We (mid 60s) decided to take our daughter(30) and son-in-law (40) on a cruise. We have been on several cruises, first time for them. The main reason we picked the Dream out of New Orleans was because we wanted a long day in Key West (8-5). Our son-in-law is an avid fisherman and we wanted to fish in Key west. We flew down on Saturday January 27th. We took a cab from the Airport to Maison Dupuy Hotel in the French Quarter. We selected this hotel as it is close to French Quarter Phantoms and we had two walking tours booked through them. It was pouring rain when we got to the hotel. We planned on going to Jackson Square to spend the afternoon, but because of the rain we ended up at Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium. We thoroughly enjoyed the insectarium, not impressed with the Butterfly Garden, have seen better. It had stopped raining when we got out so we walked down Bourbon Street to get back to the hotel. The kids went to the Museum of Death, which they seemed to enjoy. We had a 6:00 ghost tour with French Quarter Phantoms, excellent tour and guide, we had a great time. The kids were hungry afterwards, so we missed the parade. We walked to the Bayou Burger and Sports Company and had great burgers (our daughter does not eat seafood or spicy creole). Sunday we had a 10:00 Cemetery Tour with French Quarter Phantoms, again, an excellent tour and guide. We then picked up our bags from the hotel and took a cab to the ship.
Probably took about 45 minutes to get on the ship, we never sat down, just wound around in various lines. We all ate at Pasta Bella, great food and no crowd. Then we all went to our cabins to drop off our carry ons. Part of our luggage was there. We split up to do our own exploring. This is the first time I have had a cove balcony. I loved being close to the water, but the balcony was always covered in salt and wet. I won't do that again. First time doing anytime dining, won't do that again either. We selected anytime as we like to eat early and they like to eat late. We ended up eating together about 3 times. We always had to wait to get a table, even if we went at 6:00. We also could not ever get the same wait staff. I would much prefer a set time with no wait and the same wait staff. Food in the dining room was excellent, service was great (3 times), average (3 times) and terrible (1 time). My husband and I loved the stage shows, the singers and dancers were very talented. The kids did not care for the stage shows (what was the point? is what she said about Flick). We all loved the comedy club, though two shows we never found a seat. They enjoyed the live music. Brandon (cruise director), Legs 11, and Sunny (entertainment) were great. I had not been to Quest for many years, has become much more risque, if you are easily offended DO NOT GO. Luckily our daughter elected not to go as she would have been mortified.
Unfortunately, the weather was cool, so you could find a seat at the pool anytime and even clamshells at Serenity. Lunches and breakfasts were good at Lido, but lines were too long at Mongolian Wok and Guy's BBQ, never wanted to wait that long. We were asked whether we wanted morning or evening service by the steward, I selected morning, the kids selected evening (so they could sleep in). I don't have a problem with having one service a day, but when I select morning I expect the room to be cleaned in the morning. Several times it was after noon, I am not happy with that. One day we came back to no towels, another day we came back to two bath towels (I told steward I always wanted 3, an extra to wash my hair). There was dust on the top shelves in the bathroom. Definitely corners have been cut there. We also had the Hub, loved that for the menus and days events. Chat did not work well, my husband and I got about 80% of the messages, my daughter got about 10%, our son-in-law 5%.
Key West, the main reason for taking this trip was the fishing. called our captain as we were approaching the dock and he canceled the trip due to high winds. Based on the forecast we had seen, I was not surprised, but everyone was disappointed. We ended up doing the shops, kids did the Ripley's museum. Key Lime pie on a stick at Kermits is a must!
In Freeport we booked the kayak and nature tour through Carnival, this was the best excursion. We had a great guide, super fun kayaking and about 90 minutes at a beautiful beach. Lunch was very poor, but based on the reviews I expected that.
In Nassau, the kids wanted to ride on the beach, I booked this as an independent tour. Our daughter really enjoyed it (experienced horsewoman) our son-in-law not so much. The guide harassed him about horsemanship (heels down, sit up). Again we were warned on trip advisor that this could happen. We took the walking food and culture tour, it was fantastic. Great guide, great food, lots of interesting information. Again it was booked independently and I would highly recommend it.
Disembarkation was fine, just walked through customs.
This was the first time for us on Dream class, we really liked it. In fact we have a December cruise booked on Magic for our son, daughter in law, and two grand kids.
French Quarter Phantoms was terrific. Did a ghost tour and a cemetery tour.
Great guide, super fun kayaking in the mangroves, lovely beach.View All 33 Kayaking Reviews