Carnival Dream Cruise Review by Koukla21: Our DREAM Vacation
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Our DREAM Vacation
We sailed on the Dream ship doing the Eastern Islands. We had the most amazing time!! The ship was beautiful! A little background....It was myself and my husband celebrating our 25th Anniversary. We arrived the night before and stayed at the Radisson by the port. We arrived very late as our plane was delayed and we had to wait a VERY long time at Budget to pick up our car rental. By the time we got to the hotel, we were exhausted. Got up early and found the Publix and bought our waters/gingerales/wines. Worked out great putting them in a rolling carry on type of bag. Drove around Cocoa Beach for a while and went to return the car at the Budget which is right near the hotel. Budget then shuttled us to the port.
We were dropped off at the port at 10:40 and since I purchased FTTF we went on the Priority Line and were in very quickly. Then we bypassed all the people seated waiting to get on board and went straight upstairs. After we waited for the wedding parties to board and More then the platnum we were on board and in our cabin in 40 minutes!! Then took a walk around the ship, ate something and went back to our cabin to find our luggage had already arrived. Unpacked and was ready for our vacation to start!!!!
This was our first balcony so I ordered champagne and wine from BonVoyage and it was in our room before sail away. We opted to do the sail away from our balcony and we loved it! We were on the Veranda Deck Cabin # 8240 and it was a GREAT location! Right near the elevators but very quiet (except for a noisy family with two small children that screamed a lot as did their mother. I swear sometimes she was louder in the hall than the kids!) But that you can get on any level of the ship you are on. Just not very considerate and respectful on her part at all. Wasn't and didn't ruin our vacation though!!
We had the Any time dining and liked it a lot. Ate there 3 times and also ate at the Steakhouse which was amazing! Can't rave enough about it!! We went there on the formal night and really enjoyed it! The service was exceptional! Food in the dining room was good as were the waiters. We were served very fast all times. Most people seemed very casual in dressing for the dining room. We also ate at the buffet on the days we were at the islands. We had no complaints about the food at all. Believe me, if you can't find something you like to eat, you have a serious problem in my opinion! I heard from others that the lines were so long, but we didn't encounter that at all! We had omlettes from the omlette station, ate from the Mongolian Wok, the deli, the pasta bar and the Indian place and never waited more than 10 minutes!
The ship was beautiful and they were always cleaning it! Our room steward was fantastic. Was in our cabin at leat 3 times a day. Couldn't ask for better service! We did tip him on the second day and then again on the last day. We feel that they deserve more than what the get from the tips that are applied to our sail and sign account. They work very hard. Also, all change that we accumulated over the week was put in a cup and it was left for them as well as some leftover drinks that we brought on board.
This trip was going to the Bahamas, St. Thomas and St. Marten.
Bahamas: We were only in port for 5 1/2 hours so we took our time getting off the ship, walked around doing some shopping and got back on early and enjoyed the ship that was relatively empty.
St. Thomas: Such a beautiful Island!!! We took a open taxi to Sapphire beach. sapphire beach was a beautiful beach with trees that can be used for shade. A little rocky to get into the water, would probably wear water shoes next time. They have someone going up and down the beach that you can order food from and they sell beers, sodas, etc at the beach hut. You can also rent snorkeling equipment and other things. Snorkeling was nice. Colorful fish! We had arranged with the others in our taxi for the driver to pick us up at 3:00 and take us up to Beacon Point for some pictures and their famous Banana Daquiris! The driver went out of his way and stopped at a few spots for photos. Absolutely breathtaking views! It was a great day at the beach ending with some shopping around the pier.
St. Marten: We went to Orient Beach early in the morning as our plan was to hit Maho Beach in the afternoon to see the planes. We knew that the taxis needed to do this were going to be expensive. orient beach was great! So many places to eat and rent chairs and umbrellas from! We had a really nice time there. You can rent everything you would want. They had water trampolines as well. We were told that getting a taxi from there wan't going to be easy because it about a 40 minute ride to the other side of the island and most drivers weren't going to want to go that far. So we opted to get a taxi back to the pier and get another from there to Maho. it worked out fine. When we got to Maho, it was packed!! I mean so many people. Got a drink from the Sunset Bar and were lucky enough to see a family leaving and grab their chairs and umbrella. $20.00 for all. It was so HOT that you really needed an umbrella. We got to see the planes and left right after the Air France plane came in. Back to the port and did the last of our shopping. We really enjoyed St. Maarten, it was a beautiful Island.
The last two days were sea days. We primarily got our chairs very early in the morning and sat at the aft pool. We did sit at the lido pool on one sea day. It was fun but very loud and we enjoyed the aft better. Watched the games by the pool and the ice sculpting and enjoyed them all. We are early morning risers and were out by the pool by 7:30 so had no problem finding chairs with an umbrella. People would come and put their towels down and leave. Once I saw a Carnival employee putting stickers on some chairs that said their belongings would be removed in 40 minutes. I don't think it was ever done though. I have no problem getting up early and getting my spot but it amazes me how some people walk around to 10:30 or later and can't believe they can't get a chair by the pool! I really didn't see chair hogging and felt that the people sitting around us were very friendly.
we enjoyed the shows. Especially the comedy ones! Just plan on getting there early to get a seat. The Burgendy Lounge fills up fast! Played the slots in the casino and had fun losing some money! Watched Lincoln out on the big screen on the Lido deck. The popcorn line was the LONGEST line I ever waited on this entire trip! They have a small machine that only makes about 5 half bags of popcorn and then takes another 10 minutes or so to make more. They need a bigger machine in my opinion. It is situated at the Blue Iguana bar and I felt bad for the bartender that had to deal with the popcorn maker and people who wanted drinks.
To sum up...we had an amazing vacation on the Dream! There were only two down points of this trip. First was when we arrived to our cabin, there was a letter on the table. I thought it was for us so I opened it. It was from the doctor of the ship letting the prior passenger that was in our room know that he was being quarrentined due to illness. This was very unsettling to us as I wanted to know what was the illness and has our room been completely disinfected! We went down to guest services and they assured us that the room was absolutely disinfected and that he had stomach issues. I did tell them that this letter NEVER should have been left in the room. They apologized profusely. The other down point of this trip was the death of a woman who hung herself in her cabin and we also heard of a man who had a heart attack and passed away. There was also a crew member who had a heart attack and was taken off in St. Marten. Very sad.
I highly recommend purchasing FTTF! I would do it again in a heartbeat! We had a fantastic vacation and would sail on the DREAM again!
Hope you enjoyed my review! Feel free to ask any questions!! Thanks to you all on Cruise Critic for helping me make our vacation so perfect! :) Less
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