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Carnival Dream May 15-22, 2016 Loved It.


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Carnival Dream review 5/15/16-5/22/16.

About Us: 14th cruise for DH (49) and myself (49), 8th on Carnival, 1st on Dream, and 2nd time out if NOLA. 11th cruise for DS (22) and DD (19), 7th on Carnival, 1st on Dream, and 1st time out of NOLA. We were celebrating DS’s graduation from college with a degree in Journalism. This was a trip that we were not sure would happen. I had a dissected carotid artery last August that caused me to have 2 mini-strokes. I was off work full time for 2 months, back to work for ½ time for 2 months before being allowed to go back full time in December. In February the doctor told us it would be ok for me to cruise so we booked then. We drove down from Michigan splitting the drive down with a stop in Saint Louis and driving straight back yesterday. We arrived home at 1 AM this morning after 15.5 hours on the road.


Pre-cruise: We started our drive out on Friday May 13th (DS 22nd Birthday), stopping for the night in Saint Louis to do a little sight-seeing as we had not been there before. We stayed at Homewood Suites in Maryland Heights. Awesome 2 bed room (1 King, 2 Queens), 2 bath room suite for $151. Clean, comfortable and spacious. We continued our trip to New Orleans on Saturday, stopping to sight-see and eat dinner on Bourbon Street. We stayed at Hampton Inn and Suites in Harvey for $151 as well. Unfortunately, our dollar did not stretch as far here. For the same price we got 1 bed room (2 Queens), 1 bath room. Oh well, we made it work. Better than paying over $300 that the rooms were going for right in New Orleans.


Embarkation: Smooth. We had 10:00-10:30 check in. We arrived at port around 10:30. It took about 15 minutes to park at the port. The took our luggage after we paid and then directed us where to park. Easy. There were no lines inside. We checked in got our boarding number (4) and had a seat. We were on-board by 11:30. We had lunch at the Italian place above the buffet. Very few people were there and went up to Serenity to relax until the rooms were ready at 1:30. Again very few people were there either.


Rooms: DH and I had balcony room 6460 and the kids had inside room 6458 directly across the hall. I was a little nervous of the location with Deck 5 The Song Club and the smoking side of the Liani below us but there were no issues with noise or smoke. In fact, our room was right before the deck widened so it was nice not having walkers being able to look directly into our balcony like they could further down. The kids room was a sideways one behind the elevators. It seemed a bit more roomy than a normal inside room and there was no problem from noise from the elevators or The Song Club. We actually loved the location close to the stairs and only one level up from most of the action and close to the elevators that took us up to the buffet, rear pool, and mini-golf. The kids had an issue with a clogged drain the first day. We told Sugeng, our room steward who had it taken care of immediately. DH thought our room was a little warm. I thought it was freezing. Take it for what you will.


Dining: This was our first experience with American Table and American Feast. We found the menus to contain many former favorites as well as a nice mixture of new items. We didn’t mind the lack of table cloths. Food is extremely subjective. We loved some, didn’t like others. DH thought the quality of his beef cuts had gone down from previous cruises (I don’t eat steak or much beef). We have never been impressed with the Carnival Buffet and that was the same here. DH loved the lasagna in the Italian restaurant and he and the kids loved the Deli. We had anytime dining. We had a couple nights where we had to wait (no longer than 15 minutes). We sat in different sections every night. The service was always good but some nights, especially elegant nights, were slow (almost 2 hours). We had fun with all our servers though. DD always seemed to make them laugh and one of the hostesses and head waiters loved DS because they were so short and he is 6’8”. By the way if you are tall watch your head. DS wacked his 3 times and DH who is 6’4” hit his once.


Service: Our Room Steward Sugeng was awesome. He met with us at the beginning and we told him we were ok with PM service with extra towels, ice, and robes. He did just that and not only gave us a bucket of ice, but filled up our soft-sided Carnival cooler we brought with us for our wine. He was a saint to work around the mess that DD always left their room in. He also gave DS a card for his birthday with $50 Spa Credit (that he didn’t use) and $10 photo credit for his birthday and gave DH a $10 photo credit just because. We had towel animals every night and clean rooms.


Cruise Critic Meet and Greet: Carnival dropped the ball here. It was listed in the fun times to be at Noon on the first sea day in the Piano Bar. No one from Carnival showed up and there were no refreshments or snacks…I think they forgot about us. We had 75 people from our roll call signed up. About 10 stayed and met. I think many more saw there was nothing going on and didn’t bother to stop.


Entertainment: There was plenty of live music throughout this ship. The shows were good but still below the other cruise lines we have sailed. We found out that 2 of the comedians we have seen on previous cruises but still good. I ended up winning $107 dollars in the casino, DH lost $70.


Cozumel: We went to Paradise Beach. 3rd time for DH and myself, 2nd time for the kids. Beautiful as always. DS is a sports journalist and who was following the women’s softball beat for his university newspaper. Since they made it to the college World Series he was following their game on his laptop at the beach. The free wi-fi came in handy. Our time in Cozumel was cut short by 3 hours. It was supposed to be 8-6 and ended up being 10-5. We still had plenty of time for beach and shopping.


Belize: This was the 2nd time for DH and myself and 1st time for the kids. We decided to stay on the ship and enjoyed some time in Serenity with an empty ship. DS used the time to start writing his article and watch the 2nd game of their series (they ended up losing both putting them out of the world series early). He wrote his last article for his newspaper on the ship and sent it in using the wifi package. He purchased 2 days at the $16 and one day at the $25 level in order to watch the game and get his article off. DD purchased the $25 per week social package. DS had few issues with live video feed loading but had enough to get the job done.


Roatan: This was the 2nd time for DH and myself and 1st time for kids. We did Theris Dixon Tours for the second time and loved it. We had a private tour by Theris Dixon (who was our tour guide last time as well). She took us around the island with a few stops including one where the kids did some zip-lining and interacted with Bingo the monkey.


Dream: Overall we loved the Dream. This was the largest Carnival ship we have sailed on to date and loved the layout was similar to the other ships so DH felt comfortable getting around without getting lost. I loved all the Jacuzzi around the ship and was able to use them a couple times with no one else about. There was rarely anyone in the loungers on Deck 5 just down from our room so we often went there when wanting to use a lounger….in fact we rarely went to the pool decks at all and didn’t even miss them. DD did the slides but she said they hurt. We loved the hammocks and clam shells in Serenity on embarkation and Belize days. We would definitely sail on the Dream again if the opportunity arose.

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Some things I missed and some pictures:


Disembarkation: Smoothest ever. We did self-disembark for the first time. Our floor was called just before 8 AM. Line went pretty smoothly. We went through customs with 2 passports and 2 DL/BC. The customs guy spent more time looking at my passport than he did the DL/BC. In fact he never even looked at the BC only their DL. He looked at my passport and asked if I had lost a lot a weight (I had lost 60 lbs in the last 3 years so yes I did). He congratulated me on the weight loss glanced at the DL's and sent us on our way. We were on the highway on our way home by 8:20.


Fun Force Dance Team....awesome.


Seaday Brunch...very good.


Lines....not a problem at all.


Pictures from Roatan.







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