Eventually persuaded to cruise booked the Thomson Dream for a week -- Caribbean Treasures - then a week in Barbados.
Brilliant. Check in at Manchester - cases sealed and cabin numbers attached - we next saw them outside our cabin. In reverse we cases left outside cabin, as we left the Dream next day asked to identify them in specified and next say them in our hotel room. Flawless service.
Our outside cabin very roomy with more than enough hanging/drawer space --as usual had taken far too many clothes. There was a settee and ample room to store cases. Public areas very clean and our cabin kept immaculate by our pleasant steward Don Don. Towels changed each day. Not a flat screen TV but we did not spend much time watching it. Charge for safety deposit as in most hotels --not exorbitant. We saw no signs of Nora virus. Would not have been surprised had there been a problem, we both saw people leave the loos without washing their hands and did not even use the antiseptic hand wash outside each restaurant-- can't understand their mentality. All the staff extremely friendly, helpful and cheerful.
Library/games room excellent -- if you like doing jigsaws you'll be spoilt for choice. Lots of activities we did not take part in but, with trips, time was limited. Duty Free cheaper on board. Than airport
Downside was the crowded beds round the two small pools and no brollies -- that said you could always sit on ordinary chairs under cover in the shade and this would certainly not put us off cruising. We did trips each day, so not really a problem. The Dream is an old ship (new to Thomson) and has the promenade deck which we found ideal, not sure we would like to have gone on one of the larger ships we saw in port, quite liked the configuration of the Dream.
Food good with a varied choice, although vegetarians could have a problem. Food, of some description, was available throughout the day. Ate evenings in the Orion where it was waiter service, reasonable choice and good service. Only disappointed once, obviously catering for such large numbers maybe this particular dish stood slightly longer than it should and, with Sole Veronique, timing is critical.
Entertainment fine, maybe not as polished as we have seen in some hotels but the entertainment team gave their all and we enjoyed it. Excellent seating in the theatre. The comedian, Maxwell Plum, was good, constant laughter from the audience -- some old jokes but sometimes "the old ones are the best". Never had any problems with bar service.
Most of the trips were excellent but the island tour of St. Maarten was disappointing. First stop a lay-by for the view and then on to the French part where you stayed for the rest of the time -- someone had previously posted " do not waste your money on this trip" and we wish we had taken the advice and taken one of the other trips. C'est La Vie.
Our first cruise and we were not disappointed only sorry now we did not book two weeks but would certainly do another cruise with Thomson.