We were 3 friends doing our first cruise at all.
We are between 29 and 35 and had not too much expectations as we read many different reviews about the Carnival Dream.
As everywhere in life also here are all impressions individual and can vary from person to person.
For us it was a really good experience and we saw many nice places on this cruise which we hadn't seen when we booked a seven day holidays on the same place.
The advantage of a cruise is, that you can reach many places in a very comfortable way..
As we booked a Suite we also had "VIP" boarding and within 30 minutes we were on board passing the "long" queue! I can really suggest this way of travelling as it wasn't even expensive!
Once on board, we had our first drink at the main bar. There was only one person greetings the people that come aboard. But it was not flashy, what we really liked.
Our Room: 7257
With a nice balcony, a lot of space, even for 3 persons with luggage, we had a perfect decorated birthday room! It was my and my friends birthday on that cruise and we booked some nice "goodies" in advance :) The room is good located.. and not direct under the main pool, where a lot of noise is, like some guests complaint, which were in a rooms, directly under the main deck.
The bathroom was very big and even a bath with whirlpool function was there!
The escalators were about 20 meters away, so also no noise from there. Only our neighbours, who were on spring break, were sometimes quite loud.
It was very surprising, that there were many different ways of getting food. There was a huge self-service buffet with average food quality and on the other hand you could dine in a high-class restaurant, the steakhouse, for only 30 bucks per person on top! We booked two diners in the steakhouse as the meal there was overwhelming! Great! Also the ambiance was far better than in the main restaurants where some people were eating topless...
We also had dinner in the Crimson restaurant. And could choose our time dining which was very good! So we could decide to go for dinner early or late.
The sad thing about the food on board is, that you hardly get healthy food...
pasta, pizza, hamburgers, hot dogs and ice cream were available 24 hours.. but for us Europeans who prefers fruits, salads and not to heavy food, it was hard to find what we really liked ;)
Well.. we were also among the slimmest on board..... no more to say about the BMI of the people on board.... ;)
In the beginning we bought the "bottomless bubbles" package for around 50 dollars so we could have sodas as much as we liked and didn't had to pay them each time.
Also a wine package was bought so we saved 25% of a regular bought wine in the restaurant. The wines you can't drink in the time you are on the cruise, you can take with you!
There were many things you could do, to spent the days on sea.
We prefer to go to the serenity deck, which is on top and at the front. No access for children and between 12 and 3pm they had very delicious light food, like Cesar salad with a chicken breast. Also the food there was complimentary. Also a nice gym and spa is available.
The concept of a "fun-ship" also contains an animation program for all who want to be a part of the "fun-family" we are not that type of person so we prefered the quiet animation, like reading, talking to other people and listening to our own iPod music or going to the gym. Sometimes we went playing minigolf, which was fun. too!
We were on the ship with around 4'100 other cruisers. It is clear, that at the buffet was sometimes a looong queue! And even when you only wanted a slice of bread you had do queue...
Otherwise you hardly realized, that on this ship were so many people. You always found a place, where you could be for your own.
The staff have been very friendly and polite. Most of the staff is from Eastern Europe or from Asia. Contrary to the guests who are 99% Americans.
We sometimes felt like an alien, among strangers ;))
We payed around 1'500 dollars per person for that cruise. But we had many extra costs, as the tip-mentality has to be considered as well as the expensive land excursions which can be booked in board or in advance.
Also the different packages will empty your account fast.
I suggest, that you book the excursions individual and not on the ship. Saves you money!
There is also a Casino on board which is part of the "money cow" as well as souvenirs and many photos which they take of you all the time.
Buying all that stuff causes tremendous costs.
But you are not forced to buy anything, so it is ok :)
There was a huge range of age on board. Among young people there were also many elderly and disabled. Ship is very good for wheelchairs! Everything is reachable by escalators.
As already mentioned it is a fun ship and also many children are on board as well 99% Americans.