May 2015 - 7 Night Western Caribbean (New Orleans Roundtrip) Cruise on Carnival Dream
Great Ship - A Few tweaks would make it perfect...
The boat is huge and has some features that some others don't, including a mini-golf course and some water slides. Where I felt this ship was lacking a bit, was in the dining options. Sure it had the standard, same as every ship lunch options...It also has the standard 2-3 signature lunch stops which were good. There was a burrito bar which was our favorite, a Mediterranean place which my wife also loved, but probably a bit more than me because she's from Turkey so that hit her sweet spot, and there was an "off the grill", burger kind of place.
All-in-all, the dining was pretty good, but, on the last ship we were on (Carnival Sunshine), there was a "Guys Burger Joint" which I feel was greatly superior to the "On the Grill". If I were Carnival, I'd follow the Guy Burger Joint recipe...I'm sure there's a logistical reasons they haven't, like they can only make hamburgers that way in a "Guys Burger Joint" but if they have more "Guys" they have to pay Guy more cash. More than this little tiff (you're probably like, who is this guy, Michael Moore), is that there weren't any "pay option" dining other than the Chefs Table restaurant (the de-facto pay steakhouse on the ship). Again, on the Carnival Sunshine, there was the standard steakhouse, but in addition to that there was a paid "Italian Restaurant" and a "Sushi Spot" that was also paid. I'm also cheap on top being a well-rounded complainer, but we decided to try these paid places on the Carnival Sunshine and... WOW... soooo good, especially the sushi place. It was like "wow, these rolls are pretty cheap" and so we got several and had really great sushi (and a good amount of it) for like $30...we went back.
Bottom-Line, if the Dream had "Guys Burger Joint" and the "Sushi Place" from the Sunshine, it'd probably be so good, that you'd never want to go on others...aside from seeing other ports.
Now to the itinerary. Probably one of the best itineraries I've had, though Jamaica was just "pretty good" (I blame that on not loving our excursion). That said, I say the Grand Caymen & Cozumel are 2 of the best ports we've been to. I've been on three cruises now and I feel like my dream cruise would be: St. Thomas, Grand Caymen, Cozumel. We've been to Cozumel 2 times, going to Play del Carmen on one, and taking a taxi to a public beach the other (both fantastic)...there are sooooo many great things to do in Cozumel.
The shows were pretty good, and they had break-dancers which added a little extra "fun" to their shows that was missing from other ships, and this ship has a HUGE comedy club, which is much better than any other I've been in. Their comedy club MC, "The Fun Dude", was by far the Best MC in the comedy club...I kind of wish the Fun Dude was doing sets of comedy too.
I'd say this trip ties for my best experience because of the better itinerary, and the larger comedy club & great MC, the put-putt course, and water slides... If they could up their dining game a bit (even just changing the "off the grill" to a "guys burger joint" , the Dream and this itinerary would truly be the Dream.
Oh, and notice I didn't say anything about the night-clubs...because that's not really our thing. Unchhh unchhhh unchhhh.