When I check reviews written on this site I generally discard the best reviews as some people will be happy with a very basic holiday (cardboard box int middle of road!) I also discard the worst reviews as some people are never satisfied ... Read More
When I check reviews written on this site I generally discard the best reviews as some people will be happy with a very basic holiday (cardboard box int middle of road!) I also discard the worst reviews as some people are never satisfied and seem not to be happy unless there is something to complain about. Normally I would discard reviews like the one you are reading, thinking I was one of those people who would be happy with almost anything, please believe me, this cruise was very nearly our ideal. I did talk to others who experienced problems, some I really did think had very valid reasons to complain, but I am not reviewing their holiday, just ours.
In my group was my wife and I, our 11 year old son, my outlaws and my mother. The holiday was two cruises back to back, Cuban Fusion and Pride of Panama. The flight out was long, around 10 hours, but we didn't feel as groggy as we usually do on a long haul flight, possibly due to the Dreamliner? The transfer to the ship was very easy, luggage tagged at Newcastle airport was next seen outside our cabin about 15 minutes after we arrived! Unpacked, quick look around the ship, food and a cocktail, nice!
The Dream is old but the crew were constantly cleaning and repainting etc. The layout is similar to the Thomson Celebration, a ship that you could not pay me enough to holiday aboard again. I don't know what it was about this ship but we just felt at home. The cabin was huge by the standards of other ships we have been on, loads of storage space. Old and dated but clean. The staff are very friendly and attentive, one of the staff even remembered us from two years ago on the Celebration, we worked out that he must have seen around 40 or 50,000 people come and go since he saw us last! The staff on the Lido deck deserve a mention, especially Kirril and Tattiana who were training before joining Thomson's new ship, the Discovery, also Julie and Maks.
We only eat in the buffet, personal choice, and I must say it was one of the best I have tasted, the selection was smaller than most ships we have been on, but it was very tasty and reasonably varied. We all commented that the deserts were by far the best of any cruise we have been on, normally they are bland, these were great, I would kill for the recipe for the lime mousse, apologies to the other holiday makers if they didn't get to try it, my family did eat rather a lot of it!
The itinerary was certainly different. Columbia, Panama, Costa Rica, Jamaica, Mexico, Cuba and Grand Cayman. A review of each port and excursion we went on would take forever, so briefly, the Panama Canal was a must see, Costa Rica was beautiful and we would have loved to spend more time there, Havana was amazing, crumbling architecture, such a shame, at least we got to see it before our American cousins swamp the place!
How could the cruise be improved? More selection on the buffet, especially the cheese selection ( I am a bit of a cheese monster and felt the selection was poor) drop the guys going round selling premium ice creams and nights in the specialist restaurant, it's tacky. A newer ship would have been good but on the other hand the Dream has character, enforce the no reserving sun loungers policy, especially on sea days and get the staff to remove towels from those not used for 45 mins. Some loungers were reserved before breakfast, then not used till midday! That's about it really, hence it was very nearly our ideal cruise. Read Less