August 2016 - 7 Night Western Caribbean (New Orleans Roundtrip) Cruise on Carnival Dream
Cabin service was good - our steward was available but not intrusive. Almost everything was available when and where we needed it.
Room service was pretty decent. Food quality was fair and delivery was timely. Many options for dessert and sandwiches were free, while pizza, shrimp, and a few others were available for $5 or $6.
Dinner service in the Scarlet was outstanding - Ida, Mark, and Ansul (sp) were right on time, friendly, polite, and attentive. The crab cake appetizer was the best I've ever had - anywhere, anytime. The molten chocolate cake was heavenly. The NY Strip was pretty good, as was the pork chop.
The buffet was a little disappointing. Breakfast was okay, but lunch and dinner were mediocre at best - few options and only fair quality.
Numerous entertainment options were available but we unfortunately only experienced a few. The Caliente night club had a good variety of music and ample dance space as well as seating. There were various other musical venues with something for everyone. The Love and Marriage Show was really fun except for one couple that sucked the air out of the room so we left half way through. The Quest was a lot of fun. Karaoke was also fun. The comedy shows were so popular we couldn't get a seat - these should have been held in the theater instead of the Burgundy Lounge to accommodate the larger crowds.
The cruise director (JASE) came off as a little impatient and a touch rude at times - his attempts to smile and create humor sometimes seemed a little forced. This was most apparent in the Q&A session near the end of the cruise - his answers at times seem short and vague, as if he was agitated at being asked the same questions over and over. Granted he has to deal with a great many people that are (I'm sorry, there's no nice way to say this) more than a little dense, but you would think someone in this position should expect and be accustomed to that.
Leaving and returning to the ship in ports of call was fairly smooth. Initial embarkation and disembarkation times were terribly long, though, in spite of appearing to be well organized. This is compared to the other 7+ cruises with 3 different cruise lines. Once called to disembark on the final day, the line was easily 2 hours long. Boarding took over an hour. If you don't like waiting, pay the extra for the "fast pass" ($60/person) to get on and off the ship at all ports including initial/final - worth it! If you don't do the "fast pass" before hand, find Famous (staff person on board) and ask for the VIP treatment - don't forget to tip him, it's well worth it! Another tip - dress to impress on final departure day if you want to be treated like royalty.
The on board photographers were talented, friendly, and available all the time. Photo quality was excellent but prices were understandably high ($22 for an 8 X 10).
Most of the casino personnel, and in fact the whole shipboard staff, were pleasant and helpful. Drink service at the tables was sometimes slow. The slot machines seemed to be paying out at above "normal" rates while the table games were for the most part a financial vacuum cleaner for the patrons (surprise!). Never have a seen a larger number of blackjack dealers that beat 4 of 6 hands holding a 20 (who loses 4 of 6 times holding a 20?) or beat ALL players at the table 7+ times in a row!