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I chose this cruise based on its ratings for best first family cruise. We booked a midship balcony room. Had late arrival time so parking lot was full and we had to park in overflow lot C. It took a long time to get there due to traffic and we received little direction on how to get there. Our room was ready when we finally arrived on the ship and luggage arrived quickly. Room was not as clean as I expected. Thick layers of dust/dirt around the perimeter of the room and on the counters. The bathroom and beds were very clean and beds comfortable. Loved the Cruise Director Gary. Great kids clubs and activities. For food, the Steak Restaurant was great, and you receive a free bottle of house wine if you eat on the first night. Guys Burgers and Guys BBQ Pig and Anchor were great. The Cantina with tacos and burritos were also great. The buffet was ok at best as was the evening dining. Lots of options, but food was hit or miss and most of the food was not hot. I know they are feeding tons of people so it has to be prepared ahead. Soup was always hot in the dining room. Salads were good. My son loved the shrimp cocktail. The warm chocolate cake is fantastic. Also, brunch on sea days is good as were the breakfast burritos or huevos rancheros at the cantina. All made fresh and small batch, so hot and delicious. Kids loved having pizza and ice cream 24/7 and ate burgers and fries every day! Great shows, movies, and activities. Service was good. They get to know you and your names. I was surprised smoking was allowed in the casino and in designated areas. I’m not a smoker and am not used to being in places where smoking is allowed indoors, so I didn’t spend much time in the casino. We stopped in Key West and went parasailing with Sebago Watersports. Great excursion! Freeport isn’t a great port since it isn’t walkable. You have to take a taxi or book an excursion to enjoy this stop. We took a taxi to Junkanoo Beach. It was $14 round trip per person. There is a free beach or a beach with ammeneties for $5.75/person. You can pay for food/drinks and rent chairs and an umbrella. Much better deal than paying for the excursion. In Nassau we booked the Carnival VIP Dolphin Swim and Lunch at Blue Lagoon. We waited forever! We got off the ship at 7:30AM for an 8 AM tour. We waited at the port until 9:30 AM with little direction or support before they finally lined us up and pointed toward the dock where we would need to board a ferry to the island. There were two other ships also in port with large groups going to the same place. With no one directing traffic we waited way too long! Once we finally arrived, the dolphin swim was amazing and the beach location was fun. Lunch was good, burgers, chicken, hot dog, rice and beans, corn, etc. Great excursion but poorly organized that morning. I purchased the weekly spa pass. It wasn’t worth it to me as I didn’t utilize it enough. Nice steam rooms and mineral pool and adults only area. I traveled with my two children, so the money would have been better spent on a massage or other treatment. I did purchase the relaxation package on the last day at sea as they offered a discount. I also booked a facial based on another promotion. Both services were fantastic. Days at sea were great. Lots of activities. Brunch with extended hours so no rush to get to breakfast. We were blessed with great weather, so Sun and Fun abounded. We would definitely recommend the Carnival Dream and Cruise Director Gary!

Fun Ship for First Time Cruiser

Carnival Dream Cruise Review by Afeasel

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
I chose this cruise based on its ratings for best first family cruise. We booked a midship balcony room. Had late arrival time so parking lot was full and we had to park in overflow lot C. It took a long time to get there due to traffic and we received little direction on how to get there. Our room was ready when we finally arrived on the ship and luggage arrived quickly. Room was not as clean as I expected. Thick layers of dust/dirt around the perimeter of the room and on the counters. The bathroom and beds were very clean and beds comfortable. Loved the Cruise Director Gary. Great kids clubs and activities.

For food, the Steak Restaurant was great, and you receive a free bottle of house wine if you eat on the first night. Guys Burgers and Guys BBQ Pig and Anchor were great. The Cantina with tacos and burritos were also great. The buffet was ok at best as was the evening dining. Lots of options, but food was hit or miss and most of the food was not hot. I know they are feeding tons of people so it has to be prepared ahead. Soup was always hot in the dining room. Salads were good. My son loved the shrimp cocktail. The warm chocolate cake is fantastic. Also, brunch on sea days is good as were the breakfast burritos or huevos rancheros at the cantina. All made fresh and small batch, so hot and delicious. Kids loved having pizza and ice cream 24/7 and ate burgers and fries every day!

Great shows, movies, and activities. Service was good. They get to know you and your names.

I was surprised smoking was allowed in the casino and in designated areas. I’m not a smoker and am not used to being in places where smoking is allowed indoors, so I didn’t spend much time in the casino. We stopped in Key West and went parasailing with Sebago Watersports. Great excursion! Freeport isn’t a great port since it isn’t walkable. You have to take a taxi or book an excursion to enjoy this stop. We took a taxi to Junkanoo Beach. It was $14 round trip per person. There is a free beach or a beach with ammeneties for $5.75/person. You can pay for food/drinks and rent chairs and an umbrella. Much better deal than paying for the excursion. In Nassau we booked the Carnival VIP Dolphin Swim and Lunch at Blue Lagoon. We waited forever! We got off the ship at 7:30AM for an 8 AM tour. We waited at the port until 9:30 AM with little direction or support before they finally lined us up and pointed toward the dock where we would need to board a ferry to the island. There were two other ships also in port with large groups going to the same place. With no one directing traffic we waited way too long! Once we finally arrived, the dolphin swim was amazing and the beach location was fun. Lunch was good, burgers, chicken, hot dog, rice and beans, corn, etc. Great excursion but poorly organized that morning.

I purchased the weekly spa pass. It wasn’t worth it to me as I didn’t utilize it enough. Nice steam rooms and mineral pool and adults only area. I traveled with my two children, so the money would have been better spent on a massage or other treatment. I did purchase the relaxation package on the last day at sea as they offered a discount. I also booked a facial based on another promotion. Both services were fantastic.

Days at sea were great. Lots of activities. Brunch with extended hours so no rush to get to breakfast. We were blessed with great weather, so Sun and Fun abounded. We would definitely recommend the Carnival Dream and Cruise Director Gary!
Afeasel’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Ages 10 to 12
Ages 13 to 15
Service
Onboard Experience
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Cabin Review

Balcony
Cabin 8E 6387
I enjoyed having a midship balcony room. Could have been better cleaned around perimeter. Set up two twin beds and twin couch bed to sleep three. Beds were comfortable. Bathroom is small but lots of space with shelves for all of your toiletries. Bring own shampoo/conditioner, etc. Shampoo and body wash are provided as well as soap and a dryer. You can request robes. Plenary of towels. They cleaned twice a day. Only big negative was we were over a balcony that allowed smoking. We are no smokers and I had two children with me, so I would have preferred to not have to breath smoke which enjoying my balcony.
Lido Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins