11 Montego Bay First-Time Cruisers Cruise Reviews

We chose Thomson's as we thought as first timers we could rely on them to meet our expectations and the Caribbean Mayan Treasures cruise sounded interesting and we should have good weather. Our journey from the airport in Montego ... Read More
We chose Thomson's as we thought as first timers we could rely on them to meet our expectations and the Caribbean Mayan Treasures cruise sounded interesting and we should have good weather. Our journey from the airport in Montego Bay to the embarkation point was quick and embarkation was fairly painless. We had pre-booked cabin 7034 and found this to be quite spacious, spotlessly clean and ample storage. Our steward Renaldo was superb, ensuring we had everything we needed and always had a smile. The only criticism was the window which was dirty on the outside spoiling the views and the frame was quite rusty as were many of the window frames on the ship. There were plenty of activities during the day and we found the evening entertainment very good particularly the resident show team who were all very talented. Service at the bars was good, we had chosen the drinks package which we thought was good value. The self service dining areas were a bit like a canteen and not to our liking for an evening meal, however we enjoyed the Orion restaurant on deck 4 where we ate every night after the first day. Our waiter Clodabaido was friendly and attentive and we felt he did a fantastic job. We only used the swimming pools once as they were quite small and it was rare to be able to get a sunbed near them as people must have reserved them very early in the morning. Overall there was a shortage of sunbeds on the ship. The shore excursions we had pre-booked were good particularly the Roatan Western tour which we thoroughly enjoyed. It was disappointing that our stop Costa Mayo was not possible due to the weather, but Thomson's did refund our booked excursion cost promptly. Disembarkation was OK but having to hand over our cases the night before departure and check out of the cabin by 8.00am was not ideal. Overall we enjoyed our cruise Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We boarded the ship to receive a letter in the cabin advising of Noro Virus. Please note that if one of your party is ill, both must remain in the cabin for 24 hours. We have therefore paid to look at Mexico through a cabin porthole ... Read More
We boarded the ship to receive a letter in the cabin advising of Noro Virus. Please note that if one of your party is ill, both must remain in the cabin for 24 hours. We have therefore paid to look at Mexico through a cabin porthole window. This ship has a problem which Thomson seem to be ignoring and you only get told about once you are on-board. Meals are served to you like school dinners so everything was very Hi De Hi. This is an attempt to cut down of contaminating further travellers. Once on-board you must pay extra for some restaurants with a 10% discount if you eat in any three times. Some unpublished small print is that you must fill in a form to get the discount, you therefore end up paying the full amount and when you complain Thomson simply say thanks for bringing this to our attention. Generally the food is ok in the restaurants you pay in but disappointing in the larger canteen type buffets. Having paid for the drinks package it is very disappointing to have to pay for bottled water in the room, however free if you are poorly...every cloud. Customer care is being ignored so I would strongly suggest taking your business elsewhere. On land we heard the ship described as a prison, how true. Did one trip in Cuba and the Thomson rep lost 5 members of the party and just carried on, they were less than happy when the got hold of him after getting their own taxi to complete the tour. Havana is an amazing place, just don't go with Thomson. Getting on and off the ship is easy and so little red tape made the customs such a quick process. Generally the service and team are very friendly and helpful. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
Having read some previous reviews, our expectations were not too high. We chose the cruise because of the itinerary. Have to say, there was very little to find fault with. We had had a week in a hotel in Jamaica first, were picked up ... Read More
Having read some previous reviews, our expectations were not too high. We chose the cruise because of the itinerary. Have to say, there was very little to find fault with. We had had a week in a hotel in Jamaica first, were picked up from the hotel and taken to the ship at 11.30 a.m. We were shown to our cabin immediately, with our luggage being delivered a short time afterwards. We have cruised with all the major lines and found the cabin bigger than many we have had. Yes, the bath is rather small and some of the fittings a bit tired but all was very clean. There was hand wash and shower gel provided in units on the wall. We loved the décor of the ship, polished brass, beautiful crystal lights, wood panels etc. It would have been nice to see some flower arrangements around and didn't think much of the art work but a minor point. Even on sea days, we always found somewhere to sit. Yes, some of the deck chairs were stained but we saw them being scrubbed down on more than one occasion. The food was excellent in the buffet and Orion Restaurant. We didn't feel it necessary to pay the extra for the speciality restaurants or on the main menu. There was enough choice without. Perhaps more veg could have been served and different styles of potato. We enjoyed all the entertainment, good choice all round the bars. Coffee was excellent in the Coffee Port, worth paying for if you like strong coffee. We went to 3 excellent talks by John Kelly, retired Governor of the Turks & Caicos. Unfortunately, the weather was a bit mixed, never been so wet as we were in Havana and we were not able to get into Grand Cayman because it was too windy for the tender. However, the day we had instead in Falmouth Jamaica was terrific. Interesting town, we felt very safe wandering round so it worked out well. We were on open seating, shared a table each night, each time with interesting people. The only problem that we had was with the lifts. You usually had to wait ages, a couple of days one or other would be out of service. We did try to walk up and down as much as possible, but you don't always want to. Where Thomson really scores over all the It other companies we have been with is that they let you stay on the ship until it is time to leave for the airport - in our case 2.45 p.m. Most take you to the airport at 9 a.m so you end up sitting for hours with nothing to do. Our luggage was picked up from outside our cabin and the next time we saw it was at Manchester Airport. Booking it all as part of a package, travel, hotel, cruise, transfers etc. make it one of the easiest and least stressful of all the trips we have done. Travelled in Premium Club on the Dreamliner - terrific. Virtually no jetlag, maybe due to the enhanced air system. Will certainly do another Thomson cruise. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
We are first time cruisers so read with appropriate caution. I thought this was a great way to see Cuba. We sailed on January 1st. from Montego Bay with a "People to People" educational program. The ship and food were deemed ... Read More
We are first time cruisers so read with appropriate caution. I thought this was a great way to see Cuba. We sailed on January 1st. from Montego Bay with a "People to People" educational program. The ship and food were deemed "below expectations" by the experienced cruise passengers we sailed with but both were perfectly adequate in our opinion. You take this cruise for the destination, not the ship. The crew was above all earnest, but overworked. I'm not sure the ship is staffed well enough when the vessel is full. There were concerns with elevators that frequently did not work and, "ahem" the toilets of questionable quality. The ship is on the smaller side so meeting people was quite easy, especially given that most on board were there for their first Cuba experience. I thought that the entertainment on board was great. It was not "polished" but the entertainers were clearly energetic and invested in putting on a good show. As others have mentioned the cruise director "Danny" was great and made sure that everyone was having a good time! What I most loved about this cruise was the port of calls and the educational sessions offered by the two University of Havana professors who were on board with us. They gave a fascinating overview of the history, politics, culture, and flora/fauna of this great land. I felt sorry for the cruise guests who were not "required" to attend these sessions as they were quite informative. You ideally go on this cruise to learn and there were many opportunities to do so. Shore Excursions: Santiago de Cuba - our first shore excursion offered a decidedly pro-Castro view of Cuban history, an exposure to Santeria dancing, and unfortunately not lunch. Eat a good breakfast before this one! There is, however, a stop for coffee and beer at a local gallery that had exquisite ceramics for sale at very reasonable prices in the gift shop. Havana - the reason that most of us took this cruise. Havana is amazing but the quality of the shore excursions was, at best, uneven. I might skip them entirely. The ship docks in Old Havana and there are great squares and historical buildings that can likely be experienced better with a good guidebook. Your ship will stay here for one full and one partial day. I would spend the first day exploring Old Havana and having dinner in one of the many Paladares, or private restaurants. Hemingway had many talents, but the bars he frequented has only one - ripping off tourists with substandard Mojitos. Skip these. For the second day take a taxi to the National Museum of Fine Arts for their spectacular modern collection. Have lunch at "Habana 61" and still have time for the Museum of the Revolution and a leisurely walk back to the ship. The formal excursion would make you choose between these two museums but this is not at all necessary. Maria la Gorda - We almost skipped this excursion as those who boarded the ship before us proclaimed the nature preserve as a total bust and because we are not beach/hot weather people. This stop turned out to be one of the most fun. First of all, tenders run between the cruise ship and the beach continually so you can spend as much time or as little as you would like. I would suggest the first non-tour tender. Once you exit on the pier move as far to the right as you can as this is where there are beach umbrellas and a Cuban BBQ sponsored by your ship. You may purchase drink/food coupons in advance but these are not required. For a short queue you can simply sign purchases to your cabin account. This made for a most relaxing day and a great counterpoint to the urban Havana. Cienfuegos - the most beautiful port and excursion of them all. Known as the "Pearl of the South" from colonial era the architecture was well preserved and the most common tourist sections were closed to vehicular traffic. Your first stop will be in the main square to see the Teatro Tomas Terry theater and the gorgeous Palacio Ferrer. Save your money from the street vendors in this area because for us the next two stops were at artist collectives where there was an abundant amount of original art for sale and the opportunity to meet the artists. Definitely a highlight of the trip! This excursion ends at Punta Gorda, where the wealthy of the area once congregated, and Palicio de Valle, a former Batista casino, turned into a restaurant with beautiful views of the bay. I'm not sure we would take a cruise with this company again for a non-Cuban destination. Having said that, our costs were considerably less than competitive offerings and we had a great time overall. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
6 friends went on Dream as we loved the itinerary to Cuba! We thoroughly enjoyed the cruise we all went on the Dream last April and loved the improvements, crew were brilliant and always smiling, we loved the new subbed area and well ... Read More
6 friends went on Dream as we loved the itinerary to Cuba! We thoroughly enjoyed the cruise we all went on the Dream last April and loved the improvements, crew were brilliant and always smiling, we loved the new subbed area and well done to Thomson crew for removing towels on longer than 45 mins, we never had a problem with beds, but we were always up later so by lunch time, loads of free beds! A nice touch thomson recognised us as returning customers and gave us 2 for 1 meal in lovely Asian restaurant. Entertainment was best ever dancing and singing was on a par with west end London! Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
We travelled to Mo'Bay on the Dreamliner from Gatwick Airport. After a lot of fluffing with the immigration cards the transfer to the ship was quick and getting boarding cards etc for the ship was easy too. A couple of members of the ... Read More
We travelled to Mo'Bay on the Dreamliner from Gatwick Airport. After a lot of fluffing with the immigration cards the transfer to the ship was quick and getting boarding cards etc for the ship was easy too. A couple of members of the Thomson Team (well, they were in uniform) were quite clearly in a relationship and behaving in an amorous way while working we didn't think was appropriate! Anyway, we went off to find out room (on Deck 5) which was clean & serviceable. The Bunk beds were already made up for our children & our Cabin Steward Ariana was lovely. Muster drill takes place at 7pm local time (which by this point is 1am UK) so our children were already deliriously exhausted. We didn't attend the 'Sail-away' Party as it didn't start until 10pm - too late for us (with the long day of travelling and the time difference). We retired to our cabin shortly after the Muster Drill. The next day was our youngest's birthday & we thank Ariana for his assistance in styling her bed & putting up with birthday balloons in the cabin while he did his job. This was a sea day so we set about familiarising ourselves with the ship. The Itinerary was our primary reason for booking this particular cruise (Cuban Fusion) visiting Mexico, Cuba & Grand Cayman. We did book an excursion to Stingray City in GC. Although the representative on the ship twice got the different excursions wrong so we ended up getting an earlier tender to shore, then had to wait 45 mins in the port in the heat! That aside the excursion was lovely, different - although expensive, thoroughly recommend it! We did enjoy just wondering around Cozumel, although there is little there we were originally due to dock at Playa De Carmen but this was changed (Thomson finally got around to telling us this 6 weeks after we discovered the change ourselves!!) Our children did attend kids club some times, but it is with the children that we felt the ship was lacking. Due to ratios of under 8's on busy days our children had to attend separate clubs, so as one would leave the kids club another would go (our children are 5 & 11) - not exactly what we had expected! The time of the sessions varied, but generally it was Breakfast Club 9-11am (apparently they would collect your children from the cabin), 2-4pm then again in the evening but not until 8-10pm. The kids club room was spacious and brightly decorated. But they were very much confined to the room which was on deck 8 at the rear of the ship. There was no 'Disco' for them, although they did once do a PJ Movie evening. I didn't see the kids club staff outside of the club (apart from when they were eating) there was no engaging with the children. getting the excited about events (what events?!) The kids club sessions didn't correlate with the shows on the ship (they didn't start until gone 9pm) which anyone holidaying with young children didn't stand a chance of seeing a show unless its with a cranky child wriggling on their laps. They did enjoy a trip to the bridge when we were in port in Havana. No evening excursions for us in Havana either - nothing was child friendly. We chose to get a hop on hop off bus for $5 Cuban each which took us all around the city (about 3 hours) The 'children's pool' at the Lido pool on Deck 9 at the rear of the ship was nothing more than a glorified foot wash (about 6 inches deep). This area itself was lacking in atmosphere - no quiz, games, music - nothing. A singer on the mezzanine at around 3pm in the afternoon was as good as it got. The Pool on Deck 11 (according to Thomsons own paperwork) is stipulated as a Adults Only pool, yet it is here that all the poolside daytime entertainment takes place - AND there were children in the pool, naturally as this is where the atmosphere is! We much preferred our days up here with our children (& yes, they used the pool). I understand the shows are the Dream are to rival those of the West End, but it's very unfortunate that when holidaying with children 9/9.30pm is too late - for us anyway, our children don't lie in with the average day starting at 6/6.30am keeping them up late just results in cranky children. It's a shame there wasn't an earlier showing that perhaps the children could have enjoyed with us. As a result we didn't see ANY evening shows onboard, having to retire to our cabin to pop the children to bed. Although the Dream is advertised as a 'Family Friendly' ship which it is to a degree, the children's entertainment & facilities are lacking & seem very much like an after thought - doing 'just enough' to reel in the family customer. If we were a couple travelling without children, we wouldn't have worried about the time of the shows, how happy our children were entertained, but we were and we felt that there needs were only just met - which isn't enough when spending £6000 on a cruise/stay holiday - our expectation was higher. All in all, thanks primarily to the Itinerary, we enjoyed the cruise. Will we cruise again? Yes. Will we cruise again with Thomson? No. We'll be choosing a larger ship on a cruise line that knows how to look after children well. Happy Children = Happy Parents = Re-booking Parents! Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
We couldn't help but be a little concerned when reading some of the reviews but were encouraged by others, so we really didn't know what to expect. Fantastic Dreamliner flight from Manchester. Processing was a bit slow at the ... Read More
We couldn't help but be a little concerned when reading some of the reviews but were encouraged by others, so we really didn't know what to expect. Fantastic Dreamliner flight from Manchester. Processing was a bit slow at the airport and on arrival at the port but pleasantly surprised on boarding to be greeted by smiling and welcoming staff and escorted to quite a spacious inside cabin, where our suitcases awaited us. Staff were exceptional throughout - very polite and very attentive. Food was great and plentiful with lots of choice - much better than we expected. We hadn't booked a drinks package and drinks from the bar were reasonably priced so for us it was a much better and cheaper option to just use the cruise card and settle up at the end. Nobody seemed to suffer any ill-effects due to hygiene issues - plenty of points around the ship to sanitise hands. Inside Cabin on Deck 7 was fairly basic but had everything we needed. Facilities on board the ship were generally good. There were always plenty of options when it came to entertainment both day and night and again we were surprised at the quality with both the show team and the various singing artistes providing a good standard. No shortage of sunbeds and plenty of options on where to sit. Sea days were inevitably a bit busier with nobody out on shore excursions but little in the way of selfish sunbed hogging and the staff were quick to issue reminders if you were away from sunbeds for more than 45 minutes. We were able to call at all scheduled ports with the exception of Falmouth, where it proved too windy to get into port. We had an extra day in Montego Bay instead. Shore excursions were fairly expensive, but in every port there was a decent opportunity to take a stroll and do a bit of shopping in or near the port terminal. Cozumel and Costa Maya were both good, but we were particularly taken by Roatan (Honduras) where there is a great beach in easy walking distance of the port (Mahogany Bay). We were blessed with fine sunny weather for all but the last day and thoroughly enjoyed our first cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
This was our first cruise as a family with two young adults! Glad to see some more positive reviews of the Thomson Dream. The Dreamliner Premium class flight from Birmingham was excellent and worth the extra money for such a special ... Read More
This was our first cruise as a family with two young adults! Glad to see some more positive reviews of the Thomson Dream. The Dreamliner Premium class flight from Birmingham was excellent and worth the extra money for such a special holiday! Remember to complete all of the immigration form and the health questionnaire on the plane! The cabin was larger than expected and cleaned to a very high standard thanks to Budiarto and Joko. The restaurants were all excellent in spite of the extra sanitation required due to Norovirus. The speciality restaurant packages are worthwhile for the quality of food and the service. The entertainment is varied enough for different age ranges and the bar staff are exceptional, especially Jeffrey, Anthony, Rony, Theresa and Mimi. The excursions, which were pre-booked in the UK, were generally good with knowledgeable guides. The procedures Thomson uses to organise embarkation off the ship need to be reviewed whilst accepting the need for safety. If you turn up early for your trip don't expect to be on the first bus or get the best seats! Be brave and look for a registered local tour guide for many of the excursions! Communication from the Captain and Cruise Director is OK, however, more local port information from Destination Services would be useful. Highlights on the ship were the Delo Bar, Explorer's Lounge and Tides Bar, and for excursions, Mahogany Bay, Panama,Canal, Costa Rica, rafting on the Martha Brae and the Mayan Ruins. The weather was perfect and whilst there was some 'motion on the ocean' the Thomson Dream does offer the chance to 'Live the Dream'! Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
My wife and I did our first cruise. We wanted to see Mayan temples so the Mayan treasures itinery seemed ideal. We did not know what to expect. On the plus side; The cabin was more spacious than we expected and it was very well cleaned and ... Read More
My wife and I did our first cruise. We wanted to see Mayan temples so the Mayan treasures itinery seemed ideal. We did not know what to expect. On the plus side; The cabin was more spacious than we expected and it was very well cleaned and maintained by our cabin steward. The food on board was excellent. I have a few food intolerances so the buffet restaurant (the Lido) was very good - plenty of choice of foods and all labelled if gluten free so choosing was easy. Also had a good variety from day to day and it was well cooked and generally good. the available excursions were also very good in range, and the ones we actually did were very good too. The crew are mainly Phillipino and were friendly, polite and attentive. cant fault them at all. The ship was in good order and was spotless throughout. The drinks available on board were charged at approximately UK prices and were all familiar to us (strongbox, coke, etc....). It was also very nice to have access to PG tips in the buffet restaurant - so a good cup of tea was always available. The logistics of cases and booking in were also very efficient. if we have one criticism it was the entertainment. The day time stuff was very Butlinesque. table tennis, quizzes, bingo etc... The evening entertainment relied exclusively of a troup of singers and dancers. each night had a singing and dancing show of about an hours duration (two performances) but that was it. there was no variety at all (other than different songs). There was a UK comic who did one show - and he was OK but very much of the Northern music hall variety, but apart from that nothing else. It would have been nice to have had some variety as it wore a bit thin towards the end. The entertainment director also got on our wick - he was a bit portly to be performing and had the most irritating catchphrase ("Ciau for now") which we kept hearing - although I gather he has now left the boat. So in summary, a good trip and we would recommend it with the caveat that the entertainment was not as varied as we would have liked. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
This was our first cruise. The ship was spotlessly clean all the time, the staff were amazing, really friendly, hardworking and keen to ensure we were enjoying ourselves. There were numerous activities to do on board, We went to a language ... Read More
This was our first cruise. The ship was spotlessly clean all the time, the staff were amazing, really friendly, hardworking and keen to ensure we were enjoying ourselves. There were numerous activities to do on board, We went to a language class, choir class, wine tasting, backstage theatre tour, cheese and wine tasting, Q&A with the captain on days we were at sea and everything was excellent. You cannot get bored there is so much to do on the ship. We would've liked to do the bridge tour but this was organised last minute and we already had something else planned. We were spoilt for choice with the wide variety of restaurants and choices in each one. I was pleased to see they catered for GLUTEN FREE and SUGAR FREE guests and this was a lovely and appreciated bonus. We didn't go to the Captains night as we decided we wanted a casual holiday and didn't want to take a tuxedo/cocktail dress just for one night, but many people did. It was a pleasant surprise then that the Captain came and chatted to us at our table the next day. In fact he quite often walked around chatting to passengers at different times of the day. All the staff were welcoming. I think our cabin must have got cleaned about 3 or 4 times a day, it was to such a high standard. The theatre on board was excellent and it was great they put on a show twice each night. We mostly ate in the buffet restaurants which was very relaxing but sometimes ate in the waiter service restaurant which was excellent and there is the choice to sit on your own or share with the other guests, we really enjoyed the latter and hearing other travellers tips and hints on cruising. Most were in agreement that this was the best ship they had been on. In the ports of Belize, Roatan, Costa May and Cozumel as well as returning to Jamaica (Montego Bay) we had excursions booked on board. They were all excellent and good value for money. They also left us with time to explore the port which was nice. They were relaxed and the local guides were excellent. Overall we had an excellent holiday and would highly recommend this cruise. We only had one problem the whole time: we had a problem with a dolphin excursion in Roatan (separate review written) which was awful and not as described and after several discussions with 'Destination services' my money was refunded and they said they would correct their itinerary but it did spoil part of our holiday. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
I have not long returned from the Thomson dream cruise that left from Montego Bay to Mexico, Havana and the Cayman Islands. I have never been on a cruise before and this one was in fact my wifes and my honeymoon. My wife had been on a ... Read More
I have not long returned from the Thomson dream cruise that left from Montego Bay to Mexico, Havana and the Cayman Islands. I have never been on a cruise before and this one was in fact my wifes and my honeymoon. My wife had been on a Royal Caribbean cruise previously. I have seen a number of reviews that are critical about the age of the ship however I was totally impressed from the moment I boarded. Okay the pools are small but the deck area was lovely and I particularly loved the fact that if you left your sun lounger for any length, the stewards would remove your towels. There was plenty of time to go for food but it meant that people didnt abuse the loungers. The people on the ship seemed to come from all walks of life and everybody seemed to get on and were so friendly. The bar staff on the deck area were very attentive and all seemed to be happy and smiling. The breakfasts were lovely and the lunches and dinners were really varied and top notch. There wasa a hot dog and burger bar on the decks if you didnt want the restaurant foods. We did eat in the A la Carte restaurant on two occasions and again the food was superb and the waiters great fun. We tended to use the Medusa lounge during the evening. The entertainment staff were superb and made sure that they involved everybody in the various quizzes etc. A great big thanks to Rico, Joseph, Jovet and Jeff who served in the Medusa lounge bar. Fantastic entertainment and service. As I mentioned my wife has been on the Royal Caribbean before and she said she preferred the Thomson Cruise. We took out the drinks package and never felt pressured to tip. I loved the ports (Particularly Havana) and would thoroughly recommend this cruise. I look forward to my next one. Read Less
Sail Date February 2015

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