I’ll never forget my first ever cruise on the Carnival Dream leaving from Port New Orleans. I always wanted to go on a cruise, but I had no idea if I would like it or not. Would I get seasick and be miserable the whole time? I certainly hoped not because I was so anxious to go and have fun. I’d been on plenty of small boats in my lifetime, but never on the open ocean and never in such choppy waters as the ocean must surely be. Needless to say, I was a little nervous.
Boy did I find out right away that my nerves were for nothing. I had the best time ever! I literally fell in love with cruising on the Carnival Dream. It’s kind of like your first kiss or first boyfriend/girlfriend, you never forget your first. That’s how I’ll always feel about that cruise. I loved it!
Our ports of call were Cozumel, Mahogany Bay, and Belize and I have to say, I enjoyed them all.
At Cozumel, we decided to book an excursion through the ship. Because we hadn’t been on a cruise before and we’d never been out of the United States, we really had no idea what we were doing. Not knowing anything about how excursions worked, we opted to book through the cruise. Just in case something happened we wanted protection.
For our excursion, we chose the All-Inclusive Chankanaab Beach Day & Sea Lion Show. Since the package included snorkeling, we decided to give it a shot. We had never been snorkeling before and we were excited to try it out. I am not a strong swimmer, but I can maintain myself if the water is not too strong. My daughter was the first one in. You have to go down a set of stairs to get into the water, which is immediately deep, no gradual increase in depth. Her flippers weren’t cooperating and she decided she couldn’t handle swimming with them on. Since I’m not the greatest swimmer, we passed on the snorkeling.
On the way, we followed a little trail behind the beach, mainly because it provided a hard surface to walk on. It was a nice little path that took us around a small lagoon. Trees and flowers bloomed and provided a nice shady respite from the hot sun, at least for a short distance.
After that, we headed back toward the entrance to the park, and found a small beach area that you could swim in. It was more like a little inlet that was for the little kids, in my opinion. That was not what we were looking for. Needless to say, we were a little disappointed at this time. So we started to walk again.
Hot and tired by the time we arrived at the buffet, we found a table and sat inside for a while to cool off. It was super hot that day. The waiter was amazing and kept filling our drinks immediately. We waited until we felt better and decided to enjoy the buffet lunch. It was delicious. They had some kind of meat-filled bun that I wish I had gotten the name of because I’ve never had anything else like it. I haven’t found anything like it since. I’ll have to go back sometime just to find out what that was.
Feeling much better after we ate, we headed out to the pool. The pool was great! They had a swim-up bar, that we took advantage of and spent the rest of the day sipping cocktails in the pool.
By the end of the excursion, Chankanaab had won us over. Since this was our first excursion, we didn’t know what to expect. Now that we had completed it, we knew kind of what to expect from then on. We enjoyed the rides between the ship and the park. Although Cozumel is a small island, it was nice to see the different culture than we were used to. This was the first time either of us had been outside the United States. And, we loved it!
Mahogany Bay is the cruise ship port owned by Carnival that is located on the island of Roatan, Honduras. It was an amazing stop, probably my favorite. There were two ways to get to the beach, either walk or ride the chair-lift to the beach. We opted to walk, but next time I may have to splurge on the chair-lift. It would definitely provide a great view. The walk was beautiful in itself. The lush vegetation and flowers provided their own great scenery.
The water was beautiful and clear the day we were there. You could see your toes in the sand as long as people weren’t near stirring up the sand. We had a lot of fun playing with our waterproof camera, trying it out. A group of locals marched across the beach singing and dancing and providing some fun entertainment. The day was fantastic and everything I had hoped for when I envisioned cruising.
Our final stop on the cruise was Belize. Not wanted to spend the extra money on another excursion, we decided to just look around the shopping area at Belize. We enjoyed some local chocolates and just browsed through the shops. We picked up a couple of souvenirs and headed back to the ship to enjoy the rest of the port day on the less crowded ship. Sorry, I did not get any pictures of Belize. I think my daughter may have took pictures that day, but I couldn’t find any in my pictures.
On the Ship
I had always heard about the tiny rooms on cruise ships and I was a little worried about feeling claustrophobic on the Carnival Dream. Of course, I told myself I wouldn’t be spending that much time in the room anyway, so it wouldn’t matter. It turns out, it didn’t matter anyway. The rooms were plenty big enough for the two of us. I didn’t feel cramped or crowded at all. Yes, they are smaller than a hotel room, but we had room to move around and not get in each other’s way.
Sea days were almost as much fun as the port days. Thanks to the fantastic staff on the Carnival Dream, we never lacked entertainment. There were plenty of activities and games to enjoy, from trivia to bigger shows like the Newlywed Game, we had a blast! In fact, we had to choose between which ones we wanted to attend. There were times when we wanted to go to more than one at a time and we had to decide which we wanted the most.
You will not be hungry, that is for sure. With so many dining options, you could literally eat all day long and still probably not try everything. So many people had told me that we would gain at least 10 pounds on our week’s vacation, but I have to say I was surprised that we did not. We were so busy for most of the cruise, that we didn’t eat as often as everyone said we would. What we did eat, we certainly walked off. I know we walked the length of the ship at least 10 times a day (probably way more than that). The ship is over 1000 feet long, so we weren’t sedentary at all.
All in all, we had one of the best vacations of our life, and immediately signed up for another cruise. We found cruising to be one of the best values of vacations. If you want to read more about that, you can check out my other post on cruising here.
We cruised from Port New Orleans, but the ship is no longer in that location. If you want to go on the Carnival Dream, you have to go to Galveston, Texas to cruise on this ship. For information about cruising with Carnival, you can check their website here.