A GREAT VACATION WITH A FEW SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT: Carnival Dream Cruise Review by funflickssarah

Carnival Dream 5
Member Since 2012

Overall Member Rating


Sail Date: February 2012
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Port Canaveral (Orlando)
We travelled on February 17-25th on the Carnival Dream with my two kids, ages 6 and 3 and my in-laws. All in all we had a fabulous time. I will go through the many things I loved and the few suggestions I have to make things better.

Things I loved:

The cove balcony was fabulous! We were so close to the water and it was so peaceful out there at night listening to the sounds from the ocean. It was extra private compared to the other balconies on the ship. We went in the deck five hot tub one night and noticed a balcony room located right above it. We were sitting there looking right up at the people sitting out on it. That confirmed that I made the right decision to book the cove balcony. In fact, I would almost cruise the Dream again JUST to stay in that cabin. PERFECTION!

The Camp Carnival far exceeded my expectations. The first night my daughter (age 6) refused to register. We took her there and signed her up, let her stay for a while and she was hooked. More My two kids were in separate programs because of their ages. At first, I thought that would be a problem for them, but it wasn't. In fact, it was better this way since the programming they did really was geared toward each age group. The staff was friendly and they had so much for the kids to do. My kids would leave there with their faces painted, several different craft projects and a ton of stories about all the cool stuff they did. They have kids dinner every night where you drop them off at the pasta bar and they have dinner together with their friends. It's a kid friendly menu including pizza, chicken fingers, turkey sandwiches, etc. I had to beg my daughter to eat dinner with us for ONE night. They even got visit from Funship Freddy. To them, that was super cool!

The ship staff was wonderful. They were always smiling, saying hello and asking if everything was ok. Those people are so hard working and well deserving of the tipping that so many complain about. You couldn't go anywhere without seeing people cleaning the ship. Great service all around!

The food was good. Surprisingly I enjoyed the different food stations on deck over the dining room food. The Tandor Grill was awesome and strangely enough, it was never crowded?? I can't understand why that was, but it worked for me! The mongolian bar was also delicious, but you have to go at an off time and not during the busy lunch rush. After I got hooked the first time, I tried to go back for lunch on day at sea and there was a large line of people waiting. Not too much of a problem, I just went back to Tandor. The Pasta Bar was great. We went there on our first day. There was hardly anyone in there! A good choice to get away from the lido deck crowd on day one.

Piano Bar Dave was so much fun! We ended up there every night due to the lack of any musical entertainment anywhere else on the ship. This was not so much bad thing as he was great. Everyone got into the singing and musical instruments and it always turned into a great party.

My suggestions to make this ship MUCH better....

The music entertainment was terrible (except for piano bar Dave). It was almost comical how cheesy the lounge music was. There was a DJ the Lido Deck pool. That's fun, but it was so loud you could barely talk to the person next to you. I'm not old (39 to be exact), but that was a bit much for me. I preferred sitting at the pool in the back of the ship. There they had piped in music that was a few hairs shy of elevator muzac. It was terrible! I would have liked something in the middle. A little more modern, or a little more carribean. Maybe some steel drum band music, or Jimmy Buffet would have been nice. It was enough to really make you notice just how bad the music entertainment was.

The hot tubs...OK, here's my big gripe. We went in the hot tub on deck five the first night and it was cold. Not good. The next night we looked for another one to go in and noticed all were closed except for two in the back of the ship. For a ship that big with that many people, they need to have more hot tubs open at night. A thought might be to leave one of the adult only hot tubs open for just the adults, since I got annoyed watching those with no kids roll their eyes when I brought my kids in at night. I get it, I wouldn't want to sit in the hot tub with bunch of kids if I were on a cruise without kids, but there were only two hot tubs to choose from. This could be easily rectified if they would keep one of the adult only hot open.

We didn't have any issues with the elevators except for day one when everyone was getting on. Sure, you had to wait a few minutes, but no big deal. There were crowds, but it wasn't an issue for us since we usually like to chill out and do our own thing. There were plenty of places and opportunities to do that.

All in all, it was a vacation I will never forget. We would go back in a heartbeat. The Dream was nice, but as so many have said, big isn't always better. We liked sailing on the Legend more than the Dream. The layout was better and there weren't as many people. But really, how can you go wrong with any of the ships? Carnival does a great job of making sure everyone has a vacation to remember. Less

Published 02/27/12

Cabin review: 7C2554 Cove Balcony

Great balcony! Love the Cove!

Read All Cove Balcony (7C) Reviews >>

Port and Shore Excursions

This is a port I visited before and had a very negative feeling towards until now. We chose to do the Captain Your Own Boat tour with Coral Breeze. We hit the jackpot with this one. It was the hightlight of our cruise. James and Levon were our tour guides. They rode in the lead boat with my in-laws and my husband and I rode in our own boat following them the whole way. My husband drove. We took the boats through the City of Belize and into the Mangroves and then out into the Belize river. We drove 25 miles up the river all while watching crocodiles, iguanas, monkeys, birds, etc. The smell of the flowering trees was so nice. James, the tour guide loved his country and loved to tell us about it. We learned to much about the country and the people. My once jaded view of Belize has been completely turned around. We stopped at a local home where a woman rescues animals. It was like a mini zoo! She also had several native fruit trees that we got to learn all about. I can't say enough good things about James and Coral Breeze Tours. Any fear I had about exploring Belize was gone as soon as we met James.

Interesting little port. There's not a lot to see in Costa Maya, but you certainly get an authentic Mexican experience here. We researched ahead of time and ended up at a little place called Tropicante. If you google it, you'll find it. Dave, the owner is from Texas. We had a nice table shaded under palm tree. There are many people including small children trying to sell items on the beach. It's enough to rip your heart out. That aside, it was another perfect day. The food was to die for. We ordered some steak tacos and chips and salsa a bucket of beer (6 for $10) and a few margaritas. WOW, amazing is all I can say. The margaritas were very strong so watch out! The tacos were a far cry from any taco you get in the United States. I got a massage on the beach and it was wonderful. We originally were going there to do some snorkeling, but it was so windy that we opted to kick our feet up and relax. Not a bad alternative.
Read 1761 Costa Maya Reviews

In Cozumel we went to Paradise Beach. It has been redone since that last time we were there. They put in beautiful new pool facility. It's a nice place to visit if you just want to hang out at the beach.
Read 5470 Cozumel Reviews

Lovely beach right off the ship even though it's man made. We had a great time snorkeling off the pier. There's a small coral reef that's great if you just want to get some beautiful fish viewing in. We brought our own mask and snorkel, so it was free! Of course we made up for that with our food and beverage purchases :). This port was the reason why we booked this itinerary and it didn't dissapoint. I wish we had two days here. I would have loved to explore roatan a little more.
Read 2443 Roatan Reviews

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