Carnival Dream Cruise Review by meiselt01: Not as Nice as Carnival Magic
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Not as Nice as Carnival Magic
This was our 4th Carnival cruise. We have also sailed on the Disney Magic(5), Carnival Magic(7), Conquest (7), and Sensation (5).
Hands down favorite ship is the Magic.
Room Service: Prompt morning delivery when using the delivery card placed on the door at night. Everything was always nice and fresh. We ordered smoked salmon, cream cheese, coffee, pastries and cereal almost every day. Room service in the evening rarely answered the phone and in fact, lost my daughters order, which then took 2 hours to get their room.
Dining Room: Prompt and attentive service. I love how Carnival manages to get the food out so quickly. It is important when dining with small children!
Buffet: The food lacked variety, but was usually very good. The key lime cheesecake was awesome... and I don't like key lime anything. They had a chocolate buffet that was fairly impressive too. Just wish it was in between lunch and dinner or served after dinner! 12-2:30 More was just strange. I sampled a few things that were pretty good. We tried to stay up for the midnight Mexican Buffet, but fell asleep at 11 because our excursion required us to be up at 6am (Grand Cayman) NOTE TO CARNIVAL: don't do a midnight buffet on an early morning port arrival!
Grill: The hamburgers and the tortilla chips were great. The arrangement of the food was silly though. When you walk through the line, you pass by the cheese, chii and jalepenos to put on your fries/tortilla chips BEFORE you get to the chips and fries, so you have to cut back in line.
Drinks: The tea and lemonade set up is also silly. The cups are between the ice and the drinks, so you have to get a cup, then get ice to your right, then get your drink to the left, so there was a disruption of the line that was not productive to a line moving quickly. People were cutting across each other.
Ice Cream: Ok, we were sailing with the "people of Walmart", so I don't really know what to say. People were making a mess at the ice cream and the staff were constantly trying to keep it clean. I can't say it was the staff's fault that it was a mess.
These were some of the nicest people at sea. Really.
Comedy Club: we went a few nights and it was too packed to get in and we didn't want to wait for the next show. The other entertainment shows were over already too, so we never really got to see any shows onboard by the time we got around to looking for something to do. Seriously, thought, Carnival, if your comedy shows are that packed, maybe you should move them to the main show room? Just a thought.
Shows: These never worked with our schedule, so we didn't get to see a single show. :(
Karoake: We watched karoake one night and that was entertaining.
Spa: We upgraded to the spa cabin this trip and we did use the different rooms, etc, but I wouldn't do it again. The thelosotherapy pool was my favorite, but it was just a hot tub. :) It was even too hot to get in one night. I mean, probably over 115 degrees. (very hot) One of the steam rooms is oppressive. My favorite was the tepidarium.
Bars: I'm biased here. I really prefer Carnival Magic's Rum Bar that typicaly plays acoustic type music and has outdoor seating. They don't have this one the Dream. This was one of my favoriate spots on the Magic! They still had the disco bar, which is fine, but not the 'island feel' relaxation spot I was hoping for!
Outdoor theater: the movie screen needs a little repair. My movie theatre room at home is nicer. :( Everyone seemed to enjoy it though.
Pools: There are never enough pools on sea day. Ever. These pools are so tiny.
Camp Carnival: My kids loved it as usualy, however, my 6 year old was really sad that they never did face paint in her room, but they did it in the 2-5 year old group. Usually camp carnival isn't very crowded when we go, but it was PACKED. Especially in the 6-8 group. However, it's still not as ridiculous as Disney Magic shoving about a hundred plus 4-12 year olds in two huge rooms!
FASTER to the fun! I am glad I did this. We got on the ship alot faster! And, the dedicated guest services was nice, too. Less
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Cabin review: Carnival Dream Balcony Panorama 11229
Overall, I wouldn't upgrade to spa cabin over regular balcony again. Part of the reason I did upgrade was the 'no smoking'. Well, almost every single time I went on my balcony, I smelled smoke. I looked down during one of these outings and noticed someone chain smoking two floors down hanging over the balcony with their cigarette. Yuck. I think deck 6 would have been better! The noises were minimal, but the last night I did hear something being dragged across the floor loudly around 4 am. The TV channels are extemely limited, so bring other forms of in room entertainment! Especially if you have kids!
Port and Shore Excursions
This is usually my least favorite stop because we've already been here so many times. We chose the Passion Island excursion. I was hesitant after some of the reviews online, but every single person in my family LOVED it. The first thing we did was eat. The food was good. We also took advantage of the open bar. My smaller kids stayed with the Nanny on the beach for about 30 minutes so me and my husband could try out the water toys. She did fantastic with them and we tipped her well. They were in a shaded area, got to paint, jump on a trampoline (with safety netting) and play on a little playset. They also got cotton candy and had plenty of kids drinks. The only thing that would make me more comfortable, would be a small wooden picket fence around the 'nanny area'. The crew was fantastic as well. The boatride had a nice breeze, so we weren't too hot.
Had to get up at 6am to take our excursion to Stingray City and Rum Point Beach. This was the most disappointing excurstion of all. The boat was horrible. the bathroom was upwind from the passengers. It was so hot and the boat ride to stingray city was a long way. We did enjoy the stingrays though. My kids loved it. The drinks onboard tasted really strange. It was hard to drink... it was some kind of lemonade and fruit punch. My kids wouldn't drink it. When we got to Rum Point Beach, my oldest daughter (20 years old) ordered some food and it took almost an hour to get it. She was very irritable after this. :( The beach was nice and calm and very shallow for the kids to swim. There were some small hermit crabs on the beach and some small fish in the water, so the kids like that too. ( I brought three of my kids- ages 20, 6, and 3 :) )
You could walk out quite a way and only be waist high in water. There were also shady areas if you've been in the sun too much. The driver on the way back had more personality than any of the others involved in the excursion. We enjoyed his candor.
Almost missed our excursion because getting of the ship took way too long. Luckily, we had taken it before, so we knew which way the group was heading! We did the snorkel excursion by catamaran. This is one of my favorites! Most people are drinking on this excursion, btw. After our excursion, we went back to the ship, had lunch, got our kids out of Camp Carnival and then went to Doctor's Cave Beach which was nice. It was a $5 per person cab ride.
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