Having been on our first cruise last year with Thomson on the Discovery and had an amazing time, we decided to use Thomson again and chose the Dream due to the destinations. We were not disappointed, the flights, transfers and embarkation ... Read More
Having been on our first cruise last year with Thomson on the Discovery and had an amazing time, we decided to use Thomson again and chose the Dream due to the destinations. We were not disappointed, the flights, transfers and embarkation was slick and easy and our suitcases arrived very shortly after we entered our cabin. The cabin was clean and more than adequate, not as big as the Discovery or as fresh, as that had been refurbished, but for the time we were spending in the cabin, it suited our needs. The outlook was not great we had a window but it looked onto a maintenance area and grill out to sea and on occasions we had to ensure our curtains were closed as maintenance guys walked past. We were at the back of the ship on deck 4. Sailing was sometimes noisy in our cabin, creaks and noises but we slept like logs and as I am prone to sea sickness am delighted to say I did not once succumb to feeling ill and was not aware of motion of the boat.
Our first impressions of the ship were good, not as new as Discovery and smaller and the swimming pools were not made for long swims, more just a dip as they were only waist deep. The areas around the pool were pretty crowded for sunbeds, unlike the Discovery where there was more room around the decks and we never had a problem getting a bed there. Our first day at sea we could not find a bed in the sun, but then my husband enlisted the help of a crew member to pull a couple of beds into the sun at the end of the boat, we had a lovely little area near enough to ourselves on Lido deck, it was a little walk to get a drink but heyho we were in the sun. If you go to the pool areas, we mainly went to deck 11 after 3.30-4pm you did find people had had enough and vacated more beds as they went to get ready or out of the sun so we took advantage and stayed in the sun area till around 7pm.
The breakfast buffet on Lido was adequate, the omelettes that were made fresh were excellent as was the pizza area on Siren deck 11. Food was plentiful there was always something to eat and we also enjoyed the midnight buffet in Sirens. The food in the Orion where we ate every night was also very good, we did not have a bad meal. We used to get to Orion around 8.30-9.00pm every night and never had to wait long, even though we would not have minded this. On the Discovery you are given a pager but there was nowhere to go and have a drink on the Dream deck 4, so not waiting long was a bonus. The only bugbear was the drinks in the restaurant, being British we like an alcoholic drink before our meal and on the first 3 occasions the drinks were plentiful and topped up, we did the drinks package but after this I had to ask for drinks sometimes twice, we even got topped up with water before we got alcohol, this is something Thomsons need to look at. The drinks package overall on the ship was good, sometimes we were served, sometimes we went to the bar, neither was an issue, we never had to wait long. The waiting staff, both restaurant and bars were all friendly. A special mention to the bar staff in the Showbar lounge, Minnie and team were very attentive and friendly and we used to go to the showbar half hour before the show and got good seats and good drinks service. Only downfall we got charged twice for drinks over the package which we were not aware we ordered but as this was not a fortune, we let it ride.
The Dream Show team were all youngsters with nice singing voices and very good dancing and excellent costumes, we watched every show and enjoyed all of them, some were better than others but they were all entertaining, handsome young men and pretty girls. The comedian we had Micky Travis was really good, some people left early it took a little while (10 mins or so) to warm up but he was quickfire, very funny and likeable. We enjoyed both shows, having seen a comedian on Discovery we enjoyed the first show but not the second, with Micky we enjoyed the second show even more, he was really good. The housebands around the boat were good too, we especially enjoyed Band Jam where we had a dance.
Our first port of call was changed from Santorini to Chania, Crete, where we did a bike tour with Abraham, we both enjoyed this, cycling through villages and roads to get to the beach. It was a Sunday so the roads were not too busy and the cycle route was fine for me who is not an expert cyclist. We then stopped at the beach for a swim which was most enjoyable before cycling back to port.
Our second port was Santorini, where we did the Oia Village tour, with wine tasting and free time in Thira, we had an excellent guide who was very funny and informative. Oia was beautiful just like the pictures, blue domes and sugar cube buildings. The wine tasting was very enjoyable too. Thira was also beautiful and there were plenty of shops and bars. The only downside was we stopped in a bar overlooking the bay and did not ask the drinks prices, I asked for 2 Mythos beers and was told they do not do this but there own Santorini Beer, I said we would have 2 of those and when we paid it cost us 28 Euros, £14 a pint, which was ridiculously expensive, we may have been seen off and it spoilt a beautiful place but we take the blame for not checking first. In the menu it did have a 14 Euro beer which is obviously what we had so beware.
Our third port was Marmaris, which we have been too before, we did another cycle ride to Icemeler with our guide Abraham, this was by far the best ride and we thoroughly enjoyed it here. Again a beach stop, lovely long swim and then back to the boat, where we had lunch and got off again to go the Bazaar, you are bothered to go into shops there but if you have been to Turkey this is expected, we did not feel bothered in any way as we are used to Turkey. Once you go into a shop you are left alone to browse. There are great bargains to have. We then completed our tour by visiting Castle Bar which we have been to before, we sat at the top verandah overlooking Marmaris and this was wonderful, we had bottles of Efes beer, nuts and water and it came to 11 Euros, quite a difference to Santorini. We forgot how much we loved Turkey.
Our next port was Syros where we did our own thing and this was a gem, we walked right up to the Orthodox church at the top, it did not take long and the views were well worth it. We really loved it here, so pretty and very Greek. We did a bit of shopping and got loads of pretty photos. Syros was a relaxing place, loved it.
Our last stop was Zante, we got straight off the boat via tender, headed for the taxi and went to the beach, this was beautiful, very very hot and over the flight path. We met lovely people on the beach, not from the cruise and had an enjoyable chat, sunbathe and swim. We got a taxi back which we shared with another cruise couple and got on the little tourist train around Zante harbour, then did a bit of shopping before going back on board.
This completed our cruise, the Dream is older and not as big as Discovery but we still had an amazing time. The Gala Captain's night was really good, having drinks and canapés in the show lounge and meeting the Captain and his crew. The Crew show was also very enjoyable. In all we had a fabulous time, which leads me to the fellow passengers on this cruise, every single person, we spoke to, spent time with, passed by was very friendly, the passengers and atmosphere of this Thomson cruise was brilliant, we found our fellow, Irish, Scottish, Welsh, Northerners, Southerners all the same, really friendly and we never had a single issue with queueing or rudeness from anyone, we both agree we would only do a cruise where English is the first language and probably would stick with Thomson to do any future cruise. Read Less