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Sail Date: December 2014
First, it doesn't take a lot to make me happy. Champagne at embarkation, free bottle of wine at steak house 1st night of cruise, attentive cabin steward, accommodating maitre'd and main dining room wait staff all made me happy. I ... Read More
First, it doesn't take a lot to make me happy. Champagne at embarkation, free bottle of wine at steak house 1st night of cruise, attentive cabin steward, accommodating maitre'd and main dining room wait staff all made me happy. I was a happy cruiser! Our cruise on the Carnival Dream over Christmas was a dream vacation! Throw in snow, Christmas carols in the atrium on Christmas Eve along w/ the children's Christmas program on Christmas night-well, that's the stuff of dreams and memories are made of! Second, in between we read, slept, and ate our way through the Lido buffet. The pasta bar tucked away above buffet (think up the stairs) and the Indian food at back of ship were hidden treasures waiting to be discovered! Discover them we did! Don't miss 'em! Third, the Lanai deck (deck 5) was a great place to walk every morning, people watch, and take sunrise pictures. I couldn't have asked for better cruise vacation! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2014
This was my ninth cruise, and my fifth with Carnival. The Elation was, bar far, the worst ship I have ever been on. We decided on a short girls cruise, and the price was right for this 5 day cruise to Cozumel and Progresso. There was a ... Read More
This was my ninth cruise, and my fifth with Carnival. The Elation was, bar far, the worst ship I have ever been on. We decided on a short girls cruise, and the price was right for this 5 day cruise to Cozumel and Progresso. There was a group of 9 of us. Embarkation was a breeze, but the lady checking us in was having a bad day. We were on the ship quickly and had no problems. Upon boarding, the shuttle you up to the Lido deck to eat. I was surprised at how small the ship seemed compared to the Conquest that I had been on the previous year. Food on the ship was OK, it's just something to eat. Nothing special, nothing wow'd us, EXCEPT the food we tasted at the Taste Bar. Too bad that food wasn't available at dinner or lunch anywhere. However, the staff at dinner was awesome. They went out of their way to make us smile, make us laugh, and enjoy the evening with them. We had dinner in the main dining room every night we enjoyed them so much! When our cabin was ready, and we got inside, I was surprised to see the beers I had pre-ordered to be in our room just sitting on the desk, not on ice, and still warm. Tried calling room steward, but of course, they're super busy at that time, so the beers sat there for a day until we finally got some ice. The only "entertainment" on board we went to was the "comedians". Mutzie was one of them at the "adults only" show and was nothing but a downer. He's not even close to be a "comedian" and just went on and on about how grateful he was to Carnival, and how each CD that he sold was going to one of Carnivals employees who's daughter got hit by a bus. The only joke he told, which dragged on for the whole show, was about a black guys huge unit that he was next to at a urinal, and how small the white guys' on the other side of him was. Terrible waste of time. Dean Gaines was the other one we saw, and he was only slightly better. Cozumel was an awesome port, as it always is. Even with the 4 other ships in port, and being very crowded, it was a breeze to get through and get to a cab. Progresso is a new port, and the only thing that's close is the duty free shop with the liquor and perfume, and outside of that building was the "bargin shopping" where they're all trying to get you in their shop, selling their goods, etc. There was a make-shift bar with a DJ and a small, dirty pool. There was also a few ladies there giving massages. Pool areas were surprisingly open. We never had a problem getting a lounger by the pool, but the staff serving drinks were slow and not happy people. I'm used to singing, dancing, smiling waiters and we didn't see any of that. I'm hoping for a better cruise on the Liberty in January.   Read Less
Sail Date: November 2014
As I told the crew on the Carnival Elation, I am writing a review on the awful services provided by Carnival during my 5 day cruise out of New Orleans on November 24th, 2014. Let me start by saying I will never cruise Carnival again. I ... Read More
As I told the crew on the Carnival Elation, I am writing a review on the awful services provided by Carnival during my 5 day cruise out of New Orleans on November 24th, 2014. Let me start by saying I will never cruise Carnival again. I considered myself a veteran cruiser with four cruises in the last seven years, twice with Carnival. My wife and I booked the Carnival Elation for a honeymoon with our friends during the week of Thanksgiving. I booked early because I wanted to ensure the perfect room for my wife's first cruise ever. I found the destination to Progreso to have been a waste of our money. That port is not ready for any ship much less any turist. I will break down day by day. Day 1 embarkation was amazing. I will admit the Port of New Orleans and the embarkation/debarkation team have their stuff together. On the boat in 30 minutes off the boat in 30 minutes AWESOME!. But that's where the good stuff ends for the most part. Our friends wanted to surprise us with cakes for our honeymoon, the cakes never arrived at the specified time. They ended up in guest services on the first day fighting to get their money back, because the time the crew wanted to deliver the late cakes was in the evening after we would have already have eaten dinner. It took an hour just to get the credit back on their accounts. WOW! Bad start. Later that evening we went to dinner where the service was slow and horrible. We didn't get water until 10 minutes after seating down, bread after 15 min. At least the meal was good but no servers were smiling or happy to be there. Already we felt as a burden to the crew. The evening show was a joke as was the rest of the shows in the main show room. Day 2, sea day spent having drinks and in the casino as the only entertain was that or trivia....hmmmm...about 200 trivia games to play but no actual entertainment....again a joke. My wife and wife's friend went to the "SPA" to get their make up and hair done for the formal night. They spent $180 for both of them. When they got back, I asked why haven't they gotten their hair and make up done? They responded we did, and it was HORRIBLE!!! It looked that they didn't have any make up and their hair was a disgrace. My wife and friend refused to take formal pictures because they were turned off by their hair. They ended up redoing everything in the cabin waisting our time. Day 3 AMAZING...why? we were off the ship and in Cozumel, we did the Dolphin Swim....AMAZING will recommend. Except the best port we had during the trip was also our least amount of time spent!! We were off the boat by 9am and rushed to get back by 3:30pm. NOT ENOUGH TIME!!!! Comedy was great and was about the only show worth watching. Dinning services was great only because we finally found a dining room team that actually smiled and enjoyed our company and paid atttention to the details. We had Your time Dining. Day 4: Waisted, spent the most amount of time at port for the worst port I have even been to in the west and east caribbean. The morning started bad with room service that never made it to my room...ended up rushing to dinning room to eat. And while in the dining room eating breakfast, the waiter got everyones order wrong...so wrong my wife ended up with just two eggs!! I mean I thought it was a joke and we where on camera. Dinner was great because we asked for the table we had the night before with Donovan, Constantine, Martinez and I Wayan...yes I remembered their names becuase they were the only saving grace on that ship. They were in the Imagination room. Day 5 repeat Day 2. By end of the trip, we went to guest services to complain about everything we experienced during our stay. We complained about the garbage my wife tripped over in the staircases, about the garbage left out on Deck 12 for about three days!!!!!!! (NO JOKE), about the lack of security as teenages ran around the ship at midnight and threw things around and pushed us out of the way a couple times as they ran rampet. WHERE WAS SECURITY!!!!!!!! We explained how my wife and I picked up a broken glass off the putt putt course and cleaned it up ourselves (not even our trash). All we got was blank stares and a sorry. Our friends room ended up with ANTS!!!! No sympathy, in fact they tried to blame my friends for bringing them on BOARD!!! Really!!! We got a window room and might as well been an interier room becuase they were absolutly disgusting....could not see out....wish they would have washed the windows at port!!!! Money waisted; I should have gotten an interier and saved my money. Really disappointed. Overall, the worst cruise I have even been on. I wasted good hard earned money for a special occaision on a special week of thanksgiving and could even get good dinner services/food on Thanksgiving Day!!. Why did I pay a premium for a terrible week, terrible services, terrible room, and terrible entertainment. Carnival Cruises....GOOD BYE! NCL here we come. Oh yes NCL by far has been the best and it was a similar sized ship. BTW a lot of Carnival's on board staff like the SPA team are contractors....so Carnival does not think they have to answer when a contractor fails at their job. Guest Services asked us why we didn't talk to this person or that person and we were like, we are on vacation and are upset and the last thing we wanted to do was complain at that moment and waste more time. We saved all our complaints till the end when we had time and took it to Guest Services. We thought that was the right thing to do. I guess guest services wants you to go to the person that sucked and they them they sucked...honestly we are not that type of person to do that, we would have like if guest services would have done that for us....guess not!!....Never again.... Read Less
Sail Date: November 2014
Cruised from New Orleans to Progreso and Cozumel on the Elation with my two sons who are in their 30's. We booked a grand suite ( a special birthday for me) for the three of us and it was fine. Loved having a balcony -- it gave us the ... Read More
Cruised from New Orleans to Progreso and Cozumel on the Elation with my two sons who are in their 30's. We booked a grand suite ( a special birthday for me) for the three of us and it was fine. Loved having a balcony -- it gave us the extra space we needed to not feel cramped. Also is a great place to watch the Pilot Boat captains jump off and on the ship in every port. Love that! We flew in to NOLA in the early afternoon and took a taxi directly to the ship. We boarded at 3:00 pm, most people were already on the ship so embarkation was a breeze. Everyone with Carnival was very welcoming and helpful. We had late dining in the dining room and found the food to be quite good (depending on what you ordered). I was sorry both times when I did not order the RedFish and the Mahi. Everyone raved about the fish. The first night I ordered an Indian Vegetarian dish and it was wonderful. Our head waiter Jorge was exceptional and he can really dance! We sat with another family with 20 something children and their partners on an Anniversary Cruise from Louisiana and really enjoyed their company. We loved the live music, especially the New Orleans style swing band. Those guys were great and they had a wonderful female jazz singer. We loved cruising down the Mississippi River out of New Orleans -- so much to see. Food in the buffet was so-so except for the last day when it was awful. Dining room always has good breakfasts and the sea day brunch was good. I almost always order breakfast from room service the night before; love waking up to hot coffee, juice, bagels and lox or croissants in the morning. Ordered tuna sandwiches and veggie sticks twice from room service for a snack and they were good. Room service was always fast and I always tipped the room service guys. I always like the Serenity Deck. Heard the musical shows and comedy shows were pretty good, but I didn't attend any. Had drinks in almost every bar on ship and the bartenders were fantastic especially in the Atrium and Gatsby Bars. Took a good Yoga class the first sea day. My sons said the Serenity Deck hot tubs were the only ones really hot. A nice mix of folks in their 20s and 30s, middle age cruisers, and some oldsters. Almost no children, but then school is in session. The younger crowd stayed up very late and had a great time. Everyone was very friendly and fun. Ship staff were always smiling, cordial and went out of their way to provide good service. Debarkation was easy. Longest lines were to get off the ship in the ports, but to be expected. We usually cruise out of Galveston or New Orleans just to get to the Yucatan and are so very glad that Carnival stops in Progreso. That's why we cruise Carnival! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2014
I have cruised with Carnival before and had wonderful times so I was excited to share this experience with the first time cruiser traveling with me. First - the staff on board was excellent. Had a little "hiccup" checking in but ... Read More
I have cruised with Carnival before and had wonderful times so I was excited to share this experience with the first time cruiser traveling with me. First - the staff on board was excellent. Had a little "hiccup" checking in but it was easily taken care of. The food - well, let's say that the evening meals were amazing. Breakfast and dinner was a step down from Golden Corral buffets. Rarely was the food hot, presentation was more like a bright lunchroom cafeteria line (not the first tomato rosette to be seen). I understand that Carnival has no control over the weather, but I was still disappointed that I was unable to get off the ship in Progresso (due to not being able to safely dock there). Our additional "fun sea day" was not so fun. The rolling of the ship did not bother me at all - actually, it was probably the most entertaining part of my day (watching everyone try to walk around). I would give this cruise a 3 - at best. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2014
We took the Elation from New Orleans to the ports of Cozumel and Progresso. The service we received was exceptional with friendly, hard-working staff. Everyone seemed eager to help with any questions we had. After reading many of the ... Read More
We took the Elation from New Orleans to the ports of Cozumel and Progresso. The service we received was exceptional with friendly, hard-working staff. Everyone seemed eager to help with any questions we had. After reading many of the negative reviews of this ship I was pleasantly surprised. Yes, It is showing its age but we were impressed with the condition and cleanliness of this ship. We really enjoyed watching the ship cruise down the Mississippi from New Orleans. We drank coffee out on deck and watched the sunset with awesome views. Very happy with purchasing the Faster to the Fun package- I would highly recommend it if you do not like to wait in line. For $50 we were on the ship quickly without waiting and our cabin was ready for us. We were on the ship by 11:30 and our luggage came only 5-10 minutes later. We had lunch, drinks, lounged on deck, and took a nap before the safety drill. The FTTF package made debarkation very easy and quick. We passed hundreds of people waiting in their zones to get off the ship and we went quickly through the checkpoints. I would purchase FTTF again without question. We enjoy fine dining but did not expect 5-star for the money we paid for this cruise. We enjoyed meeting new people at our dining table. We noted that they really took the time to seat us with people around the same age, and traveling without children like us. The food in the dining room was good depending on what we ordered. If we did not like something they were very good about bringing something else. We also ordered more than one entree on several occasions to try different things. My favorite were the desserts- they were exceptional. A crew member told us they had a new pastry chef who has an excellent reputation. We also ate breakfast in the Imagination dining room on days we weren't in port. There was never a wait and it was well worth it. The buffet on the Lido deck is cafeteria quality food and that was fine on port days. We ate continental style and ordered omelets from the grill station. The grill station was also our favorite for lunch- the hot pressed sandwiches were delicious and worth the 5 minute wait. The Serenity deck was very much in demand as there were many kids on this cruise. It was a nice area but very crowded and difficult to get a lounge chair. These were also the only hot tubs that had warm water on the entire ship. On at sea days there is a tea at Duke's piano bar at 3 pm that we really enjoyed along with the live piano music. Our favorite entertainment was an acoustic singer named Carlos. He is a very talented singer that performed in the Atrium bar as well as Duke's. We saw both the family friendly and adult shows with the comedian Mutzie and really enjoyed it. The final night on board we saw the show Win in the Mikado Lounge, which is worth seeing. This trip was well worth the price we paid. It was a great getaway for the two of us. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2014
We decided to cruise Elation for my daughter's college graduation. I usually cruise Royal but this fit our dates and budget. I cruised this ship in 2011 and enjoyed it ok, but so much has change..not for the good. First, I was sad to ... Read More
We decided to cruise Elation for my daughter's college graduation. I usually cruise Royal but this fit our dates and budget. I cruised this ship in 2011 and enjoyed it ok, but so much has change..not for the good. First, I was sad to see the steel drums are gone. That really welcomed you aboard and made you feel that you were on vacation from the start. No live music except the smoke filled casino area and the Duke bar a few times. The overall attitude of the staff was distant and RUDE. The service in the imagination dining for terrible on our first two night. After I complained the 3rd night and asked to sit on the other side it improved slightly. Seriously I have had better service at a Waffle House. The food overall was terrible. Our chicken was actually GREEN?? The shrimp was frozen from Sams I guess, The caesar salad dressing was so full of anchovies it tasted like cod liver oil. Let's not even get started on the rubbery fake turkey they passed off as our Thanksgiving meal. Elation needs a new chef..period...Royal C. is light years better than this on their WORST day. Our rooms were comfortable other than the scalding shower. I did enjoy High Tea on the last day. I will say their room service option is better than Royal. The comedian Muncy was fabulous but Carolyn Picard was disappointing. Try the Golden and White cities excursion, it was a lot of fun. Other than this I would Never Ever go on Elation again, not sure sure about Carnival, but doubtful. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2014
As a first-time cruiser, I expected to be wowed by the ship's facilities but I experienced the complete opposite. The interior is cheap and tacky to say the least! As a UK resident, it reminded me of a tacky trip to Blackpool but on ... Read More
As a first-time cruiser, I expected to be wowed by the ship's facilities but I experienced the complete opposite. The interior is cheap and tacky to say the least! As a UK resident, it reminded me of a tacky trip to Blackpool but on the sea, and for the Americans, it very much reminded me of a very run down hotel on the Las Vegas strip without elegance, class or quality! First things first, embarkation was quite chaotic, and once we boarded the ship, we had evacuation training at our designated Muster station. During the alarms sounding and getting to our designated Muster station, we had a group of drunks sliding down the stair handrails falling off and landing into people (including an elderly lady who was not steady on her feet). This happened on two occasions and despite looking for staff to report the idiots we couldn't see any about. As the days went on, the ship's facilities and entertainment became more exposed. The gym equipment was faulty (touchscreens didn't work properly), the outside running track was filled with people standing and talking, was slippery when wet and didn't span the full ship; the cinema was outdoor and constantly affected by the rain and high winds, jacuzzi's and swimming pools were often emptied and not all working at the same time, the casino smelt vile of stale cigarette smoke and the library was very poor. The entertainment was abysmal with the exception of a few evening shows where professionals came aboard. The only entertainment that seemed to run to schedule come rain, or shine was Bingo! (zzzZZZZ). The Cloud 9 Spa and fitness staff were very professional, welcoming and helpful. I found their services value for money although they were chargeable extras. The evening meals at Crimson and brunch at Scarlet were very nice and exceeded expectations as a Vegan eater. I found the staff very friendly and accommodating which was reassuring. Overall, the staff were the highlight of the holiday and everything else was disappointing and poor. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2014
A group of six family and friends of mine just got back from a seven day cruise on the Carnival Dream. By far, the Dream was the largest ship I had ever been on. We walked a lot from one end to the other of the ship. It was clean and well ... Read More
A group of six family and friends of mine just got back from a seven day cruise on the Carnival Dream. By far, the Dream was the largest ship I had ever been on. We walked a lot from one end to the other of the ship. It was clean and well organized. We had a balcony room which was great. I loved sitting out on the balcony and since our friends were next door, we had the door between the two balconies opened so we had much more room. Too bad the weather was awful. . rain and clouds most of the time. But we had fun!! We used the daily schedule to find a variety of things to do. The food was, as everyone always says, was incredible. We ate every night in the dining room and had a variety of upscale things to try. We were not disappointed with most every dish at our table, and our wait staff (Marie, Dennis and Esther) were incredible. They were very accommodating. I had a massage in the Spa one day and it was nice, esp. the hot stone massage part. We signed up for excursions. The one in Nassau at the beach was cancelled because of rain, so we picked p an excursion at the port with "Big T" and had a great time seeing Nassau. The next day in Freeport, we took the tour I would never recommend to anyone. It was boring. We toured Freeport neighborhoods to see the houses, went to a nature park area and hiked to a pond, and then to a church, and then to shop at the Lucaya marketplace. We only had an hour at the marketplace and most of the time was spent getting some lunch. There were not just market stalls, but real stores to shop in and we didn't get to do any of that. The sun shown that day and we wished we had gone to the beach instead. All in all a good trip. Because of weather some things were affected, but with creativity we kept busy. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2014
This was our third attempt to take a cruise due to weather and health. We were at the dock and drove about seeking signs which were not available for the ship. Very confusing. We boarded the ship and went to a nice room with balcony. ... Read More
This was our third attempt to take a cruise due to weather and health. We were at the dock and drove about seeking signs which were not available for the ship. Very confusing. We boarded the ship and went to a nice room with balcony. Unfortunately it was directly under the Lido deck and each night we listened to the people above dragging the deck chairs for most of the night. The beds were very comfortable and would have made for a great sleep if not for the constant noise. The Dream is quite a large ship with poor directions. The main elevators in the middle of the ship took you to each level. The other elevators would take to a place where you had to go up or down a flight to reach the next level. You could not get there from here was a common phrase, Also, the ship was so crowded that we often waited a great while to catch an elevator. The food was good and the service was excellent. We took the bus tours in Nassau and Freeport. Unfortunately the bus in Freeport had damaged windows and you could not see through them well enough to view anything. Due to the rain the windows could not be opened. Upon entering the bus the driver even said they needed new windows but could not afford them.. Had we known the condition of the bus we could NOT have paid about a hundred bucks for the two of us to take the tour. I expected the cruise line to ensure the tours they offered to meet a minimum standard. Very disappointing. We will NOT be cruising with Carnival again Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2014
My best friend really wanted to go on a cruise for her 30th birthday, but I had never done one before, so I was very hesitant to agree. After going back and forth on dates and destinations, we finally settled on Carnival Dream, visiting ... Read More
My best friend really wanted to go on a cruise for her 30th birthday, but I had never done one before, so I was very hesitant to agree. After going back and forth on dates and destinations, we finally settled on Carnival Dream, visiting Isla de Roatan, Belize, and Cozumel. We are from Portland, Oregon, so we flew into New Orleans the night before, which is what we will do the next time we cruise as well. Even though we were told to board between 1:30-3:30, our cab arrived at our hotel around 1200, so we arrived early. The port was already extremely busy, and we later found out we could have boarded as early as 11:30. I would say that the embarkation process was the worst experience of the whole cruise. There was so much hurry up and wait! Once we finally got on board, I was wondering to myself if I had made a terrible mistake. The elevators were super crowded and it took us forever to get one. We found our room, 6228, and dropped our stuff and then headed to the crowded buffet. I waited in line for about 20 minutes for the Burrito Bar, and took two bites of my burrito before having to spit it out. I think it was the cheese that did me in. Immediately after this, it was time for the muster thing, again a somewhat chaotic experience. I thought I would spend the next 7 days miserable. After these experiences were over, it felt like a completely different atmosphere! We met our housekeeping steward, who was a nice guy. He did an EXCELLENT job in our room. We went to the Encore for every show they had. The shows were all pretty good. I would say that they were better than I thought I would find on a cruise ship. Mostly they entailed singing from a male lead and a female lead. The first one or two shows featured one male lead and then the rest of the week a different guy took over while that first man was a dancer. I will say that the first male lead was an incredible performer all around-- singing and dancing. The second guy seemed very nervous, and while he hit the notes, he just wasn't as good as the first guy. The female lead seemed a little over the top for me and I think she could use a diction coach, but my friend really enjoyed her performances. I also feel that throughout the week there was something for everyone-- Motown, Dancin' in the Streets, 80s, Carnival Legends... Every night was something different. Do arrive early so you can get a good spot. We showed up about 20 minutes early every night except the last and sat in the very front row. The last night we had to come straight from dinner and ended up having to sit in the balcony where the person sitting next to me promptly fell asleep and loudly snored throughout the entire show. As far as activities on the ship go, we had 3 at sea days. Most daytime activities were either trivia or some sort of seminar where they wanted you to buy something. I did go to a few of the trivia sessions and enjoyed them. We saw one Adults Only comedy special which was pretty explicit, and later in the week we went to family friendly comedy which was more my style. They also had one magic show on board. I will say that that part was weird. It was close up magic, so I knew it wasn't going to be in some enormous room, but when we arrived, (about 1/2 hour early since we went straight from dinner to the show), we were super confused. I wish I had taken a picture to explain this room. The magician was already in the room getting his props and such together, and a few other guests were there. The room was small.. I think maximum capacity was only supposed to be maybe 30? The chairs that they had set out were literally (i'm not exaggerating at all when I say this) about 2-3 inches apart from one other. I don't mean side to side. I mean that's how much leg room you were supposed to have from the chair in front of you. My CALVES are bigger than 2-3 inches. I stood in the back, with many other guests. Someone asked the magician why we were in such a small room and why the chairs were so absurdly organized, and you could tell he was embarrassed. I felt bad for him. He did a pretty decent job under the circumstances, but still, it just felt like the whole thing was an after thought. Dining on the ship was an interesting experience for me. I'm an extremely picky eater, but for years so many people have told me that cruise food was amazing, so I was anxious to try it. I already told you about the burrito which was on the LIdo Deck with the buffets. I found the rest of the buffet to be fairly standard, although I wasn't a fan of many of the desserts offered on the ship and stuck with ice cream cones mainly. The Pizza Pirate and I were very good friends on board, unless I was in a hurry. I also tried the hamburger stations and thought those were typical. We had Late Dining in the Scarlet and in spite of my pickiness, I did try a few new things including ox tongue and alligator fritters. As others have mentioned, the food doesn't quite come out as hot as you would expect it, but I think one thing to remember in this case is that they are preparing several hundred dishes at any given time. I did especially enjoy the sicillian chicken, the cream potato soup. One thing I grew to love and look forward to in at dinner were the shows the crews put on. Basically, it was flashing lights and loud music while the wait staff danced in silly hats, but we thoroughly enjoyed it. Our wait staff was simply the best and took time to talk to us as if were actual people and not numbers for Carnival. One night there was nothing on the menu I wanted at all, but I went to dinner anyway just because I knew I would have fun because the wait staff made it fun for us. We really enjoyed Isla de Roatan just for the relaxing aspect of it. The port of call we were most excited about was Belize, however it ended up being the one we liked the least. In fact, getting to Belize was chaos. One thing I appreciated was that the staff was well-informed and kept you well-informed about everything that was going on. Our cruise director, Hennie was constantly on the intercom making announcements... However, we either slept through the one about getting off the ship in Belize or there was not one made. We noticed that anyone who had purchased an excursion on the ship seemed to be clear on what to do, but anyone who had not (like us) was very confused. In Isla de Roatan, you simply took an elevator down to the gangway and got off the ship. We tried to do the same thing the next day and ran into a huge crowd of people going down stairs on a stairwell that was marked off. We happened to overhear another guest telling a random passerby that we actually needed to walk down to the Burgundy lounge, get assigned a number and wait for an available tender. So we headed back down to the Burgundy lounge, got a number, waited for about half an hour or so, then walked all the way back down to the gangway and down several flights of stairs to get there. Then you take a tender, which takes about 20 minutes or so, and then you're finally on Belize. That process was so bizarre to me! I'm not sure why they didn't have us wait in the Encore since it was much closer to the gangway and it was unused during that part of the day. Next time we go to Belize, we will get an excursion from Carnival. We did one on our own-- $20 for a 2 hour tour of Belize in an "air conditioned bus." Spoiler alert: the bus is not air conditioned nor do they roll the windows down. I literally felt like I was suffocating on that tour. I can't handle too much heat, and as such, once the tour was over, I had to sit in the mall area for about 40 minutes before I could resume any type of activity. The tour itself was nice, although we only went to about 1/2 the destinations we were promised. Again, because of the heat, I didn't care how many destinations we skipped lol. We heard fabulous things from our dinner mates who went cave tubing and snorkeling, so maybe next time we'd do one of those. Cozumel was hands down the best port experience we had. We rented a car and drove to Chen Rio, a free beach with a restaurant. There isn't really a place to change into swim clothes, so I had to discreetly change in our car, and for a bigger girl, that's kind of hard to do, but I managed. We also tried coconut water and found out we don't like it all. After we played in the ocean, we decided to get back in the car and go exploring in the city where we found a little meat vendor called Rico Asados. Great food and very nice people. We returned the car, did some shopping and headed back to the ship with plenty of time. We liked it so much that our next cruise includes a day at Cozumel as well. Disembarkation was absolutely a breeze. Woke up, went down to the Chambers to pick up our confiscated candles, and headed to breakfast on the Lido Deck. Even though Hennie said we were running a little bit behind because of the customs officials arriving on board, we found that we were actually off the boat and waiting for our ride earlier than we had anticipated. Again, because of Hennie's announcements and the crew's knowledge, the process was super smooth and much faster than I would have thought. I am so, so glad that I went on this cruise. The crew was fantastic, the other guests on board were so much fun and very, very friendly, and the weather was great. We are booked on the Dream again in early 2016 and I am looking forward to it already! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2014
I had never been on a cruise before. Heck, I had never been out of the contiguous United States! The Carnival Dream was a lovely first experience. I had booked this trip because my boyfriend has cruised numerous times before and really ... Read More
I had never been on a cruise before. Heck, I had never been out of the contiguous United States! The Carnival Dream was a lovely first experience. I had booked this trip because my boyfriend has cruised numerous times before and really enjoys it. This was his birthday present. There was always plenty of fun stuff to do on the ship each day. We could have easily enjoyed the trip without doing any excursions off the ship! The food was absolutely delicious. Most nights we ate in the Crimson Dining room. Our waitstaff, Nigel and I Komang, were wonderful. We looked forward to seeing them every night. I loved how Nigel got so into the staff's dance performances! We enjoyed the buffet as well, including Pasta Bella and the coffee shop. Hennie the Cruise Director was a stitch. We saw him in the Love & Marriage show. We enjoyed a couple of the shows, several raffles, and took advantage of the shopping available on the ship. We attended the art auction preview. I attended club Caliente on ladies' night. We also toured the spa facilities. I was never bored and there was so much to do we simply couldn't do it all! On our second day on the ship my boyfriend booked a private photo session with the ships photographer, Raghava "Reggie" Mulpuri. My boyfriend is not a fan of stiff poses in front of backdrops. Reggie was an absolute delight! Always professional, well dressed, great sense of humor, and never pushy. He is a master of his art! He took us around to several areas on the ship. Reggie was even able to capture beautiful intimate photos in busy, crowded places like the casino! I was so impressed with his technique! Our last stop was Deck 11 at sunset. There, Reggie assisted my boyfriend in a surprise proposal! Reggie helped formulate a plan to make it all happen flawlessly. I could not have asked for a more perfect proposal and Reggie captured this beautiful moment on film for us. A once in a lifetime moment forever preserved in these gorgeous photographs. I could not wait to show everyone the prints we purchased when we got home! I want to thank Reggie and his assistant that day, Timea, for helping record such a special moment! Thanks to them, and my now fiance, this will be a trip I will never forget! Engaged November 04, 2014 aboard the Carnival Dream Deck 11 @ sunset Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2014
My hubby and I just returned from a 7-night cruise to Montego Bay, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel aboard the Carnival Dream. This was our 3rd Carnival cruise, and the second out of New Orleans. We had originally booked a balcony cabin, but the ... Read More
My hubby and I just returned from a 7-night cruise to Montego Bay, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel aboard the Carnival Dream. This was our 3rd Carnival cruise, and the second out of New Orleans. We had originally booked a balcony cabin, but the week before the cruise, Carnival contacted me and offered a nice deal on an upgrade to an Ocean Suite. Since it was hubby's 65th birthday, I decided to splurge, and was glad we did. With the Ocean Suite comes priority boarding, and hubby was more excited about that than anything. We drove 5-1/2 hours to NOLA on embarkation morning, and had no problems at all getting into the parking garage around 11:45AM. The priority boarding was a breeze, and we were on the ship and in our suite in less than 20 minutes from the time we parked the car. We stayed on the Empress Deck (7), between aft and midship. The location was great because there were cabins above and below us, rather than a lounge like last time. Nice and quiet at night! We ate dinner in the main dining room four nights, and shopped around on the other three. We're mostly vegan (we cheat a little on cruises), so we were looking for meatless options. The Mongolian Wok is amazing, but it's only open for lunch. Bummer!! We also found that the Grill has veggie burgers, but they also close at 6PM. So the meatless options are a little more limited in the evening. The Lido buffet was just so-so this time, as compared to our two previous cruises. The desserts on the buffet were terrible, which led to us resorting to the ice cream machine a little too often. We like nice big salads, but the buffet only provided iceberg lettuce instead of romaine or spring mix, and had a limited selection of other salad veggies. We tried the other buffet dishes that didn't contain meat, and they were generally OK, but nothing special. The service in the main dining room was great, as usual, but again their vegan/vegetarian selections are very limited. We always look forward to the warm chocolate melting cake, but the first night it was basically just warm sauce--no cake. We ordered it again later in the week and it was perfect. We went to three shows in the Encore theatre, and all were great, especially the Motown show with Marcus Anthony. We also took in the comedy shows in the Punchline, and enjoyed those immensely. The musical acts scattered around the ship during the week were generally enjoyable. Others have written about strange smells on the ship...we didn't experience that at all. We found the ship to be clean and well-maintained for the most part, considering how some people act like pigs and just leave their trash around on the decks. We especially enjoyed walking around the Promenade deck (5) as it goes all the way around the ship, and is a more pleasant place to walk than the jogging track. We are definitely looking forward to our next Carnival cruise, and would certainly look forward to being on the Dream again! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2014
We really enjoyed our time on the Dream. The crew was probably the best I've dealt out of the seven cruises I've been on. We arrived at the Port of New Orleans at noon. Traffic was a little heavy due to both the Dream and a ... Read More
We really enjoyed our time on the Dream. The crew was probably the best I've dealt out of the seven cruises I've been on. We arrived at the Port of New Orleans at noon. Traffic was a little heavy due to both the Dream and a Norweigian ship being in port. However, it did not delay us very long. The entire check in process took less than 30 minutes, and we were eating burritoes on the Lido deck in no time. We were in cabin 1248. Even with very high seas, we hardly felt movement. The cabin was fairly quiet, although sometimes we could hear the family next door through the connecting doors. Our room steward kept everything neat and spotless. The dining room food was very good. The buffet food was average. The specialty areas (burrito bar, mongolian wok, etc) were excellent, however, the lines were very long. We enjoyed the movies during sea days, but I would really like to see more events during the day. I don't shop, so the constant sales pitches were wasted on me. Trivia was fun. But other than those two things there wasn't much else to do. Docking in Roatan was nice. I like the area immediately off of the dock, and we spent a day playing in the water. The seas and wind were too rough to tender to Belize. Carnival did a great job keeping us informed of what was happening, and they provided a good day at sea considering it was all put together at the last minute. I love Cozumel, and this time was no different. Due to a small health issue, my family determined our pre-scheduled trip to Xcaret was a bad idea. Carnival gladly refunded our money for the excursion, no questions asked. We booked a dolphin encounter through them since it was closer to the ship. It was so interesting, and we had plenty of time to explore Cozumel after. Leaving the ship was sad, but again very efficient. We were on the road by 8:30am. If I had to pick a complaint, it would be that some of the other guests were quite rude to the staff. A group of drunk men stole the microphone at a comedy show and caused a delay with their flatulence jokes. A young woman yelled at a staff member because they wouldn't open the buffet ten minutes early so she could eat. Ice cream cones were left everywhere by children running crazy. That was sad to experience during an otherwise wonderful week. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2014
This is not my first Rodeo; nor is it my first tequila. I most certainly won't be the last, either! New Orleans, my friends, does it right! With the 2014 National Realtor Convention, the San Francisco 49'ers in town, and all ... Read More
This is not my first Rodeo; nor is it my first tequila. I most certainly won't be the last, either! New Orleans, my friends, does it right! With the 2014 National Realtor Convention, the San Francisco 49'ers in town, and all that voo-doo that you do - I must admit that the Port or New Orleans does a dandy job! I could go on and on about our dreary stay at what I thought was an amazing B&B, or how the condo caught fire the night before departure for some of our other family members (thank you Red Cross for the blankets while sitting curb side), but this time is strictly about the Cruise. A little information about my post - I have strayed. Yes, I admit. I chose not only one, but two other cruise lines since my last Carnival voyage. My name is Marci, and I have a cruising habit! (lol) So, after research, and planning, and saving, myself and 13 other brave individuals (whom we shall know as the "Almighty Aft-holes") embarked on the Carnival Dream out of the Big Easy. Be advised - The cruise terminal along the water front is NOT that scary (for you future cruisers) - After you turn by the Museum, you will find the parking garage, and then the terminal. They let people through the turn-style to BOARD the ship at 10:00am. So, when deciding when to show up to the port - you have that information. Through the turn-style - through the first ticket check (have fun passes and passports ready) and then it's up the escalator to vacation-ville! At the top of the escalator, you wind around as if you were in an amusement park. Then the second ticket check. This time, great care is taken in looking at passports, and the fun pass. Upon that checkpoint, you are directed to the security screening. Yup - not quite TSA style, but you empty your pockets, put your carry on on the conveyor belt blah blah blab. THEN...if you brought any soda or water with you, the very special table! Yes, they open the 12 packs and pull the sodas out. They inspect them for tampering. Yes, they open the shrink wrapped casing around the water and shake the bottles. If there is anything smuggled, they will find it. (And yes, they tape it back up if it checks out ok) We were ok - absolutely no issues. There were people in front of us that were not so lucky based on the pyramid of booty they had collected before us. This is where we were separated - Priority Boarding vs Regular Boarding. We had a suite, so we were Priority. They hand us the health screening questionnaire, and took our fun pass. The waiting room was awesome - pastries, juice, coffee, comfy chairs! This is awesome - except we were so excited to get on board, we rushed straight through and into the 2nd waiting room. They call your name when they are ready for you. They take the credit card information, and take your photo for your Sign and Sail card. My poor husband had them in stitches - they thought he was a comedian on board! Have fun with these lovely ladies - yes, they are working and they see hundreds of people each day. But you can make it fun for them as well. I'm sure its very difficult to watch all thousands of people go on a vacation when you are just doing their 9-5. We went directly from the waiting room to boarding the ship. We passed the turn-style about 11:15 and were on board around 12:15. The route to the ship wound back and forth and seemed to take eternity. But soon - we crossed the threshold of the mighty Carnival Dream. Complaint #1 (I only have 4 complaints) - The elevator service. For crying out loud - every Carnival ship I have ever been on has had issues, but I must admit, this is the first time that I started to second guess my return to Carnival. Yes, it was worse than the "others" - We were headed to the Lido (deck 11) where we had arranged to meet the others. We selected an area by the pool - outdoors, in the shade, but centrally located. Then we disbursed to the food. This is the only opportunity I had to try the stir fry. There was no line. Just another lady and myself. And it still took 10 minutes. Flavors were ok; very weak. Needed soy (or salt). And the steak was full of gristle. But I tried it. 3 out of 5 stars, and at this point, I knew I didn't need to worry about coming back. I started on my second DOD before we started seeing the other "aftholes" board - there must be something to say about priority boarding. So I was the "anchor" that watched everyones' carry-on's while they got food and explored. I have a couple of 14 year olds' and at that time - we turned them loose. They are well behaved, have manners, and I never had to worry about them. At shortly before 1pm, we snuck our stuff into our cabin. We had 7358 - Oceanview Suite - Starboard. So we had the river side to view. Complaint #2 - The cigarette smoke from Deck 5 was unGodly. I realize we were at port and stationary. But Holy Moly - the stairwells (because the elevator service was horrid) were awful. (Once we started moving, the smoke dissipated) i suspect that being stationary made it worse; which I noticed the rest of the cruise) Now, the Saints / 49ers game was on....and I would say, based on the Saints jerseys and beads, that half of those on the ship were football fans. But do you think we could find the game on anywhere? Laugh louder... The aft bar, deck 11 at the very back of the ship has a 24" tv screen and could only support about 30 drunk loud-mouthed Saints fans. We were told the "Sports Bar" had all the games. The only problem with that - the "Sports Bar" is inside the Casino - which was also the source for the unGodly cigarette smoke. Now, I have been called a fanatic before, but not wishing stage 4 lung cancer just to watch a game was my choice. When we asked why they wouldn't put the game on the big screen on the Lido, we were told - not "everyone" likes football and we don't want to alienate anyone. Really? For a ship based in "Saints-Town"? I don't buy it. They weren't showing ANYTHING. Just some really loud (and not very good) music. Muster was uneventful - a necessity, but uneventful. So, we expected sail off at 4; registration for Club 02 at 5. Well - there wasn't a sail off until nearly 5:20. So I figured we'd register the kids later on. The luggage came, uneventfully - and we unpacked. The Cabin review is below - no reason to duplicate it. Make sure and get you a deck plan because the first day, it helps get you oriented. Dinner was absolutely amazing the first night - We had 14 people, and unfortunately had to bounce 2 tables the entire journey. But that just made it interesting, right? We had the most FANTASTIC wait staff. Vladin, Roni and I don't remember the third guys name I apologize were phenomenal! We looked forward to dinner service EVERY SINGLE NIGHT! Drink service was lame....Food was awesome! I am still a chilled soup fan - and the strawberry and mango were my favorites. I did try as many new things as I could. And I did not skimp on dessert! Chocolate melting cake 5 nights out of 7! We took our time - we laughed, we were rowdy, and the wine and jokes flowed like the ocean! I KNEW THEN I was happy to be back to Carnival. Sea Days are sea days - I actually found myself in the gym on the first one. Yes, I know. Sad? No - I wanted to run, on the ship, in the middle of the ocean. And I did. Lots of exploring - lots of sun. The teenagers did not like the slides - one was too fast, and hurt their butts on the way down. The other one was too slow. The Serenity Deck was amazing - quiet - and amazing. After all, that's what Vacation is all about, right? Some of our group did take advantage of the spa treatments. Treatment for me was sitting on my balcony with my sodoku book breathing the fresh sea air. JAMAICA - was our first stop. We booked a Carnival Excursion - Dolphin Swim and Dunns Falls. Because of the distance, we opted to go Carnival to ensure our safe and timely return to the ship. The drive through the Country was very informative - Thank you tour guide "MAMA" - she even sang for us. She explained the sights, told us stories, talked politics and education. She was awesome. Our driver belongs in Daytona giving lessons. Not many people own cars on the Island and its probably a good thing. All the horn honking and passing - driving on the "other side" of the road.... I never felt in danger, but nervous as heck on occasion. The Dolphin swim was located in Ochos Rios - and we could see a couple other ships in port from the beach. The 14 year olds were the swimmers - we were the watchers. They were taken into an area for life vests and some training - we found a cold beer and some local shopping. Once they were in the water, they were quite a ways out there and a little difficult to watch. I have a 35mm with several lenses and managed to catch a couple of cool photos. We did not buy the video or photos. Lunch, included, was jerk chicken, rice, salad, and some other interesting items. It was very good. (Beware of the red sauce....put it on the side!) Once we had completed our lunch, we got back on the bus and headed over to Dunns Falls. (Almost across the street) We pulled in the parking lot and they told us "water shoes and swimsuits only" - nothing else. Well, what about my camera? How am i going to get pictures? I left everything on the bus, by protest. But after it was all said and done, I understood. For those that don't know about Dunns falls - it is a work out. You are grouped together and assigned into groups. You are assigned 2 guides and a photographer. The area is nicely developed and paved. You will walk all the way down to the ocean - thats where the falls enters the sea. Then everyone holds hands - is meant to be a help (the person in the front is supposed to help the person behind) but it doesn't work perfectly. The water is cold and milky color and you will be walking up a river - against the current of water. Some areas you have to step down into an area you cannot see. My knees hurt, and I am a runner. My guess - it took all of 45 minutes to go up the river. Some areas they slow down to take pictures of you sitting under the falls, or falling backwards into a pool. The pace was a bit fast for my liking, but nevertheless, it worked out just fine. It was a beautiful experience - would I go back, probably not. Jamaica is a large island, with lots to do! The ride back to the ship was uneventful until we determined what time it was. We were running late, it was getting dark. But Mama assured us that Ship time and Jamaica time were an hour apart and we were fine. She was right! Grand Cayman was beautiful - we tendered out without a hitch - and we booked a private full day charger from Island Martketing LTD. (Eco) The 14 of us were picked up near a church (just past the Harley Davidson store) and transported to the Marina where we met our Charter Captain for the day - He was phenomenal! We started at Starfish Point (there was NO ONE THERE BUT US) - no hoards of people; then we went on a leisure snorkel. We went to lunch at Rum Point, but because we couldn't dock, we anchored off shore and walked to the shore. That was an amazing experience! Fantastic food - fantastic beer - fantastic sun - fantastic company! The best lunch ever! Then we stopped at Stingray City for a very crowded and rough seas stop - but still very memorable! And lastly, another stop to just swim and play! What an amazing day - with not crowds of people - just our group. I guarantee it will be the most memorable stop for my party! In Cozumel, we had a group of (4) that opted to do the beginners Scuba with Carnival. The rest of us went to Mr. Sanchos AI - Love Mr. Sanchos; have been there before and were very happy to be back. The food was amazing (the Guac, the cheviche) and the kids loved the quesidillas. I'm a pina coloda girl, but the new drink - the Miami Vice - Half Daiquiri, half coloda - seemed to be quite the hit as well. We loved the toys, the kayak, the beach, the water, and the sun! The Wi-fi, not so good. This is our favorite beach in Coz. I even got a photo of a water spout. Craziness! Of course, the sea day home was a recovery day - and packing all of the crap we had purchased. Wow, we brought a whole lot of stuff. I dislike packing everything and leaving it outside the door of your cabin, but it is what it is. Its depressing as heck! That's exactly what it is. My other complaints - #3. Karaoke was run by aliens. No personality, and very slow. We didn't go back. But my worse complaint - The loud banging noise, every morning, like clockwork - at 6am. LOUD. And no one could identify anything. Engineering said they would look into it. (Sounded like an old heat pipe!) The issue was acknowledged by our steward and customer service - but apologies were all that was done. No one seemed to care that it interrupted each and every morning. I'm on vacation and I have no desire to wake up that early. I was perturbed at the least, but no one seemed to care. What do you do? Some of the others in our party really pushed the issue, and got some future credit. That wasn't our desired result - we just wanted it to stop! The midnight chocolate buffet is gone - but they had a midnight Mexican buffet on the second formal night. The chocolate buffet isn't at midnight, but was definitely excellent! My kids rather had ice cream, but my oh my - good chocolate! They still do the "Legends" show - its the same show they have been doing for at least 5 years. Other passengers sing with the house band to Madonna, Aretha, Garth, etc etc. We didn't go to that show. They did karaoke to a live band the first night, but we had late night dining, and it wasn't possible. I was a little disappointed. The comedy shows were awesome! And some of the shows by the Carnival dancers and singers were very good. The kids never did connect at O2 - There weren't very many teenagers on this trip, and it was ok. They did just fine on their own! Debarkation stunk - simply because it was the end of the trip. I didn't find it disorganized or chaotic at all (until we tried to find an elevator!) We even went to breakfast in the dining room. When we were done, we stopped by our cabins, picked up our carry on, and didn't hardly have to wait at all. Customs were easy. Getting a cab was easy. The cruise hangover...not so much. Overall - I was very glad to be back with Carnival, and I guess I had to stray in order to remember why it was Carnival that I loved! There were issues - there always are. But my vacation was amazing. And I loved it! (And I didn't mind taking the stairs!)   Read Less
Sail Date: October 2014
The Buffet food: 5/10. The buffets had overcooked and flavorless foods. Staff: The only excellent service was for the staff working assigned tables on our cruise. Brunch staff was rude and inpatient with orders. Dinings Halls: Overall ... Read More
The Buffet food: 5/10. The buffets had overcooked and flavorless foods. Staff: The only excellent service was for the staff working assigned tables on our cruise. Brunch staff was rude and inpatient with orders. Dinings Halls: Overall 6/10, the plated meals were average to good for both brunch and dinners. Nothing special, but definitely not bad. We didn't buy any of the meals with $20 surcharges (filets, seafood, etc.). Lobster night was a hit. The nightly option of grilled salmon was a solid selection. Desserts were average to good. Cleanliness: The dining halls ran out of hand sanitizers on more than one occasion. This is not acceptable, given how many people are touching the food, handles, etc. and how disease easily spreads on cruise ships. We brought our own antibacterial wipes to each meal to avoid shortages. Entertainment: We only watched part of one show, which was below average. The staff was talented, but the skits were hooky and bored us. The comedians were very funny, and one of the highlights of the cruise. Serenity deck: Excellent for relaxing and solitude. The hot tubs stayed busy, but were adequate. Several cruisers attempted to smoke, but staff was good about politely asking them not to smoke in this restricted area. Excursions: We enjoyed out excursion to a house on a beach. I feel it was fairly priced for the experience and for everythign that was included. Rooms: spacious. Only only one compliant: ONE outlet is not enough for an entire cabin. There isn't an outlet in the bathroom & we could only charge one device at a time. Very inconvenient. The 'Scene': this sailing didn't have a lot of children, which was a plus for us. It did have a lot of drinkers and people who enjoy partying a lot. That's fine, since they didn't disturb anyone, just a bit loud but not excessive. embark/debarkation processes: Very good, above average, short wait times. Well executed. Best for: singles, drinkers and people looking for a inexpensive good time (though the alcoholic drinks weren't cheap!) and not picky about food/entertainment.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2014
My trip started out with priority booking that was unexpected but came along with our suite. The NOLA port was one of the easiest ports to get through. From the time I got to the port which was 10:45 until the time I was on the ship and in ... Read More
My trip started out with priority booking that was unexpected but came along with our suite. The NOLA port was one of the easiest ports to get through. From the time I got to the port which was 10:45 until the time I was on the ship and in my room about 35 minutes. Was in the room by 11:20 and had my luggage by noon. We felt that we were in good hands with our steward Tapa and her assistant Lawrence. They never skipped a beat. The ship never felt like it was overcrowded. There was always a place to lounge in the sun or a spot to eat on lido. Speaking of our dining experience Augustino took very good care of us in the main dining room. Our food was always tasty. The midnight Mexican Buffet was also very good and orderly.The entertainment of this cruise was also very good. In the Atrium we had Chai and Suzette as our excellent bartenders and Carlos Nebot's singing was the best. He played all of my favorite songs and took had no problem with singing requests. Mutzie was our comedian and he and Cruise Director Steve kept us laughing. We also even took the time to enjoy some the activities that we had never done before on our previous 5 cruises. I was also happy to get my ship on the stick before the end of our cruise. Since we were cruising for Halloween I do need to mention that there were some very interesting and fun costumes. We even sat through the costume contest which was a real treat. We ordered the Cheers Program that had recently increased in price, but for us it was well worth it. Didnt hit that 15 drink alcohol limit per day, but on sea days we definitely got close. On the other days we broke even or a little above. We never had any issues but did visit guest services on the first day with a question and Victor was very prompt and courteous in addressing us. Our ports were Progresso and Cozumel and since we were traveling with another couple decided against excursions. We just wanted to go it on our own. We got massages and shopped in Progresso. We also shopped in Cozumel and hit Margarittavill and Senior Frogs, which was a blast!! This is the smallest of the Carnival ships that we have gone on next to the Fascination, but I must say it was one of our best cruises. Never cruised with so many happy, friendly cruisers and staff!! I would recommend this cruise to first timers and those who are like us and have cruised numerous voyages. It's a perfect fix for a quick getaway till you can make it on that longer cruise. I would actually book this ship again, and I have never been on the same ship twice. A personal goal to get through the entire fleet! Thanks again Carnival for an excellent vacay! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2014
After reading some of the reviews on these boards, I felt like I might not be thrilled with this ship. Well... I'm here to say I DO NOT agree with the negative reviews here. I fell in love with this ship quickly. It's easy to ... Read More
After reading some of the reviews on these boards, I felt like I might not be thrilled with this ship. Well... I'm here to say I DO NOT agree with the negative reviews here. I fell in love with this ship quickly. It's easy to navigate and so very clean. It definitely ranks above the Triumph (the last ship I was on) in my heart. Embarkation… Having priority boarding, this was a total breeze. I think we were on the ship within 20 minutes of hitting the front door of the terminal. Everyone was very friendly, as always. The Ship Over All… Yes, it's an older ship. Yes, it shows it’s age. Yes, it’s a smaller ship. Yes, there is a smell of sewage (which I only ever noticed near the life boats on the Verandah Deck). But none of that really mattered when it came to everything else. I never felt crowded on board even though it is a small ship. I never waited for long in any line other than the Mongolian Wok, which I imagine is the case on any ship. This ship was much cleaner than the Triumph was on our particular sailing, and that’s post “disaster,” when it should have been in top shape. Getting around was never an issue. I don’t remember a single time where I had to maneuver my way up to get down or down to get up. The décor is your typical Carnival décor, but it wasn’t as in-your-face. It seemed much more subdued. Our Stateroom… I’m not sure if this review shows separately from the cabin review listed below, if not, just ignore that section :) Fabulous! We are balcony snobs, so we had to get a Junior Suite on this ship in order to have a balcony. Although I was not a fan of seeing other cruisers while on our balcony, I liked the barred railing more than the usual glass. I could just kick my feet up on the railing, sit back, and relax. And the balcony was a good size. I believe it used to have mesh dividers (looking at older pictures) but now has the opaque/frosted glass. It looked like the Grand Suites still had the mesh, yuck. This Junior Suite honestly didn’t seem any bigger than a regular balcony room on any other ship, but I went into it expecting exactly what we got. There was no corner life jacket box in this room, like I’ve heard of in other rooms. I didn’t feel like there was as much storage as usual in this room, but we really don’t need all that. That’s more risk of forgetting something on the ship. The bed was comfy as well. My one complaint about the room was the TV. It’s a flat screen TV that was up too high so it made some colors kind of dark. Also, our remote was all sorts of silly. The menu button controlled the volume, mute button went to menu, etc. and I never found out how to, or if we could, check our folio from them TV. There are kiosks around the ship that allow this, however. They also didn’t film and air any of the events onboard, which was unusual. The Staff & Service… We only ate dinner in the dining room once and Sea Day Brunch once. Both times, the service was impeccable. The lido servers were always sweet. I ran into a few people who said they work in the engine room, just as friendly as the staff that regularly interacts with cruisers. The number one person on this whole ship (that I’m aware of!) was our room stewardess, Ratna. Never have we had someone who fills our ice bucket day and night without being asked, and boy do we love our ice! She was delightful and joked with us when she saw us. She was giggly and precious and we always loved seeing her. We had the same bar server on the lido deck as we had on our honeymoon (Legend, 2011), Nestor, so that was a treat. He, among most other staff, always addressed us by name. I Made was another favorite of ours. We like Cruise Directors that make themselves seen. The Assistant Cruise Director, Dustin, seemed to be EVERYWHERE! He was entertaining and pretty funny. The Cruise Director, Steve, was also present in several areas of the ship. I wouldn’t say he’s my very top favorite of all time, but he’s not bad at all. Both of these guys had the most hilarious Halloween Costumes! Entertainment… We never went to any of the shows, but did go to a couple comedy shows and the lido events such as the Hairy Chest Competition. We always love that one. The comedy on this ship lacked. Mutzie was… dare I say… not good. His routine was to shine his flashlight at people and talk to them, most of it wasn’t even comedy. I can’t think of the other comedian’s first name off the top of my head, but Simmons was his last name. He was much funnier, but still doesn’t compare to some we’ve seen in the past. There were some fantastic acoustic singers I passed by a few times, so I didn’t get names. But I could have sat and listened to them if there wasn’t so much else to do! Pools/Hot Tubs/Slides… I personally like the pools with shallow areas to sit in. These weren’t that, but I did like both pools just fine. The main pool was a little hazy, I’m not sure why, but the back pool was nice. We tried just about all hot tubs on board, including the Serenity ones. They were always a little on the cold side. My husband actually changed the temps one time. The slide was a lot more fun than it looked! The water pressure was great. I usually get stuck but not this time! The Food... I honestly have never been a huge fan of the food on any cruise ship (I’ve also been on Disney). I don’t know why, don’t ask me. The same goes this time around. The bacon macaroni and cheese in the MDR, fantastic. The macaroni and cheese (I swear I’m not THAT big a fan of M&C!) on the brunch menu, best I’ve ever eaten. The blueberry pancakes and cheddar grits, also at brunch, were great too. The pizza and the ham and swiss sandwich from the deli were my very favorites though. Maybe I’m a simple girl, beats me. But when it came down to it, I wasn’t too impressed with much else. Debarkation… We did self disembarkation for the first time. LOVED IT. We were off by 8:30, and that’s with taking our time. As soon as we were ready, we just got off. No hold up, no wait. All-in-all… GREAT cruise. This ship has a bad reputation and I hope this helps someone to make a decision when it comes to booking. DO IT!   Read Less
Sail Date: October 2014
To all cruise enthusiasts, My wife and I decided to take a cruise with our kids and grandkids this year with great expectations of a good time. Our itinerary included ports of call at Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Cozumel and retuning to New ... Read More
To all cruise enthusiasts, My wife and I decided to take a cruise with our kids and grandkids this year with great expectations of a good time. Our itinerary included ports of call at Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Cozumel and retuning to New Orleans. Discounting the Ebola screening at the New Orleans port I would have to rate the trip as less than stellar. On the day that we arrived, the transfer to our hotel in New Orleans was not there as witnessed by a car rental agency rep at baggage claim. We had to track down the service that was supposed to be there to get us to our hotel. Once we got to the Marriot we had an enjoyable night. New Orleans is quite an interesting city. I am from Las Vegas (a city known as sin city). New Orleans runs a close second. We stepped out to eat dinner and a wedding was coming down the street escorted by police. The next day it was time to embark the Carnival Dream and start the cruise. Embarking was a nightmare. Most of the problem rests in the fact that all the transport coaches arrived at the port all at the same time. As everyone had to fill out an Ebola questionnaire and go through customs, this created a three hour bottle neck to get through. There wasn't one person I talked to that thought that was to be expected. Once on board, we had the usual safety drill and departed. The first thing Carnival does is try to sell you a sort of all-inclusive drink plan that is advertised on the website for about $35 a day. You are not able to sign up for this online (so said the website). So, once on board the price is about $50 a day. Strike one. That night I lodged a complaint about the transfer service that they used. I stated that the contracted services are the first face of Carnival that the customer sees and can set the tone for the rest of the trip. Carnival's response was to close ranks around their transfer service. Strike two. The first port of call was Montego Bay, Jamaica. We took a side trip to swim with the dolphins. This was an absolute blast. The highlight of the dolphin excursion was being pulled through the water by the dolphin. All the people we encountered on island were very friendly. The guides were wonderful. They gave some history about the island, explained what some of the local lingo meant, and were quite entertaining. Later we spent some time shopping and at the beach. The second port of call was Grand Cayman. Our second excursion was submarine ride to see some of the sea life. I prefer scuba diving, but, my wife...not so much. At any rate we had a good time and the grandkids enjoyed it. The water is very clear there if you haven't been. About the, 3rd day out, the room steward came to straighten and clean the cabin. During the course of doing so managed to engage one of my wife's tops in the vacuum cleaner and ruined the top in the process. Do you think the room steward would leave an apologetic note? Wouldn't even think of it. Seems to be in keeping with closing ranks around the vendor. Strike three. The third port of call was Cozumel. We didn't have any side trips planned here...so we wondered on our own. We ended up stopping at a little bar on the beach for lunch. We met a couple there a talked for a while. They were traveling on Royal Caribbean. They essentially said to try RC and that you would not be sorry. While on the ship my wife and I had a couples massage. The massage itself was good. However, there is an assessment consultation after that follows in which some of the more private details would best be handled in private rather than with both customers and operators present. On one the last days of the cruise we asked that someone take a look at the heat being supplied to the cabin because it was cold even after using all the blankets. We returned after maintenance had been there only to find the cabin twice as cold. Strike four. Another thing to know before you go...if you decide to go Carnival, don't expect to find edible food anywhere if you skip the formal nights. There are a lot of good people that were working on the cruise. We had a waitress that liked to flirt with our son-in-law harmlessly. Some of the bartenders were interesting to talk to as well. This is my 4th cruise and have never had this amount of problem on a cruise ever. I won't be returning to this cruise line again. They just can't seem to get it right no matter what. I will return to the places that we visited. In summary, Carnival is the best advertisement for Royal Caribbean, Holland America, or Princess that there is.   Read Less
Sail Date: October 2014
Our cruise was excellent - could not have asked for more!! This was our 13th cruise, but first time in a balcony. We had a cove balcony which is only one floor up from the water. You occasionally get a little water spray because you are so ... Read More
Our cruise was excellent - could not have asked for more!! This was our 13th cruise, but first time in a balcony. We had a cove balcony which is only one floor up from the water. You occasionally get a little water spray because you are so close to the water, but it is wonderful. Our favorite port was Montego Bay in Jamaica. We did the Negrill experience and the cliff dive at Rick's cafe. That was one of the best beaches yet! We had 3 hours at the Margaritaville to, swim eat and relax. The chairs and umbrellas were provided and lunch was included. The ride is about 1 1/2 hours but the views of the ocean along the way are worth it!!   Read Less
Sail Date: October 2014
This is by far the worst vacation I've ever taken for three main reasons: 1.) The food was absolutely horrible. I literally cringed every time I went to eat. The best part of going to a port of call was to get a descent meal! ... Read More
This is by far the worst vacation I've ever taken for three main reasons: 1.) The food was absolutely horrible. I literally cringed every time I went to eat. The best part of going to a port of call was to get a descent meal! I'd try to compare the food to a major restaurant chain, but I've never been to a restaurant that had food this bad. 2.) The hidden fees are ridiculous! The crew will leave you literature on what is appropriate to tip the house keeping staff. What they won't tell you is that they will automatically add gratuity to your bill at 3am in the morning a night or two into your cruise. So if you'd already been tipping the staff you'd essentially tip double the amount without knowing it. And the fees aren't cheap! For our 7 day cruise it was around $168 dollars! 3.) What they call gratuity is actually just another fee! Someone needs to give carnival a dictionary and tell them to look up the definition of gratuity! They seem to think that their staff is entitled to 15% regardless of the quality of the service that they provide! Gratuity is supposed to be something extra decided upon by the CUSTOMER to reward a employee when they provide good service! It's NOT something you're entitled too! I will never cruise again! You couldn't pay me to take another cruise! It wasn't a vacation! It was a PUNISHMENT!   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2014
This was our 8th cruise, and our first on Carnival. Mary, my companion has MS and uses a cane. Embarkation was a confusing mess. We were shuffled from one red shirted Carnival employee to another, always with the promise that the next one ... Read More
This was our 8th cruise, and our first on Carnival. Mary, my companion has MS and uses a cane. Embarkation was a confusing mess. We were shuffled from one red shirted Carnival employee to another, always with the promise that the next one would be able to secure a wheel chair. We never saw one, and actually boarded ship sort of moved along by the crowd rather than in any organized fashion. Debarkation was also chaotic. Our cabin, 1407, was excellent, very large by most standards, sleeping up to 5, and normally used for families. It was located on deck one aft, which put us right below our dining room, and should have been convenient to the buffet and other services important to us. Unfortunately, we were to find that elevators rarely stopped on deck one. They would come as close as decks 3 or 2, and then proceed back up. On numerous occasions, Mary had to navigate the stairs, along with several other disabled passengers. On one occasion, a woman in a motorized wheel chair unable to get an elevator or use the stairs, became frightened at being stranded and made quite a scene. I had worked as an advocate for people with disabilities, so I volunteered to go take up the issue with the customer service desk. After pointing out the hazard to people with disabilities, I was assured the problem would be addressed. While it did improve somewhat as the week went on, the elevators remained a sore spot, and in my opinion, a safety hazard. Food aboard ship was a total disappointment to us. The buffet was the worst we had encountered in our 8 cruises. Both quality and variety were inferior in every way to previous cruises. For the first time as cruisers, we found ourselves eating away from the buffet, eating pizza on several occasions. The up side was that the pizza was excellent, and there was good access to ice cream and other alternative foods. The dining room was a shock to our system, resembling a discotheque more than an elegant dining room. We were assigned to a booth that reminded us of something from Denny’s. It was a disappointing departure from the large table and wonderful group dining we were accustomed to. We were extremely fortunate to have a wonderful couple named Les and Tammy assigned with us who proved to be perfect dinner companions, otherwise, we would have fought a battle over the accommodations. Elegant dining is one of our most enjoyable experiences while cruising, and Carnival frankly has missed the boat with that. The dining room food was as inferior as the buffet. We and our companions, found the meat dishes in particular, of very poor quality. Carnival definitely gets failing grades when it comes to food. Service was a bright spot. Our servers in the dining room, as well as our room attendants could not have been finer. Our server, a young woman from Croatia was delightful, and always going above and beyond. The same with our room attendant, who was always around, and always pampering us. If the food had been of the quality of the help, we’d have been in heaven. Entertainment was hit or miss, we did attend a good comedy show, but most of the music on stage was stale, or just too loud for our taste. There were some very entertaining audience participation shows featuring the cruise director, similar to what we had enjoyed on other cruises. Trivia, which is one of our favorite activities on cruises, was also hit or miss depending on who was conducting it. The most frequent conductor was an entertainer at heart who seemed too hung up on himself and his own interests to make it true trivia. Even at that, we enjoyed trivia greatly. All three shore stops, Mahogany Bay, Belize, and Cozumel were awesome, and we enjoyed them famously. Due to our disabilities, we are not bungee jumpers or volcano climbers, but rather traditional tourists out for some good shopping, and sights to see. These three stops are great for that, and I highly recommend them. No complaints about the aesthetics of the ship, it is a beauty, decorated in bright colors that add to the atmosphere of party and good times. The casino is bigger than any other we had experienced on a ship, and busier. In fact, the casino seemed to be one of the central features, and a well done one at that. We enjoyed it greatly. In summation, Carnival is Carnival, and you get what you pay for. If like us, you are in to traditional elegant cruising, Carnival is not a good fit. The dream is a party ship, and sailing out of New Orleans, a lot of the passengers are from Louisiana and Mississippi, and are out for heavy drinking, hooting and hollering, and a large number are smokers. If that is your bag, by all means, go aboard. I’ve always said, that we have never been on a bad cruise. We still haven’t, we just enjoy others more than we did Carnival.   Read Less
Sail Date: October 2014
Embarkation and Disembarkation were EXCELLENT!! We found the terminal staff, overall, to be friendly and efficient as we did the Carnival Staff. First time we were on the Dream. We liked the Serenity Area - Adults only and I found the ... Read More
Embarkation and Disembarkation were EXCELLENT!! We found the terminal staff, overall, to be friendly and efficient as we did the Carnival Staff. First time we were on the Dream. We liked the Serenity Area - Adults only and I found the Water Slides - excellent. I'm a "kid at heart", what can I say!! The food was a little above average but we are finding Carnival's imagination, when it comes to Desert choices, lacking. We did have a major issue with our evening dining that only got somewhat resolve, the last night of our cruise???? We had 4 couples with late dining that were requested - nobody booked last minute. Yet two of those couples, when they are the Sea and Sail passes, where given early booking. We addressed this with the Matre d' the first day, before even sailing, several times more after that during the week, and to keep this point short, found our group "without a table" until the end??????????? Would like to see an Adults only pool, at least, designate the back one when you have like 700 kids on the cruise, like we found. We weren't able to get in the water, as both pools where tied up with them and frankly we found the pools, on this size of ship, very small!! Service of the staff was very good and attentive. They were friendly and usually spoke to you before you did them, ALWAYS with a smile!!. We found the ports good. You need to try the Zip Lining on Roatan - THE BEST!! And The Cozumel Bar Hop was SUPER. Great way to see the other side of Cozumel!! The live entertainment and comedy shows we attended were first class and well done. The live music on Lido Deck, around the main pool area left something to be desired. Especially for Carnival's Theme of it being "The Fun Ship". Most of it was like "lounge" music - something you would more expect, maybe on Holland America!! Overall we were pleased with our experience - we love cruising and have never been on a bad one, some better than others.   Read Less
Sail Date: October 2014
My wife and I sailed on the Carnival Dream out of New Orleans on October 19, 2014. We arrived a day early so that we could check out Bourbon Street and we were not impressed. It was a lot seedier than I expected and we can say we have been ... Read More
My wife and I sailed on the Carnival Dream out of New Orleans on October 19, 2014. We arrived a day early so that we could check out Bourbon Street and we were not impressed. It was a lot seedier than I expected and we can say we have been there but will probably not go back. Too many bars and strip clubs for our liking. Embarkation on the Dream was typical and we were on the ship in about 45 minutes. I was playing in the Grand Finale Texas Holdem tournament and had a great time, very well run. I am hoping to play in next years tournament as well. The ship was typical Carnival which means there is something for everyone and it is hard not to have a good time. The food is good but there was nothing that made me go Wow. Other reviews have mentioned the sewer smell and we also found that occasionally when walking down a hallway we could smell it. It was never overpowering or long lasting however. One night just after we climbed into bed we heard a strange gurgle coming from the bathroom, when I got up to investigate water was coming up through the shower drain and then going back down. Never a lot but it was strange that it was happening. It only happened the one night for about an hour. The shower always drained really well and we did not have any other issues with it. The air conditioning in our room was set to maximum the entire cruise and it never got really cold, even a little warm sometimes. This ship has two dining rooms and a galley on deck 3 which makes it hard to travel the length of the ship when you are on deck 3. You either have to go up or down a deck to get where you are going. I think it is a design flaw but it is only a minor inconvenience. Debarkation was very quick and we were off the ship in less than 45 minutes. In summary this was not our favorite Carnival cruise (we have been on 8 different ones) but we did have a good time and will continue to cruise with Carnival.   Read Less
Sail Date: October 2014
Our Hallowe’ens have always been spent at home but when I read in an internet chat group how fun it was to be on a cruise at this time of year, I made the booking. Plus, the ship was to be sailing from New Orleans and since neither my ... Read More
Our Hallowe’ens have always been spent at home but when I read in an internet chat group how fun it was to be on a cruise at this time of year, I made the booking. Plus, the ship was to be sailing from New Orleans and since neither my wife or I had ever been there, staying a few days before hallowe’en sounded like a great time to visit. The booking was on the Carnival Dream. We have not booked Carnival in the past, having heard/read some stories about it being too much of a party line, but having taken the cruise now, at least that perspective is down a notch or two. Embarkation was a bit long - just over 2 hours - though I suppose that can be said because we got to the terminal about 11 am. At least once the paperwork was complete the seating for waiting was fine. Once on board I was surprised not to have a greeting glass of champagne as on other cruises. Because our room was not supposed to be ready for an hour or so, we did a walk about and this was our first introduction to the lack of quality maps on board. Some areas took us 3 days to stumble upon as we heard about them, but they were not on the maps. The lido buffet was our afternoon meal spot for the day and the service from the wait staff a first indicator of what good and friendly service we were to receive all week. Service and attitude from staff were close to the top of any ship we have been on and that was a real plus. On board the meals were fine. Nothing special though and we did not go to any of the “pay” places to eat. I was disappointed in the quality of the prime rib, but that seems to be the case more and more as the lines move to premium pay for a steak. I suppose a highlight for lunch was the Mongolian stop in the buffet, though it did take 25 minutes to get my plate. I agree with others I met who said that it was worth the wait - once - but after that I chose the regular offerings when in the buffets. We ate most breakfasts in the dining room and enjoyed the regular and brunch offerings. One comment about the liquor cards. They were relatively expensive and there was a requirement for every adult in a cabin to purchase one if one cabin member wanted to buy. A serious level of distrust on the part of Carnival I would say and that has not been the case on Celebrity or Holland America. The main outside part of the ship with the activities was by far too loud - perhaps part of the party image - and in the end we tended to avoid that area. The inside music in some of the bars in the evening were loud as well and the concept of having the waiters and dining room staff have to dance and sing was not well accepted. We had late seating and did go to a couple of the shows, but the quality of the ones we saw was not that high. The one really big thing that will likely keep us away from going on Carnival again was the amount of smoking allowed on board. I love the casino when I am onboard a ship - my wife says that is why I love sea days - but on this cruise I only visited the casino once, on the first sea day, and spent less than an hour in the room. It was far too smoky for me. As well, the outside smoking areas had smoke drifting up, of course, and it hit our floor with quite the smells. Even our balcony was unusable for us at some period of times. Our room 7342 was one of the nicest laid out cabins we have had on a cruise and our cabin stewardess was very friendly and did a nice job with our room. Nicely laid out room, one of the best we have had from that perspective. Bathroom a good size and the step in shower with the double faucets was great. The balcony had a normal door to use and I liked that. The balcony had a small table, a standard chair, and one chair that made out into a small lounger - nice. I have one criticism though. There is only ONE (1) electrical outlet to use and with my complement of electronic gear and cameras, simply not enough. Plus, because of where it is, you really need an extension cord, not the small three plug adaptor I carry. Another issue for us was that we were in a room 2 floors about the smoking section on deck. Not good ... we had smoke smells on our floor and of course in our room and the balcony was uncomfortable at some times of the day. Debarkation took a long time as well, but the cruise director in his few announcements suggested that was because of customs issues. From the time we were asked to find a place out of our rooms to wait until finally off the ship was a couple of hours. And where we ended up it was crowded and somewhat smokey - though as we discovered too late, we could have found a better place to wait (look for the Library). In summary, there are characteristics of this cruise that make it hard for me not to recommend it to a smoker or some who can tolerate smoking better than we can and for some who like to spend a bit of extra money on the pay restaurants. I don’t think Carnival will be for us again, though. Read Less
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