We drove to the port on the morning of the 25th, and were on board the ship by 11am, much impressed as always by Carnivals Fast and Easy check in policy. We headed to the Lido Deck (10) where we enjoyed food from the buffet while waiting until our cabin was ready at 1:30pm. We ventured to our deck (2) around 1:10 and to our suprise the fire doors had been opened on our side of the ship and we were able to enter our cabin just a little early. When we arrived at the cabin on of our suitcases had already been delivered so I began the unpacking process. The cabin was larger than the other cabins we've had on other ships and there was a small refrigerator in it (not very cold however). Our cabin steward Jose quickly came in to introduce himself and ask if we needed anything. I finished unpacking the delivered suitcase and the carry-on that we brought and it was off to explore the ship. We returned about an hour or so later to find that Jose had taken it upon himself (with much delightment to us) to put some of the soda that we had carried on into the refrigerator even removing some the the ships soda and booze to make room, this impressed my husband very much. Dinner that night in the MDR (Scarlet) was ok, although we had to ask our head waiter for his name halfway through our meal because he faile to introduce himself. We also had to ask for beverages (which has never happened to us before unless we wanted something special from the bar). I was not impressed with the waiter therefore I do not remember his name. We never even say the Maitr'd until what Carnival calls "Show Time". The upper Maitr'd came to our table once the entire cruise but that's ok because we only went about 3 or 4 times ourselves. The waiter just could not seem to get the orders straight. After dinner, we went to the Lido deck to watch Sunday night Football on the giant 12' x 22" jumbotron tv, that was nice. Once on the deck, I smelled popcorn so I immediately went in search and located it at the bar. I ordered a box even before I saw that they charged $1.50 for it, but that's ok, I had to buy a coke anyways. The game was good, did not end the way I wanted it to, but it was a good game.
DAY 2, NASSAU
We got up early, no excursions planned, we just like to walk around the ports so we weren't in any hurry. I got into the shower to notice that the water coming out of the shower smelled like sewer water....I kid you not....The longer the water ran, the smell decreased so I took a nice long shower. Got out of the shower and turned the sink on to brush my teeth and there it was again, just as strong as it was when I first turned on the shower....WHY!!!! Off to breakfast, my husband enjoys the made to order omletes so we chose the outside buffet to eat at. He got us a table and I got my food first. I went through the line and got my potatoes and ham, to discover that I had to get into a seperate line for the omlete. By the time I got my omlete the rest of my food was cold and I mean cold (lesson learned, get omlete first). I then went in search of the coffee station (note: not one outside) I did not find it so I settled for a coke. Also, no juice station outside either. When I got back to the table with my cold food, I suggested my husband get the omlete first then the rest of the food, smart choice he was back in 15 minutes where it took me almost 30. We ate and then went into Nassau. I'm not going to really review the ports since just about everyone who cruises has been to Nassau at least once. If you've never been there, then you'll find it intriguing. Back on board and time for lunch, we again ate on Lido, I find the buffets there very good. OK burrito time...I was not impressed, as I like flour tortillas and they had corn, but my husband finished mine and really enjoyed it. I had gotten some other stuff too so I did not go hungry. I had some kind of chicken which was excellent. Now off to the cabin to change into our bathing suits and then back to Lido to try out the small sometimes overcrowded pool. IT WAS COLD, yes cold. Just a quick dip may I say is all I needed to cool off. Finding a chase lounge was quite challanging. Although everyone is told you can't save them, people do and no staff does anything about it, we watched a couple of chairs for about 2 hours and no one ever sat in them nor did anyone remove their stuff to the towel hut to be claimed later, the chairs just sat there with towels on them, nothing else.
Dinner that night was our first of 2 Elegant nights as they now call them. We went to our cabin and got all gussied up for the big dinner. I was impressed with the fact that while walking from the elevator to our MDR, that we were not barraged with photographers (the Dream has it going on when it comes to photographers being in areas where you have to locate them to have a photo taken.....I LIKE THAT). Dinner was excellent, Lobster tail w/shrimp or Prime Rib, I had both while my husband had 2 Lobster tails along with the 5 shrimp both plates came with and my 5 shrimp because I don't eat shrimp. The Warm Chocolate Melting Cake....TO DIE FOR....The waiter....lack lusting to say the least. After dinner, we changed clothes and went to watch Monday Night Football, on that giant tv. no, no popcorn this time...too full. We did catch the Country show in the Encore Theater, it was ok, nothing to write about. It did not seem like the shows we were use to by Carnival, until the end when they sang 'GOD BLESS THE U.S.A' then everyone stood up and started singing in the theater, that was GREAT. Well...Off to bed to rest up for our first full day at sea.
DAY 3 (SEA DAY 1)
Slept late, but didn't miss the breakfast buffet. Found coffee this morning, not impressed, it tasted like the shower and sink water smelled....GROSS. I did ask one of the staff "Why there weren't any beverage stations out on the pool deck?" He looked at me kinda of funny and walked away. All the other Carnival cruises I've taken have had beverage stations both inside and outside on the pool deck. Today is a day of lounging around and taking naps, nothing to see except water. We did spend time on our cove balacony. We're smokers so therefore we utilized the balacony (and ashtray) so that the cabin did not reek of smoke. Dinner that night again in the MDR, was ok. The waiter kept screwing up the order, again not impressed. Bed tonight because tomorrow is St. Thomas and I've never been there....can't wait hear it is beautiful.
DAY 4 (ST. THOMAS, USVI)
OH, the shower water still smells, it's been 3 days and it doesn't seem to end, that smell is horrible.....Well, deal with it, shower and let's eat, breakfast time. This morning I went insearch of GRITS, found them inside the Gathering. Got Grits and two fried eggs, it was wonderful. Didn't try coffee again, had that wonderful and I mean wonderful fresh squeezed OJ. I love OJ on the ship. Off to St. Thomas to explore again no excursions. We got a taxi into the shopping area $8.pp, not bad but it's just one way. Walked around, bought a couple of things nothing expensive although there is no lack of Diamond International's in St. Thomas. The beach area looked beautiful. We did buy cigarettes there (Just a note: You are allowed to bring back 5 cartons per adult if purchased in St. Thomas. Just 1 carton per adult if purchased on the other islands). Back to the ship...Lunch time. It's true, Cruisers love to eat....This time I tried the other buffet inside the Gathering. Had Chicken parmesian, it was very good almost excellent. Ok, lets just rest up. I'm a bit overweight, so all that walking took me a little bit to get over. NAP TIME... For dinner that night we chose to have a sandich from the deli, best turkey sandwich I've had in a long time. My husband chose grilled ham and cheese, it was good too. Found a lounge chair, and laid out by the pool. Met another cruising couple and quickly formed a friendship. Watched "The Blind Side" on the big tv. I've seen it before but that was ok, because it's one of my all time favorites. OFF TO BED
DAY 5 (ST. MAARTEN)
After a shower and breakfast we hopped on a water taxi and headed over to the shopping area. Again bought a few things and walked around (be careful in St. Maarten some areas are a little iffy, heard of a few problems but didn't witness them myself so....)Back to the ship, changed into my baithing suit and off to the Lido deck. In case you haven't noticed that's where we like to be. We did catch the break dancers on the ship for a quick show, it was amazing, they're very talented. Just kind of hung out and met up with our new friends for lunch and dinner and talked and talked and talked. Met another couple that afternoon that the first couple had met the first night and the six of us quickly bonded. IT'S FUN MAKING NEW FRIENDS. We will definately keep in touch. WELL GOOD NIGHT!
DAY 6 & 7 (AT SEA BOTH DAYS)
It was ok, got to sleep in, that's a plus still made breakfast though one day had to do the breakfast in the Gathering because they had already shut down the outside buffet to prepare for the lunch time crowd. I did notice on this ship that the pizza was real bready, the bottom crust a little to soft for my taste but it didn't stop me.... The ice cream machines were a big it with everyone, had a couple of those each day. Oh yeah, they have ICEE's, ($2.50) for each, but still a good deal and the coldest drink on the ship. Well that's my review. The ship has some little problems, like rust and smelly water. The faces of the crew weren't overly friendly the first day but only the first day. We did tip our steward and his helper extra and we tipped JJ our bar server extra, they worked really hard and deserved it. JJ....more ice please.
DISEMARK DAY............(I DON'T WANNA LEAVE)
We choose to have our bags brought out the night before, we were assigned Zone 6 to leave the ship. After getting up early, and going to...you guessed it the Lido deck, we had coffee (IT TASTED MUCH BETTER), joined our friends and said our goodbyes for now, our zone was called, around 7:30, we were off the ship, through customs and at the luggage carousel and back on the road by 7:50. CARNIVAL YOU ROCK.....Would I cruise the Dream again, YOU BET I WOULD. IS TOMMORROW AVAIABLE?