Not so Dreamy: Carnival Dream Cruise Review by DonnaBeachLover
Overall Member Rating
Not so Dreamy
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Port Canaveral (Orlando)
We drove down the day before our Oct. l5th cruise and stayed at a local hotel in Cocoa Beach. There was nothing special about it - good or bad. I booked thru Kayak website and used Easy Click Travel.
I had pre-booked a reservation @ Park-N-Cruise for the parking. I was a little disappointed with this. I thought we just dropped off our luggage and got on a shuttle bus as pictured. NO. We had to stand in a long line wrapped around inside the warehouse like building carrying our 8 pieces of luggage for the 3 of us. Yes LOL I know we over pack. So my l5 yr. old daughter and I are moving the luggage thru the line as my husband parked the car. I think line was about 45 min. long. It was not organized and I saw people skip the line and walk up from another direction - get on before us. I thought I was to be riding in a More shuttle bus as pictured on their website. NO - they called in vans - taxi type vans we were loaded into. Harder to step into without steps/seats very close together w/no knee room and the windows were down blowing our hair. I do understand there was 3 ships in port that day leaving - Norwegian Sun, Disney's and the Dream but they should have anticipated that better.
We met up with my married daughter and her family on the ship and did enjoy spending time with my daughter and her husband and our 2 grandchildren.
Embarkation with Carnival went well and it was not long before we were on board. We had booked an inside cabin #6381 - category 4E. To me the cabin felt much smaller than the other Carnival ships I have been on and had inside cabins. I think they shrunk the space on the Dream for the inside cabins to fit more in and make more $. Last month I was on Carnival Elation and it definitely felt bigger - like at least l0 other cruises I took with inside cabins. We have had ocean view ones 3 times. I feel like we don't spend much time in the cabin and I'd rather spend the money you pay for a balcony on other things like jewelry in ports you can enjoy for yrs.
The bathroom floor space is less. You have to plug in an electric toothbrush outside the bathroom on a far wall. There is no electrical outlet at all in the bathroom. The foyer area is more narrow. To take out room service trays you must turn sideways with the tray to get it out. Just much less floor space it seemed to me.
We did enjoy the Dancing in the Streets show and thought it was good. We also saw the Country show which I did not think was as good.
Food was fine. There was nights I didn't really see anything really good. Nights all the favorites were on the same menu- like lobster or prime rib. Choc. melting cake was always good.
We tried the pasta bar for lunch the day we embarked. My pasta was hard/rubbery - undercooked I guess. For the Lido buffet I would like to be able to get my own bacon! They dole it out to you. I prefer mine crunchy. You also have to get someone's attention to get any grits too. On other Carnival ships like my Elation cruise last month on 9/l0 you could get your own grits/bacon and not wait to get someone's attention to do it for you. At times they would walk off and there would be no one handing out bacon or the grits which they kept in a crockpot type container guests can't reach.
Our lst port was Cozumel. We did the swim with the dolphins. This was the lst time we've ever swam or even touched dolphins and we enjoyed this.
2nd port was Belize. We had privately booked a snorkeling trip thru Coral Breezes. This was a big disappointment. We were told one stop was beautiful coral/colorful fishes etc.
The place they stopped was very choppy/not clear and hard to see anything. Another guest described it as looking thru a coke bottle. We left Belize from our designated meeting area - Wet Lizard 40 min. late. Immediately upon the boat leaving I noticed black smoke behind us. I was asking my husband is that diesel? Later my husband says he thinks the water pump was going out maybe? On the way back to Belize the black smoke was worse and the boat slowed down to barely crawling. They finally announced we were over-heating. I feel they knew this when they picked us up. It seemed we were going 5-l0 miles an hour. They told us they would pick up the speed when we were in shallow water again but this never happened. It was suppose to be a 45 min. boat ride back to Belize to catch the tender boat to the ship. They told us we would have shopping time at the tourist village. This did not happen. Quite a few guests were very worried we'd miss the last tender. It seemed to take hours to get back - at least 2? if not 3. The tour was to go out @ l0:00 am and last about 4 hrs. 45 min. We arrived back at 5:00 pm - 7 hours later. Last tender is to leave @ 5:l5 pm to ship. This snorkeling trip takes you to Cay Caulker for a stop of about an hour and a half. I asked where is the beach? They said there is not really a beach at all. That the island is spilt into and you could walk 20 minutes to the spilt if you wanted too. There was not anything to really see walking around town. It is a poor town. I had originally booked the Bannister Beach break thru them- private island with l snorkeling tour but they said only 2 people signed up (my husband and I) so they canceled it and asked if we wanted to apply our deposit to this other snorkeling trip. But it was a big disappointment..
3rd port is Costa Maya. I did like this port and enjoyed the beach. We took a taxi cab ride to the Tropicante. I had a massage on the beach which are only $l5 for 30 minutes. That was great.
Taxi cabs are only $2 ea. if you go outside the gates. The big disappointment for this port is they want you back on board by 2:30 so we started heading back about l:30. I would have love to have stayed longer like the other port times which were about 6:00 pm. I think Cozumel has a 7:00 sailing time.
4th port was Mahogoney Bay. Rain ruined this port. It poured down rain and the water turned brown from mud running down the hills/mountains. We did not get to go to the beach. We did a little shopping in the tourism village. Beware of the tax there! I spent $40.00 in the Harley Davidson shop there and the tax on my receipt says l2% - for $4.80 so my total was $44.80. That is a high tax and we don't usually pay tax at all in ports.
I looked forward to the Laser shows on this ship. We attempted to go one night and they never started it. Funtimes said l0:00 Latin Laser show. (We are not Latin but just wanted to go see the Laser show) It never started. Next Laser show said l0:45 - again nothing. We are all sitting out there in the chairs waiting! It also said a SuperRock Laser Show @ ll:45. My husband went to Guest Services to see what was going on. They didn't know but made several calls. They finally said well it was suppose to rain later so the canceled it without telling anyone - it had not rained at all thru the lst show that never started and hadn't rained when the 2nd show never started. NO announcement made whatsoever to the people sitting in the chairs waiting for the laser show to begin. We told the ones around us what we were told. It did start raining later. But couldn't they have done lst show - and even 2nd one until it started raining then canceled it?
Our at sea days - both of them were rainy/windy. The last one was the worst. We tried using the Serenity Deck but it was very cold and super windy. Most people sitting around all covered up with beach towels- many sleeping.
We did enjoy the jacuzzis on the Lanai deck. There are 2 on each side. We always saw plenty of out of order signs on the various jacuzzi's around the ship. Some signs say they were clorinating. We wondered couldn't this be done when they were closed? I also noticed many elevators ALL week long would have "X" above them showing they were not working. When you get on the elevaor none have signs above them as the other ships did telling what was on each floor if you didn't know where the lounge/casino/dining room was located.
Service was okay on the ship. In particular the workers on the Lido deck could have been better. I asked one day at the grill about a chicken sandwich. I never did get an answer but they do serve them. Another day my husband went and ordered one. They guy said they take 6 min. My husband said OK but it was like they really were trying to talk you out of waiting so they wouldn't have to cook it. He said the guy just stood there looking at him - like are you nuts? You want to wait 6 min.?
I was really looking forward to this "new big boat" but I have decided I think I really prefer the older ships. I think there is more room in the cabins - at least for inside. It's easier to get around on the smaller ships. Our room had a lot of noise about midnight each night. We were on deck 6.
The only thing I would miss on the older boats was not having the jacuzzis/whirlpools hanging over the side of the ship. I think I prefer ships like the Legend and Glory to the Dream.
I know the weather of course could not be avoided which made this trip more disappointing. The beaches/ocean where we snorkeled except for Costa Maya was colder water (Cozumel) and rough/choppy (Cozumel/Belize) not nearly as beautiful color as it had always been in the past.
I will cruise carnival again but not on the Dream. We did buy the $l00 Future Cruise certificate before disembarking. Less
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