We have just returned from the Grand Med cruise on the Carnival Dream- her 3rd cruise out and last in the Med before the transatlantic crossing... We were pleased with the ship- liked the overall layout, and the new muster drill. Sorry for the length but it was a long cruise... The ship: really easy to get around-but it is a very large ship and I dont believe we saw the "whole ship". embarkation and debarkation was a "dream' 15 minutes or less- for each. The furniture is not comfortable -either the backs were too tall and the seat wasnt or the seat was too wide -just not comfortable.
the room: I am not a believer of the phrase 'you'll never be in your room' I believe that the room is half of your experience...we had a balcony on the 10th floor middle- our first balcony room-and loved it-except when the smokers next store were out (all the time) Carnival allows smoking in the rooms which is not only dangerous for fire but they just dont seem to have enough ventilation in the hallways to prevent the hallway being smokey. The mattress was too firm- but our friends did not seem to think so- so I guess its all about personal taste. we did not get the new 'family bath' so it was a little tiny shower and sink area. (they could have made it bigger and got rid of the huge orange leather couch and it would have been great). There is hardly any drawer space since they put the hair dryer in the top drawer. The lighting was ok- would liked to have had the close up mirror connected to this section instead of high above the toliet in the bath room. Part of the closet faced towards you instead of right to left- which was difficult to use the hangers. they only have 1 phone in the room with a really long cord so on the days with wake up calls at 5:30 you had to remember to put the phone by the bed to get it- and the nightstands were crammed with stationary light fixtures wich left no room for a glass- also when in port the room smelled liked sewer but was better when we were at sea. the ship had problems with the sewer-we heard that a shower had backed up in a room.
Dining- we did the 'your time dining' option - which was great when we dined at 5:45 pretty much daily but liked the option to eat whenever- otherwise there was a line- but they did have pagers if you wanted to wait we had 3 nights switching between 2 tables and decided that we liked our table staff enough to request them for the rest of the cruise- Waninda, Vergel and Andrei were great! I have never tipped additionally from what the cruise ship took before and we did for them- they really went out of their way to provide the best service. Overall you did not miss the perfomances of the lower dining staff- we just danced with ours on the top floor. the food - I thought the food could be alot better - I swore the menu was the same as the Destiny last year- the desserts were boring even on chocolate buffet day- hot chocolate was the best I had ever had but the machines were always being cleaned and out of use- there were times the food came out cold, but they took it back with no problem you just had to wait another 10 minutes for it..The Tandori(sp)area was a fresh idea- the pizza always had a wait because there wasnt any available- the buffet had the same thing- the salad bar was boring and the dressings were never cold- the burrito bar however was excellent -and it had the shortest line. The ice cream was still the best and the addition of big plastic cups for it was good- but no toppings anywhere..
amalfi coast by boat and pompei- fantastic for the price - I think it was 180.00 per person which seemed to be the going price for the excursions of that length the problem is that there is too much crammed in a 9 hour tour -would liked to have had just the amalfi coast by boat with other stops like Positano. Almafi is not as high priced as Rome for goods and lemon goodies are everywhere- Pompeii is good but beware if you cannot walk steps, steep inclines and uneven pavement on cobblestone. the lunch was good. Cameo factory was a joke- unless you like Cameos- they do it at the end of the tour after 3 hours at Pompeii so you just want to go back to the ship. Cannot see much just walking off ship- so excursions were the only way to go really-
we walked the 20 minutes to the Vaporetto station and paid the 30 euro per person for the 2 day pass- definitely worth it-
did not do the excursions to the 'old city' or around - depressing city
45 foot swells and 70mph winds kept us from the port -which they knew about in Sicily and could have redrawn up a new route to get us there by morning but did not
Shore excurison for highlights of Monaco and Monte Carlo were 60.00 per person- Monaco was pretty, alot of walking and Monte Carlo the same if not more steep hills and stairs- that were not mentioned in the excursion description -alot on our group had issues with it. we also did Livorno - and a Tuscany 9 hour tour that claimed that we would see where some of "Under the Tuscan Sun" was filmed- it was never pointed out- 200.00 dollars a person