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Chose Carnival Cruise based upon itinerary, ports of call & lower price. Boarding process is a bit chaotic unless you have VIP early entry (which we did). Ship was beautiful; staff was helpful/friendly. Cloud 9 Spa Suite was spacious but not worth premium price. Robes in room were dirty w/rust spots & our feet did not fit into one-size-fits-all slippers. The Spa steam rooms and elevator were out of order (boo, which is why we paid for the spa suite). Spa Suite also included exercise classes but you had to enroll on port days, so I chose to visit Roatan and Tulum over doing yoga and pilates on the ship. Received minor burn injury during an Ionithermie spa therapy session (don't waste your money). Couples massage, ship activities, entertainment & food were great. My favorite onboard activity was purchasing dinner at the Chef's Table. Hands down best food experience ever - 9 course meal in the kitchen with the Head Chef and Staff (fully plated dinner for 12) with a tour of the kitchen and how to make 60 gallons of soup for about 6,000 people The Chef's Table dinner lasted 3 hours with continual food and constant flow of wine and champagne. We also enjoyed the art gallery and purchased some number one oil on canvas paintings of our favorite artists. Activities on sea days were abundant and fun, as we did everything from salsa and line dancing to learning to make towel animals. Theme nights were great - who doesn't love to dress up once in awhile? We did NOT purchase the drink package and saved about $600. We had about 3 drinks per day, not including the champagne and bottle of wine that we were allowed to bring onboard. The drink packages are ridiculously high and endless alcohol consumption is extremely high in calories (not to mention the endless buffet and eating options. Do your wallet a favor and just stick to a few drinks per day - you will still be happy. Please note that the drink packages DO NOT include specialty things like the Martini Flight. We purchased that separately and it was $50 before gratuity. BTW, we loved the Martini Flight (Spicy Pineapple Martini was our fav) and it was worth every cent. We opted to purchase excursions from an outside source, Ecological Tours & Services (not Carnival) & saved tons of money; also avoided crowds. We zip lined the jungle, road horses on the beach and snorkeled in Roatan. Bypassed all of the touristy Diamonds International stuff on Belize and hopped on a 15 minute flight on a private aircraft to Ambergris Caye, San Pedro - La Isla Bonita (are you singing the song yet?) It was a beautiful flight over turquoise water and coral. We rented a golf cart, grabbed a map and headed to the east end of the island. We had the beach and bar to ourselves and a local dude with his charcoal grill, became our private chef for the afternoon (grilled lobster, oysters, rice and beans). Our last excursion was the tour of Tulum on Cozumel. I liked the itinerary and would likely choose another similar exotic cruise. Carnival is economical as long as you don't buy their excursions or give in to the cruise atmosphere of spend all your money here. Just say no, they will still be nice!

7 Day Exotic Western Caribbean Room w/Cloud Nine Spa Room Accomodations

Carnival Dream Cruise Review by Hot Momma Brew

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Trip Details
Chose Carnival Cruise based upon itinerary, ports of call & lower price. Boarding process is a bit chaotic unless you have VIP early entry (which we did). Ship was beautiful; staff was helpful/friendly. Cloud 9 Spa Suite was spacious but not worth premium price. Robes in room were dirty w/rust spots & our feet did not fit into one-size-fits-all slippers. The Spa steam rooms and elevator were out of order (boo, which is why we paid for the spa suite). Spa Suite also included exercise classes but you had to enroll on port days, so I chose to visit Roatan and Tulum over doing yoga and pilates on the ship. Received minor burn injury during an Ionithermie spa therapy session (don't waste your money). Couples massage, ship activities, entertainment & food were great.

My favorite onboard activity was purchasing dinner at the Chef's Table. Hands down best food experience ever - 9 course meal in the kitchen with the Head Chef and Staff (fully plated dinner for 12) with a tour of the kitchen and how to make 60 gallons of soup for about 6,000 people The Chef's Table dinner lasted 3 hours with continual food and constant flow of wine and champagne. We also enjoyed the art gallery and purchased some number one oil on canvas paintings of our favorite artists.

Activities on sea days were abundant and fun, as we did everything from salsa and line dancing to learning to make towel animals. Theme nights were great - who doesn't love to dress up once in awhile? We did NOT purchase the drink package and saved about $600. We had about 3 drinks per day, not including the champagne and bottle of wine that we were allowed to bring onboard. The drink packages are ridiculously high and endless alcohol consumption is extremely high in calories (not to mention the endless buffet and eating options. Do your wallet a favor and just stick to a few drinks per day - you will still be happy. Please note that the drink packages DO NOT include specialty things like the Martini Flight. We purchased that separately and it was $50 before gratuity. BTW, we loved the Martini Flight (Spicy Pineapple Martini was our fav) and it was worth every cent.

We opted to purchase excursions from an outside source, Ecological Tours & Services (not Carnival) & saved tons of money; also avoided crowds. We zip lined the jungle, road horses on the beach and snorkeled in Roatan. Bypassed all of the touristy Diamonds International stuff on Belize and hopped on a 15 minute flight on a private aircraft to Ambergris Caye, San Pedro - La Isla Bonita (are you singing the song yet?) It was a beautiful flight over turquoise water and coral. We rented a golf cart, grabbed a map and headed to the east end of the island. We had the beach and bar to ourselves and a local dude with his charcoal grill, became our private chef for the afternoon (grilled lobster, oysters, rice and beans). Our last excursion was the tour of Tulum on Cozumel. I liked the itinerary and would likely choose another similar exotic cruise. Carnival is economical as long as you don't buy their excursions or give in to the cruise atmosphere of spend all your money here. Just say no, they will still be nice!
Hot Momma Brew’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Spa Suite
Cabin SS 11206
Cloud Nine Spa Suite, Room 11206 on Carnival Dream. Spacious and beautiful, though one of closet latches was broken and kept opening throughout the cruise. Large balcony with 1 lounge chair and 2 upright chairs. Private until people on the port bow decided to peak their heads over the privacy screen to watch us. Nicely furnished. The price upgrade for this suite was not worth the money. Next time, I will likely select a balcony suite and pay a reduced flat fee for spa access and services. Junior Suite is a better value than the Spa Suite. Carnival is economical.
Panorama Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Belize City
    Private plan ride (15-20 minutes) to Ambergris Caye San Pedro. Rented a golf cart, grabbed a map and drove to the north side of the island. Completely free of all crowds - had the beach and bar to ourselves, and a local guy with a charcoal grill became our private chef for the day! Absolute paradise! Best drink on the island is the Pantyripper!
    View All 12,970 Belize City Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Belize City Cruise Port Review
  • Tulum
    Private van to tender which transported us to Tulum. Private chartered bus met the ship tender. Full lunch (sandwiches, water and chips) provided. Wonderful local tour guides who were bilingual. Best tour experience (bus trip was under an hour).
    View All 122 Tulum Reviews
  • New Orleans
    New Orleans is accessible but has high crime, is dirty and you cannot walk down Bourbon Street or the French Quarter without passing by homeless. Made me feel like I was back in NYC. Expensive tourist area; shops open late and close early.
    View All 622 New Orleans Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's New Orleans Cruise Port Review
  • Beach
    Private beach with no more than 20 people at a time! Loved the privacy and food. Best drink on the island is a Monkey Lala.
    View All 390 Beach Reviews
  • Horseback Riding
    The owner of the horses was local - knew everything about the island and allowed freedom of riding as per your level of expertise. Felt safe and loved the beach ride on horseback!
    View All 25 Horseback Riding Reviews
  • Snorkeling
    Private small boat took us snorkeling along the coral reef not far off the beach. Away from the mass of tourists - locally ran.
    View All 293 Snorkeling Reviews
  • Ziplining
    Great tour guides - zip lined over the jungle - about 9 zip lines. I was exhausted but had such fun! No crowds - private van with air conditioning.
    View All 167 Ziplining Reviews