The Dream was my third carnival ship and she seemed much like her older funship sisters. The fifth deck wrap around deck was a nice addition, allowing for extra deck chairs and hot tubs. The ship seemed to have a lot of hot tubs four on the wraparound deck alone. There seemed to be only a couple of kids in the two pools at any time but the hot tubs were often popular.
Getting on and off the ship was easy at all points. The only sour note was from a surly old lady security screen who wanted us to move it along while we were putting belts and other items back on.
The cabin and public rooms were very nice as one would expect on a newer ship. The ocean plaza was a nice open area. The giant outdoor TV screen was impressive and showed recent movies. The laser shows were less impressive.
The fitness center had treadmills, elliptical and weight machines.
I never actually made it to the main dinning room for dinner as we were stuck with late seating so Can't comment on that but the food served at the gathering buffet was decent. The steak house was great and indeed on par with a 'keg' steakhouse.
The musical shows were ok, the comedy club was decent, Mike Macey was the best of the bunch. Be warned though the over 18 shows can be extremely raw, racial and rude.
The service from the crew was good, the cabin staff were friendly as were the wait staff. The cruise directors Gary and Cory were clear and humourous yet informatively.
I never found the ship crowded, there was always a hot tub or deck chair open somewhere, the mid-ship waves pool area was the most populated area during sea days. Line ups were usually short, the comedy club seemed to have the worst line ups but there's not much space for a crowd in the that area but we always got in if we went fifteen minutes early.
We had high winds for a couple of days, it felt like airplane turbulence strangely, more than the typical motion of the ocean.
The only sour note while on a good vacation was when a hyper vigilant security goon insisted that my 24yo son needed to get photo id to enter the dance club, even though I was with him and he had no trouble getting alcohol or gambling on board. I suspect they've had trouble in that area and are over reacting.
In summary the dream was exactly what I expected from carnival a great vacation for the most part.