This was our 5th cruise and our 4th with Carnival. I have to admit we had a great time, but we were a little disappointed.
Embarkation was simple and pain free. We had gotten a message from Carnival asking us to arrive at the port between 1 and 3pm and that fit in with our original plans. We were at the port at about 2 and in our cabin by 2:30. We left our carry ons in the cabin and headed out to get our first DOD and our coke card. We found it odd that we werent bombarded with bar staff trying to sell us a drink, but we made our way to the bar and got one ourselves.
We had early seating in the Upper Scarlett dining room. We were seated at a two topper table right in the mdidle of the isle. The entire week we felt the need to slump in our seats so we werent hit by passing trays. It wasnt comfortable, but we adapted. Our waiter introduced himslef and left us with a menu. Several minutes later he returned to take our orders. I ordered the flank steak medium well. When I tried to cut into it I saw that it was beyond well done, but since our waiter never found his way back to our table I wasnt given the chance to send it back for a better steak. I ended up eating only the vegies and the mac and cheese. When his assistant came to clean our table he didnt even ask why I hadnt eaten my steak. I didnt feel that was the service Carnival usually provides. The food for the rest of the week was just OK.
It didnt seem like there were many activities planned for our sea days and we found ourselves spending alot of time in our cabin watching TV. We love watching football but they didnt offer a big selection of games to watch. The casino bar with the TVs was a disappointment. We always liked having the separate sports bar on our previous cruises to hang out in.
Our first port was Cozumel. We booked a beach day at Nachi Cocum. They offered an all inclusive day for $50 pp. It was so nice to just sit on the beach, get in the water and have your drinks and food delivered right to your beach chair. I suggest booking this on your own and saving some money.
Our next day was in Belize. I could skip this port all together and be just fine.
Third stop was Roatan. We booked a tour with Victor Bodden. WE went to his facility to zip line and see the monkyes he raises. Then we were taken to a beach resort. We loved the zip line!! The monkeys and other animals were so cute. They even allow you to hold the baby monkeys. Our time at the beach wasnt so great due to bad weather. It was pouring rain and we spent our time huddled under a tent trying to stay dry. I would reccomend this tour to everyone looking for a great adventure on a beautiful island.
Our last port was Costa Maya. We arrived very early in the morning and we saw a beautiful sunrise as we arrived in port. It was 7am ship time so it was 5am in Costa Maya. We had arranged for another all inclusive beach day at Tequilla Beach. It was the best day of our cruise. The water was beautiful and we had a great view from our chairs. Our waiter made sure we didnt have an empty glass. They had a vendor there selling some great finds. We purchased a conche shell and a starfish candle and we got a great deal! The cab ride over was $3 and the ride back was $2. Its a great deal. I will go back to Costa Maya.
The only show we saw in the theatre was Dancing in the Streets. It was very entertaining and the Fun Force dancers made the show! We went to the first night of comedy shows and the comedians were great. We went to the rated R shows and found that the parents sure didnt mind bringing thier under age kids into the room. It was announced several times that it was an 18 and over show. We do suggest getting there early to get good seats. It will fill up quickly.
Our room was just off the elevators on the 11th deck. We did notice alot of noise radiating up from the atrium on the nights with the late parties. There were also some noisy people in our hallways. We only found that bothersome one night when a drunken man was yelling in the hallway at 3am. Once he went to his room we didnt hear any other noise. I do wish people would learn to not let their balcony doors slam. We try our best to have respect for others around us.
Overall it was a great cruise, but we didnt feel like we had the personalized service that we are used to with Carnival. We barely saw our room steward and the bar servers were hard to find when you wanted a drink. Even when you did get the server it took a long time to get your drink. It was alot faster to go to the bar yourself to get the drink. We found the best bar service in Sams piano bar. The bartender was great. She learned our names on the first night and remembered what we liked to drink. She was much better than our waiter in the dining room at that. We never felt crowded and we didnt have problems with lines on the lido or finding a table. Our only complaint was with the service.
The ship is gorgeous and I do not regret booking our cruise, but I doubt we will be booking again on the Dream and if we do book with Carnival again it will be on a smaller ship. We are also looking into other cruise lines. We arent asking for anything more than what we have gotten used to on other carnival ships. We never let our disappointments ruin our trip and we loved our days in port. Im really looking forward to visiting Costa Maya again. That may be our favorite spot in the western caribbean.