We sailed on the Dream May 25 2013 Western Caribbean (Cozumel, Isle of Roatan, Belize, Costa Maya). We were a bit nervous because we have never been on a “big” ship. We usually stick to the fantasy and spirit class ships. With the Legend being our favorite ship so far. Plus we had another family coming with us who never cruised before so I was extra worried they would not like it. They seemed to like it but I could tell they didn’t get the cruise addiction most people get after their first cruise. Overall we loved the cruise and would sail the Dream again in a heartbeat but if we had to pick from the Dream or the Legend we would go with the Legend. Since the Legend is in Europe and then coming back to Tampa for a short while, then going to Australia next May time frame we are stuck with the Dream for our 7 day cruises unless we want to drive to Miami.
On the way out we got diverted by the coast guard to help with a fishing boat in distress. It was real cool More
to see. Once we found them we stopped in the water. They lowered a rescue boat into the water and went and got them. Another hour there boat would have sunk easily. They brought them back onto the Dream and after about two hours we stopped again and a coast guard cutter showed up and took them off the ship. http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20130528/NEWS01/130528005/Carnival-Dream-crew-helps-rescue-stranded-boaters
We decided to get an ocean suite again, mainly for the extra room you get with them. We settled for cabin 7358 in the Empress deck because when we booked there were only two suites left that would hold a family of 4. One in the middle of the ship and one in the back of the ship. It was a nice cabin we had no real problems with the room but a little let down that the balcony was really small. The Legend suite balconies are double the width) and not really that private when you look down and there was a Jacuzzi right outside your room. (Even with being two decks up). Next time we’ll do a cove balcony or try to go higher up on the ship and see if that helps. Course at night at around 8pm they close the Jacuzzi and drain and clean them. So not a show stopper, but wife didn’t like it much. Another issue we had with the room was. We thought the room had a pull down bunk but it didn’t. so that put us off but turned out to be ok because the couch turned into a double bed and DD and DS just shared the bed. Course the double bed took up the added space that comes with a suite. No big deal still had fun. The room stewards were always helpful and happy to see you as were the other crew members you ran into or interacted with. We had early seating for dinner in the MDR, here is an area that carnival seems to be fixing finally or we just got lucky or had an awesome wait staff (Richard head waiter). In the 3 prior cruises (Ecstasy, Legend, Legend) the wait time in the MDR was horrid. But this time it was great, food came out fast and hot and tasted great.
So here are some opinions or high lights:
Ship was in great condition, very clean and in good working order
Crew and staff were very professional and always happy to see you.
Lani area was great, pretty much the place to be IMO Taste Bar IMO sucks a waste of space and should be replaced with the sushi bar that use to be there (I don’t even like sushi).
Piano bar was a lot of fun, this was my first time really enjoying it but will say this. They had two different guys performing. The guitar guy put out a list of artist he “covers”. So he asked for a request and I yelled out play some Bob Segar?. He in turn tells me he doesn’t know any Bob Segar songs. So I relooked at the list and saw Bruce Springsteen on there and asked him to play a song from him. Once again he said he didn’t know any Springsteen songs. Then someone else asked a different song he knew and played it. Then it happened again but this time it was someone else asking to play a song. This is just my opinion but if you have a list of artists you cover then you should know at least one song of each artist you’re covering. Still had fun in there and went back a bunch of times just didn’t request songs from him.
The karaoke bar was fun,
Casino standard casino, very busy, and very smoky. I didn’t play any games or slots this trip.
Sports bar in casino, very smoky but actually had on American sports not the usual soccer, added bonus.
Water Works area, awesome kids loved it
Main pool area was nice but crowded during sea days but it’s to be expected
Chair hogs ALL OVER THE PLACE ? this was an area I thought Carnival was working on but not that I can see at least on the Dream they aren’t. Course it is hard to keep track of all the chairs and who is sitting where. There were always chairs or loungers available just not in the location you wanted.
Lots of Jacuzzi on this ship added bonus, usually full of kids. The kid’s that just sit there and just stay in their own little space is ok with me. The kids that think it’s their own personal pool aggravate me.
Sunset pool in the back of the ship was probably the best one to go to IMO. Usually busy but not as much as the main pool. Plus it had fast bar staff.
The Lido buffet (Gathering) was good as always but the tandoor i.e. Indian food buffet next to the sunset pool was awesome. We ate there multiple times and loved it. The pasta bar was great as well, very tasty but a bit slow. It shouldn’t take 30 minutes to get a bowl of noodles and sauce with chicken in it. Unless it's made to order each time.
Steak House we planned to go but DD decided she wanted to through a fit so we ended up cancelling our reservation. Wife very upset because we always do the steakhouse and is worth the extra cash.
Comedy shows this trip were awesome, very funny. We had four different guys. They swapped out in Belize.
Fun Force Dance Team were also great, a great addition to carnival, the kids on the ship really took to them
The other shows I didn’t see any of them but the other family and DS saw dancing in the streets show and said it was awesome.
Cruise Director Jamie was the best I have ever seen. Very fun and always smiling and helpful. John Heald should be thrilled to have here on his team.
DD loved camp carnival and asked to go all the time; we actually had to tell her no a few times so we can have some family time together.
Circle C for DS seemed to be fun, always had activities for the teens.
Fun shops standard
Ports Cozumel, we went to Nachi Cocom beach/pool all included resort. This was our 3rd time there so no major surprises. Awesome as always. Great food and great drink. The staff was awesome and would go back in a heartbeat. The taxis in Cozumel IMO have raised their prices a lot. Last year it was 15 each way (port to Nachi) this year it was 32 each way. Still worth going.
Isle of Roatan, we did a Victor Bodden private tour, just went and saw the monkeys, and shopped some, and did a little drive around the island. High light of the day was seeing a couple almost miss the boat. They actually had to open the door back up and put out the gang way to let them back on the ship.
Belize, DW and DS went on a short bike ride through the jungle in Bacab Eco Park while DD and I hung out at the pool. We went there last year also. Very nice Eco Park, friendly staff. They have a huge pool with a water slide and kid pool with a water mushroom. Lunch was included; we had a traditional Belizean food. It was great very yummy to my tummy as my daughter says. Had a bar that served pretty much anything you wanted. People knock Belize a lot but this is one of my favorite ports.
Costa Maya, first time there so didn’t know what to do. I wanted to go a ruin tour, wife wanted to take a taxi to a beach outside the port. We ended up just hanging out in the port looking around. They have a huge pool right in the port. We did a little shopping and a little swimming and back on the ship by lunch time. Port time was short this stop (7-2).
Overall the cruise was great and would do it again in a heartbeat.