Courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line
1 of 5
“Dancin’ in the Street”
“Dancin’ in the Street” / Carnival Cruise Line / Andy Newman
2 of 5
Balcony Cabin
Balcony Cabin / Carnival Cruise Line / Andy Newman
3 of 5
WaterWorks / Carnival Cruise Line / Andy Newman
4 of 5
18-Hole Mini Golf Course
18-Hole Mini Golf Course / Carnival Cruise Line / Andy Newman
5 of 5

Carnival Dream

Our Ship Review
Deal Expert / Travel Blogger

There is a casual vibe on the 3,646-guest Carnival Dream, where highlights include two pools, the casino, live shows, and Dive-In Movies on the jumbo screen on the pool deck. The ship, which debuted in 2009 as the first vessel in Carnival’s three-ship Dream class (followed by Carnival Magic and Carnival Breeze), has 10 restaurants ranging from a 24-hour pizzeria and Guy’s Burger Joint to an excellent steakhouse. A 2017 refurbishment added Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse, BlueIguana Cantina, Alchemy Bar, Pizzeria del Capitano, and Bonsai Sushi. One caveat: Carnival may have packed a lot of dining venues and activities into the ship's 1,000-foot length, but standard cabins aren’t especially large, especially the bathrooms. 

What We Love

Adults-Only Areas: The Serenity Lounge is a bi-level outdoor haven for quiet-craving adults over 21. Balinese-style daybeds, comfy round couches, and a bar lend to the laid-back ambiance. Once the sun sets, it transforms into Serenity Nights, a South Beach-style club where the daytime quiet is replaced with popular music spun by a DJ.

Great Steak: Yes, there’s a surcharge to dine at The Chef’s Art Steakhouse, but it’s a splurge-worthy experience. The four-course dinner begins with classic appetizers like New England crab cakes followed by a juicy filet mignon (save room for dessert — silky chocolate banana panna cotta is worth every calorie). 

Salsa and Suds: Breakfast burritos and lunchtime tacos (with a hearty selection of salsas) are complimentary at the BlueIguana Cantina. And it's worth the fee to get a pint of Carnival’s own ThirstyFrog Red beer at the Caribbean-style RedFrog Rum Bar on the Lido Deck.

Best Known For

Exciting Excursions: Cruisers looking for adventure can book some of the ship's more active trips while in port, whether it’s snorkeling with dolphins and stingrays in Grand Cayman.

Cool All-Ages Activities: You and your kids can have breakfast with “Cat in the Hat” characters (for a small extra per person fee), enjoy some slippery thrills in the enormous WaterWorks aqua park with its spiraling waterslides, howl through some live stand-up comedy at Punchliners, or complete onstage in “Family Feud Live.”

Convenient Sailings: Not everyone can vacation for weeks on end, so the six- to eight-night sailings departing from Galveston, Texas, to the eastern and western Caribbean offer a cruise length for everyone's vacation time budget, from mini-breaks to tasting trips that help sun worshippers explore the Bahamas, Belize, and Jamaica.

Who It's Best For

Budget-Conscious Cruisers: Deal-seeking passengers range from students to seniors, including families, couples, and singles of all ages. After all, who doesn’t want a bargain?

Don't Say We Didn't Warn You

Beware of Cabins Near Nightlife: Consider yourself warned: The party keeps going on this ship. Book a cabin right below the Lido Deck nightclub or by the Encore theater on Deck 5 and you may hear music and feel vibrations until the wee hours of the night. Which is fun for in-room dancing, but not if you’re trying to sleep.

Chanize Thorpe
Deal Expert / Travel Blogger