Just Returned From our Eastern Caribbean 7 night Vacation on the New Carnival Dream. We are a family of 4 with 2 boys 8 and 12. We've cruised 7 times b4 and twice with carnival in the late 90's. We decided to give carnival another look since this was their newest star on the high seas. First impressions of the ship weren't anything special. It is a nice ship with very pretty decor and lots of Red and Burgundy everywhere. If you've cruised b4 the ports of call were pretty much the same only a lot busier since each stop had 4 or 5 other ships at port. St. Thomas/Megans bay and St Marten/Le Gallion/Friars Bay both Beautiful stops for us. As for the Ship Carnival has started the Auto tips which we weren't aware of when we booked but no big deal since they will remove it if your not satisfied wich is pretty nice. We've been used to the envelopes at the end which holds value and keeps staff hustling in our opinion. It's $10 per day per person which equaled 280 for a family of 4 which was ok for us. I would say the service was good but not great. If your gonna include my tip or Auto tip then I should'nt have to ask for things it should be offered or just done. And I must say if we asked for something for the most part people/staff did accomadate so we were happy with that. We Realize that we can be the fussy type being from NY restaurant service is usually Great or out of business in a week. I do realize its a Big Ship so thats how it goes.
Our cabin steward and waiter were Very Good and would of been the Only people we tipped on this cruise since they seemed to go above and beyond without having to ask which is the criteria for which i look to tip. Here's the thing Folks since we left the auto tip on our Bill feeling yes it was easier that way we regretted it the last night since I felt that our waiter and cabin steward were kinda of expecting a little More and did notice others at dinner giving cash to their waiter- so we left feeling kinda cheap which is the thing I now don't like about this Auto Tip Stuff. If we do it again I will take the Tip off Our Bill and Give it All to those who deserve it. Oh and by the way Carnival if your listening please Get more staff that can Speak English I mean really, my waiters helper spoke very, very little english i mean this is dinner how many different ways can u explain ketchup, and he wasnt friendly at all. We had an interesting experience on the 6th day at sea which speaks of how poorly prepared and trained staff can be. My son cut his hand in the pool on piece a piece of glass or sharp plastic, when we informed one of the staff and Security they both looked at us with crossed eyes and no response we had to basically spell it out for them, and getting a bandaid was another adventure, they didn't even think to ask? needless to say the Main pool was closed All day at sea, pool contests cancelled with no back-up plan and they got this huge TV screen that Offers no ship happenibgs info or ship activites or information which would be helpful, Slides closed? no reason? no update on screen when they open? we get the constant weather udates of foreign cities and world news updates, real exciting. Miniture Golf kinda small and you had to go three levels down and walk 100 yards to main pool to get Clubs? Really?
Let me not go off here and just say that while we love to cruise, Carnival has to do a better job in our opinion in these major categories: Staff - English Pls? Restrooms - Very Hard to find and under stalled throughout ship. Kids Club staff- Friendly but not inviting to kids, not the only parents who noticed. Food-very Good- but Room temp at times. Sewage smell in the Rear of ship and at times in our hallway 7th Empress betw 7300 and 7400 odd side we noticed the sewage Smell their Every Day. Buffet LINES extending into Lobby of Elevator? cmon carnival. Gym and Theater WAY TO Small for this many passengers and Pillars in the middle of theater main Level? Really? 2010 Ship? Shows ok since we've seen this act b4 from John Cruise Dir. Totally Scripted and Obvious. We will probably not cruise carnival again until there is some improvements. And by the way no one from Carnival followed up with My family regarding my son who cut his hand pretty Good which led them to shutting down their Main Pool for A Day At Sea on thurs 2/18. Big Ship/Small Ship Theirs No excuse for that! Bad Job Carnival.