Like everyone we researched the dream and the cruise extensively before we set off. I can say that no matter how many reviews you have read you will still say WOW when you board.
Embarquation : As we were subject to the new routine and already staying in orlando we opted for a later boarding time (1.30pm). Not too many people about but I have to say that non US citizens get a raw deal as there is not enough people on those desks. We also picked up our child tracker wrist band which was a lot easier than doing it on the ship. I was looking forward to going on board the ship having our names announced but it must have been a long day as there were only 2 members of he crew clapping and they didnt seem to be much interested. Never the less the ship is awesome and as I said I defy you not to say WOW.
On Board : We were on deck 8, stateroom was a nice size and pleasantly bigger than we were expecting. Lots of nice touches but previous guests had been a bit rough on it and More
there were already some patches of distressed wallpaper and the table was scratched, but a nice room anywayand always immaculately clean. We did have a problem with a blocked toilet but maintenance were straight on it and it was fixed and cleaned within an hour.
Dining: The rotation idea is neat and our servers Igusti and Arunee were fabulous. My wife is a fussy eater and she was always offered things to eat even if they werent on the menu. If you dont like what you see on the menu ASK !
Animators Palette was fantastic but you do need to be one of the tables next to the pictures for the full interactive experience. As it was our silver wedding on one of the days we were made a fuss of - nice.
Aquaduck/swimming : Aquaduck - always a queue do it once. Pools - always crowded really isnt enough pool area/space on the dream a big negative point.
Lifts - we tended to use the aft lifts - no issues never waited more than a minute or two.
Ports - Nassau - Avoid, its very run down and people are very pushy to the point of being scary. We did the Ad Astra gardens and city tour. The gardens are nice by Irene had done her thing and most of the shows were not on (but no refund!). City tour ok but driver was a bit of a preacher and we were at the front!
Castaway Cay - loved it, want to go again and again and again.......
Character experiences - if like us you have children then this will be important. On the dream they have dropped the ball. The character locations are poorly organised (much confusion over where to stand and on 1 night i thought there was going to be a riot as there were 4 lines running for 'captain mickey'). Also its dissapointing to be in a line only to be told that its all over and you wont get to meet the character. If you are expecting the wonderful character experience you get in say Animal Kingdom forget it. Be at the character point a good 45 minutes in advance and keep bugging guest services as to where exactly the character will be. This was a big negative for us.
Photo's - Why does this cost so much more than in the disney parks? to the point of feeling ripped off? I paid a lot of money for the cruise and then paying such a lot extra for photo's and Cds (CD was $249 - against $149 in parks)felt wrong.
Disembarquation - Apart from getting up early and the usual slow queues getting off the ship no issues.
Overall I would choose DCL and the dream again but its worth noting the points above. Less