We cruised on the Dream 1/25 - 2/1/2014. The rooms were fine; even though the inside rooms don't have a sofa or chair -- only a vanity stool which is not very comfortable for sitting to read. But our room Steward was great, so that made up for a lot. The dining room was good, along with our servers, and the buffet was pretty good, especially the ice cream (yum) & chocolate chip cookies. I will say that, according to my spouse & me, Carnival has the best chocolate chip cookies of any cruise line. But then they ran out of them on Thursday. What? They haven't had a full ship before our cruise (which i don't even know if our cruise was full). They also ran out of bananas on Thursday--same question! The pools and sun bathing areas were also fine. Even with the children, there were plenty of areas we could lie or sit without being bombarded by children.
The entertainment however, was a HUGE disappointment. The only redeeming part of the entertainment was the comedy routines in the Burgundy Room; they had some very funny comedians, including the emcee. However, the shows in the Encore Theatre were very, very, very lacking! They had only one outside act in the Encore Theatre. The rest of the shows were the Carnival singers and dances, who were marginal at best. One of our favorite parts of cruising is the shows, and having one (maybe even two) shows with only the ship's singers and dancers is fine. But five nights of our cruise was the ship's singers and dancers, one night was the outside act - a ventriloquist, and the other night was a Newlywed type game at one showtime and a Quiz type show at the other showtime. These game shows are great, but not instead of other shows.
In addition to the poor shows, the lounges were weird. Most were on the 5th deck (except the outdoor bars by the pool) and most were open where everyone walking by was right next to your table, making it difficult to have conversations or listen to the music. The Burgundy Room was one of the few decent lounge areas.
I'm normally ok with having short island times if we're at 4 or more islands in a week long cruise, but with only 3 islands and 3 sea days, we need more time on each island.
The Dream is a nice looking ship but because of the lounge lay-out and the shows in the Encore, we will probably not cruise on the Dream again. Which is a major disappointment to me since we love cruising and live near Port Canaveral.
I would like to think this review will get Carnival to improve these areas, however, this was also the first cruise where I never received an evaluation form. Makes me think they already know the problems and have no plans to improve. I do hope this is not the case.