We are a family of four from Orlando- Adults in early 40's, daughter (12) and son (7). We chose this cruise to keep this year's vacation simple. We are not new to cruising.
Park N Cruise off site parking: Left the house at 10:15 and arrived there by 10:50. The service at the Park N Cruise was immediate. All workers very kind and helpful. Called us by name before we got out of the car. Used their online reservations and received 10% off. Less than $60 for the week. A great experience and I will definitely use again. We were at the port by 11:05. When we returned from the cruise, service was just as good. We left the ship very early. The Park N Cruise van was waiting and whisked us off to our car without any hesitation. I was shocked that they were not going to make us wait for any other passengers! We were back in Orlando before 8:00!
Embarkation: Quick and efficient. On board by 11:45. I was dreading the buffet lunch in The Gathering. Found the Crimson dining room open for lunch. Had a very nice, calm, quiet lunch.
Stateroom: Room 11252. Average balcony room. Was perfect space for 2; a bit more cramped for 4 but no real complaints. Used a power cord to add outlets and a bungee cord to hold the balcony door open. The AC control was responsive to any setting we desired. The bed was firm but adequate. The children slept on the convertible couch and pull down bunk. They argued over the top bunk so they alternated every night! In room refrigerator was good. Room steward emptied it for us. Room steward was perfect- unimposing but friendly and responsive to any need.
Circle C and Camp Carnival: Camp for 12-14 y.o. was little lacking. This age group requires a more energetic host. The children were initially excited about "camp" as they have used this service on many other cruises. However both children quickly became uninterested in camp and wanted to stay with us. We had to really encourage them to go to camp. This was a downer for us because we were unable to have a quiet dinner for 2 nor try the specialty restaurant.
Food: I thought the food was awesome. I guess I am a simpleton compared to others. The food satisfied me and my family. We had anytime dining and never had issues. We ate at different times each night. The service was incredible. Dinner in the dining room was abundant. Cappuccino's in the dining room were complimentary. I am still "dreaming" about the Grand Marnier Souffle. Not too sweet, perfectly warm and yummy. Dining room service perfect in every way. My husband thought the magician in the dining room was a nice touch. I could have done without it.
Lanai BBQ lunch- good. Pizza satisfied the children. Burgers at the grill were good. Good reviews from my daughter on the pasta bar. Tandoori was good. Mongolian grill- there is a small learning curve here, however, line became too long and slow to try the various sauces and enticing combinations. The Deli was good. Sushi bar area did have a fishy smell which kept my husband from trying it. Free ice cream in forward part of The Gathering port and starboard was a treat. Tips: 1. If you plan on going to the gathering to pick up food to take back to room bring a tray from home. We did. There are no trays to transport your plate and utensils and drinks. 2. bring a water bottle with a built in filter. You can refill the bottle at the gathering but has a chlorine taste (hence the filter). We had the Soda Sticker for all you can drink soda. This was always welcomed and served with a smile anywhere we went. Can get Icees by the pool and slides for $2.50.
Comedy Club Acts: Only able to go to family shows. They were enjoyable. I can only imagine how much more enjoyable to adult only shows would have been!!
Ports: Kept it simple and booked through Carnival.
Cozumel: Catamaran snorkel, beach party on the Fury. Amazing time. Enjoyed the entire trip. Private beach was nice with trampolines and slides. Hammocks and plenty of seating. Tour included beers and Margarita's. However Margarita's seemed to be mix only; missing the tequila? Could purchase burgers at the beach. Lots of dancing on the catamaran on the way back. Started to rain rather heavily but did not damper the spirit of the tour. Catamaran staff was top notch!
Roatan: Beautiful island. Husband and daughter did zip line and Tabayana beach. My son and I did Tabayana Beach. They had an awesome first time zip line and came back glowing from their adventure. The beach is beautiful. Workers very very friendly. Fun to walk through gift shops. Was not hounded to buy things. Very pleasant. Food and drinks for sale. All tasty. Free water and lemonade. Thoroughly enjoyed Roatan! Everyone we encountered was pleasant, informative, and helpful. Shipped docked in Coxen Hole instead of Mahogany Bay due to winds. Mahogany Bay was closed.
Belize: River Wallace and Altun Ha tour. Wonderful trip. Used bug spray (as recommended by other reviews)prior to leaving the ship so did not have a problem with bugs. Altun Ha was a learning experience I treasure. Tour guides very open, friendly, and knowledgeable with beautiful smiles and welcoming nature. River Wallace trip very enjoyable. Lunch at a rustic resort along the river was delicious. Loved Belize!!! BTW- Belize tender takes about 30 minutes.
Costa Maya: Docked for a few hours. Waters coming up over gangway and unsafe to debark. Ended up being another day at sea. I guess I will visit 100% Agave on another trip. This was going to be our shopping day; I am sure I saved a ton of $.
Self Serve Laundry: All machines worked well. However, no change machines in launderettes!!!!! Be for warned that you must get quarters first at front desk or casino.
Seaside Theatre: The children enjoyed the jumbo screen. In the evenings they give blankets. A nice touch.
Slides: My daughter wanted me to tell you... Long lines, slides were fun and fast. My daughter was aggravated by people not separating out into their respective lines and bunching up making it difficult to discern who was in what line. I figure, it is to be expected. Lines shorter on port days. Both children loved the slides!!
Overall a good family trip. I recommend the Dream and believe you get value for the money.
In the words of Captain Queirolo: "Arrivederci and Ciao"