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Carnival Dream Cruise Review by survivorfan: Carnival Dream Not So Dreamy

2 Reviews
Member Since 2009
35 Posts

Member Rating

Cabin 5.0
Dining 2.0
Embarkation 4.0
Enrichment Activities 1.0
Entertainment 2.0
Family & Children 2.5
Fitness & Recreation 4.0
Public Rooms 2.0
Rates 1.0
Service 1.0
Shore Excursions 5.5
Value for Money 1.0

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Carnival Dream Not So Dreamy

Sail Date: December 2011
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Port Canaveral

I defended Carnival after our first cruise with them on the Freedom, but unfortunately we will likely not sail Carnival again after our recent experience on the Dream. I returned home deflated by poor service, lack of enforcement of policies and a deflated bank account. Let's look at each piece, including the redeeming parts of the cruise:

1) The service was nothing compared to our last experience on the Freedom. Since Carnival changed their tipping policy to be automatically billed to the room, the staff do not feel the need to work for it or even smile. I was so dissappointed. At the dine-in breakfast, we sat for 20 minutes before asking for a waiter to help us. It was another 5 before we received anyone, and the rest of the meal was more of the same. The only nice person throughout the cruise was the room stewardess. The rest were just grouchy.

2) The kids clubs were guided by staff with bad attitudes. They greet you with complaints, facial expressions and More a disdain for the public. I was extremely unhappy that I chose this cruise on the basis of the esteemed 2-5 year old program only to find that it was a battle to encourage our daughter to go, due to their unpleasant demeanor. There was one nice girl that our daughter clung to and was happy to go to.... the rest were... grouchy.

3) The food was not as good as our last Carnival experience. Some was bland, there was less variety, and some fatty meats were included. Downer. The upside was the pizza station and the salad.

4) The embarkation/debarkation was as expected. No real complaints or praises here.

5) The shore excursions were great... and this was the one redeeming area of this cruise. Although we spent about $900 in shore excursions alone, they were worthwhile experiences packed with rich activities... and they were well-orchestrated. Tip: The Cave Expedition, Off Road 4x4 and River Boat (with an amazing rum punch) excursion in Belize was the best excursion I have had yet.

6) The adult entertainment options were OK. Comedy show= plus. Piano lounge= depends whose there (Dave's Piano Party is a splendid good time.) Bars/ barstaff in general = not too great, except one in particular. Our dining room bartender actually ignored us and had to be repremanded by the head waitress for continously forgetting us.

7) The value was not even that good. We ended up paying in the long run just a little shy of what we would have paid to go on Disney Cruise Line, which we have had two good experiences with.

8) The hotel experience pre-cruise was awful. I do not recommend the Hampton Inn Cocoa Beach. I am a HHonors member, and I will not ever stay there again. The carpet was sticky (I mean all over, in a disgusting way.) And the service was horrible... the night clerk was clueless and took one hour to check us into our room. The shuttle service we book was chaotic and overbooked... they couldn't fit us on the bus and we were asked to get off. Ugg.

All in all, I had fun, but I feel it was a wasted experience. I am $6000 poorer and yet I didn't return bragging and raving. Sigh. The Carnival Dream is not so dreamy. Less

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Cabin review: Carnival Dream Oceanview Riviera 1312

Loved the connecting staterooms... it is like having a suite (better because you have multiple bathrooms!) Nice new accomodations, great split bathrooms (opt for the deluxe rather than regular oceanview to get the split bath, which means one restroom with a toilet, shower and sink, and another with a bathtub/shower and sink). It is great for families. Mid-ship location, no ship movement felt at all.

Port and Shore Excursions

I am not sure why the option to select the excursion is not popping up on Port 2 and 3. We took the Cave Expedition and 4x4 Excursion and it was even more than the description promised. This was honestly the best excursion I have been on yet. First the guides are so knowledgeable and give you tons of funny and interesting survival info on the walk to the caves. Second, the caves themselves are interesting and unique. Next, the 4X4 is WAY more fun that it even sounds... you are driving through muddy roads and some mud pits so the kids and adults alike absolutely love it (understated). Bring $5 for an AWESOME lunch option (wow... we wanted more... authentic and super tasty) Also, there is a fruit buffet and rum punch included, and the rum punch comes with you on the river boat. The hour long river boat ride is amazing and you'll see iguanas, crocs, toucans and travel at somewhat high speeds too, with the rum punch (so make sure you use the bathroom right before you go)! I cannot say enough about this expedition!

We got off the ship and walked around, had a drink at Senor Frogs and bought my daughter a dress. It was a nice port to just walk around.

This was an excursion to Gumbalinda Park and Tabyana Beach. The park was an interactive experience with monkeys and toucans, so it is not a zoo. It was nice. The guide on the bus ride to the park was so incredibly knowledgable... he was the leader of the guides at the park. Then at Tabyana Beach there was music, plenty of chairs, water inflatables, calm waters, an optional lunch buffet and optional drinks (not included). After we heard what folks went through at Mohagany Bay we were so glad we picked this beach instead... choose Tabyana.
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