We have sailed Dream three times. The first time we really smelled the smell. After Carnival did something, when we sailed in April we didn't notice it at all. I do have to say though, we have sailed other ships and have smelled the same thing. It is not an "all day, all night" smell, it just comes and goes. So, OP, I wouldn't be so sure that you won't smell it on another ship.
As far as food, I think Carnival has cheapened it, but, to me, dinner in the MDR is far better than dinner in the sterile-no tableclothes, no atmosphere buffet. But, that's my opinon and I know yours is different. We had the best dessert in the MDR and it would never be one I would choose, but our waiter brought it to us as an extra. It was a fig cake and if it were available every night, I would order it.
I do agree the pools were way too small for the number of passengers. As far as the decor on the ships, sorry, but I totally disagree. I think Dream looks like a ship as opposed to Miracle who looks like someone had too much wine and is suffering from a bad hangover the next day, but the grapes in the dining room are there to remind them!
I am glad there are many cruiselines and ships so we can each find what appeals to each of us. We have plans to sail on Dream in February and I am looking forward to it.
Enjoy your cruise on Princess. We sail many lines and each has something that is better than the other. That's why we switch things up.