I had read numerous reviews before booking this Cruise, and was actually a little hesitant being that I was going with my entire family. Some Carnival reviews were great and others were awful, how was I to know unless we tried? I had pretty much decided that we wanted to go on an Eastern Caribbean trip during my daughters college vacation. My AAA agent suggested going on the Dream as it would be a Brand New Ship. I head read reviews from other travelers that did the same ports on other Carnival Cruises so had good idea's what to do, and what not to do. One thing I really learned from another critic about reviews, is "take what you need and leave the rest" I had gotten so discouraged after reading a couple "Bad" reviews, and then the next lady had a excellent review from the same Cruise and said "Some people when given lemons, make lemonade" and that's the type of family we are, so we took the plunge and have "0" regrets!
Ok, here's the review!
The Ship, The Service & The Food were fantastic! It exceeded all expectations we had. Ship was easy to navigate after a day or so. Shows were the BEST, especially the Comedy Club & Dance Routines.
Interior Cabin was sufficient. We used the refer to store our stuff, and just put there's back when done. We watched the TV to see the live cam/weather outside daily before getting dressed.
Nassau was a disappointment, but I had read the same from other Cruise Critics prior, so was expected.
The highlight for us was Sunday Mass @ St.??? It was amazing to see the church packed, and everyone wearing there Sunday Best, we only see here in the States on Easter/Christmas.
Policeman directing traffic instead of lights was neat.
I had read a review that said you had to see Atlantis & there Aquarium which was free to do, "NOT"! Taxi over was $4 per person plus $1 for toll, same price back with no toll. Atlantis was huge, and a resort beyond belief, but....we had to pay $35 per person to get into the Aquarium tour, and you cant really see all of the place unless you do this. We enjoyed it, just didn't expect the $35 per person, the tour guide (cant remember her name) was fantastic! Had us mimicking her the entire cruise/trip.
St. Thomas was beautiful, shops were nice. We took a taxi $9 per person one way to Coki beach (used to be $8) after reading another Critics recommendation. Ride & views was worth the money itself, but the beach was great! We were told snorkeling was great there, but it wasn't the day we were there, to rough of seas, but sunny and 85. I was a little startled as we pulled in to the beach. My wife and I were in next to last seat on taxi, and my kids in front of us, all the sudden this local jumps in the seat behind me, and says I'm gonna take care of you?????Come to find out the taxi drivers have relationships with these guys that set you up in there spots on the beach, near there food, and use there own waiters, Turned out fine, just wish he had given us a heads up. On the way back he said he would call us a taxi too, but we just walked out to the parking lot, the people we were next to all day were leaving to, so I asked the driver how much, he said $9, I said I was told $8 (lol) he said ok, hop in.
On the way back we stopped at a very nice Filipino restaurant on the main drag, had Filipino Family style food, my family loved. They also had a store inside.
Snorkels on the ship are $5, bring a Mask with you!
We loved the shops. The water taxi is a great deal, $6 per person for unlimited rides. We went to the Dutch side only. Hit the Candy Shop way down to the right on beach, guy is from US, great talk with an unbelievable stuff. Right next door is a Jeweler, wish I could remember his name. (There are endless jewelery Stores on St. Thomas & St. Marten, we hit allot, but this was the only place we actually bought anything. The guy runs a great shop! Water is like a $1-$2 a bottle anywhere, as soon as we started looking around his shop, he come up, "Would you like a bottled water, beer, or glass of Champagne?" for free, all you want, kept asking the entire time there, gave us water even to bring back on ship. Jewelery was nice and reasonable. My wife and mother in-law were looking at bracelets marked $125 each, I haggled with him and got them for $80 each, then my daughters wanted a ring each, they were $84 each, I got 2 for $80. You have to haggle.
The beach/food/entertainment here were great, and right there when you get off water taxi.
Water taxi driver on the way back gave us this long thank you on the way back, then hit everybody up for tips, we tipped them. I guess they wouldn't get any if they didn't ask.