Itinerary: - Treasures of the Mediterranean/Highlights of the Mediterranean. (Back to Back).
Well organised. Long walk at Palma airport to baggage claim. Then long walk to coaches. Plenty of Reps to show the way. Check in and registration procedure well organised. You're asked if you want a safe then. Saves you going to Reception on the ship when you board.
Sail away party: - Strum Jam and the entertainment team gave us a great send off
We thought the bars and entertainment all being on the one deck, 8, wasn't good. If you sat near the doors in say the Argo Lounge wanting a bit of peace and quiet you are bombarded with the entertainment from the adjacent lounge. Listening to Luke in the Delo competing with the sound blasting out of the disco next door isn't conducive to a relaxing evening. Sorry Thomson but Deck 8 is like "Sauchiehall Street on a Saturday night." It just doesn't work. Listening to Baros in the Argo Lounge with the entertainment from the Medussa one side and the sound of the towel driers in the nearby toilets is, again, not what we would call a relaxing time.
Never went near the pools or Jacuzzis. Not our idea of healthy fun.
Decent size. Not enough drawer space for 2 weeks. Bedside drawers hard to open. In fact all the drawers were showing their age. Wasn't enough hangers in the wardrobe. A simple request to one of the Stewards for 10 more was all it took. They appeared within 10 minutes. Our Steward, Sri, introduced herself. Cases hadn't arrived so we went for lunch. When we returned they were in the cabin.
Later the first evening 10 more hangers appeared.
Clean and in very good condition. Bigger than our cabin on the Spirit.
Bit of vibration, just like being back on the Spirit.
For all first time cruisers, remember that the walls between the cabins are thin. So if you have a loud voice or a "big gob" next door will hear every word and that includes "rumpy pumpy".
Outside Plus cabins could benefit from the removal of the single seat and putting more drawers in its place.
We spoke to a family who had booked a Suite on deck 7, and obviously paid a lot of money for the experience. They were extremely disappointed. The noise from the adjacent air conditioning plant was apparently horrendous. They confirmed other occupants of adjacent suites all experienced the same noise. Not good. Be warned.
Towel Sculptures: - Not every night. Some couples we spoke to didn't get any. Would appear to be inconsistent service which seems strange when they are trying to sell you books on towel sculptures. If you don't get one the book means nothing. We mentioned it to Craig, the Thomson Manager on board and the next day we had 2.
Staff: - being on for 2 weeks the staff get to know you personally. Special mentions go to Bar waitresses Evangeline, Monika and Tin Tin for making us feel like friends. Also Rachel from the Casino who persuaded us to try the Casino Lottery quite a few times.
Clean and tidy. Not "well worn" as reported in a lot of other reviews. Apart from a small section of sealant in the corner of the bath it was all in good condition. One issue was the position of the toilet in relation to the bath. If you have long legs you have to sit "side saddle".
Gala Night -
Captain's table courtesy of our "Blessing at Sea". Great night,
Blessing at Sea: -
Won't spoil it for anyone thinking of booking one except to say that it was a brilliant day that we had when we were in Palamos. Joanne, the Social Hostess, was brilliant making sure everything was "just right" Captain Roy carried out his duties like the consummate professional he is. Lots of photographs and a video was shot, all optional.
Day at Sea: -
Towels on sunbeds still prevalent. Complained to Cruise Director. He had announced it over the tannoy earlier but still the "inconsiderate many" thought they still had the right to ignore the rules. "Numpties". Brahms said he would inform the bar managers to police it. My Wife was ready to throw towels over the side. You've got to police it better Thomson or come up with a fairer system for those who just want an hour in the sun instead of pandering to the "beached wales" who think they have the God given right to monopolize the beds.
Once again Thomson cruise staff excelled although not as friendly as the Spirit.
Basic but good. Gala Night was better.
Good for breakfast, lunch and dinner if you don't want the queuing you do in the Lido and Sirens.
Lido: - Apart from the first afternoon and the few midnight snacks we never used it. The layout is all wrong.
Sirens: - Good layout. Would recommend for your buffet style lunches.
Argo Lounge: - Afternoon tea with canapEs between 3.30 and 5.00pm is nice. You can get scones and canapEs in Sirens as well but Argo was quieter and more..British.
Never tried "Steak under the Stars".
Tried "The Grill" one evening. They section off a corner of Sirens and turn it into a nice place to eat. We tried the "Asian Fusion" menu..really good.
Noro- Virus - Never heard a mention of it during our 2 weeks on board. I don't think I witnessed anyone not using the "Sanitisers". People were even using them as they left the restaurants. Good old Hot Water and Soap is the best prevention for Noro Virus.
All public toilets were spotless the time we were on board. They have hourly inspections. Lots of "Closed for Cleaning" signs throughout the day.
No Thomson presentation folders, like when we were on the Spirit, when you purchase your "treasured memories". Disappointing.
Blessing At Sea -
Not really "at sea", more "in the port on the water." Absolutely brilliant day.
Captain's table for the Gala Night. Brilliant evening. Captain Roy was a great host. VIP seats for the show afterwards.
Apart from the little blond guy the girls were stronger singers than the boys. Once again the Can Can which finished the "Dance, Dance, Dance Show" left you breathless just watching.
Catch the Crew Show on Thursday night. Really good entertainment. Once again Thomson entertainment was up to its usual high standard. The guys and girls don't half work their socks off. Brams, the Cruise Director and.............. his Assistant, were excellent as well.
We saw Strum Jam in the Horizons Bar on the Spirit a couple of years ago and they were excellent in that intimate setting. In our opinion they don't do themselves any favours in the venues on the Dream. The Sirens Pool and the Medussa Lounge resembled Butlins, at times. . Shame really.
Luke, the piano player in the Delo Bar was very good.
The couple in the Ocean Bar were good.
The classical brothers in the Argo Lounge were pretty good.
Orion Restaurant: -
On the first night of the 2nd week we complained to the Maitre De regarding shorts and t shirts being allowed into the restaurant. He said it was to do with some passenger's luggage being late. He assured us that it would improve. Night after the Gala Night T shirts, jeans and cropped shorts were still being allowed in. Look if you can't make an effort then don't bother turning up.. Following nights were graced by guys wearing "cropped shorts" and tee shirts. It should be enforced
One night on our 2nd week I found something in the Madras Lamb Curry that shouldn't have been there. Called the Maitre De over and within 10 minutes the main Sous Chef was at our table extremely apologetic. Next day on our return to our cabin we had a complimentary plate of Petit Fours with a note from the Chef....... nice touch, totally unexpected.
Trapani - you can do the Cable Car up to Erice on your own. You can get a local bus, the cable car and a free pastry from a little shop which is quite hard to find but delicious if you do, all for 18 Euros each. Tickets available when you walk through the small terminal building.
Sorrento: - we did Herculaneum, which if you have seen Pompeii, is worth a visit just for the contrasting fates that befell those poor people.
Cittavechia: - we did the Coleseum trip which got us fast tracked into both the Coleseum and the Forum. Lot of walking involved but recommended.
Calvi: - We weren't there that long. Nice walk up to the Citadel. Here we saw our first rain of the Cruise. After we left port the weather worsened to the point where we went through a Force 11 "violent storm" overnight. Never heard a ship creak and groan so much. Next day Captain Roy explained that the Bay of Lyon was renowned for its weather.
Palamos: - the beach is within walking distance and a swim in the sea was a relaxing change. Had to be back on board early for our Blessing.
Palma:- Waved goodbye to everyone leaving as we prepared ourselves for our 2nd week. Walked off the ship and jumped on the number 1 bus, destined for the Airport, which took us along to the Cathedral. 1.50 each way. Easy, cheap day.
Ajaccio: - pleasant town to do your own thing but remember to set your watches forward on the day at sea as one passenger was late and the ship sailed without him. We watched his poor wife /partner getting off with an overnight bag to wait for him as we sailed away. Found out later that he assumed the wrong departure time. He had to fly to Milan then Cittavechia to rejoin the ship at lunchtime the next day.
Cittavechia: - Didn't go to Rome this week. Went into Cittavechia. Nice shops and beach area within a short walk from the Shuttle Bus drop off point.
Livorno: - did the all-day Florence and Pisa trip. Tiring but saw a lot.
Toulon: - a recommended "on your own" trip is the local bus up to the cable car up the mountain. Get your tickets from the Tourist Office near the port.. 6 Euros each return. Great value and great views.
Barcelona: - Got on the Metro outside the port and went to Park Guell. 9.8 Euros for 10 journeys. Get one ticket and use it for 5 journeys for the 2 of you. Got Metro back to Cataluyna, walked back down Las Rambles with a bit of Tapas on the way. Easy to do on your own.
Departure: - Typical Thomson well organized departure. Can't fault it.
Had a really good time. The A.I. worked out extremely well in our favour. (Would have been between £1600 and £1700 without it).
First time cruisers will not be disappointed. Thomsons know how to give you a great time. Would we come on the Dream again....... we don't think so. The layout of the ship doesn't do it for us, sorry Thomson. Previous cruisers we spoke to all agreed with us. Our next cruise will be with our old friend, the Spirit (subject to itinerary) or we're thinking of trying one of the other lines, possibly P&O. Sorry Dream, maybe our expectations were too high, but we were expecting something better from the "flagship" of the company.