I just got home from one amazing vacation! Let me start off by saying this trip exceeded our expectations. Sometime you read things online and get a little scared. This ship is great! I am convinced that the poor reviews are made by grumpy seniors and jaded experienced cruisers.
I was travelling with my husband, 4 year old daughter, 23 month old son, and my two senior in-laws
When we arrived in Port Canaveral we were on the ship and eating lunch within 30 minutes.
Our cabin stewards Rommel and Wyan really went out of their way to take amazing care of us. They were so friendly and worked so hard. They were always checking on us to see what they could do to make our trip better. We had two adjoining balcony cabins on deck 8 and it was great. They left us cute towel animals, chocolates, filled ice bucket, tons of clean towels, and the list goes on! I just loved seeing their friendly faces.
We found that our cabin was surprisingly spacious with lots of storage. It was kept very clean for us. We also found the balcony was large with great furniture. The beds were also very comfortable with lots of pillows and a "down-like" white duvet which was very comfortable and clean-feeling.
We loved the variety of food. We did not use the dining room because we found the process a little slow with a two year old. However we found many other wonderful options. Our favourites were the Indian Buffet, the sandwich bar, the pizza & bbq bar, and the general buffet was really good. I especially loved the breakfast buffet because they had so many options including an omlet station where they made you fresh omlets to order. I also loved the variety of mini cereal boxes for the kids.
My daughter (4years) loved Camp Carnival. They were very organized with a large secure facility. They gave us a cell phone to keep for the week just in case they needed to get a hold of us. They were open a lot with a ton of different activities which kept the kids very entertained. The staff was friendly and overall it was fantastic.
The entertainment was good. I have seen 10+ on broadway shows, at least a dozen cirque du soleil shows- so I may be a little jaded in this department. I found a lot of the shows old fashion and cheesy. The only production show that I thought was decent was "dancing in the street". That was good because it was a little more modern with very talented break-dancers.
I thought the highlight for entertainment was the late night comedy shows. Thomas Brown was one of the best comedians we have ever seen. Michael Macy was also fantastic! They were very R-rated.
The ports were good. I wish Nassau was a bit longer. 130pm depart is way too early. I also think the shore excursions are too pricy for what you get. You should go to the Carnival private island instead of Nassau.
With 4200 passengers it never felt overly crowded. Only when you were lining up for the dining room or waiting to get into one of the late night shows did it seem crowded. Also getting an elevator was some times very slow and almost impossible on the first day when you got on the ship.
I thought the Debark process was well organized and pretty painless
I never smelt any odor that some people have been complaining about
This ship rocks way too much. I have been on a few different ships and never felt the motion so much. I have read this comment over and over again when it comes to the Dream. None of us got sick- my kids didn't even notice.....but it was very noticeable.
I was very disappointed that camp Carnival would not take my son. He was just 13 days shy of his 2nd birthday and he really want to participate in Camp Carnival with his sister. I also did not appreciate the front desk saying that they could make an exception and then afterwards being told by Camp Carnival that they could not make any exceptions- that was really disappointing.
We were stuck with an 815pm dinner sitting which was way too late for a 2 or 4 year old. When we did go the first night we did not receive any food until 915pm and my daughter was served after everyone else. So we never went back- which was too bad.
Overall I would highly recommend this ship- it was great and we really felt that the staff was going out of their way to make our trip terrific.