We have just returned from the Grand Med cruise on the Carnival Dream- her 3rd cruise out and last in the Med before the transatlantic crossing... We were pleased with the ship- liked the overall layout, and the new muster drill. Sorry for the length but it was a long cruise... The ship: really easy to get around-but it is a very large ship and I dont believe we saw the "whole ship". embarkation and debarkation was a "dream' 15 minutes or less- for each. The furniture is not comfortable -either the backs were too tall and the seat wasnt or the seat was too wide -just not comfortable.
the room: I am not a believer of the phrase 'you'll never be in your room' I believe that the room is half of your experience...we had a balcony on the 10th floor middle- our first balcony room-and loved it-except when the smokers next store were out (all the time) Carnival allows smoking in the rooms which is not only dangerous for fire but they just dont seem to have enough ventilation in the hallways to prevent the hallway being smokey. The mattress was too firm- but our friends did not seem to think so- so I guess its all about personal taste. we did not get the new 'family bath' so it was a little tiny shower and sink area. (they could have made it bigger and got rid of the huge orange leather couch and it would have been great). There is hardly any drawer space since they put the hair dryer in the top drawer. The lighting was ok- would liked to have had the close up mirror connected to this section instead of high above the toliet in the bath room. Part of the closet faced towards you instead of right to left- which was difficult to use the hangers. they only have 1 phone in the room with a really long cord so on the days with wake up calls at 5:30 you had to remember to put the phone by the bed to get it- and the nightstands were crammed with stationary light fixtures wich left no room for a glass- also when in port the room smelled liked sewer but was better when we were at sea. the ship had problems with the sewer-we heard that a shower had backed up in a room.
Dining- we did the 'your time dining' option - which was great when we dined at 5:45 pretty much daily but liked the option to eat whenever- otherwise there was a line- but they did have pagers if you wanted to wait we had 3 nights switching between 2 tables and decided that we liked our table staff enough to request them for the rest of the cruise- Waninda, Vergel and Andrei were great! I have never tipped additionally from what the cruise ship took before and we did for them- they really went out of their way to provide the best service. Overall you did not miss the perfomances of the lower dining staff- we just danced with ours on the top floor. the food - I thought the food could be alot better - I swore the menu was the same as the Destiny last year- the desserts were boring even on chocolate buffet day- hot chocolate was the best I had ever had but the machines were always being cleaned and out of use- there were times the food came out cold, but they took it back with no problem you just had to wait another 10 minutes for it..The Tandori(sp)area was a fresh idea- the pizza always had a wait because there wasnt any available- the buffet had the same thing- the salad bar was boring and the dressings were never cold- the burrito bar however was excellent -and it had the shortest line. The ice cream was still the best and the addition of big plastic cups for it was good- but no toppings anywhere..
the shows- Dancing in the Streets was the best out of the 3 maybe because it was new and fresh. the others were pretty boring and the comedians were bland as well. Todd and James (cruise directors) Morning show was the best out of all of it- the entertainment staff was friendly and you saw them everywhere which made it very personable (especially on 12 days).
I am not a smoker and found the ship to be full of smoke- 5th floor was a smokers heaven from the Casino though all the bars and dance areas- the Piano bar (the guy was horrible and took himself way tooo seriously- my friend complained to the cruise director Todd but he claimed that he was an entertainer-but really the root word there is entertain not put too sleep) surrounding areas were non smoking but again with the ventilation- this was the Dreams 3rd cruise and when the 5th floor was vacant it smelled like a old casino- the lido deck was split for smoking/ non smoking- outside- but when the doors opened into the buffet inside section it was blown into the inside section- it could be all contained with proper VENTILATION. Carnival is a good buy for the buck-but they definitely nickle and dime you once on board.. 1.50 for popcorn for the movie- they also charged extra for the better desserts and coffee- the pictures are outrageous- 2 8 x10 and 1 smaller for 53.00! Celebrity was cheaper and had specials- Shopping- this was a letdown for the girls in our group who were looking for the good cruise buys in the past- the 10.00 items were boring- too much high priced jewelry space and not enough fun stuff to purchase- the liquor section was way small and never ran specials- and the makeup section was little, the perfume section wasnt spectacular and had poor selections. I was looking for a journal because I forgot to bring one and not one could be found unless I wanted to buy the planet earth line with oatmeal construction paper -for 35.00. all in all we will plan another cruise with Carnival and the Dream was a beauty-