72 New Orleans Romantic Cruise Reviews

This was what we picked for our honeymoon and we were very disappointed. Numerous factors came in to play that could have made our trip better but as it was, we may never cruise again. This was my husbands first cruise and my second. Which ... Read More
This was what we picked for our honeymoon and we were very disappointed. Numerous factors came in to play that could have made our trip better but as it was, we may never cruise again. This was my husbands first cruise and my second. Which my first cruise was amazing and I have no complaints. Embarkation was very, very quick and smooth. Even with the long line of people I was amazed by how fast they got everyone on the ship. Our Cabin was fine, no complaints besides the horrible television selection. Dinio our steward was wonderful. Always smiling and friendly. Dining...We truly looked forward to dinner every night. That, I think, was our favorite part of the trip. IGusti, Benni, and Ana were a well oiled machine. Dinner service was always very quick and with a smile. We shared every evening how each of our days were and loved getting to know the crew. As for buffets, they were average. Plenty to choose from and some items were wonderful and some not so great. Guys burgers made us sick the first day of the cruise which really set the mood for the rest of the week. Needless to say we didn't try that again. We never got to try the Ancor BBQ, it was only open one day that I know of and the line was awful. Entertainment was okay. The Flying Scottsman was however amazing and did well getting everyone involved and up beat. Another favorite of our was the Love and Marriage show. I could have went to another one of those during the trip. We laughed so much we cried. We missed alot of the shows because of timing. Our dinner was late so alot of times it interfered with shows. We would either have to rush through dinner or we would have to leave early and miss the ending. I did not enjoy the vocalist at all in the lobby. There was one male that was okay but the rest were awful. We loved Passion Island in Cozumel even though they cut our trip short because the water was getting rocky. It was very relaxing and well worth the money. We didnt do any other excursions unfortunately. The very one thing we had our hopes up to do was in Honduras and due to weather conditions, which I understand, they were unable to dock the boat so we had to go back to Cozumel. Other things added in to our horrible trip...due to timing we had to go during spring break which meant there were tons of kids and only one adult only area that I was aware of which was always full. (The casino even had children roaming through and lingering around) Normally that wouldnt bother me so much but young kids were unsupervised all over the ship and were VERY rude. They would make videos in the stairwell and then get mad when you walked down the steps. They would cut you in food lines to catch up to their other siblings. They took up all of the hottubs and pools during the day so you couldnt swim. The pools were supposed to stay open until midnight and the crew would close almost every night by 9pm. The last port we decided to stay on the ship and enjoy the pools since everyone would be off at excursions and low and behold they were closed. I had my last straw after a Pixel crew member was rude to us while playing cards. I went to Guest Services to talk to someone about my complaints and concerns and basically was told to deal with it. There were a few things out of their control which I understand but they should enforce better supervision of children. I would never let my 6 year old roam around a boat that large by himself. I was not the only one complaining about the rude children either. It seemed to be an issue on our cruise. Also I think the pools constantly being closed down with 4000 people on a boat was ridiculous. He gave no explanation just that they have to clean it. They had it closed our whole last day at sea and only started to fill it up at night when we started back up the river toward New Orleans. Im not sure I will cruise with Carnival again. The Guest Services did not feel like there was an issue with any of my complaint so maybe I am just not meant to cruise. DONT CRUISE DURING SPRING BREAK FOR A HONEYMOON! Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
I took my Wonderful Wife on this cruise for a birthday present. She loved the ship, the buffet, the wonderful crew. We dined in both main dining room to great food and service. we dined in three of the specialty dining room. ... Read More
I took my Wonderful Wife on this cruise for a birthday present. She loved the ship, the buffet, the wonderful crew. We dined in both main dining room to great food and service. we dined in three of the specialty dining room. Cagney's was Superior the food was Special and staff was excellent. The Italian and French establishments were poor and sadly a Great disappointment. Food selections were not Italian or French. Service at the French fair was none existent, I mean we sat for 3 hours with little contact. Hey you asked, I am telling. The was the worst of the trip. The BEST was the friendly rest of the day(s). On ship the people (staff) were great. The cabin good the bath design was awesome. I used the fitness facilities and took a book out of the library. I had forgotten how enjoyable it can be to sit and read. I have a strong complaint concerning the communications. PLEASE listen! the pamphlet is the room each day is great. Why can't you have interactive TV in the cabin. I should be able to access my billing status from the cabin. I like the bow camera but how about expanding the idea to include a banner with the time and temperature. The Map channel was poor cycling. The Screens by each elevator should be interactive. What information would I want? I want to see the daily schedule of event, Up-To-Date menus for all the dining rooms. Status of special events. NEWS and Anticipated WEATHER at local excursion areas. Excursions for the next port with filled or open slots, cost would be nice. I absolutely Certify This Information is Factual and True Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
1) because my brother and his wife have never cruised before. 2) the price 3) where it was going. 4) because my brother and his wife still like to party. Carnival seems more like a party type atmosphere. The staff was wonderful from our ... Read More
1) because my brother and his wife have never cruised before. 2) the price 3) where it was going. 4) because my brother and his wife still like to party. Carnival seems more like a party type atmosphere. The staff was wonderful from our room steward Wayan to our dinner stall Dede, Ignatius, and Polett. to the staff in cloud-9. spent the day in New Orleans before embarkation. Embarkation went very smoothly ( great job) our cabin 7203 is classified interior, but has a window. It is interior with a picture(walkway view).It was our highest level yet. and a good choice. they do sell out fast. we enjoyed most of our dinning I was disappointed in the main buffet, but like the other 3 buffet or was it 4? guy burgers was very good, the pasta bella was not a buffet, but a sit down where you place an order and drop it off at the head of serving line and then go sit down and they deliver it piping hot as you ordered. a don't miss if you travel on the Dream. Main dinning room was very good. the chef's table was an outstanding experience. It di cost extra, but we thought it well worth it. the shows in the encore lounge were to mush like Vegas style and loud. we like more Broadway style performances. disembarkation went very smooth also. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
Carnival Dream Review Our cruise set sail during the cold wintery days of early January 2018 boarding at New Orleans and visited Ocho Rios in Jamaica, Grand Caymans, then Cozumel island of Mexico. It is a 7 day cruise that ends where ... Read More
Carnival Dream Review Our cruise set sail during the cold wintery days of early January 2018 boarding at New Orleans and visited Ocho Rios in Jamaica, Grand Caymans, then Cozumel island of Mexico. It is a 7 day cruise that ends where it begin, New Orleans. I will provide a detail chronological history of our cruise but let me first summarize all the pros and cons as compared to NCL Breakaway, a similar type of cruise ship and similar itinerary. Pros: Carnival Dream is a larger class cruise ship but smaller than the Oasis class. It is Carnival’s largest cruise ship and only slightly smaller than NCL’s Breakaway. Relative to Breakaway, boarding and dealing with the crowds at the elevators was less congested. The crew on Carnival is much less formal and you get to know a lot of them real fast as many of them will call you by your first name from the end of the first day of sail. My star was Natanya, hostess at the Spa Cloud 9 reception desk. You will not find a more genuine, nice person and with tremendous intelligence and memory. I vote her to become a Captain of a cruise liner. They offer many more steam rooms in their spa area relative to Breakway, but like Breakway, you must pay additionally or book the expensive rooms on the ship. One of the private spa steam room was absolutely gorgeous when viewed during the evening, providing various colored lights reflecting off of golden tiles like a scene out of a fantasy mid-evil movie. Getting off and on the ship for our excursions to the visiting ports was a lot less congested than NCL Breakaway and proceeded smoothly. Perhaps choosing times on the later times for leaving the ship and coming back on the early side was helpful. Lots, and I mean eight oversized Jacuzzi hot tubes situated on the decks and pool areas. Two of them are only for adults, 18+ quiet areas. I’m afraid those are the only pros over a similar cruise on the NCL Breakaway which calls home midtown, New York City on the Hudson river and sails to Bermuda for a 2 and a half day stay for a total of a 7-day cruise. Cons: The lobby, although very beautiful, has only a small area for window shopping, making the ship seem smaller than it actually is. The Thalassotherapy pool was down for one day, cold the other, and had a low level of water on yet another day. The coed sauna was on for only the last two days of the 7-day cruise, and the wonderful music one should hear in these spa area was lacking except for one day out of the 7 day cruise. The spa area, where private thermal suites of assorted temperatures and designed steam rooms lacked any type of a pleasant smell from scents. The thermal suite refreshment area lacked in capacity hot water and coffee while decaf was completely absent. The food was far above the average college dorm-like cafeteria foods and had a wide variety of foods. However, their items were very similar each and every day throughout lunch and dinner at the buffet area on deck 10. The seated dining in restaurant halls provided more variability of options but not as much as the NCL Breakaway cruise. The selection of fine liquor was very limited. For example, if you like scotch, you basically had either Chaves Regal or MacCallan cast oak. Room services are great on these cruises but Carnival got one really wrong by not providing any cups, utensils or sugar/sugar substitutes in their service. When I was asked on their follow up call of my room service, I told them what had happened and there was not even an apology or offer to comp/discount the service. If you don’t know, the room service foods are free of charge for regular items but they still charge you gratuity and expect a little more gratuity given directly to the delivery. None of the gratuity was offered back. There are only two pools onboard and none of the pools were just for adults. Fortunately, all the kids were all well behaved on this particular cruise. There is no interior room for cigar smokers. You have to brave the windy environment at two areas of the ship’s decks. Getting your own private table for you and your couple or immediate family could be a problem. You can ask the Maitre D’ when the dining hall opens for supper to be changed, if there are any available. Otherwise, you will have to pay, and pay very early prior to departure, about $100, to get special previledge of boarding early, getting tender early for going ashore at ports where there is no pier, and first picking of where you would like to sit during your seated dinning services. Also, there is only two time slots for dinner, 6:15 and the 8:15 pm, at the two dining halls. The library was very small and paying for the highest package of internet service really is not worth paying for especially while you are sailing in the open seas, that would be the Gulf of Mexico for us. Finally, I have for you a detailed summary of this cruise, the Carnival Dream. To have your best cruise possible, book early and pay for all the extra’s ahead of time. Some of these extra’s runs out even before the sail date. We got the couples access to Thermal Suites and the Thalassotherapy pool in the Cloud 9 spa area. With this package, you have private access to four steam room types of varying temperatures and all equipped with ceramic heated lounge type chairs, two large showers with several options of where you want the water to spray you, a relaxation area with water, tea and coffee, private men’s or women’s locker rooms equipped with electronic key pad lockers, sinks with hair dryers, bathroom, and two spacious shower rooms with jet streams of water that can shoot out from the side if you wish. Finally, you get access to the private thalassotherapy pool to soak in and lounge while bubbles message your body. Located near the Cloud 9 spa area is the regular gym equipped with machines, some weights in the form of rubber barbells, lots of treadmills and ellipticals, a few stationary bikes and a row machine. You then have the general men’s and women’s locker rooms equipped with two over-sized showers, bathroom, sinks with hair dryers, a steam room and each general locker rooms exit to a small hallway that leads to a coed sauna. Obviously, you must wear swimsuit attire in all the areas except for what is in the locker rooms. Thus, there is only one steam room where complete nudity would be allowed but most guys do wear a towel while in that room located in the general men’s locker room. In short, I would say it is a must to pay for the Thermal Suite and Thallasotherapy pool so you can enjoy it throughout the cruise from 8 am to 10 pm. Just prepay online and visit the spa Cloud 9 reception area on Deck 12 forward to check in every day. I really enjoyed the breakfast as it is my favorite meal of the day. You have mainly two options. The sit down dining hall on Deck 3, aft (Scarlett lounge) or the deck 10 aft (Grand Buffet) buffet style where you sit yourself. The sit down dining hall breakfast has the food better prepared, and at one of the days, had better options. I only ate breakfast on that special day, the King’s Brunch on Saturday, and the rest of my time at the Grand Buffet which has the better view and you don’t have to wait to be seated. There is everything you could wish for at breakfast. Sausages, potatoes, hash browns, grits, toast, pancakes, waffles, fruits, eggs, omelet station, and eggs benedict covered in hollandaise sauce. During breakfast, you can also drink all the orange juice with pulp you want. The other benefit of the Grand buffet, especially after breakfast, are the desert stations, pasta Italian section, sandwich section, Mongolian stir-fry station, Indian foods, pizza, American-Mexican foods, and juicy burgers with crispy fries. Best time for breakfast at Grand Buffet is early during open sea cruise days and late on excursion days (Wed – Fri). The Grand Buffet is typically open from 6:30 to 10:30 am. You can always get your fill of water, tea and coffee all day and night. Orange juice are served only during breakfast and sodas are purchased for a few dollars at the bars. I never got to try the BBQ area on Deck 5, mid Starboard as it had a long line the first day and it never seem to re-opened afterwards. I also didn’t try the sushi bar which you pay extra. There is a finer, dining option but for an extra $35 per person during supper. We did indulge in some gourmet coffee for a few more bucks. It is located on Deck 5 mid, Starboard where you will also find more desserts selections and ice cream for a few bucks more. There are many activities you can do and pre-pay for your excursions on these islands you will visit. We chose the Segway tour and beach time at the Grand Cayman’s. That was fun especially when riding those new and well-maintained large, all-terrain wheel segways on the beach. Afterwards, you can relax in the ocean, lounge on the chairs of the beach or go into the private pool area which has a swim up bar. By the way, if you use one of their umbrella’s, the workers at the beach will ask for $5. Bring your towels from the ship though. You will need them at the private shower and bacthroom areas. We never had to wait much getting off and back on the ship. I just arranged a later departure time and got back to the ship on the early side. The bottleneck is at the elevators when you return. I just go up one flight of stairs from deck 0 to 1, walk to the set of elevators where people are not coming aboard (usually the aft). You have three sets of elevators to choose from and boarding typically uses two of the three (typically mid and forward elevators). Cruising the Gulf of Mexico can be a little choppy. If you are feeling a little nauseous, go to the forward of deck 12 and watch the waves come towards you as you concentrate on the feeling of each wave coming at you and leaving you as you pass it. It helps. Don’t forget to go there while leaving port Sunday evening as you cruise down the Mississippi river and do the same coming back to New Orleans early Sunday morning a week later. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
The ship is beautiful, always clean and the food was fantastic. Believe it or not I found the buffet food to be better than the dining room this trip. Only thing better was Cagneys which is always awesome. As far as staff, very few ... Read More
The ship is beautiful, always clean and the food was fantastic. Believe it or not I found the buffet food to be better than the dining room this trip. Only thing better was Cagneys which is always awesome. As far as staff, very few talked or even smiled, could not tell if they were new or just unhappy to be there. Bartenders on deck 6 and 7 were terrible, rude, uncaring, walked away more than a few times and went to deck 8 to get a drink. Dealing with the attitudes was not worth it. We had a huge group of cruise critic people on the boat and I was not the only one that felt that way. It was elevated to the senior staff. Their answer was a fruit basket delivered to the room. But that did not fix the problem. After getting home from the cruise I did go and cancel my next cruise on the Pearl out of Tampa. I did reschedule for the Breakaway out of New Orleans. I would have given in a higher rating but cant because of the crew. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Ship was really nice, but I had prepaid for spa services and they charged me again I had to go to straighten it out every day. At end of cruise still fighting. Their accounting program has no way to enter the prepaid amount deduction at ... Read More
Ship was really nice, but I had prepaid for spa services and they charged me again I had to go to straighten it out every day. At end of cruise still fighting. Their accounting program has no way to enter the prepaid amount deduction at the time of service. Also not once but twice I was told I had a losing hand by two different dealers within an hour apart when I had a winning straight. Pictures taken at excursion we were told to get them at excursions desk then we found out you had to buy at the excursion. I required new ice nightly to ice down my medications sine the medical cooler we rented on board didn’t work. The Stewart never brought ice except for early room cleaning. I called once and was told my steward was off duty it was 5pm. I had to chase down a steward every evening to get additional ice. Also as we were getting to leave ship since I am in a wheelchair I called to ask when do I proceed to disembark. I was told to listen for call for assisted disembarking so I waited in room. Them two stewards told me to leave I was in their way I told them I was waiting to be called. Then I got a call telling me I was hendering the stewards I explained I had called and they told me to just go to deck 3. I finally did get off but felt like I had done something wrong by waiting for the call to proceed. I didn’t feel like a special guest even if I did have a first class room. NEVER PREPAY FOR SPA SERVICES IT MORE HASSLE THAN ITS WORTH!!!! Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
We choose this cruise to celebrate our 50th anniversary. When we booked we told your booking we would be celebrating but nothing was mentioned or celebrated by staff during the cruise - quite disappointing. On the cruise we mentioned to ... Read More
We choose this cruise to celebrate our 50th anniversary. When we booked we told your booking we would be celebrating but nothing was mentioned or celebrated by staff during the cruise - quite disappointing. On the cruise we mentioned to numerous staff that this was our anniversary cruise and still nothing was acknowledged. We did not expect fireworks or a brass band but did expect some acknowledgement from the cruise line. The embarkation was chaotic at best - line up was unbelievable and because there was only one individual checking boarding passes it did not move very smoothly - there were two rows but only one used due to the lack of staff. Once in the building it was just as crowded and we found it difficult to find the priority boarding location for Platinum guests. On board we enjoyed the ship and many of the activities. The shows in the theatre were extremely good except for the comedian - his routing was not funny or enjoyable. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
Pros: Outstanding customer service from staff. Good food (except for the buffet.) Didn't have to wait for a table for my time dining. Quality drinks and bars were great! Rowdy crowd but there were still a couple of quiet places on ... Read More
Pros: Outstanding customer service from staff. Good food (except for the buffet.) Didn't have to wait for a table for my time dining. Quality drinks and bars were great! Rowdy crowd but there were still a couple of quiet places on deck for people who were looking for a quieter, more relaxing experience. Good water and pressure in the shower. New Orleans show was great! Liked the onboard shopping. Customer service in the spa and spa treatments were excellent. Excursions were wonderful. Cons: The best restaurants closed early and weren't even open for dinner (like Blue Iguana closing at 3:30pm!) Dining room dinner service was slow. Ship is showing its age with rust and other damage here and there. Decor in some areas is nice but tacky in others. No fridge in cabin. Only one nightstand next to bed, and second person had to climb onto bed from the bottom - not enough room next to the bed to get in the easy way. Bed was hard. Muster drill was slow and involved standing outdoors in the blaring heat. Buffet was very disappointing. Most of the entertainment didn't appeal to us. No packages available to save money on photos. Getting off the ship was very disorganized and inefficient with a line a mile long. They should have staggered it more instead of forcing everyone off so early just to wait in line. Purchased liquor was not delivered to room - had to pick up the morning leaving during all of the chaos. Lido deck was swarmed with party animals and noise, but we found other places to relax after we got our drinks at the bars. Elevator problems on first day, which was a major issue for my disabled husband. Verdict: A land based casino comped us this cruise, and having had the Triumph experience I would go again if comped but I would not pay. I would pay more to travel on a different line. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
I didn't enjoy this cruise quite as much as my last one on the Carnival Freedom that I took with my mother. Part of it may have been the company since I went on this one with my husband who is kind of standoffish (this was his first ... Read More
I didn't enjoy this cruise quite as much as my last one on the Carnival Freedom that I took with my mother. Part of it may have been the company since I went on this one with my husband who is kind of standoffish (this was his first cruise) and he insisted on spending most of the time in the cabin on sea days. The wait staff in the Scarlet dining room were very attentive but obviously overworked. Our wait team (Emilio, Nemesio, Milan) seemed to be covering 10-15 tables. Most nights the food in the main dining room was pretty good but not excellent. The wait staff seems to only have time to pour water (sometimes sans ice) and didn't have time to offer tea. We would occasionally ask for coffee and they would bring some. One night we didn't even get bread. Our waiters were among the friendliest faces on the ship and were trying hard to keep up so we didn't really mind. Our steward Devon was pleasant but we didn't see him often. He did keep up with the room well. We had a problem with the shower in the room which we failed to report- it would flood through the overflow vent before the shower bottom was full. I meant to mention it so it would be fixed for the next guests but forgot. We bought 7 day passes to the spa and used their showers which are much nicer. The spa passes are well worth it if you want to get away from the crowds. The food and service at the steakhouse was awesome. Made it hard to go back to the main dining room after eating there. The lido breakfast buffet was not very good so we took to eating breakfast or brunch in the main dining room. Pig and Anchor restaurant and Guys burgers were good lunch spots. Bonsai sushi was good as well. Went to a couple of PG comedy shows, one was pretty good (with Kim Harrison) but the one with Manny Oliviera was a waste of time. It seemed like he didn't have any PG material so he just walked a kid through the audience and had her guess people's ages and occupations. Casino was tight but they certainly were generous with the drinks. The spa staff was very friendly and helpful. One thing that surprised me was that we were treated rather poorly at the tasting bar. We only stopped by once and the girl serving walked away so we waited on another server who gave us tortilla soup and pork with a toothpick as the only eating utensil. He never said a word. It was strange. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
This was our fourth NCL cruise. Compared to our first it just didn't measure up. Even allowing for the fact that the Dawn is one of their older ships (launched in 2002). The crew was great. NCL does seem to maintain a high level ... Read More
This was our fourth NCL cruise. Compared to our first it just didn't measure up. Even allowing for the fact that the Dawn is one of their older ships (launched in 2002). The crew was great. NCL does seem to maintain a high level of service from their stewards and wait staff in particular, but even others that are encountered from time to time are very friendly and helpful. The wait staff tries to be accommodating, and the stewards do a good job making you as comfortable as possible. For example, ours got us an extra mattress pad because the mattress was too firm. The food has definitely declined from the time since our first NCL cruise about 5 years ago. How about Peking Duck with almost no duck in it? Or an Italian sausage and pasta dish with almost no sausage in it? And the meals themselves are not consistent. Sometimes they are really good, and other times they are bland and lifeless. The buffet also has gone down in quality, in my opinion. Now if you want a good meal you must go to the dining rooms. Before the buffet was an adequate substitute but no longer. And don't even get me started on the very sad breakfast (I mean, c'mon, how boring is a week of eggs, bacon, pancakes, potatoes and fruit? Even Denny's has more selection than that!). It's a better in the dining rooms, but the buffet breakfast was really depressing after the same choices every day for a week. The only bright spot was when one of the staff came around with a tray of ensaymadas. At least they were something different (and reasonably tasty!). Also, on this particular itinerary don't believe the "Belize" stop. It's not really Belize. It's Harvest Caye, which may be in the territorial waters of Belize, but has been made-over into a very sanitized and antiseptic version of Belize. The only way to experience Belize it to take one of NCL's excursions. Compare that to Cozumel (for example) where you can just get off the ship and wander around Cozumel. Not an option in Harvest Caye. You either buy one of their excursions or you are confined to the Caye for the duration of that stop. To be fair, some folks may actually like that. If all you want to do is sit on a decent beach and get sunburned, Harvest Caye will do for you. It's clean, there is food and drink available, and it's quite safe. The water was a bit murky, though, and when in waist-deep water I could not see my feet on the bottom. Not sure why. It wasn't dirty, it just wasn't clear (unlike Roatan or Cozumel or Costa Maya which were all VERY clear). The entertainment was overall pretty good. The magician only seemed to know three tricks, and everything he did was a variation of one of those (e.g. woman disappears, woman floats, woman cut in half or in a box with steel blades run through it). He dressed them up differently each time, but that's in essence what they were. The musical/dance shows were better, as was the comedy (Second City!!). They also had fun with the usual passenger participation shows (e.g. Not-So-Newly Wed Game). Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
The first thing we noticed was that all glass surfaces, external and internal windows, bannister dividers, etc., were filthy. We had an ocean view cabin on Deck 1, and that window even that had smeared blood on the inside surface (how the ... Read More
The first thing we noticed was that all glass surfaces, external and internal windows, bannister dividers, etc., were filthy. We had an ocean view cabin on Deck 1, and that window even that had smeared blood on the inside surface (how the heck does that happen?). I know it's hard to keep glass surfaces that are exposed to the ocean clean...but, it appeared there had been no effort whatsoever to try...and, there is no excuse for inside windows or other glass surfaces to be that grungy. The shower water temperature was extremely difficult to control. One had to constantly manipulate the temperature via the handle to avoid being scalded or frozen - extremely inconvenient. Plus, the water pressure was such that it almost felt like someone was urinating on your back rather than taking an invigorating shower. WiFi internet service was available...but, only on a PER DEVICE basis. So, if you wanted to have access to your email on your phone, that was $48 to get decent speeds...and, if you also wanted to get email on a laptop, for example, that was an additional $48...wife's phone, another $48. All of this rather than $48 per cabin, as it probably should have been. We were fortunate to have pretty good weather, so the motion of the ocean was barely noticeable. The ship seemed very stable and there were times we could hardly tell we were moving it was so smooth. Even though we were just forward of the aft section, almost to midships, and on Deck 1, it was fairly quiet most of the time. There were times that we could hear and feel the rumble of the engines...but, for the most part, not bad at all. On the return to New Orleans after we entered the mouth of the Mississippi, we experienced a very hard turn to starboard by the ship. I jumped out of bed and looked out the window (we were on the port side of the ship) and was shocked to see a large tanker about 100 yards away. Apparently, the hard turn to the right was an evasive maneuver to prevent a collision. With all of the technology available today used for ship navigation, I am still shocked that the captain allowed the Triumph to get that close to the tanker. The food in the London dining room was also uninspiring. If the 3 meals we ate there, two were wholly unsatisfactory. One evening I had the chicken and the other I had prime rib. The chicken was flavorless and gristly. The prime rib was also quite flavorless. I'm not a picky eater...but, I was unimpressed on the whole. Other meals were at the Lido buffet which was somewhat better. The burgers at Guy's were outstanding. The staff was one of the best parts. Our cabin attendant was very attentive to needs and addressed us by name. The London dining room staff were also attentive and called us by name. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
If you’re thinking of taking the Carnival Dream for a spin, you’re reading the right review! My wife and I have taken two cruises on the Dream (both before and after it was dry-docked and remodeled), and hopefully we can all glean some ... Read More
If you’re thinking of taking the Carnival Dream for a spin, you’re reading the right review! My wife and I have taken two cruises on the Dream (both before and after it was dry-docked and remodeled), and hopefully we can all glean some insight together and help YOU decide if the Dream is a good fit for you. So, without further adieu, here are “10 Things You Should Know Before Cruising the Carnival Dream”. *WARNING—This review is long and detailed. But in the end, at least you can say you were informed. 1. Embarking Is A Flippin’ Nightmare On both our cruises, my wife and I ported out of New Orleans, LA which was both awesome and not-so-much at the same time. It was great being in New Orleans, but our second time there was right at the beginning of both Mardi Gras and the NBA Playoffs, so you can imagine how much fun the traffic was. For both trips we booked a hotel to stay the night before that offered a shuttle bus to the cruise terminal. This is something you’ll want to do as well. Why? The Carnival Dream holds a little over 3,600 guests at full capacity. So while there are 3,600 of us trying to get on, there are also 3,600 people try to get off at.the.same.time. The line of cars to get to the cruise terminal sat gridlocked for about six or seven blocks, so taking the hotel shuttle let us bypass that and get right up to the terminal entrance. But, that wasn’t just a whole lot better, as now there are some 7,000 people standing in lines, crisscrossing paths while carrying a week’s worth of luggage for each person. If you get the option (even if you have to pay for it) to get express entry into the terminal, for the love of God take it. If not, you’ll be doomed to spend hours in line outside toting fifty pounds of luggage just trying to get through the door. Be sure and have your photo ID, birth certificate (or passport), and printed off cruise pass in your hand at all times (while also toting your carry-on luggage), as you’ll be asked for it about five times just trying to get through all the different checkpoints inside the terminal. Then it’s on to the x-ray machines and bag searches before you’re finally let in to the main room to wait some more. You’ll have to go through yet another checkpoint (where you have to show your paperwork, because apparently the first four employees didn’t check it well enough) and there you’ll get your official Carnival cruise card (room key and onboard money card) and then you’re off to be herded like cattle, sitting and waiting, sometimes for over an hour or longer, before you’re called onto the ship. Once your group is called, you’re rushed like maniacs (with all your carry-on luggage and in our case a toddler who refused to ride in his stroller which I was then dragging behind me) through an inclined corridor about the length of a football field leading into the ship. Once you finally get on the ship, you’re taken aback by its beauty and gargantuan size, but your joy only lasts a moment as you realize that you’re not allowed to go to your cabin for about four hours while the crew finishes up cleaning from the last batch of people who just got off. By this time your back, arms, and legs are killing you from hauling around four overnight bags and that extra duffel of nothing but shoes your wife just had to bring, so you’re relieved to find out they are at least serving lunch. When you finally get to go to your room, you’re absolutely exhausted, cranky, and only keeping a smile on your face because the ship’s starting to move and you know you’re on your way to a week’s worth of sun, palm trees, tiki drinks, and relaxation. 2. The Food Is “Meh” At Best When my wife and I booked our first cruise, we were so looking forward to the midnight buffets, exotic cuisines, and all the glorious fare we’d been told came with going on a cruise. What we found out once onboard was that there were major ups and downs to what was offered. The breakfast is good—just about anything you could want (except biscuits and gravy, and being from the South this was a letdown for me), but since they serve the exact same things every single morning, we got bored with it quickly. They have different types of foods on different days on the buffet. Some days it’s American, or Jamaican/Caribbean inspired dishes. There are several onboard restaurants like the Guy’s Burger Joint (which is arguably the best food on the boat), there’s the Pig & Anchor barbecue bar, pizzeria, sandwich shop, Italian, and even Indian food (hope you like spicy curry!). The formal dinners in the evenings are okay, but if you aren’t an adventurous eater you might not like most of what they have to offer. Even simple dishes like pork chops or fried chicken are made in such a way that is just, well… different. In fact, most of the food on the ship tastes different. Don’t go to the buffet thinking you’re getting Golden Corral, or you’ll be disappointed. Every dessert we had was nearly inedible, with the exception of the Carnival Melting Cake which is only offered during the formal dinners and the fresh fruit and ice cream. In addition to the food quality, there will be lines to every restaurant and food bar that you will have to endure. And the better eating joints will have the longest lines. Even at the formal dinner there is a lot of waiting. Though you’re being served like a five-star restaurant, most dinners include about four different courses, and there was at least a 15-20 minute wait between each course, meaning the formal dinner usually lasted 75-90 minutes and if you are on the second dinner shift sometimes this will cause you to miss out on certain shows or other night life affairs. A final point about the restaurants that should be mentioned is the closing times. Most of the restaurants, and even the buffet close about 9pm. Which sucks, because if you come out of the midnight comedy show or stumble out of the nightclub looking to counteract the alcohol in your gut with something nice and filling, you’ll be sorely disappointed as the only places that stay open are the sandwich shop and pizzeria. Everything else is locked up tight until breakfast the next morning. Now, onto the drinks. You can order Carnival’s “Bottomless Bubbles” package and get all the canned soft drinks you want. The only problem is that it’s $42 per adult/per day (for a 7-day cruise) and everyone listed in your cabin must all have the Bubbles package for anyone in your party to be eligible. Which means that if you and your partner plus two children are on the cruise, the Bubbles package will end up costing you about $150, just for canned sodas. If you choose to not get the Bubbles package, Carnival offers an “amazing array” of free drinks like water (that takes like it’s being held in a big plastic tank somewhere in the hull of the ship), unsweet tea (which is made from powder and has some kind of nasty fruity aftertaste), and lemonade which will flare up heartburn quicker than you can say, “Mylanta”. As for the alcoholic drinks, they are quite expensive (mixed drinks range from about $10-20 each) and most are so watered down you’d have to order them in bulk to catch a good buzz. The most affordable way to get “feeling right” is to order their beer bucket special, which clocks in at $25.00 for four longnecks in a bucket of ice. Like the soda, Carnival offers a Cheers! drink package for alcohol, but you’d have to drink like a German all week to make it worth it. To get the pass is $54.95 per person, per day plus a 15% gratuity. So if you and your partner decided to get the all-access pass to Drunkville, you’re looking at a pricey $884.80 for the week. (Where’s the free lemonade machine at again??) 3. People, People EVERYWHERE One thing I didn’t expect before we cruised the first time was how overcrowded the ship would be. Mind you, the Dream is absolutely massive. But when you’ve got upwards of 5,000 people on a ship (counting passengers and crew) it gets stuffy very quickly. Everywhere you go is another line—breakfast, lunch, dinner, shows, onboard games and activities, bars, and if you get stuck in the line for guest services, I pity your soul. After dinner is when the ship really livens up with parties, clubs, shows, etc.—which means everybody’s pretty much on the Promenade Deck together at one time since most the entertainment, shopping, and clubs are all on the same deck. Wonderful planning guys. The Dream is over a thousand feet long, and some 16 stories high. Now, I’m no cruise ship designer, but I think even I could probably do better than that. Port days are frustrating because everyone is trying to get off the ship at the same time, and back on that afternoon. And once again there’s checkpoints, x-ray scanners, and more to deal with so it’s kind of like embarkation day all over again, just on a smaller scale. The pools and hot tubs are almost always constantly full, especially if you’re unlucky enough to go during school breaks when the ship is absolutely overrun with kids and teenagers. And don’t get me started on the elevators. One ginormous ship… 5,000 people… 16 elevators. Yeah… it didn’t make sense to me either. It also means that most times you’ll either concede to stand there 10-15 minutes or more waiting for an available elevator, or take your chances hiking up thirteen flights of stairs to one of the main decks in your high heels or bucket of beer in tow. 4. The Entertainment Is Entertaining… Mostly One of the good things about the Carnival Dream both times we’ve gone is that there’s hardly a dull moment. There is always something going on, and there are things for every age and personality type. The Punchliner Comedy show was a hoot every time we went, there is a live music/dancing show, clubs for adults and teens, casino, piano bar, arcade for the kids. Just understand that these aren’t Broadway performers. Don’t get me wrong, they’re pretty good, but don’t go expecting to see award-winning performances, unless you happen to book a cruise with a celebrity music act. The dance clubs are okay, but not very active. The times we went there were only maybe 20-25 people inside, most of them sitting back sipping cocktails and watching the four of five drunks on dance floor. The piano bar was cool, if you like getting hammered and belting out Elton John’s Tiny Dancer at the top of your lungs. There’s an onboard art exhibit where you can buy paintings for upwards of $50,000—$100,000 if you just absolutely have nothing better to spend your money on. And there are a few shops onboard like a jewelry store, candy shop, and souvenirs. My advice? Save your money for port days. My $12 Carnival mug literally fell apart in my hands less than a month after getting it home. 5. The Truth About Porting On our first cruise, we stopped in Honduras, Belize, and Cozumel. After you go through the pandemonium getting off the ship, you’re met in every port with an outdoor shopping area full of cool little local shops, jewelry stores, and theme restaurants in what the cruise line calls “The Safe Zone”. You are allowed out of the Safe Zone, and can venture into the country, but it’s not recommended. Since my wife and I weren’t about to spend $300+ dollars to scuba dive or swim with dolphins and get stung by jellyfish, we decided to take cab and horse and buggy rides through the city. It was a little unnerving being that far away from the boat, since the Cruise Director is quick to tell you that if you are not back by the time the ship is scheduled to leave, they will leave you behind. Well, that and we had the cab stop at a gas station in Honduras so a couple people riding with us could get some lunch, and all of a sudden a crew of police officers with machine guns strapped to their hips (no, I’m not kidding) surrounded the store like something was about to go down. I was offered “ganja” in Belize (which I turned down—a. because my job does random drug tests, and b. there was a Belizean police officer no more than fifty feet away and I didn’t feel like being the next episode of Locked Up Abroad) and during our horse and buggy ride in Cozumel, the driver took us downtown where people stood on the sides of the roads watching us, so when he started slowing down I instinctively put my hand on my wallet. It was a good time though. If you’re looking to go to the beach, the experience will differ depending on which port you’re at. Some will have free accessible beaches—which means they’ll be packed because not only are there people from your ship there, there’s also three or four other cruise companies there and so the whole port, beach, stores, all of it is being overrun by some 15,000—20,000 people. Most ports have beaches where you have to pay to swim, but even those sometimes are overcrowded. Just a side note though… stay away from the hot dog vendors in Belize. Sure they have $2 draft beer… but it’s hardly worth the gastrointestinal showstopper you’ll endure later that night. Take it from someone who knows. 6. The Cabins Are Comfy But Cozy So after you’ve had your long, adventurous day at port, getting sunburned and body-cavity searched by the Jamaican Port Authority, you’re ready to get back on the ship, go to your cabin and relax. On our first cruise, my wife and I got the cheap room—an interior stateroom on the next to bottom deck of the ship. They are small, but adequate. Beds are comfortable enough, just don’t expect pillow-top mattresses. The bathrooms are tiny, so if you’re a big guy like me, taking a shower in the casket-sized stall will be a challenge. There’s plenty of storage, a makeup vanity, and a TV that gets about 4 channels (besides the Carnival infomercial programming). I took a small fan with me, because even though the room stayed cool, being in that small of a space made me feel like I was sleeping in a fallout shelter and I needed some noise to keep me from feeling claustrophobic. Don’t judge me. I’m sure you have your quirks too… The second time around, we opted for the porthole room, which was great. It was bigger, and slept more people, and had a nice ocean view right behind the bed. Before our second cruise, I would tell people, “The interior room’s good enough. You won’t spend much time in there anyway”. Which is true, but after I experienced the bigger room with a view, I couldn’t go back to the bomb shelter. 7. Don’t, I Repeat, DON’T Take Small Children Our first time on the Dream, my wife and I went by ourselves. It was the Honeymoon we never had when we got married. We had a blast and were talking about booking the next cruise before we even left New Orleans the following Sunday morning. But somewhere along the way, we thought it would be the grandest idea to take the kids along. And besides the time I bleached my hair blonde in high school because Eminem was cool and I wanted to be “cool” too, this was the biggest mistake of my life. Yes, the Carnival Dream does have lots of activities for all age groups, so during the day it wasn’t a problem. But the Dream is also geared more toward adult fun—bars, parties, clubs, raunchy comedy, etc. at night when everything comes alive. The problem is that you can’t party, relax, or even attend most of these activities due to age restrictions, so you’ve got one of two choices—do something lame like watch Pirates of the Caribbean at the Poolside Theater and eat cheese fries every night, or take your kids to Camp Ocean (Carnival’s babysitting service) for a hefty hourly fee. To make matters worse, we took our then 13 month old son along since my wife refused to leave him with family for a week, and in the end, with the exception of one night (out of six that we were onboard) we sat around doing the same thing we do at home—watching movies and corralling a toddler who’s just learned to walk. Only now I’ve been out close to three grand to do it. Our 11-year-old got bored all the time, because there weren’t enough things with a screen to plug in and play, so she singlehandedly cost me about $150 just in Camp Ocean fees. And our sixteen year old made some new friends so we didn’t see much of her, which wasn’t a problem until we wake up at 3am and she’s not in the room, so now we have to go searching this monstrosity of ship to find her. Yeah… that didn’t end well. After that little experience, my wife and I decided that next time, everybody but us is going to Grandma’s for the week. 8. D-Day (Debarkation Day) Much like embarkation day, debarkation day is pure pandemonium. It’s pretty much the same hellish encounter you experience the first day, only in reverse, and this time you have to go through the hassle of U.S. Customs (ugh…). Here you’ve been pampered, waited on hand and foot, haven’t done laundry, dishes, or even had to make your own bed in a week and now you’re waking up at 5am in the morning, pulling the 72 luggage cases out of the closets and heading down to leave the ship around 7am that morning—oh, and everybody else is doing the exact same thing. After you’ve pulled your 72 luggage cases back down the forever-long corridor, been looked over and checked thoroughly by Customs Agents to make sure you don’t have any wacky weed shoved in any ungodly places, and fought the crowds not only getting off the boat but all the folks now trying to get on for their cruise, you call your hotel shuttle, and wait an eternity for them to show up, all while lugging all your bags, your kids, and all the random crap you bought at port. And the funny thing is that when you get home, you look back on the experience and think, “Man that was an amazing time. We can’t wait to go again!” You forget all about the issues, the problems, the people. But you do remember sitting on the back of the ship looking out into the deep blue nothing with the sea breeze in your hair and that little pink fruity drink in your hand. I guess that’s why we’ve already booked Cruise #3. And just for kicks, we’ll probably take it on the Dream again. Who knows… maybe we’ll see you there. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
The service on the ship was friendly and top notch. The staff are problem solvers - excellent customer service, everywhere. The cabin (9700 with a balcony) was comfortable in size and decor. Shower is a good size and toilet has a ... Read More
The service on the ship was friendly and top notch. The staff are problem solvers - excellent customer service, everywhere. The cabin (9700 with a balcony) was comfortable in size and decor. Shower is a good size and toilet has a separate glass door. Plenty of closet and drawer space. Food in the main dining rooms and al a carte restaurants was excellent. Great choices and all delicious. Service is also excellent. The food in the al a carte restaurants in reasonably priced if you do not have an upgraded dining package but are looking for something different. The food in the buffet is fine - nothing special, but certainly good enough for breakfast. My big complaint about the ship was the small public spaces. Hard to find a comfortable place to sit and enjoy friends and / or music. Entertainment on board is mediocre. Not bad, just not that exciting. The crowd out of New Orleans was quite old and not urban. Relaxed - friendly enough. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
I'd taken 4 cruises on Royal Carib in a previous lifetime, so I wanted to mix things up. I enjoyed sailing out of New Orleans on RC, and this NCL cruise fit the bill. I'd book an oceanview room, but when the upsell for family ... Read More
I'd taken 4 cruises on Royal Carib in a previous lifetime, so I wanted to mix things up. I enjoyed sailing out of New Orleans on RC, and this NCL cruise fit the bill. I'd book an oceanview room, but when the upsell for family suite came up, well, that was a no-brainer. 400sf instead of 150sf made ship life so much more enjoyable. The first thing I noticed is that, IMO, and this is an estimate, 3 out of 4 passenger-facing crew members really don't like working there. My room steward was great, and the butler that came (unexpectedly) with the family suite was as well, but just about every waiter, buffet attendant, and bartender seemed miserable. But, that's not going to ruin my trip, just something to expect and not be surprised by. I enjoy karaoke, but the gal running that seemed insincere, and the ship's DJ turned trivia into a 12-min event...thanks for wasting my time, I could have gone to another event. Good thing there's booze and bands always playing....they were all great. The shows were ok, talent is there, but the productions were weak. The highlights of the week are the 3 Second City shows. The food is a big negative on the Dawn. We got 3 meal upgrades (Moderno and Cagney's were excellent, Teppanyaki was awful). Aqua and Venetian were less than average. It seems that anything complimentary (included) was average to poor, except for the Garden Cafe buffet....with so many choices, you'll find something you like. *** Note: If you buy upgraded dinners, do not reserve on the final night, as the Garden Cafe pulls out all the stops on the last night, so it's worth the trip to take that night for free. *** Bamboo was bad, Moderno for lunch, everything was cold. OSheehans was above average, but selection is limited. Two of the four ports were what I call fake places. Cozumel and Roatan are real places, plenty to do and see, but Harvest Caye is a beach playground owned by NCL (enjoy the downtime and take a swim), and Costa Maya is a strip mall with a dolphin exhibit; sit by the pool and have a cerveza. Hope off the boat, walk around, chill, you're on vacation. But, like I said, you make the most of it, find what works for you, and have a great trip. I found that all 4 RC cruises were superior to this one, so I think I will be returning to those or trying another line, just to keep it fresh. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
Chose Carnival Cruise based upon itinerary, ports of call & lower price. Boarding process is a bit chaotic unless you have VIP early entry (which we did). Ship was beautiful; staff was helpful/friendly. Cloud 9 Spa Suite was ... Read More
Chose Carnival Cruise based upon itinerary, ports of call & lower price. Boarding process is a bit chaotic unless you have VIP early entry (which we did). Ship was beautiful; staff was helpful/friendly. Cloud 9 Spa Suite was spacious but not worth premium price. Robes in room were dirty w/rust spots & our feet did not fit into one-size-fits-all slippers. The Spa steam rooms and elevator were out of order (boo, which is why we paid for the spa suite). Spa Suite also included exercise classes but you had to enroll on port days, so I chose to visit Roatan and Tulum over doing yoga and pilates on the ship. Received minor burn injury during an Ionithermie spa therapy session (don't waste your money). Couples massage, ship activities, entertainment & food were great. My favorite onboard activity was purchasing dinner at the Chef's Table. Hands down best food experience ever - 9 course meal in the kitchen with the Head Chef and Staff (fully plated dinner for 12) with a tour of the kitchen and how to make 60 gallons of soup for about 6,000 people The Chef's Table dinner lasted 3 hours with continual food and constant flow of wine and champagne. We also enjoyed the art gallery and purchased some number one oil on canvas paintings of our favorite artists. Activities on sea days were abundant and fun, as we did everything from salsa and line dancing to learning to make towel animals. Theme nights were great - who doesn't love to dress up once in awhile? We did NOT purchase the drink package and saved about $600. We had about 3 drinks per day, not including the champagne and bottle of wine that we were allowed to bring onboard. The drink packages are ridiculously high and endless alcohol consumption is extremely high in calories (not to mention the endless buffet and eating options. Do your wallet a favor and just stick to a few drinks per day - you will still be happy. Please note that the drink packages DO NOT include specialty things like the Martini Flight. We purchased that separately and it was $50 before gratuity. BTW, we loved the Martini Flight (Spicy Pineapple Martini was our fav) and it was worth every cent. We opted to purchase excursions from an outside source, Ecological Tours & Services (not Carnival) & saved tons of money; also avoided crowds. We zip lined the jungle, road horses on the beach and snorkeled in Roatan. Bypassed all of the touristy Diamonds International stuff on Belize and hopped on a 15 minute flight on a private aircraft to Ambergris Caye, San Pedro - La Isla Bonita (are you singing the song yet?) It was a beautiful flight over turquoise water and coral. We rented a golf cart, grabbed a map and headed to the east end of the island. We had the beach and bar to ourselves and a local dude with his charcoal grill, became our private chef for the afternoon (grilled lobster, oysters, rice and beans). Our last excursion was the tour of Tulum on Cozumel. I liked the itinerary and would likely choose another similar exotic cruise. Carnival is economical as long as you don't buy their excursions or give in to the cruise atmosphere of spend all your money here. Just say no, they will still be nice! Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
This was our 2nd cruise on the Triumph out of New Orleans. They have made good upgrades since our first cruise onboard in February, 2010. We wanted a cruise to celebrate our 47th anniversary and chose this one. Our cabin steward Armon ... Read More
This was our 2nd cruise on the Triumph out of New Orleans. They have made good upgrades since our first cruise onboard in February, 2010. We wanted a cruise to celebrate our 47th anniversary and chose this one. Our cabin steward Armon was great and kept our cabin clean and the ice bucket full. It seems that Carnival has has cut back on cabin stewards as all cruisers had to choose from morning or evening cabin make up. We chose morning and when we returned after breakfast out cabin was ready for us. I made a larger makeshift ice bucket, one which held more than one item and it was always full of ice for the beer, wine and soft drinks. Our dining room crew, Rocky, George and Ramon did a wonderful job of looking after us. We did enjoy talking to Ramesh, the maitre'd each time we were in the dining room. He took time to chat with us. Most of the meals were what we have become accustomed to on Carnival ships. The first time I ordered the prime rib it was 1/2 inch thick, cool and tough. I checked with Rocky on the last night to see if I could get a hot and tender prime rib dinner and he assured me I would. It came on a heated plate and was hot and tender. I was disappointed that it was only about 1/4 inch thick. We did have 2 other disappointments. Carnival gave us 2 'gifts' for our anniversary. A $50 spa 'gift' and a voucher for a free 4 X 6 picture. My wife went to use the spa certificate and she was told she had to buy the $149 spa package to get $50 off. In other words the gift would have cost $99 or $127 Canadian. We opted to have our picture taken on elegant night and when we went to choose a proof we were told that those pictures did not qualify for the free picture. We mentioned both of these 'gifts' at breakfast and other cruisers could not believe Carnival would do that type of 'gift' to past guests. I have phoned Carnival and I might be able to get a bon voyage gift on our next sailing to placate us. To end on a positive note our balcony cabin and the crew were great. As usual we spent the majority of the time on our balcony enjoying listening to the ocean, reading and doing crosswords. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
I scheduled this trip for our 30 year anniversary. I think it is time carnival retires this ship. The crew does it's best to keep you having fun and comfortable, great job, but the ship is way too old. There was rust in the ... Read More
I scheduled this trip for our 30 year anniversary. I think it is time carnival retires this ship. The crew does it's best to keep you having fun and comfortable, great job, but the ship is way too old. There was rust in the bathrooms, outdated furniture, ceiling tiles falling apart and pool tiles failing. This biggest sign that it has met it's time, there was a huge crack in one of the dining room windows, and do not sit in the AFT to get sun as the ship was spraying oil or something from the smoke stack. Sometimes Carnival has to put ships that have done there duty out to pasture. I have to give 100% favorable rating to the crew though, they go above and beyond with what they have to make sure you are happy. Dining room food was ok nothing to write home about. If you go to Cozumel a must do is swim with the dolphins, I would pre-book for a better deal though. One last note, we took pictures with a photographer to get a reminder of the trip. Got to be crazy if they thought we would pay $1000 for a 22 page book If what you are looking for is a get away at a lower price than this is for you. No frills Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Been on several cruises with Carnival. This was the first time we ported in New Orleans. We mostly chose this venue out of convenience for us as we live in Tennessee and did not want to travel to Florida this time. We did not like this ... Read More
Been on several cruises with Carnival. This was the first time we ported in New Orleans. We mostly chose this venue out of convenience for us as we live in Tennessee and did not want to travel to Florida this time. We did not like this particular boat. There was no Serenity side. There were several small pools, which would have been nice, but they were jammed packed full of kids. The boat was older and showed wear and tear. The food didn't seem to be as good as on the other boats. The staff was great though! Loved our cabin manager. He was excellent! There didn't seem to be as many shows on board or fun things to do especially on the fun at sea days. Our shore excursions were nice. We did the Beginner Scuba at First port. I think this cruise ship would be good for families not so much for honeymooners or couples celebrating anniversary as we were. Also, the buffets were closed a lot on this cruise ship. Ive never noticed them being closed on the other ships, at least not for as long of periods. We hardly ever made it down to actually eat buffet. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
DH and I took this cruise to celebrate his semi-retirement. We drove down on Thursday and stayed at LaQuinta in Slidell then got up Friday morning to head to the port. EMBARKATION: it went fairly smoothly. Wasn't impressed with ... Read More
DH and I took this cruise to celebrate his semi-retirement. We drove down on Thursday and stayed at LaQuinta in Slidell then got up Friday morning to head to the port. EMBARKATION: it went fairly smoothly. Wasn't impressed with the staggered check-in service because apparently the workers weren't really paying attention to that. We were on the ship by 12:30. We went to Lido deck for some lunch...was able to get in our cabin by 1:30. CABIN: We originally had an ocean view cabin, but about 3 wks prior to th cruise, we decided to change to balcony. So glad we did! It was nice to be able to sit on our balcony (except when our neighbors were smoking....which is a big no-no!!). Our room steward, Dann, was awesome!! He did ask if we preferred morning service, evening or both. We chose both. DH forgot his extension cord for his c-pap machine and asked Dann if he could find us one. He brought it to our room for us!! He called us by name when he saw us in the hallway. DINING: We chose anytime dining and only went to the dining room once and that was the first elegant night. Seemed to us that the service has gone down.... We ate at other locations on the ship. We did notice that the lido deck/buffet area was dirty...dishes sitting around for long periods of time... This was a great disappointment to us...much different from past cruises... ENTERTAINMENT: CD was ok.... Again, disappointed in the entertainment staff... Very different from past cruises (this was our 5th Carnival cruise). Didn't see the cruise director except at the shows.... Seems like standards have gone down. CREW/STAFF: it was apparent that most of the crew didnt care like they should. In past cruises, if we passed a crew member in the hall, they would at least speak...the ones we saw on this one, never said a word. Our room steward was awesome, but the rest of the crew we encountered was terrible!! I truly believe that the reason is that the tips are automatic.... I've never seen crew members fratanizing with each other like I did on this cruise. One day, I went to the Vienna Cafe to ask about chocolate strawberries...the worker was talking to another crew member and seemed bothered that I even ask!! She said no strawberries that day.. I went back everyday.. The last day she was very rude to me! Then on disembarkation day when the staff needs to do a quick turnaround to get us off and the new guests on, there was a staff member at the breakfast bar that was ver ugly to me!! Let me just say, several folks we came n contact with, said this was the worst cruise as far as the staff was concerned.. SHORE EXCURSIONS: Cozumel----disappointed in this excursion...10 best of Cozumel...the tour guide was not very good at all... Costa Maya----we didn't plan an excursion...but noticed we could rent a golf cart...now that was fun!!! Roatan----- best of Roatan excursion.....very good!!! Belize---- best of Belize.... New excursion.... Very good OVERALL: We are not the type of people that will say "I will never cruise Carnival again!!" We, of course, will. Not sure we will go on the Triumph again though. We are hoping that the poor service was due to short staff, etc. we did enjoy our cruise because we don't let people's attitude affect our trip.... Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Background - This was our first cruise and we were very excited to go. Ship Information - There is not a lot to do on the ship if you don't drink or gamble. Activities - Laying out by the pool, Game shows, Name that tune, ... Read More
Background - This was our first cruise and we were very excited to go. Ship Information - There is not a lot to do on the ship if you don't drink or gamble. Activities - Laying out by the pool, Game shows, Name that tune, Dance lessons, Theater Shows. Service - The housekeeper was wonderful. His name was Rennee. Most of the time, the waiters in the main dining hall was great, though a few times they were slow. Port and Shore Excursions - We booked ahead of time with Sunset Beach (Cozamel), Club Natal (Roatan) and Golf's Key (Belize City). We had booked with Yaya Beach (Costa Maya) but that port was cancelled. They gave a refund. We loved visiting all of these places. Cabin - We had a balcony which was nice. We could step out and see the sunrise/sunset. Children's Club - no kids on the trip. Entertainment - Singers/Dancers, Magician and Second City were good. We didn't care for the acrobats. Disembarkation - The Dawn had to tender people off for Roatan and Belize. Tendering takes quite a bit of time, so I recommend waiting for the tickets 45 min to 1 hour before they are handed out. It didn't take a long time at all to leave the ship at the final port. Summary - We will probably cruise again, though it may be another ship. We loved the excursions we went on. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
My wife and I are in our mid-fifties and work demanding jobs with little time off. This was our eighth cruise and our fifth on Carnival. We chose this cruise because it fit our vacation dates and New Orleans was a relatively convenient ... Read More
My wife and I are in our mid-fifties and work demanding jobs with little time off. This was our eighth cruise and our fifth on Carnival. We chose this cruise because it fit our vacation dates and New Orleans was a relatively convenient port to which we could drive. We spent the previous night at the Best Western on St. Charles. The rate was extremely competitive and the hotel has free, on site parking. The hotel is convenient to the St. Charles streetcar line and we had fabulous happy hour oysters at the Superior seafood restaurant for 50 cents each. Also enjoyed a cocktail at the beautiful Columns Hotel across the street and late night beers at the Sovereign Pub. The breakfast was excellent and the staff very friendly. We will stay here again and recommend it. On cruise day, we parked at the Fulton Street garage using their inexpensive rooftop cruise passenger option. They took our luggage to the ground floor where we met our shuttle. No waiting and we will muse this service if we cruise out of New Orleans again. Embarkation was smooth. We waited for over an hour in the waiting lounge but only because we were a bit early. We were in boarding group four and they moved throughout the groups promptly. Our cabin was not yet ready but we beat the crowd to the Lido for lunch. The ship pleased us. We have previously sailed on sister ships Fascination and Paradise so there were no surprises on Elation. If you wanted to look for worn carpet or small areas of corrosion outside, you could find it but we enjoyed the art deco ambience and on going cleaning and maintenance was always evident. The sail away from New Orleans was interesting due to the initial part of the voyage being on the Mississippi River. It was chilly and rainy so we quickly moved indoors and enjoyed the Taste Bar. We again chose an inside cabin on the Upper Deck. The fare was extremely economical and we like the cave-like darkness for sleeping and day napping. Sure, the cabins are dated with tiled bathrooms that look like they are out of a sixties motel and an old, tube type TV. Also, the immoveable life vest cabinet in the corner made it impossible to walk around to the far side of the bed. Still, it was comfortable, had plenty of storage space for two and the shower was large. Our cabin steward, Rosella, was a joy to chat with and kept the room in great shape. We took all of our dinners in the MDR and were underwhelmed. I guess we booked too late because we were stuck with late dining and could not change it. Our table for six was right in the middle of four large, round ten tops. There was only one other couple at our table and they were a delight. Had there been six at the table, it would have been extremely tight and uncomfortable. I felt badly for our excellent service team having to work in such a confined area. The food was only okay. The beef dishes did not have great quality and the seafood dishes were worse. The real highlight of dinner was the always excellent escargot. Brunch and MDR breakfast were much better and really the dining highlight. The steak and eggs featured the best beef we had and the service was always top notch. Typically, we do not eat on the Lido but since this ship has no Guy's Burgers, we tried the deli and the wok place and they were both good. The pizza was not up to the standard of other Carnival ships. We this was third trip to Cozumel in the last eighteen months so we didn't plan anything. After an excellent MDR breakfast, we strolled off the ship for some duty free booze and returned to enjoy the empty ship. The Serenity area was crowded on sea days but wide open in port. Because of our late dining, we found it difficult to see shows. I made it to one late comedy show and it was okay. There were two guitarist and we enjoyed both of them and we especially liked the U-Turn band. With no Alchemy bar, we pretty much spread our bar patronage around the ship. We purchased the Cheers package and found it to be a good value. On our return to New Orleans from Cozumel, we ran into a fast moving cold front. The ship was up against 50 knot winds and 20 foot seas. The ship slowed to eight knots and our progress was slow. My wife spent the day sleeping and most passengers out and about were mostly just reading. Obviously, Carnival has no control over the weather and I applaud the Captain and crew for their skill. Still, it was like a lost day of vacation. Because of the weather, we ended up docking about 5 hours late. Disembarkation became a fiasco. Despite clear instructions, it seemed like everyone was trying to crowd off the ship at once. Again, the crew tried to control the chaos but lots of people didn't want to listen. If this was my first cruise, I would be reluctant to try another. Between the rough seas, mediocre dinners and general chaos of disembarkation, this fell short of the relaxing vacation we have enjoyed on previous cruises. Still, I could tell the entire crew was working hard to make the best of these situations and I know this was an anomaly and still look forward to my next cruise. This was still an excellent value. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
Let me begin by saying We Stole It!!! With the above in mind it's difficult to write a bad review but we were disappointed so many times I just have to include my 2 cents. We read all the mixed reviews before we sailed so we went ... Read More
Let me begin by saying We Stole It!!! With the above in mind it's difficult to write a bad review but we were disappointed so many times I just have to include my 2 cents. We read all the mixed reviews before we sailed so we went with trepidation but again We Stole It - last minute - 4 days before sailing so off my hubby and I sailed. The bad... Embarkation was a mess. Unnecessary confusion caused by the line monitors, and it took about 1 hour to check-in. Finally we just got up and bullied our way into the check-in line. The ship is 'worn' and needs an interior refit badly. The food, regardless of venue save Cagney's, was mediocre at best. The hard selling was shocking and obnoxious even for well experienced cruisers. Norwegian misses NO opportunity to extract money from you, from charges for dining at specialty restaurants, spa usage - $200 pp per cruise, entertainment charges, internet etc. Things that are included on other cruise lines you must pay extra for on NCL. We had an outstanding cabin steward but otherwise the service was lackluster and slow with more service staff standing around than serving. The lack of U.S. style 110V outlets in the cabins is absurd! No converter plugs available on the ship. Face it Norwegian your customers are Americans not Europeans - invest in converters or warn your passengers. On our particular cruise the incessant playing of "the game" was obnoxious. We did sail during NFL playoffs so some football was to be expected but most every entertainment venue was transformed into a football party at all hours and it was completely unacceptable and obnoxious. Save it for the sports bar and pub, not the main atrium and show bars! Now for the good... We had an amazing steward named Agosto. He was like a magic elf, keeping our cabin tidy at all times yet he was never intrusive. Each time we came back to our cabin it had been refreshed. We never left clothing lying out yet each time we opened the closet our hanging clothes were all exactly 2" apart! Though the ship is worn it was clean. Some of the shows, like Club BOTR, were entertaining but then I'm dating us. Also the Second City Comedy Show was a riot as was the Not So Newly Web Game. We never ate in the Main Dining Rooms because they smelled like hot school cafeterias. Based on reviews, we opted for the Ultimate Dining Package and ate all our dinners in the specialty restaurants. The food at Cagney's and Le Bistro was delicious. The others were unremarkable. They have a great wine selection and we thought the alcohol prices were reasonable to well priced. Try the North & South Red Blend! The duty free shop and the boutique had all the necessary sundry items including snacks and at reasonable prices. The itinerary was excellent. We loved all the ports we went to even though we had been to some before. We mixed it up between NCL arranged shore excursions and adventures we arranged ourselves. I thought the shore excursions were reasonably priced compared to other cruise lines I've been on. In closing, there were good things, a lot of mediocrity & bad things but overall we had a good time. My title "50/50" is just about how we sum up this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
I been on a number of cruises, with Carnival this one was not so great, they cabins was lacking a number of things broken and not maintained. My biggest issue was the entertainment was lacking typically you have trouble finding time to do ... Read More
I been on a number of cruises, with Carnival this one was not so great, they cabins was lacking a number of things broken and not maintained. My biggest issue was the entertainment was lacking typically you have trouble finding time to do everything this was not the case. The entertainment was so lacking you have nothing much to do, I enjoy the shows provided by Carnival, I'm not a big fan of a cruise director attempting to do standup. I think they should introduce and host a show that try to make it about them. It was a disappointment on the Entertaiment side, The high light was the steak house was outstanding know as the chief table, staff was great food was better chief made sure to talk to each table. They service at the dinning room was not the normal it was lacking very slow not one those memorable evening room dinning. I notice a number of people stopped coming as we also did it simply was not worth the effort. I would love to say I could reccomend the dream but I can't its simply in need a a shot in the arm of revamp. Broken nobs, broken lights broken elevators, broken cabinets, broken state rooms items simply to much to list. I will try another ship in 2016 as this was my first time that things had been ran down so much. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
My husband I have cruised with Carnival for 5 cruises and we have decided that it is time to try something different. Elation was our very first cruise ship so it does have some sentimental value but with that being said we probably ... Read More
My husband I have cruised with Carnival for 5 cruises and we have decided that it is time to try something different. Elation was our very first cruise ship so it does have some sentimental value but with that being said we probably won't return to it unless they give it a complete overhaul and move it to a different port of departure. The ship does have a lot of wear and tear. If you are looking for a new ship with all the bells and whistles, this one is not for you. The staff was great with a couple of exceptions. The majority of the crowd it draws is young adults looking for a good time. The vibe is hip hop and mo-town. If you like hip hop dance music with a lot of booty shaking (of every kind and not shyly I might add) then this is the cruise for you. If you are looking for the relaxing, Caribbean theme vibe from a cruise with some class...keep searching. The majority of the crowd that ship draws is young adults and young families. I have never in my life witnessed a ship full of people that were more ill mannered than this group. There was no respect for the ships property, crew or other passengers. This shows in the wear and tear of the ship and crew. I actually felt sorry for the crew. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
I'm a realist. I think there will be problems anywhere you go if you want to find them. That being said, cabin 9400 had a definite sewer smell off and on during the duration of our trip. We complained, they pretended to care. Yea, ... Read More
I'm a realist. I think there will be problems anywhere you go if you want to find them. That being said, cabin 9400 had a definite sewer smell off and on during the duration of our trip. We complained, they pretended to care. Yea, the smell woke me up in the middle of the night. Our cabin was noisy above due to placement on ship. Some staff were I k, some was terrible. Paid extra for the steakhouse and was surprised to find service that was just so so (dining room was better staff worse food) Been on a couple cruises and I feel this one stuck out as not on par with Carnival overall service. Got the impression that the staff was just putting up with us. That being said, it IS hard to put up with customers similar to what you would find at the Golden Corral. I had many can't blame them moments, but customer service is not about blaming the customer. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015

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