Not long back from my family's vacation on Carnival Dream. I must say that ANY CRUISE is what you make of it, so don't let negative reviews sway you from cruising this ship. This was an EXCELLENT VACATION for all of us. Embarkation and Debarkation was a breeze. By the time we got there cabins were ready, so we went to check them out. This was my first balcony experience. The cabin seemed a little small but I took into consideration that 3 of us would be staying in it. Being able to hang out, read, watch the sunset, and snooze on the balcony was incredible. My DD and niece had an interior cabin. It was spacious and all the beds slept comfortably. Luggage was in front of our door in less than an hour. Our cabins were always kept very clean and well stocked. Our stewards were an unknown presence but their jobs were done quickly and efficiently.
Dining - We ate breakfast at The Gathering. The only time I found in really crowded was on embarkation day. 4500 people were trying to eat at the same time so it was to be expected. The family ate in the Crimson DR every night for dinner. The waiters Alfredo, Imade, and Zandro were EXCEPTIONAL!!!! They asked our names on day 1 and addressed us by our names every night. The food was very tasty and came out hot enough every night. The Tandoori Stand is a must. The food is excellent. One downer, The Gathering developed an odor of raw meat toward the end of our week and it made us not want to eat there. My DD actually got sick one morning. :(
Entertainment - There were plenty of activities on board. Charades, bingo, Name That Tune, Game Shows, and trivia. The nightly shows were alright. The males voice was really good. A must see was Dancing In the Streets. It was FANTASTIC!! Get there early to get a good seat!! The comedy shows were good,especially Mr. Wiley. The dance parties were touch and go. The 70's party was the best. One note to the DJs would be, if you see no one dancing, change the music. The Deck Party was an absolute blast!!! Our cruise director, Steve did a STUPENDOUS JOB!!
Cozumel - My DD, niece and myself did Carnival Sail, Snorkel, and Beach Party excursion, $70 pp. The sailing and snorkeling were good. The men from Fury Catamarans are wonderful and they do their jobs WELL!! If you don't know how to swim or snorkel one of the diving experts will stay with you and help you the whole time. The workers on the beach aren't as kind or professional. The water toys are in deep water and my DD and I asked for assistance and were laughed at, not cool. The music, drinks, and dancing on the catamaran on the way back made up for it though.
Belize - My DD and I went Cave Tubing with VIV Tours, $40 pp. This was a great experience. I just wasn't prepared for the 45 min. hike prior to the tubing. No disrespect to the residents but I never want to return to Belize City! The amount of poverty is very sad. People were running us down to sell their wares. My daughter had a Coke bottle and a woman was practically begging her for it. That's not really what I want to have to deal with on vacation.
Roatan - My family did an island tour with a stop at an interactive zoo with Juan Carlos Island Tours $32 pp, monkeys included. This was the BEST STOP!! We took in the scenery and enjoy the historical highlights of the island on the tour given by Juan Carlos himself! GREAT!!! My 16 yr old son LOVE IT!!
Costa Maya - My family went to Nohoch Kay, $40pp. Looking online I thought it was a fancier place. It turned out to be a quiet place to hang out and relax. The price gets you unlimited food, drinks (alcoholic & non), kayaks, beach chairs and umbrellas. Very nice, food is good. I would do it again.
We LOVED our vacation. At no time did I feel that there were more than 4000 people on board. The ship was beautiful. The lounges were nicely decorated and comfortable. My son loved Club O2 and the people he met. The only con, as far as the ship: It was the shakiest ship I've ever been on. That make me very nervous at times. To be awakened by the shuddering of a ship when you're in the middle of the ocean can be a little unnerving. I thoroughly enjoy my trip but I don't think I'll do Dream again. That doesn't mean you shouldn't!