It was a dark and dreary day in New York City. We were very disappointed with the weather. As we arrived at the pier, we couldn't help but marvel at the size of the Dream. Could this really be our ship for the next 8 days? George and I dropped our luggage off with the porters, and then went inside to the cruise terminal. As usual, embarkation was a breeze. We were on the ship no later than 12:45 P.M. As we waited on Deck 0 for the elevator, we couldn't help but notice how brightly lit the area was. We were very impressed with the way they presented the ship right from the start. However, we were not pleased with the amount of time we had to wait for an elevator. With over 4,000 passengers, you'd think there'd be enough elevators for everyone. It wasn't so in that case. When we finally were able to grab one, one of the crew members was taking us up to the 10th floor for the Lido Deck. When we stepped off the elevator, again, we were impressed with the way the ship looked. We ended up running into Michelle, one of the members of cruise critic, who we had met on our previous cruise, on board CCL's Triumph in June, 2009. She was with her friends, Jessica and Joe, with whom she worked with at West Point.
Justin, Michelle's fiance, wasn't with them at that point. George was somewhat disappointed that he wasn't there. We went to find out what line was the shortest, as we scoped out the food situation. Justin had gone to see a man about a horse, and was heading back as we ran into him. George and Justin bonded on our last cruise, and it was great to see Justin once again.
We finally found a place to stand in line. George got food at the Taste of Nations, while I sat and held our seat. We weren't too impressed with the lay out of the Lido dining area. It wasn't as spread out as we'd hoped. At times, it was too crowded. We could barely move. Once we both had our lunch in front of us, we discussed what our game plan was for the day. We had been assigned the late dinner seating, and wanted to go and talk to the Matre'D about changing to the early dinner seating. When we got to the Crimson Dining Room, we met with some guy who wasn't the Matre'D. The Matre'D came in as we were standing there, trying to get our request accepted. He wasn't even working. He wasn't dressed as the Matre'D, and we were not at all impressed with his persona. We were told that we'd get our response in our stateroom the next night.
After we had our first disappointment, we ended up going up to our room. We got in contact with Justin and Michelle later on that day. It turned out, againb, we were seated at the same dinner table. George and I were pleased to know who we were sitting with. Jessica, Joe, and Joe's two boys were also sitting with us. It was great to know that we were eating with people we could get along with.
The shops on board the ship carried the best of everything at rock bottom prices. We bought some souvenirs and ended up spending quite a lot on them. However, we didn't care because we were on vacation. They had cartons of cigarettes and bottles of liqour for sale, and they beat the prices we have in Connecticut. We had this African-American sales representative who was very friendly, and quite a gentleman. He made our shopping experience comfortable asw we purchased away.
The shows were fantastic! We saw "Dancing in the Streets" which will make it big in the theaters some day. It was by far the best show we have seen on the high seas. The costumes, dancing and music really captured our attention. The lead singer had an awesome voice, as she sang her heart out.
However, there were some down sides to our trip. We went in to see the Matre'D on the first Fun Day at Sea. It was formal night, and we had gone into the dining room in our regular clothes, just to see if we could change our seating. Claudio, the Matre'D, insulted George. He said that it was formal night, and he wasn't allowed to wear shorts in the dining room. George got really offended, because we weren't there to eat, just to plead our case for the early dinner seating. That set George off on a bad note. There were plenty of things he wanted to say to him, but instead, we turned the other cheek, and walked out of the dining room. However, George was fuming! He shouldn't have been treated like that.
Our waitresses were Tatiyana and Romona. They were a lot of fun, and met our every request. Even though we didn't have the early dinner seating, we still enjoyed our company. Justin and Michelle are the two coolest people we've met on our past cruise.
At one point, I found out that we were arriving into New York earlier than expected. Our friend Pete was going to pick us up around 8:30 AM, however, we found out we'd be arriving around 6:30 AM. I found a quiet place on the Lido Deck to call Pete, but these people, who sat down after I was talking on the phone, asked me to move. I responded with "I was here first." If they didn't want me talking on the phone, they should have found another place to sit. So of course, they were making rude comments behind my back. I turned the other cheek, and left when I couldn't make any progress with my phone call.
However, we enjoyed the ship, and most of the people we met on board. We went to the Cruise Critic meet and greet, and met Justin and Michelle there. Everyone ignored us, so we just left and went elsewhere. I was disappointed.
Thanksgiving dinner was great. They had the traditional turkey dinner, but we all opted for something different. There was shrimp and steak. Of course we decided on that food instead of a turkey dinner. They really made our time worthwhile, and we were glad to be with friends we enjoy spending time with. All in all, the ship was a great experience.
We were in a walk-in closet. The cabin was too small. However, we spent more time on deck than we did in our room. I must admit, our room steward was excellent, and met our every request. However, Justin and Michelle, and George and I ordered room service on night in our respective rooms. The food was horrible! We will never order room service again on Carnival. The meat was old, as if it was sitting around forever. It wasn't a good choice. Justin and Michelle had the same problem with their room service food as well.
Our first day, we arrived in Port Canveral. It was Thanksgiving, and we went to Cocoa Beach. It cost $10 round trip to Cocoa Beach and back. We made our day worthwhile, as we went to The Sand Bar and had some drinks. We also had some food. The food was good, but somewhat pricey for an outdoor bar. We did enjoy ourselves, and the company we had there. The locals were friendly, and bought George a category 5 hurricane. He had 3 of them, with lots of rum mixed into the drink. After we went to the bar, we ended up walking around Ron John's, and then took the bus back to the pier. We were in the same area as the Carnival Sensation, so we had to stand up as we drove back to the pier.
The people in Florida were so nice, that we are looking forward to taking another trip down there again. Also, I have relatives who live in both Cocoa Beach, and on Merritt Island. They have an open invitation for George and me.
We ended up taking a tour of the island. We had been to Nassau once before, where we went to The Atlantis. It was a great tour, as we had an excellent tour guide. It cost us $25 per person to see the island, and to go to The Atlantis. It was a great experience, and we really enjoyed ourselves. One set of travel companions were not pleased with the tour, and made it perfectly clear right from the start. Once we left them at The Atlantis, because they had requested that, the return trip to the ship was uneventful.
In Freeport, it cost us $10 per person each way to go to Laugna Beach. We ended up walking around, and going to the beach. The water was beautiful. There weren't too many people on the beach, and we took lots of pictures. We had an awesome time, just relaxing and playing in the surf. The water wasn't too bad, however, we were a little cold at first.