Mixed Feelings: Carnival Dream Cruise Review by Isakep15

Carnival Dream 3
Member Since 2011
100 Forum Posts

Overall Member Rating

Mixed Feelings

Sail Date: March 2012
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Port Canaveral (Orlando)
I have mixed feelings about this cruise. It was Spring Break and although I was worried about drunken college students, I should have actually been worried about large families. We cruised with over 4200 people, over 2500 past guests, and over 1300 children. We wanted a romantic, laid-back, second honeymoon sort of cruise. Instead we had half of a romantic cruise, and half of a "insert family theme park name here" type cruise. Not exactly what we expected, even after 9 months of cruise research.

Hotel -- We drove to Port Canaveral and stayed at the Country Inn & Suites. We booked the stay and cruise package. Shuttles to and from the port were efficient, and on time. The hotel is very nice, and most of the staff members are very helpful. It's also in a great location right next to the port, and it features secure parking right in front of the hotel.

Ship -- The Dream is very large, and it is hard to walk from one end to the other end without taking a minor More (unnecessary) detour. The atrium was impressive, but small. The elevators, unlike what I've read in other reviews, were easy to access and ran on a fairly regular, and fast, schedule. The casino became very smoky, as did the Lanai, because they were some of the only places that people could smoke. As a non-smoker, I did not appreciate the smoke wafting out of these areas into the common areas. I had read that the ship rocked and rolled, and the reviewers were correct. The Dream boogies but not in a good way. There is more of a side to side rocking than a front to aft rocking. It was just as noticeable on the lower decks as it is on the higher decks.

Stateroom -- Our stateroom was the saving grace of this trip. We were near the main elevators, so you could hear sounds rising up from the atrium, but aside from roving bands of teenagers, and loud parents screaming at their kids, our room was fairly quiet. It's important to note that this room is also near a housekeeping closet, so this room is one of the first that is serviced. This meant that we had a 9 am wake-up for cleaning during our first day at sea. All things considered, our room steward was the best. He was friendly, and our room was impeccable. The balcony was amazing. It's diagonal to the large chess board on the port side. It was quiet, relaxing, and we spent most of our free time on the balcony.

Dining -- We had your time dining. Dining in the MDR on the first elegant night was a nightmare. At all other times it was fine. The buffets are crowded, and the lines would be bearable if it wasn't for the rude passengers. If you missed something, you had to go all the way back through the line. Definite design flaw. The steakhouse was very, very, good. Go on the first night for a free bottle of wine. The Chef's Table was not worth the charge for the new menu. The deli was disappointing, but the Indian food is not to be missed. Nor is the Lanai BBQ.

Service -- Service was above and beyond my expectations. We had the best crew. The only low point was the cruise director. He never really interacted with the guests.

Entertainment -- The shows were great. Dancing in the Streets is awesome, if only for the amazing dancing. The adult comedy shows are also not to be missed. The other entertainment was kind of cheesy, except for the NCAA basketball on in the seaside theater.

Disembarkation -- This was a mess. They called 4 zones at the same time, and they could not handle the throng of people. It took 1.5 hours to get off the ship.

Overall, we loved the serenity deck, the ports, the adult activities, the food, and the service. Unfortunately, we found that we spent most of our time trying to get away from the sheer number of people, and this was not relaxing. Take head -- the Dream very, very large, not very stable, and has inadequate pool and deck space to house the number of people on board. Less

Published 03/30/12

Cabin review: 8D9266 Balcony

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Port and Shore Excursions

We did the Sergeant's Caye snorkel through the ship. The tender went smoothly, the guide was great, and the excursion was not crowded. Unfortunately, the seas were very rough, and we were dropped off on the reef with no Caye in sight. The fish were plentiful but there is only 2-3 feet of water above the coral (some of which is fire coral, etc.) Please take note, that this is not really an excursion for beginners, at least not with the sea conditions that we experienced. The best part of this port is that you are anchored 5 miles from the city, and you are surrounded by the most beautiful clear blue water.

We missed this port due to high winds. [We almost missed Roatan, so we considered ourselves lucky to only miss one port.] We had booked the Chacchoben ruins tour through Native Choice. Although we didn't see the ruins, the tour company refunded our money the same day. We didn't need to contact them, or anything. Highly recommended.
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We took a taxi to Mr. Sanchos, and paid for the all-inclusive option. The beach was wonderful, the service was good, and the fish tacos were outstanding. The special margarita is a favorite. We got there early, and snagged a cabana. Great day.
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This was our favorite port. We booked Tabyana beach through the ship. Our bus left early, so we hopped a ride on the zip-lining bus. The bus ride was a bit dicey (you cover a lot of terrain) but it's worth it for the beach. The beach is gorgeous, and you can snorkel right from the shore. The snorkeling was much better than our reef snorkel in Belize. It's true that there are people selling things down by the waterline but a polite, "No, Thank You" was all you needed.
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Member Since 2011
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