Carnival Dream Eastern Caribbean Cruise April 23, 2011
Our group of 16 (myself being 24 years old) headed to Orlando Airport from the metro Detroit area on Friday the 22nd. We arrived and had Ace Luxury Transportation drive us to the Radisson Resort at the Port. We ate dinner at Kelsey’s Pizzeria right next door to the hotel. Good pizza and pasta dishes.
Saturday the 23rd we decided to get McDonalds for breakfast, which was directly across from the hotel. I arraigned for Cocoa Beach Shuttle to transport our group from the hotel to the port. The cost was only $4/person. The Radisson provides transportation for free but they were booked until about 1230-100 PM. Embarkation was quick, and we were on the ship at about 1200. Myself and my girlfriend were in an interior room (9222) right in the front of the ship. Only complaint about the room was it wasn’t very quiet. You could hear everything that happened around your room. It was never annoying but just something I noticed. Hit the grill for some burgers, dogs and fries. Muster drill was at about 330 PM. Since my last cruise in 2009 Carnival must have changed the muster drill. This time, instead of getting our life jackets and heading to lifeboat decks, our muster station was in the Encore theatre. Watched a quick video and were back on deck for sail away to Nassau Bahamas.
Sunday the 24th we arrived in Nassau Bahamas at 8AM. Got off the ship around 830AM. Some of us took a 15 minute walk to Junkanoo Beach. Follow the main road past the straw market and senor frogs, walk past the Hilton and you can’t miss it. Beach was clean, mostly cruisers visiting. A few locals, but nothing unusual or bothersome happened. Water was calm and clear but kind of chilly. There are great views of the ships, bay and ocean. Bathrooms and locker rooms were available and clean. Drinks were tasty, cheap, but not very strong :(. We left the beach and grab some drinks at Senor Frogs. Place was packed but we got a place by the bar. Staff was making if very fun and getting the crowd involved with singing and dancing. With the short time you have at this stop (8AM-2PM) this works out perfect. If we had more time I would recommend a day pass at a hotel or something but it doesn’t seem worth it for a few hours. We left the port an hour late due to technical difficulties with the ship but it must have been nothing serious.
Monday the 25th was the first Fun Day at Sea. We got a spot in the very back of the ship. The pool/deck area seemed less crowded and quieter. Our waiter Alvin was great! He was very fast, fun and accurate. We never had a problem with him.
Tuesday the 26th was St. Thomas from 1030AM to 830PM. We were given an extra hour since we were delayed leaving Nassau. 13 of us took a cab/truck to Megan’s Bay Beach ($16/person round trip and $4 entry to the beach). The beach was kind of crowded, but we still found a nice spot and enjoyed the sights and views. We got back on the ship to get a bite to eat/clean up. Went shopping at the Havensight Mall area right by the dock and again visited the senor frog’s location. It wasn’t as busy/fun as Nassau but had some drinks and got back on the ship and set sail for St. Maarten.
Wednesday the 27th was St. Maarten. We had originally planned on Orient Beach but the cab drivers were warning of high winds, blowing sand, and rough/dangerous waters. So we opted to take a water taxi to philipsburg. For $6/person you could ride the taxi all day as many times as you wanted. Got a spot on the beach, for 2 chairs, an umbrella, and 5 drinks (beer, water, pop) was only $20. Seemed like a good deal, since the 5 beers would cost you $25 alone on the ship! We dined at the Chefs Art Steakhouse. It was defiantly worth the extra $30. I got the 9oz filet and it tasted amazing!
Thursday and Friday the 28th and 29th were sea days. There are plenty of things to do on the ship. Bingo, putt-putt, water slides. We were never bored!
As for the food; Grill, pizza, pasta bar, burrito bar, sandwich bar, and all buffets were all very good and lines were never very long. Dining room dinner was always very good and can always find something tasty. Chefs Art Steakhouse is excellent. The fine dining experience is something I never do, and it was nice to experience it and the food is phenomenal.
Entertainment was pretty good. We didn’t go to that many shows, but the standup comics were pretty funny, the live band karaoke was entertaining, and so was the Dancing in the Streets show.
Debarkation was smooth. Opted to leave our bags out and get them after we got off the ship. Had breakfast and got off the ship for the last time. Ace Luxury picked us up and since we had a late flight we paid a bit extra to have them hold our bags and the group visited Ron Jon’s surf shop in Cocoa Beach Fl. We ate at Captain J’s Restaurant and sat on an upper level deck overlooking the ocean, nice spot and good food. We were picked up and just like that the vacation was over :(
Overall I had a great time. Service was excellent, food was very good, and I recommend the Dream any day!