We have sailed twice on the Carnival Dream and have a 3rd cruise coming in Oct. On the 1st cruise we were concerned that there would be too many people. Well, we never did find that to be the case. Knowing that there are a lot of passengers we adjusted our meal times accordingly: mid-day dining was either around 1130 or around 1:30. We found those times to be just before the crowd and just after the crowd. There are a lot of places to eat and you just have to decide what you will put up with in waiting. The BBQ just outside the Lanai midships had great burgers, ribs and tacos at lunch. It never seemed to be that crowded. The Mongolian BBQ did get very crowded and long lines were there. We did the Mongolian BBQ for lunch on embarkation day and since we board early (Platinum) and were the 1st in line. The food was wonderful but knowing the lines would be long we didn't go back during the cruise. We never did feel like we were lost in a mass of people. If fact, we were pleasently surprised. We have saied 15+ times so perhaps we were able to adjust better than maybe a 1st timer and maybe our expectations were different.. Plus as you said, different folks will have different attitudes. My advise would be to at least try the Dream and see for your self.