Carnival Dream Cruise Review by SusieQ4U
- Sail Date: April 2012
- Destination: Western Caribbean
- Cabin Type: Balcony
There are so many things to see and do on this ship that I know we barely scratched the surface and I can definitely see myself booking another trip on this beautiful (but definitely large!) ship.
While I had read reviews about crowding on the ship I wonder if that could be worse on certain sailings where there are more 3 or 4 berth cabins booked or more children? We didn't experience crowds much at all -- except at the shops when it was time for a "sale" to start :-)
I tried "Your Time" dining for the first time this sailing and I was a little worried about potential wait times, having different waitstaff, and not getting to know our dining partners. However, unless I am traveling with a large group or all of my children I would probably choose this again. Our longest wait was about 5 minutes on the first Elegant night, I found that I liked sometimes getting new dinner partners (more people to meet, and you could always come back with the people that you enjoyed and request a table together). One evening we even managed to get a table to ourselves which was nice as well. (You can request tables for 2 as well if this is important to you.)
The food was as it has been on every cruise I've been on but I'm a relatively "new" cruiser so I get the feeling that I never experienced the "WOW" food that some folks seem to associate with cruises. I like that I get to try dishes I've never tried before and that I neither have to cook nor clean it up! I found plenty of options in plenty of venues and was certainly never hungry.
Live entertainment (music) on this ship seemed noticably lacking but maybe because the ship was so big that I couldn't always find it! Comedy shows and the one production show that we attended were all fantastic. I didn't care for the comedy club host, though. ("Jeff the Fun Dude" wasn't very fun, IMO).
Main pool deck crowded on sea days (they all are) but there were enough alternative locations that we had no problems finding our spot to lounge. Bar service was excellent in all venues, cabin stewardess was great (not too present and not too far away, either).
We made great new friends on this ship -- more than usual. I think this is a great cruise for large groups traveling together or couples up for FUN! I don't know how good it'd be for those wanting relaxation and romance, although we found plenty of that as well. I suspect there was plenty of all of that, though, in the parts of the ship that we just never got to. PIano Bar was great although it is pretty much the same show each night, Disco/Dance club was a lot of fun, too. There is definitely no shortage of nightlife.
I tried my first venture into the Casino this trip but I can't comment a whole lot on it. As soon as I had my money back plus a few dollars on the blackjack table, I quit. I was too chicken. One of my new friends got lucky enough in the slot machines to pay most of her sail and sign balance and the casinos were VERY full at night so that must be telling of something!
This ship is also very beautifully maintained and very "sparkly". I loved everything about it.
I've heard a lot of comments about the motion. I think some of that is any ship in the gulf stream, but I really can't say for sure. I cruise a lot during hurricane season and I've sailed in a lot of rough seas so the little bit of rocking that I felt seemed mild to me after a fall cruise that threw me out of bed at night and where we had to chase our food across the table. I felt some movement, usually at night, but nothing more than gentle rocking.
One design item that I noticed on this ship, and I'm not sure why, is that public bathrooms were EASIER to find than on any other ship I've been on. Maybe I'm just getting used to where they "should" be and can find them quicker but I found this to be a great plus. A silly thing, I know, but I was glad for it.
Port & Shore Excursion Reviews
Belize CityI love this port, even though I often see that other folks don't. This is the one that you just have to take an excursion in to get the most out of. The snorkeling in Belize City is second to none. This time we took a tour of Mayan Ruins, and that was fantastic and very reasonably priced. (We purchased after getting off of the ship).View All 2,217 Belize City Cruise Port Reviews
View Cruise Critic's Belize City Cruise Port Review
Costa MayaMaybe I was just worn out by the time we got here, but I didn't find a lot here to love. Although the pool with all of the swim up bars was kind of cool.View All 1,903 Costa Maya Cruise Port Reviews
Shops that are typical of port shops, bars/restaurants typical of port bars/restaurants. Seemed kind of "private island"-ish insofar as things to do.
Again, may have just been that I was too exhausted from the day before to really enjoy this early morning and short port.
View Cruise Critic's Costa Maya Cruise Port Review
Scuba - BeginnerThis particular excursion was priced the same on ship as through third party vendors (per my research, anyway) and included transportation. I give it 5 stars even though I kind of hated scuba diving! It's just not for me. However, the excursion was handled fantastically. The insructors were thorough, patient, and did their best to make me comfortable (like I said, it just wasn't for me). They didn't let my discomfort ruin the excursion for the others in my group, either.View All 24 Scuba - Beginner Reviews
It's a nice introduction to scuba and is managed very well by friendly people.
RoatanI love this port. Although Mahogany Bay is definitely a "cruise city" it's a nice one and there is a zip line within walking distance (www.clipnziproatan.com), a nice beach, beautiful scenerey, great available excursions, and for whatever reason the Wildest Fat Tuesday of any out there.View All 2,529 Roatan Cruise Port Reviews
Relax on the beach for a while here, then dance on the bar at Fat Tuesday. My kind of day, really, even though it may not be everyone's cup of tea.
Perhaps it's just my own great memories that I've made in this port (this cruise and prior) but I love, love, love Roatan/Mahogany Bay
View Cruise Critic's Roatan Cruise Port Review