Great Get Away, first time on Carnival

Carnival Dream Cruise Review to Caribbean - Western

Cruises: 2-3 cruises
Reviews: 3
Helpful Votes: 42

Overall rating:

3.7 out of 5
Carnival Dream

7 Night Western Caribbean (New Orleans Roundtrip)

Sail date: February 03, 2019

Ship: Carnival Dream

Cabin type: Balcony

Traveled as: Couple

Reviewed: 2 years ago

Review summary

This is cruise number 3 for both of us, and the first time on Carnival. The "Dream" is a great ship. Comments, observations and about our Stateroom:- Sail & Sign cards are delivered to your room upon day of embarkation and are linked to your credit card with an initial hold of $200.00 U.S., adding more as you spend if you exceed the hold. Interestingly they are different colors depending on your "status" with Carnival. Don't know if this is good or bad. You'll need your card to leave and board the ship at ports of call, and it also functions as your room key. Our room on the 9th deck had a balcony which was nice when your pulling into ports. Linens were clean and crisp. The bed was two twins pushed together to make a king size and it was reasonably comfy. The desk/dresser had 4 drawers which were well worn. The slides needed replacement. One half of the top drawer is consumed by the hair dryer. There are two small closets and a shelf closet. Not much room for luggage. TIP - Bring a power strip! there is only 1 - 115v receptacle and 1 - 220v receptacle. Also - if you need bedside power for CPAP etc, you'll need an extension cord as the receptacles are across the room. The bathroom was of adequate size but poorly lit. Our sink was plugged up. One call to maintenance and that was fixed in a jiffy. We had rough seas on our 6th night. The TV wall mount was rattling something fierce so I "fixed" it by jamming some towels behind it. We toured the Spa. It's nice but expensive. You can get a massage in Cozumel for much less. Daily experience: We arrived in New Orleans the day before embarkation and stayed at the Marriott across the street from the port. Very convenient. Lyft ride from the airport to hotel was $34.00, and taxi from port back to airport was $36.00. OMG the food in New Orleans!!! Ate me-self silly :-) We were scheduled to board between 12:30 and 1:30. Hotel checkout time was 11:00am so we grabbed lunch then got in line to board a bit early. No issues. Boarding and security were surprisingly efficient, and our room was ready for us. Day 1, we spent most of the day exploring the ship, and had dinner at the Steakhouse which was FANTASTIC! didn't get to see much of the mighty Mississippi as it became very foggy as the evening progressed. Secret tip - Don't know if this will still work but it did for us. If you dine in the steakhouse on day of embarkation, you can ask for a complimentary bottle of wine. This isn't advertised. Day 2 & 3, at sea. There are plenty of activities to partake in. It was a bit cool so we didn't spend time in the pools, mostly just lounging on the deck and soaking up some sun. The pool at the back of the ship is quieter. Was going to spend some time in the casino but just can't tolerate the cigarette smoke, it's heavy in there. Definitely hit the piano bar if Zack Daniels is playing, and the comedy club was a riot! Unless your into sales pitches, avoid the Vonda session. She is a charismatic spokesperson who offers guided jewelry shopping tours. It may be legit, in my experience the harder the sales pitch the more likely it is you'll do better elsewhere. We aren't into jewelry and was hoping she would cover other topics of interest but it was mostly jewelry shopping. Day 4 - Jamaica. We did the snorkeling excursion. It was fun! And, on the boat the drinks are free after you finish snorkeling. Day 5 - Grand Cayman. No dock here, you have to use tenders. The beach was fantastic. We caught a cab and went to Royal Palms Beach Front and enjoyed the day sipping cocktails and people watching. Carnival had great tender service, we didn't have to wait in line but a few minutes. Felt sorry for the cruisers on MSC, the tender line was ridicules, it looked like they only had 1 boat running. Day 6 - Cozumel. The bad - at the dock you are herded through a shopping mall, both when you leave the ship, and when you come back. Irritating. The good - cheap massage! across the street from the port you can find the typical touristy shops and get an excellent hour long message for $40 U.S. + tip. Day 7 - Sea day, and it was rough and very windy. So windy they closed the forward decks. The Carnival Dream handled the big waves with ease, I'm sure the stabilizers were getting a workout. Debarkation. Boohoo. Didn't want to go home. Nevertheless when it was our turn to leave it only took about 1/2 hour to get off the boat. Then the long wait at the airport. Would we do this cruise again? Nope. It was great fun, upon reflection we felt the food, friendliness of fellow passengers, and accommodations were better on our last cruise which was Royal Caribbean. Especially the food.

Embarkation

5 out of 5
Was efficient considering the mass of people.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

3 out of 5
Dining room and buffets shouldn't be lumped into one rating. Main dining room - Service was excellent, choice of food and quality of food average to below average. Guys Burgers - Absolute home run. Fantastic burgers for no extra charge. Steak House - very good. The buffets were mediocre, really hit or miss.

Onboard Activities

3 out of 5
Pools and such were ok, typical. We really didn't do a bunch of activities. Ship days were mostly spent napping, eating, drinking and relaxing.

Entertainment

3 out of 5
Zack Daniels, the Piano Bar pianist extrodinare was very entertaining! Pool side DJ's and shenanigans were good. Comedy show was very good, the Encore stage show was disappointing.

Children's Programs

No children.

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
Service was top notch. Excellent.

Ship Quality

4 out of 5
The ship is clean and well maintained. The layout and design is pretty good and easy to learn your way around quickly. The decor is "in your face" and gets old real quick, I guess that's Carnival's style though.

Cabin / Stateroom

3 out of 5
BRING A POWER STRIP. and if you need bedside power for a CPAP etc., bring an extension cord. Our cabin had ONE (1) 115v receptacle, and ONE(1) 220v receptacle. One receptacle knocks what would have been 4 stars down to three. Otherwise, lovely cabin. The balcony was nice and afforded great views as we arrived and departed ports. The bed was reasonably comfortable and the room was quite with the exception of the poorly designed TV mount that rattled badly when we got in rough water one night. Fixed it by wrapping towels around it. The bathroom was adequate.

Ship tip

BRING A POWER STRIP and an extension cord.

Ports of call

New Orleans, Louisiana

4 out of 5
Oh my gawrsh the food. Ate me self silly...

Montego Bay, Jamaica

3 out of 5
Did the snorkel excursion that also takes you to Margaritaville. It was fun. Not much else to do there, you don't want to get away from the touristy areas.

George Town, Grand Cayman

5 out of 5
Absolutely beautiful beach.

Cozumel, Mexico

3 out of 5
Go across the street.

Disembarkation

4 out of 5
No matter what, nobody wants to go home and you feel like your being herded back to the slaughterhouse of reality. In all seriousness it was just fine and uneventful.
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