This is quite a difficult review to write because we really wanted to enjoy this Cruise.
We had not cruised with Thomsons for a very long time. Our last Cruise was on the Emerald many years ago.
Last year we cruised on P&O Azura which is a much newer ship but we knew the Thomson Dream was an older ship and we were quite happy about that as the Thomson ships have a reputation for being very friendly ships.
The Cruise was not a success because we had a very bad cabin. Cabin 9016 which is a Deluxe cabin on Deck 9
When we booked this cabin, many months before the cruise I did a lot of research about the ship, but have to admit I didn't really know what the Deluxe cabins were like so I sought advice from some of the nicest people you could wish to meet on the Thomson Forum. People were extremely helpful and I was very grateful for their advice.
Unfortuanately we were not prepared for the noise we experienced in this cabin. Quite frankly it is shocking and I would like to challenge someone from Thomsons Cruises to spend a night in this cabin. The cabin is directly above the Set of drums the band use in the Medussa lounge. To say the cabin 'rocks' is an understatement. In fact one evening my husband was in the bathroom and his whole body was vibrating with the noise. Yes I know that sounds amusing but try putting up with this for a week ! I suppose it could have been worse it could have been a 14 night cruise.
Unfortunately I have a permanent disability and spend more time than most in the cabin so it was a bit of a joke that I had requested a 'quiet' cabin when booking. Someone has a wicked sense of humour!
We were also quite unprepared for the huge window in this cabin that has a notice telling you that you are advised to close your curtains in the evening as people can see in. It is extremely off-putting having people sitting in full view outside your window as Deck nine is on the promenade deck. We never got used to it and spent most of the time with the curtains closed. Psychologically it felt strange looking at people who seemed to be in the room with us ! Particularly when you wanted to get changed etc. We might just as well have booked an inside cabin. This upgraded cabin which we booked for our Anniversary Celebration was not the treat we expected. By the way The guy who kept putting his face right up to the window to try and look in. Yes we could see you perfectly !
On a more positive note the cabin was located in a very handy position for everything and we liked the inner door which presumably is supposed to shield the noise from the outside corridor. Having been in cabins where someone has burst in without warning this was a nice feature. We would like to know why cabin 9016 hasn't been finished off properly ? The wall partitions are shockingly put together. When we booked a day cabin for our final day we were put in the cabin next door and this one had been finished off nicely and the bathroom had been modernised.
We enjoyed our meals on this ship. We didn't have any complaints but they weren't special. I think P&O Azura has the edge here. Where Thomsons do excel however is with their Staff. People were so friendly. In fact we preferred the mix of people on this ship too. However late we arrived for Dinner we always got a table for two and enjoyed meeting different waiters each evening. The wine waiter is an absolute star !
The itinerary was very good. We particularly like visiting Bonaire and it is not a port that features on many cruises in the Caribbean. One of the reasons we chose this cruise.
Our biggest upset came when we visited the Future Cruises Representative to talk about 'quieter' cabins if we were to book a future Cruise with Thomsons. We had been to her presentation about future cruises and were quite interested in a very well priced Cruise on the Celebration. We were well and truly put in our place and told we MUST have known the cabin we had chosen this time round would be noisy and that ships all have evening activities that are noisy and it wouldn't stop just for us. We explained we have been on lots of ships where we have had cabins over bars. casinos etc but other ships have SOUNDPROOFING. How this young lady keeps her job I do not know as I gather from other reviews I have read that she can be very sharp with people and extremely pushy. We too, had the 'You must book now !' treatment. It wasn't nice and no we didn't feel inclined to book another Thomson Cruise.
We are not saying we will never Cruise with Thomsons again ! If the itinerary and price are right we might try another ship or even return to the Dream in another quieter cabin.
It was a really friendly ship and we met some really nice people.
On the very last day we toured some of the empty cabins on the ship and decided that we should have been one deck down in an Outside plus cabin. I think it would have been less noisy. We also looked at the cabins on deck 10 but felt it would be difficult to book one of the 'Partly obstructed view'cabins as some were nearly totally obstructed. This is where the list of cabins on the forum comes into itself. I do wish cabin 9016 had been on it !
Even the cabin steward met us outside the cabin with a really worried look on her face as she knows only too well how Noisy it is. Please avoid this cabin if you possibly can.
I hope I have given an honest opinion of the Dream. We had a nice cruise but it was memorable for all the wrong reasons this time round.
We have sat down and talked at length about the Thomson ships and have decided they do need a lot of updating if they want to compete in the fiercly competitive Cruise market. Or they need to be considerably cheaper !