Well as the old adage goes, "even the worst day on vacation is better than a day at work". That's about sums up our 2nd experience on the Dream. We always make the best of any situation so we still enjoyed our trip. Just wasn't a favorite or memorable experience.
Embarkation- Again, we purchased Faster to the Fun (we are one cruise away from Platinum). It was smooth and easy. Well worth the $$$.
Debarkation-We do self-assist and were off the ship, and in our rental car by 8:15.
Food - Surprising the food on the Lido buffet was better and better selection. Dining Room-Carnival should consider changing up their menu. It's getting a bit tired. Steak House- Awesome! best meal of the entire vacation. Although, the service and the food itself was not as good as on the Valor.
Cabin - I think my first mistake was booking an inside cabin and trying to convince myself that I would be ok with it because it was so cheap! After 13 cruises with a balcony...why oh why would I do that to myself!!???
The weather....of course that is no one's fault.
Over 800 kids on this cruise. Now before the bashing begins, let me clarify something. I LOVE kids, have three grandsons of my own and hope to take them, along with my children on a family cruise. I just don't appreciate parents allowing the children to have free reign and do not supervise them. Our cabin was on the Lido. Every day, several times a day/night, there were two kids allowed to run up and down the hallway, knocking on cabin doors and the walls. These were kids aged 6-8 and should NOT have been left alone anyway. Kids were running around in the lido buffet area, running over elderly folks, running into anyone, cutting line, spilling stuff, no parents around and no apologies from these kids. Could not get into the hot tubs as they were constantly full with children! This ship doesn't offer a pool area that is "adults only" like the Conquest class ships have the aft area for adults. The adults only Serenity area was constantly full with other adults like ourselves trying to escape these hordes of rude children. All over the ship, you would overhear conversations about the # of rude kids and why their parents weren't "parenting". Again, I don't expect there to be no children, this IS Carnival. WE chose Carnival for the value and the loyalty program and honestly the FUN. I just feel that those of us WITHOUT kids deserve consideration as well. And that parents should remember that we all want their entire family to have fun and enjoy their vacation, but that isn't a license to let them run unsupervised.
Staff and Shows:
Comedians were good. Casino staff was attentive and FUNNY! Musicians in the small lounges were very good and we enjoyed them immensely. Can't comment on the productions shows as those are not our thing.
This rest Dream staff just "went through the motions". I understand that doing the same thing over, and over, and over again for 6-9 months is boring. BUT that's the job they signed on to do. Guess we were spoiled by the crew on the Valor from our B2B last year. They have received the Crystal Eagle of Excellence award many, many times.
Last but not least-just not a fan of the layout of the Dream. This is our second time, had a horrible experience the first time we sailed on her back when she was brand new. Chalked that up to new crew, new ship. The horrible smell of sewage frequently permeating the common areas and lido dining areas was very hard to take.
Again, we always enjoy our trip and make the best of it and will continue to sail with Carnival.