I cruised out of Port Canaveral with a friend of mine who has never cruised before. I booked my cruise with the conversation going something like this:
Agent: Where would you like to cruise to? Me: I don’t care. Agent: *sigh*….
So, obviously where I went wasn’t important I just wanted the experience and to have some fun. The Eastern Caribbean cruise on Dream was fantastic. The lines to get on board were long; however, so surprisingly fast that my friend and I were still talking about embarking two or three days after getting on the ship. Once on, we went to the Crimson dining room and had a fantastic lunch and alcohol. Much alcohol. When the ship began to leave the port we stood on the 3rd deck at the front singing the Spanish Ladies song from Jaws. Good times.
The elevators left something to be desired. Living on deck 1 if you were hungry you’d either die of a heart attack climbing the stairs or die of starvation waiting for the elevators so choose your poison. The casino also left something to be desired. The system is cashless now and it is all controlled via your sign and sail card. However, I am not a huge gambler so I won’t hold that against the ship.
The rooms were surprisingly larger than I expected; however being a big man the bed felt like I was laying on a 2X4. The doors going in to the bathrooms (I was pleasantly shocked to have showers) and the showers themselves were wide enough to turn around in if you suck in your gut and put your hands above your head. Again, not the ships fault just putting that out there for me brothers of size. The lounge chairs on 10, 11 and 12 were large and comfortable enough for someone my size (6’4” 450+). My only recommendation is to find one near the railing and use the railing to pull against to help stand up.
The food from the Lido deck was good; however, we found the food from the formal dining rooms to be far superior and ended up eating there for breakfast and dinner. We ate lunch on Lido most days (except for when we were at the Hooters in St. Thomas! Who knew St. Thomas had a Hooters?) and the lunch was good.
The shows were very good and I enjoyed them all. The comics were hit and miss, mostly hit.
Quick and fast bullet points: 1. If you’re in a hurry, don’t use the elevator. 2. The people complaining about not seeing Todd the Cruise Director obviously didn’t attend any of the shows, any of the morning meetings in the Encore or watch the TV in their room at all because he was everywhere. 3. There was no smell. 4. In response to a previous poster who claimed the smiles seemed fake from the staff, not so much. Everyone I encountered on the ship was friendly and always willing to share a laugh or assist in any way they could. 5. The “Tax and duty free” shopping you’ll enjoy is tax and duty free….up to $800. That was not advertised at all. You also have a tax and duty free alcohol limit so you may want to inquire about that. 6. Lock all of your important personal belongings in your safe and only take the following on the ship: 1 Lanyard capable of holding 2 cards, your drivers license and your sail and sign card. If you go ashore, take some cash and your lanyard w/ cards. It’s all you’ll need. 7. If you’re looking to purchase jewelry or a watch or something of the like in St. Thomas or St. Maarten, do research for the price before you get on the ship. In the ports the stores will tell you a watch will retail in the US for $700+ but in reality it’s $550ish. The deals you will get are still good, but know what you’re talking about before you go. Also, attend the Shopping Director’s meetings. They were very informative. 8. The pools were small; however I did not see this impeding anyone from having a good time no matter what previous posters would say. The pools were small obviously to have more deck room for chairs as they were a precious commodity, especially on sea days. 9. The sushi was kind of “eh” for my taste, but try it for yourself. You may like it. 10. For shows in the Encore, arrive at least 30 minutes early. 11. For the R rated comedy shows, arrive at least 1+ hours early. If you have late dinner seating, you’re screwed. Wait for the 12am show and see it. The comics alternate nights so you’ll still see different comics each night. If you don’t make the 9:45 show and think you’ll make the 10:30 show…the jokes on you. In a room for 500 people, 14 might leave if you’re lucky. Wait for the 12am show. 12. If you have Al Earnst the comic or Bob Brizendine the magic/comic drop what you’re doing and go to see them. This is an order. They were both amazingly funny and entertaining, especially Bob. 13. If you want to have a conversation with your group of 5 or more, DO NOT DO IT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE WALKWAYS!
Go on this cruise and expect to have fun. If you go on taking the negative remarks to heart by some previous posters you will not form your own opinion and will be tied to theirs. Hit the bar, hit the buffet, let loose. You won’t regret it.