We had the opportunity to tour Carnival’s newest ship – the DREAM – when she was visiting New York prior to her winter cruising in the Caribbean. It is a "DREAM"…….
Carnival is attempting to change its image – appeal to a broader spectrum but still remain a "Fun Ship". It certainly appealed to us……As soon as you enter the 14 story atrium, you notice the more subdued décor than one is accustomed to on Carnival – and they tell us that eventually all ships will be refurbished in this décor. We especially liked the new "feel" of the atrium …………. The piano player performs on an elevated platform surrounded by seating areas and a long bar giving it a casual rather than a "stuffy" feel. If you prefer, you can sit on two upper balcony levels overlooking the atrium – still order drinks and listen to the music while your spouse browses the shops.
Our tour focused on the new type rooms offered – the Spa Suites are a stone’s throw away from Cloud Nine Spa area – these rooms provide private access to the spa, upgraded bath amenities, robes and slippers. The Cove Balcony Staterooms are on the lower decks – closer to the water and may appeal to families with younger children since they are enclosed by the ship’s hull rather than the staterooms on the higher levels whose balconies are glass and rails and…..and at value pricing. The Deluxe Oceanview Family Suites accommodate 5 (2 Adults and 3 Children). Quarters may seem tight for five, but I did like the expanded bathrooms – a full bath with shower and a washroom with sink and junior tub. There are also connecting rooms for families wishing more privacy. And, of course, the Penthouses that get all the Oohs and Aahs…
Food……Always a prime focus on a cruise – we only walked through the buffet area on the pool deck during lunch – It is a very large area with lots of seating – many different stations ( pizza, grill, carving station, salad bar, sandwich bar, stir fry, pasta station, deli….etc…etc…). No lack of choices here, no long lines and the food looked very good. We were served a four course lunch with wine – I was so impressed!!! We started with foie gras mousse and goat cheese rolls – followed by a salad of crisp greens with shaved beets and pumpkin topped with dried cranberries, honey roasted walnuts and a champagne vinegraitte…..Pasta was a fettuccini with eggplant belly and cherry tomato sauce decorated with a crisp parmesan fan. Main Course was a choice of Baked Salmon or Filet Mignon. Our filet was topped with mushroom sauce served on a bed on mini Mac and Cheese. The plate was decorated with grilled asparagus and a ring of Cheese Polenta. The desert presentation was a beautifully decorated plate with chocolate cake, fruit sorbet and chocolate dipped strawberries. This was probably the best filet that I’ve ever had on a cruise ship – the flavors and presentations were spectacular. The food was very very impressive.
Kid’s fun - Kids will LOVE this ship …… Carnival Waterworks is great fun for them – a splash area and three different kids of waterslides. Minigolf has real grass and basketball on the top deck will keep them occupied. Camp carnival for ages 2-11 is divided into three age appropriate programs. Young teens (12-14) meet to play games and join activities in Circle "C" while 15-17 year olds hang out in Club O2. There are planned parties, dances and smoothie tastings – even teen Shore Excursions such as kayaking and cave exploration take place on port days.
Adult’s Fun – This ship is not only about kids – Parents can "get away" too. A two level "Serenity" area has lounge areas, a bubbling whirlpool, attentive servers and – no kids allowed – no extra fee and it comes with an ocean view…..Cloud Nine Spa is a very relaxing area with a thallasso-therapy pool, steam rooms and a thermal suite. Again no fees - except for spa services. Four large whirlpools are situated to take full advantage of superb ocean views.
Nightlife – Lots of choices here – A Stage Show – Movies under the Stars - the Casino – A Supper Club – or you may prefer to dance the night away or to set quietly listening to jazz…….It’s all up to you!! We were treated to a great show following our luncheon – The Carnival Entertainment Team put on a fantastic production that was so energizing. Acrobatics combined with dancing, great voices and many costume changes had the audience standing and singing along. We all left with smiles on our faces.
We wished we could have stayed on and sailed away to the Bahamas – looking forward to sailing on the Dream…..You can enjoy videos of the ship by clicking on the highlighted words.