We were first time cruisers and had no idea what to expect. I don't like crowds so booking the titanic-sized Dream was a concern for me. But we took the plunge and looked at it as an adventure.
The night prior to departing for Florida my wife and I caught a news headline on TV of a developing weather system in the Caribbean. We slowly turned to each other and gave each other the "you've got to be kidding me" look. Being that it was Thursday we were confident that the tropical depression would be long gone by the following Tuesday when we were scheduled to be in the Virgin Islands.
The Beginning - Stayed at the Radisson in Port Canaveral Friday night. They offer a package that allows you to park your car there while you cruise and they shuttle you to the cruise terminal. Hotel was fine, but the Sleep Number beds they have in the rooms are not at all the perk that they advertise. Quite the opposite, we found them to be much like sleeping on a cheap blow up mattress. Got to the ship Saturday at noon and getting on the Dream was a breeze. Had some lunch and strolled around the ship awaiting access to our room (apx 1:30). Got in the room and was very pleasantly surprised. We had a balcony room on deck 8, midship. The room was plenty spacious and the sofa was made up as a bed for our daughter. No claustrophobia here.
Food and Entertainment - We are not big eaters nor are we big on fine dining. So the food was not a big factor for choosing a cruise. We did the Any Time Dining option and ate dinner each night around 6pm in the Crimson dining room. We sat at the same table each night and the food and service were excellent. The wait staff couldn't have been nicer and quickly get to know you by name. Many options for breakfast and lunch and even with a completely booked ship, the lines were not bad at all. The Pasta Bar is the best kept secret for lunch.