Carnival Dream

Inexpensive Mega SET SAIL 2009
WaterWorks aqua park, featuring the four-story Twister water slide
The wraparound promenade on deck 5
No fee for 24-hour room service
One of four Carnival ships to offer “family quint” accommodations
Quick Getaway

Carnival Dream was the first Carnival ship to offer family suites and an expanded water park for kids—proving Carnival’s commitment to family travel, but not to the exclusion of all other groups. This is a Fun Ship for all ages, with a two-story Cloud 9 Spa, a thumping nightclub on the Lido Deck, and activity-packed Ocean Plaza. From her home port of New Orleans, she carries up to 3,646 fun-seekers at a time, and is known for short (1-week) cruises that hit major Caribbean and Bahamas ports. You can find some great bargain fares for a quintessential Carnival experience.

Carnival Dream OVERVIEW

First in the Dream class, this ship sailed her maiden voyage in 2009 and has been busy-busy-busy catering to every type of Caribbean cruiser ever since. The public spaces can and do get extremely crowded, but they’re nevertheless so photogenic: the glittery 11-story atrium, the Sunset Pool with huge raised whirlpools flanking it, the 4-story corkscrew waterslide, the packed Caliente nightclub on Lido. And then there are the little details, like the endless parade of towel animal art, and coconut drinks galore.

Carnival Dream introduced some new features—plus a new mega-sized standard—that her sister ships swiftly surpassed in ensuing years. However, in 2012 she got Fun Ship 2.0 updates, bringing her entertainment and dining venues to match with the rest of the class.  

Dining Options

The two main dining rooms are Scarlet, the larger one spanning two floors on the aft of the ship; and Crimson , which is where “Your Time” dinner service is offered in part of the room. Traditional assigned seatings are held in both dining rooms, twice nightly.  If you want to splurge on a specialty dining experience, the Chef’s Table offers a tasting menu and a gallery tour for a $75 per person surcharge. However, the foodie favorite is the 4-course menu at Chef’s Art Steakhouse for a $35 per person surcharge.

Casual dining, probably amongst crowds, is the daytime norm onboard this ship, from the Burrito Bar to the Pasta Bar to the grill fare served at Lanai Oceanside Barbecue. The nice thing is, just about every sort of dining option is included in the cruise fare. This includes pizza, Indian fast-casual, stir-fry made to order at the Mongolian Wok, limited 24-hour room service, and the popular Sea Day extended brunch. 

Bars & Lounges

Dream did not have a Punchline comedy showroom originally, but received it during the Fun Ship 2.0 update in 2012—so, like her sisters, she does offer both family-friendly and adults-only standup comedy.   She also has Song karaoke lounge, Dream Bar in the atrium, a sports bar and a huge Caliente nightclub that goes off late-night.

Two fan-fave watering holes were added during the 2012 update: The RedFrog Rum Bar serves Carnival’s private label,ThirstyFrog Red, and rum drinks by the glass or pitcher in a kick-back island tropical setting. If you’re in a margarita mood, nab a table by the pool at BlueIguana Tequila Bar.

Entertainment & Recreation

Dream introduced some new family-friendly features in her day, like the expanded WaterWorks onboard waterpark, featuring the four-story Twister. Also, she encourages the “healthy” side of cruising, with the Lanai wraparound promenade that spans all of Deck 5 and challenges you to work off those calories with a brisk run. This was one of the first ships to debut with the two-story Cloud 9 Spa—it ultimately would be expanded fleet-wide.  Dream also has had her very popular Ocean Plaza outdoor hangout space and 18-hole miniature golf course since the beginning.  Whatever entertainment offerings she didn’t have in the first three years, she got during the 2012 Fun Ship 2.0 refurbishment.

Her facilities, amenities and events include all the Carnival standbys: Dive-In Movies on the big LED screen over the Lido pool for the whole family, Serenity Adult Only Retreat, the Seuss at Sea program for the kids. Ocean Plaza often offers entertainment to enjoy while you hang out in one of the drinking, Internet-checking and chill spots around the deck.


  • For specialty buffets and popular activities like the Twister waterslide, there’s usually no way to avoid standing in long lines.
  • People with sensitivity to secondhand smoke note a lingering smell of it in some cabins and common areas.
  • This ship welcomes many Spring Breakers. So, cross-check your calendar if you want to want a less 


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Find Carnival Dream cruises

Carnival Dream offers assorted cruises in the Caribbean from New Orleans.