Loyal to Royal, Cruised Carnival Dream: Carnival Dream Cruise Review by baco4

Carnival Dream 5
Member Since 2007
15 Forum Posts

Overall Member Rating

Loyal to Royal, Cruised Carnival Dream

Sail Date: May 2010
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Port Canaveral (Orlando)
We started our cruise by flying into Orlando and staying at Disney's Port Orleans hotel. We arrived at 8:00 p.m. so with the kids being tired, we didn't feel much like exploring the place. The next day, we spent the day at Magic Kingdom so we could get our "Disney Fix" before heading off on a 7 day cruise. As for the hotel, I have no idea why people upgrade to Disney's moderate resorts, when the value ones are just as nice. We had to upgrade because my MIL went with us and it was the only place that slept 5. But I found no significant difference between our room in the moderate resort compared to the value ones. We've previously stayed at Pop Centry and All Star Movies. Only difference that I saw was there are 2 sinks in the room instead of 1 and the pool had a small waterslide. From now on, we'll save the extra money and stay at the value resorts.

On Saturday Morning, we drove from Disney to Cape Canaveral. It took about an hour to get there. We had rented a car from Avis More so we had to drop the car off and take their shuttle to the ship. The shuttle bus pulled right up and the luggage porters took our luggage straight off the bus and into their bins. We didn't have to touch the luggage at all. Good thing we already had our baggage tags on the bags. I had laminated the tags that I printed from the computer. This made me feel better that they wouldn't rip off.

We arrived about 11:30 into the terminal. The line was out the door and I thought we'd be there forever. I was suprised, we were on the ship within 30 minutes. We headed up to Lido deck for lunch. As earlier mentioned, we have cruised RCCL six times (once with the kids) so we were used to going to the Windjammer Cafe. There are a couple different buffet lines and it's very easy to find everything you want to eat. The Dream was VERY different. Depending on what kind of food you wanted, depended on which buffet line you wanted to get in. There was the Mongonlian Wok, Burger Bar, Sandwich Bar, Pasta Bar and various others but they were so spread out. Some were on the front of the ship, some were mid ship, and others were on the back. You had to walk soooo far to get what you wanted. And if you had kids, and one wanted pizza and the other wanted a sandwich, you had to go to opposite ends of the ship to get them. Same deck, but very confusing in the beginning. Finding a table that first day was practically impossible too. After we got our food we changed into our swimsuits and spent the day in the pool. At 1:30, our staterooms were ready so we headed down to check them out.

This was our first time we had ever had a balcony room and boy was it worth the money. Our philosophy had always been that you spend so little time in your room, why spend the extra money for a balcony. Now we're hooked. I loved sitting out there early in the morning while the rest of the family slept in. The room was much bigger than any RCCL ship we had been on (Magesty, Monarch, Explorer, & Liberty). It had a nice size couch, big bed and the pull down bunk came out over the couch. My boys loved the bunk bed. We slept 3 in our room and my MIL had our other son in her room. Both boys used the bunk every night.

As for the ship. It was a nice ship. I couldn't see much difference between the Dream than any other RCCL ship, but to both my DH and I, we think that RCCL ships have a little more "Wow factor" to them. Don't get me wrong, this was a very nice, beautiful ship, but it lacked that "Wow, this is amazing". But for the price (about a thousand bucks cheaper than RCL for the same week) we will definately do another Carnival cruise.

The first day at sea we took my yougest son up to Camp Carnival. He couldn't wait to go there. On their first cruise (on the Liberty of the Seas) he loved the kids program, so he could not wait to get to camp carnival. My 11 year old was a different story. He didn't like RCL's program very much so he kept saying "You're not making me go there are you", and I figured he'd spend the entire week hanging out with us. I talked him into going to Camp Carnival for one hour on the first day, just to give it a shot. I told him that if he didn't like it, he didn't have to go back. So we dropped him off assuming that we'd be seeing him again in an hour. Well....to my suprise, when we went to pick him, he didn't want to leave. He asked to stay longer. We were tickled to death. So we gave him another hour and he still didn't want to leave. To make a long story short, both my kids begged to say in camp carnival. To the point that they didn't even want to get off the ship to do excursions. The day in Cozumel, we were swimming with dolphins and they wanted to stay on the ship in Camp Carnival instead. We had to make them leave the place. So....Camp Carnival made their vacation the best one ever!!!!! I have to comment on the sewage smell that I had read so much about before going on the cruise. I did smell it a couple times, once on the top stairs waiting to go down the slides, and once near the laundry facility on deck 7. It was very faint and would never have though twice about it had I not read all the comments about it before. If you were walking down the hall, as soon as you noticed it, it was gone. No big deal what so ever. We will definately do Carnival again. It all depends on the price. RCCL definately has the more beautiful ship, but this ship was very pretty too. I was scared that I'd be comparing everything to RCCL, but we didn't. Everything, and I mean everything was very comparible. Food, entertainment, everything. Less

Published 05/11/10
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Cabin review: 8C7387 Balcony

Cabin 7387 was great. We were surrounded by other cabins. It was quiet and we had no complaints.

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Port and Shore Excursions

We arrived in Belize and had to tender into the city. We docked way way out. I think they said it was a mile from land. It took about 20 minutes to tender in. We went in and shopped for about an hour before having to head back to the ship for a planned excursion that left from the ship. We did the Sargent's Cay snorkel adventure. The excursion was great, but we luckily had a great tour guide with our 2 boys. The youngest hadn't snorkeled much at all so the guide let him pretty much lay on the life ring and pulled him all over the ocean. He would put his face in the water when he wanted to see the fish and just ride along on the ring when he didn't. It would have been a very hard snorkeling adventure had the guide not been so great with my youngest son. We really enjoyed the tour even though the water was a tad bit murky. The bad thing about the excursion is that we had to wait about an hour on this little island waiting on the snorkel boat to come get us. We were all very frustrated while waiting. No wonder it said that it would be a 3 1/2 hour excursion. Most of that time was spent waiting.

Costa Maya was amazing. We had met some people on the ship that we hung out with some. They asked us if we wanted to do the "Jungle Beach Break" with them in Costa Maya. I wasn't sure what to think because it said, "you will have a 45 minute bus ride to the beach". I was thinking, 45 minutes in a rickety old bus without air conditioning in the middle of Mexico. With everything on the news about Mexico lately, I wasn't sure I wanted to do this. But, my kids begged to go with their new found friends. So we went. I'm so glad we did. The buses were nice air conditioned tour buses and it really only took 30 minutes to get there. This was the most beautiful beach that I've ever ever ever seen. Palm trees right there on the beach at the water's edge. White sand. Wow, it was amazing. It was an open bar so you could drink all you wanted (even though I don't drink). The kids played volleyball and we rented a waverunner for a half hour. The best part about this beach was in the area near the waverunners, people started digging in the sand in the water (about knee deep). Just below the sand were these huge, and I mean huge, conch shells. Like the kind you buy in a gift shop. My family found about 20 of these shells. They were so beautiful. The kids wanted to bring them all home but I let them bring 3. These are their favorite souveniers from the whole trip. We had the best day there. We snorkeled a little bit and took some great pictures. We will definately try to go there again.

Read 1767 Costa Maya Reviews

In Cozumel, we decided to take a taxi to Chankanaab park and do the dolphin swim. the taxi cost us $20 for 5 people, but later found out that we should have negotiated the price before getting in the taxi. It only cost $15 on the way back. Oh well....live and learn. We didn't have reservations but I had researched this place online before we left. We paid for the dolphin swim and got in the 10:00 group (11:00 ship time). Somehow we ended up with a group that had paid for the Royal Dolphin swim (maybe because it was the first group of the day) so we got way more than we paid for. We did the dolphin swim (plus some) and got to go in with the Manatee too. We all loved it. Well worth the money.

After doing that, we saw the sea lion show (not much compared to Sea World) and walked over to their beach to do a little snorkeling. The area where you get in the water is very rocky so it was tough for my 7 year old and my MIL, but once you get in the water was beautiful. They had many chairs and umbrellas that you can use. I loved sitting in the chairs in the shade just watching everybody in the water. It's so hot there, that I had no desire to lay in the sun. The shade felt really nice.

We headed back to the ship and did a little shopping on the way. If you're going to shop, this is the place to do it. All the other ports were quite pricey. Cozumel had great prices.

Read 5491 Cozumel Reviews

The seas were rough as we were going into Roatan, so we couldn't dock at Mahagony Bay and we ended up docking at another place (Coxen Hole???). We had planned on spending the day on the beach so we left the ship and thought we'd just take a taxi to the closest beach. We found out that the closest beach would be a 30 minute taxi ride and would cost us about $100. The kids were begging to go back on the ship and do the water slides and go to Camp Carnival so that's what we ended up doing. I loved being on the ship while everyone else was in port. The ship felt empty. It was awesome. While the kids were in Camp Carnival, my DH and I went to the Serenity Area (no kids) and had an awesome cabanna in the shade. This time was soooo relaxing to me.

Read 2447 Roatan Reviews

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Member Since 2007
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