The first day went poorly. Though we had booked premium rooms, our luggage tags failed to include the word "priority", and therefore it wasn't until about four hours after we boarded that our luggage arrived at our room. This was especially disappointing since I had called Carnival and pointed out this error, only to be told not to worry and that our luggage would be waiting outside our room upon our arrival. When we entered our room, I observed a growing wet spot on the carpet outside the bathroom door of our suite. It was recommended that we vacate our room while service staff used a wet vac and did whatever else was necessary to address the source of the water. When we returned to our room later, there was a big fan blowing across the wet area of the carpet. I find it more than a bit unfortunate that Carnival chooses not to open the childrens Camp Carnival program the night of embarkation, at least not until hourly rates begin at ten o'clock. There is only so much one can do with a tiring four year old along with mom and dad, so we turned in the bed at nine o'clock. Day one down and no fun.
Upon our arrival in Nassau on the second day of the cruise, we elected to stay onboard the ship. We were not too impressed with this destination on our previous cruise, so we decided to take advantage of the spa package which came with our suite. Entering the Thallasotherapy pool, the dark sea water and spa jets made me fail to notice how narrow the entry steps were, and I took a graceless tumble into the pool. The pulled muscle in my back, pulled thigh muscle, sprained ankle, and cuts I recieved from this accident negatively impacted the remainer of my cruise. I am still recovering more than three weeks later. I was seen by an onboard doctor, given meds, antiboitics, bandages, and a tetanus shot - not exactly my idea of cruising fun! Due to my injuries, day two also ended in bed at nine o'clock while everyone else on board was just beginning to have fun.
I managed to limp and hobble around sufficiently to participate in low intensity activities for the remainder of the cruise, however many onboard activities such as the pools, waterslide, dancing, etc. were now beyond my threshold of pain to enjoy. Perhaps most disturbing is that Carnival seems not to care about my negative experience. My two post-cruise communications to Carnival have gone without response. We were able to take in both of our planned onshore excursions, in St Thomas and St Marteen. I wasn't hugely impressed with Megans Bay, however Orient Beach in St Marteen was beautiful, except for the local islanders constantly bothering my family while trying to sell their wares.
For those looking forward to the onboard dining on the Dream, or Carnival ships in general, I advise that you keep your expectations low. The variety and quality of most foods offered are below that of your local economy-priced all-you-can-eat buffet. I overheard one fellow cruiser state that "they serve better food at the local homeless shelter". The main dining was somewhat better, though not spectacular, while the service in the Crimson dining was exceptional! My wait staff was very attentive to all of our needs. Kudos also to our room stewards, who were friendly and provided unbeatable service. Our bottles of wine were kept constantly on ice, and the head steward even bought a gift for my daughter. The room itself was comfortable, and after the wet carpet upon arrival we experienced no other problems. Be advised that the children's Camp Carnival is closed for two-three hours on a daily basis and at varied times, for "cleaning", "training" etc. which makes it difficult for adults to plan and participate in adult events. Although the tone of this review is somewhat negative, in fairness both myself and my family had an enjoyable time during this cruise. The BillyBeachBum family shall cruise again in the near future! BBB