The Carnival Dream was a clean modern ship, laid out quite well, and easy to get around. The decor was visually pleasing and the artwork around the ship delightful. Plenty of pools, hot tubs, and lounging areas for the sea days. Our cabin was a little small for 4 people, but manageable. The food was great and the comedy hilarious! Did not see any variety shows as that is not my thing. Enjoyed all ports of call (Cozumel, Belize, Roatan, Costa Maya) but would probably stay on the ship if visited Costa Maya again. The day was EARLY (7:30) and had to be back on board by 1:30 pm.
One disappointment was with Camp Carnival. Our twin 9 year olds usually disappear for most of the cruise, but had difficulty this time around. Our kids choose to go based on what they see in the program, and the activities were changed or modified quite often. Examples include: water slide time trials competition turned out to be just riding the slide, kids didn't participate in night owls party, but stayed late (for a fee) and were put in front of a tv and told to watch a movie, a farewell party that stated beverages would be served and then weren't. The program could not hold their attention, which was the complete opposite of our March cruise on the Ecstacy.
BUT, it is the people you meet that can enhance your experience and we had just that. We were able to make per-cruise arrangements, meet awesome people, have a few parties on the ship, lower our excursion fees, get cruising advice, and most importantly, make new friends. It was the difference maker for us this time around. Thank you Cruise Critic for being a wonderful resource!