Just got back from the Carnival Dream. It was my wife and 5 year old daughter and I onboard. While we had a good time on the ship, as seasoned cruisers we were disappointed in the Dining. But first lets start at the beginning.
Embarkation was the easiest I have ever had. We got to the port at about 1:30 and were on the boat in about 20 minutes. We did not have any Faster to the Fun passes or anything. We just dropped the bags, parked the car and walked right though customs and the baggage screens. they took our pictures and handed us our room keys and onboard we went. Outstanding job here Carnival.!
One problem we had was the limited time at the ports. But we knew this going into it and many of the cruise lines do this. I wish they would either add a fourth port to the itinerary or extend the amount of time in port. We enjoy having dinner in port at a lot of locations but when you ship leaves after only 5 hours that is pretty hard to do more than one thing at any location.
Now back to the Dining. Put it this way when we got off the ship on Saturday we stopped at a seafood restaurant in Titusville for lunch. (a typical fried seafood house that you can find anywhere in Florida) and it was the best meal we had in a week. Because we booked last minute we had to do the anytime dining. Of the five nights we ate in the dining room only twice did our waiter introduce himself (different waiter each night). And when my wife asked about what was in the Indian Vegetarian dish, the waiter replied "I Don't know they change it each night." HELLO, isn't it your job to know these things? The meals I had always came out luke warm. The Steak was tasteless shoe leather and inedible. The shrimp were very small seemed to be fried an hour previously. Lobster again very small 3 ounces at best. The French onion soup and cheese plate were actually pretty good. But one odd thing is that the cheese plate was on the dessert menu. where I come from cheese is an appetizer and not a dessert. The best food onboard was probably at the Tandoori Indian at the back of the ship or the Pizza Pirate by the main pool. Breakfast is typical buffet style. I hope you know like you bacon actually cooked. Cause only greasy undercooked, tasteless slop is served here. And when I asked for some that was crispy he just smiled and said this was all he had.(thanks for the effort) Room service is only cold sandwiches and chips. every cruise that I have been on recently they allow you to order off the main dining room menu and have it delivered to your room. We have made it a habit to enjoy a glass or wine(which we bring onboard) and an appetizer in the room(balcony) before dinner. Not an option on the Dream!
Our cabin steward was very attentive and knew our names that second time he saw us in the hallway. Unfortunately I still don't know his and it was very long and has a lot of consonants in it. Any way I gave him an extra $20.
where this the first cruise I ever went on, I would have left an probably never even think about going on another one. But we will again soon just not on the Dream :-(