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deladane

Detailed Photo Review of Carnival Dream 7 Night Western Caribbean Cruise 3/10/19

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The menu in the steakhouse on Carnival ships changed a year or two ago, so this was our first time trying it.  I was excited to taste some of the new appetizers.

 

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Two kinds of butter

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Mini hamburger, compliments of the chef

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DH ordered the Stuffed Mushrooms

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I started with the Bone Marrow and Hand-Cut Beef Tartare.  This was one of the best appetizers I have ever eaten.  I really loved everything about it!

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DH also ordered the Baked Onion Soup, which he said was very good

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My second appetizer was the Risotto, which was just as tasty as my first appetizer.  It was on the heavier side, which I expected, but I still finished every drop of it hehe

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Such pretty views as we continue sailing down the River

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For my entrée, I ordered the Surf and Turf.  Both items were cooked perfectly, and I really liked the grilled flavor on the lobster.  I thought the presentation looked a little funny with such a large plate and it made the portion of food appear small.  Not that I needed there to be more food, as I could barely finish it as it was, but a smaller plate may have given a better presentation.

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I didn’t get a photo of it, but DH ordered the Filet Mignon and said it was cooked perfectly as well.  For our sides, we shared the mushrooms and DH also had the baked potato.

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I know they try to create an upscale environment in the steakhouse, and that lends itself to a more leisurely pacing of the meal, but we found this process to be way too slow.  Thanks to the time stamps on my photos, I can attest that we sat down at 6pm, received our appetizers at 6:34pm and 6:52pm, we received our entrees at 7:25pm, and our desserts at 8:07pm.  There were only two of us at the table, so it just doesn’t take THAT long to get through each course.  With bigger parties, there is more talking and people eat at different paces so their meal may take longer to complete, but it would have been nice if our waitress noticed that we were sitting with empty plates in front of us and cleared them promptly.  We tried looking for her to let her know we were ready for the next course, but she was never visible and I think she may have been hiding in the galley when she wasn’t serving us food.  By the time our waitress brought over the dessert menu, we were just over it and didn’t want to be there anymore.  We asked if we could order our desserts to-go but the waitress insisted that we had to take one bite of each dessert before she could wrap it up.  That seemed like another excuse to hold us captive longer, but we obliged.  We had a feeling the plates that they served the desserts on would be too big to fit in the mini-fridge in our cabin as that had been a problem on prior cruises, so we asked if she could plate the desserts on smaller plates, but the waitress said they only have one size of plates.  I actually tried to save the rectangular plate that they used to serve the baked potato but she cleared it from the table and would not let us use it.  Alrighty then!

 

Dessert menu

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Cheesecake with hazelnut biscuit for me

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Selection of cheese for DH (DH has developed a love for ordering cheese plates on cruises ever since our cruise with Paul Gauguin haha)

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Sure enough, these plates were way too big to fit in our fridge so we ended up leaving it out on the counter and hoped for the best when we ate them later that night.  We left the steakhouse at 8:15pm, so we were there for 2 hours and 15 minutes… buyer beware, the steakhouse is not a speedy dining experience!

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When we got back to our cabin to drop off the desserts, I found that Jennifer had delivered my free drink voucher and Carnival pin.  I stashed the voucher in my planning binder on the page for the last day of the cruise so I wouldn’t forget to use it (which is probably what Carnival hopes will happen when they give you a voucher on Day 1 that cannot be used until after 5pm on Day 7… nice try, Carnival!  I will never forget an opportunity for a free drink!)

 

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We went upstairs to Deck 5 Aft to check out some of the evening entertainment.  I really liked how there were 3 venues side by side for the comedy club, piano bar, and a smaller lounge for live music or karaoke, allowing us to hop between them and maximize our entertainment experiences.  First we went to the piano bar to listen to Zack Daniels (is that his real name because it is just too perfect for a guy who works in a bar! LOL).  Funny story about him… when we were wandering around the ship this afternoon, we got to the piano bar and were looking at the sign listing the hours it was opened for the cruise.  Do you notice something odd about Zack’s photo?

 

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There’s no piano in that picture!  We were joking about how our piano bar entertainer doesn’t play piano (at least according to that photo), and then we noticed someone sitting with his back to us on the couch nearby.  It was Zack!  Oops! He laughed about it and said that yes, of course he plays piano, but he also plays guitar on a handful of songs.  So we were looking forward to stopping by later tonight to see him perform.  Sure enough, he whipped out his guitar on one of the first songs!

 

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But he proved that he is also very talented at playing the piano!

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At 9:30pm, we went next door to the Burgundy Lounge for the adult comedy show with Geoff Keith.  We really enjoyed his show and thought he was one of the better comedians on our cruise.  These comedy shows were very popular with our fellow cruisers, so although the comedy lounge on the Dream is one of the biggest in Carnival’s fleet, it still filled up with standing room only by at least 10 minutes before each show.  We were always able to find a seat, but sometimes we had to get creative and move chairs around the room to be able to sit together.

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The show was about 30 minutes long, so then we went back to the piano bar for a bit until it was time for bed.

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Step Tracker Daily Total:  13,777 steps; 5.6 miles; 13 flights of stairs

 

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20 minutes ago, deladane said:

DH also ordered the Baked Onion Soup, which he said was very good

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 My brother-in-law and I had this on Freedom in December - it was out of this world fantastic! I believe we had it on night two or three out of seven and we kept talking about it the whole cruise!

Agree with you on speed though - it was a great experience, but could move a little faster IMO. We're not really "fine dining" people though!

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Dana, love your review and the pictures, I will already know my way around with all the pics and directions by the time we cruise in June:). Was the wine good? I’ve read in a couple of other reviews that people went with the half off  bottle instead of the free bottle because it wasn’t any good. My husband and I are not great wine connoisseurs so I’m pretty sure it will be fine with us!  Our reservation happens to be on the cruise elegant night but that’s actually our anniversary, so we will get the complimentary wine also.

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Thanks for sharing all this information.   I did notice some flooding in one of your pictures.  What a shame that the waitress wouldn't give you smaller plates or even just give you the desert without having to "serve" it.  

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9 hours ago, jakeawhite said:

 My brother-in-law and I had this on Freedom in December - it was out of this world fantastic! I believe we had it on night two or three out of seven and we kept talking about it the whole cruise!

Agree with you on speed though - it was a great experience, but could move a little faster IMO. We're not really "fine dining" people though!

 

We both love French Onion Soup, and agreed this one was really good.  It is much better quality than the one they serve in the MDR, but that's expected I guess.

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8 hours ago, Border Granny said:

Dana, love your review and the pictures, I will already know my way around with all the pics and directions by the time we cruise in June:). Was the wine good? I’ve read in a couple of other reviews that people went with the half off  bottle instead of the free bottle because it wasn’t any good. My husband and I are not great wine connoisseurs so I’m pretty sure it will be fine with us!  Our reservation happens to be on the cruise elegant night but that’s actually our anniversary, so we will get the complimentary wine also.

 

We live in wine country and go wine tasting all the time, so we know what we do and don't like.  Wine tasting is subjective... one person's favorite wine can taste horrible to another person.  That said, we did enjoy the free bottle of Chardonnay.  I know a lot of people on these boards say that it's not good, so we did go in with very low expectations (and maybe that's why we liked it, because it exceeded those expectations? haha), but either way, we thought it was a good Chardonnay.

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7 hours ago, JaniceB said:

Thanks for sharing all this information.   I did notice some flooding in one of your pictures.  What a shame that the waitress wouldn't give you smaller plates or even just give you the desert without having to "serve" it.  

 

I really wish I did a better job at hiding the plate from the baked potato because it would have been the perfect size to hold the cheesecake!  Oh well, we made it work 🙂

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6 hours ago, Can'tWait2SetSail said:

Thank you for your review. I look forward to the rest as I am sailing on the Dream in May. 

 

Thanks for reading!  

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Monday, March 11, 2019 ~ Fun Day at Sea

 

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Today’s Fun Times

 

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After the first three days of our vacation required setting our alarms for annoyingly early hours, preceded by hectic work weeks for both of us, today’s schedule for a day at sea was a welcome treat.  You would think I would take advantage of having no where to be and no need to set an alarm clock by getting to sleep in, right?  Well of course that didn’t happen and I was wide awake by 7am.  I tried falling back asleep, but by 7:20, I realized that was unlikely to happen and I gave up.  I peaked outside and it looked like a beautiful sunny day, so I may as well get dressed and get this day started.

 

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I took this opportunity to walk around and take photos of the public spaces on the ship.  Most people were still in their cabins, so this was a good chance to get some photos without anyone in them.

 

Deck 1 hallway

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I liked the art they used to decorate the walls on the passenger decks.  It had a mid-century vibe and subdued color scheme which is rare to see on Carnival’s older ships.

 

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The photo above is in the mid-ship elevator bank on deck 1.  All the other decks have the glass elevators in that spot, but those elevators don’t go all the way down to deck 1. 

 

Mid-ship elevators

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Ship map located at all of the elevator banks

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The only time I tolerated walking through the casino was in the early morning hours.  Maybe they need to upgrade the ventilation system or something, but once the day got started, it was way too smokey in there and I tried to avoid it if possible.  Luckily, you can cut across the ship right below the casino by using deck 4, and then use the mid-ship elevator stairs to get back up to deck 5 again.

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Fun Ships in the atrium

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Decks 3, 4, and 5 in the Atrium, looking down from deck 5

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This is Awesome 10 days and I will be on this ship your pacing of this review is perfect to keep me excited.  

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Well, I have lurked on your reviews long enough without chiming in.  I always see your name pop up on Bimmer's reviews.  You and Bimmer 09 have the most amazing reviews and photos.  I enjoy taking your cruises with you!  Your Paul Gauguin honeymoon cruise review was amazing.  Thank you so much for taking the time to post here.  I also vote you somehow sneak your Europe trip on the boards.  I have one quick question for you.  It seems like you take your own snorkel gear with you.  We have done that as well in the past, not liking the thought of renting or borrowing, but it is so hard to pack we usually have to take an extra suitcase.  Do you manage to fit it all in your suitcases with you? Is there a secret I don't know about?  

 

Following along and enjoying.  Thank you!!

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1 hour ago, deladane said:

After the first three days of our vacation required setting our alarms for annoyingly early hours, preceded by hectic work weeks for both of us, today’s schedule for a day at sea was a welcome treat.  You would think I would take advantage of having no where to be and no need to set an alarm clock by getting to sleep in, right?  Well of course that didn’t happen and I was wide awake by 7am.  I tried falling back asleep, but by 7:20, I realized that was unlikely to happen and I gave up.  I peaked outside and it looked like a beautiful sunny day, so I may as well get dressed and get this day started.

 

 

I took this opportunity to walk around and take photos of the public spaces on the ship.  Most people were still in their cabins, so this was a good chance to get some photos without anyone in them.

 

I can relate, that always seems to happen.  But that's exactly what I did on the morning we sailed into St. Lucia on our last cruise, walked the whole interior of the ship (Carnival Liberty) to get pictures without others in them.  But some of the public places had the doors closed and locked, so I wasn't able to get pictures of those areas then.  At least I have pictures of those areas, with people in them, from our cruise on Liberty the prior year.  I loved being able to get pictures of her atrium and Promenade area with no one else though, so it was definitely worth it.  I'll be doing that again, next time we cruise.  🙂  I'm still following along and really enjoying your review. 

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Loving your review and photos.  The information on New Orleans is priceless to me as I have a planned trip there in a few months.  Continuing to follow.

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For the best Muffaletta in town you need to go by Central Grocery.  There are a lot of great places to eat in the city, and you managed to catch some good ones.

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8 hours ago, TXBBQDUDE said:

This is Awesome 10 days and I will be on this ship your pacing of this review is perfect to keep me excited.  

 

Your cruise is so soon! You must be so excited!!  Hope you have a wonderful time 😎

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7 hours ago, Walt fan said:

Well, I have lurked on your reviews long enough without chiming in.  I always see your name pop up on Bimmer's reviews.  You and Bimmer 09 have the most amazing reviews and photos.  I enjoy taking your cruises with you!  Your Paul Gauguin honeymoon cruise review was amazing.  Thank you so much for taking the time to post here.  I also vote you somehow sneak your Europe trip on the boards.  I have one quick question for you.  It seems like you take your own snorkel gear with you.  We have done that as well in the past, not liking the thought of renting or borrowing, but it is so hard to pack we usually have to take an extra suitcase.  Do you manage to fit it all in your suitcases with you? Is there a secret I don't know about?  

 

Following along and enjoying.  Thank you!!

 

Thanks for reading!  Norris and I have been following each others reviews for a few years... he always writes excellent reviews with beautiful photos!  My Europe review is still posted on the boards, I just can't put a link in my signature anymore because they allow a maximum of 3 links so I opted to post links to my 3 most recent reviews.  You can still find it by doing a member search for "deladane" to find my profile, then clicking on "see their activity" and then clicking on "topics".  That lists all the threads I have started so if you scroll down, you will find the Sunshine (Europe) review, and all of my other reviews too! 🙂

 

And yes, we always travel with our own snorkels and masks (no fins though).  We always check at least one big 28" suitcase (we have two of them but we try to make it work with just one whenever possible), and have not had trouble fitting the snorkel in there.  I usually reach the 50 pound weight limit before I fill the bag, so big, bulky things like the snorkels work well to fill empty space in the bag without adding too much weight.  When packing, I roll our clothes and put them in packing cubes as densely as possible so the cubes get very heavy but we put those in our carry on bags, leaving the big suitcase for shoes, snorkels, and toiletries/sunscreen.  Not sure if that helps, but that's my strategy!

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7 hours ago, pghsteelerfan said:

I can relate, that always seems to happen.  But that's exactly what I did on the morning we sailed into St. Lucia on our last cruise, walked the whole interior of the ship (Carnival Liberty) to get pictures without others in them.  But some of the public places had the doors closed and locked, so I wasn't able to get pictures of those areas then.  At least I have pictures of those areas, with people in them, from our cruise on Liberty the prior year.  I loved being able to get pictures of her atrium and Promenade area with no one else though, so it was definitely worth it.  I'll be doing that again, next time we cruise.  🙂  I'm still following along and really enjoying your review. 

 

If I have to be awake that early on vacation, I may as well be productive!  On cruises when we have a balcony, I sometimes sit out there and write in my journal while DH is still sleeping.  We didn't have a balcony this time so there was no where for me to hide that wouldn't disturb DH's sleep, so I knew I had to leave the cabin anyway and the early morning is a great time to get those photos of the ship.  

 

You said "next time we cruise".... does that mean you have a cruise coming up?????  

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6 hours ago, mcgore83 said:

Loving your review and photos.  The information on New Orleans is priceless to me as I have a planned trip there in a few months.  Continuing to follow.

 

Thanks for reading!  I'll have a bit more info about New Orleans when I get to disembarkation day, so stay tuned!

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6 hours ago, Sigforty said:

For the best Muffaletta in town you need to go by Central Grocery.  There are a lot of great places to eat in the city, and you managed to catch some good ones.

 

There was a girl on our walking tour of the French Quarter who was carrying a take out bag from Central Grocery... I'll bet she had a leftover muffaletta in there!  I have heard great things about that place, but we wanted something close to our AirBNB because of the logistics (plus, we didn't want to risk long lines at the popular places in the French Quarter).  Maybe next time!

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