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Where do I start? Probably the best vacation ever!!! We cruised on the Carnival Dream leaving New Orleans on Sunday, October 9th. It was me, my husband, our daughter and son-in-law, and our three grandkids; ages 14, 10, and 4. We drove to New Orleans on Friday the 7th and stayed at the Prytania Hotel. With a two night stay there they allowed us to leave our cars there during the cruise. This is an old Hotel, but so much fun to stay at. The people at the front desk were very nice and helpful. The rooms were dated, but just added to the character. It was very convenient to restaurants. We could walk to the Blind Pelican and to Tacos & Beer. It was a lot of fun. Since it was the beginning of the baseball playoffs we had to be in a sports bar each evening to watch the Cubs play (my son-in-law's favorite team). GO CUBS!!!! And, yes, they did win the World Series. Talk about celebrating. Easy to find a sports bar with the game on. On Saturday we took the grandkids on the trolley (which the two youngest ones loved - the 14 year old... well he's 14 years old??. We took the two youngest ones to the Aquarium (a must in New Orleans if you have never done it.) And we also took them on the Ferry to Algiers. We ate lunch at the Dry Dock, which in and of itself was a great experience. Food was very good and people watching was very interesting. Now to the cruise... we took an Uber from the Hotel to the port ($5.00). We were to board between 10:30 and 11:00. We boarded right on time with no hassle. My husband and I are Platinum members so we were first onboard with our oldest grandson (he lucked out since he was booked in our cabin). However, the rest of our family was probably no more than ten minutes behind us. Plenty of places to eat lunch. Try not to hit the buffet; rather go to one of the other venues for lunch since they get very crowded during the week as everyone discovers how great they are. We explored the ship. Our luggage arrived on time and we were able to unpack before we had to do the mandatory muster call. We had two cabins with balconies very close to each other. So we never knew which grandkids we would have sleeping with us each night. In fact, they were in and out all day and night. (Just added to the fun.) We were only able to get the Cubs game one night on the T.V. The other games had to be viewed through WiFi. We only got the score and play by play, but that was still a lot of fun. We did a lot of celebrating on the ship. On sea days we spent most of our time at the water slides or PuttPutt as the two youngest grandkids loved that area. I can say that our 14 year old did go down the slides with his brother several times and did play PuttPutt with his little sister several times. He is a good big brother. All three of them must have hit the ice cream machines at least five times a day. I have to admit... I did too. We had any time dining, which worked out great for us. We probably hit the main dining room four times during the week. Always got seated as soon as we got there (even with seven of us). The food... well it was hit or miss. Some nights was great; some nights not so good. The few nights we ate at the buffet for dinner was not very good at all. Was very disappointed in the buffet. Not very many choices and the food was usually cold. However, the buffet was good for breakfast. Of course, with grandkids we used room service every night.. and I do mean every night. We would get a movie on the T.V. and order room service. It was me and the grandkids... the other three adults didn't come back to the cabins until around midnight and the grandkids were asleep by then. Our first Port was Montego Bay. We had previously made arrangements to do the all inclusive at the Sea Garden Resort, which was a great choice. Cab ride there was $7.00 per person. It had its own private beach (no vendors ever bothered us). Drinks were plentiful and the food was great. Jerk chicken was amazing!!! Grandkids had never had this before and they loved it. It is very near the Airport so planes passed right over our heads and we could see them landing. Pretty neat. They had a kayak, which the grandkids loved. We were also able to jump the cliffs (well they weren't really cliffs, but they were pretty far above the water). The scenery at the Sea Garden was unbelievable. The water was so clear and blue and the mountains in the distance were so pretty. Took some great pictures there. Was a little hesitant about getting off the boat in Montego Bay with our grandkids after reading reviews; however, we felt perfectly safe at the Sea Garden and would not hesitate to go again. Highly recommend it. Our second Port was Grand Cayman. Here we rented two Jeeps from Andy's Car Rental. Husband and son-in-law took the bus into town to pick them up and came back to pick us up. Jeeps were really nice (brand new). We drove all over the island. Scenery was breathtaking. We stopped at Rum Point for lunch, which was very good. Well worth the drive to get there. We returned the Jeeps and still had time to shop before boarding the ship. Even though we had to tender in Grand Cayman, it was no problem. In fact, the grandkids loved it. However.... be prepared for a long line to get a tender back. Last Port was Cozumel. Here we did the all-inclusive at Nachi Cocum (which we have done several times before). Well worth the money. Beach was beautiful; food was great; drinks were plentiful. They have a very nice pool if you prefer not to sit at the beach all day. Here we got to jump off the end of the pier. Lots of fun. My husband and the two grandsons also went snorkeling here and saw so many fish. The grandsons said that was the highlight of their cruise. They had never done that before. My granddaughter and I sat on the pier and watched them go out and saw how excited they got when they saw fish. They also saw a lot of stingrays sitting on the bottom. The last day at sea we spent most of the day at the slides again. But that was O.K. We loved seeing our grandkids have so much fun and knowing that we were able to give them this wonderful experience was truly a blessing. We took our own bags off the ship the next morning and were back in our cars by 7:30 and headed home. CAN'T WAIT TO DO IT ALL AGAIN!!!

CRUISING WITH THE GRANDKIDS

Carnival Dream Cruise Review by Shooshoo

12 people found this helpful
Trip Details
Where do I start? Probably the best vacation ever!!! We cruised on the Carnival Dream leaving New Orleans on Sunday, October 9th. It was me, my husband, our daughter and son-in-law, and our three grandkids; ages 14, 10, and 4. We drove to New Orleans on Friday the 7th and stayed at the Prytania Hotel. With a two night stay there they allowed us to leave our cars there during the cruise. This is an old Hotel, but so much fun to stay at. The people at the front desk were very nice and helpful. The rooms were dated, but just added to the character. It was very convenient to restaurants. We could walk to the Blind Pelican and to Tacos & Beer. It was a lot of fun. Since it was the beginning of the baseball playoffs we had to be in a sports bar each evening to watch the Cubs play (my son-in-law's favorite team). GO CUBS!!!! And, yes, they did win the World Series. Talk about celebrating. Easy to find a sports bar with the game on. On Saturday we took the grandkids on the trolley (which the two youngest ones loved - the 14 year old... well he's 14 years old??. We took the two youngest ones to the Aquarium (a must in New Orleans if you have never done it.) And we also took them on the Ferry to Algiers. We ate lunch at the Dry Dock, which in and of itself was a great experience. Food was very good and people watching was very interesting.

Now to the cruise... we took an Uber from the Hotel to the port ($5.00). We were to board between 10:30 and 11:00. We boarded right on time with no hassle. My husband and I are Platinum members so we were first onboard with our oldest grandson (he lucked out since he was booked in our cabin). However, the rest of our family was probably no more than ten minutes behind us. Plenty of places to eat lunch. Try not to hit the buffet; rather go to one of the other venues for lunch since they get very crowded during the week as everyone discovers how great they are. We explored the ship. Our luggage arrived on time and we were able to unpack before we had to do the mandatory muster call. We had two cabins with balconies very close to each other. So we never knew which grandkids we would have sleeping with us each night. In fact, they were in and out all day and night. (Just added to the fun.) We were only able to get the Cubs game one night on the T.V. The other games had to be viewed through WiFi. We only got the score and play by play, but that was still a lot of fun. We did a lot of celebrating on the ship.

On sea days we spent most of our time at the water slides or PuttPutt as the two youngest grandkids loved that area. I can say that our 14 year old did go down the slides with his brother several times and did play PuttPutt with his little sister several times. He is a good big brother. All three of them must have hit the ice cream machines at least five times a day. I have to admit... I did too.

We had any time dining, which worked out great for us. We probably hit the main dining room four times during the week. Always got seated as soon as we got there (even with seven of us). The food... well it was hit or miss. Some nights was great; some nights not so good. The few nights we ate at the buffet for dinner was not very good at all. Was very disappointed in the buffet. Not very many choices and the food was usually cold. However, the buffet was good for breakfast. Of course, with grandkids we used room service every night.. and I do mean every night. We would get a movie on the T.V. and order room service. It was me and the grandkids... the other three adults didn't come back to the cabins until around midnight and the grandkids were asleep by then.

Our first Port was Montego Bay. We had previously made arrangements to do the all inclusive at the Sea Garden Resort, which was a great choice. Cab ride there was $7.00 per person. It had its own private beach (no vendors ever bothered us). Drinks were plentiful and the food was great. Jerk chicken was amazing!!! Grandkids had never had this before and they loved it. It is very near the Airport so planes passed right over our heads and we could see them landing. Pretty neat. They had a kayak, which the grandkids loved. We were also able to jump the cliffs (well they weren't really cliffs, but they were pretty far above the water). The scenery at the Sea Garden was unbelievable. The water was so clear and blue and the mountains in the distance were so pretty. Took some great pictures there. Was a little hesitant about getting off the boat in Montego Bay with our grandkids after reading reviews; however, we felt perfectly safe at the Sea Garden and would not hesitate to go again. Highly recommend it.

Our second Port was Grand Cayman. Here we rented two Jeeps from Andy's Car Rental. Husband and son-in-law took the bus into town to pick them up and came back to pick us up. Jeeps were really nice (brand new). We drove all over the island. Scenery was breathtaking. We stopped at Rum Point for lunch, which was very good. Well worth the drive to get there. We returned the Jeeps and still had time to shop before boarding the ship. Even though we had to tender in Grand Cayman, it was no problem. In fact, the grandkids loved it. However.... be prepared for a long line to get a tender back.

Last Port was Cozumel. Here we did the all-inclusive at Nachi Cocum (which we have done several times before). Well worth the money. Beach was beautiful; food was great; drinks were plentiful. They have a very nice pool if you prefer not to sit at the beach all day. Here we got to jump off the end of the pier. Lots of fun. My husband and the two grandsons also went snorkeling here and saw so many fish. The grandsons said that was the highlight of their cruise. They had never done that before. My granddaughter and I sat on the pier and watched them go out and saw how excited they got when they saw fish. They also saw a lot of stingrays sitting on the bottom.

The last day at sea we spent most of the day at the slides again. But that was O.K. We loved seeing our grandkids have so much fun and knowing that we were able to give them this wonderful experience was truly a blessing.

We took our own bags off the ship the next morning and were back in our cars by 7:30 and headed home.

CAN'T WAIT TO DO IT ALL AGAIN!!!
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