First, the Dream is an outstanding ship. Their crew and staff are equally high quality. If you select the Carnival Dream you need to be aware the passenger load is around 4,500! On our cruise at the end of August had 1400 kids. Be aware of the school schedules if you don't want to wait in line at the ice cream machine :). Our cruise seemed to lack common courtesy from other passengers, I.e., cutting through lines, reaching around you in the buffet lines, saying excuse me, etc. Thought some were quite rude, but with 4,500 people on board, you sort of expect a little of that.
My two biggest issues concern crowd planning. The first was the disembarkation at Grand Turk was a disaster. 4,500 people trying to use elevators and stairs took 30 min for us to get out and we were compressed like sardines. Seems to me we didn't have this problem on the first two stops, but Grand Turk was different. Also, the final disembarkation was even worse. We finally got off about 3 hours after More
the disembarkation started. Lesson learned is to carry your own bags off instead of letting the crew take your bags the night before. If you carry. Your own bags off you can leave immediately. Pack light.
Our cruise was also rerouted because of hurricane Isaac. No problem however as the staff redirected to our other two ports, cancelled the original first port, then added Grad Turk. The seas were moderately rough the first day out of Port Canaveral. Amazingly my wife did well. Te ship didn't roll too much but it was the roughest my four-time cruise friends said they had ever experienced.
Carnival charges $50 for unlimited soda while on the cruise. Otherwise sodas are a couple dollars each. Wife got the card, I didn't. I recommend bringing a refillable water bottle. You can take soda and water on board and would recommend bungee cording a case or two on your rolling suitcase.
"Photographers" are on hand both on and off the ship. I liked some of the pics but didn't think the prices, starting at $10 pet pic, was worth it since the photographers to me weren't experienced professionals. Many of the pics could have been better just by adjusting. The light boxes appropriately. The photo store was pretty lame as well. They did provide equipment to print your own pics for .20 each. I guess I just expected more from that Carnival-contracted concession.
All in all I enjoyed the trip and will do another with carnival. My negative comments above were the things I noticed and would serve to make a y dirt time cruisers aware. Happy cruisin' Less