A group of four of us has just returned from what should have been an enjoyable springtime cruise on the Thomson Dream. This was our seventh cruise, the fifth with Thomsons, so we were expecting the same high standards that we had previously experienced on other Thomson ships - how wrong we were.
When we arrived at the port to board the ship in Tenerife, we had missed the onboard lifeboat drill so a member of the crew stood at the front of the coach and tried to show us how to fasten our life jackets - no-one at the back could see a thing. We were then told that we could find our lifejackets in a cupboard within our cabins. The lifejackets would have our muster station number written on them so it was up to us to find it.This is the first time I have ever been on a ship and not been shown to my muster station.
On the second night one of my party contracted Norvirus. She was ill for three days and never regained her appetite until we arrived home. On the fourth nigh, my husband contracted Norovirus. He isolated himself in his cabin for 36 hours . The nurse rang twice to say she was coming to see him but never turned up. By the middle of the week the ship became very quiet during the evenings - most passengers were in their cabins suffering form Norovirus.
The food was served by the crew - to prevent the spread of Norovirus. It was never hot enough and people were asking for more because the portions were so small.
The temperature on board ship was very cold - I'm told it was to prevent the spread of the disease. I heard one lady sarcastically asking a waiter for a hot water bottle during the show.one evening
I had to call the plumber out to my cabin three times. The sink became blocked, the bath water was dark brown and water continuously came up through the drain in the bathroom soaking the bathroom floor - this was still happening when we left the ship.
Although the crew were very friendly and supportive, they always seemed to be very disorganised. Getting onto the ship took well over an hour as there weren't enough staff deployed to check us all in. We were locked out of our cabin for two hours when we reported the key was broken. Upon our return to reception to collect a new key, they had forgotten to replace it and made us wait for a further half an hour.
Disemnbarking at the various ports also turned into a circus as the crew kept changing their minds about the deck and the side of the ship they would be using. The Captain apologised to everyone and promised to report the incident back to Thomsons after the tender to Portimao turned into a disaster. It took well over half an hour for each tender to reach shore. This resulted in large queues forming on the quayside waiting to board the tenders back to the ship. Passengers were waiting for over an hour in the cold, huddled together like penguins, without any seating or warm drinks avaialble.
Thank goodness for the shore excursions. They were very good value and gave us a reprieve from the fast spreading germs on board the ship - when we were well enough to go on them.
This will definitely go down as the worst holiday we have ever had. We could not wait to get back home. Unfortunately, due to my experience on the Thomson Dream, I have lost all faith in my favourite cruise line and will definitely be looking at an alternative next time!