embarkation-we took this cruise to sample the ship and not for the ports as we have not sailed on Carnival in quite some time. We have sailed on her affiliate ships and we wanted to see how the line has improved. Being from Long Island we had very easy boarding not having to fly. We arrived at the terminal by limo at 10:30 and we were onboard the ship by 11:15. Others had bigger wait times and problems the later they arrived at the terminal. This was one of the most efficient and pleasant embarkations we have had recently. Well done Carnival.We boarded on deck 3 without any problems.
stateroom-we were in a spa suite on deck 11 and I must say that the spa suite rivaled any of the suites that we have sailed on Silversea,Crystal,Regent and so on. There is a bath with jacuzzi and two walk in closts among the other luxuries that made for one very comfortable living space for the week. Decor was simple, not too overdone and the balcony was just enough. However, I must point out that their selection of programming needs some serious review. Being New Yorkers,we do not need Denver Colorado stations which we found to be totally idiotic. Carnival needs to step up to the plate on this one.
ship layout-It was very easy to navigate. Pools and food venues were on deck 10 and all you had to do was start at one end and walk and you would end up at all of the food court depending on what you liked.From mongolian to pizza to a grilled reuben, hots and hams and every conceivable salad or food and meat that you could think of abounded. My husband's favorite was the pasta bar at the back of deck 11 was the linguine with garlic sauce and shrimp. They gave more shrimp than three orders in a regular restaurant. How anyone could complain about the food is beyond me. The quality and the quantity was more than adequate and all you had to do was ask for more.The only bad feature about the lido was that the staff did not regularly clean the tables nor did they offer to help find a table as well. We saw many people just sit among dirty trays for a good 10 minutes until someone came to clean the table. This should not happen on any cruise ship. On sea days it was worse to find a table, and as a result, my husband and I were never together on a food line as one of us always sat at a vacant table. No reason for this. The lido needs much improvement as more space should have been allocated to the food venues rather than cramming in more cabins. The food makes the cruise.
dining-We were in the Scarlett restaurant lower at table 448a table for two. The waiter had too many tables and as a result we always were last to get out and always were late for the shows. She did try to accomodate, but many nights were nearly impossible as she had too many people to assist. It looked like she had roughly 22 people and on a ship this size that is a tall order to fill. Again, Carnival should even out their wait staff a liitle better so no one gets more than the next.The food was excellent,not gourmet but well prepared and seasoned with no burned meats or cold meats anywhere. Menus were above average with very good variety to choose from.
The shows were average and geared towards a younger 30's crowd. We are 64 and 58 respectively as were quite a few other passengers who all said the same thing. We did not take any of the port tours as these particular ports were not some of our favorites. Again, we took this cruise to sample the ship not for the ports.
Overall service was good throughout and the ship was very clean no fault could I find. disembarkation-The ship pulled in a couple of hours earlier and as a result we were wakened by the in room announcement that they were beginnning to disembark the self assist passengers at 6:20am. This was totally ridiculous as none of us were told at the briefing that this would happen. As a result, we had no time for breakfast much less a shower as we had disembarking no.1 to get off the ship. We were cleared customs at 7:30am and we were on the pier by 7:45. Carnival can get you off when they want to very fast. Personally I think this system stinks.We will sail Carnival Dream again as we feel the kinks will be worked out by then within 6 months. Overall a very nice cruise.