Carnival Dream (escape from Mardi Gras Cruise 2/15) from New Orleans review w/ pics

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#1
New Orleans
338 Posts
Joined May 2009
Just got off of the Dream Yesterday. Have to say.. we had a great time, very enjoyable. I wanted to write a review and share where I went, because everything was helped along by this site. Mitsugirly's recommendation of Little French Key was the highlight of the trip. Other's referring Nachi Cocum on busy cruise days in Cozumel allowed us to have a slice of paradise in a hectic port. The solo exploring of Costa Maya led to good shopping and the cheapest excursion of the three.
The ship itself was wonderful. We chose a balcony on the Lido deck, which afforded us quick access to the pools, buffet, atrium, camp carnival and Serenity. My worst fear of lido noise was quickly squashed when I saw how the cabins were set behind a fire door. You could hear the music on the balcony, but it was never heard in the cabin. The only noises I heard in the cabin were of the people who scooted in their chairs rather than picking them up and moving them (and the neighbor's loud TV late at night).

I'm going to post the pictures somewhat chronologically. I filmed more than I took pics and I have 70gb of video that I'm too lazy to pull stills from right now, but I still had tons of pics. I use s six year old Olympus tough 12mp but it takes decent pics.
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Escape from Mardi Gras cruise


#3
New Orleans
338 Posts
Joined May 2009
From my house to the Terminal was a fifteen minute ride, which made the trip easier, and allowed us to get a balcony and have a lot of cruise cash waiting for us.

I see this ship all the time and it was great to finally get a chance to get on it.



Some of my pictures were taken with my sunglass camera. They were a gift from my Mom at Christmas. They have a 32gb micro sd card and take good film, a lot of the lower quality clips are screen grabs from video, the video itself is really good. I saw a few people with Go-pros on their head, this is a lot easier and you barely know they are there.

I'll post some more info on them later. Perfect for beach trips. you can film or take pictures (some of the pics will be stills from the camera glasses themselves, not pulled from video with cut and paste)


So on with the trip.

After exiting at Tchoupitoulas we quickly pulled up at the port. The drop off line wasn't too bad, but a lot of people were getting picked up from the prior cruise and Norweigen and the horrid parking system at their terminal were causing backups as well.



We dropped of the luggage and went into the building.



The ship wasn't boarding yet, so the line was long.
Then a lady asked about the faster to the fun line, and was sent straight to a counter. We went up to the employee and were also sent straight to the counter. This Faster to the Fun stuff has already made the day better. We went and sat down and waited to be called.



About ten minutes later the ship started boarding, people with disabilities and scooters, platinum and diamond and then us.

We got up and stood in the embarkation line.
I pointed out our room to the girls and we started boarding.
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Escape from Mardi Gras cruise


#4
New Orleans
338 Posts
Joined May 2009
A short walk later and we were getting on the elevators. We were impressed by the large atrium it was so huge and grand, like something from Vegas.
(I realize I don't have the images of the atrium yet, so I will use a Mardi Gras Party image here, but imagine it without a party going on..



we went up to the Lido deck to 'wait' for our room.







After about ten minutes we remembered that we could just go to our rooms, so we went to check it out and drop off our water and cokes.

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Escape from Mardi Gras cruise


#5
New Orleans
338 Posts
Joined May 2009
We had long ago decided on the lido deck. I wanted to be by the pool and close to camp and wanted a higher deck. We had seen a youtube videohttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBdqn2IWy6M of this room (10-287) and decided on it.

This turned out to be a great decision. We would take the stairs up to Camp level and the slides, and could even take them down to the atrim floors, plus we had 10 elevators right around the corner.

The room itself was larger than the rooms I have had on the Fantasy and the Dawn (but this is my first balcony)

hallway to our room


I didn't take any pics before we put the luggage out.




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#6
New Orleans
338 Posts
Joined May 2009
The main feature of the room was for sure the balcony. It was here that I would eat my breakfast I got most days from the lido deck. Yeah I could use room service, but this was much quicker.
I found out that one of the chairs does recline, so I was able to lay out, which I did not expect.
The view in port is of the city.







We grabbed our fun times, and decided to go out to deck ten and get some food and then explore the ship. At this time it was just around noon. We had plenty of time before the Muster drill to relax.

I have the fun times and can scan them all plus the camp carnival kids info books if people would like to see the .pdf(s)

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Escape from Mardi Gras cruise


#8
New Orleans
338 Posts
Joined May 2009
The buffet area was very expansive. First things you see as you head from the pool entrance towards the back of the ship are the Grill on your left and the Pizza Pirate on your right.
I'm not really a fan of the pizza, I think they run through the impinger (conveyer oven) too fast or something, but the crust is always off. It's been five years and it still tasted the same to me.
I still tried it, it was quick, and they also almost always had fries there and hot dogs when the grill was closed.

If you walk in from the center entrance you hit Mongolian BBQ, now this is just exceptional, it was always the longest line on the ship. You could have someone get in line for the BBQ and another go down the elevator to deck 0, get off the ship, reembark, wait for the elevator and get back to deck 10 and the person would probably still be waiting. By far the longest wait. They do six at a time, but don't limit people and many people were ordering 2-3 for other family/friends. I would only go here when the lines were short. (especially since no one seems to know about the build your own pasta place)

As you get past the Mongolian BBQ, you have beverage stations and self serve soft serve machines. Heading further into the ship you have the line that generally changed cuisine thought the week. From Italian to Mexican to French to Caribbean. Generally pretty good.
Further towards the back you had a carving station, a burrito bar, and another line serving similar stuff as the previous stations.
Across from that was the desserts. From here you had a staircase to deck 11 which is where the pasta bar is. You can order pasta or lasagna here made the way you want. It was really good, and this and the burrito bar went a long way with our picky girls.

Outside on deck ten at the back of the ship you have Tandoor, which is Indian/ Indonesian style food. There were things I liked and things I didn't, but it was an easy way to try a cuisine I typically avoid. opposite of Tandoor is the Sandwich station, they had a lot of great choices and each is made to order. So deck ten gave us plenty of options to eat. I never got to try taste bar or the sushi or the Lanai grill as we would find ourselves eating only in the buffet or the MDR.

I found the food to be pretty good. There were items I did not like, but all in all for what you could get, the food was sound. The carving station always had something good, you could never go wrong with the pasta or Mongolian and I still haven't really mentioned the hamburgers and hotdogs coming off the grill.
I did hear of people complain about the food, and I wonder their expectations. Though I said I didn't like the food on NCL and a lot of people got upset with my opinion. I just like the options, and not having to pay $20-30 each time I want to try these options.









okay the last one was the dinner I had the night before the cruise. lol
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#9
Minnesota
215 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
Can't wait for more information on your cruise! I am going on the Dream this September and it will be a first time sailing from NO.
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Upcoming Cruises:::
Carnival Magic. September '17, Eastern Caribbean Rontourage 2
Carnival Conquest, February '18. Southern Caribbean

Past Cruises:
Carnival Vista January '17....Southern Caribbean
Carnival Breeze July '16....Western Caribbean
Carnival Sunshine February '16...Southern Caribbean
Carnival Dream September '15..Western Caribbean
Carnival Conquest February '15..Eastern Caribbean
Carnival Breeze February '14...Southern Caribbean
Carnival Breeze February '13..Eastern Caribbean
Carnival Miracle February '12..Eastern Caribbean
Carnival Glory February 2011...Western Caribbean
Carnival Triumph January 2009..Eastern Caribbean
#10
New Orleans
338 Posts
Joined May 2009
Originally posted by CRUZwithmebaby
So excited to read more! We go on the Dream in July! And I'm really thinking of doing FTTF but we are traveling with a big group of 40 people. So I don't want to be a jerk. Haha

FTTF was great for us. I had a billing issue on the last sea day. I looked down the atrium and could see the long line at customer service. I took the elevator down to the lobby, walked right up to the desk, changed credit cards and was back in the room before the commercials were over. It was so quick.

Plus getting off so quickly on the last day and no real lines to get on were huge perks. You also have a dedicated customer service you can call, which makes it easier to get steakhouse reservations or table changes or excursions.
You basically pay to get most Platinum perks, without the free gift or pin/drinks.

$50 per room is not bad at all.
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#11
New Orleans
338 Posts
Joined May 2009
Originally posted by Twintowngirl
Can't wait for more information on your cruise! I am going on the Dream this September and it will be a first time sailing from NO.

September isn't too crowded down here. The port is super easy to get to if you drive. It's blocks off of the interstate with can't miss signs all around. Carnival has it's own garage there at the port.

If you take a cab, it's about a 15-20 minute cab ride depending on traffic and costs around $30.

There are shuttle services as well. The ship itself is close to downtown and the warehouse/arts district so there is a lot to do if you got a walking distance hotel.

I'm biased because I live here, and haven't ever planned of traveling to cruise yet.
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#12
alabama
39 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
Thanks for doing a review. Looking forward to the rest! We will be on the Dream in November so looking for all the info I can get.
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#13
210 Posts
Joined Feb 2013
Going on the Dream next Jan-Feb looking forward to more. Hopefully the weather isn't to chilly out of NOLA that time of year
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#14
Baton Rouge, LA
980 Posts
Joined Jan 2015
Thanks for the review, looking forward to the rest. We will be on the Dream for the first time in April and then again in June. Really looking forward to your review and pictures of Little French Key. That is one excursion we plan to do in June, we don't normally do excursions but we have heard such great things about it and the price is not bad at all.
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#15
Florida
840 Posts
Joined Sep 2007
We were on the Dream the week before, Feb 8 - Feb 15. Spa Balcony 12215. This was our Milestone Cruise # 25. We boarded right behind the wedding party. Went straight to our cabin, was cleaned and ready. Luggage arrived by 1PM. We had cruised the Dream before and have also been to the ports before so this was a SPA CRUISE. We went to the Spa everyday. The facilities were never crowded on sea days or port days. The Spa people knew us by name LOL. Food on the LIDO, MDR and SEA DAY BRUNCH was good to excellent. We found the ship to be not crowded. Going again May 3 2015
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#16
564 Posts
Joined Nov 2011
Originally posted by NolaZach
The main feature of the room was for sure the balcony. It was here that I would eat my breakfast I got most days from the lido deck. Yeah I could use room service, but this was much quicker.
I found out that one of the chairs does recline, so I was able to lay out, which I did not expect.
The view in port is of the city.





[IMG]http://i1353.photobucket.com/albums/q673/NapoleonTD/20150222_072950_zps412b3803.jpg
We grabbed our fun times, and decided to go out to deck ten and get some food and then explore the ship. At this time it was just around noon. We had plenty of time before the Muster drill to relax.

I have the fun times and can scan them all plus the camp carnival kids info books if people would like to see the .pdf(s)

I would love to see these!!!!! how can I ?
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#17
Orange County, Calif
22,010 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
Enjoying your review and wonderful photo's.
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#18
New Orleans
338 Posts
Joined May 2009
Originally posted by parttimr
Going on the Dream next Jan-Feb looking forward to more. Hopefully the weather isn't to chilly out of NOLA that time of year
It can be a mixed bag. We left and it was in the 60's which is cool for us. It can be anywhere from the 40's to the high 70's that time of year.
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#19
illinois
344 Posts
Joined Dec 2012
I would love to see the fun times! What ages of camp carnival schedules do you have? If it's 2-5 and/or 6-8 would love to see those too! We are on the Dream in March
#20
New Orleans
338 Posts
Joined May 2009
For us the ship was crowded but not overly so. Hennie and other crew said almost every three and four person room was at max occupancy. In fact the ship had 4,000 guests and 1,500 crew is what I heard a few times. But it's so big that you don't see everyone. Getting decent seats to shows wasn't hard, getting a spot for the dive in movie was nearly impossible. Also the towel bandits were out in force. People that lay their towel down for the entire family and then go get the buffet or walk around. I would grab two chairs for the four of us, as the kids never sat for more than two minutes.

I slowed down on the review because I was still going through pictures.

Also, Carnival did away with the comment cards in the room, I really need to single out two employees.

Gede from the MDR - Scarlet was the best waiter I have ever had, on or off ship. Very attentive, knew the kids names when seeing them around the ship (he worked as a bus boy for the lido deck as well). He knew what we liked, and would combine dishes and present them to us. I had two lobster tails and a steak on cruise elegant, and it was because he combined three dishes to do it. No $20 charge. He knew what drinks we liked and even had special requests honored. We had the option of tomato soup every night after one girl requested it. He was above and beyond. The kids miss him almost more than the ship itself.



The next was Ms. Janice in the Camp Carnival, the girls loved her and begged constantly to go to camp to be with her. She also would great the girls around the ship and would tell us which times that camp wasn't doing much and which times were 'can't miss'. The girls loved camp so much, which allowed us to have more QT time.

Great employees. So many others I didn't catch their name. Like the Bulgarian waiter on the sunset pool deck. He simply wanted to be called "Hey". "When you want a drink, say HEY and I show up" He was very good and his drink recommendations were great as well, and he would also point ouch which bartenders had the heavier hand. lol

I saw complaints of the food and service in our FB group but I had no problems with service anywhere. I felt bad I couldn't give out more envelopes on the last day.
Next time I'll make better notes of the names.
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Escape from Mardi Gras cruise