Day 2 Ė Cozumel:
We arrived on time right at 9am ships time. We were swimming with the dolphins at Chankanaab Park at 11 so we briskly walked through the port and boarded a taxi ($10 for 4 people) and got to the park 90 minutes before we did our swim. We did not book the excursion through Carnival, even though Carnival forces you to, but we got around that and saved a ton. Nobody at the park could have cared less if we were on the ship or not, Gripe #1; Iím really disappointed in Carnival for making cruise ship passengers book the swim with the dolphins package through the ship. We saved several hundred dollars by booking it ourselves. If you go to the Dolphin Discovery webpage and input you re coming in on the Dream they will refer you to Carnival for booking. We contacted Carnival about this and they told us it was so everyone who wants to do the swim gets a chance to or some BS like that. There are free lockers for use and showers and changing areas available for use. We did a Mayan history tour before the dolphin swim by one of the park guides. He did an excellent job; I wish I could remember his name. He took a ton of photos for us and knew great spots to do so. This took us right up to the time for the swim. Gripe #2; before we arrived we were under the impression that we could take a water proof camera with us as long as we did not have it on our person when we were interacting with the dolphins, this is not true. They do not allow any cameras in the area at all. Oh well, we booked the royal swim which gave us an opportunity to do the kiss, hug, fin shake, nose touch, dorsal fin tow, and foot push. This took about an hour and was an amazing experience! Be warned, the picture CDís are very expensive. Yes you can get 1 picture for $30, but a CD for the 4 of us cost $169.99. They were nice enough to burn it on 2 separate discs (one for each couple) and it worked out to about $42.50 per person for the CD, which had about 110 pictures on it. Since this was a once and a lifetime opportunity and we saved a bundle by not booking through the ship, we bought it. There are a few places to eat lunch there that serve Mexican cuisine and beers. Food runs $6-$8 a plate plus $3/beer, kind of pricy for what it is. After lunch we decided to hang out at their beach area which is fantastic for lying around in the sun. They have plenty of lounge chairs and some are under thatched roof umbrella type structures for shade. Be warned, however, the entrances into the water are built into the rock and there is really no place to hang out on the beach and be in the water at the same time. Once youíre in the water it drops off quick. The water is beautiful and was great to swim in, but youíre constantly treading water once you leave the rocks. Took a taxi back at about 3:30 for another $10, shopped in port, and got back on the boat with about an hour to spare. The room service menu on the ship is great if you like sandwiches, because thatís about all there is. We ordered a few sandwiches and ended up skipping dinner in the MDR, which is a first for me on a cruise, so Iím not sure what they had that night.