The Carnival Dream was a clean modern ship, laid out quite well, and easy to get around. The decor was visually pleasing and the artwork around the ship delightful. Plenty of pools, hot tubs, and lounging areas for the sea days. Our cabin was a little small for 4 people, but manageable. The food was great and the comedy hilarious! Did not see any variety shows as that is not my thing. Enjoyed all ports of call (Cozumel, Belize, Roatan, Costa Maya) but would probably stay on the ship if visited Costa Maya again. The day was EARLY (7:30) and had to be back on board by 1:30 pm.
One disappointment was with Camp Carnival. Our twin 9 year olds usually disappear for most of the cruise, but had difficulty this time around. Our kids choose to go based on what they see in the program, and the activities were changed or modified quite often. Examples include: water slide time trials competition turned out to be just riding the slide, kids didn't participate in night owls party, but stayed late (for a fee) and were put in front of a tv and told to watch a movie, a farewell party that stated beverages would be served and then weren't. The program could not hold their attention, which was the complete opposite of our March cruise on the Ecstacy.
BUT, it is the people you meet that can enhance your experience and we had just that. We were able to make per-cruise arrangements, meet awesome people, have a few parties on the ship, lower our excursion fees, get cruising advice, and most importantly, make new friends. It was the difference maker for us this time around. Thank you Cruise Critic for being a wonderful resource!
Nacho of NCQ Belize was professional, knowledgeable, and made the trip enjoyable. Even made a detour to a local grocery store so we could see how the locals shopped. He has great pride for his country's history and ensures you learn about the specific site you are visiting, not just about the Maya culture in general.
Maya Chan was a nice spot to relax. All you can eat and drink, kayaks, beach toys for the kids, floating chairs, shade cabanas and beds, massages (fee) tv, and free wi if. Mark, Jane, and son David were the most gracious hosts. We missed the early morning bus by an hour, but a representative was waiting for us and put us in a cab that they paid for. Can't get any better than that.
Leo was very personable and knowledgable. Just get off the ship, grab a cab and go. Only one taxi service on the island. Make sure you go to Kaokao chocolate factory and take the tour!
Foster's beach was beautiful. Clear water, nice sand, shade cabanas and a wharf to jump or dive from. The end has a two storey sitting area that was great to dive off of (15 feet??) if you are brave (I was).
Steve was very professional from the minute we found him on line to when he dropped us off at the ship. Very knowledgeable of his island and culture. Clean, well working vehicle. He let us make up the day and went with it. Check him out at Roatan Trips and Tours and consider his service as part of his income goes to supporting troubled kids through a soccer and school program. Don't have good grades? You can't play in his league, and soccer is huge in Roatan.
Guides at Pirates of the Caribbean were courteous and helpful. Canopy was ok, but could have been higher?? The photographer was awesome! Buy the cd for $25. It's worth it!