We booked this cruise for our honeymoon on Oct 6, 2012. This was my 10th cruise and my wife's 2nd. We flew from LAX to Orlando International on the 5th and stayed at the Orlando Airport Marriott. The morning of the 6th the hotel took us back to the airport were we boarded the shuttle to the cruise terminal. After a 50 minute ride we arrived at Port Canaveral and within 20 minutes of arriving in the terminal we were on board!
As soon as we got on the Dream we headed straight to the buffet as the rooms wouldn't be ready for another hour. Contrary to other reviews the buffet food all week was pretty good, never cold and always tasty! Yes there were some long lines if you went at peak times but other then that the buffets were good.
The rooms were ready at 1:30 so after exploring the ship a little bit we went to our cove balcony located on deck 2. Our room was located right next to the main atrium elevators which was good because we didn't have to walk very far once we got off the elevators. Since it was our honeymoon, our travel agent had our room decorated for the occasion, it was a nice touch. The cove balcony was pretty awesome, I've had other balconies on other Carnival cruises but being so close to the water and actually feeling the ocean spray was very relaxing! On numerous occasions we would order breakfast via room service and just sit on the balcony and enjoy the ocean. A great thing about these balconies is the life boats are directly above them so they block the sun so the balcony doesn't get very hot. We never really saw our room steward and usually its good because their busy doing their jobs but a few days are room wasn't cleaned and we had to call to get more towels so that was probably the only downfall with the room.
I've used cruise critics reviews for my last 6 cruises and found out about the roll call where we could meet and talk to other cruisers that would be on the Dream with us. We all met up on the 11th deck forward part of the ship for the sail away and get together. We moved on to the deck party and tried out the new Blue Iguana bar which was a nice touch along with the Red Frog Rum bar.
Dinner in the Crimson dining room was probably the highlight of the cruise. Our head waiter threw out his back the first night picking up a stack of plates so we never saw him after that but his assistant Goon was AWESOME!! He always had us laughing and smiling and made sure we enjoyed our honeymoon and dinner. The first 2 nights they brought us out special cakes and sang to us which for us was really nice. We had a table for 2 which was placed in like an aisle in between 2 booths so it was kinda weird having waiters carrying trays over our heads but it was good to have our alone time. Dinner was always HOT and very flavorful. I dont know what dining room some of the reviewers ate in, but sure didn't sound like ours.
Ports: Our first stop was Nassau, this was the first time I've been here and wasn't really expecting much. We got off the ship took a taxi to catch the ferry to the blue lagoon and found out since we had to be back on board by 1:30 it wouldn't be worth it for us to take the trip. We ended up just taking a taxi back to the ship and laying around the pool and trying out the water slides without any crowds!
St. Thomas was a really nice port. We met up with some of the other Roll Callers and got a taxi to beautiful Magen's Bay. $6 each way because we filled up the taxi so that was pretty good. Once we got to Magen's Bay it was $4 to get in per person then once you got to the beach we rented a couple lounge chairs for the day. The water was crystal clear and perfect temperature! After hanging out in the water for awhile we hit up the bar and restaurant for some food and drinks. It rained a few times during the day pretty hard but it didn't bother anyone, we all just stayed in the water and enjoyed a little cool down!
St. Maarten once again we met up with sum fellow roll callers and went to Orient Beach. This beach has about 50 different restaurant/ bars sprawled out over the length of the beach. We ended up at one at the far end of the French side ( clothing optional) called Palm Beach. It was pretty nice but you rent you beach chairs and umbrella, then stay aslong you want to keep drinking. Food and drinks here are brought right to your beach chair so you got to relax and eat and drink right next to the waves. Later on in the afternoon a tropical depression started up so we decided to head out. Finding the cab to get back to the ship here was a pretty interesting task. We ending up walking all over the beach and resorts trying to find one and ultimately did.
Entertainment: Every night they had something playing on the big screen out by the pool whether it be a football game, movie or concert. But 2 of the nights we were out watching something on the big screen and it started pouring so everyone had to run for cover. There was always something to do on this ship like trivia games, bingo, or shows out by the pool. And since we went in October there wasn't many young children on this sailing.
The shows in the main theater were pretty good but make sure to get there at least 30 min early or you might not be able to get a seat.
The casino got packed after dinner time but there was always room to play at the tables or slots. I played roulette a couple nights and won about $100, wife played slots and won almost $200 so not to bad.
The last 2 nights we got pretty rough seas on the way back and you could tell by the seasoned waiters almost falling multiple times while carrying trays.
Disembarkation was as easy as embarkation was, we just put our bags out the night before woke up went to breakfast and by 10 were off the ship picking up our bags and going through customs.
All in all it was an amazing honeymoon! Awesome food, awesome people and fun times all day and night long! The staff was always so friendly and eager to help out and the Dream just out of dry dock was a beautiful ship which we plan on sailing again in the future.