First Time Cruisers: Carnival Dream Cruise Review by purpleblanket
Overall Member Rating
First Time Cruisers
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Embarkation: Port Canaveral (Orlando)
Boarding went quickly and easily.
We just relaxed on deck 10 and grabbed some lunch from the gathering. We had the Mongolian and it was delicious.
We especially enjoyed the complimentary champagne as we were waiting for our cabins to be ready.
Are cabin was ready at 1:30 and we went and got settled in. we met our steward "Romi" right away and he was absolutely the best.
We found a feather bed in the drawer of the couch and he told us he would put it on the bed for us. Also, we asked if we could use the fridge for our personal items (water, pop etc..) and he cleared out the mini bar stuff for us.
We loved our room. It was spacious and had lots of space for storing all of our stuff. When I booked this cruise way back... I did my homework to see what would be above and below our room. We had original booked on the starboard side and when I More realized that the gym was above us, I switched to the port side. We had no issues with any noise. In fact, I slept like a baby. All that rocking. All I wanted to do was sleep!
The first day right after sail away, DH and I went for a couples massage and the use of the bubble bath in the couples VIP room. This was awesome. We watched the sun set from the bathtub in the beautiful couples room and then enjoyed excellent massages from Katie and Sara. We were so sore from walking in Disney all week that this was the best way to start the cruise. From there, we used the thalassotherapy pool for the 1st of many times on this cruise. And then did the circuit of all the steam rooms and finally we used the showers in the spa area to get ready for the evening. In fact, we never used our shower in our cabin once. We always used the nice big showers in the spa area.
We enjoyed a meet and greet with our cruise critic roll call at 3 pm that day and it was a good way to meet everyone.
After our spa treatments we went to the crimson dining room for a late dinner.
We had anytime dining which worked out perfect for us. We enjoyed all the food that we were served and were happy with all our servers.
On day 2 was Nassau and we went on the Discover Atlantis Tour. It was a good tour and we enjoyed but always felt we had to keep an eye on the time as it was a short day.
This was the 1st elegant night and DH had rented a tux and we were happy to see how many others had rented tuxes or dressed up to the nines! We met up with another couple from our roll call who was on anytime dining and we dined together and then walked around the ship and took photos of each other.
We participated in our free yoga class the next day and also used the gym or used the track to work out everyday. We never did get to use the big clam chairs as I overheard people saying that they woke at 6;30 am to put towels down, but the small bucket chairs were very comfortable anyway. The thing I found about sitting out on deck is that it's so windy anyway, that it's kind of cool so you always want to cover up a bit anyway. So I didn't really feel that we spent long days in the sun.
During St. Thomas we went on an excursion that included a beach, but the beach is only for 2 hours and so I would hardly call that a beach day. And then you need to factor in time to get your chair and return it and you're not going to go into the water together, because you have your camera, id etc.... so again, not such a relaxing time, but we did enjoy the tour of the island. I think if you want to visit an island you should just go to the island instead of a cruise.
St. Maarten we did the harbour cruise and land tour. The harbour cruise on the party boat to the French side was a lot of fun. We were also able to explore around the french side a bit and find an open air market. Again... being a first time cruiser I tended to watch my clock a lot as we didn't want to risk missing transportation back to the ship. But that's just me!!
Thursday was a sea day and we did spend a lot of time out on serenity deck and in the hot tubs that day. I agree with another poster that there were a lot of Canadians on board and we were 2 of them. We met a lot of young people in the hot tubs that were Canadian as well and had some great conversation with them. So I don't know if that was a positive or a negative that the other poster was trying to make about a lot of Canadians being on board.
This was also the 2nd formal night and again we got all dressed up. We went to Crimson dining room and they asked if we would like to sit with others and we said sure! Most of the people in the dining room were dressed to the nines as were me and DH. When they took us to a table that the couple had requested company we were very disappointed. This couple should have been eating at the gathering buffets. They were dressed in their matching hawaiian shirts and were already on their main course.(Don't get me wrong, these were really nice people but they were not out for a formal evening) I don't know why they would seat us with them especially since they were almost done their dinner. The group beside us was actually just starting appetizers so we still had pleasant company when our dinner companions left shortly after we arrived.
Thursday night/friday morning we had a really bad storm and the boat was rocking like crazy. All friday, it was so windy and they closed the top decks. We just went and spent the rest of the time in the spa.
We really enjoyed this cruise and we loved the entertainment and the staff, however, we probably won't cruise again in the future. We are glad we did it, because we always wanted to cruise but at a certain point, I just wanted the movement to stop. If there was no movement, maybe it would be a different story.
Also, I find that stopping at the different islands just doesn't give you enough time to appreciate and discover the island and I really hate worrying about the time. I think next time I would do an all inclusive resort in one place and just spend the day on the beach for another day exploring etc...
But... all in all... we enjoyed this cruise... especially meeting people (specifically meeting the people from the roll call) and if I could give advice to anyone... it would be to get involved in your roll call because it's so nice to wander around the ship and always see a familiar face that you can just say hi to or ask to take a couple photos etc...
Also, be sure to ask for advice... for ex... I knew to bring my own hair blower as the ones on board suck. Also, ask your room steward if you can have a copy of the Dream coffee table book as he may give it to you... as Romi did for us.
Also, go to the guest services to ask for free decks of cards and free postcards.
Also, try to eat just after the reg. times. We never experienced long lines and we enjoyed the chocolate buffet and the salad bar on deck 5!
If you've never cruised before, we highly recommend the Carnival Dream. Less