We just returned from our cruise on the Carnival Dream. To sum it up in one word - TERRIBLE!
1) Food - The portions were very small (thankfully we were able to get seconds) and none of the meals were anywhere near memorable. The dishes were often cold. We were in the Crimson Dining Room at table 346; the wait staff was wonderful. Originally we had signed-up for Your Time Dining but, on the first night, the line was long and twisted about the deck. We changed to the early seating and had wonderful diner companions for the cruise.
2) Buffet - On several occasions we had to ask that items be refilled. We came back from the beach on Saint Maarten and went straight to the buffet. Many items were empty and we had to ask the staff to refill them. I saw a gentleman dressed in a uniform that made him look important and mentioned our concerns to him. He looked annoyed and said he would look into it. Unfortunately we don't remember his name. That morning we had to hunt for coffee cups. On other occasions we had to hunt for a clean table as there is inadequate staff to bus the tables in a timely manner.
3) After the shows we can get pizza or a sandwich, if we choose, but could not find fruit on the first night and most of the other nights. On the first night we saw a bin of apples behind the buffet and took a couple. After that we made sure to get them during the day and keep them in our room. We shouldn't have to go to those measures.
4) On prior cruises, on sea days, the dining room was open for breakfast and lunch; not just brunch. If we eat breakfast at 9:30, we are not about to eat lunch before the dining room closes at 1:00.
5) Our cabin was #2370. We don't know what was above us on the third deck but items were often dropped and other items dragged across the deck at various times during the night or early morning. It was especially bad this morning. Paint had been splattered, at an earlier time, on the wooden railing, furniture and deck of the balcony. While it did not hinder the use of the balcony, it shows a general lack of care. The cabin steward was very good.
6) After settling in our cabin on the day of departure, I journeyed to the Sports Bar to ask if all the NFL games would be on TV at the bar. I was told they would be. Well the only games were the same ones available on TV in our room. These were the games broadcast by the CBS and Fox affiliates in Miami. Haven't you heard of Direct TV? It would have been nice to sit at the bar, down a few diet drinks as we watched our favorite teams. While I don't cruise to stay in my room and watch TV, it would be nice if we had ESPN on the room TV. (And maybe HBO?)
7) We don't think of shows made up of fellow passengers to be real entertainment. Thankfully, the entertainment at the comedy club was excellent.
8) I don't think that the sugar free desserts were sugar free. I'm diabetic & while I ate normally, my sugar readings were higher than normal.
This was our sixth cruise on Carnival and tenth overall. Our prior cruises were very enjoyable and memorable. This one will be memorable for the wrong reasons. It has been four years since we cruised on Carnival and the service has vastly deteriorated.
None of our dinner companions nor others that we met at brunch or at other places on the cruise had anything positive to say.
Carnival's response is tepid to say the least and, because of their response, we see that there is little chance we will sail on Carnival again. Step up Carnival and give me a reason to sail on your ships again!