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43 Montego Bay to Panama Canal & Central America Cruise Reviews

This wasn't my choice of holiday normally but I replaced someone who couldn't go. Overall it was a lovely holiday on a clean and comfortable ship but it was in need of a spruce up in placed particularly the glass house/indoor ... Read More
This wasn't my choice of holiday normally but I replaced someone who couldn't go. Overall it was a lovely holiday on a clean and comfortable ship but it was in need of a spruce up in placed particularly the glass house/indoor pool. Food was good with a variety of choice. Entertainment was good if not a but samey after a few nights shows were excellent with a talented bunch of people. Only problem was times of shows and dining if you wanted early show you had to eat early as restaurants closed when show ended as late night buffet was average. Staff were mostly pleasant and helpful but service did alter depending on where you sat in restaurant. Nice to return to cabin with towel animal, chocs and next day info. Excusions had a good choice and were well organised. Main issues were the quality of drinks. Cocktails were weak and soft drinks were of poor quality which spoils all the drinks which meant a lot got left which were a waste Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
It was the first that I tried an all inclusive cruise and I was pleasantly surprised. I have cruised with several cruise lines and I loved the entertainment The crew did a fantastic job with songs from Broadway shows and they were all ... Read More
It was the first that I tried an all inclusive cruise and I was pleasantly surprised. I have cruised with several cruise lines and I loved the entertainment The crew did a fantastic job with songs from Broadway shows and they were all so enthusiastic My friends had never cruised before and they enjoyed their week away from Arctic weather so much that they can't wait to go on another cruise The specialty coffees were delicious and the waitress was so kind to prepare them the way we wanted. We had offers of alcoholic drinks in the Broadway theatre while we enjoyed the music and that was a welcome plus The Snack SHACK served delicious fish and chips and Phillip was around serving the beer and soft drinks with his Beep Beep cheery voice sharing the LOVE There was only 1 screening daily of movies which did not fit my schedule The ports were great and we had ample time to discover what they had to offer the tourists The embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly I liked the idea of storing our luggage in the Venue room while we went to the port to look around before boarding our bus to transfer to the airport The tables around the pool were being used by smokers so avoid that if someone is sensitive to the smell of tobacco There was a variety in the Islands Restaurant and the Chef tried to make a different theme every night. All in all I would highly recommend MARELLA 2 discovery Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
This was our 10th cruise with Marella (Thomson) and we have also cruised with NCL and Royal Caribbean. We really enjoyed our cruise on Discovery over Christmas 2017 and I suppose we were expecting this cruise to be as enjoyable. The ... Read More
This was our 10th cruise with Marella (Thomson) and we have also cruised with NCL and Royal Caribbean. We really enjoyed our cruise on Discovery over Christmas 2017 and I suppose we were expecting this cruise to be as enjoyable. The itinerary was Panama Canal and Cuban Fusion. The change to the port time in Cuba added effectively another day at sea so 5 days in total. The activities on offer were very poor, "medical"/ beauty seminars to sell things mainly. I did enjoy the two Ceilidh dance classes, they were fun. There is nowhere on ship to quietly read, Spirit had a rather nice reading room. Part of the problem was fellow passengers being rather loud with no regard for others so we often retreated to our cabin. The cabin 8076 was fine, spacious, quiet but the toilet stopped flushing every 3 or 4 days. Days in Jamaica were a trial. Food in the buffet was more awful than usual and the snack shack and 47 were not open for lunch. 2 of the main lifts were out of action for 13 days and it was a trial on changeover day to get anywhere with the remaining lifts being crowded with departing and incoming passengers and their luggage. There was also limited evening entertainment, no show or quiz, in fact evening quizes were every other night rather than every night and were interspersed with "Human Jukebox" which was lame. The Broadway Lounge shows were generally good apart from the guest comedian in the first week who would have been booed off stage at any Working Men's Club and the show with "virtual" Anton de Bec which is just a film. I enjoyed the actor hosts games and play, We normally enjoy the buffet but not on this ship, food was cold, tough, unappetising and it was a trial to get a table. We had debated upgrading to Premium drinks but decided against it. If you like a buffet be aware that you can't get Premium drinks there, you would have to get them from a bar and bring them in with you.Same if you want a G&T, Prosecco etc on the All- inclusive. There is no waiter service for drinks in this buffet, there is just a drinks station with John Smiths, Strongbow, Fosters and red and white wine on tap. My Dad drinks John Smith's all the time but he couldn't drink this, he said it was awful. I feel this is a downmarket move by Marella, saving them money on both drinks and waiters. We ate mainly at 47, had great fish and chips at the Snack Shack and enjoyed the Glasshouse, the trio of Tiramisu's at Gallery 47 and one dinner at Surf and Turf. Food outside of the buffet was acceptable, nothing was delectable but we could always find something to eat. Excursions: The flavours of Colombia excursion in Santa Marta was good but there was far too much food. I believe it was authentic for the area but it wasn't really very nice. Cartagena we saw with Dora the Explorer private group trip. Panama tour by ferry was awful. Colon is decrepit, dirty and unsafe. We went by bus across the isthmus to Panama City where we boarded a ferry. the seats were just plastic or metal folding chairs and it was really crowded. Horrible sugary soft drinks included with the poor lunch of 4 tiny bits of chicken, cold pasta and veg and a piece of cake. We went through 3 locks and eventually disembarked at Gatun Lake for the bus back. It was a long, boring and uncomfortable day that was never worth £108. The only saving grace of Colon as a port is that there is a big supermarket very close to the dock where we were able to get drinks and snacks (they took dollars and gave change in dollars too) Costa Rica we did the Jaguar rescue Centre and Boat ride. Be aware that this is a 7 hour trip with no lunch included and nowhere to buy lunch. I can't understand the mentality of Marella contracting with an agency for a tour that doesn't make any provision for lunch. We had snacks and drinks we bought in Panama and we went to the snack Shack the day before the trip and took some sandwiches. There are notices all the time in the buffet & cruise news warning that it is illegal in some places to carry food off the ship and that you can be fined. We didn't take any fruit and the sandwiches were in sealed packets so we took the chance. The only place there could have been a problem was Cozumel in Mexico where all bags were searched on disembarkation. Grand Cayman we had to anchor away from the main town as it was too windy for the tenders. We got shared taxis into town but there were 6 cruise ships that day, there must have been 10,000 people on the streets and the queues to get the tender back to some of the ships were enormous and taking up all the pavement. Cuba was the best stop. I have been before but it was better than I remembered. We did a private tour with Fertours. 3 hours tour by convertible classic car to see Revolution and other squares, the neighbourhoods, the forts, Malecon and the army museum and a park. We went back to the ship for dinner then met our guide with driver and a hard-top classic car. We went to the National hotel and had a tour round and a cocktail on the terrace, this was the highlight of my holiday the hotel has so much history and atmosphere. We then went to the 9pm cannon shot ceremony which was much better than it sounds, the fort is amazing and the soldiers are dressed in old-time uniforms. The next day we had a 2 hr waking tour of Havana with our guide which was really nice. We saw 3 or 4 squares, Hemingway places, the Camera Obscura, churches, sculptures and learned a lot about life in Cuba and the difficulties they had when the Soviet Union collapsed. Havana is a lovely city, Highly recommended Cozumel: couldn't berth where supposed to because of the wind. Our tour to Tulum and Xel-Ha was cancelled as no ferries were running. It was Sunday so most of the shops were closed even at the cruise port because of course we weren't supposed to be docked in that place. Too windy to go to the beach so had a taxi tour round town and to nearby Mayan ruins. Cozumel is perhaps not an ideal port of call especially on a Sunday. Somewhere on the mainland would give more opportunities on shore. Overall the cruise was ok, no major disasters fortunately but I wouldn't wholeheartedly recommend this itinerary. Regarding the ship there were enough niggles to make us question the direction Marella is going (downmarket it seems) and to make us disinclined to travel with them again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
It was my 60th birthday and I bought packages for me and my three adult children. We are Canadian. I saved for months for this trip. It fell short by a long shot. In no specific order: First, the Santa Marta destination was cancelled ... Read More
It was my 60th birthday and I bought packages for me and my three adult children. We are Canadian. I saved for months for this trip. It fell short by a long shot. In no specific order: First, the Santa Marta destination was cancelled without explanation. This is an historic site in Colombia that we anticipated for months. We were given a paltry 40 british pounds credit per person and instead were offered an extra day in Jamaica. As Canadians, we have already seen all that can be seen in Jamaica over the years. This meant essentially we were in Montego Bay for about 3 of the 8 days. Second - the entire Marella entertainment was British based, the assumption being that only Brits were on the cruise. We were only asked our nationality from off-cruise excursion people. All trivia and other fun activities on board were exclusive to Brits: you needed to know their tv shows, their culture, etc. to participate in any activities. We were clearly invisible and insignificant to this cruise line. Third - excursion costs were too much! I can compare excursion rates at Montego Bay with those offered by MSC Divina which we cruised on last year. Way too much. Fourth - the casino slots were a joke - I've never experienced such lack of even tiny wins. Fifth - several times I had to change cutlery at the ship buffets due to filth and crusted food. We were encouraged not to use straws but how else to escape the lipstick stains of dirty glasses. Sixth - the food was bland, and generic. Some Brit curries - also bland and few vegetarian options. I appreciated the attentiveness to germ control. Too bad the Brits continue to cough and sneeze everywhere and perhaps use their hands to then spread germs around. Finally this past Tuesday leaving the ship (April 3), we were warehoused in this hideous hotbox at Montego Bay consisting of hundreds of tourists waiting for one bus at a time. The apology is not sufficient, Marella. We were treated like cattle. I did not appreciate that Brits were "first on the buses" while Canadians were told to wait, even though our departures were of similar times. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
chose this back to back cruise because of ports visited. Jamaica, belize, Honduras, quatamala,cuba.mexico. we were in an outside cabin on deck 3. the cabin was fine plenty of drawers and space. dining was good throughout the ship, with ... Read More
chose this back to back cruise because of ports visited. Jamaica, belize, Honduras, quatamala,cuba.mexico. we were in an outside cabin on deck 3. the cabin was fine plenty of drawers and space. dining was good throughout the ship, with good entertainment team and bar service. the ship was all inclusive for drinks [ except premier and certain cocktails ] very good service with attentive staff and plenty of seats. service by all staff in bars entertainment teams, officers, cabin stewards. everybody and a very good captain. I have cruised on quite a few cruises and the staff on discovery 2 were the best I have come across. no issues at all. the ports were typical for central America with a big difference in the standard of living. cuba was a great place to visit, we stayed overnight. on to cozumal, an Island off mexico. to get to the mainland you catch a ferry, but we were informed earlier in the week that all ship excursions to the mainland were cancelled [this was in line with other cruise companies as there had been a bombing onboard one of the ferries] which was disappointing but understanding given the circumstances. I spoke with many other passengers during the cruise and they agreed with myself and my wife, that the ship was very good after reading some previous reviews.and will definitely use again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
Having traveled on the discovery 1 last year I was looking forward to this trip, although the ship is identical the standards are very different, the staff working on the acomadation where fantastic and every time you left the cabin they ... Read More
Having traveled on the discovery 1 last year I was looking forward to this trip, although the ship is identical the standards are very different, the staff working on the acomadation where fantastic and every time you left the cabin they where in there working, it was spotless on each occasion Something had gone seriously wrong with the drinks on this trip as they where nowhere near as good as the 1, they just seems to be thrown together, there seemed far less bar staff on this trip, not that I drank a lot, we didn't upgrade to the premium drinks as most of the drinks on the standard menu seemed ok, and if you wanted anything off the premium list you could pay a supliment of around £2.50 which was more expensive than the discovery 1 Also for the food in the 47 & gallery 47 was ok tho a tad repedative I do understand keeping 2k people happy is a monumental task, ok as for the Asiain and Steak restaurants tui seem to have bumped up the price form what I paid in the summer the Asian (Kora-La) was £24 each and the surf and turf was £29 each perhaps the paint job in the name change cost them a few bob and they where trying to recoup the cost The entertainment was very good and the show team work very hard in delivering complex different shows each night As for the shore trips I felt like I was an audience member in a fourteen day infomercial you couldn't escape the continual sell, sell, sell, on every TV Chanel, they even put it on the jumbo screen round the pool area arghhhhhhhhhhh enough already Overall the holiday was good and this blip has not put me off sailing with tu-rella again Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
This was our first holiday without the kids (both started Uni) so we were looking forward to a relaxing time. We flew from Birmingham Premium Class, everything ran smoothly from checking in to the lounge, then the problems start... ... Read More
This was our first holiday without the kids (both started Uni) so we were looking forward to a relaxing time. We flew from Birmingham Premium Class, everything ran smoothly from checking in to the lounge, then the problems start... Premium Class is just a decent economy with minimal extra room and no real support for your legs when reclined if you wanted a sleep, also we sat to the rear of premium (by the toilet) and we had a set of two couples who thought it would be a good idea to stand around this area and act like they were down the pub having no regard for other passengers and the flight attendants seemed oblivious to it and in the end I had to speak to them which is quite embarrassing my advice is save your money go economy and spend what you save on either upgrading your room or drinks package. On arrival at Montego Bay it was crazy we had to wait in a hot non air conditioned corridor for over an hour which we thought was for customs but actually was the lack of coaches to take us to the ship. At this stage people around us were getting irate (complaining, swearing being quite aggressive to airport staff) and all was adding to the stress levels which probably could have been avoided with a little communication to let everyone know the process. The bus journey was fine and when we arrived at the terminal it was chaos again no structure and people pushing in and nobody taking control. We finally got our cards and went to our cabin (without any guidance). We decided to go for a junior suite and were quite happy, it was clean and had reasonable space and the balcony was a god send with the table, chairs and sunlounger although rust could be seen all outside but it was during our two weeks a sanctuary to get away from the foul language and selfish behavior of some other passengers especially around the buffet area and main pool. After arriving onboard we were told that our itinery had been changed, this led to us going to the Cayman Islands first and due to the weather our excursion being cancelled and also the same in Mexico the excursion being cancelled and finally in Cuba I had to ring around to our excursion operator to reschedule (I booked independently) then on our second week one stop in Columbia was cancelled all together, they did have an extra stop in Jamaica to compensate. I understand that the weather can not be guaranteed and it was most unfortunate that we had just one of those bad weeks but I still think if our schedule wasn't changed we would of potentially not missed out on at least one of the excursions. Overall on board I would suggest the vibe of the ship is like a 3 star Costa Brava All Inclusive Hotel so if that is not your thing (it isn't mine) you are not really going to enjoy or going to get value for money as I cannot believe that anyone who hasn't been on the beer all day can enjoy the food and entertainment provided. The flight home was better without any issues (except if you fly premium from Montego Bay you can't use the lounge unless you pay more!!!!! never know that). THE SHIP: Little tired in places I suggest a rushed refit (rust on paintwork virtually everywhere) but overall it is hard complain. CABIN: We had a Junior Suite and was so pleased we upgraded as when walking past others (Balcony / inside cabins) I don't think I would of lasted the two weeks onboard. The lounger on the balcony got plenty of use. DINING: Simply terrible, the buffet was like a war zone survival of the fittest, Main & Italian Restaurant poor service and the food had no taste and all the cuts of meat we the cheapest we tried each twice to give the benefit of the doubt but there was not doubt it was pretty much awful, the best free restaurant in the evening was the Glass House, this was because they did pizza and nobody can mess a pizza (saying that I probably won't have another this year after 7 you do get fed up. We ate twice at the Asian Restaurant, the food was good (not sure if that was because the other food onboard was so bad so our taste buds had been shot) service was poor unless you were in a big group or had a Birthday (Waiting on staff seemed more interested in singing "Happy Birthday" instead of looking after diners) numerous times I had an empty glass for over 5 minutes and I only got a refill after calling the waiter over. Drinks, we upgraded to the premium package, it was well worth it as the brands offered on the all inclusive were not what I would normally drink, also you have a 1.5ltr bottle of water delivered to your room every day so you don't have to drink the fountain stuff!!! plus you get coffee & tea from the coffee bar included, soft drinks like coke you can ask for a cans also asked for canned mixers with your spirits (normally an extra £1.00) instead of drinking the flat bottled coke / lemonade they serve (believe me it does make a difference). ENTERTAINMENT / ACTIVITIES: The shows in the main theatre were extremely poor they had lots of energy but no direction I am sure if they listened to the shows themselves they would be distraught on how bad they sounded. Each week they had a comedian which was really the only decent entertainment over the two weeks. Resident musicians were ok Activities - Don't bother!!! SERVICE: Our Cabin Boy Carlos was fantastic on the first two days he was for ever trying to please and I like my privacy and said to him that I know he was only trying to impress but I enjoy our space after that he respected that and was first class efficient and did what ever we asked and the room was always cleaned properly. Other staff were poor in the main not sure if they had not had the correct training or that they just could be bothered. Captain Chris and The Entertainment Directors daily announcements were mainly annoying (Captain was either Bobby Dazzler or Cracking sure he thought it was endearing but just got on your nerves after three days) The daily news was a joke also what a waste of paper never changed other than a few lines about the next port of call, one thing that did entertain us was they had one section about different craft beers they had changing every day as a special, every day we would check and day one Hobgobblin day two Hobgobblin yes you have it everyday. PORTS & EXCURSIONS: We had three excursions cancelled due to weather / not going to port of call, which is understandable but annoying as was down to the change of schedule possibly?? The shore excursions that we did manage to go on were mainly booked through the ship and I have to admit they were very good and we felt extremely good value for money and would recommend if anyone goes to Costa Rica to do the Zip Wire tour we did it in torrential rain but it was still amazing and the photo / video package they offer after is really fairly priced. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
The crew was very cooperative, humble, polite and made us feel like home. They accommodated special requested meals (WOW! The Indian meals were amazing!!!). In addition, everyone was very welcoming and treated us like their very own. ... Read More
The crew was very cooperative, humble, polite and made us feel like home. They accommodated special requested meals (WOW! The Indian meals were amazing!!!). In addition, everyone was very welcoming and treated us like their very own. Huge shoutout to the cabin and the restaurant crew for always looking after us, and treating us like special guests. The cabins were always spic and span, no matter when we entered the room and the Indian food was great as well! With regards to the on-board activities, the cruise offered a variety of entertainment from day time sporting events to night time live music and shows. The ports were absolutely stunning as well, from Costa Rica, to Colombia, all the destinations visited were ones to never forget. All in all, this was one of our most favourite vacations and is one to never forget. I would definitely recommend it to everyone !!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
First time on a cruse the Dream is not the biggest ship compared to some you see but it is mostly brits, the food is top notch propper bacon for breakfast all in all eating on the ship is better than I expected. the cabin was just big ... Read More
First time on a cruse the Dream is not the biggest ship compared to some you see but it is mostly brits, the food is top notch propper bacon for breakfast all in all eating on the ship is better than I expected. the cabin was just big enough for two it had a drinks bar which you have to pay for if you use it don't under stand that because if you go to the bar which there are loads of you can get any of the drinks and more that you have in your cabin, or cabin steward was Norman hello Norman. The captain is always walking around and is a very nice man, One tip if you put your towel on a sun bed then lets say you go for breakfast there is a chance it will not be there when you come back for some reason if someone wants the bed your towel is on all they have to do is tell one of the crew that towel has been there for a long time with no one on it and he will take it away and you get charged £10 if it happens go to reception you will find it there. We did the Panama canal trip what an experience don't want to tell you not to do it, you make your mind up the coach we had should not be called a coach as it was a reck the rep on it she had the microphone as load as she could and you could not understand her she repeted every thing until you ears were bleeding, When we got to the boat at last we set off to the first lock and tied up we had to wait for other boats to fill the lock it took about one hour, the food on the boat is pasta which is in the price of the trip which is £93 there is beer $2 a can, It took so long to get through the locks when we got to the bus time was getting on and the driver was flat out to get us back to the ship and as i said the bus was crap the rep started her chat again which only she knew what she was talking about, not worth the money. We went to Aruba great sunbathing on there beeches, did not feel safe when docked along the Columbian ports be alert if you go ashore, Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We like to get away during the first 2 weeks of December and what better way than a Thomson cruise. This was our 10th Thomson cruise but our first time on Thomson Dream where we were fortunate enough to have an outside cabin on deck 10. ... Read More
We like to get away during the first 2 weeks of December and what better way than a Thomson cruise. This was our 10th Thomson cruise but our first time on Thomson Dream where we were fortunate enough to have an outside cabin on deck 10. There is an obstructed view in some of the cabins on this deck but that didn't worry us at all. The cabin was excellent, plenty of space and room to store your belongings. It was kept immaculate by our cabin steward. The temperature control was good. It was also nice to have tea and coffee making facilities within the cabin. Be aware that the electricity is american voltage and so UK appliances may run slowly. (i.e. my hotbrush). There is liquid soap/shower gel provided so don't forget your favourite shampoo. We ate mainly in the Orion restaurant for breakfast and dinner as we like to be served at the table whilst on holiday. The food was excellent throughout. There was a good choice; it was hot, plentiful and very well presented. I would defy anyone to complain about 'the full English' every morning! The waiters and wine waiters were well trained and very efficient and friendly. We do miss some of the traditions that are gradually being trimmed back such as the 'Baked Alaska Parade' which was minus the baked alaska or even the plastic ones previously introduced on Destiny! However, that's nothing to complain about! Captain Richard Watkins could only be described as a true 'Diamond Geezer' and as down to earth and friendly as you could wish to find anywhere. He sounded just like Martin Kemp over the tannoy! The entertainment was as good as ever. We liked the ship's layout with all the entertainment being along just one deck - deck 8. There was a good choice of bars creating a range of atmospheres and the drinks were good. We prefer not to purchase the all inclusive package as for us we find it preferable to pay for what we have consumed at the end. Our itinerary was the Pride of Panama which took in the Panama Canal; Costa Rica, Grand Cayman, Falmouth and Montego Bay in Jamaica. Falmouth was preferable to Catagena,Columbia I believe. It was not very advisable to venture ashore on your own in both Colon, Panama or Porto Limon, Costa Rica. Both places had an unsafe feel about them. There was a varied choice of excursions in all of the ports of call. Unfortunately, our trip through the Panama Canal had one hold up after another which took the shine off the day as a whole but we were still glad that we did it. We did feel that the shoreside excursions in these South American countries let the side down somewhat but probably that is the nature of the area there and very difficult for the Thomson Destination Services Team to control. There is a good duty free shop on board. Thomson have stopped handing out deck plans when you arrive on-board. It's a shame that they don't inform you of this beforehand and maybe give you a link to print off your own via your on-line booking. It's OK when you have found your way around but would make your first hours on the ship more pleasant knowing where you are going. All in all the Thomson Dream is up there with the rest of the Thomson fleet. We love them all and are ardent Thomson cruisers. We know where we stand with Thomson, we know just what we are getting with no hidden surprises or daily charges added to the cost. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
On the whole we enjoyed the two week cruise doing Panama Canal and Cuban Fusion. What has spoilt it really are a couple of things We booked the Panama Canal excursion through Thomson at a cost of about £90 each. We had no idea that ... Read More
On the whole we enjoyed the two week cruise doing Panama Canal and Cuban Fusion. What has spoilt it really are a couple of things We booked the Panama Canal excursion through Thomson at a cost of about £90 each. We had no idea that there was a two hour bus trip before we reached the point of joining the ferry to go through the canal. We then had to wait in the bus for authority from the Port Authority to go on ferry. We got going and there were cold drinks readily available, quite a poor lunch for what ended up being a VERY long day. We got to the first lock but had to wait about two hours for a very big heavily laden tanker ship to catch up with us and the same with the next lock. To cut a long story short this trip which should have been an 8 hour day ended up being a 11 1/2 hour day causing the ship to wait for over 600 passengers to board - it should have left port at about 6 but it was 8.30+ before we all boarded. The amount of food provided for this 11 1/2 day was very poor. Thomson need to forewarn their guests that this could happen!! We would not have booked this trip had we known. So beware if you decide you want to do this trip! We thought there were fewer crew staff than previously on the Dream this time, some were lovely and friendly. Others not so which is a bit disappointing. Food was fine and my husband was looked after well on his garlic free menu by the head waiter in the restaurant Orion. What has annoyed is the most - and if it is not rectified I will take this matter to Small Claims Court - we have been charged £20 for two blue towels which we returned to the Broadway Show Lounge just before we collected our hand luggage to depart ship. It used to be the system that old blue towels were placed by the pool which could be used by people on their last day and place them in a washbin when finished with. Now they have a system on the Dream whereby you leave your hand luggage at the right hand side of the Broadway and you can collect blue towels to use on last day from the left side of Broadway. A crew member has all the cabin numbers listed on sheets of paper and he marks off the number of towels we borrowed. We actually borrowed three because my husband has a bad neck and he rolled one up for neck support. We handed these back shortly before 2.30 pm, the crew member found our cabin number on the list and marked their return. Our friends who were with us borrowed one towel only and also returned it in the same way. Imagine my surprise to discover, thanks to my friend telling me about them being charged for their returned towel, we had been charged too for our returned towels!! I am so annoyed! I have tried writing to them but just get an automated reply back saying it will be dealt with within 28 days. Tried speaking to the branch in Cleethorpes where I booked it. They were quite helpful, I thought, but apart from one phone call back my email to them yesterday has not even been acknowledged. SO BEWARE IF YOU BORROW BLUE TOWELS ON YOUR LAST DAY, GET A RECEIPT FOR THEIR RETURN OR YOU WILL POSSIBLY HAVE THE SAME PROBLEM AS US! Think I will end it here. If we did not already have another cruise booked for June to celebrate my husband's brother and wife Diamond Wedding I doubt we would go on another Thomson cruise. Ironically, before we knew about this scenario with the towels, the day before we discovered the charge of £20, we had booked a cruise to celebrate my 65th birthday in the new Discovery 2. Certainly would not have booked this one had we known!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
NIGHTMARE! watered down drinks staff miserable and unhelpful meals mediocre had to move cabin after first week waited an hour to be served with drinks but when we decided to go to the bar ourselves everyone else had the same ... Read More
NIGHTMARE! watered down drinks staff miserable and unhelpful meals mediocre had to move cabin after first week waited an hour to be served with drinks but when we decided to go to the bar ourselves everyone else had the same idea and there were queus The second week, the trainees from the first week were traing the new trainees on the se ond week as all the good staff had been transferred to the new ship Discovery. The only good thing about this holday was the people I was with as I was travelling as a single passenger but with a group of family and friends and the trip to Panama canal. Complained to Thomsons but to no avail. They couldnt care less ABSOLUTE WASTE OF £3,000 Choose RCI or NCL - much better ships and staff bend over backwards to help. Will NEVER travel with Thomsons again - very disappointed and annoyed Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
As the review title states, this was our second cruise on this ship. Itinery was good but the ship leaves a lot to be desired. Flights and cruise check in good. Cabin (outside deluxe) deck 5 was quite spacious for 3 of us and seemed o.k ... Read More
As the review title states, this was our second cruise on this ship. Itinery was good but the ship leaves a lot to be desired. Flights and cruise check in good. Cabin (outside deluxe) deck 5 was quite spacious for 3 of us and seemed o.k but then the plumbing issues began- blocked toilet, bath emptied into bathroom, shower wouldnt drain.The bathroom then drained into the bedroom and the carpets in cabin were sodden. It took Thomson 4 days to admit they couldn't solve the problem as there was a broken pipe under the bathroom floor, and after much upset and aggrevation they found us another cabin- I have to say the plumbing in the new cabin was better but not perfect and think this ship mid section has a real problem. Also air con didnt seem to be working. Two of us were ill on the cruise, do t know if it wax due to this or not. Food on the ship in the Lido is a bit hit and miss, and could be luke warm at times. Food in main dining room was also not very good and had to ask the head waiter to help with dietary requests. I resent paying a £10 suuplement to get a decent meal when I have already paid for what shoukd be decent food in the main dining room. Cruise itinery was good, but ship trips expensive and you could do most at the port much cheapest. Time on shore in Cartaghena was cut short without explanation which was a shame. Swimming pools not good- adult one was closed most of the time- do not know why as everytime we asked they lied and made varied excuses- in the other pool the water level is not filled sufficiently high to make it easy to enter and get out of- also unruly and unsupervised kids jumping in spollt it. Sunbeds packed in and hard to even get on, and on sea days it was hard to get a table at lunch in the Lido as due to shortage of deck space, people hogged the tables all day. This ship needs a major oferhaul and is too small for the number of passengers it carries. As with most things nowadays cut backs are evident and at times areas were very crowded. Seats in the Medusa lounge area most nights were all taken early in the evening and you could not sit down in this area. Entertainment in the Broadway was mostly good, apart from the comediene who was rubbish, but more entertainment is needed in the evening as most nights everthing was finished by 11.15.p.m. Staff are the redeeming feature on Thomson cruises and all are hard working and very helpful. The cruise itinery was also good. Have now tried this ship twice and dont think there will be a third time. Also if transferring to a hotel the arrangements for this are terrible- you have to vacate your cabin at 8am, sit around until lunch, fight your wzy off ship, board an old bus with no luggage storage underneath and so they use the back seats, and then when you arrive at the hotel you are told no rooms available until 3 p.m.- Thomson need to sort this!! Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
This was our 1st time on a Thomson ship but a Canadian company was offering a package including air, cruise, transfers & no tipping so we decided to try it as the ports were very appealing. We flew into Montego Bay with their ... Read More
This was our 1st time on a Thomson ship but a Canadian company was offering a package including air, cruise, transfers & no tipping so we decided to try it as the ports were very appealing. We flew into Montego Bay with their Champagne service. The flight was great & we had a hot snack with wine included. The view from the window was lovely plus we had the middle seat free as the plane wasn't full. There was a little confusion at the airport when trying to find our transfer bus but we got to the ship in good time. Embarkation was smooth & we were quite happy with our cabin 6159, an outside plus just a little aft of midship, so handy to the elevators & stairs. Most places we visited were on deck 4 or 8 so not too many stairs to climb.We met our steward Marjun who seemed quite nice.The cabin had a kettle with tea & coffee fixings which was a nice touch. There was also a mini bar. The w/c had a bath tub with hand held shower. We hadn't been able to prebook the Panama Canal ferry trip so were anxious to book once onboard but the ship tour & excursion desk both happened at 5:00 pm so we were a bit late to the desk. Luckily there was about 50 places left & we later learned we got one.:-) We had most dinners in the Orion dining room which offers open seating. The 1st night we sat with others & met a friendly mother & daughter who we bumped into many times during the week. Most nights I was too tired to talk to others so we had a table for 2 back in Trudy & Frank's section. I enjoyed all the meals & was surprised by the meat offerings. We had roast beef & Yorkshire pudding the 1st night & other times quite a large lobster tail, a tender tasty pork chop & the last night a lovely lamb shank, something that is quite expensive to buy at home. The soups were especially nice & served piping hot. We had some MDR breakfasts which were good & some buffet ones too. Our complaint with the LIdo buffet was the soupy scrambled eggs & underdone bacon but we had lots of other choices so that was good. We tried the SIrens buffet for lunch & were pleased with the offerings & nice view from the tables. I really enjoyed the CD Martyn & his team who were very friendly & visible around the ship. We went to all the shows except one (which I probably would have enjoyed the most as it featured Michael Jackson songs but I was just too tired after the long day in Panama.) I went to Bingo most days as it was really inexpensive at 5 GBP for 3 games. We went to the adult play one afternoon which was funny & I did the behind the scenes tour of the theatre which was interesting & free. The captain, John Westgarth-Pratt was very nice, the youngest & most handsome I've seen on my 33 cruises! He had a Captain's corner chat one day & answered all sorts of questions including some general ones about returning to the port for a medical emergency as he'd had to do when almost 3 hours out from Santa Marta. He made good time & we arrived at Montego Bay on time. If you're interested in seeing the docking of the ship at ports turn on your tv to see where the ship is as we usually arrived ahead of schedule. We had a really nice time & I'd be happy to repeat the cruise. The only real downside to this cruise for Canadians is all shipboard charges are in British pounds which of course we knew going into it but the prices are quite high especially for drinks & excursions. That being said you only live once!! Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
We encountered the most surly reception staff ever and public areas air conditioning that could cause frostbite. There was dust on ledges in the Orion dining room and we found the menus basic and unexciting. Lots of lobster tail meals at ... Read More
We encountered the most surly reception staff ever and public areas air conditioning that could cause frostbite. There was dust on ledges in the Orion dining room and we found the menus basic and unexciting. Lots of lobster tail meals at the formal dinner were returned because they were dry and overcooked and my husband's mixed grill the following evening came with gravy over the egg. We were shocked to see that lamb chops or steak carried a £9.99 subsidy, something that would be regular items on the menu on other cruise ships. Although my allergy was catered for at no time was i provided with a menu to pre choose my meal as stated by the maitre d every evening using the same spiel verbatim. Service was generally good however an Eastern European head waiter was racist as he told us to "follow the monkey boy" referring to an Asian waiter. Totally unacceptable. The sunbeds on deck were stained and filthy and one waiter actually kicked the fruit he dropped from a drink under the sunbed. Cabin was basic with a TV that lost its signal and a bathroom that was extremely tired looking with scratched washbasin and ill fitting shower curtain that had mould along the top of it. We didn't see any shows or stay to enjoy a drink due to retiring to our cabin after dinner to warm up because the air conditioning was so cold. Many guests including myself were coughing continuously because of it. Shore excursions were great however members of the admin having a day out in the rain forest were very noisy and consequently scared away some of the creatures we had paid to see. Disembarkation was excellent. Thankfully this was not our fist cruise or it would have also been the last. We have previously cruised on The Celebration and can't believe how different two Thomson ships can be. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
Travel to Embarkation Port Negative -No reception at gangway (no staff greeting, no direction, no signage) -Took away Canadian passports without explanation (very strange) but did not take British passports -Driver did not ... Read More
Travel to Embarkation Port Negative -No reception at gangway (no staff greeting, no direction, no signage) -Took away Canadian passports without explanation (very strange) but did not take British passports -Driver did not provide some customers with small immigration form and had to wait to get this and complete them (disorganized) Positive -Offered water in cruise port -Luggage tags provided and luggage taken to cabins Reception Department Negative -Took away all Canadian passports without explanation. When asked to speak with a manager the reception staff refused. Reception Manager Ben Burwell refused to meet with customers and discriminated against Canadian travelers by stating "we never have had an issue with European and British passengers as if to say that North Americans are the one with the issue. The Captain of the Ship authorized the return of the passports, so happy he was able to get the reception staff to do something about this. -Reception staff could use some retraining as could the Manager -Thomson staff could use retraining on anti-discrimination Positive Did not have a positive experience with reception department Cabins Negative - 2.5 star rating -very old furnishings - Thomson does not provide shampoo, conditioner, or toiletries (gift shop offers this at a very high price (10 pounds or over 20 bucks Canadian for each item) -only one towel animal (yet wanted to sell a towel animal book) Positives Bathtub in bathroom Activities Positive Entertainment staff member Ted was excellent Crew members Negative -Some events did not run even though they were listed in the Cruise news itinerary (i.e. Dance parties did not run) and did not provide explanation as to why did not run -Trivia events only ran for 20 mins -Shows were not good quality (i.e. Michael Jackson Show was conducted by an entire White staff?!) -Activities referenced only British trivia and did not consider any other nationalities - discriminatory -Gym equipment- many out of order Service Negative -Witnessed an elderly man who had an accident on the Lido Deck, no staff members offered to assist this man only passengers helped him Positive -Bar Staff friendly and hard working -Housekeeping- excellent Dining Negative -Menu for dining room was not appealing -Drink package had a great deal of limitation (only bottom shelf offerings) Positive -Lido deck buffet was good Shore Excursions Negative -Extremely expensive (took some excursions that were not with Thomson at half the price) Overall Experience -Would not return to Thomson, felt they discriminated against North Americans and only caters to Brits -Extremely poor customer service and doesn't offer any staff contacts to resolve issues with -Ship was very old (built in 80s) and in need of a makeover Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
Travel to Embarkation Port Negative -No reception at gangway (no staff greeting, no direction, no signage) -Took away Canadian passports without explanation (very strange) but did not take British passports -Driver did not ... Read More
Travel to Embarkation Port Negative -No reception at gangway (no staff greeting, no direction, no signage) -Took away Canadian passports without explanation (very strange) but did not take British passports -Driver did not provide some customers with small immigration form and had to wait to get this and complete them (disorganized) Positive -Offered water in cruise port -Luggage tags provided and luggage taken to cabins Reception Department Negative -Took away all Canadian passports without explanation. When asked to speak with a manager the reception staff refused. Reception Manager Ben Burwell refused to meet with customers and discriminated against Canadian travelers by stating "we never have had an issue with European and British passengers as if to say that North Americans are the one with the issue. The Captain of the Ship authorized the return of the passports, so happy he was able to get the reception staff to do something about this. -Reception staff could use some retraining as could the Manager -Thomson staff could use retraining on anti-discrimination Positive Did not have a positive experience with reception department Cabins Negative - 2.5 star rating -very old furnishings - Thomson does not provide shampoo, conditioner, or toiletries (gift shop offers this at a very high price (10 pounds or over 20 bucks Canadian for each item) -only one towel animal (yet wanted to sell a towel animal book) Positives Bathtub in bathroom Activities Positive Entertainment staff member Ted was excellent Crew members Negative -Some events did not run even though they were listed in the Cruise news itinerary (i.e. Dance parties did not run) and did not provide explanation as to why did not run -Trivia events only ran for 20 mins -Shows were not good quality (i.e. Michael Jackson Show was conducted by an entire White staff?!) -Activities referenced only British trivia and did not consider any other nationalities - discriminatory -Gym equipment- many out of order Service Negative -Witnessed an elderly man who had an accident on the Lido Deck, no staff members offered to assist this man only passengers helped him Positive -Bar Staff friendly and hard working -Housekeeping- excellent Dining Negative -Menu for dining room was not appealing -Drink package had a great deal of limitation (only bottom shelf offerings) Positive -Lido deck buffet was good Shore Excursions Negative -Extremely expensive (took some excursions that were not with Thomson at half the price) Overall Experience -Would not return to Thomson, felt they discriminated against North Americans and only caters to Brits -Extremely poor customer service and doesn't offer any staff contacts to resolve issues with -Ship was very old (built in 80s) and in need of a makeover Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
The ship is a little tired. However, the Cabin was bigger than RCI and P and O the other companies I have cruised with. The arrival is efficient cases checked in at Birmingham and arrived at Cabin within 30 minutes of boarding the ship. On ... Read More
The ship is a little tired. However, the Cabin was bigger than RCI and P and O the other companies I have cruised with. The arrival is efficient cases checked in at Birmingham and arrived at Cabin within 30 minutes of boarding the ship. On the return cases collected from outside cabin and sent to luggage carousel in Birmingham. There is a shortage of seats in the public areas so you need to have dinner in the buffet and get one early to get a seat. The shows are excellent but support poles in the theatre mean an obstructed view for most. The hassle of bar staff is worse than any port you will ever go to. I entered the theatre and within 3mins 45 seconds 4 different waiters asked if I wanted a drink from the bar, on another nigyht the time was 4mins and 35 seconds if you move seats they are all back asking again, if I accepted every offer I would be drunk and bankrupt. I heard from someone who did a cruise the week before that some guests were causing problems by being drunk every night not a great surprise. The waiters are rude when you say no and will start to ask every member of your group separately. Something you discipline your children for. Bar staff apart the waiters in the restaurant are very polite and good though meals take a long time every meal was served hot something you cant say about RCI where 60% of meals I sent back for being cold. The safe priced at £25 was a little steep especially as others offer it for free and an extra £9.95 for a steak in the restaurant is a liitle steep again compared to other cruise lines. Sunbeds around the pool are difficult to get so you have to get up early to get one, notices state that they will remove towels after 45 minutes but this just is not done I observed towels on beds all day only being removed by a guest late afternoon when they decided they were not going to use them. Another annoying point on Sea Days they kick you out from the pool and sunbeds at 4.30pm and the staff are not polite about this I asked to speak to someone senior and this was refused, although the cruise news states it is open until 8.00 pm when questioned we were told it was for a private party on each occasion surely these could be held somewhere else or at least the Cruise News Paper could show the correct times. Tours are variable when booked on board and the descriptions do not match the tour in many cases. The Port information is variably for example the starting port Montego Bay in Jamaica gives Spanish phrases. However, I visit Jamaica regularly and the language is English or patois. A last point is that the flights are with Thomson there plane ran out of Water after 7 hours toilets would not flush and no tea or coffee this on a 10 hour flight is awful and I certainly would not refer to it as a Dreamliner, perhaps a dream you were on a different plane liner. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
The ship is a little tired. However, the Cabin was bigger than RCI and P and O the other companies I have cruised with. The arrival is efficient cases checked in at Birmingham and arrived at Cabin within 30 minutes of boarding the ship. On ... Read More
The ship is a little tired. However, the Cabin was bigger than RCI and P and O the other companies I have cruised with. The arrival is efficient cases checked in at Birmingham and arrived at Cabin within 30 minutes of boarding the ship. On the return cases collected from outside cabin and sent to luggage carousel in Birmingham. There is a shortage of seats in the public areas so you need to have dinner in the buffet and get one early to get a seat. The shows are excellent but support poles in the theatre mean an obstructed view for most. The hassle of bar staff is worse than any port you will ever go to. I entered the theatre and within 3mins 45 seconds 4 different waiters asked if I wanted a drink from the bar, on another nigyht the time was 4mins and 35 seconds if you move seats they are all back asking again, if I accepted every offer I would be drunk and bankrupt. I heard from someone who did a cruise the week before that some guests were causing problems by being drunk every night not a great surprise. The waiters are rude when you say no and will start to ask every member of your group separately. Something you discipline your children for. Bar staff apart the waiters in the restaurant are very polite and good though meals take a long time every meal was served hot something you cant say about RCI where 60% of meals I sent back for being cold. The safe priced at £25 was a little steep especially as others offer it for free and an extra £9.95 for a steak in the restaurant is a liitle steep again compared to other cruise lines. Sunbeds around the pool are difficult to get so you have to get up early to get one, notices state that they will remove towels after 45 minutes but this just is not done I observed towels on beds all day only being removed by a guest late afternoon when they decided they were not going to use them. Another annoying point on Sea Days they kick you out from the pool and sunbeds at 4.30pm and the staff are not polite about this I asked to speak to someone senior and this was refused, although the cruise news states it is open until 8.00 pm when questioned we were told it was for a private party on each occasion surely these could be held somewhere else or at least the Cruise News Paper could show the correct times. Tours are variable when booked on board and the descriptions do not match the tour in many cases. The Port information is variably for example the starting port Montego Bay in Jamaica gives Spanish phrases. However, I visit Jamaica regularly and the language is English or patois. A last point is that the flights are with Thomson there plane ran out of Water after 7 hours toilets would not flush and no tea or coffee this on a 10 hour flight is awful and I certainly would not refer to it as a Dreamliner, perhaps a dream you were on a different plane liner. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
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
We usually holiday on the Thomson Celebration or the Thomson Spirit. But we saw the Itineraries Mexican Medley and Pride of Panama on the Dream, we checked out the excursions available and excitedly booked last May. We chose an outside ... Read More
We usually holiday on the Thomson Celebration or the Thomson Spirit. But we saw the Itineraries Mexican Medley and Pride of Panama on the Dream, we checked out the excursions available and excitedly booked last May. We chose an outside plus cabin on deck 6 midship. A few weeks before we departed we had an email advising us that one port of call was being dropped due to problems getting the ship in due to the currents and weather, but advised we would visit Santa Marta, Columbia instead. We flew from Gatwick on Thomson Dreamliner, which was on time and thought the service onboard was excellent. Having arrived in Jamaica, the transfer from the airport to the ship was pretty speedy, although the immigration form was a little confusing to complete with no help offered on the plane. We checked in at the port and boarded the ship. We found our cabin and our cabin steward, Suwadi introduced himself. The cabin was clean and comfortable, although a little more storage space in the bathroom would have been nice. We did the safety drill and went to dinner, all excited about setting sail at 8pm. That's when it started going downhill really. The Newcastle flight developed a fault after a few hours, and the plane had to return to Gatwick. This meant we didn't leave Montego Bay till around 4am. This made us late into Cozumel. From Cozumel we were doing the excursion to Chichen Itza, which meant first taking a half hour trip by ferry to Playa Del Carmen. From here we had a few hours by coach to reach the site, where the guide was slowly eating lunch before going down to the site. We had just over an hour and half of his talking in the blazing heat before he gave us a half hour to go explore but that was only enough time to get back to the meeting place for the coach! All very rushed. Trip originally planned as 11 hours but took under 9 hours. We were unable to see all of the site very disappointing. Next stop was Costa Maya, which was a pretty little place. Then it was on to Roatan. We were taking the semi-submarine and west island trip. Well we reached the bay but the wind had picked up and we couldn't go out. Oh well, couldn't be helped, but it turned out not to be a submarine that went 6ft under water, but a glass bottom boat. The Butterfly place was ok, small, but they also kept animals in very small cages and several people were upset by these conditions. We all complained to Destination services on board, who blamed the mix up of the description of the tour on the supplier and returned half our money. After a day at sea we were calling into Falmouth, Jamaica. But that didn't happen as the captain said it was a bit windy and the coral channel in to port was narrow so we would carry on to Montego Bay and overnight there. So, we thought make the most of it we will find out where to head in town. But Destination Services advised against leaving the terminal building area as it was too dangerous due to crime. So, the new people arrived and we set sail on time. Followed by a day at sea to reach Santa Marta. Not a lot to do there, lots of police who if you were going somewhere they didn't want you to go, pointed you back in the direction you came, the beach area with lots of stalls and street traders! Next day Cartagena, Columbia. We took the Cartagena walking tour excursion visiting the Palace of Inquisition and a church. We then returned to the ship. We then set sail for Panama. We were really looking forward to transitting part of the canal in a ferry. Which we did after a very long drive, and a very long wait! The Ferry was very relaxing and one of the guides gave commentary. Food and water/soft drinks were provided. We finished at the Pacific end and were returned to the ship by coach. All in all an enjoyable day out. We set sail at 6pm but by 8.30 pm the captain made an announcement saying we had a medical emergency and had to return to Panama. By doing this meant it had put us behind schedule and we were advised that destinations services were reorganising the planned excursions. It also stated that letters would be dropped into cabins advising of the new arrangements. this letter gave no new information than what we were had previously been given. An announcement was made at approx 08:30 to advise that expected arrival time in Costa Rica would be 11:00 and that destination services were still working on the excursions and to expect a further announcement. At 10:30 an announcement was made giving details of new times for the excursions and the fact that our tour was cancelled. Advised to go to destination services to see if we could book on another tour which we could not do as they were all full. We were gutted. I know a medical emergency couldn't be helped, but now we just wanted to go home! If I wanted to look at the sea and go shopping I would have stayed at home. Half way through the 2nd week there was an outbreak of norovirus and crew had to serve food and drinks to us in the self service restaurants. Jaccuzzis were drained. It was starting to feel like a prison ship. The food was of very poor quality and lukewarm, both in the Sirens self service restaurant and on occasions in Orion's. It was the first cruise, that we had arrived home lighter than we went!! We were also charged 2 items on our account we hadn't had and had to fight to get them taken off. When querying this at reception we were made to feel like liars. After seeing the crew show on the first week, I felt I had to buy the DVD as Jeffery was hilarious. But having reached home and watched it most of his performance was missing! so disappointed and felt a bit conned. On a positive note, the show team were incredible and the hospitality of the waiters, bar staff and cabin steward were brilliant. It was our wedding anniversary the day before disembarking, but we just didn't feel like celebrating and decided to leave it until we got home. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
Our holiday had a good start with the flight on the Dreamliner, and although we had to queue at Jamaican customs, it was not for long. The transfer to the boat and to our cabin went smoothly. Having sailed with Thomsons before we were not ... Read More
Our holiday had a good start with the flight on the Dreamliner, and although we had to queue at Jamaican customs, it was not for long. The transfer to the boat and to our cabin went smoothly. Having sailed with Thomsons before we were not expecting luxury, but the cabin was very clean and the king sized bed, extremely comfortable. As others have mentioned, the Newcastle flight was very late and our departure was delayed, but the ship did make up some of the time. We liked the first stop, Cozumel. It was a bit commercialized but perfectly safe to go off on your own, and the Dream docks at the town pier. We had booked a private snorkeling trip with Safe Tours which was very good. We did not do a trip at the next port, Costa Maya, but there is a free pool and sunbeds overlooking the ocean, as well as the usual shops. Note though, they only take cash. We thought Roatan was lovely, and again no need to take a trip as you can walk to the beach. The port of Falmouth was missed because of the weather, but our trip on the Martha Bray still went ahead and we were also taken to see an old and charming church in Falmouth, by bus. Montego Bay is, unfortunately a dump. Some people walked into town without incident but described it as awful, so we didn't bother. The second week, was very hot and, because of the local holidays, very busy. I would actually advise anyone doing The Pride of Panama to avoid that particular time. In Santa Marta we did the trip to the Tayrona National park. The scenery was fantastic but we did not get the promised swim which was annoying. Cartagena was pretty but again very busy and hot. The port there is really lovely with parrots and other animals allowed to roam free- worth seeing even if you do not go any further. We liked the Colombian people, in particular their attitude to their indigenous animals. They were not always asking for tips and we felt quite safe in Cartagena. In Colon, we did the railway trip along the lakes and canal and visited to the locks- Fantastic! Costa Rica was lovely but spoiled by the holiday traffic which made our trip to the animal sanctuary far too long, and the guide was never quiet! The sanctuary itself was good and so was the river trip- when we finally got there! We loved seeing and hearing the howler monkeys in the trees. As for the Dream, we thought the food was good, although we always had our evening meal in the Orion restaurant. The service throughout the boat was excellent, and so was the entertainment- as good as the West End! We did not much like the Lido deck, it was crowded and the deck itself needed some work. We preferred the main pool deck but often had to walk up to it as the lifts were busy. In all, the cruise met our expectations and we thoroughly enjoyed it. It is a shame it goes from Jamaica though, as the people at the airport are really rude and the port at Montego Bay, drab. As for the virus on board, it was in our corridor, and I saw the way the crew scrubbed and cleaned to try and stop it spreading. Fortunately we did not get it. I did hear a young man it the cabin next to us, complaining about being ill, on the morning after they had just boarded for the second week- make what you like of that! Also I must mention the AI package. We can put away our share of alcohol but even though we tried, we did not really get our money's worth. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
I find it hard to understand why people moan so much about Thomson cruises, no they're not five star but you know that when you book. Although our cruise Mexican Medley and Panama Canal had some problems it was all out of the captains ... Read More
I find it hard to understand why people moan so much about Thomson cruises, no they're not five star but you know that when you book. Although our cruise Mexican Medley and Panama Canal had some problems it was all out of the captains hands. He can't avoid delayed flights, bad weather or a guest needing hospital treatment. We cruise with Thomson because of the crew who are excellent . As a vegetarian I don't always like the main option on offer but head waiter Daniel arranged for the next nights menu to be delivered to my cabin every day so I could check if it was ok and if not suggest something different. Excellent service. This wa the first time I'd been to the area and ports of call were ok. I particularly liked Cartegena and it was a true experience to travel through the Panama Canal but my favourite stop was Costa Rica. The country was lush and green with wild monkeys and sloths in the trees. I find the excursions expensive on any cruise ( I've also cruised with other companies) so this year we researched private trips online and booked before we left home. Trevor Hudlin in Falmouth and Montego Bay, tours plaza.com in Cozumel, and the brilliant 6 in 1 tour from yourluckytour.com in Costa Rica. Everyone was waiting for us as promised and a fraction of the cost. Read reviews and spend some time online before you travel. Travelling on the Dreamliner was a bonus with inclusive drinks and great choise of films to watch. Embarkation and disembarkation was smooth and we had no delays or problems. The entertainment team worked hard but I have to say I've seen better on other Thomson ships but the real stars of the show are the restaurant staff especially Daniel, Jess, Garry, Ferdie and Simina who looked after us so well. Thanks to them. I'd have no problem using Thomson again because their ports of call are usually so good and I'd also like to try their new boat The Thomson Discovery. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
The ship itself THOMSON DREAM was a great size, easy to find your way about. The ship could do with a little touch up here and there but everywhere was always clean and tidy. Excellent theater and bars in and around main deck also ... Read More
The ship itself THOMSON DREAM was a great size, easy to find your way about. The ship could do with a little touch up here and there but everywhere was always clean and tidy. Excellent theater and bars in and around main deck also quieter areas for relaxation. Dream bar staff and waiters very good ,fast and efficient. The main dining room was supported by three specialty dining experiences and excellent dining options on outside and inside decks.The meals served in all places were first class, especially in the main dining room. The waiters and the supporting staff are fantastic and very professional,and above all very friendly and helpful. The cabin stewards work very hard to keep your rooms in tip top order,they were always available when needed and nothing was to much to ask of them. The staff who entertain you are some of the best i have ever encountered, they could all sing and dance to a very high degree. One of the down sides is the drinks package, there are very few brand labels that are available with out paying a subsidy.We mainly drank cocktails,latte coffee and wine. We were far better off financially doing the drinks package and we are not heavy drinkers. The trips offered on board to some of the destinations of interest were a bit expensive. Overall the tours were interesting and well run. On a personnel matter the flight out of Newcastle on a 6 week old dream liner was a nightmare. Three and a half hours out the plane had a technical fault, we had to return to Gatwick Airport. That was now seven hours and we were back in the UK.Four hours in airport and not much information passed to the passengers. Another nine and a half hour flight to our destination, got to bed at five am. We had a great holiday and will certainly cruise again with Thomson. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
This was my 8th cruise with Thomson but the first outside of the Med. It was a typically Thomson cruise with all the good food, activities and service I have experienced before. We booked the cruise a fortnight before, based on the ... Read More
This was my 8th cruise with Thomson but the first outside of the Med. It was a typically Thomson cruise with all the good food, activities and service I have experienced before. We booked the cruise a fortnight before, based on the itinerary, and were not disappointed. The weather was very kind and the sea was calm throughout (although I believe the week before had missed a couple of ports due to high winds). We (extravagantly) booked a suite, for the first time, and were very impressed by the extra sitting area and cupboard space that came along with it. We were also treated to a plate of canapes or fruit daily which was a nice touch. The ship uses European plug sockets and we had to buy adaptors on board. We paid for the all inclusive option but be aware this does not cover bottled water or coffee other than in the restaurants which was a bit of a shame. There is also a premium to pay for certain drinks and soft drink cans but there was enough on the menu that we never paid extra. The food was generally good although maybe not quite as good as other cruises but that might be indicative of the countries? I still managed to eat myself silly and the soft ice cream machines were a nice bonus.... We didn't try the premium restaurants, for which you pay extra, so I can't comment on them. The entertainment was very good and the shows were arguably the best I have seen. There were a couple of deck parties after the shows during the week. Before I get onto the ports I have a big complaint about the excursions and I will be writing to Thomson about it. It wasn't just me that was upset, a number of other passengers were unhappy too. A great number of the excursions were already booked up by the time we actually got onto the ship, either online before travel or by passengers who had boarded the week before. This resulted in us not being to book the excursions we wanted and we ended up getting our 3rd choices. I felt that we had been penalised by our late booking but I do think Thomsons need to to review this as it could impact on whether I would cruise with them again, which would be a shame. I mentioned it to my travel agent on our return and she said I was the second person she had heard this from that week. PORTS Santa Marta - Not much there except a small busy town with a marina, we walked around, had a coffee and were back on the ship within 2 hours. Other passengers that went on tours seemed to enjoy them. There is free wifi at the terminal building. Cartagena - The terminal was amazing, we were greeted by flamingos, parrots, peacocks etc in a little wildlife centre, I have never seen anything like it before, we even stopped and had a coffee before returning to the ship as it was such a nice little area. We got together with 2 other couples and got a taxi into the old town which cost us $10 pp return. The driver stayed with us the whole time and gave us a tour, beware though he did keep trying to take us to little shops where he obviously knew the owner but we just told him we didn't want to go to them and he was fine. It was very beautiful and well worth a visit. Colon, Panama - This was one of the ports where we couldn't get on the excursion we wanted so ended up going to one of the locks followed by kayaking on a lake that fed the canal. The canal was fascinating, an absolute must see, we saw 3 enormous tankers travelling through which was great and there was an interesting commentary throughout. The kayaking was a bit of a disaster (mainly due to my fitness, or lack of....) and not easy at all. There was another trip that involved going on a boat around the same lake which would have been preferable. We did bump into a swimming sloth which was great and made it worthwhile. There is a ghetto area fairly near to the port which is to be avoided but there are a few cafes and shops (with a police presence) opposite the ship. We had a coffee in the Rotana cafe which had free wifi. Costa Rica - Again we couldn't get on the trip we wanted. We visited a banana plantation followed by an animal rescue centre. It was fine and very interesting to see so many indigenous animals up close. Other passengers we spoke to travelled independently and took a 2 hour taxi tour with 2 other couples and paid $20 pp. There is free wifi in the terminal building. All in all we had a great week and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it, just be aware of the excursion issues. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015

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