We sailed on 9/18/10. We were in balcony cabin 9439 - starbird side. We did the Western Caribbean - Cozumel, Belize, Honduras and Costa Maya and at every port (save Belize) we were facing the ocean, but as Paul indicated this changes frequently depending on the schedules, arrival of ships prior to the one on which you are sailing, etc. In Belize it doesn't matter as you are anchored far from shore. I was a little bummed that we were the only ship in port in all but one of the stops - Honduras - where we were met by the Carnival Valor. I love to look at other ships while we're in port
. But on the bright side we pretty much had the port to ourselves in each of the other 3 stops. I digress. Poor Costa Maya. This was our first trip since the devastating storm a couple years back. I know they were out of the cruise business for several months or perhaps many months. You can definitely still see the destruction as it is not nearly as nice sailing into Costa Maya as it once was a few years back. They had a beautiful shoreline previously and you can tell that much of the beach has/had been wiped away. I feel bad for the people of Costa Maya, but they will continue to rebuild I'm sure. In addition, they have built a very nice, and clean, port, with a lot of shopping in Honduras (Isla Roatan).
This was my 27th Carnival cruise. I thought the featured Broadway productions shows were better than previous cruises. We watched all three, Get Ready, Dancin' in the Streets, and 8 More Seconds. The female lead as well as the dance team changed after the first show - from Heather Wagner to Simone Catalano. I believe this was the end of their first year aboard the Dream. There was no noticeable difference in the performances as a result of these changes. I thought the shows were excellent with Dancin' in the Streets being the best of the three. There was also a one-man show "EDGE" - a juggling and physical comedy. IMO, just ok. I did not see any of the comedy acts, however, I did hear that people enjoyed them.
This was the 2nd cruise with Cruise Director Butch Begovich (also sailed with him on the Liberty in November 2009) and I thought he was absolutely fantastic! I don't know how the guy can always keep a smile on his face. Extremely personable and very gregarious. Just a real pleasant gentleman.
The food was great! But I do have to say it seemed to be a little less "quality" than our previous cruise on the Dream this past April. I am a "meat" connoisseur and I felt that each such serving in the dining room was less quality than what we experienced on our previous Carnival cruises. But honestly, this is but a blip...the food overall was great...breakfast in the dining room, on the Lido, the 24-hour pizza, the grille, etc. Just one wish, I would love for them to replace the bread offerings, just two options, in the dining room - a hard dinner roll or a piece of french bread.
Our cabin was just below the Lido deck. Yes, there was noise above, but really it did not interrupt my sleep whatsoever. The people walking the hallways in the wee hours of the morning were more disruptive than any noise from the Lido deck above. However, our traveling partners in the adjoining cabin indicated they would probably select a different cabin in a different location if they were to sail again on any Carnival ship.
It was another fantastic voyage with Carnival. 7 days is not nearly enough.
The biggest problem was our disembarkation. As Platinum members, we were able to disembark at 7:15am and had baggage zone 1. However, we when we arrived at the luggage carousel, we waited and waited and waited...for 3 hours until all of our luggage eventually appeared, some in zone 1 and some in zone 31 even though the tags attached were clearly zone 1. This happened on the Dream trip in April as well, however, the wait was much less. Needless to say, early embarkation meant nothing for these Platinum guests. Aaaarrgggghhhh! Next time, we will just consider staying on the ship, enjoy a nice relaxing breakfast, etc. I must say though that the Carnival employees were very serious about checking the luggage tags as the luggage rounded the carousel. They moved many pieces from belt to belt to make sure they were on the right belt, in the correct zone. Unfortunately they unload 1, then 3, then 5...until they get to like zone 35, thus the reason for the very long wait for us. The Carnival employees could not have been more help. We had at least 7 employees trying to locate the missing luggage - they were extremely helpful...all you have to do is ask.
One thing I did notice, this was the very first time we did not receive a comment card at the end of the voyage. As those of you who have sailed previously, these were always extremely important to the personnel on the ship and the Carnival corporation in general. I did hear and have read that they are now sending via email, however, to date I have not received. They are missing out (so far) on my splendid ratings!
Please, if you have any additional questions, ask away!
It was a great trip and I would not hesitate to sail the Dream again.