Carnival Dream May 28-June 4th: Carnival Dream Cruise Review by Aloha_Cruisers
Overall Member Rating
Carnival Dream May 28-June 4th
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Port Canaveral (Orlando)
- Indian Food was AMAZING. Seriously it was AMAZING. Only complaint was that it wasn't open more often to enjoy.
- Deli was good. Only had a rueben sandwich, but it was pretty good. Friends enjoyed it as well.
- Mongolian from what my wife and friends said was decent......they didn't rave about it though.
Pasta Bar hidden above aft galley was good.....bread was a lil dry but pasta was pretty tasty.
- MDR Breakfast was always good in the Scarlet Dining Room (aft)
- Chef's Art Steakhouse was amazing and well worth the $30 per person. We've always gone on every cruise and have never been disappointed. Steak portions ranged from 9oz Filet Mignon to 24 oz Porterhouse. Chef's complimentary appetizer, followed by an appetizer you chose, then main course then dessert. The hazelnut cheesecake was amazing and enough for 4 people to share. The chocolate plate dessert More was also good.
- Nightlife was the best of all our cruises for the most part. The comedy shows were so good. Midway through the cruise they flew out the first 2 comedians and flew in 2 new comedians. There were a couple nights were it was dead after 11pm but all-in-all the entertainment was good. Dancing in the Streets is a dancing musical spanning the decades.......OMG I can't believe how AWESOME this show was.......I MEAN AWESOME. I'd rate it as good as some of the Las Vegas shows I've seen. Kids would greatly enjoy this show as well as the breakdancing and muscle guys were a site to see.
- Rooms were always clean, towels restocked often throughout the day as we usually shower morning, lunch and dinner.
- Ship was always clean and there were always people throughout the entire ship cleaning on their hands and knees scrubbing away. Cleanliness is something they take pride in on the ship and it was appreciated.
- Laundry discount for "pressing only" on the 2nd day. 12 items for $20. Not a bad deal but I did have to call at 5pm the following day to ask where my clothes were before dinner started. I wouldn't recommend this unless you actually plan to wear what you had pressed. I found that as always, I over packed and didn't wear half of what I brought.
- Serenity area was nice and kids free "for the most part". The kids that were there with their parents were well behaved but there were kids in there. As mentioned before in other reviews, it can get very warm in this area as they have glass windows blocking the wind from coming in and there isn't a pool to dip into if you get hot without going to the Lido Deck.
Gambling was good......but only because I won $160. Lost about $30-$40 in bingo tickets but hey, its all part of the experience.....right ;)
Embarkation was fast. Took about 30 mins to get through security and to board (we arrived around 1100-1130'ish)
Debarkation was fast. Once our number was called, it only took about 10mins to get off the ship where we waited maybe another 5-10mins for all of our luggage to arrive on the carousels. We paid one of the porters to dolly our bags to the Carnival airport shuttle, tipped him $5 and were on our way to the airport.
- Pool bartender on Lido Deck (Erin from Peru) was a complete a$$.....sorry. I asked him to make me a drink from scratch with ingredients I gave him and not only did he refuse to make it, he refused to make it with mint as mint is reserved only for Mojito's. Needless to say I walked from the stbd side of the lido deck to the port side of the lido deck and the bartender there didn't blink and eye (they charged me the normal drink price + an extra shot which I thought was reasonable).
Smoking is allowed in all outside areas of the port side of the ship.....made getting an outside table for 4 difficult at times.
- Dining Staff wasn't very timely at times given the two of them had empty tables almost every night. We had to ask on multiple occasions for more bread, coffee, have wine refilled (i just poured it myself as it wasn't a big deal but thought they'd pour it when the glasses were empty - Hit and Miss here)
- Numerous unhappy staff members, specifically the Internet Cafe guy...who was always rude, I mean always.
- Had a need to have some paperwork scanned and sent to me via email the first day of the cruise. I went to Guest Services to scan and email a document......never ended up getting it and accrued about $30 in internet charges for checking my email to verify that they sent it. First time lady said no problem, gave my email address and she came back 2 mins later and said it was sent. Second time I tried (different day) the lady said they weren't supposed to do it, went and asked her boss, then she said she sent it.....went back to the internet, no such luck. Guest services would not correct the bill as the internet manager had to but he was off shift for the remainder of the cruise. I will be emailing Carnival for reimbursement for the internet charges since the documents were never sent to me and I wouldn't have used it otherwise. (it's the principle at this point)
- Buffet lines were a hit or miss - Sometimes stupid long, sometimes no line....just depends on the time you go. Omelet line was always SLOW since they only had 2-3 burners per side going with only 1 omelet cook per burners. Never ate lunch or dinner at the buffets so I can't tell you if there were good or bad. Selections looked decent but the speciality restaurants were too good to eat at the lunch/dinner buffets.
- Lido Deck towel lady was rude. My wife handed her our S&S card as we figured they wanted proof of who was checking out the towels (which they do since they ask your room# and portfolio#, both which are on the card). The lady told my wife when she asked to check out towels "as you can see, I don't need you S&S card, you need to fill out this form and sign it"......my wife and friend were flabbergasted by the nasty attitude.
- Ironing room on 6th deck was bad. Spat water discoloration on clothing, steam feature on iron was bad as well. Bring dewrinkle spray and turn your shower on hot. We were gonna bring our steamer but after reading all the nay-sayers say they are illegal (which they are) we chose not to mess around with it as we didn't want it to get confiscated should they have found it. I'd recommend bringing one if you dont mind them taking it and having to pick it up after the cruise.
- MDR evening dinner was okay......not bad, not good but decent. Our previous cruises on Carnival had better meals I thought. All of the soups for appetizers were really good, especially the mushroom soup and potato soup. Lamb wasn't all that great, Turkey was ok, Pork Chops were good, all the Pasta dinners were tasty and most of the fish dinners were good. Like I said......okay but not GREAT!
- Lemonade gave me acid-reflux which I've never had before. Not sure why but the only time I had this was after drinking the lemonade. Tea was always good and water tasted fine to me (my friend complained the water tasted bad but it tasted fine to me)
- Septic smell people were talking about was come and go. Sometimes you smelled it, sometimes you didn't. The only place I really smelled it was on our deck, deck 6. When it was bad though it was BAD.
- Loud young adults (18-24 age range) on cabin floors. On a couple occasions, the noise in the hallway from the congregation of them yelling got out of control. My wife open the door and gave them the look......which obviously didn't work since they continued so I went into the hall and asked them to keep it down "firmly"......at which point the noise level reduced and all was well. This is to be expected on any cruise. Also, people were smoking weed on their balconies......again, nothing new from previous cruises.
- Lounge chairs were a hit or miss (only because we had 4 people). Chairs for 2 people could be found in most areas of the ship but not near the pool unless you got there early enough and reserved a couple chairs which we never got up early enough to do. There is a rule that chairs left for 30 mins would have their items removed but I waited an hour sitting at a table watching a section of 6 unattended chairs and nobody removed the items. When I asked 4 separate staff members at the pool how to go about having the unattended items removed none of them could help or would help as they didn't want to be the ones to get yelled at when the people returned. I ended up moving there stuff under one of the little tables and the people politely grabbed there stuff and went elsewhere......non-confrontational but I'm sure they were pissed. Oh well......rules are rules and if it happened to me I'd be pissed too but would know I was in the wrong and to move along and find a new place. Long story short, if you want a spot at the pool, get there around 9am, and have one person stay unless you don't mind your stuff getting moved by another guest or "possibly" the staff.
- Water slides were okay. Max wait was about 5 mins. There are two lines on the stairs that people either know about or don't which leads to kids cutting or parents getting confrontational with other adults who don't know this as they tell their kids to cut the unknowing parents/kids. Tip to the grown-ups.......grow up and have some respect. There isn't a sign that says there are two lines so it's an unwritten rule that people seem to make up as they go. The left side tube is the drainpipe and right side is the twister....there are also kiddy slides opposite side of the big slides for the shorter kids (42" is the ride height minimum for the big slides).
- Piano bar was smoky nearly every night since smoking is allowed inside at the tables, but not at the bar. I love listening to the guy play but sometimes the smell was overwhelming. It's a hit or miss.
- Ports were extremely disappointing compared to our Eastern itineraries we've done in the past only because of how poor the ports were . Details as follows:
---Cozumel. Been to it twice before, once on a cruise, once on a vacation. Nothing to do besides shop which is more of the same junk trinkets at every port you've ever been too. Rented a Jeep for 3 hrs (waste of money) and got screwed by either the gas station or rental company. Put 4 gallons of gas (they pump) in it for $12 and still didn't fill it up from when I got it (I drove less than 20 miles). Essentially the gas station didn't fill the tank w/4 gallons or the rental is rigged to show the wrong fill mark as there is no way that 4 gallons was needed to travel 20-30 miles. Only thing I like about Cozumel is Coconuts (bar/restaurant) on the other side of the island. Beaches are very dirty on the opposite side of the island from where the ports are. Recommendation: Book a snorkeling/diving tour or something else. Don't book a Jeep tour......lots of angry customers from what I heard.
---Roatan: First visit and probably the last visit. This is probably one of the poorest islands I've ever visited and as a result, has nothing of luster to visit or buy. We booked the beach excursion which was nice "once" we got there. Took almost 45 mins to get there on very windy roads and was kind of nauseating at times from the up/downs/left/rights on the road. Once we got to the beach it was nice minus some jack@$$ from the area next to the beach who kept screaming about parasailing rentals. They have security on station to keep the people selling crap to you away from the area you are enjoying. I did manage to buy a hammock for $20 from one of the guys selling stuff. Recommendation: Go to beach or zip-line.
---Belize. First visit and probably the last visit. This is probably the second poorest place I've ever visited and as a result, has nothing of luster to visit or buy. We booked the Altun-ha Ruins/City tour which I'd never ever do again nor would I recommend. First, the "city tour" portion is them driving through the city "on the way" to the Ruins pointing out schools, hospitals, hotels and basic landmarks and talking about them as if it's a real tour. Then, once you get out of the city it's a bumpy, lacking of air conditioning, LONG drive to the ruins. The roads in Belize aren't designed for two lanes so everytime a car was coming towards the bus the driver pulled off the road to let the other car by. Oh.....did I mention that the brush fires there are normal. We drove through areas were acres of land was on fire and it's normal......and they don't put them out, they just keep burning until they die off. The ruin tour was okay but I didn't believe half of the stuff the guide stated since they couldn't answer any of the basic questions people asked. Total time it took to get from the ship to the ruins was 3 hrs. A complimentary bottle of water was offered (no lunch however which was odd since we arrived at 12pm). The drive back was about another 1-1.5hrs. OMG was a horrible, hot drive there and back. Bus driver didn't catch onto the fact that all of us were incredibly hot so we all suffered. Recommendation: Don't book the ruins tour if long drives and inadequacy bothers you.
---Costa Maya: Didn't leave the port here because I was burnt out with site-seeing so we hit the shops on the pier and headed back to enjoy the ship. Same crap they sell in every port. Recommendation: Save yourself some time.......just stay on the ship or if you see a tour that is interesting, book it if time permits (we only had 5 hrs in this port) which made it hard to book a tour.
Tips For Future Cruisers:
- Don't overpack - trust me (use the laundry onboard vice over packing)
- Bring wrinkle release - you'll use it
- Bring your own steamer (i know - they are not allowed....your choice)
- Wear sunscreen the first day otherwise you will suffer the entire cruise
- Bring a hat and sunglasses
- Bring a electrical outlet adapter that turns a single in a triple outlet (there is only one outlet in the rooms)
- Bring your own shampoo conditioner if you don't like the smell of lemon pledge
- Bring antacid medicine
- Balcony doors can be opened if you are sharing rooms with friends/family next door
- If you intend to purchase alcohol on the last port, which for us was Costa Maya don't, as the selection was horrible and expensive. Also, don't wait until the last day to purchase alcohol on the ship as they run out of the popular stuff. Price booze before you go on cruise to ensure you're getting a good deal as it's not always cheaper.
- Get a massage before you leave for vacation. The price for a basic massage was over $200. It got significantly cheaper towards the end of the cruise but they were still $100
- Look for the note about the farewell party on Friday.....it's not well advertised since they give away free cocktails. Note: Tip $2-3 to the first person that serves you a drink and he/she will keep them coming faster than you can drink them. I was served 4 beers and my wife was served 3 glasses of wine in the 30 mins we were there. If you are a returning cruiser, you'll get an invitation card to another function mid-cruise that also serves free cocktails. (Take advantage of the beer and wine since the pre-made cocktails are always overly sweet and watered down)
- Don't forget to buy your certificate for future cruises. It's $100 up front and worth up to $200 on your next cruise depending on the length. We did it last time and received $100 onboard credit which is free money. Less
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