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Before the economy tanked in 2007, we had taken some really nice vacations - the Grand Wailea in Hawaii, several weeklong cruises, all inclusives in Mexico, holidays at the Ritz. As the economy turned, we wanted to take a nice vacation, but wanted to be sensible about it. So, we booked the lowest level, inside stateroom we could over Christmas. We did not have the highest expectations, having cruised with balconies on each prior cruise. After this one, I seriously don't think I could justify the cost of a balcony cabin again. The inside stateroom was so much better than expected. While it was about the size of our master closet, my wife said, at least four times during the cruise, "I cannot believe how much room we have in here." The king size bed was incredibly comfortable, and with the expection of one huge piece of luggage, everything fit under the bed after unpacking. With three decent sized closets (2 hanging one with shelves) and four drawers, we had more than enough room for everything. Another review of this same cabin addressed vibration. Vibration puts it mildly. It only affected us for about 10-15 minutes on the mornings we pulled into ports, but a shout of "earthquake" was jokingly used on those mornings. That being said, we still had a tough time waking our 14 year old son and 17 year old daughter in the cabin next door. For Christmas, the ship was decorated with trees and some other decorations. They had a Christmas carol night (but three days after Christmas)and most of the entertainment leading up to Christmas included goofy Christmas outfits. They also added another formal/semi-formal night and offered ham and turkey as main courses. I would guess that about 10% of the cabin doors also had some kind of Christmas decorations too. While I was certain there would be Christmas services on board, there were none. My Catholic guilt did not get to me to much as we sipped drinks in Belize on Christmas. We had intended to try to find a church, but Carnival - over and over - suggested not going off port unless you were on an organized excursion for safety reasons. So, we did a sign of the Cross, and chalked it up. (And, I guess because it was Christmas and maybe people didn't book as many excursions as usual on the 25th, Carnival really pushed (and pushed and pushed) excursions for that one day.) So, as you would expect, Christmas on a ship is no substitute for Christmas at home. But, now that we have done it once, Christmas at home will be no substitute for Christmas on a ship. And, in the future, I will be much more than satisfied to cruise in an interior cabin on the lowest level of a ship (at least on Carnival where the cabin steward still made us feel as if we were cruising in a suite).

Christmas 2012

Carnival Dream Cruise Review by falcarragh

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Trip Details
Before the economy tanked in 2007, we had taken some really nice vacations - the Grand Wailea in Hawaii, several weeklong cruises, all inclusives in Mexico, holidays at the Ritz. As the economy turned, we wanted to take a nice vacation, but wanted to be sensible about it. So, we booked the lowest level, inside stateroom we could over Christmas. We did not have the highest expectations, having cruised with balconies on each prior cruise.

After this one, I seriously don't think I could justify the cost of a balcony cabin again. The inside stateroom was so much better than expected. While it was about the size of our master closet, my wife said, at least four times during the cruise, "I cannot believe how much room we have in here." The king size bed was incredibly comfortable, and with the expection of one huge piece of luggage, everything fit under the bed after unpacking. With three decent sized closets (2 hanging one with shelves) and four drawers, we had more than enough room for everything.

Another review of this same cabin addressed vibration. Vibration puts it mildly. It only affected us for about 10-15 minutes on the mornings we pulled into ports, but a shout of "earthquake" was jokingly used on those mornings. That being said, we still had a tough time waking our 14 year old son and 17 year old daughter in the cabin next door.

For Christmas, the ship was decorated with trees and some other decorations. They had a Christmas carol night (but three days after Christmas)and most of the entertainment leading up to Christmas included goofy Christmas outfits. They also added another formal/semi-formal night and offered ham and turkey as main courses. I would guess that about 10% of the cabin doors also had some kind of Christmas decorations too. While I was certain there would be Christmas services on board, there were none. My Catholic guilt did not get to me to much as we sipped drinks in Belize on Christmas. We had intended to try to find a church, but Carnival - over and over - suggested not going off port unless you were on an organized excursion for safety reasons. So, we did a sign of the Cross, and chalked it up. (And, I guess because it was Christmas and maybe people didn't book as many excursions as usual on the 25th, Carnival really pushed (and pushed and pushed) excursions for that one day.)

So, as you would expect, Christmas on a ship is no substitute for Christmas at home. But, now that we have done it once, Christmas at home will be no substitute for Christmas on a ship.

And, in the future, I will be much more than satisfied to cruise in an interior cabin on the lowest level of a ship (at least on Carnival where the cabin steward still made us feel as if we were cruising in a suite).
falcarragh’s Full Rating Summary
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Rates
Ages 13 to 15
Ages 16+
Service

Cabin Review

Interior
Cabin 4A 1433
As in interior cabin, it was much more spacious than we ever imagined. Being at the far back end of the ship, you have easy access to the main, buffet dining room for breakfast, but most other parts of the ship are a hike. Tremendous vibration in the room as you pull into ports, but think of it as a built in alarm clock. Would definitely be happy with that cabin again.
Riviera Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Belize City
    While we just stayed at the port, there was decent shopping (with my wife and daughter being thrilled with knock offs) in the port village, and hanging at the Wet Lizard was a fun time.
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  • Costa Maya
    This was our one rainy day. We had planned to cab it to a beach we had visited on a prior cruise, but, due to the weather, stuck around the port. The incredibly touristy, loud, obnoxious Senior Frogs made for a great day in the rain.
    View All 1,907 Costa Maya Cruise Port Reviews
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  • Aqua Twister
    Tremendous fun with 5-7 180/360 degree turns each way to and from Isla Pasion. The crews emphasis on safety was exceptional, checking with everyone after each spin. Fun, loud music on the boat. Decent food and drinks at the island, plenty of lounge chairs, and an absolutely beautiful beach. Highly recommended!
    View All 36 Aqua Twister Reviews
  • Roatan
    We booked Bodden Tours "Best of the Island" tour which had tremendous TripAdvisor reviews. Unfortunately, I think the whole experience depends upon the guide you get. Ours (along with two others) took 20 minutes to figure out how to take the parking brake off a beat up old van, then immediately stopped for gas, regaled us with stories of crime being so low because of the horrendous jail conditions, took us on our "shopping spree" where each of us felt like the kids there would not eat that night if we did not buy something and took us to a construction site with a beach where a machine gunned guard turned us away. There was one highlight which was a mini private zoo (exclusively through Bodden) where friendly monkeys crawl all over you! I would strongly recommend either staying at Mahogany Bay with its pretty nice beach or going on a legitimate tour.
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