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

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Next is Circle C. I was not able to get any inside pictures.

 

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Next, is the O2 Club. It was closed up as well.

 

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Continuing down the hall, I got photo bombed.

 

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We are now coming into the deck 4 portion of the Scarlet Dining Room. The Scarlet Dining Room is used for Assigned Dinning Guest as well as breakfast and brunch. While I was here, myself and another gentleman was looking around and we were approached by a Carnival employee and he was very nice and funny. He politely asked if we needed any help and we said no thanks and that we were just looking he smiled and made a camera noise when he saw me taking pictures.

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Now, I am heading up Upper Dream Street heading towards the FWD of the ship.

 

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Here we are at Ocean Plaza.

 

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Our current location per one of the TV’s in the area.

 

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More Ocean Plaza

 

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The Taste Bar

 

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The Lanai

 

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Coffee Bar

 

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Another Fun Hub

 

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I am out of time for now, but I will be back later for more of day two.

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Cherry on Top

 

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I just realized that I don't think I made it over to the other side to get pictures of the other Fun Shops. We will have so see if some pictures so up later in the cruise.

 

The Outside Lanai

 

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Here I was able to see some land. My guess that it’s maybe some of the Florida Keys, but I am not sure.

 

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Ping Pong, anyone? I have not played in years. I believe this was up the stairs one deck.

 

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A very important sign announcement:

 

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While I was on the Lido deck, a box of Frosted Flakes was calling my name so I sat down and had a bowl. Then, I decided that I was tired of roaming the ship. I headed back to the room. Cynthia had gotten up and she was ready for the day. She was very hungry and suggested that we head to the Sea Day Brunch. After a short wait on her we made it to the Scarlet Dining Area. There was a bit of a line…

 

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The line did not take very long to go through and we even were able to get a table for two.

 

Here is the Sea Day Brunch Menu:

 

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Our Waitstaff for Breakfast

 

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I started out with the Fresh Fruit Platter and then had the Steak-n-Eggs. For me, the fruit was hit or miss all week when it came to sweetness and temperature. The steak-n-eggs were awesome. I wish someone could fix them for me every morning. I was so full that I did not order a desert.

 

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Cynthia had pre-ordered her meal and she was not disappointed. She had:

Gluten Free Cheese Grits

Gluten Free Cheese Eggs

Gluten Free Hash browns

Gluten Free French Toast with a blackberry sauce.

Let me tell you she was one happy and full lady!

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On note on the hash browns, before I forget. An order of them is just 2 round hash browns so, if you are like us and love hash browns. make sure you ask for a double or triple order. :-)

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The rest of Cynthia's breakfast.

 

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After our breakfast, we decided to walk around the ship a bit. We started by the AFT Pool back over to Blue Iguana.

 

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I thought that I had snapped pictures are the Red Frog, but I don't see them so maybe I took them another day.

 

We wanted to rest a little bit. We were still full from brunch so, we headed over to check Serenity out. There were some areas that were more crowded than others. We found a place to sit in the shade since we did not have on much sun block. It was a little windy. It was fine for me, but Cynthia gets cold easy so she was a little chilly. As look would have it, a hammock would become available. I have been waiting to try one. I jumped up and got over there before anybody realized that it was available. Cynthia was scared that I was not going to be able to say on it and that I would fall over. Well, I attempted and made it on. I laid there a minute and encouraged her to come lay next to me, but she thought I would fall over. I wiggled my way over and she got on and we had a blast laying there snuggling. I took a little bit of a nap, it was awesome. Some people sat in the loungers next to us and they saw that we were trying to take pictures so one of the ladies was nice enough to take a picture of us on the hammock. The running joke was that the ladies would have the camera ready so that we could capture the big Funniest Home Video prize when we tried to get off the hammock and fell. The camera was never needed and we were just fine.

 

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On a side note, the mystery surrounding my Tennessee hat has been solved by look back at the photos. I thought I might have left it in the dining room, but it looks like it was in Serenity.

 

Now, we are back enjoying our balcony trying to decided what we are going to do with the rest of our morning…Here was our view:

 

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Cynthia decided to play with the camera. Here are some of her pictures:

 

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I want you to notice the nice drink that she has. I had an awesome idea. I took the glass that was in our cabin, but some ice cubes in it and then filled it with Blueberry Powerade Zero. :-) It looks like a real drink to me. J What about you?

 

As we were enjoying our balcony I noticed something wrong with my glasses. I debated on if I even wanted to bring them on the ship and now they could be damaged. I had only had them maybe 90 days and they were an expensive pair (even with insurance) for my weird eyes. I went in the room and cleaned them and that did not help. So, I decided to calm down a minute and leave them in the room for a bit. I came back later and they had transitioned correctly. I tried them again on the balcony and they were fixed. We had a little discussion on what to do that morning. I wanted to head to the Cooking Demonstration and Cynthia wanted to head to the Fun Finds Shopping Show. I don’t know why she wanted to go; we had already decided to keep shopping down to a minimum. I’ll let you guess where we ended up…

 

 

 

 

Wait for it…..

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I was nice and let her decide on this event since I planned most everything else. It did allow us to fill out our information and register for free $2500 cruise so, not a bad trade off. Now, I am going to give you a big traveler’s tip that you’re not going to want to miss. Especially, if you plan to shop for big ticket items on your cruise.

***Traveler’s Tip***: Don’t take the Shopping Experts advice as “the end all be all” information. The shopping experts do not work for the cruise line. They work for a company whos customers are the ones that they are trying to get you to buy from. The company that they are promoting the most, the more promotional money the company is being paid. I’m not saying that they don’t have the best deals for the best quality, but I am saying, Buyer Beware and to research before the purchase.

 

After the show, we headed over to Lido for some lunch. We had some excellent burritos. They even had a gluten free shell for Cynthia. Cynthia found us a table in the shade close to the pool. We were just in time for the Hairy Chest Competition. The competition was hilarious. Too bad we both left our cameras in the room. We had a special event at 2:30 PM. Soon after 2 PM we headed back over to our room so that I could get my camera. Next on the agenda was an event that we had been waiting for now for a few weeks…Our Cruise Critic/facebook Roll Call Meet & Greet. We arrived at Sam’s Piano Bar around 2:15 PM. Our organizer and her family were already there. She mentioned that the party person and the bar staff was to meet her at 2:15 PM. We started to chat and more people started to pile in the area. Finally, a few minutes after 2:30 PM the bar staff arrived to start serving drinks. We started planning this event way later than we should have so, we took a very simple approach and it worked our nicely. We had an open cash bar, if you wanted a drink you purchased it and no money was due to Carnival upfront. Most importantly, there was no risk to the organizer putting money out for the party and then needing to be paid back by everyone. Some people came and went, but all in all we had a great turn out of over 50 people. A great time was had by all. The last picture is of the group for those of us that stayed until the end of the party.

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Here was our bar and wait staff

 

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It’s time to get back to the room so that we can get ready for formal night. We are the type that likes to take our formal pictures before dinner because it’s a good chance we will spill something on our clothes.

Here we are just messing around on the balcony before we left for dinner. Notice the land in the background. I believe that’s a mountainous area of Cuba.

 

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We are having a little fun with our cameras.

 

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We walked around to all the picture areas and now we are ready to eat. We don’t get to dress up much; I wish we got too more often. I love my wife’s look in that dress. It’s one of my favorites!

 

We were quickly directed to a table for two in another section of the dining area. Here we were introduced to a new set of wait staff. More on this later.

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Sorry, I could not resist. I took more pictures of my beautiful wife.

 

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I think she was tired from all the walking. Maybe it was from all the pictures. LOL

 

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OK, here is one of me.

 

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Let's talk about dinner now, shall we?

 

Here is the menu for the night:

 

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For our starters:

 

Kenyon: West Indian Roasted Pumpkin Soup

 

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I had never tried a pumpkin soup and it was awesome. I could eat some again and again and again.

Cynthia:

 

Fresh Fruit Cocktail

 

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One dinner item that I have yet to talk about is bread. Yes, the dining room has a gluten free bread.

 

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Cynthia and I had two way different views on the gluten bread. Personally, I hated it. I could not stand the taste. We were told that they use the same flour replacement in all the bread items. For me, even with the Gluten Free French Toast covered in butter and syrup, I did not like the taste. Royal Caribbean had a much better tasting selection of gluten free bread. Carnival needs to find out what they are doing. LOL Cynthia on the other hand, loved the bread. She preferred it slightly toasted as it was easy fall apart, but she loved it. She added some butter and a little salt on top and she could eat it every night.

 

Here are both the breads (the basket being the contains gluten bread).

 

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Between the bread and our starters we met a lady that we would come to absolutely love. She really went above and beyond to make sure Cynthia and I was well taken care of in the food department. Her name was Marketa. She is a Restaurant Hostess that also assists with dietary needs. Marketa was very knowledgeable and if she did not know the answer she would go talk to the chef and get right back with you. While we were waiting for our next starters, we started looking over the menu for the next night.

 

After our starters Marketa came back to check on us to see if Cynthia had made her selections for the next night. She was kinda on the fence as there was not a main course that she really liked. Marketa ask her what she would like to and Cynthia said eggplant and then described a dish that she had been wanted to try at home. She was excited to see what the chef comes up with for the next night. Marketa was nice enough to ask if we would be having breakfast in the main dining area and since we were she went ahead and took Cynthia’s order for breakfast.

Also, based on our previous conversation with Marketa she brought Cynthia’s allergy printout from the computer so that we could make sure that it was correct. We made a few additional changes.

Now for the man courses:

 

Kenyon: Broiled Maine Lobster Tail and Jumbo Black Tiger Shrimps

 

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You will see that my plate looks a little disorganized. That was thanks to Sam. He is a man after my own heart as he brought two portions. Typically, I would have ordered on lobster night, I order a second plate but tonight Sam brought me one without me even having to ask. Mucho brownie points for Sam!

 

As you can see, the lobsters are small and I am not quite sure if those are Jumbo Black Tiger Shrimps.

 

Cynthia: Seared Fillet of Redfish

 

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Cynthia went out on a limb with this selection. She likes some fish, but not all of them and she had never tried redfish before. She thought it was ready good. I could hardly get her to give me a sample taste. LOL

 

Now, it’s time for a little entertainment.

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For desert, we both had the Warm Chocolate Melting Cake with two ice creams. For our special dietary friends, a special note that I forgot to mention about the previous day. Please forgive me as I don’t quite know all the differences in vegan to vegetarian to some of the other types. Cynthia explained that she did not eat meat, but would eat fish. I am not sure what they marked down for her because our head waiter came to us on the first night telling her that she could not have the gluten free Melting Cake. That sounded strange to me so I asked why and he said because the chef informed him that it was made with eggs. We let our head waiter know that she eats eggs and that it was OK for him to bring her one.

 

Dinner Wrap Up: It was the best service I have ever received on a ship. Sam and his team did a more than excellent job. I expected service to be a little slower since it was formal night, but Sam and the team did a great job in making sure everything went smoothly. The team was very good regarding Cynthia’s requirements. We loved Sam’s sense of humor. We will be back to see Sam tomorrow night.

 

We wanted to try to make it to one of the Family Friendly Comedy Shows but based on the time we would not make it. So, we decided to try it see it another night. We went up to Pixels Gallery to take a look at the pictures taken from the previous day. We loved the pictures, but there was one problem. A stain that we did not detect on Cynthia’s shirt, oh but the camera did and that ruined almost all the pictures that day. There were two pictures that she was positioned where the stain could not be seen and we kept those up on the board for potential purchase later in the week.

 

We headed back to the room and decided that there was only one thing left that we wanted to do for the day…Cloud 9 Spa After getting checked in we headed for the pool. As soon as I stepped in, I knew something was wrong. The water was supposed to be body temperature, was certainly was not. Cynthia and I got out of the pool and I went to the front desk to ask for someone to please check the pool as it was uncomfortably hot. I came back to the pool and started slowly making my way back into the pool. A few minutes later, a nice engineer came to check on the pool. He found that it was 106.5 degrees. He left for a few minutes and then came back to let us know that he had fixed the problem but that it would take a little bit of time to the temperature to come back down. We stayed in as long as we could and then decided it was time for something where we could relax. We had a quick rinse and then headed into the Tepidarium. This had to be my favorite room in the spa area. After relaxing for a while a check of the time indicated that the spa would be closing soon. We rinsed off again and then headed into the relaxation area for some water and tea before we headed back to our room.

 

I stepped out on our balcony and I loved how the moonlight was reflecting down on the water. I tried to take a few pictures but it just does not do it any justice.

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It’s about 10:30 PM and we are ready for bed. We are excited for a big day in Cozumel tomorrow.

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Up Next: Day 3 Cozumel and Paradise Beach

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Once again, thanks for devoting so much time to this review. You are doing such a fine job! Cant wait to see the rest of your vacation!

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I love all your pictures. I love taking them as well, so I love that you post a lot of them. Can't wait to see more!

 

 

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Thanks so much for this review of your cruise on the CCL-Dream. I am enjoying all your post and the photos are GRRRRRRREAT! :D:D:D

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It’s time to get back to the room so that we can get ready for formal night. We are the type that likes to take our formal pictures before dinner because it’s a good chance we will spill something on our clothes.

Here we are just messing around on the balcony before we left for dinner. Notice the land in the background. I believe that’s a mountainous area of Cuba.

 

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We are having a little fun with our cameras.

 

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We walked around to all the picture areas and now we are ready to eat. We don’t get to dress up much; I wish we got too more often. I love my wife’s look in that dress. It’s one of my favorites!

 

We were quickly directed to a table for two in another section of the dining area. Here we were introduced to a new set of wait staff. More on this later.

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I LOVE THIS DRESS! I MUST HAVE IT! What is the brand? Where did she get it? How much was it?!?!?!

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Me too! We sail the Dream at the end of March! Great review so far! Can you tell me what night was your second formal night?

 

 

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