Just got off Carnival Dream, my experience.

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#1
Marietta, Georgia
120 Posts
Joined Mar 2014
I was very excited to get on the carnival dream, this was my first 7 day cruise with my last 6 being 4 day cruises, I also knew dream was the biggest ship I've ever been on, there were many ups and downs on this cruise, I was let down more than I thought I'd be.

First of all, I like the decor, not as neon and glitsy as some of the other ships I've been on, my cabin steward was kind and always cleaned our rooms on time. One of my biggest complaints was the heat in our room, me, my kids, and my parents all had rooms on level 2 with all the cove balconies and these rooms are HOT, we all woke up several times a night with sweat all over the backs of our necks, my 2 year old twins were all sweaty in the morning, we complained about the heat but after inspecting they said it was normal and didn't do anything about it, the halls on this level were much hotter than other levels, I went to level 7 to do laundry and their halls were nice and cool so I am thinking rooms on level 2 are hotter than normal so if you don't like heat, beware, we had our AC cranked as low as it could go, finally my husband discovered taking the vent off 2 nights before we got off helped some during the night.

Another negative was watered down lemonade, about 30% of the time I went to get lemonade it tasted like pure water with a squeeze of lemon. Also, we didn't bring our twins to any of the dinning room dinners so we'd take them to the buffet before we dropped them at camp carnival so we could go to dinner and buffet dinners were limited to The Carving, nothing else was ever open except your 24 hour pizza and deli, The Carving had limited options and my kids didn't like anything on it, veggies, some pasta, bread, and a roast beef, that's it and it was abruptly shut down at 8pm, that was a disappointment.

Camp carnival made my time on this ship incredibly stressful as well. My 2 year old twins don't go to daycare so they are not used to being left all that often, they can whine a bit when being dropped off but stop immediately when we're out of sight, every time I dropped them off I got dirty looks and comments from the camp carnival staff because my twins would cry a bit, I'd walk down the hall and before I made it down the hall they stopped immediately, no big deal, they just needed us to get out of sight. I paid $2600 for my family of 5 to go on this trip, I felt the least they could do was tolerate my twins fussing for maybe 45 seconds while I signed them in and took off, if they carried on then I totally understand them needing to leave. Well on formal night they completely refused my babies, this was the 5th night, the lady got a nasty attitude and said they simply could not come in unless they came in quiet, I was all dressed and ready to take pictures and go to dinner and it was completely ruined. They also tried to stop us from going on our excursion one morning but I fought them tooth and nail, these workers DO NOT want to be there, they are off sitting at tables chatting and not paying these kids attention, I seen it several times when picking my babies up, my kids were either entertaining themselves or playing with another baby. If your child is not 100% perfect walking into that room you will be given a very hard time and they will do anything they can not to let you leave them, my stress level rose every time I dropped them off. We didn't bring them back anymore after they refused them on formal night and gave them their phone back. My babies do occasionally go in our church nursery and they never ever mind going in there, they were traumatized walking down that hall to go into camp carnival, they completely hated it and I think its because the workers didn't pay them any attention, so camp carnival was a HUGE let down.

Dinners in the dining room were awesome, loved them every single night and desserts were amazing, while the food was awesome, the service was EXTREMELY slow, some dinners would take 2 hours to complete, it took so much time out of our days, the average wait for appetizer, meal, and dessert was an hour and 45 minutes, just took so long but the food was great!

Ship maintenance, not good at all, one morning a guy was on our actual balcony at 8am clanging the bars on the balcony so loud it felt like he was in the room with us, at some points it sounded like fireworks going off, I peaked out the curtains and he was standing there and made noise for nearly 3 hours and woke my 7 year old up 2 hours before he normally wakes, we were exhausted that day. As far as noise from above in the galley, I didn't have a problem, we were in room 2388 and I never heard noise above us though we do sleep with a white noise machine.

There was a strange sewage smell all throughout level 2 most of the time, it wasn't massive but it was there and we smelled it all 7 days.

Laundry, this was a complete and total nightmare, I wasted 4-5 hours of my day fighting for laundry 3 days before my cruise ended. There is only 3 self service laundries and one was on my level, 2, well 3 of the 6 dryers were broke and never fixed our entire sailing and their was only 3 washes that I had to wait almost an hour to use, I went up to level 7 that had even longer waits and more broke units, the laundry was a disaster and even after many complaints, all they did was stick a sign up that said out of order and never fixed it, next time I will bring enough clothes for all 7 days and avoid laundry all together, not worth the hassle.

Waterworks was nice and fun, my kids loved it and I enjoyed it as well, no complaints there. The theater movies were nice and relaxing, chairs in front of the movie screen were always limited but I usually found one and enjoyed the popcorn.

Dance club is usually my favorite thing to do and I enjoyed it most nights but my lands alive the smoking it awful, I know its one of the few areas where smoking is allowed but I wish their would be a designated smoking section off to the side in there because it was over powering for those that don't smoke and just stunk the whole club up, terrible.

Ice cream was super yummy! I was always too stuffed to enjoy it much but when I did, it was great! The chocolate extravaganza was pretty good, but again I was always so full I couldn't enjoy it a whole lot. The Mexican buffet was great and the desserts really good.

Getting off the ship was not good, 2 hour delays and Carnival lost a piece of my luggage that I didn't discover until I was 6 hours away, they called today and at my own expense of $35 they are shipping it back, I felt they should be paying because they lost it!

Hmmm....that's all I can really think of, please feel free to ask specific questions and I'll try to answer them, I felt like the cons outweighed the pros on this ship, I wasn't impressed but I did have some fun times, just so many things need to be worked on and changed!
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#3
1,689 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
I wholeheartedly agree with you on the nightclub smoking issue. Icky!

My son didn't like camp at all when we went either. He kept saying that if you didn't act like you were super happy and having fun, you got in trouble. He was 9 at the time, so it was weird that he was saying that. From what I've heard, the clubs can vary a lot from ship to ship.

I do have to add, this is the same child who on DCL didn't like the Neverland "club." It was for under threes and he was about 27 months. He went once and when we tried to take him back, he cried and said he didn't want to go to "the sad baby room." We had noticed a lot of crying babies when we picked him up. Whenever we went by there to take his older sister to the club, he would insist on not going to the sad baby room. It really cracked us up.
#5
Marietta, Georgia
120 Posts
Joined Mar 2014
Apparantly nearly half the ship because their was lines of people to do laundry, when you have a family of 5 or more, and like me two of them are 2 year old twins that sometimes goes through two outfits a day, it's impossible to fit that much clothing in your suitcase for a week unless you want to take 10 bags. For people going solo or as a couple, maybe not but families with kids usually have to do laundry going away for 7 days.
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#6
Tulsa, OK
5,174 Posts
Joined May 2009
Originally posted by joeyancho
Who does laundry on a cruise?
Plenty of people do. Nothing at all wrong with saving $50-$100 or more by doing it yourself instead of having them do it. I overpack with enough clothes to last, but some people don't like doing that either. Nothing wrong with any method.
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#7
Marietta, Georgia
120 Posts
Joined Mar 2014
Originally posted by k2excursion
Plenty of people do. Nothing at all wrong with saving $50-$100 or more by doing it yourself instead of having them do it. I overpack with enough clothes to last, but some people don't like doing that either. Nothing wrong with any method.
I agree, I heard valet was like $2 for one pair of underware, couldn't afford that. On 4 day cruises I don't do laundry but 7 was a bit much, I packed enough for me but my kids small suitcases couldn't fit a weeks worth of clothing.
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#8
Mainer in Florida
4,782 Posts
Joined May 2000
Originally posted by joeyancho
Who does laundry on a cruise?
Originally posted by Joliving4Jesus
Apparantly nearly half the ship because their was lines of people to do laundry, when you have a family of 5 or more, and like me two of them are 2 year old twins that sometimes goes through two outfits a day, it's impossible to fit that much clothing in your suitcase for a week unless you want to take 10 bags. For people going solo or as a couple, maybe not but families with kids usually have to do laundry going away for 7 days.
I'm a nut case who cannot stand having laundry pile up. We're platinum so we get some done complimentary, but I won't send out some of my things preferring to do them myself. My next cruise - is on the Dream for 21 days! I can send out 6 bags total for that time, but certainly need to do some in addition to that. I'm tempted to post on Carnival's FB page to see if they plan to repair or replace the broken appliances!
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#9
4 hours and 38 minutes from the closest cruise terminal
10,611 Posts
Joined Jan 2003
I feel like I'm reading some of the same experiences that I had when we sailed with kids for the first time! So I feel your pain.

The best piece of advice that I have for you is to learn from this experience. We made some mistakes when we sailed when our son was just one year old that we've corrected in subsequent cruises. One of them having to do with the laundry situation. Yes, it piles up with small children, and ever since we had our second child, we started signing up for unlimited laundry (yes, I know, not cheap), but it allows us to fully enjoy our vacation and not spend hours in the laundry room like you did. I know it can be tough to shell out more money specially on a limited budget, but it's wise to plan on this expense in advance.

Camp can be hit or miss. Even though our kids have attended day care (our son since he was 8 months old) and they also go to the nursery at church, they may love it some days and hate it the next. On our last cruise, the kids wanted to live at the Camp facilities, but they didn't want to attend more than one time on our previous cruise. I respectfully suggest that you cut the Camp staff some slack. Remember that they are getting used to a brand new group of kids every week who show up randomly. On the same token, kids can be terrified at the prospect of being dropped off with strange adults and strange kids in a strange environment. Even if the counsellors are the absolute best in the industry, it can be challenging and stressful for everyone. We've learned NOT to plan any adult activity counting on the Camp facilities. It's simply not a guarantee. Ruined formal nights with reservations at the steakhouse? I hear Ya! Been there, done that.

Finally, some of the issues with things like smoking and stateroom comfort may feel magnified when traveling with small children. I know that on our first cruise we felt as if there was SO much more smoking going on, and we kept trying to dodge any area with smokers in order to "shield our precious little baby from that nasty and evil poison", but in retrospect, the smoking was about as prevalent as on previous cruises.

Please understand that I'm not trying to minimize your negative experiences, just trying to add some perspective because I can relate to several things that you experienced. Thanks for taking the time to review your cruise!
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#10
Lousiana
411 Posts
Joined Jul 2008
I just got off the dream on September 20th.

I did not eat the Lido deck for meals but would go there for a snack during the Dive In Movies. The buffet was open for a while past 8 pm.

We had the anytime dining in the MDR and had a wonderful wait staff. None of our meals took over one hour. The food was good.
We did the "brunch" as well and nothing bad to say

I cannot say about child care. Never had problems with laundry but don't do laundry on a cruise either.

I loved the Dream, maybe you need to do Disney?
#11
Virginia
2,587 Posts
Joined Aug 2002
I do any ironing I needed for the next day late at night, before going to bed. The washers were always empty also. Think about washing at night when the kids are asleep.

Funny story... I was preparing to iron my blouse for the next day at about 11pm. There was this little senior citizen in there slowly ironing his robe. Luckily he had on PJs! Well, we got to talking, and had a really good conversation. However, I was ready to call it a night. I think he just wanted to have someone to talk to, because he then took the belt off and slowly started ironing it! I was sleepy by now since I'm a senior citizen also, and had been dancing at the deck party! He took about 10 minutes to iron that belt. We had a fun talk. It's all good, because we were on vacation.
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#12
Western US
1,394 Posts
Joined Jan 2015
Getting off the ship was not good, 2 hour delays and Carnival lost a piece of my luggage that I didn't discover until I was 6 hours away, they called today and at my own expense of $35 they are shipping it back, I felt they should be paying because they lost it!
At what point was your luggage "lost". When we get off the ship we check to make sure we are picking up all our luggage...if it isn't standing there we immediately check with someone to inform them we don't have all our pieces. Did you just forget to pick it up since you didn't "notice" it was gone until mid-day? If so, that seems to be an over sight on your part.

one morning a guy was on our actual balcony at 8am clanging the bars on the balcony so loud it felt like he was in the room with us, at some points it sounded like fireworks going off, I peaked out the curtains and he was standing there and made noise for nearly 3 hours
Why didn't you tell the guy to get off your balcony and come back when you had vacated the room for the day. Did he even know you were in the room?

the service was EXTREMELY slow, some dinners would take 2 hours to complete
We usually spend that amount of time in the dining room because it is our time to decompress and to enjoy being with family. If time is of the essence for you, you may want to inform your wait staff when you sit down that you want the service to be quick. Hopefully they will try and accommodate you if the kitchen is cooperative. Did you have "set dining" or "my time"?

Sorry about your experience with Camp Carnival. I never traveled with my kids until they were old enough to be pretty self-sufficient so I have no idea how any of that works.
#13
Marietta, Georgia
120 Posts
Joined Mar 2014
Originally posted by Carol1560
I just got off the dream on September 20th.

I did not eat the Lido deck for meals but would go there for a snack during the Dive In Movies. The buffet was open for a while past 8 pm.

We had the anytime dining in the MDR and had a wonderful wait staff. None of our meals took over one hour. The food was good.
We did the "brunch" as well and nothing bad to say

I cannot say about child care. Never had problems with laundry but don't do laundry on a cruise either.

I loved the Dream, maybe you need to do Disney?
They cleaned the buffet abruptly at 8pm with us every evening, I watched them, so that's a little odd they didn't do that just a week before our cruise. I'd loved to do Disney but because that it's over double the cost for the same amount of days, it just simply isn't in the budget, if it was I'd be there in heart beat, I heard their amazing with the kids.

We also had my time dinning in the Crimson dinning room, how many people in your party? We had 8 and waited almost 2 hours 6 of the 7 nights, the one night it was just 3 of us it was only an hour wait to complete dinner so I think they have issues serving larger parties.

Some people may have wonderful experiences and some not, in our case we had more bad issues than good, I've had better experiences on some of carnivals smaller ships, I was personally disappointed in what I thought was going to be a great experience.
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#14
Marietta, Georgia
120 Posts
Joined Mar 2014
I
Originally posted by sweet dutch girl
at what point was your luggage "lost". When we get off the ship we check to make sure we are picking up all our luggage...if it isn't standing there we immediately check with someone to inform them we don't have all our pieces. Did you just forget to pick it up since you didn't "notice" it was gone until mid-day? If so, that seems to be an over sight on your part.



Why didn't you tell the guy to get off your balcony and come back when you had vacated the room for the day. Did he even know you were in the room?



We usually spend that amount of time in the dining room because it is our time to decompress and to enjoy being with family. If time is of the essence for you, you may want to inform your wait staff when you sit down that you want the service to be quick. Hopefully they will try and accommodate you if the kitchen is cooperative. Did you have "set dining" or "my time"?

Sorry about your experience with camp carnival. I never traveled with my kids until they were old enough to be pretty self-sufficient so i have no idea how any of that works.
.....
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#15
Marietta, Georgia
120 Posts
Joined Mar 2014
Originally posted by Sweet Dutch Girl
At what point was your luggage "lost". When we get off the ship we check to make sure we are picking up all our luggage...if it isn't standing there we immediately check with someone to inform them we don't have all our pieces. Did you just forget to pick it up since you didn't "notice" it was gone until mid-day? If so, that seems to be an over sight on your part.



Why didn't you tell the guy to get off your balcony and come back when you had vacated the room for the day. Did he even know you were in the room?



We usually spend that amount of time in the dining room because it is our time to decompress and to enjoy being with family. If time is of the essence for you, you may want to inform your wait staff when you sit down that you want the service to be quick. Hopefully they will try and accommodate you if the kitchen is cooperative. Did you have "set dining" or "my time"?

Sorry about your experience with Camp Carnival. I never traveled with my kids until they were old enough to be pretty self-sufficient so I have no idea how any of that works.
No I had all my luggage when I got off the ship, counted every piece, the Porter gathered all our stuff and ran to our shuttle, it was raining and chaotic and I was trying to unload my twin babies from their stroller as I trusted the Porter to load all my bags in the shuttle, well he failed to load one so it more was the porters fault but he works for carnival so I say it's on them, I trusted their worker who let me down and caused me a lot of grief when I realized it wasn't in my car, I didn't know if it would ever be found and it contained many non replaceable and treasured items, their is no doubt this should not have happened and the stress it caused within my family shouldn't be ignored.

I complained about the balcony, nothing was done about it and they said it was routine maintenance that had to be done then, most people are still in their rooms that early so I think the guy had a pretty good idea that we were still in there.

And my concerns with the dinning room mainly came from the pressure to rush and get my babies from camp carnival by 9:45pm, we eat around 7:30pm and had to nearly run to camp each night to pick them up after dinner. Sure I'd love to be able to decompress and just relax at dinner but that isn't really possible when your on a time scale and have to be somewhere and my kids are not mature enough to sit quietly in a dinning room for 2 hours so they had to go to camp.
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#16
Marietta, Georgia
120 Posts
Joined Mar 2014
Originally posted by INCHARGE
I do any ironing I needed for the next day late at night, before going to bed. The washers were always empty also. Think about washing at night when the kids are asleep.

Funny story... I was preparing to iron my blouse for the next day at about 11pm. There was this little senior citizen in there slowly ironing his robe. Luckily he had on PJs! Well, we got to talking, and had a really good conversation. However, I was ready to call it a night. I think he just wanted to have someone to talk to, because he then took the belt off and slowly started ironing it! I was sleepy by now since I'm a senior citizen also, and had been dancing at the deck party! He took about 10 minutes to iron that belt. We had a fun talk. It's all good, because we were on vacation.
Haha, that's funny about the guy wanting to stay and talk.

Unfortunately in this experience late at night made no difference, I came in at 10:15pm as I thought late would make it better too, it wasn't, still 6 people in there, everything full, and laundry closed at 11pm.
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#17
Marietta, Georgia
120 Posts
Joined Mar 2014
Originally posted by Tapi
I feel like I'm reading some of the same experiences that I had when we sailed with kids for the first time! So I feel your pain.

The best piece of advice that I have for you is to learn from this experience. We made some mistakes when we sailed when our son was just one year old that we've corrected in subsequent cruises. One of them having to do with the laundry situation. Yes, it piles up with small children, and ever since we had our second child, we started signing up for unlimited laundry (yes, I know, not cheap), but it allows us to fully enjoy our vacation and not spend hours in the laundry room like you did. I know it can be tough to shell out more money specially on a limited budget, but it's wise to plan on this expense in advance.

Camp can be hit or miss. Even though our kids have attended day care (our son since he was 8 months old) and they also go to the nursery at church, they may love it some days and hate it the next. On our last cruise, the kids wanted to live at the Camp facilities, but they didn't want to attend more than one time on our previous cruise. I respectfully suggest that you cut the Camp staff some slack. Remember that they are getting used to a brand new group of kids every week who show up randomly. On the same token, kids can be terrified at the prospect of being dropped off with strange adults and strange kids in a strange environment. Even if the counsellors are the absolute best in the industry, it can be challenging and stressful for everyone. We've learned NOT to plan any adult activity counting on the Camp facilities. It's simply not a guarantee. Ruined formal nights with reservations at the steakhouse? I hear Ya! Been there, done that.

Finally, some of the issues with things like smoking and stateroom comfort may feel magnified when traveling with small children. I know that on our first cruise we felt as if there was SO much more smoking going on, and we kept trying to dodge any area with smokers in order to "shield our precious little baby from that nasty and evil poison", but in retrospect, the smoking was about as prevalent as on previous cruises.

Please understand that I'm not trying to minimize your negative experiences, just trying to add some perspective because I can relate to several things that you experienced. Thanks for taking the time to review your cruise!
Thank you for your respectful reply. I never had issues with camp carnival on other ships, this one had pure rude and snappy staff and they honestly didn't interact with the kids much, at least when I was in there, I wasn't speaking of camp carnival in general but for camp carnival on the dream, the staff was not up to par and many kids unhappy in there.
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Royal Caribbean Sovereign of the seas - January 2004 (honeymoon)
Carnival Holiday - October 2008
Carnival Fascination - October 2010
Carnival Sensation - April 2012
Royal Caribbean Enchantment of the seas - April 2014
Carnival Fascination - February 2015
Carnival Dream - September 2015
Carnival Fascination - February 2016
Carnival Breeze - September - 2016
#18
Knoxville, TN, USA
930 Posts
Joined Apr 2002
well he failed to load one so it more was the porters fault but he works for carnival so I say it's on them
Just so you know, the porters do not work for Carnival, they work for the port authority. Once your bags reach the holding area where you pick them up, it is technically out of Carnival's hands. I would contact the port authority to let them know the problem. They might reimburse you, but i wouldn't count on it.
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#19
Marietta, Georgia
120 Posts
Joined Mar 2014
Originally posted by mamajules
Just so you know, the porters do not work for Carnival, they work for the port authority. Once your bags reach the holding area where you pick them up, it is technically out of Carnival's hands. I would contact the port authority to let them know the problem. They might reimburse you, but i wouldn't count on it.
Ahh, I didn't know that, I'm not holding my breath for reimbursement, I'm just grateful it was found, but so upset about the stress I went through when I made the discovery.
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Royal Caribbean Sovereign of the seas - January 2004 (honeymoon)
Carnival Holiday - October 2008
Carnival Fascination - October 2010
Carnival Sensation - April 2012
Royal Caribbean Enchantment of the seas - April 2014
Carnival Fascination - February 2015
Carnival Dream - September 2015
Carnival Fascination - February 2016
Carnival Breeze - September - 2016
#20
St Louis
516 Posts
Joined Jul 2008
My kid also didn't love CC on the Dream and I plan to look more into it this December when we sail on her again.

One thing in your review really stuck out to me though: "they were traumatized walking down that hall to go into camp carnival, they completely hated it"

Kind of sounds like cc staff made the right decision on formal night? I mean, you thought they just fussed at drop off and were fine a minute later but if they are traumatized and hating it, it must've been more than a drop off fussing...