Start with Hotel before starting the cruise, Country Inn and Suites - We didn't get in until 4am, but it was great being able to sleep for 5 hours before going to cruise. They have a package that you can get to leave your vehicle at the hotel and let me tell you it was well worth it. We took a shuttle from the hotel over to the cruise line and I couldn't ask for anything any smoother.
Ship: We had VIP boarding and disembarking and let me tell you that is the way to go; no lines. Ship was great except for it being hot the whole time. We had the cool air all the way down in our cabin and was never able to really get it cool; other then that the ship was great; food was great; staff was great.
Ports: We were not able to go to Roatan or Costa Maya and was very disappointed with that because of weather (wind)and then someone told me that a larger ship from another cruise line was able to dock so that kinda upset me even more. Ended up going to Cozumel twice on this trip because of that and ended up being cold and rainy.
Would I go on another cruise with Carnival Dream...yes. It's not any different then any other ship except maybe another 1,000 or so more people. My husband and I did love deck 5 that had lounge chairs and whirlpools because it was pretty much adults and very few kids. The pool on deck 10 was pretty small for all the people on the ship; they needed to plan a little better for that. As far as lines for food no different then any other ship.
We had a good time even though we missed 2 ports and would go again.