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We chose this cruise because it was listed as one of the Players' Club Premier Cruise choices, and we had really enjoyed our March 2016 cruise on the Dream. First, I will address the different facets of our initial Players' Club Premier Cruise and then move onto my review of the actual cruise. As part of the package, we were given Priority Boarding. We, also, purchased FTTF because we wanted access to our stateroom as soon as we boarded, as well as, access to the priority line at guest services, which you do not get with Premier's Priority Boarding. Waiting in our stateroom were Players' Club-branded steel water bottles and lanyards holding our "drinks on us" cards, a Players' Club Exclusive Activity Schedule, and an invitation to the Premier Players' Club Welcome Reception. The reception, held at 5pm, was very nice. It took place in the Burgundy Lounge, and the appetizers and drinks were flowing. We were introduced to members of the casino staff, and there was a cash give-a-way. There were numerous drawings/give-a-ways/contests in the casino throughout the week, but unfortunately, our names were never drawn to participate in any of them. Each day, we received something from the casino - chocolate covered strawberries, cookies, duffle bag, plastic water bottle, dinner for two in the steakhouse (review on that later), and a "bounce back" offer for our next cruise. The slots in the casino were very tight. I spent many, many hours in the casino and only saw one cash payout, which really surprised me since I had seen a good number of them on previous cruises. Although, Nosizo and Adrian were excellent casino hosts - friendly, professional and very welcoming, I really don't think that I'm too interested in participating in another Premier Players Club cruise. I spent so much time in the casino waiting on drawings and contests to take place that I did not get to enjoy as many of the other cruise activities as I normally do. Embarkation was a very efficient process. We arrived at 10am and were waiting in the boarding lounge by 10:10am. By 11:15am, we were in our cabin putting away our things. We talked to Raphael, our cabin steward, and completed the questionnaire requesting cabin service each morning and evening, which was performed flawlessly. We prepaid our gratuities, but Raphael got extra at the end of the cruise for his excellent service. Muster drill on the Dream is great. You do NOT stand out on the deck lined up like animals waiting to go to slaughter, instead your muster station is in one of the larger common spaces, and you get to sit and listen to the instructions. On ships where you must stand in lines outside waiting for everyone to finally show up, I feel that muster is a terrible way to start your vacation. When you are able to do it in comfort, I do not mind it at all. We had a balcony cabin on the Upper Deck (6), and we spent a great deal of time on the balcony. Several of the mornings, we ordered early room service and enjoyed a small bite to eat while watching the morning come to life. Room Service always had our food to us in a very timely manner, but they kept forgetting to bring silverware, so we had to wait for them to return before we could eat. The cabin was clean, spacious and had plenty of storage. The beds could not have been more comfortable. We slept like babies. Our only real complaint about the cabin was the lack of outlets. We brought an extension cord for my husband's CPAP machine, but with the cord stretched across the floor each evening, it could be a bit of a hazard if you needed to get up during the night. Dining options on the ship were plentiful. We enjoyed Guys Pig and Anchor, Blue Iguana Cantina, Tandoor, Mongolian Wok, Pasta Bella, but they closed too early. When we returned from one of our shore excursions, we were hungry, but none of them were still open for lunch - it was only 3pm. Our dinner time was 8:15pm. When your dinner time is later, you do not want to eat lunch at noon. Carnival needs to work on this aspect of their dining options. Guys Burgers is open a little longer than the others, but they are not open for dinner. We had burgers from Guys, pizza from Pizzeria del Capitano, and sandwiches from the Deli at various times throughout the cruise. Of these three options, Guys Burgers are the best. We had dinner five of the seven nights in the Scarlet Dining Room - late seating (8:15). We were seated at a large table with others, which was great as we love to meet new people. The food selection was decent on most nights (we've had it all a number of times), the company was good, but service was unsatisfactory. In the past, we had enjoyed getting to know our wait staff, but this time, we did not even learn their names. They took our order and delivered our food (which took too long), but gone was the interaction that allowed us to feel like they cared about taking good care of us as they had in the past. Most nights, I had to leave to get to a show before having dessert because it took so long to get my food. We were very disappointed in our wait staff; therefore, they received our prepaid gratuity, but nothing extra as we'd given in the past. We ate dinner from the Gathering (Lido buffet) one evening (first time ever) because we wanted to watch the Dive-In Movie, which you could not do if you ate in the MDR as times did not work. That night, the buffet had a few of the same items that were being served in the MDR, but they were mediocre at best. We had dinner in The Chef's Art Steakhouse compliments of the casino. Service was great. The food was good, but we didn't find it to be that much better than what was served in the MDR - certainly didn't justify the additional charge. Entertainment was VERY good. Chris the Flying Scotsman is an excellent Cruise Director. Full of personality and very talented. The shows Motown and Flick were really, really good. My favorite entertainment is comedy; therefore, I LOVED the Punchliner comedians. Caroline Piccard and Just June were both outstanding! Due to the fact that the Burgundy Lounge is larger than some of the other ships' comedy venues, it was easier to get a seat for the shows. That is a big plus. We had signed up for a Meet and Mingle through Cruise Critic, and we received an invitation in our cabin to attend it. Carnival had it set-up in meeting room Chamber 2. A couple of the members of the Entertainment Staff dropped in to meet us. Carnival provided danish, coffee, tea and juice. They, also, provided 2 ships-on-a-stick and 2 bottles of bubbly. Not very many of those who signed-up actually attended. We did a drawing for the Carnival-provided prizes. We scheduled excursions in Belize and Cozumel, but since the beach at Mahogany Bay is so nice, we did not book one for Roatan. We took the True Belizean Foodie Tour, and we had a great time. Kenny G was very entertaining. We were supposed to take the All Inclusive Isla Pasion by Twister excursion in Cozumel, but due to high winds, it was canceled. Instead, we chose Mexican Fiesta: Eat, Drink, Dance. It was fun. We enjoyed most of the excursion - the lunch, Mariachi Band, and dancers were excellent. Unfortunately, it was raining so hard that we opted not to walk to the bakery for dessert. Alex was an excellent tour guide, and he made sure that we all got into taxis to take us back to the ship. Debarkation in New Orleans did not go quite as smoothly as did Embarkation, but we have been through far worse. Unfortunately, there were a number of passengers who did not follow directions, which created the issue. Going through customs was a breeze.

Another Great Time On The Dream

Carnival Dream Cruise Review by LetsGoTribe

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
We chose this cruise because it was listed as one of the Players' Club Premier Cruise choices, and we had really enjoyed our March 2016 cruise on the Dream.

First, I will address the different facets of our initial Players' Club Premier Cruise and then move onto my review of the actual cruise. As part of the package, we were given Priority Boarding. We, also, purchased FTTF because we wanted access to our stateroom as soon as we boarded, as well as, access to the priority line at guest services, which you do not get with Premier's Priority Boarding. Waiting in our stateroom were Players' Club-branded steel water bottles and lanyards holding our "drinks on us" cards, a Players' Club Exclusive Activity Schedule, and an invitation to the Premier Players' Club Welcome Reception. The reception, held at 5pm, was very nice. It took place in the Burgundy Lounge, and the appetizers and drinks were flowing. We were introduced to members of the casino staff, and there was a cash give-a-way. There were numerous drawings/give-a-ways/contests in the casino throughout the week, but unfortunately, our names were never drawn to participate in any of them. Each day, we received something from the casino - chocolate covered strawberries, cookies, duffle bag, plastic water bottle, dinner for two in the steakhouse (review on that later), and a "bounce back" offer for our next cruise. The slots in the casino were very tight. I spent many, many hours in the casino and only saw one cash payout, which really surprised me since I had seen a good number of them on previous cruises. Although, Nosizo and Adrian were excellent casino hosts - friendly, professional and very welcoming, I really don't think that I'm too interested in participating in another Premier Players Club cruise. I spent so much time in the casino waiting on drawings and contests to take place that I did not get to enjoy as many of the other cruise activities as I normally do.

Embarkation was a very efficient process. We arrived at 10am and were waiting in the boarding lounge by 10:10am. By 11:15am, we were in our cabin putting away our things. We talked to Raphael, our cabin steward, and completed the questionnaire requesting cabin service each morning and evening, which was performed flawlessly. We prepaid our gratuities, but Raphael got extra at the end of the cruise for his excellent service.

Muster drill on the Dream is great. You do NOT stand out on the deck lined up like animals waiting to go to slaughter, instead your muster station is in one of the larger common spaces, and you get to sit and listen to the instructions. On ships where you must stand in lines outside waiting for everyone to finally show up, I feel that muster is a terrible way to start your vacation. When you are able to do it in comfort, I do not mind it at all.

We had a balcony cabin on the Upper Deck (6), and we spent a great deal of time on the balcony. Several of the mornings, we ordered early room service and enjoyed a small bite to eat while watching the morning come to life. Room Service always had our food to us in a very timely manner, but they kept forgetting to bring silverware, so we had to wait for them to return before we could eat. The cabin was clean, spacious and had plenty of storage. The beds could not have been more comfortable. We slept like babies. Our only real complaint about the cabin was the lack of outlets. We brought an extension cord for my husband's CPAP machine, but with the cord stretched across the floor each evening, it could be a bit of a hazard if you needed to get up during the night.

Dining options on the ship were plentiful. We enjoyed Guys Pig and Anchor, Blue Iguana Cantina, Tandoor, Mongolian Wok, Pasta Bella, but they closed too early. When we returned from one of our shore excursions, we were hungry, but none of them were still open for lunch - it was only 3pm. Our dinner time was 8:15pm. When your dinner time is later, you do not want to eat lunch at noon. Carnival needs to work on this aspect of their dining options. Guys Burgers is open a little longer than the others, but they are not open for dinner. We had burgers from Guys, pizza from Pizzeria del Capitano, and sandwiches from the Deli at various times throughout the cruise. Of these three options, Guys Burgers are the best. We had dinner five of the seven nights in the Scarlet Dining Room - late seating (8:15). We were seated at a large table with others, which was great as we love to meet new people. The food selection was decent on most nights (we've had it all a number of times), the company was good, but service was unsatisfactory. In the past, we had enjoyed getting to know our wait staff, but this time, we did not even learn their names. They took our order and delivered our food (which took too long), but gone was the interaction that allowed us to feel like they cared about taking good care of us as they had in the past. Most nights, I had to leave to get to a show before having dessert because it took so long to get my food. We were very disappointed in our wait staff; therefore, they received our prepaid gratuity, but nothing extra as we'd given in the past. We ate dinner from the Gathering (Lido buffet) one evening (first time ever) because we wanted to watch the Dive-In Movie, which you could not do if you ate in the MDR as times did not work. That night, the buffet had a few of the same items that were being served in the MDR, but they were mediocre at best. We had dinner in The Chef's Art Steakhouse compliments of the casino. Service was great. The food was good, but we didn't find it to be that much better than what was served in the MDR - certainly didn't justify the additional charge.

Entertainment was VERY good. Chris the Flying Scotsman is an excellent Cruise Director. Full of personality and very talented. The shows Motown and Flick were really, really good. My favorite entertainment is comedy; therefore, I LOVED the Punchliner comedians. Caroline Piccard and Just June were both outstanding! Due to the fact that the Burgundy Lounge is larger than some of the other ships' comedy venues, it was easier to get a seat for the shows. That is a big plus.

We had signed up for a Meet and Mingle through Cruise Critic, and we received an invitation in our cabin to attend it. Carnival had it set-up in meeting room Chamber 2. A couple of the members of the Entertainment Staff dropped in to meet us. Carnival provided danish, coffee, tea and juice. They, also, provided 2 ships-on-a-stick and 2 bottles of bubbly. Not very many of those who signed-up actually attended. We did a drawing for the Carnival-provided prizes.

We scheduled excursions in Belize and Cozumel, but since the beach at Mahogany Bay is so nice, we did not book one for Roatan. We took the True Belizean Foodie Tour, and we had a great time. Kenny G was very entertaining. We were supposed to take the All Inclusive Isla Pasion by Twister excursion in Cozumel, but due to high winds, it was canceled. Instead, we chose Mexican Fiesta: Eat, Drink, Dance. It was fun. We enjoyed most of the excursion - the lunch, Mariachi Band, and dancers were excellent. Unfortunately, it was raining so hard that we opted not to walk to the bakery for dessert. Alex was an excellent tour guide, and he made sure that we all got into taxis to take us back to the ship.

Debarkation in New Orleans did not go quite as smoothly as did Embarkation, but we have been through far worse. Unfortunately, there were a number of passengers who did not follow directions, which created the issue. Going through customs was a breeze.
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Cabin Review

Balcony
Cabin 8B 6434
We had a balcony cabin on the Upper Deck (6), and we spent a great deal of time on the balcony. Several of the mornings, we ordered early room service and enjoyed a small bite to eat while watching the morning come to life. The cabin was clean, spacious and had plenty of storage. The beds could not have been more comfortable. We slept like babies. Our only real complaint about the cabin was the lack of outlets. We brought an extension cord for my husband's CPAP machine, but with the cord stretched across the floor each evening, it could be a bit of a hazard if you needed to get up during the night. The location was great for us. Very easy access to the Casino, Scarlet Dining Room, and Burgundy Lounge for the Punchliner Comedy Shows. Our Cabin Steward, Rafael, was excellent.
Empress Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews