Carnival Dream Cruise Review
July 13, 2014
Just The Facts
Ship: Carnival Dream
Ship Captain: Luigi DeAngelis
Cruise Director: Mat Seguin
Ports: New Orleans, Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Montego Bay,
Weather: Very good all week
This is my 46th Carnival cruise, 93rd cruise overall, but my first time on the Carnival Dream. The ‘dear wife’ (DW) and I are sailing with friends from Bosque County.
McKenzie’s in Conroe, Texas...the BBQ Pork Ribs and their attached family Bakery are wonderful. We had an uneventful trip until we reached Lafayette, Louisiana where Interstate 10 was closed due to an accident and spill on a bridge. As this was near the beginning of the Atchafalaya Basin there are few roads with bridges crossing the area. Traffic was bad, but we eventually used some back roads to get to Henderson where we ate at the institution: Pat's Fishermans Wharf located on the Atchafalaya Levee. Unfortunately the entry to I-10 was also closed in Henderson, but the bartender at Pat’s (I believe it was Pat’s son Harvey) with his heavy cajun accent, gave us directions how to cross the levee and take a back road to the next I-10 entry. It was a very interesting detour through the bayou but we were successful and once again traveling on the interstate highway. Soon we crossed the Mississippi River at Baton Rouge and arrived in Gonzales, Louisiana about 7:10 pm. to stay overnight at the new LaQuinta. A little longer travel day than was originally planned, but we had two nice meals and had a little adventure.
|Carnival Dream Lobby|
Day Two--Monday--Fun Day at Sea
Day Three—Tuesday—Cozumel. Mexico
|Buccanos Beach Club - Cozumel|
Day Four--Wednesday--Georgetown, Grand Cayman
|Dancing in the Streets - Carnival Dream|
Day Five--Thursday--Montego Bay, Jamaica
Another good nights sleep and calm Caribbean seas. We were docking at 8:00 am when I went down to the MDR for breakfast and ordered another ‘country’ breakfast. It was again very good. DW is staying on the ship today as are many other guests, I’m just walking over to Partners Restaurant & Bar to use their high speed internet ($2-$4). I stayed for several hours and also had Fried Chicken with Rice & Peas (Red Beans & Rice) for lunch. For one Ting, one Red Stripe beer, my lunch, and unlimited internet it was $20…very fair I thought. I was really the only passenger guest although several crew were there…nice to keep this place as a ‘secret’ for a while. I have still been having trouble with a sore knee and just as I arrived at the gangway from the walk back to the ship my calf muscle cramped on me. Now I’m really limping and in pain. Fortunately it wasn’t too busy and an elevator came strait-away and I went from deck 0 to deck 8 and back in the cabin easily. After a refreshing shower on this very hot day it was time to exercise and medicate the calf muscle. I did make it down to the Lobby Bar for cocktails, but retired to the cabin following. We didn’t go to the MDR tonight so I ordered Grilled Reuben sandwiches from room service for dinner, served with potato chips and were very good. It was massage and TV night in the cabin this evening.
Day Six—Friday--Fun Day at Sea
|Scarlet Dining Room - Carnival Dream|
Day Seven--Saturday--Fun Day at Sea
It was smooth seas again and I had another very good nights sleep. As this is our final day, this morning I reviewed my ship account on the interactive TV system. I also updated email with the final minutes I have left on my internet package (240 Minutes for $89.00 ($0.37/min)). I enjoyed a good breakfast at the Sea Day Brunch, ordering Eggs Benedict with a side of Bacon and Corned Beef Hash. This morning the ship had it’s Green Eggs & Ham breakfast featuring Dr. Seuss Characters in the Scarlet MDR. This is a great idea for families with younger children. Yesterday they set a record serving 2000+ in the SeaDay Buffett and I thought that it would not be as busy today with the special Dr. Seuss breakfast, but when I left at 10:00ish the MDR was full with a line beyond the rear lobby area to the stairwell. It is a very good menu and extended times so I can see the popularity. It helps with lunch demand as does the BBQ on Ocean Plaza on SeaDays. Our friends joined us for lunch today at Pasta Bella for an Italian Lunch and it was prepared very well. A casual day on ship and it clouded up, but the decks were again full of guests. The deck five Ocean Plaza offers a great outdoor location to relieve the crowds on Lido deck. They have four hot tubs and showers as well as loungers on deck five. The VIFP party was held in the Encore Theater at 4:30. It was the usual format and I was the only Diamond Guest on board. Afterwards we met for Cocktails in the Lobby, visited with other guests, and stayed for the Fun Force break dancing show. It was quite amazing. Final dinner tonight was good, I ordered the Grilled Chicken Breast on Fettuccine as starter and two entrees: Panko Crusted Jumbo Shrimp and Roasted Prime Rib of Beef. DW and friends attended the Carnival Legends show, but I retired to the cabin since we are now in the Mississippi River and I had wifi from my personal hotspot so checked some late email and arranged some items to pack for the following morning.
|Ranch Hand- Chicken-fried Steak|
Crew / Staff / Entertainers
I found the crew to be very good. My cabin steward team lead by Ryan was excellent, one of the best I have had on Carnival. Our MDR waiters were good. I didn't interact with staff or Guest Services very much. My first time to see Mat the CD and he was good. The entertainers are where this ship excels. The full orchestra, full dance team, and feature singers are all very good. The Fun Force guys (break dance) were very different and what a great surprise with Martyn Lucas, former Phantom of the Opera performer from London's West End, in the Piano Bar. Amazing entertainment.
Food / Drink
I have been spoiled having a Guy’s burger on board the past dozen Carnival cruises I have taken. They make all other venues better, for example on the Dream there were long lines at the Pizza, Deli, and Grill locations. Also room service took a minimum of 30 minutes, I know it is less on ships with a Guy’s. After 46 Carnival cruises the MDR food has become very routine to me and I really don’t get excited about it as I used to do. The quality has fallen over the years as well, but there are some very nice selections on the menu. I did enjoy the Pasta venue and room service was good. Our friends enjoyed the Steakhouse.
We had cabin 8267 a category 8C Balcony on deck 8 very near the elevators. The cabin is the usual Dream Class layout with door at balcony, full couch, three closets, nice table, bed stands with lamps (mentioned as these are going away in some categories), push button safe, mini refrigerator, and stool at dresser/desk.
Productions Shows especially Dancing In The Streets
Piano Bar with Martyn Lucas