15 Carnival Dream Senior Cruise Reviews

This ship was selected for us by the travel agent booking our cruise. We were assigned a cabin in the aft with a wraparound balcony. The cabin was small, no seating area. The balcony was very narrow and not very enticing to use. The ... Read More
This ship was selected for us by the travel agent booking our cruise. We were assigned a cabin in the aft with a wraparound balcony. The cabin was small, no seating area. The balcony was very narrow and not very enticing to use. The day of our on-boarding everything went smooth. The elevator attendant complained about having to work the elevator for 3-hours without a break. He said, "I'd kill for a Coke." I just happened to have a mini-Coke in my carry on bag. I gave it to him. He was so happy to get it, he told me his name and said he worked in the casino and for me to look him up - he'd make sure I would win a game. (Hummm! sounds like a winner to me.) On our second day of Port of Call in Progreso, a Carnival employee came through the Lido Breakfast Buffet area with a big cart of bottled water in an over-the-shoulder carrier barking, "Last chance, last chance!" My husband inquired as to the price and the employee quoted $10.00. My husband gave him a $10.00 dollar bill and we got the water. WRONG! Our mistake - you never pay cash on board the ship; your room key is the vehicle for purchasing things. The charges are put on your cabin account number that's attached to the credit card you chose when making your reservations. Oh snap! The employee pocketed $10.00. On our last day at sea another ship's employee (casino auditor) stood beside us at the coffee cafe. We shared our stories and he was apologetic for the unacceptable shenanigans of the staff members. He indicated that there would be some staff meetings and training done to prevent any repeats. Then, he treated us to a cup of coffee. Our cabin was small and it only had (1) one electrical outlet for recharging our phones and plugging in my hair-curler. Our steward brought us a power chord mid-way through the trip. There wasn't a seating area inside the cabin; it was completely filled with bedding. The balcony had rough handrails and rust on the underneath side of the balcony area above us. Several days maintenance crew accessed our cabin to work on balcony refurbishing. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
My wife and I had this cruise scheduled and a hurricane named Harvey changed our itinerary for us. This was also the only cruise on the Dream we had not sailed as anyone that has looked at our profile of cruises will see and our 5th on the ... Read More
My wife and I had this cruise scheduled and a hurricane named Harvey changed our itinerary for us. This was also the only cruise on the Dream we had not sailed as anyone that has looked at our profile of cruises will see and our 5th on the Dream. Liked Carnivals new embarkation board with boarding pass, sail and sign card in mail box by cabin door and we love the Cove Balconies on deck 2. The Glory nor the Valor have cove balconies so that will be missed. The entertainment had the best vocals of any of our Carnival cruises since Chris Williams moved on. One of the dancers, Josh looked a lot like Shelton Cooper (Big Bang Theory) The service was fantastic with the exception of the Dream Steakhouse.(read below) Ports and excursions we do not do, mobility problems and to far from soft-serve machine. Son and his wife and their two boys going with us in November all riding the City of New Orleans. First of all this is not a rant against Carnival more of an observation in general and particular this one cruise that I hope will be just a one of. We have two more cruises scheduled on the Dream in November 2018 and Feb. 2019 then sadly the Dream moves to Galveston in May 2019. Now the rest of the story! My reasoning for the claim of (Profit Gouging). 1. Onboard credit has changed from per person to just cabin in other words we would get 25.00 for my wife and 25.00 for me onboard credit booking a 7 day cruise, now just 25.00 for the cabin booked. 2. Gratuity on top of gratuity, I know that a lot of people don't tip any extras and some shame on them do not tip at all. Carnival does charge gratuities either on the front of the cruise or the back of the cruise now another gratuity is added to every sail and sign purchase. My wife and I tip in cash (room service, bar etc.). 3. It could just be me, but appeared to be less staff causing longer wait time and confusion, this also could be for profit over comfort. Now for my one and only big complaint and the end of steak house dinning. We always eat at the Dream Steakhouse our first night and loved it until this cruise. Arrived at Steakhouse at 6:00 PM table for 4 seated and ordered our drinks, all four ordered steak baked potatoes and salad and that's exactly what we got. At 6:45 our steaks arrived, I was about full from all the bread and butter eaten while I was waiting. Halfway through the steak about 7:00 our baked potatoes arrived and at the end of our steak you guess it our salads arrived and my wife's salad wasn't what she ordered. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
This was our first Christmas cruise, and maybe our last. It just wasnt Christmas for us. We spent Christmas Day evening in the Speciality Steakhouse. and I can say I was really underwhelmed and it was definately not worth the extra ... Read More
This was our first Christmas cruise, and maybe our last. It just wasnt Christmas for us. We spent Christmas Day evening in the Speciality Steakhouse. and I can say I was really underwhelmed and it was definately not worth the extra money. I had the surf and turf and my lobster tail and steak were barely lukewarm when It was served. The melted butter for the lobster was warmer than the food. They offered to replace the dinner, but by the time they asked how the meal was, my husband was finished with his meal, and who wants to wait for another meal to be fixed and eat alone? Don't waste your money. We ate every other night in the formal dining, and the food was very good. We had a set time (6:00 p.m) and we loved having the same waiters and table mates each night that we could visit with. I loved being able to try new things each day. We tried the Mongolian Wok, good but very spicey, just be forwarned. Pig and Anchor was just ok. Guy's burger joint had very good hamburgers. The buffet was just ok. The chocolate special was not good at all. I saw a lot of food not eaten on people's plates. We had omlets a couple of mornings, and they were very good. The sea day brunch was good. Don't expect to take a swim, the pools are small and overcrowded. The Whirlpools are cold, not even warm. The cruise director was not the best we have had, and was very self-serving, not extremely funny. We took a Scenic Wildlife River Cruise (Carnival excursion) and it was really underwhelming. Just a boat that went up the river 10 miles and back. It had a roadway running alongside the river, so not really scenic. The wildlife consisted of 1 monkey, 2 iguanas, one small alligator. Certainly not worth the money. We would not take this cruise again. Overall, not my best cruise, but ok. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Were it not for the relentless noise I would really like this ship. Clean, bright, modern, great cabin, good food. Two problem areas: terrible entertainment and noise, noise, noise. 3,500 people cheering, chanting, arguing, laughing and ... Read More
Were it not for the relentless noise I would really like this ship. Clean, bright, modern, great cabin, good food. Two problem areas: terrible entertainment and noise, noise, noise. 3,500 people cheering, chanting, arguing, laughing and talking is noisy enough but add amped up music, announcements about sales and the general din of engines and fans and you have no tranquility at sea. Perhaps the musicians and crew are deaf ... I nearly am after 7 days. The theatre shows (mimed singing) and trotting about a stage are amped to distortion level so you can't understand anyone who actually sings. Even the classical musicians who play in the worst possible place - the atrium - blast through microphones and huge speakers. Should I add that the lame comedians barely elicit a grin? I didn't attend their "adult" shows because I figured if you aren't funny in a regular show then you won't be funny with swearing and toilet talk. In the outdoor theatre they showed the same film twice. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
Seemed like a nice time to take a cruise, boy was I clueless. Too too many kids taking up pools, hot tubs, running into people, screaming and running down hallways until 3am nightly. Party mommas do you know where in the hell your kids are ... Read More
Seemed like a nice time to take a cruise, boy was I clueless. Too too many kids taking up pools, hot tubs, running into people, screaming and running down hallways until 3am nightly. Party mommas do you know where in the hell your kids are at 12-3am. Several very rude kids, all but run u down. Had to ask for ice everyday. These people working on the ship worked non stop. They were so worn out, they didn't even greet cruise guest, The cruise director is definitely awesome and the glue to keep this ship going. Food was not very appetizing in MDR. We did dine in steakhouse last cruise night, it was the best food I had all week. Not enough activities for adults. The adult aft pool had more kids then adults most days. Belize was ok, enjoyed cavetubing, Mahogany Bay was ok. I would not care to return to these ports anytime soon, I do not plan to cruise with Carnival @ New Year, Mardi Gras, Easter, June July, August, Sept. Thanksgiving week or Christmas week. I can not deal with unsupervised children runnning wild all day & night until 3am. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
This cruise was an add on to our holiday in New Orleans. There was an issue with my not having my ESTA at hand on embarkation, I felt that I would not be allowed to board the ship without proof that I actually possessed one. Although I ... Read More
This cruise was an add on to our holiday in New Orleans. There was an issue with my not having my ESTA at hand on embarkation, I felt that I would not be allowed to board the ship without proof that I actually possessed one. Although I would not have got passed immigration at the airport without it. Once on board thing improved somewhat. The cabin was clean and comfortable, our cabin maid Rhamei was friendly always smiling and kept the cabin spotless. The entertainment is as every cruise, good all round entertainment, take your pick of what suits you, there is a letter put in the cabin every night with details for the next day so you have no excuse if you miss out on something. I have to commend Jace the cruise director, boundless energy, approachable, funny, exhausting just to watch. We dined in the formal dining room some nights,the food is nothing especially special, the table settings, flat wear etc are nice and without our server Romar it would have been just ok, she was sparkly, took time to converse and listen to us. Also our wine waitress( sorry didn't get your name) served in the piano bar as well, remembered our preference in drink. The cafeteria is named The Gathering. The food was edible that's about all I can say about it. One thing I don't under stand, there are places other than the Gathering That serve Indian, Italian, Chinese(Tibetan Wok)food but these are only open for lunch!!!! Ports and excursions, There is something for everyone, most of the ports have private contractors doing the same trips that you can purchase from the cruise line for much the same price. If you want 100% guarantee though stick with the cruise excursions. Ask at the customer service desk if you are unsure or have any concerns about anything, our favourite go to was Oana, Knowledgeable or if she doesn't know the answer will go out of her way to find out. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We took our 16-year-old grandson on the Dream, our first Carnival cruise, which sailed out of New Orleans on June 21. We drove down from Memphis the day before and stayed the night at the Holiday Inn Metairie Airport. Rooms are large and ... Read More
We took our 16-year-old grandson on the Dream, our first Carnival cruise, which sailed out of New Orleans on June 21. We drove down from Memphis the day before and stayed the night at the Holiday Inn Metairie Airport. Rooms are large and nice. Received a coupon for two drinks and two breakfasts with the package which included parking. Had dinner at Acme Seafood, which is close to the hotel and has a high rating on TripAdvisor. The hotel van driver was very personable and helpful with our luggage. The hotel package included two transportation vouchers, so we purchased another one for $20. Check in for the cruise was smooth. Our spa cabin with balcony was nice, and our stewards were excellent. Our bed was comfortable as was our grandson’s. Other than the shower draining very slowly, the room was more than satisfactory. However, I would advise anyone that they should NOT book any of the spa rooms on the port side of the ship. I was awakened at 6:30 every morning by the pounding of the treadmills overhead which lasted until 10:00 at night, unless the employees of the ship were using them. Then it went on until whenever. I finally went to customer service and told them I was exhausted, that I couldn't even take a nap, and they apologized and gave me some cruise credit. However, the best advice I can give is not to book any of the spa cabins on the port side. The spa which was included with our room was nice, but not something we’d pay for again. We are not into HOT steam rooms rooms and HOT pools, so going there was not a high point of our cruise. The small “Relaxation Room” in the spa was my favorite, with chairs that look out into the water and flavored waters and teas available. However, on the last day we had to share the room with an employee who was giving her sales spiel for $199 shoe inserts. I was trying to relax and read a book but couldn’t because of her loud voice as she attempted to convince the ship guests, who were taking up three of the five seats in the room, to purchase her product. If we go on another Carnival Cruise we will make use of the complimentary Serenity Deck and hot tub for adults, which was directly above the spa. Just be sure to arrive early to get a spot. It’s a very popular place. The only excursion we took was the Salsa Salsa and Margaritas. It would have been more of a fun experience, but it was very hot. Because of that we didn't have much to drink, but the salsa making was fun. We didn't stay for the dancing. Instead we went down to the beach so our grandson could rent some snorkeling equipment and use the pretty private manmade beach. It might be worth taking the walkway under the road over to the hotel and using the very large pool. Also, there's free wifi at the hotel, and the signal was good there. An option we were given was to stay there and take a cab on our own back to the ship. We didn't do that this time, but next time I would. We enjoyed the food choices at dinner. The waiters were very attentive and personable. The chocolate melting cake is to die for. I had it every single night for dessert. At lunch there is an Italian restaurant up the stairs from the Lido. It’s kind of hidden, so ask someone to point you there. I understand that although it’s free at lunch they charge extra at dinner. At the reception desk at lunch you fill out a menu with your choices, sit down and your meal is delivered to your table. The two pools on the Dream are very small considering the number of children on the ship. We were disappointed in the room service menu. There were no appetizer choices. Unlike the Holland America cruises we have been on, there were no happy hours that we knew of. Maybe we missed those. The one Comedy Club performance we attended was beyond raw, so we didn’t go back. There are PG shows, but we didn’t attend those. We walked to the beach on Roatan instead of taking the sky ride for $12 a person. The walk is absolutely beautiful with benches and hammocks along the way. The beach is VERY crowded. The beach chairs are lined up with hardly an inch between them. On a future cruise I would look into taking an excursion and not pay for a chair at that crowded beach. At the Roatan port and the beach you can buy an hour of Internet for $5 or all day for $10 that works both places. The connection for our grandson was better near the port. We are used to the extensive library on Holland America, and the library on Carnival is very limited and open for checkout of books only one hour a day. I can understand this, as the people who cruise Carnival aren’t so into quiet pursuits like the older Holland America guests are. It’s a party boat, and I understand that. Our grandson seemed to enjoy the O2 teen club, and we rarely saw him during the day. He had dinner with us in the dining room and left again for the next teen activity. On the morning of disembarkation we went to the Lido for breakfast. Our number was announced earlier than we expected. Our Holiday Inn shuttle came soon after we called, and we arrived back at the Holiday Inn with the same friendly driver. After rereading this critique I realize that I may sound like a curmudgeon. I suppose it comes down to the fact we are the older Holland America types (ages 73 and 72), but that Carnival was our best choice with a teenager. The most important thing to us was that our grandson have a fun time, and even though it wouldn’t have been our first choice for the two of us, I feel the Carnival Dream was the right choice for taking our grandson. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
We're a couple of senior citizens that love to cruise. This was our 8th cruise and our 3rd time on the Carnival Dream in 3 years. She looks worn and in need of a makeover. This 2008 beauty has lost her sparkle. The plastic covered ... Read More
We're a couple of senior citizens that love to cruise. This was our 8th cruise and our 3rd time on the Carnival Dream in 3 years. She looks worn and in need of a makeover. This 2008 beauty has lost her sparkle. The plastic covered furniture in the main lobby on deck 3 is embarrassing and uncomfortable. Carnival says that they "refurbish” each ship every 3 years, but Dream is way overdo. Our Balcony: We were on the 9th deck, midship and couldn’t enjoy our balcony because of our neighbors smoking. Formal Night: is more casual  not really formal. The Food: I found the food to be very, very good. We usually ate in the dining room. The prepared salads were excellent especially the Greek Farmer Salad. The flat iron steak was always a good choice as was the salmon. We enjoyed the fresh, thin pizza at lunch. Breakfast or Brunch (on sea days) was good, especially the Eggs Benedict with extra sauce. We did not order any room service. I called for a cheese and cracker plate and they only had sandwiches. We did buy the wine package and that worked well. The attention provided by our Steward Utama and our Any-time-dining waiter Rufino were much appreciated. We only went ashore at St. Thomas to do a little shopping at Al Cohens. The weather was very hot and humid and we preferred the air conditioning on the ship. We only saw one show and it was the same one we saw last year. No update there either. We attended the Cruise Critic Meet and Greet which was a huge success. Thank you Brian! We parked our car at Park and Cruise in Port Canaveral. Getting to the ship was just fine getting back was horrible. They have no system to board the shuttle for the return to their parking lot. It was a mad dash every man for himself crush. I don’t think we’ll use them again. Do your feet and ankles only swell when on a cruise? I have found that not drinking the ship’s water is the answer. This includes water served at meals, tap water, ice cubes, coffee, orange juice (or anything reconstituted) including soda. Anything that comes in a can or bottle is ok. In total, this cruise was a great bargain.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
Cruise to the Western Caribbean the first week of September 2013. Dream is a big ship but sorely lacking in some important areas. For the most part, the food in the dining rooms was good, not great but OK for a cruise. On the Dream there ... Read More
Cruise to the Western Caribbean the first week of September 2013. Dream is a big ship but sorely lacking in some important areas. For the most part, the food in the dining rooms was good, not great but OK for a cruise. On the Dream there is no place to get a quick snack in the late afternoon. The only option is to go to the Gathering buffet and they do not have any chips, salsa, nacho's or anything simple. They do have 24 hour pizza but that is about it. The food in the Gathering buffet was ok but at lunch time you could not get near the Asian Wok where they stir fried without waiting in line for a long time and I tried several different times. There were just too many people for the limited dining options. If you wanted just the buffet, then you were ok but if you wanted the Wok, Burrito bar, or any of the other dining options you really had to wait. The Taste bar which they advertized as a quick option was never open and the offerings were just awful, how can you advertize "Taste of NY" and then give the customer a barbecued piece of pork fried in breadcrumbs. PLEASE! The pool area was not suited for anyone older than 12, very crowded with screaming kids. The Serenity Deck is a nice option for those like us who wanted a little peace and quiet to sunbathe but they had no pool. The adult shows started at 9:45 and there was no way that you could attend if you have an 8:15 dinner reservation so I would either go with a flexible time or you will have to wait until 11:00 for a show. The ship was lacking in venues to handle the crowds and if you did not get to a show 30 minutes before you would not get a seat. The shows close the door at the start time and you can't get in. On a positive note, the Crew on the Dream was exceptional. Our cabin attendant Usa and our waiter Pituck were just fantastic. We did attend the Chefs Dinner which was also exceptional and I would recommend this option for anyone who likes fine dining. Simple additions like a Pub Bar and an adult swim pool would be great. Overall the cruise was good but I would be a little leery of going on another Carnival cruise.   Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
We had decided to pay the extra money to upgrade to a balcony for the first time. We thought that a cabin on the 10th deck would be perfect for accessing the most important entertain sites. The first night was certainly a rock and roll ... Read More
We had decided to pay the extra money to upgrade to a balcony for the first time. We thought that a cabin on the 10th deck would be perfect for accessing the most important entertain sites. The first night was certainly a rock and roll affair because of the weather. By morning, the stateroom was quite cold and the touch around the frame of the balcony door and window was bitter cold. We contacted room service without satisfaction although they had promised a response. I ended up after a reasonable wait of several hours, going to Guest Services and making a complaint. We did receive blankets but my bigger complaint was why there was not a better solution for the very cold room. I could be wrong but I believe it was the location of the stateroom with a balcony that was poorly insulated, the room was not properly heated or a combination of both. By noon on Sunday off the Florida Keys it was 55 degrees and wind gusts out of the North at 18mph. Carnival certainly cannot be blamed for the weather but I do fault their inability to keep staterooms for their passengers comfortable. Because of the weather out bound on Saturday and Sunday as well as the return trip on Friday and docking on Saturday, March 9th, the use of the balcony was somewhat restricted. In fact, during the cruise on Wednesday, March 6th, they actually notified passengers that the balconies would be closed for cleaning from 8am to 12:30pm. There was no opt-out option. Do I feel like the extra money paid to upgrade to a Balcony Stateroom was worth it? CERTAINLY NOT! Read Less
Sail Date March 2013
We went on the Carnival Dream Dec. 1-8, 2012 The Good: Beautiful ship, friendly staff, seafood great for the most part, good shows, Punchliner brunch very good, good comedians in the Punchliner Burgundy lounge, embarkation and ... Read More
We went on the Carnival Dream Dec. 1-8, 2012 The Good: Beautiful ship, friendly staff, seafood great for the most part, good shows, Punchliner brunch very good, good comedians in the Punchliner Burgundy lounge, embarkation and debarkation easy if you are Platinum or Diamond level, nice size cabin for verandahs. Nice Tervis Tumbler for Platinum/Diamond level guests. The Bad: Very rough seas for 2 days (50+ mph winds--certainly not Carnival's fault), Captain's party a joke ( you get $1 off drinks instead of free drinks), past guest party also a joke(got very sweet rum punch and only a couple of snacks). Carnival has eliminated the last night "farewell party" where they used to give you free drinks and snacks. Had a really creaky cabin when the ship rocked--had to put in earplugs a couple of nights. Stupid life boat drill--you do not even go to your life boat--rather meet in a lounge for instructions. Way too loud noise/TV on the monster TV by the pool--you needed earplugs; who wants to hear ESPN blasted at you at 9 am? Serenity area not quiet because of the screaming kids getting on the water slide a few yards away. Carnival no longer publishes the daily news flyer like they did in the past--guess it saves them money. The Ugly: Carnival lets people smoke on their verandahs--we could not use the verandah many times because of the heavy smokers upwind from us next door. Carnival should learn a lesson from Celebrity and ban smoking on all verandahs, not just for spa cabins. Until Carnival changes this policy or we can get a spa cabin, we will not be going on Carnival again. Now for specifics: Since we live in Tampa, we drove to Cocoa Beach on Nov. 30th and stayed at LaQuinta Inn. We were able to leave our car there for 7 days, and they took us to the port on Dec. 1st, and picked us up on Dec. 8th. We got to the pier about 9:45 am, and there was very little waiting to go through security. Since we have Platinum level VIP status, we went to the VIP area, and were checked in very quickly. We did have to wait about 20 minutes or so to board since there was a rather large wedding party that got to board before we did. Carnival has started something new--if you are Platinum or Diamond level, your cabin is ready as soon as you board--a really nice feature in our opinion. We put our carry on baggage in the cabin and went to the Lido deck for the buffet lunch. Lots of variety and not crowded when we boarded, but it got to be a real zoo later. Carnival eliminated trays a few years back, so it is a pain to make several trips, but other cruise lines have done the same thing. After lunch we toured the ship to find our way around. The layout is similar to the Freedom that we went on last year. The lifeboat drill was absurd in our opinion. You no longer have to get your life jacket and go to your lifeboat. Instead you go to a lounge where the crew shows you how to put on a life jacket, and they tell you where your life boat is. Then the tell you that in case of an emergency you are supposed to go to your lounge muster station. How stupid can you be? If there is an emergency, I am not going to a lounge--I am going to where the life boat. Carnival is not the only cruise line that does this, and it is hard to believe that the Coast Guard will allow this. We selected anytime dining for dinner, as we have for the past several cruises. Carnival now dedicates the lower level of the Crimson dining room for anytime dining. It is a very popular option because people start lining up at least 30 minutes in advance. On the first night they only had one line and the wait was a real pain. By the 3rd night, Carnival got a little smarter and opened one line on the right and one on the left and things went much quicker. After dinner there was a liquor tasting at the shops--what a zoo--they only had a single line, and you had to wait for at least 30-45 minutes; we declined. Sunday--we arrived at Nassau about 8:30 am and had to be back on board by 2:30 pm. We have been to Nassau many times before and just chose to walk around downtown and go to the straw market. The straw market was destroyed by fire some time ago, but has been rebuilt. Most vendors had the same stuff--a lot of which was made in China. We had lunch at the Lido--best tilapia I have ever had. They have a pasta bar upstairs on deck 11; it was ok but not great. We attended the Cruise Critic Meet and Greet function which was arranged by Len (a passenger); he did a fantastic job, and Carnival furnished one bottle of champagne for 30 people--good luck on getting any! On previous cruises the cruise line furnished tea, coffee, and snacks--not here. It was nice to get to meet fellow passengers. The Captain's party was a major joke like it was on the Freedom last year. You get $1 off drinks--big deal; we declined to go. Sunday was the first formal night--very few ties on guys and no tux. Much more informal than it used to be. Dinner was great--lobster, but no surf and turf like on previous cruises. The show was good, but you have to like country music. The sea was very rough with 40-50 mph winds, and the Captain never warned us about this. Fortunately we do not have a problem with being sea sick, but a lot of others did. The wind was so bad we could not use our verandah for a couple of days. Carnival lets passengers smoke on their verandah (except on spa cabins, as we later learned). Unfortunately the couple next door smoked a lot and the wind blew the smoke on our verandah. This will be the last cruise we ever take on Carnival unless they change this policy or we can book a spa cabin. Wake up Carnival--smoking is bad for your health. Carnival used to have a non-smoking ship, the Paradise, but it is now smoking. Monday: We were at sea and had 50+ mph winds--very rough Breakfast at Lido was a disaster--they ran out of coffee cups. We had a hard time finding the bacon--they serve it to you instead of serving it yourself like the other food. Should have passed on the bacon because it was under cooked and very greasy--ugh. The food never varied at breakfast. The made-to-order omelets were good, and the fresh fruit was good. We had lunch in the Crimson dining room at the Punchliner brunch. They have this on sea days with the same menu each day. A comedian talks for about 5 minutes, and you order from a menu. The salmon was good but the beef was overcooked. There were very few people there, which was a nice change from the zoo at the Lido buffet. After lunch we went to the art auction held by Park West. Overpriced art work--you can do much better online. They have a minimum bid, plus they add 15% to the price, and you have to pay $35 to have it shipped unframed. I bit on this several years ago, but never again. They advertise free champagne, but this auctioneer was very tight and you were lucky if you got one glass. The auction was supposed to start and 1 pm but it had not started at 2 pm, so we left. Tuesday: Docked in St Thomas about 11 am. We had breakfast in the dining room; it was good but took about an hour, which was ok because we did not dock until late. We docked at the pier at Havensight Mall and did a little shopping. The prices, especially liquor, were much higher than they were last year. We could buy most booze cheaper in Tampa than in St Thomas or on the ship. We got back on board about 1 pm and had lunch at Lido; had great fish. We wanted to sit by the pool but the monster TV was so loud--about the same decibel level as a jet plane. We then went up to the serenity area for adults only to get away from the noise by the pool--that lasted about 2 minutes--all we heard was screaming kids getting on the water slide, which is adjacent to the serenity area. We then moved to the front of the ship where we could not hear the screaming kids. There are only a few seats there, but it was no problem on a port day--good luck getting a chair on a sea day. Dinner at the Crimson dining room--the filet was good but the red snapper was way overcooked. This was unusual because most of the time the fish is great and the beef is tough and overcooked. We went to the show, which was good, but it was very loud and crowded. Wednesday: We arrived in St Maarten about 7 am and docked at the new dock (at least for us). Had a great view of the harbor from our port side verandah. We took the water taxi to town ($ 7 round trip). You have to be sure you get on the right one because we thought all of them took you to the middle of town; ours took us to the right edge of town (looking from the ship to town), so we had quite a walk. We did a little shopping and went to a couple of casinos. Last year we played the nickel slots and got free drinks--not so this year. Took the water taxi back to the ship and had lunch at Lido--great fish again. The Indian Tandoor station was good but very hot. Dinner at Crimson was great for the seafood newburg, but horrible for the beef stroganoff--they should have called it beef gristle and noodles; I could not even cut it with a steak knife. Thursday: Had breakfast at Lido--same as always. Lunch at Punchliner brunch in Crimson--very good--lots of choices, but the menu does not vary. If you want the steak, order it medium rare, not medium (which comes well done). At 4:45 pm, we went to the past guest function--what a joke--instead of having a choice of red or white wine, or champagne, or a whiskey sour, like they used to do, they served you a very sweet rum punch, which was horrible. We did find out later that you could request a beer or wine, but you had to tell the waiter you wanted it and then wait 15 minutes to get it. We got 2 small pastry type something--a total disaster compared to previous cruises. Carnival needs to take a lesson from Celebrity or Holland America--they do a much better job. At dinner the basa, tiger shrimp, and steak were all good. We went to the show--high energy, very good dancers, but very loud. Friday: A rather lazy day--very cloudy in the am, but cleared off in the pm. We played putt-putt on the 18 hole course on deck 12--very nice. The seas were much calmer on Friday than they had been all week. At 4:30 we went to the "holiday show", which was very good. Dinner was ok. Although we had anytime dining, we went when the dining room first opened and most of the time we were able to get table 149--excellent waiter and helpers; this is a table for 2, and we always got good service. One night this table was not available and we had to sit on the right side of the room among a bunch of kids--ugh. We went to the Punchliner comedian show at 7:30--was fantastic. Don't know why we did not go before, but had conflicting things going on. Saturday: Time to get off the ship and go home. We had very heavy fog Sat. morning and the ship could not dock on time; not Carnival's fault, but they could have given us a better warning. When we looked out our deck about 5 am, we could see nothing but fog. We wanted some breakfast so we went to the Lido about 5:45 and had a little fruit and coffee. Since we are Platinum level, we could get off the ship first. We were told to be at the lounge level of Crimson dining room about 6:30. We got there about 6:15 and lots of people were lined up. About 7am or so, there was an annoucement that because of the fog, we would be delayed. Carnival should have told us that an hour earlier and we could have had a nice breakfast rather than being rushed. Carnival made no annoucement that we could get off the ship; we noticed the crew opened the door and we rushed over to get off. This was supposed to be for Platinum and Diamond level members only, but there were a lot of people who were not at that level that got off in front of us. You were supposed to put a #1 blue luggage tag on your take off luggage, but a lot of people did not have one, and Carnival made no effort to enforce this. Overall summary: The Dream is a nice ship, but we liked the Freedom better. On the positive side, the crew was extremely friendly, from the cabin steward to the dining staff. They always greeted you with a smile and a friendly hello. We were on deck 8, port side, mid ship; nice cabin--lots of storage--put your luggage under the bed. Typical mini frig which does not keep things real cold, but it is ok. We never buy their overpriced drinks, so we took the drinks out and put our wine in it. The linens were great, towels were plush, and the bed was very comfortable. The verandah was nice with 2 chairs and a little table. Unfortunately, Carnival lets people smoke on their balcony, and the people next door smoked; Carnival needs to change this policy. Also on deck 5, there are two hot tubs on both sides of the ship, and you could hear the loud talking from the people in the hot tubs. Unless you had a cabin below deck 5, or a spa cabin, you would have to put up with this noise, which was very annoying. The toilet tissue and the Kleenex imitation tissue paper were horrible. Surely Carnival can do better. We were amazed at the number of children on board considering it is between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Although we did not count them, our best guess is that there were at least 200 kids on board. Last year we went on a cruise about the same time and there were about 25 kids. I have been on over 20 Carnival cruises (starting with the Mardi Gras in 1975) and Carnival has gone downhill in our opinion. The past guest party was a joke, and their smoking policy needs changing. When we went on the Freedom last year, on the last night of the cruise there was a party where they gave you free drinks and great appetizers--not so this cruise. I know Carnival is trying to save money, but with the price you pay for a cruise, they should not be so cheap. Although we are at Platinum VIP level, unless Carnival changes their smoking policy on verandahs, we will never sail on Carnival again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
To our misfortune we picked up a virus from a very rude traveler who coughed all over us during the first show we attended and it really limited our activity, however, that is not the ships fault. For the record, this was our ... Read More
To our misfortune we picked up a virus from a very rude traveler who coughed all over us during the first show we attended and it really limited our activity, however, that is not the ships fault. For the record, this was our fourteenth cruise and our third Carnival cruise. Our favorite cruise line is Holland America, second favorite is Royal Caribbean. NCL and Carnival are not at the top of our list. We are retirees who cruise to get away from boredom and relax. First the ups. Cabin was excellent with the exception of the mattresses which are more like saggy hammocks. Nice fluffy duvets cover up the sag when the bed is made, but wait til you climb in. Was on Carnival's Glory a couple of years ago and found the same bed situation there. Nice long sofa, nice decor, excellent bed linens, nice bathroom, lots of storage. One of the balcony chairs reclines in the event you'd like to do some private sunning. It seems that each time we cruise Carnival, we find they have hired more and more Indonesian staff. That is one of the reasons we are so fond of HAL. Most of their staff are Indonesian and they are the warmest, friendliest people. They certainly make us feel as though they are dedicated to providing excellent service and the service on this trip was superb. We were not prepared for the fact that our March 5th sailing was the beginning of spring break - we thought it was later. Carnival bent over backwards to see that the students had lots and lots of late night activities and I must admit that the student conduct was excellent and the young folks were a pleasure to be around. In the past we've had bad experiences with breakers going wild on cruises and really being disruptive. The Dream was one of the cleanest ships I've ever been on. It was immaculate. There were alot of small children on our cruise but here again, Camp Carnival kept the little ones very busy, away from the general population, so they weren't under foot. Casino action was good. Adequate gaming tables and pleasant dealers. And the downs. Weird bath amenities included things like tape strips to open your nostrils and pepcid. Did they anticipate the food would upset your stomach???? Shampoo and shower gel dispenser in shower, but no lotions or shower caps. Carnival needs to understand that travelers, particularly females, enjoy the little sample packs of amenities that spoil us. It seemed that we were being used as guinea pigs for manufacturer's free samples of products they are promoting. I generally get one massage and one facial in the spa as part of my vacation spoil, but not wanting to spread germs avoided close contacts. Also, each year that we go, the prices for spa services just skyrocket, so be prepared. I'm a foodie, so that was where my biggest disappointment lay. Carnivals signature warm chocolate melting cake is always a treat and their creme brulee was excellent. The breakfast danish pastries are the very flakiest and excellent. Muffins had a hard crusty top like a hockey puck. The flat iron steak was definitely not as good as other reviewers mentioned. It had livery overtones - don't know what cut of beef they get theirs from. One night the menu featured "Chateaubriand with Bernaise Sauce", which got me excited until I read the fine print on the listing. Said it was cut from beef shoulder. PLEASE. Everyone knows that chateaubriand is the center cut of the tenderloin -AS IN LOIN, NOT SHOULDER. This is grossly misleading and a misrepresentation of a gourmet item. I guess you have to pay extra and go to the upscale steak house to get good meat. We did not try it on the Dream but we did on the Glory and it was worth every penny. Will say the vegetables were all tasty and well prepared. Particularly the fried eggplant. It was exceptional. Also, the ship serves butter from France and it is the best butter I've ever tasted, so skip the Land o Lakes margarine which is also offered. The buffet on the Lido was very disappointing and had very limited selections. The hot dogs at the grill are excellent and huge. The hamburgers at the same venue are sometimes cooked on the grill and sometimes on a conveyor being run through the pizza oven. Go figure. The Dream offers continental breakfast, sandwich and dessert items from room service. These are available 24 hrs a day, but selection is limited. HAL has the policy of allowing you to order anything from the regular dining room menu for breakfast, lunch or dinner, as long as you order during the regular dining times. This is a wonderful practice and provides the guest with so many options from bacon and eggs in your room in the morning, to a strip steak for dinner, when you're interested in privacy. We thought almost all of the entertainment was poor. Comedy club was not good. Even the family show was so gutteral. If you enjoy unsophisticated humor about farting and other bathroom habits, you'll love it. In the main show lounge performances, the male dancers were excellent, the female were very lackluster. The male singer was okay, the female to loud and abrasive. The only good show was one that some other reviewers have mentioned called Dancing in the Street and that is because of additions to the cast which I won't describe, in the event you are booked on the Dream - best to let you be surprised. Carnival has relaxed it's dress policy and now calls what used to be "formal nights", "elegant nights" but jackets and ties are no longer "required". Read Less
Sail Date March 2011
We were on the Carnival Dream May 22-29 to the Eastern Car. This was our 13th cruise and definately not the "Fun" Ship/trip/experience that we have grown to love. Where has the "fun" gone? The Dream was beautiful, but ... Read More
We were on the Carnival Dream May 22-29 to the Eastern Car. This was our 13th cruise and definately not the "Fun" Ship/trip/experience that we have grown to love. Where has the "fun" gone? The Dream was beautiful, but it seems the Carnival Marketing people have forgotten about the age of the people who are paying for the trips. The laid back, steel drums, Jimmy Buffett, Bob Marley mood is GONE. It has been replaced by flashing lazer lights and extremely loud, rap influenced music. Maybe that is why we had to stop two times to have "sick" people evacuated from the ship (we thought about jumping into the rescue boat ourselves!). Also, a passenger was missing for a period of time which was a little un-nerving. Thinking what we would have a table for two, we tried the "Your time" dining. It is very uncomfortable because you are taken to a table of 4, 6 or 8 who are at all different stages of their meals. Some may be ordering appetizers while others are having desserts. People are constantly coming and going and the wait staff seems to be very preoccupied and not very customer friendly.(This wasn't their fault and they were doing their best to do their jobs). During the week we talked to several couples in our age bracket who were also experienced cruisers who shared our feelings that the changes in music had drastically affected the "Mood" of the trip. We have already booked our next cruise, but it will be on Norweign. Read Less
Sail Date May 2010
Heard good reviews about the new, large Dream so took a chance with Carnival. Ship has too many folks for the size of the ship. For example, swimming pools are smallest I have ever seen. Dining rooms were poorly designed with very cheap ... Read More
Heard good reviews about the new, large Dream so took a chance with Carnival. Ship has too many folks for the size of the ship. For example, swimming pools are smallest I have ever seen. Dining rooms were poorly designed with very cheap materials. Layout of Scarlet was very bad in that it was full of nooks and crannies like a mid-level restaurant. Bench seat was too low with very bumpy padding. Got apology from restaurant supervisor saying he was no way responsible for the poor design. Most ship's main restaurants have wide-open views, this large restaurant had very limited views. Our table looked at a stairway! Had an inside cabin on second deck that was small, only seat was a small stool. Never had a cabin before with no chairs or love seat. TV was a nice flat screen. Room steward did a fine job. Main theatre was a poor design with a lot of poles and bad seats. Thought entertainment was good with great dancing and comedy shows. PG comedy shows were great, but R shows were really raunchy. Didn't stay for the entire R show. Casino was very nice and we played quite a bit. Good part of the ship was the food and service. Dining room food was surprisingly good as was food in the buffet restaurants. Service was very good in the formal restaurant but mediocre in the buffet areas. Happened to be a lot of rotten, drunk spring breakers on this ship occupying the hallways past midnight on occasion. Had to call security about some foul-mouthed 18 year old. This ship has very limited things like lectures, classes, etc. like other ships I have been on. Ports of call were OK, except Belize City, which is a real "hole." Started to walk downtown, but turned around when I saw all the poverty and folks looking at me! Very easy time getting on and off the ship. Did notice sewer gas smell on our cabin deck a few times. Maintenance man said ship was to go back to the shipyard in the future to have the problem fixed. After cruising on Celebrity, Royal Caribbean and Princess, the Dream is a considerable step down because of the compact cabin and large number of people in limited public space. Carnival is generating a lot of profit by packing in a very large crowd in limited space, making passenger density very high and at same time using materials inferior to most ships, especially in the main dining rooms. Elevator wait was also quite long because of the large crowds. So, overall I was disappointed with the ship, but we did enjoy the shows and the food as well as many friendly fellow travelers. Read Less
Sail Date March 2010
KEEP ON DREAMING... Nice to cruise on a fairly new ship, the largest in Carnival's fleet. Liked some of the innovations such as a Promenade deck that you can actually walk around, miniature golf, a toned down and somewhat ... Read More
KEEP ON DREAMING... Nice to cruise on a fairly new ship, the largest in Carnival's fleet. Liked some of the innovations such as a Promenade deck that you can actually walk around, miniature golf, a toned down and somewhat pleasant color scheme in the atrium and around the ship. There are a few gripes however, and they include: · The atrium has the most slippery and uncomfortable bar stools I've ever had the displeasure to sit on. · Four whirlpools are placed on the Promenade deck of all places. It was interesting seeing all the folks in their robes and swimsuits and towels taking the elevator to the fifth deck then walking thru the shopping area and casino in order to get to the whirlpools. · Look up when sitting in the whirlpool and you will most likely see folks on their balconies on the 6th, 7th,8th, and 9th decks looking down on you. Smile and wave. · The least expensive balcony cabins on this ship are located on the deck below the lifeboats that overhang the side of the ship. These balconies have a cave-like appearance. Innovative design...perhaps, good design...I think not. · There are two swimming pools on the Lido deck, one mid-ship and one aft. Both are postage stamp size. Was the formula the Dream ship designers used "more passengers = smaller pools"? · The Lido deck dinner buffet was very minimal and had such a small variety of food and dessert, it made a KFC restaurant buffet back home look good. · Lunch on the Lido deck, however, was a much different experience. Passengers hurrying everywhere, and then waiting in the food line, drink line, or for a vacant table. Service personnel bumping into to you while trying to negotiate the passengers and obstacles in an ill-designed area. · The Lido breakfast was ok, but in no way exceptional. Note to food manager: why do you insist on having someone dishing out the bacon? Bacon is NOT gold. It would speed up the line if people could serve themselves bacon as they do on other items. · Speaking of obstacles...the positioning of the drink stations on the Lido deck is terrible. Their positions cause horrendous passenger bottlenecks that could be avoidable if their location was better designed. Additionally, at these drink stations, why place the coffee mugs in between the ice machine and the cold drink machine? Passengers are very frustrated having to endure multiple lines at these stations just to get something to drink. Surely the ship's food management officers have observed this crazy situation but what has been done to remedy it? Duh... · Room service is 24 hours but consists of a very limited menu. When we did place an order, the service was prompt but often there was something missing...such as condiments. · Supper Club was definitely a disappointment. The service was BAD. They did not refill the water or ice tea. Although only about 50% of the tables were occupied, there was not enough wait staff for proper service. The food presentation was good but the quality and taste were not. Save your money, don't eat here. · Note to Todd Wittmer, Cruise Director: Don't quit your day job. Read Less
Sail Date December 2009
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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