On our journey to the port at Tenerife we were informed that the onboard maritime lifeboat drill would take place at 8.00 pm and we would arrive too late to join in. A Thomson rep boarded the bus and quickly explained how to fasten a life jacket up and where to find it in our cabin. From where I was sitting near the back of the bus I couldnt see what she was demonstrating but this didnt matter as we had been through the procedures before on previous cruises, however from a health and safety point - not good!. On arrival at the port in Tenerife in preparation for embarkation onto the ship we were met with utter chaos as there appeared to be inadequate staff available to welcome the abundance of people arriving and waiting to board ship.
The weather for the first 3 days was quite cool and the ships air conditioning was constantly on full blast especially in public areas and also in the Showcase Theatre room at night, this should have been adjusted accordingly to match the outside conditions as it was uncomfortably cold to sit in.
When the weather did improve sun beds were a great problem on the Dream there were simply not enough of them. Passengers would quite early on in the day place towels on a sun bed and then leave them for hours unoccupied. The crew on the Dream need to implement a policy of removing towels on unused sun beds after an hour so that all passengers can have a chance to relax and enjoy the sun not just the few.
The ports of call were very good and we enjoyed them all. In Morocco we went on a Thomsons tour to Casablanca & Hassan II Mosque) which we enjoyed immensely and the tour guide was excellent. We were very impressed with all our ports of call especially in Cadiz, Ceuta and Cartagena. The ship docked into very scenic ports and the places were quickly accessible to explore.
Our last port of call Valencia was also an exciting city to visit. Shuttle buses were laid on by the ship for people wanting to venture into Valencia by themselves. The only problem we had here was that there were not enough buses available to cater for the vast number wanting to use this facility.
I always look forward to the entertainment onboard ship during the evenings from the show team of singers/dancers. This year the group on the Dream were perhaps not as good as we have seen on previous ships with Thomsons although their Les Miserable performance on the last night was excellent.
The big problem with the Dream this year was the outbreak of Norovirus which effectively went through the ship quite quickly. Most passengers had been touched in some way by it, and also staff and show team members. We managed to return home safely from Palma after a very early embarkation from the ship so that a deep clean could be done to rectify the situation. Unfortunately on our first night home my husband took ill with the virus and was very poorly over the following days.
On the first morning on ship we went to have breakfast in the self-service Sirens restaurant and my husband pointed out to me that the waiters were wearing plastic gloves and serving food to people, this never happened in self-service restaurants on other ships and we wondered at this time if there was a problem on board with illness. If this was the case why wasnt a deep clean done in Tenerife by Thomsons before we set sail because the infection was obviously a problem at this point?
We did enjoy the cruise but the associated problems especially the outbreak of Norovirus somewhat soured our overall holiday experience.