Jump to content
  • Deals
  • Find a Cruise
  • Reviews
  • News
  • Cruise Tips

Can you stand another Dream review? (and more pictures)

Recommended Posts

We left the Dream (sadly) yesterday after a fantastic week. I would love to share (mainly for selfish purposes, so I can relive), so if you can tolerate one more Dream review...here goes!


Our trip started on Thursday evening, when DH got off work. We got the kids (DS8 and DD3) in the car to get a few hours of driving behind us. Really, I wanted to get DH going. He moves about as fast as a turtle stampeding through molasses, so I knew if I waited until Friday "morning" to get him going, it would not be pretty. Getting him out the door on Thursday even for just a few hours of driving is a bonus for everyone! So, we drove from our mid-eastern NC home to Manning, SC to stay at the highly-recommended (per tripadvisor) Hampton Inn. It was convenient, and check-in at midnight was quick and easy.


We settled in quickly and hoped for a good night sleep...but it was not to be. There was a small fridge in the room, and I swear it was trying to escape or something. That thing shook and rattled very loudly, like it was trying to shake itself down the hall. DH finally got up around 3 to unplug the thing, but this was a challenge in itself, as it was plugged in behind the dresser. So, after moving furniture for a while, we finally had a little peace and quiet. However, sleep was still elusive, as the air conditioner was bipolar. It would get really warm in the room before the air would cut on and then get really cold in the room before it would cut off. So, from 3-7, I pulled the blanket on, pushed it off, pulled it on...well, you get the idea.


At 8 or so, I gave up and jumped in the shower (decent, large bathroom, but not so clean). I did not put the "do not disturb" sign out, and I guess I should have, because housekeeping decided to come busting in pretty early. We had the door latch on, so that made enough noise to wake up the rest of the family. Since we were all up, we headed to the complimentary breakfast, which was very good. The Hampton Inn staff downstairs were very friendly and helpful. They even went back to the "kitchen" to get my DS some yogurt in the flavor he wanted. We checked out around 10 and hit the road, heading to Florida!


We got to the Radisson at the Port around 7 p.m. (after getting a lovely view as we passed by...missed it the first time, although I'm not sure how as the building was very pink!). Maneuvering on that street is not simple either, friends! Check-in was very easy, however, and despite being blocked in by some other very excited family, we got to our room with few problems. The hotel is pretty nice. Parking and room access is easy. The room we had (in the 700s) was clean. There were two comfy beds and a painfully small bathroom.




The kids wanted to go to the pool, so we did that for an hour or so. This hotel has a great pool area. Lovely walkways leading to it. Cute waterfall made of large rocks in the middle. Nice surrounding area with a bar nearby.




After a swim, we went back to the room and plotted our path to Target for water, diet mt. dew, snacks (DD has severe food allergies so we carry her own "safe" snacks most places), and a box of wine ;)! Target was about 10 minutes away, and there is a Walgreens nearby (good for us as DH works at Walgreens and gets a small discount). There is also a Hungry Howie's...yum. After picking up the necessities, we ordered a pizza and sub. All four of us got too much to eat for under $12. Great deal, but we ended up eating very late. Oh, well...we have late seating coming up...just practicing! :rolleyes::D At some point, I told DS that the poor people in OUR room on the Dream were eating their last dinner in the dining room, hearing the servers sing "leaving the Carnival Dream..." (to "leaving on a jet plane"), and packing their bags. He thought that was funny...he has a pretty twisted sense of humor sometimes. :o


After a big meal, we crashed for the night (and slept much better, thank goodness!). Dreaming of the Dream...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you for your review and pics. Can't wait for more. We're planning our next cruise for October and are thinking about the Dream. Leaving from Port Canaveral is our favorite port. I'm looking forward to seeing more of your pics. I've read that the Dream has an odor on it, did yall have any problems with the smell?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In the morning, DS and I got up and went to see if we could see the ship from the hotel...


well, can you see it? DS did.




We walked around a bit and got a few pictures.




And then I got the brilliant idea of walking across the street to the McDonald's right there. I'm thinking I'll grab a quick breakfast and carry it to the fam to get them going...


So, I get there and order DH a ham and egg mcmuffin...the response: "we don't have any ham." Okay...sausage it is. Ordered the kids some hotcakes and me a mcgriddle. I asked for milk for the kids (thank the good Lord they still drink decent stuff...not soda fans like their mama). The response...yep, you guessed it: "we don't have milk." Okay...orange juice for the kiddoes! And then the wait started. I saw the nice McDonald's people bag up the hotcakes and then set the bag aside to wait for DH and my sandwiches...and I waited....and I waited....and I talked to some really nice guy who had ordered coffee and had been waiting for 8 minutes. Coffee. Nothing else. Well, he did admit he had asked for "a squirt" of like vanilla or something (I don't remember what, as I was so appalled that they could not take a minute to pour his coffee). He finally asked about it, and the lady started to snap "we are helping people in order...wait...you only ordered coffee?" before she poured the guy his cup. He got out easy at 11 minutes for coffee.


I continued to wait as they apparantly had to slaughter the poor pig to be used for my bacon (and DH's sausage) out back...it seriously took THAT long. Finally, after I offered to change my order, they got it together...and took it waaaaayyyy over to the other side of the counter where they almost accidentally gave it away to one of the other 47 poor souls who were wasting away waiting for breakfast. Oh no, buddy...those would be my not-so-hotcakes and lukewarm orange juice. Hands off!


Across the street I go with my hard-earned prize (and now having lost the last pound I wanted to lose before the cruise!). We ate breakfast (well, I ate maybe a third of mine...clearly waiting a day for breakfast at that McDonald's does not guarantee it will be tasty) and then called for a cab. We were going to take the complimentary shuttle to the port, but it was booked until 12:30, and that would not do. By the time we unloaded our suitcases packed for the cruise at the front door, the cab was waiting for us ready to take us to the port!!! Woohoo! :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We got our first "good" view of the ship from the cab window...




The trip to the port was quick and easy (and about $15). The taxi driver dropped us off near the entrance, and a really nice porter helped me put the luggage tags on my luggage. Don't ask...I know, everybody gets so excited they laminate and treat those tags like something special. Well, I printed them off and then promptly forgot all about them. Thank goodness for tiny staplers and porters willing to carry them in their pockets!


We headed inside, and no one even looked twice at DH carrying Molly Monkey


(that's my story, and I'm sticking to it!)


We were greeted by a really nice little ol' man with a pompom and a moracca (how the heck is that really spelled???) who put us on an elevator, as DD is terrified of escalators. We got our gold-colored key cards in no time (cruise # 8 for me, #7 for DH, #3 for DS, and #2 for DD), and walked right on board very quickly.




This was by far the easiest and quickest embarkation I have ever experienced. Awesome.


Soon we got our first view of the atrium...




We got our picture with the astronaut (pretty sure it was a girl, though), and headed to our room to drop off our bags. As it was not yet 1:30, it was a little awkward going down the hall, and one steward not-so-kindly told us "the rooms are ready at 1:30!!! 1:30!!!" I'm glad he wasn't ours...we felt bad. When we got to our area, our steward, Noel, was friendly from the start. We dropped off our carry-ons very quickly and headed for the deli for lunch.


I got the smoked salmon on a bagel (yum). DD got turkey on wheat bread. I can't remember what DH got. We then went to pick up a few pieces of pizza for DS. I had to stop and ask a crew member for directions, and he impatiently pointed it out for me (okay, okay...admittedly, I was right in front of it...seriously, like 3 feet away. I think he thought I was joking). We got pizza and then headed back to the aft deck for lunch.





Link to comment
Share on other sites

DS and me...



Lunch done, we made a few last phone calls before turning off the blackberry until we reached St. Thomas (no surprise satellite charges for me, thanks). We then headed back to the room to check it out. Everywhere I went, I tried to see if the infamous smell would find us, but we never really had a problem with it. I caught an ever-so-slight whiff of it maybe three times the whole week, and one of those was while in our cabin, but it really wasn't bad at all (now it was very windy the whole week, so maybe that helped). There was, unfortunately, a vomit smell in the hall near our room, but I think that may have been the result of some rough seas.


Here is our room...




We had a balcony room on deck 7 (Empress). It was room #7422, which is on the port side and near the back. It was a comfy room...not any more motion there than anywhere else on the ship (sorry, honey ;)). It was high enough off deck 5, the lanai, that I was happy (I had been worried about privacy after hearing that deck 5 went all the way around). Although it is the "smoking" side of the ship, we did not have any real problems with smoke, and truthfully the lanai was very quiet all week. We rarely saw anyone out there. Here's a view while in port...




Our room was comfy and big enough for a week. DD slept on the 'couch' turned into a bed, and DS slept on a bed that dropped from the ceiling.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you for your review and pics. Can't wait for more. We're planning our next cruise for October and are thinking about the Dream. Leaving from Port Canaveral is our favorite port. I'm looking forward to seeing more of your pics. I've read that the Dream has an odor on it, did yall have any problems with the smell?


The smell wasn't so bad, and I have a strong sense of smell. I caught a whiff of it once or twice, but that has been the case on every Carnival ship I've been on.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We went to the muster drill at 3:30ish, and it was so easy! Every single cruise before this one has provided a torture session for muster drill, especially once the kids started going with us. Dragging those stinky life vests up or down stairs, cramming in rows on hot decks with very cranky kids, listening to the directions in multiple languages over the silly people blowing the emergency whistles, and then making a mad dash to attempt to see sail away does not equal fun. This muster drill was a breeze. We went to the Scarlet dining room and sat in comfy chairs without our lifevests, listened to directions, and then were excused within minutes. Now this is the way to go!


We did meet a few of the people travelling with our group cruise, but we skipped the meet and greet (sorry single parents & friends) because we like our tradition of sitting on our own balcony for sailaway, and we were NOT disappointed with this one! Before we left, we saw manatee...or manatees...manatai (wait...is that plural as-is?...okay, we saw one manatee, and then another and finally a third) right by the ship. Then, after leaving the dock, we saw two sting-rays. A little bit later, we saw a bunch of sea turtles. Finally, there was a pod of dolphins jumping and playing right by the ship! DH and I joked it was almost Disney-esque where all the magic is carefully orchestrated ("okay...release the sea turtles...now cue the dolphins..."). It was really cool, and the kids loved it, of course.


After hitting the ocean, DS decided he HAD to see the bow...so to the front of the ship we hiked. This is when we really "felt" the size of this ship! She is huge! The view was a good reward, though.




Ah, the ocean



Can you spot our captain?



Here we go, little one...



We then walked around a little, including passing back through the atrium, but a little higher up this time!



After a while, it was time to go to dinner. We had table 609 in the upper level of the Scarlet dining room. We were seated with our new friends from cruisecritic, mom2girls and, well, the girls. They were awesome dinner company, and I didn't take a single picture or pay attention to what anyone ate. I think I had smoked salmon, a caesar salad, sweet and sour shrimp (yum), and a chocolate melting cake. The service was not outstanding (and that was pretty much the case all week), but in our waiter's defense, we had 4 kids under 10 at our table. That couldn't have been fun. Dinner passed quickly, and it was soon time for us to settle in to be ready for Nassau in the morning. As you may figure out as this review goes on, we do love our sleep! So, back to the room we went!


Tomorrow I'll tell you all about our day at the Blue Lagoon.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks! I was worried about the overload as well' date=' but I guess that's what happens with a new ship and a group cruise![/quote']

Summer....very nice review, looking for to the rest of it.


acecombatmom...(and summercruisin') don't be shy on posting multiple reviews of the same cruise. Everyone has different experiences and see different things and takes pictures of different places or from different perspectives. Even though there's a "sameness" in the makeup and decor of all balcony cabins, everyone on these boards likes to see pictures of the cabins and maybe it'll be their cabin on their cruise. So bring them on!!:)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Loving your review and pictures. Your little ones are adorable. Can you tell me if you noticed any stores within walking distance to the Raddisson to purchase soda and wine?


Initially my DD and her girls wanted to do the cruise you just did, but schools in Mass. run too late in the year to have made it. So glad you all had a good time. We' re sailing the Dream 6 weeks from Saturday.:D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Summer....very nice review, looking for to the rest of it.


acecombatmom...(and summercruisin') don't be shy on posting multiple reviews of the same cruise. Everyone has different experiences and see different things and takes pictures of different places or from different perspectives. Even though there's a "sameness" in the makeup and decor of all balcony cabins, everyone on these boards likes to see pictures of the cabins and maybe it'll be their cabin on their cruise. So bring them on!!:)



Agreed on both aspects!


We cruise on the Dream in November, and I really cannot get enough :)


Love that you saw so much wildlife leaving the port, we saw a single manatee before we departed last year. Although we saw several sea turtles on other visits to the port and Jetty park. Really hope to see something this year from our cove balcony!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Paula: I'm loving reading your review. It's nice to see the cruise from another perspective. I'm going to e-mail you the pictures I took of you and your family later today. We have some errands to do this morning, but I know I'll get to it by the end of the day. I'm so happy that we were able to cruise together. We really enjoyed your company. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just wanted to pipe in on the mulitple review thing....


I'm a newbie. First sailing will be on the Dream in Sept. And I've already been looking at two more for next year. So it would be safe to say I am already addicted without ever setting foot on a cruise ship.


Reviews are cruise crack. I can't get enough. I monitor the cruise cam daily then look for reviews of the sailing I've just been watching.


I really like seeing multiple reviews for the same sailing as it gives me different perspectives. And while a lot of the information is very similar, there is usually also something new in each one. Same thing for pictures. I love seeing the different cabins and even if some pictures have the same background, they each tell me something different. For instance, I saw one shot that gave me information I haven't seen anywhere else.


So ya'll keep those reviews coming. PLEASE! I need my fix. :D


btw.... if I catch anyone waving at the camera I'll screen shot it for ya. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good morning, friends! Thanks for the compliments and for taking the time to read about my experiences! Here we go...


Our first night on the ship, we slept wonderfully! It was like one of those nights where you lay your head down and feel like you wake up just minutes later, but well rested. We even got the paci addict (DD) to sleep without (and we haven't looked back yet! :D). Now, we are normally NOT morning people...dragging any one of us out of bed is a challenge for the most cheerful Susie Sunshine. (This makes school mornings lots of fun). I had set the travel alarm clock to get us up just barely early enough for breakfast in the buffet - gambling that the lines wouldn't be too terrible - before getting off the ship right after reaching port. By the way...DO take a travel alarm clock if you have to get up early any days! I had booked the Blue Lagoon excursion through Carnival (more about this later), and after paying so much, I was determined we were NOT going to miss our day trip.



The first thing we saw when we looked outside was a storm in the distance...





Then we got stuck on the balcony watching our arrival in Nassau.




DS loves lighthouses, so he was excited to be on the port side and able to see the lighthouse from the balcony.




Meanwhile, I'm thinking the lines at the buffet must be growing...

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Welcome to Cruise Critic
      • ANNOUNCEMENT: Explore 5 Unique Destinations With All-inclusive Pricing
      • Holiday Exchange - Jingle and Mingle 2023
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Cruise Critic News & Features
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • Canadian Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
  • Create New...