We were on the Dream for the May 1-8 Western Caribbean cruise. My cabin mate has been on 49 cruises...7 with CCL. I've been on about 15...this was my 6th with CCL. We are both about 60. We drove over from Tampa on Friday, and stayed at the International Palms Hotel, and Resort in Cocoa Beach. There's a hotel review on TripAdvisor. I had gotten an automated call from Carnival during the week telling us to board at 10:30. The shuttle got us there about 10:45. We got right into line, and quickly to the front desk for cruise check in. We were handed a numbered blue card (14), and were herded into the "holding pen". Chairs touching each other in long facing each other rows. There was barely enough room to traverse the narrow row, plus most had carry on rolling stuff that you keep getting bonked with. People were not happy! After about 25-30 in the corral, our number was called, from afar....and you couldn't hear the announcement, but the "gate keeper" did soon anounce it too. Then into another line for the mug shot, and onto the ship. All in all, from door to lido, took about an hour.
The Lido was Jam packed! We walked to the last area to find a table. The tables were much too close together, and made navigating near impossible. You just couldn't get through some aisles. The food was pretty good. It would appear throughout the week that there were too many people for the public areas....especially the dining areas. Our muster meeting area was Club 02...again too many people for the area.
We had late dining in the lower Scarlet DR. Our waiter John, and asst, Ivany were super excellent! The food was really good. The room was really crammed with tables, and it was difficult to navigate around them. It was also VERY loud at the late seating, and I could not hear my across-the-table mates.....all of whom were great, at table 533! I do wish they had more chocolate desserts, other than the Chocolate Melting Cake. The last sea day unadvertised chocolate extravaganza was just so-so. It looked good, but was lacking in chocolate flavor, and not a brownie in sight.
We had a balcony on deck 9, mid to aft. The cabin was nice, so was the bath. Our cabin steward and his asst, Vita....a sweetheart of a young lady, also were excellent, and quick to please, and address our needs. There was a very seldom whiff of an off odor, but it lasted only momentarily, and wasn't an issue. Our balcony was fine, and only cigarette smoke infiltrated when a cabin occupant a few doors down would smoke. The people in the whirlpool on deck 5 were noisy at times, and on sea days it was noisy with the BBQ traffic, and dishes clanging. I didn't like the lights reflecting up from deck 5 at night....I like it when the balcony is dark, and you can leave the curtains open and look out at the stars from in bed.....not the case here....too bright! The morning the A/C went out was nasty....got hot fast! I don't see how they can lose the ENTIRE ship's A/C system....since I'm sure there are different zones, and systems. (so they can isolate in the event of fire), I have to think they shut it down to do something to it, and that was the best time to do it. I'm just saying....plus we will never get an honest answer.
The entertainment was pretty good, and the comedians were, for the most part, pretty funny, especially the late nite adult sets. I don't have anything about the ports.....I'm sure everybody's been to them. I still don't know why we didn't put in at the original port in Roatan, as we put in just a very little further south, the water really wasn't rough, nor was it real windy??
Overall I did enjoy the Dream, but I liked the Freedom more.....a little smaller, and didn't feel as crowded.