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Sail Date: October 2009
My wife and I have cruised 12 times before,from Norwegian,Princess,Royal Caribbean,P.O and Carnival twice before.Embarkation was a breeze,on the ship in half an hour,the best ever,debarkation was the same,hats off to Carnival.The first ... Read More
My wife and I have cruised 12 times before,from Norwegian,Princess,Royal Caribbean,P.O and Carnival twice before.Embarkation was a breeze,on the ship in half an hour,the best ever,debarkation was the same,hats off to Carnival.The first thing we noticed was the atrium,it was the smallest and least impressive of any ship we have been on,very dissapointing.

Our cabin was fine,larger than expected and spotless,as was the ship.One of the problems with cruising before is that you cant help but compare with other ships you have been on and Carnival fell short in several areas.

On the down side was the food,the buffet was very poor,you could not get a hot meal for love nor money except for food cooked to order,ie omelletes or something from the wok.The service was also poor,there was roast beef on one night and it was rare,we asked for a piece off the joint which was well done and the server shrugged her shoulders and said it was all rare.We then asked to see a supervisor and she blanked us and gestured for us to move to move down the line,it was only when several other people complained that a fresh joint was brought in.The dining room was equally poor,the food was warm at best,often cold and the service was dreadful,it was not uncommon to wait 25 minutes to be served.I dont know the reasons for this,perhaps understaffing as the staff seemed to be under alot of pressure.

As regards the public lounges and bars they were definitely smaller and less of them than any other ship we had been on,there was no cigar lounge,sports bar or jazz lounge.I got the impression alot of space had been sacrificed to pack more cabins in.With regard to the entertainment,some of it was spectacular,such as the main shows,several of the comedians were also very good.The lounge entertainers,in our opinion,ranged from good to dreadful,apart from Damien the pianist/singer who should be thrown overboard and Papa T who should be renamed Crapper T.

One final point on the food should you think Im exagerrating---I was served undercooked cold turkey one night in the dining room,the Maitre D agreed and when I pointed out to her that uncooked poultry was dangerous she said that should I feel ill I would get free medical care-----FACT.All in all a mixed bag,fantastic itinerary,some great entertainment,some very good meals(in the steak house) and lots of nice staff,mainly of oriental background(thais,fillipinos etc).

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Sail Date: October 2009
After a hectic four days in Rome, we get to the port. Now, as far as my experience with embarkation goes, this was absolutely the best ever. We were done in five minutes from arriving at the port to getting on the ship and all that ... Read More
After a hectic four days in Rome, we get to the port. Now, as far as my experience with embarkation goes, this was absolutely the best ever. We were done in five minutes from arriving at the port to getting on the ship and all that entails.

Our "little group" met up at the Sunset Bar for sail-away and that is where I met Octavius. This little guy was like my personal waiter for the entire cruise. He took great care of us and new what we drank and was on the spot for our drinks.

Maria, the bartender, also did a great job.

The deli: What can I say? Every day I had two or three awesome deli sandwiches. All three cooks took great care of us.

My wife enjoyed the Tandori Bar several times on the cruise and the food was well presented and very tasty.

Our bags arrived at a reasonable time and the "muster" went easier than any I've ever seen.

All of the public areas were spotless and everything was clean as could be and people were cleaning all over the ship every day.

Now, this is a suggestion: They need someone in each eating area to tell people to use the hand sanitizer. Every other ship I've ever been on this is customary. Without someone to ride herd on people, they don't use the sanitizers. Now, you may think this is petty. However, hundreds of people on the cruise got sick. I'm not talking Noro Virus. I'm talking about colds and flu. A lot of it could have been prevented with the use of the sanitizers. I used them religiously.

Now, let's talk restaurants: First would be the buffet on the Lido deck. Okay. I always expect cafeteria level food on a ship. Why? Because they are feeding five thousand people a day three or more meals a day. Hard to have gourmet food at every meal. So now you know the base. Back to the Lido Buffet, the food was well presented and appetizing. The brownies were awesome. The omelette bar was my favorite and the omelette cooks were a pleasure to watch in action. There was a good variety of well presented fresh food at the Lido Buffet.

Since I chose anytime dining we were assigned to the Crimson Restaurant. The team, for lack of a better word, made a good effort, but the cohesiveness just wasn't there. I think this is an area that needs some help and I think in time, it will be fine. The food was "no great shakes". It wasn't bad. It was cooked as ordered, but it wasn't anything special. I found this to be somewhat true in the other dining room as well. There is nothing major wrong, just the little things that come in time. Example: People would arrive at one table and ten minutes later a second table comes in. The bad part comes when the people at the second table finish their meal and the first table hasn't received the main portion of their meal yet. It is just a lack of cohesion and a lack of order. The food good have been better, but it was not bad.

Pizza Parlor: For a quick slice of pizza comparable to say Domino's, the pizza parlor did it's job. Only downside was the Caesar Salad had been sitting around too long a dressing used way too much anchovy. And I like anchovy.

Hamburger and hot dog joint: Hey for a light snack, this was hard to beat. Quick burger, some fries or nachos or chips, it can't be beat. The food is what it is. It was well presented and very efficient.

Pasta Bar: Well, it was okay, but that lack of cohesion showed up as people were being served way out of order and the basic concept needs some work. The food was quite good and worth the wait.

Chef's Art: Okay. Here's the one where they charge you to eat a fancy meal. The service was as a team. This time, they seemed to work a little better together. The food was cooked to order and was quite good. Was it worth the money? If you are celebrating a birthday, anniversary, or a survival anniversary, then I would say yes. If you wanted to do it one time to try it, sure. Why not? I enjoyed my fillet mignon, but I would have been just as happy with a Reuban Sandwich. It met my expectations.

Next would be the public areas. I thought they did a nice job setting these up. There are activities all over the ship for just about anyone. The ship is clean. It really is a beautiful ship.

The shops are what they are. They are just about like every other cruise ship you go on. They have a liquor store and gift shop and jewelry (expensive) and then they have the ten dollar watches. Hey, you're on vacation and need a watch, the ten dollar one works as well and looks as good as the three hundred dollar watch.

The have some candy and camera parts etc.

The room stewards that I had were Jaime and Hazel. They did a great job on our cabin. They kept it clean and well stocked.

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Sail Date: October 2009
This was my wife and I's second cruise. Our first cruise to Europe (as well as being our first time in Europe). Our first cruise was a Caribbean cruise on the Carnival Legend in August of 2007, so that's the only thing we can compare with. ... Read More
This was my wife and I's second cruise. Our first cruise to Europe (as well as being our first time in Europe). Our first cruise was a Caribbean cruise on the Carnival Legend in August of 2007, so that's the only thing we can compare with. We had a fantastic time, and while some things were better than the Legend, other's weren't quite up to par yet.

Embarkation: This was an amazing process. I remember waiting in line for hours on the Legend and the embarkation area was just crowded and did not seem efficient. In Civitavecchia it was the exact opposite. We arrived at a little after 10:00am, and embarkation was scheduled to start at 10:30am. It started right away, if not a bit early, and we were on the cruise ship within 30-40 minutes minutes of arrival with absolutely no delays or hassle. It was a fantastic experience. Since we were some of the very first people on the ship, we had time to walk around and fully explore the ship without any crowds. We weren't able to schedule anything or buy anything except for a fountain card, as embarkation had just started and the staff were still getting prepared.

Guest Services: My wife was not registered as a past guest due to her having her maiden name registered for the first cruise, and so she didn't receive the Gold card like I did. Originally we didn't think much of it (although my wife was a little jealous of my gold card I think!) until we found out that I was invited to a past cruise function and she wasn't. I went down the guest services, and they immediately found her past guest record and printed her a Gold card and gave her an invitation to the past guest function on the spot. Every single time I had to deal with guest services they were incredibly nice, knowledgeable, and efficient. Most people who complain about them were the people I saw with the ridiculous demands or claims. I always made sure I smiled and thanked them, because they really put up with a lot of crazy people on that big of a ship.

Staff/Entertainment: The thing that impressed me most about the staff is that they never said "I don't know". They always had an immediate answer for you no matter if your question was regarding where something was located on the ship, or if it was a question regarding a particular port of call or shore excursion. Our room steward was good, and he was great at chatting with us and making jokes, and even waved and said hi when we saw him off the ship as well. My only complaints were that the ice wasn't filled up very often, and since my wife needed to ice her hip and ankle each night that was kind of annoying. Also, it's incredibly hard to find a bag on this ship to hold ice as no one had anything. You'd think that they would have some zip-lock bags or something. We never ordered room service, so we have no comment on that. We only had to contact our room steward once regarding a problem and he was at our door in less than a minute.

Our dining experience wasn't nearly as good as it was on the Legend. Our water was alright, but he seemed distant at times and it was obvious that he had bonded more with the table next to us. He tried very hard to please us, but since his English wasn't that great he often didn't seem to understand some of the things we said or if we were trying to make jokes with him. Because of that no one at our table could really have any conversations with him that weren't very short or primarily about the menu. On the Legend we made sure we were early, and NEVER missed a single dining experience as our waiter was amazing. This cruise we skipped the dining room 4 times. He was nice though, and the waits usually weren't too bad. The drinks waiter rarely ever came to our table. I believe he only came to our table 2 or 3 times throughout the entire cruise. I didn't know who the Maitre'd was until the second to last day of the cruise, nor did I even hear him speak until then. On the Legend we heard from him every night, but here he just seemed very distant. Also, the dances at the last dinners weren't that great and very few people participated. Dining was definitely the one thing that was no where near the experience that we had on the Legend.

The entertainment staff was fantastic. I barely noticed any of them on the Legend, as well as the cruise director. James and Todd did such a great job on this cruise. I only saw Todd once just roaming around, but he made it a point to say hello to us, and as busy as he obviously was he even chatted with us for a few. That was nice, and I was even able to joke with some of the entertainment staff during some of the events (one of which promised me she would eat her hat if she lost the ship wide red vs. blue game, and it was a pretty humorous event when i confronted her about this when she lost!) and they were always happy to chat and entertain.

The country show was alright, but everyone kind of seemed out of sync and all the dance moves were forced. It wasn't all that fluid, and although I'm American the hardcore pro Americanism of the last song(s) were kind of ridiculous considering the fact that this is a European cruise and there were so many non-americans on board. I understand that this is a Caribbean cruise technically and all the shows are geared for that, but it would have been a nice little touch if they could have at least done a few minor changes or special events to turn this into a Carnival European cruise instead of a Carnival Caribbean cruise in Europe. The Dancin in the Street show, however, was amazing. I can't say enough good things about this show and I encourage anyone who sails on the Dream to see this show. You will be absolutely amazed. It was a lot of fun to watch. We didn't see the third show, and we saw one comedian who was pretty funny. His material wasn't anything original, as I had heard most of it on email forwards throughout the years, but his presentation was superb and really that's one of the most important aspects of comedy.

There were many things to do and games to play across the ship, but the unfortunate thing was that a lot of it closes at 5pm. Mini Golf, basketball, water slide, ping pong, etc. We started joking around that at Carnival, "The fun stops at 5", because there was really no reason to close it that early as it was still daylight out for most of the cruise. 6 would have been more appropriate. Mini golf was a lot of fun, and the water slide was everything it's hyped to be...except for the fact that i only saw it open once due to winds, but that's nothing they can control.

The giant television was great, hardly any glare, but I noticed a few dead squares on it already. The laser show was pretty good the first time we saw it, but the winds made it a little difficult to really see what it was all about. In Monaco we had no wind and they did the laser show again and it was perfect. I was really amazed by just how much fun that was to watch. They did a handful of Pink Floyd songs, and it was a really good time.

The FunHub terminals were nice and well placed throughout the ship They were kept updated with sports scores, the goings-on of the ship, and the weather we were expecting. Plus, you could pay (way too much money of course) to get on the internet if you wanted. At first you had to go through their own very inadequate browser to get on the internet, and it usually crashed, but eventually they made it so you could just use a restricted windows desktop (so you could actually have more than 1 browser window open, which is important when you're paying by the minute!) and that alleviated a lot of problems. Obviously there were a huge amount of people that were furious that the system wasn't perfect, but you have to realize that it is a satellite based system, and if the weather isn't cooperating there isn't anything that IT is going to be able to do.

The Spa was great, but the staff were quite obnoxious. It's one thing to tell your staff to suggest the Elemis products, but an another thing entirely to try to cram it down our throats at every moment possible. The tour of the spa at the beginning was nice, but it was more of a salespitch than actually showing what it did. Most of the prices are just not worth what you really get, especially considering you're going to have to spend 5 minutes at the end listening to them tell you how these particular Elemis products will change your life. The access you get via the spa staterooms however, was perfect. The staff never intervened, and it was all very relaxing and well worth it. The mineral jacuzzi was a nice way to unwind and relax after a day of walking around, and all the other rooms you have access to are very nice. The spa rooms are worth the price you pay, plus the robe you get is much nicer and more comfortable than the standard carnival robe. The slippers are a one size fits all type of thing, and if they fit, they're comfortable!

Stateroom: We had a spa stateroom, and it was fantastic. The paintings on the wall as well as the overall motif were great, and it was great not to smell any cigarette smoke anywhere. For the first week probably we had virtually no water pressure in our sink (shower was fine), at first I thought it was a problem, but then I just assumed that it was to conserve water. I got to thinking that this was really a great idea as you don't need a lot of water pressure and I'm sure this saved water! I was ready to commend Carnival on this until I came into my room one day and I had full water pressure and apparently it was just a problem that I hadn't been negatively effected by obviously! One evening we came into our stateroom and we could smell cigarette smoke. We called our steward and he came by in less than a minute and smelled it and called his supervisor and the supervisor said they could re-freshen the room for us. I agreed, and they did it that evening. Everything was perfect after that and we never had any issues. They assumed it was from the air conditioning. The bed, and especially the pillows, were outstanding. Very comfortable. The online downside to the room was that since it was an interior room, there was absolutely no light once you turned the lights off. Which, I suppose is obvious, but i think I prefer the natural light from a window or balcony suite.

Food: I've heard lots of complaints from the food from previous reviews, but I didn't think it was that bad. Most of it was very good! Some things were worse than others on certain days, but there is such an amazing variety of food that you're always going to find something good. The Pasta bar never seemed to be open when we wanted to go to it, and the Pizza place was actually delicious, if you didn't mind waiting 5-10 minutes for your Pizza to come out of the oven as they rarely ever had any ready to go. I heard the steakhouse was great, but since we were in Europe, if we were going to spend $60 on a meal, we would be eating out in one of the ports of call, so we never went there. There were crowds in the buffets, especially during breakfast time, but that isn't really avoidable on a ship of that size.

All in all it was a very enjoyable cruise. I don't think we'll go on a cruise ship of this size again, as the crowds were just ridiculous at some points, and 40 person shore excursion groups that were, at times, combined with more than 1 group were unbearable at times. They did a very good job of getting everyone together in one location for the shore excursions, as on the Legend it was just a leave whenever and catch up to your group type of thing and we ended up missing a shore excursion due to not knowing where to go. On the Dream everyone meets in a central location and everyone leaves together, so that was nice. Debarkation was even smoother than embarkation. We just walked right off the ship without seeing anyone else. No lines or anything. That was pretty astonishing. I'm not sure why the Dream only has 2 small pools, yet 10 or so jacuzzis for a primarily Caribbean cruise destination, as everyone we spoke with thought that this was good for our slightly colder European cruise, but they wouldn't enjoy that in a warmer climate.

The Carnival Dream is a fantastic cruise ship, but the size (crowds) is really it's main downfall. However, the amenities and just how overall nice the ship is and the gratefulness of the staff for getting to work on such a beautiful ship makes up for that and it is truly a unique experience to be able to cruise on such a magnificent vessel.

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Sail Date: October 2009
We have just returned from the Grand Med cruise on the Carnival Dream- her 3rd cruise out and last in the Med before the transatlantic crossing... We were pleased with the ship- liked the overall layout, and the new muster drill. Sorry ... Read More
We have just returned from the Grand Med cruise on the Carnival Dream- her 3rd cruise out and last in the Med before the transatlantic crossing... We were pleased with the ship- liked the overall layout, and the new muster drill. Sorry for the length but it was a long cruise... The ship: really easy to get around-but it is a very large ship and I dont believe we saw the "whole ship". embarkation and debarkation was a "dream' 15 minutes or less- for each. The furniture is not comfortable -either the backs were too tall and the seat wasnt or the seat was too wide -just not comfortable.

the room: I am not a believer of the phrase 'you'll never be in your room' I believe that the room is half of your experience...we had a balcony on the 10th floor middle- our first balcony room-and loved it-except when the smokers next store were out (all the time) Carnival allows smoking in the rooms which is not only dangerous for fire but they just dont seem to have enough ventilation in the hallways to prevent the hallway being smokey. The mattress was too firm- but our friends did not seem to think so- so I guess its all about personal taste. we did not get the new 'family bath' so it was a little tiny shower and sink area. (they could have made it bigger and got rid of the huge orange leather couch and it would have been great). There is hardly any drawer space since they put the hair dryer in the top drawer. The lighting was ok- would liked to have had the close up mirror connected to this section instead of high above the toliet in the bath room. Part of the closet faced towards you instead of right to left- which was difficult to use the hangers. they only have 1 phone in the room with a really long cord so on the days with wake up calls at 5:30 you had to remember to put the phone by the bed to get it- and the nightstands were crammed with stationary light fixtures wich left no room for a glass- also when in port the room smelled liked sewer but was better when we were at sea. the ship had problems with the sewer-we heard that a shower had backed up in a room.

Dining- we did the 'your time dining' option - which was great when we dined at 5:45 pretty much daily but liked the option to eat whenever- otherwise there was a line- but they did have pagers if you wanted to wait we had 3 nights switching between 2 tables and decided that we liked our table staff enough to request them for the rest of the cruise- Waninda, Vergel and Andrei were great! I have never tipped additionally from what the cruise ship took before and we did for them- they really went out of their way to provide the best service. Overall you did not miss the perfomances of the lower dining staff- we just danced with ours on the top floor. the food - I thought the food could be alot better - I swore the menu was the same as the Destiny last year- the desserts were boring even on chocolate buffet day- hot chocolate was the best I had ever had but the machines were always being cleaned and out of use- there were times the food came out cold, but they took it back with no problem you just had to wait another 10 minutes for it..The Tandori(sp)area was a fresh idea- the pizza always had a wait because there wasnt any available- the buffet had the same thing- the salad bar was boring and the dressings were never cold- the burrito bar however was excellent -and it had the shortest line. The ice cream was still the best and the addition of big plastic cups for it was good- but no toppings anywhere..

the shows- Dancing in the Streets was the best out of the 3 maybe because it was new and fresh. the others were pretty boring and the comedians were bland as well. Todd and James (cruise directors) Morning show was the best out of all of it- the entertainment staff was friendly and you saw them everywhere which made it very personable (especially on 12 days).

I am not a smoker and found the ship to be full of smoke- 5th floor was a smokers heaven from the Casino though all the bars and dance areas- the Piano bar (the guy was horrible and took himself way tooo seriously- my friend complained to the cruise director Todd but he claimed that he was an entertainer-but really the root word there is entertain not put too sleep) surrounding areas were non smoking but again with the ventilation- this was the Dreams 3rd cruise and when the 5th floor was vacant it smelled like a old casino- the lido deck was split for smoking/ non smoking- outside- but when the doors opened into the buffet inside section it was blown into the inside section- it could be all contained with proper VENTILATION. Carnival is a good buy for the buck-but they definitely nickle and dime you once on board.. 1.50 for popcorn for the movie- they also charged extra for the better desserts and coffee- the pictures are outrageous- 2 8 x10 and 1 smaller for 53.00! Celebrity was cheaper and had specials- Shopping- this was a letdown for the girls in our group who were looking for the good cruise buys in the past- the 10.00 items were boring- too much high priced jewelry space and not enough fun stuff to purchase- the liquor section was way small and never ran specials- and the makeup section was little, the perfume section wasnt spectacular and had poor selections. I was looking for a journal because I forgot to bring one and not one could be found unless I wanted to buy the planet earth line with oatmeal construction paper -for 35.00. all in all we will plan another cruise with Carnival and the Dream was a beauty-

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Sail Date: October 2009
We are two retired Canadians ages 68years, This was our 8th Carnival Cruise. We flew into Rome from Toronto direct flight two days prior to embarkation and this flight set the beginning of a wonderful cruise. Stayed near to the Airport ... Read More
We are two retired Canadians ages 68years, This was our 8th Carnival Cruise. We flew into Rome from Toronto direct flight two days prior to embarkation and this flight set the beginning of a wonderful cruise. Stayed near to the Airport probably not the best idea but worked for us. Took a Cab to the Hotel. Slept and went for something to eat. Next day up early and got a limo to Rome where we had another great experience. One of the ladies from our CCroll call had organized a tour with Romecabs and it was brilliant. Thanks again Sharon. At this point I would like to thank the whole roll call from CC for their friendship, and fun. It made the cruise amazing.

On embarkation day we caught a limo to the Airport and picked up our first of many "super" excursions with Carnival. Although hectic at the Airport everyone was in a great humour.and we boarded our bus for a tour to the Popes summer residence and a restaurant in the countryside. This way we got to meet people before we even got on the ship. We arrived at the ship at 5.30p.m. Straight on and in our cabin by 6p.m. Sail away was 7p.m. so it was a little hurried. Our cabin was surreal. Never been in one like it. Huge balcony. We spent many hours on it when crossing the Atlantic which was like a mill pond.

We thoroughly enjoyed our dining experiences in the Scarlett Dining Room late seating. Food was good and a different menu the whole of the sixteen days. Our talented Maitre d' Ken sang every night and sang once to us as we were on our 47th Wedding Anniversary. The waiters and waitresses sang and danced every night and we love the "Fun for All" and "All for Fun" We spent one night in The Steakhouse but much preferred the Supper Club on the Pride. However the food was excellent and well presented. Missed the dancing and music of the Supper Club. We ate in the MDR for breakfast. We like the ambience and meeting different people at breakfast but prefer just the two of us at dinner.

All of the Port Excursions were booked through Carnival as too was the transfer from the Port of New York. We booked ahead and had paid before the cruise which helps with the Sail and Sign account. Each and everyone of the excursions were excellent. The buses in Europe are good and comfortable.

The Carnival Dream is a "Dream" We loved the ship. Pristeen, easy to manage. The promenade Deck 5 is ideal for walking the ship outside and Deck 4 is a great addition and quiet.We never found the ship crowded, having said that we were not on the Lido for breakfast or lunch.

Never won in the Casino or at Bingo but enjoyed playing both. There is plenty of activities and you can get involved in all or nothing whatever. Halloween was amazing on this ship. Got to thinking that some people had got half their luggage allowances in costumes. This was a great night and one of many. Cruise Director Todd and ASD James were visable for most of the cruise. The shows in the Encore lounge were all good. Carnivals entertainment is going up market. A beautiful soprano,violinist and tenor. Plus the shows. The comedy shows in the Burgundy lounge were well received.

Our final thrill was to have John Heald on board from Bermuda to New York. He is certainly a wonderful ambassador for Carnival. We had tea time with him on our last sea day and he appears very genuine.

The docking and transfers in New York were easy. This was a wonderful cruise and we cannot wait for the Carnival Magic hopefully to do it all over again.Bring it on.

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Sail Date: October 2009
We sailed on the Dream October 12-28th. We travelled with three adults and one 19 month old baby.

The ship is..nice, but borderline tacky (sorry if I offend some). Very Las Vegas style. Many lights and colours. The common areas ... Read More

We sailed on the Dream October 12-28th. We travelled with three adults and one 19 month old baby.

The ship is..nice, but borderline tacky (sorry if I offend some). Very Las Vegas style. Many lights and colours. The common areas are well kept, as some have previously mentioned I saw some of the wear and tear already as well. The Encore theatre is nice, but there are quite a few posts, so if you are not there early before a show starts, you will end up with a seat with an obstructed view of the stage.

Rooms: The staterooms were nice, at least the one we had. We were on deck 7 and have no complaints of noise. The room was a decent size, but when you are 4 in the same cabin, it will always be tight! Our room stewards were fantastic. We were well taken care of. We did however hear a lot of complaints from others about floor 9. People heard the chairs being moved around on Lido deck. Also on floor 8 (i think), many smelt food being cooked all day long.

Food: The food was decent. Nothing that blew my mind...okay, except the melting cake :)..but the meals in the dining hall were good. We did note that the chefs never use garlic. Food was a little bland at times. On the Lido deck there is the buffet (very average, we also thought there should be more salad bar choices), the burger grill (never went), pizza (pretty good), deli (never went but it looked good), tandoori (the best! we loved the food and ate lunch there every sea day) and the Mongolian grill (pretty good, but always long line ups). Room service was prompt, but we always seemed to be missing something or received way too much of another. We would ask for a pot of coffee for three and some half anf half and would get 6, yes 6, little pots of cream! What a waste. But the service was very efficient and friendly.

Service: Room stewards were fantastic (Arnold & Serin). The dining hall seemed, let's say, very chaotic. Service was slow, our waiter was very nice, but always seemed lost. As well, one night our table was missing, it had been removed from the dining hall! We were also put in a side room, off of the main dining hall. This was okay for us as we had a baby, but I can imagine for other couples this could be a let down as you were secluded from all of the action. One family beside us complained (as they had probably the worst table in the house, beside the entrance and telephone!) and nothing was done to move them...

Laundry: What a disaster! I expected the waits to be long as it was a 12 day cruise and many people may have stayed in Rome a few days prior to the cruise, but what I couldnt have imagined was that the water pressure was so low that we had to fill the machines with water ourselves! People were taking water bottles and filling the machines or else it would take about an hour to do a wash. Waits were the norm as there were not very many machines on board for 3600 people!

Shows: We went to the country show (we stayed through half as baby was ready to leave) it was okay. The dancing in the street show was great!

Camp Carnival: I never left the baby, but did go with her to play. Facilities and staff were great. Lots of toys for the kids to play with.

Disembarkation: Very confusing. People everywhere and no staff to help direct people to the right place. People were cutting the lines and the wait to get on the free shuttle to the port entry was quite long.

All in all we had a great cruise. I think there are some 'kinks' that need to be worked out as service was a little inconsistent at times. The lesson we learned is that these big ships are not for us. Traveling with so many passengers is at times quite trying. The pushing and shoving for coffee each morning and the cutting lines left us feeling like we had to constantly be on guard. Not Carnival;s fault, but a lesson learned for us!

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Sail Date: September 2009
Our initial thoughts on our Inaugural cruise on Carnival Dream - this was our 12th cruise with Carnival and 22nd overall. We had a great time on our trip.

Pre-cruise. We stayed in Rome for 2 nights prior. We took the Airport shuttle ... Read More

Our initial thoughts on our Inaugural cruise on Carnival Dream - this was our 12th cruise with Carnival and 22nd overall. We had a great time on our trip.

Pre-cruise. We stayed in Rome for 2 nights prior. We took the Airport shuttle train into the city. Our hotel was close to the Rome Termini train station. It was OK for a 3-star hotel, but the location made it easy to get to on arrival and when left for the ship. We did a Rome tour by night - thanks Lisa. We took the train to Civitavecchia on the morning of embarkation. We took an Intercity train, which was shorter - only 1 stop in Rome before going direct to Civitavecchia - the train continued north after that. For an extra 3 Euros each we went first class and had assigned seats. It is about a 10 minute walk from the train station to the port entrance. Easy enough if you have wheels on your luggage, but you can take a taxi if you wish. From the port entrance there is a free shuttle bus to each of the different ships. The embarkation process was very easy and we were aboard the ship by 11am.

Positives: Spa facilities - similar to Splendor with some added treatment rooms. If you wish to pay for 12 day access to the Spa facilities - Steam and Sauna rooms, Thalossotherapy pool etc you can purchase them onboard. We forget what the daily rate is, but at the start of the cruise you can purchase a pass for the entire cruise for $329 - which will admit two people. This rate is cheaper on Caribbean cruises. Massages and treatments are extra. Bear in mind that you may be challenged to get the full enjoyment of the spa each day if you are off the ship visiting all the ports in Europe, but that is an individual choice. For those that don't get the spa passes, they still have excellent steam rooms in the regular Men's and Women's change rooms, and a co-ed sauna with a window on the side for a view.

Slides. With few children aboard, many adults tried out the slides. They have two long tube/covered slides. One is a typical twisting slide, and the other is called the Drainpipe - it is a shorter slide but has a steep bit to launch you out into a round bowl where you slide around until you come to a stop and then get out at the bottom centre. They were both a lot of fun. You get a great view of the ship - and sea or port - from the top of the slides. Adult-only areas. The Serenity deck area is on Deck 14 at the front, and the pool at the aft of the ship on Deck 10 is adult only. (more on this later). We didn't use the Serenity areas on Deck 14 but they looked very relaxing and are probably very popular on warm sea days.

Ship Layout. The Deck 5 Lanai (exterior deck area) is a noticeable change from Splendor and earlier Carnival ships. This was a popular area to walk around the ship, however this could change when the ship gets to the Caribbean as we understand Deck 5 is going to be full of deck chairs to provide additional places for passengers to lie out and relax. The jogging track is on Deck 12 at the aft of the ship although there weren't many joggers out, and most of the walkers were on Deck 5. The Spa staff suggested it was 4 laps of the jogging track for 1 mile, but it is more like 6 laps. For those who were looking for a quieter method to move from bow to aft or vice versa - try Deck 4 rather than Deck 5. Deck 5 has more activities and therefore more passengers, but Deck 4 is usually much less crowded.

Food. We enjoyed the food. Many of the popular items from past Carnival menus were included on the dinner menus. We understand food is a very subjective topic, but we found the food to be just as good as recent Carnival and RCI cruises. We ate all of our meals in assigned dining - 1st sitting Crimson Dining Room and didn't go to the Supper Club.

Welcome Aboard party. There are separate activities for 1st and 2nd sitting. With so many passengers, the reception was split across all the lounges at the back of Deck 5 and the Welcome Aboard by the Captain was done later that night at the Production Show. We found the bar service to be very prompt and they provided a good selection of bar drinks. Everyone was well dressed on both formal nights.

Dancing in the Street Production Show. Terrific. Lots of different entertainment included in this show that had something for everyone. Just about everyone we spoke to said this was one of the best (if not the best) show on a ship they had seen in a long time. Try to sit somewhere in the centre of the theatre (upper or lower) to see everything that is presented.

Fun Hubs. The ship has around 34 computer stations. Most people go to the main facility in the middle of Deck 5, so it is a bit more crowded there, so find some of the other ones scattered across the ship and you can use those without a line. Those who bring their own laptops can log in from anywhere on the ship. You can get an account for free to access basic news, ship layout, and an electronic version of the Carnival Capers. You can do this from any FunHub or personal laptop. If you want to access the internet, you will pay for that. Packages range from 45min $29 (.64/min), 120 min $59 (.49/min), 240 min $89 (.37/min) and 480 min $159 (.33/min). They have a small number of promotions for extra/discounted minutes based on when you log in on certain days. We found the FunHub staff to be very helpful and most times we walked by they were helping someone with questions.

Libary. A modest collection of books to start, however they were all hardback and brand new. By the end of the cruise passengers had dropped off a number of paperbacks for future cruisers to read. They have quite a few games in the library as well. We don't know if the Children's activities have a separate section for board games.

Cabins. We had a problem with the thermostat in the room, but when we called maintenance, someone showed up within minutes to look at it. Overall the rooms were great, they have flat screen TVs and the beds were very good. The bed frame seemed a bit higher than previous ships, which means that most luggage should be able to fit under the bed. We had a Cat 9A corner cabin with a larger balcony at the aft, however the room layout meant that there was no small sofa in the cabin. There were small armchairs however. Other than the sound from toilets flushing, the sound insulation between rooms was very good - we never heard our neighbours.

Seaside Theatre Outside Screen over the Main Pool. Very good visibility. Note that movies, concerts and relaxing spa-like shows are shown. No news is shown on the big screen, apparently as a result of previous passenger comments. Several news channels are available in the cabins including CNN International, BBC World, Euro News, German, Italian, French news, etc.,

Itinerary. Very good. Many people we spoke with would have been happy to spend extra time in Barcelona, Monaco, etc., however doing so would have meant a longer cruise, or skipping a port. We had been to several of the ports before but took the time to visit Barcelona and Monaco. In Barcelona we visited Las Ramblas, Parc Guell and La Sagrada Familial. Time flew by in Barcelona and many of the people we spoke with at the end of the day while waiting to get the shuttle back to the ship (5 Euros rtn per person) said the same thing. It may be worthwhile trying to do a few things well rather than try to see many things briefly. In Barcelona we used the public bus, taxi and subway in addition to the shuttle downtown. In Monaco we did a private tour with Revelation tours - Frank was our driver - he gave us a great tour and we visited some scenic lookouts larger buses didn`t visit. We visited Monte Carlo / Monaco, Eze, Nice and St Paul de Vence. We stopped to walk around Eze, Nice, St Paul and Monte Carlo. We recommend them highly - www.revelation-tours.com

Fellow Cruisers. We met lots of great people from all over the world on this cruise. Everyone had a different experience and it was fun to share stories. It was great touring with others (all our CC friends) and meeting others aboard (Lynette and Ian among others). The CC Meet and Greet started off beside a Trivia contest and we moved to an empty lounge.

Disembarkation. In Civitavecchia this starts early. People were leaving by 6am. We left around 7:20am and the ship would have been cleared probably by 8:30am at the latest. It seemed that people were able to get the disembarkation time they wanted, and the process of retrieving luggage in the terminal area was organized and simple enough when we went through. If you wish you can do self-assist and take all of your luggage with you. We took a private shuttle to Rome airport along with some other CC passengers - thanks Joanne!

Points to Impove. We'll try to keep this brief (we did have a good time after all...) Entertainment. We found this OK, however there were only 2 production shows on a 12 day cruise. The 1st one was extremely good, however the production of the 2nd show (Get Ready) was just an average production of Motown and R&B song and dance. Apparently there was a 3rd show - Extreme Country - but if so, we missed it.

Pools. We were told that the Main Pool was among the smallest in the fleet. There are extra Whirlpools on this ship (Deck 5) however no doubt the pools will be crowded on Sea Days in the Caribbean. Unlike Splendor, the Main Pool does not have a retractable roof, which means that on cool or rainy days, the Main Pool area will not be as useful.

Inaugural Cruise. As head office is recognizing the New York cruise for the naming ceremony and inaugural activities there wasn't much additional benefit to being on the first passenger cruise. We did get a gift of a standard black Carnival photo folder (holds two 8 x 10s) and were told repeatedly that we were the first to cruise on Dream, so we would always have that.

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Sail Date: September 2009
I knew the ship was going to be beautiful from the pictures I had seen on the internet, but I was so surprised to see how much more beautiful it was in person. It had a very luxurious feel to it but it still had the fun atmosphere of a ... Read More
I knew the ship was going to be beautiful from the pictures I had seen on the internet, but I was so surprised to see how much more beautiful it was in person. It had a very luxurious feel to it but it still had the fun atmosphere of a Carnival ship. I will keep my review very short but I could write on forever about this gorgeous ship. This was my 11th cruise with Carnival and quite possibly the best. I (age 33) was traveling with my mother (age 60). We had a balcony room.

Embarkation: Civitavecchia remains one of the most efficient cruise ports I have ever been to. Did not have to wait long to board the ship.

Food: The food was excellent. The menu consisted of several of my favorite dishes that I had on other Carnival cruises and many new ones. The dining room staff was outstanding and it was nice to see Ken the Maitre 'd again and to hear his singing. The lido food and service were also excellent and I really enjoyed the new pasta bar on this ship. I just wish it operated during dinner and not just lunch.

We ordered room service just about every morning and some days for lunch. and it arrived promptly and what was supposed to be hot would be hot and what was cold was cold. Ship & Public Areas: The ship was spotlessly clean and all throughout the cruise you would see many people painting and scrubbing something although it was a new ship. I really liked the fact that you could walk around the whole ship outside on the Deck 5 Lanai. There was lots of space around the ship to sit and have a quiet drink or to socialize with other passengers. Plenty of places to check email or to use the Fun Hub too on Deck 5 and even a "hidden away" area on Deck 4 with computers.

Crew: The crew was simply amazing. You could tell that everyone from the officers to the crew really enjoyed their job and were proud of their new ship. Especially the captain.

Room Stewards: The room stewards always kept our room neat and clean. There was never a shortage of clean towels, personal items or ice in the room. I would encourage everyone to sail on this great ship! We are actually booked on it again for a Caribbean cruise in early 2010 and are curious to see the difference in the feel of the ship in the Caribbean than in Europe. I hope Carnival returns to Europe regularly soon.

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Sail Date: September 2009
Having sailed with Carnival a number of times in the Caribbean and in 2007 sailing this same itinerary on the Freedom, we were quite relaxed about taking the same cruise again. What we didn't realise until reading threads on Cruise Critic ... Read More
Having sailed with Carnival a number of times in the Caribbean and in 2007 sailing this same itinerary on the Freedom, we were quite relaxed about taking the same cruise again. What we didn't realise until reading threads on Cruise Critic is how much excitement is generated when its an inaugural cruise.

We had initially booked on The Liberty before being bumped off when the summer sailings were pulled owing to the financial markets. We had talked our friends into sailing with us, they were cruise virgins, and apart from a change of date, they had no idea that we had changed ships.

We stayed overnight in Civitavecchia as we have done previously, I can recommend this to anyone who doesn't particularly want to "do" Rome. Check-in was smooth and we were on the ship by 11.30. Although we were told cabins wouldn't be ready until after 1.00pm we were able to dump our carry onus in the stateroom. This was the first chance we had had to see the Lanai and the new promenade deck on deck 5. We were in a port side balcony on deck 6 Upper and we were desperate to see what our view would be like from the balcony. Fortunately although we couldn't look straight down to the water as the promenade was beneath us we had no hot tubs or sitting areas directly underneath us. Although there was a sitting area 3 cabins along to our left , the nearest hot tub was way down towards the front of the ship.

The cabins themselves were pretty much Carnival standard so nothing much to write about there. One thing to note is we were just below the disco so there was some noise but the effects of the G&T's usually got me off to sleep without any problem. Throughout the cruise the cabin steward and his team were always busy working away and typically kept the ice bucket full, (always a good sign).

As you would expect on an inaugural cruise the ship was bright and clean, although I would say the lighting was too red for my liking !!

We spent the first afternoon exploring the ship and getting our bearings, mind you my DW and my friends DW never did get the hang of it !!

The first negative was the new format for the Muster Drill which had everyone gather in various public rooms rather than at the lifeboats. After what seemed an age and announcements in a number of languages I still didn't know how to get to my lifeboat. This caused a problem in that as it over run the dining room wasn't ready for first seating dinner, which also made our late sitting even later. We got into the dining room at 8.30 and it still wasn't ready, the staff were at sixes and sevens and our wait staff weren't ready to take our order until almost 9.00pm. We finally left the dining room some time after 10.30pm. It was complete chaos. We didn't blame the staff and told our apologetic waiters that. I think they didn't expect to see us back after that performance. We did dine every night in the Main Dining Room apart form the two night where we went to the Steak House or Supper Club what ever you want to call it. I was a little disappointed with some of the dishes served up but our waiter spotting my not being impressed always manage to rustle up something else for me.

The entertainment on the ship was excellent especially in the lounges, although I was surprised that the piano bar seemed almost empty most nights. The karaoke host had a nightmare trip as most of the song catalogue had not been loaded onto the fancy swanky new computer system which meant she struggled to get people to stay with her. By the end of the trip I think she was shunted into a lounge at the rear of the ship and she seemed to be on her own.

The Spa treatment area was huge but some of the prices seemed a little expensive for our tastes. There is still a free sauna off the gym area if you don't want to pay through the nose for some fancy treatment.

The Serenity Deck area was where we hung out for most of the time when we were taking in the suns rays and I can recommend it to everyone (well the adults anyway).

My wife and I had a problem with our S&S cards as her details were on mine and mine on hers. So when I bought beer she had to sign for it, and when she bought perfume and Spa treatments I had to sign for it. When we got it changed at the Pursers desk they didn't re take the photos , so for the first 3 port days I had trouble getting on and off the ship.

The itinerary , as I have said, we had done before, and we were lucky with the weather in every port the sun shone, although Barcelona was cloudy first thing with a spot of rain.

All in all another great trip, of course there were problems with it being a brand new ship, one in particular being the Internet connection which was hit and miss all cruise. Also some of the staff seemed a little unsure of themselves. Strange dining times with the Burrito bar and the Indian closing in mid afternoon, but I am sure these will be resolved.

I still have a slight concern for some of those staterooms which over look the lanai port side. Not only do they have hot tubs but its also where the smokers hang out. I am sure Carnival will have to put some restrictions on usage when she moves to the Caribbean especially during Spring Break

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Sail Date: September 2009
I have wanted to do a Med cruise for years. Finally, in July 2008 we booked this cruise based on three factors: 1. the itentairy was perfect, 2. the price was afforable, and 3. It was a brand new ship! After the cruise was officially ... Read More
I have wanted to do a Med cruise for years. Finally, in July 2008 we booked this cruise based on three factors: 1. the itentairy was perfect, 2. the price was afforable, and 3. It was a brand new ship! After the cruise was officially booked, the next 14 months was full of reading books and doing research of every port. About 5 months before sailing, I finally discovered cruisecritic. This website was an absolute lifesaver. I recommend it to everyone who is taking a cruise. Finally, it was depature day.

Our first flight was cancelled. After staying in a cheap hotel we arrived at the airport the next day to discover our 2nd flight was delayed. Twice. After an exhausting flight, we were at last in the Eternal City! We went to collect our bags. I easily spotted mine. DH never came. We spent the next two hours waiting in line to talk to someone is baggage claim. Uh-oh. Our dream vacation was off to a rocky start.
I used my priority club points for our pre-cruise hotel, the Intercontinental on Via Sistina. The location could not be beat;right on top of the Spanish Steps. After checking in, we went to a wonderful dinner and walked around a bit. We were starting to forget the nightmare the airlines put us through even though we still didn't have DH bags.

The next day, we used the subway to go to the Coliseum and Trevi Fountain. I was disappointed we didn't have time to see the Vatican. We went back to the hotel and finally DH's bag had arrived. Good thing, it was time to head to the ship. We walked to the subway station and tooked the train to termini and then the train to Civitavecchia. This was very easy and so much cheaper than taking a car serivce. We would rather have that money to spend on ship or in ports. When the train arrived in Civitavecchia, we walked a few blocks and saw free shuttle vans to the ship.

Embarktation was quick and easy. A few minutes later we were walking on to the ship. People were still painting the outside. We checked out our room: 8274. It was nice and big. No complaints. Then, we were off to discover the ship. The ship is huge. Everyday we discovered something new. The first night we ate the Grand Buffet. Very good. After that we ate dinner in the dining room everynight. We started off on late dining but swapped to Anytime Dining. The service on the ship was impeccable. The food was outstanding. We didn't go to any shows. I really enjoyed the water slides and the outdoor movie theater. I loved this ship! The only thing that tops the ship was the ports. Europe is intoxicating. A cruise is a great way to explore Europe. No packing and unpacking. You get to see so much without the hassle of transfers. Yes, it is true you have limited time in each port. But you get a feel for what cities you want to revisit and which you do not. I loved this vacation. If only cruise lines ruled the world!

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