We just got home from a 7 day Western on the Dream. It's our 3rd time on the ship in 18 months. We had a great cruise. The best news was DW didn't get sick this time. The past 2 times she caught a bug and wasn't fully involved. The second best news was the gym now has a C2 rowing machine. Had no idea they put on in the gym since last May. So I was able to log 32K on the cruise!
I'll share a few general observations mainly on what's changed in the past year.
For those driving to Port Canaveral, the new Park N Cruise facility is a great set up. 1/2 the price of parking at the port and prompt courteous free shuttle service. With the hotels now rising their park and cruise rates and charging extra for shuttles, it's a great deal.
We never experienced long lines, despite the ship being fully booked. Maybe just the way we cruise, knowledge of the ship and we typically avoided the congested areas. No chair hogs on the Serenity deck on any sea day we were up there.
There are no longer any trays in the Gathering. Large oval plates. But it's harder to carry all the food, bowls, drinks, etc..
The Dream has Thirsty Red Frog on Draft in the Atrium bar only. Nice to try. I enjoyed several glasses, but it is not a true craft beer; it's brewed by Bud, very similar to American Ale.
TV was out of Miami for ABC, New York for NBC, didn't see CBS, no ESPN in the cabin, just the Sports Bar. 2, as in dos, Spanish Channels. One mostly movies with Spanish subtitles, the other seemed to run Boomerang 24/7. Imagine those were out of Miami as well.
NBA Championship final game shown on big screen by the Lido pool. 50/50 mix of fans. Good way to cap an evening.
Either more folks are opting for "Your time" dining, eating evenings in the Gathering or redoing seating on boarding as Scarlett wasn't even full on elegant nights. "Showtime" has been cut back to 3 times. Only one napkin dance, a conga line, and the "Peter,Paul&Mary" cover "Leaving on a Fun Ship" on the final night. But that's okay for many cruisers since "Showtime" tends to interrupt dessert. Elvis, not Drago is maitre d' in Scarlett.
In the Spa's Relaxation Lounge...no more tea or fruit. Just water. Needless to say it was empty every afternoon I was there. In the past we'd always sit and chat with many other folks. This was a big disappointment. Rust spot on rail outside Relaxation window is still there.
If you do the Lanai BBQ, be sure to get a custom salad in the Wasabi.
MDR's Texas Burger is the BOMB!!! A great burger! Better than the Lido and mucho better than the Lanai sliders which have improved.
Butch is a great CD!!! Lots of Fun. Mixes well with the passengers. Want to party with the CD, you need Butch. The Deck Party was a deck party, versus a bead throw the last time. Mexican Midnight Buffet started at 11 PM, it looked okay but still full from dinner and a bit late to be eating. Did see a couple of folks piling up their plates like they were starving though. BlackJack Band is leaving but coming back September 17th. They were okay but the acoustics in the O.P. made their sound a bit distorted for me.
Internet is slow..but that's just the way it is. Never got it to connect to the free Carnival Lines link in room. Only in the Fun Hubs. Though I could to the free Funville stuff from room. Little use of user groups on Funville. Had Butch not kept posting things, my initial CC Roll Call thread would have had the top spot, and I only posted 3 times with 2 responses