Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
zombiehunter

Just got back from the Dream and I have thoughts...

Recommended Posts

Just got back from my first cruise in a long while (other two were RCL, Granduer and Explorer) and the wait times for almost all services were terrible. I don't think I went from "I want a drink" to having a drink in my hand in less than ten minutes with many times being 15 or more. I'm talking showing up early for trivia and not getting back to my group until question 9. MDR service had one good experience, every other time it was like once they got my order I didn't exist anymore. Wandering servers were few and far between and getting one to actually take a drink order required way more than the usual quick eye contact or arm up gesture. MDR server just ignored my app request and brought me overcooked prime rib (which still wasn't bad).

I had the drink package and maxed it out two out of three days, granted both days I gave a few drinks to my bro in law or sister because I just didn't like the drink or changed my mind after ordering. But The second time I had given away one drink and was told at 330p I had used my last drink. I'd woken up at 9. If I had had that many drinks I'd have been plastered and falling over and with my waiting...I'd also have been in line for more than half of the total time I'd been awake. Annoyingly, there was no way to prove I'd drank my drinks because I'm a normal person and don't keep my receipts but going through the sail app saw one Mich Ultra that I KNOW I didn't drink. I was willing to accept that they just hit the wrong button. But going through the app it almost looked like they were counting sodas and my one coffee drink (poor gf was frozen solid) was counted against me. I thought juices were included but could never find them at the buffet. 

My steward was cool. He made a penguin when I asked him to 🙂 gf was super surprised and it made me look awesome haha

 

Food lines...dear lord. Pizza...didn't even bother half the time. Burgers and Mexican? I had each once because of all the times I walked by there were only the two times that I wouldn't have had to wait with 25 people. And the time I did wait for Mexican when it was my turn the guy behind the glass decided to walk off to restock the entire thing...I worked restaurants in my youth...where's their guy for that? Who just looks the next person in line in the face and walks away? Same happened repeatedly for drinks. Drinks...it's a cruise. People drink A LOT of frozen drinks. Why are there NO frozen drink machines? Why isn't the bartender yelling "anyone else for a Miami Vice?" and then making five at a time? Or the Alchemy bar having two bartenders...each drink is a work of art...staff it appropriately. Mmmm blue cheese stuffed olives 😄 and then the bartender there took five orders and made them all in some weird order where I got my dirty vodka martini last. When I bartended service bar, I took my chits and prioritized appropriately. 

 

OOOOH let'ts not forget the time we joined my bro in law and sister in the MDR for breakfast. They had already had their food when we sat down. After waiting and waiting and having servers walk by me a dozen times I literally stood up and flagged someone down...still didn't help. Someone else walked over, started to take my order then said "hold on" and walked away. Like really?

 

I thought Pig and Anchor was REALLY good...but I'm easy to please when it comes to smoked meat. I was bummed it was only open for 2.5 hours on sea days only. But I get that, can't really prep it...have to make it then sell what you have. The Blue Iguana and Guy's Burger Joint were both really good! Like really really good. One of those should be open 24 hours a day too!

Was totally unprepared for the culture shock of no straws. Even though we all brought tumblers with straws it was kind of scary how expectant you really get to see a straw. Not complaining about it, it was just weird and kind of made me mad at myself for how reliant on straws I am. The sugar straws for frozen drinks were a nice touch as were the noodles subbed in for olive stabbers. I liked the lack of straws.

I was surprised that with everything going on, Norovirus, flu, covid19, there wasn't anyone enforcing handwashing before common dining areas. Maybe I missed the literature that says it doesn't help?

 

I know this sounds like the rambling of a man who's impossible to please but I'm really actually very easy to please. Like bordering on simple and easily entertained by a shiny red ball easy to please. So I guess my question boils down to is this pretty standard or did we just get a crap roll on this trip? I know Dream is consistently rated highly but my experience was not one of a consistently good staff. The hilarious anecdote to sum it up on was that our last dinner was the best service and after saying something to my sister she said "that's funny because I could see when we sat down that the server was having an obviously bad day and was pissed at someone about something."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So you basically want us to believe that you spent 8-12 hours on this cruise waiting for drinks? Ok

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tough to say whether it’s standard or you had a particularly bad cruise.  Most of the things you mention are pretty subjective and I don’t mean that in a bad way. 
 

For example, there are enough bars on the ship, I don’t feel like I have to wait that long to get a drink. I don’t lay out and have a server bring me one though. 

 

Or Guys. Sure, there are peak times where it’s pretty crowded. But I’ve never experienced where it was always too long. I just learn the flower each cruise.

 

I’d say that given how many issues you had, Carnival probably isn’t for you. I’ve had bad service before. But not to that extent. If I had that bad a service, I wouldn’t go back.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe they told you it was your last drink bc you broke the rules and shared your Cheers?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As far as cheers, I believe 15 drinks means 15 drinks; soda or booze, it all counts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, KarmaCruisers said:

As far as cheers, I believe 15 drinks means 15 drinks; soda or booze, it all counts.

No, the 15 is just alcohol. The rest don’t count to the limit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Hoosierpop said:

No, the 15 is just alcohol. The rest don’t count to the limit.

Good call; I actually just looked that up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I totally understand the lines. We were on the Breeze twice. Once in October and once over Christmas. In October I loved the ship. No bad lines. You could zig when others were zagging and not have to wait too long for anything. Christmas cruise was long lines for absolutely everything. There was never a time that I saw that there wasn’t lines the whole time venues were open. Even the Italian restaurant was turning people away for lunch. I think the problem is that Carnival doesn’t adjust its staffing to meet crowds. I don’t know how many more people were on the Christmas cruise but it was a lot more than October and they still had only one or two people working at most food venues and bars. I’m not sure which week you went but I’ll NEVER cruise during a holiday or summer again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Loved the "shiny red ball" comment!  I do have to agree with you on the wait time for drinks.  We had this on Magic (Breeze sister ship) on our last cruise, and Conquest before that.  The crowds at the bar were 3-4 deep at times, and all I wanted was a soda.  Having a dedicated soda line, or better - a freestyle machine might help eleviate things. Also several times we ordered a soda while sitting on Lido, the server never came back, and we were charged for the soda.  Also having frozen drink machines would definitely speed things up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice review - I can see this happening. 
 

Carnival is a good “value” vacation it’s not a 5 star vacation or close to it. I think you have to have that perspective when going on carnival. I will agree that the wait times for drinks is a killer on carnival at times. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, Stick93 said:

Nice review - I can see this happening. 
 

Carnival is a good “value” vacation it’s not a 5 star vacation or close to it. I think you have to have that perspective when going on carnival. I will agree that the wait times for drinks is a killer on carnival at times. 

If what he said was always true, I do not see the "value" in that.  That would be hard to argue if the experience were always that.

 

Op - sorry you had a bad experience.  I like to see things like this, as it helps set expectations.  If we have the same experience on Magic next week, at least we know what we are in for.  If we have a better experience, then great!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, rukkian said:

If what he said was always true, I do not see the "value" in that.  That would be hard to argue if the experience were always that.

 

Op - sorry you had a bad experience.  I like to see things like this, as it helps set expectations.  If we have the same experience on Magic next week, at least we know what we are in for.  If we have a better experience, then great!

Value as in you are in a ship on vacation but the rest is what you make of it. I agree this review doesn’t scream value but he got a penguin towel - I never get those. 
 

Shout out to all the nay sayers who believe because he shared his drinks they cut him off!!! That’s a joke and everyone knows it. I have seen so much sharing on the ships they would save millions a year if they cut people off. People share drinks and withhold tips - your talking about millions of people who are goi g on vacation and some who are looking For extra value at the ships expense. I am not saying it’s right - I am saying it happens. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We were on the Dream in January. We didn't have Cheers so I can't speak to that.

 

Yes, there were lines. I didn't find that they were bad though. Even when the line for pizza or Guys was 25 deep, we got our food within 10 minutes. The lines move quickly. I don't think that's unreasonable at all. I don't expect to be able to walk up and grab food with zero wait. It's not a McDonald's drive through after all. Lines at bars were long as well and yes I occasionally got my drink after someone else that had ordered after me. It happens at land bars too. It's luck of the draw. I notice it happens more often now that I'm of the mom crowd and the beauty of my youth isn't as strong as it once was. Such is life. I accept it and move on.

 

I will say that I think you had a good idea with the idea of making an entire vat of a popular drink and doling them out to whoever wants one. That does seem like it would be more efficient than making a bunch of single servings.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, zombiehunter said:

OOOOH let'ts not forget the time we joined my bro in law and sister in the MDR for breakfast. They had already had their food when we sat down. After waiting and waiting and having servers walk by me a dozen times I literally stood up and flagged someone down...still didn't help.

If you asked the person at the host stand to join their table and you provided your cabin number to the host shame on them. If you walked in and found their table and joined them on your own shame on you. With your vast experience in food and beverage service you know there are procedures in eating establishments. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not sure but if you have the cheers packages does the "drink purchase" show on your carnival hub app like it does for a regular purchase?  If it does, I would have started there to see if I was being charged for drinks charged to the wrong account.  Did you go to guest services and inquire why you were cut off?  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
50 minutes ago, Acheavacci said:

Not sure but if you have the cheers packages does the "drink purchase" show on your carnival hub app like it does for a regular purchase?  If it does, I would have started there to see if I was being charged for drinks charged to the wrong account.  Did you go to guest services and inquire why you were cut off?  


If you have Cheers any drink you purchase shows up on the Hub App, usually before you get the drink. I always check my account balance numerous times a day to make sure it is correct.  Fortunately I have never had an issue with something being charged to my account by mistake. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The rules state Cheers is for the person who buys it, if they servers noticed you sharing I would not be shocked if you account was flagged. 

 

Hopefully you enjoy your next trip more

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
37 minutes ago, PatsFan1224 said:

The rules state Cheers is for the person who buys it, if they servers noticed you sharing I would not be shocked if you account was flagged. 

 

Hopefully you enjoy your next trip more

Thank you - we are aware and also aware this 99.999999% of the time doesn’t happen. 
 

Also they would not have put 15 drinks on the account for sharing a drink or two - they would have cancelled the cheers package on the person. SO I doubt this is the reason he had the discrepancy. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am pretty sure I was on this same sailing and I can confirm getting a drink was almost impossible at times.  There were, in fact, very long waits for drinks except for early in the morning and I don't really want to start drinking at 8 a.m. I will not buy the Cheers package again because of it.  

 

However, I did not have any problem with going over my drink limits or even getting anywhere near them because it was too hard to get a drink.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With that said, I did have a lot of fun on the Dream.  I thought Janae (sp?) was a blast and the comics were great.   I also liked the layout of the Dream better than some of the bigger ships. Much easier to get around.  But, yeah...the lines for Guy's Burger and the Mexican food place were horrible. I never ate at either of them because of it. 

 

Service for Sea Day Brunch was abominably slow when we went on the first day at about 10:30 a.m. and we had to wait a long time just to be seated and a super long time for our food even after we were seated.  Then it was cold.  On the second sea day, we wisened up and went as soon as it opened and service was much better.

 

We had a amazing service for the evening meal in the MDR, though.  Our waiter was top notch.

 

Inside of the boat was spotless but they desperately need to clean the windows and glass around the balconies. Our aft corner balcony glass was so dirty you couldn't see through it.  You had to stand up to take in the view.  I thought maybe I was just being ridiculous, but then we were in the hot tub and people we didn't even know, Don the same thing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
42 minutes ago, Eli_6 said:

With that said, I did have a lot of fun on the Dream.  I thought Janae (sp?) was a blast and the comics were great.   I also liked the layout of the Dream better than some of the bigger ships. Much easier to get around.  But, yeah...the lines for Guy's Burger and the Mexican food place were horrible. I never ate at either of them because of it. 

 

Service for Sea Day Brunch was abominably slow when we went on the first day at about 10:30 a.m. and we had to wait a long time just to be seated and a super long time for our food even after we were seated.  Then it was cold.  On the second sea day, we wisened up and went as soon as it opened and service was much better.

 

We had a amazing service for the evening meal in the MDR, though.  Our waiter was top notch.

 

Inside of the boat was spotless but they desperately need to clean the windows and glass around the balconies. Our aft corner balcony glass was so dirty you couldn't see through it.  You had to stand up to take in the view.  I thought maybe I was just being ridiculous, but then we were in the hot tub and people we didn't even know, Don the same thing.

I really, really like the size and layout of the Dream.

 

The lines do get long for Blue Iguana and Guy's, but they move pretty fast, especially Guy's, so don't let that deter you. It's not anywhere near as slow as pizza!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe its just me, but being on a large cruise ship and not expecting lines for food and drinks is like going to Disney World and expecting to be the first one on the ride... not gonna happen.

And if you want your drink faster, walk up to the bar, instead of laying by the pool. 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/3/2020 at 9:35 PM, KarmaCruisers said:

As far as cheers, I believe 15 drinks means 15 drinks; soda or booze, it all counts.

This is straight from the Carnival website FAQs on the Cheers program.  Only the alcohol drinks count towards the 15 drink limit.

 

Be sure to check your tally of drinks charged to your Cheers.  I have heard folks saying they've noticed bartenders charging drinks to their Cheers card on occasion.  Not sure if it's to get tips and don't think you'll notice a few extra drinks on your card or if it's a mistake.

 

https://help.carnival.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/3525/~/cheers!-beverage-program-q%26as

 

I understand there is a maximum of 15 drinks a day for the CHEERS! program. With the enhanced program, do non-alcoholic drinks count toward this total?
Sodas and other applicable non-alcoholic beverages remain unlimited and will not be counted toward the 15 alcoholic beverages limit, and all other policies and procedures remain the same. Guests are expected to enjoy alcohol responsibly and staff members are trained not to serve guests who appear to be intoxicated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the replies. Yes my vast knowledge of waiting tables let me know that sometimes people join their party late... You deal with it. It also let's me know that my job isn't over once I take an order.

 

I did walk over to the bars, I did try the wandering alcohol minstrels, it was consistently 10-15 minutes for a drink with maybe three under five. So yes...I probably spent 6-8 hours waiting for drinks over the course of the vacation. Except the first day when I was paying for each.

 

As far as sharing my drink package... Lighten up, Francis. The 15 drink rule is partly to keep people from getting totally sloshed and partly because of the abusers. I guess I could have just dumped them out or made a stick about not liking them... But it's vacation and three shared drinks does not an abuser make.

 

I definitely looked at the app to check my drinks and it didn't show mine vs my gf so I just added to what was there. It was a mess with no real way to prove or disprove anything.

 

We did have a good time though. I just see things that could be handled better. And they're not huge expensive things, just small common sense fixes. Like let me use my drink package for a bucket of beer, if I share them then that's on me and my 15 but it would save three trips to the bar.

 

I'm not sure who we'll sail next. I kind of want to do RCL for the laser tag haha

 

And I was on Dream, 2.27-3.2 from Galveston

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • SPECIAL EVENT: Q&A with the Quark Expeditions Team!
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...