We are experienced cruise enthusiasts this was our 7th Cruise on Carnival. We often cruise with friends and family as was the case on the Dream 2 Adult couples so we can not offer advice on the children's clubs and services. We did find the Water slides a hoot and we all enjoyed the Adults only Serenity areas We flew from Nashville Tn to Orlando and obtained our own transportation to and from Port Canaveral they were prompt courteous and exactly half price of CCLs crowded Large Bus transportation. Embarkation was easy since we arrived at 2:30 PM and almost everyone was aboard!
The Ship is Beautiful. Typical Mardi Gras/Carnival theme and colors. Evening Dinner service and food were Excellent! Buffets were often closed, the lines were LONG when it was open. Breakfast was good if you waited in line for and omelet. (This has all been said on countless reviews of the Dream).One high point is the Pasta Bar upstairs on the Dream, While it was BUSY and slightly confusing, once you learned how to order and where everything was the Pasta was excellent!
Entertainment choices and shows were very good although crowded and hard to find a seat. You had to wait in line to see the comedy shows in the back of the boat. They had 4 or 5 shows no doubt to alleviate the overcrowding in the main show lounge up front.
Let me start by saying I am not a Carnival basher, this was our seventh trip with Carnival. Our other experiences with them have been good. If I was able to read a review of the problems on Deck 2 we would have had a much better cruise. First and foremost there is sewage smell on Deck 2 near the mid ship elevators this is not a new problem I found out it has plagued the ship since it came over from Europe. It is not mild it makes you want to lose your lunch. I would have felt sorry for the guests staying there but we had bigger problems on Deck 2 Aft. Our rooms and our friends were directly below a HUGE galley that spans most of Deck 3 and we had the further misfortune of being directly below large commercial conveyor belt dish washing equipment that runs 24 hours a day. Our room also had an 8 inch discharge pipe that expels food waste down from the machines and into the sea. We endured 7 days and 7 nights of Extremely loud banging and crashing sounds! Also Dragging sounds as if living under a 24 hour bowling alley! It can be as loud and sound as if someone were on your deck banging around the aluminum furniture! When questioned about the noise problems we told they would see what they could do to quiet the noise. When it became apparent nothing had changed they sent us a credit for 274 Dollars on our sail and sign card and 10% off our next cruise. While we can appreciate the gesture of a discount I feel the only fair thing for carnival to do is to either fix the poor design issue or sell the rooms with a disclaimer about the noise problem just like they sell rooms with obstructed views. While it was hard to enjoy all the good things the ship had to offer while not being able to get a good nights sleep they did allow us to use an interior cabin on a higher deck the last two nights of the trip.
I will have to say the Dream also had what seems to be ride/stabilizer issue it rolls and pitches much more than the Freedom which we sailed on for 12 Days in the Mediterranean and the Glory which we sailed to Belize on for 7 Days! Both these boats were NEW when we sailed on them and nearly as Big as the dream with a smoother ride, no sewer smells, long lines, crowded shows or 24 hour banging and scrapping sounds in our cabin!
Disembarkation was handled well with so many cruisers leaving at one time.
In Summary it is very hard to have a bad cruise vacation and plenty of fun was had on this trip. Lets hope Carnival gets serious about the issues on the Dream so EVERYONE can enjoy ALL of their cruise vacation.