We are big fans of RCCL, but have enjoyed Carnival as well. So we figured we'd try out the new ship on the water from Carnival.
Embarkation was fast and reasonably efficient. No complaints there, as we were among 4200 others trying to get on, they did a good job-keeping people moving.
Food: we have found that Carnival ranks right up there in quality of food, the only draw back was that breakfast buffet in the Gathering was repetitious, same thing every day. However dinner in the Scarlet dining room (late seating) was very good.
Shows: This is where I think RCCL does a better job, the shows on the Dream where just ok, with the exception of the hypnotist Doug MacDraw he was great, if you have a chance to see him perform and are curious about being hypnotize, you should volunteer, he was awesome.
With the recent press about bed bugs everywhere, when we arrived in our cabin 9254, we conducted a very thorough exam of everything in the room, and found it to be clean and free of any signs of bed bugs, we give the Dream 100% clean rating, no worries, but you should educate yourselves on the issues of bed bugs, how to look for them and what to expect. www.bedbugregistry.com is a good resource.
Not thinking, we booked for the week of Thanksgiving, never again ... 4200 people on board, 1600 were kids ... kids let loose to run a muck uncontrolled. Camp Carnival was way under staffed for what they were about to experience. You can imagine what that was like, kids can be rude when running in packs, don't get me wrong I love kids, but when left to their own devices or challenges of peer pressure kids can be pretty nasty with no manners.
Also, I had read about the terrible smell on lower decks of Dream, and that is why we selected deck 9, but I had a chance to wander down the halls of deck 2 after being at sea for 1 1/2 days and P-U ... it was rank with methane stink, I don't know why it smelled so bad but it was awful. If you book on Dream get above deck 4 or you will experience some stink.
This being a new ship it is already showing signs of wear, hall way corners bashed in a couple of places, carpeting stained, bureau draws that would not close tightly, and there was this constant pounding noise and shutter from the engine room that could be felt in mostly any interior location of the ship. Granted we were in very rough water, 15-foot seas all week.
The big question did we enjoy our trip? - Yes very much, did we have a good time? Yes again very much, would we cruise on this ship again? Probably not unless the price was a factor or a new area like Mediterranean cruise.