The Dream is a beautiful ship, but I expected it to be better than the older ships that we have sailed on. This was not the case. It was just bigger, not necessarily better.
Embarkment went fairly smoothly considering all the people. We arrived early because of our flight and I was glad that they had already started the boarding process. We were on board and enjoying lunch in good time. I was nervous about sailing with so many people (we have sailed on smaller ships in the past), but my first impression was ok. We experienced the usual "everyone trying to figure out where they are going" but as the week progressed, the crowds dispersed into the normal flow.
We were disappointed in the service. I have always bragged about the excellent service we have always received with Carnival. This cruise was the exception. Thank goodness we didn't purchase the soda card, because we would not have gotten our money worth because we didn't see servers very often. We sat at the pool all day on sea days and were maybe asked twice. During the shows in the theater, not at all. I really don't feel like going into how bad our Dining Room service was. Every night they were turning the lights up before we were even served dessert. Other than that, we enjoyed the food, thought the shows were good (especially their new show called "Dancing in the Streets" which included break dancers, Awesome show not to be missed) enjoyed the comics and thought the entertainment was typical Carnival. Our cabin stewards did a fantastic job. I have always said that each person determines how much fun they have, so we decided to have a fantastic time, despite the lower quality of service. The ports were great and Carnival did a great job at each port with the debarking (even at Belize where we had to tender) By the way, do not miss the pasta bar. It is on the 11th deck, above the Lido dining towards the back of the ship. They only serve lunch. We almost missed it because they don't advertise it at all.
We really hit the mark on our excursions on this cruise as well. We are very active and really enjoyed our trips off ship (refer to my port reviews) We always do the self assist for disembarking and this went very smooth as well, except, don't go down when they call. You will just stand in line waiting for the Silver and Platinum guests to get off. They called for self assist at 7:00 am and we went down at 8:00.