I was very hesitant to try the Dream after two AMAZING cruises on the Magic with my family, but since this would be a girls only trip - no husbands, no children - I went in with an open mind, knowing it would be different. And I was completely blown away by this ship!
The Magic will always be my "favorite" because she is my first love, and you always remember your first. But the Dream exceeded my expectations in so many ways!
The service was far and away better than either of my cruises on the Magic, from the dining room, to the bars, to just everyday help from crew members. The day of embarkation, we were leaving Cabanas after lunch and casually asked a crew member for directions. Instead of telling or point us in the right direction, he escorted us all the way! Amazing!
The food was excellent on my first Magic cruise, good on my second Magic cruise, and amazing on this Dream cruise!!! If you just like steak and potatoes, then this is too much for you, but there's something for everyone. I had sea bass, scallops, seafood pasta, escargot, and roasted wild boar! And Palo for brunch was another treat - I think the food quality may have been a bit better than on the Magic.
I was able to enjoy the adults only venues on this ship more, and loved The District, which consisted of the District Lounge (comparable to the Promenade Lounge on the Magic), 684 sports bar (comparable to Diversions on the Magic), Evolution (comparable to Rockin Bar D on the Magic), and my two favorites Skyline (comparable to Sessions on the Magic) which has "windows" that change skylines every 15 minutes or so..... And Pink, a champagne bar was wonderfully "girly" and a perfect place for me and my 3 friends to enjoy cocktails before dinner.
The staterooms are larger on the Magic, but more tastefully decorated on the Dream. Instead of the multicolor comforters and striped sofas, the Dream has white comforters with red DCL blankets and pillows.
The criticisms I have for this ship were the public areas that felt like someone just didn't think it through. The pool areas were a disaster! Combining the Mickey and Donald pools made for a chaotic area that I tried to avoid whenever possible! I much prefer the separation of the Mickey and Goofy pools on the Magic.
The Quiet Cove Pool area (adults only) was also a bit odd. A 5 1/2' pool was made useless by the fact that not many people can stand in a pool that deep, so the only part that was used was the perimeter as people just hung there to stay cool. The separate water seating area was nice, but people tended to plop down and stay for hours..... Then the misting area was nice, too, but the 2" of water got very hot there so didn't provide much relief.
At first glance I was amazed at the entire bow of the ship on Deck 13 being for adults only - that is a HUGE space! Until I tried to stay there on a sea day and realized that the plastic was so high that no breeze came over to cool you off. It was just terribly hot and stagnant up there!
So I do give the Magic the win in the pool areas.
Also, on Deck 10 aft, if you exit the elevator here, the only way to get to the rest of the ship was to go THROUGH Cabanas buffet..... Again, what were they thinking?
But the biggest blunder I saw was the basketball court directly above Palo. Really? Thump-thump-thump all through our meal.....
Overall, I feel the Dream is a GORGEOUS ship with beautiful decor throughout. I would definitely sail on her again, but really feel that 4 nights is not long enough for a ship this size, so I'm really looking forward to the Fantasy 7 night cruises!