Embarkation-ridiculousy quick and easy. On board eating at the buffet after only 20 minutes of arriving in Port. We got to to Port around 11:00 am or so. No wait whatsoever. *****NOTE****Upon embarkation, going to the Gathering-there is another buffet in back of the Gathering. No one realizes if you go back there, there is no line at all. Everyone goes to the front buffet on the first day.
Cabins-excellent, nice size. A bit tight for my fam of 4 that includes 2 teenage boys. Our steward, Eva, was very nice and knew our names instandly.
Food-I am an extremely picky eater. I was able to find something to eat. We ate at the buffet, room service, dining room-anytime dining, and I had the Mongolian Wok. I waited in line early, about 10 minutes before they opened to make sure I got my meal. I didn't want to wait in the long line that would form as there was only 1 Mongolian Wok. In the dining room, ask for Joel. We only got to eat at his table once, however, I found him to be the best server there-so much so, I don't remember the other server. Borko was a bartender, he made sure our table always had drinks-I do not drink, my DH and inlaws do.
Cozumel-LOVED! My fav by far. We did the Dolphin Swim & Lunch at Dolphinaris. Yes, after the swim, they have a price list of $349 for all of your pictures with a DVD of the experience, however, they make EVERYONE a deal. We got 90+ pics and our DVD for $188. We feel it was a good deal and we also feel we got our moneys worth in this excursion. The memories alone, for you and your kids-no matter what age, are priceless. Also, I read on the forum board at Carnival how these dolphins were mistreated. That is not the case. I would def do this excursion again. After the excursion, we walked around the port and went to Fat Tuesdays and they were playing 80's music and we love 80's music. Our son is a jr. Michael Jackson and they played Billie Jean for him and he danced for the whole crowd. It was awesome.
Isla Roatan-horrible port. We should have done the beach, but we did the Guambala Park-Pirates, Monkeys, and Birds. I was most looking forward to this and was most disappointed. There were so many restrictions with the animals. Not allowed to touch them, you just stand there. Also, I could have done without the Pirate info and the insect tour. The ride through Isla Roatan was long and the roads were windy. I was so happy to be back in port, we just went back to the ship.
Belize-another horrible port. We did the Altan Hu & River Wallace tour. This would have been great, if we didn't have to go on the River Wallace. It was just another normal river like you would see in the states, except, there are iguana's everywhere--but honestly, after Isla Roatan, I was tired of seeing them. It was hot on the boat tour, no canopy. Our bus, the emergency door flew open twice.
Costa Maya-We did the Beach Snorkel. We took an open aired truck/jeep/bus thing. The water was very green and the reefs were dull in my opinion. The water smelled awful. After the snorkel, we went back to the port and walked our boys back on ship-their grandparents were with us-and my DH and I walked to Hard Rock Cafe. I am a fan of Hard Rock and per our waiter, they were only opened a week. It was awesome. After a plate of nacho's we went back on board.
The shows, there were 3-a country one, Dancing in the Streets, and a motown one. Dancing in the Streets was the most awesome show! It beat Disney's Toy Story show-in my opinion. I do not care for country music, but I suppose that show was ok. Dancing in the Streets is a must though!
I did a massage on the last day. My back hurt so bad after, when my husband would hug me, I would cringe. I will not do that again. I got my 15 yr old a Acne Facial and he loved it. I can tell the difference on his skin.
Although we didn't have any personal interaction with the CD, Butch, we still enjoyed him-Ya! He seemed to have really good rapport with his assistant-6'3" (Amy)-Yeah Baby! All the entertainment staff was good. Buttercup was fun, Lemon was very sweet and my 15 yr old loved her. There are two more, I cannot remember their names.
We took 2 dance classes. One line dancing and the other was a couples dance class. Amber taught the couples one, she was very nice and sweet. She is one of the dancers in the shows at night. She sat with my husband and I and talked to us for a while. She pulled up my 12 year old to be her partner. It was very fun.
I did not like the bingo price-$20 for a card-expensive, same as Disney though. Must be a cruise ship standard.
We ended up winning 3 24 kt gold plastic trophies-2 medals, and I won a bottle of Champagne.
The laundry room was always packed. I just paid $15.00 and had Carnival wash some of our close for us.
The last night, Friday night, we were following behind Irene. It was awful. You could tell when we would hit a wave. I hope to never experience another night like that, that was totally out of Carnivals control, but the staff did what they could to help us feel more comfortable.
There is a secret deck-all the way forward on deck 9, if you go outside there, there is another staircase, to deck 10--very private, no lights on out there, you can see a ton of stars.
I totally loved my trip on the Dream and yes, I would book again. Never really smelled anything too bad. The ship was easy to get around, we learned the ship within a few hours. The only rocking was the night of the hurricane. Other than that, smooth sailing. The pools were small, however, I do not use the pools on the cruise. I did the day in Roatan as it was so hot, the pool was not crowded at all when I got in.
I had read may reviews on the Dream, prior to my trip, I am very glad I didn't take much of what was said. You make your own vacation and we loved the Dream. My whole family did.