This was our 2nd time on the Carnival Dream -- the last being a year ago. We parked at Park N Cruise with reservations made on-line for a better rate. I was very impressed with the new Port Canaveral terminal. Embarkation was painless and we were soon on board. We brought 8 bottles of water and the allotted 2 bottles of wine -- no problem. Our balcony stateroom was mid-ship on deck 6. We had quiet and smooth sailing the whole trip. We loved our room which had lots of storage, a good size bathroom and shower. a nice, long couch and most of all the comfortable bed. Sombut from Thailand was our excellent room steward -- sorry I didn't get his pleasant assistant's name -- kudos to them both! We truly love to spend time on our balcony -- and love to breathe in the fresh smell of salt air -- but wait, no, it's "CIGARETTE SMOKE"!! ( Carnival, please change this policy to no smoking on the balcony, as other lines have done.)
The Food: We always ate dinner in the dining room as we like the formality. On the whole, we both agreed that the food was EXCELLENT. DH, the beef lover, had wonderful flat-iron steak 3 times and the grand finale of prime rib -- all deemed tender and flavorful. I tended more towards the lobster, shrimp, fish selections and was more than pleased. Sorry to see that they didn't have the "Didya ever?" on the menu. Lunch in the Gathering: the Tandoori was very good; the Deli's Ruben sandwich excellent; the Pasta bar was a bit disappointing after I had linguine that was "glued" together. We didn't go to anything where you had to wait in line -- ever. Breakfast in the Dining Room: is what we prefer. The menu is the same every day. Not a great variety, but we made do. I missed my granola.
Entertainment: No wonder we never saw any shows our first time on this ship! They keep it a secret! If you see "Showtime in the Encore Theater" in the timeline schedule -- just go..and go a little early to get a good seat. Some Big production shows weren't even mentioned in the FunTimes. They use the space for advertising where you can spend your money. And the shows are free...get it?? Forget the Punchliner brunch 10 minute comedy show -- 4 jokes and that's it.
The Ship: how I longed for a comfortable place to sit in a common area. The furniture is mostly solid (not soft) with easy clean plastic upholstery -- great for long wear and children. Also, I wished that I could tell forward from aft in the hallways -- better signage, please.
On Shore: we were pleasantly surprised in Puerto Maya, Cozumel, Mexico. It was a wonderful port with shopping ; lovely garden areas, a really nice restaurant -"Ponchos Backyard" and a great waterfront place to just sit back and enjoy...one of our faves. Because of high wind and rough seas our next 2 ports were cancelled. Our alternate port was Nassau, Bahamas. It was a good time to take a glass bottom boat ride out to the reef to view tropical fish and also see the "rich and famous" homes along the waterfront. A cool drink at Senor Frogs is always fun.
Debarkation: all went as scheduled -- the Park N Cruise van got us to our car by 10am and we were on our way to our winter/Florida home.
Value: Carnival Dream delivers excellent value on an excellent cruise ship. I was disappointed to learn that in order to receive the "up to $200 on board credit", you had to book your next cruise immediately. Last year you had a least a year to book a cruise and receive the credit. So, we didn't book -- too high pressure.