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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
Ship itself: Very clean, some reviews I read said that it was dirty but this was definitely not the case. It can be a little confusing the first day finding your way around the ship. Our cabin was at the back of the ship but our dining ... Read More
Ship itself: Very clean, some reviews I read said that it was dirty but this was definitely not the case. It can be a little confusing the first day finding your way around the ship. Our cabin was at the back of the ship but our dining room was at the very front of the ship in the Lincoln Dining Room. My best advice to get across the boat is to go down to floor 2 where you can walk all the way down either side of the boat without any doors or barriers. Cabin: I went with my girlfriend and 2 other friends. King size bed and two bunk beds. Obviously it is a little close quarters but we didn't care because we barely spent any time in the room. Shower pressure is surprisingly strong. The water can be SCALDING hot so be careful getting in. Tv in the room with very basic channels. I liked the channels that just showed cameras on the ship. Dining: It is so awesome to order 5 appetizers just for the hell of it. There is a $10 corkage fee to bring a bottle of wine at dinner which we did each night. We were at the Lincoln dining room. Every dinner was great BESIDES the Elegant Dinner. That one was just a mess. It took 30 minutes for a server to even get our drinks. But I kinda understand because EVERYONE went to dinner that night. We had the anytime dining which I strongly recommend. I wish there was more stuff open after 9 PM. It's pretty much just Pizza or room service. Guy's burger joint is amazing. The American Deli had some good sandwiches. Room service is free until 10 PM from a select menu. Cheers Program: Highlight of the trip for sure. My friends and I were drunk the whole time. 15 drinks a day which sounds hard but I capped out each night. The rum drinks have at least 2 shots in them which is great. Each day there is a daily special drink at the bar and its a mixture of lots of alcohol and fruity drinks basically. The drink servers are awesome. Dede from Indonesia was my hero. He would find us all over the ship at shows. He was the absolute best. I already miss him. Entertainment: Loved the casino, nightclub, comedy shows, karaoke, game shows, trivia, all of that. The main performance shows every night in the Ivanhoe Theater are honestly terrible. Kevin the cruise director is great but there's a group of eight 25-30 year olds who have a dancing and singing routine each night and it is very boring and cringe worthy. Skip this if you can. We went the first night and did not go back. I want to mention the casino again. SO much fun at noon and 3 AM it doesn't matter the time. Blackjack tables are rowdy. Excursions: I've been to Cozumel before. This time our group stayed on the boat and just drank by the pool. So relaxing. Absolutely nobody is on the boat during that time so no lines for food or at the bar. Plenty of pool seats. Embarkation and Debarkation was so smooth. Debarkation advice is if you are not walking out by 7:30, you might as well stay on the boat until 10am. from 8-10 it is just a massive heard of cattle leaving the ship and it can get pretty hot from that many people close together. Stay up on the pool deck and take some last pictures and then around 10 you can leave and there will be no line. If you need guest services, just call the number from your room phone because that line can be extremely long. I think that's about it. PLEASE Don't lose your sail and sign card. There is no need to have any credit card or anything on you. Keep cash for tips and your sail and sign card and that is all you need. All things considered a super fun vacation that is considerably cheap. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
I selected this cruise for me and my wife at the last minute for a quick vacation. Everything about it was good. Great staff, good balcony suite, good food and good fun. I did the upsell for better food in the MDR and also did the ... Read More
I selected this cruise for me and my wife at the last minute for a quick vacation. Everything about it was good. Great staff, good balcony suite, good food and good fun. I did the upsell for better food in the MDR and also did the specialty restaurant one night so my food grade is higher because I paid extra for it. The comedy club was top notch and much funnier than I've seen on other cruises, but this has everything to do with the talent and nothing to do with the ship. My dessert in the specialty restaurant was a work of art and unlike anything I've ever experienced before, plus it was good too. My only issue was that the design of the Valor resulted in crowds and lines. I've been on larger ships with more passengers that were less crowded than this. Everywhere I went there was a line for either food, drink or entertainment. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
The Carnival Glory is a grand ship that is pleasing to the the eye. Every detail of this ship has been carifully and magically created by the designers. The staff was friendly and informative about the activities that were happening aboard ... Read More
The Carnival Glory is a grand ship that is pleasing to the the eye. Every detail of this ship has been carifully and magically created by the designers. The staff was friendly and informative about the activities that were happening aboard the Carnival Glory. The cleaning team under Aurelio care did a fantastic job of keeping the rooms clean and I enjoyed that they folded the towels into animal shapes. The food aboard was creative and pleasing to taste. The cooking staff and the servers were always ready to make your dinner special.The cruise director kept the spirt alive making every day grand.The islands were beautiful but my favorite was Belize. I saw temples that had been constructed along time ago that had held the test of time. The wild life was vast , Monkies swinging from the tree tops , a real adventure. Good job Carnival looking forward to setting sail again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
This was our first cruise and we were up to minute afraid it would not happen due to Barry. We found out 2 days ahead we would actually sail and drove to NOLA on Sunday and spent the night. Convention blvd is pretty torn up around the Port ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we were up to minute afraid it would not happen due to Barry. We found out 2 days ahead we would actually sail and drove to NOLA on Sunday and spent the night. Convention blvd is pretty torn up around the Port so that was a bit of a nightmare but boarding on Monday was very smooth and the porters very nice in making sure our luggage and our departure was stress free. The stateroom was a balcony and pleasant, clean and more than we expected. But the lounge area we first entered upon boarding was loud, crazy and the bartenders hassled and not friendly. I would have expected Carnival to allow a larger area for everyone to gather at first. Other than that everything went well. We had a wonderful time and wonderful weather. The crew was nice and gracious. The only thing in the stateroom was a bit of slow drain in shower. Overall a wonderful first experience! Main dining charges for surf and turf lobster and steak and the lobster was over cooked and tough. Not worth the $20 extra bucks for sure. Drinks are pricey so be prepared. Was warned about the spa being a money suck, so did not partake. Love that there were 2 areas for adults only and they were enforced by stewards. Nightly shows were cheezy and not to my taste. The comedian was hilarious but be warned he is VERY adult. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Prior to this cruise I had not cruised on the Valor Before, however I did cruise on the Pre Inaugural sailing of her older sister the Carnival Spirit. I was somewhat concerned by others commenting that the ship is showing its age. Upon ... Read More
Prior to this cruise I had not cruised on the Valor Before, however I did cruise on the Pre Inaugural sailing of her older sister the Carnival Spirit. I was somewhat concerned by others commenting that the ship is showing its age. Upon boarding I did a quick ship inspection and I was very impressed. The ship is not new, but with that said I found the floors, furniture, and ships interior all to be in excellent condition. Also we had two cabins and I found both to be in very good condition. Comfortable mattresses, couch and chairs in room in good shape, clean bathroom, and very functional closet and drawer space. The one major drawback to this cruise is not just limited to the Carnival Valor, but all the Carnival ships I have sailed on in the past couple of years, that being the quality of both food and service. To me both began their decline shortly after the retirement of former CEO Bob Dickerson, or "Uncle Bob" as he was known by employees. On our five night cruise there were two nights I did not eat what I ordered. One was the Beef Lasagna which had zero texture. It was almost mush. The pasta was was overcooked and there was no flavor at all.I ordered another entree and it was fair. The other was the Southern Fried Chicken. I am from the South and I know fried chicken. I got a small breast and drumstick i think it was, but did not keep it long enough to find out. The chicken was very dry inside, and the outside was way overcooked. It is evident that they cooked it at too high a temperature. In the Buffet lines I found the quality to be about the same. The selection also left something to be desired. Also I remember the good ole days of eating all the deserts because they were all so good, but now I try all of them to find one that is good. In all my life I have never had cheese cake that was anything like the stuff on the ship. It seems that it is less cheese and more cake. The only other negative I can think of is the Endless Bubbles program. Compared to RCCL sodas the Carnival program is bad. There are no soda machines so you have to wait in line at a bar and you end up with a warm soda being poured onto ice. Also in the Buffet areas nobody comes along anymore to take drink orders, so you have to get your food, then go outside and stand in line at a bar to get a warm soda on ice (can you tell this is my pet peeve?). The warm soda melts the ice and you have a watered down soda. Carnival needs to consider investing in the self serve soda machines like they have on RCCL. One more thing to note is that in the dining room the waiters used to unroll your napkin and place it on you lap and hand you a menu already opened. Minor thing but they do not do that any more. Also on evening turn down they would always place a mint on your pillow and they no longer do that either. Some of these are small things, but it would be wise to remember that a lot of little bits creates a gob.Other than these items I was happy with the cruise and would consider cruising on the Valor again. OK.. One more thing. I find cruise directors to be so full of themselves. They remind me of the plastic game show hosts. So fake. I took a Carnival last year and had a cruise director named "Jess From The U.S. This young lady was such a delight. She did not try to be the star of the show. She was herself and came across as being real. We need more cruise directors like her. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Embarkment was a breeze. We choose a later time slot of 1:00 and were on the boat by 1:15. We got in our room for 1:30 and noticed that our bed was not two twins as we requested, but a king. Awkward for two friends traveling together, ... Read More
Embarkment was a breeze. We choose a later time slot of 1:00 and were on the boat by 1:15. We got in our room for 1:30 and noticed that our bed was not two twins as we requested, but a king. Awkward for two friends traveling together, but our stateroom steward corrected the problem by dinner. We choose anytime dining and had no problem getting in any night. We found a great server on our second night, Noel, and requested to sit in his section for the rest of the trip. The excursion we booked in Cozumel was cancelled. The bright side, money was refunded to our Sail and Sign card and we spent the day shopping in Cozumel. We were the only ship in port, and it was a Monday, so there weren’t many crowds at all. In fact, we returned to the ship to eat lunch, and then went back out in the port. We really enjoyed our excursion in Progreso. We did a tour of the Dzibilchatltun ruins, lunch at a Mayan restaurant, and a tour of Merida city. It was great and worth taking. It felt like getting two or three excursions in one. We attended two of the three productions and they were fun. The comedians were very funny, and we enjoyed the comedy shows. We attended the sea day brunches and both times the food was good, but the staff wasn’t very personable. The food on the Lido deck was what you would expect. It was always very crowded during mealtimes. We did make reservations with the Chef’s Table, and that was amazing. We were given a tour of the galley, had four amuse bouches in the kitchen, learned how to make chocolate melting cake from the pastry chef, and then enjoyed an eight-course meal with an exclusive group of 9 guests. Wine was paired with each course and we received a photo of the group and a copy of the melting cake recipe at the end of the evening. If you are a foodie, it’s definitely a lot of fun. My friend is not a foodie and I made her come with me. She enjoyed the company but did not like the food. We were the cruise that was diverted to the Port of Mobile due to Hurricane Barry. They made the announcement around dinner time and the entire mood of the ship deflated. We were told that bus transportation would be provided back to New Orleans. I think they could have done a better job explaining how that would work. Disembarkment was a mess. They started with the lower decks but didn’t monitor it and within an hour it became a free-for-all of everyone trying to get off the boat. The staff at the Port of Mobile that had to show up on their day off were very friendly and accommodating and the buses were loading quickly. The bus ride back was fine, but there was a complete lack of organization at the Port of New Orleans. The guests for the next cruise were arriving to the port way too early and we had no place to get out of the buses. There wasn’t parking for the new guests because we weren’t back yet to move our cars. We literally sat in traffic a few blocks from the port for at least 45 minutes. I think Carnival needs to come up with a better emergency plan for the future because this did not work. On a positive note, the captain did an amazing job minimizing the motion of the ship. Even when we were traveling through rough seas, he kept the motion to a minimum. My friend traveled on the Glory six months ago and raved most of the trip about how much smoother this cruise was. The staff of this ship was very friendly and we were addressed by name frequently. TJ the cruise director was very energetic and fun. This was his second to last sailing on the Valor. He mentioned he's moving to a 7 day cruise out of Galveston. I've seen many great reviews about him, and he lived up to the hype. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
I have cruised with Carnival over 100 days. I live close to 2 cruise ports and take advantage of the same day drive to the port. I picked this cruise because it was 8 days and went to Key West. I had not been there in 6 years. This was ... Read More
I have cruised with Carnival over 100 days. I live close to 2 cruise ports and take advantage of the same day drive to the port. I picked this cruise because it was 8 days and went to Key West. I had not been there in 6 years. This was also my first trip to Half Moon Cay. Embarkation was very smooth and we walked on the ship immediately after going through security. We had lunch at the Anchor BBQ and it was very good. Overall we had a good cruise. There were some negatives. Our cabin was on the Riveria Deck in bow. The room was in good shape and the A/C worked very well. We heard some complaints by other passengers that their A/C did not work and rooms were warm. Our room steward did a great job. We had late dining in the aft dining room. Late dining is not my cup tea. Eating at 8:30 to 9:00 is too late. This not the ships fault. We booked late and that is all that was available. The wait staff did a great job. However, the menu is becoming boring. The menu has had very few changes over the years. I do not enjoy the shows in the theater. I did enjoy the family friendly comedy shows. The musicians were a mixed bag. The brass section was good and some of the solo artist were good. Carnival is a lower end cruise experience. Carnival is not a luxury cruise ship and it is not a gourmet food experience. People will over indulge and you will hear more foul language than you may want to hear. We also had someone throw up in the main pool on the last sea day and it had to be drained and refilled. Also the hairy chest contest is not for children. It can be over risque when the participants have over indulged. On debarkation, 5 NO policemen and a police dog escorted someone off the ship in handcuffs. Overall, we enjoyed the cruise and you can find plenty of places on the ship to get away from the crazies. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise based on value, itinerary (going to Roatán and to a lesser extent Belize City was important) and port of departure – the most important. My wife and I have been on 14 cruises together, with this being the 4th on ... Read More
We chose this cruise based on value, itinerary (going to Roatán and to a lesser extent Belize City was important) and port of departure – the most important. My wife and I have been on 14 cruises together, with this being the 4th on Carnival. We departed on Easter Sunday. Embarkation was the best I’ve ever experienced. From parking the car at the Erato Street Cruise Terminal to entry on the ship took less than one hour. The ship, the Carnival Dream, has a layout that is much improved over the Carnival Triumph. The décor is garish, but better than the Triumph, which is arguably ugly. The pool area has much better seating. The bars have a better location. The rear pool has no retractable rook (which for some reason the crew of the Triumph kept closing on sweltering days). The Triumph has a huge portion of the pool area devoted to chaise lounges, which seems like a waste. The Dream’s layout is much smarter. The best difference is that the Dream has a full wrap-around old-school promenade, something I love. I was starting to think actual promenade decks were a thing of the past except for the name. We had a balcony cabin, 6262, which was great, and to me identical to the Triumph. Our cabin steward did an excellent job. They asked me if I wanted cabin service morning, evening or both. Carnival must be getting cheesy in this regard. I never was asked this before. We had main seating in the Scarlet Dining Room, upper level. The upper level is the better one in my opinion, as the lower level is on a deck that does not allow through passage. The Scarlet Dining Room is preferable to the Crimson (to me) as the Scarlet has the beautiful rear windows to which our table was reasonably close. The service was great. The food was outstanding. The food on Carnival is comparable to that of Royal Caribbean and Norwegian. If you are expecting Commander’s Palace, you will be disappointed. But if you are expecting good-quality mainstream cruise dining room food, you will be pleased. I love how every evening they had wonderful jazz playing at tasteful levels, which added to the elegant ambiance. The lido buffet restaurant was pretty good. Nothing to complain about, but nothing to brag about. The breakfasts and lunch there were pleasant and enjoyable. The layout of the lido is exactly like the Triumph, which is not the best. The Guy Fieri Burger Joint was pretty good. We went there one time. I did not care for the Pig and Anchor, though. There was a Chinese style noodle service area on the Lido Deck, which was quite nice. The bar service was very good. I especially liked the Alchemy Bar, which had an elegance of another era, with knowledgeable bartenders. The pool bars were pretty good, with friendly efficient service with a smile. One great thing was the adult only quiet area called Serenity on one of the top decks forward. It had a small bar there, which was a great find on that last at-sea day on the way home. As far as music goes, if you like jazz, it sucks. They did have some of the horn players playing near the Alchemy Bar at departure. I think they played a couple of short sets after that, but never at a convenient time. The piano bar, which is really fun, does not do jazz. The piano player is really good and entertaining. I don’t want to knock him. There was a really good steel drum player on many of the afternoons playing by the pool. There was a group of three violin players in the atrium who played often before dinner. They were great, playing an eclectic mix of classical, country (i.e., fiddle) and pop music. I enjoyed them immensely. There was also a pretty good rock guitar player we saw one night. There was too much country and kid music for my taste. At the ports, Costa Maya was disorganized, which often happens on Carnival, but Belize and Cózumel were done pretty well without complaints from me. We could not dock at Mahogany Bay on Roatán due to dangerous current conditions. I had this happen on the Norwegian Sprit in 2011, and that captain took us to the other port, Coxen Hole, where we disembarked by tender. They never explained why they never did that. I am very disappointed by that, as we were to meet some local folks there whom we know, to have some machuca (coconut and plantain based seafood soup that is to die for) at Punta Gorda on the north coast. We instead made large circles in the water and eventually sailed towards Belize across the Gulf of Honduras at almost walking speed. It was on that day that they opened the Pig and Anchor which was not their usual schedule. The menu item that looked best was unavailable. I got this sausage that was not good at all. So instead of eating machuca with friends, I started to eat bad sausage and Lido Deck buffet food, which was OK, I guess. In any event I did not let it ruin our trip. All in all it was a great vacation. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
Third cruise; first on Carnival. New Orleans, Roatan, Belize City, Cozumel. Embark/disembark very smooth and efficient. Stateroom: Balcony near aft elevators deck 7. Room pleasant, normal, functional. Had two 12-pack cases of ... Read More
Third cruise; first on Carnival. New Orleans, Roatan, Belize City, Cozumel. Embark/disembark very smooth and efficient. Stateroom: Balcony near aft elevators deck 7. Room pleasant, normal, functional. Had two 12-pack cases of water pre-ordered and delivered to room. Good idea. Ship has sub-par water. Small balcony had push open door rather than sliding. Food: Guy Fieri's Hamburger Joint and his themed Pig and Anchor BBQ. If these were in my town I'd be a regular customer. 24 hour pizza: If this was in my town => out of business in a week. Main dining (Anytime): Ok. Good service, mostly good food. Crew gets celebration going regularly during dinner. Ate off the regular menu; good flat iron steak, poor, skimpy shrimp cocktails. creative appetizers, sides of veggies kinda small, deserts ok+. Feast night ordered two lobster tails. Good idea. Breakfast: Main dining room, not crowded. Good. (eggs benedict). Good coffee. Buffet, Pretty good. Deli made good sandwiches. 24 hr soft serve ice cream stations good. Experienced very few and limited lines or much trouble finding a table. Could have been due to 800 passengers for a business conference who mainly were out of site and may have eaten together when not in meetings. We tended to use the stairs a lot; two flights up/down to stuff. Nice, quiet, get away place in Library room. Movies under the stars were ok, but surrounded by several open bars with folks enjoying a good (noisy) time. Catch the comedians at the Punchline club. Shows in main theater were ok+. Cruise director was great. Over all, would cruise again with them (taking note of 800 preoccupied conference people and some other reviewers talking about long lines). Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
This was a last minute choice, because I had business in NOLA the following week, and I’m glad we did. Faster to the Fun is worth the extra cost, if you can get a slot! Embarkation was organized and painless, our rooms were ready when ... Read More
This was a last minute choice, because I had business in NOLA the following week, and I’m glad we did. Faster to the Fun is worth the extra cost, if you can get a slot! Embarkation was organized and painless, our rooms were ready when we boarded, just drop our stuff off and go explore. We make our own fun in the ports, finding taxis and buses to take us to snorkeling spots and beaches...with a little research we spend more time with the locals and fell like we’ve experienced the place. The food and service in the dining rooms, restaurants, and lounges is top notch. We ate at the Steakhouse twice, so good! That said, Carnival, why can’t you do anything about the lines at the Lido buffet? I’ve never seen lines like that on any other cruise line. Breakfast would have been better if I could have gotten to the eggs in less than 20 minutes. We usually book inside rooms, and this one was comfy enough. There was some kind of weird noise some nights, though, like someone was using a hydraulic punch. We couldn’t figure it out, and none of our neighbors we asked noticed it. Staff were very professional and did a great job taking care of us. One last comment for the casino: there are tables and machines marked no-smoking, and that’s a fair enough compromise for smokers and non-smokers to share the space. It’s not a compromise if you don’t try to enforce it; it’s an insult when a member of the staff walks up to a smoker sitting at a non-smoking machine and hands her an ash tray. Don’t pretend to have a policy, if you’re saying it doesn’t matter then just don’t have one. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
I chose this cruise based on its ratings for best first family cruise. We booked a midship balcony room. Had late arrival time so parking lot was full and we had to park in overflow lot C. It took a long time to get there due to traffic ... Read More
I chose this cruise based on its ratings for best first family cruise. We booked a midship balcony room. Had late arrival time so parking lot was full and we had to park in overflow lot C. It took a long time to get there due to traffic and we received little direction on how to get there. Our room was ready when we finally arrived on the ship and luggage arrived quickly. Room was not as clean as I expected. Thick layers of dust/dirt around the perimeter of the room and on the counters. The bathroom and beds were very clean and beds comfortable. Loved the Cruise Director Gary. Great kids clubs and activities. For food, the Steak Restaurant was great, and you receive a free bottle of house wine if you eat on the first night. Guys Burgers and Guys BBQ Pig and Anchor were great. The Cantina with tacos and burritos were also great. The buffet was ok at best as was the evening dining. Lots of options, but food was hit or miss and most of the food was not hot. I know they are feeding tons of people so it has to be prepared ahead. Soup was always hot in the dining room. Salads were good. My son loved the shrimp cocktail. The warm chocolate cake is fantastic. Also, brunch on sea days is good as were the breakfast burritos or huevos rancheros at the cantina. All made fresh and small batch, so hot and delicious. Kids loved having pizza and ice cream 24/7 and ate burgers and fries every day! Great shows, movies, and activities. Service was good. They get to know you and your names. I was surprised smoking was allowed in the casino and in designated areas. I’m not a smoker and am not used to being in places where smoking is allowed indoors, so I didn’t spend much time in the casino. We stopped in Key West and went parasailing with Sebago Watersports. Great excursion! Freeport isn’t a great port since it isn’t walkable. You have to take a taxi or book an excursion to enjoy this stop. We took a taxi to Junkanoo Beach. It was $14 round trip per person. There is a free beach or a beach with ammeneties for $5.75/person. You can pay for food/drinks and rent chairs and an umbrella. Much better deal than paying for the excursion. In Nassau we booked the Carnival VIP Dolphin Swim and Lunch at Blue Lagoon. We waited forever! We got off the ship at 7:30AM for an 8 AM tour. We waited at the port until 9:30 AM with little direction or support before they finally lined us up and pointed toward the dock where we would need to board a ferry to the island. There were two other ships also in port with large groups going to the same place. With no one directing traffic we waited way too long! Once we finally arrived, the dolphin swim was amazing and the beach location was fun. Lunch was good, burgers, chicken, hot dog, rice and beans, corn, etc. Great excursion but poorly organized that morning. I purchased the weekly spa pass. It wasn’t worth it to me as I didn’t utilize it enough. Nice steam rooms and mineral pool and adults only area. I traveled with my two children, so the money would have been better spent on a massage or other treatment. I did purchase the relaxation package on the last day at sea as they offered a discount. I also booked a facial based on another promotion. Both services were fantastic. Days at sea were great. Lots of activities. Brunch with extended hours so no rush to get to breakfast. We were blessed with great weather, so Sun and Fun abounded. We would definitely recommend the Carnival Dream and Cruise Director Gary! Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
***Exclaimer***I’m realistic, so my opinions and review take that into account. That being said I don’t hand out excellent evaluations unless I feel it is absolutely deserved. Our cruise was to celebrate our anniversary, we traveled ... Read More
***Exclaimer***I’m realistic, so my opinions and review take that into account. That being said I don’t hand out excellent evaluations unless I feel it is absolutely deserved. Our cruise was to celebrate our anniversary, we traveled without our children but with another couple who were on the lido deck. We originally booked a lower level balcony cabin but were offered an upgrade to a Spa balcony room. At first my wife was a little worried being that high up and so close to the bow of the ship. We were pleasantly surprised with this choice in cabins, my wife was not affected by any motion sickness, and the convenience of the Spa and Serenity deck was a definite plus. Embarkation We purchased faster to the fun, not knowing what to expect at the port and because the couple we were traveling with had as well. In my opinion I don’t know if the value is there, other than the priority boarding, I think that’s where the value ended. Our bags did not arrive in our rooms any earlier and there is really no other FTF lines on the boat or perk worthy of the fee. The bonus we had for FTF was we were able to get on ship when they opened the doors per say, we had our fill of New Orleans the night before so getting on the ship earlier than our scheduled embarkation was nice. Cheers package I will start with the Cheers package, we pondered that for some time and ultimately purchased it. We are social drinkers so 15 alcoholic drinks were probably do-able on sea days for me, not so much my wife…but on port days we felt it would be a little more of a stretch. Here is how it actually panned out. I got my moneys worth, I met the 15-drink maximum on one occasion. It was a sea day with some pool, casino and comedy club time involved, so a long day of living it up. The rest of the days I am positive it was worth the money for me. My wife on the other hand, she had the 5 break even drinks on most days and on the days she didn’t, my drinks made up where hers missed. The drinks I had were $9 dollars on average all trip (maybe more if I actually do the math), so the total cost for both her and I including the other non-alcoholic drinks and additional waters etc. was worth it in our opinion, so much so that we plan on purchasing the Cheers package again on our next trip, even with our children going. I will say aside from the occasional bartender with a heavy hand, the drinks were pretty tame, so maintaining a “good” buzz will almost guarantee you having to have the 5 drink minimum to break even. Meals I am from Nevada, home of the buffet line so I do not expect 5-star meals to be doled out one scoop at a time, but I didn’t have anything from the buffet that made me cringe. That’s the greatest thing about a buffet, if you have something you don’t like, you can go get something else, something you love, go get more. The American dream, right? We tried a little something from just about every specialty food Guys burgers, Pig and Anchor the tacos, pasta bar Mongolian Wok…all good, nothing bad to report other than wait times because of the limited hours of operations for those areas. Nothing truly vacation ruining. Bonzi Sushi and the Seafood Shack were great as well we had lunch at both and would spend the extra money again Scarlet Dining Room Our experience was wonderful bordering excellent (see exclaimer). Our wait staff was great the head waiter Christian worked his tail off! He was very good at what he does, he took the time to get to know our table. Treated us as if we were his only table, I can say that he was excellent! I hope our paths cross again someday. The food, we had 4 of our 7 dinners in the SDR, all were great. The selections, the appetizers and deserts were all paired very well. Christian was very knowledgeable and attentive to all of out likes and dislikes and made great suggestions when we were not sure and even made a point to order both dishes if we were on the fence and doubled our order when he knew we would love something. Stake house We were cruising to celebrate out anniversary and on our last cruise we didn’t get the chance to try the Steakhouse, so why not right. Well frankly it left a lot to be desired, again not vacation ruining, but our SDR dinning experience was just better. The additional money spent was just not worth it in our opinion. The ambiance was much quieter yes, the presentation was wonderful and our waitstaff was good. BUT at time we felt like we were being squeezed for that extra $80 bucks by Carnival. I don’t think I’m a snob by any means, and the $80 was not a game changer but we have had better steakhouse experiences. Again, I want to be realistic with my review, I just can’t say that our experience was worth the added expense. Overall Experience Our over all experience was very good, there was not enough mediocre or bad to rate the experience any lower, so it was a great time and I would not hesitate to take this cruise again. I could write about all of the little things that were bad but looking back on it, not many of them were Carnivals fault, sure certain things could have been more enjoyable. But I was able to make my trip the best by enjoying my beautiful wife and good friends and just go with the flow…just relax you’re on vacation. Hope this helps :) Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
Arrived a day early to explore some of New Orleans. Had a great meal at Felix in the French Quarters. Arrived on Sunday at the port around 10 am. Parked at the port cost was $140 for the week. Going through check in was pretty fast about ... Read More
Arrived a day early to explore some of New Orleans. Had a great meal at Felix in the French Quarters. Arrived on Sunday at the port around 10 am. Parked at the port cost was $140 for the week. Going through check in was pretty fast about 20 minutes but had to wait in the holding area until 11 am when they started to let people aboard according to the zone you were in. We were in zone 4 and got on the ship around 12 pm. Rooms were not ready unless you had a suite or faster to the fun pass until 1:30 pm. We went and had lunch at Pasta Bella which is complimentary for lunch but for dinner there is a fee. Lunch was very, very good highly recommend it. At 1:30 the rooms were available and we had 2 cabins on the 1st floor deluxe oceanview. We had 2 in one room and 4 in the other room. I must say the deluxe oceanview rooms on this ship were OUTSTANDING!!!! The room is very, very spacious, it has a bathroom and a half. One room you have a sink, toilet and shower (with the curtain) and the other is a junior size tub with shower and sink. The room also has 4 closet!! What cruise ship that has 4 closet?!! This was not a suite but and oceanview room and the view was very good. A very large window. If I ever cruise with Carnival again this will be the room I will alway try to get. Our room attendant for the week Mr. Oktav was EXCELLENT!!! Room was always clean and neat everyday and anything that we needed he went out the way to provide it for us. We had 1st seating in the main dining room (The Scarlet dining room) and we had 3 servers, Mr. Acer, Ms. Dandy and Mr. Arnold and they were very, very GOOD!! They gave us great service and was very friendly, professional, courteous and then some!! After the first night they remember our names and our drinks were waiting for us each evening when we arrived at our table. The food was great each night at dinner. The selection at breakfast was ok not great. Lunch you had many different places to chose from especially on sea days. Guy's burgers were excellent and well as Guy's pig and anchor. Overall the food was great can't complain at all. The entertainment was very, very good. The cruise director Gary and his staff did a wonderful job to keep you entertain and busy. Overall I must say the staff was one of the best we've ever encountered. I didn't have anyone on staff to have an attitude with anything that I may have asked them about. The staff went above and beyond to make sure my family and I have a wonderful vacation. I would give the staff a 10 out of 10 for the service they provided. The only thing I would say was negative was the disembarkation. The way the luggage tags was given out to have your bags to be taken could have been more organized. It took a very long time to disembark the ship so if you're driving and you're not walking your luggage off the ship you will be on the ship until at least 9 am or longer before you can get off. Even with that we still had a great time because of the staff. I would highly recommend the Carnival Dream if you're looking for a great cruise and I look forward to cruising with them again one day. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose this cruise for an extended family vacation, paying attention to the features for kids. We traveled among 4 families with ages from 7 to 69. The water slides, basketball court, and mini-golf were great attractions for the kids. ... Read More
We chose this cruise for an extended family vacation, paying attention to the features for kids. We traveled among 4 families with ages from 7 to 69. The water slides, basketball court, and mini-golf were great attractions for the kids. The adults also had plenty to do, and the afternoon food options were great. Carnival did a great job with the food options (Guys Burger Joint, taco bar, pizzeria, and Pig and Anchor) that were scattered throughout the ship to spread out the crowds and provide variety. Overall, Carnival did a great job of spreading out everything so that the ship never felt crowded. My only complaint was the on-board entertainment crew that did the shows in the Encore theater. The female lead singer was awful. A few others were ok, but the lead female made the evening shows painful. There was great musical entertainment in the lounge, though. Aside from that, I would definitely cruise on this ship again and I also liked the itinerary (to Roatan, Belize, and Cozumel). Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
My second time on the Dream and it was once again quite pleasant. We departed from New Orleans and embarcation was a breeze. From curb to poolside took us less than 15 minutes. Very efficient! The ship was nice, no complaints ... Read More
My second time on the Dream and it was once again quite pleasant. We departed from New Orleans and embarcation was a breeze. From curb to poolside took us less than 15 minutes. Very efficient! The ship was nice, no complaints there. Always clean, never had to wait at a bar or at the buffet, service in the dining room was impeccable and though I found selection very limited in both the buffet and dining room, what there was was of good quality and tasty. The steakhouse was of course delicious and service was excellent. We booked the Captain's Table and as usual it was worth every penny. Food, service and entertainment were top notch and having the table in the kitchen and not a glassed off room was super interesting. The theatre shows were very good, but some were the same I already saw on the Vista 2 years ago. Excellent performances none the less. Piano bar sadly was not that great. Cabin was a standard balcony on the 7th deck. Clean, quiet, comfortable and a very good stateroom attendant. It was just what the doctor ordered to shoo away the winter blues. :) My only real complaint about the ship would be that Carnival replaced the amazing Tandoor Indian restaurant with an upsell seafood restaurant. That was a huge disappointment. Ports were Roatan, Belize and Cozumel and I scuba dived in every port using Carnival's excursions. All the dives were excellent. I specially enjoyed the dive operator picking us right at the ship in Belize. Debarcation was a breeze as I was staying in New Orleans for a few days. I choose one of the latest tags and got off the ship around 9:30am with almost no lines thru customs. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
This was our second cruise on the Dream once before the dry dock. Must say the 2017 dry dock did the Dream some good! Honestly, I had reservation about booking again on the Dream since our first time it was just ok. The additions of ... Read More
This was our second cruise on the Dream once before the dry dock. Must say the 2017 dry dock did the Dream some good! Honestly, I had reservation about booking again on the Dream since our first time it was just ok. The additions of Guy's Pig & Anchor and Blue Iguana Cantina were big hits for us on this trip. We did have the late seating for dinner in the Scarlet Dining Room. Our waitstaff was decent with no major faults. The dining room appeared to be at 60% percent occupancy. Not sure if the lack of occupancy was from the many anytime dining goers or cruisers utilizing several pay restaurants. We enjoyed our Steakhouse night on the first cruise night and having a complementary bottle of wine put us in the relaxation mood! I wouldn't call the Steakhouse fine dining but the extra attention and food quality is well worth a visit at least one night. Being a frequent Carnival cruiser we have noticed the cutbacks and such. One of those I believe is with the waitstaff as they are not as attentive as they used to be. Just 5 years ago, I recall them anticipating my needs before I ever needed to ask. One example is the Bubbles package, if you have it and after the first night dining with them, every night thereafter you would have your soda brought to you before asking. This doesn't happen or hasn't happened to us for the last 4/5 years. The Playlist shows were good and the talent was top notch. We enjoyed 80s Pop to the Max, Flick, and American Rocks! We sat on the lower lounge area and always had a great view of the show. Everyone should see at least one (if not all) of the shows, we skip Hasbro and Love & Marriage. Our ports included Honduras, Belize, and Cozumel which all had their unique qualities. We did not use any excursions through Carnival and always book independently. Our favorite was the Cave Kayaking in Belize with ViV tours. As it turned out, my husband and I were the only two people with our guide on the Kayak tour and it was amazing having his full attention. He did a great job telling us about Belize, pointing out fun things in the cave, and some how convinced my husband and I to hold a tranchula that was just hanging by the side of the path. Even though most excursions are not close to the Belize City cruise port, it is a shame if you chose to stay on the ship. Belize is a tender port and it takes about 15-20 minutes to arrive at the dock. The Dream sailed out of NOLA and embarkation and disembarkation was easily navigated. We parked at the cruise port for about $140, we spit the cost with our friends which made the port parking more economical. We drove right into the garage, the porter met us immediately, took our bags, and then we drove up 2 floors and parked. From parking garage to Lido with a drink in our hand was less than one hour. All my hesitations about sailing Dream again quickly faded once on board. Barring any major breakdown, unusual defect, or unusual cosmetic wear and tear I see no reason we would sail the Dream again. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
We enjoy getting away from the colder weather in January. We love cruising from New Orleans and have tried to do an Eastern Caribbean for several years. Originally we booked this itinerary as an August cruise only to have it changed to ... Read More
We enjoy getting away from the colder weather in January. We love cruising from New Orleans and have tried to do an Eastern Caribbean for several years. Originally we booked this itinerary as an August cruise only to have it changed to Western when a hurricane threatened. The revised embarkation process is very smooth. We did a jazz brunch in New Orleans and had a 1:30 boarding time. Other than my forgetting to remove a metal object from my pocket as we went through security everything was quite fast. With our later boarding time we elected to forgo the buffet on the Lido deck. We went straight to our cabin and began our unpacking. The safety assembly was smooth with the newer process of a scan of your Sail & Sign card taking role working well. I believe it was the quickest we've experienced. Our 39 year old daughter was also on the cruise in her own cabin. She treated us to dinner in the Steak House the first night (something of a tradition for us). The slightly more formal atmosphere and relaxed service time are a joy. The food was enjoyed by us. My wife had surf & turf and the lobster was excellent. She was not able to finish off her steak but enjoyed it as well. My daughter and I had the filet. Since we have slightly different concepts of appropriate cooking, her steak was medium and mine medium rare. Both were delightfully cooked as we requested. Our serving team of Aleksandrina and Maria were attentive without being obtrusive. We enjoyed ourselves so much it was decided to return on the last night for a repeat experience. Once again the food, service and ambiance excelled. The main dining room experience was smooth;. our table companions pleasant; the wait staff attentive and efficient; and the food what you expect from Carnival. My only complaint is that on Sea Day Brunch you formerly were offered a pastry or bread upour on being seated. This no longer happens. We did Anytime dining once in the Scarlett with Adrian as our server. He was outstanding. We elements of the entertainment to be disappointing.. Having read a review from December our expectations were not too high. The Encore shows were too high concept. The performers had issues with vocal pitch. I am not sure if the accompaniment tracks are done once and perhaps in unfriendly keys for specific performers. It sure felt that way at times. The Allure Strings (a group of 3 attractive young women) played to techno tracks in the lobby bar. Again, highly amplified experience. I did not detect any attempt to adjust tuning between tunes or sets. My ears failed to detect any recognizable tunes (popular or classical) which was a shame. Chuck on solo guitar was great! He does covers and does them well. The country music ensemble played familiar tunes without much energy and a bit of pitch issues at times. Ms. Drumz on the Lido deck did a good job of making the experience feel Caribbean. Unfortunately, we played out early and did not get to the Comedy Club or to the Dive-In movies. We only did one Carnival excursion: Inclusive Beach in Freeport. The beach was fine with umbrellas for those who desired them.The staff was very pleasant and accommodating. We were the second (afternoon) group and the food service was a bit delayed.When it became available, it was excellent beach buffet. Transportation was what you expect: cue up, wait, bus ride. Disembarkation is never fun. While getting off the ship was done as planned by Carnival, the lines down the ramp to package claim, through customs and to the garage were lengthy and slow paced. We were called to cue up at 8:25 and did not get in our vehicle until 10:47.My thought through the process was: this is the place where an air borne virus will infect everyone. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
I traveled with a group of eighteen people, most of whom were clergy participating in a continuing education event on board. Overall, we had a great time! My roommate and I were in cabin 2661. This was my first (and probably last) ... Read More
I traveled with a group of eighteen people, most of whom were clergy participating in a continuing education event on board. Overall, we had a great time! My roommate and I were in cabin 2661. This was my first (and probably last) time in an inside cabin. It was definitely my last time being that far forward, and under the lounge where the main shows were held. The unending darkness in the inside cabin was difficult for me. I appreciate the ability to open the curtains and--balcony or oceanview--see the daylight for myself. I also appreciate the quietness of cabins where the thumping of the music from the shows does not disrupt my rest. Other than the noise, the cabin was comfortable and clean, although there is far less storage space than in a balcony cabin. It wouldn't have been enough for my family of three on a seven-day cruise, but it worked for the two of us who shared it. I've been a Carnival cruiser for twenty years, switching to Disney Cruise Lines for two sailings while my son has been young enough to enjoy the characters. Although my early sailings were different, Carnival's service today is no comparison to Disney. I miss the routine twice-daily cabin cleanings. I don't care about having the bed made twice (although it's nice!), but I sure as heck appreciate having clean towels before an evening shower after a long, hot day in a port! Other differences were the lack of tablecloths on the dinner tables, a lack of variety of teas available with coffee, and other small amenities like body lotion, fresh soap every-other-day or so, etc. I really didn't think any of this would bother me, but it felt like quite a step down in service. Please note that (1) the lack of tablecloths isn't enough for me to stop cruising with Carnival, but it's a noticeable difference and (2) I will ask for twice-daily cabin service for all future cruises. This is the first Carnival cruise on which I've seen crew members acting as lifeguards, standing beside the pools. It was a step up in service that I appreciated. I found the ship to be impeccably clean and saw crew members wiping down railings, cleaning windows, and mopping floors all week. Our cabin steward, I Wayan, did an outstanding job. I only saw him once, and my roommate (who arrived late) didn't get to meet him, but he responded invisibly to all of our requests in a timely manner. The dining room meals were all excellent. My prime rib was fork-tender, perfectly cooked, and seasoned well. Roast chicken and stuffing were delicious, although the white meat was dry. The same was true for the southern fried chicken; dark meat was great, breast was dry. Filet mignon and flatiron steaks were as delicious as the prime rib. Our dining room staff, Headwaiter Kijpracha, Team Waiter Pande and Assistant Brian were efficient and friendly. They learned the names of our entire group on the first night, and managed to keep us all straight even though we routinely switched tables to enjoy different company each evening. Lido Deck meals were also good. Guy's Burgers were juicy and there were a nice variety of toppings available. The pizza on board is not my favorite, as I prefer a thicker crust, but the sauce and toppings tasted fine. I didn't try the tacos, but heard nothing but praise for them. We enjoyed the barbecue from Guy's Pig & Anchor, too. For me, the entertainment on board was a mixed bag. There was an absolutely wonderful string trio (Allure), a decent singing duo (Recap Acoustic), and a superb steel drum musician (Ms. Drumz). The Hasbro games were boring to me. They might have been less so if anyone from our party had been chosen to participate, but I doubt it. What I saw of the song-and-dance shows were good but, frankly, the volume in the theater was offensive to my ears, so I never made it through an entire show. Other observations: Negatives: Our group was in Sam's Piano Bar for our learning sessions. I was disappointed at how many people completely disregarded the "Private Session" signs and walked right into our space. It was distracting to us, and to our leader. One day, a man even moved the sign in order to open a closed door--and then propped the door open!---in order to walk through the bar. He could just as easily have exited the Burgundy Lounge through the main hallway, but chose rudeness instead. There was a child (preteen or early teen) who ran the hallways outside our cabin shouting and/or screaming nearly every evening around 10 pm. Neither of these issues is the fault of the cruise line, of course. And neither would prevent me from cruising with Carnival again, but they were unpleasant experiences. Positives: Every time we had to wait in line, people around us were courteous and good-humored. Guest Services staff was efficient polite when (1) I needed a new S&S card because the bar code on mine had misprinted, (2) an excursion ticket was not delivered in a timely manner and I needed a reprint and (3) my credit card was declined because I'd forgotten to tell them I was traveling. Ports of Call: Montego Bay, Jamaica--Meh. We did the Top Ten bus tour, booked through Carnival. There were no photo stops, just stops for shopping. Definitely would not recommend it. We ended at Margaritaville, which was crowded and unimpressive to us. We chose to walk to a nearby park, where we sat and enjoyed the view while chatting with a local. On the walk back to our bus, we were offered (1) a taxi, (2) marijuana, and (3) a man--in that order. Needless to say, we refused all three. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
So I chose this date for our Carnival Dream Cruise because my husband wanted to go to the Eastern Caribbean and we had never been to Key West Florida before. The weather beganvery cold from our port in New Orleans- we definitely had to ... Read More
So I chose this date for our Carnival Dream Cruise because my husband wanted to go to the Eastern Caribbean and we had never been to Key West Florida before. The weather beganvery cold from our port in New Orleans- we definitely had to wear our jackets for the first Port of call which was Key West. We walked for most of Key West seeing a lot of the sites, saw the southernmost point of the U.S. We got to see Hemingway's home, and also the bar that he frequented, Sloppy Joes. I had some very good conch fritters there. The weather turned a little warmer as we ended up in Freeport & then Nassau. Freeport ended up being the most favorite Port out of the entire itinerary. We visited the Lighthouse Resort at Grand Lucayan there. Food abounds on the Carnival Dream, you'll not run out of choices from the MDR, to all other choices I felt like we were eating every couple of hours! The buffet, the sea day brunch (steak & eggs) Guys hamburgers (ate about 20 of those entire trip) Guy's pig & anchor BBQ (pulled pork is best), the Bonsai Sushi, (good prices), the Italian place above the buffet(great bolognese), the pizza, the blue iguana (taco salad). The best meal we had on the ship was our anniversary night-we ate at the Chef's Art Steakhouse. The steaks were outstanding. The service there was so great, the ambience was wonderful, our waiter was great. We really enjoyed this, I wish we could have eaten there every night! There were a few things that didn't please us while on the cruise - We saw a couple of instances where Carnival employees were being a bit rude to passengers, but for the majority of employees, they were friendly & helpful. Other things were out of Carnivals control, such as actual passengers being a bit rude by not getting in line for the buffet , just walking right in front of others. Also witnessed parents letting their child "drink" from the strawberry yogurt machine! Our room's balcony was the best part of the room(wrap around after on 7th floor) but it was very dirty. The glass on the inside of the balcony was cleaned by a group of 3-4 employees on the 2nd day of our cruise, but they didn't clean the outside of the glass on the balcony which was the dirtiest part! Overall, the room 7454 was nice, but I do believe from experience the suite rooms have better cabin service from the stewards. I still give Carnival a 4 out of 5 on this cruise. The next cruise on Carnival will be Glory in April this year, so we will see how that one goes! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Really a nice ship. Staff was excellent: room steward Josephine, wait staff Sunny, Ikatuk & Kadek In Crimson, bartenders Airine (sp? pronounced Irene) and Dwi at Ocean Plaza Bar (next to Alchemy), Tomislav and Harta at the casino, ... Read More
Really a nice ship. Staff was excellent: room steward Josephine, wait staff Sunny, Ikatuk & Kadek In Crimson, bartenders Airine (sp? pronounced Irene) and Dwi at Ocean Plaza Bar (next to Alchemy), Tomislav and Harta at the casino, Nana at the Lobby Bar and Dipak at level 10 aft bar. All were EXCELLENT and recognized me by name after first day. Rock band was Excellent, brass jazz/soul band was Excellent too! (Together they were PHENOMENAL!) Steel drum lady was good as well. All other bands were “meh”. Biggest Dissapointment: 1st Caribbean cruise I’ve been on without a Latín band. No salsa, no merengue, no cha cha cha, in other words no spice. The disco was really bad too, not a soul in there probably because the music was terrible, undanceable. Food was very good to excellent. For breakfast go to the lido deck and do the omelette station. Pizza was very good too, open 24 hours. Guy’s Burgers were pretty good but Guy’s BBQ (“Pig & Anchor”) was HIGHLY over-rated. Did not do any shore excursions. Overall, good cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
I travel with a group every January and our coordinator chose this cruise. We traveled to New Orleans a few days early to enjoy the city. Parking is so expensive we flew this time. That was a great decision. New Orleans is a very ... Read More
I travel with a group every January and our coordinator chose this cruise. We traveled to New Orleans a few days early to enjoy the city. Parking is so expensive we flew this time. That was a great decision. New Orleans is a very walkable city and their trolley system is very easy and inexpensive. It's also thick with Uber drivers. We stayed at the Best Western on Rampart. Fine hotel with the friendliest most accommodating staff I've ever encountered off a cruise ship. They know their city and are eager to refer you to their favorite places. Embarkation onto the ship was very smooth. We stayed in a cove balcony cabin (#2290) on this cruise, our first time. It was fine; same amount of room as a regular balcony cabin. Very convenient to Crimson dining room and Encore lounge. Also note that you barely feel the ship move at all. The only reason I probably won't book one again is that it was always in the shade of the lifeboats overhead. I like a sunny balcony. There were some ongoing issues with the toilet; each time we called they came right away and after the fourth call they just replaced the thing...no more problems. The only excursion I booked was the Twister and Isla Passion in Cozumel. That boat ride was amazing! The island was pretty crowded when we arrived because there were 6 boats in port, but it thinned out fairly quickly (our excursion started at 10:30am). My husband booked a 2-tank dive that really should have been cancelled. The sea was very, very rough the day we arrived so his dive was much more strenuous than normal causing his oxygen to run low. I'm going to assume the dive master was attending to someone else and that is why he didn't attend to my husband. Thank goodness my man isn't a strict rule follower; he started up on his own but the tank was empty by the time he hit the surface...so he was forced to try using a snorkel in very big waves. He believed he was drowning but another boat saw his struggle and sped over to yank him out of the water. We watched the Motown show and the one they call Flick. Both are very good. So is the strings trio that plays in the atrium. I could listen to them for days. Dining room service was hit and miss. Probably depends on how busy they are and how close it is to their Showtime. Room service was wonderful. Steward was wonderful. Laundry service was great. I've started to experience swollen ankles on my cruises and couldn't figure out why. I read somewhere that this may be because they desalinate the water for drinking and cooking and we're breathing salt air. Though I HATE plastic bottles I went ahead and ordered a case of water for drinking (I normally just drink the ship's water). No swollen ankles. We're Platinum so we got #1 debarkation and that was as smooth as embarkation. I really like the size of this ship and am looking forward to our 2 week trip next January on Breeze! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Our last cruise was back in 2012; a lot of Carnival procedures and policies have changed since then (FTTF, Sail & Sign Cards at room, Sea Day Brunch), so we weren't really sure what to expect this cruise. We chose this particular ... Read More
Our last cruise was back in 2012; a lot of Carnival procedures and policies have changed since then (FTTF, Sail & Sign Cards at room, Sea Day Brunch), so we weren't really sure what to expect this cruise. We chose this particular cruise because we were able to celebrate Christmas at home with the family, but allowed us to do a cruise while the kids were still out on break. This cruise, I was traveling with my DH, DD (16), and my DS (14). We live about 3 1/2 hours away from New Orleans, so we decided to drive to port the morning of the cruise. Since the Saints had a 12 pm game, we got on the road around 3:40 am, hoping to get into the port area before the tailgaters arrived. We were engulfed in fog thick as pea soup as we drove. We arrived in the Crescent City by 8 am. After driving around a couple of side streets, we found some parking and ate breakfast at Mother's. There were some Saints fans out and walking about, festooned in fan garb. We exchanged some compulsary "Who Dat"s. Then, headed to the parking garage at the terminal. The cost is $140, but was worth the price for us. The garage opened around 9:30. We learned from one of the Carnival staff to wait until 10:30 am to go downstairs and get in line. Around 10:45 am, they started calling Priority boarding, wedding parties, and FTTF. Our boarding pass listed a boarding time of 12 pm - 12:30 pm, but we were on the ship before 11:30 am. The hubs and I had 1:30 pm Couples Massages scheduled. There is no better way to kick off a vacation than spending 75 minutes de-stressing. Our cabin was located on the Spa Deck (12202), and we took advantage of the multiple times throughout the cruise. We'd head to the Thalassotherapy Pool after a long day of walking around in port or on the ship. We took advantage of the Thermal Suites. Between my DH and I, we had 5 massages, a pedicure, and a facial. We love the Spa!! Our embarkation massage completed just in time to run to the room to grab our S&S cards, see our luggage had arrived, grab the kids (who were eating and scouting the ship while we were in the spa) and then head to our Muster Station. They scan our cards now (also a new procedure since our last cruise), so they know if you aren't there (and call you out). Our cabin was clean and was easily able to accomodate 4 people. The beds were a little hard for our liking. We really enjoyed sitting out on the balcony each day. The balcony was not covered, so during sail aways, we got to enjoy conversations with people up on deck 14. Deck 12 is nice and quiet. There were no loud neighbors. The foot traffic was minimal. The seas were rocking our entire cruise, and we could really feel it from our room. We were prepared with chewable Bonnie, so seasickness was kept at bey. We had an early dining time in the Scarlett Dining Room. My biggest complaint on the ship is that our room was located on the most forward part of the ship and we had to travel to the furthest point in the back of the ship to access the dining room. The dining room's location wasn't easy for us to access, and I felt like I was in the Maze Runner each time we went to the dining room -- down 8 flights in the elevator closest to our room. Walk all the way to the back of the ships and then go down the last set of stairs you can find. Everyday for 7 days. I'd pass the windows for the Crimson Dining room and give my pouty face. Why couldn't we have eaten here? We had no issues with our wait staff. Our table was tucked in the back, far away from the entertainment. I felt like all the waiters who didn't know the routine were stuck in front of us. Of the 5 near us, not a single one had the same dance moves. Entertainment on the ship was consistent. Our Cruise Director, Ryan Rose, was full of energy and really tried to engage the guests. He was very personable, friendly, and funny. The performers were good at dancing, but all but one was really pitchy. Despite this, we watched all of the performances. America Rocks was our favorite. The least favorite was the Motown revue. The singers lacked the soulfulness needed to execute these songs. The deck parties were fun. As always, the Hairy Chest Competition was entertaining. We never made it to a Dive-In Movie, since the times for the movies we were interested in conflicted with our dining time. For this reason, we also missed out on the family friendly Punchliner shows. The family oriented ones conflicted with the main shows based on our dinner time. I might be willing to try YTD for this reason alone (we've always had Early Dining). All of our wait staff and cabin stewards were friendly and worked hard to ensure my family had a great vacation. Our favorite place was the Alchemy Bar. Maria, Manol, and Suri made the best drinks on the ship. I really liked the Cucumber Sunrise. The least friendly staff were the ladies working in the specialty coffee shop. My husband and I both had the Cheers package. He is an early riser, but I am not. His biggest complaint about the specialty coffee bar was he could not get a coffee for both of us at the same. He had to wait 5 minutes. This made no sense to him. Our ports of call were to Roatan, Honduras; Belize; and Cozumel. In Roatan, we used a highly recommended private tour operator, Victor Bodden, and created a customizable tour for our family. We visited his sloth and monkey farm (all of us REALLY loved this). My daughter zip lined at the adjacent Mayan Jungle Canopy. Her smiles on the zip line are priceless. There was a guide on the line in front of her, taking pictures along the way. They were available for purchase for a very reasonable price and were waiting in my inbox when we arrived home. After this, we headed to the chocolate factory (it was nothing special); the rum factory, where you could taste samples of the rum and rum cake -- the banana cake was quite tasty; and a stop to the Stone Cameo Factory. OMG! I loved this place. The work was amazing and the prices are reasonable. In Belize, we did Carnival's Lamani excursion. This involved an hour bus ride in an air-conditioned charter bus and a 1/2 hour speed boat ride to the ruins site. The guides were entertaining and the trip went by quickly. We stopped for lunch on the way back and were returned to port 30 minutes prior to the last ferry departure. We had been to Cozumel several times previously, so we had no plans in this port. We walked off the ship, stopped at Pancho's for lunch (good food!), did a little shopping, and then enjoyed the rest of the day on the ship. The kids never went to the planned activities for their ages, so I cannot review either of the teen clubs. My kids did spend copious amounts of time in the arcade, playing putt-putt, eating ice cream, and ordering pizza.What else does a teenager need? Would we do this cruise again? Absolutely. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose this cruise because we heard that Carnival was really good for kids. This was very true!! Our 14yo son had a blast once he found other kids to hang out with. It was a very affordable first cruise for our family and we love it. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we heard that Carnival was really good for kids. This was very true!! Our 14yo son had a blast once he found other kids to hang out with. It was a very affordable first cruise for our family and we love it. We were anticipating long lines for everything and this was not the case. Everything flowed in a smooth, although sometimes clumsy, way. There were always plenty of deck chairs and space in the hot tubs. I loved how they walked around with fancy cocktails in souvenir cups. The buffet line was crowded but everyone was courteous, Dining was nice but not as fancy as RC. Traditional American food done well with some regional dishes. Service was not very good with almost all of the wait staff we experienced except one lady for breakfast. Food was slow to come out and often lukewarm. The shore excursions were excellent. I can't say enough good things about those. We did two cultural visits. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose to do a cruise this year instead of buying presents. We hadn't cruised in 3 years and were wanting to sail again. My wife has sight and mobility issues and we had a wheelchair take us onboard. We got through the check in ... Read More
We chose to do a cruise this year instead of buying presents. We hadn't cruised in 3 years and were wanting to sail again. My wife has sight and mobility issues and we had a wheelchair take us onboard. We got through the check in process very quickly.The carnival employee that pushed the wheel chair was a very nice person. This was our first time cruising from New Orleans and he was able to answer the questions that we had. Leaving New Orleans it was a bit chilly with the wind but had a great sunset photo op. Our dinner staff in the Paris dining room was excellent. Waymeh did a fantastic job. We were at a table for 8 and only 1 other couple showed up the first night. They came every night. The table was full on elegant night but then it was just us and the other couple all week. We had never been t the Alchemy bar before but had a great time and got quite a few drinks there. Also did their bar school which was informative. Nickola and Ivona were great. In Cozumel we had no plans. we just went and got a cab and had them drive us around the island.Was a nice relaxing day. We wet to a tequila tasting and of course they tried to sell us their wares. 160$ per bottle on the high end and 60 o the low end.We passed. In Progresso I went on the Uxmal mayan ruin tour through Carnival. It is an hour and a half bus ride to the ruins so didn't want to take a local tour. Just in case. The ruins were very interesting. We got to climb to the top of one of them for a great view. We hit a huge storm after leaving Progresso. 40-50 knot winds and 20 foot plus seas. There was ocean spray higher than our balcony many times. Lots of rocking and rolling so they canceled the shows. Lots of people not feeling well. We got back into New Orleans late 11 AM because of the storm. We were off the boat before 1 and had tag #14. Customs was very quick as well. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Chose this cruise in early December because I love a winter vacation without the kids and during this time of year between Thanksgiving and Christmas . . . the price is right (as Bob Barker and Drew Carey would say). It was my 3rd ... Read More
Chose this cruise in early December because I love a winter vacation without the kids and during this time of year between Thanksgiving and Christmas . . . the price is right (as Bob Barker and Drew Carey would say). It was my 3rd Carnival cruise, my first one on the Carnival Dream, and the first one out of New Orleans. Embarkation and Disembarking has improved with each cruise I've gone on. The food was good (love Guy's burgers), overall the ship was clean and I had a good time. We very much enjoyed the Punchliner comedy club as well as the 80's music show that was put on in the main Encore lounge / theater. The cruise director Alex is one of the best. The exercise room on this ship was a little small for my expectations, they had way too many treadmills and not enough room for free weight activities. Serenity adult area is nice, quiet, and comfortable - that is unless you are there when they blow the horn leaving port - scared the you know what out of me for a moment. Many other reviews here have complained of foul smells at different places on this ship. I will say I noticed a few areas that smelled, but nothing more than you experience in everyday life. I generally noticed it more often going by the same rooms and it didn't smell like sewage, it smelled more like people and people's clothes who don't bathe frequently enough. Read Less
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