A Nice Cruise to Cozumel and Progreso

Carnival Dream Cruise Review to Caribbean - Western

Cruises: 4-6 cruises
Reviews: 6
Helpful Votes: 109

Overall rating:

4.4 out of 5
Carnival Dream

5 Night Western Caribbean (Galveston Roundtrip)

Sail date: November 16, 2019

Ship: Carnival Dream

Cabin type: Inside

Cabin number: 11239

Traveled as: Couple

Reviewed: 1 year ago

Review summary

Overall, we had a wonderful cruise. We came home and booked a cyberdeal on Carnival Radiance (9 Day Western Carib) for September 2021. We plan to continue booking with Carnival, but we will probably not go on any more short cruises. I think the longer cruises have better quality overall. I would be interested to know if anyone had similar experiences on the Dream, or what your own impressions of the ship were like.

Embarkation

5 out of 5
Embarkation was unusually fast. We arrived at our scheduled time, and went directly on to the ship. Parking, porter service, and check-in were efficient.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

4 out of 5
We dined in the MDR and the Steakhouse. We ate one meal on the Lido deck. The Main Dining Room food quality was excellent. I ordered from the Steakhouse Selections menu several times, and had the best filet mignon ever. Crisp, green salads, tasty desserts, and delicious entrees were standard at each meal. We chose Your Time Dining for this cruise. This is the second time we have done so. However, on our next cruise we will return to scheduled late dining at 8:15 PM. We find that we prefer having the same dining team rather than a different team each night. We ate on the Lido for our embarkation meal and on one port day. The salads were very good, and they did have some gluten-free bread, which I prefer. The meat dishes were not up to the usual standards at embarkation; however, the next time the meat was excellent. We also ate at the Mongolian Wok and really enjoyed the Szchechuan chicken. One disappointing dessert was the Tira Misu Cheesecake. The cheesecake was hard and dry. Very odd, because in the MDR the cheesecake was excellent the following day. I think the Lido Restaurant operation needs a bit more quality control on the Carnival Dream. We ate at Bonsai Sushi on our first sea day. Excellent sushi--fresh and flavorful. I highly recommend Bonsai. If you have never tried sushi, this is an inexpensive way to give it a go. Bar service on Serenity deck was very good. The servers came around regularly to see if we needed drinks, We ordered a bottle of champagne in the MDR, and they even kept the remainder of the champagne for us for the next night. I was surprised that the champagne kept most of its bubbles, too. The waiter claims they used a "special cork". I'd like to know more about that. One thing I have learned about wine selections in the main dining room is that if you order an entire bottle, they will keep the bottles in their cellar until your next meal if you want them to. However, we ordered our dinner wine by the glass. Interestingly, I ordered a glass of Chardonnay that really did not taste right; of course, chardonnay has its own particular taste, and maybe it was just my taste was off-center. I told the waiter I was not sure if it was me or the wine was old, but could I get a glass of Prosecco. They brought the Prosecco but only charged me for the chardonnay. That was good. Bar cocktails we tried included the Mango Margarita, Mojito, Carnival Cosmo, and Aperol Spritz, and Bloody Mary. All were great. One thing I have learned about Carnival is that it is preferable not to ask for a double because they already give you and extra half-shot in a regular drink. So, a double ends up being WAY too strong (I learned this the hard way). :) We also ordered room service for breakfast every day. The food was free, good, and on-time.

The Gathering Lido Restaurant

4 out of 5

Lido needs more quality control, and needs to have their cheesecake recipe re-evaluated. Main Dining Room is much, much higher quality.

The Cherry on Top

4 out of 5

Chocolate has a funny flavor. Exceptional gummy bears.

The Chef's Art Steakhouse

5 out of 5

Wow. Try it, you will see and believe.

Serenity Bar

5 out of 5

Excellent service. They come around and take drink orders.

Scarlet Restaurant

5 out of 5

Went here for Seaday Brunch. Excellent service and good quality food. I ordered the peel and eat shrimp (1 pound) and it was awesome!

Redfrog Rum Bar

5 out of 5

Bought a beer. Good service.

Mongolian Wok

5 out of 5

The Szechuan chicken was excellent. I enjoy choosing my own vegetables.

Dream Bar

5 out of 5

Great Carnival Cosmo.

Burgundy Aft Lounge

5 out of 5

Plenty of seating if you get there early. Decor is a bit odd, though.

BlueIguana Tequila Bar

5 out of 5

Good service; ordered a beer.

Onboard Activities

5 out of 5
Serenity deck had plenty of places to enjoy sun-bathing. The hot tubs, though, were often full. I wish they had four hot tubs there instead of two. However, there are hot tubs all over the ship. This trip was during the school term, so there were very few children aboard. As such, we could use any of the pools without feeling overrun by youngsters. But, the serenity deck has a nice, quiet atmosphere and good bar servers, so why venture out? We attended some of the shows. The 80's Rock show was good. We attended two sessions with the comedian Roman. One was "family friendly" and the other was X-Rated. I will not go back for any more X-Rated shows when I am with my DW. He was funny as hell, though.

Whirlpool Spa

5 out of 5

All the whirlpools were hot and clean. Enjoyed them.

Thermal Suite Tepidarium

5 out of 5

The tepidarium helps keep you balanced. It is neither too hot nor too cold.

The Fun Shops

5 out of 5

We bought our son an Invicta watch for Christmas. I thought it was a good price.

Thalasso Pool

5 out of 5

Excellent area. We were invigorated daily by the bubbles.

Spa

5 out of 5

Enjoyed the thermal suites and my haircut. Massages are too expensive. They should lower their prices.

Serenity

5 out of 5

The bar service was good. Also, plenty of places to sit and rest. Needs 1-2 more hot tubs.

Photo Gallery

5 out of 5

The photos were good. It's just that I am old and fat, and do not like seeing myself in pictures.

Oriental Steam Bath

5 out of 5

We did the steam bath daily as part of the thermal suite package with our spa cabin.

Jackpot Casino

5 out of 5

Lost sixty dollars. Slots seemed a bit tight.

Hair Salon

5 out of 5

Frederico gave me a nice haircut and some advice.

Guest Services / Excursions Desk

5 out of 5

These folks are very helpful. I received information about a future cruise.

Entertainment

5 out of 5
There was a brass trio (Saxophone, Cornet, and Trombone) that was great in the Dream Lobby. There was also a violin trio, but their music was a bit on the mournful side. As I said previously, the Rock and Roll show was pretty good.

The Collection Art Gallery

5 out of 5

We enjoyed the art, but were not sure how the whole auction thing worked.

Encore! Main Lounge

5 out of 5

Plenty of seating, and the acoustics were good.

Dream Lobby

5 out of 5

Clean and well organized. There was almost always musical entertainment or an activity there. This is my favorite gathering place on a cruise.

Dream Atrium

4 out of 5

The atrium is so "metallic" it has no character. Who designed this ship?

Children's Programs

No children sailing with us.

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
Waiters, room stewards, guest services, and spa staff are all to be commended. I went to the spa for a haircut, and they were very helpful. We had a spa suite (interior) so we did the thermal suite and Thallossotherapy each day. It was very invigorating. Pandita, our room steward was excellent and very thorough in keeping our room clean as per Carnival standards. He was always welcoming and kind. He also suggested apple juice for my seasickness. I think I'm at the point where I need to wear one of those seasickness patches.

Ship Quality

4 out of 5
The Carnival Dream needs a bit of painting and other work. The spa area windows were not properly cleaned, and there was rust on the railings. I wish Carnival would really emphasize that at every port, these items should be tended to thoroughly. Touch up painting at least shows the guests that Carnival is trying its best. Frankly, if the environment of the ship is a huge happiness factor, I would recommend sailing on another ship. As I mentioned earlier, the Dream probably needs to go to drydock for a facelift. Overall, the decor is nothing to write home about. The interior of the ship was usually clean, though. The public restrooms had some problems. Several were not working, which is unusual.

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5
This was a spa interior. It is basically just a windowless cabin with Elemis soap and conditioner. Everything in the room was in working order. The room was cleaned daily and the cabin steward was friendly.

Ship tip

One advantage is that the ship is so big, you don't feel crowded. The decor and general condition does need some work here and there.

Ports of call

Galveston, Texas

5 out of 5
Cruise terminal is very well-run.

Cozumel, Mexico

5 out of 5
Beautiful port with plenty to do. We did the Awesome Shore Snorkel. The weather was rough, so we could not snorkel, but we enjoyed the beach, pool, restaurant and massages at the location. Watch your credit card at these places! I was double-charged for my food. It is better to pay cash if you can.

Progreso (Merida), Mexico

2 out of 5
Progreso is an unremarkable port. We've been there three times, and this cruise we did not even get off the ship. Carnival needs to reevaluate this port.

Disembarkation

4 out of 5
There was a delay embarking due to a lack of available customs agents. Carnival dealt with this as best they could by offering regular announcements as to what the issues were. I used a porter to get my luggage, and that really sped up the process.
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