We sailed Carnival Dream June 2-9, 2012. We are a family of 5, kids ages: 6,8,9.
We flew in the day of embarkation from Toronto - booked through Carnival Air. We were one of the last few to board the ship so if there were any delays with AA, we wouldn't have made it. Note to self ** book your own flights and arrive a day or two earlier to avoid any complications. Embarkation itself was extremely easy - nobody was there and it took us 5 mins to get from our bus to room.
We stayed in room 1388 in a family suite, Deck 1. The room was perfect for us. 1 king, 2 upper bunks and a single bed. It also had 2 bathrooms. We found it very quiet and a perfect location for us. We were close to a set of elevators which made riding up and down floors easy. Btw...never had a problem with elevator line-ups - probably b/c we were on the 1st floor which was an extra bonus. Also made port embarkation days easy since it was a floor down. Our room was always spotless and clean, thanks to our steward.
The food was ok, not great. We hardly made dinner times in the MDR since Carnival didn't honor our anytime dining option - they gave us late dining (8:15) which didn't work for us - the kids were too exhausted by that time to eat a nice dinner. If anything - that was our major complaint.
Nassau was nice, but too short of stay. St. Thomas - BEAUTIFUL! Did some shopping and then spent the rest of the day at Meagans Bay (rated top 10 beaches in the world). St. Maarten was great too. Spent the day on the beach which was a 5 min water taxi ride from the ship.
The kids enjoyed the waterworks area on the Dream. We never had a hard time finding a place to relax although I did see many chair hogs drop a towel on a sun bed and not return for hours. The pools were small but never over crowded. All pools are filled with salt water which I liked. The kids didn't like the Camp - they had more fun with us in the pools and water slides.
Lunch time options are plenty. We loved the Mongolian Grill, Pasta Bar and Lunai Deck BBQ. There are plenty of options and the 24 hr room service was great! Kids loved the 24 hr ice cream bar:)
I didn't smell anything foul - ever (as some have mentioned) and I only felt a bit of rocking on the last day back to Port.
We took our time disembarking as we were one of the last groups called down. It was ok with us. We woke up late, at a late breakfast and took our time relaxing before a long day back home.
As our 1st family vacation, I would give it an 8 out of 10. I would definitely book the Dream again.