This is the 2nd time we have been on the Dream but first time on a Caribbean cruise and 1st one after the upgrade to platinum. We were a party of 4 and have to say after reading some of the poor reviews before setting off we were a little concerned. However we think these people must have been on a different ship to us or they were expecting 5* plus service but not paid 5* plus prices. We had an absolutely fantastic time.
The embarkation- yes there was a queue but what do you expect when you have 4 or 5 flights landing around the same time most of which are boarding the cruise. We queued for around 30 minutes. But hey so what. By the time we were on board our cases were outside our room. Within 2 1/2 hours of landing in Barbados we had checked in, unpacked and enjoying our first drink.
Destinations visited.. We did 10 different Caribbean Islands. What a fantastic way to see so many and experience the Caribbean culture, the beautiful beaches, friendly people. We went on some thomson trips and also did it alone by using the taxis and independent tours. All of which were great value for money.. Would recommend the dolphin swim in Tortola, cosol tours in St Lucia. Try and get Big Mac as a taxi driver in Barbados. He was fantastic, a whole island tour including a beach stop for 20$ each. Great value and a very lovely friendly guy..
Food- There was lots of choice and there would have been something to suit everyone's taste. We used lido self service for breakfast and lunches. On a couple of days there was a queue but this was only when they were having to serve you. They was due to noro virus risk from American cruise ships in port as apparently they were experiencing this.. I would rather wait a little for my food than be ill. It was only for a couple of days anyway so no big deal. We use the waiter service Orion restaurant at night.. This was fantastic. The food was not basic and cold. It was lovely, lots of choices, well presented. You need to ask for Alvis as your waiter. He was superb.. Great fun, fantastic personality. He made our evening meals special. Alvin was our wine waiter and our glass was always being filled with good quality house wines. Some nights the glasses were filled and on our table before we even got there. We had songs, jokes, stories, laughter and great fun.
We were all inclusive and I have to say I am not sure what people mean by there is always extras. Yes you had to pay for water if you wanted it serving to you but there was water available in all self service restaurants free of charge.. We were drinking spirits (not local) lager, cider, cocktails, wine, smoothies etc all at no extra costs.. There were minimal costs for drinks like Baileys or Irish coffees for example but this was at a fraction of the cost of normal price if not on all inclusive. Great value for money..
Cabins were fine. Yes they are not huge but you know this before hand. They were clean, we had clean towels daily if you wanted them, tea and coffee facilities.. For how much time we spent in the cabin they were adequate. We go on holiday to enjoy the cities and countries visited, to get some sunshine etc not to sit in a room and watch TV.
Most of the bar staff were great. Very friendly. I think we only found 1 out of all the people that served us to not be. Gigi was the best waitress- so look out for her..
Entertainment- We are not ones to rely on the shows etc for our entertainment. However we went to see a few whilst on board. What we saw was very good.. However we do think the entertainment team was better when we were last on board in October 2012. The crew talent show is a must. If you are in to the entertainment shows and quizzes then there was something different every night.
The photo centre was expensive and we have seen better quality on previous cruises. This did not bother us though as we don't really use them. We take our own camera and enjoy lots of holiday snaps when we get home
There was absolutely nothing we could fault about our holiday. It was perfect from start to finish. Don't let the poor reviews put you off. Can't please everybody all the time
In summary an excellent holiday, excellent value for money, great ship, great staff (especially Alvis), great destinations. Did not want to come home and can't wait to book our next cruise- this will be with Thomson cruise lines again.
Lisa, Trev, Sandra and MIck..