This was a group cruise. The embarkation port (New Orleans) is not equipped to accommodate cruise ships in excess of 2,000 passengers. There are no separate or expedited check-in for Platinum or diamond guests in New Orleans. The trip down the Mississippi River was VERY interesting! Have been on the Breeze (Sister ship), I had high hopes for the Carnival Dream. I was very disappointed! The Breeze was a far cry from my experience on the Breeze.
The Dream was very poorly laid out. The casino is on the main deck (which ended up being a huge issue for those of us who are nonsmokers). I found that; because of the casino being on deck 5, I was unable to access deck five from about midship forward. Ventilation on the deck 5 is VERY POOR! Also...what's with the Hot Tubs on deck 5???? (people felt very uncomfortable using those hot tube because of the high traffic on deck 5). Also, hardly any specialty restaurants on the Dream (except the Steakhouse). Steakhouse was never busy (but could never seem to accommodate us in advance).
No sports bar!! (this is a huge issue for those wanting to watch the World Series or football on Saturday/Sunday). Food was about on par from what I experienced on other Carnival ships (which is below what I would rate other cruise lines on). Carnival has also cut corners on the formal nights (No complimentary drinks and lack of enthusiasm from the crew). Second formal night was barely recognizable as one. Also....no dining room etiquette. On Several nights (not just embarkation night), passengers were in their shorts, sandals, ect and the dining room staff never seemed to care (why have rules and standards in you are not going to enforce them?).
Although the ship is only 8yrs old, it seemed like it was 20+. Seemed very old and in dire need of an update. Also...many aspects of the ship are in disrepair (ie: much of the equipment in the gym was broken). Passengers seemed to be able to smoke where ever they pleased (again...lack on management onboard the ship).
My cabin Stewart was excellent! very attentive and accommodated all my requests.
The ship was very clean (except for the smoking areas on deck 5). The staff did a good job keeping things clean!
The journey down the Mississippi river was very interesting!!!
Cabin was spacious enough. Cabin steward was very accomidating. Did find several articles from the prior guest on the floor (hair brush, pins, etc)