We did the Latin Gems cruise for a week from 4 March, from Barbados. We too were worried after bad reviews but food fantastic (although wouldn't pay the extra Â£20 each to dine in The Grill again as food not much different to the Orion restaurant), but in buffet and Orion restaurants always something to choose from and always hot; staff amazing, always helpful, with a smile and genuinely friendly. The ship has a really friendly feel, everyone always saying hello. Overall, we had a really great time, and the ports of call - Aruba, Curacao, Margarita Island, Grenada and St Lucia, were really good, especially as we only went for a week. I won't repeat what everyone else has said recently but would just add the following:
Cabins - we were in an inside cabin, number 6187 and didn't sleep a wink as could feel every wave and the walls vibrated so much that the bed shook at times. It was like someone shaking you to wake you up! We thought this was just because we were cruise first-timers and not used to the vibrations and movement but found out towards the end of the week that the vibration was due to being over the propeller and other cabins in different areas and other floors didn't vibrate or feel the waves as much. Although on at least one day, you could feel the waves over all areas of the ship so I'm sure you could still feel them in any cabin. Needless to say, if I ever went on the Dream again, I would have to investigate the cabin situation and pay the extra to book a specific cabin. Also,from speaking with others, it seems that larger ships don't seem to have this problem, so we may have to consider a larger ship next time instead.
Last year's sewage/air con problems seem to be fixed, although there was a slight whiff when passing some areas - it was like a drain smell but not sewage, but this was only every now and then.
Shore excursions - For info on the trips we did - see my port reviews. I was disappointed about the knowledge of the Thomson staff at the excursions desk though, when I asked about the beaches in Aruba, they didn't even know the names of them or where they were(I knew more than they did) and when we asked for more information about a trip on another island, they didn't know.
Cases being picked up by 3am on day of departure - just to give you a heads up in case you didn't know - it is worth packing small bottles (less than 100ml) of anything you need on your day of departure (e.g. shampoo, shower gel)as all larger bottles will have to be packed in your case, which you won't have on your day of departure. They do provide shampoo/shower gel, but if you are like me, you use your own particular brands.
Overall, a great experience despite not much sleep, as everything else made up for it