Return to Cruising Ship Guide: Carnival Dream

Carnival Dream at sea - Photo by Carnival Cruise Line

When is Carnival Dream slated to resume operations?

Carnival Dream will resume sailing from Galveston on September 19, 2021. The ship’s first itineraries will offer a series of 6- and 8- night Caribbean cruises. Depending on the voyage, stops will include Costa Maya (Mexico), Belize City (Belize), Cozumel (Mexico), Freeport (Bahamas), and the line’s private island Half Moon Cay (Bahamas).  

For all sailings through February 2022, Carnival Cruise Line requires 95 percent of guests to have had their final COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days before sailing, and all will be required to present proof of vaccination at the time of check-in. In addition, vaccinated guests will not be required to wear masks or maintain physical distancing. 

Carnival has an exemption process to accommodate a small number of guests who are unable or ineligible to be vaccinated (which includes children under 12 and other exceptions as required by federal law). To accommodate new vaccine requirements instituted by the government of the Bahamas for cruise ship passengers, all sailings from all U.S. Atlantic and Gulf homeports will only allow vaccine exemptions to children under 12. and those with a medical condition that does not allow them to be vaccinated. The guest’s birth certificate or passport (for children), or a letter from a medical provider stating that the individual cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons, must be presented at check-in, along with an exemption approval letter from Carnival. 

Effective with sailings as of September 13, 2021, the CDC requires pre-cruise COVID-19 PCR testing for all guests, regardless of vaccination status, to be taken at the guest’s expense within two days before the sailing date.

Cruising on Carnival Dream? Here’s our guide to everything you need to know before you board. 

About the Ship: Carnival Dream is a large-sized, family-friendly ship. Staying true to Carnival’s laid-back approach to cruising, Dream’s most popular attractions include casual dining spots, comedy shows, lip-sync contests, and dance parties. Dream launched in 2009 and was last refurbished in 2017 receiving the Funship 2.0 upgrades. In addition to cosmetic updates, the ship also received several new restaurants. At full capacity (before any COVID restrictions) Carnival Dream can hold up to 3,646 passengers and offers 1,823 total cabins. 

Explore Carnival Dream Cabins 

Activities + Entertainment: Dream lives up to Carnival’s “Fun-Ship” reputation with a wide variety of activities for travelers of all ages. Onboard highlights include the Waterworks Aqua Park, kids and teens clubs, sports courts, an arcade, outdoor theatre, art gallery, library, three pools, a casino, adults-only Solarium, and the Cloud9 Spa.  

Entertainment options on Carnival Dream include the family-friendly ‘Hasbro Game Show’ and the Punchliner Comedy Club. At night adults can ramp up the energy at one of Carnival’s many bars or at Serenity Under the Stars, a club-style party on the ship’s top deck complete with glow-sticks and a DJ.

Explore All Activities on Carnival Dream

Dining: Travelers looking for a variety of casual fare will appreciate Carnival Dream's broad selection of restaurants. You will find many of Carnival’s staple eateries as well as a selection of unique dining options. Included restaurants are the Dining Room, Pizzeria del Capitano, Guy’s Pig and Anchor, Guy’s Burger Joint, Blue Iguana Cantina, Seaday Brunch, Lido Marketplace, Swirls, Carnival Deli, and Mongolian Wok. Specialty options are Steakhouse, Seafood Shack, Bonsai Sushi, The Chef’s Table, and the Coffee Bar.

Read Carnival Dream Dining Reviews

Pricing: Sailings are filling up quickly with the return of Carnival in the Caribbean, and prices seem to be changing daily. Right now, you can expect to pay about $50 per person per night for entry-level accommodations on Carnival Dream. We recommend booking NOW if you find a price you like - chances are it won’t last long! 

Find a Deal on a Carnival Dream Sailing

What to Expect at Embarkation & Onboard Protocols 

Every guest cruising with Carnival will undergo enhanced pre-embarkation health screenings. The line will refer anyone with signs and symptoms of COVID-19 or identified at-risk for additional medical screening before allowing them to board. Secondary screenings (and health checks throughout the cruise) will be performed when necessary. Contact tracing is planned for every cruise. 

Carnival Cruise Line will require passengers on all voyages, regardless of vaccination status, to produce a negative viral COVID-19 test (PCR or antigen) taken within two days of their embarkation date. Effective August 7, Carnival has instituted an onboard mask policy that includes the following: 

  • The line strongly encourages all guests to wear face masks when indoors, particularly unvaccinated guests including children under the age of twelve who should wear masks in public areas, except when eating or drinking.
  • All guests aged two and older will be required to wear face masks in elevators and in designated indoor entertainment areas, all retail shops, and in the casino, except when eating or drinking.
  • Guests will be required to wear face masks prior to being seated in our main dining rooms and in the Lido Buffet area and occasionally in other designated areas where a larger number of guests may congregate.  
  • Masks are required during embarkation and debarkation in the terminal, and masks should also be worn during the debarkation process on board.

Explore all of Carnival Cruise Line’s ‘Have Fun. Be Safe.’ Health and Safety Protocol

Tips from Our Community Members:

Carnival’s Dream is a nice size. Not the biggest but lots of room and great staff. Cocktails in the bars (especially Alchemy) are top-notch. - Maree2020

The Dream is a beautiful ship with lots of activities. Can't wait for my next cruise. - bjonesgoolsby

Clean ship. Friendly staff. Great food. Disconnecting from the grid was what we were looking for. - vaughnk78

Read More Member Reviews for Carnival Dream

Shore Excursions

With so much to see and do in the Caribbean ports which Carnival Dream will stop in, be sure to book shore excursions as early as possible. The top-rated excursions and suggested activities by port are:

Belize City, Belize - Cave Tube and Zip Line, Altun-Ha Mayan Excursion, Barrier Reef Snorkel

See All Belize Excursions

Costa Maya, Mexico - Snorkel and Boat Tour, Mayan Experience, Seven Color Lagoon Adventure

See All Costa Maya Excursions 

Cozumel, Mexico - Reef Snorkeling Adventure, Catamaran Sail, Mayan Ruin Excursion, Salsa Tour

See All Cozumel Excursions

Freeport, Grand Bahama Island - Shopping Expedition, Gardens of the Grove Tour, Dolphin Encounter 

Explore All Freeport Excursions

Half Moon Cay, Bahamas - Half Moon Cay is Carnival Corporation’s private island in the Bahamas. Activity highlights include snorkeling, horseback riding by the beach, bike tours, stand-up paddleboarding, waterbikes, kayaking, and stingray swimming adventures. Want to chill out and relax on the white sandy beaches? Cabana rentals, beach villas, and clamshell sunshade rentals are available for an extra cost. 

            What to do on a Cruise Line’s Private Island

Want to Cruise on Carnival Dream in 2021? Explore All Sailings

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