We left from Newcastle for Palma Mallorca airport and this went incredibly smooth. We arrived at the ship at 11am and were very quickly checked in, received by very friendly staff and a cold drink. We had paid extra for an outside plus cabin on the 6th deck room 6073.
This was our first cruise and we did not know what to expect, this review is based on not being able to compare the ship with other cruise ships...... Now for us this was a good thing and we hope this review helps those who have never been on a cruise before, unlike those who have been on 100 ships prior and try to compare those luxury ships with the thomson dream, which to be fair is really unfair to the hard working staff of this tired ship.
Lets start by stating this ship is NOT platinum, by any standard. My partner and I usually stay in 5 star hotels and we would expect a platinum grade to beat them all hands down. The ship is tired and in places this shows, we believe the ship was upgraded last year and can safely say that due to not being on the ship before we cannot state where the upgrades took place, however we can say that in our room, the bathroom was seriously outdated and needed some TLC. The cabin at first also looked tired and we were a little disappointed......... However after a day or so we really started to grow to our cabin, it was comfortable, clean and spacious. In fact we have to say that the cabin has a reall oldy worldly feel to it, which makes you feel like your on a grand cruise ship. We never felt that we did not want to return to the cabin and will miss it in a strange sort of way.
The ship itself as we already stated in dated and in some places needs to be updated further, however in other places, the ship is beautiful! The main lounge area is really nice and relaxing and very comfortable to spend a couple of hours on an evening or on an afternoon, showing stage shows such as game shows and singing. Then you have the broadway theatre...... It was very impressive when you first walk in, like a west end theatre, mood lighting, large stage for the shows, very comfortable seats...... It really is impressive. The shows on offer ranged from excellent to not bad....... The entertainment team work so hard and are really good at what they do.... Though the Andrew Lloyd Webber show was a bit too big for them. But overall we had some great nights and looked forward to watching a show before having our evening mean.
The restaurants were mixed, the Lido restaurant was where you went for your buffet lunch. Whilst I thought the food was good most of the time, my partner did not and was disappointed by the quality of the food. But this shows that everyone's different and not everyone will like eating in the lido. Then you have the sirens restaurant where you could get breakfast and snacks throughout the day..... The breakfasts on offer were very good, all English food and very tasty. You also had the Orion restaurant which is the main one and is waiter service. The food was very good most of the time, but a big mention must go to the waiting staff, the service was excellent and the staff were soooooo friendly. Thomson really should give these guys a massive pat on the back and should be proud of all of the staff on the ship, from deck hands, waiters, cookers, entertainment team, cabin boys etc. we have never experienced service like it and puts most hotel staff to shame. In particular a big thank you must go to evangelina who serves in the medusa lounge, she is so friendly and speaks to you like your a long lost friend..... It's a shame we did not get chance to say goodbye to her....... Ask for a BBC cocktail, one she recommended which is lovey to say the least.
Other areas of the ship are quite grand and old which gives a lovely feeling to the ship. Excursions are way overpriced and many of them can be done without going through thomsons. The drinks package is too expensive and not worth the money unless you want to stay on the boat every day getting drunk, thankfully this did not seem to happen much or if it did we didn't observe it much.
One thing that must be said is that thomson need to remove the word PLATINUM from the ships description as this sets you up for false promises and expectations. The ship as a whole is lovely and we will absolutely go on this ship again and already missing it. But it is NOT up to the standard of platinum and if you can look past this you will have one truly amazing time and will return again. Complaints of the nurovirus prior to our cruise did not affect us, all pools were open and you could serve yourself. Yes there were Hand gel stations every where, but to be honest I don't see why people have complained about these, it's no hardship to use them and really caused no issues, after all I don't mind protecting myself and those around me and well as keeping my hands clean.
Overall a great time was had by both of us and the ship was excellent value for what we paid. Staff and crew were great, excellent entertainment and ok food........ Just ignore the PLATINUM label!!!