Carnival Dream Cruise Review by Urmel: Dreaming in the Caribean (or sometimes not)
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Dreaming in the Caribean (or sometimes not)
We sailed with the Carnival Dream end of May thru the Eastern Caribbean (we'd been there already, but for us it was more to be on the boat and to relax).
We arrived the evening before debarking at Orlando International and stayed overnight at the Hyatt Airport Hotel, which was very convenient. The next morning, we went to the bus counter at the airport to check in with the bus transfer to the Port. There were no lines and buses were leaving frequently. Also the check in at Port Canaveral went quickly and efficiently.
We had booked a balcony stateroom on the Lido Deck (10244). The location was perfect - conveniently close enough to the Lido Deck and the stairs/elevators, but distant enough not be disturbed by the noises from the Lido Deck or from people entering and leaving the Lido Deck area (except for neighbours slamming doors). The staterooms are surprisingly roomy and nicely appointed, the beds are comfy, and having a separate seating area is a bonus. The More shower fixtures are nice, but there could be a better bathroom exhaust/vent.
The Dream is modern and aesthetic in design and overall they did a great job with the Dream. And of course there were plenty of amenities for kids of all ages. While there were lots of kids, it did not inconvenience or disturb us.
As many other people, we also noticed some odor issues, but not too bad though.
I was not too impressed however with the adult-only Serenity area, it was always pretty full and there was just not the kind of ambiance that you would expect from such an area. But on the other hand there was plenty of space for everyone, and if you wanted more serenity, Deck 5 with its promenade was a great place - there were always plenty of empty lounge chairs away from the crowd. There were also several whirlpools and they had BBQ on Deck 5 for lunch.
Unfortunately, the Dream lacks in pool space - there are only 2 teeny-tiny pools for that many people and that much sea-time (3 full days out of 7). O.K. they also had the so-called water park for the kids - but I did not see that used that much. Also an adult only pool would have been nice.
Fitness room was just O.K., but not great - a dark place with low ceilings - felt kind of cramped.
Entertainment was good - I liked the Comedy shows best (although not all comedians were funny).
The food and the selection where quite good. There was lots of variety, lots of options - so many choices. On the last day at sea they had a chocolate extravaganza, wow!
We never ate lunch from the buffet because of the line ups. Unfortunately we had to deal with the line ups for breakfast (as we are late risers and never made it in time to the service restaurant). That was the most horrible thing ever (and that is probably what will keep me from booking on a Carnival ship again) - and mostly those line ups could be averted by just rearranging some items.
For dinner, we always ate at the Scarlett restaurant. We were a bit disappointed that they appointed us a table for two. We would have had preferred a larger shared table - but that would have been O.K., if not our waiter was forcing the dinner courses on us with a speed that took our appetite away. At the time when the shared table next to us got their second appetizers, we already had our desert. Dinner was not enjoyable at all because of this service issue (food overall was great in taste, selection and presentation). We asked the waiter to slow it down, but I think he thought it was a race (we had the late sitting) - that and the breakfast line ups are the reasons for the low points in 'dining' and 'service'.
Anyhow, while there was nothing really wrong with the Dream (except for the dinner race and the breakfast line ups and the lack of swimming pools), there was also nothing really excellent about it. The Dream is a fine ship for families with kids or teens, or group travel - but not so much for relaxation. Less
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Cabin review: Carnival Dream Balcony Lido 10244
Stateroom 10244 on the Lido Deck - nicely appointed, reasonable storage room. great location, comfortable bed, separate seating area with couch (which could be converted to a single bed) and coffee table - close to everything, but far enough to not get the noises. Great fixtures in the bathroom/shower. Nice balcony.