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bbtbear

Living the DREAM! A 1st time cruiser's review 2/24/19 to 3/3/19

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Good morning! I woke up on a cruise ship! Hooray! As I am waiting for my sister to sleep off the bottle of wine she drank in the steak house last night (no, really! Haha!), I thought I would start a thread here to share with you all how it is going since I have loved reading about others' adventures. So... here we go...

 

Boarding:

We stayed at the Loews New Orleans, very close to the port, but even so... if you are sailing out of NOLA any time during Carnival/Mardi Gras, I can't stress enough that you should check parade schedules and routes and make plans around that chaos. For example, my sister flew in late Saturday afternoon and her cab from the airport could get her no closer than about 10 blocks from the hotel, which she had to walk in the rain, dragging her suitcase through crowds of people. I came in the morning before the crowds and parades started and had no problems.

When we got a cab to take us to the port yesterday morning, another parade was getting ready to roll. We left the hotel a little after 10 and could already see chaos building. Traffic was heavy, and we could see the krewe's floats parked all over the place and kids from marching bands everywhere. 

We had faster to the fun, so the boarding process when we got to the port was a breeze. It was great to skip all the lines and get on board among the first people. Our room was ready as soon as we got on board at about 11:05.

Everything about the boarding process seemed smooth and easy, and every carnival employee we came into contact with was kind and smiling and helpful.

 

Cove Balcony Room:

We are in a cove balcony room that we have loved so far. There is plenty of storage space. I can confirm that there is exactly one outlet to plug things into, and one euro outlet that you can use a converter on.

We LOVE sitting out on our very private balcony, and spent a couple hours out there after sail away marveling at all the traffic and commerece on the Mississippi before dinner. I have been peeking out there all morning, too, as my sister snores away, but haven't gone out because I don't want to wake her. But some time in the night the muddy Mississippi gave way to big, beautiful waves and I can hear their soothing song, even with the door shut. I love it! So glad we picked this type of cabin!

We had pre-ordered a bunch of stuff for our room: water, liquor, mixers, snacks, fruit basket. Not everything was there when we arrived, but it was all delivered by about 6pm. Our luggage was delivered by about 3pm.

JayJay, our cabin steward, is just a doll. So sweet and fun and always smiling. Love him.

Can feel the movement of the ship some now that we are on big water, but it is not constant and feels like a gentle rocking when it is noticeable. The cabin was very quiet all night long. I will post the cabin number after we get off the ship.

Only complaint so far is the pillows aren't very comfortable. If you can bring your own, i would recommend that.

 

The Ship:

Good lord, this ship is huge!!! We have done some exploring, but there is still much we haven't seen, and we have gotten mixed up and turned around a comical number of times. It is big and beautiful and overwhelming.

We loved the Serenity deck, and spent some really enjoyable time just lounging together there and people watching. We had a blast playing ping pong very badly together on deck 11 above the Lido and laughing our butts off. We didn't take a single elevator yesterday, just the stairs all over the ship, so hopefully that will help stay in front of all the yummy foid and alcohol! Otherwise, they will need to roll us out of here like the girl who turns into a blueberry in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory! Ha!

 

WIFI:

I got the premium package. So far so good!

 

Food and Drink:

We got some burritos for lunch from the Blue Iguana yesterday for lunch. They were delicious! We also got some yummy margaritas from the Cantina. Fir dinner we went to the Steakhouse. Do NOT miss this! Holey cow! So delicious! We had little slider appetizers, compliments of the chef that were just packed with flavor! I had French Onion Soup that was just delicious, a spinach salad, lobster tails, a baked potato, and we had Art at Your Table for dessert. Every bite was scrumptious! My sister had ribeye and loved her dinner, too. We want to go back again before the week is out! I did the wine pairing with my dinner and got a half glass each of Pinot Noir, Riesling, Chardonnay, and Port. All very good with their respective course of the meal except for the Chardonnay, but I am not a huge fan of Chardonnay, so.... Because it was the first night of the cruise, we got a free bottle of Merlot, which my sister pbviously enjoyed, and also got 50%off any bottle of wine on their winelist. I enjoyed the Riesling so much that I bought a bottle, and we also picked out a bottle of pinot noir. We were surprised they let us get the bottle of house wine, plus buy 2 more bottles, but they did. Andi, our server, was a delight. We just loved him. A magician also came to our table and did 4 or 5 card tricks, which was fun, although his personality was a bit wooden.

That is it for now! Will post again soon!

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Sliders appetizers, Andi presenting available salts for my sister's ribeye, and Art at Your Table dessert at the steakhouse:

 

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We cruise the Dream in April with 3 first time cruisers. I hope they love it as much as you sound like you are!

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Sea Day Brunch:

They didn't have a table for 2 available, so we shared a table with 3 other couples and had a really enjoyable conversation with our table mates. I ordered just one blueberry pancake because I didn't want to waste food, but they brought out a whole stack. I sadly just ate one and some hash browns. Both good, but I liked the potatoes best. They had a bit of an oniony flavor I enjoyed. We mixed some mimosas in our room with some very good orange juice from room service and brought them to breakfast.

 

Guest Services:

I had a question about my folio. Faster to the fun was once again awesome to have, as there was a line of about 10 people, but I was able to walk right up to the first available agent. They were very helpful. Problem solved.

 

Watching ice carving on the Lido deck now...

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5 minutes ago, pirate4me2 said:

We cruise the Dream in April with 3 first time cruisers. I hope they love it as much as you sound like you are!

I hope so, too! This is a BLAST! 🙂

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Thank you so much for sharing this!  Also for the Fun Times flyers.  I don't cruise until October, but this has really been informative.  I can't wait to read the rest of your reviews!

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1 minute ago, IMDINA1201 said:

Thank you so much for sharing this!  Also for the Fun Times flyers.  I don't cruise until October, but this has really been informative.  I can't wait to read the rest of your reviews!

We booked this a year and a half ago. Hang in there! It is so worth the wait!!! 🙂

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Cloud 9 Spa: 

We got the couple's spa pas for the thelassotherapy pool  and steam rooms and just went to check that scene out. Oh my goodness! If you are on the fence about doing this, just do it!!! Absolutely divine!  The pool is so incredibly warm and relaxing! We also went into the lancomium, which smelled like absolute heaven and had the amazing heated loungers looking out at the sea. They were hotter than i expected. Too hot to be comfortable on my bare skin, but once i put a towel down, they were a slice of heaven! I am now relaxed into a puddle of happy goo!

 

Seating:

I saw many posts along the way about never being able to find seating in certain situations on Carnival cruises. I can report that today we walked straight up and sat down in:

1) loungers on the main pool deck,

2) heated loungers in the spa, and

3) cushioned loungers on the Serenity deck.

I know for a fact this cruise is sold out, but so far we have had no problems.

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Hi all!

 

bbtbear ~ sounds like your cruise is off to a great start! I had a cove balcony on the Breeze & really liked it as did the many people I showed it to. The Dream was my first Carnival ship & I really enjoyed it.

Have a great cruise!

 

~ Jo ~ 😊

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Elegant night in the main dining room:

This was a lot of fun! So many people around the ship are dressed beautifully tonight. It is a feast for the eyes, for sure! Dinner was delicious. I had lobster again because why wouldn't I? 😉 Creme brulee was also very yummy! We were seated with a table of strangers and had the best time with them! We all laughed all the way through the meal. Icing on the cake was when the wait staff danced for us all. Such good fun!

 

Flick:

I was kind of indifferent about this show, but my sister really enjoyed it. There was some innovation in the way it was staged that I enjoyed, and I definitely applaud anyone who can dance like that on a rocking ship!

 

Now we are in the Ocean Loung listening to some good live music, waiting for the piano bar to open in 5 minutes. Groovy tunes! 

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Thanks!!  I'm enjoying your trip report so far. We just got off a little 3 nighter on the Inspiration. I go on the Dream in about 5-6 weeks too!  If you see a Fun Team member named Marky Mark, tell him Mom says HI 😍!  So far I guess Mark hasn't met any C.C. Folks 😕.  Hoping to see a photo of him at "work". 😁

 

🌸🌸 Bobbi 

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49 minutes ago, Markmom18 said:

Thanks!!  I'm enjoying your trip report so far. We just got off a little 3 nighter on the Inspiration. I go on the Dream in about 5-6 weeks too!  If you see a Fun Team member named Marky Mark, tell him Mom says HI 😍!  So far I guess Mark hasn't met any C.C. Folks 😕.  Hoping to see a photo of him at "work". 😁

 

🌸🌸 Bobbi 

Bobbi, where on the ship might I spot your son? If you tell me where to look, I will keep my eye out!

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Piano Bar: 

What a fun place to hang out and sing your heart out! We spent about an hour here and loved the atmosphere. I had a couple of delicious martinis that included rum, Midori, and pineapple. My favorite drinks so far. The piano player was adorable and so talented and fun. Afterwards, we came back to our room. I went out on our balcony, which was lovely watching the stars and the whitecaps on the ocean. I may have even drifted off to sleep listening to the waves out there... heaven! Now it is bedtime for me! Nighty night!

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Hot Stone Massage:

I just got the 75 minute hot stone massage, and that... was... AWESOME!!!! Best massage of my whole life. Just amazing. If you have an opportunity to have a massage from Gloria, you should be all over that like white on rice. I might leave my husband for her, lol! Just sayin'...

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