We have had a great time overall but thought we would share a few of our observations.
The one thing we both came back so impressed by was the level of service. The ship's staff were unbelievably professional and courteous. Although there is not set dining it doesn't take long for the wonderful Orion restaurant staff to recognise your face and we had the same waiter five out of our seven nights - they even reserved us a table on the last night. We were served with dignity, humour and such attention to detail. Although tips are 'included' we still felt we wanted to give a tip to Lito our waiter as well as our cabin steward, I Putu.
Food was wonderful. we ate in the Orion restaurant from breakfast and dinner - we can't understand why anyone wouldn't, but each to his own! The Lido buffet was a great way to grab a snack later afternoon (if we hadn't filled up on ice cream when ashore!). We also enjoyed afternoon tea in the Argo Lounge.
Cabins are in need of an upgrade. They are definitely very clean and were looked after impeccably each day, with beds turned down at night and tidied in the day. However there is a lot of dark wood, the clean bathroom was tired but more than adequate and it is a shame there windows are so small. Also, on Thomson Dream there are very few rooms with balconies and I think we would definitely book a ship with a balcony next time - if only to have our own private outside space away from some of the other passengers.
Entertainment was round the clock but we didn't find it varied enough. I think this is probably where Thomson loses out to other companies as the quality of the performance was rather varied and we would have liked a little less recorded background music with what were actually very talented musicians - Al the pianist would have been so much better if he had played on his own without a tape. We saw two shows in the Broadway Lounge - both were good but a think we thought overall the entertainment was a little 'cheesy'!
Sunny spaces on deck are busy and whatever the rules say there are the same passengers who each day reserve loungers in prime positions - equally spaced between bar and pool! - meaning the polite passengers lose out. There were inevitably a number of people who spent most of their time in the bar/pool areas and it was a much more pleasant space on the day of disembarkation when a lot of these people had left. Having said that there are lovely quiet niches at the sides of the ship, particularly on deck nine do if you just want to read and be out in the fresh air, not necessarily cooking a suntan, this is the place to go.
Photographers are everywhere! This is fun to start with but it was obvious people were avoiding them towards the end of thee week! However, you are under no obligation to buy and we did buy one lovely picture as a memento so no complaints there.
This cruise gave us a taste of places and we enjoyed all the excursions which were all different and had something to offer. Toulon is not listed below, so it is worth mentioning that we had a great day taking the cablecar high above the port with wonderful views and a walk.
The Dream is a lovely old ship but has a very seventies feel about it and I think will really benefit from an upgrade. This was my husband's first cruise and my second (the first was on P&O). I think we would cruise again but I think we might choose a different ship next time - which is no reflection on the staff or Thomson but more our desire for something just a little more intimate and gentle.