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Carnival Dream - 12/10/2011 - 12/17/2011


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This will be a long review with lots of pics and some videos. Disclaimer: If you dont like this type of review with details about all aspects of our trip including before the cruise, thanks for looking and God bless.


I will discuss some of the positive and negative things I had read about previous reviews and bring up some new things along the way.


A couple things I want to address right off the bat:


"The smell" - never noticed it anywhere. I was all over the ship and didn’t encounter it once.


"The crowds" - this cruise wasnt any worse than our cruise on the Fantasy in January 2011. No matter what ship you go on there will be crowds at peak timex to eat, shop, swim, etc. We avoided those crazy times and never had a major problem. Hot tubs were busy at times, but we were able to use them at various locations around the ship. Pools were busy but we were able to get in and cool off in both pools during port days.


"The elevators" - yes they were busy, we used the stairs quite a bit. I could see that having some having mobility issues could have a long wait at times. Worst times were on embarkation, busy evening hours, and debarkation.


"The food" - never had a bad meal. Service was excellent in the dining room and adequate in the buffet. Food quantity and choice was never an issue for us. Food was hot and tasty. We tried new things during the week. Ate once in the Steak House and I can’t say enough how well worth the $30 up charge (per person) was. The steaks were fantastic and properly prepared. Will have photos later of that night.


"Ship movement" - this is one area we noticed. Granted this was only our 2nd cruise and our first large ship but the Dream wiggles, shakes, and shimmies more than I expected. Wasn’t horrible and nobody got sick but just be forewarned, the Dream likes to boogie. We had a couple rough nights due to wind and I’m sure the length and height of the ship caused all the movement. Would it keep me from going on a dream class ship again, no, but it’s definitely a consideration for those more sensitive to motion. We slept like babies each night but on the rougher nights some noises woke us up.


“The Dream is too big” – ok, it’s a very large ship. It wasn’t that horribly large that we couldn’t figure out where we were going. I liked the walk-around promenade deck. I can understand how the size of the Dream class would not be everyone’s favorite, but we actually enjoyed the size and layout of the ship.


Ok, on with the review…


Traveled with myself (43), DW (46), DS (19), DD (22), SIL (24), and DN (just turned 18). Our 2nd cruise, DD and SIL 2nd cruise, and DS and DN first cruise. We booked in January after our first cruise on Fantasy to celebrate our 10th anniversary. It was a long countdown from 300+ days.


We only planned one excursion in Cozumel (Twister and Isla Passion) and the Behind the Fun on the last sea day. This purpose of this trip was to maximize the relaxation and we were pretty lazy.


We all debated about driving down and found direct flights from Cleveland to Orlando so we went for it. Our returning flight changed three times. We had directs booked both coming and going but they cancelled our 3pm return flight and we had to change to a flight through Houston and would get us back 6 hours later.


Word of advice - check the flights often. We were able to get booked on a 2pm direct flight at no charge a couple weeks before we left.


We left house in “style,” a stretch hummer limo, one of the several surprises we had in store for the kids.....



In order - myself, SIL, DD, DW, DN, DS


Then we experienced the usual security the airport. Got there early enough and got through the lines quickly. I haven’t traveled recently enough to get patted down. That was an interesting experience.


We also made a real effort to pack as light as possible and have no checked luggage. Amazingly we did it.


We left Cleveland with some snow on the ground and couldn’t wait to get to sunny Florida.




We arrived on time in Orlando. Got rental vehicle for the 6 of us and drove to Cocoa Beach. I wanted to rent a vehicle so we could do some shopping and go to dinner without having to pay a taxi service to move six of us around.


Here I am being a "happy driver" going on Route 528. I really want to move to Florida....




Stayed at Residence Inn Cocoa Beach and had a two bedroom suite which gave us all enough room. Very nice hotel.







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Made a trip to Walmart and Ron Jon before going to dinner at Fishlips.


Food and service was fantastic. Watched Monarch of the Seas leave Port Canaveral and did a wave to the Port Canaveral webcam. Our family was watching on their site and was able to see us, how cool is that!






Spent the evening in the pool and hot tub and got to bed early. It was a long but fun day.


12-10-2011 - EMBARKATION DAY


After over 300 days of counting down, the day finally has arrived! DW and I woke up at 4AM. I was awake in time to watch Dream come back into port (geez) on the Port Canaveral webcam.


Once everyone else woke up, we had a nice breakfast in the hotel.


Hey, is that a whale tail I see???




I returned the rental vehicle back to Hertz, they are right in the Residence Inn parking lot. Nice! :)


The Residence Inn has a shuttle arranged through Travel Lynx so we took advantage of that for $3 per person.

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Looking forward to the rest of your review. I'll be on the Dream in just 3 short weeks :D. How did you enjoy coming home to the snow?


HATED IT!!!! I was seriously wanting to get right back on the plane and head south!!! :D

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It was scheduled to leave at 10:30 (I wanted to leave at 10am but since there was 6 of us the shuttle would be easier). It was an older greyhound style bus and the lady driver loaded all the luggage on her own. She could have kicked all our butts if she wanted to. :rolleyes:




Got underway to the port by 10:40am and was finally off the bus around 11am.

It was running on our way there, and was lightly raining when we got into the terminal.




At that point, I didn't care if it was raining or cloudy, I just wanted to get on that ship!




Signs were everywhere that tipping wasnt necessary as they porters are all salaried. Didnt matter to us either way because we were carrying all our stuff on.


The port is pretty organized as I have seen others mention in their reviews. Made it through security quickly except for one minor mishap. DD's carry-on bag fell off her rolling suitcase and her wine bottle broke. Bummer.


One lady working at the port must have had a bad morning, she made a snarky comment to us "are you going to carry that luggage around with you until 2 o'clock? Well yes, duh.... :p


When we made it up the escalator they were already calling Zone 3 and we were handed Zone 11 cards. We went through normal check-in and because we had to switch cabins (DW and I each booked a cabin with FCC's so we could get $100 OBC each. They quickly had DW and I in our balcony cabin and DS and DN in their inside room. That went much easier than i expected.


Only problem was we could not put cash on our S&S accounts because they weren't ready to do that on their computer system. No biggie, would do later onboard.


Did two photos, one for the boarding photo and the other for their facial recognition system they have (which is supposed to bring up your photos). More on that later.


We were on the Dream by 11:42 am! Not bad! I'm like a little kid in a candy store, when I first board a ship I just take it all in. That is my favorite part of both of our cruises. Can't believe we are finally here!!!


Once we got on-board I went to the excursion desk and signed DW and I up for Behind the Fun. They only have 32 spots (two groups of 16) and I didn't want to miss that!


Made our way up to the lido to get a bite to eat. One thing that i will mention here is the tile floors in The Gathering buffet are very slick, whether they are being cleaned or not. Just a word of caution, saw many people nearly slip and fall (me included).


I went to the Pasta Bar and everyone else took advantage of the other items on the main level. I can understand how the Pasta Bar is not real popular the first day. I knew about it and I had to search to figure out how to get up to it. It's a staircase in the back of the gathering that goes up one level. It was really worth the find. You order what kind of pasta you want with sauce, toppings, meats. Took no longer than five minutes before they had my order ready and I headed back downstairs to eat with the family.


More to follow tomorrow. Have to finish uploading some photos and videos. :eek:

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Thanks for the review and pics. We are enjoying it so far. We were on the Dream in Oct and agree with a lot you state up front. No smell, go food, etc. Saw the Dream last night too (we went to the movies and saw Alvin and the Chipmunks:Chipwrecked:)).

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We made our way down to deck 8 about 1:30pm and had a short wait before the fire doors were opened to get into our rooms. Finally the time came and we were finally in our rooms. DW & I had 8347, DD & SIL had 8343, and DN & DS had 8351 (inside bunk room).


Even though the bed selection was twin from Carnival's website (and couldn't be changed no matter how many times we tried) it was pushed together into a king. Must have been left that way from the previous cruise as others have mentioned on CC.


We unpacked and got stuff organized. The room size wasn't bad and not crowded even when there was four of us hanging out in the room. Four smaller drawers, and three closets (one with shelves, two with hangers) gave us more then enough storage for the week.


I just realized I don't have any pictures of the interior of our rooms (except the boys). Geez, out of 1000 pictures you would think I did take a few. Bummer. Here is our adjoining balconies before the steward had the partition opened up:






We were about in the middle of the two hot tubs located on the Promenade deck. It was a great location and people are fun to watch.






The boy's did take a couple of their room (please excuse their stuff):







After we got unpacked we wandered around until we had to go to muster drill. For our two balcony rooms we were in the lower dining room and DS and DN's cabin were in a different muster area (I believe Camp Carnival).

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We were in port with Carnival Ecstasy, Norwegian Sun, Disney Magic.




Norwegian Sun left during our muster drill. Once muster was over we made our way back to our cabin. We had asked to have the partition opened between our cabin and DD & SIL’s cabin and they had it done for us.


Around 4:30PM, the ship started moving!











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Once we got spun around, we moved past Fishlips, and during that time we held an American flag and our family was able to see us on the Port Canaveral webcam, although it was kind of blurry.














I have video of sail away but will have to edit it and upload when I have some more time.

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Before we knew it, it was time for dinner. We made our way down to the dining room. We had anytime dining, but normally went between 6:30 and 7:00PM and had NO wait at all.


In fact, we were able to be seated in Joel (head waiter) and Marvin's (assistant waiter) section. They were really funny and nice guys made dinner very enjoyable.


Here is DS and Joel:




And now, for some food porn!












I can't disagree more with some of the poor reviews of the food on the Dream. We never had a bad meal and everything was good and properly prepared.

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The desserts were also great. As Marvin would say, "the best part of dinner." Had to have the WCMC (and I did several times during the week):




Here are some others:










After dinner, we made our way back to the cabin and here was our first towel animal. We are definitely on a cruise!



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Also love getting the chocolate mints and the next day's Funtimes.




Does it really get any better than this?


We went to sleep pretty early since we had been up at 4:00AM, chomping at the bit to get on the ship.


Overall it was a great day and we had a relaxing sea day to look forward to!



12-11-2011 - FUN DAY AT SEA


We woke up early, but later than we normally do at home. No emails & phone calls to answer, no work to do! NICE!


We weren't on the side of the ship to see the sunrise, but I could see some sun reflecting off the clouds.






After we ate breakfast, we got ready and headed up to the Lido deck. The pool chair hogs were active, but we had plenty of spots available, and we chose deck 12 above the Lido deck.






We got on the water slides quite a bit, waited no more than a couple minutes when it was busy.



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My favorite water slide was the drain pipe. I shot a video of it one time I went on the slide:



After we had much fun in the sun, we went back to the cabin for some rest.


The Dream and the Norwegian Sun were in a little bit of a race. We left after them, but I believe our captain wanted to make sure we got ahead of them.








Before leaving for dinner, we watched the sunset from our balcony.




Here was our position that evening:



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Can't say we aren't having a good time, right?




After dinner, we all went back and changed our clothes and found the next towel animal, mints, and fun times:






We wandered around the ship until we went to bed and I believe the kids went to a comedy show that night. Day #2 was a success!

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12-12-2011 - COZUMEL


One thing I want to mention is how clean they keep the ship. They are always cleaning glass, floors, and so on. One day they even cleaned our balconies.






Another beautiful day was in store for us, perfect for our Aqua Twister to Isla Passion excursion.








We docked in Cozumel, and of course I had to take the same picture I have seen many times in other's reviews:




I never get sick of seeing that view of the ship.

Edited by rtw68
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Some more pics of Dream






A couple RCI ships were in dock today also:




We made our way to the end of the pier, and found the usual shops and bars:








The guy in the above picture standing next to the donkey was funny. He kept asking people as they come out if they wanted to "ride his a$$." Everybody's reaction was funny.

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Some more pics of Cozumel's shopping area








We had to meet up for the excursion by 10:15. Found the excursion guy, checked in, and had time to look around.


Around 10:30 we were led to the aqua twister boat and met our pilot "Ricky Ricardo" and guide "Charlie Brown"












We put all of our items that we didnt want to get wet in their front compartment, put on out life jackets, and got buckled in.

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They go about 20 minutes to get to Isla Passion and in a calmer part of the bay do the wild 360 degree turns. There was a little girl in our boat that didnt like that at all, so they dropped her and her mom off at the dock on the islan and we did a bunch more 360's.


Also took video with my Kodak waterproof HD camera. It was a crazy ride and we ALL got wet.


Here's the video:


After that we were dropped off at the island and were brought to the beach after a short walk, a group photo (which we didn't buy) and through some annoying shops/shop owners.


They have a buffet area and bars and then the beach. The beach was very nice and they had some blowup water toys you could climb on. This island was used to film the Corona beer commercials. How cool.












All the staff were very friendly and the drinks flowed and the food was excellent. Some if the best guacomole that we have ever eaten. All the drinks and beer were included in the excursion price except the frozen drinks.

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Around 2:00 pm we were back on the boat for more fun than picked up the girl and mom to head back to the ship. It was a fast ride and was lightly raining. Combine the sun burn, wind burn, and rain burn and it was an awesome excursion.


Had a short nap then went to the buffet for dinner.


Here is the day's towel animal:




Went to bed pretty early.

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