Carnival Dream Cruise January 11th-16th, 2020

**This post was drafted on March 4th, 2020 and left unpublished. Until now. Little did we know that just a few short days later, the world would be turned upside down. I hope you enjoy this post and the look back at what travel once was.**

We've been sharing videos the past few weeks of our cruise on the Carnival Dream over on YouTube. Have you checked them out yet?

We started our vacation a few hours early. We were scheduled to leave on Friday and just drive the full day to Galveston. Of course we couldn't do that though. lol After we got home from dance on Thursday, we finished getting our last minute things gathered up, painted toenails and fingernails, sat things out for the next morning, and...talked ourselves into just leaving Thursday night. lol 

We ended up leaving around 10:45pm, drove a couple of hours and stopped for the night. This allowed us to sleep in just a little bit, which was super nice. We stayed at a Motel 6 and we were pleasantly surprised by how nice it actually was! 

On our way to Houston to drop the girls off, we stopped in Paris, Tx and made a quick visit to the Texas Eiffel Tower. We then stopped in Kilgore, Tx for lunch with one of my long time friends I met in an online mom's group years ago.

Around 5:00pm we arrived in Houston to drop the girls off with their aunt and uncle then John and I continued on to Galveston.

We checked into our hotel, Best Western Seawall, then Ubered to Fish Tales for dinner. I wasn't feeling the best so we went back to the hotel as soon as dinner was over. It was good, we'll have to go back and try again next time since I wasn't able to really enjoy it.

Saturday morning we woke up, took our time getting ready, went downstairs for breakfast, finished packing, then Ubered to the port. Can I mention, we had NEVER taken an Uber before until this trip? It is the easiest thing in the world! We felt safe with each driver we had and had great conversations with each.

Once at the port, we handed most of our bags over to the porter then headed inside the terminal. We were the only ones at security so there was no wait. They confirmed our identities, then we put our carry-ons on the conveyor belt to be scanned, checked our wine, then headed up to the Faster to the Fun area. We had maybe a 20 minute wait before they were calling for us to board. The entire process from the time we arrived at the terminal took MAYBE an hour total.

Since we purchased Faster to the Fun we were able to go straight to our room once on the ship. That was so great! We were able to drop our bags off, grab only what we needed and head out to explore the ship. We were kind of hungry so we went off to find Guys Burgers and a drink, then found a place to eat. It was starting to get busy on board so the only table we could find in the area was a standing only table, which was fine. We thought the burgers were OK, not worth the hype around them, but they were decent enough.

After lunch we walked around the ship for a bit before heading back to the room to drop cameras off, unpack, and get ready for the Muster Drill. Muster Drill is their safety briefing and every passenger MUST attend before they ship is cleared to leave port. It was super quick, maybe 15 minutes, and inside the main dining room.

After Muster Drill, we grabbed a drink then headed back to our room to sit on the balcony as we left port. It was cold and windy, but fun. Before we knew it, it was time to get ready for dinner.

On the first night of the cruise the steakhouse runs a promotion that you receive a free bottle of wine if you eat there the first night. The food was AMAZING! I would go on another cruise JUST to eat at the steakhouse!

It was a long day so after walking around a bit after dinner, we called it a night. The next day was a sea day and we found ourselves bored a lot. We did attend a cooking demonstration and tea time, but other than that there wasn't much we found to do. John isn't a big fan of just sitting around people watching, he wants to be doing something, and there just wasn't a lot to do.

For dinner the second night we went to the MDR (main dining room) and met our table mates. They were so nice! We were so afraid they would be nothing like us, or cranky like our table mates from tea time. lol They weren't at all! They were around our age with four kids around the girls' ages, he is a general contractor and she is a certified midwife. We had such a great time getting to know them over the cruise!

Our 3rd day was spent in Cozumel. We did not book excursions for this cruise because we just wanted to get a feel for it all. We walked around the port area of Cozumel, had lunch at a little place called Lucy's, it is located directly behind the port area, walked around a bit more then headed back to the ship. We had a good time, next time I want to do a beach day excursion.

Our 4th day brought us Progresso. I had not heard great things about Progresso so I was leery. There is a nice port area with various bars and shops, then you take a bus into the town itself. Again, we walked around for a bit then went back to the ship. I did purchase some over-priced vanilla from a store near the beach, I later found out it was MUCH cheaper to purchase vanilla from the stores in the port area.

The 5th day was another sea day. We did some crafts, we made masks for the girls, went to a towel animal class, had Guys Pig and Anchor BBQ for lunch (it was meh), I entered the Groove for Saint Jude (but wasn't able to participate because my stomach was upset again). We walked around some more, sat at a few bars...that's pretty much it. Our favorite bar on board was the Alchemy Bar followed by the bar by the aft pool.

We were supposed to get into port early on the 16th and be out of our rooms by 8:30am. This did not happen. We were being held just outside the Port of Galveston because it was closed due to fog. The captain and cruise director were great at giving updates as they could, usually every hour. We made the best of it by just chilling in our room, I did walk around by myself a few times. We finally made it into port and off the ship around 9:30pm. Carnival did offer for those that had a flight the next day, missed their flight, or had a long drive, to stay the night on-board. I thought that was nice but did not pertain to us since we have family in the area. People have asked and no, we did not receive compensation of any kind, not even an extension of the drink package we purchased. We were served meals on board but that was it. The cruise after ours was given a 50% refund on their cruise and 50% off their next cruise.

All in all I think we had a good time. We would definitely try a ship with more physical activities next time. I'm thinking Royal Caribbean, one of the ships with the go carts or bumper cars and rock wall. I also want to take the girls next time, I think after Madison gets over the initial shock of being on a giant boat in the middle of the ocean, they would have a great time!

On our way home we stopped in Sulphur Springs, Texas. It is one of our FAVORITE little towns. Their town-square area is so cute! They have been building it up the past few years and it's going to be great! We had burgers for dinner at Burgerland then walked around a bit before stopping for ice cream from The Magic Scoop.

We went through Shawnee on our way home so John could look at a motorcycle, then slowly made our way home.

It was a great adventure! Now we are gearing up for Dance Competition Season and putting all of our energy into that. It's going to be a great season!  Stay tuned! We have exciting news about our big summer trip coming up soon!