The Carnival Dream is a Great Time!
I was concerned about my planned vacation with my boyfriend on the new Carnival Dream after reading some of these reveiws. I was very happy to discover that I ship is beautiful and desgined well for the large amount of people sailing. We had an inside cabin on the second floor and usually all the "happening" places are at least on the 8th floor of ships, but I found most inside activities were on the 3-5 floors, which was nice since I'm a stair climber :)
We sailed during Halloween and dressed up as smurfs (BTW, anyone that happens to read this review that was on our cruise and has a picture of us, please e-mail me, so many people took our picture but we didn't take our own costume pic) I loved Halloween on the ship but was sad to lose one of my formal nights.
Also, the food and service on board was excellent, we did anytime dining and as usual, the service isn't a personable but it's waht you give up to dine at your leisure. I find the feature to be totally worth it, More
plus some nights, my boyfriend and I sat alone, and other nights we would share and meet some great people.
I know most bad comments about this ship address a foul smell and constantly standing in lines. First, I did notice a smell the first two days but only in the Encore lounge and it doesn't ruin you vacation by any means. Second, there can be some long lines for breakfast but I recommend sitting down for breakfast anyway, the service is great and the food is fresh. I didn't feel that these lines were much worse than any other ship I've been on. Also, they have made the back lounge of the ship devoted to comedy, which I am a big fan. The shows back there were very funny and worth your time. So I say relax and have a wonderful time, because we sure did! Less
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Port and Shore Excursions
Belize City is very poor but it seems like everyone on our ship went cave tubing that day and it was a blast. We booked our trip through a company online (not the cruise ship and it was 1/2 the price). I know people think this is crazy but check out tripadvisor.com, it's totally safe and we had a great time. I also heard people took an excursion to a key off of the mainland and really enjoyed it. I wouldn't think about leaving the port on your own though, it's not safe. So make sure you have something planned for this port before you dock, it's a great stop if you're prepared.
There is not alot of information about this port online yet so we weren't sure what to do here. We hopped a cab from the port to downtown and found a beautiful beach with lots of restaurants and shops. Women were selling massages for $20/hr on the beach and they were amazing and totally worth it! We spent the day relazing and drinking tequilla and beers while soaking in some sun and it was the perfect way to unwind after all of our activites in the other ports. I would totally save this place as a beach day and just relax and enjoy but make sure to leave the port, too many people get sucked into Fat Tuesdays and never see anything!
I've been to Cozumel three times and it has something for everyone. The first two times I went to Paradise beach and shopping in Puerta Logosta. This time we docked in Puerta Maya, which doesn't have as much shopping. My boyfriend really wanted to see ruins so we rented a scooter and drove to San Gervisao (sp?). This is worth the short trip and the scooter was a great way to get there. I've heard snorkeling/scuba diving is great in Cozumel but didn't see that on my first trips. I learned that the good diving is not on the beach I've visited in the past. This time we went to Dzul Ha and the snorkeling was okey (better than Paradise beach) but not as good as other place (ie Grand Caymens and Roatan).
This might be my favorite port I've see yet! We booked a private excursion online and did ziplining then headed to Infinity Bay beaches. The snorkeling was some of the best I've seen and the beach was very nice as well. When you dock in Roatan you will be tempted by the port and the private beach Carnival owns but if you leave the port and walk over the hill, there's TONS of islanders selling private tours (I would recommend doing research online and planning ahead though). The money spent in the port and beach does NOT go towards the island which is such a shame! Just like Belize, try to do some research and pre-planning to really see what Roatan is all about. I felt very safe during my entire day there (not like Belize City). I know shore excursions with the ship are expensive, this is why I saves $100's by booking with private companies online which were very safe and honorable.