This was our 3rd Thanksgiving cruise (all with Carnival). We had 17 people in our party as we planned the trip with our extended family. I am sure others in the party will be pushing for another cruise line for next year.
We have been on other Carnival cruises over Thanksgiving and had a wonderful time. I was really disappointed in the Dream. This is the largest ship we have been on and I expected that there would be additional thing to do see. As you would expect on a larger ship there was an additional 1000+ passengers than on other ships. But the amenities remained the same. There were the same number of pool (one of which was out of service for the two sea days), The same number of hot tubs, the same number of restaurants, etc. That means the lines are longer than you would see on other ships. It became very frustrating anytime you would try to get anything.
The larger number of passengers also means that getting on and off the ship was a challenge. Getting on and off was even more challenging as the crew was very inefficient. I will step out on a limb and say that responsibility probably lies with the senior level crew. It is a poorly run ship on a number of different levels. A couple of examples: 1) A numbering system was used to qualify you for position on tenders, the priority was not followed. We arrived early to catch the first tender in Grand Cayman but when on the tender for numbers 1-8, we saw people getting on with numbers in the 20s and 30s. Even though we were early we still had to wait on the tender as more passengers were herded to the disembarkation point. Crew needs to figure out a better process and stick to it. 2) Disembarking in Jamaica was held up as people were trying to get back on through the same door. Other ships have had one door to get on and another to get off. At the end of the day, there was a long line to get back on in Jamaica because they shut the second door while there were still a lot of passengers trying to get back on. Even the crew were upset about that one (the fun dude was not so happy)! 3) Two pools on board and they shut one down for the two sea days! Rumor had it that someone pooped in the pool so it was shut down to be cleaned. There was no effort to get the pool up and running until late the second day. I am sure they had running for the next cruise. 4) I could go on but you get the idea...
Cabin was okay. A little small from what we had on other ships. Bonus - We had 3 cabins together and were able to open the balcony to one extended balcony. Cabin steward was okay.
While New Orleans has a great atmosphere, it is not the most efficient port for embarkation and debarkation.
We did our own excursion. Hired a tour guide who took us shopping, floated down the river, ended the day at the beach. Great day.
Stingray City and snorkeling was cancelled due to weather. Turtle farm was great!
Just shopping! Not the best weather!