This was my 10th cruise (3 with RCCL and 7 with Carnival). It was my fiance and I, however, we had other friends that were on the Dream as well. This was by far the BEST CRUISE we have had! Don't get me wrong, there are a few things that need to be worked out, however, what vacation doesn't have something that can be improved. I will do my review in sections.
EMBARKATION/DEBARKATION: ABSOLUTELY THE BEST!!!! Smooth, quick and the staff were very efficient and friendly! We arrived at the pier at 1030, checked in at 1045, were seated for only 30 minutes in the waiting area and were on-board and eating at 1120! Debarkation was the same. We did the self debarkation. Got off at 0700, in the car at 0715, home to Poughkeepsie at 0830!! Unbelievable! Could not have been better!
ROOM: We had an aft balcony. The room was a typical size room for balcony and we had the extended balcony on the aft. The only complaint here would be the privacy. The dividers are at a 45 degree angle, therefore, no privacy! lol so, if you are looking to have a little discreet fun at night..probably not the best room for you lol. We had plenty of storage space and a couch! Nice room, great decor. Our steward was awesome! Animal and caper every night! :)
PUBLIC AREAS: I ABSOLUTELY LOVE the decor throughout the ship. It was just so cute to me. I love the chairs, pictures and colors! Serenity was gorgeous and we loved the round, covered chairs and they came in handy for the sailing away in the rain lol I was a little surprised at how small the casino was, I believe the Miracle Casino might be bigger. The shops were typical (I did get really good deals on "black friday") and we had no problems with getting the alcohol that we wanted at a really good rate. We went in to EVERY public area on the ship and although it would take me days to describe each and every one, our favorites were Serenity, the Piano Bar, the Burgundy Lounge (comedy club), the coffee shop (Ling Ling, was the best staff on the ship lol), the Lanai, mini golf and of course the Casino, and that's because I hit for $600.00 on the Penny Machine!! Yes...pennies!!! Only put in $10, with the least amount played (30 credits) and hit for 60,000 credits on the bonus game!! We were very excited.
DINING: Ok...once again, I have no complaints! I don't know if we just went at the "right times" but we never had a wait for more than 5 minutes (which was usually because someone couldn't make up their mind on what they wanted to eat) We enjoyed all the buffets and the pizza, but our favorites were the Pasta Bar, Tandoor (Indian), the Omelette Station and the Deli. The deli has the most awesome Reuben Sandwiches! :) oh, and of course the Ice Cream Machines! No cruise is complete without a cone or two a day lol We never had a problem with the cleanliness, finding a clear table or even getting a table as most people are stating. Not really sure what ship we were on lol We had the 2nd seating in the Crimson Dining Room. Our staff was very friendly and efficient. They knew what drinks we wanted and how we liked our meats cooked. Shout outs to Ramona and Tatiana!! However, once again, I was not impressed with the maitre'd. It bothers me that they never come over until the last night to say hello or in this case, NEVER came over...seemed to glance at our table, but never made his way over. The chocolate warming cake and pumpkin soup are still my all time favorites!
ENTERTAINMENT: The Dancing in the Streets was by far the BEST SHOW AT SEA!! The dancers were great and the singer (female) can sing her butt off! lol We got a chance to meet the dancers (fun force) at other activities...these guys are a great bunch and VERY entertaining. We also enjoyed the hypnotist, the 2nd production show and the comedians. We had seen Marvin Bell on the Miracle and still enjoy his comedy! Not sure why we missed the Welcome Aboard Show, but I always enjoy the fact that they recognize the Military (im a Vet and Current DOD Army Civilian) We did not go to the country production show..just not our thing. We LOVED the laser shows and I loved being able to watch my Steelers on the big screen (well, until they lost to the Ravens).All shows were very good.
ACTIVITIES: We enjoyed all of the regular activities..trivia, hairy chest contest, ice carving, towel making, but especially enjoyed the adult hip hop class (was very funny watching some people break dance) and we even tried bingo this time. I missed by one number!
Now to address some "issues" that I have seen alot of people address.
NOISE: We never heard anything from our neighbors and even having an aft 3 decks below the Lido and 2 above the Lanai, no noise!
KIDS: I still cannot believe there was 1600+ kids. Once again, not sure if we were on the same ship. We heard people talking about fights or something, but never saw anything. We are fairly young (I'm a 43 yr old cougar, my fiance is 31 lol) and we were out and about until the wee hours. Outside of a punk teenager running his mouth at a grown man at the Baltimore/Steelers game on the big screen, never saw any problems from them.
RATTLING SHIP: OK...YES, I finally have to agree. Being my 10th cruise, I cannot remember any other ships shaking so badly when going in to port. Maybe this should be something the engineers look in to. We also were VERY rocky the first 12 hours going out. "rumors" were that the ships stabilizers were not working properly, which would definitely explain it. I have never gotten sick, but I was DEF queasy on that night going out.
SERVICE: On our 3rd night, we went back to our room around 1245 am. Our keys would not work! Let me remind you..we were on the AFT, 7th Flr and had to go all the way back to the pursers desk, 3rd floor midship. We were not happy. But the man made us new keys and walked back with us just in case they didn't work. Guess what? they didn't lol He called a tech and he had to change the slot out. Well, needless to say, we got in our room at 0200 am. But the purser was very apologetic and said they had not seen that ever happen. We are understanding..you know what they say..stuff happens! lol
Last but not least, Justin and I kept saying to each other throughout the cruise, that we could not believe how friendly everyone was!!! STAFF AND PASSENGERS. No matter where we were, someone started talking to us!!! We will DEFINITELY GO ON CARNIVAL AND THE DREAM AGAIN!!!
I still don't know if we were just "Dreaming"! :)