I will start out by saying this was our first trip on the Dream, and this class of ship... but WOW! The Dream is a huge ship, and has a lot to offer! I'm not even sure we saw everything she had while on-board for the week. LOL! We sailed 11/9/13 to Cozumel, Belize, Mahogany Bay & Costa Maya.
PROS for the week: We purchased the Faster to the Fun! Definitely worth it! From the time we parked our car, walked in the terminal, to the time on the ship was maybe 10 min. Our room was ready when we got on-board, and in no time were we up on Lido deck having lunch. We booked cabin 7320, category 8C balcony room. Room was good size - pretty exact to other balcony rooms I've had on other ships. Our room looked out, and just to the right was one of the Lani Hot Tubs on Deck 5. I was a little concerned that it would be noisy all week, but that didn't happen.... Thank Goodness. We could hear people's conversations while sitting out, but it was not loud. Not sure I would book this exact room again, just in-case of a noise issue - but luckily we didn't have that problem. Our room steward Nyoman was TERRIFIC!!! He got to know me and my husband pretty well, and was a pleasure to talk to everyday. Not sure when he would sleep - we saw him morning, noon & night! LOL! He took great care of us!!!
As stated previously the Dream is HUGE! She has a-lot to see. Serenity deck is great. Yes pools were crowded on sea days, but that's to be expected when it's nice & sunny out. With that said, we tended to sit up on Deck 11 and never had an issue getting a lounger. Went to the Spa during the week. Sheree was fantastic and took great care of me. I did one of the Port Day specials (3 services for a discounted rate) - Loved it - Would have surely spent more time there if I could.
Food - Didn't have a bad meal, or anything I dis-liked all week. I've read other reviews of people complaining about lines for food... while yes there may be others at the buffet lines... the only line I saw which was always busy was the Mongolian Wok station. They make your food to order, so Yes it will take longer than the others. We tended to eat at "off" peak times too which helped avoid the large crowds. There was always something to choose from, and we always found a table. Love the new Pizza :)
Dining Hall food was terrific! We chose anytime dining, and only waited maybe 5 minutes one evening. We started off the week being served by the team of Head Waiter Kaido & his asst. Jimmy & Darma, and then requested to sit with them every evening because of their great service. If you are lucky enough to get this group to serve you they are FANTASTIC. Great personality, funny, polite, and very-hard working. Kaido has been with Carnival for 14 years and will be retiring at the end of the month. His hard work and dedication to Carnival was seen each and every time we saw him. He was great to get to know, and was so nice & polite when we would see him around Lido deck for breakfast & lunch too.
Comedians were a riot! We went to the Adult Only Shows and Jeff the Fun Dude who manages the Burgundy Lounge is hilarious too!
Ports: Cozumel was beautiful! We did a Carnival Excursion to Playa Mia. The beach, the beach toys, the pool, and the entire facility was great. Lunch was good as well. Would go back in a second, no questions asked!!!!
Belize - Tendering port. Not a huge fan of the bumpy boat ride to the pier. Was extremely humid the day we were there & rained on & off. Just did some shopping. Not much to see around the port. I did hear a handful of excursions to the caves, etc. were cancelled due to the weather. They've gotten a-lot of rain recently and the water levels in the caves were too high. Prob my least favorite of the ports - but yet again we didn't do an excursion to see more than just the shops.
Mahogany Bay, Honduras - STUNNING!!! This place is beautiful! The pier itself has a lot of nice shops to walk around too. The chairlift and beach by the pier seemed nice. We booked a Carnival Excursion to Maya Key which is a small boat ride to the other side of the island. The beach is OK - and the pool area is nice. Lunch was good! The snorkeling at the end of the pier is great!!! My husband loved it! He also did the shark & stingray encounter for an extra $30. He was the only one who signed up. He got to see them feed the nurse sharks right in front of him, and with the help of the trainer, swam around with these creatures. I on the other hand would not step foot in the water w/ the sharks, but he loved it! Was the highlight of the trip for him. LOL! The rescued animals they have in the preserve are well taken care of, and we enjoyed watching them feed the sea lions they have.
Costa Maya- Nice port with many similar shops. There is a small beach area right at the pier, and that is where they have the dolphin encounters. You can walk almost right up to them which was fun to see. We did some shopping, ate a snack at Carlos & Charlies. Not at this port long enough for me to book an excursion. Seemed very organized though.
CONS- the only thing I can say here is the weather leaving Costa Maya, up through the time we got back to FL was terrible. Extremely windy, rainy, dark & cloudy which made the ship bounce around like a basketball. Mother Nature was not kind to us going back home. Guess she was trying to tell me I should have stayed in Mahogany Bay - LOL!!!!!! The last sea day was not too pleasant, as much of the outdoor amenities were closed due to the wind & weather.... kind of a bummer :(
***Overall I enjoyed the Dream! She is a huge ship, a little confusing to navigate - but we mastered it by the end of the week! LOL. Our service was the best I've ever had on a Carnival Ship, which made our trip more enjoyable. Would absolutely book another cruise with Carnival and on this boat. Would love to do the other itinerary before the ship moves out of Florida. Remember, don't let petty little things ruin your vacation - you're on a cruise - enjoy every minute!!!