Carnival Dream Wedding Review 9/29

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36 Posts
Joined Mar 2012
Hi all! We are back and unpacked from our wonderful Dream Wedding and Honeymoon! I will try to post some pics at some point but figured I could at least give an overview that may be helpful to future carnival brides.

We arrived in Port Canaveral on Friday night - our group stayed at the Radisson and took advantage of the great pool and of course the free shuttle the next morning. We had a welcome dinner at Rusty's Seafood that night. I would HIGHLY recommend them to future brides. We had a group of about 30 people that came into town early. They accomodated us on their side deck and gave us our own bartender and waiter for the dinner. The deck has it's owner bathrooms and had a bean bag toss that the kids loved. The staff were great and the bill was extremely reasonable. We worked out a limited menu ahead of time and also chose appetizers, which made things flow very nicely.
I was stressing a little when we first arrived, and the bartender immediately attended to my drink and all was good! LOL

I hired Tiffany from Professional Elegance to do my makeup and hair, as well as hair and makeup for my MOH and my two daughters. She is excellent! She was on time, and didn't miss a beat when I kind of changed up my hair request. She does wonderful work - I had no issues with my hair or makeup the entire wedding and reception. I even took my veil out for the reception and had no issues with the rest of the style coming undone.

I will say the embarkation process was a bit stressful. This is mostly due to the fact that my fiance and I have 4 kids total (all under 12!) and we were trying to make sure we had everything in tow including kids. I highly suggest delegating kids, etc to other people. We DID, but obviously picked the wrong people if you know what I mean!
I did not want my fiance to see me, so they boarded me first with the rest of the guests, and held my fiance back. In theory, he should have boarded with the guests, because he had all the favors etc. I got on and went to our suite, where I waited and waited, then finally got ready. He was definitely more stressed due to trying to make sure everything was in place. It worked out fine, but I would have probably allowed him to board first with all the stuff, then gone on myself later. I think there was just some confusion with the coordinators and this is probably why this happened.

The wedding took place in the Burgandy Lounge and it was set up very nicely. We used our own officiant and our own vows. Carnival accomodated our sand ceremony and set up a very nice table for us to use for this. We did not order any extra decorations or flowers as we did not think it was necessary and I think it looked fine.

I guess I should mention I did not use the bouquet provided by carnival. It was pretty enough, but very small. I ordered silk flowers from Wedideas. I would be careful - the main flowers in the bouquet were beautiful, but the filler was so tacky! We took it out and replaced it with another type of filler. In the end they looked nice but I didn't plan on having to fix these myself.

The ceremony was great, then we took a little time to take some group photos. The photographer was a little stiff for my taste. I like fun pictures and candids, not all kinds of stiff, posed stuff. He looked taken aback when I asked him to take a silly pic of our family, and it is one of my favorites from the entire wedding!

The reception was in the caliente disco. The set up was really nice. Hors d'ouvres were excellent! I didn't eat much, but what i ate was AMAZING! Everyone commented on the food. They waiters were great about bringing drinks to everyone, so no issues there either. We did out cake cutting and our dances first so that we could spend the rest of the reception visiting with our guests, especially since many were not cruising with us. Time flew by! Before we knew it, people had to leave. We had family members take off our sand vase, signature frame, etc so that we did not have to worry about it. The hardest part was saying goodbye to the kids (you didn't think we'd bring them on the honeymoon didya?). They were bummed not to come along but were spoiled rotten by grandma while we were gone so no love lost. LOL

Our photographer took us around the ship for more pics. I had to give him some suggestions - mainly again because I wanted some different shots that you don't see in every wedding album. He was very nice about this.
I will also say that we were up front about what shots were important to us and also when we met to look at the photos, we were up front with what we were going to spend and he didn't pressure us to spend more.

I don't have much more time for the review right now, so I will end with one last thing then write more later. We only had one real issue with the entire wedding/cruise - we had 10 other people sailing with us, and time and time again we had confirmed early dining. Well, when we came to dinner on the first night, half of us were early dining and half were YTD. They then "fixed" it by switching us all to YTD and telling us just to go to that dining room and eat there. I was NOT happy. The whole reason we booked a dining time was so that our group of 12 would not have to wait for a table at YTD.
Long story short, after a few angry discussions (carnival was nice, I was angry, LOL), they accommodated us by allowing us to eat every night at 6 in the YTD dining room at the same table. Instead of waiting, we could just walk in and go to our table. This was actually what I had suggested when the problem came up initially but it took 1 more night and me getting irate at guest services before the maitre d decided to allow it. So, just check and double check on your dining. All of our group's info on the websites said early dining. It was not until we got our sail and signs that we saw it was different.

More to come!
Orlando, FL
63 Posts
Joined Jul 2012
How were they able to accommodate you and your fiance not seeing each other while still in the terminal? I emailed my coordinator about this, and she said nothing was a guarantee, but I knew I wasn't the only bride requesting this in Port Canaveral! Were there separate rooms for you each to be in while waiting? I'd love to know more so I can tell them where I will wait waiting to board rather than asking them where I can wait. Thanks for your help!
36 Posts
Joined Mar 2012
We were also told that they couldn't guarantee this. I think they have to say this in case you accidently run into each other on board. They do everything they can to accomodate you. Basically, I showed up first, and the first coordinator met me and moved to to an area with other guests. They held my fiance near the initial security area until I could be moved upstairs. Once I boarded and was headed to our room, they allowed him on. The port area is so open that this is hard, but as long as people communicate, it works fine.
Once I was in our room, I stayed there until they brought me down for the wedding. There was no way for him to see me since he just avoided out room. I was also lucky enough to have a fiance and friends that took care of everything, so there was no need for me to be down there stressing anyways! LOL
Raleigh NC
24,707 Posts
Joined Oct 2007
Thanks for the review!
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Future Cruises
Viking Sun 11-6-2017 - Our first Viking Ocean cruise
HAL Prinsendam 12-18-2017 - Christmas on the Elegant Explorer
HAL Zaandam 6-4-2018 - Alaska bound
HAL Maasdam 7-14-2018 - New England and Canada
HAL Prinsendam 8-5-2018 - Four months on the Elegant Explorer
Island Princess 11-20-18 A taxi to visit our daughter
HAL Zaandam 12-6-18 Back to the frozen south
HAL Amsterdam 1-22-2019 - Grand World Voyage
St. Louis, MO
141 Posts
Joined Nov 2011
congrats!!! Thanks for the review!! Did you pay for everyones dinner the night before the wedding or did they do separate checks? We are also staying at the Radisson and would like to have our group go to dinner together about 45 of us right now but my fiance and I cannot foot the bill for that too unfortunately trying to figure out the best thing to do.
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RCI Harmony of the Seas - September 2016

Previous Cruises:
Carnival Dream - February 2013

My DREAM Wedding Review
36 Posts
Joined Mar 2012
Originally posted by albean86
congrats!!! Thanks for the review!! Did you pay for everyones dinner the night before the wedding or did they do separate checks? We are also staying at the Radisson and would like to have our group go to dinner together about 45 of us right now but my fiance and I cannot foot the bill for that too unfortunately trying to figure out the best thing to do.

We paid for the dinner. We had a lot of people traveling from out of town and I didn't feel right making them pay. We knew ahead of time and budgeted for it. Rusty's was very helpful. They let us select a limited menu and printed it out for us with our names on it. It allowed us to estimate based on the highest priced meal we picked. Also, you can allow for drinks or not. My mother actually picked up the bar tab and just asked that people limit to 2 alcoholic drinks.
36 Posts
Joined Mar 2012
Ok, so back to work and kids so I have had no time to continue the review. I am sitting on my lunch break wishing I was still cruising! LOL

Here's a little more about the Dream Western Caribbean Cruise. First, we loved the ship. People complain it is crowded but I didn't feel it was any worse than any other ship I have been on. We were always able to find chairs on deck, even in the serenity area.

We did the Punchliner Brunch on our first Sea Day. I was not impressed with the comedy- it was just too loud. The food was pretty good, but it took a long time for us to get it. This was not the case for everyone, we may have just had a waiter that was juggling too many tables.

We sampled drinks from both the Red Frog and the Blue Iguana. Both bars had good drinks. I found the bartending staff at both to be mostly business and little fun. Half the fun of drinking at a themed bar is the atmosphere created there. They just wanted to give you your drinks and move on, even when it wasn't really busy.
We did find the bartenders at the atrium bar to be quite fun and friendly. It is a nice place to meet before dinner if you are eating in the Crimson dining room.
We booked an ocean suite, and I found it worth the splurge for our honeymoon. We enjoyed having coffee on the balcony in the morning and watching the ship pull into port. I could get by with less, but we wanted something special this time. It was also nice to have a tub. We didn't actually use it to bathe, but to just keep the water from the shower from going all over the floor is great.

Our first port was Cozumel. We went to Mr. Sanchos, which we have been to before. The drinks and food are always good and the staff is friendly. We made new friends, as we have before as well. Many from our group only remember bits and pieces from the cab ride back to ship, so I guess I would say that the drinks pack a punch!

More later, after work and kids are in bed...ahhh reality
2,112 Posts
Joined Feb 2011
So happy for you :0) Thanks so much for taking time out and letting us know about UR Special Day.. I can wait to see ur pictures
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Shatima loves to Cruise,

Carnival Destiny Sept 10-15,2011

Carnival Freedom May 13~19,2012

Me on the Nate Berkus Show 4/2012

2,112 Posts
Joined Feb 2011
Ohhh Please can U show Pix of ur os.. I want to see what cabin I will be getting :0)
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Shatima loves to Cruise,

Carnival Destiny Sept 10-15,2011

Carnival Freedom May 13~19,2012

Me on the Nate Berkus Show 4/2012

Shellman Bluff, GA
189 Posts
Joined May 2007
Many Blessings for your future together.........
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Big Red Boat Oct. 1996
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Carnival Dream April 2011
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