We have cruised 11 times, 7 on Carnival. We had read some negative reviews on The Dream and wanted to be sure to write a positive one, which Dream deserves.
Embarkation: Fast, about a half hour from arriving to being on the ship.
Ship: The Dream is beautiful, very new, clean and the decor is toned down from other Carnival ships we have been on. Nice family ship with plenty of activities both day and night. Mostly not too crowded, the Lido Pool area is crowded as you would expect but there is plenty of other areas to be. Decks 10, 11 and 12 have a lot of seating by both the main and aft pools. Also deck five offers plenty of seating at tables and loungers, as well as 4 hot tubs.
CD and crew: Everyone was very friendly and professional. Jamie and Gumbie were great, so fun and full of energy, we saw them all over the ship leading the fun.
Entertainment: Shows are not our thing, we went to Dancin' in the Streets because we had heard good things about it. It was OK, the Fun Force Dancers are very talented and fun to watch. Get to the theater early if you want a good seat. The Punchliner Comedy Club is awesome. we were there for almost every show. I highly recommend this. There were plenty of bars with music in the evening. We really never used the casino, just passed through. Also, there were a lot of games and activities during the day, everythig is listed in the fun times.
Food: Very good, Breakfast on Lido was the usual. Lunch we did, burgers, hot dogs, they were good also. We did not try Tandoor, Mongolian Wok or the Burrito Bar. Pizza was awesome, had that every night for late night snack. They also had grilled ham and cheese sandwiches, fries, all good. Brownie with soft serve ice cream, YUM! We really enjoyed the Punch-liner Comedy Brunch on sea days. It's held in the dining room, the comedy was lame but the menu is nice, bread basket is especially great. We eat dinner in the main dining room every night but one. We had a wonderful team, Hernando, Arthur and Charlie. They were terrific, did not seem tired or overworked, and they always went out of their way to make sure everything was great. They seemed to enjoy the singing and dancing, Arthur danced with me one evening and other women in his area. Generally a fun experience every evening. They all even took the time to chat with us at other times throughout the ship. Bar service in the dining room was also excellent, Christopher was sure to have drinks set when we arrived and checked on us throughout the evening. We went to the steak house one evening, amazing, delicious, just DO IT!
Cabin: Balcony cabin on deck seven was nice and spacious with a lot of storage space. Since this is a newer ship with a flat screen TV the cabinet with safe is now in a lower spot. The lowering of that cabinet and the elimination of the bulky TV gives the cabin a roomier feel. The balconies over look deck 5, if you are standing up you see the people in the hot tubs or laying out, sort of strange. When you are sitting all you can see is the ocean and the horizon. The cabin was kept clean and we got towel animals every evening. One time our toilet stopped flushing, we called guest services and within minutes there was a plumber and everything was fine and remained working for the rest of the trip.
Ports: We booked privately in Belize with VIV tours, fantastic, I highly recommend this group. We booked cave tubing and it was a blast! Cozumel we did Paradise Beach, it was nice. Good food but somewhat crowded, and the blow up climb on toys were blocking the beautiful view. I would go elsewhere next time. Roatan, we went to West End Village, very cool town with nice shopping and good food at the Monkey Grill but far away from the ship and transportation is expensive. Taxi would have been $60.00 round trip for the two of us. We found a shuttle for $40.00 for the two of us so we decided on that. Next time we would likely just stay in Mahogany Bay right by the ship. Costa Maya we booked a ruins trip through The Native Choice, we really enjoyed this. If you can get Ivan as your guide do it, I won't say why but you should take my word.
Debarkation: Smooth, not great not awful. Everyone is sad to be leaving.
We have two cruises booked right now, one in October and one In February 2014, both are on Carnival. Life is what you make of it, so make it FUN!