81 Carnival Dream Senior Cruise Reviews

This was our 2nd time on the Carnival Dream -- the last being a year ago. We parked at Park N Cruise with reservations made on-line for a better rate. I was very impressed with the new Port Canaveral terminal. Embarkation was painless ... Read More
This was our 2nd time on the Carnival Dream -- the last being a year ago. We parked at Park N Cruise with reservations made on-line for a better rate. I was very impressed with the new Port Canaveral terminal. Embarkation was painless and we were soon on board. We brought 8 bottles of water and the allotted 2 bottles of wine -- no problem. Our balcony stateroom was mid-ship on deck 6. We had quiet and smooth sailing the whole trip. We loved our room which had lots of storage, a good size bathroom and shower. a nice, long couch and most of all the comfortable bed. Sombut from Thailand was our excellent room steward -- sorry I didn't get his pleasant assistant's name -- kudos to them both! We truly love to spend time on our balcony -- and love to breathe in the fresh smell of salt air -- but wait, no, it's "CIGARETTE SMOKE"!! ( Carnival, please change this policy to no smoking on the balcony, as other lines have done.) The Food: We always ate dinner in the dining room as we like the formality. On the whole, we both agreed that the food was EXCELLENT. DH, the beef lover, had wonderful flat-iron steak 3 times and the grand finale of prime rib -- all deemed tender and flavorful. I tended more towards the lobster, shrimp, fish selections and was more than pleased. Sorry to see that they didn't have the "Didya ever?" on the menu. Lunch in the Gathering: the Tandoori was very good; the Deli's Ruben sandwich excellent; the Pasta bar was a bit disappointing after I had linguine that was "glued" together. We didn't go to anything where you had to wait in line -- ever. Breakfast in the Dining Room: is what we prefer. The menu is the same every day. Not a great variety, but we made do. I missed my granola. Entertainment: No wonder we never saw any shows our first time on this ship! They keep it a secret! If you see "Showtime in the Encore Theater" in the timeline schedule -- just go..and go a little early to get a good seat. Some Big production shows weren't even mentioned in the FunTimes. They use the space for advertising where you can spend your money. And the shows are free...get it?? Forget the Punchliner brunch 10 minute comedy show -- 4 jokes and that's it. The Ship: how I longed for a comfortable place to sit in a common area. The furniture is mostly solid (not soft) with easy clean plastic upholstery -- great for long wear and children. Also, I wished that I could tell forward from aft in the hallways -- better signage, please. On Shore: we were pleasantly surprised in Puerto Maya, Cozumel, Mexico. It was a wonderful port with shopping ; lovely garden areas, a really nice restaurant -"Ponchos Backyard" and a great waterfront place to just sit back and enjoy...one of our faves. Because of high wind and rough seas our next 2 ports were cancelled. Our alternate port was Nassau, Bahamas. It was a good time to take a glass bottom boat ride out to the reef to view tropical fish and also see the "rich and famous" homes along the waterfront. A cool drink at Senor Frogs is always fun. Debarkation: all went as scheduled -- the Park N Cruise van got us to our car by 10am and we were on our way to our winter/Florida home. Value: Carnival Dream delivers excellent value on an excellent cruise ship. I was disappointed to learn that in order to receive the "up to $200 on board credit", you had to book your next cruise immediately. Last year you had a least a year to book a cruise and receive the credit. So, we didn't book -- too high pressure. Read Less
Sail Date January 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
This is a Long winded rant, so i will try to keep it at a Minimum. To start the cruise off.. I am a Platinum member, and as we entered the port terminal, we were PHYSICALLY directed into the regular Check in line. we went through the ... Read More
This is a Long winded rant, so i will try to keep it at a Minimum. To start the cruise off.. I am a Platinum member, and as we entered the port terminal, we were PHYSICALLY directed into the regular Check in line. we went through the line, waited, while the others in my party, were through already. by the time i got to the agent, she looked at me like I purposely entered the wrong line, and stated, "WHAT ARE YOU DOING IN THIS LINE, YOU SHOULD HAVE GONE THROUGH VIP... ((Really ?? you think ?? )) She then, had to temporarily close the line I was in, and walk to the other side of the terminal to get my Room keys from VIP, and walk back. After that ordeal, We ran the Gauntlet, of Photographers, and boarded. we had a quick lunch, attended the fire drill as usual. then went back to wait for our luggage, we waited till 7:30 pm.. Missed dinner, and still NO LUGGAGE. Out cabin steward stopped by to introduce himself, ( Great guy ) He went with me to look for it out in the halls, and then finally to cust. service, Where it was behind the counter. Now here is why i was a bit angry about my luggage being held, and NO WORD AT ALL, till I.. had to go look for it.. I have a bad gall Bladder, that requires medication, when I do have an attack. it is horribly painful, and persistent. Apparently my wife had packed a small travel iron ( I agree, She should NOT have, and she KNEW BETTER ) BUT.. To hold my luggage, and meds. and keep me in PAIN for over an Hour.. is Uncalled for. I had to stand there an additional HOUR.. waiting for a member of security to come up, and get my cabin steward back, SO they could go through EVERYTHING in my luggage in front of 4 other people, strewing everything out on the floor. after all is said an done, the confiscate the iron. ( No big deal ) they shoved everything back in the bags,and I was given a completely insincere "I'm sorry" for the inconvenience and I am THEN.. 2.5 hours later.. able to take my meds. We have now. Missed dinner, and had to go up to the lido for LOUSY pizza. ((WELCOME ABOARD RIGHT ??)) AFter a Lack luster dinner meal, We hit the Soft serve Frozen yogurt, and back to the cabin for an early bed time. Then the NOISE.. We were on Deck 2 all the way to the front. ((OMG)) There was such an incredible POUNDING reverberating through the room it was near impossible to sleep, I called guest services, to complain about the " work crew banging below deck, and was told, it was the waves, hitting the side of the ship, and again.. was given an Epic fail, of an Apology, ((which sounded like the 100th one issued that night.)) The sleep we did get, was Out of pure exhaustion. ((This was EVERY NIGHT.. of our cruise)) No follow ups, NOTHING was done to even try to help.. This is how they treat thier Platinum members??? {The service was VERY GOOD all around,} With the exception of the LOUSY MANAGEMENT staff. The entertainment on this cruise.. was some of the WORST i have seen and heard.. They could learn a lot from ROYAL CARIBBEAN, and DISNEY ... The CARNIVAL DREAM was a NIGHTMARE for my group of 5.. and JUST from the treatment on this cruise and all the other little things.. I will be hard pressed to EVER sail with Carnival Again.. The over all Quality has Gone WAY DOWN, as has the Customer service aspect of this particular cruise line. WE enjoyed all the Ports.. The food for the most part was Good enough, The dream for its size, is SO HEAVILY jammed with things to generate money they take away from the passengers comfort. the dream is one of the LEAST favorite and unmemorable ships I have ever sailed. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
My husband & I & took this cruise for my birthday. We were accompanied by another couple who were 1st time cruisers. We are all 65+ and this was our first time on Carnival. We are Florida residents so we drove 1 1/2 hrs. to the ... Read More
My husband & I & took this cruise for my birthday. We were accompanied by another couple who were 1st time cruisers. We are all 65+ and this was our first time on Carnival. We are Florida residents so we drove 1 1/2 hrs. to the port. Great experience, no problem at all. We parked off the port about 3 mi. away & we were at the pier in no time. Carnival really knows how to embark their passengers. They have many check-in stations & we were on the ship in 10 minutes--no waiting in line. We were on deck 2 in a cove balcony cabin, which I thought was very good. It was sufficient for 2 people and we would do it again. Deck 2 is convenient because it is only 1 deck down from the dining room & is also near the atrium, the theater, & the gangway. We thought the cabin & the whole ship was very clean, a big + in my book. The entertainment, on the whole, I would rate fair to good. The theater's sound system is way too loud. We went to the adult comedy shows a couple of times & enjoyed it. The atrium also had some good singers & music for dancing. Now for the dining--We had the any time dining, a first for us. We liked it because it was more flexible and we happened to hook up with a great wait staff that we requested whenever we went to the dining room. The food was hit or miss depending on what you ordered. We had some very good meals & some not so good. They can't cook beef to save themselves. It's always overdone. You have to ask for medium rare to be able to chew it. The dining room was very cold, sometimes so much so that it was uncomfortable. We didn't like the ports at all & would never sail this itinerary again. Enough said!! The best thing about Carnival is their personnel. Everyone we came in contact with was wonderful. They couldn't do enough for you & always had a smile on their face. We have sailed other lines and we think that Carnival has the best service & personnel. A big shout-out to Windi & Budi, our terrific wait staff. The disembarking was quick & efficient. All in all, we enjoyed the cruise & would sail with Carnival again for the right price. Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
Drove to Cocoa Beach from Virginia. Spent the first night in Savannah, GA. Got a great deal at Comfort Inn in Cocoa Beach for stay and cruise. Really nice staff there. Embarkation was painless. LOVED our oceanview cabin--1308. Had 2 ... Read More
Drove to Cocoa Beach from Virginia. Spent the first night in Savannah, GA. Got a great deal at Comfort Inn in Cocoa Beach for stay and cruise. Really nice staff there. Embarkation was painless. LOVED our oceanview cabin--1308. Had 2 bathrooms, one with toilet, sink, and shower and the other with deep tub and shower and sink. LOVED THIS! We chose your time dining because early dining was not available.....what a NIGHTMARE. The entire first floor of the Crimson restaurant is devoted to your time dining. Even when there were empty tables, the host would give you a beeper and you would stand and wait 10-30 minutes for a table. Very inexperienced staff the first night. It took 2 hours and 40 minutes to complete meal! I asked not to be put in that area again, so other nights the service was better. Food was very good. I especially liked the punchliner brunchs on sea days. The food was excellent. The adult comedy shows were very intertaining but very crowded and booked in the lounge. Could Carnival maybe move these to the theater? Loved the casino but slots are very tight. I spent so much money that the casino sent me a bottle of wine at dinner, gave me free drinks while playing and will give me $500 casino cash on my next cruise. I am such a sucker for FREE stuff. LOL. The pools are nice and even warm. I even ventured down the twister waterslide. (at age 65) Lots of fun. My favorite port was St. Maarten. Beautiful water and shopping. Our cabin steward, John was great and kept the cooler filled with ice as requested. All in all we enjoyed the cruise. Next time I will request early dining, assigned seating, but it was nice meeting new people on the ship. I have cruised on carnival, royal caribbean, and norwegian. While RCCL excels at entertainment, Carnival is still the most economical, and bang for your buck. Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
On April 28th we set sail on my 7th cruise, Nan's 10th. We were sailing to the Caribbean on the Carnival Dream. It took two years for me to get the price I needed in order to take this cruise. We usually cruise on Carnival Lines and ... Read More
On April 28th we set sail on my 7th cruise, Nan's 10th. We were sailing to the Caribbean on the Carnival Dream. It took two years for me to get the price I needed in order to take this cruise. We usually cruise on Carnival Lines and try to leave from Port Canaveral since it's only minutes from our home. We also have a very good deal getting to the port. The Econologe on US 1 in Cocoa has a very special deal, you can park your car for free and take the shuttle bus for $10 round trip to your ship at the Port. Truly, a deal you can't beat. Usually, embarking is a breeze on a Carnival ship, but this time when we arrived about 12:30 p.m., there were a few thousand people waiting on very long lines to board the ship. I usually order a wheelchair for my sister when we travel, but this time I simply forgot and there we were waiting on the longest line i ever saw. I left Nan standing on line and went up front to see if I could get a wheelchair. The red shirt woman I spoke with said that I would have to wait on the line, go thru the security check and when i got upstairs I could get a wheelchair and then come back down for Nancy. If I did all that, once I got upstairs, why would I want to come back down again. I wandered around until i saw a blue shirt man and he was certainly more friendly. it took him a few minutes, but he got a wheelchair and we got Nan into it and he took us immediately through the waiting people and right through security , then he brought us upstairs to get our cabin keys. a very lovely man who went out of his way to be helpful. Again, he had passed the crowds and took us directly up to the sign in desk. the gentlemen there also went out of his way. He got our paperwork done, got our keys and actually took us directly onto the ship. This was positively the largest ship we had ever been on and it was beautiful. We always take an inside cabin for several reasons: one the cost is usually so low that we can afford to take 2 or 3 cruises a year, the food served us in the dining room is the same as the higher priced cabins, the shows the same, the room service the same, the cabin service the same. and the cabins are the same size as most of the potholed cabins. This ship holds 4,300 people and on this cruise it was full, but because of the size of the ship you really didn't notice that many people. he Dream is absolutely my idea of what a ship should look like, Art Deco style. Our cabin was certainly large enough, with two single beds, two closets, a desk, and a small refrigerator. The bathroom was just fine. There was plenty of room to get around comfortably. Frankly, we do not spend that much time in the cabin anyway. This sailing was a little different for me. as soon as we stepped on the ship, i felt it swaying. Nancy thought I was nuts, as she said we were in port not on the ocean so how could it be rocking, but never the less it was and I felt it. By 6 p.m. that same evening I was so dizzy from the rocking that I could barely walk. I went down the corridors holding on to the walls and looking like a drunken sailor. the dizziness got worse when we were out at sea. I could barely do anything. Finally, I couldn't stand it anymore and decided to call the nurse. I thought she'd think I was nuts, but the way I felt was ruining my trip, so called. I mentioned that I could feel the ship rocking and it was making me very, very dizzy. She told me that I had a form of seasickness. There were two types of seasickness, one made you nauseous and sick to your stomach and the other manifested itself in dizziness. She suggested that I call room service and ask for the pills. They cost about $4 for 6 pills. I called, they delivered, I took and soon felt much better. I did meet a few other people with the same problem, they too could feel this ship's movement. I have never had this on any of my other cruises. We usually do not get off at the ports because we've been to most of them several times before, but this time we not only got off, but took a tour in Belize. It was advertised as: City and Althune Ha Ruins Tour. We were very disappointed. The "City" part of the tour consisted of driving through some streets on the way to the ruins and pointing out some houses. No shopping, no stopping, no nothing. When we got to the ruins we could not actually get to them because of the distance from the bus to the pyramids over rough ground, so Nancy and I and one other woman sat on a bench while the others did the climbing. So for a grand total of $70 each we got a bottle of warm water. I do not recommend this tour for anyone up in age, or with walking problems or heat problems, even though it's listed as moderate. The other item I did not like was the change in the food service. The portions were smaller which was perfectly okay since you can order as much of anything as you desire, anyway. There were also several things I usually look forward to that were sorely missing from the menu. On the formal dress evenings there has always been escargot and duck, both were blatantly missing from the menu. Instead of the escargot they offered stuffed mushrooms not a worthy substitute as far as iI was concerned. And now on the left hand side of the menu they listed "Comfort Food" that being meatloaf and fried chicken. I don't know about you but I DO NOT cruise to eat meatloaf and fried chicken. Also the soup selection was a big disappointment. There use to be several different soups available, from cold to fruit. Now there were two and they were nothing special. One night they did offer a Thai soup that was delicious and upon asking if they still had any left the second night, they did not. Obviously, with the economy the way it is, the food service is where they have chosen to cut corners and for people who are not frequent cruises on this line, I'm sure they were delighted with what was offered, but for those of us who do this frequently, it was a disappointment, big time. The service is exceptional, the waiters, head waiters, maitre d, people who clean your room and leave little towel animals and chocolates on your bed, those at the information desk, tour desk and just everywhere at great. They are pleasant and go out of their way to be helpful. The ship is absolutely spotlessly clean and they are at cleaning it day and night. we didn't get to many of the shows because i really didn't feel well enough during this cruise. But usually the shows are good and worth seeing. There was one little kind of funny thing, we couldn't seem to get the lay of the ship. it seemed that where ever we thought we were going, we wound up the entire length of the ship from where we wanted to be. Usually within a day or two we have the ships layout under control, this ship is so big we just couldn't get it together. All in all we had an excellent cruise, as I mentioned I just loved the decor, this is by far my favorite ship as far as looks go, and the service was great. We were called to disembark about 10am. We had breakfast in the dining room and called for a wheelchair. it arrived and we moved swiftly off the ship and through customs without a hitch. We did find out while we were on an elevator, when we arrived, with some men from Coast Guard that the reason there was such a hold up with getting people on board timely was a problem the Coast Guard had and they wouldn't let anybody board until it was settled. Really we had never had this kind of problem before, usually embarking goes very smoothly and within a short time your on the ship and in your cabin. Would I take another cruise on this ship, you bet your bippy I would. First of all I do not believe in making a final decision on something unless I try it at least twice. Good or bad, the first time you try something could just be a fluke. Besides, on these cruises they always offer the purchase of a certificate for a future cruise. The cost is $100, that $100 is used towards the price of the next cruise and a $100 credit is also given to be used on your Sign and Sale card. We use it toward the gratuities, so we will be returning.   Read Less
Sail Date April 2012
A wonderful experience sums it up! Let me say that we are active seniors -- ages 83 and 76 -- and that this was my first cruise and his 2nd. I was doubtful after reading so many negative reviews, but we were very pleased. Boarding at ... Read More
A wonderful experience sums it up! Let me say that we are active seniors -- ages 83 and 76 -- and that this was my first cruise and his 2nd. I was doubtful after reading so many negative reviews, but we were very pleased. Boarding at 10:30am was a breeze- we were eating lunch at 11:15am. (It's that early-bird Senior thing). I signed up for the "wine package" and that worked well after the first night's mix-up which was straightened out by Andre the Maitre'd who sent us a complimentary bottle of wine the next night. A touch of class! Our balcony room was right above the SMOKING section of Deck 5 which we didn't know that on one side of Deck 5 - the outside chairs & tables is smoking - and on the odd numbered cabin side is non-smoking. Be aware if you are on deck 6! Our Balcony room was very comfortable with plenty of closet space, closet shelves, drawers and counter space. We had a convertible couch, a coffee table and a foot rest/stool. There was a mini fridge with stocked mini bar and a small safe. I brought extra wire hangers; a pop-up laundry basket & a 3-way electric plug as suggested in Cruise Critic. The bathroom had good counter space and shelves for our "stuff". The shower had plenty of hot water and a pull-out line for hanging wet clothes/bathing suits. The bedroom & bath were cleaned and restocked twice a day. Two white terry cloth bathrobes and two huge beach towels were provided for our use. Also provided: a hair dryer, Kleenex, shampoo & body wash in the shower. Our King size bed had 4 pillows and a downy comforter that was very cozy! The balcony had 2 chairs and a table. Our Steward was Harry, who made us a different towel animal every evening and made us feel like "family". We tipped him extra. We usually ate in the Scarlett Dining room as we like the formality and service. Our waiter, Kusumajaya (from Indonesia) was the consummate professional. His humor entertained us, he made us feel special and provided excellent service. We tipped him extra. We usually found several delicious items on the dinner menu. We ate on the Lido deck a few times and enjoyed the varied choices and fun atmosphere. We found the food to be very acceptable. Islands -- Nassau -- not much to do but take a taxi to The Atlantis Hotel. The lines to see the aquarium were too long, so we fed the slot machines. St. Thomas - The best souvenir shopping is at Al Cohen (as told in Cruise Critic) and it's located in the shopping area near the dock. Just ask! Nice T-shirts, island dresses & tote bags @ very reasonable prices. Downtown is good if you're into serious jewelry shopping. St. Martin -- our favorite island. We took a private guided tour of the whole island, spending time at Orient Beach and Sunset Beach. We saw the grand hotels and wealthy homes; and the very poor areas where the goats were in the road. This island is truly beautiful! We had 8 -10 ft. swells and a 55 mph wind on the way down, but smooth sailing all the way back. We had a mid-section cabin so all went well. We plan on doing the Western Caribbean cruise next. Read Less
Sail Date February 2012
Itinerary We Took the 7-day Exotic Western Caribbean Cruise from Port Canaveral. It included Ports of Call in Cozumel, Mexico, Mohogany Bay, Isla Roatan, Hondoras, Belize, Costa Maya, Mexico plus 2 Sea Days. We booked our cruise last ... Read More
Itinerary We Took the 7-day Exotic Western Caribbean Cruise from Port Canaveral. It included Ports of Call in Cozumel, Mexico, Mohogany Bay, Isla Roatan, Hondoras, Belize, Costa Maya, Mexico plus 2 Sea Days. We booked our cruise last minute so we were waitlisted for our choice, Open "Your Time" Dining. Embarkation We arrived at the terminal later than planned on Saturday, January 7th, 2012. Lines were long by 1PM but I have to admit they moved pretty quickly. Within 20 minutes or so, we cleared Security & took the escalator upstairs for check-in. There we learned that we were assigned the late dining seating - 8:15 pm. Just before we boarded the ship, we were stopped for a mandatory security face only photo. We were curious about it since we had never had that taken before but I'll explain what it was for later in my review. Staterooms weren't ready for occupancy until 2 PM so we headed up for lunch at the Lido Deck Buffet. (Elevators are in short supply on Embarkation day so be prepared to wait or walk up/down the stairs.) Although the lines were long, they moved quickly. I was happy to find trays and large-sized plates. I did miss tall glasses for beverages but I managed with their colorful short glasses. We quickly found several empty tables outside by the pool. Music was very loud that day - it sounded like one big party but most passengers seemed to enjoy it. Inside was much quieter. Soon enough, after a stop for an ice cream cone, our rooms were ready. Luggage arrived right after we located our stateroom. Later we had our safety drill before sailing followed by a huge SailAwayParty with a DJ. Hundreds of passengers joined in the line dancing. Stateroom & Cabin Service We booked cabin 1328 which is a Deluxe Ocean view Cabin on the Riviera Deck #1 Mid Ship. The room was relatively large about 230-square feet with a convertible couch, cocktail table and a king size bed. I appreciated the two end tables & plenty of closet and shelf space for all our belongings. One closet we never even used. Two white bathrobes were available for our use. We had an oversized picture window and best of all two "private facilities." One had a toilet, shower & basin. The other had a tub/shower and basin. It made all the difference in the world to us. The room was very quiet as there were only staterooms above us - not a public area nor directly by an elevator. There we no vibration noises either. We met our steward the first day & just requested extra ice which she provided daily. She was very friendly, efficient and we had no complaints. We loved her daily towel animals & the little chocolates that she provided us at turn down service each night. She timed her cleanings around our comings & goings. Dining Room, Meals & Service The first night we had dinner at 8:15 PM in the Scarlet Dining Room. Our companions were two couples from Melbourne, Fl who lived 40 minutes from our home. The computer must have matched us. We got along very well but we all wanted an earlier dining time. The next day, after we again requested "Your Time Dining," we received a card in our stateroom assigning us that option. Carnival does listen! We were now happy passengers. Our original table was in a corner of the restaurant & we were one of the last diners out of the dining room barely making it to show time in the theater. With the new dining option we had to change restaurants and now ate in the Crimson Dining Room. No matter what time, what table, what waiters, what dining room, we always received polite, efficient service. Every waiter, and we had many, was friendly, personable and tried to please us. They were also helpful providing suggestions for the best dish among the choices. In my personal opinion, the food was great. My favorite selections were: Lobster Tail, Filet Mignon, Prime Rib, Chateaubriand, Escargot, Wild Mushroom Cappuccino Soup, Baked Alaska, Warm Chocolate Melting Cake, (every night) Tiramisu, Crème Brulee & others too numerous to mention. There was always a vegetarian choice and fixed dishes in case you didn't like the daily choices - these included Salmon and Steak. We never resorted to the fixed choices. Passengers who visited the specialty restaurants praised them highly. The Lido Deck Buffets were always busy during morning hours & at lunchtime. Lines moved quickly except at the Mongolian Grill & the Deli which were out of the way. On the last day, we tried the upstairs Pasta Bar & loved it. We are very particular about our pasta sauce but found both the sauces that we tried to be terrific. We'll definitely try this eatery more often if we cruise again on the Dream. You are given a menu, you check off your choices, turn it in & you're given a table number. The staff then brings you your order. For dessert, though, you have to go downstairs to the buffets. Public Rooms There were plenty of bars, cocktail lounges and sitting areas. My one complaint was the Library. It held hardly any books at all. It was ridiculous. The Ecstasy and the Miracle were better supplied. Many of the few books there were in foreign languages although most passengers were American. Carnival please fix this please! It has a book exchange but there were no books there until I left mine on the next to last day. What the ship also lacked was a card room. All around the ship I saw passengers playing cards in the bar/lounge areas and outside on the tables around the Lido Deck. There were more than enough lounge chairs around the pool and around the outside decks in general. I never even went to the several lovely adults-only Serenity Retreats because I found plenty of quiet places to sit in other areas. The pool water was a little cool - it was January, so we only swam there one afternoon. We used several of the Whirlpools which had varying temperatures. We loved the Lanai ones which were oversized and cantilevered from the ship so it seemed like you were part of the sea-really neat! I loved the various conversation groupings of outdoor furniture all over the ship. Nice little touches like this made the ship seem smaller. The Encore! theater was comfortable with upholstered seating and small marble-topped tables just big enough for cocktails and enough room for the waiters to get through serving drinks. The Waterworks area was fun for "kids" of all ages with multiple slides of varying heights and water sprays for the toddlers. For Spa Lovers, The Dream has a very elaborate facility named Cloud 9. The long lines of passengers waiting for appointments on embarkation day attest to its success. Make your appointments early. The Casino was very busy especially in the late afternoon & evening. It was also rather cool - temperature wise. Activities The Dream has three distinct children's programs. There is Camp Carnival for kids 2-11, Circle C for kids 12-14 and Club O2 for teens 15-17. I peeked into the facilities and they were clean, modern and appealing. Kids loved the disco atmosphere. The schedule of activities went from morning until night. Night Owls Program runs until 3AM. Parents were pleased with the activities. The Dream has all the usual on board activities such as bingo, trivia contests, art auction, ice carving demonstration, dance & language classes, Karaoke, crafts, shopping show, wine lecture, Texas Hold'em Challenge, Blackjack Tournament & towel folding but what I enjoyed the most was the Chef's Art Steakhouse cooking class where we all tasted the dishes prepared. There were plenty of parties also like the big Mardi Gras, Electric White Night & the Mega Deck Party. You can even renew your vows. A tour of the ship was also offered.-good idea since the ship is huge. Plenty of activities daily kept everyone from getting bored. Entertainment - Shows The Multi-Million Dollar Extravaganzas in the Encore! theater were something not to miss. One particular show "Dancing in the Street" was so spectacular that I will never forget it. If you cruise on the Dream, do not skip this one. It included the fabulous Carnival Dancers & Singers plus the amazing male acrobatic dancers - head spinning, body popping, break dancing - Fun Force. They had entertained us in the Atrium on a previous evening so we knew that we were in for a double treat. The small piano bars and lounges also had great live entertainment all evening long. We stopped to enjoy music at several nightly. The eleven deck high Atrium had live entertainment performing nightly above a huge dance floor with comfortable seating upstairs and downstairs. I loved the huge LED Screen on the Lido Deck poolside where news shows and movies were shown with complementary popcorn. I caught The Green Hornet and Cars. Even more innovative was the brand new 2 million dollar laser equipment. I had fun on several nights, dancing the Electric Slide & learning the Cha-Cha Slide with hundreds of my fellow passengers - what fun-all under the stars with live music. The Punchline Comedy Club in the Burgundy Lounge was very popular - standing room only at the ones I attended. Shore Excursions There are so many choices that it is hard to make recommendations. What you choose will depend on your age, activity level, interests and whether you have been to the island previously. One that I particularly enjoyed was in Belize. Since I had already been to Belize, I took the Cave & Land Rover Expedition. It is listed as strenuous & we were the oldest people on the tour. You need to be able to maneuver across a foot suspension bridge that swings as you walk above a river, walk a short distance (½ mile) through a rain forest/jungle on uneven surfaces, climb up to a cave in the mountains, and stoop (at times) through an unlit cave with bats. You are given a small battery operated light. If you are claustrophobic, do not go on this one. Everyone on our tour completed the cave portion. Our drive on the stick shift 4X4 Land Rover took us over mostly muddy dirt roads and jungle trails. You need a valid drivers license & the experience of driving a stick shift. The tour concluded with a high speed open motor boat ride along the jungle covered banks of a river & then out into the sea. It is a very fast, exciting ride. The tour was the most fun that I ever had on an excursion. Try it if you are in Belize and up to the challenge. Other tours on the several islands that we visited included Dolphin Swims, Snorkeling, Mayan Ruins, Jeep tours, Beach trips, Catamaran rides, Scuba Diving, Zip Lining, Horseback Riding, Motorcycling, City Sightseeing & Shopping and various combinations of the above. These are just a small sample. You will find something that you like or just hire one of the many local guides for a custom tour of your choosing. Be aware that in Roatan, the local guides or your pre-booked non Carnival tours guides were a long way from the terminal. The Carnival tours are a bit pricey but if for any reason your tour returns later than sailing time, the ship will wait for you. In conclusion, I loved my cruise. The Dream was everything that I expected and more. I will take it again in a heartbeat. This was my 9th cruise on Carnival and the one that I loved best. Although we did have a couple of minor incidents on shore, they didn't mar our trip. Carnival took care of the incidents to our satisfaction. By the way, it turned out that those "security" face photos have nothing to do with security but provide a very unique service. It is a face recognition software program for finding all the photos that the ship photographers take of you on board. You go to a special machine, slide in your room card & up pops all you photos. You don't have to search through hundreds of photos looking for yours. Why didn't someone think of this earlier? Another plus on Carnival is that you can print out a copy of your statement at a machine without having to stand in line at the Guest Services Desk. Neat! Disembarkation It went very smoothly. Some zones were off the ship before we even awoke. As we ate breakfast more were called. Since we carried our own luggage off the ship, we disembarked whenever we wanted. It was painless. We able to use an elevator. As we disembarked the Carnival Dream, we heard the first disturbing report of a cruise ship disaster off the coast of Italy. Later we learned that it was a Costa Line ship under the parent company of Carnival. We felt an instant distant but deep connection.. We were safe, however, while those on board the Concordia were not. Read Less
Sail Date January 2012
A bit of background my DH and I are avid Carnival Cruiser and I am a part time home based travel agent. We are 28 and 33. We traveled with my grandparents (my parents as they raised me) both in the mid 60s. They are also well traveled! ... Read More
A bit of background my DH and I are avid Carnival Cruiser and I am a part time home based travel agent. We are 28 and 33. We traveled with my grandparents (my parents as they raised me) both in the mid 60s. They are also well traveled! Okay lets go.... After searching for an inexpensive winter getaway DH and I were very excited about cruising on the Dream as it was one of the newest and biggest ships in the Carnival fleet. My parents do not really like Carnival as NCL is more of their style of cruise. However it was my hubby and gma's birthday so my parents (at the last minute) decided to join us on the cruise. We were also excited about the Western Caribbean itinerary as we visited numerous new ports. My gma had been to Roatan but everything else was new to her. Everything was new to dh, gdad and I. Okay so we flew Southwest from BWI to MCO the morning before the cruise 1/6/12. I will honestly say I hate Southwest. Their seating system is terrible however the trip was uneventful. We had pre order transportation from Cocoa Beach Shuttle. They were not there when we arrived at MCO and they took about 20 minutes to get there when we called. Then the driver acted like we had not pre arranged transport. It was annoying. But we were finally on our way after a few minutes. We stayed the night at Country Inn & Suites. I loved the hotel. Nothing spectacular but the staff were very friendly. It wasn't warm enough for the pool so we went to lunch at Zachary's Family Restaurant. We had the best clam chowder on earth. The rest of our meal wasn't too appetizing but the soup made up for that. We ended up ordering some to go and eating that for dinner in the hotel. Once back to the hotel we all took naps. The Brian and I got up and played in the arcade, went online and went to the store to get sodas and snacks for the cruise. The next morning we weren't too happy about the long wait for bfast but hey it was free so no biggie. After that they started transporting ppl to the cruise ships Yay. I think we were on the 2nd bus to go out and our driver was very entertaining. The Ship All I can say is we loved, loved, loved it. It was the biggest we've been on. Deck 5 was the best IMO. We spent a lot of time just walking around outside on that deck. It was so peaceful and quiet there. We also enjoyed sailaway on that deck. There were about 4 or 5 ships at Port Canaveral so it was fun riding past all the ships and honking on the way out. Some of the other things we enjoyed on beard were the mini golf and the big movie screen (DH and I would go up and get popcorn and skip the movie most nights though). We went to the wine tasting, awesome experience. We had a chef (cruiser) at our table who actually knew a bit more about the wines than the sommelier so that made the tasting extra informative. The spa was amazing. DH and I went on the tour in the beginning of the cruise and really considered getting the week long pass. But the trip was port intensive so we didn't think it was worth it. But we plan to have a spa cabin on our next cruise on the Breeze! Food Our feelings were pretty neutral about the food on this ship. Overall it was okay. We ate dinner in the MDR all but two nights (all but 3 for my parents) which is much more often than usual for us. This was our first time trying the new menu and really it wasn't that big of deal. We liked it just as much as the old one. DH and Gdad each had the fried chicken 1x and thought it was just okay. My gdad who really enjoys exotic food was really disappointed with the shark and the frog legs. I actually liked the frog legs a lot. I also ordered the chilled fruit soups each time they had them and both my gma and I really loved them, the men not so much. One night DH and I ate dinner on Lido and actually enjoyed it more than dinner in MDR. It was the same menu but we could pick and choose and we were happy with it. We also ate there for the choco buffet. I am not a big choco person but it was delish. We ate most bfasts and lunches on Lido. But we also tend to get addicted to the Cesar salad at the pizza place so that was my regular midnight snack. I loved the Mongolian wok and had omelets there for bfast as well. We only has the Indian food 1x which I was very upset about bc we lovvved it. We never made it to the pasta place but heard really good things from other CC members. We ate at the Steakhouse and weren't really impressed. We usually eat there 2-3x but on 1x on this ship. Service there was subpar and the food wasn't as good as usual. We also loved the Sushi bar. Also I enjoyed the new drinks in the punchliner's comedy club. I met a bar tender at the Casino bar who works in Punchliners also so he was able to make me the drink I loved but I can't remember the name of it. Rooms Okay DH and I were in balcony cabin on the Vista deck, Worst decision ever. We were underneath the outdoor pool deck area on Lido and we could hear every single thing. It was soo bad that we complained on day 2. We received 30% of our cruise cost back on our S&S and 20% off our next cruise. Carnival staff handled the problem so well. However the $$$$ didn't alleviate the noise which really made the trip less relaxing than planned. We had a great room steward. Very personable and we joked with him constantly. His personality made us not notice that he wasn't that good at cleaning the room. Of course we tipped him extra!! He was awesome, kept trying to steal me from my hubby so we could go party together. My parent's room was on Lido and they had no problems but for some reason their room felt smaller than ours. Staff The staff on this ship were exceptional. We dealt with a couple ppl bc of the issue with our room and they were very professional and accommodating. The supervisor checked in on us over the course of the cruise and gave us her direct line in case we had any issues. I was in charge of the CC party so I worked with a staff member for that as well. She was great. Also our dining room team was awesome. Our lead server was so serious and focused. He had been on cruise ships for over 20 years and he was exhausted. He only had 1 cruise after ours and then he was retiring. Also this was the 1st time that we ever saw the Maitre D actually interact with ppl in the dining room, good stuff. I don't even remember the CD and fun staff.... That says it all. We also had a problem with the internet cafe guy never being around. We had a discrepancy with internet usage that the purser's desk couldn't address. They kept giving us the internet guy's schedule but he never showed up for work. There were times that there were groups of ppl waiting for him to no avail. Okay we were excited about these ports, however DH and I were disappointed that we only really spent time with my parents at 1 port. They were more focused on quick shopping in port and hanging out/relaxing on board while everyone was off the ship. So this is pretty much just what DH and I did. Also we never schedule excursions with the cruise line, too pricey. We visited Cozumel, Roatan Honduras, Belize and Costa Maya Mexico. Overall this cruise was awesome. We planned to just relax but found ourselves being very active the entire cruise. This was our first time doing the past guest party which we enjoyed. We like the shows on this ship. Especially the one featuring the hip hop dancer. That was amazing. Dis embarkation was easy peasy no problems there. Cocoa Beach Shuttle was easier to deal with as they were there immediately after we called them. The flight back to BWI was terrible bc we weren't able to check in early enough to get seats together so I was stuck between a couple who didn't talk the entire trip. The read a book and the husband slept. I didn't know they were together until we arrived at BWI and she told him " I'll drive home bc you have the flu and I don't want you getting me sick !!! Of course I instantly became ill and was sick for 2 weeks!!!! What a way to end a marvelous vacay!!!! This was a lovely vacay and I would definitely cruise on the Dream again but would choose a different room. I'm excited about booking the Breeze for 2013! Read Less
Sail Date January 2012
After looking forward to our 9/24/11 cruise on the Dream to celebrate my mom's 90th (NOT a typo) birthday with my husband, 2 sisters and 1 brother-in-law, I started reading reviews and wondered if we had made a big mistake in booking ... Read More
After looking forward to our 9/24/11 cruise on the Dream to celebrate my mom's 90th (NOT a typo) birthday with my husband, 2 sisters and 1 brother-in-law, I started reading reviews and wondered if we had made a big mistake in booking on the Dream. This is an account of our experience. We found a $4.99 per day special on off-site parking that was ideal (Just look for the yellow submarine floating in the air near the terminal(sorry I can't remember the name of the lot. We had to reserve our spot before the cruise to get that deal. Went through embarkation in mere minutes...so easy! Then to the Lido deck for lunch. Big crowd,but short waits in lines. Food was good. then on to our cabins. Very clean as usual, and our steward, Kahil, was perfect!! He produced a needle & thread when we lost a button just before dinner, took down the dividers between the 3 balconies, so we had one long balcony. One deck below us on deck 5, there was a nice hot tub, which was almost never used, with lots of empty chairs around to enjoy the sun or shade. Our balconies overlooked the hot tub, so we could be in it and talk to my mom, who LOVES the balcony!! Tropical storm Ophelia was nearby, but didn't pose much of a problem. I did notice the boat moving a lot the first 2 days, then as we went further south toward St. Thomas, the sea was calmer. We saw a water spout that got a lot of attention (my first), and the most beautiful rainbow ever over the ocean. The food in the Scarlett dining room was very good. Lobster night was a big hit, and was cooked to perfection..Our 2 waiters, Sonny & I.Gusti, were absolutely awesome!! We didn't just leave waiters behind, we left friends. As for the rest of the employees, none of us EVER saw or heard anything but kind remarks, helpful directions, etc.Everyone spoke if they passed you in the hallways or anywhere else on the ship. I honestly can say that the Carnival staff was about the best I have encountered. This was the 6th cruise for my husband and I, and we hope to go again soon, on Carnival, because we can count on good food, great service, and super good times. If you go on the Dream and you don't have a good time, it isn't because of anything they do or fail to do. It is because you are looking for something to gripe about. Maybe that makes you a 'savvy traveler'. Oh,and every passenger I saw was sober, nicely mannered and having a great time. The entertainment was good. I have seen better, but again, no real complaints. The machines in the casino were tight,and I never did see anyone winning anything. The ironing rooms were very nicely equipped, as were the public restrooms we used. The pool area got crowded, but we used the hot tub more. The 'returning guests' party was very nice, with free drinks galore. Children weren't a problem (I think most were back in school), & parents seemed to have a handle on discipline, except for one boy who threw food on his mother's head out near the pool. Debarkation was simple and over in a matter of minutes. How did a whole week fly by so fast? Wait on us Carnival......we're coming back. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
This was our 2nd cruise aboard the Carnival Dream. We boarded her out of Port Canaveral which is very convenient for us living here in Central Florida. Our first cruise was December, 2009, when Carnival had a one-time 9-day itinerary and ... Read More
This was our 2nd cruise aboard the Carnival Dream. We boarded her out of Port Canaveral which is very convenient for us living here in Central Florida. Our first cruise was December, 2009, when Carnival had a one-time 9-day itinerary and this cruise was a 7-day with a few of the ports. The only complaint back in 2009 and in September, 2011, is that the ship's food court on the Lido Deck is not large enough to accommodate a ship with so many passengers. The staff can't (or don't) get the tables cleared fast enough to eliminate the confusion of passengers standing around waiting for tables. We are Milestone Rewards Carnival cruises so we get VIP service. This was the first time we tried the "Your Time Dining" and it was wonderful. Our first night we gave the dining room hostess our stateroom number, requesting a 2T (table for two) and we were taken to a lovely little alcove where there were four tables for two - it overlooked the first floor of the formal dining room. Our servers were excellent. The food? Well, we have trouble ordering food we can't pronounce but we did find the 'comfort' food selection was very good for the nights we didn't want to order from the menu of the night. We did not make it to Nassau as the hurricane was too close so the captain took us further south toward Cuba and we went on to St. Thomas. In 2009 we stayed in a suite which was nice. This time we booked a regular balcony which was more than adequate. My husband is a smoker and never smokes in the stateroom so the balcony is perfect for him. Most all the cruiselines are prohibiting smoking in staterooms without the passengers having to pay upwards of $250 cleaning fee. The cleaning fee in most cases would be cheaper than upgrading to a balcony but we do prefer the luxury of sitting outside as we cruise - particularly at night. We would recommend this ship to families and it would be great for reunions, as well. I don't know that we will board her again any time soon even though the port is so convenient and, we have been on so many cruises, east/west doesn't matter...we are beginning to take longer cruises to far away places. We'll see how that pans out. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
this was and will be our only cruise with this company firstly let me start by saying the crew and staff were fantastic very helpful and polite the room stewardess was very good and the rooms very always clean the bar staff were ... Read More
this was and will be our only cruise with this company firstly let me start by saying the crew and staff were fantastic very helpful and polite the room stewardess was very good and the rooms very always clean the bar staff were also very polite and always seemed to be busy either serving or wiping down bar tops shelves etc we mostly used the Laani bar on deck 5 this cruise was absolutely full and boy did it show whenever you went for a buffet meal it seemed every passenger was wanting to eat at the same time as us (we often changed times to go to the buffet) but the queues were long the only place you could get tea/coffee was deck 10 we were on deck 2 so quite a trek for a drink the breakfast buffet served the same  everyday with little or no variation we had dinner 4 times in the scarlett lower lounge and the menu was limited but was OK the meals were not overly big but you could order another meal if you wanted again wait staff were very good we thought the entertainment was not very good unless you wanted to be drinking and running around like a lunatic we saw 2 shows in the encore theatre Dancing in the street which was very good and a country show which was very mediocre what spoiled the second show was towards the end the act as part of a song told the audience to stand up and be proud to be american while lots of them did lots kept sitting down and felt as if we shouldn't have been there uncomfortable moments (we then left) from there we went straight aft to the Burgundy lounge to see a so called comedian  he started by having a go at the Pakistanis then started on the Brits following up by bawling how great the yanks are again we walked out shore tours we had been to Cozumel in the past we saw a cruise liner moored near Senor Frogs so assumed wrongly this is where the Nightmare would tie up instead it was a taxi ride into town 7 dollars each way on the way off the boat you have to pass through duty free shops and 20 jewellery shops all recommended by Carnival also a bar Isla Rotan we got off the boat went through duty free shops and 20 jewellery shops and a bar recommended by carnival we asked about a taxi ride to the parrot park 10 dollars we said 4 of us 40 dollars we were told then 8 dollars each to enter park then 40 dollars back we went and did an independent tour for 100 dollars plus a tip for the guide you hire them to take you round the island take as long as you want (stand is just across the car park ) we passed the Parrot the monkey and i think it was flora and fauna parks after about 20 minutes these are 3 separate parks and cost 8 dollars each Belize we got off the boat passed 20 jewellery shops a bar and duty free shops all recommended by carnival we went to go outside the compound/jail and some of the locals were reaching in trying to get us through the bars wanting us to go on trips with them, back to the boat costa maya carnival recommended that we went to 20 jewellery shops a bar then through duty free this was the more amazing for the whole tour how they get away with it DOH we the victims are really taken for suckers 10 minutes ashore back to boat space Kennedy we booked this trip for the debarkation day because we didn't want to sit in the airport and remember our lovely holiday this we did as recommended by carnival on day 1 of the cruise as places would fill up very quickly. 1630 on the Friday note posted through cabin door trip cancelled through lack of interest we went to complain at customer service absolutely no interest from them didn't have time to book another trip so spent 8 hours sat in airport (really exciting) overall we think if you were not spending money to line the pockets of carnival they are not interested in you if they paid the staff real wages then you wouldn't have to pay tips Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
On Sept. 3, 2011 our 2nd Annual SBPHC Cruise was aboard the Carnival Dream. There were 20 of us this year, which included family as well as friends. We arrived early at Port Canaveral after parking at the Park-n-Cruise and taking their ... Read More
On Sept. 3, 2011 our 2nd Annual SBPHC Cruise was aboard the Carnival Dream. There were 20 of us this year, which included family as well as friends. We arrived early at Port Canaveral after parking at the Park-n-Cruise and taking their shuttle to the port. Boarding was very easy and fast with no long lines or luggage searches. The ship itself is very impressive with plenty of places to congregate for large and small groups. Most of our group members had Cove Balcony rooms. We usually get balcony rooms but had never had a Cove Balcony. I have to say, that I really loved it there! They are closer to the water and are sheltered by the lifeboats which are a level above. We felt like we were in our own little world. And they are 10sq. feet larger than the regular balcony rooms. We were able to open up the dividers between cabins and have a very large balcony! And of course, our stateroom was very comfortable. It seems the cabins on the Dream have a lot more storage areas than just the closets which was nice. Service and friendliness of staff was very good on the Dream and our cabin steward always kept our ice buckets and small cooler full of ice for us! The biggest kudos I have is for the dining/kitchen staff. I follow a gluten free diet and was concerned about how this would be handled. I contacted our Carnival travel agent Jose Arreaza and let him know of the dietary restrictions and he in turn contacted the appropriate people on the Dream. Each night at dinner my "dinner planner" would come to the table and go over the menu with me for the next evening's meal, pointing out what they could make gluten-free, from appetizers to desert! I even got to enjoy Chocolate Melting Cake! I just can't say enough good things about this feature!! And on the Lido Deck, you can even order gluten-free pizza (takes about 10 min) which was great!! I had no worries the whole week! The entertainment is always good both in the theater and the lounges! The best entertainment was the laser light/music show Thursday night on the Lido Deck. And of course, the giant movie screen is a great addition for watching movies at night and all the on-board activities during the day! We always do self-debarkation as it is so easy and we were off the ship and back to our car at the Park-n-Cruise by 8:00a.m.! We walked right off the ship and sped through customs without a hitch. We loved sailing on the Dream and can't wait to get back aboard!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
DH and I wanted to do something special for our Anniversary as well as trying a Cove Balcony so we chose this cruise. We are experienced cruisers but for our style cruising we made a few mistakes. Mistake number one - We got the ... Read More
DH and I wanted to do something special for our Anniversary as well as trying a Cove Balcony so we chose this cruise. We are experienced cruisers but for our style cruising we made a few mistakes. Mistake number one - We got the last Cove Balcony and it was under the galley. The noise was incredible all day and most of the night. The Cove Balconies themselves are an echo chamber conducting sound down the whole side of the ship. We liked the position of the Cove Balcony close to the water but don't plan on getting any sleep unless you have ear plugs. The galley above us was so noisy we couldn't tell if some noise came from next door cabins. We could hear the screaming kid across the hall for a week as well as kids wandering the hall at all hours. Mistake number two - Was taking a cruise when the kids were still out of school. We were told there were over 1500 kids on board and over 1000 of them were under age 14. During the safety briefing, the ship announced curfews for kids and the need for parental supervision. I never saw anything enforced. For a week we dodged running kids wielding ice cream cones. We watched kids get food on the buffet and put it back. We watched boxes of cereal fall to the floor and be put back for use by crew as well as passengers. Big hint, if you eat boxed cereal on board any ship don't carry it to your table in your cereal bowl! One evening at 10:45 pm I decided to go to the Lido for a snack. When the elevator came down three children age 6 and under were on the elevator alone. Two of the boys were trying to pull the third one off the elevator while he was having a tantrum. No parents in sight. As I arrived on the Lido, young children were roaming all over. Unsupervised children were in the aft pool. I saw one boy with this mouth on the cream machine feeding himself directly sans bowl or cone! Gangs of teenagers were everywhere. DH and I were horrified to see a teenaged boy licking a pudding dessert out of the bowl, who needs a spoon! DH and I were exhausted after a week of hiding in our stateroom from screaming and unruly kids! Mistake Number 3 - We were wait listed for anytime dining but got stuck with Late Fixed seating. For health reasons we can't eat a heavy meal that late at night so all our dinners except for one were on the Lido. For the most part the food was as good as you would get in most hospitals! We had sandwiches and pizza a couple of nights. During lunch the Pasta Bar was good, the Burrito Bar was OK, the BBQ on the Lanai was OK, the Wok was OK, and the grill was OK. Pizza and sandwiches were good. Chef Art's ($30 up charge) was excellent. Breakfast was awful. We ate cold cereal and noticed many people doing likewise. Reminder, don't put the boxes of cereal or cartons of milk inside your bowl to carry them to the table. We reported seeing the dining room staff replacing milk and cereal that had been on tables or the floor to the supervisor and he said they should know better and would remind them not to do it but days later they still were doing it. The shows were good. We went to two song and dance shows and one comedy show and enjoyed all of them. Overall, we found that Carnival Dream was too big with too many people and way too many kids for our taste. We did not see one case where Carnival enforced any of their own rules. There were some responsible parents and some well mannered children but overall it was a chaotic cruise with parents turning their little monsters loose on everyone else. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
I have been on 3 other Carnival ships but this one far surpasses the others. I am going to compare it to the Norwegian Epic which I sailed on last July. The stateroom on the Dream was much more roomier and the design of the room was better ... Read More
I have been on 3 other Carnival ships but this one far surpasses the others. I am going to compare it to the Norwegian Epic which I sailed on last July. The stateroom on the Dream was much more roomier and the design of the room was better planned than on the Epic. We even got bathrobes.The beds were larger and much more comfortable. The total cost was a lot less than the Epic and the stateroom door actually closed shut when you went out. The Epic did have a coffee maker in the cabin which would have been nice to have rather than ordering it by room service each morning. Our room steward, Asep, was the greatest.The ports of call were why we chose this cruise as we hadn't been to Roatan, Belize or Costa Maya. Loved Mahogany Bay...the beach was lovely...wish I did the sky ride to it...and the shopping was reasonable without the high pressure sales people of Cozumel. Belize was a big disappointment but enjoyed going on the Altun Ha tour. It was very educational however, don't forget bug spray. Costa Maya was a tourist trap and everything was over priced. We had late seating in the main dining room. The menu selection was great and the food was superb.Our waiter, Eko, was friendly and kept us laughing, I do prefer the freestyle dining of NCL but Carnival's food is much better. Read Less
Sail Date June 2011
Embarkcation process went smoothly as everyone stated. The family came in 1 day early and stayed at Country Inn and Suites in Cape Canaveral and the stay was very pleasant.OK now our dream beginsWhen boarding the ship there was no one ... Read More
Embarkcation process went smoothly as everyone stated. The family came in 1 day early and stayed at Country Inn and Suites in Cape Canaveral and the stay was very pleasant.OK now our dream beginsWhen boarding the ship there was no one greeting the guests, you were left to figure out where to go next, I feel that would be tough on first time cruisers, which we had 4 with our group.We headed to Deck 10 (Lido deck)to the Gathering for lunch that was overwhelming, long lines, DH had to sit at empty table while we were in line for food, food was OK nothing to brag about.Room was ready by 1:30 received luggage in a reasonable about of time. Never meet the room steward but he did an excellent job on keeping our room clean and staffed with clean towels.After changing into our swimwear we headed off to the pool, another challenge no seats and small pool for a ship of 4,000 people. Oh. now the sail away party what a BIG disappointment, possibly the worse one ever.We ate in the main dining room 6 out or 7 nights, we had 14 people at our table now Anthony was our headwaiter and did a fine job, but his assistant sucked, the head matrid never once came to our table, until I asked for him to complain about the amount of time it took to serve us. A minimum of 2 hours for dinner, food was only warm and getting a drink was almost impossible, we were on the upper level of the Scarlet Dining Room and the kitchen is on the 3rd level and the food had to be bought up from the 3rd level on the escalator along with anything you wanted to drink, it took forever, We enjoyed the shows and the comedy shows we had no complaints, the only problem is the saving of seats, at the pool and at the Encore theater, the activities need some help, the fun days at sea where not fun, very little to dounless you like playing Bingo all the time at $20 a game. Oh yeah the serenity deck I think you needed to be there in the middle of the night to get a clam shell or a hammock because there NEVER was one available, also there is no pool for the adults, which there should be.Disembarking was done by zones and it was very very slow took us until 10:30amto get off the ship.Overall not a great cruise, too many people, to large of a ship. For the sizeof the ship they don't have alot to offer, but we had a great time with ourfamily, we will never cruise the Carnival Dream as a couple, Forgot one thing the Lani Deck (deck 5) was very nice had 4 hot tubs and plenty of tables and chairs in the shade and plenty of chaise lounges in the sun and a complete walk around deck 2.5 times is 1 mile, that's where they hadthe BBQ on sea days and it was pretty good. Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
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
Our group consisted of Granny, Poppy, three kids and ten count them ten grandchildren ranging in age from little over a year to seventeen. We saild on the Jan 8th Western Carib cruise. Because one can't be sure of Md. weather, ... Read More
Our group consisted of Granny, Poppy, three kids and ten count them ten grandchildren ranging in age from little over a year to seventeen. We saild on the Jan 8th Western Carib cruise. Because one can't be sure of Md. weather, we left a day early and did an overnight at Cocoa Beach. Highly recommend this no matter where you live as it enables you to board earlier and enjoy your first meal on the ship. Considering all in our group and changes in cabins, embarkation was easy. By 12 noon on the 8th we all were on the Lido deck having a good buffet lunch. Now about the cruise. I did not get too critical about things because one has to remember Carnival is not a premier cruise line. One can't compare Sachs 5th Ave to Wal Mart or Target. The Dream is a big ship - a very big ship. It now appears that all the cruise lines are trying to out do each other by trying to put monstrous floating hotels on the water. For this trip a very bad thing more later. Our balcony cabins were a good size and well appointed. You can get bigger but will pay more. Personally I will not cruise again without booking a balcony. They just add a bit of get away comfort. Food on board was for the most part good. There was only one dinner that we passed on for the buffet because nothing appealed. Pass on the New England crab cakes - not even close to what you can get in Balmore! Because of the number of people on board the buffet lines tended to get long. Not a real biggie. Maybe to some not to me. Entertainment was par for this level cruise. Shipboard singers and dancers good but not Broadway or Vegas, Very funny magician and expert juggler. The comedy club shows were good and there are two levels family and r rated. both funny and recommended. Don't take kids (in fact they will be asked to leave) to the r rated shows. For younger kids camp Carnival is a good experience. All my younger grand kids liked it. Now for those lost teens 17, 18 and 19 the club for them seemed to be lacking. My 17 year old grandson was lost and i did feel sorry for him This group of people are too young to night club so they wonder about the ship looking for stuff to do. Hey Carnival get with it and put together a young adult club. Butch the cruise director form your own opinion if you sail. He tried to make the fact that two ports were cancelled a great fun thing no Butch it was a sad thing. On the Titanic it would have been Hey everybody we're going down but come on out to the fantail and hear the band play Nearer My God to Be or something like that NOW THE BAD AND UGLY EXCURSION EXPERIENCE OR LACK OF IT. As i said the Dream is a very big ship and Mother Ocean made the seas rough making it impossible (OR SO THE CAPTAIN SAID. Rumor has it that a port scheduling problem kept us at sea and not the weather) to dock at Isle Roatan and Costa Maya. Many many people lost what could have been a once in a life time adventure. Carnival bless their heart is giving all a 20% discount on a future cruise. Generous aren't they? But for families that this was a once in a lifetime vacation there will be no other cruises so a 20% refund is what is deserving. We gained an extra day at sea whoopee. more booze sales for Carnival. We did two excursions both excellent, Swimming with manatees in Cozumel and the Belize zoo tour which is really a reserve for endangered animals Hey got kissed by a jaguar! Cant say enough about the crew. Our housekeeping person Marco and waiter Hari were fantastic. Hari especially with having to put up with all our kids. Guest services people were fantastic especially with having to put up with guests not too happy about the port cancellations. Enough said. Except do the express baggage thing. All your big pieces of baggage are piked up outside your cabin and you don't see them (if all goes well and it did for us) at your airport. However not all airlines participate. any thoughts or questions feel free -mga28@msn.com foxfire. Read Less
Sail Date January 2011
We sailed Dec. 11-18 it was my first time on Carnival and I was well pleased. The ship is beautiful and well planned we had no trouble getting around at all. The shows were great and the Cruise director Butch and baby Butch were ... Read More
We sailed Dec. 11-18 it was my first time on Carnival and I was well pleased. The ship is beautiful and well planned we had no trouble getting around at all. The shows were great and the Cruise director Butch and baby Butch were wonderful. We participated in the team contest and won a trophy for decorating our door and since we don't live together he was great about getting us another one so we could both have one. The food was very good and our service was great I enjoyed dancing with our waiter Alvin. The last cruise I was on was to the eastern caribbean and I believe I enjoyd those pors ov call better than these. At Cozumel the winds were too rough for the helmet dive we had scheduled but we were about to book the dolphin experience instead and it was a Dream come true. Other than the weather with the wind being so strong and the tems lower than I would have liked it was enjoyable. Belize was really interesting we did the Myan ruins and the river wallace and it was neat. Roatan was different we went to the west end and that was quit an experience the roads are terrable but it was interesting to see.We then went to the beach and hungout for a while. At Costa Maya we just shoped and it was fun to bargin with the people. Got some good deals. As for the if I would take this cruise again probably not really like the Eastern better but if I would go on the Dream again Yes it was lots of fun. Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
Each year for the past few years we have cruised on Carnival's newest ship. This included the Freedom and Splendor which we enjoyed, but the Dream is the best. Earlier this year we decided to try Royal Caribbean on the Navigator of ... Read More
Each year for the past few years we have cruised on Carnival's newest ship. This included the Freedom and Splendor which we enjoyed, but the Dream is the best. Earlier this year we decided to try Royal Caribbean on the Navigator of the Seas which is a size comparable to the Carnival Dream. So, I will draw some comparisons in our experience of the RC and Carnival ships. Embarkation and debarkation are very fast and easy, especially if you use the self-assist and carry your luggage aboard and off the ship. We arrived at the port at 10:45 am and were on the Dream by 11:15 am. They announce that cabins will not be available until 1:30 pm but the Lido Deck is open for lunch. So everyone is trying to get lunch at the same time while dragging luggage around the dining area. The congestion is unbelievable. The cabin -- outside ocean view -- on Carnival was far superior to the same category cabin we had on RC Navigator. Also, Carnival provides nice bathrobes; RC provides none. As for food, in the main dining room the food was excellent on both the Dream and RC Navigator. In the specialty steakhouse the food was ok on the RC Navigator but beyond excellent on the Dream. The buffet restaurant -- on the Dream's lido deck -- is far, far better with many more choices than that of RC Navigator where the food was awful every day. As for entertainment, on the Carnival Dream it was lackluster. The cruise director reminded me of a televangelist trying to work up a crowd before taking the offering. With the exception of an excellent country/western group the rest was somewhere between pathetic and mediocre. It seemed to me that RC Navigator had more to offer. I loved their ice skating show. One more thing; many earlier reviews talked about the offensive odor of sewage that they encountered on the Dream. I walked the full length of the ship many times on various decks and never experienced any such odors. We will probably try RC and others again, but have always been more than satisfied with our experience on Carnival, which again was very good. Read Less
Sail Date November 2010
SIZE does matter, this ship is big. Dream designed for 3600 passengers had 4700 as most cabins come with extra beds and it was family cruise time. How did it affect us, elevators were a constant wait, each venture out of cabin required ... Read More
SIZE does matter, this ship is big. Dream designed for 3600 passengers had 4700 as most cabins come with extra beds and it was family cruise time. How did it affect us, elevators were a constant wait, each venture out of cabin required elevator travel. Not just a wait for slow elevator but having to ride wrong direction because too many of the opening doors revealed they were full, computer on elevator obliged to stop for our call but didn't have sense to know it was full. Only thing worse than a slow elevator is no elevator when power went off, 14 decks of stairs was possible for those not in wheel chairs as every landing we passed had one waiting. Dream had a power failure and 30 minutes later someone assures the people stuck in elevators that they were working on the problem, it did come back on in less than a hour, but must have seemed longer since no a/c. Deck levels needed: 3 for dining restaurant, 10 for cafeteria, 5 for sushi bar 4 for library,5 for casino, clubs,11 for spa 15 for Serenity, adult only deck but that needed a transfer as only elevator to it was within the spa on 11. Not being young and fit, walking the 1,000 ft corridor forward to aft was a chore. The two formal restaurants with waiters were on deck 3,4 but one was central while the other was aft, the after dinner entertainment theatre was all the way forward. the lounges with late night comedy shows were aft. 1000+1000+1000+1000 and back to the room 1,000 or about a mile on moving decks either with carpet or tile. We noticed lost people every day, even on debarking a lady asked, "are we walking right way to forward area". Only place to know where you are is a floor and deck plan located by elevator banks for each deck, very easy to get confused without fore and aft or port and starboard indicators. Carnival cutting back on paper decided not to have deck layout plans readily available they did give small deck level drawing, but customer relations desk had to hunt up a floor plan for the missing info. We enjoyed the ship most while in port, even tried to watch a movie on giant screen, worked until returning passengers filled the tiny pool and noise competed with sound system. Lots of hot tubs on board but they didn't need to heat them here in the tropics. Reason for time of cruise was to celebrate G-son's graduation, from now on we will go back to cruises while schools are still in session. We couldn't hear general announcements due to good sound proofing of door, but I know the in room speaker worked as we did hear a couple of messages looking for individuals. Had to prop door open with dead bolt to be able to hear debarkation announcements. Read Less
Sail Date June 2010
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
A SWEET DREAM... We sailed the E. Caribbean Route on the Dream from May 8 - May 15, , and loved every minute of it. We had read the poor reviews and were worried as many have said they were too. So, quickly, I will report what we ... Read More
A SWEET DREAM... We sailed the E. Caribbean Route on the Dream from May 8 - May 15, , and loved every minute of it. We had read the poor reviews and were worried as many have said they were too. So, quickly, I will report what we experienced. And thanks to those who did write reviews for Cruise Critics.. I poured over them for months. EMBARKTATION....Easy. People living close to the Port, and driving in were apparently called by Carnival, and told to arrive early. We did. We were told to be there by 10:30 and we were. We waited a few moments after doing our registration, then we were boarded. We were sitting on the Lido Deck, eating pizza by a little after 11:00 am. I kid you not. CABIN....The Cabins were open by 1:30pm. We had a balcony on the Panorama Deck. Everything worked. The Cabin was cleaned a little late each day, but the young woman who cleaned it was working across the hall, and when she did see to the cabin, ..it was spotless. We had occasion to request two small services, and she immediately saw that they were done. We tipped her extra as we thought she did a fine job. The only problem we had was navigating from the Panorama Deck to the Dining Areas on the Lido Deck and on Deck Three. We would go down to Deck Five..walk across and then take the Elevator down to three. I am sure there is an easier way, but we did not discover it. Other than that, the Cabin was about as nice as it gets. SHIP SAFETY DRILL....We met in the Theater. We did not bring life jackets. We saw a demonstration of how to use the jacket, then saw a film on the correct use, how to board a tender and such. EXCELLENT. MUCH BETTER THAN THE OLD WAY. DINING—We had fixed seating, Early dining on Deck Three, Scarlet Restaurant. Our Table was 505. We sat with a lovely couple from Missouri, and we enjoyed catching up with them each night and hearing of their adventures. The Wait Staff was pleasant, competent...We tipped them extra too, for their above and beyond the call of duty excellent service. The Food was from OK..to good..to very good. The Biggest Surprise was the Grilled Porkchop EntrEe. . It was huge, cooked to perfection and delicious. We thought the food portions were larger than in the past. We liked that. We did not order any double entrees ( except DH on Lobster night), I left full each evening, we did not do any late night snacks and controlled our weight pretty well, while eating what we wanted too at mealtimes. I thought the Cappuccino Pie was delicious. The Pork Ribs are very good. No One seemed unhappy with their meals and I cannot remember a night when my entrEe turned out to be a stinker. The Rolls were good. I missed the dried tomato rolls they had on The Freedom, but I still managed to knock back a roll or two at dinner. We also ate breakfast in the same MDR. The grits were done to perfection,. not too thick, not too runny. My DH had three eggs fried each day. The coffee was great. I wish I had that to wake up to every morning. I HIGHLY recommend the MDR for breakfast. LIDO. THE GATHERING, THE PASTA BAR, THE LANAI BBQ. -The BBQ on deck Five was bad. We thought the food was bad, the sliders tasted like they had mystery meat in them, the chips had dips that I never heard of., and .I may be a yokel but some salsa,.some bean dip, would have been better than runny green chili sauces or thick orange ones. There was no desert there and I did not see any salads. NEEDS FIXING, . The Pasta Bar. Again, I did not like the food, except for the Garlic Bread. I could make a meal on that heavenly bread. The Gathering was pretty good. I usually had Pizza for me(.Rustica which is divine)..and DH had a hamburger and hotdog from the grill., We both loved them. I had the fried chicken from the Buffet on day for lunch and it was very good. I also did the Salad bar several times and the selection of veggies and fruits was good. The Blue Cheese Dressing was very good. The Chocolate Chip Cookes on the dessert bar in the Gathering melted in our mouths. YOU HAVE TO TRY ONE.. We went up every day..and ate them, and the ice cream. The Ice Cream Machine is inside, an attendant monitors it for cleanness, and I saw a lot more adults walking around with cones. We certainly indulged. for the first time ever on a Carnival Ship. I think most reasonable people would be very satisfied with the Food on the Dream. SHOW PRODUCTIONS...We saw all three musical numbers. "Get ReadY' was the MoTown Show and we thought it good. "Dancing in the Streets" has some acrobatic dancers that truly give that show a new dimension. It was very good. Our Favorite was the country music show. The :"Fiddler" who did some special numbers in the Country Show was very good. I thought the Dance and Singing Troupes did a very good job. The crowds were good each night. I did not see any of the conflicts reported on getting a seat. For the Country and Western Show, My DH and I went to the second row where we saw some seats. When we asked if they were "saved", the answer was NO. So we had a great seat. We arrived about 20 minutes early for each Show. We always sat in a good seat on Deck 3. I always saw some empty seats up on the Upper Decks, even to when the Shows opened. I saw great crowds.,.but no mass mobbing,..nothing like that. We did not see any of the comedy acts nor did we visit the Comedy Club. But passengers we talked too raved about the Comedy Club. It was very popular. SHIP ACTIVITIES: ..There were so many activities, it would be impossible to do them all. Miniature Golf, a basketball court, two pools, an Adults only area, pool games and trvia, pingpong tournament, cooking demonstrations, art auctions, shopping, the casino, etc. The Casino is big, modern and the slots are very tight. Very tight. We played a lot of Trivia with Mark, James and Megan. A lot of other people showed up to play too..and the turnout made it more competitive and fun. Some of the Trivia was ordinary stuff, but Super Trivia, which was played on Sea Days was different. It involved tough questions, a huge dice ball thing and it drew such big crowds that we had trouble finding a seat. MARK--..JAMES---..MEGAN.—A.SHOUT OUT TO YOU FOR MAKING OUR CRUISE SO MUCH FUN,..AND FOR THE NICE PEOPLE WE MET AT YOUR ACTIVITIES. They just were superb. We will cruise with them again... POOL AND CHAIR HOGS...We did not use the pool. We live in Florida and avoid the direct sun. But, I noted that the chairs around the main pool were popular, but there could always be seen empty chairs. The areas on the Panaroma Deck had a lot of empty loungers. My DH checked out Serenity and he said it was full. The Weather was perfect the days we were in Port, and I think the people who visited Beaches in the Bahamas, St. Martin, St. Thomas or St. Johns had an excellent time. A lot of sunburned folks were running around that night. Take Sun Screen. BIG SCREEN MOVIE...Avatar was shown one night. It was also shown in the rooms and I did see some of it. The Selection of movies seemed good to me. They had the GI Joe Movie on for the kids one night. I liked the balance they in Movies., .some for the family, other a little more mature. PROBLEMS... I did smell the "smell", which is a sewer smell, but not any more than on any other ship. It was not often, it was fleeting, and it just was not a problem. Elevators were a problem. Give yourself extra time at dinner time, show time and excursion time to get an elevator. They were crowded at peak times. If you can walk the stairs, do that. It will control your weight too. Everything else seemed better than expectations. We had a wonderful time. We really did. DISEMBARKTATION....We were given zones the night before. We were told the night before where to go and wait after breakfast. We got up, ate on the Lido Deck, went to the 3rd. Floor to the Theater, which was our assigned place, and within fifteen minutes we were called. We were off the ship, driving home by 8:30am. I kid you not. Carnival has this down pat. Read Less
Sail Date May 2010
After reading so many negative comments about the Dream, I want to say we throughly enjoyed the experience. There was only "the smell" at Port Canaveral as we were disembarking. There were PLENTY of chairs anytime night or day - ... Read More
After reading so many negative comments about the Dream, I want to say we throughly enjoyed the experience. There was only "the smell" at Port Canaveral as we were disembarking. There were PLENTY of chairs anytime night or day - the first few rows by the pool were occupied, but many were open all over the ship. The food lines were not a problem with so many choices - main dining room, Lido buffet, outside BBQ, Tandori Grill, Pasta Bar, Deli, the salad bar in in Ocean Plaza, sushi bar, Mongolian Wok, plus all the poolside hamburgers, chicken and hotdogs. These were all open for lunch. If it was crowded, just go somewhere else. The longest wait was at the Pasta bar, but they take your order and you sit at your table until they deliver it to you. The captain kept great communication with the passengers - especially both times they had to come to a stop in the middle of the ocean to let a passenger off for medical reasons. We were made aware of the situation and assured of no disturbance of port times as soon as the situation was under control. I had my Carnival hair dryer to spark and pop in my stateroom - within 5 minutes, maintenance was there to correct it. I was impressed. We enjoyed the balcony. I was concerned that the Lanai would be annoying and loud below us, but we had no problems at all. We actually enjoyed watching the chess games 2 stories down from our balcony. The spa tubs were closed at 8PM, so that was not a problem. The Lanai was wonderful for wheelchair bound passengers as they could completely encompass the ship and had much freedom to do so. We had Caesar and Emillio serve us in the main dining room. They were excellent, bringing us new dishes to "try" every meal. There was even a situation at the table next to us where a couple was fighting and throwing silverware - Caesar handled the situation quickly and efficiently before anyone was hurt. He seemed to actually enjoy serving us each night. We did not attend most of the shows, since we prefer music instead of breakdancing and singers screaming out notes. We did see Julie and Julia on the big screen. There was plenty of room, and the volume was such that all could hear, but not overwhelming. Port Canaveral is by far the most efficient port in handling so many passengers in a short amount of time. We did certainly enjoy our cruise to celebrate our 40th Wedding Anniversary! Read Less
Sail Date May 2010
Review of the Carnival Dream sailing on 5-1-10 (It is a long review and we specifically addressed previous negatives in the section at the end.) We are a couple in our 50's and 60's who cruise 3-4 times a year, always on ... Read More
Review of the Carnival Dream sailing on 5-1-10 (It is a long review and we specifically addressed previous negatives in the section at the end.) We are a couple in our 50's and 60's who cruise 3-4 times a year, always on Carnival. This was our 12th cruise with Carnival. We picked the Dream because we like the big ships and this was the biggest and newest so we booked it. We were a little discouraged after reading the bad reviews, but overall the negative comments seemed petty so we were sure we would have a great cruise. We cruise to be together, rarely go to games or shows, preferring instead to just spend time together for the most part. We do not lie out in the sun so chair hogs are not a problem for us. This was the Western itinerary going to Cozumel, Isla Roatan, Costa Maya and Belize. We had previously been to all the ports except Isla Roatan. We started our trip on Wednesday driving down to Syracuse NY to stay overnight for our early morning flight on DELTA. Flight was uneventful and we landed in Orlando on schedule with all our luggage. We rented a car from Thrifty to drive to Canaveral, use until cruise day and drop off and catch their shuttle to the port. ($118.00 for 2 days unlimited mileage - booked direct on their website, we had a Dodge Grand Caravan) We arrived in Canaveral (about 35 minute drive) and went to our hotel Radisson at the port. Great hotel, we booked a 2 room Jacuzzi suite for the two nights ($143.00/night for two nights booked directly with the hotel) Great location, close to all the rental car places, stores and liquor stores nearby for last minute purchases. Plenty of places to eat as well.. Thursday night we ate at Fishlips, a sports bar/resturant/outdoor eatery. We got the fish fry which was $12.50 each and huge portions. The other menu items (fish) were all in the $25-$35 price range with nothing in between. On Friday we went to the Kennedy Space center but didn't go in - they wanted $100 for both of us to get in and included, rides and special tours we didn't want. We just wanted a museum. We were told, it was all or nothing - pay the price and spend the entire day there or don't go. (The Space center is outsourced to a tour company we were told) We ended up at the Astronaut Hall of Fame which was great, just what we were looking for.; ($18.00/person) Friday evening we met our Cruise critic group at the Radisson for a meet and greet (we had several things planned with the roll call members) SAT - EMBARKATION DAY - Dropped our rental car off and they took us to the port free. Radisson has a shuttle but they don't run it until 11:30am and that is too late for us. We ignored the call we got from Carnival telling us to get there between 1:30pm-3:00pm - done that before, it's a nightmare, we like early. Incidentally, everyone got the call to be there at that time like it was a special time for them, wrong. Luckily we went between 10:45am and 11:00am. We have priority boarding as we are Platinum, and that went fine. The ship is big and beautiful. Very clean, no smells that we noticed. We had an aft balcony 7467. Very nice with a nice size balcony. The aft cabins seem bigger on the Dream than previous ships we have had aft cabins on.. Our ship stewards were Jose & Koko and they introduced themselves that first day, learned our routine and everything was to perfection in our cabin all week. Had lunch on the Lido - hubby went to the Deli and had a sandwich (no wait at 12:30pm) I had the buffet and waited on no real line either. It was a little close with everyone walking around carrying luggage, but this improved after the rooms were ready. We are not Spa people per se, but we decided to try the spa package to use the steam rooms and thallo pool at $249.00/couple for the week. While the facilities were very nice, there was so much else going on throughout the ship that we managed to get up to the Spa once in the 7 days. (Certainly not very cost effective for us --$124 each for one visit- therefore we would not buy into the spa again, although if you use it a lot, it would be very nice.) Safety drill was painless - no more dragging and donning germ infested life jackets and standing like sardines in the hot muster stations. Went to the dining room where an employee demonstrated the life jackets and told us where to go. The only down side was the fact that even though we cruised 12 times, this is the first time we left the drill, not really sure where to go and since we didn't actually go to the station itself, we didn't really know where it was. We had early dining 6pm and we requested a table for two that we had. Our waiter were Punta and Julie at table 461 in the Lower Scarlett Dining room. All the food we had in the dining room for the entire cruise was great. (for that matter everything we ate on the ship was great) SUN - SEA DAY This was our first full day on board and a sea day. We arose early and had ordered room service for breakfast as is our tradition to eat on our balcony. Arrived when we asked for it and everything was in order. We spent the morning exploring the large beautiful ship. Everything is new and nice. We found it easy to navigate as it is laid out like the other large carnival ships with the 5th deck Lanai being the key to getting from the front to the back. You can also walk the outside Lanai deck all the way around the ship as well as use the promenade inside to get from front to back. You can also do this on any of the cabin decks, just not the public decks with the dining room blocking the middle) The gym is in the front and is separate from the "Spa package/cabin" areas and free. It seemed smaller than other ships and every time I was up there the machines were all in use. I never had to wait but it does seem a little small for the amount of guests on the ship because much of the room is taken up by the "pay for" spa area. Waterslides were opened most of the day, everyday (until 6pm) and were a lot of fun. We did go down them and the twister slide is very nice. The big drainpipe slide is a little harder on an out of shape person in their 50's as the landing in the drainpipe itself is unpredictable and you do end up being tossed around in the drainpipe area. It is also difficult to get your footing to get out of the drainpipe once you come to a stop. The twister slide is great for all but I would not advise anyone with neck or back problems to try the drainpipe slide. We specifically observed the buffet areas to check for the lines everyone complained of in previous reviews. Our observation is we never saw any lines in the aft part of the Gatherings buffet dining room. We had an aft cabin so we mostly went down the elevator and ended up in the back part of the buffet dining area where there were never any lines. We were there eating breakfast between 8am and 9am several days on the cruise and we walked up to empty omelet stations with no lines and no lines at all for the buffet. (I do believe everyone crowds in the part of the buffet dining area closest to the middle of the ship (and mid pool) and they never realize that the other half is empty) Therefore all week we waited on not one line. We even were up there at 12 noon and waited on no line. (I do a picture review on Smug Mug and I took several pictures of this in our cruise journal www.susanrita-cruising.com) This was the day that our cruise critic roll call group had planned a private party with Carnival with an open bar from 1pm to 3pm in the Song Lounge. We never really knew you could do this or what it would cost so here is the info. One of our group on the roll call was in charge of this. She contacted carnival and made all the arrangement ahead of time. It cost $33.00 a couple and was open bar. We figured they would give us one bartender and it would be hard to get any specialty drinks. That was not the case. There were about 5 bartenders and there was no wait for drinks - you could order any drinks and they made it for you. It was a great deal, we thought. It was a great time and we drank so much we ended up sleeping through our 6pm dining time in the dining room. We hate dressing up on vacation and tonight was "elegant night" so we didn't feel like we missed anything. We went to the buffet instead this evening. We did miss the first Slot tournament that we usually go to because it was the same time as this party. MON - COZUMEL We always go to Nachi Cocam beach club in Cozumel - it is not offered through Carnival so we took a taxi there. $49.00/person through Island Marketing and it is open bar (drinks are not strong at all here) and food to order is included. Manuel was our waiter for the day as he was in previous trips here. He remembered us and we had a great time. They have a pool as well as nice beach and you could buy "extras in the way of massages, snorkeling trips, rent jet skies, and parasailing) We did not do anything extra, just relaxed. We ate in the dining room tonight and food as always was good. We have heard bad things about the dining room but our experience was great. Food was served promptly and was hot when it should be and cold if it was supposed to be. The waiters did seem to have a lot of tables to wait on and were often "running around" but everything was great for us. One thing we noticed was no singing waiters every night. This is a good thing as far as we were concerned. We always thought that singing waiters EVERY night were a bit much and distracted from the dining experience so we never liked it and on previous cruises fled the dining room as soon as they "flashed the lights" to signal the start of the singing. One night is OK but not every night. We were glad they changed this. One thing we did notice is that the table are so close together, it is difficult to walk in the dining room when everyone is seated. There is no room to walk and you had to disturb people to move their chairs or stand so you could pass by. For this reason, we were often bumped when waiters passed and with the closeness, entire filled trays were passed over your head frequently. Drinks orders are taken by the waiters and better coordinated and drink orders were filled promptly (a problem on previous ships we were on) We went to the casino tonight for the first time. The casino is huge, takes up both sides of the ship and is noticeably larger than on even the other large carnival ships. Gambled here playing video poker and won some and lost some - never felt cheated and did have fun. They use the cashless system for gambling now completely so no more barrels of dirty quarters. A woman did win $10,000 on one of the slot machines during the cruise. Also since most of the casino is smoke free, it was very nice for non smokers (us). The did have a small smoking section and no smoking was enforced well throughout the rest of the casino. TUESDAY - Isla Raotan - We had no excursions here and had planned to get off the ship just to go to the beach at Mahogany Bay. Not sure what the problem was here, but we were unable to dock at Mahoney Bay. The captain made an announcement but it is difficult to hear announcements in the aft cabins and we heard only part of the announcement when we opened our door to hear it. It didn't seem that windy so it might have been currents that were the problem. They did cancel and refund people who had carnival excursions related to Mahogany Bay (cabanas) but all other excursions from Carnival went from the Town Center where we did dock. People with private tours had some problems because we were now docked somewhere else but it is a small island and word spread quickly. I do believe that the private tour groups did get word and came to the new location. Because of the change the Captain stayed in port 1 extra hour so everyone could have more time here. We got off the boat just to go to the small shopping area and got back on - not much to see here and no beach. Tonight we went to the Dancing in the Streets show that everyone raved about in previous reviews. We are not show people and this was the first time we went to a show (we have never been to one in our previous 12 cruises) We got there early (45 minutes) as there were issues with getting seats we were told. We went right from the dining room (6pm dinner) to our room and then went to the theater. Got seats easily on the second level (Our preference - it seemed like you would not see as much on the main level) They did dance in the main level in the audience so we were glad to be on the second level. Not sure if carnival was policing this, but we did not see people blocking and saving rows of seats that have been previously reported. The show was very good and there is certainly a lot of talent there with all the performers. WEDNESDAY - BELIZE - Woke up today and the cabin seemed very hot in the morning. Later we found out that the air conditioner went down on the ship at 4:30am. It was up and running by 7:30am and we all received letters about what happened in our cabins later in the morning.. We have been to Belize before and we were not impressed. We made no plans to get off here and had planned to use it as a sea day. This is a tender port and a short time here so there were a lot of announcements in regard to the tendering off the ship. Did not hear any complaints about the process around the ship. We used today to go the "spa for our steam room and thallo pool" since we paid for it. Like I said, it was nice but this was the only time we went. The ship itself has a lot of whirlpools that were always pretty empty so we used them instead of going to the spa. As we said the extra fee was wasted on us. We also went in the pools today in the afternoon. It did seem like a lot of people did not go into Belize today (probably because of the tendering and short time here) THURSDAY - COSTA MAYA - Again, been here before (before it was rebuilt after the hurricane) and did not plan any excursions here. We docked here and just got off to look around. A very nice port area with 2 pools and beach area. We find the beaches in Costa Maya to be not as nice as other beaches in the Caribbean especially in the way of clean water and sandy bottom. Costa Maya tends to have weedy bottoms and a lot of coral on the beaches. We did not go in their pools as we returned to the ship and went in the ship pools. Tonight was the past guest party in the theater . Early seating guests were at 3:45pm and late seating was 8:15pm. Usual free drinks and finger foods. We did receive ship pins as we were Platinum, but the regular past guests did not receive them. We did see bigger, different pins for sale in the gift shop. Since we ate and drank at the party, we really weren't hungry so we skipped the dining room tonight (not a sacrifice as it was dress up night again.) We ate at the buffet at 8pm and again, no lines at all in the aft buffet area. FRIDAY - SEA DAY - This was the second slot tournament (we missed the first because of our private party) and we used it to relax. We made a point to eat at the Lanai barbecue today for lunch. It was good, but not our favorite. There was also a chocolate extravaganza at lunch on the buffet that was not advertised at all. It seems to be a secret and by the time we found out it existed, we had already eaten. Look for it across from the Mongolian wok on the last sea day. There was a farewell party at 5pm today with free drinks for an hour SATURDAY - Debarktation - Painless, we had zone one because of Platinum status and we were off the boat by 7:30pm. Everyone else seemed to be getting off quickly as well. There was a curious thing with this Port. We travel a lot and go through customs a lot. Always, including previous cruises, we had to have all our luggage in our possession when we went through customs and handed them our form. They then could open and go through the luggage if they wanted to. If there was a problem, possession of the bag implied you were aware of everything in in. On the Dream we went through customs with only our carry on luggage and then went to get our luggage. When we had our luggage, we were done, we never brought it through customs. I do know they scan luggage with drug sniffing dogs etc but it was strange to go through customs without you luggage although it made the line go much faster. As for the specialty places to eat: Mongolian Wok - this is the mid buffet area where we rarely were and we didn't try it because there were plenty of other places to eat - we saw some short lines when we walked through at this area. On the last sea day of the cruise, we saw the most lines and there were about 15 people in line for this area during peak lunch time. Pizza - We are used to this being in the aft area on other ships but on the Dream it is around the mid pool where we never got a chance to try it - did not really see lines when we passed. Deli - This was in the aft area and we never saw too many people on line. Had sandwiches here and they were delicious. Tandoor Grille - this Indian food place was in the aft pool area and rarely looked crowded. We have never had Indian food and it smelled a bit spicy so we didn't try it. We didn't hear anyone complain about the food here. Hamburger grille - right by the mid pools and we saw very short lines here. Hamburgers/fries/hot dogs/etc. We ate here once and it was very good. (12 noon on the Belize day and there was no one there for a line so I walked up and got my food) On the last sea day at peak lunch time there were about 15-20 people waiting for this area but the line moved fast. Burrito station - Good, lines not to bad - Mexican food is not our favorite so we didn't eat here but others reported good food here. Lanai barbecue - Ate here once as it is only opened on sea days and we made a point to eat here on the last sea day. It was good. The down side was it was so windy that day we couldn't sit outside and just like the incredible annoying wind on the side balconies, the side Lanai was no different. Inside seating was full so we took our food up to the regular buffet area and sat there. Although not very bad, the sea days had more noticeable crowds but nothing worse than other ships we have been on. Pasta station - hands down this is the BEST eating on the ship. Order when you arrive and hand your paper to the cook and sit down. Within 5 minutes, delicious pasta made to order. We did lunch here, 3 out of the 7 days and had to force ourselves to try different eatery places because this would be the only place we would eat in - good every time. NOTE: They have drinks up in the pasta area but no desserts - they are down the stairs at the buffet area. This means when you are finished with eating your pasta, if you want dessert, you have to go downstairs to get it and bring it up or find a table downstairs to sit at. After the first day we solved this by getting dessert and bringing it upstairs to the pasta bar to eat when we got done. Buffet itself - like we noted we ate here breakfast a couple of time - lunch once or twice (when we weren't at the pasta bar) and dinner twice. Standard carnival buffet - plenty of different selections, everything was good. We missed the Chocolate extravaganza that was not advertised and in the mid part of the buffet area on the last sea day. It is across from the Mongolian wok station and easily missed. We had already eaten but we did look at it. They had a lot of chocolate and chocolate related things. General observations and addressing previous complaints: Gym- Because of the room needed for the "pay for Spa" the free gym area with the machines is very small, in fact it is much smaller than any previous Carnival ship we have been on. With more people on the ship, if you get a group that uses the gym a lot, you will seriously have big waits for machine. Luckily, there was not a lot of "gym" people on our cruise. Spa package for non spa cabins - Bought the spa couples package for the week at $249./couple. Would not do this again. While the Spa, thallo pool, and saunas were wonderful, there was so much to do we only made it up to the Spa once. This makes our one visit cost $124 / each.. There are plenty of whirlpool all around the ship, many times they are empty. We just never got a chance to go up there. If you are a spa/sauna person you will love it, we just didn't use it enough to offset the expense. Internet - The packages actually got cheaper than they have been on previous cruises. We usually buy 240 minutes to use with our laptop. It was $89.00 this time (previously it was $100). That used to be the most you could buy. They did add a 480 minute package for $159.00. Internet wireless was available throughout the ship and they had FunHubs in several prominent places instead of a internet cafe hidden away and hard to find. The wireless worked great in our aft cabin and several carnival sites were free to use without using your minutes. The speed is actually faster than our DSL hughes.net at home (which is terrible), but if you are used to roadrunner, you will think it is slow. I did upload many pictures and it is much faster than the past. Smells - We did not small anything problematic during the week. We have been on 12 cruises and there is always a fleeting smell if the wind is blowing just right. For us the worst ship we were on for this was the Victory. The Dream was free of bad smells and I was looking for them because it was so covered in the reviews. Once I think I got a vague whiff of something as I was climbing the staircase to the slides when we were docked in Belize. Personally, it is a ship and I really think people do not stop to think that Carnival has to treat the sewage onboard and there is probably smells from time to time that are generated. As we said, we smelled them at various times on all ships Crowds and lines - Did not find a problem here at all. Maybe we are just on a different schedule that other people but this was not a issue for us. Like I said, I actually took pictures to illustrate this. We found plenty of seats in the buffet areas in the aft part of the buffet dining room. Walked up and got omelets even at 9am in the aft buffet and there was no one on line. There were plenty of workers in the buffet area and tables were cleaned promptly. The last sea day there were more people and we saw some light line ups at lunchtime but no worse than other ships we have been on. Sometimes there was congestion by the elevators like going down to deck zero to get off and on the ship or times when the dining rooms were just opened or a show got out. We used the stairs or just walked to a different bank of elevators. Size of the ship - We loved the big ship and found it was good for "incidental exercise" as you walked the length of the ship. It is noticeably larger than even the size class of ship right below this one. I do think this would not be your ship if you had mobility problems as it is larger and there is more a hike to get places. They have also crowded a lot of tables in the dining room and buffet areas making it tricky to navigate if you were in a wheelchair or scooter. There were a few scooter and wheelchair people on board that we saw but not a lot. We were also lucky in that it is not a time that a lot of kids were out of school so there were only a few kids on board and they were well behaved. We did see unsupervised kids in various places that were behaving but were putting themselves in some danger. Several times we saw kids in the Lanai whirlpools either alone or with just another kid (both looked about 9 or 10) using the whirlpools alone. While well behaved, it is still risky for children as they were diving under the water. There seemed to be no employees in the area of the Lanai whirlpools when they were open which is probably risky. Luggage - We locked our checked luggage and it arrived unopened without any tampering. We did not smuggle anything on board but we had on suitcase with a lot of liquid mouthwash, shampoo, etc and no one called us down to open it. We had a battery operated fan in our carry on luggage that was not looked at or questioned. We brought 2 - 12 packs of soda and 2 bottles of wine in our carry on (the allowable amounts) and they were neither looked at or questioned. We also had a outlet converter with extra plugs that was not questioned. Some people in our cruise critic roll call did have beer confiscated from their checked luggage. It was my understanding that they had cases of it in their checked luggage. We did also hear of people having liquor in their checked luggage in liquor bottles confiscated. They had zip ties on their luggage that were cut and a note was left in their luggage. Like I said, we had TSA locks that were not touched. Drink coupons - We bought the drink coupons from Bon Voyage that we always buy for cruises. They have always been worth $5. 95 and in the past a pina colada or special drink cost us nothing extra. This has always been inconsistent with some people who said they were charged the difference. I had 8 coupons I bought and 50% of the time, my coupon was charged nothing extra for a pina colada. 25% of the time I was charged $1.95 extra and 25% of the time I was charge $3.95 extra. This was all for the same drink in the same glass. The pool area charged the most. All and all, this was a wonderful cruise. We would love to cruise on the Dream again as it was a wonderful ship. I really had to think hard to come up with any negatives for this cruise, it was a great cruise. Read Less
Sail Date May 2010
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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