Just got off the Dream and we had a fantastic time. I would definitely sail this ship again. Our paperwork said to arrive between 12 and 2:30 but a couple days before our cruise we got a message on our machine telling us we could board at 10:30 if we wanted too. We ended up getting there around 11:15, as we only live 20 minutes from the port, and within 15 minutes we were on the ship.
Went straight up to the Pasta Bar and had a good lunch, no lines or crowds. If fact with all the separate food stations around the Lido deck, we never had to wait in a long line and we always found a table no matter what time we went, even with 4400 people on board. We tried a different station each day. We chose Your Time Dining because we wanted the flexibility of eating whenever we wanted, we never actually ate in the dining room, we just went to the different food venues or ordered room service which worked great for us. The only time the ship felt crowded was on formal nights when everyone was trying to get pictures, the lines were blocking a lot of the walkways.
We booked a Cove balcony room and we loved it. This was our first balcony room, previous cruises we had either insides or ocean view rooms and we were really glad we decided on the Cove balcony this time. Would definitely get one again.
The ship was very nice and all decorated for Christmas. This ship’s décor is much classier looking than some of the older Carnival ships. Less Las Vegas neon. I loved the glass stones everywhere. The piano bar was neat because the counter top looked like a piano. Although my favorite was the Burgundy Lounge.
Our first port was Cozumel, this was our 3rd time there so we decided to take the Highlights and Shopping tour. The last 2 times we just shopped downtown so we wanted to see more of the island. All our tours were booked thru the ship. This tour was excellent, they first took us to Discover Mexico Park which has miniature replicas of all the Mayan ruins in Mexico as well as some Government buildings. Next we went to El Cedral, the first church ever built in Cozumel, then we drove along the coast and stopped at a beautiful beach. After that we went to the Tequila Factory Store and got to taste all the tequila we wanted, even flavored tequila....yummy. We, of course, bought 3 bottles. Last but not least, they took us downtown and we had lunch at Panchos Backyard which was very good, even got a free appetizer.
One of the main reasons for us choosing this itinerary is we wanted to see the Mayan Ruins, so in Belize we went to Altun Ha Ruins and in Costa Maya we went to the Kohunlich Ruins. Altun Ha is a smaller site but nice, we got to climb up the big pyramid style ruin. The Kohunlich Ruins were very impressive and well worth the long ride out there. The masks are amazing and the ruins have several sites, most you can climb. Our guides on both tours were very knowledgeable and told us all about the Mayan Culture and the ruins. We enjoyed both tours very much.
In Roatan we took the West Side Island tour and it was just OK. The guide at the Carambola Gardens was awful, but the guide at the Bird and Butterfly Park was good. Only problem was that the guide was telling us the week before someone left one of the bird cages open and about 5 birds got away, then someone left the door open between the Butterfly pavilion and the Toucan Pavilion and several butterflies were eaten by the Toucans, so they only had a couple species to show us. After that we went to West Side Beach which has cute stores of some local crafts. The local children try and sell you bracelets and necklaces and follow you around constantly asking you to buy something even when you politely say No thank you.
We didn’t go to many of the headliner shows but we went almost every night to the Comedy shows, they were great, the comedians were hilarious, some nights we went to both the PG13 shows and the adult shows, it was different material each time and very funny. Plus I just loved the Burgundy lounge with all the masks all over the place.
Our debarkation time was listed on the form as 8:40 – 8:50 and since they announced that everyone needed to be out of their cabins by 8:30, we set our alarm for 7:00. Well the ship got into port earlier than expected and we were woken up at 6:00 by the Cruise Directors announcement that they were starting the debarkation process. So we jumped up and started getting dressed, so much for a little sleeping in, LOL. They called our number about 8:15 and we were off the ship in 5 minutes flat. Our luggage came right out and Customs was a breeze. Got in our car and we were home before 9:00.
We really had a wonderful cruise on the Dream and would definitely recommend this ship and we plan on going again with our friends.