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My husband, parents, and I just returned from a 7-night cruise on the Dream. We went to Montego Bay, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel. I honestly have very few complaints, this cruise was nearly perfect. Embarkation: The good- My husband and I arrived to New Orleans early because we had Faster to the Fun. We dropped our luggage off around 9:30am and then parked at the Fulton Street Parking Garage. We walked over to Bourbon Street, knowing that boarding would be delayed due to routine maintenance. We walked back around 11:00am and found that they mean what they say and that the ship wouldn't board until closer to 12:00pm. We had a few personal disasters while in New Orleans, none of which can be blamed on Carnival. So let's move on to security and such. Although we finally (after all our disasters) got back to the port after FFTF had boarded, we were rushed right on. I think the only time we stood in a line was to actually get ON the ship. It was wonderful! I don't think the whole process took more than 10 minutes. My parents, who also had FFTF but arrived a couple hours after us, agreed that embarkation was smooth and quick. The not-so-good- My one complaint is that our bags were not at the room when we boarded, but came when all other luggage arrived. Same with my parents. The Dream: The good- This is a great ship! It's not my favorite, but of the four Carnival ships I've been on it's probably my second favorite. It's well laid out. I've complained in the past about the galleys blocking the ability to walk through, but by now I'm used to this. It didn't seem to be as big an issue as on a previous ship. The decor of the ship is typical Carnival bling. I called it a "bubbly" ship because there are bubbles everywhere. Very cute and fun. The ship appeared to be in great shape for the most part. The not-so-good- There were some aesthetic "issues," such as tiles missing from the aft pool area that could easily be fixed but didn't make any difference to me. There was a random sewage smell, as I've experienced on the two prior Carnival cruises. But it comes and goes quickly. Stateroom: The good- We had room 2256, and my parents 2315. Both were great rooms. The cove balconies were nice, but I can't say I'm crazy about them. I prefer the regular balconies, as when I sat down (I'm short), I couldn't see much of the water. I also have seen the flying fish, the ones that a lot of people say they've only seen from these balconies, from higher balconies. The room was always clean and the balcony was cleaned twice during the week. There is always plenty of room and storage for more than two people in these rooms. The not-so-good- One complaint: lack of outlets. I already knew this and thought that we wouldn’t need a power strip. I forgot that my husband began vaping, so there was rarely time when I could charge my camera batteries or FitBit. That got a little frustrating, but no real issue here. The Service: Our Room Steward, Putu, was amazing! Always friendly and took great care of us. We asked for ice, and ice was ALWAYS available in our room, day and night. He would talk to us every time he saw us and was always upbeat. We only ate in the dining room three times- twice for dinner (Any Time Dining) and once for the Dr. Seuss Breakfast. The servers we had for dinner were great, although we didn’t get to know any of them well. The service for breakfast, however, lacked. I’m not sure our server regularly served in the dining room. He was a little off, and awkward. But all was well. Hatty and Marta in Sam’s Piano Bar, they were our favorite people on this whole ship! Although we didn’t get to spend a lot of time with them, they always greeted us with a smile and by name. They would chat with us when the bar wasn’t too busy and even exchanged contact information with us before the end of the cruise. Joel, who usually served in the Encore show lounge, was on our last Carnival cruise onboard the Elation. He remembered us by name right off and greeted us. Great guy, and I’m always impressed when someone remembers us when they see 4,000 new people every week. Jeff the Fun Dude, in the Burgundy Lounge during the comedy shows, is well worth mentioning. There was a miscommunication between him and my husband on one of the first nights that upset my husband. Jeff made it a point to talk to my husband later in that night and explain what was meant, as well as offered an apology. He then went on to find us a seat when the lounge was packed. Great customer service. The last mention is Ariel, who was always everywhere around the ship. Great personality! The Food: The good- Of all the ships I’ve been on (Carnival and otherwise), this was my favorite food. I still don’t like the desserts, never have, but everything else was tremendous. The best foods I ate were the Spaghetti Carbonara, Lasagna Bolognese, Bacon Mac N’ Cheese, the Buffalo Chicken Focaccia, and the Apple Puff Pastry (I did find a dessert I liked!!). All were from the Main Dining Room except the Lasagna Bolognese, which was offered in both the dining room and the buffet that night (I had it from the buffet), and the Buffalo Chicken Focaccia which was only offered in the Late Night Eats buffet after 11:00pm. We tried Room Service for the first time on this cruise. Oh my goodness, I’m sad the Chicken Fajita Wrap is going away with the new Room Service menu. This was also included in some of my favorites. The not-so-good- I can’t believe I waited in line for the Fat Jimmy’s BBQ. I thought there would be Pulled Pork Sliders but it was Pulled Pork Quesadillas. This would be fine, but there wasn’t much meat in them. And then I walked to get in the even longer line for the Chocolate Extravaganza. Now, no, I’ve never cared for the desserts, but I’ve also never been to this buffet. I always miss it. And I’ll be missing it from now on. I stood in line for about 20 minutes and ate maybe a third of what was on my plate. The Rum-Raisin Balls were the best thing I got. Everything else was true to Carnival desserts. So if you regularly like their desserts, this might be the place for you. The Entertainment: The good- We attended more shows than we usually do on this trip, and I’m happy we did! We went to the comedy shows for the first half of the week. My husband and I had seen Chas Elsner on the Triumph in the past and were excited to see him again. He used a lot of the same material, but it was still hilarious. Smooth E, or Eric Schwartz, wow… aside from Chas, he’s so far the only other memorable comedian from cruising. He was HILARIOUS!! We will be looking him up online soon. The not-so-good- The comedians from the second half of the week were, sadly, not funny. We almost walked out of both of their shows. A bit vulgar and too political. No thanks. Back to the good- We would have much preferred Jeff the Fun Dude to have a comedy show. He was the host and announcer and was absolutely hysterical. I vote Jeff the Fun Dude become a regular onboard comedian! We went to the hypnotist, also comedic. Very entertaining! Dancing in the Streets was good, but you must get a spot in the dead center or you’ll miss what’s on your side of the stage. Some very impressive moves in that show! The Fun Force dancers performed in the atrium, also some great dance moves. The not-so-good- And the Legends show was alright, but not great. I don’t know that I would go to that again. The Ports/Excursions: In Montego Bay we did a Carnival sponsored excursion of Dunn’s River Falls and Swimming with Dolphins. Our tour guide, Norman, was wonderful! He kept us entertained on the long bus ride there and gave us a little quiz on the way back. DRF may be one of my favorite excursions yet. It felt like it took FOREVER to get to the top, but so much fun! The Dolphin Swim felt rushed and not as memorable as I thought it would be to swim with dolphins for the first time. But that’s not a huge deal. In Grand Cayman we did another Carnival sponsored excursion. This was a simple tour of one side of the island. We stopped at a pretty beach, the Sea Turtle Farm, Tortuga Rum Store, and Hell. I knew this wouldn’t be the greatest excursion ever, but I wanted to go ahead and get the touristy things taken care of since we had already swam with sting rays during our last visit. Next time we will likely just go back to the Turtle Farm and spend more time there. The tour guide here was nice as well, but a little more subdued. Then in Cozumel we went on our own to Mr. Sanchos. Although I don’t want to repeat excursions, I know we’ll be back. This place was heaven! We chose the all-inclusive package. Good times there. My parents chose a different excursion for this day, which was Carnival sponsored. They went to the Mayan Ruins of Tulum. Although they enjoyed the ruins, they did not enjoy their tour guide. They said he was a bit pushy with sales and kept them in the heat all day. Something to keep in mind. Debarkation: We chose self-assist because we had FTTF. We were off in no time. I feel like FTTF is certainly worth the $50/cabin until we become Platinum cruisers, as long as it’s available. Summary: I think the review speaks for itself. This was a fantastic cruise! The only thing I would have changed would be that first day in New Orleans (not Carnival’s fault) and the weather on the first day at sea (not Carnival’s fault). The few other “issues” were merely lessons learned. I HIGHLY recommend this ship to anyone considering it!

The worst part is when it's over.

Carnival Dream Cruise Review by tdnosnhoj11

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
My husband, parents, and I just returned from a 7-night cruise on the Dream. We went to Montego Bay, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel. I honestly have very few complaints, this cruise was nearly perfect.

Embarkation:

The good- My husband and I arrived to New Orleans early because we had Faster to the Fun. We dropped our luggage off around 9:30am and then parked at the Fulton Street Parking Garage. We walked over to Bourbon Street, knowing that boarding would be delayed due to routine maintenance. We walked back around 11:00am and found that they mean what they say and that the ship wouldn't board until closer to 12:00pm. We had a few personal disasters while in New Orleans, none of which can be blamed on Carnival. So let's move on to security and such. Although we finally (after all our disasters) got back to the port after FFTF had boarded, we were rushed right on. I think the only time we stood in a line was to actually get ON the ship. It was wonderful! I don't think the whole process took more than 10 minutes. My parents, who also had FFTF but arrived a couple hours after us, agreed that embarkation was smooth and quick.

The not-so-good- My one complaint is that our bags were not at the room when we boarded, but came when all other luggage arrived. Same with my parents.

The Dream:

The good- This is a great ship! It's not my favorite, but of the four Carnival ships I've been on it's probably my second favorite. It's well laid out. I've complained in the past about the galleys blocking the ability to walk through, but by now I'm used to this. It didn't seem to be as big an issue as on a previous ship. The decor of the ship is typical Carnival bling. I called it a "bubbly" ship because there are bubbles everywhere. Very cute and fun. The ship appeared to be in great shape for the most part.

The not-so-good- There were some aesthetic "issues," such as tiles missing from the aft pool area that could easily be fixed but didn't make any difference to me. There was a random sewage smell, as I've experienced on the two prior Carnival cruises. But it comes and goes quickly.

Stateroom:

The good- We had room 2256, and my parents 2315. Both were great rooms. The cove balconies were nice, but I can't say I'm crazy about them. I prefer the regular balconies, as when I sat down (I'm short), I couldn't see much of the water. I also have seen the flying fish, the ones that a lot of people say they've only seen from these balconies, from higher balconies. The room was always clean and the balcony was cleaned twice during the week. There is always plenty of room and storage for more than two people in these rooms.

The not-so-good- One complaint: lack of outlets. I already knew this and thought that we wouldn’t need a power strip. I forgot that my husband began vaping, so there was rarely time when I could charge my camera batteries or FitBit. That got a little frustrating, but no real issue here.

The Service:

Our Room Steward, Putu, was amazing! Always friendly and took great care of us. We asked for ice, and ice was ALWAYS available in our room, day and night. He would talk to us every time he saw us and was always upbeat.

We only ate in the dining room three times- twice for dinner (Any Time Dining) and once for the Dr. Seuss Breakfast. The servers we had for dinner were great, although we didn’t get to know any of them well. The service for breakfast, however, lacked. I’m not sure our server regularly served in the dining room. He was a little off, and awkward. But all was well.

Hatty and Marta in Sam’s Piano Bar, they were our favorite people on this whole ship! Although we didn’t get to spend a lot of time with them, they always greeted us with a smile and by name. They would chat with us when the bar wasn’t too busy and even exchanged contact information with us before the end of the cruise.

Joel, who usually served in the Encore show lounge, was on our last Carnival cruise onboard the Elation. He remembered us by name right off and greeted us. Great guy, and I’m always impressed when someone remembers us when they see 4,000 new people every week.

Jeff the Fun Dude, in the Burgundy Lounge during the comedy shows, is well worth mentioning. There was a miscommunication between him and my husband on one of the first nights that upset my husband. Jeff made it a point to talk to my husband later in that night and explain what was meant, as well as offered an apology. He then went on to find us a seat when the lounge was packed. Great customer service.

The last mention is Ariel, who was always everywhere around the ship. Great personality!

The Food:

The good- Of all the ships I’ve been on (Carnival and otherwise), this was my favorite food. I still don’t like the desserts, never have, but everything else was tremendous. The best foods I ate were the Spaghetti Carbonara, Lasagna Bolognese, Bacon Mac N’ Cheese, the Buffalo Chicken Focaccia, and the Apple Puff Pastry (I did find a dessert I liked!!). All were from the Main Dining Room except the Lasagna Bolognese, which was offered in both the dining room and the buffet that night (I had it from the buffet), and the Buffalo Chicken Focaccia which was only offered in the Late Night Eats buffet after 11:00pm. We tried Room Service for the first time on this cruise. Oh my goodness, I’m sad the Chicken Fajita Wrap is going away with the new Room Service menu. This was also included in some of my favorites.

The not-so-good- I can’t believe I waited in line for the Fat Jimmy’s BBQ. I thought there would be Pulled Pork Sliders but it was Pulled Pork Quesadillas. This would be fine, but there wasn’t much meat in them. And then I walked to get in the even longer line for the Chocolate Extravaganza. Now, no, I’ve never cared for the desserts, but I’ve also never been to this buffet. I always miss it. And I’ll be missing it from now on. I stood in line for about 20 minutes and ate maybe a third of what was on my plate. The Rum-Raisin Balls were the best thing I got. Everything else was true to Carnival desserts. So if you regularly like their desserts, this might be the place for you.

The Entertainment:

The good- We attended more shows than we usually do on this trip, and I’m happy we did! We went to the comedy shows for the first half of the week. My husband and I had seen Chas Elsner on the Triumph in the past and were excited to see him again. He used a lot of the same material, but it was still hilarious. Smooth E, or Eric Schwartz, wow… aside from Chas, he’s so far the only other memorable comedian from cruising. He was HILARIOUS!! We will be looking him up online soon.

The not-so-good- The comedians from the second half of the week were, sadly, not funny. We almost walked out of both of their shows. A bit vulgar and too political. No thanks.

Back to the good- We would have much preferred Jeff the Fun Dude to have a comedy show. He was the host and announcer and was absolutely hysterical. I vote Jeff the Fun Dude become a regular onboard comedian!

We went to the hypnotist, also comedic. Very entertaining!

Dancing in the Streets was good, but you must get a spot in the dead center or you’ll miss what’s on your side of the stage. Some very impressive moves in that show!

The Fun Force dancers performed in the atrium, also some great dance moves.

The not-so-good- And the Legends show was alright, but not great. I don’t know that I would go to that again.

The Ports/Excursions:

In Montego Bay we did a Carnival sponsored excursion of Dunn’s River Falls and Swimming with Dolphins. Our tour guide, Norman, was wonderful! He kept us entertained on the long bus ride there and gave us a little quiz on the way back. DRF may be one of my favorite excursions yet. It felt like it took FOREVER to get to the top, but so much fun! The Dolphin Swim felt rushed and not as memorable as I thought it would be to swim with dolphins for the first time. But that’s not a huge deal.

In Grand Cayman we did another Carnival sponsored excursion. This was a simple tour of one side of the island. We stopped at a pretty beach, the Sea Turtle Farm, Tortuga Rum Store, and Hell. I knew this wouldn’t be the greatest excursion ever, but I wanted to go ahead and get the touristy things taken care of since we had already swam with sting rays during our last visit. Next time we will likely just go back to the Turtle Farm and spend more time there. The tour guide here was nice as well, but a little more subdued.

Then in Cozumel we went on our own to Mr. Sanchos. Although I don’t want to repeat excursions, I know we’ll be back. This place was heaven! We chose the all-inclusive package. Good times there.

My parents chose a different excursion for this day, which was Carnival sponsored. They went to the Mayan Ruins of Tulum. Although they enjoyed the ruins, they did not enjoy their tour guide. They said he was a bit pushy with sales and kept them in the heat all day. Something to keep in mind.

Debarkation:

We chose self-assist because we had FTTF. We were off in no time. I feel like FTTF is certainly worth the $50/cabin until we become Platinum cruisers, as long as it’s available.

Summary:

I think the review speaks for itself. This was a fantastic cruise! The only thing I would have changed would be that first day in New Orleans (not Carnival’s fault) and the weather on the first day at sea (not Carnival’s fault). The few other “issues” were merely lessons learned.

I HIGHLY recommend this ship to anyone considering it!
tdnosnhoj11’s Full Rating Summary
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
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Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Cove Balcony
Cabin 7C 2256
The good- We had room 2256, and my parents 2315. Both were great rooms. The cove balconies were nice, but I can't say I'm crazy about them. I prefer the regular balconies, as when I sat down (I'm short), I couldn't see much of the water. I also have seen the flying fish, the ones that a lot of people say they've only seen from these balconies, from higher balconies. The room was always clean and the balcony was cleaned twice during the week. There is always plenty of room and storage for more than two people in these rooms.

The not-so-good- One complaint: lack of outlets. I already knew this and thought that we wouldn’t need a power strip. I forgot that my husband began vaping, so there was rarely time when I could charge my camera batteries or FitBit. That got a little frustrating, but no real issue here.
Main Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Private Resort Day Pass
    Then in Cozumel we went on our own to Mr. Sanchos. Although I don’t want to repeat excursions, I know we’ll be back. This place was heaven! We chose the all-inclusive package. Good times there.
    View All 184 Private Resort Day Pass Reviews
  • Island Tour
    In Grand Cayman we did another Carnival sponsored excursion. This was a simple tour of one side of the island. We stopped at a pretty beach, the Sea Turtle Farm, Tortuga Rum Store, and Hell. I knew this wouldn’t be the greatest excursion ever, but I wanted to go ahead and get the touristy things taken care of since we had already swam with sting rays during our last visit. Next time we will likely just go back to the Turtle Farm and spend more time there. The tour guide here was nice as well, but a little more subdued.
    View All 190 Island Tour Reviews
  • Dolphin Encounter
    The Dolphin Swim felt rushed and not as memorable as I thought it would be to swim with dolphins for the first time. But that’s not a huge deal.
    View All 10 Dolphin Encounter Reviews
  • Dunn's River Falls
    In Montego Bay we did a Carnival sponsored excursion of Dunn’s River Falls and Swimming with Dolphins. Our tour guide, Norman, was wonderful! He kept us entertained on the long bus ride there and gave us a little quiz on the way back. DRF may be one of my favorite excursions yet. It felt like it took FOREVER to get to the top, but so much fun!
    View All 29 Dunn's River Falls Reviews
  • New Orleans
    I've been visiting New Orleans since I was a child. The history and culture of this city can not be compared to anywhere else. It's one of my favorite cities in the country and will always be considered a second home to me.
    View All 622 New Orleans Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's New Orleans Cruise Port Review