We are experienced cruisers, who enjoy Carnival and Royal Caribbean. Our party for this cruise was myself(38), my DH(41), our 2 DS's, our 2 DD's and my mom(72). We choose the Dream because it's Carnival's newest addition and we were excited to compare it to the Freedom classes on RCI.
We stayed at the Comfort Inn and Suites, which we LOVE. This was our fourth stay, and again, we were not disappointed. We took the shuttle included in the park and cruise package and were at the pier by 10:35am. We were on-board with our first DOD by 11:10am. Port Canaveral has the BEST terminal out there. If you've never sailed from here, you're in for a treat!
First, the ship: The Dream is lovely. In particular, we enjoyed the lanai and the easy access Deck 5 provides to everything. I'll be honest here...she's no Freedom class from RCI, but we've yet to experience anything as lovely as those ships. RCI's bank account is also showing the strain of those beauties. With that being said, aside from asthetics, the Dream had just as much, if not more in the way of activites, as any ship we've ever been on.
The shows were GREAT! Dancin' in the Streets and Evolution of Edge are the two best shows we've ever seen at sea. You MUST see these two!
The food was good, and the addition of the BBQ on Deck 5 during lunch, is a nice addition to control the lines on the lido. As others have said, at PEAK times, the lines can get long. However, we've experienced this on every ship, so no biggie there. Eat your lunch early or a little later and you'll be fine. If you expect to go to the pasta bar at 12:15 and have no line, then you have unrealistic expectations on a ship, anyway. You would be disappointed on ANY line, this is NOT Carnival's fault. It's life.
Service was good, but not great. We had a WONDERFUL room steward and a great waiter. Other than that, it was hit or miss. Again, just not the end of the world.
The casino was kind to us, and the layout of the ship is quite convenient.
Ports: We love Nachi Cocum in Cozumel. If you've never been, you're in for a treat. It's private, inclusive and beautiful. We couldn't not have asked for a better day there.
Roatan: I would suggest a tour here. It's a shame that Carnival made this beautiful spot into just a tourist trap. Don't stay in Mahogany Bay. There's TONS to see and do here. Try Fins and Flippers, a Victor Bodden tour, or countless others. It's a lovely place, so don't miss out by hanging out in an area that doesn't even begin to show you all that Roatan has to offer.
Belize: We did the Altun Ha/River Wallace tour here and it was wonderful. We did experience some rain on the River portion, but hey!...that just adds to the adventure right?! We enjoyed these ruins even more than Tulum!
We missed Costa Maya due to rough seas, and I thank the captain for knowing what he can and can't do! Safety is first. Besides, this just gives us an excuse to go back, right?
In conclusion, I'd say that the Dream is a wonderful ship, with lots to do. We saw laser shows, movies on a big screen, football play-offs on the big screen, theater shows, and beautiful places. We played in the casino and slept late. We had all the food we could want, and someone else cleaned up after us with a smile on their faces! The hot tubs were almost always empty and Camp Carnival took great care of our kids in the evenings after wonderful meals together. What more could we ask for? Like life, cruises are never perfect, but they certainly come close sometimes...