We had a group of 10 of which 6 of us drove from Virginia, 1 flew in and 3 drove up from Homestead, FL. We arrived super early at the port due to leaving Virginia due to the oncoming snow storm. We arrived at 6 am and the ship was still docking at the port. We left and grabbed a quick bite at a local McDonalds to kill a bit of time. We got back to the port at 7:15 and were able to park in the garage. We waited until 9:10 to hand over our luggage to the porters and waited for the remaining 4. They arrived and we headed into the port about 10:15. Overall process from security line to get our cards was approximately 20 minutes, we were on the ship just a little after 11.
The ship was absolutely stunning, we headed on up to the Lido while my sister dropped off a bag of gifts in their cabin. Got a row of seats in the back of the lido. Some tried the burrito bar, pasta bar and others had burgers, etc. We had a bit of a problem with some items we carried on - we were paged and ended up having one member of our party carry the items back out to our car, he got back on and off in less than 20 minutes.
We had table 535 middle of the Scarlet Dining room, our waitstaff - Igede and Hamyzah(sp?) were fantastic. Hamyzah was fairly new but did a great job. Igede was very pleasant, chatted with us even though he was extremely busy. Had a bit of problem first night with bar service. Apparently a new thing with Carnival is the bar servers don't ask any longer if we would like anything but we are to tell the head waiter (this was directly from our bar server). We had a gentleman first who seemed to debate if our table was in his section, we ended up with a young lady named Kata who was very pleasant and we met and talked to her many times throughout our cruise. She commented that her inability to ask customers if they wished to order drinks was cutting into her income as she relies soley on tips. Food was good in the dining room, wasn't anything fantastic. Chateaubriand was probably overall the best dish that we all ordered and enjoyed.
We participated in several of the trivia games, winning only medals. We were told we had to trade 3 medals for a ship on a stick. Tried to do on the last night but lines were a bit longer than I wanted to wait in at the pursar's desk on the last day so we didn't try again to turn them in. We saw a couple of the comedians who were fairly good and the ventriloquist was ok (I have seen better). Watch the show Beat Street(?) I think was the name, that was decent but our seats were too far on the side to see parts of the show. Carnival needs to redo the show to move the actors out on the stage more instead of the side corners of the stage.
Went to the Past Guest party and the Captain's Party. Drinks were $1 off at the Captain's party, free at the Past Guest party.
We dined twice in the dining room for breakfast, 3 times in the lido. Never waited more than 10 minutes at the lido in any line. On all three occasions we easily found seating together for all 10 in our group. Waits for room service orders average 45-60 minutes on the three different occasions someone in our cabins ordered. Slowest service was the brunch we tried one day. We didn't order starters or appetizers so waited quite a while for the group we were seated with to finish their starters. Servers waited to server the main courses until the starters were finished - next time we will request a table alone.
Only other place I think could have used improvements was the Ocean Plaza - it would have been nice if they had placed a few more food service choices here, coffee, water, etc. While they did a quick service bbq on the lanai the choices were limited. While I realize they don't want to intrude on the activities with food, a quick snack while playing games, etc would have been perfect.
We used the slides, waiting on a short time, the racing slides were a lot shorter than all the hype and weren't that great. But kids seemed to enjoy them though. Some played miniature golf once it was a bit crowded, other time was the putt putt tournament which my dad ended up winning. Mmy children never wanted to participate in the kids clubs so I can't really comment on those areas. My daughter said the couple times she did go were pretty boring and she ended up leaving pretty quickly, she did do the build a bear activity. She is 11, my son never went to the Circle C (he is 14). Both went to the game room but didn't go there very often. They really enjoyed the miniature golf, pools and slides. Once in the pool my daughter was the only one there and I easily got seats by the pool to watch her.
Embarkation at Port Canaveral was the quickest and fastest of any cruise I have been on.
We absolutely will sail on the Dream again as I would love to do the Western Itinerary.