We had seen mixed reviews on the Thomson Dream but had been assured by friends who had travelled on it last year that all would be good. We survived the initial herding onto the boat, (rather annoying that some guests can buy priority and move to front of the queue), this is my main gripe with Thomson i.e. always looking to charge for extra services and goods. I was shocked to be charged Â£15 to use a safe for a week in the cabin - excessive charge to say the least. You are charged extra Â£5 to see a decent film on the flight too.
But the main asset of the boat is the great staff on board who cant do enough for. Our cabin, maintained by Christina was immaculate throughout. One tiny gripe is that there is no milk for tea, but otherwise we were pleased with the cabin and its cleanliness.
The food was good, though the Orion restaurant appeared to serve the best quality food, the service we received from Charlie and Yogi in the Orion was excellent. Make no mistake the staff work long hours, but somehow always manage to keep a smile on their faces.
The public areas were lovely and well serviced by staff. On occasion we were pestered a bit in the main bar to buy drinks but difficult to criticise the staff for any other reason.
We didnt use the pools; thought they looked a bit grubby and uninviting.
We didnt see all the shows as what we saw we thought looked a bit 'homespun' but the entertainment people including Mark were very good at leading entertainment and games in the bar. We enjoyed Top Men and Island Dream but the highlight was the comedian Carl who was hilarious.
We accessed trips off the boat and as a group of 4 were able to gain a taxi exclusively for us at very reasonable prices; it really wasnt too difficult to source trips off the boat, particularly at Tortola and Antigua. The highlight for me personally was Dominica a beautiful lush island with natural resources in abundance.
Prices on board were fairly reasonable Â£3.70 per pint. The duty free shop on board is also good with very helpful staff there to serve.
The transfer to the hotel, (we were cruising and staying a week in Barbados) wasnt exactly carefree. We had to hang around until 3pm on the boat to then carry our cases across the dock yard to an awaiting bus. We were then told that there were insufficient seats on the bus to transfer us to the hotel. Two of the four of us got on board to find six seats free, we told the thomson reps who werent in the least interested and our partners had to travel separately half an hour later along with tickets and other docs which in turn meant we couldnt book into the hotel on our arrival.. The rooms werent ready anyway at the hotel, so in fact it was just a day of hanging around and travelling, (consider this when booking the cruise and stay) I have to say it was worth it though to relax at the Casuarina Resort and have a week in one place.
All in all a great trip - great cabins, good food, good entertainment and fantastic staff on board.