Hi there! I’m tripcentral.ca vacation expert, Stephanie Brucculieri. My family and I cruised with Carnival Dream Oct 20-27, yes trailing hurricane Sandy, and I’ve been invited to share my adventure with you, our loyal Trip Sense travel blog readers.
Embarkation/Disembarkation: Embarking was easy, quick and painless. Cabins were not ready until 1pm and we were not able to access them at all before this point. Disembarkation was a little more disorganized but I do think it had to do with the extra day at sea.
Staterooms: Very clean, well appointed. The size of the Inside cabins were OK — I have seen bigger but the storage space for suitcases and clothes was good. Balcony cabins were large with a nice sized balcony (two chairs and small table).
Dining/food: The buffet was well organized, however not always the warmest. They did have stations available (burrito, wok, Indian, deli), which were all very good. We went to the dining halls most of the time where we had excellent service, and very good food/options. We have allergies in the family, and the staff was very attentive to our needs.
Activities/kids clubs: There was enough to do throughout the cruise for everyone, including nighttime shows and the usual cruise line activities. My kids both joined the clubs (they were in two different age groups). The staff was very welcoming.
Things to note: cruise line cell phones can be issued to parents with younger/special needs children (I’m sure you could request it as well). Children who are not toilet trained cannot go in any of the pools/splash pads/water slides on the ship, this is strictly enforced.
Ports: Just one thing to note about St Thomas — most people visit Megan’s Bay, but I highly recommend visiting Coki Point Beach. It was the most incredible beach I have ever seen.
There is an aquarium right beside the beach, and snorkelling is available right off shore. At this port, you can enjoy bars and restaurants, showers, beach umbrellas, and so much more. It’s an excellent option to avoid the crowds.
Hurricane Sandy: Carnival decided the day prior to docking that it would be safest to spend an extra day at sea due to the danger of trying to dock in the hurricane conditions. This, of course, sent the passengers into a flurry trying to reschedule flights.
If you don’t take anything away from this report please, please insure your cruise, especially when air is not booked directly with the cruise line. I witnessed so many people trying to rebook flights with only 10 phone lines (complimentary calls). Lines were long and tempers flared.
Personally, I think Carnival handled the situation correctly and with the safety of the passengers being their first priority. We were always kept up to date with the ship’s path and the distance between us and the storm — even though it sometimes felt as though we were in the middle of it!
For more information about my trip aboard Carnival Dream, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 1-800-665-4981 Ext. 7269.