My husband and I sailed for the second time on the Carnival Dream, stateroom category 8B, room 6318. The ship had just returned from an altered itinerary due to fog, and so hadn't been in port for several days. As such, she was in need of a thorough cleaning outside: all outside windows and balconies were filmed over with salt and tough to see through. The inside of the ship was pristine; I seldom saw empty glasses or room service items in the common areas.
Our sailing must have been quite empty, because even on the one warm sea day we had, the lido deck had chairs to spare and Serenity was quite empty as well. Bars that had been opened on our first sailing were closed on and off, and the buffet seemed less full of options than before.
Activities were abundant, especially live music! It seemed that every evening we had two or three venues to choose from to listen to live music. The comedians must have been good, because even arriving early to several shows it was standing room only. Since we sailed in mid-January, there were very few kids on board, and as such the casino was full and smoky. The smoke thankfully didn't waft far, but it was bothersome to walk through. As far as excursions, our submarine trip in Cozumel was canceled due to weather conditions, and there were several Carnival staff members on the pier near the meeting areas ready with alternatives to offer us. The canceled excursion was automatically refunded and we were able to choose a trip to Chankanaab instead, which I highly recommend!
The location of this cabin was ideal, close to two sets of elevators, midship, and just a few decks up or down to get to all of the public areas on the ship. My one negative remark on this stateroom is that it is right above the casino, and we often heard slot machines pinging or people celebrating. It wasn't overly loud, but enough to remark upon.
Porters were not as available as usual. Carnival staff was friendly and helpful.
The free beach is worth a trip! Nice sand, though lots of shells so wear water shoes! Seaweed wasn't too bad, plenty of cleared sand to lay on. We didn't see any sand fleas, ants, or other bugs in January. Vendors walked around but weren't very pushy. Ate at Eladia's bar right by the entrance from the mercado where the shuttle bus drops you off - low prices, clean bathrooms, good food!