Just back after two weeks on the dream and my first ever cruise and a very mixed bag.
20 mins or so late leaving Glasgow so didn't get to the boat until 7pm. Luggage delivered when we were still in the cabin. Off the boat at 7:30 for flight home. Note Thomson put us on Jetairfly (TUI Belgium) flights. Drill at 9pm, didn't have to go week 2.
7140 Outside Plus. Large enough but no seats when sofa is a bed. TV is on the wall and lights had to be on when using hairdryer (or anything mains connected). Large picture window. Bathroom fitted it's purpose but would have liked it to be larger. Steward Fafan more on him next.
All the crew were friendly - as you expect. As said before cabin steward Fafan was nice when we bumped into him up and down deck 7. Waiters were great in the orion and pulled out all the stops, though we never had the same waiter twice. Bar staff friendly but took ages to get a drink - except at the lido bar deck 10 were Angel gave us drinks without us even ordering! The voice from above was in action both weeks. Roy does go faster than the required speed and said on the way from Cadiz to Tangier "Speed required 5 knots but we will be going a lot faster then that".
On such a sightseeing heaving itinerary eating in the Orion for breakfast or lunch is impossible but for dinner it is the hands down winner. Sirens is far better than the lido for breakfast and lunch. The pancake and pasta stations are what makes it a clear favourite. The Orion as you would expect beats the buffets hands down at night but food of good, not great standard. Steak under the stars has been rolled out fleet wide but with very poor uptake and never tried the French/Asian a la carte.
Always got a seat in the broadway for the late show. The entertainment team were good although they did go too high when signing. Both guest acts were comedians and both on the tuesday. Bram kept you well informed of what was going on around the ship usually just after 'voice from above'. Impossible to get a seat in the medusa for the game shows. Oceans bar was also packed. Always got a seat in the delo bar however and the Argo but was only in there on the final night. Crew show excellent - it should be the main show that night not down at 11:45. Events on sirens pool deck were good though never got a sun bed up there.
Ports of call
Just one port change St Raphael - Toulon due to construction works.
Ajaccio - a nice town on corsica but I think I would have preferred Calvi or Bastia to see a more traditional French town.
Rome - Rome itself is great city and we plan to go back in September but the guide we had on the Rome Express was absolutely shocking. She ran us around Rome so fast we lost 4 members at the colosseum. They appeared at the Trevi Fountain, and had a word with her, to no effect. Barely time to throw the coin in before we were off to the pantheon then lunch, which we didn't even get to finish, before we were rushed around the Vatican before the guide and escort had a heated argument in Italian.
Livorno - we did the Florence and Pisa excursion which was great. We feel no need to good back to ether city as we saw everything with a good 2 hours free time in Florence for lunch. Wouldn't recommend a holiday to Pisa as 1 day is enough to see all it has, the tower and cathedral.
Toulon - it's a good taste of the area which is one I will go back to however toulon itself is nothing spectacular.
Barcelona - did the sporting barcelona tour to the football stadium and the guide was American, Americans + football, really? Camp Nou is horrible, a concrete jungle and 100 for a Barca top is way over the top.
Gibraltar - the rock tour was fantastic but would loved to spend more time with the monkeys. Someone on a different tour got bitten by one which delayed the boat by an hour, not sure if they came back or not.
Cadiz - this town is a magical slice of Spain and one that I will return to. There is so much to see for the cathedral (old&new) to the beaches and to do with the Spanish constitution. Such a shame anti-government protests were timed when two cruise ships were in port.
Tangier - will never go back but was certainly a good experience the caves weren't impressive but the souks gave the tour it's main point, great but would never buy the food. Impossible to do this port on your own, you would certainly get lost.
Motril - as we all know all this is a large industrial port, Thomson even admit it, but only to sell 3 bus tickets to the beach.
Cartagena - leaving at 2 never gives you the time you need in a port and all the tours were fully booked, the only port I can say that for.
Could not get a sun bed at pool decks but if you get there before say one plenty available at deck 7 aft. The VIP seat thing is true at the broadway. And salon overpriced.
I will definitely cruise again.