Dream Review - 4/27

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SW Florida
109 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
We were a group of four traveling on the Carnival Dream 4/27 sailing to Cozumel, Belize, Roatan, and Costa Maya. We all stayed in one Cove Balcony room mid-ship – RM 2306. It was my partner and I (in our 40’s) and two teen girls (DD – 17 y/o and DD BFF – 16 y/o).

Day 1 – Embarkation.

We live in central Florida, so we are able to make the 45 minute drive to Port Canaveral easily. We used Park ‘N Cruise which was a little less than $50 for the total bill. So when you get there, you drive into this pole-barn type of structure, and they check your reservation. Then they whisk you all out of the vehicle, saying “one of you move the car, one of you pays”, and before you can even comprehend what they have just said, all of your luggage is out of your car, and moved over to wait for a shuttle! Very, very efficient.

We arrived at Park ‘N Cruise at about 11 AM, and once we had the car parked it took about 10 or 15 minutes to wait until the shuttle was filled to drive us over to the port. It is a very quick 5 minute or so drive over to the port. It started raining on the way over, which was kind of a bummer, but you don’t have to stand in it too much, most places you have to walk are under cover.

We had gotten a letter from Carnival, in addition to a automated phone call, saying that we should not show up to the port early as they would not be boarding people until at least 1:30PM due to a “scheduled Coast Guard inspection”. We decided to show up early anyway, and take our chances. We were able to start the boarding process immediately upon arriving at the port. YAY!

We purchased FTTF for this cruise. We were off the shuttle and onboard within maybe 10 minutes. Once onboard, we went directly to our room to drop off our carry-on luggage. Our room was ready as advertised. So we headed up to the Lido deck and had our first drink at the Red Frog Rum Bar! There was a fairly substantial line to purchase the Cheers program, and/or soda cards that sort of wrapped around into the rain. We got soda cards for 3 of the 4 of us, but we just went to one of the bars to purchase them instead of waiting in that long line. We had also considered getting Cheers, but after a LOT of thought, we decided to just pay-as-you-go instead. After a drink, we went to Tandoor for lunch, and it was very good.

At this point we headed back to the room and half of our luggage had already arrived, the remaining half came a few minutes later. So, we unpacked and got all settled in for our fun-filled week! We went exploring for a bit and got some blended coffee drinks (awesome!) and headed back to the room for sail-away. Just to review for others considering FTTF… we were happy we got it, and will do it again if it is offered.

We had early seating, and were in the Crimson upper dining room. We did not have any other table mates, and our servers were awesome. We had Inyoman and Sityono (I’m pretty sure I’m spelling those wrong!) They memorized who we were immediately, and called us by name every time we were there. I have read all the reviews recently and all the negative comments about the food and service in the dining room, and am happy to report; we did not experience any of that! Our bar waiter was prompt, and brought soda’s every night as we arrived. We also ordered wine and drinks every night, and never had a long wait. Our food was always the correct temperature, and the flow was smooth… I don’t think we were ever there longer than an hour and 15 minutes.

The first night I had the linguini with sausage and bell peppers as an appetizer, the beef briscuit, and crčme brule. It was all very good, and we all enjoyed our meals.

After dinner we went to make our nightly donation to the casino, and after that we found more desserts in the “Sweet Spot” in the back of the Gathering buffet area. I think we spent some time on our balcony then for a bit… I remember it was quite windy that first night and there was a lot of motion on the ship. Then I believe we called it a night and went to bed.

Now is as good a time as any to talk about the Cove Balcony. We had mixed feelings about it. We enjoyed being so close to the water, but when it was windy, we felt it was quite loud. The room itself was mostly quiet – I did notice some noise coming from the floor above us from time to time. It wasn’t what I would call “bothersome”, and it didn’t keep us awake or anything, it was just there. We also didn’t like the lifeboats being right overhead… it cut down on some of the night time scenery for us. We did see a bunch of flying fish, and one morning (I think Cozumel) we saw dolphins – so that was pretty great!

Also, having four (including two teen aged girls) in one room was tight. I knew it would be, but I’m not sure I would do that again. Our room steward Christine, was so great. She knew which one of us was which without us introducing ourselves! I don’t know, she must have looked at our photos for the S&S cards or something, but it was impressive! She did a great job.

Next up… Day 2 – Sea day.
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North Carolina
2,132 Posts
Joined Jan 2005
Looking forward to the rest of your review! We'll be on Dream in July, though we're doing the Eastern itinerary.
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Joined Jan 2010
Can't wait to read more. Interested on hearing your thoughts on the Dream.
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89 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
Leaving on the Dream with this itinerary Saturday! Thanks for the details on Park N Cruise as that's who we are using. Looking forward to reading more of your review(at least until we leave )
195 Posts
Joined Jun 2008
Tell us more. I'm on the dream in June with the same itinerary and also in a cove balcony with dh and dd age 17.

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SW Florida
109 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
Day 2 – Sea Day.

I’m an early riser, and with all the reviews about chair hogs, I knew we would have to get up and moving relatively early if we wanted to be in the sun on the Lido Deck. So, we had room service delivered – they were on time, but got the order wrong, and left out a lot of our order. So we just went up to the Lido at around 8 AM I think. There were plenty of chairs available on THIS sea day… I must warn you – that is not the case for ALL sea days! I think we had a small bit of food from the lido buffet while we were out there, and then later went to the Comedy Brunch. As everyone said, the comedy is only for about 5 minutes on the hour to promote the evening comedy shows. But if you go with that in mind, there is no reason to be disappointed. We thought the food was very good, but the service sort of tapered off toward the end of the meal, and we couldn’t get coffee because the server wasn’t around. So we just left.

After that I think we went to the casino for a few minutes, and then decided to do the Food and Wine Pairing. The cost of that is $15/per person, and you are served 5 glasses of wines that are about 1/3 full. You also get a small plate with bites of different types of food (steak, fruit, cheese) to see how things taste differently with each other. It was interesting.

Back to the Sweet Spot for random desserts, and then what would become a daily food coma nap. J

Tonight was the first formal night, so we all got dressed up and took some photos and made our way to the dining room for dinner. I had the Spicy Alligator Fritters, Spaghetti Carbonara, and the WMC. All of it was delicious, and I love their Spaghetti Carbonara. J

After dinner we went to one of the family friendly comedy shows, and we really enjoyed ourselves! He was very funny, the show could have been a little longer though.

Today also started our love affair with the ice cream machines, and we stopped there before heading back to the cabin to turn in for the night. You can assume we had anywhere between 2-4 ice cream cones a day – the kids probably had more. J

Up next… Day 3 – Cozumel
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Glad you had a great trip, too! We loved the Dream two weeks before you. And we also had great MDR service re: wait staff (Ida, Luis, Iwayne), who called us by name each night. Our drinks took forever though, but we were on the Crimson top floor and late-time dining, so that may have been why. We enjoyed the food as well, especially the warm cinnamon cake with rum raisin ice cream, and the penne. Did you get to dock at Roatan? We had to go to Coxen Hole and was so glad we didn't miss the island altogether. It was beautiful!
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Thank you for the review so far! Can't wait to read more!
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Metro - Georgia
571 Posts
Joined May 2007
I keep refreshing the page for more....thank you for the detailed review -- any photos you can share?
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298 Posts
Joined Jul 2011
DH and I were on the same cruise. We loved the Dream, the food and the comedy club among other things. Can't wait to read the rest of your review.
Sacramento Area, CA
718 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
Nice review... We will be in cabin 2306 in 2.5 weeks, how cool, someone with first hand knowledge. I know with the coves you have to be careful on where you are located due to noise from the galley which is over some of them, supposedly not 2306, so what type of "noise" did you hear. By looking at deckplans it looks to be the atrium area. Thanks for the review
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cleburne,texas u.s.a.
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Love the review. Don't leave us hanging, give us more!!!
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Sunny Georgia
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Joined Sep 2009
Thanks for the review! We love the Dream, heading out in September on her again
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SW Florida
109 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
Originally posted by sbnuggie
Nice review... We will be in cabin 2306 in 2.5 weeks, how cool, someone with first hand knowledge. I know with the coves you have to be careful on where you are located due to noise from the galley which is over some of them, supposedly not 2306, so what type of "noise" did you hear. By looking at deckplans it looks to be the atrium area. Thanks for the review

The noise was sort of like stuff dropping on the floor? That's the best way I could describe it... like I thought maybe they were putting chairs on the floor or something? It was intermittent (and I couldn't tell you what time of day or if there were specific times of day... seems like I heard it maybe 3-4 times throughout the cruise), and really not an issue for us at all, so I would not worry about it. The room location is good, sort of in between two elevator banks, so that was convenient. I'm sure you will enjoy it!
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SW Florida
109 Posts
Joined Jul 2009

If this works, this was our favorite towel animal.
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SW Florida
109 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
I didn't take many photos of the cove, room or balcony, unfortunately, but I can show what the view from the balcony is...

This one is backing into Roatan... you can sort of see what I meant about the lifeboats blocking some scenery...
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Tallahassee , FL
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Joined Jan 2009
Sparky, DW and SIL were on this cruise. Looks like you made the right choice on using P&C. I tried to convince DW to use them as well and to head over there early. We've used them before and loved the service. She stuck by the higher P&C rate at the hotel (less repack hassle). It seems like the hotel originating shuttles were abidding by the Carnival letter, first shuttle from Country Inn and Suites was at 1PM. In the past the earliest shuttle was around 10:30 AM. Glad FTTF went smoothly for you. DW's Platinum status worked well for them too, even with the later start.

Looking forward to seeing your perspective on the cruise.
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Costa Maya/Mahahual Malecon Beach Clubs and Maps (posts 26-36)

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SW Florida
109 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
Day 3 – Cozumel.

We tried room service again this morning… the order was correct but I think they used the bagels from the previous cruise or something. They were dry and hard to get down every time we ordered them. I like to have a bagel with peanut butter for breakfast sometimes, so that was a little disappointing.

We had a beautiful sunrise this morning, and this was also the morning we saw dolphins outside of our balcony:

For today, we booked an all inclusive day at Mr. Sancho’s. It was $45 per adult and $35 per teen if pre-ordered. Otherwise it is $5 more per person. This includes all food (except lobster) and drinks. We loved it here. It is beautiful, and we were there pretty early so we got to select chairs almost right on the water. Our waiter, Antonio, was great as well… any time we were getting to the bottom of a drink, he was right there asking if we wanted another. Same thing with food pretty much. We had nachos, fish tacos, coconut shrimp… all delicious!

I’ll probably get flamed for this next paragraph, but I have to say that the only thing that was not perfect was the other people around us! We deliberately chose chairs the farthest away from the water toys and kids as we could. We were one of only two ships in port that day, so the beach was not crowded, but a family with 3-4 small children decided to sit right next to us, and then play in the water directly in front of us – screaming and being really loud. It was hard to relax with that going on. Then after they moved to one of the beds farther back on the beach, a group of half-drunk 20somethings came and took their place. I know we all paid to be there, and I know I’m probably expecting too much; but I’m just one of those people that will never understand why people claim the space right next to someone else when there are lots of other places to go. (This goes for beaches, elevators, bathroom stalls, etc… it’s called personal space people!)

Ok, so after Mr. Sancho’s we headed back to the port area, and shopped a bit. The taxi ride was $16 each way for the 4 of us.

At dinner tonight I had the Study in Sushi, Penne Mariscos, and cheesecake. Parts of the sushi were good, parts just ok. The penne was really great… and the cheesecake was just ok. It is not as firm as New York cheesecake should be.

We spent some more time in the casino tonight, and ended up ordering room service late in the night. The food was good… except the cheesecake – the room service cheesecake is sort of the Jell-O version… I didn’t like it.

It’s funny how much you eat on a cruise… We normally eat pretty light at home, but boy – put us on a ship and it’s like we’re all pregnant with triplets or something! Good thing I’m back in the real world now, or I’d have gained 50lbs!

Up next… Day 4 – Belize.
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