Carnival Dream - only so - so: Carnival Dream Cruise Review by SmokyTheCat

Carnival Dream 3
Member Since 2012

Overall Member Rating

Carnival Dream - only so - so

Sail Date: August 2012
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Port Canaveral (Orlando)
My wife and I decided that for our 25th Wedding Anniversary we would take a cruise with our children (ages 15,18, 21). I searched and found a cruise I really liked, the Western Caribbean sailing on the Carnival Dream August 4, 2012. I picked this cruise because of the stops in Honduras and Belize. My wife and I are certified divers and we wanted to introduce our kids to Scuba. A plus was the chance to see Mayan ruins along the way.

We watched the track of Ernesto while prepping for the trip. On the Friday before sailing on Saturday it was obvious to me that we needed to be rerouted. Watched for information from Carnival, called them, nope, everything was as scheduled. Checked with them again Saturday morning, everything as scheduled. After our first port of call in Cozumel we got back on board to the news we were being rerouted. In Carnival's defense, it was absolutely necessary for us to be rerouted. I was actually surprised that people complained they rerouted us More (or at that point suggested we should go to Aruba - which would have required sailing through the storm).

My complaint is really the choice of ports. We were sent to Progresso, Mexico and then Freeport and Nassau in the Bahamas. In Progresso we had the chance to see the Mayan Ruins at Chichen Itza. We had schedule a trip to a site where we could climb on to the top of the one of the pyramids, but that wasn't an option at this site. Still, overall, Chichen Itza was okay for Mayan Ruins. I was fortunate that I got this tour; others who just tried to venture out on their own said Progresso wasn't the place to do that.What I lost with the rerouting was the chance to intro my kids to Scuba. There were no intro classes offered in the new ports of call. This was likely my last chance to do this type of trip with all of my kids, I really regret missing this opportunity. I did find one trip in Freeport that might have worked except the vendor had an agreement with Carnival that they would not sell directly to Carnival customers. I tried to get an exception (given that Carnival didn't offer us the chance to book with them) but failed. Interesting vendor agreement, cuts off chances to save a little bit of money too!

My other complaint was just with the service. It seemed like they really didn't pay attention to detail. We had the late dinner service (8:15). What time did the cabin steward want to service our cabin, 7:00 - 7:30. Long story but even the leave us alone sign didn't work. In the dining room food was normally luke warm, drink glasses not refilled in a timely fashion, etc. I will say that the crew was friendly.Some things we did enjoy. We did the "Amazing Secret River" in Cozumel which we all thought was pretty cool. I wouldn't pay to do it again, but it was fun. We enjoyed the Adult Only "Serenity" section of the deck - the chairs were cushioned better. The pizza was pretty good (and usually hot), the Pasta Bar was good (though they forgot to bring one dish that was ordered), the Mongolian grill and deli were pretty good. And we did enjoy the "Fun Force" guys. They were pretty good at acrobatics and break dancing. We watched one of their shows in the atrium and really enjoyed it (of course participating passengers made it better).

Other shows were only so-so. We didn't make the comedy club as by the time we got finished with dinner it was into the Adults only presentations, not really what I was interested in.

And we did experience the noted "Sewage smell" in the corridor on the 2nd floor. Less

Published 08/20/12

Cabin review:

Cabin was fine; plenty of storage space for us with the exception of wet items (we have our own snorkeling gear so this may be unreasonable).

Port and Shore Excursions

Cave Tour

Amazing Secret River - walking through cavern in a fresh water river. Was a lot of fun, not very difficult. Having seen it once I wouldn't pay to see it again, but it was worth the price.


We booked this excursion via the tourism hut in the port in Freeport. The 2 hour tour took almost 5 between waiting for transportation, waiting for more people to show up, etc. We had a 9:45 reservation, waited about an hour for the transportation guy to take us to the snorkeling center. He was getting ready to take another group but I spoke up (not entirely kindly). Then when we got to the snorkeling office (which provided the transportation) they hit us up for an additional 10 bucks a person for ride. Snorkeling platform (though it had engine and steering) had to be towed out to the coral formations. It worked as a snorkeling platform but we definitely understood why cruise lines were not booking directly with this operator. On a poor - fair - good - excellent scale I would call the snorkeling only fair. Tour operator fed the fish with loaf bread. This did two things. It got all the fish in one area (good, we could see fish) but pulled them off of the coral (bad, we didn't get to see them doing their normal thing).

We chose to only walk and shop in this port. Seemed like best choice. It was a rainy day so beach / Atlantis wasn't really an option. Some of the excursion prices seemed really high in Nassau to us.
Read 5024 Nassau Reviews

Took Chichen Itza tour which was interesting. We had wanted to see Mayan Ruins so this was okay (even though this was a rerouted port). Overall it was interesting. Bus ride was pretty long; used all day for the excursion. Guides were pretty good too.
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