Been back from our Carnival Dream Thanksgiving cruise for a few days. I'll post a more elaborate cruise review on the Carnival Forum.
Port Canaveral: We drove down from South Carolina on Friday after work. We stay at the Four Points, which has a nice Park and Sail package. We got the suite for $180 plus tax and had a parking garage to park in for the duration of the cruise. There is also a restaurant and lots of shopping in the hotel. Plus, my wife really enjoys the Starbucks there.
One point of interest - There were only four families leaving from the Four Points and we boarded the shuttle first. There was a really long line at the Radisson. I probably wouldn't have wanted to sit through that wait. It seemed to be moving quickly, though.
Embarkation: Going through the check in was really smooth. We did not have Faster to the Fun because it sold out before we could buy it. Even so, we were put into a seating area for about 30 minutes before we were called. No big deal. We got to the port around 11:00 and were on board by 11:45.
Ship: I really like how the ship is laid out and decorated. It didn't take us long to figure out how to get around. You can go from forward to aft on Decks 4, 5, 10, 11, and 12. On formal night, they blocked off the cut through on Deck 4 for the photographers. On 5, you have to walk through the casino to get from one side to the other.
On the days at sea, we split time between the Aft Sunset pool and the Serenity area. Never had too hard a time finding a chair, but we purposely avoided the main pool. The Sunset pool was crowded at times, but Serenity was typically very quiet and had plenty of chairs.
We thought the staff was friendly and the bar service was good. The staterooms were well attended to.
We had the Cheers program and ate at the Steakhouse. Both we thought were worth the money. The Steakhouse is excellent, and I would highly recommend.
Ports: We didn't do much in Cozumel because we had been there so much. We kind of treated that as another Sea day. Belize was great. We went Cave Tubing and Zip Lining through Chukka. This is the Carnival sponsored tour. The zip line was fun and the tubing was interesting. I would probably not plan on wandering around too much in Belize on my own. Isla Roatan was a complete washout, which was unfortunate. You could tell the island is beautiful when the weather cooperates. We went to the Senior Frogs beach resort on Costa Maya. Had a great time. It's a short day in port, and we saw a few people having to run to get back to the ship.
Disembarkation: Very smooth. We did the Self Assist, which we like because we are through customs very quickly. We pack with this in mind to be able to carry all our luggage. We were off the ship and cleared through customs at 7:15 or so. There were already shuttles heading back to the hotels. We had to wait in a small line to get back to the Four Points, where we had breakfast before hitting the road.
Overall: We definitely agreed we would do this again. This is a great value vacation. There are some things that we have liked on other cruises better, but we would recommend this in the future.