Pros and Cons are a great way to highlight the positives and negatives of any given travel review. So here is a list based on my family’s recent 7 day Western Caribbean Cruise on the Carnival Dream. To begin, I will give you the staples of our trip, we cruised out of the Port of New Orleans; if given any word to describe the New Orleans Louisiana Cruise Terminal, it would be YUCK…. Being our sixth cruise it was by far the crummiest cruise port, it felt extremely rushed and unorganized from the moment we entered the parking garage, like a constant cattle call, I believe I felt a few pokes and prods and I’m almost sure I heard a faint moo in the background.
Speaking of parking, you prepay for your parking in the ports parking garage, unless you have made alternative parking arrangements (Park & Cruise, Hotel & Cruise), we paid $140.00 for our 7 day cruise, a bit pricey, but I felt it was convenient, safe and covered. The moment you pull into the garage you are bombarded by “sea caps” which is actually a good thing, because the faster my bags are taken, the less I’m responsible for, woot!
Like I previously mentioned the building is a mess, sorry, I meant maze, it’s a bit confusing and if you have older peeps traveling with you, it could be quite a handful. There are escalators immediately upon entering the building and they also have elevators located periodically. Just follow the animal sounds and you should be alright, lol. I purchased a FTTF pass (Faster to the Fun) for both our balcony staterooms; what that means is for an additional $59.95 per stateroom (not per person) for 7 night cruise, you get priority check-in and express boarding and once onboard your party can go directly to your room and your luggage should be there shortly upon arrival ($49.95 for 5 nights or less.) Also other perks: such as priority tendering, designated line at Guest Services and help with specialty dining arrangements. It’s worth every penny, 5995 to be exact.
O.K. enough is enough, Embarkation is over and now I’m aboard the Carnival Dream, “on with the show” or in this case the Pros and Cons~
• The Ship was large, 1004 feet in total length. This could be a positive or a negative, for us it was a positive; with a larger ship you have more amenities, activities and services
• Lots of hot tubs everywhere, over 13 I think total. 4 cantilever spas, 2 by Aft pool, 2 by Waves Pool, 2 on each side of the Serenity Deck and the Spa had a few
• Two nice size Swimming Pools: 1 Aft, 1 Waves
• 1347 onboard crew to assist with your needs and requests
• Muster Drill is a piece of cake, you are seated at one of the main dining rooms for about 20 minutes and that’s it!
• 2- two story main Dining Rooms
• Multiple Restaurants
• Variety of food: American, Indian, Mexican, Healthy, etc.
• Multiple Bars
• Plenty of Elevators~ Forward, Midship & Aft
• Dive-In Movies most nights at the Waves Pool with awesome soft blankets you can check-out with your “sail & sign card”
• Overall Clean Ship, it could have been cleaner in some areas
• Plenty of nightlife: Broadway Style Shows, Singers at various locations throughout the ship, Magic Show, Fun Force Dance Show, Game Shows, Marriage Show, Karaoke, Sam’s Piano Bar (Sing-A-Long), Ice Sculptures, Bingo, etc., I literally cannot list everything, lots to do
• I enjoyed the various areas and floors to hang out in, very different aesthetically
• Loved the hip 1950’s hallway wall décor
• Nice large Spa, if you’re into that sort of thing, which I definitely am
• Nice size Fitness Area with panoramic views
• I found the space in our Balcony rooms to be very nice, better than average, especially compared to other ships I’ve sailed on
• Balcony size was also great, better than average
• We had 2 adjoining Balcony rooms with adjoining balconies which made the room and balcony feel more spacious
• Plenty of lounge chairs and seating in general
• Friendly dining staff
• Food was tasty; selection was decent, but there’s always room for improvement. Always available is my favorite potato salad, yum
• The steward made creative towel animals daily
• Hand sanitizer was plentiful
• My parents enjoyed “Summer Breeze” Duo
• Tendering was nice and easy
• Shore Excursions were seamless
• Ports of call were also seamless
• The ship could use a little TLC, carpets were stained in heavy traffic areas and the sofas in the staterooms need some updating. I try to look at the positive, it’s been well loved, the ship is up for refurbishment in 2017
• Our Room Steward was my least favorite steward compared to our previous cruises. The second afternoon, I left him a list of basic expectations; such as ice twice a day, make the couch and bunk up every morning, take trash twice daily and after that, he may have spit in my ice- but he improved. I let him know as a courtesy before his tip was adjusted, if he had not improved, I might have altered it.
• Cruise Director was not the best, he could learn a lot from the greatest cruise director besides Julie from the “Love Boat” the one, the only~ http://johnhealdsblog.com/. I would love to be his cohort; we’d make a great team of crazy…..
• Lack of trash cans around the cruise ship, so many times I needed to throw something away and could not find a trash can, ridiculous
• No paper napkins (it probably had to do with conservation, not sure) but I do recall paper napkins on my other cruises and I like using them
• I felt the employees seemed overworked and it showed, but there were still plenty of superstars, per the usual on Carnival
• The Gathering Grand Buffet was nice and large and it had plenty of seating with multiple buffet lines, but they were not in use every meal
• The hours for the quick service restaurants like: Mongolian Wok , Tandoor, Deli, and the Grill need to be adjusted much later
• Their photo team was mediocre and the photos they displayed onboard were very unorganized, they need to get with the program and learn from Disney Cruise Line on how to organize photos correctly and privately
• Just like most casinos, the cigarette smoke was on another level awful
• Forward, Midship & Aft Elevators, slowest elevators on any cruise EVER
• Rest Rooms on main floors were not clearly visible
There are definitely more Pros than Cons on the Carnival Dream and we enjoyed our cruise very much. I would definitely sail on her again, after the 2017 refurbishment. It’s entirely up to you, the cruiser on how you choose to let cruise circumstances, positively or negatively define your trip. This review is my personal opinion and based off my recent cruise experience, everyone has certain vacation expectations and I believe my family’s were definitely met on the Carnival Dream. Get your cruise-on happy peeps!