Carnival Dream - 12/10/2011 - 12/17/2011

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#1
Rittman, Ohio
1,044 Posts
Joined Sep 2010
This will be a long review with lots of pics and some videos. Disclaimer: If you dont like this type of review with details about all aspects of our trip including before the cruise, thanks for looking and God bless.

I will discuss some of the positive and negative things I had read about previous reviews and bring up some new things along the way.

A couple things I want to address right off the bat:

"The smell" - never noticed it anywhere. I was all over the ship and didn’t encounter it once.

"The crowds" - this cruise wasnt any worse than our cruise on the Fantasy in January 2011. No matter what ship you go on there will be crowds at peak timex to eat, shop, swim, etc. We avoided those crazy times and never had a major problem. Hot tubs were busy at times, but we were able to use them at various locations around the ship. Pools were busy but we were able to get in and cool off in both pools during port days.

"The elevators" - yes they were busy, we used the stairs quite a bit. I could see that having some having mobility issues could have a long wait at times. Worst times were on embarkation, busy evening hours, and debarkation.

"The food" - never had a bad meal. Service was excellent in the dining room and adequate in the buffet. Food quantity and choice was never an issue for us. Food was hot and tasty. We tried new things during the week. Ate once in the Steak House and I can’t say enough how well worth the $30 up charge (per person) was. The steaks were fantastic and properly prepared. Will have photos later of that night.

"Ship movement" - this is one area we noticed. Granted this was only our 2nd cruise and our first large ship but the Dream wiggles, shakes, and shimmies more than I expected. Wasn’t horrible and nobody got sick but just be forewarned, the Dream likes to boogie. We had a couple rough nights due to wind and I’m sure the length and height of the ship caused all the movement. Would it keep me from going on a dream class ship again, no, but it’s definitely a consideration for those more sensitive to motion. We slept like babies each night but on the rougher nights some noises woke us up.

“The Dream is too big” – ok, it’s a very large ship. It wasn’t that horribly large that we couldn’t figure out where we were going. I liked the walk-around promenade deck. I can understand how the size of the Dream class would not be everyone’s favorite, but we actually enjoyed the size and layout of the ship.

Ok, on with the review…

Traveled with myself (43), DW (46), DS (19), DD (22), SIL (24), and DN (just turned 18). Our 2nd cruise, DD and SIL 2nd cruise, and DS and DN first cruise. We booked in January after our first cruise on Fantasy to celebrate our 10th anniversary. It was a long countdown from 300+ days.

We only planned one excursion in Cozumel (Twister and Isla Passion) and the Behind the Fun on the last sea day. This purpose of this trip was to maximize the relaxation and we were pretty lazy.

We all debated about driving down and found direct flights from Cleveland to Orlando so we went for it. Our returning flight changed three times. We had directs booked both coming and going but they cancelled our 3pm return flight and we had to change to a flight through Houston and would get us back 6 hours later.

Word of advice - check the flights often. We were able to get booked on a 2pm direct flight at no charge a couple weeks before we left.

We left house in “style,” a stretch hummer limo, one of the several surprises we had in store for the kids.....


In order - myself, SIL, DD, DW, DN, DS

Then we experienced the usual security the airport. Got there early enough and got through the lines quickly. I haven’t traveled recently enough to get patted down. That was an interesting experience.

We also made a real effort to pack as light as possible and have no checked luggage. Amazingly we did it.

We left Cleveland with some snow on the ground and couldn’t wait to get to sunny Florida.



We arrived on time in Orlando. Got rental vehicle for the 6 of us and drove to Cocoa Beach. I wanted to rent a vehicle so we could do some shopping and go to dinner without having to pay a taxi service to move six of us around.

Here I am being a "happy driver" going on Route 528. I really want to move to Florida....



Stayed at Residence Inn Cocoa Beach and had a two bedroom suite which gave us all enough room. Very nice hotel.





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Randy & Kimberly

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CRUISE HISTORY:
Apr 2017 - Carnival Vista
Apr 2016 - Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas - Western Caribbean - First Royal Cruise!
Apr 2015 - Carnival Sunshine - Western Caribbean
Apr 2014 - Carnival Valor - Southern Caribbean
Apr 2013 - Carnival Liberty - Aft-Wrap Cruise (photo review)
Nov 2012 - Carnival Breeze - B2B Cruise! (photo review)
Dec 2011 - Carnival Dream - Cruising with the Kids (photo review)
Jan 2011 - Carnival Fantasy - Anniversary Cruise (photo review)
#2
North Ridgeville,Ohio
1,161 Posts
Joined Jul 2011
Looking forward to the rest of your review. I'll be on the Dream in just 3 short weeks . How did you enjoy coming home to the snow?
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~LISA~


Past Cruises:
Carnival Sensation 6/17/2007~4 days
Carnival Inspiration 1/19/2008~5 days
Carnival Imagination 1/5/2009~4 days
Carnival Dream 1/7/2012~7 days
RC Freedom OTS 2/10/2013~7 days
RC Radiance OTS 5/15/2015~7 days
RC Grandeur OTS 1/16/2016~8 days turned into 9 days courtesy of snowstorm Jonas.
Norwegian Epic 1/14/2017~7 days

#3
Rittman, Ohio
1,044 Posts
Joined Sep 2010



Made a trip to Walmart and Ron Jon before going to dinner at Fishlips.

Food and service was fantastic. Watched Monarch of the Seas leave Port Canaveral and did a wave to the Port Canaveral webcam. Our family was watching on their site and was able to see us, how cool is that!





Spent the evening in the pool and hot tub and got to bed early. It was a long but fun day.

12-10-2011 - EMBARKATION DAY

After over 300 days of counting down, the day finally has arrived! DW and I woke up at 4AM. I was awake in time to watch Dream come back into port (geez) on the Port Canaveral webcam.

Once everyone else woke up, we had a nice breakfast in the hotel.

Hey, is that a whale tail I see???



I returned the rental vehicle back to Hertz, they are right in the Residence Inn parking lot. Nice!

The Residence Inn has a shuttle arranged through Travel Lynx so we took advantage of that for $3 per person.
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Randy & Kimberly

COMING UP:


CRUISE HISTORY:
Apr 2017 - Carnival Vista
Apr 2016 - Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas - Western Caribbean - First Royal Cruise!
Apr 2015 - Carnival Sunshine - Western Caribbean
Apr 2014 - Carnival Valor - Southern Caribbean
Apr 2013 - Carnival Liberty - Aft-Wrap Cruise (photo review)
Nov 2012 - Carnival Breeze - B2B Cruise! (photo review)
Dec 2011 - Carnival Dream - Cruising with the Kids (photo review)
Jan 2011 - Carnival Fantasy - Anniversary Cruise (photo review)
#4
Rittman, Ohio
1,044 Posts
Joined Sep 2010
Originally posted by LMKakaThing2
Looking forward to the rest of your review. I'll be on the Dream in just 3 short weeks . How did you enjoy coming home to the snow?
HATED IT!!!! I was seriously wanting to get right back on the plane and head south!!!
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Randy & Kimberly

COMING UP:


CRUISE HISTORY:
Apr 2017 - Carnival Vista
Apr 2016 - Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas - Western Caribbean - First Royal Cruise!
Apr 2015 - Carnival Sunshine - Western Caribbean
Apr 2014 - Carnival Valor - Southern Caribbean
Apr 2013 - Carnival Liberty - Aft-Wrap Cruise (photo review)
Nov 2012 - Carnival Breeze - B2B Cruise! (photo review)
Dec 2011 - Carnival Dream - Cruising with the Kids (photo review)
Jan 2011 - Carnival Fantasy - Anniversary Cruise (photo review)
#5
Rittman, Ohio
1,044 Posts
Joined Sep 2010
It was scheduled to leave at 10:30 (I wanted to leave at 10am but since there was 6 of us the shuttle would be easier). It was an older greyhound style bus and the lady driver loaded all the luggage on her own. She could have kicked all our butts if she wanted to.



Got underway to the port by 10:40am and was finally off the bus around 11am.
It was running on our way there, and was lightly raining when we got into the terminal.



At that point, I didn't care if it was raining or cloudy, I just wanted to get on that ship!



Signs were everywhere that tipping wasnt necessary as they porters are all salaried. Didnt matter to us either way because we were carrying all our stuff on.

The port is pretty organized as I have seen others mention in their reviews. Made it through security quickly except for one minor mishap. DD's carry-on bag fell off her rolling suitcase and her wine bottle broke. Bummer.

One lady working at the port must have had a bad morning, she made a snarky comment to us "are you going to carry that luggage around with you until 2 o'clock? Well yes, duh....

When we made it up the escalator they were already calling Zone 3 and we were handed Zone 11 cards. We went through normal check-in and because we had to switch cabins (DW and I each booked a cabin with FCC's so we could get $100 OBC each. They quickly had DW and I in our balcony cabin and DS and DN in their inside room. That went much easier than i expected.

Only problem was we could not put cash on our S&S accounts because they weren't ready to do that on their computer system. No biggie, would do later onboard.

Did two photos, one for the boarding photo and the other for their facial recognition system they have (which is supposed to bring up your photos). More on that later.

We were on the Dream by 11:42 am! Not bad! I'm like a little kid in a candy store, when I first board a ship I just take it all in. That is my favorite part of both of our cruises. Can't believe we are finally here!!!

Once we got on-board I went to the excursion desk and signed DW and I up for Behind the Fun. They only have 32 spots (two groups of 16) and I didn't want to miss that!

Made our way up to the lido to get a bite to eat. One thing that i will mention here is the tile floors in The Gathering buffet are very slick, whether they are being cleaned or not. Just a word of caution, saw many people nearly slip and fall (me included).

I went to the Pasta Bar and everyone else took advantage of the other items on the main level. I can understand how the Pasta Bar is not real popular the first day. I knew about it and I had to search to figure out how to get up to it. It's a staircase in the back of the gathering that goes up one level. It was really worth the find. You order what kind of pasta you want with sauce, toppings, meats. Took no longer than five minutes before they had my order ready and I headed back downstairs to eat with the family.

More to follow tomorrow. Have to finish uploading some photos and videos.
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Randy & Kimberly

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CRUISE HISTORY:
Apr 2017 - Carnival Vista
Apr 2016 - Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas - Western Caribbean - First Royal Cruise!
Apr 2015 - Carnival Sunshine - Western Caribbean
Apr 2014 - Carnival Valor - Southern Caribbean
Apr 2013 - Carnival Liberty - Aft-Wrap Cruise (photo review)
Nov 2012 - Carnival Breeze - B2B Cruise! (photo review)
Dec 2011 - Carnival Dream - Cruising with the Kids (photo review)
Jan 2011 - Carnival Fantasy - Anniversary Cruise (photo review)
#7
70 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
Looking forward to your review...we're sailing on the Dream next summer!
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May 2009 - RCI Enchantment of the Seas - Fort Lauderdale, Grand Cayman, Cozumel
June 2010 - Carnival Glory - New York City, Halifax, Saint John
March 2012 - RCI Monarch of the Seas - Port Canaveral, Cococay, Nassau
August 2012 - Carnival Dream - Port Canaveral, Cozumel, Progreso, Freeport, Nassau (Hurricane Ernesto Surprise Itinerary)
August 2013 - Carnival Fantasy - Charleston, Grand Turk, Half Moon Cay, Nassau
August 2016 - Carnival Magic - Port Canaveral, Amber Cove, St. Thomas, San Juan, Grand Turk


January 2018 - Carnival Vista - Miami, Grand Turk, La Romana, Curacao, Aruba
#8
DeLand, Florida
11,623 Posts
Joined Oct 2006
Thanks for the review and pics. We are enjoying it so far. We were on the Dream in Oct and agree with a lot you state up front. No smell, go food, etc. Saw the Dream last night too (we went to the movies and saw Alvin and the Chipmunks:Chipwrecked).
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Mike & Laurie
Semper Fi







7 Norwegian Star, October 2003 Hawaii
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4 Monarch of the Seas, Nassau & Coco Cay, October 2012
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Next: Still looking.
124 Days at Sea
#10
Rittman, Ohio
1,044 Posts
Joined Sep 2010
We made our way down to deck 8 about 1:30pm and had a short wait before the fire doors were opened to get into our rooms. Finally the time came and we were finally in our rooms. DW & I had 8347, DD & SIL had 8343, and DN & DS had 8351 (inside bunk room).

Even though the bed selection was twin from Carnival's website (and couldn't be changed no matter how many times we tried) it was pushed together into a king. Must have been left that way from the previous cruise as others have mentioned on CC.

We unpacked and got stuff organized. The room size wasn't bad and not crowded even when there was four of us hanging out in the room. Four smaller drawers, and three closets (one with shelves, two with hangers) gave us more then enough storage for the week.

I just realized I don't have any pictures of the interior of our rooms (except the boys). Geez, out of 1000 pictures you would think I did take a few. Bummer. Here is our adjoining balconies before the steward had the partition opened up:





We were about in the middle of the two hot tubs located on the Promenade deck. It was a great location and people are fun to watch.





The boy's did take a couple of their room (please excuse their stuff):






After we got unpacked we wandered around until we had to go to muster drill. For our two balcony rooms we were in the lower dining room and DS and DN's cabin were in a different muster area (I believe Camp Carnival).
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Randy & Kimberly

COMING UP:


CRUISE HISTORY:
Apr 2017 - Carnival Vista
Apr 2016 - Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas - Western Caribbean - First Royal Cruise!
Apr 2015 - Carnival Sunshine - Western Caribbean
Apr 2014 - Carnival Valor - Southern Caribbean
Apr 2013 - Carnival Liberty - Aft-Wrap Cruise (photo review)
Nov 2012 - Carnival Breeze - B2B Cruise! (photo review)
Dec 2011 - Carnival Dream - Cruising with the Kids (photo review)
Jan 2011 - Carnival Fantasy - Anniversary Cruise (photo review)
#11
Rittman, Ohio
1,044 Posts
Joined Sep 2010
We were in port with Carnival Ecstasy, Norwegian Sun, Disney Magic.



Norwegian Sun left during our muster drill. Once muster was over we made our way back to our cabin. We had asked to have the partition opened between our cabin and DD & SIL’s cabin and they had it done for us.

Around 4:30PM, the ship started moving!









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Randy & Kimberly

COMING UP:


CRUISE HISTORY:
Apr 2017 - Carnival Vista
Apr 2016 - Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas - Western Caribbean - First Royal Cruise!
Apr 2015 - Carnival Sunshine - Western Caribbean
Apr 2014 - Carnival Valor - Southern Caribbean
Apr 2013 - Carnival Liberty - Aft-Wrap Cruise (photo review)
Nov 2012 - Carnival Breeze - B2B Cruise! (photo review)
Dec 2011 - Carnival Dream - Cruising with the Kids (photo review)
Jan 2011 - Carnival Fantasy - Anniversary Cruise (photo review)
#12
Rittman, Ohio
1,044 Posts
Joined Sep 2010
Once we got spun around, we moved past Fishlips, and during that time we held an American flag and our family was able to see us on the Port Canaveral webcam, although it was kind of blurry.













I have video of sail away but will have to edit it and upload when I have some more time.
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Randy & Kimberly

COMING UP:


CRUISE HISTORY:
Apr 2017 - Carnival Vista
Apr 2016 - Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas - Western Caribbean - First Royal Cruise!
Apr 2015 - Carnival Sunshine - Western Caribbean
Apr 2014 - Carnival Valor - Southern Caribbean
Apr 2013 - Carnival Liberty - Aft-Wrap Cruise (photo review)
Nov 2012 - Carnival Breeze - B2B Cruise! (photo review)
Dec 2011 - Carnival Dream - Cruising with the Kids (photo review)
Jan 2011 - Carnival Fantasy - Anniversary Cruise (photo review)
#13
Rittman, Ohio
1,044 Posts
Joined Sep 2010
After we watched and were out of port, we wandered around the ship and I took some pics:



They had the ship decorated for Christmas which was nice.









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Randy & Kimberly

COMING UP:


CRUISE HISTORY:
Apr 2017 - Carnival Vista
Apr 2016 - Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas - Western Caribbean - First Royal Cruise!
Apr 2015 - Carnival Sunshine - Western Caribbean
Apr 2014 - Carnival Valor - Southern Caribbean
Apr 2013 - Carnival Liberty - Aft-Wrap Cruise (photo review)
Nov 2012 - Carnival Breeze - B2B Cruise! (photo review)
Dec 2011 - Carnival Dream - Cruising with the Kids (photo review)
Jan 2011 - Carnival Fantasy - Anniversary Cruise (photo review)
#14
Rittman, Ohio
1,044 Posts
Joined Sep 2010
Before we knew it, it was time for dinner. We made our way down to the dining room. We had anytime dining, but normally went between 6:30 and 7:00PM and had NO wait at all.

In fact, we were able to be seated in Joel (head waiter) and Marvin's (assistant waiter) section. They were really funny and nice guys made dinner very enjoyable.

Here is DS and Joel:



And now, for some food porn!











I can't disagree more with some of the poor reviews of the food on the Dream. We never had a bad meal and everything was good and properly prepared.
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Randy & Kimberly

COMING UP:


CRUISE HISTORY:
Apr 2017 - Carnival Vista
Apr 2016 - Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas - Western Caribbean - First Royal Cruise!
Apr 2015 - Carnival Sunshine - Western Caribbean
Apr 2014 - Carnival Valor - Southern Caribbean
Apr 2013 - Carnival Liberty - Aft-Wrap Cruise (photo review)
Nov 2012 - Carnival Breeze - B2B Cruise! (photo review)
Dec 2011 - Carnival Dream - Cruising with the Kids (photo review)
Jan 2011 - Carnival Fantasy - Anniversary Cruise (photo review)
#15
Rittman, Ohio
1,044 Posts
Joined Sep 2010
The desserts were also great. As Marvin would say, "the best part of dinner." Had to have the WCMC (and I did several times during the week):



Here are some others:









After dinner, we made our way back to the cabin and here was our first towel animal. We are definitely on a cruise!

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Randy & Kimberly

COMING UP:


CRUISE HISTORY:
Apr 2017 - Carnival Vista
Apr 2016 - Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas - Western Caribbean - First Royal Cruise!
Apr 2015 - Carnival Sunshine - Western Caribbean
Apr 2014 - Carnival Valor - Southern Caribbean
Apr 2013 - Carnival Liberty - Aft-Wrap Cruise (photo review)
Nov 2012 - Carnival Breeze - B2B Cruise! (photo review)
Dec 2011 - Carnival Dream - Cruising with the Kids (photo review)
Jan 2011 - Carnival Fantasy - Anniversary Cruise (photo review)
#16
Rittman, Ohio
1,044 Posts
Joined Sep 2010
Also love getting the chocolate mints and the next day's Funtimes.



Does it really get any better than this?

We went to sleep pretty early since we had been up at 4:00AM, chomping at the bit to get on the ship.

Overall it was a great day and we had a relaxing sea day to look forward to!


12-11-2011 - FUN DAY AT SEA

We woke up early, but later than we normally do at home. No emails & phone calls to answer, no work to do! NICE!

We weren't on the side of the ship to see the sunrise, but I could see some sun reflecting off the clouds.





After we ate breakfast, we got ready and headed up to the Lido deck. The pool chair hogs were active, but we had plenty of spots available, and we chose deck 12 above the Lido deck.





We got on the water slides quite a bit, waited no more than a couple minutes when it was busy.

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Randy & Kimberly

COMING UP:


CRUISE HISTORY:
Apr 2017 - Carnival Vista
Apr 2016 - Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas - Western Caribbean - First Royal Cruise!
Apr 2015 - Carnival Sunshine - Western Caribbean
Apr 2014 - Carnival Valor - Southern Caribbean
Apr 2013 - Carnival Liberty - Aft-Wrap Cruise (photo review)
Nov 2012 - Carnival Breeze - B2B Cruise! (photo review)
Dec 2011 - Carnival Dream - Cruising with the Kids (photo review)
Jan 2011 - Carnival Fantasy - Anniversary Cruise (photo review)
#17
Rittman, Ohio
1,044 Posts
Joined Sep 2010
My favorite water slide was the drain pipe. I shot a video of it one time I went on the slide:

http://youtu.be/QfTjAxfHkoc

After we had much fun in the sun, we went back to the cabin for some rest.

The Dream and the Norwegian Sun were in a little bit of a race. We left after them, but I believe our captain wanted to make sure we got ahead of them.







Before leaving for dinner, we watched the sunset from our balcony.



Here was our position that evening:

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Randy & Kimberly

COMING UP:


CRUISE HISTORY:
Apr 2017 - Carnival Vista
Apr 2016 - Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas - Western Caribbean - First Royal Cruise!
Apr 2015 - Carnival Sunshine - Western Caribbean
Apr 2014 - Carnival Valor - Southern Caribbean
Apr 2013 - Carnival Liberty - Aft-Wrap Cruise (photo review)
Nov 2012 - Carnival Breeze - B2B Cruise! (photo review)
Dec 2011 - Carnival Dream - Cruising with the Kids (photo review)
Jan 2011 - Carnival Fantasy - Anniversary Cruise (photo review)
#18
Rittman, Ohio
1,044 Posts
Joined Sep 2010
Tonight was elegant night (first of two). We all got cleaned up, dressed up, and went to dinner.







Guess what, more food porn!





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Randy & Kimberly

COMING UP:


CRUISE HISTORY:
Apr 2017 - Carnival Vista
Apr 2016 - Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas - Western Caribbean - First Royal Cruise!
Apr 2015 - Carnival Sunshine - Western Caribbean
Apr 2014 - Carnival Valor - Southern Caribbean
Apr 2013 - Carnival Liberty - Aft-Wrap Cruise (photo review)
Nov 2012 - Carnival Breeze - B2B Cruise! (photo review)
Dec 2011 - Carnival Dream - Cruising with the Kids (photo review)
Jan 2011 - Carnival Fantasy - Anniversary Cruise (photo review)
#19
Rittman, Ohio
1,044 Posts
Joined Sep 2010
And even more food porn:





Lobster was good, not ashamed to say I had two!





And then dessert:



WCMC again??? Why not!

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Randy & Kimberly

COMING UP:


CRUISE HISTORY:
Apr 2017 - Carnival Vista
Apr 2016 - Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas - Western Caribbean - First Royal Cruise!
Apr 2015 - Carnival Sunshine - Western Caribbean
Apr 2014 - Carnival Valor - Southern Caribbean
Apr 2013 - Carnival Liberty - Aft-Wrap Cruise (photo review)
Nov 2012 - Carnival Breeze - B2B Cruise! (photo review)
Dec 2011 - Carnival Dream - Cruising with the Kids (photo review)
Jan 2011 - Carnival Fantasy - Anniversary Cruise (photo review)
#20
Rittman, Ohio
1,044 Posts
Joined Sep 2010


Can't say we aren't having a good time, right?



After dinner, we all went back and changed our clothes and found the next towel animal, mints, and fun times:





We wandered around the ship until we went to bed and I believe the kids went to a comedy show that night. Day #2 was a success!
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Randy & Kimberly

COMING UP:


CRUISE HISTORY:
Apr 2017 - Carnival Vista
Apr 2016 - Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas - Western Caribbean - First Royal Cruise!
Apr 2015 - Carnival Sunshine - Western Caribbean
Apr 2014 - Carnival Valor - Southern Caribbean
Apr 2013 - Carnival Liberty - Aft-Wrap Cruise (photo review)
Nov 2012 - Carnival Breeze - B2B Cruise! (photo review)
Dec 2011 - Carnival Dream - Cruising with the Kids (photo review)
Jan 2011 - Carnival Fantasy - Anniversary Cruise (photo review)