My most favorite cruise line is Carnival. However, this was the most disappointing Carnival cruise we have ever taken. We brought some friends along for their 1st cruise.
One - There were no Christmas decorations. We had called before departing and were assured the Christmas decorations would be up for all of the December cruises. Not true, the Dec 3th cruise no Christmas decorations. We take a Christmas cruise on Carnival for the past 5 years and were estremely disappointed for their lie and lax of having decorated. We asked an officer about the decorations and he stated: "They will be up for the next cruise". We told him we were disappointed and he stated: "You should have booked the next cruise". We found the officers throughout this ship very rude or not speaking at all. The dining room staff and house-keeping were very friendly and great. I guess the upper officers just think they are better?
Two - Although they say this is Carnivals' largest and newest ship it is disappointing. What they have done is cut down all of the public areas. Smaller Atrium, smaller theater area, smaller dining rooms, smaller pools, etc..
Three - We wanted to try a cove balcony as this was the 1st ship ever built with cove balconies. We really enjoyed the cove balcony. It is closer to the water and about the same size as the upper balconies. However, there appears to be a problem on the 1st and 2nd floors especially towards the back of the ship. We assume the sewage processing is in the back of the ship under the 1st floor? What ever it is, most days as you walked to the back of the ship, on the 2nd floor you had an odor of sewage. This smell only came into our cabin once and we were able to open the balcony door to get the smell out. However, several guest in inside rooms in the back stated they had the smell in their cabins often and had to leave. We informed the pursers office several times and I even had the purser come to our cabin and smell for himself. They would put air freshers out but that only made a smell that was worst. It is not a constant smell it comes and goes. Especially bad in the morning and later afternoon. I assume when the majority of the public is using their bathrooms for showers etc..?
Four - The three dancing and performing shows were good, not as much as in the past, but good and no complaints. However, the lead singer has a beautiful but powerful voice and her microphone should have been toned down. It made it appear she was screeming and you could not even understand her words sometimes. They had comedians most of the time in the lounge. The adult performances were trash and should not have been held. All fowl language. If one can not tell a joke in regular language they are not a comedian, in my opinion, as they have to use such language for their lack of talent.
Five - Theatre - the outside theatre is great if they show a movie. I like sports but Sunday and Monday night they only showed football instead of the movie. At 1/2 time on Sunday night I counted 27 persons and Monday night 1/2 time I counted 52 persons. That meant 3690 persons were not able to see an outside movie for these few people. The bar had TV's with the football games and each person as a TV in their cabin. I am on a cruise and don't care what is going on in the outside world. This is our time to get away, relax, and enjoy. The two nights they had movies it was enjoyable and all seats were full of people watching.
Six - The Dream did not port in San Juan. This was unexcusable for Carnival to make such a mistake. Since we have been on Carnival four times in San Juan they should never have an excuse for not knowing the ship would not be able to dock. We were disappointed, but there were folks on the ship who were meeting family and loved ones on shore for their Christmas and had to just look at the shore as we went back out to sea for another day. The cruise director announced their would be more intertainment for the day. Joke - More bingo and more of the same as any other sea day. They gave us each $20.00 credit for port charge. Carnival should be ashammed for such an error and reimbursement those who missed their loved ones! It was awful seeing these people crying etc.. Thanks to Carnival they ruined alot of Christmas's for some folks.
Seven - Dining Room = We had the best waiter and assistant. However, the ship design has some of the tables so far from the kitchen the poor staff ran their legs off. I am not talking about staff normally running their legs off. They had to run and still have trouble getting the food to the tables hot. The wait staff were terriffic. However, two nights the kitchen was backed up and our waiter got in trouble for yelling at the Chief because the Chief and his staff were not getting the food out. The Chief need to be yelled out and more. The food was good but the menu was not as selective as other Carnival cruises.
Eight - We had a power outage one day for about one hour. Those stuck in the elevators had it bad but nothing could be done to get them out. All A/C etc. went off.
Carnival is currently building a new sister ship to come out next year. We will not be taking this new ship as the Dream was not the Dream it was built up to be. Smaller public areas etc. was not desirable. The last two ships, Freedom and Splendor were great and we took each to Western and Eastern Europe. This was the 1st time we have been disappointed with Carnival and hopefully will not happen again. We always make a good time so we still enjoyed our cruise. But, no Christmas decoratins, smaller public areas, sewage smell, lesser good entertainment etc.. insures we will not cruise on the Dream again or its upcoming new ship next year. We will however still cruise Carnival as it has been our favorite cruise line. We are taking another Cribbrean cruise 3/25 on Holland America. We enjoy this line also. The only line we have travled, which we never wish to travel on again, was Norweign. Have a wonderful Christmas everyone and a very happy New Year.