The Dream left a lot to desire for past cruisers. On Saturday July 3rd - we embarked on the ship easily not issues. We walked around to find out that the layout of the ship was very similar to that of all our other cruises (this made it easy to get around) We did notice that the pool areas were SMALLER than previous ships and wondered how that would play out when this ship had about 1000 more people.
Casino - Casino slots were good when you could get at them - there were children playing and winning buckets of coins - and no security to remove them from the area.
Pools - As we thought the smaller pools were an issue. There just wasn't room. In the family pool area (where kids are allowed). the pools were packed we were like sardines in the pool. I only used it to cool off and get back on my chair.We also discovered that you really could not use the pool in the afternoon - there was stuff floating in it. Kids and Adults would take their drinks to the pool and drinks would spill creating an icky pool - on the last day there was a security person there to remind people not to bring food/drink by the pool.
The Adult area pool (supposedly for adults only) was full of kids too. No-one asked the children to leave (other ships had security that would ensure there were no kids in the adult pool.)
Dinner - the ship had 3 dining options for the main dinning room. 1) early seating, 2) late seating and 3rd Your time dining. We asked for late dining but were assigned to "Your time Dining", which meant we could go to the upstairs dining room any time we wanted. Not happy with this option. 1- we had different wait staff every night, no great interactions. One night they brought us our drinks at the end of dinner.... On pat cruises dining was fun, because you got to know your wait staff and they got to know you. They also played the SAME CD every night during dinner - you can only take so much Julio Iglesias..
Buffet- small, cramped, same size as smaller ships - LONG lines. (food was basically same every day - only thing that really changed was the main course i.e. roast beef, turkey, lamb each on a different day)
Sushi Bar - This was GREAT it was free and very good. Lines were not long, because not everyone knew it was free!!!
Midnight Buffet- Did not exist (discontinued to cut costs)
Staff- not very helpful - most of them could not answer a question without looking into it. and when they finally got back to you with an answer you didn't care any more - example - Called guest services to find out when midnight buffet was and staff had to put me on hold (5 minutes) to tell me that he was just told that they don't have one. (staff should have know this)
Circle C- basically camp carnival for 12-14 year old. - not as expected. They did not have a sign in/sign out policy - kids could come and go as they wanted. This did not help parents that went in looking for their kids. They should have kept a list of when a child walked through the doors and what time they left. This was just make it easy to know if you just missed your kids, or if they have been floating around ship for a very long time.
Lido Deck Fun- Did not exist - we were used to having staff at pool and engaging guests in dancing, games, fun events. there was 1 game a day at the pool that lasted 10 minutes. Staff depended on a BIG HUGE screen TV on the deck to entertain us. They played same music video everyday. The only time we got to see the cruise director was at the show in the evening or on TV at the Lido Desk - no real contact. They relied on that TV way too much.
Overall - Compared to past cruises this was awful - First time cruisers did not know the difference