Overall, had a GREAT time on the Dream! It was myself and my son (13) and we've been on many cruises before, but never anything of this size. I loved the ship! I think it is now my favorite!
Anyway, drove the ride down to Port Canaveral from SC. Had booked the Radisson @ the Port with my points and was pleasantly suprised to be upgraded to a suite. Suite was great, hotel was nice. Only issue was it was NOISY....walls must be made of paper, because we heard everything. However, we were also next to the door that led in and out of the hallway.. Had an early dinner at the onsite restaurant and then ordered room service later - food pretty good. Had also booked a ressie at the Parking at the Port, which is through Radisson, but chose to go through the Convention Center rather than the hotel. Cost was $4.95 per day since I booked online and they DO count the morning you pick up as a day. Got on the first shuttle out (roughly about 10:15) and headed to Port. Embarkation was very smooth and I'd say we were on the ship by 11:30....
I won't go into a day-by-day review since there have been many other reviews, but some points.
After we boarded, and per advice from the boards, we headed up to the Pasta Bar and had our first lunch. This would be our usual for the cruise for MOST days. It was GREAT! On the 3 or 4th day, I decided to try the meat lasagna. It was not ground beef, but roast beef with what tasted like sweet potatoes in it... I just couldn't get used to the taste.. They do give you big portion of this, but I didn't care for it.
Our cabin was 7385 and it was a great room, EXCEPT that the stewards "closet" is directly across from our door. We heard them first thing in the a.m. and during the evenings. If you're not a late sleeper, no worries, but it was quite noisy. Otherwise, cabin steward (Ihar) and assistant (dont remember his name) were FANTASTIC! I enjoyed my balcony on a daily basis and find that the extra cost is always worth it to me. Balcony overlooked Lanai (deck 5).
We had a fantastic meet and greet with our Roll Call on the second day, that one of the roll-callers put together - it was an hour of open bar and munchies and that was nice to put names with faces.
My son met some of the kids his age through our roll call and got involved in Circle C which he loved - met alot of kids and I very rarely saw him the entire time, except for dinners, lunch and our excursions. They had alot of activities in the afternoon/evenings and most ended by 1, so he was required to meet me at the room at 1 or 12 when they ended. As noted on other reviews, yes there were ALOT of kids on this cruise, but nothing unbearable and it didn't seem over-run. There were a few kids behaving poorly, but then again, there were SEVERAL adults behaving poorly too! But I didn't see anything that totally disgusted me or ruined my vacation...
I had no intention of doing EVERYTHING on this cruise. This was about relaxing and taking it easy. Our last cruise was a 5 day, so I was looking forward to a whole week on a ship with no cell phone, no email! We had discussed beforehand of only doing the dining room 1-2 times, and as it turned out, we only went once (1st elegant night - I had the stuffed white mushrooms, lobster tail & shrimp and of course warm melting choc cake. Son had strawberry bisque and fried chicken.) We had YTD, and so it was no biggie if we didn't go. I will say that the buffet options didn't seem as plentiful as other cruises, but we never had problems finding food!! Sushi bar was great and we made a habit of getting there every evening. Hours are limited; 5-8:30 I think.. and one night they had a tapas bar instead of the usual sushi. My son loves salmon, and it seemed that every night there was always SOMETHING with salmon. We did not try the Mongolian grill, the Tandori or the deli, but everything looked yummy... I had intended to at least try each of the spots, but since the Mongolian grill, and Tandori were only open for lunch, it made it difficult... I did try the BBQ they had one day and enjoyed the steak slider and chips. And the 24 hour icecream was good too! :-)
On previous cruises, we used the room service ALOT for breakfast but I think we only used it 3 times... and only for breakfast; we didn't order anything else from it.
We had only 2 excursions planned - Clip n Zip in Roatan and Maya Chan in Costa Maya. Of course with all the reviews lately mentioning that they were unable to stop at Roatan and/or Costa Maya, I was a little concerned. But, we got all of our ports in. Clip n Zip was AWESOME! I had made a ressie online beforehand. We were one of the first groups to zip line and DS and I had never done this before and it was alot of fun. There are 11 lines and the longest line is 900 ft. Afterwards, I hit a few of the shops at the pier and walked around. I bought a beautiful turtle made of stone in the Stone Art shop. This was my favorite island of the 4.
I had made a ressie online for Maya Chan so when we docked, we headed off the ship to meet the shuttle outside of the port area by the taxi cabs. Drive to Maya Chan was about 25 min, and it was quite BUMPY! but location is beautiful and everyone there was very friendly. We had a private palapa and enjoyed free drinks and snacks/lunch. My son even had a taste of his first REAL coconut milk! They had a guy there that cracked them open for us... I thought Maya Chan was nice, but I probably will not go back. While we enjoyed the food, drinks and the kayaks, my son was bored after the first hour. I had also read that they only allow 30 people each day, and I guess that must have been wrong, because there were more like 50 people and it was a little crowded. We ended up leaving right when lunch was served (which was around noon), and heading back to the ship. I did a little shopping at the port. This was the earliest of our departures, so we had to be back on the ship by 2:30.
The other two ports - Cozumel and Belize - we just enjoyed the near-empty ship. We had both been to Cozumel and Belize before and I knew that I was only going to be able to afford to do 2 excursions. I did get off at Cozumel and bought some Kahlua and vanilla.
I didn't catch any of the nighttime shows, except for a few comedy shows - they were really good. I caught 2 family-friendly ones and a R-rated one.
I did lose $10 in the casino.. that took all of 15 minutes..
I did not use the spa or the gym.
Neither of us used the pool or the slides. I did visit the Serenity area on one of the port days; alot of the clamshells taken, but I found a chair.
I did visit the Ocean Plaza Cafe for coffee/iced coffee on several occasions, but never had any of the desserts or icecream there.
Every evening, starting at 5 (I think), the Ocean plaza offers a drink special with some complimentary snacks. One night it was Mojitos, one night it was wine, martini mini's one night... for food they offered, cheese puffs, olives, straws (like bread).. I can't remember what else, but I enjoyed it. Listed to the Blackjack band a few evenings.
I did feel a little bit of motion on a few nights, but nothing that made me sick or feel bad.. it wasn't an up and down motion, but more like short little movements. I did take Bonine pills during cruise, so that probably helped a little.
Overall we had a great week, met some really nice people and enjoyed the beautiful weather! Your vacation is what YOU make of it and we made sure we had a blast!