Dream is the first Carnival ship that doesn't have a design theme, so the Farcusian feel is muted. (Carnival Breeze
is actually the first not designed by Farcus.) Floors look as if they are embedded with river stone and pieces of colored glass. Neon, which is actually the more reliable LED lighting, is used as an accent rather than as the main event. But sparkly bits, such as silver wall mirrors backlit with yellow translucent flecks, are still evident. Glass elevators overlook the dramatic depth-of-the-ship Dream Atrium, which starts on Deck 3 and ends with a see-through dome that looks up at the outdoor waterslides.
The ship offers FunHubs -- 36 computer stations mostly located on Decks 4 and 5 -- rather than an Internet cafe. The computer stations are integrated into the hallways, and the only time I saw more than a couple being used was the day before debarkation, when passengers were printing out boarding passes. Guests who have their own laptops can access the Internet from anywhere aboard ship. Internet access prices, ranging from 30 to 75 cents a minute, are hooked to the number of minutes purchased, and larger packages come with use of a free laptop notebook; save money by figuring out beforehand how to read emails offline. The FunHub concept includes Funville@sea, a free Intranet service in which passengers can view onboard activities and events, see food and drink choices, create public discussion groups, check weather in the next port and read news.
It's apparent that the printed word has taken a back seat to technology. The Page Turner Library, which doubles as a meeting place for bridge and card players, is an afterthought with half-empty shelves. Hence, a pre-cruise shopping spree at a discount paperback store is definitely in order. Across from the library, the Rendezvous Club Lounge, with its cozy tables and small bar, is billed as a place for Your Time Dining patrons to wait for dining room seating, but the place was basically empty and the bar untended when we wandered in. Down the hall is the 30-person-capacity conference room, called the Chambers. The ship does not have a dedicated chapel, so shipboard weddings are held at various venues: One took place at the Burgundy Lounge on our embarkation day.
The ship offers the usual bank of stores on Deck 5 selling jewelry, booze, clothes and trinkets. And to entice buying, there are "spot the fake diamond" and "guess the carat weight" competitions. As part of Carnival's Fun Ship 2.0 refurbishment in 2012, the ship got the Cherry on Top shop, which specializes in candy and custom apparel. The Collection Art Gallery on Deck 5, the largest in the Carnival fleet, holds several Champagne art auctions; Thomas Kinkade and Peter Max are well represented. On Deck 4, the photo gallery spans both sides of the ship's midsection, but crowds still form in front of the popular electronic kiosks and the boxes of hard-copy prints.
Launderettes and ironing rooms are available throughout the ship. A load of laundry costs $7.25 to wash and dry, including a purchase of detergent and fabric softener.
Smoking is fairly restricted throughout the ship's public areas. Outside, smoking is allowed portside adjacent to Ocean Plaza, and this is the only area that allows cigars. On the Lido Deck, smoking is restricted to the portside bars forward and aft. Inside, Sam's Piano Bar, the Caliente Club and sections of the Jackpot Casino are the only venues that allow smoking.