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93 Las Palmas (Gran Canaria) to Europe - Western Mediterranean Cruise Reviews

Hi just back from a week on the Explorer the flight from Edinburgh was good Transfer was quick.When we got too our cabin the cabin had a bad spell reported too reception fixed straight away smell came back 2 days later and you could smell ... Read More
Hi just back from a week on the Explorer the flight from Edinburgh was good Transfer was quick.When we got too our cabin the cabin had a bad spell reported too reception fixed straight away smell came back 2 days later and you could smell it a lot round the ship as if there was problem with drainage a few times the public toilets were closed. The food on the ship was not as good as Discovery 2 some days the choices were poor The food was off average standard if you wanted Ice cream you had too pay even if you up graded too premium The entertainment was good but again not as good as discovery 2 the games were not as funny and did not get guest involled as much the shows in the Broadway shows were just about the same each night singing too soul music The Broadway Theartre did not have a waiter service You had too take your drinks with you or take what they had too offer at the door The Squid and Anchor bar was very busy at night and if you were not fast you could not get a seat The sun decks were busy up on the varanda deck there was not enough sun loungers and guest were putting towels on the beds and going off shore for 4 hours and coming back Overall this was a old ship need work done too there drainage system and more staff would book with marella again but not this ship Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We choose this cruise to escape the Scottish winter and cheer us up in hope of some winter sun in the Canary Islands just after Christmas and New Year I was apprehensive as we were going with 3 generations . Once onboard and we had ... Read More
We choose this cruise to escape the Scottish winter and cheer us up in hope of some winter sun in the Canary Islands just after Christmas and New Year I was apprehensive as we were going with 3 generations . Once onboard and we had familiarised ourselves with the ship it was evident there really was plenty going on and something for everyone ., We were so impressed with all the staff . Michelle who cleaned our cabin every day was an absolute star, the waiters Roberto, Austin , Lloyd , Kamlesh, Vena, Ramonoito, Rhea and Sun shine . Their happy smiling dispositions were contagious and nothing was too much trouble . Senthill the chef in The Surf and Turf restaurant was outstanding . My mum who is 80 described the steak he cooked as the best she’d ever had !!! We loved the Broadway Shows in the evening and the dancers were superb . However for me , being treated by Dr Bandula for my very sensitive stomach with Accupuncture has been life changing . I can’t thank him enough . The spa was wonderful . Truly relaxing with the various saunas and steam rooms . I even got into the habit of pouring the bucket of ice cold water over me after too. I did use the gym for my stretching in the morning . Classes were available but I just didn’t have time to fit them in as well . I haven’t even mentioned the excursions yet . Madeira was beautiful and the Botanical gardens a definite must , as was careering down the hill in a wicker basket afterwards . Just loved it . The 4 wheel drive excursion in Morocco was outstanding and Ahmed the tour guide really topped it off . He was hilarious . These were my favourite ports Our cabin with a balcony wasn’t huge but was adequate . We really hardly spent any time in there apart from sleeping and it was kept really clean and tidy by Michelle . The food was fine. We preferred to use The latitude restaurant for breakfast ( just found the market place too busy but there was a huge selection there ) We loved the fact there was the fine dining option too and ate in the Surf and Turf twice and the Kora-la once . Stunning food and superb service . We left the ship really feeling as though we didn’t want to go home. Super holiday and would definitely consider another one ...soon !!! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Wanted to go away for a family Christmas and get some sun. The flight from Gatwick was delayed by one day so missed first day of cruising. Tui conspicuous by their absence, no explanation to passengers for the delay. Relayed to local ... Read More
Wanted to go away for a family Christmas and get some sun. The flight from Gatwick was delayed by one day so missed first day of cruising. Tui conspicuous by their absence, no explanation to passengers for the delay. Relayed to local hotels and bussed back next day only to have to check in again and only one lady on check in desk for 200 people. Food in main dining room was very mediocre, rushed xmas dinner, couldn't wait to clear plates to get ready for the next sitting. Some of us hadn't finished eating. Show every night from same cast, no variety. One night had comedian who wasn't in the least bit funny. Same old cruise jokes. Booked buggy riding trip for daughter and hubby and no where on the confirmation did it say needed driving licence or under21s couldn't drive. so couldn't go on excursion and staff extremely unhelpful, they weren't the only people who couldn't go. Food in buffet very repetative, same puddings each day although boxing day was spectactular. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This was my first cruise, I was with 3 other people who had been on cruises before but not with tui. I found the whole experience amazing and very worth the money! There were special staff members who’s names are below; - Ian ... Read More
This was my first cruise, I was with 3 other people who had been on cruises before but not with tui. I found the whole experience amazing and very worth the money! There were special staff members who’s names are below; - Ian (Indigo) - George - Dindin (Rooms) - Jamie (DJ) - Paul (Latitude 53) - Dmitri x2 (Indigo) These staff members made sure we had the best experience by always being polite; saying hi every time we saw them and always keeping our drinks topped up once they noticed they were empty. Ian gave me and my partner handshakes and high-fives once he knew it was time for us to go home and he knew which alcoholic drinks would suit us best and recommended drinks for us which were good! Jamie always spoke to us when he saw us and was a good dj. Played songs we requested and it was my mother in law’s 50th birthday and he shouted her out and sung happy birthday to her which made it very special for her. Dindin was always smiling and polite when he needed to clean the room and there were times when we forgot things from the cabin and had to go back when he was cleaning and he didn’t mind us going back to get what we needed. Paul was very talented and very funny to watch during the rendition of a classic spanish song in Vista restaurant when he did a funny dance for us all. The 2 Dmitri’s also made us feel good when they spoke to us in detail about their experiences on the ship and how happy it made them! The shows were fantastic and unique to the cruise and the comedian we had, had us in stitches! (Lee Evans tribute) We will definitely come back for another tui cruise and yes i would 100% recommend the canary island cruise to anyone that is skeptical or wondering whether or not to go, do it! You won’t regret it. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We had cruised with Thomsons several times previously and really enjoyed the friendly, personal touch of their Ships. We had tried several other ones over the years and decided to give Marella a go, so booked a weeks cruise on the ... Read More
We had cruised with Thomsons several times previously and really enjoyed the friendly, personal touch of their Ships. We had tried several other ones over the years and decided to give Marella a go, so booked a weeks cruise on the Explorer. Initial impressions were very good...very friendly staff, clean ship, great lounges/bars, spacious inside cabin..all good. The itinary suited us and even though the weather wasn't kind to us there wasn't much we could do about that. But I have to say from initial good impressions the standard deteriorated. Food wasn't great in all areas/ restaurants, service was very slow and several times we waited at least 45-50 mins between courses in the Latitude restaurant. When food came elements were missing as they had "run out". No crackers for cheese, missing veg, etc We booked the Mediterranean Italian one night. As required we chose our pasta ingredients and pizza to be freshly cooked...it wasn't as ordered but very nice, but pizza didn't arrive to the table. After asking 4 times it did come - undercooked and not as ordered after an hours wait. Vista was marginally the better eateries of them all. The toilets in public areas were never very clean or well maintained, often blocked and spillage on floors. Probably due to reduced staff provision tbh. Our cabin wasn't made up on 2 occasions on a morning but frankly we weren't too bothered. Cabins were kept very clean overall, and very comfortable. My husband and I experienced upset tummys after eating from the breakfast buffet on 2nd day...same item eaten, same onset symptoms!! We swerved that area after. The entertainment team worked hard, and the 2 bands, piano man and Robbie played every day. But please stop playing the same 60s/70s music....not all clients like that era! The silent discos were a triumph. Casino was chaotic at times with crupieres not in control of the roulette playing areas..not professional. Bar services and staff were good and all worked their socks off. One mention of soda drinks dispensed, not in cans, from the bars ..they were foul tasting and frankly inedible. I like lime & soda but if I'd drank them I would have been ill...tasted of musty, old, stale water. On our final departure day...on way home we both had onset of D&V, despite using every precaution we could have undertaken during the cruise. Least our cruise weight has fallen off! We will try Marella again I think, but we won't rush to book. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We thought , why not cruise around the Canary Isles with Madeira thrown in for good measure . We chose a Junior suite no 10015 on 10th floor , impressed with the cabin and facilities ( except a shower cubicle that floods ) Sadly however ... Read More
We thought , why not cruise around the Canary Isles with Madeira thrown in for good measure . We chose a Junior suite no 10015 on 10th floor , impressed with the cabin and facilities ( except a shower cubicle that floods ) Sadly however we quickly realised we were directly under the Gym due to the continuous crashing of the dumbells from the weights onto the floor ( typically from 7AM onwards ) Potential customers take note … You cannot turn the Air Conditioning off and it makes a hell of a noise , especially when it is windy which it was for most of the time on our cruise ( this also applies to the Marella Explorer 2 ) The ship is difficult to navigate around especially amidships on deck 5 and 6 , there is no Atrium as such so there is no central point to get your bearings . Foodwise we were well satisfied , we chose the buffet style restaurant , food was very good in our opinion with lots of choice , it did get busy now and again but it was easy to share a table and talk to other passengers . The ship is all inclusive , with a good selection of drinks and spirits , you could upgrade to a premium package but with Southern Comfort and Peroni among others listed as free why bother . Strangely though Lemonade is not free …. There are 10 bars to choose from so something for everybody we chose the quiet ones so cannot comment on the rowdy ones …. Cabin staff were efficient and friendly , reception staff not so ( this has been commented on in another review ) Entertainment varied from decent musicians to very average singers , think of tour reps doubling up as singers and you will get the idea ... To sum up , you could have a good cruise onboard Marella Explorer , you will have to put up with a few things , for us it was the continuous air conditioning and the ships appetite for rocking and rolling ( stabilisers or no stabilisers ) Finally it would have been nice to get maps of where you are stopping off so you could explore , but the line was " just so you know ( !!!!) we are doing our bit for the carbon footprint so you can ( try to ) get them on your phone …" Best of luck Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We joined this ship on It’s maiden voyage following a major refit. Unfortunately the refit was not completed before the ship sailed. We arrived in our cabin to find no electricity, safe not working, old shower door stored on the ... Read More
We joined this ship on It’s maiden voyage following a major refit. Unfortunately the refit was not completed before the ship sailed. We arrived in our cabin to find no electricity, safe not working, old shower door stored on the balcony. The electricity and shower door were dealt with in a reasonable space of time. Someone came to fix the safe, told us it was new and they didn’t have a code and another person would come to fix. More than 24 hours later no one had come and we contacted reception again, after giving a report of the items that needed repairing the receptionist rolled her eyes to indicate she had enough of us. Another member of staff arrived to give us the same answer about the safe and left. It was eventually fixed after more than 24 hours on the ship. Once the electricity was back on we realised the television did not work. This was fixed on the second day. On the third night we came back from dinner to find we had no running water from the sink taps and reception was closed. We reported next day and it was repaired while we were on an excursion. That night after dinner we came back to find no water again until the next day when we reported again. At this time we asked for the general manager, to be told he’s usually around somewhere and no further indication that anyone would find him. Maintenance staff have called on three occasions to fix the air conditioning which has always worked and we’ve not reported any problems. Many of the dining areas incur a supplementary charge, not all. We went to Nanno’s (no charge) at lunchtime for pasta (45 minute wait), the Beach cove for skewers (1hr 10 minutes for main course), latitude for breakfast (dirty tablecloth, dirty crockery, toast with a 10 minute wait for butter). We decided to eat in the market place where there was a good choice of food and no waiting. My partner uses the gym most days and most of the electrical equipment and exercise bicycles do not work. Speaking to other guests it seems as if everyone has had issues with either their cabin, service or both. The staff are very friendly and are working hard but there is a sense that the processes in place are not working and a lot needs to be done to get this ship up to an acceptable standard. There is a real sales atmosphere on board, constant encouragement to upgrade to different packages. If you buy something there is a hard sell to buy more, we understand the need for companies to make money but it seems the balance is not right on this ship, and it can be uncomfortable at times and not relaxing. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We chose this cruise mainly for the destinations. Unfortunately due to high winds we were unable to dock in Sicily and this had a knock on effect to our next trip to Sorrento as had to dock in Naples . The ship had engine trouble which ... Read More
We chose this cruise mainly for the destinations. Unfortunately due to high winds we were unable to dock in Sicily and this had a knock on effect to our next trip to Sorrento as had to dock in Naples . The ship had engine trouble which meant that we couldn’t visit Barcelona . The Tui staff were unprepared for these types of eventualities leaving us disappointed with the trip . The food was very good but the entertainment was also lacking . It’s put me off cruising for a while. We became expectant of Captain’s announcements on a daily basis and on the last but one evening of the trip there was an odd way of preparing us for yet another disappointment whereby we were encouraged to show our appreciation for the restaurant staff by waving our napkins in the air whilst they marched through and the waiters topped up our glasses. Unfortunately whilst there was merriment most of the passengers had worked out that we were getting yet another announcement and were prepared for another let down. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Some lovely restaurants attended by excellent waiting staff. Three of the six restaurants have an additional charge applied. Most of the food was very good with only one or two disappointing meals experienced during our week long stay. ... Read More
Some lovely restaurants attended by excellent waiting staff. Three of the six restaurants have an additional charge applied. Most of the food was very good with only one or two disappointing meals experienced during our week long stay. The bars look very 70's but were also well attended. The cabins are a bit bland whilst the communal parts of the ship appear very dated. My wife and I enjoyed our stay but were considerably younger than the average age on ship (54). One point of note; the ships entertainment is absolutely terrible with every cliched game done so badly it was painful! There is a small nightclub on the top floor which plays nothing but 60s and 70s music. The 'DJ' was quite rude to anyone who requested any other music! Apparently the other staff just accept how rude she is. The excursions were very expensive but were well organised. The fitness suite was a bit tired but was well used. There is also a Spa which whilst approximately twice high street prices, was very good. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
My wife and I have just returned from our first 7 day Western Mediterranean cruise aboard the Tui Discovery. We thoroughly enjoyed the experience and found pretty much everything to be complete opposite to some of the highly critical ... Read More
My wife and I have just returned from our first 7 day Western Mediterranean cruise aboard the Tui Discovery. We thoroughly enjoyed the experience and found pretty much everything to be complete opposite to some of the highly critical reviews we read before departure which made us a little apprehensive. All of the staff and crew were friendly and helpful with particular mention to Leah our cabin steward who always greeted us every day with her beautiful smile and kept cabin clean including little chocolates on our pillows every evening. There was a very good selection of food in all of the restaurants which varied the menus daily. We never had to wait for a table (or share during busy times). Bar services was also very good. The on board entertainment was of high standard with excellent singers, musicians and guest comedian. If we had one criticism then it would be having to pay extra for WiFi service which had various tariffs up yo £50 for 8 days. I would have expected this to have been included in cost of our holiday, We have never had to pay for this before at 4-5 star hotels we have stayed at in the past. Overall we would definitely go on another cruise after our first time on this one. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Getting on the ship was speedy enough and we did queue for some unexplained reason, that happened coming off as well. Of the whole cruise it was the rooms that put us off this cruise as they are so small and extremely dated, but kept very ... Read More
Getting on the ship was speedy enough and we did queue for some unexplained reason, that happened coming off as well. Of the whole cruise it was the rooms that put us off this cruise as they are so small and extremely dated, but kept very clean. The ship was kept very clean throughout. Service at the bars was very good as even with a sizable queue you didn't need to wait long. As with the rooms there are parts of the ship that require immediate attention as it is easy to tell that the it requires upgrading or probably replaced. We had a picture window in our cabin and to be honest it was not worth the extra because you could barely see out of it as it was dirty and had rusty water marks all over it. I have produced a video for this ship and the link to this is http://youtu.be/wXz1Z72dy7I which will give a tour of the main areas. Just copy and past the link to your browser. The food in the restaurants is good, sometimes only warm at times and can be a little bit limited but I would say what we had was all very good. The food is buffet style in all restaurants unless you pay extra which we did and it was well worth it to enjoy the table service and the excellent choices on the menu. The entertainment I found to be better than expected. I have travelled a couple of times before on 5 star cruises and found the theatre entertainment on board the Island Escape better by far. Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
Left cold Cardiff to fly to Palma to pick up the Thomson Dream cruise ship. A slight delay, but this didn't put us off. Quick embarkation at port, on ship by 11.45am .Felt like coming home,same cabin on deck 10 that we have had twice ... Read More
Left cold Cardiff to fly to Palma to pick up the Thomson Dream cruise ship. A slight delay, but this didn't put us off. Quick embarkation at port, on ship by 11.45am .Felt like coming home,same cabin on deck 10 that we have had twice before. Once again all the staff were very welcoming, quite a few remembering us from the previous years, especially Wendall, Dana, Ruby and Cecile bar staff. A new cruise director Bram and entertainment team this year, still excellent, shows in Broadway theatre of west end standard. The duo Heart and Soul in the Ocean bar were very good, and a welcome return to Strum Jam, who have a very large repetoire. Weather the whole week was great, calm seas every day. Entertained 24/7, never bored. All ports of call were fab, favourites were Sorrento, Calvi and Barcelona. Would recommend the Thomson Dream to anyone that likes, entertainment whenever you want, west end shows every night, food 24/7 if that is what you like, and last but not least the amazing crew, they make your holiday special. Drinks package was very good value for money, as we booked early we paid £69.00 each, worked out our bill would have been over £200.00 each, and we are not big drinkers. Non norovirus either, all we spoke to had a fab week.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
Read loads of reports on forums and agree with most of the 3 star ratings. We also have some friends who have been on this ship before. Some things people find fault with are ridiculous. Plastic plates drop the ratings. Who's ... Read More
Read loads of reports on forums and agree with most of the 3 star ratings. We also have some friends who have been on this ship before. Some things people find fault with are ridiculous. Plastic plates drop the ratings. Who's bothered if the plates are plastic??? Overall enjoyed the cruise but there are some issues mainly due to the fact this ship is a converted ferry. If we go on another cruise it will be a "proper" cruise ship. We were on deck 9 at the rear (aft)of the ship in an inside cabin. Dated decor. Like the lounge in a 70's working men's club but not a problem. Good Points Most staff were great, friendly and helpful. Cleanliness is very good. Food is good. Plenty of choice and good quality. Beds are basic, but for me at least, very comfortable. Cabin size is adequate for 2 people, just! Drinks are fine. I mostly drink larger and the San Miguel was nice. Not so good points Air conditioning system is very noisy and you can't turn it off. I'm a good sleeper but still had to put ear plugs in. The vibration from the engines is horrendous. Even on deck 9. You constantly feel it in bed and when the ship docks it nearly shakes you out of bed. Very noisy with bars above and below the rooms. Not such a problem for us as it stops at midnight but could be for some people. Waiter service is intermittent. Good in some bars, none existent in others. We were part of a company of 3 couples and as I said overall it was an OK introduction to cruising. We enjoyed the holiday mainly because of our friends, not so much the ship. Value for money?? not sure, I don't think so. We have been booked for well over a year due to planning 6 peoples work commitments so we paid top dollar and I don't think it was worth what we paid. Book any Thompson cruise early enough and you can get all inclusive. Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
Okay the ship is not the most plush ship in the world but then after having some 1500 passengers go through it's doors and corridors every one/two weeks you can't expect it to be! After reading reviews on here I very nearly ... Read More
Okay the ship is not the most plush ship in the world but then after having some 1500 passengers go through it's doors and corridors every one/two weeks you can't expect it to be! After reading reviews on here I very nearly cancelled but i'm so glad i didn't! We had an amazing time. The ship is as described, very relaxed although if you chose to wear refineries no one batted an eyelid. The cruise team work so hard to make you feel as though you are the only person on that ship - so a BIG THANK YOU to ALL of them. We had children with us (7, 14). My little girl used the kids club a few times and loved it and my son surprised us by going to the teenagers club meet in the sailaway bar - from that point on we no longer had a son on holiday with us. The teenagers all got on fabulously, they sunbathed together, ate and drank together in fact the only time we saw him was when we went on the excursions. It was fab letting the children have some time of their own which also gave us time for each other too. We only ever ate in the buffet restaurant (it simply suited our needs and meal times) and found the food and service to a high std there was always something for everyone. There was even a separate children's menu (chick. nugg. and chips etc) which they cooked fresh on order. Whilst in there ask for the waiter Archie he's fab soooo friendly and does good tricks too! The excursions were really good value for money we thought. We booked ours online before departure and so glad we did as availabilty was poor once on board.Some of the days were long days but then you have to expect that when you need to travel a distance by coach. It was VERY hot when we went 40 degress at one point so PLENTY OF WATER was advisable (for four of us we took 2 x 2ltr bottle, available from the gangway on exit and 4 x 75cl bottles which we decanted water in2 from the 2ltr bottles. We drank all this and needed more (and this was not due to the fact that we'd had a heavy session the night before!) The views on deck about an hour before docking into port are a must for the cameras. The buffet restaurant is open at 6am so you can grab a coffee to sip whilst you watch him dock. We did hear complaints whilst on board and i suppose it's very much each to there own! We are a family who like luxury and will complain if we feel strongly having said that we are also an easy going family who whilst on holiday like to chill de-stress and let others take charge so if this sounds similar to you - you'll love it!! As I said at the beginning it could do with a refurb but everything was still functional and adequate for what you needed. I really want to book again! Ps this wasn't our first cruise - I didn't like the first one!!!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
My wife and I had our first cruise and loved it... Why? Yes the destinations were great, the weather, food and drink was great but it is the staff that make this cruise. They work so hard it is unbelievable. Most do 15 hour days, are ... Read More
My wife and I had our first cruise and loved it... Why? Yes the destinations were great, the weather, food and drink was great but it is the staff that make this cruise. They work so hard it is unbelievable. Most do 15 hour days, are always smiling and are away from their families for 9/10months of the year which is really hard to do. They remembered your name, drinks, and are so friendly. The ship was spotless, the pool area, the deck, the stairs, bars and restaurants. Lots of sanitisers around and no sign of any bug or virus whilst on board. The whole operation is slick; very well organised. From our first day, receiving our luggage to the tickets for trips, request we had for extra items and leaving. Our room was cleaned twice a day and spotless. I was dismayed to hear people complaining that their water jug had only been half filled or their towel animal was not in their room! Personally a monkey made out of a towel is not going to make or break my holiday. A clean room and amazing service will, which I had, The entertainment is certainly not tacky or cheesy but professional, engaging and fun with different shows every night. We were entertained the second we turned up to get our tickets by the staff in the port.You can choose from broadway shows, classical music act, lounge music act, Luke on the piano in the Delo bar, and strum jam the band. There are numerous game shows and bingo every day. If none of that pleases you then maybe nothing will. The entertainment crew work really hard. They are young and have have a lot of energy and great voices. Luke in the piano bar is amazing. He has taught himself the piano and is very talented. He can really work an audience. We did a few duets on the last night and it was great fun. On the Thursday night some of the staff did a talent show and it was great to see them doing things they enjoy. There are some areas of the ship that is a little tired, but hardly any and most are in a corner of a ship that you dont stare at, but it is unbelievablly clean. We saw no ripped beds and all the beds we used were clean. Ernesto cleans the deck twice a day and does a grand job. We did two excursions and both were well organised. They are a little pricey but everything is done for you. We enjoyed Nice and Little Train and Villefranche was beautiful. The only thing we would change is where our cabin was. It was at the front so you felt the waves a bit. The day at sea was gale force 11 and we were sea sick. Nothing anyone could do but the staff helped my wife loads. I would recommend an outside cabin(not plus, they are only 2feet longer) in the middle of the ship. Food is great with two buffets, an A La Carte restaurant which we loved and a waiter service restaurant. Drink prices are reasonable. A cocktail with a generous amount of alcohol is 4.60 which is good compared to wine bars and bars nowadays. Beer was 3.60 which is not inflated compared to pubs and bars. We both drank well all week and spent under 300.00 We met some wonderful people onboard and would go back again in a heartbeat. A holiday is what you make of it and the crew and staff made it for us. Thank you Thomson.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
We found the ship a very friendly, very clean, and there is so much to do on board you should never be bored. there is something for everyone of all ages, you do not need to dress up for dinner, but if you like to like we do, then get ... Read More
We found the ship a very friendly, very clean, and there is so much to do on board you should never be bored. there is something for everyone of all ages, you do not need to dress up for dinner, but if you like to like we do, then get glammed up for your evenings entertainment. The Resturant on deck 4 is waiter service, the waiters are just great always remembering your name, and make you feel so welcome like a special guest. The food is great too. Or if you dont like getting dressed up and want to be more relaxed the up stair deck 9 is for you, Buffet style and something for everyone. The shows this year once again where amazing, Bram the director does a great job and again you cannot fault the energy and drive of the entertainment team they were superb. We have already booked up for next year, so well done Thomson for yet another Dream Hoilday Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
This was our first cruise and first package holiday! I traveled with my mother who is in her 60s and we usually enjoy city breaks, Barcelona being one of our favourites but decided this year that a cruise would be a great way to see the ... Read More
This was our first cruise and first package holiday! I traveled with my mother who is in her 60s and we usually enjoy city breaks, Barcelona being one of our favourites but decided this year that a cruise would be a great way to see the city sights we like with a bit of relaxation thrown in! We were drawn to this ship from its description as informal and laid back on the website, we also were very happy with the ports of call and the price! We had issues trying to book as when we went into the Thomson's shop the "cruise expert" did everything she could to try and put us off the Island Escape and book a different more expensive ship, after 45 minutes of her showing us restaurant menus and pictures of other ships we left, went to a different Thomson's shop and booked the cruise we wanted! This then prompted me to read some reviews, which perhaps I should have done before I booked, but I am so glad I didn't as it could very well have made me book a different cruise! Some of the reviews I read we're horrific and really put a shadow over our holiday... I need not have worried though as this was one of the best, if not the best holidays we have been on! I was not sure what to expect with this being my first package holiday and was really impressed with the presence of the reps in the airport and how helpful they were! We were pointed in the direction of our bus where we were handed a pack with some information and what would happen next and then driven to the port. Once there, and after sanitising our hands at one of the ever present gel dispensers, we went through a very easy and informative check in and embarkation, our cases were delivered to our cabin very soon after. The cabin we stayed in was an inside cabin on deck six, it was in a perfect location as it was just off the main corridor and not to close to either the stair well or restaurant for the noise but close enough for easy access! The cabin was immaculately clean and our cabin steward came in several times a day to tidy up or turn the beds down etc. It was basic but the beds were comfortable and there was plenty of storage space. There was also mini bar items in the cabin, these were not included in the all inclusive package but seemed reasonably priced. There was a news letter delivered every evening which contained useful information about tomorrow's port of call and what was happening on board. We spent our first full day at sea where we explored the ship, it's facilities and booked our excursions for the week. Our first impressions of the ship had been really good and we were even more impressed after looking around. Descriptions of "a rust bucket", "filthy, disgusting communal areas" and "food which was like school or prison fare" played on my mind but I really don't know what these people were seeing that I wasn't! I am not easy to please, I have a touch of OCD so am really particular with cleanliness and am a picky eater but I have to say that there were no complaints from us at all. I have never seen as many people cleaning 24/7 as I did on that boat and it really felt that the crew were doing everything they could to ensure that germs and viruses etc were not spread. We mainly ate in the Island Restaurant on deck 6 as it was near our cabin. A waiter ensured everyone used the hand gel before entering and then you were shown to a table, the first couple of times we went we sat in different places but by day 3 we sat at the same table with the same people every night. The food was a buffet and the choice was fantastic, every night there was a soup to start, a carvery option, a pasta option, a vegetarian option and several main and side dishes plus a salad bar, hot and cold deserts and cheese and biscuits. There were also theme nights, Italian, Chinese and an Indian night. All of the food we had was first class and never cold as some people had written in their reviews. We did eat in the Beachcomber Restaurant a couple of times as this was open 24/7. This restaurant was a lot more relaxed, food was still buffet but served on melamine plates as these could be taken outside or to the pool area etc. We had breakfast there a couple of times when we had an early start for an excursion. They also served afternoon tea, typical stuff like sandwiches, cream scones, cake, sausage rolls etc which we enjoyed a couple of times instead of having lunch. They also served "midnight snacks" which we also had one night... I would like to tell you what was on offer but I was a bit worse for wear and it was the equivalent of getting a late night takeaway after a heavy night out! I do know that they had nachos with cheese on as this was what was half left in a bowl in my cabin the next morning! There were also some reviews saying that the all inclusive was not very good... We found there to be a very wide selection of drinks available, we drank cocktails most of the time, there was a choice of about 8 with alcohol and 3 non alcoholic ones plus a special of the day on AI. We also drank wine in the restaurant with dinner, it wasn't what we would usually drink but was fine. We ended most night with a glass of port in the Sundowner bar watching the singers, I know that the spirits etc were house spirits and if you wanted brands you paid for them but I don't know many places where this would not be the case on all inclusive! All in all we really enjoyed this holiday, found the ship far exceeded our expectations after reading the reviews, the whole process of embarkation and disembarkation very smooth, the excursions value for money, all of the staff really helpful and the food and drink fantastic. We are already considering another cruise on this ship next year. Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
The Dream crew were very efficient when we arrived at 11.15pm and soon had us checked in and on board. We had our safety drill in the disco and by the time we got to our cabin our cases were waiting for us. Our cabin was comfortable and ... Read More
The Dream crew were very efficient when we arrived at 11.15pm and soon had us checked in and on board. We had our safety drill in the disco and by the time we got to our cabin our cases were waiting for us. Our cabin was comfortable and now as tea/coffee making equipment - a welcome addition. Not so welcome we're the changes which have been made to the AI package, lots of drinks which were included last year are now only available at a supplement. Most of the whiskeys and all canned soft drinks are now at a supplement but soft drinks are free if you ask for a glass not a can. I would now only have the package if it's discounted as we paid for more drinks this cruise. Although there have been upgrades to carpeting and deck furniture plus new seating in the Medusa lounge I don't think it is a Platinum style upgrade - most of the changes are superficial but it seems we are paying more for small changes . On the plus side, the staff are as amazing as ever. Nothing is too much trouble and requests are always met with a smile and I'm sure this has a lot to do with passengers returning to the Dream. From the cabin crew, waiters and entertainment staff each and every one deserves a mention. A special thank you to all the staff in the Ocean bar who were superb, as were the entertainment in the Ocean also. There are hygiene issues with a small number of passengers who can't seem to grasp that they should wash their hands before leaving the toilet also a number of people who think it's acceptable to pick up food from the buffet with their hands instead of the tongs provided. IT ISN'T!!! Staff in Sirens served food most days but you only had to ask for more if the portion was too small, it was always okay for me but hubby has a bigger appetite. The Jacuzzies were closed all week and both pools were closed by Friday as well because of sickness on board. To be fair, the staff never stopped cleaning particularly hand rails and lift buttons but passengers need to do their bit too. Entertainment on board was as professional as ever and if you don't like shows there's always something to do in one bar or another. All public areas looked clean at all times and were a credit to the staff. We has a force 10 gale one evening which the Captain prepared us for but how the staff managed to do their job with a smile when most of us could hardly stand was a credit to them all. This cruise had a few problems compared with past holidays but we'll still be going back in no small part due to the fantastic Dream team on board. Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
Travelled on this ship from 28th May and during the week started to hear a few unbelievable stories about the week before. I booked the Deluxe Balcony cabin, one at the back of the ship, imagining sitting out there watching as we left the ... Read More
Travelled on this ship from 28th May and during the week started to hear a few unbelievable stories about the week before. I booked the Deluxe Balcony cabin, one at the back of the ship, imagining sitting out there watching as we left the various ports. Cabin was nice but a bit shabby. For the extra money Id paid I expected better! The first morning we woke up to find the toilet in our cabin was blocked and were informed by Customer Relations that this was a problem in a large part of the ship. Both my husband and I had to find a public toilet that was working to use that morning. We proceeded to breakfast in the Beachcomber Restaurant where the food was warm but not hot. Served to you on plastic plates and drinks in plastic mugs. After lunch back in the Beachcomber we walked along to the Mirage poolside bar and ordered a drink. White rum and coke for me and a whisky and lemonade for my husband. They were both awful! We then tried the vodka and that wasn’t much better! The alcohol tasted cheap and nasty. It was only drinkable in the various cocktails on offer. We could have ordered the premium brands and paid for them but that is why I went for an all inclusive so I didn't have to worry about how much was being taken out of my bank account each day. The following day, after returning from our trip to Sardinia, we decided to have dinner in the Island Restaurant. You queue up to get in here and they seat you at a table, but again a buffet. Again the food was only warm and not hot. After dinner we had a few cocktails in the Bounty Bar and then went to bed. In all the restaurants/bars they were very slow to clear tables and we often sat at a table that hadn’t been cleaned at all. The food was not of the standard that we were led to believe it should be. Butlins at sea was a common phrase used amongst the passengers. The two resident bands, duo Mardi Gras and 5 piece The Switch, were awful. People were constantly walking out, ourselves included. And if you wanted to see a show you had to queue up or you find a sign saying "full". And the fact that they knew that Norovirus was present and virulent when we boarded, and still allowed the cruise to go ahead, is unbelievable! We lost half of our last day by being transferred to a hotel in Majorca whilst they disinfected the ship and again the food there was not to standard. My 50th birthday is memorable for all the wrong reasons and has put us off of taking another cruise!   Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
we travelled with my son and his new wife for their first cruise.the embarkation queue was lengthy but moved quite fast and within 30 mins we had boarded.we were impressed with the centrum a rea and after signing up for the drinks package ... Read More
we travelled with my son and his new wife for their first cruise.the embarkation queue was lengthy but moved quite fast and within 30 mins we had boarded.we were impressed with the centrum a rea and after signing up for the drinks package we had our first of many cocktails consumed over the 5 days. i had arranged for the wedding celebration decoration package as a surprise laa we were excited to accompany our son and wife to their stateroom. imagine our disappointment to discover a birthday decoration in their room. i was very disappointed and went to guest services to complain. the very nice lady apologised and offered to refund our money and as a gesture sent some chocolate covered strawberries. i realize that mistakes happen and nothing can be done to rectify it but it was a major disappointment. however,it did not spoil our trip.we had a great time.i found the food in the main buffet to be good,if a little cool at times.we much preferred the garden cafe.the salads were exceptional and the sandwiches and paninnis very good.i used room service for breakfast to avoid the throngs. best service by a mile was the dining room. we used my time dining and were lucky to get the same table and waiters,mauritio and vicky.they made our dining a wonderful experience.they were attentive,great fun and went the extra mile for us.they arranged a special meal for my son who is allergic onions and mauritio made wonderful balloon animals. the shows were good and the the piano bar great. while on a trip to split a thunderstorm broke out and everyone dashed to the harbour to get a tender back to the ship. within seconds torrential rain and a strong wind drenched everyone.the tenders bobbed and rocked and it took approx 20 mins to get on board. it felt a little scary but on our tender was a group of women from dublin who sang and joked and calmed nerves and made a bad experience fun. disembarkation was straightforward.we had an early flight and requested express disembarkation.we left the boat at 7:30 and found our car from venice shuttle waiting to whisk us to the airport.if you need transfers at venice use venice shuttle.they are reliable courteous and prompt. we had a great time on the grandeur of the seas and converted my son and his wife to the cruising experience Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
On the whole a good experience,, from the transfer/check-in through the inboard experience and onto departure. A straightforward embarkation process, although a few extra pens being available to complete the medical questionnaire and ... Read More
On the whole a good experience,, from the transfer/check-in through the inboard experience and onto departure. A straightforward embarkation process, although a few extra pens being available to complete the medical questionnaire and banking details would have been handy. The cabin was as expected, worth paying that little extra to secure daylight as compared to our previous experience of inside cabin. Ok not the most celubrious but clean, tidy and essentially plenty big enough for what it is for the duration of the cruise - a base from where to enjoy the boat's facilities and to set off to new places daily. And of course sleep. Beds were comfy, and even an adventure when a 3rd person is ione of the fold down bunks. Shower smallish but no smaller than the average cubicle, and plenty of hot and powerful water. free hire of a hair-dryer was available although I understand that they do become scarce so arriving on a later flight than mine could cause issues. Each cabin has a safe, however the lock is essentially hired on a weekly (£15) or fortnightly (£25) basis. I cannot believe that anyone would not use this service to keep passports, money and other valuables safe...so surprised that the locks weren't included in the My views...... 1) the staff. With only a couple of exceptions all the cleaners, cabin stewards, bar staff and kitchen staff seemed to enjoy being "at your service". Our steward in cabin 6042 was Satpal and cheerfully went about his business, working around us but always with a smile. Apparently he and his colleagues work from 8am to 2pm, then 6pm to 10pm. 7 days a week!! 2) things to do. Good gym although I did not partake. Plenty of entertainment I believe to suit most people - sporty things, talent shows, quizzes, shows etc. However I was disappointed that there was to a cinema on board. 3) food and drink. Plenty of food available 24 hours a day. The all-inclusive drinks package makes things so much easier. Unfortunately the menu choice was rather limited in my opinion compared to Thomson Spirit. Also it seemed a bit of a scrum at meal times in the buffet restaurant. Although access to the restaurant was from bothe sides of the ship, the layout of the food bar meant that the queues both tried to walk round in 2 directions. Again compared to the Spirit this seemed poorly organised. 4) it seemed that it was okay to smoke anywhere outside on deck. However when moored up, and with no wind this meant that those of us who do not smoke were still being subjected to the smog. 5) there appears to be nowhere onboard designated as a quiet area. The nearest would be the Cafe Brasil but this was attached to the bounty lounge where afternoon dance sessions were held, then from 7pm the bingo, quiz, competitions and music. The "Pub" had music playing constantly, and unfortunately the alternating soloists of the keyboard player and then the guitarist were very loud. 6)the library is in my opinion pointless. Firstly it is only open at most a couple of hours a day, sometimes only one hour. Even when it is open it is when the boat is moored in port and a lot of people are off the boat. The rest of the time it is literally locked by padlocks. More oddly though, you "self sign- out" books.......but don't sign them back in - just post them into a box. Seems a bit of a farce. 7) cannot understand why when on the "all-inclusive" package you can drink as much as you want, but if you can't have a can. My son could only drink soft drinks and had loads of coke, but had to continually get small beakers, rather than a decent measure. 8) plastic/melamine plates. Plastic "glasses". Just not right. I would have preferred proper glass and proper crockery. In summary I did enjoy the cruise but not as much as the previous year on Thomson Spirit. However I believe you do get very good value for money compared to other options available Read Less
Sail Date July 2012
This was our first ever cruise, and thought it was fantastic. Mostly down to the staff who went above and beyond expectations for the kids. First night was one not to be forgotten. Kids and adults loved the Broadway show, kids where ... Read More
This was our first ever cruise, and thought it was fantastic. Mostly down to the staff who went above and beyond expectations for the kids. First night was one not to be forgotten. Kids and adults loved the Broadway show, kids where mesmerized! Party round the main pool afterwards was great, the kids club team (Matt and Hayley) sought us out and were up dancing with the kids. All the girls from the Broadway show where there too getting involved with everyone and and having a great time with the kids too. All the waiter staff where great too, by the end of the trip I almost felt I could have left the kids to run free and they would have been look out for by the staff.. We thought the food was very good. The self serve was good, through if arrived at the wrong time their was a bit of a queue, and 10min later it was quite. The Orion restaurant with table service was very good, waiters where exceptionally friendly and the food was always good. Kids food too. Apart from Rome and Naples, the other stops where just OK (med treasures). Naples excursion was a bit disappointing, the tour guide was awful and the group too big for the cramped spaces of the old roman town. If I'm ever back, I'd buy a book and go round myself. So, a BIG thank you to all the crew on the Dream how help us have a great holiday! Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
I was very dubious about going on a cruise because of all the bad press with regards to the ship that sank earlier this year however I am completely converted. I felt totally safe and as someone who also suffers from sea sickness I can ... Read More
I was very dubious about going on a cruise because of all the bad press with regards to the ship that sank earlier this year however I am completely converted. I felt totally safe and as someone who also suffers from sea sickness I can honestly say I wasn't ill once which even I couldn't believe!Anyway back to business, one of the main reasons I did want to go on a cruise is so that I had the opportunity to visit lots of different places I'd always wanted to go but wasn't sure I really wanted to take a holiday in those places in case I didn't like it as they are mainly cities. What a fantastic holiday probably one of the best I've ever had. We went on the Thompson Dream Treasures of the Mediterranean because we stopped in Naples for Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius, Civitavecchia for Rome, Villefranche for Monte Carlo (and the grand prix was on we couldn't believe our luck). These were the main stops for us and what a wonderful opportunity to see the sights I'd dreamt of seeing since I was a little girl. We did have other stops however the ones I've mentioned were definitely the highlight for us so much so that we will be going to Rome in February for a long weekend. A lot of reviews talk about the ship entertainment, food etc but they were first class and I would have to be a misery guts to complain about anything on board. Cruising for me allowed us to fulfill a dream and I will and am a converted cruiser. Looking at Egypt and the holy-land as our next trip because cruising allows you to live out a dream seeing things I never thought I would in a completely comfortable relaxing environment and meeting exiting and interesting people along the way. Can't wait to plan our next trip. Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
Island escape We had decided to the the stay and cruise so did a week at the Playa D'jor in Alcudia for the 1st week . The weather was very much on our side in Alcudia , the hotel was lovely , few older fuddy-duddies and the pool ... Read More
Island escape We had decided to the the stay and cruise so did a week at the Playa D'jor in Alcudia for the 1st week . The weather was very much on our side in Alcudia , the hotel was lovely , few older fuddy-duddies and the pool was artic but apart from that nothing to complain about , the beach is fab and the staff are great - happy to help , the food choice really good and copious amounts of alcohol free-flowing all day and night. The transfer was easy for the journey to the Ship , everything is very well organised , The ship is old but WE feel is great value for money , the All Inc' package is brilliant - drinks without worry of big costs . We did the Marina's and Monuments and have had the best holiday , the atmosphere and the staff make this holiday , the people laff loudly and the party mood is just addictive . The ports where lovely especially Mahon yesterday was delightful. The cabins are well used, but very functional , we had birds eye view going into ports from our window just under the bridge , excellent housekeeping from Warren . The food was good and in plenty , the Island Restaraunt was always busy and great staffing made sure of efficient service . We found the people who had been on bigger cruises moaned a tad , but to be honest everyone we spoke to had a great time . We went as a party of 4 , enjoyed all we did and didnt do and will be looking forward to going on the Escape again. I like to call it Bultins on water and tbh It did not let us down we have had a great time . Giving the whole holiday 8/10 My one gripe is the pushy selling of cigarettes as the waiters and waitresses dont get commision on waiting on ur tables anymore so they only get it on cigs sales which is most annoying to non smokers being asked , point is it says in brochure TIPS INCLUDED...finding out that the hard working staff DONT get the tips like they used too . THOMSON THIS NEEDS ADDRESSING AS YOUR STAFF WORK SO VERY HARD TO PLEASE THE CUSTOMERS . Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
We flew from Newcastle to Palma, and arrived just after 11am, however it took us over 4 hours to actually get on the boat, even though we were last on the coach at the airport it still sat there for another 30 minutes.Then they took us to ... Read More
We flew from Newcastle to Palma, and arrived just after 11am, however it took us over 4 hours to actually get on the boat, even though we were last on the coach at the airport it still sat there for another 30 minutes.Then they took us to this castle at the top of Palma overlooking the bay and finally the port which took over an hour to check us in. Why don't they have more people taking your photo for your sea pass card? We finally got on board and flung our hand luggage in the cabins and went for a very late lunch as the kids were starving. We had early dining at 6pm which was just a bit too early we were always rushing(when i booked the cruise i was told it would be 6.30). We dined in the Great Gatsby every night along with our 13 year old triplets. We all thought the food was excellent and the service from both our waiters was the best i have ever had, and I know people say they don't see the head waiter,however he came and spoke to us all at least twice every night. We had breakfast and lunch in the Windjammer and we loved it the food was fresh especially the bread pudding with the vanilla sauce-magic. Plus the 2 sailing days the Bar-B-Q which was very delicious. Entertainment was average the comedian was good, the Beatles tribute amazing and the magician on the last night not that good. The violinist Gary Livini was very entertaining, the orchestra very good, singers and dancers ok- need to update their dancing routines.We went to the quiz most nights and watched the Karaoke final was good laugh and so was Mr and Mrs and the Quest game. We only saw our kids at dinner time, bedtime and when we were off the ship, they had a ball and learned new games, rock climbing and made many new friends who they now chat with on Facebook daily. I would cruise again though RCI should avoid Palermo, dirty everybody is in your face when you get off the ship. A lot of dodgy people, the ship should have had another day in Palma as this is a lovely city and if you were only doing a weeks cruise you never got time to see it. We had adjoining cabins that were kept lovely and clean by Astor. I had the wine package and my husband the soda package as he does not drink, which worked in well plus the occasional cocktail. Drinks as you all well know were a rip off!!!!!!! We done all our own trips though Rome was a nightmare with the flooding and no Metro, Monte Carlo nice to see very clean, Cannes is also a nice place for a wander. We went to Pisa had a nice wee half day and got lots of photos, didn't like Palermo though i did get a nice new jacket Read Less
Sail Date October 2011

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