A very pleasant cruising experience
Carnival Dream Cruise Review to Caribbean - Western
Cabin Type: Oceanview
Traveled As: Family (older children)
Reviewed: 4 years ago
Review SummaryCompared to our last cruise, which had around 2600 passengers, we were originally concerned that this sold-out cruise would be overwhelmingly busy. However, the entire family was pleasantly surprised! The reported number of guests on the ship was just over 4600, and much to our surprise, it didn't feel any 'busier' than the smaller ship we took a year ago. With the exception of one standing-room-only comedy show in the lounge, and a packed swimming pool a few days (the pools are way to small), we rarely waited in line for anything longer than 5-10 minutes.
The adult area on one of the upper decks was nice to relax in, and had some great two-person hammocks to enjoy the breeze and night sky. Only complaint there is the area is not 'policed' properly by staff so after dark kids (teens) roam the area freely, which tends to chip away at the relaxation potential.
Somewhat disappointed that Carnival (and others) have moved towards the 'pay extra' mindset with some of their restaurants. Want a good steak, eat it in the dining room. Want a GREAT steak... pay $30pp and have it in the reservation-only steak restaurant. I personally think cruises should remain all-inclusive, and I should get that GREAT steak in the main dining room without the extra charge.
Kids complained that they could never get on the basketball court because it was always being used by the same people (first come, first served - no reservations or waitlist). One of the few issues related to the large crowd.
Overall, great experience; pleasant, relaxing trip; HUGE ship, but perfect for catering to 4500+ people.
Food and Dining
24-hour ice cream and hot chocolate were a favorite of the kids AND adults\, as was the 24-hour pizza/calzone bar. My kids have come to love and expect \"midnight calzones\" with dad while onboard.
Chocolate melting cake is also a favorite and shouldn't be missed... it's a Carnival staple!
Service and Staff
Was disappointed to have a manager 'bark' at a very nice waitress that was engaging us in conversation - twice during the cruise. Management needs to understand that part of customer service is connecting with the customer. Staff engaging in conversations with guests is not slacking off\, it's providing good customer service.
Layout isn't ideal (large dining rooms in the middle of a few of the upper floors so navigating from front to back sometimes required changing floors)\, but keep a map handy and you can make it work.
Cabin / Stateroom
Pros: Itinerary\, variety of food\, movies on deck\, size of ship
Cons: Size of pools\, adult area not properly 'policed'