After looking forward to our 9/24/11 cruise on the Dream to celebrate my mom's 90th (NOT a typo) birthday with my husband, 2 sisters and 1 brother-in-law, I started reading reviews and wondered if we had made a big mistake in booking on the Dream. This is an account of our experience. We found a $4.99 per day special on off-site parking that was ideal (Just look for the yellow submarine floating in the air near the terminal(sorry I can't remember the name of the lot. We had to reserve our spot before the cruise to get that deal. Went through embarkation in mere minutes...so easy! Then to the Lido deck for lunch. Big crowd,but short waits in lines. Food was good. then on to our cabins. Very clean as usual, and our steward, Kahil, was perfect!! He produced a needle & thread when we lost a button just before dinner, took down the dividers between the 3 balconies, so we had one long balcony. One deck below us on deck 5, there was a nice hot tub, which was almost never used, with lots of empty chairs around to enjoy the sun or shade. Our balconies overlooked the hot tub, so we could be in it and talk to my mom, who LOVES the balcony!!
Tropical storm Ophelia was nearby, but didn't pose much of a problem. I did notice the boat moving a lot the first 2 days, then as we went further south toward St. Thomas, the sea was calmer. We saw a water spout that got a lot of attention (my first), and the most beautiful rainbow ever over the ocean.
The food in the Scarlett dining room was very good. Lobster night was a big hit, and was cooked to perfection..Our 2 waiters, Sonny & I.Gusti, were absolutely awesome!! We didn't just leave waiters behind, we left friends. As for the rest of the employees, none of us EVER saw or heard anything but kind remarks, helpful directions, etc.Everyone spoke if they passed you in the hallways or anywhere else on the ship. I honestly can say that the Carnival staff was about the best I have encountered. This was the 6th cruise for my husband and I, and we hope to go again soon, on Carnival, because we can count on good food, great service, and super good times. If you go on the Dream and you don't have a good time, it isn't because of anything they do or fail to do. It is because you are looking for something to gripe about. Maybe that makes you a 'savvy traveler'. Oh,and every passenger I saw was sober, nicely mannered and having a great time.
The entertainment was good. I have seen better, but again, no real complaints. The machines in the casino were tight,and I never did see anyone winning anything. The ironing rooms were very nicely equipped, as were the public restrooms we used. The pool area got crowded, but we used the hot tub more. The 'returning guests' party was very nice, with free drinks galore. Children weren't a problem (I think most were back in school), & parents seemed to have a handle on discipline, except for one boy who threw food on his mother's head out near the pool.
Debarkation was simple and over in a matter of minutes. How did a whole week fly by so fast?
Wait on us Carnival......we're coming back.