Embarkation-Saturday Jan 15, 2011- Arrived at terminal and proceeded through VIP access without a hitch. Was on the ship within 20 minutes. Lido Restaurant was on the 10th floor instead of the 9th. Grab Lunch and noticed right away how crowded the tables were in the restaurant. This was a concern as we discovered later on that with 4000+ guests the Lido Restaurant (The Gathering) was the same size as is on the smaller ships. Thus there were lines most all the time for food.
Our cabin was the same as expected, inside on floor 7. Nothing unusual, except that the drop down bunks blocked the TV viewing to the lower beds. Our friends had one of the new Cove Balcony Cabins that included a second mini washroom. Great for kids.
The dinner was the same as any other Carnival Cruise as the menu is always the same on each cruise each week.
The Welcome Aboard show featured our favorite cruise director, Butch Begovich. Funny show and great way to start off the cruise.
Day 1 - Nassau, Bahamas - Having only 5 hours to spend there, Atlantis was out as it was too costly for such a short time. We decided to go to Ardastra Gardens. We watched the marching Flamingos and Feed the Parrots. This was all the time the tour allowed us to do. I would suggest doing this one independently in the future so as to have more time to see the other attractions there. We then proceeded on a city tour to Fort Fincastle and the Queen's Staircase. Watch out for a guy on the staircase who stops you to give you a history of it as he will ask for money for his story time.
That evening onboard the Dream was our first formal night and first "Vegas Style Show' called "Get Ready". The singers were great but the dancers were a little out of sync. Each night after the show there were Laser Light shows at the Seaside Theatre.
Day 2- Day at Sea - Today was a day of doing activities. Watching the Morning Show with Butch and George. I suggest you make a dedication and get free stuff delivered to your room. We did. We participated in Trivia contests all day and won 2 trophies. That night we took in the Comedy Club and Showtime. The comedienne, Tony Esposito, was very funny. The show was the talent of EDGE, juggler and comedienne. He was good too.
Day 3-St Thomas- We took the Coral World tour and I strongly, STRONGLY suggest taking another tour. This is not worth the $18 per person round trip taxi and $19 entrance fee. Very pathetic and disappointing. Even the kids were bored. Once onboard we ate dinner and took in the next "Vegas Style Show" called "Dancing in the Street" featuring the Fun Force Break Dance Troupe. That show was by far the best in 13 cruises with Carnival. I cannot rave enough about it. The laser show that night was Pink Floyd/Rush, which was awesome.
Day 4-St Maarten- We took the America's Cup Regatta Race. Very good excursion. Our team had the Stars and Stripes that last won the 12m America's Cup in 1987. We beat the True North team in the 5 leg race of America's Cup. We all had parts to perform during the race so it wasn't a sightseeing tour. I highly recommend this tour. That night we had the Magic of Bob Brizendine the Magical Cat himself. He was funny and great. He does a lot of audience participation. The laser light show was Latin Music tonight. We finally complained about the slow dinner service and were treated with chocolate covered strawberries and white wine tonight, too bad we don't drink.
Day 5-Day at Sea-Did trivia all day. Won 7 trophies so far. With only 2 ping-pong tables for 4000+ people it was impossible to get a chance to play. Relaxing day at sea. Second Formal night. Dinner service was much better tonight as they added a 3rd person to help with the work load. Petit Fors was a nice treat tonight. The Punchliner Comedy club featured Michael Macy and he was spot on. Even picked on the audience ad-libbing all the way. Show tonight was called "8 Seconds" and was all country. Again, the singing was fine but the dancing was horrendous. The guest fiddler was awesome though.
Day 6- Day at sea- Activities lined up all day. I must say that at least they had plenty for cruisers to do on the sea days. Debarkation was on TV all day so we didn't have to go anywhere to sit for an hour and listen. Dinner was unfortunately slow again, thank goodness it was the last night. We then went to the Comedy show again to hear Mark Simmons, who was not as good as Michael Macy, but still funny. Tips were added to our sail and sign account as usual and luggage pickup was 8-11pm. The Legends shows that night was good.
Notes of interests-Soda cards are stickers that go onto your sail and sign card. No life jackets at the drills and the drills are held in the lounges instead on the decks. All week they did the Carnival Colors competition for the newbies and others who like it. We also did the Carnival Mystery Murder by solving clues and determining who the culprit and weapon was. There are 6 water slides on this ship, the twister empties into a bowl that send you in circles until you stop and the pipeline that seems to go on forever. There are 2 racing slides and even slides for the real young ones. The most common complaint I heard all week, other than the lines, was the Casino. The payout seemed to be about 60-70% of your money. Not as good as Vegas. I even tried over 20 different machines and found that I lost faster than on any other cruise. Also, the magnifying mirror in the bathrooms was mounted too high for shorter people.