25 Carnival Dream Caribbean - All Cruise Reviews

Our honeymoon was wonderful on the cruise. It was our first cruise and we really don’t have anything to complain about. Many thanks to our wonderful room steward, 1 Gede is his name. The crew on there is absolutely so kind and selfless. ... Read More
Our honeymoon was wonderful on the cruise. It was our first cruise and we really don’t have anything to complain about. Many thanks to our wonderful room steward, 1 Gede is his name. The crew on there is absolutely so kind and selfless. Thanks carnival dream. We didn’t have our children there but we definitely will for next time. I wish they’d continue porting out of New Orleans,Louisiana but that’ll give us chance to try something else there. The food was great and I like how the tips are automatically drawn so we don’t have to worry about cash on hand. The shows were excellent and hilarious. Alex our cruise director has such a vibrant talented personality. The ship had problems getting the anchor up and made up the time for it. The fellow guests were all so friendly. Of course you’ll have one or two who complains about just about anything but hey, grateful cruiser here and I would do it again with the dream. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
I was rewarded with a balcony room for my family of 4 from my company for my hard work the year before. We loved how accommodating Dream was in getting us all chances to hang out as a group. With 4 ppl in a cabin I highly recommend a ... Read More
I was rewarded with a balcony room for my family of 4 from my company for my hard work the year before. We loved how accommodating Dream was in getting us all chances to hang out as a group. With 4 ppl in a cabin I highly recommend a balcony. It's like having a waiting room when we want to get ready. Order room service for breakfast and set it up on the balcony! We also brought a shoe caddy and hung it on the back of the bathroom door to keep the bathroom clean and organized. The dining staff in the main hall was so entertaining! They even helped us get up on the tables to dance one night. Where else can you do that? My daughter always enjoys tea times. Getting to be a little fancy and try some new treats. Can't wait for our next cruise on the Carnival Breeze for Christmas 2016. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Carnival Dream is supposed to be a large, fun-ship, but maybe due to its design doesn’t feel all that large. The water park was great! I had a lot of fun going down those slides, especially the drain pipe, which to me was the fastest. ... Read More
Carnival Dream is supposed to be a large, fun-ship, but maybe due to its design doesn’t feel all that large. The water park was great! I had a lot of fun going down those slides, especially the drain pipe, which to me was the fastest. The serenity retreat was nice when you can find a lounger. The serenity area had a lot of wind to keep you cooled off, but not a lot of shade unless you can score a lounger with a canopy. Unfortunately, the ship itself is due for a dry-dock. It’s weathered and worn with cracked windows, broken shower door, non-working balcony light and lots of chipped, nicked and broken stuff. The décor is garish, out dated and should have been updated way before now. The Carnival iconic red Fun-ship funnel wasn’t even red anymore it was faded and weathered like the rest of the ship. I’ve never been a big Carnival fan and I hope to never vacation with them again given my overall experience, which is detailed below. - Embarkation/Debarkation Process: The embarkation process was great! We had priority boarding and it only took us about 30 minutes once we entered the pier terminal to board the ship. the rooms weren’t ready until 1:30 p.m., but we just waited in the Dream Atrium lounge. Plenty of waiters and waitresses were there taking drink orders and they had the drink of the day already on their trays. The drink of the day was strong, but a lady stated that they started out strong but by the end of the cruise they barely put any alcohol in them. I thought she was exaggerating, but, no, she was right. My drinks had less and less alcohol in them as the days went by and I only order one drink a day (in case you were thinking this was their way of cutting me off). But, as for embarkation, it was a very smooth process. Debarkation was utter chaos. There were some people who actually waited in the designated waiting areas and then the rest waited wherever, even in the hallways. There were lines of people everywhere amongst the people just waiting in the way. Once our debarkation zone number was called it was hard to find the two lines leading off of the ship. Once we were finally off the ship in the gangway, my mother, who’s in a motorized scooter herself had to move over to let those being pushed in wheel chairs by Carnival attendants by. We finally received assistance when one of the workers directed us to the elevators. (I thank her much!) Once we go down to where the luggage was my Mom waited on her scooter to the side while we gathered up all the luggage. One of the agents wanted to act like we were in the way and had to have my Mom, scooter and all the luggage moved further to the side instead of just getting us a porter. So, while she was messing around, I grabbed a porter to load our bags and get us on our way. The porter was great! He shepherded us through Customs, grabbed us a taxi, unloaded our luggage and had us on our way in no time. (I thank him for saving the day!) During debarkation, no one was directing, no one was leading, no one made it their priority to be helpful and make the process as clear and as easy as possible. This includes not only Carnival staff, but the Customs staff member who instead of being helpful, which would have cleared the area of people and luggage faster, decided that moving people/luggage a few inches over was the best approach. I’m sorry to include a Customs staff member in a bad review being a federal worker myself and part of the same Department, but I know I try to be as helpful as possible to our vendors and the public. I’ve even walked people through our processes over the phone! - Food/Restaurants: When we first got onboard we went to the Lido deck to eat at the buffet restaurant called The Gathering. The food was good that day and I had no problem finding something I wanted to eat. I got grilled fish, kidney beans, potato salad and a mixed broccoli medley. All of it was good. We changed our dinner choice to Any Time Dining, which was an easy process on the first day of the cruise. We did have to show a card everyday showing that our dinner choice was changed instead of Carnival staff just noting it in the computer system. We ate in the Crimson and at first the food was pretty good. I had beef brisket the first night and an oyster appetizer another night that were especially good. But, the meals decreased in flavor after that until everything tasted pretty bland in the Crimson dining room. None of the desserts were very good, not even the chocolate melting cake, which Carnival was famous for. (I remember ordering the chocolate melting cake almost every night on my previous Carnival cruise. Of course, I did that because the rest of the desserts were awful.) Due to having Any Time dining, when a lot of people want to eat dinner at the same time, the Carnival Dream has a beeper lights up, turn in your beeper, ensure all of your party is there and wait some more for them to get you a table. I don’t need to go out in the middle of the ocean for this. In short, food that was great could be found at the Seaside BBQ and Mongolian Wok, when they’re open. The Seaside BBQ was only open for lunch on sea days. The Mongolian Wok, located in The Gathering buffet was only open for lunch and the lines stretched all the way to the elevators sometimes. (They do need a smoke ventilation system for the Wok area though. I had to hold a napkin over my nose to be able to breathe without coughing. I wasn’t the only one.) None of the desserts onboard were very good and there wasn’t very many places to go eat. The burgers and fries at the Grill were good. The pizza at the Pizza Pirate was a little bland and they didn’t have a good selection of pizzas. The servers at the Pizza Pirate weren’t all that friendly either. I ate breakfast in the buffet everyday and for the most part it was pretty good. (I do wish they had turkey sausage and turkey bacon though. They had a lot of pig.) I brought my own Coffee Mate creamer for my daily coffee. - Ports: The ports of call were Montego Bay, Jamaica; Grand Cayman Islands and Cozumel, Mexico. Unfortunately, Montego Bay looked run down. I went to Doctor’s Cave Beach utilizing Carnival’s Hop On-Hop Off shuttle. The shuttle worked well and Doctor’s Cave Beach was nice. I had no problem getting lounge chairs and an umbrella. The music playing was nice and there was food available for purchase along with drinks. I went snorkeling using my own snorkel gear, but snorkel gear is available for rent there as well. Of course, I didn’t see anything because I was in the protected area close to shore. But, they had a guy selling glass bottom boat and snorkel tours as well on the beach. I also went swimming and afterwards ordered a drink that had the colors of the Jamaican flag in it; however, they did the same thing as on the ship and barely put any alcohol in it. I highly recommend experiencing Doctor’s Cave Beach in Montego Bay. In Grand Cayman, we went on the Amazing Turtle and Wildlife Adventure excursion and all I can say is Awesome! I held a baby sea turtle and snorkeled with them using my own snorkel gear in their habitat. I did have trouble finding the habitat, so hopefully they will add more tour guides to help people navigate the place. Also, we weren’t permitted to take our own pictures of me holding the baby turtle, which was rude. I bought a flash drive from them with the pictures on them anyway. But, I hate being nickel and dimed though and that is truly beneath this beautiful place. But, again, it was Awesome and Grand Cayman was beautiful! The tour bus driver even dropped people off at the beach who wanted to go after the excursion was done. In Cozumel, we went shopping. We especially wanted to go to Ron Jon’s. We went, but it was pricey and wasn’t anything like the one in Cocoa Beach, Florida. However, the one in Cocoa Beach is labeled as “one of a kind” and it is. If you're ever in Cocoa Beach definitely go to Ron Jon’s and skip the one in Cozumel. There were plenty of local shops with beautiful figurines, art work and jewelry. Needless to say, Cozumel is always gorgeous and you can’t help but dance to the music playing in each shop. (Just don’t break anything. You break it, you buy it.) Our shopping trip got rained out though, so it was back to the ship. After Cozumel, it was supposed to be another relaxing day at sea. Only breakfast was good, but the entertainment at dinner was great! We wanted to wrap up our vacation by purchasing pictures of our vacation. Normally, we’re able to get a group special to buy all of the prints from our various cabins at one flat fee because there are so many photos. We were informed by the Carnival photo staff that they no longer did this. They wouldn’t even give us a percentage off our photos ,which totaled over $1,000. Each cabin had to go through the photos, pick out what they really had to have and discard the rest. This was the icing on top of the already bad dessert. All they did was throw away the photos we refused to pay over $1,000 for. Ridiculous!! The only program they had was some stupid rewards program where you get free junk after every so many photos purchased. We didn’t want a bunch of junk. We wanted the photos. I already just finished taking bags of free stuff to Goodwill and Goodwill probably doesn’t want that stuff. They did throw in a free photo album that stated on it you get ten free 4x6 photos with it. But, they’re not ten of your photos. We were told they meant ten free photos of the ship. Who wants or needs ten free photos of the same ship (and they were just of the ship, not different areas in or on the ship, but ten of the same photos of the ship). This was the height of asinine and after debarkation culminated into the decision not to vacation with Carnival again. The wonderful Fun-ship Ads and cheaper pricing are just ploys to get you onboard to nickel and dime you the entire time. Spend some more money and take a real vacation on Royal Caribbean or Norwegian. Royal Caribbean is in a class all to itself and Norwegian is very good and definitely trying to compete with Royal. Norwegian’s O’Sheehan’s 24-hour restaurant is Awesome! Oh, I almost forgot the spa. I purchased an Elemis Body Sculpting Cellulite & Colon Therapy Spa service. At Nemacolin, I know this is not a cruise line, but cruise lines should consult with Nemacolin on the spa services they provide and how the spa is run in general, you get access to the spa amenities for the day of your spa service. No need to purchase access to the thermal suites separately. I didn’t get access to the thermal suites with my spa service on this ship. There was no fluffy white robe, no relaxation waiting area beforehand and no access to any other areas of the spa unless you purchase them separately, not very relaxing. The therapist was late. I had to talk to two different staff members explaining that my appointment was supposed to start soon and I hadn’t even been given the check-in questionnaire. There was a couple sitting beside me having the same problem. Granted, normally I don’t like the spas on ships. They’re always trying to sell you something. I think they should all contract with Hand & Stone Spa, make sure they have some great masseuses onboard and consult with Nemacolin on how the spa should run, but I digress. I did get all of my treatment time and then some. All I can say is I hope they start to provide an actual spa experience on these cruises with consistent quality. This is not just a Carnival problem. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We were in cabin 2242 which was an extended ocean view room with "2 bathrooms" 1 is the standard cruise ship bathroom with small shower. The second has a 3/4 size tub with shower and sink. Standing room in there is enough to ... Read More
We were in cabin 2242 which was an extended ocean view room with "2 bathrooms" 1 is the standard cruise ship bathroom with small shower. The second has a 3/4 size tub with shower and sink. Standing room in there is enough to turn around only but the tub room shower is more spacious than the standard one. Our family only used the tub room to shower due to the increased room in the shower area. The attendant Jono was amazing best attendant I have had in the 7 cruises I have taken. Very nice and accommodating. Ship was better than any other Carnival ship I have been on for appearance. ( Holiday, Liberty and Sunshine) The people on the ship were so helpful and friendly. Entertainment and activities were hit and miss when you have 2 teenagers because a lot of the activities say 18+ so there were times we were in the cabin watching a pay per view movie. There is a lanai on the 5th floor on both sides of the ship that is a hidden gem with loungers that are always 50-70% empty with a direct view of the water and you can read or just relax very peaceful from the 10th pool deck. The food is simply horrible and I am not a food type. The selection at the buffet is very limited with a lot of salad like food and limited main course options. The dining room has the standard Carnival regular stuff with a few other options. Honestly my first cruise in 1997 on the Holiday was so far beyond the Dream for food and dining choices and options and quality. I saw people beside us at the Scarlet dining room ordering multiple entrees and picking through everything to come up with their meal.. NO JOKE. I would be embarrassed myself but this is what it has come to I guess. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
we had a wonderful vacation!!! we arrived a day early in new orleans. we stayed at springhill inn and suites, the stay was good, we were in walking distance of all the activities and just down the street from the port. we enjoyed walking ... Read More
we had a wonderful vacation!!! we arrived a day early in new orleans. we stayed at springhill inn and suites, the stay was good, we were in walking distance of all the activities and just down the street from the port. we enjoyed walking through downtown new orleans. we had 26 people in our group. we chose this cruise cause it was the end of the summer for the children and we wanted an end of summer vacation. getting on and getting off the ship was fine,process went smoothly for both. i loved the fun force they were very talented. the entertainment on the ship was good and there was plenty of activities to do each day. our dining time was 815 pm,they managed to seat us in two round tables. dining room services were good. our ports of calls where Cozumel, Mahogony bay,and Belize we booked cabanas through carnival in mahogony bay, they were awesome a great value for the price. we went to Mr. Sanchos in Cozumel, and i am wanting to go back there soon!!! belize we had a city tour, the guide was great!! the three children i had with me ages(29,16,14) and one daughter-in-law had such a wonderful time we are now booked for July 2017. we have 29 booked so far!! the Dream is my favorite ship!! we were in a deluxe ocean view cabin, next year we will be in a cove balcony. i had three of my four sons with us, next year i will have all four sons with two daughter-in-laws,lots of friends,family and fun!!! the excitement is awesome!!! the dream has made my dreams come true!!!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
I will start off with the only positive about the Carnival Dream. They have on sea days a late breakfast in the tacky dining room from 8am-1pm. Do not go on this cruise if you do not smoke. Casino and night clubs are full on smoking but ... Read More
I will start off with the only positive about the Carnival Dream. They have on sea days a late breakfast in the tacky dining room from 8am-1pm. Do not go on this cruise if you do not smoke. Casino and night clubs are full on smoking but you can start to smell it 2 floors up from the casino. We had a shower curtain that sat in the sloppy soap scum in our shower because the drain never fully drained. Balcony's are too small. Drinks are really over priced and the drink packages have so many restrictions on them. Boat is overall ugly and tacky looking. You would never know this boat is only around 5 years old, very worn out already. paint chipping off the balcony. Pizza and other garbage laying in the hallways in the mornings after the drunks left it there. Room service menu looks good until you discover that you have to pay for the good stuff, they only offer the sandwiches for free. Buffet is really bad food. We went there the first night because they mixed up our dining time, so we were there around 6ish. And the buffet was closed . They had some cold spaghetti and buns we ate. There is so much more better cruise lines out there. I recommend Celebrity. It's just as cheap and they offer usually free alcohol with it....... Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
I hadn't cruised Carnival for 6 years. I think their older ships were hard to navigate, plus kind of neon gaudy. Also, the 7 night and shorter cruises have too many kids and drinking young adults. This time I went with a friend, there ... Read More
I hadn't cruised Carnival for 6 years. I think their older ships were hard to navigate, plus kind of neon gaudy. Also, the 7 night and shorter cruises have too many kids and drinking young adults. This time I went with a friend, there were 4 of us who met for a girls trip. However, I thought probably this longer Journeys cruise, being a one way from San Juan to NOLA, would have older passengers. It did! Kids or drunks weren't an issue at all! The service was very good! We had early dining, and a great wait staff! Our cabin steward was efficient, but not overly friendly. The food. Buffet was mediocre. The eggs were powdered and awful. Until I asked for fresh eggs, or had them use fresh eggs for an omelet. The MDR food was much better. The steaks were very good, chicken was okay. I needed gluten free, and they were very good about making it for me. The pasta, pizza, and sandwich weren't all that good though. Plus, they never had any gluten free desserts in the buffet! I did have soft ice cream or frozen yogurt, which was very good. The gluten free chocolate melting cake they made in the MDR was excellent! We went to an afternoon tea, and I was very surprised they had nothing gluten free for snacks, I had just tea! We didn't book any shore excursions from the ship. The entertainment was good to not so good. I didn't think the comedians we saw were that funny. One show was outstanding, Mark Preston of The Lettermen. Too bad they didn't better describe his show in the daily, as we weren't going to it, until someone told us how good it was. The western show was also good. Plus we really enjoyed the break dancers, they were very good! Embarkation and disembarkation were easy and good. Carnival isn't my first choice, but I would consider them again. BTW, this was my 40+ cruise, so I'm not a newbie! However, these are just my observations and opinion! Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
This was my family's third cruise on CCL. The first two were on the Conquest. I am not a very social person, so I was a little concerned about this ship holding 3600 passengers. I have read many people's reviews that claimed ... Read More
This was my family's third cruise on CCL. The first two were on the Conquest. I am not a very social person, so I was a little concerned about this ship holding 3600 passengers. I have read many people's reviews that claimed there was not enough room on this boat, etc... but I felt like there was plenty of space. Yes, there were times when it is crowded - but nothing more than I would expect on a cruise. Compared to the Conquest, I liked this ship a lot more. The decor was nicer, and the overall layout was more useful. We live in Alabama, so we drove to New Orleans. I am not crazy about the parking deck, because it is usually mass chaos getting into it since there is so much going on at the port - but we survived! CCL has recently begun having you choose check in times (to help with embarkation). The time we chose was 10:30. Once parked, we made our way to check in. It was 10:20 and we were asked to wait until our time - which was only 10 minutes. We then quickly moved through security, etc. By 11:15, we had completed check in, had our sign and sail cards, and was waiting on boarding. I personally do not think that going through security, check in, etc.... for three people, one being a child --- in 45 minutes was that big of a deal at all. We considered purchasing the Faster to the Fun, but decided against it. Maybe if we had an itinerary that included a tender port, we might have - but we did not. Based on our time arriving, etc. - we were in group 2 to be called to board. Once CCL started calling groups, it moved fairly quickly and we were soon on the Lido deck for sail away lunch. Based on what I observed, the Faster to the Fun people got on the ship about 10 minutes before our group 2 did. Entertainment: First off, we do not gamble - so other than telling you the casino (which is on deck 5) ALWAYS smells like cigarette smoke and is loud - my review will not help much. Singers - some were OK, some were boarder-line bad. We did not go to every club or sit in the atrium and listen, but just in moving around the ship to get to hear several genres. I was not impressed. Art auctions/ Bingo/ Misc. trivia contests - this is not our thing. We do not go on cruises for these type activities so I can not review. Shows in the theater: We saw part of one which was OK. Not the best, but not the worst. It was entertaining. We did go to a Towel Animal Theater (since it mentioned it was written by the folks who did Avenue Q)... and if you have young children, I am sure they would enjoy. Parents and children over 7 or 8 - not so much. Comedy club: We saw three different comedians. All three were funny (one being much better than the other two) and were enjoyable. We attended both the family and adult only shows. We loved the Burgundy Lounge where the comedians performed, but was not crazy on how it was run. The shows are only 30 mins each and they alternate comedians. One night, it was crazy ad once one comedian is done, they make you clear the lounge and go get in line at a side door in the piano bar (next to the lounge). I understand somewhat - so everyone can get a chance to see the show, but it was insane. Very crowded with people entering the show, leaving the show, patrons of the piano bar, and the zillion photo booth options. I would highly suggest for CCL to re-evaluate. Maybe move the comedians to the main theater or let people stay seated for each set. Dining: We chose anytime dining and was assigned to the Crimson Dining Room mid ship. Overall food quality did not seem to be as good as the Conquest. We ate in the dining room 5 of the 7 nights. On four of those, we had excellent service and one one - just ok service. There is some decent option for the dining room, some better than others. The other two nights we opted to go elsewhere. Breakfast - not really big for my family. We grabbed a few things on the buffet on the Lido Deck. I know from past experience, having breakfast in the dining rooms are better - but we did not want to waste the time doing that. Food was just OK. It is very crowded and the selection minimally changed (meaning one morning of the 7 days they had ham instead of bacon). The majority was the exact same thing every day. Lunch: We had the BBQ on the Lanai twice. It was OK, but seemed awkwardly handled by the staff. We had burgers or hot dogs off the grill (NOT Guy's like on other boats) and the flow seems a little backwards. Example, you get your plate, then there is a place for kraut, relish, mayo, etc; then an area for fries; then an area with cheese and chili; then hot dogs and hamburgers. If you look at the order, it was hard to put a hot dog or hamburger together without reaching over people or going back in line to add items. Hot dogs never seemed hot enough to me. The Lido buffet - just OK. Some things were OK, some were pretty bad. We did not try the Mongolian Wok or Thai place. The Pasta Bella was just OK. The pizza place was good if you want pepperoni only (not our family) and was heavily used. The deli was OK - I found it depended on the cook (strange since it is only sandwiches). on how they tasted. Highly suggest the burrito bar. Always delicious. Disembarkation was OK. My only issue is once you are out of the terminal, CCL should have some people working to help guests get cabs, get their cars, where to stand, etc. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
My wife and I travelled with my brother and his wife on the 11-day out of NOLA. Check in was the most efficient and expedient that I have seen after 8 cruises from NOLA. On the boat and our room was not ready, although we had a Grand ... Read More
My wife and I travelled with my brother and his wife on the 11-day out of NOLA. Check in was the most efficient and expedient that I have seen after 8 cruises from NOLA. On the boat and our room was not ready, although we had a Grand Suite. Over the years, we have seen an erosion of service and amenities with Carnival and were not surprised as our expectations have been adjusted with time. We met our attendant, Camelia, and she took great care of us throughout the cruise. Had a nice lunch at the Wok, explored the boat a bit, had dinner in the forward dining room and spent an otherwise leisurely first day. My wife and I both use CPAP devices and did not realize that the wall outlets by our bed were E 220v and I had no adapter or converter. Someone came and ran an extension cord from the dressing room, along the ceiling and then behind the bed. Unsightly, but it worked. We were in a Grand Suite and could not understand how there is a mix of US 110v and E 220v outlets throughout - made no sense to us. Should be one or the other. Two sea days relaxing with nothing significant to report and then arrived at Grand Turk at 2 pm. Nothing much for us to see there since we are restricted from watersports. Went to Margaritaville and bought a t-shirt from the Turks and Caicos ASPCA - glad to see they are promoting these causes at the ports. Another sea day and then Aruba - took a private tour of the island which was enjoyable. Next stop Bonaire - took another private tour and enjoyed the salt flats and history of the island. If you are there, ask for Simone Wackenhut - very good tour guide. Also, the local crafts market is very good and has quality, local made items. Another sea day and a dinner trip to the Steakhouse. As usual, excellent service and food. Next was St Kitts - we took the bus/railway tour and really enjoyed it and would recommend it to any age group (I posted a review of this on Trip Advisor). that evening, my wife and I experienced the Chefs Table (our second time) and, as expected, had a great evening. Next stop Antigua - private tour of the island and lunch at OJ's (also a review on Trip Advisor). Last stop St Maarten - we were looking forward to plane-spotting at Maho beach, yet we could not stay since Captain Bobo said the seas were too rough to dock safely, although there were 4 other cruise ships docked with no problem. You can justify anything with the claim of "safety is our No. 1 priority". Another fantastic sea day. Landed in San Juan the next day, stayed over and flew out the following day. All in all, we had a good cruise, saw some new islands and enjoyed the company of our fellow travelers. Pros: quick check in, cabin steward (Camelia), dining room waiters (JJ & I Putu), room comfort, my wife being able to see "Young and the Restless" on sea days, most of the friendly staff, the new ports of call and the SeaDay Brunch. Cons: Mostly the continued erosion of service and amenities. Our first of 8 cruises was in 2002, we always have booked the Grand Suite/Cat 12 and now believe we are approaching a "new reality". We are still trying to figure out what the Maitre D' is there for. Our guy rushed around like he was making a Toyota commercial and was on his phone most of the time, but we cannot understand why as all diners are seated, everything is moving okay. It's like this guy was working Commanders Palace. Although we were Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
CARNIVAL DREAM REVIEW Our Carnival Dream cruise was an eleven plus ten day back to back Caribbean cruise in January 2016. The pricing of this cruise was our main reason for travelling since we have done similar itineraries in the past. ... Read More
CARNIVAL DREAM REVIEW Our Carnival Dream cruise was an eleven plus ten day back to back Caribbean cruise in January 2016. The pricing of this cruise was our main reason for travelling since we have done similar itineraries in the past. If you are looking for a inexpensive cruise which focuses on suntanning, beach activities, adequate food and drinks, the ship delivers. If you are looking for a Princess or Holland America or Royal Caribbean experience you will be sorely disappointed. In fairness I have to say that the Carnival corporation does a good job of gearing each of their cruise lines to a target market so it is pretty easy to find your own niche. For us, it is Princess by a mile. I have heard that the Carnival experiment with the "Journey" cruises has not gone well. I can see that because the crowd seemed a bit older than usual on this longer Carnival cruise and I think that demographic is looking for a more sophisticated experience with better quality food and entertainment. The decor of the ship is cold and sterile, think warehouse with 80's colours. Seating areas are pink fake leather or diner-like. I don't think I felt truly comfortable at any time. While the production shows were excellent and not to be missed, we found the rest of the entertainment was not as good. The comedy shows were hit and miss and some of the bands were of similar quality. One major complaint we had was the sound level of the bands in the Ocean Bar and at the main pool. Earsplitting! It is difficult to find a quiet place on the ship if you just want some reading and relaxation time. Even the Serenity area is too crowded to be truly quiet. The other evening entertainment shows included the requisite jugglers, magicians and hypnotists. I wonder why cruise ships insist on this type of entertainment, surely their day is done. The hypnotist show on the first sailing had to be one of the worst shows I have ever seen. We left after ten minutes. Food was okay in the dining room but service was extremely slow and this made it impossible to see much of the early entertainment. On the second leg of the trip we opted out of the dining room and ate exclusively at the buffet which allowed us to see the early evening entertainment. This worked well for us timing wise. The Lido buffet offered similar food to the dining room and I don't have too much to complain about except for the salads which were exactly the same for 21 days. Lines were often long for dinner. The Tandoori grill was excellent and was our go to place for lunch. Pizza and burgers were OK and were available throughout the day. The beverages offered were coffee, lemonade and iced tea. If you are a hot tea drinker, bring your own...the quality and selection of tea bags on the ship is poor. Desserts were nothing special and for 21 days three types of cookies were offered and I'm sure they came from a box. The ship seemed extremely crowded on sea days. It is a large ship but there didn't seem to be enough in the way of deck space or loungers on those days. Curiously, exiting the ship on port days went quickly, probably because they often had two gangways open. Embarkation also went very well, however we had priority boarding so that may have been why. There was unnecessary confusion on our turn around day, however. Back to back passengers were given in transit passes, but there were no signs directing us to the separate line and the staff on the pier made little attempt clarify the situation. Organization on the ship was very good however and I give credit to the Cruise Director, Brandon for this. We have been on many cruises and he is one of the best...And he can sing! We find that the service staff on almost all cruise ships to be consistently excellent. The staff members work incredibly hard to provide the best service . Carnival is not our preferred cruise line for a great many reasons and it is doubtful we will sail with them again...the ships are uncomfortable, crowded and extremely noisy, food is marginal to poor. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
We wanted to try the Journey experience since it promised a lot of extras. So we did the back to back cruises beginning and ending in New Orleans a total of 21 days. Our last experience on Carnival was the Miracle to Mexico out of ... Read More
We wanted to try the Journey experience since it promised a lot of extras. So we did the back to back cruises beginning and ending in New Orleans a total of 21 days. Our last experience on Carnival was the Miracle to Mexico out of Los Angeles which we enjoyed. Unfortunately the Dream stuffs too many cabins on the ship resulting in a lack of public space especially on bad weather days and overall crowding on the ship. The crowding was made worst by having photo booths every day blocking the only way to go from front to rear on deck 5. That means that when you leave the comedy club in the rear and want to go to the front you have a narrow passageway. This isn't good since people are lined up waiting to go into the next show. A secret....drop down on the stairs to deck 4 and you'll have clear sailing. The only real highlights of the Journey experience were the cooking demos from local chefs and local entertainers on the ship in Puerto Rico and Jamaica. On 2 nights out of 21 they tried to have local food based on the 2 local chef's recipes. It didn't work. The carnival chefs could not come close to the local chefs. For example the chefs shrimp taco included big beautiful shrimp sauteed in butter. The dinning room copy of this dish included tiny tasteless shrimps. Generally the food was average to poor in both the Lido and Main Dinning room. The items were repetitive, using cheap ingredients, and poorly prepared. This ship is designed for short sailings and no adjustments for a 21 day cruise. The only bright spot was the Indian food on the Lido deck. The comic style of the comedians was vastly different on the Dream compared to the Miracle out of LA. The LA comics were witty and appealed to my West Coast sense of humor. The Dream comics were oriented toward the largely Southern passengers and most of them were not funny to me. The cabins were nice and the cabin attendants did a good job. In fact giving the lack of public space on the Dream I suggest getting a balcony cabin since you will have to retreat to your cabin a lot to enjoy the cruise. The entertainment on board was sub-par with lackluster stage shows. Only two pools with close to 4000 passengers meant on good days at sea the pools were overcrowded. The sauna wasn't hot enough. The fitness center was way too small for 4000 people. There was no forward looking lounge at all which mean that the ship felt cramped and boxed in. We went to some unusual destinations that I enjoyed. I especially liked Bonaire and Dominica. Unique destinations. I don't know if Carnival will continue these journey cruises. The longer cruises appeal to an older crowd who are retired. And that was the bulk of the passengers. People in the 50 to 70 age range who are retired. This crowd didn't buy as many excursions, pictures, and drinks which are where Carnival makes its money. The excursions seemed overpriced and lacking creativity. Carnival did a good job for the 1700 people who were going back to back. They made getting off in Puerto Rico and back on later in the day very easy. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
My wife and I have been on about a dozen cruises and this was our second on Carnival. The itinerary was why we chose this cruise, desiring to return to Montego Bay, the destination of our first foreign trip 30 years ago. We loved our cove ... Read More
My wife and I have been on about a dozen cruises and this was our second on Carnival. The itinerary was why we chose this cruise, desiring to return to Montego Bay, the destination of our first foreign trip 30 years ago. We loved our cove balcony, the best cabin we have experienced. We prefer a smaller ship but the Dream did allow for quiet at the adult Serenity areas on the open decks. Because we chose October few children were on board, and the passengers were mainly congenial seniors like ourselves. We found our cabin attendant Tri very efficient and friendly as we did our waiter Agapito in the Scarlet dining room. The food was surprisingly good and we enjoyed the afternoon Teatime one day and the seaday brunch a few times. Rafting on the Martha Brae River in Jamaica was as good as we remembered. Our Grand Cayman excursion was the Turtle Farm and Aviary which we thoroughly enjoyed. Holding live sea turtles and swimming with larger ones in their lagoon were a highlight of our trip. My wife enjoyed holding and feeding birds in the aviary. Our Cozumel excursion was to Xcaret, an eco park which blends aquatic fun with nature and Mexican culture, a place we have enjoyed in the past and found even better now. Entertainment was the weakest area for us. We enjoyed the Motown Show and Dancin in the Streets was ok. Otherwise, comedy is not our cup of tea. Also, there were few quiet music venues on this ship, something we really missed. Embarkation was the worst we ever experienced with a 2+ hour wait, much of it outside the terminal in a covered area out of a driving rain. Overall, it was a good cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
Even after a great price break, I would not recommend this cruise / ship to a friend. Pros * staff attitude and service orientation (excellent) Cons * Embarkation - the worst I have ever experienced (being silver or ... Read More
Even after a great price break, I would not recommend this cruise / ship to a friend. Pros * staff attitude and service orientation (excellent) Cons * Embarkation - the worst I have ever experienced (being silver or diamond did not help in any way) * Gym equipment - very poor condition / maintenance * Hot tubs - none of them were warm much less hot. To experience a hot tub, you had to pay for a spa treatment * Entertainment - very limited music options and only a few good bands * Poor quality of food outside of the dining rooms. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
The ship overall is ok however it needs cleaning and updating and excursion people need training. The Bad - We had room 9400. That is directly below the Lido deck where they are constantly banging around. From midnight to 3 am ... Read More
The ship overall is ok however it needs cleaning and updating and excursion people need training. The Bad - We had room 9400. That is directly below the Lido deck where they are constantly banging around. From midnight to 3 am they would be moving something upstairs and you could hear the noise. Don't expect a quiet nap on sea days. The biggest problem was the smell. We complained 3 times about something that smelled like garbage or sewage. The odor was not coming from the bathroom and could be smelled in the halls. Speaking to others along the back end of the ship on the same floor we found they had the same impression. The smell was not strong except when the room was closed up. Leaving the balcony open worked but with the weather being so hot leaving the door open was not a practical solution. Our discussion with the cruise director on the final day indicated we should have complained directly at the Guest Services desk and they "may" have been able to move us. After three complaints I would have thought someone would have mentioned that to us. Don't expect to find any healthier choices for food later at night except possibly via room service. The excursion crew on board and on shore are horribly disorganized. We arrive, were told to go one place for the tenders. After standing around, they sent us to a different place, then we ended up being sent to a 3rd place. They had tenders at all locations but the disorganization was obvious. The final complaint involves the Billing and Guest Services. Trying to reconcile the bill was difficult and impossible on the TV provided site. They don't tell you that one is a combined bill therefore you are left guessing and a wrong guess would appear to cost you $100's if you guessed wrong. Plan on a wait of AT LEAST 90 minutes to get it straightened out on the last sea day if they double bill something. Some people waited over 2 hours in line. Unfortunately, this is a typical understaffed Guest Services on the final day on most ships. The Good Casino was fun. The dealers generally friendly. The autoshuffling machines on blackjack make it much less enjoyable. The Lido staff was exceptional. Friendly, helpful. I enjoyed the serenity area for peace and quiet. Spa was nice albeit over priced. Grand Cayman is great but I would advise people to just take a cab to the Tiki Beach area and pay a la cart pricing instead of the excursion. Since we paid an extremely low rate for the balcony room, the cruise was a success for us. I would not go on this ship again until it is updated and thoroughly cleaned. As long as it is used every week, I am guessing that the odor from the pipes won't go away. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
We just end our cruise today.My cruise party consisted of myself,wife,my daughter, son in law, and a couple who are our good friends.We had a fun filled cruise that was simply marvelous.We enjoyed the ship, food,and service. Carnival ... Read More
We just end our cruise today.My cruise party consisted of myself,wife,my daughter, son in law, and a couple who are our good friends.We had a fun filled cruise that was simply marvelous.We enjoyed the ship, food,and service. Carnival exceeded our expectations for this cruise. There is no perfect cruise but this one was such a pleasant experience that we are planning our next one tomorrow.We had an aft balcony that was well suited to our style of cruising.The tranquility of sitting on the balcony enjoying breakfast or simply reading was par excellence. We were expecting crowds and logjams all over the place but we saw very little delays that affected our vacation adversely.The Wok required a little maneuvering and patience but the dish was very good and worth waiting for. Now my wife and I have sailed with Carnival for 9 cruises and we come on the cruise to have a great time and we look forward to an escape from our routine at home/ work.This was it. we went to one show that celebrated vocations through music that was very good. my friends and daughter and her SO went to the comedy shows and they said that the performers they saw was hilarious and they enjoyed themselves. we are a couple in our early sixties and mostly we like to enjoy our cruise at our own pace and the Dream was well suited for our needs.Tired now but happy with Carnival's seven day presentation. btw embarkation was smooth and we were on the ship in about 30 minutes. we had FTTF and we walked on the ship and went right to our room and we found it to be ready as soon as we arrived. Everybody loves Rays in Cozumel was superb. thanks Pedro, Alexandro, and Pedro's sister ( sorry I forgot her name) Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
We are two retired couples and frequent cruisers - usually on Carnival. We traveled to New Orleans the day before and stayed at the Astor Crowne Plaza for $113 (Hotwire). We normally get to the port about 10:30, but traffic exiting the ... Read More
We are two retired couples and frequent cruisers - usually on Carnival. We traveled to New Orleans the day before and stayed at the Astor Crowne Plaza for $113 (Hotwire). We normally get to the port about 10:30, but traffic exiting the ship was horrendous and we didn't park until after 11. We love the Erato Street terminal parking - what can be better than dropping off luggage, parking, and just taking the elevator to the ship? Priority boarding was a breeze; our room was ready and luggage was delivered within the hour. The ship is beautiful, well-organized, and friendly. We do YTD, and each night were given a pager with the wait about 15 minutes. Ana Maria and Alexander (two different wait staffs) were excellent and we could usually get one or the other. Singing in the atrium nightly was wonderful by a duo called Take Two, and the show on Wednesday night was the best we've ever seen on board (sorry I can't remember the name). We watched two movies this trip, and were glad to see captions making it much more enjoyable despite the nearby bar noise. Pizza, deli sandwiches, and Indian food were great. We loved each of the ports and had beautiful weather. We were sure to use insect repellent because of all the CDC alerts and the chikungunya virus. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
Overall my stay on the Carnival dream was excellent. The food was fantastic, we ate in the steak house a number of times and throughly enjoyed it! The staff was always friendly, especially the bartenders at the Lanai bar who kept us ... Read More
Overall my stay on the Carnival dream was excellent. The food was fantastic, we ate in the steak house a number of times and throughly enjoyed it! The staff was always friendly, especially the bartenders at the Lanai bar who kept us laughing throughout the night! The ports were enjoyable (Roatan, Cozumel and Belize) and we did 2 excursions that were alot of fun.However, the tender to get off the boat in Belize was disorganized and we waited on a staircase for 30 minutes before even getting on the tender boat. The cruise ship had to leave at least 1 hour behind schedule as the tenders were not frequent enough to handle the large number of people coming back from excursions. My major complaint was that during the sea days the boat was VERY crowded. I went out at 9am to try and get 2 chairs near the pool for my fiance and I and could not as all the chairs were occupied with beach bags, towels and books (not necessarily people). Everywhere we went had huge lines (buffet, shopping on the main deck, the waterslides) and it seemed that there was not enough space for the number of people aboard. I didn't even attempt to get into the pool as there were always children jumping in and splashing (with no discouragement from the staff or parents...despite children jumping directly on me or throwing a football in my face). I understand that kids need to play, but I would have appreciated a place to go that was quiet...even the hot tubs were packed with kids splashing and diving. The adult only area of the boat had little to attract and did not have a pool. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
The ship was great. We booked an interior room and got upgraded to a window room which was awesome. The staff is wonderful. It was my first cruise and didn't even have to take motion sickness stuff. The comedy show is a must see ... Read More
The ship was great. We booked an interior room and got upgraded to a window room which was awesome. The staff is wonderful. It was my first cruise and didn't even have to take motion sickness stuff. The comedy show is a must see mostly the 18+ ones. Try to go to see everything at least once. We had late dining which worked out great. The pools are pretty packed all the time. We only used it on a port day when we got back on the ship early. And long lines in the lido area for food. Plan on being patient. They have bbq on deck 5 on sea days. It's yummy! Also, if you get warm easily bring a fan! We took a small fan and it was great. The vent over the air system seems to block a lot of air so we took it off and had a lot of air flow. It just pops off and on. And take an extension cord for your stuff to plug in. Only one outlet in the room. There is a track to run on outside but good luck with it, especially on sea days there are people just walking around and kids in your way. The fitness room is pretty good, but on sea days it is super packed! One more thing, if you get Luna for your waiter tell him Mary and Mike says hello. He is the absolute best!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
If you are past guest continue reading. If you are new to Carnival, please stop reading and form your own first opinion. I am a positive person. In fact this is my last review (very positive) I wrote about this same ship for my New ... Read More
If you are past guest continue reading. If you are new to Carnival, please stop reading and form your own first opinion. I am a positive person. In fact this is my last review (very positive) I wrote about this same ship for my New Year's cruise. http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=271398 A three out of five rating is bad coming from me. My rating does not at all mean I didn't have a good time , because I went on vacation to have a good time. I normally go with the flow, do not expect 5 star treatment and have a great time. We had such a great experience over New Years I actually booked three more cruises before leaving the ship. We went on the Carnival Magic over Spring Break and back on the Dream in July. I noticed a decline in service and amenities on both of these. Basically the entertainment staff, which includes the Cruise Director, was totally disengaged. My friend and I comptete to earn the ship on a stick competitions. We went three different events published on the funtimes, and no one was there to facilitate it. No more robes in the staterooms, no more funtimes left for you in the staterooms, no more chocolates. Little things, but gone. Drinkstations broken everywhere, long lines to fill a cup. Past guest party - no more. They did have a party for elite guests, but the time and date on the invitation was wrong. The cutbacks seemed to imact the culture of the staff. If they were not working for your tips (cabin stewards, dining room wait staff) they were not the same. Total bummer. I am going to move on to a different cruise line after my final trip in February 2016 if the service remains the same. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
Along with my two sisters, and a good friend, I boarded the Carnival Dream for an all girl week. It has been about 10 years since I was on a cruise ship, and I have never cruised the Caribbean before, so I was surprised, and disappointed, ... Read More
Along with my two sisters, and a good friend, I boarded the Carnival Dream for an all girl week. It has been about 10 years since I was on a cruise ship, and I have never cruised the Caribbean before, so I was surprised, and disappointed, that we were on the Carnival "experience". The sales pitches were unrelenting, the entertainment was high school-ish (with the one exception of Marcus Anthony, which was amazing). The food was just ok, but the staff was unerringly attentive and courteous. At the end of the second port stop (Belize) I began to wonder if we were simply sailing in a big circle while the people at the port changed signs. Each port was generically the same, owned by Carnival, and shopping was limited and expensive. We booked two tours. The first, a glass bottom boat experience, with stops at a cameo factory and a rum cake bakery, was not bad. The second, a trip to view the Mayan ruins, was excruciatingly boring. 5 hours on a bus, 1 hour at the site (no educational info, except from a guide that spoke very strongly accented English that was difficult to understand), and twenty minutes for lunch. On the Mayan adventure, we were asked to fill out ratings forms, and hand them back to the guide. No real value in ratings that we know were read, and possibly discarded, by the guide if they were not very complimentary. I left mine mostly blank. No more cruises for me. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Carnival Dream Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.5 4.3
Dining 4.5 3.9
Entertainment 3.5 3.9
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 4.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.9
Enrichment 3.5 3.6
Service 5.0 4.2
Value For Money 5.0 4.0
Rates 3.0 4.1

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