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Michelle Wenzel

Age: 39

Occupation:stay at home mom

Number of Cruises: 1

Cruise Line: Carnival

Ship: Carnival Dream

Sailing Date: 2011-12-24

Itinerary: Eastern Caribbean

This was our first and will be our last cruise. The overall experience of cruising is not our vacation cup of tea. Our 16 year old, 13 year old, and 6 year old did have a good time. . .thus my highest rating for family friendliness.

The food in the dining room was very good. The buffet however was overcrowded and difficult to navigate. The food on the buffet was moderately good. The pasta bar was excellent. I am glutenfree and was told ahead of time that I would have options galore. . . well that was partially true. In the dining room absolutely, thanks to my super-helpful personal assistant :) who helped me choose my dinners for the next night and breakfast for the next morning. But at the buffet. . . there was little to no information available as to what was in things and very few "simple" items that i could have as go-to options (like just simple grilled chicken) . . .

Small. very very small. and don't even get me started on the bathroom. And we had 4 of us in there!!!! When it says a maximum of 4 berths, that is a MAXIMUM number and in my opinion any travel agent that doesn't tell you to put no more than 3 people in one of those rooms is not worth their weight. . .

there was definitely a variety of activities but because of how many people are onboard often when you go to do something like mini-golf or the fitness center or basketball there are so many people you have to either just forget it and come back later or get in line!!! Not easy to tell a 6 year old, sorry honey we can't do mini-golf for the 3rd time today!!!! :(

The excursions were the highlight of our cruise. We did a kayak, hike and snorkel on St. Thomas and a butterfly farm on St. Maarten and would recommend both. Pricey, but great!!
A cruise may seem like a great value when you just look at the per person base cost, but then add on gratuities, any excursion expenses, and all the miscellaneous expenses on board (alcohol, soft drinks, laundry, games, in-room movies, etc. etc.) and any shopping and it adds up VERY quickly. . .also became very frustrated with trying to get information before and during our cruise. . . the faqs on carnival's website are not helpful AT ALL and then when we called customer service we were given not one, not 2, but 3 different answers to the SAME questions. Really??? Also the first day of the cruise was an exhausting and very stressful experience. . .dealing with the lines at the terminal, all the mess of showing all your documents over and over (passports, boarding pass, etc.), then you finally get on board and you are literally attacked by multiple people taking your group picture, then you make your way VERY slowly on the elevators up to the ONE place where everyone on ship is forced to gather until they can get in their rooms. . . which is a madhouse and completely overwhelming!!!

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