. Carnival ships have a self service laundry. We like that. Upselling. Not much of this, thankfully! Now The Bad . . . The Lido Deck Buffet operation was odd. On a couple of days, the Lido was swarmed at 6 PM, yet the hamburger joint actually closed at 6 PM and only half of the food stations on the Lido were opened. This was disappointing. No drink specials. We like those on other cruiselines, not sure why Carnival doesn’t have them. We participate in a lot of the trivia contests while cruising, but found this Carnival trivia to be strange. Many questions asked for a specific year something happened, without giving multiple choices. For example, what year was Elton John elected to Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, or what year did George V become King, or what year was the first Presidential election in the United States. Not surprisingly, no one could get these sorts of questions right because of the degree of answer precision required. And Finally . . . .The Ugly. . . . Embarkation was nasty. Carnival gives you specific time blocks to arrive for embarkation, and ours was 1:30 to 2:00 PM. The specificity makes sense, it would seem, to ensure that the ship is loaded steadily over several hours. It also seems if they enforce embarkation times, the time it takes to actually get on the ship would be minimal. Wrong. We arrived within our assigned time block, but waited in long lines for over an hour to check-in and board. I really hated that, with a bad back and all. Debarkation was a bit better, as we just waited until almost everyone was off. Still some lines though. Well, someday maybe I will have sufficient status for priority embarkation/debarkation . . . The mattresses in our cabin were really saggy. I mean, noticeably saggy. Not good, particularly for my back. Overall, though, we enjoyed our cruise as the pros outweighed the cons!

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Carnival Dream Cruise Review by Petersonfcu

5 people found this helpful
Trip Details
Starting with the Good. . . .

The Cabin. We booked a Cloud Nine Spa Balcony Cabin, number 12201. We liked this cabin very much. The location couldn’t be beat, just steps to the spa, and with included access to 1) the Thessalotherapy pool (a fancy indoor hot tub), 2) a nice sauna, 3) the laconium, 4) the tepidarium, and 5) the relaxation room. All very nice, and super calm and quiet. The water in the hot Thessa Pool really could have been hotter, though. Oh, and some previous internet reviews claimed that the Cloud Nine cabin balconies on Deck 12 were subject to noise and debris (cigarette ash) from above. I can say for a fact that at least the first three balconies on the starboard side (12201 thru 12205) are NOT noisy and NOT subject to any debris from above.

Entertainment. The ship has a comedy club, and the comedians were all very good. We particularly enjoyed Jeff Jena - this guy’s adult show was the best I have ever heard on our 14 cruise! The production shows were very high energy. As with most cruise shows, the singing was erratic. However, the dancing was good, and the special effects were superb.

Poker Tournament. My wife and I participated in the bid poker tournament held on the Dream every August. This event is well organized and a lot of fun. It would be nice if they changed the ship and itinerary every year though.

Food. OK, the food actually varied from mediocre to good. On the good side were the Guy Fieri hamburgers and the Tandori (Indian) food. Pizza was also good. On the mediocre side, the huevos rancheros were served cold. Breakfast selections were limited and after a few days quite monotonous.

Crew. Room attendants, Bar staff, and Dining Room staff were all friendly and competent.

Onboard Laundry. Carnival ships have a self service laundry. We like that.

Upselling. Not much of this, thankfully!

Now The Bad . . .

The Lido Deck Buffet operation was odd. On a couple of days, the Lido was swarmed at 6 PM, yet the hamburger joint actually closed at 6 PM and only half of the food stations on the Lido were opened. This was disappointing.

No drink specials. We like those on other cruiselines, not sure why Carnival doesn’t have them.

We participate in a lot of the trivia contests while cruising, but found this Carnival trivia to be strange. Many questions asked for a specific year something happened, without giving multiple choices. For example, what year was Elton John elected to Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, or what year did George V become King, or what year was the first Presidential election in the United States. Not surprisingly, no one could get these sorts of questions right because of the degree of answer precision required.

And Finally . . . .The Ugly. . . .

Embarkation was nasty. Carnival gives you specific time blocks to arrive for embarkation, and ours was 1:30 to 2:00 PM. The specificity makes sense, it would seem, to ensure that the ship is loaded steadily over several hours. It also seems if they enforce embarkation times, the time it takes to actually get on the ship would be minimal. Wrong. We arrived within our assigned time block, but waited in long lines for over an hour to check-in and board. I really hated that, with a bad back and all. Debarkation was a bit better, as we just waited until almost everyone was off. Still some lines though. Well, someday maybe I will have sufficient status for priority embarkation/debarkation . . .

The mattresses in our cabin were really saggy. I mean, noticeably saggy. Not good, particularly for my back.

Overall, though, we enjoyed our cruise as the pros outweighed the cons!
Petersonfcu’s Full Rating Summary
Value For Money
Embarkation
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Public Rooms
Entertainment
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Cabin Review

Spa Balcony
Cabin 8S 12201
See Main Review
Spa Deck Balcony Cabins