This was my 4th cruise on carnival and am not sure why there are so many negative reviews. I have sailed on the Destiny, Liberty, and Freedom before going on the Dream. Overall, the Dream is by far the best boat of the 4 and I had no complaints about the other 3. After reading some of the other reviews, I wonder what boat they were actually on as I had completely different experiences. My only complaint is multiple times throughout the week there was a strong smell of sewage. Experienced it sometimes in the Adults only serenity area and near some elevators. Didn't make a big deal out of this considering it was not too much of a hassle to move to a new area.
Embarkation/Disembarkation - It took about 45 minutes to get on the boat due to the security checkpoint, but once we got through that there were no lines. Took about 5 minutes total to get off the boat and through customs.
Food Grill - Burgers were better than I have experienced in the past. Wait time 1 - 10 minutes. Pizza and Deli - Same as every other carnival cruise. no complaints. Wait time 1 - 5 minutes. Pasta Bar - Very good food cooked and delivered to your table. Wait time 5 - 10 minutes. Buffet - Only ate here twice and the food was nothing special. Usually had long lines. Dining Room - Very impressed with the food. Typical carnival menus. Our waiter/assistant waiter were great and catered to every request. Room service - Always arrived on time and food was hot when it needed to be.
Entertainment Piano Bar - Went here every night to see Vince play and chug jager. Very good service in the piano bar. We would begin drinking here then head to the bar at the dance club once the piano bar closed. Dancin in the streets - By far the best show i have seen on a cruise ship. Do not miss this show. The street performers also gave a sneak preview the night before in the atrium and it was really entertaining. Comedy shows - Went to 3 or 4 of the comedy shows and they were all above average compared to comedians i have seen in the past. I like how they have an actual comedy club for these acts. Don't know why people were complaining about the lines. Every show i went to i was able to get good seats and i walked right in with no wait. Magic show - Magician Puck was performing and it was pretty bad. Don't waste your time going to this show.
Pools/Hot tubs/Waterslides Never went in the pools but heard people complaining about how small they are. Plenty of hot tubs on the boat and never had trouble finding an open space. Usually went to the ones on deck 5 that hung over the sea. Best water slides i have been on at sea. (2 slides where you can race someone, Twister - enclosed twisting slide, Drain pipe - enclosed slide that sends you around a funnel).
Adults only serenity area was very peaceful and relaxing. It has more comfortable chairs, covered areas, hot tubs, and hammocks. 18 Hole mini golf course was fairly easy but still fun. Had a full court basketball but i was disappointed there is no volleyball court. We had an inside stateroom and it was always very clean and spacious enough as we were only in the room to shower/sleep. Guest services handled all requests i had in a very timely manner.
Ports Cozumel - Took a 10 - 15 minute taxi ride to Nachi Cocom. Well worth the $49 entry fee for all you can eat and drink. Very relaxing considering there were less than 20 people here this day. Great service. Our server would deliver us drinks even before we finished our other ones. Gorgeous beach and they also have a pool and hot tub. Plan on going back here every time I go to Cozumel.
Isla Roatan - Went to the beach that was right at the port. You can take a ski lift to the beach from the port for $5 or its just a 5 minute walk.
Belize - Bad weather this day and way too many boats in port. You tender about 5 miles, so the wait was not worth it for us to get off the boat in the rain.
Costa Maya - You can purchase a $3 bus ticket right where the buses and taxis pickup/drop off. You then get in a van and they take you on a 5 minute ride to go downtown. Plenty of places to sit on the beach. Only went here to get an hour long $20 full body massage. I was first quoted for $50, and then the next massage therapist i saw said $25 and i was able to negotiate down to $20. You then take a cab back for $2 and there is plenty of cheap shopping downtown and at the port. There is also a swim up bar and beach area to lay out.
Overall, people complain way too much and let the smallest things ruin their vacations. I was looking for a relaxing vacation during the day and then drinking all night. The Dream was able to satisfy this and the only real complaint i had was with the smell on a few occasions. I plan on going back on the Carnival Dream next summer.