-The ship and our cabin was spotlessly clean.
-The new Muster drill without the life jackets was a relief!
-House keeping and maintenance staff provided good service.
-Service at the Crimson dining room was smooth and swift.
-Plenty of other eating options including Tandoori, Barbecue, Italian & Burrito. The Tandoori was specially good.
-Visited the Steakhouse Restaurant for $30. Beautifully cooked Fillet Mignon. Spoilt by three different waitresses there, who make you feel special.
-Embarkation & disembarkation was well organised with no long queues.
-The large flat panel screens advertising excursions was nice.
-The overhanging Jacuzzis are a great idea.
-The special evening for previous Carnival customers was a nice touch. Thanks.
-The star of the cruise was our charming Crimson dining room waiter Guillermos from Guatemala, who went out of the way to make us feel at home. Thank you Guillermos! I hope I've spelt your name right!
1. The odd smell that others have noted in their reviews, does exist. It is the smell of cooking. When we entered our cabin in the early evening (ours was under the lido deck dining room area)the distinct smell of fried food was present. Later in the evening this smell turned stale and was slightly reminiscent of sewage. Obviously the exhaust system in the kitchens is inadequate with food smells wafting to the cabins.
2. The cabins on deck 9 under the lido deck have inadequate sound insulation from the noises of the lido deck at night. One could hear people trampling all over the lido deck and light sleepers may find it unbearable. Having read of the noise factor in these cabins on deck 9, I emailed Carnival and requested a change of cabin before embarking. I was told that they had no knowledge of these cabins being noisy at night! Carnival should include a caveat on these cabins when selling them, and to be fair, should provide a lower rate for these in view of the noise factor.
3.The atrium is not as good as on the Conquest. Firstly you have a grand piano suspended high up in the air! It doesn't sound the same with all those vague echoes! Secondly there is a maniacal ice crusher right under the piano (in the bar)which intermittently completely drowns out the music, oh so annoyingly. The bar is hence in the wrong place too! Thirdly, the sofas all around the atrium on deck 4 are badly designed. The seats slope forward making your legs tired after a while, as they have to constantly stop you from slipping forward.
4. Another reviewer has rightly suggested that a stadium like seating arrangement at the pool would have been more appropriate. That's how it is on the Conquest. One can sit comfortably to view the entertainment with that kind of arrangement. Not so on the Dream.
5. Despite many requests, my option for open dining was denied. On the Conquest, I had no problems getting my preferred option. I guess the Maitre'D here was uninterested? Even if one books well ahead, you are only wait-listed for your dining preference at the time of booking and never have this confirmed. Why? If open dining is so popular perhaps Carnival should look at providing more opportunities for these diners.
6. Why are the house keeping staff so glum and sad? On the Conquest they were a happy looking bunch. Is Carnival not rewarding them adequately? They do work really hard you know.
7. Professional photography quality was dismal! Compared to the pictures we had taken on the Conquest, these pics were drab and lack lustre. They could do with better photographers. We bought only 2 photos, compared to the 20 on the Conquest! Of note was the fact that the photo gallery was virtually devoid of people browsing pictures, whereas on the Conquest, it was almost always packed!Also,the useful system whereby you identify your pics by swiping you card on a machine, does not always work. The pics are sometimes not visualised on the machine although you can still find them in the gallery!. Obviously they slip up on loading pics on to the machine.
8. Need more staff at the service desk. They look tired and worn out. Only one of the four wore a smile! On the last day, they promised to refund the $4 which was wrongly debited to my card, but never did! That was for a bottle of water that I never ordered. $4.50 for a bottle of water? Come on Carnival!
9. Avoid Sam's piano bar if you are worried about cancer! There are hand cleaning gels at the dining room, but nothing to clean the smoke in your lungs which will get you as you walk past the bar.
On the whole everyone seemed to be having a good time and so did we! Plenty of kids but well behaved.
Would I go on the Carnival Dream again? Only if I am promised a Noise Free Cabin and a Confirmation of my Dining Preference at the time of booking. This business of waiting in a queue at the Maitre D's desk, begging for consideration is an unsatisfactory system.
I have deducted one point for the noise factor in the cabin, and one point for the Maitre'D not permitting my preferred dining option on any of the days aboard. Hence the Dream gets a score of 4 instead of the 5+ perfection score!