This is my second cruise, first one was with Royal Caribbean. Overall, the Dream was a fun cruising experience. I spent the past few months leading up to the cruise researching and read some horrible reviews about the ship but it really wasn’t that bad. The most common thing I read was a disgusting sewer smell which I never experienced. The New Orleans port wasn’t too bad. We arrived at about 1 and were on the ship by 2. I was on the cruise with my boyfriend, his parents, his grandmother, and his brother & they all wanted to stay on one of the decks that came with unlimited Cloud 9 Spa access. We stayed on the Panorama deck with 3 inside rooms. This was my first time in an inside room and although it was nice, I don’t like how dark it is. I like to be awaken by the sunlight. Being in that room made me want to sleep a lot longer. I didn’t really care about having spa access, I’ve never really been interested in trying a spa but my goodness was it worth it! The majority of the ship is so noisy with the loud music and children running around so this spa was a piece of heaven. We had access to the steam rooms, tubs, etc. and they were very peaceful. My boyfriend and his brother enjoyed going up to the spa to take a private shower in the huge shower rooms. Since there were no public areas directly above or below our cabin, nights were very quiet.
The food overall was just okay. We ate in the main dining room every night and the food for the most part didn’t have enough flavor. However the escargot and mushroom appetizers they had were drowning in oil, it was pretty disgusting. At one point I swallowed a mouthful of oil. Two times I found hair in my food and one time I found a sticker. The sea day brunch however was pretty good! The pork chops oh my goodness.. I don’t even like pork chops but the ones at brunch were so juicy, tender, and delicious! Definitely make it a point to go to brunch every sea day. I only ate in the gathering on Lido deck one time the whole cruise & that was just because I wanted to try the Mongolian wok. I was in line for an hour so that part was unfortunate but the food was pretty good! Walking around looking at the buffet, I didn’t see anything that looked appetizing so that is why I only ate there once for the Wok. The last night of the cruise, we all ate at the steakhouse which is an additional $35 a person but listen to me… EAT AT THE STEAKHOUSE!! The food is so so SO much better than what they give you anywhere else. I promise you. If we would have realized how great it was earlier, we would have cut out the money we spent on liquor and spent it there instead.
There were a variety of activities on the ship that were so entertaining. I often had a hard time deciding which one to go to. The hairy chest competition was a must see and the adult comedians in the Punchliner club were hilarious! A little tip for Punchliner- people start lining up about 40 minutes to an hour before the show starts so get there early! At 9 AM on sea days the cruise director has a morning show on TV, I called in and later that day the cruise director dropped off a signed picture of the ship as a thank you for calling in. That was a nice souvenir. The fun force breakdancers were great. There were numerous events where you could try free food and drinks.
The number 1 thing I didn’t like about the Dream is the amount of kids. Oh.. my.. goodness. They were everywhere! I think someone said there were 2000 kids under the age of 16 on the ship. Normally I don’t mind kids, and I understand that Carnival aims to accommodate families. But even at the late night events they were there. What I liked about Royal Caribbean is that there were deck parties at night for adults and the nightclub was packed every night with just adults. However on the Dream, the deck parties were filled with mostly kids doing the annoying conga lion all around deck 10 and 11. I don’t mind the line dances like the wobble that they had people do every day on the ship but turning a night party into trying to form the biggest conga lion on the pool decks? Come on now! Can we just hear some good music and dance? Every single night I passed the Caliente night club & it was basically empty, or filled with kids jumping around. Even a couple of nights it was closed. The last night when I finally went in there around 12 AM, the guy at the door didn’t even check IDs although on the outside it says you must be 18 to enter. I walked in to about 15 teenagers grinding on a pole in the middle of the dance floor and a creepy older dude trying to dance on them. Ridiculous. Here’s a tip for Carnival-- have ADULT ONLY parties on the deck where attendees aren’t forced to learn some lame dance routines and have the nightclub ADULT ONLY so maybe adults would actually want to go in there. You know teens aren’t going to buy drinks from the bar anyway. Or maybe switch it up where one night the deck party can be for the kids and the nightclub for the adults and then vice versa.
Would I do Dream again? Certainly but it will not be during a time when kids are out of school.
We went cavetubing with CaveTubing.bz. Omg these guys were AMAZING! So friendly and so knowledgeable. The long van ride to the caves didn’t even seem that long because the guys kept us entertained with stories. We passed someone selling black mangos on the side of the rode and the guy pulled over and bought us some to try! So nice! My boyfriend’s grandmother was with us and she is older so she doesn’t move very fast, we didn’t feel rushed at all because the guides assured us constantly that it was fine and checked on us constantly. The great thing about this company is that they carry the tubes for you to the cave. Since it is about a 20-30 minute walk in humid weather, this was greatly appreciated. All of the other tube companies that past us had the participants carrying their own tubes. We even got to see more caves than the other companies and it was cheaper. Only $35! The caves were beautiful, the water was a perfect temperature. After the tubing, we were brought back to Vitalino’s house to eat a delicious Belizean meal and drink rum punch. Such a great day and I cant wait to do it again!
The Bar Hop was great! Coconuts was my bar. The staff were extremely friendly and we met some friends that ended up doing the same exact excursions we were doing at other ports. The views were beautiful! Drinks were strong (except at the first bar) and the food was delicious. Be sure to get the coconut shrimp at rastas and the salsa at Coconuts!
We did the Zip-N-Dip excursion with Bodden Tours and it was very worth the $65! The drive to Victor’s house was very scenic and the tour guide provided some great information about the country. The area around Victor’s house was gorgeous! You pay there and there is a little souvenir shop. After everyone in our group paid, a young man took us on a tour of the “zoo” which I was most excited about because I wanted to play with the monkeys. They were soo cute! Jumping from person to person, taking things out of our hands, it was a lot of fun! There were also birds to feed. Once we finished the zoo we went ziplining which was a lot of fun! I don’t recommend it for anyone who as trouble walking because there were a lot of steep hills to climb. After the ziplining, we hopped back in the van and went to the beach which was beautiful! We were given beach chairs and a waitress to take our order. We got the fried fish and it was the best fried fish I’ve ever had. The water was nice and refreshing. Overall a spectacular day.