My husband and I just got back from sailing the Carnival Dream? As for the ship, its pretty but not the greatest in our opinion. You have to keep in mind though we have done about 8 cruises, so we have our favorites. I would say Celebrity Solstice is our absolute favorite, followed by the Royal Caribbean ships (the newer ones) then Carnival. We haven't sailed any of the others like NCL or Princess, so don't know about those. The cruise ship itself is pretty, but just not laid out the greatest. Felt like we were going from one end to another to get where we wanted. We were on the 8th floor which probably because of where we were located (about 3 rooms from the elevator) it was kinda noisy. I like to be somewhat close but prob not that close as you hear all the traffic coming in and out. I would say the first night was the loudest. and you also hear every one's balcony doors slam through the night which was very annoying. The last ship we did, the doors would slide open, but these actually open and shut so that was probably a bad part. We don't really do any rooms other than the balconies anymore, as they give you a little bit of extra space, or at least they feel like it so you don't feel like you are on top of each other. It was always clean in the room, so no complaints there, so probably just the door slamming was the worst part of "their" balcony rooms.
As for the food, it was just OK. The dining room was great ( I think anyway) I lost my taste and smell the first day. ha!! But it was very pretty and all that. The main just buffet which is called the Gathering, was just OK. They didn't have alot to choose from in my opinion. They had a place where you could get a stir fry. Then on the main buffet, you basically just had choices of Italian type foods and the occasional piece of chicken here and there, but everyday was the same thing which I thought was strange. Thought they would have at least give you a variety of diff things, or at least change it up each day, but they did not. They did have a pasta bar up top which was very good. You basically order, and they bring it to you. They also had a little station to where you could get a burrito, and of course the hamburger, hot dog, and pizza outside by the pool. The buffet was kinda annoying, just because it was all pretty much together, not in separate sections, to where if you wanted on particular thing, you would have to stand in the entire line just to get the one thing you wanted. Other ships, have different areas, to where it was easier to get in and out and get what you wanted. They had one buffet on one side of the main gathering, and then you walked a little ways and had another buffet. I am pretty sure it was the same stuff on each side, but may have been a little different. I just got so sick of having to walk around every time esp with so many people. They have a great salad bar which I ate that and pizza most days, cause it was just easier to get too. ha! The first day of lunch is prob your worst day with the crowd, but then as you go into port and most people are off the boat, its a little easier.
They do have room service but only a very small selection. Like if you want a hot breakfast, you have to go to the buffet. They do bring you cereal, and muffins, stuff like that which is all I eat for the morning, but chuck likes the big stuff, so we had to leave the room every time. The only other thing I was really disappointed in, was the pools. They only have 2 pools. one in the main center, where the big screen theatre is displayed, which most of the kids are in that pool. Then in the back of the ship, they have more of the "adult" pool, both very small. considering a 3500+ people ship, to only have 2 pools was ridiculous, and at the size they were. The solstice had 2 huge pools side by side, along with an adult pool away from everything. This one does have several Jacuzzis around the ship but we didn't use those.
The ports we went to were Cozumel, Honduras (Montego Bay), Belize, and Costa Maya. All were great except Belize, I would just stay on the ship, if yours goes there, not worth taking the tender boat over. Really a waste of time in my opinion. There may have been things to do, but alot of people were saying how scary it was outside the port, so if you go be careful. ha! Or go on an excursion to where you know you are going somewhere safe.
In Cozumel, we just grabbed a taxi to Corona Beach. It was pretty cool. Not crowded at all, has a restaurant. and just a good place to snorkel. Its not really a beachy beach, just one that kinda made a path for you to get in the water, to where you could snorkel and then have some lunch. It had some tables set up but no lounge chairs or anything like that. Honduras, you want to go to Maya Key Private Resort. We tried to go on our own, but they don't do that anymore, so we had to buy an excursion through the ship, which was about 67 a person I think. But its a private resort, that has a huge pool, beach, chairs, very relaxing. we were there for about 5 hours. Hardly anyone there, it was nice. Belize, like I said, we just went into port and went right back. Costa Maya, there is a private resort there that is by invitation only that we were going to go to, but decided since they had the big pool right there in the port, we would just hang out there for FREE. ha! It is crowded, but the pool is so big it wasn't that bad.
Of course they do pictures every night, 2 formal nights for a 7 day cruise but they aren't that formal on there so don't go crazy. They play bingo, and trivia games occasionally on the boat. Big Casino if you are into that, and they do have a great comedy club in the evenings, that's a must see. The cruise director, was BUTCH, and was hilarious. Probably the best we have ever seen, and not boring. A few shows in the encore that were OK. So that's that. All in all, it wasn't bad. I just was sick the entire time, so did not really get to enjoy it all that much, but I would say the pools and the buffet were my main disappointment.