We sailed on the Carnival Dream July 30th- August 6th.
Cabin: Our room was a cove balcony, which I really enjoyed. We were close enough to the water to see flying fish every day and we had the added bonus of seeing dolphins on one day as well! The cabin was roomy enough for the two of us and had plenty of storage. We enjoyed being on deck 2 so that we could walk up one flight of stairs to dinner or down one flight of stairs when in port and not have to wait on the elevators. We did not notice any smells where we were located.
Dining room: Service the first night was not good at all. We had the headwaiter and he seemed very displeased. I don't know what was going on, but he was none to happy to take our order. We were on time and dressed for dinner, so it wasn't us. The only words he spoke to us were "What do you want?" Luckily, we were moved to a differnt table the next night (as we had requested a 2 person table and had gotten it) with our waiter now being Soupi. He was wonderful! We could not have asked for a nicer more competent guy. The food was ok, nothing amazing but not bad either. Just average.
Chef's Art Steakhouse: Having eaten at the specialty steakhouses on the Carnival Liberty and Royal Caribbean's Enchantmnet of the Seas I was looking forward to Chef's Art. Disappointing is the word I would use to describe this "steakhouse." It is located on deck 12 directly behind the "whale tail" which I assume is what caused our table and seats to vibrate the entire 2 hours of dinner. Also interesting was the fact that the ship's designer thought it would be a good idea to place the jogging track around the steakhouse. Nothing cried upscale dining more than views of sweaty, hairy, shirtless gentlemen in short-shorts bouncing around outside as we ate our lobster bisque. To add to this, the window washer appeared right at sunset and began hosing down the windows. His silhouette was beautiful in the setting sun. I guess it would have been too much to expect they wash the windows at some time other than dinner hours. The food other than the steak was pretty good, but our steaks were both undercooked. Mine was supposed to be medium, but was cold and dark red in the center. When they tried to correct this, they ended up burning the outside of the steak while the inside was medium on one side but still medium rare on the other. Our meal was not worth the $30.00pp upcharge.
Pasta Bar: I think this was a good place to eat, we just made a poor choice by ordering the lasagna. DO NOT ORDER THE LASAGNA AT THE PASTA BAR! When it arrived, it looked delicious with cheese melting on top of a generous portion. However, once I cut into it I was disgusted. The meat in the lasagna was the pot roast that was left over from the night before in the dining room. There was also spinach (which was fine with me) and some type of orange overcooked goop which I can only assume was a relative of the squash. The pot roast had not been shredded or incorporated into a sauce, it was just two slabs of pot roast for the layer that should have been meat sauce. I am not a particularly picky eater, but I had to push this aside and just have the salad and bread. That was the most unappetizing dish I have seen.
Cruise Director and Team: It is one thing to be fun-loving and spirited, but another to be immature. The cruise team seemed to be more interested in flirting around with one another than bringing the passenegers together. I got the feeling that we passengers were the butt of some great joke that only the team understood.
Overall Management: Our cruise was redirected due to Tropical Storm Emily. I appreciate the "safety first" approach, but was surprised by the manner in which everything was handled. First of all, the announcement was made during the middle of the wine tasting we had purchased. The poor sommelier lost control of the room and hurried through the remainder of the tasting just to get finished. After paying $15.00pp for the tasting, I was frustrated that it was ruined. There was no real reason to announce the change of itenerary at that time since there were no shore excursions ready for us to purchase for the new ports. It was hours before these were ready, so what their lack of planning did was ruin a wine tasting for a great number of passengers and frustrate other passengers who now had no shore excursions and were helpless to do anything about it. The folks at the shore excursion desk were quite rude. Naturally, a line formed there as soon as the port changes were announced. It is not hard to do the math that on a ship the size of the Dream where suddenly no one has any excursions or plans for our remaining 2 ports (there were only 3 ports on the whole cruise, the rest were days at sea) that good excursions will go fast. The shore excursion folks wanted us to just go about our business and when they announced that excursions were ready we could book from our TVs in our staterooms. Our concern was that the system would freeze up with so many people on it at once, or that we'd do something wrong having never used it before and wind up with nothing. It was already a difficult pill to swallow that our Nassau, St Thomas, and St Martin cruise had turned into a Nassau, Grand Turk, and Freeport cruise, so a little forethought on how this would be announced and handled would have gone a long way in appeasing passengers. Would it not make more sense to have things lined up and then make the announcement? The funny part was when one of the workers at the Guest Services desk assumed the attitude that passengers should just get over it, after all, SHE had had plans at one of those ports too that were now ruined. Really? Well, maybe she can do what she was going to do next week when she gets the chance to go there again, but for many of us it will be years before we can go on another cruise. There seemed to be a whole disconnect with the idea of customer service. The cruise line did nothing, did not offer a discount on a future cruise, an on-board credit, or even a free drink to show any good faith. The fellow passengers I spoke with agreed that we had paid far too much for basically a 7 night Bahamas cruise.
Kids: I expect to see kids running, playing, and squealing on the water slides, at the pools, on the putt putt course, or near Camp Carnival. I don't expect to see wet kids in swim suits running barefoot back and forth 3 times in less than 2 minutes through the dining room while I am having dinner. I don't expect to be woken up by a group of 10 year olds at 3:00 a.m. as they run and talk in the hallways outside my stateroom. This happened on more than one occasion. I also don't expect to see kids, not teens but KIDS, at the adults only events. It was hard to enjoy the adult comedy show, which focused on oral sex, the joys of breasts, and liberal use of the f-word with a 4th grader seated beside me. As I mentioned earlier, I was glad to be on deck 2 so I wouldn't have to wait on the elevators. The kids greatly enjoyed riding up and down on these for the fun of it, pushing every button along the way. If you want to go on vacation and turn your kids loose while you do your own thing, the Carnival Dream is the ship for you.
I would not sail on the Dream again. It was not the cruise for me. I did enjoy the cove balcony. If you choose to sail on the Dream, I would say that you should book one of those rooms, but overall I would say you should not to sail on the Carnival Dream.