Cruising on the Dream
Carnival Dream Cruise Review to Caribbean - Eastern
Sail Date: November 15, 2015
Ship: Carnival Dream
Cabin Type: Suite
Cabin Number: 7363
Traveled As: Couple
Reviewed: 2 years ago
It has been a few days since we debarked from the Dream so now is a good time to write a review. First, regarding the smells on the Dream that have been mentioned in previous reviews. There were a few areas on the ship where there were offensive odors but they did not remain in those areas. Makes me wonder what really caused them. That is the end of talking about odors.
The embarkation process went fairly smoothly other than our Sail and Sign cards not being ready even though we booked the cruise in April. We had priority boarding so we were actually on the ship shortly after 11am but the cabins were not ready. One thing we found out was that boarding that early causes your luggage to be delivered late (or so we were told by our room steward). No big deal. I was disappointed in the lack of formality in the muster drill. People were talking and drinking the whole time and one person who had a child under 12 lied about the child’s age so she would not have to wear the wristband (more about passenger behavior later).
The food available on the Lido decked was mediocre to terrible. The burgers were dry (so missed Guy’s Burger Joint on this cruise) and the buffet food (what we tried) lacked any flavor. Even the Oceanside Grill was a disappointment. It is not actually barbecue (it is what some refer to as faux-cue) but that was not the problem. It was dry and tasteless. We never tried the Mongolian Wok due to the constant long lines. Maybe they were good. We ate in the main dining room every night except the night we went to the steakhouse. The steakhouse was okay, not great. Maybe we ordered the wrong items. The food in the main dining room was pretty good with the desserts being the star of the meal (warm chocolate melting cake and Grand Marnier Souffle were the best). The stars of our cruise, though, were our dining room staff. Our head waitress, Nantha, and her team made us feel special as did the hostess, Andreja. We do not know why but she gave us special treatment all week making sure we were quickly seated (we had Your Time Dining) and personally came to our table to check on us a few nights. She even saw that we got a special dessert the last night of the cruise. So kudos go out to our dining room staff. The last thing about food was that the Seaday brunch was really good. Make sure you try it.
The shows and comedians were not the best that we have experienced with Carnival but were entertaining. We loved the female comedian at the beginning of the cruise, Caroline Picard. Dan Chopin was pretty funny. Mark Simmons comedy was a little too vile for me. The singers/dancers put in a good effort but the shows just lacked some energy compared to others I have seen.
First port of call was Key West. It rained just as we arrived and that jacked up the humidity. However, unless you are interested in some history or want to go bar hopping there is really not a lot to do in Key West. Next was Freeport. It also rained there as we arrived. A number of shore excursions (including what we planned to do) were cancelled due to rough waters so we did a beach getaway and found out the waters were rough. They were also a little cooler than I expected. Finally we went to Nassau and did an excursion at Atlantis. It also rained as we arrived and remained cloudy most of the day. Atlantis is HUGE and really requires a multi-day stay to see and do everything there (it is now on our future vacation list). One thing did happen as we were leaving the ship that morning that disappointed me. When leaving we asked the shopping person, Emily, for information on the shops in Nassau (they are right outside the port area). She did not give us any information, telling us we would not have time to do any shopping. I thought that was very rude and unprofessional. We were able to go shopping for about an hour after returning from Atlantis.
The sea days were pretty relaxing but they had to perform a medical evacuation by helicopter on Saturday. It was pretty amazing the way the helicopter was able to match the speed of the ship and get the process completed in about 15 minutes. Later that evening the medical team was called to the main pool because someone got hurt up there.
Debarkation went pretty well but here is another area where I have a problem. You are given the option to use either “self-assist” or “relaxed debarkation”. We used the latter and were in Group 3. While waiting on Deck 5 for the self-assist process to be completed we noticed a number of passengers with very little luggage. They were obviously in the “relaxed debarkation” group but decided to get off with the “self-assist” group. I saw one person leave with only two boxes of liquor and a family leave with one small suitcase and a teddy bear in a box. So my biggest complaint on this cruise would be the behavior of the passengers. I saw people pressing the button to close the elevator doors as people were trying to get on. People would try to get off the glass elevators but those standing in the front would not move. Before one of the shows I got up to go to the restroom and when I got back a man was sitting with his legs spread wide open giving me very little room to sit even after being told by my wife that I was sitting there. A woman sat down next to us in the comedy club where there was really no room to sit (and left her husband/boyfriend to stand by himself). Others decided to have loud conversations in the hallways in the middle of the night. We smelled cigarette smoke while sitting on our balcony even though balconies are non-smoking areas. It seems that a number of people on this cruise did not know how to follow rules nor how to behave in public which is sad.