We have cruised a Thanksgiving week cruise on the Carnival Dream in 2015. The experience was great and enjoyable. This Thanksgiving Cruise on the Dream was frustrating. Passengers' behavior watching the NFL football games late into the night were not controlled well. We had multiple nights when the fans would leave the outdoor theater around the pool and come inside the wing with cabins and march through the halls blowing whistles, hooping, and screaming profanity about the outcome of the game. The noise was so loud after 11PM that it was scaring our children awake. This was hard to understand why no one was controlling the disruptions so late at night.
I have never been on a cruise ship before were the cruise director comes over the PA system on the ship every afternoon to tell parents to monitor their children's behavior more closely and not allow them to make noise in the morning while passengers are sleeping. I have a problem with that. Security and staff was allowing adults to have complete chaos during and after football game events and adult movies late into the night. There was no consideration given to the parents trying to lay children down to sleep in a peaceful environment. I did not want to pay nor go on a trip where I couldn't get my child to sleep because the noise chaos was so extreme and then be told multiple times to be respectful to the adults in the morning who are wanting to sleep late. The ship had over 4,500 passengers and over 1,500 children (ages 2 -17). This did not include children under two. This trip made up feel that parents with children had less flexibility towards the children and opportunities for our children.
We feel that we would not take another cruise with Carnival for a long time. If I am paying this much for a 8 night vacation then I would not have expected to listen to an afternoon speech each day instructing parents to keep their children quiet in the morning and be respectful to adults during adult activities. This was not a good family vacation.
5 out of 5
The port service was awesome to help us get our disabled child through the process quickly with having any meltdowns.
Food and Dining
4 out of 5
The buffets for lunch did not have a wide variety that everyone would eat, so we ended up eating many sub sandwiches instead of a hot meal. The main dining staff was very polite and attentive; however, mealtime took over 1.5 hours and that is hard with four young children.
3 out of 5
Our children loved the slides, but it was very frustrating at the same time. The rules for the slides are by the child's height. However, when you have a four year old that has stunted growth because of a genetic condition he is not allowed to slide with his sisters because of his short stature. Other children three and younger were allowed to ride the slides without question. I understand the rules are there to protect the kids from drowning, but there needs to be a plan in place to handle children with disabilities so they are not excluded and treated like babies and told to only use the baby slides. My son cried more over not being able to use the slides were his three sisters were playing because his genetic disorder.
2 out of 5
The Ship's stage shows were put on very well, and they were very entertaining. We rarely got to stay to see a whole show because it started so late, and we were required to pick up our children by 10 pm from the children activities. The start time of the show could be made earlier to accommodate more parents. The violinist and other musicians played beautifully. We absolutely loved listening to them play each day.
The Lido deck pool theater was not kid friendly this cruise. Every night two adult movies played outside by the pool. Only on the last night of the trip did to ship play a children's movie. It would have been awesome if the ship showed a children's movie first followed by an adult movie. Our children were disappointed that they could not utilize the outdoor movie theater except once the entire trip,
The Dream decided twice to show the NFL Saints football game and even the LSU College football game. Many guests requested that the Alabama versus Auburn game be played at the pool on the last Saturday afternoon. Alabama is and has been ranked number 1 in the nation for college football. The ship completely refused to show the game. It seemed very bias that only local New Orleans teams were being shown and no others.
5 out of 5
The Children Staff worked very well with our four children. I wish that they could give each family a ship phone so the parents can be reached instantly incase of a problem or if the child wants to leave prematurely.
Service and Staff
4 out of 5
Our cabin steward was not very friendly. He introduced himself on the first day and then rarely was around any day after that. We were not given the correct amount of wash cloths and bath towels numbers times requiring us to call and wait for guest services to bring more to us so we could get our four children ready for bed.
Our dinner staff was always very polite and accommodating. They were very kind, sweet, and attentive to our children. Some nights it did take right at two hours to complete our meal. Our meal order would be taken but not sent down to the kitchen to be pulled right away. When the food arrived at the station it was common for it to sit at the station while any alcohol drinks that were ordered were entered and served. This meant our food was very late and cold. We had to send multiple items back because they were not close to being the correct temperature.
4 out of 5
I wish the ship was more open down the center of the ship. It makes the interior of the cruise ship more closed off and not as much fluid motion of people traveling from one end of the ship to the other. Common areas were kept clean. It was noticeable that the ship was showing large amounts of rust all over the exterior of the ship.
Cabin / Stateroom
4 out of 5
The cabin was neat and clean when we first arrived. However, we learned that the Dream will only clean your stateroom once a day and not twice. We still pay the same amount of gratuities for one cleaning as we would for two cleanings. This change was tricky for us. If we had to get clean from playing hard before dinner then we would use all of our bath towels. Then later that night we would have to call guest services for clean towels to be brought into the room to reclean everyone before bed. Most mornings the garbage cans were full and trying to overflow onto the floor.
The king bed was horrible. The whole mattress needed to be replaced. When you moved in the bed you could hear the springs popping and releasing. There was a huge hump in the middle of the king bed with low centers. This bump did not allow us to lay next to each other comfortably. Our bathroom shower did not drain well for the first two nights. We had to have it repaired. The ship repaired the shower but no one came back to the room to rewash the shower out from all the nasty residue left from the drainage mess or clean up from the dirty work boots. The remote for the tv was broken only allowing us to turn the volume down and only allowing us to change to a lower channel (never a higher channel).
It would have been nicer to have more television channels in English, or at least offer both channels in Spanish and English.
The disembarkation experience was wonderful. We needed to walk off the ship as early as possible due to prior commitment. Meeting early in the staging area for walk offs with their own luggage allowed us to get to our prior commitment in time even with a five hour drive. Customs went very smooth and not very stressful.
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