We are a Scottish family who flew in to Orlando MCO a week before we were due to sail onboard the carnival dream. We stayed at the Rosen plaza on international drive, this was a perfect base for doing the theme parks. The hotel was very clean and tidy and all the staff were always welcoming.
On the morning of Saturday 24th September we drove from Orlando to the port and dropped of our hire car we were then shuttled to the port. Embarkation took approximately 40 minutes from joining the line, going through security to being onboard.
This was our sixth cruise our fourth carnival we have also sailed twice on Royal Caribbean.
The carnival dream is a beautiful ship, easy to navigate especially if you have been on previous carnival ships. The Dream was a very clean ship I witnessed people cleaning the public spaces all the time, the only untidy place I witnessed was the hallways at night when other guest had left their room service plates outside their rooms. As for the 'smell' we did smell it a couple times but did think it was a issue.
There were 9 adults so we had 4 balcony cabins (cat 8a) on deck six port side forward and 1 inside cabin (cat 1a) deck six port side forward. All of the rooms were very big, with really comfortable beds and pillows. Our room steward JOSE from Honduras kept all of our rooms clean and tidy, if we ever needed anything he would insure that he got it for us. On the day my sister got married Jose allowed us to decorate the outside of the room and he decorated the inside, it was perfect.
The food was fantastic, much better than recent royal Caribbean cruises. We could not fault anything, we tried the pizza, the grill, the BBQ, the pasta bar, deli, Indian tandoori, omelette station, burrito bar to name a few. Every evening we ate dinner in the scarlet upper dining room with our waiters chico and danilo who were the most professional waiters whilst also being funniest wait staff we have every encountered. These people work so very hard and always have a smile on their face. The made my sister wedding dinner one to remember.
The outside space is huge we never encounter any problems getting a sun lounger, deck 5 the lani (wrap around deck) always had a mass of free loungers and is always very peaceful, there is also 4 Jacuzzi down on deck 5 so is perfect if you want to get away from noise on lido deck. The pools are a little small but the water slides and the Jacuzzi make up for it.
The entertainment was the best I have ever seen on a cruise ship, Butch the cruise director and his assistance 6'3 Amy are fantastic, very welcoming and approachable with all guest. The fun force guys are amazing and the dancing in the street show is a must see. The comedians are a hit or a miss they changed them mid cruise, we saw some fantastic comics but also saw some not so good comics. The MC in the comedy lounge, looks like a bad Rod Stewart Jeff the fun guy is dire (my own personal opinion) but others seem to like him.
If you have ever been on a carnival cruise you will know that the split everyone in to either WHITE, BLUE or RED team and throughout the week you complete against the other teams in every activities wining points. The teams come together one night at the deck party which is a must, I had so much fun with my other team mates, Dancing karaoke and participating in silly competitions.
The gym is a little small but well equipment, we took part in the boot camp classes which was hard but good fun.
Nassau: my least favourite port, we didn't really do much here just some shopping, not sure why carnival stop here.
St Thomas: This port was were my sister got married, she booked her wedding via carnival weddings and everything went perfect. She got married in harbour lights villa, which is a villa looking down on to the port. The setting was stunning. The ceremony was perfect. Carnival did a fantastic job.
St marrten: we went on a trip via carnival it was a kayak to a lagoon, it was good fun but very hard work even for our group who are all fitness fans.
Disembarkation: was a breeze we did self assist off the ship in 10 minutes and heading to the car hire place.
Overall I would say that this was the best cruise I have been experience, I feel you make a cruise what it is so sit back and relax.
If anyone has a questions regarding my sister experience, i.e. booking her wedding via carnival please feel free to email me.