We are a couple in our mid fifties and travelled with my son and his wife who are in late twenties. This was our first cruise on Carnival having cruised 5 times on Princess and once on Holland America. My son and his wife were second time cruisers on Carnival.
We drove our car and stayed the night before the cruise at The Residence Inn in Coco Beach. We purchased the park and stay package which included our transfers to and from the Port. The Residence Inn was a great pre cruise hotel and having the onsite parking package was a plus.
This went smoothly, the only concern we had was that my daughter in law and I did not receive our luggage until after 5 p.m. On other ships we have always had our luggage delivered very quickly. I think so many people buy the Faster to the Fun which gives them priority boarding and they receive their luggage first. I would consider purchasing this next time if available. If you do want this you should purchase when you book as they only sell so many.
We had an inside cabin on the 7th deck number 7319. It was just like other cabins we have stayed in on other ships. I do think the bathroom was slightly bigger and their seemed to be more storage places. Our cabin steward was great and the cabin was very clean.
Food on the Carnival Dream was at times very good. Definitely on par with food we have had on the Princess lines. Other times we found it lacking. We are early risers and like to get an early breakfast and surprisingly the breakfast items were sometimes cold or luke warm. The food in the buffet was good. There was a great deal of food choices. There was the American buffet, and the Mongolian Grill both good the Mongolian Grill was a favourite and always a line up, so arrive early if you want to eat here. There were burritos, grilled sandwiches, lots of salads, pizza, hotdogs, and Indian food which was good also. On deck 5 there is a sandwich and salad bar which was good and they also barbecue out on deck 5. They barbecue, hamburgers, hotdogs, and wraps. We dined every evening in the Scartlett Dinning room and we had the early seating. Our waiters were great, very efficient and excellent service, the best we have had on a cruise. The menu was not as extensive as on Princess but on par with Holland America. The food at times was very good and on par with Princess and sometimes just mediocre. I would say that Princess overall had the best food in the dining room and on the buffets and Carnival and Holland America were about the same with food quality and variety.
There are many entertainment venues on this ship. They have the Punchliner comedy club which is very busy. There was always a line up so arrive early. My husband and I went once it was okay for us but not are favourite , by son and wife on the other hand loved it and went every night. We enjoyed all the shows in the theatre, and again arrive early for a good seat.
We did not take any tours but got off at each port to shop and walk around.
Went smoothly we choose to self embark carrying our own bags and we were off the ship by 7 a.m.
Overall we enjoyed our cruise. It was good value. The ship was very clean, excellent service from all the staff on this ship, and we would cruise with Carnival again.