I am not fond of the "darlings" so I'll just type it out! My mom and dad, (both 67) sister (45), sister (40), and I (28), booked this cruise back in July. We were interested in the Dream because of the price and the ship being new. Also, we thought kids would be in school (not the case). My parents had an balcony on deck 6. The girls had an inside pull-down on deck 9.
Embarkation- My parents and I boarded together, and my sisters boarded together at a later time. My mom is disabled and required use of a wheelchair. We were immediately moved to the VIP line, and check in took less than 15 minutes. This process was very smooth. The cruise line was very attentive to my mom.
Staterooms-Since my mom is disabled and does not feel well often, it was important to her to have a balcony cabin. The cabin was very spacious, and very well kept. However, since they were booked on deck 6, there was the promenade deck below them. Therefore, they did not have a direct ocean view, but that of a whirlpool down below. Before the cruise left, I called to inquire about this very thing, but was told it would be fine. After being on board about an hour, I went to guest services to state my complaint, but was told that my call was not registered in my history, and that since there were 4500 on board (1200 of them children), my parents could not be moved to a different room. This was disappointing, but my parents made the best of it.
Our stateroom on the 9th floor was almost at the very aft of the ship. The beds were comfortable, even for me sleeping on the pull-down. The room was always kept clean. Since we were under the lido deck and aft pool, we did hear pool chairs being moved, but it was no big deal. I really liked the room.
Dining- Upon arrival, we went to the Lido deck to eat. I had the pasta bar (I was number 5) and there was no wait. The pasta was very good. My dad had the Mongolian wok; he liked it. Mom had the buffet. We did not try the sushi, burrito bar, or Indian bar. We had the best waiters! We used the anytime dining for 5 people. We arrived the first night at 5:45. Our waiters were Nazan (Turkey), and Sudarma (Indonesia). We found them so delightful and funny, we asked for them every night. Food was very good. I cannot complain about the portion size. It was often more than enough. I had the skirt steak 3 nights. Bitter and Blanc dessert was the best!
Entertainment- I saw all the major productions. The best was Dancing in the Streets. The male singer, Desmond Dansby, carried the show. The female was just so-so. We did not see any comedians.
On Board Fun- We attended karaoke several nights. People take it too seriously! I tried the Waterworks slide once. It was pretty good. Pools were too crowded. It was VERY hard to find a chair in the sun.
Other notes: This boat is too crowded! We often had to wait 10 minutes for an elevator that had enough room for the wheelchair. Sometimes when we waited, people jumped in front of us. The pools are crazy small for the amount of people on board. Carnival really needed to take the amount of people into consideration when building public areas. Smoking on board was bad. On both the 6 and 9 floor, smoking could be smelled in the halls. And finally, THE SMELL: Yes, I smelled it. Multiple times a day. It was prevalent on my hallway. I think this was because we were so near the rear of the ship. It was a sulfuric waste smell. Did it ruin my cruise? Not by any means. Just deal with it and move on.
We had a really good cruise. It was great to have family time! The service on board was excellent. Very nice and attentive. Always a hello. However, we will not be cruising the Dream again; it was just too crowded!