Departure from Port Canaveral: Fantastic! About 30 minutes to park (prepay $120 for 7 day cruise), walk across the street to terminal, go through security/check-in and walk to Lido deck for lunch. Cabin was ready at 1:15.
Overall: The Dream is our new favorite Carnival ship. Very family-oriented cruise. Cruise personnel told us that there were 1400 kids on the ship out of a total cruise population of 4500(near capacity). However, the ship did not feel too crowded and adults could escape to the Serenity outdoor seating area if the kids were too overwhelming. The second pool on the rear Lido deck was never over crowded. We liked all of the ports (see below)
Positives: Loved our cove balcony cabin - very stable. The 24 hour pizza grill, pasta bella (upstairs from Lido buffet at lunch only) and tandoori station were fantastic and we ate at least one every day. Large gym with lots of machines - never had to wait. Our cruise director, Jamie, was great. Very organized in getting people sorted out for their excursions. Really liked the Lanai area - coffee bar, trivia contests, Taste bar, quiet hot tubs, uninterrupted walking track around the ship.
Negatives: Dining staff was very disorganized for the first few days and several dishes were delivered cold. Did not really like 3 formal nights - 2 would have been plenty. Comedians were okay (Jeff the Fund Dude was great) but were not as a group as good as the comedians last year. Did not like Spin class - too hot, head almost hit ceiling and instructor was too intent on outdoing members of class. Aside from the specialty stations mentioned above (pizza, pasta and tandoori) the food was mediocre at best both in the dining room as well as the buffet. However, this helped us to keep to our diets so it was not all bad.
Departure: Walked off, went through security and was in our car by 7 am.