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Carnival Dream Cruise Review by AriannaFan

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Carnival Dream
Carnival Dream
Member Name: AriannaFan
Cruise Date: August 2013
Embarkation: Port Canaveral
Destination: Western Caribbean
Cabin Category:
Cabin Number: 8472
Booking Method: Cruise Line
See More About: Carnival Dream Cruise Reviews | Western Caribbean Cruise Reviews | Carnival Cruise Deals
Member Rating   3.0 out of 5+
Dining 1.0
Public Rooms 4.0
Cabins 4.0
Entertainment 3.0
Spa & Fitness Not Rated
Family & Children Not Rated
Shore Excursions 5+
Embarkation 5+
Service 4.0
Value-for-Money 4.0
Rates 4.0
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Ship Facts: Carnival Dream Review (by Cruise Critic!) | Carnival Dream Deck Plans
Great Cruise, Great Passengers...Good Boat

My husband and I have an annual, child-free anniversary cruise and it is always with Carnival. When we cruise with the kids, it's always Disney. We are Carnival fans, no matter what the media says!

Prior to the Dream, the biggest boat we've sailed was the Disney Dream. I am generally afraid of larger boats for personal reasons, but, I let go of my fears and sailed on.

Embarktion: The smoothest Carnival process ever!!!! We embarked in Miami in 2012 and it was a HORRID experience. No organization at all! We relayed our glee to the agent processing our keys and she was shocked because they are always being told...BY THE MIAMI PORT...that the Port Canaveral embarktion process was slow and they are doing things wrong. We filled her in on our experience and she asked that we speak to her manager, which we did and she was so happy to hear that "her" port was well praised. Seems Miami is always giving them a bad rap. From parking lot to cabin: 35 minutes

Ship: I personally feel that the turnaround time between sailings is not enough to provide a clean ship. From the moment we boarded to well after muster drill, there was always a moldy smell in high traffic food and drink areas. There was definitely a lot of sticky floors (that were eventually cleaned by sailaway party) that attracted many bugs from port. Once we sailed, they were nonexistent as the staff seemed to finally get a handle on turning the ship over for our sailing. The same for our stateroom. The bathroom shower curtain was moldy and very dirty and the carpet was always damp (from the humidity?). It was just so heartbreaking to see the staff throughout the ship rushing and sweating and fully of anxiety to get everything together. It would be great if Carnival could find a way to take the ship out of service for 24-48 hours every 6 weeks for a true cleaning. I know it means lost money, but, it is less than having the reimburse sick passengers or face an outbreak. That being said, by the end of Day 2, everyone was in a groove and these issues disappeared. Kudos to the staff!!!

{What I've found consistent between the 3 Carnival ships we've sailed is the stench at the aft elevators on what is usually the deck the has comedy club, piano bar, dance club, and casino (on the 3 ships it was Deck 5). It always smells like a sewer.}

Food: We dined at the steakhouse on embarktion day for the complimentary bottle of wine. This was our first steakhouse experience (we usually do the chef's table) and it was AMAZING! Our MDR dining was hit or miss. We dined at the steakhouse 2 times and MDR 3 times. With such a large boat, it is impossible to provide tasty, well cooked meals at an edible temperature. I don't blame the staff, I think it's just the nature of the beast and Carnival should look into a better way to provide a consistent and better MDR experience for all. Each time we had dinner at MDR we ended up with a lot of stomach discomfort. No problems when dined at steakhouse; pizza (which we ate every night in the comedy club!); Mongolian Wok; Tandoor; room service; and other Lido Buffet offerings. We ended up skipping dinner 2 nights because the discomfort lasted throughout the day. We had breakfast each morning in open seating because it was always served hot.

Ports: Cozumel, Isla Roatan, Belize, Costa Maya

Excursions: Tequila Tasting in Cozumel was the best! As an American, I was SO embarrassed at how we have massacred the joys of Tequila! I left there promising never to do another Tequila shot or drink margaritas for the rest of my life. I also left there a bit tipsy with a full stomach of local soft corn tacos...YUMMY!!!!!! Our Belikin Beer Factory tour was cancelled in Belize due to low participation. We visiting the Maya Ruin and did a city tour in 2012, so we ended up at Fat Tuesday at the Pier having a great time as another passenger and the local DJ created the ultimate party atmosphere! We definitely had enough Belikin to make up for the tour cancellation. Mahoghany Bay, Isla Roatan: This is a favorite port stop because we get to the beach early, shop, then return to the ship to enjoy the emptiness at the pool and slides. This also is where we get a chance to meet many other passengers and exchange stories. Costa Maya: We booked loungers in the town of Mahahual at El Tropicante based on suggestions from other forum posters. ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL TIME WE HAD!!!!! Steve Uhl, the owner, and his staff were most welcoming and appreciative and just all around great, genuine people. We really wish this port had a longer time. We were there 7a-1:30p and that is truly NOT ENOUGH TIME! I recommend going into Mahahual instead of handing out at the pier...too many people in the pool that includes a swim up bar (where NO ONE left their bar stool all day...hhhhhhmmmmmmmmm) while fun for some, was not the local experience we were after. And, the food at El Tropicante went down well and was so tasty!

MISC: There were NO CHAIR HOGS! Passengers were cool as a cucumber. Ship was built for stateroom maximizing, not activity enhancement. Kids club location was the best design element on the boat...out of sight giving them the freedom to run in their designated area without disturbing guests (except for the 14 year old that kept doing cannon balls in the small pool. Everyone was annoyed but said nothing. I asked her to please be considerate and minimize the # of cannon balls based on others trying to enjoy the pool. She did.) Food was hit or miss. Every staff member we encountered was helpful and easily engaged in conversation. We had an aft room which offered a lot of quiet, serene time. But, I prefer a port side aft balcony room which gives me best of both worlds...noisy port days (which is fine by me as I love watching pier runners) and quiet nights.

Overall, our experience was GREAT! We did not let any of our issues get in the way (except the stomach problems!) of a good time.

I wouldn't sail this boat again because of it's size. We sailed the Liberty in 2012 and so far, it's our favorite ship and we will definitely look to sail it again to same ports.


Publication Date: 09/09/13
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