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Age: 40


Number of Cruises: 3

Cruise Line: Carnival

Ship: Carnival Dream

Sailing Date: 2009-12-27

Itinerary: Eastern Caribbean

My overall cruise experience was a blast I was most impressed on how fast it was to get on and off the Dream in less than 20 minutes. To get on and off with customs though I was caught off guard on disembarking, as you have to come off when your bags do. Otherwise you have to go ask customs for your bags. Our bags came off about 7:00 am even though our itinerary said 8:15 so forget about casually disembarking and forget about breakfast, which is why I think the stewards are so busy when you first get on. I think it's a more hasty schedule than usual as since it's Carnival's first big ship they are trying to get a feel of what works best, we noticed a lot of trial and error stuff which we saw at first but not later will be back on the dream in January so will give a follow up!

The dining was great and a good selection of choices every night (they give you a menu with a lot choices rather than changing the menu everyday). The Mongolian wok and pasta bars are a hit so be patient. You have to pick your ingredients and they prepare it. My longest wait time was an hour on the first day but on average 30 min plus it is only open from 12-3pm but they extended the time during the cruise. The best choice is the steakhouse (30 per person). They say you need 2 hours for the experience as all items are prepared for you right there plus the chef throws in a few extras for you not on the menu but you don't notice the time as they tend to you every now and then to refresh you. The other eateries were good also not too crowded, so plenty of choices!

I had a forward balcony the stateroom which was great but it has some quirks. The forward cabins tend to pick up the shows in the encore theater which can be annoying if you want a quiet night in room. The forward rooms on the other hand have access to 12 elevators so it's a lot easier to move around during busy times where as the aft has 4 then 2 elevators then 2 more if you count the suite elevators that take you directly to the serenity deck but they are in different areas which can be confusing. The stewards were a little slow at first but I think they were multitasking and trying to get a feel for the ship because by week's end they were great. The rooms were clean the cabins remind me of an apartment. They even have mailboxes and they even have parking spaces for scooters at the end of the hallway.

There is plenty to do on this Super-liner, as they call it. The comedy shows were a riot but the burgundy lounge only holds 425 people so the adults-only shows tend to be crowded and with 8 comedian shows a night (8 shows total 4 family 4 adults only with 2 comedians who then get off halfway during the cruise and 2 more get on). But you have to leave at the end of the show and get back in line to see a different comedian show which can be an adventure to say the least. The encore shows are uptempo with visual effects, high energetic dancing, some acrobatic but all family friendly. They too change their shows halfway during cruise. The serenity decks are popular too as they are located away from the kids area and there are number of places to hide from the kids. But they have so much going on you may have to ride it twice to be able to do everything as they rotate the shows halfway through so you have to pay attention to schedule as it is very busy all day and plan accordingly and be patient because there are a lot of people on the same page that you are on.

I didn't do the paid excursions this time as i have a bad taste from previous cruises. I just went to the local areas to shop. Isla Roatan was a brand new port so it was quiet because it was away from the previous port which seemed to be more popular. Costa Maya was nice but with 3 Super-liners docked there; it was heavily crowded and hard to maneuver the stores, so an excursion may be better. The water was choppy so I didn't do the tendering into Belize plus it began to rain but heard how the waters made it hard to dock with the ship

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