We have sailed with Carnival many times and a repeat customer on the Dream as we sailed in April 2012 to the Western Caribbean. We loved the Dream last year but this year there was a huge decline in the quality of food and service.
We stayed at the Raddison at the Port & used the Park & Ride service provided. They did a great job of organizing folks on to shuttles. We were in the cruise terminal less than an hour & then for lunch on the Lido Deck. We were in our rooms by 1:15.
Our room 6315, was a balcony over the Lanai which allowed for people watching. The only bad thing is that at night when all should be quiet you could faintly hear the slot machines which would wake me as I am a light sleeper.
As I shared before, in comparison to last year and other Carnival cruises the quality of food was greatly diminished. The food in the Gathering buffet was never hot just barely warm or just cold. We ate breakfast in the Crimson most days and the food quality was better but there was always a mistake with the order and once the food was delivered you didn't see a waiter again to correct the issue. The food choices in the dinning room at night were not as expansive as they have been in the past either.
We did eat in the Steakhouse & it was well worth the cost. It was one of the best meals we have ever eaten and the service was impeccable!
It was impressive to see the safety drills that the staff participated while in ports. They even lowered life boats and did a rescue simulation of a man overboard.
The staff/crew seemed to be on auto pilot and just going thru the motions. We saw a lot of standing around, dirty tables as wait staff chatted, cleaning glass on railings but only hitting eye level areas, etc. this again had not been our previous experience.
Don't get me wrong we did truly enjoy our vacation but it does seem that Carnival is cutting some corners which are impacting quality and service.