We have cruised many cruise lines. This was our third on Carnival.
The passengers ranged from young families to World War II veterans. A very good mix of ages.Embarkation was a breeze. Arrived at 10:45 am. Parking was easy, security very fast. On board by 11:5 am. Went to our cabin which was still being cleaned but we dropped off our carry on bags and made our way to Lido for lunch. We decided on the pasta bar which was excellent.
We continued to explore the ship which is well laid out and easy to navigate. We had to see the Maître D to change our dining time. We decided on anytime dining. A long line was formed and we had to stand for over an hour. We have been on other ship lines and they had a hostess giving out numbers so you could at least sit and relax till your number was called. P.S. We did not get our luggage delivered till 6:00pm which I found odd because we were on board at 11:5am! We went to dinner around 6:30-no wait at all. We requested a table for two. Ourwaiter, Adrian ,and his assistants, Imade and Goran, were fabulous! Requested them the entire cruise and they were excellent. Food was good, delivered fast and hot. We did go to Chef Art's Steak House and it did not disappoint. Wonderful from start to finish.
Our cabin was a balcony, port side, aft. Very nice and quiet. Everything worked well and had good air conditioning. Our cabin steward was a phantom but in a good way. Ice bucket was always filled; fresh towels always; everything was immaculate.
As for the buffet (the Gathering), we never experienced any long lines. The food was the usual fare but it was fresh. No issues there. My only issue is the bus staff. They are lack luster at best. They bring dirty dishes and scrape plates and stack right next to where you are eating. Then, they layer dirty used napkins on top of everything. This is not unique to the Dream. This is standard operating procedure on all Carnival ships. This practice needs to be remedied and the staff needs to step it up for cleaning dirty tables.
Having done many Caribbean cruises the port were fine. However, the time in port was very short. Not much time for excursions. We chose relaxed disembarkation. Had a leisurely breakfast; sat on our balcony till 8:30; went to our area and we were off the ship by 9:30.
In summary, I would say we found the entire staff to be very friendly and helpful. It was a great cruise with good food, great staff and plenty of places to relax and enjoy a vacation. Only one other negative. Carnival should follow suit and not allow smoking on the balconies. We were fortunate that our neighbors were conservative smokers so we were not overloaded with the smell. It could certainly ruin your balcony experience.