Sailed with my family of 5, and my brother's family of 5 on March 22nd to Eastern Caribbean out of Port Canaveral. Adults in late 40s and 6 kids from 13-18. Won't comment much on port since it's now out of NOLA. (But next time I would stay in Orlando area and drive to port in am instead of Cape Canaveral...yuk).
Embarkation was quickest ever...I was onboard drinking my first Frog Island Iced Tea by 12:15. We had 4 balcony cabins on deck 9 (one below lido) at the front of the ship (#9348,9352,9363,9365), Loved the location. We were sandwiched in between cabins so no noises to annoy us. So glad I read cruise critic about the Dream, because originally we were on deck 6. I had no idea that our balcony would have been overlooking deck 5 and people instead of ocean. It's terrible that Carnival pvps don't tell you this. I'm sure a few people have been disappointed with their balcony cabins on the Dream.
The Dream itself was not laid out very well. The Conquest class is the best in my opinion. First off, as we entered the lobby, it was very unimpressive. You could tell it had been shrunk to fit other areas. The lobby was always one of our favorite places to hang out before dinner on other ships, but this one is definitely missing something. They don't even have room for the entertainers...they have to be up on the staircase in a little stage area. Not very much seating either.
The deck 5 outer deck (lanai?) is a big waste of space (and again, takes away from the cabins just above it). It also takes away from the inside of deck 5 (Promenade). Unlike Conquest class, there isn't the long hall to walk down (this is what my teenagers missed the most they said). And during the day, you don't see the beautiful blue ocean walking down promenade....the lanai. Having said that, we did enjoy the casino bar a lot.
Entertainment was great. Sarah and Phoenix were our favorites, but they didn't get to play very often. We purposely looked for when and where they would be performing. We saw their last performance because their contract was up and they won't be returning.Dancing in the Streets was phenominal...do not miss.
Service: The service on the Dream was the best we've ever experienced. Every single bartender, waiter, busboy was overly helpful. Can't say enough about them. We tipped a lot extra because of this. They are so appreciative of extra tipping.
We did the cheers program and I highly recommend it, unless you're on a tight budget of course. It was so fun just ordering whatever you felt like trying. Had a lot of rum drinks, martinis and good wine that I normally wouldn't order because of cost. Getting free sodas with the program was great too.
Food was really great and no long lines except the Wok place...never tried it...I'm too impatient. The one thing all of us agreed on was that the pizza wasn't good at all. It's been 5 yrs since my last cruise, but it has definitely changed and we didn't like it. The Indian station was our favorite and the dining room never disappointed.
Ports: Nassau is the biggest waste of time. They need to either skip it or stay longer so you can plan a proper beach day. Having to be back at the ship by 1:30 doesn't give you enough time. Plus the hard sell right off the boat is absolutely nauseating. We got back on and enjoyed the DJ music that starts at 11 every day. I loved the DJ on lido. What we all HATED was the 60s reruns in the mornings! 2 suggestions Carnival: Peace and quiet are a lovely thing in the morning on a ship. With music starting at 11, what's wrong with quiet? NO ONE wanted to hear I love Lucy! OR.....how about some quiet background music piped in for mornings on lido? Something other than television for goodness sakes. The morning show is dumb (unless your 14 yr old calls in as a prank and cracks you up, but that's just us)
Speaking of Lido, In all my 9 cruises, I have never seen deck chairs by the pool area be gone by 7am!!! This just tells me that for the amount of passengers, there isn't sufficient pool deck area. Most people want to be by the action, so the chairs down on 5 (my problem with lanai again) don't cut it. I'm not going to blame the people....it's just survival of the fittest :)
I digressed....St Thomas is my absolute favorite port. I love it. We took a cab to Red Hook and took the ferry to St John. From there we taxied to Trunk Bay where we find our little piece of heaven. Snorkeled and swam a couple hours before heading back. Caught the 4:00 ferry back (12:00 there) and had time to do whatever you wanted. We went to Frenchman's Reef (old honeymoon spot) and took in the glorious sights. It overlooks the cruise ships and Charlotte Amalie.
St. Martin, we taxied to Orient Beach. It is very long and a lot of places to be dropped off. You can walk to your desired location once you're there. We got dropped off right at the start of the nude area....um.....thanks.
We stayed a couple hours then went to Maho Beach to see the planes. Save yourself some taxi money and don't go there. It's been 6 years since I was there and it's sooooo crowded and gross, it just isn't worth it to see some dumb planes land. The restaurant isn't nice and we were just much happier at Orient. So peaceful and ROOMY. The taxi back to the ship took forever!!! We were in port with the Oasis. So many people on these ships now, that the little islands really get congested.
Our group of 10 had a wonderful time together and loved this cruise for the most part. Hope this review helps and I didn't sound as negative as that horrible person who got the cruise for free and just labeled it "Boring". What a grouch....glad I didn't run into him. Everyone I saw was having a blast.
Shoutout to So,Sau & Cyrill at Red Frog Bar, Alfredo, Komang, Sherwyn and Tony from Scarlett Dining. You Rock!!!! :)