This was my Husband and I in our mid 20's traveling alone for some relaxation.
ports of call were Nassau, St. Martin, St. Thomas.
Our Carnival Dream cruise started out hectic at the airport but we still landed in Orlando on time and proceeded to the luggage claim area where we met a Carnival representative that escorted us to the Carnival desk. We were given little ticket and shown to a waiting area before boarding a bus to the Port. We left the airport at about 12:30p and we were on the ship bu 2:15p. (It's an hour bus ride.
Embarkation was smooth and easy our luggage was already taken care of since we did the airport transportation. We arrived on the ship in the atrium and it was beautiful. The elevators were all glass and it did not take long to get one to the 10th floor to go to the Gathering for some lunch. For the most part we took the stairs, but when getting on after port visits we never had a problem waiting for an elevator.
The food on the Dream was pretty good, With many options. i do have to say there were some line issues at breakfast and at lunch, but there are essentially 4 lines for the actual buffet (2 parts of the Gathering Aft, and Mid). At lunch they have salad bars on all ends of the buffet which is where most of the hold up was, if they could do 1 salad bar it would really cut down on the waiting times. I wasn't a personal fan of the actual lunch buffet and usually got food from the wok, grill, pizza station, deli, tandoori or the pasta station(which is upstairs towards the back and is a MUST, we went there 3 days). The odd thing is that at the buffet everything is served in small containers (Rachel Ray home cookware, for 4,000 people it seemed like they were running out of food and we always had to wait for something to be replaced.
We did go to the main dining room for breakfast once and were sat with a group of 8, so if you'd prefer to sit alone make sure you specify that. The food there was good. I did notice that at the main buffet they only had waffles/french toast a few days, the rest only pancakes, but that wasn't bad because they always had them in the main dining room.
The wok was really good, as was the grill and deli. the pizza was great, not at all like frozen. the Indian food, tandoori, was ok nothing amazing. Like I mentioned earlier the Pasta bar is amazing and they bring it right to you with huge portions.
We did Your Time Dining in the MDR-crimson, it is on the 5th level and the was always wonderful. we preferred to sit alone and sometimes had to wait about 20 minutes, not a big deal because you could go to any of the multiple live music areas and your device would go off when they were ready for you. if you get there right when they open or after about 1 1/2 hours there wasn't usually an issue. The tables are close together though, some nights it was awkward because we would be sat near a person cruising alone who wanted to talk across tables. We preferred to sit alone so we wouldn't have to make small talk, but some people requested to sit near other tables for 2 so they could talk to strangers who had asked to sit alone. Desserts were delicious and I never had a complaint about any of them or the actual meals. The service was also great, it sometimes took a little longer for a drink from the bar, but they always knew what we were drinking without even telling them.
The Shows were great and I enjoyed them thoroughly. The Fun Force hip hip dancers were AMAZING and really added to the whole experience, definitely go to their show in the atrium, its great. The only show I was disappointed with was the last night where they had karaoke winners perform and it was nothing that great.
The comedians were awesome, we went to all the midnight shows with the 4 different comedians and I recommend them highly as long as you don't take offense to curse word or risky topics.
The pool area always seemed busy on at sea days and yes people do go out at 8am and just leave their towels on chairs. We went out at 9 one morning and all chairs on both decks were taken so we went up above the golf course and unloaded stacks of chairs and sat up there, so essentially no big deal for us. On port days there were many empty chairs so also no big deal.
The big screen at the pool was really nice and I enjoyed watching movies on them while laying out.
The mini golf is 18 holes and a ton of fun! Same with the water slides, they are great and we went on them multiple times on at sea days since not many others were on the ship. The are for all ages so you should try them at least once.
We didn't use the basketball area, spa or gym, but they all looked really nice, but not for us.
We had a balcony room and it was really nice, lots of storage space, shelves in the bathroom and comfy bed. The balcony was great for relaxing and reading a book in the afternoons and in the evening, the only thing that bothered me was that there were small children in the room next to us who would scream and play on the balcony, really ruining the relaxation of having a balcony. People have complained of having rooms on the 9th floor and hearing a lot of noise. were were on port side and only occasionally heard noise from above, nothing to ruin my time. walls were pretty thin and you could hear others, but we never had major problems with it. Make sure to bring a power strip, only one outlet, not enough to charge everything we had. Also the hairdryer was great turned to high. i have a lot of hair and it didnt take me any longer than it does at home.
We only got off at the ports and walked around but enjoyed ourselves otherwise, no big lines to get on or off the boat, but we usually waited an hour to get off and never had a line. One note make sure not to forget your sunscreen and aloe, we forgot ours at home and paid $15 dollars a piece for for 3ounces.
The ship did rock. It wasn't that bad at the beginning, but on Friday our last day i was stuck in bed until 3pm because it was so rocky, when we finally got ready ate and went to the nightly shows it was sometimes difficult to walk. I was surprised by this, but had been warned in advance.
Butch the Cruise Director is amazing! he is full of energy and really does make the cruise a lot more fun.
Disembarkation was so fast and easy, much better than what we experience on Royal Caribbean. They really have it down and it was great. We took their airport shuttle back and it was still very easy.