First off, I want to state that for years we have preferred Carnival to other cruise lines. I also want to add that this is our second time on the Dream. Our previous sailing was August of 2011. After this cruise though, I have to honestly say that we will not be sailing on Carnival again.
As we were boarding, we knew Hurricane Ernesto was bearing down on us. We were confident that we would soon hear an announcement that the Dream would be rerouted to the east, especially since the Disney ship in port had already been rerouted. We were all getting excited for the new itinerary without threat of a hurricane. Unfortunately, we waited, and waited....... and waited. No announcement.
Our first night in the dining room, our waiter was very rude to our party of 7. We have ALWAYS requested more than one appetizer or entree to share, especially if something is being offered and we just can't make up our minds! This has NEVER been an issue in years past! Well, don't you know our waiter wouldn't bring two of anything? His excuse??? He couldn't carry everything at one time!! WHAT?!?! Then he would sneer at members of our party when he thought that person wasn't looking. Hello? We're at a round table, someone is always facing you! It just went downhill after that for the week. For the very first time, we only ate in the dining room 4 times. I do have to say that that gave us incentive to try out the Chef Art's Steakhouse which was absolutely the BEST experience of the cruise. So that's the highlight of this review. But back to the regular dining room. In addition to dealing with a surly waiter, the service was extremely slow, the food was cold and I have to say the quality has really gone down. I was also very disappointed to learn that Carnival is now also charging for expressos and cappuccinos after dinner!
O.K.... so the next day is Cozumel. I enjoy Cozumel, so that was fine. We booked an independent excursion and enjoyed our day.
THEN back on the ship we find out that yes, we are being rerouted, but the ports we ended up going to were absolutely horrible. I understand that the reason we ended up at these places was because the other cruise ships had already made their decisions to reroute and so the Dream was stuck sailing into ports that had room. Ugh.... Progreso? Seriously??? What a dirty, run down place that is. HUGE disappointment. Next stop Freeport. Gee.... another place you wouldn't go to unless someone actually paid you to go there. What a waste. Next up was Nassau. O.K. That could have been o.k. except we were swamped with rainstorms. Yes, I know, no one has control over the weather, but geeze, we couldn't help feeling bitter that if Carnival had made the decision earlier to reroute, that we would have had some interesting FUN ports to visit.
Another thing we noticed was that they seemed to have cut back staff in the buffet area!!! Many times we had to go try to find someone to clear dirty dishes off of tables. We have NEVER had that happen before! In the past, you had to GUARD your plates because employees were so quick to want to remove them!
The big production shows were exactly the same as last year, so we just skipped those. We did enjoy the comedians that we saw.
All in all, a huge disappointment to us. Maybe we'll just go to Hawaii next year!