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navybaby1113

Dream Review: 04/17/2010 Western Caribbean

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Let me preface this by saying that we just got back from our honeymoon on the Carnival Dream and had a fantastic time. Yes, there were a few things here and there that bugged me, but nothing that would completely ruin my cruise.

 

The ports of call we stopped at were Cozumel, Roatan, Belize, and Costa Maya. In Cozumel, we took a ferry over to the mainland (Playa del Carmen) and went to Xcaret. In Roatan, we just stayed at Mahogany Bay and spent a little time on the beach and ship. In Belize, we did the Goff's Cay Snorkeling tour. And in Costa Maya we went to the Chacchoben ruins.

 

I left my journal at home, so let me start you off with the albums of all the pictures we took. I'll be including a lot of pictures in the review, so you don't have to look through all of them if you don't want.

 

Ship

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2840451&id=5230340&l=14e4cf8e6c

 

Cozumel/Playa del Carmen

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2840487&id=5230340&l=6a816930f3

 

Roatan

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2840496&id=5230340&l=8e9c55e021

 

Belize

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2840499&id=5230340&l=04321c0185

 

Costa Maya

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2840507&id=5230340&l=37fcdc7d79

 

Food

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2840578&id=5230340&l=78b296d682

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Congrats on your marriage. :)

 

Thanks for the review and pictures. Looking at your food pictures has made me very hungry, and I'm trying to drop a few lbs before our cruise on Dream in June!!

 

I have a question about the deck party with the laser show. We have late seating (8:15). Are we going to miss these, or are they a little later in the evening??

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Congrats on your marriage. :)

 

Thanks for the review and pictures. Looking at your food pictures has made me very hungry, and I'm trying to drop a few lbs before our cruise on Dream in June!!

 

I have a question about the deck party with the laser show. We have late seating (8:15). Are we going to miss these, or are they a little later in the evening??

 

They are later in the evening. We had late seating as well. I'm at work now, but when I get home and have my journal and capers in front of me, I'll let you know what times they were.

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What cabin were you in? We are sailing in January on the Dream in cabin 8469.

 

We were in 7448. It's an L-shaped cabin.

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Let me preface this by saying that we just got back from our honeymoon on the Carnival

 

In Belize, we did the Goff's Cay Snorkeling tour.

 

Thanks for the great photos! We plan on doing this trip next. And I love looking at your underwater photos to help pick our snorkel spots when we go.

 

Congratulations on your great honeymoon trip :)

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please tell me about the Steakhouse Cooking Demo.

 

Oh I definitely will. Don't worry. It was one of my favorite parts of the entire trip. It took place on the first sea day around 11am.

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Since I don't have my capers or anything in front of me, let me go ahead and tell you about our cabin.

 

We stayed in 7448 which is in category 8B. It's a L-shaped cabin and it's all the way at the aft of the port side of the ship. The room is configured differently, so the balcony is double the size of a normal balcony.

 

We absolutely loved the room and didn't feel it was too small. This was our first balcony and we definitely used it. Not sure we could sail without a balcony anymore.

 

When you first walk into the door, there is a long hallway with the closets in it. There is also a chair right behind the door, which is a very odd place for a chair.

 

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When you walk down the hallway, the desk is situated to your right and the bed to your left. The is a nice window right at the end of the hallway so you can see the ocean if you're sitting at the desk.

 

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The bathroom is off to the side of the room, near the balcony door.

 

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There isn't much walking room, so it does get kind of tight with both people walking around at the same time. It wasn't a terribly big problem for us though.

 

There is no sofa in the room because of the way it is configured.

 

The bathroom was a nice size and had tons of room for all your toiletries. You would not need an over the door shoe hanger with this bathroom. Shelving is kind of limited in the shower though. Really nice pressure on the showers as well.

 

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The balcony was huge! We had two chairs and a table as well as a lounger.

 

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We are leaving this weekend for the Dream and I can't wait to read your review and see all the photos. I did look thru your pics of the ship and of course the food porn. Did you guys try the ribs? I didn't see any pics of that, but I'm forever reading about how wonderful they are. Also, I would like to hear about the steakhouse demonstration. If there was a fee, how much was it? I can't wait to read more. Congrats on your marriage as well!

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We did not try the ribs. I'm not a ribs fan and my DH always saw something else he'd rather have.

 

There was no fee for the Steakhouse Demonstration. There is limited seating though, so I highly recommend getting there early.

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Embarkation Day

We took the Radisson shuttle over to the ship around 11am. Took about 30 minutes to get through the embarkation process and onto the ship.

 

We went straight to the Lido deck to get lunch. I wanted to try the pasta bar before everyone else realized that it was available, so that's where we decided to go on the first day. When you walk up, they give you little forms where you can fill out what you want. We checked multiple mix-ins on our form, but when we received the food, it only had the first mix-in included in our dish. Not sure how that's supposed to be or whethr they just didn't notice the other ones. My DH got chicken alfredo and I got penne with clam sauce. We each ordered bread as well, thinking it would be garlic bread. Nope. Just a roll with some garlic and italian seasoning sprinkled on it. Wasn't even warm.

 

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After we finished lunch, we wandered around the ship for a while until our room was available.

 

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We went to our room and unpacked until it was time for muster drill. Our muster station was located in the lower Scarlett restaurant. Muster drill seemed to go by really slowly. I'm assuming because people wouldn't stop talking. It was a lot more relaxing than old muster drills. You just need to go to your muster station and listen to some announcements on the intercom. Then the crew in your muster station give you some directions and you get to leave.

 

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Embarkation Day Continued

We went straight to our balcony to watch sailaway, which happened about 4:30pm. It took us a while to get out of Port Canaveral.

 

After sailaway, we went down to the dining room to check out our seating assignment. We were scheduled in the Scarlett Restaurant for late seating. We were supposed to share a table with 8 other people, so we went down to talk to the maitre de to see if we could get that changed. Since it was our honeymoon, we really wanted a table for 2. He told us that he couldn't do anything for that night, but that he would notify us by 3:30pm the next day whether we got the table change or not.

 

We decided to skip dinner in the dining room that night and go eat at the lido deck instead. I was kind of shocked by the lack of options on the dinner buffet. I feel there were more when we sailed on the Celebration. They did have some delicious panko shrimp on the buffet though and I ate tons of that.

 

After dinner, we went to the Welcome Aboard show which took place in the Encore! Lounge at 8:30pm. That was the only time for the show, so if you have late seating, you will have to miss it. I found this was common with some of the shows on board.

 

For the Welcome Aboard show, Todd came out and talked for a while and then introduced the rest of the entertainment staff. Then the dancers did some stuff and the two comedians for the start of the cruise came out and told a few jokes.

 

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After the Welcome Aboard show was done, they started a deck party on the lido deck at 9:30pm. The entertainment staff taught some line dances for the first 30 minutes and then they had two different laser shows. We stood on deck 12 for these and I think it was a lot better view than those that were standing on the Lido.

 

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They reopened the grill from 11pm to 1am for late night snacks. They had hamburgers, hot dogs, fries, and desserts out there for you.

 

Next Up: Sea Day

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Thank you for taking the time to post this. I am sailing on the Dream next month and can't wait! :D

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Sea Day

We woke up on the first sea day to dreary weather and choppy seas. It was kind of chilly too. Not what you want to see in the Caribbean. It cleared up after breakfast though and we ended up having an absolutely gorgeous day.

 

We went to breakfast in the Scarlett Restaurant. They sat us with 7 other people. 2 couples and 3 singles who were sailing together. I had the pancakes with strawberry syrup and DH had the omelette. Both were delicious. The 3 singles that were sitting with us ended up being from the same town as a lot of my family. One of them actually used to work with my grandmother. Such a small world!

 

We went up to the Lido deck to watch the Good Morning. I have to say that this is one thing that I never was interested in on the cruise. Todd and James seemed really bored doing it.

 

Chair hogs seemed to be out.

 

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At 11am, they had a cooking demonstration in the Steakhouse, which I definitely had to be at. There was no charge for this. They handed you a recipe booklet as you walked in so that you could follow along with the chefs. They showed you how to cook and display each meal. Then, they brought out samples for everyone to try. They cooked a Mushroom Cappuccino, Baby Leaf Spinach & Fresh Mushrooms, Broiled Supreme of Free Range Chicken, and Tiramisu. They were all delicious.

 

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We decided to participate in Super Trivia. There was only two of us and the host of the show mentioned that it was better the more people you had in the team. So we teamed up with the couple next to us. You pick a color out of a box and then they give you the question from the category. If you get it right, you roll the dice to see how many points you got for that question. It's 3 rounds total and your team has to be there for every round or you're disqualified. At the end of Round 1, our team had zero points.

 

We went to Tea Time later in the day. They had about 6 different teas you could choose from. They brought around a little card with some snacks on them. They had a bunch of desserts and about 2 or 3 savory snacks you could have. The desserts we tried weren't the best.

Edited by navybaby1113

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We went to the PG-rated comedy show at 7:30pm. These shows do get over in time for the late seating dinner. The comedian was pretty funny. Just a warning. These shows do not have children related content. They are just PG-rated because they don't have curse words or too many sexual undertones. Todd compared these shows to what you would see on TV shows like South Park or Family Guy. So, don't get too offended if they say some things you don't want your child to hear.

 

The maitre de sent a letter to our cabin saying that our dining request had been approved, so we decided to go to the MDR for dinner that night. This was our first formal night.

 

For appetizers, we had the Farmer's Salad and Shrimp Cocktail.

 

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For dinner, my DH had the pasta carbonara while I had lobster and prime rib. We were the exact way at our wedding. He ordered pasta while I got roast beef. The lobster was okay. Nothing to write home about. The prime rib had A LOT of fat on it. I would have still been hungry if I would have only ordered one without the other.

 

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The maitre de came around to all the tables while we were eating our entrees. He recommended we try the Carmelized Apples, so we did. It was absolutely disgusting. Definitely would not eat it again. The caramel sauce on the side was what made it bad. It might be okay without it.

 

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After dinner we went to the R-rated comedy show. The comedian was Lewis Nixon. We had actually seen him on the Celebration, but he was still funny as heck. The layout of the Burgundy Lounge (Comedy Club) is kind of weird. They have poles set throughout which block the view of the stage from a lot of seats. I'll post pictures in the next post. Make sure you get to the R-rated show early (like 30 minutes) because seats are hard to come by. The PG-rated shows aren't nearly as bad.

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Wow!! the cooking demo looks great. Will tell DW and SIL and watch for it. They do tea already and love it. Sorry your first quest for a ship on a stick didn't pan out. Looking forward tot he rest of your review.

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Sadly it doesn't look like I got any pictures of the horribly placed poles.

 

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Actually, here's a picture from the Farewell Party that shows them.

 

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Wow! That's exactly how my prime rib looked when we sailed on Destiny in March. It was the first time I've ever sent anything back. They were really nice about it and brought me a perfect piece.

 

I'm enjoying your food photos! Can't wait to sail on Dream!

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Looks like Times Square on New Years Eve with those crowds. How can you move around? I wouldn't be able to breath being stuffed in like that. What is fun about that? Note to self,,,skip deck party.,.....

 

 

Embarkation Day Continued

We went straight to our balcony to watch sailaway, which happened about 4:30pm. It took us a while to get out of Port Canaveral.

 

After sailaway, we went down to the dining room to check out our seating assignment. We were scheduled in the Scarlett Restaurant for late seating. We were supposed to share a table with 8 other people, so we went down to talk to the maitre de to see if we could get that changed. Since it was our honeymoon, we really wanted a table for 2. He told us that he couldn't do anything for that night, but that he would notify us by 3:30pm the next day whether we got the table change or not.

 

We decided to skip dinner in the dining room that night and go eat at the lido deck instead. I was kind of shocked by the lack of options on the dinner buffet. I feel there were more when we sailed on the Celebration. They did have some delicious panko shrimp on the buffet though and I ate tons of that.

 

After dinner, we went to the Welcome Aboard show which took place in the Encore! Lounge at 8:30pm. That was the only time for the show, so if you have late seating, you will have to miss it. I found this was common with some of the shows on board.

 

For the Welcome Aboard show, Todd came out and talked for a while and then introduced the rest of the entertainment staff. Then the dancers did some stuff and the two comedians for the start of the cruise came out and told a few jokes.

 

26746_10100210736199813_5230340_59739217_376267_n.jpg

 

After the Welcome Aboard show was done, they started a deck party on the lido deck at 9:30pm. The entertainment staff taught some line dances for the first 30 minutes and then they had two different laser shows. We stood on deck 12 for these and I think it was a lot better view than those that were standing on the Lido.

 

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They reopened the grill from 11pm to 1am for late night snacks. They had hamburgers, hot dogs, fries, and desserts out there for you.

 

Next Up: Sea Day

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Looks like Times Square on New Years Eve with those crowds. How can you move around? I wouldn't be able to breath being stuffed in like that. What is fun about that? Note to self,,,skip deck party.,.....

 

That's why we were up on the balcony at deck 12. So much easier to see and less crowds.

Edited by navybaby1113

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Loving your review! My DH and DS (7) are going to the cooking demonstration. My son wants to be a chef and wants to meet one on board. Can't wait to show him the photos you took.

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How did you feel as a whole about the crowds? I went on my first cruise in 1989. Back then the cruise lines were more about giving a quality product and not saving money and cost cutting. Seems now all they care about are stuffing as many people on a ship as they can and cutting quality in ever aspect. From what I have read, CCL has made a huge mistake with the Dream. Way too many people. How can that be fun? How can that be relaxing? Standing on lines all over the ship? Not being able to use the elevators? Not being able to efficiently take care of the human waste? No places to sit on sea days? Maybe I am spoiled by some of the cruises I have been on over the last 20+ years. I booked the Dream before she sailed for the first time. Now I am regretting it. I hate crowds, they actually make me physically sick and give me major anxiety. Is it as bad as I am reading? Should i be looking forward to this trip and not regretting making the decision to go?

 

 

That's why we should up on the balcony at deck 12. So much easier to see and less crowds.

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How did you feel as a whole about the crowds? I went on my first cruise in 1989. Back then the cruise lines were more about giving a quality product and not saving money and cost cutting. Seems now all they care about are stuffing as many people on a ship as they can and cutting quality in ever aspect. From what I have read, CCL has made a huge mistake with the Dream. Way too many people. How can that be fun? How can that be relaxing? Standing on lines all over the ship? Not being able to use the elevators? Not being able to efficiently take care of the human waste? No places to sit on sea days? Maybe I am spoiled by some of the cruises I have been on over the last 20+ years. I booked the Dream before she sailed for the first time. Now I am regretting it. I hate crowds, they actually make me physically sick and give me major anxiety. Is it as bad as I am reading? Should i be looking forward to this trip and not regretting making the decision to go?

 

I think you're worrying too much. It's really not that crowded.

 

Yes, there were lines on the lido for lunch, but I don't think we stood in any for more than 15 minutes. If you go at off-times (not at like noon for lunch), then you won't really have any line at all. At lot of the time we were just able to walk straight up and grab our food without any waiting.

 

I don't think the elevators take so much time because there's a lot of people as it is there are a lot of decks. It takes a long time for an elevator to go up and down 12 flights. Also, you have a lot of people who are inconsiderate of others and take the elevator down one flight. Take the stairs.

 

There are plenty of chairs on the ship. You should be able to find one somewhere. Maybe not right next to the pool, but go up to like the 12th deck and you should definitely be able to find a lounge chair.

 

If you are so concerned with crowds, maybe cruising on the big lines isn't for you.

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Thanks for your reply,.,,,You are right, cruising on the big lines is no longer for me,,that is the sad thing,,it used to be. Oh my, what cruising has come to today. On other cruises i have been on i did not have to go up to the 12th deck to maybe get lucky and get a chair, or wait on long lines even during peak times. The lines used to care about such things. Now they no longer do. That is my point. When I am on vacation I don't want to feel like a sheep being herded. You know what i mean? This will most likely be my last cruise, but who knows? I tried to plan things on this cruise that take us away from the crowds. We are also traveling with a large group so we are going as part of the group. If it was just up to us to plan a vacation this would not be it. Thanks again, and your pictures are great! Thanks for posting them.

 

I think you're worrying too much. It's really not that crowded.

 

Yes, there were lines on the lido for lunch, but I don't think we stood in any for more than 15 minutes. If you go at off-times (not at like noon for lunch), then you won't really have any line at all. At lot of the time we were just able to walk straight up and grab our food without any waiting.

 

I don't think the elevators take so much time because there's a lot of people as it is there are a lot of decks. It takes a long time for an elevator to go up and down 12 flights. Also, you have a lot of people who are inconsiderate of others and take the elevator down one flight. Take the stairs.

 

There are plenty of chairs on the ship. You should be able to find one somewhere. Maybe not right next to the pool, but go up to like the 12th deck and you should definitely be able to find a lounge chair.

 

If you are so concerned with crowds, maybe cruising on the big lines isn't for you.

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Cozumel

We woke up early so that we could grab breakfast before we arrived in Cozumel. Again, I had pancakes and they were still delicious. I don't think breakfast in the dining room was ever bad.

 

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We were the only ship docked in Cozumel today, so it was not busy at all. We docked about 9am on the port side of the ship.

 

We planned to go over to the mainland and take the excursion to Xcaret. We met in the Encore! lounge and then they dismissed us to go to the port. Not really sure what the point of meeting in the lounge was since they just told us to go down to deck 0 and meet our tour group at the end of the pier. We found the guy with the Xcaret sign at the end of the dock and he took our tickets and gave us a wrist band. Then he sent us off to find the yellow boat that was our ferry over to the mainland.

 

We stopped to take a gorgeous picture on the way.

 

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The ferry was very comfortable with air conditioning and plus seats. They also had TVs which they played music on for the ride over. It was about a 45 minute ferry ride over to Playa del Carmen. It was a little rough, so if you get extremely seasick, I would not recommend going over to the mainland.

 

When we got there, we met our tour guides on the pier and they walked us over to our bus. It was a 15 minute bus ride to the park and our guide Carlos told us about the park while we were driving.

 

When we got to the park, we had a restroom break and then they gave us our wrist bands to enter the park. If you did not have reef safe sunscreen, they took it from you and gave you a number. They gave you a sample of reef safe sunscreen and then you could pick yours back up as you left.

 

We then walked into the park through a few shops. Carlos showed us the map of the park. He said if we wanted to go on the underground river than to follow him. He walked us over there and helped us get situated. They gave you huge bags that you were supposed to put your stuff in and then lock it. You keep the key with you. They then drive your bags over to the end of the river so it's there when you get off.

 

Next post will have some pictures from the underground river.

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Here's some pictures we took on the underground river.

 

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It is a very long river. There are exits along the way so that you can stop and get off at any point. We often used these exits to stand on to rest for a minute because you can't touch the bottom on the majority of the river. They had these signs along the way so you knew how much longer you had to go.

 

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There were a lot of people going down the river with snorkels and fins. They did not pay any attention where they were kicking, so we often got water splashed on us or we got kicked with the fins. That took away some of the fun of the river.

 

I highly recommend bringing water shoes with you. The river is all rock, so if you are able to touch the bottom, you might scrape your feet on something. You can get cheap water shoes at Walmart for under $10.

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After we got done with the river, we walked around the park. There is a lot of stuff to do at this park and you will not be able to see and do it all.

 

There is a nice beach area where you can relax in one of the "pools" or even in the actual ocean area.

 

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There are tons of animals to see throughout the park. We didn't get to see all of them, but I know they have birds, monkeys, and turtles.

 

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They also have some Myan Ruins you can check out.

 

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They had some food options, but most of them were really expensive. To eat in the buffet at their restaurants was $30 per person. There was a snack stand closer to the front of the park, but we didn't find that until we were about to leave. I highly recommend bringing your own snack.

 

Also, brings tons of water. This is no fresh water at this park, so you need to bring enough for you to drink throughout the day. We got very dehydrated by the end of the day. It would have been much more enjoyable if we would have had more water.

 

At the end of the day, our group met back on the bus and we went back to the pier to catch our ferry. We got back to the ship about 10 minutes before everyone was supposed to be on board.

 

It was a great excursion and I highly recommend it.

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For dinner that night, we ate in the main dining room.

 

For appetizers, I had shrimp cocktail again (delicious by the way) and my DH had a smoked chicken quesadilla.

 

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For the entrees, I had the flat iron steak and my DH had the jerk pork loin. The pork loin was absolutely delicious and I wish I would have ordered it.

 

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For dessert we both had the strawberry cheesecake which sadly I don't have a picture of.

 

We were so tired from the excursion that we turned in early that night.

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Great review and pictures. Thanks for taking the time to share.

 

Congrats on your marriage!!!!

Edited by DOTTE

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Roatan

We didn't have any plans for Roatan, so we were in no rush to get off the ship. When we woke up, we were already backing in to port with a Princess ship coming towards us.

 

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We headed down to breakfast. Pancakes were good again. My DH had the eggs benedict, which he said were delicious.

 

We finally docked about 9:30am. We went to get off the ship about 10:30am and there was a huge back-up on deck 0. I'm thinking the system went down or something. We were all squished into the little area for about 20 minutes.

 

Finally we got and went into port. You walk through a couple of shops before you walk into the main area of Mahogany bay. Then you have to walk up a small hill before you get to a larger shopping area. (You can see the hill in the picture above) If you turn to your right, there's a Fat Tuesdays and then if you keep going, there's a path to the beach. It's not a terribly long walk and there's benches along the way. When you get to the end of the path, a guard stops you and asks for your sail and sign card to prove you're a cruise ship passenger. Then, you walk through another shop and then you're on the beach area.

 

There's tons of chairs on the beach. The white ones are free to use while the yellow and blue striped ones cost money. The yellow ones are the closest to the beach, so if you want to watch your kids swim from the beach, I'd recommend renting one of these. There's a bar/restaurant on the beach, so you can go there if you want some refreshments. Fat Tuesdays also delivers on the beach, so you can get your drinks brought to you.

 

We didn't stay down there too long. We live in Florida, so the beach isn't anything special to us.

 

Here's a few pictures of Mahogany Bay:

 

Shopping area

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You can see the walk-way to the beach on the right side of the picture.

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Beach Area

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Cabanas on the beach

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Edited by navybaby1113

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We got back onto the ship about 11:30am to spend some time in the pool. We went to the aft pool and there was not a single person back there. It was very nice and relaxing.

 

We decided to grab lunch after a little while. My DH tried the Mongolian Grill. He said it was very good, but the line was long because it takes a while for them to prepare the food individually. I went over to the grill and got a grilled chicken sandwich. They don't really advertise they have these, but they're really good. They're listed on the menu, but you don't see them on the grill like you do the burgers. If you ask for one, they'll go to the back and get it for you. I highly recommend these.

 

After lunch, we decided to go up to the mini golf course while the ship was empty. We of course were the only ones playing mini golf. My DH beat me by 3.

 

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We played some trivia later in the day and learned that they only give ship on a sticks during big competitions like Super Trivia and such. They said they would trade in 5 medals for a ship on a stick though, so we kept playing through trivia.

 

The Crown Princess left about 6pm. She had to leave before we were able to get out of port. We left about 30 minutes later, which was 30 minutes before we were actually supposed to leave port. Guess we got everyone on the ship in a timely manner.

 

We went to the MDR for dinner again tonight.

 

For appetizers I had a Ceasar salad and my DH had chicken tenders marinated in thai spices.

 

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For our entrees, I went with veal parmigiana and my DH went with penne with tomato and vodka sauce. I did not enjoy the veal parmigiana at all. I only ate about half of it. I actually got sick later in the night (it was not sea sickness) and I attribute it to this dinner. Could have been something else though.

 

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And then for dessert, I had the infamous warm chocolate melting cake and my DH had a chocolate raspberry creme cake. This was one of the nights where the WCMC was way underdone. It was mostly chocolate sauce in the middle. The raspberry sorbet served with the chocolate raspberry creme cake was delicious. I would order that just by itself.

 

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After dinner we went to see Dancing in the Streets. They had two showings of this so you could go whether you were at early or late seating. It was a fantastic show and I highly recommend going to see it.

 

I'm not sure I would bring your kids to this show though. There were areas that were really sexual and you might not want to expose your children to it. Just an advanced warning.

Edited by navybaby1113

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