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Carnival Dream Review

Carnival Dream
Carnival Dream
2019 Best for Fitness & Recreation
2019 Best for Shore Excursions
2019 Best for First Timers

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Carnival Dream
4.5 / 5.0 Cruise Critic Editor Rating
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Pros

All entertainment and most dining is included in the cruise fare

Cons

No dedicated sports bar; games are streamed at the casino bar

Bottom Line

A ship with a happy vibe, where passengers have fun and crew is friendly


About

Passengers 3,646
Crew 1,367
Passenger to Crew 2.67:1
Launched 2009
Shore Excursions 203
Gina Kramer
Cruise Critic Contributor

Carnival Dream Overview

Even before its January 2017 makeover -- which welcomed Carnival favorites like Guy's Burger Joint, BlueIguana Cantina, the Alchemy Bar and Bonsai Sushi -- Carnival Dream had a lot to love. The ship is one of the biggest in Carnival's fleet (second to the line's Vista class), which means dining options abound, and you'll never be bored with activities ranging from themed trivia and charades to comedy shows and top-deck dance parties.

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To balance this out, Carnival Dream offers something that can be hard to find on other ships of its size: a place to escape all the action. The Lanai Promenade, a wraparound exterior walkway on Deck 5, has ample seating (including a handful of deck chairs) and four cantilevered hot tubs, yet never seems to get crowded, even on sea days.

Carnival Dream is also full of "hidden" decks -- two of which offer some of the best views onboard. You'll find them all the way at the front of the ship, on Decks 6 and 7, through doors at the end of the cabin corridors. Elsewhere throughout the ship, you'll find slivers of deck space and seating nooks to accommodate the larger number of passengers onboard. On the flip side, be warned: The ship does have a few tight spaces that can make it difficult to navigate -- including the internal walkway on Deck 5, next to Ocean Plaza, and Deck 4, near the kids' clubs.

What truly sets Carnival Dream apart from other ships, however, is its service. The crew members seem genuinely happy and interested in making sure passengers have the best vacation possible. In addition, they go above and beyond -- whether that's having your go-to glass of lemonade waiting for you at the main dining room, or guiding you to one of the secret decks so you don't get lost. With this level of attentiveness, it's no surprise Carnival Dream has won the line's internal flagship award for best service, multiple years.

Between the friendly service and everything there is to do (and eat) onboard, Carnival Dream is one big happy ship -- and we have a feeling you'll quickly forget about any minor gripes.


Inclusions

Included with your cruise fare:

  • All meals in the main dining room, buffet and select room service items
  • All theatre production shows and Punchliner Comedy Club shows
  • Use of the water park and sports deck
  • Daily activities unless noted below or in the FunTimes daily program
  • Use of the fitness center, excluding organized classes or training sessions
  • Use of the Carnival kids club (children aged 2 to 17) until 10 p.m.

Not included with your cruise fare:

  • Gratuities ($13.99 per person, per day for standard staterooms; $15.99 per person, per day for suites)
  • Automatic gratuities of 18 percent for beverages and spa treatments
  • All drinks except water, tea, coffee and juices served in the buffet
  • Meals in the steakhouse specialty restaurant
  • Treatments in the Spa and salon; personal training or group fitness classes
  • Entry to the Thermal Suite, including Thalassotherapy Pool, at the Cloud 9 Spa
  • All shore excursions
  • Wi-Fi internet access
  • Select activities like bingo, alcohol tasting events and Build-a-Bear workshops
  • Photos and artwork for sale
  • Late-night (10 p.m. to 1 a.m.) events in the Kids Club

Fellow Passengers

A huge chunk of the passengers on Carnival Dream drive to their cruise from states all over the southern United States. Ages run the gamut from kids (lots of 'em in the summer!) to folks in their 60s and 70s, though the average age is usually somewhere in the mid-30s to mid-40s. The ship is popular with groups, including family reunions and wedding parties.


Carnival Dream Dress Code

Daytime: Casual is the name of the game on any Carnival ship. On most days, you'll see men in shorts and T-shirts and women in shorts and tees, capris, sundresses or bathing suits with cover-ups.

Evening:Most nights people remain casual for dinner but on Cruise Elegant nights, you'll see women in gowns, sundresses and pants and blouse combos, while men don anything from tuxes to full suits to trousers with button-up shirts (with or without a jacket and/or tie). You'll also see plenty of people who choose not to dress up at all.

Not permitted: On all nights, cutoff jeans, men's sleeveless shirts, basketball shorts, T-shirts, sportswear, baseball hats, flip-flops and bathing suits are not allowed in the main dining rooms, though we saw lots of women in flip-flops and men in T-shirts and baseball caps.

For more information, visit Cruise Line Dress Codes: Carnival Cruise Line.


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Deck:
Riviera Deck
Main Deck
Lobby Deck
Atlantic Deck
Promenade Deck
Upper Deck
Empress Deck
Verandah Deck
Vista Deck
Lido Deck
Panorama Deck
Spa Deck
Sun Deck
Sky Deck

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More about Carnival Dream

Where does Carnival Dream sail from?
Carnival Dream departs from Galveston.
Where does Carnival Dream sail to?
How much does it cost to go on Carnival Dream?
Cruises on Carnival Dream start from $138 per person.
Is Carnival Dream a good ship to cruise on?
Carnival Dream won 7 awards over the years, including Best for Fitness & Recreation, Best for Shore Excursions, Best for First Timers in 2019.

Awards and Recognition

Cruise Critic Cruisers’ Choice

  • 2019 Best for Fitness & Recreation
  • 2019 Best for Shore Excursions
  • 2019 Best for First Timers
  • 2017 Best for Shore Excursions
  • 2015 Best for Service
  • 2014 Best for Shore Excursions
  • 2013 Best for Embarkation

Carnival Dream Member Reviews

Carnival Dream
lildee99
Sail Date: Jan 2020
My husband and I sailed for the second time on the Carnival Dream, stateroom category 8B, room 6318....Read More
Carnival Dream
anad36
Sail Date: May 2019
Thank You Carnival Dream...Read More
Carnival Dream
Deenawood
Sail Date: Jul 2019
Carnival Dream is a gigantic ship with an awesome crew. Do the rooms need a freshen up? Yes! However the rest of the ship was clean, stylishly decorated for a cheesy cruise ship....Read More
Carnival Dream
Coffee4Eve
Sail Date: Sep 2019
Carnival Cruise September 2 – 7, 2019 We took the Carnival Dream out of Galveston just as a quick escape. Nothing really planned, just some time to relax....Read More

Carnival Cruise Line Fleet