1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Carnival Dream
We enjoy getting away from the colder weather in January. We love cruising from New Orleans and have tried to do an Eastern Caribbean for several years. Originally we booked this itinerary as an August cruise only to have it changed to Western when a hurricane threatened. The revised embarkation process is very smooth. We did a jazz brunch in New Orleans and had a 1:30 boarding time. Other than my forgetting to remove a metal object from my pocket as we went through security everything was quite fast. With our later boarding time we elected to forgo the buffet on the Lido deck. We went straight to our cabin and began our unpacking. The safety assembly was smooth with the newer process of a scan of your Sail & Sign card taking role working well. I believe it was the quickest we've experienced. Our 39 year old daughter was also on the cruise in her own cabin. She treated us to dinner in the Steak House the first night (something of a tradition for us). The slightly more formal atmosphere and relaxed service time are a joy. The food was enjoyed by us. My wife had surf & turf and the lobster was excellent. She was not able to finish off her steak but enjoyed it as well. My daughter and I had the filet. Since we have slightly different concepts of appropriate cooking, her steak was medium and mine medium rare. Both were delightfully cooked as we requested. Our serving team of Aleksandrina and Maria were attentive without being obtrusive. We enjoyed ourselves so much it was decided to return on the last night for a repeat experience. Once again the food, service and ambiance excelled. The main dining room experience was smooth;. our table companions pleasant; the wait staff attentive and efficient; and the food what you expect from Carnival. My only complaint is that on Sea Day Brunch you formerly were offered a pastry or bread upour on being seated. This no longer happens. We did Anytime dining once in the Scarlett with Adrian as our server. He was outstanding. We elements of the entertainment to be disappointing.. Having read a review from December our expectations were not too high. The Encore shows were too high concept. The performers had issues with vocal pitch. I am not sure if the accompaniment tracks are done once and perhaps in unfriendly keys for specific performers. It sure felt that way at times. The Allure Strings (a group of 3 attractive young women) played to techno tracks in the lobby bar. Again, highly amplified experience. I did not detect any attempt to adjust tuning between tunes or sets. My ears failed to detect any recognizable tunes (popular or classical) which was a shame. Chuck on solo guitar was great! He does covers and does them well. The country music ensemble played familiar tunes without much energy and a bit of pitch issues at times. Ms. Drumz on the Lido deck did a good job of making the experience feel Caribbean. Unfortunately, we played out early and did not get to the Comedy Club or to the Dive-In movies. We only did one Carnival excursion: Inclusive Beach in Freeport. The beach was fine with umbrellas for those who desired them.The staff was very pleasant and accommodating. We were the second (afternoon) group and the food service was a bit delayed.When it became available, it was excellent beach buffet. Transportation was what you expect: cue up, wait, bus ride. Disembarkation is never fun. While getting off the ship was done as planned by Carnival, the lines down the ramp to package claim, through customs and to the garage were lengthy and slow paced. We were called to cue up at 8:25 and did not get in our vehicle until 10:47.My thought through the process was: this is the place where an air borne virus will infect everyone.

Enjoyable time away from winter

Carnival Dream Cruise Review by memphisman

Trip Details
We enjoy getting away from the colder weather in January. We love cruising from New Orleans and have tried to do an Eastern Caribbean for several years. Originally we booked this itinerary as an August cruise only to have it changed to Western when a hurricane threatened.

The revised embarkation process is very smooth. We did a jazz brunch in New Orleans and had a 1:30 boarding time. Other than my forgetting to remove a metal object from my pocket as we went through security everything was quite fast.

With our later boarding time we elected to forgo the buffet on the Lido deck. We went straight to our cabin and began our unpacking. The safety assembly was smooth with the newer process of a scan of your Sail & Sign card taking role working well. I believe it was the quickest we've experienced.

Our 39 year old daughter was also on the cruise in her own cabin. She treated us to dinner in the Steak House the first night (something of a tradition for us). The slightly more formal atmosphere and relaxed service time are a joy. The food was enjoyed by us. My wife had surf & turf and the lobster was excellent. She was not able to finish off her steak but enjoyed it as well. My daughter and I had the filet. Since we have slightly different concepts of appropriate cooking, her steak was medium and mine medium rare. Both were delightfully cooked as we requested.

Our serving team of Aleksandrina and Maria were attentive without being obtrusive. We enjoyed ourselves so much it was decided to return on the last night for a repeat experience. Once again the food, service and ambiance excelled.

The main dining room experience was smooth;. our table companions pleasant; the wait staff attentive and efficient; and the food what you expect from Carnival. My only complaint is that on Sea Day Brunch you formerly were offered a pastry or bread upour on being seated. This no longer happens. We did Anytime dining once in the Scarlett with Adrian as our server. He was outstanding.

We elements of the entertainment to be disappointing.. Having read a review from December our expectations were not too high. The Encore shows were too high concept. The performers had issues with vocal pitch. I am not sure if the accompaniment tracks are done once and perhaps in unfriendly keys for specific performers. It sure felt that way at times.

The Allure Strings (a group of 3 attractive young women) played to techno tracks in the lobby bar. Again, highly amplified experience. I did not detect any attempt to adjust tuning between tunes or sets. My ears failed to detect any recognizable tunes (popular or classical) which was a shame.

Chuck on solo guitar was great! He does covers and does them well. The country music ensemble played familiar tunes without much energy and a bit of pitch issues at times. Ms. Drumz on the Lido deck did a good job of making the experience feel Caribbean.

Unfortunately, we played out early and did not get to the Comedy Club or to the Dive-In movies.

We only did one Carnival excursion: Inclusive Beach in Freeport. The beach was fine with umbrellas for those who desired them.The staff was very pleasant and accommodating. We were the second (afternoon) group and the food service was a bit delayed.When it became available, it was excellent beach buffet. Transportation was what you expect: cue up, wait, bus ride.

Disembarkation is never fun. While getting off the ship was done as planned by Carnival, the lines down the ramp to package claim, through customs and to the garage were lengthy and slow paced. We were called to cue up at 8:25 and did not get in our vehicle until 10:47.My thought through the process was: this is the place where an air borne virus will infect everyone.
memphisman’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
Onboard Experience
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Carnival Dream price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email

Cabin Review

Interior
Cabin 4D 6251
Cabin was as expected size and function wise. We have cruised before and new what we expected. Upon arrival the room was in the single queen bed configuration. We had specified twin beds. Upon meeting our steward he agreed to make the adjustment while we are at supper, and upon returning to our cabin the twin bed arrangement had happened. Very please with his attention throughout the cruise.

The negative is related to location. We normally stay aft or mid. This time we allowed our Carnival Cruise Consultant to book us forward. Deck 6 forward means we are above the Encore Theatre. Wow! Attendance at the shows was not required. While I understand the modern concert components include VOLUME, it was a bit much for us on the occasions we retired to the cabin early. Even with ear plugs we were able to feel every note of the bass line. This is our last time for this location and will be more careful in the future. Yes, each cruise has a bit of adventure in it.
Upper Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Beach
    We were in the afternoon group. It was a typical cruise line excursion. Follow the crew directions to stand in line and wait on transportation (bus) to the beach. Bus driver gave us information as we drove to the beach, but Freeport is an industrial type port without the level of history of other Bahamian ports. The beach was fine with an attentive staff and plenty of umbrellas. The food was delayed because of the nature of being the second group of the day. Once prepared it was satisfactory.
    View All 137 Beach Reviews
  • Conch Train Tour
    A great way to get an overview of the many attractions available in Key West. Our driver was informative and answered all our questions.
    View All 221 Conch Train Tour Reviews
  • Island Tour
    Booked through Trip Advisor. CC Scooter Rentals with Mr William as our driver/guide. He was informative and attentive to our every request. We saw the Queen's Steps, Pirate Beach, Fort Charlotte, Parliament, and had a nice lunch with a cocktail.
    View All 303 Island Tour Reviews
  • New Orleans
    A fascinating place filled with the accoutrements of war and the experiences of those who served in this massive effort. It is told from the point of view of the USA.
    View All 12,802 New Orleans Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's New Orleans Cruise Port Review