I will discuss some of the positive and negative things I had read about previous reviews and bring up some new things along the way.
A couple things I want to address right off the bat:
"The smell" - never noticed it anywhere. I was all over the ship and didn’t encounter it once.
"The crowds" - this cruise wasnt any worse than our cruise on the Fantasy in January 2011. No matter what ship you go on there will be crowds at peak timex to eat, shop, swim, etc. We avoided those crazy times and never had a major problem. Hot tubs were busy at times, but we were able to use them at various locations around the ship. Pools were busy but we were able to get in and cool off in both pools during port days.
"The elevators" - yes they were busy, we used the stairs quite a bit. I could see that having some having mobility issues could have a long wait at times. Worst times were on embarkation, busy evening hours, and debarkation.
"The food" - never had a bad meal. Service was excellent in the dining room and adequate in the buffet. Food quantity and choice was never an issue for us. Food was hot and tasty. We tried new things during the week. Ate once in the Steak House and I can’t say enough how well worth the $30 up charge (per person) was. The steaks were fantastic and properly prepared. Will have photos later of that night.
"Ship movement" - this is one area we noticed. Granted this was only our 2nd cruise and our first large ship but the Dream wiggles, shakes, and shimmies more than I expected. Wasn’t horrible and nobody got sick but just be forewarned, the Dream likes to boogie. We had a couple rough nights due to wind and I’m sure the length and height of the ship caused all the movement. Would it keep me from going on a dream class ship again, no, but it’s definitely a consideration for those more sensitive to motion. We slept like babies each night but on the rougher nights some noises woke us up.
“The Dream is too big” – ok, it’s a very large ship. It wasn’t that horribly large that we couldn’t figure out where we were going. I liked the walk-around promenade deck. I can understand how the size of the Dream class would not be everyone’s favorite, but we actually enjoyed the size and layout of the ship.
Ok, on with the review…
Traveled with myself (43), DW (46), DS (19), DD (22), SIL (24), and DN (just turned 18). Our 2nd cruise, DD and SIL 2nd cruise, and DS and DN first cruise. We booked in January after our first cruise on Fantasy to celebrate our 10th anniversary. It was a long countdown from 300+ days.
We only planned one excursion in Cozumel (Twister and Isla Passion) and the Behind the Fun on the last sea day. This purpose of this trip was to maximize the relaxation and we were pretty lazy.
We all debated about driving down and found direct flights from Cleveland to Orlando so we went for it. Our returning flight changed three times. We had directs booked both coming and going but they cancelled our 3pm return flight and we had to change to a flight through Houston and would get us back 6 hours later.
Word of advice - check the flights often. We were able to get booked on a 2pm direct flight at no charge a couple weeks before we left.
We left house in “style,” a stretch hummer limo, one of the several surprises we had in store for the kids.....
In order - myself, SIL, DD, DW, DN, DS
Then we experienced the usual security the airport. Got there early enough and got through the lines quickly. I haven’t traveled recently enough to get patted down. That was an interesting experience.
We also made a real effort to pack as light as possible and have no checked luggage. Amazingly we did it.
We left Cleveland with some snow on the ground and couldn’t wait to get to sunny Florida.
We arrived on time in Orlando. Got rental vehicle for the 6 of us and drove to Cocoa Beach. I wanted to rent a vehicle so we could do some shopping and go to dinner without having to pay a taxi service to move six of us around.
Here I am being a "happy driver" going on Route 528. I really want to move to Florida....
Stayed at Residence Inn Cocoa Beach and had a two bedroom suite which gave us all enough room. Very nice hotel.
Apr 2017 - Carnival Vista
Apr 2016 - Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas - Western Caribbean - First Royal Cruise!
Apr 2015 - Carnival Sunshine - Western Caribbean
Apr 2014 - Carnival Valor - Southern Caribbean
Apr 2013 - Carnival Liberty - Aft-Wrap Cruise (photo review)
Nov 2012 - Carnival Breeze - B2B Cruise! (photo review)
Dec 2011 - Carnival Dream - Cruising with the Kids (photo review)
Jan 2011 - Carnival Fantasy - Anniversary Cruise (photo review)