This was our 18th Carnival Cruise and Carnival still delivers the best value in the cruise industry but ....
The Ship The Carnival Dream is the biggest and newest ship in the Carnival brand inventory. The ship at 130,000 tons is supposed to represent a new "class" of ship for the Carnival brand. Unfortunately, the Dream is not "new" and it lacks innovation. It's not that the ship is poorly designed or that it's not beautiful. It's gorgeous!! But it is a lost opportunity for the Carnival brand to show new innovative concepts with this beautiful ship. The Carnival Dream is not much different than the Carnival Splendor, where my wife and I sailed it in the 50-day cruise around South America from Ft Lauderdale to San Francisco in early 2009. The Carnival Splendor was also very nice but it was not much different than the Carnival Liberty which is not much different than the Carnival Victory and the Carnival Victory is not that much different the More
Carnival Destiny. The main differential of the Carnival Dream over the other (newer) Carnival ships was the exterior deck on the Promenade deck (deck 5) which didn't add much to the overall experience due to high glass wall which surrounds it. The deck gave the impression to be a "catch-all" for any (fool) which might attempt to jump or fall from the balconies above it. The point is that Carnival had the opportunity to set the Carnival Dream apart from all their other ships, much the same as the Carnival Destiny did when it sailed in 1996. The Carnival Dream did not accomplish that and therefore I consider it a blown opportunity by Carnival's leadership given the current level of competition in the cruise industry.
Food The food aboard the ship was very, very good. We enjoyed every meal including the buffets and restaurants. We just completed a cruise aboard the Celebrity Equinox and the Carnival Dream's food was just as good if not better. There was an oddity which I still don't understand—the lunch menu in the Scarlett restaurant was the same everyday. It was strange.
Staff Outstanding!! Carnival's training and service execution is exceptional. The staff was helpful, cordial, and knowledgeable.
Entertainment Entertainment aboard the ship was lacking and the quality was below standards for Carnival. The Cruise Director, Todd was very good but his staff was lacking. Less