For those that know me well, you are probably wondering why I’m going on the Carnival Dream. After all, my favorite cruise lines are Celebrity Cruises and Disney Cruise Line. So why are we going on Carnival?
When I decided to be a travel adviser with a focus on Disney and cruises, I realized that Disney Cruises aren’t for everyone, even though I think they should be! Just like a 5 star restaurant or hotel isn’t right for everyone. While I want to be “taken care of” on a vacation, I understand that others just want to be left alone, do things at their own pace or want an inexpensive getaway.
I have cruised on Celebrity Cruises, Disney Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, Norwegian Cruise Line and Princess Cruises, on 26 cruises covering nine different ships. I have taken courses for these cruise lines and others including Carnival Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Holland America. I have also taken various courses on cruising in general through CLIA (Cruise Line International Association), earning my Accredited Cruise Counselor, Master Cruise Counselor and Luxury Cruise Specialist. Part of completing each accreditation is that I need to learn about more cruise lines, tour ships and take courses.
While what I have heard about Carnival in the past makes me feel I will not enjoy cruising on them like some of the others, I do recognize that my clients are not all just like me. How boring would it be if everyone wanted the same things and liked exactly the same things. How expensive would our one cruise ship be! As a Travel Adviser, I feel it is important for me to learn as much as I can about all the cruise lines to be able to appropriately match a cruise line and ship with a client. So when I started working on my next accreditation, I decided I would cruise on Carnival for that experience.
In preparing for the cruise, I do realize that Carnival has gotten a bad reputation as a party ship (or good if that’s what you are looking for). They are one of the more inexpensive ships as well. I noticed that Carnival also had a lot of shorter sailings to the Bahamas and Caribbean with many 3 night weekend cruises out of a wide variety of ports. I thought about other short sailings that I have been on and I realized that they were also kind of a more party atmosphere. Maybe it isn’t that Carnival is more of a party cruise line, maybe it’s just the short weekend sailings that tend to attract the party crowd. That coupled with lower prices make it more of a party ship than the others.
Since I will be going on a week-long cruise, we needed to find an itinerary that would be interesting, just in case we do find out that the cruise line isn’t for us. While I’m not generally a fan of the Western Caribbean sailings, I have always wanted to travel to Belize. We were in luck! The Carnival Dream offers an Exotic Western Caribbean sailing with stops in Cozumel, Costa Maya, Isla Roatan and Belize. This would be perfect as we have not been to three of the ports there and Disney also stops at Costa Maya so it would be good for me to check that out as well.
Two other little known facts about me – I like to create new tastes and I love trivia.
By creating new tastes, this can be food or beverages. I love to cook! Mixing things together to come up with a unique taste is a lot of fun and I rarely follow a recipe to a “T”. This goes for alcohol as well. I like to mix things together to make interesting martinis or summer drinks. Why does this matter? While looking at a recent cruise daily for the Carnival Dream, they have a contest onboard to create a drink! The winner’s drink is featured all week. I will so be doing this!
I also found on the daily events that there are many, many trivia meets. This is one thing that I was disappointed in on our recent Disney cruises. Yes they have trivia meets, but I found that the questions rarely changed. This is fine for new cruisers but for those of us who go often, it means we know all the answers. I do like to win the trivia challenges, but I don’t like to do so without a challenge. I saw quite a few trivia meets listed, many involving music challenges which are my favorites.
So now this cruise that I wasn’t looking forward to has a lot of great possibilities. We’ll be dining in the steakhouse, snorkeling in Belize and Isla Roatan, checking out a private beach in Costa Maya, participating in trivia challenges, mixing drinks and checking out Carnival Cruise Lines for my clients.
What are you interested in learning about Carnival Cruise Line or the Carnival Dream?