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Carnival Dream Cruise Review by Floridajames: Excellent Cruise on the Dream - 28APR13


Floridajames
6 Reviews
Member Since 2005
176 Posts

Member Rating

Cabin 5.0
Dining 5.5
Embarkation 3.0
Enrichment Activities 4.0
Entertainment 5.0
Family & Children Not Rated
Fitness & Recreation 5.0
Public Rooms 5.0
Rates 5.5
Service 5.0
Shore Excursions Not Rated
Value for Money 5.5

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Excellent Cruise on the Dream - 28APR13

Sail Date: April 2012
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Port Canaveral

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 More 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.

Ports:
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. Less


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Cabin review: Carnival Dream Interior Empress 7286

We had cabin 7286 on the Empress deck. Great room. We had never been on the Dream before and had never taken an interior cabin on a 7 nighter, we always take a balcony. The location is great, very near the Atrium elevators, but not so close as to be noisy. Empress is a great deck as the most experienced stewards are on this deck (as are the best suites.) Had an issue with shower drain that was quickly taken care of. We we pleasantly surprised that the room was big enough for a 7 night stay. Overall.....I would reserve a balcony on future 7 night cruises. The interior is completely adequate and probably a much better value, but we are spoiled with balcony rooms.

Port and Shore Excursions


This was a third year in a row at Belize. The past two years we took the tender in and did a bit of shopping. The tender operators are surly and do not seem to us there. The same can be said for the shop owners. These folks will not even exchange your money for their currency, but will sell you a packet of their currency at twice the face value. This was our best year at Belize, as we stayed on the boat and enjoyed the pool. I wish Carnival would replace this port with another.

The ONLY reason Costa Maya only gets a "5" is the 6 mile bumpy dirt road we took to Maya Chan. Maya Chan is an all inclusive of a whole different variety. It is more rustic....but absolutely awesome. If you are looking for the dime a dozen party AI's, this ain't it. If you want a big slice of Tropical Heaven with great service, delicious fresh tropical food and drink....then this is it. I came to the conclusion that God must have a nice tan because this place has to be part of Heaven. Quiet, relaxing. The only sounds you hear are the waves lapping the sand. One of the guys took us on a kayak tour that was a blast. I did a little snorkeling (doesn't compare to Roatan) but mostly just laid in a chair and enjoyed the PEACE. The place is owned by a couple of young American guys that are genuinely happy that you are there and treat you like family. The biggest drawback was that we were not in port long so I had to pass on the "golf tournament". I've heard it is a blast as well. Okay, so I'm going to go back and give this place a 5+. Don't miss Maya Chan.

This was our 5th time in Cozumel and continue to enjoy this port. We have visited Chankanaab Park the past 3 years and decided to try Mr. Sanchos this year. Mr. Sanchos was great. It is an all inclusive and have wonderful service as well as terrific drinks and food. We enjoyed the ocean as well as the pool with the swim up bar. My wife had a very relaxing massage. We would definitely go back to Mr. Sanchos. One word of warning: We had planned to take a taxi with just the wife and I, but ran into a great couple from Georgia and split a taxi. The driver charged both of us full fares. I did not want to quibble so I let it pass. It's pretty common practice in Nassau, but I was a little disappointed that it happened in Cozumel.
Read 3122 Cozumel Reviews

(5.5)
This has been our favorite port since we started coming here 3 years ago. The snorkeling is unmatched. We use Victor Bodden every year and request Ann as our driver. She has a wealth of knowledge of the island as she has lived there all her life. We go directly to Bananarama and then walk down to the far end of the beach to snorkel "the rock". This year, we paid $30.00 for the use of lounge chairs and an umbrella for the day. A resort is going up at that spot and they have a bar and restrooms already in place. You can still layout and use the beach in front of the roped off area for free as most everyone else did. The snorkeling here is extraordinary. I bought a digital camera before we left that is waterproof to 16 feet. I got some incredible shots and some pretty decent video. My wife and I have often discussed flying to Roatan and spending a week there. It is just too hard to give up the cruise part.
Read 1650 Roatan Reviews

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