I read the reviews for the Carnival Dream after I had booked the cruise, something I usually do not do. After reading the reviews I started to have doubts, nonetheless, since all my 4 previous cruises with Carnival were great ad memorable, I decided it was time to experience the Dream for myself:
Embarkation: My husband and I arrived at 11:00 a.m. were on the ship by 11:30 a.m. ate at the Lido deck (no line) and just relaxed at the Serenity Deck in a hammock until 1:30 p.m.
Cabin: Our cabin was ready at 1:30 p.m. and to our surprise our luggage was right at our door prior to us entering the cabin. It was absolutely great. The cabin was comfortable, and immaculate as always on the Carnival ships. We met our cabin stewards which introduced themselves, greeted us and were very attentive and smiling at all times.
Cozumel: A port I had already visited in a prior cruise - nice, clean, we opted to shop and relax at a nice area right by the water that provided beach chairs and shade. My husband and I did not take any excursions, since the reason for this trip was to relax and take it easy. Prices in Cozumel are very reasonable, and I would always check out the stores and then go back and buy. I found that items can vary in prices from store to store and you can save money if you look first and then go back and buy.
Belize: Getting on the tender boat took about 1/2 hour, however, we were watching funny videos while we waited at the Burgundy Lounge and it was painless. I found the prices in Belize to be much, much more higher and everything they sold in Belize can be found in Cozumel and Costa Maya. It was a nice shopping area, but unless you took an excursion, not much to do. It was my least favorite of the ports.
Mahogany Bay Roatan: Beautiful, clean, great shopping, a beautiful free beach when you get off the ship within walking distance. My husband and I took the Magical Chairs ($12.00 per person) to the beach and it was beautiful. You could take the ride as many times as you want for that price. One of my favorite ports.
Costa Maya: Another beautiful port, clean, great shopping and they have a beautiful free pool for you to enjoy if you do not want to do an excursion. The prices were very reasonable and negotiable.
Buffet: As many negative reviews as I read before the cruise, my husband and I never had to wait in long lines. Many times we just walked up to the buffet and served ourselves on the spot. Again, it all has to do with timing. If you want to avoid lines, observe and find the best time for you. Also food was always hot.
Mongolian Wok - My favorite prepared on the spot, never a long wait if you go at the right time.
Dining: Although we had requested early dining, we were on a wait list and upon embarkation we were assigned anytime dinning. Well it worked out so much better for us. We never had to wait in line, I guess it all depends on when you decide you want to have dinner. We were always seated upon entering the dining room. Our waiters were very nice, our food was always hot. No complaints.
Overall, this cruise was beautiful experience, the ship was nice, clean,(no odor), staff was always smiling, food was great, activities just enough.
Do not get discouraged by negative reviews, vacations are what you make of them no matter were you go. Sit back, relax, enjoy and let yourself be pampered. The "Dream" is definitely a dream come true. Happy cruising.