Carnival Dream Cruise Review to Caribbean - Eastern

Contributor Level: Deck Hand

Experience
1 cruise (first)

Review
1

Helpful Votes
9

2 out of 5

Walmart with a Water Slide

Sail Date: December 17, 2011

Reviewed: 4 years ago

Traveled As: Singles/Friends

Room Type: Inside

The ship is really big and clean. The ship itself is not the reason for my bad rating, but the really bad activities, unimpressive food, and corny performances made for a poor cruising experience. There was not enough outdoor seating to accommodate all the guests on the sunny cruise days - we were packed in like sardines and there were screaming children everywhere. The singers and performers were horrid (except for some good dancing), and activities on-board were confined to bingo and "how-to's" on jewelry shopping at port. It seemed a good environment for teenagers, but any semi-cultured adult would find the situation a bit disgusting. However, the service staff was excellent and everything was clean and well-kept.

Pros: The exercsise room and spa area was really nice. But you had to pay an extra $100 to have access to the spa facilities of steam rooms and secluded lounge areas for adults only.

Cons: Nothing was at all classy. The ship was crowded without enough outdoor lounge areas. The food was not very good at all - about the level of a Golden Corral. The stops ar port were very short, not leaving enought time for activites other than shopping at the many of junky tourist shops or jewlers.

Recommends Carnival Dream? No.

Ship Quality
Ship was very big with plenty of room inside. The outdoor deck areas were not large enough to accommodate everyone on sunny days, but the ship was fully booked at the time of my cruise. Public areas were well decorated and comfortable, but often crowded with staff trying to take photos or sell junky goods. I felt more like I was in a Walmart than on a cruise ship. Everything was very clean and the service staff was excellent.
Food and Dining
Quality of food was poor. Everything was close to what would be found at a typical buffet style restaurant. Even the meals in the formal dining area were average tasting at best. There was a large variety of food offered, but the wait was long for these popular items.
Convenience of dining times is good, but after dinner ends the only option is greasy pizza or ice cream - they don't even leave out fruit or sandwiches for healthier options. However, it is possible to order better options through 24 hour free room service.
Cabin / Stateroom
The room was of adequate size and with good amenities. Plenty of room for clothing and large bathroom. We had a bunk-bed room that was handicapped accessible. Both beds were comfortable and this left more floor space.
It was loud inside the room - we could hear all activity in the hallway and loud noises from the ship itself. The TV only had a few channels, but we did not watch much TV anyway.
The room was VERY clean and the room attendants were excellent - this was one of the best aspects of the cruise.
The location chosen for our room was also excellent - on deck 11, close to the buffet area, pools, deck areas, and spa.
Service and Staff
Most attendants were friendly and VERY hard working. Because they work so hard, it was easy to see they were very overworked and tired. I think Carnival is abusive to their staff, not providing good working conditions for the long hours, even joking about how they force them to work 16 hour days every day of the week without holidays for almost a year at a time... The staff themselves were great people and did all they could to ensure our comfort. Some of the bar staff and "higher up" employees were not very friendly and did not seem happy to have us as customers.
Entertainment
This was one of the worst aspects of the cruise. All the entertainment in the day was geared toward selling things - art, jewelry, spa packages, casino, etc. There were no activities for adults that did not focus on getting more money. The kid activities did sound good, though.
The shows in the evenings were of poor quality - maybe what one would expect to see at a high school. The stage was nice with a large theater and great lighting system, but the performances were horrid.
The comedy shows were pretty good, but a few of the comics were not great. Also, there was usually not enough seating for everyone in the comedy room, so people had to wait in line and still risk not being able to find a seat. The other options of piano bar and jazz room were of very low quality and I rarely saw guests in there. The other option was karaoke.... yuck.
Children's Programs
There were many activities, staff, and facilities directed solely toward children and teens. This seemed like a good ship if you go as a family.


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