We sailed on September 14th and it was our third cruise (all with Carnival). We drove down the night before and stayed at Country Inn and Suites near the port. We had booked their cruise package which included parking and shuttle to/from the ship. Saturday morning we could see our ship waiting for us. Our 9 year old son loved the room because it had a "kids" area partitioned off - bunk beds and twin bed and TV with Chevy wall paper. Their pool was beautiful and crystal clear. Their shuttle driver, Duane, was awesome - comedy show coming and going. I also bet he would win a luggage loading/unloading competition. There were several ships leaving that morning so Country Inn and Suites had a lot of people to transport. We were an hour behind on leaving the hotel. However, once we got to the terminal, we just flew through security and the line to get our room key and we were boarding in no time.
The Dream is beautiful. The 11 story atrium with deep gold painted back lit glass panels greets you as you board. We waited to ride the glass elevators up to our stateroom level and it was worth the wait. Our stateroom (10245) was ready and waiting. We picked the Lido Deck - Forward. Short hallway compared to our previous cruises and very quiet. There was also a laundry room located on that level with 2 washers, 4 dryers, stationary tub (big, deep sink for all you young folks), iron and ironing board. Dropped off our carry on luggage and went exploring.
Best feature of the Dream: the wrap around Promenade Deck (Deck 5). It was so awesome to walk out side all the way around the ship. Our other cruises did not have this (Pride and Glory). Also, it was easy to get from one end of the ship to the other - including the interior corridors. Since we were in the front of the ship and the restaurant was in the back, we had the choice of walking the length of the exterior Promenade Deck (Deck 5), Interior Corridor (Deck 5) or Interior Corridor (Deck 4). We always picked Deck 4 because Deck 5 interior corridor took you through the Casino (smoke - yuck). I found this ship to be very easy to navigate around. Most of the time, we took the stairs. Elevators were available, but had to wait.
We signed up for the 6pm dinner and our wait staff was excellent. The first 2 nights our head waiter did not look well and his service reflected that. By the 3rd night, he was replaced. We never saw him again and hope he is doing well. The food was good and a few meals were excellent. The desserts were beyond excellent - extremely awesome in taste and presentation. The coffee was strong and I love strong coffee, but this was really strong. Coffee from the coffee shop on Deck 5 was excellent.
Since we signed up for the 6pm dinner, we still had some energy for the comedy shows. LOVED the comedy shows. I have not laughed that hard in years. However, we did not make it to any of the Show shows. Maybe next time. We ate breakfast and dinner at the restaurant with just 2 room service breakfasts. Lunch was on the Lido Deck "food court". We always arrived close to closing time and found short lines and plently of good food. The potato salad was awesome!
The pool was crowded at times, but refreshing. Our son loved the water slides - spent hours on them. He talked me in going down the small blue racing slides (they are side by side). I've never done a water slide and I'm an older mommy, but here I go. It starts slow - then you just take off stopping at the bottom in some 1-1/2" deep water. Once I stopped, I realized that my bathing suit rode way up. I ungracefully, got up and pulled it back down. My son laughed so hard and called it an atomic wedgie. Yup, it was. But it was fun!
Played mini golf one night - very nice 18 hole course. Could see lightning off in the distance - very beautiful night. Not too many people up there at night - it was like we had the place to ourselves.
We had rough seas three of the nights - so we got rocked to sleep those nights. The noise of the waves, the ship and the glass in our window kept me up the first night, but was able to ignore it the other nights. At breakfast, one fellow passenger had kept his life jacket near his bed. It's amazing what these ships can handle.
Our first excursion was cancelled due to the lack of interest (ruins), so we booked another ruins excursion at the last port. It was also cancelled due to flooding (three storms had gone through). Oh well, the ship had plenty for us to do. Our son went to a few of the Camp Carnival activities and had a great time. He also loved the arcade. There was a "ride" called the Typhoon. It was a 2 person "ride" and was like a roller coaster. Once we found that - we had to ride it at least once a day. It was fun.
As always, Friday night comes and it's time to pack and put our luggage out in the hall. Saturday morning we had breakfast in the restaurant one last time. Getting off the ship went fast. Our zone was called at 8:30am, picked up our luggage and went through customs. Found Duane, our shuttle driver, and were back to the hotel in no time. They had coffee for us, loaded the car with our luggage and hit the road.
We had a great vacation, even with the bad weather and cancelled excursions. Looking to book our next cruise - with Carnival.