We stayed at the Country Inn and Suites the night before the cruise to start our vacation early and to be able to leave our car their and then get their shuttle to and from the port. BEST IDEA EVER, THANKS CRUISE CRITIC FOR INTRODUCING US TO THIS HOTEL! Wonderful service, great rooms and pool area, and easy to get to the port on the shuttle.
Once onboard we started our tour of the ship while we waited for our room to be ready, we had lunch on lido and explored. The ship is huge and beautiful with 10 different hot tubs for people to enjoy but only 2 pools. Was a little disappointed that the serenity area did not have a pool, when we were on the Valor prior and there was one in that area, we loved it and spent more time there. But other then noticing that the lack of pool space was going to be an issue, and it was, the rest of the layout and amenities were amazing.
We did the steakhouse on the first night and the food and service was amazing, well worth every penny of the $30/person. I would encourage everyone to go there at least once. Only thing I regretted was doing it the first night because it made me slightly dissatisfied with the food in the main dining room the rest of the cruise. Don't get me wrong the food was still good but when you have the food in the steakhouse then have its poor cousin in the main dining room, you get a bit down.
In Cozumel we booked Nachi Cocom Beach Club and it was awesome, thanks again cruise critic. For $49/person we had an amazing lunch, private beach shared with max of 99 other people, wonderful pool with swim up bar and open bar with quality products and much more. We were so relaxed and happy. Would highly recommend.
The other ports we just relaxed and did not plan anything but loved every minute of it.
One night I did the Chef's Table which is at least 7 courses of food, quality wine, great company, opportunity to meet the head chef and have 11 chefs cooking your dinner, tour the galley, and much more. The food was amazing and the presentation was superb. This is well worth the $75/person. They only have a couple seatings with a max of 12-14 people per seating so it is very exclusive and should be experienced once. I am the anti-vegetarian and there was only 2 things I could/did not want to eat after I tried it but recognized that they would be amazing to someone other than me. :)
Our stateroom was amazing and we may now have to always book the extended aft balcony rooms in the future, we splurged this time and we could not have asked for anything better.
We have decided the Dream is just a little too big for us but still a great ship, we plan to give the Breeze a shot when it launches to decide if it was just one ship or the class of ship.
Oh, before I finish, I have to say a huge thank you to John Heald and Butch for their generosity to my family. They truly appreciated the gift and I will be sending a thank you note and photo soon.
Thanks for reading my rant, hope it helps.