Carnival Dream Cruise Ship: Overview and Things to Do

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Have you been dreaming of taking an amazing cruise? If so, Carnival Dream can help bring that dream to life. 

Once one of the largest ships on the seas, now, Carnival Dream doesn’t quite rank so highly among the world’s biggest cruise ships, but it still offers a lot to love. Here’s everything you need to know about this ship’s history, recent refurbishments and what you can expect during a Carnival Dream cruise.

Carnival Dream Stats

Carnival Dream measures in at…

  • Gross Tonnage: 130,000 GT
  • Length: 1,004 feet
  • Guest Capacity at Double Occupancy: 3,646 people
  • Maximum Guest Capacity: 4,633 people
  • Staterooms and Suites: 1,823
  • Passenger Decks: 14
  • Office and Crew Members: 1,367 people

Construction and Refurbishments

Carnival Dream is the first of the Dream-class ships, which also include Carnival Magic and Carnival Breeze. When floated out in 2008, the ship was the largest Carnival cruise ship ever built, as well as the largest ship ever built by the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy. 

Today, the ship is quite a bit smaller than some of the largest cruise ships on the planet (by a whopping 100,000 GT!). That said, Carnival Cruise Line has done a great job of keeping this ship updated and filled with entertainment and classic Carnival amenities that cruisers have come to know and love.

Carnival Dream New Livery
Photo Courtesy: Carnival Cruise Line

The ship’s most recent refurbishment took place in 2021, when, during the dry dock process, the cruise line gave the ship a new red, white and blue livery. This new hull design is being rolled out on all the ships in the Carnival fleet, following its introduction on Mardi Gras.

Also during the 2021 upgrade, the cruise line removed the ship’s conference room and added a non-smoking casino and bar.

Before that, the ship received other refurbishments in 2017, with the addition of Carnival-favorite dining options like Guy’s Burger Joint and BlueIguana Cantina. A similar refurbishment took place in 2012, adding in other restaurants, bars and entertainment spaces. 

Staterooms

Among Carnival Dream’s 1,823 staterooms (inclusive of suites), you’ll find…

  • 35 accessible staterooms
  • 650-plus interior staterooms
  • 250-plus ocean view staterooms
  • 832 balcony staterooms 

Interior staterooms are further broken down into Cloud 9 Spa interior staterooms, interior rooms with walkway views and interior rooms with portholes. 

The basic interior staterooms, though, are just that — pretty basic. You can expect to find an atmosphere akin to what you might find in a budget hotel. Think bare-bones furnishings and outdated decor. Still, two travelers will have enough floor space and storage room.

The interior walkway-view staterooms offer a little natural light. While you won’t get views of the water through this window, the window is still a nice touch for those who find the basic interior staterooms a little claustrophobic.

Inside Stateroom
Carnival Cruise Line Inside Stateroom

Similarly, the porthole interiors staterooms don’t offer much in the way of views, but the extra natural light is welcomed.

Ocean view staterooms, of course, offer more room, floor space and bigger windows. However, it’s worth noting that some of the ocean view staterooms don’t offer views that are all that much larger than what you might get with one of the interior rooms that technically have a window.

For example, the Cloud 9 Spa ocean view staterooms feature a view of the walkway — just like the cheaper, interior walkway-view staterooms.

Read Also: What Is a Pullman Bed On a Cruise Ship?

For your best ocean views, pick a deluxe ocean view stateroom (before you book, though, be sure to check whether or not the ocean view stateroom features an “obstructed” view!). 

The ocean view staterooms boast much of the same decor and aesthetic that you’ll find in the interior staterooms, as do the balcony staterooms. 

Balcony Stateroom
Carnival Cruise Line Balcony Stateroom

Like all of the above staterooms categories, the balcony staterooms can be further broken down into subcategories, including a Cloud 9 Spa balcony stateroom, Premium Vista balcony staterooms, etcetera.

The Premium Vista balcony stateroom features a balcony that wraps around the ship’s corner, for more views from every angle. Other balcony staterooms feature larger balconies as well.

Suites

Among Carnival Dream’s 1,823 staterooms and suites, you’ll find 44 junior suites, ocean suites and spa suites, along with 12 grand suites.

The junior suites, ocean suites and spa suites are all roomy, with lots of amenities. The Cloud 9 Spa suite (like all the Cloud 9 Spa staterooms and suites aboard the ship) offers spa-related amenities and priority access to the spa.

Carnival Cruise Line Suite
Carnival Cruise Line Suite

The ocean suite gives you plenteous ocean views, while the junior suite gives you a smaller space, but still all the VIP services that suite guests enjoy during a Carnival Dream cruise.

However, for the best of the best in a Carnival Dream cruising experience, book one of the limited, 12 grand suites. These suites offer loads of space and priority service that goes above and beyond what you’ll get anywhere else on the ship. 

Free Dining

If you’re hungry during a Carnival Dream cruise, you’ll find all your classic Carnival favorite dining venues, many of which are included in the price of your cruising fare. Free dining options aboard this ship include:

  • The Scarlet Restaurant, one of two main dining rooms serving American fare
  • The Crimson Restaurant, the second of the two main dining rooms, also serving American fare
  • Guy’s Burger Joint, for eats from Food Network star Guy Fieri
  • BlueIguana Cantina, a Caribbean and Mexican-inspired eatery
  • Guy’s Pig & Anchor Smokehouse, another Guy Fieri-helmed restaurant, with a barbecue focus
  • Lido Marketplace, the cruise ship buffet
  • Mongolian Wok, for Asian eats 
  • Pizzeria del Capitano, for a quick slice 
  • Swirls, for ice cream 
  • The Sweet Spot, for more sweet treats

You can also get select room service for free.

Specialty Restaurants

Beyond the many free dining options aboard Carnival Dream, which are plentiful compared to what you might get on other, similar cruise ships, the vessel also offers several extra, for-a-fee specialty restaurants, including:

Carnival Dream, Seafood Shack
Photo By: Carnival Cruise Line
  • Bonsai Sushi, for a la carte sushi options
  • The Steakhouse, for fine dining and steakhouse classics
  • The Chef’s Table, a VIP dining experience that’s reservations-only
  • The Coffee Bar, for your coffee fix
  • The Seafood Shack, for casual seafood fare 

Bars and Lounges

Just like Carnival Dream offers lots of great dining options, the ship also offers a few bars and lounges, including:

Carnival Cruise Line Alchemy Bar
Photo Courtesy: Carnival Cruise Line
  • Alchemy Bar, for mixed drinks
  • RedFrog Rum Bar, for Caribbean-style experiences
  • BlueIguana Tequila Bar, for all your favorite tequila-based drinks
  • The Piano Bar, for live music alongside your favorite libations
  • The Casino Bar, a newer addition to the ship, for drinks while you test your luck

Activities and Entertainment

Where Carnival Dream — and most Carnival ships in general — really shines, though, is when it comes to activities. There’s always something to do on a Carnival Dream cruise, no matter if you want thrills, a party atmosphere, things to do with the kiddos or to just kick back and relax. Here’s what you can expect.

A Spa Sanctuary

The on-board spa, Cloud 9 offers an array of amazing spa treatments and salon services, from hot stone massages to a dip in the Thalassotherapy pool, pedicures to manicures. You can also buy passes to the spa’s thermal suite, so you can access the steam room, pool and other spaces within the spa without actually booking a treatment. 

An Onboard Water Park

Carnival’s onboard waterpark, WaterWorks gives you plenty of fun in the sun with its wide array of water activities. The highlight is the huge Twister Waterslide, which isn’t for the faint of heart.

WaterWorks
Carnival Dream Aqua Park (Photo Copyright: Cruise Hive)

A Packed Theater

You can nearly always find something going on in the theater. Christened Encore, this entertainment venue hosts shows, musicals, games and more. 

Daily Fun

If you’re the type of traveler who likes to go with the flow and who doesn’t necessarily want to plan out your trips to the theater or your spa treatments in advance, you might want to check out the daily fun itineraries offered during each Carnival Dream cruise.

Carnival Dream Cruise Ship
Carnival Dream Cruise Ship (Photo Credit: Joni Hanebutt / Shutterstock)

Every day, there’s something new and there are no reservations required, so you can enjoy whatever feels right, in the moment. From taking a dance class to playing some bingo, watching a cooking demo or playing a game in the pool, you never know what awaits. 

At night, the fun continues, with dance parties on the deck and movies by the pool.

The Casino

The newly renovated non-smoking casino aboard this ship offers just about all your favorite games and ways to gamble, whether you prefer blackjack, poker or the slots. Grab a drink and enjoy the lively atmosphere, newly smoke-free!

Comedy Club

The Punchliner Comedy Club is a well-known Carnival entertainment venue that offers both family-friendly shows and adults-only shows during your cruise. All the shows are wildly popular, and for good reason. You won’t want to miss all the fun!

Soak Up the Sun

Whether you prefer to get in the pool or just sit beside it, you’ll have plenty of options aboard Carnival Dream. There are two pools on this ship, along with 10 hot tubs. The main pool is a pretty packed area, so if you don’t fancy all the action, go to the adults-only pool, for a more relaxing vibe.

Carnival Dream Main Swimming Pool
Carnival Dream Main Swimming Pool (Photo Copyright: Cruise Hive)

Sun decks are also plentiful, with some more crowded than others. An adults-only sun deck sits within the Serenity adults-only space. 

Multiple Ways to Get Active

If you like staying active during your vacation, but you’re not a fan of going to the gym, you’ll still find plenty of ways to work up a sweat during a Carnival Dream cruise.

There’s a basketball court and a volleyball court, both on Deck 14. A jogging track is on Deck 12, as is a mini golf course, in case you want an activity that’s a little more low-key.

If you do, though, prefer hitting up the gym, you can do that, too, at the fitness center that’s outfitted with all the standard gear. You can also book classes at the fitness center for a nominal fee. 

Kids Venues

While kids can enjoy most of the above activities and fun alongside their parents, there are a few kid-specific, no-adults-allowed venues aboard the ship, in case the family wants to split up and rejoin later.

Camp Ocean is the place to go for children ages 2 to 11. Kids are divided into three groups, according to age, and then staffers offer nearly day-long activities and fun, allowing parents to drop off kids and pick them up as they please (though do note that, depending on the day, you may need to still grab your kiddo for meals).

Carnival Camp Ocean
Photo Courtesy: Carnival Cruise Line

Circle C is the kids club geared toward those ages 12 to 14, and it offers a blend of both that programming that appeals to younger kids who need to be kept entertained, as well as the freedom that older teens prefer. Think parties and movie showings, but also opportunities to just kick back and enjoy some games with a newfound friend.

Worth Reading: Royal Caribbean vs. Carnival Cruise Line: What Are the Differences?

For the older kids, Club O2 provides more flexible fun, with teens welcome to drop in and out of the space as they please, to take advantage of the teen-geared amenities and maybe enjoy a few planned activities, like a gaming tournament or karaoke. 

Carnival Dream Itineraries

Does a Carnival Dream cruise sound exactly like your dream getaway? Then, what are you waiting for? See which of this ship’s upcoming itineraries will best fit your family’s travel needs and book your cruise today.

Carnival Dream FAQ

How old is the Carnival Dream?

Carnival Dream debuted in 2008. However, the ship has received multiple refurbishments since, including in 2012, 2017 and 2021. These refurbishments brought new restaurants and entertainment spaces to the ship. The most recent, 2021 refurbishment updated the ship’s hull art and created a new, non-smoking casino and casino bar. 

How many pools are on the Carnival Dream cruise ship?

The ship offers two pools and 10 hot tubs. There’s a main pool that can get quite busy, but then also an adults-only pool that’s a little more on the quiet side. 

What class ship is the Carnival Dream?

Carnival Dream is the first of the Dream-class ships, which also include Carnival Magic and Carnival Breeze.

Holly Riddle
Holly Riddle
Holly Riddle is a travel and food freelance writer whose work can be found in print and digital publications all around the world. She is additionally an entrepreneur specializing in content and marketing services. Beyond frequent travel, Riddle enjoys cooking, reading, camping and spending time with her husband and two dogs. Her favorite travel destinations include Chicago, Amsterdam, Edinburgh and just about anywhere in the Caribbean. Find out more about us here.

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