92 Port Canaveral (Orlando) Holiday Cruise Reviews

My wife and I took the Thanksgiving 4 day Bahamas cruise to Freeport and Nassau from Port Canaveral. Wife rides a scooter due to medical reasons. We arrived at the port around 2pm. A side note here: For all who have a scooter lift on ... Read More
My wife and I took the Thanksgiving 4 day Bahamas cruise to Freeport and Nassau from Port Canaveral. Wife rides a scooter due to medical reasons. We arrived at the port around 2pm. A side note here: For all who have a scooter lift on their vehicle, parking is FREE. It is the same at Ft. Lauderdale port as well, but easier at Port Carnival as they do not have to get a manager to come sign off on it. I think all ports in Florida allow free parking if you have a scooter lift. To be sure, check online what your port will do for it. I stress it is only for vehicles carrying a lift, and not just a disable decal hanging from your mirror. On this trip, it saved me $75 I think. I pulled up to the baggage drop off area. Very organized and quick I must say. Had a porter at my car as I pulled up. He pulled the bags out of the car. Since I already had the bags tagged due to printing them the night before, it was a breeze. I dropped my wife off with her scooter then went and parked. The regular parking garage was full at 2pm so I got put into the, what I call, the south 40 area (the other side of the exit booth for the parking). This is the 2nd time in a row I had to park there due to the time I arrived. No big deal though. Gave me a little time to walk and smoke a cig before I met back up with my wife. She had already breezed thru security/x-ray and was waiting by the elevator to the sign in area. I got thru security PDQ then met up with my wife by the elevator. Lines were not moving quickly at both security/x-ray and to get your sail & sign card. Must have been at least 100 people waiting to get checked in. Since my bride of 29 years uses a scooter to go long distances, we breezed thru both lines as they give the disabled VIP treatment plus we did a on-line check in months before the cruise so all we had to do was show our passport and we were issued our cards. After checking in, we were informed where the elevator was, and we were both on the ship within 5 min of leaving the check in counter. Cabin was M230 (main deck (deck 5) aft, port side balcony). Room was ready. We met our steward (Richard) who knew my name. He was very professional and nice. Did not miss a beat in his duties. I asked for bucket of ice to always be in the cabin, and it was. He changed it out twice a day. I had a issue with the TV in the room . He got AV department on it and they changed out the TV. Balcony was plenty big for the 2 of us. We used it a lot. Me more then her as that is where I did my relaxing and smoking from. Cabin wise, it was too small for my wife's liking. Her last 3 cabins have been either suites or disable rooms (she got spoiled). This cabin did not have a couch in it, which I truly missed. It did have 1 cushion chair with a back plus an ottoman. But I knew this months before and though I would adjust. I did, but was not truly comfortable watching TV (we spend a lot of time in the cabin). The bathroom did not have a table or good place to put the bag containing tooth brushes, etc. All that was available was a corner of the sink, but it worked. Common areas were always clean. Staff was friendly. Production shows were far and few between. They had the Brit Show and the Motor City show I think were the names. We attended both. I enjoyed them both. They have a coffee shop with some small sweet items as well for sale. I found the prices to be compatible with Starbuck, or even a little better in price. The MDR food was good. Always hot or cold as needed. I found the taste on all that I ate to be real good. The waiters (3 assigned to our table at one time) were top notch and always kept my tea glass full. They did not look like a chicken with their heads cut off in a daze. I think 3 to a table is working. We had 3 on our last 2 cruises and it looks like it is working just fine. Weather was not the best. Was a bit chilly for this Floridian on most days so I stayed away from the pool as it looked like most did (am sure that hurt the bottom line in alcohol sales). There was a meet up of Cruise Critic members for a slot pull that was arranged from the roll call page on here. There were 11-12 people that showed up. We contributed $20 each at 1 slot machine, each putting $20 bill all one after another before the 1st pull then did a set number of pulls (I forgot but it was like 12 pulls each I think) for the max money amount allowed for each pull.. After all pulled, it turned out we each lost $5 bucks (was not a good machine!!! LOL). Then we all went our separate ways....I must thank a women who I met who helped me out. THANK YOU. I never did get her name. I pulled my money from the cabin safe, but left it on safe by accident. She fronted me the $20 needed, as cards would not be used. After we were done, I went back up to the cabin and found the $20 sitting just where I left it. I brought it back and gave it to her, and all was good. We did not do any excursions (most were water related and it was too cold for my liking). Only walked off the ship to walk around the pier area and surrounding stores. It has been 20 years since we had been to Freeport. They have a few dozen junket shops at the pier. Location of the pier is in the industrial area. The shopping area on the island, I was told, is on the other side of the island, or a good taxi ride away. As my bride uses a scooter, it would be impossible for us, so we just lounged around the pier junket shops for an hour or so, then came back to the ship. Nassau was Nassau. I got to see their Navy ship tied at the pier again. I think they are close to derusting it and maybe take it out once in awhile....LOL We again just went around the pier area stores. My bride was looking for a certain type of dress and found it. She was a happy camper.... I used internet connection in Nassau from a Nassau pier area source for an hour at a cost of $10. Sat on my balcony and did my thing. Used all but 1-2 min. That is the only time I got on or cared about checking the internet Our afternoons (3 of them) were spent taking naps. Was WONDERFUL. My goal was to come on the cruise to relax. We did...:) Debarkation was a breeze. After about 1 hour from tying to the pier, they started letting zones off. We spent the waiting time at the buffet breakfast area enjoying our last ship's breakfast. All the other breakfasts were at the dining room midships where we were served and did not have to stand in line with plates for our food. I found my luggage easy enough. Got in VIP line, due to wife scooter use again, for Customs, and was outside walking to my car within 10 minutes. I had 2 bags so we just strolled to the car vice having me deal with traffic at the baggage pickup area. Then we just pulled out and away we went. Overall, the cruise met my desire of relaxation. Ship was clean. Staff was great. Food was good. I am sure there is some hit and misses with some cruises. this one was a HIT!!!! .   Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
I have cruised with Royal Caribbean and most recently Norwegian Cruise line. To say I was underwhelmed with NCL on our last cruise is an understatement. We booked on Disney because we both love the parks and know that Disney is held to a ... Read More
I have cruised with Royal Caribbean and most recently Norwegian Cruise line. To say I was underwhelmed with NCL on our last cruise is an understatement. We booked on Disney because we both love the parks and know that Disney is held to a higher standard as far as customer service is concerned. Pre-cruise info - We flew into MCO the night before our cruise and stayed at the brand new Art of Animation resort. We stayed in one of the little mermaid rooms. We thought that the whole hotel had been decorated nicely. We were satisfied with our stay. One perk about staying on Disney property is that you get picked up from the disney cruise line bus to go to port canaveral. Your bags are picked up from your room in the morning and then the next time you see them is when you are in your stateroom on the ship! Embarkation was a breeze! We got to the port around 1:30, went quickly through security, check-in and had our picture taken. I would say that this process took less than 20 min. First impressions of the ship: AMAZING everything was so beautiful... I don't think pictures can do it justice! And especially since the whole ship was decorated for Christmas! There are just no words... Disney had the ship decked to the nines with decorations... very classy and tasteful! Stateroom - we were in room 9016... great location, in the forward section of the ship. We loved our room attendant, RG. He was always smiling and always was very accommodating to anything we needed. We had a balcony which we used often. We liked that the bathroom was split so someone could take a shower, while another used the bathroom. this would be great for families. Our only complaint about the room was that the queen bed DOES NOT convert into two twin beds as on other cruises. We are two single girls traveling on the cruise and we felt as if it was strange that NONE of the beds converted. I would think that disney would want to accomodate many kinds of guests. My friend ended up sleeping on the couch bed... it was ok, she dealt with it and requested a foam mattress from housekeeping so she could sleep at night. The queen bed in the room was very comfortable and I just think that DCL should offer some rooms with twin beds. We also liked that the tv in the room had ENDLESS amounts of free on demand disney movies, shows, and other ABC shows. Not that we spent alot of time in our room but we thought it was a nice feature. Sailaway party was great - better than any I've seen on any ship i've been on! So much fun and definitly got you pumped for the vacation! Dining - I will be honest... We did not really care for the food too much. Either the food was "too fancy" or just didn't taste all that good. The restaurants themselves were amazing. Our favorite was Animators palate. Our servers were Elhan and Rakesh. They were so nice and really attentive every night. Activities - We knew when booking this cruise that DCL tailors the cruise to mostly families. And that was fine by us, we don't mind being around kids. Our only concern is there wasn't much for adults to do during sea days. Hmmm... do I want to go to an acupunture or posture analysis class today ;) We went to an animators class where we learned how to draw mickey and donald. that was really cool and I also liked the disney trivia games. I just think it would be nice to have a little bit more to do for adults. We loved going on the aquaduck! It was closed on two sea days because of high winds so we did not get to ride it as much as we would have liked. Entertainment - The shows on this cruise were amazing! Aladdin was so awesome and could be on broadway it was so good. The other two main shows were wishes and believe. those were very entertaining as well! Our entertainment host in the tube lounge, Trevor was great! He was so funny and kept everyone entertained. If you want a good laugh, go to the quest game show. We also went to battle of the sexes. They also had a magician, comedian and a group called buckets N boards onboard that week. they were all very entertaining. Pirate night was also alot of fun. people dressed up like pirates and they have a buccaneer blast fireworks show off the ship. Disney does not disappoint! We also liked going to get our pictures taken with the characters! so much fun! Ports of Call: St. Thomas - GORGEOUS island... seriously paradise! We went on the screamin' eagle jet boat in the morning which was so much fun! then we took the skyride to paradise point, which had amazing views of the island. San Juan - We took an atv tour through the EL Yunque rainforest. so awesome and alot of fun! Castaway Cay - I cannot say enough about castaway cay... it was great! So peaceful and beautiful. There was a private beach called serenity bay for adults. they also had a BBQ lunch on the island as well. I went parasailing that day and will never forget it! You must go to castaway cay! Service was impeccable on this cruise. Every cast member is so eager to help and happy to see you. This was such a different experience then when we were on NCL. Yikes! I would return to DCL in a heartbeat, just because of their awesome crew! Debarkation - We chose to walk off the ship with our bags since we wanted to get off as soon as possible so we could go check in at our hotel and then go to the parks. We were off the boat and through customs by 7:45... amazing... I've never seen embarkation/debarkation go so smoothly! Summary - I would not hesitate once about going on another Disney Cruise! I really want to go back! The Disney Fantasy is an amazing ship with so much to offer. Granted, it is more money for a disney cruise then say Carnival... but you get what you pay for. I felt as though on NCL you were constantly nickeled and dimed to spend more money when you had already spent enough (all the restaurants that you have to pay for) I liked that soda was included and did not have to pay for it extra like on other lines. Bottom line, you will love this cruise! Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
Where do I start? Overall, Disney Fantasy is THE nicest ship I have ever seen/been on. Starting with the Family greeting when you walk through the Atrium. Disney knows what they are doing. Service, forget about it. Everything you need ... Read More
Where do I start? Overall, Disney Fantasy is THE nicest ship I have ever seen/been on. Starting with the Family greeting when you walk through the Atrium. Disney knows what they are doing. Service, forget about it. Everything you need is taken care of. Dining room experience is incredible. Rotational dining with the same waiter is a nice touch. Food never got old or unattractive. Dinner was always delicious. Good variety of dinner options. Kids menu was good also. Free soda at dinner was a nice touch, plus all the self service free soda everywhere else was nice. The boat did move a little more than i am used too, not sure if it was the seas or the design of the boat, it seemed a little narrower than Royal Caribbean's Boats. I did feel the moving of the boat and not just at night. Kids programs, fantastic! my 4 yr old and 6yr old had a blast. hours 9am to midnight and a couple nights til 1am plus they feed the kiddos. Awesome! Character appearances at the kids club, games played, crafts, video games, u name it they had it. Mickey and pals appearance s on the boat, My kids both filled up their autograph books with signatures from all the characters and princesses. Pictures, good thing they had the all picture package, if you take all the pictures and professional setups they have you have no choice other than paying 20 bucks per photo it is a good deal. Ports were Grand Cayman, Costa Maya, Cozumel, and Castaway Cay(review in port section) Other than the price and smaller room than I like I can't complain about the cruise. It was nice being there on Christmas Day with Christmas Carolers singing in the Atrium, cookies and Hot Cocoa being served to everyone. Almost forgot about the shows, By far the best entertainment I have seen at sea. Disney's original shows do not disappoint. Buckets N Boards were outstanding family fun. Will definitely do a Disney cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
First, I would like to start this review off by saying that my wife and I over all experience with getting on board as well as off board this "massive" ship was smooth and very quick!! Secondly, our overall interaction with this ... Read More
First, I would like to start this review off by saying that my wife and I over all experience with getting on board as well as off board this "massive" ship was smooth and very quick!! Secondly, our overall interaction with this ship's staff(restaurant, housekeeping, bar, casino) was EXCELLENT, they all took really good care of us while on our cruise! Thirdly, the ship's food was excellent, a lot better than what I have had on my other cruise, plus the room service was free for food orders(beer, wine you had to pay for), but it was also good. Ok, now here were some of the "little" things which kind of got on my nerves during my cruise: 1. If you are one who likes to GAMBLE, AKA play BlackJack, Craps, then YOU WILL NOT FIND ANY and I mean ANY $5 minimum bets on any of the tables on this ship!! The minimum bet on the tables start at $6, then go on to $10 and even a $25 table, but most of the Blackjack tables start off at $6, the same with the Craps table. Plus, they do use automatic card shufflers and regular card shues(usually half tables with automatic shue and half with regular shue). Also, carefully read the Blackjack table's sign, it clearly states that they play with 8 packs of cards and REMOVE ALL OF THE QUEENS!!! Nice, real nice, nice to see that Carnival's Casino believes in trying to keep that "house" edge!2. Also, some of this ship's casual eating stations which are located on the 10th floor in the "Gathering" section of the ship are supposed to be open from lunchtime up until 2:30pm-3:00pm, my wife and I found this to be a complete hassle all the time, these sections close way earlier than they are supposed to!! This completely sucked for my wife and I because a lot of these little eating stations have really good food!! 3. Another little pain in the butt thing that you have to watch out for on this ship is; the idiots who decide to when using the ship's elevator, to press the floor button and the close elevator button at the same time, which leaves you the party waiting for the elevator screwed because the elevator never stops at your floor and instead goes flying by you and then you have to wait another damn 30 minutes for a elevator to show up! 4. This ship is HUGE, you will get very tired on the very first day of your cruise from all of your walking around, so just take cat naps and go back out and explore this very cool and groovy ship!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
This was our second New Years cruise on Freedom of the Seas (did it last year). We are 2 couples in our late 50's early 60's. My wife and I drove from Atlanta, Ga. to Port Canaveral going half way on Friday and the rest of the ... Read More
This was our second New Years cruise on Freedom of the Seas (did it last year). We are 2 couples in our late 50's early 60's. My wife and I drove from Atlanta, Ga. to Port Canaveral going half way on Friday and the rest of the way on Saturday (cruise left Sunday). Went to the port about 12:15 and were on the ship by 12:45 (had to wait for our friends). Boarding is so simple. As Diamond members with priority boarding you get a priority security line and priority check in. But even the other line was not too bad. Our cabin 9638 was on the hump. Normal size balcony but a great location. Near the elevators and 2 decks below the Windjammer. Junior Suites are great size. Walk in closet, sofa, chair, large balcony with 2 chairs, table and another chair with attached footstool. We gathered frequently in our cabin or on our balcony. Our friends had a balcony cabin on deck 8 and it sure seemed small compared to the JS. We sure are getting spoiled. Our cabin attendant, Simeon, was great. Was very "stealthy" in that he was rarely seen, but always available. Took excellent care of us. We had a bottle of wine and a bottle of champagne and he kept them iced down as well as kept a full ice bucket for us. On the last Formal Night we returned to our cabin and he had placed rose petals on the bed. A very nice touch. Second seating in the MDR was fine. Our waiter was efficient but not all that personable. But there is a lot to be said for efficiency. Our Assistant Waiter was very good. Kept the wine poured, water glasses filled, rolls on the bread plates. We drink decaf at desert and as soon as we finished he would appear with the coffee. Food was good to very good. I like the new menu. Had salmon and halibut. Both were outstanding, as was the Duck. Chicken Marsala on last night..ok. Fried fish plate was also ok. But great appetizers. They list escargots every night, but tend to run out. So get them early in the cruise. Had a special menu on New Year Eve. It was quite good. Did breakfast in the MDR as well as lunch most days. All very good. New Years Eve was fantastic. Got a table in the Bull and Bear Pub about 9:30 and the entertainment was great. The singer is a lot of fun. The New Years party on the Promenade was great. Lots of excitement at midnight. Later went to the Schooner Lounge and the piano player is great fun. Spent many after hours in those two bars. Didn't go into Coco Cay as the winds were high and the tenders kept getting shut down. Did the "duty" ride into St. Thomas and went to our favorite place for Mudslides, the Big Kahuna. Shopped a bit then back to the ship. Cabbed to Orient Beach in St. Maarten and got lounges outside the Biking Bar. Laid on the beach, swam and drank Guavaberry Coladas. A nice time. Lots of kids on this cruise. Heard there were 1200 of them. Tended to "herd" and run around the ship. Only real gripe for me was when a group of about 15 teenagers tried racing from the top deck to the bottom deck down the stairs. As they rounded the landing nearly took out more than one passenger (including me). Some kids would play in the halls, and groups would ride the elevators up and down. Oh well, kids will be kids. One nice thing was how people dressed on New Years Eve and the second Formal Night. Lots of great looking, classy dressed men and women of all ages. Debarkation was very smooth. Had a 7:30 "off" time. Went to breakfast about 6:30 in MDR, was back in the room at 7:15, grabbed our stuff at 7:30 and was in the car at 8:15. I will say that we tip the porters well. When we checked in the porter was so excited at our tip that he gave me his cell number. I called him at 7:30 and he met us at the bottom of the escalator. I never lifted a bag. He got all our bags and took them all the way to the car (I was up the first ramp just undercover) and loaded them for me. You do get what you pay for. Bottom line, we did Freedom for New Years in 2011, now in 2012, and are going to book for New Years 2013 when we go on Allure in March. The only way to celebrate New Years Eve is on a cruise! Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
Usually it's my whole family going on the cruise but this time it was me, my 18 year old sister, and my grandmother. We had cruised like that one time before on the Explorer. I have been on 23 cruises and have been on the Explorer of ... Read More
Usually it's my whole family going on the cruise but this time it was me, my 18 year old sister, and my grandmother. We had cruised like that one time before on the Explorer. I have been on 23 cruises and have been on the Explorer of the Seas 4 times. I have also been on Celebrity, Holland America, Norwegian and Carnival. I have also been to the Panama Canal and all the way north to Greenland and Iceland. Of all the cruises and ships I have been on, the Explorer can definitely be said as my favorite ship. Besides its convenient distance from our home, it has a beautiful layout, great entertainment and activities and a real "home" feeling. Ship-Even though the ship is almost as old as I am, I saw no major flaws-there were some little things here and there that were noticeable though. The ship is laid out in a very nice way; most things being easy to find in a short amount of time. All of the lounges are very beautiful also. My favorite lounge was Dizzy's where you looked over the pool deck of the ship. It was so relaxing you could fall asleep. Activities- The activities were very good. Some of the activities like the 70's Dancing in the Street party were not as fun as it was previous trips even though the music was great. This time it just seemed to focus mainly on the t-shirts they were shooting and the light-up rings they were throwing. The New Years party was very exciting, even though the whole crowd changed when the champagne was handed out. Most of the people around us were incredibly drunk; dancing and screaming like idiots. The Welcome Aboard reception was held before that also. Nobody let the officers speak- people were talking like he wasn't even there and I thought it was incredibly rude. The ice skating was one of our favorites. I do figure skating so I brought my skates and did the advanced skate session along with my sister. The skaters working there seemed to get a kick out of the tricks I was doing that were very similar to the ones they do. They have great Mini Golf and Inline Skating that we did not use this time due to weather but had used other times we were on the ship. Service-The service is what makes our trips so enjoyable every time. From the waiters to the entertainers, they are so nice and welcoming we come back on the ship again to see the same ones. We knew some of the singers, one of the girls in the shops, and some waiters who were all so surprised to see us again. My grandma would constantly say "If they were any nicer, they would kiss me goodnight". They work so hard yet treat everyone like royalty. Ports- The ports were okay. We didn't get off the ship in Port Canaveral because we thought we wouldn't have enough time to do what we planned. Instead, we stayed on the ship and went to the pool all day. In Nassau, we got off, walked around and did some of the shopping in the town. It was a great day and our only complaint is the pier stretched practically a mile! It was our first time in CoCo Cay and we were impressed! We were expecting it to be like their private island in Labadee, Haiti that we've been to several times. The actual beach itself was wonderful- except the hundreds of fish surrounding us in the water. The buffet grill was delicious too! Really good food knowing it wasn't "on the ship". The only bad thing about the ports was the terrible times that made doing things on land hard. Embarkation- The embarkation was as easy as ever. It seems that whenever we board the Explorer it gets easier every time. We got there about 11 o'clock and were on bus #1. We only waited about five minutes in the "Platinum" waiting area. The only bad thing was the weather that no one could control. Stateroom- The interesting thing about our cabin was it was the same room as our last cruise in August. We could have just left our stuff there! Compared to other ships, the storage was great and there was enough room for everyone. The beds were as comfortable as always and our veranda was as lovely as always- except the fact that it was cold outside the majority of the trip which made it hard to spend time sitting out. Our room attendant was extremely nice, constantly asking us if we needed anything. Dining- The menu had changed since the last time we were on the ship. The food was better than ever! Some of our favorites were the Duck, the carrot cake I had the first night, the Lobster (best I ever had), and the Baked Alaska. We were given a table for 8 even though we spent the night just the 3 of us the whole trip. Our two waiters were amazing, showing just how great service could be. I did not use any of the Teen Club activities. I never really go to the teen club on most of my cruises. I find that I can "hang out" with people my own age at home rather than wasting my vacation time doing nothing. Entertainment- The entertainment was also better than ever. The production shows proved how amazing the singers, dancers and musicians really are. The music itself was very nice to listen to because of its familiarity- even to a 15 year old. The comedian from the first night did not have a great preview show but had a hilarious late night show. There was also a comedian/ magician that was very entertaining. The 6th night there was Judy Kolba. We had seen her perform on the Explorer before but this time her show was more "friendly" unlike wild from before. The ice shows were definitely a highlight. It was more enjoyable for me to watch knowing that I was capable of doing what they could do. The overall entertainment was very memorable and outstanding. Disembarkation-Leaving the ship was just as easy as getting on. We went to the Palace Theater where we walked in and walked out to an elevator. They held up certain elevators for us to go straight down to Deck 1. I think they did that because we were all listed under Emerald for our grandmother. Even though it was cold, we waited for about a minute to get another bus back to the terminal where we easily found our luggage and left. Summary- All in all, our trip was fantastic and well spent! I would recommend this line and this ship in particular to people of all ages. They have something for everyone and their service truly makes them one of a kind. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
PRE-CRUISE: La Quinta Inn in Cocoa Beach - on a 1 to 5 scale, I'd give it a 3 1/2. Nothing to complain about, but nothing remarkably awesome, either. Embarkation: VERY smooth - Carnival has clearly worked on making this ... Read More
PRE-CRUISE: La Quinta Inn in Cocoa Beach - on a 1 to 5 scale, I'd give it a 3 1/2. Nothing to complain about, but nothing remarkably awesome, either. Embarkation: VERY smooth - Carnival has clearly worked on making this better/faster/more efficient. From the time we walked into the terminal until the time we were in the ship's atrium - maybe 20 minutes, 25 minutes max. The ship: Overall, very good. Didn't see anything in a state of disrepair (of course, this ship was recently dry-docked for an overhaul).... The cabin (8244): Our first balcony room, after 4 previous cruises...the balcony was nice...but I'm a little iffy as to whether or not it is worth the extra money or not. Unfortunately, with the newer ships, getting a window room is becoming more and more difficult, as almost all rooms are balcony rooms. The room itself was what we expected - except we forgot about how few electrical receptacles there are. If you have more than one phone charger (or anything else you want to plug in), take an extension cord with you. As far as the location of the room - it was far enough from the elevators and stairs (about three rooms away) to not have a lot of noise from those areas, but close enough to them that we weren't in the middle of nowhere. In relation to the rest of the ship, deck 8 is a good middle ground between the lido deck (10) and deck 5 (shops/casino). The room steward: Buenmar....very nice and friendly. We didn't make any extraordinary requests, but what we requests we did have, he fulfilled quickly. Cruise Director: Brittany Boyd - we hear she was a stand-in for the normal Dream Cruise Director, who was at a conference or something. She was pretty. She was bubbly. She was informative.....waaaaay too informative. It seemed she was on the ship's intercom almost incessantly, basically doing commercials for the spa, the casino, and anything or anyplace else on the ship that has a high profit margin. I don't know if it was her trained diction or what, but it just seemed to me that this cruise had more "commercials" than any of our previous cruises. Again, she was very nice - but geez, enough is enough! I wasn't the only one to feel this way. Activities Director: Ryan (from Great Britain): a bit cocky, but okay. Dining Room (Crimson, early dining): Head waiter (I Ketut), team waiter (I Wayan), assistant (Agus): GREAT group of waiters, one of the highlights of the cruise, ship-wise. THE FOOD: Very good, as usual. The chocolate melting cake was available for dessert every night. I recommend the Chateaubriand (sp?) as an entree... Excursions: At NASSAU, we did the Sail&Snorkel offered by the ship....it was good. Not spectacular (crew of SweetyPie was average at best), but good. The snorkeling (above a reef) was very good....saw a lot of beautifully-colored fish - take an underwater disposable camera! ST. THOMAS - SONNY LISTON Tours - Did the tour with shopping and then a trip up to MountainTop. SONNY IS GREAT....a little crazy, but great. Riding with him is a little like taking a cab ride in Jamaica - but he knows what he's doing. Dropped us off at Sapphire Beach after MountainTop, and came back to get us at 5PM - trouble was, everything (all vendors, etc) at Sapphire Beach closes at 4PM.....so we ended up being there totally alone from about 4:30PM until he picked us up. Kinda...eerie? Keep that in mind if you plan to go to Sapphire Beach. The beach itself was very good. ST. MAARTEN....took a cab to Orient Beach ($6 per person, each way)....awesome beach....a "European" beach, so be prepared for that....two of our party went parasailing (2 for $100) through one of the water sports vendors on the beach...they're thorughly enjoyed it....we stayed there for about three hours, then took a cab back to the shopping district on the Dutch side (ten minute, safe walk to the ship)... EXTRAS: We went to the Chef's Art Steakhouse on the ship, on Friday night ($35 per person, plus tip). The steaks, lobster, and all the food was really, really good. Much more quiet than the regular dining room. If you've never tried one of the 'premium' restaurants, you should, at least once (this was our first time). The desserts were enormous - seriously, the cheesecake portion was obscene - but no one complained! :-) The only drawback - seemed like we were sitting on top of the engine room (vibration, mechanical hum). DEBARKATION: Even quicker than embarkation....from the gangway to our shuttle (Cocoa Beach Shuttle to Orlando International - good experience), it couldn't have been more than 15 minutes, and that includes taking the time to find nine checked bags! OVERALL: A very good experience, and a cruise I would do again. and again. and again. I wish I was still there! OH, ONE LAST THING: Getting off the ship at St. Thomas was a fiasco - took us OVER 45 minutes to disembark, due to everyone storming the elevators and stairs forward. Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
My niece was married on the ship before we set sail. The wedding was lovely & no detail was spared. The wedding took place in the Library & the reception was held in Michelangelo's Lounge. Both were decorated in in good taste. ... Read More
My niece was married on the ship before we set sail. The wedding was lovely & no detail was spared. The wedding took place in the Library & the reception was held in Michelangelo's Lounge. Both were decorated in in good taste. The minister was great along with the photographer, Avril. The food& drinks were delicious during the one hour reception and staff were very attentive.We were given ample opportunity to view the numerous pics that were taken for the Wedding! The food was god at the Ecstasy dining room & Richard was most attentive to all our needs. We were 16 & could not seat together until the last night. I prefer your own time dining,but we ate at the 6pm seating.That worked well except when some of the group was late.They held up the second seating because we ran over.The staff was extremely accommodating, even the Matre D My room was fine because I was by myself & had ample room & enjoyed the King Size Bed! My room adjoined my sister's room & another guest. It was convenient. Our steward, Yogi, was attentive, except when we ran late one day & did not get the room made up till night time. but that was okay.I do room service in the Am & except for a few mistakes, the food was fine.We enjoyed lunch at the Fantasy dining room, last day at sea! Buffet & deli was standard fare. The casino was very smoky & that seems to be an ongoing occurrence with many of the Carnival Ships. Wish they would get some better ventilation for us, Non-Smokers! The ship is dated & very mismatched in areas that were updated and had loud colors in some common areas-not my taste at all! We all had a good time for such a short cruise & I received more perks than I expected for being VIFP! Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
Let me preface this review with the fact that I was a travel agent for 18 years prior to 9/11 but this was only my second cruise. I'm aware of the different types of travelers and what was important or unimportant to me might be ... Read More
Let me preface this review with the fact that I was a travel agent for 18 years prior to 9/11 but this was only my second cruise. I'm aware of the different types of travelers and what was important or unimportant to me might be different for you. I decided that staying home for the normal holiday family drama was not in the cards for me and decided to book a vacation that would be relaxing and didn't involve much stress. A cruise was the perfect choice. I waited until 3 weeks prior to departure to book and still got a good fare and was even upgraded. These cruises are an amazing feat of timing and organization. 2000 guest and 900 staff have to be fed and entertained. I was impressed with the positive and friendly attitudes of all of the staff. It really is amazing considering the sheer volume of humans that roll through a ship week end and week out. Our cabin 4247 was a typical cruise ship cabin. Everything is tiny, but it was adequate. You can stow 4 full-size suitcases under the beds and we managed to unpack all of our clothes in the closet and drawers provided. If you care nothing about the room other than a place to sleep, book a cheap cabin and spend your money on excursions. If you like to spend private time alone, book a stateroom with a balcony. If there are more than 2 of you, it's cramped. I shared a room with my 18 year old son and it was easier than I thought it would be. We really were only in the cabin at the same time to sleep. I enjoyed "Freestyle Cruising" and the choice of restaurants. It was nice to be able to go to the 7 Seas or 4 Seasons for a sit-down dinner without a reservation and whenever I felt hungry. It was also nice to get my new-found friends together for dinner and not be stuck with assigned dining companions. Cruise ship food is what it is. They are cooking for 2000 people, 3000 if you include the staff. They are also trying to accommodate a multitude of palettes. There was typical American fare as well as a selection of Indian cuisine on the buffet and the salad bar had a great selection. Hamburgers and hotdogs could be found everyday at the buffet as well as freshly grilled on the pool deck in the afternoons. There is an icecream bar in the main buffet as well as soft serve in the aft buffet. That seemed to be a hit with everyone as there was nearly always a line. The 7 Seas main dining room is on the 5th deck aft and the food and staff seemed more accommodating than it's sister MDR, 4 Seasons, which is on the same deck mid-ship. We also ate at the French restaurant, Le Bistro, one night (dress up night) and the service was fantastic. Although the table next to us brought an over-tired toddler to a 9PM dinner and she cried which spoiled the atmosphere. (Don't bring your baby to a French bistro at 9PM!) The White Party: I don't know if it's like this on every cruise, but the first hour is open to everyone including children. The dance floor was a mosh pit of pre-teens. They had to leave after an hour, but then it was 18-22 year olds who were basically standing there not dancing, so no one else could dance either except of the edges of the dance floor. I had heard this party was on the pool deck, but on our cruise it was at Dazzles and really too small a venue to hold everyone. Smoking: If you smoke you are limited to very few places. The Promenade deck and port sides of the pool deck and deck 12. No smoking in any of the restaurants or bars and there is no cigar bar. You can also smoke in the casino. As of January 2012, no smoking in your cabin unless you have a balcony. Casino: Total snooze fest! Shore excursions: Keep in mind that you will not see very much of your destination ports on a cruise. You will see port shopping at port prices. The cruise line does not force you to purchase their excursions, but they do make you fear booking with other vendors. If you book with them and are late returning they will hold the boat, if you book elsewhere they say they will leave you if you are late. You also pay 30-50% more booking through the excursion desk and they are reluctant to refund money if the excursion was a disaster. If you book on your own and pay by credit card, you'll have a better chance of getting your money back if the experience was terrible. My best advice is to check with the concierge desks of local high-end resorts for recommendations. It might cost you a phone call, but you'll save money in the end. Many islands have large tour operators who can offer all of the same adventures. The internet is also your friend and reading reviews is helpful. Cocktails, beer, and wine: I found the prices to be comparative to US restaurants. A glass of wine with dinner $15, martini $14, drink of the day $8. If you like wine I believe you can bring it aboard but must pay corkage of $10. It is still cheaper to pay corkage than double the price of a bottle of wine which is what all restaurants do including cruise restaurants. They will tag your bottle and it goes to a cellar and will be available to you no matter what dining room you are eating in. Tips and Tricks: Water, tea, coffee and milk are the only free drinks. At breakfast there is OJ, cranberry and apple juice but they turn that off after breakfast. If you like juice or soda, buy the softdrink pass for $70 per person, OR you can bring your own. You are allowed to bring aboard cases of water or sodas with your luggage. A large bottle of water on board is $7. This really only works if you are driving to your port. The number one piece of advice I can give to anyone traveling whether on a cruise or otherwise is relax and smile. Your attitude will be reflected back to you. Kindness and respect is the international currency. If one thing goes badly, take a deep breath and wait for it to pass. If you meet new people who are constantly complaining that everything is awful, avoid them. Attitudes are contagious. Bottom line, we had a great time, made new friends, saw new places and would go back again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
We boarded Freedom of the Sas on our first cruise. The ship was full as it was the Christmas sailing but the ship definitely didn't feel crowded at any time. Embarkation was relatively quick and easy took just over 30 minutes to ... Read More
We boarded Freedom of the Sas on our first cruise. The ship was full as it was the Christmas sailing but the ship definitely didn't feel crowded at any time. Embarkation was relatively quick and easy took just over 30 minutes to get onboard. The ship was well maintained, cabins were cleaned regularly and staff were very friendly and welcoming. Quite a number of staff made a real effort to learn your name and the cruise director, Allan was always entertaining. We opted for an interior stateroom and enjoyed turning the tv on first thing in the morning to watch the ships webcam (on the front of the ship) to enjoy the view of the port before we disembarked - just like looking through a window. The captain, Tor, was always very bubbly in his addresses each day always quoting "Bing Bong" which made me laugh. The food all round no matter where you at was tremendous. I have never eaten and drank as much in my life. The weather was kind to us and there was one night at sea when it was a bit rough but nothing major. The ports we visited were great, and we booked some ship excursions in Grand Cayman and Cozumel. Labadee was lovely asthisisaprivate part of Haiti. It was obvious from the market place which is located in the area that the sellers we desperate to sell you something and although they're very nice they were really, really pushy. Falmouth was interesting as we had been on Honeymoon in Jamaica so had done all of the tours then and loved them and the people. I found Falmouth to be my least favourite port. A lot of money has been spent improving the port and the initial area is nice to walk around. Once you pass the gates of the port though we found it an uneasy shopping experience and it didn't take us long to return to the ship. It is obvious that this is a very deprived area of Jamaica in comparison to Ocho Rios and we felt quite vulnerable which I have only ever felt in Delhi, India. If you decide you want to do something in Jamaica - Dunns River Falls and Dolphin Cove are fantastic and the majority of people in Jamaica are lovely, just not enamoured with Falmouth. Grand Cayman was brilliant and we had no issue with boarding the tender. We went on the Turtle Farm and swim package booked through the ship- id give it a miss and go to see the Stingray's instead. Although it was ok. Cozumel was another favourite of ours. We did the Island Highlights and Shopping and loved it! The people we met were fantastic and it was the best port for shopping. About 3 miles(turn left out of the port) away is the central shopping district and I would have loved even more time to shop in the area- the port area had lots of cheap gifts too. The days art sea were good too as there was so much to do and we loved sitting in the cantilever jacuzzi looking out over the ocean. Shopping on board wasn't bad and a few bargains were to be found but most of the items we more expensive than you would buy at home despite being duty free etc etc. They constantly plug Diamonds International which became a standing joke between my husband and I. Out of curiousty he had looked at a watch which was the "Cheapest price he would find" - I googled it and found it $500 saigh away, lol. Don't fall into this trap! Dress code surprised me a little as they didn't really enforce this - on formal night we seen people in the dining room in shorts? The drink prices are what you would expect c$6 for a beer and $9 for a cocktail. Water is always a question- you can get cups / glasses of water in numerous places on the ship but if you want a 1L bottle of Evian it's 4.50 from your minibar. On the whole we had an amazing time and cannot wait to cruise with Royal Caribbean again. On a seperate note - if anyone is thinking of booking with Virgin Holidays Cruises, don't bother. Their Rockstar service is RockBottom! We had a huge amount of mistakes despite having a correct itinerary - Ie they gave the hotel the wrong dates and the hotel cancelled our room as a no show! And we never got any of the RockStar perks. Book with Royal Caribbean directly! Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
We have cruised disney before and loved it. That is why we booked again but I have to say we were dissappointed. We were on a waiting list for a suite but were never called. We ended up in a cat 4A. we were required to pick a check in ... Read More
We have cruised disney before and loved it. That is why we booked again but I have to say we were dissappointed. We were on a waiting list for a suite but were never called. We ended up in a cat 4A. we were required to pick a check in time and it only allowed a 230p and a 300p. When we arrived at 230 the photographers were gone and we missed our picture(thats a big deal to us) we keep all of our welcome pics for our children. The food on the previous cruises wonder magic was unbeleivable. Fresh warm every meal. Plenty of fruit and salads.This cruise we had 5 in our party. every night we had to ask for the bread that was served with dinner. They brought enough for 3 people. They gave us bagels one evening? not sure why. With the exception of the final night in the royal palace The food was cold hard and flavorless, It was a shocker because in the past it was so terrific. The dream is very chopped up. Hard to find remy palo and meridian bar. The rooms were same as in past.dont look different.The photographer was sparce couldnt get too many pics. the pics that were taken were unflattering as is if they were snapped by a person off the street. The crew in the past esp at dinner ect did tricks with the kids and they became used to that, The servers were good but impersonal.I imagine they work very hard and maybe dont have the time. Not sure. The pool areas are swamped with children and the pool for adults was tiny. we enjoyed castaway great as always, The magic is my favorite ship. spacious flows nicely warm crew. Many many pics alot of excursions. All in all just dissapointed in the dream expected a special experience for new years. Wont travel it again. we may do the fantasy and see how that ship turned out. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
I defended Carnival after our first cruise with them on the Freedom, but unfortunately we will likely not sail Carnival again after our recent experience on the Dream. I returned home deflated by poor service, lack of enforcement of ... Read More
I defended Carnival after our first cruise with them on the Freedom, but unfortunately we will likely not sail Carnival again after our recent experience on the Dream. I returned home deflated by poor service, lack of enforcement of policies and a deflated bank account. Let's look at each piece, including the redeeming parts of the cruise: 1) The service was nothing compared to our last experience on the Freedom. Since Carnival changed their tipping policy to be automatically billed to the room, the staff do not feel the need to work for it or even smile. I was so dissappointed. At the dine-in breakfast, we sat for 20 minutes before asking for a waiter to help us. It was another 5 before we received anyone, and the rest of the meal was more of the same. The only nice person throughout the cruise was the room stewardess. The rest were just grouchy. 2) The kids clubs were guided by staff with bad attitudes. They greet you with complaints, facial expressions and a disdain for the public. I was extremely unhappy that I chose this cruise on the basis of the esteemed 2-5 year old program only to find that it was a battle to encourage our daughter to go, due to their unpleasant demeanor. There was one nice girl that our daughter clung to and was happy to go to.... the rest were... grouchy. 3) The food was not as good as our last Carnival experience. Some was bland, there was less variety, and some fatty meats were included. Downer. The upside was the pizza station and the salad. 4) The embarkation/debarkation was as expected. No real complaints or praises here. 5) The shore excursions were great... and this was the one redeeming area of this cruise. Although we spent about $900 in shore excursions alone, they were worthwhile experiences packed with rich activities... and they were well-orchestrated. Tip: The Cave Expedition, Off Road 4x4 and River Boat (with an amazing rum punch) excursion in Belize was the best excursion I have had yet. 6) The adult entertainment options were OK. Comedy show= plus. Piano lounge= depends whose there (Dave's Piano Party is a splendid good time.) Bars/ barstaff in general = not too great, except one in particular. Our dining room bartender actually ignored us and had to be repremanded by the head waitress for continously forgetting us. 7) The value was not even that good. We ended up paying in the long run just a little shy of what we would have paid to go on Disney Cruise Line, which we have had two good experiences with. 8) The hotel experience pre-cruise was awful. I do not recommend the Hampton Inn Cocoa Beach. I am a HHonors member, and I will not ever stay there again. The carpet was sticky (I mean all over, in a disgusting way.) And the service was horrible... the night clerk was clueless and took one hour to check us into our room. The shuttle service we book was chaotic and overbooked... they couldn't fit us on the bus and we were asked to get off. Ugg. All in all, I had fun, but I feel it was a wasted experience. I am $6000 poorer and yet I didn't return bragging and raving. Sigh. The Carnival Dream is not so dreamy. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
The boarding process in Port Canaveral was the smoothest of any cruise we have been on. We checked most of our luggage with the porters & carried on the rest of our bags. Our room (E51) was ready promptly at 1:15 as promised. My ... Read More
The boarding process in Port Canaveral was the smoothest of any cruise we have been on. We checked most of our luggage with the porters & carried on the rest of our bags. Our room (E51) was ready promptly at 1:15 as promised. My children(ages 8 & 12) were very excited to have a cabin with a window. Our room & the rest of the ship was immaculate. I had read some reviews saying how old & run down the ship was. The bright color changing walls in the atrium didn't bother us in the least. It is truly a fun ship! We did the anytime dining & were fine with having to wait a few minutes before being seated. We met some friends & wanted to dine with them on ew Year's Eve & after some very persuasive begging, they were able to seat our friend with us even though they had the early dining in another dining room. The fun energy on the Lido deck leading up to the countdow of 2011 was phenomenal! We will definitely do another NYE cruise. Food was great. Lines to the MongolianWok were always longer than any other, but didn't bother us at all.:) Half Moon Cay was our second stop. It was by far, the best ever excursion we have ever experienced! We rented the cabana(#11) & loved everything about it. My husband who is fair skinned much appreciated the shade with fans, not to mention the snacks & drinks that came with the cabana rental. Having our snorkel gear & swim mats all ready for us, was a big plus! This was well worth the money. We stayed the entire day & were on the very last ferry back to the boat. Staff very friendly & helpful. There are only 15 or so cabanas, so book early. Great thing was the seclusion from the other thousands of guests. :)) Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
This was our family's first time on Carnival, my second time. First time on the Dream. Embarkation: Port Canaveral is so easy. We shuttled over from a nearby hotel, arrived around 1:00 and were onboard and in our cabin by 1:30. ... Read More
This was our family's first time on Carnival, my second time. First time on the Dream. Embarkation: Port Canaveral is so easy. We shuttled over from a nearby hotel, arrived around 1:00 and were onboard and in our cabin by 1:30. When boarding the ship, the Dream Atrium is loud and busy and a bit chaotic but there were plenty of clearly identified crew members available to direct traffic and help us find where we wanted to go. Cabin: We had a Cove Balcony, port side, deck 2, located just beneath the Shore Excursions desk. Great location as gangways were Deck 0 forward so it was easy to get on and off the ship in the ports. We also liked proximity to our assigned dining (Crimson, Deck 4 - we had YTD) and Encore Lounge for main shows. We bought the bottomless bubbles and used the Lobby Bar as our main source of beverages, just one flight up from our cabin so easy to access for us. Cabin steward and assistant met our needs after we let them know we wanted the upper berth folded up each day. I barely saw them - but DH spent a lot of time on our balcony so he was quite friendly with them. All I know is our cabin was clean and we had everything we needed. Food: We had Your Time Dining so we ate in the Crimson dining room three nights, at the Gathering buffet two nights, and from the Grill the other two nights. The food was good, nothing too "weird" except the meat lasagna they have on the Pasta Bar menu. We ate lunch at the Pasta bar a couple of days, at the Burrito bar once, and the Lanai BBQ one sea day. We found a great variety of food at each meal. Room service was off and on - sometimes quick, sometimes unavailable by phone, and never consistent on the amount of cookies they would send when ordering cookies and milk. None of us gained weight on the cruise but we certainly didn't lose any! Entertainment: We enjoyed the Punchliner Comedy Club and attended each of the All Ages (family friendly) performances and three of the Adult shows. We saw two shows in the Encore Lounge which were good - I preferred the 8 More Seconds over the Dancing in the Streets, but both were well done. We enjoyed mini-golf, but sea days were hard to get clubs, so it's better to try to play on the first day or port days. The pool area was nearly always busy (both main and Sunset) but we didn't try to sit out or use the pool. The Lanai hottubs were usually occupied, more on the port side than the starboard side. Plenty of seating on the Lanai promenade deck. Shore Excursions: We did two shore excursions through Carnival and felt that they were well organized, especially on the tendering day at Belize to get us off the ship and to the tour provider. Youth Activities: Our teenagers participated in the Circle C activities and said that they liked the variety of things to do. We have sailed with Disney most of the time (most recently in summer 2011) and they prefer the youth activities on Disney over Carnival but liked Carnival better than Royal Caribbean. What they didn't like was that there were gaps in the day when nothing was scheduled and there weren't alternative activities if they didn't want to participate in the "after parties" that seemed popular on the activity sheet. The counselors were great - absolutely in charge of the 12-14s. Debarkation: We put our luggage outside our cabin and had group 16 for disembarking. We had time for a non-rushed breakfast in the Gathering and plenty of time to pack up the morning items we kept out. We left our cabin about 8:15 as we knew they wanted us out by 8:30 and waited in the Encore Lounge (again, just one flight up!) until they called our group. Our luggage was available pretty quickly on the carousel when they called us and we went right through Customs without even a glance at our passports (which we had ready). Overall, we would sail on the Carnival Dream or her sister ship(s) again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
This is my first review so stick with me...... Ok me and the wife were married in April 2011 and wanted to go on a cruise for our honeymoon. We wanted the Caribbean but also wanted a 10 night one. This was proving hard work unless we ... Read More
This is my first review so stick with me...... Ok me and the wife were married in April 2011 and wanted to go on a cruise for our honeymoon. We wanted the Caribbean but also wanted a 10 night one. This was proving hard work unless we did a back to back one. Then it was clicking up to 14 nights along with two nine hour flights from and to the UK, going to use far to much of our holiday allowance at our jobs. Well we couldn't find anything for the Caribbean until November time. Then we came across the New Years 9 night eastern cruise. This was perfect as the length was great. Ship was one of our first choices, and a awesome way to see in the new year. We booked direct with RCCL inc flights and transfers in the May and as the year went on kept adding things like wine packages and tours, along with prepaid tips and my time dining times. We flew the night before from Gatwick UK on British Airways. Great flight however they had book us on two different seat six rows apart! Great way to start the honeymoon. The check in staff managed to sort out two seats together for us. The transfer from airport to our over night hotel was a complete joke!! We were booked in at the crown plaza, situated around 2 miles from the airport. The driver did a lap of the airport then returned to where we got onboard. He did this 3 times then set off for the wrong hotel. It took 90 mins before we got to our hotel. Not a great start.. Next morning we were picked up, however again the transfer team were not organised. There was now room on the bus for us. Along with around another 20 folks. An 30 minute wait before another bus was sorted... Eventually we got there. Check in at the terminal at the port was very quick. Within 20 mins we were onboard. The ship was huge!!!!!!!!! We headed to the windjammer for some food which was busy but to be expected. We tried to see if our room was ready at 3pm, it was. We met our room attendant , she was fab ( Pamela Lee). So we went back up top and watched the sail away of the Disney ship and Monarc of the seas. Then ourselfs. We went for a drink , attended the Muster drill, then headed back to our cabin. Our luggage arrived so we unpacked, wash and changed and we headed to dinner which was perfect every night. Our waiter Alisha was funny and faultless and gave a genuine opinion on what's good and not as good. Early night was needed due to body clock being all over the place. Shows on board were very enteratining. The love and marrage game show hosted by Alan was hilairous. Alan the cruise director was so so funny. Captain Ron's humour and info is great. Once quoting we were 56 miles 5 feet and 3 inches away from San Juan. He always kept us up to date. The things to do onboard were endless. From bingo to bellyflopping competitions. There was something always to do. Day 2 Nassau: We picked the " Rainbow Reef snorkelling tour" this was fab and gave me a chance to use my underwater camera. I would not go as far as saying "rainbow reef" but it was a nice reef with plenty of fish. We headed back to the port and grabbed a nice lunch at a local resterant while basking in the sun. Did a little shopping and walked back to the ship. This was our first formal night along with seeing the new years in. The champagne flowed into the early hours. Day 3 at sea: plenty onboard activitys and a nice day to chill out with hangovers from night before. Day 4 Labadee, Haiti We did the coastal boat tour. This was ok but we didn't see a lot to be honest. Once back ashore we had a look around the local market. This was very intimidating. And we did not enjoy it. The beach was very nice and could watch the people on the zip line. Day 5 San Juan: We headed to the old town and to one of the forts. Unfortunatly it started raining, we stuck with it but took refuge in Senoir Frogs. Opposite the port. Day 6 St Thomas: We booked the " lovely island tour " which was a bit of a let down. Mainly due to the weather but also the stops were not the best. Last stop was Megan's Bay. Which I visited when I was younger. Bit dissapointed as they have built a lot there. Plus it chucked it down with rain again! which didn't help. Day 7 St Martin: This was by far the nicest island on the cruise. We did the " made in paridise " tour. Which was all about Rum, purfume and local food. All on the French side. Deffo a must! Day 8 and 9 at sea: last few days of catching some sun. Again plenty to do onboard. Day 10 Port Canaveral: disembark was very quick due to booking the Kennedy Space Centre tour. Which was also our transfer onto the airport. Overall a fantastic cruise and while we were onboard booked our next cruise for the Med in May on the slightly smaller Adventure of the seas. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
I have sailed a few other ships with carnival before, the last being a couple yrs ago or so. So things have changed and it was interesting. Checking in and checking out of the ship is faster now than ever before which is a plus. The ... Read More
I have sailed a few other ships with carnival before, the last being a couple yrs ago or so. So things have changed and it was interesting. Checking in and checking out of the ship is faster now than ever before which is a plus. The airport transfer is still smooth and hassle free. Embarkation day on 11/20 was good. Got to the ship around 12 noon and breezed right through the check in process. The muster drill is a little easier now too which I like, don't have to bring the life jackets to the drill. I happened to be on this cruise thanks to getting the last available room on the ship. Therefore, I get my set and sail card and see I have the 8:15pm dining. At 1pm I head to the dining room when it opened, to make changes, and got the 6:00pm dining which was cool. The water was very rough heading out on Sunday night the 20th. Was a rough sail all night, the boat rocked pretty good and had people bouncing off walls. Felt like I was hammered but I only had 2 drinks for the night. Bought the bottomless bubbles soda card after I left port for 27.00. Would have costed 29-30.00 in port. Dining staff - Maitre D Orhan was a lame duck. Yes, a lame duck. He really showed no interest in stopping by tables during the week to mingle with the crowd, little to be seen or heard from it seemed like all week. Kind of weird if you ask me when all my past experiences, maitre d's get invovled and their dining room staff involved with their tables. The waiters were ok but nothing to cry home about about. Very low key and straight to business. I also did not leave any tip at the end of the cruise. According the information I read, the tip in the maitre d is not included in the 40.00 billed tips. The food was pretty good though as usual that carnival has had over the years, in the dining room. Food in the other lounges - Pizza I think has gone downhill a little from my past experiences on carnival. Didn't seem like it's the same. They always had soft serve ice cream available. The food cooked around midnight was good and plentiful. Loved the prime rib and chicken. Sandwiches were good, loved their tuna yummy. Also loved all the different desserts they had mmmmmm.. Breakfast was ok but not super great. Eggs are kinda wet and not much taste to them, and they come scrambled. Omlettes are available on request. Room Service- Always got the room service within 20 minutes of ordering every night. I took advantage of it since it is free. The only thing not free is drinks. Even if you have bottomless bubbles they'd charge for it. The chocolate cake thing they have for dessert in room service is soooo yummy. Bar / Drinks - I stay away from the 7.50 drinks of the day as that can rack up the bill pretty quick. The classic mixed drinks run 8.95ish, drink of the day 7.50, and the other mixed drinks run around 6-9.00. In the lounge on the Lido deck where the other food is, there is only Lemonade, White and Chocolate Milk, and Unsweetened Iced Tea as well as coffee. They didnt offer fruit punch which ive had years ago on other ships with carnival, kinda bummed about that. So with no juice really, I took the soda card. Sodas are normally 1.95 each. So 15 sodas for the week breaks you even. I shared my soda card with my mom which is another way to save costs. This time around, I notice carnival actually swipes the set and sail card for the bottomless bubbles soda card, when years ago they just looked for the sticker on the set and sail card. I guess they try to limit people abusing the unlimited sodas (such as passing the card onto others, picking up someones set and sail card and using it, etc). I would just go to 1 bar get a soda, then go to another bar and get the other soda for mom. Real easy. Highly recommend for people looking to save a buck. Staterooms - I had a steward, Edison, he was awesome. Rooms were prepared nicely and perfect each day, couple times a day. Never an issue. Everything worked well, bed was super super comfy as usual. Edison was super friendly and personable, awesome to have staff around that care (unlike the dining room staff). Comedy Shows - Somewhat funny, one guy with cerebral palsy wasnt all that funny, but the other comedian was funny. Couple of R rated comedy shows which was funny as can be. Karaoke - Superstar live is awesome! I love how now they have that on the ships, where people do karaoke along w/ the show band playing the music. Ty, the karoake host, was awesome. She always had me laughing in her superstar live entertainment. She would do the back-up singing for the guest and joke around as well. Showtime Band - Welcome Aboard show was PHENOMENAL. One of the best I seen in years. The Farewell show, the 2nd and final show of the cruise on the last night was lame and not really that entertaining. The dancers were great and good at what they do. Obviously, still very sexually suggestive type of show with their clothing. Cruise Ship Director - What a shame to have this guy Danny being the cruise director. He was really out of the loop most of the cruise except for the morning announcements on what the day is to offer. He really never came on stage in the lounge and had any sort of fun like many other cruise directors i've seen. He never really came around the open areas and mingled with the crowd, and made himself known. Kinda pitiful if you as me. Piano Bar- Barry is the man. He is funny and good with the music. This was a lot of fun to look foreward to every night after midnight until 2-3am. He is a jokester and not just a guy who plays piano all night, well on this cruise anyways. Highly recommend people to hang out with Barry late nights, he is a trip! Freeport Bahamas- Arrived on Monday morning, rolled out of the ship around 10am and went to get a taxi outside the ship (5.00 per person each way, 10.00). Took the ride to Our Lucaya and got dropped off at the central pick up and drop off spot by the stores. Walked 5 minutes back to the beach entrance (next to the police station which the taxi driver will point out, free access). Did the inflatable banana boat ride which was great. It's pulled by someone in a motorized about. The excursion is about an hour and you get it when you arrive at the beach. $25.00 per person which is a steal and a great way to go for a little ride out in the water. It takes you down into this little cove where you get to see dolphins for 5-10 minutes, the ship used in the pirates of the carribbean movie, and some beautiful beach front houses. It's quite a ride on the inflatable banana boat. They provide a life jacket too. Water was warm but it was a little windy. Last taxi pick up was at 4:00 and caught that taxi back to the cruise ship. There is nothing to do around the cruise ship by the way, you end up by oil refineries for those who have never been to freeport. Everything is a taxi ride away or thru a carnival overpriced excursion that will cost you around 60-100.00 per person on average Nassau - Arrived on Tues 11/22 and stayed there overnight til 6:00am on Wednesday 11/23. Ship says, all back on board at 5:30am. Nassau was very very windy and according to the lifeguard at the sheraton resort I went to, it's very normal this time of year, the rough waters and the wind. So that bummed me out. Ended up just laying out on a beach chair at the resort. Admission is 25.00 per person and the bus is 1.25 each way, which leaves 1 block away from the pier and returns to the same spot. Real easy to find the bus, the locals will direct you to where they are. The #10 bus is what will take you to cable beach / breezes / wyndham / sheraton resorts. You do get towel use at the sheraton so leave the carnival towels on ship. Also do get to use snorkels if you want. There are 3 pools. The food at the Sheraton is overpriced, like 15.00 for a burger. So I opted to wait it out til I got back a few hours later to Carlos n Charlies at the pier. The food was amazing there I must say. mmmm Chicken tacos so yummy and well worth the 18.00. The drinks for 5 something each were awesome too yummmy... They do include the tip on the bill there which makes things easy, I think it's 15% if I added it up right. Seaday - Played laser tag which was a ton of fun. At as much food as possible as I did all week. The boat roacked a little in the early evening on wednesday night but wasn't as bad as leaving port on sunday. Ate in the dining room for this final night and the staff did a little entertainment and sang us a song about how now it's time to go and they hope for us to come back to another carnival ship. How it's sad to see us go and so on. Was a great song too I must say. Played the slot tournament and blackjack tournament 2 times each to try and get to the grand final round, but lost both times on both tournaments. The fee to play is 20.00 each time. I didn't play any of the bingo in the lounges all week. That's just a scam that I know will never win haha. They had the hairy chest competition which was kinda lame. There was no "big party" on the lido deck like other carnival ships do on the final night. Kinda bummed about that too.. Dembarkation - Smooth, Fast, Efficient. Everyone was off the ship by 930-10:00am. All in all, not the worst cruise I ever been on, but not the best. There could be much improvements starting with the entertainment staff / cruise director / dining room staff. I'll of course sail carnival and stay loyal to them, I know not all ships can be the same experience since staff move around all the time. I'd recommend this cruise if you want something relaxing and enjoyable. But not for those looking for a grand ol' party. For the 1,000 kids that were on this cruise, I thought camp carnival did a great job keeping them occupied all day and night. Late night they would be running around the ship freely as usual when the parents were at the bar stonefaced. Other than that... happy trails cruisers! Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
Disney Dream thanksgiving cruise 11/23/2011 Background This was my 19th cruise. I have travelled on most major lines. What I look for is itinerary, timing, ship, cost, then features etc. For this cruise,it was just my wife and I. I ... Read More
Disney Dream thanksgiving cruise 11/23/2011 Background This was my 19th cruise. I have travelled on most major lines. What I look for is itinerary, timing, ship, cost, then features etc. For this cruise,it was just my wife and I. I did not have my kids for this trip. I believe a bad day on a cruise ship is better than a good day at work. As I go through this, I am pointing out details that may not be significant to all. That is understandable. I hope to inform all types of cruisers. Booking Right away, for the avid cruiser, you notice that the price is much higher than the other lines. Considering that many of the Disney cruises are the standard Nassau and Disney cay, it is unusual to see prices close to 700 to 1000$ per person. Considering this was a holiday, and it fit our schedule perfectly, I knew that we would pay more. We used a TA for this. Disney is so good with their product, all ways work well. I do not think their log on system is anything like their competitors. For example, once you login in, you have to type in your reservation numbers each time. Carnival, RCL, princess etc all quickly show any and all reservations that you have made. RCL even shows your previous dream trips you have saved. The Disney land vacation system is a little better. Getting to the port I always recommend going a day earlier for the trip. It allows you some prep time and peace of mind. In the case a plane is cancelled, you have time to get on another flight. We stayed at Caribbean beach. A cheaper Disney option that worked well. There is a nice transportation system to get you around. I definitely recommend the transfers. Cabs will cost you about 55$ for two one way airport to hotel. Keep in mind, when you stay at the resort, you will not be the first on the ships. Depending on what location you stay at, you may arrive just a few hours prior to departing. Your bags will be picked up from your room around 8am. You will see them next outside your cabin prior to the ship departing. Smooth process. Relax. It is about an hour to hour and a half trip depending on traffic and other pickups. If you fly in the day of, definitely do the Disney transfers, that will save you trouble. At the port Disney has a dedicated port. It is very nice. It is sandwiched between two other ports that house a variety of carnival, RCl, and HAL ships. We had the Carnival pride there when we left and sensation and freedom of the seas when returning. The check in process is almost a walk through if you are not there right when it opens. Since Disney transfers get you there later, it is a quick check in. On line check in works great. The ship There were two reasons we took this trip. The ship and timing. Both were a hit. The ship is beautiful. The first thing you notice is the beautiful foyer. It does not look like anything out on the see. Very 20's traditional with no neon and flare. Simply classy. The Christmas decor was perfect. The ship is filled with music 24 7. Not annoying music, unless you do not like Disney music. It is soft and pleasant. Staterooms are my favorite. The split family style bathroom was really cool. One room for the commode and sink. Another room for the tub/shower and a second sink. Lots of storage on the balcony room. Keep in mind that they won the 2011 award for best inside and outside cabins. Did I say storage? The beds are nice with a large space under for luggage storage. The balconies are standard size. Most rooms have the Pullman drop down beds. They are not in the way of course. The tv's have flat screens with 24 access to sports, on demand tv shows and disny movies. These Disney movies are free. Hundreds of them. Note.... If you are in the back of the ship, you will feel a shimmy. If this bothers you on those sea nights, get a room towards the center. If you are on the right side, you will get the best view of cast-a-way cay and the port. Aka starboard. The rooms have a iPod, I phone dock. All rooms have cell phones that are used to communicate on the ship while you are around the ship. No Wilkie talkies needed. Two for each room. I am sure they would give you more if needed. Three dining rooms This is a clever idea. Everything they tell you is true about the dining. You move from place to place. Repeating on 4 nights or more trips. The meals are a little more elegant than I expected. The kids like the kids menu. The food was well displayed. Multiple portions allowed without any problems. Best news..... Sodas are free, except for the bars. Easy access to sodas. They servers are quicker with it than other lines too. Self service of sodas are available on deck 11 in the cabanas lido restaurant and on the pool deck. The royal palace restaurant is beautiful. It is laid out well and actually allows the servers more room. You feel less cramped. No problems getting to your seat. They seat you quickly and service is fast. One thing we notices right away is that they do not clean up after each course, other than the used plates. Even on carnival, they will swipe the table between each course with the medal scoop. Not on Disney. They do give you wipes before you enter instead of the spray. That actually is a nice touch. It does not dry your skin. The animators pallet is a cute restaurant. It is different than the Disney wonder and magic. There are screens all around that give the illusion you are surrounded by a fish tank. Characters from Nemo entertain you through out the meal. At one point, crush actually talks to the people. I was surprised that he did not get to all of the sections. He only got to 2 or 3 of the 6 sections. The garden restaurant that is modeled after Versailles is very pretty. A low sealing with some clever lighting, make this restaurant evolve nice throughout the day. A little cramped compared to the other two, but very nice. Nice lobster ravioli. The cabana .... Aka lido deck. A wonderful surprise. Clean. Fresh chilled shrimp and crabs served during the day. You do not see that on other lines. The silver ware is wrapped and ready on the tables. Very clean and well kept up. I have to brag on one employee. I told their boss before we left. A little girl tripped and broker her plastic flashing cup. He asked for a look at it and notice the crack. He went and got her a brand new one. Nice touch!!!! Nice selections on deck. There are also 6 flavors of soft serve and three flavors of regular ice cream served throughout the day. The cones are not as good as the other lines.... Pizza is available.. , but Disney really has an awful pizza compared to the competition. Bring in new pizza Disney! Aqua duck... And he pools Relax, you will have plenty of time to ride it. They rush is right when everyone gets on the ship. Go at night. Hardly no wait. Ride during the firework show. Night rides till midnight! I rode it twice. Fun. Nothing amazing, but your on a ship!!! the pools are nice and were heated. The spa is nice, but needs actual bubbles. They hand over the side of the ship with glass sides and bottom. The adult pool does get general traffic, but is very nice. We saw no issues with young folks hanging out there. The towels are laid out for you. Easy access for towels. Service around the pools is pretty good. We have seen better. The drink options are plentiful. The kids will fill up the other pools. Cool feature..... The funnel vision is the biggest and best at sea. Followed up with an amazing sound system, it is the way to go. Wow!!! They showed several football games on it, most of the dads were out there watching the games. Four of carnivals could fit on this one screen. Three of princesses screens would be close. Wow! Entertainment.... This is where Disney rocks. All three shows, golden mickey's, the villains, and believe we're excellent. Great for all audiences. There is also a movie theater - very large - on board with an amazing sound system and 3d technology. We saw cars 2 in 3d, real steel, and the new muppet movie onboard. Throughout your trip, there are seemingly impromptu shows by the Disney characters. The kids love this. Times are announced for the kids. The downside for them is they have no live band, and their comedians and entertainment choices in the other areas are lacking. No band, very little options for the great live entertainment you get on the other ships. The district The adults only areas are not crowded. They are well decorated and are non smoking. We like the non smoking aspect. Each bar has its own feel. The dance club is nice. They look nice, but last the excitement you see on other lines. Expected for Disney. Service is great. Kids areas..... They rocked. This is what they are known for. They have the largest staff at sea to take care of the kids. We did not have kids on this trip, so I can only go by what I heard. Zero negative comments. Their kids areas were not an after thought, but a forethought. Service The service is great, but not excellent. If you go outside of their process, like carnival, they flinch or may even say "I don't know." this was a let down. I expected higher level of service. Still not bad, but not as expected. Itinerary Nassau - a nice stop with plenty of things to do. The water is a little cold, but not impossible to swim in. Not too bad. Not going into the stops as much. Cast-a-way Cay This is a great stop for Disney. You feel as though you just went onto a new deck of the ship. All you need is your room key. Food is provided and sodas are free. Ice cream and all sorts of goodies. A few Disney store shops and beach item shops on shore. It is all about the beach and the water sports. So many things to do. The bike rentals cost 6 dollars per hour. Nice easy bike ride around the island. Beautiful and wonderful time there. Debarkation was the best yet. No calling out. If you want to get off early, be in the lobby at 7am to hang out. They will start letting people out by 8 am at the latest. No issue over waiting in common areas. They actually like when you go to your breakfast spot and leave when things are free. The luggage tags are set up by character. We were Goofy. Simple process there. Walk out. All in order. Help standing by. Easy time through customs and out you go. Took us just a few minutes for the whole process. Busses are waiting outside to load up folks for the different destinations. Definitely recommend transfers. We actually went back to beach club resort for a day at Epcot. Wou walk out the back of the resort and you are next to the back entrance to Epcot. We stayed at Epcot until 4 pm. We took a cab from the hotel and got to our flight early. Our flight was at 7:30pm. The hotel held our luggage. Awesome service there. My favorite Disney resort! Disney did a great job. It was a wonderful cruise. I am a little nit picky due to costs difference, but don't lose sight, the cruise was great Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
Overview We have been on many cruises, 15+, but most recently cruising has become a Thanksgiving vacation for us over the last 4-5 years. Most recently on Carnival Conquest and RCL Freedom of the Seas in 2009 and 2010. So a log of my ... Read More
Overview We have been on many cruises, 15+, but most recently cruising has become a Thanksgiving vacation for us over the last 4-5 years. Most recently on Carnival Conquest and RCL Freedom of the Seas in 2009 and 2010. So a log of my comparisons will be between those two ships given they are the freshest in my head. Cruise Rather than go over each individual day, below is a list of pros and cons of our cruise based on past experiences; Pros Embarkation/Debarkation - Both unbelievably easy. We drove to Port Canaveral the day before, stayed at the residence inn which was a great hotel. We left the hotel around 11am and were on the ship eating lunch at noon. Debarkation was just as easy. Left our room at 8:00 and were in the car driving back around 9. Port Canaveral is now our favorite port. Service was excellent. Most of the service personnel we interacted with remembered our names and were extremely polite. The personnel just seemed happier than the service personnel on our RCL cruise last year. Kids loved the waterslides. We were parked next to the RCL Oasis at most port which looked excellent to my wife and I, however, when we asked the kids if they would like to go on the Oasis next year, the response was no because they didn't have waterslides.... Food seemed overall good. We are by no means food connoisseur, but everything seemed fresh and tasted good. Shows seemed good and the kids seemed to like them. Kids club was much better than we experienced on the Carnival Conquest and comparable to RCL Freedom of the Seas. For whatever reason, the kids didn't seem as packed in as they did on the conquest even through it was over thanksgiving holiday. Cons Ship size/number of people that were on it. We are use to big ships and the crowded Thanksgiving cruises, but ship just seemed overly crowded. The public areas seemed very similar to the Conquest, but it had an additional 1000 people. The pool areas were especially crowded which is normal, but they never seemed to lighten up where on other ships, later in the afternoon or Island days, it was pretty easy to get a seat, where is wasn't on the Dream. The lines in the buffets were very long so we stuck the dining room for most meals. My take was that at 3500 people it would have been great ship, at 4500 people like our cruise, not so great... We have been to all of the islands in the past so we pretty much knew what to expect. We did have one problem in Nassau because our ship was late. As a result, our ship sponsored shore excursion to Blue lagoon island ran long and instead of dropping us off next to the ship where they picked up us, they dropped us off in the middle of town so we could 'shop' well, we had 15 minutes to get back to the ship before it left so im not sure how much shopping they thought we were going to do. We ended up running back to the ship with 2 kids in tow and barely made it. Talk about stress. Not cool, especially for a Carnival sponsored excursion. Salt water pools. We knew they were salt water before going, but still don't like it. The kids barely swam in them. Stayed mostly on the waterslides which were fresh water. Motion of the Ship. Ive been on a lot of ships in rough seas, but this one seemed to rock more than others. The water we rough during the sea days, but for that size ship, it really bounced around. Glasses fell off our nightstand and broke because of the motion which has never happened to us before. Lots of puking in the public areas... Overall We love cruising and have never had a bad one. On a scale from 1-10, I would rate this one about a 4 mainly because it was just too crowded. We didn't feel the public areas were big enough to accommodate that many people. Again, there were definitely some positives, but I don't think we will do that class of ship again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
We decided just three months from departure to travel over Thanksgiving. I had read so much about the Cove Balconies and wanted to experience one. We are two fifty something nurses from South Florida and are seasoned cruisers due to our ... Read More
We decided just three months from departure to travel over Thanksgiving. I had read so much about the Cove Balconies and wanted to experience one. We are two fifty something nurses from South Florida and are seasoned cruisers due to our proximity to several ports. We used a vacation planner from Carnival and he did a great job for us. We traveled to Cocoa Beach two days prior to the cruise for some beach time. I looked on several web sites for accommodations and finally selected the Best Western Ocean Front on Cocoa Beach. It was reasonable for ocean front and we were not disappointed. The hotel is older but very clean and was steps away from the local pier which had bars, restaurants and live entertainment on Friday night. They have a special before 8:00pm for a one pound Maine lobster for $10.00. My friend, who is from the Northeast, proclaimed it as one of the best lobsters she ever had. We were in cruise training, so had to order two...each! They were delicious. On Thursday and Friday we took a cab to Fishlips, a restaurant at the port, to watch several "sailaways" and it certainly gets one in the mood to cruise. We sat outside both nights and nearly froze to death. One must remember that we live very south in Florida and our blood is way too thin. I turn on my car heater when it is 65 degrees. I wished I had brought mittens. We elected to use one of the local parking establishments instead of mortgaging our car for the week to park at the port. It worked out very well and we will use this option for all of our cruises in the future. We were finally Platinum and were able to use priority embarkation. We were escorted to a private office just off of the embarkation area, invited to sit down, given water and proceeded to check in. It was more than civilized, it was heaven. We were then given group #1 cards and lead to a separate area. Waited 15 minutes and were escorted onto the ship. It was now only 11:10 AM. Proceeded to to the Tandoori Grill at the aft and literally had the ship to ourselves. The Indian grill was outstanding. Be sure to try the pineapple and tomato relish. I ate there every day. We eagerly awaited 1:30 when the rooms would be ready as I just had to see how really close the Cove balcony was to the water. I was also hauling around many sodas and mixers in a rolling suitcase plus my other carry on. Felt like a bar on wheels. We had ordered liquor from the Bon Voyage dept. and I must say it certainly saved on our bar bill. Well...the Cove was exactly as I had pictured it. Yes, I could barely see over the dock, as we were that low. It was very cozy and had plenty of space to put everything. I have to admit the beds were not comfortable and did not seem like the great beds we have had on other Carnival cruises. It was more like a rock and since we were in a "cave balcony" as I began to call it, it was appropriate I suppose. The bathroom was adequate and had ample storage spaces. We elected to go to the Steakhouse on the first night as they were offering a free bottle of wine for embarkation night only. I assure you, we are lushes only on vacation. I was a bit worried as we ate in the steakhouse on the Oasis in May and were very disappointed. Well, this meal rivaled any upscale steakhouse anywhere. The surroundings were exquisite, service outstanding and the food amazing! We had MTD in the upper Crimson dining room and the only time we waited was on Thanksgiving night. The new menu was excellent and the service top notch. We asked for a booth each night and received it most of the time. Most mornings breakfast was room service which we enjoyed on the balcony. It was served at the time specified on the card placed on the door before retiring each night. The entertainment was varied and excellent. The Black Jack Band played on the Lanai most evenings and they are so talented and personable, too. Do not miss this band. I had read so much about the Lanai area on deck five, but I have to say I was not impressed. It felt very closed in to me. The outside portion had chairs, tables and loungers but the plexiglass partitions made it feel almost claustrophobic. The BBQ lunch here featured hamburgers and hot dogs. We felt like it was very overdone and only ate there once. There are plenty of other places to eat. Do not miss the Pasta Bar, which is actually an entire restaurant at the aft section and upstairs from the buffet. It was outstanding. Other cruisers do not find out about this place until the third or fourth day. Their Ceasar salad is fresh and tasty. The comedy lounge is beautiful and the perfect setting for the shows. They were all very funny and definitely R rated. They also offer family comedy shows. Get there at least 30 minutes before the show as it was standing room only the entire week. Do not miss Dancin in the Streets and the Fun Force dancers. The casino was very accommodating and Dirk, at the casino bar, was the best bartender we have ever had. Hysterically funny and very entertaining. I know many do not like the Jumbotron movie screen by the main pool but I really enjoyed our time there. On Thanksgiving morning seated in comfortable loungers, the Bloody Mary cart waiter making our favorite cocktails while watching the Macy's parade, priceless! I certainly do not remember a better setting for this time honored tradition. There were several who enjoyed the many football games here, as well. The seas were.....rough the entire week, but this just made the cove balcony that much more fun. Maybe it didn't seem too crowded all week because people were sea sick. Whatever the reason, we encountered very few lines and the other cruisers were very well mannered. We did not get off in Nassau but did the Carnival excursion "St. John Catamaran and Snorkeling in St. Thomas. I do not usually do ship sponsored excursions but felt traveling to an adjacent island required the assurance of the ship waiting for us if we were delayed. The catamaran was not over cowded and the staff was very accommodating. They had a dingy to take you to the beach that was very easily accessible. In St Maarten we did a private tour with Bernard's Tours and stayed with him for most of the day. Maho beach was beautiful, much better than Orient Beach, which surprised me. The jets landing over your head has to be experienced to be believed. We had a fabulous time, the ship is beautiful, the service outstanding, the food unbelievably good and the holiday passed without a single dished washed by me. I would recommend this cruise to everyone and I'm usually a Royal Caribbean snob. Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
We have just come back from a back to back Carnival cruise and had a wonderful time. I wont go over what everyone else has already written, but apart from the air con being too cool inside the ship , the second weeks entertainment the same ... Read More
We have just come back from a back to back Carnival cruise and had a wonderful time. I wont go over what everyone else has already written, but apart from the air con being too cool inside the ship , the second weeks entertainment the same as the first weeks, and the same menu in the dining room, everything the cruise had to offer was wonderful. Our carnival trips ashore were informative and exactly what we expected and wanted. We did book through Bernard's tours in St Marten and would recommend this thoroughly. Slim our guide was wonderful, fun and helpful in every way. Our Belize trip down the river Wallace, the mayan ruins, and the trip into the jungle was so exciting. Where else would you get Manatees, dolphins, monkeys, crocs,iguanas, in the wild, all in the one place. Definitely worth the trip. Our stateroom was lovely, clean, airy and roomy and we would recommend the cove balcony which is nearest the sea to see the flying fish and the dolphins! Unfortunately our balcony had to be closed for a couple of nights because of a storm, but were soon opened again when it was safe. The meals in the Scarlet dining room were lovely and our waiters Florenza and Keelan....probably spelled wrong......were the best. Nothing was too much trouble for them . The same goes for Leonardo our steward. Nice man, very quick and efficient. Loved the serenity deck, free of children.....a lovely place to relax between trips. The American people as a whole were extremely friendly to us Brits and always willing to have a chat, nice people and very helpful in lots of ways. In the two weeks my husband and I are proud to announce that we win the trivia quiz THREE times. !!! Despite the fact that some teams had five in them to our two....... Three golden ships on a stick were our precious prizes, and they are on prominent display in our house!!! Lovely staff, lovely meals, lovely trips,lovely weather (except for a couple of days )lovely clean ship, and decent entertainment, what more could you want on holiday ! We had it all ! Thank you Dream..... Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
We booked adjoining cabins for this cruise... my wife and I, and my daughter and her two children, ages 4 and 10. Being wheelchair bound, we were leery about the children. It was unfounded! In fact, the 10 year old boy did most of the ... Read More
We booked adjoining cabins for this cruise... my wife and I, and my daughter and her two children, ages 4 and 10. Being wheelchair bound, we were leery about the children. It was unfounded! In fact, the 10 year old boy did most of the pushing, giving my wife a respite. The food was HORRIBLE on the first night! The escargot tasted weird and, as anyone would tell you, ALL food was good... some was better than others, but ALL food was good to me. We wondered just what we were getting into. Carnival always had great food... no worry, as the next night and for the rest of the cruise, the food was excellent! Also, Ronaldo, our waiter, was very friendly, and he really helped us with the handicapped stuff. Carnival did a GREAT job entertaining the kids, and we didn't worry about them (well, not much) The weather was bad... it rained most of the time, but that's Mother Nature's fault, not Carnival. The only problem we had was the rocking of the boat. My wife became sick and I nearly needed a seasick pill. Is that because of the size of the ship? Carnival Glory and other ships that size that we were on were stable... All in all, the cruise was enjoyable, and we wouldn't hesitate to invite the kids again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
This was our 2nd cruise aboard the Carnival Dream. We boarded her out of Port Canaveral which is very convenient for us living here in Central Florida. Our first cruise was December, 2009, when Carnival had a one-time 9-day itinerary and ... Read More
This was our 2nd cruise aboard the Carnival Dream. We boarded her out of Port Canaveral which is very convenient for us living here in Central Florida. Our first cruise was December, 2009, when Carnival had a one-time 9-day itinerary and this cruise was a 7-day with a few of the ports. The only complaint back in 2009 and in September, 2011, is that the ship's food court on the Lido Deck is not large enough to accommodate a ship with so many passengers. The staff can't (or don't) get the tables cleared fast enough to eliminate the confusion of passengers standing around waiting for tables. We are Milestone Rewards Carnival cruises so we get VIP service. This was the first time we tried the "Your Time Dining" and it was wonderful. Our first night we gave the dining room hostess our stateroom number, requesting a 2T (table for two) and we were taken to a lovely little alcove where there were four tables for two - it overlooked the first floor of the formal dining room. Our servers were excellent. The food? Well, we have trouble ordering food we can't pronounce but we did find the 'comfort' food selection was very good for the nights we didn't want to order from the menu of the night. We did not make it to Nassau as the hurricane was too close so the captain took us further south toward Cuba and we went on to St. Thomas. In 2009 we stayed in a suite which was nice. This time we booked a regular balcony which was more than adequate. My husband is a smoker and never smokes in the stateroom so the balcony is perfect for him. Most all the cruiselines are prohibiting smoking in staterooms without the passengers having to pay upwards of $250 cleaning fee. The cleaning fee in most cases would be cheaper than upgrading to a balcony but we do prefer the luxury of sitting outside as we cruise - particularly at night. We would recommend this ship to families and it would be great for reunions, as well. I don't know that we will board her again any time soon even though the port is so convenient and, we have been on so many cruises, east/west doesn't matter...we are beginning to take longer cruises to far away places. We'll see how that pans out. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
Hi, WE had a 3 nights stay in Florida before the Cruise and a four nights stay afterwards which was very good. The Cruise itself- you can't help but be impressed by the size of the Freedom of the Seas - very majestic and to coin an ... Read More
Hi, WE had a 3 nights stay in Florida before the Cruise and a four nights stay afterwards which was very good. The Cruise itself- you can't help but be impressed by the size of the Freedom of the Seas - very majestic and to coin an Americanism- "Awesome" in appearance. The embarkation experience was very good with only a short wait in line before actually getting onto the ship. We went up to the Windjammer top dining area where food and drinks were available and gave you a "taster" (pardon the pun) of what was to come. We later got access to our cabin which had it's own balcony and we were impressed with the standard of it and also the quality and space available. We then had a bit of a tour of the ship and was impressed by it's size and it's cleanliness - a great first impression. As the days went on we discovered more and more and all in all it is very impressive. We had booked to see all the shows on the first day (do this when you first get on it will save you hassle later) and the shows we saw were very very good indeed especially the ice show. The dining experience in the main dining room was excellent with top class food and top class service ( that was our experience of it) The only thing that grated slightly was the 2 formal evenings where ok you dress up smart but then afterwards you have nowhere to go if you catch my drift. If we have another cruise i think we may pass on the formal evening and go up to the Windjammer dining area in our "mufti" far more comfortable!. The Casino was good fun and the sunbathing and all the other Holiday aspects were excellent. The Ports of Call were ok - Labedee!! all that happened was the entire Ship was taken onto a lovely Caribbean Island and the idyllic beach became a camp site of bright blue "cabanas! that were erected right in front of you spoiling the views - what's that all about??? Falmouth Jamaica - never again! it was hell on earth with the locals assuming that you had money coming out of your every pore and tried to relieve you of it at every opportunity. It gave a bad impression of what probably is a nice place. Grand Cayman - beautiful and the people were in a different league to the Jamaicans - we would certainly have no fears going back there. Cozumel - we both enjoyed it and had a tour of the Island in a local Taxi and went to some Mayan ruins which looked remarkably like some i have seen on Cyprus?? I did get bitten with mossies there and the bites flared up again when i got back to the UK after a couple of weeks - dunno about that but you have been warned!!. Then back to Port Canaveral and disembarkation was not just as smooth as getting on the ship and the outside area where we awaited our Taxi was a little disorganised and cattle markettish. All in all can't fault the value for money or the experience the only downside- in our opinion-is that you only get a slight taster of the places you dock at due to the time restraints and you don't see a lot when you are physically sailing from A to B compared to land trips we have done -obviously!!! We may go again in the future but after a good tour of the USA or down to OZ and Zoo Nealand. Regards, Terry And Jean Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
I booked my cruise in January 2010 and spent time reviewing and researching. I had read mixed reviews but was not worried as I find many people just like to find something to moan about. If you go on the Dream and don't have a great ... Read More
I booked my cruise in January 2010 and spent time reviewing and researching. I had read mixed reviews but was not worried as I find many people just like to find something to moan about. If you go on the Dream and don't have a great time it's because you choose not!Embarkation and Debarkation were excellent - extremely well organised.The food in the dining room was to die for every single night - not a single complaint - it was always cooked just how I like it and the service was fabulous. I had the warm chocolate melting cake every night and I think I'm having withdrawals now! The food on the rest of the ship was also great with lots of choices. I loved the pasta bar and the tandoor. I never encountered long lines etc. at all.Pools - they were busy but still plenty of room for all. Didn't try the water slide.The entertainment was first class - no chance of ever getting bored as there was always something to do. The night time shows were simply amazing and I also loved the comedians at the late night adult shows - so funny!Butch and George did a fantastic job - after one meeting always greeted me by name for the rest of the cruise.Overall this was just a dream trip. I made lots of new friends and did all that I hoped to do. A week at Disneyworld after wards just topped it off. Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
Christmas get away for my husband and me, our two young adult children, son's girlfriend and our niece. First time cruising for everyone but me, I have gone on 2 other Carnival cruises with friends. I have loved cruising so much, so I ... Read More
Christmas get away for my husband and me, our two young adult children, son's girlfriend and our niece. First time cruising for everyone but me, I have gone on 2 other Carnival cruises with friends. I have loved cruising so much, so I wanted my family to try it too. Pros: Fun group on board - there were 8 college basketball teams sailing, including one from our area - Northwest Iowa, so plenty of young people to keep things upbeat. Great food and plenty of it. The band that played at the main shows was amazing. Skip was a great cruise director, very funny guy. Amazing service, from porters, to waiters, to Customer service peeps. Variety of activities available at all times. Serenity deck - peace and quiet. Freeport = Junkanoo Beach. Clean, almost had the place to ourselves, beautiful Nassau = Blue Lagoon Island Beach Day. We booked it ourselves thanks to tips found here on Cruise Critic boards. Paradise - would recommend this anyone who wants to get away from the crowds and experience heaven on earth. Cons: There were a couple of not great things, but who cares? It's vacation - don't let it bother you. Bottom line: Our daughter suffered from sea sickness, no more cruising for her. But our son and his girlfriend are planning to go again, the jury is still out for our niece, and hooray for me......... dh is up for more cruising. That makes this cruise a success ! Read Less
Sail Date December 2010

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