My mother and I recently went on the Thomson Dream Caribbean Treasures cruise. This was out third cruise, the first 2 having been with Celebrity.
We were prepared for a difference however not quite as big a difference as we found. The ship was obviously smaller but we expected that. Somehow though it was also a lot harder to find your way from a to b. This was not helped by lifts which did not always go to the top or the bottom and on one occasion a lift which stopped on one floor but announced a different floor.
The flight and embarkation all went very smoothly. And given the snow disruption this was something of a miracle. Upon entering the cabin we could immediately see this was a tired ship. The bathroom, whilst it has a bath, had various patches of plaster and a shower which was ineffective and confusing.
In addition we were rather disgruntled by the note placed on the blue pool towel which read "Please be advised that if the towels are not returned at the end of your cruise, a charge of Â£10 per towel will be automatically added to your onboard account". Whilst I appreciate they may have had issues with people taking the towels this was a tad insulting.
The food onboard was generally bland and certainly not the cuisine we had onboard the Celebrity eclipse. Puddings were stodgy and tasteless and on one occasion my mother had gammon steak which was dry and way too thick. I have never cruised before and actually lost weight whilst on the cruise.
The waiter however was fantastic. He was friendly, took time to learn our names and always greeted us with a smile and a wave.
Recption staff were very different. I made an error with my logging out on my internet package and lost 80 minutes. I had to put up quite a fight to get some minutes back and was told 3 times I had made the error and I had wasted 80 minutes. They made me feel very small and so in the wrong. Typical British customer service of the customer is wrong.
The caribbean itself was lovely and the ports of call were all good. We went on 3 trips which we enjoyed and were generally good value. Drinks were provided on most of them which was nice in the heat.
The pool areas were fine. The pool was always a little cold but this kept the less hardy out of it which suited me. We were a little taken aback on a sailing day though to discover most of the sunbeds had towels draped on them quite early but rarely had people sitting on them.
The quizes were good fun and the nightly TV gane show was always enjoyable. The theatre shows were fine but nothing spectacular.
The return home again was smooth. We were allowed to stay onboard for most of the day prior to the coach trip to barbados to pick up the flight. Luggage appeared on the carousel.
Would i sail with Thompson again? I don't think so. Unfortunately we first sailed with celebrity and it is hard to then lower the standards.