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Steve Walkenshaw

Age: 45

Occupation:Network Administrator

Number of Cruises: 4

Cruise Line: Carnival

Ship: Carnival Dream

Sailing Date: 2011-04-23

Itinerary: Eastern Carribean

My sister and I had been planning the cruise for 6 months, with 8 of us going family and friends all. We had read other reviews saying the staff never smiled or the service in the dining room was slow. We never really saw either of these. Yes, there were a small handful of staff that needed a smile, but most were very friendly and personable. Our Room Steward team remembered our names always and we never wanted for anything. The dining room team were not the best, but always made us feel welcomed, including when we saw them away from dinner. We really never had a waiter as we did not frequent any peticular lounge area. Carnival has changed it's policy for past guests receiving ship pins. Now you must be a platinum card holder to get a pin. Since I collect (collected) them, I did notice. I was so upset, I returned the other 3 pins to the cruise services desk. They did try to give me one then, but the other members of my party would still not have them, and I left the desk and my old pins in disgust. I can think of 100 other places Carnival could have saved 25 cents, and this really did change my mind about Carnival. I also wanted to do a load of laundry in the morning at St. Maarten. I could not get a roll of quarters to save my soul as the casino cage was closed and the service desk did not have them (they kept telling me to get them from the casino, ignoring they were closed). The tokens for video games do not work in the laundry rooms (stupid decision). This ship holds 3600 passengers (double capacity) and has a total of 8 washers and 16 dryers. When I finally got my quarters the next day, there was long waits for open washers, and guests who didn't pay attention to the time. I just don't understand Carnivals business decisions at times.

The food was not the best, sometimes cold. Lines were long, but moved quickly. Room service took awhile (how long does it take to put 4 tomato juices on a tray with a bucket of ice? Salads were always fresh, never had a wilted piece of lettuce. We were shocked at the first night in the dining room when we were asked if we wanted to "buy" a bottled water or sparkling water, instead of just filling up the glass. Later with dessert, we were asked if we wanted to "buy" a Starbucks coffee, instead of the normal coffee. While our wait staff never asked again, it just reminded us that Carnival is a "for profit" company. It digusted us enough that it caused us not to buy anything else on the ship and Carnival probably lost money for that reason. None of us liked the "squeezed turnip" feeling.

The stateroom was always clean and our stewarts really did a fine job at it.

Did the waterslide and one trivia contest. Didn't do anything else

We did Meghans Bay in St. Thomas. Beach was not that clean, too many people, and we could have taken a taxi there for less. This was our only excursion.

Besides the negative, we were able to relax and disconnect from the world. Thats what cruising is about for us.

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