Carnival must stop building bigger ships until they perfect the ones they have. I wonder how their Industrial Engineers came up with the formula that 2 small pools can accommodate 3,500 people. This ship truly lacks a third pool for adults only.
The serenity deck for adults is a terrific concept , however it fails badly on the dream. Those great semi circular beds with shade covers look great, but in reality only 6 of them have a shade, and 2 of those were broken. Plenty of loungers on this deck available at all times - because they are in the blazing sun. Not nearly enough shade up there.
We requested anytime dining, but it was over subscribed, so we had early dining in the Scarlet dining room at a table for two. The other table our waiters was responsible for was a table of 13, who chose to interpret the 6pm dining as their own version of anytime dining. They would stroll in individually between 6pm & 6:45pm. This meant the waiters couldnt get everyone on any kind of system, and we were continually held back to wait for the other table. Some cruise lines actually close the doors at 6:10pm and if you haven't had the courtesy to arrive on time, then you have to go to the casual dining. But this is the fun ship, which means you do whatever you want!
Food was very nicely presented but in most causes very bland. This is definately an area where Carnival is cutting back. The filet mignon was tiny and served on top of a fatty piece of prime rib. The chateua briand was two tough dry looking hunks of meat with a small spot of gravy. The prime rib was cold, fatty and served with a dry baked potato. The jumbo tiger shrimp was 4 medium sized, skimpy portion. The soups were all good, but again lacked seasoning.
The buffets were a mass of people descending upon food as tho they couldnt remember the last time they had eaten. Daily offerings were the same each day. If you can handle crowds you will be fine, but if you are respectful & and are used to people saying excuse me, and standing aside for waiters loaded down with trays, this feeding frenzy will be last place you want to be. Fortunately therre are a couple of otheer lunch options away from the craziness. The Gathering Place also had an unpleasant odor at the entrances - like dirty cloths had been used to mop the floor.
Entertainment - all the usual offerings, and if seems theeree is something for everyone. The shows in the Encore Theater is another place that Carnival have cut back. Twelve danceres, a male & a female singer Just doesnt cut it. Same concept each night, the dancers dance, the male sings a song, then the female sings and the danceres dance to a string of different songs every night. Carnival must think we are stupid not to recognize how this has been downgraded. The mid week show that everyone raves about was excellent, but the theater could not handle the number of people who wanted to see this show, so lots of unhappy people. Saving seats in the theater is alive & well, with parents sending their young kids to resereve rows of seats and the parents walk in five mins before showtime.
Lot & lots of deck loungers available on all decks, but they are rammed up next to each other with no space in between, so you betteer love your neighbor! Very strange concept. We would take one lounger & stack it on top of another, allowing us a tiny space between the stranger next to us.
The main pool was closed mide week for a couple of hours, due to someone having a bowel movement in the pool. The aft pool was closed Friday for 3 hours due to an adult throwing up in it.
Elevators cannot cope with the volume of people, and trying to get to dinner you could easily wait for up to 10mins before an elevator would stop. Several families would get on the elevator, then have a discussion with other family members who had not yet got on the elevator, as to whether or not they should get on, all the while holding the "door open" button and delaying everyone in the elevator while they had these self absorbed conversations.
We had a lovely vacation, but would not sail on the Dream again. Have cruised on 5 Carnival ships and my cruises have ceertainly not gotten cheaper, but Carnival is cheapening their product imo (food, entertainment) Will look to pay a little more and probably cruise Celebrity next time