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Indialantic, Florida, United States
I enjoy photography when traveling, canoeing or hiking. Sometimes I combine a hike with geocaching.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

7-day Western Carribean Cruise on the Carnival Dream

Saturday, April 30, 2011
We arrived at the Carnival Dream at Port Canaveral, FL around noon on Saturday.  The cabins are not available until after 1 pm so went up to the main pool deck. We were very hungry by this time and had lunch at the buffet at the main pool area.  Then we went for a swim in the pool which is saltwater. This was one of the few tines that we did not have a problem getting a chair.  It was a pleasant afternoon and it was very relaxing.  We ordered a tropical drink from a passing waitress. It was tasty and real strong but priced reasonably at $7.75. A second one was not required. Our expectations was that the drinks would be outrageously priced. They restrict what drinks can be brought on board and thinking the prices would be high I brought some bourbon in a Rum Runner. They did not detect this when they scanned the luggage.  But I did not even really drink the bourbon. I was just too busy most if the time. They do allow a 12 pack of soda to be brought on board but they really want you to buy a soda card that allows unlimited soda.  We hardly drink soda but heard other people complain that if you ask for a soda in a lounge, for example, they hardly ever get around to delivering it to you.  The wait staff is more interested in making the money off the tip that is automatically included in alcoholic beverage orders. Also, we heard that some other passenger had got caught with a bottle of liqueur in their luggage and they called them down to have the liqueur removed from the luggage.  I think they just confiscate it and give it back at the end of the cruise.

Main pool area on the Lido Deck (10)
While on the cruise no cash is needed because all purchases are made using the Carnival identification card. The magnetic strip on the card contains your photo, slot machine balance, opening the cabin door and who knows what else. It is required to have the card to get on and off the ship in ports of call. When wearing a swimming suit it was a pain to keep track of the card. We kept seeing people with the cards on lanyards. Some people bought lanyards in a store on the ship but it tuned out that the casino provided a lanyard for free if you go to the customer service window.

The Stern Pool

Goofy playing golf
We had the 6 pm seating for dinner.  It was pretty casual the first night since there was no guarantee when the luggage would show up. The distribution of the luggage was quite the chore for the crew. They pretty much took control of all the elevators to deliver the luggage to the passenger cabins.  This went on for hours.  We kept walking up and down the stairs. The main pool deck is 10 and our cabin was 2. It was a lot of stairs. It must have been a big problem for handicapped people.   Like I mentioned, our cabin was on deck 2 all the way forward on the port side.  It is at the left side and just under the main auditorium called the Encore Lounge. We had been worried that the noise from the shows would keep us awake but we could not hear a thing.

Keeping Cool
Dinner was served in the Crimson restaurant. We had the same table and same wait staff each night. They were really excellent. The only nit tat I can possibly come up with was that they did not have espresso spoons. This seemed strange to us in a 5 star restaurant. The regular spoons cool off the espresso too fast.  One funny thing was that the wait staff was very protective of the butter dish which apparently gets stolen a lot. They could not hardly wait to get it off the table.

We were not seated at a large table with other groups. That may have been because we had a child in our group.   I had lasagna and a shrimp cocktail and fruit. There were only 4 shrimp so we ordered 2 more shrimp cocktails. It was all really good. The portions were small enough that it left room for dessert.

During the cruise I read Cruise Confidential: A Hit Below the Waterline: Where the Crew Lives, Eats, Wars and Parties. It is about an American crew members life aboard a Carnival ship based in Miami. You can read my review of this book on by clicking the link below.

Cruise Confidential: A Hit Below the Waterline: Where the Crew Lives, Eats, Wars, and Parties. One Crazy Year Working on Cruise Ships (Travelers' Tales)Cruise Confidential: A Hit Below the Waterline: Where the Crew Lives, Eats, Wars, and Parties. One Crazy Year Working on Cruise Ships by Brian David Bruns

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Its a long way down in the atrium

At about 7:30 we went to the Club Caliente and they had a family fun party with silly dancing games. Stefan won first prize for the boys with his dancing skills. At 8 pm it was off to family show in the Encore lounge. It was funny with Butch the cruise entertainment director. But as the days on the ship passed these shows all started to seem the same and we got a bit bored with them. Getting a seat is highly competitive in this venue in particular. At 9 pm we went to listen to karaoke in the Burgundy lounge. It was real funny with mostly good singers. They have live musicians backing up the singers.

Check back for the next 6 days including excursions on Cozumel, Roatan, Costa Maya and Belize!!

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