This was our second cruise. We ported out of Orlando. 7 days, 4 ports, no phones, no work. Just leisure for the next 6 days.
The vessel was magnificent. The newest and largest in the Carnival fleet,"DREAM", After the safety meeting we took a stroll of the ship. We soon noticed all of the differences between this ship and the last ship we had cruised on, Carnival Destiny. Some were subtle, others were extreme. One thing that really stuck out to me was all of the hot tubs located around the ship. It seemed like every time I turned around BAM! there was a another hot tub, 4 on the Lani deck. Just outside of the Oceans Lounge on each side was a seating area and hot tub. Also on the Lanai were other seating areas, a large chess board on the floor with 2 foot tall chess pieces, this was great! The put-put golf course was far better than the one on the Destiny. It was hard to get a tee time for this course as it was always busy. The spa area was large and uncrowded, and the therapists were very good.
We spent most of our late evenings in Sam's Piano Bar. Look for Dave, What an awesome guy, and entertainer. He kept us coming back for more, and we also invited some of our new cruise friends to join us, we ended up with a small family of friends singing with Dave on our last night of the cruise. THANKS DAVE.
We chose anytime seating in the Crimson restaurant for our evening dining. Broderick was our head waiter on the first day. Every day after that we requested to set at one of the tables that was in Broderick's section. We made a new friend in Broderick and his assistants. We wish them the best. Even though we did not get an E-Mail address from them we will always remember them, they became family to us.
The comics that entertained us on this cruise were awesome. but then, they were equally good on our last cruise. Although the MC for the comedy lounge "Jeff the fun Dude!' Was a RIOT!!
Now lets talk excursions; All of the guides that either met us at the ports or escorted us on the actual excursions were professional and courteous even going out of their way to make your excursion a very memorable experience. They will always ask for gratuities, This is not to be taken as rude. They do a very good job of making sure that you are safe and have the very best experience. So be sure to take a little extra $ for your guide and his/her team. Without them you could really end up having a bad experience.
Also be sure to bring extra $ for the shops at each port you visit. You ARE going to find something you will want to take home to remember this part of your vacation.
While we are talking about gratuities, Be sure and take care of the people on the ship that take special care of you, they will vary from person to person and ship to ship, You are the reason they are there, to serve you. They do a very good job of this. BUT, when you do meet that one crew member that goes above and beyond for you, let him/her know with a special little gift from you. They really appreciate it. And it lets them know that they did a good job.