Fresh off Dream with long review and photos

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#1
nyc
141 Posts
Joined Mar 2010
Hello,
I just got off the dream and had a great time. I could not find MANY recent Dream reviews so I decided to do one for those who are interested.
Overall I have been on about 10 cruises with Carnival, Norwegian, and Royal Caribbean. This cruise was my first on Carnival since 2006. my first several cruises had been with family and now due everyone starting their own lives and family it is not just me and my husband. Hopefully I can plan a family cruise again in the future.

I had a horrible 2014. You name it, it happened to me, so I was really looking forward to this cruise. I felt like I earned it so regardless of what may or may not have been to my liking, I was going to have a good time. With that said you may see some negatives but it was not going to ruin my trip.

Embarkation

Once out cab did not know where to go. Was very confused and most parking staff seemed too serious or like they work for TSA.

Found a porter and after that everything ran smoothly

Lots of people inside the cruise terminal but things seemed to flow smoothly. Arrived around 11:30am


We did express check in and after that we were instructed to go through security

After security we went to get our key. We passed the priority room and what seemed to be a long line for regular check in. Took out my phone to take pics and was told it was a no pic zone


We headed up to buffet because room was not ready. Buffet was large space wise but things are spread far apart. Burgers, pizza, tandoori, and deli outside

Everything else inside. I like the seating space but don't like to walk far for my different items. Not a deal breaker though

Room 8257. First door you see when off stairs or elevator. Great if you dont want to walk. Not great if you don't want to hear everyone who comes off stairs or elevator. Again not a deal breaker

My husband surprised me and had the room decorated. Overkill and it looked like the 4th of July but uts the thought that counts

We went to the muster drill. Our station was in one of the main dining rooms. You do not need to bring life jackets. About 5 minutes after we sit down we hear an announcement, something like "attention, all those who are hiding on your balcony, we can see you. Please take your safety seriously and come to drill". We thought it was funny and apparently so did most who heard it.


Sail away.

I wouldn't call it sail away necessarily because for some reason we did not sail away till later. It was cold but it was a lot of fun. Got my first drink of the trip, a Miami vice. Taste good, rich, not too much alcohol. I actually didn't taste any but decided that for now, im fine.

Line dancing was fun. I normally cant get my husband to join but he decided to oblige finally. Good times

Dinner.
We were assigned to the Crimson Dining room. Food the first night was Ok. Not amazing but ok. Server whose name i forgot was excellent. We did my time dining and only waited 2 minutes. Went to eat @ 8:15pm

I had spring rolls, shrimp cocktail and tilapia. I like my food hot from the pot. Few places meet that expectation so I wasn't too surprised when my food was just warm.

Shrimp cocktail taste fresh

Spring roll good but not top restaurant good, tilapia ok. Love tilapia but this one just seemed boring

Husband had sweet and sour shrimp. He thought it was just ok

After dinner we went to casino. Smoke filled. Cant do every day. Lungs cant handle it. I'm from nyc where they banned smoking in public so im no longer used to smoking in public places. Ordered the kiss on the lips that I read about on here. Good but real sweet. No buzz and not taste of alcohol. It was day one so I didn't make a big deal. Will step my drink game up tomorrow :-)

Lost $60 in 4 minutes so we walked around. Heard some good Motown singing and then went to Punchliner comedy club. The manager was the comic that night and he was actually funny.


After the show it was almost midnight so I called it a night. Cant hang like i used to. Actually i never hang late. Im more a nick at nite kinda gal. I can do that all night. Nightlife...only till about 11 lol

Help!!!!
I tried to insert my pics in between text but this site is confusing so you will just probably see them below...hopefully. If someone knows how to insert pics please let me know. I have many more and putting them in the right place will make this review much better
Day 2 coming shortly
#2
nyc
141 Posts
Joined Mar 2010
here they are
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#3
nyc
141 Posts
Joined Mar 2010
Day 2



Got up and headed to lido for breakfast. Line was very long. I thought it was for omelets but it turned out it was just for the buffet. It turns out the bacon is not self serve, they have people serving the bacon and i think this is what slows the line down. Maybe they want to ensure that someone does not take all of it but its a cruise and a buffet so i figure just make enough and keep it coming. I walked all over looking for smoked salmon and couldnt find any. I finally asked one of the staff and they said they only have for brunch. This was a first on any cruise i been on. I always get an omelette and a bagel with lox. Was a little dissapointed but moved on. Buffet food not as hot as i liked but again. Its a buffet. Omelette made to order so it was nice and hot.


After breakfast, i headed to the gym. Nice size gym, lots of machines, clean, seems well maintained and i didnt notice any broken machines

After gym our room stewart came to clean room so i went back to lido to explore more. It is there that i discovered the deli AND smoked salmon bagels. Even though full i ate one anyway. Very good


Then i headed to the casino and spent $60 in 5 minutes again. Gotta stay out of there. Seeing that it takes more the 5 minutes for me to earn $60 i shouldnt spend it in 5. Decided to limit my trips to casino to once a day


That afternoon, i stopped by the FB group meet and greet. Didnt stay too long due to not feeling too great but stayed for introductions and part of the gift swap. My husband never saw a gift swap before, so he was intrigued and decided to stay.

I spent most of the afternoon in my room listening to the ocean as I drifted to sleep. Love balcony rooms. So relaxing.

While i did that, my husband went to the ocean side bbq. He said the food was really good.


Dinner tonight was good but not great. But before I get to that, it was elegent night. Got to put on a nice dress which I love to do. They had really good backgrounds to choose from.

So we get to crimson dining room and there is a short wait so we are given a buzzer. We wait at the bar where I discover a drink called a tirimisu. I actually Loved it. Its bailys, kahlua and some other stuff and the glass is coated with chocolate. I found my drink and finally got my buzz.

We are called to dinner and i order the steak dinner and lobster dinner. Not bad, not great. My steak was kinda bla. Edible of course but blah. Cant put my finger on it. Also was more rare then i like. We couldnt find anything on desert menu that we wanted so our dinner ended after the main course.

Later that evening we decided to stop in caliente night club. The club is pretty much dead until the comedy show is over and then a lot of cruisers there stop in the club. Had a good time, good music. Popular hits.

After the club i headed to lido for late night eats which starts at 11:30. Hot dogs, cookies, brownies and a really good sandwhich on a roll which i assume was a crispy buffalo chicken breast sandwhich. After that I call it a night
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#4
nyc
141 Posts
Joined Mar 2010
2nd Sea Day..(I guess we call it day 3)

The sun is shining, weather finally warm. Wake up and head to breakfast about 10. When im on vacation i like to sleep in as late as possible. We get up early every day for work so when i dont have to get up I dont.

When we get to the dining room the line is much shorter than yesterday. Maybe due to the later hour. Regardless of the reason I am happy.

After breakfast we head to the casino and i lose more money. I then go check out my elegent night pics which are amazing. We are by no means photogenic so i was very impressed. Out of all cruise lines i have traveled with these seem to be the best quality photos.

I must say i prefer norwegian photo find process over carnival only because on norwegian, they record your room number whenever you take a photo and you can view all your photos on the kiosk. If carnival has that I didnt see it. For every few photos you buy you get a small trinket gift.


There was a blackjack tournament going on which my husband wish to participate. He told me I was bad luck and to go spend his money and let him play so that is what i did. I bought a bag from the fun shops and a pina colada in a coconut souvenair glass.

I watched the pool side games which were fun. They had a guys vs gals scavenger hunt and some funny races. The games were not completelt kid friends but as the staff jokinly pointed out, people should have their kid in camp carnival anyway lol.

After the pool games i headed to mongolian wok. I figures id go while everyone else was at the pool. Waited 30 minutes (line wasnt even that long) and i must say on this particular day they wait was not really worth it. The options this day were chicken, beef, and salmon which were fine but something was missing. I probably wouldnt do it again. If i get it ill have to have someone else wait on line for me.


Dinner

Took a little longer to get served in MDR on this night. It took forever to get bread, even longer to get apps. The server was nice but things just took long. I dont believe it was his fault, some sort of back up in the kitchen. I had sushi app and salmon. Sushi app small but good salmon simply grilled so it was just ok. At this point in the cruise im not overly impressed by the food onboard. Would this keep me from sailing again. No because in my opinion over the past decade, food quality on a lot if cruise lines have decli ed. Food at this point is ok and not great.

That evenig we went to the puncliner comedy show. There was a long line to get in. Be careful of people who pretend that they dont see the line and skip it. Dont let it ruin your trip. Thats what i had to keep telling myself.

Mike brown was the commediene. He was laid back but funny. The puncliner drink menu is unique and club themed. I.e sex in the beach is called sex on the stage.
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#6
nyc
141 Posts
Joined Mar 2010
Woke up and prepared myself for irie mon beach party. Didnt really have time to eat so i just went to lido to get quava orange mixed punch. Delicious, highlight of my mornings

We get off ship and sign in to begin our excursion. Only left 5 minutes after scheduled time which i think is pretty good.

Liked the whole experience. I felt safe on the beach, the few vendors were not pushy. Island music played the whole time, there were games like vollyball and musical hoola hoop. They offered massages on the beach which i thought were slightly overpriced since we were not at a resort but my husband enjoyes it. Lunch eeh. Burgers with no cheese option. Chicken, pork, rice and peas. May sound like a lot but i was just expecting something better. Kinda felt low end. Im a foodie so im always looking forward to the meal. Im kinda glad the food wasnt multiple trip worthy because i was doing chef table and didnt want to overeat.

I guess i was dissapointed because while we waited i saw men carrying large platters of food but i guess that wasnt for our group.

My husband however thought the food was excellent.

I would give the irie beach party excusrion a 4.5 and thats only because the food was slightly dissapointing. The rest of the experience was excellent. Beautiful beach, kind staff, drinks plentiful.
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#7
nyc
141 Posts
Joined Mar 2010
Chefs table was excellent. There was only one thing i didnt like which was the beet blanket. The chef pretended we were the first to try this new menu but i knew what was on the menu by reading all of the chef table reviews on here. The chef was so nice and explained what every single thing on the plate was even the garnishment. The staff was awsome. I had to exit to use the bathroom and one of the waiter staff walked me arm and arm to the restroom on the next floor. He did not want me to fall. Our meal was served in the kitchen. At first i was like WTH but it turned out to be cool. The chef tabke was definitely worth the money. After that i didnt look forward to going back to the ships regular menu. Towards the end i was stuffed. We each received a free photo of all of us at the table
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#9
nyc
141 Posts
Joined Mar 2010
Day 5..or Caymen Island Day

Not much to report. Woke up at 8:30 to the phone ringing. Cabin stuart wanted to let me know they were washing balcony windows in port again. Laid back down for a little while and headed to breakfast. Had my usual omelet but today the potatoes were difference. They were sliced instead of diced and a little burnt. Had my guava juice so I was happy.

Went back to room to get ready to head off boat. We got off later than a lot of people so tender was quick and easy. While we were eating breakfast i heard someone mention how long the line was to tender so I'm glad we waited.

We have been to grand caymen several times and never really do much. This was my opportunity to get some free wifi. Went to a bar called Guy Harveys. Ordered two frozen drinks and a ginger ale so we could sit and use wifi. Wifi was in and out so if you ever hang in there to use it be prepared, but hey its somewhat free (you paying to drink or eat so not really).

Here is the part of the day that got annoying. There were 5 cruise ships in port. Tender area for returns was a mad house. Imagine thousands of people on line at one time, all on different cruise lines, no one knows where their line is. Royal Caribbean and Norwegian lines seemed to more fast. When they crosses from the shaded part of the line to the outside part of the lines, they gave their guests water and wet towels. I thought "come on carnival, dont let these other lines show you up" lol. Our line was served water once we finally arrived to the tender boat and not while we were standing in the hot sun like everyone else but....at least it DID come.

I have never experienced such a long line and chaos before but then again maybe there have never been that many ships at once.

After that I just relaxed till dinner. Prior to dinner my sushi surprise from my husband was delivered. It was very attractive and taste good. Love the rolls with the real crab meat. The rest were ok. Its a cruise line and not a sushi restaurant so in spite of that I think they did a good job. They didn't send any soy sauce or chop sticks. Didnt care about the chop sticks but definitely had to call them back for soy sauce.


We were full from sushi so we ate dinner a little later. Server Vladimir in section was excellent. I still was not that hungry so i got a fried shrimp app and shrimp and white fish ceviche. Very good. There you have it. I said something in main dining was very good.

Husband got the seafood newburg style. He loved it

I had finally had the warm melted chocolate cake. Very good. I like the crust the best.

The wait staff performed to a southern hip hop song. HilRioius

Next was love and marriage game show. Couples seemed to enjoy themselves. The reveal of the answers was the funniest part. Interesting to see if the couples answers match. Funniest when they don't.

After the marriage gams show we headed to the Mexican fiesta party on lido. Still full so we did not eat but we spent a little time there watching the different line dances.
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#10
nyc
141 Posts
Joined Mar 2010
Day 6 Cozumel

Woke up, had a very good breakfast. For the first time I saw pancakes and they had my home fries the way i like them. Good start to day.

Once off boat we walked through shops and hopped a cab to Mr. Sanchos beach club. Heard about it on the Dream FB page. $17 each way. Per car not per person. I highly recommend. For $55 per adult and $49 child you get access to an all inclusive beach club. Plenty of drinks and plenty of food. Both buffet and a la carte all included. I had to keep asking if stuff was included because I couldn't believe how much we got for so little money.. I had a Miami vice, and mango margarita, and peach daiquiri. Both delicious and with a good amount of alcohol.

There are many of places to lounge and dine. Loungers, tables with umbrellas and a large hut area where they housed the buffet

I ordered the grilled shrimp and mixed seafood ceviche. Tastes fresh and not frozen. Loved every ounce of it. Had to order it twice.

Normally when I stop at ports i never venture off. I walk around or find a senor frog or margeritaville and walk around. A couple of times in the past I took a shuttle to a beach in st. Thomas buts that's it. This is the first cruise I ventured off and glad I did. I've mentioned to people that i have been to all these island when I actually only seen the ports and surrounding areas. Moving forward I will explore more. But only after i research the safety. This was probably my favorite part of the ports. I even took a picture with an iguana. Well worth every single penny.


Later that night was the 2nd elegant night so i got to dress up again. Yaaaay. This night i had grilled shrimp and chateaubriand. Both excellent. No complaints. There was also another staff performance
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#11
nyc
141 Posts
Joined Mar 2010
Last sea day there wasnt much going on that I wanted to do. The weather was starting to cool down and it rained. There were a lot of sales in the fun shop and the spa thinks they had a sale. I wanted a facial but didnt think the price was reduced enough to get one.

For dinner i had the maryland crab cake and portebella mushroom mesulan salad as appetizer. Both very good

For dinner i ordered the panko crusted shrmp which came with very good grilled corn and onion rings and the prime rib which came with a baked potato and creamed spinach which were also very good. Of course I had to finish it off with chocolate melting cake. Only wish i discovered the cake earlier in the journey


Disembarkation

So, this is the first time in years, I did not do self disembark. I normally have an early flight. I didn't get off the ship and into the terminal till 11:30. They didn't call my group number till almost 11 and thn it took an extra 30 minutes to get through customs line. I must have been placed in that last group but did not mind because I had a lot of time to kill before my 5pm flight. In the future I will do early/self service.

So to wrap up this review.


Would i do Dream again. Yes, only visiting different ports. This is not a poor reflection of the dream, I just try not to do repeats within a certain amount of time. So basically, ill repeat a port if i am on a new ship. Ill repeat a ship if the ports are different. Im always looking for something new or different.

Would I do carnival again. Absolutlely. But here are my overall pros and cons. They are all minor


Pros

- cruise line knows how to have fun. Not too stuffy, but knows how to keep it classy

- my time dining. Love eating when I want. On norwegian everyone is on my time dining so its like everyone showing up to dinner without a reservation. With my time dining Carnival has a list of evryone with my time dining and plan accordingly. The center of the dining room seems to be for those with a set time and the outer part is for my time diners. They have an annex section for large groups. Hard to explain but it works. Very rarely did i have to wait but thats probably because I eat later.

-Not sure what kind of training photographers get but this has been some of the best proffesional photos I every had

-Drinks some of best drinks I had on A cruise line in years. Some not as strong but still good.

-Ports. judge me if you like but when i look for a cruise i have no loyalty to no cruise line. Actually I somewhat do. Ill only do norwegian, royal carribean, or carnival haha. Whenever I search, carnival always seems to have the best ports. I have sailed to cozumel and caymen many times but carnival goes to montego bay and not all lines do

-excellent staff. No frown, no agitation. A couple of times some didnt undetstand me but thats to be understood on a multi national establishment

-funny cruise director henni

-spacias balcony stateroom

-every time you get a classic cocktail you get $5 in casino credit. My husband used this a lot




Cons

-unlike others lines i been on I didnt get a coupon book or any perks or discounts for being repeat customer. I got a coupon for free drink that could only be used in dining room breakfast and lunch. Not dinner. Dont eat in dining room for either of those meals. As much money as they make off drinks I find it crazy they cant offer a drink without so many conditions.

-casino My husband complained about the weird blackjacks rules in the casino. Wont get too much into it because i dont know much about it, i just know he said they dont allow a "push" if you and dealer have same amount you have to hit again instead of push. I dunno. I did get a rigged kinda feeling in there but its called gambling for a reason. Minor con

- food. Food. Food. I am a foodie but not a picky foody. I just like my food hot and with options on a cruise so that I can find something i like. Sorry this was not the case. Very few buffet options. I will say out of all my favorite lines over the past few years, i like this buffet the least. Food not hot, limited variety, and didnt seem to have a good system in place in the kitchen. For example. On one day the first set of potatoes where tator tots when they ran low they replaced with home fries then tater again..ok. Only saw pancakes one day. They didnt let you self serve oatmeal, grits and bacon yet they were frequently running out and we had to wait a while for more. Mongolian wok. Good. Some days great but as long as the line is, they should open one more station.

The first several days the food in the dining room was just ok and not too hot but got better as time went on.




Some may ask how she liked the cruise but hate the food. Simple. I had enough fun to overshadow that. Good thing about not being in love with the food is I didnt gain that much weight.

Excellent adventure.
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#13
Meraux, LA
1,036 Posts
Joined May 2012
Thank You, Thank You, Thank you! We're getting on the Dream Sunday for the same itinerary! I'll definitely try a Tiramisu Martini and the warm chocolate melting cake. Good to note the confusion in Grand Cayman returning to the ship. I do want to try a deli sandwich, didn't know about the bagel and salmon...mmmmm. Thanks again!
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Carol & Don








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#14
Rockwall TX
5,069 Posts
Joined Apr 2006
Do you recall how many ships were in Cozumel that day and if Mr. Sancho's felt overly crowded? Trying to decide if we want to spend the day here or not. I have been here twice...many years ago (02 & 05) so I know it has changed. But we are cruising Spring Break and just want to know what I might be getting myself in to

Originally posted by shdixon
Day 6 Cozumel

Woke up, had a very good breakfast. For the first time I saw pancakes and they had my home fries the way i like them. Good start to day.

Once off boat we walked through shops and hopped a cab to Mr. Sanchos beach club. Heard about it on the Dream FB page. $17 each way. Per car not per person. I highly recommend. For $55 per adult and $49 child you get access to an all inclusive beach club. Plenty of drinks and plenty of food. Both buffet and a la carte all included. I had to keep asking if stuff was included because I couldn't believe how much we got for so little money.. I had a Miami vice, and mango margarita, and peach daiquiri. Both delicious and with a good amount of alcohol.

There are many of places to lounge and dine. Loungers, tables with umbrellas and a large hut area where they housed the buffet

I ordered the grilled shrimp and mixed seafood ceviche. Tastes fresh and not frozen. Loved every ounce of it. Had to order it twice.

Normally when I stop at ports i never venture off. I walk around or find a senor frog or margeritaville and walk around. A couple of times in the past I took a shuttle to a beach in st. Thomas buts that's it. This is the first cruise I ventured off and glad I did. I've mentioned to people that i have been to all these island when I actually only seen the ports and surrounding areas. Moving forward I will explore more. But only after i research the safety. This was probably my favorite part of the ports. I even took a picture with an iguana. Well worth every single penny.


Later that night was the 2nd elegant night so i got to dress up again. Yaaaay. This night i had grilled shrimp and chateaubriand. Both excellent. No complaints. There was also another staff performance
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Happy Cruising, Kerry






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#15
7 Posts
Joined Apr 2014
We were on the same Dream Cruise and tried to go to Mr. Sanchos but it was full capacity on the all-inclusive side and we did not have a reservation. We went to Playa Mia which is close by. It was pretty good but only had buffet food.

We had fun on the Dream but 2 sea days were cold and windy and the other one was warmer but windy. The slide was rarely open due to wind.

I would not go out of New Orleans in the winter again.
#16
Baton Rouge, LA
980 Posts
Joined Jan 2015
Thanks for your review. I may be going on Dream in April and have been doing tons of research. I cruised Elation back in December on my first ever cruise. I had a blast but the one thing I could find to "complain" about was the food. It just wasn't what I envisioned when people talked about cruises and all the food you could ever want to eat. The truth was that there wasn't a ton to choose from and out of what was there, not all of it was very good. I still found something to like and I just chalked it up to having too high of expectations. I was hoping Dream would have better food, and maybe it will compared to Elation, but I know not to get my hopes up again.

And wouldn't you know, the one thing I really liked was the burgers and I hear Dream doesn't have the same burgers. That would be my luck.

I am glad to hear this ship also has the chocolate melting cake. I had that EVERY night on Elation and would go back on a quick cruise just for that dessert. lol
#17
1 Posts
Joined Jan 2015
Excellent review. Dgf and myself are looking at going on my first ever cruise in March or September and can't decide between elation or dream.. Thanks for the insight


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#19
nyc
141 Posts
Joined Mar 2010
Originally posted by tkportersat
Do you recall how many ships were in Cozumel that day and if Mr. Sancho's felt overly crowded? Trying to decide if we want to spend the day here or not. I have been here twice...many years ago (02 & 05) so I know it has changed. But we are cruising Spring Break and just want to know what I might be getting myself in to
Mr. Sanchos did not feel crowded at all. I am surprised to hear they were sold out that day. I guess they dont want to overcrowd their guests. I recall about 2 or 3 other ships in port. I reserved online in advance. $5 deposit each
#20
nyc
141 Posts
Joined Mar 2010
Originally posted by myangel
great review!! We'll be on her for the third time on Sunday! Can't wait! Glad you had fun!
Thanks. Had a blast. Cant wait till next year