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DREAM or NIGHTMARE? - My Review with Pictures!

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DREAM or NIGHTMARE - Review with Pictures

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BACKGROUND - I'm 16 and this time traveled only with my parents (56 and 52). I'm originally from Sao Paulo, Brazil but moved to Orlando, FL in December 2007 and my parents are kind of retired so they spend their year between Sao Paulo, Orlando, and traveling a lot as well. We have cruised with Carnival several times before and always respected the fact they are the largest cruise line and deliver a great product for a lower price enabling more people to cruise, but we still prefer companies such as Celebrity and Royal Caribbean. We actually weren't planning this cruise; We came back from Brazil July 13 and already had friends coming to visit until the 29th and a trip with other friends to Punta Cana from August 8 to 15, so the only possible date was the 31-7 since the 7th is my sister's bday and she had to stay home working. So the most convenient choice would be the new DREAM since it is a 40ish minute drive and the day we came back we'd be in Orlando before my sister wake up so we could spend her day with her and leave the following morning again....

 

I called Carnival exactly 13 days before the cruise and couldn't be more satisfied. They no longer had interior staterooms and with the Florida Resident/Senior Discount a balcony would be the same price as an oceanview. We were then offered an upgrade for 40 bucks from Deck 6 to 9, the same type of stateroom and then to 10 for the same price, the pool Deck!!! :cool: It would then be my 14th cruise and my parents' 21st, so yeah we're kinda picky :rolleyes::p....but not that much we just like to "try" new ships and see how they're doing...we never complain just talk about details between ourselves so sorry for any opinion you might not agree it’s just what we think and sorry If I wrote too much….I couldn’t stop typing....:o

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EMBARKATION was very smooth in our opinion. We got a call from Carnival a couple days prior to the cruise telling us that we could board from 10am on, but we ended up getting at Port Canaveral at 11, which worked out well since the last few guests were still leaving the ship. Yes, there were lines for everything: x-ray, check-in, and boarding, but the lines were neither enormous nor slow....in 30-40 minutes we were onboard and headed to The Gathering (Deck 10) since staterooms would be ready at 1:30 and there were few people onboard so there were no lines.

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THE DREAM is truly an impressive ship. I was afraid we would think it was too small after the Oasis but the moment we saw her in PC we said "WOW"....

The outside looks amazing like any other Carnival ship(I do like their exterior designs), and the interior is just not our type but we thought it was overall better than the past CCL ships we'd been to. The pool areas for an example looked really nice. :cool:

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One thing we all agreed was that even though the staterooms look a bit larger than usual, the public spaces are divided in several smaller ones, which we saw that caused some struggle for wheelchair users. I never saw major crowds as I've read besides the boarding area and the restaurant entrance on the first night. What we would change would be the layout. An extra Deck with more space for The Gathering and an extra pool would do good for the 4600 people onboard :eek:. Also in my opinion this new class of ships lacks an indoor pool which most newer ships lack like the Royal Caribbean's Oasis, Freedom, and Voyager classes. Even though these ships are designed for Caribbean cruises and we only had good weather this week it could happen. Plus as these ships get older they are repositioned to other places so a retractable roof/magrodome would do great at the main pool. Also one last thing is something I don't agree: the layout of the galley in the middle of both MDR's blocking circulation on Deck 3....at least they made a hallway on Deck 4 but I don't like the idea of two separated dining rooms with the galley blocking in between. We did like that the ship’s AC wasn’t as cold as other ships’ and loved the new “Promenade” concept (even though the 4 hot-tubs were not hot at all)…..talking about hot-tubs I liked the fact they had several around the ship…

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FOOD was good overall. The three of us agreed that both the variety and presentation of food at The Gathering (Deck 10) was below the standards plus the usual lines and difficulty to find tables made us have almost every breakfast and lunch at the Scarlet (Deck 3 aft). We did enjoy the sandwiches at the Deli located by the aft pool (also Deck 10). We had second seating (8:15) at the Scarlet Upper (Deck 4) and had a nice small table by the window. Food there was great besides the lack of variety for sides (they usually had three or four dishes that shared the same side which could limit one's choice but as my dad said it makes the logistic easier so it’s understandable). The most remarkable night for us at the MDR was the first elegant one (Day 2) when I had the stuffed mushrooms as starter and the duck as entree (the maitre told me I was the first person he saw in both first and second dining having that dish....I'd say the other 4599 people missed it and was waiting for them to serve it again the following lunch or dinner....)

 

As far as I know the other MDR Crimson (Deck 3 & 4 mid) served as My Time Dining (or at least the upper deck) which we wanted to try but by the time we booked two weeks before the cruise was already full. We also decided to try the Chef's Art Steakhouse (Deck 12 aft) and pay the 30 bucks per person and we were truly impressed. We usually agree to pay up to 20,25 bucks for especial restaurants but never paid that much and the dishes they offered plus the impeccable service of our Russian and Polish waiters were worth it(btw our MDR waiters Tono and Ni were the best we have ever had on a cruise)! I recommend the escargot bourguignon as an starter ;)(we just love it and even though they had it at the MDR the second elegant night this one was far better!!!) and the filet mignon with béarnaise sauce, wasabi and horseradish mashed potatoes and spinach was amazing, finishing with the chocolate sampler.

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OUR ROOM 10245 was pretty good for us who booked it less than two weeks before. We enjoyed the location since it was a higher deck (10), close to the pool area and a short walk from the main/fwd staircase and elevators. Overall we thought it was slightly larger than similar categories in other ships (including the Oasis) and my extra bed on the sofa wasnt't as good as the actual sofa-beds I had on the Eurodam and Oasis but was much better than the sofa on the Solstice.

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There was a good storage space…enough for a week maybe not more and the bathroom was average size….I just don’t like the curtains instead of the actual door they have on Royal & Celebrity ships but I would never choose a ship because of the shower so whatever. The only thing that made us uncomfortable was the constant noise of people walking by(not only children but adults too) SCREAMING even at 2am thinking its noon :confused:….I was taught by my parents to never scream at any time while in a hotel/cruise ship hallway so I found it a grave lack of politeness. It was overall clean but my mom observed that the pillows weren't as clean as they should be and as we fin in other ships (they had a weird smell). We agreed that the Dream was unfortunately not as clean as other ships....

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ENTERTAINMENT was really fun and energetic all day long….there were always multiple activities at the same time and because of that the passengers were never concentrated at the same place. We found the Encore Theatre (3,4,5 fwd) small for the size of the ship but we did not have a problem finding seats and enjoyed all the shows. The best in our opinion was “Dancing in the Street” which was composed of several different effects for a ship like trampolines and lasers! “Get Ready” was also very good and unfortunately they had a technical problem during “8 More Seconds” but I’m glad it wasn’t the other ones we watched. I really liked the main pool area that occupied 3 decks (10,11,12) and enjoyed the Seaside Theatre (It was the first ship we went that had this type of screen by the pool). They had nice shows/movies/Cruise Director’s Program during the day and the few laser shows at night were really cool! Congrats Carnival for this great feature. :)

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THE SPA area was really nice and quiet (as opposed to the rest of the ship). I was glad mom and I managed to run at the treadmill everyday so we could have the melting cake at night and not gain weight….we also followed some other critters’ ideas and only had salad for lunch and used the stairs as much as possible….that helped a lot! I had two massages: a couple’s massage with mom the afternoon in St. Maarten and the stones one the last day….they had several especial offers for it and I was glad there were only two of them prohibited for my age. :cool:

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So far I really like your trip report and the fact that you are "only" 16 and from Brazil is amazing. Will be looking for more :)

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PORTS OF CALL were only details for us since we’ve been to the Caribbean many times, but we didn’t remember St. Thomas so had something new this cruise. Even though the Oasis was together with us at all the ports (Monarch OTS in Nassau and Caribbean Princess in St. Thomas as well) the islands did not feel crowded…ok maybe a little. BTW I confess I almost cried when I saw the Oasis....I tracked her project for 3 years and was in the Inaugural and now I saw her without beeing able to go inside....and most of the people in our ship were amazed watching her....I heard a lady saying even though she talked with some Oasis guests and they loved it she couldn't imagine a ship larger than the Dream....I just though "Heck yeah I can imagine" :p Since we had a short time in Nassau and it was the first day we just went shopping to buy my sister’s bday present…we went to the EFFY store which we always go and know the vendors and also walked around the nice stores where mom (she couldn’t resist) bought a Gucci purse for a truly awesome price…..AND NO TAX!!!!

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In St. Thomas we went to Magen’s Bay which was very crowded but ok and then went to take a shower and have lunch at the ship (EMPTY) and walk around the stores at the port, go to Paradise Point(awesome view!! Definitely going back in Dezember) and guess what? One more Gucci for mom….I start to guess If I’m getting a present this trip or only my mom and sister….I’M NOT JEALOUS :p

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What a lovely writer you are! Thank you for your review and your opinions. Please don't ever apologize for stating your opinion. You are obviously a very mature and intelligent young woman.

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In St. Maarten we did our favorite program there….went to Orient Beach which we found much better than last time (more infrastructure), ride jetskis(which mom was too lazy sunbathing to take pics:confused:), and walk around the nude beach (shhhhhh) :D…..then went back to the port and I went to run and take a shower while my parents went to “look around” the stores where “suddenly” two watches(for them) “fell in their hand”….and I was still waiting for mine….actually I’m still waiting right now…..hahahaha

 

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Some pics of the ship....

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Dad checking the gold tournament @ the Sports Bar right next to his favorite place....THE CASSINO.....which was not generous at all this time :rolleyes:

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Promenade Deck (5) where they have the Sushi Bar(Wasabi), the Coffee Shop, Bars, and the Lanai which is outside the windows on the right :cool:

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I’ve read several bad reviews about this ship saying it was a true “Nightmare” and that they would never board this ship anymore which got me worried but I also read several “Living the Dream” reviews which got me curious. It is impossible to enjoy this ship to its fullest in one week only so I did not try a lot of things I wanted such as the laser tag and the slides (they always had lines and the last day at sea I was going but fell asleep and woke up after it closed), but now that we’re back home after experiencing this new ship I got to a conclusion: This was not a conventional Dream like the ones you dream at night which last long and are sometimes crazy or scary. Carnival’s Dream is more like a nap dream….you know you are dreaming but it looks so real that you get used to it even when it’s surreal like Carnival’s decor….you get comfy and learn how to enjoy it even with crowds and noises, you lose notion of time and the world outside by staring at the sunset or listening to the ocean, and you find out that even though it is not the best Dream or the best sleep you had, you do not want to wake up from that short one week nap, you wish this DREAM would never end.

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I wanted to post this today since we're leaving to the Dominican Republic for a week tomorrow so If I forgot about anything or you have any questions feel free to ask and I'll answer as soon as I can!

Thanks,

 

Ricardo :)

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Glad everyone is enjoying it....any questions feel free to ask ;)

 

 

What a lovely writer you are! Thank you for your review and your opinions. Please don't ever apologize for stating your opinion. You are obviously a very mature and intelligent young woman.

 

Thanks for the mature and intelligent but I'm a guy :D

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Glad everyone is enjoying it....any questions feel free to ask ;)

 

 

 

 

Thanks for the mature and intelligent but I'm a guy :D

 

Hahaha!! :D

Looks like your "Dream" wasn't too much of a nightmare! We're going on her a week from today and I am absolutely ecstatic. How was lunch in the Scarlet? Had a few experiences with MDR lunches/breakfasts that were less than par. Is it something we should try?

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Ola! Ricardo - Thank you for such a wonderful and honest review of the Dream. I clicked on the thread because I'm sailing on the Dream Sept 4, but your words and photos blew me away.

 

You are not only a writer, but also a poet and great photographer. I am the latter and you are GOOD.

 

Please keep writing and share, if you will, your blog or FB page. I am a fan now and can't wait to see how far you go.

 

Você é um menino muito especial.

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Hahaha!! :D

Looks like your "Dream" wasn't too much of a nightmare! We're going on her a week from today and I am absolutely ecstatic. How was lunch in the Scarlet? Had a few experiences with MDR lunches/breakfasts that were less than par. Is it something we should try?

 

 

Hahaha it was a Dream....the Nightmare was my worries after reading reviews of people who hated it :eek:

 

U see something I wanted to write but forgot....the good of Scarlet for Breakfast/Lunch is there are no lines so you wait seated but the menus are the same everyday so for the lunch expecially is kinda bad but I'd try it a couple times(we had lunch there 3 days....)

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Ola! Ricardo - Thank you for such a wonderful and honest review of the Dream. I clicked on the thread because I'm sailing on the Dream Sept 4, but your words and photos blew me away.

 

You are not only a writer, but also a poet and great photographer. I am the latter and you are GOOD.

 

Please keep writing and share, if you will, your blog or FB page. I am a fan now and can't wait to see how far you go.

 

Você é um menino muito especial.

 

Thanks!

I'm actually surprised people think I'm a good writter....I was in Brazil but when I moved here I just sucked writting in English.....but trying to get better....

Are u Brazilian too?

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Forgot to also tell you you "Have Fun in the DR!" I can't give much advice, but I spent two weeks in La Romana in 2002, and made a couple trips into Santo Domingo (fun, safe, no problems). What I do know is that the DR people are warm, loving, and friendly -- and you will fit in perfectly.

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Awesome review. I leave in two weeks, can't wait. Some of the posts had me worried but after reading your detailed review and pictures I think it will be great!! Thanks again!

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What a wonderful review you wrote! As I read it, I could tell you are very experienced at cruising and enjoy a cruise while not nit picking the cruise apart. I look forward to our cruise on the Carnival Dream in 5 weeks and reading your review with such wonderful pictures as well, made it more exciting to see.

 

What type of camera did you use to take those beautiful pictures?

 

I am sorry your parents didn't surprise you with a gift. Guess they will just have to take you on another cruise so you can "pick" your gift.

 

Thank you!

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Forgot to also tell you you "Have Fun in the DR!" I can't give much advice, but I spent two weeks in La Romana in 2002, and made a couple trips into Santo Domingo (fun, safe, no problems). What I do know is that the DR people are warm, loving, and friendly -- and you will fit in perfectly.

 

Yeah my parents spent a week there last year and this time I'm on vacation so here we go! We're staying at a new hotel in Punta Cana...I think the name is Moon Palace or something....It's all inclusive and I heard the rooms are pretty cool....each one of them has a pool in the middle of the room :cool:

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What a wonderful review you wrote! As I read it, I could tell you are very experienced at cruising and enjoy a cruise while not nit picking the cruise apart. I look forward to our cruise on the Carnival Dream in 5 weeks and reading your review with such wonderful pictures as well, made it more exciting to see.

 

What type of camera did you use to take those beautiful pictures?

 

I am sorry your parents didn't surprise you with a gift. Guess they will just have to take you on another cruise so you can "pick" your gift.

 

Thank you!

 

Hahaha its ok I was just messing with them.....my dad and I love watches and prices are better in the Caribbean but I just bough 2 in the last two months so spent my part already....I'm looking forward to get a nice one in our Solstice Cruise for Xmas so is my dad....I guess that'll b the boys' time to go shopping....I did get a surprise this morning though....dad gave me the 200 bucks he won at the Casino yesterday(after losing 6 nights hahaha).....my sister deserved her present...she's always working and never travels with us so its ok.....I liked the idea of a cruise though....trying to convince my dad about the Disney Dream Inaugural(its on my bday weekend) but too $$...also interested on a Egypt/Israel one for Spring Break :)

 

U'll enjoy the Dream....It's like I say a cruise is always a cruise so you'll at least have a good time....anything else is a bonus ;)

Edited by RicardoC

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You are a very lucky guy! great review! And great pictures! Thank you! Do you have a review of the Oasis up?

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You are a very lucky guy! great review! And great pictures! Thank you! Do you have a review of the Oasis up?

 

Yes , he has a review in his signature , lots of pics as well .

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Wow! You did an awesome review!! Great job & excellent pictures too. My cousin's wife is from Brazil, she moved here to go to College years ago & met my cousin & they have been married for about 10yrs now. :)

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An excellent review....very balanced and well thought out. Thanks for sharing your commentary and pictures. :)We too were on the Dream last year and will return this Nov. to dream again!:D

 

When I was reading, I thought how lucky you were to have parents who take you on so many cruises and vacations. So who needs another watch? :p... and your sister's present was a birthday present after all. lol. Anyways, being the mature young man you are, you knew it all along. Your parents must be very proud of you.

 

Enjoy your upcoming vacation!:)

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Great review! It's nice to read one from a fellow teenager every once in a while.

 

I will say that i'm slightly jealous that you finished that good of a review in one page, though. :rolleyes:

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Excellent review and photos. I am so looking forward to sail the Dream in Feb.

Again, great job!

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Great review! I was wondering how many pools are there? The pools also seem very small...is it?

Edited by ChickonRules

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You are a very lucky guy! great review! And great pictures! Thank you! Do you have a review of the Oasis up?

 

Thank You Yeah I like writting my thoughts about ships but for me the most important are pictures so I love to take them(not be in them:rolleyes:), share my pics, and see others'....especially cruise pics since I love ships :D....yes its in my signature together with my Brilliance and Solstice ones....all with pics....unfortunately I didn't have time to write the other cruises' one....I wonder if its still time to write the one on Eurodam since it was an amazing itinerary over an year after....

 

Yes , he has a review in his signature , lots of pics as well .

 

Exactly.....I did something wrong that the pics turned out too small....but if you click on them a pop-up will show it zoomed..sorry :o

 

Bravo!

 

Thx :)

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Wow! You did an awesome review!! Great job & excellent pictures too. My cousin's wife is from Brazil, she moved here to go to College years ago & met my cousin & they have been married for about 10yrs now.

 

Thanks! Oooh lucky guy...Brazilian girls are the best :p

 

An excellent review....very balanced and well thought out. Thanks for sharing your commentary and pictures. We too were on the Dream last year and will return this Nov. to dream again!

 

When I was reading, I thought how lucky you were to have parents who take you on so many cruises and vacations. So who needs another watch? ... and your sister's present was a birthday present after all. lol. Anyways, being the mature young man you are, you knew it all along. Your parents must be very proud of you.

 

Enjoy your upcoming vacation!

 

Thanks a lot....I was thinking about it throughout the cruise and even could not wait to get home so started to write before sleep or while waiting for my time to take a shower, etc....

I got lucky my parents love cruises also....and since I want to do Naval/Marine Engineering we take it more seriously than just a vacation....I drive them crazy talking about ships all the time so the Oasis for an example was not only my "child" but theirs since I showed them every progress in my "convincing process"....its not that easy but I learned and it always works....already planning the arguments for 2 cruises next year one almost decided the other more difficult so wish me luck :D

 

great revie, and great pics

 

Thank you :)

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Great review! It's nice to read one from a fellow teenager every once in a while.

 

I will say that i'm slightly jealous that you finished that good of a review in one page, though.

 

Hahahaha as I wrote before I started on the ship and since we're leaving at 4am to the airport to Punta Cana :eek: I wanted to post it ASAP....I thought it could be too late if I posted next Sunday only...I keep thinking I missed something though :confused:

 

You certainly write well for only being 16!

 

Glad to read that....I'll make sure I show this to my English Teacher the first day at school :p

 

Excellent review and photos. I am so looking forward to sail the Dream in Feb.

Again, great job!

 

I'm sure you'll have a good time! Now I want to try new lines so hopefully will soon board a new line's ship :D

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....and since I want to do Naval/Marine Engineering we take it more seriously than just a vacation....I drive them crazy talking about ships all the time so the Oasis for an example was not only my "child" but theirs since I showed them every progress in my "convincing process"....its not that easy but I learned and it always works....already planning the arguments for 2 cruises next year one almost decided the other more difficult so wish me luck :D

 

 

Wow i'm glad i'm not the only cruise ship nerd my age! I pretty much drive my family (and friends) crazy all the time talking about ships and I'm actually a rising junior majoring in naval architecture/marine engineering so we have a lot in common!

 

Good luck with school (and arguing for more cruises!)

Edited by ChampionCruiser

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Great review and photos. Thanks so much for sharing!

 

You're more than welcome ;)

Thanks for reading :)

 

Great review! I was wondering how many pools are there? The pools also seem very small...is it?

 

I told you guys I forgot some stuff....like my dad says "If you wanna do it right, then don't rush"....even though the pools are beautiful and much better than other Carnival pools we've been to yes they're small for the ship's size....there are 2: the main one(deck 10 mid) where they have the Seaside Theatre(screen) and the aft one(also 10)....we usually go to the pool by the end of the afternoon when people are already having their early seatting dinner so it was always with fewer people....there were a lot of chairs around thou...not directly around but in the upper decks for sunbathing or in the shades....shouldn't b a problem :cool:

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Wow i'm glad i'm not the only cruise ship nerd my age! I pretty much drive my family (and friends) crazy all the time talking about ships and I'm actually a rising junior majoring in naval architecture/marine engineering so we have a lot in common!

 

Good luck with school (and arguing for more cruises!)

 

Hahahah I try not to talk with people about it cause I can't stop but when I do it's a problem....living in Florida everyone has been on a cruise and loves it so also knows a lot so its much easier :D

 

That's pretty awesome....I'd like to know more about the career, colleges, etc....I'm starting my Junior year in High School so soon will be starting college application so help would be great since its not a very well known career....where do you go to?

Edited by RicardoC

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