This was cruise number nine for my wife and I, all on Carnival. I had two misgivings going into this cruise. First was the size of the ship (a lot of cruisers) and the movement of this particular ship. All of that in a moment.
Embarkation: Parked at Cruise Parking of Port Canaveral and was shuttled to the port. Waited maybe 30 to 40 minutes at the parking facility. Saved $70.00. Embarkation was slower than Tampa because of so many more people. All in all it went fairly well. All future cruise will be platinum for us so this should not be an issue again.
The Dream. Absolutely beautiful ship. Had heard issues with layout, but it was fine for us. By day 2 we knew our way around the ship. Many people....yes. Crowded...almost never. If you hit the Lido dining at peak times there were lines but no worse than any other ships we had been on. Movement....quite a bit. It took me a few days and several dramamines to finally get settled in. I always wear the wrist bands and that usually works. I don't know if it is the Gulf Stream or what but this ship moves quite a bit. I took the less drowsey dramamine throughout this cruise. When I go back (and I will) I will try the ear patch.
Cozumel - Mr. Sanchos - Had a great time at Mr. Sanchos. Drank too many Pina Coladas but the drinks were great as well as the food. Met up with our group from Cruise Critic here and they were a wonderful bunch.
Belize - Stayed on the boat and enjoyed the pool, and Dream amenities. Our dining table mates went to the Mayan Ruins and loved it. Great couple.
Roatan - Our snorkel day. Booked Island tour with Victor Bodden (3rd year in a row) and Ann took us straight to Bananarama and we walked to far end of beach and "snorkeled the rock" all day. Our favorite port, still.
Costa Maya - A new port for us. We booked an AI at Maya Chan and almost did not go, as we had done one at Mr. Sanchos in Cozumel and had just gotten over the "over imbibing". Not going would have proven to be the mistake of the cruise. It is a little slice of Tropical Heaven. Mr. Sanchos was very good, but this was a whole different kind of day. No crowds, no music, just absolute tranquility on a wonderful beach. Be warned, there is some turtle grass and the snorkeling does not compare to Roatan, but for sheer relaxation, folks, this is the place. I had just a few local beers and a wonderful lunch of seasoned chicken and steak tortilla wraps and some delicious FRESH sea bass. It was a wonderful day. One last warning: there is a fairly long ride with part of it down a dirt road to Maya Chan but it is way worth the bumping around once you get there.
Debarkation: Swift and well executed. I am a Performance Management Coordinator with my company and the debarkation was a great example of efficiency. We were port side waiting on our return shuttle by 0830.
Overview: I had a wonderful time once I got over the initial adjustments. I will definitely sail on the Dream again and would not sail with anyone other than Carnival. Dining was delicious. There were several venues I did not even try. Dining Room waitstaff was extremely efficient, could have been a bit more interactive, but excellent service. We have been fortunate on all past cruises with our table mates but this year tops them all. Rich and Brenda (retired teachers) were an absolute joy.
Sail the Dream. Take a little extra Dramamine. If you want a wonderful, relaxing, all inclusive....don't miss Maya Chan.