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Carnival Cruise Lines: Carnival Dream

  • Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Carnival Cruise Lines
  • Carnival Cruise Lines

Carnival Dream Review

The first of Carnival’s Dream-class vessels, Carnival Dream was launched in 2008. Only a few years old, Carnival Dream received a refurbishment in 2012 when the sushi bar was removed and it received some of Carnival’s “Fun Ship 2.0" upgrades with new

poolside bars and more entertainment options. Carnival Dream sails seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises from her home port of Port Canaveral, which is conveniently within driving distance of Florida’s Orlando airport and theme parks. With the alternating weekly itineraries, it’s possible to book cruises back-to-back and not repeat a port of call.

Carnival’s Dream-class, the largest and longest ever constructed for their fleet, ushers in an exciting design concept for the line with a new layout, sleek hull, and distinctive profile. The line has made maximum use of the vessels' added size by creating some truly spectacular on-board facilities and amenities. Unique is the Ocean Plaza, an indoor–outdoor café and live music venue with a large, circular dance floor. A massive floor-to-ceiling curved-glass wall separates the room, creating comfortable seating areas with ocean views and, in a first for Carnival, a half-mile, open-air promenade encircling the ship.

Four “scenic” whirlpools located on the promenade cantilever out over the sea and offer maximum views while you're soaking. Higher up, the Lido deck is the most elaborate open-deck area of any Carnival ship, with a tropical, resort-style main pool complete with a Seaside Theatre LED screen; a two-level adults-only retreat (called Serenity) with comfortable seating, full bar service, and hot tubs; and a huge Carnival WaterWorks aqua park featuring one of the longest waterslides at sea. Dream-class family-friendly amenities include separate, purpose-built facilities for the line’s three distinct children’s programs, along with a full schedule of activities catering to each age group.

The world's largest cruise line originated the Fun Ship concept in 1972 with the relaunch of an aging ocean liner, which got stuck on a sandbar during its maiden voyage. In true entrepreneurial spirit, founder Ted Arison shrugged off an inauspicious beginning to introduce superliners a decade later. Sporting red-white-and-blue flared funnels, which are easily recognized from afar, new ships are continuously added to the fleet and rarely deviate from a successful pattern. If you find something you like on one vessel, you're likely to find something similar on another.

Each vessel features themed public rooms, ranging from ancient Egypt to futuristic motifs, although many of those elements are being replaced with a more tropical decor as older ships are upgraded. Carnival is also introducing features either branded by the line itself, such as the poolside Blue Iguana Tequila Bar with an adjacent burrito cantina and the Red Frog Rum Bar that also serves Carnival’s own brand of Thirsty Frog Red beer, or in partnership with well known brands, such as EA SPORTS to create EA SPORTS Bars at sea and Guy’s Burger Joint, in partnership with Food Network star Guy Fieri. Implementation of the new features is scheduled for completion in 2015.

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What You Should Know

Pros

  • Spa staterooms and suites have exclusive amenities and spa privileges
  • 2-bathroom staterooms are a boon for families
  • The lowest atrium level has a cantilevered bandstand atop a massive dance floor

Cons

  • Lines can be a problem everywhere, especially in the buffet at popular dining times
  • If the weather is bad outside, interior spaces can seem overwhelmed
  • Although the decor is considerably toned down from past Carnival ships, there’s still some glitz
Ship Stats
  • Crew Members 1,367
  • Entered Service 2008
  • Gross Tons 130,000
  • Length 1,823 feet
  • Number of Cabins 544
  • Passenger Capacity 3,646 (4,631 max)
  • Width 122 feet

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