Radisson Resort At The Port Cruise Package: A really good deal. Rooms better than your average Days Inn or Comfort Inn but not anything spectacular. We had parking, shuttle drop off & pick-up & one night stay for $100. If you want to save $$ but don't want to stay in a dump, I'd say this is your best bet.
Dinner the night before: SKIP the chains right around the hotel and head for the port. We ate at Rusty's Seafood, which was in a row of local seafood joints on the water. FRESH delicious seafood with a great festive atmosphere was a great way to kick off vacation.
Embarkation: Uncharacteristically rough for Port Canaveral. It was the day before 9/11 so I think there was just extra security/
What was wonderful about The Dream:
*The Serenity Deck. We spent every sea day relaxing on The Serenity Adults Only Deck. The chairs are so comfy and I loved that there were some shaded couch type areas as well as comfortable chairs of different types in the sun. There were also hot tubs on this deck & a bar where you could get a light lunch if you didn't even want to bother going down to the buffet. One day we had a chicken ceaser salad & a shrimp salad from the bar there & found both to be perfect for a hot day in the sun. I've read some reviews complaining about children not being kept out of Serenity and we did not experience this at all. Serenity is a very large area so the one time we sat next to an adult who was louder than your average 10 year old and twice as annoying, we simply moved and that was that. We were out there by 10am every sea day and had no problem getting chairs. I did see people arriving around noon who had problems getting chairs.
*Whirlpools that hang out over the ship: Haven't seen that anywhere else and I loved it!
*The Spa Services. We had a wonderful couples massage in the nicest couples massage area I have seen. I went back for a facial and my therapist, Katie, was very attentive to my particular concerns and very knowledgeable.
*The Dining Room Food. The warm chocolate melting cake at dinner is the best dessert I have ever had. I had that every night. I also particularly enjoyed the tomato bisque on the first night and the Lobster Tail on the first formal night. Our servers, Supi & Augusti were wonderful. We also had no problem getting a table for 2.
*The Gathering Food. I LOVED all the options-Indian,Burrito Bar,Pasta Bar, Italian,Deli. The chocolate extravaganza was great on the last sea day. It was a little bit hidden so make sure to look for it on the last sea day. The chocolate dipped churros were the best! The tandoori chicken at the Indian area & the Burrito bar were my favorite.
*Chef's Art Steakhouse: RUN DON'T WALK TO RESERVE YOUR MEAL HERE. This was the best meal I have ever eaten. The chocolate sampler platter for dessert was out of this world. $30 a head is UNDER CHARGING for how good the food/service/atmosphere was.
*Water Slides: This was my 6th cruise and these water slides were actually REALLY fun. The other ship slides I Have been on have been kind of lame. There are 2 slides for older kids & adults and then little slides for kids. The drain pipe was great!
*The last few shows: Dancing in the streets is the best show I have seen on any cruise ship. The Carnival Legends show was actually great. There were a few genuinely talented cruisers and then there were those that were just hilarious to watch.
*Piano Bar: I really enjoyed Dave in the piano bar. Its a really neat room to begin with & he played all requested songs so it was essentially one big sing along party.
*Comedians: I have been on ships where the "comedians" are just not good. I think it takes very limited talent to tell the dirtiest jokes you can imagine just for the sake of giving an "adult" comedy show. A few of the comedians drifted this way, but for at least half of the shows (even the adult shows) the comedy was just plain hilarious. The Burgundy Lounge, where the shows are held was also a very cool room.
*Cruise Director Butch: All other cruises I have been on have had an annoying "stage hog" type cruise director. We genuinely liked Butch. We participated in activities that we normally might have ignored b/c of the way he marketed them & we had a great time.
*Laser Shows: Its just plain cool to have laser shows on a cruise ship at night.
*Romantic Music For Dancing: Every Night Before & after dinner, live romantic music was played in the main atrium. I absolutely loved this.
*Cove Balcony Stateroom: LOVE LOVE LOVE the Cove Balcony. It felt more private to me than a regular balcony. You are very close to the water which is a cool thing to experience. You really feel like you are in your own little cove over the water. I can't imagine booking an inside cabin after experiencing a cove balcony.
Critiques Of The Dream
*I would like for the Spa to sell day passes to the Thalassotherapy Pool & Thermo-suite. The only option for using these amenities was to purchase a week-long pass or to be in a Spa Cabin. I would also like for the Spa to allow clients to wait for their appointments either in the thermo-suite or thalassotherapy pool. I loved the spa but there was no relaxing "wait for your appointment" area, and that was disappointing.
*Need More Elevators: I felt over crowded was at certain times with the elevators-after shows, after dinner & returning from ports.
*Mongolian Wok: This was the only other time we ever felt "over crowded." The line for this at lunch was outrageous. No significant lines for food anywhere else though & my husband said the stir-fry was worth the wait.
*The first few shows were sub-par. The cast seemed tired & withdrawn from the audience. The singing impressionist was terrible. We left that show & went to the comedy club (which was great). Again, the last few shows (with a new cast) were great!
Bottom Line: This was truly a dream for a couples anniversary trip. I could understand how elderly guests may have trouble getting around the ship. It is large! I could see how it might get over crowded in peak months, but that was not our experience at all. If you are a couple looking for a fun ship where you can also relax & fall in love all over again--this ship is for you!