81 Carnival Dream Senior Cruise Reviews

Heard good reviews about the new, large Dream so took a chance with Carnival. Ship has too many folks for the size of the ship. For example, swimming pools are smallest I have ever seen. Dining rooms were poorly designed with very cheap ... Read More
Heard good reviews about the new, large Dream so took a chance with Carnival. Ship has too many folks for the size of the ship. For example, swimming pools are smallest I have ever seen. Dining rooms were poorly designed with very cheap materials. Layout of Scarlet was very bad in that it was full of nooks and crannies like a mid-level restaurant. Bench seat was too low with very bumpy padding. Got apology from restaurant supervisor saying he was no way responsible for the poor design. Most ship's main restaurants have wide-open views, this large restaurant had very limited views. Our table looked at a stairway! Had an inside cabin on second deck that was small, only seat was a small stool. Never had a cabin before with no chairs or love seat. TV was a nice flat screen. Room steward did a fine job. Main theatre was a poor design with a lot of poles and bad seats. Thought entertainment was good with great dancing and comedy shows. PG comedy shows were great, but R shows were really raunchy. Didn't stay for the entire R show. Casino was very nice and we played quite a bit. Good part of the ship was the food and service. Dining room food was surprisingly good as was food in the buffet restaurants. Service was very good in the formal restaurant but mediocre in the buffet areas. Happened to be a lot of rotten, drunk spring breakers on this ship occupying the hallways past midnight on occasion. Had to call security about some foul-mouthed 18 year old. This ship has very limited things like lectures, classes, etc. like other ships I have been on. Ports of call were OK, except Belize City, which is a real "hole." Started to walk downtown, but turned around when I saw all the poverty and folks looking at me! Very easy time getting on and off the ship. Did notice sewer gas smell on our cabin deck a few times. Maintenance man said ship was to go back to the shipyard in the future to have the problem fixed. After cruising on Celebrity, Royal Caribbean and Princess, the Dream is a considerable step down because of the compact cabin and large number of people in limited public space. Carnival is generating a lot of profit by packing in a very large crowd in limited space, making passenger density very high and at same time using materials inferior to most ships, especially in the main dining rooms. Elevator wait was also quite long because of the large crowds. So, overall I was disappointed with the ship, but we did enjoy the shows and the food as well as many friendly fellow travelers. Read Less
Sail Date March 2010
We booked the cabin knowing nothing about a Cove type and in talking to Carnival HQ no one there knew anything either. It was not a major shock, then, when we opened the door and studied our week-long home. The cabin itself was pretty ... Read More
We booked the cabin knowing nothing about a Cove type and in talking to Carnival HQ no one there knew anything either. It was not a major shock, then, when we opened the door and studied our week-long home. The cabin itself was pretty basic, similar to most balcony cabins, but the balcony is considerably smaller and a bit frightening. It has steel walls that double as doors and cabin separators, but the seaside also was kind of a steel wall with the opening fair sized, but my impression was a little claustrophobic. There is barely enough room for two people to sit side by side and then the view is limited. The cabins are on deck 2 so really low on the ship which is a two edged feature. First, the balcony was almost always wet, but being low the cabin had little motion and rode nicely. Our last day was really rough but we felt little motion through the night. It was rough enough that the Disney ship stayed on its private island an extra day rather than head into the rough seas. Winds were gusting up to 50 knots. The cruise was fine - food ok, service good and a really beautiful ship. I ventured into an art auction (first time ever) and bought some good stuff. On other cruises I had sneered at the auctions, but the young couple conducting the sales were entertaining and very educating. We are Platinum so our embarcation and disembarcation were great, no hassle. That seemed to be the only benefit to Platinum but that in itself was enough. Our real complaint was similar to many of the newer big ships - too many passengers for the public areas. They seem to add plenty of new cabins, but keep the same public area decks with the ratios seeming to shrink with each new ship. We took a transatlantic on the Emerald Princess last fall and found the same, almost universal complaint. Read Less
Sail Date February 2010
Having sailed with Carnival on the Glory twice previously, i was excited to book a vacation on the new 'Dream'. I thought I would love an even bigger ship. Whilst we both enjoyed getting away from the English winter into the ... Read More
Having sailed with Carnival on the Glory twice previously, i was excited to book a vacation on the new 'Dream'. I thought I would love an even bigger ship. Whilst we both enjoyed getting away from the English winter into the Caribbean for its warmth, lovely beaches and glorious seas, we were both disappointed at a couple of aspects of the 'large' ship. The first one being the saving of seats in the theatre. We felt very uncomfortable, at seeing very elderly people climbing to the top of the theatre, to be told by people that the seats were reserved. We noticed this most nights, some people even saving a whole row of seats. This should not be allowed. It should be monitored. All party members should enter the theatre together and take their seats together. There was even a stand up fight one night and security had to be informed. Not a good sight, particularly whilst on vacation. Our second problem, we felt the food in the main dining rooms were not hot enough. Was this because the kitchen was too far away - I lost my appetite, and we went to the Lido a couple of nights. The plus was the Chef's dining room, well worth the extra $30 - what a treat to have hot food, served exactly as it should be. Loved the serenity deck. Will we go on the Dream again - not sure, think we preferred the GLORY. All in all, excellent inside cabin. We had an inside cabin on the 9th deck. We chose not to choose a cabin prior to sailing, but chose to go for a guaranteed inside. We found ourselves on the 9th deck. Next one up was the Lido deck. The cabin was, as per the Glory, spacious, the king size bed extremely comfortable, the bedding, wish I could have brought it home with me -it was lovely. The bathroom was as per all bathrooms I have been on on cruise ships, adequate. Spotlessly clean - thanks to our cabin steward. Plenty of space for clothes, excellent lighting, television placed so you could see it easily from the bed or dressing table. We did not find the hallway noisy. However, the early morning announcements could hardly be heard clearly when cabin door was closed. Read Less
Sail Date January 2010
We booked the Dream's "Inaugural" Caribbean Cruise well in advance, and in all fairness to Carnival, we received an excellent upgrade, ending up on Deck 9. The stateroom was in a most convenient location with easy access to ... Read More
We booked the Dream's "Inaugural" Caribbean Cruise well in advance, and in all fairness to Carnival, we received an excellent upgrade, ending up on Deck 9. The stateroom was in a most convenient location with easy access to the Lido (Gathering) restaurant. The Cruise Director and staff totally succeeded in making the touted Inaugural Cruise a non-event. A great opportunity was lost here. It should be understood anyone who reads this review that my mate and I are veteran cruisers, having cruised on HAL, MSC, RCI and others. Also the reader should know that this was our 18th cruise on Carnival ships out of a total of 42 cruises. We were told when we arrived at the Canaveral guest waiting area that there were over 600 "Platinum" guests to board. Boarding the ship went smoothly and was surprisingly early, considering the ship's capacity. As usual, we found no fault with the staff and the service was up to par with one exception, a deck hand who was permanently in a snit and encountering something like this is extremely rare. The berths were comfortable as would be expected on a new ship. Okay, that's the good part . . . now we'll proceed to "tell it like it was." As the ship was built on a Conquest Class platform, most inner spaces, theater, shops, bars, etc were about the same as the Carnival Glory. However the weather decks were another story, with many innovative features which we had not seen on other ships. Some of these were good, and some were abominations. Lets take the Serenity deck . . . a very big disappointment for us, as the seats, lounges etc. appeared to be designed by the Marquis de Sade, not very subtle instruments of torture for those who were seeking quiet and comfort. The on deck experience. The fluorescent rail deck lighting was arranged as to blind anyone who came on deck, destroying any possibility of any viewing of a night sky or other ships around. These lights could have been adjusted (three set screws) so they shone on the deck and not up into guests eyes. The jogging track was plain linoleum deck covering with no cushioning, and the "teak" decking was printed on the deck covering as well as the jogging trck. Traditional teak decking was very rare. The deck lounges were generally comfortable. There was a power failure and there were people trapped in elevators, air conditioning was down, and this seemed to last just short of an hour. Fortunately we were taking a siesta in our stateroom, and were only inconvenienced by "Todd's" many announcements (piped directly into thestateroom speakers) reassuring those trapped in elevators that they would be out soon. Of course, the biggest fiasco was the cancellation of the San Juan port of call. The Captain decided that the ship could not be docked without damaging the lifeboats, and the ship just held position a couple of hundred yards off the piers while final decisions were made. Note that the ship's design is very "hippy" with the lifeboats and Deck Five extending out from the sides of the ship. Pretty dumb design if you ask me. I did look at San Juan on Google Earth and noted that in the image that a Carnival Conquest-class ship was docked in a space that was unoccupied while we waiting around. This was an inexcusable fiasco. The food was so-so, most of it was supplied by Syco's, and monotinous. The deserts were not unlike plastic food, and getting hot food was just about impossible except for the Pasta Bar as we did get one hot meal there. The Welcome Aboard and Repeaters parties were a total failure. Offing a dollar off on drinks is a total insult. The changes instituted in these two events are totally negative, it's getting to the point there either event is not worth the time it takes to attend. Summing up, we would never cruise on the Dream again, and we'll be cruising on HAL and RCI for a while. Carnival ain't what it once was! Read Less
Sail Date December 2009
I think the other reviewers hit the biggest issues that plagued this cruise so I won't continue to drive those nails into the Dream coffin. And I realize that some of the issues are quite subjective such as the average patron age ... Read More
I think the other reviewers hit the biggest issues that plagued this cruise so I won't continue to drive those nails into the Dream coffin. And I realize that some of the issues are quite subjective such as the average patron age (70+) and the extreme rudeness of a significant portion of them. However, on a technical/objective front, the Dream staff really must have had their work cut out for them since there was mass confusion right from embarkation (everybody stood around the Atrium clogging the way to the elevators and no signs or staff telling people where to go/what to do) Later we found out there were a couple of young staff with 'help' shirts on but I didn't see them and if I did, would I have known why there were there? The design of the Lido buffet restaurant was atrocious. We already heard how patrons got their hot and cold drinks but what wasn't mentioned is that their placement is such that it caused huge choke points in the main aisle ways and around the dinner lines. To further add congestion and confustion were the millieu of staff with push carts trying to navigate these choke points at peak times, and being very frustrated with people in their way. The designer should get a D- minus for not only the layout of this desk but all the public areas. We're in our early 40s so the entertainment was so so. Sure the R rated sessions were a little raunchy but if you were offended, why didn't you just go to the PG rated shows? And FunDude?! You were an odd curiousity the first time with your squeakyness, but seriously, stay off the stage. The singing was fine but the dancing was hohum. Several dancers not completing their movements and most of the time were out of sync. I've seen better at our local country theatres. The food was alright, but the restaurant food was less than the stellar meals we were lead to belive they'd be. And the portions were puny! At first we were kind of shocked that people were ordering several appetizers and entrees but now we know why! And the fresh fruit? Sour oranges (from a Florida port no less) no bananas halfway through the cruise, seemed like the end of the cruise was filled with fruit puree at the buffet. The dinner rolls served on the last 3 days were definitely several days old but the cinnamon and croisant rolls at breakfast were fresh daily. Debarkation was like being a guest on a hideaway bed and the owner shook and tilted the bed, telling us to get out. It was THAT FAST! Felt the love, not. And, don't even get me started on San Juan. One would think that in today's age, those pier artifacts could've/should've been added to the port simulator for docking trials. Here's an objective situation for you. We signed up for the Kennedy Space Center debarkation tour with airport transfer on the 2nd day at sea. We looked up what it would cost to do such a tour and a shuttle separately and felt that the onboard price was very very compelling so we asked once by phone then once again at the shore excursion desk if the price was correct? Yes it is we were told both times so we signed up. 2 days later we got a call saying our tickets were being refunded because the price was wrong in their published guide and on the TV and that there's nothing anyone can do, not even give a discount for our inconvenience, nothing. 2 days later we still want to go so we sign up and the morning of the debarkation we were informed that they would honour a 50% discount to everyone who signed up. (which brings us back to the original purchased price) So several days of frustration with the same end result.... Overall, unless you were a Gators fan (pre-empted the big screen movies) or just wanted everyone to leave you alone and sun out on the deck and didn't care for the subtle pamperings that 99% of our friends told us we'd experience on a Carnival cruise, you'd rate most likely had a good time. We did not. Read Less
Sail Date December 2009
KEEP ON DREAMING... Nice to cruise on a fairly new ship, the largest in Carnival's fleet. Liked some of the innovations such as a Promenade deck that you can actually walk around, miniature golf, a toned down and somewhat ... Read More
KEEP ON DREAMING... Nice to cruise on a fairly new ship, the largest in Carnival's fleet. Liked some of the innovations such as a Promenade deck that you can actually walk around, miniature golf, a toned down and somewhat pleasant color scheme in the atrium and around the ship. There are a few gripes however, and they include: · The atrium has the most slippery and uncomfortable bar stools I've ever had the displeasure to sit on. · Four whirlpools are placed on the Promenade deck of all places. It was interesting seeing all the folks in their robes and swimsuits and towels taking the elevator to the fifth deck then walking thru the shopping area and casino in order to get to the whirlpools. · Look up when sitting in the whirlpool and you will most likely see folks on their balconies on the 6th, 7th,8th, and 9th decks looking down on you. Smile and wave. · The least expensive balcony cabins on this ship are located on the deck below the lifeboats that overhang the side of the ship. These balconies have a cave-like appearance. Innovative design...perhaps, good design...I think not. · There are two swimming pools on the Lido deck, one mid-ship and one aft. Both are postage stamp size. Was the formula the Dream ship designers used "more passengers = smaller pools"? · The Lido deck dinner buffet was very minimal and had such a small variety of food and dessert, it made a KFC restaurant buffet back home look good. · Lunch on the Lido deck, however, was a much different experience. Passengers hurrying everywhere, and then waiting in the food line, drink line, or for a vacant table. Service personnel bumping into to you while trying to negotiate the passengers and obstacles in an ill-designed area. · The Lido breakfast was ok, but in no way exceptional. Note to food manager: why do you insist on having someone dishing out the bacon? Bacon is NOT gold. It would speed up the line if people could serve themselves bacon as they do on other items. · Speaking of obstacles...the positioning of the drink stations on the Lido deck is terrible. Their positions cause horrendous passenger bottlenecks that could be avoidable if their location was better designed. Additionally, at these drink stations, why place the coffee mugs in between the ice machine and the cold drink machine? Passengers are very frustrated having to endure multiple lines at these stations just to get something to drink. Surely the ship's food management officers have observed this crazy situation but what has been done to remedy it? Duh... · Room service is 24 hours but consists of a very limited menu. When we did place an order, the service was prompt but often there was something missing...such as condiments. · Supper Club was definitely a disappointment. The service was BAD. They did not refill the water or ice tea. Although only about 50% of the tables were occupied, there was not enough wait staff for proper service. The food presentation was good but the quality and taste were not. Save your money, don't eat here. · Note to Todd Wittmer, Cruise Director: Don't quit your day job. Read Less
Sail Date December 2009
Carnival Dream Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.5 4.3
Dining 4.5 3.9
Entertainment 3.5 3.9
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 4.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.9
Enrichment 3.5 3.6
Service 5.0 4.2
Value For Money 5.0 4.0
Rates 3.0 4.1

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