Carnival Dream really is on the Spa deck: Carnival Dream Cruise Review by DrJfrmLA

Carnival Dream 5
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Carnival Dream really is on the Spa deck

Sail Date: May 2011
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Embarkation: Port Canaveral (Orlando)
We booked the Carnival Dream as a preface to our upcoming (6/12/11) Med cruise aboard the brand new Carnival Magic. We achieved Platinum status on Fantasy class boats (we even sailed the Holiday once).

Port Canaveral is a well-oiled machine. We were on and off in no time with no hassle. The ship was bragging that they got 2,000 people off the boat in 20 minutes as we were boarding.

We booked the Spa deck (deck 12) on the recommendation of our Carnival agent. It was such a pleasant experience we tried to change our Magic Vista deck cabin to the Spa deck. We both exercise regularly on board, so having the gym and spa a short stroll down the gangway was very convenient. Spa deck cabins get access to the steam rooms and the mineral hot tub (it's $150 or so if you pay separately).

The Serenity Deck was wonderful, especially compared to Fantasy class boats. There was a bar and they served a box lunch on the deck if you choose. This cruise was before school was More out, so there were relatively few young people on board--college age folks, I mean.

The movies on the big screen on the Lido deck at night were something new for us and were fun. You could curl up in a deck chair with a blanket (provided) and watch a movie in the sea air. It was a bit cheap that you had to pay $1.25 for your popcorn.

We were apprehensive about moving up to a Dream class boat from the Fantasy class we knew. We found the Dream to be very familiar; all the usual Carnival things (guest services, excursions, restaurants) were where we expected them. The Dream was partitioned in a way that we were not aware there were 3,700 other cruisers sharing the boat with us. Debarkation at ports was seamless and less crowded than on Fantasy class boats.

The food, shows, and crew were typically Carnival and provided good value for money. We enjoyed the Tandoor, Burrito, and Pasta specialty bars. We did not try the steak house on this cruise, but heard good things from other cruisers.

We did not find the size of Dream to be at all intimidating. We tied up next to RCCL's newest mega ship in St. Maarten and she made Dream look relatively small.

Dream is a relatively new boat, so there were none of the maintenance needs and cosmetic rough spots we find on some of the Fantasy boats. The mechanical systems were all top drawer.

All in all, we were pleased and felt the Dream lived up to the promises made and what we expected. We are not picky or snobbish cruisers, so maybe it doesn't take much to please us. We cruise for the sea days, the relaxation, and the serenity of being aboard, not for the haute cuisine, the Broadway shows, or the elbow-rubbing with the movers and shakers of the world. We would hate Titanic. On the other hand, we cruise 3 or 4 times a year, so we know when we are getting what we pay for. Carnival continues to offer a great value. Less

Published 06/11/11

Cabin review: SS12223 Spa Suite

Comfortable and roomy. All the cabins on the Spa deck are decorated a step up from the regular deck cabins. The hallway was private and had an outside entrance to the Serenity Deck ladder. It was very quiet at all times. Plenty of storage. New style heads are roomier and easier to use than the Fantasy class heads.

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Port and Shore Excursions

The Bahamians are tourist whores and they know it, but they don't like it much. We find Nassau to be tiresome, with the exception of the few interesting little shops off Bay Street. John Bull and the other standards do not offer particularly exciting bargains nor are their salespeople particularly helpful. Everyone wants a Rolex for $1000 which is impossible, but you can find 10% discounts and more without leaving your house.

Read 5046 Nassau Reviews

There is something undeniably charming about a tiny island that is half Dutch and half French, except the French half uses Euro and speaks mostly French. Like France itself, the shop keepers in St. Martin are surly and contemptuous and prices are high. Tourists on that part of the island exhibit the same smug superiority without any apparent reason. St. Maarten, on the other hand is fairly charming. Phillipsburg is an interesting town worth roaming around. The boardwalk is fun, and the alleyways back to the main street hold some interesting shops. There isn't any particular "deal" to be had, but prices seem comparable to other ports.

Very American, although Charlotte Amalie has a certain charm. First time cruisers or people who have not traveled much outside the U.S. will be very comfortable here. Diamonds International has pretty well taken over the gemstone and jewelry business. Prospective buyers should check the websites devoted to bashing DI and decide for themselves. Prices are lower here than either Nassau or St. Maarten, but there are still limits to the discounts. Like any other Caribbean port, you can probably match or beat prices on the internet from home.

Read 4003 St. Thomas Reviews

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Member Since 2011
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