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Sail Date: February 2015
This was my 12th cruise (of 19) with Carnival. There were four of us (high school friends) and two were newbies (the other was on his second cruise). We enjoyed everything except the slow service in the dining room at dinner on two of the ... Read More
This was my 12th cruise (of 19) with Carnival. There were four of us (high school friends) and two were newbies (the other was on his second cruise). We enjoyed everything except the slow service in the dining room at dinner on two of the five nights we ate there. Unfortunately the slow service was made worse by the couple we were seated with (it seemed they were able to talk continuously without breathing & when adult beverages entered the picture, it only got worse). Oh well ... we enjoyed the buffet and grill the other nights and it didn't really matter. Lido Deck bar service was awful. Absolutely awful. I resorted to telling the servers that their tips would improve if we were served quickly & it made an incredible difference. We tried going to the bar to buy our own and realized it wasn't the servers who were slow. The entertainment was so-so at best: worst piano bar/player ever! -- the shows had potential but the directors just couldn't keep from going too far and ruining them. Only Edd (guitarist/singer extraordinaire) brought the entertainment rating up. He was awesome, talented and friendly -- and would play more often if I was running the show! Can't wait to sail again. Booked in November, but I'm thinking I may need something else in between! P.S. Embarkation and disembarkation were both fine. Quick, painless and organized. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2015
We travelled as a party of 4 adults [2 couples]. Problems encountered include: - Although we had booked the holiday as a group we were assigned to different tables in the restaurant. This took the restaurant staff about 30 minutes to ... Read More
We travelled as a party of 4 adults [2 couples]. Problems encountered include: - Although we had booked the holiday as a group we were assigned to different tables in the restaurant. This took the restaurant staff about 30 minutes to resolve. - Service in the restaurant was slow and erratic - we continually had to prompt staff to offer us bread, take our order for wine, offer us coffee. On one occasion we had waited 30 minutes for our main course only to have to send our meals back because the food was stone cold [acceptable if a salad but not for lasagne]. - Service in the bars and on deck was slow. Waiting 20 - 30 minutes for a drink after placing an order with a waiter was not unusual. There seem to be too few waiters for the number of guests. - to traverse Deck 5 it is necessary to walk through the Casino which reeks of tobacco smoke. If you are a non-smoker then using the casino can be an unpleasant experience. Good things : - good shows in the theatre plus good music in the main lounge. - comfortable cabin and good service from the steward, - overall quality of food was good. - service in the cafeteria was good. Overall conclusion is that I would not book with Carnival again, nor would I recommend them to family and friends. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2015
We booked our cruise just a couple of weeks before departure and received a very good price for a balcony room on deck nine. Embarkation was a little crazy. Everyone prints out their luggage tags and places them on their luggage ahead of ... Read More
We booked our cruise just a couple of weeks before departure and received a very good price for a balcony room on deck nine. Embarkation was a little crazy. Everyone prints out their luggage tags and places them on their luggage ahead of time, but when we arrived, some guy from Carnival had us fill out another one and then ASKED for a tip! There was a very long line to check in and it took about an hour to get through the line and onboard. The room was very typical of any balcony room on Carnival, but the bedding pillows and decorative throw were very worn. The room steward did a pretty good job of keeping the room clean; although, I am not sure he always knew when went to dinner. Unfortunately, we had a room that adjoined another and we could hear every word the people in that room said. They were a group of young adults, and their music at times was quite annoying. Be sure to ask for a room that does NOT adjoin another! Their were plenty of places on the ship to eat. We dined every evening in the Scarlet Dining Room and our service was impeccable! Our waiters were probably the best were have ever had on a cruise, and we have cruised NCL, Celebrity, and Carnival several times. We never had to asked for anything, the service was prompt, and the food very good. I thought the food was better than our eleven-night cruise last September on Celebrity out of Rome. We ate lunch a couple of times in the pasta bar.... delicious. The buffet is typical and not fancy. The burgers and pizza were great. We did not try the steak house as we just don't think we should have to pay additionally for dining. The entertainment was very good. I have a music background, and I thought the musical productions were pretty good...... not Broadway quality, but pretty good. I particularly like the set designs, and I liked that I could understand the words when the songs were sung. So often you can't understand the words on these loud and high-energy numbers, but the singers did a good job. We had just booked a cruise another Carnival cruise out of LA for October to Hawaii, and when I went to the future cruise desk to ask some questions about it, I found out that they were offering a $200 onboard credit that Carnival will not give us since we had booked the cruise two weeks ago. Apparently, you have to book while onboard to get the credit even if you have the low-price guarantee. Pretty sorry of Carnival in my opinion. We did enjoy the cruise very much, but I am very disappointed that Carnival would not honor the onboard credit for our future cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2015
This was our 14th cruise, and 3rd on Carnival. Overall, we enjoyed it, and it was a big improvement over our last Carnival cruise. Embarkation: It seems that most passengers embarking in New Orleans drive to the port. There is a 6-level ... Read More
This was our 14th cruise, and 3rd on Carnival. Overall, we enjoyed it, and it was a big improvement over our last Carnival cruise. Embarkation: It seems that most passengers embarking in New Orleans drive to the port. There is a 6-level parking garage that made it very easy to check your bags, park and board the ship. We did not pay the extra $50 to buy "Faster to the Fun" express embarkation, and for us, that was a good decision. When we got there (approximately 1:30), the fast line was longer and slower than the "normal" line. Overall the food was very good, with the notable exception of their Prime Rib. I didn't know you could mess up prime rib, but they did. My husband sent his food back one night because it was cold, but otherwise it was quite good. We regret that we did not discover the Pasta Bar until the last day. You fill out a form indicating the type of pasta, sauce, and add-ins, and they custom-make it for you. It was delicious and very fresh. Another hint: the Tandoor station on the back of the Lido deck never had a line. In the mornings when the other lines were long, Tandoor had a smaller buffet selection of standard breakfast items, and no line. On embarkation day, the Lido was very crowded with long lines and we had to hunt for tables, but the rest of the week was much more manageable. The entertainment on this ship was excellent, and a huge improvement over the last Carnival Cruise we took. There were comedy shows most nights. We learned to get there early because it was often full. We saw 2 of the show lounge productions which were also excellent. And their Love and Marriage show was a hoot. The last sea day, the Cruise Director had a Q&A session about life on the ship that was very interesting. We only took one shore excursion, in Cozumel. Almost all of their shore excursions depart at 8:15, which seemed too early for us. If anyone enjoys jogging or a good walk, Costa Maya was a great place for it. There is a wide median with a path down the middle right outside the port gate, connecting to a palm-lined median that continues down another street. When that ends, you can head toward the lighthouse and further if you want. It was all flat and felt very safe. As with other ships, the Wifi is extremely expensive, and we almost never saw anyone using the many computers on board. Some of the places in Cozumel would give you their code if you buy something, but the one we used was pretty slow. I had no luck getting connected in Costa Maya. In Roatan, the port area will sell you a unique wifi code for $5 for an hour or $10 a day. Though nobody likes to pay for this, it was a speedy connection and well worth the $5. Disembarkation went very smoothly. You can either put your luggage outside your room the night before and claim it when you get off the ship, or just carry it off yourself. We put ours outside the room, but were a little after the 11pm deadline, and it was still sitting there the next morning. No problem. It was our fault for being late. Carnival, like other cruise lines, has made cutbacks which are sometimes apparent. There was no ice bucket in our room, although our cabin steward brought one when we requested it. They don't give receipts for your purchases unless you specifically ask for one. If the dining room had a wine steward, we never saw him. Our waiter took our wine order and somebody else brought it. They no longer put a bread basket on your table, but dole it out to you. And lines to get a drink on the Lido deck were lengthy. (Try the Serenity area if it's open). Overall, it was a good cruise and I'm glad we took it. My main complaint was the smoking on Deck 5. The casino reeked of smoke even when the tables and machines were closed. It filled most of the 5th floor. A lot of the activities are in the Oceans lounge of Deck 5, but another smoking area was on the Promenade deck just outside this area. Every time someone opened that door, anyone inside got hit with a wave of second-hand smoke. Ugh. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2015
Embarkation was very smooth. I'd purchased Faster to the Fun to speed things along and arrived early to avoid Mardi Gras parade traffic. Smooth check-in and after a short wait, proceeded to our room which was ready for us and our ... Read More
Embarkation was very smooth. I'd purchased Faster to the Fun to speed things along and arrived early to avoid Mardi Gras parade traffic. Smooth check-in and after a short wait, proceeded to our room which was ready for us and our luggage arrived within a half hour. The ship was full with 4,500 passengers, approximately 1,200 children due to local schools being out for the week. Surprisingly, it wasn't as chaotic as one might have expected although the service suffered as a result. Deck service was slow to non-existent and dining room service was way off the mark from previous cruises. We really enjoyed the therapy pool, steam rooms and relaxation rooms of the spa, but found out there are public steam rooms and a sauna available to everyone. The spa staff were great but as usual, if you book a hour massage, the interview and follow up sales pitch for their overpriced products eats into that time. Tell them to get on with the service. And if you book the seaweed wrap massage, ensure the bed is warm or decline the service until it is. Very disappointing. The ship is not as ornate as others. but easy enough to learn your way around. They had comedians for entertainment onboard, typically one PG show in the early evening then on to the adult humor. Very humorous, but I enjoyed previous trips with stage magicians, hypnotists, ventriloquists, etc. We enjoyed the Tandoor food on the aft of the Lido deck but ate most of meals in the main dining room. Food was a bit smaller servings than previous, not an issue as you could order more if desired. The dining room staff was not at all up to par. Service was sporadic, bread might be offered, drinks might be topped off, they might remember to offer coffee, etc. One nice feature of the evening meal was they had seated us with two other couples with similar aged daughters as our granddaughter. It made for very pleasant dining. Overall, we enjoyed the trip and I look forward to the next one. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2015
Pre-Cruise Hotel: Quality Inn Gretna. $160 for one night got you a room, good buffet breakfast in the morning, a parking place for the week and a shuttle to and from the terminal. Great deal considering parking at the terminal is $12 per ... Read More
Pre-Cruise Hotel: Quality Inn Gretna. $160 for one night got you a room, good buffet breakfast in the morning, a parking place for the week and a shuttle to and from the terminal. Great deal considering parking at the terminal is $12 per day. Would stay there again! (Check in as early as possible if you want to take an early shuttle. Put your name on the shuttle list!) It's called the "Park and Cruise" option. Embarkation: Arrived at the port around Noon. Tons of people, but lines moved quickly. We were on the boat by 12:30. Food: I give the food 4 out of 5 stars. I'm pretty picky, and there were a few things I didn't like, but it was all excellent overall! Tip: At any restaurant, you can order as much as you want. You're allowed to get multiple appetizers, main courses, etc. You can also order off the kids menu in the dining room! The kids Banana Split was definitely worth getting (even though it didn't contain ANY banana!) Pasta bar is located on deck 11, 1 floor above the lido food area on deck 10 (kinda hidden). They also have a Lanai BBQ on sea days for lunch. It was on deck 5 right outside the casino and they served quesidillas, slider hamburgers, tacos, chips, hot dogs. It's easy to miss this restaurant because it was only open 3 days of our 7 day cruise for lunch only, but honestly, to me personally, it wasn't worth eating at all. I'd rather stick to the regular burger place near the main pool on deck 11! 24 hour ice cream was AMAZING! They have chocolate and vanilla every day and strawberry every OTHER day. Might have to check both sides for strawberry. 2 machines together and then 2 more on the opposite side of the buffet. Shows: EXCELLENT!!! There were 3 production shows. 8 More Seconds – Country Music Dancin’ In The Streets – MUST SEE! Motown/Urban music with amazing sets and special effects. Best show I’ve ever seen on a cruise ship!!! Get Ready – Different occupations highlighted Shows ranged anywhere from 14 – 20 cast members singing/dancing with a live band!!! Entertainment Schedule (roughly): Night 1 – Welcome Aboard Show. Small preview of the week where you get to see the singers/dancers, cruise director, and breakdancers! Night 2 – 8 More Seconds Night 3 – Special Solo Singer (despite sounding boring was a ton of fun) Night 4 – Dancin’ In the Streets Night 5 – Love & Marriage Show Night 6 – Get Ready Night 7 – Carnival Legends (Guest Karaoke on main stage with costumes and dancers) Ship: It’s amazing and huge! This ship has not yet done the 2.0 upgrades…thank God! This means no Guy’s Burgers, Red Frog Bar, EA Sports Bar, and, my favorite, no Playlist Productions. Playlist means they’ve gotten rid of the huge sets, half the singers, and the live band. This ship doesn’t do Playlist (YET), so you still have all that. Fun Force: Onboard Break Dancers. Really cool! There were 4 of them and they hosted a few events/shows throughout the week and were featured in the “Dancin’ In The Streets” show! Pools/Water: 2 pools on the ship. 1 is Deck 10 in the middle and the other Deck 10 in the back (Aft). Both are entire outdoors (no roof/cover/shade). I believe there were 4 hot tubs on board too. 2 at the back pool and 1 on each side of the Casino on Deck 5. There is also a water park that has 6 slides (4 of them are kiddie/short slides). Other things to do: Nightly karaoke, 18 hole pirate themed minigolf, and a basketball court! There’s also a Dr. Seuss presence on the boat. Join Cat in the Hat, Sam I Am, and Thing 1 & 2 throughout the week for story time, a parade, photo opps, and a $5 per person breakfast on the last sea day with actual green eggs and ham! Lots of trivia & group games throughout the week. My favorite was Scategories! Lots of deck parties and opportunities to dance. Comedy: 4 of the 7 nights had comedians in the Punchliner comedy club, also known as the Burgundy Lounge (Deck 5, aft). The comedy works like this: On any given night with comedy, you’ll have a schedule something like this: 7:30 – Comedian 1 (Family Friendly) 8:30 – Comedian 2 (Family Friendly) 9:45 – Comedian 1 (18+) 10:30 – Comedian 2 (18+) 12:00 – Comedian 1 (18+) The Family Friendly shows were great! (Except for one woman who wasn’t funny!) We don’t go to the 18+ shows because they are filled with cussing and trashy/sex jokes. The next night they will repeat the shows from the night before but swap the order, making Comedian 2 start at 7:30, Comedian 1 at 8:30 and so on. After 2 nights, those comedians leave and 2 new ones come on for the end of the week. Spa: Spa package (I believe) includes a thelassotherapy pool and 4 steam/sauna rooms and a relaxation room. I believe it was $200 to use those for the week. Cruise Director: Hennie from South Africa! He was hilarious and my favorite CD to date! He also had a selfie challenge where you could win a prize if you snapped a selfie with him during the week. In Conclusion: Great cruise! I hate the 2.0 upgrades (which the Dream will be getting sometime in 2016), so enjoy the old style while you can on this ship!   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2015
My first cruise and I traveled alone. I met the most amazing people which made my trip better than I could ever imagine. I didn't need to exercise because I danced evey night all night. I was celebrating my birthday. Crusiers and ... Read More
My first cruise and I traveled alone. I met the most amazing people which made my trip better than I could ever imagine. I didn't need to exercise because I danced evey night all night. I was celebrating my birthday. Crusiers and staff were all so nice it was like a Dream. I definitely was on the right boat. I can not even begin to tell you all how much I truly enjoyed myself. I had so much fun. I am easily amused, down to earth, and my only expectation was to have a good time. The food and entertainment was delicious. Again, I am easy to please. My steward and literally everyone you come in contact usually knows you by name. I can not wait to do it all over again. If the only thing keeping you from taking a cruise is because you are trying to find someone to go with, GO ALONE!!!! I did it and loved it. You will meet tons of people to hang out with and new forever friends. If you are open to having fun...you will. Remember you are on vacation so act like it!!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2015
We have been on a lot of different ships, including a few Carnival ships. The food selection and quality on the Carnival Dream was amazing. Everything from Corned Beef and Pastrami from the Deli, authentic Indian cuisine from Tandoor, ... Read More
We have been on a lot of different ships, including a few Carnival ships. The food selection and quality on the Carnival Dream was amazing. Everything from Corned Beef and Pastrami from the Deli, authentic Indian cuisine from Tandoor, the best Roast Turkey ever form the Gatherings and the variety of food from the Crimson Main dining room. We had everything from Alligator Fritter, Frog Legs, Escargot, Prime Roast Beef, Chateaubriand, Sushi, Short Ribs, Broiled Red Snapper, Crab Cakes, Mac & Cheese and even Filet Mignon and Eggs for brunch. My wife really liked the Potato Salad from the Grill and the Margrethe Pizza. I would say that the food is equal to Holland America and Princess and certainly better than the Allure of the Seas last year. We didn't even have to go to the Chef's Art Steak House, although the cooking demonstration certainly tempted us. We love the Tasting Bar on the Lanai, great place to hang out before dinner. Serenity is an awesome place to hang out during the day, away from the crowds and kids. I love the outdoor furniture there! It's a short walk downstairs to the party if you choose to join the crowd. Dancing in the Streets is an awesome show, my kids thoroughly enjoyed it. They (18 to 24) are not normally into that kind of shows. We went to the Punchliner Comedy Club every night, very good selection of comedians. Even the Slot Machines in the Casino lets us played for a couple of hours before we lost it all. All in all, we had an amazing vacation. I'm not sure if Carnival upgraded their service and quality of food on all their ships, but the Dream was substantially better than the Victory, Destiny and Legend. I would highly recommend the Carnival Dream, just don't go to the ship too early for embarkation in New Orleans. We hang around on the River Walk Mall until 2, by then we didn't even have to wait to get our keys   Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
This was my very first cruise, we chose it because it was only 5 days since we didn't know how well we would take to the seas. The Elation is an older ship but I was pleasantly surprised that we only felt sea sickness one night, we ... Read More
This was my very first cruise, we chose it because it was only 5 days since we didn't know how well we would take to the seas. The Elation is an older ship but I was pleasantly surprised that we only felt sea sickness one night, we apparently hit some stormy waters when venturing from cozumel to progreso. The ship is dated and could use some new decor but was well maintained. The rooms are small but pleasant enough for two people (we had an interior room on the main deck). Cozumel was fun to explore but in progreso we did not venture off the ship, we had heard so many bad reviews we didn't figure it was worth our time. The dining room was wonderful, the staff was amazing (I am actually still in contact with one of our main waiters named Oswin), the food was far better than I imagined. Disembarkment took about an hour but wasn't too chaotic. Overall I had a wonderful time and would recommend this cruise to anyone. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2015
Cabin 6L - 1416 (ocean view). The room was great. The lines to get on the boat were very long but they moved very fast. The parties on board were great and competitions. There was ALWAYS something to do. The outside movie theatre was ... Read More
Cabin 6L - 1416 (ocean view). The room was great. The lines to get on the boat were very long but they moved very fast. The parties on board were great and competitions. There was ALWAYS something to do. The outside movie theatre was amazing. They always had some new movie playing at night. Great for date night. The staff was AMAZING. our person that cleaned our room was also so friendly. He would see us outside of our room walking around and would actually CALL us by our NAMES! amazing. He was so great and we always tipped him. I loved that we could book excursions on board and the passengers were all friendly too. When we got to each port, they were always so organized and pictures were always being taken. I had so much fun. It was just me and my mother. But i also met so many new people on board as well. All the shows were good too. The broadway musicals were amazing and standing room only in that EXTRA large theatre. Overall Amazing. Im going on a new trip this may and will be sailing on the Ectasy. Im so pumped. If you want to see my full review and tour of the ship, go to my Youtube page https://youtu.be/Y4VWtuba0xk Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
First off, the carnival dream is a beautiful ship! I had recently cruised on her sistership the carnival magic and am a fan of dream class vessels. I'm a platinum cruiser and love taking Carnival cruises! With that being said, I will ... Read More
First off, the carnival dream is a beautiful ship! I had recently cruised on her sistership the carnival magic and am a fan of dream class vessels. I'm a platinum cruiser and love taking Carnival cruises! With that being said, I will list the pros and cons of my experiences while on board the carnival dream with my wife and both my parents. I didn't want to rate the cruise as average because the Carnival sets a higher standard. Pros: Almost all the staff was very courteous and seemed genuinely nice. The ship was always kept clean and always witnessed smiles when talking to the crew. We even made a few friends with staff in the burrito bar and the photo gallery. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves on the ship and at all three ports of call; Cozumel, Honduras, and Belize. I also wanted to convey my utmost respect and due diligence of the hotel director Hector Groves. He had a sense of passion for his work and I thoroughly enjoyed our conversation. Cons: Unfortunately there were two areas of negativity on our cruise: Jeff the fun dude, the comedy club manager, and Hennie Van Heerden. I don't want to go into too much detail as to the horrific experience with both individuals, but will try to summarize. Jeff had an altercation with me on day one; very small and trivial. However, throughout the length of the cruise it became obvious he was angry and had a grudge against me. I asked guest services for assistance in dealing with him. The next day his comedy routine involved "a platinum guest complaining about nonsense and to get a life". I had conveyed to Jeff that I am a Native American and work in government in a casual conversation on Day 1 and within a few days his comedy routine deals with the nonsensical views of Native Americans complaining about the Washington Redskins as racist mascots. Again, trying to summarize; I hold myself to higher standard than to even acknowledge such derogatory actions. My dealings with the cruise director Hennie stemmed from guest services response towards Jeff. Hennie asked to chat with me in the atrium lobby on Day 5 about this situation. I conveyed to him that such a small and trivial altercation has begun to snowball into something larger. Hennie seemed enraged, his body language and demeanor were hostile. This was my first one on one conversation with him but he seemed very laid-back and positive during his day to day announcements and hosting of the entertainment. We attempted to have a conversation but unfortunately he just wanted to give a speech. Unbeknownst to me at the time I didn't realize Jeff and he were very good friends. I politely told Hennie that we must have different viewpoints and would not agree on this topic. His response was that as a platinum cruiser I have the right to complain and to "put it all on Cruise critic". I had not even mentioned I was a member of cruise critic. I thanked him for his time and he left. Luckily for me my family members were present during this conversation. They too were also accordingly shocked at what transpired. We felt as if we entered the twilight zone. In short Carnival helped aid in resolving the situation. Guest services reached out to see how I was after the chat with Hennie and appropriately sent me to Hector the Hotel director. Also Carnival corporate reached out and apologized for what transpired. They were in awe that borderline racist comments were made. In all honestly I look towards the big picture. Carnival is an amazing company with wonderful staff; two employees will not change my view on such a great company. I am already planning my next Carnival cruise and still highly recommend them to family and friends. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
This was my first cruise , and ....It really depends what you want. I am a person who wants to relax and enjoy beach, pool and not to worry . Just calm and quiet family vacations. I came to conclusion that cruise is not for me. But please ... Read More
This was my first cruise , and ....It really depends what you want. I am a person who wants to relax and enjoy beach, pool and not to worry . Just calm and quiet family vacations. I came to conclusion that cruise is not for me. But please don't think I had a negative experience. If you want a party style, friendly people, dance, good food and some gambling, this is defiantly for you ( other people then me). This cruise offered excellent service. Let me repeat EXCELLENT service. Service and people are very polite and helpful, very well trained, and are there to make sure you have a great time. This is not a cruise that collected your money ad don't care what you will do. Their restaurant is superior, you really feel special when you go eat there. Whole atmosphere is great. Pieces are same as on land for drinks and other items. It is a great place for kids too ( minus great pool, I wished they had a bigger pool, but the one they had is very nice too). Kids club offers parents to "store " their kids while parents are having fun ( lightly said , some parents did that). My kids loved their club and their "sitters", and cried each time I picked them up because I thought they need to spend time with me and run a little outside too. Cruise is teenagers dream. Their own club and dance place. New people to meat and dress up. If parents set up tier key cards as a charge, then unlimited charging and buying even( with limitations ). LikeI said, great place and even better service, but it really depends what you looking for. It was a good experience and may be in the future I will repeat it. But for now I want beach and no sea sickness ( yes pack motion sickness pills please). Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
Just returned from a wonderful five day cruise on the Carnival Elation. This was my fourth cruise but only the second for my husband. His first was the exact cruise last July and he loved it so much that I booked this one and surprised him ... Read More
Just returned from a wonderful five day cruise on the Carnival Elation. This was my fourth cruise but only the second for my husband. His first was the exact cruise last July and he loved it so much that I booked this one and surprised him at Christmas!! We love the Elation!! We enjoy the smaller size and entire staff is always friendly and helpful. We only live a couple of hours from New Orleans so we drive down the morning of the cruise. We do get Faster to the Fun and it is well worth the $50. We had an ocean view cabin, U66, on the Upper deck. It was close to the elevators and stairs. We loved it and never were bothered by noise. We enjoyed the dining room each night and several days for breakfast. They were very accommodating. Food was mostly very good. Of course the warm chocolate melting cake is to die for!! The Grill has a good variety and we ate lunch there most every day. We opted out on excursions. We did go into Cozumel and do a little shopping and used the free WiFi at Fat Tuesdays. We stayed aboard the Progresso day and enjoyed a less crowded ship! We enjoyed the pingpong tournament, lots of trivia, bingo, art auctions, and various fun in the Mikado show lounge. With Faster to the Fun disembarkation is a breeze. Our only complaint was actually during embarkation. After going thru security several times you should not have to stop and show your paperwork to about five different people while proceeding through the lines! Overall we had a wonderful time and will definitely sail the Elation again!! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
Let me preface this review by saying that this was my 12th Carnival cruise, my DH’s 11th, and my girls’ 3rd and 2nd. We have only cruised on Carnival. Not by choice, but because of the price and fact that Carnival is the only 4/5 day ... Read More
Let me preface this review by saying that this was my 12th Carnival cruise, my DH’s 11th, and my girls’ 3rd and 2nd. We have only cruised on Carnival. Not by choice, but because of the price and fact that Carnival is the only 4/5 day cruise out of Nola or Galveston. It has been close to 2 years since we sailed on the Conquest to the Bahamas. This cruise was with extended family, a group of 9 total. I like to cruise around Christmas. I detest cold weather and it’s so nice to get away to somewhere warm. The kids are out of school and the whole family can go and spend time together. We chose this particular cruise because of price. The others in the same time frame were not in our budget. Embarkation was easy. It’s changed since the last time I was there. You now take your picture first, before going through the check in process. The long desk of check-in people is gone and you partially check in right in line. I don’t really like this. You’re standing in the line with someone right behind you impatiently waiting while you’re trying to fumble with your paperwork with nowhere to sit your stuff. However, since the lines weren’t too long, it wasn’t horrible and after security we were shown the way to the new VIP Lounge. WOW! It was huge! What an improvement. The only negative here was that I waited at the desk. In reality, you are supposed to be seated and the agent that has your paperwork will call your name to come up. This wasn’t told to me and there were no signs. This could be conveyed better. Overall, it was smooth and fast. First glimpse of the atrium when we went inside was quite familiar. I remember a smell, sort of like cleaning fluid of some type, but not necessarily fresh and clean smelling. It was not very welcoming and not pleasant at all. It did look just as I remembered it (having cruised on the Elation several years ago). Cabin M139. We found our room and I was wondering if we had made a mistake. I knew the rooms had not been refurbished, but I was still very disappointed. After our last cruise on the Conquest, it was a big let down. The room was clean, but no amount of cleaning could make the tile in the bathroom look good. The window was dirty (as I expected) and everything looked really, really old. Yes, I knew what to expect when I signed up, but I still didn’t anticipate how I would react to it. OK, we hadn’t eaten and were starved, so up to the Lido deck we went. Oh my, what a disaster that was. Even though we were there past peak lunch time, it was packed like sardines. There were very few tables available and the one we found was next to an automatic door. Did I say it was about 50 degrees outside? We were COLD. OK, so I’m still determined to make the most of this and we take turns getting food. I wanted some Pizza Pirate, which was a mistake. Really, don’t they know that there are hundreds of people who want pizza and yet they can’t have extra staff helping the chef there? The buffet lines were awful, too. It was a mess. Finally we ate and went to the muster drill. So, I’m still optimistic, although a bit jaded, at this point. We are determined to make dinner the best part of the day. And you know what? It was. Our waiter Prayudi, was simply amazing, and the food was the best I’ve had on Carnival in a while. We chose early seating and I do think that having a set dining time makes the food better for whatever reason. Our table was not in a great location, near the galley and food service, but we had kids at the table and it was close to the exit, which ended up being a plus due to having multiple bathroom breaks and having to take a crying little one out quickly. Honestly, the first sea day was a blur. The kids loved Camp Carnival. They were separated in different age groups, but sometimes they did things together and my kids are pretty social, so they had a blast. In Cozumel, we went to Chankanaab. I think I may start calling it “Old Reliable” because that’s what it is for us. We love it and the kids loved it and even my parents liked it a lot – particularly the nature trail. The sea lion show was great and just the right length. Young and old were happy. We discussed how we wish it weren’t so difficult and expensive to stay at an all-inclusive, because we really enjoyed this day the best. This ship really rocked! I got seasick the 3rd night, and I never get seasick. A Dramamine took care of it quickly, but it was affecting many onboard. Barf bags were out! I guess I should add a section about food and drink. I already said that the dining room food was good, and I was impressed every, except the one I was sick, which happened to be the weakest menu night IMO. The Pizza Pirate was really good and cooked perfectly almost every time - and I visited often! The drinks were OK. Prices have gone up from what I remember. The hardest part was actually getting one due to understaffed bars. Love the guava passion fruit juice and hot cocoa at breakfast. Iced tea was average as always. Room service was prompt and good (had the grilled cheese multiple times). The last sea day was good. By this time, I had gotten used to the old ship and there were even some things I had forgotten I liked so much. For example, sitting near the edge of the deck on the aft looking over the wake was wonderful. That’s something you can’t do on the modern ships with the steel blocking your view. I must mention that I never felt comfortable near the edge with my kids, though, and I would caution anyone taking young kids to be aware that it’s a safety hazard. Just as I was settling in with my fruity drink, we sailed into a storm. Goodbye sunshine, goodbye warm weather. Oh darn. Off to pack. Which reminds me – never, ever, go on a 4 day cruise again if I can help it. Really. It’s just too short. If I lived closer to the port, I wouldn’t say that maybe. Even still, you really can’t enjoy the last day of your cruise fully because of packing. For me, that’s a 3 to 4 hour ordeal. I don’t just have to pack myself, but my whole family. Some of you this won’t apply to, but for me, it’s really just a 2 day cruise. OK, 3 maybe if you count the half day at embarkation and the first half of the last sea day. I will probably do 5 days again, but I’ll really try to not do any more 4 days. I said this the last time I did a 4 day and I feel the same way, or even stronger since I have kids now. My DH asked me to put in the review that the TV was awful. It was an older style, but the problem was it’s clarity. We couldn’t even watch the football game because it was so blurry. Also, a problem we both noticed were that the bars – all of the bars – were pitifully understaffed and getting a drink or soda was quite a long ordeal. Debarkation was OK. We were VIP, which helps. We were a little late getting started, but it went smoothly. Will I recommend the Elation to others? No, and I haven’t since I got back. I have steered a few people to the Triumph. I do not feel that the Triumph and the Elation should be in the same price range, as they often are. I absolutely love sailing from New Orleans, but the ship is old and unless it’s cheap, I wouldn’t go again. We paid a slight premium for going on New Year’s, but I wouldn’t do it again. It just went through a refurbishment. In the public areas, there are places where the carpet looks clean and new. That’s about all I noticed. All in all, we had a great time and will certainly cruise again, but not on the Elation unless it's a great deal. I've got my sights set on the Dream next. I'd still like to travel with another line and may look at that too. When the kids get older, we'll definitely try one of the all-inclusives, but for now cruising fits us just fine. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
My family of four (husband and two twenty-something boys) wanted an inexpensive, short-ish Caribbean cruise. We were traveling with eleven other family members and friends, one couple with a one year old toddler and two other couples with ... Read More
My family of four (husband and two twenty-something boys) wanted an inexpensive, short-ish Caribbean cruise. We were traveling with eleven other family members and friends, one couple with a one year old toddler and two other couples with teenage boys and girls. Our only cruising experience thus far was three NCL cruises so I was (probably annoyingly) comparing the two cruise lines for most of the trip. So here goes... We stayed at the Marriot Convention Center in New Orleans the night before - good choice, Priceline! We parked our cars at the Fulton Street parking garage just a few blocks down the street which was $8 per night as I recall, cheaper than parking at the pier, a tip I picked up from other reviews on this site:) Since we had so many people and bags the men took our bags to the pier, dropped them off and were going to come back to the hotel and pick us up, but the pier is actually walking distance from the hotel. This is not readily apparent but after asking a few different people at the Marriot we found that you could walk behind the convention center parallel to the pier and make your way to the embarkation point. The parking garage has a shuttle that takes you to the pier as well, but we had too many people to utilize that. Embarkation was a little disorganized. We took 12 packs of soda on board and they do slice open the container to check that it's all soda and not beer - they then tape it shut. We got on around 1:00 so the lines were present but moving pretty well. Some of the staff seemed confused in directing people to the proper areas. Our rooms were ready right away so off to the Tiffany buffet area we went. Unlike NCL, you wait in line for any kind of food except salad. The deli station made a variety of hot and cold sandwiches but at meal times the line was very long and slow moving. The lines for the limited variety of other foods moved more quickly but the way that area is laid out was not conducive to large numbers of folks. There is a grill on the lido deck as well which usually had long lines at meal times as well. The food was not outstanding in these areas. We did dine in the Imagination dining room every night and the food was very good. All of our group was very satisfied with every night of dining, which I cannot say was true of the food in the NCL dining rooms. We did not see any of the shows, although we tried to sit through a "sampling" of the comedians, etc. The cruise director's introductory bit went on so long that we forgot why we were sitting there and left. We did watch some of the cover bands playing in the bars. We also stopped by a bar that was doing karaoke. We had about 20 minutes before we had to eat and since some of our party are singers they wanted to do a song. Apparently you had to sign up for slots to do songs and two twenty-something girls had signed up for at least four slots individually and together. Don't know if that's always how it works but that was tiresome watching those girls over and over when there were families with little kids that would have liked to sing a song and make some memories. We availed ourselves of the ping pong, basketball and shuffleboard as well. The room, on deck 5 forward, was spacious with very comfortable beds. Shower worked fine, more roomy than the NCL showers were. In the halls in front of our rooms we did get a whiff of sewage on a few nights, not sure why. Staff was much less enthusiastic than on any NCL cruise we have taken. Our room attendant and dining room attendant were pleasant, not chatty. Never called us by our names, but that was no problem to me, they did their jobs well. The pre-cruise personnel on the phone that we booked with and called with questions were excellent, very enthusiastic and knowledgeable. The personnel at the guest services and shore excursion desks, shops, were unsmiling and seemed unhappy to be there or to assist us. We had no big problems to solve, only general questions, but we still felt like we were somehow putting them out. We did one shore excursion to Chichen Itza, but in Cozumel we walked off the boat with the plan to get several taxis to Chunkanaab to snorkel. Once we got off the ship there were several men (standing near the parking lot) selling a trip to various bar/beach areas and one of them talked us into getting into a van that could accommodate all of us and go to Club Cozumel Caribe. For $25 per person we got the van ride there and back (the driver waits for you until you want to leave), snorkel gear and access to food and a bar. We were glad we did that as we did not want to deal with possibly having to get three taxis, could we easily find a taxi going back to the ship, etc. This option was lots less thinking and who wants to think while on vacation? The snorkeling was good, a variety of fish, water was warm. Not a lot of reef but fun enough for the folks we were with. Lots of shaded chairs and tables, and many beach lounges in the sun. We did get some guacamole/chips but were trying to keep costs down. They had some yummy options on their menu, though. They had parasailing and jet skis available but too pricey for us. All in all, a good decision for our group. Please see below for review on Chichen Itza. Disembarkation was fast and efficient. It's explained on one of their tv cruise channels so we were well informed on the process. We walked off with our bags and had no problem rolling everything out - one escalator to deal with, no stairs. All in all, I would cruise with Carnival again because for the money we spent we got good value. I would probably not use Carnival for a longer cruise outside the Caribbean.   Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
This is the first time I cruised with Carnival. I had a good time and we enjoyed the cruise. As to specifics, here is my opinion of everything: The Elation: The ship was a bit gaudy and worn in the restaurants and public play areas, ... Read More
This is the first time I cruised with Carnival. I had a good time and we enjoyed the cruise. As to specifics, here is my opinion of everything: The Elation: The ship was a bit gaudy and worn in the restaurants and public play areas, tired and very 80's schoolhouse in the staterooms. For instance the televisions are mid 90's Zenith 19" glass TVs with remotes that do not allow you to perform all the functions, buzzy blown speakers, and no way to input your own video sources. Cabinetry was particleboard and Formica. It reminds me of my kid's elementary classrooms from the late 80's. The uppers are screwed into the wall rather than designed to be there. They were square-cornered and each of our party smacked themselves at least once into one corner or another while getting up, laying down or moving around. From the look of the corner so did a thousand other heads. Youth Programs Staff had a real chip on their shoulder about so many things. The girls went there one time and returned in 10 minutes or less, spent the rest of the cruise as adult cruisers and did fine. So many of the kids looked forlorn rather than thrilled to be there. The room for the 15 to 17s was "not much more than a closet and the kids were completely disinterested in anything going on." according to the 14 and 15 year old ladies I traveled with. The "guy" was a complete jerk who was desperately pretending to be cool, and failing at it. Karaoke in the Gatsby room with the band was fun but too short, I realize they are a live band but it should have been available each night not just 2 nights. Regular Karaoke was typical though there was no real rotation of singers and the sessions were very short. In the Gatsby room you couldn't get far enough away from the monitor to see it and in the Romeo and Juliet you had better know your voice because you couldn't hear anything on stage. The DJ (Alicia) was very nice and accommodating to our time structure, allowing us to put our names in and rush off to see the teens do something then pick us up when we returned. The jacuzzis were vastly over chlorinated, we couldn't hang out in the Adults Only Serenity area because of the smell. On day two they closed early to be "chlorine treated" which made things worse. Too bad too because I expected to spend time there away from the family travelers. Dinner each night was good. The Chateau Briand was off, no better than pot roast. There were a few $20 add on dinner choices. I didn't sample them. Oddly one of them was a "normal" breakfast choice on day 4. There was nothing on the menu that was a problem for us, we sampled alligator balls (mostly breadcrumbs but flavorful) frogs legs, sushi, duck and a couple others. The apple pie filling was spectacular, though the crust stayed on the plate. The chocolate lava cake was exceptional. The "everyday" steak was superb on day one but small and disappointing on day two. Prime rib, ordered medium rare was perfect and delicious. Certain items were consistently very good, the souffle was perfect. I had two, while others (Lobster bisque, pumpkin soup and french onion soup) were over salted to the point of being inedible. The food in Tiffany's (cafeteria style) was the same with a few pub style add-ons like frozen yogurt (chocolate -gross- and vanilla-typical). The 24 hour pizza was cracker-crust style and not terrible at all. DRINKS I do not drink alcohol so I cannot say what's what there but they looked to be metering things out correctly. All soda comes in cans. It was nearly impossible to get a cold soda because they do not put any in refrigeration. Other cruise lines have soda on tap and the water is cool and filtered, here it was a warm can and, NO, you cannot have the can. It must be in a plastic cup. The only way to get a cold drink was to have them pour (part) of a (warm) can of soda over ice. Results were watery, no fizz and unpleasant. On the eve of day two I struck a deal with a bartender to pop a couple cans of Root Beer in the bar cooler for me and I returned there for all my drinks and tipped for each one. All in all the $30 bottomless bubbles package wasn't worth it. I drank far less soda in the ship and more (free) water in Tiffany's simply because I couldn't get a cold one. I maybe had 7 sodas in the 6 days (5 nights) there, my wife maybe 5 and the teens refused any additional after day 1 though they each had the $25 bottomless bubbles available they drank water or lemonade (free at Tiffany's). At dinner we happily drank ice water though we did order up ginger ale with lime juice a few times (not included in bottomless bubbles, considered a mixed drink) with a meal or at a show. Tips Despite the comment that tips are "suggested at $12 a day" they are charged unceremoniously to your account at the rate of $60 per person. We had been tipping to that point, quite happily, then the tip charge hit and no, there is no point in arguing it because they will want to know "Why do you want to reduce the tip amount, certainly you must have a reason..." We just stopped tipping for services at that point completely because we no longer had the ability to designate who deserved the gratuity. Overall the staff was good and professional. Munya, Maribel, the few in the Imagination dining room we dealt repeatedly with were very nice indeed. The kid hawking Vodka at dinner was a pain for two nights then we reached an impasse on day 3 and by night 5 were smiling to each other. He has to do his job but I wanted to explain the meaning of "decking" to him on night two. Shouldn't have happened. Shows Best show starred the passengers learning how to disco dance. Second best was the towel animal puppet theater. Nuff said. Good thing we are able to self-entertain.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2015
This is our third Carnival cruise and first time out of New Orleans. As many have said, Elation is an older ship, but she's a great value for the money we spent. The public areas were very clean and comfortable. The decor seems much ... Read More
This is our third Carnival cruise and first time out of New Orleans. As many have said, Elation is an older ship, but she's a great value for the money we spent. The public areas were very clean and comfortable. The decor seems much more subdued than her sister ships Paradise and Ecstasy. I really wish they could find a better way to vent cigarette smoke, because it sometimes became overpowering when the bars/casino were busy. Embarkation Easiest embarkation yet! New Orleans Port Parking was simple and the porters were friendly and very helpful. We arrived at 1030 am and boarded at 1130ish. Our room was ready by 1230. Our luggage arrived just before muster. Stateroom We had a porthole room on the Main Deck. M 14. The room was very large. We had a lot of motion, but it wasn't really a problem. The ship moved quite a bit everywhere. The water was rough and we had some 50 mph winds. Entertainment We probably spent 75% of our time in the Comedy club. We loved both comedians. They showed college and NFL playoff games on the big screen in that room. They provided football clappers and poms. I wish they would have had popcorn and/or munchies, but it was a great place to watch a game. We enjoyed several trivia games and won a ship on a stick. The shows were okay. Food As long as they continue to serve warm chocolate melting cake, I'll always give the food good reviews. I prefer the main dining room over the buffet, but both were good. I really loved the pumpkin soup and lobster. Breakfast in the dining room was good as well. I would have eaten the buffet more, but the wind was really strong, making our preferred outdoor seating impossible. Service The service was just okay on this cruise. Our cabin steward wasn't around as often as we've come to expect from our previous cruises. He was nice, but he seemed to just be going through the motions. I called about ice the afternoon of the second day and he kind of snapped that he was off duty and I'd have to call room service. I was ok with the room service referral, but the attitude was a little off putting. I asked for extra glasses and he looked at me like I was asking for something impossible. The girl assisting him was very friendly. Most members of the dining staff were great. The customer service desk was very helpful. Cozumel I love Cozumel. We booked Mr Sanchos All Inclusive for the second time. They provide great service! Our waiter, Erizel, gave us a cabana and table away from everyone. He was always around for yummy drink refills and food. We left Sanchos and spent a few hours shopping at port. Disembarkation This was not my favorite disembarkation. They call so many groups down together, it created very long lines. Why have zones at all if you're going to lump them all together? Overall I really enjoyed this cruise. My experience on the ship was mostly great. I believe it was well worth the money we paid. I would go again tomorrow if I could!   Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
Our Family of 6 (us in our mid 40's and 4 kids ages 6-14) plus my parents cruised together on the Elation. We had 2 inside rooms and one ocean-view on the Empress deck (E106, E108 and E216). Great rooms, quiet yet close to everything! ... Read More
Our Family of 6 (us in our mid 40's and 4 kids ages 6-14) plus my parents cruised together on the Elation. We had 2 inside rooms and one ocean-view on the Empress deck (E106, E108 and E216). Great rooms, quiet yet close to everything! My parents live in Louisiana so we drove over from Texas and stayed the night at their place then drove the 2.5 hours to NOLA and the port the next morning. This was our second cruise on the Elation and it was terrific. NOLA has a great terminal and very easy embarkation process. We got to the port about 10:30 and were boarded about 11:30. Our cabins were just standard rooms, nothing too special. The ship was beautifully decorated and the Holiday decorations were still in place. Tiffany's Lido restaurant served up great food. WE had YTD and loved the flexibility that gives us, esp with the kids. We requested the same wait staff each evening and were seated in their area. The little kids all absolutely enjoyed the camp carnival and the older two quickly made friends in Circle C. I recommend making sure you send the kids to the first nights activities so they can start meeting the other kids when everyone is new. The only show we watched was on Formal night (Just Rock) at 8:15 and it was wonderful. The singers were top notch. That was the only early, 8:15, show offered on our 4 nighter so that is the only one we saw. (Showtime seems to be 10:15 ) I do wish they would offer and early show each evening. We did catch Mutzie in the comedy club one evening and he was fabulous. Cozumel was the one port we stopped at and WOW it was gorgeous. We spent the day at Nachi Cocum and I wish I could go back everyday. Great relaxing day. The kids snorkeled and played on the paddleboards, my mom got a massage and I just enjoyed the drinks and my chair under the palapa. We arrived back at the ship an hour before departure and it took us at least 45 minutes to get back on board. All in all it was a very enjoyable cruise. The Elation is a smaller ship, but very family friendly and my kids were never bored. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
as a first time cruiser, we enjoyed it very much!! the people onboard are so helpful with everything...the Elation is huge, it is easy for you to get lost getting from one point to the other, but never worry, there is always a very nice ... Read More
as a first time cruiser, we enjoyed it very much!! the people onboard are so helpful with everything...the Elation is huge, it is easy for you to get lost getting from one point to the other, but never worry, there is always a very nice person there to help out...just ask..;0) the sit down dinners at night are wonderful!!! the service wow!!!! and the food is just marvelous...lobster, steak, shrimp, pasta, chicken...everything... our room was kept beautiful by our our steward Syanna, wonderful young man. every night a new towel animal...and the cabin was beautiful...enough room for the two of us.... the entainment was very nice...we enjoyed the comedy more than anything else...I do wish it had more music entertainment for us to see dancing and singing.... the ports we visited were very nice, cozumel was a very busy port...alot of vendors, but everyone seemed to have the same thing in their store...we were disappointed that there was not more local crafts...and I did not like the way everyone was asking you to come into their store...for that reason...I would say, shop at one large store,,save time...and go on an excursion...because you will not find another store that is different..all the same...and the gold and sliver vendors are begging you to come in...not my kind of shopping   Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
I had a wonderful time for my first trip out of the country. Seeing that I injured my ankle playing basketball I was confined to a wheelchair for the remainder of the cruise...and I still had a great time. Everyone was beyond friendly. Man ... Read More
I had a wonderful time for my first trip out of the country. Seeing that I injured my ankle playing basketball I was confined to a wheelchair for the remainder of the cruise...and I still had a great time. Everyone was beyond friendly. Man oh man......the staff were so helpful, cheerful and a joy to be around. I would return for a cruise for the staff alone. The staff we had for our meals at the Scarlet, was the best service I have ever had. Our three servers were Conrado, Dario and Adityo. They were all so gracious, and kept a smile on myself and my families faces. Our glasses were always filled and our food came out without delay after each course. If we only had a world filled with service as excellent as Conrado, Dario and Adityo!! I really enjoyed myself. I sang at karaoke for the first time(paul was a great host)....and it was so fun! I enjoyed th comedy clubs, and the dine in movies, I loved it all. Again all the staff was amazing and I appreciate all they did and continue to do. This cruise was able to keep the worst timing injuring wheelchair bound women laughing, singing karaoke and waiting for her next cruise. Superb job! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
We did a 7 day cruise on the Dream out of New Orleans. we flew in a day early so we could spend an afternoon in the French Quarter. We had a great rate at the Omni. Took a trolley to Jackson Square and then a mule carriage ride. Tip: Get ... Read More
We did a 7 day cruise on the Dream out of New Orleans. we flew in a day early so we could spend an afternoon in the French Quarter. We had a great rate at the Omni. Took a trolley to Jackson Square and then a mule carriage ride. Tip: Get the day pass for the trolley, it is cheaper than round trip fare. The Omni riverfront is a nice hotel. Had to try a sazerec at the lobby bar. The River Walk Mall is just across the street... close enough for coffee and beignets. The Ship? Large, we had over 4k guests. The elevators became a challenge at dinner times. This is my only negative. The larger capacity created no other issues. Other lines were never really unusually long. Cruising in Jan. meant the pools were too cold but the hot tubs were fine and we enjoyed the Serenity deck. Favorite port? Hands down Key West! We did our own version of a pub crawl. Best bars were Rumors and Capt. Tony's. The Comedy club was ok, nothing spectacular. Scott at the piano kept apologizing for not knowing songs saying, I'm really not a piano guy. Overall the cruise was good. The waiters in the MDR busted their tails to take good care of us. Mixed drink service in the MDR does not happen (it is supposed to.) Take in your own dinner drinks. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2015
We sailed from New Orleans on the Carnival Dream to Jamaica, Grand Cayman and Cozumel. This was our second time on the Dream. We chose a room on the Riviera Deck this time. The room was a Deluxe Ocean View room which features a regular ... Read More
We sailed from New Orleans on the Carnival Dream to Jamaica, Grand Cayman and Cozumel. This was our second time on the Dream. We chose a room on the Riviera Deck this time. The room was a Deluxe Ocean View room which features a regular bath room with shower, sink and toilet plus an additional bath room which has a junior tub and a sink. It was very nice to have the ability for two people to take showers at the same time. In Jamaica we did a dolphin encounter which included sharks and sting rays. Very good excursion. On Grand Cayman we did the 4x4 Jeep tour with time on Tiki Beach. I snorkeled there, There were quite a few fish to see with 50' of the beach. In Cozumel we did the Atlantis submarine. Really good excursion. We saw grouper, barracuda, numerous fish and a sting ray. We dove to 110'. We liked sailing out of New Orleans, We got there 2 1/2 days early so that we could see some of New Orleans prior to the cruise. We did the touristy things, such as having beignets and strolling through the French Quarter. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
We spent 2 wonderful days in New Orleans before the cruise. We stayed at the Drury hotel and enjoyed the hotel and New Orleans a lot. We are Platinum so we went through Priority Boarding at the port and were onboard probably by 11:00. We ... Read More
We spent 2 wonderful days in New Orleans before the cruise. We stayed at the Drury hotel and enjoyed the hotel and New Orleans a lot. We are Platinum so we went through Priority Boarding at the port and were onboard probably by 11:00. We went to our room 8469 and dumped our carry ons and went right up to the Lido for lunch. This was our first time on the Dream and we were looking forward to all the dining options, primarily the Tandori Grill and the Pasta Bella bar. The MDR exceeded our expectations, Shane the Maitre D' has the best personality in the fleet! For a ship with 4000 passengers we never felt overwhelmed and the service was great. We spent a lot of time watching the Blackjack Band in the Ocean Plaza at night and the Comedy shows. The one show we did go to in the main theater was Dancing in the Streets and it was the best show we have watched on any cruise! We made sure to go see it a second time the following week. We had been at each port of call in the past so we didn't plan any excursions. In Key West we walked around the town and did a little shopping along with a required stop at Kermit's for Key Lime Pie. Also we stopped at the CVS for some soda and snacks to bring back on the ship. We walked around the port area in Freeport and didn't get off the ship in Nassau, both those days were perfect for spending time on the Serenity Deck. The Cruise Director Hennie was a blast and he really went out of his way to interact with the passengers. Overall we had a great time with nothing to complain or worry about, Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
I have been on many cruises, cruise lines and left from many different ports. I'd have to say the Dream was my most disappointing cruise. Maybe it was because of high expectations, since this is one of Carnival's newest and ... Read More
I have been on many cruises, cruise lines and left from many different ports. I'd have to say the Dream was my most disappointing cruise. Maybe it was because of high expectations, since this is one of Carnival's newest and largest ships. I'd prefer the Liberty or Freedom any day over the Dream. Upon arrival at the New Orleans Port we waited in line for about two hours to board the ship. There was some kind of mandatory 6-month inspection of the ship, which was compounded by the ship arriving in port late due to fog. These things happen and if the inspection make the ship and trip safer, I'm all for them. A little communication would have been nice though. The embarkation process seemed very chaotic from that point on. Upon entrance to the ship, it was what I expected, grand and beautiful. We had a premium vista balcony stateroom and it was everything I thought it would be. The balcony was huge and the room had the illusion of being much bigger than it was. The room was a little noisy the first night due to partying going in the public areas below us. We were on deck 6. After night one, it settled down. Our cabin steward was nowhere to be found during our stay but our rooms was always serviced timely and our cooler always filled with fresh ice. Can't complain about that. However we did miss the personal interactions with the cabin steward that we are so used to. They are some of the friendliest people on earth. Food - we very rarely use the main dining rooms. We are room service and buffet kind of people. The room service was excellent (decent selection, fast service, good quality food). The buffet selection and setup were not so good. The quality of the food also left a little to be desired. Dirty dishes stayed on the tables for long periods of time. Forget trying to move around the dining room. They had those tables so squeezed in there, you really had to plan a route to get to a table. They also did not use the traditional type steam pans to hold the food on the buffet. They had warming platters and pyrex type pans. Every time you went to spoon something out of the pan, the pan would spin/move and end up out of reach. Just a really bad design. The desserts where also in the middle of the buffet line instead of in an area by themselves. Again, I'm not real picky about food. Room service and buffets normally work fine for me, but this did not meet my standard. Another pet peeve, no buffet food from 3:00 to 5:30. Getting off the ship was also a challenge at the tender port. You had to meet in the Burgundy lounge, to pick up a tender ticket, and then you were escorted to the entire opposite of the ship to the gangway. The entertainment was OK. They did have to stop one of the premier shows within the first 5 minutes because of technical issues. The flew a technician into the next port to work on the issue. That show was rescheduled for later in the week. The cruise director, Henni, was great. We laughed just looking at the guy. The casino was large and had a nice selection of slots. I love Carnival. In fact, I already have another trip booked. However, I did not like the Dream.   Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
We just got back from a trip on the Carnival Dream. After having been on a Princess cruise, this cruise seemed classless. The ship was overcrowded, the cruise director was annoying, and the food in the dining room was often cold. The best ... Read More
We just got back from a trip on the Carnival Dream. After having been on a Princess cruise, this cruise seemed classless. The ship was overcrowded, the cruise director was annoying, and the food in the dining room was often cold. The best things were the excursions and ports, and our cabin steward was wonderful. The casino was filled with smoke, and it was difficult to get to some areas of the ship without passing through the casino. We enjoyed the ports, but the ship itself was not enjoyable. We will never go on Carnival again because of this experience. We did like the cove balcony---very private. Read Less
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