Carnival Dream Cruise Review by sparkscruiser: There's a Strange Man in my Room!
Overall Member Rating
There's a Strange Man in my Room!
Destination: Western Caribbean
About us - early 50's - many cruises between the two of us. THis was my Platinum Cruise with Carnival.
Our Dream vacation started off on Thanksgiving Day. We left Reno early in the morning via Delta Airlines to Orlando. We had arranged transportation through Laura's Shuttle from MCO to Port Canaveral to the Radisson at the Port. We chose this hotel as they have Sleep Number beds and we love ours at home. Radisson at the Port offers a package that includes tickets and transportation to the Kennedy Space Center. Since we arrived a few days early, we thought this would be a great side trip. Kennedy was incredible and I highly recommend that you come in a day or two early so you can make this a part of your vacation! Food and service at the hotel was good and they also provided transportation to the ship. This was a bit hectic -- but we assumed as much since there were four ships in port that day.
We left the hotel by 10:30 am and by the time we checked in and More had our keys -- they had started boarding the ship. We went to the aft pool bar next to the deli station and ordered up a Rueben. The sandwich was good and hot -- but not a Rueben! This is the second ship where the staff at the deli thinks a Rueben is made with ham. Still tasty, but wish I had gotten what I had ordered. We had great bar staff at this location -- Mario was attentive without being pushy, and in no time we had our DOD in hand. Our traveling companions found us and we all had a nice lunch while we waited for our cabins to be available. Our Meet and Greet was scheduled for this same area at 2:00 so off we went to our cabins to drop off our carry-ons. Back up to the aft pool bar to meet up with a great group of folks! What friendly people -- many of us had conversed here on the boards prior to the sailing so it was quite fun to put a face to a screen name! Surprisingly, this ship is so large we rarely ran into anyone after this.
First nights dinner was fair -- our wait staff did not seem overly friendly, but our last two cruises this has been the case. They also did not bring the soup that I ordered.... I should have spoken up, but did not. All through the week we tried various things -- I sampled many of the Didya Ever dishes. One suggestion I would give is Carnival give more thought to the menu -- it is a bit of a disappointment. Only one night did we have a difficult decision on deciding what dish to order. The rest of the week was a matter of what seemed the most appealing. First formal night I believe they ran out of the large prawns -- mine were just large cocktail shrimp while everyone else at the table had much larger prawns with their lobster. Not a big deal, but I had become accustomed too much better fare from Carnival on past cruises. Maybe things were just off in the galley. One other recommendation -- DO NOT try the meatloaf! It is awful.
More details about our stateroom. We had a balcony forward on the Verandah Deck. It was much the same as any other balcony cabin we have had in the past. Our one issue was the cabin next door kept their balcony light on all night. We like to leave the shear open so we can awake to natural sunlight but the light being on made that impossible. We contacted Guest Services in the morning and were told they could do nothing about it during the daytime and to call back later. So when the light was on again when we returned from dinner I called yet again and was told it was too late in the evening for them to do anything about it. We had asked our steward about getting the light shut off and he did get it off before dinner many nights -- but we would return after dinner to find it on again. I also tried going to the Guest Services desk and they basically ignored me and picked up the phone and called the steward. Long story short, it took six attempts to get the light turned off so we could enjoy the sunrise. One young lady at Guest Services even told me there are no light switches so the folks next door could not shut off the light. I explained to her that there are indeed light switches for the balcony lights. All we kept asking for is that they leave a note for the guests next door to shut the light off for the night -- not too much I don't think.
Our stop in Coz was a very windy one with the ship leaving late because the gusts were up to 60 mph. This did not affect our arrival time the next day in Belize. We had scheduled the Altun Ha and River Wallace tour through Carnival and it was great! The tour guide was very informative and had a great personality. The tour consists of a boat ride up the river and then lunch (on our own) and then boarded the bus to Altun Ha. We learned a lot and saw dolphins, manatees, crocodiles, howler monkeys and iguanas along the way up the river. I highly recommend this excursion.
We arrived back at the port with just enough time for a few Belikins and a small amount of shopping. The sunset this evening was incredible and we took quite a few photos from our balcony. Next stop was Roatan and we were concerned if we would make the stop as the Dream seems to have issues getting into this port. We arrived in the early morning and the Captain did a superb job of getting us backed up to the dock. This is a nice Carnival made cruise port and since we did not leave the village I cannot comment on the "hill" I have seen mentioned so many times in other reviews and comments about this port of call. Next stop was Costa Maya and we just wandered around a bit. Had a beverage at the Senor Frogs and went back to the ship. I now wish we had gone to Maya Chan along with the others from our Roll Call. Sounds like they had a great time.
Last sea day we took the Behind the Fun tour and it is well worth the money with lots interesting things to see. Our tour guide Emma was fantastic and informative. The operation of a ship is a well choreographed ballet! Very impressive.
Bits and bobs...... Atrium Bar is where you can get Thirsty Frog -- I recommend ordering a pitcher. Pretty good stuff -- reminded me of Michelob Amber Bock. We had great Bartenders here -- Michele, Nellie and Philip. Our room steward Karem was very good - he kept our small cooler full of ice for our wine and made really nice towel animals. He also tried multiple times to get that blasted light off next door. We received a few things for being Platinum -- a small collapsible cooler, Petit Fours and John Heald sent us a bottle of Champagne for our anniversary. But we also received multiple other food items with no indication of who had sent them and for what reason which was a tad odd. The ship is quite large, but did not seem over crowded. Tried the Tandoor - Fabulous, Burrito Bar -- only so-so, Pasta Bar -- also Fabulous, Steak House -- great as always, and the Mongolian Grill was not very good. I can also say that the Ships Doc is good as well -- got an ear infection and could not stand the pain any longer so saw the Doc.
So you've read through this and are wondering where the part about the strange man in the bed comes in. We debarked around 8 am and waited for our friends to come off the ship as we had our shuttle arranged. This is where things went a little sideways. Laura's had passengers with early flights so the bus they had at the port left us because we were still waiting on our friends. Not our friends fault -- they had a late baggage tag. So as the bus drove off we called Laura's. They told me to go and look for a fellow and after quite some time they were able to make arrangements for our transportation. At this point our friends just opted to get taken to the airport. We arrived at the Holiday Inn Suites at the Airport in Orlando around noon. I had prepaid for this room online and received a fair price and selected it based on the airport shuttle and proximity to eating establishments. When we checked in at first they wanted a credit card but then I reminded them this was prepaid. So we got our keys and proceeded to "our" room. We opened the door and started to proceed into the room and saw luggage on the floor. My husband went further into the room and found a man sleeping in the bed. I went to a house phone and called down to the desk. I was told they would give us another room -- really? You think? I have reported this instance to Holiday Inn and got an email from the Hotel Management saying they would give me a reduced rate the next time I'm in Orlando. I don't think so. I know I paid a reduced rate online -- but I did not know they had planned on us sharing our room with someone else! I am a priority club member and you would think at the very least we would have been given some form of compensation. I'm not talking a free room; I think a free meal or beverage in the lounge should have been offered after reporting our room sharing incident. Apparently HI does not care if we use them ever again which is fine. There are plenty of other hotels out there.
Trip home was uneventful and both flights arrived early. We had a good vacation -- ship is nice, shows were good and for the most part food and beverage was good as well. Less
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