The Dream is a large ship and very much understaffed. From the check in process, to the room steward, the dining room staff, bar staff, it was about the worst service I have ever received on a cruise ship. Carnival now asks that you chose when you would like your cabin serviced, evening or morning. My steward did not even show up the first night on the ship. Always a shortage of towels. Like to pick up the dirty towels and not replace them. Went 5 days with no pool towels.
In the dining room, the waiters continually overlooked our table. I had to find the water pitcher and bread baskets/butter several times. Diner arrived cool several times. Had to track down the cocktail waiter many times when he should have know that we were a table of drinkers after the first night. Buffet was full of dirty tables most of the time. They now charge $20 for some items on the regular dining room menu such as a NY steak. We had an opportunity to dine in the pay restaurant. The food was quite good, however the service was also severely lacking and heaven forbid you ask for something out of the norm. There was no deviation from the printed menu selections.
Bar staff and many of the staff in general were not the typical happy engaged employees we once saw on most cruise lines. The Serenity spa is a $139 fee for the week. The gal at the coffee bar would not take the time to make a drink when she prematurely cleaned up the bar 20 minutes early. She simply stated all I have available is... Entertainment seems to be primarily made up of ship staff more than than the usual performers that had been brought onboard. Be careful with your purchases in the gift shop. I purchased an Invicta 18165 watch marked at $795 at a discounted guaranteed lowest price of $149.. When I arrived home I see the watch can be purchased almost anywhere for $89 including Walmart.
Having cruised many times, I do have Platinum status. Debarkation took longer than ever. Even with Platinum status it was after 9:30 before I could get off the ship. One good thing, we did luck out with the weather. All in all, try another cruiseline. Carnival has cut far too many corners.
Limited service and a constant shortage of towels
New Orleans is a good place to start a vacation.
At this port, they pretty much have you captive in a compound prepared by the cruise industry. Unless you leave the compound you only see the typical souvenir junk at high prices.
Long time cruise stop and certainly safe for tourists with many options for shopping or excursions. Not really much left of the old mexico fishing village or year gone by.
Unless you wish to be subjected to all kinds of illegal offerings including underage sex, drugs, etc., do not leave the fenced in area near the dock.