We just finished a back to back to back cruise whirlwind tour out of Port Canaveral. I was very excited to be going on the Dream. I tend to prefer the smaller ships, mainly for the number of people on board.
First, let me start by saying the crew was wonderful. Jamie is by far the best Cruise Director I have sailed with. She brought fun to everything. Roger is absolutely the best bartender on the ship. Look for him at the Blue Iguana Cantina. If you want to hang out on the Serenity Deck, Andreas will make your day care-free. He took great care of us!!! Our cabin steward was wonderful. We joked about him being the stealth steward because we hardly ever saw him, yet everything was always taken care of and perfect.
Now, about the ship itself, The multilevel Serenity Deck was lovely. The furniture was nice and comfortable and I loved the hammocks. As I've said before Andreas too great care of us up there. There are a couple of design flaws with the Serenity Deck. First of all, the horn that signals warnings is located here. EXTREMELY LOUD!!!!! NOT VERY SERENE!!!! Secondly, it was located at the front of the ship right next to the entrance to the waterslide.
The main theater was large, 3 levels, but the levels were so steep that I was uncomfortable walking down the stairs. I thought the shows were ok, but I really enjoyed the shows in the comedy lounge. A great line-up this trip.
The food in the dining room was good overall. Nothing special. The service was just alright. The Lido buffet was one of the biggest disappointments. The food just wasn't up to par. We generally eat at the buffet when on Carnival, but not this time. The best thing at the buffet was the Tandoor station and the Deli. I have found time after time that you can't go wrong at the Deli. Be careful of the floors in the Lido buffet. We found them to be slick and hard to walk on, even though they appear to be non-skid tiles.
In my opinion this ship is too big to be relaxing. There are too many parents using it a a babysitting service and letting their children run wild and unsupervised. We even witnessed a set of parents encouraging their children to race down the hallways. We have 3 children of our own and I am a special education teacher, so I consider myself to have an abundance of patience with children. Carnival really does need to enforce it's own rules, and something should be done about the wild children, especially in the pools.
The shore excursion desk was very helpful. A special thank you to Candice who worked so hard to get us on our desired excursion (which was sold out before we got on board.) She was able to get us on a comparable one and we had a wonderful time. Guest services was also friendly and helpful.
We were in a Cove Balcony, which I highly recommend. It is very nice to be so close to the water. Bonus: if you are a non-smoker the smoke from the surrounding balconies doesn't seem to invade your space as much. Our room was also an adjoining room, which I DO NOT recommend, unless you are travelling with the people on the other side of the door. You hear EVERYTHING!!!!
All-in-all, we had a nice vacation. I still prefer the Conquest.