Carnival Dream Cruise Review to Caribbean - Western

Contributor Level: Third Mate

Experience
2-3 cruises

Review
1

Helpful Votes
19

4 out of 5

Great Ship - A Few tweaks would make it perfect...

Sail Date: May 10, 2015

Reviewed: 1 year ago

Traveled As: Couple

Room Type: Oceanview

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.

 

Ship Quality
Newly renovated, the ship was lovely.
Food and Dining
Wish it had a "Guys Burger Joint" and the "Sushi Spot" the Carnival Sunshine has. The "Ocean Plaza" felt larger than similar areas on other ships, maybe if some of that space was better re-purposed.
Cabin / Stateroom
We got an ocean view, but were upgraded to a family room so lucked out...the bigger cabin was ULTRA NICE for relaxing while my wife got ready.
Service and Staff
It was hit or miss, the Carnival Freedom, our first cruise still takes the cake for service...The service was good all around, but I denote great to what we got on the Freedom.
Entertainment
The shows and break-dancers were great, and in the Comedy Club, the "Fun Dude" was phenomenal...the huge comedy club made it easier to see more shows.
Children's Programs
N/A
Onboard Activities
Probably the best on-board activities I've seen...really liked movies under the stars. The 4th floor felt kind of empty, like just the library and a restaurant...other ships felt like they had more stuff in the interior.
Destinations and Excursions
Grand Caymen & Cozumel were incredible...Montego Bay was good, I'd need to go back and do something different as an excursion to be a better judge.
New Orleans, Louisiana
Watch the crazy people on Burbon Street, Big & Cheap Drinks, Good food, entertainment galore, Cafe Du Monde.
Montego Bay, Jamaica
It was seemingly beautiful, but our excursion wasn't great, most of the time on the bus, hurried from A to B, not much time to learn, or relax.
George Town, Grand Cayman
One of the most beautiful ports I've been to, lots to do, lots to see, beautiful beaches, will definately go back.
Cozumel, Mexico
If you want shopping, take an excursion (you can get the boat or a boat and tour combo) to Play del Carmen, shop in their stores, eat their food, relax on their beaches...come back to Cozumel with a little time to spare for the shopping complex there. If you just want to relax...go to the cab stand, have them take you to the closest public beach ($15 for 2-5 people), at the public beach (a resort) you can pay $15 per person for wifi and use of their facilities...all and all for 2 it was $45, but the drinks were cheap, the pool/beach wasn't too crowded...and it was easy living...do note you will be haggled to buy things, if you can't handle that, you're probably staying on the ship anyway.

Tip

Spend your first day walking up and down the main, non-cabin, decks...it's big, and once you get the lay of the land you can better understand how to get from A-B faster, avoid waiting with groups for elevators, etc. and map out the areas you like best to get the most out of the cruise/ship.



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