Carnival Dream Cruise Review by daisydee
My family of 16 went on the Carnival Dream which left port on New Year's Eve. The check in was pretty easy. We then went up into the buffet for lunch (11:00 am) while awaiting for our rooms to be ready. The buffet is pretty standard for a ship (we've been on approximately 15 previous cruises). Our room was ready around 1:00 and we happily went there. We had a balcony 8367 which was a very good location! The beds were comfy as well as the foam pillows. 2 of our grandsons shared the room with us. Our 14 year old had the sofa next to the 2 single beds (which were pushed together) which we kept made as his bed. Though we did use it as a sofa during the day, just with his bedding on it. Our 10 year old grandson had the pull down bunk which was kept permanently down. He said it was comfy. The bathroom was efficient with enough storage for the 4 of us. Though there were always towels strewn everywhere (including beach towels). The room steward Ronald was excellent and always provided us with whatever we asked for. The overall room was smaller than other ships we've been on, but we kind of expected that. The balcony had 2 chairs and a small table also. It did not look directly onto the ocean, but there was a floor below us (floor 5), which I liked. I do not like looking straight down into the ocean! And on floor 5 there were 2 hot tubs between our room that at most times had plently of people in them (including us). They were nice! We actually were in one of them when the ship left port and we were able to cruise down the Mississippi enjoying the view from there. RESTAURANTS: We LOVED Guy's hamburger place. Just delicious! This was on deck 10 next to the outside pool. Always people in line wanting hamburgers, but never a wait of more than 1 or 2 minutes. There was also a bar next to it for the "fixings" you wanted to add to it. And the fries there were delicious. I must have had this 3 or 4 times on our week cruise. Also the BBQ place (on deck 5) was DELICIOUS too! Lots of selections. I would definitely recommend both of these. However the BBQ fast food is only open during days at sea and only at lunch time. Be sure you hit it at least once! The grandkids also enjoyed the 24 hour pizza at the back of the ship on deck 10. Said it was OK. Our first night was New Years Eve and Carnival nicely provided us with blowers, hats and just FUN. There was a 11:00pm balloon drop which was SO MUCH FUN! The next 2 days were sea days (Monday and Tuesday) so our group just explored around and went swimming, shopping, played in the casino (VERY TIGHT) and took pictures. One thing that Carnival advertised was that above the outside pool area or the kids water park was that there was a track walk way you could navigate. This is gone. They must have taken this down. They should have alerted us to this as our kids definitely were looking forward to this! The kids water park was not open during sea days. There was too much wind, and they said it was dangerous. However the small kids slide was open. I am thinking this is pretty much standard, so plan on using the water park on port days when you come back early. The dining room (we were in the Scarlette) was good. The food in general I feel on cruise ships has gone down. The desserts were just OK also. We did have lobster the first night which was a nice added bonus. And the lemonade served on the ship actually is very good. Our kids always asked for this at dinner, though it is self serve in the buffet. My grandkids loved the area in the buffet where they make sandwiches and always come back with a huge one (BLT, grilled cheese). We went to 3 ports (Montego Bay, Cayman Island and Cozumel) which we have been to before. Typical ports - lots for sale, but basically junky souvenirs. We did go to the Dr. Seuss Breakfast with the kids which was EXCELLENT. It cost $5 per person and definitely worth it! A little bit different breakfast and the kiddos were so happy to see the costumed characters. Also did the Build a Bear at Sea. It was fun. Typical prices, but the little girls were so very happy! Debarkation of the boat was definitely the easiest we have ever experienced. Kudos Carnival on this. Fast and efficient. We did carry off our own luggage, which was our choice. Also we did purchase 2 12 packs of water from the ship. Just called on the phone in the room and someone brought it to us within about 10 minutes. You cannot carry on any water. The price of $5 or $6 was very fair! We then carried this water off with us on our island stops. And we did decorate our stateroom door. We bought before the cruise those peel and stick (like to the windows) Dory, fish, etc. and they stayed pretty well on our door. However they did stick to the metal frame better and the mailbox to the side of the door. They didn't have actual sticky on them, but again what you put on a clear glass window. There were no issues with us using these. It made it easier for the younger ones to know which one was our room. NIGHTLY ENTERTAINMENT: It got really boring with the same singers and dancers every night in the showroom. Come on Carnival, bring on some different entertainment a couple of times (like aerial acts, comedians, magicians). After 3 nights we did not go back. Later in the evening there was a "family" comedian that was very good. We typically let the younger ones go to the kids club which they DID enjoy! They often came out with something in their hands they did. More and better evening entertainment is needed. It was definitely a FUN week and one I am sure we will all remember forever!
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