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Pre-Trip Blog and Review: Carnival Dream 2/15/14 – Western Caribbean

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This sign means what it says...man that water gets hot in quick, fast, and a hurry.

 

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Now to the storage space...and our floatation devices.

 

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As a side note: Cynthia loved that full length mirror on the door.

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***Travelers Tip***: Yes, they want you to take them out in the sun, but be sure to bring them back to your stateroom or it's $22 per used towel. If you really want a towel, they sell them new for $22.

 

Now, for the moment we have all been waiting for.....drum roll please...The Balcony!

 

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Here are some of the sights from our balcony:

 

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Here is NASA...

 

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I'm not really sure about this building, but my guess is that it's something NASA related.

 

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Here is a zoomed in look at something that I have been waiting for three cruises to see if I could see....the space shuttle launching pads. I remember visiting these as a kid. I have been wandering if you could see these from port and I know the answer now.

 

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I have taken all of the pictures for now so, I finally get to rest and enjoy our balcony. Here are some people that are about to board the ship.

 

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Also, it allowed us to take a look at the FunTimes for the day a long with the additional paperwork for the day.

 

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While we were resting there was a knock at the door and my luggage had been delivered. After our rest, we were quickly on the move over to the spa. We wanted to make sure that we got a couples spa pass. Next, it was time for lunch at the Pasta Bar. We were happy to find that they have gluten free pasta as well as three sauces that are gluten free. We tried eggplant in pasta for the first time and loved it. The staff was very nice and friendly. Also, they let us know that they would need to cook the pasta and that it takes longer than the regular pasta and asked did we care to wait the 15-20 minutes.

 

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Our next stop was to the second level of the Crimson Dining Room on Deck 4. I cannot stress the importance of anyone with a special diet taking the time to meet with the special needs team to make sure your meals are handled correctly. This is also the line to make dinning changes so the line was quite long when we got there. To me, it did not make since to have this at the Crimson Dining Room as the line was so long that it was interfering with anyone that wanted to walk up the stairs.

As we were waiting in line, a lady behind us came up with a couple of packs of Carnival playing cards. I remember seeing something on Cruise Critic about them so I asked the lady and she said that all I had to do was to go down to Guest Services and ask for them and that they hand them out until the run out. Cynthia stayed in line and I went down one deck to Guest Services. Thank goodness, for FTTF. I skipped a lot of people in line. The picture does not do it justice as it cut some of the people out of the picture.

 

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I met back up with Cynthia and a short while later we were able to speak with someone about her dietary restrictions. A lady was called to help us and she took down all the information and Cynthia ordered for her meal that night.

 

We came back to the room to find that Cynthia’s luggage had been delivered. We unpacked and got ready for Muster Drill. Before we left for Muster Drill, we left a note for our steward that we would like an extra blanket, ice, and to have the refrigerator cleaned out. Muster seemed to drag and it started a lot later than posted in the FunTimes. At least, we were inside and just had to watch a quick video. We decided to head to the Aft Pool for sail away as I wanted to get some pictures before we left port. We stopped by Swirls to grab some ice cream for me and yogurt for Cynthia.

 

***Travelers Note***: The ice cream and yogurt minus the cone is gluten free.

While I was taking a few pictures, Cynthia made a final attempt to reach her Mom and Sister for the week. She was able to reach them and spent a few minutes talking with them before we disabled and turned off our phones.

 

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Here is the Exploration Tower where we went yesterday.

 

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They are still completing muster over at Disney and they actually had to stand outside.

 

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They are getting ready to untie us.

 

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I was happy to be sailing, but I could not help to think a minute about the people in our roll call that encountered bad weather. Two of the groups I know could not make it to port and would be meeting us in Cozumel and I was unsure about the other group.

 

We decided to continue our sail away from our balcony. Cynthia was a little tired.

 

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I am ready to rock and roll...capturing some more sail away photos.

 

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It's our fine U.S. Navy.

 

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When the boat got turned around where I could see somebody, I waved and the gentleman was nice enough to way back. To bad I did not catch it on camera.

 

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It looks like there is some sort of fishing vessel out there.

 

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I am not really sure about this lighthouse, but I believe that it's the Cape Canaveral Lighthouse.

 

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The pilot boat is following us out to sea.

 

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Bye Bye, Port Canaveral!

 

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As we were leaving for dinner we meet Peter our Steward for the week. I asked him nicely if he could please bring us an extra blanket, ice, and to clear out the refrigerator. Peter informed me that he could not clean it out, but that we could feel free to move the items to the shelf and asked that we returned them before the end of the cruise. I had seen mixed information on Cruise Critic on if they could do remove the frig items so I just left it alone and we did as he suggested.

 

We made it to dinner as they were opening at 5:45 PM. It was the most dis-organized dinner service that I have ever seen. We chose the Any Time Dinning for this cruise. It started with not taking our cabin number before we were seated. The waiter had no clue about Cynthia’s special order. We had to tell everyone about it then they had to find it. It was sorted out rather quickly, but it was not a great way to start the cruise. Here is the everyday dinner menu:

 

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Here is the dinner menu for tonight only:

 

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Cynthia:

 

Guacamole and Tomato Salsa – Gluten Free version

 

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Heart of Iceberg Lettuce

Indian Vegetarian

Sorry, I forgot to get pictures of her dishes, but she said that they were not worth taking a picture of. We both had the Warm Chocolate Melting Cake. Of course, Cynthia had the gluten free version.

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The Warm Chocolate Melting Cake looked the same plated so I just took a picture of mine.

 

Dinner Summary: Service was so slow. The head waiter almost seemed as if he had to tell one of his assistants his very next move.

 

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My food was delicious. However, Cynthia had a very different experience. Her chips came out with no tomato salsa. I could see where that could have some gluten in it so we did not think much about it. Then her salad came out as just lettuce and some awful tasting dressing. The Indian Vegetarian that she had been looking forward to since our last Carnival cruise was totally different and tasted gross. All she ate was the rice. She loved the Warm Chocolate Melting Cake.

We started to realize that maybe the lady that had assisted us earlier during the day miss-understood what we were trying to communicate to her. Our head waiter came to take Cynthia order for dinner the next evening but also for the Sea Day Brunch the morning. We shared our concerns with him and he updated her allergy list.

 

After dinner, we went and took a few pictures. Then, we came back to the room and found that we now had ice and a blanket. Also, we noticed that the room was quite warmer. I checked the temperature and found that it had been turned all the way up on heat. Since we had not touched it, our guess is that Peter was trying to be helpful since we asked for the blanket. We like to sleep with it cold, but Cynthia gets colder quicker than I do so she uses an extra blanket.

 

We changed into our bathing suits and headed to the Cloud 9 Spa. When you purchase the spa pass they put a sticker on your S & S Card. When you come to the spa for the first time each day they place a bracelet on your arm that allows you access for the rest of the day. Also, you are given an access key to all the spa areas that are available. The spa desk keeps your S & S Card until you return the access card.

 

First, we tired the Thalassotherapy Spa. We loved this pool and it’s the only pool we got in on-board the ship all week. This pool is labeled at being at body temperature pool, but I would have to disagree on that statement. I will have more on that a little later in the review. We loved that the pool has a lounger in it, but it’s difficult to lounge when the jets are running. The other side of the pool is like a normal circular hot tub.

 

The next room that we tried was the Tepidarium. The Tepidarium is a dry room, maintained at a cool temperature. The stone loungers are heated and they are so relaxing. We took a few towels to lay down on them and then rolled a towel up as a pillow. It was so relaxing that Cynthia and I both feel asleep.

 

We rinsed off a bit in one of the two showers that are between the rooms. They were really awesome. Next, is the relaxation room. In this room, water and herbal tea is available. I found some Chamomile Tea and sat and relaxed a bit. Cynthia enjoyed some lemon water. After a bit of relaxing and drying off, we got ready to head back to the room. We would have stayed longer but it was a little after 10 PM. The spa was closing for the night. We returned our access card and had out bracelet cut off as we could not use the spa any longer that night.

 

We made our way back to the room and let me be the first to say that it did not take me very long to go to bed. We were lights out.

 

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I forgot to mention earlier that Cynthia picked up a few price sheets when we went down to the spa.

 

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You are hitting a home-run boss man! Keep up the good work. I'm learning from your experiences for my trip in April.

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Thank you so much for this review. We are booked in November and there are not that many picture reviews for the Dream and yours is wonderful!! Counting the days:)

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Can't wait for more !!! Were going on the dream for the first time in April !!!! Great pictures :)

 

 

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Great review so far. I know gluten free is a tough diet, with horrible consequences if you eat it. Not fun on a vacation. Were on the Dream April 5th. Can't wait to read the rest!

 

 

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Do you remember what the hours were for the Observation Tower??? My dad would love the views from the Observation Tower :)

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Do you remember what the hours were for the Observation Tower??? My dad would love the views from the Observation Tower :)

 

If memory serves me I believe the hours are from 10 AM -7 PM. There may be special extended hours if there is a special activity happening in port.

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Great Review, we will be on her in a couple weeks now on the 15th sailing and your review is just great!

 

I also do the 3 ring binder (really a hot pink soft one) and since we have a larger group I have everyone's boarding info, extra luggage, tags, etc in sections so that way if someone was to forget something I have it all there :) We have 10 traveling in 4 rooms this trip.

 

Just keeping my fingers crossed we don't get snow now in a couple weeks. They are calling for 6-12 inches tomorrow but if I have to get in a car and start driving in a few weeks with 2 kids so be it!

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Great Review, we will be on her in a couple weeks now on the 15th sailing and your review is just great!

 

I also do the 3 ring binder (really a hot pink soft one) and since we have a larger group I have everyone's boarding info, extra luggage, tags, etc in sections so that way if someone was to forget something I have it all there :) We have 10 traveling in 4 rooms this trip.

 

Just keeping my fingers crossed we don't get snow now in a couple weeks. They are calling for 6-12 inches tomorrow but if I have to get in a car and start driving in a few weeks with 2 kids so be it!

 

Thank you so much! I hope y'all can escape the cold weather. Being in Southwest GA, we don't have to deal with the snow and ice all that much, but from reading these forums, I feel like people make a huge mistake by putting to much faith in the airlines to get them there. Have a backup car plan and leave a few days earlier if needed. Most of the time people can drive 10-12 hours and get to an airport that has service to the port city especially if the port is in FL.

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Hello everybody! I am back and ready to post day two for you. It took a bit longer than I expected to sync all my pictures so that I could post them to you. Today, is going to be a very picture intensive day so, for those of you that don't like a lot of pictures then get your scroll wheel ready to zoom past the pictures. Here we go!

Day Two: Our First Day at Sea

 

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I woke up to use the bathroom about 5:15 AM so, I checked our location and we are not even to Key West. I decided to try to go back to sleep but by about 6:30 AM I had enough tossing and turning. I decided that I would step out on the balcony and update my trip notes for a bit. A beautiful day was on the horizon.

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There was a vessel out in the distance.

 

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I decided that I would let Cynthia sleep a bit longer so I thought it would be a great time to get some pictures of the ship. I started by going down to the Atrium on Deck 3 so that I could get me a handy folding deck plan. I usually grab two of three of these at a time because I normally loose them fairly quickly. I tried to scan on of them, with no luck.

 

I began my adventure Deck 3 FWD in the Encore! I noticed that all but one door was closed and that there was a sign that said no peeking...I walked in anyway. After I took my first shot, I encountered the rudest Carnival employee that I have ever encountered. He so rudely asked if he could help me and I nicely said no I just wanted to grab a few pictures and he so rudely told me that it was closed and he did not know why one of the doors where open. I took two more pictures and walked out. He followed me so that he could close the door behind me. Here are pictures from Encore!

 

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Here is some of the decoration that you will see around the ship:

 

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Here is an interactive kiosk that is near Guest Services.

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Fun Hub area near Guest Services

 

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Here comes my favorite machine and there were two or three of these around the ship…The Sign & Sail Kiosk I love to check this daily so that I can keep a close watch on my account. This one is located on deck 3 near the Atrium. Here are some more pictures of the Atrium area.

 

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I will be back shortly with more, I need to help Mom with bringing the groceries in the house.

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