First off I would like to state that I am always happy to go on a vacation and we had an incredible time at the different ports (Nassau, St. Thomas, and St. Maarten), but my husband and I were overall really let down by this cruise and ship for our one year anniversary.
Pros: Really nice spacious balcony room mid-ship, food was good at the formal meal at night, excellent port locations, very kind and helpful staff, played putt-putt and overgrown chess.
Cons ( ALOT):
FOOD: My biggest complaint about the Carnival Dream was the food. Don't get me wrong the food at the seated dining at night was pretty good, but nothing I couldn't cook myself or go to a nice restaurant and eat. The rest of the food throughout the ship for breakfast and lunch was the same old thing over and over without any good options. Sliced ham, fatty beef, or fish with 100,000 things going on with it. The only thing we like off of the supper buffet was the cheesy tomato pasta, but my goodness the kind you heat up from Stouffer's is better than theirs. What you eat on the first day is all there is and it is not much, especially since they advertise many places to eat for lunch and supper and those places are only open 2 hours midday and then closed the rest of the trip. My husband and I are not picky eaters and we actually lost weight on the cruise because the food was so blah and the same thing every single morning, midday, and lunch. We are used to cruising on Royal Caribbean, etc. where you are one foot down the line and your plate is full, you want more, and can not possibly keep going back for seconds because there is always so much that is different and delicious. Overall, MAJORLY disappointed in the limited and blah food options.
ENTERTAINMENT/ACTIVITIES: The Entertainment was not bad, but once again it was the same dancing, bingo, and comedy routines everyday. So if you saw everything within the first two days at sea there was nothing else to see. The only show that was good was the couple comparison with a couple from each generation. The only new activities and entertainment were classes about staying young, active, how to shop at the different ports, or they were trying to sell you something on ship. Other activities that we were excited about were the pools, hot tubs, water slides, putt putt, chess, etc. Well of course the pool was overcrowded, but we managed to still be satisfied with them. The hot tubs kept being shut down for leaning for hours and hours so we actually did not get one until the last night. The waterslide was closed the entire time except the last day. Putt-Putt was fun, but one VERY tiny course with lots of people and only 2 chess boards on the entire ship so very limiting but we were patient and enjoyed it once we started. Once again, I was used to Royal Caribbean having different activities every single day, so many activities, shows, and interactive games like dodgeball tournaments, cooking classes, Broadway shows, etc. that we almost couldn't choose. Whereas this ship we couldn't wait to get off for the two day sail back home because it was so boring. We really enjoyed the relaxation, but there was nothing to do on the ship.
BOARDING: Getting onto the ship and to our room was very easy at Port Canaveral, but after that was chaos. The ship only opened 2 doors at a time to get on and off. It took us an easy 15-30 minutes to get on and off while you saw all these other ships funneling people so quickly and so easily because they had 4-6 doors open.
Excursions: We did not do any of the excursions except for the Deep Water Dolphin Swim at the Atlantis which was amazing, but geez that port is unorganized. Everyone is running around like crazy and not informing the groups about what to do or where to go. We were supposed to leave at 9:00 am and thought we were late by leaving at 9:45 am, but were actually on time. We LOVED swimming with the dolphins but it is misleading thinking you will be with the dolphins the entire time and it is a bunch of sit and wait. However, once you are in it is really amazing. We did not do any other excursions because they were outrageously priced. Like $50+ per person when you can take a cab for the both of you and rent snorkeling gear or whatever for like $20 per person total at all of the different beaches or city tours.