Our family of 4 cruised on the Dream to the Western Caribbean in March 2013, and decided to do a repeat to the Eastern side this year. We all had a great time on both trips!
We parked at Park'n'Cruise, which saved about 50% over parking at the port. Embarkation was super fast. The guy behind us got his case of "water" promptly confiscated when the security agent opened and tested the liquid for alcohol. We got a cabin on Panorama Deck 11, which I think is the perfect location (see cabin review).
FOOD: The food is good. It is amazing to me how they can keep the quality so high for such a huge group of people. Highlights were the omelet station, excellent pizza, Indian Tandoori, and the main dining room dinners. The buffet is just average, but we could always find something decent on it. We did Your Time Dining, and generally ate at peak times (7-7:30). One of us would go down to get a pager while the others were getting ready. It was generally a 20 min wait. It would be nice if the ship had more individual restaurants, rather than just buffet-style stations.
STAFF: Antonio in the Crimson Dining Room was amazing. He did lots of tricks like balancing forks on toothpicks, and really entertained the kids. Michael was another good waiter. All of the MDR staff were pleasant and helpful. Be prepared to wait for your entrees some nights. We didn't have anywhere else to be, so we just relaxed and had more bread and butter. We didn't see our room steward Ari much but he worked hard and always got us what we needed. Activities staff were always fun and friendly.
PORTS: See my port reviews. We did not prebook any tours. We prefer to take taxis and sort of "wing it".
ENTERTAINMENT: The shows were the same we had seen the year before, so we skipped them this time. The male singer was new to us and sounded good. On the pool deck, Troy and Scott would alternate hours of acoustic guitar. Troy has a great voice and was very pleasant to listen to while sunning by the pool. Scott is a very accomplished guitarist but his vocals are hit-and-miss. He likes to get the crowd involved and people seemed to enjoy him. Brian Bradley in the Punchliner comedy club was very funny. We are sorry we didn't see the other comedian. We did Super Team Trivia in Ocean Plaza every sea day, and our team ended up winning. :)
TEENS: Our 15yo daughter really had fun at night with the "O2" 15-17 crowd. They have a dance club for them, but she said they didn't stay there much, preferring to walk around the ship and eat pizza and ice cream cones. Our 12yo son didn't do the "Circle C" 12-14 club, but apparently it was fun for the kids who did.
FITNESS: The gym is nice, and fairly small for the ship. It is usually crowded. Beautiful views off the front of the ship. Some of the machines could use maintenance, but overall a good fitness center.
MEDICAL: Our son threw up in the middle of the night one night, but was feeling better in the morning. As a precaution, and at the urging of the nurse on the phone who said we could fill out a form and get free medication, we took him to the medical center in the morning. They issued him a CDC-mandated quarantine order not to leave our cabin for 24 hours. It was very upsetting, as he was not really sick. He had to miss the day in St. Martin, and we had to eat buffet food that night in the stateroom, as his card was deactivated for the gangway and the MDR. Consider yourself warned.
OVERALL: We all loved the Carnival Dream, and wish we had another week aboard!