It seems like things are on the mend though. We arrived and on first impressions the ship was what we would expect from a Thomson Ship. Friendly staff took us to our cabin and although our luggage didn't arrive for 2 hours we didn't really need it and spent the time looking round the ship.
We've sailed on the Thomson Destiny 3 times previously and the Dream is a far more spacious ship. As much as we loved the Destiny it can sometimes feel very busy but it never felt crowded on the Dream, even on the day at sea when the ship was full. We read reviews of people complaining about the decor but we couldn't understand why. Even though it's going for in a re-fit in November it's decor is much nicer & more up-to-date than the Destiny.
The staff we can't praise highly enough. As with every Thomson cruise we've been on they were attentive, friendly and always happy to chat to you. We've always loved Thomson entertainment and this year was no exception. The show team were brilliant and there was a variety of shows and something for everyone. The theatre was also very impressive. It's far bigger than the Destiny's theatre and the layout is much better. The entertainment hosts were also brilliant and they work so hard to ensure everyone enjoys their holiday organising quizzes and game shows.
The food was gorgeous in the Orion Restaurant and there was always lots of choice in the 2 buffet restaurants on deck 9 and 11. From reading a lot of reviews people seem to have something against the plastic plates tha are used in the buffet restaurants. I really can't see how they affect your holiday in any way and they are there for the same reason drinks are served in plastic glasses, so people can take them out on deck if they wish.
Our cabin was on deck 6 and it was a lot bigger than the cabins we've stayed in on the Destiny. We had no problems with the air conditioning except that when it was warmer outside it was turned up by the housekeeping staff but we simply turned the dial down.
We also never found the mysterious smell everyone talks about. We spoke to a lot of people during the week and only once did people mention that they smelt something. The problem seems to be that people are now going onto the ship and looking for things to complain about but the major problems seem to have been fixed or we found they had. Therefore people are finding tiny things and often ridiculous things to complain about. For instance, we overheard a couple complaining because they could hear water running in the bathroom pipes! And a lady came out of a public toilet cubicle and warned me i might not want to use it because it smelt like someone had used it...yes you!
There were a few problems with the public toilets and a few of them were blocked but after customer services were informed they were fixed within an hour or so.
The only complaint we had was that 3 of the 6 ports of call were changed. We went to Caglairi instead of Tunisia so the boat could fill up on fresh water which didn't really bother us because Caglairi was a beautiful place. Olbia was changed to Ajaccio because of bad weather but again this didn't really bother us because we've been to Olbia before and it's a disappointig port and thre's not much there whereas Corsica is a beautiful little island. The only alteration that disappointed us was that we didn't call at Barcelona, insead we went to Tarragona, and although they still ran the trips to Barcelona it would have been nice if they had offered a free or cheaper bus there. Even if we'd have had to pay £10 each we wouldn't have minded but we didn't really want to pay the full price for the trips.
All in all we had a brilliant holiday on the Thomson Dream. We had a few rough nights but there's nothing Thomson can do about the weather and the ship coped with the waves a lot better than the Destiny did. Reviews of the ship still seem to be very mixed but the majority of people we spoke to were very happy with their holiday and one couple in particular who had been on 3 cruises a year for the last 10 years or so said that their holiday on the Dream was far better than many cruises where they had paid over £2000 each. Personally i think it has a lot to do with what you're expecting. We saw loads of people coming on looking for problems and once they'd found something small they decided to find as many problems as they can. I'd rather enjoy my holiday and you make the best of what you've got.