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As long time cruisers, we have gravitated to another of the lines as our "go to" provider. When a group cruise on the Dream presented itself, we decided to give it a try. Unfortunately, Carnival reinforced the low expectations we had when we booked. We booked an upgraded Spa Suite on the 11th deck. It's a neat concept with quick access to the spa one staircase up. Spacious and well laid out with a huge bathroom, it turned out to be the high point of the trip followed closely by the enormous, and well equipped fitness center. Unfortunately, disappointments began to quickly stack up to offset any plus the room provided. My wife found used tissue in the pocket of her robe and someone had wiped their nose inside one of the bath towels. The smoking policy was incredibly lax and we saw numerous passengers using electronic cigs throughout the ship, including the food court. In fact, the smoking smell from the casino and the upper deck of the pool area made anyplace close to them a challenge to get a breath of clean air. Perhaps the biggest letdown, however, was the food. The high starch, high sugar, high fat food selections certainty appealed to the large number of "buffet busters" on board, but if you're into fresh fruit and vegetables, your selections are limited. There was zero variation in the salad offerings for lunch and dinner all 7 days. A cheap iceberg/green mix, tomatoes, cucumber, carrots, radishes, garbanzos, kidney beans and cauliflower (in that order) were the only items in the buffet not sauced, buttered, salted or mayo'd. The dressings were all salted, sweetened or oiled and even the vinegar and oil used red wine vinegar vs basalmic. If you loved pizza, hamburgers, hot dogs or French fries, this was your gourmet heaven. Embarkation took over two hours (longest we've ever endured) with the excuse that returning passengers had departed the ship in the wrong order. Debarkation took the same length of time, this time because it was raining. There is definitely a niche catering to low cost, "pack 'em in" cruisers, but we fell outside that category. Back to RCCL.

First and last time on Carnival

Carnival Dream Cruise Review by tucsonjim

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Trip Details
As long time cruisers, we have gravitated to another of the lines as our "go to" provider. When a group cruise on the Dream presented itself, we decided to give it a try. Unfortunately, Carnival reinforced the low expectations we had when we booked. We booked an upgraded Spa Suite on the 11th deck. It's a neat concept with quick access to the spa one staircase up. Spacious and well laid out with a huge bathroom, it turned out to be the high point of the trip followed closely by the enormous, and well equipped fitness center.

Unfortunately, disappointments began to quickly stack up to offset any plus the room provided. My wife found used tissue in the pocket of her robe and someone had wiped their nose inside one of the bath towels. The smoking policy was incredibly lax and we saw numerous passengers using electronic cigs throughout the ship, including the food court. In fact, the smoking smell from the casino and the upper deck of the pool area made anyplace close to them a challenge to get a breath of clean air.

Perhaps the biggest letdown, however, was the food. The high starch, high sugar, high fat food selections certainty appealed to the large number of "buffet busters" on board, but if you're into fresh fruit and vegetables, your selections are limited. There was zero variation in the salad offerings for lunch and dinner all 7 days. A cheap iceberg/green mix, tomatoes, cucumber, carrots, radishes, garbanzos, kidney beans and cauliflower (in that order) were the only items in the buffet not sauced, buttered, salted or mayo'd. The dressings were all salted, sweetened or oiled and even the vinegar and oil used red wine vinegar vs basalmic. If you loved pizza, hamburgers, hot dogs or French fries, this was your gourmet heaven.

Embarkation took over two hours (longest we've ever endured) with the excuse that returning passengers had departed the ship in the wrong order. Debarkation took the same length of time, this time because it was raining.

There is definitely a niche catering to low cost, "pack 'em in" cruisers, but we fell outside that category. Back to RCCL.
tucsonjim’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
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Cabin Review

Spa Suite
Cabin SS 11221
Directly under the steam rooms of the spa, this cabin was the quietest we've ever encountered on over 30 cruises. Well appointed and very spacious, it is a few steps away from the spiral staircase and elevator going up to the Serenity Spa and adult only sun decks.
Panorama Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews