3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
My husband, myself, our daughter and 4 yr old grandson went on this cruise. I was nervous if we’d like it, but it proved to be an excellent vacation. We spent one day in New Orleans, stopping at the aquarium. It’s the best ... Read More
My husband, myself, our daughter and 4 yr old grandson went on this cruise. I was nervous if we’d like it, but it proved to be an excellent vacation. We spent one day in New Orleans, stopping at the aquarium. It’s the best aquarium i’ve Ever visited, and worth the cost of admission. The ship is large enough to have much to see and explore but not so large that a person would feel overwhelmed. Since we had a suite, we had priority boarding which made the boarding process much easier when traveling with a child. We had cabin 7312, a grand suite, and there was plenty of room and storage for 4 people. B/c this cabin is mid ship, it’s a convenient walk to either elevator. Our Stewart was Erfron, who was excellent. The location was quiet. About the only negative is one closet door stuck slightly and didn’t glide as easily as the others. We ate a few times in the MDR, and was pleased with the food and excellent service. We had “my time” dining and had several waiters who gave extra attention to our grandson (which warms my heart ❤️); they were Yudi, Fernando, Sevin, and Gusti. It’s not easy for a 4 yr old to seat thru dinner, but they kept him entertained and made our trip so very special. We tried various other dining during the week. Magnolia Wok was good. The pizza was ok ( pizza was good, made to order, but I prefer thick crust). Guy’s burgers were yummy, and the fries to die for. My husband tried the deli and Pig & anchor, and thought both was good. Pasta Bella was tasty. We ate quite a bit at the Lido buffet and enjoyed each meal. Blue iguana was probably my favorite. Between the 4 of us, we visited Swirls daily, and it was delicious. We missed the show we wanted to see (80’s pop) due to lack of available seats (we arrived late). We did attend the Dr. Seuss parade. Although our grandson was too shy to volunteer for a role, he enjoyed watching it. He loved picking his build a bear a animal (bunny). In the evening we sat on Lido and watched dive in theatre. We all enjoyed the Green Eggs & Ham breakfast; Yudi and Sevin again made him feel special. Ports- Jamaica we visited Dolphin Encounter, which we liked; it’s clean, set up well, organized and a cute park. Our dolphin was Alex. We also went into a shallow lagoon and touched a sting ray. The ride was maybe 20 minutes to get there. We then went to Doctor’s Cave beach. It’s a nice beach for kids (level & calm), the sand is soft but Its in the middle of a resort area and I was hoping for a more natural/secluded beach. Grand cayman- we went to the turtle farm. We loved this park; very clean and laid out well. We snorkeled with the turtles, saw a shark, and swam in the pool area. There’s so much to do there I wish we had more time to see it all. We then took the bus to a boat and went to stingray sand bar....it was awesome! The water was crystal clear and the rays were amazing. Cozumel- we did a little shopping before our tour at the dolphin encounter (dolphinaria?). Once again, the park was clean and we enjoyed our visit. This tour included lunch, which tasted good. Otherwise we spent our time in the pools, hot tub and our grandson on the small sliding board. Again b/c we had priority boarding, disembarkation was smooth. We all had a great week and are already talking about booking another cruise Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
The ship was nice however being a smoker I found it to not be very smoker friendly (I know there are people who don't like smoking but, why should they have it better than us smokers? We all pay to cruise) there seemed to be more ... Read More
The ship was nice however being a smoker I found it to not be very smoker friendly (I know there are people who don't like smoking but, why should they have it better than us smokers? We all pay to cruise) there seemed to be more smokers on board than there was room for us all to smoke and be able to sit down and relax with a smoke and drink. The cabin was nice and dinning (food) was okay (our dinning staff was awesome!). The comedy shows were great but, the theater shows not so much. If you were in a hot tub at night (not late at night either before 9:00pm), you had to get out of the hot tub to go to the bar to get a drink yourself. Servers were very scarce. Our other services were on point. We missed our Honduras port which was very disappointing, as the excursion I had booked there was on my bucket list. Overall the cruise was nice and I got to spend quality time with family. Although my first cruise which was with Norwegian cruise line was much better. We plan on cruising again in the future, we may or may not book with Carnival as I am undecided at the moment. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise based on value, itinerary (going to Roatán and to a lesser extent Belize City was important) and port of departure – the most important. My wife and I have been on 14 cruises together, with this being the 4th on ... Read More
We chose this cruise based on value, itinerary (going to Roatán and to a lesser extent Belize City was important) and port of departure – the most important. My wife and I have been on 14 cruises together, with this being the 4th on Carnival. We departed on Easter Sunday. Embarkation was the best I’ve ever experienced. From parking the car at the Erato Street Cruise Terminal to entry on the ship took less than one hour. The ship, the Carnival Dream, has a layout that is much improved over the Carnival Triumph. The décor is garish, but better than the Triumph, which is arguably ugly. The pool area has much better seating. The bars have a better location. The rear pool has no retractable rook (which for some reason the crew of the Triumph kept closing on sweltering days). The Triumph has a huge portion of the pool area devoted to chaise lounges, which seems like a waste. The Dream’s layout is much smarter. The best difference is that the Dream has a full wrap-around old-school promenade, something I love. I was starting to think actual promenade decks were a thing of the past except for the name. We had a balcony cabin, 6262, which was great, and to me identical to the Triumph. Our cabin steward did an excellent job. They asked me if I wanted cabin service morning, evening or both. Carnival must be getting cheesy in this regard. I never was asked this before. We had main seating in the Scarlet Dining Room, upper level. The upper level is the better one in my opinion, as the lower level is on a deck that does not allow through passage. The Scarlet Dining Room is preferable to the Crimson (to me) as the Scarlet has the beautiful rear windows to which our table was reasonably close. The service was great. The food was outstanding. The food on Carnival is comparable to that of Royal Caribbean and Norwegian. If you are expecting Commander’s Palace, you will be disappointed. But if you are expecting good-quality mainstream cruise dining room food, you will be pleased. I love how every evening they had wonderful jazz playing at tasteful levels, which added to the elegant ambiance. The lido buffet restaurant was pretty good. Nothing to complain about, but nothing to brag about. The breakfasts and lunch there were pleasant and enjoyable. The layout of the lido is exactly like the Triumph, which is not the best. The Guy Fieri Burger Joint was pretty good. We went there one time. I did not care for the Pig and Anchor, though. There was a Chinese style noodle service area on the Lido Deck, which was quite nice. The bar service was very good. I especially liked the Alchemy Bar, which had an elegance of another era, with knowledgeable bartenders. The pool bars were pretty good, with friendly efficient service with a smile. One great thing was the adult only quiet area called Serenity on one of the top decks forward. It had a small bar there, which was a great find on that last at-sea day on the way home. As far as music goes, if you like jazz, it sucks. They did have some of the horn players playing near the Alchemy Bar at departure. I think they played a couple of short sets after that, but never at a convenient time. The piano bar, which is really fun, does not do jazz. The piano player is really good and entertaining. I don’t want to knock him. There was a really good steel drum player on many of the afternoons playing by the pool. There was a group of three violin players in the atrium who played often before dinner. They were great, playing an eclectic mix of classical, country (i.e., fiddle) and pop music. I enjoyed them immensely. There was also a pretty good rock guitar player we saw one night. There was too much country and kid music for my taste. At the ports, Costa Maya was disorganized, which often happens on Carnival, but Belize and Cózumel were done pretty well without complaints from me. We could not dock at Mahogany Bay on Roatán due to dangerous current conditions. I had this happen on the Norwegian Sprit in 2011, and that captain took us to the other port, Coxen Hole, where we disembarked by tender. They never explained why they never did that. I am very disappointed by that, as we were to meet some local folks there whom we know, to have some machuca (coconut and plantain based seafood soup that is to die for) at Punta Gorda on the north coast. We instead made large circles in the water and eventually sailed towards Belize across the Gulf of Honduras at almost walking speed. It was on that day that they opened the Pig and Anchor which was not their usual schedule. The menu item that looked best was unavailable. I got this sausage that was not good at all. So instead of eating machuca with friends, I started to eat bad sausage and Lido Deck buffet food, which was OK, I guess. In any event I did not let it ruin our trip. All in all it was a great vacation. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
Third cruise; first on Carnival. New Orleans, Roatan, Belize City, Cozumel. Embark/disembark very smooth and efficient. Stateroom: Balcony near aft elevators deck 7. Room pleasant, normal, functional. Had two 12-pack cases of ... Read More
Third cruise; first on Carnival. New Orleans, Roatan, Belize City, Cozumel. Embark/disembark very smooth and efficient. Stateroom: Balcony near aft elevators deck 7. Room pleasant, normal, functional. Had two 12-pack cases of water pre-ordered and delivered to room. Good idea. Ship has sub-par water. Small balcony had push open door rather than sliding. Food: Guy Fieri's Hamburger Joint and his themed Pig and Anchor BBQ. If these were in my town I'd be a regular customer. 24 hour pizza: If this was in my town => out of business in a week. Main dining (Anytime): Ok. Good service, mostly good food. Crew gets celebration going regularly during dinner. Ate off the regular menu; good flat iron steak, poor, skimpy shrimp cocktails. creative appetizers, sides of veggies kinda small, deserts ok+. Feast night ordered two lobster tails. Good idea. Breakfast: Main dining room, not crowded. Good. (eggs benedict). Good coffee. Buffet, Pretty good. Deli made good sandwiches. 24 hr soft serve ice cream stations good. Experienced very few and limited lines or much trouble finding a table. Could have been due to 800 passengers for a business conference who mainly were out of site and may have eaten together when not in meetings. We tended to use the stairs a lot; two flights up/down to stuff. Nice, quiet, get away place in Library room. Movies under the stars were ok, but surrounded by several open bars with folks enjoying a good (noisy) time. Catch the comedians at the Punchline club. Shows in main theater were ok+. Cruise director was great. Over all, would cruise again with them (taking note of 800 preoccupied conference people and some other reviewers talking about long lines). Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
This was a last minute choice, because I had business in NOLA the following week, and I’m glad we did. Faster to the Fun is worth the extra cost, if you can get a slot! Embarkation was organized and painless, our rooms were ready when ... Read More
This was a last minute choice, because I had business in NOLA the following week, and I’m glad we did. Faster to the Fun is worth the extra cost, if you can get a slot! Embarkation was organized and painless, our rooms were ready when we boarded, just drop our stuff off and go explore. We make our own fun in the ports, finding taxis and buses to take us to snorkeling spots and beaches...with a little research we spend more time with the locals and fell like we’ve experienced the place. The food and service in the dining rooms, restaurants, and lounges is top notch. We ate at the Steakhouse twice, so good! That said, Carnival, why can’t you do anything about the lines at the Lido buffet? I’ve never seen lines like that on any other cruise line. Breakfast would have been better if I could have gotten to the eggs in less than 20 minutes. We usually book inside rooms, and this one was comfy enough. There was some kind of weird noise some nights, though, like someone was using a hydraulic punch. We couldn’t figure it out, and none of our neighbors we asked noticed it. Staff were very professional and did a great job taking care of us. One last comment for the casino: there are tables and machines marked no-smoking, and that’s a fair enough compromise for smokers and non-smokers to share the space. It’s not a compromise if you don’t try to enforce it; it’s an insult when a member of the staff walks up to a smoker sitting at a non-smoking machine and hands her an ash tray. Don’t pretend to have a policy, if you’re saying it doesn’t matter then just don’t have one. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
This is our fifth year cruising over Spring Break. Our kids are grown so it’s just us, but there are always lots of kids onboard over Spring Break. We park in the Fulton Place Garage and the construction on the Convention Center side ... Read More
This is our fifth year cruising over Spring Break. Our kids are grown so it’s just us, but there are always lots of kids onboard over Spring Break. We park in the Fulton Place Garage and the construction on the Convention Center side caused us a nearly two hour delay in parking! Not sure how long the construction will be going on. Call first if you plan to park here. After finally parking and shuttling to the port, we were late. The good thing about being late is that you move right along. We never sat down. Through check-in, security, and up the ramp onto the ship. Then up the elevator to Deck 11 to our first-ever balcony. I sat down and thought it would be good to take a picture of us on the balcony. That’s when I realized I had left my backpack in the x-ray machine. I grabbed my passport and RAN. It was now after 3:00 and at 4:00 the ship pulls out. The people inside were very nice but also very professional. They asked me to identify it, then describe the contents. Once they were satisfied they directed me to a desk where I signed for it and ran back to the ship! Crisis averted! We sailed on the Dream in 2017 so we recognized a lot of the traffic patterns. We are early risers and head to the Serenity area on the Sky deck and secure chairs with pads on the sea days to sun and read. It’s quiet there. Our cabin was 11273. It was convenient but there was a slamming door somewhere and it would wake us up. It seemed to slam a lot at 3:00 a.m. I sleep with earplugs and one night the vibration of the wall woke me up. I probably should have complained, but I didn’t. The cabin was plenty spacious for two and the couch and sit-under were both nice features. We did not use the balcony much. I would do a balcony again for the sunlight but it wasn’t as much of an upgrade as I imagined. We ate in the dining room maybe four times. It was good. Service was good too. We had 6:00 early dining and next time we may opt for anytime dining. On elegant nights we skipped it and hit the Lido, which was good. One day we stayed ashore until 5:30 so we grabbed a burger and it was remarkably good. The shows were as we remembered. The 80’s show was SO GOOD. As was the Motown show. Skip Flick. We walked out. Many did. Gary the Cruise Director did a good job of keeping you informed but not annoying you. Service everywhere was excellent. Towel animals to the max! Especially on Friday morning. Ports were busy with Spring Break. Montego Bay – we grabbed a taxi (bus) to Doctor’s Cave Beach. Maybe $7 each. Once there it was $6 each to get in $6 each for a chair and $6 for an umbrella = $30. Make sure you take a lot of $1 bills to tip people. No one seems to have any change. We got there early and stayed as long as we could. Lunch right there was very good. Grand Cayman – I don’t remember tendering here but we did this time. There were plenty of water taxis and they moved quickly. We were planning to go to the public beach but the driver persuaded us to try Royal Palms. It was maybe $2 each to get in, but then it started. $15 for an umbrella. $12 each for chairs. And then all the food prices are in Cayman dollars, so add 25%. Lunch was $60 US. The beach was beautiful and water as clear as it gets but this was expensive compared to the free public beach with local guy renting chairs cheap and the liquor store across the road. Next time we will go there again. Finally Cozumel – we couldn’t get off the ship until 10:00. So by the time we taxied to Paradise Beach, it was pretty full. We did find chairs and it’s only $3 each so we LOVE it there. There were seven cruise ships in port and the lunch service was SLOW. But in the afternoon it thinned out and we moved around and enjoyed the pool and the beach. We will be back next year. What can you say? For less than the cost of a condo in Florida for the week, we wake up each day in a different country! I’ve already booked Carnival for Spring Break 2020. We’ve done Norwegian, Royal Caribbean and Carnival and shocked even ourselves that we like Carnival the best. It seems to be the best value. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
We’ve only been on 1 other Carnival cruise. It’s typically not our first choice of cruise lines. Positives: clean staterooms, Seafood Shack was fabulous, staff was attentive. Lunch deserts were out of this world. Comedy was ... Read More
We’ve only been on 1 other Carnival cruise. It’s typically not our first choice of cruise lines. Positives: clean staterooms, Seafood Shack was fabulous, staff was attentive. Lunch deserts were out of this world. Comedy was entertaining. Negatives: Excursions were poorly described. Based on descriptions, We were disappointed. Not enough pool chairs Pool area was overcrowded Entertainment was really bad, really bad. Let me say that again, really bad. We wer never greeted when we came aboard. We didn’t know how to get a card to enter our room Disembarkation took forever. Carnival missed the opportunity to improve the customers experience by making the excursions clearer, choosing better productions, offering more onboard activities, flexible dinning times, greeting upon boarding ship, disembarkation quicker, offering more buffet areas instead of just 2 ( the lines were insane). This was not a bad cruise, was average based on experiences we have assess from past cruise lines. We’ve had fabulous cruises and average cruises. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
I chose this cruise based on its ratings for best first family cruise. We booked a midship balcony room. Had late arrival time so parking lot was full and we had to park in overflow lot C. It took a long time to get there due to traffic ... Read More
I chose this cruise based on its ratings for best first family cruise. We booked a midship balcony room. Had late arrival time so parking lot was full and we had to park in overflow lot C. It took a long time to get there due to traffic and we received little direction on how to get there. Our room was ready when we finally arrived on the ship and luggage arrived quickly. Room was not as clean as I expected. Thick layers of dust/dirt around the perimeter of the room and on the counters. The bathroom and beds were very clean and beds comfortable. Loved the Cruise Director Gary. Great kids clubs and activities. For food, the Steak Restaurant was great, and you receive a free bottle of house wine if you eat on the first night. Guys Burgers and Guys BBQ Pig and Anchor were great. The Cantina with tacos and burritos were also great. The buffet was ok at best as was the evening dining. Lots of options, but food was hit or miss and most of the food was not hot. I know they are feeding tons of people so it has to be prepared ahead. Soup was always hot in the dining room. Salads were good. My son loved the shrimp cocktail. The warm chocolate cake is fantastic. Also, brunch on sea days is good as were the breakfast burritos or huevos rancheros at the cantina. All made fresh and small batch, so hot and delicious. Kids loved having pizza and ice cream 24/7 and ate burgers and fries every day! Great shows, movies, and activities. Service was good. They get to know you and your names. I was surprised smoking was allowed in the casino and in designated areas. I’m not a smoker and am not used to being in places where smoking is allowed indoors, so I didn’t spend much time in the casino. We stopped in Key West and went parasailing with Sebago Watersports. Great excursion! Freeport isn’t a great port since it isn’t walkable. You have to take a taxi or book an excursion to enjoy this stop. We took a taxi to Junkanoo Beach. It was $14 round trip per person. There is a free beach or a beach with ammeneties for $5.75/person. You can pay for food/drinks and rent chairs and an umbrella. Much better deal than paying for the excursion. In Nassau we booked the Carnival VIP Dolphin Swim and Lunch at Blue Lagoon. We waited forever! We got off the ship at 7:30AM for an 8 AM tour. We waited at the port until 9:30 AM with little direction or support before they finally lined us up and pointed toward the dock where we would need to board a ferry to the island. There were two other ships also in port with large groups going to the same place. With no one directing traffic we waited way too long! Once we finally arrived, the dolphin swim was amazing and the beach location was fun. Lunch was good, burgers, chicken, hot dog, rice and beans, corn, etc. Great excursion but poorly organized that morning. I purchased the weekly spa pass. It wasn’t worth it to me as I didn’t utilize it enough. Nice steam rooms and mineral pool and adults only area. I traveled with my two children, so the money would have been better spent on a massage or other treatment. I did purchase the relaxation package on the last day at sea as they offered a discount. I also booked a facial based on another promotion. Both services were fantastic. Days at sea were great. Lots of activities. Brunch with extended hours so no rush to get to breakfast. We were blessed with great weather, so Sun and Fun abounded. We would definitely recommend the Carnival Dream and Cruise Director Gary! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
This is my second and husbands 3rd cruise with Carnival. We went on this cruise in 16 and had a wonderful time so we brought our family with us for this cruise. So our party of 8 with 6 first time cruisers had some great experiences and ... Read More
This is my second and husbands 3rd cruise with Carnival. We went on this cruise in 16 and had a wonderful time so we brought our family with us for this cruise. So our party of 8 with 6 first time cruisers had some great experiences and some not so great. So here is what I took away, Theodoro and Nordam our cabin stewards could have not been more wonderful. They and our wait staff Arlianty, Naw, and Ramil were also the light of our evening and we loved seeing Dandy in the mornings for brunch. The Spa staff specically Emma was quite RUDE and we won’t use the sap again. The staff otherwise just seemed less enthusiastic this trip and Guest service staff was also rude not only to us but we heard them being rude to others just asking questions. The Crimson matradee was also quite gracious. The camp ocean staff also was great to our 4 year old granddaughters. Ms. Cheese and Ms. smiley were a hit with them. We were so excited to take our children and grandchildren on this family vacation because of our last experimece but we felt a little let down as staff didn’t seem as present in their position, and from someone who has been in customer service and healthcare for many years the staff who on the last cruise made us look forward to this trip have now made us feel like we definitely wouldn’t travel on the Dream again but we may need to try another cruise line all together. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
I was able to take my in-laws that have lived their entire lives in Mexico and never had any type of vacation like this. I was so glad to be a part of it. Everything was great to them and it really showed me how much I took for granted and ... Read More
I was able to take my in-laws that have lived their entire lives in Mexico and never had any type of vacation like this. I was so glad to be a part of it. Everything was great to them and it really showed me how much I took for granted and nit picked. I realized that someone remembering my name or not wasn't a big deal, whether I could sit in a deck chair, or whether the shows were exactly like broadway shows or not. So if you are reading this you won't see a review of everything nitpicked, you will read what a great time my family and I had and I will do my best to be objective at times to give the reader something to go on. Saying I loved the food doesn't mean the food was great, it means I found it great. You could read a review from someone on the same cruise as I was and they could say the food was terrible. So what you may want to keep in mind is what are YOU looking for in a cruise? Do you even like cruises? Do you like the thought of being with the same 3000 people or even more, for a week? Do you like the idea that you will wait for many things? I went on the March 17th cruise out of New Orleans on the Carnival Dream. What a big, beautiful ship I was on for a week. Of course with the newest cruise ships out there, the Dream isn't the biggest. But when you compare the Dream to the Carnival Fantasy it is quite large. The Fantasy was my first cruise in June of 1994. A lot has changed that's for sure. When they started the check in process the ship wasn't completely empty of passengers from the previous cruise but they had a lot of room to wait in the building once we were checked in. We got there about 9 30 in the morning and they started the check in at about 10 15. At about 11 15 they started letting the diamond, platinum, and suite passengers on. Oh before that they let on a wedding group. Then us FTTF folk got let on the ship. I would say we were on the ship by 11 30 but I didn't record times exactly. They said FTTF could go straight to their rooms and I did, but I was allowed to put up my carry on but they kindly asked me to come back a little later as they were still cleaning my room. This was about 11 45 and it didn't bother me and we just went walking around and checking the place out. While my family was still eating I went to the Crimson dining room at 12 30 to ask the maître d if I could switch to your time dining and that was granted. We had a deluxe ocean view room that accommodated 5 people and it was quite roomy. Let me say, it was plenty of space for the 5 of us, but this did include a 2 year old and two teenage girls, my wife and myself. We didn't really go in the room that much but honestly it never felt cramped and we always had a place to put things. Like many other Carnival ships, there was only one 3 prong outlet and people that weren't prepared for that were quite upset. I had two 10 foot extension cords and a power strip that wasn't surge protected. This allowed us all to plug in everything we wanted to. The room also had two bathing rooms. The one with the shower had the toilet, the other room was just a mini bath tub that you could bathe or shower in. I really liked this room. I don't remember the room steward's name but I found him to be pleasant and they cleaned the room very well each day. I didn't hang out much by the pool and none of us had the desire to lay out in the sun. Having said that, I do know that at least 5 people I had talked with said they hated that they could never get a deck chair and that people were reserving them very early in the morning and not using them until later. I believe this is a problem that Carnival tends to have on all of their cruises. I know they have a sign posted that said you can't keep a chair that you aren't using for more than 45 minutes but people said this rule wasn't followed nor enforced by the staff. No problem to me at all but I know there were definitely a few people that were upset by this. The pizza that is available 24 hours a day is all the way in the back of the ship by the aft pool on the lido deck which is deck 10. You can also order a personal pizza delivered to you wherever you are on the ship. I did that once for my older daughter and it was quite a large size and it was pretty fast delivery and it was 5 dollars to have it. On the other side of the back of the ship on the Lido is the seafood place where you can pay extra for and get some seafood. I never even looked at the menu or know of anyone that had eaten it. Then you have the buffets in the lido deck and then by the pool you have blue iguana café and guy's burgers. The line to both of these places were long almost all of the time. I say long because to me it was and I braved the burger line once and I waited about 20 minutes to get a burger. I didn't experience the blue iguana but my wife did and she enjoyed it and she waited about 20 minutes as well. You can check out many places online on what these places offer on their menu. My wife is the queen of eating hot stuff and that place had her in tears so they must have had some heavy duty salsa. I never did the steak house but we did the pasta bar a couple of times. I really enjoyed being able to order some pasta with a salad and bread. It is included in the cost, you just have to be aware that it's typically only available from 12 to 2 30 p.m. The dining room was pretty awesome. It was beautiful and had a ton of hardworking and very friendly staff. The food was always warm or hot and everyone in our group of 7 loved everything they tried. I didn't hear of any complaints about the food from anyone and I was in group of over 600 people on social media and I didn't see any of them complaint about the food. I know several people complained about their room staying hot but our room was always cool and quite comfortable. I never noticed an overwhelming smell but several had mentioned that they continued to smell a strong musty odor or sewage smell. Many had complained of becoming ill with a sore throat, sinus, head cold type issue. My wife and son were two of the people that had this and many on the group said they were ill. There were many different types of activities to choose from throughout the day. Many different trivia activities, the typical hairy chest contest, scavenger type games, to musical shows. We usually had to pick one out leave a second choice behind because there were so many options. Me and my family enjoyed the shows at night. All of those people involved put so much time in to those shows. Those men and women worked hard and it showed and I was so glad my family and I were able to enjoy those. This was the second time I had been on a carnival ship where they had the lip sync contest and I truly think it is awful. So I asked the group what they think of it and really many people said they quite enjoy it. So there you have it, people like things I don't. This cruise went to Jamaica and we went to a resort for the day and it was your typical resort. We ate, we drank, we swam, we returned back to the ship on time! I had a really good time with my family and enjoyed our time together. We went to Grand Cayman but then we quickly waved goodbye to Grand Cayman as the captain came on and said the swells were to big for the tenders to safely access the cruise ship. Nothing anyone can do about that but cruise on. We got to Cozumel 3 hours earlier because of skipping Grand Cayman. That was pretty cool to get there a little earlier. My family being all from Mexico really enjoyed the extra time. We went to a day resort there too and had a great time with great food and a lot of drinks served. We didn't over do it though and we just had a good time spending it together. For the crew that always works so long and so hard every single day, I didn't see it in their faces. Many of them would stop and talk to my 2 year old boy and they were always so friendly to us. I don't know they can appear to be so happy all the time with all those hours they put in. There's really a lot more to review but I have already written so much. But for this family that finds positives in almost anything, we had a wonderful cruise. It was so fun having all of us together to experience what a beautiful world we live in. So many things a person can find wrong about, but the world is how you choose to see it and live it. We chose to have an amazing cruise. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We have cruised over 10 times - Alaska, Caribbean, Mexico and Europe - on several cruise lines with our preference being Royal Caribbean and Celebrity. We’ve sailed with Carnival two times in the past and they were passable but not ... Read More
We have cruised over 10 times - Alaska, Caribbean, Mexico and Europe - on several cruise lines with our preference being Royal Caribbean and Celebrity. We’ve sailed with Carnival two times in the past and they were passable but not great. We sailed carnival dream out of New Orleans on March 17 and it was the worst cruise experience we’ve ever had. If this had been our first cruise, it would be our last. Luckily, we know this cruise experience wasn’t typical of other cruise lines. We had the poorest service we’ve ever seen on a cruise. The food was fine and our service staff was nice, but service was disorganized - sometimes not bringing our complete order. It seems like the service staff had too many tables to give the service we’ve always had on prior cruises. The majority of the ship’s staff was downright rude - especially the shore excursion desk. Their anyswer to any question was “I don’t know.” Dinner was disorganized, and no lunch served in the main dining room, which meant everyone was on the Lido during lunchtime making it a complete zoo. The shows, games etc were held in rooms so small that unless you arrived an hour early you couldn’t get a seat. The ship needs a lot of care. Rust and chipped paint everywhere you looked. Needless to say, I would NEVER recommend Carnival to anyone and will never use this cruiseline again. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
Our Nightmare Started with prepaid parking (from their site's link) in NOLA, paid 2 month's in advance. Got to NOLA, 3.10.19 - major traffic issue, got to parking lot @ 901 Convention Center Blvd only to be met by NOLA PO told ... Read More
Our Nightmare Started with prepaid parking (from their site's link) in NOLA, paid 2 month's in advance. Got to NOLA, 3.10.19 - major traffic issue, got to parking lot @ 901 Convention Center Blvd only to be met by NOLA PO told us, NO can NOT PARK, IF we prepaid - lot was closed. 4.5 HOURS later, less than 1.5 miles away & following others in same Boat, then having to pay for parking @ $140 AGAIN, were we able to finally board. Anxiety-Panic Attack, and seemed to never end, unless we got off ship. Drunks in pools with minor kids, 2nd day, drunk drew up in LIDO DECK pool with kids in it, had to drain pool. Oh Well, stay far away from that insanity, that Carnival Promotes Whole Heartedly! While I was able to find the BEST spot for Adults - 15th Deck up on Serenity Lounge Deck- total cruise enjoyment, but warning must walk through Cloud 9 SPA on 12th to get there. Sell, Sell,SELL, SELL, If interested, Great, other than that just keep walking & No thanks. First Cruise, we made multiple calls in advance to ask lots of questions and was mislead every step of the way. Purchased insurance in case needed to be seen by Dr or had to cancel. Very sick, upper respitory from sinus & so many chemicals used in elevators to keep us all smelling great, BUT still had to pay up front to see Dr. They were very nice, but still was very sick. No clue what the pills were, but didn't help had to seek ER after returning home. Now have to argue with the folks that we purchased this Gimmick Inusrance Policy with AFTER the fact & who knows if they will reimburse me? Will NEVER SET FOOT ON ANOTHER CRUISE SHIP during Spring Break, unless I want to be around so many unattended minors & drunks. It made for a bad 1st cruise experience on top of being physically sick. A++ to ALL employees who work on the ship, I can not safe enough positive things about them. They salvaged our entire trip with their Professional Kindness & knowledge of true Customer Service (we are not demanding guests), but we truly appreciated the Room Service as I was too sick on a few days to get out of our Cabin on 8th floor. Great news as well, always pay extra and get a balcony, worth every penny we spent! In front of ship, far away from the Crazy drunks & unattended minors. Plz ask lots of ?s about how many minors, don't be dumb like we were & not understand when peak season is for Spring Break Crazy, with or without families. Too many parents were drinking and when I asked one couple up on Serenity Deck where were their 6 minor kids, answer was, we don't know & kept on drinking. A cruise ship is not your babysitters folks. Try to be responsible and teach your children manners. I saw the Best & the Worst on board, from the begining it was very sad to know how much money we had spent for the Nightmare to start before we even boarded. They only offered me a cheap bottle of wine to attempt to make us feel better for 4.5 hours of HELL out on the street. Trust me, when we got off this ship Sunday at 7am, no one was allowed to push or break in line. We were greeted by the best parking vendors in NOLA with smiles, put on shuttles & taken immediately to our car, where we gladly left. Any wonder we aren't so well loved over the globe. The employees on the ships deserve 100% Respect and are not there to treated less than any guest! I loved the shows, shore excursions and will never pre-pay to park again. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
***Exclaimer***I’m realistic, so my opinions and review take that into account. That being said I don’t hand out excellent evaluations unless I feel it is absolutely deserved. Our cruise was to celebrate our anniversary, we traveled ... Read More
***Exclaimer***I’m realistic, so my opinions and review take that into account. That being said I don’t hand out excellent evaluations unless I feel it is absolutely deserved. Our cruise was to celebrate our anniversary, we traveled without our children but with another couple who were on the lido deck. We originally booked a lower level balcony cabin but were offered an upgrade to a Spa balcony room. At first my wife was a little worried being that high up and so close to the bow of the ship. We were pleasantly surprised with this choice in cabins, my wife was not affected by any motion sickness, and the convenience of the Spa and Serenity deck was a definite plus. Embarkation We purchased faster to the fun, not knowing what to expect at the port and because the couple we were traveling with had as well. In my opinion I don’t know if the value is there, other than the priority boarding, I think that’s where the value ended. Our bags did not arrive in our rooms any earlier and there is really no other FTF lines on the boat or perk worthy of the fee. The bonus we had for FTF was we were able to get on ship when they opened the doors per say, we had our fill of New Orleans the night before so getting on the ship earlier than our scheduled embarkation was nice. Cheers package I will start with the Cheers package, we pondered that for some time and ultimately purchased it. We are social drinkers so 15 alcoholic drinks were probably do-able on sea days for me, not so much my wife…but on port days we felt it would be a little more of a stretch. Here is how it actually panned out. I got my moneys worth, I met the 15-drink maximum on one occasion. It was a sea day with some pool, casino and comedy club time involved, so a long day of living it up. The rest of the days I am positive it was worth the money for me. My wife on the other hand, she had the 5 break even drinks on most days and on the days she didn’t, my drinks made up where hers missed. The drinks I had were $9 dollars on average all trip (maybe more if I actually do the math), so the total cost for both her and I including the other non-alcoholic drinks and additional waters etc. was worth it in our opinion, so much so that we plan on purchasing the Cheers package again on our next trip, even with our children going. I will say aside from the occasional bartender with a heavy hand, the drinks were pretty tame, so maintaining a “good” buzz will almost guarantee you having to have the 5 drink minimum to break even. Meals I am from Nevada, home of the buffet line so I do not expect 5-star meals to be doled out one scoop at a time, but I didn’t have anything from the buffet that made me cringe. That’s the greatest thing about a buffet, if you have something you don’t like, you can go get something else, something you love, go get more. The American dream, right? We tried a little something from just about every specialty food Guys burgers, Pig and Anchor the tacos, pasta bar Mongolian Wok…all good, nothing bad to report other than wait times because of the limited hours of operations for those areas. Nothing truly vacation ruining. Bonzi Sushi and the Seafood Shack were great as well we had lunch at both and would spend the extra money again Scarlet Dining Room Our experience was wonderful bordering excellent (see exclaimer). Our wait staff was great the head waiter Christian worked his tail off! He was very good at what he does, he took the time to get to know our table. Treated us as if we were his only table, I can say that he was excellent! I hope our paths cross again someday. The food, we had 4 of our 7 dinners in the SDR, all were great. The selections, the appetizers and deserts were all paired very well. Christian was very knowledgeable and attentive to all of out likes and dislikes and made great suggestions when we were not sure and even made a point to order both dishes if we were on the fence and doubled our order when he knew we would love something. Stake house We were cruising to celebrate out anniversary and on our last cruise we didn’t get the chance to try the Steakhouse, so why not right. Well frankly it left a lot to be desired, again not vacation ruining, but our SDR dinning experience was just better. The additional money spent was just not worth it in our opinion. The ambiance was much quieter yes, the presentation was wonderful and our waitstaff was good. BUT at time we felt like we were being squeezed for that extra $80 bucks by Carnival. I don’t think I’m a snob by any means, and the $80 was not a game changer but we have had better steakhouse experiences. Again, I want to be realistic with my review, I just can’t say that our experience was worth the added expense. Overall Experience Our over all experience was very good, there was not enough mediocre or bad to rate the experience any lower, so it was a great time and I would not hesitate to take this cruise again. I could write about all of the little things that were bad but looking back on it, not many of them were Carnivals fault, sure certain things could have been more enjoyable. But I was able to make my trip the best by enjoying my beautiful wife and good friends and just go with the flow…just relax you’re on vacation. Hope this helps :) Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
This was the first Dream class ship I have sailed after many cruises with Carnival Cruise Line. As can happen on a new ship this was one of those: " by the time I get off I'll know my way around " cruises. Walking up to deck ... Read More
This was the first Dream class ship I have sailed after many cruises with Carnival Cruise Line. As can happen on a new ship this was one of those: " by the time I get off I'll know my way around " cruises. Walking up to deck 4 to cross over the main galley to descend to deck 3 got tiresome but it is what it is. Spirit class ships have me spoiled no doubt. The cruise director Gary was every bit as good and more than what I had read here on Cruise Critic. He has a lively exuberance that's infectious and his winning smile and clever wit never disappoint. The new cakes served at lunch in the lido were a big favorite. Each day there were new and colorful looking varieties to tempt me. Some days I got decadent and walked my plate of cake over to the frozen yogurt dispenser and topped it off with a cold treat for good measure. Carnival has really upped their game with this fine addition to the dessert offerings. Afternoon tea at 3 PM in the Scarlet Dining Room each sea day afternoon was enhanced by the live performance of the violin and cello trio named Allure Strings. The afternoons spent there were relaxing and a welcome respite from the hubbub of the pool decks. Carnival has always given their guests choice for events and this cruise was no exception. When the sun got to be too much there was always another round of trivia to participate in at the Ocean Plaza or live music being performed on the main stage over the bar in the Grand Atrium. The main dining room was hit or miss this cruise. When ordering the same entree on another day the presentation and preparation often was distinctly different. A simple request for a side of steamed vegetables on elegant night was met with resistance by the service staff: " This is elegant night, everything comes like it is on the menu, there are no sides tonight. " I must say that in future I'll pass on elegant nights and I'll elect to have dinner at the lido buffet where choice is still an option. My cabin was the cleanest cabin I have had in many years on Carnival. There wasn't a spot of dust behind the TV or in the closets to be seen. The management and stewarding team are to be congratulated for taking their responsibilities to good housekeeping to heart. Well done! My request for twice a day service was met with a gracious smile and a can do attitude and the steward's positivity was present all week. This cruise the housekeeping crew raised the overall score but the main dining room hiccups and bumps along the way lowered the score decidedly. Elegant night wasn't so elegant this cruise and my interest in returning to the dining room on those evenings has been lost to me until such time as Carnival finally changes the American Feast ( or Famine ) menu. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
recently had a caribean cruise on carnival dream,which was absolutely excellent,so much so they we have already looked into booking our 2nd one!! we embarked at new orleans,which was very smooth,we had embarkment time of 12.30 -1.30..we ... Read More
recently had a caribean cruise on carnival dream,which was absolutely excellent,so much so they we have already looked into booking our 2nd one!! we embarked at new orleans,which was very smooth,we had embarkment time of 12.30 -1.30..we were on the ship by 12.30!!so many good memories from start to finish..everyone is made to feel welcome,the ship is large,yet never felt crowded...lots of activities going on day and night..Gary the cruise director does an excellent job,as do all the staff on board.the ship looked beautiful,and was clean,food was hit and miss,seemed to be the same,each day in the buffet,and at best just warm.the main dining room(we were in scarlet)the food was a little more varied,though perhaps not as good standard,as other cruise ships i have been on..the waiting staff however were excellent and work tirelessly to ensure,evrything go well..they really do a great job.guys hamburger joint and pig and anchor,were excellent.most of the crew/staff we met we very courteous,happy and wanted us to enjoy every minute..we saw quite a few theatre shows..my favorite had to be the mr and mrs show,with audience participation..it was hillarious,and again Garry as well as participants were star of the show...deck parties were very good fun,as were dive in movies..the atrium on board is beautiful,and popular place to hang out ,have a drink and watch/join in entertainment the piano bar was good too..just loved,basically everything about the whole cruise,our room was port hole cabin,which was spacious enough for us 3 ladies...i would highly reccomend carnival dream cruise Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
Arrived a day early to explore some of New Orleans. Had a great meal at Felix in the French Quarters. Arrived on Sunday at the port around 10 am. Parked at the port cost was $140 for the week. Going through check in was pretty fast about ... Read More
Arrived a day early to explore some of New Orleans. Had a great meal at Felix in the French Quarters. Arrived on Sunday at the port around 10 am. Parked at the port cost was $140 for the week. Going through check in was pretty fast about 20 minutes but had to wait in the holding area until 11 am when they started to let people aboard according to the zone you were in. We were in zone 4 and got on the ship around 12 pm. Rooms were not ready unless you had a suite or faster to the fun pass until 1:30 pm. We went and had lunch at Pasta Bella which is complimentary for lunch but for dinner there is a fee. Lunch was very, very good highly recommend it. At 1:30 the rooms were available and we had 2 cabins on the 1st floor deluxe oceanview. We had 2 in one room and 4 in the other room. I must say the deluxe oceanview rooms on this ship were OUTSTANDING!!!! The room is very, very spacious, it has a bathroom and a half. One room you have a sink, toilet and shower (with the curtain) and the other is a junior size tub with shower and sink. The room also has 4 closet!! What cruise ship that has 4 closet?!! This was not a suite but and oceanview room and the view was very good. A very large window. If I ever cruise with Carnival again this will be the room I will alway try to get. Our room attendant for the week Mr. Oktav was EXCELLENT!!! Room was always clean and neat everyday and anything that we needed he went out the way to provide it for us. We had 1st seating in the main dining room (The Scarlet dining room) and we had 3 servers, Mr. Acer, Ms. Dandy and Mr. Arnold and they were very, very GOOD!! They gave us great service and was very friendly, professional, courteous and then some!! After the first night they remember our names and our drinks were waiting for us each evening when we arrived at our table. The food was great each night at dinner. The selection at breakfast was ok not great. Lunch you had many different places to chose from especially on sea days. Guy's burgers were excellent and well as Guy's pig and anchor. Overall the food was great can't complain at all. The entertainment was very, very good. The cruise director Gary and his staff did a wonderful job to keep you entertain and busy. Overall I must say the staff was one of the best we've ever encountered. I didn't have anyone on staff to have an attitude with anything that I may have asked them about. The staff went above and beyond to make sure my family and I have a wonderful vacation. I would give the staff a 10 out of 10 for the service they provided. The only thing I would say was negative was the disembarkation. The way the luggage tags was given out to have your bags to be taken could have been more organized. It took a very long time to disembark the ship so if you're driving and you're not walking your luggage off the ship you will be on the ship until at least 9 am or longer before you can get off. Even with that we still had a great time because of the staff. I would highly recommend the Carnival Dream if you're looking for a great cruise and I look forward to cruising with them again one day. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
The Dream is an excellent size ship and rarely seemed crowded. Only 2 small pools but numerous hot tubes available that are at a low temp and seem like your own personal pool. Ship is clean and well maintained. Modern, not dated at all. ... Read More
The Dream is an excellent size ship and rarely seemed crowded. Only 2 small pools but numerous hot tubes available that are at a low temp and seem like your own personal pool. Ship is clean and well maintained. Modern, not dated at all. Service very good. Walter our head waiter and number one his assistant took a few dinners to come out of their shell, but for the most part were friendly, funny and knew our likes by end of week. Gerald our cabin guy was always friendly in the hall and kept our cabin tidy. Cabin service has decreased to only once a day and it’s evident the number they are responsible for has increased but staff are making it work with a smile on their face. Gary the cruise director was hilarious and seen everywhere on the ship multiple times a day. I don’t know how he has so much energy. Getting on and off ship was fastest I’ve ever ever experienced. I’ve cruised several times on other lines, first time on carnival. We had a balcony room that could sleep 4. With 3 adults I was amazed at the size. Not crowded at all. Couch bed was like a full size twin firm mattress. Lots of storage and closet space. Be aware only one plug in for entire cabin. We made it work with an extension that added 4 additional plugins and 4 USB ports. If u don’t mind not being by the pool, loungers were always available on other decks in and out of the sun in quieter locations. The bars were hopping with friendly fast bartenders ready to make just about anything. Now for the allergy part. My sister has multiple allergies. Specifically eggs and artificial color or dye. Unfortunately she could not drink any frozen drinks. I looked at many of the mixer cartons like pina colada, daiquiri etc. nope. They had red, yellow and other colors in them. This was a bummer b/c our previous cruise line had no dyes for color and she was able to try many new drinks normally not available for her. So no fun girly drinks for her this trip. Suri at the alchemy bar was a great help and came up with one new drink for her. Also for the allergies, we notified the dinning room of the allergies soon after boarding. Our first three dinners we had to remind waiter of allergies and ask about food they were trying to serve sister. At least twice food was taken back and confirmed it was something she couldn’t have. Sister was provided the dinner menu for next night each evening to select her choices, but nothing was offered if her selection contained allergens. And nothing was offered for guidance or choices for breakfast or lunch. Also we never saw anyone besides our waiter. Our previous cruises the head dinning room guy was so attentive to her allergies he was almost a stalker. And if she couldn’t have something she selected he’d bring out an alternate choice or a special dessert just for her. Forgot to add she’s also allergic to chocolate which totally limits dessert choices too. Personally I felt the dinner choices were not as many as other cruises and food was just OK. Guys burger, pizza and deli were excellent. Overall we had a great time. But I won’t be back on carnival with my sister due to her allergies. Comedians were great! Saw 3 different ones. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
SHIP The ship was decent but there was a foul smell that was on the main deck that never went away and took your breathe away (in a bad way) every time you went to the deck. Rooms were small but that was expected but think they could ... Read More
SHIP The ship was decent but there was a foul smell that was on the main deck that never went away and took your breathe away (in a bad way) every time you went to the deck. Rooms were small but that was expected but think they could use some updated from the 1960's decor. DINING Dinner was proposal the best part because our servers were very kind and remembered our names and probably one of the only times I felt special like I was on a vacation. FOOD The little restaurants on the kiddy corners of the LIDO deck were pretty good as was the pizza place out back. Dinner was pretty good food but many times the food came out on a plate that had condensation as if it was just pulled from a microwave. Not a ton of healthy options and when I asked for a side of broccoli I got two sad pieces. ENTERTAINMENT The piano bar and Comedy show were the way to go. Both very funny and kept me laughing. Lots of useless things going on at all times which I think take away from enjoying the little things on board. I will not be going on a Carnival Cruise again, not all the workers were kind to the questions we asked and I get they work long hours but people coming there are dropping a large amount of money to get empty looks and snarky remarks. I had high hopes for this cruise and was continued to be let down at the fact that I spent so much money on an experience that was subpar at best. Also, be careful because on the last day at Sea my boyfriend got soot all over his shirt and it was covered in orange and black spots and this apparently happens a lot. One girl in our group went down and they were very nice and offered her laundry coupons and so we decided to do the same because ours was even worse and the lady looked at us like we were dumb and then eventually called laundry for a service on our clothes. DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY. I would recommend going on a cruise that is a little better quality because that will be worth your money.. not Carnival. This cruise felt cheep and cheesy and they were doing everything in their power to nickle and dime everyone .. still trying to figure out what was included in this trip that I didn't end up re-paying for in the end. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose this cruise for an extended family vacation, paying attention to the features for kids. We traveled among 4 families with ages from 7 to 69. The water slides, basketball court, and mini-golf were great attractions for the kids. ... Read More
We chose this cruise for an extended family vacation, paying attention to the features for kids. We traveled among 4 families with ages from 7 to 69. The water slides, basketball court, and mini-golf were great attractions for the kids. The adults also had plenty to do, and the afternoon food options were great. Carnival did a great job with the food options (Guys Burger Joint, taco bar, pizzeria, and Pig and Anchor) that were scattered throughout the ship to spread out the crowds and provide variety. Overall, Carnival did a great job of spreading out everything so that the ship never felt crowded. My only complaint was the on-board entertainment crew that did the shows in the Encore theater. The female lead singer was awful. A few others were ok, but the lead female made the evening shows painful. There was great musical entertainment in the lounge, though. Aside from that, I would definitely cruise on this ship again and I also liked the itinerary (to Roatan, Belize, and Cozumel). Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
My second time on the Dream and it was once again quite pleasant. We departed from New Orleans and embarcation was a breeze. From curb to poolside took us less than 15 minutes. Very efficient! The ship was nice, no complaints ... Read More
My second time on the Dream and it was once again quite pleasant. We departed from New Orleans and embarcation was a breeze. From curb to poolside took us less than 15 minutes. Very efficient! The ship was nice, no complaints there. Always clean, never had to wait at a bar or at the buffet, service in the dining room was impeccable and though I found selection very limited in both the buffet and dining room, what there was was of good quality and tasty. The steakhouse was of course delicious and service was excellent. We booked the Captain's Table and as usual it was worth every penny. Food, service and entertainment were top notch and having the table in the kitchen and not a glassed off room was super interesting. The theatre shows were very good, but some were the same I already saw on the Vista 2 years ago. Excellent performances none the less. Piano bar sadly was not that great. Cabin was a standard balcony on the 7th deck. Clean, quiet, comfortable and a very good stateroom attendant. It was just what the doctor ordered to shoo away the winter blues. :) My only real complaint about the ship would be that Carnival replaced the amazing Tandoor Indian restaurant with an upsell seafood restaurant. That was a huge disappointment. Ports were Roatan, Belize and Cozumel and I scuba dived in every port using Carnival's excursions. All the dives were excellent. I specially enjoyed the dive operator picking us right at the ship in Belize. Debarcation was a breeze as I was staying in New Orleans for a few days. I choose one of the latest tags and got off the ship around 9:30am with almost no lines thru customs. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We'd never been on a cruise and after watching a movie about a cruise (not Titanic) we decided to try. We were a bit apprehensive but decided to give it a try. We chose to go in early February as it was after Christmas break and ... Read More
We'd never been on a cruise and after watching a movie about a cruise (not Titanic) we decided to try. We were a bit apprehensive but decided to give it a try. We chose to go in early February as it was after Christmas break and before Spring break so we thought that we would miss a rush of kids. The cruise was mostly filled with retirees though there were a few families. Getting on and off of the ship in New Orleans was a bit of a hassle. They were loading over 3000 people as quickly as they could and overall it wasn't bad. We arrived before our boarding time and so went through the longer lines. It might have been better if we'd come at the assigned time. Our cabin was on deck 12 a Spa balcony room. Having driven to New Orleans from Illinois we had stayed in a couple of nice hotels on the way down. The cruise room was not up to those standards, but it had more space in the living room and bath than our motorhome so we were happy. The steward was very friendly and attentive and the room was always clean. We ordered room service most mornings the food was simple but good. The buffet for breakfast or lunch was always well stocked and the food was very good. Dinners in the formal dining room were always excellent. Our main server Soe was amazing. When the ship was at sea for the day a sit down breakfast was available in the aft dining room. It's hard to imagine getting tired of steak (filet minion) and eggs for breakfast, but it can become a thing. The food was great. There was entertainment throughout the ship: piano bar, comedy club, two lounges with singers. There were also shows in the larger area in the front of the ship. We stayed to the smaller venues. We went to Jamaica, Grand Caiman and Cozumel. Grand Cayman and Cozumel were great. The stop in Jamaica at Montego Bay was disappointing. We hadn't planned any excursions as none seemed interesting. The port itself was a line of a dozen or so shanty stores selling t shirts sun glasses and rum. We snorkeled in Cozumel and swam with dolphins and stingrays in Grand Cayman. Those very much fun and memorable. We enjoyed it enough that we scheduled another cruise with Carnival for next February. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
This was our second cruise on the Dream once before the dry dock. Must say the 2017 dry dock did the Dream some good! Honestly, I had reservation about booking again on the Dream since our first time it was just ok. The additions of ... Read More
This was our second cruise on the Dream once before the dry dock. Must say the 2017 dry dock did the Dream some good! Honestly, I had reservation about booking again on the Dream since our first time it was just ok. The additions of Guy's Pig & Anchor and Blue Iguana Cantina were big hits for us on this trip. We did have the late seating for dinner in the Scarlet Dining Room. Our waitstaff was decent with no major faults. The dining room appeared to be at 60% percent occupancy. Not sure if the lack of occupancy was from the many anytime dining goers or cruisers utilizing several pay restaurants. We enjoyed our Steakhouse night on the first cruise night and having a complementary bottle of wine put us in the relaxation mood! I wouldn't call the Steakhouse fine dining but the extra attention and food quality is well worth a visit at least one night. Being a frequent Carnival cruiser we have noticed the cutbacks and such. One of those I believe is with the waitstaff as they are not as attentive as they used to be. Just 5 years ago, I recall them anticipating my needs before I ever needed to ask. One example is the Bubbles package, if you have it and after the first night dining with them, every night thereafter you would have your soda brought to you before asking. This doesn't happen or hasn't happened to us for the last 4/5 years. The Playlist shows were good and the talent was top notch. We enjoyed 80s Pop to the Max, Flick, and American Rocks! We sat on the lower lounge area and always had a great view of the show. Everyone should see at least one (if not all) of the shows, we skip Hasbro and Love & Marriage. Our ports included Honduras, Belize, and Cozumel which all had their unique qualities. We did not use any excursions through Carnival and always book independently. Our favorite was the Cave Kayaking in Belize with ViV tours. As it turned out, my husband and I were the only two people with our guide on the Kayak tour and it was amazing having his full attention. He did a great job telling us about Belize, pointing out fun things in the cave, and some how convinced my husband and I to hold a tranchula that was just hanging by the side of the path. Even though most excursions are not close to the Belize City cruise port, it is a shame if you chose to stay on the ship. Belize is a tender port and it takes about 15-20 minutes to arrive at the dock. The Dream sailed out of NOLA and embarkation and disembarkation was easily navigated. We parked at the cruise port for about $140, we spit the cost with our friends which made the port parking more economical. We drove right into the garage, the porter met us immediately, took our bags, and then we drove up 2 floors and parked. From parking garage to Lido with a drink in our hand was less than one hour. All my hesitations about sailing Dream again quickly faded once on board. Barring any major breakdown, unusual defect, or unusual cosmetic wear and tear I see no reason we would sail the Dream again. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
We enjoy getting away from the colder weather in January. We love cruising from New Orleans and have tried to do an Eastern Caribbean for several years. Originally we booked this itinerary as an August cruise only to have it changed to ... Read More
We enjoy getting away from the colder weather in January. We love cruising from New Orleans and have tried to do an Eastern Caribbean for several years. Originally we booked this itinerary as an August cruise only to have it changed to Western when a hurricane threatened. The revised embarkation process is very smooth. We did a jazz brunch in New Orleans and had a 1:30 boarding time. Other than my forgetting to remove a metal object from my pocket as we went through security everything was quite fast. With our later boarding time we elected to forgo the buffet on the Lido deck. We went straight to our cabin and began our unpacking. The safety assembly was smooth with the newer process of a scan of your Sail & Sign card taking role working well. I believe it was the quickest we've experienced. Our 39 year old daughter was also on the cruise in her own cabin. She treated us to dinner in the Steak House the first night (something of a tradition for us). The slightly more formal atmosphere and relaxed service time are a joy. The food was enjoyed by us. My wife had surf & turf and the lobster was excellent. She was not able to finish off her steak but enjoyed it as well. My daughter and I had the filet. Since we have slightly different concepts of appropriate cooking, her steak was medium and mine medium rare. Both were delightfully cooked as we requested. Our serving team of Aleksandrina and Maria were attentive without being obtrusive. We enjoyed ourselves so much it was decided to return on the last night for a repeat experience. Once again the food, service and ambiance excelled. The main dining room experience was smooth;. our table companions pleasant; the wait staff attentive and efficient; and the food what you expect from Carnival. My only complaint is that on Sea Day Brunch you formerly were offered a pastry or bread upour on being seated. This no longer happens. We did Anytime dining once in the Scarlett with Adrian as our server. He was outstanding. We elements of the entertainment to be disappointing.. Having read a review from December our expectations were not too high. The Encore shows were too high concept. The performers had issues with vocal pitch. I am not sure if the accompaniment tracks are done once and perhaps in unfriendly keys for specific performers. It sure felt that way at times. The Allure Strings (a group of 3 attractive young women) played to techno tracks in the lobby bar. Again, highly amplified experience. I did not detect any attempt to adjust tuning between tunes or sets. My ears failed to detect any recognizable tunes (popular or classical) which was a shame. Chuck on solo guitar was great! He does covers and does them well. The country music ensemble played familiar tunes without much energy and a bit of pitch issues at times. Ms. Drumz on the Lido deck did a good job of making the experience feel Caribbean. Unfortunately, we played out early and did not get to the Comedy Club or to the Dive-In movies. We only did one Carnival excursion: Inclusive Beach in Freeport. The beach was fine with umbrellas for those who desired them.The staff was very pleasant and accommodating. We were the second (afternoon) group and the food service was a bit delayed.When it became available, it was excellent beach buffet. Transportation was what you expect: cue up, wait, bus ride. Disembarkation is never fun. While getting off the ship was done as planned by Carnival, the lines down the ramp to package claim, through customs and to the garage were lengthy and slow paced. We were called to cue up at 8:25 and did not get in our vehicle until 10:47.My thought through the process was: this is the place where an air borne virus will infect everyone. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
I traveled with a group of eighteen people, most of whom were clergy participating in a continuing education event on board. Overall, we had a great time! My roommate and I were in cabin 2661. This was my first (and probably last) ... Read More
I traveled with a group of eighteen people, most of whom were clergy participating in a continuing education event on board. Overall, we had a great time! My roommate and I were in cabin 2661. This was my first (and probably last) time in an inside cabin. It was definitely my last time being that far forward, and under the lounge where the main shows were held. The unending darkness in the inside cabin was difficult for me. I appreciate the ability to open the curtains and--balcony or oceanview--see the daylight for myself. I also appreciate the quietness of cabins where the thumping of the music from the shows does not disrupt my rest. Other than the noise, the cabin was comfortable and clean, although there is far less storage space than in a balcony cabin. It wouldn't have been enough for my family of three on a seven-day cruise, but it worked for the two of us who shared it. I've been a Carnival cruiser for twenty years, switching to Disney Cruise Lines for two sailings while my son has been young enough to enjoy the characters. Although my early sailings were different, Carnival's service today is no comparison to Disney. I miss the routine twice-daily cabin cleanings. I don't care about having the bed made twice (although it's nice!), but I sure as heck appreciate having clean towels before an evening shower after a long, hot day in a port! Other differences were the lack of tablecloths on the dinner tables, a lack of variety of teas available with coffee, and other small amenities like body lotion, fresh soap every-other-day or so, etc. I really didn't think any of this would bother me, but it felt like quite a step down in service. Please note that (1) the lack of tablecloths isn't enough for me to stop cruising with Carnival, but it's a noticeable difference and (2) I will ask for twice-daily cabin service for all future cruises. This is the first Carnival cruise on which I've seen crew members acting as lifeguards, standing beside the pools. It was a step up in service that I appreciated. I found the ship to be impeccably clean and saw crew members wiping down railings, cleaning windows, and mopping floors all week. Our cabin steward, I Wayan, did an outstanding job. I only saw him once, and my roommate (who arrived late) didn't get to meet him, but he responded invisibly to all of our requests in a timely manner. The dining room meals were all excellent. My prime rib was fork-tender, perfectly cooked, and seasoned well. Roast chicken and stuffing were delicious, although the white meat was dry. The same was true for the southern fried chicken; dark meat was great, breast was dry. Filet mignon and flatiron steaks were as delicious as the prime rib. Our dining room staff, Headwaiter Kijpracha, Team Waiter Pande and Assistant Brian were efficient and friendly. They learned the names of our entire group on the first night, and managed to keep us all straight even though we routinely switched tables to enjoy different company each evening. Lido Deck meals were also good. Guy's Burgers were juicy and there were a nice variety of toppings available. The pizza on board is not my favorite, as I prefer a thicker crust, but the sauce and toppings tasted fine. I didn't try the tacos, but heard nothing but praise for them. We enjoyed the barbecue from Guy's Pig & Anchor, too. For me, the entertainment on board was a mixed bag. There was an absolutely wonderful string trio (Allure), a decent singing duo (Recap Acoustic), and a superb steel drum musician (Ms. Drumz). The Hasbro games were boring to me. They might have been less so if anyone from our party had been chosen to participate, but I doubt it. What I saw of the song-and-dance shows were good but, frankly, the volume in the theater was offensive to my ears, so I never made it through an entire show. Other observations: Negatives: Our group was in Sam's Piano Bar for our learning sessions. I was disappointed at how many people completely disregarded the "Private Session" signs and walked right into our space. It was distracting to us, and to our leader. One day, a man even moved the sign in order to open a closed door--and then propped the door open!---in order to walk through the bar. He could just as easily have exited the Burgundy Lounge through the main hallway, but chose rudeness instead. There was a child (preteen or early teen) who ran the hallways outside our cabin shouting and/or screaming nearly every evening around 10 pm. Neither of these issues is the fault of the cruise line, of course. And neither would prevent me from cruising with Carnival again, but they were unpleasant experiences. Positives: Every time we had to wait in line, people around us were courteous and good-humored. Guest Services staff was efficient polite when (1) I needed a new S&S card because the bar code on mine had misprinted, (2) an excursion ticket was not delivered in a timely manner and I needed a reprint and (3) my credit card was declined because I'd forgotten to tell them I was traveling. Ports of Call: Montego Bay, Jamaica--Meh. We did the Top Ten bus tour, booked through Carnival. There were no photo stops, just stops for shopping. Definitely would not recommend it. We ended at Margaritaville, which was crowded and unimpressive to us. We chose to walk to a nearby park, where we sat and enjoyed the view while chatting with a local. On the walk back to our bus, we were offered (1) a taxi, (2) marijuana, and (3) a man--in that order. Needless to say, we refused all three. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
This was a family cruise with grandparents, parents, and grandkids. The grandkids loved the Ocean Kids Club. We had to pry them away every time we went to pick them up because they were having so much fun. On day one our cabin ... Read More
This was a family cruise with grandparents, parents, and grandkids. The grandkids loved the Ocean Kids Club. We had to pry them away every time we went to pick them up because they were having so much fun. On day one our cabin steward introduced himself and asked if we would like the cabin serviced in the mornings between 9 am and 1 pm, in the early evening, or both. We told him we would like both so we could get fresh towels again in the evening after returning from the pool, etc. We also asked him for a second drinking glass in the bathroom. The glass never showed up...all week. And, our cabin was serviced once a day anywhere between 9 am and 3 pm, not at the time or frequency that we were told it would be done at the start of the cruise. The service throughout the ship was lackluster, uncaring, and slow. This included the staff in the main dining room and buffets, at the bars, in the casino, etc. The food throughout the ship was limited in variety, poorly cooked, generally served luke warm if not cool, and had little taste. While I'm not a stickler for "Formal Night" attire, the couple at the table next to us was allowed in the main dining room dressed in shorts, t-shirts, and flip flops. Then, again on Formal Night, a man, who I was hoping would be the Maître D', came to our table to perform coin tricks. Internet, even the "Premium" internet that I had paid extra for was slow and spotty throughout the cruise. No hope of streaming anything. Lucky just to get a connection once in a while and to check e-mail. Entertainment was substandard compared to what we have experienced on other similar cruise lines. The smoke in the casino was unbearable. You couldn't get anywhere near the center of the ship where the casino was without having to suffer the from the smoke. Read Less
Carnival Dream Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.5 4.3
Dining 4.5 3.9
Entertainment 3.5 3.9
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 4.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.9
Enrichment 3.5 3.6
Service 5.0 4.2
Value For Money 5.0 4.0
Rates 3.0 4.1

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