Synopsys: What’s this all about [almost]:
I am starting to post my write-up a week before the cruise because I have an inordinate amount of introductory and background material, the Who, What, Why, When, and How of this upcoming cruise. When I get back from the cruise in two weeks I hope to dive right in and post the review of the ship and trip with tons of photos and more. Speaking of SHIP and TRIP:
DOCUMENTING THE SHIP:
When I first started reading these threads a few months ago I mistakenly thought that these ship reviews would be just that: SHIP Reviews where I could read and really get a feel for the SHIP. For the most part they are TRIP reviews “What I did on my [name of season or reason goes here] vacation” reviews and the ship was only an adjunct to the write-up of the TRIP.
In about 98% of the write-ups the exploration of the ship can be summed up as: “After lunch on the Lido deck we explored the ship until the muster drill” followed by a few random photos of the ship with no connection between the photos and the places, in other words, you didn’t get a feel of relationship of one place to another.
Studying the Carnival web site was not much better. The Dream got the short stick compared to the Magic. They do have deck plans with a few photos of some of the main areas of the ship but still it feels disjointed. For the Magic they have a 4 ½ minute virtual tour which gives a much better feel of the new ship.
I even wrote to Carnival of this short-fall of their web site suggesting that they add a video tour of the Dream. I got a nice canned response. I found out later on, from these pages, that prior to the initial cruise of the Dream over two years ago, they DID have a virtual tour video. I have seen it but it is out of date and not on the CCL website now.
With this write-up I propose to change that and really explore the ship.
The photo below is a cheat; this is from another CC review taken from another ship while passing the Dream. I had to start with something…
For me the SHIP is the destination, as you can see from my signature below, and the ports of call are adjuncts to the trip. Missing a port is an inconvenience, a bump in the road, missing the SHIP would be a disaster.
I expect to explore the ship and report in a series of posts within this master thread from top to bottom (or bottom to top – I haven’t decided yet). These posts will be subtitled Documenting the Ship: DECK NAME (##) and will be in deck order, not date order.Besides the obligatory photos I will also be using marked up deck plans so you will know WHERE something is on the ship. I will be looking at ALL public-access decks including the “sleeping” decks. They may be all the same or there may be differences. Who knows? I haven’t seen anything on these six decks from any reviews.
I won’t be going on any paid shore excursions, so to help document the ship, I will break down and pay for the “Behind the Fun” INTERIOR excursion. Since photos are not allowed on this excursion, this will be one of the few areas of the upcoming review that won’t be profusely illustrated.
As a sneak preview see the plans below. This illustration shows the forward areas of the Spa Deck (12) alongside the Panorama Deck (11). My room will be inside “Spa Room” 11220 on the Panorama Deck. I’ve circled the room and also circled the corresponding area on the Spa Deck so you can see that room 11220 is below a relatively quiet area of the ship. I’ll discuss the decision-making process of why this room later in the week.
So we have goal 1: DOCUMENT THE SHIP.
Expect Ship Porn.
Deck plans of forward sections of Spa (12) and Panorama (11) with room 11220 and corresponding area above highlighted.
DOCUMENTING THE TRIP:
This is fairly straightforward: A chronological telling of what happened on the trip. Besides the oodles of photos, I will be using deck plans to show where on the ship certain things happen as well has charts, maps, and Google Earth to show where on EARTH we are at most times.
During the course of this write up I might wax philosophic. I might was poetic. I won’t wax floors.
I’ll be taking photos of the TV channel that shows the ship’s course as well as the large electronic wall map of the course.
Google Earth Map of the approximate route. Carnival had the route on their web site a few months ago and removed it. I have recreated it below. The numbers are the days of the trip.
Goal 2: DOCUMENT THE TRIP.
Expect Food Porn.
Google Earth of Port Canaveral. An NCL ship is upper left; the Disney Dream is at middle left at an angle, and a Carnival ship (Pride?) is just below.
Enough of this. Let’s have some fun.
Carnival Facination 3-30-2009
Carnival Dream 1-21-28-2012