Myself (40), My husband (40), our nearly 19 year old daughter and our 16 year old son were on the 2/27/10 Eastern Caribbean cruise on the Carnival Dream. I have been back just over a week and am finally writing a review of our trip. I arranged for us to fly from Milwaukee to Orlando the night before. We stayed at the Sleep Inn near the Airport as we didn't get in until around 9pm. A slight disappointment was that we were told to go wait at area B3 for the shuttle but ended up waiting there about an hour. When I called the hotel after 45 minutes I was told the driver had to go pick up others first and would be coming for us shortly. If I had known it would be an hour we would have waited in a comfortable area inside the airport instead of standing out in the cold. We checked into the hotel, ordered some pizza and got as much sleep as we could since we were all very excited. The room was pretty nice. It was clean and comfortable.
I arranged for us to use Laura's Shuttle Service for our round trip transportation to and from the port. I have to say Mike was great to work with both on the phone and in person. Fortunately we had gotten up and ready right away in the morning as he called about 9:15am and asked if we could be ready to go at 10am instead of 11:15. We were ready to go and were excited to get to the port earlier than we expected.
We had a nice ride to the port and arrived about 11:15. 25 minutes later we were walking into the Atrium. I thought that was fantastic for checking in 4 of us with 2 rooms.
We went to the Guest Services desk to switch our room keys so my husband and I would be in the same room. This was also very simple and the Guest Services staff was this helpful with any needs that we had over the entire week. The ship: We thought the ship was gorgeous. Since we were all the way in the back on deck 6, we would usually go down to 5 to walk to the front and then take an elevator down to deck 3 for dinner or the Encore theatre. Everything else we liked to do was just up a few floors from where we were.
Our rooms: We had balcony room 6490 (L shaped near aft) on port side on deck 6. We absolutely loved this room. The balcony is about double the length of the standard balcony. It has a chaise lounge, 2 chairs and a table with enough extra room that another chair could be placed there if requested. The bed is placed facing 2 large windows and the balcony door so the view from the bed was always wonderful. The kids had interior room 6488 right across the hall from us. This worked out so well for us.
Food: We LOVED the food. We ate every night at 6pm at table 147 in the Crimson Dining room. Heshdon and Bancha were our server staff and they were amazing. The food was fantastic. We also used the Scarlet Dining room for breakfast one morning and again for brunch one day. These were superb each time. We also enjoyed the buffets very much. The kids tried the pasta bar but we never made it up there. We also didn't try the Mongolian . We really enjoyed the burrito bar. The shrimp was really good.
Entertainment: We saw Edge, and really liked it a lot. Our daughter saw Dancing in the Streets and loved it so much that she went again to the late show to see from a closer seat. We missed that one as we had a little too much rum punch on our St Thomas excursion ?. We saw 2 of the comedy shows (R rated) and laughed so hard our sides hurt. We went to karaoke Wednesday night with Mouna and I ended up being cast as Aretha Franklin in the Legends show that night. The Legends show was so much fun to be a part of. The ship's singers and dancers are true professionals and made it a wonderful experience for the 9 guests that were part of the show. Michael Winslow (famous sound effects from Police Academy) was on this cruise and he played James Brown in the Legends show. It was really great to just sit and chat with someone who is famous but is really a real person on a vacation having fun.
I was the first caller from a stateroom for John Heald's morning show on Monday and got to publicly profess my love for my hubby on the big screen ?. I also ended up with a ship on a stick, a bottle of champagne, and a signed photo of the ship from John. He was so much fun on the ship. We will never forget him. They don't normally make and sell a DVD of the Talent show/Bedtime Story, but they did on this cruise because of the absolutely hilarious event that happened to John. It's hard to describe but the result was John on the floor with his pants undone with a woman on top of him riding him like a bucking bronco to the music "can't touch this". LOL!!!! I laughed the 15 times I saw it on my stateroom television so I of course had to buy that one to watch at home.
Ports of call: Nassau, Bahamas; I got some really beautiful pictures here but did not do any excursions. This stop was quite cold, only low 60's and very windy. We shopped a little bit and got back onto our comfy ship. St Thomas; I had booked us on a St John Champagne Catamaran tour through the ship. This was a blast!! Honeymoon beach was beautiful and the whole day was just magical. St Maarten; I booked the Sea & See tour through the ship for this stop. It was very hot in St Maarten this day so I was glad to have a nice tour bus with AC and comfy seats to take us on a narrated tour of the island and then to a boat that had a clear bottom where we got to see reef, fish, turtles etc. This was an ok tour. I'm glad we did it but would do a beach next time.
Negatives but surely didn't ruin our time: The ship moved a lot. There was up and down and side to side making it difficult to walk. I even woke up a little scared on Thursday night as my pill bottles fell over on the end table next to the bed. None of us got sick due to the movement and it took us a few days after we got home to stop feeling like we were still rocking. We all thought this was a little funny. I may have smelled the sewer smell a few short times but I also did on the Legend last year and didn't think it was anything terrible. I truly have no complaints about the ship, the staff, the CD or anything else for that matter regarding our cruise. It was a fantastic week spent with the kids making memories that we will always cherish.